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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Imbalance's Avatar

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I'm sure there are, in fact, ways that somebody could dress and act that would put you at ease and make you more inclined to trust them. You, personally, don't find being well-dressed and groomed to fit that bill, but perhaps you'd find a certain kind of laid-back disheveledness, or a particular subculture's style, to be more trustworthy. There is SOMETHING you find so, or you would be an extremely paranoid and distrusting person in general.
    Trust is earned according to one's actions and reputation, not according to their presentation. Suspicion is much more freely handed out. That may make me distrustful in a general sense, though I am practiced in the art of overcoming irrational paranoia and a similar consistency of actions is required to make me utterly distrust a person (or rather to trust that they are up to no good).

    Charm person doesn't actually impede judgment on any topic other than whether the person casting it is a stranger, enemy, or friendly acquaintance. It hard-sets to the last. (Arguable whether it downgrades from "good friend" to that; probably doesn't, but that's a DM call.)

    It isn't dominate person or even suggestion.
    That alone IS an infraction against the target's own will. Also, the charmed condition arrests violence - you can't attack the one who charmed you even if you want to.

    Treating it as somehow worse than being naturally charming and likable is more than a little unfair, and basically makes the spell next to useless for anything BUT screwing people over, since its duration is only 1 hour. Treating it as an icebreaker and allowing that circumstances may make somebody say, "I know what you did, but I'll forgive it this time, since you haven't abused my trust," is reasonable.

    Or do you think the girl who bats her eyes at a boy and does everything she can to get and keep his attention, flatters him, and works to get him to like her is abrogating his will because he has hormones?
    It is no less fair than any other deceit that one might fall for, but a far greater molestation. That some might find the lack of abuse of trust reasonable for forgiveness does not negate the fact that the spell manipulates the target's ownership of agency. The girl in your example is only altering herself. The boy's affection remains a matter of his own will, unless you are saying that one's hormonal influence excuses their actions, which is a whole other can of worms that have no desire to open.

    I doubt I have the wherewithal to convince anyone what the "proper" response ought to be, but after thinking about it I posted what mine would be and why. As has been clear for some time, many people are a lot more comfortable with being mind-controlled to any degree than I am.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    This just seems like a DM-dependent issue of 'good guys do good things' and 'bad guys do bad things.'

    If thanos punches hulk into a building, you see shots of people screaming and fleeing impending doom. If hulk punches thanos into a building, you see some rubble and the fight continues.

    As a DM, if you have a good-aligned character, you handwave the moral implications of Charm Person because you know the hero is doing what she has to do. With a evil-aligned character, your bard knows he's being a scumlord by Charming the barmaid even though he has +8 to Persuasion so he has to expect something bad might happen to him.

    While I agree its contextual, I would say it's more contextual based on spellcaster who uses it. If you have a 'Neutral' player using Charm Person, he's probably actually Evil.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    I think your reaction to being charmed via Charm Person is going to depend on your feelings towards the person who cast it, and what they asked you to do or tell them. Like if you were ambivalent towards this person, you might think it weird/embarrassing that you did or said this stuff if it wasn't particularly important. If you were already suspicious of this person, it'd probably be a major thing for you that this happened.

    As to the legalities, I mean, you are imposing a mental condition unwilling upon someone else, to gain an advantage over them. At the minimum if you were caught there'd be some sort of penalty, with the punishment varying depending on what your intent was, or what you had them do.

    Morally, it'd be a gray action at best. There are far worse things that could be done than making someone think you're their best friend temporarily, after all, but at the same time you are forcibly altering the individual's mind, even if it is only temporary.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Treating it as somehow worse than being naturally charming and likable is more than a little unfair,
    No it isn't. It's not unfair at all.

    and basically makes the spell next to useless for anything BUT screwing people over, since its duration is only 1 hour.
    The spell only has two real uses. Avoiding violence and screwing people over. You are screwing someone over when you cast a spell on them to make them more likely to do what you want them to do.

    Treating it as an icebreaker and allowing that circumstances may make somebody say, "I know what you did, but I'll forgive it this time, since you haven't abused my trust," is reasonable.
    You have abused their trust. You cast a spell (that can be used on an enemy in combat) on them without their permission that affects their mind. How is that not an abuse?

    Sure, I slipped a roofie into your drink, but that was just an icebreaker. I only did that so we can be alone and you can see how charming the real me is. That's totally cool, right? If you think about it, it's really your fault because you were resistant to my charms and I'm totally too cool to be resisted. Why should you have a say in what happens when it gets in the way of what I want?

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    I think, by and large, you're going to see a negative reaction when you charm someone. There may be some people who will accept it as a conversational opening, and I could see it as such if they were being actively hostile when you cast it... but I think a lot of people are going to say "No, man, that's just ****ed up."
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Being manipulated is not fun for the victim once they realize it's happened. The spell itself says they realize it's happened. How would you react if someone picked your pocket, took you out for a steak dinner on them and then revealed they had used your money? No matter how good that meal was, it's doubtful your going to let it slide with the person who took advantage of you.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Sorry, it's not mind control.

    Therefore, you're not making them not responsible for their own actions.

    You're specifically not able to get them to do things they wouldn't do for a friendly acquaintance.

    If Bard Don Juan walks up to the bar maids, plays them a lovely song, and rolls Charisma to improve their attitude to "friendly," and spends Inspiration to get Advantage on his check to get them to hide him from the Baron's guards, is he a horrible person who has negated their free will?

    If Bard Ella Enchantra walks up to the bar tender, dances a sultry dance for him, charm persons him as she rents an expensive room from him, and then rolls her check (also with Advantage, because he's Charmed and thinks of her as a "friendly acquaintance") to get him to hide her from the Baron's guards, is she any more horrible than Don?

