In role playing games charisma is often used for "measuring force of personality". E.g. D&D 5e use the following description of charisma: "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."

I'm looking for two words describing the physical and mental parts of this charisma.

Examples of physical presence:

  • Appearance. Not necessarily beauty as a horrendous monster might also command a strong physical presence.
  • Wearing the right clothes.
  • Speaking in the right tone.
  • Making the right gestures.

Examples of mental presence:

  • Knowing what appearance will provoke the wanted reactions.
  • Knowing what the right clothes are.
  • Knowing what to say.
  • Knowing what gestures to make.

What are the two words I'm looking for?

  • 1
    I think your division into two elements is somewhat artificial. Charisma in D&D represents an innate ability to charm friends and disarm (or weaken the resolve of) enemies, and has little to do with appearance or mental processes. You might be interested in the etymology: the original sense was a god-given power (which makes its D&D usage even more apt!), whereas the modern dictionary sense of charming is actually quite recent. :-) – Chappo May 15 at 1:21
  • @Chappo You are correct that it can be thought of as innate. In D&D it is a stat that can be improved by gaining experience which implies that some knowledge is involved and when using the skills based on charisma the level determines success which implies having said or done the right thing. In the end it depends on what your are trying to communicate. – David D May 15 at 1:34
  • @Chappo I must say I lean more towards David's interpretation. That is charisma, in D&D, is a combination of both innate talent and experience. For my question to make any sense I think you'd have to make that assumption. It is of course open for interpretation but certainly out of scope for this forum. – Linus May 15 at 7:48
  • @DavidD I played D&D regularly a long time ago, then graduated to Arduin Grimoire, so I know how charisma works in FRP games. I think its expression is both broader and deeper than a mere physical/mental duality. But the answers given are reasonable, so I’ll leave it at that. – Chappo May 15 at 23:28

What you've done is break charisma down into two things: theory and practice. One is knowing how things should be done in order to persuade somebody to do something (what you call mental), while the other is actually enacting those things (what you call physical).

If you wanted to provide subclassifications to charisma, they would be theoretical charisma and practical charisma.

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