Using charm person to interogate the bad guy = BAD?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Bill Dunn wrote:

Things that becoming a trusted friend and ally should entirely reasonably do:

1) Make Diplomacy checks easier. You've basically shifted someone from Indifferent to Hostile up to Friendly.

2) Make Bluff checks easier. He trusts you, so there's a +5 modifier because he wants to believe you.

3) Make you eligible for any effects the target has going that affect his allies.

4) And, of course, you get to try to order the target around with an opposed Charisma check as long as it is something the target would normally consider doing. Like trying to stop the fight if one of his actual allies tries to target you.

Is that about right for a first level spell? I think so.

And I think this is why I bow out of this one, as this ties into the Social aspect thread and the idea that yes, it increases your Bluff and your Diplomacy. But you can still completely botch those even if you're trying and as such, regardless of what status you are you pretty much have to play it right or fail miserable.

It's a social spell. It has inherent ability to lose.

1) is true. But the DM can state that the Diplomacy check is still +15 for difficulty (I .. haven't had a chance to actually use Diplomacy yet. I have a feeling it's a skill I've invested in that will go nowhere)

2) is true. Though I don't really see why. A bluff is independent of whatever the disposition is towards your character, depending on what kind of bluff you tell. Now, you'd get -less- bluff checks? Maybe? Because they believe you more? I don't really see that either. The spell doesn't make you believe them more, it just makes you trust them as an ally. I can have an ally and not believe a word they say (In fact, it happens to be the image I'm trying to convey to my two partners... that everything I say is pretty much not the whole truth)

3) is probably the real benefit I see getting out of it. But would be incredibly circumstancial and

4) is up to interpretation.

I'll probably still take it at 4, but I'm not a huge fan of spells that are like "I cast it, now tell me what it is I -actually- get out of the deal". Kind of like how most people avoid spells that actually have saves, because it's great to have this super awesome spell that kills the enemies in 2 or so casts. But when you don't have the ability to know that you're going to do it, you opt for something without a save.


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KHShadowrunner wrote:
The spell doesn't make you believe them more, it just makes you trust them

Beep boop the humans are obviously illogical


Roberta Yang wrote:
KHShadowrunner wrote:
The spell doesn't make you believe them more, it just makes you trust them
Beep boop the humans are obviously illogical

And this, ladies and gentlemen, brings me to my final point. That as I said in my first post:

As a bystander, I'd honestly just be glad that the commotion has died down and people are talking in a friendly manner. I see nothing bad or evil about it.


you say arcane casters, cannot divine casters charm as well?

validity of contracts, and proving/disproving spell use : see the witch hunter inquisitor.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

One of my favorite sessions as a DM was when the party asked an NPC wizard for help interrogating the head slaver they had captured about where his captives had gotten off to. The NPC cast charm monster before introducing himself, and proceeded to ask the necessary questions. It was a fun session, if challenging to roleplay an NPC conversation by myself in front of the players. They seemed to enjoy it however.

As to if it was an evil act or not, the NPC was secretly part of the cabal of villains the party was after, so he had little moral qualms about it. Maybe I haven't added anything definitive, but I find this method better than torture. Domination would be more questionable to me, but not by much.


Tacticslion wrote:
Charm Person wrote:
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.
That's hardly a "nonzero chance".

Ah, so where is this rule that casters have a 0% chance of succeeding on charisma checks?

Pendagast wrote:
you say arcane casters, cannot divine casters charm as well?

No divine caster has any charm or dominate with two exceptions. Charm Animal is on the druid and ranger lists, but is harmless because it doesn't work on anything that could be considered a person. The charm domain has charm monster and dominate monster. Any god that provides the Charm domain is obviously not to be trusted. No lawful deity in Golarion gives the charm domain.


Apologies Atarlost, you are correct. I misinterpreted the term as used by you, and for that I apologize.

However, there's a huge difference between "non-zero" and "likely". Further, creatures acting under compulsion are still held to a responsibility for their actions in the game as currently written. Otherwise paladins wouldn't have to atone for their actions. The point is, it was a failure in the person's will in the first place. Sure they might not have done it under ordinary circumstances, but it was their own failure. Ergo the need for atonement (but also those atonements are much less harsh as a result of the compulsion than they would be for doing it on their own).

Instant precedent for Rule of Law to build on.


I am reading much more of this "it is just a shortcut to diplomacy" nonsense. I couldn't remember where this was at first but I found it under http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2oupu?FAQ-answers-to-previous-locked-threads#2

Jason Bulmahn wrote:


hogarth wrote:


The charm answer didn't really clear things up for me; the example of tilling a field is still within the vague range of something a friend might do for you. How about ordering a man to murder his wife and children?

Well, the point here is that it is really up to the GM to decide what is inside and outside a creature's general willingness. Tilling a field might really depend on the creature (I dont think Orcs care much for farming), but killing loved ones is probably always going to require a check, and might not even work (the creature might take its own life instead, its not your puppet after all).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Hopefully this is authoritative enough to drop the friendship rhetoric. The charisma check is a strong compulsion that can't just be shrugged off as out of the creatures nature or harmful to the person in some psychological sense so nothing happens.


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Viktyr Gehrig wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
You can't seriously believe that.
Count yourself lucky that you don't understand.

+1

You see some really bad stuff with severely traumatized people undergoing counseling including self-injury to prevent them from having to expose their mind to you since that is literally their last refuge.

Which just to remove any confusion, the act of rape is not what I'm talking about here, but rather some people being willing to endure acture physical torture in order to preserve the sanctity of their mind. The only reason I mentioned sexual trauma is that in my experience, the people who feel that way tend to have suffered severe sexual trauma in their past that they could only escape by going inward.

In a more game-relevant example, take devout followers of Irori. Their whole religious concept is based around self perfection/mastery. Think for a moment how hard it would be to have that self mastery ripped away by some external compulsion like a Charm spell. That's going to cause some serious angst once the compulsion wears off the they become aware of what has happened.


Maxgravity, good news about your followers of Irori (and others in similarly strong feelings about their mental sanctity) - anything they are violently opposed to being suggested grants them an additional saving throw, so they aren't as likely to be forced into much of anything that is outside their actual nature.

Matter of fact is that their list of things they can be charmed into doing gets shorter and shorter the more invested in the ideal of "perfect self" they are, because their even more structured that others when it comes to what they would or would not normally do (meaning more things that need a charisma check to get them to do), and much more heavily opposed to the things which they would not do (meaning a lot of things they wouldn't do actually don't get the charisma check and instead auto-fail because they are viewed as harmful to one's "perfection" and more get the save for being so far out of the question).


shallowsoul wrote:

Using Charm Person on someone that works in a bank.

Caster: How's it going my friend?

Banker: It's going good, how are you?

Caster: Fine, fine. Listen, do you think you could give me the account numbers of some of your customers?

Banker: Sorry but I can't do that, I could be fired and prosecuted.

Caster: C'mon, I'm your best friend.

Banker: Since you are my friend then you should know not to put me in a situation that would cause me to not only lose my job but spend time in jail.

There are something things that your friends just will not do, that is what Dominate Person is for not Charm Person.

Edit: I also want to say that Charm Person is not a cut and dry, post it on a forum with a definite use, kind of spell. It involves the player and the DM. The player decides what he would "like" to do and the DM then decides if it will work or not so they will either proceed to the Charisma check or not.