    The only mechanical differences are that Ella didn't make the Charisma check to change the barkeep's attitude to "Friendly," instead using charm person. Both are able to make their Charisma checks to ask their favor with Advantage, and both are considered "friendly acquaintances." The barkeep might later realize he was Charmed, while Don's barmaid friend never has that realization, but the dice rolls to persuade were equally easy/difficult, and the favors were the same, and both had equal opportunity to refuse based on how persuasive the bard in question was.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Sorry, it's not mind control.
    Sorry, it is mind control. It's not a strong form of mind control, but it's strong enough to be morally reprehensible when used on an unwilling target outside of a combat-type scenario.

    Therefore, you're not making them not responsible for their own actions.
    Yes you are.

    You're specifically not able to get them to do things they wouldn't do for a friendly acquaintance.
    So what? You aren't a friendly acquaintance, and even if you started that way, you still are infecting their mind to make them more likely to do what you want.

    If Bard Don Juan walks up to the bar maids, plays them a lovely song, and rolls Charisma to improve their attitude to "friendly," and spends Inspiration to get Advantage on his check to get them to hide him from the Baron's guards, is he a horrible person who has negated their free will?
    That's game mechanics modelling normal human interaction and does not involve altering their mind against their will.

    If Bard Ella Enchantra walks up to the bar tender, dances a sultry dance for him, charm persons him as she rents an expensive room from him, and then rolls her check (also with Advantage, because he's Charmed and thinks of her as a "friendly acquaintance") to get him to hide her from the Baron's guards, is she any more horrible than Don?
    Absolutely.

    The only mechanical differences are that Ella didn't make the Charisma check to change the barkeep's attitude to "Friendly," instead using charm person. Both are able to make their Charisma checks to ask their favor with Advantage, and both are considered "friendly acquaintances." The barkeep might later realize he was Charmed, while Don's barmaid friend never has that realization, but the dice rolls to persuade were equally easy/difficult, and the favors were the same, and both had equal opportunity to refuse based on how persuasive the bard in question was.
    No, the mechanical difference it that Ella cast a spell on an unwilling victim that altered his perception of her and made him more likely to do what she wanted. Don Juan didn't. Don Juan engaged in normal human interaction with willing participants.

    Again, why are you casting the spell if you aren't trying to get the victim to do something you think they wouldn't be willing to do for you otherwise?

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Definitely mind control. You Charm a guy who was just torturing you and get them to release you.

    "I mean, c'mon buddy, get me off this rack. I know Zardoz the Ultimate Bad@$$ told you to get answers, and I'm definitely going to tell him everything he wants to know. So I'll head down to his room and talk with him. Thanks, amigo!"

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Only thing I'm getting out of this thread at this point is that some DMs rule the power of this spell far more generously than I do. Have fun with any further discussions.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Don used his talents to make himself more likeable.

    Ella altered the bartender against his will with a targeted spell.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbalance View Post
    Don used his talents to make himself more likeable.

    Ella altered the bartender against his will with a targeted spell.
    And yet both rolled the same Charisma check with the same DCs, Advantage, and bonuses. And achieved the same results.

    It's almost as if they're modeling the same thing.

    Note, too, that charm person doesn't carry any official stigma (the way, say, animate dead does). Which suggests that any effort to call it evil mind control is blowing it way out of proportion.

    Leaving morality aside, the barkeep realizes she Charmed him, but whatever risks he took in hiding her are now done, and she's still the nice young lady she was before; is it really worth deciding she's his enemy now?

    In terms of responsibility for one's actions...no, you're still responsible, even if Charmed. If you do something for a guy who Charmed you, you would have been willing to do it for a friendly acquaintance. You can't be made to do something you would be morally opposed to. At best, you can more honestly claim having been deceived. Which is a means of escaping culpability, but not due to mind control. (And deception is the sin, here.)

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    So, when the spell expires, the target knows that you charmed it.

    But what is a reasonable reaction to this from a narration standpoint? What exact information does the target even realize? It isn't like the local miller has any idea what the 'charm person' spell is, beyond a general sense of magicalness. What if you're playing in a region of a setting where magic by and large doesn't exist? Do they just know that you influenced them somehow, or is it more specific?

    Asking not for a campaign I'm running, but for a crappy fanfiction I'm writing. Trying to run a version of Harry Potter and the Natural 20.
    Same as finding out someone drugged your drink, I'd imagine.

    There's some very few circumstances in which the average person would forgive it - "You were beside yourself with pain and tried to hit the healer, so we drugged you so she could heal your broken leg" would be one, among good friends a "you were working yourself to death, we drugged your drink so you'd get some sleep" might also be forgiven, but that's about it. Self-harming behaviour is the only good reason to go against someone's free will.

    If you cannot argue that it was in the person's own best interest to meddle with their free will, they are going to hate you for it.

    In a remote village, I assume it would provoke a "burn the witch!" reaction. People who don't know what the spell does, exactly, are going to be even more worried about what the caster could have done to them while they were under it.

    A person who very strongly disbelieves in magic (your average pseudomedieval fantasy village is not a setting where that's likely to happen) might rationalize it as very skilled verbal/emotional manipulation, and still distrust the person who did it.

    People in general just aren't happy when they realize they did something that they didn't really want to do and that was against their own best interest, even if it was something pretty unimportant like buying something they don't need.

    Only the most benevolent of manipulations can hope to have a "I wouldn't normally do this, but I guess it was good I did" effect. (Say, you use a spell to convince a chronically distrustful person to flee a danger they don't believe you exists. If you can prove the danger existed, afterwards, you will probably be forgiven - same as when you drag someone somewhere safe physically.)

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    And yet both rolled the same Charisma check with the same DCs, Advantage, and bonuses. And achieved the same results.

