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Altair_the_Vexed
2010-03-08, 07:57 AM
Everyone* dumps their worst score into CHARISMA. We end up with so-called heroes wandering around with less personal magnetism and gravitas than a commoner.
This is not a good situation. Charisma isn't always how likeable you are - it can be how scary you are too. A low charisma gets you ignored, not hated, and almost certainly not feared.

Anyway, I once proposed enhancing the Intimidate skill in D&D to redress this. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6676565#post6676565)

EDIT: While I may have mentioned the intimidate skill as an example of a crunchy way to make CHA more useful, this thread is not intended to be a discussion of the Intimidate skill.

Anyone else got any good ideas to make CHA count?

______________________
*Not necessarily everyone

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 08:15 AM
I never understood why you needed Cha to intimidate. Iron Golems have Cha 1 and are plenty intimidating to everybody.

Anyhow, 4e bases your will defense off it.

Beelzebub1111
2010-03-08, 08:24 AM
I never understood why you needed Cha to intimidate. Iron Golems have Cha 1 and are plenty intimidating to everybody.

Anyhow, 4e bases your will defense off it.

GAH! I hate that that! Charisma IS what intimidates people. Charisma is described as your force of personality and how convincing you are. If you have a low charisma, with no ranks in intimidate, you would find it difficult to convince someone that you would actually follow through with your threats.

And Iron Golems can't use skills, so your point is moot.

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 08:32 AM
GAH! I hate that that! Charisma IS what intimidates people. Charisma is described as your force of personality and how convincing you are. If you have a low charisma, with no ranks in intimidate, you would find it difficult to convince someone that you would actually follow through with your threats.

I just don't see why having massive muscles or an unsavory reputation shouldn't be as intimidating. I guess you can represent those things with circumstance bonuses, but it seems a bit like a catchall.

It's just one of the paradoxes of the D&D skill system - like Wizards having better potential to Jump and Climb than Fighters, due to getting more skill points.


And Iron Golems can't use skills, so your point is moot.

Are you saying THIS isn't intimidating?

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG135.jpg

Beelzebub1111
2010-03-08, 08:34 AM
Are you saying THIS isn't intimidating?

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG135.jpg
You're confusing being intimidating with intimidating someone. And this is where I think most people get confused. An iron golem is VERY intimidating (adjective), but could not intimidate (verb) on his own.

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 08:58 AM
You're confusing being intimidating with intimidating someone. And this is where I think most people get confused. An iron golem is VERY intimidating (adjective), but could not intimidate (verb) on his own.

What is the functional difference? Both types influence someone's behavior, which is really the only effect that matters in my opinion.

If a halfling is about to sneak through a door, but its iron golem guardian stirs and shouts "HALT! GO NO FURTHER!" - then its inability to make Intimidate checks won't stop it from actually appearing threatening.

I realize there is no mechanical way to play out this scenario - but I see that as a failing of the mechanics in this case.

Telonius
2010-03-08, 09:08 AM
Intimidate is a quick and dirty solution to a complex problem. For someone to actually be intimidated (real world model, not D&D mechanic), they have to believe that the person talking is both capable of carrying out the threat and willing to carry out the threat.

A pixie threatening to tear off a Minotaur's arm isn't very believable. Neither is a Hill Giant threatening to cast a spell. Skills mechanics aside, intimidating somebody just shouldn't work as well under those circumstances, regardless how charismatic the Pixie or Hill Giant might be. Even a casual observer would realize that neither one is actually capable of doing what they're threatening. Under those circumstances, the Strength and Intelligence of the creatures doing the intimidating actually does have relevance to the substance of the threat.

Now normally this sort of thing would really be better handled by a Bluff/Sense Motive check. It would really be more like seeing through bluster, than finding out whether or not you're scared. But if the pixie is really mad, and really thinks they're going to at least try to rip off the guy's arm, then that's not really a Bluff, since he's not exactly lying. A successful Sense Motive check would tell you something like, "He believes he's capable of ripping your arm off." Neither is it a bluff if the Hill Giant is a particularly bright member of his species (let's say INT 9) who mistakenly thinks he can actually cast a spell.

Still, I think that Sense Motive (or possibly a flat Wisdom check) covers the situation best. What I do in situations like those (only if the player asks for it, and if the intimidator believes they're capable of it) is make a Sense Motive check on behalf of the target, with a DC based on the actual value of the relevant stat.

{table]Stat|DC
etc|etc
9|8
10|10
11|12
12|14
13|16
14|18
15|20
16|18
17|16
18|14
20|12
21|10
etc|etc[/table]

If the target fails the check: the target believes the intimidator is capable of carrying out the threat. Proceed with Intimidate as normal.
If the target makes the check: the target is able to determine whether or not the intimidator is capable of carrying out the threat. If he is not, the Intimidate fails. If he is capable of carrying out the threat, proceed with Initmidate as normal.

Beelzebub1111
2010-03-08, 09:20 AM
What is the functional difference? Both types influence someone's behavior, which is really the only effect that matters in my opinion.

If a halfling is about to sneak through a door, but its iron golem guardian stirs and shouts "HALT! GO NO FURTHER!" - then its inability to make Intimidate checks won't stop it from actually appearing threatening.

I realize there is no mechanical way to play out this scenario - but I see that as a failing of the mechanics in this case.
They are very different, one is an action with clear goals, while the other is a passive abstract concept.

As for your scinario: there are two posiblities in that situation:
1) The halfling is a PC. In this case it is up to the PLAYER to decide what has happened in that situation, Wether to fight or flight. Never tell a player HOW they feel unless there's a reason for it (fear effects, spells, etc). Wether its threatening or not is up to the player.
2) The halfling is an NPC. Since golems are non-intelligent and not player races, this is pretty much a scripted event. It is the DMs responsibility to determine how the NPC would react. Whether its threatening or not is up to the DM.

Swordgleam
2010-03-08, 09:26 AM
Iron Heroes bases Intimidate off the higher of your Str, Con, or Cha, but that's only partially relevant to this discussion.

I had a character who used intimidate quite often. It happened accidentally at first - I really wanted a greatsword for him, and all of a sudden, there was a bandit captain attacking us with a greatsword. Not wanting anyone else in the party (who had no real use for such a sword beyond selling it) to preempt my claim, I yelled, "Dibs on the greatsword!" The DM called for an intimidate check, and the bandits decided that if I was already divvying up the loot on their still-fighting bodies, they probably weren't getting paid enough to tangle with us.

Our DM houseruled a mechanic similar to yours. He also decided that some enemies would flat out surrender if intimidated near the end of the fight. It helped speed up fights for us, and it made the fact that I put a ton of skill points into intimidate seem less silly.

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 09:32 AM
They are very different, one is an action with clear goals, while the other is a passive abstract concept.

A huge golem yelling "HALT" is very clearly an action, not a concept.


