Debate is the art of using cold logic and reasoned argument to convince another person of something. You use Debate to talk your way out of a situation with an appeal to common sense, draw upon established textual authority to justify your position or to argue a point. Debate is very different from Rhetoric, though they seem similar at first glance. While Debate is an intellectual course such as philosophers use when conversing with one another, Rhetoric is a poetic appeal to the emotions of the audience. Debate encourages people to set their feelings aside and think clearly, while Rhetoric encourages them to act out of emotion and ignore rational objection. Debate works best on one person at a time, while Rhetoric can be used with crowds. Check: You can convince others that your point of view is correct with a Debate check; the other person does not necessarily like you any better than they did before, but they are forced to admit the sense of your words. They may alter their planned course of action to take account of this. You can only attempt to convince another person of something that you honestly believe yourself; attempting to convince another person of an untruth involves a Bluff check.

Opposed Debate checks resolve situations when two advocates or diplomats argue opposite cases in a hearing before a third party, such as in a council meeting or a symposium. In this case alone, when you are arguing in order to persuade another person, you may oppose a Debate check with a Rhetoric check and vice versa.

The following table determines the DC of a Debate check:

  • Action:
    Arguing a point with Debate generally takes at least one full minute, that is, 10 consecutive full-round actions. In some situations, this time requirement may greatly increase. A rushed Debate check can be made as a full-round action, but you take a –10 penalty on the check.

  • Try Again:
    No. If you lose an argument, you cannot try to argue the same thing again.

  • Special:
    If you have the Keen Mind feat, you gain a +2 bonus on Debate checks.

  • Synergy:
    If you have five or more ranks in any Knowledge skill, you gain a +2 bonus on Debate checks having to do with that skill.


Age of Heroes WolfLord