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Resistance to Intimidation


Rules Questions


So, it seems like there is no good way to mechanically represent a soldier, for example, that is resistant to being intimidated (without making a LOT of sacrifices in design and advancement)

The rulebook says that NPCs with abilities similar to a PC of a particular level have a CR equal to that level. Presumably, that means that a PC has a CR equivalent to his level.

Intimidation has a DC of 10+Intimidation bonus, or 15+(1.5 x CR). That means that at first level, your Intimidation bonus needs to be +7 to be better than general baseline resistance to Intimidation.

That's easy at first level, with Skill Focus (or a good Charisma mod), but it rapidly becomes implausible for higher levels, unless you have a really high Charisma (which is generally unlikely for Soldiers). It seems really weird that your mid-to-high level Soldier CAN'T be any more resistant to Demoralize attempts than anyone else in the party unless he maximizes Charisma at the expense of Dexterity or Strength, even if he boosts Intimidation at every opportunity.

By level 12, even if you take 12 ranks of Intimidation, you need a +9 from Skill Focus, Charisma, or other sources, just to beat the basic resistance to intimidation that every other character has at that level. It doesn't seem like that's a good option for anyone but Operatives and Envoys (and perhaps Solarions).

It seems really weird that Soldiers aren't capable of being good at resisting this (without, for example, boosting Charisma at every opportunity, which would be kind of weird for a soldier).


Is really weird, can confirm.

I'd support implementing a houserule that adds something to a PC's Intimidate DC. Options:

Skill Focus: Intimidate adds a flat +3 to Intimidate DC (above and beyond contributing to the Intimidate bonus, since that's usually not going to determine the DC to Intimidate a soldier)

A specific feat that gives a bonus to saves against emotion effects and DCs for Diplomacy, Intimidate and Sense Motive might be fun. It would represent a general refusal to be effected by anything that tries to elicit an emotional reaction.

...those are what comes to mind as decent options.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the problem might be the idea that a level 10 Soldier *should* be any more courageous than a Level 10 of any other class. They are *all* heroic individuals suited for facing danger.


Metaphysician wrote:
I think the problem might be the idea that a level 10 Soldier *should* be any more courageous than a Level 10 of any other class. They are *all* heroic individuals suited for facing danger.

You aren't wrong that all of them are heroic. My dissatisfaction is that THE ONLY heroes who are more courageous (vs intimidation, but not fear) are those whose highest attribute is Charisma (and whose Charisma is very high), AND who have trained in Intimidation.

The utility of being able to use your own Intimidation bonus to resist intimidation is extremely marginal. Only those PCs who have exceptionally high Charisma, regardless of whether they have Skill Focus in Intimidation, will see any benefit whatsoever from the rule. Someone with an average Charisma, even if Intimidation is a class skill, and they have a Skill Focus with it, and they devote the maximum ranks to it, will not benefit from this 'Intimidation defense'. The scaling of 15+(1.5xlevel) is a superior option to all but an extremely small set of characters (which diminishes as levels increase).

Otherwise, someone (of equivalent) who has NO training in intimidation is often just as resistant to being Intimidated as someone who has trained in it at every level.

You, of course, still have the standard benefits of the Intimidation skill, but training in Intimidation in order to be more resistant to it is a false option for most characters.


I have no problem with charisma being usable with intimidation, but it's always struck me as odd (from a design, balance and realism perspective) that it trumps strength in this regard.

Every time I mentally populate a list of scenarios where strength or charisma should impact intimidation, strength comes out with more ideas. I've always found it strange that you need to spend feats to get it to work as it probably should by default.

Even if we discount the realism factor: when you look at skill selection and layout, strength + intimidation often go hand in hand on class design, yet they're linked to charisma by baseline.

The only explanation that comes from a balance perspective is that strength, being such a valuable combat stat, should not be amazingly valuable for roleplay: yet as the game strays away from strength/melee dominance, and provides more uses for non strength stats in combat (from ranged prevalence favouring dex, through to using various skills on trick attack) it feels like an oversight that intimidate doesnt:

a) require strength
b) require a feat to use with charisma
or
c) allow both baseline

But since it continues: soldiers/fighters continue to have one of their few RP skills be linked to something that they will seldom, if ever, spec into.


