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Making Charisma not suck


Advice

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I'm specifically looking for ways to add Charisma to your to-hit and even your damage besides using Smite Evil.

But I'm interested in other ways to make Charisma more than just a social stat that gives you little else.

What options are there and what classes are they available to?

What are some ways that you can get these items if you are not the classes listed (Besides multiclassing of course)?

Here's what I know about so far:

Noble Scion: (Any class) Adds your Charisma to your Initiative.

Smite Evil: (Paladin, Half-Celestial, Chevalier Prestige Class) Adds your Charisma to your To-Hit against targeted creature. Adds Charisma to AC as a deflection bonus against target.

Divine Grace: (Paladin) Adds Charisma to all of your saving throws.

Sidestep Secret: (Lore Revelation Oracle) Adds Charisma to your AC and Reflex.

Lorekeeper: (Lore Revelation Oracle) Add your Charisma to all Knowledge Checks.


The Mysterious Stranger archetype for the Gunslinger gets the deed Focused Aim which allows the spending of 1 point of grit to add CHA to firearm damage for 1 turn.


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Charisma does not suck. I love the fact CHA is used for social skills, and is great for RPing.

Taldor

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Personally, I think that CHA makes much more sense as the associated ability for Will saves. WIS is attentiveness and intuition - great for noticing that you're being manipulated, but CHA is your strength of personality, your spirit. A high CHA PC is going to be a strong leader, be courageous and confident. A low CHA PC will be a follower, easily dominated and cowardly. Who would be easier to mind control/shake up/dominate?

BTW, I asked James Jacobs about using CHA for Will saves and he said he totally agrees and fought for CHA to Will saves, but was outvoted/overridden.

My 2 cents.

Andoran

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Nature Oracles also have a Revelation adding Charisma instead of Dex to AC.

Ninjas have a Charisma based Ki Pool.

With Versatile Performance used correctly, Bards can add Charisma to skills it's normally not the controlling ability for (Acrobatics, Fly, and Sense Motive leap immediately to mind). The spell Bladed Dash (when used by a Bard) also adds Charisma to a single attack roll.

Barbarians have the Spirit Totem line of Rage Powers, which gives an additional attack based on Charisma (instead of Strength).

The spell 'Bestow Grace of the Champion' (theoretically available as a potion or wand) also jacks people the hell up for a few rounds making them Paladins-lite, and thus bestowing all sorts of Charisma based bonuses.

Various monsters that might be usable as PCs in a higher powered game add Cha as a Deflection bonus to AC, ort as a bonus to saves. Nymphs comes to mind, just as an example.

And...aside from Spell DCs that's all I'm coming up with. And none of them available without multiclassing (or being a weird race), though many are doable with just a one or two level dip.

Wildebob wrote:
Personally, I think that CHA makes much more sense as the associated ability for Will saves. WIS is attentiveness and intuition - great for noticing that you're being manipulated, but CHA is your strength of personality, your spirit. A high CHA PC is going to be a strong leader, be courageous and confident. A low CHA PC will be a follower, easily dominated and cowardly. Who would be easier to mind control/shake up/dominate?

My quick-and-dirty fix for this issue is allowing PCs to use either Charisma or Wisdom for Will saves at their option. Works pretty well, though it does sometimes result in some abysmal Wisdom scores...but those are probably more accurate to how PCs play their characters anyway.


Malach the Merciless wrote:
Charisma does not suck. I love the fact CHA is used for social skills, and is great for RPing.

Particularly in my group, there's a divided camp on this idea.

As far as "role playing" goes, some people I know argue that Charisma mechanics lend more toward "roll playing" rather than forcing the player to think about their character's personality and responding accordingly.

But that argument aside, Mechanically Charisma is good for ONLY those skills unless you're a caster.

Wisdom gets you Will (and adds to the most used skill in the game)

Strength nets you Damage, CMB, CMD, and to-hit with melee attacks, including melee touch attacks. It also lets you carry more.

Dexterity is amazing, getting you Reflex, Initiative, AC, and Ranged to-hit.