As for your scinario: there are two posiblities in that situation:
1) The halfling is a PC. In this case it is up to the PLAYER to decide what has happened in that situation, Wether to fight or flight. Never tell a player HOW they feel unless there's a reason for it (fear effects, spells, etc). Wether its threatening or not is up to the player.
2) The halfling is an NPC. Since golems are non-intelligent and not player races, this is pretty much a scripted event. It is the DMs responsibility to determine how the NPC would react. Whether its threatening or not is up to the DM.

"NPC" does not always equal "DM determines behavior." Let's try a modified example. What if the golem is my cohort? How about a Shield Guardian? PCs can construct them both. If my wizard says to his golem "break that halfling's legs if he doesn't talk" do I really need an Intimidate check there? My creation will follow my instructions absolutely, so any uncertainty about following through on my threat is nonexistent.

valadil
2010-03-08, 09:39 AM
Charisma isn't always how likeable you are - it can be how scary you are too. A low charisma gets you ignored, not hated, and almost certainly not feared.


Charisma is your ability to elicit a reaction from people.

I've given up on the Charisma stat ever being worthwhile in D&D. WotC treats it as the miscellaneous stat. Seriously, why do 4e Goblins get a stat bonus in it?

magic9mushroom
2010-03-08, 09:40 AM
Use Leadership.

Cha is not dumpy.

Problem solved.

Telonius
2010-03-08, 09:46 AM
As to how to make CHA less dumpy: Will saves are based on CHA, not WIS. Wisdom is all about knowing yourself, intuition, and perception. Charisma is about imposing your will. It seems reasonable for it to be used to resist the will of another being as well.

Mordokai
2010-03-08, 09:54 AM
I've given up on the Charisma stat ever being worthwhile in D&D. WotC treats it as the miscellaneous stat. Seriously, why do 4e Goblins get a stat bonus in it?

Because WotC consider small races cute, therefore bonus to charisma?

Seriously, halflings, gnomes and goblins all get bonus to charisma with kobolds being the only exception to this rule, as far as I can remember. Seems like small = chibi, according to 4E.

Haven
2010-03-08, 10:12 AM
I think Intimidate is more of a matter of showmanship. Sure, a golem can say "Halt or be obliterated" and you'll believe that it will, and you'll be scared. You might even run. But it's not the same as someone giving you a withering glare, looking right at you and whispering a curse. That's the sort of thing that makes you "shaken". Even if you see a bruiser demonstrate his strength by breaking a box in two, if they don't know how to sell it there'll still be an emotional disconnect between you and the box.

That's why the pro wrestler paragon path has Str AND Cha as its key abilities. I do not know if there is actually a pro wrestler paragon path. I'm rather skeptical, however.

valadil
2010-03-08, 10:14 AM
Because WotC consider small races cute, therefore bonus to charisma?

Seriously, halflings, gnomes and goblins all get bonus to charisma with kobolds being the only exception to this rule, as far as I can remember. Seems like small = chibi, according to 4E.

I figured they couldn't justify giving a small race con and str. No 40lbs halfling is starting the game with a 20 strength. With only 4 stats to play around with there just aren't that many possibilities for how to give two stats to a small race.

Maybe they need to drop the two positive stats for everyone campaign. PHB races are one thing, but I wouldn't mind if MM races had some penalties. Compare half orc to goliath and you'll see that MM races are pretty much shafted to begin with.

Mordokai
2010-03-08, 10:20 AM
I figured they couldn't justify giving a small race con and str. No 40lbs halfling is starting the game with a 20 strength. With only 4 stats to play around with there just aren't that many possibilities for how to give two stats to a small race.

I agree. However, every small guy investing into charisma being as charismatic as Winston Churchill is also a stretch to me.

Or maybe it's just my contempt for small races... still, I really don't like the +2 to CHA for every shorty around the table.


Maybe they need to drop the two positive stats for everyone campaign. PHB races are one thing, but I wouldn't mind if MM races had some penalties. Compare half orc to goliath and you'll see that MM races are pretty much shafted to begin with.

Not following you here. Half orcs of PHB 2 seem to be on par with goliaths, at least to me.

Devils_Advocate
2010-03-08, 10:24 AM
The Intimidate and Diplomacy skills are fairly preposterous, really. Having a single generic roll for trying to get someone to like you or trying to frighten someone into compliance makes about as much sense as having a single generic roll for trying to kill a monster.


We end up with so-called heroes wandering around with less personal magnetism and gravitas than a commoner.
This is not a good situation.
How so? The PCs aren't really supposed to be good at convincing other people to go slay a dragon for them; their narrative role is on the opposite side of that transaction.


As to how to make CHA less dumpy: Will saves are based on CHA, not WIS.
So, make Wisdom more of a dump stat instead? I guess that maybe that does make more sense for a typical adventurer.


Wisdom is all about knowing yourself, intuition, and perception.
And willpower. :smalltongue:


Charisma is about imposing your will. It seems reasonable for it to be used to resist the will of another being as well.
I think that Will saves are generally supposed to represent resisting your own urges in accordance with your better judgment, whatever their cause. Unwillingness to do what other people try to get you to do would be represented more by Chaotic alignment than anything else, I think.

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 10:28 AM
Use Leadership.

Cha is not dumpy.

Problem solved.

Your standard strategy of breaking the game in order to save it is admirable, but not always applicable in a practical sense. :smalltongue:

Godskook
2010-03-08, 10:29 AM
Everyone* dumps their worst score into CHARISMA. We end up with so-called heroes wandering around with less personal magnetism and gravitas than a commoner.
This is not a good situation. Charisma isn't always how likeable you are - it can be how scary you are too. A low charisma gets you ignored, not hated, and almost certainly not feared.

I think the problem with Charisma isn't the power options, cause they're there. Bluff, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, UMD, Sorcerer, Cha to *EVERYTHING*, etc.

I think the problem is that there's very little to do with a mediocre Cha. A mediocre Str still affects Encumbrance and touch attacks, a mediocre Dex still gives some AC, Saves and AoOs, also helping with ranged touch attacks, while Con is always welcome. Int gives skill points, Wisdom gives saves and keys some very useful 'everybody' skills (Listen, Spot, Sense Motive), but for the life of me, I can't think of anything I'd want a mediocre Cha for. For classes that don't have Cha as a key stat and don't have the skills for the party face, why would they ever put a mediocre score here when dumping it nets the same end-result?

valadil
2010-03-08, 10:39 AM
I agree. However, every small guy investing into charisma being as charismatic as Winston Churchill is also a stretch to me.

Or maybe it's just my contempt for small races... still, I really don't like the +2 to CHA for every shorty around the table.



Not following you here. Half orcs of PHB 2 seem to be on par with goliaths, at least to me.

My bad, I meant full orcs.

I agree that all shorties being charismatic is a stretch, but less so than all shorties being able to bench 10 times their body weight.

