How to play a charisma 7 character?


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Hi!

One of my players just gave me his sheet and suprise suprise, charisma 7. I just asked him how he looks like and how he wants to play charisma 7. His answer was this picture and that that he is not god in human relationships.

I am not super strikt with this acutally but this player suppose to be a power player in every party dumping charisma stats or int stats but not playing it correctly. Looking into the Ability Score Description a Charisma 7 character looks like a Troll or a Bear. I once played with a guy who was ugly and scratches his ass, picking his nose and stuff that would be ok too.

My question is: Would you let him get through with this Jake Gyllenhaal picture and this Oh I am not good with human relation thing. I would say the guy on the picture is Cha 12.


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Sure, he can look like that... if he smells like a sewer.


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There is a way to handle this in game already.
Its called a negative modifier. Ignore what the player says, enforce the modifier.
Anything else is house rule territory.

That said...
Yeah, I get royally pi**ed off with people pulling that cr*p and then their PC starts acting like a tactical/intellectual super-genius with the vocabulary and wonderful personality of Casanova...

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Tell him he looks like this instead.


Charisma is not just looks.
That might be part of it, but one can be physically attractive with low Cha, or physically unattractive with high Cha.

The same actor can play characters that are suave and charming, listless and dull, or grating and annoying.


He just maintains that dead-eyed stare all the time, without changing expression. People assume he is untrustworthy and hiding something, up to and including "the missing bodies".

Personally, I discourage dumping any stat below 8.


The Ability Score Description just mentions that their charisma is equivalent to that of a troll or bear. Similarly, someone with 16 charisma probably doesn't look like an ogre mage.
It's a mental stat, so even someone who appears attractive could have low charisma if they lack social skills


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Aldizog wrote:

Charisma is not just looks.

That might be part of it, but one can be physically attractive with low Cha, or physically unattractive with high Cha.

The same actor can play characters that are suave and charming, listless and dull, or grating and annoying.

Yeah, I mean, look at Shalelu. Her Cha is 8, but her art is really cute. (When we ran Jade Regent, our GM played her as just being really shy and awkward.)

Especially since attractiveness is kind of subjective anyway. Charisma is more force of personality and ability to get people to do what you want. Attractiveness can be part of it, but isn't the whole thing.

Maybe he's a smarmy guy who tries to rely on his looks to get what he wants...and people find that really off-putting. (As most people would.)


Thanks for your answers. That gave me a new perspective. I guess I can handle him now :)


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0 – – Unable to express itself in any way and is unconscious.
1 –5 Zombie, golem, shrieker Barely conscious, appears blank and expressionless
2-3 –4 Spider, crocodile, lizard, rhinoceros Capable of only minimal independent decision-making
4–5 –3 Dire rat, weasel, chuul, donkey Has no awareness of the needs of others, almost no sense of empathy
6–7 –2 Badger, troll, fire beetle, bear Uninteresting, rude, boorish, and generally unpleasant to be around
8–9 –1 Gnoll, dire boar, manticore, gorgon Something of a bore or makes people mildly uncomfortable
10–11 +0 Human, wolverine, dretch Understands most conventions of social interactions and acts relatively acceptably in social circumstances

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/basics-ability-scores/ability-scores/

With a 7 charisma, he would be Uninteresting, rude, boorish, and generally unpleasant to be around and would make people mildly uncomfortable.

If he's not going to roleplay this, then you can do it through how NPC's interact with him.

Even if he says something completely tame and appropriate, like "Barkeep, I'll have an ale please.", the barkeep can react with "Hey hey calm down buddy, no need to be rude."


There are loads of ways to have a low charisma. Attractiveness has nothing to do with it. The character can be super shy, rude, or just have a bad reputation that follows him.


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Okay, looking at the picture of that guy sets off my creep o meter, and I used to bellyrub wolves for a sort of living. So yes, that is one way to have a 7 charisma.

Rude, obnoxious, overbearing,

creepy

shy/ Stutters.

Overly arrogant and proud and annoys people

oily obsequious and obvious about it.


He will be a bit depressed and negative. Always blame bad things on luck and good things on other. Not very confident.

Silver Crusade

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In social media ask first to high charisma characters.

Ignore low charisma mates for a while. just like low charisma people is ignored in real life. They had dificult to can get their words listened


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You could even be a generally pleasant person to be around who just doesn't have enough force of personality to be persuasive--you might be shy, or maybe just kind of, you know . . . wishy-washy. </lucyvanpelt>


Charisma represents the natural ability to intentionally influence others.

So, you're a bad liar (obvious tells), you can't really inspire people or make requests. You might be nice and make a genuine effort, but accidentally say something offensive. Or you're rude or maybe shy.

You just can't affect people the way you want.


