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Intimidation is intentional behavior which would cause a person to fear injury or harm. People who are proficient at the skill of Intimidation can convince another person - through violence, threat of violence, or intimation of violence - to do their bidding. This can include giving up information, handing over valuable items, leaving or entering a place, backing down from a fight, or any number of actions.



Intimidation is a skill that is manifested consciously or unconsciously in order to cause another person fear of injury or harm. Intimidation is often employed to assert dominance or gain control over the person who is being intimidated (sometimes labeled as a ‘mark’ or ‘target’). After the intimidator has sufficiently cowed their mark, they can use this advantage to coerce the mark into certain behaviors. Additionally, the intimidator can use this edge to dominate conversation, silence a mark, or make the process of interrogation easier. The techniques used vary by region, upbringing, and skill level. The majority of novice intimidators rely on physical stature or other biological traits (such as claws, musculature, or physical deformities). As an intimidator progresses, they learn to incorporate gestures, props, tone of voice, stance, emotional manipulation, and many other aspects to make their intimidation more effective.

Intimidation does not always have to involve threats of violence or harm. In fact, signs or other props that have significant meaning to the mark can be placed in order to cause fear. Even the simple act of catching a throwing knife within a short distance of the target can intimidate them. The use of props and other non-weapon items is generally reserved for targets that have been researched extensively. Many other techniques provide better payoff in a shorter period of time by using less complex methods. Props are utilized as a form of psychological torment/emotional manipulation. Props generally require vocal or physical follow-up.

Intimidation is generally performed as a conscious action by the intimidator. At expert and master skill levels, the intimidator may be so used to their craft that many of their techniques become ingrained into their conversation and movement. This unconscious style of intimidation requires many hours of practice and is limited by the techniques practiced by the intimidator. They will not be able to unconsciously intimidate a target with a technique they have not spent many hours refining. Additionally, it should be noted that not all who master the art of intimidation will use this method. Many master level intimidators still prefer the nuanced control that comes with picking every technique based on the situation and the characteristics of their target. Lastly, budding intimidators should note that unconsciously intimidating a mark with physical stature or learned techniques can be disadvantageous in social settings. If an intimidator chooses to take the unconscious intimidation route at the master skill level, they should expect that this trait is a part of nearly every interaction they have. It will take willpower and conscious effort to recognize and change the stance and techniques that are ingrained.

Prerequisites and Related Skills

A number of other skills can be used to supplement intimidation. Investigation, observation, interrogation, and intelligence aid the intimidator in discerning details about their mark.

For example, an old scar may signal a burn. Consequently, an intimidator can incorporate fire or threats of using fire to terrify the mark. Additionally, an intimidator can use rhetoric to refine his argument to effect a more cultured mark. However, this tactic is often outclassed in favor of force or physical contact. Weapon skills can be used as an aid for physical intimidation techniques. Those that have a high level of skill in a weapon will find that their intimidation techniques using these weapons will be more effective. Hypnotism allows the intimidator to toy with the marks thoughts and feelings. Using hypnotism, the mark feels the emotions that that the intimidator wishes them to feel and thinks the thoughts that the intimidator wishes them to think.

Intimidation Tactics


The list of intimidation techniques below should serve as an example. Many other techniques can be used or created by inventive intimidators. As an intimidator advances in skill and practices the techniques that most suit them, they can weave these techniques together for increased effectiveness.

Verbal Threat: This technique involves threatening physical, emotional, or mental harm to a mark or something that the mark holds dear. The threat does not need to be followed up in order to be intimidating. Tone of voice supplements this technique and can increase effectiveness when utilized correctly. If the tone of voice is off, verbal threats will often fail.

Stance/Posture: This technique involves standing or holding oneself in a way that elicits fear. For example, an intimidator may create an aura of fear by standing incredibly close to a mark, towering over them and invading their personal space.

Emotional Manipulation: This technique involves using deceptive or abusive tactics to exploit the psychological vulnerabilities of the mark. Emotional manipulation is the broadest of the intimidation techniques. It includes using reinforcement to lull the mark into a sense of security before ripping that security away. Emotional manipulation generally requires a relationship with the mark. This technique takes the most time as it relies on the intimidator’s ability to ferret out psychological weakness that can then be incorporated into other techniques.

