Who is the fairest of them all?


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Two players argue about which of their princesses is the prettiest.

Charisma is not attractiveness, but should it be the decider when there's an argument?

Don't bring Comeliness into this. Please god no.


Constitution represents health and health corresponds pretty strongly to most traditional concepts of beauty. Stuff like clear skin and healthy body weight are all con if they're any stat.


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Are you saying personality counts for nothing when determining how attractive someone is?


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The basic formula for who's the prettiest works like this:

Base pretty score=25

subtract flat-footed AC

subtract wisdom modifier

chaotic+1
lawful+2
good-1
evil+1
neutral =0

elf+10
half-elf+5
human, halfling 0
gnome-2 (though they do get a +5 if they take the Annoyingly Cute racial feat)
dwarf and half-orc -5

multiply by the square root of -7 to reach the final score.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Decided by wet t-shirt contest.

Dark Archive

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It is the Charisma score.

Anyone who says otherwise is just ugly and envious.

Yeah yeah, you have a 'lovely personality'. Beat it, butterface.

Sovereign Court

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Neither. Both.

This is a classical story seed, one which requires the princesses to seek the council of a High Priestess of Shelyn, who tells them that only a sacred viewing pool atop some far off mountain has the ability to divine peerless beauty.

There's a catch: the pool imprisons peerless beauties for eternity. The only way to escape is to destroy what it covets. Princesses who sacrifice their vanity escape to tell the tale. Princess who don't are never seen again. The High Priestess of Shelyn wears a veil, btw ;)


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Trick question! They're both pretty in their own way because beauty is subjective!

Alternatively, have a contest judged by Otyughs. That's pretty unbiased right? Unless one of the princesses is an Otyugh anyway...


Captain K. wrote:

It is the Charisma score.

Anyone who says otherwise is just ugly and envious.

Yeah yeah, you have a 'lovely personality'. Beat it, butterface.

That's just it. Charisma primarily represents personality not appearance. And it's force of personality not how nice that personality is. That's why hags and most demons and devils have so much of it.

Dark Archive

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Atarlost wrote:
Captain K. wrote:

It is the Charisma score.

Anyone who says otherwise is just ugly and envious.

Yeah yeah, you have a 'lovely personality'. Beat it, butterface.

That's just it. Charisma primarily represents personality not appearance. And it's force of personality not how nice that personality is. That's why hags and most demons and devils have so much of it.

Nice try.

Sovereign Court

Atarlost wrote:
Captain K. wrote:

It is the Charisma score.

Anyone who says otherwise is just ugly and envious.

Yeah yeah, you have a 'lovely personality'. Beat it, butterface.

That's just it. Charisma primarily represents personality not appearance. And it's force of personality not how nice that personality is. That's why hags and most demons and devils have so much of it.

Charisma represents your ability to exert influence over other people. The nature of that influence is up to you: a great voice, effective body language, an imposing demeanor, a beautiful face, captivating eyes, these are all valid. Being physically attractive comes with a lot of power in social interactions, enough on its own to carry a high Charisma stat.


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Atarlost wrote:
That's just it. Charisma primarily represents personality not appearance. And it's force of personality not how nice that personality is. That's why hags and most demons and devils have so much of it.

That sounds like something someone with a low charisma score would say. Hmm....

Don't Explain the Joke:
Pretty sure K knew that already. As do I. But its funny.


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There are tons of factors. Constitution determines general health and the appearance of good health. Dexterity determines balance and graceful motion. And yes, Charisma includes appearance, it even says so in the entry for Charisma in the Core Rulebook. A princess might have 'pretty' Charisma while a hag has 'scary ugly' Charisma. Just like a diplomat might have 'persuasive' Charisma while another might have 'overbearing' Charisma.

That said, however, skills have a part of it too. Someone with lots of ranks in Diplomacy, Bluff and Disguise can make themselves look a lot more attractive by being persuasive and through the use of makeup. Someone with many ranks of Perform (Dance) should likely be lean and athletic from practice.

