Charisma is a useful stat for many ACG classes. This is a good thing.


Advanced Class Guide Playtest General Discussion

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New classes that need some Cha include:

Arcanist: some SLAs,
Bloodrager: Spells, Sorc stuff, probably Intimidate
Brawler: No
Hunter: No (but a good Handle Animal will be useful)
Investigator: No, oddly, because the Cha skills can be given such an outrageous boost that it makes no odds - Diplomacy and UMD are neccessary but the class will be running at more than max anyway.
Shaman: several Hexes
Skald: clearly, Cha based caster with Bardish stuff
Slayer: No, they can be miserable assassins
Swashbuckler: Panache
Warpriest: Yes, many Blessings need a bit.

Maybe 4 don't need Cha.

This is all a Good Thing.

It's a good thing for two reasons.

1) MAD is good. It forces more rounded characters rather than people picking classes which reward boosting a stat to 20 at 1st level and dumping the rest, Wizard being the most notorious perpetrator.

2) This is far more important - Pathfinder PCs are essentially superheroes. Everyone who has played this game has seen a superhero film or comic or story. NO proper superhero dumps Cha. In the old-school party of Wizard-Cleric-Rogue-Fighter one could get by with everyone dumping Cha for combat effectiveness. Now that has changed.

The ACG has meant that at least half of the party won't be pig-ugly or cripplingly shy. In fact, it skews the trend so that many of the party will be charming, self-confident, beautiful-looking or more.

Just like a bunch of heroes are supposed to be.


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Oh boy, I can't wait for people to show up and start telling you all about your wrong opinions!

Seriously, though, about the second point- heroes aren't heroes because they're pretty. Heroes are heroes because they do heroic things.

Grand Lodge

Also charisma and looks don't necessarily have anything to do with one another.


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Yeah, my first reaction to your second point was pretty violent intellectually. I'm unsure if you're trolling or just didnt realise how nasty that second point sounds. Trying to pin any "are supposed to be" labels to anybody (especially in RP) is going to tick some people off. I'm not going to discuss your points (they've been discussed to death) but beware a violent reaction.

Dark Archive

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Not trolling. Read the second post again, please Williamoak.

All three of the replies so far mention that Cha =/= looks. I acknowledge that. It's specifically mentioned in the rules that that is not the only factor.

I know that. That is why I mentioned 'cripplingly shy' and 'self-confident' as other Cha+ methods. Charming doesn't require beauty, it requires Cha.

Superheroes in literature/cinema seldom fail at all of these attributes.

Asking a PC to have merely a 12 in rather than dumping Cha suggests they can be self-confident and bold, like a Bloodrager, or have a steely eye and faith in their abilities like a Shaman. Imagine a Bloodrager with a negative Intimidate modifier? An Arcanist who couldn't trust their own abilities?


As my wife once said to explain her character's CHA of 8:
"Oh no, she's really hot, she's just a total B[REDACTED]h."

As one of our friends said, to explain her character's CHA of 18, yet her own reluctance to be very vocal in her roleplay:
"Oh yep, she has Charisma, but it's just alllll right here. *Gestures to her own boobular region.* She's pretty shy and quiet, otherwise."

A buddy of mine explaining his witch's CHA of 7:
"What mole?"

My own explanation of my verbose character's average CHA despite being quite the charmer and talker in his roleplay:
"Oh sure, he's quite charming until you catch him looking at you like he's dying of thirst and you're the only bottle of water for miles and miles."

I don't see any problem with any of these interpretations of Charisma, to each their own instead of your #2.

As for the new classes in the large part seeing some benefit from a 12+ CHA, cool. Class mechanics are neat.


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williamoak wrote:
Yeah, my first reaction to your second point was pretty violent intellectually. I'm unsure if you're trolling or just didnt realise how nasty that second point sounds. Trying to pin any "are supposed to be" labels to anybody (especially in RP) is going to tick some people off. I'm not going to discuss your points (they've been discussed to death) but beware a violent reaction.

Proof that Antagonize is realistic.

Dark Archive

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Lamontius, I never claimed that everyone has to be supermodels, I am just delighted that superhero classes from the ACG should have an above-average (12+) Cha to function, rather than being able to utterly dump the stat.


