Charm Person Interpretation - Needs Ruling.


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So an argument broke out in another thread about Charm Person.

On stance is that Charm Person is nothing more than Magical Diplomacy. It makes the target friendly, and that's all it does.

The other stance (my stance) is that it does this and more. The second half of Charm Person allows for an opposed Charisma Check if you give the target an order to do something it would not normally do. If you win the opposed Charisma Check, the target is convinced of the order, and proceeds to do it. As long as the order is not obviously harmful or suicidal.

Charm Person wrote:

This charm makes a humanoid creature regard you as its trusted friend and ally (treat the target's attitude as friendly). If the creature is currently being threatened or attacked by you or your allies, however, it receives a +5 bonus on its saving throw.

The spell does not enable you to control the charmed person as if it were an automaton, but it perceives your words and actions in the most favorable way. You can try to give the subject orders, but you must win an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do anything it wouldn't ordinarily do. (Retries are not allowed.) An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing. Any act by you or your apparent allies that threatens the charmed person breaks the spell. You must speak the person's language to communicate your commands, or else be good at pantomiming.

My question, is how exactly does Charm Person work? Does Charm Person allow the caster to issue an order, via an opposed Charisma Check? Or does it simply make the target friendly, as per the Diplomacy Skill, and end there?

Liberty's Edge

Very fair description of the two sides, Tels.

Only thing I would clarify is that we are saying it makes them "Friendly" as per the diplomacy guidelines, and that the opposed charisma checks more or less follow the guidelines for requests using DC difficulty.

I FAQed as well. Now off to work.


The rules for Charm Person seem pretty clear to me; that is, the bit you linked describes the effect of the spell. The question it raises in my mind is, can you use an opposed Charisma Check in the same fashion with an NPC who is "naturally" friendly (but not helpful) towards you to begin with?

Silver Crusade

You cannot "control" with charm person, that is covered by dominate person:

1. If the target fails it's will save, then it regards you as its trusted friend and ally. (If it is not currently being attacked by your allies).
2. You can now make requests from the target and it looks upon them favourably, unless it is of a harmful or suicidal nature.
3. If you wish to order the target creature, you must win on an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do something out of the ordinary (for it).

The target is open to requests from the caster, unless it is something that goes against its nature or desires. Like attacking its loved ones or friends.

Liberty's Edge

Hitdice wrote:
The rules for Charm Person seem pretty clear to me; that is, the bit you linked describes the effect of the spell. The question it raises in my mind is, can you use an opposed Charisma Check in the same fashion with an NPC who is "naturally" friendly (but not helpful) towards you to begin with?

Yes, this is covered under diplomacy in the "requests" section.


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Chubbs McGee wrote:

You cannot "control" with charm person, that is covered by dominate person:

1. If the target fails it's will save, then it regards you as its trusted friend and ally. (If it is not currently being attacked by your allies).
2. You can now make requests from the target and it looks upon them favourably, unless it is of a harmful or suicidal nature.
3. If you wish to order the target creature, you must win on an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do something out of the ordinary (for it).

The target is open to requests from the caster, unless it is something that goes against its nature or desires. Like attacking its loved ones or friends.

This is exactly my stance. The part 3 aspect is mainly the issue of our argument.

Ciretose seems to think by 'ordering' they mean 'making a request as per the Diplomacy Skill'. I think that 'order' means 'order' and if I succeed on my Charisma Check, then the Charmed victim is convinced of the order and proceeds to carry it out. As long as it isn't suicidal or harmful.

Silver Crusade

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I agree. Generally, if you make requests or give orders that the target believes are harmless or forcing it to act out of its usual nature, than no roll is required. Beyond that, any requests or orders require a roll.

That's how I read it.

If you want more guaranteed control for your spell slot, you need dominate person!


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Chubbs McGee wrote:
I agree. Generally, if you make requests or give orders that the target believes are harmless or forcing it to act out of its usual nature, than no roll is required. Beyond that, any requests or orders require a roll.

Of course, Bluff might help you in getting the target to see your requests as harmless when they aren't....


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I think I should further explain that Ciretose and others think there is some inherent limiter on what may be ordered.

For instance, if I were to charm person, then order them to kill their wife, this would not be allowed even if I make my opposed Charisma Check. The only reason given, so far, as to why it can't be allowed is Charm Person is a level 1 spell, and not Dominate Person. That, and they keep citing the 'not an automaton' part of the spell.

