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Blood
2007-03-12, 09:55 PM
The skill Intimidate always seemed flawed to me. How does a human sorceror, who would naturally have a high Charisma, have a higher Intimidate check than a half-orc? Because half-orcs have a -2 to Charisma, and this knocks a point off their Intimidate skill.

Sure, Intimidate does have to do with your "outgoingness." But isn't it the opposite of a high Charisma? So what I was thinking was, take away the Charisma, and instead put Strength. Or if you think that's too much, take half-Str and half-Cha. Doesn't the brutality of the half-orc really intimidate you more than his frienliness? :smallwink:

Another thing I thought was to do something with size, although I wasn't sure about this. For every size category larger, it's a +2 to Intimidate, and a -2 for every category smaller.

Example: We'll have an ogre (size large), and we'll give him a 20 STR and a 6 CHA, who is intimidating a Small halfling. The ogre gets a big +4 because he is 2 size categories larger than the halfling. He gets a +2 (half of +5 from STR rounded down) from STR, and a -1 (half of his negative modifier in CHA, which was -2) from CHA, leaving him with a total of +5 without adding in skill points.

Doesn't a +5 sound more normal when we're talking an ogre trying to intimidate a halfling without any skill points? Normally he would have a -2! A big difference, yes, but I think it's needed.

__________________________________________________ _________

It's a very sketchy outline. Comments are welcomed, and revisions are expected. Also, I don't have any non-core books, so for all I know this has already been taken care of. I also looked through the first three pages of the forum, and didn't see anything on someone trying to fix Intimidate; sorry if I overlooked it or didn't reach it.

Orzel
2007-03-12, 10:04 PM
I'm against STR for Initimidate. Charisma is your natural ability to force a view on someone or something else.

You already get a +4/-4 size bonus/penalty to Intimidate.

Caduceus
2007-03-12, 10:05 PM
You're going on the basis of Charisma equating to "likeability" and Intimidation requiring brute force. Sure, you could rule that brute force, when done right, can give you a bonus to Intimidate.

However!

Charisma is more of a force of personality and social skill score. Who would be more intimidating? A half-orc with a club who says stuff like "Me gonna hurted you real good?" Or a half-elf flipping a dagger in his palm alluding to great pain and slow death in eloquent poetry?

I'd think that the halfling would be more intimidating, because he gets the point across better. He knows how to do it, and he knows how to say it. The half-orc just knows how to do it.

Blood
2007-03-12, 10:10 PM
You already get a +4/-4 size bonus/penalty to Intimidate.
*flips through PHB*

Damn. Well, I think it might be better at +2/-2 anyway, especially if it goes half-and-half STR-and-CHA.


Also, it's not like I don't realize the other side of the issue. Yes, as the last two posters said, you are forcing a view on someone. But I still think that it should go STR and CHA half and half, just because an ogre can be intimidating, while so can a halfling swiftly talking about death with a dagger in his hand. :smallwink:

Orzel
2007-03-12, 10:16 PM
"A person doesn't know how strong you are until you hit 'em"

Str makes no sense. People don't know how strong you are unless you tell them or hit them. And you have to make them belive it (Cha).

However a person can see that you are HUGE and guess that you are also VERY STRONG.

Blood
2007-03-12, 10:37 PM
People don't know how strong you are unless you tell them or hit them. And you have to make them belive it (Cha).

However a person can see that you are HUGE and guess that you are also VERY STRONG.
You make a good point - they don't necessarily know how strong you are. But you do have to be in threatening range to Intimidate someone in battle (I think), which would easily show off your muscular physique. Just like you can tell someone is very big, you can tell someone is very strong.

Just remember the playground bullies, where they're not always a size category larger, but they are a lot tougher. But not charismatic.

I'm not saying it's 100% STR either; I'm still going with half and half.