Take you less than modern (?) beauty pageant; you have the swimsuit competition (Disguise check, for best makeup and choice/fitting of the suit, skills portion (usually a performance skill), the interview (Diplomacy check, possibly Bluff). Someone with high Charisma has an advantage, as all are Charisma based skills, but someone with fewer ranks in the skills will do worse, all else being equal.

So if both princesses have 'pretty-flavored' Charisma, the one with more Diplomacy, Disguise and related skills will be 'more pretty', assuming equal Charisma.


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Rather, what I see sometimes is:

"My charisma is 5 but that only means I'm socially anxious. I'm actually the most beautiful woman in the land."

Sovereign Court

Umbral Reaver wrote:

Rather, what I see sometimes is:

"My charisma is 5 but that only means I'm socially anxious. I'm actually the most beautiful woman in the land."

That's fine, but then you'd have to say you're so socially anxious that it completely overwhelms your beauty to the point that people are mortified. That character would read as extremely mentally ill or cursed to NPCs observing him/her.

Silver Crusade

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This calls for a Secret Test Of Character!

(I will fight anyone who says Half-Orc Princess can't be the prettiest princess)


Mikaze wrote:

This calls for a Secret Test Of Character!

(I will fight anyone who says Half-Orc Princess can't be the prettiest princess)

Hey, I like robust women. ;)


Then you should call BS. You can't even be impressively ugly with CHA 5. Because that would be noteworthy.


Would you rather a beautiful princess with a CHA of 5 because she has no personality or ability to convince anyone of anything, or a CHA of 20 because, even though she has no personality to speak of, she is radiantly beautiful?

If the latter, why is it that the beautiful woman is better at intimidating monsters, or blinded humans?


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

This calls for a Secret Test Of Character!

(I will fight anyone who says Half-Orc Princess can't be the prettiest princess)

Hey, I like robust women. ;)

I don't think some of those princesses they give you much of a choice anyway... Beyond that, half orcs make good anything's with their floating attribute and the half-orc racial gives a variety of options I thought.

So... two players are arguing about who is prettiest princess. Is there a reason we want to stop this? That sounds like good entertainment to me. Can't they both be the prettiest princess?


Blakmane wrote:

Would you rather a beautiful princess with a CHA of 5 because she has no personality or ability to convince anyone of anything, or a CHA of 20 because, even though she has no personality to speak of, she is radiantly beautiful?

If the latter, why is it that the beautiful woman is better at intimidating monsters, or blinded humans?

people dont want to anger the beautiful woman because they want to still "have a shot"

as for blinded humans "she has a beautiful voice and smells nice"


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Obviously the only way to settle this is a nice, fair, mud wrestling match.


I love that Arcanum actually had a "beauty" attribute that was separate from charisma.


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Mirror mirror on the wall...


kikidmonkey wrote:
Blakmane wrote:

Would you rather a beautiful princess with a CHA of 5 because she has no personality or ability to convince anyone of anything, or a CHA of 20 because, even though she has no personality to speak of, she is radiantly beautiful?

If the latter, why is it that the beautiful woman is better at intimidating monsters, or blinded humans?

people dont want to anger the beautiful woman because they want to still "have a shot"

as for blinded humans "she has a beautiful voice and smells nice"

So, the asexual Mindflayer thinks he has a chance? Good on him ;-)

Nah, she has a horrible voice and no personality to speak of. Remember?


Albatoonoe wrote:
I love that Arcanum actually had a "beauty" attribute that was separate from charisma.

If I recall, it did nearly nothing.


The one who most closely resembles Alyssa Milano is the fairest of them all, of course.


Petty Alchemy wrote:
Decided by wet t-shirt contest.

Which, in my experience, is decided largely by confidence and dance skills, not by the "assets" you might expect.


Rictras Shard wrote:
The one who most closely resembles Alyssa Milano is the fairest of them all, of course.

Meh. She doesn't really register for me too much. Which is kind of a valid point for this argument, since beauty is highly subjective. Not in a sappy "we are all unique snowflakes" kind of way but simply that everyone has their own ticks.

In this vein, I want to take the role of the creepy judge in this beauty contest by asking which princess has higher score in intimidate. (sidenote: creepy beauty pageant judge in google image bring up some very "delightful" black and white images that are reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs. )


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
I love that Arcanum actually had a "beauty" attribute that was separate from charisma.
If I recall, it did nearly nothing.

