Intimidate - how to play it well

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How often do your players "leave one alive" so that they can intimidate/torture them to get information and how do you deal with it as a DM?

For example, I just started a 4e game last Tuesday and one of the new players ( I'm sure that he has played RPG's in various forms in the past, just not 4e )  decided that he would cut one of their prisoner's fingers off to get him to talk.

As we played it out I did block him by allowing the Shadar-kai to use his racial teleport to escape and then allowing the player to roll an intimidate check (success the prisioner capitulates, failure he flees).  My reason for blocking is because I would like to curb them away from being sadistic murder-hobos, as I am not interested in running that sort of game, and am planning on having a quick out-of-game talk with the group as a whole revisiting tone at the start of the next gaming session.

In both of the games that I run (the new one much more so than the longer running one, they're getting better I swear) and the one that I play in (again not as much),  the players often wish to find out more information about what is ahead in the dungeon, and generally resort to intimidate to do so.  I for one am bored with playing out the same/similar scene, so I was hoping for new applications of intimidate, a new way to play out the scene, or another way to get information to the players about what lies ahead.

In my mind, the root of the issue is that the players are afraid of "gotcha" moments.  They are doing everything in their power to gather as much information about what lies ahead, so that they won't have one sprung on them.  I know that at least one of the other DM's that this group plays with loves gotcha moments where the players have no method of response.  As an example, he had the BBEG, who wasn't in attendance kill off a player for making lewd remarks about the BBEG.  At that moment I decided that I would not be playing in that DM's games any longer, but I would still like to play with the players he was running it for (and would even like to have him as a player).

How do I keep the players from transfering the distrust of the other DM to me?  How to I police myself to prevent "Gotcha" moments of my own?
This isn't really about Intimidate, but to deal with the situation you describe, just tell the players what information they are able to get and gloss over how they get it or how they know it's true.

To prevent "gotcha" moments, default to giving the players any information they want, and never lying to them. You might think that this would ruin any chance for "surprise," but that's kind of the point since most "surprises" involve playing "gotcha." You might also object that the players don't want all the information, that they want to be surprised. Only tell them what they want to know, but be honest about that and stick to it.

For a little while, players with perfect information might decide to use it to short circuit the game. It takes a bit for players to realize that they're not getting away with anything or being clever by figuring out the DM's plans. Pretty soon, though, they get the picture that the only thing they're wrecking is their own challenge, and they will learn that it's up to them to send their characters into a challenge even if they could avoid the challenge given the player knowledge.

If you don't want to go into it whole hog, just devote a session or two to having no secrets at all and see how it goes. Don't pour tons of information on the players, but tell them anything they ask, and anything major that you'd want to know if you were playing. For those sessions, you might just try running something that doesn't rely on the players not knowing things. Yes, they know all about the enemy troop placements. No, there's no way around them. Yes, they assumed the party would know about them and are correspondingly tougher.

Good luck, and good for you for not wanting to block or "get" your players.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

How often do your players "leave one alive" so that they can intimidate/torture them to get information and how do you deal with it as a DM?



Almost never. The reason is because we "call the scene." At a certain point, when the dramatic question is answered, the scene is effectively done. The stakes are resolved, even if there are still monsters on the map. Nothing new to see here, move along. So if someone wanted to gather information from a defeated foe, it might look like this:

DM: It seems like you've accomplished your objective and what remains is mopping up the aftermath which is no serious threat to you by the looks of it. Do you want to call the scene?
Group: Yes!
DM: Great - how does the scene end? How do you deal with the remaining monsters and how do they react?
Player 1: We take out a couple more and the rest flee. I spit as they run.
Player 2: I capture one and intimidate him to give us information on what dangers are ahead. I offer to let him go, if he gives me solid info. Do you want an Intimidate roll?
DM: What happens if you fail?
Player 2: I can't think of anything. I guess it's not actually a roll then!
DM: Okay. The monster tells you that the hallway ahead is a deadly trap. He's no expert, but he suggests a way to disarm it. Perhaps you can use this as an asset later. Mention it if you interact with the trap if it seems appropriate.
Player 2: Cool!

