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brian c
2007-06-11, 12:34 PM
Hit by the Ugly Stick [General]
Sometimes, ugliness can be an advantage
Prerequisites: Charisma 8 or lower
Benefits: When using the Intimidate skill, the character may subtract their Charisma modifier from the roll.
Normal: A character's Charisma modifier is added to the Intimidate roll



...And Hit Every Branch On The Way Down [Trait]
Oh my god what happened to you? That's... that's... hideous!
Prerequisites: Charisma 10 or lower
Effects: Your Charisma is permanently lowered by 4. For all effects that would add a Charisma modifier, subtract yours instead (thus getting a positive modifier). Additionally, for the purposes of the Leadership feat, use the negative of your charisma modifier instead of positive. However, the normal penalties to Leadership score from the death of cohorts/followers are doubled.

Call Me Siggy
2007-06-11, 12:39 PM
I don't necessarily understand how Perform would work with this.

Perform (Look at me, I'm a freakish monster)?

Poppatomus
2007-06-11, 12:40 PM
Interesting Ideas, been thinking about something similar for a while. Love the first one, a little unclear on the second. What counts as an effect that would add a charism modifier? Would a Sorceror be able to use that for bonus spells or a paladin for lay on hands? or is it meant to be restricted to skills? Either way, it seems like their should be some limiter on it, since the Loss of Four Charisma is actually a gain of 4 charisma, once the feat is added in.

Poppatomus
2007-06-11, 12:41 PM
I don't necessarily understand how Perform would work with this.

Perform (Look at me, I'm a freakish monster)?

Perform (don't you feel better about yourself now?)

It's like the beareded Lady's perform skill.

TO_Incognito
2007-06-11, 12:43 PM
That second feat is too powerful. For one feat, a character who dumped his roll of 7 in Charisma has an effective Charisma modifier of +4?

I like the first feat, though; it makes Intimidate a bit more usable by Charisma-dump-stat fighter types. It could even use a boost in power somehow.

brian c
2007-06-11, 12:51 PM
Interesting Ideas, been thinking about something similar for a while. Love the first one, a little unclear on the second. What counts as an effect that would add a charism modifier? Would a Sorceror be able to use that for bonus spells or a paladin for lay on hands? or is it meant to be restricted to skills? Either way, it seems like their should be some limiter on it, since the Loss of Four Charisma is actually a gain of 4 charisma, once the feat is added in.

Definitely not for Sorcerers or Paladins or Clerics for turning for that matter- I'll have to think about how to word that better, and possibly just list the times that it should work.

Poppatomus
2007-06-11, 12:51 PM
Alternate Version of the Second/another on the same theme.:

Skin Deep/To the bone
Prereq: Cha 8 or less

Your low charisma is only manifested by one part of your persona, even as it improves the other.

When you take this feat you choose whether your low charisma is visually based (Skin Deep) or personality based (to the bone). If the former you may subtract, rather than add your charisma bonus to bluff, Diplomacy, Gather information, and use magic device, as well as treating any turn undead or Lay on Hands attempt as being at +1. If the latter you may subtract rather than add your charisma bonus to Intimidate, handle animal, perform and disguise checks, as well as using the absolute value of your charisma when determing the intial reaction of a creature or NPC.

When you take this feat you permanently lose 4 charisma. If your Charisma rises above ten you lose the ability to use this feat.

geez3r
2007-06-11, 01:10 PM
I don't necessarily understand how Perform would work with this.

Perform (Look at me, I'm a freakish monster)?

Watch some heavy metal videos, not exactly the best looking group of individuals, but some of them can play well enough to get thousands of people on their feet.

I think the feats are balanced, especially because Cha damaging effects are especially deadly now. That and feats are there to off set some of your weaknesses, but in doing so you give up the opprotunity to augment your strengths.

brian c
2007-06-11, 01:24 PM
The idea behind the second one is that of a menacing warlord who coerces everyone into doing things his way. Diplomacy is made easier by veiled threats, intimidation is made easier by not-so-veiled threats, etc. Perform checks can be used to make money, and if you're scary enough then people will definitely toss a few copper into your hat. Leadership is the big part of that trait though, letting you force other people to serve you.

