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This question seeks to analyze the feasibility of using coercion to influence creatures with indifferent, hostile or unfavorable attitudes, in order to induce them to act in a more friendly manner and prevent lies or problems from occurring.

Firstly, it is crucial to understand the limitations of coercion as an influence tool in a gaming context in order to ensure its effectiveness and avoid unwanted repercussions.

Second, it is important to examine the feasibility of prolonged use of coercion and its long-term consequences on interactions with the target creature.

Third, it is essential to investigate how to avoid negative effects when coercion is successfully applied repeatedly, considering the different forms of coercion - visual, verbal and physical - and their impact on the consequences and effectiveness of the action.

It is important to understand the duration of the influence of coercion. While diplomacy does not specify the duration of influence and appears to be punctual, coercion establishes a period of influence of up to one day, extendable through talents. The question arises: is it necessary to continually repeat the coercion in short time intervals (round/minutes) to prolong its duration and be actively close to the target, or does the effect persist for a longer predetermined time (hours/day) even when the provocateur not present or actively coercing?

Ex: An illustrative example would be that of a ruler who keeps his subordinates contained for a long period, even against their will, without necessarily applying coercive actions at all times.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Thanks for your question. I'm not really sure what you mean by "viable" in this context - are you asking does it work via the rules? What it's rate of success is? Something else? Or is the viability related to the duration question? \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Dec 21, 2023 at 19:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ This seems like a pretty broad question, the words "another question to consider" are kind of a red flag, but it's not far from answerable. Are you just trying to figure out the as-written limitations on coercion? Are you looking for how it could actually be used in play? Are you specifically wondering if there is any built-in problem with using Coerce to avoid the negative effects of having Coerce'd someone? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Dec 21, 2023 at 20:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ The intention is to delve deeper into the rules and game aspects of using this resource, including: 1) Limitations, 2) Feasibility of prolonged use; 3) Avoid negative effects when successfully coercing someone repeatedly; 4) Differences between forms of coercion: visual, verbal and physical, and whether this impacts the consequences. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2023 at 14:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm going to keep this question open despite it asking 2 things. My growing familiarity with PF2E coupled with the answer already provided, I can see why you'd want to tie these questions together in order to get an overall understanding of how to use Coercion in the game. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2023 at 15:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I’ve voted “leave open” in review. I think this question can easily be understood more simply as “how does it work when I…”, with the alleged additional question being natural corollaries of working this out. I don’t think they need to be asked separately. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 23, 2023 at 14:39

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You can coerce a creature to tell you information or follow your directives, but the duration is up to the DM

Coerce says:

With threats either veiled or overt, you attempt to bully a creature into doing what you want.

So, you could coerce the creature to act in a friendly manner, but obviously, as your pressuring it, you only make it less friendly towards you.

How long does the coercion work?

Let's first address your last point of how long your coercion will hold if it is successful, before getting into the specifics of what it can do:

The target continues to comply for an amount of time determined by the GM but not exceeding 1 day, at which point the target becomes unfriendly (if they weren't already unfriendly or hostile). However, the target is too scared of you to retaliate—at least in the short term.

That is, it is up to the DM how long it will work. There is no predetermined duration of hours or a full day, it is not exceeding a day, meaning, at most a day. There is no lower limit. In an extreme case, the DM might decide it just holds for a single round. This means you may not be able to keep coercing the creature, even if you constantly were issuing sinister threats to it, because coercing takes a minute of talking to the creature.

The upper limit of one day would indicate to me as a DM that the intention it probably a longer stretch of time, during which you have no need to repeat your threats. For example, if you tell a guard to not raise the alarm or your allies will gut their family if you get caught, and you are successful, they will might not raise the alarm while you are in the building for the rest of the day. Or they might reconsider this after half an hour and raise the alarm then, even though you are in the building still -- it is up the DM. That is, coercion gives you no magical, risk free extended period during which it will always work.

Can you keep it from lying?

Yes, depending on how successful you are:

Critical Success The target gives you the information you seek or agrees to follow your directives so long as they aren't likely to harm the target in any way. [...]

If they have some information, and you coerce them to tell you this information with a critical success, they will do so. If they would be able to lie about it, then they would give you some other, false information, so you can coerce them to not lie.

Can you keep it from causing problems in some way?

Again, yes.

For example, if they could cause problems by raising the alarm, or telling the truth about something you did in court, and you tell them to not do so, they will follow your directives if your coercion was successful. That means they will not do that, and you can keep them from causing problems in that way.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Of course, both a failed or a successful coercion mean you've told your soon-to-be-enemy what would constitute a problem for you. If coercion fails or wears off, an intelligent enemy may prioritize causing you problems, possibly by doing the opposite of what you'd ordered. Thus, using coercion to prevent problems can backfire. Mind you, a weak-willed enemy might just decide they want nothing to do with you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brian
    Dec 28, 2023 at 15:29

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