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Adventure Authors and immunity to Intimidate


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

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Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Thurston Hillman wrote:
For a lot of authors, this type of community feedback is intimidating.

So you are saying your authors are immune to intimidate? ;-)

Between LG & LFR I have authored close to a dozen adventures and edited twice that many. I realize online critacisms, especially from people who had a bad experience in an adventure, can be overly harsh. My comments were, as stated, a rant about a personal pet peeve. I don't expect authors to actually bow to my demands, but it would be nice if it was food for thought.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think it would be interesting to see a "berserker" type trait, of a character who cares so little for their own safety that fear effects can't do more than drive them into a mindless rage, with "fight" being the only option when their "fight or flight" is triggered. ("Shaken" works as written, "Frightened" causes them to be unable to willingly retreat from combat, "Panicked" forces them to attack the source of fear, or anything between it and them, regardless of alliegiance)
But without that? Unless someone's immune to fear, intimidating them should always be possible.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Tallow wrote:
We can play the oneupmanship game all day. The bottom line is, no matter what your skill is, it does not mean you get to just intimidate anyone you want with impunity just because you have a high score. Game mechanics-wise, this is unrealistic (I'm using the realism button, because you are trying to use it to explain why highly skilled intimidators should just get to do it no matter what,) because Skill DCs don't often scale appropriately with the CR of a challenge. So the static Intimidate DCs allow for intimidating highly inured badguys the same as you would a level 1 commoner.

Thing is the game system says that's how intimidate works. Thus it works like that. These inured badguys should be following the rules like anyone else. If I have a high AC people need a 20 to him me, if I have a high attack I need a 2 to hit. Just because it might seem "unrealistic" game mechanics-wise to have numbers that basically cause you to ignore that system because you always or basically always autopass doesn't mean it's not part of this game. We probably don't have people on earth with intimidates above +20 and we probably can't think of what a 50 intimidate would do to us or be. Climb DCs don't really scale with CR, neither does diplomacy get harder the high level the target is, nor do lots of things.

The game says I can do X if I achieve Y. Throwing that out is quite upsetting. Don't like this rule throw it out? Heck since you've thrown out one you don't like what's really stopping you from throwing out another?
having a mindless creature be immune is part of the expected game, having a GM "cheat" and make a creature immune that shouldn't be is a point towards not wanting to play with that GM anymore.

Tallow wrote:
The bottom line, sometimes you aren't going to get what you want. No matter how much you've invested in something. Same way a spellcaster might not be able to affect a Golem or a Bard might not be able to affect an Ooze.

Golems are actually quite easy for a spellcaster to deal with if they haven't decided to not prep one of the many spells that deal with golems.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tallow wrote:
The bottom line is, no matter what your skill is, it does not mean you get to just intimidate anyone you want with impunity just because you have a high score.

No one said anything about impunity. Intimidate should, and by the rules does, have its consequences.

Quote:
Game mechanics-wise, this is unrealistic (I'm using the realism button, because you are trying to use it to explain why highly skilled intimidators should just get to do it no matter what,) because Skill DCs don't often scale appropriately with the CR of a challenge.

I agree the rules are weak in this area. Mechanically, Intimidate is overpowered. My issue was with the realism of the action, not the mechanics, as I have seen this trope over multiple game systems. That and I question whether it is the author's job to fix it.

I would leave with this comment. If you are an adventure author, and you want the players to follow a particular path, before you simply decide to force them via fiat, pause for a minute, and then think about if there might be a better way of accomplishing what you want. Maybe there won't be every time. But if you find a better way at least some of the time, you will be a better author.


For the record, you probably won't have much luck trying to intimidate a golem or ooze either

Scarab Sages *****

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Bill Baldwin wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
For a lot of authors, this type of community feedback is intimidating.

So you are saying your authors are immune to intimidate? ;-)

Between LG & LFR I have authored close to a dozen adventures and edited twice that many. I realize online critacisms, especially from people who had a bad experience in an adventure, can be overly harsh. My comments were, as stated, a rant about a personal pet peeve. I don't expect authors to actually bow to my demands, but it would be nice if it was food for thought.

For the record, you are not the only one with experience writing and editing organized play adventures.

I was essentially the developer for Living Dragonstar and edited/developed about a dozen adventures and wrote two.

Scarab Sages *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bill Baldwin wrote:


I would leave with this comment. If you are an adventure author, and you want the players to follow a particular path, before you simply decide to force them via fiat, pause for a minute, and then think about if there might be a better way of accomplishing what you want. Maybe there won't be every time. But if you find a better way at least some of the time, you will be a better author.

I trust that if an author puts that in a scenario, that John, Linda, or Thursty would take it out if they felt it inappropriate. And if the developers leave it in the scenario, then they feel its appropriate. So it isn't just a freelance author making a choice to "fix it", but rather Paizo employees who have tacitly agreed that this "fix" is not only ok, but supported.

