Charm person and consequences


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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So, its pretty clear that charm person makes your target perceive you as a friend. But it also let you order him to do something he normally wouldnt, if you make an opposed charisma check.

Now, how far can this go? Can you order someone to kill a person he loves, or to sleep with you? If so, would it be an evil act to force them into something they dont want to do?

I have a player in my group using it do some questionable things, and with his high charisma he tends to have good chances at the opposed check. Even if spells like charm/dominate person arent inherently evil, I would say that forcing someone into doing something they normally would never agree to is a harder evil act.

What are your thoughts?


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It depends entirely on what it is you're making them do. If you're making a skinflint give to charity, something he'd normally never agree to, can't see that as being a bad thing.

At any rate, these sorts of spells are subject to a LOT of DM discretion and leeway, so there are few hard answers.

The Exchange

And one hel of a lot of alignment issues


Andrew R wrote:
And one hel of a lot of alignment issues

Another good reason to not use alignment, IMFAO.


I agree that using it on someone evil to do charity (something he probably would never agree to) isnt a bad thing, I would even say that its a good thing as you're making him pay for his actions withouth a more extreme punishment like death.

Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it. In fact, there are a lot of alignment implications on those spells, depending on how you decide to use them.


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Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.

That's a pretty clear cut case of rape. That's an evil act.

Liberty's Edge

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That would definitely qualify as evil, you should also consider the repercussions once the spells wear off


Zhayne wrote:
It depends entirely on what it is you're making them do. If you're making a skinflint give to charity, something he'd normally never agree to, can't see that as being a bad thing.

You brainwashed someone into giving their money away? Sounds pretty evil to me...

Yeah, best not to think too hard about it sometimes.


MrSin wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
It depends entirely on what it is you're making them do. If you're making a skinflint give to charity, something he'd normally never agree to, can't see that as being a bad thing.

You brainwashed someone into giving their money away? Sounds pretty evil to me...

Yeah, best not to think too hard about it sometimes.

Putting it that way, it does sounds a bit wrong. But then again, I would think that this is a better punishment than just killing him because evil. Doing charity, even if against his will, is one way of paying back the community for what evil actions he has commited in the past.


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Yeah, I'm pretty leery of anything that approches mind-control, because I tend to follow the line of thought "doing evil for a good cause still makes you evil". As for charm person & barmaid: as vivian laflamme said, clear cut case of evil. Magical equivalent of puting a roofie in a drink. Heck, even if I went fully without alignement, Id say 90% of my chars would dissaprove strongly; the other 10% would kill you outright. Me (and to a certain extent my characters) are strong believers in individual liberties.

Plus, I do find those kind of spells weird since it enters the realm of "you can do it to NPCs, but NPCs cant do it to you".


Razh wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
It depends entirely on what it is you're making them do. If you're making a skinflint give to charity, something he'd normally never agree to, can't see that as being a bad thing.

You brainwashed someone into giving their money away? Sounds pretty evil to me...

Yeah, best not to think too hard about it sometimes.

Putting it that way, it does sounds a bit wrong. But then again, I would think that this is a better punishment than just killing him because evil. Doing charity, even if against his will, is one way of paying back the community for what evil actions he has commited in the past.

Not just brain washing him but leaving him in suffering instead of just ending it? What nice people you all are.

Subjective things are subjective. Morality is pretty subjective.

The Exchange

williamoak wrote:

Yeah, I'm pretty leery of anything that approches mind-control, because I tend to follow the line of thought "doing evil for a good cause still makes you evil". As for charm person & barmaid: as vivian laflamme said, clear cut case of evil. Magical equivalent of puting a roofie in a drink. Heck, even if I went fully without alignement, Id say 90% of my chars would dissaprove strongly; the other 10% would kill you outright. Me (and to a certain extent my characters) are strong believers in individual liberties.

Plus, I do find those kind of spells weird since it enters the realm of "you can do it to NPCs, but NPCs cant do it to you".

I have gone PVP over that, good chars should not be cool with mind control and my CG cleric was ready to smite some asses over it.


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We had a big thread on this back in the day, I think it got locked in the end.


