PCs having a hard time with charm (1st level) - need some help

Rules Discussion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Hey all!

So for context our group is currently in Cult of Cinders and were facing off against the Kishi monster. The Kishi can cast Charm at will. One of the players - a bard - failed the save and had to treat the Kishi as a friendly. The rule help we need is that there doesn't seem to be a way "out" of the effects of charm, unless the Kishi directly attempts to harm the charmed target itself.

So to be more direct, the Kishi was attacking the charmed target's allies (aka the Party) but was being extremely friendly towards the charmed target. One of the players essentially stated that Charm cannot target PCs because they aren't NPCs. That statement refers to the fact the "hostile", "friendly", "helpful", conditions that charm details is intended for NPCs.

As the GM, I agreed with this notion in the moment because 1) RAW I couldn't figure a way to help the charmed target out, other than by attacking the former 2) didn't want to dwell on rules in the moment.

So, hopefully that makes sense. Can I get some help? First time forum poster, so I apologize for bad manners, etc.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I flagged your post because it contains spoilers, but what that means is a web guru will just hide part of your post behind a spoiler tag. No harm ^_^

Charm wrote:

Failure The target's attitude becomes friendly toward you. If it was friendly, it becomes helpful. It can't use hostile actions against you.

Critical Failure The target's attitude becomes helpful toward you, and it can't use hostile actions against you.

Imagine you have two friends who draw swords and start fighting. You don't want to harm either of them. That doesn't stop you from assisting one or the other, like healing or casting beneficial spells.

Charm just nerfs someone's ability to harm you.

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Well, it's probably not going down a helpful path to say the creature's special ability to charm doesn't work because your a player character and not a NPC. Though, such a position isn't completely unsupported by the rules, it's too literal an interpretation in my opinion.

In any event, the bard being "friendly" towards the enemy should only mean in this context, that they don't take direct actions to harm that enemy. But the bard is friendly and helpful towards their party, and will take actions to help them. Probably not boosting attack rolls, but healing spells would be reasonable. The bard also would likely try to reason with their new "friend" and get them to stop.

The friendly condition also has this line "If the character or one of their allies uses hostile actions against the creature, the creature gains a worse attitude condition depending on the severity of the hostile action, as determined by the GM."

Personally, I would rule that after spending a few rounds (3?) attempting to convince the new "friend" to stop attacking their other friends and being ignored that it would break the effect as if the creature had directly attacked the charmed character.

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The PC vs NPC thing for those conditions is addressed in the recently released Errata 1.0.

Errata 1.0 wrote:
Pages 620–623: In the definitions for the friendly, helpful, hostile, indifferent, and unfriendly conditions, change the first sentence to read “This condition reflects a creature’s disposition toward a particular character, and only supernatural effects (like a spell) can impose these conditions on player characters."

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