Scarab Sages *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Renata Maclean wrote:
For the record, you probably won't have much luck trying to intimidate a golem or ooze either

Intelligent oozes lose the immunity to mind-affecting effects.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

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Thurston Hillman wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:
Fundamentally, Paizo often doesn't like its own game system. In many, many cases because their game system has lots and lots of flaws and get in the way of telling decent stories.
I want to step in and state that most people at Paizo do indeed like our own rule system.

Um, then why do your products so often use some of that valuable text in order to CHANGE the game system, to tell the GMs to NOT use the system as written?

I'll take the last PFS scenario I ran as a pseudo random example. 9-08. Birthright Betrayed. Amongst other examples there is a whole sidebar on page 8 about influencing a character. This provides brand new rules that are far more complicated than the base rules while being less complicated than the rules in Ultimate Intrigue.

Now, I quite agree that this makes a better scenario than using the base rules and arguably better than using the rules in Ultimate Intrigue. But my point is that Paizo is NOT using its own game system. It has decided that the base rules are too simple and the complicated rules too complicated so its taken that space that you say is so valuable in order to CHANGE the rules.

I think "don't like its own game system" is a fairly good shorthand for what Paizo does.

But, if you prefer, I'll change it to:

"Paizo regularly changes its game system in PFS scenarios because its game system doesn't support the stories they want to tell in that scenario."

I'll also reiterate that I often think it a GOOD thing. The intimidate rules, to take the OPs example, often lead to absolutely absurd results. But the rules ARE being changed.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Tallow wrote:
Bill Baldwin wrote:


I would leave with this comment. If you are an adventure author, and you want the players to follow a particular path, before you simply decide to force them via fiat, pause for a minute, and then think about if there might be a better way of accomplishing what you want. Maybe there won't be every time. But if you find a better way at least some of the time, you will be a better author.
I trust that if an author puts that in a scenario, that John, Linda, or Thursty would take it out if they felt it inappropriate. And if the developers leave it in the scenario, then they feel its appropriate. So it isn't just a freelance author making a choice to "fix it", but rather Paizo employees who have tacitly agreed that this "fix" is not only ok, but supported.

There is no reason why that comment can't apply to editors as well as authors. Having experience with both, there is always room for improvement.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Tallow wrote:
Bill Baldwin wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
For a lot of authors, this type of community feedback is intimidating.

So you are saying your authors are immune to intimidate? ;-)

Between LG & LFR I have authored close to a dozen adventures and edited twice that many. I realize online critacisms, especially from people who had a bad experience in an adventure, can be overly harsh. My comments were, as stated, a rant about a personal pet peeve. I don't expect authors to actually bow to my demands, but it would be nice if it was food for thought.

For the record, you are not the only one with experience writing and editing organized play adventures.

I was essentially the developer for Living Dragonstar and edited/developed about a dozen adventures and wrote two.

Yeah, I kinda figured you had experience after reading a few of your posts.

I guess this goes back to an old argument I started on the old WotC Boards entitled Honesty vs. Story, in which I basically asked how much GMs should fudge for the sake of story. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, most GMs and authors felt you should fudge whenever necessary while most players didn't want any fudging at all.

Scarab Sages *****

I wanted to point out this:

PRD: Intimidate wrote:
...If successful, the target gives you the information you desire, takes actions that do not endanger it, or otherwise offers limited assistance. ...

two clauses in the above indicate that you can't just intimidate someone to make them do whatever you want. They will only take actions that do not endanger them, and they will only provide limited assistance. Either of those could potentially trump the first clause of "gives you the information you desire."

And this is completely up to GM interpretation of the situation and what they know of the NPC, Monster, and backstory of the adventure. Writing in that an NPC is "immune to intimidate" is simply shorthand for the GM, so they don't have to try and figure out what the motivations of the NPC or monster actually is.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

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Tallow wrote:
Renata Maclean wrote:
For the record, you probably won't have much luck trying to intimidate a golem or ooze either
Intelligent oozes lose the immunity to mind-affecting effects.

Yaphit, from The Orville comes to mind.

Sovereign Court *** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paul Jackson wrote:

Um, then why do your products so often use some of that valuable text in order to CHANGE the game system, to tell the GMs to NOT use the system as written?

I'll take the last PFS scenario I ran as a pseudo random example. 9-08. Birthright Betrayed. Amongst other examples there is a whole sidebar on page 8 about influencing a character. This provides brand new rules that are far more complicated than the base rules while being less complicated than the rules in Ultimate Intrigue.

Now, I quite agree that this makes a better scenario than using the base rules and arguably better than using the rules in Ultimate Intrigue. But my point is that Paizo is NOT using its own game system. It has decided that the base rules are too simple and the complicated rules too complicated so its taken that space that you say is so valuable in order to CHANGE the rules.

I think "don't like its own game system" is a fairly good shorthand for what Paizo does.

But, if you prefer, I'll change it to:

"Paizo regularly changes its game system in PFS scenarios because its game system doesn't support the stories they want to tell in that scenario."