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Roberta Yang pretty much hit the nail on the head. Beware what you say captain k., while we are now aware you meant no harm, it does not at all sound that way. And it has NOTHING to do with looks.


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Captain K. wrote:
1) MAD is good. It forces more rounded characters rather than people picking classes which reward boosting a stat to 20 at 1st level and dumping the rest, Wizard being the most notorious perpetrator.

For mechanical reasons MAD is very, very bad. And for roleplaying reasons... look, your character's stats only mean what you choose for them to mean. You can play a well-read character with 3 INT. You can play a very unlearned character with 18 INT. You can play an obstinate jackass with 18 CHA. You can play the friendliest person ever with 3 CHA.

You can argue that this is "Roleplaying your stats wrong" all you like, but fact of the matter is your stats don't cleanly tie to particular aspects of your character and represent a bunch of jumbled up (and often mutually contradictory) things. Does a supermodel who is also an entitled brat have an 18 CHA, 10 CHA, or 3 CHA? How about the reverse? Does a bookworm with no mind for logic puzzles have an 18 INT, 10 INT, or 3 INT? How about the reverse?

It all depends on how you choose to weigh the different factors, which is 100% subjective. Stats only have clearly defined effects to the extent that those stats have an effect on the game's mechanics, and those effects are necessarily abstractions: For some reason, being good at lying also makes you good at being scary. Being good at wizardry makes you good at forging documents. Having a close tie to the divine makes you hear things better. For some characters you can rationalize these effects, but try to do it for all the inconsistencies for every character concept imaginable, and you'll break your spine bending over backwards.

Quote:
2) This is far more important - Pathfinder PCs are essentially superheroes. Everyone who has played this game has seen a superhero film or comic or story. NO proper superhero dumps Cha.

Even with my prior complaints about stats and roleplaying ignored, this makes two very erronous assumptions.

1. That the players are valiant heroes, which they may very well not be. My favorite games are the ones where heroes don't exist.

2. That your idea of a valiant hero is based upon the image established by Superman. I can't speak for you, but when I think "Hero" I don't think of Superman. I think of Rorschach, a man with no superpowers at all who kept trying to do good after the rest of the world gave up. The only person in that entire story to not compromise his values to take the easy way out. And if *anyone* can be argued to have dumped their Charisma score, it's Rorschach.


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I dunno, in the case of the Warpriest they're trying to make you use str, wis, con, and cha. Dumping int removes skill points, which you desperately need. Dex below 10 is also a bad idea. Warpriest needs the mentions of cha to be changed to wisdom or the wis to be changed to cha.


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Captain K. wrote:

New classes that need some Cha include:

Arcanist: some SLAs

Mostly this is the blasts and the blasts are all awful. Charisma is a dump stat for Arcanists much like Strength.

There *might* be some use in poaching the bloodline and school level 1 effects but it is hard to see which. Shift might be a good grab given it can get you out of a grapple or prescience maybe.

Dark Archive

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Rorschach has no Cha, I agree.

But even in such a weird party as the Watchmen, many of the others do!

Ozymandius - massive Cha. The Comedian - high Cha (intimidate especially)

The point that low-Cha superheroes are supposed to be outliers, lone wolves, darksiders, 'the lancer' - I find this often a tired trope.

I also disagree that only heroes need Cha, Craft Cheese.

Many of my own PCs are in no way 'valiant'. My CN Sorcerer has huge Cha as appropriate, but he maxes Bluff and winking at ladies. I can't imagine many Hell Knights dumping Cha either. Vampires use Cha. Demons use Cha.

I find this odd that this post has got such a negative reaction. Cha is the most underused stat in the game and yet it is the most interesting for roleplaying purposes. What is wrong with encouraging the use of it?


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Captain K. wrote:
I find this odd that this post has got such a negative reaction. Cha is the most underused stat in the game and yet it is the most interesting for roleplaying purposes. What is wrong with encouraging the use of it?
Me wrote:

look, your character's stats only mean what you choose for them to mean. You can play a well-read character with 3 INT. You can play a very unlearned character with 18 INT. You can play an obstinate jackass with 18 CHA. You can play the friendliest person ever with 3 CHA.

