Intimidation Tactics/Mechanics

If you are reading this and you play in my group (Vor'Aina, Grevaire, Klep'choda, Kiril, or Colin)... please do not read further.  Spoilers will abound.

Alright, if you are still reading, don't say I didn't warn you.

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I'm working on a conceptual threat for my upcoming campaign.  It will revolve around a dispossessed species of alien, one hunted near to extinction on their homeworld, something allowed by the Galactic Republic, the Savrip.  The threat will come from an offshoot of them which fled the genocide on Ord Mantell, and resettled on other less hospitable and uncivilized planets/moons where their primitive culture uncovered Sith artifacts and potentially a Dark side spirit.  That left them hiding in seclusion below the radar of the Republic building their power and becoming steeped in the dark side over time.  Living in a strict caste society, and engaging in selective breeding will have left them with a stratified society, one largely run by the dark side adepts among them.  Given their innate penchant for rage, and learning fear as an effective weapon instilled in them by the mass genocide enacted upon them, they will live in a brutal harsh society that uses battle to cull the weak among them leading to a stronger tribe.  Rage, fear, and dark side power now fuel them, and their thirst for vengeance on the Republic that was tacitly complicit in their mass genocide.

To fit that theme, I'm trying to work through some builds that revolve around fear, intimidation, and rage, some with a healthy dose of force usage mixed in.  The group is going to be around levels 10-13 for this adventure throughout the campaign.  There will probably be a few 'classes' of Savrip type enemies I create for this.  I want them to remain a primarily barbaric and primitive species, so they won't make use of any high technology with the exception of lightsabers for certain castes of Savrip.  Rather than utilize any kind of space craft, they will use large monolithic ziggurats as transports that their smaller force sensitive 'priest' caste work in concert to Fold Space around to jump to target destinations (similar to the Aing Ti Monks).  There will be a worker class  of Savrip that consist of lower level non-force sensitive mooks, that only really have rage to fall back on.  There will likely be a 'brute' class of savrip, that is augmented by sith alchemy to pick up the Chrsylide and Abomination templates, like living battering rams.  I will probably have some of the work class geared for mounted cavalry combat (still looking for ideas on what they'd mount)  And then higher level 'shaman' class Savrip that are force sensitive, make sparing use of the force (Surge, Fear, Improved Dark Rage, maybe some lightsaber form powers like Unhindered Charge... these will be the only lightsaber wielding Savrip), where they at most have just a few powers to fall back on, but otherwise have access to things like Channel Aggression and/or Channel Anger.

Full disclosure, I'm borrowing heavily idea-wise from the Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Lizardmen concept, and will likely purchase and paint up some of those models to use as the enemies in the game:

Savrip Leader
Savrip Shaman
Savrip Brutes
Savrip Workers
Savrip Cavalry Leader
Savrip Cavalry
Savrip Priest Leader
Savrip Priests

This will give me some fun models to convert and work with (I'll be adding lightsaber clear color rods to the weapons that should have it), and they should be around the right size for Large creatures in the SWRPG mini scale, with the exception of the Brutes that should be around Huge size.  Plus I've always liked the Lizardmen in WHF, and maybe that'll act as something to get me started on an army.




I want a lot of built around the rage mechanic, and some of the feats that improve it.  I will probably play around with a healthy dose of fear inducing or fear-like mechanics like Aversion (Force talent CW), Unsettling Presence (Force Adept FU), or Inspire Fear 1/2/3 (Crime Lord CR) in some of the builds.

But one of the things I'm most interested in, and something I've never played around with too much are the Intimidate mechanics and abilities.  Some of the abilities I'm thinking of putting together below:

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Feats:
Intimidator - UR:
"When you intimidate others, either physically or verbally, you shake their confidence so severely that it affects their performance. Prerequisite: Trained in the Persuasion skill. Benefit: When you successfully use the Intimidate application of the Persuasion skill against a creature, instead of the normal results, the creature takes a - 5 penalty to all skill checks (including Use the Force) and a -2 penalty to all attacks when you are within its line of sight, until the end of your next turn. If aboard another vehicle, your enemy must be able to see or detect your vehicle. Special: You can not use this feat with the Maniacal Charge feat."


Maniacal Charge - UR:
"When using the charge action, you can make a Persuasion check as a free action to intimidate your target and each enemy you pass within 1 square of. When your check succeeds against an enemy you pass, it cannot make an attack of opportunity against you. When your check succeeds against your target, it loses its Dexterity bonus and is considered flat-footed until the start of your next turn."