I'll also reiterate that I often think it a GOOD thing. The intimidate rules, to take the OPs example, often lead to absolutely absurd results. But the rules ARE being changed.

I think the issue with Ultimate Campaign is that it's intended more for intrigue-oriented campaigns than for occasional inserts into PFS. Most PFS scenarios have nothing to do with Ultimate Intrigue; most players haven't read the expanded social rules in UI; most characters are not built for UI style challenges, but for the things you more typically run into PFS.

So this is a case of the GM (John Compton) adapting the rules to the campaign, instead of trying to force a scenario to work by the not-meant-for-that-campaign book.

I think "doesn't like their own game system" is the wrong way of looking at it. It's more a case of choosing which rules would be appropriate.

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I think "doesn't like their own game system" is the wrong way of looking at it. It's more a case of choosing which rules would be appropriate

I think it often comes down to not wanting to use some of the rules systems which are horribly clunky.

This often crops up with anything to do with lengthy travel, mountaineering and lack of air and anything which imposes multiple saves over time from environmental effects as the rules for these things are often unworkable.

Scarab Sages *****

andreww wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I think "doesn't like their own game system" is the wrong way of looking at it. It's more a case of choosing which rules would be appropriate

I think it often comes down to not wanting to use some of the rules systems which are horribly clunky.

This often crops up with anything to do with lengthy travel, mountaineering and lack of air and anything which imposes multiple saves over time from environmental effects as the rules for these things are often unworkable.

Yup. I hated First Steps Part 3 because of that, but loved the way they did Among the Gods Part 3.

*****

Tallow wrote:
andreww wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I think "doesn't like their own game system" is the wrong way of looking at it. It's more a case of choosing which rules would be appropriate

I think it often comes down to not wanting to use some of the rules systems which are horribly clunky.

This often crops up with anything to do with lengthy travel, mountaineering and lack of air and anything which imposes multiple saves over time from environmental effects as the rules for these things are often unworkable.

Yup. I hated First Steps Part 3 because of that, but loved the way they did Among the Gods Part 3.

Yep, first steps is probably the worst example, roll fortitude saves until you are diseased.

Shadow Lodge *****

Lau Bannenberg wrote:


I think "doesn't like their own game system" is the wrong way of looking at it. It's more a case of choosing which rules would be...

Intimidate and its low DCs are a core mechanic.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

2 people marked this as a favorite.
andreww wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I think "doesn't like their own game system" is the wrong way of looking at it. It's more a case of choosing which rules would be appropriate

I think it often comes down to not wanting to use some of the rules systems which are horribly clunky.

This often crops up with anything to do with lengthy travel, mountaineering and lack of air and anything which imposes multiple saves over time from environmental effects as the rules for these things are often unworkable.

"not wanting to use some of the rules systems" [And inventing alternatives]

"choosing which rules would be appropriate" [and inventing alternatives]
"doesn't like their own game system" [and inventing alternatives]

I am honestly not seeing where we disagree, except that you possibly view my phrasing as a little offensive.

Paizo, on a quite regular basis, ignores and/or changes their own published (non optional) rules.

In many, many cases for the better (not always, mind, although that is a different argument and would vary with the individual)

Scarab Sages *****

Paul Jackson wrote:
andreww wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I think "doesn't like their own game system" is the wrong way of looking at it. It's more a case of choosing which rules would be appropriate

I think it often comes down to not wanting to use some of the rules systems which are horribly clunky.

This often crops up with anything to do with lengthy travel, mountaineering and lack of air and anything which imposes multiple saves over time from environmental effects as the rules for these things are often unworkable.

"not wanting to use some of the rules systems" [And inventing alternatives]

"choosing which rules would be appropriate" [and inventing alternatives]
"doesn't like their own game system" [and inventing alternatives]

I am honestly not seeing where we disagree, except that you possibly view my phrasing as a little offensive.

Paizo, on a quite regular basis, ignores and/or changes their own published (non optional) rules.

In many, many cases for the better (not always, mind, although that is a different argument and would vary with the individual)

Its a function of the game system being a guideline, not a list of hardcoded rules. It isn't that they don't like their game system as to why they create alternate sub-systems to accommodate certain adventure needs, but rather because the guidelines don't fully incorporate the adventure needs within itself.

They love the system, which is why they use the guidelines to help them create sub-systems within it.

You are intimating a paradigm by which the creators of the game think the system is so flawed that they have to rewrite rules sets to make them work. And sure, you can word it that way, and it really isn't much different than worded the way I've worded it. Except you are pushing thoughts and feelings on others without any basis of knowing whether what you are saying is true, or just sensationalist hyperbole to try and make a point.

Silver Crusade **

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Paul Jackson wrote:


"not wanting to use some of the rules systems" [And inventing alternatives]
"choosing which rules would be appropriate" [and inventing alternatives]
"doesn't like their own game system" [and inventing alternatives]

I am honestly not seeing where we disagree, except that you possibly view my phrasing as a little offensive.