I keep telling them that an 'automaton' is something that follows orders exactly as given, no questioning, no resisting, it simply does. By the very nature of the spell (the fact it requires an opposed Charisma Check), means the creature is not an automaton. It can resist the order given. The resistance is given via an opposed Charisma Check.


ciretose wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
The rules for Charm Person seem pretty clear to me; that is, the bit you linked describes the effect of the spell. The question it raises in my mind is, can you use an opposed Charisma Check in the same fashion with an NPC who is "naturally" friendly (but not helpful) towards you to begin with?
Yes, this is covered under diplomacy in the "requests" section.

Why so it does; that'll teach me to rely on 3.5 material!


Chubbs McGee wrote:

You cannot "control" with charm person, that is covered by dominate person:

1. If the target fails it's will save, then it regards you as its trusted friend and ally. (If it is not currently being attacked by your allies).
2. You can now make requests from the target and it looks upon them favourably, unless it is of a harmful or suicidal nature.
3. If you wish to order the target creature, you must win on an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do something out of the ordinary (for it).

The target is open to requests from the caster, unless it is something that goes against its nature or desires. Like attacking its loved ones or friends.

+1 to this. I'll join in the discussion more fully, but I need to go to bed. I'll BBL, I'm sure.

Silver Crusade

Midnight_Angel wrote:
Of course, Bluff might help you in getting the target to see your requests as harmless when they aren't....

Yes, that is true. Since the diplomacy skill seemed to be anchor somewhere in the debate, I was not going to touch Bluff!


Ashiel wrote:
Chubbs McGee wrote:

You cannot "control" with charm person, that is covered by dominate person:

1. If the target fails it's will save, then it regards you as its trusted friend and ally. (If it is not currently being attacked by your allies).
2. You can now make requests from the target and it looks upon them favourably, unless it is of a harmful or suicidal nature.
3. If you wish to order the target creature, you must win on an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do something out of the ordinary (for it).

The target is open to requests from the caster, unless it is something that goes against its nature or desires. Like attacking its loved ones or friends.

+1 to this. I'll join in the discussion more fully, but I need to go to bed. I'll BBL, I'm sure.

Oh god, it's almost 4 AM here. Damn forums, deys like crackses.

Liberty's Edge

Tels wrote:

I think I should further explain that Ciretose and others think there is some inherent limiter on what may be ordered.

For instance, if I were to charm person, then order them to kill their wife, this would not be allowed even if I make my opposed Charisma Check. The only reason given, so far, as to why it can't be allowed is Charm Person is a level 1 spell, and not Dominate Person. That, and they keep citing the 'not an automaton' part of the spell.

I keep telling them that an 'automaton' is something that follows orders exactly as given, no questioning, no resisting, it simply does. By the very nature of the spell (the fact it requires an opposed Charisma Check), means the creature is not an automaton. It can resist the order given. The resistance is given via an opposed Charisma Check.

I think you should explain your own position and not mine.

I said the same check shouldn't be used for both asking someone to babysit your kitten as for killing their wife.

You can ask for both, but one would have a much, much higher DC.

You seem to be arguing they both are a simple opposed charisma check.

Liberty's Edge

Chubbs McGee wrote:

I agree. Generally, if you make requests or give orders that the target believes are harmless or forcing it to act out of its usual nature, than no roll is required. Beyond that, any requests or orders require a roll.

That's how I read it.

If you want more guaranteed control for your spell slot, you need dominate person!

The question is what kind of roll.

They are arguing it is a simple opposed charisma roll, no adjustments. If you have a charisma of 8 you roll at -1, if I have a 16, I roll at +3 and there we go.

I am saying it follows the diplomacy rules for requests, which is why it says that the creature is treated as "Friendly" as per diplomacy.

Therefore the DC of the request would be modified based on what you are asking them to do.

Liberty's Edge

Ashiel wrote:
Chubbs McGee wrote:

You cannot "control" with charm person, that is covered by dominate person:

1. If the target fails it's will save, then it regards you as its trusted friend and ally. (If it is not currently being attacked by your allies).
2. You can now make requests from the target and it looks upon them favourably, unless it is of a harmful or suicidal nature.
3. If you wish to order the target creature, you must win on an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do something out of the ordinary (for it).