Fascisticide
2007-06-11, 01:28 PM
I high charisma doesn't always mean you are beautiful, it means you know how to talk to people, how to get them to like you, or how to manipulate them to get what you want, and you are at ease in front of a crowd who has it's attention focused on you.
Just like a low charisma doesn't mean you are ugly, you could be very beautiful but a jerk to everyone you talk to, or a social misfit who never had any meanigful contacts and goes screaming "MUUUHH" every time a lady walks by.

Poppatomus
2007-06-11, 01:30 PM
I high charisma doesn't always mean you are beautiful, it means you know how to talk to people, how to get them to like you, or how to manipulate them to get what you want, and you are at ease in front of a crowd who has it's attention focused on you.
Just like a low charisma doesn't mean you are ugly, you could be very beautiful but a jerk to everyone you talk to, or a social misfit who never had any meanigful contacts and goes screaming "MUUUHH" every time a lady walks by.

Which is what I was trying to capture with My addition. After Brian's explanation though, I understand what he was going for with his original and like the approach very much. When explained, it makes a great deal of sense.

Fascisticide
2007-06-11, 02:12 PM
The idea behind the second one is that of a menacing warlord who coerces everyone into doing things his way. Diplomacy is made easier by veiled threats, intimidation is made easier by not-so-veiled threats, etc.
The ability to make good threats, veiled or not, is charisma. It is about understanding how people think and being able to say what the good things to get the reaction you want. It has nothing to do with appearance, and I don't see how a bad charisma can help.


Perform checks can be used to make money, and if you're scary enough then people will definitely toss a few copper into your hat. Leadership is the big part of that trait though, letting you force other people to serve you.
This is extortion and bullying, not performance.
Good charisma will mean you can scare people in just the right way so they give you money. Bad charisma will mean you scare them too much or just ridicule yourself, or other bullies will hate your face and give you a beating for being so miserable.

Poppatomus
2007-06-11, 02:24 PM
The ability to make good threats, veiled or not, is charisma. It is about understanding how people think and being able to say what the good things to get the reaction you want. It has nothing to do with appearance, and I don't see how a bad charisma can help.


but that's why it's a feat. The point is that the particular damage you've recieved to charisma happens to work in your favor when it comes to intimidation. Despite the fact that you're usually annoying and oafish in social interactions, a bad diplomat, a bad performer, when it comes to just making someone scared you've learned to play up your scars and your innate dislikeability.

You're assesment of Charisma is right, but that system is not perfect, especially given the vast disparities in its application.



This is extortion and bullying, not performance.
Good charisma will mean you can scare people in just the right way so they give you money. Bad charisma will mean you scare them too much or just ridicule yourself, or other bullies will hate your face and give you a beating for being so miserable.

Again, that's why this is a feat. Plenty of money was made in freak shows in the past (and depending on what one thinks of reality TV, the present). Now, some of the performers at these shows were terribly charasmatic, but other weren't, they were just oddities. 99/100 situations they would be detestable or aggrevating. They weren't diplomats, they didn't have innate understandings of their audience, but there was some feature about them that by virtue of its being unsual and uncharasmatic, was fascinating in that one particular context.

The feats presented in this thread attempt to capture that aspect of charisma. I don't think it's unreasonable.

Umarth
2007-06-11, 02:54 PM
I think these are a bad idea for a number of reasons:

1) A high ability score should never be a penalty and a low ability score should never be a reward. With these your rewarding people for having low ability scores.

2) Charisma is a number that reflects two things attractiveness (minor bit) and force of personality (major portion). Someone with a low charisma is someone who is unable to use his personality to make others do his bidding.

As for your ugly warlord who scares and intimidates everyone should
a) have a decent charisma as he has a strong force of personality.
b) have had a lot of training/experience with diplomacy or intimidation (skill ranks).
c) have lots of circumstance modifiers. Sure maybe he can't talk his way out of a paper bag and burps at dinner but if he's killed the last 5 guys who didn't give him the answer he wanted thatís a nice bonus to his roll.