Paizo, on a quite regular basis, ignores and/or changes their own published (non optional) rules.

In many, many cases for the better (not always, mind, although that is a different argument and would vary with the individual)

The issue continues with your use of 'non-optional rules.' There is no such thing. What Paizo creates is not a single game, but a toolbox for every adventure writer and GM to use in making their own game. Paizo is doing exactly the same thing that they expect everyone else to be doing: changing the rules to get the story to work out in a fun way.

Scarab Sages *****

Redelia wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:


"not wanting to use some of the rules systems" [And inventing alternatives]
"choosing which rules would be appropriate" [and inventing alternatives]
"doesn't like their own game system" [and inventing alternatives]

I am honestly not seeing where we disagree, except that you possibly view my phrasing as a little offensive.

Paizo, on a quite regular basis, ignores and/or changes their own published (non optional) rules.

In many, many cases for the better (not always, mind, although that is a different argument and would vary with the individual)

The issue continues with your use of 'non-optional rules.' There is no such thing. What Paizo creates is not a single game, but a toolbox for every adventure writer and GM to use in making their own game. Paizo is doing exactly the same thing that they expect everyone else to be doing: changing the rules to get the story to work out in a fun way.

Well said.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Redelia wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:


"not wanting to use some of the rules systems" [And inventing alternatives]
"choosing which rules would be appropriate" [and inventing alternatives]
"doesn't like their own game system" [and inventing alternatives]

I am honestly not seeing where we disagree, except that you possibly view my phrasing as a little offensive.

Paizo, on a quite regular basis, ignores and/or changes their own published (non optional) rules.

In many, many cases for the better (not always, mind, although that is a different argument and would vary with the individual)

The issue continues with your use of 'non-optional rules.' There is no such thing. What Paizo creates is not a single game, but a toolbox for every adventure writer and GM to use in making their own game. Paizo is doing exactly the same thing that they expect everyone else to be doing: changing the rules to get the story to work out in a fun way.

No the rules in the book are the rules. That's why we have official clarification, because the rules are the rules. If the rules weren't rules but just helpful ideas then there wouldn't be official clarification or correct ways to run things. To use diplomacy on someone it is a set mechanic, that's a rule of the game, not some suggested idea. If a "story" can only be told by cheating the game then think of a story that doesn't require you to cheat the game and tell that one. A GM thinking they know better than the rules and that THEIR story is more important than following the rules and letting the players play the game according to the rules is a GM that I'll quickly get tired of playing with. That's supposed to be the enjoyment of this, that all enemies are built using the same rules as the players so anything the enemies do the players could do too with the same build. If you start arbitrarily add stuff to NPCs that PCs can't acquire in the game using the same means then it's not the game I felt was advertised.

Scarab Sages *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Redelia wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:


"not wanting to use some of the rules systems" [And inventing alternatives]
"choosing which rules would be appropriate" [and inventing alternatives]
"doesn't like their own game system" [and inventing alternatives]

I am honestly not seeing where we disagree, except that you possibly view my phrasing as a little offensive.

Paizo, on a quite regular basis, ignores and/or changes their own published (non optional) rules.

In many, many cases for the better (not always, mind, although that is a different argument and would vary with the individual)

The issue continues with your use of 'non-optional rules.' There is no such thing. What Paizo creates is not a single game, but a toolbox for every adventure writer and GM to use in making their own game. Paizo is doing exactly the same thing that they expect everyone else to be doing: changing the rules to get the story to work out in a fun way.
No the rules in the book are the rules. That's why we have official clarification, because the rules are the rules. If the rules weren't rules but just helpful ideas then there wouldn't be official clarification or correct ways to run things. To use diplomacy on someone it is a set mechanic, that's a rule of the game, not some suggested idea. If a "story" can only be told by cheating the game then think of a story that doesn't require you to cheat the game and tell that one. A GM thinking they know better than the rules and that THEIR story is more important than following the rules and letting the players play the game according to the rules is a GM that I'll quickly get tired of playing with. That's supposed to be the enjoyment of this, that all enemies are built using the same rules as the players so anything the enemies do the players could do too with the same build. If you start arbitrarily add stuff to NPCs that PCs can't acquire in the game using the same means then it's not the game I felt was advertised.

Wrong.

Specific Trumps General.

If Diplomacy says it works a certain way, and a feat or spell says differently, then the specific feat or spell overrides the rule of diplomacy for whatever circumstances or duration the feat or spell says it does.

In this case, the specific is the scenario itself.

This is how this game has been done since its inception in the 1970's. I think the old adage is, "Never let rules get in the way of a good story."

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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Tallow wrote:

Wrong.

Specific Trumps General.

If Diplomacy says it works a certain way, and a feat or spell says differently, then the specific feat or spell overrides the rule of diplomacy for whatever circumstances or duration the feat or spell says it does.

