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Why do folks think Antagonize is a broken feat?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Roberta Yang wrote:

Intimidate is a poor choice of skill for making enemies attack you; it just doesn't make sense. That's one issue. The others are:

1) My character's personality is overridden.

2) A "taunt" option that should be universally available is locked behind a feat.

3) The DC is trivial.

1) Your character's personality isn't overridden, just their choice of action for the next round.

2) I'm fine with the "taunt" option requiring a feat; it seems like half of us are arguing that that feat's a game changer while the other other half says it's not accessible enough.

3)The DC isn't trivial. 10+HD+Wisdom modifier is great advancement, on a par with fighter BAB.


Roberta Yang wrote:
redward wrote:
Would you still have a problem with Intimidate inducing higher states of fear than Shaken if it required a Feat?
Yes. "He used a feat on me!" doesn't break verisimilitude any less than "He used a skill on me!"

Right, so Enforcer can actually cause you to become frightened (on a crit). Not pointing that out as a "gotcha", but that's two Feats that can affect a character's behavior without the use of magic.

Wraithstrike, my intent is not to equate either of these to Antagonize. My point is that it doesn't take magic to change the attitude of a character (even a PC!).

It's like that old joke:
"Will you sleep with me for $1,000,000?"
"Well...yes."
"Great, how about $50?"
"What do you think I am, some kind of prostitute?"
"Well, we've established that, now we're just negotiating."

Some people are saying that nothing short of magic should be able to tell them what their character is doing or feeling. I'm saying that's not the case.


redward: The main problem some people have with Antagonize is the fact that it can be used to affect someone outside of a combat situation.

Enforcer can only be used in combat, since it requires a critical hit.

If Antagonize also only worked within combat, I doubt so many would have had a problem with it. In fact, several people in this thread have stated they think Antagonize would be fine as an immediate action feat if what it did was change the target of an attack or spell (etc) to the antagonizer.


redward wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:
redward wrote:
Would you still have a problem with Intimidate inducing higher states of fear than Shaken if it required a Feat?
Yes. "He used a feat on me!" doesn't break verisimilitude any less than "He used a skill on me!"

Right, so Enforcer can actually cause you to become frightened (on a crit). Not pointing that out as a "gotcha", but that's two Feats that can affect a character's behavior without the use of magic.

Wraithstrike, my intent is not to equate either of these to Antagonize. My point is that it doesn't take magic to change the attitude of a character (even a PC!).

It's like that old joke:
"Will you sleep with me for $1,000,000?"
"Well...yes."
"Great, how about $50?"
"What do you think I am, some kind of prostitute?"
"Well, we've established that, now we're just negotiating."

Some people are saying that nothing short of magic should be able to tell them what their character is doing or feeling. I'm saying that's not the case.

Making me frightened does not change my attitude*, not that I care about attitudes. Antangonize takes the character's will intent away in a manner that does not make sense to most of us.

*If I wanted to do bodily harm to you before the enforcer feat, then I still want to cause you harm after the feat. My level of courage may prevent me from trying it however.

I am saying that antagonize is silly because it is far from realistic. There is nothing you can say or do in that time period that will make some people attack, barring a magical affect. The existence of enforcer does not make antagonize ok. That is just like if I throw a rock through someone's window, just because someone else did it.

Saying someone else did it first is not going to help me in court.


redward wrote:


Roberta Yang wrote:
redward wrote:

Would you still have a problem with Intimidate inducing higher states of fear than Shaken if it required a Feat?

Yes. "He used a feat on me!" doesn't break verisimilitude any less than "He used a skill on me!"

Right, so Enforcer can actually cause you to become frightened (on a crit). Not pointing that out as a "gotcha", but that's two Feats that can affect a character's behavior without the use of magic.

Wraithstrike, my intent is not to equate either of these to Antagonize. My point is that it doesn't take magic to change the attitude of a character (even a PC!).

It's like that old joke:
"Will you sleep with me for $1,000,000?"
"Well...yes."
"Great, how about $50?"
"What do you think I am, some kind of prostitute?"
"Well, we've established that, now we're just negotiating."

