How does your race/faction intimidate others?

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How does your race/faction intimidate others?

Postby Gillar on February 10th, 2015, 3:37 pm

I thought I'd throw in some info on this topic.

Starting first with some races. Jamoura are huge, bestial looking beings. While they are generally peaceful and non-threatening, their very size and visage could be naturally intimidating. The average human encountering a Jamoura for the first time is going to be rather shook up by the initial sight. While a Jamoura isn't one to normally use their appearance as an intimidation tool, the intimidation factor is still there. Imagine standing before a massive, bipedal talking gorilla.

Zith are a perfect example of a race that uses intimidation as a part of their survival. Their appearance can be frightening by itself. A humanoid batlike creature complete with black/gray fur, claws and sharp teeth isn't exactly welcoming. Their reputation for eating/raping/enslaving others is naturally intimidating. The most proactive use of intimidation however comes in the form of the zith's hunting tactics. They hunt in packs of 3-5 and usually stalk their prey for a time before striking. They fly around at night where their coloring acts as a natural camouflage. They stay just far enough away from their prey as to maintain an element of surprise. Then they will often emit short growls, rustle some leaves or break some branches in order to induce a bit of fear and uncertainty in their targets. Since they communicate in a way that most humanoid ears can't detect, they can use these tactics such that their exact locations seem to come from different directions at once. Imagine walking through a forest at night or sitting at a campfire and hearing unnerving sounds from the darkness. It triggers varying levels of fight or flight instincts in most sentient creatures. The more skilled a zith is in intimidation, the more effective these tactics would be thus making them better hunters.

Isur, while not possessing an imposing height (most are around 5' 5" at their tallest), they are walking hulks of muscle. Born heavily muscled and well defined, they also sport the metal-like arms known to have a vice-like grip. Most isur prefer to be bare chested or at the most wear scarce, strategically placed clothing as to better show off their physiques. While this is generally more a matter of physical pride, it can be intimidating to some. Of course, it depends on how the individual isur chooses to display their immense strength with it sometimes being deliberate while other times not. For example, let's say an isur is in combat and gets hit with an arrow. Their dense flesh and hardened bones may leave an otherwise fatal wound being not so much. An archer who shoots an isur only to watch as their target plucks their arrow from their chest and continues to advance could be quite intimidated. An isur who wishes to intimidate someone may crush a stone in their hand, tear a door from its hinges or squeeze the blade of a sword as if it were clay. With skill in intimidation, such displays could be even more effective as intimidation tools.

Now, touching on the topic of Gnosis marks and inherent intimidation values, it all kind of depends on a rather important concept that is often forgotten in play. Unless someone has experience, i.e. Lore related to a particular deity/gnosis, or have marks from the same deity, someone's gnosis marks are only going to appear as elaborate tattoos. Now assuming a person is revealed to have a particular gnosis mark, be it by someone who is knowledgeable of the mark or because the person has revealed themselves, it depends on the mark and deity. In the case of a recognized mark, some will lend themselves to being more intimidating than others. Using the Eiyon example, they do not normally flaunt their status save for situations where it may be beneficial. The term, Eiyon, carries with it the idea that Death has her eye on you. Humans and other "short-lived" races, naturally fear death. Being in the presence of someone who has death's eye on them, can definitely be intimidating especially if you're a nuit or ghost being hunted by the Eiyon.

Chaon's, followers of Rhysol, can be intimidating if their nature is revealed. Where Chaons walk, betrayal, evil and corruption follow. The fact that a Chaon can lay down curses and pour maddening visions upon a person can be quite intimidating especially if the Chaon is skilled in intimidation as their marks can amplify intimidation efforts. Of course, a Chaon isn't going to walk around town flaunting their marks so intimidation would be deliberate and more personal.

Pretty much any of the "dark deities" will have some intimidation factor associated with their marks. Followers of Vayt can obviously benefit from intimidation when combined with their ability to spread sickness and disease. Ssena, Goddess of Fear, has a mark that would work perfectly with intimidation which kind of goes without saying. Sagallius' mark and the whole idea of turning others into puppets, Krysus and her mark's ability to amplify and cause pain, Uldr and his ravenous undead all can benefit from intimidation skill.

Even some of the less "evil" deities can have intimidating marks. Inavalti, Syna's gnosis, provides the marked with seemingly impossible sight which many may be unnerved by. Nobody likes the idea that the can be seen anywhere under the sun. Akajia's mark dealing with shadows and secrets can be intimidating due its creepy, invasive nature.

Again, with Gnosis, it really depends on if others know that the marked is marked and understand what those marks mean/do. Of course, a marked can actively use their gnosis in line with intimidation attempts with enhanced success (depending on intimidation skill) but doing so in more open situations as opposed to more personal ones, can draw unwanted attention.

