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Detect Magic wrote:
You know, that option actually did very much occur to me. I was quite seriously considering rendering their sword hands permanently inoperable for a few minutes leading up to the next session of the game. If I were actually in the character's shoes and it was a matter of life and death, I would do just so without a doubt.
Honestly, I chose not to push in that direction after all of this debate. I've all hammered away at the issue a lot and I felt that more bellyaching on my part wouldn't achieve anything. The GM made a call and I respect that. More importantly, I think he made a very fair choice to allow all of the players one free alignment adjustment now that we've discovered and aired our differences. I understand the way that he and most other Pathfinder players seem to view alignments and right vs. wrong, so I'll make decisions with that in mind in the future. When the GM says "Ok, you can do that, but it will affect your alignment." it won't be a surprise to me.
Personally, I find the views on alignments that have been presented here a bit heavy-handed and lacking nuance. I suppose I never realized it before but I much prefer a darker, more complicated and nuanced "shades of gray" idea of good vs. evil. But as it turns out, I'm gaming in a much more "white hat", "black hat" world.
Well, you'll all be happy to know that as it turned out, with the advice of all of these paragons of virtue here, my associate and I saw the dreadful error of our ways and let them all surrender and live. We did take the opportunity to mercifully kick the teeth in of all of these normally blameless and upstanding citizens as a reminder of the time that they strayed from the righteous path. All is well and our souls are back in line with goodness and unicorns.
That's all fine and good, mdt. And as soon as everyone has a perfect understanding of what everyone else's idea of alignment X is, then we'll have no problems. If you had asked me a few days ago if killing an enemy or two moments after a surrender was going to shift a Neutral or Chaotic Good alignment, I'd say "No way! We're the good guys, those guys are bad, we're here to clean up old Korvosa, of course it's ok if a few of them meet their maker early. They attacked us first, after all." So, no, mdt I'd say that it's not so really simple at all.
Tim, I think you hit the nail on the head there. As a player, I find it just a little too mickey mouse to game in a world where all the bad guys are irredeemably bad and all the good guys are super Clorox-shiny good. As a player, I find it ludicrous to expect a grown person to just flip aggression on and off like a light switch. This kind of cookie cutter world allows Paladins to just detect evil and smite away. So I just need to accept that by these rules, my character is some shade of evil (even though he protects his friends, helps others in need who are not evil, and would never kill an innocent) and move on. I don't want to wreck a gaming group over this, but if it suits them to refer to my character as "evil" of some variety, then have at it. The character will detect as evil and won't be able to wield a holy sword, but he's not going to start murdering innocents or eating babies.
And for all concerned, it hasn't happened yet. BBEG died and my comrade and I are ready to kill the ONE perhaps TWO nearest us before we turn the other cheek and give everybody a Mr. Rogers style hug. As the session wound down, the GM explained that killing "helpless" enemies is against our alignments and wrong etc... Correct me if I'm wrong here, GM, but as I understand this, the baddies have thrown up their hands and surrendered. I see us as being within the first six seconds after they surrender. What I am coming to understand here is that if I don't act the perfect princess here, then I'm the worst thing to happen since the worldwound. Maybe I should serve tea and crackers to the horde that was just a few moments ago trying to peel my face off.
Eaghen, I find it hard to believe that it would honestly not occur to a Lawful Good paladin that a defeated enemy just might rise up to strike back at him. For that, I think we would need a Z axis on our alignment chart to quantify how naive a character is. Then we'd have a 3x3x3 cube of 27 alignments. You could have Lawful Good Optimist, Lawful Good Realist, and Lawful Good Pessimist...
You need to stop thinking about alignment period, and just roleplay your character. If your alignment ever matters mechanically (and it shouldn't ... alignment mechanics are such total BS), the GM will tell you.
Zhayne, I think you're right. That's the best advice I can find out of this soup of opinions. Your advice is the closest I can come to recognizing my own opinions in this forum, so yours is the advice that I'm going to endorse. You are the winner, sir. Thank you!
Well, in that case, there are clearly two things I need to do going forward.
1. I need to stop thinking of my characters as "good". They are Neutral at best. Most likely Chaotic neutral.
2. I need to realize that alignment is a straight jacket that I will need to squeeze a character into.
This particular character is designed to be a former soldier (lawful), a trustworthy comrade to his party (lawful), but has little interest in being kind to those who take up arms against him or his companions (chaotic?).
