Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mr. Referee I have an 18 Charisma!

Paladins in AD&D and OD&D need to have extraordinary high Charisma and this can be a potent weapon in its own right.

In this post on the theRPGSite Cranewings talks about a situation his players were involved in. Basically the Paladin was born in a conquered land and his religion has been taken over the conquerors own religion. He came across a girl that has information that could benefit the remaining faithful. But had the misfortune of running into an Imperial Bounty Hunter looking for the girl.

The encounter wasn't resolved well by his players, and so he posted his story. The replies had some good suggestions but they all missed probably what is the most devastating weapon that Paladin had, his Charisma.

If I was in that situation I would basically just talk pleasantries with the bounty hunter until the sun went down. With my high Charisma I could make the conversation interesting and be able to utter distract the bounty hunter until she had to leave. The paladin wouldn't have to lie, just artfully shift the conversation if the topic comes up. The bounty hunters leaves with the memory of pleasant conversation and none the wiser.

Now roleplaying games being what they are, situations change all the time. So how effective a Paladin's charisma will be greatly depend on the circumstances. But I think it will be more useful more times than not.


Porky said...

Good to see this written! Too often the mechanics and dynamics of combat are our focus. But characters feel that fictional pain and would likely be less gung-ho than their players, and may have had a lifetime of looking for ways around the hard knocks.

Stefan Poag said...

I will confess to having conflicting feelings about this. While I feel sympathetic to the DM's plight, he also comes off as upset that the players didn't do what he thought they should do. SOmetimes what seems obvious behind the screen isn't so obvious in front of it and as I player I resent feeling like I'm being herded along a path of the DM's choosing... i.e.: I hate situations in which the DM doesn't TELL you what to do, but every time you try to slect something that is 'off the menu' it doesn't work out.
I think your suggestion, Rob, is a good one, but how to do it? Does the player have to convince the DM with his own words to sit and listen? Or do you do a series of rolls based on charisma versus wisdom (or something similar)? Or a combination of the two?

Simon Forster said...

I keep thinking that my next character should be a paladin, just to see if I can somehow create an interesting one that won't clash horribly with the party and still be fun to play. A high Charisma fast-talking paladin who fights with words as much as he does with swords sounds like a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Rob. One of the things I enjoy about you as a GM is the balance between combat and role-playing. We are rewarded for good role-playing and you have developed a simple, yet effective, set of mechanics that supports role-playing and also provides a bonus for high wisdom, high intelligence, and high charisma. I think some examples of how you do this would make for an excellent series of posts, having experienced it firsthand.

Unknown said...

Huh, I'm honored my favorite RPG writer mentioned me in a blog post!