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View Full Version : [3.5] Do Charm spells really work in combat?



KillianHawkeye
2008-10-17, 05:03 PM
I got to a part in the adventure I'm running where there are a few monsters with charm person or charm monster SLAs, and I'm really not sure how to run these abilities in combat. I've never had a lot of experience using charm spells (as a PC or NPC), and they always struck me more as non-combat spells. The encounter strategy writeup mentions using them to distract or confuse the PCs, but how?

So I'm turning to the Playground: Do any of you use charm spells against your players in combat? How well does it work? What can charm spells actually do, and what can't they do? Any interesting/funny stories?

Douglas
2008-10-17, 05:11 PM
Charm spells can be used in combat, but the target gets a +5 bonus on the save.

As for what it can do, that depends on how the target would react if the caster were, in fact, a close trusted friend of his. You can "stretch" that a bit if you can win an opposed charisma check, but to get any benefit of the spell at all you and all your allies must avoid attacking or threatening him - doing that automatically breaks the spell.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-17, 05:13 PM
I got to a part in the adventure I'm running where there are a few monsters with charm person or charm monster SLAs, and I'm really not sure how to run these abilities in combat. I've never had a lot of experience using charm spells (as a PC or NPC), and they always struck me more as non-combat spells. The encounter strategy writeup mentions using them to distract or confuse the PCs, but how?

So I'm turning to the Playground: Do any of you use charm spells against your players in combat? How well does it work? What can charm spells actually do, and what can't they do? Any interesting/funny stories?

Charm spells are like Command spells except you need a Cha check to get them to comply in general.

Now, the issue with allies will come up: how would he react to protecting one friend from another?
Either, he will grapple/restrain one or he will beat with non-lethal the guy to leave you alone (because lets face it, grapple isn't full proof, knock outs can be).

I remember when I was charmed by a Mind Flayer as a Monk/Psion (I don't know how I failed that save...): I had to beat up my friends in non-lethal or they would have killed my new BFF Mr. Mindflayer (lost Cha check).

Should I add 1/2 the party was still stunned from mind blaat?

Luckily, the Ranger was quick enough to attack the mindflayer making him flee as I beat up on the Barbarian to leave my Mr. Mindflayer alone (nonj-lethal of course).

The Charm wore off soon enough as everyone came out of stun. I apologized to the Barb; but hey no harm done. He was still rather angry at me, but no reprocussions occurred.

Laurellien
2008-10-17, 05:16 PM
A charm spell makes you the trusted friend and ally of the target. If it has little loyalty to its other allies, this could make it turn against them. If it trusts its allies and regards them as friends, then it will stand there and probably and try to stop both sides coming to blows.

Funny story: Although not charm related per se... this is still funny and related. WARNING SPOILERS FOR THE SAVAGE TIDE ADVENTURE PATH AHEAD!!!

In the ruins of Tamoachan, the party found a gibbering mouther in a well. It managed to confuse my dwarven barbarian/fighter/berserk/frenzied berserker into attacking his allies. Now, you need to understand that my character was right next to the party rogue, and IC I intensely disliked this character and OOC I wasn't impressed with the character either. So when the Gibbering Mouther made me attack my closest ally, who happened to be the rogue, an evil smile crossed my face IC and OOC. The player whined that I was deliberately targeting him, and the DM said that I couldn't use frenzy, rage, battle fury or power attack as it would be metagaming on my part. I reluctantly agreed and nearly took the rogue's head off with one attack. The Confusion ended, but I said that as it was something I sorely wanted to do anyway, perhaps I should take another will save to resist the urge to chop him the rogue in two. The DM agreed, I rolled low, but passed anyway.

And that's the story of how I nearly killed the party rogue, and there's no doubt that if the monster had used charm person or suggestion on me, I would have pulped the rogue.

EvilElitest
2008-10-17, 08:00 PM
I tend to use it to avoid combat actually, or avert it, or turn it to my favor when i start
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EE

Mark Hall
2008-10-18, 11:07 AM
Remember that Charm spells create a friendship, but they don't destroy the old one.

So, if you get charmed, and your "friends" are fighting each other, you're not going to attack your friends (the people you adventure with), but you will stop them from hurting your "friends" (the people who charmed you). You'll use non-lethal damage, if necessary, but you're not going to try to kill them (unless you would anyway).

KillianHawkeye
2008-10-18, 11:56 AM
I tend to use it to avoid combat actually, or avert it, or turn it to my favor when i start
from
EE

Considering that this thread is clearly and specifically about the combat usage of charm person-type spells, the usefulness of your comment is nearly nil.

Starsinger
2008-10-18, 12:09 PM
Considering that this thread is clearly and specifically about the combat usage of charm person-type spells, the usefulness of your comment is nearly nil.

Why does this come as a surprise?

On Topic, Charming someone in Combat, I refer to this bit in the spell description.
Any act by you or your apparent allies that threatens the charmed person breaks the spell. So be very careful with that.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-18, 12:23 PM
Remember that Charm spells create a friendship, but they don't destroy the old one.

So, if you get charmed, and your "friends" are fighting each other, you're not going to attack your friends (the people you adventure with), but you will stop them from hurting your "friends" (the people who charmed you). You'll use non-lethal damage, if necessary, but you're not going to try to kill them (unless you would anyway).

True, you might attempt to reason with your old friends, but if that fails, non-lethal means it will be. Grappling migtht work.

MartinHarper
2008-10-18, 06:27 PM
You'll use non-lethal damage, if necessary, but you're not going to try to kill them (unless you would anyway).

But who would you use non-lethal damage on?

Collin152
2008-10-18, 06:58 PM
Considering that this thread is clearly and specifically about the combat usage of charm person-type spells, the usefulness of your comment is nearly nil.

And how useful does that make your comment?

Come now, let's all be nice.

Irreverent Fool
2008-10-18, 07:17 PM
But who would you use non-lethal damage on?

I figure you'd view the charmer in the most positive light, so probably your party.

Pie Guy
2008-10-18, 07:26 PM
Theres this one person in my group whom I actually would like to just be able to attack.

But anyway, why would you trust someone you just met over your party, who (by now) has saved your life on numerous occasions. unless the party specificly attacks the monster charming you, and the monster doesn't fight back, you'd have no reason to attack them.

Douglas
2008-10-18, 07:54 PM
But anyway, why would you trust someone you just met over your party, who (by now) has saved your life on numerous occasions.
Because there's magic involved. The guy you just met is, in your forcefully distorted view of the world, not just your friend but your best friend. Never mind that you only met him less than a minute ago and until even more recently were quite intent on killing him, if you fail the save against Charm Person the spell forces you to ignore that and view him as a close trusted friend.

EvilElitest
2008-10-18, 08:58 PM
Considering that this thread is clearly and specifically about the combat usage of charm person-type spells, the usefulness of your comment is nearly nil.

not at all. If i know i'm going into a fight, i want to get ride of people who could take one side or another. If somebody hasn't chosen a side, this is a great way to make sure they help me
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EE