Talents:
Rant - Noble - UR:
"You are a master of voicing your opinion, loudly, continuously, and distractingly.  If you succeed in making a Persuasion check to intimidate an enemy that is within 6 squares of you and that can hear, see, and understand you, you deny that enemy the use of a move action on its next turn, instead of gaining the normal intimidation results.  You grant one ally a move action to use immediately (the ally uses the move action as a reaction)."


Intimidating Defense - Noble - KotOR:
"Once per encounter, as a reaction, you can make a Persuasion check to intimidate one creature that has made a melee or ranged attack against you if that creature is within line of sight.  If you succeed, you impose a -5 penalty to that attack roll.  If the target is higher level than you, it gains a +5 bonus to its Will Defense against the Intimidating Defense.  This is a mind-affecting effect."


Cower Enemies - Force Adept - FU:
"When you use the Persuasion skill to intimidate, you can intimidate all targets in a 6-square cone (originating from your square) instead of intimidating a single target.  All other limitation to the intimidation use of the Persuasion skill still apply. Prereq: Force Interrogation"




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Now, I know that Maniacal Charge and Intimidator don't work together, they are explicit.  But would Intimidator work with Rant and Cower Enemies?  Would Maniacal Charge work with Rant and Cower Enemies?  The way I read it, it seems like this is so.  Maniacal Charge looks like it would be my preference, especially as the flat footed thing would work with the Channel Aggression from the Force Adept talents (which between Channel Aggression, Channel Anger, Force Interogation, Cower Enemies, and Unsettling Presence by the higher levels would give a huge bonus).


I am Blue/Black
Now, I know that Maniacal Charge and Intimidator don't work together, they are explicit.  But would Intimidator work with Rant and Cower Enemies?  Would Maniacal Charge work with Rant and Cower Enemies?  The way I read it, it seems like this is so.  Maniacal Charge looks like it would be my preference, especially as the flat footed thing would work with the Channel Aggression from the Force Adept talents (which between Channel Aggression, Channel Anger, Force Interrogation, Cower Enemies, and Unsettling Presence by the higher levels would give a huge bonus).

The way I see things, you could use Rant and Cower Enemies, to rant to a lot of people at once. They could all be denied their move action on the next turn. However this does not work well if you add in Intimidator as well, as that also change the effect. So either Intimidator or Rant will work well with Cover Enemies, but just one of the two at a time.
 
Same story goes on with either Intimidator or Rant combined with Maniacal Charge working out fine, producing either the intimidating or rant or normal effect from the feat on each target passed, if you succeed on the roll.

Most dramatic effect would be to combine Rant with Cover Enemies and Maniacal Charge, to produce a new cone of Rant for every enemy you pass within 1 square of. If you have two characters with this build, they could continue moving as long as they encounter someone else to intimidate, pumping eachother with new move actions... Speedy Gonzales will have to watch out!

By choosing what cone to put out every time, you could affect a lot of people with more then one effect...

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Note that according to the rules, you must be a member of the Inquisitorius (a special group of dark Jedi who work for the Empire) to take the Cower Enemies talent, which belongs to the Imperial Inquisitor talent tree (TFU page 42)


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Note that according to the rules, you must be a member of the Inquisitorius (a special group of dark Jedi who work for the Empire) to take the Cower Enemies talent, which belongs to the Imperial Inquisitor talent tree (TFU page 42)



I know.  But I'm making up NPC stat blocks.  I'm trying to stick to the basics of class/talent/feat design, but in order to replicate what I'm looking for it may require bending things slightly in order to accomplish that.  I'd still stick to having to take Force Interrogation as a prereq for Cower Enemies for instance, and the 3 Force talent prereq for the Force Adept class.  But I'm ok bending the "member of the Inquisitorius" requirement for the talent tree in order to acheive the right feel for these enemies.

As a GM I'm more permissive so long as things don't become completely unbalanced and they make sense.  If a PC had a compelling reason to take those talents for their character in terms of their story, I'd probably allow it even if they weren't a member of the Inquisitorious, the Star Wars universe does have some examples of those who are self-taught, or have discovered new ways to do things, or rediscovered old ways without explicit instruction from those who previously knew it.

I'd be less inclined to allow free use of different Force Tradition force talents as there are ways to get that outside of joining certain Force Traditions for PCs, since you can grab them through Jedi Master / Force Disciple / Sith Lord talents.  But, as mentioned, the "priest" class of Savrip I'm designing will likely have access to the Folded Space Mastery talent out of the Aing Ti tradition to represent a more instinctive ability to move about the galaxy so they aren't reliant on technology, and they certainly won't *be* Aing Ti.

