While this is a way to take away player agency, the second part of the Haughty Obstinacy feat says: "If a creature rolls a failure on a check to Coerce you using Intimidation, it gets a critical failure instead (so it can’t try to Coerce you again for 1 week)"

Such feat is not rare or available to NPC's only, and it wasn't addressed in the errata. Does this technically mean that a PC can be coerced? I do not intend on using the Coerce action as GM on any player, but I'm curious to know if that would technically be a house-rule.


1 Answer 1


Yes ...

The description of the Coerce activity says that you can target any creature:

With threats either veiled or overt, you attempt to bully a creature into doing what you want. You must spend at least 1 minute of conversation with a creature you can see and that can either see or sense you ... (CRB, pg. 247)

Player characters are creatures, so it definitely seems that a PC can be targeted by Coerce.

... but not really

The Coerce rules also reference the "Changing Attitudes" sidebar on page 246-247. This sidebar makes it clear that while players may use social skill checks to measure how influential their character is, ultimately a PC is governed by their player's choice - not the die roll.

... You can roleplay interactions with player characters, and even use Diplomacy results if the player wants a mechanical sense of how convincing or charming a character is, but players make the ultimate decisions about how their characters respond. (CRB, pg. 247)

So why have Haughty? First, NPCs with this feat limit how often a PC can attempt to Coerce them. There isn't any apparent mechanical benefit to a PC from this clause, because the player is responsible for determining their response anyway.

Nonetheless, there could be some benefits in skill challenges where a Coerce action is used in a non-traditional way. Published Paizo adventures often contain mini-games where skills and activities are used in non-traditional ways. For example, in The Flooded King's Court PCs can attempt Perform actions to convince a nobleman to allow them access to a dungeon. They are performing (so the Perform activity is narrative relevant), but the results are different than the Perform action's ordinary results. Although I don't know of any examples using Coerce, there is at least precedent for these kinds of uses.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Then how could you - or anyone for that matter - use the second part of the feat? Would it just be ignored for PCs? Would you use the Coerce action similarly to the Demoralize action? I'm curious. \$\endgroup\$
    – Snakehelm
    Mar 6, 2020 at 19:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Elmoserpe I suspect it would be beneficial to NPCs to have that feat, to limit the result of a PCs attempt to Coerce them. I'll edit this in. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6, 2020 at 19:25

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