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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Question Charisma - an underpowered ability

    In my groups I have seen a trend to dump charisma even for diplomatic characters and compensate that with int.

    Think of a commoner. Each ability gives them some bonuses.

    All improve some skills.
    Additional:
    Str: melee attack and damge
    Dex: ranged attacks and AC and saves
    Con: Hitpoints and saves
    Int: Skill Points
    Wis: saves
    Cha : ?

    I know that depending on your class the later attributes might be of great use. Still, Int and Wis perform much better than Charisma in my opinion (though Wis is also a little bit underpowered in my opinion).


    Now I would like to know, whether you think that charisma is underpowered. And, if you houseruled some special use of charisma to make it more attractive for all the other classes.


    My first idea (please state an opinion):

    Feat: Arcane Resistance (Edit: weaker version)
    Receive your Charisma modifier (maximum +2) as a bonus on Saving Throws vs. Spells & Spell-like effects.
    This feat may be taken multiple times, each time the maximum increases by 2.
    Special:
    This feat does not stack with any other effects that let you add your charisma modifier to saves.
    If you are casting using charisma as your casting attribute, your resistance is disturbed. The first time you take the feat it has a maximum of +1 and this maximum is only raised by 1 for each additional time you take this feat.


    EDIT:
    The timelimit prevented me from adding a poll (to much time used up by the lenght limit).

    Here is the poll:
    Do you think Charisma is underpowered?
    Options:
    1. No, it is overpowered.
    2. No, it is fine.
    3. Yes, it is underpowered.
    4. Yes =>We use a houserule.

    Please state the number in your post.
    Last edited by Teilos; 2007-04-22 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Time limit prevented poll!

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    What about actually talking to people, what about actually doing some roleplaying, what about sorcerers and bards (ok, maybe not sorcerers and bards) Diplomacy and Bluff can get you out of many situations and win encounters before they even get violent.

    ah well, you could also look at the Feat that I just posted if you want any more uses for charisma... I think that your suggested feat might be a little overpowered, but I'll let the other people on the board be the judge of that

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Charisma does tend to be a dump stat, especially when you can roleplay your way through most social interactions. Your average warrior isn't going to be much of a diplomat, nor are wizards generally genial and friendly. On the whole, it's not very important, but for the classes that use it, it's okay.

    In regards to the feat, that's kind of like giving away Divine Grace for free.
    Last edited by Catch; 2007-04-22 at 08:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    2

    Sure, charisma is a bit of a dump stat, and it doesn't have too many uses. However, there is nothing to suggest that it needs more uses either. When i see this, it reminds me of the class reworking thread somebody started that essentially tried downsizing cleric and wizarding and buffing up classes considered underpowered. There seems to be this urge within some that everything must balance out. Well, they don't. CHA is fine as the slightly less useful of the stats, partly because it fits with some of the classes anyway. Barbs aren't going to be pleasent on the yes, Fighters might be a rowdy bunch of ruffians, wizards hermits that don't operate on the same mental level as others, and even if this is not in fact true, it can still be the stereotype that follows them and would hamper CHA anyway.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Quote Originally Posted by pink View Post
    2

    Sure, charisma is a bit of a dump stat, and it doesn't have too many uses. However, there is nothing to suggest that it needs more uses either. When i see this, it reminds me of the class reworking thread somebody started that essentially tried downsizing cleric and wizarding and buffing up classes considered underpowered. There seems to be this urge within some that everything must balance out. Well, they don't. CHA is fine as the slightly less useful of the stats, partly because it fits with some of the classes anyway. Barbs aren't going to be pleasent on the yes, Fighters might be a rowdy bunch of ruffians, wizards hermits that don't operate on the same mental level as others, and even if this is not in fact true, it can still be the stereotype that follows them and would hamper CHA anyway.

    Yeah... there's nothing wrong with people dumping charisma... I know that it's MY dump stat!

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    There are enough classes that require An average or good charisma, like Paladin, bards, sorcerers, and occasionally, clerics.
    In Dungeon Master 2, there are some magic effects for weapons called "surge", and most of them are charisma based.
    And finally, I noticed that there are more charisma based skills than any other, even intelligence.
    It's not really underpowered, you and your group just doesn't use it much.

