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Old 05-05-2016, 10:09 PM   #24
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: Just How Am I Intimidating?

Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
Ok I have a character with 9ST, 10DX, 19IQ and 9HT. My disadvantages include selfless, charitable and pacifism: can't harm innocents. Because of that 19IQ I also have 19 Will and I decided to put a point into Intimidation.

So I'm here to ask you guys just how does this character have a 83% chance to scare off 25 armed goons bent on his destruction?

How in the narrative does this make any sense?
Depends on how you look it.

In cinematic setting, he might well be able to trash-talk or cold-confidence his way out of a tight spot the way we see in the movies all the time. In that case, it's just a question of the die roll and game mechanics whether it works, and it doesn't have to make any more 'sense' than any action movie cliché.

Now, in real life, that occasionally really works, but the vast majority of the time someone with these stats and background trying it is likely to wake up in the emergency room or worse. There's no way around it, in a realistic game/story, it's dangerous for this character to try to use Intimidation, even more so than it is for a big, tough-looking guy. a realistic setting, IQ and intimidation are not just point-specific. For ex, this guy is supposed to be very smart. So what form does Intimidation take in his case? What is 'smart' in this context?

Well, he could take the time to learn to use a weapon well, and be seen practicing with it in places where word would get out. Even if he it totally bluffing about actually using it on a human, that might make him seem a bit more scary/nervous-making than otherwise.

Or, he could cultivate relationships with people who do have the ability to retaliate in his name, and under such circumstances that word gets out. If everyone in town thinks Big Jake Jones owes our guy a favor, then whether it's true or not it's something to make casual trouble-makers think twice.

"Yeah, we could break him in two, but Jake's guys would put us in wheelchairs tomorrow if we do!"

Also, this guy ought to try to arrange situations so trouble tends to arise in situations where he can back it up. If he has to meet with Trouble, if he can arrange it, it would make sense for him to set things up so the meeting happens across the street from the police station.

The point is that this is a role playing challenge, and it isn't confined to the actual moment of truth. If he waits until the goons show up to start his prep, he probably won't be able to intimidate them. If he took reasonable steps to prepare beforehand, if laid plans and precautions as an IQ 19 guy might be expected to do, then he might be able to carry it off even in a realistic situation.

(Esp. if he's content for Trouble to back off and doesn't push his luck.)
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