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Ashiel's page

9,004 posts (9,007 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:

Anyone else never see or use an ion stone at any point in their time playing this game?

I know they are a thing, and I include them in all judgments, but how many of us actually do have stones floating around us at all times?

Yep. There's a bunch of good ones just in core. They've long, long been good targets for a continual flame ioun stone (particularly burnt out gray ioun stones, which were priced at 50 gp in 3.0). In the core books, here's a few common goodies.

1. Dusty rose Prism (5,000 gp): +1 insight to AC. +5% evasion is good since it stacks with all your other shwag. Much cheaper to get one of these than to upgrade your +2-whatever to a +3.

2. Pearly white Spindle (20,000 gp): The HP regeneration from this sucks, however it otherwise works like a ring of regeneration which means it makes you immune to bleed effects and auto-regenerates any missing appendages, which may be desirable in some cases and is a cheaper way to get immunity to Bleed damage than a 90,000 gp ring.

3. Pale Green Prism (30,000 gp): +1 competence bonus on attacks, saves, skills, and ability checks. Might not sound like a great investment, but it's effectively +5% to everything, and honestly tacking on another +1 to hit and +1 to all saving throws in addition to your enhancement and resistances bonuses is definitely worth it.

4. Orange Prism (30,000 gp): +1 caster level. Yes.

Most are generally very expensive unless you craft them yourself, but some are cheap enough that you occasionally see NPCs with them as well. Especially dragons (though I'll usually describe them as being lodged in the dragon's scales with other gems and such, with no real mechanical changes).


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lemeres wrote:
Would it be evil for bank security to shoot on sight any men coming in wearing ski masks and holding guns?

Yes, but it would also be smart. You are assuming they are a threat, and probably rightfully so, and murdering them before that threat is confirmed. Of course, this is also oddly specific.

The question is, is it evil to kill drow on sight? The answer is yes. Is it evil to X under these specific conditions? The answer is probably.

Quote:

I mean, there are sometimes circumstances where danger can be extremely apparent due to the appearance of the other party.

I will admit though, giving them a warning and preparing to shoot them them if they don't surrender is generally better decorum.

And you would be right. Now you don't have to let your guard down, trust them, go with them, or tell them anything about you, where you're going, or anything to that degree; but finding out who they are, why they are, and what they're intending to do is probably better than murder on sight.

Because it is murder.

But it's not necessarily smart. Given drow in Golarion, it's probably the safest (but not the most "good") route to just kill them on sight. Most characters wouldn't be judged for it. They'd probably even be given bonus "tactical pros" for ambushing them or starting the fight first, as to avoid casualties on their side. It probably isn't going to shift someone's alignment from Good to Neutral if they're otherwise Good, just it's one of those things that aren't in perfect keeping with the Good alignment (but characters aren't expected to be completely consistent anyway).

The OP is wrong that there is any distinction between races in the actual alignment rules. There is no inborn racism in the rules, quite the opposite in fact. There is nothing that makes drow more monsters than elves, dwarfs, humans, or anything else capable of rational thought, beyond the way that they act. The reason they are generally evil is because they are subject to alignment just as much as anyone or anything else.

I also applaude Odraude for being smart enough to see how to nix the "Drizzt syndrome". Drow are a playable race in my campaign, including having two major factions of drow (one faction could even be seen as supporting the chaotic good drow ranger sorts) and the only way the number of Drizzt clones in my campaigns could be any lower would be if I could get negative values somehow (maybe a female lawful evil high elf that fights with a greataxe to uphold bigoted matriarchy in a society that she loves greatly; who travels with her pet dire wolf).


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Quote:
I guess I am just complaining that hitting high Nat AC creatures is too hard (maybe they should have more HP instead) and that Combat Maneuvers get near impossible on Large and bigger creatures, and that I don't want to be a Magus/Paladin/Barbarian just to raise my AB a little more. Thanks for reading : )

Your welcome. However, I've a few suggestions.

1. Don't take this as some form of elitism, but instead realize that each type of enemy has certain strengths and weaknesses and you have to learn to accept that some tactics are going to be more or less effective at the current task. If your opponent has extreme physical AC, start chucking alchemist fires or something, or start debuffing them to take them apart, or debufff and buff as well.

If your enemy flies, draw a ranged weapon and keep pelting them since flying creatures rarely have cover. Don't complain that it's not fair that the foe flies when your main tactic is killing something with a sword.

In essence, AC is only one of several routes to kill something. Classes that revolve around piercing AC do so (most core martials), especially post-buffs. Fight your enemy on terms that are less favorable to them.

If your enemy is a turtle, punish him for it. Outmaneuver him, pick him apart from a distance. Use your terrain to your advantage (get the +1 bonus to hit for being higher than the dude who can't climb out of a 3ft. hole in the ground). Don't complain that he's a turtle.

2. If your GM gets his jollies by hitting PCs and is getting upset because a player specialized in defense, find a better GM. All that is going to lead to is an arms war between a bad GM and the party, or the party will learn that letting the NPCs hit them means weaker NPCs and push all their resources into offense; then the game becomes rocket-tag.


Courageous bane weapons are fun too. As is most any +1 courageous weapon with a mage in the party (greater magic weapon).


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bob_the_monster wrote:

Drow seem to be pretty much universally reviled in lore. Subject says it all. The way I am reading evil vs good in the alignment rules, it seems to only apply to humanoid creatures and to core races. As such, killing intelligent undead, monstrous humanoids (kobolds, drow, etc.) on sight is not inherently evil. But rather a matter of killing them before they kill you.

