I am planning to create a monster which should charm the players, but this creature doesn't talk (I am planning to create a gold golem, which should incentivize greed and lust). I wonder if high charisma has to do only with smooth talking creatures, or maybe it has a more general meaning (the ability of the creature to fascinate, not only with words).

To clarify, I am asking if I can create a monster which can't speak, but nonetheless has a high Charisma score.

In my specific case, I need a high Charisma in order to set decent DCs for saving throws (8 + proficiency bonus + Charisma modifier) that my players must succeed or become charmed by the creature.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What exactly is your question? Are you asking whether a creature's Charisma score is dependent on/corresponds to its ability to talk? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jul 6 at 0:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you also explain what you mean by "charm the players"? Charm as in the spell? As in personality? And why would a gold statue "incentivize" lust? \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Jul 6 at 0:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast yes exactly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Leonardo
    Jul 6 at 8:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott I would use here charm as a condition. Clearly it's a kind of curse. Players have to succeed a saving throw on wisdom or becoming charmed for a while, due to the curse of the gold golem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Leonardo
    Jul 6 at 8:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ What is "ammaliate" intended to mean? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 6 at 17:02

2 Answers 2


Charm without speaking is easily possible

For example, the Beholder, one of the game's most iconic monsters, has a charm ray with this effect:

Charm Ray. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the beholder for 1 hour, or until the beholder harms the creature

It does not need to talk when using it, it is just shooting rays. Likewise, a Vampire can charm just by using its gaze.

In general, it is entirely your decision what a specific magical feature does when you design a monster. Such a feature works by itself. Even though both Beholder and Vampire do have high charisma, if some effect would alter that, the feature would be unaffected. You as DM would need to make a ruling that without Charisma the charm gaze of the Vampire would not work any more, if you thought this is more believable. The feature itself has no text that would indicate so.

Charisma is described on p. 178 PHB:

Charisma measures your ability to interact effectively with others. It includes such factors as confidence and eloquence, and it can represent a charming or commanding personality.

While it can include eloquence, it is not limited to speech. Nonverbal cues make up a large part of communication, and Charisma includes things as personality and confidence. Its mechanical effects are mainly captured in the modifier it provides to skill checks, saves or specific class features. There is no general rule that you would be able to charm anyone with a certain score in the charisma attribute.

P.S. Your idea, by the way, has a famous precedent: in the original Castle Greyhawk D&D campaign, Gary Gygax introduced the mysterious Jeweled Man, a creature made entirely from gold and encrusted in jewels that somehow was impssible to surprise or catch. It turns out, a magical charm was not needed: his players' greed drove them to pursue it. (In that sense, he managed to create a creature that indeed charmed the players, not merely the player characters).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't access the Jeweled Man link. Is it country-restricted? \$\endgroup\$
    – justhalf
    Jul 6 at 12:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @justhalf I don't know. The link goes to a blog post discussing the Jeweled Man. I'm based in Germany and can access it. The post is referencing an original On a Soapbox article by Gary in Dragon 290 about the creature. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 6 at 15:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ It may also be worth pointing out how the charmed condition works. It doesn't necessarily mean the creature is obeying the charmer's commands. On its own, all it does is prevent the charmed creature from targeting the charmer with attacks or harmful abilities/magical effects – and the charmer also has advantage on ability checks made to interact socially with the charmed creature (which typically involve talking, but this isn't necessarily always relevant). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jul 6 at 15:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...Any effect beyond that would need to be specified in the ability/action that imposes the charmed condition. (For instance, some such abilities do grant the charmer much more control over the target's actions.) And even if the ability is worded such that it grants greater control over a charmed target, it's possible to have the charmer communicate those commands via telepathy or means other than language. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jul 6 at 15:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KarlKnechtel: It was broken for me earlier today (also Canada), but working now. The earlier failure was DNS lookup, so very unlikely to be region-specific. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 7 at 1:20

I believe that charisma should be divided into two types: verbal and nonverbal. For instance, the appearance and demeanor of a dog influences how likely a child is to petting that dog, even though the child and the dog do not speak the same language. Conversely, more specific persuasions and charms would have to be communicated through some kind of language or other thought-form.

So, your creature should be sufficiently intelligent to understand what your party wants and use that knowledge to get what it wants. Maybe a shapeshifter/illusion type monster, maybe something extremely specific. Should almost definitely be psychic or something so it knows what the party wants. You will have to show the party why they should follow/trust/like the monster. Maybe it's a gold-mining golem. Maybe it's a dog.

But importantly, what does the monster want? Does it want to eat the party? Does it want the party to breathe in its spores and cough them into another dungeon? Sorry, that's a little off-topic.

So finally, if you want your monster to be charismatic without being able to communicate, it will have to be 'appealing' charismatic rather than 'charming' charismatic. There has to be some reason for everybody to like it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does a cute puppy have high charisma because most people will tend to love it? Or expertise in persuasion? They're certainly not psychic. And they tend to have very low skill at deception, I think. Charisma is a weird stat, with Banishment being a Cha save for example, and a couple other things like teleporting out of a Forcecage which apparently involve force of personality. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 6 at 20:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes or crossing genres, are tribbles charismatic? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 6 at 21:15

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