You can argue that this is "Roleplaying your stats wrong" all you like, but fact of the matter is your stats don't cleanly tie to particular aspects of your character and represent a bunch of jumbled up (and often mutually contradictory) things. Does a supermodel who is also an entitled brat have an 18 CHA, 10 CHA, or 3 CHA? How about the reverse? Does a bookworm with no mind for logic puzzles have an 18 INT, 10 INT, or 3 INT? How about the reverse?

It all depends on how you choose to weigh the different factors, which is 100% subjective. Stats only have clearly defined effects to the extent that those stats have an effect on the game's mechanics, and those effects are necessarily abstractions: For some reason, being good at lying also makes you good at being scary. Being good at wizardry makes you good at forging documents. Having a close tie to the divine makes you hear things better. For some characters you can rationalize these effects, but try to do it for all the inconsistencies for every character concept imaginable, and you'll break your spine bending over backwards.

Stats aren't "interesting for roleplaying purposes," they're numbers that mean whatever you want them to mean, even if you try to play them as "faithfully" as possible. You can roleplay just as well, if not better, by ignoring them.


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Rorschach was a scary man. Also "valiant" is subjective Superman isn't a hero he's a self righteous alien...is easy when you invulerable.

As for Rorschach, he was disgusted with the world. He was looking for the man that killed his "friend."

Mr. Fishy doesn't like to "dump stats" with out a reason. That said, Mr. Fishy doesn't sit your table.

Also a major arguement against charisma is the it has no in game mechanical value...well now it does. More classes use.

Dark Archive

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That is a solid argument, and thank you for writing such a full reply, CC.

I disagree, because for stats other than Cha, the numbers are inarguable.

Low Str - you hit weakly, can't carry your backpack.

Low Int - terrible skills and if you are good at any skills you must be very focused.

Cha gets a raw deal.

In real life, one can tell who has good or bad Cha. Bill Clinton had at least 18, and that was nothing to do with his looks.

I would like to see this power of personality encouraged in Pathfinder, rather than dumping it for the power of Social Anxiety. That 6 of these 10 new classes suggest one might need a 12 or higher should not be such an outrageous suggestion.


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Craft Cheese wrote:


Stats aren't "interesting for roleplaying purposes," they're numbers that mean whatever you want them to mean, even if you try to play them as "faithfully" as possible. You can roleplay just as well, if not better, by ignoring them.

Craft Cheese wrote:
STATS= they're numbers that mean what ever you want to

Then why dump any stat? The numbers mean what you want them to. Play a fighter with a 8 str, a 14 charisma, a crossbow and handle animal.

A few feats and 8 str + crossbow is a force. Faith to the numbers, good role play, and a solid ranged fighter. Win all round.


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From what I gather where Craft Cheese comes from, Optimization is really the only means to play. It's a Rollplay Game for them, and the Roleplay Game has little to do with it.

At best, it gives you a minor Circumstance Bonus to a roll (that is already high enough anyway if you're focused for it), and good stories are still told even with the stat dumped. People Rollplay the stat, then Roleplay as if the stat isn't really that stat. (I hope this makes sense to you guys, because I doubt I can explain it in another way.) This is exactly what Craft Cheese is talking about.

Even if Charisma makes for great stories, this is still a game, and it's a game of numbers at that. Charisma as a statistical number does the least for so few of classes; those who do use them go SAD for it, and those who don't use them generally can just dump it because the statistic does nothing for them anyway, since the Roleplay (for them) isn't affected by the Rollplay.


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Rorschach: The True Hero


@Captain K.:

I don't agree that Slayers don't need Charisma. I value my Intimidating Cold Steel Blue Magnum Stare.

I don't agree that PCs are only superheroes or heroes, or that the ACG classes are specifically either. If you didn't mean this then I misread your post.

As to the negativity you are seeing, while people may agree that a move away from a Charisma-dumpstat environment is a good thing, your other assertions are at variance with others experiential reality or philosophical opinions, and have been posited by you as absolutes. Thus people are disagreeing.


People keep saying that Charisma is undervalued and has no mechanical benefits.

I must be playing a different game. Either that or I've stumbled into the 2E forums by mistake.


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If you're using a point buy, the game rules literally don't let you make a character that has worse than slightly, almost imperceptibly below-average Charisma.

