Charisma is not Physical Beauty


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This sort of thing is why I prefer to rename Charisma to Willpower. (And Wisdom to Awareness. And switch which one adds to Will saves.)

Because I really don't understand this social stuff. :P (Joke. Okay, technically I still don't understand it.)


JonathonWilder wrote:
So I'm sorry but it has and can still be argued that Appearance can involve whether or not someone is Attractive. That a high Charsima, through appearance, would naturally and logically often involve being physically attractive not only the character mannerisms and behaviors but 'how someone appearances to another'... which more often then not as often involves how someone looks not only what they say or do.

Lots of things can be argued. That doesn't mean they are correct. If you are attractive, then the more Charisma you have, the more attractive you are. But this effect is due to your confidence and force of personality, not the attractiveness itself. You are not improving your appearance; your increased Charisma is increasing the effect of your appearance. Whether or not you are an attractive person is purely subjective in nature and a numerical Charisma score is an objective measure, not a subjective one. On the same note, if you are ugly, increased Charisma makes others more strongly affected by your ugliness while lower Charisma means they are less strongly affected.

All your side keeps doing is going back to the idea that the words "appearance" and "attractiveness" are the synonymous. They are not. Someone can validly describe themselves as Beautiful with a Cha score of 5. Are they not beautiful? No. But is someone with a Cha score of 30 going to be considered more beautiful? Of course. The low score makes them less beautiful, not the opposite of beautiful.

Liberty's Edge

In terms of mechanics one does get some minuses of roles with a low cha. While not making social skills impossible. It does make them harder. As well as doing something like rubbing themselves with horse manure would get huge penalties in my game. Which no amount of roleplaying can remove. Having worked and been around people with bad body odour. No amount of charm, personal charisma or skill at public speaking is going to make anyone ignore the smell. Bribing people with money maybe. If you stink your charming repartee is not going to make me forget about it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Right now, in PFS, I have a character that has a Pig's Snout for a nose, one pointed ear and an ear that has fur on it and flops over, has tusks coming out of her mouth, and big hands. She also has one foot bigger than the other and no thumbnails.

She is a high Cha character because she is a bard, so NPC's and others get over her unusual looks pretty quickly.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
This sort of thing is why I prefer to rename Charisma to Willpower. (And Wisdom to Awareness. And switch which one adds to Will saves.)

Even with this renaming (which I like, btw), I still think it's fitting to add wisdom/awareness to your will save. Making your save then means that you noticed that you become aware that 1) your actions are being influenced/controlled by someone else and 2) noticing a way to get rid of that influence.

I also like the way 4e handles it by allowing the better of two abilities, which represents two ways to counter the spell. either you break it by force (charisma) or you find some flaw/loophole/whatever (wisdom).


JonathonWilder wrote:

I found this while reading Monte Cook's Iron Heroes, this book mentions a connection between Charisma and Physical Beauty:

"Charisma measures a character’s force of personality, persuasiveness, magnetism, leadership, and physical attractiveness.
This ability represents actual strength of personality, not merely how others perceive you in a social setting."

I post this here because of Monte Cook great experience in tabletop roleplaying games, which I feel offers strength to the idea that were is basis to tying Charisma to physical beauty... even if it doesn't have to be 'required'

I'm not sure what Iron Heroes has to do with PF. I'd also like to mention that this is exactly the same text as in D&D (check the SRD). As I already pointed out earlier, but apparently it was ignored, Paizo deemed necessary to change it. So we KNOW that "appearance" has nothing to do with "physical beauty" or "attractiveness", because Paizo says so.

And Wraith, I don't know if I can take your arguments serious. I mean, they boil down to "rules aren't always right, so this one is wrong too" and "some people are stupid or ignorant, so this rule must be wrong".


Anzyr wrote:
JonathonWilder wrote:
Anzyr wrote:

We've covered this a number of times in this thread, but to make it clearer.

