Charismatic Manipulator (3.5e Class)

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Charismatic Manipulator[edit]

The Charismatic Manipulator is a master of using his or her words to get their way instead of a sword or spell. They excel in talking people into, or out of, certain actions and points of view and bending them to their will. As such they should focus on working behind the scenes to manipulate people for themselves or on behalf of their party.

Making a Charismatic Manipulator[edit]

Charismatic Manipulators are strong when you need to handle a situation with words and not swords or spells. They can manipulate people on behalf of the party and may make good leaders of NPCs.

They are weak though in situations of individual combat.

Abilities: The Charismatic Manipulator is a good class for characters who want to manipulate NPCs to get their way instead of using violence. It is also good for No Magic settings where spells like "Charm Person" sre not available.

Races: Any race with good Charisma may fit into this class. Elves and Half Elves will be able to take advantage of their high Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom Scores.

Alignment: No Requirement. A person may manipulate another for good, evil or anything in between and the actions they take to do so may be lawful or chaotic.

Starting Gold: 5d10 ×10 gp (250 GP Average)

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Charismatic Manipulator

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Small Favor, Read Weakness (Poorly Hidden/Unhidden)
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Pure Charisma +2
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Manipulation
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Charismatic Skill
5th +2 +1 +1 +4
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Normal Favor, Read Weakness (Hidden)
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Pure Wisdom +2
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Improved Manipulation
9th +4 +3 + 3 +6 Charismatic Skill
10th +5 +3 +3 +7
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Large Favor, Read Weakness (Well Hidden)
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Pure Charisma +4
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Greater Manipulation
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Charismatic Skill
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Major Favor, Read Weakness (Extremely Hidden)
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Pure Wisdom +4
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Perfect Manipulation
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Charismatic Skill
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Massive Favor, Read Weakness (Almost Undetectable)

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Listen (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis)

Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Proficient with all simple weapons and improvised weapons.

Favors: There are a 5 levels of Favor a Charismatic Manipulator may ask depending on their level. To get someone to do a favor you must beat a DC dependent on the level of the favor you are asking and their opinion of you. If someone is considered friendly or higher you gain a +5 to your roll to ask them a favor. A person who is hostile will never do you more than a small favor.

Level (DC) Possible Favors
Small (10) Give a good recommendation, vote for you in a minor election, preform a small effort (>5 Minutes), incur a small expense (>$50 USD), etc.
Medium (15) Vote for you in a local election, lend a somewhat valuable object, preform a medium task (>1 Hour), incur a medium expense (>$100 USD), etc.
Large (20) Go out of their way to make others think highly of you, vote for you in a state election, incur a major expense (>$1,000 USD), preform large efforts (>1 Week), etc.
Major (25) Risk their reputation, vote for you in a national election, incur a major expense (>$10,000 USD), preform major efforts(>1 month), etc.
Massive (30) Risk their life or freedom, incur massive expenses (<$10,000 USD), preform massive efforts (<1 Month), etc.

Read Weakness: There are 5 levels of weakness a Charismatic Manipulator may discover and exploit through talking with someone. The DC for discovering the weakness is dependent both on their ability to hide it and the amount of time you spend interacting with them. This may be done as a Sense Motive check if you are interacting with them or a Gather Information check if dealing with people knowing the weakness.

Sense Motive/Gather Information
Level (DC) Description
Unhidden (10) Manifested often or at all times.
Hidden (15) Manifested time to time and possibly intentionally hidden but when manifested is easy to see.
Well Hidden (20) Manifested rarely or hard to detect when manifested.
Extremely Hidden (25) Manifested very rarely and hidden with large amounts of effort.
Almost Undetectable (30) Manifested extremely rarely and nearly impossible to detect.

Pure Charisma/Wisdom: You gain the indicated bonus to your Wisdom and Charisma.

Manipulation: You gain +2 to all class skills when attempting to manipulate someone.

Improved Manipulation: You gain +4 to all class skills when attempting to manipulate someone. This replaces the bonus from Manipulation.

Greater Manipulation: You gain +6 to all class skills when attempting to manipulate someone. This replaces the bonus from Improved Manipulation.

Perfect Manipulation: You gain +8 to all class skills when attempting to manipulate someone. This replaces the bonus from Greater Manipulation.

Charismatic Skill: You gain a bonus equal to your class level on a class skill (Pick one each time you gain this Special Ability.) of your choice.

Playing a Charismatic Manipulator[edit]

Religion: Charismatic Manipulators are generally either atheist in settings where gods are disputed or choose not to follow one if their existence is fact. They may however choose to act as if they have faith in a certain religion or deity as part of their plans to manipulate people.

Other Classes: What else would a Charismatic Manipulator do with others than manipulate them. They often try to get those of weaker wills to do things on their behalf at any point they can.

Combat: Combat is a poor place for the Charismatic Manipulator and they generally can recognize this. They tend to trick or bribe others into fighting on their behalf any chance possible or talk down their opponents. If they are forced into combat the best solution would be to hide behind their larger allies or run for cover.

Advancement: As Charismatic Manipulators advance they should put as many Ranks into their Class Skills as possible. They should also focus on Feats that either improve the skills or provide new uses for them.

Charismatic Manipulators in the World[edit]

If you want something, don't take it. Convince them to give it to you and make them think you did them a favor by taking it.
—Alexander Fleming, The New King of the Realm

This type of character does not fit into a campaign revolving around 'find monster, kill monster, get treasure.' Instead they make a useful class in a campaign where politics, negotiations and diplomacy are all a necessity. Even then their role is in the background and they do everything in their power to hide the manipulative tactics they use.

Daily Life: Manipulators generally spend most of their days working on 'marks,' people they believe easy to manipulate. During this time they try to make their marks do whatever it is they wish to, whether it be give them money, do tasks or anything else they wish.

Notables: <-notable NPCs of this class->.

Organizations: Manipulators do not organize as this would give away their plans.

NPC Reactions: A good manipulator will never let his marks know that he is being manipulated. If someone does discover this though they should react negatively to the character, possibly even aggressively.

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