The final thing I'd look at is would you allow this type of feat for any other ability score? Your so weak your strong? So foolish your wise?

Poppatomus
2007-06-11, 03:16 PM
The final thing I'd look at is would you allow this type of feat for any other ability score? Your so weak your strong? So foolish your wise?

You mean like, say, weapon finesse?

In some ways this is better than weapon finesse, because it literaly transforms a bad role into a good one. In another way it is worse because, in order to get better at one thing I have to get worse at a whole host of other things.

Take the first feat, the intimidate feat. It could be written that you use strength, rather than charisma, as the bonus for intimidate. That would actually be stronger for a fighter, because all their bonuses will be to intimidate, and they lose nothing, they just gain a bonus to intimidate. At the same time, I don't see anyone really objecting to that substitution on principle, as per weapon finesse.

If he takes the feat as written, by constrast, instead of tying the bonus into his primary stat, it just turns one manifestation of weakness into strength. If they took that feat and then wanted to "improve" their charisma, the extra ability to intimidate is more than cancelled out by the reductions in every other cha based skill.

Charisma, as you imply, is the most complex of the stats, because it seems to have two very different manifestations. "passive" charisma of inherent beauty and/or grace or "active" charisma of force of personality, cleverness, and empathy. As such it is not unreasonable, in my opinion, for that warlord list to include the idea that, for the cost of a feat, a particular individual can actually turn bad passive charisma into good active Charisma, or vice versa.

I mean, say we rewrote the first proposed feat to say: "You have grown adept at manipulating the disgust you see in people's eyes when they interact with you. Add a circumstance bonus equal to twice your charisma penalty to any intimidate check made vs. a character that can see you." would that than be acceptable, even with the effect being the same?

(If you'd prefer I could make it a +4 circumstance bonus but require a Cha of 8 or less, which would be basically the same effect.)

Umarth
2007-06-11, 03:29 PM
You mean like, say, weapon finesse?

Actually this is very diffrent than weapon finesse. Weapon finesse let's you substitute a good ability for a bad one. This lets you use a bad ability as a good one.

The strength version of this would allow you to apply your strength penalty to your to hit and damage rolls. How's that make sense.


Take the first feat, the intimidate feat. It could be written that you use strength, rather than charisma, as the bonus for intimidate.

That would be fine and I believe has already been published by wizards.


My personal recommendation on this would be making attractiveness unrelated to an ability score and just use Cha for the "active" version.

If I where going to make a feat like this I'd do:
Butt Ugly
You use your hideous appearance to your benefit.
Benefit: +3 to diplomacy or intimidate rolls (choose one)

Youíll notice thatís just a flavorful version of skill focus.

Poppatomus
2007-06-11, 03:41 PM
Actually this is very diffrent than weapon finesse. Weapon finesse let's you substitute a good ability for a bad one. This lets you use a bad ability as a good one.

The strength version of this would allow you to apply your strength penalty to your to hit and damage rolls. How's that make sense.


The point I was trying to make is that the effect is the same and, as a result, turning a penalty into a bonus is not somehow in opposition to rule set of the game. In fact, simply substituting an ability score actually makes for a potentially more overpowered ability.

bottom line, introducing this mechanism is not a min/maxers blessing any more than switching any ability score for another, and may be less of one.



My personal recommendation on this would be making attractiveness unrelated to an ability score and just use Cha for the "active" version.


I agree and have always thought this. It should be mechanically seperate from charisma completely, and unrelated to base attributes. But it never will be. (All "beautiful" characters I have seen have high Cha. even those that are "ugly" on the inside tend to have above average Cha anyway.)

The distinction between active and passive was also meant to underscore why this is more acceptable for something like CHA, than for other stats, which tend to be more straightforward, or which have their "active/passive" form represented in another stat (int and wisdom, Str and Dex)



If I where going to make a feat like this I'd do:
Butt Ugly
You use your hideous appearance to your benefit.
Benefit: +3 to diplomacy or intimidate rolls (choose one)

Youíll notice thatís just a flavorful version of skill focus.

