Adventure Authors and immunity to Intimidate


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1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Different campaign, but related.

Character makes a horrible Tactics roll but the GM gives him EXACTLY what he needs to make the mission successful.

Being from a paranoid shifty race, he can't trust the information that has been made available, and eventually ends up captured running a diversion to let other folks work on the 'faulty' intel with few options remaining.

Did I feel robbed by that as a player? No.

Did the GM roll with it? Yes.

Was it something that made sense in context and shouldn't be micro-managed via the taking of character agency? Yes.

If the GM in that particular situation said "Oh, the target is immune to the use of that skill, I guess you'll just have to figure out something else." I suspect there would have been table-flipping or throwing, and not necessarily by myself but by the entire party.


Huh? Whuh? Jeez, it's Saturday morning...

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...and I haven't had my coffee yet. *goes to correct this travesty*


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Every time this thread title comes up, I imagine that it's about Adventure Authors who are immune to being intimidated. Like, someone is holding them over a ravine and yelling "PUT MORE LOOTZ IN SCENARIO!!" and, without changing expression, they calmly reply: "No."

1/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Or it is relating to their editors and the harsh companion that is word count.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM

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Paul Jackson wrote:
Tallow wrote:

There are tons of examples why a failure to detect a bluff is a lie would not automatically reduce suspicion or whatever. But having your character directly act against the information gained in a physical and violent way (in some cases against alignment) breaks the point of even giving PCs the sense motive skill.

PC: is she really a little kid? Her being alone and safe in this demon infested place is suspicious.

GM: It is a child and she's telling the truth.

PC: I grab her, tie her up, shove her in the closet, shut and lick the door, and set my leopard to guard against her coming lout of the door.

GM: dude, she's a child.

PC: I don't believe that.

GM: but your character does.

PC: so.

GM: <headdesk>

So, there was one scenario (I strongly suspect we're thinking of the same PFS scenario) where we did essentially the above (forced her to stay in the closet, albeit without a leopard and unguarded). We BELIEVED that she was a child, a child in a VERY dangerous place (demon infested and all). She'd survived in the closet for 2 days so we KNEW it was fairly safe. We honestly thought that she'd be far safer in a known hiding spot than travelling with us.

No meta knowledge either. Every single player at the table had neither played nor ran the scenario. We were just reacting to the information our characters had in the way that we thought our characters would. I was playing a Paladin, I did what my character honestly thought was the safest thing for the child. The GM had rolled our sense motives secretly so we did NOT suspect, at the player level, that we'd been lied to.

So, yeah. She made her bluff roll. We then reacted in an appropriate way (just one that happened to screw over the scenario. Well, it would have but the GM cheated (in a good way) :-)).

I'll repeat myself : The GM does NOT get to tell me how my character reacts to information. They don't tell me what my character thinks.

PCs do unexpected things all the time, for all sorts of reasons....

I just want to say that I find it pretty messed up that after coming upon a scared child that's just been through the worst kind of hell imaginable, that your paladin's course of action is to force her into in a dark closet alone while you guys rummage through the rest of the house. I certainly hope the GM roleplayed that girl kicking and screaming, and made you all feel terrible for further traumatizing this innocent victim. And as a paladin you say? Good gods, man.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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Walter Sheppard:

I just want to say that I find it pretty messed up that after coming upon a scared child that's just been through the worst kind of hell imaginable, that your paladin's course of action is to force her into in a dark closet alone while you guys rummage through the rest of the house. I certainly hope the GM roleplayed that girl kicking and screaming, and made you all feel terrible for further traumatizing this innocent victim. And as a paladin you say? Good gods, man.

Its several years back so I don't remember all the details. But it definitely seemed the best alternative at the time. IIRC my character proposed that we abandon the mission and take the child to safety. The rest of the group weren't going for that leaving my paladin with no good options (he does have a sworn duty to the society, after all).

I don't want to turn this into a paladin thread :-). The point is that my character made the decision that seemed right to him based on the information available to him. Whether you agree with my decision is really irrelevant. What matters is that the player gets to make that decision, NOT the GM.

For the record, I'd claim that in retrospect he was right. IIRC we had an encounter that WOULD have killed an 8 year old child.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Paul Jackson wrote:


I'll repeat myself : The GM does NOT get to tell me how my character reacts to information. They don't tell me what my character thinks.

I agree with this. I never said differently.

However, there is a tacit agreement between players and GM, that when certain information is given, that the players use that information appropriately. In other words, they don't meta-game. The temptation to do so (or to dissemble or prevaricate in order to have your character make actions you want them to make based on information you have or suspect that the character does not have) is strong, which is why the game often suggests that GMs make certain rolls for the characters in private.