The target is open to requests from the caster, unless it is something that goes against its nature or desires. Like attacking its loved ones or friends.

+1 to this. I'll join in the discussion more fully, but I need to go to bed. I'll BBL, I'm sure.

How do you +1 this when this all started in the other debate you were trying to use charm person to get an Azata to act literally against it's nature and here Chubbs McGee is saying that the target is not open to doing things against it's nature?

What?


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Charm Person wrote:
An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders...

I would suggest that killing one's own wife would fall under this category.

Diplomacy wrote:

If a creature's attitude toward you is at least indifferent, you can make requests of the creature. This is an additional Diplomacy check, using the creature's current attitude to determine the base DC, with one of the following modifiers.

Friendly 10 + creature's Cha modifier

Give lengthy or complicated aid +5
Give dangerous aid +10
Give aid that could result in punishment +15 or more

Or this category.

Charm Person wrote:
...but you must win an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do anything it wouldn't ordinarily do.

Circumstance modifies every other die roll in this game. I cannot see any reason it wouldn't do so for this one, as well.

Liberty's Edge

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The Crusader wrote:


Circumstance modifies every other die roll in this game. I cannot see any reason it wouldn't do so for this one, as well.

I agree 100%.

Circumstance always matters, and a good GM always considers it.

Otherwise the game is just a glorified combat simulator.

Shadow Lodge

I would argue that the request to kill one's wife isn't harmless. However if the subject could be convinced it was through a successful bluff or diplomacy check (depending on if the wife is terrible or not) then it would be allowed at the regular Charisma roll.

Keep in mind that Charm person does more than make them friendly, it makes them a "trusted friend and ally". It should make any advice the player gives sound more reasonable and plausible.

"but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing". This must be fulfilled before the opposed Charisma check is made.


We were arguing strictly RAW for the spell.

Strictly RAW, the spell has an opposed Charisma Check that allows the caster to order the Charmed creature to do anything that isn't suicidal or obviously harmful*. To assign circumstance modifiers is GM Fiat territory. Strictly RAW, there is no circumstance modifier, it is a straight 1d20 + Charisma Modifier.

An opposed Strength Check is 1d20 + Strength Modifier, yet somehow an opposed Charisma Check is a DC as determined via Diplomacy Skill if what others are saying is correct. I think this is incorrect, as the spell clearly outlines 'opposed Charisma Check' not 'DC as determined via the Diplomacy Skill subject to circumstance modifiers imposed by the GM'. If it were subject to the Diplomacy skill, then the Caster's roll would be a Diplomacy or Intimidate check, no opposed Charisma Check.

I know the spell 'makes the target friendly' but I argue that the reason this is mentioned, is so it is easier to determine what the Charmed Creature will willingly do without needing a roll. If you wish the Creature to do more than 'friendly' allows, you need to make an opposed Check to Convince them to proceed with your order.

Initially speaking, one wouldn't listen to the Caster in the first place, as the target more-than-likely regards the Caster in an Indifferent, Unfriendly, or even Hostile manner. Thereby, most requests by the Caster are going to be outright ignored in the first pace. But the spell allows the Caster to instantly change their viewpoint to friendly, and ask requests, or inquire about information the target would normally ignore or withhold. Now the Caster needs to make less checks than a normal person, and if he needs to go above and beyond the 'friendly' disposition, he can try and order the target. If he succeeds in his opposed Charisma Check he has convinced** the target of the order, and the target will attempt to fulfill the order.

*Obviously Harmful is something that is subject to debate. It could mean something that brings immediate or obvious physical harm, such as attacking a hill giant or walking through an acid waterfall. Or it could mean something that has longstanding consequences, such as jail time, emotional pain, social embarrassment, or costly monetary ramifications; such as failure to purchase food for the family, failure to make rent, failure to purchase needed medicine etc.

I used 'kill your wife' as something one could be ordered to do, but is also likely to be something 'one wouldn't normally do'. Certainly, it could be viewed as obviously harmful, but I use it strictly as an example of what could be ordered, beyond simpler things that everyone agrees aren't going to be harmful.

**The word 'convince' is, I believe, the most critical word in the spell. If I convince someone to do something, then they are in agreement of what I convinced them to do. It means I have persuaded them over to my viewpoint. It means they accept my argument as the best or most likely to succeed idea.