Which is similar to what I suggested at the end of my post. If you addeda requirement that your Cha be lower than 10, so that you actually were ugly, it would infact be almost exactly the same mechanism. (you have a bad score that actually aids an ability of yours by allowing a feat to be of use) And no one would object to it, despite the fact that it is mostly a semantic difference.

brian c
2007-06-11, 08:58 PM
First of all, thank you Poppatomus for defending my ideas, I think you see where I'm coming from. It's important to realize this is a feat- not every ugly person is intimidating because of it, just people who capitalize on that and intimidate with their ugliness, etc.



b) have had a lot of training/experience with diplomacy or intimidation (skill ranks).


Keep in mind that at mid to high levels, your ability modifier isn't nearly as significant to a skill check as your ranks are, unless you're untrained, nearly untrained, or have a ridiculous ability modifier. A 10th level barbarian with this feat might have +3 to Intimidate from his 6 Charisma, and +13 from skill ranks.



The final thing I'd look at is would you allow this type of feat for any other ability score? Your so weak your strong? So foolish your wise?

No. Just no. Physical stats can't possibly work that way, but other mental stats could. You're so dumb you can't be fooled? Anything with less than 3 intelligence is immune to charm/compulsion spells, right? And if there's a great illusion spell, who is less likely to be affected by it, the character with maxed ranks in spot, or the blind guy? Seeing nothing at all is better in that case than seeing kinda well. As for being so foolish you're wise, have you ever heard the proverb "The wise man can learn more from the fool than the fool can learn from the wise" ? That doesn't just mean that the fool won't learn- it means the wise man can learn from anyone, that the fool could do something better than the wise man just by virtue of his own simplicity.


Finally, a reminder. This is a homebrewed feat that I thought up. If you like it, you're welcome to use it in your game. If you don't like it, don't like the flavor, think it's unbalanced, then I won't ask you to use it in your game. We can just agree to disagree, and that can be that.

Neek
2007-06-12, 03:45 PM
I agree with with Poppatomus. If not for the fact that it doesn't make much sense to flip the ability modifier from being something that provides a hindrance to something that provides a flat bonus. As to making sense with any physical attribute or mental attribute (so weak you're strong, so foolish you're wise) arguments, this isn't a matter of a philosophical debate-we know a wise man can learn from anyone, but that doesn't mean a foolish one should always be providing the answers that smart people are trying to figure out.

This is a matter of game mechanics. You have a low score because you are deficient in that area. It is not a bonus to have no social skills, nor is it a bonus to be so hideous that people won't even approach you.

The feats you present bring up a good idea. I like the flavor and I like what they do. They just don't make sense from a mechanical stand-point, and the justification falls quite short.

A few recommendations I would make:

* Instead of converting penalties to bonuses, have the feat negate the penalty or be considered to have a +1 in an ability for your purposes.

This provides a base that benefits all characters who have a negative Charisma modifier for the intended skill, without scaling for how poor their ability score is--this does reduce a certain measure of min-maxing with.

* Do not make it work all the time. Have a limit on it, i.e., 1/day, or once per day for every two, three, or four levels.

Having a poor ability score shouldn't be so easily corrected, even if it were for one or two skills. Limiting how often you could use that shows a certain measure of realism. A fool may have a random act of brilliance, and so does the side-show freak have a moment of beauty--but they're just that, moments.

Matthew
2007-06-15, 08:29 PM
Seems to me like these should just be traits, like Ugly Scar +2 intimidation or Hideous Visage, etc... It's not like you can learn how to be ugly (hmmn, actually you can, but it's more a matter of disguise).

brian c
2007-06-15, 11:47 PM
Seems to me like these should just be traits, like Ugly Scar +2 intimidation or Hideous Visage, etc... It's not like you can learn how to be ugly (hmmn, actually you can, but it's more a matter of disguise).

Actually the second one is a trait. The first one is a feat, but you have to already be ugly in order to use it; it's learning how to use your ugliness, not learning to be ugly.