So, if you, the player (or for whatever story reasons the character) has suspicions of a certain NPC, and the GM tells you that your character believes them, to have your character act contrary to that belief breaks the compact of trust in storytelling and roleplaying between GM and player.

I'm not suggesting that you allow yourself to become mind controlled by the GM to perform certain actions or not perform others. There are spells like suggestion, command, dominate person and others that do that. But to have your character ignore in-game information based on out-of-game suspicion breaks the game. Sure, you get to decide how your character reacts to believing an NPC is telling the truth. You can even have your character harbor suspicion of that NPC for time immemorial.

But to make hostile actions against the NPC your character believes is a friend based on out of character suspicion... well why bother with sense motive in the first place then?

Sure, if your character has a history of hatred with the NPC, you might believe they are being friendly now, but based on history you may choose to rub them from existence anyways. But that's a specific circumstance that may trump the general rule.

As always, special circumstances may dictate otherwise, but in general, players should do their best to have their characters act on the information that their characters have. Not solely on the suspicions that the player has.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Example:

NPC: I am here to give you the information you requested.

PC: But you've betrayed us so many times, I don't believe you!

GM: [rolls character's sense motive behind a screen] Actually, for whatever reason, your gut tells you they are being truthful right now.

PC: Fine, you may be telling me the truth this time, but I don't trust you, so I'm going to keep my eye firmly on you until we part ways! Don't dare try to betray me again. Any hint of such and [draws finger across throat]. Capice?

Perfectly acceptable.

-----------------------------------

Same start up to PC's last comment...

PC: [kills NPC anyways]

GM: Dammit, now I need to improvise another NPC to give you the information because you just killed the guy that was going to give you the information you needed to continue on the adventure. You gotta stop just doing things like that or I'm going to give up as your GM.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Wow... this take's me back to so many Grand Master Torch threads....

GMT::“My endless thanks to each of you, Pathfinders, for your loyal service.”
To any Shadow Lodge faction PCs, he adds, “And particular thanks to you, ..yada-yada-yada..., so I’m striking out on my own.”

Player A: "Finaly! I shot him. I rolled a Nat 20 - 48 points of damage."


Paul Jackson wrote:
For the record, I'd claim that in retrospect he was right. IIRC we had an encounter that WOULD have killed an 8 year old child.

I think it makes sense. I mean it only takes one stray AoE.

The Exchange 5/5

How about an Aid Another check on an Intimidate check - without even talking....

I mean, my PC is a total Introvert - doesn't talk much even to people she knows well - and is often kind of drugged up (on Clearear) which drops her social skills even more...

So, during an "interview" of mook prisoners by the most Intimidating Party Face, the Socially Challlanged Knife-Master PC (named Jane the Knive for a reason and during Introductions she stated her PC was "All about the Knives"), states that she "makes a point being seen watching the Paladin step around a corner, and when he's out of sight my PC will be TOTALLY disinterested in the mooks being questioned by the Party Face PC and so "I'll pull out a whetstone to start re-sharpen the knives I used in combat. Totally engrossed in the work at hand... and take a moment to enjoy the gleam of light reflected on the blade, and I'm TOTALLY NOT watching the mooks. Or commenting on the questions being asked or anything - Roll an Aid on the Intimidate check.. I got a final 10..."

Now the Questions:

1) Would that count it as an Aid Another on Intimidate?
2) Was that "Role Playing the PC correctly"?.
3). Would you give the PC a +2 bonus to the skill check for Role Playing the encounter "in character"? (What if the final skill check was a 9 or an 8? The "role playing" bonus of +2 would be the difference between an Aid or not - which might tip the actual check into a success...)

Scarab Sages 5/5

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Jane "The Knife" wrote:

How about an Aid Another check on an Intimidate check - without even talking....

I mean, my PC is a total Introvert - doesn't talk much even to people she knows well - and is often kind of drugged up (on Clearear) which drops her social skills even more...

So, during an "interview" of mook prisoners by the most Intimidating Party Face, the Socially Challlanged Knife-Master PC (named Jane the Knive for a reason and during Introductions she stated her PC was "All about the Knives"), states that she "makes a point being seen watching the Paladin step around a corner, and when he's out of sight my PC will be TOTALLY disinterested in the mooks being questioned by the Party Face PC and so "I'll pull out a whetstone to start re-sharpen the knives I used in combat. Totally engrossed in the work at hand... and take a moment to enjoy the gleam of light reflected on the blade, and I'm TOTALLY NOT watching the mooks. Or commenting on the questions being asked or anything - Roll an Aid on the Intimidate check.. I got a final 10..."

