OneDnD Change in Charisma Description

Mad_Jack

Hero
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.

Yeah, pretty much since 3rd Ed. came out, there was a lot of discussion on the different forums, including WotC's own and among several of the designers themselves, about downplaying the importance of physical attractiveness aspect of the character's CHA score.
Personally, before 3rd Ed. became the primary ed. that folks around here played, I encountered several DM's with some seriously "questionable" ideas about Charisma. :rolleyes:
 

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Larnievc

Adventurer
Nope.

You can be beautiful as Apollo* and still be an inherently unlikable twit whose pretty face is just plain punchable.

Beauty is just flavor text.

*I mean Creed, obviously, not that glowy dope with the chariot.
Sounds like a perfect description of Col Al Dillon.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
I completely agree.

Thing is, if it's not mentioned somewhere in the rules then IME many players won't think to do this and a significant minority intentionally won't do it in order to gain (perceived or real) in-game advantage.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Neither of these assertions matches my experience in reality.

Attractiveness is a part of one's charisma*, and beauty/appearance is a part of one's attractiveness.

* - in that being attractive makes people - particularly those you are meeting for the first time - more likely to want to engage with you, thus giving you more opportunity to be persuasive-charming-etc. in conversation. Look no further than all the companies who hire their customer-facing staff based on looks (even if they say they don't) for a common example of this being put into practice.
 



Vaalingrade

Legend
Typo? Or shot?
Neither. Reference. I genuinely have a huge concern about...
Why? If the stats on the sheet aren't there to help define the character and give guidelines as to how it might be played, then why bother having them?
Because they effect the mechanical capability of the character?

Let's just let people roleplay how they want to roleplay. To me, that the point of the game. If a set of generated numbers controls how a character acts and looks, just set up the AI Player program.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Neither. Reference. I genuinely have a huge concern about...

Because they effect the mechanical capability of the character?

Let's just let people roleplay how they want to roleplay. To me, that the point of the game. If a set of generated numbers controls how a character acts and looks, just set up the AI Player program.
If you want to play a smart character then put a good stat in Intelligence. If you want to play a persuasive one then put a good stat in Charisma. Same for the other four stats. But if a player intends to play a smart (or charismatic, whatever) character and yet puts a low number in the relevant stat, my first thought is that player's already showing signs of playing in bad faith before the puck has even dropped.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
If you want to play a smart character then put a good stat in Intelligence.
I'm not going to play an idiot just because the game requires two to three good stats to be a warrior.

If you want to play a persuasive one then put a good stat in Charisma.
Only maybe they're not naturally charismatic. Maybe it's all learned manipulation and false bravado.
But if a player intends to play a smart (or charismatic, whatever) character and yet puts a low number in the relevant stat, my first thought is that player's already showing signs of playing in bad faith before the puck has even dropped.
I won't play with a DM that is going to think less of me for playing the game as presented and trying to dictate how I play because numbers.
 

payn

Legend
If you want to play a smart character then put a good stat in Intelligence. If you want to play a persuasive one then put a good stat in Charisma. Same for the other four stats. But if a player intends to play a smart (or charismatic, whatever) character and yet puts a low number in the relevant stat, my first thought is that player's already showing signs of playing in bad faith before the puck has even dropped.
You keep bringing this up like folks dumping and pumping is a big problem. I dont think you'll find many folks to agree with that. Also, this single change does nothing to stop people from trying it anyways.
 


Irlo

Hero
A PC with a low Charisma score being played as a high Charisma character is just a PC who thinks they’re charismatic. They won’t do well on CHA checks and they’ll be lackluster bards.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
A PC with a low Charisma score being played as a high Charisma character is just a PC who thinks they’re charismatic. They won’t do well on CHA checks and they’ll be lackluster bards.
Indeed - until the player starts arguing* "But I'm drop-dead gorgeous! That should make it so I don't even need to make a Cha check!" or along similar lines. Ain't got the patience for that.

* - and with no written rule or guideline to contradict this argument, the player has a valid point; a point which IMO should be invalidated before it can ever arise by making appearance an integral part of what comprises a character's Charisma.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Lanefan, you are at least putting forth an argument, which I take to be something like (correct me if I misrepresent):

1. There might be instances where players might take a low charisma yet also want their character to be very physically attractive.
2. This is a problem because some of these same players might expect to get actual in-game advantages based simply on their character's physical attractiveness, despite a low charisma.