Gestures: This technique involves threatening gestures used in the direction of the mark, such as a raised fist or weapon.

Physical Impact: This technique involves physically harming another person or object to elicit fear from a mark. This technique is one of the most common.

Advanced Techniques

Advanced techniques account for the understanding that intimidation is more effective when complementary techniques are used together. For example, a master intimidator would hold himself with an air of cruelty and confidence around the target. From there, he would thread together a series of verbal threats and posture that would scare the mark. These threats would be exquisitely detailed and suited to the target’s specific fears or vulnerabilities. These physical threats could then be followed by the gesture of a raised fist or physical impact.

Skilled intimidators understand that physical displays of power are best utilized in combination with mental torment or discomfort. As an example, a master intimidator may ask their mark how they would like to be beaten. The fear that surges through the mark at such a line of questioning could be used as a catalyst to amplify the effectiveness of further techniques as the mark is already on edge and nervous.

Learning Intimidation

This section details the various ways intimidation can be learned. This is not an exhaustive list but it provides many ways by which intimidators can hone their craft.

Learning by example or observation is one of the most common techniques and is suited to novice intimidators. Studying a higher level intimidator will allow the novice to pick up on posture, stance, techniques, and a few of the psychological elements of intimidation. Learning by observation will not allow the mentee to understand the process of reading the mark for signs that can be used to enhance the techniques used.

Learning by practice is another form of learning often used by novices. Learning by practice is most commonly used as a supplement to learning by example. Learning by practice allows the novice intimidator to practice the timing and execution of their techniques. Additionally, they will be able to judge the effectiveness of their posture and stance. If an intimidator picks a mark that is not susceptible to their techniques, this technique can backfire and will generally result in hostility towards the intimidator.

Learning by imitation is similar to learning by practice. However, learning by imitation focuses on replicating desired behaviors in a controlled setting. This technique can be used to correct or improve techniques that one has learned if the model they are imitating is of a higher skill level and well versed in the technique they wish to learn. Learning by imitation can occur in public places by mimicking the behavior of someone, however learners will rarely get precise feedback on their stance, wording, and stature.

Learning from books and stories is the least common of all the techniques. While someone new to the art of intimidation might be able to find a few lines that inspire them, many books will lack substantial content dealing with intimidation. If a book has content on intimidation it will often lack the detail and technical elements needed to make it a sufficient study aid. Novice intimidators should be wary of the grandiose yelling and hand waving intimidation techniques that are sometimes featured in books, as these will often backfire or result in the target bursting into laughter.

Intimidation Techniques by Culture/Faction

There are a variety of specific intimidation techniques practiced by the various cultures and factions that populate Mizahar. An example of this would be a soldier in full battle regalia marching with his regiment. This show of power could intimidate those nearby depending on their perception of the power of the soldiers.

Specific factions can tailor intimidation techniques to their goals. As an example, Krysus’ followers leave a bloody handprint on their victims. This boosts their reputation and also intimidates any poor soul who happens to stumble over the body. Faction techniques are not something a PC will stumble upon by chance. It will require immersion within the culture or intimate contact with the faction. It should be noted that since these techniques are less general, they may not be effective in all situations. As with any intimidation technique, the intimidator should study their mark/target and pick the most appropriate method for the situation and person involved.

Physical traits (such as wings, claws, elongated fangs/canines, and above average musculature) inherent in certain races fall into this category. These traits can supplement techniques and open up new types of interactions. For example, a zith might say, “I am going to rip you apart” as opposed to, “I am going to make you wish you hadn’t said that.” Understanding and using these physical traits can greatly enhance the effectiveness of certain techniques (namely, intimidation by verbal threat, intimidation by physical impact, and intimidation by gesture). Novice intimidators should endeavor to stick with techniques that are enhanced by their physical traits to lessen the chance of failure.

