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Halruun

Deadmanwalking's page

RPG Superstar 8 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 9,533 posts (9,733 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 3 aliases.


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Liberty's Edge

Deighton Thrane wrote:
Eldritch scoundrels don't necessarily have to be far behind in sneak attack. With accomplished sneak attacker at level 7 you're 1d6 behind, and it doesn't get worse for another 4 levels. On the plus side, you get to vanish as a swift action, almost ensuring sneak attack every round. Sure you lose a few skills, but you also gain 6 level casting instead. Overall, it's a really good rogue archetype, probably not as good as a full arcane caster, and requires you to play a little different than a normal rogue, but still a really good option.

Sense Vitals also adds enough to make up for the difference, and is a 2nd level Wizard spell. Add in Accomplished Sneak Attacker you can actually have more Sneak Attack than a standard Rogue at higher levels.

Liberty's Edge

golfdeltafoxtrot wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Like seriously, your stats are atrocious for attempting any sort of combat. Going dex based is only 1 better than str based, Take weapon focus and then you're equal effect. AKA, not a good deal.

So with that I recommend. 15+2/12/14/14/11/10 or if you really want dex based instead, 12/15+2/14/14/11/10. This will give you the combat boost you need, and hardly a loss at the skill stuff. The str based makes you good at combat now and forever. Dex based takes awhile to ramp up to being good.

I agree. On reflection, the stats aren't great. They can easily be shuffled around seeing as it's a PFS character with 1XP. 12/15+2/14/14/11/10 looks good. I accept that Dex-based is a slightly slower route to combat effectiveness, but I don't really see the character as a high-strength type. I think I'll stick with the Dex plan.

I'll note that, if you replace Tomb Raider with Student of Philosophy you can drop Wis to 10 and Cha to 7 at little meaningful cost and get Int to 16.

If going Dex, you can also swap out Improved Initiative for Weapon Focus (via retraining) when you hit 2nd, and then grab either Fencing Grace or Slashing Grace at 3rd and have Dex-to-damage, which is a very solid choice, all things considered.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
To reiterate, assuming 14+ as high levels of competence, 16.3% of women have high levels of competence in Wisdom to 4.7% of men, and 37.6% of women have high levels of competence in Charisma to men's 16.3%.

It's significant population-wise, not significant within the potential leadership pool.

You're looking at only a 3:1/4:1 ratio there.

So 20-25% give or take of the leadership would be men. That's not exactly matriarchal.

A ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 (and it's closer to 4:1 if you assume, say, Wis 10 and Cha 14 as a minimum for a leader, which seems a reasonable minimum) is almost certainly gonna get called matriarchal.

I'd certainly call a culture with that leadership ratio in favor of men 'primarily patriarchal'. And yes, that includes much of current Western culture.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
You're assuming facts not in evidence and basing conclusions on them. Stop that.

*buzzer*

I quoted the PDF and nowhere does it say they can become leaders. It says they can be soldiers.

It states that they can raise to positions of prominance. Prominance does not mean leadership.

In that sentence, in normal English, yes it does.

HWalsh wrote:
You're the one assuming facts and basing conclusions on them and you should stop it.

No, not based on an understanding of how a sentence is constructed. Let's examine the sentences in question, piece by piece:

"Lashunta society is matriarchal, though not categorically so:"

So. A categorically matriarchal society has only women in charge. A non-categorically matriarchal society does not have only women in charge. That's just how the language works.

"men of particular achievement are welcome to rise to positions of prominence, but most lashunta point to their women’s level-headed persuasiveness as better suited to leadership than the men’s brash violence. "

This portion, after a colon, and in regards to the society not being categorically matriarchal, can't really have any other meaning than male leaders existing. There's...not actually another way to read that in conversational English.

"Similarly, while men are often seen as innately suited to physical combat, both genders are well represented among soldiers and adventurers."

And this following sentence starts with 'Similarly' which means that the situation in physical combat must be pretty similar only reversed. Which is strong supporting evidence.

And finally, and most definitively:

"To a lashunta, gender may predispose, but it never prescribes."

Never prescribing definitionally means that either gender of Lashunta can achieve any position. That's just what those words in that order mean. There is not another interpretation there in actual English.

HWalsh wrote:

What we know:

Women are leaders but it's possible for men to attain prominance. Women are considered responsible for the protections of the settlements. Men are considered less able to be level headed. Men can become soldiers.

We actually also know that the situation with women becoming soldiers is very similar to that of men becoming politicians. So there's that, too. Which sorta means men must be able to become politicians since the women can be warriors.

HWalsh wrote:
Can men become leaders? The sources don't say yes. Prominent doesn't mean leader.

It does in that sentence.

HWalsh wrote:
Based on what is written I'd say the Lashunta are at a social development level of the USA in the mid 1960's with Women and Men having their "accepted" political roles and "accepted" competence roles reversed.

Uh...no. That's not what we know at all. In the 1960s there were absolutely jobs that were prescribed by one's gender, since the Lashunta don't do that...

Also, and once again, humans are not sexually dimorphic on anywhere close to the level of the Lashunta, which makes comparing their society's gender roles to ours really and legitimately not appropriate.

HWalsh wrote:
Just as that time was misogynist for us, it's misandrist for them. Especially since there is a grand total of a 5% difference in maximum competence.

Nope. Not actually how it works. Yes, there's a 5% difference in maximum competence, but that results in only a tiny fraction of one gender reaching high levels of competence in that area as compared to the other.

To reiterate, assuming 14+ as high levels of competence, 16.3% of women have high levels of competence in Wisdom to 4.7% of men, and 37.6% of women have high levels of competence in Charisma to men's 16.3%.

So, that's more than double the number who are notably good at Charisma, and more than triple in Wisdom. Likewise, men are more than twice as likely to be good at Str and three times as likely to be good at Con.

Those are significant numbers of a full population. Like,seriously significant.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:

There is, but you have to be way more extreme than a +2 ability score bonus.

Even then it'd breed contempt no matter what.

You'd need some kind of disability that couldn't be overcome and that limited the person in an excessive manner.

Extreme contempt is in no way mandated by two groups being different. Even in base capabilities.

It can certainly result, depending on what the culture values, but it's not inevitable. And Lashunta value scholarship (something men and women are equally good at) above all things. And seem to value battle prowess at least as much as political prowess.

So...why would women being (on average) better leaders create any more contempt than men being flatly physically superior? Neither are the main trait their society values and both are valuable to them.

HWalsh wrote:

Like, if all men/women of X race rolled only 1d6+2 for Wisdom and Charisma. At that point you'd have a situation where the wisest and most charismatic of that sex was still slightly below the average of the other gender.

There would have to be a sharp enough divide that it simply wasn't possible to make it up.

To ban them from a task, sure. But, as I've stated repeatedly, a +2 matters a lot more at the very high end of capability, which means that the percentage of male leaders goes way down if they have -2 in both relevant stats. Which they do.

HWalsh wrote:
The difference, on a skill check, between the 2 characters is a +1. A 5% difference. Amusingly the funny thing is he makes a slightly less good politician, but it's so small if you did 100 rolls, 1d20+5 and 1d20+6 I bet the numbers would be within the margin of error. IE a +1 is statistically irrelevant long term.

This is true to some degree, and on any individual character, but it ignores the increasing unlikelihood of rolling higher stats. A 15 is an exceptionally good roll. A 16 even better. A man who rolled those could absolutely be a leader in Lashunta society, being notably better at both than average for even a female.

But he's the exception, not the rule. Indeed, less than .9% (or less than one in 100) male Lashunta have scores of 14+ in both those stats. Contrariwise, over 6% of female Lashunta have similarly high stats.