Vaniel
2007-03-12, 10:47 PM
So, just keep the +2/-2 per difference of size category. :P

Caduceus
2007-03-12, 11:20 PM
The playground bullies may not be charismatic, but they have actual RANKS in Intimidate. Whereas the average nerd they bully (such as myself) has relatively few Hit Dice (usually about 1 commoner level, which ought to be considered half an HD for the purposes of intimidation).

flawed.Perfection
2007-03-13, 04:23 AM
There's a feat that let's you use your Strength modifier instead of Charisma... Can't remember what it was, or which book it's in, though. But yeah, have it as a feat; that makes enough sense. It shows that some use their physical prowess to intimidate... convincingly.

Blood
2007-03-13, 06:35 AM
There's a feat that let's you use your Strength modifier instead of Charisma... Can't remember what it was, or which book it's in, though. But yeah, have it as a feat; that makes enough sense. It shows that some use their physical prowess to intimidate... convincingly.
Maybe it should be more like you use half-n-half, and take a feat to either put it in all STR or all CHA? I still say that STR matters as much as CHA.

Dhavaer
2007-03-13, 06:48 AM
But I still think that it should go STR and CHA half and half, just because an ogre can be intimidating, while so can a halfling swiftly talking about death with a dagger in his hand. :smallwink:

Can it?
Remember, we're talking about being intimidating, which is an entirely different thing from being scary or threatening.

Intimidation in d20 mechanics is convincing someone to do what you say, without making them your friend, sort of like an anti-diplomacy. It's not just about looking like you can hurt someone, because someone you've intimidated stays that way for a while after you've gone, and they would normally realise you can no longer harm them.

The typical ogre is threatening, in that he's quite obviously capable of dealing out significant physical harm. However, in any case when he can't just smash the other person (they're a high level barbarian who's killed hundreds of ogres, they're hiding behind a very solid wall, etc) he can't get them to do anything, and even when he can, they still have their wits about them and, assuming he comes off as stupid as an ogre would, will quite likely try to trick him and/or find someone tougher to deal with the brutish ogre.

The typical lich is scary, in that he evokes a primal flight instinct. He's not immediately threatening to anyone who doesn't know what a lich is (walking skeletons being fairly common in a standard D&D world) and he may or may not be intimidating. The lich can't really get anyone to do something for him, because once his fear aura affects them they've lost the ability to do anything useful.

A bard with high ranks in intimidate is, of course, intimidating. He's not necessarily threatening and he's not scary unless he uses magic to make himself so. However, when you and your friends are pointing your swords at him and he turns around, looks you in the eye, and ever so calmly asks you to step aside, you do. Because something in the way he's standing, or the way he looks at you, tells you that this guy is a nasty enough piece of work that you are no threat at all, and you'd better do what he says. And that's what Charisma can do for you.

I_Got_This_Name
2007-03-14, 10:31 AM
In a D&D world, strength is unimportant for intimidation. Even IRL, it's only important in certain circumstances.

Someone with a gun (presuming they know how to shoot) is not going to be intimidated by someone 20' away with a switchblade, even if the former benches 80 pounds on a good day and the latter looks like he benches 300. Possibly scared a little, but not intimidated. Likewise, someone is scary with a gun in their hand regardless of how strong they are.

In D&D, it's the same way, except the guns are invisible. That half-orc might be able to punch you in the face, which will sting for a while, but missing teeth are replaceable with magic (or just fake ones), whereas the sorcerer can kill you with a single word, or turn you into a toad, or curse your entire family. In the RL analogy, the sorcerer has a gun (scary without strength, and hard to scare with strength. Your half-orc tries to cow him with his muscles, and ends up Dominated). Further, you can't tell if that short weakling is a rogue, a commoner, or a sorcerer just by looking at him.

In D&D, Charisma is your force of personality and ability to make others do what you want. Strength is just your physical strength. Strength may be scary assuming you have two unarmed people IRL, but in D&D, there are quite a number of things someone can do without weapons that are quite a bit scarier than what they can do with their strength. If you're going to use Strength to measure capability for intimidation, then Rogues have to be able to use their Dexterity (the thin wiry guy in the shadows could very well be able to put a knife in your stomach before you even know he has a knife), Wizards their intelligence, Clerics and Monks their Wisdom, and so on.

