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5E Persuade, Intimidate, and Deceive used vs. PCs

Scenarios:

Player: "I think he's lying."
DM: "Roll Insight."
Player: "Um...4."
DM: "He rolls Deception 12. So you believe him."
Player: "Do you mean I can't tell if he's lying, or that I actually believe him?"
DM: "You believe him; his Deception was higher than your Insight."

DM: "The guard rolls Intimidate and gets an 18. Yeah, you're intimidated."
Player: "Oh, ok I guess I'll just keep moving then."

Player: "I don't think I want to do this quest for only 100 gold."
DM: "The magistrate rolls Persuade and gets...a natural 20!"
Player: "Darn. Looks like I'll take the quest."

Any reactions? How many people play the way that's described in those three scenarios?
 

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Lanliss

Explorer
That is the kind of thing I imagine disadvantage is for. Intimidated? Disadvantage on all rolls against the guard. Deception? Disadvantage on further interrogation. The emperor one is unique, as it is a bargain being made. People would haggle, so each failed challenge(persuasion) would likely result in disadvantage at your next attempt, or outright failure if you shoot too high. For instance, people would respond to 100 with 500. Emperor says 150, player says 450, and so on. But failing rolls would mean that, instead of meeting in the middle at 250, you would do it for 200, and succeeded rolls would raise it to 300 or 350.
 

HardcoreDandDGirl

First Post
That is the kind of thing I imagine disadvantage is for. Intimidated? Disadvantage on all rolls against the guard. Deception? Disadvantage on further interrogation. The emperor one is unique, as it is a bargain being made. People would haggle, so each failed challenge(persuasion) would likely result in disadvantage at your next attempt, or outright failure if you shoot too high. For instance, people would respond to 100 with 500. Emperor says 150, player says 450, and so on. But failing rolls would mean that, instead of meeting in the middle at 250, you would do it for 200, and succeeded rolls would raise it to 300 or 350.
When I DM (not often) I let both players and monsters to use skills, but that last one the quest giver doesn't sit right with me...

I will say as a player I would except any of them... I mean again that last one is the most questionable, but If the DM did it I would roll with it since he wanted us to go on the mission...
 

This is maybe a better example of Intimidate:

"The evil wizard threatens to blast you with a fireball if you don't tell him where you hid the key."
"Give me your worst, gnome!"
"He rolls Intimidate and gets....a 17."
"Darn. Ok, I tell him where it is."
 

jrowland

First Post
I never play that way.


Player: "I think he's lying."
DM: "Roll Insight."
Player: "Um...4."
DM secretly rolls Deception 12.
DM: "He seems trustworthy."
Player: "Do you mean I can't tell if he's lying, or that I actually believe him?"
DM: "You don't think he's lying, but you don't have to believe him."
 

ad_hoc

Hero
Scenarios:

Player: "I think he's lying."
DM: "Roll Insight."
Player: "Um...4."
DM: "He rolls Deception 12. So you believe him."
Player: "Do you mean I can't tell if he's lying, or that I actually believe him?"
DM: "You believe him; his Deception was higher than your Insight."

DM: "The guard rolls Intimidate and gets an 18. Yeah, you're intimidated."
Player: "Oh, ok I guess I'll just keep moving then."

Player: "I don't think I want to do this quest for only 100 gold."
DM: "The magistrate rolls Persuade and gets...a natural 20!"
Player: "Darn. Looks like I'll take the quest."

Any reactions? How many people play the way that's described in those three scenarios?
1. You are unable to get a read on him.
2. I would describe how tough the guard looks with the implication that it might not be a good idea to mess with them.
3. I would say something like 'well this is the going rate for this sort of quest, and the magistrate knows it.'

With the exception of charm or compulsion effects I don't think it is a good idea to take away player agency. I think it is completely okay to change the way they might approach a scene by describing it in a way that matches what their character perceives or knows.
 

JediGamemaster

First Post
I'm a good for the goose good for the gander type of GM. So in some campaigns, ones where the players are more out of game ok with just RP we forget the social skills exists all together, but if the Bard can bluff check his way out of trouble, so can the evil viser to the king...

