The cheese of Intimidation (Demoralize)


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Midnightoker wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
As much as I disliked it in PF1, but something like a Diplomacy based Antagonize "Attack me if you are hard enough..." could work as an alternative to Intimidate.

I mean, I don't hate the idea of it coming back, but it was indeed too powerful in PF1 (even after the errata it was still a bit on the strong side).

I could see it being the second layer in a Feat tree, but a one off grab on Skill Feat I think would be on the strong side. It will just become mandatory to take for a lot of melees that want to fill the tank role.

Ironically, the gruff tank types will want that type of Feat the most so it is kind of at odds when it comes to themes and value if we consider the fact that the premise is to use Diplomacy.

There aren't a lot of ways to protect the back lines currently with AoO's gone and more movement being available essentially for free, so this type of ability gets even more valuable vs. how it was in PF1.

I would love to see something like Antagonize come back. It was great for someone who wants to play that "defender" type character, since it's otherwise very hard to do that.

This is a case where the PF2 math should also work, as there won't be a real way to jack it up to being unbeatable. And it doesn't fully take an enemy out of the fight the way Demoralize can. All around a great option.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
...skills will probably need a fair bit of rebalancing to prevent them from overpowering the play environment.

I hope this is not the same as nerfing skills. Yes, Demoralize that causes opponents to flee is a bit too good. But Athletics for combat maneuvers does not need a nerf! More skills could be given combat stunts linked to them.

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Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Table 10-2 should be destroyed

Silver Crusade

Starfox wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
...skills will probably need a fair bit of rebalancing to prevent them from overpowering the play environment.

I hope this is not the same as nerfing skills. Yes, Demoralize that causes opponents to flee is a bit too good. But Athletics for combat maneuvers does not need a nerf! More skills could be given combat stunts linked to them.

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Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Table 10-2 should be destroyed

I think a rebalancing is a good idea, particularly looking at something like disarm.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
If your players aren't finding a way to effectively use their 3rd action they are playing the playtest wrong.

Yep, there it is, the attitude we know and love!

So, if you are using Demoralise, you are playing wrong, not because it's broken and stupid.

Skills and combat rarely play nice together, unless it's a Skill-based system.


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Starfox wrote:
Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Table 10-2 should be destroyed.

It is rather worrying, like that page 42 action, from 4th Ed.

Bodes horrendously.


Cantriped wrote:

Demoralize is a pretty dirty, and an overly effective use of a single action. It is basically an Attack which doesn't suffer MAP, and if used correctly can cost the target multiple rounds.

For example; during a boss fight with a Weak Ghost Commoner (so lvl 3 and -2 to all published statistics) a Critical Success chased my group's melee-Fighter out of a small crypt, screaming like a B-movie victim. That one action cost her both the round she spent fleeing and the round it took her to return.

Two rounds without worrying about a melee or short range combatant's contribution is far too strong a benefit for a check that doesn't have the Attack Trait. So I say, odd as it feels, Demoralize should be an Attack, and thus suffer MAP.

That's too extreme of an angle, and it's not necessarily any more of an attack than, for example, a Wizard using a Fear spell and an enemy critically failing the saving throw. If that's the case, spells like Fear should also suffer MAP, and we all know that's not going to happen, even if only because it's balanced by requiring 2 actions (and the majority of your turn combined with a bad roll from the enemy) to work.

In my opinion, the solution is simple. We kill the Batman. Reduce the duration of the Critical Success to "The First Action at the start of their turn must be spent fleeing from the source of your fear." It is wordy, true, but this way, spending a 3rd action in the hopes of a good Intimidate check could result in a fair (even if unlikely) net gain of 2 effective actions lost from the target (assuming melee, though spellcasters are less affected if they have ranged capabilities).

Of course if we decide to just reduce it to Frightened 2, it won't be much better than, say, using Feint to make an enemy Flat-footed to your attacks, and I'm of the opinion that it could stand to be buffed a little more.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That's too extreme of an angle, and it's not necessarily any more of an attack than, for example, a Wizard using a Fear spell and an enemy critically failing the saving throw. If that's the case, spells like Fear should also suffer MAP, and we all know that's not going to happen, even if only because it's balanced by requiring 2 actions (and the majority of your turn combined with a bad roll from the enemy) to work.

Maybe... but the Fear spell takes two actions, costs a spell slot (for all but the most powerful spellcasters), and requires the target(s) critically fail their saves. Plus you have to actually know Fear specifically. Meaning the effect could be comperable, but a spellcaster expends more than twice the incombat resources, and can still only perform the activity a limited number of times (far fewer than the number of times he could have used Demoralize instead). Why bother casting Fear once when you could cast 'Demoralize' twice without expending a spell slot? Its not really a favorable comparison for arguing that Demoralize isn't overpowered.

Note that in my example encounter, The ghost's Demoralize checks had more impact than its Frightful Moan.


To be fair, Fear is one step stronger than Demoralize (frightened 2 on success/1 on failure vs frightened 1 on success/nothing on failure) but it's still somewhat true.


Maybe you could try something where if the enemy crit successes their demoralize save they either get a small buff or the character gets a small debuff. That way if you are just crit fishing their is also chance of a real consequence.


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I personally think demoralize is fine as is, and it's just other options that need to be buffed. Especially combat maneuvers, but also spells like fear.


I just look forward to seeing how they work Dirty Trick into the new system.


if we weaken demoralize, what does the barbarian do with the third action? attack on -10?


Cantriped wrote:


Maybe... but the Fear spell takes two actions, costs a spell slot (for all but the most powerful spellcasters), and requires the target(s) critically fail their saves. Plus you have to actually know Fear specifically. Meaning the effect could be comperable, but a spellcaster expends more than twice the incombat resources, and can still only perform the activity a limited number of times (far fewer than the number of times he could have used Demoralize instead). Why bother casting Fear once when you could cast 'Demoralize' twice without expending a spell slot? Its not really a favorable comparison for arguing that Demoralize isn't overpowered.

Possible solution for the fear spell is to turn it into a 10 ft burst, and maybe create an at-will cantrip version that's single-target.


MerlinCross wrote:
I just look forward to seeing how they work Dirty Trick into the new system.

It'll probably work like Sunder.


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I maybe agree, but you'd need to do quite a bit of work to remove "scare to death" from the top pick for most characters.


ErichAD wrote:
I maybe agree, but you'd need to do quite a bit of work to remove "scare to death" from the top pick for most characters.

I know it's old, but It sounds like a Chuck Norris joke.

Chuck Norris doesn't mow the lawn, he dares the grass to grow.

When asked if it was "Chuck, or Mr Norris?", Chuck Norris simply stared at the person until they exploded.

Bigfoot is a piece of Chuck Norris' beard that has escaped.

And so on.

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