Is charisma the "god" stat?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Hi all. Title more or less says it but for more specifics...

Charisma and charisma based classes seem to dominate the top tier of either what is the best classes Or what people view as the best classes. Master summoners, synthesist summoners, oracles or Loracle dipped characters, paladins, and sorcerers, and in skill heavy games bards. Even a cleric whose spells are based on wisdom is widely considered to be in the top 3 because of channeling support.

In addition to the combat or casting part that charisma plays, it also is key to social skills, feints in battle, and is the most common stat that replaces another stat for a number of different purposes across many classes.

Now obviously charisma is not important to all classes and it is not always the best even in classes that make strong use of it, ie paladin or bard. But has charisma gotten a bit out of hand either mechanically or roleplay wise?

Mechanically I'd say its stepping ON the line but not quite over. But roleplay wise I would say that for something that isn't as well defined as we would like it to be , charisma,it does seem to be rather abundant.

I welcome thoughts on the matter.


Counterpoint: Wizards, Druids, Clerics, Witches.


It is not because of the Charisma stat reliance that these classes are strong.
Rather it is simply the abilities they possess.
For the Master summoner and Synthesist summoner they would not care what stat their abilities were dependent on.
Oracles similarly rely on charisma to power their spells and other abilities, because of this they max charisma, were it wisdom they would max that, were it intelligence they would max that.
It is not because of the stat but simply because a few of the stronger classes rely on that stat.
If you take the stat charisma in a vacuum it is not really a strong stat.
No saves rely on it, only a few non social skills care about it.
A charisma of X isn't required for many feats, and having a larger one does little on classes that don't lean on it.
On the other end of things you have a stat like Dexterity, quite a few in and out of combat skills rely on it, it applies to a save as well as to AC. Dex applies to ranged attack and to melee attacks with light weapons at the cost of just a feat. It adds to your CMD and quite a few feats rely on it. I would say dexterity is the stat most classes don't mind boosting.


Classes that use Charisma as a primary stat, or have a multi-attribute-dependence on Charisma have one very big downside. They have Charisma as a primary or MAD stat.

That may be offset by greater strength in class abilities. The balance may be a bit off in their favor.


I would say charisma IS the god-stat, but not for the reasons you mentions. Why? Because it is the most common "X-to-Y" transfer.

-Saves from charisma (paladin, divine grace)

-AC from charisma (osyluth guile (dodge), smite evil (deflection), revelations (generally CHA replaces DEX), Flawless form (celestial obedience, armor bonus) (they ALL stack)

-Spellcasting: Easily up to 9 baby

-Damage from CHA: radiant charge (feat)

Now, this is only really great for a few builds, and for most folks, charisma is meaningless. But in the right build, a SAD cha character can be ridiculously combat capable.


williamoak wrote:

I would say charisma IS the god-stat, but not for the reasons you mentions. Why? Because it is the most common "X-to-Y" transfer.

-Saves from charisma (paladin, divine grace)

-AC from charisma (osyluth guile (dodge), smite evil (deflection), revelations (generally CHA replaces DEX), Flawless form (celestial obedience, armor bonus) (they ALL stack)

-Spellcasting: Easily up to 9 baby

-Damage from CHA: radiant charge (feat)

Now, this is only really great for a few builds, and for most folks, charisma is meaningless. But in the right build, a SAD cha character can be ridiculously combat capable.

Actually its been stated that a stat does not stack with itself when added to the same thing.

The original case this came up in, agile maneuvers and fury's fall both add your dex modifier to cmb for the purpose of trip attacks. Agile Maneuvers replaces strength, while fury's fall just flat adds on. No language excludes them from being used together.

However, it was ruled that bonuses from the same source do not stack. Likewise, charisma to AC more than once would not stack.


Most summoners seem to have just enough cha to cast their spells.

Strength and charisma are both stats that if you don't need them, you can dump the living heck out of them.


Charisma is "god" depending on how its used and the interpretation of your DM.

Oh really? Your barbarian averages 100 DPR? Well I used Diplomacy and some coin to recruit 50 of those into my army along with using bluff to secure an alliance with the Sorcerer-King of this region who has an army of thousands.

