Bluster
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Spheres of Guile
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Operatives of the Bluster sphere are skilled at trickery and emotional influence. They know how to make the most of information about enemies’ hopes and fears.

Associated Skill: Bluff or Intimidate. Choose one to be the associated skill when you gain the sphere.

You gain the following benefits when you gain the Bluster sphere.

You gain 5 ranks in the chosen skill, plus 5 ranks per additional talent spent in the Bluster sphere (maximum ranks equal to your Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in the chosen skill, you may immediately retrain them.

Skill Leverage: You unlock skill leverage with the Bluff and Intimidate skills.

Bonus Talent: When you gain the Bluster sphere, you gain one (quip) talent of your choice. It cannot be an exceptional talent. If you choose one with the [utility] tag, you can take the Bluster base sphere as a [utility] talent.

You also gain the Flaunt Secrets and Quip abilities.

Flaunt Secrets (Ex)

You know how to taunt a creature with its secrets to make it reckless and easier to outmaneuver. You can outwit a creature by invoking a motivation it does not share freely (although there is no other benefit for invoking that motivation this way).

Once you outwit a creature using this ability, you cannot outwit that creature by invoking the same motivation for 24 hours.

Quip (Ex)

As a standard action, you make a quip to a creature within close range (25 feet + 5 feet per 2 ranks in the associated skill). You apply the effect of a (quip) talent you possess to that creature. If the creature is unwilling, it gets a Will saving throw to resist. Each time you target that creature again within 24 hours with the same (quip), the save DC to avoid it (if any) decreases by 4 and the skill DC to apply it (if any) increases by 4. Quipping is a language-dependent, mind-affecting emotion effect.


Bluster Talent Types

Quip

Talents with the (quip) tag apply an effect to a creature using your quip ability. You can only choose one talent’s effects to apply each time you quip.


Bluster Talents

Authoritative [approach] [utility]

You adopt this approach as a swift action. As long as you are not a known enemy, your presence in a secure location is assumed to be justified by anyone you do not interact with unless there’s no reasonable way you could have permission without their knowledge. This does not prevent anyone noticing your actions that would be cause for alarm or a sign of possible betrayal even if you belonged.

In addition, your orders are hard to refuse. If you fail an Intimidate check to demand cooperation by 4 or less, the target gives unnecessarily detailed reasons for refusing, which typically includes a clue as to how else the request might be fulfilled or which of the target’s motivations is most relevant to them refusing. A creature’s first refused demand does not increase the DC of subsequent demands you make of the creature.

Fascinating Bluster [utility]

Whenever you successfully distract a creature with either a Bluff check to create a diversion or an Intimidate check to pose a menace (new skill use), the creature remains distracted until the end of your next turn and the creature must succeed at a Will saving throw or be fascinated by either you or the diversion while distracted. You can prolong the duration of the fascinated condition by 1 round as a standard action, up to a maximum of 1 round per rank you possess in the associated skill.

In addition to the usual ways to end it, the fascinated condition ends if any creature the fascinated creature can perceive takes a hostile action or is damaged.

Intimidating Ability

You can use any ability score of your choice for Intimidate checks instead of Charisma as long as you demonstrate that ability in the course of attempting the Intimidate check. For example, you might talk circles around an opponent to prove your superior Intelligence or toss knives with unnerving accuracy to demonstrate deadly Dexterity. If you include a demonstration as part of an Intimidate check to improve a creature’s attitude and outwit them, you can make the attempt as a full-round action (instead of the usual benefit of outwitting).

Associated Feat: Intimidating Prowess.

Intimidating Reputation [plan] [utility]

You can spread an impressive-sounding rumor about your capabilities with 1 hour of effort in a settlement or among members of an organization. You can also reveal this rumor as a plan; revealing such a plan is a move action. Its effect costs no action from you if you did not reveal it as a plan. Spreading rumors about your reputation can make creatures in that settlement or group overestimate your capabilities when they first encounter you.

You attempt an Intimidate check to pose a menace when you spread the rumor and apply the result to the first time you encounter each creature from that group or settlement who has not encountered you before or since you last gained a level. The creature gains the impressed condition for 1 hour upon meeting you, plus an additional hour for every 5 points that you exceed the DC (this impressed condition is applied before any change to the creature’s attitude).

