Charisma, the Step-Child Stat (houserules to redeem it)


Homebrew and House Rules

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Squiggit wrote:
Though 4e also turned Fort/Ref/Will into defensive stats rather than saving throws.

What's the difference? Is it just the person rolling vs. setting the DC?

Note that offensive skill uses (grappling, demoralize, etc.) now target those saves as DCs.

Liberty's Edge

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WatersLethe wrote:
I was responding to DMW who countered my post about table variance by insinuating that Cha isn't as relatively powerful at my table as I suggest. Sure other stats have mechanical benefits, but in my games which are homebrew, it would be an overpowered stat if it receives too much love.

This is not actually what I said. I said that you need to do a very specific type of game to make Charisma as valuable as other stats, something that is not true of any other stat (which are quite valuable regardless of game type).


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First World Bard wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

It still feels like Charisma has lost something (i.e. UMD) compared to PF1, and should be given something else to compensate.

Use Magic Device was useful in a wide variety of situations, after all, not just social ones.

I was thinking of how to implement my suggestion of a bonus to flat wand checks as a Skill Feat (since those are the smallest design currency in PF2). I came up with something like:

Use Magic Device: Skill Feat
Prereq: Arcana, Nature, Occultism or Religion at Expert
Benefit: Add your Charisma modifier to flat checks after you use a wand for the second time as a day. [Maybe a "critical success" of the wand not being broken if you get 21+].
Sure, skill feats require an investment, but less so than other sorts of feats.

I'm all for coming up with new skill feats, which I have done a lot of. But I don't think you can fix charisma by doing so. Charisma is already good for characters who invest in it. It needs something good without investment to keep it even with the other stats.


RicoTheBold wrote:
What's the difference? Is it just the person rolling vs. setting the DC?

More or less. Basically everything is just an attack roll, only some abilities are attack rolls vs AC and some are attack rolls vs Will instead.


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For those who mentioned that potential conflict between choosing to raise CHA for potential bonus to Cha based skills vs. raising INT to buy the Cha based skill as trained. I had an old potential system I'd come up for Pathfinder v1.

It somewhat devalues INT, but not completely. It does make bonus skills a little more complicated.

The premise is that your Attribute bonuses dictate the availability of bonus skills. The total number of bonus skills is actually theoretically dictated by your highest attribute modifier. However, for all attributes other than INT. The bonus enables that numbered slot to get a skill keyed off that stat. Your INT bonus allows you to buy any available skill irrespective of what stat it is associated with.

So if you have 16 STR, 12 DEX, 14 CON, 12 INT, 10 WIS, 14 CHA, you theoretically get to get 3 bonus skills. the +1 bonus you have STR, DEX, CON, INT, CHA all as having at least a +1 modifier. Since INT is included, the bonus skill can be any skill. To fill in the second bonus skill slot, only STR, CON, and CHA have modifiers of at least +2. Since INT isn't one of them, this skill will be limited then by what modifiers are available at this slot, meaning only a Str or Cha based skill, since there is no Con based skill. The third slot, only STR has a +3, which means that slot can only be filled with a STR based skill.

With that, you might as well put Athletics in the +3 bonus slot, and that leaves any of the Cha based skills in the +2 bonus skill slot. The +1 slot can be filled with any skill.

This means anyone with STR being their highest attribute would in the end probably be trained in athletics.

Note, after this character raises their INT, they would not necessarily get another skill. Instead it would free up the +2 slot to be something other than a Cha based skill. But if they aren't willing to retrain this skill, a boost in only INT would not get them another skill. If they boosted INT, DEX, and STR they could move the +2 and +3 bonuses up one slot, leaving a +2 slot open to fill with any skill (since the bonus level includes INT)

This would likely reduce the difference between the number of skills people have, instead tending to affect more of an impact on which skills they have available.

I came up with it to try to deal with the issue of fighters having so pitifully few skills in first edition. This would enable someone with a higher CHA than INT being able to potentially purchase some of those CHA based skills anyway.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Gloom wrote:
Charisma should very much influence the social abilities of your character and should result in more difficult social encounters when it's low and easier social encounters when it's high.

The effect of that tends to be:

(1) "Who's got the best charisma? The Cleric? Right: You're the 'party face'."
(2) Whenever there is an NPC to be interacted with in any way other than murder, the party face does all the talking.
(3) Nobody else in the party ever talks to anyone.

I have a standard response for this classic "party face" power gaming tactic. After the NPC has been successfully persuaded by the party face, the NPC will look behind the well articulated and charming fellow who has just been talking to them. To see a pack of unkempt, glowering and generally unpleasant figures staring at them with dead fish eyes. "What's going on here? Is this some kind of kidnapping situation? Are these people forcing you do to this? Do you want me to call the guards? No? All right, I'll help you, but you others, shoo!". Just because you have dumped your Charisma doesn't mean you're invisible. Quite the opposite, actually.