If talking about individuals, the percentages I'm talking don't matter...but we're talking about whole populations here. In a pure meritocracy where women are nearly seven times as likely as men to have social stats in that range, most of your leaders are gonna wind up being female just because of how that works.

And, frankly, a society where 7/8 leaders (or even 3/4) are women is gonna get called a matriarchy even if men can reach all the same leadership positions as women.

Liberty's Edge

Matt2VK wrote:
If I do go with a Mithral Full Plate, I do understand I need to have the heavy armor proficiency to wear it BUT does it count as Medium Armor for the Rangers Style?

It does, though you'll need Proficiency.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:

By your own reasoning then the Lashunta would only make up 20% of the warriors and the males would make up 80% because, as you stated, 5:1 ratio.

The Women then would be cavalry only, with virtually no rank and file. So instead, if there wasn't a massive amount of discrimination among the Lashunta, the write up would look more like:

They don't.

You're reading a whole lot into one sentence that's from a completely different edition of the game and deals exclusively with the women. The sentences immediately following it deal with the men.

And who says that women aren't only 20% to 35% of the military? I don't think anyone ever specified percentages. Heck, given the usual Cavalry to Infantry ratio in most armies and the Lashunta's female soldiers being exclusively referred to as lizard riders (there are probably some who aren't, but the lion's share seem to be), that's actually a solid assumption to operate under.

HWalsh wrote:

The PDF does have different text, but here is the PDF version:

Again, doesn't mention men, and only mentions the women banding together to keep the hordes of dangerous fauna away from their settlements.

From the same article

"Barely half the height of their female counterparts and twice as broad, the rugged men of Castrovel are hairy and fierce, their prowess in battle matched only by their keen intellect and thirst for knowledge. Both sexes see the pursuit of mental perfection, the unlocking of the brain’s utmost potential, as the most noble of goals, and as a result Castrovel is a fertile breeding ground for psions and telepaths."

So...they have great prowess in battle and are great scholars. The latter being seen as the highest goal in Lashunta society.

HWalsh wrote:
Also while it mentions the men being rugged in battle it in no way says that they can become warriors for the Lashunta, again. The book actually doesn't give them any role within Lashunta society.

Uh...it specifies they often become great scholars. And display great prowess in battle. As I just quoted.

I'm not even sure what 'displaying great prowess in battle' entails in a society where you're banned from serving in the military. That would be one of the weirdest and most awkward phrasings I've ever heard of.

In short, the assumption that they can't serve in the military is deeply unwarranted based on the actual text. I don't think anyone else parsed that paragraph that way, and I'm sorry that you did, but there's no evidence that doing so was the author's intent. And, indeed, as Kalindlara notes, a wealth of evidence that it wasn't exists given that no subsequent book has repeated that phrasing.

You're assuming facts not in evidence and basing conclusions on them. Stop that.

HWalsh wrote:
Honestly I don't see why you are refuting the comment I initially made about them being like to have misandry within their society. Even you admit to discrimination and sexism. Which automatically means that there is some misandry somewhere. Guess what? There is also probably some misogyny too as I bet there is more than 1 male Lashunta who's angry that he's not allowed to become a politician simply because he's a man.

There's a bit of a difference between a society with some sexism and one that is 'misandrist'. Also, from the bit Kalindlara quoted, I was wrong. They specify that men can achieve political power in Inner Sea Races (which I'd actually missed...it's not a big section), so given that I'm not seeing any evidence of actual sexism at all.

HWalsh wrote:
Heck, the men even look like hairy brutes in comparison, which would create even more antagonistic feelings between the two sexes.

Uh...they're sexually dimorphic...do you actually have any understanding of those words? They mean the genders look different. They do not mean that one finds the other unattractive, and indeed, in order for such a difference to persist, the females must find the males fairly attractive. So the women presumably find short hairy men more attractive than tall lithe ones. That's how sexual dimorphism works.

Or to put it another way: Lashunta women trapped on Golarion are more likely to date Dwarves than Elves. On the basis of physical attractiveness, anyway.

HWalsh wrote:

Tie that with also the assertion that only Lashunta women can bond with the lizards and you get a situation of a society where basically:

The ruling caste are all women, are all beautiful, who can bond with powerful lizard steeds and the men are soldiers at best who are considered, at least as far as wisdom is concerned, inferior.

If that doesn't breed some amount of contempt between the two sexes NOTHING will.

That sort of ignores that men indisputably indulge in scholarly pursuits on an equal basis with the women and that Lashunta culture explicitly views scholarly and intellectual pursuits as the most important and valued thing. Plus there's Kalindlara's quoted passage that says they can do anything, even lead.

HWalsh wrote:

You don't think, if someone said:

"most point to their men’s level-headed persuasiveness as better suited to leadership than the women’s emotional behavior."

That there wouldn't be calls for that guy's head on a plate followed by (well-deserved) cries of misogyny?

In humans? Absolutely. In a sexually dimorphic species (say, one based on hyenas) with men who are literally more charming and level headed? No.

Acknowledging reality is not prejudice. Especially if you're willing to also acknowledge deviations from the norm. Which they apparently are, given that men can rise to positions of leadership, it's just rarer.

HWalsh wrote:
I stand by my statement. You divide people up along lines like gender, race, religion, etc. and it's going to breed contempt on both sides.

Not if they're literally divided in capability. I have high-functioning autism. I'm super good at some stuff due to that...and not so good at other stuff. Society making accommodations to that (which it does, for the record) is not being prejudiced, nor would society acknowledging the advantages that it provides. That's a far closer analogy to the situation than actual human gender differences.

Liberty's Edge

Ethereal Gears wrote:
@Deadmanwalking: Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point, but aren't the bestiaries simply brimming with enemies "having the ability to do things the PCs can't theoretically get in some way"? I mean, having more than one turn per round doesn't seem that much different from scores of other unique monster abilities out there, many of which are usable at will, that are fine for an enemy to have but would disrupt the game severely if put in the hands of a PC.

If they're fighting a unique monster, sure. IME, most main villains are either creatures who shouldn't have abilities that are that big a departure from the norm, or NPCs with class levels.

So...it's a situational thing. I did say 'generally'.

Liberty's Edge

If you have any Ranger Combat Style Feats/Talents (as most Slayers do, and you mentioned needing more Feats, so I'm betting you have), they are incompatible with heavy armor, and this is a terrible plan.

If you don't have those...why not? And what did you spend your Talents on? I'm curious.

Liberty's Edge

HWalsh wrote:

Now, since you called up ability scores:

First of all... We are going to discount your outlying stats because they are irrelevant. Why? Because they are irrelevant.

Uh...the percentage of people with a 9 or less and the percentage with a 14+ are both super-relevant. On a rather profound level. I'll discuss why below.

HWalsh wrote:

The average median is the important factor.

Lashunta have the following average scores: (Women/Men)

Strength: 5-20 (avg: 12.5)/3-18 (avg: 10.5)
Constitution: 3-18 (avg:10.5)/1-15 (avg: 8.5)
Wisdom: 1-15 (avg: 8.5)/3-18 (avg: 10.5)
Intelligence: 5-20 (avg: 12.5)/5-20 (avg: 12.5)
Charisma: 3-18 (avg: 10.5)/5-20 (avg: 12.5)

Those are the medians by math (assuming a die roll of 3-4-3) and yes there will be outliers, but they will hardly be significant enough to skew an ENTIRE society.

A score of 10-11 on 3d6 occurs 25% of the time. 75% thus have scores above or below that. 75% of the population is not 'outliers'. That's...not how numbers work. Which makes 'outliers' actually super relevant.

