Homebrew Rule: Taunt


Homebrew and House Rules


So I was thinking of coming up with a more player direct method of agro control in the game. I have a friend who plays a champion in another campaign, and he's not a huge fan of the class specific trick that lets you debuff enemies if they target someone other than you. Namely because it's up to the GM to actually decide what option (if any depending on the type of champ you are), happens.

So I was thinking of something, either a skill feat tied to Deception or Intimidation, that lets you apply a status effect, similar to Shaken, Demoralized, etc. The Deception version would basically be similar to the way Spiderman keeps enemies focused on him, by being annoying/insulting to the point that they are so pissed off, they just ignore everyone else and try and smash the yappy little punk.

The Intimidation version is basically making yourself so scary that they instantly consider you THE BIG THREAT, and for the sake of their own lives, they focus on you.

I don't have all the mechanics of it hashed out, and I usually try and play pretty loose with it, but I was thinking having it be an Expert Requirement feat, for either skill. With a Willpower DC check to see if you anger/scare them enough to focus on you, and have the default duration be 1 turn, with the chance for 2+ on critical success or something similar. That way the person trying to play a tank, if they roll really well, could have some more options in subsequent turns, for further actions.

Thoughts? To clarify, I'm not looking for "this is a bad idea, don't do this" I WILL be doing it, I'm just looking for some thoughts on how to make it useful without being OP. I think the basic outline I just put up is pretty fair, but also lets people other than Champions play something of a tank role. So fighters, or Swashbucklers, etc. Other archetypes that are often portrayed as drawing the attention of badguys to protect their friends, without having to be a holy warrior of some cause.


This belongs in the Homebrew Forum.

Flagged for staff review and moving.

Grand Lodge

1) Definetly belongs in the homebrew forum.

2) OP will be your biggest obstacle as written. Also consider how players would react if used against them, as it could quickly erode player choice and tactics as proposed.

That being said, I would list it as a level 2 feat with expert in intimidation, and give it the game effect twice that of demoralize but they may ignore it if they don't target a character other than you.

I would not allow deception for this, as the interaction with stealth will prove problematic.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is this not what the Bon Mot feat does?

Silver Crusade

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We had this as a feat in P1, it was as horrible as you expected and we had numerous threads about it.

Edit: that was more caustic than I intended, and not all that helpful.

Those old threads could provide some inspiration for you, but also just a "force that person to attack me" is going to get meh really quick. How are they focusing on the target? Do they have to move up on them? Do they have to use physical attacks? Forcing them to act outside their normal logic doesn't tend to end well, and starts breaking down the game (from both sides of the GM screen), a debuff or other incentive to encourage the target to attack the taunter rather than forcing them tends to flow much better.

Also are you the GM in the other campaign? If not I'd run it by them first before you do any sort of brainstorming on the subject.


Not specifically about taunt, but the champion's reaction is an excellent example how an enemy is supposed to think.

Do I want to hit the target with -5 AC*, triggering the champion reaction, or the champion itself?

*no full plate, shield raised and with trained rather than expert armor proficiency.


From a GM's perspective, you quickly learn just how menacing a Champion's reaction can be. My party's champion started as a Redeemer but soon became a Paladin instead, and I can safely say he was a menace to creatures who couldn't or didn't want to get out of the way of his area of control.

This goes especially once they get the enhanced reaction. Again, speaking mainly for a paladin player, one time a gug went after a weak party member. On the next round it had been surrounded by the paladin and the other martial characters. That gug almost died that round because of the hail of blows triggered.


A skill feat that partially mimicks the Champion's ability is the way to go, IMO: intimidate to get the enemy's attention and thus debuff it if it doesn't attack you. With deception I would go in the opposite direction: drive its attention away from you, maybe even towards someone else in particular.


For some reason when I try to quote your response, it autoquotes someone else, and never populates your stuff, so I'm just going to copy pasta it.

---- How are they focusing on the target? Do they have to move up on them? Do they have to use physical attacks? ----

If they have to move closer to initiate an attack, then yes. Just like as if they had chosen to attack that character initially. Just like any player who decided to change targets based on situational modifiers in a fluid combat situation. If they can initiate a ranged attack, they can stay where they are. This is only encouraging them that if they are going to be hostile, it will be at the taunter. This isn't like a frenzy, where they lose all mental acuity (though the Deception insulter could possibly piss them off that bad I guess, for comical purposes), if they have no hostile intent, then they won't attack.

