Investing on Intimidate


Advice


Hello! I was going to make a level 6 character and I've decided to follow the "intimidate" way. Until now I've thought on:

Dwarf
Fighter 2 / Unchained Rogue (Scout & Thug) 4
Str.16 / Dex.14 / Con.16 (15+1) / Int.10 / Wis.12 / Cha.10

Getting "Shatter Defenses" as soon as possible and Intimidate through "Bludgeoner" and "Enforcer". Of course, at every level I'm going to put 1 skill point on intimidate, I'm getting "Strong Impression" fast and I have the bonus because of being class skill.

I have no experience with intimidate (I've never used it neither, in and out of battle) and there are a lot of thing I would like to get with the character so I come here looking for your wisdom and experience to guide me to invest enough on it without investing too much.

- Which traits would you recommend me to get?
- Should I look for extra bonus to intimidate (as getting "Skill focus" and/or "Persuasive") in order to be able to demoralize enemies easily?
- Should I swap Wisdom and Charisma scores in order to get a little extra bonus to intimidate?

Thanks in advance for giving your time.
And finally sorry for my, almost sure, typos and misspelling.


Also look into hurtful feat (swift action to get an extra attack when you intimidate; great for being able to get 2 attacks in even if you can't full attack) and a cruel weapon (which makes frightened enemies get sick when you hit them... such as with that hurtful hit).

Overall, you can turn enemies into putty. That can lead to a -4 to saves... due to a charge+swift action. So hit them in the head until they are too stupid to resist your wizard.


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If you really want to milk Intimidate, grab Dazzling Display, Shatter Defenses, Violent Display, and Disheartening Display. The idea is to use either Enforcer/Cornugon Smash or Sneak Attack/Violent Display for a free Intimidate/Dazzling Display, which is escalated by either the Thug ability to increase it from shaken to frightened, then Disheartening Display bumps it up to to Panicked, so when they're flat--footed and running away you can wail on them with AoOs and Sneak Attacks. Combat Reflexes can also be good here, and eventually you can build towards stuff like Sneaking Precision so you can tack on Critical feats to your Sneak Attacks.

Skill Focus isn't worth it. Some useful traits to look into are Mock Gladiator (to let you apply Enforcer with a weapon without attack penalties) and possibly take Bruising Intellect and just tank your Charisma and bump Intelligence instead, to get more skill points instead of fighting against a racial Charisma penalty.

Shadow Lodge

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A lot of people seem to think Skill Focus is never a good idea.
I disagree; if you have a good reason to need to be good at a skill, it can be worth a feat. I think SF: Intimidate isn't a bad choice, especially after 10th level. The DC escalates pretty quick after that, so you need it as high as possible to make sure it works in combat. +6 is a big boost.

Circlet of Persuasion gets you +3

Gravelly Tonic is only 50gp and gets you +5 for 1 hour

If you're not committed to Dwarf, Half-Orc gets a racial +2 to Intimidate

The feat chains that have been suggested are good, but I've found that Power Attack / Cornugon Smash is all you really need. Hurtful can definitely be useful, especially if you don't have much of a use for your swift action.

Since you seem to have a Strength-based character, Intimidating Prowess can help get your bonus even higher.

Lemeres suggestion of a Cruel weapon is definitely a good plan.


Thinking about it though, thugs already have a fairly great method of doing sickened without a cruel weapon.

Cruel has its advantages, of course. It lets you pull off this trick without sneak attack.

But Hurtful is more valuable to you. Charge and intimidate with your attack (enforcer, cornugun smash- whatever method you prefer), shatter their defenses, and then get a swift action attack and forgo 1d6 of the sneak attack.

So the hurtful feat is pretty much CRUCIAL to owning with this style. It lets you pull off your entire style and still get in an move action.


Those feats seem very good! thank you. Specially the Hurtful feat (I'm assuming the extra attack if full base attack...). The thug archetype + Hurtful + Enforcer (assuming non-lethal damage). Assuming both attacks hit and both times successfully demoralize.

- Would let me... Hit the enemy -> Forgo 1d6 of sneak attack to sicken -> demoralize with Enforcer -> Choose to frighten for 1 round -> Use Hurtful to get an additional attack -> Use Enforcer again... ?

Shakenned, frightenned and Sickenned at the same time,it's a -6 to all saves? The caster will be my friend if it can be done and it stack.

Disheartening Display seems very good to, but the "a creature cannot be affected by it again (by you or anyone else) for 24 hours" makes me go away from it.

I was pretty sure of getting "Intimidating Prowess" (through rogue talent called "Strong Impression"). But I've asked about skill focus (or similar feats) because I was pretty sure I would not be with free feats and if it's not worth it's one less feat I have to have in mind; if it's worth the feat space to be able to demoralize almost for sure the non-immune creatures then I'll think what feat should I forget about.

I'm attached to be a Dwarf this time, even not getting this additional "+2" from half-orc. Thank you anyway, it’s good to know it for future characters, I really haven't seen it when I've read the races.

