OneDnD Change in Charisma Description

payn

Legend
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.
lolwut? No, its rulings over rules for 5E. So, Mr. 8 cha James Bond can go pound sand at my table which takes me a grand total of 1 second to decide.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Agreed.
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".
Disagreed. Ideally the DM shouldn't be left hanging when it's so easy for the rules to back her up.

Even an overarching statement somewhere very prominent in the PH to the effect of "In order to preserve balance, for every benefit your character has you can expect there to be a countervailing drawback or penalty somewhere else, whether imposed by the rules or your DM" would go a very long way here.
You can't expect to get something for nothing.

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
Again agreed. The rules just need to both say this and enforce it. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
lolwut? No, its rulings over rules for 5E.
Which echoes what I said.

Rulings means you can try to do it until and unless something says you can't. That is the 5e way, and (though largely unspoken) was the 0e-BX way.

Rules means you can't try to do it unless something says you can. That was the 3e way.
So, Mr. 8 cha James Bond can go pound sand at my table which takes me a grand total of 1 second to decide.
But as DM you still have to decide it, and maybe deal with a resulting argument. Neither would be necessary if the rules were maybe one or two words longer.

And yes, obviously you can't have a rule for everything - 3e taught us that - and I'm not at all suggesting such should be the case. But get the lowest-hanging fruit at least; and this particular fruit is hanging so low it's touching the ground. Why not fix it?
 

payn

Legend
Which echoes what I said.

Rulings means you can try to do it until and unless something says you can't. That is the 5e way, and (though largely unspoken) was the 0e-BX way.

Rules means you can't try to do it unless something says you can. That was the 3e way.

But as DM you still have to decide it, and maybe deal with a resulting argument. Neither would be necessary if the rules were maybe one or two words longer.

And yes, obviously you can't have a rule for everything - 3e taught us that - and I'm not at all suggesting such should be the case. But get the lowest-hanging fruit at least; and this particular fruit is hanging so low it's touching the ground. Why not fix it?
We been over this, its not fruit at all, its not even part of the tree. This simply isn't a problem that needs to be solved.
 

Irlo

Hero
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.
You didn't say that the player was arguing that "hot appearance" should be a benefit in social interactions. You said the player was arguing that they should be exempt from Charisma checks due to the appearance.

Regardless of charisma, I can certainly imagine in-game situations in which appearance could provide a benefit or penalty - advantage or disadvantage on a CHA check, for example.

You might offer a really hideous character advantaage on some intimidation checks, for example, or a beautiful character disadvantage on deception checks because the bartender got scammed by pretty people in the past.

I'll note that you have very different players than I do. I haven't seen anyone ever arguing for or feeling entitled to advantages. The DM sets the DC and determines if advantage or disadvantage applies.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Then maybe play a "sub-optimal" warrior? Or a different class?

I don't understand the resistance to characters having built-in drawbacks.
People like to play competent characters.

And thanks to the way 5e is designed, ability score is pretty much all that matters when it comes to competence.

So I'm not going to hang around a table where I have to choose between being competent at what my character does and playing the character I want because of the numbers.

Especially not one that's going to insult me for recognizing the basic mechanics of the game.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
People like to play competent characters.
Competent at some things. Less competent at others. Maybe even outright incompetent at a few things.

Otherwise, every character ends up being good at everything. Without weaknesses, there's no longer any need for the rest of the party as you can do it all yourself.
And thanks to the way 5e is designed, ability score is pretty much all that matters when it comes to competence.
Which means, then, that unless you're hella lucky with your roll-up there's going to be areas where you're competent (even very competent) and areas where you aren't, based on and reflected by those ability scores.

Trying to do an end-around by saying the non-physical ability scores don't reflect the character and that you can roleplay your way into competence in areas where those ability scores are poor - yeah, that's pushing the envelope pretty hard and not only would I expect any DM to push back just as hard, I'd be disappointed if that DM-side pushback didn't come.
 

amethal

Adventurer
Rulings means you can try to do it until and unless something says you can't. That is the 5e way, and (though largely unspoken) was the 0e-BX way.

Rules means you can't try to do it unless something says you can. That was the 3e way.
The Pathfinder (1e) way is that Rules means you can try to do it until at book comes out which has a Feat for it.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
The Pathfinder (1e) way is that Rules means you can try to do it until at book comes out which has a Feat for it.
Ah, that's actually the D&D way! Lost of things were possible until they made rules for it! TSR's exhaustive list of Non-Weapon Proficiencies and 3e's Feats are great examples of it. By the end of 2e, there was a proficiency for everything, and there was precious little you could do without proficiency. Except for Thief skills, of course. Things like moving quietly or picking locks had to come from your Class (despite the fact that making locks was a Non-Weapon Proficiency!).