HWalsh wrote:

Now... Let's put the real numbers to the test at low levels.

Let's assume that a level 2 Male and a level 1 Female both have the same ranks in diplomacy and that it is a class skill and that they have the average for their type:

Female: 3+1+1 = +5
Male: 3+1+0 = +4

On a DC 16 check the female is likely to succeed 50% of the time (a roll of 11-20) the male is likely to succeed 45% of the time (a roll of 12-20) this is barely significant.

So that is one of the hallmarks of leadership...

This assumes you pick random people to be your diplomats and leaders. That's...not how societies work. You pick people who are good at the job, generally speaking. In a community with an average Cha of 12, call it 16+ (since that's where the difference starts really being noticeable). those people have a 10% increase in their odds over the general populace (which, if they succeed at thgings 60% instead of 50% is actually more like a 20% increase in odds of success, since they succeed literally 20% more often...math is interesting) and that's notable.

16.3% of Lashunta women have Cha 16+. Contrariwise, only 4.7% of men have a 16+. In a pure meritocracy, that would likely put 3/4 of diplomats and leaders as female.

Except, of course, that you actually want decent Wis in your diplomats and leaders as well (for Sense Motive, and good judgement). Say...a 10+. That should be easy enough. Of course, as mentioned previously only 37.8% of men have Wis scores at that level, while 62.8% of women do.

That places it at more like a bit south of 2% of men who meet those qualifications, while an easy 10% of women do. Or a 5 to 1 ratio. Again, in a pure meritocracy.

Now, they don't seem to have a 5 to 1 ratio, and thus some in-built sexism is indeed likely. But not to nearly the degree you're implying.

HWalsh wrote:

Huh... Interesting, not much of a difference... And we also start seeing a problem... The Women are the protectors of their society? If they were a meritocracy that doesn't make sense. By your own logic, they have low scores in the 2 most important stats for a Fighter.

In melee combat the male has the advantage in pretty much every category. He's going to hit harder, hit more often, and be able to take a hit better.

In ranged combat the male and female have the same stats for attack but the male is more likely to be able to use a higher damage bow, so he has the advantage there, and he's going to take more damage to be put down.

So, on a meritocracy the Men would be the Warriors of the Culture and the Women wouldn't be seen as "fit for it" based on the meritocracy claims. Yet the women, who are clearly inferior as front line combatants, are stated to be the primary protectors and primary politicians?

When the logic states that the men should be the primary protectors based on their racial stat development.

Actually...there is a reference to only the Lashunta women being able to bond with their giant lizard mounts. So there's a good reason why the women might participate as fighters, since giant lizard mounts are both cool and useful.

In fact...I can't find any reference to Lashunta warrior women except as cavalry. Which means the infantry are almost certainly predominantly male. Which matches their abilities to a tee. How nice.

HWalsh wrote:

The answer? Discrimination and preconceived notions. Heck, even your own statement regarding the stats being a big deal. I mathematically showed how, all things being equal, the males would only be 5% less effective. This is even more amusing as the traits for leadership actually aren't all wisdom based.

Does this mean that there would be *less* male politicians? Yes. Does this mean no? Of course not. The best politicians will skew high in both stats, taking the best and brightest (or at least the most charasmatic) and so, at low levels especially, you'd see someone with a +9 and a +8 from both parties... That is so statistically irrelevant at that point it is laughable as a concept. Much like I do feel someone with 1 less attack and 1 less damage and 1 less HP are the same, its statistically irrelevant.

So we are forced to conclude in Lashunta society there is undue and unjust discrimination, or at least discouragement, for men to enter politics and/or there is a disproportionate number of women warriors based on potential merit.

A lot of this follows from the false premise you're operating under that I detailed in my previous post. To reiterate: The Lashunta are absolutely matriarchal, but both sexes provide warriors.

Liberty's Edge

HWalsh wrote:
My info comes from the write ups that specifically state:

Yeah, I got that. You quoted it before. I was asking where it was from, though.

But you know what, I figured it out. See below.

HWalsh wrote:
Bolding is mine. In the Lashunta society Women *are* the Politicians and Defenders. Men become warriors, but that doesn't mean they are allowed to hold positions as such in their society.

The bolded part doesn't exist. You got it from the wiki, right? It's a wiki and you should know to take those with a grain of salt.

I actually went and looked at all the books cited in the wiki. The bolded section? Does not exist. Anywhere. I did word searches in seacrhable PDFs for it, and then read through all the setions on Lashunta (not an impressive feat, there are like 5 pages total). It's not canonical for Golarion, and was written by no professional writer at any point.

Now, lizard mounted lashunta women are absolutely canon. The part about it 'also falling to them to defend their civilization'? Nope. Not a thing. Not anywhere close to in that phrasing, or with the implication the men couldn't also defend their civilization.

Not. A. Thing.

Which was why I was asking for your source, BTW. I'd read those before and didn't remember that bit. I was curious if you had information I didn't. And then I thought to check the wiki.

I'll respond to the rest of your post in another of my own, since that's a whole separate thing.

Liberty's Edge

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I'd tend to agree with Tels definition (if not statement that I've never had anyone disagree), to be honest. If you can have all the necessary Feats at 1st level as a Human (or 3rd if not), I don't consider you Feat starved.

And a Kineticist really can get by with just either Weapon Finesse or Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. Maybe with Iron Will thrown on.

That's 1-2 Feats necessary. 4 if you want to hedge your bets and be a switch hitter to boot.

That's...a pretty standard number of Feats, really. Melee characters mostly need either Weapon Finesse or Power Attack, so the Kineticist is right on par there. If she wants to abuse Reach, Combat Reflexes is great as well...but that's true of anyone who wants to abuse reach. It's an add-on, not a requirement.

As for ranged...Kineticists are doing at least as well on the Feat front as, say, an Archer Ranger. Probably better, since they can take the two Feats at 1st as a Human (just like the Archer) and then never take any more Feats to make their basic fighting style work. The Ranger could theoretically never use any more beyond Bonus Feats, but they probably need at least one more for Deadly Aim.

Really, even full casters tend to have a required Feat or two on top of their bonus Feats (Druids need Wild Shape, for example).

And so on. I actually can't think of any builds that don't have a required Feat to make them work. A Fighter can theoretically take those only with their Bonus Feats..,but they need so many things to boost them up to be competent it's gonna cost some normal Feats at some point.

Any Class that doesn't always require the same Feats (and there are some) does so by having widely divergent builds that need different Feats available, not by actually needing less in practice.

Liberty's Edge

Mechanically? Works great.

Thematically? I don't like enemies having the ability to do things the PCs can't theoretically get in some way, so I'm very careful with things like this, and generally provide other forms of action economy enhancement instead. Quick Runner's Shirts are super cheap and give enemy melee combatants Pounce...once. Quicken Spell is a very nice option as well.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:

Not at all, as I said, I would attribute the EXACT same to a patriarchal society that was listed the same way.

Whenever you have a society where one sex are the only rulers and the other sex aren't then you are going to have, especially over years and years and years, a degree of misogyny/misandry and there is no way to help that.

You also don't have to be of evil alignment to be a misogynist/misandrist. If, for example, a male Lashunta can't be a lizard-rider that is, period, misandry because it is discrimination. If a common Lashunta mind-set is, "Women are politicans, men aren't suited for it." that IS misandry. That doesn't make someone evil necessarily.

Uh...it's debatably sexism, and discrimination, but misandry is a bit worse than sexism alone. Additionally, where are you getting your info?

Every Lashunta write-up I can find mentions both becoming warriors, and none seem to say the men don't contribute.

HWalsh wrote:

If I told you:

"Women are more emotional than men, and therefor aren't suited to positions of leadership."