As for the mechanical effects, I'm a bit sad the resonance system wasn't kept in some form or another. The playtest version wasn't good, I admit, but they could have improved it instead of totally scrapping it, again leaving Charisma as a dump stat for many. There's some good stuff in this thread though, thanks people. I will use the hero point reroll modifier for sure, as well as the wand modifier, and maybe something else.


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Between Follow the Expert and Aid, no party member that wants to talk should have any reason NOT to. As to "power gaming", I don't really see it. It's not power gaming to let the person with high dex and trained disable device to deal with the traps, let the person with a high strength and trained athletics to break open something or ask the high int person trained in arcana to answer a question. It doesn't seem odd in the least to have a representative speak instead of having a free for all, everyone talking at once situation. Diplomats are a thing for a reason.


Having an actual Diplomat be the party's representative is one thing. That's what leaders, most nobles, and heroes are expected to do.
But I'd raise an eye brow if it's always the cagey, brooding Sorcerer who's always bartering with merchants or talking up the townsfolk.

My players are typically good about sticking to their character tropes and only speaking up when they feel if it's appropriate for them to do so, regardless of how charismatic they are. In our current game, the fact that the party's representative is actually a surly Dwarven noble with -1 mod to Persuasion has led to much hilarity.

Is it power gaming to have the most unlikely person in your party negotiate on everyone's behalf? Probably not; in fact it's the most optimal choice. Would a GM want to go to the trouble of explaining why the charismatic goblin is getting along with the NPC Dwarven warden? Depends on the GM, probably.


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graystone wrote:
Between Follow the Expert and Aid, no party member that wants to talk should have any reason NOT to. As to "power gaming", I don't really see it. It's not power gaming to let the person with high dex and trained disable device to deal with the traps, let the person with a high strength and trained athletics to break open something or ask the high int person trained in arcana to answer a question. It doesn't seem odd in the least to have a representative speak instead of having a free for all, everyone talking at once situation. Diplomats are a thing for a reason.

I see what you mean, and 'power gaming' was a poor choice of words by me, since the word can be seen as slight. I think it boils down to how much emphasis you put on roleplaying and especially PC vs. NPC interaction at your table.

One wouldn 't say "It's OK to have one character in the party take care of combat. Bob's our combat solver.", right? If you don't, that's because you (and the game!) puts lots of focus on combat. If one sees roleplaying interactions as the same kind of gameified obstacle as a strength or skill check, then the party face makes sense. Just put the right peg (party face) in the right hole (NPC) and move on. If you're aiming for a more "mind's eye"-type of play you might want to put more weight on how all characters are percieved and how all of them interact with other beings, as opposed to how they interact with heavy rocks or locked doors. And there charisma becomes an important stat. N.B. I don't mean all PCs should have a high Cha - often low stats create funnier situations than high ones. Just that the ability score should have an effect on the game, regardless of play style. If not, get rid of it.

As for the OP, I just listened to the "The future of Pathfinder"-seminar from PaizoCon where one of the devs said they replaced the resonance system with not only 1/day wands, but also that max 10 magic items can be carried by a character (regardless of slots). I was thinking to let this number be affected by the Charisma mod. Set it to maybe 8 or 9 items per character and then let Cha modify that up or down. Too much?

Liberty's Edge

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Razcar wrote:
One wouldn 't say "It's OK to have one character in the party take care of combat. Bob's our combat solver.", right? If you don't, that's because you (and the game!) puts lots of focus on combat.

I've played and run games where this is absolutely something that's done. But yes, Pathfinder is more combat oriented than that and PCs should all be capable of it.

Razcar wrote:
If one sees roleplaying interactions as the same kind of gameified obstacle as a strength or skill check, then the party face makes sense. Just put the right peg (party face) in the right hole (NPC) and move on. If you're aiming for a more "mind's eye"-type of play you might want to put more weight on how *all *characters are percieved and how all of them interact with other beings, as opposed to how they interact with heavy rocks and locked doors. And there charisma becomes an important stat. Horses for courses.

I actually disagree with this, as it's equating two separate things that do not necessarily go together. It's if accomplishing specific social goals is seen as similar to a strength or skill check that a face character works fine. The amount of roleplaying and actual interaction the PCs have with NPCs is an almost entirely separate factor from the degree to which 'we need to convince this guy to do X' is a major part of the game and plot.

My group talk and roleplay with NPCs a lot in almost all games we play, but the amount of that talking and roleplaying that translates into relevant mechanical attempts to convince those NPCs to do specific things that advance the party's goals is very limited in most of them. Now, my PCs tend towards high Charisma, but that's partially because I actively make it useful, and partly for theme rather than its use in social skills really justifying the expenditure on a practical mechanical level.

