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How to measure the attractiveness of a character.


Advice

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examples of appearance.

who says my buff battlescarred amazoness warrior woman with the 12 pack abs can't have a 22 charisma? yeah, she may have looked rather masculine for a woman, but she was a divine champion of the freaking iron lord. she may have been built like a Mrs. Universe candidate but she was one Scary Woman with major testosterone. (Suli Battle Oracle of Gorum)

and who says that the creepy small framed japanese woman with all the casts and bandages can't have an 18 strength and a 16 constitution? as a warrior cultist of Zon-Kuthon, she pushes her small body to extremes beyond what most people can achieve. (Tian Barbarian)


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

examples of appearance.

who says my buff battlescarred amazoness warrior woman with the 12 pack abs can't have a 22 charisma? yeah, she may have looked rather masculine for a woman, but she was a divine champion of the freaking iron lord. she may have been built like a Mrs. Universe candidate but she was one Scary Woman with major testosterone. (Suli Battle Oracle of Gorum)

and who says that the creepy small framed japanese woman with all the casts and bandages can't have an 18 strength and a 16 constitution? as a warrior cultist of Zon-Kuthon, she pushes her small body to extremes beyond what most people can achieve. (Tian Barbarian)

+1

I think it's up (only in part) to the DM to decide if he finds the appearance "good" or not.

As in, to decide if he likes your character or not. As shown from an earlier post of mine, the DM I played with did not.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
12 pack abs

Aberrant bloodline?


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
12 pack abs
Aberrant bloodline?

Probably just exaggeration.


Icyshadow wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
12 pack abs
Aberrant bloodline?
Probably just exaggeration.

her abs were actually quite impossibly refined. no aberrant bloodline needed. and a set of 12 pack abdominal muscles is no more unrealistic than turning a handful of bat guano and sulfur into a 45 foot diameter radius globe of fire from over 600 feet away.


Also won't different npcs and pcs find different things attractive in character?


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doctor_wu wrote:
Also won't different npcs and pcs find different things attractive in character?

they would. but not many people would want a burly masculine warrior woman from the desert whom was built stronger than most orcs.

Grand Lodge

blackbloodtroll wrote:

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.

One already exists. It's called Charming.

Charming:
Blessed with good looks, you've come to depend on the fact that others find you attractive. You gain a +1 trait bonus when you use Bluff or Diplomacy on a character that is (or could be) sexually attracted to you, and a +1 trait bonus to the save DC of any language-dependent spell you cast on such characters or creatures.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Attractiveness is in the eye of beholder. You can't really quantitatively measure attractiveness and appearance. In a game like this it's even worse with different races.

At best you can just convince a bunch of people to agree with you. This easier if you can find commonality with the group of people. Like if you can get bunch of short people to agree that tall people are more attractive. Or the reverse can be happen with short people are exclusionary and agree that tall people are unattractive. So attractiveness is based on the norms of the group doing the judging.

Grand Lodge

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I like having a mechanic to represent a character's attractiveness. Sure, it's subjective, and every individual will have a different notion of what is and isn't attractive, even if only slightly. But we already have game mechanics talking (Bluff, Diplomacy, etc.). Sure, some GMs may want you to role-play these things out, but ultimately (and fairly) it comes down to an arbitrary die roll. Why not do the same for attractiveness.

As for what you'd use it for, well, probably those various personal interaction activities we have established mechanics for (Bluff, Diplomacy, etc.). So ultimately we're just looking for something that'd modify a characters bonus to those roles, or the DC of such rolls made against the character, in situations in which the attractiveness of the character may come into play.

There are already many traits and feats which modify social skill rolls, so we can just use those. It's far easier IMO, than inventing a new rule and hoping it's fair and balanced.


Wise tiger.

Or say, you play a war criminal war mage (a war war mage) who despises elves. A seduction check against him by an elf just won't work. His eyes, this isn't his first genocide. He has an important and extensive mission, a calling if you will. Which brings us to the pally.

