How to make Charisma count

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In previous editions, Charisma was a dump stat for most characters. Unless you had spellcasting or some class feature based on Charisma, there was no benefit from a high Cha score. Even for social skills, Int for skill points was more important.
Every other stat would give you something useful, even Wisdom gives a bonus to Will saves and Spot and Listen checks, both can be live-saving.

So, how to make Charisma count in 4th edition?

* If action points are used, a high Charisma score should give bonus action points.

* If contacts are used, Charisma should be the key attribute.

* A "dashing swordsman" talent tree that depends on Charisma.

I'm sure there's gamers here with more ideas, so please post them.
I'm expecting the Leadership role classes to greatly rely on Charisma.

What if a Cleric's heal an ally on a critical hit were 1d4 * Charisma modifier?

Or if the Bard's Inspire Courage were "Grant allies a morale bonus on attack and damage rolls equal to the Bard's Charisma modifier until the Bard's next turn."

Personally I see nothing wrong with Charisma as is.

Players having it as a dump stat won't change UNLESS the developers make it so that party members OTHER than the one making a social check penalize them.

For instance, a party has a Paladin (the face with 16 Charisma), a Dwarf Rogue (6), an Elf Wizard (8), and a human Druid (8). If the Paladin took a penalty equal to the combined NEGATIVE charisma modifiers, it would seem fair, after all who is really going to trust a pretty face and sweet words when said face has allies (right behind him/her) that don't look trustworthy?

However, making all skills scale with level by default (aka the Saga method) makes Charisma less of a dump stat because every player has a reasonable chance of success regardless.

It is when you have skill points to dictate if you even have a marginal chance that dump stats REALLY start to crop up.
I would like to see CHA be the only ability that determines the DC for spells of all spell casting classes.

I think this would add balance by giving spell casters more dependence on multiple abilities like non-casters but also makes sense to me and has real world analogs.

You can be a very intelligent scientist or wise holy man, but to convince people of your ideas you must be charismatic. Like the mind changing lecture or sermon.

You may be a very intelligent wizard or wise cleric and know all the technical aspects of spellcasting or worship, giving you access to spells. But the power of the spells comes from your inner strength, faith, and confidence, which I think is reflected by CHA.
I like CHA, but do not like the idea of making it into a plus factory. I did add a bunch of leadership feats that depend upon CHA. If you want a good CHA, you get more and more valuable followers in my game.

I personally think WIS is the dump stat. CHA is fun. However, WIS can fill the role of "required for spellcasting" quite naturally, while CHA is a little bit of a stretch (unless you are a cleric asking your god pretty please to grant you a miracle). So, I would go with the leadership-like feats and talent trees for those who want to make use of their good CHA.
I've always used charisma as a dumpstat going as far as replacing it with luck in some campagins. I'd love to see it get a real use.
Wisdom for dumping? I think it's the most important of the mental abilitiy scores.

Of course, it depends on the style of game. In the games I run, it's probaly the single most important ability of all, closely followed by dexterity. Wisdom determines how many hints I'll give the players and when problems can't be solved by just hacking at somethings, this is crucial.
Lands of the Barbarian Kings Campaign Setting - http://barbaripedia.eu
* If action points are used, a high Charisma score should give bonus action points.

This one I find a very good idea, since Charisma is interior Force, then a resource that might sometimes make you do something above your normal skills...

Anyway, it's not true that Cha is not relevant, in my opinion... I think most people find it much lesser important because they play much more a combat-oriented game than a well balanced thing...
For example, make informations more useful and important, and Charisma will become important too... after all, players can't always rely in Rogue or Bard's skills, because it isn't rare not to have one of them in a party...
Yes, Intelligence is good to get skill points, but unless you are a Rogue you won't be getting anyway that much skill points to put them in many skills, so you'll have to rely only on stat bonuses...

Since Charisma is someway a character's Spiritual Force, the strenght of his personality, I too hope that it will find new ways to be used and manifestated...
I would just rename charisma to soul power.

Should be analogy between physical and mental stats, wisdom and con should be resistance, inteligence and dextery the being the quickness (to think and to act) and finally strength and power should be how strong your body and soul are.
How about a Social Defense?
Anyway, it's not true that Cha is not relevant, in my opinion... I think most people find it much lesser important because they play much more a combat-oriented game than a well balanced thing...
For example, make informations more useful and important, and Charisma will become important too... after all, players can't always rely in Rogue or Bard's skills, because it isn't rare not to have one of them in a party...

While this is the theory, the actual game mechanics don't support this. If you want a sociable character, get a good Int score, while a mediocre Charisma is well enough. It boils down to simple game maths:

Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Perform (acting or oratory) (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis) and Speak Language (-) are the skills you can use in a social situation.

So, that's 8 skills, and 6 are Charisma-based. So each +2 Charisma gives +1 to 6 different useful skills. BUT. Each +2 Int gives one skill point per level. So as soon as you hit level 7, Int is more useful for the socially minded character.

The final nail in the coffin of the D&D3 Charisma score is the Circlet of Persuasion, a pretty cheap item (4,500 gp !!) that gives +3 to all Cha-based checks.

What it boils down to is that, if you have no Cha-dependend class abilities, Charisma is completely useless in a hack-and-slash game, and still only mediocre useful in a roleplaying-heavy campaign, i.e. it's the ability to get if you already have Int 18.

This definitely needs to change for 4th edition.

Players having it as a dump stat won't change UNLESS the developers make it so that party members OTHER than the one making a social check penalize them.

For instance, a party has a Paladin (the face with 16 Charisma), a Dwarf Rogue (6), an Elf Wizard (8), and a human Druid (8). If the Paladin took a penalty equal to the combined NEGATIVE charisma modifiers, it would seem fair, after all who is really going to trust a pretty face and sweet words when said face has allies (right behind him/her) that don't look trustworthy?

No, sorry, that's not a solution. Why? Because it forces the party face to send all PCs with a negative Cha out of the room in any social situation. That's awful! It completely bars the player of that character from any participation in the scene. What's the player supposed to do? Take a smoking break while the "non-uglies" talk to the king? Something like that can be desastrous for group harmony.

What I'm looking for is ways for any character to benefit from a high Charisma score.

Take the Wizard as an example: Int is his most important stat, no doubt. But with a high Str, he can carry more books and does hit better with the staff in an emergency, with Dex he can catch enemies unprepared with a spell and dodge enemy arrows and fireballs, with Con he doesn't die so fast, with Wis he won't get affected by that Dominate Person from the enemy Wizard.
With Charisma... well, he gets some plus to skills he could never develop because they are cross class... A Wizard with a high Charisma score isn't even better at enchanting someone with a Charm Person. Hmm...

Fighter (Ranger, Barbarian...) it's the same. Hardly any use for a good Charisma score, while every other stat counts at least in some way. That's the problem.

In 4th edition, there should be some more basic mechanics that are Charisma-dependend, not just social skills.
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