Remember, not every threat is an Intimidate check! (An "asset" in our game is anything a character can call upon that's relevant to the scene to give themselves a +2 bonus to a skill check. This avoid the DM "rewarding" people and being biased. They can reward themselves this way. In this instance, if the PC encountered that trap the monster mentioned, he could say, "I start looking for the trigger for the trap. I'm taking +2 for the information I got off the monster I intimidated.")

As we played it out I did block him by allowing the Shadar-kai to use his racial teleport to escape and then allowing the player to roll an intimidate check (success the prisioner capitulates, failure he flees).  My reason for blocking is because I would like to curb them away from being sadistic murder-hobos, as I am not interested in running that sort of game, and am planning on having a quick out-of-game talk with the group as a whole revisiting tone at the start of the next gaming session.



Right. This is an out-of-game conversation to get on the same page with regard to the game's expectations.

How do I keep the players from transfering the distrust of the other DM to me?  How to I police myself to prevent "Gotcha" moments of my own?



Earn trust by trusting the players and being worthy of the trust they give back. Avoid "gotcha" moments by putting aside the desire to want a particular outcome.

You're on the good path here, good job!

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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I think that a lot of people associate Intimidate with violence, and it isn't  -- at least not to me -- it is more the threat of violence if they do not get what they are after.


This is one of the best uses that I have ever seen:


The party Rogue was trying to get some information from members of a Rogue's Guild.  He was not haveing much luck at it; mainly becuase the player was new and unsure of what to do, so instead of just flat out telling the player what they could or couldn't do  the DM allowed for another party member to come in and give him a hand -- it was a more experienced player, playing a Fighter.  The Fighter happened to be a Dragonborn, and had a nack for roaring to get people's attention -- 1st Intimidate check, which he rolled pretty well on and got the attention of the whole room.  The fighter then says something a long the lines of "You see this Axe (he always carried a Great Axe), I wouldn't be worried about this Axe.  I would be more worried about him."  He then points to the Rogue, and start listing off certain things the party had done but making it sound like it was mainly the Rogue who had pulled off these things -- 2nd Intimidate check, and another decent roll.  The Rogue now had no problem getting the information that the party was after, and had 2 Half-Orc NPCs that tried to follow him everywhere and were completely devoted to him.


No Violence was used, but 2 successful Intimidate checks were made and the party got the information that was needed.


Now if body parts are being cut off; because the party failed the Intimadte checks and are carrying through with their threat of violence , then that is a bit diffrent.  As a DM if they threaten violence and then fail the Intimidate check but still carry through with the threat; the moment they started to cut into the NPC, I would have the NPC tell everything that they know.        
I think that a lot of people associate Intimidate with violence, and it isn't  -- at least not to me -- it is more the threat of violence if they do not get what they are after.

I don't think any violence needs to be involved or implied at all. Nothing about the rules implies that the intimidator has to be in a position to harm the target, and there's no bonus for possessing a particularly strong ability to harm. As I see it, intimidate can even take the form of seduction. It's the power of one's personality over another.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

How do I keep the players from transfering the distrust of the other DM to me?  How to I police myself to prevent "Gotcha" moments of my own?



You state it outright, "I am not a 'gotcha' DM."

You'd be amazed how often it works

In the 3.5e game I am running, we recently added two new players.  Long story short, the party had not gotten any treasure in the two sessions, so between the second and third sessions I decided that at the start of the third there would be a treasure trove.  When I announced, "there is a backpack about 20 feet away from where the wizard was," the first words out of one of the new player's mouth was, "It's trapped."

At that point, I specifically informed the group that I do not do that, especially when there is no rogue in the group (there are two bards, but neither has a good search skill, in fact it is the cleric who has the best search skill).  Since then, while the party does proceed slowly through areas, they know I will give them plenty of opportunity to find, see, hear, smell, etc what it is I set in front of them.

