View Full Version : Charisma Question

2010-09-03, 11:15 AM
In D&D terms, I have a question regarding charisma;

A character is generally introverted and can be abrasive or blunt, but is a good leader who takes charge and stays cool when the kobolds show up.

Think any number of butthole badasses from the video game of your choice.

Does this character have a low charisma (generally unlikable, and doesn't care), or a high charisma (great battle leader)?

2010-09-03, 11:16 AM
High charisma but doesnt use it all the time.

2010-09-03, 11:18 AM
High charisma but doesnt use it all the time.
Not exactly. It'd be a high charisma character, yes.

High Charisma does not mean people like you. It means you have a good control of your impression on them if you wish so.
A high charisma character could insult the king and leave him with a smile on his face, while a low charisma character would have his head cut by complimenting his fashion choices.

2010-09-03, 11:22 AM
Good Cha and maybe take some flaws/traits lik Abrasive or that on the reduces Diplomacy.

2010-09-03, 11:25 AM
That would be high charisma. Charisma is the ability to influence others, whether they like you or not. Someone really scary, for example, would have a high charisma, because they can influence them by fear.

Reis Tahlen
2010-09-03, 11:46 AM
And this is why I don't like Charisma as it is, because it's near impossible to have a Charismatic Fighter who would also be an effective one.

Keld Denar
2010-09-03, 11:52 AM
Intimidate is a Cha based skill, and VERY effective, especially with Zhentarum Fighter ACFs. There are a couple of handbooks around for optimized demoralization, and Fighter, Barbarian, and Hexblade rank highly in them.

2010-09-03, 12:30 PM
The usual response to this is high Charisma, low Wisdom. A lot of times this sparks debates as to why they never fail Will saves and what relevance Wisdom has to Will. I usually avoid this by arbitrarily giving NPCs Divine Grace.

2010-09-03, 12:30 PM
And this is why I don't like Charisma as it is, because it's near impossible to have a Charismatic Fighter who would also be an effective one.Being an intimidator is the only reason to take fighter levels beyond the 6th.

Duke of URL
2010-09-03, 12:50 PM
I generally look at Charisma as being some combination of physical appearance, force of personality, leadership skill, smooth talking, and apparent moral authority.

Note that your "not likable, but a good leader when the chips are down" example still has most of those going for him -- physical appearance can play in as either intimidating or beauty, after all.

Because it has so many facets, Charisma is very flexible in how to roleplay a specific score. For example, a middle-of-the-road Charisma could yield a slick-talking attractive person who just has no leadership skills or could just as well be an excellent managerial type who faints at the thought of public speaking.

2010-09-03, 01:29 PM
You can pretty much fit any character personality or back story into any Charisma score, as long as your character is built correctly.

When talking to fellow players, your character's Charisma has no impact on their decisions. It's you as a person, and perhaps your ability to roleplay effectively, that convinces them to do one thing or another.

When talking to NPCs, Charisma merely modifies your ability to alter their opinion. A 5th level Rogue with 8 ranks in Diplomacy and a Charisma of 4 has a better chance of success then a 5th level Paladin with 0 ranks in Diplomacy and 18 Charisma.

At higher levels, your actual Charisma has even less of an impact, as Skills are much easier to improve via investing Skill ranks and/or buffing them with a wide variety of spells, magic items, vestiges, soulmelds, etc. Whereas your Charisma is relatively expensive to boost, and every 2 points only increases your Cha based Skills by 1.

2010-09-03, 01:44 PM
High Charisma, but chooses to use Intimidate most of the time rather than Diplomacy.

2010-09-03, 01:56 PM

I had assumed a low charisma, with a high wisdom or intelligence. But the high charisma arguments make more sense than that.

Time to re-stat my big-bad.

2010-09-03, 02:04 PM
It sounds like the character has a reasonable charisma for the facets of leadership in a crunch but doesn't know how to or chooses not to tap into those same abilities in other circumstances.

I like what someone else suggested of a decent charisma with a couple flaws or faults.

2010-09-03, 02:55 PM
I vote for some charisma. 12 or 14.

The way I see stats is that each of them encompasses a number of traits. For each of those traits your character has, you should have +1 in your stat.

So someone who is pretty, quick witted, popular, and a good leader would have 4 points in charisma.

You have the leader thing, so that's a point. Pretty and popular are out. Quick witted is possible. You probably aren't cracking jokes, but you keep your head in a battle. So that buys 0 or 1 point. I stand by my original 12 or 14 in charisma.

2010-09-03, 04:08 PM
Go for massive Charisma and turn it into both attacking power and intimidation. A Magic-Blooded Lesser Aasimar Marshal with a starting 18 in Charisma can, at first level, have a total modifier of +16 in any Charisma-based skill he puts max ranks in. What skills would make this important for a melee combatant? Intimidate and Iaijutsu Focus. Intimidate disables and Iaijutsu smashes people to pieces. With 4 levels in Avenging Executioner, you smash people to pieces for being disabled. :smallamused: