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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    strangebloke's Avatar

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Side note: the @ doesn't do anything to call attention of a poster to a thread.
    I know this forum is populated by dinosaurs who love the outdated format, but I really wish we could switch to xenforo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    A guy who's drunker than he thinks could be persuaded to forget about the whole murder thing because he doesn't really have the judgment to keep all of that consequence-evaluation stuff in his head at once.
    Conversely, a person who is drunker than he thinks might not like you very much. So its better and worse.

    There is one time exactly where the spiked-with-vodka thing is exactly, mechanically comparable. With deception opposed by insight. Alcohol would impose disadvantage on insight, charm person gives advantage on deception. Its nearly exactly comparable.

    But yeah, based off of the discussion here (which has been very great.) I would typically regard a person effected by this spell as having their base attitude improved by several increments, and then have those increments reversed when the spell wears off, but doubled.

    So if we reduce hostile, friendly, etc. to a numerical scale from -3 to +3, it goes something like this:

    George hates Greg (attitude -3). Greg charms him. (attitude +1) they chat for a bit, and Greg improves his attitude by one (+2) George does a thing. Then the spell wears off and his attitude goes down by the amount it went up before, but double. (-8, going down to -3, which is the basement here.)

    Jane is Greg's good friend (attitude +2). Greg charms her. (attitude +2) the spell wears off. Nothing happens.

    Lisa has never met Greg before. (attitude +0) Greg charms her. (attitude +1) He chats her up, improving her attitude. (attitude +2) The spell wears off. Lisa feels betrayed, but this is countered by the pleasant hour they spent. (attitude +0)
    I'm a tad rude. It's a tendency of mine that I'm trying to get better about. Call me out on it if you see it.
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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Another approach:

    Let's imagine a scenario where Ella didn't use Charm Person beforehand, but seeing that she couldn't convince James, decided to use Modify Memory to make him remember a perfectly charming conversation after which he agreed to date Ella.

    In both this case and the one where he is charmed, James has no control over what he feels about the situation, and his perception of the events was altered to match Ella's desires.

    What makes Charm Person better than Modify Memory, when used in that context?

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    I don't think anyone's said anything which would meaningfully separate charm person from spiking somebody's drink. Both leave you with the possibility of saying no, both can be broken if the caster/spiker pushes it too hard, and both affect your perception of a person positively.

    Spiking a drink, especially with the goal of coercion, is illegal in many countries and looked down on with disgust, for good reasons.

    Personally if I was johnny farmer and I was charmed into doing something I didn't want to do I'd try and rustle up a lynch mob immediately.

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    I have trouble envisioning any social situation when charm person is good in the long run, because the target always knows afterward. And while the player might think they just used it to open the door, as it were, the target can never be sure what is them and what you forced on them. Starting a potential romantic relationship by not giving the other party a fair option does not bode well, and they know you forced their hand. You could trade a good deal with a shop keep for his guild marking you on their blacklist. mess with the guards mind to try to convince them to let you go, but then what? They know you messed with them to get it to happen, it's going to make it worse in the long run. Strong relationships tend to be built on trust, a first step of messing with the other party's mind is a poor foundation for a relationship ship what ever the temporary results or reasons. I don't know that most people would resort to torches and pitchforks over it, I think more urban societies would censor, blacklist, and/or fine the offender depending on world magic levels and local laws. It would probably start to make the person a social outcast depending on how much they used it, or start giving them a bad reputation. More rural places or superstitious communities might drive the offenders out, or call their local lord, probably happy if the person left.

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Another approach:

    Let's imagine a scenario where Ella didn't use Charm Person beforehand, but seeing that she couldn't convince James, decided to use Modify Memory to make him remember a perfectly charming conversation after which he agreed to date Ella.

    In both this case and the one where he is charmed, James has no control over what he feels about the situation, and his perception of the events was altered to match Ella's desires.

    What makes Charm Person better than Modify Memory, when used in that context?
    Modify memory doesn't go away, and in the false memories, the person is truly powerless.

    If you break the modification immediately after an hour is up and restrict yourself to a single hours worth of memories... It'd still be worse, and likely not as effective, because you determined their actions for that whole time period.

    Like, "I remember that you seemed really nice when you first walked up, but I know now that's magic,"

    vs.

    "I remember saying hi and walking over and flirting, buying you a drink... But that's not something I'd do. That's not me at all. I'm married, I don't flirt like that."

    This is explicitly a drawback of modify memory, and also one of the reasons modify memory is so horrifying. With all these restrictions, it'd be much less bad than normally, but still worse than charm person.
    I'm a tad rude. It's a tendency of mine that I'm trying to get better about. Call me out on it if you see it.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post

    Like, "I remember that you seemed really nice when you first walked up, but I know now that's magic,"

    vs.

    "I remember saying hi and walking over and flirting, buying you a drink... But that's not something I'd do. That's not me at all. I'm married, I don't flirt like that."
    You're introducing an outside factor that makes the situation different, here.

    I was not talking about making someone remember things they wouldn't do with a friendly acquaintance.

