D&D 3E/3.5 (3.5e) Intimidate and Undead

Theo R Cwithin

I cast "Baconstorm!"
(Forked from this thread)

In a discussion about (among other things) controlling undead, the notion of using Intimidate (or Diplomacy, etc) came up. After a bit of googling and poring over the SRD, I can't decide for certain if this is possible, given the Undeads' immunity to mind-affecting effects. So question:


  • Can you use Intimidate against Undead?

I know now how I'd rule and can think of lots of examples that go either way, but I'd like to hear what others have to say, or if someone can point to a definitive ruling.
 

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HoboGod

First Post
Aye, but this question spawned from the intimidation of intelligent undead such as ghouls and vampires.

You know, this got me kinda bugged, too. I'm gunna start digging for answers, too.
 

Volomon

First Post
If their immune to mind-affecting effects I would say no, because morale is a mental condition. Can't say for sure I'll look around too I guess.
 

Runestar

First Post
Why does no one ever read the skill entries?

From the description of the intimidate skill,

Special You gain a +4 bonus on your Intimidate check for every size category that you are larger than your target. Conversely, you take a -4 penalty on your Intimidate check for every size category that you are smaller than your target.
A character immune to fear can’t be intimidated, nor can nonintelligent creatures.


and from the fear entry in special abilities section of MM,


All fear attacks are mind-affecting fear effects.


So yeah, all undead are immune to intimidate because they are automatically immune to mind-affecting effects, which includes fear effects (of which intimidate is one).:)
 

HoboGod

First Post
AH HA! I found something! Monster Manual II says "Immune to mind-affecting effects" (pg 10). Monster Manual IV says "Immunity to all mind-affecting spells and abilities" (pg 220).

Assuming the newer book trumps the older book, MM IV is the way and the light. Intimidate is a skill, not a spell. Abilities are usually things which refer to special abilities. Unless someone can point to a place where skill checks are referred to as abilities, I do believe intelligent undead can be intimidated.

Edit: Libris Mortis uses this wording of Undead Type as well, page 35, when describing benefits of undead type for undead monster classes.

2nd Edit: Oh, Monster Manual II is printed 2001, making it 3e. Monster Manual IV was printed 2006, making it 3.5e and therefor double trumps.
 
Last edited:

Itamu

First Post
if your going to ignore their immunity to mind influencing abilities which fear qualifies under All fear attacks are mind-affecting fear effects you may as well be using the dark minded and unliving templates instead of typical undead.
 

Runestar

First Post
Unless someone can point to a place where skill checks are referred to as abilities, I do believe intelligent undead can be intimidated.

It's irrelevant. Intimidate is a fear effect, and fear effects are always mind-affecting abilities (it is even classified under the special abilities section).

Fear is fear, it doesn't matter what the source is or how it is classified. :)
 

HoboGod

First Post
Where does it say it's an ability? I see "All fear attacks are mind-affecting fear effects" here, but that's not to say it's an ability. Give me a page number or link, please. 3.0 intelligent undead are immune to intimidate, I agree. However, I'm inclined to believe they aren't in 3.5.

And I respectfully disagree with fear is fear, no matter how it is classified. To say that is to say fire produced by any magical spell is the same as real flame.
 
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Volomon

First Post
Where does it say it's an ability? I see "All fear attacks are mind-affecting fear effects" here, but that's not to say it's an ability. Give me a page number or link, please. 3.0 intelligent undead are immune to intimidate, I agree. However, I'm inclined to believe they aren't in 3.5.

And I respectfully disagree with fear is fear, no matter how it is classified. To say that is to say fire produced by any magical spell is the same as real flame.

It's either an ability or a spell, what other classification is there? 3.5 is just clarifying (failing at it apparently), intimidate would be an ability. Intimidate is a skill based on an ability modifier, aka it's an ability. Everything is classified as either one or the other. Either it runs off of some state or it runs off of magic.

Basically it's neither effected by mortals or immortal means.
 

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