The pen can indeed by mightier than the sword.


MattR1986 wrote:

Charisma is "god" depending on how its used and the interpretation of your DM.

Oh really? Your barbarian averages 100 DPR? Well I used Diplomacy and some coin to recruit 50 of those into my army along with using bluff to secure an alliance with the Sorcerer-King of this region who has an army of thousands.

The pen can indeed by mightier than the sword.

pun pun


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Thomas Long 175 wrote:
williamoak wrote:

I would say charisma IS the god-stat, but not for the reasons you mentions. Why? Because it is the most common "X-to-Y" transfer.

-Saves from charisma (paladin, divine grace)

-AC from charisma (osyluth guile (dodge), smite evil (deflection), revelations (generally CHA replaces DEX), Flawless form (celestial obedience, armor bonus) (they ALL stack)

-Spellcasting: Easily up to 9 baby

-Damage from CHA: radiant charge (feat)

Now, this is only really great for a few builds, and for most folks, charisma is meaningless. But in the right build, a SAD cha character can be ridiculously combat capable.

Actually its been stated that a stat does not stack with itself when added to the same thing.

The original case this came up in, agile maneuvers and fury's fall both add your dex modifier to cmb for the purpose of trip attacks. Agile Maneuvers replaces strength, while fury's fall just flat adds on. No language excludes them from being used together.

However, it was ruled that bonuses from the same source do not stack. Likewise, charisma to AC more than once would not stack.

They are NOT Giving the same thing (in the AC case). Each specifies a DIFFERENT AC booster, Dodge, Deflection, Armor & Dex. They are all different types of AC boosts.


williamoak wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
williamoak wrote:

I would say charisma IS the god-stat, but not for the reasons you mentions. Why? Because it is the most common "X-to-Y" transfer.

-Saves from charisma (paladin, divine grace)

-AC from charisma (osyluth guile (dodge), smite evil (deflection), revelations (generally CHA replaces DEX), Flawless form (celestial obedience, armor bonus) (they ALL stack)

-Spellcasting: Easily up to 9 baby

-Damage from CHA: radiant charge (feat)

Now, this is only really great for a few builds, and for most folks, charisma is meaningless. But in the right build, a SAD cha character can be ridiculously combat capable.

Actually its been stated that a stat does not stack with itself when added to the same thing.

The original case this came up in, agile maneuvers and fury's fall both add your dex modifier to cmb for the purpose of trip attacks. Agile Maneuvers replaces strength, while fury's fall just flat adds on. No language excludes them from being used together.

However, it was ruled that bonuses from the same source do not stack. Likewise, charisma to AC more than once would not stack.

They are NOT Giving the same thing (in the AC case). Each specifies a DIFFERENT AC booster, Dodge, Deflection, Armor & Dex. They are all different types of AC boosts.

Indeed, but you're using charisma towards ac more than once. That's straight out, sorry to tell you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
williamoak wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
williamoak wrote:

I would say charisma IS the god-stat, but not for the reasons you mentions. Why? Because it is the most common "X-to-Y" transfer.

-Saves from charisma (paladin, divine grace)

-AC from charisma (osyluth guile (dodge), smite evil (deflection), revelations (generally CHA replaces DEX), Flawless form (celestial obedience, armor bonus) (they ALL stack)

-Spellcasting: Easily up to 9 baby

-Damage from CHA: radiant charge (feat)

Now, this is only really great for a few builds, and for most folks, charisma is meaningless. But in the right build, a SAD cha character can be ridiculously combat capable.

Actually its been stated that a stat does not stack with itself when added to the same thing.

The original case this came up in, agile maneuvers and fury's fall both add your dex modifier to cmb for the purpose of trip attacks. Agile Maneuvers replaces strength, while fury's fall just flat adds on. No language excludes them from being used together.

However, it was ruled that bonuses from the same source do not stack. Likewise, charisma to AC more than once would not stack.

They are NOT Giving the same thing (in the AC case). Each specifies a DIFFERENT AC booster, Dodge, Deflection, Armor & Dex. They are all different types of AC boosts.

