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Magical Success with Insite

Wed 14 Feb 2024, 22:00

Hi all. I'm going to be running the prewritten "A Troll Hole if Ever I Saw One", from 'Tales of Eriador'. If I have an Elf of Lindon in the party, they have the ability called 'Elven Skill' that essentially gives them a magical success twice a day ( their Prof bonus). According to the 'Magical Success Examples' on page 20 of the rules, if said elf makes an Insite roll, they can read surface thoughts of anyone around them. The problem with that is in this adventure they can instantly figure out what's going on ruining any mystery the villan has. There really in no way around this, unless I railroad the players, which I don't want to do. Any thoughts?
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Re: Magical Success with Insite

Thu 15 Feb 2024, 11:02

First, keep in mind that Elven Skill gives magical success equal to Proficiency Bonus and it resets after "a long rest" (not exactly after a day).

Usually, in every game i've played (including, for example Call of Cthulhu, Forbidden Lands, etc.), we try to limit the insight skill to sentences like: "he might be suspicious" or "he might hide something" and not telling openly if the NPC is lying and the specific information about he is lying. The opposite, that is telling exactly in which sense an NPC is lying, can easily derail the adventure every time players meet a hidden villain.

Another option, and maybe I am wrong understanding the rule, it's applying a contest between the elf player and NPC. The player would have a magical success but there could be a possibility for an NPC to roll for Charisma (Deception) so he could tie the contest.
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Re: Magical Success with Insite

Thu 15 Feb 2024, 22:37

Reading surface thoughts is not the same as deep thoughts or reading memories. At any given time, the target of the Insight may be thinking about food, personal comfort, the weather, relationships, plotting against enemies, any number of things other than what the elf might want to know. It might even be "Why's that elf squinting at me like that?"
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Re: Magical Success with Insite

Sun 25 Feb 2024, 00:29

It might even be "Why's that elf squinting at me like that?"
Yes! That one!
And if he can use the skill twice the second insight would be "Huh, he's doing it again."
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Re: Magical Success with Insite

Fri 01 Mar 2024, 16:20

‘You do not ask me or tell me much that concerns yourself, Frodo,’ said Gildor. ‘But I already know a little, and I can read more in your face and in the thought behind your questions. You are leaving the Shire, and yet you doubt that you will find what you seek, or accomplish what you intend, or that you will ever return. Is not that so?’

Excerpt from A Short Cut to to Mushrooms
It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till.

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