Beelzebub1111
2010-03-08, 10:58 AM
"NPC" does not always equal "DM determines behavior." Let's try a modified example. What if the golem is my cohort? How about a Shield Guardian? PCs can construct them both. If my wizard says to his golem "break that halfling's legs if he doesn't talk" do I really need an Intimidate check there? My creation will follow my instructions absolutely, so any uncertainty about following through on my threat is nonexistent.

Then YOU are making the intimidate, not the golem. It's like saying that a fighter's nasty looking sword would make the check to intimidate somebody. Once you actually start breaking legs, that moves into torture, which to my knowledge, there aren't any rules for.

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 11:03 AM
Then YOU are making the intimidate, not the golem. It's like saying that a fighter's nasty looking sword would make the check to intimidate somebody. Once you actually start breaking legs, that moves into torture, which to my knowledge, there aren't any rules for.

But the fighter/barbarian still has to swing that sword - so he has to grip it threateningly, snarl, flex his muscles etc. (By the way, if he is covered in muscle, why would his low Cha make him less intimidating than a weaker fighter/barbarian with higher Cha?)

Whereas my Wizard can simply make a true statement, with no ranks in intimidate. "If you don't do X, my golem will do Y." To quote the SRD - you roll d20 only when you're doing something with a chance of failure. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm) There is no chance of failure that my golem will not carry out my instructions, so there is no need to roll.

alisbin
2010-03-08, 11:06 AM
maybe its just the groups i've DMed and my own DMing style, but when someone dumps charisma, they may not lose in a mechanical sense, but noone ever listens to them. you can have a 20 int wizard but if he dumped cha down to 6-8, no RP players are going to pay much attention to his ideas even when their good, they'll listen to the bard with wisdom 8 int 10 since he sounds more convincing. yes, if your looking at a character in PURE MECHANICS, an 8 cha is no real problem if you don't get mechanical advantage from it, but this is a ROLE playing game, not WOW. if your entire group really wants to play an endless dungeon crawl where you're never in character and just kill things, cha being a dump stat is meaningless, but if you actually role play your character then you NEED at least a halfway decent charisma score or your character will be overlooked by everyone else.
if your a DM, easy way to make cha a non dumpable score, add a house rule that makes cha a sort of role playing initiative, make it so you can essentially control the conversation by making an opposed d4+cha roll. thats kind of an extreme example, but its up to the DM to make cha the social stat that it is, give xp bonuses for accurately RPing your cha score (ex: fighter with 8 cha, always just does what he's told since his low cha makes him unwilling/unable to argue with the party face) or penalties for grossly violating it (ex: same fighter starts giving battle orders and the like).

@Optimystik
no, the wizard still has make that sound convincing, just because he has a golem doesn't mean that the person being intimidated (PC or NPC) is actually going to be scared. sure the golem might give a circumstance bonus vs some people, but say he's trying to intimidate a ranger that has favored enemy construct or fighter that has fought golems before and knows how to fight them well or a rogue that thinks he can kill the wizard and then either escape from or control the golem somehow, etc etc etc.

sofawall
2010-03-08, 11:08 AM
(By the way, if he is covered in muscle, why would his low Cha make him less intimidating than a weaker fighter/barbarian with higher Cha?)


I personally find The Joker to more intimidating than Fezzic the giant.

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 11:12 AM
I personally find The Joker to more intimidating than Fezzic the giant.

That's because he usually has Fezzic the giant standing behind him (wearing clown makeup.)

Also, he has a very unsavory reputation - which is a function of his deeds, not his Charisma.

I'm not saying the Joker has low Charisma, but you are oversimplifying here.

alisbin
2010-03-08, 11:20 AM
yeah the joker has done nasty stuff, but the real reason its scary, is because he does it and LAUGHS. since we're in batman universe for the moment, compare bane to joker. bane is badass, he's huge and has more muscle then the average superbowl winning team, but he's not as scary as joker is, they've both done horrible things, but joker takes the cake for scary because he is creepy as well as dangerous, his charisma affects those around him WAY more then bane's muscles.

Beelzebub1111
2010-03-08, 11:21 AM
But the fighter/barbarian still has to swing that sword - so he has to grip it threateningly, snarl, flex his muscles etc. (By the way, if he is covered in muscle, why would his low Cha make him less intimidating than a weaker fighter/barbarian with higher Cha?)

Whereas my Wizard can simply make a true statement, with no ranks in intimidate. "If you don't do X, my golem will do Y." To quote the SRD - you roll d20 only when you're doing something with a chance of failure. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm) There is no chance of failure that my golem will not carry out my instructions, so there is no need to roll.
Point 1) It's not the size of the muscles it's how you use them. A barbarian with huge muscles, but isn't doesn't "own the room" and has spent no time practicing his snarl is worse at intimidating than a barbarian with less muscles, yet has a dominant stance or spent time getting his look of death just right.

And the wizard may be making a true statement, but he still has to roll intimidate to convince the poor sap whether he'll follow through with it or not.

Let's look at this another way. The wizard tells a golem to break the guy's legs in one room over if he doesn't talk. Golem walks in and says "I have been instructed to break your legs unless you give information" Now the victim has two options "The wizard is really going to break my legs" or "The wizard is bluffing" If you want him to give information before the leg breaking I would say there is an Intimidate roll made by the Wizard since it's the wizard using the "interrogation technique" Again, once the bones start breaking you're going over into torture.

Riffington
2010-03-08, 11:24 AM
So, Intimidate is a special case: there's almost always a situation modifier. One that's often larger than the skill/attribute. The fact that a guy really can kill you is and should be intimidating. This doesn't change the fact that grandma's glare is freaky regardless of your physical prowess.

In general, what I like:
Charisma bonus + sqrt (skill).
So if you have a charisma 14 and a diplomacy 4, you get +4 diplomacy bonus.
And then you actually have a real reason to take a charisma 14 over 13. It also hoses diplomancy, as a side benefit.

Mark Hall
2010-03-08, 11:38 AM
Anyone else got any good ideas to make CHA count?


Well, back in OD&D, whoever had the highest Charisma was party leader... if there was a dispute about what to do, folks did what the high-charisma character wanted.

I also considered toying with the idea of literal "social combat"... if you're trying to convince someone of something, you have to "attack" them with "arguments", and your Charisma would function as your attack stat (with Intelligence governing your defense and Wisdom your HP). Thus, those low-charisma folks would never get anywhere, because they were like gnomes in melee.

Telonius
2010-03-08, 11:48 AM
So, make Wisdom more of a dump stat instead? I guess that maybe that does make more sense for a typical adventurer.


It's still not a total dump stat. Many important adventuring functions - listen, spot, sense motive - are still keyed off of Wisdom. It would just be bumped down in importance from "useful to everybody who's the target of an Enchantment spell or is ever on guard duty, and vital to some spellcasters" to "useful to everybody who's ever on guard duty and vital to some spellcasters."

Meanwhile, Charisma starts out as "Mildly useful to people who can turn undead, and vital to some spellcasters." Translation: if you can't turn undead and aren't a spellcaster, you have no need for this stat. At all. It's bumped up to "Useful to everybody who's the target of an enchantment spell, mildly useful to people who can turn undead, and vital to some spellcasters."