That would be misogynist as all heck and it is the exact same as saying:

"Men tend to have a slightly lower Charisma and Wisdom score than women, and because of that they aren't suited to positions of leadership."

And here we come to the heart of the problem with complaining about the Lashunta in this context: The Lashunta are strongly sexually dimorphic.

Humans are not strongly sexually dimorphic (particularly, we're almost identical mentally) and thus your latter statement is both factually incorrect and a statement of prejudice. The Lashunta, however, are another matter. Their capabilities actually do vary in a statistically significant fashion. By quite a bit.

These are not equivalent situations and cannot be treated as such.

HWalsh wrote:
When we are talking about, on average, a +1 difference at most. Statistically speaking that means Lashunta society HAS TO BE largely discriminatory with no real justification for the matriarchy aside from a preconceived notion.

Uh...no. A +2 to a stat means quite a bit, especially at low levels. And the vast majority of characters are of low levels.

It also makes, statistically, high numbers way less common and low numbers way more common. Which makes quite a difference.

Assuming 3d6 rolls for stats (as you do for non-heroic NPCs), 10% of Lashunta men have Wis 4 or less, and 62.7% have a 9 or less. Only 1.9% of Lashunta women have a 4 or less in Wis, and only 37.7% have Wis 9 or less. On the other end of things, 4.7% of Lashunta men have a Wis of 14+, while 16.3% of Lashunta women have the same.

So...men are almost twice as likely as women to have a below average Wisdom, and only a third as likely to have a Wisdom most people would consider 'high'. That's not a small or insignificant difference.

The situation with Charisma is similar, though the numbers would all be two higher for that distribution.

Liberty's Edge

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I never said he'd rather let Zod kill people than kill Zod. Just that he would give his own life before he would do so. Careful about putting words in my mouth.

Unless he's giving his life to permanently imprison Zod, or Zod is already imprisoned, this is kinda a distinction without a difference. I mean...once Superman is dead, Zod's pretty much got a 100% chance of killing others.

Now, that doesn't mean I don't like an idealistic version of Superman, but there are limits.

Liberty's Edge

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I enjoy telling stories. Especially ones with plenty of action, good character development, and competent protagonists. So, GMing lets me do that. I need to adjust to deal with PC actions, but...

I also enjoy putting people in situations and then seeing what they'll do. GMing definitely allows that, too.

I also enjoy mechanical fiddling with a system, both changing certain rules and creating mechanically fun and interesting characters. GMing allows plenty of that as well.

I'm also a bit of an actor. This bit is more why I like playing, to be honest, as that lets me get really in-depth into one particular character's head, but I do also enjoy the GM side of the coin with getting to roleplay a lot of different people. That's fun.

I also enjoy world-building, especially on a small scale. I enjoy peopling a small town, or working out all the different power-players in an area. That kind of thing. Coming up with a set of interconnected groups of people and how they interact is fun.

I additionally enjoy making people happy and being in control of situations, and both of those things are definitely part of being a GM.

So...I enjoy a bunch of stuff about it.

Though, honestly, if you don't, I'd suggest that examining what you enjoy about being a player might be more useful. What needs and experiences that you enjoy as part of being a player that aren't part of being a GM?

Liberty's Edge

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You do have to understand that from some viewpoints any society where man aren't dominant is going to be perceived as misandric. Again the bipoloar viewpoint which only allows for a dominant/submissive viewpoint.

Sure, but that viewpoint is rather clearly and demonstrably wrong. So I'm pretty inclined to argue against it whenever it comes up.

Liberty's Edge

Grumbaki wrote:

Fighter (1)

- Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Firearms)
- Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Field Artillery...computers)

The real world is pretty clearly a High Gun setting, meaning firearms are either Martial, or more probably Simple weapons. Artillery not so much, though.

Still, that gives you an extra Feat.

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Yeah..using the Lashunta race write-up (which isn't even IC) as evidence for misandry is reaching at best. Those descriptions are also literally correct given the racial stat-mods, which makes treating them like you would subjective or prejudiced commentary both odd and inappropriate.

Their actual in-world description in People of the Stars very much emphasizes that both sexes go out and become warriors and adventurers...or pursue scholarly pursuits (which the culture values highly). The only difference mentioned in terms of roles is that the women are usually leaders and the word 'matriarchal' is used. So...only female politicians. Other roles open to anyone.

And even there, the Lashunta are stated as matriarchal only in the sense of mostly having female leaders...but given that, as compared to male Lashunta females have +2 Wis and +2 Cha, that'd be true even in a completely meritocratic society.

Now, my suspicion is that the Lashunta aren't completely meritocratic and a male with higher Wis than most females would still not wind up in charge...but calling them misandrist is pretty clearly way harsher than they deserve. Especially since it's explicitly a Good aligned culture, and bad traits in Good aligned cultures tend not to be to severe or they aren't Good.

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Neither. As an 8th level character, you can just afford the Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, and Fencing Grace from your base Feats. Plus Dazzling Display. Especially if Human.

Take all your levels in Investigator and do that. You'll even have a Feat left over for Extra Investigator Talent if Human.

Though...thinking about it, I might grab Enforcer either in addition to or instead of Dazzling Display. You can afford a Merciful Rapier, and if you do that and grab Sickening Offensive (and you should, it's delightful) you can impose Shaken and Sickened on everyone you hit. Which is hilarious.

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Kalindlara wrote:

If we're being technical, the tale of Asmodeus and Ihys isn't a creation of Hell... but of Heaven. It's from the Book of the Damned, which the angel Tabris wrote at the bidding of his celestial masters.

Asmodeus's part in it is as a character, and not (necessarily) an author. ^_^

That's not entirely accurate. Tabris was told to go get information on the Lower Planes by his superiors, but he did that by going and researching them, and was eventually corrupted in the doing. In the case of that story, that's the official party line of Hell he got.

So...yeah, that one's the story Asmodeus wants told. As Tacticslion notes, the deity articles for a couple of the Arch-Devils actively contradict it . Which is interesting, though not necessarily indicative that it's completely false.

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I like cuddling. Not, y'know, with random people, but it's super nice with close friends or significant others.

I do also quite like sex, however.

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@UnArcaneElection:
I wasn't saying he wasn't able to pull the pin (it's pretty clear he can). I was saying he wouldn't without way more extreme provocation than Sarenrae taking charge of her own followers.

No, the Contract's a doomsday weapon, and Asmodeus uses the threat of it sparingly to avoid direct assaults on Hell and he himself, not to do petty stuff like push Sarenrae around regarding her own worshipers.

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Jiggy wrote:
This. I, for one, was thinking of "enforcement" as including social enforcement, not merely the ability to banish someone from the premises.

Yeah, and by that definition I totally agree that it's everyone's job. That just wasn't the direction my thoughts went first when I heard the word 'enforcement'.

Might have something to do with my usually being a GM...

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Hark wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
You know a lot of people with no practical skills besides fighting?
Ranger might be a better class if not for the magic and nature connections with the class. Fighter works well enough though.

For the record 'non-magical Ranger without the nature connection' rather precisely describes the Slayer Class. So, that's probably what you're looking for.

EDIT: Ninja'd. Ah, well.

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Sundakan wrote:
Slight tangent, I've never been clear where this attitude of "Writers have no responsibility or obligations to anyone or anything" comes from. As if it's somehow different from every other profession, where doing a competent job is expected, and rightly so.

Uh...no.

Self-employed people who personally make things for other people to buy have no obligations of any sort in regards to the nature of their product. They just aren't gonna make any money if people don't like what they make. So...they have a huge incentive to provide a quality product, but no obligation.

And writers generally fall somewhat into that category, though they're far from the only ones to do so.

