Bluff (DEX)

René

Mongoose
The default ability for Bluff is Charisma, but doesn't it make more sense to use Dexterity if bluffing in combat?
 

Evil_Trevor

Mongoose
To Bluff is to convince someone of something that is untrue. E.G. when playing cards convincing your adversery that you have a really good hand. or convincing the suspicious guard on the gate to let you through with your sword, somewhat like 'fast talk' skills, how you would 'Bluff' in combat using Dexterity is not particularly clear to me ----

Your facing off against some glowering over-muscled armour clad thug and rather than risk getting your head cleft in twain you try to Bluff her with
"I've got ten orphans to rescue and a insane sorcerer chasing me for I hold the the secret of amanuman, Stand aside for the sake of those helpless children and your own life, for if you strike me down Marathus the Mad will transfer his wrath and demons to you"

Not a Dex check, So how do you see 'Bluff' being used in a combat situation ?
 

Mijoro

Mongoose
René said:
The default ability for Bluff is Charisma, but doesn't it make more sense to use Dexterity if bluffing in combat?

I think you're getting "Bluff" confused with "Feint" (although both require a Bluff check...)

From the SRD:

FEINT
Feinting is a standard action. To feint, make a Bluff check opposed by a Sense Motive check by your target. The target may add his base attack bonus to this Sense Motive check. If your Bluff check result exceeds your target’s Sense Motive check result, the next melee attack you make against the target does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). This attack must be made on or before your next turn.
When feinting in this way against a nonhumanoid you take a –4 penalty. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2), you take a –8 penalty. Against a nonintelligent creature, it’s impossible.
Feinting in combat does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Feinting as a Move Action: With the Improved Feint feat, you can attempt a feint as a move action instead of as a standard action.
 

geordiekimbo

Mongoose
Not that i'm a sword fighter or a fencer, but i'm sure i've heard that when you fence you keep your eyes on the fighter, not the sword. Similarly when you box you're told to look into the eyes of your opponent, not his fists. That way you can possibly read what your opponent is about to do. In D20 they use Charisma to reflect this, allowing you to predict your targets next move by reading his body language or the tell tale glances at the area he is going to attempt to hit. that way feinting in combat only works against intelligent creatures, as a dumb animal isn't going to care about looking into your eyes to try and predict what you're about to do.

+Edited for spelling+
 

Vincent791

Mongoose
I understand that any Bluff check has to be CHA related. But as Mijoro said, is important to separate Bluff from Feint. Although I think that you can also use Bluff in combat, but IMO it would be CHA related.
 

Furie

Mongoose
I *think* I've said this before elsewhere in the forum, but when fencing you don't want to look at the fencer's eyes either (can be tricky to do with the wire mesh face guards anyway). What you want to do is try to take in the whole fencer because even though the weapon might say one thing, the body might say something different, or vice versa.

One of the keys to a successful feint is selling the feint to the opponent. It is also possible to telegraph an attack, not unlike a "tell" when playing cards. Hence, I don't see Cha as being an incredibly unlikely stat to attach to a feint.
 

René

Mongoose
Mijoro said:
I think you're getting "Bluff" confused with "Feint" (although both require a Bluff check...)

From the SRD:

FEINT
Feinting is a standard action. To feint, make a Bluff check opposed by a Sense Motive check by your target.

No, I don't think that I confuse the both. Like the rule quoted by you says: you feint by bluffing.

If a sword fighter seems to slash low, but in reality this is a feint and he slashes high, this has IMO more to do with dexterity than with charisma.
 
In my experience in Fencing, oftimes personality plays into it more than dexterity. I am not the most dextrous fellow and my point often wavers far more than it should - but I can fake people out pretty well behind aggressive but meaningless thrusts - allowing my less than stable point to actually make a point. If one is going to bluff, it is all in the personality and the force of conviction one can convey - not the dexterity of the person. If his bluffs lack conviction, then his dextrous manoeuvres can be correctly blocked.
 

Eisho

Mongoose
A feint could involve a combatant acting as though he is tired or more injured than he really is thus inviting an attack. When the opponent is committed, the combatant counters. This would be related therefore to Charisma.

I rationalise the actual physical action of feinting as most would think of it (a leading strike to draw a defensive movement thus exposing another area to the second, real strike) as being reflected in the Base Attack Bonus. A high BAB indicates a better ability, at a physical level and among other things, to force the opponent into exposing himself.

Eisho
 

Evil_Trevor

Mongoose
Eisho said:
I rationalise the actual physical action of feinting as most would think of it (a leading strike to draw a defensive movement thus exposing another area to the second, real strike) as being reflected in the Base Attack Bonus. A high BAB indicates a better ability, at a physical level and among other things, to force the opponent into exposing himself.

Eisho

Indeed we could argue that 'fient' is a combat tactic and base it on Attack Bonus.