    It's almost as if they're modeling the same thing.
    But they're not.

    Note, too, that charm person doesn't carry any official stigma (the way, say, animate dead does). Which suggests that any effort to call it evil mind control is blowing it way out of proportion.
    No it doesn't. It can suggest any number of things, including that they haven't considered the implications of their spell.

    Leaving morality aside, the barkeep realizes she Charmed him, but whatever risks he took in hiding her are now done, and she's still the nice young lady she was before; is it really worth deciding she's his enemy now?
    Absolutely. Why wouldn't he? He now knows that she is anything but a nice young lady.

    In terms of responsibility for one's actions...no, you're still responsible, even if Charmed. If you do something for a guy who Charmed you, you would have been willing to do it for a friendly acquaintance. You can't be made to do something you would be morally opposed to. At best, you can more honestly claim having been deceived. Which is a means of escaping culpability, but not due to mind control. (And deception is the sin, here.)
    Who cares if you might have done it in a different situation for a different person? In this situation, with this person, they didn't think you would do it for them. Which is why they cast the spell on you.

    Since you claim the Charm Person spell is no big deal, when you cast it in social situations I assume that you cast it openly and don't try to hide it. If there's nothing wrong with a Charm Person spell, why would anyone care that you cast it on their friend or family? You should be able to walk up to a young lady sitting with her brothers or best friends, openly cast Charm Person on her, then try to whisk her away without anyone objecting. Or openly cast it on a shop keeper in the middle of a crowded store with his guard standing right next to him. Does anyone actually think that's remotely realistic?

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Changing yourself to elicit a positive response is not remotely the same as magically making up someone's mind for them.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Note, too, that charm person doesn't carry any official stigma (the way, say, animate dead does). Which suggests that any effort to call it evil mind control is blowing it way out of proportion.
    Substances that can be used to safely cause unconsciousness have a pretty good reputation in the real world, because there are legitimate good reasons to use them, like surgery, but it does not logically follow that people would not be very angry if those were used on them without medical need.

    Logically, any spell that can be and regularly is used for good causes would not carry an official stigma. Doesn't mean every use of it is deemed okay.

    It is a difference whether you make someone believe you are their friend in order to talk them out of doing something stupid that would harm themselves, or if you do it so that they risk their own safety on your behalf. So, use that spell to break up a tavern brawl, totally okay. Use it to make someone buy you a drink, not so much.

    In a world where magic is common, people would treat it the same as physical actions. Physically restrain a man who is about to punch someone who is larger and stronger than him and would wipe the floor with him - he might later thank you for it, especially if he wasn't just angry but also drunk and thus not himself.

    Physically restrain a woman because she wants to walk out on you and you want another chance to seduce her ... yeah, that's not going to get such positive reactions.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    You know, I am reminded of an amusing distinction between spells, here. Namely that Charm Person says that they become aware of your charm, and that the similar cantrip Friends says that they are aware of your charm and automatically become hostile. Which is especially amusing because Friends is a fair bit less manipulative of the two.

    of course, I don't think this actually means anything that should be paid much attention to. Just an odd thing.

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    But they're not.
    "Nuh-uh!"

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Absolutely. Why wouldn't he? He now knows that she is anything but a nice young lady.
    Does he? Has she done anything (other than the in-dispute-as-to-its-providence casting of charm person) to make her a bad guest? Does he have reason outside of the in-dispute-as-to-its-providence action to judge her harshly for?

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Who cares if you might have done it in a different situation for a different person? In this situation, with this person, they didn't think you would do it for them. Which is why they cast the spell on you.
    "But, officer, I thought that was my girlfriend; that's why I beat up the guy hitting on her!" isn't a defense for beating up the guy hitting on her. You'd still be as culpable in either case.

    If you do something wrong for a friendly acquaintance, you're still doing something wrong. It doesn't matter why you think of them as a friendly acquaintance. You're still responsible for what you did, because he can't force you to do something just by making you think fondly of him.

    "But, honey, I thought she was your best friend when I slept with her; that's why it was okay! I didn't realize we hardly knew her!" isn't going to fly when your girlfriend catches you sleeping with another woman.

    You might be a lot more torn up about allowing the Baron's Secret Police arrest the nice young man who's your friendly acquaintance than you would for that total stranger who acts nice when he needs you to hide him, and that might make you more inclined to help hide him from the Baron's Secret Police, but the fact that you would hide somebody from the Baron's Secret Police because you know them doesn't change that you would hide somebody from the Baron's Secret Police, which is still a crime.

    Replace the Baron's Secret Police with the Noble and Righteous Paladin Guard who only arrest people who hurt others, and you're still more likely to be torn up about your friendly acquaintance Bob being arrested than that total stranger who said his name was Bob, but if you'd hide your friendly acquaintance from the Noble and Righteous Paladin Guard, knowing they're in the right in general, then you'd still hide somebody from the Paladin Guard, and you're still culpable for your complicity in letting the potential criminal go unpunished.


    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Since you claim the Charm Person spell is no big deal, when you cast it in social situations I assume that you cast it openly and don't try to hide it. If there's nothing wrong with a Charm Person spell, why would anyone care that you cast it on their friend or family? You should be able to walk up to a young lady sitting with her brothers or best friends, openly cast Charm Person on her, then try to whisk her away without anyone objecting. Or openly cast it on a shop keeper in the middle of a crowded store with his guard standing right next to him. Does anyone actually think that's remotely realistic?
    Would you honestly walk up to that lovely young lady and behave that way even without charm person and expect no negative reaction?