Andrew R wrote:
williamoak wrote:

Yeah, I'm pretty leery of anything that approches mind-control, because I tend to follow the line of thought "doing evil for a good cause still makes you evil". As for charm person & barmaid: as vivian laflamme said, clear cut case of evil. Magical equivalent of puting a roofie in a drink. Heck, even if I went fully without alignement, Id say 90% of my chars would dissaprove strongly; the other 10% would kill you outright. Me (and to a certain extent my characters) are strong believers in individual liberties.

Plus, I do find those kind of spells weird since it enters the realm of "you can do it to NPCs, but NPCs cant do it to you".

I have gone PVP over that, good chars should not be cool with mind control and my CG cleric was ready to smite some asses over it.

I'm going to be completely honest, I think mind control is one of those areas where most DM/GMs would want PVP to stop it if it goes too far, I'd rather have the threat of the party prevent an action than just standing up and saying "no, you can't do that"

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Razh wrote:

I agree that using it on someone evil to do charity (something he probably would never agree to) isnt a bad thing, I would even say that its a good thing as you're making him pay for his actions withouth a more extreme punishment like death.

If I rob someone and give the money to charity, does that change the fact that my initial act was theft one iota? Having your ends justify your means is a slippery slope. Disregarding the will and desires of others is a classic path of how good and intelligent beings slip into evil.

It's no different if you make someone give to charity by overriding his free will and/or judgement. It's an act of coercion and theft.


Malcolm Bookchild wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
williamoak wrote:

Yeah, I'm pretty leery of anything that approches mind-control, because I tend to follow the line of thought "doing evil for a good cause still makes you evil". As for charm person & barmaid: as vivian laflamme said, clear cut case of evil. Magical equivalent of puting a roofie in a drink. Heck, even if I went fully without alignement, Id say 90% of my chars would dissaprove strongly; the other 10% would kill you outright. Me (and to a certain extent my characters) are strong believers in individual liberties.

Plus, I do find those kind of spells weird since it enters the realm of "you can do it to NPCs, but NPCs cant do it to you".

I have gone PVP over that, good chars should not be cool with mind control and my CG cleric was ready to smite some asses over it.
I'm going to be completely honest, I think mind control is one of those areas where most DM/GMs would want PVP to stop it if it goes too far, I'd rather have the threat of the party prevent an action than just standing up and saying "no, you can't do that"

and so begins the good vs. good holy war! I'm putting my bets on the agathonians. Those guys are pretty beast!

Shadow Lodge

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williamoak wrote:
Yeah, I'm pretty leery of anything that approches mind-control, because I tend to follow the line of thought "doing evil for a good cause still makes you evil". As for charm person & barmaid: as vivian laflamme said, clear cut case of evil. Magical equivalent of puting a roofie in a drink.

What if the bar owner prostitutes the barmaid, and you charm the bar owner long enough to get him to relent?

What if you use suggestion to get a corrupt guard to enforce the law and protect innocents when he would normally turn a blind eye?

It's easy to use charm for evil, but it's not impossible to do good.


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LazarX wrote:
Razh wrote:

I agree that using it on someone evil to do charity (something he probably would never agree to) isnt a bad thing, I would even say that its a good thing as you're making him pay for his actions withouth a more extreme punishment like death.

If I rob someone and give the money to charity, does that change the fact that my initial act was theft one iota? Having your ends justify your means is a slippery slope. Disregarding the will and desires of others is a classic path of how good and intelligent beings slip into evil.

It's no different if you make someone give to charity by overriding his free will and/or judgement. It's an act of coercion and theft.

Some laws enforce community work on a person to pay for his crimes, like theft, even if its against his will to do so. Its not so different when you're forcing him to do charity, he's paying the community for something that he did, it just so happens that instead of being locked up on a jail for refusing to do so, the magic just doesnt let him to refuse it in the first place.

Another example: the BBEG is going to kill a innocent person, but also knows that if he doesnt do this, his boss will kill him. He have nothing against that guy, but he has to do it to survive. Would it be evil to use magic to prevent him from killing that person, even if that means that you will strip him of his free will of chosing his life instead of that of someone else?

