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    Canonfire :: View topic - Comeliness as an Optional Rule for D&D3.5 / Pathfinder
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    Comeliness as an Optional Rule for D&D3.5 / Pathfinder
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 06, 2011
    Posts: 201
    From: South Africa, Cape Town

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    Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:49 am  
    Comeliness as an Optional Rule for D&D3.5 / Pathfinder

    I was wondering if anyone converted Comeliness from AD&D Unearthed Arcana to Pathfinder or D&D 3.5?

    How many groups are still using Comeliness in there games today? Be it the original rule or one that has been adapted. I know AD&D Second Edition had the supplement books that broke up the core stats even further, Charisma sub stats were Leadership and Appearance.

    I have always like the "7th" stat Comeliness, as it felt like it completed the character. I have thought of using one of the following options to generate Comeliness for my game.

    Please keep in mind that Comeliness only effects the initial encounter, unless the person becomes infatuated with the Character (WIL save to overcome). Will explain more of the mechanics later)

    a.) Roll 4d6, drop the lowest and add the remaining 3 die, then add Racial & Charisma Modifier (Round Fractions Down) to get your Comeliness Score.

    b.) Add your 6 STATS together divide by 6, then add Racial & Charisma Modifier (Round Fractions Down) to get your Comeliness Score.

    I have discussed Comeliness with a couple of my players and one player feels that is a waste of time because it has not been used in later additions and he should be able to describe what his character looks like and not rely on a stat for it.

    I am favouring Option [B] to determine Comeliness. Why because Comeliness is then calculated based on your characters other stats which is all part of the final visage.

    An observation from my work experience, I have worked in pubs (in the past) for many years and have found that the old phrase "Never Judge a Book by it's Cover," to be very true. This was typical in the pub scenario, as people tend to be attracted to looks first and then personality. Often you would see in the course of the evening that the plain Jane girl that was being ignored in the beginning suddenly would be come popular because of her personality. But because she was plain she was not considered initially.

    I believe that a person of "good" looks can always sway the initial meeting with his looks for a favoured result. If having a high Charisma then would buffet even further. Even though his intent my be malevolent intentions.

    If I could ask when responding to the topic to keep it objective with a reason why you feel that Comeliness is plausible or not.

    Yours Graciously
    DarkHerald
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 01, 2011
    Posts: 97


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    Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:01 am  

    I always hated that Charisma was looped together to be both good looks, and force of personality. While we never really use Comeliness per say in my games sometimes Crystaltears uses it though rarely does it come up.

    I am sure she will come in here and explain how she figures it out, its somewhat similar to option b that you have there save that it is based around Str, Dex, and Con with your Cha mixed in.

    I think there is a use for it in D&D, though not much generally speaking. Sometimes Comeliness will make monsters go for the one which the highest score, and even sometimes pull their punches so that they can keep the person with the highest Comeliness score alive after they kill the rest of the PC's (not that has ever happened though Smile)

    Sometimes NPCs that are vain or shallow will treat a person with low comeliness poorly even if he has a high charisma.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 79
    From: Texas

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    Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:19 am  

    Comeliness!

    I like this topic because I think it deserves to be discussed. How attractive a person is or isn't is something that can have great impact on role playing. D&D is a setting where you meet dashing rogues and bards and womanizers (among many other things, obviously). It matters to NPCs in those categories and many others how a PC looks, or at least I think it should.

    Now, appearance should make sense in many cases. It's not a hard fast rule for Iressi and I as sometimes I enjoy mixing things up and playing someone who's very skinny with the appetite of a horse or someone who has an age old injury and extra weight because of it, but who still has the most dexterous fingers of any rogue you ever met.

    Generally speaking I have an idea in mind of how my character should look. Unless that idea dictates that they 'break the mold' I use this calculation for comeliness:

    (((Str + Dex + Con)/3)+Cha)/2.

    Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution represent a character's physique, so it makes sense to me that the base 'comeliness' score would come from there. Charisma, however, represents force of personality. Confidence will play a lot into how a person carries themselves, the kind of clothing they wear, the kind of attitude they display.

    To that end, I gave Charisma heavier weight than Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution.

    I don't see Intelligence or Wisdom as really impacting a person's comeliness, per say, though I obviously accept that some people will find the shy, awkward, book-worm wizard much more attractive than the strong, confident fighter.

