Bluff

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Description

Ability Score Used: Charisma
Usable Untrained? Yes
Armor Check Penalty Applies? No

You know how to tell a convincing lie. Even good characters need to lie occasionally, whether to spare someone's feelings, or to skillfully deflect someone's questions. Of course, it's highly useful for the less morally constrained, also.

Bluff cannot be used to negotiate better prices from vendors (that's Barter), make friends (that's Diplomacy), or tell thrilling tales of derring-do (that's Perform (Oratory)). However, it is still an extremely useful skill in its own right.

As with all skills, the uses below are merely suggestions, and by no means the full gamut of possible ways a skill can be used. Players and GM's are encouraged to find additional ways to use each skill.

Deceive or Lie

You can attempt to use bluff to fool someone. A successful check convinces your opponent that what you are saying is true. Bluff checks are modified depending upon the believability of the lie.
Action Required:

Varies; anywhere from a free action in combat to several minutes, depending on how involved and complicated the lie is. Some truly convoluted con jobs might even take days or weeks.

DC of Check:

Opposed by the target's Sense Motive check

Modifiers to Check

The following modifiers are applied to the roll of the creature attempting to tell the lie. Note that some lies are so improbable that it is impossible to convince anyone that they are true (subject to GM discretion).

Circumstances Bluff Modifier
The target wants to believe you +5
The lie is believable +0
The lie is unlikely -5
The lie is far-fetched -10
The subject knows the lie can't be true -20 or more
The target is drunk or impaired +5
You possess convincing proof up to +10
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

Your story is believed by the subject.

Consequences of Failure

The subject is not convinced. Particularly bad failures cause the subject to treat all future interactions with you with distrust and suspicion.

Retry Allowed?

If you fail to deceive someone, any further checks made to deceive them are made at a cumulative -10 penalty for each additional check, and may be impossible (GM discretion).

Provokes AOO?

No

Fast-Talk

You can attempt to speed up the process of convincing someone of your version of the truth in a rapid fashion, either by burying the subject in meaningless anecdotes and confusing rhetoric, or through pure glibness and rapid speech. This works much like the Deceive or Lie skill use, but only applies outside of combat, where dialogue takes several minutes (or longer). A successful check means the subject believes your lie, and the time to convince them is reduced, depending on how much you beat the target DC.
Action Required:

Varies. Normally, the Deceive or Lie action, outside of combat, is several minutes or longer.

DC of Check:

Opposed by the target's Sense Motive check, with a +10 bonus on his check.

Modifiers to Check

Success means the lie is believed in half the time. If you beat the DC by an additional +10 (i.e. the target's Sense Motive check +20), the lie is believed in only 1 minute. If you beat the DC by an additional +20 (i.e. the target's Sense Motive check +30), the lie is believed in only 1 round. You can never reduce the time taken to less than one round.

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success
  • If you succeed by 4 or less, the subject believes your story, but has an uneasy feeling about it. He will immediately abandon his belief in your lie as soon as someone else discusses it with him.
  • If you exceed the DC by 5 or more, the subject will continue to believe the lie until incontrovertible proof is provided to demonstrate that you were lying.
  • If you exceed the DC by 10 or more, the subject will defend your lie as the truth to any who challenge its veracity.
Consequences of Failure

The subject isn't convinced of your story. Particularly bad failures cause the subject to treat all future interactions with you with distrust and suspicion.

Retry Allowed?

No

Provokes AOO?

No

Convey Secret Message

You can use Bluff to pass hidden messages to another character without others understanding your true meaning. If you are successful, the target automatically understands you, assuming you are speaking in a language that it understands. If you want to pass an encoded message, it requires either a Spycraft or a Knowledge (Logic) check to create a code, and both the sender and receiver must have knowledge of the code to successfully communicate a message.
Action Required:

Delivering a secret message generally takes twice as long as the message would otherwise take to relay.

DC of Check:

Delivering the message to its intended target is easy, and requires no check. Keeping it secret a nearby observer, however, is opposed by the observer's Perception check.

Modifiers to Check
  • If your message is in code, it requires quadruple the normal time, instead of double, to convey the message.
  • Each additional observer grants a +2 bonus to the opposed Perception check.
  • To deliver a secret (non-code) message in no more time than it would normally take to deliver openly, you take a -10 penalty on your Bluff check.
  • To deliver a secret message that is in code in merely twice the time it would normally take to deliver openly, you take a -10 penalty on your Bluff check.
  • To deliver a secret message that is in code in no more time than it would normally take to deliver openly, you take a -20 penalty on your Bluff check.
Take 10? / Take 20?

