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How to measure the attractiveness of a character.


Advice

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Trezomnar wrote:

Just for kicks, when my players want to have a value assigned to attractiveness, we use the equation of (Charisma+Constitution)/2. Apply the resulting number to the same scale the attributes are based on (10 being average) and you have a number that we've had no problems with.

That being said, yeah..you could always just say "He's extremely attractive" or "She looks like an angel" and be done with it.

I used to use the same formula (Cha+Con)/2 for a house-ruled appearance score because that seemed a logical explanation of how physical health and presence of personality could combine into attractiveness, but then you get TriOmegaZero's list above which means such a score only helps describe non-monstrous humanoids. I have since learned that good players will have different things their PCs find attractive or repulsive, and these days always let them decide on their own (and make sure I have pictures of any unique monsters and NPCs handy).

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I recall an anecdote someone posted in an adventure path discussion (Legacy of Fire?) where the half-orc PC was hit on by the harpy NPC, and a relationship formed.

How's that for measuring attractiveness?

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I think this is one of the few times "like calls to like" and "opposites attract" could be used in the same sentence, describing the same situation, legitimately.

Liberty's Edge

The one time I needed something like this I used the average of strength, constitution, and charisma.


So I have decided that the best way I find that fits me is to have an in-depth description of my character. Witchcould yield a circumstancel bonus , penalty or nothing at all. Depending on how the gm wants to play it out. And to use the abilitys in this way. So character can have any number of ability preferences like one might love high strength or love low dexterity in any case the more you match the characters preference the more they find you attractive so if we use the normal 20 scale 10 being average (1 would be very low 5 wold be low 8 wold be below average 10 average 12 above average 15 high and 20+ would be very high ) than all veritables are accounted for and there is a numeric system in place to add to the reality of the game witch in turn boosts the fun

P.s the preferences of a character can change as they evolve just like in real life.

So who would actually implement this into there game

Grand Lodge

Vexous wrote:
If its really an issue make Attractive a feat, takeable to a maximum of 2 times. Each time you take it you get a bonus of +2 on social skill interactions with the opposite sex(if they swing that way). This is what they do in Mutants & Masterminds, also a d20 based system, and it works pretty well from what I've seen to describe the high end lookers.

Not a bad idea as a feat for the vain characters...there is also a trait that covers the same.


Appearance is a function of description. Some of that is built into your charisma score but a magnetic personality could overcome homeliness and douchebaggery can overcome attractiveness.

In most cases, Mechanically, appearance will make little difference other than how the player sees him/herself.

If you've seen Game of Thrones, you'll know what I mean on that last bit with pretty much all the Lannisters.. they just feel Wrong. Pretty folks to be sure but they just exude creepy.
And while Robb nor Catelyn did not strike me as all that great in appearance, they supersedes that later on by taking command of the banners.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kryzbyn wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
The RP description of the character? If it sounds attractive, it is. If not, it isn't.
Problem is, not everyone finds the same things attractive.
And this is diffrent from real life how?

...that's the point.


Icyshadow wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
The RP description of the character? If it sounds attractive, it is. If not, it isn't.
Problem is, not everyone finds the same things attractive.
And this is diffrent from real life how?
...that's the point.

now, i could be wrong here--don't quote me on this, but he might have been saying that sarcastically.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I thought that question was rhetorcal. With the answer being it is not different than real life.


i have played my share of both attractive and unnatractive characters.

i will say, that in some cases i have gone really far with the descriptions, such as a Shinigami Blooded Aasimaar that was easily mistaken for an undead and was married to a werewolf alchemist and surgeon.


Does anyone else find it interesting that this thread has gone on way longer than most "high caliber" advice questions that actually have a lot of room for discussion? Not to mention that people that really need advice for a character concept/rule/etc? It starts telling you a lot about this community's interest...

What I consider a great way to handle this/inspired by Pickup Artists (PUAs) if your characters can't already just use their skills and scores to assist in the pickup:

1. Perform (Seduce) - All classes have access to this skill.
2. Have the modifier used dependent on how the character is going about his seduction (Iron Kingdoms uses the same setup for its social skills):

Strength, Dexterity + Constitution - Physical attractiveness/physique. If your player can detail how he dips the girl over and makes her blush from their sexy bodies or the woman uses her curves to break hearts, these are the skills to use.

Wisdom - Take notice of what the person's wearing/compliment on something out of the ordinary and the are either naturally or trained to read other people (Pickup artists will compliment a person's shoes and have the keen ability of reading body language to gauge their progress in the seduction.)

