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


Homebrew

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OK, I realized my follow-up post on this topic was off-topic to thread it was in, so decided to start a new one.
This post is building on my own proposed houserules, but other ideas to augment value of CHA are welcome,
although my personal goal is for minor CHA bonus OR penalty to be impactful (+/-) on it's own (without skill investments),
more than massively boosting value of "max CHA build", which already does fine when built around it (class/skills).
How STR is useful for Bulk capacity and Armor speed penalty reduction is the sort of value I'm interested in.

What I earlier wrote:

My houserule will be combining CHA with INT bonus to determine bonus languages. You could divide it by 2 to keep similar # of bonus languages, but a more unique solution is buying written & spoken languages separately (i.e. 2 points for both), with a bonus from CHA needing to go to spoken first, and a bonus from INT needing to go to written first. The 2x cost to fully learn a language also protects value of Multilingual Feat, originally written when Playtest had cap of single bonus language (at 14 INT).

Allowing CHA mod to apply to the flat Overcharge check for over-using 1/day items (which always works, check only determines temporary vs permanent destruction) also seems decent bone to throw CHA, although to not make it too broad a bonus for CHA casters (who already do fine with CHA), maybe use 'CHA mod up to relevant magic Skill proficiency'.

I realized the latter part re: 'relevant magical skill proficiency' wasn't doing work I wanted from it: While my intention was to limit e.g. a Sorceror who has own tradition skill maxed without others, I realized that high CHA casters are vastly more likely than average to have a single magical tradition skill maxed in the first place, so it's actually one more thing biased in their favor, if only minorly so.

So just using pure CHA mod to Overcharge probably makes sense, and in combo with Bonus Language rule, I think that leaves CHA impactful (positively and negatively) in a way similar to other stats. These changes also feel like they don't alter over all bonus very much, and don't seem likely to undercut other mechanics.


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I do really like the "bonus to overcharge" idea. One thing that appears to be missing in PF2 is some analogue to "UMD is a charisma skill now that resonance is gone. So I figure we need some charisma mechanic for "you are good at using magical devices".

Liberty's Edge

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My House Rule, which has persisted throughout PF1, has always been to allow the player's choice of Cha or Wis to be used for Will Saves. This is simple, easy to remember and implement, and has been very successful.

I will probably just continue using it in PF2.


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I was thinking in removing the Resilient Armor rune and make every +2 gives a +1 in all saving throws, so 14,18 and 22 CHA for +1, +2 and +3, but this would break the stat lol.

Or just make that CHA is Will Save, Wisdom already have perception anyway lol.

But I will play the game RAW at first before house ruling stuff.


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I like the idea of tying charisma to the number of languages you can speak. It helps solve the problem of a highly charismatic but rather dumb character having their diplomacy investment lopped off at the knees if they encounter someone that doesn't speak common.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
One thing that appears to be missing in PF2 is some analogue to "UMD is a charisma skill now that resonance is gone.

Thanks for picking up on that since I forgot to overtly state it here, UMD and Resonance were exactly the precedence I was thinking of. It just feels comfortable from D&D context that CHA would be relevant to using magical items, I mean even people who didn't like Resonance didn't seem offended that CHA was involved. And since item is still temporarily broken, it doesn't seem too exploitable on high end.

Arachnofiend wrote:
I like the idea of tying charisma to the number of languages you can speak. It helps solve the problem of a highly charismatic but rather dumb character having their diplomacy investment lopped off at the knees if they encounter someone that doesn't speak common.

That was also important angle for me. I mean, high INT low CHA/Diplo characters have utter excess of languages they can speak but nobody wants them too :-), but high CHA low INT characters must rely on Feats for basic multilingual communication, feeding into GMs keeping everything in Common and making Languages irrelevant. While a Linguistics Feat can "be worth alot" to max CHA max Diplo character, it's worth less for somebody with just medium CHA and basic Diplomacy character. I want the impact of CHA to be consistent even for medium values with little skill investment, like STR is.

I think this approach is minorly inflationary on the low end, meaning more characters will gain 1 or 2 bonus languages (CHA penalty tempering high INT builds), but upper end is constrained at least using written/spoken rule.

The spoken/written language distinction does cultivate interesting dynamic supporting INT skipping spoken proficiency and CHA skipping written. Although I don't expect that to be 100% adhered to (i.e. plenty of characters will often take both versions) it opens interesting roleplaying space re: scholar vs face tropes... Which plausibly values CHA higher than INT for languages, if Diplomacy or just SIMPLE COMMUNICATION is seen as more broadly useful than reading texts. But I feel alot more comfortable with that than completely taking Bonus Languages away from INT and giving it exclusively to CHA (or using a "best of" which is inflationary).


