Tome of Prowess (3.5e Sourcebook)/Psychology
- 1 Psychology
The psychology skill is a generally reactive skill that you use to learn things about those that you interact with. With it, you can spot lies and get a feel for a situation before it turns on you. Those who practice at it can tell when someone has been charmed, determine motivations of others, learn the secrets of others during casual conversation, and even predict the actions of others before they occur.
Key Attribute: Intelligence
|Completely unfamiliar with potentially impersonated target, never met||−2|
|Somewhat familiar with potentially impersonated target, has previously met||+0|
|Familiar with potentially impersonated target, met several times, may consider a friend||+3|
|Very familiar with potentially impersonated target, a close friend||+5|
|The potential falsehood is well crafted and does not stretch believability||−2|
|The potential falsehood is poorly crafted or a little hard to believe without evidence1||+0|
|The potential falsehood contains several inconsistencies or would be very hard to believe without evidence1||+3|
|The potential falsehood contains obvious inconsistencies, is actually impossible, or otherwise ridiculous1||+5|
|Rushing a 10 minute action to a 2 1/2 minute action||−5|
|Rushing a 2 1/2 minute action to a 5 round action||−5|
|Rushing a 1 minute action to a 2 round action||−5|
|Rushing a 5 round action to a 1 round action||−5|
|Rushing a 2 round action to a standard action||−5|
|Rushing a 1 round or full-round action to a standard action||−3|
|Rushing a standard action to a move action||−2|
|Rushing a standard or move action to a swift action||−5|
People lie and act like other people, and it’s good to know when they’re doing that so you don’t get taken advantage of. You can attempt to determine if someone is lying to you, whether it's something as simple as a single lie or if they're actually attempting to pass themselves off as someone else. Taking the time to determine truth from lie in this way requires a swift action. As this sort of thing often occurs out of combat, the action cost probably won't come up that much, but it does take a moment to catch a liar in the middle of a fight. The DC of this check is determined by the bluff check of the person lying to you. You can not retry this check for the same falsehood without new evidence.
Base DC: Bluff check result
- DC+5 and above: You recognize if you are being lied to, and also notice several little “tells”. If you attempt to convince others of the truth or falsehood of the statements or persona, they gain a +4 bonus on their checks.
- DC+0 to DC+4: You recognize whether you are being told the truth or lied to, but gain no bonus to convincing others of the same.
- DC−1 to DC−5: You don’t have a good read on the statements, and have no idea whether you are being told the truth or not. This is the case even if you really are being told the truth.
- DC−6 and below: You believe that what you are being told is the truth, especially if it really isn’t.
Rank 1 Uses
People have a really hard time hiding things, and you can learn all sorts of things if you know what to look for. You can read people or groups to get a feel for the situation, or learn that something is wrong before things fall apart. The DC for this check is 10 + CR or EL depending on circumstances. You don’t gain any other information aside from this sense of foreboding; you simply believe that something is out of place or not what it seems. This could mean that the person acting like your friend really isn’t, that someone isn’t telling you the whole truth or is afraid to, that the group you’re with is planning something, or something similar. It is a full-round action to gain a hunch in this fashion.
Base DC: 10 + encounter level or creature CR, + conditions
- DC+0 and above: You gain a somewhat vague hunch about the situation, as told to you by the DM.
- DC−1 and below: You don’t gain any particular insight into things, but it’ll probably become apparent soon enough anyway.
Rank 4 Uses
Magic can make people do weird things, and sometimes it’s obviously the cause. You can tell when people are acting under magical influence. You can detect most active charm or compulsion effects with a DC 20 + caster level check. The DC is only 15 + caster level for domination effects. You gain a bonus to this check based on how well you know the person you are interacting with. You must spend one full minute interacting with the person before you can make this check, though the check can be hurried.
Base DC: 20 (15 for domination effects) + caster level
- DC+5 and above: Not only are you aware of magic making the individual act different, but you can almost talk them out of it. You may grant the target an additional save against the effect at any time within the next hour.
- DC+0 to DC+4: If magic is making the individual act differently, you are aware of it.
- DC−1 and below: While they may be acting out of character, you find nothing indicating magic behind it.
Rank 6 Uses
People are pretty poor at disguising their motivations. You know that what people really like to talk about is themselves, and this gives you a window into their motives. If you interact with someone for at least one minute, you can make a psychology check to determine their alignment as a free action. A successful check provides you both alignment descriptors and knowledge of its aura strength. The DC for this check is generally 25, but it is only 20 for a creature with a strong aura or 15 for a creature with an overwhelming aura. Creatures under the effect of an undetectable alignment spell add 5 to the DC to determine their alignment. Against a target with a false alignment, such as the alignment gained from the liar’s aura ability of bluff, you learn the false alignment unless your check result also exceeds 14 + their bluff modifier, less any penalties they are suffering for altering their aura’s intensity, or 15 + caster level for magical interference.