Appearance does not equal Attractiveness. So there is no words that support Charisma affecting physical attractiveness. Charisma is a measure of quantity; "how much" appearance someone has, not "how good/bad" their appearance is in the same way STR is measure of how much STR your have not how toned your muscles are. A supermodel character with CHA 5 would be less noticeable and less able to draw attention then an unattractive character with CHA 18.

It has also been covered many times that there was those, counting myself, who argue Appearance can be physical appearance and thus attractiveness. When one asks, "What do you think of their appearance?" Many would answer what another looks like, the word 'Appearance' on character bios often directly mean relates to what a character looks like, their physical appearance.

So I'm sorry but it has and can still be argued that Appearance can involve whether or not someone is Attractive. That a high Charsima, through appearance, would naturally and logically often involve being physically attractive not only the character mannerisms and behaviors but 'how someone appearances to another'... which more often then not as often involves how someone looks not only what they say or do.

You can argue that Appearance includes whether or not someone is attractive, but I can think of no evidence that would support your position. At best, the only relationship is that knowing how to maintain, shape or project one's appearance can make someone more attractive (or less attractive if they wanted), but that has nothing to do with how physically attractive a given person actually is.

I recommend a dictionary.

Appearance isn't water wherein someone can have more or less of it, indeed the sentence, 'she has more appearance than you' doesn't even make grammatical sense in English. This is by far your silliest argument yet anyzr.


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Trimalchio wrote:

I recommend a dictionary.

Appearance isn't water wherein someone can have more or less of it, indeed the sentence, 'she has more appearance than you' doesn't even make grammatical sense in English. This is by far your silliest...

It may not make grammatical sense, but it works for explaining the concept to people who cannot comprehend it otherwise. When I need to explain something to my daughter, I don't use the same complex words I'd use for an adult; I need to simplify it and sometimes, I use non-grammatical structuring so that the can understand it better. But it makes far less sense to claim that appearance means beauty because you can't have "more" or "less" beauty since beauty is a subjective measure. Charisma is your force of personality and confidence and it's the greater measure of that quality that, in the mechanics of the game, governs how strongly others react to the character. Quibbling over using "more than" or "greater than" doesn't validate your point; if anything, it reinforces the pointlessness of your argument. Charisma is a quantitative score and it is not a "composite" of different disparate factors, at least not anymore than Strength is a composite of the strength of different muscle groups. It is a mechanical system and many things are abstracted down into numerical values, but claiming "more appearance" = "more attractive" is utterly facetious.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

People who are "socially invisible" generally have low charisma.

People who really stand out, for better or for worse, generally have high charisma.

A person's ability to attract or repulse others IS partially determined by their charisma. However, their PHYSICAL attractiveness or repulsiveness is not.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like to enforce the idea that if you play a dwarf, you are ugly. To help players properly roleplay this, I make sure the entire world considers dwarf-like features (beard, stocky build, hard work ethic) ugly.

Liberty's Edge

I do think it's taking it too far. If all it takes is to have dwarven features, manners and behavior to be ugly. Then all other races by that defanation should be ugly as well imo. That's one way to make sure no one plays demi-humans in a campaign.

Then again I'm not sure if your serious or being sarcastic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Poe tells us you won't be able to. But I'm not sure it even goes far enough. I don't think you should allow dwarves to put their high stat in Charisma. They need to all have low Charisma, and they all need to be ugly.

Just like mind flayers are incredibly attractive to everyone. They are all drawn to the seductive tentacles on their face.


Timid Street Magician with a 7 charisma. she was cute, but she was so timid she had difficulty talking to people when she wasn't doing card tricks for tips and at the same time, she had to work 10-12 hour days to make money by using sleight of hand to perform card tricks. nobody really remembered her. "Whose Lightning Fingers Rinnie?" only to realize "Lightning Fingers Rinnie" was the youthful sylph named Rin who was nervously performing for them the whole time while she fidgeted and shivered. she actually learned to speak with people on a diplomatic level and improve the beleiveability of her lies as well as her human guise.


Trimalchio wrote:

I recommend a dictionary.

Appearance isn't water wherein someone can have more or less of it, indeed the sentence, 'she has more appearance than you' doesn't even make grammatical sense in English. This is by far your silliest...