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
I view Intimidate as requiring leverage. The game codifies this as "bloodied" - you can make target surrender when they're at half hit points or less. The leverage here is "I will kill you if..."

But any leverage might do if you're aware of the monster's motivation. DMs should give every monster a motivation so that clever PCs can figure it out (Insight, perhaps?) and use it to their advantage. Note: Very few monsters have the motivation "to die on the swords of adventurers."

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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I think that a lot of people associate Intimidate with violence, and it isn't  -- at least not to me -- it is more the threat of violence if they do not get what they are after.

I don't think any violence needs to be involved or implied at all. Nothing about the rules implies that the intimidator has to be in a position to harm the target, and there's no bonus for possessing a particularly strong ability to harm. As I see it, intimidate can even take the form of seduction. It's the power of one's personality over another.





Very well said.  I would not have ever considered seduction as part of Intimidate, but I certainly do see where it can fit into that.


I am going to inform my players of this point of view and get their take on it.  I can envision so many possible uses for this skill now.    
 My reason for blocking is because I would like to curb them away from being sadistic murder-hobos, as I am not interested in running that sort of game, and am planning on having a quick out-of-game talk with the group as a whole revisiting tone at the start of the next gaming session.

You have been given good advice above, but the issue I saw was what I quoted.  I tend to irk when DMs try to make moral judgments because of “tone” you can have the tone of your game be whatever you wish, because it’s your world, but I shy away from conscripting players to follow it.


If a player enjoys playing a guy who would cut fingers off, why shouldn’t be allowed to play it? To me that makes the role-play even better, because the character is an individual that acts differently when the rest of the world follows a “Tone”, but as DM it is your call, I just don’t see why it necessary.


To your original question; enemies can lie, and in my games and games I’ve played under they do often; enemies are not obligated to be truthful when they have been defeated (they are bad-guys after all) If your players get to pushy for information, drop a good lie in there that could lead to something  they didn’t expect. Once they figure out they can’t take NPC given knowledge as 100% true they will have to start thinking a bit more and stop relying on NPC input.


Ex- My team captured a guy and threatened to kill him (we where murder-hobos to the letter) he told us his boss was in a Cave somewhere; we let him go and ventured to the cave…. Turns out it was a Dragons Den, once we got inside the captured guy (who had went to see his boss) rolled a boulder over the entrance and we got trapped.  Moral of the story, we always took NPC information with a grain of salt.

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Personally I hate intimdate. The rules for it in 4th are sort of ridiculous, an at-will auto-kill of a bloodied monster, and how players use it tend to be as a crutch. Intimidate, in my experience, is for parties that don't have any tact, for the people who can't use diplomacy or bluff. It usually boils down to "I'm a big scary fighter, give me what I want, grr." To which I almost always end up replying "The dragon isn't intimdated by your puny muscles." If you encourage use of intimidate it usually ends up becoming more and more violent if the players see that it works.

The only game I've ever seen that did "intimidate" right is The One Ring in which you have a skill called Awe. Awe can be used to be physically impressive, but it can also be used to recount your deeds, extoll the virtues of your blood line, or any other action that might hold another character in awe of you, but it's use didn't imply the necessity of force in any fashion. Awe is an accepted skill to use to introduce your character to a potential ally, intimidate certainly is not. Awe can be used to calm peoples fears by showing that a hero has arrived, intimdate can be used to calm peoples fears under the threat of making those fears realized.

Intimidate is a skill about threats, and bullying, and I hate it. It doesn't need to be a skill, if you threaten somethings life it's going to react the same way it always would regardless of how good you are at looking scary. A kobold will try to run, a dragon will laugh at your face.

My suggestion if your party is trying to turn into murder-hobos? Tell them no, just flat out. They're supposed to be the heroes, not crazy people who cut off fingers. If they still try, LIE to them. And when they complain you can tell them "a person under torture tells you what you want to hear, not what it knows to be true." Eventually they should try another route to get information, which you should give to them, but not through intimidation.
My suggestion if your party is trying to turn into murder-hobos? Tell them no, just flat out. They're supposed to be the heroes, not crazy people who cut off fingers.