Further, Intimidate isn't just the ability to threaten immediate harm. It can be, but you can use intimidate even if you've been taken hostage to convince your captors that it'd be a good idea to let you go, or at the very least not harm you. Intimidate keeps someone scared of you after you're gone; there's no way strength can do that. As alluded to by an earlier poster, you can intimidate someone you have no immediate obvious way of harming; your strength won't intimidate the captain of the archers standing on the wall (it might scare him into deciding that you absolutely must not, under any circumstances, reach the wall, though, but that just gets you killed), but your charisma just might; you just need to say the right thing to break his resolve, and let him feel that you are certain of breeching the walls and doubt himself. That's Intimidate.

ajkkjjk52
2007-03-14, 12:03 PM
I once had a DM who let you use any ability score in intimidate if you had ranks. His logic was that intimidation is what you make it. You can intimidate someone by breaking their sword in half with your bare hands in front of them (str), by flipping a dagger very skillfully (dex) by stubbing out a ciggarette (or the equivalent) on your chest (con), by talking down to them and using overly fanciful language (int), and so on.

However, I think this OoTS http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0010.html already proved why intimidation with INT rather than CHA isn't so effective. :vaarsuvius:

jlousivy
2007-03-14, 12:10 PM
I agree with ajkkjjk to a point. int and wis i can't see as much.
str-- break something
con-- show of toughness
dex-- something tricky(but i'd rule a -1 on this check)
cha-- speach.

therefore-- if you're in a room with nothing but your skin-- you really can't do any intimidate check besides with cha
if there is a table and you smash it with your fist/great club or something, you can use str.

alot of DM oversight required of course. But it allows other uses of intimidate

InaVegt
2007-03-14, 12:17 PM
However, I think this OoTS http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0010.html already proved why intimidation with INT rather than CHA isn't so effective. :vaarsuvius:

It didn't intimidate them, but a nonmagical sleep effect does seem very handy to me.

I know a new use of the knowledge skill:

By rambling for 10 minutes you can force everyone listening to make a DC (knowledge check result -10) will save or fall asleep for a minute.

Holocron Coder
2007-03-14, 12:21 PM
Very well and good when you compare someone with class levels (bully) as opposed to someone without (kindergartener).

But if you think of this: An half-orc blacksmith versus a human farmer. Neither with ranks in intimidate, since its all in their craft/etc skill. Personally, I'd be more afraid of the orc than the human in a barfight.

Of course, I have no idea how to reflect this in-game. I've thought about using charisma's absolutely value (thus, the 8 cha half-orc would get a +1 bonus over the 10 cha human) and i've thought about the "alternate stat" point.

Who knows? DMs do :P

Orzel
2007-03-14, 01:47 PM
The thing is

+2 Strength is nothing. +1 to hit and damage is ignorable.

Creature that has Str high enough to make initimidate matter are:

Giants and other larger/huge things (who get a size bonus)
and
High level characters (how have skill ranks)

A human with 18 Str is not that big. If he is still level 1 or 2, he can still die to a commoner. He's not that scary. He's just a big dude.

And some people aren't afraid of death. Punching walls scares them less than for instance, taking their source of money away

Inyssius Tor
2007-03-14, 03:33 PM
Well, yes, in D&D that's the system.
In real life, however, commoners don't look at the size of a man's HD, or think "hey, he only deals 1d2+1, and provokes an AoO for doing so;" in real life, people avoid pain of any kind.

In real life, there are no land animals (let alone people) larger than Large; that thug over there isn't Huge, but he is huge.

Holocron Coder
2007-03-14, 05:28 PM
Well, yes, in D&D that's the system.
...
In real life, there are no land animals (let alone people) larger than Large...

