View Full Version : Everything I say is a lie, including this. (3.5 PrC, PEACH)

2012-04-30, 11:57 PM
I love you too.
-Talia Delvox, Liesmith

Many adventurers strive towards a greater truth or acquisition of knowledge on their quests. Liesmiths, however, have made the choice to forever forsake the truth in order to further their goals. They continually keep the nature of truth and lies in the forefront of their thoughts through a mental exercise where they never make any true statements. Through this exercise, they unlock powers that allow them to better manipulate others.
Most who become Liesmiths are bards or sorcerers, though some are clerics of gods of trickery.

Requirements: Bluff 10 ranks, Spell Focus (Illusion), Ability to cast 3rd-level spells, Charisma 15+, Chaotic alignment, Must have spent at least a full day without telling the truth.
Hit Dice: d6
1st|+0|+0|+2|+2|Truthbane, Deceptive Mind, Illusory Knack +1
2nd|+1|+0|+3|+3|Silver Tongue, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd|+1|+1|+3|+3|Telepathy, Silence, Illusory Knack +2, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th|+2|+1|+4|+4|Spell Concealment, Minor Image, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th|+2|+1|+4|+4|Vox Arcanis, Two-Faced, Illusory Knack +3, +1 level of existing spellcasting class
Skills (6+Int modifier): Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Use Magic Device (Cha)

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Liesmiths gain no proficiency with any weapons or armor.

Spells: At each level after the first, the liesmith gains spells as if she had gained a level in a spellcasting class she already possesses.

Truthbane(Ex): Upon taking the first level in the Liesmith class, the Liesmith gains the ability to meditate on the nature of truth and enter a state of Truthbane. Meditating requires a full minute of constant concentration, and provokes attacks of opportunity. If the Liesmith makes any true statements, she loses her state of Truthbane. She may tell half-truths, give commands, ask questions, use sarcasm, or use any other method so long as she fails to say anything that is explicitly true. It also does not matter whether the information is actually factually true or not, nor does it matter whether the intended recipient learns any factual information, as long as the Liesmith thinks that it isn't true. However, she may not trick herself into thinking something is false when she knows it to be true until fifth level.

Deceptive Mind(Ex): While in a state of Truthbane, a Liesmith's mind operates in fundamentally different ways than normal, granting her an immunity to all mind-affecting effects and compulsions.

Illusory Knack(Ex): A Liesmith has a better-than-average ability to craft believable illusions. While in a state of Truthbane, the DC to resist any spells from the Illusion schooll that the Liesmith casts is increased by 1 at first level. This bonus increases to 2 at third level and 3 at fifth level.

Silver Tongue(Ex): A second level Liesmith in a state of Truthbane gains a bonus to her diplomacy and sense motive skills equal to her Liesmith class levels, and a bonus to her bluff skill equal to twice her Liesmith class levels. Additionally, she behaves as if under the effects of a Tongues spell at all times.

Telepathy(Su): At third level, the Liesmith in a state of Truthbane gains the ability to communicate telepathically with any number of creatures within 100 ft. + 10 ft. per Liesmith class level that have a language (those creatures do not gain any ability to communicate back).

Silence(Sp): The Liesmith gains Silence as an at-will spell-like ability. The save DC is 12 + the Liesmith's charisma modifier. If she is in a state of Truthbane, the save DC is further increased by her Liesmith levels. Caster level 8th.

Spell Concealment(Ex): At fourth level, the Liesmith in a state of Truthbane may conceal the somatic components of any spells she casts from any targets if she succeeds a sleight of hand check opposed by the target's spot check. Anyone who fails simply sees the effects of the spell, they see neither the Liesmith's act of casting nor the origin of the spell. She gains her charisma modifier as a bonus to this check.

Minor Image(Sp): The Liesmith gains Minor Image as an at-will spell-like ability. The save DC is 12 + the Liesmith's charisma modifier. If she is in a state of Truthbane, the save DC is further increased by her Liesmith levels. Caster level 9th.

