I love the Truth Domain! Specifically, I love it’s focus spells: Word of Truth and Glimpse of Truth. They are great spells with some wonderful out of combat utility that help give your character some extra powers they can use that in most cases won’t use a daily resource, since often when you cast a focus spell in exploration mode you can just spend 10-minutes to recover your spent focus-point. If you aren’t in the mood to click the links, Word of Truth let’s you confirm to everyone listening that what you say is the truth. Glimpse of Truth let’s you see through all illusions within 30ft for one round. So what’s so special about these seemingly innocuous feats?
Well, I’ve listed a few reasons below, but first and foremost I want to highlight that what makes these spells great is they are the kind of abilities that will create moments. You won’t always have a use for them, and they won’t always be useful, but when they are I guarantee they are going to facilitate priceless moments your gaming group is going to discuss for years to come!
1. “You Are Incompetent”
Being able to convince someone of something is a difficult task in a TTRPG, especially when the other person thinks your up to something. You could try a Diplomacy or Intimidate check, but those have a chance of failure and can oftentimes take multiple rounds, or make things worse. Being able to spout what you believe is true as a single action is a dangerously potent power. It’s not completely game-breaking, and will depend very much on the circumstances in which your character spouts the truth. “We are not going to hurt you!” can help resolve a dispute, but if your allies are still swinging swords it likely won’t have the same impact. An NPC is always able to simply say: “I believe that you believe that, but now I just think you are stupid.” That being said, you can always use this to throw shade and confirm that you believe without any doubt that another character is incompetent. Just remember to talk to your GM in advance about circumstance bonuses during skill contests!
2. “They have never told a lie!”
Word of Truth restricts you from using it to conduct lies of omission or half-truths, but if your cleric of Mahathallah trusts the rest of the party it can be easy for other PCs to exploit this to confirm a non-truth. This is a risky gambit and will likely only work once or twice before the cleric begins to append their truth with “according to these people, who have lied to me in the past…”.
3. “Oh, I never said I was good. Just honest.”
While lying is prohibited with Word of Truth, you are free to express less than virtuous truths. This is especially useful during Intimidation checks, and it should be noted that plenty of the deities that grant this domain allow for Evil worshipers. Remember your X-cards when your explaining in 25-words-or-less how you will pull apart some punk who isn’t letting your party through an alleyway without a bribe!
4. “Truth is…Subjective.”
Normally you cannot tell half-truths or play word games with Word of Truth, and it’s up to your GM to define those limitations. But check out the skill feat Subjective Truth. I shouldn’t have to say much more than that, but be certain that your deity is the type who doesn’t mind you having to slip into a persona who may or may not know what your other persona is up to. There’s a reason Vigilante is uncommon!
5. “Read. My. Lips.”
This tip won’t usually convey a mechanical benefit, but I do love the idea that words spoken under Word of Truth appear in the air around you (and/or your holy symbol). There are plenty of other neat ways you could convey words of truth with a little extra flavor: having the words appear on your divine armament, in a book you carry with you, or even branded on your skin!
6. “That’s okay, I’m fully healed.”
Those 10-30 minute breaks between fights can be a drag for everyone but the dedicated healer(s). Glimpse gives you an opportunity to sift through the party loot, the rooms you just cleared, and more looking for those pesky illusions!
7. “It’s around here somewhere!”
Glimpse of Truth let’s you counteract illusions within 30-feet until the end of the round, so when you cast it you can move around the room looking for any illusions, up to and including secret entrances or the identity of an enemy who you know is wearing a hat of disguise!
8. “Oh, that illusion!”
Whether or not you get to automatically disbelieve your allies illusions (or even your own illusions) is usually up to the GM. Word of Truth let’s you play nice with your illusionist without undoing their carefully constructed plans! Of course, it also let’s you smack opponent’s benefiting from effects like Blur, but that’s so obvious I didn’t feel like it needed a place on this list.