Those employed to write a specific thing (like most freelancers in the RPG industry), not so much, but most novelists without an ongoing contract? No obligations at all, just a strong incentive.

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Good. Though it's only two episodes in.

Of course, I actually liked last season for the most part, so our tastes may differ.

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Trogdar wrote:

And how is calling things like saving lives evil, or calling turning an entire population into pillars of salt(genocide) good equivalent to spoks parentage? For God or Golarion, you have to accept that, for good to be what it says, it has to be good to do harm.

The Vulcan analogy really doesn't represent that.

Or there's some intervening variable you aren't aware of. Like the aforementioned Evil consequences several have posited for Infernal Healing.

To continue the example, in the original Star Trek, Spock being an alien/human crossbreed made no biological sense. That really shouldn't be possible on a profound level. But, in TNG it was eventually revealed that all (or at least most) of the humanoid species were actually related genetically (I believe through a precursor species).

What once did not make sense suddenly did.

It's very possible for a GM to insert such an explanation rather than either changing the rules or deciding that the universe is unjust.

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Jessica Price wrote:

Sure, people can do anything they want religiously. But if you remove Paul from Christianity, you're not talking about organized Christianity anymore. I have zero interest in trying to define who's a Christian from a spiritual perspective, as I'm not Christian and am uninterested in its spirituality. Setting up shibboleths for who is and isn't a "true" member of the faith is the province of believers and irrelevant to the rest of us.

However, from a demographic/sociological perspective, Christians who reject Paul's authority (which is different from having unease about it but following your denomination's teachings) are anomalous and rare enough not to matter when you're talking about Christianity. They're like Christadelphians--they're out there, but there's no mainstream denomination which holds those views.

The issue with this is that we were specifically discussing religious belief, and whether it inherently led to prejudice. We were, in fact, not discussing demographics or the various issues with mainstream Christianity (which I'd strongly argue are far more cultural than they are religious).

I was specifically responding to the point that 'religious belief leads directly to discrimination'...which makes responding to that point on a demographic rather than religious basis kinda weird.

Jessica Price wrote:
Jesus was 100% a moderate for his time and place--pretty much smack dab in the middle between schools of thought like Hillel's (what we'd define as more liberal/permissive, though of course these things don't track nicely to modern conceptions of liberalism/conservatism) and Shammai (strict).

I must admit, while I've done some research on Jesus, I haven't done a lot of research on other sects active at the same time, so I can't comment here.

Jessica Price wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
I just disagree that acceptability of condemning the entire group for the actions of a subset of its members is part of that difference. How a person got into a group—inborn genetics, cosmic perspective, voting history, romantic decisions, whatever—has no bearing on whether or not it's okay to condemn them for the actions of others.
Which very nicely avoids being able to hold any group accountable for anything. No, no group is 100% responsible for the actions of individual members. However, when they don't condemn those actions, and benefit from them, yes, they bear responsibility.

I dunno, I think a 'Many' at the beginning of the sentence under discussion would have held sufficient people accountable without causing any of this argument to occur. 'Many Christians' rather than 'Christians'.

And I'm not sure at all that everyone who's ever believed X is responsible for the actions of all those who've believed the same thing. Or that trying to hold them responsible in that manner is useful.

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Jessica Price wrote:

I oppose mistreatment of people based on their religion.

That said, it is absolutely not the same to criticize a group of people who are defined as a group because they believe the same thing, which is their choice, as it is to lump together a group of people based on something as arbitrary and involuntary as a chromosome.

The same? Not strictly, no.

It is kinda bad policy, though, when the particular belief in question (which is pretty much solely the divinity of one Jesus Christ and the existence of an omnipotent God, almost everything else can vary) has very little to do with the behavior you're imputing on them. You're making a statement about all Christians that has nothing to do with the defining beliefs that make them Christian.

For an equivalent example, I could say all people who believe in aliens are inclined to blame them for global warming.

Except that given that those are two different beliefs and the second in no way follows logically from the first, that would be profoundly inaccurate statement. And insulting to those who believe in aliens but (quite reasonably) think humans are primarily responsible for global climate change.

And that's sorta what you did there.

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amethal wrote:
However, we are discussing the rules of a game, not real life crime and punishment. Not liking the rule in a game is a perfectly valid reason for changing it. (You should probably be cautious about changing rules if you don't understand why they are what they are, but I don't fall into that category in this case and I'm not sure anyone else here does either.)

I don't think anyone here is actually arguing against changing the rules. I'm certainly not. I'm arguing against the idea that the world ceases to make sense if you don't change them.

If you prefer a world where it works differently? By all means. My argument has always and entirely been against people who complain that the current rules aren't workable and result in [insert dumb thing here]. Which is, in my opinion, not true.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
They've similarly not provided an explanation for why Desna, a good goddess, has access to the Curse subdomain.

While I agree with the rest of your post, this jumped out at me as weird. Why shouldn't a Good deity, especially a Good deity of luck, curse their enemies? That makes perfect sense to me. None of the spells it provides have the [evil] descriptor or anything.

Trogdar wrote:
It's definitely defined as evil within the game. I guess we just have to swallow Divine command theory like good little Christians.

Speaking as a non-Christian, firstly, this phrasing is kinda insulting to Christians, so maybe you shouldn't say it that way.

And secondly, the situations aren't precisely equivalent. Even without an explicit statement of how and why Evil spells are Evil there's a fair bit of empirical evidence to support them being so for pretty good reasons in-world. What those reasons are is ambiguous, but their existence is not, and is certainly more than a 'Because Person X Said So', IMO.

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You can also just go Avenger straight up, maybe with Wildsoul (Ursine) for natural weapons.

You don't get to do the instant change thing quite perfectly until 7th (unless you go Skinwalker...which is actually a pretty good choice), but it still does a better job.

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On the general point, I'd say that a fair portion of fantasy characters (especially non-casters) work fine in an E6 to E8 or so campaign. And the Pathfinder Tales novels actually do a pretty good job of reflecting the system.

Other stuff? Usually not very closely aligned.

Anzyr wrote:
The Witch King is probably not a CR5 Encounter. After all, unlike a normal Wraith it likely possesses some class levels. And some magic gear. That would make it approximately CR 8-9, which is about right.

That's probably fair. That'd still leave the encounter at CR 10 or so minimum. Which, to me indicates a level more like 6 or 7. But yeah, he's not super high level or anything.

Anzyr wrote:
Let's be honest here, Merry (especially Merry) and Eowyn are not level 8+.

No, but it was the two of them, plus earlier Theoden (who's gotta be 5th or 6th level, if Old). And they might easily be 4th or 5th level by that point.

Anzyr wrote:
Aragorn repelling the Ringwraiths at Weathertop was in PF terms really more some form of Turn Undead equivalent then any real combat ability. He doesn't best them in combat, mostly because at that moment he *can't*. Honestly, the whole thing doesn't really make sense since as the article points, if the Witchking is literally fated to not be able to be killed by a man... why doesn't he just kill them all there? Why does Aragorn waving around fire make any difference at all?

Fire is one of their banes. And not being able to be killed isn't quite the same as not being able to be dispersed and made useless, when you're a body-less spirit. He was much more...corporeal, and thus more vulnerable to some things but less vulnerable to others during the later battle where he was slain.

Anzyr wrote:
Man if I had more motivation (and a better memory of LotR), I'd just sit down and stat out the thing so people aren't confused. It'd make a good E6 campaign anyway.

Yeah, that'd be interesting.

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SmiloDan wrote:
I didn't watch the 2nd After Black; did they tour the Down the Rabbit Hole comic book store? I think it's real in real life.

