OneDnD Change in Charisma Description

It is not saying, that one must be a bombshell knockout, to have 18 Charisma, but again, I must certainly be misunderstanding.
My thought is that the 'bomb shell' is more mental then physical. I'm sure that physical helps, but the real "OMG you look like you were photoshoped" is more charisma and less looks.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
My reading (which clearly must be wrong if my statements are so controversial) is that the OP just wants a call out of physical attractiveness, as part of/a possible source of, the description and application of Charisma.

It is not saying, that one must be a bombshell knockout, to have 18 Charisma, but again, I must certainly be misunderstanding.
I wouldn’t be so quick to assume you’re misreading the OP. I think the confusion here is coming from the fact that, if the OP is not suggesting that beauty be a required part of Charisma, then what they are suggesting doesn’t seem to be functionally any different than how it currently works. It may be that everyone else is incorrectly assuming that they’re suggesting it be required, because they don’t understand what the OP is actually suggesting if not that.
 

Scribe

Legend
I think the confusion here is coming from the fact that, if the OP is not suggesting that beauty be a required part of Charisma, then what they are suggesting doesn’t seem to be functionally any different than how it currently works.

Thats the thing, I dont think the intent is that its REQUIRED. I think the intent is "Hey Wizbro, throw in a sentence saying "...or you may just be smokin' hot".

But whatever I suppose. :LOL:
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I've yet to see anyone offer an argument for what is gained by mandated physical beauty as part of charisma rather than continuing to let that be player preference.
How's this: a player puts an 8 into a character's Cha score, then (as appearance isn't mandated as part of what makes up Charisma) goes on to describe and narrate how stunningly beautlful/handsome/sexy/etc. that character is and how others - PC and NPC alike - would naturally flock to it due to its allure. That looks alone would give it benefits (mechanical and-or otherwise) on making friends, charming people, and so forth.

Isn't that player maybe gaming the system just a little bit, by turning what should be a character drawback (low Charisma) into a character benefit?

The braoder question is one of whether characters should be played in at least some reflection of their stats (or, conversely, that the stats should reflect how the characters are played), to which I can only say yes they should, otherwise what's the point of stats?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Thats the thing, I dont think the intent is that its REQUIRED. I think the intent is "Hey Wizbro, throw in a sentence saying "...or you may just be smokin' hot".

But whatever I suppose. :LOL:
You may be right, in which case, again I don’t think it makes any functional difference, so sure?
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Until one brings in the rather obvious idea of Charisma being different based on species preference.
No, the attributes define the PCs and don't change. If a "beauty" stat changes based on the race of who's observing, it's not an ability score. My save vs. Banishment doesn't drop lower because the being casting the spell doesn't have the same views on beauty I do.

Sorry, you aren't describing an attribute D&D.
 
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Vaalingrade

Legend
How's this: a player puts an 8 into a character's Cha score, then (as appearance isn't mandated as part of what makes up Charisma) goes on to describe and narrate how stunningly beautlful/handsome/sexy/etc. that character is and how others - PC and NPC alike - would naturally flock to it due to its allure. That looks alone would give it benefits (mechanical and-or otherwise) on making friends, charming people, and so forth.

Isn't that player maybe gaming the system just a little bit, by turning what should be a character drawback (low Charisma) into a character benefit?
Looks more like the DM playing things weird to make a point.

Also, Charisma is still a mental stat, right?

I don't see people clamoring for CON to control the senses because our health plays a part in our sensory capacity.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
No, the attributes define the PCs and don't change. If a "beuty" stat changes based on the race of who's observing, it's not an ability score - it's not Charisma. My save vs. Banishment doesn't drop lower because the being casting the spell doesn't have the same views on beauty I do.
Maybe it should? That'd be an interesting twist - your Cha saves are affected by what the source of the effect is.
Sorry, you aren't describing an attribute D&D.
I believe I am, only I'm making it more complex. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Looks more like the DM playing things weird to make a point.

Also, Charisma is still a mental stat, right?
In all honesty I've never seen it as a purely mental stat. Part spiritual, part physical, and part mental perhaps; but physical has always been an element in my view.
I don't see people clamoring for CON to control the senses because our health plays a part in our sensory capacity.
Perhaps; though the sensory piece would come up sometimes when a character is diseased or poisoned (e.g. blurry vision, whacked-out sense of smell, etc.) and one's odds of becoming diseased/poisoned are affected by Con. Rightly or wrongly, we tend to assume that absent those conditions our characters are at the peak of health.

