Charisma is not Physical Beauty


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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In my opinion the only relevance between physical beauty and Charisma is that beautiful people are more likely to have a better Charisma.


But when I think about it, it also makes sense for the reverse to be true. So, in the end, I have no idea.


If you want a stat that represents how physically attractive your character is then bring back the comeliness stat. When it was originally introduced it was a stat that you rolled just like the others but was then modified by your character's charisma. Allowing a character to have one higher then 18 or lower then 3 at character creation. In later editions it was changed to just provide a positive or negative reaction modifier and it was uncoupled from charisma completely.

In the end I think it was dropped since players didn't like having a stat that indicated how attractive or unattractive their character was. It also never made sense for it to just be something a player chose like gender, height and weight since most players would probably just choose to be pretty.

Outside of having a comeliness stat I think its up to the player to decide how much of their character's "likability" aka charisma is the result of the character's physical attractiveness and how much is just their force of personality. Maybe they are gorgeous but have a tendency to talk down to everyone resulting in a charisma that is just above average instead of really high or really low.

I know one DM made it a calculated value being based on your character's charisma and constitution.

When my group used it, it was just a straight 3d6 roll that was made independently from the rest of your stats. This worked fine until the munchkin player in the group found a way to abuse its benefits. After that we stopped using it, making said player want to play something else. So he was allowed to have his replacement character assassinate his high comeliness wizard.


oh im a cult of personality.....


Bill Dunn wrote:
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.

If that's what the player wants, I guess? I've no dog in this fight (I view stats as means to ends - as they effect mechanics I staunchly resist them effecting things other than mechanics - perhaps my reckless Caydenite cleric has to be better at perception then the average person as an unfortunate side effect of pumping his spell DCs, but he sure as hell doesn't have to be wise.), but as I see it the thing people were complaining about four years ago was largely the assertion that low charisma characters had to be ugly, not that high charisma characters could be attractive.

Grand Lodge

I'd rule charisma affects physical appearance simply to dissuade the "beautiful woman who justifies low charisma by being a knob to everyone" character from showing up.

I don't want to play with that character and I don't want to run a game for that character. If you insist on being the beautiful jerkass, I will make you spend the charisma to do so.


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Lyoto Machida wrote:

I'd rule charisma affects physical appearance simply to dissuade the "beautiful woman who justifies low charisma by being a knob to everyone" character from showing up.

I don't want to play with that character and I don't want to run a game for that character. If you insist on being the beautiful jerkass, I will make you spend the charisma to do so.

Have you considered having an adult conversation about why you don't like to play with this type of character rather than being passive aggressive about it and reaching to tie game mechanics to your personal pet peeves


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I can see "I was considered attractive by the people who I spent my formative years around" as the basis for the sort of self-assuredness that is the foundation for a charismatic personality, sure.

But I also see no problem with the "drop dead gorgeous person who was raised by wolves" having a middling charisma. "I have low charisma, so I'm going to interpret this by causing problems in every social encounter" is potentially a problem, doing so while insisting that you are also easy on the eyes is not more of a problem.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Lyoto Machida wrote:

I'd rule charisma affects physical appearance simply to dissuade the "beautiful woman who justifies low charisma by being a knob to everyone" character from showing up.

I don't want to play with that character and I don't want to run a game for that character. If you insist on being the beautiful jerkass, I will make you spend the charisma to do so.

Have you considered having an adult conversation about why you don't like to play with this type of character rather than being passive aggressive about it and reaching to tie game mechanics to your personal pet peeves

At the least, if a GM doesn't want a player playing that kind of character, it seems more sensible to ban it rather than introduce restrictions. If the player grudgingly accepts those restrictions, then both GM and player are unhappy, and that's worse than the original problem.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Most hags have higher charisma scores than Amiri, the iconic barbarian. That in itself should tell you that charisma and beauty do not correlate with each other.


David knott 242 wrote:

Most hags have higher charisma scores than Amiri, the iconic barbarian. That in itself should tell you that charisma and beauty do not correlate with each other.