I recommend reading comprehention. He didn't say "more appearance than you", he said "appears more attractive than you". Nothing silly about it.


Please go back and be more thorough, try reading every post and not just the posts you wish to read.

Anzyr wrote:
Charisma is a measure of quantity; "how much" appearance someone has, not "how good/bad" their appearance is in the same way STR is measure of how much STR your have not how toned your muscles are. A supermodel character with CHA 5 would be less noticeable and less able to draw attention then an unattractive character with CHA 18.

Look, people can play however they want to play, and as I wrote earlier, many tables totally throw out any association between CHA and beauty, but if anyone bothers to read the very first sentence of what CHA is then it is impossible to escape that CHA, in part, reflects 'appearance', and any commonsensical definition of 'appearance' directly relates to physical beauty. As far as I'm concerned those who disagree are really having an argument with the English language, which honestly, happens all the time.


Trimalchio wrote:

Please go back and be more thorough, try reading every post and not just the posts you wish to read.

Anzyr wrote:
Charisma is a measure of quantity; "how much" appearance someone has, not "how good/bad" their appearance is in the same way STR is measure of how much STR your have not how toned your muscles are. A supermodel character with CHA 5 would be less noticeable and less able to draw attention then an unattractive character with CHA 18.
Look, people can play however they want to play, and as I wrote earlier, many tables totally throw out any association between CHA and beauty, but if anyone bothers to read the very first sentence of what CHA is then it is impossible to escape that CHA, in part, reflects 'appearance', and any commonsensical definition of 'appearance' directly relates to physical beauty. As far as I'm concerned those who disagree are really having an argument with the English language, which honestly, happens all the time.

Appearance does not relate to physical beauty at all. Everyone has an appearance regardless of how physically attractive they are. That's using the most common sense definition. Sorry English is not your friend here.


I can't force you to open a dictionary, and I also can't force you to improve your mastery of English beyond the grasp you have of it now, I can only recommend you practice, try reading more literature or watching more plays.


when charisma mentions "appearance". it doesn't mean "what you physically look like". it means your "presence" or how much of an impression you leave. in the Timid Rinnie Example, she leaves no impression, neither positive or negative. she just appears to be a nervous young novice with a deck of cards and a plain and relatively mundane dress. in fact, she seems to appear to be any other nervous novice dabbling in legerdemain for the first time. she is cute, but not enough to really leave an impression. no real presence is left behind, and she is on the surface, that performer that never got invited into a circus troupe because she "lacks the experience" or "lacks the ambition". i mean, she has ambition and experience, but it doesn't really show very well.


here, try reading examples of the word used in a sentence.

But I think I'll have to disengage after this, if only for my own sanity.

Dark Archive

I have already given up arguing Trimalchie, as I feel this is a situation whether those that believe Charisma doesn't or shouldn't involving one's attractiveness or lack there of wont be changing their mind.

Of any matter, when one gets down to it, this is a subject to be decided by the DM and players.


there are multiple definitions of appearance. in fact, confidence is far more important to your appearance than what your biological features are. there isn't a charisma requirement to possess certain features. because appearance, isn't a matter of what features you have, it is a matter of how you carry yourself. you can have 2 twin sisters who have the exact same cosmetic features and both could even dress the same, but both carry themselves differently and thus have different presences. presence is the most important part of appearance. a low charisma doesn't mean you don't have attractive cosmetic features, it means that despite your features, you seem plain to the others.


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Trimalchio wrote:
Appearance isn't water wherein someone can have more or less of it, indeed the sentence, 'she has more appearance than you' doesn't even make grammatical sense in English. This is by far your silliest argument yet anyzr.

Yet another fine argument for Charisma having anything to do with either appearance or physical beauty being silly.

Charisma in this game is a number that you have less or more of and if appearance and/or physical beauty is a part of that number then mechanically you can have either more or less of it. That's what happens when the game requires that we apply numbers to a subjective concept.

Dumb right?