Let's keep the Paladin code of conduct out of the discussion, as Paladins are extremely rare in the setting in question (i.e. not a player class).

The alignment rules and D&D/PF morality makes no distinction based on race (and for good reason because that would be sick and ****ed up).

Yes, killing any sentient creature on sight is evil, just like killing any sentient thing is evil. However, you may be doing so for altruistic or protective reasons (which are good) which means a lot of people who do probably are acting more Neutral, and are pre-emptively attempting to protect themselves and others from the very likely dangerous threat.

The short version is yes, it is evil to kill something on sight, but not necessarily stupid. Even most good characters do evil things occasionally because evil is often very self-preserving.

Most of my characters wouldn't murder a drow on sight, but then most of my characters are likely to end up in some tough situations because their decisions do have consequences.


Wheldrake wrote:

Can items in PF give feats? I know in DD3.5 they can, but that always seemed like a dangerous slippery slope, because given the rarity of feat slots, any PC would just love buying items with feats he doesn't have, especially if he can customize what those feats are. Allowing any feat to be crafted into an item seems like it would be very broken.

Aside from the haste spell, or the time stop spell, how could an item give you more actions?

Curious minds want to know.

It's potentially a slippery slope, but then spells are nothing but class features, which are often even better than feats anyway, which are pretty common amongst magic items. For example, haste is a 5th level optional class feature for wizards, but boots of speed allow you to take advantage of it yourself for a period of time each day.

As a result, I don't really see what the difference is between the two, other than haste is actually harder for most people to get without magic items than the Run feat would be, or even Dazing Assault for that matter.

Some means that could prevent certain abuses and/or forgetting about feats would be...

1) Have the item require you to still meet the prerequisites, thus preventing access to things requiring X BAB or X caster level without already qualifying for them; which prevents item creation from providing these things earlier than usual.

2) Perhaps have additional benefits to the item for people who already have the feat. With vital strike for example, you might decide that if you have the Vital-Strike providing item keyed to your highest level of Vital Strike that you increase the multiplier by x1, or add a static bonus to each die rolled, or get a bonus on the attack roll, or get to re-roll against miss %s once, or allowing you to vital strike any attack as a swift action.

While in the case of a feat like Run, you might get to run faster, or get a dodge bonus to AC while running, or more amusingly, allow you to run or charge in crooked lines.

3) Some combination of the two.

Really, there's some fun stuff to think about.


There's some gloves/shields that provide deflect arrows IIRC. Ring of Evasion provides a class feature that is better than most classes get (having no armor / encumbrance limitations). There's an Ioun stone that provides the Alertness feat for 10,000 gp (which means the actual cost of said feat is only 5,000 gp). Another provides proficiency with 1 weapon at the same cost (equivalent to any weapon proficiency feat, again 5,000 gp for the effect cost, doubled for ioun stone slotlessness).

So the general standard seems to be that a feat is priced at about 5,000 gp (though some may argue that the quality of feat might be questionable). Still, 5,000 gp seems pretty reasonable for a lot of feats, if not nearly all of them, especially given that it's more costly than an at-will 1st level use-activated spell item.

Personally I think that a formula would be helpful. Perhaps something like 500-1,000 gp x minimum level to take feat (if any) x number of feats required to reach the feat in a chain might be pretty good. For example, if you wanted a magic item that granted Diehard, it would cost 2,000 gp (1000 gp because Endurance must come first, then 1000 more for diehard, though it has no level-based restrictions such as BAB/caster level).

Meanwhile, Vital Strike would be 6,000 gp (requires +6 BAB), while Greater Vital Strike would be 22,000 gp (requiring +11 BAB, and Vital Strike in the chain).

I'm sure we could figure out something pretty consistent in a little while.


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Thelemic_Noun wrote:

So we all know that summoning and binding a demon and commanding it to eat a village is evil. In fact, there's probably a trope for that.

But even for nonevil creatures, it seems like there's an ethical issue here.

For summoning and binding nonevil creatures, the most expedient means is magic circle against good, which has the evil descriptor (though of course you could use the chaos or law circles as required, though this makes the process much more complicated an even more inconvenient for the Charisma-based classes that should theoretically excel at planar binding negotiations).

But all that aside, I have a hard time seeing a good creature ever using planar binding, especially to conjure good outsiders. Because conjuring an unwilling creature, and confining it until it accepts a bribe, is essentially incompatible with "concern for the dignity of sentient beings."

Now, if you summon an astral deva and tell it "this city is dying of plague. Please turn invisible and use your at-will remove disease ability to cure it without causing a panic, and if you identify any evil creatures, tell me their identities or give a description before you depart," he might do it for only a nominal fee, or even for free. But in that case, the only reason not to use planar ally instead is because of the wonky rules regarding the arcane/divine split.

While letting the party wizard use planar binding shouldn't make the paladin fall, it's easy to see a chaotic good player becoming a little bit squeamish. Especially if instead the situation is:

"Huge earth elemental, clear the trees and boulders from this radius and dig me a moat of yea size."
<rumble, rumble>
"No, I'm not paying you."
<RUMBLE RUMBLE RUMBLE>
"Because you have the Charisma of a rock. Literally."

Well, there's a lot of options you have with planar binding to make it more effective. Sometimes being the good guy means not taking advantage of those options. For example, you don't actually have to use a magic circle spell as part of a binding, nor a dimensional anchor, or anything of the sort. You don't actually have to trap the outsider, you could just bring them to you for a moment to talk.

