Why is everyone so down on Charm Person?

Jer

Legend
Supporter
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.
I agree, though "tradition" means that's not a change we're ever likely to see. Charm Person has always been a mind manipulation spell so it's not going to change.

When the villains in the game were treated as playing pieces charm person was just a spell to turn a threat into an ally. As roleplaying has changed towards thinking more about the other characters - even the monsters - as actual characters like your own character, and as players have invested more into their characters as people rather than just extensions of themselves into a game world, the ramifications of Charm Person just get worse and worse.
 

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I agree, though "tradition" means that's not a change we're ever likely to see. Charm Person has always been a mind manipulation spell so it's not going to change.

When the villains in the game were treated as playing pieces charm person was just a spell to turn a threat into an ally. As roleplaying has changed towards thinking more about the other characters - even the monsters - as actual characters like your own character, and as players have invested more into their characters as people rather than just extensions of themselves into a game world, the ramifications of Charm Person just get worse and worse.
oD&D dungeon crawling (and with 'alignment as team jersey') certainly makes it work. The instant we started getting good-evil alignments and paladins and such, the game (as written, not just 'what some people on the ____ coast did with it') started to be somewhat contradictory in that matter.

Which is to say I agree, but that change happened as early as '75.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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).
You couldn't use Hold Person on a dire tiger to start with, as a dire tiger falls way outside what counts as a 'person'. And as it's the 'person' spells under discussion, Hold Monster isnt part of the equation.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Who says the player loses control of the character?

Me, I often just pass a note to the player saying something like "You've been dominated by [whatever] and your orders are [example] to attack and kill the party with extreme prejudice." Then I just let the player run with that, leaving it up to said player just how those orders will be fulfilled. Hasn't been a problem yet, 38 years and counting.
 

Yes, it is morally wrong to take someones free will away from them, but its no different than killing a living creature (which is kind of what the game is about).

Indeed. I think this is the elephant in the room that the anti-charm people are ignoring. In the context of an adventure Charm Person is a peaceful solution that allows you to deescalate situations nonviolently.
 

Indeed. I think this is the elephant in the room that the anti-charm people are ignoring. In the context of an adventure Charm Person is a peaceful solution that allows you to deescalate situations nonviolently.
Submitted without comment
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).
 

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)?
Yes. Why should such creatures be more vulnerable? Why am I designing a spell that only works on bipedal tool users such as goblins that wouldn't work on the wolves they're riding or the inhuman creatures who may have hired the goblins, why does the spell not affect centaurs, etc.
 

Yes. Why should such creatures be more vulnerable? Why am I designing a spell that only works on bipedal tool users such as goblins that wouldn't work on the wolves they're riding or the inhuman creatures who may have hired the goblins, why does the spell not affect centaurs, etc.
I mean, the original answer was undoubtedly 'to make them scarier than mere orcs and bandits,' but that whole framework hasn't really kept pace with how the game has evolved (and it always meant that you and enemy levelled human/-oids had easier methods of stopping each other than either of you did the owlbear down the hallway).
 

Who says the player loses control of the character?

Me, I often just pass a note to the player saying something like "You've been dominated by [whatever] and your orders are [example] to attack and kill the party with extreme prejudice." Then I just let the player run with that, leaving it up to said player just how those orders will be fulfilled. Hasn't been a problem yet, 38 years and counting.
Unless the player is inclined to kill other PCs, that is loss of control. 43 years and counting.
 

Who says the player loses control of the character?

Me, I often just pass a note to the player saying something like "You've been dominated by [whatever] and your orders are [example] to attack and kill the party with extreme prejudice." Then I just let the player run with that, leaving it up to said player just how those orders will be fulfilled. Hasn't been a problem yet, 38 years and counting.
Unless the player is inclined to kill other PCs, that is loss of control. 43 years and counting.

I agree, it is loss of control.

That said, it's also a non-sequitur because it's explicitly a dominate effect and not a charm effect, and charm effects are what we're discussing here. It neither contributes nor detracts to either side of the argument except inspfar as there is a tendency for people to get the two confused. Dominate controls a character, charm just changes a character's attitude to friendly or helpful.

Depending on the character's demeanor it might not even stop them fighting you (such as if they're a dedicated lawful soldier who has their orders, or a casually evil character who would be inclined to hurt friends and loved ones)
 
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