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The Intimidate Talent

According to an earlier thread on this subject, Modiphius-SteveH commented that

“Command, Counsel, Persuade and Society are all contenders for this skill (See Social Field of Expertise page 307 Conan). Basically if your putting the hard word down and going “Chopper Reid” you get the success for any test the GM feels is suitable”

I was just wondering if this included Displays or Threaten attacks as well?

Displays and Threaten attacks all have very specific skill requirements. Threaten attacks are done with Persuade for example. For Command, you also have the A Mighty Name Display.

I would not allow using Counsel for Threaten attacks by default. However, if you have the right talents it could work. For example, the Calming Oratory talent allows you to substitute Counsel for Persuade if you are trying to convince someone to avoid violence. If properly role-played, I would even allow this for Threaten attacks. Command even has a talent with gives you access to a special Display.

So in summary I don’t think those skills are meant to be interchangeable in Displays and Threaten attacks (GM’s decision of course). But with the right talents and role-play, any combination could be possible.

Thanks Shran, that is not what I was getting at. What I would like to know is whether or not one can apply the Intimidate Talent in Threaten attacks.

I would say, of course. Intimidation is the basis of all the Threaten attacks, the intention of all Displays is to intimidate someone.
Therefore this - mechanically absurdly powerful - Talent will apply.

Regarding “absurdly powerful”: it gives you a single additional success. Not bonus Momentum or so as other Talents do. And not requiring rolling at least one success on the actual test, as Strong Back (Athletics) requires. You simply get an additional success.

You can use your physical presence or carefully chosen words (or both) to compel obedience from others, whether through the threat of violence or social humiliation.Whenever making an appropriate Social test under these conditions, you generate 1 automatic success.

Especially “under these conditions”. What conditions are that? Not only Threaten attacks, but other kinds of social, forceful interactions, too. It covers a very broad spectrum of applications.
And it has Requisite of Persuade Expertise 0, so anyone, who doesn’t even have any kind of training in Persuade, could take it and use it.
For such a character, this Talent is the equivalent as spending a Fortune point any time they want to force someone socially - for free!

For me this Talent is badly designed.
I do allow it as written in my games, though, as I don’t want to start re-working Talents, because it wouldn’t, and couldn’t stop here, as there are many more contenders for the “badly designed” category (Book of Skelos has them aplenty).

The talent only says “social test”, so I’d say it potentially applies to any of the skills you mentioned. And if you use a Threaten attack (or a Display) with the appropriate role-play, I’d say you also fulfill the requirements of “threat of violence”. Of course this all depends on the situation and how you role-play it.

And all Displays, even those where other skills are given as a substitution for Persuade, can be made using the Persuade skill - therefore are social tests with the goal to intimidate someone, therefore trigger this Intimidation Talent.
(As I said, badly designed - or to be more lenient: badly worded (which in an RPG text is equivalent to badly designed, it just sounds a bit less awful).)

I suppose the sticking point for me has always been the phrase “Social Test”. Are Threaten Attacks Social Tests? If so then that answers my question. I do agree that it is badly designed, however; but as Frank says, it isn’t the only one, so quid pro quo.

NPCs make their Threaten attacks using their Social field of expertise (there are exceptions for animals, but all human NPCs use the Social field of expertise).
So Threaten attacks by human PCs must be Social tests.

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Frank, I’d love to know what other talents you’d take exception to, if you had your druthers. Your take on things is always insightful.

There are a few, but as this is the Modiphius forum, I like to keep my complaining down a bit.
(Maybe on Discord in an audio-chat or other non-written format.)

Overall, I really like all of the 2d20 RPGs Modiphius produced so far, but all of them have their sore points.
In my games at home, I use house rules, which I rarely apply for online games, not at all for one-shots to introduce people to Conan 2d20 (as I think, if you want to get to know a rules system, you need to get a glimps at it as “RAW” as possible - house rules obfuscate that view).

Interesting. To me, the Modiphius forums is the perfect place to note your observations about their systems, but out of respect for your personal code of conduct I’ll leave it at that and won’t press further (except maybe on Discord sometime :wink: )

Tangentially: I find the “Grade” system of JC interesting as a means by which to score/size talents in the earlier systems. I don’t imagine that they used anything that mechanical when designing talents for, say, Infinity or MC, but I do reckon it approximates some collective “gut-feeling” about how to balance talents across trees and tiers, gleaned from years of play-testing their earlier games. For my own 2d20 setting, which uses a variety of rules pulled from different systems and normalized by hand, I have spent a lot of time attempting to balance the tiers across all the trees and am now considering doing an audit by which I attempt to score each talent according to the grade system to find a more quantifiable level of parity. Probably overkill since I also acknowledge that eyeballing it + refining during play-testing works just as well (better, actually) and is more fun, but I’m a nerd and a masochist, so there you have it.

In MC3, Infinity, Conan the Talents are put into tiers on a Talent tree.
For later games they did away with that entirely.
JCoM is something “in between”, as the Talents are no longer put into rigid trees, but still have a kind of value regarding their effect associated.
Later games have definitely very different effect strengths in their Talents (like in A!C or Star Trek), so taking one that costs the same amount of resources (character generation Talent slot or later some milestones or XP) could give you quite less “bang for the buck”.