Intimidate in combat

JustaPlayer

First Post
How do you use this? I mean as a standard action it's bogus. I can either Intimidate or attack? That doesn't make an iota of sense. The effect only last one round so you are giving up a melee attack to "possibly" make a foe -2 to hit for 1 round. And adding the feat to make it a move action is just as bogus.

Who can't make guttural menaching demands while swinging a sword. I mean I can't say something like "Prepare to taste my steal," while giving a menacing face and swining a sword or axe?

My question is, what is the most popular way of fixing this? I'm toying with calling it a swift action.
 

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JustaPlayer said:
How do you use this? I mean as a standard action it's bogus. I can either Intimidate or attack? That doesn't make an iota of sense. The effect only last one round so you are giving up a melee attack to "possibly" make a foe -2 to hit for 1 round. And adding the feat to make it a move action is just as bogus.

Who can't make guttural menaching demands while swinging a sword. I mean I can't say something like "Prepare to taste my steal," while giving a menacing face and swining a sword or axe?

My question is, what is the most popular way of fixing this? I'm toying with calling it a swift action.
There are many solutions, and I don't know if there is any consensus about it.

My suggestion: Keep it a standard action, and have it last the full encounter/1 minute.
 


Cobblestone

First Post
Intimidate in Combat

It's a social interaction rule that happens to have combat consequences. In a situation where you want to kill something, no, strong words are not the best option. But when there's just one goblin left, it's often best to pull a Wesley and say "Drop your sword" (so you can find out where the treasure is--or the traps if your DM is that kind of DM). The shaken bit is just the kicker.

Peace

C-Stone
 

Zerakon

First Post
I admit that as worded, the option is rather weak in most situations. But considering Intimidate is useful as a non-combat skill, does it really need to be a solid combat option? I see the Demoralize Opponent ability as a combined force helper option, where you can demoralize your target just before your wizard friend is about to cast a critical spell on it, possibly giving the target a -2 to its saving throw.
 

Ilium

First Post
If you compare it to the Feint use of Bluff, then Amaril's mention of the Intimidating Strike feat is comparable to Improved Feint, right? Normally a feint is a Standard action, just like an Intimidate check, but with the feat it becomes a Move action.

Seems like a reasonable parallel.
 

JustaPlayer

First Post
amaril said:
Intimidating Strike feat (PHII, p.79): You make a display of your combat prowess designed to strike terror in your foe.

This seems to be a good option, but only because it lasts for the entire encounter.

As far as the feat that makes it a move action, it's still weak. You as a player would be losing your recursive attacks to gain just one round where the NPC is -2. If he uses his recursive attacks he still has a good chance of hitting you multiple times.
 

Folly

First Post
I always found the original rule for intimidate rather pointless, but having had more experience since the last time I reviewed them, they are not as bad as I thought. The catch here is who is using the rules. Consider how often a character ends up aiding another because of either the character build or the type of combat. For example a skills rogue might opt to stay in back and using his wit to intimidate the opposition. There by achieving a greater effect than aiding would, and puts himself in less danger. And to the argument that he could still swing with all his sneak attack a 10 STR rogue with no finesse (feats spent on skills) can't hit most opponents.

I can think of a number of other builds that would see this as a valuable addition to the party in combat at the cost of 1 skill point per level.
 

Kerrick

First Post
There are many solutions, and I don't know if there is any consensus about it.

My suggestion: Keep it a standard action, and have it last the full encounter/1 minute.
That's what I'm doing. I'm reworking Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate so they use the same base system (Speechcraft), but are still separate skills with separate uses. Intimidate would be a standard action that works against one opponent for the rest of the combat, or for 1d4+1 rounds after the opponent flees.

Consider how often a character ends up aiding another because of either the character build or the type of combat. For example a skills rogue might opt to stay in back and using his wit to intimidate the opposition.
First off, how is someone going to use "wit" to intimidate someone? I could maybe see it if the opponent were smart enough to realize he were being insulted, but that doesn't really apply for 90% of situations. Second, how could someone in the back of the party intimidate opponents? Let's use some common sense here - the character should be in melee combat with, or close enough to reach, the opponent he wants to intimidate.
 

MrWildman

Explorer
Intimidate to demoralize opponent doesn't specify whose opponent.

I used it as a 1st. level dwarf (with 4 ranks and no Cha bonus) against a goblin (1 hit die+9 wisdom equals a +0 modifier) who was about to attack another party member. My companion was thankful for the goblin's shaken condition, I can tell you! I roleplayed it something like: "When I get over there I'll have yer garleymarples fer me garters!"

Characters with high charisma may think of it as a ranged attack! You can weaken a foe from across the room! It may not happen all that often, but it's a neat cinematic moment: the foe desperately trying to dispatch the weaker hero as the stronger one lumbers to the rescue.

Wow, I just made all that up. On the spot.
Good coffee.
Peace.
 

Kerrick

First Post
Characters with high charisma may think of it as a ranged attack! You can weaken a foe from across the room!
Um, yeah. Nice try.

Intimidate to demoralize opponent doesn't specify whose opponent.
No, but it does say that you have to threaten them - you can't "use it as a ranged attack":

You can also use Intimidate to weaken an opponent’s resolve in combat. To do so, make an Intimidate check opposed by the target’s modified level check (see above). If you win, the target becomes shaken for 1 round. A shaken character takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. You can intimidate only an opponent that you threaten in melee combat and that can see you.
 


Celebrim

Legend
I consider it something like feint. It's the base action that anyone can do, but you have to invest in it (feats) to get it to be powerful.

So make a feat tree.
 

Mark Chance

Boingy! Boingy!
My next campaign will use something similar to True20's "fast task" rules:

You reduce the time needed to complete the check by accepting a penalty to -5 check or a +5 bonus to the check's DC. If the check is normally a full-round action, it becomes a standard action. An standard action becomes a move action, while a move action becomes a free action. For checks requiring time in rounds, minutes, or longer, reduce the time needed by 25 percent per -5/+5 modifier, to a maximum 75% reduction.

Thus, a character could "fast task" an demoralize check by accepting a -5 penalty to the check.

Here are the Intimidate rules I'll be using in my next campaign. I glommed them from True20.

Demoralizing: You can use Intimidate in combat to demoralize an opponent, shaking their confidence. Make an Intimidate check as a standard action. If it succeeds, your target is shaken (-2 on all attack rolls, checks, and saving throws) for one round.

Mass Intimidate: You can attempt to intimidate more than one subject at a time. You suffer a -2 penalty to your check per opponent beyond the first.

Power Intimidate: In return for a -5 penalty to your Intimidate check, you can increase the penalty you inflict for demoralizing a foe by -1 or force your subject to take an action that is against his interests (but not life threatening). You can take this challenge multiple times to increase the demoralize penalty. However, you can’t use Intimidate to force someone to accept a life-threatening order.


Note the lack of a specific requirement that the Intimidate check's target be in the intimidator's threat area.

So, for example, Gronk the Intimidator sees a bad guy roughing up the party wizard. Gronk can't get to the wizard this round, but he can do this: move closer to the wizard and then use power intimidate as a standard action (with a -5 penalty), stipulating that his power initimidate, if successful, will force the bad guy to use a move action to retreat away from the wizard.
 

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