Personal tools


From Mizahar Lore

Jump to: navigation, search

Interrogation is the skill of getting information out from subjects. Interrogation is a wide term covering a vast range of situations with subjects both willing and unwilling. A Knight questioning a suspect, a thief getting sensible information out of a drunk, and a parent trying to squeeze a confession out of a child are all examples of interrogation. This skill was held in high regard in pre-Valterrian Mizahar, due to the lack of complete, reliable mind reading in known magic. Even psychic witness such as the Konti's Sight or Divination abilities were not always acceptable in a court of law, thus creating a need for effective interrogation techniques.

Different interrogators have different methods, and the skill should be considered a toolbox in which some tools are more effective than others depending on the circumstances. Some are more skilled at building rapport with the interviewee, making them more at ease, whereas others are psychologically intimidating. Still others try to make the subject fall into logical contradiction to weaken their position and extract the truth out of them.

Prerequisites and Related Skills

The only prerequisite in Interrogation is the ability to communicate. Unsurprisingly, Interrogation benefits from all other interaction-related skills, such as Rhetoric, Seduction and Disguise. If the interrogator has magical abilities and does not mind the risk of being detected, Hypnotism is a valuable tool for steering the conversation in the direction of choice.


Questions are the main tool of the interrogator. A skilled practitioner knows exactly the right timing for each question, as well as the best possible way to phrase it. A question should be tailored to the subject and situation in which it is asked. A question can be leading or non-leading depending on whether the interrogator is trying to push the subject to make a certain statement. The choice of question depends largely on the relationship and perceived power level of the interrogator compared to the interrogated subject. Often, the implications of a question are just as important, if not more important, as the question itself.

First, the interrogator will want to build rapport with his subject, be it good or bad. This means setting mutual expectations for the pair, and getting the other party to like or fear the interrogator. What follows depends largely on the interrogator's style. A positive interrogator will convince the subject that helping them is beneficial, or at the very least cannot harm the subject. A negative interrogator will likewise convince the subject that withholding information is a very bad idea. Interrogation often involves ample amounts of deceit and bluffing as the interrogator tries to impress or intimidate the subject. A common technique consists of stating that the interrogator already knows the truth, and the subject merely has to give confirmation.

Regardless of the method, a good interrogator will reward informative replies and punish uninformative ones. The nature of the feedback depends on the situation: buying a round to the man who tells the first part of a story is positive feedback, whereas pretending not to hear the subject's denials or humiliating him for it is a negative response.

Skill Progression

Novice (1-25)
A novice interrogator has the basic ideas down and can perform effective questioning, but tends to approach every situation in the same, familiar way, according to their personality, even though it might not be the best way to deal with the task. The novice's most glaring fault is that they are often too obvious and not subtle enough, usually alerting the subject to the true nature and purpose of the interrogation.
Competent (26-50)
The interrogator has matured and curbed the excesses of inexperience. They can read the average subject well enough to know if they would be likely to answer a question at this point in time. The interrogator can sometimes sniff false information when it is hastily constructed to answer their questions. In general, the interrogator can ask more questions in an informal setting without the subject realizing they are being interrogated.
Expert (51-75)
An expert interrogator has a deep understanding of people's reactions in conversation. They can lead an innocent exchange where they want it and in a very casual manner. Their questions are designed to elicit emotional responses that they know how to read on the subject's face. A person of average intelligence would find such an individual disarming and likely end up yielding to their questions, whereas more resourceful subjects may either try to deflect the questions or seek refuge in silence. Either way, the interrogator gains information.
Master (76-100)
A master of Interrogation plays people like musical instruments, getting the desired sound out them. Most of the time, the victims will never even realize they are being interrogated. These rare individuals know how to approach another in the most effective way, camouflaging questions to appear innocent or, on the contrary, to feel devastating and generate strong emotions. These people almost always possess enormous personal charisma and several secondary people-manipulation skills. They are very difficult to lie to. They can exploit a single word and use it against the victim to lure him or her out of a defensive position.