Friday, February 17, 2017

Charisma, Part 1

In at least one way, Charisma works in the game just like you'd expect it to: it makes characters more persuasive in conversation. Unlike most contemporary editions of D&D, it does this all on its own, with no Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate skills. There are a few reasons for this:

1) All non-combat skills in the game use Wisdom.

2) I wanted to make Charisma itself more versatile in more situations.

3) There's sometimes a fine line between the conversation skills, Bluff and Diplomacy especially.

4) Finally, I wanted players to read, interpret, and make decisions about conversation choices because of the language itself. Using Charisma, which is pretty broad conceptually ("compelling attractiveness or charm"), allows them to do this with some mechanical element still involved in success likelihood.

But that wasn't enough. While there are certainly payoffs to having high Charisma in terms of narrative, as well as a few scattered mechanical benefits, the benefits aren't nearly as consistent and predictable as what's conferred by Strength. I'll talk tomorrow about what else Charisma does.


  1. Making charisma a more desirable stat will be a wonderful addition.

  2. Indeed, Charisma is traditionaly one of the weaker stats (Wisdom even more so, as only clerics benefit from it in many settings). Therefore, giving Wisdom and Charisam an extra edge is most welcome.

    I always found, too, that too many social skills even more dilute the usefulness of them.

    Best way forward to emphasize Charisam is of course to have an adventue contain many situation where a succesful dialogue really matters.