Getting a handle on intimidating situaltions worksheet

28-Feb-2020 07:50 by 7 Comments

Getting a handle on intimidating situaltions worksheet

There is nothing wrong with controlling something minor in a case like this.For instance, say the NPC and the player are trying to stare each other down.

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Simply not allowing an NPC to affect a PC with a skill like Intimidation or Persuasion because the PCs don't like being told what to do is utterly preposterous.

They might notice that the PC taking the penalty has had his or her nerve shaken, but that would require a separate roll on their part (Perception or Insight are good choices). Specifically, see page 7 of the Player's Handbook regarding step 2 of the core mechanic - the D20: He's stares at you with a constipated expression, and waves his sword randomly.

You think he might be trying to scare you but he seems more likely to cut off his own ear, and you have to resist the urge to laugh.

Even monsters such as the Mindflayer (MM page 222) and the Medusa (MM page 214) have bonuses to social skills.

If NPCs were intended to not be able affect PCs with social skills, the aforementioned entries in the Monster Manual would not have bonuses to social skills.

So to represent the result of a roll, just let it influence your description of the scene.

An NPC who gets a good diplomacy roll is "charming and friendly".

If it is to create a saving throw for a social interaction that forces a character to act in a certain way, you may be headed to the railroad station. Otherwise, you can end up in a situation like this: DM: "You feel intimidated." Player: "I go ahead and do it anyway, he doesn't scare me." DM: "You can't, you are intimidated, he won the intimidation roll." Do you want to be the engineer on that railroad?

Social interactions between the PC and the NPC need to be in the hands of the player as much as possible.

Most of the time I just describe the monster's actions and let the players tell me how their character's react, but the monsters have those skills listed in the Monster Manual for a reason. You are right: most players will feel cheated if they are forced to do something they didn't choose to do (player agency) that isn't the result of a failed saving throw. If the latter you are already driving the narrative: why roll?

What do you think is the best to handle these checks in order for the monster be effective, have the same fail chance as the PCs, and avoiding slowing down the play or making the players feel cheated? Ability checks are similar to, but not the same as, saving throws. If rolling dice helps you get a feel for how strongly the NPC reacts, then the dice help you role play. If you set the conditions where the PC feels that she needs to choose a course of action, or feels threatened because of what the thug can do, or who his friends are, then role play the thug and the setting, then let the player choose.

Obviously, rule zero applies and the DM is free to rule according to his or her own philosophy in this regard.

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