What I do see now and then is a clamour for players to play their characters at least somewhat in tune with what the Int and Wis scores say on the character sheet.
 

Scribe

Legend
I believe I am, only I'm making it more complex. :)
Oh My God Wow GIF by CBC
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
What I do see now and then is a clamour for players to play their characters at least somewhat in tune with what the Int and Wis scores say on the character sheet.
Well for one, that's not the same as demanding a physical stat effect mental capabilities.

And for another, that's another thing I'd like to see thrown into a deep pit that is then ignited.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
How's this: a player puts an 8 into a character's Cha score, then (as appearance isn't mandated as part of what makes up Charisma) goes on to describe and narrate how stunningly beautlful/handsome/sexy/etc. that character is and how others - PC and NPC alike - would naturally flock to it due to its allure. That looks alone would give it benefits (mechanical and-or otherwise) on making friends, charming people, and so forth.

Isn't that player maybe gaming the system just a little bit, by turning what should be a character drawback (low Charisma) into a character benefit?

The braoder question is one of whether characters should be played in at least some reflection of their stats (or, conversely, that the stats should reflect how the characters are played), to which I can only say yes they should, otherwise what's the point of stats?
I would say it's also up to the player, in addition to describing how gorgeous they are, to also explain/roleplay their low charisma negating that "advantage", such as a sullen demeanor, bad habits, an unnerving aura, what have you.
 

Clint_L

Hero
How's this: a player puts an 8 into a character's Cha score, then (as appearance isn't mandated as part of what makes up Charisma) goes on to describe and narrate how stunningly beautlful/handsome/sexy/etc. that character is and how others - PC and NPC alike - would naturally flock to it due to its allure. That looks alone would give it benefits (mechanical and-or otherwise) on making friends, charming people, and so forth.

Isn't that player maybe gaming the system just a little bit, by turning what should be a character drawback (low Charisma) into a character benefit?
I mean, sure, if the DM is going to let them do it. How is that different from a character making strength their dump stat but then describing them as super musclebound and arguing that they should naturally be really good at opening jars or something?

But if the DM actually cares about the rules, he would just say to the player, "That's not how that works. You chose a low charisma. Deal with it."
 

How is it possible for everyone to be so off base about what I am saying?

@Clint_L , the ability to have it be a part of the game world is what is added by having it be a part of the definition. It is in the DNA of all those skills that use charisma. So why not let it be a part of the ruleset? Which leads me to...
@BookTenTiger , nothing is stopping a character from being drop-dead good looking in the current rules. Yet, there are rules to stop PCs from being too strong. It is represented in the strength score and its attached skills. There are rules stopping PCs from being too dexterous. It is represented in the dexterity score and its attached skills. There are rules that stop people from being too intelligent. It is represented in the intelligence score and its attached skills. And on and on it goes. I have a rogue, he can't have 20 everything. That's part of the game - as represented in the ruleset. The same ruleset that directly ties these abilities to their associated skills. Yet, when it comes to charisma, we leave the most obvious part of its definition out even though it greatly affects its associated skills. Why?
@Vaalingrade , arming the DM? Adding to something's definition, expanding it, is not arming the DM - it is arming the player. I believe it was you who said that adding races helped the player. It gave them options. So look at this as another option a player can use.
@Charlaquin , that is what I am suggesting. And it is a change. Because, as of now, the definition goes out of its way to avoid talking about beauty, or really any type of appearance at all. So my suggestion is just add that one word. It will not be the definition, because, like all abilities, they encompass many things.
@Scribe , I find it hard to believe everyone doesn't have complete comprehension of what I have written, yet here we are. You are spot-on in your interpretation. And I went back where I wrote the same thing three times, which stated what you said. So for those that missed something:
  • It is added to the definition. It does not negate anything. You know - player options.
  • It is reflective of the ruleset in the PHB. Persuasion, intimidation, performance, and deception can use looks.
  • It is reflective of the game world according to WotC's Adventure Paths and the lore.
Look at it this way - If they took "balance" out of dexterity's official definition, you might see people arguing that to balance would mean to control breathing and therefore it is con, or it would require concentration therefore it's intelligence, or it would require power therefore it's strength. No, you want the word "balance" in the definition so the players can use it.
 