You could even forgo the Charisma check to impose your will over them, and just default to plain ol' Diplomacy (which is always a good skill for a binder anyway). For example, while a neutral or evil wizard might happily force or coerce an outsider into their bidding, the exceptionally good (as in the perfectly good that doesn't stumble a bit by using planar binding in the traditional fashion) might simply call up a Ghale Azata without any traps at all.

Wizard: "Oh fair Azata, I have called you here because we need your help. Could you please heal my friend?" *Diplomacy*
Azata: "Sure, why not. It costs me nothing to do so, and this whole thing has taken up no more of my time than if someone asked directions to the nearest bakery," *heal*
Wizard: "Thank you, friend!"
Azata: "No problem," *poofs back to the outer planes*


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Artemis Moonstar wrote:
I'm not a fan of monks losing Qi and going "Psion".

It's kind of a tomato - tomato thing. The PP represents their Ki/Qi/Chi/Prana/Energy/Wisdom-Mojo, and I just felt like keeping the basic ki mechanics of the PF monk (which largely served the exact same purpose only in a far more limited range of possible ways to play your monk) would just be wholly redundant as it would basically leave you with two different resource pools that both represented the ki that you had to do mystical things like take spears to the throat and laugh about it.

The best RPing advice I could ever impart to anyone, ever, is don't worry much about metagame names. It'll just muddy the waters.

If you prefer the mechanical pool that the core PF monk has, then that's a different thing entirely. But if it's just the names, remember that is metagaming and nothing that has any bearing to what's going on in the actual world. :P


Odraude wrote:

Not a problem then. Thanks for letting me know. Definitely going to be allowing the DSP psionics and Tome of Battle once that comes out.

I think for the martial psionicists, I'm flavoring it as a type of chakra/prana life force energy. I've always liked that style of psychic magic, focused on life energy and souls and spirits. It's cool.

That's how I fixed the monk. Dropped ki points and remastered them with psionics. Now they're freakin' awesome.

Psychic Monk.


Artemis Moonstar wrote:

I see what you did thur....

I'm thinking of making psionics not transparent. make it interesting...

Well. Pseudo transparent. need to figure out what would or wouldn't cross over first.

Be very, very careful treading down that road. o_o

It is almost impossible for some sort of drastic balance issue not to crop up. If you mod the resistances of all monsters (which you'd need to to not render 100% of the magic-resistant monsters super vulnerable to psionics) then you'd also have to be careful about the frequency of magic vs psionic effects. For example, dispel psionics is pretty weaksauce when the only effects you can dispel are your own. >_>

It's very easy to go swing from being awesome and balance to A) grossly overpowered as nothing can defend against them, to B) grossly underpowered because they no defenses or ways of dealing with problems.


The Lion Cleric wrote:
If there is one, I'm getting it. There should also be a defensive version of this one, probably involving dodging actual bullets in order to make gunslingers not attack your touch AC

It was mentioned repeatedly during the playtest that if they were insistent on guns doing something like this that it should target flat-footed AC. What with it being extremely hard to dodge bullets, especially at close range, combined with the fact that clearly armor does protect against bullets (the term armor proofing actually is derived from plate mail, because armorsmiths would shoot the armor with a pistol, and it would leave a teeny, tiny, dent in the armor's surface which showed the buyer that it had been gun-tested and approved).

Anyway...that feat. D:


Clearly the best answer would be for the Paladin to eat enough to live, then use Ultimate Mercy, and rinse and repeat. :P


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Rudy2 wrote:

I did this once, and it's a bad idea. Pathfinder cannot be made "realistic" without making it so convoluted as to be unplayable.

Next you're adding hex grids

Just tossing this out there, but the d20 system is freakin' baller with hex grids. I scarcely understand why it isn't the default. I've done some experimenting with hex grids and movement, spell placement, cone effects...pretty much everything is just better with a hex grid. There's no nonsense like every other diagonal square is 2, or anything like that.

Reach is easier. Movement is easier. I just...can't think of anything that is actually bad about using a hex grid. o_o


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LazarX wrote:
Are you kidding? with abundant healing around, the only thing that stops most psion players from over channeling is the worry of running out of psi points.

A very real possibility. I tend to play psions very conservatively. Overchannel does look really nice with tons of healing though (1d8, 3d8, 5d8 damage can hurt a lot at the levels they become available). I generally end most adventures at around 1/2 PP, as I'm generally more prone to manifesting low-PP effects each round.

One of the most amusing encounters in our Reign of Winter game was one where we were waging an epic battle against some giants. Now, apparently the book thought that we were going to need the help of a non-player-thing to deal with the threat, but we were droppin' 'em like they were hot because of our formation and carefully considered pokes.

For example, turns out giants have cruddy Reflex saves, and a few well placed ectoplasmic sheens (grease) were devastating to them, as being prone or having trouble holding onto your weapons round after round with a cruddy save is really hilarious to watch.

I think I spent maybe 5 PP that combat. :3


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Jeven wrote:
When someone you loves dies you don't then see them as just a corpse.

My mother passed away just recently. I was holding the IV bag while the paramedics worked their best to save her. I felt the very atmosphere of the room change when she died, and I knew when it was. At that point, her body was what was on our living room floor, not my mother. It no longer felt like my mother because my mother was no longer within it.

So I will attest with the utmost sincerity that when someone you loves dies you do not see them as a corpse. You may, however, see their corpse as a corpse, and recognize them for what still remains in another form.


Very nice. (^o^)


Blazej wrote:

That is very true and it is a very good-aligned paladin response.

I wasn't intending though to mean that the paladin was acting with honor meant that he was only doing so just to retain his powers. I meant that he was acting with honor because it is another important part of the code into him as part of his training and that for that character, acting with dishonor might have ramifications with him, but his paladin order.