    I never said it has no repercussions (though I did make a strong case when outlining similarities to alternative means of gaining Advantage and improving attitude). I said that having it default to "obviously now I hate this monster for raping my mind" was the wrong way to go. Of course your buddies are suspicious of the guy who walks up and openly casts charm person on you. They don't know him any better than you do, most likely, and they don't know his intentions. They probably are equally suspicious of the guy who walks up and starts laying on the charm to convince you to do whatever it is he wants you to do, assuming he's not capable of charming them, too.

    In fact, the more analogous situation to how a mundane charmer would handle the bunch of friends together with the person he wanted to target would be to upcast charm person to include the whole group.

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Does he? Has she done anything (other than the in-dispute-as-to-its-providence casting of charm person) to make her a bad guest? Does he have reason outside of the in-dispute-as-to-its-providence action to judge her harshly for?
    She doesn't have to do anything more than that.

    "But, officer, I thought that was my girlfriend; that's why I beat up the guy hitting on her!" isn't a defense for beating up the guy hitting on her. You'd still be as culpable in either case.
    Which has nothing to do with what we're discussing, so super.

    If you do something wrong for a friendly acquaintance, you're still doing something wrong. It doesn't matter why you think of them as a friendly acquaintance. You're still responsible for what you did, because he can't force you to do something just by making you think fondly of him.
    But he can force you to think fondly of him. And make you less able to resist him. That makes a big difference. You wouldn't have done whatever you did if it wasn't for the spell. The spell is a but-for cause. But for the spell, whatever happened wouldn't have happened. That you theoretically might have done something similar in a different situation does not change the fact that in this situation, the spell caused it to happen.

    "But, honey, I thought she was your best friend when I slept with her; that's why it was okay! I didn't realize we hardly knew her!" isn't going to fly when your girlfriend catches you sleeping with another woman.
    No, but in a world where magic is real truthfully telling her that you were under the effects of a mind-altering spell that made you less able to resist couldn't hurt.

    You might be a lot more torn up about allowing the Baron's Secret Police arrest the nice young man who's your friendly acquaintance than you would for that total stranger who acts nice when he needs you to hide him, and that might make you more inclined to help hide him from the Baron's Secret Police, but the fact that you would hide somebody from the Baron's Secret Police because you know them doesn't change that you would hide somebody from the Baron's Secret Police, which is still a crime.
    That you don't think I have the right to decide who I risk legal punishment for is at the root of our disagreement. That's my decision to make, not yours.

    Replace the Baron's Secret Police with the Noble and Righteous Paladin Guard who only arrest people who hurt others, and you're still more likely to be torn up about your friendly acquaintance Bob being arrested than that total stranger who said his name was Bob, but if you'd hide your friendly acquaintance from the Noble and Righteous Paladin Guard, knowing they're in the right in general, then you'd still hide somebody from the Paladin Guard, and you're still culpable for your complicity in letting the potential criminal go unpunished.
    Again, that's my decision to make for me. Not yours.

    Would you honestly walk up to that lovely young lady and behave that way even without charm person and expect no negative reaction?
    Well I wouldn't, but I'm a drinker not a lover. But many would, and there's certainly nothing wrong with flirting with someone.

    I never said it has no repercussions (though I did make a strong case when outlining similarities to alternative means of gaining Advantage and improving attitude). I said that having it default to "obviously now I hate this monster for raping my mind" was the wrong way to go. Of course your buddies are suspicious of the guy who walks up and openly casts charm person on you.
    They aren't suspicious of him. They already know he is a bad person who has assaulted me. They are attacking him for assaulting me and to restrain him from taking further advantage of me.

    They don't know him any better than you do, most likely, and they don't know his intentions. They probably are equally suspicious of the guy who walks up and starts laying on the charm to convince you to do whatever it is he wants you to do, assuming he's not capable of charming them, too.
    Certainly not equally suspicious, because that guy hasn't assaulted me yet.

    In fact, the more analogous situation to how a mundane charmer would handle the bunch of friends together with the person he wanted to target would be to upcast charm person to include the whole group.
    Because he knows what he is doing is wrong and he wouldn't be able to get away with it without increasing the number of victims. It's not about what you can get away with. The fact that you would not cast a spell openly on people in the vast majority of situations is a pretty good sign that it's not a benign spell.

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    And yet both rolled the same Charisma check with the same DCs, Advantage, and bonuses. And achieved the same results.
    But the ends do not justify the means. They both get to Advantage on a Charisma check, but they do so in a very different way.

    Is it the same to get advantage on a Charisma check by being charming as casting a charm spell? Is it the same as being charming as holding a knife to someone's throat? I mean, it's just Advantage on a Charisma check I was after, and it's not like anyone was hurt.

    The difference is FORCE. The difference comes in the MEANS by which you achieve the end. Someone who is charming (and spending inspiration to get advantage) uses Charisma to get someone to like them, they are not forcing them to like them. When someone achieves that advantage via Charm Person, they are forcing them to like them.
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  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    She doesn't have to do anything more than that.
    Well, at this point, we're just at "I say so" level of discussion. There can be no persuasion when your only argument is, "jh12 is right; Segev is wrong."

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Which has nothing to do with what we're discussing, so super.
    You - or somebody - brought up the notion that it abrogated will and thus made the target not responsible for his own actions. I dispute that. This is exactly relevant to that.

    You are not compelled to do anything. You are more likely to do something you would do under certain circumstances, but barring him using your trust in him to convince you that you're not really doing what you are doing, you're still culpable for anything you did do.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    But he can force you to think fondly of him. And make you less able to resist him.
    So can Bard Don Juan by being charming and giving you a tip.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    You wouldn't have done whatever you did if it wasn't for the spell.
    Sure you would have. Maybe not on behalf of this guy, but on behalf of an actual friendly acquaintance. It doesn't matter for whom you did it; you still did it. That was your choice to make.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    The spell is a but-for cause. But for the spell, whatever happened wouldn't have happened.
    It would have if he'd actually been a friendly acquaintance. Again, who you do it for doesn't change that you would do it for someone, or that you did choose to do it. You weren't compelled. You could have told him "no, that's wrong; I won't do it. Not even for you, buddy."