Constitution gets you the ever important HP, and Fortitude.

Intelligence gets you more skill points to spend on ANYTHING, and more languages.

Charisma... yeah. Relatively, it sucks. You can't really argue that.


Wildebob wrote:

Personally, I think that CHA makes much more sense as the associated ability for Will saves. WIS is attentiveness and intuition - great for noticing that you're being manipulated, but CHA is your strength of personality, your spirit. A high CHA PC is going to be a strong leader, be courageous and confident. A low CHA PC will be a follower, easily dominated and cowardly. Who would be easier to mind control/shake up/dominate?

BTW, I asked James Jacobs about using CHA for Will saves and he said he totally agrees and fought for CHA to Will saves, but was outvoted/overridden.

My 2 cents.

Interesting idea... but if it were switched over from Wisdom, then Wisdom would suck.

Edit: YOU KNOW... Wisdom might be a good choice for CMD and maybe Initiative if you moved Will over to Charisma... Maybe.

MAYBE.


Blackest Sheep wrote:
The Mysterious Stranger archetype for the Gunslinger gets the deed Focused Aim which allows the spending of 1 point of grit to add CHA to firearm damage for 1 turn.

That is neat. Very very class specific but neat.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Nature Oracles also have a Revelation adding Charisma instead of Dex to AC.

Ninjas have a Charisma based Ki Pool.

With Versatile Performance used correctly, Bards can add Charisma to skills it's normally not the controlling ability for (Acrobatics, Fly, and Sense Motive leap immediately to mind). The spell Bladed Dash (when used by a Bard) also adds Charisma to a single attack roll.

Barbarians have the Spirit Totem line of Rage Powers, which gives an additional attack based on Charisma (instead of Strength).

The spell 'Bestow Grace of the Champion' (theoretically available as a potion or wand) also jacks people the hell up for a few rounds making them Paladins-lite, and thus bestowing all sorts of Charisma based bonuses.

Various monsters that might be usable as PCs in a higher powered game add Cha as a Deflection bonus to AC, ort as a bonus to saves. Nymphs comes to mind, just as an example.

And...aside from Spell DCs that's all I'm coming up with. And none of them available without multiclassing (or being a weird race), though many are doable with just a one or two level dip.

Hmm... I'll have to look into the Spirit totem thing especially... Is it possible to grab that outside of being a barbarian?

Edit: Man it's relatively easy to get Sorcerer Class powers with Eldritch Heritage, why is it so hard to get other classes' benefits without restricting your spellcasting for a full level :P

Edit 2: Not that you'd want the Slam attack unless you were a Barbarian though...

Deadmanwalking wrote:


Wildebob wrote:
Personally, I think that CHA makes much more sense as the associated ability for Will saves. WIS is attentiveness and intuition - great for noticing that you're being manipulated, but CHA is your strength of personality, your spirit. A high CHA PC is going to be a strong leader, be courageous and confident. A low CHA PC will be a follower, easily dominated and cowardly. Who would be easier to mind control/shake up/dominate?
My quick-and-dirty fix for this issue is allowing PCs to use either Charisma or Wisdom for Will saves at their option. Works pretty well, though it does sometimes result in some abysmal Wisdom scores...but those are probably more accurate to how PCs play their characters anyway.

Haha, I'm not surprised at this. Honestly if you took Will away from Wisdom then you'd only care about it for Perception, which while it's the most used skill in the game, it's something that only one party member really needs. Wisdom would replace Charisma for the most popular dump stat almost instantly, I think.


Let your PC get turned into one of the undead.
A bunch of the undead have powers/abilities that use charisma.


If you use hero points you can alter the number of points which can be stored, making it equal to the character's Charisma modifier (minimum 1). Such a houserule would lend towards characters which are mindful of dumping Charisma, especially if you aren't stingy when handing out hero point-rewards.


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Charisma is one of those skills more important to those who value either RP, or diplomatic interaction in general. It's not much use to those who seek every last + they can shove into their pockets. It's just the way Charisma is, as a theme, as a concept... Accept it and move on. Sad but true.

