Fear Stacking - Effect on Duration?


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I've poked around and searched as best I can, but I can't find an answer that definitively clarifies my confusion. It's clear from the current PFSRD/PFRPG text that fear effects stack to some degree:

Becoming Even More Fearful: Fear effects are cumulative. A shaken character who is made shaken again becomes frightened, and a shaken character who is made frightened becomes panicked instead. A frightened character who is made shaken or frightened becomes panicked instead.

What I'm not clear on here is whether the durations of ongoing fear effects are cumulative as well, and if so how they add up.

By way of example, my barbarian has both the Cornugon Smash feat (Benefit: When you damage an opponent with a Power Attack, you may make an immediate Intimidate check as a free action to attempt to demoralize your opponent. Src. Cheliax, Empire of Devils) and Dreadful Carnage (Benefit: Whenever you reduce an enemy to 0 or fewer hit points, you can make an Intimidate check to demoralize all enemies within 30 feet as a free action. Enemies that cannot see both you and the enemy you reduced to 0 or fewer hit points are unaffected. Src. PFSRD/PFRPG). Due to a decent CHA, high ranks in Intimidate, the Intimidating Prowess feat, oftentimes raging & being buffed with Enlarge Person (+4 to Intimidate on Medium creatures), and being an all-around scary guy, he stands a pretty good chance of getting 2 rounds of fear effect when he demoralizes.

So, if he downs a foe and causes 2 rounds of 'shaken' effect on, say, two other foes that are still living and within 30 feet, then (same round, using his next iterative attack during a full attack action) strikes one of the surviving foes with Power Attack and causes another 2 rounds of fear (stacking the effect to 'Frightened'), how does that add up? I see a few possiblities:
* The stricken foe is Frightened for 2 rounds (duration overlaps but doesn't stack).
* The stricken foe is Frightened for 4 rounds (duration stacks along with effect level).
* The stricken foe is Frightened for 2 rounds, then Shaken for 2 rounds (duration neither stacks nor overlaps).

But that all depends on your read of 'cumulative'. Anyone run across any bit of information I might have missed that would clarify this distinction?


My understanding is that the effects stack but not the durations.

If I am shaken for 10 minutes say by a spell
Then I am Frieghtened by another spell that lasts 1 minute.

I will then be paniced for 1 minute then return to being shaken for the remainder of the 10 minutes of the spell that made me Shaken.

The durations continue to tick away on all effects. The stacking of effects only applies as long as the durations overlap.


Joshua has said that when the Demoralise action is used, the shaken condition has its duration extended, rather than upgrading the condition.

Liberty's Edge

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Intimidate on its own can't get creatures past shaken.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/extras/pathfinder-faq

Q: What is the difference between the Dazzling Display feat and using the Demoralize Opponent of the Intimidate Skill? It seems both affect all opponents within 30'. Is Intimidate supposed to be worded to affect only one?
A: (Joshua J. Frost) The intimidate skill says "If you are successful, the target is shaken for 1 round." which means its affecting a single target. Where the Dazzling Display feat is affecting ALL targets with 30ft. [Source]

Q: (10/8/09) Intimidate Skill (Demoralize) - Can you demoralize the same being more than once, and have the effects stack?
A: (Joshua J. Frost) The shaken condition gained in this matter cannot be stacked to create a stronger condition. If you succeed at another demoralize attempt, you just extend the shaken condition's duration. There was a sentence left out of the skill description that will be noted in a future errata update. [Source]
A: (Jason Bulmahn) This is indeed the case... [Source]

Q: (10/8/09) Does the above mean a Shaken condition imposed by a Intimidate Skill - Demoralise can never be upgraded by another use source of a Fear condition?
A: (Joshua J. Frost) Correct. Though, as noted above, it can extend the duration of the shaken condition. [Source]

