Charisma is the measure of the character’s polish and sensitivity to the sensibilities of others. It indicates the smoothness of manner, the ease with which the character rolls with the punches in social interchanges, so to speak. It is at once both the measure of a character’s raw personal magnetism and strength of personality and also the impact he makes in the world everywhere he goes, how much attention he draws.
A character with a score of “1” can’t open his mouth without saying something foul or insulting enough to start a fight, and couldn’t get a bed in the meanest hovel if he offered to pay in gold for it.
An above average score indicates a certain amount of empathy, an ability to relate, and the ability to conduct interpersonal relations with some ease.
Most players may not see a need to bother with this attribute, but every character should be within a point or two of average (13) so the character can just get along from day to day.
CHM can be of great use in attempts at persuasion, or intimidation, for interrogation, and for seduction, however. It is the character’s stage presence in performing as a Player or speaking as an Orator in public, his first impression in making contacts or friends, in attempts at persuasion, haggling, parley or negotiations. A character with a high CHM knows instinctively how to “make an entrance.” He always draws attention, gathers the limelight. He can’t help it. High CHM can also be used to inspire others in the face of danger when leading by example making a show of his Heart (resolve) in dire circumstances for others to see. In its outward effects on others in character encounters, these social skills or tools and effects are commonly referred to as aspects of the “Presence” skill.
The character with a “25” on the other hand, could charm the skin off a snake, part a merchant from his money, compromise a lord’s honor without raising a ripple of offense, or charm those even marginally inclined into his bed.
An above average BTY score can enhance most applications of the character’s CHM (Presence skills) during play.