    Again:

    Situation 1: Ella casts Charm Person on James, then tries to ask him out on a date. Despite her normal awkwardness and lack of social skills, he is forced to see her as a friendly acquaintance, and in consequence strikes a friendly conversation with her and agree to go on a date with her.

    Situation 2: Ella tries to ask James out on a date. Due to her awkwardness and lack of social skills, he refuses. Ella then casts Modify Memory on him so he remembers striking a friendly conversation with her and agreeing to go on a date with her.

    Is Situation 2 worse only because those memories were permanently modified while Charm Person is temporary? Would the two be equivalent if Modify Memory only lasted one hour?

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    You're introducing an outside factor that makes the situation different, here.

    I was not talking about making someone remember things they wouldn't do with a friendly acquaintance.

    Again:

    Situation 1: Ella casts Charm Person on James, then tries to ask him out on a date. Despite her normal awkwardness and lack of social skills, he is forced to see her as a friendly acquaintance, and in consequence strikes a friendly conversation with her and agree to go on a date with her.

    Situation 2: Ella tries to ask James out on a date. Due to her awkwardness and lack of social skills, he refuses. Ella then casts Modify Memory on him so he remembers striking a friendly conversation with her and agreeing to go on a date with her.

    Is Situation 2 worse only because those memories were permanently modified while Charm Person is temporary? Would the two be equivalent if Modify Memory only lasted one hour?
    Not too different.

    I mean, either way when it wears off, James is going to be upset. Exactly how upset depends on the rest of what happened.

    I'm mostly just objecting to the "always a lynch mob, accept no substitutes" school of thought.

    To use my metric James starts at +0, gets improved to +1 by a spell, and then reverts to either -1 if if nothing desirable (from his uninhibited perspective) occurred or just a flat +0 if something desirable did occur.

    In other words, if he did want the date, he'll be less upset.

    Either way, Ella probably should not do this and this indicates that she's a woman of loose morality. James would probably be within his rights to report her to the officials of the law.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2019-05-09 at 12:55 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #158
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Not too different.

    I mean, either way when it wears off, James is going to be upset. Exactly how upset depends on the rest of what happened.

    I'm mostly just objecting to the "always a lynch mob, accept no substitutes" school of thought.
    I think it's fair to say that though the level of response will vary, but it will almost always be negative.

    In places like Waterdeep, with a functional government and police force, raising a lynch mob would be unlikely. But, a merchant who you ripped off, for example, has a lot of ways to mess up your life. I would imagine if a respected member in good standing of a guild testified to the appropriate guild governing organization that a PC used Charm Person on her, the party would very quickly find themselves barred from inns, taverns and shops in the city in question.

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    I kind of picture it like meeting your ex that you can't resist when they want something.

    Away from them you get mad that they took advantage of you, again, but the next time they come around needing something and flash that smile you cave against your own better judgment, and when they leave you kick yourself, again.

    Sure you know they took advantage of you, they charmed you into doing something you really probably shouldn't have, and you are mad about it, but you may not know they cast a magic spell on you.

  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hail Tempus View Post
    I think it's fair to say that though the level of response will vary, but it will almost always be negative.

    In places like Waterdeep, with a functional government and police force, raising a lynch mob would be unlikely. But, a merchant who you ripped off, for example, has a lot of ways to mess up your life. I would imagine if a respected member in good standing of a guild testified to the appropriate guild governing organization that a PC used Charm Person on her, the party would very quickly find themselves barred from inns, taverns and shops in the city in question.
    Oh yeah, its certainly going to be illegal. The trick is getting the enforcer of the law to care. At the city/regional level, there's not likely going to be a unified response. At the local level, you could very well be small mob form.

    But, like, the local lynch mob is a possible result to anything.

    Charm person? That's a lynching.

    Was seen doing rituals behind the tavern that seemed pretty spooky? That's a lynching.

    Is a tiefling? That's a lynching.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2019-05-09 at 01:00 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    The trouble here is that you're exaggerating what*charm person*does.
    The trouble is I'm not, but you keep responding with several paragraphs that have nothing to do with the essence of my point. You start with a semblance of acknowledgment, then steer into territory that is beyond the root of the casting.

    Yes, if you've been magically made to...
    You have. Period. You weren't coerced, influenced, seduced or anything else that would at least leave you with your own conscientious choice to make about your view of the caster. You were magically made to view them as a friendly acquaintance - patently mind-hacked with an implanted thought from a spell. And THEN other effects may happen. The spell fabricates the initial thought. It does. Skipping past this caused condition with the same "nuh-uh" that you object to from others doesn't negate the fact.

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    It has potential for that. Sure. I mean, you can totally cast it on someone and kill all of their friends.

    But that isn't generally how its used, because it isn't a very good spell for that. I mean, it only stops people from attacking you, so its combat applications (even as a first level spell) are pretty weak. And if combat is occurring, the reaction of the person in question isn't really in any doubt. They're probably just as willing to fight you when the spell ceases as when they started. Heck, they'll fight you as combat is going on, just not with attack rolls.
    Its actually really good for that. Your situation is not what I described.