Ok, as the (perhaps formerly) Chaotic Good player in this story, allow me to say something: We're not talking about ending the fight and then proceeding to slay 50 people in this scenario. We're talking about being knee deep in blood and gore and outnumbered. The BBEG eats dirt on the other side of the battle field. My comrade and I see the bad guys we are personally fighting with in that moment drop weapons. Now I'm not a paladin. The character is a veteran of the crusades in Mendev and a born, raised and trained soldier. If it makes him evil to finish striking down the bad guy who was working on chopping his head off a moment ago, then paint me evil, baby.
I'm no combat veteran or a soldier in real life, but I must believe that fighting an opponent face-to-face, nose-to-nose, wearing his blood would engender some degree of hate and rage. Even a good person must get a taste of rage and a strong desire to win when his life is on the line. I think that this feeling would be entirely different from shooting or not shooting a man across a battlefield.
C'est la vie. I'll take whatever's coming to me. The ethics and imaginary geneva convention that float somewhere overhead trouble me. I think that in RPG's the concept of killing becomes detached and clinical. It's easy to sit back, soda in hand and dispassionately say, ok, I'll lower my weapons and embrace my former mortal enemy. The people who are capable of that kind of behavior are few and far between, I think.
Two excellent games tonight. Thank you, Rainy Day Ninja for an excellent rendition of Fortress of the Nail! That was awesome and good fun. Who knew that getting knee-deep in the biznass of 400 hellknights could be such a fun experience? And to our party: the oracle kept our monkey fool asses alive and the ninja showed us all the true power of faulty invisibility potions!
And to Andy: thank you! Most enjoyable death ever! To be literally quartered by an ape god. Wow. Rurik made it to Valhalla, had some drinks, humbled all his ancestors with his tale of glory in arms (except for his great-great-gramps who punched his ticket clubbing a kracken with a wet fireball scroll), got rezed, and still made it to work on Monday.
This is the reason I scaled back my drinking to game every weekend. Now Rurik has to have a better death tale when he gets back to the afterlife. I'm thinking he's gonna need to be on fire AND attacking a major league god next time.
Lol... Here I am whining and then you go and accommodate me. Actually Stu, I have a meeting at 5:30 with H&R Block to sort out a tax problem. I'd like to come, but it's more important to make sure I don't go the way of Al Capone right now. Thanks for the offer though. Some might say that I'm fond of bellyaching.
Oh, I get it. Yet another proletarian plea for fair treatment falls upon deaf bourgeoisie ears. Well fine. I'll crawl out of the salt mine at 5pm with all my blue collar slob bretheren and wander home to my thatch-roofed hovel while you noblemen and future landowners carouse and drink your wine. Story of my life.
;) I have no doubt of Exalebar's abilities when it comes to harassing legitimate businessmen. I do wonder whether Bekra the honest and fair dealing would be easily found and caught for the dicing/fisticuffs to commence... I hear that his activities in the import/export business can make him somewhat difficult to find at times.
If the lodge could some day come up with five other like-minded champions, I'm sure he'd jump at the opportunity do some pro-bono work in the eyes of ten with fellow Ashevillians. For the benefit of the lodge, of course.
Seriously, I might have signed up to run a few, but I really don't want to represent the whole lodge with my GMing skills (or lack thereof) at the mother church's convention. I want them to be like "Wow, those APL guys are industrial strength all the way! Dain GM's great and publishes stuff and the VC is a great character actor slash organizational wizard and that dude Jake knows our books better than we do and the other guy was good at... well he helped them carry their bags, I think. But what a great lodge they must have!" Rather than them saying "Yeah, the team shirts are cool, but what was up with that fourth guy? In the game he GMed, he showed me the stat block for the main monster in final encounter, asked me if a d8 was 'the square one' and then vomited in my lap. I bet all the rest of them are tools like him."
