NPCs Lying to Players

The default obstacle for a Falsehood test is the victim’s Will. This works great when a PC is lying to an NPC.

However, it’s a little unsatisfying for me when it’s the other way around. I’m fine with rolling Falsehood for an NPC, but I also want the player engaged in the process. I could make it an Opposed Test and let the PC roll their Will, but I think this makes Falsehood too powerful for NPCs.

What Skill/Stat would you have a PC use to determine if another party is lying? Or would you just go with RAW?

Falsehood, takes one to know one. Or a perception test to notice their tells.

Occasionally I use a Perception roll (although it really should be Will, I think) with an arbitrary Ob to detect lies, but for the most part I don’t say anything. It’s up to the player to decide if there’s a lie. Or I will outright tell players that they can tell a character is lying. The interesting question then is what to do about it.

I also never have NPCs roll other social skills outside of Duel of Wits, nor do PCs roll against other PCs. No Persuasion, no Seduction, no Oratory. Falsehood is no exception. My goal is to minimize taking away player control of characters with tests that aren’t full conflicts.

I use the npc’s successes as a guide to determine how convincing he is.
(A one-off only has skills that are really important to his concept anyway. But if the players turn him into a recurring character I at least know what to burn)

I say to the player, “You know he’s lying. How do you respond?”

This is the most effective tactic.

You can push it farther, too. “She’s lying and you have no idea that she is.”