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    I think a good DM can make it so a good charisma score will be useful. Really, skill ranks in diplomacy isn't enough for me, if you're not charasmatic, you're not going to attract attention. With full ranks in diplomacy or bluff, you might be able to talk circles around someone, but good luck getting them to talk to you in the first place.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Well think in a real life situtation charasmia (good looks and smooth talking) can only get you so far. Look at James Bond (very stereo typical but its the best I can think of) He obviously has a high charisma but realy when it comes down to it his other stats matter in the end far more then his cha. What I am trying to say is that the uselessness of cha is real life
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    So as a first result:

    Everybody agrees charisma is important for charisma dependent classes (not surprising).

    On the subject of all the other classes:


    Poll till now:
    3 for charisma is unimportant or a dump stat
    1 for charisma is fine, because of the many skills, which use it
    1 for houserule: Charisma dependent start of conversations
    1 for charisma SHOULD BE a dump stat, because it is in real life
    All 5 said that the rules should not be changed to favour charisma additionally.

    Charisma dependent start of conversations (alternative houserule):
    I like the idea about the charisma dependent start of conversations. Though, I would like some game mechanic so that players know in advance what they get for their charisma. If you have some guideline or a rule on that, I would appreciate your input.


    Skill comparison:
    Str - 3 skills
    Dex - 9 skills
    Con - 1 skill
    Int - 7 skills + lots of knowledges
    Wis - 6 skills
    Cha - 7 skills + lots of ways to perform

    I can not really say that charisma is dominating the skill section.


    Opinions on my feat:

    In regards to the feat, that's kind of like giving away Divine Grace for free.
    There are two differences. It will need one feat at the beginning and probably another one later on (in case you got a charisma item). Two feats hurt in most fighter builds. My current thrower could neither afford the charisma nor the two feats.
    Second, this bonus applies not to poisons, death attacks, trapdoors or fear effects, because it is only against spells. I copied the effect from the hexblade to be exact.

    I tried to prevent it to be of a too big advantage to the classes, which already have a high charisma. It seems, I did not succeed in that.
    For comparison, take the "Luck of Heroes" feat from Forgotten Realms. I know it is a powerfull one, but my feat was intended to be esspecially advantageous to make charisma more attractive for Rangers, Rogues, Fighters ... There will still be a lot, who will dump charisma to prevent MAD.


    My problem is that a Rogue-Diplomat should have a high charisma, but he gets only a diminishing return for taking it. Lets say he is interested in 3 charisma based skills. The high charisma gives a bonus of 3*2 for charisma 14. Instead increasing Int by two points and reducing charisma by 4 gives the same by level 3 and every level later even more.
    This assumes that the effect on the other charisma skills are as interesting as the effect on the other intelligence skills for that particular rogue. Probably this rogue will even get additional profit here.

    EDIT: typos
    Last edited by Teilos; 2007-04-22 at 01:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    I also would like to point out to you that charisma is the base for the most broken ability in the game
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Quote Originally Posted by crazedloon View Post
    I also would like to point out to you that charisma is the base for the most broken ability in the game
    I am sorry, I am not reading optimisation boards all the time. Which ability are you speaking of?

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    I think Charisma is good enough; it handles the commoner's social interaction (bargaining to get a better price for his grain/get cheaper animals), and, for adventurers, Charisma adds to whatever you want it to add to, with the mess of feats and classes; there's a way to add Charisma to practically anything.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Leadership maybe?

    Anyhow, I thought about this once and maybe you could "spread out" ability score uses a bit like this:

    Will saves -> Charisma, instead of Wisdom. CHA checks are already used for some situations similar to where a Will save might be required, and there's even a feat in Complete Adventurer that will change your Will save from WIS based to CHA based (at the cost of a feat, which hurts pretty bad). Charisma is supposed to be this mystic force of personality so it does kind of fit for most Will saves.

    That means WIS is in about the same situation as CHA is now, where the average character doesn't have any use for it except boosting skills (which can be done in other ways). So to give WIS something to do, Initiative -> Wisdom, instead of DEX. Wisdom represents perception and alertness, so alert characters act faster.

    This way, all six abilities give some kind of bonus to every character (and not just a skill modifier). CHA based classes benefit a lot (which is good because a lot of them are considered to be underpowered), and so do WIS based classes, which probably needs to be watched carefully since clerics/druids are already considered overpowered and now they get a boost to initiative without needing dexterity.

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    When I play cRPGs CHA is usually dump stat(if character isn't a paladin). I usually drop it all the way down to 3. Since I play a lot of IE cRPGs(BG, ID an the like) that isn't big deal, since there almost isn't any penalty connected to that.