Base DC: 25, or less for stronger auras
- DC+0 and above: You determine the alignment of your target, and the strength of their aura.
- DC-1 and below: You fail to determine the alignment of your target, or the strength of their convictions.
Rank 10 Uses
It's incredibly difficult to not think about something once it's been brought to mind, and things brought to mind have an annoying tendency to slip off the tongue. You know the psychological tricks to coax out the inner secrets and workings of a mind. If you interact with someone for at least one minute, you know if they are intelligent or not. While not generally useful, it allows you to determine fairly quickly if you happen to be dealing with a magical construct or programmed illusion of some form. If you interact with someone for at least 10 minutes, however, you may gain access to information they might wish you to not know. This requires a successful check, with a DC of 12 + their CR + their wisdom modifier check. Your check is modified by conditions. If you succeed or suffer a near miss on the check, you learn if they are currently putting on an act with their current demeanor as well as what their actual demeanor is. If you succeed on the check, you also ask a number of questions of your target that must be truthfully answered; the exact number of questions is determined by your check result and indicated below.
This ability may be rushed, incurring the penalties indicated on the table above. If you rush this ability, the intelligence determination happens in 1/10th of the total time before your main check is made, to a minimum of the time it takes to perform a swift action.
Special: Against a target with 10 or more ranks in bluff, the situation is slightly more complicated. You make a check after one minute, or 1/10th the total time spent if you are rushing, against a DC of 12 + their bluff modifier. If successful, you detect their proper intelligence if it is currently masked with the False Thoughts ability. If you fail this check, you detect whatever intelligence level they have set with the ability. You still make the regular check at the end of 10 minutes, or whatever time spent if rushing, and that check is also against this DC.
If you succeed at both checks, you gain access to the hidden mind of the target, which answers questions as indicated in the check result table below. If you fail this second check, you use your initial check result to resolve this ability, but you question the false mind instead of the true one. If you fail the initial roll, you use your second roll to resolve the action as determined by the check results table, and may gain access to the false mind if you roll well enough.
Base DC: 12 + opponent's CR + opponent's wisdom modifier; or 12 + opponent's bluff modifier, checked twice, for opponents with 10 or more bluff ranks
- DC+5 and above: You learn if the target is faking their current demeanor, and also get truthful answers for up to four questions that can be answered reasonably quickly. Complex answers may use up more than one of your questions, at the DM's discretion.
- DC+0 to DC+4: You learn if the target is faking their current demeanor, and also get truthful answers for up to two questions that can be answered reasonably quickly. Complex answers may use up more than one of your questions, at the DM's discretion. You suffer a -2 penalty on additional uses of this ability against the target for 12 hours.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You learn if the target is faking their current demeanor, but that's it. You suffer a -5 penalty on additional uses of this ability against the target for 12 hours.
- DC-6 and below: The target feels slighted that you would attempt to pry at things they obviously don't want to talk about. Their attitude toward you shifts one step negatively (though never more than 1 step in any 24 hour period), and you suffer a -10 penalty on further attempts with this ability against them for 12 hours.
Rank 12 Uses
Most people fall back on old habits and patterns in a fight. This makes them predictable if you know how to read people, like you do. After observing a foe in combat for two rounds, you can make a psychology check against them as a swift action to read their moves and prepare for them. The DC for this check is 12 + their CR + their Wis modifier. If their thoughts are shielded in any way, add either the level of the spell responsible, half their CR in the case of innate abilities, half their ranks in bluff if they have a false mind, or similar penalty to this DC. In the case of multiple effects, add only the largest modifier.
If your check is successful, you can see their movements and plan for them, gaining a +4 morale bonus to attacks made against them, to your armor class for attacks from them, and to any reflex saves that they cause you to make. You also gain a +2 morale bonus to fortitude and will saves that they cause you to make, since you can only steel yourself against these attacks rather than partially avoid them. Any skill abilities used against them benefit from a +3 competence bonus, since you know when the best time to attempt them is. This bonus lasts as long as you observe your opponent and up to one minute after, or until you use this ability to gain the bonus against another opponent.
Base DC: 12 + opponent's CR + opponent's Wis modifier
- DC+0 and above: You read your opponents' moves before they make them, gaining the bonuses against them indicated above.
- DC-1 and below: You fail to read your opponents' moves for now, and will have to deal with being surprised by them. You may retry in another two rounds.