Bluff (Cha)

The PC is adept at fast-talking, lies, and falsehoods.

Check: Bluffing is similar to persuasion, and uses the persuasion rules from the Speechcraft system. While persuasion generally involves the PC telling the truth or attempting to convince someone else to see his point of view, however, bluffing involves the PC lying to the NPC or getting him to believe something that is false (or at least only partially true).

A Bluff check is opposed by the target's Sense Motive skill. Situational modifiers are applied to the roll, depending on the target's attitude toward the PC and how far-fetched the lie is (see below). If the bluff succeeds, the target believes the lie and will act accordingly.

Typically, the effects of a bluff last for only a short time – 1d6x5 minutes, depending on circumstances. After that, the target may begin to wonder what exactly he was doing or thinking (if he was convinced to do something), or realize that he was just deceived. If the lie is believable to begin with, the target may never realize that it was actually a lie and thus will never take action.

A PC can attempt to bluff a group of people; in this case, the opposed check uses the highest Sense Motive score and the highest Wisdom modifier.

For example: Kurth the rogue was caught by a city watch patrol standing in a dark alley way, watching a storefront across the street (he's casing the place for a potential robbery). They stop and ask his business; he says that he's just waiting for a friend. The normal guards have no ranks in Sense Motive, but the sergeant in charge of the patrol has 3 ranks and a +1 modifier – he's seen a bit in his time. The guards are Indifferent – they've had an easy shift, and this doesn't look to be trouble – so the sergeant gets a +0 modifier. Since Kurth is dressed in normal clothes (so as not to draw suspicion) and the lie is believable, this adds another +0 modifier. Kurth has 10 ranks in Bluff and a +1 Cha bonus, for a grand total of +11 to his check; he rolls a 15. The DM makes an opposed Sense Motive roll for the guards, using the sergeant's score, and rolls a 6, for a total of 12. The guards believe the lie and carry on with their patrol.

Since this lie is believable, they will promptly forget about Kurth unless they have reason to think him suspicious later (if they come by again and he's still there, for example). Depending on the circumstances, the DM could adjust the guards' attitude or apply a penalty to Kurth's next bluff to avoid being arrested.

If a PC fails to bluff someone, he can try again, but the NPC gets a +2 bonus to disbelieve any further bluffs, and those bluffs must be more believable than before. For example, if Kurth had tried to tell the guards that he was a lesser noble's son out for a night on the town and his drunk friend was heaving his guts up in the alley behind him, that would be a +5 modifier - it's a little hard to swallow, and they certainly can't hear anyone in he alley. If this bluff failed, Kurth wouldn't be able to try something even more outlandish – the guards simply wouldn't believe it – but he could try something simpler, like that he's just waiting for a friend. The guards are now slightly suspicious of him, however, which would give them a +2 bonus to their Sense Motive check.

NPC's Attitude Modifier
Hateful +15
Hostile +10
Unfriendly +5
Indifferent +0
Friendly -5
Helpful -10
Fanatic -15

Modifiers noted on the table above can be adjusted slightly to fit the circumstances. For example, a shopkeeper with whom the PC has regular positive interaction may not quite be Friendly to him, but will view him in a good light. In this case, the DM could assign a -3 modifier. Similarly, those who are Hostile to the PC could have modifiers far greater than +10 – if the NPC has made a blood oath to kill the PC, the modifier would likely be +15 or +20 to reflect the level of unreasoning hatred the NPC bears.

Example Circumstances Sense Motive
The target wants to believe the PC. ("I really do love you!") -5
The bluff is believable and doesn't affect the target much. ("Hey, your shoe's untied!") +0
The bluff is a little hard to believe or puts the target at some risk. ("That big ugly guy over there insulted your mother! You should go beat him up!") +5
The bluff is hard to believe or puts the target at significant risk. ("The dragon that burned down that village last week, and ate a dozen of the king's best men? Bah, he's a pussycat – we went to his lair and made him apologize." +10
The bluff is way out there, almost too incredible to consider. ("The king's really a doppelganger mage in disguise! His court are all clones too!") +20

Feinting in Combat: The PC can also use Bluff to mislead an opponent in melee combat (so that it can't dodge his next attack effectively). To feint, make a Bluff check opposed by the target's Sense Motive check, but in this case, the target adds its base attack bonus to the roll along with any other applicable modifiers.

If the PC's Bluff check result exceeds this special Sense Motive check result, the PC gains a +4 bonus to the next melee attack he makes against the target. This attack must be made on or before his next turn.

Feinting in this way against a nonhumanoid is difficult because it's harder to read a strange creature's body language; this incurs a -4 penalty on the check. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2) it's even harder (-8 penalty). Against a nonintelligent creature, it's impossible. A PC can feint any number of times, but his opponent gains a +2 bonus to its check after the first attempt.

Feinting in combat does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Creating a Diversion to Hide: The PC can use the Bluff skill to help him hide. A successful Bluff check gives him the momentary diversion needed to attempt a Stealth check to hide while people are aware of him. This usage does not provoke an attack of opportunity. This use of the Bluff skill is identical to attempting to bluff a group (see above).

Action: Varies. A Bluff check made as part of general interaction always takes at least 1 round (and is at least a full-round action), but it can take much longer if the PC tries something elaborate. A Bluff check made to feint in combat is a move action, and one made to create a diversion to hide is a standard action.

Try Again: Varies. Generally, a failed Bluff check in social interaction makes the target too suspicious to try again in the same circumstances (see Speechcraft), but the PC can retry freely on Bluff checks made to feint in combat.

Special: A ranger gains a bonus on Bluff checks when using this skill against a favored enemy.

The master of a snake familiar gains a +3 bonus on Bluff checks.

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