It's funny because all of that doesn't matter if he puts points in diplomacy.
It's just a stat imo.
You can have 5 STR doesn't mean you can't climb a tree, just need More ranks Ana you Will never Excel at it


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There is no right way to play any stat. People have given myriad great suggestions for possibilities. A 7 is -2, so really only two standard deviations from normal. this person is certainly unpleasant to be around often or non-present. But the flavor of that is in the hands of your players.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

A couple people have mentioned it already but a low CHA shouldn't really mean a bad personality, ie rude, obnoxious, annoying, or what have you. It should mean a weak personality like shy, or quiet, or just meek.

A high CHA is a strong personality, one that everyone can notice - whether it's for good or bad. Likewise, a low CHA means you are the person everyone ignores.

Especially if there is a high CHA character nearby. I assume this character will be part of a group and that they will not have the highest CHA score of the bunch. With that in mind, have all the NPCs gravitate to the others. Have them ignore what 7 CHA says, or direct their replies to the rest of the party, that sort of thing.


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In a way that is fun for the DM and the other players at the table.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
roguerouge wrote:
In a way that is fun for the DM and the other players at the table.

This!

I've had the experience of a player using the excuse of having a low Cha as the reason he was behaving like an ass at the table.

"It's not my fault that I'm so annoying. My PC just has low charisma I need to play him this way."

Not good.


Many undead have high charisma despite being uglier than sin. I assume they have some kind of will to live that this represents. The reverse means charisma 7 doesn't have to be ugly.


How I would handle Charisma mechanically that fits thematically is that if there ever comes a moment to speak and more than one character has something to say it goes by charisma.

It's not the players fault that Charisma does so little.


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I've always looked at Charisma as the Strength of a personality.

A guy who is super annoying, or forcefully rude are guys I actually view as having a high charisma not a low one. Regardless of how they are behaving they still get people's attention

a 7 charisma is like the guy who offers up a great plan to the group, only to be ignored. Then 5 seconds later someone else offersthe exact same plan and everyone tells them what a great idea it is.

Or they are just someone who is naturally a follower, doing what other characters tell them to do because they are more comfortable being in someone shadow.

It's the strength of your Ego. How much you believe in yourself.

That's why Undead tend to have high scores
"Dead?...screw that who do you think I am!"


Thinking it over Strength of Personality may be the wrong way to look at it.

Going by how I described before, it's basically telling the low charisma character to sit in the corner and be quiet, and that is a sucky way to role-play

Maybe a better way to look at it is Strength of Conviction.

The High charisma character rarely doubts himself. He's Right, his ideology is right. Whatever it is he believes in he dose so whole heartedly without a moment of doubt.

The Low charisma character is constantly questioning himself and his beliefs. Even when he makes the right decision he still wonders if he could have done something better.

Viewed from that perspective, a low charisma offers a lot more role-play opportunities than the "Strength of Personality" viewpoint.


Greylurker wrote:

That's why Undead tend to have high scores

"Dead?...screw that who do you think I am!"

I think if we are being truthful undead and many other creatures have good charisma for mechanics more than actual lore. It's their hit points and for them the save DC for abilities.


I have to go with the whole meek and unsure of himself route, since he is clearly not going the scary troll route.

How you as the GM run it is the most important here.

If the player makes brilliant, convincing arguments, the NPCs ask, "Did you just say something? Please don't interrupt, we have a serious problem here."

You can't stop a player from ignoring his character's flaws, and Cha 7 is certainly a flaw.
You can and MUST control how NPCs/environment react to the character based on those flaws if the player chooses to ignore them.


I just read it as "Charisma is one's innate ability (as opposed to learned, practiced, or trained ability) to influence others through communication either verbal or nonverbal."

So a very low charisma character might be shy, insincere, haughty, irritating, two-faced, suspicious, rude, overbearing, or any combination of characteristics that would make people generally disinclined to follow.

Of course, all of this can be overcome by ranks in diplomacy, etc. which allows you to tell the story of a shy person who learned how to be more persuasive through time and effort.


What if you have a -2 Cha mod, but sink full ranks into diplomacy, bluff, and intimidate? Surely one shouldn't be ignored or sidelined then?


Tsukiyo wrote:
What if you have a -2 Cha mod, but sink full ranks into diplomacy, bluff, and intimidate? Surely one shouldn't be ignored or sidelined then?

In that case, no he wouldn't be sidelined. Be honest though, do you believe anyone who is going to sell down Charisma to 7 is going to "waste" putting points into social skills?


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Daw wrote:


In that case, no he wouldn't be sidelined. Be honest though, do you believe anyone who is going to sell down Charisma to 7 is going to "waste" putting points into social skills?