I will add that a few weeks ago we used such a system very well with PCs investigating the death of a high court member... we used skill rolls apposed by behind the screen rolls...

something like this:
Player: I think the cook is in on it... so I ask him where he was... and roll a 16 insight, is he lieing
Me the DM rolls behind the screen gets a 19: I tell him nope, he's telling you the truth he was delivering eggs at the time...
 

Lanliss

Explorer
When I DM (not often) I let both players and monsters to use skills, but that last one the quest giver doesn't sit right with me...

I will say as a player I would except any of them... I mean again that last one is the most questionable, but If the DM did it I would roll with it since he wanted us to go on the mission...
I apologize if my wording implied you had no choice with the last. In all of the options you have the choice to disengage (IMO) I was just saying how I would handle it, if the players wanted to continue interaction.
 

discosoc

First Post
These things require good players to make work. That said, I generally try not to enforce too many checks that will dictate a characters actions unless it's something like a spell. Just because the PC is "intimidated" doesn't mean he has to walk away in fear. Instead I let them know that their character is clearly shaken or otherwise understands the NPC means business, and that if they keep pushing back they'll have disadvantage to some checks.

For example:

"The evil wizard threatens to blast you with a fireball if you don't tell him where you hid the key."
"Give me your worst, gnome!"
"He rolls Intimidate and gets....a 17. You can insist that you don't know where it is, but any further rolls outside of combat, and during your first round of combat with him will be with a disadvantage."


In this case, the character is intimidated, but the player still retains control over their decisions.
 

GMforPowergamers

First Post
first to be fair this started with me in another thread, so let me start by saying I don't understand why NPCs and monsters have skills if you aren't supposed to use them...

now

1. You are unable to get a read on him.
2. I would describe how tough the guard looks with the implication that it might not be a good idea to mess with them.
3. I would say something like 'well this is the going rate for this sort of quest, and the magistrate knows it.'

With the exception of charm or compulsion effects I don't think it is a good idea to take away player agency. I think it is completely okay to change the way they might approach a scene by describing it in a way that matches what their character perceives or knows.
I don't give magic an edge on skill if a charm can take it away so can a bluff...


part of this comes from some BAD experences with 3e when we had a used car salesman as a player who used to dump CHa and still talk DMs (me and others) into agreeing with him because he always sounded so logical... we didn't even realize we were doing it until one day a fellow player snaped and yelled "My cha 19 sorcerer was ignored AGAIN for that smarmy [redacted] why do I even put ranks in diplomacy!!" followed shortly (that same year but in a different campaign) by a new player to our group saying "I just want to diplomancy him... let me roll I have a +XX" where XX was a high mod... we came up with an idea that has run with since then... if you have a convicing argument get a bonus to your roll, if you have a stupid one take a penelity... but always roll
 

Huh. Interesting responses so far.

I'm with jrowland and ad-hoc. It never would even have occurred to me to play that way, except for a couple of comments in other threads. In my view, those skills exist solely to be used "on" NPCs, with the rationale that asking the DM to roleplay NPC reactions to PCs is a sort of conflict of interest: the DM should be a neutral arbiter (or even a cheerleader for the heroes) so whether an NPC is deceived, intimidated, or persuaded should just be resolved with a die roll. But PCs have their players looking out for their best interests, and can therefore be roleplayed.
 

part of this comes from some BAD experences with 3e when we had a used car salesman as a player who used to dump CHa and still talk DMs (me and others) into agreeing with him because he always sounded so logical... we didn't even realize we were doing it until one day a fellow player snaped and yelled "My cha 19 sorcerer was ignored AGAIN for that smarmy [redacted] why do I even put ranks in diplomacy!!" followed shortly (that same year but in a different campaign) by a new player to our group saying "I just want to diplomancy him... let me roll I have a +XX" where XX was a high mod... we came up with an idea that has run with since then... if you have a convicing argument get a bonus to your roll, if you have a stupid one take a penelity... but always roll
If I'm interpreting the above story correctly I think I agree with your sentiment: the used car salesman should NOT have steamrolled the DM; instead of making decisions for the NPCs he should have just let the dice determine the outcomes.

Some people don't like that because it doesn't 'reward' good roleplaying, but I think the answer is to just roleplay after the roll. If you rolled well, do the used car salesman thing. If you rolled badly, entertain your friends at the table with a really bad sales pitch.

