I want my bard to scam people using specifically memory lapse and "luck" games.

Something like this:

  • Bard engages wealthy man to play a betting game.
  • Bard puts 100G and a small rock in a bag on the counter. Wealthy man does the same in an identical bag but without the rock.
  • The rules are simple, The wealthy man only needs to point at the bag with the rock in it.
  • So the bard picks both bags up, one in each hand, and literally just sets them down.

  • Then the Bard instructs the wealthy man to choose a bag.

  • Confused or not, the wealthy man chooses/points at bag (Lets say the one on the right.)


If the wealthy man picks the bag with the rock in it (Meaning he would win and my bard would loose 100g) could I switch the bags in front of him, cast memory lapse, and then ask the question again? Memory lapse is 1 round so that's 6 seconds. So as long as he fails resisting the spell, he should choose the same bag he would have before. And if he chose the wrong bag in the first place I don't need to use the spell. (If he succeeds the save I could try and use it a second time as a fail-safe.) (I have a Cha mod of +4 so the DC is 15 at level 1.)

So the question becomes, is memory lapse something viable in the way I'm thinking it is, or is the spell specifically for resetting conversations if you failed a skill check?

Also could I use a sleight of hand / a Bluff skill check to mask my casting of the spell or do I need specific feats for that?

My goal is to snag a solid amount of money in the down-time early levels so I can pull ahead for some fun spending.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you plan to pull that off in front of other onlookers, too, or is only your wealthy man present? \$\endgroup\$ – mkl Apr 6 '18 at 9:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ In a perfect scenario, the only one paying attention would be the wealthy man. But most likely this would be done with onlookers watching. \$\endgroup\$ – Sinrook Apr 6 '18 at 9:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ RE: "[C]ould I use a [S]leight of [H]and/a Bluff skill check to mask my casting of the spell or do I need specific feats for that[?]" This is addressed in answers to this question. However, the remainder of the question — that is, Is the spell memory lapse useful for facilitating this scam? — remains sound. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 6 '18 at 13:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you're good enough at Sleight of Hand to mask spellcasting, you could just use it to con people without using spells ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Apr 6 '18 at 14:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @FrancisJohn (That vitriol's not aimed at you, by the way. I'm angry at the feat.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 6 '18 at 18:59

Yes, once

Memory lapse would make them forget what happened since the beginning of their last turn. For out-of-combat purposes, this would essentially be 6 seconds. Assuming your DM allows you to switch the bags as a move action (or equivalent amount of time out-of-combat), then you could move the bags and cast a spell. The mark would forget what happened since "their turn", which would be when they chose a bag, and would only remember you asking them to pick a bag.


  • If you fail, too much time would have elapsed for you to try to erase the memory again. You also wouldn't be able to erase a memory of you casting a spell.
  • You would be noticed by onlookers, unless you take efforts to hide the spellcast.
  • Spellcasting might garner some hostility that keeps you from finishing.
  • Just one person realizing what you're doing and you'll have the authorities after you

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