The spell uses the word convince after opposed Charisma Check. This means, to me, that if I win the opposed check, then for the duration of the spell, the target believes my order to be a good idea, as I have magically persuaded him into 'thinking' it was a good idea.

This is very much so one of those, "It seemed like a good idea at the time" situations people hear about all the time.


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Tels wrote:
We were arguing strictly RAW for the spell.
Strictly RAW wrote:
An affected creature never obeys... obviously harmful orders...

So, by RAW, you can request the Charmed Person to:

1. Babysit my kitten while I fight these Orcs.

2. (With an opposed Charisma Check) Babysit my kitten in the middle of this fight with Orcs.

But you can never request them to:

1. Fight Orcs.

2. Threaten Orcs.

3. Draw the attention of Orcs.

4. Give a kitten to Orcs.

Charm Person makes them friendly. It makes them regard you as a trusted ally. It does not make them lose their grasp of reality.


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The Crusader wrote:
Tels wrote:
We were arguing strictly RAW for the spell.
Strictly RAW wrote:
An affected creature never obeys... obviously harmful orders...

So, by RAW, you can request the Charmed Person to:

1. Babysit my kitten while I fight these Orcs.

2. (With an opposed Charisma Check) Babysit my kitten in the middle of this fight with Orcs.

But you can never request them to:

1. Fight Orcs.

2. Threaten Orcs.

3. Draw the attention of Orcs.

4. Give a kitten to Orcs.

Charm Person makes them friendly. It makes them regard you as a trusted ally. It does not make them lose their grasp of reality.

Ah, the memories.

This discussion is as old as Charm Person itself.

In every case where developers have ruled on this, the ruling has been that Charm Person does not, ever, give you control over the target.

Every discussion that has ended with that ruling has been made by people demanding that Charm Person gave thwem the ability to demand that their new friend kill said new friend's long-term allies at their request. Charm Person was NEVER meant to be that powerful. It is a FIRST LEVEl spell.


The Crusader wrote:
Tels wrote:
We were arguing strictly RAW for the spell.
Strictly RAW wrote:
An affected creature never obeys... obviously harmful orders...

So, by RAW, you can request the Charmed Person to:

1. Babysit my kitten while I fight these Orcs.

2. (With an opposed Charisma Check) Babysit my kitten in the middle of this fight with Orcs.

But you can never request them to:

1. Fight Orcs.

2. Threaten Orcs.

3. Draw the attention of Orcs.

4. Give a kitten to Orcs.

Charm Person makes them friendly. It makes them regard you as a trusted ally. It does not make them lose their grasp of reality.

You must use the full quoted text, not the text that only supports your argument. Everything must be taken in context, or we are no better than mass media.

Strictly RAW: "An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing."

So a Charmed Creature could be convinced (again, key word) that Fighting the Orcs is a good idea, Threatening Orcs is a good idea, Drawing the Attention of Orcs is a good idea, and Giving a Kitten to Orcs is a good idea.

I agree, however, they don't lost grasp on reality. However, funny thing, Magic has a tendency to alter the very fabric of time and space to achieve the results the caster desires. True story.

Charm Person scrambles peoples brains allowing them to be persuaded to do things that a normal person couldn't be convinced to do. Why? Well it's magic. One could argue it alters the neural pathways the brain uses in it's normal thought process to see a different view point.

But that's only if you wish for a more scientific response to how this particular spell works.


hustonj wrote:
The Crusader wrote:
Tels wrote:
We were arguing strictly RAW for the spell.
Strictly RAW wrote:
An affected creature never obeys... obviously harmful orders...

So, by RAW, you can request the Charmed Person to:

1. Babysit my kitten while I fight these Orcs.

2. (With an opposed Charisma Check) Babysit my kitten in the middle of this fight with Orcs.

But you can never request them to:

1. Fight Orcs.

2. Threaten Orcs.

3. Draw the attention of Orcs.

4. Give a kitten to Orcs.

Charm Person makes them friendly. It makes them regard you as a trusted ally. It does not make them lose their grasp of reality.

Ah, the memories.

This discussion is as old as Charm Person itself.

In every case where developers have ruled on this, the ruling has been that Charm Person does not, ever, give you control over the target.

Every discussion that has ended with that ruling has been made by people demanding that Charm Person gave thwem the ability to demand that their new friend kill said new friend's long-term allies at their request. Charm Person was NEVER meant to be that powerful. It is a FIRST LEVEl spell.