Akennedy
2007-06-16, 10:18 PM
Personally, I think it's not-so-hot an idea. All these feats do is encourage Charisma even more to be a dump stat, and some people will hope they roll low to take said feats. using a Weapon Finesse-like feat would be good, substitution as opposed to being good from bad.

sigurd
2007-06-18, 11:50 AM
Do what you want but I think Umath has it right.

He is defending the game logic. It is not enough to say "this accomplishes the same thing" and not care about how it was done. Especially in a forum about rules.

I love the idea of the compelling hideous leader of a band of thugs but there is ample way to express that in the rules. The UGLY boss has a high charisma. If he has a low charisma - so sad. If you want to change that - by a feat or whatever - get more charisma.

You wouldn't say an invalid is going to become a powerhouse because his stats are so low. Why is charisma any different. A mechanic that reflects bad stats into good conditions goes against the game logic and allows the subject to ignore the middle ground where most creatures have to deal.

Reversal might be the action of a capricious god but if it becomes a game mechanic you attack the basis of the rules.


Sigurd

Poppatomus
2007-06-18, 12:58 PM
Do what you want but I think Umath has it right.

He is defending the game logic. It is not enough to say "this accomplishes the same thing" and not care about how it was done. Especially in a forum about rules.

I love the idea of the compelling hideous leader of a band of thugs but there is ample way to express that in the rules. The UGLY boss has a high charisma. If he has a low charisma - so sad. If you want to change that - by a feat or whatever - get more charisma.

You wouldn't say an invalid is going to become a powerhouse because his stats are so low. Why is charisma any different. A mechanic that reflects bad stats into good conditions goes against the game logic and allows the subject to ignore the middle ground where most creatures have to deal.

Reversal might be the action of a capricious god but if it becomes a game mechanic you attack the basis of the rules.


Sigurd

While after due consideration I tend to agree with your position more and more, the idea that this is inherently counter to the rules in practice still seems wrong to me.

You say above that the ugly captain should have high charisma if he wants to be persuasive, but why shouldn't you say a similar thing to the high dex low strength fellow that wants to be a melee combatant with a rapier?

True, in the case of the feat that I'm alluding to you aren't benefiting from low STR so much as you are gaining from a high dex score, but the mechanical effect, in most instances, is the same. I've created a narrow catagory of activity in which a low score in what should otherwise be the principle governor of that activity is no longer an obstacle.

Now, There is a slight difference in practice. to use combat finesse i need a good dex score in addition to my bad/mediocre strength score, rather than just a bad str score, but in the feats above this is partially offset by the fact that it applies only to a very limited piece of CHA's portfolio, and may also require you to further reduce your charisma as a penalty for gaining that narrow advantage.

I might not say an invalid was going to become a powerhouse because he rolled a six strength, (although I would point out that strength is the most straightforward of the Attributes) but I will let him use his dex score to wield that rapier, if he meets other requirements. It is not that large a jump, if there's fluff behind it and sufficient balance, to say that an attribute may work in a counter intuitive way. This is especially the case when it seems like the benefit derived from this particular condition should be in proportion to how bad you are at something, rather than related to how good you are at something else.

Here's an example of one that could work for strength, just for further discussion:

Evacuate, in our moment of triumph?
Req: Str less than 6. Bluff +5

You are so weak that your opponent lets their guard down around you and, occasionally, this permits one of your limp wristed flailings to get through. Once per day for each point of your CHA modifier, when wielding a melee weapon, you may add the absolute value of your strength modifier to an attack roll.

In order to use this ability you must have made a melee attack against the same target in the last round and that attack must have missed. If the attack made while using this feat also misses, you are no longer considered a threat by the target, and your presence does not apply to a mechanic such as flanking until you land a successful hit, or otherwise damage the target.