Also we could argue that it could be an WIS modifier since to use a fient successfully you need to correctly judge in advance what your oppenant will do and how to use this to your advantage (e.g. if I fient toward his face he will try to parry, exposing his torso...) this is using Wisdom in the same way it is used for 'Spot' as a mental agility/awareness stat.
 

René

Mongoose
Evil_Trevor said:
Also we could argue that it could be an WIS modifier since to use a fient successfully you need to correctly judge in advance what your oppenant will do and how to use this to your advantage

Taking this into account and Vincents experience from real fencing (never did a fight sport myself), I'm not so sure about my DEX idea anymore. To retain it playable, maybe CHA is the best option. Are there other guys on this forum who have real life experince with such things, e.g. boxing?
 

Furie

Mongoose
Evil_Trevor said:
Also we could argue that it could be an WIS modifier since to use a fient successfully you need to correctly judge in advance what your oppenant will do and how to use this to your advantage (e.g. if I fient toward his face he will try to parry, exposing his torso...) this is using Wisdom in the same way it is used for 'Spot' as a mental agility/awareness stat.

Or to really muddy the waters, make it Int. I knew a few fencing coaches that likened fencing to physical chess, where you made a move anticipating that your opponent would react in a certain way, so you would counter in a particular way, which would force a particular reaction, and six steps down the line, you had your touché. The idea was less mental acuity as it was incredibly quick decision making.
 

Eisho

Mongoose
Well, I have never fenced before but I have been doing mostly Asian martial arts for almost 20 years (armed and unarmed), including several years of kendo with the Kidotai (Japan's counter-terrorist / counter-insurgency police unit). I can see where the idea of linking it to Dex would come from, but like I posted before, it just seems easier to link it to BAB if you're just thinking of a feint being a quick thrust or strike or whatever to test the water and hopefully draw a reaction out of the opponent that puts him at a disadvantage.

Plus, at high levels of skill, feints are rarely used. For someone who is very competent they only need a very small window of opportunity to strike successfully. If you feint they will simply react to the opening this movement creates and take the point (symbolising a killing blow). Look at boxing or ultimate fighting. Mike Tyson and Royce Gracie would, in the split second of dead time a feint is being retracted, have been all over the opponent.

I think it's important to bear in mind though that the people writing D&D and other sourcebooks are trying to make games playable. They are not a reflection of real life and I doubt if writers in general have any real fighting experience or, even if they do, it is most likely pretty limited. I like the idea of Charisma being able to be used in combat because it so often tends to be the forgotten attribute. Plus I do think that if we consider a feint as being something other than a purely combative move then Charisma does make sense.

Eisho


Eisho
 

Bregales

Mongoose
geordiekimbo said:
Not that i'm a sword fighter or a fencer, but i'm sure i've heard that when you fence you keep your eyes on the fighter, not the sword. Similarly when you box you're told to look into the eyes of your opponent, not his fists. That way you can possibly read what your opponent is about to do. In D20 they use Charisma to reflect this, allowing you to predict your targets next move by reading his body language or the tell tale glances at the area he is going to attempt to hit. that way feinting in combat only works against intelligent creatures, as a dumb animal isn't going to care about looking into your eyes to try and predict what you're about to do.
This is a very good point. I was away from the boards on the holidays and had trouble getting to Mongoose after, but what you write is basically true. You look at your opponent's eyes, that's how you read what he's going to do or is doing, your peripheral vision takes in his (other) hand, the sword hand, his movement, etc. You learn to develop your peripheral vision when fencing without a mask, and this is the most important point we make when teaching actors how to stage fence, which I did up until January for 8 years in NYC.
Furie said:
I *think* I've said this before elsewhere in the forum, but when fencing you don't want to look at the fencer's eyes either (can be tricky to do with the wire mesh face guards anyway). What you want to do is try to take in the whole fencer because even though the weapon might say one thing, the body might say something different, or vice versa.
This is true for modern fencing, like I wrote above, you develop your peripheral vision to see the whole opponent, not to stare at his sword.
Furie said:
One of the keys to a successful feint is selling the feint to the opponent. It is also possible to telegraph an attack, not unlike a "tell" when playing cards. Hence, I don't see Cha as being an incredibly unlikely stat to attach to a feint.
Another good point, I was going to remark about telegraphing when I saw your post, so added it to geordiekimbo's quote, as I think it's important. You keep your eyes on your opponent always, until you're well out of fencing distance (the distance at which you could potentially engage the other person, in real world it's not a 5' square but I'd say anything within 15' is a potential threat range and you shouldn't turn your back on opponent unless doing it to invite an attack). If the opponent's face isn't completely obstructed, you'd look at the face/eyes, and use peripheral vision to take in the whole person. Charisma is indeed the best indicator, as it dictates HOW that person's DEX is applied, especially in regard to feints, draws, or disengages. (a double in 6 is a dexterous move to undertake, but your force of personality dictates it's successful use to deceive an opponent and create an opening in a closed guard).