    If I wanted a target to follow me to a place where my party is waiting to kill them charm person is the perfect spell, espesially if the target is aware that I am a threat to them. It is a great assassination tool. The biggest problem with picking a target off is getting them somewhere away from the watchful eyes of the authorities. I'd even go as far as saying that this is the best use of the spell.

    Another great use is interrogation. Charm them, get the info, kill them.

    Or robbing someone. If they regard you as a friendly aquantance for the duration of the spell, then they can't turn hostile when you take their possessions.

    Charm Person is an awful spell for social encounters, and its not widely used. Its best as a nefarious spell. The kicker, that the target is aware after the spell passes, doesn't matter when they are dead.
    Last edited by sophontteks; 2019-05-09 at 04:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Jane is Greg's good friend (attitude +2). Greg charms her. (attitude +2) the spell wears off. Nothing happens.
    Jane is remarkably tolerant to being assaulted. What other spells can Greg cast on her without her permission? Is it just spells, or does she let Greg hit her when she gets out of line too?

  14. - Top - End - #164
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Charm Person is essentially the magical equivalent to slipping a girl roofies so you can have sex with her.

    I imagine there's plenty of bards who use charm person in just such a way. "Hey, she's hot, make a wisdom save!"

    And, since roofies in the real world are a felony...

  15. - Top - End - #165
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelalex242 View Post
    Charm Person is essentially the magical equivalent to slipping a girl roofies so you can have sex with her.

    I imagine there's plenty of bards who use charm person in just such a way. "Hey, she's hot, make a wisdom save!"

    And, since roofies in the real world are a felony...
    Again, it absolutely is not that.

    Roofies render the victim helpless to resist.

    Charm person quite specifically does not. The spell fails as soon as the caster attacks. In addition - and this is why I've harped so heavily on the point about not absolving you of choices made while charmed - it doesn't actually compell you to do anything the person asks you to. It only makes you more likely to if the fact that this person is a highly-persuasive friendly acquaintance is useful to getting you to do it, and they were either not highly persuasive or were not a friendly acquaintance without the spell.

    So, if the girl sleeps with the bard who cast charm person on her, she would have slept with a friendly acquaintance with a silver tongue. She is not powerless to say "no." In fact, aside from using the spell to get her to give him the time of day, he'd have a roughly 15% lower chance to convince her to sleep with him without it.

    She's not even "more drunk" than usual, let alone roofied. If she wouldn't sleep with a friendly acquaintance - which, I remind you, one can become over the course of a simple conversation if one hits it off well enough - then she wouldn't sleep with the bard, no matter that he used charm person on her.

    To reiterate: the spell can't compell somebody in a way that makes them effectively helpless (at least, not in the terms we're discussing here, e.g. seduction/"slipping her a roofie"; the Dastardly example from earlier is a different case).

  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Again, it absolutely is not that.

    Roofies render the victim helpless to resist.

    Charm person quite specifically does not. The spell fails as soon as the caster attacks. In addition - and this is why I've harped so heavily on the point about not absolving you of choices made while charmed - it doesn't actually compell you to do anything the person asks you to. It only makes you more likely to if the fact that this person is a highly-persuasive friendly acquaintance is useful to getting you to do it, and they were either not highly persuasive or were not a friendly acquaintance without the spell.

    So, if the girl sleeps with the bard who cast charm person on her, she would have slept with a friendly acquaintance with a silver tongue. She is not powerless to say "no." In fact, aside from using the spell to get her to give him the time of day, he'd have a roughly 15% lower chance to convince her to sleep with him without it.

    She's not even "more drunk" than usual, let alone roofied. If she wouldn't sleep with a friendly acquaintance - which, I remind you, one can become over the course of a simple conversation if one hits it off well enough - then she wouldn't sleep with the bard, no matter that he used charm person on her.

    To reiterate: the spell can't compell somebody in a way that makes them effectively helpless (at least, not in the terms we're discussing here, e.g. seduction/"slipping her a roofie"; the Dastardly example from earlier is a different case).
    In both cases the goal is to get the victim alone, not make them helpless to resist.

  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    So, if the girl sleeps with the bard who cast charm person on her, she would have slept with a friendly acquaintance with a silver tongue. She is not powerless to say "no." In fact, aside from using the spell to get her to give him the time of day, he'd have a roughly 15% lower chance to convince her to sleep with him without it.
    But she wouldn't have slept with the THIS bard, on THIS night, without the intervention of the spell. If THIS bard didn't think she would say no to him on THIS night, why is he casting the spell? She is not willingly having sex with THIS bard on THIS night because he has overridden her will and clouded her mind. If a barbarian came in, held her down, and raped her, it would be absolutely no defense to say that she regularly has sex with with total strangers.

    She's not even "more drunk" than usual, let alone roofied. If she wouldn't sleep with a friendly acquaintance - which, I remind you, one can become over the course of a simple conversation if one hits it off well enough - then she wouldn't sleep with the bard, no matter that he used charm person on her.
    I think most people would have to be really drunk before they can't distinguish between friendly acquaintances and total strangers, or even enemies.