Some people are saying that nothing short of magic should be able to tell them what their character is doing or feeling. I'm saying that's not the case.

So, you're saying because there are other feats / abilities that people are, in all likelihood, philisophically opposed to and that they should accept this one because of that? :)

I suspect that a lot of people have issues with things, outside of magic, that force actions on their characters. Magic such as Charm Person or Dominate is an attack, not too different from being hit with a sword or a fireball. Being told that you can be goaded with just words / insults into taking violent action against your will is different. Now, if somebody insults my wife / mother / sister and I decide to kick their @ss, that's different than sitting it out while your character runs off and does something you would not chose to do. And it should be a RP choice. I've done irrational things because NPCs / situations ticked me off; I've seen my players do irrational, life threatening, things for similar reasons. But they chose to do so. It shouldn't be reduced to a mechanic.

So, in short, magic is "reasonable", just plain words not so much. I think that pretty much sums it up, although I'm sure others opinions may vary.


I am sure if words could be spoken that would drive anyone into a rage in 6 seconds or less someone could present those words.


wraithstrike wrote:


I am sure if words could be spoken that would drive anyone into a rage in 6 seconds or less someone could present those words.

Judging by some of the reactions to this feat "Antagonize" is that word :D


no rage here. Just a calm and collected dislike for having my character's decision making process taken away from me because someone took the right feat.


R_Chance wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


I am sure if words could be spoken that would drive anyone into a rage in 6 seconds or less someone could present those words.
Judging by some of the reactions to this feat "Antagonize" is that word :D

Nah. We haven't resorted to name calling yet. ;)

I think Antagonize is going to reach monk, paladin, and alignment thread territory soon. :)


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd like to chime in that I hate antagonize and I love martials. There's a lot wrong with it. It's a non-magical, un-avoidable, non-mind-affecting, non-fear based, effect that has virtually no way to defend against it. But all of that is not the worst part.

The worst part is that it tells me what to do with my character, and I don't mean like charms, dominates, or compulsions. Oh no, those force a character to do something magically, most typically against their will. See, if a succubus charms me and I am forced to do something I don't want, I get like three checks and a dog to try and avoid doing it, and even then at the end of the day my character was magically compelled to do it. It was not my character's actions, but the gripping hand of an outside entity.

With Antagonize? No, it is my character willingly making a choice that is not mine to make. It is my character deciding to commit to violence when it is out of character. It is my expert tactician with incredible patience forced to put their party at risk because the goblin called her misses stinkypants. It is my cowardly conjurer who decides he's going to grow a pair now and try to attack something three times his size instead of try to hide.

It is most definitely NOT the same thing. It is NOT like magic at all. This is not martials vs casters. This is rationality vs insanity. Antagonize is literally the feat version of a player saying "Okay, I will do this" and then the GM saying "No, your character would not do this. You do this instead". My rage and hatred for this feat knows no bounds.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Hitdice wrote:


3)The DC isn't trivial. 10+HD+Wisdom modifier is great advancement, on a par with fighter BAB.

I react to this statement with monocle-popping incredulity. How is a DC that an equal level-character makes on a 1 not trivial? Skills can advance must faster than BAB. It's not hard to construct a character with a +40 Intimidate by 15th level.

The absolute (player character) ceiling for this DC is 43 (20 HD, 36 Wis) unless there is a race that gets +4 Wis that I don't recall. High level characters who try can get their skill checks up into the +50-60 range.

Yes this is beyond "taunted by street urchins" but one of the big problems with the feat is that it's effectively an autosuccess if you build for it. You can make choices to increase your Intimidate; there are no choices that increase the DC (except your 1/4 level stat boost I suppose).


wraithstrike wrote:

Not in 3.5 either: I had to let players know this when one tried to "mind control" as he put it another player.

3.5 SRD wrote:
You can change the attitudes of others (nonplayer characters) with a successful Diplomacy check; see the Influencing NPC Attitudes sidebar, below, for basic DCs. In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks, and the winner gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve situations when two advocates or diplomats plead opposite cases in a hearing before a third party.
With that aside I wanted to make sure Mr.Blitz was taking one person's potential acceptance of allowing a skill to do something as everyone's acceptance of it.