Great session last night, guys. I thoroughly enjoyed the games I was in. Good players, interesting characters and good times. I regret not having a good rogue to play in these games. It seems like Bekra would have been really well suited to many of these season four games, but alas all I have is my big dumb ulfen - Rurik. Still, it isn't every day that you get to bear hug an evil witch while on fire with vials of alchemist's fire detonating on your belt. Thanks to our Quadiran healer for keeping me alive and earlier thanks to our resident dwarfling for the flanking bonuses, by the way. Who needs season specials to make things interesting when our regular games are this good? I've learned that civilization-hating Shoanti can save a party from failboating a scenario with some old-fashioned practical wisdom and that a halfling "information broker" who isn't afraid of a little exceedingly creepy flirtation Chelaxian style can be worth twice his weight in gold. Good times all around from where I was sitting.
Keep in mind that for trips, disarms, and sunders, you use your weapon in the maneuver, and can use weapon bonuses, including Weapon Finesse. I'm pretty sure Bekra has that, so you won't need Agile Maneuvers if you just want to trip.
That's a great point, Rainy Day. Thanks for the info! Suddenly a spiked chain is looking pretty interesting. Still, sounds like agile maneuvers will only make him a decent grappler so I'm considering another feat... If I take lunge then I have another question: when I activate it and take the -2 to AC, do I still threaten and am I able to attack near me at normal melee range in addition to attacking and threatening at reach, or does my kukri become for that round a bona fide reach weapon meaning I only threaten and attack at reach 1? I could see a valid argument for either ruling. Do you guys know?
Just finished properly leveling Bekra. And I just realized something I should have known all along as a player of a rogue: a successful feint denies the victim his dex bonus to AC. Thus allowing a sneak attack on the following attack without the need to flank. Someone just got a whole lot of skill points dumped into bluff. Question: if I take agile maneuvers as a feat, it would make my CMB equal to +15. Is that realistically high to be worth it at lvl 11? (Dreaming of tripping foes off of cliffs into waterfalls...)
Scarab was a lot of fun guys. Was nice to establish some comraderie among fellow ashevillains for a few days. Those who couldn't make it were not forgotten though. Like any con, it was amazing the first few days but as exhaustion (and hangovers) took their toll,I was more than happy to say hello to my own bed last night. Plenty of stories about being turned to stone, being savaged by harpies and the strange new Cult of the Falcon of Death will be repeated and retold ad nauseum. I for one am glad to be back and will be glad to game again w with the APL at the best little flgs this side of the Mississippi.
Oh, I'm sorry, friend- you must have confused my use of the word "mark". No insult intended! I meant the Varisian term. In Varisian it means "trusted ally and confidante who isn't Varisian and probably can't speak our language." It is derived from the old middle Thassalonian "suhker" meaning "source of income". Many people have trouble recognizing the difference...
Galen Fiore Kral wrote:
We should send agents to Varisia and see if we can infiltrate the Aspis Headquarters, and drive several critical blows to their inner workings.
If you're seeking to have "critical blows" driven to the "inner workings" of foes in mother Varisia, I think we all know who needs to be called... Actually, I heard that the families are running a two-for-one special on shivvings and tongue removals this month. We Varisian patriots don't mind our achievements being under-reported. The less you foreign marks know about our efforts to free coins from your pockets, the better.
Ok guys, this may seem to be a dense question, but what Paizo products do I burn my hard-earned cash on to get more info on A) Tengus as a Society legal PC race and B) more info on the Dragon Empires and their cultures? I know little or nothing about them. Also, are there any resources on the impossible kingdoms? (I think not.)
Rules question, guys...
Ok, Say for example you had a character Rogue 6/Ranger 3. What is his BAB (including the BAB for the secondary attack)? I would venture to say that it would be BAB of ranger 3 (+3) plus BAB of rogue 6 (+4) but how do you figure the second attack bonus? Is it a +1 or a +2? I know you get a second attack at +6 which is +1 but does it then progress to +2 when you gain a level or does it stay at +1? On the Rogue scale, the secondary attack bonus progresses strangely. On the Ranger scale, it progresses by one every level like a fighter. Anyone know the answer?
Thanks for handling the ordering of the shirts, Kevin. And thanks for the idea in the first place. Nice call. Dink: congrats for leading the charge with GM 101. It's a nice feeling being on the cutting edge of gaming awesomeness. Sometimes I almost feel like where we go, Paizo follows.
And speaking of gaming awesomeness, I just got time off from work to attend Scarab in January. For you guys attending: where can I find the warhorn to sign up for games? Someone please take pity on me and give me a clue!