I've liked the trait to use int instead of cha to intimidate, more skill points and getting up the main skill at the same time! The other it's good, but I'm taking "Bludgeoner" feat; It does the same but will all bludgeoning weapons and I'm pretty sure I'll go with an Earth Breaker, I love it hahaha.

I've not started to see magic items yet, but probably those you said are the good ones so, thank you so much!

Thanks in advance for giving your time.
And finally sorry for my, almost sure, typos and misspelling.


If you can afford going human, focused study racial feature trades your extra feat for Skill Focus at levels 1, 8 and 16. If you're getting skill focus anyways for intimidate then you might as well get two more free feats later.

Also, dazzling display is great when combined with anything that reduces its action economy cost.

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Merciful Blade is a trait that might be a good replacement for Bludgeoner. Bully (the trait) will give you +1 to Intimidate.

Nevermind, saw you're using the Earthbreaker.

I made a half-elf paladin that two-weapon fought with warhammer & shield, Enforcer & Bludgeoner & Improved Shield Bashing, Bully & Skill Focus & paladin-level Charisma. The two-weapon fighting penalty was offset by the opponent being shaken. It was very feat intensive, and I had to put all my 4th level up ability increases into Dexterity to keep it going (I think it was 20 or 25 point buy, so doable without totally trashing my Int & Wis). This was my wannabe Captain America/Thor/Ironman combo character. :-P


If you know you're focusing on a certain weapon, Mock Gladiator trumps Bludgeoner. Getting the benefit of a feat for the cost of a trait is always worth it, especially for such a feat-heavy build. Taking Bludgeoner only really seems worth it if you're going for the Cudgeler Style feats.

Which actually wouldn't necessarily be a terrible thing, as long as you're content to always do nonlethal.


For those interested in using Enforcer:

Ways to deal non-lethal damage with lethal weapons without a penalty.

Traits
Blade of Mercy (religion-Sarenrae): all slashing weapons
Merciful Scimitar (combat): scimitars
Mock Gladiator (social): any one weapon

Feats
Bludgeoner (combat): all bludgeoning weapons
Merciful Bane (general): any weapon currently affected by your Bane class ability
Stage Combatant (combat): any weapon for which you have Weapon Focus
Virtuous Creed, Mercy (general): all weapons

Weapon Special Abilities
Merciful: any weapon


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There is a similar, current thread that has some interesting ideas regarding the Intimidate Skill Unlock.

And while you can't afford to put every relevant special ability on your Earthbreaker, you should at least glance at Ominous and Sapping so you know what's available.


Thank you everyone for your help! There are a lot of great feats and traits and sadly I can't grab them all. For that, I've been thinking about the build for the character and this is what I think it could be good:

Race:
Dwarf

Ability scores:
Str. 14 / Dex. 14 / Con. 15+1 / Int. 14 / Wis. 12 / Cha. 10

Traits:
Bruising Intellect / ???

Archetypes
Scout / Thug

Class, Feats and Talents:
Level 1 (fighter; level): Bludgeoner, Power attack.
Level 2 (fighter; bonus): Furious focus.
Level 3 (U.Rogue; level): Enforcer.
Level 3 (U. Rogue; talent): Weapon training.
Level 5 (U.Rogue; level): Skill focus.
Level 6 (U.Rogue; talent): Strong impression.
---------------------------------------------------
Level 7 (U.Rogue; level): Dazzling display.
Level 8 (U.Rogue; talent): Combat trick (Shatter Defenses).
Level 9 (U.Rogue; level): Hurtful.

I've reduced a bit the Str score (from 16 to 14) to take extra Int. and make a good use for "Bruising Intellect". Taking "Mock gladiator" would let me avoid taking "Bludgeoner" and have this feat slot free but I know the DM and I will not be able to always use the same weapon.

The idea is quite simple:
Charge -> Sneak attack -> Enforcer + Thug ability to sicken.

At level 9 (I like to plan a little bit ahead) it would be:
Charge -> sneak attack -> Frighten thanks to thug and shaken duration of enforcer and Sicken thanks to thug -> Extra attack because of hurtful -> Enforcer again.

Of course I'll not be always charging but the duration of shaken effect thanks to enforcer and Shatter defenses will let me sneak attack if I'm not wrong.

- Is it better to take a trait that give me "+1" to intimidate or "Unnatural presence" (which let me intimidate vermin and animals)?

I think everyone can intimidate animals without the trait but not Vermin.

- Do you guys know if the character will demoralize often enough to be a reliable source to get "free" sneak damage?

Thanks in advance for giving your time.
And finally sorry for my, almost sure, typos and misspelling.


Be sure you get some masterwork tools [Intimidate] for a cheap +2.