Indeed, and a player could always refuse to listen, walk off, argue and frustrate any diplomacy checks. Where opposed social checks are more interesting, and I've seen this happen, is in a social duel setting. Debate, win over other npcs to your side. Then the skills can be used to work out who does well. It can be quite cool, but feelings do get hurt.

In a politics game I ran called the Lord's Game, there was social combat, a lot of focus on checks on npcs, strategising and tactic checks which worked off all mental attributes; but when the players met to discuss, they would be a bit more frank and pragmatic. Try to reach their goals, get it sorted. Diplomacy checks did not matter then, only to handle npcs, but I did have bluff and sense motive checks in there to provide snippets of info.


Ashiel wrote:

I'd like to chime in that I hate antagonize and I love martials. There's a lot wrong with it. It's a non-magical, un-avoidable, non-mind-affecting, non-fear based, effect that has virtually no way to defend against it. But all of that is not the worst part.

The worst part is that it tells me what to do with my character, and I don't mean like charms, dominates, or compulsions. Oh no, those force a character to do something magically, most typically against their will. See, if a succubus charms me and I am forced to do something I don't want, I get like three checks and a dog to try and avoid doing it, and even then at the end of the day my character was magically compelled to do it. It was not my character's actions, but the gripping hand of an outside entity.

With Antagonize? No, it is my character willingly making a choice that is not mine to make. It is my character deciding to commit to violence when it is out of character. It is my expert tactician with incredible patience forced to put their party at risk because the goblin called her misses stinkypants. It is my cowardly conjurer who decides he's going to grow a pair now and try to attack something three times his size instead of try to hide.

It is most definitely NOT the same thing. It is NOT like magic at all. This is not martials vs casters. This is rationality vs insanity. Antagonize is literally the feat version of a player saying "Okay, I will do this" and then the GM saying "No, your character would not do this. You do this instead". My rage and hatred for this feat knows no bounds.

I am really bitter about this, but I agree with you Ashiel.

; )


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I actually find intimidate makes sense as the skill in this case. It is a good skill for representing hostile social actions, and you can't really expect Fighters to take Bluff to intercept attacks, but a fair number of them have intimidate.

Really, a problem is that the skill names are not perfect. They have gaps, and some of the names don't fully describe the role of the skill. Que sera.


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3.5 Loyalist wrote:

I am really bitter about this, but I agree with you Ashiel.

; )

I love you too Loyalist. :P


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hitdice wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

Intimidate is a poor choice of skill for making enemies attack you; it just doesn't make sense. That's one issue. The others are:

1) My character's personality is overridden.

2) A "taunt" option that should be universally available is locked behind a feat.

3) The DC is trivial.

1) Your character's personality isn't overridden, just their choice of action for the next round.

Overriding a character's choice of action is overriding their personality. End of.

Hitdice wrote:
2) I'm fine with the "taunt" option requiring a feat; it seems like half of us are arguing that that feat's a game changer while the other other half says it's not accessible enough.

No, half of us are saying that much like acting intimidating can be used to make somebody scared, it should be possible to shout provocative or distracting things at people without a special feat. However, the same people argue that this really shouldn't have more effect than the use of intimidate, either.

Hitdice wrote:
3)The DC isn't trivial. 10+HD+Wisdom modifier is great advancement, on a par with fighter BAB.

Really? Intimidate is a skill, you can therefore get an attribute bonus, plus your skill ranks (1 per HD), plus 3 if it's a class skill, plus Skill Focus and possibly +1 for a Trait.

That's equal to: HD + {attribute bonus} + 3 + 4-7

Compared to: 10 + HD + {attribute bonus}

So below 10th level you can succeed on a 3+ on a d20, which is a 90% success rate. Above 10th level you only fail if a '1' is automatic failure.

So yes, odds of failure can be made pretty trivial.


Dabbler wrote:
So below 10th level you can succeed on a 3+ on a d20, which is a 90% success rate. Above 10th level you only fail if a '1' is automatic failure.

And since it's a skill check, by RAW rolling a one doesn't make for an automatic failure.

