In the vast and diverse realm of role-playing games (RPGs), where players are often challenged to conquer foes with swords and spells, a unique archetype often gets overshadowed – the silver-tongued diplomat, skilled in the art of persuasion. While combat remains a central focus in many RPGs, there are exceptional titles that allow players to navigate their way through the game world using the power of words, negotiation, and charisma. Here’s a look at some of the best RPGs that offer viable options for charisma builds, where players can talk their way out of even the most perilous situations.
Fallout: New Vegas
Released in 2010, Fallout: New Vegas by Obsidian Entertainment stands out as a prime example of a game where negotiation is key. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, players can avoid combat by utilizing their speech skills to convince characters to see things their way. With the right stats and skills, players can even talk down the final boss, showcasing the game’s impressive range of dialogue options.
Harebrained Schemes’ Shadowrun series, including titles like Returns, Dragonfall, and Hong Kong, offers a cyberpunk-meets-D&D experience. While combat is integral to the gameplay, players can opt for speech builds, especially with the Shaman class, to access some of the game’s best dialogue options. Creative multi-classing allows players to mix and match their roles, making speech-centric gameplay an engaging choice.
Age of Decadence
Age of Decadence presents a brutal world where players can progress without resorting to violence. Although the diplomatic route might seem linear compared to combat challenges, the game’s rich lore and skill-centric dialogue options provide a compelling experience for players who prefer intellect over brawn.
Disco Elysium, released in 2019, takes the concept of charisma to a whole new level. In this game, dialogue is the primary gameplay mechanic, making every conversation a critical encounter. The game breaks down the charisma stat into constituent parts like Authority and Drama, offering deep and engaging conversations that impact the game’s progression. Players can choose between being a smooth-talker or a brawler, creating conflicts outside of combat encounters.
Torment: Tides of Numenera
A spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, Torment: Tides of Numenera emphasizes real writing and meaningful dialogue. Players can complete the game with charisma-based characters, relying on their mastery of language to navigate complex situations. The game’s rich setting and deep lore make it a perfect choice for players who enjoy exploring intricate narratives through dialogue.
Griftlands takes a unique approach to persuasion by gamifying dialogue and negotiations. In this deck-battling RPG, players use arguments and rhetorical ploys as tactical resources, making every conversation a strategic challenge. The game considers the main character’s social standing, allowing players to befriend or alienate various groups, adding complexity to negotiations. If dialogue fails, players can seamlessly transition to combat, maintaining the game’s dynamic nature.
The Outer Worlds
Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, The Outer Worlds provides excellent options for diplomatic gameplay. Players investing in the Charm attribute and related skills can engage in persuasive conversations, bypassing potential conflicts and securing advantageous outcomes. Charismatic characters can also use their leadership abilities to command comrades, allowing for a strategic approach to combat situations.
In a gaming landscape dominated by combat-focused experiences, these RPGs offer players a refreshing alternative. By embracing the power of words, players can embark on immersive journeys, mastering the art of negotiation and persuasion, and proving that in the world of RPGs, charisma can be mightier than the sword.