Meaningful Look [approach]

Adopting this approach is a swift action. While you have your meaningful look, you gain a gaze attack with a range of 30 feet. The gaze only affects creatures with an Intelligence score. A creature that fails its Will saving throw becomes susceptible to language-dependent emotion effects from the Bluff or Intimidate skills (but not a skill talent) despite language barriers or immunity to fear, emotion, or mind-affecting effects for 1 round. You can deliver such a skill use to an affected creature with a glance, making it visual and not language-dependent (which prevents others overhearing). The DC to use Intimidate on a creature with your look increases by +5 if it is otherwise immune to fear effects, emotion effects, and/or mind-affecting effects.

Nebulous Threat [approach] [utility]

Your presence becomes palpably dangerous when you adopt this approach as a swift action. It makes creatures instinctively protect things they care about from you. If you succeed at an Intimidate check to improve a creature’s attitude or insult them while in this approach, you also learn a clue to one of the creature’s motivations, such as a thing the creature desires, fears, hates, or cares about. If you succeed at an Intimidate check to demoralize a creature or pose a menace, you learn either which of its allies it considers most vulnerable to you or the immediate direction to something it does not want you to find (GM’s choice of which).

Never Gets Old

The save and skill DC adjustments for using the same quip on a target multiple times per day is reduced to 2, or 0 if you are targeting an ally.

Parting Word

If you outwit your target as an additional cost to quip, you can do so as part of a withdraw, run, or double move action at any point during your movement.

Piercing Wit

Whenever you quip, you can outwit a target using your flaunt secret ability as a cost to give the target a –2 penalty on their saving throw. This penalty does not stack with any other penalty for invoking a motivation.

Prolific Bluster

When you use the Bluff skill or the Intimidate skill on a limited number of targets using a standard action or longer, you can choose an additional target for every 2 ranks you have in that skill. When you target multiple creatures with a skill check, you attempt a single check and compare it to the DC for each target separately.

When you quip, you may target an additional creature if you outwit one as a cost. The maximum number of targets you can choose increases by one for every 5 ranks in the associated skill you possess, but you must outwit all the additional targets.

Rattling Memory [plan]

You can postpone the effects of a social interaction until a later time, as they do not realize the full ramifications of what you said until you say one more thing that puts it all into perspective for them. Suitable interactions include a Diplomacy or Intimidate check to change a creature’s attitude, a Bluff or Intimidate check to give a condition with the emotion descriptor, or an Intimidate check to pose a menace (new use). When you encounter a creature you have met before or could have met before, you can reveal this plan as a move action to attempt such a skill check. You can take 10 on any skill check required.

You can take this talent a second time. If you do, you can postpone the effects of a (quip) or reveal them as a plan.

Skilled Bluster [utility]

When you gain this talent, you choose either Bluff or Intimidate, whichever you did not previously choose as the Bluster sphere’s associated skill. You gain the chosen skill as another associated skill for the Bluster sphere.

Shift Perspective [utility]

You are skilled at convincing creatures to change their priorities. You can suggest a creature add or strengthen a motivation in just 10 minutes. You need not attempt a Diplomacy check nor tie it to an existing motivation as long as it would support actions they have taken in the past day. You must outwit the creature as a cost and the target can avoid gaining the motivation with a successful Will save. If you are raising a minor motivation to a major motivation, you must spend 1 use of skill leverage to use the talent and the target gets a +5 bonus on the save. Once you target a creature with this talent, you cannot target it again to suggest the same motivation again for 1 week or to suggest a different motivation for 1 day. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Tactical Trick

When you successfully use either Intimidate to pose a menace or Bluff to feint or create a diversion, you can trick your target into changing tactics by outwitting the target as a cost. The target must succeed at a Will saving throw or it cannot take the same action again on its next turn that it took on its previous turn. For this purpose, attacking the same target is the same action, but attacking a different target or using a special ability that does not involve an attack would both be different actions. If your target can understand you, you can imply that you fear a particular tactic as part of your action in an effort to trick the target into adopting that tactic. If you do, your skill check takes a penalty according to how plausible it is to the target that you truly fear that tactic, using the modifiers for a Bluff check to lie.

