my inspiration is null

Demoralizing Kills

So, this is the same campaign where a Swashbuckler stole my undead Bard’s head. Right now, the members of the party are our Tiefling Bloodrager, our new Cavalry-soldier (Cavalier?), a Dwarven fighter, our “Blue” wizard, our Immortal Psionic fighter and my Undead Dirge-Bard.

We’ve found a shortcut through a desert to get to our destination, a cave where we hope to find a boss. To get through the shortcut, we have to get past six sphinxes. we’ve already gotten past two and killed one, and were at that point fighting the fourth because the riddles were getting out of hand. I should also mention that the Cavalry rider had an item that essentially made my Inspiring Courage null, so I had to resort to other tactics.

DM: Okay, Corvio (me) it’s your turn.

Me, The Bard: Okay, I first start up an Inspire Competence on myself to give myself a +3 bonus to my perform check…

-Succeeds the roll-

…and then use my Dirge Bard ability which lets me make an Intimidate check to demoralize an opponent with my Perform Keyboard check (I was using a Hurdy Gurdy as a keyboard instrument).

-I end up getting a 54 on the roll-

DM: Okay, how do I counter this?

Me: I think it’s just an intimidate check. Do whatever you do normally.

-DM rolls and pauses- 

DM: Okay, yeah, you demoralize the sphinx. You demoralize it so much, it has no will to fight anymore.

-The other party members chuckle and then prepare to keep fighting, but the DM cuts them off-

DM: No, it just explodes. Like, gone. Dead.

-Stunned silence-

Wizard: Well, I think we can say our Bard singlehandedly killed a sphinx. 

After much congratulations and high-five-ing, I found out why that had worked so well.Turns out the DM had rolled a nat 1 to contest the intimidation.

Later, we’re in a mage tower heading for the same boss mentioned previously. I’d just acquired some slaves and gotten into a bit of a quarrel with the Bloodrager who wanted to free them. We’d decided to have an intimidation contest to see who would get to keep them (he’d forgotten my sphinx victory at that point).

Bloodrager: Okay, roll.

Me: Alright, I use Haunting Refrain to demoralize you with my perform bonus. That’s a 52 on the roll. Your move.

Bloodrager: I use a Hero Point.

-Stunned silence.-

Me: You… …You use a… …Hero point.

-Everyone bursts out laughing as I try to mentally figure the situation out, still stammering.-

DM: Normally I’d say no to using Hero Points against your teammates, but that’s just too good.

I ended up keeping the slaves anyway. It was a good time.