And 3e was when they decided to up the ante by not only having skills that couldn't be used without proficiency, but also to start printing feats for Tracking in cities or doing research in libraries. I'd bring up Tracking here too, but it wasn't much worse than 2e, where you could take Tracking as a proficiency, but actually reading it, you discovered that unless you were a Ranger, you took a massive penalty.

Ah, the good old days.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Competent at some things. Less competent at others. Maybe even outright incompetent at a few things.

Otherwise, every character ends up being good at everything. Without weaknesses, there's no longer any need for the rest of the party as you can do it all yourself.
Mechanical weaknesses. Not RP. Leave RP to the player.

Which means, then, that unless you're hella lucky with your roll-up there's going to be areas where you're competent (even very competent) and areas where you aren't, based on and reflected by those ability scores.
Again, mechancially.

Trying to do an end-around by saying the non-physical ability scores don't reflect the character and that you can roleplay your way into competence in areas where those ability scores are poor - yeah, that's pushing the envelope pretty hard and not only would I expect any DM to push back just as hard, I'd be disappointed if that DM-side pushback didn't come.
Who said 'non-physical'?

I've played big, fat Dex-lords and beanpole wargods with 22STR. MY stats mean NOTHING to my character's appearance and personality and if the DM pushes back against that, I'm going to step aside so they prat fall and walk out of the game.
 

Clint_L

Hero
I should add that I am very biased in this discussion because I teach high school students. We work so hard to try to prevent teenagers, especially girls, being fixated on their body image and physical appearance. It causes a lot of harm to so many kids. I don't want D&D Club reinforcing the message that girls get all the time, namely that the most important thing about them is how they look.
 

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.
That is absolutely fair. If you don't think beauty helps persuade people or helps performers perform, then there is nothing to argue. I see things differently. But, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
 

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?
I will be honest, I don't use it. Personalities, especially the ones codified on paper such as personality traits, ideals, flaws and bonds are much more important to play. That said, I am merely stating that OneD&D should add it to the definition because it makes sense. It would literally follow all the other abilities' examples. And it would represent the lore. And as I stated earlier, maybe the D&D realm has a universal appeal, one in which species doesn't matter.
 

I should add that I am very biased in this discussion because I teach high school students. We work so hard to try to prevent teenagers, especially girls, being fixated on their body image and physical appearance. It causes a lot of harm to so many kids. I don't want D&D Club reinforcing the message that girls get all the time, namely that the most important thing about them is how they look.
And I am right there with you. It's a good point to bring up. But there is the alternative point of view: the one that is never considered pretty by her peers gets to be what she considers pretty. Just like the kid that weighs 110 pounds and has 9 inch arms gets to be his Hulk Hogan style barbarian.
But if it caused any harm to self image, then I would be for changing it and negating my claim. I might shift it to something like "universal appeal." But if that caused any consternation, then I would be against it as well.

All that said, I don't think it would cause anything. As someone who has run D&D for high schoolers for years and years, I have never seen conflict like this based on the game. I have never even seen the game amplify it, like so many suggest. What I have seen is a student upset at another student because their paying too much attention to the other girl at the table. I have seen a student fall out of friendship with his long-time pal and then bring the feud to their table. But never a student made fun of due to their abilities, internalized it, and then feeling bad. But I get it. My experiences aren't the world's.
 

Lorithen

Explorer
I know... I know... We've been down this road before. But please hear me out: Charisma should include beauty. Right now it's "confidence, eloquence, leadership" and "... your ability to interact effectively with others. It includes such factors as confidence and eloquence, and it can represent a charming or commanding personality." Beauty needs to be included. Here's why.

In our homebrew game, Charisma is defined as "a measure of persuasiveness, force of will, personal magnetism, and physical attractiveness". Willpower has come into play on a few occasions and there is a "willpower adjustment" table in our rulebook, which states: "Spells that involve charming, dominating or other forms of mind control are affected by the Charisma of both the caster and the target, as indicated by the 'Willpower Adjustment' below."

But re looks: "Within reason, and keeping in mind the Charisma score, players are free to determine what their character looks like. However, as Charisma is made up of a balance between personality and physical looks, improvements to one must to some extent adversely affect the other.
 
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Starfox

Adventurer
Our rule is that your appearance depends on which Hollywood actor is playing your part - and 95% of them are gorgeous. Charisma is how the role is written.