But....these are all examples of how social skills are used on NPCs. I'm mostly curious if people allow the NPCs to use social skills on players, and force the players to abide by the result of the dice rolls. I get the "good for goose, good for gander" thing, but as I expressed earlier I don't think it's actually symmetric.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
Any reactions? How many people play the way that's described in those three scenarios?
Not exactly as illustrated in those scenarios, so I will re-write them to illustrate how I handle it.


Player: "I think the mage is lying."
DM: "Roll Insight."
Player: "Um...4."
-compare player result to the NPC mage's 12 Cha score (adding prof mod if proficient in Deception)-
DM: "You carefully observe the mage as she speaks, looking for any subtle tells that she could be lying. Her manner seems cool and confident, and there are no tell-tale pauses or stutters."


-compare player result to the NPC guard's 12 Cha score (adding prof mod if proficient in Intimidation)-
DM: "The guard casts a cool but wary eye in your direction. His hands are close to his weapons but he seems more restive than tense. He's not an exceptionally large man, but he has an air of experience and of barely restrained dominance. He cracks his neck and you catch a glimpse of a faded scar from a wound that looks like it would have killed a lesser man."
Player: "Oh, ok I guess I'll just keep moving then."


Player: "I don't think I want to do this quest for only 100 gold."
-compare player result to the NPC magistrate's 20 Cha score (adding prof mod if proficient in Persuasion)-
DM: "The magistrate seems to sense your trepidation and appears defeated. He agrees that the reward isn't enough, but it's all that the town can spare. The goblin raiders have had a significant impact on the town. People aren't starving yet, but the trade losses to date will continue to cause significant hardships for at least the rest of the year."
Player: "Darn. Looks like I'll take the quest."
 

HardcoreDandDGirl

First Post
I apologize if my wording implied you had no choice with the last. In all of the options you have the choice to disengage (IMO) I was just saying how I would handle it, if the players wanted to continue interaction.
I re read it three times I understand now I don't know where my head is tonight. I agree good use of dis/advantage
 

discosoc

First Post
Scenarios:

Player: "I think he's lying."
DM: "Roll Insight."
Player: "Um...4."
DM: "He rolls Deception 12. So you believe him."
Player: "Do you mean I can't tell if he's lying, or that I actually believe him?"
DM: "You believe him; his Deception was higher than your Insight."
I'd respond with "You have no reason to believe he's lying" and remind the player about metagaming.

DM: "The guard rolls Intimidate and gets an 18. Yeah, you're intimidated."
Player: "Oh, ok I guess I'll just keep moving then."
Instead, let the player just take disadvantage on checks if they choose not to keep moving, dealing with the guard.

Player: "I don't think I want to do this quest for only 100 gold."
DM: "The magistrate rolls Persuade and gets...a natural 20!"
Player: "Darn. Looks like I'll take the quest."
I wouldn't frame it like that. The magistrate simply convinced the character that the 100 gold is a fair price, not that the character is forced to accept the quest. Also, as a GM, you don't have to state you're rolling Persuasion specifically because whether the NPC was being honest (persuasion) or trying give the characters a raw deal (deception) is irrelevant from the player perspective; they believe the 100 gold offer is a good one. Also, if the player rolled better with insight, it wouldn't mean the magistrate will automatically raise or lower the offer. It just means the character either believes the magistrate is telling the truth (as he sees it) or is being deceptive.
 

GMforPowergamers

First Post
If I'm interpreting the above story correctly I think I agree with your sentiment: the used car salesman should NOT have steamrolled the DM; instead of making decisions for the NPCs he should have just let the dice determine the outcomes.

Some people don't like that because it doesn't 'reward' good roleplaying, but I think the answer is to just roleplay after the roll. If you rolled well, do the used car salesman thing. If you rolled badly, entertain your friends at the table with a really bad sales pitch.