- Torger


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Trimalchio wrote:

here, try reading examples of the word used in a sentence.

But I think I'll have to disengage after this, if only for my own sanity.

Ok. Let's play this game. Here they are: (Also Longman Dictionary? The hell is that? No seriously... who uses that?)

He was always criticising his wife's appearance. <- nothing about attractiveness here.

They've changed the appearance of the whole building. <- same.

We are often attracted to somebody first by their physical appearance. <- irrelevant since Charisma doesn't say physical appearance.

Women, in general, tend to be more concerned than men about their personal appearance. <- Still nothing about attractiveness.

She had an outward appearance of calm, but deep down she was really worried. <- Anything on this about attractiveness?

They work hard at school without giving the appearance of being particularly hard-working. <- I'm confused. Why would you cite a weird dictionary that has no examples that help your argument?

The pupils looked angelic - but appearances can be deceptive. <- So... I'll just rest my case here. Thanks for making it for me I guess?

Dark Archive

Many of the above actually involve what someone or something looks like, often in this context "what someone or something looks like" involve physical appearance and when it comes to a person their 'attractiveness':
* For example in the women being more concerned about their personal appearances involves whether or not others find them attractive.
* Another is a wife criticizing their husband's appearance, which can involve then not being attractive because they don't keep up their physical appearance.


physical appearance, as in what you look like, shouldn't really be determined by an attribute number because it consists both of your natural physical features, and how well you maintain those features, which i beleive would be a matter of constitution more than charisma, healthier people are generally more attactive, and healthier slaves often sold for more. so this has pretty good historical precedent as far back as the Romans. a Roman Centurion would never take the loss on selling a sickly prisoner they know they can get more money in the long run from nursing back to health before they sold. because physical health has value, whether you are working a forced predetermined profession against your will such as a slave or you were a wife to court with the intent of producing and raising functional children. in fact, physical features or even lineage are irrelevant compared to physical condition. sure, you can hire a sickly individual to work as a scribe in a church basement if they are already literate but manual laborers and engineers tend to be more important when constructing and retaining a civilization, and both of those require a working level of passable physical health.

Edit; Labororers and Engineers are more important than scribes, and some of the most important laborers were those who worked such fields as construction, carpentry or agriculture because you need a dedicated group of builders or dedicated groups of crop growers. in fact, the majority of professions important to retaining a humanoid civilization all have some degree of heavy physical component. because a farmhand with tuberculosis is a useless body who can't tend your fields, not that a desperate society who has the resources can't hire diabetic city guards, but that is because diabetes back then, was easier to maintain than tuberculosis. don't cough up blood on the crops, but sure, we can have a domestic guard or few who needs extra bread rations to function.


Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
physical appearance, as in what you look like, shouldn't really be determined by an attribute number because it consists both of your natural physical features, and how well you maintain those features

Indeed. It's notable how just about every gamer story of That Guy includes mention of his terrible personal hygiene.

Like I've mentioned once or twice up-thread, a lot of the things that factor into your appearance are pretty easy to change. I don't think the Barbarian should be gaining charisma every time he takes a shower or puts on something nicer than animal skins. Nor should the wizard go up in charisma just because he used Alter Self to give his body the physique of a greek god.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
physical appearance, as in what you look like, shouldn't really be determined by an attribute number because it consists both of your natural physical features, and how well you maintain those features

Indeed. It's notable how just about every gamer story of That Guy includes mention of his terrible personal hygiene.

Like I've mentioned once or twice up-thread, a lot of the things that factor into your appearance are pretty easy to change. I don't think the Barbarian should be gaining charisma every time he takes a shower or puts on something nicer than animal skins. Nor should the wizard go up in charisma just because he used Alter Self to give his body the physique of a greek god.

i agree. and health is just as important to attractiveness

Silver Crusade

For my games, considering attractiveness is based off of deciding if someone is a good breeding material. It's why as humans we find certain features attractive. However it's not just your looks, it's also your force of will, are you dominant, because that means that you'll be able to get more resources and be a better provider (or in the case of a female, secure more food during the process of birthing and rearing offspring).

