According to RAW, using a skill that takes an action "usually" provokes an attack of opportunity.

I didn't find much in the skills section as to which skills provoke an AoO and which ones don't.

I'm particularly curious about Intimidate though. When used to Demoralize an opponent who is next to you, would you provoke an AoO from that opponent, or other nearby opponents?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would say it should not provoke. Look at 'feint' as an example. It uses the bluff skill (social skill) in combat and does not provoke. \$\endgroup\$
    – Colin D
    May 29, 2014 at 17:45

3 Answers 3


Using Intimidate to Demoralize does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

The rules don't come out and say that sentence directly, but there are a few facts that make me think that Demoralize doesn't provoke.

  1. Feint doesn't provoke. The rules say very specifically that the Feint action does not provoke an attack of opportunity. I feel that Feint and Demoralize are very similar; they are combat specific options used for charisma based skills. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me for Demoralize to provoke when Feint doesn't.

  2. Demoralize is clearly intended to be used in combat, and doesn't say that it provokes. It makes sense for Disable Device, or Disguise, or Sleight of Hand to not mention whether or not they provoke attacks of opportunity, since they aren't skills that are typically used in combat. The "usually" listed on the table for skill use is there to say that anything that isn't already a combat action should provoke attacks. Since Demoralize is only really useful in combat, it would say that it provoked an attack if it did.

  3. It would make Demoralize super crappy. If Demoralize provoked an attack of opportunity, then it would make an already sup-par option even worse. This is admittedly the weakest of my arguments, but it's still a valid one.


I would say yes.

The table describings Attacks of Oppertunity denotes "skill usage" as "usually".

There's no exception in the description of the "intimidate" skill.

Thus there seems to be as there's grounds for provoking an attack of oppertunity with the usage of the skill.

Sources: Plain Text Players Handbook 3.5 Page 142 and 76.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Nice first post, but the question is asking about pathfinder, not 3.5 (not sure the rules are any different though) \$\endgroup\$
    – Eric B
    May 29, 2014 at 17:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Based on paizo.com/prd/combat.html the entry "Skill use in combat - Usually" is still on the Actions in Combat table, and based on d20pfsrd.com/skills/intimidate demoralize is still a standard action. Unfortunately usually is not exactly a clear yes or no to any specific case, so my opinion would be that it only refers to actions which are not combat-only. Since demoralize is obviously a combat-only use of the ability, it would be counter-intuitive that it is detrimental to your combat ability. \$\endgroup\$ May 29, 2014 at 18:25

It says under the demoralize rules that you can only threaten an opponent in this way if it is within 30ft and can clearly see and hear you. Thus we assume that demoralizing an opponent consists of verbal attacks and gestures.

If we treat Demoralize as verbal then it falls under the category of "Free Action - Speak", if you treat it as a gesture it would fall under the category of "Feint". Feint is considered a skill usage specifically designed for combat, just as Intimidate is.

No, you would not provoke an attack of opportunity from demoralizing your foe in combat.

That is because those skills are variations of things that normally DO provoke attacks of opportunity. Acrobatics/flying are variantions of moving. Moving normally provokes, so in these cases they dont. Drawing a weapon normally provokes, but with sleight of hand it doesnt.

Intimidate is a variation of talking more or less, which doesnt provoke. So unless the intimidate rules say it, it doesnt provoke.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Is that quote block quoting something specific? You should probably either cite what you're quoting or remove the quote tags. \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    May 30, 2014 at 6:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, in the quote block it says that "Drawing a weapon normally provokes", which is false. Drawing a weapon does not typically provoke an attack of opportunity. \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    May 30, 2014 at 6:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I shall add that in now, the sleight of hand reference was in response to drawing a concealed weapon. I did not bother selecting only the relevant parts of the quote, because that would have taken away from the highlighted point that the skills that do provoke are alterations of actions that would normally provoke. \$\endgroup\$
    – DanceSC
    May 30, 2014 at 6:25

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