It's not control, it's persuasion. It requires an additional roll for every order. Whether it's a first level spell or not, the spell outlines exactly what it can or cannot do. Some people wish to disregard the text of the spell and say it's only use is to make them friendly as per the Diplomacy Skill. However, the text for the spell goes on to outline other things it can do, that the Diplomacy Skill has a lot harder time doing.


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I think it can do everything Tels says it can.
However, I also believe there are circumstance modifiers to be used, when appropriate. The more rediculous the request, the more difficult it should be to 'convince' them.


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Kryzbyn wrote:

I think it can do everything Tels says it can.

However, I also believe there are circumstance modifiers to be used, when appropriate. The more rediculous the request, the more difficult it should be to 'convince' them.

I agree, I would most certainly be applying modifier in my own game. But applying circumstance modifiers is Fiat, and Fiat changes things.


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Charm spells are pretty explicit in that they can make you attack your friends.

PRD wrote:

Charm and Compulsion

Many abilities and spells can cloud the minds of characters and monsters, leaving them unable to tell friend from foe—or worse yet, deceiving them into thinking that their former friends are now their worst enemies. Two general types of enchantments affect characters and creatures: charms and compulsions.

Charming another creature gives the charming character the ability to befriend and suggest courses of action to his minion, but the servitude is not absolute or mindless. Charms of this type include the various charm spells and some monster abilities. Essentially, a charmed character retains free will but makes choices according to a skewed view of the world.


  • A charmed creature doesn't gain any magical ability to understand his new friend's language.
  • A charmed character retains his original alignment and allegiances, generally with the exception that he now regards the charming creature as a dear friend and will give great weight to his suggestions and directions.
  • A charmed character fights his former allies only if they threaten his new friend, and even then he uses the least lethal means at his disposal as long as these tactics show any possibility of success (just as he would in a fight with an actual friend).
  • A charmed character is entitled to an opposed Charisma check against his master in order to resist instructions or commands that would make him do something he wouldn't normally do even for a close friend. If he succeeds, he decides not to go along with that order but remains charmed.
  • A charmed character never obeys a command that is obviously suicidal or grievously harmful to him.
  • If the charming creature commands his minion to do something that the influenced character would be violently opposed to, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to break free of the influence altogether.
  • A charmed character who is openly attacked by the creature who charmed him or by that creature's apparent allies is automatically freed of the spell or effect.

Compulsion is a different matter altogether. A compulsion overrides the subject's free will in some way or simply changes the way the subject's mind works. A charm makes the subject a friend of the caster; a compulsion makes the subject obey the caster.

Regardless of whether a character is charmed or compelled, he does not volunteer information or tactics that his master doesn't ask for.

So, a charmed character will fight his friends if they threatened his new friend, unless, of course, he wouldn't try to stop the dominated Fighter from killing the party.

If you tell him to kill his wife, he may get a second save to throw of the charm, but if he fails he agrees to do it.

You can't make him do anything, but you can convince him to do almost everything.


Quantum Steve wrote:

Charm spells are pretty explicit in that they can make you attack your friends.

PRD wrote:

Charm and Compulsion

Many abilities and spells can cloud the minds of characters and monsters, leaving them unable to tell friend from foe—or worse yet, deceiving them into thinking that their former friends are now their worst enemies. Two general types of enchantments affect characters and creatures: charms and compulsions.

Charming another creature gives the charming character the ability to befriend and suggest courses of action to his minion, but the servitude is not absolute or mindless. Charms of this type include the various charm spells and some monster abilities. Essentially, a charmed character retains free will but makes choices according to a skewed view of the world.


  • A charmed creature doesn't gain any magical ability to understand his new friend's language.
  • A charmed character retains his original alignment and allegiances, generally with the exception that he now regards the charming creature as a dear friend and will give great weight to his suggestions and directions.
  • A charmed character fights his former allies only if they threaten his new friend, and even then he uses the least lethal means at his disposal as long as these tactics show any possibility of success (just as he would in a fight with an actual friend).
  • A charmed character is entitled to an opposed Charisma check against his master in order to resist instructions or commands that would make him do something he wouldn't normally do even for a close friend. If he succeeds, he decides not to go along with that order but remains charmed.
  • A charmed character never obeys a command that is obviously suicidal or grievously harmful to him.
  • If the charming creature commands his minion to do something that the influenced character would be violently opposed to, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to break free of the influence altogether.
  • A charmed character who is openly attacked by the creature who charmed him or by that creature's apparent allies is automatically freed of the spell or effect.