(Sorry if this may come across as harsh, but I've heard too many 'charisma is trash' arguments in recent months)


Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Charisma is one of those skills more important to those who value either RP, or diplomatic interaction in general. It's not much use to those who seek every last + they can shove into their pockets. It's just the way Charisma is, as a theme, as a concept... Accept it and move on. Sad but true.

(Sorry if this may come across as harsh, but I've heard too many 'charisma is trash' arguments in recent months)

Well, as long as we're being harsh to each other, I think it's pretty obvious what I'm asking for here: Ways to make Charisma do more than improve your Diplomacy skill and your Leadership Feat.

I didn't come here to argue about the Merits of Charisma on its own, though I have presented a minor argument above. Please don't derail the thread trying to defend the stat on its own.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I use Charisma for luck, but I don't think that's what you're looking for.


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Charisma

-- david
Papa.DRB


Deadmanwalking wrote:
The spell 'Bestow Grace of the Champion' (theoretically available as a potion or wand) also jacks people the hell up for a few rounds making them Paladins-lite, and thus bestowing all sorts of Charisma based bonuses.

Bestow Grace is the 2nd level paladin spell, obtainable as a potion or a wand, and it gives a sacred bonus to all saves (thus stacking with divine grace). Bestow grace of the champion is indeed a clerical 7th level spell/ paladin 4th level that grants Charisma modifier as a bonus to all saving throws.


Charisma is great, I don't see it as a sucky thing. It is sweet for making a face man, helps with a skill monkey types, casting, and all sorts of other things. Is Force of Perosnality at 3.5 feat? That allowed you to replace Wisdom for Charisma for will saves. Not a shabby feat.

How about Dazzling Display and Shattering Defenses? They help add to your combat prowess. I can't think of any that would increase your to hit directly.


Don't be afraid to give Leadership a larger role in games. It can be a powerful tool. If you wanted, for example, you could house rule it and say that if your Charisma score is high enough, you get Leadership as a bonus feat. That way it has a direct and powerful influence on how that particular character is played.

Andoran

KaptainKrunch wrote:

Hmm... I'll have to look into the Spirit totem thing especially... Is it possible to grab that outside of being a barbarian?

Edit: Man it's relatively easy to get Sorcerer Class powers with Eldritch Heritage, why is it so hard to get other classes' benefits without restricting your spellcasting for a full level :P

Edit 2: Not that you'd want the Slam attack unless you were a Barbarian though...

Yeah, Spirit Totem gets cool but the first power without the ability to advance is mediocre.

And the Blodline Powers are a lot less substaqntial than a lt of these things are. At least, usually.

KaptainKrunch wrote:
Haha, I'm not surprised at this. Honestly if you took Will away from Wisdom then you'd only care about it for Perception, which while it's the most used skill in the game, it's something that only one party member really needs. Wisdom would replace Charisma for the most popular dump stat almost instantly, I think.

Well, Sense Motive is also pretty useful...but yeah. Letting them have it on whichever they want slows that down a little, but it's likely the most common dump stat you see in my games.

I've considered a more radical redesign...but honestly, I'd probably use it to supplement, as opposed to replace, the current one.I like either Cha or Wis being useful on Will Saves thematically. I've considered leaving that choice but moving Initiative to Wisdom...but that seems to tilt things too much in the other direction.

It's a definite balancing act.

45ur4 wrote:
Bestow Grace is the 2nd level paladin spell, obtainable as a potion or a wand, and it gives a sacred bonus to all saves (thus stacking with divine grace). Bestow grace of the champion is indeed a clerical 7th level spell/ paladin 4th level that grants Charisma modifier as a bonus to all saving throws.

And is stil available as a Wand if you want. All 4th level Paladin spells are.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you can find a paladin that crafts wands :D

Andoran

Cheapy wrote:
If you can find a paladin that crafts wands :D

Or is willing to work with literally anyone else who's got the Feat. :)


How can you think Charisma sucks?

No charisma = No role-playing.

