Social Skills Versus Free Will

Can players use social skills against another player’s character to get him to do or feel the way he wants them to? For example, can one PC use Intimidate against another PC to force him to back down? Or Diplomacy to make him to go along with a specific plan?

As with most editions, in 4th Edition it is possible to pimp skills to crazy levels; under normal circumstances, characters can make insane Intimidate or Diplomacy checks every time if the player works at it enough.

My first instinct would be to say no. In fact, I seem to remember reading somewhere that you can’t use Intimidate or Diplomacy against another PC. (Unfortunately, I have yet to find this ruling written down.) I would caution against any action that allows one player to decide the actions of another character against that player’s will. This includes a DM rolling a Diplomacy check against a PC as part of an NPC’s action.

In the end, I wouldn’t let social skills dictate player actions; it’s just not fun for anyone.

For more discussion on this topic, visit the thread I made on EN World.