Mordokai
2007-06-18, 01:12 PM
I especially like the idea after first feat. I always tought that having low charisma would provide bonus to Intimidate, not vice versa. Imagine a half-orc barbarian, without left eye, scars all over his face, and whole lot of tatoos on his body. In short, one ugly mofo. Lets say it gives him charisma score of 5. I think if the guy like that would tell me, "tell me everything you know, or you'l look worse than I do", I would spill the beans in a second :smallsmile: So, I simply love the first feat. Second also isn't bad, but the first one takes the cake in my book.

sigurd
2007-06-18, 02:34 PM
Mechanically rewarding a low stat for its weakness screws up the game. Players already have received an advantage for low charisma - a higher stat somewhere else.

It completely defeats the point buy system because it creates a bonus out of a cheaper stat. It is a gimmie to power gamers who always neglect charisma. -2 to +2 is a charisma gain of minimum 7 pnts. when most feats are giving 2 points thats 4 feats.

It perpetuates a misunderstanding about charisma - it is more than beauty. The vampire with a high charisma might be repulsive but he\she is compelling and forceful. Four guys in a room trying to convince the king with similar arguments - the char with high charisma deserves a bonus because he's probably sacrificed somewhere else to get it. You create a feat that says the low shall be high - whats the point of his sacrifice?
AD&D 2 had charisma and comeliness (drive and Beauty) and it didn't work right either. High charisma might be influenced by physical appearance but it is not simply 'looks good'.


Substituting a stat is different than reversing one. It works within the system better. Fighting is not just about strength - thats a very reasonable statement. Dexterity holds its own value for fighting so long as its exceptional - and even then it doesn't give a damage bonus. Substituting Strength for Charisma on intimidate rolls is a greater stretch but its hard to imagine that someone being obviously stronger than you is not more intimidating. And once more you are rewarding a good stat. While one can debate the game balance at least it doesn't break the basic logic\rewards of the game.


I can so see what you want to do with this and it takes a character to not just pick up your cards and go home - but I think the mechanics (for the reasons above) dont work.

If you want better intimidate for a really low charisma - use the skill ranks thats what they're for.



Evacuate, in our moment of triumph?

That might be quite a reasonable tactic for someone who is stronger than he appears. But it shouldn't be a feat because it requires that every opponent the character meets be programmed in its actions a particular way.
The opponent deserves a saving throw and then all of a sudden its a combat maneuver or a spell, or a tactic.... but not a feat.

A tactic like that can't reward truly low strength but the appearance of low strength (this is acting\charisma\skill etc). Or give a circumstance bonus which is unique to the situation.

In LOTR, wormtongue probably had low to average strength. His manner and position probably lead a lot of warriors to disregard him, but if his strength was even lower he would not have been better off. If he would attack someone he might get a bonus to surprise because his foe had disregarded him but he would still not get any sort of str bonus if his stats dont merit it.

Poppatomus
2007-06-18, 03:13 PM
Firstly, I agree about the danger of perpetuating the misunderstanding of charisma. People should realize that high CHA is different than being beautiful or being persuasive, and transcends either catagory.

That said, it should be recognized why that misunderstanding exists. More so than every other stat (with the possible exception of CON) CHA covers something that can be explained in an almost infinite number of ways. 18 STR is 18 STR. It almost invariably works by the same mechanism and has the same effect. Even if it manifests differently, (lean human with 16 strength vs. a gnome with 18 strength that looks like a damn tank) its the same underlying "attribute."

Perhaps this is because it's counter part, DEX, exists as a seperate stat. This may be why CON tends to match with CHA in terms of complexity. Unlike DEX/STR or WIS/INT CHA must encompass its own contradictions. The quick character with weak hands? 18 DEX 10 STR? The Guy that Put his fist through the damn wall trying to punch that guy? 18 STR 10 DEX.

But with CHA you can't do that. Ugly guy with a sweet tongue? 18 CHA. The kind of perfect guy where, if i were a woman, and i were not around, i should be inlove with him? 18 CHA. More tellingly, beautiful on the outside but insufferable and with no understanding of other people's emotions? 8 CHA Ugly on the outside to such an extent that even their relativly nice personality can't overcome it? 8 CHA

That said, your argument about the point buy is especially strong. The reason i don't think it invaldidates this particular concept though, is because of the narrowness of the scope. Yes, having a feat like this lowers the penalty of having a low CHA, but it does so only in a very narrow occasion (or it should anyway) and you otherwise still suffer all the penalties.

