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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zhentarim's Avatar

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    Default +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    How do I play a bard character with really amazing charisma and expertise in perception/stealth, and a feat to add expertise to persuasion, who has a lackluster insight score? To me, it seems like a person with great charisma, and who is at least modestly competent at stealth/perception, would also have the self-awareness to be good at insight. This mechanical quirk has me puzzled, especially as my proficiency bonus is growing and the gap between insight and the other scores is growing.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcheesepants View Post
    A lot of folks have decent ideas of how to roleplay the scenario you set up, but on a rules level you should have Jack of All Trades which lets you add half your proficiency bonus to any skill you aren't proficient in. So you shouldn't ever be bad at insight even if it isn't quite as good as your speaking skills (on a related note do you have a pretty serious negative modifier to your Wis or have you been forgetting about Jack of All Trades? Cause you really shouldn't have a 0). Also you'll pick up more bardic expertise as you level up so you can add some expertise to insight later on if you want and from both a metagaming and RP perspective I'd say it makes sense to do so. Metagaming because it's useful for the party face to be able to tell when people are or aren't being honest and forthright and RP because as you continue to talk to folks in tense situations you've learned to spot the facial expressions, tones and other subtle hints that indicate a person's inner thoughts and feelings.
    I have a serious negative mod to my wis, and my non-proficient wisdom skills have only just now made it to 0 with Jack of all Trades.

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    I disagree, someone can very easily have sway over people but not a single clue about what is going on around you. You don't actually have to have knowledge to persuade people to your viewpoint.

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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    You're a charmer and a talented BS artist precisely because you can empathize with the people you're talking to. You're on their side; you want to be everyone's friend. Even when you're lying, you can convince yourself that what you are saying is kind of true, or true from a certain point of view, or at the very worst, it's really in their best interest to keep the truth from them. Because of that empathy, you have a hard time recognizing when one of your friends is feeding you BS.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    I agree with JoeJ, especially since you're good at Persuasion, not Deception. You're not a cynical manipulator who knows a thousand cons. You're simply someone who can empathize with people and convey their own passion and enthusiasm and find common ground with others.
    Proclaiming something "objectively" true or false does not excuse you from proving it so.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhentarim View Post
    How do I play a bard character with really amazing charisma and expertise in perception/stealth, and a feat to add expertise to persuasion, who has a lackluster insight score? To me, it seems like a person with great charisma, and who is at least modestly competent at stealth/perception, would also have the self-awareness to be good at insight. This mechanical quirk has me puzzled, especially as my proficiency bonus is growing and the gap between insight and the other scores is growing.
    It's not because you're great at convincing others with the truth, with deception, or by being scary, that you're great at reading people.

    If your character has +0 to WIS (Insight) checks, it just means they have +0 in WIS. So they're just averagely aware of the world around them, not particularly keen nor particularly oblivious. They nevertheless focused one way or another to be an expert at noticing the environment surrounding them.

    Plenty of great public speaker, liars and scary folks are easily fooled when they're on the receiving end. It can be because their self-awareness is skewed (ex: a manipulator thinking they're too clever to be manipulated like all the fools they only have contempt for), or because experience taught them doing what they do work and as such are surprised when it doesn't work (ex: the mobster used to get what they want by making threats not realizing the target of this particular threat is too angry to care about the consequences even if the threat is legit), or because they truly believe in the worldview they want to convince others of and such are not prepared about what clashes with it (ex: the lawyer who sincerely believe their client would never steal the charity's money like they're accused of because the client always pretended to love the charity when in reality they just saw it as a convenient publicity stunt and cash cow).
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2021-01-13 at 02:39 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Many an egotistical villain can be set up like this, thing the kind that tries to use breaking speeches, offers of power, or goading into missteps. Many times these villains succeed or fail not by lack of skill but by misunderstanding the target. This could be played up with making assumptions that are unwarranted or having a set of favored tactics that the character always uses. Maybe end up attempting to bribe someone who has a goal of reducing corruption, or blackmailing someone who has violent tenancies. Lying to someone without realizing they have already have proof of the truth.
    Pretend you are trying to always persuade yourself/your character. Are you good, think the best of people. Are you evil, assume they are in it for themselves.
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    I worked in sales for years and was very good at it, so in D&D terms I would have a healthy bonus to persuasion (and let's be honest, deception). But it's also fairly easy for someone to sell to me, despite my knowing the tricks, even bring able to recognise them as they're being used on me on real time. Why? Well a part of it is the fact that I'm a salesperson myself makes it easy for me to connect with the person selling to me, and that personal connection is critical to making a sale (or a con) happen. You want the client to feel like they are letting down a friend when they decline to buy, and as a salesman myself I know exactly how it feels to lose a sale.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Zapp Brannigan from Futurama is what this makes me think of