Irlo

Hero
@BookTenTiger , nothing is stopping a character from being drop-dead good looking in the current rules. Yet, there are rules to stop PCs from being too strong. It is represented in the strength score and its attached skills. There are rules stopping PCs from being too dexterous. It is represented in the dexterity score and its attached skills. There are rules that stop people from being too intelligent. It is represented in the intelligence score and its attached skills. And on and on it goes. I have a rogue, he can't have 20 everything. That's part of the game - as represented in the ruleset. The same ruleset that directly ties these abilities to their associated skills. Yet, when it comes to charisma, we leave the most obvious part of its definition out even though it greatly affects its associated skills. Why?
I can only answer for myself. Why? Because beauty isn't an obvious part of the definition of charisma. (It's not even a small part of charisma by any definition that I've encountered.) And beauty doesn't greatly affect the associated skills. Those two points seem to be your major assumptions that support your case, but I just don't agree with them.
 

Mad_Jack

Hero
My nest example of this was years ago seeing on Broadway a show of Sir Patrick Stewart doing a reading of Dicken's A Christmas Carol. It's him, not in costume, with a simple table, chair, and stool. Just him. He got up there and started to do the reading.

No one in the whole place even coughed during either act.

My favorite acting teacher back in college, John Basinger, used to recite the entirety of Milton's Paradise Lost from memory, playing everyone who speaks in the poem as a separate character... He was a very soft-spoken person, but you hung on his every word.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
How is it possible for everyone to be so off base about what I am saying?
When everyone is wrong, maybe they're not the ones who are wrong.
@Vaalingrade , arming the DM? Adding to something's definition, expanding it, is not arming the DM - it is arming the player. I believe it was you who said that adding races helped the player. It gave them options. So look at this as another option a player can use.
Look at Lamefan's comments.

That's the exact kind of thing I'm concerned about.
  • It is added to the definition. It does not negate anything. You know - player options.
Except it's really not. It just adds back in the (frankly icky) idea of statting attractiveness.
  • It is reflective of the ruleset in the PHB. Persuasion, intimidation, performance, and deception can use looks.
Which we don't need to be codified in the rules.
  • It is reflective of the game world according to WotC's Adventure Paths and the lore.
IF it does, they need to rewrite the lore and Adventure paths.
No, you want the word "balance" in the definition so the players can use it.
I don't want players using numerical stats for hotness.
 

Clint_L

Hero
How is it possible for everyone to be so off base about what I am saying?

@Clint_L , the ability to have it be a part of the game world is what is added by having it be a part of the definition.
It can already be part of the game world. So now I am wondering what the entire purpose of this thread is. To try to make it so people at other tables are forced to consider something that you happen to like? Like, you want it specially mentioned to affirm your preferences or something?

Players are completely allowed to include beauty as part of why their character is or isn't charismatic. DMs are completely allowed to mandate whatever they want at their table. You have not presented one iota of argument beyond your personal preference, and the fact that you describe beauty as "the most obvious part of its definition" is telling. Most people on this thread are telling you that we completely disagree with that definition. What is "obvious" to you is clearly not "obvious" to many other people. Can you accept that? Do you think we are lying?

So given that, please explain why we are all wrong and the rules of the game need to not only allow for your view of the world, but be rewritten to specially accommodate it. And given that it is an obviously contentious issue, as you admit in your first post, what good comes from trying to force it on other people? What makes your particular view of the world so special?

Maybe the rules should be rewritten to reflect my view of charisma, so that beauty is specifically excluded as a factor. Except, no, I wouldn't want that, because I can see that you wouldn't agree. So let's just leave it alone. The current rule lets everyone interpret it as they see fit. Freedom!

Final edit: I think we are going in circles at this point, and I've stated my opinion. I am pretty confident that the game will continue moving towards being less prescriptive not more, so it's a moot point anyway.
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
What's really interesting is that appearance used to be a part of Charisma. For example:
1974.jpg
Then, later:
1e.jpg
Rather infamously, however, Gary later had this to say:
UA.jpg
But then:
2e.jpg
And this is where it gets odd, since it says Charisma is not attractiveness, but...it kind of is? Of course, in the next edition, we're back on track:
3e.jpg
Then right here, WotC made a decision, which has carried over to the current edition, breaking from three decades of tradition:
4e.jpg
This apparently was a conscious decision on the game designer's part: they didn't want appearance to be conflated with Charisma any longer, but neither did they want to rate it separately, as Gary did in Unearthed Arcana. They didn't create "UR PRTY" Feat either. I don't know if there was ever any commentary about this, but it seems deliberate: appearance was no longer something that can be rated by the game. I think this is (shockingly, given recent events) a good PR decision on WotC's (or any game designer's part), to not weigh in on what standards of beauty they deem "acceptable". Perhaps characters shouldn't be described as "beautiful" in the first place. They should be described as what they look like, and from there, the observer can decide if that's what they would be attracted to.
 

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