100% Disagree, nowhere in the DMs guide does it say this. Hell they even have a supplement dedicated to evil parties. Why have an alignment system (note I hate the system but, it is there none the less) if you don’t allow the options of playing the alignment you chose.


This is a game where people can role-play and have fun, if they want to play a more evil character then they should be allowed to, Period.  Maybe they don’t want to play the shining example of virtue, maybe they want to play a rogue thief as *gasp* a morally questionable individual. They shouldn't have to be told "Now you have to play nice, because your a Hero remember" 


This is DnD, not Sunday school.

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You have been given good advice above, but the issue I saw was what I quoted.  I tend to irk when DMs try to make moral judgments because of “tone” you can have the tone of your game be whatever you wish, because it’s your world, but I shy away from conscripting players to follow it.


If a player enjoys playing a guy who would cut fingers off, why shouldn’t be allowed to play it? To me that makes the role-play even better, because the character is an individual that acts differently when the rest of the world follows a “Tone”, but as DM it is your call, I just don’t see why it necessary.





If we hadn't agreed to run a heroic fantasy game rather than a game about anti-heros I would be right there with you.  But cutting off fingers because the guy only gave you a bit of information rather than detailed blueprints of the whole compound seems to me to be not-heroic.  Each person has a line that the game can cross where it becomes too dark to be something they want to sit through for some it could be torture, others it might be something darker.

Again, I would like to prevent this sort of thing in the future by short circuiting the "interrogation scene" as it doesn't in most cases come up with any real tension other than "is he lying?"  I'm all for intimidate being the expression of leverage over an NPC and would love to have some sort of scene where the players come up with a way to use it, I just don't think that should be at the end of every fight.  I think in the future I will try and handle it in broad strokes as Iserith's example did, we'll see if that works.


Ex- My team captured a guy and threatened to kill him (we where murder-hobos to the letter) he told us his boss was in a Cave somewhere; we let him go and ventured to the cave…. Turns out it was a Dragons Den, once we got inside the captured guy (who had went to see his boss) rolled a boulder over the entrance and we got trapped.  Moral of the story, we always took NPC information with a grain of salt.



It seems to me this is the exact sort of thing that the players are attempting to circumvent, and if I do this to them at this point it has a high chance of just reinforcing the behavior and increasing the paranoia.  I'm sure that executed flawlessly and with player buy-in it could be great, and I would at least find it interesting to play, but I don't know if I could get the players I have to go for it at this point.  Maybe I'm not giving them the credit they deserve.
Right. If you have agreed as a group that these sorts of things aren't going to be in the game because it crosses a line (or, really, for any reason so long as everyone agrees), then DMs and players should be held to those agreements. It's one of the topics that should be discussed during Session Zero. These agreements can be amended later, of course, if everyone agrees it needs to be.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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My suggestion if your party is trying to turn into murder-hobos? Tell them no, just flat out. They're supposed to be the heroes, not crazy people who cut off fingers.

100% Disagree, nowhere in the DMs guide does it say this. Hell they even have a supplement dedicated to evil parties. Why have an alignment system (note I hate the system but, it is there none the less) if you don’t allow the options of playing the alignment you chose.


This is a game where people can role-play and have fun, if they want to play a more evil character then they should be allowed to, Period.  Maybe they don’t want to play the shining example of virtue, maybe they want to play a rogue thief as *gasp* a morally questionable individual. They shouldn't have to be told "Now you have to play nice, because your a Hero remember" 


This is DnD, not Sunday school.



It has nothing to do with being pure and good and all that. It has everything to do with having the players be a cut above. Even in movies, novels, and TV shows a truely villanious bad guy is above petty intimidation and torture. When players default to using bullying tactics they've sunk their experience to a base and crass one of simple violence. The player characters should be above such petty actions because they're better than the common folk, even if better means more evil.

