Charisma Conundrum

Zardnaar

Hero
A while ago a poster whose name I forget made the comment that along the lines of 6E is only going to have dex and charisma.

We know about the Dex is Uber thing. So what makes charisma so good.

IMHO it's because the charisma classes are tuned fairly high power wise and due to the design of 5E intelligence is mostly a dump stat unless you're a wizard or one of two rogue and fighter archetypes.

Yes there's some int based skills but there's also charisma based skills.

The weakest charisma based class is the Sorcerer and it's not bad as such.

The other problem us the charisma based classes also peak in power early in the game. A level 3 wizard for example doesn't have a alot if spells, recalling then isn't that relevent and a lot of archetype features are not on either. My level 3 Celestial Warlock had agonizing blast and book of secrets so made a better ritual caster than the wizard, dealt more damage, healed, had charisma and had more spells assuming 2 short rests.

There's also power creep in Xanathars with the hexblade.

We all know how good lore cards are, bards in general and the Paladin gets their aura level 6.

So we have these classes peaking early while the wizard us still ramping up. The wizard will get better later on but it's going to take a while IMHO and the wizard is outclassed early in all 3 pillars by the warlock and utility as well IMHO. The wizard is more powerful later on but better now is better than latter on.

Now another factor is multiclassing. The Sorlock is infamous but Paladin's multiclassing into Sorcerers after level 6 or 8 are also a thing. Paladin Hexblades are another combo reducing MAD and AC is only one lower and you can key everything off charisma. Arcane gish fighter/warlock MC is also really good if hexblade is not an option. I don't think anyone will disagree to much over MC options being better.

My third point to make would be the charisma based races are also better. The half elf in the phb is an obvious example.

Other powerful races include variant Aasimar and Tieflings in SCAG and Mordenkainens. Volos Guide also has Yuan Ti in it another powerful race.

Even the Drow can be abused and it also has dexterity and good racial feats. It's drawback can be minimized with the warlock and careful spell selection. Alot of the races are also near human in appearance.

So that's my main arguements. There's alot of parts that make charisma Uber.
 
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Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Charisma is so good because as @Tony Vargas said, it's nearly the entire Social Pillar, so 1/3 of the game, AND of the 6 casting classes, it makes up fully 1/3 of them (Bard,Sorcerer,Warlock), plus has bonuses in one of the primary Nova melee classes (Paladin).

It's one of the reasons I wish that Warlock was an Int based class to have the six core casting classes split 1/3 Int, 1/3 Wis, 1/3 Cha, but alas, that ship sailed long ago. Even if you exclude Warlock as a casting class, Cha represents then 40% of casting classes on top of the social skills.

To be fair, Wisdom is almost as good as Cha from a usefulness standpoint. Two Full casters, Ranger relies on Wisdom for many things, just like Cha has Paladins, and Wis actually has 1 more skill tied to it than Cha.

Cha skills are more on a theme than Wisdom which is kind of spread out in skill theme. That said Wis is the better stat for saves. When was the last time you had to make a Charisma save?
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Charisma is so good because as @Tony Vargas said, it's nearly the entire Social Pillar, so 1/3 of the game, AND of the 6 casting classes, it makes up fully 1/3 of them (Bard,Sorcerer,Warlock), plus has bonuses in one of the primary Nova melee classes (Paladin).

It's one of the reasons I wish that Warlock was an Int based class to have the six core casting classes split 1/3 Int, 1/3 Wis, 1/3 Cha, but alas, that ship sailed long ago. Even if you exclude Warlock as a casting class, Cha represents then 40% of casting classes on top of the social skills.

To be fair, Wisdom is almost as good as Cha from a usefulness standpoint. Two Full casters, Ranger relies on Wisdom for many things, just like Cha has Paladins, and Wis actually has 1 more skill tied to it than Cha.

Cha skills are more on a theme than Wisdom which is kind of spread out in skill theme. That said Wis is the better stat for saves. When was the last time you had to make a Charisma save?
Banishment and possession.

Not common save but more than intelligence.
 
Stats aren't strong in a vacuum. Perhaps the most important determining factor of relative stat power is the power and diversity of classes that rely on said stat.
 

Yenrak

Explorer
I allow charisma to be used in battle. It can be used to feign a surrender or negotiate a mutual cease-fire, as long as this is narratively plausible. Just the other day, one of my players used Persuasion to talk two air-elementals into ending a fight that had badly damaged the elementals, knocked-out the other two players, but left her untouched.

"Look. You're hurt. My friends are down. Maybe you can take me. Maybe you can't. Could go either way. But there's one way we all get through this. You let me grab my friends and I walk out of here. So, what do you say?"

Roll Persuasion.
 