Intimidation by Reputation

Generally targets cannot be intimidated on the basis of an intimidator’s reputation alone. Pronouncing that you are a priest/priestess of a god/goddess or the member of an army might prime the target for future techniques, but it will rarely intimidate them to the point that they will do the intimidators bidding. Reputation should be seen as a supplement to the above techniques as it requires that the target both understands and fears the reputation that you intend to use. Gnosis marks can be used as a form of intimidation by reputation, but intimidators intending to use this technique should be exceedingly careful as some targets could become hostile instead of fearful.

Failing to Intimidate Your Target

Intimidation can and will backfire, even for expert and master level intimidators. With the exception of learning by observation and learning by reading, all intimidation techniques have a inherent level of danger. If an intimidator misjudges their mark or uses a technique that involves a weapon, one should expect that they would be laughed at, confronted, attacked, subdued, or even killed in retaliation. As such, it is advised that novice and competent intimidators do not try to intimidate targets that are skilled in combat. Intimidation by physical impact has the highest level of risk of the consequences listed above and unless the target is cowed to the point that they would never dream of fighting back, an intimidator should expect some form of retaliation. Verbal threats and emotional manipulation are regarded as the safest techniques as hostilities can sometimes be diffused. The intent of intimidation should always be in the back of an intimidators mind and techniques should be suited to the purpose one wishes to achieve. If you wish a mark to grovel at your feet, verbal threats and aggressive posturing would be favored over physical impact techniques.

Skill Progression

Novice (1-25)
Novice intimidators generally stick to a handful of techniques and lack variation in their delivery. They might incorporate weaponry into their intimidation but doing so will likely lead to failure. Their posture and stance is generally flawed and they do not have nearly enough experience to use emotional manipulation techniques. Novice intimidators generally rely on a physical trait to augment their techniques and will stick to intimidating weaker targets. Novices cannot weave together multiple techniques. Further, novice intimidators should not expect that their targets will do their bidding. Novice intimidators could successfully convince the target to hand over a few mizas, divulge a bit of useful information, or grovel at the feet of the intimidator.
Competent (26-50)
Competent intimidators have expanded their techniques substantially. Competent intimidators are starting to understand how to weave together techniques to increase effectiveness. At this level, intimidators have better stance and posture are have learned how to better leverage their physical traits to intimidate their targets. Competent intimidators begin to see patterns among targets and can begin using basic emotional manipulation techniques to exploit fears and phobias if prior research on the target yielded the necessary information. Competent intimidators can expect that their targets could be convinced to complete simple tasks (such as backing down from a fight or fetching a package from across a city), divulge more important information, or hand over items that are more valuable.
Expert (51-75)
Expert intimidators have nearly all of the techniques listed above at their disposal. In addition, they have likely invented their own techniques as well. Expert intimidators have practiced the art of intimidation to such an extent that it begins to feel like second nature and they will find that their most used techniques can be used without conscious effort. At this level, the stance and posture of the intimidator is nearly flawless and changes based on the situation and behavioral clues that the intimidator reads from the target. Depending on location and how often they intimidated other publicly, an intimidator that reaches this level can expect to have a reputation that precedes them. This reputation will assist in many intimidation attempts, but it can also result in retaliation. Expert intimidators can identify a variety of patterns among targets based on the way they carry themselves, speak, and act. From this, they can use advanced emotional manipulation techniques to intimidate a target into completing tasks that they would otherwise be unwilling to complete. Expert intimidators can scare a target to such a degree that they will part with privileged information under the threat of violence. Targets will also undertake significantly more intensive tasks out of fear of the intimidator. Targets will part with valued possessions.
Master (76-100)
Master intimidators will have mastered all the techniques listed above and will have invented a myriad of other techniques that they can weave together and adjust effortlessly to suit any target or situation. Their perception of emotional distress and behavioral clues make it incredibly difficult for any target to stand bravely in the face of the intimidator. At this level, a Master intimidator often unconsciously intimidates their target unless the intimidator monitors their stance, tone, and actions to prevent this. Master intimidators will nearly always have a reputation that precedes them unless they have taken special care to prevent it. Fear, paranoia, and phobias are all tools in the hands of the master intimidator and they can use these tools to create a high level of emotional distress in a target. At this level intimidation has many parallels to extortion. The reputation and near flawless techniques of the master intimidator will cause all but the strongest of targets to part with very valuable possessions and highly privileged information.