Compulsion is a different matter altogether. A compulsion overrides the subject's free will in some way or simply changes the way the subject's mind works. A charm makes the subject a friend of the caster; a compulsion makes the subject obey the caster.

Regardless of whether a character is charmed or compelled, he does not volunteer information or tactics that his master doesn't ask for.

So, a charmed character will fight his friends if they threatened his new friend, unless, of course, he wouldn't try to stop the dominated Fighter from killing the party.

If you tell him to kill his wife, he may get a second save to throw of the charm, but if he fails he agrees to do it.

You can't make him do anything, but you can convince him to do almost everything.

Beautifully stated Quantum Steve.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quote:
A charmed character fights his former allies only if they threaten his new friend, and even then he uses the least lethal means at his disposal as long as these tactics show any possibility of success (just as he would in a fight with an actual friend).

Doesn't this mean he wouldn't fight his wife unless she threatened the caster, and even then, he'd use nonlethal damage?

Liberty's Edge

But you can use diplomacy to convince an NPC in the same way.


Joana wrote:
Quote:
A charmed character fights his former allies only if they threaten his new friend, and even then he uses the least lethal means at his disposal as long as these tactics show any possibility of success (just as he would in a fight with an actual friend).
Doesn't this mean he wouldn't fight his wife unless she threatened the caster, and even then, he'd use nonlethal damage?

In combat, sure. But out of combat, I convince the target to kill his wife. If he is vehemently opposed to it (some are, some aren't), then he gets a second saving throw. If he fails, he's convinced to kill his wife and seeks out to do it.

The kicker is, how is he going to do it? With a knife? Rope? Drown? Poison? Clever players/GMs have leeway here. Say the person is vehemently opposed to it, and the caster simply said 'kill your wife'. The clever player could then decide "I'm going to poison her" which could take a lot of time to round up the poison (and remain undetected/untraceable), then apply the poison. Hopefully, the spell has worn off in this time, and the victim is free of the Charm.

Thinking outside the box!


ciretose wrote:
But you can use diplomacy to convince an NPC in the same way.

Why are you still arguing Charm Person is simply diplomacy? Thanks to Quantum Steve, we've now got a quote from the PRD showing that Charm can do, basically, exactly what I said it could do in the first place. Charm Person is clearly not simply 'magical Diplomacy Skill' it's more than that.

Personally, I think Quantum Steve's quote from the PRD is the all the ruling I need.

Liberty's Edge

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The extra saving throws come from dominate, not charm person.

The issue is you are saying these are straight charisma checks with no modifiers. It isn't that you can't convince them to do things, in the same way you would a diplomacy check. It is that all requests aren't the same difficulty.


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ciretose wrote:

The extra saving throws come from dominate, not charm person.

The issue is you are saying these are straight charisma checks with no modifiers. It isn't that you can't convince them to do things, in the same way you would a diplomacy check. It is that all requests aren't the same difficulty.

PRD- Charm and Compulsions wrote:
If the charming creature commands his minion to do something that the influenced character would be violently opposed to, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to break free of the influence altogether.

Charming, not Compulsion. Dominate Person is Compulsion Effect, Charm Person is Charm Effect.

Compulsion spells do everything Charm Person does, but with a lot less free will.

================================

RAW, there is no modifiers. The difficulties are all exactly the same. It's an opposed Charisma Check, not a scaling DC based off the Diplomacy Skill.


Barring an extremely antagonistic marriage- I can't see Charm allowing you to order someone to murder their spouse.

"A charmed character fights his former allies only if they threaten his new friend"

former allies isn't PC's, or the guys right beside him, or the guys in the room when the spell is cast, or the guys most threatening to the caster of Charm.

Most folks would consider their spouse to be an ally..
In fact, though its campaign specific of course, any given person could have /alot/ of allies.

-S


Chubbs McGee wrote:

You cannot "control" with charm person, that is covered by dominate person:

1. If the target fails it's will save, then it regards you as its trusted friend and ally. (If it is not currently being attacked by your allies).
2. You can now make requests from the target and it looks upon them favourably, unless it is of a harmful or suicidal nature.
3. If you wish to order the target creature, you must win on an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do something out of the ordinary (for it).