In this case, the specific is the scenario itself.

This is how this game has been done since its inception in the 1970's. I think the old adage is, "Never let rules get in the way of a good story."

Feats and spells are part of the rules. A scenario isn't part of the rules nor a source for new rules, it shouldn't be messing with the rules.

Ignoring rules for the sake of YOUR STORY to me just means your story is bad. Whenever a GM is wanting to change the rules for story what happens is me paying less attention to the story since it's no longer a part of the game I can interact with.

Like this approach I feel would just increase the murderhobo approach.

"yeah we started trying to use diplomacy to handle situations, but then when the DM made things immune to diplomacy we decided that we'd just kill things, why try at an alternative solution when it can be shut down by the whim of somebody feeling they are superior to everyone else because they know best how the story needs to go."

Every campaign I've been in, players started to become more and more disruptive when GMs kept invaliding them by ignoring the rules for their story. A friend started with an oracle because he wanted to talk to people, but after the GM had is diplomacy do nothing because it wasn't what he wanted to do for his story, so the next character the player made was a int and cha dumped character since he knew the GM didn't play by the rules and thus there was no point in bothering to try and use those rules.

*****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paul Jackson wrote:
andreww wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I think "doesn't like their own game system" is the wrong way of looking at it. It's more a case of choosing which rules would be appropriate

I think it often comes down to not wanting to use some of the rules systems which are horribly clunky.

This often crops up with anything to do with lengthy travel, mountaineering and lack of air and anything which imposes multiple saves over time from environmental effects as the rules for these things are often unworkable.

"not wanting to use some of the rules systems" [And inventing alternatives]

"choosing which rules would be appropriate" [and inventing alternatives]
"doesn't like their own game system" [and inventing alternatives]

I am honestly not seeing where we disagree, except that you possibly view my phrasing as a little offensive.

Paizo, on a quite regular basis, ignores and/or changes their own published (non optional) rules.

In many, many cases for the better (not always, mind, although that is a different argument and would vary with the individual)

You have quoted me here Paul and I am pretty sure you know that we do agree on this issue...:)

I might not have called it dislike, maybe more an aversion to some elements although it is far from consistent.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Tallow wrote:
..."Never let rules get in the way of a good story.

The above implies that if you are invoking that cliched phrase, the rules are getting in the way of the story.

Given that scenario authors are constantly disregarding, changing or opting out of core Pathfinder RPG game mechanics when they need to have certain things in their story, it would be accurate to say that scenario authors are finding that frequently core Pathfinder RPG game mechanics get in the way of making a good story.

It would not be horribly unreasonable to shorten "frequently finds that core Pathfinder RPG game mechanics get in the way of making a good story" to "often doesn't like their own game system".

It would also not be unreasonable to shorten "a group of authors who are getting paid by Paizo on a regular or semi-regular basis to make scenarios that will be used by Paizo in Paizo's organized play" to "Paizo".

Taking the above together, this...

Tallow wrote:
..."Never let rules get in the way of a good story.

...readily transforms into this...

Paul Jackson wrote:

Fundamentally, Paizo often doesn't like its own game system. In many, many cases because their game system has lots and lots of flaws and get in the way of telling decent stories.

...

So...why are you arguing?

Redelia wrote:

...

The issue continues with your use of 'non-optional rules.' There is no such thing. What Paizo creates is not a single game, but a toolbox for every adventure writer and GM to use in making their own game. Paizo is doing exactly the same thing that they expect everyone else to be doing: changing the rules to get the story to work out in a fun way.

Here's the problem though.

Lets use your analogy.

Pathfinder is a toolbox. It is filled with various tools.

Intimidate is a hammer. You use a hammer to hammer in nails and nail like objects (among other things).

Now, you want to get some stuff done, and hammering in nails is a thing you expect to do, so you use your hammer, right?

Well, no. You use screws or other alternatives to nails. Or you go out to the store and buy a mallet. Or a different kind of hammer. Or you just avoid doing certain kinds of stuff that would reasonably require a a hammer. The only time you ever pick up that hammer is when it is too difficult for you to avoid using a hammer or acquire an alternative to that hammer.

Ditto your drill. Ditto your chisel. Etc Etc.

If I saw someone behaving that way about their toolbox, I would reasonably draw certain conclusions.

Do you know what those conclusions would not look like?

"Man, I bet that guy really loves his tool box because it must be filled with really great tools".

Scarab Sages **

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So here is a spoiler free case i encountered, that did not have an intimidate immunity. it was a 7-11 season 0 or 1 scenario The big bad flesh warps their family and i presumed minions when they fail. The party took out a room of enemies, and stabilized one guy and tried to interrogate him about his boss and minions. This minion had 'fight to the death' morale. He is restrained and unable to restart his bleed out by preforming a stressful action, which he would have otherwise done.