Putting points into charisma is bad for most classes even if you think that the associated skills are super important because attribute points are a riotously inefficient way to make yourself better at skills. Putting actual attribute points into Charisma in order to make yourself better at skills is like putting four levels into Commoner in order to make your BAB go up by two to qualify for a PrC. It technically accomplishes that, but it's such a relatively inefficient use of a scarce resource that you'd have to be crazy to actually do it.

If you're roleplaying characters with 10 Charisma wildly differently than characters with 7 charisma, then you're roleplaying against the mechanics of the game just as fiercely as if you describe a 4-Strength familiar lifting a wagon over its head. The difference between 12 charisma and 7 charisma is all but imperceptible in terms of what it actually does. If you want to play your character differently from what the dice are going to say the effects of their actions are, that's your prerogative, of course. (For what it's worth, differences of about eight stat points are where the gap becomes large enough that someone might notice without having to keep pretty close track over a significant period of time.)


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For what it's worth, I didn't find your post at all offensive. From the start, I got a vibe of happy excitement, and the latter half of the post I took as tongue-in-cheek hyperbole where appropriate.

And I agree. "Dark Loners" should be an outlier in a super hero troupe. Intimidate can be trained, I had a character of 9 Cha with a wicked Intimidate score.

The problem these days is that we've gone through the anti-hero phase all the way to the other side. Tweeny films glorifying vampires and werewolves. Dark hero movies where "I might be bad, but I'm killing bad guys, and at least I didn't kick the dog".
Superman/Spiderman movies peak at a 7 star rating. Breaking Bad and Weeds (for example) tear up the networks.

Pathfinder heroes being all dark and gloomy and hated by everyone really only fits with the current market...

And in case anyone was wondering, that was more hyperbole! :P


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Joyd wrote:
Putting points into charisma is bad for most classes even if you think that the associated skills are super important because attribute points are a riotously inefficient way to make yourself better at skills. Putting actual attribute points into Charisma in order to make yourself better at skills is like putting four levels into Commoner in order to make your BAB go up by two to qualify for a PrC. It technically accomplishes that, but it's such a relatively inefficient use of a scarce resource that you'd have to be crazy to actually do it.

Absolutely! Which is why having Charisma do more than just skills is a laudable goal, which this rulebook seems to be pushing towards. :)

Scarab Sages

Captain K. wrote:

I know that. That is why I mentioned 'cripplingly shy' and 'self-confident' as other Cha+ methods. Charming doesn't require beauty, it requires Cha.

Charisma is not a supermodel. You can see a supermodel walking down the street and think they're nice but they could be a nasty selfish overbearing diva.

The following three men could not generally be described as being particularly handsome but you cannot deny that they certainly had Charisma (as defined by various editions of d20 based games over the last few decades). Winston Churchill, Grigori Rasputin, Adolf Hittler. Each had the power to sway people with a compelling presence and/or compelling personality.

Good looks don't mean Charisma but they certainly can help.


blahpers wrote:
People keep saying that Charisma is undervalued and has no mechanical benefits.

All stats, except Con, contribute to skills.

Charisma has no inherent bonus. Every other stat does.

Strength gives carrying capacity and bonuses to hit and damage. It also influences CMB and CMD. Many character concepts, including most arcane spellcasters, don't care much about these. However, many concepts that don't specialize in these find a bonus to carrying capacity and melee damage useful. The rogue wants a Strength of 12; you won't always be able to sneak attack. Everyone wants a decent CMB or CMD, unless you have Acrobatics, in case you get grappled.

Dexterity influences Reflex saves and initiative. Most PCs also get some AC benefit out of this. The iconic cleric and paladin in 3rd Edition had Dex 8, but I never see PCs dump Dex like that.

Con influences hit points and Fort saves. Nobody wants low hit points. I have rarely seen high hit point classes that don't really need a ton of Con have a Con of 10, and in 3rd Edition saw the occasional elf wizard with Con 10, but that's all.

Int influences skill points. It's one of the least useful stats IMO, but you can never really have "too many" skill points.

Wis influences Will saves and Perception. The first alone is crucial.