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
My House Rule, which has persisted throughout PF1, has always been to allow the player's choice of Cha or Wis to be used for Will Saves.

For me a "best of" mechanic is just too inflationary, a stat penalty to Will saves would become as rare as the Tarrasque. Also seems liable to undercut many mechanical assumptions, like Empyreal Bloodline (WIS based archetype) a good chunk of whose value hinges on boosting Will Save.


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

I'm currently leaning toward the following house rule: add your Charisma modifier to the number of Hero Points the character gets every session.

I'm attracted to this idea for a couple reasons:

  • It boosts Charisma in a way that doesn't overlap with other stats (since overlaps can lead to a similar problem, of mechanically undermining character ideas that invest in both of the overlapping stats),

  • It makes Charisma a valuable stat for everyone (in contrast to potential boosts, like increasing focus points, which only benefit certain classes (those which use focus)),

  • It makes Charisma valuable from levels 1-20 (in contrast to potential boosts that aren't very valuable at low levels - like increasing the number of magic items one can invest in - or aren't very valuable at high levels - like increasing the number of languages one has, when at high levels access to things like Tongues is commonplace),

  • It fits nicely the idea of Charismatic PCs as being dashing, daring, heroic, and generally getting away with crazy stunts (since it gives such PCs extra attempts to re-roll failed saves, attacks, and skill checks, and gives them more opportunities to "bend the rules" in the kinds of ways that protagonists in fiction often seem to be able to).


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    While I'm not completely opposed to CHA being connected to languages, I fail to see it influencing Charisma as an influential stat simply because the Comprehend Languages spell exists, and can be heightened to include the ability to speak the language. With basic wands becoming 1/day scrolls, you simply grab a wand if you expect a lot of socializing with foreigners (or a scroll if you don't) and the group can go back to ignoring Charisma without noticing a meaningful difference. So outside the first 2-4 levels, languages become a non-issue unless you're also houseruling that spell.

    The overcharge idea is more interesting in my opinion... but I dislike the ideas behind the mechanic in the first place and don't foresee it being used enough (unless the item price is set too low) to make a higher Charisma score much more appealing.

    Personally, I'm similar to Porridge in that I currently see hero points as one of the best areas to make a houserule which makes Charisma more valuable to everyone.


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    I'm not sure about 1+Cha modifier hero points per session, that seems a bit high. maybe 1 + half Cha modifier or something. Also I intend to do a modified hero point allocation such that they can roll over between sessions.

    I'm just spitballing here but what about you can add your Cha modifier as an additional untyped bonus to rerolls made using hero points? Kind of like your charisma makes the big hero moments more likely to work?

    Liberty's Edge

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    Quandary wrote:
    For me a "best of" mechanic is just too inflationary, a stat penalty to Will saves would become as rare as the Tarrasque.

    I mean, wasn't it already? In a game using the normal rules, I've seldom seen Wis scores less than 10, and never without some sort of bonus to Will Saves (if only from Class). I've also pretty much never seen Wis dumped for Cha on anyone but a Cha-based character.

    It certainly ups Will Saves slightly for Cha-based Classes, but I've never seen that as a problem per se.

    Quandary wrote:
    Also seems liable to undercut many mechanical assumptions, like Empyreal Bloodline (WIS based archetype) a good chunk of whose value hinges on boosting Will Save.

    Well, firstly, Mark Seifter has specifically noted that they will be avoiding things like this (ie: stat swaps from Feats or Class options) in PF2 as much as possible. So...not so much an issue going forward.

    Secondly, even in PF1, I think Sage is literally the only thing this devalues. I'd rather have the game work well in terms of stat balance than have a single, specific, Bloodline option be good.


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    Charon Onozuka wrote:
    While I'm not completely opposed to CHA being connected to languages, I fail to see it influencing Charisma as an influential stat simply because the Comprehend Languages spell exists, and can be heightened to include the ability to speak the language.

    I personally see value in not worrying about spending 1/day wand, potentially dealing with multiple languages in a day, or immediately understanding a language spoken in middle of encounter. Perhaps this might point to real language proficiency needing to have it's value augmented, such as being pre-requisite for any 'cultural' feats, or native language more strongly impacting Diplomacy/Deception/Intimidate/etc. Probably adjusting scope of Comprehend Languages would have also helped, although that's kind of baked into assumptions at this point.