I personally find The Joker to more intimidating than Fezzic the giant.

With or without a holocaust cloak?


I am the Dread Pirate Roberts. There will be no survivors!

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 11:57 AM
Let's look at this another way. The wizard tells a golem to break the guy's legs in one room over if he doesn't talk. Golem walks in and says "I have been instructed to break your legs unless you give information" Now the victim has two options "The wizard is really going to break my legs" or "The wizard is bluffing" If you want him to give information before the leg breaking I would say there is an Intimidate roll made by the Wizard since it's the wizard using the "interrogation technique" Again, once the bones start breaking you're going over into torture.

If you're deciding whether the wizard is bluffing, shouldn't that be a Bluff check?

And again, knowing that something can break your legs on a whim, and has no qualms about doing so (golem, again) should already be pretty intimidating.

I'm fine with granting a circumstance bonus based on the situation - except Intimidate is always based on the situation. The only reason for you to sink points into it is if you don't have a grizzled appearance/reputation. Say, Prettyface McBardington, trying to tell the hardened crook he will peel his fingernails back while calmly composing a sonnet, would need intimidate. Bloodhowler the Manykiller, with the scars and wounds of a thousand battles. shouldn't - especially with his lower skill points.

In fact, some things that make you look unsavory (like being heavily scarred - Cha penalty) actually make you more intimidating.

Oslecamo
2010-03-08, 11:59 AM
Everyone* dumps their worst score into CHARISMA. We end up with so-called heroes wandering around with less personal magnetism and gravitas than a commoner.

You think that is bad? In GURPS you're rewarded for dumping your mental sanity, any and all good manners, body odor, looks, and picking up as many mental and physical illness that further sink your looks and behavior as you can in order to get points for other stuff.

So, really the D&D fighter don't don't being a very good talker isn't that bad.

Plus several classes reward you for charisma. And it is tied to best skills(bluff, intimidate, diplomacy, and use magic device).

On irom golems: Can they even talk? They don't even have int, so I'm not sure they get languages.

Calimehter
2010-03-08, 12:00 PM
I think Intimidate is more of a matter of showmanship. Sure, a golem can say "Halt or be obliterated" and you'll believe that it will, and you'll be scared. You might even run. But it's not the same as someone giving you a withering glare, looking right at you and whispering a curse. That's the sort of thing that makes you "shaken". Even if you see a bruiser demonstrate his strength by breaking a box in two, if they don't know how to sell it there'll still be an emotional disconnect between you and the box.

This is how I've tended to think of it as well. As I see it, any obviously powerful individual, whether it be an Iron Golem or the high-level adventurer with lots of glowing gear (but no ranks in Intimidate or decent CHA), can push you around or shout instructions at you when they are in the same room you are. Intimidate is what keeps them scared of you when they aren't in the same room. :smallamused: The mechanics only give you 1d6X10 minutes extra per RAW, but its still something.

Likewise, any smart character is going to try to steer clear of a swing from an obviously powerful combatant (or at least not get into range of said swing w/o some kind of good plan). An obviously powerful combatant who also has a high Intimidate score also has the option to make you Shaken (i.e. really scared) when you are not quite within striking range just yet.

All that isn't to say that I'm not at least a little bothered by Intimidate's disconnect mechanics-wise from the actual ability to pound someone flat. I've toyed with adding levels/HD to the check in some fashion or in some circumstances. But I'm not so bothered that I've set any house rules in stone or spent much time worrying about it.

@Beelzebub: I don't have the book on me for an exact reference, but there are some notes on torture in a sidebar in the 3.0 Stronghold Builder's Guidebook. Basically, when using those rules torture allows you to reroll Intimidate checks on restrained or helpless opponents at the cost (or benefit, depending on how you think of it) of taking extra time and doing 1d3 CON damage to your target for each reroll. Having a torture chamber (i.e. "masterwork tools") on hand gives some bonuses to the rolls.

Mordokai
2010-03-08, 12:01 PM
In fact, some things that make you look unsavory (like being heavily scarred - Cha penalty) actually make you more intimidating.

I believe there are feats for that. Heroes of Horror possibly? And quite probably BoVD, tho it has been some time since I read that.

Altair_the_Vexed
2010-03-08, 12:05 PM
...
Anyone else got any good ideas to make CHA count?

... I'd really like to know how people have mechanically dealt with the dumpiness of CHA in the game, instead of debating what CHA is, or whether CHA is necessary for intimidate specifically.

Saph
2010-03-08, 12:08 PM
I'm fine with granting a circumstance bonus based on the situation - except Intimidate is always based on the situation. The only reason for you to sink points into it is if you don't have a grizzled appearance/reputation. Say, Prettyface McBardington, trying to tell the hardened crook he will peel his fingernails back while calmly composing a sonnet, would need intimidate. Bloodhowler the Manykiller, with the scars and wounds of a thousand battles. shouldn't - especially with his lower skill points.

Thing is, you can't typically tell someone's history by looking at them. Sure, everyone who knows Bloodhowler knows that he's got a kill count in the thousands. To the random people of Town X, however, he's just a guy with a lot of scars.

Intimidate comes in when you try to convince the townsfolk what those scars mean. High Intimidate will scare the crap out of them, low Intimidate will make them think "hey, he's not the real Bloodhowler, he's just some conman".

Intimidate is also more than just the ability to kill someone. An iron golem can and will kill you, but to anyone who knows how they work, they're not actually all that scary. Since they're mindless, all you have to do is avoid their attack triggers. Once you know how to do that, you can have a picnic within sight of one, just as long as you don't cross the line beyond which it's compelled to attack you.

The Joker, on the other hand . . . would you sit down anywhere near him?

Oslecamo
2010-03-08, 12:13 PM
The Joker, on the other hand . . . would you sit down anywhere near him?

If he looked at me and asked that, I would start praying and sit down near him. It would be useless trying to run away.:smallfrown:

Intimidate is also the fine art of being scary as hell, yet managing to make your juicy targets DON'T run away when they see you.:smallbiggrin:

When the apocalypse appears, people run for their lives. When the joker appears, they say they'll do anything to keep their lives.

Tehnar
2010-03-08, 12:27 PM
I think WotC started a good trend with basing spell like abilities (and some class features) of charisma. As if charisma represents some inner (magical?) power. The problem is they did not go far enough, or not enough classes have features tied to charisma. If fighters could cast greater magic weapon CHA modifier times per day, that would make charisma more appealing to fighters, and so on..

I toyed a little with the charisma but never got a chance to really implement it:

Charisma measures a characterís force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. This ability represents actual strength of personality, not merely how one is perceived by others in a social setting. Charisma is most important for paladins, sorcerers, and bards. It is also important for clerics, since it affects their ability to turn undead. Every creature has a Charisma score.

