A measure of your ability to produce a sudden, strong, negative emotion in a target.

Special Notes

At its core, Intimidation is about putting the fear of you into someone else. There are more graceful social skills for convincing people to do what you want, but few skills offer the pure efficiency of communicating that failure to comply may well result in some manner of harm as Intimidation does

Intimidation is one of the few skills that, under certain conditions, is able to deal direct mental stress to a target as an attack, and you can use it both in physical and social conflict situations. For more information see “Mental Conflicts,” page 217


The Brush-Off
Use Intimidation to establish a powerful, menacing first impression. If you are actively doing something intimidating, you may roll a quick contest of Intimidation against the opponent’s Discipline or Presence. If successful, the target is taken aback for a moment, generally long enough for you to brush past them, though the target will usually have plenty of time to call for help or come after you if appropriate. This can’t be done in a fight or against any target who is already ready for a fight; but in those “first contact” situations.

Use Intimidation for interrogation situations. Normally it’s all about getting in the face of the perp and convincing him that you are the harbinger of his personal doom, however staring someone down is also intimidation and particular success on the roll may mean constructing a situation where the target feels afraid even though nothing truly violent or scary is occurring. Regardless of how overt or subtle you make it, your actions are firmly “Bad Cop”. Other social skills, such as Deceit and Rapport, are necessary to make it an interview rather than an interrogation and belong firmly in the “good cop” camp.

Use Intimidation to provoke the target into changing their behavior through psychological or social attacks. This usually results in enraging them or otherwise getting them to lose their cool.

Social Attacks
Use Intimidation as a direct social attack on an individual. This cuts directly through the usual niceties by making things blunt, ugly, and expedient. The target usually gets his choice of social skill to defend against such an attack—for whatever help that might offer him—so long as it’s appropriate to the nature of the attack.

Use Intimidation to deal direct mental stress to a target. To manage this, you must be in a position to make a reasonable case that you actually can deliver some kind of harm or unpleasant circumstance to your target. You can achieve this with reputation, appearance, weaponry, or even with a good, scary speech. Without this context, the victim may be at an advantage (+2) when defending, or may simply be untouchable by this method of psychological attack.


Infuriate: Scaring people isn’t your forte; seriously pissing them off, on the other hand, is right up your alley. Gain +2 to any roll when deliberately trying to get someone angry with you (a social or mental attack or a maneuver with such a goal). Any consequences (such as grudges) or temporary aspects that result must name you as the source and target of the anger.

Interrogator: You use Intimidation to scare a “perp” or at least provoke strong reactions out of him. Those reactions should tell you something, even if you don’t get a confession out of your target. Once per scene, whenever you make a successful Intimidation attack while questioning someone, you can set aside the stress you’d inflict and instead treat the attack as a successful Empathy attempt to “read” that person (page 129).

Rule with Fear: Taking this stunt establishes that your reputation is based on how scared people are of you, far more than anything else. Use Intimidation instead of Presence whenever rolling to represent your reputation.

Subtle Menace: You don’t need the upper hand or to be in a position of power in order to be scary to someone. When the context of power is absent, or your victim is actually in a superior position, your victim does not get any advantage bonus (see Threats, page 133).

You Don’t Want Any of This: People stay out of your way—they know better. When performing a Brush-Off (page 132), gain a +2 on your roll.

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