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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    idksocrates's Avatar

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    Default Interrogation Techniques

    Okay, I'm running a pbp campaign right now, and the PC's just dropped a bunch of baddies. Most of them are still alive, but all unconsious from being in the negatives. Specifically, there's a rogue that is at about negative seven hit points. He was stabilized with a successful heal check.

    One of the PC's has decided that he's going to interrogate the man, even though he's techniqually dying and unconscious. This PC has pretty much no skills for this kind of thing. Currently, he's trying to wake the guy up by pouring sea water on the rogues' head.

    My question - how do I handle this? I'm sure there must be a few people who have had PC's try to interrogate NPC's that were just dropped to negative hit points. How did you handle it?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    Had them wait a few hours until the enemy was in the positives, or uses a potion/magic to get them there. Use standard healing rules.

    I also let them use torture, though the act is always evil. Unless the information they're looking for is extremely useful for a good cause, committing torture always causes you to become evil. And even then, you can't be good, only neutral at best.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    shaka gl's Avatar

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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    My pc once had to torture a Dwarf to save his hometown from an attack. I invented the sistem Sense Motive + STR Mod against the dwarf`s Will Save. Think it works.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    idksocrates's Avatar

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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    so, pretty much, this guy isn't waking up until he hits positives, or at least a few hours of rest and care. That sounds good. Looks like the PC is going to have to learn a lesson in patience, or kill the rogue.

    As for torture, i'll probably just use the rules from BoVD. Nice ruleset for that, based on Intimidate.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    There's more to being an effective torturer than just physical strength though. Some of the most effective tortures, Chinese water torture for example, don't require any physical exertion on the part of the torturer at all.

    Agh, 'torture' has stopped being a word...
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    A lot depends on alignment, both their's and the rogue's.

    If the rogue has no reason not to tell the PCs what they want to know (loyalty and or fear) then he will likely tell them whatever they want. He's at their mercy and doesn't want to die.

    If he is loyal and/or terrified of the consequences of confessing, he will likely try to lie, but also not put up any resistance (straight ot lying rather than "I'll never tell!"), half-truths probably too.

    resistance is really only likely if the PCs see through the lies (bluff vs. sense motive) or have some way of confirming or forcing his truthfulness AND he is frightened enough of the consequences or loyal enough that he is willing to risk death or torture to protect the information.

    To determine who the NPC is more afraid of you might make opposed intimidation checks (the intimidation mod of the PCs vs. the intimidation mod of the enemy's leader) or loyalty checks (intimidation vs. diplomacy).

    Bonuses can be applied and rerolls allowed for interogation techniques such as torture (although, keep in mind that there are several 'softer' interrogation techniques that probably wouldn't hurt PC alignment)

    The main thing to keep in mind is that you should try and be realistic, don't just make your NPC a raving fanatic who will NEVER EVER betray his leader, make him what he is: a scared person in the hands of a bunch of dangerous people, far away from friends.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    The man is in a light coma. Pouring water on him may begin to drown him. He's not coming conscious until he's in the positives.

    For interrogation, I would base it on Intimidate and Sense Motive (to judge his truthfulness vs. "stop scaring me"), perhaps with another person using Diplomacy to play "Good Cop"... especially effective if they actually are a good cop, and your player is crazy enough to try interrogating someone who is nearly dead.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    I usually have a loyalty rating as the DC for interrogation checks. I calculate loyalty rating as 10+leader's intimidate or diplomacy modfiyer, whichever is higher. That is the DC the interrogater would have to beat. Of course, there are many modifiers that could be taken into account, although that DC assumes that said interogatee is already alone with dangerous people.

    • -3 to loyalty rating if they witenessed their allys get slaughtered
    • -2 in adition to above -3 if one of their allys they knew to be stronger than them.
    • -2 There is no possibility of escape (In a forcecage over a ravine, etc)
    • +5 interogated in own 'home base' (for examples, interrogating guards as to the layout of a castle)
    • +5 there is a high chance of reinforcements (or something of that nature) soon. If the above condition is also met, this would only grant an additional +2.
    • +10 or -10 to account for individual personalities, beliefs, allegances. If it is more than a generic minion.
    • +Base Will Save
    Those usually work for me! Diplomacy for interrogation, Intimidate for torture (or Bad Cop interrogation) needs to beat that loyalty score as DC. Diplomacy retrys allowed only on different questions or after the DC is changed somehow. Intimidate (for torture) retrys are allowed after torture is inflicted (that is, at least some HP damage is done. Obviously though, not all torture deals HP damage, but torture that doesnt is considered a diplomacy check in this system).

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    I would roll the interrogator's Diplomacy or Intimidate against a DC of 10 plus the subject's Hit Dice. If the interrogator succeeds, the subject gives up the information. If the interrogator fails, the subject either keeps quiet or lies (Sense Motive versus Bluff as normal for the interrogator to detect the lie).

    Where torture is involved, I'd say the subject makes a Will save against the torturer's Intimidate check. Obviously, this is a tough save to make! If the subject fails, he says whatever he thinks the torturer wants to hear. This can get an overconfident torturer into trouble...

    Torturer: "Tell me the secret way into the BBEG's fortress!"
    Victim: (knows of no secret way) "Okay! Okay! Please, don't hurt me any more! It's... uh..." (gives directions to lair of BBEG's pet dragon)
    Torturer: "Is it guarded?"
    Victim: "No! No, it's not guarded! Just stop!"
    Torturer: "Good, you've earned yourself a quick death." (kills victim and goes off to be eaten)

    I'd give a bonus to the victim's Bluff check under these circumstances, to reflect the difficulty of telling truth from falsehood when the person under interrogation is utterly incoherent with pain and terror. And of course the torturer gets slammed so far down into Evil that he starts getting junk mail from the Nine Hells with discount deals on souls.