Yes

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

Your ally receives your message without the observer(s) becoming aware that a message was sent.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail, your message is observed, and bits and pieces of the message have been overheard or spotted by an observer. If the check fails by 5 or more, the gist of the entire message is known to the observer(s), and if you fail by 10 or more, all of the observers have heard/seen the entire message. If the message is in code, the observers may not understand the message, but they will realize that a code was used to obscure a message's meaning. The observer may attempt to use Linguistics or Knowledge (Logic) to decode the message, if they heard at least the jist of it, and get a +5 bonus to the check if they heard all of it.

Retry Allowed?

Yes. Secret messages can be relayed again if the first attempt fails.

Provokes AOO?

Passing a written message provokes, conveying a spoken message does not provoke.

Feign Helplessness

You attempt to convince your target you are harmless through your actions and posture, in hopes they will direct their anger at someone else.
Action Required:

Taking steps to appear harmless requires a move action

DC of Check:

Opposed by the target's Sense Motive check

Modifiers to Check
  • If you are at least one size category smaller than your target and have taken no effective offensive actions that your target has seen, you gain a +5 circumstance bonus on this check.
  • Even if you have proven yourself capable of dealing damage, an effort to present your previous success as a one-time fluke takes only a -10 penalty on the check.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

If successful, the target will (probably) choose someone else to attack. Note that particularly sadistic or opportunistic creatures may see a helpless creature as an even more ideal target than one who can fight back.

Consequences of Failure

The target is not convinced you are harmless, and may continue to target you with attacks.

Retry Allowed?

You can attempt to feign harmlessness to the same target again, but each previous failed check increases the DC to convince your target by 5. This increase resets after 1 hour has passed.

Provokes AOO?

No

Feign Injury

Whenever you are dealt damage, you can make a Bluff check to convince foes you have been injured to a different extent than you truly have been.
Action Required:

Immediate action

DC of Check:

Opposed by the target's Sense Motive check

Modifiers to Check

You can appear to be uninjured, mildly injured (with more than half your total hit points remaining), bloodied (reduced to less than half hit points), disabled (at 0 hit points), dying (at negative hit points), or dead. For each step away from your true condition you pretend to be, you suffer a cumulative -2 penalty on your Bluff check. If you pretend to be disabled, dying, or dead, you must fall prone accordingly (a free action).

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

Your target is convinced you are more injured than you really are. Depending on the enemy in question, this may cause them to prefer you as a target over less-injured allies. In rare cases, it may cause them to move on to other targets (some creatures prefer to spread their damage around, rather than focus it).

Consequences of Failure

The target isn't convinced

Retry Allowed?

Only after you take additional damage

Provokes AOO?

No

Feint

You can use Bluff to feint in combat, pretending to attack in one place when your intended target is somewhere else. Successfully feinting in combat causes your opponent to be denied his dexterity bonus to his AC against your next attack.
Action Required:

Standard Action (Note that Improved Feint reduces this to a move action.)

DC of Check:

the target's Maneuver Defense, or 10 + the target's Sense Motive bonus, whichever is higher.

Modifiers to Check

-

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies). Allies must be adjacent to the enemy you are attempting to feint.

Results of Success

Your target is denied its dexterity bonus to AC against your next attack.

Consequences of Failure

Failure means the target creature retains its Dex bonus to AC, and your standard action is wasted.

Retry Allowed?

Yes. You can attempt to feint against someone again if you fail.

Provokes AOO?

No

Diversion

You can use the bluff skill to attempt to initiate a stealth stance despite having no cover or concealment and being directly observed. Following a successful distraction, you must use a swift action to enter the stealth stance, making your stealth check against that specific enemy. You are not stealthy against any other enemies unless your bluff check is high enough to distract multiple enemies (see below).
Action Required:

Standard Action (Note that Improved Feint reduces this to a move action.)

DC of Check:
  • If you are trying to divert only one enemy creature, the DC is the target's Maneuver Defense, or 10 + the target's Sense Motive bonus, whichever is higher.
  • If you are trying to hide from more than one enemy creature, the DC is based on the highest Maneuver Defense among those creatures, or uses the highest Sense Motive bonus among those creatures +10, whichever is higher.
Modifiers to Check

For every +2 by which you exceed the target DC, you may include a second creature to hide from with your stealth check. Any enemy which resists is not fooled, and you may not attempt stealth against them.

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 5 allies). Assisting allies must be perceived by the creature you are attempting to divert.

Results of Success

You may use a swift action to enter a stealth stance, hiding against those enemies you successfully distracted.

Consequences of Failure

Failure means you may not roll a stealth check against any creature, and your standard action is wasted.

Retry Allowed?

Yes. You can attempt to use Diversion against someone again if you fail.

Provokes AOO?