    And yes, one can become a friendly acquaintance over the course of a single conversation. But unlike with a Charm Person spell, one is not forced to become a friendly acquaintance. Virtually all of your arguments are predicated on ignoring this difference.

    You also ignore that the Charm Person spell does make her more likely to sleep with the spell caster than she would with an ordinary friendly acquaintance.

    Two simple questions.
    1. What gives the caster the right to cast any spell on an unwilling target?
    2. What gives the caster the right to determine that the target should view the caster as a friendly acquaintance for an hour?

  18. - Top - End - #168

    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Doesn't the PHB had a description in a sidebar about Enchantment spells?
    This sidebar from the Spellcasting section?

    Quote Originally Posted by PHB
    THE SCHOOLS OF MAGIC

    Academies of magic group spells into eight categories called schools of magic. Scholars, particularly wizards, apply these categories to all spells, believing that all magic functions in essentially the same way, whether it derives from rigorous study or is bestowed by a deity.

    The schools of magic help describe spells; they have no rules of their own, although some rules refer to the schools.

    Abjuration spells are protective in nature, though some of them have aggressive uses. They create magical barriers, negate harmful effects, harm trespassers, or banish creatures to other planes of existence.

    Conjuration spells involve the transportation of objects and creatures from one location to another. Some spells summon creatures or objects to the caster's side, whereas others allow the caster to teleport to another location. Some conjurations create objects or effects out of nothing.

    Divination spells reveal information, whether in the form of secrets long forgotten, glimpses of the future, the locations of hidden things, the truth behind illusions, or visions of distant people or places.

    Enchantment spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior. Such spells can make enemies see the caster as a friend, force creatures to take a course of action, or even control another creature like a puppet.

    Evocation spells manipulate magical energy to produce a desired effect. Some call up blasts of fire or lightning. Others channel positive energy to heal wounds.

    Illusion spells deceive the senses or minds of others. They cause people to see things that are not there, to miss things that are there, to hear phantom noises, or to remember things that never happened. Some illusions create phantom images that any creature can see, but the most insidious illusions plant an image directly in the mind of a creature.

    Necromancy spells manipulate the energies of life and death. Such spells can grant an extra reserve of life force, drain the life energy from another creature, create the undead, or even bring the dead back to life.

    Creating the undead through the use of necromancy spells such as animate dead is not a good act, and only evil casters use such spells frequently.

    Transmutation spells change the properties of a creature, object, or environment. They might turn an enemy into a harmless creature, bolster the strength of an ally, make an object move at the caster's command, or enhance a creature's innate healing abilities to rapidly recover from injury.

  19. - Top - End - #169
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    I think the smarmaggedon spell is the perfect example of how charm person is more evil. If Dastardly casts smarmageddon on Jane the paladin, what he's going to learn is that the way to make her like him is to stop killing her partner. There's some bizarre confusion about how powerful talking to a person can be. If you are in the process of murdering someone's best friend, there is literally nothing you can say to them that will make them friendly to you while you do that. Even if you could literally read their mind to find the most effective words to use, the only thing you will learn is that you need to stop killing their friend if you want them to like you.

  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Let's explore a new spell. This spell, called smarmageddon, buffs the caster, giving him a subtle bit of cleaning up and helping his clothing hang to best presentation for whatever style it represents, making his voice clear and generally pleasant, and enhancing his ability to read other people so that he has an almost preternatural sense of what they want, how they're perceiving him, and what they care about. People who fail a Charisma save are open books to him, and he knows just what to do or say to put them at ease (making them tend to regard him as a friendly acquaintance or better after a bit of conversation, if you go by the DMG rules about improving attitude based on their bonds/flaws/etc.), and has a pretty good idea how to present anything he wants to in the most influential light (giving him Advantage on Charisma checks). Further, anybody he can read so well makes utterly predictable attacks, enabling him to automatically dodge all their attacks, make all his saves, and ignore any status effects they inflict that he doesn't like, and reduce all damage they do to zero. i.e., they can't attack him, at least not meaningfully.

    Note that smarmageddon hasn't done anything that being very skilled at Wisdom(Insight) couldn't do, in theory. I've exaggerated a bit, but only in the sense that I've taken the notion of reading somebody to an extreme.

    Do you find this spell to be acceptable, even if Ella casts it with the intent to ask James out on a date?
    I haven't read everything in the whole thread, but still felt like throwing in my 2 cents on just this in particular.

    smarmageddon would make you appear better to my fair judgement.

    Charm person attacks my mind to cut my ability to make a fair judgement.

    Even if they end up being mechanically similar, even if they let someone accomplish similar things, the method of doing so is still enough for one to be acceptable (if not scummy, but kind of in a "dating profile picture that's out of date" kind of way) and the other still evil.