Vox Arcanis(Su): At fifth level, the voice of a Liesmith in a state of Truthbane is no longer bound to her vocal cords. She may make any sound she wishes, originating from any location within 25 ft. + 5 ft. per Liesmith class level, without moving her lips or giving any other physical sign that she is responsible for the noise. Anyone who doubts the sound may make a will save to recognize that the sound is illusory in nature (DC 17 + the Liesmith's charisma modifier) but does not automatically recognize the source. She may mimic the voices of anyone she has heard before, but she must succeed a bluff check opposed by the sense motive checks of anyone who would recognize the voice of the one she is attempting to mimic. The potential disbelievers and the Liesmith are subject to modifiers on their checks based on their respective levels of familiarity with the subject, as detailed on Table: Familiarity Levels. She may utter the verbal components of her spells with this ability, and may mimic others' voices while doing so as per the above restrictions. The Liesmith may also use this ability so supplement any perform check that includes an audio component, gaining a +8 bonus to the check.

Two-Faced(Ex): The Liesmith can trick her own mind into believing that lies are the truth. She may use a move action in order to gain the ability to make true statements without ending her state of Truthbane. This ability lasts until her next turn.

Table: Familiarity Levels
{table=head]level of familiarity with the one being impersonated|target's sense motive bonus/Liesmith's bluff bonus
Heard speaking on a few occasions|+1
Spoken specifically to within the last week|+3
Friend or acquaintance|+5
Lover or close friend|+10

2012-05-01, 12:48 AM
What about simple things like "I'd like to buy a beer"?

2012-05-01, 12:56 AM
That's a true statement. You could, however, say, "Hey, buy me a beer," or, "Do you wanna go get a beer?" or "It's so fantastic how I'm not drinking a beer right now. -sigh-"

Mithril Leaf
2012-05-01, 12:58 AM
Things that stand out to my untrained eye.
I would personally recommend you push the two-faced ability up a level, so that it's not hell for all the levels of this. Perhaps have it in tiers beginning at level 2 that reduces the penalty a bit at a time.
Additionally, I might consider slightly reducing the penalties for telling the truth, after all, a good liar knows when the truth would accomplish more to forward their goals. Plus, currently, you would get penalized just for answering "Yes" if someone asked "Would you like some dinner?".
My 2 cp, although they aren't the best around.

2012-05-01, 01:04 AM
"Do you want some dinner?"
"I'm starving!"

"Do you want some dinner?"
"Are you buying?"

"Do you want some dinner?"
"You know me, I'm always hungry."

"Do you want some dinner?"
"No, I want to starve to death."

It's supposed to be a roleplaying challenge that's actually challenging. Still, if enough people are against it, I can move it up.

2012-05-01, 01:19 AM
Reminds me too much of the "roleplaying challenge" that comes with a mute character. Inevitably, the flaw gets pushed aside for sheer simplicity's sake.

What stands out most to me is that clear communication in combat deprives such a character of the things they actually use to be effective in combat. Removing the bonus features of the class is one thing. Removing spells, thus leaving little more than a commoner behind, messes with the character far too much.

Edit: With a moment's thought, I like the idea that telling the truth to a person nulls the character's class features for the purpose of that person. They can still hear your telepathy/Ventrilquism spell/etc, but you lose your skill/DC bonuses against them and they automatically save against your abilities. Maybe give them a +2 to save against all your spells on top of that.

Encourages the character to play to type around anybody they don't trust implicitly, but doesn't spank the character for just wanting to avoid jumping through hoops just to have reasonable tactical discussions. Also avoids making the player sit around doing nothing if they do have to give a straight answer about something.

2012-05-01, 01:33 AM
The punishment for telling the truth is supposed to be so harsh to make sure they don't do it. Don't you think, if I water it down and make the punishment for saying true things less harsh, that players would just ignore that and take the class as it stands with all of the punishments in place?

How about this: if they tell the truth, then they lose the ability to speak, lose the class abilities, and gain 1 negative level for each liesmith level, but they can still cast spells without verbal components and spell-like abilities. They can do a full round meditation that provokes AoO to regain the ability to talk and cast spells with verbal components, but they need to rest and meditate for an hour to get back the other class features and lose the negative levels. Then at fifth level they upgrade to only losing the class features if they tell the truth, and they get those back after the one-round-meditation too.

Alternately, at fifth level they get the ability to tell the truth as a move action--it still takes them a moment of doublethink to sort it out in their head, but they can do it without screwing up their thought patterns.

I'm also not sure how "no true statements" means hampered battlefield communication. "everyone focus on the cleric" or "Do you think that guy up there is buffing all the minions?" or "Grognar what are you doing? Get up there and protect the casters!" or "look out for the rogue behind you!" are not statements.