No

Suggest Course of Action

You can use bluff and Diplomacy together to make a request of a creature, without it even realizing you have made the request. You can gradually coax a target into thinking a suggestion is entirely its own idea, making the creature more likely to act on the idea than if you had suggested it outright. You discuss topics subtly relevant to the request, asking leading questions and narrowing the scope of the conversation so that the target eventually decides to take a specific action you have led it to.
Action Required:

Several minutes or longer

DC of Check:

You first attempt a bluff check to convince the target that your request was actually its idea. This is always treated as far-fetched circumstances, resulting in a -10 penalty on the check, the DC is an opposed Sense Motive check by the target. If successful, you then attempt a diplomacy check to make the request of the creature, treating its attitude toward you as indifferent for this single request (regardless of its actual attitude) against the same Sense Motive check result. If both checks succeed, the target is convinced the idea was its own.

Modifiers to Check

-

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

The target believes the suggestion was his own idea, and is more likely to act upon it. Note that the subject is under no compulsion to act on this suggestion, other than your reasonable-sounding arguments to do so. If the suggestion is dangerous, or could cause physical, spiritual, or emotional harm to the subject or to those he cares about, he will act based on his attitude towards you (see Diplomacy).

Consequences of Failure

If only one check fails, the target isn't convinced, but doesn't realize you attempted to manipulate him. If both checks fail, he knows you were trying to manipulate him, and will likely hold this against you in all future interactions.

Retry Allowed?

If you fail to suggest your idea, any further checks made to deceive them are made at a cumulative -10 penalty for each additional check, and may be impossible (GM discretion).

Provokes AOO?

No

Obscure Alignment (Epic)

You can hide your alignment from discovery by spells and abilities which allow someone to determine your alignment. Doing so lasts until the beginning of your next turn, though you may expend a swift action each round after the first to sustain the effect. While sustaining this effect is not a stance, it can be disrupted in exactly the same ways that stances are broken – either by being knocked prone, or subjected to any effect which reduces your number of available actions. Obscure alignment can be used or sustained in the same round(s) in which you are also using a stance.

You only need to roll the bluff check once, when the effect is first activated, even if you sustain the effect for multiple rounds.

This is an epic skill use, and requires at least 21 ranks in the skill before it may be attempted.

Action Required:

Standard Action, and a swift action each round after the first to sustain the effect (if desired).

DC of Check:

A Challenging DC for your character level.

Modifiers to Check
  • You can reduce the time taken to initiate obscure alignment. To initiate it as a move action, the DC increases by +5; as a swift action or immediate action, the DC increases by +10.
  • You can attempt to exude a specific alignment, instead of no alignment. Doing so increases the DC by +5.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

Observers are unable to determine your alignment, just as though you have no alignment at all. If you increased the DC to exude a specific alignment, observers believe your alignment to be the one you chose.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail the check, or you cease sustaining the effect, your true alignment becomes visible to anyone who is capable of discerning it.

Retry Allowed?

Yes

Provokes AOO?

No

Disguise Surface Thoughts (Epic)

You mask your surface thoughts from scrying, divination, telepathy or other means of seeing your thoughts. You achieve this by contemplating the Fibonacci sequence, or the stats of that magic item you've been thinking of buying, or some other meaningless parade of thoughts, with the intention of hiding your actual thoughts. You can initiate disguise surface thoughts as an immediate action, but in order to sustain it, you must expend a full round action each round.

This is an epic skill use, and requires at least 21 ranks in the skill before it may be attempted.

Action Required:

Immediate action to initiate, but a full round action to sustain.

DC of Check:

A Hard DC for the level or CR of the target you are attempting to deceive.

Modifiers to Check

-

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 1 ally). The assisting ally must also have at least 21 ranks in bluff to assist.

Results of Success

Anyone attempting to see your thoughts is instead subjected to whatever meaningless drivel you are concentrating upon, instead of the information they are actually seeking.

Consequences of Failure

Your thoughts lay exposed for anyone to read, if they are able to do so.

Retry Allowed?

Yes

Provokes AOO?

No

Lie While Under the Effects of a Truth Spell (Epic)

You can attempt to fight the effects of a truth spell, and lie anyway. Is there no end to your duplicity? This skill use lets you overcome the effects of the spell until the start of your next turn, though you may retry it again in future rounds. You can initiate lie while under the effects of a truth spell as an immediate action, but in order to sustain it, you must expend a full round action each round.

This is an epic skill use, and requires at least 21 ranks in the skill before it may be attempted.

Action Required:

Immediate action to initiate, but a full round action to sustain.

DC of Check:

A Challenging DC for the level or CR of the target you are attempting to deceive + the spell level of the spell being used to force you to speak the truth.

Modifiers to Check

-

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You are able to tell lies, despite being compelled to tell the truth. You must still make a separate bluff check to convince your interrogators to believe your lie, but you gain a +10 circumstance bonus for doing so, since they think you can't lie.

Consequences of Failure

You are forced to speak the truth (for once)

Retry Allowed?

Yes

Provokes AOO?

No