It isn't. They noted that. It's a good set and the exterior is a sign put over a real convenience store.

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The issue with that is that Rovagug is intelligent, vindictive, and at least an order of magnitude more powerful than Asmodeus. Which makes even Asmodeus's genius plans for escaping (and I'm sure he's got a few, just as contingencies) more than a bit uncertain.

That's not to say I disagree with your assessment...but it's predicated on the 'If he's sure he can escape', and I think Asmodeus is too clever to be sure of something that dicey.

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Jessica Price wrote:
You can't separate Paul from Christianity--at least not from organized Christianity, any more than you can separate Islam from Mohammed or Hinduism from the authors of the Vedas. Paul's the one who invented Christianity as a separate religion, rather than as a Jewish sect. I mean, sure, if you leave out Paul and everyone that followed him, Christianity wasn't particularly sexist. But then you don't have Christianity. You have a short-lived Jewish sect in the 2nd temple period.

Sociologically and historically? Sure. Agreed completely. Religiously? That's a somewhat different matter, and varies by the believer. I've met a few different Christians who were...ambivalent at best regarding Paul (mostly based on some of his ideas not lining up with stuff Jesus was quoted as saying combined with his not having actually interacted with Jesus), while still believing in the rest, more or less.

His evangelism having caused Christianity to be as big a thing as it is, is pretty indisputable...but that has little to do with whether individual Christians abide by his words.

I mean, most certainly do and I'm not disputing that, but saying removing him from the religion (or just ignoring some of the stuff he says) is impossible in a religious context is simply untrue. People can and do stuff exactly like that all the time.

Jessica Price wrote:
Which, to be clear, wasn't radically non-sexist. Early Christian congregations had female leadership--just like the other Jewish congregations around them. They weren't permitted into the hereditary priesthood (officiating over sacrifices in the Temple), but that had little to do with practices within rabbinic Judaism.

I never said they did? I said Christianity was less sexist than some people make it out to be. Not that it wasn't sexist (at least historically...I really don't want to get into an argument about whether it is nowadays, and that'd depend on denomination anyway). Or even about as sexist as Judaism.

Jessica Price wrote:
And ancient Israel wasn't unusually sexist--it was on par with its contemporary civilizations.

In the area? Absolutely. The Babylonians were probably every bit as sexist, for example. We have some evidence that people other places were somewhat less so, though. And then of course, there are non Judaeo-Cristian cultures of other eras as well...

My point was that not all religions throughout time have been sexist. And saying they are based on one example is silly.

Jessica Price wrote:
Christians like to throw Judaism under the bus to position Christianity as an improvement to women's status, but historical evidence doesn't actually support such claims. Early Christianity was on par, as far as women's status, with other Jewish sects of the time.

I'm not actually disputing that, though Jesus personally seems to have been a bit more inclined to egalitarianism in general than either Judaism or later Christianity.

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A Healing Patron Witch is more doctor than priest. Their medical instructor isn't from around here, but they're an instructor not someone bestowing power. The Hedge Witch Archetype also helps with this, but it's the Patron you really need (for the Restoration spells).

So...yeah, I'd go with that. It doesn't need to be super buff or defense oriented beyond the Patron and maybe the archetype, either. An offensive Witch doing the standard stuff like Slumber, Misfortune, and Evil Eye is very possible, and you can still pretty readily be the group's main healer.

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SmiloDan wrote:
Is anyone else watching this?

I am! Orphan Black is pretty awesome. I'm super happy with some of the little touches, as well as the bigger stuff. I recognize all of the board games in the comic shop, for instance. :)

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Dark Die High wrote:
I kind of side with Deadmanwalking here. The host and the GM. I disagree with the people who say it's everyone's responsibility. Essentially, anyone besides those people is just a guest and doesn't have the right to tell other guests what to do. However, everyone has the right to speak their mind. In essence, you can tell my guests there being jerks, but you can't ask them to leave. However...

Reading other people's posts, I'm not sure there's actually disagreement here on what people should do, I think there's disagreement on what the word 'enforcement' means in this context.

I immediately, in my head, leapt to 'impose actual penalties' which necessitates authority. I'm betting you did the same.

Other people seem to have gone with 'does anything about it at all' which is a valid definition, but not the one I was thinking of.

In short, I think we all agree that everyone should speak up about this sort of thing...we were just using different definitions of whether that constitutes 'enforcement'.

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Nodrog wrote:
Comparing it to classes outside the core is a little unfair. Many of the newer classes are designed to be complex, the fighter simply was not. Just because a Vigilante gets two IDs and tons of skills, does not make a better character if the Player can not play it right. A well roll played fighter would be more interesting than a poorly roll played vigilante...

Uh...Bard is at least as complex as most of the new Classes, and Sorcerer is a pretty simple Class in many ways, but still appropriately powerful.

So...this justification sorta falls a bit flat.

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You don't get the point. Whether or not they "have to" the issue is that they do. They've been used to justify paying women less. "He's heading a family he needs it more.", They've been used to deny women combat pay, despite the fact that they've been deployed in combat zones.

Indeed. It's a toxic and unpleasant attitude that I agree should go away.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
And even the way you list those differences is skewed. Women are also considerably better built in enduring pain then men which in the modern battlefield is as important as upper body strength.

This has actually been proven false a bit ago, just for the record. Women have a higher pain tolerance only in the months leading right up to giving birth (it's the hormones), not all the time.

Of course, averages are a stupid reason to ban people from military service on the front lines. Set up tests with standards everyone has to meet. Who cares if women aren't strong enough for X on average? If this particular woman is, she should be should be allowed to do the job. Just like if a particular man isn't, he shouldn't.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
No one has said that there are not inherent differences in physical gender. However these differences do not justify MANDATING gender roles. I really would love to hear your discourse on how the ability or lack of it to either menstruate or contract prostrate cancer justifies a mandated difference in roles.

Absolutely. Gender roles are a whole load of b+%~*&*!. What physiological differences there are in capability, with the exception of upper body strength, are all exceedingly minor and smaller than the individual variation within each gender...making them meaningless in regards to any individual man or woman.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Men can be nuturing parents, Women like my sister can be hard as nails cops. While my sister may not top the scores in running through a ROTC marathon, there are men who will do considerably worse than she does, and still pass.

Absolutely. Agreed entirely.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
The old stone age reasons for locking people into gender roles are inhabiting a space for validity that is shrinking even faster than reasons to believe in a God.

And here we run straight into an issue. There are plenty of reasons to be religious, and demonstrating prejudice against religious people while demanding an end to prejudice against women is not a good way to make friends or influence people. It's not technically internally inconsistent, but it comes off as 'Ignore my obvious prejudices while I talk about other people's!' which is counterproductive and comes off as hypocritical (even though it's not per se).

If you want to argue that religion is irrational, sure, I even agree with that. But faith is definitionally irrational, that's what makes it faith and not knowledge, and being irrational isn't a reason nobody should ever experience a thing. I mean, there's falling in love...that's pretty irrational. Is there no reason to do that either?

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
When religion is part and parcel of the foundation and justification for our prejudices, it's fair game.

Well, first, speaking as a man of reason, I'm kinda annoyed by the assumption that something is either untrue or morally bad, just because people have used it as a justification for bad things. That makes no logical sense whatsoever.

Every belief humans have ever had has been used as the justification for at least one seriously unpleasant thing, because people look to their pre-existing belief structures to justify each other.

A Christian who is sexist will cite Eve in the Bible, an Atheistic scientist who is sexist will cite inherent biological differences in the sexes. Both are rather missing the point, and using the belief structure they already have to justify something that it does not inherently justify.