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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Kyrone wrote:
    Or just make that CHA is Will Save, Wisdom already have perception anyway lol.

    This is my preferred fix, for the same reason. I’d need to go through and make sure no spells require both a will save AND perception to disbelieve. I think there were a couple that had you till both, iirc.

    Liberty's Edge

    I'm glad to see other folks having this discussion, and liking a lot of the proposed houserules. Cha for Will saves is one we've considered using even before this edition (what with the way Charisma has sort of moved towards your sense of self/strength of ...y'know, will).

    I haven't been able to think of a meaningful way to help it represent magic item expertise, though. One of my players who was involved in the playtest and has been keeping up suggested maybe reducing the number of items we can wear, baseline, but adding charisma modifier to it, but we both came to the conclusion that that wasn't as satisfying and interactive as we were looking for.


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    @DMW My goal is for every stat distinction to be relevant: not only bonuses but also penalties should be impactful as they are for every other stat. A 'best of' mechanic doesn't make negative CHA more impactful for high WIS character, so it doesn't really increase CHA's inescapable impact.

    Even only general escalatory effect cause Will targetting magic to significantly lose efficacy, so I can't understand disinterest in impact of grossly boosting Saves with no attempt at counterbalance. Although I could think of other angles to CHA and Will Saves that don't generally disrupt game math as much, like thematically splitting Will Saves into WIS and CHA governed categories... Maybe CHA for 'general magical' effects given UMD/Resonance precedence, WIS vs 'illusions/mental', possibly CHA for 2ndary attempts to break compulsions etc. That feels like fun differentation, and always keeps CHA and WIS relevant to all characters.

    I do think the Hero Point angle holds potential, although I worry it would (at least for me) change over-all feel of play too much, and possibly interact too strongly with other re-roll and Success/Failure modifying abilities just because it's so broad and powerful. But I am somewhat cautious about Hero Points in general, as in I can accept them but just barely ;-), so don't let that stop anybody!


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    Bardarok wrote:
    I'm not sure about 1+Cha modifier hero points per session, that seems a bit high.

    I not sure how to value extra hero points when they can all go down the drain if you need them to save your life.

    For myself, I'm not a big fan of taking something away from the other stats [saves, languages, ect]. Now "bonus to overcharge", I'd be all for something like that.


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    I'm still a fan of thing Charisma to Hero Points. Everyone has a minimum of 1. But you get a bonus for each number you have. Charisma bonus of +1? You can have 2 Hero Points. +4? 5 hero points


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    I would of went with charisma giving extra uses to items.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Quandary wrote:
    @DMW My goal is for every stat distinction to be relevant: not only bonuses but also penalties should be impactful as they are for every other stat. A 'best of' mechanic doesn't make negative CHA more impactful for high WIS character, so it doesn't really increase CHA's inescapable impact.

    It does not make negative Cha penalizing for high Wis characters, it's true. Of course, that wasn't actually my goal.

    Quandary wrote:
    Even only general escalatory effect cause Will targetting magic to significantly lose efficacy, so I can't understand disinterest in impact of grossly boosting Saves with no attempt at counterbalance.

    It boosts Saves for particular characters, often quite a bit. It does not boost Saves for actual PC groups a particularly large amount, if at all (it will vary by the group).

    It results in Sorcerers and Bards (and other Cha-casters) having better Saves (and I may eventually adjust Bard and Sorcerer to compensate for this in PF2, we'll see...this didn't seem necessary in PF1 as neither were as good as, say, Wizards even with a Save boost), and simply allows characters of other Classes to have high Cha instead of going high Wis (as they would be almost forced to do by the official rules), rather than actually upping their Will Saves.

    In any relatively optimized party lacking a Bard or Sorcerer this probably effects their Will Saves by almost nothing, it just allows a wider range of characters.

    Quandary wrote:
    Although I could think of other angles to CHA and Will Saves that don't generally disrupt game math as much, like thematically splitting Will Saves into WIS and CHA governed categories... Maybe CHA for 'general magical' effects given UMD/Resonance precedence, WIS vs 'illusions/mental', possibly CHA for 2ndary attempts to break compulsions etc. That feels like fun differentation, and always keeps CHA and WIS relevant to all characters.

    This sounds way more complicated than most people are gonna be willing to put in the work for. I generally like my individual House Rules to be low impact. They can combine to have big effects on play, but are quick and easy to explain or implement individually. That's a personal decision, but I think makes them easier to apply widely.