This brings me to magic and magic users. Something is way to often forgotten/ignored is the fact that magic is not commonplace is most cities. It is generally misunderstood, distrusted and feared by the general populace (Sahova of course being an exception). This makes for a natural intimidation factor. In most locales, magic users should be very low key; keeping to themselves and trying to draw attention. While it can be argued that magic can be a useful, beneficial element in a city, the average city dweller isn't going to automatically see it that way.

...magic is common enough to be witnessed by most people at some point, but only actually wielded by a minority of the population. These magic users can accomplish the impossible and are feared by most and hated by some; they tend to be secretive and will generally not share their secrets with the uninitiated. Magic is very serious business in Mizahar, and not an activity for hobbyists to dabble in. It grants power, but that power always comes at a price; the greater the power, the steeper the price.

Of course, some disciplines of magic lend themselves to somewhat improved acceptance over others but all will carry with them some level of fear and distrust thus lending a strong element of intimidation.

Auristics can allow one to read auras and learn a lot about people. Your average person isn't going to like this. It's scary, unnerving and puts them at a disadvantage when dealing with one skilled in this discipline. When combined with intimidation, you can really get personal with this magic.

Familiary deals with binding an extra-dimensional monster to yourself. Um, frightening to the average person. Such a creature could have countless uses when trying to intimidate someone.

Flux boosts your natural physical abilities to unnatural levels. Witnessing unnatural displays of strength and speed can make others feel uneasy and unsure of their own abilities.

Hypnotism toys with one's thoughts and feelings. EXTREMELY useful when trying to intimidate someone. When you can make someone feel or think what you want them to, there is no end to how much you could intimidate someone.

Leeching sucks away djed from living creatures and inanimate objects. Since everyone and everything possesses djed, you are literally sucking away a bit of one's existence. Intimidation through the use of leeching can be very effective as well as toxic. The fact that leeching is frowned on by most other magic users, who themselves dabble in strange and sometimes unnatural arts, can be quite intimidating to the average person.

Morphing allows one to change their physical features in minor to extreme ways. When someone can be anyone or anything, they are naturally distrusted. It can be quite intimidating to encounter someone who can do this kind of thing. I know I'd be freaked out by someone I'm talking to changing their appearance to look like me or something worse.

Projection eliminates physical boundaries. Suddenly, one's own safety and security can be threatened by someone who can literally reach out and touch them from a distance. When used without one's knowledge, it can be very unnerving.

Reimancy allows one to expel elements from their body. It can be quite intimidating when you can create fire from your own spit, turn stone into clay or cause water to evaporate instantly and that's just the beginning of what a Reimancer is capable of. They can cause great destruction with the simplest of acts, or so it can be perceived. When you can bend the elements to your will, you become extremely intimidating.

Shielding is probably one lesser intimidating disciplines in that it actually protects from other types of magic. However it could be used to intimidate others when it is seen that the Shielder has the ability to effectively defend themselves against other disciplines.

Voiding deals with opening up extra-dimensional portals in which to throw unwanted things into. That whole concept can be intimidating if used in threatening ways and is something to fear for the average person.

Alchemy allows you to play with the very essence of things. While potentially VERY beneficial, the average person is going to see this in a number of negative ways. Blasphemous since only gods should be toying with such things, frightening when experiments on splicing essences goes bad, terrifying knowing that an alchemist could toy with your very being and twist it in unnatural ways.

Glyphing, while not inherently intimidating or frightening, works primarily in concert with other disciplines of magic. Use of glyphs to strategically release other magical effects can be a useful intimidation tool.

Magecraft is possibly the least intimidating discipline as it creates the illusion that one has complete control over the item. This makes it more acceptable to the average person who may think that through the use of one of these items, they can become better somehow. Of course, depending on the crafted effects, items could be used as implements of intimidation with effects that are seamless and smooth. Still, many would be intimidated by an object that can employ magic.

Malediction uses body parts. That in itself can be scary and warrant distaste and distrust. This leads to the potential for using these types of items to intimidate others. Appearance and ability can be used effectively in intimidation effects.

Spiritism is a mixed bag. The average person may see the use of this discipline in a couple of ways. First it could be seen as an amazing way to speak and interact with lost loved ones; appealing to the average person or it could could be used to defend against hateful, angry spirits bent on doing harm. Second, it could be seen as a terrible tool used to manipulate the dead. Dealing with ghosts and dabbling in the realm of death and undeath can be frightening and dangerous leading to useful elements of intimidation.

Summoning lets you call upon extradimensional creatures to do your bidding, what isn't intimidating about that.

Webbing in itself isn't all that intimidating but information gathered from webbing could be used to intimidate.
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