What you suggest pushes away to lawful as it carries with it the feeling of, "if the rules are hurting people, then they should be ignored."

Rules exist for a purpose. When rules no longer serve that purpose, it's time to get some new rules. Given that even the Paladin code cares more about good/evil than it does about law/chaos, I'm inclined to think that if a Paladin finds law in conflict with good, good takes priority, though I do accept with the dumb way the code is worded in PF (as opposed to 3.5) my Paladin would fall for doing the right thing.

For the character that thinks that the rules of the order take precedence, then that would push them away from good as they see the rules as important if not more important than the health of others.

Quote:
The paladin has several parts to uphold in his oath and it is up to the paladin to determine which is most important to himself and those around him. Else, it would work better as a straight list that said, "protect innocents, then act with honor, then punish evil, ..." rather than setting them all things that must be upheld at all times.

I wish this were the case in a real sense. Unfortunately the mechanics don't support that. I would choose to lie because putting others before myself is good (altruism). However, I'd still fall for it because unlike in 3.5 where the Paladin was allowed a bit of interpretive freedom with their code, Pathfinder's Paladin code is just a big trap if you actually want to be a good guy.


JoeJ wrote:
Real adults and real heroes don't have magical powers, or have good and evil deities interfering with their everyday lives, or live in worlds where good and evil have the kind of objective reality that they do in Pathfinder. If somebody was playing Superman in a superhero game I wouldn't hit them with morally ambiguous situations that have no clear solution because that's not the kind of problem that's appropriate for Superman. That's not a weakness of the character, but a feature of the genre.

What's actually strikes me as funny in this case is superman during his heyday in the comics basically ended up in this exact thing. The writers had backed themselves into a wall with depictions of how grossly overpowered he was as a hero, and instead began focusing on his character development, personal life problems, and things you can't hit with your fist to solve, because everything else became quite boring.

Quote:
Any class that casts spells or has magical abilities is going to be limited in what genre (or sub-genre if you prefer) of fantasy simply because they do have magical abilities that work in a way appropriate to some genres and not others.

Well, as long as the genre is fantasy or science fiction, which in the grand scheme of things are incredibly broad and tend to include almost every other genre that isn't specifically non-fiction; including (but not limited to) everything from gritty pulp action, noir, and horror to My Little Pony and romance novels about dragons porkin' fair maidens.

Quote:
That's one area in which the non-casting classes are more flexible than the casters. For example, I wouldn't try using a Pathfinder druid as a player character in most kinds of horror (I wouldn't use a paladin either). Equally, the majority of Pathfinder classes are inappropriate for stories where magic is inherently corrupting or entails a risk of insanity. Or for stories where magic is subtle in its effects.

Dude, druids are kickass in horror games. o_o

Especially as villains. >:)


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lemeres wrote:

Mostly going off of how a few of the arguments I was proud of were getting torn apart and this joke:

Rynjin wrote:
Did he give you the whole "You know why I'm right, this should be obvious to anyone with a moral compass, you morally bankrupt monster you" spiel?
I have little first hand knowledge of how the developers/former developers are in conversation/as GMs (are they that bad?). I mostly know them as the ones that make comments in the rule threads that banish silliness like "half orc raised catfolk barbarians with 4 claw attacks" who get dissed by the kind of people....with those catfolk barbarians.

Ah, I see. :o

Quote:
Admittedly, I feel now that I was likely overly defensive (I think I have been making that a bad habit lately), and thus assumed you were just trolling. But that is again the danger of how we have limits on interpreting written statements, no? We end up painting more of ourselves onto it than the writer in our eyes.

Indeed. It can be hard to tell online sometimes. No harm done. For the record, I'm not much for trolling, though I am much for a good argument. To me, a good argument is a mutual search for truth, where two individuals are not fighting one another but engaging in a series of reason-based points and counterpoints in a search for the truest of answers.

I realize this view, or ideal, is not shared by many a messageboard enthusiast, however. :\


lemeres wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
lemeres wrote:
...with all this argument about moral ambiguity, I began to make assumptions. I must say, that is a fantastically honorable answer. Thank you for the guidance and helping me to look past myself.

Um, thank you. o_o

Are you...being sarcastic? :o

Nope.

..that is a legitimate, 'I'm not pulling a double bluff' nope. But this could be interpreted as sarcastic too... darn you limits of written media and our sarcasm obsessed generation!

It was an elegant argument that did in fact espouse the core ideals of a paladin (sacrifice of the self for the sake of others).

I am a person that is rather serious about paladin conduct. When I look at this class, and think 'this makes a great tank', my next question is 'could I possibly try negotiating with those hill giants rather than go in smiting?' since I can take a few hits if the answer is 'no'.

Admittedly, I would not go in without a plan either, since I have a party to worry about. Stealth and readied actions exist for good reasons, and 'blast the first thing that looks at good-two-shoes funny' seems like a reasonable way to use them.

Oh, well thank you then. ^_^

Out of curiosity...you said that you were making some assumptions (presumably about my posts/or mindset perhaps?) that my response kind of rebuked unintentionally. Would you mind if I asked what those assumptions were?


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JoeJ wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
IMO, a paladin should face black and white moral situations. The right answer might be very hard to discover, but once discovered there shouldn't be any doubt that it is the right answer. The class doesn't really work very well with shades of gray. To me, paladins are the four-color superheroes of the fantasy genre and I would feel like I wasn't being fair to the player if I didn't give them the chance to act that way.
It's sad that there's even a base class that makes a GM feel like they have to dumb the game down for it to be enjoyable. -_-

?? What do you mean? Playing within the rules of the genre isn't dumbing down anything.