Verbal Trap [utility]

You regain 1 use of skill leverage whenever you first invoke a creature’s motivation as part of a successful Bluff or Intimidate check or quip, even in the middle of an encounter. The creature must pose a significant challenge to you in combat or a social encounter (which usually means a challenge rating of at least your level - 2) and you must have never invoked that motivation of that creature before using those skills or this talent. You cannot regain skill leverage in this way again until you regain it from another source.

In addition, you can outwit a creature as a cost to roll a Bluff check against a foe in order to coax that creature into accidentally revealing one guarded fact about them or an associate. This is a standard action. The target rolls an opposed Sense Motive check before you outwit them, and reveals the fact if you succeed. The fact is chosen by the GM to be useful in influencing or harming the target; you can choose whether you prefer to influence or harm the target by the sort of things you talk about. A minor motivation or tactical vulnerability is a suitable piece of information. Once you attempt to learn a secret from a creature with this talent, you cannot target them again for 24 hours.

Voice Of Giants

When attempting an Intimidate check, you may use the size modifier to Intimidate from an ally whose reach you are within rather than using your own size modifier.

Whenever you outwit a creature in any way, that creature takes a -2 penalty to CMB and CMD for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.

Weaponized Words

You can feint using your words rather than a weapon. Feinting this way has a range of 30 feet and is a language-dependent effect. The target has the uncertain condition (new mechanic) for the feint’s usual duration, but they do not lose their Dexterity bonus to AC unless you invoked one of their motivations as part of your successful Bluff check to feint. If you do invoke a motivation and deny the target their Dexterity bonus to AC, the bonus is denied against the next melee or ranged attack on it by any creature until the end of your next turn; the attack does not have to be from you.

Although feinting is usually a hostile action inappropriate for social settings, using this talent is not generally hostile (though it often is argumentative). This talent can be combined with other talents or abilities that improve feinting (such as the Improved Feint feat), but not those that add effects to a successful feint. Associated Feat: Greater Feint


Quip Talents

Embarrassing Critique (quip)

You divide a target from their allies. Attempt an Intimidate check to demoralize the target. If you succeed, observing NPCs also cease to be impressed with the target and have their attitude toward the target reduced by one step for 10 minutes. In addition, the target must succeed at a Will saving throw or be treated as being 5 feet further away from all of their allies for the purposes of range-based abilities (including touch effects and aura abilities) for as long as they are demoralized, plus an additional 5 feet for every 5 of which you exceed the DC (maximum 20 feet plus 10 feet per 5 ranks in the associated skill you possess). If you outwit as a cost, the duration of the demoralization increases to 1 round per rank you possess in Bluff or Intimidate and the target takes a -2 penalty to their Will save.

Excoriate (quip)

You cut away the creature’s emotional defenses with your vicious words. You must invoke the target’s motivation to quip. The target must succeed at a Will saving throw or gain the shocked condition for 1 round per rank you possess in the Intimidate skill and become more vulnerable to actions that invoke its motivations while it is disoriented by this quip. If you invoke a major motivation, the target takes a -3 penalty to their saving throw and is affected for 1 round on a successful saving throw.

It rolls twice and takes the lower result on any saving throw against an effect that invoked its motivation and on any skill check to conceal its own motivations. Whenever it unwillingly falls under an emotion effect that invoked its motivation, the disorientation condition from this talent worsens by one step for 1 round. Whatever the degree of its disorientation condition, the target can attempt to reduce the condition as a standard action.

Excoriating is not always a hostile action, but it is always rude enough to worsen the target’s attitude.

Exhausting Lament (quip)

You describe a sad lie or truth. You must attempt a Bluff check, always treating the claim as at least troubling to the target, and the target must attempt a Will save. If your Bluff check fails by more than the penalty for making a troubling claim, the quip has no effect. Otherwise, apply the normal condition for the troubling claim and they become fatigued on a successful save, or exhausted on a failed save. The condition ends after 1 round per rank you possess in the associated skill unless you have at least 10 ranks (in which it lasts until they rest or otherwise remove it).

