Intimidate as Save or Die

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So I was DMing a game with my brother about a week ago and the issue of intimidate came up.  As the game stood, one BBEG intimidated both the fighter and the monk into submission, with the aid of his minion giving him +5 to the check, effectively removing them from combat. He (probably rightly so) found this to be horribly aggravating seeing as half of his party was taken down in a matter of turns, with the only condition that they must be bloodied, and since this is a check, no penalties that the fighter could lay down had any effect on the BBEG intimidating people.  Strictly speaking this operates as a SoD mechanic because there is no recovery from being intimidated into surrender (in terms as RAW). My question to the community is:  what constitutes "surrender". Does it mean roll over and be totally cooperative, does it mean put down your weapons and offer no further resistance, and most importantly, how long does it last? 


Is intimidate the new SoD?

  Thanks in advance
So I was DMing a game with my brother about a week ago and the issue of intimidate came up.  As the game stood, one BBEG intimidated both the fighter and the monk into submission, with the aid of his minion giving him +5 to the check, effectively removing them from combat. He (probably rightly so) found this to be horribly aggravating seeing as half of his party was taken down in a matter of turns, with the only condition that they must be bloodied, and since this is a check, no penalties that the fighter could lay down had any effect on the BBEG intimidating people.  Strictly speaking this operates as a SoD mechanic because there is no recovery from being intimidated into surrender (in terms as RAW). My question to the community is:  what constitutes "surrender". Does it mean roll over and be totally cooperative, does it mean put down your weapons and offer no further resistance, and most importantly, how long does it last? 


Is intimidate the new SoD?

  Thanks in advance


Intimidate
"An adventurer can make an Intimidate check to influence others through hostile actions, overt threats, or deadly persuasion. (Monsters can’t intimidate adventurers.)"
(Emphasis mine)

In other words, this can't happen. PCs are unaffected by intimidate, since they decide how their characters react in any situation. Since intimidate is a reaction, rather than a proper effect, the DM can't dictate that a PC surrenders.
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Intimidate
"An adventurer can make an Intimidate check to influence others through hostile actions, overt threats, or deadly persuasion. (Monsters can’t intimidate adventurers.)"
(Emphasis mine)

In other words, this can't happen. PCs are unaffected by intimidate, since they decide how their characters react in any situation. Since intimidate is a reaction, rather than a proper effect, the DM can't dictate that a PC surrenders.



  I don't see the "An adventurer" portion in either the updates or the original handbook(The link is an insider perk no?).  Also, some monsters are trained in intimidate, so if they couldn't intimidate PCs they would not bother putting that in the stack block to begin with.  Likewise, I disagree with the premise that players decide how PCs react to situations.  For example, a PC cannot say, that poison shouldn't be effecting me because my Endurance is so high (even though I rolled a 2).  So on the same token, why should I player be able to say:  my guy has such high will, he was not scared into dropping his weapon.
  That aside, my initial question deals more with how deal with the surrender circumstance, which seems to be a total shutdown, regardless of who is on the receiving end of it, since it is not thoroughly addressed, for example should each intimidate check only be valid for the round in which it was made or does it last until the end of the encounter?
For monsters: depends on the circumstances, basically up to the DM, changes every time. If they have a clear path, they'll run. If they're alone, they'll cower. If they have a leader that they don't want to anger, they'll convieniently move to the back of the battle where they can't be hurt (until they get kicked back into the frontline) Something like that.

For PCs, it doesn't work. Just because you "disagree with the premise" doesn't mean that it's not how 4e is designed. If you want to let these powers work in 4e, the rulebook can't help you. You're on your own, and if the rules same "broken" that's because you made them.

The DM can apply mechanical effects to a player (like 5 ongoing poison damage) but he can't dictate how the character reacts to it (like, say, "you scream like a little girl") Likewise he can't diplomance characters, or intimidate them into doing something. He can only use those skills to give out information about what is happening. "The baron says you get 200gp. It sounds like a huge bounty". Not "You accept the 200gp for the quest." Players act.
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Not in the erratta, but that phrasing is included in the description in the printed compendium as well as the online one.  As for you question about how to play a monster being intimidated, as written sounds like it should take them out of the encounter completely.