I told the party that he would not give them information. Intimidate will not cause an enemy to perform an action that would cause them harm, or in this case be tortured. They could not threaten him with worse then torture and death. I got so much grief for this ruling.

The various limiting factors on intimidate, No self harm, "friendly", not mind control, are designed to be the balancing factors on a stupidly low DC. But a lot of players refuse to accept those limitations as ok. Ive been told by a venture lieutenant that I shouldn't restrict the abilities of intimidate on an enemy who would otherwise slavishly throw himself upon the PC's swords despite his 10 friends failing to even scratch them. There are circumstances where Intimidate would not work. A level 1 is not going to intimidate Grandmaster Torch surrounded by guards (though mechanically they could). Hence, "immune to intimidate".

Silver Crusade *

The three d20 social skills (diplomacy, bluff, intimidate) are a poor mechanical substitute for actually talking.

As a GM I'd rather determine an NPC's responses based on what PCs actually say and do, not as a rule-bound response to a player saying "I intimidate: I rolled 34."

But with the system we are using I don't really have that option.

(I'm aware of the arguments around players not sharing the abilities of their characters when it comes to real-life communication skills. I still think of "tabletop" roleplaying as a social game though).

Shadow Lodge *****

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supervillan wrote:

The three d20 social skills (diplomacy, bluff, intimidate) are a poor mechanical substitute for actually talking.

As a GM I'd rather determine an NPC's responses based on what PCs actually say and do, not as a rule-bound response to a player saying "I intimidate: I rolled 34."

But with the system we are using I don't really have that option.

(I'm aware of the arguments around players not sharing the abilities of their characters when it comes to real-life communication skills. I still think of "tabletop" roleplaying as a social game though).

You can have both. People either RP for the sake of RPing or will do so for a lil +2 bonus. You don't have to give the character a +20 because they're being played by Antonio Benderez.

If someone wants to have a 7 charisma barbarian be the talker because the player is good at it, i want to cart in blackbears to bellyrub at all my sessions for wild empathy che..OW OW OW down boy....

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...wouldn't 'being played by Antonio Banderas' be a -20 rather than a +20?

****

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...wouldn't 'being played by Antonio Banderas' be a -20 rather than a +20?

I imagine that he'd actually be pretty fun to have at a table, I dunno.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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I've never seen examples of this problem. Maybe I just don't run for Intimidate users.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I've never seen examples of this problem. Maybe I just don't run for Intimidate users.

I think people are used to it not working so they don't try it or don't build for it.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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I don't know why. It's a great technique to use rather than moving into full attack range, taunting them to come into your full attack.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

burkoJames wrote:
The various limiting factors on intimidate, No self harm, "friendly", not mind control, are designed to be the balancing factors on a stupidly low DC. But a lot of players refuse to accept those limitations as ok. Ive been told by a venture lieutenant that I shouldn't restrict the abilities of intimidate on an enemy who would otherwise slavishly throw himself upon the PC's swords despite his 10 friends failing to even scratch them. There are circumstances where Intimidate would not work. A level 1 is not going to intimidate Grandmaster Torch surrounded by guards (though mechanically they could). Hence, "immune to intimidate".

Why? WHY? Why is the lv1 that mechanically able to intimidate grandmaster torch somehow stopped? That guy must be FREAKING TERRIFYING to pull it off. Why would someone that has all rights to be afraid somehow not be afraid?

Shadow Lodge *****

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Because that level one character isn't a threat, and no amount of bluster can change that?

Just like Bluff and Diplomacy aren't always viable in every situation, neither is Intimidate. (Of course, you're welcome to use it, you just may not like the consequences.)

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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TOZ wrote:

Because that level one character isn't a threat, and no amount of bluster can change that?

Just like Bluff and Diplomacy aren't always viable in every situation, neither is Intimidate. (Of course, you're welcome to use it, you just may not like the consequences.)

That's the thing though, having a high enough intimidate score makes you seem intimidating. Like "not being a threat" can't be the reason since most things that have fear effects I wouldn't call threatening to many characters.

If the rules gave a penalty or something then sure, but if I get a high enough intimidate then I'm able to convince people to be afraid of me.

Shadow Lodge *****

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For a brief moment.

I just don't see this as being an issue. Perhaps in my area it isn't.


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I don't think the issue with intimidate is the writers so much as the players. Players don't understand how intimidate works.

Intimidate is not mind control.

You can go, "Tell me what I want to know!"

Here's the deal though, they are "Friendly" to you. They're not going to put themselves in danger. They can't.

So, if someone else has already threatened them, telling them they'll kill them if they talk... You're at a stalemate.

You lose. Period. Full stop. It doesn't matter how high your intimidate is. They won't tell you. Sure not telling you could put them in danger (from you) but telling you could put them in danger (from the other guy) but either way they *can't* tell you.

Nothing you do with intimidate at that point can work. They *can't* tell you.

That's why intimidate DCs are so low. It is so easy to beat.

Intimidate simply isn't the be all, end all, of social encounters.