I take the two highest physical stats (the physical side of appearnce, strength for heavy muscle, dex for corded muscle, con for health) If any of them are below 10, that subtracts from the overall score.
I add those two together, and subtract anything from the "bad" stat (if necessary)

Then comes the charisma, I add that to the current score gained from the physical stats.

Then I divide everything by three. Creatures have a bonus with creatures in their own grouping.

To tell how beautiful an animal is (as in healthy looking, glossy coat, close to its breed standard, ect) It's simply the three physical scores. Those give you an idea of the difference between a broken down old nag and a purebred Quadirian Stallion who is in his prime.


For most of the things that Charisma affects I don't see raw physical beauty being THE factor. It's more a matter of how you appear to be.

Are you emitting a aura of confidence via the way you hold yourself?
Is the way you're presenting making it seem like you're the guy in charge?
Do you appear to be taking the other sides' wants in consideration and understanding them?
Are your emulations evoking you're about to attack or show an unnatural calm?

If the answer to these questions is Yes or I can then generally I'd say you've got ability in Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Intimidation, etc... The best description for this to me is presence.

In general I'd say raw physical beauty is NOT a factor in those things and when it is it's often in regards to specific genders, sexual persuasions, or cultures than across the board and can have negative effects with a good portion of the populace as well.


Gullyble Dwarf - Lvl 7 DM wrote:
In general I'd say raw physical beauty is NOT a factor in those things and when it is it's often in regards to specific genders, sexual persuasions, or cultures than across the board and can have negative effects with a good portion of the populace as well.

Also a good point; in a place as diverse as your typical fantasy game beauty is going to be very much in the eye of the beholder. It's certainly possible to have, say, a half-orc character who's ugly by human standards, but quite the looker by orc ones.


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Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

For my games, considering attractiveness is based off of deciding if someone is a good breeding material. It's why as humans we find certain features attractive. However it's not just your looks, it's also your force of will, are you dominant, because that means that you'll be able to get more resources and be a better provider (or in the case of a female, secure more food during the process of birthing and rearing offspring).

I take the two highest physical stats (the physical side of appearnce, strength for heavy muscle, dex for corded muscle, con for health) If any of them are below 10, that subtracts from the overall score.
I add those two together, and subtract anything from the "bad" stat (if necessary)

Then comes the charisma, I add that to the current score gained from the physical stats.

Then I divide everything by three. Creatures have a bonus with creatures in their own grouping.

To tell how beautiful an animal is (as in healthy looking, glossy coat, close to its breed standard, ect) It's simply the three physical scores. Those give you an idea of the difference between a broken down old nag and a purebred Quadirian Stallion who is in his prime.

You've never seen "healthy as a horse, looks like one too?"


RDM42 wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

For my games, considering attractiveness is based off of deciding if someone is a good breeding material. It's why as humans we find certain features attractive. However it's not just your looks, it's also your force of will, are you dominant, because that means that you'll be able to get more resources and be a better provider (or in the case of a female, secure more food during the process of birthing and rearing offspring).

I take the two highest physical stats (the physical side of appearnce, strength for heavy muscle, dex for corded muscle, con for health) If any of them are below 10, that subtracts from the overall score.
I add those two together, and subtract anything from the "bad" stat (if necessary)

Then comes the charisma, I add that to the current score gained from the physical stats.

Then I divide everything by three. Creatures have a bonus with creatures in their own grouping.

To tell how beautiful an animal is (as in healthy looking, glossy coat, close to its breed standard, ect) It's simply the three physical scores. Those give you an idea of the difference between a broken down old nag and a purebred Quadirian Stallion who is in his prime.

You've never seen "healthy as a horse, looks like one too?"

This is true. The butterface is a thing. Look at Brienne of Tarth. In prime physical condition, but notoriously ugly in the facial region.

A thing that doesn't stop many guys (and a few ladies) from trying to hit that, anyway, because for many the body is what matters, but a thing nonetheless.

The point remains you can be in perfect physical health and looking like you got beaten with the ugly stick.

