Does disheartening display works on a demoralized target ?

Rules Questions

I know this has come in some threads, but my GM is currently skeptical that disheartening display can let me frighten a creature I already demoralized.

Advanced Class Guide wrote:

Disheartening Display (Combat)

Your show of prowess further demoralizes others.

Prerequisites: Dazzling Display, Weapon Focus, base attack bonus +6, proficiency with chosen weapon.

Benefit: When you successfully use Dazzling Display against any shaken, frightened, or panicked opponents, their fear increases by one step. An already panicked creature demoralized by this feat cowers. Once affected by this feat, a creature cannot be affected by it again (by you or anyone else) for 24 hours.

His argument is that Paizo is usually against any form of stacking from a same source, and it would be strange they accept this one.

Moreover, he thinks the feat shouldn't bypass this line of the intimidate skill:

Prd wrote:
Using demoralize on the same creature only extends the duration; it does not create a stronger fear condition.

I think this is the point of the feat: to bypass this. He think this is to scale with some powers that don't usually scale with anything, like Horrific Visage from the Accursed sorcerer bloodline, or the Frightful Charger bloodrager bloodline power.

I have some arguments as well: Number of feats involved (minimum 3), number of actions to make that works (normally 2 full-round actions), usually high DC to beat, creature types immune, and so on, but I'd like your opinion.

Silver Crusade

I agree with you. Disheartening Display is specifically designed to further demoralize opponents. I am saddened that they no longer use the 'normal' section for feats that clarifies situations like this.

Note that once you use Disheartening Display on a creature, that creature can't be affected again that day. So, it is not an endless cycle.

I don't believe Disheartening Display actually DOES anything if you can't use it on things you Demoralized, unless this is some sort of convoluted thing where you are obligated to have a Killing Flourish Slayer or something intimidate everyone and THEN do the Disheartening display.

The point of feats is to allow you to do things you normally can't, and this is clearly meant to let you intensify your Display. Personally, I don't think it's that great an option (come on, TWO full-round actions just to make the guys you debuffed run from you? You might get better results just using Dazzling Display, having one of your mates chuck a fireball at the shaken guys, and then picking off the survivors with your next turn.) so I really don't see any point in nerfing it. There is precedent for abilities (including feats) letting you intensify how much you scare somebody. Hell, look at Improved/Greater Dirge of Doom in the same book!

Here's the key text:

against any shaken, frightened, or panicked opponents

It doesn't say "shaken except those that haven't already been demoralized".

It says "any shaken opponent". It doesn't put any restriction on how or why the opponent became shaken.

Does demoralize cause an opponent to be shaken? Yes. Then this works. This feat is specifically designed to override the general rule about how demoralize works (which is kind of what feats do overall: let you ignore general rules).

Thank you for your clarifications, it seems he finally made his mind.

I think he was a little scared because I'm an half-orc inquisitor, so without optimizing it I got a nice +33 to demoralize at level 13. With Blistering invective and Lookout for the action economy, it's actually quite potent because it's hard to up this DC (even if in the end, I got -5 on the successive check), so I don't think there is any foe from my CR range I can't demoralize and frighten. Except of course for immunities (the recent debate on the immunity to fear is quite interesting).

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