[RPG] If someone intimidates another person, does the person affected gain the Frightened condition

conditionsdnd-5efearskillssocial-combat

This came up when a PC in my game was immune to the Frightened condition. They said that the intimidation should fail since it relied on fear. How do I rule this?

Best Answer

The rules on the Intimidation skill state:

Intimidation. When you attempt to influence someone through overt threats, hostile actions, and physical violence, the GM might ask you to make a Charisma (Intimidation) check. Examples include trying to pry information out of a prisoner, convincing street thugs to back down from a confrontation, or using the edge of a broken bottle to convince a sneering vizier to reconsider a decision.

It says nothing about the Frightened condition so by rules as written it makes no difference. A GM could rule that a character immune to being Frightened would get advantage on any rolls against being intimidated but that is at their discretion.

Keep in mind though that intimidation isn't simply a matter of making someone else fear you. Not being afraid isn't the same as being reckless. A character might back down when intimidated because they know they might be hurt or killed otherwise. Consider the case of a town mayor with 20 poorly armed and trained militia members at his back being intimidated by a bandit leader with a hundred well armed and seasoned bandits at his back. Even if the mayor is immune to being Frightened he could still see it would end badly for him and his town if it came to a fight.