Maybe you're thinking of 4E!


I'd split up will saves. Wisdom for illusions; charisma for enchantments. The only thing in neither category I can think of off hand is Baleful Polymorph's second save, which should probably go.


So, when I play my Cha 8 dwarf, I'm not roleplaying? ~_~

Fail.


Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Charisma is one of those skills more important to those who value either RP, or diplomatic interaction in general. It's not much use to those who seek every last + they can shove into their pockets. It's just the way Charisma is, as a theme, as a concept... Accept it and move on. Sad but true.

(Sorry if this may come across as harsh, but I've heard too many 'charisma is trash' arguments in recent months)

Skill points in social skills are important to those who value diplomatic interaction in general. The way the game is set up, spending attribute points (and feats) just to make your character better at social stuff is an inefficient use of character construction resources, just like spending skill points to make your character better at combat is (largely) an inefficient use of character resources.

Don't get me wrong - I WISH that spending points in charisma outside of classes that give you additional mechanical motivations for doing so wasn't "trash", but it is. It's not about failing to value the portions of the game that your charisma score (barely) affects; it's about recognizing that it only -barely- affects those and reacting accordingly.


Some good posts here. I will agree with Wildebob too.

Don't forget, that performing a feint is a fairly effective combat tactic (as a standard action). If you learn any sort of Real World fighting style, you'll learn to feint.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat#TOC-Feint

and here's the Bluff that makes it happen:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills/bluff

I love this because it makes the Intelligent Fighter "Mad Martigan" completely possible in the Pathfinder universe.

Also, don't overlook Intimidation as a great way to rattle your opponents (or to rattle the players into a Shaken condition).

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills/intimidate

If there's a lack of social conflict in your game (from Diplomacy to Intimidating thugs) then you might consider adding a little more culture and civilization to your game.

Andoran

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Where's the Weed? wrote:

How can you think Charisma sucks?

No charisma = No role-playing.

Maybe you're thinking of 4E!

That's a complete fallacy. Just because you dump charisma, an in-game abstract, you are not limited in your rp ability--an out of game experience. If I'm playing a character with a dumped charisma, I can easily rp him as abrasive or otherwise socially awkward. You don't have to look at your character sheet and say, "Well, my Charisma is only 8, I guess I don't have any chance of role-playing this guy."


darth_gator wrote:
...If I'm playing a character with a dumped charisma, I can easily rp him as abrasive or otherwise socially awkward. You don't have to look at your character sheet and say, "Well, my Charisma is only 8, I guess I don't have any chance of role-playing this guy."

One of my favorite characters I played (which had the table laughing hysterically) was what one might consider "socially awkward." Always saying wildly inappropriate things and making an ass out of himself. Provided a great deal of fun, and dare I say roleplaying.


Detect Magic wrote:
darth_gator wrote:
...If I'm playing a character with a dumped charisma, I can easily rp him as abrasive or otherwise socially awkward. You don't have to look at your character sheet and say, "Well, my Charisma is only 8, I guess I don't have any chance of role-playing this guy."
One of my favorite characters I played (which had the table laughing hysterically) was what one might consider "socially awkward." Always saying wildly inappropriate things and making an ass out of himself. Provided a great deal of fun, and dare I say roleplaying.

True. There are plenty of weirdo, irascible, goofball, grumpy, snyde characters portrayed in movies and television that everyone around them loves or tolerates for no good reason at all. That's how I always imagine a low-charisma character that's played-well: something like a Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.


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Where to begin? Well, just slap me if I ramble on too long...

All of the stats appear to have multiple uses, for one thing, and not just mechanically. Charisma is 'force of personality,' yes, which is only slightly difficult to define. It can also be a measure of beauty, or third-party perception of beauty, or it can be general likeable-ness, OR that boisterous goodnatured like-others-ness. By the same token, I feel that Wisdom is often short-changed as 'common sense' or 'intuition.' If Int is factual knowledge (and/or aptitude for knowledge/learning), then Wis would represent the *application* of that knowledge - Wis takes on a thoughtful, philosophical nature. In addition, Wisdom is the Perception stat (as it was also the Spot/Listen/Scent stat before Pathfinder) - suggesting that Wisdom is also representative of physical senses, or perhaps more appropriately, one's attention to sensual inputs.

