The text for Imperious Command reads:

If you successfully demoralize a foe in combat, the foe cowers in fear for 1 round and is shaken in the following round.

and the Intimidating Rage feat:

While you are raging, you designate a single foe within 30feet of you that you can attempt to demoralize as a free action (see the intimidate skill page 76 of the Player's Handbook). A foe that you successfully demoralize remains shaken for as long as you continue to rage. You may only use this feat against a single foe in any particular encounter.

As I see it, there are 3 options when using both feats together:

  1. The foe is cowered for 1 round and then shaken for the duration of the rage.
  2. The foe is cowered for the duration of the rage and then shaken 1 round
  3. The foe is cowered for 1 round, frightened for 1 round and then shaken for the duration of the rage (due to the two shaken effects stacking)?

So, which on is the correct interpretation?

  • \$\begingroup\$ What does “most extended” mean? You used the same in your previous question, and I assumed it was just a typo for “most intended” or something, but now I’m not so sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 4, 2016 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well if there are different interpretations and no clear RAW the one which is most common among DMs, but thinking about it maybe I should just remove that part. \$\endgroup\$
    – skd
    Nov 4, 2016 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Probably; that’s pretty much the default around here anyway. And “most extended” doesn’t mean that in any event. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 4, 2016 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Probably should remove it. It's nearly impossible to accurately survey RPG groups to find out anything like that objectively. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 4, 2016 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


To review:

  • The default rules for demoralizing require a standard action and apply a 1-round shaken effect.

  • Intimidating Rage changes this to require a free action, and for the shaken effect to last as long as you rage.

  • Imperious Command changes the 1 round of shaken to 1 round of cowering followed by 1 round of shaken.

These two options replace some of the rules for demoralize; they are not applied as two separate effects. So the target will definitely not be frightened at any point; you will not be applying two separate shaken conditions. Unfortunately, that’s the last statement we can make with certainty.

How and whether you can apply two replacement effects to the same thing is not defined in the rules.

You could argue that they are both replacing the same thing, the rules for demoralizing, and cannot be used together at all.

You could argue that they are both replacing the same, but that thing is just the effect of demoralizing (and, in this argument, the fact that Intimidating Rage also replaces the action cost is a separate and thus irrelevant replacement). In this view, you could take advantage of Intimidating Rage’s lower action cost and combine that with Imperious Command’s effect, but you would still get only 1 round of cowering and 1 round of shaken.

You could argue that they don’t change the same thing, as Intimidating Rage is changing the duration of the shaken effect while Imperious Command is inserting a round of cowering first, so you get 1 round of cowering followed by them being shaken as long as you rage.

Any of these has validity, and might be true. There are not enough details to say. You’ll have to ask your DM. Ultimately, Intimidating Rage is replicating a lot of the default rules for demoralize in its own text, and it’s unclear how much of that is just a reminder of how everything it’s not changing work, or if those are reiterations of those rules to somehow “enforce” them in the face of other options (like Imperious Command).

On a complete side-note, if you’re interested in demoralizing, you should also look into Never Outnumbered from Complete Scoundrel. Though you would have even more confusion about how or whether it could combine with Intimidating Rage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I will definately be using the Never Outnumbered skill trick but that looks less confusing to me: everything you do to a foe, you do to everyone in a 10' radius, with separate save rolls. The only tricky thing is the 10' radius around a square (and not a corner). \$\endgroup\$
    – skd
    Nov 4, 2016 at 15:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @skd It causes confusion because Intimidating Rage specifies a single chosen target per rage. It’s unclear if Never Outnumbered can or does override that. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 4, 2016 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I see. Never Outnumbered does not say anything about the source of the intimidation and I always interpreted Intimidating Rage as giving you a free Intimidate Check when you rage. \$\endgroup\$
    – skd
    Nov 4, 2016 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Weaveworker89 Unless Never Outnumbered changes that rule. That’s what options in this game do, they let you “cheat” and break the previously-established rules. There is no definitive reason Intimidating Rage should “win” here. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 4, 2016 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ They replace different things and might stack like this: intimidating rage -> action to free/ duration of shaken effect; imperious command: improves condition to cower for 1 round then decreases do shaken; never outnumbered: increases number of targets. So you have a demoralizing effect that is a free action to activate, affects more targets, causes the condition cowering for a round and then shaken for as long as you rage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor
    Jun 22, 2017 at 14:39

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