  21. - Top - End - #171
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    So, if the girl sleeps with the bard who cast charm person on her, she would have slept with a friendly acquaintance with a silver tongue. She is not powerless to say "no." In fact, aside from using the spell to get her to give him the time of day, he'd have a roughly 15% lower chance to convince her to sleep with him without it.
    You have used this argument several times in this thread to mitigate the culpability of a person who casts Charm Person on a stranger; but does it really mitigate culpability?

    Cain wants to sleep with Ella, but he is awkward around women. His friend Abel, however, is charismatic.

    Abel spends the evening chatting up Ella, and Eventually, they slip away to a darkened room. Before slipping into the room, Cain (with Abelís knowledge) switches places with Abel. Cain and Abel have similar builds.

    Ella was willing to sleep with Abel, who she knew. She was not willing to sleep with Cain, who was a stranger to her. In real life, this is called rape by deception, and it is a crime.

    Charm person allows a stranger to be treated as a friendly acquaintance. In what way is this meaningfully different from the scenario described?

  22. - Top - End - #172
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Sane View Post
    Raise Dead is mind control - if Alice was dead, Raising her would change her mind (from non-functional to functional, but a change nonetheless).

    Wall of Force is mind control - if Alice wanted to get to her bedroom, a Wall of Force would change her mind (from wanting to go into her bedroom to finding whoever prankster pulled this off).

    A door lock is mind control - if Alice wanted to leave her home, a locked front door would change her mind (from wanting to leave her home to figuring out why she's being dragged into hypotheticals).

    If all mind control is evil and the only appropriate reaction is to get the torches and pitchforks, what does that make of the local Cleric? The travelling Sorcerer? The locksmith's Guild?
    I'd be real careful with this line of argument, Justin. As we can see from the puzzlingly vehement reactions to Segev, people have this weird dualist tulpa that they're projecting onto D&D. It's why using magic to buff your Persuasion check from an average of 15 to an average of 25 is viewed as okay but using charm person is not.

    It has nothing to do with neurological interaction, it's solely because people have (or rather, assume) an idea of self that's separate from biology.

    Interesting enough, you can see this disjunction in agency with the Guidance spell. If your Divine Soul sorcerer reveals after they signed the treaty that they used Disguise Self to make themselves look prettier than they really do, fewer people would react negatively than if they used Subtle Spell to cast Guidance during key points in negotiation.

    The debate is interesting, in a 'we have so many unexamined assumptions about human agency that we project onto D&D' sort of way.

  23. - Top - End - #173
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by sophontteks View Post
    In both cases the goal is to get the victim alone, not make them helpless to resist.
    For sure, that's a powerful usage of the spell. But to be clear, you probably aren't casting this spell, which has verbal and somatic components unless you've already got them alone. And once again its context dependent. If the person is afraid of you, and then they're charmed, they'll have a proportionally worse reaction when the charm expires.

    To go back to my example, a person who is afraid of you would go from -1 to +1 when charmed, and then to -3 when the charm expired. With a -3 they'd be fully hostile to you and would try to get back at you in whatever way they realistically can.
    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    You have used this argument several times in this thread to mitigate the culpability of a person who casts Charm Person on a stranger; but does it really mitigate culpability?

    Cain wants to sleep with Ella, but he is awkward around women. His friend Abel, however, is charismatic.

    Abel spends the evening chatting up Ella, and Eventually, they slip away to a darkened room. Before slipping into the room, Cain (with Abelís knowledge) switches places with Abel. Cain and Abel have similar builds.

    Ella was willing to sleep with Abel, who she knew. She was not willing to sleep with Cain, who was a stranger to her. In real life, this is called rape by deception, and it is a crime.

    Charm person allows a stranger to be treated as a friendly acquaintance. In what way is this meaningfully different from the scenario described?
    First of all, I think we're all in agreement that Charm Person is likely criminal in nearly every city where there are laws about such things.

    Secondly, I'd say that this a good argument and I'd mostly agree with it. It's not completely analogous. In point of fact, there's no actual deception going on. They still know who you are and whatever they might otherwise know about you. Still, its close enough. However, I think Segev is merely trying to answer the idea some people seem to have that casting charm person is a mind control effect where you're completely removing the other's ability to refuse you.

    Instead, its an impairment of judgement. It elevates your base level of friendship and makes you on average about 15% more persuasive, but it isn't anything crazy.

    Roughly speaking I would say its analogous to buying someone a screwdriver, but making it like three times as alcoholic as they expect in an effort to drink them under the table. Its certainly very skeevy and a lot of people would be pissed and depending on the circumstance you might have the law banging down your door...

    And once again, I'm not saying that casting charm person in such a way is anything other than morally reprehensible. Most usages of most enchantment effects are pretty bad, honestly. I'm just talking about how people might react in different circumstances.
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    In point of fact, there's no actual deception going on.
    Why would you need to be deceptive when you are already using a mind control spell?

    They still know who you are and whatever they might otherwise know about you.
    This makes it worse, not better, because they are unable to act on their knowledge in the way they normally would.