Now, does a character with 18 Wis necessarily have incredibly keen senses in addition to their depth of thought and wonderful good sense? I'd say no, no more than an 18-Cha character *necessarily* is ultimately likable, beautiful, convincing, AND good-natured. No more than a high-Dex character *necessarily* has a perfect combination of cat-like reflexes and manual coordination. (Amusing note - I have a phenomenal immune system, but terrible stamina. Where does that leave my Con?) It comes down to personal concepts - choices and combinations. There are feats, flaws, traits and skills and backstories to be reckoned with.

Can you optimize by dumping this and taking that, then grabbing a harmless flaw (which you can forget about later, anyway) and picking up an extra feat? Sure. And if that's your goal, have a blast, make a PunPun, I'm not knocking it. Well, a bit maybe. It's just...the stats are good and they are interesting and they are archetypal and they have become very much belovedly classic to us - but they're still awkward and imperfect and *only useful insofar as we value them.* In a tabletop game, maybe you don't need Cha at all - it is a very different beast from what I play. Try joining my Skull & Shackles PbP without Cha, and you will die. Quickly, painfully, repeatedly. It's a mechanical fact.

...Sorry if I strayed a bit from OP topic, there.

SO, with all that said, I would like to mention that I do enjoy those various feats and functions which switch modifiers for you. Weapon Finesse and Zen Archery and the like - they're wonderful flavor-generators, as well as valid mechanics. My favorite *mechanical* use of Cha? Feint. I have a concept sitting around somewhere for a lamed lore-oracle with a sword-cane, PrC to Duelist later on. Perhaps it isn't optimized, but he'll be a blast to play someday.

Edit - Intimidate is also Cha, no? There's lots of fun to be had with Intimidate checks, to say nothing of the interesting redefinition to 'force of personality.'


Feint sucks.

It's a standard action that benefits one attack for YOU. In addition, it has to be done BEFORE your next turn, making attacks of opportunity the only choice for taking advantage of it without spending a feat.

If you take Improved Feint, it's still sucks, because it's still only one attack, and you still can't make a full attack.

I'd like the ability a lot more if it wasn't so expensive in the action economy, or if it at least aided allies (Like your party rogue.)

I like intimidate, but the shaken condition doesn't last very long at all. Good if you have nothing better to do.


What about the Cleric's channel energy ability? And then there's Wild Empathy.


If you think feint sucks, you've clearly never had the opportunity to write out a blow-by-blow for a swashbuckling rogue/bard, all Douglas Fairbanks style! Ha-HA!


Obviously, having a stat that can alter plots is not good enough.


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here is my series of suggestions

Will Saves; Higher of Wis/Cha

AC/Reflex Saves Higher of Int/Dex

Initiative Higher of Dex/Wis

Melee Attack/Damage; Higher of Str/Dex

Ranged Attack/damage; Higher of Dex/Wis

Fortitude Saves/Hit Points; Higher of Wis/Con

Skill Points/languages; Higher of Int/Wis

Arcane Casting; Higher of Int/Cha

Divine Casting; Higher of Wis/Cha

Psionics; Higher of Int/Con

Ki/Grit/smite/challenge/other charisma based paladin feature Higher of Wis/Cha


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1) As an avid fan of undeath and necromancers, Charisma rocks socks on undead, who use it for HP and Fortitude saves.

2) If you allow 3.5 material, there was quite a few options that were nice. The Force of Personality feat allowed you to apply your Charisma bonus to your Will saves, for example.

3) In 3.5, it was legal to combine the Paladin of Tyranny or Slaughter with the Blackguard prestige class, which allowed you to get x2 Charisma modifier to all saves.