Now the Questions:

1) Would that count it as an Aid Another on Intimidate?
2) Was that "Role Playing the PC correctly"?.
3). Would you give the PC a +2 bonus to the skill check for Role Playing the encounter "in character"? (What if the final skill check was a 9 or an 8? The "role playing" bonus of +2 would be the difference between an Aid or not - which might tip the actual check into a success...)

As always, circumstances in the moment will always dictate what happens.

If I'm the GM in that circumstance, I would want you to be, as the player, absolutely clear what you are trying to accomplish with your roleplay. I might give you an automatic aid because of your vivid description of what you were attempting.

But I can't say, without actually being there, whether I'd apply a +2 for good roleplay or not. If I'm at a convention, and I don't know you and/or your character, then I might be at a loss to feel the specificness of your good roleplay. But I might be suitably impressed to grant it at as well.

All I can say right now, is it sounds really neat, and would certainly be a candidate for me, to grant a +1 or 2 for good roleplay.


Tallow wrote:
Jane "The Knife" wrote:

How about an Aid Another check on an Intimidate check - without even talking....

I mean, my PC is a total Introvert - doesn't talk much even to people she knows well - and is often kind of drugged up (on Clearear) which drops her social skills even more...

So, during an "interview" of mook prisoners by the most Intimidating Party Face, the Socially Challlanged Knife-Master PC (named Jane the Knive for a reason and during Introductions she stated her PC was "All about the Knives"), states that she "makes a point being seen watching the Paladin step around a corner, and when he's out of sight my PC will be TOTALLY disinterested in the mooks being questioned by the Party Face PC and so "I'll pull out a whetstone to start re-sharpen the knives I used in combat. Totally engrossed in the work at hand... and take a moment to enjoy the gleam of light reflected on the blade, and I'm TOTALLY NOT watching the mooks. Or commenting on the questions being asked or anything - Roll an Aid on the Intimidate check.. I got a final 10..."

Now the Questions:

1) Would that count it as an Aid Another on Intimidate?
2) Was that "Role Playing the PC correctly"?.
3). Would you give the PC a +2 bonus to the skill check for Role Playing the encounter "in character"? (What if the final skill check was a 9 or an 8? The "role playing" bonus of +2 would be the difference between an Aid or not - which might tip the actual check into a success...)

As always, circumstances in the moment will always dictate what happens.

If I'm the GM in that circumstance, I would want you to be, as the player, absolutely clear what you are trying to accomplish with your roleplay. I might give you an automatic aid because of your vivid description of what you were attempting.

But I can't say, without actually being there, whether I'd apply a +2 for good roleplay or not. If I'm at a convention, and I don't know you and/or your character, then I might be at a loss to feel the specificness of...

I wouldn't think a PC could aid without actually trying to aid, since it is an action one takes. This may be extra true if your character is as intimidating as an old lady cleaning her silverware.

That said, having a fellow PC around who has a low Cha and is socially inept, but obsessive about knives might lend a circumstance bonus to the PC for the same net bonus.
"That goofy lady seems really into her knives..."
"Yes. Yes, she is."

Grand Lodge

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I feel like I've spoken my part on the primary topic of this thread in other places, but to reiterate on some great misconception in this thread that Tallow and a few others seem to have.

You do not inflict your logic of what is probable or likely to happen into a fantasy world. You do not know how intimidate functions in a world with magical, supernatural, and extraordinary abilities and anyone or anything could actually be powerful enough to endanger you or anything you care about. If someone has a 30+ intimidate there is something about them that is unsettling to the deepest core of any thinking, feeling being's mind and consciousness. You don't fiat that away and completely negate the use of a character just because you don't like it. That could ruin the night for that person. If you truly think it's going to be an issue, talk it over with them. You don't always have the time, particularly at cons, but it's your job to work with them on it and keep the game rolling and make sure everyone has a good time. You give them something for their investment though. It doesn't have to be exactly what they want, I agree that Intimidate isn't straight mind control, but it IS effective. If they have that huge intimidate score it DOES have an effect, scenario text or rules stuff not withstanding. You don't just get to say, "Oh there's no way that he would find you intimidating in this circumstance." There's no support for that in the rules anywhere.

In the OP I believe Bill mentions text specific to this in scenarios for GMs to consider, I have never seen that but if it does exist I'd say that what was outlined earlier of,"I can tell you much, but this I cannot for I know what lies behind that door and I cannot stand it" is much more grokable than "your intimidate fails because box text". Give them something for their investment is what I want everyone to keep in mind. Every ability, every choice a character chooses and makes should have effects and consequences. And while we can't always serve to that we should always try to.

Scarab Sages 5/5

That, "you don't know how... in a fantasy world," commentary actually fits better when directed at players thinking that they should be able to intimidate anything.

Grand Lodge

Tallow wrote:
That, "you don't know how... in a fantasy world," commentary actually fits better when directed at players thinking that they should be able to intimidate anything.