Plus the ability is the source, not the ability score; that is, the feat, class feature, spell, etc are the sources of the bonuses, not Charisma.


Prince of Knives wrote:
williamoak wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
williamoak wrote:

I would say charisma IS the god-stat, but not for the reasons you mentions. Why? Because it is the most common "X-to-Y" transfer.

-Saves from charisma (paladin, divine grace)

-AC from charisma (osyluth guile (dodge), smite evil (deflection), revelations (generally CHA replaces DEX), Flawless form (celestial obedience, armor bonus) (they ALL stack)

-Spellcasting: Easily up to 9 baby

-Damage from CHA: radiant charge (feat)

Now, this is only really great for a few builds, and for most folks, charisma is meaningless. But in the right build, a SAD cha character can be ridiculously combat capable.

Actually its been stated that a stat does not stack with itself when added to the same thing.

The original case this came up in, agile maneuvers and fury's fall both add your dex modifier to cmb for the purpose of trip attacks. Agile Maneuvers replaces strength, while fury's fall just flat adds on. No language excludes them from being used together.

However, it was ruled that bonuses from the same source do not stack. Likewise, charisma to AC more than once would not stack.

They are NOT Giving the same thing (in the AC case). Each specifies a DIFFERENT AC booster, Dodge, Deflection, Armor & Dex. They are all different types of AC boosts.
Plus the ability is the source, not the ability score; that is, the feat, class feature, spell, etc are the sources of the bonuses, not Charisma.

I literally just pointed out two separate feats that grant a bonus that do not have conflicting language that are not allowed because its from the same ability score. Sorry, flat wrong there.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
williamoak wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
williamoak wrote:

I would say charisma IS the god-stat, but not for the reasons you mentions. Why? Because it is the most common "X-to-Y" transfer.

-Saves from charisma (paladin, divine grace)

-AC from charisma (osyluth guile (dodge), smite evil (deflection), revelations (generally CHA replaces DEX), Flawless form (celestial obedience, armor bonus) (they ALL stack)

-Spellcasting: Easily up to 9 baby

-Damage from CHA: radiant charge (feat)

Now, this is only really great for a few builds, and for most folks, charisma is meaningless. But in the right build, a SAD cha character can be ridiculously combat capable.

Actually its been stated that a stat does not stack with itself when added to the same thing.

The original case this came up in, agile maneuvers and fury's fall both add your dex modifier to cmb for the purpose of trip attacks. Agile Maneuvers replaces strength, while fury's fall just flat adds on. No language excludes them from being used together.

However, it was ruled that bonuses from the same source do not stack. Likewise, charisma to AC more than once would not stack.

They are NOT Giving the same thing (in the AC case). Each specifies a DIFFERENT AC booster, Dodge, Deflection, Armor & Dex. They are all different types of AC boosts.
Plus the ability is the source, not the ability score; that is, the feat, class feature, spell, etc are the sources of the bonuses, not Charisma.
I literally just pointed out two separate feats that grant a bonus that do not have conflicting language that are not allowed because its from the same ability score. Sorry, flat wrong there.

If Paizo wants to make that official, they need to release errata and not an FAQ.


What you're misunderstanding here Thomas, is that both of those feats do they exact same thing (add the character's Dex bonus to CMB.)

Adding, for example, Cha as a Dodge bonus, or as a Deflection bonus, is not the same thing, no less so than an Enhancement bonus to a Shield and to a suit of Armor are not the same thing.


I did mention x to y but not in those words. And yes I think that is a concern. When u can make one stat outright replace two or even three stats I get worried, looking at u Loracle.

The fact that summoner and other classes I used as examples are as good as they are and happen to use charisma is right. They could be off any stat and still be equally effective, I won't deny it. And in that is my point exactly.... Y did the developers decide to give so many of em charisma? That opened up a lot of x to y potential abuse in addition to Giving em a secondary role of mouth.

I'd like to c a few more non charisma casters at my table. Clerics may not be wisdom based when they show up and Druids may be a melee machine instead of caster. Point being, charisma character SEEM to be more SAD and others MAD or better options than casting.