Blaming the belief structure because people use it to justify bad things is ridiculous unless you want to blame every belief structure human beings have ever had, including those that are factually and empirically true.

I mean, evolution has been used as an excuse for racism, eugenics, and to some degree even genocide. That doesn't mean it's bad to believe in evolution.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
For millennia Eve has been used by both Hebrews and Christians as justification for women's "lesser" place in the world. The Greeks did the same thing with Pandora, the first woman, a creature created by Zeus specifically both to tempt men,and to make foolish decisions, such as opening the eponymous Box, to unleash all of the Troubles to plague mankind.

Secondly, speaking as a pretty devout pagan who worships a Goddess, I'm actually pretty offended by the assumption that all religion is Judaeo-Christian (or Greek, I suppose). I mean...a fair number of religions have had sexist elements, but it's hardly universal, and certainly not universal in the particular way you're citing here.

Don't lump all religions in together and then only actually comment on two. The ancient Greeks were sexist as hell, and so were the ancient Jews, so both having some potentially sexist stuff in their myth cycles isn't exactly a surprise. Many cultures and religions were (and to some degree are) notably less sexist than those two.

Heck, even Christianity per se is way less sexist if you just ignore St. Paul (who, to be clear, didn't even meet Jesus, and was a persecutor of Christians until he had a change of heart), or at least don't treat his words as gospel [;)]. And even counting Paul's words, it's significantly less sexist than many pundits make it out to be in their own interpretations...largely for exactly the reason I mention above (ie: they're reaching for justifications to support their own preexisting sexism).

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Cuttler wrote:

Well, must admit, this is definitively the case....reading through this thread, I realize we didn't know the Hellknights as well as we thought...

I believe that we all assumed that all Hellknights were worshipping Asmodeus. Apparently, doesn't seem to be the case. Do you guys have any reference to point us to so that we can have a look at?

Is there any reference at all that indicates which god each Order (or general overall) worship?

With the exception of the Order of the Godclaw, the Hellknights are a secular organization, venerating the concept of perfect law and order rather than any deity. Individual members might worship any Lawful God, or be atheists or agnostic, pretty easily. They could worship Neutral (in respect to Law and Chaos) Gods with somewhat more difficulty.

Really, just suggesting they send worshipers of people other than Asmodeus to staff the local branch is entirely reasonable and will solve large parts of the problem. Heck, make it a law, Hellknights really like laws. They'll be perfectly happy to deal with (and even enforce) that one, as long as they're allowed to do the same with others.

Hellknights do tend to be a little more into torture than a Paladin should be comfortable with...but really, you should already have anti-torture statutes on the books, and the Hellknights can hardly object to you holding them to the law of the land in that regard.

Cuttler wrote:

That is very interesting, but contrary to what our GM has seen in the books (AP, etc). Aside from the fact that the HK prestige classes only require lawful alignment, we have not seen anything talking about that.

Do you guys have any reference to point to that indicates or gives example of a Hellknight Paladin? is there any Hellknight PAladin NPC in any AP?

Sundakan answered this one pretty well.

Cuttler wrote:
Finally, I believe we are all confortable with a Paladin dealing with LN Hellknights of the Order of the NAils. But is it acceptable for the PAladin in allowing the Order to build a temple of Asmodeus if they asked for it???

No, it would not. Asmodeus is Evil, and sanctioning his worship is the kind of thing a Paladin should definitely not allow. I mean, you don't need to arrest individual worshipers or anything, but you do need to not endorse it.

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Chess Pwn wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:
You also trade out Domain/Inquisition and the big one Bane. And no Legacy Weapon is not a replacement. It requires a standard action to activate and has a duration of 1 minute...
Uh...you don't trade out Domain.
This ability replaces domain, bane, greater bane, second judgment, and third judgment.

I...have literally no idea how I missed that. I actually looked at the Archetype. Twice.

Domains are usually only okay, but that does make it worse than I was thinking it was.

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Alex Mack wrote:
You also trade out Domain/Inquisition and the big one Bane. And no Legacy Weapon is not a replacement. It requires a standard action to activate and has a duration of 1 minute...

Uh...you don't trade out Domain.

And Legacy Weapon is totally a valid replacement for Bane. Yeah, it's a standard that lasts a minute. That means you have more duration by quite a lot than a normal Inquisitor (something like ten times the duration at 5th level). The action economy isn't as good if you don't scout ahead, but there are tradeoffs in everything.

Alex Mack wrote:
Also as argued above if you pick Transmutation at level 1 you will either be unable to cast CLW or Divine Power until level 4.

Which would be why I suggested grabbing it as your 4th level Implement. Still one level before an Inquisitor gets Bane.

Alex Mack wrote:
Also neither Evocation or Conjuration work wth the inquisitors spell list all that well.

Not super well, no. But all you're giving up is Judgment, for the most part, which at 1st-3rd level is a +1 to something (or +2 damage at 3rd) for one fight a day. They're probably better than that.

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I'd strongly advise not having either of the main factions be clearly the ones to kill large numbers of people the PCs care about. That sorta forces the PCs to side with the other one, which rather defeats the point in many ways.

I'd have it be a splinter-faction repudiated by the Hellfire Collective, and probablyy then executed en masse by the main Collective as 'traitors to the cause'.

That makes the whole situation way more ambiguous, which is much more appropriate for an intrigue-heavy game. If you want to give the PCs closure, have the actual mastermind behind the attack be the only member of the splinter-faction to escape and let them hunt him down...but the point is to make it so that one of the PCs can easily say 'The Hellfire Collective is responsible for the death of our mother!' and another can say back 'No, they avenged her death.' and have neither necessarily be wholly wrong.

Shades of grey are really good for intrigue games.

Aside from that, sounds mostly good...though there's a weird lack of symmetry in the magic, with Celestial magic not having a downside while the other two kinds are actively badfor everyone and should never be used. Which is weird and imbalanced, IMO. If you want magic to be bad and something people should never use (on a macro scale)...then do that, but do it in general, not with specific kinds.

I'm also not clear what the Celestial/Abyssal conflict really adds to anything here. Do you want this to be political, or saving the world from supernatural evil? Because when PCs discover the latter, politics tends to fall by the wayside entirely as they literally try to save the world. And that doesn't seem like what you're aiming for here.

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Tormsskull wrote:
Where is the line when it comes to indirect or unintentional harassment of other players?

That's...tricky. It depends a lot on the interpersonal dynamics of the group. People who have been friends for over a decade have a very different dynamic from strangers who just met, and can often 'play a bit rougher' socially speaking, since everyone knows the boundaries of the others.

So...it really depends on the nature of the game and the players.

I don't think there can be any hard and fast rules, beyond responding and actually doing something to stop such behavior if anyone complains about it or looks like it makes them uncomfortable.

Tormsskull wrote:
Who's responsibility is it to enforce the non-harrassmemt aspect of the campaign?

The GM. Or the person whose place you are playing at. The GM can kick you out of the game, the host can kick you out of their house. They're the ones with authority, so they get to do enforcement.

If they aren't doing so, telling them to step up or organizing a number of people to leave in protest or something else of that nature is definitely appropriate.

Tormsskull wrote:

The GM describes a fantasy race as having a reputation as being rich and controlling things behind the scenes.

One of the players says something to the effect of "Oh, you mean like x real-life race."

If you were a player in this campaign, what would your expectations be as far as the response to the above, and who should make that response?

It really sorta depends. I'd definitely expect a disapproving look at the very least, and possibly much more up to and including kicking them out of the game depending on context and group dynamics (as noted above).

Are they just the kind of person who has no filter making a joke? A harsh look and a warning not to say that again might well be sufficient.