If you're doing a highly political game where the PCs are all attempting to get a bill passed in the Andoran senate, then yes Charisma is a lot more valuable, but if you're playing a group of politically uninvolved heroes who solve problems and save people in a local area, who just roleplay out their interactions with NPCs a lot, Charisma is only relevant very occasionally for most of those characters.

Razcar wrote:
As for the OP, I just listened to the "The future of Pathfinder"-siminar from PaizoCon where one of the devs said they replaced the resonance system with not only 1/day wands but also that 10 magic items can be carried by a character (regardless of slots). I was thinking to let this number be affected by the Charisma mod. Set it to maybe 8 or 9 items per character and then let Cha modify that up or down. Too much?

No, that's a potential thing to do, though IMO not a particularly big one, so it'd need to be combined with other options.

Something like that, adding Cha to overcharge checks on magic items, and adding it to Hero Point (or even all Fortune) rerolls is where you start to actually make Charisma look a bit more attractive, and I'm not convinced even that is enough.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Yeah, the sorcerer and bard being able to use more magic items sounds appropriate to the world, same for overcharging magic items.

As for adding CHA to the Hero Point reroll: It's not so straightforeward, but I'd guess I can flavor that as the norns (or some other spirits of fate) helping those they deem worthy.

But I'm not sure if I'll houserule those things or not.


WatersLethe wrote:
Charisma enables obviating large swathes of encounters, it can get you extra wealth, it can get you the most important commodity in the game: information. If Charisma gets too much on top of that, for my games at least, it would be overpowered.

In a game where Charisma is more mechanically powerful (for Resonance, saving throws, or whatever) it ought to be fairly easy to tone it down in games where it's currently very important. NPCs could be impressed and influenced through wise advice, intelligence, knowledge, or amazing physical / magical abilities. 'Force of personality' isn't everything.


One more thing about the 'party face = diplomat ∴ suspension of disbelief kept'-angle. Ponder a North Korean diplomat asking their South Korean equivalent a personal favor. If presented properly they might go for it, as long as they can be sure it really is personal. But if the favor's for what's behind the diplomat - a murderous, erratic and bloodthirsty thug with big and dangerous weapons, a.k.a your run- of-the-mill PC party, they might treat the request very differently. It's not just about the sole diplomat's skill and abilities, but who's standing behind them.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

I actually disagree with this, as it's equating two separate things that do not necessarily go together. It's if accomplishing specific social goals is seen as similar to a strength or skill check that a face character works fine. The amount of roleplaying and actual interaction the PCs have with NPCs is an almost entirely separate factor from the degree to which 'we need to convince this guy to do X' is a major part of the game and plot.

Sorry, I edited my post after you started answering it - I'm unfortunately a compulsive redactor.

You're sure right as far as the rules go - there's nothing said in the PF1 social skill rules pertaining roleplay (afaik). You can have a high Cha PC with social skills up the wazoo steamrolling every social encounter system wise, and never say a word in character. And yes, players that want to roleplay will, regardless if their character's any good at social interaction or not - which is great in my opinion. But still, there's a connection there, at least for me, between the social game systems and what the players say (or dont say) through their PCs. It trounces immersion for me if Ungrth the Uncouth's player roleplays extensively with an NPC, and then Brice the Nice's player steps in and smashes the influence check without having said a word. It just doesn't sit well. That's why I try to treat the party as individuals in these kind of situations. Ungrth gets to sleep in the pig sty, Brice gets the innkeeper's room, sure. But Ungrth's player might get a Hero Point for great roleplay.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Something like that, adding Cha to overcharge checks on magic items, and adding it to Hero Point (or even all Fortune) rerolls is where you start to actually make Charisma look a bit more attractive, and I'm not convinced even that is enough.

Yes I would use that as well. So number of max magic items, Hero Point reroll modifier and the wand thingy. At least that's three more uses than before.


I have a related question:

In general, how would one rate the usefulness of each ability score? Just generally speaking.

I understand Charisma is considered the overall worst(although it's not like a Bard or Sorcerer would dump it regardless), I wonder about similar issues with other ability scores.

When trying to buff up Charisma, it might be good to take the overall balance into consideration.


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Razcar wrote:
One more thing about the 'party face = diplomat ∴ suspension of disbelief kept'-angle. Ponder a North Korean diplomat asking their South Korean equivalent a personal favor. If presented properly they might go for it, as long as they can be sure it really is personal. But if the favor's for what's behind the diplomat - a murderous, erratic and bloodthirsty thug with big and dangerous weapons, a.k.a your run- of-the-mill PC party, they might treat the request very differently. It's not just about the sole diplomat's skill and abilities, but who's standing behind them.