See Elephant, Rhino, Hippo, Giraffe, etc, etc... (as well as any extinct dinosaur ;))

Orzel
2007-03-14, 06:31 PM
But those animals get size bonuses.

The only way someone can guage your strength is for them yo see that you are big or for you to tell them you have powers and for them to believe you.

Harkone
2007-03-15, 12:38 AM
In my campaigns I allow either STR or CHA to be considered the relevant ability score for intimidate. That way, both arguments about what's really intimidating win out.

Caduceus
2007-03-15, 12:44 AM
In my campaigns I allow either STR or CHA to be considered the relevant ability score for intimidate. That way, both arguments about what's really intimidating win out.

Not really, because the people who seem to be pro-Charisma, are actually anti-Strength. By even offering Strength as the relavent ability, you are giving them the loss.

Harkone
2007-03-15, 12:52 AM
To me either argument can be persuasive. I think you can be Intimidating due to physical ability or force of personality. This can easily be seen in the real world, if you need and example. If you are in a bar, and you see a pretty beefy/strong-looking guy across the room, you will likely not want to mess with him, anger him, bump into him, etc., even if he's actually a huge geek, can't fight, etc. While this may seem like a primitive or silly example, I think it conveys the point that even the appearance of physical Strength can be quite Intimidating.

Orzel
2007-03-15, 01:18 AM
To me either argument can be persuasive. I think you can be Intimidating due to physical ability or force of personality. This can easily be seen in the real world, if you need and example. If you are in a bar, and you see a pretty beefy/strong-looking guy across the room, you will likely not want to mess with him, anger him, bump into him, etc., even if he's actually a huge geek, can't fight, etc. While this may seem like a primitive or silly example, I think it conveys the point that even the appearance of physical Strength can be quite Intimidating.

The thing is

In D&D, STR means little unless you are a size larger or experienced.
a 18 STR commoner1 can be killed by anything with a HD with ease.
Heck a 18 STR fighter2 can be killed by a LOT of things easy.

Medium creatures are weak as hell. In a melee fight between 2 same size people within 10 STR of each other and the same amount of HD, the luckier guy or the guy with better feats/items wins.

Harkone
2007-03-15, 01:57 AM
Medium creatures are weak as hell. In a melee fight between 2 same size people within 10 STR of each other and the same amount of HD, the luckier guy or the guy with better feats/items wins.

But in a fight between the 18 STR guy and the 10 STR guy the 18 STR guy has a distinct advantage...and the 10 STR guy knows it. Therefore, assuming neither has any feats, items, or even ranks in Intimidate, the 18 STR guy should have the advantage, unless the 10 STR guy has an equally "powerful" force of personality (hence Intimidate can be tied to STR as well as CHA).

Dhavaer
2007-03-15, 02:16 AM
But in a fight between the 18 STR guy and the 10 STR guy the 18 STR guy has a distinct advantage...and the 10 STR guy knows it.

How does he know it? There's no way to gauge another creatures abilities without seeing them in use. Also, why is this relevant? We're talking about Intimidation, not a fight.


Therefore, assuming neither has any feats, items, or even ranks in Intimidate, the 18 STR guy should have the advantage, unless the 10 STR guy has an equally "powerful" force of personality (hence Intimidate can be tied to STR as well as CHA).

Assuming you're talking about an Intimidate check now, instead of a fight, this doesn't follow at all. Having a demonstrably higher strength than your target could, at most, give you a circumstance bonus to your check in some situations. If you are not in a situation where your strength could be used, you would not get the bonus. If you are in such as situation, but you cannot demonstrate your strength, or if your target has a strength bonus comparable to your own, you would not get the bonus.
Your charisma bonus is always applicable to an Intimidate check, so it is the relevant ability. Your strength bonus is occasionally applicable to an Intimidate check, so it can give a circumstance bonus at the DM's decision.