Don't beauty shame hags. Next you'll tell me Krakens aren't sexy sexy beasts themselves.

Grand Lodge

blahpers wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Lyoto Machida wrote:

I'd rule charisma affects physical appearance simply to dissuade the "beautiful woman who justifies low charisma by being a knob to everyone" character from showing up.

I don't want to play with that character and I don't want to run a game for that character. If you insist on being the beautiful jerkass, I will make you spend the charisma to do so.

Have you considered having an adult conversation about why you don't like to play with this type of character rather than being passive aggressive about it and reaching to tie game mechanics to your personal pet peeves
At the least, if a GM doesn't want a player playing that kind of character, it seems more sensible to ban it rather than introduce restrictions. If the player grudgingly accepts those restrictions, then both GM and player are unhappy, and that's worse than the original problem.

First off, I don't I'm twisting the rules since in the book it says charisma affects appearance.

Anyway, the thing that always happens (in my own experience admittedly) is once the player with the pretty character has charisma, that player doesn't feel the need to be a jerk to justify the avatar beauty and lack of charisma. They just start playing their character like they have, well, charisma.

Yes, I could just ban people from having excessively pretty avatars which always snuffs that archetype. But I guess I prefer trying work out a compromise rather than going for the sledgehammer approach.

Shadow Lodge

Lyoto Machida wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Lyoto Machida wrote:

I'd rule charisma affects physical appearance simply to dissuade the "beautiful woman who justifies low charisma by being a knob to everyone" character from showing up.

I don't want to play with that character and I don't want to run a game for that character. If you insist on being the beautiful jerkass, I will make you spend the charisma to do so.

Have you considered having an adult conversation about why you don't like to play with this type of character rather than being passive aggressive about it and reaching to tie game mechanics to your personal pet peeves
At the least, if a GM doesn't want a player playing that kind of character, it seems more sensible to ban it rather than introduce restrictions. If the player grudgingly accepts those restrictions, then both GM and player are unhappy, and that's worse than the original problem.

First off, I don't I'm twisting the rules since in the book it says charisma affects appearance.

Anyway, the thing that always happens (in my own experience admittedly) is once the player with the pretty character has charisma, that player doesn't feel the need to be a jerk to justify the avatar beauty and lack of charisma. They just start playing their character like they have, well, charisma.

Yes, I could just ban people from having excessively pretty avatars which always snuffs that archetype. But I guess I prefer trying work out a compromise rather than going for the sledgehammer approach.

Or, because they think that beauty is tied to Charisma, they think they have to be unbearable in order to keep their Charisma as low as they want it to be.

If you decouple Charisma from beauty completely, the player shouldn't feel like they have to pay for their beauty with an awful personality.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The least offensive way to combine attractive appearance with low charisma would be to play the character as shy and unassertive -- a wallflower, in other words.

An character who comes across as an obnoxious jerk could still have a high charisma if he gets attention and gives people the feeling that they really should go along with his ideas.


Well, here's a thing- as a GM I do not feel obligated to make players pay a tax in order to have whatever hair color, height/weight, musculature, body type, style of dress, etc. that they want.

So if someone wants to say "my character has long red hair, beguiling green eyes, a perfectly symmetrical face and is a 36-24-36" or "my character looks like Idris Elba" that's going to cost nothing in terms of stats. So I don't know if I need to ask people to refrain from describing their characters as attractive when their stats aren't high enough, when they can have "things which conventionally describe attractiveness" for free.


Lyoto Machida wrote:
If you insist on being the beautiful jerkass, I will make you spend the charisma to do so.

Maybe you could just impose a "don't be a jerkass" rule?


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

Most hags have higher charisma scores than Amiri, the iconic barbarian. That in itself should tell you that charisma and beauty do not correlate with each other.

Don't beauty shame hags. Next you'll tell me Krakens aren't sexy sexy beasts themselves.

hey did you know that Krakens are sexy hentai beasts

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