Intelligence - Ability to "run routines" that have been developed over time until he found what worked or their quick wit helps them know the right thing to say.

Charisma - These are the naturals (the "People Person"), they're naturally gifted with the ability of capturing the hearts of those around them. Just being around them makes you feel good/you feel they're genuine and they build comfort exceptionally well in the pickup.

So there ya go, that's probably the best way of doing it. Don't throttle-neck people into "physical attraction", because if you've ever looked around people "date out of their league" all the time. There is no league if you excel in one or more of the above areas.


Just look at the pictures generated by the artists to represent the characters. As far as I can tell, no stat or combination of stats makes your character more or less comely. I suggest the following to determine this:

1) What the character's player writes.
2) What the character's player draws.


it depends on whether you want it to have a game effect or not. There are currently feats and monster qualities that give appearance based effects (some of the Fey being alluring to mortal men, etc), but also consider how much of additional adding/subtracting you want to do.

Some dislike the randomness of rolling it like another attribute. Some don't like that its unclear how to derive it from existing attributes. Cause it also becomes subjective in life too.

we've all seen the pictures, "Hot hollywood starlets without makeup!", or the related.

I just work on the general assumption that at worst, PCs are "Hollywood Homely" (where a quick change can show how pretty/handsome they were all along), or they simply have "Hollywood Hottie" appearances. (Males and Females).


My group uses a 7th attribute rolled usually 3d6 unless we used 4d6 for other stats. Modify this by charisma(our theory being that while charisma is not all about looks it is a small factor) and that is your attractiveness/comeliness score. Our roots go all the way back to 2nd addition so that's where our house rule came from in the beginning with our own spin.

In our current party my melee druid is the most attractive even though my cha sucks because of the luck of the dice and its alot of fun. Then again we only use this for flavor purposes like who the NPC is going to approach first and so on.

There seems to be a lot of hostility to using a game mechanic to determine attractiveness which I find a little confusing. In my way of thinking your character believes they look like they say they look like. Beauty is subjective and the roll is how other people view their appearance(other factors like species, gender, style being taken into account). If its all in good fun this can add an enjoyable element to the group dynamic.


We actually came up with new rules for Charisma and good looks.

For NPC's reacting to players if the player has a Charisma score 5 higher than the NPC then the NPC starts at friendly instead of indifferent for common interactions.

If the player has a Charisma score 10 better than NPC then they start as helpful to the players.

Now to account for good looks I added a comeliness score to the above rules. When interaction with the opposite sex a comeliness score can replace your Charisma score.

This of course only applies to simple interactions. If the NPC is important or has specific goals in mind then different rules are followed.

I figured if Kate Upton walked up to me and asked me to do her a favor ... I would be incredibly helpful to her at first. I would guess her comeliness score would beat mine by 10.


The player of the character (or the GM for NPCS) decides how attractive the character is.

The Charisma score determines how other people feel about that character's personality.

You can have a statuesque man or woman with a frigid, off-putting personality, or a plain (or even disfigured) person with a certain je ne sais quoi.

You should get no mechanical benefit from the decision whatsoever. Pump up your Charisma score if you want to manipulate/convince to do stuff people.


I use a comparison of Cha to Wis and/or Int...a high Cha score, coupled with a low Wis tends to indicate "pretty but mean-spirited", whereas a high Cha coupled with a low Int speaks to the "ditzy blonde" stereotype.

There are other iterations, and I tend to think that alignment plays a part, as well...a beautiful, well-spoken sorceress who is Chaotic Evil doesn't strike me as anyone's idea of a fun date....


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Actually, a simple custom trait does it.

No creation of an additional scores, no complicated "formula".

Just an "Attractive" trait, that provides a trait bonus.

There you go. A way to "prove" you are attractive, with a numerical bonus.


there is already the charming and fashionable traits. either one works.


I got ninja'd by a Shuriken O=


David Haller wrote:
Wayyyy back, in AD&D days, an article in Dragon magazine introduced a "Comeliness" stat; it was in independent 7th ability statistic which was primarily descriptive (ie. had few mechanical effects).

The first appearance of it I know of was the old-school Greyhawk box set. Gary intended to be used for deities, but we ignored that part for the little while we used it as a stat. Game wise, I find it easier to not assign a number to beauty.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

Raw it is charisma.

Charisma (Cha)

Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance.

The stats are to a large degree an abstraction that cover multiple areas that have little to nothing to do with each other. A fat person may have a low con in terms of how far they can run, but would actually help how many beers they can drink before getting drunk.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Another vote here for "It's up to the player/GM what the character looks like". CHA is just their ability to use it properly.

