How does charming work in pathfinder?

Rules Questions

Hello everyone,
for the sake of clarifying my question: When is refer to "charming" in this post i mean a contested charisma check and not a spell or something else migical.

I come dnd 5e and here you can also attempt to do so and then maybe another creature will have a more friendly attitude towards you.

Now in my Pathfinder campaign theres this 1 issue: our dm loves confronting us with NPCs who often try to charm a person and what feels like never rolle lower then 30 overall.
Now i kind of struggle with the thought that just because of a check like this my Character who MOST OF THE TIME supspects those NPCs to be untrustworthy or even hostile (the demon lady or the spy bard) would want to go to bed with them.

Since i am still pretty new i wanted to know if it actually works this way in pathfinder?
Does my character really just get dump, drops any suspicion and wants to "mate" them?!?

Liberty's Edge

InPathfinder to temporarily affect an NPC disposition you use Diplomacy (or intimidate). It doesn't work if the target disposition is sufficiently hostile or if the target isn't willing to trust you at least a bit.
It doesn't work on PCs. You can make a PC afraid with Intimidate, but you can't force him into collaborating (or mating).
Making a player and a PC trust someone is a matter of role-playing, not roll playing.

The brawny barbarian flexing his muscles can temporarily distract people, even cause them to be surprised by the following attack, but PCs interested in beautiful males will not become drooling morons simply seeing the display.

In Pathfinder this would be a diplomacy check and it does not apply to a player character. The skill can be used untrained so anyone can attempt it, but it only works on an NPC.

Magical charms on the other hand will work on a player character. So, the spell charm person or a spell like ability that mimics it effect can affect your character. So, a succubus cannot use diplomacy to seduce your character, but she can use her at will charm monster to do so. Some enchantments may require an opposed CHA roll to force you to do something you may not be willing to do, but that is still a magical effect so would work vs a player character.

Alright, thank you very much for your expalanations!
I will adress this to my dm beforethe next session!

Note there isn't anything explicitly making PCs immune to the normal diplomacy/intimidate/bluff rule, it's just a very good standard to go with, especially in the case of across the table "mating".

Reasonable thought can be put to determining how open/friendly someone is to your character based on situation, aims, personal bias, etc. The AP's generally do a good job of taking into consideration the circumstances of meeting and congruence of ultimate goals to set the starting attitude, and while you can *if you really want to* spend the time to actually become friends with someone (assuming they would even want to or could be convinced to want to at the onset), that is tantamount to changing both the circumstances and situation of your relationship, and even changing the congruence of your aims as a true friend would actually want to see you succeed in your goals, which then changes their "starting (as in before your next diplomacy role) attitude" a priori. Anyone can in theory do this, even the uncharismatic barbarian should be able to make friends given the right circumstances, but a diplomatic character can convince someone to help them even if they aren't actually their friend and in increasingly adverse situations.

Back to your situation, even if you might be allured by a succubus (who may be overtly so or not), you can still call for sense motive checks to try and isolate the truly lusty barmaids from the aforementioned succubi. Beyond that, what is the end goal for said engagements with the GM? It sounds like a case of just (cringe) RP for RP's sake, or worse actual attempts to corner the party in losing scenarios and an adversarial GM/party relationship.

Honestly, if you have a Succubus NPC and seek to corrupt players, in my experience it is more efficient to set her up as a femme fatale information broker, dubious quest giver and occassional villainous rescue provider. "Haha Suprise Succubus! And you fool allowed her to Blindfold you!" is boring.

You have impressed me good Sir. I would be interested in furthering our cooperation. You are of course, intelligent and experienced enough to have a reasonable guess of what I actually am even if some doubts regarding my exact species remain? If you werent, I would not be extending this offer.

Switches to discussing which profane gift the PC wants, as well as terms of providing/trading information, and also for fencing much of he not exactly legally gotten loots of the PCs. Backed by highly rewarding sidequests, as she happens to be associate with some guilds that are active on the prime material plane.

Start with assassinating/killing/hunting agents of other demonlord/Daemons/Arch-Devils before moving on to crime lords, ever increasing her hold on both the players and the enviroment they operate in, etc.

Oh no, you do not actually have to worship the Ardent Dream or the Lady in Shadows for our association to continue and prosper, Alyushinyrra is quite tolerant, religiously speaking, I would alas not recommend to worship any of her near-peer-competitors with whom she is currently feuding, but this is not really an issue for you.

Liberty's Edge

AwesomenessDog wrote:
Note there isn't anything explicitly making PCs immune to the normal diplomacy/intimidate/bluff rule, it's just a very good standard to go with, especially in the case of across the table "mating".

1) Diplomacy:

Check: You can change the initial attitudes of nonplayer characters with a successful check.

In the first row of the skill description it says that you can affect the attitude of nonplayer characters. So changing the attitude of player characters is clearly excluded.

2) Intimidate:

Check: You can use Intimidate to force an opponent to act friendly toward you for 1d6 × 10 minutes with a successful check. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the target’s Hit Dice + the target’s Wisdom modifier.

Effectively noting stop a GM from using it against PC. We get the absurd result where a 5th level barbarian with wisdom 10 can be intimidated and forced into cooperation for up to an hour by a 1st level rogue with Skill focus: intimidate and 1 skill point with a roll of 8+.