I think the biggest problem I've seen with people and this spell is the fact that their DM's have allowed them to do more than what the spell was designed to do so it's like being told the wrong thing for years and not accepting the truth when you are finally corrected. But at the same time, what is appropriate of the spell varies from DM to DM.

Yeah, its use isn't so simple, unless a dm makes it that way. Charm person just makes someone your friend, and you've got to be careful using it. It can inspire puppy dog love, but they aren't puppets... yet.

Dominate to me always seemed more rapey and veers into really creepy area along with its cousin mindrape. Charm is all fun and games.


Sitri wrote:
Lluks4 wrote:


"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."
People act like this line turns your Charisma checks into magical compulsion effects. But notice the word "convince." As any other friend, you can try to convince someone to do something, and that involves a Charisma check. It doesn't mean you make a Charisma check of 16 and suddenly the Assassin is in a tutu explaining how to find their boss and giving over all of their gear.
I have never seen anything that says you can make an opposed charisma check to get someone to do something they wouldn't normally do. If you look up the charm school of magic, it is described like a compulsion in that everything is so distorted they follow your desired course of action, like attacking their old friends. It describes them being able to make an opposed charisma check to resist their master's commands, this doesn't sound anything like what happens during a friend's conversation. It also goes on to clarify obviously harmful acts that are autofails as "grievously harmful". Granted this does open the door for some interpretation, but not as much as what "charm haters" would like.

I don't think they need to say it outright, though I'm pretty sure they've delineated the rules for convincing people of things somewhere. But really, it's a no-brainer: you want to convince an NPC to do something. You ask the DM. He's almost guaranteed to ask you to make a Diplomacy check or Charisma check.

That's the same thing here. If you want mr. mcMinion to do something, you try to convince him as one would try to convince a friend to do something THEY wouldn't normally do. The DM can, and should, set the DC as high as he feels is necessary for this action. So yes, you charm an assassin and ask him, as his friend (Cha-check) if he can sign away his home to you, but the GM can and should make that a check so high that it's probably impossible unless you have obscene modifiers.

If you roll a nat. 20? Depending on the GM's style, he may make that enough for it to happen. Generally my group respects nat. 20s to a large extent, because it makes for interesting stories.

You can't take the summary description of the Charm school and try to extrapolate that as the rules for every Charm spell. Yes, certain lines apply. But remember the rules for conflicting rules: Whenever the description of an effect and another, more detailed description of the effect seem to be in conflict, the more specific version applies. So, where Charm Person conflicts with the description of the Charm School, the text of Charm Person supercedes that of the Charm school.


Atarlost wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Charm Person wrote:
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.
That's hardly a "nonzero chance".

Ah, so where is this rule that casters have a 0% chance of succeeding on charisma checks?

Pendagast wrote:
you say arcane casters, cannot divine casters charm as well?
No divine caster has any charm or dominate with two exceptions. Charm Animal is on the druid and ranger lists, but is harmless because it doesn't work on anything that could be considered a person. The charm domain has charm monster and dominate monster. Any god that provides the Charm domain is obviously not to be trusted. No lawful deity in Golarion gives the charm domain.

well charm mpnster will do the same thing. just takes longer to get.

Seemed to me asmodeus had some kind of compelling spell for his clerics.....

But any way, even if you were able to outlaw charming spells, you would have rampant vampire abuse on the contract thing.


Lluks4 wrote:


I don't think they need to say it outright, though I'm pretty sure they've delineated the rules for convincing people of things somewhere. But really, it's a no-brainer: you want to convince an NPC to do something. You ask the DM. He's almost guaranteed to ask you to make a Diplomacy check or Charisma check.
That's the same thing here. If you want mr. mcMinion to do something, you try to convince him as one would try to convince a friend to do something THEY wouldn't normally do. The DM can, and should, set the DC as high as he feels is necessary for this action. So yes, you charm an assassin and ask him, as his friend (Cha-check) if he can sign away his home to you, but the GM can and should make that a check so high that it's probably...

Nope

Perhaps you glossed over where I quoted Piazo lead designer earlier; you are unequivocally wrong. When clarifying the faq someone asked him what happens if he charmed a person and told them to kill their family. Jason Bulman said "killing loved ones is probably always going to require a check, and might not even work (the creature might take its own life instead, its not your puppet after all)." Nowhere does he, or anything printed by Piazo talking about this spell, say that their is some scaling DC or that it is the same type of DC as convincing a friend. Outside of charm, what kind of diplomacy do you think you would have to have to convince someone they needed to kill their family or they must kill themselves to prevent themselves from killing their family? Probably it would be high enough for Jason to have not brought it up.


KHShadowrunner wrote:
equally, how many times have you been with a really close friend and been talking about "someone else" in a negative tone. Or talked about how "worked sucked today, so much crappy labor and my boss is a jerk". If your boss or your friends heard you talking about them behind their back, it could be catastrophic. Yet people do it daily, maybe minute-ly.

This.

I'm playing Arkham city right now, and one of the things I've noticed is just how often... like, Every 2-3 blocks You come across a group of minions bad mouthing Joker or Two-face.. They work for these guys... Who absolutely will kill them just for giggles... and yet they jabber all the time :D

KHShadowrunner wrote:


How many bosses have access to divination to overhear anything that is said? And who would willingly work for someone who had that power or ability? Truthfully, if someone worked for someone who had this power, they could commit suicide the moment they lost, regardless of the outcome. Why? Because the boss ALREADY KNOWS HE FAILED. And better yet, he would tell everything he knows, because he's already dead. In fact, he'd trade that information beyond willingly, without a charm spell, for protection against the very man who sent him out to kill.

Yeah... the psychopath with divination would be a pretty lame story hook. As is the insistance over what is harmful or suicidal. There is always a risk vs. reward thing to balance here. If your good buddy asks you to open to gate, and let him into the fortreas... and he'll take care of this crazy evil psycho who scares the crap out of you... it's in his best interest to DO that ;)

I don't believe that 'An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders,' extends any farther than the action your ordering.

'Reach into the fire.' Nope!

'Tackle that Owlbear and buy us time to escape.' No chance!

'Turn that key and open the gate.' Sure why not. The idea of a seven degree chain of events that may or may not cause harm to him sometime in the future if things go south... nerfs things too much.

It percieves your words in the MOST FAVORABLE way... and can be convinced that something 'very dangerous is worth doing'

Now... if the target KNOWS that the mage had cast a geas or something on him to keep him from talking... that's a different story. I've had wizards bluff that spell a few times to keep prisoners in line ^_^

Silver Crusade

Sitri wrote:
Lluks4 wrote:


I don't think they need to say it outright, though I'm pretty sure they've delineated the rules for convincing people of things somewhere. But really, it's a no-brainer: you want to convince an NPC to do something. You ask the DM. He's almost guaranteed to ask you to make a Diplomacy check or Charisma check.
That's the same thing here. If you want mr. mcMinion to do something, you try to convince him as one would try to convince a friend to do something THEY wouldn't normally do. The DM can, and should, set the DC as high as he feels is necessary for this action. So yes, you charm an assassin and ask him, as his friend (Cha-check) if he can sign away his home to you, but the GM can and should make that a check so high that it's probably...

Nope

Perhaps you glossed over where I quoted Piazo lead designer earlier; you are unequivocally wrong. When clarifying the faq someone asked him what happens if he charmed a person and told them to kill their family. Jason Bulman said "killing loved ones is probably always going to require a check, and might not even work (the creature might take its own life instead, its not your puppet after all)." Nowhere does he, or anything printed by Piazo talking about this spell, say that their is some scaling DC or that it is the same type of DC as convincing a friend. Outside of charm, what kind of diplomacy do you think you would have to have to convince someone they needed to kill their family or they must kill themselves to prevent themselves from killing their family? Probably it would be high enough for Jason to have not brought it up.

There is no DC to do this with Diplomacy because it can't be done.


Sitri wrote:
Lluks4 wrote:


I don't think they need to say it outright, though I'm pretty sure they've delineated the rules for convincing people of things somewhere. But really, it's a no-brainer: you want to convince an NPC to do something. You ask the DM. He's almost guaranteed to ask you to make a Diplomacy check or Charisma check.
That's the same thing here. If you want mr. mcMinion to do something, you try to convince him as one would try to convince a friend to do something THEY wouldn't normally do. The DM can, and should, set the DC as high as he feels is necessary for this action. So yes, you charm an assassin and ask him, as his friend (Cha-check) if he can sign away his home to you, but the GM can and should make that a check so high that it's probably...

Nope

Perhaps you glossed over where I quoted Piazo lead designer earlier; you are unequivocally wrong. When clarifying the faq someone asked him what happens if he charmed a person and told them to kill their family. Jason Bulman said "killing loved ones is probably always going to require a check, and might not even work (the creature might take its own life instead, its not your puppet after all)." Nowhere does he, or anything printed by Piazo talking about this spell, say that their is some scaling DC or that it is the same type of DC as convincing a friend. Outside of charm, what kind of diplomacy do you think you would have to have to convince someone they needed to kill their family or they must kill themselves to prevent themselves from killing their family? Probably it would be high enough for Jason to have not brought it up.

Nothing you said is mutually exclusive to what I said. Who on earth do you think sets the DC for this check? Besides, the rules say that the GM can, at their sole discretion, rule a check is so difficult as to automatically fail. It also says they can situationally adjust the DC of any check at their sole discretion.

He wouldn't have to bring it up. It's off topic, and you're forgetting one of the quintessential rules of any rpg--you can attempt anything. This is the one of the number one reasons cited for playing a tabletop game as opposed to a video game--you can try anything, and most of the time the GM tells you to roll some dice and tells you the result.

So you CAN try a Dip. check to convince someone to kill their family--it just likely won't work unless your modifier is obscene. It's spelled out in the DMG that at epic skill levels, skills approach magic. It even sites the example of a rogue squeezing through a space much smaller than their physical mass with really a really high escape skill, because their ability has transcended the realm of understanding of most people playing the game. It's also why a stupid person can play a smart character, even though they know less than their character does.


Lluks4 wrote:


Nothing you said is mutually exclusive to what I said. Who on earth do you think sets the DC for this check? Besides, the rules say that the GM can, at their sole discretion, rule a check is so difficult as to automatically fail. It also says they can situationally adjust the DC of any check at their sole discretion.

He wouldn't have to bring it up. It's off...

Are you trying to bait me or is this supposed to be serious?


Lluks4 wrote:

]He wouldn't have to bring it up. It's off topic, and you're forgetting one of the quintessential rules of any rpg--you can attempt anything. This is the one of the number one reasons cited for playing a tabletop game as opposed to a video game--you can try anything, and most of the time the GM tells you to roll some dice and tells you the result.

Sadly, that is NOT true with Pathfinder :( It's really my number one reason for still prefering 2E with it's vague DM inspired rules vs. pathfinders nitpicking and quantifying EVERY possiblilty...

Here in Pathfinder.. many VERY awesome things require Feats or talents or whatever other class option there is.

If you don't have that option... you CAN'T try it.... at least not RAW. Gunslinger is REALLY bad at that... You want to shoot a lock? Use a hot barrel to stop bleeding? That's a Deed you can't use till 3rd level.

You want to use a whip to grab a small item and yank it to you? Your profient in whip?? Too bad. You need Weapon focus whip, Whip mastery and improved whip mastery before you can attempt THAT...

YOu want to just 'grapple' someone with the whip? NOPE!!! That's GREATER whip mastery... Sooooo basically 'mastering' a weapon doesn't mean all it should ;)

But yeah... this is NOT the game where you can shoot from the hip and 'try anything'...


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Sitri wrote:
Lluks4 wrote:


Nothing you said is mutually exclusive to what I said. Who on earth do you think sets the DC for this check? Besides, the rules say that the GM can, at their sole discretion, rule a check is so difficult as to automatically fail. It also says they can situationally adjust the DC of any check at their sole discretion.

He wouldn't have to bring it up. It's off...

Are you trying to bait me or is this supposed to be serious?

Well, clearly you disagree strongly. If that's truly how you feel, then I don't really know what else to say, so how about this:

I've been playing tabletop for 9 years. I've GM'ed now for about 8, mostly DND. If you genuinely feel, based on your interpretation of the wording of Charm Person, that the players should be able to use the spell and a Charisma check of some low, set level, to be able to make anyone do anything they want, then I think your interpretation of the spell eclipses the other 1st level spells' functionality by a lot and is not fair by a long shot. Besides a million other effects that could be employed, you're basically arguing that with a will save on their part and a Cha check on your part, you can make them kill themselves. This is a more powerful version of Phantasmal Killer, which allows them to make two saves to avoid dying, and doesn't have alternate functionality. Note how that spell is 3 levels higher than Charm Person.

I am not trying to bait you at all. I can understand your point, I just don't agree with it. If you think I am trolling, then I don't think you understand my point.


phantom1592 wrote:
Lluks4 wrote:

]He wouldn't have to bring it up. It's off topic, and you're forgetting one of the quintessential rules of any rpg--you can attempt anything. This is the one of the number one reasons cited for playing a tabletop game as opposed to a video game--you can try anything, and most of the time the GM tells you to roll some dice and tells you the result.

Sadly, that is NOT true with Pathfinder :( It's really my number one reason for still prefering 2E with it's vague DM inspired rules vs. pathfinders nitpicking and quantifying EVERY possiblilty...

Here in Pathfinder.. many VERY awesome things require Feats or talents or whatever other class option there is.

If you don't have that option... you CAN'T try it.... at least not RAW. Gunslinger is REALLY bad at that... You want to shoot a lock? Use a hot barrel to stop bleeding? That's a Deed you can't use till 3rd level.

You want to use a whip to grab a small item and yank it to you? Your profient in whip?? Too bad. You need Weapon focus whip, Whip mastery and improved whip mastery before you can attempt THAT...

YOu want to just 'grapple' someone with the whip? NOPE!!! That's GREATER whip mastery... Sooooo basically 'mastering' a weapon doesn't mean all it should ;)

But yeah... this is NOT the game where you can shoot from the hip and 'try anything'...

Actually, if that's really not the case, then I understand where my error was completely. I mostly played with DND 3.5, and assumed that the "you can try anything" rule was still sacred.