Seducing a paladin came up in another thread, if the pally has a mission and someone tries to distract them with feminine/masculine wiles, they should always be able to walk away, barring spells and failed saves. If they want to go, they go, if they do not and have a lot at stake, a comely glance shouldn't turn them into flesh puppets for an afternoon. Desire can be suppressed (and put into more sexually frustrated smites per day).

The whole I am attractive, I can seduce/twirl them around my finger. Does the target let you finish the seduction? Are they at all interested? It gets into diplomacy consideration territory.


Do you want that neckbeard in the room to be saying 'Am I sexy?' every time he rolls a social skill for his character? :P


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Do you want that neckbeard in the room to be saying 'Am I sexy?' every time he rolls a social skill for his character? :P

I didn't know insulting people's looks was a thing while playing D&D.

Then again, I didn't know everyone here (and I mean EVERYONE) here is a neckbeard, either.


That was a joke, hence the ':P'.


And I was totally not being snarky back there :3


It doesn't convey well.


Just shaved, no neckbeard. YEAH winning!


I would use INT.

Because what I find most attractive in someone is their brain.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Jimi Hendrix played D&D, so does Robin Williams, an Vin Diesel.

I wonder if they had neckbeards back in the day?

That would be hilarious.


While there will be individual differences in taste, a char could also make a knowledge local check to determine what is considered attractive in a region or culture, and then a disguise check to copy that exactly.


I wonder if the Charming trait should be the only thing to advance how "good-looking" a character is.

Apparently, Aasimar are naturally desireable when it comes to appearance regardless of their actual celestial heritage (though cultural stigmas still stick so a wolf-like Agathion-spawn Aasimar in Falcon's Hollow would be in trouble), . Certain tieflings might have the same thing, especially those born of natural tempters like Succubi or an Erodaemon. Though my personal favourite example of a naturally attractive being is the Changeling spawn of a Green Hag. They're especially good at finding (and possibly charming) straight men and lesbian women :P


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3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Attractiveness is somewhat in the eye of the beholder...

I realize you're a 3.5 loyalist, so I'll forgive you, but in Pathfinder there are no beholders, that's copyrighted Wizards of the Coast material. So attractiveness, or beauty, as it is sometimes called, would have to be in the eye of something else, like a Gorbel maybe.

:P


BRING BACK THE COMELINESS STAT! Oh Wait . .

Andoran

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

I don't know what you're talking about, my Pathfinder totally has beholders in it.

Shadow Lodge

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Ditto

Though I haven't had opportunity to throw them at a party in ... well, ever.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I don't know what you're talking about, my Pathfinder totally has beholders in it.

Your campaign might have converted beholders in it, but your Paizo bestiary books or PDFs don't have beholders in them. ;)

Andoran

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

Yeah, but that's not Pathfinder. Those are just Pathfinder resources. :P


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

This is the only Stat with a direct tie to how physically attractive you are... BUT it also represents SO much more than mere attractiveness, right? Many of those things are mental not just physical. If you are talking about MORE than physical attractiveness then the stat has an even stronger tie to attractiveness adding "personal magnetism" and "personality" to the mix. In fact the ONLY thing not directly related to attraction in the entire stat description is "ability to lead". And even that can have some indirect benefits when trying to BE attractive.

You also have an attractiveness based trait "Charming" with a +1 situational modifier to Charisma based checks.

On top of all that are situational modifiers such as How appropriately dressed are you for the event you are being seen in? How clean are you (6 weeks of adventurers filth and BO is NOT attractive)? Have you bothered at all with hair styling and cosmetics (yes even men are better with styled hair and a nice smelling body spray)? How do you ACT toward others (a generous and nice person is going to be seen in a better light than a cold or greedy one)? How racially close are you to the viewer (lets face it a Hag will only be attractive to other Hag like creatures)? Or of course how attractive is your character description?

When I GM the heaviest modifiers come from the situational, followed by your Cha stat, and lastly the traits which might affect it.

This is all RAW and RAI legal so far.