But....these are all examples of how social skills are used on NPCs. I'm mostly curious if people allow the NPCs to use social skills on players, and force the players to abide by the result of the dice rolls. I get the "good for goose, good for gander" thing, but as I expressed earlier I don't think it's actually symmetric.
The example were what made us realize the issue, but yes I let NPCs bluff and intimidate... I do agree it depends on the table and it shouldn't be over done (neither should anything else) but I don't see the point in my dashing rogue walking in and saying "I didn't sleep with the princess..." if all my PCs call BS right away... so bluff vs insight... does your character (not you the player metagaming) see through his lie (not the GMs lie)... it's a player skill vs character skill thing...


sometimes I let the PC determain what is going on but let the skill ride "You were intimidated, what does your character do when backed into a corner..." realizing that I also have the NPCs do the same... "You intimidated the king... he yells for his guards..."
 

GMforPowergamers

First Post
I'd respond with "You have no reason to believe he's lying" and remind the player about metagaming.



Instead, let the player just take disadvantage on checks if they choose not to keep moving, dealing with the guard.



I wouldn't frame it like that. The magistrate simply convinced the character that the 100 gold is a fair price, not that the character is forced to accept the quest. Also, as a GM, you don't have to state you're rolling Persuasion specifically because whether the NPC was being honest (persuasion) or trying give the characters a raw deal (deception) is irrelevant from the player perspective; they believe the 100 gold offer is a good one. Also, if the player rolled better with insight, it wouldn't mean the magistrate will automatically raise or lower the offer. It just means the character either believes the magistrate is telling the truth (as he sees it) or is being deceptive.
all great examples...
 

JediGamemaster

First Post
can I ask a related question... if you have a player who isn't good with social stuff out of game, but has a high wis skillful character how do you relate? I mean if he has wis 16 and prof in insight can't tell if your npc is lieing or not? I mean it has to be a roll, and the bluff skill vs the PC insight skill seams the best match?
 

Not exactly as illustrated in those scenarios, so I will re-write them to illustrate how I handle it.


Player: "I think the mage is lying."
DM: "Roll Insight."
Player: "Um...4."
-compare player result to the NPC mage's 12 Cha score (adding prof mod if proficient in Deception)-
DM: "You carefully observe the mage as she speaks, looking for any subtle tells that she could be lying. Her manner seems cool and confident, and there are no tell-tale pauses or stutters."


-compare player result to the NPC guard's 12 Cha score (adding prof mod if proficient in Intimidation)-
DM: "The guard casts a cool but wary eye in your direction. His hands are close to his weapons but he seems more restive than tense. He's not an exceptionally large man, but he has an air of experience and of barely restrained dominance. He cracks his neck and you catch a glimpse of a faded scar from a wound that looks like it would have killed a lesser man."
Player: "Oh, ok I guess I'll just keep moving then."


Player: "I don't think I want to do this quest for only 100 gold."
-compare player result to the NPC magistrate's 20 Cha score (adding prof mod if proficient in Persuasion)-
DM: "The magistrate seems to sense your trepidation and appears defeated. He agrees that the reward isn't enough, but it's all that the town can spare. The goblin raiders have had a significant impact on the town. People aren't starving yet, but the trade losses to date will continue to cause significant hardships for at least the rest of the year."
Player: "Darn. Looks like I'll take the quest."
Yeah, I agree with all of those. It's never taking away player agency.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Scenarios:

Player: "I think he's lying."
DM: "Roll Insight."
Player: "Um...4."
DM: "He rolls Deception 12. So you believe him."
Player: "Do you mean I can't tell if he's lying, or that I actually believe him?"
DM: "You believe him; his Deception was higher than your Insight."
This doesn't happen at my table. I don't tell a player what his or her character thinks or believes. If a player rolls and fails a Wisdom (Insight) check, I tell him or her whether or not the character is able to discern the truthfulness of the NPC e.g. "[NPC] is lying" or "You fail to discern whether [NPC] is lying or telling the truth." Sometimes on a failed check, I'll reveal the NPC's truthfulness at a cost or with a setback.

DM: "The guard rolls Intimidate and gets an 18. Yeah, you're intimidated."
Player: "Oh, ok I guess I'll just keep moving then."
I wouldn't do this either. Short of magical compulsion, it's not for me to tell a player how his or her character thinks or acts. I just describe the intimidating actions of the guard and ask "What do you do?"

Player: "I don't think I want to do this quest for only 100 gold."
DM: "The magistrate rolls Persuade and gets...a natural 20!"
Player: "Darn. Looks like I'll take the quest."
Again, not at my table. Players decide what their characters will or won't do, short of magical compulsion.
 

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