Inyssius Tor
2007-03-15, 12:14 PM
How does he know it? There's no way to gauge another creatures abilities without seeing them in use. By looking at said other creature? I hate using real-world examples, but is it not generally assumed that if you cannot actually physically see the numbers on a person's character sheet, you can at least see what those abstract numbers represent?
Aren't masterwork weapons visibly well-made?
Would a level 1 orcish commoner with 22 strength and pink makeup (or possibly a bag over his head) really look just as tough as a level 1 human commoner with 6 strength?

Caduceus
2007-03-15, 12:26 PM
It's not the threat of harm that makes Intimidate work. It's just pure intimidation. Making someone cow before you, and continue to be cowwed after you're gone. Strength doesn't do that. Strength cows them physically by beating them to a pulp. But Charisma leaves a lasting effect by working on their emotions.

Holocron Coder
2007-03-15, 12:27 PM
To add on to Inyssius Tor's comments, basically the 18str commoner would have biceps the size of 10str commoner's head. That's intimidating, even if the 18str is a normal 10cha. In fact, he's probably even more intimidating if he's ugly as hell (8cha).

It's just a tad convuluted.

I also don't understand the claim that intimidate has to function after the person has left. Where did that come from?

Caduceus
2007-03-15, 12:32 PM
It's meant as an alternative to Diplomacy, where you make someone do something for you without making them friendly. You can tell them to tell so-and-so such-and-such, which means they have to remain cowwed after they're no longer in your presence. It's fear and anger and despair that you're working with.

In the case of muscles the size of a person's head, I think if you describe the character that way, the other people around them will react accordingly. But that's not using Intimidate. That's just being big and scary-LOOKING. You don't make a check to intimidate someone from across a tavern.

That Lanky Bugger
2007-03-15, 12:36 PM
I think a lot of people arguing against STR being a factor in intimidate are forgetting how big someone with a high STR can get.

I don't mean big here as in a size category difference, I mean big muscle-wise. Someone with an 18 STR will look like someone with an 18 STR. You can't see his DEX unless you see him move, you can't see his CON until you see him take a hit (or something similar), but his STR is always there. Someone with a 10 STR is visibly smaller than someone with an 18 STR. The former has small arms, while the later probably looks like Wulfgar from the Icewind Dale books. Can you honestly tell me that if someone Wulfgar's size was making threats you wouldn't pay attention more than if it were someone of average size?

On the same note, dealing damage to the target should increase your intimidation rolls somehow. For example...

Thug: Why not give me that scroll, friend?
Peasant: No.
*Thug thwacks him with his club*
Peasant: *cough* Yes?
Thug: Good boy.

Maybe every time you deal a certain amount of damage, you effectively gain a size category on the foe? I dunno.

Inyssius Tor
2007-03-15, 12:40 PM
That's almost exactly right, but there is a small twist in the rules somewhere; it isn't exactly "high charisma = attractive, low charisma = ugly;" in my mind (and I think in the RAW), it's more "high charisma = visible, low charisma = dull." It's mildly convoluted and oft-overlooked, but there it is. If you see a big, muscular guy with 10 cha, you're inclined to think "brawny lout" rather than "Skullcrusher."

Of course, that's a pretty minor distinction; "high cha = hot, low cha = not" works just as well for me.

Editing to not post twice in the same minute: yeah, a lot of people overlook the five feet between three-foot-nine and 8'9"...

Caduceus
2007-03-15, 12:40 PM
I agree with the damage-dealing, and it ought to be approximately either a quarter or half of the target's current HP.

ajkkjjk52
2007-03-15, 12:44 PM
it isn't exactly "high charisma = attractive, low charisma = ugly;" in my mind (and I think in the RAW), it's more "high charisma = visible, low charisma = dull." It's mildly convoluted and oft-overlooked, but there it is. If you see a big, muscular guy with 10 cha, you're inclined to think "brawny lout" rather than "Skullcrusher."

Which doesn't really explain why half-orcs gain a charisma penalty. They don't exactly blend into the crowd.