    Quandary wrote:
    I do think the Hero Point angle holds potential, although I worry it would (at least for me) change over-all feel of play too much, and possibly interact too strongly with other re-roll and Success/Failure modifying abilities just because it's so broad and powerful. But I am somewhat cautious about Hero Points in general, as in I can accept them but just barely ;-), so don't let that stop anybody!

    I am also a fan of the Hero Point idea, from an ease of use perspective, though I have yet to come up with a good specific iteration that works. If I could, I might go with that over the Will Save version.


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    Vidmaster7 wrote:
    I would of went with charisma giving extra uses to items.

    With the "Cha bonus to overcharge checks" you open up the possibility of critically succeeding on the check, which could have the effect of the wand not even being broken.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    I've mentioned it a bunch of times but I'll plonk here again because that is what the thread is for, and I've amended it a bit from criticisms.

    Hero Points are no longer session based, they are event based. If you suffer the effects of a Critical Hit or Critically Fail you gain a Hero Point. Heroes get knocked down and then pull themselves back up again, its a common trope across practically all media that depicts heroic characters.

    Your maximum Hero-Points is 2+Cha (so a Cha 8 character can still have 1) and when you spend a Hero-Point you gain a benefit based on your Charisma.

    1) If it is for a reroll you get to add your Cha to the roll.
    2) If it is to stop dying you gain Temp HP equal to your Points spent X Cha.


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    Exactly, alot of people tossed around ideas for this before, so Plonk 2.1 is exactly what this thread is for :-)

    Just to explain why my focus is to find relevance for every value of CHA, especialy low values from -1 to +1,
    I believe that significant disparity of stats in that area itself has systemic effect undermining game math.
    The systemic effect is all other globally meaningful stats will be inflated vs. scenario with competitive CHA.
    Consider that it's not just about character creation stat, but across range of levels with the 4x stat boosts.
    Even if CHA isn't a 4th priority, if it were a 5th priority it might get at least one of the 4x stat boosts.
    But with no global or passive relevance, why would anybody ever bother to boost CHA from -1 or 0 to +1 or +2?
    Dwarf stat trade-off is undermined because of CHA's passive irrelevance, only impeding positive CHA builds.

    Particularly the new "2 Flaw system" emphasizes that even more, with Flaws now available to every character.
    Because unlike every other stat, CHA has no global or passive effect, it is defacto automatic choice for Flaw,
    unless you were already making a positive CHA build, in which case it wasn't a potential choice to begin with.
    That isn't a competition for stats with real bonuses, the options are taking a Flaw for -1 or leaving it at 0,
    but for it to be meaningful choice there needs to be relevant difference between those values, which CHA lacks.
    So it isn't about CHA being generally lowest ranked: it just isn't in the running for value to non-CHA builds.
    Even CHA builds are indirectly harmed by 2 Flaw system, since only they take 2 /meaningful/ Flaws for 1 bonus.

    While I would prefer a mechanic that made every character feel impact of CHA modifier, negative or positive,
    I don't think that is strictly required for CHA to have potential attraction as 4th or even 5th priority stat,
    since only 20% of non-CHA build characters finding reason to not tank it would mean it is viably competitive.
    And what Paizo chooses to release in near future could also aid CHA's situation and improve stat balance:

    Consistently offering uniquely lower stat-req options for CHA would help low-end CHA value equation.
    (a CHA 12 pre-req would need either leaving it at 10 and taking one boost, or taking two boosts atop a 8)
    Eldritch Heritage was actually notable in 1E for giving relevance to relatively low CHA distinctions.
    (i.e. even starting with just an 11 CHA meant just a +2 Headband/Ioun qualified one for Eldritch Heritage)
    A 2E Eldritch Heritage might offer fast-track to Bloodline Powers, only needing General Feat unlike Multiclass.
    (presumably, the Sorceror Multiclass would still have niche as less limited than EH especially re: non-BL slots)

    Or from opposite angle, new options that nullified the penalty of negative or zero modifier in other stats:
    Stone Plate or Tinker-Mechasuit for good AC with effective DEX cap of -1, so DEX above that doesn't help AC.

    Those all could combine with even less powerful house-ruled CHA benefits to make it more balanced over-all.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Hmmm. Going by the criteria you seem to be looking for, perhaps we could add Cha Mod on a lot of little things?

    Adding to the roll to overcharge items has already been mentioned, and seems solid. So let's say you do that, and also add it to Hero Point rerolls (we're not talking number of hero points here, just the rolls).