Dumbledore lives
2012-05-01, 02:02 AM
I like the class, but I'd change the Illusory Knack to be a little bit less. I'd say take inspiration from the Dread Witch and have +1 DC at first, and +2 at fourth, because +5 is too much, given that is better than even epic spell focus.

2012-05-01, 02:25 AM
Done. I had the "+ class levels" in the DCs of the silence and minor image SLAs, and I think I'll keep them there, since they'd be so easy to resist otherwise and they're kind of integral to the concept. But for all illusion spells, you're right, it was too high.

Still looking for ways to change the truth-telling penalties, if everyone still thinks it needs them. I see you added some ideas, Reluctance. It seems like the goal of them is to specify certain people to whom you can speak the truth in combat. I'm still not clear which problem you're trying to solve there, though. What is an example where inability to say a true statement keeps you from being effective in combat? If I knew what you wanted to do it might make it easier to come up with a solution that doesn't break the rest of the character concept.

EDIT: I realized I forgot to add a part where you can use your unlimited sights and sounds magic to fuel sweet rave parties. This obviously-egregious oversight has been corrected.

2012-05-01, 04:26 AM
In combat, it's about facilitating speed of play over being forced to stay perpetually in character. Maybe the liesmith is asked if they can handle a certain enemy. Maybe the cleric is asking who needs healing. Maybe they have to tell an ally their plans. Maybe they have to express their tactical condition. I'm sure it's possible to sit down here and think up perfect lines for any individual situation, but I'd rather not put combat on hold while the player thinks up just the right wording. It's about keeping things flowing at a decent pace.

In short term tactics, the liesmith's skill list lines up with a beguiler, bard, or character with a rogue level or two. Imagine the character scouts/asks their familiar to scout, and then reports back to the party. It's easy to say "I didn't see four ogres who weren't really paying attention", but that's the sort of thing a kooky gag character does. Trickster archetypes are not kooky gag characters.

Long term, good cons work best with an accomplice. Silver Tongue basically guarantees you're the face/diplomancer/consummate bull**** artist. Reporting back to the party, setting up plans, and possibly coordinating the social game. These are things where players usually speak plainly to get back to the scenes ASAP. Either the player is forced to slow these segments down to pick their words carefully, or everybody handwaves the drawback away on their own. See the comment about mute characters. Since it's bound to happen anyways for ease of tabletalk, you might as well acknowledge it.

2012-05-01, 09:03 AM
What if the liesmith says "The statement 'the sky is blue' has the same truth-value as this statement", or something of that sort? It works as a true statement or a false statement.

2012-05-01, 09:18 AM
Maybe instead make them have to lie at least once a day about something consequential?

Lord Raziere
2012-05-01, 09:27 AM
I would add a bonus to communication through sarcasm and irony, getting across the true meaning through sarcastic lines.

this has the side benefit of making you the most persuasive sarcastic person ever :smallcool:

2012-05-01, 12:00 PM
Your class is flawed in that you present players with a false dichotomy. Truth and falsity are not opposites - they are seperate metrics entirely of the nature of states that facts can inhabit; both of which require said facts to meet certain requirements. This is like asking to decide on the nature of guilt or innocence: someone can be not guilty without ever being found innocent. To be innocent requires that proof and evidence be presented that establishes the claim. Non-guilt requires only the lack of such for the relevant opposite claim.

Some examples:
"This sentence is false" is neither a [true] statement nor [false]. It is both [non-true] and [non-false].
"This sentence is true" is both a [true] statement and [false]. It is neither [non-true] nor [non-false].
It is by this token that true/false logic games work; the goal in them is to phrase a question in such a manner so as to force all answers to be the same, irrespective of their actual truth or falsity.

From what I gather, the falsity of facts uttered by your character is wholly irrelevant; you want to limit his statements to non-true or having no truth value whatsoever (neutral comments/questions).

2012-05-01, 03:01 PM
The whole point of the no-truth thing is a mental exercise, not to glorify lying. It is to force the character to think in a new way. This new way of thinking helps them unlock these powers which help them lie.

So part of the reason I'm not too concerned about the in-combat ramifications is that this is for something which is basically like a play-by-post. But, for actual around-the-table play, there are a couple ways I can think to fix this.

