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I am currently playing a female swashbuckler and considering using the new Bluff skill seduce to learn secret use that @Hey I Can Chan suggested to me on this question about special effects suited to a rapier.

The problem is that I currently have a low charisma (10) and the feat states "the nonplayer character must find the swashbuckler physically attractive". I know that physical attractiveness and charisma are not directly linked, there are several questions around there on this topic (e.g., Can Charisma be considered a physical score?), and I am quite on the same line—I don't see why I would have to invest a lot into improving charisma which serves a lot of various purposes when I am only looking for physical attractiveness.

On the other hand I am pretty sure that if I had a high charisma value I could easily play as if I had a great seduction power. So here is my question:

How can I improve my character's physical attractiveness beside improving charisma?

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1  
Fluff her as extremely attractive but play her like her social skills are non-existent. Play her without tact and slightly arrogant. Give her a scar or some other "flaw." –  Jason_c_o Mar 4 at 20:40

6 Answers 6

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Simply do what women all over the world (well most of it) do and use makeup!

Mechanical Implementation:
If You're DM want's a mechanical measure, the "Disguise" skill has rules inplace for this. (also of note, this skill can be used "untrained"). The disguise kit can be used to add a +2 modifier (btw, the disguise kit contains makeup as one of it's many components so I would think it'd be usable on its own).

Not looking at the table, since you are not trying to actually disguise yourself as someone else, just make minor detail changes (blush/mascara/lipstick/whatever else) you get a +5 modifier to your roll!

So, by taking our time (aka, take 10)
You get 10+0(Cha)+2(kit)+5(minor details)=17. (If you have the time and your DM lets you take 20 then this would be 27).

Traditionally, disguise is vs the observer's spot check, however, in this case what would he be spotting? Makeup? Hardly anything to worry about unless it's covering up some horrific details.
As a DM (IF I even made you work this hard for it anyway) I'd probably just allow most NPCs, assuming proper sexual orientation, to find the character attractive enough. Although, for nobles/royalty etc, you might need to take the 20.


Note to DMs

Note to DMs thinking of encorporating this answer, remember that the PC still has to use the bluff skill to get what they want so it's probably better to give them the benefit of the doubt & take 10/20 on the disguise checks.

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In this particular case, the phrase "the nonplayer character must find the swashbuckler physically attractive" isn't a measure of how good your character looks. This basically is a nice way of stating that the target has to be of the proper sexual orientation or inclination to be attracted to you.

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3  
And an appropriate species. –  DJClayworth Mar 4 at 20:44
2  
Said it better and shorter than me, +1. –  SevenSidedDie Mar 4 at 20:46
    
Definitely the best answer to my particular case. But I am accepting @Ben-Jamin's one because he actually gave tips that would work on a general base for everyone else having a similar question –  Epeedefeu Mar 5 at 9:12

To be attractive, you just say the PC is attractive. There are no rules for it.

However, that's not even what the seduce to learn secret Bluff use is even talking about. It doesn't matter how "objectively" attractive your PC is—the NPC needs to think she is. And as we all know, taste is very personal. It doesn't matter how attractive your PC is, it doesn't guarantee that every NPC you want to seduce will personally find your PC attractive to them.

In the end, whether an NPC is attracted to your PC is entirely up to your DM. You can improve your PC's appearance, but how NPCs feel about her will still be entirely up to the DM.

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  1. Charisma isn't the same as physical attractiveness. A physically attractive person can have low Charisma for various reasons, and a high Charisma person doesn't have to be physically attractive.
  2. 10 isn't a low Charisma. It's only a fraction below average.
  3. Physical attraction is a subjective thing. Different people might think differently about your character.
  4. It's a well-known fact that for heterosexual males, someone is attractive if they are a) female and b) there. Being humanoid helps.
  5. If rule 4 doesn't apply, acting seductively will definitely tip the balance.
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Your rule number 4 is incredibly... precise. +1! –  Thales Sarczuk Jun 27 at 13:53
    
Although I personally agree with rule 1, my group often house-ruled that the starting charisma gives a rough idea about the looks of a PC. If a PC has the highest possible starting CHA, said PC looks awesome and knows fairly well how to use it, despite limited experience in doing so. This is system agnostic, I don't know the DnD3.5 char creation rules enough to comment on them. The basic "look" usually can't be improved, only the way you make use of what you got can. For an example on how to temporarily improve it see @Ben-Jamin 's answer. However you can care for your look more than before. –  NoAnswer Jul 10 at 9:27

In standard D&D there's no such thing as being pretty or ugly by the rules.

A quite infamous third party Book of... ahem, Erotic Fantasy introduces physical appearance as a seventh ability score.
(On a side note: I'm playing in a game that uses the seventh score idea to prevent the players from being gorgeous "just because I say so" and I'm gonna tell you it's a problematic idea if not backed up with actual mechanical advantages. Ugly people are stronger, eerily beautiful ladies and handsome boys are inexplicably weak.)

I can recall a manual providing some traits to assign to NPCs, including being gorgeous, ugly, two-headed and so on. I don't think it had a mechanical way to get those traits attached to PCs.

Supposing you have no access to either of this methods, the right way to be drop dead gorgeous is to describe your character as such.
This might work with some NPCs in the setting, getting maybe a better starting position in the diplomacy table (or a worse one if the NPC is envious, which is the main drawback). It's not guaranteed to work for everyone, because every NPC has his personal tastes.

Another good way to do that is dressing with a custom-tailored attire and use camouflage to pimp up your looks.

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In AD&D(v1) - Unearthed Arcana an ability of Comliness was introduced as an optional stat. It almost always was just the place to stick your lowest ability score because it really meant nothing. In campaigns where the DM allowed adjustment of scores (1-1 or 2-1) it was almost always lowered to the lowest number allowed. –  Chad Mar 4 at 20:28
    
@Chad Odd, you must have been playing with houserules. Comeliness in UA is actually determined by a separate roll after the other six stats are already written down; you can't dump a bad roll into it. –  SevenSidedDie Mar 4 at 20:48
    
@SevenSidedDie - That could be I started with a group that allowed it and so did most of my friends. When 2ed came out we stopped using it anyway. There is also no rule that I know of that allows for altering stats 1-1 but it was a fairly common house rule as well. –  Chad Mar 4 at 20:53

Resources for Physical Attractiveness:

Book of Erotic Fantasy Brings back the Comeliness rules, as stated previously. As well as many other items and rituals to increase or decrease a person appearance.

Nymphology: Blue Magic Adds spells and equipment that specifically address looks and attraction. For example, there is a spell that augments a female character's breast size. While that sort of thing has nothing to do with personality or force of will (Charisma) it does have something to do with personal appearance (Comeliness).

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