    Still, its close enough. However, I think Segev is merely trying to answer the idea some people seem to have that casting charm person is a mind control effect where you're completely removing the other's ability to refuse you.
    But I don't think anyone has actually argued that, because it doesn't matter. Now people have pointed out the indisputable facts that it makes you treat them like a friendly acquaintance, makes you more susceptible to their desires, and makes you refrain from attacking them no matter what horrible thing they do (as long as it isn't to you), which Segev keeps pretending isn't mind control, but that's different.

    Instead, its an impairment of judgement. It elevates your base level of friendship and makes you on average about 15% more persuasive, but it isn't anything crazy.
    How is that not crazy? Both of those are huge effects and they stack. And that still doesn't cover all of the things that the spell does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathtongue
    I'd be real careful with this line of argument, Justin. As we can see from the puzzlingly vehement reactions to Segev, people have this weird dualist tulpa that they're projecting onto D&D. It's why using magic to buff your Persuasion check from an average of 15 to an average of 25 is viewed as okay but using charm person is not.
    Or why drinking coffee to give yourself energy is okay, but slipping a sedative in your opponent's drink is not. Silly people.

    Plus, his examples are terrible. Raise Dead requires a willing soul.

    It has nothing to do with neurological interaction, it's solely because people have (or rather, assume) an idea of self that's separate from biology.
    You have this backwards. The people arguing that Charm Person is no big deal are the ones that need to have a self that's separate from biology. Without a self that's different from biology, there's no difference between an attack on the mind, like Charm Person, and an attack on the rest of the body, like Magic Missile. Nobody pretends that a magic user could run around town casting Magic Missile to get what he wants, but somehow nobody is supposed to care if they use Charm Person instead.

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    So, if the girl sleeps with the bard who cast charm person on her, she would have slept with a friendly acquaintance with a silver tongue. She is not powerless to say "no." In fact, aside from using the spell to get her to give him the time of day, he'd have a roughly 15% lower chance to convince her to sleep with him without it.
    Except, the spell caster wasn't one of the woman's friendly acquaintances. But for her being subjected to the Charm Person spell, she wouldn't have considered sleeping with this stranger.

    This position you're taking is really creepy when it comes to the question of consent. Following this argument to its natural conclusion, there's nothing wrong with a Doppelganger impersonating someone's spouse in order to have sex with them, since that's something they were willing to do anyway.

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strangebloke
    First of all, I think we're all in agreement that Charm Person is likely criminal in nearly every city where there are laws about such things.
    I think consensual charm person would probably be legal in at least some places (and in others it'd be looked on as one of those crimes not generally worth prosecuting by itself). The few times I would consider myself to have been under the impact of the real world equivalent of the charmed condition were pretty fun, so it could have some good recreational applications.

    If you and a close friend have had some fights lately and both want to enjoy your one day together this week, a mutual casting of charm person might make things start out smoother, for instance.
    Last edited by Potato_Priest; 2019-05-10 at 01:30 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post

    Charm person is similar. It is stepping over the bounds of social acceptability, but played right, and with harmless or good intent and a lack of abuse of the minimal trust it engenders (and it IS minimal, as we've seen throughout this thread when discussing how far you'd go for a "friendly acquaintance"), there's little reason why the reaction can't be, "Huh, wow, so that's what being charmed feels like. She was quite breathtaking, and I'm not sure...but maybe I'll give her another shot."

    Romance here being used because it's the easiest way to illustrate crossing the social contract line and still pulling it off.

    It's worth noting that hitting on the wrong person that way likely does create a scene. Somebody saving vs charm person likely does, as well.
    You are a man and you think like a man. You obviously never have had to worry about a woman (or man) wanting to rape you.

    I'd say, romance is the field where it is least likely to "pull off" manipulation. As a woman, I run for the hills when I notice a man is trying to use any fancy psychology manipulation on me. Trying to trick me into drinking alcohol? Even worse.
    A spell? I'd probably want to gather a lynchmob or call local law enforcement, depending on what's available. Definitely not consider giving him another shot. Someone who doesn't respect my free will is far too dangerous to associate with, and a man who is sexually interested in me and disregards my free will? Probably a rapist.

    And I think a DnD PC would react quite a lot more like a woman in the real world than like a man, considering that, while sexual violence may not be a concern, being robbed, murdered,or tied to an altar to be sacrificed to a demon happens a lot more often to PCs than it does to the average person in the real world. It is very unlikely, at least from the experience of a player character, that someone who uses charm person on them does not have a nefarious plan.


    @Unoriginal: Badly chosen example. Why would Ella cast "Charm Person" on James if she likes him?

    As a very socially awkward woman with zero social skills, I can report that I have had a 100% success rate with asking men I was interested in on dates. Without any spellcasting. Being socially awkward, I wouldn't ever ask out someone I don't know, and people I do know well enough to trust them to want to date ... well, they are already friendly acquaintances.

    I dislike this "but what about the socially awkward!" arguing that is often thrown around when it comes to disregarding other people's free will. Social awkwardness does not justify the use of coercion. In fact, people who would use coercion to get others to spend time with them aren't socially awkward, they are creepy.