You apply your characterís Charisma modifier to:

- Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device checks. These are the skills that have Charisma as their key ability.
- Checks that represent attempts to influence others.
- Turning checks for clerics and paladins attempting to turn zombies, vampires, and other undead.
- Sorcerers and bards get bonus spells based on their Charisma scores. The minimum Charisma score needed to cast a sorcerer or bard spell is 10 + the spellís level.
- Characters with positive Charisma modifier get +1 to their will save, character's with a negative Charisma modifier get a -1 to their will save (1)
- Charisma is used to determine starting NPC attitude towards the character (2)


Starting NPC attitude, or "there is no second chance for a first impression".

Charismatic people have a force of personality that makes people like them even before they meet. Charismatic people also make friends more easily. So how does this work? First the DM determines the relationship of the NPC towards the PC (or group, see later). These are the possible relationships, with the increase (decrease ) in DC for any social skills that deal with that NPC:

-10 Intimate: Someone who with whom you have an implicit trust. Example: A lover or spouse.
-7 Friend: Someone with whom you have a regularly positive personal relationship. Example: A long-time buddy or a sibling.
-5 Ally: Someone on the same team, but with whom you have no personal relationship. Example: A cleric of the same religion or a knight serving the same king.
-2 Acquaintance (Positive): Someone you have met several times with no particularly negative experiences. Example: The blacksmith that buys your looted equipment regularly.
+0 Indifferent: No relationship whatsoever. Example: A guard at a castle or a traveler on a road.
+2 Acquaintance (Negative): Someone you have met several times with no particularly positive experiences. Example: A town guard that has arrested you for drunkenness once or twice.
+5 Enemy: Someone on an opposed team, with whom you have no personal relationship. Example: A cleric of a philosophically-opposed religion or an orc bandit who is robbing you.
+7 Personal Foe: Someone with whom you have a regularly antagonistic personal relationship. Example: An evil warlord whom you are attempting to thwart, or a bounty hunter who is tracking you down for your crimes.
+10 Nemesis: Someone who has sworn to do you, personally, harm. Example: The brother of a man you murdered in cold blood.

The first time a PC meets a NPC, the DM makes a Charisma check (d20+CHA modifier) for the PC (he keeps this number secret). If the PC gets a 19 or higher he improves his starting attitude by one step. If he gets a 26 or higher he improves the starting attitude of the NPC by 2 steps. A 35 or higher means 3 steps. A 2 or lower means the starting attitude decreases by one step. A -7 or lower means the starting attitude decreases by two steps. A -15 means three steps decrease. Note that such low charisma checks are only possible with magic. The starting attitude of a NPC cannot be modified higher then friendly and lower then personal enemy.

Example: Travis (with 16 CHA), walks into the Dancing pitcher tavern for the first time in his life. Travis is not known in this town, so the DM rules that Tomas, the innkeeper of the Dancing pitcher tavern is indifferent towards Travis. Travis waves at the innkeeper, greets him jovialy and orders a mug of ale. Travis then makes a Charisma check, and rolls a 17, to which he adds his CHA modifier for a total of 20. This brings the Tomas's attitude toward Travis to Acquaintance (Positive). Tomas pours some of the finest ale he has, brings a mug for himself and chats with Travis amiably.

Effect of the NPC attitudes: The number in front of the attitude is added to the DC of any social skills the player makes with the NPC.

Group effect: The PCs often interact with NPCs as a group, with one person acting as a leader. The DM still makes only one Charisma check, but with following adjustments:

- the DM uses the highest CHA modifier of the PCs as a base
- for every PC with a positive CHA modifier, the DM adds +1 to the check
- for every PC with a negative CHA modifier, the DM adds that modifier to the check

Example: Travis (CHA 16), Kimble (CHA 12), Tordek (CHA 6) and Mialle (CHA 10) enter the tavern and wave to Tomas the innkeeper. The DM uses Travises CHA modifier as base, and adds +1 for Kimble's positive CHA, adds -2 for Tordeks poor charisma, and Mialles neutral charisma doesn't influence the roll. So the total roll modifier is +2 (+3+1-2+0).


Changing NPC attitudes over time:

As the PCs keep interacting with NPCs, they have a chance to change that NPCs attitude. The exact time of interaction depends required depends on what the DM decides, but the basis should be 10 - CHA modifier number of successful interactions with the NPC (this number also depends on what relationship the PC wants to achieve, it takes less time to become someone's ally then a friend etc.). A successful interaction is any action that the NPC view as favorable. Such things include but are not limited to: performing in front of the NPC, buying or selling items to the NPC at normal prices, greeting the NPC warmly as you meet him, etc. This should be limited to one successful interaction per day. When the PC makes a number of successful interactions as determined by the DM, the PC can make a Charisma check to change the NPC attitude as detailed above. The DM can add some modifiers to the check based on the kind of successful interaction's the PC had with the NPC. Unfavorable interactions should increase the number of successful interactions the PC have to make, or even force a CHA check (with penalites) to see if the NPC attitude changes.

Master_Rahl22
2010-03-08, 12:31 PM
I think the problem with Charisma isn't the power options, cause they're there. Bluff, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, UMD, Sorcerer, Cha to *EVERYTHING*, etc.

I think the problem is that there's very little to do with a mediocre Cha. A mediocre Str still affects Encumbrance and touch attacks, a mediocre Dex still gives some AC, Saves and AoOs, also helping with ranged touch attacks, while Con is always welcome. Int gives skill points, Wisdom gives saves and keys some very useful 'everybody' skills (Listen, Spot, Sense Motive), but for the life of me, I can't think of anything I'd want a mediocre Cha for. For classes that don't have Cha as a key stat and don't have the skills for the party face, why would they ever put a mediocre score here when dumping it nets the same end-result?

Quoted for truth. Charisma is possibly the only stat that is all or nothing. Either you build your character around it (party face, casting stat, UMD) or you ignore it, since you're not doing any of the things that require Cha. All of the other stats have useful functions even when they're not your primary concern, with Strength probably being the easiest to ignore by getting a Bag of Holding/Handy Haversack/donkey/big dumb fighter to carry your stuff. I think the fix would be attaching some sort of mechanical benefit to Cha in the nature of the other stats, i.e. Dex applies to AC and saves, Con is always useful for HP, Int is always useful for skill points, etc. The roleplaying fix of "Well nobody will listen to you" is one possible fix, but it's too nebulous and not much of a rule, more of a guideline.

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 12:33 PM
Thing is, you can't typically tell someone's history by looking at them. Sure, everyone who knows Bloodhowler knows that he's got a kill count in the thousands. To the random people of Town X, however, he's just a guy with a lot of scars.

Intimidate comes in when you try to convince the townsfolk what those scars mean. High Intimidate will scare the crap out of them, low Intimidate will make them think "hey, he's not the real Bloodhowler, he's just some conman".

I see where you're coming from Saph, but disagree with your premise. Just about anybody knows what scars, huge muscles, and a greatsword on some guy's back that's almost as tall as he is mean.

They're a red flag - don't mess with this dude - that is completely independent of his Cha score.