How does anyone SEE a "murderous, erratic and bloodthirsty thug" from the sole action of not talking... Are all mute people are "murderous, erratic and bloodthirsty thugs"? As far as "big and dangerous weapons"... Were in a game with flying dragons, demons and wandering monsters: I'd look strange at the person WITHOUT any weapon. IMO, you'd get a bigger reaction with noble vs common folk or differing nationalities. I don't think being 'adventuring folk' in and of itself is a major factor.


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graystone wrote:
How does anyone SEE a "murderous, erratic and bloodthirsty thug" from the sole action of not talking... Are all mute people are "murderous, erratic and bloodthirsty thugs"? As far as "big and dangerous weapons"... Were in a game with flying dragons, demons and wandering monsters: I'd look strange at the person WITHOUT any weapon. IMO, you'd get a bigger reaction with noble vs common folk or differing nationalities. I don't think being 'adventuring folk' in and of itself is a major factor.

I see you haven't met my players.

;-)

Meophist wrote:
In general, how would one rate the usefulness of each ability score? Just generally speaking.

Con, Dex, Wis, Int, Str, Nothing, Nothing, Cha.


Meophist wrote:
In general, how would one rate the usefulness of each ability score? Just generally speaking.

Usually it depends on the concept I'm going for. But if I'm going for a generalist:

Con, Dex, Int, Str, Wis, Cha

Mind you, Int/Str/Wis tie for third place.


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Aiden2018 wrote:
In general, how would one rate the usefulness of each ability score? Just generally speaking.

Depends a bit on how we’re ranking them. If we’re ranking them by “how useful they are to virtually any build/painful to dump for virtually any build”, I’d rank them as follows:

Dex, Con, Wis, Int, Str, Cha.


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Aiden2018 wrote:
Meophist wrote:
In general, how would one rate the usefulness of each ability score? Just generally speaking.

Usually it depends on the concept I'm going for. But if I'm going for a generalist:

Con, Dex, Int, Str, Wis, Cha

Mind you, Int/Str/Wis tie for third place.

Reminder that in second edition Wis is your default initiative and keys the most rolled check in the game (perception).

It's why moving Will to Cha doesn't actually harm Wis that much.


Oh! In that case, it's:
Con, Dex, Int, Wis, Str, Cha

Disregarding bonuses to skills and saves (although those are also important), Con is rated highest because my generalists are typically all about survival. Dex for the same reason, and bonus to ranged doesn't hurt either. Int grants extra languages and skills, which are handy. Apparently Wis contributes a lot more to one's awareness and intuition (it would rate much higher if this was a combatant). Str is good for encumbrance and fighting, but my generalist would probably avoid heavy equipment or direct confrontations.

And... Cha. That's an important stat, for sure. But... My social skill increases with level. So not very much.


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I'd absolutely put Dex above Con personally. Constitution actually doesn't have much left for it, IMO. Maxing the hit dice on all characters offset the impact of constitution. When it was tied to death saving throws, that was significant. And when it was tied to Treat Wounds, that felt significant too. But now? It is just kind of gravy.

It is still nice to have, definitely, but I wouldn't put it above the AC/reflex/skills/attack rolls of our god stat dexterity.


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Oh wow. I had no idea they nerfed Con so hard. Yeah, I agree. I'd swap Con for Dex, in that case.


As good as extra HP is, the extra point of AC is always the better option, given how it straight up negates damage. Although in this edition its not as useful given how you still take half damage even on a failed atk roll.


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Temperans wrote:
Although in this edition its not as useful given how you still take half damage even on a failed atk roll.

Er what?


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It doesn't make much sense to me for a Sorcerer or Bard to be able to use more magic items at a single time than any other character class. You could probably make the argument for a Bard given their tendency to go on adventures and get involved with all manners of occult magics, but Sorcerers are harnessing the power of their blood to fuel their magic.

There is nothing that suggest a Sorcerer should be more capable at using a magic item than a properly trained Wizard. Though for Bard, I could see them having some sort of Class Feat that allows them a better proficiency with magic items given their eclectic nature.

Outside of that for the examples given on the "Follow the Expert" tactic in social scenarios from what I recalled it let you roll using half of the proficiency bonus of the person leading, but still used any other attribute modifiers or other modifiers that were applicable to the person attempting the roll.

This means that most characters would probably want to have some level of Charisma and a trained social skill whether it was Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Bluff depending on what they're aiming for.

Only a few characters should ever completely forego social skills and Charisma.. and if you do then you should understand that your character is completely inept at it and you will likely drag the party down in some way. It may not provide much of an impact for day to day activities such as gathering information or socializing with locals but whenever anything actually mattered if you were around it would probably apply at least some sort of penalty.


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Even without playing in a social focused game you can still have positive and negative reactions to the proficiency of social skills and the raw charisma have.