Trying to quantify something as subjective as beauty is a lost cause, because you'll never be able to account for an infinitely varied spectrum of preferences. That sort of thing should be left up to roleplaying, not dice and numbers.

Star Voter 2013

If a GM wanted to give my character a stat that measured their appearance, and it was different to what I'd envisaged my character to look like, I'd tell him/her to shove it.

GMs shouldn't have direct control of something as conceptual as a PC's appearance. For NPCs, go right ahead - in that case, you can just make it up.

My PC - hands off big guy.

Just my two copper.


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This reminded me of one of the problems I had with that past DM. His NPCs never reacted favourably to any my characters, no matter how they looked or acted (as in, regardless of actual Charisma or trait bonuses). Hell, my first PC ever was a cute Half-Elf Cleric of Pelor, yet it seemed the sterile world would only mock her love of helping others (which the DM would call naive) and/or have her slightly hot-headed attitude parodied or ridiculed.

Star Voter 2013

Although in addition to my post above, if the GM thinks a particular NPC, or group of NPCs, wouldn't find my PC attractive despite my description of "good looks", or the opposite, that's totally up to the GM.

Star Voter 2013

Icyshadow wrote:
This reminded me of one of the problems I had with that past DM. His NPCs never reacted favourably to any my characters, no matter how they looked or acted (as in, regardless of actual Charisma or trait bonuses). Hell, my first PC ever was a cute Half-Elf Cleric of Pelor, yet it seemed the sterile world would only mock her love of helping others (which the DM would call naive) and/or have her slightly hot-headed attitude parodied or ridiculed.

Although that sounds a bit annoying.


littlehewy wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
This reminded me of one of the problems I had with that past DM. His NPCs never reacted favourably to any my characters, no matter how they looked or acted (as in, regardless of actual Charisma or trait bonuses). Hell, my first PC ever was a cute Half-Elf Cleric of Pelor, yet it seemed the sterile world would only mock her love of helping others (which the DM would call naive) and/or have her slightly hot-headed attitude parodied or ridiculed.
Although that sounds a bit annoying.

Those words described many sessions I had back there.

And funny that the more I recall things about it all, the less I regret leaving that table.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
David Haller wrote:
Wayyyy back, in AD&D days, an article in Dragon magazine introduced a "Comeliness" stat; it was in independent 7th ability statistic which was primarily descriptive (ie. had few mechanical effects).

I would have bet it was the Unearthed Arcana book gave us Comeliness as a 7th attribute. But then they say memory does fade with age.

PridefulOne wrote:
Does anyone else find it interesting that this thread has gone on way longer than most "high caliber" advice questions that actually have a lot of room for discussion? Not to mention that people that really need advice for a character concept/rule/etc? It starts telling you a lot about this community's interest...

Or it could be that questions like this are supper easy to respond to and do ot require a "right" answer. LOL

But yes, it is fun when one finds a thread like this one.


By weight of his/her GP pouch at lower levels, and by the level of their bag of holding at higher levels.


Honestly, I will go for Charisma, its easier that way. Of course, Charisma is not only beauty. But for my party at least, is part of Charisma.


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And what gives the ugly Night Hag such a high Charisma?

Shadow Lodge

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Raw it is charisma.

Charisma (Cha)

Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance.

Appearance is not attractiveness. By RAW, a high Cha is a high appearance.

Whatever THAT means.


One thing I liked in the change from HERO 5th to 6th was that they removed Comeliness (a relatively worthless stat), and replaced it with the Talent (or Perk, I forget) Striking Appearance. It still gave you bonuses for your appearance (ugliness or beauty) to certain skill checks, including the fiat that attraction and repulsiveness can be different amongst cultures and races (I call it Pug Syndrome).

Knowing this, I'd probably add a seventh 'psuedo stat' of Appearance and increase the point buy amount you receive. The Appearance stat would be in single digits and not negative and would add a flat bonus (+1, +2, etc.) to certain Charisma skills. Obviously you'd pick either being ugly or being beautiful. Ugliness could help out with Intimidation (easier to scare) while Beauty could help out with Bluff (easier to believe a pretty face). There could also be negatives to Diplomacy (Ahhh a monster!) and Intimidate (You are just so adorable when you get mad!).

Of course, with something so variable as beauty/ugliness to measure, much of it would be up to GM Fiat.


You can be as attractive as a model, but if your character is repulsive to the receiver, it won't matter much, e.g. vanity, excessive pride, cowardice, potato-headedness can really detract from your attractiveness.