So when he walks up to Joe Commoner's tavern table and starts to sit down, Joe Commoner is going to either get up and beat a hasty retreat, or shrink into the corner and try to meld with the furniture - no Intimidate check necessary.


Intimidate is also more than just the ability to kill someone. An iron golem can and will kill you, but to anyone who knows how they work, they're not actually all that scary. Since they're mindless, all you have to do is avoid their attack triggers. Once you know how to do that, you can have a picnic within sight of one, just as long as you don't cross the line beyond which it's compelled to attack you.

You're trying to have your cake and eat it here. Why do you assume Joe Commoner needs to know the intimate details of Bloodhowler's life to be afraid of him, but has detailed knowledge of how Iron Golems work?

To the average person - it's a giant menacing statue with a bigass sword, that looks like it could benchpress a stack of fullplate. How many NPCs can you expect to logically consider things like trigger conditions?


The Joker, on the other hand . . . would you sit down anywhere near him?

You've just hit on the crux of the problem. How much of the Joker's intimidation is due to his Cha score, and how much is due to his reputation? One is internal and based on attitude, one is external and based on deeds - but both factor into someone's ability to intimidate, every single time.

UA to the rescue once again - the Reputation variant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/campaigns/reputation.htm) attempts to address this very issue.

Calimehter
2010-03-08, 12:49 PM
You're trying to have your cake and eat it here. Why do you assume Joe Commoner needs to know the intimate details of Bloodhowler's life to be afraid of him, but has detailed knowledge of how Iron Golems work?

To the average person - it's a giant menacing statue with a bigass sword, that looks like it could benchpress a stack of fullplate. How many NPCs can you expect to logically consider things like trigger conditions?


Perhaps the high Intimidate score means that other folks are less likely to treat the golem as a 'scary' threat, and instead approach it instead as a tactical problem to be overcome? Or, to put it another way, a high Intimidate score makes it less likely that foes will camly and rationally attempt to estimate your weaknesses, and instead be cowed into assuming you have none.

Both approaches could have the same result - especially in the case of the golem vs. some random NPCs, where "extreme caution" is the likely outcome of either a thoughtful analysis of the situation or a terrified panic :smallwink: - but they don't always have to.

Just my take on it, anway. :smallsmile:

Beelzebub1111
2010-03-08, 01:04 PM
Well Optimystik, It seems that we disagree. So let's agree to disagree, keep this civil. We are both grown men are we not?

AmberVael
2010-03-08, 01:11 PM
... I'd really like to know how people have mechanically dealt with the dumpiness of CHA in the game, instead of debating what CHA is, or whether CHA is necessary for intimidate specifically.

On the subject of the subject...

Personally, one of my DMs used an odd little variant which I appropriated for my own use in games at some point. I've modified and played around with it, but the premise is simple:

Charisma also determines how lucky you are. Or how well you're capable of pushing through situations whether you should be able to or not. Or whether the universe loves you or not. The fluff may vary, but the idea is that each character has a certain amount of luck ever day equal to their charisma modifier.

If you have a positive modifier, this can apply to things you just barely failed a few times a day, while if you have a negative, it will apply to things you just barely succeeded...

Sometimes I've had just modifiers of +1 or -1 a number of times per day equal to your modifier, and sometimes I've used d6s in the same way, or I just have fluid bonus points that you can spend. I've never decided on any single mechanic (though I obviously set something specific each game- I just tend to change it around).

However, the idea of having bad luck tends to keep people from completely dumping Charisma. :smalltongue:

ericgrau
2010-03-08, 01:17 PM
Intimidate as a skill is a form of persuasion, and thus charisma based. An iron golem may make some people piss their pants but he's useless at convincing anyone to do anything for him.

As for the thread topic, I see two possibilities:
1. Let charisma give some kind of mechanical combat advantage.
2. When you solve most problems with violence, it's understandable that your charisma isn't that hot. If you want charisma to be more important then make more encounters where killing isn't the answer. Violence might still be part of it, but your opponents may be people just like you and killing them for theft or so on is out of the question. Or maybe they have certain goals like you and you can come to a partial agreement. Even countries at war make prisoner swaps.

Telonius
2010-03-08, 01:30 PM
On the subject of the subject...

Personally, one of my DMs used an odd little variant which I appropriated for my own use in games at some point. I've modified and played around with it, but the premise is simple:

Charisma also determines how lucky you are. Or how well you're capable of pushing through situations whether you should be able to or not. Or whether the universe loves you or not. The fluff may vary, but the idea is that each character has a certain amount of luck ever day equal to their charisma modifier.

If you have a positive modifier, this can apply to things you just barely failed a few times a day, while if you have a negative, it will apply to things you just barely succeeded...

Sometimes I've had just modifiers of +1 or -1 a number of times per day equal to your modifier, and sometimes I've used d6s in the same way, or I just have fluid bonus points that you can spend. I've never decided on any single mechanic (though I obviously set something specific each game- I just tend to change it around).

However, the idea of having bad luck tends to keep people from completely dumping Charisma. :smalltongue:

That could be an interesting addition to a game that uses action points. Add in charisma bonus to the number you'd normally get.

Optimystik
2010-03-08, 01:33 PM
Well Optimystik, It seems that we disagree. So let's agree to disagree, keep this civil. We are both grown men are we not?

Wha...? Where was I not being civil? :smallconfused:
I'm fine with agreeing to disagree.

I will make a final point though - that WotC creating the Reputation variant indicates they consider Cha to be inadequate on its own just like I do.

valadil
2010-03-08, 01:35 PM
You think that is bad? In GURPS you're rewarded for dumping your mental sanity, any and all good manners, body odor, looks, and picking up as many mental and physical illness that further sink your looks and behavior as you can in order to get points for other stuff.


The quality of any given GURPs game depends entirely on which rules the GM selects for that game. In a social skill free environment like a dungeon crawl, the GM shouldn't give points for those flaws. If you get points for them, then the flaws should be made to matter.

Eclipse
2010-03-08, 01:38 PM
In fact, some things that make you look unsavory (like being heavily scarred - Cha penalty) actually make you more intimidating.

The thing about charisma is that it doesn't have to be keyed on looks. It quite often is, because people often give people who look good more attention. However, charisma is truly the force of presence you have with people. So this person who looks unsavory and heavily scarred could go either way. If he carries himself with confidence (high charisma), just about everyone in the room will back down from him. If he doesn't (low charisma), he'll probably just be ignored. How this scarred person carries himself will determine how people react to the scars.

Also, Agimimnon did a great two piece set on this:
Can Low Charisma Improve Social Skills (http://www.3rdedition.org/agimimnon/viewer.asp?ID=126)
Low Charisma and Intimidation, Part 2 (http://www.3rdedition.org/agimimnon/viewer.asp?ID=127)

The second piece has a great example between a halfling and half orc, and if you're only going to read one link, I highly recommend the second. Also, for those who've never read Agimimnon's column, being a jerk is a bit of a roleplaying thing of his for the column, he's not singling out this reader or anything.