I think the issue is more that Intimidation is done via the skill system, whereas Fear is done via the save system.

The Exchange

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think this is a case of wait for splat. Alien Archive has a level 1 augment called a voice amplifier that gives a +2 circumstance to intimidate. I'm sure there will be more choices for gear, augments and such that will allow more specialisation if you really want it.


The 1.5X scaling of DCs is just broken. At level 20 your soldier won't be able to intimidate anything close to his level. Need a skill monkey class to reliably use skills at high levels for any scaling DC tasks.


Charre wrote:
The 1.5X scaling of DCs is just broken. At level 20 your soldier won't be able to intimidate anything close to his level. Need a skill monkey class to reliably use skills at high levels for any scaling DC tasks.

Screw a large 2H energy weapon into your target's ear for a circumstance bonus to intimidate.


And an envoy can do the same thing, yeah?


Charre wrote:
The 1.5X scaling of DCs is just broken. At level 20 your soldier won't be able to intimidate anything close to his level. Need a skill monkey class to reliably use skills at high levels for any scaling DC tasks.

Level 20 Soldier, assuming 20 Charisma:

20 ranks, +3 CS, +5 Charisma, +3 Skill Focus, +2 for that AA voice thing = 33. DC is 45 for a CR appropriate difficult fight (CR-2 is more what you'll be fighting. Which is DC 42.). I've not gone through the material exhaustively, but that is Intimidating a creature that you'll typically be fighting on a 9, and a Difficult Fight on a 12. Fully capable to do so.

Now, if you don't like how it's not like PF where you can intimidate everything for years, that's a different story. But it is FULLY possible to do so, unlike what you say.

Edit: Fixed name from Fighter to Soldier


Butch A. wrote:


... The rulebook says that NPCs with abilities similar to a PC of a particular level have a CR equal to that level. Presumably, that means that a PC has a CR equivalent to his level...

Sorry for potentially derailing the conversation, as I don't have a whole lot to add here beside agreeing with the point that the skill scaling seems entirely fine. I pulled this bit out specifically becouse I'd like to point out that in no way does a PC have a CR equal to his or her level. A 'CR 3' creature is susposed to be a challenging fight for a full party of 3rd level characters, and I think we can all agree that 1 PC isn't a terribly big challenge to beat up for a party of the same level.

Oh, and in my experience, most GM's dont tend to roll diplomacy or intimidation against players in social situations (you do occasionally use bluff, but if you're smart you roll that thing secretly). I'm not sure if that's entirely universal, but I don't think you'll garner much success as a GM by rolling intimidate and telling your party they're too scared to go free the princess.


TrinitysEnd wrote:
Charre wrote:
The 1.5X scaling of DCs is just broken. At level 20 your soldier won't be able to intimidate anything close to his level. Need a skill monkey class to reliably use skills at high levels for any scaling DC tasks.

Level 20 Soldier, assuming 20 Charisma:

20 ranks, +3 CS, +5 Charisma, +3 Skill Focus, +2 for that AA voice thing = 33. DC is 45 for a CR appropriate difficult fight (CR-2 is more what you'll be fighting. Which is DC 42.). I've not gone through the material exhaustively, but that is Intimidating a creature that you'll typically be fighting on a 9, and a Difficult Fight on a 12. Fully capable to do so.

Now, if you don't like how it's not like PF where you can intimidate everything for years, that's a different story. But it is FULLY possible to do so, unlike what you say.

Edit: Fixed name from Fighter to Soldier

Except no Soldier is going to have 20 Charisma so there is no reason to assume it and he would only have Skill Focus due to the current lack of Feats which is a situation which will likely not persist. To have 20 Charisma you have sacrificed combat relevant abilities, and to have that you would have had to have started with a 14 in the stat. 20 Charisma is a "very high Charisma". Which of course leaves us in this bizarre Gamist simulacra wherein our hypothetical Soldier becomes less intimidating the tougher he becomes and vice versa.