About reliability, the DC is 10+HD+WIS. Your ranks should ~equal HD which means you need to make sure you boost it enough from other sources to beat 10+WIS. Class skill+skill focus+mrwk tools=8(11). Then your INT+STR should be able to cover the rest which means you should always beat the DC and it's all up to your roll as to how long it lasts.

I don't think vermin is worth more than a free +1.


Thank you for your help! I didn't know you can do masterwork tools to Intimidate.

I would probably still be stuck trying to know if I should get Skill focus or not. Thank you all for all of you help!!


You can get a masterwork tool for any skill, DM depending, and just manifests as however appropriate. For intimidate it can be spiked and blood stained decor for your armor or something of the sort. You pick what the "tool(s)" is.

There are specific ones like disguise kit and thieves tool, but masterwork tools is the generic for the others.


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masterwork intimidation tool: ANGRY EYEBROWS. Paste them onto your head.

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Or a nun's ruler!


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Even if there was tools for Intimidate, any reasonable GM would ask you to have to use them. For instance, opening a bag of scalpels. So likely not an in combat benefit.

It really reeks of powergaming, however. I doubt you'll get away with that.


There are battle masks, perfumes, unguents, trail rations, and a few other mundane items that provide a boost to Intimidate. The idea of applying something to an armor or helmet to boost your Intimidate isn't as far-fetched or cheesy as it sounds.


Get a skull built into your hilt, make your weapon serrated, etc. It doesn't have to be tools like wrenches, hammers and such.


If your GM/PFS? allows it.
SKill Unlock Intimidate does a loooot, and is seriously great if you ask me.
Also allows you to bypass various things

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DethBySquirl wrote:
There are battle masks, perfumes, unguents, trail rations, and a few other mundane items that provide a boost to Intimidate. The idea of applying something to an armor or helmet to boost your Intimidate isn't as far-fetched or cheesy as it sounds.

Trail rations?????

Are you being ironic?


Texas Snyper wrote:
Get a skull built into your hilt, make your weapon serrated, etc. It doesn't have to be tools like wrenches, hammers and such.

Or go with the old Tudor fashion: a cod piece. With a skull on it.

...wait, I am pretty sure I saw that on a metalocalypse episode.


SmiloDan wrote:
DethBySquirl wrote:
There are battle masks, perfumes, unguents, trail rations, and a few other mundane items that provide a boost to Intimidate. The idea of applying something to an armor or helmet to boost your Intimidate isn't as far-fetched or cheesy as it sounds.

Trail rations?????

Are you being ironic?

Orc Trail Rations


I know you have to roll to resist upgraded skill unlock checks to avoid the increasrd fear, but when else does one resist a fear check? Can someone explain these rations to me?


The shaken effect is a fear effect itself. Disheartening Display implies it with its wording. So you get the benefit from just the base intimidate too.

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Gisher wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
DethBySquirl wrote:
There are battle masks, perfumes, unguents, trail rations, and a few other mundane items that provide a boost to Intimidate. The idea of applying something to an armor or helmet to boost your Intimidate isn't as far-fetched or cheesy as it sounds.

Trail rations?????

Are you being ironic?

Orc Trail Rations

Woah!


Texas Snyper wrote:
The shaken effect is a fear effect itself. Disheartening Display implies it with its wording. So you get the benefit from just the base intimidate too.

Ok I'm sorry I missed my point

They give a +2 on the dc to RESIST your Intimidate. Given that Intimidate is rolled, not resisted, I ask again what good is it for unless you have Skill unlock and rolled 10 over the dc?


I think it's just an awkward wording that means the bonus specifically affects the demoralize usage of Intimidate. Intimidate IS resisted, sort of, in that there is a DC that needs to be hit. It's effectively saying that there's a penalty to the person you're rolling against, but since something like food you eat can't actually inflict a penalty on someone else, it's just worded weird.


Well, I point out that skill unlocks actually have a resisted portion. I'd actually FAQ that item, to be honest.


OP, you need Maiden's helm, +5 competence to intimidate.


Sorry for the late response, I was writing the character sheet with the GM and the other players.

I'm allowed to buy a masterworked tool to increase intimidate but it will take my head slot (it was going to be a helmet design) since I don't have any other idea fitting the character (Thinks like blood design, skulls and so on don't fit). It's a pitty that those trail ration only work with orcs and half-orcs.

I've spent so much yet so I can't afford the Maiden's Helm at the moment but I liked it so much so I'll try to get it fast. Thanks!

The "command" spell it gives me three times/day:
- Which ability score would I use to know the DC?
- Is it my character level used to know max. spell distance?

Thanks in advance for giving your time.
And finally sorry for my, almost sure, typos and misspelling.


"Some Magic items produce spells or spell-like effects. For a saving throw against a spell or spell-like effect from a magic item, the DC is 10 + the level of the spell or effect + the ability modifier of the minimum ability score needed to cast that level of spell."

So, Maiden's Helm Command would have a DC of 11 (10 +1 +0).


A friend of mine put this helpful guide together for just such a build. Give it a look. It really helped me.

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