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhentarim View Post
    How do I play a bard character with really amazing charisma and expertise in perception/stealth, and a feat to add expertise to persuasion, who has a lackluster insight score? To me, it seems like a person with great charisma, and who is at least modestly competent at stealth/perception, would also have the self-awareness to be good at insight. This mechanical quirk has me puzzled, especially as my proficiency bonus is growing and the gap between insight and the other scores is growing.
    Being incredibly Persuasive means you can give an excellent rousing speech, negotiate successfully with a monarch, or convince someone considering suicide to climb down and talk things out.

    Being so-okay-it's-average at Insight means having no special ability to detect lies or misdirection, reveal a person's hidden motive behind their stated aims, or otherwise identify intentional or accidental filtering of a person's emotional, behavioral, or verbal behavior.

    If you have amazing Persuasion and average Insight, you can easily get people on board with what you want, but you aren't very good at figuring out what someone wants if they're trying to hide it from you. You're charming, your attitude may even be infectious, but you take others' words more or less at face value.

    I would call Jefferson Smith, from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, an excellent example of someone with high Persuasion and average (or even below-average!) Insight. He is innocent and gullible, but for people willing to listen to him without crooked intent, he can be extremely persuasive. (He's actually inspired by the story of a real-life Senator, too! Glamorized and idealized, of course, but the coarse details, a country-bumpkin appointed senator exposing a real-life scandal at the highest levels of US government, is a true story!)

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Or think of a really talented actor who gets suckered into joining a cult. Not naming any names, but there are a ton of examples out there.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhentarim View Post
    How do I play a bard character with really amazing charisma and expertise in perception/stealth, and a feat to add expertise to persuasion, who has a lackluster insight score? To me, it seems like a person with great charisma, and who is at least modestly competent at stealth/perception, would also have the self-awareness to be good at insight. This mechanical quirk has me puzzled, especially as my proficiency bonus is growing and the gap between insight and the other scores is growing.
    Like Carrot from Terry Pratchett. You can convince anyone to do something without having a clue about their motives.
    Last edited by Milmoor; Yesterday at 04:05 PM.

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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Megamind would be another good example. Excellent with presentation! Not so good at figuring out who to trust.
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    Zombie

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    I would play it like I don't really care all that much about what other people think, and so never built that skill, but I'm good at talking people into things. They think what I persuade them to think.

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    Imp

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Milmoor View Post
    Like Carrot from Terry Pratchett. You can convince anyone to do something without having a clue about there motives.
    That's totally not the case with Carrot, though. Guy is extremely sharp and can read people easily.

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    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    There's a very good example of this sort of person in the real world currently. Someone who can persuade/lie/intimidate people into following them but who doesn't have the critical thinking skills required to determine who is telling them the truth, resulting in them believing the person who spoke last or who gave them info most in line with their worldview.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Ego.

    He thinks the world of himself, what he says, and what he does. But he has so little concern for the aptitude of others he pays them no attention at all. His insight isn't 0 because he's bad at it (yes the numbers say he is but bear with me), his insight is 0 because he simply doesn't think anything other than himself is worth paying attention to.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    It's also worth noting that having low insight, or failing an insight roll against deception, doesn't actually mean the person in question automatically believes what is being told to them. It just means they can't piece together or notice any telltale signs of lying from body language or tone or such things; they're still completely free to be skeptical of information or intentions, as is appropriate to the character in question, just without any real 'proof' to back it up. An experienced liar might still be frequently skeptical of others (perhaps maybe even baselessly so, or paranoid) without actually knowing how to spot any tells. Though if played fairly, such a person might find themselves doubting information that IS truly honest from time to time.

