Recently in-game I found myself moderating an 'off-screen' encounter between two NPCs; one an intelligent animal companion (winter wolf) of one of the PCs, and the other a Rakshasa who had no particular sympathy or animosity toward the PCs themselves, but who was interested in using the animal companion. Specifically, the Rakshasa wanted to take shelter in a cave that the winter wolf was guarding on behalf of the PCs.
Published adventure spoilers:
This was in G3, Hall of the Fire Giant King. The PCs had just liberated the Rakshasa from the Hall, while they had left the winter wolf to guard the cave that the adventure provides for them as a secret resting place and base for assaults on the Hall.
As it so happened, the PCs were unaware of the true nature of the Rakshasa - they had freed him and told him he could take refuge in the cave, but the wolf did not know that. Thus, the Rakshasa could honestly say that the master of the wolf was ok with him being there. However, as I went over the Rakshasa's stat block, I saw that he had a +10 on Deception, but no proficiency in Persuasion - meaning his roll when attempting to convince the wolf of nothing more than the truth would be a +5 Charisma Check, rather than the +10.
At the moment, I decided to have the Rakshasa embellish his story, telling the wolf untrue details about his relationship to the PC that portrayed him as a far more trustworthy ally than he actually was, and then allowed him to use his Deception proficiency on the roll.
But the situation got me thinking in general about PCs or NPCs whose Deception scores are higher than their Persuasion scores. Am I understanding correctly the game assumption that such characters are more likely to believed when they lie than when they tell the truth? Is a character (PC or NPC) in this circumstance actually motivated to add false detail to a story in order to be more likely believed?
I suppose my underlying assumption (which could be wrong) is that everything else being equal, including the believability of the story from the perspective of the listener, a false story would not be inherently more convincing than a true one, so I am trying to understand just what skills someone with a proficiency in Deception actually has that someone who is merely charismatic does not. Accepting that the game mechanics exist as they do, what are their implications for how I portray the narrative of the world? How should I understand the interaction between these skills in my role as a DM adjudicating actions and events?