Definitely. Wizards, witches etc. who dump stats to pump int. as high as possible can easily invest in social skills given their surplus of skill ranks from the aforementioned pumped intelligence. I've done it myself several times.


Just my 2 cents: A Character with a high Charisma isn't simply a strong personality, but a compelling one. I know plenty of people with "strong" personalities that are boorish, unpleasant, etc. Which is not charismatic at all.

As for appearance, a low charisma doesn't have to be "ugly," but can't be so attractive that other flaws are overlooked by other people. Because that's not low charisma either.

Finally, and I can't stress this enough, Charisma is often treated as a dump stat. This personally irritates me. For some builds, it's necessary, I get it, etc. But like Daw indicated, there need to be in-game consequences for it. Like the example given: A compelling argument the player makes gets "filtered" through the character's low score.

Just my thoughts.


Its hard to roleplay 7 charisma without putting other people's noses out of joint at a table if you ask me.

But NPCs can react to him in a way which makes sense for his Charisma.

I do think it should be mentioned that Charisma is a mental stat not a physical one. So he can be reasonably good looking, he just has to be a hateful boring turd as well. xD


Aldizog wrote:

Charisma is not just looks.

That might be part of it, but one can be physically attractive with low Cha, or physically unattractive with high Cha.

This.

Blahper wrote:
You could even be a generally pleasant person to be around who just doesn't have enough force of personality to be persuasive--you might be shy, or maybe just kind of, you know . . . wishy-washy.

Also this.

I'd tie charisma to personality as well as looks.
A pretty face might have the worst personality.
While for example 'Grug the -savage looking- orc chief' might be quite the diplomatic person.

My alchemist wears a mask, but by no means am i going to have that PC be ugly at the time of face reveal, should the time come. The PC is just more practical and blunt.

Party's verdant sorcerer RP'ed his hair turning to grass-like, alchemist called it weeds at some point in a conversation. It was a joke, but a bit of a blunt one.

The angle of 'just not good with humans' sounds a bit plain, though.

Chromantic Durgon :3 wrote:
So he can be reasonably good looking, he just has to be a hateful boring turd as well. xD

At least towards humans, by the sound of it. ^^


vadda wrote:

Hi!

One of my players just gave me his sheet and suprise suprise, charisma 7. I just asked him how he looks like and how he wants to play charisma 7. His answer was this picture and that that he is not god in human relationships.

I am not super strikt with this acutally but this player suppose to be a power player in every party dumping charisma stats or int stats but not playing it correctly. Looking into the Ability Score Description a Charisma 7 character looks like a Troll or a Bear. I once played with a guy who was ugly and scratches his ass, picking his nose and stuff that would be ok too.

My question is: Would you let him get through with this Jake Gyllenhaal picture and this Oh I am not good with human relation thing. I would say the guy on the picture is Cha 12.

You have never met a beautiful but totally vapid and uncompelling person with the force of personality of a grey dishrag?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My low Cha characters run the gamut from nice to mean, attractive to plain. But one thing they all have in common is not being able to impose their will. They may make suggestions, but more often than not they follow what the party wants to do. They just don't have the natural ability to get their way unless they spend the time practicing it. (By investing in Diplomacy/Intimidate.)


Tsukiyo wrote:
Daw wrote:


In that case, no he wouldn't be sidelined. Be honest though, do you believe anyone who is going to sell down Charisma to 7 is going to "waste" putting points into social skills?

Definitely. Wizards, witches etc. who dump stats to pump int. as high as possible can easily invest in social skills given their surplus of skill ranks from the aforementioned pumped intelligence. I've done it myself several times.

There's also ways to get social skills (at least in part) to be based on other ability scores. The traits clever wordplay and student of philosophy can do this with intelligence. The inquisitor's conversion inquisition lets wisdom be used in place of charisma for several social skills. It would be an interesting role playing challenge to play a character with one of these options (especially if you dump charisma), like a dwarf inquisitor with a 5 charisma, that is actually good at social skills.


RDM42 wrote:
vadda wrote:

Hi!

One of my players just gave me his sheet and suprise suprise, charisma 7. I just asked him how he looks like and how he wants to play charisma 7. His answer was this picture and that that he is not god in human relationships.

I am not super strikt with this acutally but this player suppose to be a power player in every party dumping charisma stats or int stats but not playing it correctly. Looking into the Ability Score Description a Charisma 7 character looks like a Troll or a Bear. I once played with a guy who was ugly and scratches his ass, picking his nose and stuff that would be ok too.

My question is: Would you let him get through with this Jake Gyllenhaal picture and this Oh I am not good with human relation thing. I would say the guy on the picture is Cha 12.

You have never met a beautiful but totally vapid and uncompelling person with the force of personality of a grey dishrag?