Being morally questionable is one thing, being a violent sychopath is quite another. The idea of playing your alignment to be a torturous *** is the same vein the argument of a thief stealing from their own party comes from. It isn't fun for anyone, and using your alignment as a scapegoat for your bad behaviour is a shallow excuse no one is going to buy.

But you can play your game your way, and I'll play mine my way, I'm just voicing my opinion on the subject.
Personally I hate intimdate. The rules for it in 4th are sort of ridiculous, an at-will auto-kill of a bloodied monster, and how players use it tend to be as a crutch.

The numbers for that use of Intimidate show that it's really not a useful tactic.

Intimidate is a skill about threats, and bullying, and I hate it.

Outside of the lame in-combat use, the skill doesn't necessarily have anything to do with threats, at least not threats of physical violence. Nothing about the skill requires the character to have any indication or means of being able to harm the subject of the skill. Even a prisoner strapped to a chair can intimidate the creatures standing over it. One thing I did like about 3.5 was how Intimidate synergized with Bluff. And of course it's tied to Charisma. It's about personality, not physicality.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.


Intimidate is a skill about threats, and bullying, and I hate it.

Outside of the lame in-combat use, the skill doesn't necessarily have anything to do with threats, at least not threats of physical violence. Nothing about the skill requires the character to have any indication or means of being able to harm the subject of the skill. Even a prisoner strapped to a chair can intimidate the creatures standing over it. One thing I did like about 3.5 was how Intimidate synergized with Bluff. And of course it's tied to Charisma. It's about personality, not physicality.


Tell that to everyone who uses it. I see so much bad use of intimidate as just a brutal form of threatening that I can't stand it. Most of time that's the default negotiation option as well, not a fall back, not a plan b, but the default starting option. Intimidate has the potential to be used well, but I haven't seen it happen, and I think part of it is because the skill is called "intimidate." I see so much of what the OP is talking about that I've grown quite hostile to intimidate because it just takes games down a road I don't like to see them go down, and that's one where violence is the default option to deal with anything in the party's way.
There's something of a long history of dispute resolution with violence in D&D. It kind of comes with the territory. But if people are offended by a particular tone of the game (ultra-violent power fantasy) or don't want to include content like torture or the like, they can just agree before they start to play that it will not be a part of the game.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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Tell that to everyone who uses it.

Line em up.

I see so much bad use of intimidate as just a brutal form of threatening that I can't stand it.

My point is that you don't have to treat it that way, no matter how anyone else does. And you can't control how anyone else does, so you're going to have to stand it.

Most of time that's the default negotiation option as well, not a fall back, not a plan b, but the default starting option.

Why shouldn't it be? Players like to imagine that they are tough, powerful and don't take orders. They don't compromise, they just win. Why should they change gears just because the weapons are put away?

  Intimidate has the potential to be used well, but I haven't seen it happen, and I think part of it is because the skill is called "intimidate." I see so much of what the OP is talking about that I've grown quite hostile to intimidate because it just takes games down a road I don't like to see them go down, and that's one where violence is the default option to deal with anything in the party's way.

Talk to the players about your expectations. They can't expect you to play in or run a game you don't enjoy, but you can't expect them to just figure out that they're not "supposed" to be playing the way they are.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Intimidate and diplomacy are both social skill checks.  The setting is during social interaction, whether in or out of combat.  Just make it clear to players if what they are trying to do is possible or not, depending how they approach it.  You may not want to condition the players into thinking  anything is possible with a dice roll vs dc = outcome.  Only have them roll if there is a chance of success or failure, and either outcome is meaningful.  You dont want players to push every interaction onto dice rolls.  Most shouldnt require dice rolls.  You can just tell them the outcome.  PC: "I shout a challenge to the orc who is about to attack the villager."  DM: The orc turns around, instead of striking down the helpless villager, charges at you instead...
Only push skill checks when its meaningful, and players will get accustomed to ask for it during proper moments as part of meaningful skill challenge, and not a solution to every decision.
What im trying to say is..don't roll dice to determine what should be obvious success or failure given the setting and isnt a meaningful skill challenge.  Adventurers should be able able to intimidate a lone weak survivor, obtain info without rolling.  Now intimidating a group of robbers to abandon their foolish plan after they just sprang an ambush on the pc's before fighting starts..and they got numbers and tactical position...now that is a meaningful skill challenge worth rolling for depending how creative players get trying to talk them down.
Intimidate doesn't win you any friends. Especially if used in that manner. Are the PCs creating new and furture foes? How well recieved in town are they, when a couple of the bandits make it back. Make sure they know about the reputation they will build if they constantly resort to intimidation to get their way. 