Charisma influences... uh oh. Skills, something every other stat except Con does. And most of the Charisma-based skills are a weak region in D&D. Plus you can just rely on one face unless you steal some sort of skill challenge system... where PCs can use non-Charisma-based skills in place of Diplomacy.

Any class can make any stat important. But if a stat has no inherent value, PCs that don't need it will dump it.

Dark Archive

Sooo what's wrong with someone that happens to want a class that really only needs CON and one other stat? I'm not seeing how "forcing" well rounded characters is a good thing at all. Not everyone plays the game to have a talkative character, and there's really nothing wrong with Thwak Bashington as long as he didn't give himself a 5 INT for some unfathomable reason.

I will agree that charisma needs to be made a more desirable stat, but not at the cost of making something so MAD that it falls behind other classes at its intended goal, and some of the playtest classes suffer from this. Fortunately, the recent update has made it less severe. In particular, the warpriest is no longer crippled by its MAD. I'd say CHA is now sufficiently beneficial that one class as to where putting points in it makes it EASIER to have a character wipe the floor with whole encounters by itself. Regardless of your class it's a good thing to have, but some classes are already stat starved enough as it is.

Now, on to the whole superheroes thing. I don't think I'd call them superheroes so much as simply above average people. For whatever reason, they developed beyond many of their peers. Farmer John with five levels of commoner could still curbstomp quite a few things, but he's just no match for the big bad barbarian. I see them more as exemplars than heroes. Farmer John could decide he wants to start learning to be a monk and wham, suddenly that barbarian may have a fight on his hands.


I want all classes to be MAD - or rather, MAB: Multiple Ability Beneficient. I think Paladin is a good example of how to do this.


Ilja wrote:
I want all classes to be MAD - or rather, MAB: Multiple Ability Beneficient. I think Paladin is a good example of how to do this.

fine as long as the MAD isn't excessive like the monk and DC based classes have an option to help their DCs.


The monk isnt really more MAD than the paladin (in a way its less MAD since theres two stats it hardly benefits from), the issue is that it is weak. The paladin cant dump Str, Cha, Dex or Con, and furthermore still benefits from not dumping Wis, but its powers are good enough that having a "decent" score is enough; the monk also care ablut four scores, but its powers are so weak that it needs really high in three of those.

A 10th level paladin with 18 cha can selfheal for 5d6 as a swift action 9times per day, in addition to all other abilities.
A 10th level monk with 18 wis can selfheal for 10 points as a standard action 4 times per day at a large cost of her other abilities.


MAD is the main reason why none of the people at the tables I play in want to use point buy.


Icyshadow wrote:
MAD is the main reason why none of the people at the tables I play in want to use point buy.

that is what higher point allotments are for

there isn't much difference between a 25 point buy and a 50 point buy, except with 50, MAD characters become playable.


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MAD isn't a bad thing in itself, but it is in this system. For a start, the so-called SAD classes still exist. Unless you write in new MAD classes to have outright superior class features, the SADs still have the edge. For another thing, monster CR is calculated according to the stats that players of a given level are expected to have. Items that boost multiple stats are exponentially more expensive than those that boost just one.

Basically, the system rewards specialization over generalization. You generally don't have enough resources (stats, feats, gold) to be good at more than one or two things, so you might as well make sure you do your thing really well. Try to do too many things and you won't be able to succeed reliably at any of them. It's a team game, so your teammates can take care of the things you can't.

And yes, Charisma is such a bad stat that class features are the only reason not to dump it. But that's a problem with the whole 3rd edition and I don't see them adding massive changes to Pathfinder at this point to improve that. In fact, things have gone the other way - New traits are out that let you use Intelligence for UMD, Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate.

Glorious. Wizard. Master. Race.


Ehm no, MAD classes aren't good for the game and Charisma is an almost useless ability.

I am not touching the other half of the original post with a standard issue 10 foot pole.


Craft Cheese wrote:


Stats aren't "interesting for roleplaying purposes," they're numbers that mean whatever you want them to mean, even if you try to play them as "faithfully" as possible. You can roleplay just as well, if not better, by ignoring them.

Maybe YOU can, but not everyone's that good of an actor. I've always relied on my stats to guide how I portray my character. Yes, you can explain AROUND them, if you want, but they're certainly a reasonable guide for RP for those who choose to use them that way.

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