While you normally wouldn't ask for a roll in scenarios where someone is just socializing in town or performing extremely basic tasks such as buying a drink at a tavern, it could still be possible for someone who has an extremely low charisma and no social skill to fail.

The DC might be somewhere around 5 normally and you wouldn't typically call for a roll since the chance of failure is extremely small, but with someone that has no social skills and has designated their Charisma as a dump stat, as a DM I would likely roll in scenarios where there could be a potential misunderstanding, and on a critical failure result in a further encounter.

Some examples of negatives.

  • While shopping you let something slip that is taken offensively by the shopkeep. It escalates into a social encounter where success results in an apology given to you for the misunderstanding but failure could result in you being kicked out from the shop for a day or two until things cool down. Critical Failure might result in being banned from the shop until someone can smooth things over for you.

  • While drinking at a tavern you say compliment one of the waitresses only for it to be misinterpreted as an insult potentially resulting in a social encounter that could escalate into a combat encounter. If things go poorly you could end up in the city jail for a day or two.

    Some examples of positives.

  • While socializing with people in town someone happens to take a liking to you and offers you a job with a decent pay.

  • While shopping in the local market several of the local merchants add some extra supplies on for no additional charge, or if you're going on a particular quest they may make some recommendations of useful equipment to bring and possibly offer discounts.

  • While walking on the road you're ambushed by Bandits who want to relieve you of your valuables. Though thankfully through your adept social skills you were able to convince them to take a couple gold and let you move on your way as that would be far less trouble than trying to take it from you forcefully.

    There are plenty of things that you can do with Charisma that let it shine within its own normal functions.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    The negatives read a lot like "You have dumbed dexterity and aren't trained so you fall out of your window this morning."


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    Malk_Content wrote:
    The negatives read a lot like "You have dumbed dexterity and aren't trained so you fall out of your window this morning."

    More like, your character has an untrained athletics and a negative penalty to strength... so Trying to swim will probably end up with you drowning.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Gloom wrote:
    Malk_Content wrote:
    The negatives read a lot like "You have dumbed dexterity and aren't trained so you fall out of your window this morning."
    More like, your character has an untrained athletics and a negative penalty to strength... so Trying to swim will probably end up with you drowning.

    Trying to swim isn't an everyday occurrence. Failing to buy supplies because 1/4 of the time because of an 8 in Cha means 8 is a crippling disability. I've known Cha 8 people, they can go to the shops.

    Even then you aren't encouraging my to raise my Cha, you are encouraging me to pester the bard to buy my cheese.


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    Malk_Content wrote:

    Trying to swim isn't an everyday occurrence. Failing to buy supplies because 1/4 of the time because of an 8 in Cha means 8 is a crippling disability. I've known Cha 8 people, they can go to the shops.

    Even then you aren't encouraging my to raise my Cha, you are encouraging me to pester the bard to buy my cheese.

    1. I said that I would roll in scenarios where there was a potential misunderstanding. This would not mean every time your character went to the store to buy a piece of cheese. I would likely roll every couple days or weeks depending on what is going on.

    2. I said that a critical failure would result in an encounter of some kind happening. I didn't say that it would instantly be a bad thing. Also, a critical failure on that roll would only happen by rolling a 1. That's a 5% chance, not a 1/4 chance.

    3. I would probably apply similar logic to other scenarios such as a character with a frail constitution and low physical strength taking up the job of a day laborer, or someone with very little coordination picking up a job on a fishing boat.

    I don't think any of these are unreasonable.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Gloom wrote:
    Malk_Content wrote:

    Trying to swim isn't an everyday occurrence. Failing to buy supplies because 1/4 of the time because of an 8 in Cha means 8 is a crippling disability. I've known Cha 8 people, they can go to the shops.

    Even then you aren't encouraging my to raise my Cha, you are encouraging me to pester the bard to buy my cheese.

    1. I said that I would roll in scenarios where there was a potential misunderstanding. This would not mean every time your character went to the store to buy a piece of cheese. I would likely roll every couple days or weeks depending on what is going on.

    2. I said that a critical failure would result in an encounter of some kind happening. I didn't say that it would instantly be a bad thing. Also, a critical failure on that roll would only happen by rolling a 1. That's a 5% chance, not a 1/4 chance.

    3. I would probably apply similar logic to other scenarios such as a character with a frail constitution and low physical strength taking up the job of a day laborer, or someone with very little coordination picking up a job on a fishing boat.

    I don't think any of these are unreasonable.

    Fair enough, that just seems like an annoyance if it ever happens but irrelevant almost all the time. Not a great justification for Cha being an already weighty enough stat.


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    Captain Morgan wrote:
    It is still nice to have, definitely, but I wouldn't put it above the AC/reflex/skills/attack rolls of our god stat dexterity.