I was referring to these sentences.

"IMO, a paladin should face black and white moral situations."
"The class doesn't really work very well with shades of gray."

I find it saddening to think that a class requires a GM to paint everything in black and white strokes, and yes I do see that as dumbing things down, because real adults, and real heroes, don't always have the luxury of a certain right or a certain wrong answer.

Further, it might be fine in one genre, but I also feel like core classes (if not any class) should be able to comfortably fit into many different genres without problems, especially if dealing with a campaign setting like Golarion which is generally as genre inclusive as possible.


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JoeJ wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
lemeres wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Well, the right answer there is obvious, since making deals with fiends is historically a bad idea.

In my world, there will never be a situation where the morally correct thing to do is follow the advice of a fiend.

...unless.... they give you perfectly legitimate advice based on the idea that you will never follow it, since they are so untrustworthy.

DOUBLE DEMON BLUFF!

This is exactly the sort of thing the devils (and occasional demon) actually would do in my games if they are corruption focused (which most devils in my games are). Because they usually will indeed help you, but it might come at some sort of price, even if that price has no apparent value.

You catch more flies with honey, after all.

I think the problem with that approach in this context is that a Paladin has the absolute moral right to smite evil outsider (along with dragons and undead). It's one of those coveted black and white moral choices.

Do you think any paladin is going to give a fiend five seconds to speak when they realize, for once in their life, they have express permission from the creators of the world to smite something without falling?

Only if they know that it's an evil outsider. This kind of deception usually works much better if the fiend is disguised as something more benevolent. A priest of the paladin's god, for example.

Succubi are pretty good at that. I've had campaigns where succubi have attempted to screw with Paladins for their own amusement, and sometimes get upset and in a huff when the Paladin doesn't falter from their attempts at upsetting him. In rare cases, the succubus may even appear before the Paladin and demand he explain himself because she wants to know why continues being a good guy when she's been shoveling loads of **** all in his face from behind the scenes.


JoeJ wrote:

If they publish anything further about gods, something generic like the old Deities and Demigods would be much more helpful to me than more information about the religions of a fictional world I'm not using.

Personally I pretty much use creatures of a power range that I consider sufficiently powerful. And that power may be quite relative. Generally any deity that I would stat out would be around CR 25 (because higher CR is just not necessary when a Solar is already godlike in every sense of the word, right down to being unkillable without magic that opposes its very being, and the ability to poop wishes and miracles).

In my own campaign, creatures are often worshiped as gods for far less. One very prominent religion is actually devoted to a high level Lillend Azata. In the same campaign, it's not uncommon to find small cults devoted to the worship of a particular fiend, or dragon(s), or in some cases undead (such as liches, mummies, etc).


Lemeres wrote:

Well, a nicer way to put it is that you don't know what will happen with 'unknown dark arts spells'. I think knowledge:arcana check is not going to help to much with that (since where would you have learned about it from?). Maybe spellcraft? Yeah, that sounds good, since it is supposed to be about the 'technical art of casting a spell', and works on magic items with weird, randomly added rules that do not come from spells.

And even if it doesn't do any more damage to the sacrificed kid...well, what does it do to the kid being 'helped'? I mean, why would an evil spellcaster go to the trouble of making a spell like this when other options already exist (it is obvious part of the reason why some do gooders decided to divorce his head and body). I would be suspect of whether the sick kid would start growing tentacles.....

That is why you avoid the dark arts kids- no one wants to talk about them, so it can be hard to tell what you are signing up for.

Yeah, spellcraft, Knowledge Arcana, and all that sort of thing is really useful. I imagine that those skills aren't simply a matter of knowing every spell and/or magic item in existence, but instead the knowledge that is needed to examine and interpret what a spell does. Hence why a wizard can identify a druid's call lightning as it is being cast, even though he can never learn or cast that spell himself.


lemeres wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Blazej wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If a GM told me my Paladin fell for using said scroll on said child, I'd walk out and never associate with him or her again. Not because of the game ruling, but because I would want to stay far, far away from that human being.
What if told your Paladin fell for lying if telling the truth meant a family of innocents dying? (Lets say for this example this is like Speed, but the bus explodes if the paladin doesn't tell at least 50 lies per hour.)
I'd lie my ass off (putting my power before the needs of others would kind of kill the whole point). I'd lose my powers, but if I did otherwise I wouldn't deserve them anyway.
...with all this argument about moral ambiguity, I began to make assumptions. I must say, that is a fantastically honorable answer. Thank you for the guidance and helping me to look past myself.

Um, thank you. o_o

Are you...being sarcastic? :o


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DominusMegadeus wrote:

I think the problem with that approach in this context is that a Paladin has the absolute moral right to smite evil outsider (along with dragons and undead). It's one of those coveted black and white moral choices.

Do you think any paladin is going to give a fiend five seconds to speak when they realize, for once in their life, they have express permission from the creators of the world to smite something without falling?

I would. Most of my Paladins aren't generally interested in starting fights (but they're usually damn good at finishing them). If anything, evil or not, wasn't being hostile I'm not going to immediately murder it on the spot. Two wrongs do not make a right.

(This would, however, be a point where I would be highly likely to drink my elixir of +10 to a skill (sense motive) to support my already maxed ranks in Sense Motive. >_>)

Fiends are sentient creatures too, and hurting, oppressing, and killing them without justification is just as evil as doing the same to an an elf. Since I don't believe in racist genocide, I'm generally willing to stay my blade long enough to hear them out. If you cannot trust a Paladin to at least hear you out, who could you trust?


phantom1592 wrote:

Mechanically I would agree.