    However, when I play pnp D&D CHA is almost never a dump stat. I like a charismatic heroes, so all my heroes usually have positive charisma modifier. Even my barbarian has ten points in charisma. One of my favourite characters was fighter with following stats: 15 10 14 12 14 14. He was later multiclassed to cleric.

    On general, I think charisma is a bit overlooked. People tend to dump it, and then act like nothing happened. If my character has negative charisma modifier I try to roleplay it, by being grumpy, obnoxious or even insulting. So yes, I think charisma is overlooked. Not underpowered, however.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Quote Originally Posted by crazedloon View Post
    I also would like to point out to you that charisma is the base for the most broken ability in the game
    I think he's talking about Turn Undead (very breakable ability because of various other abilities it fuels, mainly Divine Metamagic). I don't know if it's the most breakable ability in the game though. It's definitely up there.
    But Turn Undead doesn't have to involve Charisma; you can just buy Nightsticks.

    Now, as for Charisma. Well, you could rule something of this sort: Once per encounter you may grant yourself a luck bonus on a single roll (whether it is a damage roll, attack roll, skill check, or save) that equals half your Charisma modifier. This is done as a swift action before the roll is actually rolled. Then you could have feats that improve it: 2 luck bonuses per encounter, fixed bonus on all rolls of a certain type, and so on.
    Last edited by IonizedChicken; 2007-04-22 at 03:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Im sorry I was away for a bit it actualy powers Diplomacy an ability which can end any encounter in about 2 rounds at high enough levels

    But the people have given good examples above about abilitys that are run by Cha and can be broken.

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    and turn undead turns into devine metamagic
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Use Magic Device is one of the higher-potential skills on the skill list, and it's Charisma-driven.

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    The fact CHA-powered abilities can be broken doesn't make CHA better unless you intend to pursue said broken abilities.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Quote Originally Posted by IonizedChicken View Post
    The fact CHA-powered abilities can be broken doesn't make CHA better unless you intend to pursue said broken abilities.
    well that is just a silly argument Str isnt good unless you hit something or carry somthing

    you can walk around with 30000000 str but if you dont hit anything you are the same as the shlub who doesnt use it same goes for CHA of course it is not going to be good if you dont use it like it was meant to be used i.e. with skills
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Quote Originally Posted by crazedloon View Post
    well that is just a silly argument Str isnt good unless you hit something or carry somthing
    How many adventurers walk around naked without any possessions? You can get magic items to help out with your carrying capacity, but at low levels these may not be very accessible. And what happens when you find something that won't fit in your bag of holding, or need to have something readily at hand so you don't have to dig it out? Having only 6 Str is more of a liability for a gnome wizard than 6 Cha is for a half-orc barbarian; the barbarian can learn some manners and diplomacy, but the wizard can't invest skill points in the "being able to hold more than two pounds without being overloaded" skill.

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    I must admit that a high charisma allows abuse of diplomacy with RAW. So maybe the whole problem was created, because I do not follow the RAW with regard to diplomacy.

    And luckily none of my players has so far bugged me with the feats, which break turn undead.

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    It does depend on how you define "underpowered". CHA based powers generally do fine, but while STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS all help out various skills and give you other passive bonuses too, if you don't have any CHA based powers then all CHA does is have a minor impact on a few skills.

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Unless you supplant a suggestion on the ogre to stop fighting and hear you out, I don't see how diplomacy is all that effective.... It takes a good ten minutes, if I recall.

    On the other hand, that does seem to be the primary method of conflict resolution in Star Trek:TNG.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Zagreen View Post
    How many adventurers walk around naked without any possessions? You can get magic items to help out with your carrying capacity, but at low levels these may not be very accessible. And what happens when you find something that won't fit in your bag of holding, or need to have something readily at hand so you don't have to dig it out? Having only 6 Str is more of a liability for a gnome wizard than 6 Cha is for a half-orc barbarian; the barbarian can learn some manners and diplomacy, but the wizard can't invest skill points in the "being able to hold more than two pounds without being overloaded" skill.
    but for example that same barb could be even more effective using a high Cha with a high intimidate skill check along with never outnumbered (from comp scoundrel) to demoralize an entire opposing unit/force thus swaying the probability of a win in his favor. Then that same barb could turn around and go intown and get all the info he needs (without any change in skills) through intimidation alone.

    now that wizard in the above situation will never ever worry about his 6 str. He needs to carry somthing? thats what spells are for. He needs nore Str? thats what spells are for ect
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    Unless you supplant a suggestion on the ogre to stop fighting and hear you out, I don't see how diplomacy is all that effective.... It takes a good ten minutes, if I recall.