You proved the other poster's point. A fully optimized Soldier who has sacrificed his ability to fight will be the only one to reasonably pass a check. That same Soldier at level 1 would have a +7 Intimidate check looking to pass DC 16 versus CR1 opponents, needing a 9. If his first level Feat was Skill Focus he'd only need a 6.

To be clear it would be bad game design to merely maintain a power curve which shows no improvement with non-optimized investment. Which isn't the case here. Here we have decreased 'up time' for ability usage as we level with fully optimized characters.

It wouldn't matter if we were capping at Charisma 28 as you would still have improved 'up time' for demoralizing and not being demoralized yourself at lower levels which gets worse as you level.


Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
TrinitysEnd wrote:
Charre wrote:
The 1.5X scaling of DCs is just broken. At level 20 your soldier won't be able to intimidate anything close to his level. Need a skill monkey class to reliably use skills at high levels for any scaling DC tasks.

Level 20 Soldier, assuming 20 Charisma:

20 ranks, +3 CS, +5 Charisma, +3 Skill Focus, +2 for that AA voice thing = 33. DC is 45 for a CR appropriate difficult fight (CR-2 is more what you'll be fighting. Which is DC 42.). I've not gone through the material exhaustively, but that is Intimidating a creature that you'll typically be fighting on a 9, and a Difficult Fight on a 12. Fully capable to do so.

Now, if you don't like how it's not like PF where you can intimidate everything for years, that's a different story. But it is FULLY possible to do so, unlike what you say.

Edit: Fixed name from Fighter to Soldier

Except no Soldier is going to have 20 Charisma so there is no reason to assume it and he would only have Skill Focus due to the current lack of Feats which is a situation which will likely not persist. To have 20 Charisma you have sacrificed combat relevant abilities, and to have that you would have had to have started with a 14 in the stat. 20 Charisma is a "very high Charisma". Which of course leaves us in this bizarre Gamist simulacra wherein our hypothetical Soldier becomes less intimidating the tougher he becomes and vice versa.

You proved the other poster's point. A fully optimized Soldier who has sacrificed his ability to fight will be the only one to reasonably pass a check. That same Soldier at level 1 would have a +7 Intimidate check looking to pass DC 16 versus CR1 opponents, needing a 9. If his first level Feat was Skill Focus he'd only need a 6.

To be clear it would be bad game design to merely maintain a power curve which shows no improvement with non-optimized investment. Which isn't the case here. Here we have decreased 'up time' for ability usage as we level with fully optimized characters.

It...

I actually assumed a start of 15 Charisma and boosting it with each upgrade at 5th, 10th, etc. This would leave 5 more points to spend in any other grouping, not considering racial or theme points. So this is more than possible without gimping the build to actually attack.

So, I disagree about proving his point. As with this, if you went a Lashunta Bounty Hunter, you'd have only spent 3 of your 10 points. Still be able to start with 16 str. And still have 3 more points to spend on Con to have 14 con.

Totally crippled, right? With your +4 or +5 to hit, which is normal. Considering the highest you can get is +6.


You don't need 20 - A soldier who takes Skill Focus Intimidate and drops each upgrade into charisma (still leaving room to upgrade Dex, Con, and Wisdom to handle AC/Stamina/Fort Save/Will Save ever raise) can start at charisma 10 and hit 18 by level 20, giving:

+4 Stat
+3 Skill Focus
+20 Ranks
+3 Trained Bonus

1d20+30 by level 20 (DC 40)
1d20+24 by level 15 (DC 34)
1d20+18 by level 10 (DC 28)
1d20+12 by level 5 (DC 22)

That's pretty hard to intimidate generally speaking. Not to mention way higher than CR x 1.5 and all this takes is 1 feat which, as a soldier, you have to spare.