    I'm glad they reduced the importance of DEX though, now no longer being the default for Initiative or ranged spell attacks means it's not the automatic second stat for wizards/sorcs. That said, it's still an Initiative option for those that have stealth trained and can sneak around before combat, and the fact that you can boost Stealth further/easuer than you can Perception may mean that a lot of people will be advancing Stealth to get the jump on their foes. Which seems... appropriate, really.


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    The problem I think with some of the suggestions in this thread is that they're designed around heavy investment in Charisma.

    But the problem isn't really people who invest in Cha heavily, it's people who don't invest in Cha at all.

    To put it another way, if you aren't going to use social skills very often and don't have class features that run off Cha, there's no real cost to not having Cha and no real incentive to throw a couple points in Cha. Cha 12 over Cha 10 gives my fighter basically nothing, even if I think it fits the character I'm picturing in my head better.

    Contrast with Dexterity, where even if you have no class features that run off Dex or are leveraging Dex as one of your primary attributes there are tangible reasons where throwing a few points in Dex is helpful and why taking points out of Dex is detrimental. Dex 12 over Dex 10 has meaningful (albeit small) benefits, even for someone who isn't using a Dex based weapon or leaning heavily on Dex based skills.

    That's where I think any adjustments to Cha should be directed. The bad or sorcerer who's got an 18 in Cha already knows what they're doing with the stat and that's fine (and presumably the game is balanced with primary stats in mind), but as a tertiary stat it's got literally nothing going on.


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    I don't know why you can't just take will saves and swap them from being wisdom based to charisma based. I know having a choice between the two was suggested earlier, but to be honest,given how it influences perception and now initiative, I doubt wisdom is getting dumped even if it no longer influences saves.


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    From my question, it feels like an issue is that there's two types of ability scores. I'll call the two types "active", and "passive" for now.

    Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom are the "passive" scores. These are basically the scores that are always in effect and scores you want to have at least some of at all times. Each also contributes to a type of defense, Dexterity being AC and Reflex saves, Constitution being HP and Fortitude saves, and Wisdom being Will saves.

    Strength, Intelligence, and Charisma on the other hand are more "active" scores. These are scores to be invested in in order to do something in specific. In general, a character is unlikely to raise more than one of these, specific to their character concept. These generally don't increase any sort of defense.

    So the basic idea seems to be that you focus on one "active" score and raise the "passive" ones to round them out for defense. There does seem to be a bit of an issue that some of the "passive" scores can also work as an "active" score, which decreases the need for as many ability score increases.

    …This is probably all old news for folks here, but I feel this shows one of the issues with Charisma.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Gloom wrote:

    Even without playing in a social focused game you can still have positive and negative reactions to the proficiency of social skills and the raw charisma have.

    While you normally wouldn't ask for a roll in scenarios where someone is just socializing in town or performing extremely basic tasks such as buying a drink at a tavern, it could still be possible for someone who has an extremely low charisma and no social skill to fail.

    The DC might be somewhere around 5 normally and you wouldn't typically call for a roll since the chance of failure is extremely small, but with someone that has no social skills and has designated their Charisma as a dump stat, as a DM I would likely roll in scenarios where there could be a potential misunderstanding, and on a critical failure result in a further encounter.

    If they're DC 5 this rule is basically meaningless if they take Diplomacy at Trained. It is thus not actually a meaningful penalty to Charisma. It's a penalty to people who don't train Diplomacy. Which seems unnecessary and odd.

    Meophist wrote:
    From my question, it feels like an issue is that there's two types of ability scores. I'll call the two types "active", and "passive" for now.

    The issue with the active/passive disconnect is that it's not strictly true. Intelligence and Strength both have meaningful passive effects (Int adds Skills while Str governs Encumbrance and reduces heavy armor's movement penalties...the latter lets you use it as a replacement for Dex on AC in many ways). And one of the 'passive' Abilities also have active effects as well (Dex is used on many attacks).

    Plus anything used as a casting stat becomes active.

    So that leaves literally every score with meaningful passive effects you would rather not be without (though Str and Dex can sort of sub in for each other in some ways)...except Charisma.

    So yeah, I think Charisma needs help, but it's more because of its lack of passive effect than anything.


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    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Meophist wrote:
    From my question, it feels like an issue is that there's two types of ability scores. I'll call the two types "active", and "passive" for now.

    The issue with the active/passive disconnect is that it's not strictly true. Intelligence and Strength both have meaningful passive effects (Int adds Skills while Str governs Encumbrance and reduces heavy armor's movement penalties...the latter lets you use it as a replacement for Dex on AC in many ways). And one of the 'passive' Abilities also have active effects as well (Dex is used on many attacks).

    Plus anything used as a casting stat becomes active.

    So that leaves literally every score with meaningful passive effects you would rather not be without (though Str and Dex can sort of sub in for each other in some ways)...except Charisma.