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The other reason why intimidate doesn't work is because, again, NPCs don't have the same traits as players do.

Player Characters are immune to social interaction "demands" so you, as a PC can be immune to Intimidate, as far as forcing you to behave favorably toward an NPC. You are immune to being bluffed into believing an NPC. You are immune to being Diplomancied into selling your sword to an NPC at a loss.

What feels so unfair about some NPCs having the same immunities?


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I will say that I completely agree that it is BS to give something flat out immunity to something with no mechanical backing.
I can see adding a situational modifier to the DC to make it more difficult. That makes sense.

I want to weigh in on the "This guy is too strong to ever be intimidated" line of thinking.
If we stop thinking about intimidate as only being a big burly guy who is just scary as all hell, and start to think of it as someone who is unsettling, that makes you uncomfortable. I think that makes much much more sense.
Yes being big and burly is intimidating, hence the intimidating prowess feat.

But I think we can all agree that Hannibal Lector is not a big burly guy, but I can think of very few people I would like to be stuck in a room with less.
He is unnerving, his presence is unsettling. He isn't stereotypically frightening but he sure as hell is intimidating.

You often hear stories about grizzled police officers and servicemen the size of bears who are unsettles by small normal looking people.
There is much more to an intimidating aura than being frightening.

Another example to parallel Hannibal is the Joker. The joker is not portrayed as a big strong threatening guy, but his insanity is not something that a lot of people can cope with or respond to. It throws people off and "shakes" them.

So a level 1 with the force of will and presence of Hannibal and the Joker should certainly be able to intimidate anyone they can beat the DC of.
Lets say the character starts combat with a great wyrm at level 1 and intimidates them, making the dragon shaken, that dragon is still going to kill them.
Lets say that it is them Intimidating Grandmaster Torch. It isn't them being overtly hostile and making threats. No, their presence is so alien/strange/bizarre/insane and unsettling that for a moment it throws Torch off his game and changes the way he reacts to the character until he can get his bearings. To me that makes sense.

Another example of a character that fits this idea of indimidating due to presence and force of will rather than threat of physical violence is Hisoka Morow from Hunter x Hunter. Yes he is actually very physically strong too but his presence is unsettling in and of itself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TLDR
Change the way you think about intimidate and shift away from "Threat of violence" to "an unsettling presence"

The Exchange ****

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supervillan wrote:

The three d20 social skills (diplomacy, bluff, intimidate) are a poor mechanical substitute for actually talking.

As a GM I'd rather determine an NPC's responses based on what PCs actually say and do, not as a rule-bound response to a player saying "I intimidate: I rolled 34."

But with the system we are using I don't really have that option.

(I'm aware of the arguments around players not sharing the abilities of their characters when it comes to real-life communication skills. I still think of "tabletop" roleplaying as a social game though).

By their very nature Intimidate checks bother me. I always just gloss over them. To me a statement "Intimidate Check is a 35" is much better than the graphic threat to someone's body/family/business/friends that is often represented by the skill check. A description of what how the PC is going about an Intimidate check? No thanks. I have had to leave a table when another player insisted on getting a bit ... graffic... in the description of an "Intimidate check". I know I would not enjoy someone asking the players "...to describe what their character is doing, exactly,..." when it comes to Intimidate or heck, to a lot of other things....

For example:

judge: "it's a dead body"
Player: "What killed it? I got a 24 Heal check..."
Judge: "Describe what your character is doing, exactly, to determine that the month old body died of damage from a swarm of wasps..."

no thanks... not going there. If a judge insisted on this I would leave the table (I know this as I have had to before), and if it became more than a one-off, I would think very strongly of ever playing there again.

Scarab Sages ****

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Intimidate - hmmm... In the past I have used it a little...

Judge as Captive Uthdan Warrior: "Go ahead and kill me! I do not fear death, I will have died a warrior!"
Me as Katisha: "Honey, I never kill people. No, I think I'll take you home with me, to my little country house just outside of Westgate. I could use another Page Boy..., Perhaps, if you're really 'good', in time you can work up to being a footman... and we'll have such fun! My servants have these cute little uniforms"

But normally she just uses Detect Thoughts:
Use Detect Thoughts to get information from prisoners -

Katisha: "Who sent you to kill us?"
Mook: "You'll never make me talk!"
Kat: "Where did you first meet this masked man?"
Mook: "huh?"
Kat: "and how much did he pay you? "
Mook "Hay! that's not fair!"
Kat: "and where did you put the money?"
Mook "Now wait, that MY money!"
Kat: "Where were you going to meet him after the job?"
Mook "La-la-la-la, I can't hear you!!"

Scarab Sages *****

nosig wrote:
supervillan wrote:

The three d20 social skills (diplomacy, bluff, intimidate) are a poor mechanical substitute for actually talking.

As a GM I'd rather determine an NPC's responses based on what PCs actually say and do, not as a rule-bound response to a player saying "I intimidate: I rolled 34."