(And for some people that's not a deterrent.)


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
Gullyble Dwarf - Lvl 7 DM wrote:
In general I'd say raw physical beauty is NOT a factor in those things and when it is it's often in regards to specific genders, sexual persuasions, or cultures than across the board and can have negative effects with a good portion of the populace as well.
Also a good point; in a place as diverse as your typical fantasy game beauty is going to be very much in the eye of the beholder. It's certainly possible to have, say, a half-orc character who's ugly by human standards, but quite the looker by orc ones.

Given the willingness of non-human races to bang humans as a general rule, it would appear that human standards are pretty universal standards. >_>


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Or maybe a lot of races are into wingless angels. Heh.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
Also a good point; in a place as diverse as your typical fantasy game beauty is going to be very much in the eye of the beholder.

This is Pathfinder; there are no Beholders in Pathfinder.


Looks definitely matter though. The whole Trojan war was fault at its base over a beautiful woman. I believe Looks and personality should be alternate stats.


Physical appearance is too subjective to simply sum up with a stat. What looks good to you humans looks weird to me.

Also, it's been over four years. Why'd ya have to go and wake me up after all this time?


Charisma is definitely physical beauty. I see some examples, there's one at the top that describes an attractive but anti-social girl as someone who isn't charismatic. They may not be as charismatic as someone whose outgoing but being attractive definitely will make people more likely to want to be around you, open up or trust you. It's why villains are stereotypically unattractive and if a villain is attractive they have lots of fans.

If you want a good if exaggerated example watch the Bubble episode of 30 Rock.

McDaygo wrote:
Looks definitely matter though. The whole Trojan war was fault at its base over a beautiful woman. I believe Looks and personality should be alternate stats.

That would just make things needlessly complicated. It would be like splitting intelligence for different kinds of thinking.


The fact of the matter is that telling a player their character must be hideous because they're playing a Warpriest and they have no need for charisma just isn't very fun.


Doompatrol wrote:
Charisma is definitely physical beauty.

Charisma is your ability to manipulate others, your force of personality. This can be done through physical beauty, but is not dependant on it.

Helen of Sparta manipulated exactly one person: Prince Paris of Troy. If her beauty represented her Charisma she may have held sway over more people and could have averted the war, or even avoided her unfortunate marriage in the first place.

While King Minelaus may have used birthright more than Charisma to hold sway over others, Achilles was able to intimidate the entire Trojan army - sending them fleeing for the hills. That is Charisma at work, and was definitely not related to his physical beauty.


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Did Helen even manipulate anyone? It has been a very long time since I read the Iliad but as I recall Helen was mostly a passive actor that men would kidnap and fight each other over and she had very little say in the matter.


MrCharisma wrote:
Doompatrol wrote:
Charisma is definitely physical beauty.

Charisma is your ability to manipulate others, your force of personality. This can be done through physical beauty, but is not dependant on it.

Helen of Sparta manipulated exactly one person: Prince Paris of Troy. If her beauty represented her Charisma she may have held sway over more people and could have averted the war, or even avoided her unfortunate marriage in the first place.

While King Minelaus may have used birthright more than Charisma to hold sway over others, Achilles was able to intimidate the entire Trojan army - sending them fleeing for the hills. That is Charisma at work, and was definitely not related to his physical beauty.

Sure but none of that first paragraph actually goes against what I said. Charisma is physical beauty, charisma is also the sound of your voice, charisma is also your attitude.

Probably did but this falls under the argument that charisma/diplomacy is not mind control.

Actually it was his appearance, I'm sure Achilles didn't look like Danny Devito. But this is also a weird aspect of charisma and intimidate and would probably be more common with women where you could have a woman who is really likable but couldn't intimidate a newborn pup.


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I don't think CHA is even the most important concept in this thread that some are missing.
Let me rephrase it without using CHA at all.
Helping a little old lady across the street is a Good act*.
That doesn't mean Good must only and always equate with helping a little old lady across the street.
There are Good characters who always help little old ladies cross the street.
There are Good characters who have never helped a little old lady across the street.
There are Evil characters who always help little old ladies cross the street.