Stats aren't strong in a vacuum. Perhaps the most important determining factor of relative stat power is the power and diversity of classes that rely on said stat.
IDK, if you're not one of those classes it means nothing.
If your prime req is a great stat, that makes your class better.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Old-school D&D was the nerdy kids’ game. In it, Strength was the most important stat for fighters, who were the best class in the early game, but grew linearly. Intelligence was the most important for magic users, who were weak and frail in the early game, but grew quadratically, caught up with and surpassed fighters in the mid game, and by the endgame were unstoppable overpowered gods for whom the puny fighters served as mere pack mules. The power fantasy is pretty obvious.

Modern D&D aims to appeal to a broader audience. No class is the clear best, and you can pretty much keep pace with everyone else whatever stats you favor. But, the smart physical combatant favors Dexterity because it can do everything Strength can and more. There are more spellcasting classes that rely on Charisma than any other mental stat, and any character who wants to contribute meaningfully in the social pillar needs at least some degree of investment in it. Who’s power fantasy is modern D&D? Theater kids.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
I agree completely with the OP. CHA is the new DEX in uberness. I think the designers were overcompensating. For years CHA was totally the dump stat in prior editions. Now, they wen't overboard.

We switched Sorcerers to INT and CON, with CON actually as their spell-casting modifier! Of course, our sorcerer has a CON 18, but that just boosts his HP, which isn't a bad thing LOL!

We also changed Initiative so you can use DEX, INT, or WIS for your modifier. That helps builds like an Edlritch Knight/ Tank in heavy armor. He doesn't have to put points in DEX just to help his initiative, the INT helps.

Anyway, yes, there is too much reliance on CHA in 5E. Boo!!! Hiss!!! :p
 
Old-school D&D was the nerdy kids’ game.
And, it became a geeky old men's game. ;P

The power fantasy is pretty obvious.
That theory is familiar: Garthanos called it "Revenge of the Nerds."

I certainly exemplified it back in the day.

Modern D&D aims to appeal to a broader audience.
Sort of. It aims to be accessible to a broader audience - but still acceptable to the predilections of the core fanbase.
No class is the clear best, and you can pretty much keep pace with everyone else whatever stats you favor.
Oh, classes still shake out into Tiers (maybe 4 instead of 6) and Wiz and his neo-Vancian cousins are still on top. The fighter is still the most popular, relatable, class - and still intentionally designed as a sort of "trap."
But, it's not as blatant. The game doesn't even bother starting the Fighter out awesome and letting it fall quickly behind. Rather, it neatly balances around single-target DPR - the fighters best, nigh-only, thing - while giving everyone* else (but especially the geek-identification wizard), vastly more breadth and versatility, that balloons as you level.
It's still LFQW, but also linear-DPR for all (more or less).

But, the smart physical combatant favors Dexterity because it can do everything Strength can and more. There are more spellcasting classes that rely on Charisma than any other mental stat, and any character who wants to contribute meaningfully in the social pillar needs at least some degree of investment in it. Who’s power fantasy is modern D&D? Theater kids.
Heh. I like that theory, too. But, frankly, they had their turn with Storyteller in the 90s.
I daren't say anything too grumpy or insensitive about the details, but Mellinials' - or, at least the designers' perception of them - might be the fantasies in question.







* OK, not the Barbarian.
 

Don Durito

Explorer
Dex and Charisma are the stats that give you skills that allow you to do things - especially in more complex environments.

Knowledge involves asking the GM if I know something.
Perception involves asking the GM if I see something.
Or the GM asking for a roll.

Dex and Cha are the buildings blocks for a plan.
It's not that there aren't other skills (Athletics in particular) that can be useful, but most of the active skills are Dex and Cha.

These are also the two primary abilities of the classes that get access to expertise - which compounds the issue as you need expertise to make a vaguely reliable plan that may involve more than one skill roll.
 
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S'mon

Legend
5e certainly underpowers INT; I think it ought to provide a bonus number of Proficiencies (or at least Language/tool profs) I think, as in 3e.

I don't allow more than one caster class in a multiclass combo, which solves Sorlock/Sorcadin type issues, and my overall experience is that the 5e classes are extremely well balanced when you have 6-8 encounters per LR, 1-2 per SR, and a reasonable amount of exploration & social. I get 'Warlock is too weak!' as much as 'Warlock is too strong!' and players who find Sorcerer a great class, as well as players who love Wizard, so really no worries there.
 