    So yeah, I think Charisma needs help, but it's more because of its lack of passive effect than anything.

    I mean, sorta? Maybe I should elaborate more.

    A "problem", or sorts, for Dexterity is that it often acts like a passive and an active score. If you use a finesse or ranged weapon, Dexterity is used as both a passive(for defenses) and an active(for attacks) ability score.

    As it is, the three active scores, Strength, Intelligence, and Charisma, are the easiest to dump, since it's relatively easy to not care about their passive effects, while the defenses Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom's defense increases are less ignorable(with the exception of Dexterity on heavy armour builds).

    I don't think this is too bad of an idea, although having certain ability scores do the effects of others creates problems for this, and abilities scores doing both jobs as well.

    Being a specific defense is a huge boon for Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom, and that's something that could help, but would be really difficult to add-on later. That said, I think that was a part of the current's D&D's solution to the problem?

    IIRC, D&D 4th edition had the idea of allowing either of different pairs to serve as defensive saves. I imagine this helped, but I feel there's still an issue with Dexterity being responsible for so much defense? Then again, I remember hearing that some Paizo folks experimented with splitting Dexterity in two and that was still really powerful.

    …It feels like too complex a problem to solve simply.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    There have been a number of interesting proposals (in this and in other threads) regarding how to boost Charisma without stepping on other ability scores. Unfortunately, most of these don't pass the test of "For most builds, I'd be at least somewhat tempted to sink a couple points into Charisma".

    I've seen two exceptions.

    1. One exception is the proposal to add Cha to the number of hero points one gets. I like it, but people have raised worries regarding whether it'll be too powerful.

    2. The other exception was the following proposal (raised in another thread): have characters get Cha+(lvl/3) (minimum 1) attunement slots for magic items (instead of 10).

    To talk through these numbers a bit:

  • Cha 10: At level 1 you'll be able to attune to 1 magic item, and at lvl 4 you'll be able to attune to 2, allowing you to equip "the big 3" (the third being a magic weapon, which IIRC don't require attunement). So viable to stick with a 10 Cha. But you won't be able to equip any other nice magic items you pick up along the way until lvl 7, so there's a reasonable incentive to boost Cha a bit more.

  • Cha 8: You'll be able to equip 2 of the "big 3" right off the bat, but won't be able to equip the third until level 7. That's doable, but a little painful, on a par with having an 8 Dex or 8 Con. So you pay a tangible price for dumping Cha.

  • Cha 18+: You'll be able to equip 5 magic items right off the bat, and things continue to improve after that. There's a big drop-off in the value of attunement slots after you can equip the big 3, but you'll be able to take advantage of various kinds of magical loot that you'd usually just sell ("A Ring of Jumping? Not particularly useful, but I do have a couple open slots, so what the heck...") So a nice perk, but not super powerful.

    What do other people think about this proposal?


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    Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Porridge wrote:

    What do other people think about this proposal?

    With Sorcerers and possibly Bards being able/likely to get up to 22 or 24 Charisma and other characters even if they choose to invest in it will only be raising it to 16-18 it means that on average you'll have Sorcerer's investing into 2-5 more magic items than everyone else.

    Considering the relative strength of even the Dexterity stat when using an Agile/Finesse weapon to apply Dex to damage you'll still be running with Charisma having a higher value than Dexterity given that it would impact your spells, all social skills, class abilities, and the number of magic items that you can invest into.

    I think that tying the number of magic items you're able to into to a stat is terrible, especially magic items that are balanced around how many you can invest in.

    The most balanced suggestion that has been made so far is for a feat that lets you use your Charisma modifier for your Will Save instead of Wisdom if it's higher.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Uh...investing additional items isn't that valuable once you hit, say, 6 or 7. Most characters will likely only be able to afford half a dozen on-level items at most, probably less, and attuning low level items is of dubious value in many cases.

    This makes the ability to invest in more items past the first 6 or 7 of increasingly lesser value. Frankly, I don't think making the number of attuned items 8 + Cha Mod changes the value of Charisma almost at all, as 7 is more than enough for most characters.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Deadmanwalking wrote:

    Uh...investing additional items isn't that valuable once you hit, say, 6 or 7. Most characters will likely only be able to afford half a dozen on-level items at most, probably less, and attuning low level items is of dubious value in many cases.

    This makes the ability to invest in more items past the first 6 or 7 of increasingly lesser value. Frankly, I don't think making the number of attuned items 8 + Cha Mod changes the value of Charisma almost at all, as 7 is more than enough for most characters.

    I definitely agree that more attunement slots has diminishing, not linear, returns. (Having infinitely many slots isn't infinitely better than having 100!)

    And I definitely agree that a proposal using a flat number of attunement slots (like Cha+8) does little to incentivize investing in Charisma. So that's no good.