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To me, it's a gray area - it depends a LOT on the situation. The two assassins that just tried to kill you, and using it to find out who sent them? No problems. A random kid that might know something about the local thieves guild? Gray, even dark gray I'd say. If a good character did stuff like that on a regular basis, I'd consider moving them downwards to neutral. Maybe to evil if it was consistent in their behaviour over a long time and they otherwise didn't do anything aligned.


phantom1592 wrote:
I don't believe that 'An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders,' extends any farther than the action your ordering.

I agree, but the spell is still limited by what the affected character would do for good friends. I would absolutely wrestle with an Owlbear to give my friends time to get away from it, without hesitation. Whether or not I would betray my liege... depends on the oaths I've sworn to that liege, and how well he has treated me in the past. A friend who asks me to betray my loyalties does not remain my friend for long; that's when additional saving throws start coming into play.


blue_the_wolf wrote:

most people think that torture to get information from the enemy is pretty bad if not flat out evil.

a common answer to this is, use charm person.

but I recently had a debate with some one who made a very valid argument that using charm person is just as bad as torture.

how would you rate it?

NOTE: I am not really asking if its good or evil lawful or chaotic. its not an alignment question... its more of a cultural response question.

The party captures two assassins who just tried to kill them in the middle of a tavern. The rogue takes one to a corner and starts applying 'physical discomfort' in order to find out who sent them. The Bard walks over to the other one whispers a few magic words and the assassin immediately begins to fawn over the bard answering every question, obviously under the effects of some mind effecting spell.

How would you say the other patrons of the tavern and later the rest of the town would view the comparative methods?

If I was the Bartender I would probably be thinking: "WTF. First you start a giant fight in the middle of my bar now you are torturing people in the middle of it? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you?"

The town guard would probably arrest the assassins and the rogue.

As for everyone else, the morons that stuck around anyhow, they would probably be to busy watching the rogue torture the guy to even notice the bard to be honest. In one corner you have a quiet conversation and in the other you have someone cutting of digits and a guy tied up screaming bloody murder. Which corner do you think you would be looking at? No one is going to be contimplating if charm person is wrong they are to busy going "Oh My GOD, that guy is repeatedly stabbing that other guy with a hot poker, we need to get the guards!"

There is a limit to what people will allow. Even in real life. If someone comes up and starts a fight with someone, and the victim fights back and takes the guy out, people feel that is justified. The cops may well have some questions, but as far as society is concerned, the guy was within his right to defend himself. Now if the guy pulls out a lighter and starts burning the guy repeatedly, people are going to think he might have crossed the line. Unfortunately there is not an analog really to charm person in real life. I guess maybe a roofie is close to it, but to be honest the situation would have gotten so far out of control that it would not even matter at that point. If a hit squad came after someone in a club I was in, and the guy took him down, then stabbed him with needle, the hit squad coming after someone is the more important detail. It says to me, stay away from him, this is way to much trouble for you to handle. The needle thing would be an after thought.

Also a +1 for that is what doors are for. It is not like if in Taken Liam Neason was in the middle of a grocery store torturing someone for information, and people were around he could be like "It's cool that kidnapped my little girl" and everyone would be like "Oh that is completely understandable then".


Sitri wrote:
Lluks4 wrote:


I don't think they need to say it outright, though I'm pretty sure they've delineated the rules for convincing people of things somewhere. But really, it's a no-brainer: you want to convince an NPC to do something. You ask the DM. He's almost guaranteed to ask you to make a Diplomacy check or Charisma check.
That's the same thing here. If you want mr. mcMinion to do something, you try to convince him as one would try to convince a friend to do something THEY wouldn't normally do. The DM can, and should, set the DC as high as he feels is necessary for this action. So yes, you charm an assassin and ask him, as his friend (Cha-check) if he can sign away his home to you, but the GM can and should make that a check so high that it's probably...

Nope

Perhaps you glossed over where I quoted Piazo lead designer earlier; you are unequivocally wrong. When clarifying the faq someone asked him what happens if he charmed a person and told them to kill their family. Jason Bulman said "killing loved ones is probably always going to require a check, and might not even work (the creature might take its own life instead, its not your puppet after all)." Nowhere does he, or anything printed by Piazo talking about this spell, say that their is some scaling DC or that it is the same type of DC as convincing a friend. Outside of charm, what kind of diplomacy do you think you would have to have to convince someone they needed to kill their family or they must kill themselves to prevent themselves from killing their family? Probably it would be high enough for Jason to have not brought it up.

I am sort of confused as to what you are arguing now. I was with you for the most part, but are you trying to say Charm Person will let you kill your family with a CHA check since there is no scaling? I agree there is no scaling, though there are modifiers I would assume would apply. Either way I would veto killing your family for most people. I sociopath maybe, but I would assume more people would consider killing their mother harmful.


Sitri wrote:
Lluks4 wrote:


I don't think they need to say it outright, though I'm pretty sure they've delineated the rules for convincing people of things somewhere. But really, it's a no-brainer: you want to convince an NPC to do something. You ask the DM. He's almost guaranteed to ask you to make a Diplomacy check or Charisma check.
That's the same thing here. If you want mr. mcMinion to do something, you try to convince him as one would try to convince a friend to do something THEY wouldn't normally do. The DM can, and should, set the DC as high as he feels is necessary for this action. So yes, you charm an assassin and ask him, as his friend (Cha-check) if he can sign away his home to you, but the GM can and should make that a check so high that it's probably...

Nope

Perhaps you glossed over where I quoted Piazo lead designer earlier; you are unequivocally wrong. When clarifying the faq someone asked him what happens if he charmed a person and told them to kill their family. Jason Bulman said "killing loved ones is probably always going to require a check, and might not even work (the creature might take its own life instead, its not your puppet after all)." Nowhere does he, or anything printed by Piazo talking about this spell, say that their is some scaling DC or that it is the same type of DC as convincing a friend. Outside of charm, what kind of diplomacy do you think you would have to have to convince someone they needed to kill their family or they must kill themselves to prevent themselves from killing their family? Probably it would be high enough for Jason to have not brought it up.

Lluks discussion on Charm Person as a first level spell makes perfect sense and is what I would have expected from the developers, especially given the discussions in Ultimate Magic. Jason's drive by comments in the FAQ make me think perhaps he should not be answering those questions that is the kind of off the cuff response he is going to provide.


Timothy Hanson wrote:


I am sort of confused as to what you are arguing now. I was with you for the most part, but are you trying to say Charm Person will let you kill your family with a CHA check since there is no scaling? I agree there is no scaling, though there are modifiers I would assume would apply. Either way I would veto killing your family for most people. I sociopath maybe, but I...

I am arguing that the charisma check in this spell is not the same as a diplomacy check among friends, it allows you to manipulate them far beyond what any person could do with a friend and diplomacy.

The example I gave was of a previous conversation between a player and Piazo lead designer. The player wanted clarification, saying the tilling the field example might be something friends do, and he wanted to know if the second part of the spell was still limited by the first. He created a scenario, which I assume, was the most dramatically impossible thing you could ask a friend to do that came to his mind; kill his own family. In this situation it would clarify if the charisma check portion was still bound by the separate friendship portion of the spell. The lead designer said that this type of request would probably always require a check (I guess maybe your socio-path would not even need that) but he also said that if the check was made, the individual could take drastic steps, like killing himself, to avoid what he now thought he must do.