The target is open to requests from the caster, unless it is something that goes against its nature or desires. Like attacking its loved ones or friends.

That is how I see it also, but others see it as the caster being able to make the charmed character do anything as long as the opposed charisma check is made. Well anything that does not cause direct harm to the character anyway.

As an example you could not make the character stab himself, but he would stab "anyone else".


Tels wrote:

I think I should further explain that Ciretose and others think there is some inherent limiter on what may be ordered.

For instance, if I were to charm person, then order them to kill their wife, this would not be allowed even if I make my opposed Charisma Check. The only reason given, so far, as to why it can't be allowed is Charm Person is a level 1 spell, and not Dominate Person. That, and they keep citing the 'not an automaton' part of the spell.

I keep telling them that an 'automaton' is something that follows orders exactly as given, no questioning, no resisting, it simply does. By the very nature of the spell (the fact it requires an opposed Charisma Check), means the creature is not an automaton. It can resist the order given. The resistance is given via an opposed Charisma Check.

This I can agree with. I thought you were saying that even things like killing your wife and kids would be allowed in the other thread.


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Nothing exists in a vaccum. Every single other opposed check in the game has potential mitigating factors to it. Stealth vs Perception, Bluff vs Sense Motive, Disguise vs Perception, I could go on. Seems illogical to insist that mitigating factors (something covered in the rules under GMing I might add) don't apply in this one case.


ciretose wrote:

The extra saving throws come from dominate, not charm person.

The issue is you are saying these are straight charisma checks with no modifiers. It isn't that you can't convince them to do things, in the same way you would a diplomacy check. It is that all requests aren't the same difficulty.

All spells with the Charm descriptor do everything in that section, Charm Person is no exception. Charm Person also does everything in it's spell description.


wraithstrike wrote:
Tels wrote:

I think I should further explain that Ciretose and others think there is some inherent limiter on what may be ordered.

For instance, if I were to charm person, then order them to kill their wife, this would not be allowed even if I make my opposed Charisma Check. The only reason given, so far, as to why it can't be allowed is Charm Person is a level 1 spell, and not Dominate Person. That, and they keep citing the 'not an automaton' part of the spell.

I keep telling them that an 'automaton' is something that follows orders exactly as given, no questioning, no resisting, it simply does. By the very nature of the spell (the fact it requires an opposed Charisma Check), means the creature is not an automaton. It can resist the order given. The resistance is given via an opposed Charisma Check.

This I can agree with. I thought you were saying that even things like killing your wife and kids would be allowed in the other thread.

I am arguing that one could be ordered to kill their wife. I used that as an example, and so far, the only real argument against is "Charm person is a first level spell" and "you're not an automaton".

Now since Quantum Steve's post, it can be debated the person can't be ordered to kill their wife as the Charmed Person only attacks allies if they threaten the caster.

I'd say it falls more under the 'vehemently opposed' clause than the 'only threaten caster' clause, but I'll concede that it's possible I couldn't order the Charmed person to kill their wife.

Liberty's Edge

Quantum Steve wrote:
ciretose wrote:

The extra saving throws come from dominate, not charm person.

The issue is you are saying these are straight charisma checks with no modifiers. It isn't that you can't convince them to do things, in the same way you would a diplomacy check. It is that all requests aren't the same difficulty.

All spells with the Charm descriptor do everything in that section, Charm Person is no exception. Charm Person also does everything in it's spell description.

Sorry, responded to him before I read.

Would you say that all checks are equal (Babysitting or murder) or that the save DC varies based on what you are asking.


Tels wrote:


**The word 'convince' is, I believe, the most critical word in the spell. If I convince someone to do something, then they are in agreement of what I convinced them to do. It means I have persuaded them over to my viewpoint. It means they accept my argument as the best or most likely to succeed idea.

The spell uses the word convince after opposed Charisma Check. This means, to me, that if I win the opposed check, then for the duration of the spell, the target believes my order to be a good idea, as I have magically persuaded him into 'thinking' it was a good idea.

This is very much so one of those, "It seemed like a good idea at the time" situations people hear about all the time.

Actually the key word is "anything" because it is the limitor on what you can convince them to do. Anything can be used to mean "no limit" or "the least thing".