    All told. Role playing is to be enjoyed, and I do believe players benefit from having a say in how attractive they are. Hopefully they do not constantly play the most stunning person you've ever seen, etc (I have seen this before). I find the equation I use gives a good baseline for me, though I do break the mold with my PCs on occasion.

    In example, I've played a female with very high physical stats from being the front line fighter and all the horrible scars to go along with it. Most people saw her as unattractive even though she fell at around a 14 on the comeliness score with my equation (and of course, 10 is average as with any other stat).

    Anyways, it's something that should be considered and taken into account. It does, despite some of our best efforts, tend to color our interactions with others and have an impact on starting disposition toward an individual.

    Cheers to you for putting some thought into it. I hope you find a system that works for you and your game. Smile
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    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2494
    From: LG Dyvers

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    Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:34 am  

    I'll start by saying that, for the most part, I agree with Crystaltears and add a few things by way of explaination.

    When Unearthed Arcana first came out, my group rolled up Comeliness scores and had a great bit of fun with them. Soon, however, we discovered that we never really used the score for anything other than role-playing, which meant that it was really irrelevant as a stat. No one liked the idea of their character being forced into a magic-like infatuation with an NPC when it wasn't a direct result of a spell cast upon them which they would have a chance to save against or dispell, etc.

    The end result was that Comeliness as a stat was useless since each player was happier deciding on their own how good-looking their character was. If someone wanted to play a character with a background including bullying by other kids because of their ugliness, a high Comeliness roll kind of ruined that plan, for example. Now, I simply allow players to choose their character's looks and role-play them accordingly. Their Charisma stat is what matters with respect to interactions with NPCs and monsters.

    If you want to use a stat-based computation to determine Comeliness, I suggest you leave off the mental stats (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) and only use the physical stats (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution). The mental stats wouldn't affect a person's initial visual impression except in very minor ways that should be role-played anyway. For example, an incredibly unintellegent or unwise person may neglect personal hygiene and so impair their comeliness or an extremely mean (low Charisma) person may adorn themselves with viscious tatoos that are off-putting, but I really don't think that's what the Comeliness stat is supposed to represent. Charisma itself includes such considerations adequately for my purposes.

    SirXaris
    Paladin

    Joined: Sep 07, 2011
    Posts: 831
    From: Houston Texas

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    Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:40 am  
    Re: Comeliness as an Optional Rule for D&D3.5 / Pathfind

    DarkHerald wrote:
    I was wondering if anyone converted Comeliness from AD&D Unearthed Arcana to Pathfinder or D&D 3.5?

    How many groups are still using Comeliness in there games today? Be it the original rule or one that has been adapted. I know AD&D Second Edition had the supplement books that broke up the core stats even further, Charisma sub stats were Leadership and Appearance.

    I have always like the "7th" stat Comeliness, as it felt like it completed the character. I have thought of using one of the following options to generate Comeliness for my game.


    Like others have mentioned, I also incorporated the "split" when Unearthed Archana introduced it.
    We as a group always felt there should be separation from "charismatic traits" vs the "physical". I think no one would dispute that Hitler was charismatic, but hardly "easy on the eyes" hehe.
    That said, its seems though that most renditions of the rule set and player character sheets do not support it (I only recall one).
    I prefer not to "allow players to decide, simply because (also as noted elswhere) it encourages them to "roleplay thru" what they have so to speak The paladin with physical unattractive traits would have to roleplay thru the initial physical assessment. Just as a bard may certainly take advantage of her "wiles" in a similar way if those around found her alluring. I do concur that it should be some culmination of the other phsyical traits, instead of a totally randomized roll.
    The question I would revisit, is how the "reactions" would split out via the statistical score? Do you limit the upper limit to 18? or allow some sort of progression beyond that limit? Does the stat change with the age of the character? (may be another thread dealing with Aging and PC stats here lol)
    Lastly, its funny and timely you "brought attention" (pun intended hehe) to this Dark Harald, as I was in process of revising the most current PC sheets to include this trait.
    For what its worth, there are my "dark words" to mull. Evil Grin
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 1234
    From: New Jersey

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    Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:53 pm  

    Comeliness,

    Is a stat we used once or twice. To be honest with you its more a role playing aspect to me. For NPC's its nice to judge approximately how attractive the character might be. For Player characters I don't need a comeliness stat. Most characters give me a description of their character and a history and I go from there. IMO force of ones personality can easily out weigh the odds in looks. Yeah the hot looking chick is cool and all but after a while if thats all shes bringing to the table you'll get tired of it quickly.