To me this solidifies the position that charm is much more than a diplomacy boost, it is actually a manipulation spell. This example actually extends well out of the realms of what I will ever likely want to use it for, and likely out of the realms for the original questioner as well, but that was the point. He wanted to create a scenario so outlandish that he could clarify the true breadth of the spell.


Magyc wrote:


Lluks discussion on Charm Person as a first level spell makes perfect sense and is what I would have expected from the developers, especially given the discussions in Ultimate Magic. Jason's drive by comments in the FAQ make me think perhaps he should not be answering those questions that is the kind of off the cuff response he is going to provide.

When people get hung up on the fact that it is a first level spell, they tend to forget that the DCs of first level spells are low, and as you go up in level will saves go up dramatically. Right now I have a sixth level sorcerer, effectively a 25 charisma, and both spell focuses for enchantment, and a +2 to my save DCs for charm through my bloodline. I haven't run the math on the Kitsune, but this build is going to probably have close to the highest DC that most people are going to have....and I still fail regularly. More so, most of the time I do not have the ability (very limited target options) or desire (better things to do) to use this spell quite often. The fact that its first level doesn't mean much, there are plenty of spells awesome at their level that lose effectiveness as you go on. When I get the charm monster and dominate person available, I will most certainly use those over this spell any time that it would actually matter to make it stick.

Shadow Lodge

Lluks4 wrote:

Well, clearly you disagree strongly. If that's truly how you feel, then I don't really know what else to say, so how about this:

I've been playing tabletop for 9 years. I've GM'ed now for about 8, mostly DND. If you genuinely feel, based on your interpretation of the wording of Charm Person, that the players should be able to use the spell and a Charisma check of some low, set level, to be able to make anyone do anything they want, then I think your interpretation of the spell eclipses the other 1st level spells' functionality by a lot and is not fair by a long shot. Besides a million other effects that could be employed, you're basically arguing that with a will save on their part and a Cha check on your part, you can make them kill themselves. This is a more powerful version of Phantasmal Killer, which allows them to make two saves to avoid dying, and doesn't have alternate functionality. Note how that spell is 3 levels higher than Charm Person.

I am not trying to bait you at all. I can understand your point, I just don't agree with it. If you think I am trolling, then I don't think you understand my point.

By the way, even if you could convince themselves to kill themselves (which you explicitly can't), it would have required two (relatively low) will saves and a charisma check.

So, how does "succeed at an opposed charisma check to convince them to do anything they wouldn't do for a close friend" work?


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Also how the public behaves all depends on the power level of the PCs, any reputation they may have and the effective power levels of NPCs in the local area:

Obi wan cuts off the hand of an assassin they were chasing, Anakin says "Jedi business, get back to your drinks" and no one says a thing.

Years later, Obi wan cuts off the hand of a wanted man in 7 systems, who tried to assault luke. This behavior brings Storm troopers how eventually catch up to them and try to mow them down. Luke doesn't return to the entire planet for 15 years.

The difference in the first hand cutting is the jedi represent the authority, in the second hand cutting anything remotely jedi like in behavior (using a strange laser sword) gets you reported and hunted down.

In both cases the PC (obiwan kenboi) is A good guy. He does the same thing (maiming the bad guy) and gets two different results.

He hasn't changed alignments, the difference is, by the time "a New Hope" happens, the public at large is convinced the jedi tried to stage a revolt and take over and control the republic and their good friend the emperor there threw his face in the way to stop them, Gee aren't we lucky to have the empire and stormtroopers to stop a few old men in pajamas !

So it's safe to say, public perception of mind control and or fighting off assassins entirely depends on who you are in the eyes of the public. Heroes? Strangers? Or Wanted men?


Viktyr Gehrig wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
I don't believe that 'An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders,' extends any farther than the action your ordering.

I agree, but the spell is still limited by what the affected character would do for good friends. I would absolutely wrestle with an Owlbear to give my friends time to get away from it, without hesitation. Whether or not I would betray my liege... depends on the oaths I've sworn to that liege, and how well he has treated me in the past. A friend who asks me to betray my loyalties does not remain my friend for long; that's when additional saving throws start coming into play.

The problem is that breaking oaths is not suicide or self harm. Those are the only limits on what charm can get someone to do with a successful charisma check. Getting extra saves for horrible commands doesn't help when the spell is being used on low level commoners and claimed as a defense by mid level rogues.

The spell tags say charm, but the actual rules are rules for compulsion, otherwise it would stop at modifying the target's attitude and pointing you to the diplomacy skill.


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What "Charm Person" can actually do is just one of the many, many things I think Paizo needs to clarify. In my games "Charm Person" is a first level spell, which means it is limited in power to what a first level spell could do.

Breaking a vow to a liege lord would not be within the power of "Charm Person" in my games unless the NPC was already predisposed to do so.

I run it as only allowing the caster to pose as a close friend while the spell is active.


Quote:
In one corner you have a quiet conversation and in the other you have someone cutting of digits and a guy tied up screaming bloody murder.

Its interesting that most people assume that torture is always a bloody murderous affair. cutting off fingers flashing blood. In the example I pretty much mean a few gut punches and ominous threats. but every one jumps to a cackling blood bath of amputation and tooth pulling.

Anyway the story line specifically excluded side rooms, power levels, relationships dress... hell when I gave the point of view example I didn't even mention class. All of that was irrelevant.

in the example I didn't say "a bunch of level 5 guys known to be heroes" I said "some people" because thats all you know. you dont know either side of the fight, you dont know why they are fighting, why one group attacked the other or why the defenders are now interrogating them. they are not a part of the question.

to be honest this thread has become a research project to me. its interesting watching people ignore a question as its asked to answer it in a way that they think makes them seem smarter or makes the other person seem more malicious. Its very enlightening, I though that only politicians did that and it was a political maneuver... but it appears to be something somewhat basic to human nature.


blue_the_wolf wrote:

Its interesting that most people assume that torture is always a bloody murderous affair. cutting off fingers flashing blood. In the example I pretty much mean a few gut punches and ominous threats. but every one jumps to a cackling blood bath of amputation and tooth pulling.

Anyway the story line specifically excluded side rooms, power levels, relationships dress... hell when I gave the point of view example I didn't even mention class. All of that was irrelevant.

in the example I didn't say "a bunch of level 5 guys known to be heroes" I said "some people" because thats all you know. you dont know either side of the fight, you dont know why they are fighting, why one group attacked the other or why the defenders are now interrogating them. they are not a part of the question.

to be honest this thread has become a research project to me. its interesting watching people ignore a question as its asked to answer it in a way that they think makes them seem smarter or makes the other person seem more malicious. Its very enlightening, I though that only politicians did that and it was a political maneuver... but it appears to be something somewhat basic to human nature.

Ominous threats aren't 'torture' as people understand the word. They are a threat... of Torture to come. Also a few gut punches after the battle is done.... Means the battle is Still going on.

Arm bars, bending fingers back.. that could be a 'mild, bloodless' kind of torture..

As for the original question... It was too vague to really apply. It takes into the assumption that the patrons can TELL there was a spell being cast.