1. He will do anything I say.

2. He won't do anything I say unless I bribe him.


Quantum Steve wrote:

So, a charmed character will fight his friends if they threatened his new friend, unless, of course, he wouldn't try to stop the dominated Fighter from killing the party.

If you tell him to kill his wife, he may get a second save to throw of the charm, but if he fails he agrees to do it.

You can't make him do anything, but you can convince him to do almost everything.

That is incorrect. Dominate gives you a second save. Charm does not. You got the two mixed up.


Brotato wrote:
Nothing exists in a vaccum. Every single other opposed check in the game has potential mitigating factors to it. Stealth vs Perception, Bluff vs Sense Motive, Disguise vs Perception, I could go on. Seems illogical to insist that mitigating factors (something covered in the rules under GMing I might add) don't apply in this one case.

I'm not saying they don't apply. I stated previously I would use modifiers on the roll. However, when it comes time to discuss actual game mechanics, things like houserules, fiat, custom items, they all have to be discarded.

Why? Because they are not strictly RAW. For instance, I myself would allow a Command Word Ring of True Strike in my game, barring someone having some super 1-hit wonder class that I don't know of. So far, I haven't heard of anything that can slay any creature in 1 hit, though AM BARBARIAN comes close, but he needs a lot of GM allowance in the first place.

Applying a modifier to an opposed check is up to the GM and the GM alone. The modifier could change depending on the GM, and since it can change, it can't be counted on when discussing the rules and mechanics of the spell.

I will state again. In my own personal games, I have actually applied modifiers to the opposed Charisma Check.


Selgard wrote:

Barring an extremely antagonistic marriage- I can't see Charm allowing you to order someone to murder their spouse.

"A charmed character fights his former allies only if they threaten his new friend"

former allies isn't PC's, or the guys right beside him, or the guys in the room when the spell is cast, or the guys most threatening to the caster of Charm.

Most folks would consider their spouse to be an ally..
In fact, though its campaign specific of course, any given person could have /alot/ of allies.

-S

It's not unheard of for individuals in happy marriages (or just average marriages) to murder their spouse given the right motivation.

Although... You want to say you can't kill your spouse because he/she is an ally. Fine.

All non-allies, and every other action is fair game then. Simple opposed CHA check, no circumstance modifiers except in unusual circumstances.


Is this how charm person works, really? I doubt it.


wraithstrike wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:

So, a charmed character will fight his friends if they threatened his new friend, unless, of course, he wouldn't try to stop the dominated Fighter from killing the party.

If you tell him to kill his wife, he may get a second save to throw of the charm, but if he fails he agrees to do it.

You can't make him do anything, but you can convince him to do almost everything.

That is incorrect. Dominate gives you a second save. Charm does not. You got the two mixed up.

No I didn't.


Quantum Steve wrote:
Selgard wrote:

Barring an extremely antagonistic marriage- I can't see Charm allowing you to order someone to murder their spouse.

"A charmed character fights his former allies only if they threaten his new friend"

former allies isn't PC's, or the guys right beside him, or the guys in the room when the spell is cast, or the guys most threatening to the caster of Charm.

Most folks would consider their spouse to be an ally..
In fact, though its campaign specific of course, any given person could have /alot/ of allies.

-S

It's not unheard of for individuals in happy marriages (or just average marriages) to murder their spouse given the right motivation.

Although... You want to say you can't kill your spouse because he/she is an ally. Fine.

All non-allies, and every other action is fair game then. Simple opposed CHA check, no circumstance modifiers except in unusual circumstances.

It is unheard of for mentally stable people that really care to do so.


Quantum Steve wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:

So, a charmed character will fight his friends if they threatened his new friend, unless, of course, he wouldn't try to stop the dominated Fighter from killing the party.

If you tell him to kill his wife, he may get a second save to throw of the charm, but if he fails he agrees to do it.

You can't make him do anything, but you can convince him to do almost everything.

That is incorrect. Dominate gives you a second save. Charm does not. You got the two mixed up.
No I didn't.

Obviously so until you can show me where a save is allowed for the charm spell to resist an order.

Liberty's Edge

@Tels - I am saying what you do in your home games is the rule, which is why it references the "friendly" condition for diplomacy.

Why would it make that reference if it didn't intend it to be used for adjudicating requests?

Your home game is actually following the rules, it sounds like.

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