Fabricate Memory (quip) [utility]

You convince a creature it remembers something it does not if it fails its Will save, causing it to alter one of its memories or to make up a new one whole-cloth to fit the notion. The memory must not contradict anything the target believes that they care strongly about. If the false memory affects how the creature would view other important information it knows or its important relationships, you must also succeed at a Bluff check or the target remembers both its original memory as well as the one you added, causing it to gain the uncertain condition and avoid acting on either for 1d4 minutes. You cannot succeed at this Bluff check if the target considers your lie impossible unless the reason it seems impossible is a single memory (in which case your success alters the memory). The fabricated memory fades when the uncertain condition ends. Attempting to reduce the condition is a standard action.

An altered memory can be restored with restoration, heal, or similar magic. Whenever the creature is confronted with evidence contradicting your lie, it can attempt a Will save to recall vaguely what it forgot. If the save fails, it cannot try again for 24 hours and must get new, different evidence to try again. You cannot alter the same target’s memory again for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Fake Curse (quip)

You trick a foe into believing you have cast a curse on it. If the target fails at its Will save, until the start of your next turn, the target believes itself to be cursed and doubts itself. It rolls twice and takes the lower result on its next attack roll, Will saving throw, or skill check that is not attempted as a free action. For every 5 ranks in the associated skill you possess, the target rerolls another roll during the round.

You can outwit as a cost to use this quip; if you do, the number of rerolls increases by 1 and the duration increases to 1 minute or until the rerolls are expended. The outwitted target rerolls their first roll even if they succeed at the saving throw.

Associated Feat: Feign Curse (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Intrigue).

Frightening Threat (quip)

You make a threat that chills your target to the bone. Attempt a check to demoralize them with Intimidate. On a success, the target must succeed at a Will saving throw or become frightened until the start of your next turn (or enraged if you threaten its motivation and it chooses to gain an anger condition). If the target has fewer Hit Dice than the number of ranks in Intimidate you possess, it is frightened for a number of additional rounds equal to half your ranks in Intimidate (or panicked or frenzied if you threatened its motivation).

A creature you frighten with this quip does not have to flee as efficiently as possible if it can move to shield something that is a motivation for it; while doing so, the only actions it can take are total defense, aid another, and actions that would directly protect the thing that motivates it (not attack). (On a successful save, the target still experiences the usual effects of the Intimidate check.)

If you have at least 10 ranks in Intimidate, a target with fewer Hit Dice than the number of ranks in Intimidate you possess is frightened until the start of your next turn even on a successful save (or panicked or frenzied if you threatened its motivation).

You can take this talent a second time if you have at least 10 ranks in Intimidate. When you do, replace the frightened condition with the panicked condition (threatening the target’s motivation gives them the option to be frenzied instead). You can make a target with fewer Hit Dice than your ranks in Intimidate paralyzed with fear on a failed save when you threaten its motivation (it cannot choose to be frenzied).

Impressive Brag (quip) [utility]

You brag and demonstrate your most impressive wordplay. On a failed Will save, the target is impressed for 10 minutes and fascinated for as long as you continue to spend at least a move action to speak each turn. On a successful save, the target is impressed until the start of your next turn if it has fewer Hit Dice than the number of ranks in the associated skill you possess.

Inciting Accusation (quip)

You rile up a target ally by accusing an enemy of wrongdoing. Attempt an Intimidate check against the ally’s demoralize DC. If you lie, you do not have to attempt a Bluff check unless the ally finds the lie far-fetched and you did not invoke one of the ally’s motivations; a required Bluff check can be made as part of the same action and you can reuse the same d20 roll. If your Intimidate check succeeds, the target gains your choice of the angry or livid condition toward that enemy for 1 round per rank you possess in the associated skill. If your Intimidate check fails, the target is still angry until the start of your next turn.

They also get a morale bonus on attack rolls equal to the damage bonus from the condition. For every 5 points by which you exceed the DC, double the duration. The bonus you grant to the target’s attacks increases by 1 for every 5 ranks in the associated skill you possess.

If you invoke your ally’s major motivation, you can choose to make them enraged and they get a morale bonus to Will saving throws equal to the damage bonus from the anger condition you chose. An ally you enrage this way ends any fear condition they have from the focus of their anger as long as it didn’t have a save DC higher than your Intimidate check result.