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I think that a lot of people associate Intimidate with violence, and it isn't  -- at least not to me -- it is more the threat of violence if they do not get what they are after.

I don't think any violence needs to be involved or implied at all. Nothing about the rules implies that the intimidator has to be in a position to harm the target, and there's no bonus for possessing a particularly strong ability to harm. As I see it, intimidate can even take the form of seduction. It's the power of one's personality over another.


I think it's the players not the rules that determines intimidate = violence. Whether it be from Game of Thrones or James Bond, a lot people seem to associate intimidation with torture.

That said, I agree entirely with your understanding of what intimidate should be.

Building on other posts, I tend to agree with squirrely - generally speaking I've found that STR and CON based characters will use intimidate, and use it as if the skill is called 'threaten.' I've tried myself to make an intimidate & diplomacy based warlord where intimidate is his presence - the respect or fear someone may have for a chieftan or famed infantry captain - or for entering a big church. In my games I also add the concept of 'passive intimidation' and 'passive diplomacy' - just how well someone by default talks, walks and acts when meeting people. The fighter loves the sense of danger she now has, and the assassin enjoys being able to reflect how she is always courteous and interested in other people without having to do all the in-character speak.

On the note of intimidate for torture ...
I had a strange experience about 6 weeks back - the party was fighting the BBEG lich and some of his pals, and the BBEG left the battle. Remaining battle was mopped up, and 2nd strongest enemy kept alive. In this case, a Death Shaman. I think after 6 levels of play, it was their 2nd 'lets get more infomration' scenario, so by and large my party isn't keen for it. The party's healer was the most insistant about trying to gain information about who the BBEG is, and where their phylactery is.

I decided, perhaps foolishly, to play it all in character. The captured NPC was a Death Shaman, so couldn't be easily intimidated by threats of violence or death - she felt regardless of what she gave the party, they'd kill her (hint: they did), so she wouldn't aid them. The healer demanded some form of violence, which was meted out. The player playing the assassin decided she'd had enough, and went to get some food. A few moment later, the player playing the figher followed. After a few minutes with some information gained, the player said his bard retired, but stayed around. I could easily feel no-one was really comfortable with the torture (I think a finger had been removed at this point), but they didn't want to free her to do more harm, and didn't want to keep her, and wanted the information. By this point I was equal parts uncomfortable with the torture, interested on how they 'd play their characters, and wondering what I should be doing.  I decided to be blunt; 'you feel you could kill her now, follow through on your threat to get the information, or let her go. This will be the final chance you get.' The assassin, fighter and bard all opted to not vote, the ranger said she'd follow whatever the healer did, and the healer opted to follow through on the threat, but not do it himself.

Overall, I learned that our party doesn't like the moral quesiness, but are willing to do it for the stakes. To help with player/character divide, if the story was going in that direction again, I think I'd either nip it in the bud (enemy dies of wounds, or gives up informaiton freely), or take the torture to a more abtract skill challenge or something where they ask a question, do a skill, get an answer. I'm not sure if I did the best thing for the table playing through it all, but it was certainly a memorable experience.


To your original question; enemies can lie, and in my games and games I’ve played under they do often; enemies are not obligated to be truthful when they have been defeated (they are bad-guys after all)


Original post specifically requested not be a 'gotcha' DM, and I think a lot of players would consider this a 'gotcha' moment - tricking the players thinking they were moving the story forwards, when really it was just the DM punishing them.
I think that a lot of people associate Intimidate with violence, and it isn't  -- at least not to me -- it is more the threat of violence if they do not get what they are after.