    Maybe you could just add it to flat checks in general? That's a situation that comes up decently often and combined with the adding to Hero Point rerolls, or even all rerolls from fortune effects, might work.

    It makes Cha explicitly the luck stat (and makes some flat checks super easy for high Cha characters) to some degree, but that's not necessarily a bad thing (and you can adjust flat check DCs a tad to compensate if you like).


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    I think I'll adapt adding CHA modifier (yes, also the penalty) to hero point rerolls and giving additional HP when cheating death with them.

    I like DMW's idea of chosing CHA as the will save but I want to try out the game mostly as is. using CHA to add to hero point effects (not the number of points) is niche enough to not affect the game greatly.

    It also means high CHA characters might want to do stuff that earns them hero points more, which is fitting I think.


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    Deadmanwalking wrote:

    Hmmm. Going by the criteria you seem to be looking for, perhaps we could add Cha Mod on a lot of little things?

    Adding to the roll to overcharge items has already been mentioned, and seems solid. So let's say you do that, and also add it to Hero Point rerolls (we're not talking number of hero points here, just the rolls).

    Maybe you could just add it to flat checks in general? That's a situation that comes up decently often and combined with the adding to Hero Point rerolls, or even all rerolls from fortune effects, might work.

    It makes Cha explicitly the luck stat (and makes some flat checks super easy for high Cha characters) to some degree, but that's not necessarily a bad thing (and you can adjust flat check DCs a tad to compensate if you like).

    Add CHA mod to all flat chacks seems a little strong. Fitting but maybe too powerful. They are used in many places. Maybe half CHA mod? That would also not screw characters with -1 CHA, since that would not reduce flat checks.

    For hero point rerolls it fit's thematically and power wise. Both when spending them and also as a motivation to get the hero points. This would make the Champion and the Bard good at being the hero when needed, which fits perfectly. The only thematic outlier would be the sorcerer. Hm...

    Liberty's Edge

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    masda_gib wrote:
    Add CHA mod to all flat chacks seems a little strong. Fitting but maybe too powerful. They are used in many places. Maybe half CHA mod? That would also not screw characters with -1 CHA, since that would not reduce flat checks.

    Well, the penalty mattering is part of the point, but yeah, it's probably too strong.

    Maybe you get a number of rerolls on flat checks (and only flat checks) per day equal to Cha Mod? With a negative mod letting the GM force one? That's more bookkeeping, but also probably more balanced.

    masda_gib wrote:
    For hero point rerolls it fit's thematically and power wise. Both when spending them and also as a motivation to get the hero points. This would make the Champion and the Bard good at being the hero when needed, which fits perfectly. The only thematic outlier would be the sorcerer. Hm...

    I'm liking this idea quite a bit, though it's not enough on its own, I don't think. And I think it works fine with Sorcerer. Sorcerers are all about being dramatic, to some degree, and Hero Points feed into that well.

    Still, need to come up with something to go with it...


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    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    masda_gib wrote:
    Add CHA mod to all flat chacks seems a little strong. Fitting but maybe too powerful. They are used in many places. Maybe half CHA mod? That would also not screw characters with -1 CHA, since that would not reduce flat checks.

    Well, the penalty mattering is part of the point, but yeah, it's probably too strong.

    Maybe you get a number of rerolls on flat checks (and only flat checks) per day equal to Cha Mod? With a negative mod letting the GM force one? That's more bookkeeping, but also probably more balanced.

    "Luck" bonus to flat checks is a reaaally broad interpretation of CHA I think so it can be on the weaker side. I wouldn't penalize low CHA characters for that only reward high CHA ones a bit.

    I mean, giving the CHA 8 fighter a penalty to hit invisible creatures? Doesn't work for me. And multiple rerolls on flat checks? Nope, nope, nope (see fighting the invisible creature) XD

    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    masda_gib wrote:
    For hero point rerolls it fit's thematically and power wise. Both when spending them and also as a motivation to get the hero points. This would make the Champion and the Bard good at being the hero when needed, which fits perfectly. The only thematic outlier would be the sorcerer. Hm...

    I'm liking this idea quite a bit, though it's not enough on its own, I don't think. And I think it works fine with Sorcerer. Sorcerers are all about being dramatic, to some degree, and Hero Points feed into that well.

    Still, need to come up with something to go with it...

    When cheating death via hero point, I would set the character to 3+2xCHA hit points instead of to 1. It still a low amount of HP but it might reward a CHA focused character to survive another weak hit.