Heck, even without the feat:

+27 at 20 (DC 37)
+21 at 15 (DC 31)
+15 at 10 (DC 25)
+9 at 5 (DC 19)


HWalsh wrote:

You don't need 20 - A soldier who takes Skill Focus Intimidate and drops each upgrade into charisma (still leaving room to upgrade Dex, Con, and Wisdom to handle AC/Stamina/Fort Save/Will Save ever raise) can start at charisma 10 and hit 18 by level 20, giving:

+4 Stat
+3 Skill Focus
+20 Ranks
+3 Trained Bonus

1d20+30 by level 20 (DC 40)
1d20+24 by level 15 (DC 34)
1d20+18 by level 10 (DC 28)
1d20+12 by level 5 (DC 22)

That's pretty hard to intimidate generally speaking. Not to mention way higher than CR x 1.5 and all this takes is 1 feat which, as a soldier, you have to spare.

Heck, even without the feat:

+27 at 20 (DC 37)
+21 at 15 (DC 31)
+15 at 10 (DC 25)
+9 at 5 (DC 19)

The DC to resist Intimidation is 15 PLUS CRx1.5.

So that exact same soldier, taking NO ranks in Intimidate, no Skill Focus for intimidate, and starting with a 10 Charisma and never bumping it at all whatsoever would have the following resistance to Intimidation:

DC 45 at level 20
DC 37 at level 15
DC 30 at level 10
DC 22 at level 5

So, your hypothetical soldier, despite being more intimidating (having a better bonus), is JUST as resistant to being intimidated as any other solder, or indeed, any other class at all. That's my point. Except in the MOST extreme edge cases, Intimidation does nothing at all to protect you from being Intimidated.


The_Defiant wrote:
Butch A. wrote:


... The rulebook says that NPCs with abilities similar to a PC of a particular level have a CR equal to that level. Presumably, that means that a PC has a CR equivalent to his level...

Sorry for potentially derailing the conversation, as I don't have a whole lot to add here beside agreeing with the point that the skill scaling seems entirely fine. I pulled this bit out specifically becouse I'd like to point out that in no way does a PC have a CR equal to his or her level. A 'CR 3' creature is susposed to be a challenging fight for a full party of 3rd level characters, and I think we can all agree that 1 PC isn't a terribly big challenge to beat up for a party of the same level.

...

This may be correct, but if it is, then we have a situation where PCs never increase in resistance to Intimidation unless they train in it. Since they don't have a CR, they can ONLY resist Intimidation with 10+Intimidation skill bonus, regardless of their level.

A level 20 technomancer with a 10 Charisma would be intimidated on a roll of 10 or better, unless she trained in Intimidation. She would easily be demoralized by a level 1 envoy (+1 rank, +4 Charisma, +3 Class Skill), who should succeed in Intimidating her on a 2+.

That seems more counter intuitive than the original problem I mentioned. That seems even worse.

It also means that an NPC who has the abilities of a level 10 Soldier (and is thus considered CR 10) is intimidated on a DC 30, and a level 10 Soldier, CHA 10 soldier, even one who has trained in Intimidation and has skill focus in it, is intimidated back by him at DC 26). The soldier would need to be CHA 18 to have the SAME resistance to being intimidated as ANY random NPC of CR10, even if that NPC has low charisma and NO skill bonus to Intimidation.

Again, that seems even more counter-intuitive than my original problem.


HWalsh wrote:

You don't need 20 - A soldier who takes Skill Focus Intimidate and drops each upgrade into charisma (still leaving room to upgrade Dex, Con, and Wisdom to handle AC/Stamina/Fort Save/Will Save ever raise) can start at charisma 10 and hit 18 by level 20, giving:

+4 Stat
+3 Skill Focus
+20 Ranks
+3 Trained Bonus

1d20+30 by level 20 (DC 40)
1d20+24 by level 15 (DC 34)
1d20+18 by level 10 (DC 28)
1d20+12 by level 5 (DC 22)

That's pretty hard to intimidate generally speaking. Not to mention way higher than CR x 1.5 and all this takes is 1 feat which, as a soldier, you have to spare.

