Why is everyone so down on Charm Person?

p_johnston

Adventurer
This thread is originally from 2008, so I think the OP was referring to the 3e version of the spell. But looking at 5e instead, I think it's perfectly fair to have the charm person spell induce hostility when it wears off. The one that shouldn't do so is the cantrip version, friends. Friends is what many people in the thread seem to mean when they think of a "positive" version of charm person – it makes you extraordinarily charming, but doesn't really mind control anyone. It just gives you advantage on Charisma checks against a particular person. Unfortunately, friends is the spell that explicitly makes the target hostile afterward, while charm person "only" makes the target realize they've been magically influenced and then lets them take it from there.
Holy crap that shows how much I look at the dates of these things. Didn't even realize it was that old.
 

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What if it had been due to the effect of a tech device, in this wacky modern age? Just assuming for a sec such a thing exists. . .

Tech. . . magic. . . you see?

Some random stranger comes up to you, and (to an unusual extent) controls your mind/emotions without you so much as being asked, and you'd be fine with it.

OK. . .

You mean targeted advertising?
 

I would go absolutely caveman on someone who casts Charm Person on me in real life. Once the charm wore off, I'd see if I could find them and then I'd start bouncing their head off the nearest wall. Since this isn't a D&D thread, we don't have to limit charm to their various spell descriptions over the years so lets think about some of the most charming creatures out there. I think sirens would qualify with their lovely voices luring sailors to their doom. How about Dracula? He was able to charm the pants off of Lucy.

A lot has happened since this thread was started in 2008, so now we can think of it like the more extremes of what Kilgrave does to Jessica Jones in the Netflix Marvel show. That is more controlling than charming, but I think that is what now comes to mind for some people.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Despite the deep time thread necro, the topic is interesting. The OP focuses a lot on the name - charm person - and not on the mechanics of what it does (take away agency). Like a lot of things in D&D the name brings to mind things that the mechanics don't bear out.

The OP is looking for a Charisma buff spell, but charm person has never been that kind of spell. It's always been a mind manipulation spell. A Charisma buff spell might be interesting though and a question occurs - does that have the same problem as a charm person spell or not?
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Charm Person and Charm Monster say right in the name that they effect a target that isn't you. They don't make you charming, they take away free will from others. Charm in this case is the verb meaning to control, as if magically, not the verb to delight.

If you want a spell that does what you are asking about, look at Enhance Ability. Eagle's Splendor will grant advantage on all Charisma checks. You are now much more charming (as in delightful) than you were before. You aren't taking away their free will, no one can "realize they were charmed" or make a save and have a negative reaction due to it. It's exactly what you described you were looking for.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The spell has a duration, and it makes the person your friend for a duration. If it made them your friend for life, it would be overpowered. To make a real friend, use the old-fashioned way. (Or, failing that, find a longer duration spell.)
Or just keep re-casting the charm before the first one wears off. In 1e that's easy to do unless the target is quite intelligent.
On another note, it's a "person spell" and I hate that kind of spell. I refuse to use them as a DM or a PC.
The 'person' spells are Charm Person, Hold Person, Dominate Person, and...?

Nothing wrong with Hold Person - just rename it as Temporary Paralysis if you don't like the 'person' aspect. The other two usually represent less-violent ways ot dealing with enemies than the alternative, which can't be a bad thing.

ETA: not expecting a reply, as I didn't notice this thread had been exhumed from a deep grave. :)
 
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I would rather kill a PC than have them taken from the player's control. 'Holds' type spells, or 'Command', where the result is just to deprive them of their turn is acceptable, but beyond that, I'm not willing to go.

So in the rare occasion I use a system that has such spells, I pull them.
 

Or just keep re-casting the charm before the first one wears off. In 1e that's easy to do unless the target is quite intelligent.

The 'person' spells are Charm Person, Hold Person, Dominate Person, and...?

Nothing wrong with Hold Person - just rename it as Temporary Paralysis if you don't like the 'person' aspect. The other two usually represent less-violent ways ot dealing with enemies than the alternative, which can't be a bad thing.

ETA: not expecting a reply, as I didn't notice this thread had been exhumed from a deep grave. :)
Calling it Temporary Paralysis wouldn't work, because I couldn't use it on, say, a dire tiger. I like Hold Monster (which is worthy of the name Temporary Paralysis).
 

MGibster

Legend
I would rather kill a PC than have them taken from the player's control. 'Holds' type spells, or 'Command', where the result is just to deprive them of their turn is acceptable, but beyond that, I'm not willing to go.
That's a sentiment that I've heard many times over the years. Many players would rather have their character die than to lose control of them.
 

Despite the deep time thread necro, the topic is interesting. The OP focuses a lot on the name - charm person - and not on the mechanics of what it does (take away agency). Like a lot of things in D&D the name brings to mind things that the mechanics don't bear out.

The OP is looking for a Charisma buff spell, but charm person has never been that kind of spell. It's always been a mind manipulation spell. A Charisma buff spell might be interesting though and a question occurs - does that have the same problem as a charm person spell or not?
There seemed to be three thrusts in the 2008 part of the thread -- 1) Wanting a charisma-booster as the ubiquitous 'charm' spell of the game, 2) wanting the spell to have different side effects (not immediately realize they've been charmed or not automatically being mad/more mad than any other manipulation (/peasants would be scared, not mad, etc.), 3) not getting why autonomy-subversion is such a big deal. The last I'm continuously amazed by, but otoh for a lot of people actually having your autonomy suborned is a pretty theoretical situation (also the whole, 'I was going to kill the bandit, instead I charmed them, how is that worse?' issue that playing violent characters also has waiting in the wings).

I personally agree with my #1-- the go-to enchantment spell (particularly player-accessible one) should be a 'make me a better talker' spell. If you want to go full-bore puppetmaster (and deal with the ramifications thereof), it should really be a concerted and deliberate character arc choice, not something your Level one wizard picks up because it might be useful.
Calling it Temporary Paralysis wouldn't work, because I couldn't use it on, say, a dire tiger. I like Hold Monster (which is worthy of the name Temporary Paralysis).
So the issue is that certain spells are 2-4 levels earlier if they target bipedal tool-users (who may or may not be more or less a threat than the random jumble of fangs, claws, and tentacles that D&D monsters tend to encompass)?
That's a sentiment that I've heard many times over the years. Many players would rather have their character die than to lose control of them.
In my groups, the sentiment is 'at least not casually.' If being mind controlled is part of carefully cultivated horror experience, that's one thing (and people who don't run 'personal horror experience' games without care and offramp tools are setting themselves up for disaster). Just casually "the monster defeats you all by convincing you it is your childhood friend, you let it walk out of here with a pair of also-charmed villagers. You find their bones three days later*" and yeah, up in arms.
*and if it were "the monster defeats you all by convincing you it is your childhood friend, you let it walk out of here with Jim and Mary's also-charmed PCs. You find their bones three days later," WOW would you never get invited back.
 

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