No, because their characters are usually as fantastical as anything else? They're just doing what the game rules say they can, you're the one imposing real life hang ups into the shared fantasy universe. It seems you want to preserve that grand mystical veil between the players and the world and I get that, but PFS is not a place for that. The rules don't give you any grounds on which to just say no, and unless they do in that specific instance in scenario, you shouldn't.

Scarab Sages 5/5

The rules of intimidate do actually give a GM some leeway.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So this gets changed because 'it's using words too efficiently' and they add a paragraph detailing how Intimidate works for each mook in the scenario.

Now they have to cut the words somewhere else.

Things that tend to get cut:

Stat-blocks

Crucial Backstory

Enemy tactics

Etc.

Who is going to enjoy that?

No one.

I have been there.

I have seen the other side, the slippery slope when folks push for 'just one thing' and then it turns into "Well, you changed all of 'that immune to fear' stuff to make it *perfectly and painstakingly within the rules*. Why can't you change the difficulty, or the amount of loot the opponent drops, or streamline the scenario and get rid of the encounter entirely?"

There's been a reasonable explanation, and suddenly a minority of players are hollering that their characters are 'ineffective' rather than accepting that sometimes, the One Trick won't work, for whatever reason. That their agency is being deprived and that NPCs shouldn't have that sort of power.

Please stop.

Organized Play has definitive restrictions on the GMs to prevent them from utilizing the *same* tactics against the players.

I have SEEN what unrestricted GMs can do to a player-base and to a campaign.

That is NOT something that will work for PFS.

2/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's a PDF-only product of varying page lengths. They don't have to cut words "to make room" for anything :)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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But they do have to cut words to be within the timeframe for editing, layout, and proofing. They may not be constrained by printing but they are still constrained by manhours required. Projects HAVE to be within wordcount to make release deadlines.

Grand Lodge

Tallow wrote:
The rules of intimidate do actually give a GM some leeway.

Agreed, but the leeway is not implied to be and should not be, you've succeeded at your check but I will do nothing useful for you. With the amount of things a Pathfinder Society GM is given in scenario information that is difficult to share with the players at times, I fail to see how the scenario should ever be, "I'm more scared of my boss, I'm not telling you anything." That's just being adversarial to what someone has chosen to specialize in.

EDIT: For example in this situation

Quote:
Additionally, when players try to use social skills to short circuit an investigative scenario by grabbing the nearest guard and intimidating them to give all the secrets... Just sometimes the creature would actually rather die horribly than give up the secrets and, at least in their mind, die more horribly at the hands of their boss.

Instead of having them say, "You don't scare me adventurer, not nearly as much as Miller the Lascivious."

Have them give things they're comfortable with giving, for example if they're looking for the BBEG tell them, "I last saw him in the Lake of Luxury, but by now he could be in the Domain of Decadence or even Hedonism's Hearth by now." There's very little reason to just tell them no.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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See, this is where the realm of message board arguing (Nice out of context quote of something I said there) never really paints the whole picture.

Of course you do your best to roleplay the NPC. The bottom line though, no matter what window deesding you put on it, there are some things that intimidate will not make an NPC do. And that can be largely subjective, up to the GM based on circumstances.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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Jhaeman wrote:
It's a PDF-only product of varying page lengths. They don't have to cut words "to make room" for anything :)

The time it takes to develop/edit/layout one of these PDF-only products would argue otherwise. Not to mention the fact that authors (and us developers) generally don’t like writing more than they’re paid for (and not getting paid for that extra.)

2/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
It's a PDF-only product of varying page lengths. They don't have to cut words "to make room" for anything :)
The time it takes to develop/edit/layout one of these PDF-only products would argue otherwise. Not to mention the fact that authors (and us developers) generally don’t like writing more than they’re paid for (and not getting paid for that extra.)

I love you Thurston, but even looking at the Starfinder Society scenarios you develop, the PDFs are of varying lengths. I'm sure you give authors guidelines on word count, but I don't believe you've had to cut "stat blocks, crucial backstory, and enemy tactics" from the adventure (as suggested in the post I was responding to) just because a mook is given a two-line description of what happens if they're intimidated.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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We absolutely do!

Copy fitting is a huge part of that. Plus the timetable on a turnaround. If a file is submitted “clean” then we can spend more time adding/massaging those embellishments. Otherwise, a lot of what we do is making the scneatio something useful to GMs.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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Thursty, I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to engage and give us "behind-the-scenes" information on the process of bringing scenarios to us.

Please don't get jaded too quickly!

2/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:

We absolutely do!