The alignment is way too ambiguous, with inumerous corner cases, a lot of things are open to different interpretations. We cant just say that something is or isnt evil withouth analyzing it from both directions.


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Razh wrote:

So, its pretty clear that charm person makes your target perceive you as a friend. But it also let you order him to do something he normally wouldnt, if you make an opposed charisma check.

Now, how far can this go? Can you order someone to kill a person he loves, or to sleep with you? If so, would it be an evil act to force them into something they dont want to do?

I have a player in my group using it do some questionable things, and with his high charisma he tends to have good chances at the opposed check. Even if spells like charm/dominate person arent inherently evil, I would say that forcing someone into doing something they normally would never agree to is a harder evil act.

What are your thoughts?

Personally I run it like you magically make them think you're their friend. If the first thing you say is something along the lines of "KILL YOUR FAMILY!" the spell is immediately broken. "The target never obeys harmful orders." This can easily be read as anything violent you suggest to them isn't carried out. If you want them to do something crazy like killing their loved ones, you need to make several checks to convince someone that. And some people just flat out wont do it. As for the barmaid question, if shes not sleeping with all her friends or promiscuous already, shes not going to sleep with you anyways.


Scavion wrote:
Razh wrote:

So, its pretty clear that charm person makes your target perceive you as a friend. But it also let you order him to do something he normally wouldnt, if you make an opposed charisma check.

Now, how far can this go? Can you order someone to kill a person he loves, or to sleep with you? If so, would it be an evil act to force them into something they dont want to do?

I have a player in my group using it do some questionable things, and with his high charisma he tends to have good chances at the opposed check. Even if spells like charm/dominate person arent inherently evil, I would say that forcing someone into doing something they normally would never agree to is a harder evil act.

What are your thoughts?

Personally I run it like you magically make them think you're their friend. If the first thing you say is something along the lines of "KILL YOUR FAMILY!" the spell is immediately broken. "The target never obeys harmful orders." This can easily be read as anything violent you suggest to them isn't carried out. If you want them to do something crazy like killing their loved ones, you need to make several checks to convince someone that. And some people just flat out wont do it. As for the barmaid question, if shes not sleeping with all her friends or promiscuous already, shes not going to sleep with you anyways.

The spell also says that you can order them to do something with an opposed charisma check. I dont think that part relates with diplomacy, specially when you're not adding skill ranks to the check or anything else, just charisma modifier. Im reading this as if that order can be anything as long as you dont ask him to kill or hurt himself, but I can see it being argued both ways, though.


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Razh wrote:


The spell also says that you can order them to do something with an opposed charisma check. I dont think that part relates with diplomacy, specially when you're not adding skill ranks to the check or anything else, just charisma modifier. Im reading this as if that order can be anything as long as you dont ask him to kill or hurt himself, but I can see it being argued both ways, thought.

I prefer my method because if you simply go with the opposed charisma check, the spell is essentially as good as if not better than Dominate Person.

I also think that by your way, it makes the "obviously harmful..." text redundant since it comes after "suicidal". Why put that there unless it was meant to be further constricting?

Also note that these text comes after mentioning orders and such. So I believe its meant to be applied to that as well.


Scavion wrote:
Razh wrote:


The spell also says that you can order them to do something with an opposed charisma check. I dont think that part relates with diplomacy, specially when you're not adding skill ranks to the check or anything else, just charisma modifier. Im reading this as if that order can be anything as long as you dont ask him to kill or hurt himself, but I can see it being argued both ways, thought.
I prefer my method because if you simply go with the opposed charisma check, the spell is essentially as good as if not better than Dominate Person.

I dont think its as good as dominate person. First, the duration of dominate is way longer, so you can actually maintain a follower through multiple encounters for days. Also, the opposed charisma check only takes into consideration your charisma modifier against the target's charisma. Unless you put everything into this score, you will be finding a lot of enemies with equal if not higher modifiers, and even if you specialize that is still a dice roll against enemies that could have a modifier close to yours.

