View Full Version : [SotC]The skeptic's ear

2011-04-12, 02:53 AM
I'm having some trouble understing how the Empathy stunt "the skeptic's ear" works.

A character with that stunt automatically knows when someone is using the Deceit skill on him. That's fine by me, but what I'd like to understand is, what more can a successful Empathy defense tell you, since you already know that the other guy is lying ? In a Deceit vs Empathy contest for a simple lie, for example, what more do you learn if your Empathy defense succeeds ?

2011-04-12, 06:54 AM
If I understand correctly, it simply allows you to always use a full defensive action against Deceit. You know that you were lied to, but you don't know anything beyond that.
I guess though that you could use Empathy as a counter to find out, what the other was lying about.

2011-04-12, 06:59 AM
I think it's more a reason for taking a full defence in a social situation, which is normally pretty hard to justify unless you're deeply suspicious of the person in question.

EDIT: And now I've read the actual text and I'm a bit confused. 'Always knowing when the Deceit skill is used on you' pretty much negates any advantage the Deceit skill might bring. =/

2011-04-12, 07:11 AM
Here's the text for reference :

The world is full of lies and liars, and your character is always on the lookout for them. The character always knows when someone is using the Deceit skill on him, and may take full defensive actions (getting a +2) with his Empathy if appropriate.
Normally, the use of deception is not so easy to spot in advance, and thus justifying full defensive actions is difficult. Successfully determining that something is trying to deceive you is not the same as revealing the truth, however, no matter how well you do.

Until now, I've always ruled that a successful Empathy contest would get you something like "Something seems off about this", or "he's sweating an awful lot, looks like he has something to hide". Was it supposed to give more information ?

2011-04-12, 07:43 AM
Maybe it means that the player knows that Deceit was used and can thus use the full defense action. The character however may still fall for the lie, if the attack succeeds.

And I think you are correct Ranos: A successful defense against Deceit only gives you a hunch that you were told a lie, but not what the truth is.

2011-04-13, 07:07 AM
Well, I talked a bit with the player and we ended up changing the stunt to this :

The world is full of lies and liars, and your character is always on the lookout for them. Whenever someone whose Deceit rating is lesser than or equal to your character's Empathy rating attempts to lie to your character, he automatically knows the Deceit skill is being used on him. In a conflict, he automatically counts as having successfully defended against the Deceit. Only compare the skill ratings, without bonuses from stunts, aspects or other sources.
Lies by omission and other attempts to manipulate with Deceit without any actual lies do not fall under this stunt. Determining someoneís lying to you isnít the same as revealing the truth.

He has Empathy as his apex skill, so this means his character cannot ever be directly lied to. Which sounds good to me, two stunts and an apex skill should probably be enough of an investment to do that. Any thoughts on this ?

2011-04-14, 11:53 AM
Considering what two stunts is normally enough to do (know more languages than every language in the world, for example), I think that's pretty reasonable, yes.