Copy fitting is a huge part of that. Plus the timetable on a turnaround. If a file is submitted “clean” then we can spend more time adding/massaging those embellishments. Otherwise, a lot of what we do is making the scneatio something useful to GMs.

Ha, okay, fair enough. I’ll buy you a beer sometime and try to explain my point better about how digital-only products change some of (but not all) the constraints that print products have.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

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Jhaeman wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
It's a PDF-only product of varying page lengths. They don't have to cut words "to make room" for anything :)
The time it takes to develop/edit/layout one of these PDF-only products would argue otherwise. Not to mention the fact that authors (and us developers) generally don’t like writing more than they’re paid for (and not getting paid for that extra.)
I love you Thurston, but even looking at the Starfinder Society scenarios you develop, the PDFs are of varying lengths. I'm sure you give authors guidelines on word count, but I don't believe you've had to cut "stat blocks, crucial backstory, and enemy tactics" from the adventure (as suggested in the post I was responding to) just because a mook is given a two-line description of what happens if they're intimidated.

There is at least one season 7 scenario I can name where the writer went so over the word count that they had to rip it to shreds and its final state was that it was barely comprehensible of a scenario.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's happened more than a couple of times.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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Jhaeman wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:

We absolutely do!

Copy fitting is a huge part of that. Plus the timetable on a turnaround. If a file is submitted “clean” then we can spend more time adding/massaging those embellishments. Otherwise, a lot of what we do is making the scneatio something useful to GMs.

Ha, okay, fair enough. I’ll buy you a beer sometime and try to explain my point better about how digital-only products change some of (but not all) the constraints that print products have.

ACCEPTED! :D

I didn’t mean to call you out or anything. I do agree with your high-level view; there is way more we can do with PDFs (look at the recent Starfinder Society change in providing PDFs with updated errata.) I just don’t want people to think that PDFs give us unlimited time / resources on the internal front!

And yes, as people have pointed out, a “concerning” turnover, especially one already submitted late, can WRECK our schedule and force us to do things faster and with less time to add/massage text—instead we just end up madly fixing!

Anyways, just wanted that to be clear. Again, as I said earlier, many points in this thread are valid and I think the topic is fine to discuss.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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Jhaeman wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
It's a PDF-only product of varying page lengths. They don't have to cut words "to make room" for anything :)
The time it takes to develop/edit/layout one of these PDF-only products would argue otherwise. Not to mention the fact that authors (and us developers) generally don’t like writing more than they’re paid for (and not getting paid for that extra.)
I love you Thurston, but even looking at the Starfinder Society scenarios you develop, the PDFs are of varying lengths. I'm sure you give authors guidelines on word count, but I don't believe you've had to cut "stat blocks, crucial backstory, and enemy tactics" from the adventure (as suggested in the post I was responding to) just because a mook is given a two-line description of what happens if they're intimidated.

Now I don't know 100% for sure, but I believe that PFS and SFS authors get paid a flat rate ($300 sounds like what I've heard through the grapevine before) for somewhere in the range of 11,000 words. Some of the more well-known authors may be able to negotiate a per word fee. I dunno. But if they have to write 12,000 words in order to accommodate all the social possibilities on all the NPCs and stat blocks, now you are looking at 1,000 words that they aren't getting paid for.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Tallow wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
It's a PDF-only product of varying page lengths. They don't have to cut words "to make room" for anything :)
The time it takes to develop/edit/layout one of these PDF-only products would argue otherwise. Not to mention the fact that authors (and us developers) generally don’t like writing more than they’re paid for (and not getting paid for that extra.)
I love you Thurston, but even looking at the Starfinder Society scenarios you develop, the PDFs are of varying lengths. I'm sure you give authors guidelines on word count, but I don't believe you've had to cut "stat blocks, crucial backstory, and enemy tactics" from the adventure (as suggested in the post I was responding to) just because a mook is given a two-line description of what happens if they're intimidated.
Now I don't know 100% for sure, but I believe that PFS and SFS authors get paid a flat rate ($300 sounds like what I've heard through the grapevine before) for somewhere in the range of 11,000 words. Some of the more well-known authors may be able to negotiate a per word fee. I dunno. But if they have to write 12,000 words in order to accommodate all the social possibilities on all the NPCs and stat blocks, now you are looking at 1,000 words that they aren't getting paid for.

It may also be possible, depending on how the contract was written, that Paizo would have to pay them if they exceed that limit, but only if they authorize it. Which would means they would have to reject any manuscript that exceeded the word limit. Usually when you have a flat rate pay system, then the authors have a 'not to exceed' limit on word count.


What I like about this thread is my increased understanding of the intimidate rules. I've never really used them and hadn't understood the significant limitations before this, and it seems neither had most of the people I've played with.