Also, your response to my proposed feat is interesting, because I think it illustrates the point about the difference in dynamic. In the feat I propose, you literally blunder into a strike. It is proportionate because, the weaker you actually are the easier it is to convince your opponent of that weakness. (note also that bluff is a requirement to drive home the point that you need to be good at something in addition to being weak.)

Additionally, though you dismiss it as "programming," the fact is that there is an assumption that STR exists and is assessed in certain ways. My 18 STR is 18 STR against everyone. there's no reason to believe my 6 STR shouldn't be 6 STR to everyone as well. The idea here is that, because my strength is clearly so low you underestimate me too much. Different characters might do that in different ways, but the part of the reason it benefits me is because my attacks are SO weak that they behave differently than the opponent expects.


Notice too that the ability doesn't give a bonus to the damage roll, which seems more clearly tied to the actual amount of strength you have, only to the attack roll, which is a mix of the perception of strength as well as actual strength.

There's a famous story about a fencing champion killed when he challenged a newspaper reporter to a duel over some imagined slight (what i was thinking of when I proposed the feat). The champion got killed because the reporter, who'd never fought before and was in no kind of physical condition, didn't properly move his sword back to position after the champion parried a shot in the dark, eyes closed opening stab.

This wasn't just a natural 20 attack roll, though it could be justified as such, it was a combination of overestimation on the part of the champion, and the weakness of the opponent. A stronger opponent, with better control of the sword, would naturally end up with the sword in a different position, being able to better control its movement. If the Champion had percieved the opponent as being stronger he wouldn't have been so cavalier with his body position or the location of his enemies blade, and could have easily recovered. It was only the combination of these effects that allowed the underdog to come out on top in this case.

By contrast In your counter proposal the feat is purely a bluff. The effect is independent of strength entirely. Now, that may be a valid feat, but it's a different feat operating in a different way.

I agree that feats that operate on this paradigm need to be both narrow and rare, but I don't think the mechanism itself is invalid.


EDIT: Also, another proposal to explore the edges of this concept:

For you I shut up
REQ: Int +11, wis +15

You recognize that you're personality is grating to those around you, but occasionally you're able to suppress your otherwise noxious persona. If you are attempting an intimidate check or disguise check that does not require you to speak, you may make an WIS check with a DC equal to the DC of the skill check plus 5. If you succeed, you may treat your CHA modifier as though it were zero for the purposes of the skill check.

---

Now, that is a flat bonus, with a fairly narrow application, that is also a quasi-substitution of one stat for another, but you get proportionatly greater benefit the lower your CHA is. would something like that be acceptable.

brian c
2007-06-18, 03:28 PM
Two things:

1) I don't think any true "powergamer" is going to waste a feat on something to give him a few points bonus on an intimidate check.

2) This feat is intended for, as Poppatomus kinda said, people who are so ugly that it doesn't matter how they act, they still have low Charisma. A hideously scarred, snaggletoothed, terrible smelling being of any race is not going to have a good Charisma score. However, I think that character should still be able to Intimidate people well and that's what the first feat up there is for.

The trait (second thing in OP) was more of a throwaway I guess, I never figured it out the way I was imagining it. I stand by the first one though- anyone ugly enough to have a -2 modifier should be damn scary.

Neek
2007-06-18, 04:52 PM
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.

Note how physical attractiveness is only one measure of this ability score. You're overemphasizing CHA == attractiveness, low Charisma makes you ugly, and that ugly also is intimidating, so it should apply an absolute Charisma bonus rather than a negative Charisma bonus. Which is circular; "ugly" and "pretty" are relative ideas that vary from culture to culture, from person to person.

Also, do you think that Sorcerers cast from their good looks, and not from their force of personality? Because ultimately, that's what Charisma is. It my be tied to physical attractiveness, but a person with low Charisma may be attractive but have no personality to speak of, and has no idea how to properly communicate with the world around her. As well, an Orc with a high Charisma might be pretty, but can force and manipulate people much better.

