Talk:Strongarm Diplomacy (3.5e Feat)

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RatedLike.png Spanambula likes this article and rated it 3 of 4.
Ah, something for the fighting connoisseur that dumped CHA but still wants to be intimidating. I might change the wording from "slain creature's allies" to "enemy" just for brevity, but that's about it. I can dig it.
RatedNeutral.png DanielDraco is neutral on this article and rated it 2 of 4.
Well it's harder to use portable creatures now. I would tighten it up a little more than -5, though -- at low levels especially, it's not hard to amass large numbers of irrelevant creatures in that range. I'd go no further than -2. Alternatively, instead of depending it upon your own CR, how about relating the CR of the dead thing to the CR of the intimidation target? So when you take down something of CR X, you can intimidate something up to CR X.

Down to -2 means you could no longer trigger intimidates off of killing any sort of mook enemy the DM provides. I like your alternative a lot though. --Foxwarrior (talk) 01:28, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, I'll admit that -2 would spoil the intended usage, but it would do a more satisfactory job of reducing abusability. I prefer my alternative too, but I figured I would suggest a small tweak before going on to suggesting a larger revision. --DanielDraco (talk) 01:32, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
RatedNeutral.png Foxwarrior is neutral on this article and rated it 2 of 4.
It's not exciting, but it's not unreasonable either.
RatedDislike.png Ghostwheel dislikes this article and rated it 1 of 4.
Allies is not specifically explained and can be twisted or bent to have any target.


Might be rogue-level, since you can easily bring someone to Panicked with this (whirlwind attack + bag of rats). Perhaps make this usable at most 1/round? --Ghostwheel 10:02, June 29, 2010 (UTC)

" In addition, whenever you drop a foe below 0 hp, you may make a free Intimidate check against anyone with hit dice equal to or less than the foe dropped, within 15ft." Possibly a better wording of the effect, that's rat proof? Er, bag of rat proof?--Tavis McCricket 14:29, June 29, 2010 (UTC)
I'd go so far as to say that any DM who let his players carry around a bag of rats specifically for this purpose still has a few lessons to learn. I actually like the feat the way it is. A better way to limit this in terms of cheese might be to say the opponent you take down in order to use this feat can't have a fraction of a HD (as is more common with tiny creatures such as rats). That at least would discourage players from using this feat in cheesy ways. Rather than gimp the feat to be less effective in combat, encourage players to use it the way it was intended to be used. That's my two cents. --BackHandOfFate 11:52, December 5, 2012 (PST)
A system should close loopholes itself. A good rule/system/ability should assume that everyone is the lowest common denominator and shouldn't open the door for retarded things, as retarded as they might be. Or else you get things like the universe imploding as wizards create black holes by creating an infinite number of quarterstaves when using Wish, or other stupid stuff like Pun-Pun and the like. --Ghostwheel (talk) 20:06, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. As a DM, if one of my players started using bag of rat tricks... well, I'd let him get away with it the first few times for being clever, but if he kept it up, I'd have the rats run away before he could exploit them, or devour him in his sleep. Or better yet, I'd have a rat god smite him. I've set red slaadi on 1st-level players before - I'm not afraid of unconventional challenges. --Luigifan18 (talk) 20:46, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