Dominate person works of dc, which is improved not only by your charisma, but also spell level, feats, etc. The save of the opponents also gets higher, but with it you dont have chances of rolling low while the opposed check rolling higher on charm person, so your chances of getting it off are higher.

Edit:

Scavion wrote:

I also think that by your way, it makes the "obviously harmful..." text redundant since it comes after "suicidal". Why put that there unless it was meant to be further constricting?

Also note that these text comes after mentioning orders and such. So I believe its meant to be applied to that as well.

Good point on here, though. I may rethink about my ruling on this spell.


A bard can get upwards of a +7 on a charisma check not actually counting his own impressive charisma. A Cleric could then Touch of Glory him for a bonus equal to his class level.

Monsters are unlikely to have a great charisma score. If you pump it, you can attain a +17 to your check by the ending half of the game. A Fire Giant has a Charisma of 10.

Now I'm thinking of a Cleric Separatist of Calistria with Charm and Heroism domains. Level 10 gets you a +10 to Charisma checks counting Heroism and +8 Touch of Glory. Not even counting their own Charisma. Add Circlet of Persuasion for a +13.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Razh wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Razh wrote:

I agree that using it on someone evil to do charity (something he probably would never agree to) isnt a bad thing, I would even say that its a good thing as you're making him pay for his actions withouth a more extreme punishment like death.

If I rob someone and give the money to charity, does that change the fact that my initial act was theft one iota? Having your ends justify your means is a slippery slope. Disregarding the will and desires of others is a classic path of how good and intelligent beings slip into evil.

It's no different if you make someone give to charity by overriding his free will and/or judgement. It's an act of coercion and theft.

Some laws enforce community work on a person to pay for his crimes, like theft, even if its against his will to do so. Its not so different when you're forcing him to do charity, he's paying the community for something that he did, it just so happens that instead of being locked up on a jail for refusing to do so, the magic just doesnt let him to refuse it in the first place.

Another example: the BBEG is going to kill a innocent person, but also knows that if he doesnt do this, his boss will kill him. He have nothing against that guy, but he has to do it to survive. Would it be evil to use magic to prevent him from killing that person, even if that means that you will strip him of his free will of chosing his life instead of that of someone else?

Yes it would. Because that solution is a dodge to the real problem. The meaning of a hero is that he finds other ways instead of taking easy dodges out. When you casually usurp the wills of others, you're a villain, no matter what your aims are.


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LazarX wrote:
Yes it would. Because that solution is a dodge to the real problem. The meaning of a hero is that he finds other ways instead of taking easy dodges out. When you casually usurp the wills of others, you're a villain, no matter what your aims are.

Here thar' be personal opinion. Approach with caution.


Razh wrote:
Now, how far can this go?

To my reading, you can go about as far as a person can in the real world if they choose to abuse and exploit a long-term friendship. So pretty far, but there are limits.

Quote:
Can you order someone to kill a person he loves

Very unlikely. The spell magically puts you on a similar footing to their lover, but even if you're very charming it's unlikely you can talk one friend into killing their lover.

However, it might be possible to persuade them if it was something they were inclined to do anyway. For example, if you know that they're a jealous person likely to respond to jealousy with violence, you could probably persuade them that their lover was unfaithful. They'd be likely to believe the caster of the charm.

Quote:
or to sleep with you?

Greatly increases your chances. I'd roleplay it as per someone they really like but had never viewed romantically before, suddenly starts hitting on them. They feel pretty positive about the caster, so it's likely to be interpreted favorably but would still depend on the situation.

Quote:
If so, would it be an evil act to force them into something they dont want to do?

It's morally equivalent to achieving the same thing through drugging the person. Under most circumstances it would be pretty evil, but I can think of a few situations where it might be morally acceptable.

For example what if you see someone on the edge of a cliff about to jump to their death out of extreme depression. Casting charm person might give you an opening to talk to them and maybe talk them back off the ledge.

There are also times where although it's a little evil, it's better than the alternatives. During a hostage negotiation for example. Yes, you're manipulating a person's emotions to get them to do what you want, but you're doing it to save lives.


