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Old 10-22-2020, 05:59 PM   #24
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Passive intimidation?

One thing worth noting to OP: use of the intimidation skill is not PASSIVE, it is ACTIVE. As "hostile persuasion" you need to use language. Even if this is "sign language" it needs to be verbal.

There are perks that allow you to do that with actions alone in PU2 like Combat Shticks (pg 15) which lets you avoid the risk of the GM applying a -1 "clumsy dialogue" penalty (otoh you can't get a +1 for "especially appropriate" dialogue either)

Both require knocking down an enemy
( "or kill" too... I guess you can technically fail your HT roll to survive while passing your HT roll from major wounds to avoid knockdown... but if you "die on your feet" like this, I'm pretty sure the corpse metatrait includes Lame so you would fall down...)
a) Flourish: if the turn after you take a ready and pass your combat skill, get the +4 for "displays of strength"
b) Follow-Through: free action DURING turn, roll skill, targets "any remaining foes"

FT seems a lot better IMO. It seems like for balance you should be unable to get a 'displays of strength' bonus on it.

"Influence Shtick" on same page of "Fearsome Stare" is more than glowering (you also need to cross your arms) and I'm trying to figure how it might balance with the above 2:
a) can't take a displays of strength bonus?
b) can only affect one person?

Or maybe it requirs someone to make eye contact with you (Per-based Vision roll at -9) and understand you're stating at him (IQ-based Vision roll at -9 for comprehension?)

Time is not specified (neither 1 sec ready or free action) so if this took longer that could also be balancing.

Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post
giving a bonus for SM
"size also matters" is easy to overlook at the bottom of the middle column of B202 as Donny points out above. You add your SM to the roll and subtract theirs, so you'd get +1 +1 = +2 if you were SM+1 trying to intimidate SM-1.

What I don't entirely like about that is it means a ST 1000 superhero who is SM-2 is easier to intimidate than a ST 10 person.

You can't necessarily "see ST" (or even HP) whereas SM is visible, so I understand why this is done, but being tiny shouldn't really make you easier to intimidate if you're more powerful than other tiny folk.

I think it'd be cool to do something like...
a) user: "add your base ST (visible) subtract any HP bought down OR add any HP bought up, plus any visible Arm ST, plus the higher of any extra lifting ST or striking ST you have which is visible" but do not add INvisible ST/HP
b) target: "subtract the ST of the target, add any HP bought down, subtract any HP bought up, subtract arm ST + the higher of lifting/striking ST" but UNLIKE the above, visibility doesn't matter (the target knows how strong he is, even if you do not)
This is still oversimplified of course because lots of other stuff would matter with how scared you are. I could be ST1/HP1 but have DR 100 and be in less danger from most attacks than someone with ST 1. I could have Unkillable, I could be able to make force walls, etc.

I guess to RAW represent this it could be something like Fearlessness (Accessibility: requires A/B/C) with ABC being stuff you could use to prevent harm to yourself from attacks?

Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post
Is that reasonable for a high ST
The problem with defaulting to ST alone like it did in 3e is that having ST doesn't mean you can actually demonstrate it.

You might for example by a ST 100 super who looks rail-thin and there's no nearby thousand-pound automobile around to lift. You'd need to do that to impress your capabilities, unlike the ST 100 guy who looks like he's ST 100.

Conversely, if there's some SM+100 monster who you have reason to think lacks the ST it ought to have (you see it struggle to lift a 5lb chair) then your initial fear is going to evaporate kinda fast.

If you can actually lift something to demonstrate that ST, there was an idea I had to flesh out the "displays" range. If the maximum +4 is "I think this guy could easily kill me" then you should demonstrate the ability to kill him, whether it's high striking ST (punching through a wall) or high lifting ST (if you can lift a tank you can Wrench Limb to remove his arm) or use of weapons (stab or shoot someone) or powers (demonstrate enough force as prior 3 to destroy).

You would actually do something and then the observer would RP interpretation of what they see. Apply +1 per 50% of their HP that they think the attack could deplete.

Obviously they need to UNDERSTAND the force though. If you lift a 5-ton chair that looks like it weighs 5 pounds then that's not going to be an intimidating use of lifting ST, while lifting a weightless battleship (it's an illusion!) would be intimidating, unless the person has reason to suspect it's an illusion.

Believability is one thing to take into account here I guess. If you go overboard, someone might actually just think "I'm hallucinating, I'm dreaming, I'm hypnotized" to rationalize your display rather than think "I'm actually seeing this" in which case they'd probably avoid the penalty.

That interestingly is one downside to being immune to illusions / hypnosis / hallucination / sleep I guess... you can't rationalize to avoid fear. You'd 100% know what you were seeing was real and be subject to the full bonus.

I kinda like the idea of going beyond the +4 limit (it seems a little light for the amount of terror pure force could inspire) but there should definitely be a cap, because at some point adding force is not going to be more intimidating when you've gone beyond "guaranteed to kill me" territory.

IE if a bomb capable of blowing up a city is strapped to you, you're not going to care if it's upgraded to a bomb blowing up a planet. To some, less force ("you'll slowly bleed to death in pain") could actually be more intimidating than more force ("I'll instantly vaporize you"). HPT/LPT should probably weigh in here on how threats affect people.

One idea I had was "+1 to intimidate per -20% to IQ your attack can inflict". This would increase the range up to 5, require less damage for those with LPT, allow pain to work instead of damage/shock, and "death" is just 100% reduction (+5) so basically what you fear is losing your mind from an attack.
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