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    That you theoretically might have done something similar in a different situation does not change the fact that in this situation, the spell caused it to happen.
    So, if I cast a spell that cures your daughter of a deadly disease, but will only do so if you steal the material component from the King's garden, which is the only place it grows, are you not responsible for the theft? It wouldn't have happened if not for the spell that required the component, after all.

    If I cast a spell that turns you invisible, and you choose to go into the girls' (or boys', whichever you couldn't otherwise sneak into) locker room to oggle them, are you not responsible for the choice because you wouldn't have done it if you'd thought you'd get caught and my spell made you believe you wouldn't be?

    It doesn't matter that the guy you did the deed for wasn't, in fact, a friendly acquaintance. He can't force you to do something; you still are responsible for your choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    No, but in a world where magic is real truthfully telling her that you were under the effects of a mind-altering spell that made you less able to resist couldn't hurt.
    Is it truthful, though, when the mind-altering spell doesn't actually make you more likely to cheat on her than would your best friend hitting on you? It's still deceit, since it's implying you wouldn't have cheated. Should she not be just as concerned that the only reason you're NOT cheating on her with her best friend is because her best friend hasn't asked you to?

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    That you don't think I have the right to decide who I risk legal punishment for is at the root of our disagreement. That's my decision to make, not yours.
    When it comes to culpability for your actions, it's irrelevant. Sure, it's low to trick somebody into thinking you're somebody worth the risk when you're not (to them), but that doesn't make that somebody non-culpable for the actions he took on your behalf. He still knew the consequences and risks, and he still chose to do it. Nothing you did could force him to do it if he thought it morally or ethically wrong enough that he would not do it for a friendly acquaintance.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Because he knows what he is doing is wrong and he wouldn't be able to get away with it without increasing the number of victims. It's not about what you can get away with. The fact that you would not cast a spell openly on people in the vast majority of situations is a pretty good sign that it's not a benign spell.
    Or, like Bard Don Juan, he knows that he needs to convince the whole group that he's an up-and-up guy who deserves a shot with the pretty lady (or gentleman). Because if he only hits on the one target, the others will see him as opportunistic and predatory.

    Once again, we come back to, "It's bad because I say it's bad, and therefore it's bad, no matter that it's no different in effect than other things I think are fine."

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    But the ends do not justify the means. They both get to Advantage on a Charisma check, but they do so in a very different way.

    Is it the same to get advantage on a Charisma check by being charming as casting a charm spell? Is it the same as being charming as holding a knife to someone's throat? I mean, it's just Advantage on a Charisma check I was after, and it's not like anyone was hurt.

    The difference is FORCE. The difference comes in the MEANS by which you achieve the end. Someone who is charming (and spending inspiration to get advantage) uses Charisma to get someone to like them, they are not forcing them to like them. When someone achieves that advantage via Charm Person, they are forcing them to like them.
    This isn't really about ends justifying the means. It's about what you do with the means.

    Would you say that it's no better for Bard Don Juan's chaotic evil twin to persuade somebody to commit murder for him than it is for Bard Ella Enchantress's chaotic evil twin to use charm person to persuade somebody to do likewise? Or would Ella's evil twin be even more in the wrong, because she used magic and Don's twin didn't?

    My major concern, here, is that the "burn the witch!" reaction severely changes the nature of the spell and means that you can't play a non-evil Enchanter without crippling yourself as much as you would playing an Evoker who took a vow of non-violence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    This isn't really about ends justifying the means. It's about what you do with the means.
    ...which is just saying that the ends justify the means. That the means are unimportant, so long as the ends are the same.

    Would you say that it's no better for Bard Don Juan's chaotic evil twin to persuade somebody to commit murder for him than it is for Bard Ella Enchantress's chaotic evil twin to use charm person to persuade somebody to do likewise? Or would Ella's evil twin be even more in the wrong, because she used magic and Don's twin didn't?
    Yes, she would be more evil, because she used force to bring them to her point of view.

    Don Juan, in convincing someone to commit murder, brings them to the point of agreeing with him, but cannot force them there; he might lay a trail with a silver tongue, and scatter it with gumdrops, but the person still has to, of their own free will, agree to walk that path. Ella forced the person to reach the point of agreeing with her, same as if she held a knife to their throat. It circumvents any inkling the person has that this is not a nice person to listen to, because, aside from a saving throw, there's no option. Mechanically, fail your one save, and that's all you have.

    Charm Person represents force.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    My major concern, here, is that the "burn the witch!" reaction severely changes the nature of the spell and means that you can't play a non-evil Enchanter without crippling yourself as much as you would playing an Evoker who took a vow of non-violence.
    It doesn't change the nature of the spell. It reflects the nature of the spell. Outside of avoiding combat and a few other situations, affecting people's minds and overriding their will is a very bad thing. Ordinary people are not the playthings of magic users.

    All of your attempts to deflect the conversation by discussing the culpability of the victim are irrelevant. We aren't talking about what the consequences should be for someone who is a victim of the Charm Spell. We are talking about what the consequences should be for the person casting the spell. Regardless of whether you want to hold the victim of the spell 100% accountable for their actions, the spell caster had no right to cast a spell on an unwilling target. The spell caster has no right to decide that I should treat him like a friendly acquaintance rather than the stranger he is. The spell caster has no right to decide that I should risk my life by hiding him from the Secret Police even if I would do so for someone I actually knew and liked. You can't avoid this fact by switching the focus on the victim's level of culpability.

