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View Full Version : [3.5e] Acting like a homicidal maniac



ShadowFighter15
2008-12-24, 12:21 AM
I've recently been wondering if you use Bluff or Intimidate for a character who pretends to be a homicidal maniac during battle. Basically, he acts like that to unnerve the enemy; in reality, he's as sane as anyone.

I just got this mental image of a warlock going all-out in a fight while doing a good impression of Alexander Anderson (the blonde guy in this video (http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=yWaKVuRoKCg)) and I remember reading something in the PHB about using Intimidate to unnerve the enemy (it's been a while since I've read that part of the book, so I could be wrong) and I'm not sure which skill the war-crazed lunatic act would use.

On one hand, the cackling and grinning are meant to scare the living hell out the enemy, while on the other hand; the character's not really insane, just acting it.

Anyone got ideas on how this'd work?

Callos_DeTerran
2008-12-24, 12:26 AM
Intmidate, or ask your DM to let you use the Frightful Presence feat from d20 modern.

mabriss lethe
2008-12-24, 12:31 AM
I think there's also a frightful presence feat in Libris Mortis

Callos_DeTerran
2008-12-24, 12:35 AM
I think there's also a frightful presence feat in Libris Mortis

There might be, but I think it's for Undead.

ShadowFighter15
2008-12-24, 12:44 AM
Intmidate, or ask your DM to let you use the Frightful Presence feat from d20 modern.

Well I thought Intimidate, but what if your acting isn't good enough to convince them you're mad? And this effect doesn't seem like it's worth spending a feat on.

revolver kobold
2008-12-24, 12:56 AM
I'd say both. First a bluff check to see if the enemies realize that he is just faking it. And if they do fall for it, an intimidate check to see if they are actually threatened by his behavior.

BRC
2008-12-24, 01:32 AM
Avenging executioner PRC from Com Scoundrel. They have a class feature called "Bloody Murder" that forces a will save if somebody sees you sneak attack one of their allies. The entire class is based upon being a very, very scary serial killer.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-12-24, 01:40 AM
The Frightful Presence feat is in the Draconomicon, and it's specifically in the chapter for PCs. Combine it with the feat Dreadful Wrath from Player's Guide to Faerun and opponents will have to make two saves or be Shaken, failing both they'll be Frightened. If more than one person in the party has those feats most encounters will be a pushover.

esorscher
2008-12-24, 02:45 AM
I read somewhere about Intimidate being used in a battle of wills. I think it was Tome of Battle.

bosssmiley
2008-12-24, 06:22 AM
Isn't there also the Intimidating Strength feat from CWar. Switches Intimidate to working of Str instead of Cha... (not valid for a Warlock, but useful for reference purposes).

As for acting like a homicidal maniac. Just dress like an adventurer; people will get the message. :smallwink:

Sebastian
2008-12-24, 06:48 AM
Well I thought Intimidate, but what if your acting isn't good enough to convince them you're mad? And this effect doesn't seem like it's worth spending a feat on.

Just because he think you are mad doesn't mean he will be scared by you.

And vice versa.

At best I'd give you a sinergy bonus.

ShadowFighter15
2008-12-24, 06:54 AM
As for acting like a homicidal maniac. Just dress like an adventurer; people will get the message. :smallwink:

That just gets the image across; I'm wanting to really hammer it home. With the D&D equivalent of Mjollnir, preferably:smallbiggrin:. Like Anderson in the video I linked in the original post; he's a Church Militant (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChurchMilitant) warrior, but the cackling and grin show that he's a real fanatic.


I'd say both. First a bluff check to see if the enemies realize that he is just faking it. And if they do fall for it, an intimidate check to see if they are actually threatened by his behavior.

That's a good idea; simple and effective.


Just because he think you are mad doesn't mean he will be scared by you.

And vice versa.

At best I'd give you a sinergy bonus.

This isn't meant for big bads or whatever; just for low level groups of mooks.

Another_Poet
2008-12-24, 10:33 AM
Intimidate. Pretty much all intimidation is acting, on some level. It's different than conning people (Bluff) or putting on a show (Perform).

Another_Poet
2008-12-24, 10:46 AM
That's a good idea; simple and effective.

No. Requiring an unrelated skill roll to see if you're allowed to use the skill roll you're actually trying to use is neither simple nor effective. Well... it's effective at nerfing Intimidate, and making it impossible to use on the battlefield. But it's not effective at much else.

ericgrau
2008-12-24, 10:59 AM
I thought this was how 90% of adventurers really are. I don't see the added intimidation of merely pretending to be one. If your life is on the line then it's on the line.

tahu88810
2008-12-24, 11:02 AM
If you succeed wouldn't your opponents fight harder?
I don't know about you but if I'm going to fight a guy and I think "Hey, if I surrender or try to run he'll hunt me down and kill me anyways" I'm going to fight like hell to win...

