I don't always add charisma to my rolls... OK yes I do.

OK, so the title might be slightly deceptive. This is an optimization question about charisma, but the goal is not to have the highest charisma possible (though builds should definitely crank charisma). Instead the goal is to make an effective character who is as SAD (single attribute dependent) as possible, focusing on charisma.

What I Have So Far:

  • Divine Grace from paladin 2 gets me +Cha to all saves (on top of their normal attribute bonuses)
  • Nature's Whispers from nature oracle 1 gets me +Cha to AC and CMD instead of +Dex
  • Noble Scion feat gets me +Cha to initiative instead of +Dex
  • Way of the Shooting Star for the Divine Fighting Technique feat lets me use Cha instead of Str/Dex for both attack and damage with starknives

But where can I go from there?

Goals (in priority order)

  1. Be reasonably effective from level 7 on, the earlier the better
  2. Get some use out of these starknives
  3. Get any possible additional use out of charisma (ideally finding a way to get Cha to HP instead of Con and/or getting +Cha skill ranks per level instead of +Int). Adding charisma to other rolls is great, but getting charisma-based point pools and other such uses for charisma is good too.


  1. The first 2 levels have to be in paladin to get Divine Grace, unless you can find another way to get +Cha to all saves (note that my table uses the errata-ed version of Divine Protection, so that's out).
  2. The character must take a level of oracle to get Nature's Whispers no later than level 7, unless you can find another way to get +Cha to AC and CMD.
  3. The character must have chaotic good alignment & worship Desna (to get Way of the Shooting Star); the LG requirement for paladin will be handwaved away, but other alignment/deity requirements probably won't be.
  4. The Noble Scion feat must be taken at first level, and the Divine Fighting Technique feat must be acquired by level 7 at the latest.
  5. All Paizo content in the PFSRD or Archives of Nethys is allowed.
  6. Third-party content from the PFSRD is limited; you can pick one publisher and use their content for one class. So if you use a rogue talent by Bob's Untested Homebrew, you can't use third party content from anyone else, and you can't use non-rogue BUH content. Third party feats are only allowed if they require a specific class or class ability.
  7. The character's race must be one of the core or featured races from the PFSRD. It should probably have a charisma bonus, unless you're getting something especially awesome instead. Variant aasimar & tiefling types are OK (no feat needed).
  8. Standard wealth by level is available, but builds don't need to specify magic items/equipment unless the specific items are important for the build.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you need more stipulations as to what does and doesn't makes someone stat-dependant. \$\endgroup\$
    – tuskiomi
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 2:23
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @tuskiomi I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Are you asking me to explicitly list the things that are not based on charisma that I would like find ways to base on charisma? \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 2:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage Does it need to be a numeric bonus per se? What about point pools, such as ki, panache, or a Mysterious Stranger's grit? Can undead archetypes be added, in order to add CHA to HP and Fortitude? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 3:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @MikeQ Point pools are great! The goal is to get as much out of charisma as possible, not just add it to every roll. Undead archetypes are only OK if you can find one that allows the character to remain a CG follower of Desna in good standing with the church. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 12:25

2 Answers 2



Usually SAD builds on a mental attribute work well with pure casters (with Charisma you can get Sorcerer or Oracle), so the DD of your spell can go very high. The downside is that it doesn't work so well with multiclassing (with a 2 levels dip in Paladin you get your spells two levels later). Also note that getting your Charisma to damages is quite useless for a pure caster.

There is no way that I know of to directly get the real effect of Divine Grace without being a Paladin (or Antipaladin). There was a feat (Divine Protection), but it has been nerfed to oblivion. However the Oracle of Nature can get Friend to the Animals as a revelation:

Add all summon nature’s ally spells to your spell list. You must still select these spells using your allotment of spells known. Animals within 30 feet of you receive a bonus on all saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier

So if you manage somehow to be an animal you won't need to be a Paladin. I guess you can find 3rd-party races that are animals, but I don't know any of them.

You can get your Charisma to hp by becoming an undead (like a Lich). I doubt your GM will let you be one at character's creation unless you take an undead third party race.

No way that I know of to replace Intelligence for skill points by level. The best way to do skills with only charisma is the bard's Artistic Versatility, but it doesn't worth the dip if you don't intend to invest more in the class.

Divine Techniques from Divine Anthology (like Way of the Shooting Star) doesn't ask you to be of the same alignment as your deity to be used, just that you worship her, so you don't need to be chaotic good.

Leadership is a very powerful feat, and it becomes even more powerful if you have high Charisma.

Example of a build that works: Paladin(2)/Oracle of nature(5)

Race: Halfling

Traits: Magical Knack(makes the multi-classing more efficient) + one fluff thing of your choice

Feats: lvl1: Noble Scion(war), lvl3: Divine Fighting Technique(Way of the Shooting Star), lvl5: Extra Revelation, lvl7: Leadership

Oracle revelations: Nature’s Whispers, Bonded Mount, Friend to the Animals

Role: Take a heavy armor, a shield and a starknife and ride your boar to battle! You two are practically immune to magic with your saves and have a high AC because of your armor and Nature’s Whispers. You don't deal as much damage as martial characters, so don't hesitate to spend actions to heal fallen ones, but otherwise you should better keep your spells for pre-fight buffing, post-fight healing, or in-fight invocation of natural allies. At the same time your cohort can do cohort stuff that will highly depend on what your GM will let her do. Outside of combat you are the group's face. You smile and look pretty and let others do the stealthy investigations.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You might not be able to become an animal yourself, but an Awakened animal could take levels in Nature Oracle and get the benefit. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 9:08

So long as you don't need to make more than a seven or eight saving throws per day, a single level of the Unchained Monk archetype Invested Regent is an excellent substitute for two levels of Paladin. Most of the rest of the build can be Warpriest, and between Fervor swift-buffing and the DEX+WIS stacking of monk, AC will be pretty decent (especially with Dangerously Curious trait to UMD long-lasting Mage Armor). And your belt slot isn't devoted to dexterity, so strap on a Blinkback Belt. Trash a minor blessing to place Shooting Star into its slot rather than a feat slot. You'll want Crusader's Flurry and Quick Draw by 5th.

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    – V2Blast
    Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 0:45

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