Hope this helps.
 

Furie

Mongoose
What I said about not looking at the eyes actually applies to more than just modern fencing. I took a class in both modern sport fencing, historic battlefield (sword and shield, sword alone, and two-handed- mostly using the Tallhoffer text at the time), as well as historic duelling focusing on several Italian schools, a Scottish smallsword school, and Spanish duelling.

Want to hear what's weird? You can make your eyes lie. I had an instructor that could relax his eyes so that it looked like he was either staring at a point five feet behind you or a foot in front of you. He was taking in everything- both hands, legs, body, you name it. Creeped most people out, because it meant that they couldn't read the eyes.

You still have some peripheral vision while wearing the mask, and it was strictly for safety reasons as we were employing shinai's and engaging in controlled contact strikes.

Also, there is a Spanish style of rapier (name escaping me at te moment), where it is possible to be looking in one direction, take a half-step to fool the opponent into thinking you are lunging that way, then a quick cross-step in the opposite direction. If executed properly they have hit nothing but air, and your blade would have passed through their brainpan.
Example two: I'm looking at your leg. I continue to look at your leg. I can see what you are doing in my peripheral vision, but I'm looking at your leg. I'm looking at your leg. I'm thrusting at your face. This works because I know where my opponent is.

Finally- there is a fun trick lost to modern fencers called the cross step. One of the key lessons drilled into us was that of distance. Using it, controlling it, making it work for us. This dealtj with fooling the enemy into thinking you were x distance when really you were y distance. A lot of this had to do with how your feet are positioned, as your distance is measured off your planted foot, not the foot you are lunging with. I'm right handed, so my planted foot is typically my left foot. If my left foot is in front of my right foot, I'm much closer to you than you might realize, and if I catch you while you have the right foot in front of the left, then I can hit you and you can't hit me. Alternatively, I can do a half-lunge but end in a position where I can still gain an extra few feet by executing a second quick lunge while you arestill adjusting tothe fact that I'm not as far as you thought I was. (In game terms, this might be considered the equivalent of a feat that gave a Wis or Int bonus to AC). Hmm.. not sure how much use any of this, but I find it interesting at least.

Bregales- errr... you do know that there are quite a few moves where you end up with your back to the opponent, right? Not as a starting point for sure, but I can think of at least one two-handeded exchange that ends with the you having your back to the opponent, and the opponent has skewered themselves. Also thinking of a few grappling techniques that end where at some stage your back is pressed to the front of your opponet.
Example: Opponent throws punch, you avoid so it passes over your right shoulder. Grab arm, spin to reverse, and throw your opponet over your shoulder. And yes, I'm picking at nits here.


Yes yes, I know I'm preaching to the choir here and/or talking gibberish, but dangit, I miss fencing.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Yeah, Furie, I do know of a few cases like the example. To use stage fencing terms, you may have a beat (aka: a move) where your back is to your opponent, but not a whole phrase. Let's say you don't take your attention off your opponent. The spinning move is a good example, but in this case you're typically spinning from your opponent to 360 degree move back to opponent (like where James Earl Jones beheads Conan's mother in the movie "Conan the Barbarian").

Anyway, in fencing if you turn your back to your opponent you may prepare yourself for him to close distance and you'd probably reverse blade to impale him. And stuff.

Your examples of Spanish fencing and cross-step are good ones too but follow my basic idea, and are baiting ploys. Anyways, my blood sugars getting low and I gotta get a snack. Later.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Oh yeah, how bout going On the March! Man that's a riot to face! :shock:

I'll compromise and say keep your attention on your opponent. Anyway, on to get some carbs to get my blood sugar back. :)
 

Eisho

Mongoose
The use of and reason behind using peripheral vision may have been lost in the European schools. In Asian arts there is a clear disctinction between the older, battlefield arts and the newer, non-battlefield arts.

Peripheral vision was important (actually, vital) because the older schools were relevant to the battlefield where you would be facing opponents coming at you from all directions and angles. Concentrating only on the person in front of you lessened your chances of being able to react to an attack from a second (or third etc.) opponent. Nowadays martial arts (Western and Eastern) tend to emphasise a match between two people only, hence the trend over the centuries on concentrating on the person in front of you.

There is no 'correct' answer, just depends what you're studying and what combative situation it's designed to deal with.


Eisho
 

Bregales

Mongoose
dunderm said:
I like the bluff idea, for my game, CCR, I will put Bluff under the Talent Pool PERCEPTION. Thanks for the idea!
That's what I'd done when using this game briefly with a gaming group in high school in the '80s. It works well.
 
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