In my own game I've been playing it not quite that strict on either side. NPCs/Monsters can still try intimidate rolls, though how they respond will still be open to the player. So I may tell them that something is scaring them, but how that will play out will be in character. For one of my players I could see him taking an intimidate roll as even more of a provokation when it succeeds, though he'd play his character as being less rational. Other characters might back off and focus on other enemies rather then surrending completely. I play the monsters similarly, so minions would turn and run (though techinically these shouldn't qualify as since they don't get bloodied), but standard monsters would be more likely to just fall back and look for a better place to fight unless they're already in really bad shape. Leaders would move to try to get something between them and the PC
Monsters can't intimidate their cowardly minions or allies in the heat of a battle?  Perhaps the elite intimidates the minions and/or other allies to fight the party while he/she/it retreats?

Perhaps that's why it is sometimes seen in the stat block?

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Intimidate
"An adventurer can make an Intimidate check to influence others through hostile actions, overt threats, or deadly persuasion. (Monsters can’t intimidate adventurers.)"
(Emphasis mine)

In other words, this can't happen. PCs are unaffected by intimidate, since they decide how their characters react in any situation. Since intimidate is a reaction, rather than a proper effect, the DM can't dictate that a PC surrenders.



  I don't see the "An adventurer" portion in either the updates or the original handbook(The link is an insider perk no?).  Also, some monsters are trained in intimidate, so if they couldn't intimidate PCs they would not bother putting that in the stack block to begin with.  Likewise, I disagree with the premise that players decide how PCs react to situations.  For example, a PC cannot say, that poison shouldn't be effecting me because my Endurance is so high (even though I rolled a 2).  So on the same token, why should I player be able to say:  my guy has such high will, he was not scared into dropping his weapon.
  That aside, my initial question deals more with how deal with the surrender circumstance, which seems to be a total shutdown, regardless of who is on the receiving end of it, since it is not thoroughly addressed, for example should each intimidate check only be valid for the round in which it was made or does it last until the end of the encounter?


Most DM's I know treat intimidate as a -1 penalty to attack rolls, save ends.  Monsters don't surrender unless they would normally surrender (intelligent NPCs that value living).

It is completely up to the DM what an intimidate check will do.  I see no issue having Intimidate "kill" minions.   

As far as your " For example, a PC cannot say, that poison shouldn't be effecting me because my Endurance is so high (even though I rolled a 2).  So on the same token, why should I player be able to say:  my guy has such high will, he was not scared into dropping his weapon." argument:  

A PC is a hero, and there shouldn't be a rule that says "you stop fighting because the DM says so."  It's one thing to not clear yourself of a poison or disease.  It's a completely different story to not be able to decide what your PC, A HERO, does in the face of something scary.

In order to be infected with a poison/disease, you need to 1.  Be attacked in the first place, 2. Typically, you need to fail a saving throw against said attack, and 3.  THEN start making endurance checks.

That's very different from "Oh, I beat the entire party's will defense, you now all surrender to me because you're bloodied. 
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
Keep in mind the +10 modifier to Will defense for being Hostile, and the -5 penalty to the check if you can't speak the target's language. That can make it a much more difficult check.

Also, the success line reads: You force a bloodied target to surrender, get a target to reveal secrets against its will, or cow a target into taking some other action.

Ultimately, the DM's word is final. 4e in general seems to go back towards giving the DM power instead of having every possible effect spelled out in the rules. So the DM could easily rule that the target is cowed into taking some other action, what action being up to him. There should probably be some effect but it doesn't need to be an insta-win. Maybe the monster moves away from the PCs on its next turn. They get some benefit, but the fight goes on.

Also, surrender could mean surrender to the PCs. It could mean giving up the fight, but fleeing only to attack again later from a more advantageous position. Obviously you don't want to make it constantly harmful for the PCs to use it, but you don't have to let them force a solo monster into surrendering.
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Keep in mind the +10 modifier to Will defense for being Hostile, and the -5 penalty to the check if you can't speak the target's language. That can make it a much more difficult check.



So can the fact that the modifiers are suggested, not absolute.

This is not like an attack, where there's a defense to hit and a set of official modifiers and rules to say that yes, you hit.
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In my own game I've been playing it not quite that strict on either side. NPCs/Monsters can still try intimidate rolls, though how they respond will still be open to the player. So I may tell them that something is scaring them, but how that will play out will be in character.



Imho this is a good approach (and very useful for charm effects as well): the character is intimidated or charmed, and the player then plays accordingly in character. This of course requires players who 'play along' (and like this way of playing, as opposed to a more 'game-mechanic-heavy' solution). This allows for monsters to effect PCs by fera, charm etc. powers and still allows for the players to chose the actions for their characters.

Regards
Nikolaj
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