I don't think any violence needs to be involved or implied at all. Nothing about the rules implies that the intimidator has to be in a position to harm the target, and there's no bonus for possessing a particularly strong ability to harm. As I see it, intimidate can even take the form of seduction. It's the power of one's personality over another.



No. No. No.
Using a skill called intimidate to seduce someone sounds extremely .....rapey. 
If seduction would be covered under anything it would be bluff because seduction is always an insensere manipulation of another's emotions.
If seduction would be covered under anything it would be bluff because seduction is always an insensere manipulation of another's emotions.

It could also be covered under bluff, but intimidation is definitely part of it. The target's courage and resolve are questioned and manipulated, for one thing.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

If you're not keen on the whole finger-cutting, but your players want some violence to back up their threats, why not let them be a little crazy with it instead?

I recall a sci-fi scene that went like this:

PC Leader: "We can't do the job, we're refunding your employer, please bring this money back to him."
Mook Leader: "It don't work that way! No one fails the master and lives! I'm going to hunt you down and peel the skin off your-"
*PC Leader kicks him into the ship's jet intake. A fine red mist comes out the other side. The next mook is brought up.*
PC Leader: "We can't do the job, we-re refunding your-"
2nd Mook: "I heard ya, it's fine by me, glad to oblige!"

Giving them windows to defenstrate stubborn mooks could also work.
If you're not keen on the whole finger-cutting, but your players want some violence to back up their threats, why not let them be a little crazy with it instead?

I recall a sci-fi scene that went like this:

PC Leader: "We can't do the job, we're refunding your employer, please bring this money back to him."
Mook Leader: "It don't work that way! No one fails the master and lives! I'm going to hunt you down and peel the skin off your-"
*PC Leader kicks him into the ship's jet intake. A fine red mist comes out the other side. The next mook is brought up.*
PC Leader: "We can't do the job, we-re refunding your-"
2nd Mook: "I heard ya, it's fine by me, glad to oblige!"

Giving them windows to defenstrate stubborn mooks could also work.



Firefly. Classic scene ;)

If seduction would be covered under anything it would be bluff because seduction is always an insensere manipulation of another's emotions.

It could also be covered under bluff, but intimidation is definitely part of it. The target's courage and resolve are questioned and manipulated, for one thing.



Maybe bluff if the target of the seduction is a gold-digger. But again: using a skill called intimidate to seduce someone is very rapey.
If you are saying that the target wasn't couragous or had enough resolve to resist the seduction makes it ****.
 

Firefly. Classic scene ;)



I kept it purposely vague for the 2-3 people who haven't watched them yet.

But yes, it's a classic scene where the intimidating one threatening violence isn't the one you need to be worried about; it's the guy smiling, asking politely, and subtly positioning himself to kill you in a heartbeat.

Also, violence associated with intimidation can be comedic in the right context.
Comedic intimidation. I've done that one. I had a dragonborn paladin who would walk into rooms filled with intelligent monsters and begin by pulling and his axe and saying something like "Did I ever tell you about the time I single handedly wrestled a dragon to the ground? Oh a young dragon to be sure, but those beasts are big!" Or just generally telling a story, usually true with a few imbelishments, in such a way as to make him seem really super tough, and more than a little unhinged. One time I room full of hobgoblins just threw down their weapons and ran.
The dragonborn in our party recently walked into a room: "Hey, anyone order some gnoll meat?  Because we just killed about 10 out there, and boy, are they going to stink if we can't get rid of them!"
Famous Erik:  Have you considered using intimidate as a seduction roll in the context of Negging?  Negging is using subtle insults to lower someone's self confidence under the pretext of giving compliments.  It is used to make someone more suseptible to your advances.  Just a real life (and rather disgusting) practice that would be a good example of intimidate as seduction.

Thank you all for your insights into intimidate.  I have talked with the players and I think we have come to a solution.
Just a real life (and rather disgusting) practice that would be a good example of intimidate as seduction.