I think it decided the initial reaction of takling NPCs and prices in shops along with that.

And beauty is subjektive as has already been said(why there is no half dwarfs)
Edit: for spelling.


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I used to love the fact that it was a stat. Then I saw how awkward campaigns got when folks tried chasing down the high score there...

I initially thought I liked the idea that Con would be a good way to determine that because healthy is considered beautiful...

I thought, well. strength and grace are beautiful too, so why not a combination of all physical attributes (since charisma is supposed to be the pure measure of social beauty/personality)

Then I thought... Well geez. Some of the people I've personally found most beautiful from a purely visual standpoint are people who I would not consider strong, healthy, graceful, wise, intelligent or particularly nice...

Add that to the fact that in truth it is subjective, and I'm again glad it's not a stat.


The way I run it:

You can have your PC look however you like, regardless of any score. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not the attributes of the beheld.

This also applies to frame, muscle mass etc, regardless of Str or Con scores. I know people who have quite big frames, gym-made muscles, who are actually not very strong and couldn't run 400 metres to save themselves.

You can call yourself gorgeous with Cha 5. Perhaps your character has a voice like a dropsaw, or smells bad, or whatever, it doesn't matter. You can be perfectly beautiful in a physical sense yet repellent for one reason or another - your carriage, expressions, lack of grace, odour, tics, etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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beauty truly is subjective, and subject to change- for example, some girls look way hotter when they dye their hair, or i only find liv tyler attractive when she has elf ears (don't judge me).

and, if its running dialogue between the two characters that sounds like a (mostly) fun rp element that doesn't need to be ended (and could actually come to have a bearing on the plot if someone uses the competitiveness to manipulate). if, however, its really a dialogue between the players (even if its veiled as being the characters) then its likely to create an unhealthy dynamic and you may want to end it... the best way would probably be to get them to decide on some criteria and have an in game competition where they both see who can win some kind of challenge of their own devising.

if they're just looking to you to end an argument or make a ruling...

arbitrary formula based on feedback here:
Cha score + Con modifier + Dex modifier + 1/4 total ranks in acrobatics, bluff, diplomacy, disguise, and perform[dance]
plug them both into that and say something like- "well, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, but more civilized humanoids will probably find [winner's name] more beautiful"


nate lange wrote:

beauty truly is subjective, and subject to change- for example, some girls look way hotter when they dye their hair, or i only find liv tyler attractive when she has elf ears (don't judge me).

if they're just looking to you to end an argument or make a ruling... ** spoiler omitted **plug them both into that and say something like- "well, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, but more civilized humanoids will probably find [winner's name] more beautiful"

disguise is for the Latex ears. (Lol sorry i cant help it, you are judged) :)


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Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder... so there is no such thing as Beauty in Pathfinder.


Kazaan wrote:
Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder... so there is no such thing as Beauty in Pathfinder.

Isn't there another saying about never looking a beholder in the eye?


The prettiest princess is... a marshmallow.


nate lange wrote:
beauty truly is subjective,

Not entirely. Almost every species seems to equate bodily symmetry with 'attractiveness' - probably because it's a good indicator of overall health. Objectively, symmetrical beings are more attractive. That's not 100% of overall attraction, especially in sapient species, but it's not entirely subjective either.


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Page 17 of Core:

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

(Emphasis mine.)

Doesn't anybody around here ever actually READ the rulebooks?


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Bruunwald wrote:

Page 17 of Core:

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

(Emphasis mine.)

Doesn't anybody around here ever actually READ the rulebooks?

We just ignore the stuff that's irretrievably stupid. Like appearance being the same stat as magical power for people descended from aberrations.


Bruunwald wrote:

Page 17 of Core:

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

(Emphasis mine.)

Doesn't anybody around here ever actually READ the rulebooks?

For your enjoyment, please click the following link for the image I found with google-fu: "I told you that I'm the prettiest princess!"