4) In Pathfinder, Charisma is important for anyone who plans to make use of the spells charm person, planar binding, and similar. The charm and dominate spells especially so, because you can force non-suicidal actions in the target with an opposed Charisma check. The higher your Charisma, the greater % chance you can make them do something they won't.

This is one of the reasons Succubi are dangerous. When they charm somebody, they can give orders with a +8 opposed Charisma to force you to do something you normally wouldn't. Since they're evil, that may include committing adultery, drowning your children, or making trouble for the PCs.

5) Charisma is incredible for Paladins or Anti-Paladins, who both receive bonuses from it in spades. It gives them excellent saving throws, powers their spells, increases the uses and potency of their touch abilities, and powers up their smites.

Bards, Sorcerers, and Oracles are also very much empowered by it as well. In many cases, Charisma is like Strength. If you want it, you want lots of it. If you don't, you don't. Wizards and Sorcerers often dump Strength for what they do. Having a high Strength is pretty pointless for someone not doing melee.

It's a wonder people don't complain about strength being worthless. The only thing it improves is 2 skills and melee attacks. Encumbrance is not a problem thanks to pack animals, masterwork backpacks, haversacks, and bags of holding.

6) It makes the strongest feat, Leadership, even stronger by boosting your leadership score to get you more and more minions, who can preform different tasks and services, which can be quite useful in a campaign.

7) The skills keyed to it tend to be powerful. Bluff, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Use Magic Device.

8) In the same vein as Charisma improving chances of controlling people with spells like charm person, it in turn makes you more resistant to such spells as well. You tend to appreciate that +3 Charisma when you resist a succubi's order to kill your party's wizard.

9) Charisma determines the strength and save DCs for spell-like abilities. While few humanoids have SLAs, many creatures appreciate higher Charisma or Charisma-buffs. It's also the ability most commonly keyed to any effect that influences minds, fear effects, or any magical or supernatural effect requiring a saving throw.


Although I don't see it in the RAW, I usually use Cha to help determine starting attitude.


RPing CHA has to be one of the hardest parts of DnD. After all its your characters personality.

I have seen low Cha characters played by people that are just naturally outgoing and hilarous. It never fails that the character is charming because the player is naturally so.

Same goes for a character with a high CHA played by a person with little to no people skills. Seeing someone who is Dry as dirt and blunt to boot try and play a charasmatic bard was one of the biggest train wrecks I have yet to witness.

We usually use CHA to determin Physical attractiveness and RP the characters actual Charisma. Its just less messy that way and allows for a character with CHA as a dump stat to still be charming or funny or whatever.


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Dragonamedrake wrote:

RPing CHA has to be one of the hardest parts of DnD. After all its your characters personality.

I have seen low Cha characters played by people that are just naturally outgoing and hilarous. It never fails that the character is charming because the player is naturally so.

Same goes for a character with a high CHA played by a person with little to no people skills. Seeing someone who is Dry as dirt and blunt to boot try and play a charasmatic bard was one of the biggest train wrecks I have yet to witness.

We usually use CHA to determin Physical attractiveness and RP the characters actual Charisma. Its just less messy that way and allows for a character with CHA as a dump stat to still be charming or funny or whatever.

For those unfamiliar, this is what 19 Charisma looks like.


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Dragonamedrake wrote:

RPing CHA has to be one of the hardest parts of DnD. After all its your characters personality.

I have seen low Cha characters played by people that are just naturally outgoing and hilarous. It never fails that the character is charming because the player is naturally so.

Same goes for a character with a high CHA played by a person with little to no people skills. Seeing someone who is Dry as dirt and blunt to boot try and play a charasmatic bard was one of the biggest train wrecks I have yet to witness.

