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I've got a 12th level character that for RP reasons needs a VERY high bluff skill to pull off a disguise. I'm looking for ways to maximize this, and all ideas are appreciated.

What I have so far:

1/2 level           = 6
Training            = 5
CHA Bonus           = 1
Skill Focus (Bluff) = 3
Hat of Disguise     = 5
Total               = 20

Can I get any higher?

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What's the class and race of this character? Also, has the character been played up to 12th level, or are you creating one at that level? (That is, can we suggest at-creation things like backgrounds?) – Jadasc Mar 3 '11 at 14:31
The character was created at 12 but I am locked into my background (also for RP reasons). It's a Drow Psion. – dpatchery Mar 3 '11 at 14:33
up vote 5 down vote accepted
  • Ritual: Glib Limerick (Roll Twice, take better, statistically a +4) Gained by Feats: Vistani Heritage, Vistani Jongleur
  • MC Shaman for the Speak with Spirits daily, giving you your wis mod as a bonus. (This character is going to have such MAD, it's not even funny.)
  • Feat: Psionic Skill, +2 feat bonus + (spend 1 PP for a +3 power bonus)
  • Feat: Disciple of Lore: +1 bonus to trained skills

  • PP: Traveler's Harlequin if you can swing it, Silver-tongued Scoundrel if you can't

Assuming you go Harlequin, that frees up the vistani feats for bardic ritualist and arcane familiar (serpent, because hey, tradition, or Air Mephit if you retrain it for itself at 11 to upgrade to paragon familiars)

  • Feat Armor proficiency Leather for Skald's Armor is worth it

You may want to invest extra feats into your familiar making it a better scout to create more believable lies.

  • Item: Shadowdancer's Mask gives you another bluff reroll
  • Feat: skill power, Level 10 diplomacy skill power: Befrend

Grab "Faulty Memory (bluff utility 6)" as it's a great way to make sure they don't question your disguise. If your DM isn't using the "one free action per turn" rules, grab "Fast Talk (bluff utility 6) as well"

After this cursory optimizing, assuming Harlequin, you'll have: +5 (cha) +6 half/level +5 trained +4 item (skald's armor) + 3 feat (skill focus) +5 power (befrend) +5 untyped shape of the traveller +2 speak with spirits = +35

Roll twice, use either result, the reroll (either both or the lowest, depending on your GM's interpretation of shadowdancer's mask interactions with glib limerick) We'll call that a rough +6 on the roll, give or take. For an average roll of 51 at level 12. Where a "Hard check" as per latest DCs is a DC 28, and most insights will ... be around +16 or so? You count as the creature's type and keywords (from false-blood) and speak their language, have an invisible scout (Air Mephit) for gotchas, and can sustain (via form of the traveller) past an extended rest and being stripped naked.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 12
Drow, Psion, Traveler's Harlequin
Discipline Focus: Telepathy Focus
Psionic Skill: Psionic Skill (Bluff)

Str 9, Con 12, Dex 13, Int 19, Wis 14, Cha 21.

Str 8, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 16.

AC: 25 Fort: 19 Reflex: 23 Will: 25
HP: 68 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 17

Diplomacy +21, Insight +14, Bluff +26, Arcana +16, History +16, Nature +14

Acrobatics +7, Dungeoneering +8, Endurance +7, Heal +8, Intimidate +13, Perception +8, Religion +10, Stealth +9, Streetwise +11, Thievery +7, Athletics +5

Psion: Alchemist
Bardic Ritualist: Ritual Caster
Traveler's Harlequin: Spirit Talker
Level 1: Bardic Dilettante
Level 2: Bardic Ritualist
Level 4: Arcane Familiar (retrained to Arcane Familiar at Level 11)
Level 6: Psionic Skill
Level 8: Disciple of Lore
Level 10: Armor Proficiency: Leather
Level 11: Skill Power
Level 12: Skill Focus (Bluff)

Psion utility 10: Befriend

Ritual Book, False Blood Amulet +2, Skald's Drowmesh +3
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======
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Lots of good ideas here. I'm not sure if I want to give up my current Paragon Path but I will be using a lot of this. Thanks! – dpatchery Mar 4 '11 at 12:37
Yeah. This is ... a silly extreme. Don't go to this extreme. I, personally, love Harlequin in general. It's an excellent PP. But there are a fair number of cherry-pickable elements so you can dial your feat investment. If possible, get a level appropriate false-blood amulet (which should exist, but does not technically.) – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Mar 4 '11 at 13:44
nice work, although the CHA is a bit on the high side imho (since we don't know if the character's a telepath or something else and the question already states the CHA bonus as being +1). – user660 Mar 4 '11 at 19:01
True. though a bluffing non-telepath is starting to scream MAD at me, the cha/wis bonuses even out due to shammy MC. – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Mar 4 '11 at 23:27

Depending on whether your DM allows it, up to four of your party members can aid your Bluff check for a maximum bonus of +8.

Impostor's armor adds its enhancement bonus as an untyped bonus to Bluff checks made to disguise your appearance.

If you're trying to look like someone in particular, a potion of mimicry grants a +5 power bonus.

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Cool - I will definitely be grabbing the impostor armor. The other two situations don't apply for me, but thanks for the ideas! – dpatchery Mar 3 '11 at 15:05

Note that the item bonus from Imposter's Armor only applies when you're attempting to disguise your appearance. The Armor of Dark Majesty[DDI] applies its bonus unconditionally.

Other possible useful items:

  • [07] False Blood Amulet[DDI] (provides the origin and keywords of a chosen race (if beneficial) and also allows you to speak and read any languages provided by that race)
  • [12] Fragrance of Authority[DDI] (item daily power providing an unconditional +2 power bonus to Bluff (or Diplomacy or Intimidate) for 1 hour)
  • [12] Cli Lyre[DDI] (item daily power giving you and your allies a +5 power bonus to the next Bluff (or Diplomacy or Intimidate) check made before the next rest; if used by a bard with the Song of Rest feature the bonus increases to +10)
  • [13] Choker of Eloquence[DDI] (item daily power allowing you to reroll a Bluff or Diplomacy check)

Don't forget skill powers from PHb3 that may add some bonuses or rerolls to the check.

You may also want to take a look at Skill Power - a mini-guide to optimizing skill-challenges over on the CharOp boards for ideas and inspiration.

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