Infuriating Insult (quip)

You insult a creature so badly that it cannot think clearly. You attempt an Intimidate check to insult the target (new skill use) and the target attempts a Will saving throw. The target rolls twice and uses the lower result on its Will save if you outwitted on your Intimidate check.

If your skill check fails but the target’s Will save also fails, the target still gains the appropriate anger condition for 1d4 rounds.

If you succeed and the target’s Will save fails, its anger condition worsens by two steps (frenzied if you invoke a motivation, or enraged otherwise) until the start of your next turn and by one step for the rest of the duration (enraged if you invoke a motivation, or livid otherwise); a target that has fewer Hit Dice than the number of ranks you possess in Intimidate has its anger condition increased by two steps for the full duration.

Righteous Reproach (quip)

You shame a creature for their misdeeds. The target must succeed at a Will saving throw or become dumbfounded with shame until the start of your next turn and uncertain for a number of rounds thereafter equal to the number of ranks in Intimidate you possess.

If the target has fewer Hit Dice than that number of ranks and failed the save, the dumbfounded condition lasts the full duration but the creature can attempt to reduce the condition as a standard action. On a successful save, the target is uncertain for 1 round.

If you name a misdeed the creature is guilty of that conflicts with one of the creature’s motivations, you get a bonus to your save DC (+2 for a minor motivation, +5 for a major motivation) even if the creature believes the misdeed was justified or is only arguably a violation.

Stabbing Suspicion (quip)

You convince the target that they are in imminent peril from their allies. On a failed Will save, the target cannot be a willing target of any of their allies and must attempt saving throws to resist all effects that allow a save, even those created by allies, until the end of their next turn. The next time any creature within their reach takes an action which provokes an attack of opportunity from them before the end of the target’s next turn (even if that action is performed by an ally), the target must make an attack of opportunity against them. If you have at least 5 ranks in an associated skill, the target must spend an attack of opportunity immediately to attack such an ally within reach (if any) regardless of whether or not they failed their Will saving throw.

If you name a reason for the target’s motivations putting them in conflict with one of their allies, the target gets a penalty to their saving throw (–2 for a minor motivation, –5 for a major motivation) and on a failed save the target is affected for 1 minute rather than until the end of their next turn. The target’s allies need not have acted against them for you to invoke a motivation.

Stunning Pronouncement (quip)

Prerequisite: Bluff 10 ranks.

You say something profoundly troubling to a creature. You must outwit the target as a cost to quip. The target must succeed at a Will saving throw or be stunned for 1 round.

As part of this (quip), you can attempt a Bluff check to make a troubling claim (new skill use). If you succeed and invoked one of the target’s motivations, they are staggered for 1d4+1 rounds whether or not they failed their saving throw.

Unflappable Banter (quip)

You encourage an ally within range by making any challenge or enemies before them seem less impressive.

Attempt a single Bluff or Intimidate check and compare it to the DC to demoralize the ally. If you succeed, the ally gets a +2 morale bonus on saving throws until the start of your next turn and during that time, being in combat does not prevent them from taking 10 on skill checks. For every 5 ranks you possess in the associated skill, any morale bonus from this talent increases by 1 and the duration increases by 1 round.

In addition, any emotion effect from a skill check with a lower result than your skill check on them ends and they can attempt a new Will saving throw to end any emotion or fascination effect on them that allowed one. The morale bonus on the save increases to +4 if your skill check exceeded the emotion or fascination effect’s save DC.


Exceptional Talents

Breathtaking Utterance

Prerequisites: Associated skill 10 ranks, Bluster sphere.

Your statements can leave those who hear it so bewildered that they struggle to breath. Whenever you give a creature the dumbfounded or shocked condition, you may outwit the target as a cost to also force them to succeed at a Will saving throw or be unable to breathe (and forced to hold their breath) until they no longer have a disorientation condition, and each attempt to reduce or end the condition with a Will save reduces the remaining amount of time they can hold their breath by half. A creature holding their breath in this way cannot speak or use verbal components for spells. If this causes the creature to fall unconscious due to suffocation, the creature stabilizes and loses the disorientation condition unless you also spend 2 uses of skill leverage as part of the action to quip.