The limit is that it requires 1 minute of conversation. I doubt the abovementioned barbarian will passively receive the rogue threats for 1 minute.

3) Bluff:

Check: Bluff is an opposed skill check against your opponent’s Sense Motive skill. If you use Bluff to fool someone, with a successful check you convince your opponent that what you are saying is true. Bluff checks are modified depending upon the believability of the lie.

I haven't seen anyone in this thread saying that PCs are immune to bluff.

The limit is that the bluffing guy can convince the PC of his sincerity, but the player can easily decide that the NPC is misled, badly informed, or insane. The NPC avoid the negative consequences of telling a lie to the PC, but the player and his character can do whatever they want with the information they have received.
Again, it is the job of the GM to make a lie that will work on the players, not a matter of rolling dices alone.

Initial attitude isn't the only part in question for diplomacy, there is also "make request" of a character where there is no such limitation (besides an at least indifferent attitude, but this takes care of itself usually when dealing with real players). And changes to initial attitude are a mostly NPC thing anyway, as (in theory) a good GM could simply roleplay an NPC more or less charismatically to fit/facilitate any attitude changes without needed a roll.

There is also the note that diplomacy (and intimidate/bluff rolls taking the place of a real diplomacy roll given the specific use) doesn't always work: In the rogue intimidating a barbarian, it is highly unlikely that the rogue could force the barb to be helpful by direct physical threat, but as a rogue, there is plenty of other ways a barbarian could be convinced helping an enemy is in the moment better than the enemy say spreading bad rumors about them.

I might agree with your final conclusion if there wasn't also sense motive to handle the players getting bad vibes from someone who may be lying or even not lying. But there is room for dramatic irony when done in good faith. The OP's gm doesn't seem to be gming in good faith.

Liberty's Edge

He can easily be a novice GM that doesn't know how to handle playing that kind of interaction.
The characters instantly going to the idea of "mating" with the NPC and forgetting any suspicion sound a bit juvenile.

That sounds like the gm is either new and doesnt know how to properly do RP, they lack the skill to RP (not everyone has the skills, I know I don't) or they are a creep and its best to stay away.

One of the most important things with diplomacy is that no matter how well the roll you cannot force the other side to act different if they do not want to. You rolled 50 vs their DC of 5? Doesn't matter, if they hate your guts they will still hate your guts. Same thing with requests, doesn't matter how high you roll if they are not interested they wont go along with your request.

Charm is slightly different. That spell makes it so they treat you as a friend. So they are not outright hostile. But they still have free will and can refuse whatever it is you ask of them.

The only way for a character to do what is being asked by force is spells that dominate the target's mind: Dominate, Geas/Quest, Suggestion, etc. Which are generally seen as big "don't do it against players unless its part of the AP and/or there is mutual trust in the group."

Suggestion can actually be beneficial.

There is "Suggestion combat".

There was a major Daemon threat that just wanted to absolutely murder everything. Daemons do have quite a number of mind effecting abilities.

Well, the party came to an accord with a Succubus (who prefered living and ideally decandent mortals to everyone being dead), who offered to cast the suggestion of "Always do whatever you want" on them, which would have, by my GM fiat, forced the Daemons to roll contested CHA dice against her for a lot of their stuff.
But can the players truely rely on her? And is that actually the suggestion she is going to cast?


2 out of 4 players took it. One who did not take it was also the one who, in secret, accepted her profane gift earlier and secretly converted to Nocticula. He then used his reputation from having refused her suggestion to make the rest of the party believe in his innocence regarding Abyssal affiliations. The other one was the Paladin.

Intimidate and bluff work fine on player characters, but those don’t have anything to do with “charming” someone. Bluffing is about lying to someone and getting away with it. Intimidate is threatening and scaring an individual to do what you want.

Diplomacy has some severe limitations one of which is that it cannot be used to shift a player characters attitude. It generally does not work in combat. It also does not work on anyone who intends to harm you or your allies in the immediate future. That means if you are planning to attack someone diplomacy cannot stop it no matter how high their roll is.

To make requests the targets attitude has to be at least indifferent. If you know or suspect the person making the request is an enemy chances are you would be considered at least unfriendly if not hostile. I for one would not be indifferent to a “Demon Lady”. Now if the character using diplomacy alters your attitude through the use of magic first that is a whole different story. Charm person followed up by a high diplomacy roll can get characters to hop in bed pretty quickly.

Don't even need a particularly high diplomacy roll, Helpful starts at DC 5+Cha+modifiers for general hesitantness to bump uglies and so forth.

That said, bluff can be used in place of diplomacy (or more accurately to facilitate an actual diplomacy roll with massive advantage) by simply lying about the reality to convince someone you are essentially deserving of a higher starting attitude. Example: Guard on night patrol demands you to stop and identify yourself as you are out after curfew, and you are currently intending to break into a nearby house that happens to be in the direction of the Guard outpost, so you lie that you are actually Guard Smith's wife delivering his midshift lunch that he forgot to take with him and that you'll make sure he doesn't forget again. Probably would also require a diplomacy roll, but at least you've established some credibility assuming the bluff passes.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / How does charming work in pathfinder? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.