I'm really looking to take the rules as they exist and come up with a new threat with a particular feel.  Thats going to require hybridization of some of the existing material in order to get where I want.  So I want to keep the rules that are there to help balance things, and those prereqs I will not want to violate.  But I'm ok with violating some of the 'fluff' rules and prereqs, as I'm kind of designing my own new 'fluff'.

I am Blue/Black
I just want to point out that Sawrips make terrible forceusers, as they hav a -4 stat penalty to all three mental stats. This makes it hard to gain many force powers and to get a good Use the Force skill.

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I just want to point out that Sawrips make terrible forceusers, as they hav a -4 stat penalty to all three mental stats. This makes it hard to gain many force powers and to get a good Use the Force skill.



True, but with a 25-point buy, you can still use:

STR 9
DEX 10
CON 8
INT 12
WIS 16
CHA 15


To get:

STR 13
DEX 8
CON 12
INT 8
WIS 12
CHA 11

Then at least with a WIS mod of +1 they can pick up 2 force powers with each force training. Also, some GM’s assign a higher point-buy, such as Dawn of Defiance point-buy (28) or “boss” point-buy (32), in which case you can bump WIS and CHA by a point or two.





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True, but with a 25-point buy, you can still use:


STR 9
DEX 10
CON 8
INT 12
WIS 16
CHA 15


To get:

STR 13
DEX 8
CON 12
INT 8
WIS 12
CHA 11


But those stats are bad! That is what a human could get with point buy 16... Just one more point then a non-heroic get. So I would say that it is pretty weak. Non-heroics normally go with an array of scores, but they are what you could get with point buy 15.

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This may depend on what you consider a "good force user."  The -4 INT just means few trained skills.  -4 to WIS means getting Force Powers is hard but if we are really honest you CAN make a Force Sensitive character who doesn't use powers.  Final -4 CHA really just means -2 to the UtF check and we all should know how broken powerful skill vs defense already is at low levels.  Now I may put some points into CHA to keep the UtF modifier up but INT can be used as a dump stat (even an INT 4 Jedi still starts with one trained skill and can buy more with Skill Training) and if you don't use Force Powers WIS doesn't need to be high either.
Honestly, I don't need them to be super force users.  Only some of them will be force sensitive, and they will be more rare leader-characters or the priests themselves which will be more of a suppport role.  The force for most of them will be an added bonus, give them a few extra abilities through powers.  They might pick up a couple lightsaber form powers for those that wield lightsabers, possibly Fear and Blind.  They're going to be a pretty primitive force, like a dark side cult that picked up a few things they were able to glean from ancient sith artifacts, and then based their culture and religion on.  They aren't gong to be a highly trained force user society, and that's perfectly fine because that's the really the theme I'm running on them with.   So it's cool if they only have a few force related abilities and aren't necessarily the best at wielding the force.  They'll make up for it in a lot of ways through rage and raw strength and fighting power.  They'll more or less be the barbarian horde that comes in, sieges and sacks the centers of civilization in the galaxy by destroying a few key services, and then sit back and watch as the 'civilized' people turn on themselves when scarcity starts to make people desperate.  They'll play on people's fear, strike and retreat just as quickly through guerilla tactics, and aim to disrupt supply lines of food, tibanna gas, power, etc... There's a fair number of planets out there that can't feed their own populations and need to import food stuffs.  If inter-stellar trade shuts down due to loss of power and tibanna gas, things will begin to collapse.  They aren't going to care about taking anything over.  They are just filled with hatred and rage for how their people have been treated throughout the millenia, and simply want to tear down and destroy it all.
I am Blue/Black
Although it isn't a "fear" effect you could utilize the Adept and Master Negotiator talents to represent causing fear.  They use Persuasion (granted -4 CHA isn't good for that skill) which includes intimidation and knock the target down the CT which could be it become more terrified of you.  A creature doesn't even need to be Force Sensitive to use those talents although the target needs to "understand" you.  Just because the word "negotiator" is in the talent names doesn't mean they could represent more forceful negotiation.
 
I actually had a similar thought when I was looking at what the Priest build might be.  I think they would be Force sensitive, but not so much built for fighting like many of the others.  They'll definitely have Skilled Advisor as well, and maybe Master Advisor so that working in concert they'd be able to Fold Space around their Temple-ships, and probably the Enlighten power.
I am Blue/Black
Force Sensitivity does give some additional options but I would reiterate that the Jedi Consular talents, including the Negotiator talents, do NOT require it.  I know I've given those talents to a number of "nobles" and also consider Skilled Advisor a strong candidate for a full BAB character who I dip into Jedi to expand his avialable skills.