So if one is playing the hot proud sorcerer, or the Callistrian home-wrecker, it should be factored in just how ugly such people can be. New rules: beyond the cleavage.


Icyshadow wrote:
This reminded me of one of the problems I had with that past DM. His NPCs never reacted favourably to any my characters, no matter how they looked or acted (as in, regardless of actual Charisma or trait bonuses). Hell, my first PC ever was a cute Half-Elf Cleric of Pelor, yet it seemed the sterile world would only mock her love of helping others (which the DM would call naive) and/or have her slightly hot-headed attitude parodied or ridiculed.

Dm was running a neutral evil world with no appreciation of heroes and heroics. Guy needed to be more objective. How terribly bland.


TOZ wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Raw it is charisma.

Charisma (Cha)

Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance.

Appearance is not attractiveness. By RAW, a high Cha is a high appearance.

Whatever THAT means.

It's an appearance that gets a reaction. The higher the charisma, the more extreme the reaction, typically in either the "wow, that's hot" or the "KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!" way.


For me, seeing a comeliness score or other similar mechanic in a game is a good sign that I should walk away.


Icyshadow wrote:
And what gives the ugly Night Hag such a high Charisma?

The attibutes don't define one single thing. A good perception of your entorn is not a necessary to be a good cleric, but Perception, Willpower and "self-knowledge" are all part of the same attribute in Wisdom.

The same happens with Charisma. Beauty in not necessary for a good Charisma. But can be part of it, as easely as an impressive force of personality. The hag have an impressive look (horribly impressive, but still) and great force of personality. Dont need beauty. That is not saying beauty can not be part of Charisma.

Or at least, that how I see it.


1) Put the character portrait next to my picture

2) Realize that all pale in comparison.

3) Weep in despair.

**End scene**


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
This reminded me of one of the problems I had with that past DM. His NPCs never reacted favourably to any my characters, no matter how they looked or acted (as in, regardless of actual Charisma or trait bonuses). Hell, my first PC ever was a cute Half-Elf Cleric of Pelor, yet it seemed the sterile world would only mock her love of helping others (which the DM would call naive) and/or have her slightly hot-headed attitude parodied or ridiculed.
Dm was running a neutral evil world with no appreciation of heroes and heroics. Guy needed to be more objective. How terribly bland.

I guess that's added to the "Reasons why I left your table" chart for that guy.

Though it usually seemed like the attitude was directed mostly at my character, and less so at my friend's Chaotic Good Elf Ranger.

Marathon Voter 2013

Umbral Reaver wrote:
For me, seeing a comeliness score or other similar mechanic in a game is a good sign that I should walk away.
Frodo wrote:
Frodo: I think a servant of the Enemy would look fairer and feel fouler.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Okay, this seems much too complicated, and needless, to create some sort of 7th score, or "formula" to determine a PC's attractiveness.

That's a simple fluff matter, that does not need an overcomplicated system to define.


David Haller wrote:
Wayyyy back, in AD&D days, an article in Dragon magazine introduced a "Comeliness" stat; it was in independent 7th ability statistic which was primarily descriptive (ie. had few mechanical effects).

In 1E AD&D Comeliness was rolled but you got a modifier from CHA (and race) to Comeliness. I think this is the full 1E rules Comeliness 1E.

Here's a simple adaption for d20. And here a more complex adaption(too complex imho.)

Of course there's also the Appearance stat of the d20 Book of Erotic Fantasy, which i hear is not that bad. The book has a good 3rd edition adaptation of beauty. It works exactly like an additional stat whose only game-related effects are some social skills. With it, Charisma no longer represents Personality and Beauty, losing the second trait for the Appearance score..


Umbral Reaver wrote:
For me, seeing a comeliness score or other similar mechanic in a game is a good sign that I should walk away.

Champions has a comeliness score and it's a pretty good system.


I believe that in 1st Edition they had the notion of Comeliness.


maikeru marimoto wrote:
I've been wondering about the concept of attractiveness and how to go about calculating general attractiveness. So far I have the strength modifier and charisma modifier as appart of the equation but I want to know what you all think

What is wrong with just leaving this up to the player? Appearance, like personality, is part of the general creative license that a player has over their character, IMO, not something that is the DM's job to determine.


Having played HERO, I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting appearance affecting certain stats. As long as people know that it can be subjective, I'm fine with it. And honestly, better to help the OP figure out how they want to do it rather than lecturing them on why is badwrongfun to do it.


Icyshadow wrote:
And what gives the ugly Night Hag such a high Charisma?

She appears imposing.

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