To address the original point on charisma being a dump stat, I have to agree with those who've been saying Charisma is typically all or nothing. An exception to this rule could possibly be a melee bard or the Pathfinder paladin, as they're moderately mad and can benefit from mid to high charisma scores for their partial spellcasting progressions as well as many class abilities. But since they also need strength, constitution, and possibly some dexterity and intelligence, they'll be spreading their points around, and will still benefit nicely from a 14-16 charisma. All other classes (at least in core) tend to be all or nothing though, as far as I can remember.

Delwugor
2010-03-08, 01:59 PM
I wish someone would have told me that CHA was a dump stat. I would not have played 3 (out of 5) of my most effective characters. :smallbiggrin:

These character's were fairly weak combatants so their effectiveness was generally in how they influenced the actions of others and if done well the story/plot going on.

For me the key was to define "success" differently for each character and play him/her accordingly. One was through the use of charm or intimidation to manipulate and control people around her. Another was through persuasion, understanding and agreements to convince others that his ideas and goals where worthwhile doing. The final used social interactions to gather up all of the behind the scenes information ("the real facts not the good facts") all to help guide his lord (another PC) in his political actions (unfortunately I didn't get much playing time with him).

One large reason this works for me is that my primary group is heavy into role-playing the characters. This has not always been as affective in other groups that where very combat heavy or where the characters could not really influence the story.

lsfreak
2010-03-08, 02:09 PM
Optimystik, consider this:
An MMA-type fighter, muscly and big, but as soon as he opens his mouth he repeats himself, sues substandard grammar, and he can't even look you in the eye. He appears intimidating, but as soon as he tries to actually intimidate you, it fails. He's clearly high in the Str and Con areas, but his confidence and poor communication (including body language) just can't do it as well. He can make this up to some extent with points in Intimidate.

That same person would be much more intimidating if they had the force of personality to back it up. In real life, most much people may not be the most articulate of people, but they still have a force of personality behind them that shows in terms of their confidence.

Essentially, we're using 'intimidate' in two ways. One is the initial reaction, what I think you're going with. Based on this initial reaction, one might choose to flee, or attack, or something else. For me, this manifests in how my characters according to his own wishes. What Intimidation really represents, though, is not this initial reaction, but the intimidator trying to force actions on the character. When the 6-foot-tall bodybuilder trying this can't even look the scrawny little halfling in the eye, it just doesn't work.

Draz74
2010-03-08, 02:15 PM
Anyone else got any good ideas to make CHA count?

Redo all of the ability scores so that they all matter.

Oh wait, that's probably more drastic than you meant.

Well, then. Another option I've been playing around with is using d20 Modern-style Wealth checks instead of keeping track of every little copper piece. And basing Purchasing Checks on Charisma. Cuz buying loot is important to everyone, right?

Still has the problem that the rest of the party might just tell the Sorcerer "go buy all of our stuff for us. I'll pay you back."

LichPrinceAlim
2010-03-08, 02:17 PM
here's appx how:

Race: Something with a cha boost
Class: Monk 4/Paladin 5/Sacred Exorcist 5/ Radiant Servant of Pelor 6
Feats: Astetic Knight, Force of Personality

congrats, now Charisma runs everything

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-08, 02:20 PM
I allow characters to use strength for intimidate checks but only up to a +4 bonus. Why the limit? because being big and strong only goes so far.
Part of intimidating someone into doing what you want is an art and more then brute strength.

There is an easy way to make Charisma less dumpy, at least in 3rd edition.
Enemy psions using ego whip.

You could also (if using point buy), subtract two form the pool and raise the starting charisma to ten. Thus it can't be used as a dump stat.

Oslecamo
2010-03-08, 02:27 PM
The quality of any given GURPs game depends entirely on which rules the GM selects for that game. In a social skill free environment like a dungeon crawl, the GM shouldn't give points for those flaws. If you get points for them, then the flaws should be made to matter.

Except that GURPS rules don't say that. They only forbid you from taking disadvantages that are nullified by your advantages. It says nothing about the type of campaign you're playing.

D&D also greatly improves if the DM changes the rules, but it's exactly that:houseruling.

Plus, at least in D&D even if you're in a "Kick in the door" dungeon crawl at least the paladin, sorceror and other Cha based classes can get out a good leverage out of high Cha.

Corvus
2010-03-08, 02:33 PM
4E seems to have fixed a lot of the problem - CHA isn't much more of a dump stat than any other stat now. Besides being needed for some skills and also being able to be used for will saves, quite a lot of classes need it.

Its the primary stat for bards, sorcerers, ardents, and half of the warlocks and a secondary stat for certain builds of psions, battlemninds, assassins, barbarians, warlords, paladins, clerics and rogues.

Mark Hall
2010-03-08, 04:30 PM
A quickie version of d20 social combat:

You have HP equal to your normal HP only, instead of your Constitution Modifier, these are modified by your Intelligence modifier. (I would have preferred to use Wisdom, but using INT here means less fiddling about with the overall system. As HP is not merely physical, I feel it works well enough without introducing another stat.)

You have an AC that is equal to 10 + Sense Motive modifier. (Here, I would've preferred to use Intelligence, but less messing about with the system, this way). Against Intimidate, add any bonuses to save. v. fear. Against Sense Motive, add any bonuses to detect lying.

Your attack roll is equal to your Bluff, Intimidate, or Diplomacy modifier + 1d20. This attack roll is modified by the strength of the argument, circumstance modifiers (it's a lot easier to intimidate if you're half a foot taller than the person, and even easier if you've got them in a armbar and their face in the dirt), or the believability of the bluff.

Damage is 1d8 + Charisma Modifier + any feat or other bonuses you have to your attack skill (i.e. half-elves all have a +2 to damage when using Diplomacy, but someone with 5 ranks in Diplomacy doesn't add +5); you critical on a 20, and it does *2 damage. You may choose to instead do 1d6 damage, with either a 19-20 crit range or a *3 crit multiplier; this must be stated before the die is rolled.

Over the course of the argument (which takes place in abstract rounds called "exchanges"), you make several attacks. If you're trying to frighten them into doing something, it's Intimidate. If you want to lie to them, it's Bluff. If you want to convince them, it's Diplomacy. You roll the skill and compare it to their "passive" Sense motive. If you succeed, you do some damage... reduce their own conviction in the rightness of their argument, or instill in them some fear of you in them. They may, of course, make counter attacks in their defense.

For example, Trog the Half-Orc may make use of Intimidate, trying to convince Vinnie the Half-Elf to give him his lunch money. Vinnie may decide to Bluff his way out of this (convincing Trog he doesn't have any money) or Diplomacy (telling Trog that he's going to get in trouble if he keeps stealing things from people).

It's quick and dirty and flawed, but it provides kind of a measure of "skill challenges" to cover a course of arguments.