    (Yes, I've had to deal with players who are into torturing captured NPCs. I'm not fond of such scenes. Can you tell?)

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by MrNexx View Post
    The man is in a light coma. Pouring water on him may begin to drown him. He's not coming conscious until he's in the positives.
    Yeah, but it will at least bring him back up to 0.

    Someone had to say it.


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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Turcano View Post
    Yeah, but it will at least bring him back up to 0.

    Someone had to say it.
    Damn, I forgot! The RAW is infallible, and therefore drowning him is quicker than natural healing! Quick, stick this man's head in a bucket of water, I want him in fighting trim by tomorrow! Drown him all night if you have to!
    The Cranky Gamer
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    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *"I" is an English pronoun in the nominative case of first person singular. It does not indicate the actions or writings of anyone but the first person, singular.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    *Laughs* That stupid rule.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Turcano's Avatar

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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    Okay, on a more serious note, you should try to stress the use of non-violent interrogation as much as possible. I would direct you to Slate's "What Is Torture?" (Warning: May offend certain political sensibilities); the first five interrogation techniques listed would be morally innocuous under any circumstances and can be done through Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate checks (although I don't think that Futility is applicable to this situation). I understand that medieval (or pseudo-medieval) ideas on interrogation were not enlightened, so your mileage may vary for the rest; however, note that direct questioning has a reported success rate of 95%.
    Last edited by Turcano; 2007-01-07 at 03:16 PM.


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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by idksocrates View Post
    Okay, I'm running a pbp campaign right now, and the PC's just dropped a bunch of baddies. Most of them are still alive, but all unconsious from being in the negatives. Specifically, there's a rogue that is at about negative seven hit points. He was stabilized with a successful heal check.

    One of the PC's has decided that he's going to interrogate the man, even though he's techniqually dying and unconscious. This PC has pretty much no skills for this kind of thing. Currently, he's trying to wake the guy up by pouring sea water on the rogues' head.

    My question - how do I handle this? I'm sure there must be a few people who have had PC's try to interrogate NPC's that were just dropped to negative hit points. How did you handle it?
    I would say that reaction adjustment checks can be usefull here, based on the groups actions. For example, if they heal the rogue (to more than +1 hp) it would make the rogue more cooperational if they don't use torture.
    If they apply torture, the result will more or less be dependant on the rogues will check. To apply torture is allways an evil act.
    If they on the other try to question or convince the rogue without the use of physical or psychical violence (and torture is allways one or both), the rsult will be desided by roleplaying, the rogues loyality, greed, wishes to survive and fear. A good advise is to rule that if it's good for the game that the group gets the information the rogue has, then he will give it up, if it ruins a part of the game, don't give it away or give wrong information
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    I would roll the interrogator's Diplomacy or Intimidate against a DC of 10 plus the subject's Hit Dice. If the interrogator succeeds, the subject gives up the information. If the interrogator fails, the subject either keeps quiet or lies (Sense Motive versus Bluff as normal for the interrogator to detect the lie).

    Where torture is involved, I'd say the subject makes a Will save against the torturer's Intimidate check. Obviously, this is a tough save to make! If the subject fails, he says whatever he thinks the torturer wants to hear. This can get an overconfident torturer into trouble...

    Torturer: "Tell me the secret way into the BBEG's fortress!"
    Victim: (knows of no secret way) "Okay! Okay! Please, don't hurt me any more! It's... uh..." (gives directions to lair of BBEG's pet dragon)
    Torturer: "Is it guarded?"
    Victim: "No! No, it's not guarded! Just stop!"
    Torturer: "Good, you've earned yourself a quick death." (kills victim and goes off to be eaten)

    I'd give a bonus to the victim's Bluff check under these circumstances, to reflect the difficulty of telling truth from falsehood when the person under interrogation is utterly incoherent with pain and terror. And of course the torturer gets slammed so far down into Evil that he starts getting junk mail from the Nine Hells with discount deals on souls.

    (Yes, I've had to deal with players who are into torturing captured NPCs. I'm not fond of such scenes. Can you tell?)
    I dm-ed a group that questionned a drow warrior of a group that had attacked them in stead of killing him or troturing him for information about the daugther of a baron that had been kidnapped by the drow, and that the group was searching for. Because they didn't apply torture the drow showed them the way and helped them to set her free. If they had tortured him, he would just die, giving no information.
    check out my metal band: http://www.facebook.com/Dreamslain

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    You are the DM, make what you want.
    if you think the players are doing a good job interrogating, give information, if not, say they kill the rogues heehhe

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    Torturer: "Good, you've earned yourself a quick death." (kills victim and goes off to be eaten)
    This is gold. I wouldn't hesitate to use something like this should my players resort to torture.

    Edit, offtopic: Thanks for the Slate link. It's interesting. Though I believe continually eating nothing but MREs can result in some *very* unpleasant, um, lower digestive issues.
    Last edited by Athenodorus; 2007-01-07 at 07:11 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    That's why you should always use a zone of truth during interrogation (use detect magic to ensure the interrogee failed his save).

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    There are toture and interrogation rules in Book of Vile Deeds.

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    Default Re: Interrogation Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkysBrain View Post
    That's why you should always use a zone of truth during interrogation (use detect magic to ensure the interrogee failed his save).
    How does detect magic do that?

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