    I do find it funny that you are so hard on the victim of the Charm Person spell while being so willing to hand wave away any culpability of the spell caster. Sure I made them do something that got them arrested by the Secret Police, but it's totally cool because they would have maybe done it for someone else some other time. Sure I had to cast a spell on her and all of her friends to get them to talk to me, but that's totally cool because they talk to people they like all the time. It's totally the same thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    ...which is just saying that the ends justify the means. That the means are unimportant, so long as the ends are the same.



    Yes, she would be more evil, because she used force to bring them to her point of view.

    Don Juan, in convincing someone to commit murder, brings them to the point of agreeing with him, but cannot force them there; he might lay a trail with a silver tongue, and scatter it with gumdrops, but the person still has to, of their own free will, agree to walk that path. Ella forced the person to reach the point of agreeing with her, same as if she held a knife to their throat. It circumvents any inkling the person has that this is not a nice person to listen to, because, aside from a saving throw, there's no option. Mechanically, fail your one save, and that's all you have.

    Charm Person represents force.
    Except that the person isn't forced to murder. He's forced - to use your term - to view Ella as a friendly acquaintance with a silver tongue. Don Juan genuinely is a friendly acquaintance with a silver tongue. In neither case can the Bard force somebody to commit murder if they wouldn't do so on behalf of a friendly acquaintance. They can't convince them to commit murder if they are not willing to commit murder. They cannot compel them. Don can't, and neither can Ella.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    It doesn't change the nature of the spell. It reflects the nature of the spell.
    No, it reflects your interpretation of the spell. The "nature" of the spell is to make people view you positively while it lasts. The nature of the spell as written includes nothing about horrible abrogations of the target's will (even less than it did in 3.5, where you could compel some behaviors with opposed charisma checks).

    In fact, the idea that it abrogates will is refuted by the fact that you can't force them to do anything with it. You just have a better chance to convince them to do something, because they view you as a friendly acquaintance. If they would already view you that way, anything you do to gain Advantage (like, say, take them out to lunch, or get a friend to help you convince them with a Help action) will be just as likely to convince them to do it as charm person would.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Outside of avoiding combat and a few other situations, affecting people's minds and overriding their will is a very bad thing. Ordinary people are not the playthings of magic users.
    1) Affecting people's minds is arguably what all social interaction is, and 2) you're not overriding their will; you are, at best/worst, deceiving them about your identity/the nature of your relationship with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    All of your attempts to deflect the conversation by discussing the culpability of the victim are irrelevant.
    It's not deflection; your refusal to engage on it will, however, means I'll assume you can't argue against it, and are conceding the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    We aren't talking about what the consequences should be for someone who is a victim of the Charm Spell. We are talking about what the consequences should be for the person casting the spell.
    Okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Regardless of whether you want to hold the victim of the spell 100% accountable for their actions, the spell caster had no right to cast a spell on an unwilling target.
    This can be said of literally every spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    The spell caster has no right to decide that I should treat him like a friendly acquaintance rather than the stranger he is. The spell caster has no right to decide that I should risk my life by hiding him from the Secret Police even if I would do so for someone I actually knew and liked. You can't avoid this fact by switching the focus on the victim's level of culpability.
    Note again that the only difference here is whether you would do this FOR HIM or not.

    Does Don Juan have a right to decide you'll hide him from the Secret Police? Because he's done so by using Charisma to change your attitude to Friendly.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    I do find it funny that you are so hard on the victim of the Charm Person spell while being so willing to hand wave away any culpability of the spell caster. Sure I made them do something that got them arrested by the Secret Police, but it's totally cool because they would have maybe done it for someone else some other time. Sure I had to cast a spell on her and all of her friends to get them to talk to me, but that's totally cool because they talk to people they like all the time. It's totally the same thing.
    How am I hand-waving the spellcaster's culpability? The guy who hired you to murder Bob is still guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, regardless of how he got you to agree to it.

    But you're right; we're talking about how Ella's hypothetical target for her spell - let's call him James - should react once he knows Ella Charmed him.

    Since we're focused on charm person in a vacuum and we're not discussing whether ends justify the means, let's avoid ends which would naturally cause somebody to resent you and feel used, even if you only tricked them mundanely, and instead focus on something that, if you never realized you'd been Charmed (perhaps because you hadn't been, because Don was just that silver-tongued and convinced you mundanely), you'd not really have any resentment over.

    Let's say Ella is a sorcereress who is really bad at meeting people, and is crushing on James. So she uses charm person to break the ice. She doesn't do anything but ask him out on a date. After the Charm wears off, James knows she used it, and at least part of his reaction is, "Why would she need to? She's pretty and interesting, and (possibly other than the fact that I'm a little uncomfortable with her having charm person'd me) I still view her as a friendly acquaintance I hope to get to know better on that date tonight."

    Now, there are two (primary) ways he can take the "she ensorceled me" thing:

    1) How dare she!? That sours everything; I can't be sure she's really that nice or pretty, maybe I would have hated her. Maybe I should hate her. I do hate her for mind-raping me!
    2) That was...a bit rude/presumptuous, but she didn't do anything but ask for a date, and I can see how that goes. I don't see anything about our interactions that I regret so far. I'll give her a chance.

    There is a sliding scale between them (and possibly a third extreme option of "Meh, no big deal; she's hot, and I like her 'charms' and hope to experience more of them, if you know what I mean," or something along those lines), but those are the major potential take-aways, I think.

    My argument is that, if, after the hour is passed, James would have thought of Ella as a friendly acquaintance (with whom he has a date tonight), he shouldn't feel much more negative about her using charm person than expressed in (2). She didn't really abuse the artificial nature of their ease of talking, and in fact it was quite nice talking to her.