Fluff? It could depend on some things...

If Killing the kid was spell component and they used that to make the scroll... what if all the damage isn't done yet? I could see an evil wizard coming up with this spell powered by the kid's soul... that is utterly destroyed when the spell is cast.

Does that change your opinion any? Is it worth destroying a kids eternal soul to cast the spell? Would burning it free him?

Then we wouldn't use it, but such was not how it was presented. That would be an obviously terrible end to the action of using it, as opposed to an evil past-tense that was already said and done. Again, it comes down to what you do. If the kid's soul was destroyed (and I'm very much against the very idea of destroying souls) already, then we end up right back in the situation where some poor innocent was harmed with great cost, and now not using it to achieve some measure of good would be morally reprehensible.

Quote:
That would be an ethical dilemma. I could see that as an Evil act that requires some serious atonement for... at that point it really is YOU that's committing the sacrifice and not so much the guy who made the scroll...

It's not really an ethical dilemma at all. I just wouldn't do it. In this case, I'd say it was more evil to use it to save a child's life, because the destruction of a soul would be even more horrible.

Quote:
Mechanically, yeah, its rubbish. But there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes with 'made up spells'

I'm not following your reasoning here. Spells do what spells say that they do. When you cast death knell to finish off an enemy and power yourself up, the soul of the dead creature doesn't magically implode into nothingness.


lemeres wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Well, the right answer there is obvious, since making deals with fiends is historically a bad idea.

In my world, there will never be a situation where the morally correct thing to do is follow the advice of a fiend.

...unless.... they give you perfectly legitimate advice based on the idea that you will never follow it, since they are so untrustworthy.

DOUBLE DEMON BLUFF!

This is exactly the sort of thing the devils (and occasional demon) actually would do in my games if they are corruption focused (which most devils in my games are). Because they usually will indeed help you, but it might come at some sort of price, even if that price has no apparent value.

You catch more flies with honey, after all.


JoeJ wrote:
IMO, a paladin should face black and white moral situations. The right answer might be very hard to discover, but once discovered there shouldn't be any doubt that it is the right answer. The class doesn't really work very well with shades of gray. To me, paladins are the four-color superheroes of the fantasy genre and I would feel like I wasn't being fair to the player if I didn't give them the chance to act that way.

It's sad that there's even a base class that makes a GM feel like they have to dumb the game down for it to be enjoyable. -_-


Wheldrake wrote:
C'mon, I just don't buy it. Even if you're chaotic neutral, dining on the dead is just plain evil.

Why should I believe you?


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Blazej wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If a GM told me my Paladin fell for using said scroll on said child, I'd walk out and never associate with him or her again. Not because of the game ruling, but because I would want to stay far, far away from that human being.
What if told your Paladin fell for lying if telling the truth meant a family of innocents dying? (Lets say for this example this is like Speed, but the bus explodes if the paladin doesn't tell at least 50 lies per hour.)

I'd lie my ass off (putting my power before the needs of others would kind of kill the whole point). I'd lose my powers, but if I did otherwise I wouldn't deserve them anyway.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
I guess Neutral is the new good.
Personally, I'd argue that not using the scroll is a greater Evil act than using it could ever be. And that's defensible, per the rules. So not necessarily.

Agreed 150% actually. That's what blew my mind about it. Here you have a magical doohicky that some poor kid died for, against his will even, but at least his soul could know that it saved someone else's life. I, personally, would be comforted by the idea that if I was going to be murdered, that it would at least have a silver lining like saving the life of some kid with leukemia.

If a GM told me my Paladin fell for using said scroll on said child, I'd walk out and never associate with him or her again. Not because of the game ruling, but because I would want to stay far, far away from that human being.


Rynjin wrote:
Did he give you the whole "You know why I'm right, this should be obvious to anyone with a moral compass, you morally bankrupt monster you" spiel?

Whatever would give you that idea? :)


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I guess Neutral is the new good.


Artemis Moonstar wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
...quotes from devs saying that it is better to let a child with cancer die than to heal them with a scroll that was made with an [Evil] spell (to which the very example of such a thing was to such an extent evil unto itself that I was nearly sick with disgust...
Wait, what? I missed this.

I was once in a debate with both SKR and JJ about the alignment and spell thing, and neither could provide a RAW example of it being true, nor could either of them discredit the absurdity of the natural conclusion to that sort of ruling (that standing in a field casting protection from evil over and over will therefor make you good).

But, I was utterly repulsed and disgusted when SKR presented a scenario where a BBEG had a spell that he made up, which requires you to sacrifice an innocent as a spell component but otherwise healed all diseases; kidnapped a kid, and made a scroll of said spell; then he said if the PCs didn't destroy the scroll and instead used the scroll (keep in mind, the kid is already dead at this point) would be evil.

Except the PCs aren't hurting, oppressing, or killing anyone, and to use the scroll would be to destroy it (because that's how scrolls work). Yet he stood me down that to use the scroll to save the life of another innocent, such as a child with cancer, was evil because the spell had the [Evil] descriptor. Literally that it would be more good to burn the scroll and let the child die.

I was disgusted. Truly disgusted.


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Scavion wrote:
Isn't there a passage in Wrath of the Righteous that says the spells with an alignment descriptor are an X act?

I don't know. I don't remember a Wrath of the Righteous chapter in the Core Rulebook.


lemeres wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

If it's not hurting, oppressing, or killing someone, it's not evil. Source: The freakin' alignment rules.