Kurthnaga wrote:
If someone has a 30+ intimidate there is something about them that is unsettling to the deepest core of any thinking, feeling being's mind and consciousness. You don't fiat that away and completely negate the use of a character just because you don't like it.

Mechanically speaking, a 30+ intimidate cannot possibly indicate what you think, because that 30+ intimidate does literally nothing most of the time. If a person were deeply unsettling in such a manner it would affect all their interactions and probably be some kind of diplomacy penalty (and maybe sometimes a bonus) fairly frequently. GMs are not instructed or advised to take a 30 intimidate mod and alter RP, so it's not a fundamental part of how the character presents - it's something they turn on or off at will, quite deliberately.

Not that I think having an intimidating presence that affects every interaction would be a bad thing per se, I would play a game like that, it's just that's not how the rules work in PF.

Kurthnaga wrote:
Agreed, but the leeway is not implied to be and should not be, you've succeeded at your check but I will do nothing useful for you.

Assuming the player has actually understood and followed the rules, I would usually agree.

But I think there's a lot of ignorance, and there are a significant number of scenarios where the player would not get to make a check (by the rules), because making the check takes one minute and the target has options to interrupt it. If the player takes five seconds to say something threatening, rolls a dice, and then declares that they scored a 43 intimidate, telling them it doesn't work isn't "leeway" at all - it's simply following the rules as written. In this example the fact that the player has rolled the dice and thinks they're entitled to a big number result is down to a player misunderstanding.

Kurthnaga wrote:
I fail to see how the scenario should ever be, "I'm more scared of my boss, I'm not telling you anything." That's just being adversarial to what someone has chosen to specialize in.

Given the number of sapient creatures we encounter that are willing to fight to the death, the idea that some of them can't be scared into acting friendly (and would choose to fight to the death rather than help) doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Just consistent. It's also within the rules - pathfinder tries to intimidate the captured zealot, they try to break free and attack the pathfinder within the one minute interval before the intimidate roll is allowed.

Now if it's a random shopkeeper in a confined space with no option to flee or call for the town guard or something, then that would be different. But I really doubt people are playing random shopkeepers as immune.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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Lucy_Valentine wrote:
...and then declares that they scored a 43 intimidate, telling them it doesn't work isn't "leeway" at all - it's simply following the rules as written. In this example the fact that the player has rolled the dice...

Additionally, Intimidate says that the creature will not endanger themselves and will provide only limited help. The first part that says they will tell you what you want to know, can certainly be interpreted as endangering themselves, and as such, while certainly terrified of you, may not actually tell you what you want because that would endanger them.

In many cases, a 43 Intimidate isn't going to actually mean anything more than a 17 Intimidate, if the DC is only 17. The propensity for GMs to take a huge roll like that against a low DC and make it mean more, is not part of the rules. I'm not saying they shouldn't do it, because its certainly fun and doesn't change the scope of the scenario at all if they do. But the high roll is meaningless above the DC.

The Exchange 5/5

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nosig wrote:

could someone please give a spoiler-ed example of an instance in a PFS scenario where Intimidate is banned/disallowed? Because I am actually having trouble coming up with one... and I have been checking. I'm finding some where it is given a penalty, or with a high DC or even with the note that trying it will mean the PCs are "reported to authorities" after they end the "interview" and the target feels safe again... but not outright banned.

plop in the scenario name as the spoiler, then if we have played that scenario we can click the spoiler tag and read HOW it is Banned.

** spoiler omitted **

floating this to the top of the thread again...

Could someone please give a spoiler-ed example of an instance in a PFS scenario where Intimidate is banned/disallowed?

Not to say it never happens - but I've been looking for them and I can't find an instance of where the scenario says the NPC/Monster has an immunity to Intimidate...

5/5

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Or it is relating to their editors and the harsh companion that is word count.

at first glance I assumed it was that writers and freelancers had immunity to intimidation... 8^)

5/5

Given that what we have is RAW and broad strokes can be expedient, I'd take it with a grain of salt and agree with Thursty throughout this thread and other posters.

Use of this particular tool is an editor's call as the original poster pointed out. I'd agree that negating a skill could be dealt with in other ways (Intimidation Resistance or higher DCs?) and should be avoided.
I think of it as a broad stroke for a specific situation in a scene to force a situation rather than a pernicious rules violation.


Tallow wrote:
Now I don't know 100% for sure, but I believe that PFS and SFS authors get paid a flat rate ($300 sounds like what I've heard through the grapevine before) for somewhere in the range of 11,000 words. Some of the more well-known authors may be able to negotiate a per word fee. I dunno. But if they have to write 12,000 words in order to accommodate all the social possibilities on all the NPCs and stat blocks, now you are looking at 1,000 words that they aren't getting paid for.