S'mon

Legend
Re boosting INT - how about a PC can learn an additional number of Profs during Downtime (using Xanathar or DMG rules for languages/tools), but limited to # = INT bonus? So 12 = +1 , up to 20 = +5. Or could just start new PC with extra # profs = INT bonus from their class list. Might throw off class balance a bit with Wizards getting 3 extra profs?
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Re boosting INT - how about a PC can learn an additional number of Profs during Downtime (using Xanathar or DMG rules for languages/tools), but limited to # = INT bonus? So 12 = +1 , up to 20 = +5. Or could just start new PC with extra # profs = INT bonus from their class list. Might throw off class balance a bit with Wizards getting 3 extra profs?
Languages maybe tool proficiency.

I don't think the wizard us the best class in the game until later and some wizards are better than others.

Warlocks are in the most powerful class rating tier 1.

Wizards level 13 or 15 are the best.

Depends how much treasure and rituals are in the game as well and if the wizard bothers learning them.

In the traditional sweet spot ( 4-8 or so) is still the sweet spot. Level 8-10 things start falling apart IMHO.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
A while ago a poster whose name I forget made the comment that along the lines of 6E is only going to have dex and charisma.

We know about the Dex is Uber thing. So what makes charisma so good.

IMHO it's because the charisma classes are tuned fairly high power wise and due to the design of 5E intelligence is mostly a dump stat unless you're a wizard or one of two rogue and fighter archetypes.

Yes there's some int based skills but there's also charisma based skills.

The weakest charisma based class is the Sorcerer and it's not bad as such.

The other problem us the charisma based classes also peak in power early in the game. A level 3 wizard for example doesn't have a alot if spells, recalling then isn't that relevent and a lot of archetype features are not on either. My level 3 Celestial Warlock had agonizing blast and book of secrets so made a better ritual caster than the wizard, dealt more damage, healed, had charisma and had more spells assuming 2 short rests.

There's also power creep in Xanathars with the hexblade.

We all know how good lore cards are, bards in general and the Paladin gets their aura level 6.

So we have these classes peaking early while the wizard us still ramping up. The wizard will get better later on but it's going to take a while IMHO and the wizard is outclassed early in all 3 pillars by the warlock and utility as well IMHO. The wizard is more powerful later on but better now is better than latter on.

Now another factor is multiclassing. The Sorlock is infamous but Paladin's multiclassing into Sorcerers after level 6 or 8 are also a thing. Paladin Hexblades are another combo reducing MAD and AC is only one lower and you can key everything off charisma. Arcane gish fighter/warlock MC is also really good if hexblade is not an option. I don't think anyone will disagree to much over MC options being better.

My third point to make would be the charisma based races are also better. The half elf in the phb is an obvious example.

Other powerful races include variant Aasimar and Tieflings in SCAG and Mordenkainens. Volos Guide also has Yuan Ti in it another powerful race.

Even the Drow can be abused and it also has dexterity and good racial feats. It's drawback can be minimized with the warlock and careful spell selection. Alot of the races are also near human in appearance.

So that's my main arguements. There's alot of parts that make charisma Uber.
If you look at the social mechanics in the DMG insight and investigation are quite useful for finding personal traits and cues that you can use yo change attitudes that greatly shift what you can talk folks into doing.

Social success is not just Charisma - all three non-physical scores can play strong roles. Just getting one shift from hostile to indifferent or indifferent to friendly is akin to +10 on the Charisna check.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Cha isn't the entire social pillar, sharing it with Wis (Insight). I also despise the fact that so many casters use Cha. Bard I'm good with, and it's the only one that absolutely deserves to use Cha. Paladin I can see, and Sorcerer I can grudgingly live with. Warlock drives me nuts, however since I feel it should be Wis or Int.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
What was warlock in 3.5?
Psion would be your obvious int based class.

Beguiler and Warmage were int? Beguiler us basically a lore bard anyway.

I can't remember.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
This is another one of those times where I simply ask "So what?"

So what if DEX and CHA are used a lot? Or that they are used more than STR or INT? What difference does it make? The only reason why it seems like I always hear people complaining about them is because of the dreaded so-called "cookie cutter builds"... where enterprising players have determined their DMs are not playing in such a way that makes using STR or INT necessary.

But whose fault is that? If your players have determined "Hey! If my DM is allowing rampant, non-background based multiclassing with no rhyme nor reason to my selections... I'll just multiclass all the CHA classes together to create uber-builds!" Or that "You know, my DM just gives out information willy-nilly and never asks for INT checks for any lore or knowledge, I'll just skip out on having INT or any lore skills!" then perhaps the issue could most easily be solved by running the game in such a way that stat use is just not that lopsided?

If having all six stat really matters that much to you (and personally, I don't think its at all necessary for a fun game)... what's going to be easier? Re-writing all the classes and rules to re-distribute the stats, or just changing what you call for or allow that makes your players forsake half the stats and power-grind the others in the first place?
 

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