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Ask a simple question, get a simple answer (Demon the Descent)

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  • Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    Mundane or supernatural means of directly confirming that their statements are truthful or lies (...) if they're subject to a means of quick-checking the truth value of a given answer (...).
    I understand the supernatural part of the answer (things like "detect truth" powers, etc.). But, what do you mean with "mundane means of directly confirming truths?" Polygraphs? Another thing? Also, I'd like to understand what could be "a means of quick-checking the truth value of an answer".

    PS: "this doesn't make them inherently more convincing liars" = they use the same game systems to lie as any other character, without any mechanical advantage. Is that it?

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    • Originally posted by Timecrafter View Post
      I understand the supernatural part of the answer (things like "detect truth" powers, etc.). But, what do you mean with "mundane means of directly confirming truths?" Polygraphs? Another thing? Also, I'd like to understand what could be "a means of quick-checking the truth value of an answer".

      PS: "this doesn't make them inherently more convincing liars" = they use the same game systems to lie as any other character, without any mechanical advantage. Is that it?
      There are two parts to this:

      Liar's Tongue means that no supernatural means of detecting whether a demon is lying will work. The demon decides whether what they say should register as a lie or not. Supernatural powers can still check whether what a demon has said is true or not, though.

      Total Control means that nothing that relies on physiological responses will work. The demon will never exhibit any tics or stress responses, and polygraphs will always fail (on top of their already surprisingly high failure rates). You can also not rely on physiological responses to determine a demon's emotional state and similar information. Any rolls just fail.

      Neither of these blocks a person's ability to roll Wits+Empathy or Wits+Subterfuge to see through any lies since the demon isn't necessarily a skilled liar. They're just as capable of you and me to just fail to convince someone that a lie is true.


      Bloodline: The Stygians
      Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
      Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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      • Originally posted by Tessie View Post
        Neither of these blocks a person's ability to roll Wits+Empathy or Wits+Subterfuge to see through any lies since the demon isn't necessarily a skilled liar. They're just as capable of you and me to just fail to convince someone that a lie is true.
        In general an excellent answer but I disagree with the last bit. A demon has absolute control of their emotional displays. Empathy or any attempt to ascertain if the demon "really believes" that something is true won't work. Wits+Subterfuge might be ok if the latter means catching them in a contradiction. I'd rule that no Social merit or skill would be useful in determining if a demon is lying (as well as any magical one, as you point out).

        Verification/Falsification is of course a different issue, as you point out!

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        • Originally posted by KieranMullen View Post
          Wits+Subterfuge might be ok if the latter means catching them in a contradiction. I'd rule that no Social merit or skill would be useful in determining if a demon is lying.
          That's exactly what I originally thought (before coming here to ask), and the reason for my question. I wondered: since they can't show involuntary expressions, that should mean that they have at least some kind of bonus, right? I agree 100% with the "catch contradictions" bit, but how to put that other aspect (lack of involuntary cues) in game systems? I think it's VERY strange that the books didn't have a straight answer (that's the Chronicle of Darkness M.O. that so many fans love & brag about, after all XD). So, I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to find a sidebar, bullet point, section, paragraph, whatever, stating the actual game rules. If any of you know where it is (book + page), please, tell us.

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          • Originally posted by Timecrafter View Post
            I think it's VERY strange that the books didn't have a straight answer (that's the Chronicle of Darkness M.O. that so many fans love & brag about, after all XD).
            People who brag about that should probably stop bragging about that, imo.
            It's hard to point to any examples in DtD since it's in its first edition, but the second editions of the CofD games (while great games in their own right) often omit minor details that were detailed back in first edition. There's also a huge list of things that require clarifications that forum regulars like us often forget about since we've already gotten those clarifications by some remarkably active devs (or sometimes long discussions about the correct interpretation of vague texts).

            In short, that side bar you're looking for doesn't exist. The rules are as follows:
            Any attempts to read lies through supernatural means automatically fail (if the demon wants them to fail).
            Any attempts to read lies based on physiological responses automatically fail.
            Any other mundane attempts to read lies will be contested with a relevant Attribute+Skill roll with no stated modifications to the roll.


            Bloodline: The Stygians
            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
            Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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            • The demon reads as they believe they are telling the truth but that doesn't automatically mean that it is believed. They can say the sky is not-blue and all detection will detect as they believe they are telling the truth but a casual look up will reveal that is not true.

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              • Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                In short, that side bar you're looking for doesn't exist. The rules are as follows:
                Any attempts to read lies through supernatural means automatically fail (if the demon wants them to fail).
                Any attempts to read lies based on physiological responses automatically fail.
                Any other mundane attempts to read lies will be contested with a relevant Attribute+Skill roll with no stated modifications to the roll.
                Thank you! I thought it existed but I had missed it. ^^

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                • Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  In short, that side bar you're looking for doesn't exist. The rules are as follows:
                  Any attempts to read lies through supernatural means automatically fail (if the demon wants them to fail).
                  Any attempts to read lies based on physiological responses automatically fail.
                  Any other mundane attempts to read lies will be contested with a relevant Attribute+Skill roll with no stated modifications to the roll.
                  I'd rule that on a success the demon always appears to believe what it chooses to show. That the Attribute+Skill roll success simply reveals that choice. The perceiver can still fail that skill roll, though and not discern whatever the demon had chosen.
                  So a demon could choose to subtly convey "I am lying" and the perceiver could fail to pick up on it!

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                  • Originally posted by KieranMullen View Post
                    I'd rule that on a success the demon always appears to believe what it chooses to show.
                    I disagree. Liar's Tongue specifically calls out that the ability to believe things is only really useful for supernatural purposes. Further, whilst Total Control means that a demon doesn't have involuntary physiological responses, it also means they need to deliberately project some of those responses in order to look convincing, therefore they need to know what those responses are (the subterfuge skill). It specifically mentions that social expression is a skill, and one that some Demon's never learn.

                    So, the Subterfuge 0 demon can lie with a straight face, but that lie is probably going to be miscalculated because the Demon doesn't really know what physiological responses to project to look convincing.

                    Empathy would pick up on the weird response.


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