Often the situation is likely to be that someone writes everything they want to write and then have to cut what they wrote down from, say, 12,000 words to 11,000 words. In which case, cutting it down to a set length is more work than leaving it as it is.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Now I don't know 100% for sure, but I believe that PFS and SFS authors get paid a flat rate ($300 sounds like what I've heard through the grapevine before) for somewhere in the range of 11,000 words. Some of the more well-known authors may be able to negotiate a per word fee. I dunno. But if they have to write 12,000 words in order to accommodate all the social possibilities on all the NPCs and stat blocks, now you are looking at 1,000 words that they aren't getting paid for.
Often the situation is likely to be that someone writes everything they want to write and then have to cut what they wrote down from, say, 12,000 words to 11,000 words. In which case, cutting it down to a set length is more work than leaving it as it is.

Having written for other publishers and attending the "Writing for Paizo" seminar at, I think, 2016 Paizo Con, if an author chooses not to write "to spec" that's on them. If they write 12,000 words and have to pair down to meet spec at 11,000 words, that's their own process and a publisher doesn't owe them anything for that extra work. Turning in an adventure "not to spec" causes extra work for the development team to either get it "to spec" or sending red-lines back to the author.

I think Owen K.C. Stephens, Jessica Price, and John Compton said at least a dozen times in that seminar, if you are going to write for any publisher, "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, WRITE TO SPEC!"

5/5

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Tallow wrote:

Having written for other publishers and attending the "Writing for Paizo" seminar ..., if an author chooses not to write "to spec" that's on them. If they write 12,000 words and have to pair down to meet spec at 11,000 words, that's their own process and a publisher doesn't owe them anything for that extra work. Turning in an adventure "not to spec" causes extra work for the development team to either get it "to spec" or sending red-lines back to the author.

I think Owen K.C. Stephens, Jessica Price, and John Compton said at least a dozen times in that seminar, if you are going to write for any publisher, "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, WRITE TO SPEC!"

I am gonna have to attend that seminar this year if they offer it.

Silver Crusade 3/5

nosig wrote:

Not to say it never happens - but I've been looking for them and I can't find an instance of where the scenario says the NPC/Monster has an immunity to Intimidate...

A season 9 scenario has the BBEG have following text for after-battle interaction:

Spoiler:
While Shinri Dells won’t surrender, the
PCs can attempt to capture her in order to question her
directly, or possibly present her to the Senghor leadership to
further their case against the Aspis Consortium. If they do,
Shinri provides little insight into her activities. She believes
that she will be reincarnated into a higher being upon death,
so no threat is enough to persuade her to speak.

The last sentence pretty much says "will not give out any information if captured alive". So not total immunity (I mean you could get them shaken in combat), but close.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Leathert wrote:
nosig wrote:

Not to say it never happens - but I've been looking for them and I can't find an instance of where the scenario says the NPC/Monster has an immunity to Intimidate...

A season 9 scenario has the BBEG have following text for after-battle interaction:

** spoiler omitted **

The last sentence pretty much says "will not give out any information if captured alive". So not total immunity (I mean you could get them shaken in combat), but close.

That I feel is fine, saying they won't give info or that they won't be swayed by intimidate is just explaining their reactions. It's someone getting flat out immunity out of nowhere is what I have a problem with. (for me the main issue would be for in combat shaken effects, I really couldn't care less about them not giving any info when intimidated.)

Scarab Sages 5/5

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Leathert wrote:
nosig wrote:

Not to say it never happens - but I've been looking for them and I can't find an instance of where the scenario says the NPC/Monster has an immunity to Intimidate...

A season 9 scenario has the BBEG have following text for after-battle interaction:

** spoiler omitted **

The last sentence pretty much says "will not give out any information if captured alive". So not total immunity (I mean you could get them shaken in combat), but close.

That I feel is fine, saying they won't give info or that they won't be swayed by intimidate is just explaining their reactions. It's someone getting flat out immunity out of nowhere is what I have a problem with. (for me the main issue would be for in combat shaken effects, I really couldn't care less about them not giving any info when intimidated.)

Spoiler:
Additionally the adventure text gives enough information about the BBEG, that as a GM you could even say, "I will be reincarnated so nothing you do to me, even death, will sway me to answer your questions." To which the PC's pull out some sort of magic item or spell that traps or destroys the BBEG's soul. Despite all my comments above, if the PCs figure it out, and the adventure spells out why the NPC won't speak, then I'd allow the NPC to speak to them.
Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

nosig wrote:
nosig wrote:

could someone please give a spoiler-ed example of an instance in a PFS scenario where Intimidate is banned/disallowed? Because I am actually having trouble coming up with one... and I have been checking. I'm finding some where it is given a penalty, or with a high DC or even with the note that trying it will mean the PCs are "reported to authorities" after they end the "interview" and the target feels safe again... but not outright banned.

plop in the scenario name as the spoiler, then if we have played that scenario we can click the spoiler tag and read HOW it is Banned.

