June 14th, 2010

\=D - Conflicting emotions

On charisma

Okay, here's my story:

I made a warforged runepriest (sort of a cleric thing) for Sunday game hoping to jump-start my interest. The concept was that the character is a construct who awakened in a ruined workshop, long abandoned and boarded up. It eventually managed to climb out and crossed paths with another PC in our group, who took pity on the confused being and took it under his wing. I gave the character a charisma of 8 because 1.) I didn't need charisma for the class to work well and 2.) it's a being who is learning social etiquette for the first time ever, that was built with claws and spikes. Not only is it not a smooth talker, most people probably would run the other way before it had a chance to try out a new greeting.

I happily showed the character sheet to another player while we were waiting for the others to show up. He glanced over it, asked about my class abilities, admired my equipment... And then he said, "Hah, you're ugly!" When I gave him a quizzical look he pointed to the 8 charisma and smirked.

So I guess my question is, is physical beauty really what charisma defaults at? I had always interpreted it as a character's force of personality, their ability to say just the right thing to nudge people into their desired reaction. However, most of the players in Sunday game with me say things like, "Oh, he's got a scar, he gets -1 to charisma now," which is never how my old groups ran things.
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