    It seems that the position jh12 and Mark Hall and others are taking is that he should be somewhere closer to (1), not trusting that anything that happened during that hour was real, or that she wasn't manipulating him into something far more nefarious than a date, and maybe he would have hated every moment of being with her without it, so he's mad as heck and hates and/or fears her and never wants to see her again except possibly tied to a stake in the town square. Because she mind-controlled him into accepting a date with her, and he obviously wouldn't have agreed to one despite the pleasantness of the time, which was totally artificial and thus must have been really miserable without the mind-control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    2) That was...a bit rude/presumptuous, but she didn't do anything but ask for a date, and I can see how that goes. I don't see anything about our interactions that I regret so far. I'll give her a chance.
    And how can you be sure it's not more magic making the decision for you?

    That's the problem with mind-affecting magic. After that, you can't trust your own thoughts. You don't know if the spell is really gone, if there isn't another spell, and if you've actually made that decision out of your own free will. Sure, you think the spell is over, but you weren't aware of being influenced by magic the first time either until long after the fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    you can't force them to do anything with it.
    No matter how many times you say this, it won't make it true. You force them to view you as a friendly acquaintance. You force them to be less resistant to your desires. Not only are those things you force them to do, but anything they agree to do for you after that is, in part, a result of your force.

    It's not deflection; your refusal to engage on it will, however, means I'll assume you can't argue against it, and are conceding the point.
    There's no point in arguing against if because it's irrelevant. The level of culpability of the victim after the spell is cast has nothing to do with the culpability of the caster for casting the spell in the first place.

    This can be said of literally every spell.
    Absolutely. It's just that most people recognize that casting Magic Missile on someone to get your way in a social setting is a very bad thing. It's only spells like Charm Person where people pretend otherwise.

    Note again that the only difference here is whether you would do this FOR HIM or not.
    Which is the only thing that matters. I have the right to decide whether I would do FOR HIM or not. By casting Charm Person he is taking away my right to decide.

    Does Don Juan have a right to decide you'll hide him from the Secret Police? Because he's done so by using Charisma to change your attitude to Friendly.
    Don Juan doesn't decide for you. Don Juan doesn't force you to like him.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix
    And how can you be sure it's not more magic making the decision for you?
    And what's she going to do to you if you try to break up with her?

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    The spell literally imposes a decision about the caster that the target did not make of their own accord. How is that not a violation of free will? How is that not mind control? Nevermind any downstream effects, the caster makes a change in the mind of the target. That is the offense, and the original question was in regards to what the target may do or decide differently upon becoming aware of the charm.
    Last edited by Imbalance; 2019-05-07 at 06:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Except that the person isn't forced to murder. He's forced - to use your term - to view Ella as a friendly acquaintance with a silver tongue. Don Juan genuinely is a friendly acquaintance with a silver tongue. In neither case can the Bard force somebody to commit murder if they wouldn't do so on behalf of a friendly acquaintance. They can't convince them to commit murder if they are not willing to commit murder. They cannot compel them. Don can't, and neither can Ella.
    And compelling someone to be your friend is still compelling them. You're the one who made it about murder.

    If Ella wants to make someone murder, she first has to convince the person to listen to her. Ella forces them to do that with a spell. She forces them to regard her words favorably. Don Juan may convince them, but convincing is not the same as force.

    Look at this way. Bob is willing to give his friends $20... that's just the kind of person Bob is. Don Juan befriends Bob and Bob happily gives him $20. Don Juan may be unscrupulous and unwilling to be Bob's friend going forward, but he did convince Bob that he was his friend. Ella casts Charm Person, and Bob happily gives her $20. But Bob didn't have the ability to NOT be a her friend. She compelled his emotions.

    This applies to any particular action... Charm Person can't make you do anything you wouldn't otherwise do for a friend, but it does short-circuit your ability to not consider someone a friend. Would you kiss a friend? You don't get to decide if Ella is a friend. Would you stop your friends from fighting? You don't get to decide whether or not Ella is your friend. Might learning things change whether or not someone is your friend? Not Ella!
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2019-05-07 at 08:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    And how can you be sure it's not more magic making the decision for you?

    That's the problem with mind-affecting magic. After that, you can't trust your own thoughts. You don't know if the spell is really gone, if there isn't another spell, and if you've actually made that decision out of your own free will. Sure, you think the spell is over, but you weren't aware of being influenced by magic the first time either until long after the fact.
    By this logic, you can't ever trust that Don Juan is really your friend, and not just manipulating you. Can you trust you REALLY like him, and he's not just fooling you into thinking it with his slick tongue? Somebody - I forget who, now - actually said they automatically distrust people who dress nicely and present themselves well because he believes they're all out to trick him (or something to that effect). This makes as much sense as assuming you can't trust your feelings now that you know magic WAS involved.

    In the end, what matters is how you feel, not how you "should" feel. Well, and how you'll feel in the future. What is good for you? If Ella is, aside from her crippling social anxiety which makes her feel the need to grease the wheels with magic, a nicer, better person who is a more genuine friend than Don Juan the conniving manipulator who makes you regard him as a friendly acquaintance while ticking every box on the checklist of "emotional abuser," you probably should pursue your friendship with Ella and would be better for regarding Don as the toxic mess he is.

    Now, that's extreme, and not really convincing as a specific example. But the point is that getting hung up on whether it's "real" or not is less important than figuring out what is best for you and others in the long term.