Q: (10/8/09) Does this idea that Shaken + Shaken only increases the duration of the Shaken condition come into effect only when Demoralise is in the mix?
A: (Joshua J. Frost) Yes. [Source]

Liberty's Edge

I saw that bit in the Pathfinder Society FAQ, but it seems to directly contradict RAW. Is that official errata or just a PFS ruling?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also - how does the Demoralize option of the Intimidate skill interact with causing a shaken condition using the Dirty Trick combat maneuver? Or with the 'rattling strike' hunter's trick from the skirmisher ranger archetype?:

Pg. 321 of the Advanced Player's Guide, under 'Dirty Trick':

"If your attack is successful, the target takes a penalty.
The penalty is limited to one of the following conditions:
blinded, dazzled, deafened, entangled, shaken, or
sickened."

Pg. 128 of the Advanced Player's Guide, under 'Hunter's Tricks' of the Skirmisher Archetype for the Ranger Class:

"Rattling Strike (Ex): The ranger can use this trick as a
free action before he makes a melee attack. If the attack
hits, the target is shaken for 1d4 rounds."

Is it possible to use two dirty tricks in a row to cause an opponent to become frightened? Can you use two rattling strikes in a row to do likewise? Can someone perform a rattling strike and then follow it up the next turn with a dirty trick to cause the opponent to take on the frightened condition?


Nicht wrote:

Also - how does the Demoralize option of the Intimidate skill interact with causing a shaken condition using the Dirty Trick combat maneuver? Or with the 'rattling strike' hunter's trick from the skirmisher ranger archetype?:

Pg. 321 of the Advanced Player's Guide, under 'Dirty Trick':

"If your attack is successful, the target takes a penalty.
The penalty is limited to one of the following conditions:
blinded, dazzled, deafened, entangled, shaken, or
sickened."

Pg. 128 of the Advanced Player's Guide, under 'Hunter's Tricks' of the Skirmisher Archetype for the Ranger Class:

"Rattling Strike (Ex): The ranger can use this trick as a
free action before he makes a melee attack. If the attack
hits, the target is shaken for 1d4 rounds."

Is it possible to use two dirty tricks in a row to cause an opponent to become frightened? Can you use two rattling strikes in a row to do likewise? Can someone perform a rattling strike and then follow it up the next turn with a dirty trick to cause the opponent to take on the frightened condition?

As the last quote from Mr. Frost clarifies, the not-stacking exception only applies to shaken from the demoralize use of the intimidate skill, including the Enforcer feat. So two Dirty Tricks to make an opponent shaken should result in a frightened opponent. You just cannot e.g. use enforcer and then Dirty Trick to make him flee.

Topically related, how do you people play the frightened effect of "flees from the source of its fear as best it can"?
- Does the opponent have to use the withdraw action on his next action?
- Run away, provoking AoOs?
- Is he allowed to instead use a move to just remove the Dirty Trick effects? That would not be fleeing, but on the other hand it seems excessive that he runs away for multiple rounds when he can simply snap out of his fear with no roll. He is frightened, but not panicked, so he's not that irrational.

One option I personally prefer is to rule that the opponent must move away in some way (more than a 5-ft-step), so he can either make a withdraw, using up his full action, or use a move, provoking AoOs but allowing him the use of his standard action to remove the Dirty Trick effect.

Also, if you have frightened an enemy with two Dirty Tricks and he spends a Move Action to remove the effect, is he then shaken or unaffected? Meaning to say, can he remove both tricks with one move? That would seem wrong for e.g. blinded and shaken, but since the frightened effect has replaced shaken, I am unsure. I would say he is still shaken, though.


Another fear question: Are all fear effect, e.g. demoralize with Intimidate or shaken from the Dirty Trick maneuver mind-affecting effects to which constructs, oozes, plants, undead + vermin are immune?

Every fear monster ability seems to be mind-affecting, and it would make sense that you cannot intimidate a mindless being. But I couldn't find that anywhere.

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