Also, when it comes to the DCs it's best to not even mention that there are races and classes that get an additional bonus to intimidate checks, or the Intimidating Prowess feat to add a second attribute bonus, or other some other options.


maximizing antagonize requires

investment in the desired attributes (Charisma is a dump stat for most who actually would benefit)

not just a feat on antagonize, but a number of skill points equal to your level spent on intimidate, a feat on skill focus and maybe a trait for +1.
if you have a high strength and low charisma, tack on a third feat.

you spend anywhere from 2-3 feats, a number of skill points equal to your level and maybe a trait. on classes that are already feat starved.

want a trivial DC? invest 20% of your feats and a third of your attribute points (not dumping charisma) or invest 30% of you feats and invest more points in strength to cancel out the charisma penalty.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

maximizing antagonize requires

investment in the desired attributes (Charisma is a dump stat for most who actually would benefit)

not just a feat on antagonize, but a number of skill points equal to your level spent on intimidate, a feat on skill focus and maybe a trait for +1.
if you have a high strength and low charisma, tack on a third feat.

you spend anywhere from 2-3 feats, a number of skill points equal to your level and maybe a trait. on classes that are already feat starved.

want a trivial DC? invest 20% of your feats and a third of your attribute points (not dumping charisma) or invest 30% of you feats and invest more points in strength to cancel out the charisma penalty.

You would have a point if not for the fact that many that could benefit from this feat already invest in a feat that allows them to use Strength instead of Charisma in order to get all the benefits out of Dazzling Display. Then, this is just one extra feat and and you get yet more bang for your buck.


Dabbler wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

maximizing antagonize requires

investment in the desired attributes (Charisma is a dump stat for most who actually would benefit)

not just a feat on antagonize, but a number of skill points equal to your level spent on intimidate, a feat on skill focus and maybe a trait for +1.
if you have a high strength and low charisma, tack on a third feat.

you spend anywhere from 2-3 feats, a number of skill points equal to your level and maybe a trait. on classes that are already feat starved.

want a trivial DC? invest 20% of your feats and a third of your attribute points (not dumping charisma) or invest 30% of you feats and invest more points in strength to cancel out the charisma penalty.

You would have a point if not for the fact that many that could benefit from this feat already invest in a feat that allows them to use Strength instead of Charisma in order to get all the benefits out of Dazzling Display. Then, this is just one extra feat and and you get yet more bang for your buck.

the strength bonus stacks with your charisma penalty. and not dumping it is the same as wasting points. and the whole reason to take dazzling display is for cornugon smash and shatter defenses. which is a 5 feat chain that alone you can't pull off until level 10 without strategic class choice.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Assuming you HAVE a charisma penalty, you could just leave it at 10. Not everybody dumps stats, especially stats for skills they are plannng to use later...and Antagonize is just one more feat you could add to the mix well before level 10.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

maximizing antagonize requires

investment in the desired attributes (Charisma is a dump stat for most who actually would benefit)

not just a feat on antagonize, but a number of skill points equal to your level spent on intimidate, a feat on skill focus and maybe a trait for +1.
if you have a high strength and low charisma, tack on a third feat.

you spend anywhere from 2-3 feats, a number of skill points equal to your level and maybe a trait. on classes that are already feat starved.

want a trivial DC? invest 20% of your feats and a third of your attribute points (not dumping charisma) or invest 30% of you feats and invest more points in strength to cancel out the charisma penalty.

You would have a point if not for the fact that many that could benefit from this feat already invest in a feat that allows them to use Strength instead of Charisma in order to get all the benefits out of Dazzling Display. Then, this is just one extra feat and and you get yet more bang for your buck.
the strength bonus stacks with your charisma penalty. and not dumping it is the same as wasting points. and the whole reason to take dazzling display is for cornugon smash and shatter defenses. which is a 5 feat chain that alone you can't pull off until level 10 without strategic class choice.

It is still trivially easy to intimidate someone. Keep charisma at 10. As a fighter-type you most likely won't be needing a high charisma anyway. You now get to use strength to fight, and to make other fight you.