When you use a single metric to measure multiple independent factors, each factor doesn't have ultimate relevance.
It CAN be relevant, but it isn't necessarily, and the degree of it's relevance is never specified nor even necessarly consistent.
Nothing in game rule definitions tells us that direct 1:1 == equivalencies are required.
Nothing in game tells us the meta of mechanical definitions must function as physical laws by simulationist paradigm,
nothing tells us a given physical beauty/plainness has consistent CHA value independent of other CHA relevant factors.
Maybe it is more convenient to view everything from that lens, with no vagaries that can't be pinned down.
But that approach isn't specified by the rules.
This goes for so many other things in the game where people only want to consider 1:1 == relationships.
Maybe that's what the look for in RPG game, to present a predictable controllable field to our ego, unlike real life.
Which is perhaps ultimate irony of obsessing over "simulationist" or "representationalist" paradigm of of rules.
But that isn't inherent to the rules, and reading them according to that meta gratification is unavoidably distorting.

* The validity of this statement is only valid for purposes of this thought excercise,
and does not make judgements about morality of helping evil psychopath kitten murderer old ladies cross the street to find more kittens.
Also, no little old ladies (or kittens) were harmed in the creation of this post.


Being charismatic and being good-looking are not the same thing. Look at Hitler. He was short and fat. It was the force of personality that people responded to. How else would he get thousands of people to seek an 'ideal' look yet ignore that he was the exact opposite of it?

For a more palatable example, take the actress Uma Thurman. She has a fairly plain face rather than a conventional 'pretty' one. But she is drop-dead sexy when she wants to be. That's a facet of charisma.

Are people more likely to pay attention to a good-looking person? Yes. But that is only a part of what makes a person charismatic or not.


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Charisma can't be physical attractiveness.

One adds their charisma modifier to all of their diplomacy rolls whether you are trying to influence the Queen, a Dragon, or an Otyugh. Physical attractiveness is inherently subjective- what the Otyugh finds appealing probably has nothing to do with what individuals who don't live in a sewer and consume primarily garbage find appealing.

Just assuming what humans are into every other sentient being in the galaxy is also into is bizarre, and humans are demonstrably not all into the same stuff.


Seriously, what level of Necromancer/Death Cleric do you have to be to bring a four year old thread back from the dead? Serious necromancy skills are going on here guys. And as a big fan of unstoppable legions of the undead, I feel obligated to contribute.

I've always treated Charisma more like "Personality" and ability to influence others. Sure, a high Charisma character can be played as jaw droppingly attractive, but they could easily be insanely intimidating or very persuasive too.


Doompatrol wrote:
Charisma is definitely physical beauty.

Those undead and aberrations sure are smexy.


SomethingRandom wrote:
Doompatrol wrote:
Charisma is definitely physical beauty.
Those undead and aberrations sure are smexy.

Depends on the undead or aberration.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Charisma can't be physical attractiveness.

And, yet, here it is (emphasis mine):

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

It certainly can include physical beauty, it just doesn't need to. Besides, this is fantasy. Why not allow someone to be so beautiful that their beauty can influence even the poop-eating otyugh? The net effect is the same - their Charisma (and ability to wield that beauty, magnetism, personality, whatever) enables them to do better at interactions than someone who's more of a dud.


and here I read through around 300 posts, just to be reassured of why I hate the weighted point buy...
dump stats....
the meaning of Charisma and beauty......
bad wrong fun.

one of my character concepts has her charisma enhanced by a magical ritual done in the first world/ feywild/ whatever plan of of the fey, where 100 different fey including Snowshield an arch fey that is a nymph went and got together and decided to play a twisted prank on mortals. this was also done generations beyond her own birth

leaves her natural 17 charisma at 22. she has the body and personality of a nymph, that said she is shy and reclusive as hell and would not get her cha bonus to any skill that required cha when she is on an area surrounded by a large crowd
( aka not a party leader type)

think I'll go call up Dr. House and have my head examined now

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