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    Maybe just use it as a passive means to extend one's influence.

    If followers or hirelings are an option, the Cha mod determines how many of those you can command at a time.

    If Contacts or connections are available as a resource, the Cha mod determines how many of these you might have in a particular region.

    If faction points are still a thing, the effective amount of those you spend at any one time is increased by the Cha mod.

    If the capital system is still a thing, the Influence capital you gain at any one time is increased by your Cha mod (unless it's negative).

    Personally, I'm opposed to it being tied to any luck mechanic, as that sounds far removed from it's original intent. If a luck mechanic is needed, you might as well just abandon Charisma altogether and replace it with a Luck stat, maybe use that as the casting stat for occultists instead? I dunno.


    I have some ideas as to "fixing" Charisma, although to be honest, I end up revamping the entire ability score system since I only consider Charisma's issues to be a part of the whole.

    That said, there's only so much I want to do before knowing the whole rules.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    It's not that people are suggesting Cha = Luck, it's that Cha = Force of personality both mundane and mystical, such that it can even exert pressure on fate.

    Hero Points, which represent your character's ability to tell fate to take a seat, aligns well with that perspective of Charisma. Personally, I think some interaction with Hero Points would be well received, even though I don't even like Hero Points. Tying them to something mechanical in the world might change my mind.

    I've regularly indicated that I don't believe Cha needs any sort of boost, at least for my games, but I recognize that some people want an always present, tangible, combat relevant use for Charisma.

    If people want it tied to item use, like UMD, I think mucking with the item overspending mechanic would be a good idea.

    If people want it tied to saves, I think DMW's idea is decent.

    I would also consider things like interacting with Follow the Expert, aiding another, to show that Cha makes a good stat for a leader.


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    WatersLethe wrote:
    I would also consider things like interacting with Follow the Expert, aiding another, to show that Cha makes a good stat for a leader.

    Thanks for the idea. :) Interaction with the Aid and Assist actions sound good and I already have ideas for those. Follow the Expert also fits but I don't know yet what could be done there.

    But those three are very general and can come into play in any situation, those those are prime candidates for leader type characters.


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    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    and also add it to Hero Point rerolls (we're not talking number of hero points here, just the rolls).

    Now that's an idea I love! You get 1 hero point at least every session meaning it will always be useful but it's not way stronger than every other passive ability the other stats have.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    So I wonder if some of these options, or things similar to them, could end up as official rules... Maybe something like a Skill feat or General feat to enable them.


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    Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    I agree that adding CHA to all flat checks seems too much. I understand that CHA represents your ability to influence, and luck is seen as an ability to influence the 'universe' in a fundamental level. But a +5 (25%) to all flat checks seems too much for the impact of for instance a 20 CHA.

    I kind of like the idea of applying your CHA modifier on top of re-rolls bought using hero points. That seems reasonable and comes with its own built in limitation (hero points used to buy re-rolls). It also helps increase the max accomplishment you can get when you are willing to spend a hero point. I even sort of like the idea of giving temporary HP when HP are used to cheat death. However, I think I'd make it = # of hero points spent(making the number of points provide a bit of value, since they have to burn all them) + CHA modifier. With those temporary HP lasting either a minute or perhaps something like 15 minutes, which would give them a chance to preform a exploration action afterwards.

    Potentially allowing the CHA modifier to be applied to magical devices to try to coax out additional uses seems potentially viable, but I find it hard, based on what we've heard so far that it would get used very often as most won't want to potentially destroy their permanent magic item very often for one more use in a day, unless it is an extreme situation.

    I of course like the idea of CHA getting tied to languages(especially spoken/signed/interactive), and that seems pretty simple house rule with pretty basic impact that shouldn't cause too much trouble.

    While I also like the idea of Will saves being tied to CHA, I have to admit that using best of still allows room left to do stat dumping, if you have a high WIS already, or enables WIS dumping if you know you are going to have a high CHA. To discourage dumping you could apply the greater of both the bonus and penalty (i.e. +2 wis bonus and -1 CHA penalty = +1 to will save). But that starts getting complicated. You could apply CHA to initial Will saves and Wis to ones related to illusions or subsequent Will saves, but that seems to get really complicated. Actually, an interesting simple option would be to make a will save be based on the lower of your CHA or WIS. But it would make WILL saves a harder save for many. It might be interesting if reflex were the lower of Dex and Wis, Fort the lower between Con and Str, and Will the lower of Wis and Cha. All that seems interesting options, but might seem kind of big in scope at the moment. I'm hesitant to really strongly advocate any of them without seeing more first, or having players that were strongly for it.