Orzel
2007-03-15, 01:06 PM
I think a lot of people arguing against STR being a factor in intimidate are forgetting how big someone with a high STR can get.

I don't mean big here as in a size category difference, I mean big muscle-wise. Someone with an 18 STR will look like someone with an 18 STR. You can't see his DEX unless you see him move, you can't see his CON until you see him take a hit (or something similar), but his STR is always there. Someone with a 10 STR is visibly smaller than someone with an 18 STR. The former has small arms, while the later probably looks like Wulfgar from the Icewind Dale books. Can you honestly tell me that if someone Wulfgar's size was making threats you wouldn't pay attention more than if it were someone of average size?

On the same note, dealing damage to the target should increase your intimidation rolls somehow. For example...

Thug: Why not give me that scroll, friend?
Peasant: No.
*Thug thwacks him with his club*
Peasant: *cough* Yes?
Thug: Good boy.

Maybe every time you deal a certain amount of damage, you effectively gain a size category on the foe? I dunno.


In D&D there's a limit to size. You don't actually get that large as a 18 STR Human. The World strongest Man right now is 6'6" at ~350 lbs. The World's strongest humans have like 16-18 STR based on the heavy load.

Medium creaures are not that big at alll. Even the ones with 18 STR.

That Lanky Bugger
2007-03-15, 03:05 PM
Orzel, that's what I mean.

Not all medium-sized creatures are the same size, and a creature with a lot of muscle is going to heavily outmass someone with little muscle.

Here's a pretty good example:

http://www.ecwperth.com/rumours/images/wwa2002/wwa2002011.jpg


Both are Medium-sized creatures by all applicable definitions of the D&D rules. Now assuming both have a Cha of 10, if both are manhandling you, which is going to be more intimidating? The guy on the left, or the guy on the right who has arms like the torso of the guy on the left?

Orzel
2007-03-15, 04:06 PM
The guy on the right.... because he's TALLER. He's probably near max hieght for a human male. He gets a size bonus because he probably has large build. But to a centaur, he's a shrimp. To an orc, he's fairly big. In D&D, hieght matters more than muscle size becase height usually determines base muscle size.
Two people on equal size, equal combat training, equal HP, equal Ch and equal intimidate ranks are equallly intimadating as long as they are within 20 of each other in each non-Cha attribute. It's like wrestling, fans fear/hate the tall guys and the charasimic ones.

As a New Yorker, I'm not afriad of size too much. Guys in business suits scare me more. Bruises heal faster than bank accounts.

Dhavaer
2007-03-15, 04:47 PM
By looking at said other creature? I hate using real-world examples, but is it not generally assumed that if you cannot actually physically see the numbers on a person's character sheet, you can at least see what those abstract numbers represent?

If they're being used, yes. If someone's just standing there there's nothing saying you know how strong they are.


Aren't masterwork weapons visibly well-made?

Why would they be?


Would a level 1 orcish commoner with 22 strength and pink makeup (or possibly a bag over his head) really look just as tough as a level 1 human commoner with 6 strength?

Depends on the orc and human in question.


To add on to Inyssius Tor's comments, basically the 18str commoner would have biceps the size of 10str commoner's head. That's intimidating, even if the 18str is a normal 10cha. In fact, he's probably even more intimidating if he's ugly as hell (8cha).

Why do you think the stronger commoner has biceps that big? There is no correlation between Strength and appearance, nor between Charisma and appearance.


I also don't understand the claim that intimidate has to function after the person has left. Where did that come from?


The effect lasts as long as the target remains in your presence, and for 1d610 minutes afterward.


Someone with a 10 STR is visibly smaller than someone with an 18 STR.[quote]

Not necessarily.

[quote=lankybugger;2197711]The former has small arms, while the later probably looks like Wulfgar from the Icewind Dale books. Can you honestly tell me that if someone Wulfgar's size was making threats you wouldn't pay attention more than if it were someone of average size?

Depends on Charisma, since that's the ability that makes people pay attention to you.


