rating: 0+x

Basic Information

The Faceman is the character in a group who has the best social skills or the most charisma. In fact, that's the character's main gimmick, practically to the exclusion of all else. They are the most persuasive member of the group, best prepared for smoothing things over with the town guard or other NPC authorities. They also get all the girls. When they are not actively conniving, a faceman may also be an ideal distraction (see, for example, the role of the Jack from Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts).

Languages and some form of anthropology are also key skills of the Faceman - he is the guy who speaks the local language, understands the customs and can work his way around the locals without putting anyone's back up. Despite the name, this character may not actually have to be pretty - being pretty probably helps, but being witty, empathic and good at reading people may be more use. Add psychology to the skills list.

Depending on your game's mechanics, it may be possible for some other member of the party to be better at certain facets of social interaction - most commonly intimidation or interrogation. This would be entirely sensible given that the Face is about friendly interaction and it is more of a game mechanical artefact if the skills are linked (although using the Face to follow up on interrogation by the bruiser - in a "good cop - bad cop" play - would also be a thing). Where game mechanics make persuasion improbably effective, the Faceman may be sarcastically referred to as a "diplomancer" - and there is always the possibility of a wizard either supplementing or brute forcing this role by the use of charm magic.


  • A faceman who preys on other's gullibility for his own illicit financial gain is a con artist.
  • A wealthy faceman born into power, whose inherent charm is his only true skill, may be a failson.
  • The Spiv or black marketer who "knows a guy" in every corner of the underworld and is an expert in making deals.
  • A person with a wide range of friends and acquaintances in all levels of society who seems to have a contact anywhere you go (sometimes known as "Indiana Jones syndrome").


2. TV: The A-Team - Dirk Benedict's character (named "Face") was the embodiment of the Faceman who's not the Leader.

Game and Story Use

  • In pretty much every RPG system, you can play a character that's stronger and faster than you are in the real world. In some games, however, it's darned difficult to play a character who's smoother, slicker, or just more lovable than yourself. Depends on the Social Mechanics of the system, and how often the GM lets you roll your social skills or stats. A few thoughts about this from my blog.
    • Myself, I typically like to have the PCs roll at the start of a scene, before they've said much of anything. Then I can flavor my NPCs reactions to things based on how they rolled. If they do a bang-up job of role-playing the interaction, I'll give them a bonus. This boost can transform a borderline role into a glowing success.
  • Sometimes, the Faceman ends up being the Main Character and/or the leader of the group, but not always. It really has to do with whether the player is as charismatic as the character.
  • This can be a tricky character type to work into your game. If your campaign has very little role-playing and very minimal social mechanics, there may not be enough for the faceman to do. If talking with the NPCs is a big part of the game and the social mechanics are really powerful, having a faceman might result in the other players not having anything to do. It's a balancing act, but if you can pull it off, it's a very fun character trope to play.
  • If I remember correctly, the Spycraft RPG has a Faceman character class, but I don't really recall any of the details.
  • In an Orc village (or some frontier town where everyone is gruff and surly), it doesn't take much to be the Faceman. If you're the only Bugbear who didn't use Charisma as his Dump Stat, you may qualify with very meagre skills. Though, you'll probably have to dip into some other character concept a little, because it's only possible to go so far with a character who's bad at the only thing he's good at.
    • Faceman may mean something different in that kind of society - mostly likely, it will be to do with whoever is the most intimidating, but it may also be a role for a sly advisor type who manipulates the big and intimidating ones.
    • This all pre-supposes the traditional RPG models where all stats are based on how things appear to a human - what appears blunt and obnoxious to a human (and therefore worthy of a low CHA score in game) is actually inspiring plain speaking in an orcish tribe.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License