    The following potential boosts, I think are definitely relevant to the CHA characteristic, but may not solve some of people's need to make CHA relevant to most or all characters so that it doesn't become the default dump stat. The following would be relevant to some types of characters, but many might feel they could ignore it. I definitely feel like CHA should impact # of henchmen, and could be tied in to impact number of minions one could be directly influence. It could be a modifier which would affect the Morale of minions to determine if when they are injured they continue doing as they are told, or if they might instead flee of drop to some other instinctual behavior. While these sort of subsystem uses would make CHA useful, many character concepts might not care about minions/henchmen or other social interactions.


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    First World Bard wrote:
    So I wonder if some of these options, or things similar to them, could end up as official rules... Maybe something like a Skill feat or General feat to enable them.

    I'm hopeful for some sort of printed alternate rule(s) regarding Cha in the gamemastery book.

    Not that you can't type up your own Homebrew but it's a lot easier to point at an official variant rule.


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

    Whether a given boost to Charisma is too weak or powerful is an empirical question that one would have to try out.

    But I think a good rule of thumb test is to imagine how much a given boost to Charisma would change how you allocate stats. If you'd generally prioritize Charisma over everything else, then Charisma is probably too strong. If you'd generally prioritize most other stats over Charisma, then Charisma is probably too weak. And if you'd generally feel torn about how to allocate stats, then Charisma is probably in a good place, strength-wise.

  • Consider Deadmanwalking's suggestion to add Charisma bonuses to all flat checks. That's a nice little boost, to be sure, but it wouldn't be enough to change how I stat out, say, a standard Fighter. That suggests to me that this boost would not make Charisma too powerful.

  • Consider the suggestion to add Charisma bonuses to the result of Hero Point re-rolls. Again, that's a nice little boost, but it wouldn't be enough to change how I stat out, say, a standard Fighter. That suggests to me that this boost would not make Charisma too powerful.

  • Consider the suggestion of adding Charisma to Hero Points. This would tempt to me to stick a boost or two into Charisma when making a standard Fighter, as opposed to completely ignoring it. But I'd still prioritize Strength over Charisma, and would also want to boost Dexterity and Constitution a couple times, Wisdom at least once, and possibly Intelligence (depending on how skill-heavy I wanted them to be). That suggests that Charisma would roughly be on a par with the other secondary stats, which seems about right to me.

    EDIT: Just to be clear though, we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. All of these proposals are a strict improvement over how Charisma is currently treated. And I'd be very happy to see anything along these lines as an optional rule in the forthcoming GMG!


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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    I really like Charisma adding to the specific flat check of getting a second use out of a wand, with the "critical success" being the wand isn't even broken. Other flat checks, like the check to stop burning, make less sense to me. Something to tie into how Charisma was the stat for UMD checks...
    As for a bonus to hero point rerolls: PFS has traditionally used number of GM stars to do that in 1E with shirt rerolls.
    Finally, in 1E you could take a trait to make CHA the basis of specific Will saves (charms, compulsions, etc), so perhaps breaking Will Saves into I dunno, emotional and non-emotional saves could be a thing.
    As a point of comparison, 5E sorta deals with this by having all 6 ability scores govern saves, though the standard 3 are much more common than the other 3 types of saves. In that system, Charisma saves are most often seen to resist a Banishment spell; doesn't come up much, but when it does you really want to make your save.


    First World Bard wrote:
    Finally, in 1E you could take a trait to make CHA the basis of specific Will saves (charms, compulsions, etc), so perhaps breaking Will Saves into I dunno, emotional and non-emotional saves could be a thing.

    I was going to bring this possibility up. That trait inspired its adoption as a house rule for me, because not only did it make sense, but it helped Charisma without eroding Wisdom too much.

    I also am not satisfied with the straight swapping of WIS for CHA on Will saves. I think it's a fine way to help CHA, but I dislike the erosion of other stats for the sake of it. I used it for a time and found that it made the divide between Will and the other saves too wide. Low-level, Will saves became too easy in comparison; high-level, Will became the only save strong enough to keep up with the broken math, creating a massive floor disparity in efficacy between it and the other saves.
    Theoretically, I like this solution more for PF2 because the math aims to be standardized at every level.

    Anyway, I like adding CHA on saves against charm and emotion, and that works better for my own games since I already took measures to disarm the massive importance Perception has on the game.