Tiki Snakes
2010-03-08, 04:41 PM
I kind of like the Idea, actually Mark. Not sure it quite works as written there, but it's definately an interesting concept. Exalted has something quite similar.

Personally, I'd move away from having a HP equivalent, possibly going with a mental version of the whole condition-track idea. Perhaps something like 3+ CHA + WIS number of levels, then either a success simply counts as a hit, a number of hits equal to charisma Mod, or even just compare the result of the attack and defense, the remainder being the 'mental trauma'.

Eh, whatever.

Certainly in 4e it doesn't feel nearly so dumpy. The Defences really encourage you to have, if possible, an ok score in each pairing. With the variety of secondary scores required across the different classes and builds, there's much less of a feeling of 'the dump stat' to my mind. Plus, of course, 'Dumping a Stat' pretty much means picking what Stat you leave at 8 these days, so it's not quite the same as it used to be, or could still be if you insist on rolling instead.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-08, 04:42 PM
To all the people who don't think Str or other abilities would matter in intimidate, what do you do when your Dragonborn Runescarred Berserker breaths a huge gout of flame into the air to send the townsfolk fleeing?

lsfreak
2010-03-08, 04:44 PM
To all the people who don't think Str or other abilities would matter in intimidate, what do you do when your Dragonborn Runescarred Berserker breaths a huge gout of flame into the air to send the townsfolk fleeing?

That's the difference I was talking about. With the Intimidation skill, it's someone trying to force another person to take an action they otherwise wouldn't. This is people taking an action they freely choose (running the **** away) and makes perfect sense, but is not covered by Intimidation whatsoever.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-08, 04:52 PM
That's the difference I was talking about. With the Intimidation skill, it's someone trying to force another person to take an action they otherwise wouldn't. This is people taking an action they freely choose (running the **** away) and makes perfect sense, but is not covered by Intimidation whatsoever.

Sorry, should have said something like low level enemy soldiers who are not normally inclined to run screaming.

Wulfram
2010-03-08, 04:59 PM
Strength is a good stat to use to get a potentially very large circumstance bonuses for an intimidate roll, but it makes sense to me that intimidate is based on charisma. It sets up a good opportunity for teamwork - the face man does the talking, while the tank casually destroys things at appropriate moments to emphasise his points and they'll end up being much more effective than if they worked alone.

How about just having two mental stats - Intelligence and Willpower? It seems like it works better than the current method to me - it should avoid the dump stat thing and I always found it difficult to put a clear dividing line between INT or WIS. Really, CHA has increasingly been turned into Willpower anyway, what with the whole "Force of Personality" thing and now, in 4e, allowing you to base your will save on it.

Mark Hall
2010-03-08, 06:10 PM
To all the people who don't think Str or other abilities would matter in intimidate, what do you do when your Dragonborn Runescarred Berserker breaths a huge gout of flame into the air to send the townsfolk fleeing?

Circumstance modifier. If I can do a feat of strength, I get a circumstance modifier. Pick up a halfling and shake him? Well, that's a bonus. Try to pickup a halfling, only to have him slip out of my grasp and pants me? He's not going to be so impressed.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-08, 06:18 PM
Circumstance modifier. If I can do a feat of strength, I get a circumstance modifier. Pick up a halfling and shake him? Well, that's a bonus. Try to pickup a halfling, only to have him slip out of my grasp and pants me? He's not going to be so impressed.

Modifier as in equal to your strength, or +2? If it's the latter, that's pretty crappy.

(note that I think intimidate should be based off of charisma, The Joker is perfect example, but I think it should also be able to be based off STR, or a bonus equal to the spell level or something like that if you are using more than just a 'withering glare'.)

Gametime
2010-03-08, 06:53 PM
Because WotC consider small races cute, therefore bonus to charisma?

Seriously, halflings, gnomes and goblins all get bonus to charisma with kobolds being the only exception to this rule, as far as I can remember. Seems like small = chibi, according to 4E.

...Except halflings and gnomes are supposed to be charismatic based on their fluff and culture, irrespective of their size. Goblins are the only race among those three that charisma makes no real sense for, and as they were only given the mini-write up in the back of the monster manual it seems obvious they weren't given as much thought as fully fleshed-out races. There are medium races that get bonuses to charisma too, after all; I don't think "cuteness" was the main consideration, so much as "friendliness."

On topic, I don't think it's a big deal. Spontaneous spellcasters and the party face both care about charisma; there're likely to be as many charisma-focused people in any given party as there are wisdom-focused. Besides, the life of an adventurer isn't exactly conducive to developing good social skills; I think most PCs are inclined to view talking as a waste of time that could be better spent stabbing.

Just have your PCs model themselves after Conan. He was rude and belligerent to almost everyone he met, and the ladies still tripped over themselves to jump into bed with him.

Rainbownaga
2010-03-08, 11:12 PM
As for the charisma vs. strength for intimidate, it often comes down to scaring the person vs. coming off as a big meanie.

The huge barbarian with the dopey expression comes into the bar, walks up to you and demands information. Sure, he could crush you with his pinkie finger, but the commoner is less scared as they are angry. They may play along, but it's just play, they'll send him on a wild goose chase. Or they may call

History is full of people who chose to die painfully rather than submit to their enemies. The problem is if you want to intimidate someone you need them to respect you; being feared or loved are both effective, being hated is not.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2010-03-09, 03:14 AM
I'm surprised I didn't find this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125732) in this thread already.

NeoVid
2010-03-09, 05:53 AM
In fact, some things that make you look unsavory (like being heavily scarred - Cha penalty) actually make you more intimidating.

Couldn't help but be reminded of something from my own games. As soon as I noticed that Charisma doesn't determine a character's looks in 4e, I made a horribly scarred Sorcerer with 18 Cha. The divide between his charm and social skills and his looks made for fun times.

On the main topic, I don't know... more social scenes in game? I know Cha's a usual dump stat for me, but with most of my characters, the choice is either that or Int, and I don't like playing dumbasses, with the exception of the above Sorcerer. You've got to dump something, after all...

Ogremindes
2010-03-09, 06:42 AM
The thing to remember about Intimidate is it's not just about scaring people, it's about getting them to do what you want. Running away, calling the watch or curling up into the foetal position and whimpering aren't generally the desired outcomes. Barbarian threatens to smash things up: call the watch. Bard chatting about how you've got a nice place here and it'd be a shame if something were to happen while glancing at his barbarian friend, on the other hand...

taltamir
2010-03-09, 06:48 AM
I never understood why you needed Cha to intimidate. Iron Golems have Cha 1 and are plenty intimidating to everybody.

Anyhow, 4e bases your will defense off it.

for the same reason that every commoner can identify the most obscure CR1 extra planer creature, but none of them knows what a dragon is.
it is an artifact of the system...

Charisma should be used to trick people into thinking you are intimidating. While natural non bluffing intimidation should not need to involve cha at all. (you are scary looking, have a reputation, etc).
That is... bluff (cha based) should give a bonus (or penalty if you suck at it) to intimidate.