Charisma (not Carpenter)

In D&D, Charisma is often what's called a “dump stat”: something that routinely gets assigned the lowest attribute score, when players are making up their characters. There are various reasons for this, but ultimately it boils down to the fact that D&D is still about going into dungeons, killing monsters, and taking their treasure [attr. Ryan Dancey, ca. 1999]. This is a generalisation, and it won't be true for all campaigns, but it's probably true for many of them.

The Charisma stat has two main uses in D&D:

  1. It affects interpersonal relations via skills like Diplomacy and Bluff.
  2. It governs spellcasting for sorcerers and bards (and a few others). Related to this is how it affects saving throw DCs for monster spell-like abilities.

Charisma does play a few other roles, besides these two. For instance, clerics need good Cha for turning undead, paladins add their Cha bonus to their saves, and undead use their Cha bonus instead of their Con bonus for Concentration skill checks. The uses listed above are most likely the main ones, though.

The first use isn't often a priority when much of the action in the game revolves around killing the other guy. The second use is irrelevant for characters other than sorcerers and bards. Taken together, this leads to the ubiquitous fighter (or ranger, or barbarian) with 8 Cha. Not only is Cha thus a superfluous stat, but it's counter to genre convention, where heroes — even the non-spellcasting ones — tend to have forceful personalities.

Here, then, are some feats to give Cha some relevance to the aforesaid mission of killing monsters and taking their treasure. They take the 3E slant of treating it as a semi-mystical “force of personality” stat, as opposed to measuring physical appearance, sociability or other psychological traits.

Those feats with [fighter] after the feat name can be taken as bonus feats by fighters. At the DM's option, all of these feats can also be taken as bonus feats by knights.

Feat

Prerequisites

Combat Presence

Intimidate skill

Base attack bonus +6

Cha 13+

Fortune's Favour

3rd level

Cha 13+

Indomitable

Cha 13+

Base attack bonus +2

Unyielding Soul

4th level

Iron Will

Cha 13+

Base attack bonus +2

Indomitable

Con 13+

Fateful Strike

Str 13+

Power Attack

Indomitable

Cha 15+

Base attack bonus +8

Soul of Battle

Base attack bonus +9

Indomitable

Cha 15+

Spirit of Fury

Base attack bonus +12

Iron Will

Str 13+

Power Attack

Indomitable

Cha 15+

Fateful Strike

Con 13+

Soul of Battle

Taunting Wit

Cha 15+

Bluff skill

Combat Presence [general, fighter, martial arts]

Your skill at arms strikes fear into the hearts of your foes.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6, Cha 13+, Intimidate skill.

Benefit: As a standard action, you can make an Intimidate check against all foes within 30 feet. Your Intimidate check is opposed by each target's modified level check (1d20 + character level/HD + Wisdom bonus [if any] + modifiers to saves against fear). If you beat a target's check result, that foe is shaken for 1d6 rounds. A shaken character takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. You can intimidate only opponents that can see you, and you can only use this feat once per encounter.

Normal: As a standard action, you can make an Intimidate check against one target, opposed by their modified level check (see above). If you win, the target becomes shaken for 1 round. You can intimidate only an opponent that you threaten in melee combat and that can see you.


Fateful Strike [general, fighter]

You can channel the essence of your spirit into your attacks, at a cost.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +8, Indomitable, Power Attack, Str 13+, Cha 15+.

Benefit: Before making a melee attack, you can choose to take 1d6 points of damage (which is not subject to DR). You gain a +2 bonus to your attack roll. If you hit, you then inflict an extra +2d6 points of damage on your foe. You may use this feat once per round, and a number of times per day equal to your level. You may not use this feat if you are flat-footed or under the influence of a fear effect.

This feat doesn’t stack with the benefit granted by a vicious weapon (see Sword and Fist).


Fortune’s Favour [general]

You can force the hand of fate to move in your favour.

Prerequisites: 3rd level, Cha 13+.

Benefit: Once per day, you can reroll one roll you have just made. You must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll.

Special: This feat stacks with the granted ability from the clerical Luck domain. If you have both the feat and the domain, you can make two rerolls per day. However, you can only reroll any particular roll once.


Indomitable [general, fighter]

Your strength of spirit enables you to better withstand the slings and arrows of your foes.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +2, Cha 13+.

Benefit: You gain a +1 luck bonus to AC. This benefit is lost if you are flat-footed, stunned, unconscious, or under the influence of a fear effect.


Soul of Battle [general, fighter]

Your fighting spirit manifests itself in the heat of battle.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +9, Indomitable, Cha 15+.

Benefit: You gain a +1 luck bonus to weapon attack and damage rolls. This benefit is lost if you are flat-footed or under the influence of a fear effect.


Spirit of Fury [general]

Your fury in battle is unmatched by all but the most intrepid heroes.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +12, Indomitable, Iron Will, Power Attack, Fateful Strike, Soul of Battle, Str 13+, Cha 15+.

Benefit: When you make a Fateful Strike, you inflict +4d6 points of bonus damage instead of +2d6.


Taunting Wit [general]

You can drive your foes to distraction.

Prerequisites: Bluff skill, Cha 15+.

Benefit: When you successfully feint against an opponent in combat, they must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your level + your Charisma modifier) or suffer a –2 competence penalty to AC and saves for 1d6 rounds. This is in addition to the normal result of feinting, and is a language-dependent effect.

Taunting a specific individual on a regular basis is hard, since they eventually catch on. The second time you attempt to taunt someone, they gain a +5 circumstance bonus to their Will save. On the third attempt the circumstance bonus rises to +10, and so on.

Normal: Successfully feinting in combat causes your opponent to lose their Dex bonus to AC against your next attack, if it occurs on or before your next turn.


Unyielding Soul [general]

You can turn assaults on your mind into assaults on the body.

Prerequisites: 4th level, Base attack bonus +2, Indomitable, Iron Will, Con 13+, Cha 13+.

Benefit: When you would be affected by a mind-influencing spell or effect, you can choose to take physical damage instead, equal to 1d8 hit points per spell level of the effect. This damage is automatic and not subject to DR or SR. You may use this feat a number of times per day equal to your level divided by 4. You may not use this feat if you are flat-footed or under the influence of a fear effect.

You may choose to use this feat after all your other defenses have been exhausted (SR, saving throws, possible rerolls, etc).


More Feats

Other lists of feats on this site:


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