    That's my take on it.

    Argon
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2494
    From: LG Dyvers

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    Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:09 pm  

    I'll mention that one part of the Comeliness aspect that I really liked was that if a PC betrayed an NPC, that NPC would then react toward that PC as if that PC's Comeliness stat was a negative number. Thus, the more attractive that PC was, the more enamored an NPC might be of the PC, but when betrayed, the NPC would be more angry based upon how enamored s/he had previously been toward that PC.

    In real life, I think this applies more to Charisma, though. Imagine your anger at a complete stranger who steals your wallet. Now, imagine the same incident, but it is your best friend who has stolen it from you. You would not only be angry about the theft, but you would feel betrayed. Your anger likely would be increased. Imagine that someone you trust very much betrays you. Would that not make you hate them much more than betrayal by a complete stranger?

    Why is it that traitors, like Benedict Arnold, are held in such disgust by those they betray while simple spies from other nations are simply disliked in a general sense? It's because traitors are friends who betray those who trust them. The hate directed their way is directly proportional to the love and trust previously bestowed upon them.

    This can be role-played better than having a stat to base it on, but it seemed an inspirational bit of truth when I read it in the Unearthed Arcana back in High School. Smile

    SirXaris
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1239
    From: Clarksville, TN

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    Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:06 am  

    DarkHerald wrote:
    [i]I was wondering if anyone converted Comeliness from AD&D Unearthed Arcana to Pathfinder or D&D 3.5?


    Yup.

    Iressi wrote:
    I always hated that Charisma was looped together to be both good looks, and force of personality. While we never really use Comeliness per say in my games sometimes Crystaltears uses it though rarely does it come up...


    -My campaign is heavy on day-to-day living, so CHA & COM come up. I also use a lot of stuff like skills in proficincies and crafts, etc.

    I use the COM the same way as CHA, but only for reactions of those who might be sexually attracted to them.

    crystaltears wrote:
    Generally speaking I have an idea in mind of how my character should look. Unless that idea dictates that they 'break the mold' I use this calculation for comeliness:
    (((Str + Dex + Con)/3)+Cha)/2.


    -I use COM mostly for just the face, since CHA largely covers the voice, and STR, DEX, & CON largely cover the body, but COM might modify how the voice or physique is perceived. Think of one guy being "fat", but another guy, with the exact same STR, DEX, CON, height, and weight looks "sturdy." For me, it's easier to explain for women: It's not just how much fat there is, it's how it's distributed... Wink

    crystaltears wrote:
    D&D is a setting where you meet dashing rogues and bards and womanizers (among many other things, obviously). It matters to NPCs in those categories and many others how a PC looks, or at least I think it should...


    -Well, that too.

    Argon wrote:
    ...To be honest with you its more a role playing aspect to me. For NPC's its nice to judge approximately how attractive the character might be. For Player characters I don't need a comeliness stat...


    -PCs do what PCs do, but it's handy for how NPCs see the PCs, and how NPCs see each other.

    SirXaris wrote:
    I'll mention that one part of the Comeliness aspect that I really liked was that if a PC betrayed an NPC, that NPC would then react toward that PC as if that PC's Comeliness stat was a negative number. Thus, the more attractive that PC was, the more enamored an NPC might be of the PC, but when betrayed, the NPC would be more angry based upon how enamored s/he had previously been toward that PC...


    -I don't use that aspect of the original rule, but it is intersting to think about.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 21, 2010
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    Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:12 pm  

    I agree that it makes a world of sense to separate Comeliness and Charisma. However, I have decided against it in order to promote Charisma - the dumpstat of dumpstats. So Charisma represent physical beauty and attractiveness also.

    However, I use different types of Charismas even though they are not defined in the game. "Brute Charisma" is something that an ugly general could have. "Respected Elder" is something that old people have (after all, they have age-bonuses to Cha) and basically all young people have "Beautiful Charisma".

    So what happens if your face turns permanently ugly and you have high CHA? Well, there's an easy choise: The Initial Attitude. I love it, because it's all DM fiat! For instance, one of my PCs grew beholder-esque eyes. Now sometimes people greet him with an "Unfriendly" attitude because his hideous eyestalks. However due to his great fame, mixed racial communities and openness of people, I usually just ignored such penalty...
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