From the description... 2 guys are causing 'physical discomfort' to an assassin... and the bard whispered 'something...' Why would they assume he was charmed? A very real (and probable) expectation was that the Bard whispered "If you dont' talk... Your NEXT" ;)


blue_the_wolf wrote:
Quote:
In one corner you have a quiet conversation and in the other you have someone cutting of digits and a guy tied up screaming bloody murder.

Its interesting that most people assume that torture is always a bloody murderous affair. cutting off fingers flashing blood. In the example I pretty much mean a few gut punches and ominous threats. but every one jumps to a cackling blood bath of amputation and tooth pulling.

Anyway the story line specifically excluded side rooms, power levels, relationships dress... hell when I gave the point of view example I didn't even mention class. All of that was irrelevant.

in the example I didn't say "a bunch of level 5 guys known to be heroes" I said "some people" because thats all you know. you dont know either side of the fight, you dont know why they are fighting, why one group attacked the other or why the defenders are now interrogating them. they are not a part of the question.

to be honest this thread has become a research project to me. its interesting watching people ignore a question as its asked to answer it in a way that they think makes them seem smarter or makes the other person seem more malicious. Its very enlightening, I though that only politicians did that and it was a political maneuver... but it appears to be something somewhat basic to human nature.

First, yes, political maneuvering is a part of human nature. It's part of the nature of many other species as well. It's part of social dynamic.

Second, you didn't clarify in your first post that you were leaving out pieces of information for the purpose of being in character (or if you did, I didn't notice it and my apologies). This means that people are likely to interpret it as they will, because there is information missing. Further, even if you did, some have difficulty separating their own knowledge from a character's knowledge, and any given person can have their ability to do so fluctuate to some extent from day to day, and moment to moment (let's just say they "rolled low" to do so). After all, who knows what else is on their mind?

Third, it's not necessarily anyone trying to "prove" they're "smarter" or necessarily another more malicious (although some people may do that), but rather it's often quite honestly the way people are reading the posts in general. Sometimes, however, it is, and your post is exactly what you're saying people are doing in this thread. And if it's not intended that way, it certainly and honestly comes off that way to me.

I want to say that you may not have meant this for me, or you may, I don't know. But this post is rather... unpleasant to read. Still, if you want to know my reactions to myself:

Me on page four wrote:

Anyway, on topic, let's look at me.

Charming someone or something isn't really bad and, if it was me and my options were to be charmed or tortured, from my perspective now, I'd totally take the Charm effect. I like living and especially not living with crippling physical and emotional pain.

Also, morally speaking, there are definitely things I wouldn't do for or with my friends, regardless of how good a friend they are. There are even things I wouldn't do for my wife - whom I love more than myself and anyone else on earth - because I'd feel they are immoral and wrong, though I'd likely strongly consider them, to a point (I'd consider myself "helpful" if not more to her).

Thus, under the effects of Charm, there are many things I wouldn't do, but it is likely possible to convince me to perform an immoral act... but it would require an opposed charisma check.

After being charmed, I'd likely feel one of several emotions:
I'd feel slightly confused and frustrated that I was tricked, if said person was genuinely an enemy before hand. Otherwise, I might not know.
Presuming I knew that I'd been charmed, I'd feel slightly frightened that I was controlled and slightly worried of said power being used on me again (the level of my fear and worry would depend entirely on how much I was compelled to do). I'd want to focus on steeling my will to make sure that "it didn't happen again", but it's highly unlikely that I'd spend my entire life revolving around those few hours.
I'd feel very relieved if I knew my other option was torture or some other terrible effect. This would be in addition to anything
I'd feel terribly guilty if I had done something immoral.
Were I just a bystander and not realized there was magic involved, I'd be amazed and slightly awed by the power the Charmer had with words to turn an enemy into an ally. I'd make a note to examine everything the Charmer said very carefully to make sure I wasn't fooled.
Were I just a bystander, and realized there was magic involved, I'd walk carefully around the Charmer, mostly noting to myself that I'd need to watch out for unusual words or gestures. However, given that I'd be living in a magic-rich world, I'd find this more "normal" than someone with the power to talk an assassin into being an ally.
This is, of course, presuming I'm pretty much myself only having lived in a magic rich world my whole life.

Given that, I'd much prefer Charm to Torture. Either way I'd break, but one has far, far fewer consequences.

And, as others have said, if I saw a murderer assault people in the middle of a tavern, they've basically given up their rights by becoming combatants. I'm not talking about just charming random people or people that I need: I mean they purposefully started a violent engagement with an enemy to the death, and, by doing so, surrendered their rights. Ergo (if I were still there, as I'd likely be attempting to get the heck out), I'd over-all approve of the basic mostly-non-invasive/non-painful techniques used to acquire information.

Others, of course, would feel differently.

You presumed, of course, that they could tell the bard did something to the guy's mind, while they couldn't tell the other was being tortured. I mean, if I saw one guy clearly doing something to someone else's mind, I'd be wary of him and his ability to do such... presupposing I knew enough to know that magic could do that.

Your example presumed a lot and for the sole purpose of coming to a singular conclusion: your own. It might not have been intentional, but that's how it was structured.

And I think that's why your most recent post is unpleasant to read. While I attempted to answer the question in good faith, many others have done the same, and you focus exclusively on those who did similarly to you (made presumptions that may or may not apply in the situation to come to their own prejudged conclusion). Perhaps I did as well, but I'm giving you as honest an answer as I can.

FAKE-EDIT: ninja'd by phantom.

EDIT to clarify: I don't think you're necessarily intentionally making others look bad or trying to purposefully guide to the "right answer", but it certainly sounds like you are trying to do that, unintentionally, or otherwise, from your most recent post. That's what I'm trying to say is frustrating to read.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
phantom1592 wrote:


Arm bars, bending fingers back.. that could be a 'mild, bloodless' kind of torture..

As would be depriving the person of sleep, putting them in physically stressful positions and situations (even if not immediately painful) for extended periods of time, there are quite a few "mild" bloodless forms of torture that will have the victim desperately trying to get out of the ordeal.


In the context of the pre-modern society of the vast majority of game worlds then it is completely fine, and is honestly probably the "enhanced interrogation" technique of choice for the judicial systems of good governments. Dominating someone for the purpose of getting information is probably completely ok as well. For example I'd let a paladin do either without feeling any qualms.

From our modern perspective it is a little different. I would think that using charm person would not get you evidence which was admissible in court (unless maybe you could cross examine the caster, which is a whole other issue of mapping magic onto modern law). It wouldn't get you convicted of war crimes though. Dominate Person on the other hand is probably a war crime just like actual torture.

phantom1592 wrote:
Arm bars, bending fingers back.. that could be a 'mild, bloodless' kind of torture..

Waterboarding and the Rack were invented specifically as bloodless torture methods to conform to the requirements of church law in the middle ages. Use this information as you will.


Bill Dunn wrote:
As would be depriving the person of sleep, putting them in physically stressful positions and situations (even if not immediately painful) for extended periods of time, there are quite a few "mild" bloodless forms of torture that will have the victim desperately trying to get out of the ordeal.

Though I don't particularly see things like that being done in a tavern after a fight...


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

What "Charm Person" can actually do is just one of the many, many things I think Paizo needs to clarify. In my games "Charm Person" is a first level spell, which means it is limited in power to what a first level spell could do.