True but it's a well researched fact that better looking people often get treated better and you are less likely to be insecure so more confident, we are probably all guilty of paying more attention to beautiful people, Hollywood exists on this idea.

There's the movie trope, Draco in Leather pants which is normally about evil but good looking characters who get large fan followings and people playing down their nastier actions.

There needs to be a certain cut off point. At 7 charisma which is a good deal below average you should at best look unremarkable.


Charisma 7 is basically just "you're not very good at this." Just like Int 7 isn't debilitatingly stupid, charisma 7 can be any of a number of things. It can be the dead stare thing, it could be that he's just an incessant jerk all the time, it can be that he doesn't bath or is missing all of his teeth but loves to smile.

Fact is, the mechanical distinction is enough that (with mild flavor) that's all you probably need. People strive for a character/player separation where they can say "You can't do that! Your stats aren't high enough!" and expect the player to do things badly on purpose. The example of the guy playing tactically when he's low Int isn't that bad when you consider that Wolves play tactically.

The game is a multi-part game; much like "RT4X" games (RTS with a larger map, like Total War) where actions in one game affect the other, but the mechanics are different. One of these games is a skirmish game, and the other is a RP game. The skirmish may have RP in it, but.. it's pretty separate.

The idea that the DM should control the player's character because the character should be too stupid or too smelly to do something is obnoxious. Apply the negative modifier, enhance it in situations where it should be enhanced, but don't take away player agency so they play *their* character the way *you* want them to play it. A smart idiot may be a flavorful adaptation of a cliche -> a guy who understands tactics but can't for the life of him figure out simple math. Boom. Tons of RP potential where he gets ripped off, has less arrows than he thought, didn't pack enough spell components!


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When I was a kid, my mom and dad drilled it into me that being honest was important, possibly the most important thing ever. So. I was honest. I told people who were unattractive what was wrong with their appearance. I told people who were attractive what I liked about their appearance. If a deal at a store was a bad one, I accused the shopkeeper or trying to run a scam, loudly. If someone cheated during a game I would loudly call them on it. I would read books on basic anatomy and go over the workings of the human body in excruciating detail. I had a host of theories on Santa Claus that I would share with any who listened, and if they seemed uninterested, I would simply revisit the idea until they told me to go away, which I did, confused as to why no-one wanted to talk about how this man was breaking into homes one night a year to leave presents and yet didn't get paid, although he seemed to have a sizeable staff of elves for construction of toys, flying reindeer for transportation, and presumably handlers for said reindeer.

Did I mention I was loud?


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Your point Freehold?
You are hardly the first to "get away" with being a hurtful jerk by weaponizing selective honesty. I hope you got better, but your post does argue against it.


Sounds like he's more of a roll player and you're more of a role player.

Neither one is inherently bad, but obviously can cause problems like this when mixed.


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It's not like 7 is that low. If you consider that 10-11 is average, then 7 is no more low than 14 is high. So, if you're playing 7 as someone that no one can like, then that'd mean 14 must be so high that everyone instantly likes you.


7 Charisma equals unpopular kid in school. Not sociopath with no friends loner, but the kid who only has 1-2 friends who gets picked on a lot...


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Daw wrote:

Your point Freehold?

You are hardly the first to "get away" with being a hurtful jerk by weaponizing selective honesty. I hope you got better, but your post does argue against it.

selective? No, no I was honest about everything.


This does remind me of the classic example of beautiful with a low charisma. Kristen Stewart. But in retrospect, I don't think she was so much low charisma as playing low charisma too well.


This should be easy.

If you yourself do not have a 7 charisma, look to your left at the gaming table. Look to the right. The higher charisma you're seeing is probably 7


I stand by it: make him stink.

A stinky character can be good at Diplomacy and such without necessarily improving his odor. And there ARE conditions that just make you stink up faster than other people.

Sure, this guy may be able to talk the queen into letting you talk to her prisoner... but she can smell you from her throne, and isn't sure whether to pity you or be disgusted by you, personally.

STEEEEENKY


I don´t know, the image might just works.

Gives me enough of the "beware the friendly stranger" vibes to him. Just remember that, unless he´s specially trained in the skill (i.e. has ranks or bonus-via-feats), he´s going to be That Guy I Saw for most of the people.

So, yeah. I would permit that image, no problem.


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Seven is actually quite low in terms of an ability score. Your basic/heroic NPC statblocks have a low score of 8 (and an average of 10.8 and 12.3 for humans respectively). That means an 8 is already someone who is uncharismatic compared with the vast majority of NPCs. Below 8 is someone who is extraordinarily uncharismatic.

Similar, someone with a strength of 7 is extraordinarily weak, and someone with an intelligence of 7 is extraordinarily dim.

Exactly how you RP that is up to you, but I would encourage any player at my table to take that into consideration when they're deciding how they want their character to act.

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