Zeful
2008-12-24, 11:06 AM
Intimidate. Pretty much all intimidation is acting, on some level. It's different than conning people (Bluff) or putting on a show (Perform).

Except when you mean it.

Vexxation
2008-12-24, 11:16 AM
If you succeed wouldn't your opponents fight harder?
I don't know about you but if I'm going to fight a guy and I think "Hey, if I surrender or try to run he'll hunt me down and kill me anyways" I'm going to fight like hell to win...

Solution: Bonus to Hit or Str, loss of AC, as a barbarian rage.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-12-24, 11:50 AM
Ummm... Anderson isn't acting, that's his actual personality.

I think what you are wanting is to mechanically show how Bad Ass your homicidal maniac is.

However, in the (extremely NSFW) video you linked, no one was particularly intimidated by him, except possibly Police Girl, who was also incapacitated in the first round, is is effectively a level 1 in a level 20 game anyways.

If you can't show how bad ass scary your character is without resorting to mechanics to make people scared of his bad assery, then he isn't bad ass, just a wannabe, and not particularly frightening.

Saph
2008-12-24, 12:09 PM
I thought this was how 90% of adventurers really are. I don't see the added intimidation of merely pretending to be one.

Yeah. In the real world, a homicidal maniac might kill a ten or a dozen people over the course of his life.

Adventurers can make that many kills in one combat round.

Adventurers are scarier than homicidal maniacs. Pretending to be a homicidal maniac is selling yourself short.

- Saph

Coplantor
2008-12-24, 12:16 PM
There might be, but I think it's for Undead.

there was a feat emulatinf frightfull presence but with another name, daunting presence I think it was called. And it wasnt for undead only.

ShadowFighter15
2008-12-25, 06:22 AM
Okay, maybe homicidal maniac wasn't the right term. Acting like a blood-crazed lunatic that would make all but the most frothing-mad berserkers look calm would be a more accurate one. He's pretending to enjoy the killing to a degree that is (at least) unsettling for any sentient race.

He's pretending to enjoy the sort of hell he's raising and the death he's causing. The man acts like an utter lunatic (despite being quite a likeable and cheerful sort to people who know him).


Ummm... Anderson isn't acting, that's his actual personality.

I know; my point was that he's an extreme for the characterisation, the warlock I've been picturing is acting like an extreme for his characterisation (or at least what people think his characterisation is; he's also playing on the preconceptions people have about warlocks).


However, in the (extremely NSFW) video you linked, no one was particularly intimidated by him, except possibly Police Girl, who was also incapacitated in the first round, is is effectively a level 1 in a level 20 game anyways.

Just to point out; Seras (Police Girl) was probably the only sane one in that scene: Alucard's completely off his rocker (and loving every minute of it) and Integra (Alucard's boss and head of the Hellsing Organisation) is used to that sort of personality from Alucard (that and she's a badass (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AuthorityEqualsAsskicking) as well).

Yukitsu
2008-12-25, 10:56 AM
Yeah. In the real world, a homicidal maniac might kill a ten or a dozen people over the course of his life.

Adventurers can make that many kills in one combat round.

Adventurers are scarier than homicidal maniacs. Pretending to be a homicidal maniac is selling yourself short.

- Saph

Hey, the adventurer I'm playing has been around for about 2 dozen sessions, and he hasn't killed anyone yet. Not all adventurers are psychos. :smalltongue:

chiasaur11
2008-12-25, 11:18 AM
Hey, the adventurer I'm playing has been around for about 2 dozen sessions, and he hasn't killed anyone yet. Not all adventurers are psychos. :smalltongue:

Wait.

He's going against armies of monsters and people out for his head, heavily armed, alongside individuals in a profession known for bloodlust...

And he's put in the effort to avoid killing anyone?

Man, that guy's crazy.

John Campbell
2008-12-25, 12:11 PM
A homicidal maniac is someone who goes around breaking into people's homes, killing them "just for the experience", taking their stuff, and doesn't detect evil them first.

Mark Hall
2008-12-28, 10:30 PM
This is a perfect example of an Intimidate check. If you succeed in the roll, your acting IS good enough... they believe that you're insane and that fighting you will be a losing proposition. If it isn't good enough, they may not buy your acting, or they may say "Eh, crazy people aren't any harder to kill."

xanaphia
2008-12-28, 11:40 PM
There might be, but I think it's for Undead.

That made me laugh out loud. I'm not sure why.

Yeah, it should just be an Intimidate check. That's really what Intimidate is for.

UserClone
2008-12-28, 11:46 PM
I'm going to go ahead and jump on the "that's just one of many ways to fluff an Intimidate check" train.

ShadowFighter15
2008-12-29, 12:43 AM
'spose that's the easiest way. As I said; I wasn't sure because part of it is the character's acting skill, but I suppose the whole point of intimidation is acting tough. Thanks for the help everyone.