Breaking a vow to a liege lord would not be within the power of "Charm Person" in my games unless the NPC was already predisposed to do so.

I run it as only allowing the caster to pose as a close friend while the spell is active.

you forget the following.

to affect the target they must
1. they must be a humanoid
2. they must not be immune to mind affecting spells
3. they must fail an easy to pass will save
4. they must lose to you in an opposed charisma check
5. they get a circumstance bonus for difficult requests
6. they must understand a language you speak
7. they must be willing to stand there long enough for you to communicate with them
8. it has to beat spell resistance

if a spell requires all 8 of these requirements to work, it better provide more maximum potential than a spell of the same level. if this 1st level spell were at the power level of a 4th level spell before the restrictions. i would consider it reasonable.

limiting the effects of charm person also limits the effects of charm monster.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
phantom1592 wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
As would be depriving the person of sleep, putting them in physically stressful positions and situations (even if not immediately painful) for extended periods of time, there are quite a few "mild" bloodless forms of torture that will have the victim desperately trying to get out of the ordeal.
Though I don't particularly see things like that being done in a tavern after a fight...

True. It's usually something done by modern police and security forces once you're in their custody.


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It's okay guys, the spell doesn't work if it doesn't get through spell resistance.

EDIT: And it fails against humanoids who are immune to mind-affecting spells! Serious drawback there.


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@ tact and everyone. Sorry my post was not ment to be rude. I was not calling any one out or even complaining about people not answering MY question any more. At this point I am truly just looking at the dynamics of ALL of the conversations.

I personally find the question to be very simple but people make it complicated.

If I said "do you like warm tea" some people would say (Yes or No, especially mint"... but others would say "well it depends on if its summer or winter, what kind of tea and exactly what temperature do you mean by WARM" and still others would say "tea is not necessarily hot or warm, many cultures drink tea cold if your asking about cold tea and you warm it up i would probably not like it because you served it wrong"

I am looking for the simple first answer which, to be fair I have received from time to time and I have tried to respond to those. most of the commentary is basically people doing the second or third example and then comment and arguments based on that.

for a few pages I kept trying to get the simple answer because I was trying to get a general consensus of peoples thoughts and felt that all of the tangents and irrelevant add-ons to the conversation were distracting from that... but then I got over it. I noticed that many people do that to many others until you have arguments about rape vs chopping off fingers.

I am still interested in the answers pertinent to my question but I am not stressing about it any more. I only commented the last time because I found it interesting that people were making that jump from 'physical discomfort' to cutting him to bits and pieces.

Anyway... once again. not trying to talk crap. just commenting.


blue_the_wolf wrote:

most people think that torture to get information from the enemy is pretty bad if not flat out evil.

a common answer to this is, use charm person.

but I recently had a debate with some one who made a very valid argument that using charm person is just as bad as torture.

how would you rate it?

NOTE: I am not really asking if its good or evil lawful or chaotic. its not an alignment question... its more of a cultural response question.

The party captures two assassins who just tried to kill them in the middle of a tavern. The rogue takes one to a corner and starts applying 'physical discomfort' in order to find out who sent them. The Bard walks over to the other one whispers a few magic words and the assassin immediately begins to fawn over the bard answering every question, obviously under the effects of some mind effecting spell.

How would you say the other patrons of the tavern and later the rest of the town would view the comparative methods?

Firstly, casting charm person on someone isn't an evil/immoral/socially unacceptable act. The spell is a tool, like a sword. The heroes in RPGs are socially approved for using extreme violence on the bad guys - there's no way they will be socially condemned for using charm spells on the villains in order to upset their plans.

Even torture (in the form of a bit of pummelling in the corner) would probably viewed as distasteful by the local populace, but not out of order. Golarion has a lot more threats to personal safety than our modern reality.

Using charm to convince someone to do something illegal, wrong, or icky would be considered bad or socially reprehensible, but in the case you described, absolutely, definitely, never as bad as torture. Ever.

Also, that was a very snide post before, blue_the_wolf, whether you intended it that way or not.


Bill Dunn wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:


Arm bars, bending fingers back.. that could be a 'mild, bloodless' kind of torture..
As would be depriving the person of sleep, putting them in physically stressful positions and situations (even if not immediately painful) for extended periods of time....

By that definition, enlistment in the army is torture...


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

What "Charm Person" can actually do is just one of the many, many things I think Paizo needs to clarify. In my games "Charm Person" is a first level spell, which means it is limited in power to what a first level spell could do.

Breaking a vow to a liege lord would not be within the power of "Charm Person" in my games unless the NPC was already predisposed to do so.

I run it as only allowing the caster to pose as a close friend while the spell is active.

you forget the following.

to affect the target they must
1. they must be a humanoid
2. they must not be immune to mind affecting spells
3. they must fail an easy to pass will save
4. they must lose to you in an opposed charisma check
5. they get a circumstance bonus for difficult requests
6. they must understand a language you speak
7. they must be willing to stand there long enough for you to communicate with them
8. it has to beat spell resistance

if a spell requires all 8 of these requirements to work, it better provide more maximum potential than a spell of the same level. if this 1st level spell were at the power level of a 4th level spell before the restrictions. i would consider it reasonable.

limiting the effects of charm person also limits the effects of charm monster.

It is amazing how protected a melee combatant can be, by blocking their ears, putting on their helmet and concealing that their ears are actually blocked.

I told you to help me!
Charmed "deaf" fighter looks confused. He remains conflicted about all this and cannot take suggestions.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

What "Charm Person" can actually do is just one of the many, many things I think Paizo needs to clarify. In my games "Charm Person" is a first level spell, which means it is limited in power to what a first level spell could do.

Breaking a vow to a liege lord would not be within the power of "Charm Person" in my games unless the NPC was already predisposed to do so.

I run it as only allowing the caster to pose as a close friend while the spell is active.

Command: Flee a battlefield leaving your leige to die....

Compel Hostility: Your boss wants me taken alive and unharmed, but I can MAKE you attack me instead of my bodyguards... thus earning what ever wrath he threatened...
Murderous Command: Turn and kill your nearest ally, including the boss or leige...

These are all 1st level spells. 1st level spells that are MUCH worse than 'breaking a vow to the king' or 'turning your head as we sneak in...'

Interestingly enough, the spell doesn't say anything about giving suggestions. It words everything as giving 'orders'. "It perceives your words and actions in the most favorable way"

If there was ANY circumstance at all, that he'd let his buddy sneak into the castle to impress a girl... He'll let YOU do it now TOO. If he would EVER say ANYTHING about the BBEG... Why not, he'll tell you too!

If there is ZERO way he'd fight a dragon for a few gold pieces?? Your out of luck.

Pendagast wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:


Arm bars, bending fingers back.. that could be a 'mild, bloodless' kind of torture..
As would be depriving the person of sleep, putting them in physically stressful positions and situations (even if not immediately painful) for extended periods of time....
By that definition, enlistment in the army is torture...

I've seen people argue that putting people in prison is torture and therefore evil since 'Your forcing them to be where they don't want to be...'