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*Puffs in*

I dont think that there are clear answers to this. Everyone will interpret it in a different manner.

*Puffs out*


Razh wrote:
Some laws enforce community work on a person to pay for his crimes, like theft, even if its against his will to do so. Its not so different when you're forcing him to do charity, he's paying the community for something that he did, it just so happens that instead of being locked up on a jail for refusing to do so, the magic just doesnt let him to refuse it in the first place.

Using magic to provide justice in such a way is definitely lawful, but not necessarily good. I would personally peg such an act as being typical of the lawful neutral alignment and wouldn't consider it evil.

Quote:
Another example: the BBEG is going to kill a innocent person, but also knows that if he doesnt do this, his boss will kill him. He have nothing against that guy, but he has to do it to survive. Would it be evil to use magic to prevent him from killing that person, even if that means that you will strip him of his free will of chosing his life instead of that of someone else?

I would say that desperate situations can justify certain actions. Stripping someone of their free will might be acceptable in self defense or the defense of others. This doesn't necessarily make it good, but it's something that I think many good people could accept as being necessary.

Project Manager

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Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.

IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.


Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.

I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).


Well if you were the GM and a Paladin asked his phylactery of faithfulness, "Hey, I'm thinking about using this wand of charm person on that barmaid over there, and commanding her to sleep with me, is that cool?" ... What would the phylactery say?


Grimmy wrote:
Well if you were the GM and a Paladin asked his phylactery of faithfulness, "Hey, I'm thinking about using this wand of charm person on that barmaid over there, and commanding her to sleep with me, is that cool?" ... What would the phylactery say?

Wouldn't change alignment over it but I would defiantly warn a Paladin against that course of action.

Edit to Clarify: I would not allow someone to "command" a charmed person to sleep with them. The spell would have tha charmed barmaid regard the caster as a close friend. If she is the kind of person who sleeps with her close friends then sure. If she is someone who could be pressured into sleeping with a close friend then the caster could attempt a charisma check to convince her.


Grimmy wrote:
Well if you were the GM and a Paladin asked his phylactery of faithfulness, "Hey, I'm thinking about using this wand of charm person on that barmaid over there, and commanding her to sleep with me, is that cool?" ... What would the phylactery say?

I think the phylactery would say, you'll need a good use magic roll since charm person isn't on your spell list. ;)

As for a paladin specifically? Even if it isn't regarded as an evil act (which I think it should be) it's certainly a breach of the paladin's code. This is one of the few cases where I would advocate for instant fall from grace.

Using magic like this isn't respecting the barmaid at all as a person or taking her feelings or well-being into consideration. Doing this purely for your own pleasure is a callous act and far from honourable.


I don't think the phrasing is inconsistent.

You can convince a friend to do something he wouldn't normally do. On the other hand, try to convince them to kill their spouse or something isn't going to work (in the vast majority of cases).

I think we should interpret "obviously harmful" shouldn't be interpreted just as physically harmful, but also obviously destructive to its own interests.

In any case, nothing stops the DM from assigning difficulty modifiers based on the ridiculousness of the request.

Treat it kind of like a Jedi Mind Trick, I think.

Project Manager

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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.
I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).

A person under any sort of mental compulsion can't meaningfully consent.


Jessica Price wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.
I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).
A person under any sort of mental compulsion can't meaningfully consent.

Agreed. If it was just the caster PC lying, he'd be performing a basic Bluff or Performance check or something. But he's not. He's magically debuffing the barmaid's mental reserves, just like drugging her or getting her drunk. Whether he succeeds or not, the intent is evil.

If I was GM, any divine caster using charm that way will need to atone as a minimum. Any other "Good" or "Neutral" caster risks learning that evil acts have consequences and that GMs are Creatively Evil.


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Jessica Price wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.
I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).
A person under any sort of mental compulsion can't meaningfully consent.

Exactly!

Charm person impairs the victim's will. Even if the barmaid would normally sleep with anyone who asked, even if she made her living as a prostitute, for her to sleep with someone while under the effects of a spell such as charm person would be rape.

