Instinct Skill Substitution

I’m helping one of my players make up a new character. He’s building a illusionist with a bunch of Intimidation ranks, and was hoping to have his Instinct trigger it in some way. I’ve been trying to come up with suggestions for him and just landed on: “Always try to scare up a good deal in the market.”

Would you allow an instinct to substitute an Intimidation test for a Haggler test?

I might allow scenarios wherein Manipulator is tested rather than Haggler, but it will not often have a good long-term impact. If the character goes about using manipulation, deception, or intimidation to manage their dealings, that reputation will follow and cause trouble when Twists arise in town or when paying bills goes awry. If nothing else, there will be folks who do not want to make deals.

What is a bunch of intimidation ranks? Social Graces + Specialty? I mean, that’s not bad for starting right out, but it seems a bit wasteful of opportunities for more practical delving skills or something with better long-term party support.


As a rule of thumb, having a Town only instinct as the characters default instinct is not ideal- it can only trigger once per town session, which will likely only occur every 3-9 sessions, with the benefit being reducing their Lifestyle cost by 1. It also means they are limited to earning a fate from instinct use, as it can only be beneficial in town.

I had a recent character who was an Enchanter who relied on Manipulator heavily- both for lying and intimidation, usually both at the same time, like convincing Lizardmen he was one of their Gods returned. An instinct I either had or was kicking around at some point was “When meeting some one new, make a new ‘friend’. The advantage of that is it triggers frequently, whenever a new NPC capable and willing to speak enters the scene. Similar ones could be “Always try to intimidate threats”, “Always rely on my force of personality to deal with problems” or “Don’t rely on force when words will suffice”. These also share the advantage of a frequent trigger, as well as the second and third allowing for a few different skills and even demanding or boasting nature to come into play.

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Yeah, he’s still learning the system, and is at the point where character building is pretty much straight experimentation. Figured that a session or two of it never coming into play would make him reassess.

I had mentioned that it wasn’t going trigger as often (and generate XP as quickly) as something that happened when they camped out when he met new people. His original idea was “always intimidate someone looking to start a fight” and I convinced him to make that a belief instead, especially since a normal conflict gives them the chance to frame it as an intimidation if they want anyway.