Except now in Savage Worlds Pathfinder, there are attribute-based merits.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
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.
I think it’s a more relevant problem for @Lanefan than it is for most. He’s pretty open about the fact that he and his players take a very no-holds-barred approach. When the expectation is that the players can and should use every advantage they can get, it makes more sense to explicitly disallow dumping a stat and then playing the character as if they had a high score in that stat (assuming that the group wants ability scores to have an effect on characterization).
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I think it’s a more relevant problem for @Lanefan than it is for most. He’s pretty open about the fact that he and his players take a very no-holds-barred approach. When the expectation is that the players can and should use every advantage they can get, it makes more sense to explicitly disallow dumping a stat and then playing the character as if they had a high score in that stat (assuming that the group wants ability scores to have an affect on characterization).
I have a real hard time with the mental ability scores. Like, sure, it makes sense that you shouldn't roleplay your character being articulate with a low Charisma, or a capable tactician with low Intelligence- and yet, there's no clear threshold of exactly how charismatic or intelligent or wise one needs to be to roleplay their character in a certain fashion.

Worse yet, pop culture is full of characters who are woefully handicapped in some areas, but then have surprising competence in others- a classic example is the shonen protagonist who is totally lacking in book smarts and may even come off as an idiot, but then becomes hyper-competent with regards to strategy in combat.

Given that the 5e system doesn't give some ability scores much to do outside of skill checks, there's no real way to police this sort of thing. Saying "sorry, you can't be Hannibal Barca, you only have Intelligence 12" is completely arbitrary- how much Int does one need to invest to claim to be a mighty general?

Worse, even if one did make an 18 intelligence warrior, the system doesn't give intelligence any real way to benefit a character in combat; they can be no more intelligent or savvy than their player is.

Even when we do have rules for the use of ability checks, like with social rolls, there's still the classic paradox of the charming, articulate player and the introverted shy player- you still get DM's who insist that social rolls be roleplayed (because, I mean, it is a roleplaying game), and are leery of "allowing" a low energy Charisma roll to succeed on the merits.

In short, it's easy to say that someone is playing above ability of their character, and demand higher ability scores, but in some areas, players are not given much leeway if their characters are more capable than they themselves are.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I have a real hard time with the mental ability scores. Like, sure, it makes sense that you shouldn't roleplay your character being articulate with a low Charisma, or a capable tactician with low Intelligence- and yet, there's no clear threshold of exactly how charismatic or intelligent or wise one needs to be to roleplay their character in a certain fashion.

Worse yet, pop culture is full of characters who are woefully handicapped in some areas, but then have surprising competence in others- a classic example is the shonen protagonist who is totally lacking in book smarts and may even come off as an idiot, but then becomes hyper-competent with regards to strategy in combat.

Given that the 5e system doesn't give some ability scores much to do outside of skill checks, there's no real way to police this sort of thing. Saying "sorry, you can't be Hannibal Barca, you only have Intelligence 12" is completely arbitrary- how much Int does one need to invest to claim to be a mighty general?

Worse, even if one did make an 18 intelligence warrior, the system doesn't give intelligence any real way to benefit a character in combat; they can be no more intelligent or savvy than their player is.
Yeah… People are so much more complicated than numbered scores in “intelligence,” “wisdom,” and “charisma” (all pretty nebulously defined terms to begin with) could possibly express, so there’s no objective way to determine what playing “too smart/wise/charismatic” for a given score even looks like. And that’s before getting into questions of how to play a character who’s “more intelligent/wise/charismatic” than you.
Even when we do have rules for the use of ability checks, like with social rolls, there's still the classic paradox of the charming, articulate player and the introverted shy player- you still get DM's who insist that social rolls be roleplayed (because, I mean, it is a roleplaying game), and are leery of "allowing" a low energy Charisma roll to succeed on the merits.

In short, it's easy to say that someone is playing above ability of their character, and demand higher ability scores, but in some areas, players are not given much leeway if their characters are more capable than they themselves are.
Personally, my experience has only been improved by just deciding not to worry about this. I don’t require players to describe their high-strength characters as muscle-bound, nor do I feel any need to stop players with low-strength characters from doing so; it would be a double-standard to tell a player how they can or can’t roleplay based on their mental stats in my opinion. Worst thing that could happen is a player tries to talk like Sherlock Holmes and still regularly fails their Investigation checks or whatever, no big deal.
 

I should add that I am very biased in this discussion because I teach high school students. We work so hard to try to prevent teenagers, especially girls, being fixated on their body image and physical appearance. It causes a lot of harm to so many kids. I don't want D&D Club reinforcing the message that girls get all the time, namely that the most important thing about them is how they look.
I would like to add a subjective. An alternative, maybe a broader view if you will.

Here are the women of Critical Role:
1675058089897.png

Three women, and I think we can say they, unified, they are good looking.
Now look at the PHB:
1675058210575.png
1675058237220.png

My point is: if you think one word... one word in a rulebook that only half the people read in going to make an impact on mental health, then...
 

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