So while I appreciate the flavor of these feats and traits, I do not believe they agree with the mechanics they are working with.

Poppatomus
2007-06-18, 05:03 PM
Note how physical attractiveness is only one measure of this ability score. You're overemphasizing CHA == attractiveness, low Charisma makes you ugly, and that ugly also is intimidating, so it should apply an absolute Charisma bonus rather than a negative Charisma bonus. Which is circular; "ugly" and "pretty" are relative ideas that vary from culture to culture, from person to person.

Also, do you think that Sorcerers cast from their good looks, and not from their force of personality? Because ultimately, that's what Charisma is. It my be tied to physical attractiveness, but a person with low Charisma may be attractive but have no personality to speak of, and has no idea how to properly communicate with the world around her. As well, an Orc with a high Charisma might be pretty, but can force and manipulate people much better.

So while I appreciate the flavor of these feats and traits, I do not believe they agree with the mechanics they are working with.


This is a fair point, but I still stand by what I said above. Though physical attractiveness is only one part of CHA it is a part so qualitativly different from other parts that it differentiates the attribute from all other attributes (with the possible exception of CON). From above:



That said, it should be recognized why that misunderstanding exists. More so than every other stat (with the possible exception of CON) CHA covers something that can be explained in an almost infinite number of ways. 18 STR is 18 STR. It almost invariably works by the same mechanism and has the same effect. Even if it manifests differently, (lean human with 16 strength vs. a gnome with 18 strength that looks like a damn tank) its the same underlying "attribute."

Perhaps this is because it's counter part, DEX, exists as a seperate stat. This may be why CON tends to match with CHA in terms of complexity. Unlike DEX/STR or WIS/INT CHA must encompass its own contradictions. The quick character with weak hands? 18 DEX 10 STR? The Guy that Put his fist through the damn wall trying to punch that guy? 18 STR 10 DEX.

But with CHA you can't do that. Ugly guy with a sweet tongue? 18 CHA. The kind of perfect guy where, if i were a woman, and i were not around, i should be inlove with him? 18 CHA. More tellingly, beautiful on the outside but insufferable and with no understanding of other people's emotions? 8 CHA Ugly on the outside to such an extent that even their relativly nice personality can't overcome it? 8 CHA


I would be intereted to read your take on this point.

Neek
2007-06-18, 05:22 PM
Therein lies the paradox. How do you account for a superficial trait (i.e., physical attractiveness) versus something as part of the character's personality? Personally, I believe physical beauty to be such a relative concept, that it's not measurable by game statistics. The only answer to such disparity without altering the rules is to roleplay it. Is your character repulsive, but nice? Make sure your DM accounts that people are frightened of your appearance and don't even hear you when you talk, they just see you. Or, if you're ugly but a sweet talking, make sure to reflect that.

However, I'd rather just remove superficiality from the game. Let Charisma do its job as a mental statistic. "Charisma measures a characterís force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, and ability to lead." Let physical attractiveness be something that the player decides--because as far as I'm concerned, I doubt physical attractiveness alone will ever decide the outcome of an encounter in any campaign I run.

Poppatomus
2007-06-18, 05:25 PM
Therein lies the paradox. How do you account for a superficial trait (i.e., physical attractiveness) versus something as part of the character's personality? Personally, I believe physical beauty to be such a relative concept, that it's not measurable by game statistics. The only answer to such disparity without altering the rules is to roleplay it. Is your character repulsive, but nice? Make sure your DM accounts that people are frightened of your appearance and don't even hear you when you talk, they just see you. Or, if you're ugly but a sweet talking, make sure to reflect that.

However, I'd rather just remove superficiality from the game. Let Charisma do its job as a mental statistic. "Charisma measures a characterís force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, and ability to lead." Let physical attractiveness be something that the player decides--because as far as I'm concerned, I doubt physical attractiveness alone will ever decide the outcome of an encounter in any campaign I run.

That I can get behind I think. Thanks for the response. Now you just have to get WotC on your side too.