The issue of anatagonize making you attack someone is secondary to the fact that it makes the character make an in-game decision that may violate RP on several levels, and it does it rather easily.

For the sake of argument lets say antagonize does not make you attack the antagonizer. Let's go with this:

Quote:


Brainwash
You have the ability to plant seeds of doubt between even the best of friends. The creature sees truth in your words, and turns on its allies wondering why it ever trusted them.
Benefit: As a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and has a DC equal to 10+ the target's Hit Dice + the target's Wisdom modifier. You cannot make this check against a creature that does not understand you or has an Intelligence score of 3 or lower. Before you make these checks, you may make a Sense Motive check (DC 20) as a swift action to gain an insight bonus on these Diplomacy or Intimitade checks equal to your Charisma bonus until the end of your next turn. The benefits you gain for this check depend on the skill you use. This is a mind-affecting effect.

The creature attacks the ally that is in the nearest square. If you can beat the target DC by 10 then you get to choose which ally it attacks.

So two people have been friends since childhood and you can make one of them attack the other one in 6 seconds. This is similar to what antagonize does. It disregards everything about the character and forces it to make a choice without considering the character's personality or history. Now some will try to argue that the antagonizer in the actual feat is an enemy, and it is easier to attack an enemy, but the rules don't say that. You can just use it on some random person you don't know, and they would be just as likely to be attacked as someone your character has an reason not to like, which is also something that does not make sense.


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Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

At this point, I'm feeling sorry for the person that wrote Antagonize, whether it made it through editing unmodified, or got hacked in editing, either way the author by this time must be cringing every time they see a thread about it. Not good for the old ego or confidence. My condolences, and all I can say is, everyone *****'s up by the numbers on occasion, so don't take it too hard. Most of us are lucky we don't have our **** ups gone over and over by strangers in a public forum.

Silver Crusade

mdt wrote:
At this point, I'm feeling sorry for the person that wrote Antagonize, whether it made it through editing unmodified, or got hacked in editing, either way the author by this time must be cringing every time they see a thread about it. Not good for the old ego or confidence. My condolences, and all I can say is, everyone *****'s up by the numbers on occasion, so don't take it too hard. Most of us are lucky we don't have our **** ups gone over and over by strangers in a public forum.

Seriously. I hope any criticism is taken as being directed squarely at the feat as presented. Also hope such criticism continues to not make things personal. No good ever comes of that.

To whoever wrote Antagonize, don't let this one thing get you down.

Even Valve made the Xen levels.


Mikaze wrote:


mdt wrote:


At this point, I'm feeling sorry for the person that wrote Antagonize, whether it made it through editing unmodified, or got hacked in editing, either way the author by this time must be cringing every time they see a thread about it. Not good for the old ego or confidence. My condolences, and all I can say is, everyone *****'s up by the numbers on occasion, so don't take it too hard. Most of us are lucky we don't have our **** ups gone over and over by strangers in a public forum.

Seriously. I hope any criticism is taken as being directed squarely at the feat as presented. Also hope such criticism continues to not make things personal. No good ever comes of that.

To whoever wrote Antagonize, don't let this one thing get you down.

Even Valve made the Xen levels.

yeah, anonymity is probably a good thing on this one. We all make mistakes, or at least do things others find mistaken, and I think the public flogging over this one might be a bit rough. Even the people who like the concept, and I'm not one, think it should have been executed differently...


Whoever wrote it had to have been published somewhere else so I think they have talent, but everyone has written a questionable feat, spell, article, and so on. Not that I am published, but I have written some crappy homebrew stuff so I couldn't really get on the person if I did know who wrote it.


I've had some stuff published that had no resemblance to the original whatsoever, so I do understand that things can get lost in editing.


For what it's worth I don't like the feat for the DC scaling. There is no defense against it if the character spent a couple of feats. Compare to Charm Person - pulling it off in combat is actually pretty difficult.

While you can probably get a specialized wizard to pump the DC up of charms spells it can't get anywhere close to what you can get for skills. Also there are defenses against these tatics so if you really want to build a character that will always make his will saves you can probably beat out the wizard charm specialist anyway. However, if you can't beat the save you can at least find a way to deal with complusion. Not so with Antagonize.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Thread necromancy because this came up again in my campaign. So I thought I'd share the fix I devised...