Any fictional example of seduction is a good example of Intimidate as seduction. Logically there's no reason for the target to give in. It's entirely against their best interests. Yet the force of will of the seducer breaks down their defenses. As pleasant as the experience might be, the target probably regrets what happened as soon as they come to their senses.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Just a real life (and rather disgusting) practice that would be a good example of intimidate as seduction.

Any fictional example of seduction is a good example of Intimidate as seduction. Logically there's no reason for the target to give in. It's entirely against their best interests. Yet the force of will of the seducer breaks down their defenses. As pleasant as the experience might be, the target probably regrets what happened as soon as they come to their senses.



This is a, frankly, terrifying view on someone being seductive towards someone else. Yeesh.

Seduction is a product of Diplomacy or Bluff depending on how genuine the seducers feelings are.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Just a real life (and rather disgusting) practice that would be a good example of intimidate as seduction.

Any fictional example of seduction is a good example of Intimidate as seduction. Logically there's no reason for the target to give in. It's entirely against their best interests. Yet the force of will of the seducer breaks down their defenses. As pleasant as the experience might be, the target probably regrets what happened as soon as they come to their senses.



This is a, frankly, terrifying view on someone being seductive towards someone else. Yeesh.

Seduction is a product of Diplomacy or Bluff depending on how genuine the seducers feelings are.



I guess it is time for another consolidation of skills:

3e Jump, Balance, and Swim became 4e Athletics
3e Spot, Search, and Listen became 4e Perception

And now...
3e & 4e Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate become...Next "Social"

Only half serious

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
I guess it is time for another consolidation of skills:

3e Jump, Balance, and Swim became 4e Athletics
3e Spot, Search, and Listen became 4e Perception

And now...
3e & 4e Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate become...Next "Social"

Only half serious



The latest edition of Gamma World (based on 4e) does exactly that, calling it "Interaction." I think it's an improvement. I see no need for the current level of granularity.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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It's surprising how people can't get past the narrow and simplistic idea of Intimidate being all about fear and pain.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

It's surprising how people can't get past the narrow and simplistic idea of Intimidate being all about fear and pain.



Your description uses the terms "give in", "against their best interests", "force", "break down" and "regrets"...sorry, but that sounds SUPER rapey. That is not seduction it's coercion...

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Personally I think Seduction should be a skill of its own and Appearance a stat. I houseruled that once and my long time dnd friend got mad..saying it clearly falls under diplomacy. Hm...no. Not clearly. Diplomacy and bluff would be the skill choice to apply, since its the closest thing but Imo it should be a sperate skill with physical appearance stat attached. Its more clear that way, would be used more often and seem more fun.
It's surprising how people can't get past the narrow and simplistic idea of Intimidate being all about fear and pain.



Your description uses the terms "give in", "against their best interests", "force", "break down" and "regrets"...sorry, but that sounds SUPER rapey. That is not seductionit's coercion...


verb (used with object), se·duced, se·duc·ing.

1. to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt.
2. to persuade or induce to have sexual intercourse.
3. to lead or draw away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance: He was seduced by the prospect of gain.
4. to win over; attract; entice: a supermarket seducing customers with special sales.
 

I think it's fair to say that seduction is a goal that can be achieved by any number of skills. 


Charisma. Just use charisma for seduction. Its the characteristic that fits perfectly. And it would illiminate the need to decide which skill to use in which seduction attempt.
Seduction of the opposite sex, for sex, has to stay away from the idea of intimidation.

If you are trying to 'seduce' someone into betraying thier boss, then avoid the term 'seduce' and stick with something that is not so rapey.
 
Charisma. Just use charisma for seduction. Its the characteristic that fits perfectly. And it would illiminate the need to decide which skill to use in which seduction attempt.
Seduction of the opposite sex, for sex, has to stay away from the idea of intimidation.

If you are trying to 'seduce' someone into betraying thier boss, then avoid the term 'seduce' and stick with something that is not so rapey.
 


This. Totally lol.

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