    The hope was that a level-adjusted proposal (like Cha+lvl/3) would get around this issue by imposing non-trivial limits on the number of items one can equip at lower levels. So Charisma would still be desirable.

    Of course, even on this proposal the Cha bonus would become less important at higher levels. (At level 20 you'd get 7, which might be as many as you want anyway.) But perhaps at higher levels one can afford to spread around their wealth a bit more, so the extra Cha slots would still be of non-trivial value?


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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I don't think I ever mentioned, but another part of why I pushed the "Cha to Will saves" is that, currently, all mental stats and all physical stats are considered to be roughly equal to each other in power. And that's not really true. With perception, initiative, and will saves all tied to wisdom, that almost pushes it into physical stat territory, while Cha lingers.

    Moving Will saves to Cha would depower Wisdom, true, but I feel it would wind up equal to Int and Cha afterwards, which is where it should be.


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    In keeping with with using Cha mod solely as a social mechanic (I agree that tying it to attunement slots and hero points is a bit much):

    Maybe make an adjustment to one's hypothetical sphere of influence. I don't know how the social/faction system works in the new edition, but may have the mod provide a set number of favors one could ask of certain factions in a set period of time?

    Maybe have a "command field" mechanic, where the mod influences how many people one can try to influence or how far away.

    Could also borrow from the Ogre Battle alignment mechanics and add up the mods of everyone in the party. If the party has an overall lower Charisma mod than that of the settlement that they are in, then their presence is unwelcome and their reputation suffers after a while.

    If you want to be really crazy with it, maybe implement the passion system from Runequest. Establish one or two things/people/topics that a PC is super passionate about. Then, with the GMs discretion, the player can add the modifier to any checks that would invoke that passion. Ex: the brave knight wants to protect the princess, so when her life is threatened he has a bonus to any actions made to defend her.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Aiden2018 wrote:

    In keeping with with using Cha mod solely as a social mechanic (I agree that tying it to attunement slots and hero points is a bit much):

    Maybe make an adjustment to one's hypothetical sphere of influence. I don't know how the social/faction system works in the new edition, but may have the mod provide a set number of favors one could ask of certain factions in a set period of time?

    Maybe have a "command field" mechanic, where the mod influences how many people one can try to influence or how far away.

    Could also borrow from the Ogre Battle alignment mechanics and add up the mods of everyone in the party. If the party has an overall lower Charisma mod than that of the settlement that they are in, then their presence is unwelcome and their reputation suffers after a while.

    If you want to be really crazy with it, maybe implement the passion system from Runequest. Establish one or two things/people/topics that a PC is super passionate about. Then, with the GMs discretion, the player can add the modifier to any checks that would invoke that passion. Ex: the brave knight wants to protect the princess, so when her life is threatened he has a bonus to any actions made to defend her.

    All of that seems a) way more complicated than other stuff proposed b) way more game changing than other stats c) restrictive of roleplaying and world building and d) infringing on what the social skills already do


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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    They also sound like the fun but optional rules that APs sometimes incorporate.

    Shadow Lodge

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    Add more hero points. You still lose them all to stop yourself from dying, so the Charisma character is just encouraged to use them more frequently and on rolls that aren't life-or-death.


    Yeah, I agree with you there. I can't think of anything less radical, though.

    Liberty's Edge

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    AnimatedPaper wrote:

    I don't think I ever mentioned, but another part of why I pushed the "Cha to Will saves" is that, currently, all mental stats and all physical stats are considered to be roughly equal to each other in power. And that's not really true. With perception, initiative, and will saves all tied to wisdom, that almost pushes it into physical stat territory, while Cha lingers.

    Moving Will saves to Cha would depower Wisdom, true, but I feel it would wind up equal to Int and Cha afterwards, which is where it should be.

    I don't know if Perception alone is quite enough for Wisdom. It's certainly enough that I don't feel bad using my own 'pick Wisdom or Charisma for Will Saves' House Rule. Wisdom is still generally better under that rule, but Charisma improves enough to be taken over it on some characters.

    My only real worry is the balance on Sorcerers and Bards, and I'll need to look at the final version to see how balanced that is.


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    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    I don't know if Perception alone is quite enough for Wisdom. It's certainly enough that I don't feel bad using my own 'pick Wisdom or Charisma for Will Saves' House Rule. Wisdom is still generally better under that rule, but Charisma improves enough to be taken over it on some characters.

    Medicine, Religion, and Nature are potentially as strong as Deception, Diplomacy, and Intimidation when you take rituals and "treat wounds" into account.

    Liberty's Edge

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    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Medicine, Religion, and Nature are potentially as strong as Deception, Diplomacy, and Intimidation when you take rituals and "treat wounds" into account.

    True enough if you focus on them. Perhaps a better phrasing would be 'I'm not sure Perception is as good and essential as a Save'.

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