Enduring Terror (quip)

Prerequisites: Intimidate 10 ranks, Bluster sphere.

You attempt an Intimidate check to improve the target’s attitude as part of the action to quip and the target attempts a Will saving throw. You take no penalty for making the check so quickly. If you succeed on your check and the target’s Will saving throw fails, for 1 day per rank in Intimidate you possess, the target gains a new minor motivation: their fear of you. As long as the target has this motivation, their attitude does not worsen as a consequence of improving it with Intimidate. This is a fear effect.

If you have at least 15 ranks in Intimidate, this is a major motivation and is permanent.

Persistent Fabrication [utility]

Prerequisites: Bluff 5 ranks, Bluster sphere (Fabricate Memory).

When you successfully use Fabricate Memory, the target makes up its own details to refute any attempt to counter your lie. Convincing the target that your lie is not true requires a successful Bluff check to claim an implausible truth and is considered unlikely at best unless combined with evidence that makes the false memory seem at least equally unlikely.

Plunder Memory [utility]

Prerequisites: Bluff 10 ranks, Bluster sphere (Fabricate Memory).

When you successfully use Fabricate Memory, the target also recounts a brief summary of their original memory for you before altering it. If you also have the Investigation sphere and at least 10 ranks in Sense Motive, you deduce the major elements of the original memory without them saying anything.

Profound Gaze

Prerequisites: Associated skill 3 ranks, Bluster sphere (Meaningful Look).

While you have your meaningful look, you can affect certain creatures with emotion effects from a skill talent despite language barriers or immunity to fear, emotion, or mind-affecting effects. You ignore these immunities as long as they are affected by your meaningful look. A creature that would otherwise be immune gets a +5 bonus to its saving throw or the DC of your skill check to affect it.

You can quip against affected creatures as a visual effect that is not language-dependent (this prevents others from overhearing).

Revelation Of Infinite Possibility (quip)

Prerequisites: Bluff 15 ranks, Bluster sphere.

You attempt a Bluff check to make a claim to the target. If they failed their Will save, your Bluff check takes only half the usual penalty for being hard to believe or troubling.

If you succeed, the target believes your claim (not just that you believe it). You cannot convince the target of something they thought was impossible before unless you outwit them as a cost to use this talent. Convincing the target of an impossible claim makes them dumbfounded for 10 minutes. They can attempt a Will saving throw with 1 minute of thought to reduce the condition.

Rewrite Memory

Prerequisites: Bluff 10 ranks, Bluster sphere (Fabricate Memory).

If you outwit the target as a cost, you can use Fabricate Memory to make the target remember something they would otherwise think is impossible or that would contradict a memory they feel strongly about. Successfully doing so makes the target shocked for 1d4 hours. When the condition ends, they can attempt a new saving throw to end the fabrication and restore their memories; if this second save fails, the rewrite is permanent.

Shocking Statement (quip)

Prerequisites: Bluff 5 ranks, Bluster sphere.

You make a statement so baffling that it makes a target creature question everything. On a successful Will save, they gain the uncertain condition for 1 round per rank in the associated skill you possess.

On a failed save, they gain the shocked condition for a number of minutes equal to the number of ranks in the associated skill you possess. Either way, they must spend a standard action to attempt a new save to reduce the condition. Making a shocking statement is not a hostile action, although it might be considered rude enough to worsen attitudes toward you depending on how you phrase it.

You can also attempt a Bluff check to make a claim about one of the creature’s motivations as part of the statement. If the creature did not already believe the claim but your Bluff check succeeds, they are still shocked on a successful save and on a failed save they experience an additional effect of your choice: either they gain the confused condition for 1 minute or they gain the dumbfounded condition for 10 minutes. At the end of each turn the creature spends confused, it attempts a Will saving throw to reduces the condition to shocked.


Drawbacks

Boundless Wit [utility start]

You find countless openings to practice your wits. You gain the Verbal Trap talent and do not gain the quip ability.

Deadly Presence [utility start]

You prefer to have a threatening or imposing aura about you, instead of a glare. You do not gain the quip ability, and gain the Nebulous Threat talent.

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