Doesn't matter if it is creepy or gross. Creepy and gross is not evil (though a lot of evil may be creepy and gross).

I think dragon crafting could be considered 'hurting, oppressing, or killing'.

I mean, the fact that their is an industry for your organs and bodily fluids seems creepy (at least in the sense of the black market, rather than legitimate organ donors; hard to imagine most dragons doing that)

This brings up the Murderhobo Paradox:
Do you just happen to get loot from legitimate fights and killings, or are you fighting and killing in order to get loot?

That entirely depends on why you're fighting a dragon. Are you doing it for his horde, or for some other reason?

Though I suppose your line of reasoning means anyone wearing dragonhide armor is evil. I'm sure that's a great idea.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
People at Paizo have claimed that casting protection from evil or summoning celestial badgers a bunch of times will make you go to heaven (JJ treats casting an aligned spell as an act of that alignment)-

That's really not how that works. Not all Good or Evil acts are equal. Casting Protection From Evil is a Good act on par with being nice to your waiter and leaving a big tip. If being nice to all your waiters and tipping well, and nothing else, is enough to get you into Heaven...you were probably a pretty decent person to start with.

Aratrok wrote:

without any rules citations, I'd add.

I'm not inclined to call those official rules. :P

Eh, I'd argue that anything the majority of the Paizo staff say is how things work is how they work officially, since they're the ones that decide what the official rules are.

Where is the chapter that describes how much good or how much evil casting a spell is? I cannot find it, because...IT DOES NOT EXIST.

What does exist is the alignment rules which throw all this nonsensical trash out on its ear, and puts a boot to the hindside of stupid arguments over things like this.

Again, it's like this: If you are HURTING, OPPRESSING, or KILLING it's evil. If you are not doing those things you are not doing evil. Doesn't matter what you're using to do it either. Either you do evil, or you don't. There is no section of the manual that states that casting spells with [x] subtype is always equivalent to x actions. All it does is affect how they interact with other spells and mechanical effects such as dispel good and detect law.

Quotes or it didn't happen. And I don't mean quotes from devs not following the rules, or quotes from devs saying that it is better to let a child with cancer die than to heal them with a scroll that was made with an [Evil] spell (to which the very example of such a thing was to such an extent evil unto itself that I was nearly sick with disgust at the very notion).


lemeres wrote:
More like 'it is evil since it highly encourages predatory behavior, and I have to ask why you spent you time figuring out how to do that'

Experience points encourage predatory behavior. As does treasure. As does the Survival skill. And so on, and so on.

It also encourages survivalist and scavenging, since it can be used on dead creatures too. Adventurers *cough*murderhobos*cough* tend to have a lot of those around even if they don't want to.

The original thing JJ was talking about was the Blood Drinker feat, which has this line:

Quote:

That sound evil. You hunt down and drink the blood of intelligent enough creatures that you have detailed preferences and have learned how to more effectively feed on them and gain power from it.

Similarly, the Cook People Hex is a high level hex that you need considerable training to learn.

Citation? I'm pretty sure a witch can just hit that level and decide that she wants to get creative in the kitchen by applying the magic she's learned or intuitively acquired from her familiar/patron. Even then, you could get considerable practice without murder, it just means you need to find dead bodies that aren't in use (IE - graveyards or the countless orcs and demons who died in your defending the hapless peasants).

Quote:
Planning to get either of these effects means that you do things like this regularly enough that it is not just plain 'necessity'.

Necessity has diddly to do with evil. If you are not HURTING, OPPRESSING, or KILLING somebody you are not doing evil. End of story.


Yeah, using the hex on a living creature (since it specifies alive or dead) would definitely be evil. That said, if they were dead already? Well it does say that the result is always delicious, and I've never had orc before.


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That would definitely fit with the cargo cult thing. Heheh.
EDIT: Though I was actually thinking of biblical terms, like Elijah's ascent to heaven.


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LazarX wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

I mean, let's be real here. Most D&D characters of around 9th level would be considered gods by us today if we saw them. I mean, if you saw someone walk up to a dying person and restore them to perfect health in less than 12 seconds, what would you think?

If you saw someone fly up into the air (levitate or fly and begin throwing fire from their hands with enough force to incinerate entire platoons of men instantly (fireball with the average warrior having about 6 HP with a 12-13 Con), while our nonmagical bullets did diddly squat to them (protection from arrows), and they were wearing nothing but robes?

If you watched someone walk out into a farming community, lift their hands, bless the crops, and increase their growth and yields by 33% for the next season? Or watch someone control the weather with their will, or call down lightning on their enemies with a glance?

If you watched someone strip another person of their free will with a word? Or assume the visage of anyone they wished? Raised the dead? Or called up the dead to be their soldiers?

What of these things is NOT "godlike"?

It all depends on context. One person doing these things is a miracle. A dozen of them.... a new top 500 corporation.

Exactly!


Lamontius wrote:

guys

if I die first
you all can eat me

Aww, you're so sweet Lamontius! *slurp, slurp*


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If it's not hurting, oppressing, or killing someone, it's not evil. Source: The freakin' alignment rules.

Doesn't matter if it is creepy or gross. Creepy and gross is not evil (though a lot of evil may be creepy and gross).


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I mean, let's be real here. Most D&D characters of around 9th level would be considered gods by us today if we saw them. I mean, if you saw someone walk up to a dying person and restore them to perfect health in less than 12 seconds, what would you think?

