We are playing in a world with a certain degree of realism. For me, this includes deception.
Deception can be found anywhere:
- Making a small and probably inconsequential lie to make yourself look better.
- Hiding information in order to gain an advantage (sell a bad object for a higher price than its value, pay less for a service, etc.)
- Actively lying to someone for ill intentions such as trying to rob them.
I think it's normal for NPCs to not always tell the truth in a conversation with a PC. This does not mean that everyone is always lying. But it means that the truth gets bent at times for reasons such as the ones listed above.
I want to give the players a chance to work around this. However, I am afraid that they'll start losing trust in everything they see. A lot of conversations have started to include OOC phrases such as:
'Also, I want to check for the true intentions. Can I roll for Insight?'
and similar. While that's totally fine, according to my understanding of all rules, it totally ruins the roleplaying atmosphere. Whenever something is said, a roll follows and phrases like this have to follow:
'You can not see a lie in their words.'
'The pure fear in their eyes leads you to think that they are telling the truth.'
'They are quite nervous. Could they be hiding something?'
Those phrases start to repeat themselves a lot as I can only find so many ways to say "they are telling the truth".
My question is: How can I make NPCs use Deception without the players starting to question every single thing they hear from anyone around the world, leading to a slow evening with ruined roleplay?
Note: While this question is tagged for DND-5e and specifically mentions the
Insight skill, this could probably be generalized for other games as well.