Age of Heroes
Rhetoric is the art of speaking persuasively in order to influence the emotions of the listener. Whether you are addressing one person or a hundred, you can use body language, well-chosen phrases, emotive terms and classical illusions to move their hearts. Rhetoric is very different from Debate. Rhetoric appeals to the heart, while Debate appeals to the mind. You must have the willing attention of your audience in order to use Rhetoric. Someone who is staring at you with hatred, about to hurl a spear at you, is giving you their willing attention. Rhetoric is a language dependent skill; the audience must be able to understand you in order for it to work.
You can use Rhetoric to change your audience’s attitude towards you or towards another person known to them. For example, you can attempt to make an indifferent person friendly towards you or you can attempt to make an indifferent crowd hostile towards a specific person. Rhetoric is the skill used in ‘rabble rousing’, in which one person stirs up hatred against others. Rhetoric can also be used to influence morale on the battlefield by giving inspiring speeches. A successful Rhetoric check against DC 10 grants the listeners a +1 morale bonus to all morale-related checks and saving throws, such as Will saving throws against fear effects. Failure by more than 5 on this check imparts a –1 penalty to the same checks and saving throws. If the warriors are already dispirited or depressed, the Games Master may raise this DC to 15 or 20.
If you have the Persuasive feat, you gain a +2 bonus on Rhetoric checks.
If you have five or more ranks in Bluff, you gain a +2 bonus on Rhetoric checks.