    Why would Ella even want to date James if he hadn't shown her enough kindness to make it seem likely he'd agree without the use of a spell?


    I can only repeat what I wrote before: In a world where people know exactly what this spell does, they might tolerate it if it is used to prevent greater harm, but only then.

    And I certainly cannot imagine it would be tolerated in a romantic situation. Not by women, anyways.

    @Hail Tempus: I absolutely agree.

    And anyone who would willingly impersonate a friendly acquaintance (in a situation where there isn't any lack of time) must have something seriously wrong with him - any normal person's course of action would be to just try and become a friendly acquaintance. It is not that difficult - unless of course you just murdered the other person's family or something like that.

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    You have used this argument several times in this thread to mitigate the culpability of a person who casts Charm Person on a stranger; but does it really mitigate culpability?

    Cain wants to sleep with Ella, but he is awkward around women. His friend Abel, however, is charismatic.

    Abel spends the evening chatting up Ella, and Eventually, they slip away to a darkened room. Before slipping into the room, Cain (with Abelís knowledge) switches places with Abel. Cain and Abel have similar builds.

    Ella was willing to sleep with Abel, who she knew. She was not willing to sleep with Cain, who was a stranger to her. In real life, this is called rape by deception, and it is a crime.

    Charm person allows a stranger to be treated as a friendly acquaintance. In what way is this meaningfully different from the scenario described?
    Ah, but let's say Cain just tells her that he's a millionaire, and that the mansion he's taking her to is his. In reality, the mansion is his brother, Abel's. Cain's just allowed to stay there for hookups, because Abel is a wingman like that.

    Here, he's lied to Ella to get her to sleep with him, but I don't think that qualifies as rape by deception anymore. Unless you can point to literally any lie told during the course of pre-coital interactions to qualify as "rape."


    To make it even less skeevy (ignoring whether one night stands can be anything but skeevy), let's say Cain is bald. He knows that Ella has rejected every bald suitor; he watched her flirt a bit with two guys with hair and utterly, coldly reject three bald guys, just while he was working up the courage to approach her. Dejected, he laments his fate of being bald to his twin brother, Abel. Who is also bald, but has worn a very convincing toupe for years. Abel, being a bro, gives Cain his backup toupe (kept clean and fresh in case anything happens to the one he's wearing).

    Cain walks up and flirts with Ella, who finds him very charming now that he's confident his brother's "magic" (not really, just how he thinks of it) toupe will help him break the ice. One thing leads to another, and before too long, they're turning off the lights in the bedroom and stripping down. By the time the toupe comes off, Ella is too distracted and the lights too dim to notice.

    Has Cain raped her? She certainly never would have given him the time of day, let alone slept with him, if he'd let her know he was bald.


    Cain is a half-orc who has lived amongst humans his whole life, and has taken great pains to disguise his non-human heritage. He's actually pretty charming even for a full-fledged human, even if he's not the most charismatic human in the world. (Trained in various Cha-skills, has a Cha of 14 or even 16.) With his Disguise check that he makes every morning, and very careful grooming, and having had his tusks pulled in a fit of self-loathing as a young pubsecent, he manages to pass as a particularly rugged and buff human male.

    Ella has a passionate hatred for orcs and all their get. However, she does have a thing for big, strong men. She's just convinced that orcs and their get are universally repugnant rapists who would use and abuse her if she let herself be alone with them. She meets Cain, who is charming and suave, or at least reasonably so, and he's her type. He never tells her he's half-orcish, and even agrees with her slurs against orcs if she brings any up (because he also finds orcs repulsive and hatable, and tries desperately not to live down to that side of his blood). They have sex together, and the next morning, she finds out from his vicious rival that Cain is a half-orc.

    She never, ever would have slept with him except for his lie of omission. Did he rape her?


    Ella has an absolute passion for a particular rare flower, loving everything about it from the smell to the color. Cain learns this, and arranges a suit in that color and cologne in that scent, and puts one of those flowers in his lapel. When he sits down next to her at the bar, this immediately gets her attention, and he's able to strike up a conversation with her on the subject. He doesn't lie, or feign more interest than he has, but he takes full advantage of her temptation to lean in and sniff him to get her to agree to dance, and to spend time with him, and to make her more likely to want to listen to him when he plies her seductively.

    When Cain no longer smells of the cologne after the shower the next morning, and she finds him to be a little less enchanting, and she realizes it was his use of her favorite flower in myriad subtle ways that made him so interesting in the first place, should she hate him? Especially if, over the course of remembering the evening, she can think of more things that she enjoyed in his company, that had little to do with the flower?


    In each of these cases, he's engaged in some form of deception. The middle two were arguably no more deceptive than a member of a biker gang who typically showers once a year whether he needs it or not deciding to shave, shower, and dress in a tux for a date taking a debutant to an opera. I doubt most people would find any but the "pretending to be rich" angle to be particularly skeevy, assuming they don't find looking for a hookup skeevy in the first place. Heck, the last one, I'm not sure is deceptive. But it's certainly very akin to charm person, in that it influences Ella and only Ella to be more prone to give her attention and interest to Cain.