One, I rewrite the thing so that the liesmith has to do some sort of truth meditation thing to gain some kind of focus, which they maintain until they tell the truth. While they have the focus, they gain the class abilities. That way, the only negative effect in combat is they're behind one level in spellcasting because the first level doesn't include the "+1 level of spellcasting class" thing, and while they're playing face they have to never tell the truth. In this case, I think at fifth level they'd gain the ability to tell the truth without losing their focus as a move action.

Two, I rewrite it so that, rather than punishing them for telling the truth, I just make it impossible for them to do so. If they say something true, the DM says something like "You think that's what you said, but what everyone else heard was 'pfwashrogshrambotillyhoo'. The goblin you were talking to stops picking its nose and looks at you like you're a moron." That way if they slip up, they're not instantly useless, they just have to think of a new way to say whatever it was they wanted to say. At fifth level they'd regain their ability to say true things as normal, or maybe make it a move action as well.

As far as those tricky statements go, I'd probably personally rule that if they're saying something so convoluted, they've still got the nature of truth an lies in the forefront of their mind and wouldn't be penalized. That said, I'm not seeing the problem with "The statement 'the sky is blue' has the same truth-value as this statement." The sky is blue, the statement is true, they'd be penalized for saying it.

2012-05-01, 03:33 PM
That said, I'm not seeing the problem with "The statement 'the sky is blue' has the same truth-value as this statement." The sky is blue, the statement is true, they'd be penalized for saying it.

Or maybe the sky is blue, the statement is false (and thus they're lying when they say the two have the same truth-value), so they're not penalized for saying it.

Actually, it's the same question as for if they say "this statement is true".

2012-05-01, 05:37 PM
I wanted to point out that truth/falsity is not the dichotomy you think it is. They're both positive claims. A positive claim contains an assertion that creates a circumstance about which we view reality. A negative claim, because of its dismissal of the positive claim, and thus dismissal that that claim has any basis in reality supporting it, does not need a basis for itself; only the diametric positive claim's lack.

I could come up with dozens of examples of statements that are both true and false, the point isn't to come up with lies, rather to come up with non-truths.

In fact, I posit that many statement made outside the realm of logic can be twisted enough to appear to be both true and not true, for instance: "The sky is blue." The sky does indeed appear to you and I to be blue and therefore the statement can indeed be interpreted as true. However, its blue appearance to us is due to the refraction of sunlight in our atmosphere, not to its inherent nature, by which reasoning, the statement is shown to be not true. Really, this can be pushed back so far as to make the truth and falsity meaningless concepts if you wanted to.

Come to think of it, I think that would make an appropriate capstone. Doublespeak: any comment you make sounds differently according to the listener, anyone listening would hear only what you wanted them to hear. An ally would hear exactly what you mean, for instance, while an enemy, in order to cut through the obfuscation, would have to make an opposed skill check.

2012-05-01, 06:03 PM
But we're not dealing with absolute truth or lack thereof. We're dealing in the Liesmith's intent. If she thinks "In some cases the sky is blue, while other times it is pink or orange or purple or black and boy our interpretation of the visual spectrum sure is subjective anyway" and says "The sky is blue," she's not gonna get in trouble. If she thinks "It's urgent that I let my friends know what color I think the sky is!" and then says "The sky is blue," she will. If you want to get into existentialist dogma or twist logic to make every statement false, then you're not undermining the intent of the restriction, you're playing to it. It is a mental exercise for the Liesmith. Clever circumvention of the restriction is the entire point.

Whether or not the DM wants to drop rocks on your character because you're wasting everyone's time explaining why it's okay for you to declare your observations about the sky's hue is a different question, especially when you could have just said "Isn't the sky a lovely shade of blue today?" or "check out that blue sky!" instead.

Okay, I edited the truthbane mechanics to the state-based version, and added truthbane state requirements to the class abilities. I also nudged the Illusion DC bonus back up to three since it's now situational (maybe bump it back down again? not sure), and made the immunity to mind-affecting clause a separate ability that is activated by a state of truthbane. How's that?

2013-09-04, 04:14 PM
...This class is so. So. Very. Cool. I'm not playing 3.5 right now and I don't think I'm going to in the next year at least... but I want to play it so much now.

It's an awesome roleplaying restriction that gives a bunch of sweet thematic abilities that mostly make sense, and is based on Charisma and spellcasting. It's like it was created specifically for the type of characters I like to play, and I'd never have thought about it myself...

Baphomet, you're awesome.