    Of course, now I'm veering towards my philosophical rant about why you shouldn't care if you're "really you" or "a fake." And that's way off topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    No matter how many times you say this, it won't make it true. You force them to view you as a friendly acquaintance. You force them to be less resistant to your desires. Not only are those things you force them to do, but anything they agree to do for you after that is, in part, a result of your force.
    So does Don. But you're fine with it when he does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Which is the only thing that matters. I have the right to decide whether I would do FOR HIM or not. By casting Charm Person he is taking away my right to decide.
    Nope. You still have a right to choose what you do for him. He did trick you into thinking he's somebody you like better than you do, but you still choose what you will do. The tricking isn't very nice, but Don did the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Don Juan doesn't decide for you. Don Juan doesn't force you to like him.
    Sure he did. I couldn't resist his Charisma roll any more than I could make the Wisdom save against Ella's charm person in these examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    And what's she going to do to you if you try to break up with her?
    If she uses charm person again? Probably still have me break up with her. I mean, I'm likely already sad about it; I don't like hurting people's feelings. Who says you can't break up with a friendly acquaintance? Especially if you want something significantly more than "friendly acquaintanceship" out of a romance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    And compelling someone to be your friend is still compelling them. You're the one who made it about murder.
    You're dodging the point, now.

    1) technically, only compels them to be a friendly acquaintance, not a friend.
    2) Claiming this makes it compulsion and then shifting to what you get the person to do while they're Charmed is bait and switch.

    When I say it isn't compulsion, I'm talking about what you get them to do. Whatever that is. If the sum total of what you're getting out of using charm person is a pleasant hour of conversation, and nothing more, fine, you've made it a compulsion to see you as a friendly acquaintance. If you're getting ANYTHING ELSE out of it, it's not a compulsion, because they can still say "no" to you. Being a friendly acquaintance doesn't somehow make you the slave, unable to resist the requests of said acquaintance.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    If Ella wants to make someone murder, she first has to convince the person to listen to her. Ella forces them to do that with a spell. She forces them to regard her words favorably. Don Juan may convince them, but convincing is not the same as force.
    Irrelevant, given that neither can force the murderer to commit murder. Don forces them to listen to him as much as Ella does; both make a die roll happen, and the results of the die roll dictate the behavior of the target wrt "listen to the Bard."

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    Look at this way. Bob is willing to give his friends $20... that's just the kind of person Bob is. Don Juan befriends Bob and Bob happily gives him $20. Don Juan may be unscrupulous and unwilling to be Bob's friend going forward, but he did convince Bob that he was his friend. Ella casts Charm Person, and Bob happily gives her $20. But Bob didn't have the ability to NOT be a her friend. She compelled his emotions.
    Bob had every bit as much power to not be her friend as he did to not be Don's friend. Don rolled Charisma checks, and Bob was compelled by them to be his friend. Ella made him make a save, and Bob was compelled by his failure to be her friend(ly acquaintance).

    Quote Originally Posted by jh12 View Post
    This applies to any particular action... Charm Person can't make you do anything you wouldn't otherwise do for a friend, but it does short-circuit your ability to not consider someone a friend. Would you kiss a friend? You don't get to decide if Ella is a friend. Would you stop your friends from fighting? You don't get to decide whether or not Ella is your friend. Might learning things change whether or not someone is your friend? Not Ella!
    You are aware it is possible to consider somebody a friendly acquaintance and still know better than to trust them, right?

    I have friendly acquaintances whom I can get along with when we're hanging out, but whom I know better than to believe if they tell "interesting" stories and whom I wouldn't loan money to on the basis that I know it's not a loan and I don't want to sour things. If I give them money or anything else, it's knowing I won't see it again, and being comfortable that it's a gift. I also won't give them gifts as readily as some other friendly acquaintances because I know I wouldn't approve of how they use it under a lot of circumstances.

    "Friendly acquaintance" means you will hang out with them, may do them some favors if it doesn't cost you too much, and aren't overtly hostile. It doesn't mean you forget their foibles.

    I love (and like) my little brother, but I wouldn't trust him if he told me he'd be somewhere by a certain time, because I know better. I think he's more than a friendly acquaintance, but he woudln't get me to commit to something on the basis of his timing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post

    Look at this way. Bob is willing to give his friends $20... that's just the kind of person Bob is. Don Juan befriends Bob and Bob happily gives him $20. Don Juan may be unscrupulous and unwilling to be Bob's friend going forward, but he did convince Bob that he was his friend. Ella casts Charm Person, and Bob happily gives her $20. But Bob didn't have the ability to NOT be a her friend. She compelled his emotions.

    This applies to any particular action... Charm Person can't make you do anything you wouldn't otherwise do for a friend, but it does short-circuit your ability to not consider someone a friend. Would you kiss a friend? You don't get to decide if Ella is a friend. Would you stop your friends from fighting? You don't get to decide whether or not Ella is your friend. Might learning things change whether or not someone is your friend? Not Ella!
    I would argue that even this description is not going far enough. Let's break the situation even further. Ella is a stranger. I do not know her. She casts Charm Person, and I fail my saving throw. I now view her as a friendly acquaintance. For the purpose of modelling this, I'll treat her the way I would treat my neighbour from across the street. I've had multiple friendly conversations with him, but I haven't invited him over for dinner or vice versa. Even at this point, the universe of actions I will entertain vis--vis has changed: Stranger on the street asks to borrow 20$, I wouldn't agree. Neighbour across the street asks to borrow 20$, I would probably lend it.

    BUT WAIT! Ella can do more. Sure, under most circumstances, I would not lend a friendly acquaintance $100, but in an emergency? Maybe. So, Ella gets to roll a Persuasion (or more likely, a Deception check) to convince me to lend her $100 to help her out in an emergency.

    To summarize, Segev is incorrectly portraying the situation as "what would you do for a stranger" vs. "what would you do for an acquaintance", whereas it would be more accurate to describe it as "what would you do for a stranger" (with the understanding that there are a lot of things you would never do for a stranger) vs. "what could a friendly acquaintance Persuade you to do".

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