---- Forcing them to act outside their normal logic doesn't tend to end well, and starts breaking down the game (from both sides of the GM screen)----

And how is inflicting them with a fear effect, forcing them to act outside their normal logic any different? Nobody seems to have a problem with the fact that making someone turn and run for X turns, due to a fear effect, is mechanically the same thing as what I'm proposing. It's preventing them from doing an action, and instead forcing them to do something the character wants them to do instead. Namely, run away. I see no difference. For 2 turns of Fear, the target isn't attacking. For 2 turns of Taunt, the target is only attacking one person. This seems entirely reasonable to me, especially since it's dependent on making a skill check. Meaning it can easily fail, for a myriad of reasons.

If you want to give it a "normal logic" rationale, then think of any of a myriad of examples that you've seen in movies and tv, where some big b ad character shows up in the middle of a fight, and the introduction of that character, realigns the parties target priority. They are happily dealing with mook minions, then a Lancer/Big Bad walks in, being all menacing (because hey, they succeeded at their intimidation roll), and now all the heroes are like "oh crap, ok we have to handle him or he will own us".

----- a debuff or other incentive to encourage the target to attack the taunter rather than forcing them tends to flow much better.-----

But the issue is my friend has stated that when he uses this, the GM basically doesn't really give a s@#+, and just always attacks anyway. Effectively making it useless as a way to actually prevent someone else being hurt. His complaint about this to me, was the seed of this very thread. Because I read the rules about the Redeemer's trick (the type of Champion he is playing in the other game), and he finds the ability fairly useless. Namely because the GM just does it anyway.

------Also are you the GM in the other campaign? If not I'd run it by them first before you do any sort of brainstorming on the subject.---

No I am not the GM of the other game. The GM of the other game is an a%~+&+#, and I have nothing to do with him for a myriad of reasons (wow I've used myriad a lot in this post). I personally am fine with how the Champion ability works, but my issue is that ONLY champions have the ability to make people focus on them in battle? I think that's just fundamentally, and thematically very silly. Given the source material that these TTRPGS pull from, are rife with examples of non-paladin types, doing exactly that action (drawing the attention of the enemy/party through sheer badassery or annoyance), I wanted to come up with a general method, that any character could pick up if they wanted. So that my friend doesn't have to make another Champion to play a tank concept out. He could make a regular fighter, or a duelist that focuses on insulting his opponent to keep him distracted and centered on him, or whatever.

It makes sense to me, given how many other status effects that can be applied to characters/npcs, that have a short duration, and force them to behave in a way against their best interests. If anything I'd say mine is LESS op than the Champion thing, because that always applies if I recall correctly. My idea is still dependent on making a skill check, which again, you can fail for a number of reasons.

Silver Crusade

"And how is inflicting them with a fear effect, forcing them to act outside their normal logic any different?"

because it's very much within their normal logic if they're frightened, barring magic, which is magic.

Or is this coming from the types who pout if their character gets hit with fear/intimidate and try to argue that their character would never do that?

"But the issue is my friend has stated that when he uses this, the GM basically doesn't really give a s%!+"

And you think a homebrew feat from some random person the GM doesn't play with is going to change his mind?

"Effectively making it useless as a way to actually prevent someone else being hurt."

That's where the rider effects come into play, so not useless actually.

"The GM of the other game is an a#&$#@&"

Then this endeavor failed before it began. You can't solve out of game issues in game, and you especially can't solve them by trying to insert your homebrew into a game you're not even playing in.

What do you expect to happen? Say you get the feat up and running, then what? The GM you don't like nor have anything to do with is going to allow no problem? Why?


Thaumaturge has also a way to support allies, with the amulet iirc.

Fighters, along with champions, or anybody who has the bastion dedication, can get access to shield warden, which is excellent to prevent damage to an ally.

The issue with the champion is, anyway, for real.

It's been 3/4 years and still there's no valid alternative in terms of generic frontline:

- legendary AC
- reaction that prevents damage
- shield block + extra shield abilities
- full plate proficiency
- shield with 50/100% more hp and extra hardness
- etc...

The best you can do is to get a champion and deliberately break their code, loosing either divine ally and focus pool, being able to become a generic character who tanks and it's not tied to any oath.

But you can do the same with the champion dedication to be honest.

Kinda annoying.

Anyway, I side with Risky.

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