We usually use CHA to determin Physical attractiveness and RP the characters actual Charisma. Its just less messy that way and allows for a character with CHA as a dump stat to still be charming or funny or whatever.

if any stat should have an influence on your appearance, it's strength constitution, and dexterity. each to a degree. these 3 are physical stats and should influence your physical appearance. due to thier physical nature.

charisma is a purely mental stat. and unless most mental stats are really obvious, they are usually forgotten.


this is what an 8 charisma looks like


Charisma is not useless, or even underpowered, by any means. Any attribute can be low priority for certain classes or character types, Charisma is no exception. But, in addition to Charisma being vitally important to a number of classes - like sorcerer, summoner, paladin, and bard - it is also quite useful for anybody to have. Anybody can benefit from the ability to make a good impression on NPC's. The same can't be said for somebody who doesn't do much fighting, to some classes Strength is virtually worthless. Intelligence can be a dump stat too for a class that doesn't need it for spell casting or rely much on skills.

So, in my opinion, Charisma is fine as is even if some people use it as a dump stat, because it is not alone in that regard. In any campaign that involves a lot of social interaction, there will be major downsides to dumping Charisma - I have experienced this first hand. It can really ruin the moment when you're a brave warrior leading the charge against forces of darkness and you try to give a rousing speech to the troops only to have them look at you like you're an idiot.


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Imagine that there's a skill called "Anatomy". Anatomy explicitly has no game effects except for one: If you have ten ranks in Anatomy, then once a day you can spend a swift action to get +1 damage to your next weapon attack that would hit this turn. Would anybody say that a player who neglects putting ten points into Anatomy "doesn't really care about combat"? I don't think they would; anatomy, while technically making you better at combat, is clearly an inefficient use of character resources. It's not at all worth losing a +10 to an important skill just for a chance of +1 damage/day at level ten.

Attribute points in Charisma for characters that don't get special benefits for it are Anatomy. (Okay, not quite as extreme, but the same general idea.)

Here's what looks like a reasonable line of thinking:

1) Social prowess is important, for any character.
2) Spending attribute points on Charisma improves social prowess.
3) Therefore, spending attribute points on Charisma is a good idea for any character.

The problem is that attribute points spent on Charisma purely to improve social skills are a raw deal, just like skill points spent on anatomy to improve combat skills are a raw deal. They're not as bad of a raw deal (the anatomy example is exaggerated to make the point clear), but it's still a raw deal. Attribute points are precious and very limited. Skill points are much less so. Things like feats and traits fall somewhere in the middle. Trading attribute points for just a few skill points is a bad idea if you're trying to make a well-rounded character, if "well-rounded" means "decent to good at a variety of things", not "superficially paying lip service to well-roundedness by spreading every character resource around all over the place." Despite what the sort of received wisdom regarding "characters with below average charisma are abhorrent brutes unlovable by anyone" seems to be, a character with 2-4 less charisma - or even more - than another is barely perceptibly different in terms of how other people ACTUALLY respond to them, by the rules of the game.

I think that even if they wouldn't phrase things in terms of competitive advantage, many players at least have an intuitive sense that attribute points are an inefficient way to make your character better at social stuff, so they dump charisma.


darth_gator wrote:
Where's the Weed? wrote:

How can you think Charisma sucks?

No charisma = No role-playing.

Maybe you're thinking of 4E!

That's a complete fallacy. Just because you dump charisma, an in-game abstract, you are not limited in your rp ability--an out of game experience. If I'm playing a character with a dumped charisma, I can easily rp him as abrasive or otherwise socially awkward. You don't have to look at your character sheet and say, "Well, my Charisma is only 8, I guess I don't have any chance of role-playing this guy."

You misunderstand my point [or I poorly stated my point]

The whole Charisma mechanic is the role-playing part of the game in RAW. It represents all the interactive skills. I'm not saying you can't role-play a character if you dump charisma, of course you can.
What you can't do is interact within the given skill system effectively without charisma. This may well be a huge issue [as others have stated here] but it is true.
As gamers, we allow interaction through many means at the table but if you want to mechanically effect someone you need to use those social skills which all require charisma.

Unless someone comes up with an effective way to allow other skills to replace charisma we're not going to solve the issue.

It's like the guy who dumps Int and then comes up with intelligent ways of dealing with problems within the game. I hate it when players come to the table with their own heads after dumping Int.


Serisan wrote:
Obviously, having a stat that can alter plots is not good enough.