    but a lot of that might depend on how believable the information itself is, regardless of who it comes from or how they said it.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhentarim View Post
    How do I play a bard character with really amazing charisma and expertise in perception/stealth, and a feat to add expertise to persuasion, who has a lackluster insight score? To me, it seems like a person with great charisma, and who is at least modestly competent at stealth/perception, would also have the self-awareness to be good at insight. This mechanical quirk has me puzzled, especially as my proficiency bonus is growing and the gap between insight and the other scores is growing.
    A lot of folks have decent ideas of how to roleplay the scenario you set up, but on a rules level you should have Jack of All Trades which lets you add half your proficiency bonus to any skill you aren't proficient in. So you shouldn't ever be bad at insight even if it isn't quite as good as your speaking skills (on a related note do you have a pretty serious negative modifier to your Wis or have you been forgetting about Jack of All Trades? Cause you really shouldn't have a 0). Also you'll pick up more bardic expertise as you level up so you can add some expertise to insight later on if you want and from both a metagaming and RP perspective I'd say it makes sense to do so. Metagaming because it's useful for the party face to be able to tell when people are or aren't being honest and forthright and RP because as you continue to talk to folks in tense situations you've learned to spot the facial expressions, tones and other subtle hints that indicate a person's inner thoughts and feelings.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    I've always thought of Insight not only as ability to determine if someone is being honest or lying, but also the ability to figure out someone's motivations, emotional condition, etc - in other words being able to read people correctly - sort of emotional IQ.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zhentarim's Avatar

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcheesepants View Post
    A lot of folks have decent ideas of how to roleplay the scenario you set up, but on a rules level you should have Jack of All Trades which lets you add half your proficiency bonus to any skill you aren't proficient in. So you shouldn't ever be bad at insight even if it isn't quite as good as your speaking skills (on a related note do you have a pretty serious negative modifier to your Wis or have you been forgetting about Jack of All Trades? Cause you really shouldn't have a 0). Also you'll pick up more bardic expertise as you level up so you can add some expertise to insight later on if you want and from both a metagaming and RP perspective I'd say it makes sense to do so. Metagaming because it's useful for the party face to be able to tell when people are or aren't being honest and forthright and RP because as you continue to talk to folks in tense situations you've learned to spot the facial expressions, tones and other subtle hints that indicate a person's inner thoughts and feelings.
    I have a serious negative mod to my wis, and my non-proficient wisdom skills have only just now made it to 0 with Jack of all Trades.

    https://www.myth-weavers.com/sheet.html#id=2348407
    Last edited by Zhentarim; 2021-01-13 at 09:02 PM.
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    One way to play this would be to act absolutely painfully honest and sincere. You are convincing simply because you believe you are telling the truth, and even the most cynical people can tell you have nothing to hide.

    The flip side is that you have no tools to deal with someone who is attempting to hade something from you. You simply have a tendency to assume everyone is as honest and straightforward as you are.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    One way to play this would be to act absolutely painfully honest and sincere. You are convincing simply because you believe you are telling the truth, and even the most cynical people can tell you have nothing to hide.

    The flip side is that you have no tools to deal with someone who is attempting to hade something from you. You simply have a tendency to assume everyone is as honest and straightforward as you are.
    A good one - Holden from the Expanse series (TV and Books) is like this.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    One way to play this would be to act absolutely painfully honest and sincere. You are convincing simply because you believe you are telling the truth, and even the most cynical people can tell you have nothing to hide.

    The flip side is that you have no tools to deal with someone who is attempting to hade something from you. You simply have a tendency to assume everyone is as honest and straightforward as you are.
    That'd be good for explaining high persuasion and low insight, but not the high deception.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Darzil View Post
    That'd be good for explaining high persuasion and low insight, but not the high deception.
    I mean, again, lying convincingly and detecting others ulterior motives are pretty clearly distinct things. I don't see why it's weird that a person could be really good at persuasion and deception, but really bad at any component of reading people.

