Charisma Based Classes 5E | What Are My Options?

There are six different abilities in the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Three of those abilities are use for casting spells, with various classes relying on different abilities. Wizards use intelligence for spellcasting, while druids and clerics rely on wisdom. The most commonly used spellcasting ability is charisma, however. In our charisma based classes 5E guide, we go over the four classes that rely on this ability the most: bards, paladins, sorcerers, and warlocks.

Reviewing the Classes that are Charisma-Based in 5E

charisma based classes 5e

In total, there are four charisma-based caster classes to choose from in D&D 5E. Your options include the bard, paladin, sorcerer, and warlock.


See Our Bard 5E Guide

The bard is the quintessential charismatic D&D character. Natural performers, bards are potent spellcasters with a knack for inspiring their allies. Given the theme of the class, being a charisma caster makes perfect sense. After all, their magic is powered by the sheer force of their personality and focused through a musical instrument or other type of performance.

Bards are a jack of all trades that are not only great casters but also strong social characters. The perfect “face” of an adventuring party, many bard archetypes are built around a singular focus on the charisma skill.


See Our Paladin 5E Guide

Paladins are often lumped together with clerics, but they do not derive their power from gods. Instead, it is their own conviction in a specific ideal that grants them this magical ability. At first glance, paladins using charisma as their spellcasting ability might not make sense. However, it is the sheer power of their conviction that gives them this magical ability. With that in mind, Charisma is a more thematic fit than either Intelligence or Willpower.

Paladins lack the full range of spells compared to the other classes listed here. In fact, they don’t even have the option to take cantrips. Their limitations are made up for with their martial ability, their lay on hands feature, and their ability to use spell slots to deal damage through divine smite.


See Our Sorcerer 5E Guide

Sorcerers draw their magical ability from within. For example, draconic sorcerers wield power thanks to some kind of connection with a dragon at some point in their lineage. An aberrant mind sorcerer has powers due to the effects of an aberration on the character.

Sorcerers and wizards are often confused, and the two are certainly similar. In addition to using different spellcasting abilities, sorcerers also have something known as sorcery points. These points are used to customize your spellcasting through something known as metamagic.


See Our Warlock 5E Guide.

The warlocks are another full caster class that relies on Charisma as their spellcasting ability. A warlock is granted their magical power from a patron, that could be anything from a genie to an archfey. Their spellcasting ability is a gift as opposed to something that they learned or inherently had within them.

Warlocks are unique in that they only have one level of spells available. Warlocks always cast leveled spells at the highest possible level, and they have few slots to choose from. The benefit of this class is that they regain those spells on a short rest.

What is the Best Character for Charisma in 5E?

The best character for charisma in 5E is a subjective question. If you are looking for the best Charisma-based spellcaster, you have options to choose from. The Warlock and Sorcerer each have their strengths and weaknesses, but they can do everything from dealing damage to controlling the battlefield. Bards are generally more focused on utility, but they have few weaknesses when it comes to magic. While paladins do not have the same range of spellcasting options, they are a powerful class with strong melee options and the ability to smite their foes.

What Skills are Based on Charisma in 5E?

Most of the focus in this post is about the classes that rely on charisma for spellcasting in 5E. However, its worth noting that there a number of skills that rely on Charisma as well. These are important for any class that is likely to interact with NPCs in a non-combat setting. Here are the Charisma skills as laid out in the 5E basic rules:

Charisma Checks
Deception. Your Charisma (Deception) check determines whether you can convincingly hide the truth, either verbally or through your actions. This deception can encompass everything from misleading others through ambiguity to telling outright lies. Typical situations include trying to fast-talk a guard, con a merchant, earn money through gambling, pass yourself off in a disguise, dull someone’s suspicions with false assurances, or maintain a straight face while telling a blatant lie.

Intimidation. When you attempt to influence someone through overt threats, hostile actions, and physical violence, the GM might ask you to make a Charisma (Intimidation) check. Examples include trying to pry information out of a prisoner, convincing street thugs to back down from a confrontation, or using the edge of a broken bottle to convince a sneering vizier to reconsider a decision.

Performance. Your Charisma (Performance) check determines how well you can delight an audience with music, dance, acting, storytelling, or some other form of entertainment.

Persuasion. When you attempt to influence someone or a group of people with tact, social graces, or good nature, the GM might ask you to make a Charisma (Persuasion) check. Typically, you use persuasion when acting in good faith, to foster friendships, make cordial requests, or exhibit proper etiquette. Examples of persuading others include convincing a chamberlain to let your party see the king, negotiating peace between warring tribes, or inspiring a crowd of townsfolk.

Concluding Our Charisma Based Classes 5E Guide

That wraps up our guide to the charisma based classes in 5E D&D. Still need help finalizing your character? Check out our Starting Gold 5E Guide.

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