And that is correct, since its CHA is 29, much more than any of the humanoid princesses previously mentioned. (ok, I fudged things a bit using the advanced version, but my point still generally stands)

Now that is not to say that CHA isn't important, and doesn't affect how your beauty gets judged. I think that having a high score in the stat that generally lets you bend the universe using sheer will might just be useful in forcing others to pay attention to positive attributes and ignore flaws.

Dark Archive

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Bruunwald wrote:

Page 17 of Core:

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

(Emphasis mine.)

Doesn't anybody around here ever actually READ the rulebooks?

Precisely. People choose to ignore it because they want their characters to dump CHA but still have good-looking characters, just with 'shyness' or some other nonsense.

Nope. The guy is u.g.l.y., you ain't got no alibi.

And come on. We all know what a girl with a 'nice personality' means, don't we?


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Captain K. wrote:
We all know what a girl with a 'nice personality' means, don't we?

Huge tracts of land?


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Appearance =/= Beauty. Having a high Charisma doesn't mean you have a beautiful appearance but that you have a powerful appearance. That could be powerfully revolting. An eldritch horror has an appearance so powerful that it breaks your mind to look at it... and a force of personality that makes you to want to look at it knowing what will happen when you do. A pretty girl with low charisma is just that... "pretty". Not beautiful or gorgeous... she's pretty. She's pleasant to look at when you bother, but the choice is yours. A good looking princess (or peasant, for that matter) with incredible charisma forces you to look. She isn't just "pretty" but drop-dead gorgeous. You couldn't take your eyes off her even if you wanted to. She's a Jessica Rabbit or a Marilyn Monroe; her appearance demands attention and that attention shall be had.

"I think we must expect great things from you, Mr Potter.... After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, Lini, the iconic Druid, is ugly?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, Lini, the iconic Druid, is ugly?

Obviously gnomes are normally prettier than human or elves and all druids are ugly because charisma is a complete dumpstat for them. I'd say she comes out about even.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Alright, now, those who are noting physical attractiveness is based solely on charisma, have remember this:

There are number of NPCs, from various modules, and adventure paths, that are described as "ugly", or "disfigured", and yet, do not have a low charisma score, and some even have high charisma scores.

So, you must suddenly declare these NPCs as impossible to be described as such, or, that one can have a high charisma, and be either beautiful, or
grotesque, but one with low charisma can only be unattractive, at best.

This would be an antithesis to the idea that physical attractiveness is based solely on charisma.

You cannot defy your own proclamation of an absolute truth, and maintain a reasonable defense against accusations that the proclamation is untrue.

Shadow Lodge

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Obviously if its a number crunching mechanic then you are looking at straight Charisma. However the Charisma argument is one which has been had many times.

"Five feet tall at the shoulder, its tawny fur often coated with dried and clotted filth, the leucrotta is a powerful beast weighing over 800 pounds. The sharp bone ridges that line its oversized jaws instead of teeth are incredibly durable and, combined with massive jaw muscles, allow its bite to shear through bone and even steel." Charisma 17

However in the terms of people, a person with a high charisma will look better, tell you how good you look and make you believe it (bluff), your friends will like them (diplomacy), as will your pets (handle animal).

You might look for different things in a partner, the princess with the best child bearing hips (constitution?), your intellectual equal, someone with insight. If they tell you exactly how they feel, your friends hate them, your dog hates them, your parents hate them, they have a poor charisma.

Charisma isn't only looks, but its the only measure there is in the game. There is room for flexibility, which means everyone with a low charisma doesn't have to look like they were hit with the ugly stick (all NPC fighters have charisma 8, doesn't mean the ladies don't like to look at the militias abs), (are halflings and gnomes really the best looking individuals?) but you can have a pretty safe bet that the person with the highest charisma generally is going to be the most desirable partner without looking at other, specific traits.


"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Which one is prettier will depend entirely on who you're asking. This is a completely subjective measurement, and as such, looking at stats and numbers is pointless. If one's a redhead and the other's a brunette, let's say, then the guy who likes redheads is more likely to say the former is prettier. And that's not even counting racial perceptions.

So, they're both the prettiest. Or the ugliest, depending on who you talk to.


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Count how many mattresses can still feel pea underneath. Add bedpost notches.

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