Torture is a very 'loose' definition lately O.o


phantom1592 wrote:


Command: Flee a battlefield leaving your leige to die....
Compel Hostility: Your boss wants me taken alive and unharmed, but I can MAKE you attack me instead of my bodyguards... thus earning what ever wrath he threatened...
Murderous Command: Turn and kill your nearest ally, including the boss or leige...

These are all 1st level spells. 1st level spells that are MUCH worse than 'breaking a vow to the king' or 'turning your head as we sneak in...'

Command lasts a single turn so that would have to be a very, very small battlefield. There's a big difference between a 2nd level character giving a single order out of a set list that lasts for 6 seconds, and doing it for 2 hours straight. And deserting a battlefield is probably what breaking a vow to the king is. So should one 1st level spell be able to do something for 600 times as long as another, per caster level? And also be much more free in what it can do?

Compel Hostility is a single-purpose spell that lasts for rounds/level and requires the caster to be threatened by the victim.
Murderous command is a single-purpose spell with a duration of one round.

So, should one spell be able to do the same things and more as three other 1st level spells, in some cases at much greater range, for at least 600 times as long?


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Pendagast wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:


Arm bars, bending fingers back.. that could be a 'mild, bloodless' kind of torture..
As would be depriving the person of sleep, putting them in physically stressful positions and situations (even if not immediately painful) for extended periods of time....
By that definition, enlistment in the army is torture...

I guess so would raising a child.

Saint Caleth wrote:
Waterboarding and the Rack were invented specifically as bloodless torture methods to conform to the requirements of church law in the middle ages. Use this information as you will.

I was just sort of assuming the PCs did not carry around a little portable Rack with them where ever they went. You know, just in case. I also assumed they were not highly trained and had advanced knowledge of water boarding, though I still hold to my statement that both of these things would draw pretty much all attention away from the bard.

blue_the_wolf wrote:
Its interesting that most people assume that torture is always a bloody murderous affair. cutting off fingers flashing blood. In the example I pretty much mean a few gut punches and ominous threats. but every one jumps to a cackling blood bath of amputation and tooth pulling.

Torture-the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.

Excruciating is the key word there. Just roughing some guy up a little bit is not torture, it is merely roughing some guy up. It is probably also not going to work on a trained assassin but that is either here nor there. So yeah if your definition of torture is pinching a guy real hard and telling him he looks fat, then yeah, Charm Person is probably right on par with that.

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Anyway the story line specifically excluded side rooms, power levels, relationships dress... hell when I gave the point of view example I didn't even mention class. All of that was irrelevant.

in the example I didn't say "a bunch of level 5 guys known to be heroes" I said "some people" because thats all you know. you dont know either side of the fight, you dont know why they are fighting, why one group attacked the other or why the defenders are now interrogating them. they are not a part of the question.

I have not really seen many people make any of those things matter. People have said context is important, which is true, but most of them have been talking about context from the point of the location not the PCs at all. I, along with others, have said privacy is important, but I am not sure why that does not matter. Some one torturing someone in the middle of a crowded bar is going to be scene as a sociopath.

I can not conceivably see how you think Charm Person would be viewed as worse then even the beating they are being put throw. And again I will restate the whole fight will draw more suspicion and fear then anything else. If you just watched two men light a homeless person on fire, you will not be more frightened of the one with the swastika tattoo. You will be equally scared out of your mind.

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to be honest this thread has become a research project to me. its interesting watching people ignore a question as its asked to answer it in a way that they think makes them seem smarter or makes the other person seem more malicious. Its very enlightening, I though that only politicians did that and it was a political maneuver... but it appears to be something somewhat basic to human nature.

I honestly have no idea what you are talking about here. I have seen a lot of people answer your question directly. There are also a lot of people who have a side conversation about what Charm Person can and can not do, but that is sort of a separate conversation altogether. No one seems to be trying to one up anyone, there is merely a discourse between people. Other then a few jokes about winning the internet I do not see anything remotely like what you are talking about.


Ilja wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:


Command: Flee a battlefield leaving your leige to die....
Compel Hostility: Your boss wants me taken alive and unharmed, but I can MAKE you attack me instead of my bodyguards... thus earning what ever wrath he threatened...
Murderous Command: Turn and kill your nearest ally, including the boss or leige...

These are all 1st level spells. 1st level spells that are MUCH worse than 'breaking a vow to the king' or 'turning your head as we sneak in...'

Command lasts a single turn so that would have to be a very, very small battlefield. There's a big difference between a 2nd level character giving a single order out of a set list that lasts for 6 seconds, and doing it for 2 hours straight. And deserting a battlefield is probably what breaking a vow to the king is. So should one 1st level spell be able to do something for 600 times as long as another, per caster level? And also be much more free in what it can do?

Compel Hostility is a single-purpose spell that lasts for rounds/level and requires the caster to be threatened by the victim.
Murderous command is a single-purpose spell with a duration of one round.

So, should one spell be able to do the same things and more as three other 1st level spells, in some cases at much greater range, for at least 600 times as long?

Honestly, I think the difference is that Charm person is not intended as a COMBAT spell. If there is any combat involved... the victim gets a +5 to his save against an already easy 1st level DC.

The Combat ones are effective for what they should do... But OUT of combat, they'd be pretty useless. The same as if Charm had a similair duration.

It does ZERO good to have him open the door, and six seconds later raise the alarm... Or open the jail cell, then stab you in the throat...

In 2E you used to keep your buddy for WEEKS or even MONTHS... 1 Hour per level is still pretty nerfed from what it used to be. It's meant for a single day at most, and the more you keep him around the more you'll run into things you can't make him do...

Sooo yeah, Let us in, guard the door... You got a couple hours before he turns you in.


blue_the_wolf wrote:

@ tact and everyone. Sorry my post was not ment to be rude. I was not calling any one out or even complaining about people not answering MY question any more. At this point I am truly just looking at the dynamics of ALL of the conversations.

I personally find the question to be very simple but people make it complicated.

If I said "do you like warm tea" some people would say (Yes or No, especially mint"... but others would say "well it depends on if its summer or winter, what kind of tea and exactly what temperature do you mean by WARM" and still others would say "tea is not necessarily hot or warm, many cultures drink tea cold if your asking about cold tea and you warm it up i would probably not like it because you served it wrong"

I am looking for the simple first answer which, to be fair I have received from time to time and I have tried to respond to those. most of the commentary is basically people doing the second or third example and then comment and arguments based on that.

for a few pages I kept trying to get the simple answer because I was trying to get a general consensus of peoples thoughts and felt that all of the tangents and irrelevant add-ons to the conversation were distracting from that... but then I got over it. I noticed that many people do that to many others until you have arguments about rape vs chopping off fingers.

I am still interested in the answers pertinent to my question but I am not stressing about it any more. I only commented the last time because I found it interesting that people were making that jump from 'physical discomfort' to cutting him to bits and pieces.

Anyway... once again. not trying to talk crap. just commenting.

Right, because it is a discussion board not a straw poll. People tend to discuss things on discussion boards. If you went to a taste test and asked people if they liked what they tasted they would probably give short answers that amount to yes or no. If you went to a Tea Lovers Message board and asked about tea, then people are going to naturally start talking about tea. Then other people will read what they wrote, it being an open forum and what not and those people will add to the conversation accordingly. When you have say 50 people doing that, the conversation tends to take on a life of its own.

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