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    That sure is a lot of words to not answer the question. You seem to have a problem with answering simple questions.

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    Default Re: Proper Reaction to Charm Person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    You are a man and you think like a man. You obviously never have had to worry about a woman (or man) wanting to rape you.
    You're quite right; I've never been in that position. I will also assert that charm person wouldn't enable anybody to rape me. I wouldn't have sex with a "friendly acquaintance." I wouldn't have sex with my best friend if we weren't husband and wife. (I do hope, one day, to find a woman to be best friends with, fall passionately in love with, and marry, but I sadly doubt that will ever happen at this point.)

    And anything I can think of that a friendly acquaintance could get me to do for them, I wouldn't regret doing for a stranger. I might be annoyed, but it simply wouldn't be bad enough that I'd be so much as ranting about it, let alone call the cops or organize a lynch mob.

    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    I'd say, romance is the field where it is least likely to "pull off" manipulation. As a woman, I run for the hills when I notice a man is trying to use any fancy psychology manipulation on me.
    What if their idea of "fancy psychology" is finding out what you're interested in and brushing up on the subject as an ice-breaker? They're not going to lie about their interest level, just try to be able to have a reasonable conversation on the subject with you as a segue to getting to know you better.

    I mean, I get it, there are guys who think they're "pick-up artists" who have all these weird ideas about how to mainpulate women, and I'm not even going to discuss their techniques or the (lack of) ethics involved in them. For one thing, I don't know enough about it to have a coherent conversation. I just question whether this is really a parallel to something that only makes you regard the caster as "a friendly acquaintance."

    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    Trying to trick me into drinking alcohol? Even worse.
    Also not equivalent, as I've repeatedly pointed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    A spell? I'd probably want to gather a lynchmob or call local law enforcement, depending on what's available. Definitely not consider giving him another shot. Someone who doesn't respect my free will is far too dangerous to associate with, and a man who is sexually interested in me and disregards my free will? Probably a rapist.
    You're once again presuming the conclusion, here. You're not demonstrating that he can get you to do anything that is against your will. You're asserting that it must be, because you don't have a "choice" whether to like him or not. I assert that you have as little choice with Don Juan as you do with Elam (Ella's twin brother who also uses charm person). Save that, at the end of the hour, you can at least put your finger on what you found so Charming about Elam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    And I think a DnD PC would react quite a lot more like a woman in the real world than like a man, considering that, while sexual violence may not be a concern, being robbed, murdered,or tied to an altar to be sacrificed to a demon happens a lot more often to PCs than it does to the average person in the real world. It is very unlikely, at least from the experience of a player character, that someone who uses charm person on them does not have a nefarious plan.
    React this way to the prospect of it being cast in the future? Sure. Though again, at worst, it makes you unable to attack the guy; it doesn't compell you to even trust that he won't turn on you.

    Thor repeatedly treats Loki as a friendly acquaintance, particularly notably in Ragnarok. But note how he doesn't give his friendly acquiantance of an adopted brother a chance to backstab him.


    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    As a very socially awkward woman with zero social skills, I can report that I have had a 100% success rate with asking men I was interested in on dates. Without any spellcasting. Being socially awkward, I wouldn't ever ask out someone I don't know, and people I do know well enough to trust them to want to date ... well, they are already friendly acquaintances.
    Anecdotal. I know women for whom that is not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    I dislike this "but what about the socially awkward!" arguing that is often thrown around when it comes to disregarding other people's free will. Social awkwardness does not justify the use of coercion. In fact, people who would use coercion to get others to spend time with them aren't socially awkward, they are creepy.
    "Disregarding free will" and "coersion" are both under contention. I dispute that either are happening (With the exception of the inability for the subject to attack the caster.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    Why would Ella even want to date James if he hadn't shown her enough kindness to make it seem likely he'd agree without the use of a spell?
    Maybe she thinks he's cute, doesn't know anybody around here, is afraid that she might be raped if she's misjudged his character, and doesn't know how to break the ice with somebody she doesn't know. It's noteworthy that, in the case of "Ella is afraid of being raped but doesn't want to let that stop her from ever TRYING," charm person's protections against being attacked are actually a potential motivation for using it all by itself.

    Ella never has to fear a blind date turning violent because they can't attack her. If they're gentlemen who would never do so, it never comes up and the effect is never revealed. Well, save for knowing she used the spell when it wears off.


    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    And I certainly cannot imagine it would be tolerated in a romantic situation. Not by women, anyways.
    I don't think any man who believes it to be what you believe it to be would tolerate it, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Themrys View Post
    And anyone who would willingly impersonate a friendly acquaintance (in a situation where there isn't any lack of time) must have something seriously wrong with him - any normal person's course of action would be to just try and become a friendly acquaintance. It is not that difficult - unless of course you just murdered the other person's family or something like that.
    It's not impersonation. They aren't claiming to be anybody but who they are.

    That said, if you can honestly say it's not that hard? You're not as socially awkward as you think you are.

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