    On the other hand, that does seem to be the primary method of conflict resolution in Star Trek:TNG.
    actualy you can do it in a full round action with a -10 to your check.

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    CHA is only a dump stat if your DM is moronic enough to not include actual NPC interaction as part of the game. If you want to run a hack-and-slash, by all means let CHA fall by the wayside. But if you want to get things done outside of combat, you'd better have the moxie to pull it off.

    Especially if your character wants to be the Voice of the party. Diplomacy, Bluff, and Gather Information are three skills that WILL make it easier to get things done, however they're used rules-wise.

    The problem that most people have is that Charisma's benefits are almost never seen in plusses and die rolls. The benefits of Charisma are always in non-crunchy parts of the game - they're in the guard that lets you into the palace's back door and mum's the word, or the barfly who decides it's okay to take one more drink and tell you about the rumors he's heard, or the ability to tell people you belong in places you shouldn't be - and get away with it.

    CHA is only a dump-stat when nobody cares about fluff. Which happens far too often these days.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    I'm currently playing in a group wherein we have the following:
    Me: Half-Fey Sorceress/Stormcaster
    Human Wilder
    Human Cleric/Hunter of the Dead
    Human Bard/(some PrC from the Complete Scoundrel)
    Dragonborn Dwarf Barbarian/battlerager.

    The dwarf has the lowest CHA, and he is at 12. not bad at all. There is no social interaction that we cannot pass. I started using my base +18 Intimidate check to demoralize or foes; I hit them with that and then a Power Word Fatigue (Races of the Dragon), and then blast them into submission. I want the dwarf and the cleric to start demoralizing foes, and the Wilder has Ego Whip that he uses regularly. The bard is just awesome.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    well any stat properly used can be effective. Charismas just aren't as readily obvious as most.
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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Delcan View Post
    Especially if your character wants to be the Voice of the party. Diplomacy, Bluff, and Gather Information are three skills that WILL make it easier to get things done, however they're used rules-wise.
    Abilities =/= skills. Having say 12 CHA isn't going to be of much use unless you pump Diplomacy/Bluff/etc. too, and if you have high skills then you don't need that extra +1 or +2 all that much. Plus, it's not like having a useful skillset associated with it is unique to Charisma. Jump, Climb, Swim, Balance, Hide, Move Silently, Spot, Listen, Sense Motive, the various Knowledge skills, and Search are all skills that will ALSO make it easier to get things done. Obviously the relative value of different sets of skills varies depending on the situation, but every attribute (except Constitution, which is important for its own reasons) carries its own advantages to non-combat interactions as well as giving bonuses to combat-relevant attributes.

    The problem that most people have is that Charisma's benefits are almost never seen in plusses and die rolls. The benefits of Charisma are always in non-crunchy parts of the game - they're in the guard that lets you into the palace's back door and mum's the word, or the barfly who decides it's okay to take one more drink and tell you about the rumors he's heard, or the ability to tell people you belong in places you shouldn't be - and get away with it.

    CHA is only a dump-stat when nobody cares about fluff. Which happens far too often these days.
    Diplomacy and Bluff checks are crunch, not fluff. Determining things by fluff basically amounts to fiat. If a 6 CHA half-orc happens to have a +14 Diplomacy modifier, the DM shouldn't say "The guards attack you anyway because you're ugly" after he talks to them (having them attack FIRST is one thing, but if he makes a Diplomacy check the DM shouldn't wave the rules away). That's like randomly announcing a PC just stabbed themselves by accident (no roll involved) or saying "Your character goes ahead and does _____ because they don't know any better."
    Last edited by Zagreen; 2007-04-22 at 06:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Charisma - an underpowered ability

    For all those who stated the efficiency of charisma based skills in the last threads:

    As I already stated above: Maxing your skill ranks using a high int is much more advantageous than this little bonus derived from a high charisma. I never doubted the power of charisma based skills (though I do not allow to stop fight encounters with diplomacy). Please note that charisma is not the primary determined of your skill.

    With RAW I could be a great diplomat, who lies to everyone and intimidates all his enemies and I would achieve that best with Int 16 and Cha 8 (but never the other way around).

    So please no flaming that charisma is only dumped, because of missing conversations with NPCs.
    Charisma is dumped by diplomats, because they need skill points much more urgent than a little bonus on top of that.
    Last edited by Teilos; 2007-04-22 at 06:50 PM.

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