Heck, even without the feat:

+27 at 20 (DC 37)
+21 at 15 (DC 31)
+15 at 10 (DC 25)
+9 at 5 (DC 19)

For reference, an NPC built using any array:

At CR5 +16(master) or +11(good)
At 10 +24 or +19
At 15 +31 or +26
At 20 +39 or +34

So basically if an NPC has Intimidate as a skill at all you aren't in good shape.

TrinitysEnd wrote:
Totally crippled, right?

"Totally crippled" is just your strawman. Nothing I said was factually untrue. You are still talking about heavily investing in Charisma and Intimidate to get marginally worse as you level and have reduced Up Time on either end of the skill's usage.


Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

You don't need 20 - A soldier who takes Skill Focus Intimidate and drops each upgrade into charisma (still leaving room to upgrade Dex, Con, and Wisdom to handle AC/Stamina/Fort Save/Will Save ever raise) can start at charisma 10 and hit 18 by level 20, giving:

+4 Stat
+3 Skill Focus
+20 Ranks
+3 Trained Bonus

1d20+30 by level 20 (DC 40)
1d20+24 by level 15 (DC 34)
1d20+18 by level 10 (DC 28)
1d20+12 by level 5 (DC 22)

That's pretty hard to intimidate generally speaking. Not to mention way higher than CR x 1.5 and all this takes is 1 feat which, as a soldier, you have to spare.

Heck, even without the feat:

+27 at 20 (DC 37)
+21 at 15 (DC 31)
+15 at 10 (DC 25)
+9 at 5 (DC 19)

For reference, an NPC built using any array:

At CR5 +16(master) or +11(good)
At 10 +24 or +19
At 15 +31 or +26
At 20 +39 or +34

So basically if an NPC has Intimidate as a skill at all you aren't in good shape.

TrinitysEnd wrote:
Totally crippled, right?
"Totally crippled" is just your strawman. Nothing I said was factually untrue. You are still talking about heavily investing in Charisma and Intimidate to get marginally worse as you level and have reduced Up Time on either end of the skill's usage.

Level 5 - +3 Class Skill, +3 Stat, +5 ranks = +11 - Not good, that is more than "Good" because it is a character that has at least a +3 Charisma, has full ranks in intimidate, and has it as a class skill. That isn't GOOD that is EXCEPTIONAL. If we go to "Master" we're looking at +3 Class Skill, +2 Skilled, +4 Stat, +5 Ranks, +3 Skill Focus, +2 Misc from class bonus or a +19... Just saying...

I'd say "good" assumes a +0 to +1 stat, as most enemies probably aren't Charisma focused. So I'd say, usually, you can expect to see maybe a +9 vs a DC of 15+1.5xCR (DC 22) or 10+11 for "Good" (DC 21) giving it a less than 50% chance of working. Even if it does work, we're not seeing really heavy (or long lasting) penalties.


HWalsh wrote:
Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

You don't need 20 - A soldier who takes Skill Focus Intimidate and drops each upgrade into charisma (still leaving room to upgrade Dex, Con, and Wisdom to handle AC/Stamina/Fort Save/Will Save ever raise) can start at charisma 10 and hit 18 by level 20, giving:

+4 Stat
+3 Skill Focus
+20 Ranks
+3 Trained Bonus

1d20+30 by level 20 (DC 40)
1d20+24 by level 15 (DC 34)
1d20+18 by level 10 (DC 28)
1d20+12 by level 5 (DC 22)

That's pretty hard to intimidate generally speaking. Not to mention way higher than CR x 1.5 and all this takes is 1 feat which, as a soldier, you have to spare.

Heck, even without the feat:

+27 at 20 (DC 37)
+21 at 15 (DC 31)
+15 at 10 (DC 25)
+9 at 5 (DC 19)

For reference, an NPC built using any array:

At CR5 +16(master) or +11(good)
At 10 +24 or +19
At 15 +31 or +26
At 20 +39 or +34

So basically if an NPC has Intimidate as a skill at all you aren't in good shape.

