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When the Rules Limit "Cool"

I'll admit that I lean more to the "Rule of Cool" more often than not. Since I'm still technically a "new DM," I play the rules a bit loose and fast. But then, lore implications play STRONGLY when it comes to certain things. A dragon is not something that is "easily" intimidated. You would need/know something/somebody for leverage. Now, could you reflavor it as the Dragon getting such a kick outta the "joke" that it starts laughing so hard that it's distracted for a few turns? Yeah. But then, that idea may distract from the Rule of Cool and the Cleric may not feel as awesome.

Now if the Cleric was actually a Chosen Dragon of Bahamut,trapped in a mortal form due to hubris or a plot reason, and the dragon recognized that, THEN it could cause said dragon hesitation.

I had once, during my first DM session, a Druid's Moonbeam caused such a bright flash of light,upon impact with the ground, that it caused a group of sunlight sensitive Goblins to get blinded and knocked prone. It was a hell of a Cool of Rule moment, but it made sense in the moment.

I guess in the end it's a judgment call really.
 
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So what spell was he actually casting? I went looking through the online PF2 SRD and I did not find any spell named “Terrifying Visage”?
 

Retreater

Legend
So what spell was he actually casting? I went looking through the online PF2 SRD and I did not find any spell named “Terrifying Visage”?
Maybe it was the focus spell "Horrific Visage?" I can't find the exact spell and some details might be muddied because it was a few weeks ago. But it was worded like an epic display with basically the effect of nothing.
But the spell doesn't matter. The system doesn't matter.
I could go through PF1, PF2, or D&D 3-5, and find probably at least 30 examples in each system of the same issue.
 

There are lots of ways I could've adjudicated it, true. Those seconds-to-come-up-with-an-answer moments are definitely not my favorite.

I concur on the result of the check informing the effect of the spell in that situation, definitely. After all, chances are we narrate someone rolling a 1 for damage different from a 15.

Well, since you asked...

That would be pretty awesome to see a lich wading its way through fools an adventuring party, systematically grabbing their weapons from their hands, and tossing those weapons out of reach and in all directions to scatter the party.

If a player told me "I take Acererak's staff," I'd say "make a Dexterity check." If it were a nat 20, I'd give it to him. Otherwise, I'd say, "you grab the butt end while Acererak swings the staff. The lich gives you a soul-stealing look, and you think something bad is about to happen."

Re: the goblins, trying to grab someone's weapon is a good way to be attacked by that weapon. I would usually run it (not in D&D) in two phases: 1) the goblin (weapon-grabber) takes damage if the PC has an action to attack with, but the grabbing action then adds a penalty to further attacks with the grabbed weapon, 2) a second action would remove the weapon from the PC's hands, but this would require a favorable roll on the goblin's part against the PC. Otherwise the two remain tangled.

Does this result in hordes of weapon-stealing goblins? Only if the GM runs goblins that don't mind taking damage. Also, a PC isn't worth her salt if she goes adventuring without a secondary weapon.

Re: the automatic Visage, it could be a game-breaker. Not sure how multi-planar Intimidation breaks the game, but I bet PF2 codified some useful stuff, at least into the crits. But the main question was "why does such a crappy spell sound so cool?" (To paraphrase.) And there are tons of answers. My current favorite:

The result of the intimidate check reflects the opacity of the spell. Roll a Fail or Crit Fail, and the spell is so transparent that it's no more intimidating than a bad dream.
 

Maybe it was the focus spell "Horrific Visage?" I can't find the exact spell and some details might be muddied because it was a few weeks ago. But it was worded like an epic display with basically the effect of nothing.
But the spell doesn't matter. The system doesn't matter.
I could go through PF1, PF2, or D&D 3-5, and find probably at least 30 examples in each system of the same issue.
since there was a quote of the flavor textinbtge OP, I assumed there was a specific spell tied to it.

Is it possible this was more to do with a new player being confused by the rules?
 

Retreater

Legend
since there was a quote of the flavor textinbtge OP, I assumed there was a specific spell tied to it.

Is it possible this was more to do with a new player being confused by the rules?
There was flavor text he read (unless he just came up with it on the spot - and if that was the case, then DAMN!). And it was tied to a specific spell, but it's been a few weeks ago.
He was getting hung up on how epic the flavor text was and the actual mechanical effect of the spell, which was definitely not as cool as the flavor text. I will try to link a few flavor texts later tonight to give as specific examples (which aren't necessarily from this case, but are illustrative of the issue).
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
I tend to be a "Rules get used" GM. I tend, as a player, rare as that is, be a rules lawyer. The rules are my link to the reality of the narrative...

... for me, that description, in D&D5, might be workable. But its result space is about 1/3 that of Pathfinder's - more terms in the 2E stacking limits, plus 4x the proficiency value... So, for pathfinder, that +2 is almost "so what" after about level 4.
 

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