D&D 5E Panache, Charming and Initiative

If a swashbuckler is going to use Panache, does initiative need to be rolled?

This came up in my game last night from one of my players.

My immediate reaction is "yes". While not outwardly hostile, Panache requires an action and strongly affects another creature. Being able to charm a creature outside of combat, as many times as you want, seems pretty OP.

But during role play sessions, I have had characters make Persuasion rolls to influence NPCs without going into initiative.

This got me thinking about the charm spells. Casting charm person/monster spells requires a verbal component. I take that to mean magic words, not standard conversation. Therefore, once a spell caster begins casting a charm person/monster, initiative is rolled - as long as the affected creatures know what spells are and what a spell being cast may sound like.

So, while charm person/monster is restricted by the verbal component, Panache is not. So, maybe it CAN be used out of combat without initiative being rolled.

What's your thoughts?
 

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Irlo

Hero
If a swashbuckler is going to use Panache, does initiative need to be rolled?

This came up in my game last night from one of my players.

My immediate reaction is "yes". While not outwardly hostile, Panache requires an action and strongly affects another creature. Being able to charm a creature outside of combat, as many times as you want, seems pretty OP.

But during role play sessions, I have had characters make Persuasion rolls to influence NPCs without going into initiative.

This got me thinking about the charm spells. Casting charm person/monster spells requires a verbal component. I take that to mean magic words, not standard conversation. Therefore, once a spell caster begins casting a charm person/monster, initiative is rolled - as long as the affected creatures know what spells are and what a spell being cast may sound like.

So, while charm person/monster is restricted by the verbal component, Panache is not. So, maybe it CAN be used out of combat without initiative being rolled.

What's your thoughts?
I’d suggest not requiring initiative, but the feature really should have a limit to prevent the swashbuckler from panaching the same target repeatedly until they succeed.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Well, first of all, Penache definitely has a verbal component - you do it by talking to the npc. The evidence is this line: The creature must be able to hear you, and the two of you must share a language.

But no, initiative does not need to be rolled. Init is for combat. So, unless they are then immediately going to attack the creature, which ends Penache anyway.

Out of curiosity, what is it that your players DID with it that makes you think that initiative was needed?
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I’d suggest not requiring initiative, but the feature really should have a limit to prevent the swashbuckler from panaching the same target repeatedly until they succeed.

I agree. It's a one-time thing, unless the situation changes. You make the check, they're either Penached or not. The check is made "as an action" only in that it doesn't take multiple turns to pull it off. Out of combat, you might be sweet-talking them for awhile.
 

Well, first of all, Penache definitely has a verbal component - you do it by talking to the npc. The evidence is this line: The creature must be able to hear you, and the two of you must share a language.

But no, initiative does not need to be rolled. Init is for combat. So, unless they are then immediately going to attack the creature, which ends Penache anyway.

Out of curiosity, what is it that your players DID with it that makes you think that initiative was needed?
I meant "verbal component" specifically in the sense of spell components (V, S, M).

The player didn't do anything specific. They just asked the question.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I meant "verbal component" specifically in the sense of spell components (V, S, M).

The player didn't do anything specific. They just asked the question.

I get that, but I mean, if it was written up like a spell, it WOULD have a V. It's not written that way because it's not a spell. It still requires your PC to be able to talk to the NPC/Monster.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Let's take a closer look at it:

Penache: As an action, you can make a Charisma (Persuasion) check contested by a creature’s Wisdom (Insight) check. The creature must be able to hear you, and the two of you must share a language.

If you succeed on the check and the creature is hostile to you, it has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you and can’t make opportunity attacks against targets other than you. This effect lasts for 1 minute, until one of your companions attacks the target or affects it with a spell, or until you and the target are more than 60 feet apart.

If you succeed on the check and the creature isn’t hostile to you, it is charmed by you for 1 minute. While charmed, it regards you as a friendly acquaintance. This effect ends immediately if you or your companions do anything harmful to it.

* * *


It would definitely be better if the designers would be specific about what they mean for something to do IN combat, and what they mean for it to do in the other two pillars (exploration and social interaction). Each has its own way of working. Not everything needs to do something in all three, but it's good to know which is which.

The resolution mechanic "you make a Charisma (Persuasion) check contested by a creature’s Wisdom (Insight) check. The creature must be able to hear you, and the two of you must share a language" works for both (the action part is only usually important in combat).

This: "If you succeed on the check and the creature is hostile to you, it has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you and can’t make opportunity attacks against targets other than you. This effect lasts for 1 minute, until one of your companions attacks the target or affects it with a spell, or until you and the target are more than 60 feet apart."

...
Is pretty much just for combat. So yeah, in that case Initiative would be rolled. Depending on what started a fight, the target might be surprised, but the Penache-ing PC would act in Init order like everyone else involved in the fight.

But this: "If you succeed on the check and the creature isn’t hostile to you, it is charmed by you for 1 minute. While charmed, it regards you as a friendly acquaintance. This effect ends immediately if you or your companions do anything harmful to it."

... Is the part that is used for out-of-combat. And it ends "immediately" if you do "anything harmful to it" (like attacking it or casting spells at it, which would turn it into a combat, and you'd roll initiative).
 

I agree. It's a one-time thing, unless the situation changes. You make the check, they're either Penached or not. The check is made "as an action" only in that it doesn't take multiple turns to pull it off. Out of combat, you might be sweet-talking them for awhile.
Off topic, but this is something I think DMs should think about. If something needs to be rolled, you should generally only have one shot at it. If it's something meant to be done over time, because there's no time constraints or other limiting factor, you probably don't need to roll anyway (per the basic rules). A roll should generally just represent a character's best effort at attempting something, not rolling until they get a success. With bounded accuracy, anything of DC 20 (hard task) or less will always eventually succeed, which really goes against the intent IMO.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
This: "If you succeed on the check and the creature is hostile to you, it has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you and can’t make opportunity attacks against targets other than you. This effect lasts for 1 minute, until one of your companions attacks the target or affects it with a spell, or until you and the target are more than 60 feet apart."

...
Is pretty much just for combat. So yeah, in that case Initiative would be rolled. Depending on what started a fight, the target might be surprised, but the Penache-ing PC would act in Init order like everyone else involved in the fight.
I'm going to disagree with that a little bit. The out of combat use for this is if you're in a social encounter with folks who are hostile to you but there's a constraint of some sort where you can't attack each other. If you think the other group is going to break that constraint (or you know your own group is about to, which might be more common), you could use Panache before combat to get someone to focus on you just before the fight breaks out.

(Also it's now RAW, but as a DM I'd allow a character in that situation to use it as a kind of taunt or insult in social encounters - if one of the hostile folks is focusing on another party member you could use Panache on them to draw them into an argument with you instead. It has the right feel for the ability, but as I say it's not RAW.)
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I'm going to disagree with that a little bit. The out of combat use for this is if you're in a social encounter with folks who are hostile to you but there's a constraint of some sort where you can't attack each other. If you think the other group is going to break that constraint (or you know your own group is about to, which might be more common), you could use Panache before combat to get someone to focus on you just before the fight breaks out.

(Also it's now RAW, but as a DM I'd allow a character in that situation to use it as a kind of taunt or insult in social encounters - if one of the hostile folks is focusing on another party member you could use Panache on them to draw them into an argument with you instead. It has the right feel for the ability, but as I say it's not RAW.)
Actually, I agree with you. I didn't mean that initiative would be (necessarily) rolled because of the Penache, but because of the combat. Whatever started the fight would have started the initiative. Good point.
 

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