Presence • Interaction


Deception is the skill of getting others to believe what you want them to believe. It covers things like acting, bluffing, fast-talk, trickery, and subterfuge.

Deception takes as long as it takes to spin-out your story. Uses of Deception in action rounds are generally standard actions, although you can attempt to deceive as a move action by taking a –5 penalty to your check.




The target wants to believe you.


The deception is believable and doesn’t affect the target much either way.


The deception is a little hard to believe or puts the target at some kind of risk.


The deception is difficult to believe or entails a serious risk.


The deception is way out there, almost too incredible to consider.



Make a Deception check to tell a believable lie or get someone do go along with you.

A bluff is usually opposed by the target’s Deception or Insight check. Favorable and unfavorable circumstances weigh heavily on the outcome. Two circumstances can work against you: the deception is hard to believe, or what you ask goes against the target’s self-interest, nature, or personality.


You can use makeup, costumes, and other props to change your appearance. Your Deception check result determines the effectiveness of the disguise, opposed by others’ perception check results. The GM makes the Deception check secretly so you are not sure exactly how well your disguise holds up under scrutiny.

Disguise is heavily dependent on circumstances: favorable ones include appropriate costuming and a subject resembling your normal appearance, while unfavorable circumstances include disguising yourself as a member of a different race or sex, or not having sufficient props (which can be up to a –5 modifier). If you are impersonating a particular individual, anyone who knows that individual gets a circumstance bonus to the Perception check: regular associates get a +2, while friends get a +5 and intimate loved ones a +10.

Successfully acting like who you appear to be may also require a Deception check with a DC equal to the observer’s Insight check, modified by familiarity if the observer knows the subject well, as mentioned previously.

A disguise normally requires at least 10 minutes of preparation. The GM makes Perception checks for those who encounter you immediately upon meeting you and each hour or day thereafter, depending on circumstances.


You can use Deception as a standard action to mislead an opponent in combat. Make a Deception check as a standard action opposed by the better of your target’s Deception or Insight. If your Deception check succeeds, the target is vulnerable against your next attack, until the end of your next round.


You can use Deception to send covert messages using word-play and double-meanings while apparently talking about other things. The DC for a basic message is 10. Complex messages or messages trying to communicate new information have DCs of 15 or 20, respectively. The recipient of the message must make a Insight check against the same DC to understand it.





Basic message


Complex message


Message containing new or detailed information

Anyone listening in on your innuendo can attempt a insight check against the message DC. If successful, the eavesdropper notices a message hidden in your conversation. If the eavesdropper gets at least two degrees of success, he also understands the message. Whether trying to send or pick up on a message, more than one degree of failure on the check means the receiver misinterprets the message in some fashion.


You can use Deception to mislead an opponent into taking a potentially unwise action, such as trying to hit you while standing in front of an electrical junction box or at the edge of a precipice. If your Deception check opposed by Deception or Insight succeeds, your opponent is heedless of the potential danger and may hit the junction box or lose his balance and fall, if his attack against you fails. (On the other hand, if the attack succeeds, it might slam you into the junction box or send you flying off the edge. You’re taking a risk.)

More than one degree of failure on the Deception check means you put yourself in a bad position; you are vulnerable against the target’s attacks until the start of your next round!


D20Hero SRD Skills article-