** spoiler omitted **

floating this to the top of the thread again...

Could someone please give a spoiler-ed example of an instance in a PFS scenario where Intimidate is banned/disallowed?

Not to say it never happens - but I've been looking for them and I can't find an instance of where the scenario says the NPC/Monster has an immunity to Intimidate...

9-04 The Unseen Inclusion:

Page 6: "The PCs must succeed at a DC 15
Diplomacy check to convince Kehlaviya to overcome her
fears and describe what she saw. A devout worshipper of
Pharasma who offers to pray with or bless Kehlaviya (or her
crew) automatically succeeds at this check. The Intimidate
skill does not work
; Kehl is far more afraid of the div than
she is of the PCs."


Tallow wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Leathert wrote:
nosig wrote:

Not to say it never happens - but I've been looking for them and I can't find an instance of where the scenario says the NPC/Monster has an immunity to Intimidate...

A season 9 scenario has the BBEG have following text for after-battle interaction:

** spoiler omitted **

The last sentence pretty much says "will not give out any information if captured alive". So not total immunity (I mean you could get them shaken in combat), but close.

That I feel is fine, saying they won't give info or that they won't be swayed by intimidate is just explaining their reactions. It's someone getting flat out immunity out of nowhere is what I have a problem with. (for me the main issue would be for in combat shaken effects, I really couldn't care less about them not giving any info when intimidated.)
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Well the issue there is, if the PCs try to circumvent the limitation, then you run into the counter argument. If the NPC believes that they will be reincarnated on their death by their God, and the PCs pull out some soul gem or what not to try to say, "We won't let you die." The NPC can logically counter with, "My God won't allow that to work." And you are back to square one.
Scarab Sages 5/5

HWalsh wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Leathert wrote:
nosig wrote:

Not to say it never happens - but I've been looking for them and I can't find an instance of where the scenario says the NPC/Monster has an immunity to Intimidate...

A season 9 scenario has the BBEG have following text for after-battle interaction:

** spoiler omitted **

The last sentence pretty much says "will not give out any information if captured alive". So not total immunity (I mean you could get them shaken in combat), but close.

That I feel is fine, saying they won't give info or that they won't be swayed by intimidate is just explaining their reactions. It's someone getting flat out immunity out of nowhere is what I have a problem with. (for me the main issue would be for in combat shaken effects, I really couldn't care less about them not giving any info when intimidated.)
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

True, however, there is only so much one-up-man-ship I'm willing to engage in as a GM. Also, circumstances may dictate certain things as well. Does a getting a Prestige Point hinge on getting this info? Does the adventure stall if this info isn't gained? I know that the last doesn't apply necessarily to this particular example, but its germane to the overall conversation.

As a GM, I feel its my job to ensure the players don't feel like I'm using my authority to make subjective decisions to screw them out of rewards. And its my job to ensure the scenario continues flowing along. If stopping Intimidate does either of those things, then I need to think really hard if I should actually use my authority in that instance.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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If all that is being complained about is that people are written to not give any info from being intimidated then I'm not having an issue with this. My understanding was that they were straight up immune to being intimidated (meaning being combat intimidated immune), not that they just gave no info once they were intimidated (means they can still be shaken).

Grand Lodge

Tallow wrote:

See, this is where the realm of message board arguing (Nice out of context quote of something I said there) never really paints the whole picture.

Of course you do your best to roleplay the NPC. The bottom line though, no matter what window deesding you put on it, there are some things that intimidate will not make an NPC do. And that can be largely subjective, up to the GM based on circumstances.

The quote is not at all out of context, that is all the context you gave it. The rest of the post was about PCs intimidating non-humanoid Cthulu monsters. PCs should be capable of intimidating mooks. Who else are they meant to intimidate if not the mooks.

My point is that the PCs should always feel like they got something if they spend time intimidating someone. Even if its a rehash or confirmation of what they already know, they know get whatever that guy knows if they succeed on the check.

I agree that what they can give to an extent will always be up to GM discretion and circumstantial, my point is that it should almost never be "Nothing Useful". Even in spoilered above you could say something like,

Spoiler:
"Haha even if you kill me foolish adventurers my God will wisk me away to the safety of their august presence for eternity"

in response to a successful check. There's rarely reason to just shut down a players attempt to interact.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Kurthnaga wrote:


in response to a successful check. There's rarely reason to just shut down a players attempt to interact.

I'm not sure where I ever gave the impression (indeed I think I was very specific in giving opposite examples) where I'd just shut players down.

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