    I also toyed with the idea of making some flat checks into CHA checks, because I dislike flat checks in general (with notable exceptions), but I share the misgivings of Loreguard and others that suspect it will be too much of a bonus.

    I've also tried making CHA influence the amount of magic items you can invest, as I've always been a fan of the idea that CHA is somehow tied to magic item usage, but have not been satisfied with it so far. Perhaps there's a happy medium I can find, but thus far it has eluded me -- it simply doesn't make enough of a difference.


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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    To clarify, what I would want to do would be to strip almost all illusions out of needing a will saving throw to resist their effects, and simply make their “saving throw” perception.

    Many illusions already effectively split will saves out from their effects by calling for a Seek action to interact with it before you roll a will save to disbelieve it. Making perception the effective saving throw for those spells would actually simplify those spells; you’d just roll once instead of twice to reduce or eliminate the effects. A handful, admittedly fewer than I had assumed, don’t even mention a will save, just the seek action (Hallucinatory Object is one).

    Another benefit to using perception instead of will save for these spells is that every character has a score in it, and because it also drives initiative, few will want to dump it.

    I’m intrigued by the idea of letting cha boost flat checks or hero point rerolls. Both sounds pretty cool and I’ll have to think about them.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

    I think a lot of these are super cool ideas. The Cha bonus to hero point rerolls thing seems kind of up my alley, but there's one big issue I have with most of these:

    Some classes don't consider Charisma a secondary stat.

    For each thing that you're considering adding Cha bonus to, ask yourself a question or two. (This is kind of the inverse of what Porridge is suggesting.)

    Should all sorcerers get a bonus of +4 to +7 on this thing just because? Is this more powerful than what you would take as a level 1 class feat for any given class?

    - Flat check to overcharge magic wands? Okay, maybe. It's powerful, but kind of niche, and at least somewhat thematic.
    - Bonus to to dying check through force of personality? Ehh....
    - Extra hero points? Ehhh.....
    - Higher hero point max? Probably okay, but not thematic or anything.
    - Social skills? Well...no.........but not much else makes sense for these skills...
    - Some save throws? Well, it's not more powerful than a Wis-based spellcaster, so that's at least a precedent.

    This is ultimately why I've never felt super compelled to houserule charisma, and just make an effort to actually make people roll their social skills.


    AnimatedPaper wrote:
    Kyrone wrote:
    Or just make that CHA is Will Save, Wisdom already have perception anyway lol.
    This is my preferred fix, for the same reason. I’d need to go through and make sure no spells require both a will save AND perception to disbelieve. I think there were a couple that had you till both, iirc.

    Indeed, if Will was a choice between Cha and Wis I'd go with Wis almost every time. Moving value away from Wis means granting Cha a combat value that it would otherwise never have.

    Whether or not this is fully viable in final remains to be seen, but either that or hero point number seem to be viable options. Probably Will more however, as hero points could get out of hand easily.


    ....Bring back ‘Leadership’. Ok, no need to get the bouncer, I’ll leave now. :p


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    Siro wrote:
    ....Bring back ‘Leadership’. Ok, no need to get the bouncer, I’ll leave now. :p

    *reaches for club*... Oh ok he's leaving never mind.


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    I much prefer "you've got people" to be a function of specific subsystems (like the militia in Ironfang Invasion or the rebellion in Hell's Rebels), where Charisma can play an important (but not the only) role. Leadership as a thing that's just generally available can stay dead.


    Hmm it would be kind of nice for a sub-system. Let it give allies that are x levels below you a bonus to dice rolls cause of your excellent leadership skills.


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    Siro wrote:
    ....Bring back ‘Leadership’.

    Leadership? Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Siro wrote:
    *reaches for club*

    Is it a club interested in leadership? ;)


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    Leadership is such a pain. Only time I allow it is if we are short on people in a game and we need some extra oomph. 6 person game leadership creates such a drag.


    I mean, the big problem with leadership is that it is so much more powerful than any other feat if one person takes it that kind of pressures everybody to take it.


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    I don't feel that way about it. I look at it more of It's not so much helping your character specifically (unless they use it to get a blacksmith and have him make you cheap goods cause that seems like the strongest way and honestly is less frustrating to me but at the same time I usually put NPC who could do some of that so its more like a discount.) I look at it more of like something to help the party. Its like adding another player. The problem for me is then you have one player taking the action of 2 or more characters and depending on class it could be seriously time draining and then everyone is waiting on that character.

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