But with the system we are using I don't really have that option.

(I'm aware of the arguments around players not sharing the abilities of their characters when it comes to real-life communication skills. I still think of "tabletop" roleplaying as a social game though).

Intimidate checks bother me. I always just gloss over them. To me a statement "Intimidate Check is a 35" is much better than the graphic threat to someone's body/family/business/friends that is often represented by the skill check. I have had to leave a table when another player insisted on getting a bit ... graffic... in the description of an "Intimidate check". I know I would not enjoy someone asking the players "...to describe what their character is doing, exactly,..." when it comes to Intimidate or heck, to a lot of other things....

For example:

judge: "it's a dead body"
Player: "What killed it? I got a 24 Heal check..."
Judge: "Describe what your character is doing, exactly, to determine that the month old body died of damage from a swarm of wasps..."

no thanks... not going there. If a judge insisted on this I would leave the table (I know this as I have had to before), and if it became more than a one-off, I would think very strongly of ever playing there again.

I think certainly what your describing falls into the community policy. If players get squeamish with graphic descriptions of torture, bullying, or whatever, then they can certainly ask others to tone it down, and be well within their rights to invoke the community policy from the Guide.

However, as a GM, I do like some description, even if its vague, so I know how to have the NPC react. It doesn't have to be graphic, gross, or morbid. But saying, "I threaten is family with death and hold a severed finger before his face from my necklace of trophies," would probably be enough.

The Exchange ****

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Intimidate can be so subjective too - it's very dependent on the person being Intimidated and person intimidating.

Player as Barbarian PC: "I threaten his family with death and hold a severed finger before his face from my necklace of trophies,"

Judge as Goblin Mook: "No thank you, I not hungry right now. And you not able to buy me off with offers to kill my siblings for me - I not that stupid - I been in this situation before, you adventurers make offer to kill them then when I answer your questions you don't deliver."

Threaten a Zon Kuthon worshiper with torture? ... yeah... I think you bombed that Intimidate Check. Now, threaten to inject them with long lasting pain killers? or getting them hooked on Flayleaf? yeah, that would worry them.


Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Why? WHY? Why is the lv1 that mechanically able to intimidate grandmaster torch somehow stopped? That guy must be FREAKING TERRIFYING to pull it off. Why would someone that has all rights to be afraid somehow not be afraid?

Well, one good reason is to protect the PC. If PCs start threatening Torch when he's briefing them, then bearing in mind that the action takes one whole minute, the logical choice is for him to call the guards five seconds in, have the PC killed or arrested, and that's that.

If he's "immune to intimidate" then Torch can afford to look unimpressed at their threats and not bother calling the guards to end their career. Result: PC protected from incredibly bad player ideas.

---

Somewhat separately the inequality that already exists - that NPCs can't intimidate PCs into being friendly - almost requires an inequality of resistances. PCs effectively DO have an immunity to intimidate, at least to that aspect of it.

Scarab Sages *****

Lucy_Valentine wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Why? WHY? Why is the lv1 that mechanically able to intimidate grandmaster torch somehow stopped? That guy must be FREAKING TERRIFYING to pull it off. Why would someone that has all rights to be afraid somehow not be afraid?

Well, one good reason is to protect the PC. If PCs start threatening Torch when he's briefing them, then bearing in mind that the action takes one whole minute, the logical choice is for him to call the guards five seconds in, have the PC killed or arrested, and that's that.

If he's "immune to intimidate" then Torch can afford to look unimpressed at their threats and not bother calling the guards to end their career. Result: PC protected from incredibly bad player ideas.

---

Somewhat separately the inequality that already exists - that NPCs can't intimidate PCs into being friendly - almost requires an inequality of resistances. PCs effectively DO have an immunity to intimidate, at least to that aspect of it.

Someone mentioned above that PCs can't be bluffed. That's not true. Player Characters can be bluffed. That's what the Sense Motive skill is for. Players may not believe things their characters do. But that's where roleplaying comes up, rather than meta-gaming.

Scarab Sages *****

nosig wrote:

Intimidate can be so subjective too - it's very dependent on the person being Intimidated and person intimidating.

Player as Barbarian PC: "I threaten his family with death and hold a severed finger before his face from my necklace of trophies,"

Judge as Goblin Mook: "No thank you, I not hungry right now. And you not able to buy me off with offers to kill my siblings for me - I not that stupid - I been in this situation before, you adventurers make offer to kill them then when I answer your questions you don't deliver."

Threaten a Zon Kuthon worshiper with torture? ... yeah... I think you bombed that Intimidate Check. Now, threaten to inject them with long lasting pain killers? or getting them hooked on Flayleaf? yeah, that would worry them.

Exactly.


TOZ wrote:
Because that level one character isn't a threat, and no amount of bluster can change that?

That's reasonable... as long the person being intimidated knows for sure that the PC is level 1 and has no allies (supernatural or otherwise) who would be a threat.

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