How does one make a character that is not physically strong or large intimidating? I bring up large for the reason that even though I’m quiet, people find me intimidating due to my height. Really, I’m probably more afraid of you.
But getting back on topic. I have a number of characters who can come across as intimidating through force of personality alone. And it isn’t even that they have to be loud or forceful. Once in game, I had Lockonis standing behind the people in her party talking just playing with magical fire in her hand. The slightly crazy look on her face probably helped seal the deal, but you get the idea.
Then there are the ones that the potential threat they pose is intimidating. Usually they are already opposing the one who is intimidated in some manner, even if it isn’t directly. The true power behind it comes from what they can be capable of if they go from being passive to active. Because you know someone is eventually going to piss them off enough to act.
It’s an interesting dynamic to consider when dealing with these widely varied characters. I’ve only considered a couple here, but I’m sure there are more ways to intimidate someone.