Shadow Lodge

I'd rank the stats, weakest to strongest (all include "relevant class features"):

  • Charisma (social skills and use magic device)
  • Wisdom (will saves, divine spells, skills including perception)
  • Dexterity (ranged attacks, AC, initiative, reflex saves, skills including acrobatics)
  • Strength (melee attacks, melee damage, encumbrance, lesser used skills)
  • Intelligence (skills, arcane spells)
  • Constitution (fort saves, HP, holding your breath)

    Speaking as generally as possible:

    Constitution keeps you alive. Every character wants this as high as possible while not overshadowing the stats their class requires. Both HP and fort saves are really important. The only reason no character really has this as their highest stat is the argument of Quality of Life vs Sanctity of Life.

    Intelligence is used by all classes for skills, and skills are generally fairly important, whether in roleplay or in combat.

    Strength, similar to dexterity, has a pretty wide berth, and while it could be neglected, it takes a slightly higher rank than Dex because every martial in the game usually needs it to some degree.

    Dexterity, while covering a wide berth similarly to Strength, tends to rate below average in all aspects bar initiative. AC eventually becomes redundant and reflex is the weakest of the 3 saves. Though all of the bonuses being put together should be a great incentive, it just can't beat needing more Dex over Con unless you've got a Dex-based build. Armour often renders Dexterity a little redundant thanks to the Armor Check Penalty, and those who wear it usually don't even need a high initiative quite as much.

    Wisdom is only really used by a select few classes as a must-have stat, and will saves and Perception, despite being important, really don't give it much more significance.

    Charisma is like Wisdom, but worse, only otherwise covering social skills for classes that don't need it. Use Magic Device is its real saving grace, but few classes/characters who don't already invest heavily in Charisma will take that route.


  • Renegadeshepherd wrote:

    I did mention x to y but not in those words. And yes I think that is a concern. When u can make one stat outright replace two or even three stats I get worried, looking at u Loracle.

    The fact that summoner and other classes I used as examples are as good as they are and happen to use charisma is right. They could be off any stat and still be equally effective, I won't deny it. And in that is my point exactly.... Y did the developers decide to give so many of em charisma? That opened up a lot of x to y potential abuse in addition to Giving em a secondary role of mouth.

    I'd like to c a few more non charisma casters at my table. Clerics may not be wisdom based when they show up and Druids may be a melee machine instead of caster. Point being, charisma character SEEM to be more SAD and others MAD or better options than casting.

    They gave all those classes Charisma because that is the stat that was decided upon to be of use to spontaneous spellcasters (which is all of those, minus paladin, though they do use Cha for casting instead of wisdom). A paladin utilizes Charisma because it is a holdover from 2nd edition AD&D (which may have been a holdover from 1st edition), requiring a Cha of 18 minimum to even take the class, and because paladins are supposed to be the paragons of good and awesome, which apparently goes off Charisma.

    Summoners and sorcerers could easily have been based off Intelligence, and oracles + paladins could have been based on Wisdom if they really wanted to (inquisitors are spontaneous casters based off Wisdom).

    Digital Products Assistant

    Removed some posts and replies. Leave personal attacks out of the conversation.


    CHA = Orcbloodline = better than normal fighter, by not using cha as dump stats and starting with a lower str 15 or 16 and raising cha. you net +12 str, +4 con, large size, reach, +6 natural armor and immunity to fear. you could even end up with a few points to actual put in int giving you more skill points making the fighter useful outside of combat and it is just as strong as if you went str fighter. take dangerously curious back ground trait and now you have decent us magic device score leading you to be able to get permit see invisibility through scroll and other spell, use magic in general. All based of CHA. building intimidate based fighter don't skimp on cha or str and with this bloodline you end with intimidate skill check in the 50's before you even roll your d20. nothing you can't intimidate unless immune to fear.

    Looking for STR boost and bonus to poison saves small energy resistance = Cha will get you that through Abyssal blood line

    CHA is not just a dump stat anymore. want a fighter who can fly at will try any of the other blood lines. want 15ft reach touch attack, spell resistance and fortifcation. CHA will get your that.

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