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Old 10-13-2020, 10:16 AM   #1
FeiLin
 
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Default Passive intimidation?

So the barbarian at our table wanted to do some intimidation, but found out his skill was a meager single digit. Is that reasonable for a high ST SM1 character? Are there any optional rules for basing it on ST, giving a bonus for SM or something for a “non social” character to use brawn in a conversation?

Barring that, what does a failed roll represent when the barbarian leans in over the table during the negotiations cracking his knuckles – making an overly serious and socially awkward face that makes the target burst out laughing rather than take it seriously? Well, that it happens virtually every time, I mean.

Or are there any “Terror lite” advantages or something that would help? Although, that shouldn’t be necessary; it should come with high ST and/or SM. I could of course act on the situation like a player, but that didn’t make sense either.

How should I help the player to get what he wants (to contribute with his intimidating presence in spite of being dumb as an ass)?
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Passive intimidation?

See Modifiers at the end of the skill description on page B202.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Passive intimidation?

Page 202 - up to +4 for displays of strength, bloodthirstiness, capability to inflict harm, etc.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Passive intimidation?

A couple of notes:


read modifiers for Intimidation on page 202: it gives a bonus for displays of "strength, bloodthirstiness, or supernatural powers", as a GM's judgement. Your SM also boosts the roll (and is penalized by the targets). So you can pick up at least a couple of bonuses there.


intimidation is based on Will. Barbarians may not be smart, but its often appropriate for them to have a decent will, representing grit, toughness, and the ability to hang on in spite of it all. So buying up will may not be a bad approach.



Lastly, Intimidation is not about just being scary. Its about getting what you want through being scary. You want them scared enough to do what you want but also convinced that if you do it they'll be somewhat ok.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Passive intimidation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
A couple of notes:
...

Lastly, Intimidation is not about just being scary. Its about getting what you want through being scary. You want them scared enough to do what you want but also convinced that if you do it they'll be somewhat ok.
Totally this. I imagine it's like herding. You don't just want to scare the sheep. You want to scare it in a particular direction.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Passive intimidation?

If all else fails, you can allow a Attribute Substitution perk to shift intimidation from will to ST or HT, but it will make intimidation skyrocket for the character.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:55 AM   #7
FeiLin
 
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Default Re: Passive intimidation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Page 202 - up to +4 for displays of strength, bloodthirstiness, capability to inflict harm, etc.
Yeah, I guess having ST could be a “display of [it]” in a literal sense, especially when cracking knuckles. It doesn’t feel as “intimidating” as say cracking skulls, so if I give +4 for that, there’s the issue of how to distinguish between a calm bar negotiation where violence is frowned upon if not forbidden, and say in a life and death situation intimidating a group of bandits not to come closer (“or else I’ll crack skulls like I crack this barrel!”)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
A couple of notes:


read modifiers for Intimidation on page 202: it gives a bonus for displays of "strength, bloodthirstiness, or supernatural powers", as a GM's judgement. Your SM also boosts the roll (and is penalized by the targets). So you can pick up at least a couple of bonuses there.


intimidation is based on Will. Barbarians may not be smart, but its often appropriate for them to have a decent will, representing grit, toughness, and the ability to hang on in spite of it all. So buying up will may not be a bad approach.



Lastly, Intimidation is not about just being scary. Its about getting what you want through being scary. You want them scared enough to do what you want but also convinced that if you do it they'll be somewhat ok.
Fair enough. In general I think simply adding +1 per SM in a lot of contexts is a bit low given the physical difference (combat, etc; I’d say size – and its reach – is underrated). I guess here it’s passable. Especially, as you implicitly point out: it’s not just about conveying the ability to deal damage, but also about convincing the target they won’t be able to escape it.

Also, that it’s based on Will not IQ I missed. That feels a bit counterintuitive to me; it sounds more sensible to have IQ to read body language and push the buttons in the right way. Maybe it’s for just this kind of situation it’s not.



Oh, and as per the title, what about passive intimidation? Say Conan opens the door to a tavern; how would I emulate his mere presence’s effect? Then, imagine he were 50% bigger (SM1), would that just be a mere +1 to the roll?

Last edited by FeiLin; 10-13-2020 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Passive intimidation?

Power-Ups 2: Perks has a "Fearsome Glare" Perk which permits you to silently use Intimidation with just a Look[tm]. Good for getting people to cow away from the barbarian without him needing to actually do anything other than just looking their way.
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Passive intimidation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post
Oh, and as per the title, what about passive intimidation? Say Conan opens the door to a tavern; how would I emulate his mere presence’s effect? Then, imagine he were 50% bigger (SM1), would that just be a mere +1 to the roll?
"Passive intimidation" is just a general reaction roll. If you want to randomly determine how the tavern-goers react as a group, make a single roll for all of them. I'd use the SM-difference modifier in addition to whatever normal modifiers would apply, but probably nothing else if Conan is otherwise behaving as a normal person walking into a tavern. On a Very Good or higher, or Bad or lower, the crowd would hush dramatically, the former representing people impressed, the latter representing people intimidated.

(To be clear, I probably wouldn't roll a group reaction just on walking into a tavern. If Conan walks into a tavern, business continues as usual. If Conan plops himself down next to another customer and starts up a conversation, I'd roll an individual reaction roll, and the appropriate modifiers would depend on which tack Conan takes.)
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Passive intimidation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post
Oh, and as per the title, what about passive intimidation? Say Conan opens the door to a tavern; how would I emulate his mere presence’s effect? Then, imagine he were 50% bigger (SM1), would that just be a mere +1 to the roll?
Fearsome Stare (mentioned by Phantasm) is still an active use. You use the Intimidate skill when you want to actively project an image of strength and danger. Fearsome Stare is useful if you do not want to be overtly aggressive, but it's still a concious choice to do so.

For a more passive use, Appearance (Attractive or better) with Impressive, Reputation and/or Social Regard (Feared) could be used to represent an intimidating presence. In this case you would change positive results of any passive reaction roll towards a fearful type of deference.

And if Conan makes that entrance in a tavern a reaction roll is certainly apropriate for anyone without a predetermined reaction towards him. If he wants to actively look like he's dangerous, that's substituting an Intimidate roll for the reaction roll (likely using Fearsome Stare to avoid starting a fight), if he (or the player) doesn't actively try to look dangerous it's a roll on the reaction table (B560-561).
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