It may be realistic to separate physical and mental attractiveness into a Charisma and Comeliness stat. But it probably will end up being more work for very little benefit in game. But if you want a better way to represent those rare cases where someone is physically mismatched with their mental attractiveness and won't be satisfied with situational modifiers then knock yourself out with house rules.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Appearance=/=Attractivness.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Yeah, but that's not Pathfinder. Those are just Pathfinder resources. :P

Touché


I think the problem is that the bias of a DM might affect the rolls more than any in-character interactions will.

Then again, I might just be cynical due to past experiences, which I might have described in an earlier post on this thread.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Appearance=/=Attractivness.

I fail to see why not. Have you ever read a beauty magazine? Have you ever seen before and after shots of a make over? Even a simple make over (just hair style and some better flattering clothes) can make a huge difference in appearance.

Shadow Lodge

Aranna wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Appearance=/=Attractivness.

I fail to see why not. Have you ever read a beauty magazine? Have you ever seen before and after shots of a make over? Even a simple make over (just hair style and some better flattering clothes) can make a huge difference in appearance.

All subjective.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If charisma equals beauty, explain the Sea Hag.

High Charisma, but with this:

Bestiary wrote:

Horrific Appearance (Su)

The sight of a sea hag is so revolting that anyone within 60 feet (other than another hag) who sets eyes upon one must succeed on a DC 14 Fortitude save or instantly be weakened, taking 1d6 points of Strength damage. Creatures that are affected by this power or that successfully save against it cannot be affected again by the same hag's horrific appearance for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.


So the Sea Hag is objectively ugly, but has high Charisma?


blackbloodtroll wrote:

If charisma equals beauty, explain the Sea Hag.

High Charisma, but with this:

Bestiary wrote:

Horrific Appearance (Su)

The sight of a sea hag is so revolting that anyone within 60 feet (other than another hag) who sets eyes upon one must succeed on a DC 14 Fortitude save or instantly be weakened, taking 1d6 points of Strength damage. Creatures that are affected by this power or that successfully save against it cannot be affected again by the same hag's horrific appearance for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Aranna wrote:
On top of all that are situational modifiers such as How appropriately dressed are you for the event you are being seen in? How clean are you (6 weeks of adventurers filth and BO is NOT attractive)? Have you bothered at all with hair styling and cosmetics (yes even men are better with styled hair and a nice smelling body spray)? How do you ACT toward others (a generous and nice person is going to be seen in a better light than a cold or greedy one)? How racially close are you to the viewer (lets face it a Hag will only be attractive to other Hag like creatures)? Or of course how attractive is your character description?

I bolded part of those since you don't seem to be reading ALL of either my post or the ability description. I don't care how hot your character looks a sea serpent or a hag aren't going to be attracted.


Orthos wrote:
Aranna wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Appearance=/=Attractivness.

I fail to see why not. Have you ever read a beauty magazine? Have you ever seen before and after shots of a make over? Even a simple make over (just hair style and some better flattering clothes) can make a huge difference in appearance.

All subjective.

Which is why I put the greatest weight on situational modifiers.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If you want an stat for appearance
it does exist,
in the first Unearthed Arcana for DnD 1st ed.

The stat was call "Comeliness" and was slightly modified by Charisma and race.


Attractiveness from a human perspective does have something to do with appearance, but what appearance is attractive to one, will not necessarily be attractive to another. However! It is important to note that there have been some pretty significant studies done on what is "universally" (which is a term I hate, because the world is not the universe) attractive. Interestingly, one of the key things that is "universally" attractive is facial symmetry.

Osirion

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blackbloodtroll wrote:

Jimi Hendrix played D&D, so does Robin Williams, an Vin Diesel.

I wonder if they had neckbeards back in the day?

That would be hilarious.

Robin Williams actually did sport a neckbeard for a while. :P

On a more serious note, to paraphrase Baz Lehrman: Trying to build quantifiable mechanics around physical beauty will only make the game feel ugly.


Back in Unearthed Arcana, it was possible to have a negative Comeliness. A negative Comeliness meant that you were so ugly that people were horrified by your appearance.