    Others already mentioned, for example, the "confidence" problem, which I think is very appropriate for a character that has training in every single Charisma skill and the highest "ordinary" Charisma a person can have typically speaking (16). It could be that this character does not simply project an aura of confidence, but that they actually are as cocksure as they seem to be. A friend of mine has used phrases like "partaking of one's own merchandise" (meaning psychoactive substances) or "drinking your own Kool-Aid" (reference to cult behavior). I don't see anything wrong with the idea of a person who is genuinely convinced that over 90% of the time everyone else is the "mark" and only the character is the manipulator. In fact, I'd say that seems pretty likely--it's very easy to have a sustained overconfidence streak, especially when you really ARE super good at controlling others' behavior.

    Or, to put this a slightly different way: You are effectively asking, "How is it possible for someone to have high Strength, and thus be able to dish out a lot of damage, but garbage Constitution, and thus not be able to take much damage? In the real world, building up your strength can't happen without at least some improvement to general health and hardiness, right?" And the answer is: maybe that's true (but there are limits to it--endurance training IS different from strength training!), but even if it is, we can at least grok the notion of someone who can land a telling blow but can't take a hit herself. Call it weak bones, getting winded easily, a minor form of hemophilia, bad diet, difficulty knowing how to roll with rather than against the punches, whatever you like.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Insight is very different from persuasion, intimidation or deception. The latter three are something you DO. Your character takes an action, says something or does something that could persuade, intimidate or deceive another.

    Insight is the ability to perceive all the details about what others are saying or doing to assess whether they appear sincere or whether there might be an inconsistency in their story or something they are saying or doing. Insight is very much based on how well you can see/hear/sense the actions of another.

    Self-awareness has nothing to do with the awareness of others and how they might be thinking or feeling when they are saying/doing something or in reaction to something you may have said.

    There are lots of real world examples of folks who might have very high persuasion skills but little or no ability with insight.

    In your case, just role playing it, you continue to do whatever you have been doing but the character is likely aware that they have trouble telling how successful they might be fooling others (when trying to deceive them) or convincing (when trying to persuade). They would also likely know that it can sometimes be very difficult to tell when others are "enhancing" the truth.

    He would probably be the type of bard who picks up heroic stories in bars and believes them - then creates songs and stories about the events that others tend to believe (even if the original story was just a fiction in whole or in part - since he isn't that effective at telling truth from fiction in the people he interacts with). He is a character that can lie and persuade effectively but also one that tends to less frequently see through the false hoods of others.

    P.S. From a role playing point of view you could probably ascribe it to being a goblin moving around in other societies (assuming you aren't playing a goblin surrounded by goblins) and less capable of identifying the indications that someone isn't telling the complete truth.
    Last edited by Keravath; 2021-01-14 at 02:57 PM.

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    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    This sounds like the kind of person who everybody likes and trusts, who can spin a great story and who can inspire, but who also believes his own hype and who thinks everybody else who agrees with them truly believes it, too. They don't get how others can possibly disagree, so if people do agree, then they trust them. Maybe they trust everybody, either because they think they're so clever that nobody could fool them, or they are persuasive because they're all-in on whatever they're doing or believing, and assume everybody else is, too. That assumption is what makes them so lovable, but it also means they're easy to deceive.

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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Perhaps this character is amazing in front of a crowd but poor in a one-on-one situation?

    They can talk to a group, sway the opinion of a mob, organise a shindig, but due to their lack of ability to read people at an individual level, they are much less effective face to face.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    That's totally not the case with Carrot, though. Guy is extremely sharp and can read people easily.
    Not when he first got into town (Guards Guards). He's very charismatic, but doesn't have a clue what is really going on. He does get his way though in spite of or because of the perplexity of the others.
    Last edited by Milmoor; Yesterday at 04:18 PM.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Milmoor View Post
    Not when he first got into town (Guards Guards). He's very charismatic, but doesn't have a clue what is really going on. He does get his way though in spite of or because of the perplexity of the others.
    It's culture clash, though, not lack of skill in reading people.

    He didn't get that the Thieves' Guild was legal or that the lady he rescued wanted to sleep with him because he was never told about such things, but he immediately picked up that Nobby was among the people who vaguely heard the concept of law and decided it wasn't for them, and then realized Nobby was correct when he pointed out the real reason why he ended up in the Night Watch.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: +7 persuasion and +5 deception and intimidation, but flat +0 to insight

    If you watch Bojack Horseman, Mr Peanutbutter is a good example of a high charisma low insight character.

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