On the same note, dealing damage to the target should increase your intimidation rolls somehow. For example...

Thug: Why not give me that scroll, friend?
Peasant: No.
*Thug thwacks him with his club*
Peasant: *cough* Yes?
Thug: Good boy.

Maybe every time you deal a certain amount of damage, you effectively gain a size category on the foe? I dunno.

Circumstance bonus, at the DM's discretion.


Both are Medium-sized creatures by all applicable definitions of the D&D rules. Now assuming both have a Cha of 10, if both are manhandling you, which is going to be more intimidating? The guy on the left, or the guy on the right who has arms like the torso of the guy on the left?

Neither.The one on the right will be more threatening, though.

Neek
2007-03-15, 07:26 PM
I could argue Strength + Intimidate can be plausible, as long as you justify it. It won't work all the time, and it can't work all the time; in fact, I'm not even arguing that Strength should replace Charisma. But there are moments that Strength could be possible.

A couple things to note: No stat ability is actually physically relevant. A character of high dexterity may not be leaner than a person with a low dexterity, and surely a guy of 18 Con is not made of coffin nails (though he definitely seems like it). However, actions often can speak stronger than words. If I'm in a bar, and the bartender (Cha 10, 2 ranks in intimidate) tells me to get out, I might not too inclined to do so; if the bouncer, a half-orc with an equally average Cha score and 2 ranks in Intimidate, but with a +2 to his Strength bonus simply looks at me and breaks a pool cue in his bare hands, I might be inclined to follow the bodyguard's instructions.

But remember this: The schoolyard bully is no more stronger or agile or smarter than the kids he beats up. He simply has an edge in his personality that allows him to exploit the weakness of others; he has the capacity of being as good as a saint, as sweet as a sugarcane, or whatnot--That is why Charisma is tied to Intimidate.

Caduceus
2007-03-15, 10:17 PM
When someone says bully, what do you think of? Probably some big and/or fat kid holding a smaller kid upside down, shaking out change, right?

Think on this one. When I was younger, there was a kid half my size, and skinny as hell, who beat the crap out of me. He intimidated me with the way he walked, talked, and held himself in a certain way that I didn't even try to fight back. Thinking back now, I probably could have beaten him up right back, but I didn't have the resolve (Will) to do so.

Eighth_Seraph
2007-03-15, 10:50 PM
An interesting point, and I completely agree, despite never having been in that situation. As a martial artist though, I have seen (and fought) people who win sparring matches before even getting into the ring. There's an art within itself in bowing, looking into your opponent's eyes while slowly getting into a stance, then smiling in such a way that your opponent knows that there is nothing he can do to stop you.

I would rule that demonstrations of physical strength would give a circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks, as in the bouncer with the pool queue example above, but only if the Intimidating party is actually planning to do physical harm, or it must first succeed on a Bluff check to convince the target of the Intimidate check that it is planning to do harm. Also, since there seems to be a pattern of Half-orcs being viewed universally as more intimidating than the average human, perhaps a racial modifier is in order?

Bottom line, I'm really with Dhavaer on this one. I've been practicing my stance and expression in sparring lately, and a friend commented that he hates when I look like I'm gonna hurt somebody. While this could be waved away with ranks in the skill, it's important to note that my actual strength had nothing to do with it. What I do know is that every time I give my friend that same glance, he cringes or starts to go into a defensive stance instinctively.

However, looking at game mechanics, things change a little. Since we're talking about what's likely to make someone obey orders out of pure fear, I would say that Charisma should be the default skill for modifiers. However, if the Intimidater has caused the target siginificant physical damage in the past, that could lead to a circumstance bonus as could a display of something the target is fearful of. If the target is a pyrophobe 'cause his village was burned down by a red dragon when he was a small child, a wizard casting Fireball would be getting a +2-+4bonus. The point is that Charisma is the modifying ability for good reason, though demonstrations of other skills could very well give additional, if more difficult, contributions.