Er, I should explain myself further. The slaad was just a guard, and he patrolled the dungeon along a very predictable path. So it was easy enough for the PCs to stay away from him, which was exactly what I intended. --Luigifan18 (talk) 20:48, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
To take a slightly different angle on what GW said, the very notion of formalizing rules is grounded on the assumption that forcing the DM to make judgment calls is a bad thing and should be avoided whenever possible; without this assumption, rules have no purpose. Therefore, if we are using rules at all, we should always endeavor to use rules which function without fiat. This is not possible in all cases (usually social cases, since systematized rules for social interaction would constitute an AI-complete problem), but this is one place that it can be achieved. So why not achieve it?
Further, we would all agree that, at some point, a player reaches too many free intimidations in a single round. At this point, further intimidations should not be allowed. If this point exists with such certainty that you, Backhand, imply that DMs are in fact obligated to forbid any greater number, why would we not simply carry this obligation through to its proper status as a rule? In much the same spirit as putting safety rails at the edge of a balcony, it seems that the proper course is to actively prevent a dangerous mistake.
Additionally, Backhand, you say that "any DM who let his players carry around a bag of rats [...] still has a few lessons to learn". But I can only see that as a point in favor of formalizing it as a rule. Do we want to create a system which is even more hostile to novice DMs? Are not all DMs, in fact, novices at some point? Your statement carries the implication that this feat leads to problems when in the hands of a bad DM, but not when in the hands of a good DM. A stable rule that patches the hole would lead to no problems in either situation. How can this be anything but the superior approach? --DanielDraco (talk) 21:46, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
Yeah. The slaad thing I brought up? I didn't know about double moves at the time, so everyone was restricted to one move action per round. (Maybe that explains why one of the PCs decided to go psycho.) If I ever do that again, I am going to make sure that it's done right, dang it! (And speaking of double moves, the withdraw action does everything a double move does plus allows you to not provoke attacks of opportunity for leaving the space you start in... am I still missing something there?) --Luigifan18 (talk) 22:50, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
What DD said about fiat. --Ghostwheel (talk) 23:41, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
Although looking back at the conversation again, I would like to note that intimidate on its own cannot Panic anyone. Nothing stacks with itself without saying so. But infinite attempts are still problematic for giving infinite retries and infinite targets. --DanielDraco (talk) 01:28, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Aren't the only stacking rules in the bonuses section and the spells section? --Foxwarrior (talk) 01:31, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Huh, apparently so. I'd say that two points draw a line and it's reasonable RAI to create the generality that "nothing stacks with itself unless it says so", but it would indeed be just RAI. --DanielDraco (talk) 01:45, 6 December 2012 (UTC)