That would not work in Pathfinder because in that game system you are not supposed to benefit from low ability scores. Intimidate, for example, is tied to charisma -- not to its reverse, on the assumption that being ugly would make you more intimidating.

So the only thing a high charisma guarantees is that you have an advantage in getting people's attention and influencing them -- whether you do so in a positive or negative way is a separate question.


This is how I do it, and other ideas are in that thread.


I apologize if this has already been referenced as I don't have the time to look over all the pages of this discussion but comeliness (physical attractiveness) is not something new to role playing games, and was addressed as far back as 1st ed. D&dhere is a explination of how str. Con. And cha. Are all factored into a still different chart


Orthos wrote:

Ditto

Though I haven't had opportunity to throw them at a party in ... well, ever.

Do it. There is no way it does not lead to fun.

A beholder is also finally here to talk about beauty.

Beauty is laying waste to an entire party of unprepared adventurers with ALL the eyestalk attacks.


I apologize in advance, because not only am I necromancing this thread, I'm also posting off topic.

Problem is, just recently, I realized that this:

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Yeah, but that's not Pathfinder. Those are just Pathfinder resources. :P

stuck up my craw.

I finally realized why. The Universal Monster Rules are found in the Bestiary. These monster rules are as much canonical Pathfinder as the Core Rulebook, at least in my opinion, and insofar as they are used repeatedly in rules argument threads. If that is the case, aren't then the Bestiaries just addenda to the Core Rules, ergo part of the Pathfinder RPG? I agree that they are resources in the sense that the GM and table get to decide which creatures they use, but the universal monster rules are not a resource. They are part of the core mechanics for Pathfinder. Especially if you take a look at an ability like Grab which was updated in the Bestiary 2, and is now, according to an FAQ, the "official" rule for the Grab monster ability.

If my above logic is correct then my original statement about there not being any beholders in Pathfinder was correct. Any table might be using converted beholders, but they are not a canonical part of the Pathfinder RPG.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What is 'canon'?


John-Andre wrote:
Charisma is NOT a direct measure of attractiveness.

Sure it is. I measure attractiveness based on the combination of personality, intellect, social interaction, AND aesthetics. That is pretty much a description of the Charisma statistic.

If you mean it's not a sole measure of physical comeliness, you're right.

The OP wanted a "calculator for general attractiveness". I'd say use an average of ALL ability modifiers, since they all play a factor...

STR = sculpted, cut (BODY MASS)
CON = curvy, broad shouldered (BODY PROPORTION)
DEX = athletic, sporty, waifish(BODY SHAPE)
INT = bright, smart (MIND)
WIS = compassionate, empathetic (HEART)
CHA = personality, cuteness (FACE)

Bonus to STR + CON + DEX + INT + WIS + CHA / 6 = Attractiveness Scale

So, all 10 ability scores would net you a zero, but that would be the "midpoint" of the scale. All 20's, obviously attractive, and all 5's, well, you're Napolean Dynamite.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
What is 'canon'?

Canon. I'd cite definition number 3: the body of rules, principles, or standards accepted as axiomatic and universally binding in a field of study or art. The "field" we're talking about is the "field of Pathfinder," the universally binding rules of the game. If the universal monster rules are binding rules of how the game of Pathfinder is played, then they are absolutely part of the canon. In which case, not resources, ergo no beholders.


Psion-Psycho wrote:
I agree with most of the post being that its just how u describe the character. If u want to give an equation though id say for girls it would be dex + cha + con and for dudes it would be str + cha + con. Dex for flexibility XD. Con is the character's general health, i dont kno about u but a person coughing up a lung and is catching every known disease is not attractive. And cha for how out going they are and general b****ness they are.

so Kyra Steelskin with her 12 pack abs, would have (stacking modifiers) +6 (22 str) +6 (22 cha) +5 (20 con) for quite the attractiveness. if people would recognize her by her masculine nature and treat her as a man.

or if you are talking scores. 64.


Elbe-el wrote:
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....

That would depend entirely on what you're into. :D

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