TrinitysEnd wrote:
Totally crippled, right?
"Totally crippled" is just your strawman. Nothing I said was factually untrue. You are still talking about heavily investing in Charisma and Intimidate to get marginally worse as you level and have reduced Up Time on either end of the skill's usage.

Level 5 - +3 Class Skill, +3 Stat, +5 ranks = +11 - Not good, that is more than "Good" because it is a character that has at least a +3 Charisma, has full ranks in intimidate, and has it as a class skill. That isn't GOOD that is EXCEPTIONAL. If we go to "Master" we're looking at +3 Class Skill, +2 Skilled, +4 Stat, +5 Ranks, +3 Skill Focus, +2 Misc from class bonus or a +19... Just saying...

I'd say "good" assumes a +0 to +1 stat, as most enemies probably aren't Charisma focused. So I'd say, usually, you can expect to see maybe a +9 vs a DC of 15+1.5xCR (DC 22) or 10+11 for "Good" (DC 21) giving it a less than 50% chance of working. Even if it does work, we're not seeing really heavy (or long lasting) penalties.

I'm not giving you my opinion. I'm giving you the check bonuses that NPCs built using Alien Archive will actually have and "Master" and "Good" are their terms not mine.

An NPCs Intimidate check is not dependent on its' Charisma score. If a CR5 NPC has Intimidate as one of its' "good" skills it will roll a d20+11 for the check.

A CR4 Shobhad has +15 Intimidate and a psuedo-Charisma of 12-13. NPCs no longer have ability scores. A Master Skill for a CR4 is +15. His Charisma doesn't enter into the equation.


Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

You don't need 20 - A soldier who takes Skill Focus Intimidate and drops each upgrade into charisma (still leaving room to upgrade Dex, Con, and Wisdom to handle AC/Stamina/Fort Save/Will Save ever raise) can start at charisma 10 and hit 18 by level 20, giving:

+4 Stat
+3 Skill Focus
+20 Ranks
+3 Trained Bonus

1d20+30 by level 20 (DC 40)
1d20+24 by level 15 (DC 34)
1d20+18 by level 10 (DC 28)
1d20+12 by level 5 (DC 22)

That's pretty hard to intimidate generally speaking. Not to mention way higher than CR x 1.5 and all this takes is 1 feat which, as a soldier, you have to spare.

Heck, even without the feat:

+27 at 20 (DC 37)
+21 at 15 (DC 31)
+15 at 10 (DC 25)
+9 at 5 (DC 19)

For reference, an NPC built using any array:

At CR5 +16(master) or +11(good)
At 10 +24 or +19
At 15 +31 or +26
At 20 +39 or +34

So basically if an NPC has Intimidate as a skill at all you aren't in good shape.

TrinitysEnd wrote:
Totally crippled, right?
"Totally crippled" is just your strawman. Nothing I said was factually untrue. You are still talking about heavily investing in Charisma and Intimidate to get marginally worse as you level and have reduced Up Time on either end of the skill's usage.

Level 5 - +3 Class Skill, +3 Stat, +5 ranks = +11 - Not good, that is more than "Good" because it is a character that has at least a +3 Charisma, has full ranks in intimidate, and has it as a class skill. That isn't GOOD that is EXCEPTIONAL. If we go to "Master" we're looking at +3 Class Skill, +2 Skilled, +4 Stat, +5 Ranks, +3 Skill Focus, +2 Misc from class bonus or a +19... Just saying...

I'd say "good" assumes a +0 to +1 stat, as most enemies probably aren't Charisma focused. So I'd say, usually, you can expect to see maybe a +9 vs a DC of 15+1.5xCR (DC 22) or 10+11 for "Good" (DC 21) giving it a less than 50% chance of working. Even if it does work, we're not seeing really heavy (or

...

Apologies then, I haven't gotten Alien Archive yet. Being housebound blows chunks. Plan on getting the PDF at moment of release.

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