Regarding the Jester's and Bard's verbal patter skills, how do you reconcile them with the fact that all players should be able to try to befuddle a group or try to have them distrust someone through pure dialog with the DM?My answer: I generally play it by ear (heh).
Ahem. Seriously, I tend to encourage the players to try their verbal patter on me (as GM) and then roll. If their actual attempts were lame, but they made the roll, then they succeeded anyway. If they were genuinely good at the table, I might give them a bonus to the roll, so if it was a mediocre roll, they might still succeed.
Alternatively, it would be the case that if someone who did not have verbal patter as a class skill did a lousy job of trying to actual befuddle me at the table, they'd fail. If they did a great job, they'd probably succeed. They just wouldn't have the chance to succeed on a die roll even when they do a bad job at the table.
Hope that helps!