If you saw someone fly up into the air (levitate or fly and begin throwing fire from their hands with enough force to incinerate entire platoons of men instantly (fireball with the average warrior having about 6 HP with a 12-13 Con), while our nonmagical bullets did diddly squat to them (protection from arrows), and they were wearing nothing but robes?

If you watched someone walk out into a farming community, lift their hands, bless the crops, and increase their growth and yields by 33% for the next season? Or watch someone control the weather with their will, or call down lightning on their enemies with a glance?

If you watched someone strip another person of their free will with a word? Or assume the visage of anyone they wished? Raised the dead? Or called up the dead to be their soldiers?

What of these things is NOT "godlike"?


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On a side note, has anyone here ever heard of Cargo Cults?

Wikipedia wrote:

Pacific cults of World War II

The most widely known period of cargo cult activity occurred among the Melanesian islanders in the years during and after World War II. A small population of indigenous peoples observed, often right in front of their dwellings, the largest war ever fought by technologically advanced nations. First, the Japanese arrived with a great deal of supplies and later the Allied forces did likewise.

The vast amounts of military equipment and supplies that both sides airdropped (or airlifted to airstrips) to troops on these islands meant drastic changes to the lifestyle of the islanders, many of whom had never seen outsiders before. Manufactured clothing, medicine, canned food, tents, weapons and other goods arrived in vast quantities for the soldiers, who often shared some of it with the islanders who were their guides and hosts. This was true of the Japanese Army as well, at least initially before relations deteriorated in most regions.

The John Frum cult, one of the most widely reported and longest-lived, formed on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu. This cult started before the war, and only became a cargo cult afterwards. Cult members worship certain "Americans" (such as John Frum and Tom Navy), who they claimed had brought cargo to their island during World War II, as the spiritual entity who would provide the cargo to them in the future.[13]
Post-war

With the end of the war, the military abandoned the airbases and stopped dropping cargo. In response, charismatic individuals developed cults among remote Melanesian populations that promised to bestow on their followers deliveries of food, arms, Jeeps, etc. The cult leaders explained that the cargo would be gifts from their own ancestors, or other sources, as had occurred with the outsider armies. In attempts to get cargo to fall by parachute or land in planes or ships again, islanders imitated the same practices they had seen the soldiers, sailors, and airmen use. Cult behaviors usually involved mimicking the day-to-day activities and dress styles of US soldiers, such as performing parade ground drills with wooden or salvaged rifles.[14] The islanders carved headphones from wood and wore them while sitting in fabricated control towers. They waved the landing signals while standing on the runways. They lit signal fires and torches to light up runways and lighthouses.[citation needed]

In a form of sympathetic magic, many built life-size replicas of aeroplanes out of straw and cut new military-style landing strips out of the jungle, hoping to attract more aeroplanes. The cult members thought that the foreigners had some special connection to the deities and ancestors of the natives, who were the only beings powerful enough to produce such riches.

Cargo cults are typically created by individual leaders, or big men in the Melanesian culture, and it is not at all clear if these leaders were sincere, or were simply running scams on gullible populations. The leaders typically held cult rituals well away from established towns and colonial authorities, thus making reliable information about these practices very difficult to acquire.

For all intents and purposes, these strange "gods" in their bizarre crafts came down from the sky and interacted with the natives, engaged in wars with other gods, and provided bountiful gifts of magic to these people. From their perspective, at least.


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Guang wrote:
Has anyone compared pathfinder and 5e creatures (bestiary entries)? Are they at all inter-compatible?

Mechanically speaking, the likelihood of them being interchangable is extremely low as the two systems are already looking to be quite different.

From a fluff perspective, bringing / converting almost anything to the d20 system is not only doable but often pretty painless. However, if the monsters are at all similar to 4E monsters in their design paradigms, you will need to round out a lot o the monsters or else they will feel very boring and lackluster by comparison to other creatures in the bestiaries.

What I mean by this is, in the 4E design structure, the monsters exist only to be killed. As a result, they rarely if ever had anything that you could use to develop them as NPCs, or include from an ecological perspective.

For example, in D&D 3.x/PF, a bone devil has a few different things that it can contribute not only to combat but to the overall narrative. Their abilities like invisibility, greater teleport, and quickened invisibility make them great options for spies and assassins, while dimensional anchor and wall of ice make them useful for providing support for more powerful fiends.

In a similar vein, Imps have commune periodically as a SLA, which is purely a sort of story-forwarding divination ability.

You're almost guaranteed to stumble across undead fiends and creatures in a pit fiend's lair because of their create undead SLA which has little in-combat application. Likewise, their ability to trap and trade souls like currency (backed by their mechanics) in itself is a strong element that you could add to various adventures.

Further, most well designed 3.x monsters are more well rounded than they were in the 4E paradigm, often capable of changing their strategies up, with two or three different means of being an obstacle to the party (erinyes for example can provide martial offense, or blast the snot out of you with SLAs, in both cases usually as hit and run or skirmish tactics), which usually leads to more dynamic combat potential* than the default creatures in by 4E MM.

*: I say potential because not all GMs will run their NPCs to their potential. If a GM just has an erinyes stand around and shoot, or try to whack someone with their sword, and/or not take advantage of their abilities then the encounter will still be just as "meh" as it would have been if they only had 1 special ability.

However, a well designed monster is a character in its own right and when placed in the hands of a GM who will make use of its potential is leaps and bounds beyond what 4E-style monsters had in potential, though the 4E monsters were simpler.


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Odraude wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
You know that saying "a sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic"? Well, a sufficiently advanced lifeform would be indistinguishable from god.
What does a god need with a space ship?

It's called a chariot, duh. /endjoke


That's pretty awesome. :)

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