Might I suggest also allowing a character with this feat to use strength in place of charisma to qualify for Intimidation related feats with charisma Prereqs? --BackHandOfFate 5:33, December 4, 2012 (PST)

Another suggestion - restrict intimidate check to only against a killed thing's ally. - Tarkisflux Talk 04:54, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
I think that a better way to word things would be that this feat affects any creature you are currently in combat with, and cannot be used when you kill anything with an effective HD less than 1. I've been in encounters where there are more than two opposing forces. Granted, it's rare, but not unheard of. As for taking into account the CR of the creature, you could change it so that it affects any range of CR opponent, but if you try to affect an opponent with a CR higher than the one you just killed, they get a bonus to their opposed roll equal to the difference between their CR and the CR of the downed creature. (For example: You kill a CR2 opponent and try to intimidate a CR5 opponent. The CR5 opponent adds a +3, or possibly more, to their opposed roll). I'd even say that you could make it twice the difference in CR to make it scale a little better. That way, it'd be much more difficult to affect CR appropriate creatures when you kill mooks in front of them, but still useable. I think the minimum CR requirement should be removed and replaced with this. Afterall, why shouldn't a 10th level character be able to use this on two 1st level characters? Again, it'd hardly be neccesary in that case. However, there's no reason to disallow it. --BackHandOfFate 8:40, December 8, 2012 (PST)
Honestly, I see no reason to restrict targets on the basis of partisanship. If I smack down a creature, and turn to you and say, "You're next," is it going to matter whether or not you were friends with the thing I killed? Probably not -- the important part, for you, is that I've killed before and I will do it again.
BHoF's right on the mark. Giving a bonus equal to the CR discrepancy looks, at a glance at least, to be a perfect way to balance it, and it entirely removes the weird holes in fluff. I would, however, be more inclined to setting the lower bound at 1 CR rather than 1 HD, just because CR is a more predictable metric for reasons that I'm sure we're all thoroughly familiar with by now. --DanielDraco (talk) 23:58, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Alternatively... just make it once per round like I said in my original post. What does that not solve? --Ghostwheel (talk) 01:34, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
A sack of rats still works in your solution, it's just that it only works once per round. This is because it does not directly address the real problem (essentially an economic one): the resource's scarcity was initially unrelated to its value -- the resource here being a killable foe, and the value being the payoff of utilizing it. The currently implemented fix still has the value static, but restricts the scarcity to a range which is at least relatively near what is appropriate. BHoF's fix perfectly relates scarcity to value -- which eliminates the core problem and produces a far more elegant mechanic that, notably, is more in keeping with fluff than any other mechanic thus far proposed. --DanielDraco (talk) 02:02, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Awesome, progress is made. To be clear, DD, the reason I specified 1HD and not a minimum CR1 is because almost every humanoid warrior is lower than CR1. Kobold warriors are CR 1/4, Goblins are CR 1/3, and Humans/Orc/Halfling/Gnome/Dwarf/Elf/Hobgoblin/Etc Warriors are all CR 1/2. Seeing as how this feat is available at level 1, I believe we should try to find a limitation on how this feat is used that does not keep you from using it when fighting these types of opponents who tend to be more common in low level games. Perhaps we can specify that the feat is only activated when you down humanoid or monstrous humanoid opponents? Limit the creature type to not include animals and whatever else would be the most exploitable relating to 'bag of rats'. What do you think? --BackHandOfFate 22:06, December 8, 2012 (PST)
Maybe simply specifying a CR greater than 0 (so that swatting a gnat doesn't trigger anything) would be easier and sufficient. The only limitation I might want to put on it beyond that is that dropping a helpless foe does not count. This would exclude bags of rats. Stray rats would still be valid targets, but that's not a problem with your scheme -- sure, you get an intimidate check, but it's at a pretty large penalty. Maybe, though, fractional CRs should be calculated as if they were non-positive CRs, so that that large penalty is as large as it should be: 1/2=0, 1/3=-1, 1/4=-3, 1/6=-4, 1/8=-5, 1/10=-6. This should prevent the skew in penalty which would otherwise be caused by different way that sub-one CRs work -- which means stray rats and the like are no longer problematic either. --DanielDraco (talk) 06:34, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
I see what BH did and approve. When I have brain again, edit make do. Until then, biding time (unless someone with a good idea how to word it gets to it first). -- Eiji-kun (talk) 07:09, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Excellent. I'd like to take what DD suggested about opponents with CR < 1 and submit the following wording for the feat:
"You use your Strength modifier in place of your Charisma modifier for Intimidate checks. In addition, whenever you drop a foe below 0 hp, you may make a free Intimidate check against another opponent within your reach (typically 5 ft. for Medium, or 10 ft. with a reach weapon). If the CR of the opponent you dropped is lower than the CR of the opponent you are attempting to intimidate, the opposing target recieves a bonus to their roll equal to twice the difference in respective CR's. (Example: A PC kills a CR1 creature and attempts to intimidate a CR3 target. The target of the intimidation attempt recieves a +4 bonus (2*(CR3-CR1)) to the opposed roll.) Opponents with a CR less than 1 are counted as having a CR 0 for the purposes of calculating opposed bonuses. This feat cannot be used when (effectively) killing the following: Creatures with less than one HD (IE: Rats), Creatures with the animal type, and non-humanoid(or monstrous humanoid) creatures size tiny or smaller." How does that sound? --BackHandOfFate 23:48, December 8, 2012 (PST)
Why would animals be excluded? If I punch in a grizzly bear's skull and then glare at you, you should probably feel more intimidated than if I'd killed a kobold. --DanielDraco (talk)

Wow, how did I miss this?[edit]

I seriously hadn't seen any Talk page stuff on here at all. Looks like a simple bag of rats problem. Easy fix. Doing it now. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 23:38, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

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