I would like to add that if a character of mine were charmed, and the GM allowed the one who charmed my character to do something of this nature, that I would leave that gaming group. It would not matter if the character who charmed my character were a PC or an NPC (nor would the genders of the characters in question matter)... I would not play with a group where that could happen.

The same rules that apply to PCs should apply to NPCs.


Jessica Price wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.
I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).
A person under any sort of mental compulsion can't meaningfully consent.

Not to disagree, that's just not how I run Charm Person, I guess. Would you consider someone seducing someone under false pretenses as mental compulsion? Obviously Charm Person is magic but I've never played it as a loss of free will.


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.
I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).
A person under any sort of mental compulsion can't meaningfully consent.

Agreed. If it was just the caster PC lying, he'd be performing a basic Bluff or Performance check or something. But he's not. He's magically debuffing the barmaid's mental reserves, just like drugging her or getting her drunk. Whether he succeeds or not, the intent is evil.

If I was GM, any divine caster using charm that way will need to atone as a minimum. Any other "Good" or "Neutral" caster risks learning that evil acts have consequences and that GMs are Creatively Evil.

I just see it as sort of a magical lie. That's why there is a charisma check (to convince them to do something they normally wouldn't) instead if a bluff check. The spell is compelling the person to follow your commands, just making them more receptive to your requests.

(And just to be perfectly clear: I am by no means trying to advocate for rape, or lying to women, or any such thing. My games rarely deal with anything of a sexual nature. Forcing, drugging, lying are all bad, but I think to different degrees.)


Here we go again!


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.
I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).

Lying doesn't manipulate your mental faculties into being more accepting.

How does that not sound like being drugged?


Scavion wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.
I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).

Lying doesn't manipulate your mental faculties into being more accepting.

How does that not sound like being drugged?

The lie in the case if Charm Person is the caster is your friend. In my games this is all that Charm Person does, magically convince that person the caster is their friend. Everything after that follows from that lie.


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I just see it as sort of a magical lie. That's why there is a charisma check (to convince them to do something they normally wouldn't) instead if a bluff check. The spell is compelling the person to follow your commands, just making them more receptive to your requests.

My rape-apologist-meter keeps dinging.

You can try to argue that it's technically not rape because it's just using magic to coerce someone into having sex when they otherwise wouldn't. (It is rape, but let's be generous for a moment.) The problem is that it's still coercing someone into having sex when they otherwise wouldn't. That's unequivocally a horrible thing to do to another person. Even if you think it's technically not rape, it's still a horrible thing to do to another person.


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Not to disagree, that's just not how I run Charm Person, I guess. Would you consider someone seducing someone under false pretenses as mental compulsion? Obviously Charm Person is magic but I've never played it as a loss of free will.

You are f'ing with their mind so they view you as a Trusted Friend which you are not.

That goes far beyond "false pretenses" unless by that you mean "tricking them into thinking you are a trusted friend from their past."

Or let's put it another way, if you sneak into someone's house and in the dark managed to trick a woman into thinking you are her husband, then have sex with her...is that rape? YES. (It seems common in courts today that this is often only true if the woman is married, whereas if she isn't and the person impersonates a boyfriend then it isn't rape. Personally I think that distinction is insane).

Sure, with charm person the victim might consent, but their judgement regarding who you are and what your relationship is has been massively and forcibly impaired. The consent does not mean anything in such an instance.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.
I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).

Lying doesn't manipulate your mental faculties into being more accepting.

How does that not sound like being drugged?

The lie in the case if Charm Person is the caster is your friend. In my games this is all that Charm Person does, magically convince that person the caster is their friend. Everything after that follows from that lie.

To keep the drug analogy going, you essentially force them to take a drug that makes them think you're their friend. Then in this altered state of trust, you "convince" them to do whatever it is you're going for.

Its not lying if you're forcing it to be true.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I just see it as sort of a magical lie. That's why there is a charisma check (to convince them to do something they normally wouldn't) instead if a bluff check. The spell is compelling the person to follow your commands, just making them more receptive to your requests.

My rape-apologist-meter keeps dinging.

