D&D 5E Charisma to prevent giving out info during interrogation?

Asisreo

Patron Badass
How does it sound to use Charisma to prevent giving out information during an interrogation/torture sequence involving the characters as the subject of torture? Most players would simply refuse to give information because they don't feel the pressure of giving the information out without death outright being a consequence. Because otherwise, there's nothing for them to lose.

At first, I was thinking of using Charisma saves because they're being involuntarily pushed to do something that requires willpower to prevent, but then I thought of a skill contest, since the torturer can torture indefinitely, it's up to the character to persuade the torturer that they won't give any information.

So, it would be a Persuasion vs Intimidation check and on success, the character gives out no information during the interrogation and on failure, they share one bit of information.

How does that sound? Too much? Would you enjoy this type of interaction? Would you prefer a different ruling or just let the player decide whether they break or not?
 

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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
How does it sound to use Charisma to prevent giving out information during an interrogation/torture sequence involving the characters as the subject of torture? Most players would simply refuse to give information because they don't feel the pressure of giving the information out without death outright being a consequence. Because otherwise, there's nothing for them to lose.

At first, I was thinking of using Charisma saves because they're being involuntarily pushed to do something that requires willpower to prevent, but then I thought of a skill contest, since the torturer can torture indefinitely, it's up to the character to persuade the torturer that they won't give any information.

So, it would be a Persuasion vs Intimidation check and on success, the character gives out no information during the interrogation and on failure, they share one bit of information.

How does that sound? Too much? Would you enjoy this type of interaction? Would you prefer a different ruling or just let the player decide whether they break or not?
I think you might need to back up and consider the whole "torture PCs"scene context. Why is this even happening?
 

bloodtide

Adventurer
I doubt this would work out in game play. Even if you drop the "torture PCs" bit.

To say an NPC "somehow" just "gets" information from a PC is a bit boring. High save PCs will just ignore it, and low save ones will always fail.

But having Klarg the Big Boot "tell the NPCs everything" for the 44th time....is just boring.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Person 1 tries to interrogate person 2 using charisma vs. will.
If person 2 saves, they then can try to manipulate person 1 using charisma vs. will?
 

payn

Legend
I have been thinking about this but in a more modern spy/law enforcement angle. Where the interrogator and interrogated do this match of wits. I could see any combo of Int/Wis/Cha being used in such an example.

For actually being tortured, I'd probably use fort saves to take the pain and not give in. Though, I'd likely not enact such a scenario at my table.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Charisma isn't really "willpower". It's sense of self, soul, or personality.
A Charisma saving or refensive skill roll would not be used in normal interrogation. Especially torture. You know when a Charisma check/save is appropriate?

Gaslighting

When the interrogator or torturer is attempting you replace part or most of a person's personality, viewpoints, or ideals. That's why I use Cha saves for charms, mind control, and other personality shifts.

Now RPing active in the now
gaslighting
as a DM isn't easy. At all. For normal people.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
This is where social interaction could be a form of combat...

If you had a social "AC" so to say, the interrogator would make an "Intimidation Attack" and deal psychic damage. The PC makes a "You can't break me" attack of some sort back, etc. Whoever goes to 0 hp loses and either gives up the interrogation or the information.
 

aco175

Legend
I'm reading the OP as having the player's PCs give up information and not bad guys being tortured by the PCs. The players can choose to play this way and give a chance for his PC to give something up and other players may just want to roleplay or never give anything up. they could even try to lie or try to make a check against the bad guys torturing them.

I would not want to make the players accept it for their PCs. The players are in charge of their PCs.
 


depending on the type of torture CON save can be use too.
Having a mechanical benefit from torture may mean that you get more torture, and that is not something some of us want in our games. It was bad enough reading about Abu Ghraib, there is just no way I want it in my games.
 


How does it sound to use Charisma to prevent giving out information during an interrogation/torture sequence involving the characters as the subject of torture? Most players would simply refuse to give information because they don't feel the pressure of giving the information out without death outright being a consequence. Because otherwise, there's nothing for them to lose.

At first, I was thinking of using Charisma saves because they're being involuntarily pushed to do something that requires willpower to prevent, but then I thought of a skill contest, since the torturer can torture indefinitely, it's up to the character to persuade the torturer that they won't give any information.

So, it would be a Persuasion vs Intimidation check and on success, the character gives out no information during the interrogation and on failure, they share one bit of information.

How does that sound? Too much? Would you enjoy this type of interaction? Would you prefer a different ruling or just let the player decide whether they break or not?

Charisma saves are generally something involving the 'soul' (Banishment etc). Wisdom is for saves involving 'willpower'.

That said, I would imagine 'tough guy' hero types would be better off with a save vs Torture, so I'd personally be using Con saves if it came to that.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Charisma isn't really "willpower". It's sense of self, soul, or personality.

I would say that Charisma is the ability to project a sense of self or personality, whether you actually have one or not.

Actually having that sense of self would traditionally be Wisdom. You can think of Charisma as the analog of Strength, Wisdom the analog of Constitution.
 

I would say that Charisma is the ability to project a sense of self or personality, whether you actually have one or not.

It's also used to resist attacks on the 'self' (soul, spirit), usually planar related effects:
  • Banishment
  • Calm Emotions
  • Dispel Evil
  • Divine Word
  • escaping from a Forcecage
  • penetrating a Magic Circle
  • choosing not to be affected by a Seeming spell
  • Planar Binding
  • an involuntary Plane Shift
  • the hopelessness effect of a Symbol spell
  • Zone of Truth
  • Ghost's Possession
  • Umber Hulk's Confusing Gaze
The real outlier there is the Umber Hulk (looks like it should be a Wisdom save for mine)

Charisma isn't just defined as 'personality', it's also defined as 'a divinely conferred power or talent' inferring some kind of connection with the Divine (so the outer Planes in a DnD context.)

charisma - Google Search

Charisma - Wikipedia

If I'm designing a monsters attack that damages, displaces or interacts with 'the soul' or has a planar or teleportation effect tied to it, I'm generally eying off Charisma as my save of choice.
 


Horwath

Hero
This is where social interaction could be a form of combat...

If you had a social "AC" so to say, the interrogator would make an "Intimidation Attack" and deal psychic damage. The PC makes a "You can't break me" attack of some sort back, etc. Whoever goes to 0 hp loses and either gives up the interrogation or the information.
This:

Mental/social AC could be 10+wis+cha
 

If t he PC takes any action that can possibly make the torturer reconsider, then a Charisma roll of some kind can be used.

But if the PC is passive, then I don't see a reason for a roll... except maybe if the PC is naturally charming - but then you need Feywild or magical traits. But that's a big maybe.
 

MarkB

Legend
This is a flat-out Intimidation vs Deception head-to-head check. Torture is Intimidation, and refusing to give out information is Deception, whether just waking down the street, or tied to the rack. Advantage or disadvantage to one or the other, depending on the circumstances.
Deception is convincing the interrogator that you don't know anything, or providing false information. It doesn't cover just holding out and refusing to talk.
 

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