Good ol' fashioned violence alters plots all over the place.

Especially in world history.


Oh yeah, cause Hitler was a real tank... :P


KK, to your earlier lament that getting class features ala eldritch heritage frim other classes is a hassle: SGG's guide to multiclass feats.
http://paizo.com/products/btpy8rbp?The-Genius-Guide-to-Feats-of-Multiclassi ng
These are a bunch of equivalent feats for every class. You could, for example, get the spirit totem rage powers with any other class. You should give it a look, it's pretty swell and exactly what you're looking for.


Michael Radagast wrote:
Oh yeah, cause Hitler was a real tank... :P

It sure wasn't diplomacy that stopped him.


Jackissocool wrote:

KK, to your earlier lament that getting class features ala eldritch heritage frim other classes is a hassle: SGG's guide to multiclass feats.

http://paizo.com/products/btpy8rbp?The-Genius-Guide-to-Feats-of-Multiclassi ng
These are a bunch of equivalent feats for every class. You could, for example, get the spirit totem rage powers with any other class. You should give it a look, it's pretty swell and exactly what you're looking for.

Ooh, I'll take a look at this.

Thanks.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

intellegence is more important for a "face" than charisma. skill points effectively have a greater impact than your charisma bonus on your social skills.

lets look at a few myths in being a face

myth 1 you need to max out bluff, intimidate, and diplomacy!

my analysis, bluff and intimidate require heavy feat investment and niche builds built around maximizing thier combat utility to exceed the value of diplomacy. bluff is just falsehoods, and intimidate is just the use of fear, which is mind effecting

my solution, keep a good diplomacy, but don't completely neglect bluff and intimidate, 1 point every other level in one or the other is fine

myth 2, use magic device is a charisma based skill, i think the sorcerer should take it.

my analysis, there is a trait to make this a class skill, and a feat to skill focus it. you can be decent, even with a low charisma

my solution. if you don't mind feat/trait expenditure, this is a decent skill to max out, even if your charisma is a 5 or lower

myth 3, i must have high charisma to look pretty

my analysis, the charisma=appearance is just a shoddy idea thought up by closed minded grognards who refuse to accept that charisma is not needed for most classes with the exception of those who have primary class features based upon it. charisma is a mental attribute, and your physical appearance is physical, so it should logically be based off your 3 physical stats.

my solution, point out the night hag's 19 charisma and amiri's 8 charisma

myth 4, rogues need charisma

my analysis, what makes charisma so important for a rogue? intellegence is a far higher priority, skill ranks overcome and surpass the benefit that having a higher charisma can get you.

my solution, as long as you don't have a supernatural class ability determined by charisma, dump it as low as possible. there are other, more efficient ways to be an effective face.

myth 5, clerics need charisma

my analysis, they only need it for channeling, and yes, those channels will be appreciated by your buddies, but they will eventually lose out in effectiveness compared to the heal spell. you can actually build a viable cleric that doesn't overemphasize channel. a feat can replace 4 points of charisma in this regard, allowing you to build that battle cleric you have been dreaming about. you don't even need the healing domain. in fact, focusing on offense is generally better than focusing defense. you won't score a point unless you rush towards the opponents goalpost.

my solution, a cleric with 10-12 charisma before factoring items is still doable, in fact, they have more points for focusing on combat. there is no charisma requirement for worshipping Shelyn.

myth 6. cavaliers/samurai need charisma

my analysis, they have no supernatural class features governed by charisma, thus they do not need it. in fact, they can dump it and be just fine.

my solution, unless you have a blatantly powerful supernatural class feature dependant upon charisma that can be used reliably, you can dump it, or keep it at a fair level if you are truly concerned. even then, it should be not your primary focus unless you are a sorcerer or oracle. a paladin or ninja can afford charisma as a secondary or tertiary stat just fine. a 14 at level 1 after mods is the most you need, the rest can be made up with a headband. if you are too reliant on limited daily use powers (unless you are a full spellcaster), there is clearly something wrong, either with your build, or the campaign.

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