You can try to argue that it's technically not rape because it's just using magic to coerce someone into having sex when they otherwise wouldn't. (It is rape, but let's be generous for a moment.) The problem is that it's still coercing someone into having sex when they otherwise wouldn't. That's unequivocally a horrible thing to do to another person. Even if you think it's technically not rape, it's still a horrible thing to do to another person.

Really this is my fault for trying to discuss this on the Internet but one more try....

Yes, drugging someone is rape. I don't think Charm Person is drugging someone.

If lying to someone to get them to sleep with is rape, then yes, you would consider the wat I run Charm Person is rape. I don't think lying is rape. It is a bad thing to do but to call it rape, I think would lessen what a horrible thing rape is.

Again, not defending rape, not making excuses for rapists. Only trying to explain how I run Charm Person.


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I just see it as sort of a magical lie. That's why there is a charisma check (to convince them to do something they normally wouldn't) instead if a bluff check. The spell is't compelling the person to follow your commands, just making them more receptive to your requests.

OK, assume the barmaid is your PC's sister or fiancé, and she gets charmed into a one night stand by an NPC caster. When she regains her full faculties later, is she going to look at it as just a lie? If your PC recognizes the spell's effects, will he just consider it a lie? Or would she and the PC consider it more akin to the NPC slipping her a drug or getting her drunk to be more pliable?

Using charm for non-evil purposes isn't easy. PCs who cast it should recognize there are consequences later for those enchanted by it. The guard will have to explain to his angry boss why he let that caster into the area he shouldn't. The stableman will have to face the consequences for the caster "borrowing" another person's horse. And the barmaid will carry the emotional (and likely social and possibly physical) consequences for that encounter to which she had limited or no consent.

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Forcing, drugging, lying are all bad, but I think to different degrees.)

Charm says it is a mind-effecting effect right in the description. It is more than just a lie.

---

PCs are supposed to be the heroes, the good guys, the saviors. What does that say about the PC's ethics that he would need or use an enchantment spell to get a stranger into bed? If that's the kind of PC he is, the PC's player and GM should own up to the PC's non-good actions, not try to whitewash it as just a lie.

And be aware that most female players are going to develop some pretty negative attitudes about that player too.


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Really this is my fault for trying to discuss this on the Internet but one more try....

Put aside the issue of whether you think the word rape should be applied to it. Magically coercing someone into having sex with you is a bad thing to do.


Scavion wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Razh wrote:
Im asking more on the lines of morally dubious things like charming an innocent barmaid to sleep with you, when normally she would never agree to it.
IMO, there's nothing "morally dubious" about that, any more than there's anything "morally dubious" about giving someone a drug that incapacitates them so you can rape them. Either way, it's evil.
I would say Charm Person is more akin to lying than drugging someone. However I'm in the "Charm Person doesn't equal Dominate Person" crowd. So I certainly wouldn't consider it a good thing, but a far cry from rape (at least in my games).

Lying doesn't manipulate your mental faculties into being more accepting.

How does that not sound like being drugged?

The lie in the case if Charm Person is the caster is your friend. In my games this is all that Charm Person does, magically convince that person the caster is their friend. Everything after that follows from that lie.

To keep the drug analogy going, you essentially force them to take a drug that makes them think you're their friend. Then in this altered state of trust, you "convince" them to do whatever it is you're going for.

Its not lying if you're forcing it to be true.

How much difference is there between a saving throw (and possible subsequent charisma check) and a bluff check? If a character makes a bluff or diplomacy check to seduce someone, is that rape? Is it purely because it's magic and not skill that makes it rape?


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:


How much difference is there between a saving throw (and possible subsequent charisma check) and a bluff check? If a character makes a bluff or diplomacy check to seduce someone, is that rape? Is it purely because it's magic and not skill that makes it rape?

Now we've hit an interesting area. In a word? Yes.

If I'm just trying to seduce someone, sometimes, no matter what I do, I'm going to get turned down.

Charm Person on the other hand is, I wave a hand and now I've instantly got your attention. I've forced you to regard me favorably rather than try to convince you. In this case, I have literally shoved the drug down your throat.

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