I wanted to know if you can use social interactions during combat? e.g. Can you frighten(status) someone by using intimidation?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi David, and welcome to the site! Check out the tour to see how we work here. RPG.SE caters to hundreds of games and editions, and we need you to specify which game and edition you're playing in order to answer your question. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 1, 2022 at 13:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ At least related: If someone intimidates another person, does the person affected gain the Frightened condition? \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Jul 1, 2022 at 13:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ By frighten (status) do you mean is it possible for you to cause the frightened condition? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jul 1, 2022 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


You can use social interactions during combat. What effect this has is up to the DM.

I have seen social interaction grant advantage to an ally (like the Help action), disadvantage to an enemy (like the opposite of the Help action - Hinder?), cause enemies to hesitate (delaying or passing their action), or flee - this was the decision of the DM based on the success of the ability check (which is usually charisma (+ deception, intimidation, or persuasion proficiency), but could conceivably be intelligence or wisdom too depending on circumstance) and the situation. In some cases, the DM decided to make it a contested roll between the player and the monster/npc.

Usually, this consumes the player's Action on their turn. Occasionally, it has been allowed without an Action but usually with a lesser effect (or a higher difficulty).

I have almost never seen a DM refuse to allow a player to attempt to intimidate, talk down, scare, or otherwise socially interact with npcs/monsters during combat. While there is no listed action for doing so (outside of a few specific class abilities/spells), it seems to be nearly universally expected to be a normal thing that should be allowed to at least try to do.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've deleted my answer because I like yours better. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 1, 2022 at 13:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean, I have seen DM's refuse some or all skills depending on the nature of the conflict. I would expect a zombie or golem to be completely immune to being talked down, and a wolf probably can't be Persuaded (though Handle Animal could substitute). Even limited to humanoid foes, I would expect that the Royal Guard simply can't be convinced to move aside and let you get at the king, no matter how high you roll. At least, not without a great deal of setup, like gathering leverage to use on them, but that's a separate adventure of its own, not just deciding on the fly to make a skill roll. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 1, 2022 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a good answer. It would be better if it directly addressed the OP's apparent question about whether such social interactions can cause the frightened condition. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jul 1, 2022 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Trash Talking is the heart if combat. Just ask Guybrush Threepwood. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 1, 2022 at 15:34

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