My first question is: what makes charisma different from any of the other abilities in this regard? Indeed, isn't the prime culprit for this sort of behaviour Intelligence, not Charisma? Players are forever taking Intelligence as a dump stat yet playing their character as a super sleuth or whatever.

My second question is: Where is the DM? When it is time for a charisma check, say to try to influence an NPC, physical attractiveness does not affect the roll. So if that player tries to claim an advantage for their role-play decision to have their character be super hot, the correct response is "it doesn't work that way."

To me, this is similar to a player claiming that their character comes from a really wealthy family and therefore receives a weekly stipend of 100 gold, or comes from an ancient line of warriors and thus starts with a legendary weapon that has been passed down. The game just doesn't work that way. You don't get to give yourself in-game advantages just based on your character description.

Unless the DM wants to allow it, which trumps everything else.
 



Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Lanefan, you are at least putting forth an argument, which I take to be something like (correct me if I misrepresent):

1. There might be instances where players might take a low charisma yet also want their character to be very physically attractive.
Which is fine provided those players are willing to play the character as a boor, or anti-social, or offensive, or in some other manner that balances out those good looks and make the poor-overall Cha score make sense. I've seen this done, and done very well.

But when your character's Cha score is 8 and you're playing it as if it's got James Bond-like levels of suave-ity and hotness (and expecting the same results) there's a major disconnect if not outright bad-faith play going on.
2. This is a problem because some of these same players might expect to get actual in-game advantages based simply on their character's physical attractiveness, despite a low charisma.

My first question is: what makes charisma different from any of the other abilities in this regard? Indeed, isn't the prime culprit for this sort of behaviour Intelligence, not Charisma? Players are forever taking Intelligence as a dump stat yet playing their character as a super sleuth or whatever.
Yes, and IMO this is also a problem.
My second question is: Where is the DM? When it is time for a charisma check, say to try to influence an NPC, physical attractiveness does not affect the roll. So if that player tries to claim an advantage for their role-play decision to have their character be super hot, the correct response is "it doesn't work that way."
Indeed. It's nice, however, if the DM has backup from the rules-guidelines when saying that. That backup does not here exist, and a player who wants to root this argument in the reality we live in where good-looking people very often do get more advantages is (unfortunately) on to something.
To me, this is similar to a player claiming that their character comes from a really wealthy family and therefore receives a weekly stipend of 100 gold, or comes from an ancient line of warriors and thus starts with a legendary weapon that has been passed down.
Which, given how 5e backgrounds work, is also a gray-ish area. Fortunately, starting-wealth rules/guidelines serve to nip this specific idea in the bud, but the nobility or family-wealth/influence angle can be played for advantage in many other ways. This is why I have it that one's past profession (which can include nobility) is either something chosen from a very basic (and boring) list or randomly rolled from a more extensive one. Family background is also subject to randomization if one is looking to gain advantage from it - you're free to choose that your family are peasant farmers but not free to choose they're wealthy merchants with contacts in every town up and down the coast; if that's what you want then we'll roll for it, and if the roll comes up as peasant farmers then that what you get.

All this is somewhat intended to reflect the luck of the draw in what sort of lifestyle or social strata one is born into.
The game just doesn't work that way. You don't get to give yourself in-game advantages just based on your character description.
I agree with this. Thing is, in some cases there's rules or guidelines in place to enforce this and in other places the DM is kinda left hanging.
Unless the DM wants to allow it, which trumps everything else.
Agreed.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
What this comes down to, as I alluded to with one of my earlier posts is, if being "pretty" has a benefit, then it needs a cost. Something must be paid in to get the benefits of it. If the DM is ok with that cost being "high Charisma", all well and good.

But if someone is arguing that they should get an advantage for a trait that they didn't pay for, the book shouldn't have to say "no". You can't expect to get something for nothing.

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I have a hard time seeing that as point with any degree of validity.
Remembe that unlike 3e, the general 5e philosophy is that unless a rule says you can't do something, you can; or at least try it. Which here means, absent any rule or even guideline to the contrary, a player arguing that a character's hot appearance should be a benefit in social interactions (especially in initiating said interactions) is on solid ground both rules-wise and simulation-of-reality-wise.

A one or two word addition within the write-up on Charisma and that whole line of argument vanishes without a trace.
 

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