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I wanted to confirm this I've heard tell they are but there seems to be much debate. Can you use intimidate to demoralize undead? This seems like the sort of thing that they would have made clear in the rules but it doesn't seem to be.

Undead Traits mentions immunity to mind-affecting effects in general, one could argue shaken is mind-affecting but it is never specified. It does say it is a state of "fear" but fear also does not specify that it is mind-affecting.

Based on this I might rule undead can be demoralized.

But, after some further thought...

Shake could be considered either a "morale effect" or "mind-affecting" but it doesn't specify and usually where something is a "morale" bonus or penalty specify the type. The best support for the concept that it is though would be the Psionics spell Demorailze which does specify "mind-affecting".

So the only argument might be that this was only meant to apply to magic effects not non-magic ones. Which seems to perhaps be a bit weak.


Mind affecting


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Are you looking for a RAW or not? –  Colin D Apr 29 '14 at 19:03
Just for comparison with its antecedent Dungeons and Dragons 3.5: "A character immune to fear can’t be intimidated..." and "All fear attacks are mind-affecting fear effects." Pathfinder lacks such language. –  Hey I Can Chan Apr 29 '14 at 20:31
@HeyICanChan yeah the lack of clarity in the PF rules is frustrating at times. –  Chris Nicola Apr 29 '14 at 23:37
@ColinD, RAW I suppose, but since they seem pretty vague, what do people usually rule on this one? –  Chris Nicola Apr 29 '14 at 23:38

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

By a very strict reading of the rules, you would be correct. There is nothing that specifically spells out that fear is a mind-affecting effect. However, the idea of something that doesn't have a mind experiencing fear is a tad ridiculous. This is one of the many times when the RAW doesn't spell something out that should be obvious: IF you don't have a mind, you can't be afraid of the scary guy trying to intimidate you.

As corroboration to this: The feat Turn Undead lets Clerics make undead run away, "as if panicked". If undead could be affected by fear effects, then they could just say that it applies the panicked condition to the undead. Since fear effects are mind-affecting, they cannot do that.

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Not all undead are mindless though, right? –  Chris Nicola Apr 29 '14 at 23:35
Not all undead are mindless, but all of them are immune to mind-affecting abilities. Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/36909/… –  DuckTapeAl Apr 29 '14 at 23:56

Undead Traits (Ex) Undead are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, phantasms, and patterns), paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless). Undead are not subject to ability drain, energy drain, or nonlethal damage. Undead are immune to damage or penalties to their physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects. Undead are not at risk of death from massive damage.

Although it is never explicitly stated (so there is a RAW argument to made for intimidating undead), using the intimidate skill to demoralize is a morale effect. Therefore, undead are immune.

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"Although never explicitly stated, [...] is" The use of is here is problematic. Consider should be or most would consider or something along those lines. –  KRyan Apr 29 '14 at 20:22
I wasn't able to find anywhere where shaken was specified as a morale effect (aside from the action being called demoralize) you would think this would be the kind of thing that was made very clear in the rules. –  Chris Nicola Apr 29 '14 at 23:34

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