Intimidate: The creature flies into a rage. On its next turn, it cannot attempt any action unless it uses its turn to make a melee attack against you, make a ranged attack against you, target you with a spell, or include you in the area of a spell. The effect ends if the creature is prevented from attacking you or if attempting to do so would harm it (for example, if you are on the other side of a chasm or a wall of fire). If it cannot attack you on its turn, or chooses not to take any action, you may make the check again as an immediate action to extend the effect for 1 round (but cannot extend it thereafter). Once you have targeted a creature with this ability, you cannot target it again for 1 day.

Now a PC or boss NPC can't be forced to derail a campaign outside of combat. They can instead choose to be immobilized -- stand there fuming and doing nothing -- instead of starting a war. But in combat, or against lower-level NPCs out of combat, the feat will still likely function as advertised: a way for martials to tank, and a fun start to a bar room brawl.

This makes sense in real-life and game terms: you've made your adversary so angry that all they can do is either shake with anger or try to kill you. They're not completely brainwashed, but they can't think straight enough to execute a more subtle plan. But this blind rage doesn't last long -- 6 seconds usually, or 12 at most if you keep taunting them. Then, they're still probably pissed, but if you're in a social situation, the smarter ones have already calmed down and started to plot against you in more calculated ways.


Do keep in mind that this feat has been errata'd. In its original form the only option if intimidate was successful was to make a melee attack. The DC was also much lower, so much so that characters who maxed out ranks in intimidate could always succeed (it's still a bit too easy to succeed with even a modicum of optimization, but at least you need some investment beyond skill ranks to do it). It was blatantly broken pre-errata. It's already significantly less problematic than it used to be.

With that said, the "out of combat" fix is definitely needed in some form or another, as even post-errata it's quite broken in social situations and can completely derail social encounters.

Silver Crusade

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Is it weird that I really want to start an argument with the people from 5 years ago claiming a Paladin should fall for Attacking under the effect of antagonize?


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Isonaroc wrote:
Is it weird that I really want to start an argument with the people from 5 years ago claiming a Paladin should fall for Attacking under the effect of antagonize?

Not really. There's been a few less 'does the paladin fall' threads lately, so it makes sense that nature is working to restore the balance by tempting you to make this thread all about that.


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I'm glad there have been far fewer of those and the "is slavery actually evil? I'm asking cause I'm a slavery apologist" threads around lately.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Alex Smith 908 wrote:
I'm glad there have been far fewer of those and the "is slavery actually evil? I'm asking cause I'm a slavery apologist" threads around lately.

You and me both.


Lathiira wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
Is it weird that I really want to start an argument with the people from 5 years ago claiming a Paladin should fall for Attacking under the effect of antagonize?
Not really. There's been a few less 'does the paladin fall' threads lately, so it makes sense that nature is working to restore the balance by tempting you to make this thread all about that.

Hey, this stuff keeps me employed! If there were no paladins to fall, I'd be out of a job enforcing them. That means getting sent to one of the other hellknight orders. And those guys are scary! Have you even seen the signifiers?

I don't like black lipstick, it clashes with my skin tone! I prefer coral blue number five.


Paladin Falls Enforcement Squad wrote:
Lathiira wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
Is it weird that I really want to start an argument with the people from 5 years ago claiming a Paladin should fall for Attacking under the effect of antagonize?
Not really. There's been a few less 'does the paladin fall' threads lately, so it makes sense that nature is working to restore the balance by tempting you to make this thread all about that.

Hey, this stuff keeps me employed! If there were no paladins to fall, I'd be out of a job enforcing them. That means getting sent to one of the other hellknight orders. And those guys are scary! Have you even seen the signifiers?

I don't like black lipstick, it clashes with my skin tone! I prefer coral blue number five.

If it means the balance of the universe is maintained at the expense of a few people's time and sanity, who am I to argue? I prefer to avoid those threads, but they serve a purpose. Beyond keeping you employed, of course.

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