Are they saying it in dead seriousness while looking daggers at a member of said race in the room? Yeah...they probably need to leave and not be invited to future games.

Liberty's Edge

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Of course it is. Pathfinder is fourth-generation D&D, which was itself an extremely JC game, based on an extremely JC literary genre (high fantasy), as written explicitly so by most of the founding writers such as Tolkien, Lewis, Dunsany, MacDonald, and so forth. You can also add much more modern writers such as Moorcock to that list.

Sure. But the cosmology is specifically and profoundly different. No omnipotent deity, the way the Planes work is extremely divergent, and a host of other changes.

The morality espoused is pretty Judaeo-Christian in most ways, as befits the source material, but the metaphysics and cosmology aren't Judaeo-Christian in the least.

And that's what we're discussing here, really, in terms of whether Good and Evil function differently. As noted reviously, they are real magical forces in the universe, so exactly how they work is metaphysics. Morality 'merely' determines what sort of actions are considered 'Good' or 'Evil'.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Being surprised to find JC-based morality in Pathfinder and similar games is like being surprised to find warp drive in Star Trek games or samurai in L5R.

Morality? Sure, that shows up. Metaphysics? Not so much. That's like finding real historical Japanese figures with their own names in L5R. Does it happen? Maybe occasionally, but it's not the default.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Really? Show me the definition, then.

Well, just to start with, aligned planes all work the same way, in terms of how the effect other Alignments. So do Protection From Alignment and Detect Alignment spells. So do Alignment subtypes. So does...literally every mechanic based on Alignment.

Also, the deity in charge of where your soul goes is True Neutral. If Evil were merely the absence of Good and Good had primacy...wouldn't the being in charge of that be Good?

And then there are the Outer Planes. Which are set up in an explicitly equal and equivalent way.

Literally everything in the game treats all Alignments pretty much identically in terms of symmetry. That's...sorta how I'd define 'definitonally balanced and symmetrical'.

Liberty's Edge

Ranishe wrote:
Is the simplicity in its behaviour worth the complexity in construction? There are complaints about the number of available feats even outside the fighter, and the fighter is trading otherwise straightforward features (evasion, fast movement, etc) for "read this list of thousands of options and try to select ones that synergise"

It is for some people. I'm not one of them, but I've talked a fair bit with people who like the Fighter, and it's worth it for them. Which is all that's needed to make keeping it a worthwhile choice, IMO.

Ranishe wrote:
I'm going to say probably. Part of my motivation for removing the class is 1) it's simpler than rewriting the thing and 2) it convinces my group to shorten feat chains.

Well, you could always steal someone else's re-write. There are lots. Heck, 4-6+Int mod skills, a few Class skills, Evasion for Fort at 10th level, and a Good Will Save and most people will be fairly happy. That's not too long.

As for the Feat chains...that's a better argument. Shortening Feat chains is a solid goal, and if ditching the Fighter lets you achieve it, then it might be worth it.

Ranishe wrote:
Also I kind of question having a class with no usable resource. Simple and approachable it may be, but it also means the class only has one speed. I see a potential problem with that in that a player cannot adapt to a situation. The classes approach to a problem simply becomes "are my numbers high enough? If yes, yay. If not, there's nothing I can do". You can't expend smite if your target is particularly tough, you can't save or soend rage, spells, etc. Basically you have a class that doesn't manage a resource in a game about resource management.

That's true to some degree, but again, some people want that. I'd argue that making the game accessible to as many people of as many different tastes as possible is worth the effort of fixing the Fighter (which didn't take me too long anyway).

Liberty's Edge

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Classically, this is untrue. There's even a proverb about it. "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." Taking evil means to a good end is still an evil act, as has been understood by nearly every theologian and moral philosopher going back to Plato.

Well, that's sorta the point of my argument about corruption. I'd argue that committing an Evil act in the service of Good is still Evil, but outweighed by the Good (so, no net effect on Alignment). However, it makes it just that bit easier to perform the next Evil act in service of Good. And the next, and the next, with the bar for 'in service to Good' getting lower each and every time.

The road to hell being paved with good intentions doesn't necessitate Evil being anything but useful and expedient. Which it often is. It doesn't need to mean that it's an inherently different kind of thing on a metaphysical level, just that, due to Evil being easier on a purely practical level than Good, it's easy to fall into Evil habits and behaviors.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Similarly, taking good means to achieve an evil end is also an evil act, and there's another proverb about THAT: "The Devil can cite Scripture to his purpose."

Using a Good act to accomplish an Evil purpose, like using an Evil act to achieve a Good one, doesn't make one any more God. Indeed, it makes one more Evil most times, since Evil acts requiring that kind of setup are usually pretty bad.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Indeed, for most of Western philosophical history, the idea that good and evil are somehow balanced or symmetrical has not been merely wrong, but often actively heretical. (The formal name for that heresy is "Manichaenism," q.v.) Evil is not an independent power opposed to good, but goodness twisted (for example, the sin of lust is simply a perversion of the divine virtue of love, while the sin of greed is a perversion of the divine virtue of joy.)

That's an extremely Judaeo-Christian view of Good and Evil and, IMO, does not really belong in Pathfinder where Evil is explicitly it's own force separate from Good, and there is no evidence whatsoever of Good being superior in terms of power.

In Pathfinder, Good and Evil actually are, definitionally, balanced and symmetrical. That fact is integral to how the world works.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Now, it's certainly true that performing good acts (even to evil ends) may help you get in the habit of performing those acts, which may help you find a path to eventual goodness and redemption -- so, yes, performing enough good acts may eventually turn you good, but it's a lot longer a slog, in part because it's harder to undo corruption than merely to corrupt, just as it's harder to build than to break. (Or if you like, a pint of wine in a barrel of sewage yields a barrel of sewage -- but a pint of sewage in a barrel of wine also yields a barrel of sewage.)

This I agree with. But it's purely because of the practical difficulties I went into above. Good acts are rarely more expedient than Evil ones, so it's much harder to fall into a pattern of doing them out of sheer practicality...whereas the reverse is not true. Evil acts are often easier and more expedient than Good ones on a purely practical level.

thejeff wrote:
I'm not sure I'd call it so much a House Rule as an interpretation (or a justification?) that allows the "casting evil spells makes you evil" and "you should roleplay your alignment" parts to work together. I guess the last is sort of a house rule?

Yep, that last bit is the House Rule.

thejeff wrote:
But if the "corruption" doesn't actually do anything but mechanically change your alignment even though you keep exactly the same behavior, other than maybe being willing to use devils for more good purposes, we're back at the "Well why is that a problem in the first place?" You might be evil, but there's no reason your behavior has to change to do things you wouldn't have done in the first place - like torture, you're just willing to use devilish magic to do the things you would have been doing anyway.

In theory? Sure. But if that's really all you're doing, you aren't Evil. If you go around doing Good deeds all day but summoning Devils, you're probably Good, maybe Neutral. It's if you start using the Devils for things that aren't Good deeds that it starts being an issue.

And my point with the corruption is that, frankly, most people don't actually keep only using a morally dubious but useful thing in extreme circumstances. They start using it more and more...and likely start using other morally dubious things as well, because why not? And before they know it, they're doing some pretty bad stuff without there ever being one moment they can point to and say 'That's where I decided I was the bad guy.'

It's not inevitable by any means, but it's pretty common. Which was sorta my point.

thejeff wrote:
Here I'd agree with Orfamay below - especially when it comes to acts of supernatural evil - things that are magically corrupting. Evil and good don't have to work the same way there and don't have to cancel out cleanly.

Except that they do work the same way and cancel out cleanly in every other example of aligned magic. So them not doing so here is weird and immersion-breaking.

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