@blackraven - You've scratched the surface, but with respect I don't think you've fully understood what I wrote. Let me say it a different way. Trying to apply Pathfinder definitions of good/evil/law/chaos to real life - or vice versa - is futile because Pathfinder is not real life. Such attempts are a disservice to the gaming experience in my opinion.
I agree with what you've said...we all are going to interpret Alignment in Pathfinder slightly differently, and our preconceptions are going to color our interpretations. That's the gray area I spoke of. I just think your response is not in line with what I was actually saying.
So far as "optional" rules...aren't they all optional? :) I feel perfectly OK with bending, modifying, making my own or flat out ignoring any rule if a given circumstance warrants it. GM discretion... I just try to be fair and balanced and make the game as enjoyable as I can for my players. That's the role of a GM, no?
Weighing in 1 last time...
Regarding the OP - I was deliberately somewhat vague in the OP because I wanted generic responses to a generic situation. It turns out, the bad guy cronies who surrendered (@Jacob - they dropped their weapons and fell to their knees begging for mercy) were actually conscripted into service under threat of death, and were for the most part just normal guys in a bad situation. All of you who argued in favor of killing surrendered foes...the gods have taken notice :)
Regarding Alignment in my campaign - Since this is the first time in our campaign where alignment really came to the forefront, and it did so because some of the characters were showing a pattern of actions inconsistent with their alignments, and we are mostly relatively inexperienced, and as the GM I really didn't emphasize from the outset that alignment is an important factor in our campaign...I chose to allow all the characters a 1 time freebie alignment shift to whatever they wanted. I think this is really going to help us move forward in a much better way.
Regarding the way this scenario played out in my campaign - yes, 1 player character did systematically go around and kick some teeth in. I see this as consistent with a Lawful Neutral alignment (which he had switched to)...and I also see it as leaning towards the evil end of the spectrum...the gods took notice :)
Regarding this discussion in general - I believe people need to keep in mind this is an RPG game. The game mechanics are what really matter. The rulebooks of Pathfinder do a pretty good job of explaining what it means to be good, neutral, evil, lawful or chaotic in Pathfinder...particularly the Ultimate Campaign book. Sure, there's bound to be some gray area with concepts as slippery as good vs. evil, law vs. chaos. But at the end of the day, real life has nothing to do with it. You're playing a character in an RPG game. If you let real-life considerations and in particular your own feelings and/or moral compass govern your character's actions, you aren't role-playing in the game, you're just walking through game mechanics playing yourself. If there's a question, go back to the books and read what good/evil/lawful/chaotic means in Pathfinder. It makes absolutely no difference what a marine, a cop, or Ted Bundy might do...and arguments based on such real-life considerations are nothing more than rat-holes.
And one last thing. Many of you asserted that an alignment change precipitated by incongruent actions doesn't carry any penalties except for Paladins and a few other relatively narrow range of circumstances. According to Ultimate Campaign, any alignment shift that isn't forced (say by a cursed item) carries a 1 week duration -1 penalty to hit, AC and checks.
Here's the text:
The character takes a —1 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, and checks because of guilt, regrets, or bad luck associated with abandoning his previous ethics. After 1 week, this penalty goes away. Note that the character is still "on the border" of his previous alignment, and later actions could make him shift back to his previous alignment, with a repeat of the 1-week penalty, so after an alignment change, it is in the character's best interest to act in accordance with that new alignment, embracing his new beliefs and philosophy. This penalty is in addition to any other consequences of changing alignment (such as becoming an ex-cleric or ex-paladin).
Just My .02
And for all concerned, it hasn't happened yet. BBEG died and my comrade and I are ready to kill the ONE perhaps TWO nearest us before we turn the other cheek and give everybody a Mr. Rogers style hug. As the session wound down, the GM explained that killing "helpless" enemies is against our alignments and wrong etc... Correct me if I'm wrong here, GM, but as I understand this, the baddies have thrown up their hands and surrendered. I see us as being within the first six seconds after they surrender. What I am coming to understand here is that if I don't act the perfect princess here, then I'm the worst thing to happen since the worldwound. Maybe I should serve tea and crackers to the horde that was just a few moments ago trying to peel my face off.
The bad guy standing immediately in front of you asks for two lumps please. :)
Detect Magic wrote:
Good characters aren't obligated to take "good" actions 100% of the time. Sometimes, circumstances warranting, they are forced to make difficult decisions. Hence, why a pragmatic-good character would continue fighting, even when the bad guy drops his weapon. Hell, it might be acceptable for a paladin even, granted he pauses for a moment and allows his enemy the chance to pick up their weapon.
This assumes the good guy knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bad guy is beyond redemption...a factor that is definitely not in the OP.
Eaghen, I find it hard to believe that it would honestly not occur to a Lawful Good paladin that a defeated enemy just might rise up to strike back at him. For that, I think we would need a Z axis on our alignment chart to quantify how naive a character is. Then we'd have a 3x3x3 cube of 27 alignments. You could have Lawful Good Optimist, Lawful Good Realist, and Lawful Good Pessimist...
The possibility would certainly occur to a LG character. LG does not equal stupid. But their actions would be governed by the other thought...that redemption is possible.
There are a lot of good points raised here. I think it is important not to evaluate the situation through "your" eyes, but rather the eyes of the character you're playing. I see this as a strength of the Alignment system as it currently exists. A "good" character isn't going to think in terms of "if I spare this bad guy, he may very well turn around and stick a knife in my eye first chance he gets". Rather, a "good" character is going to think in terms of "if I spare this bad guy, he could see the error of his ways and turn his life around".
This doesn't mean the "good" guy is going to turn his back on the bad guy. Good does not equal Stupid.
I see fallacy in any argument that maintains a good character is staying true to "good" by having thoughts that aren't consistent with the good philosophy.
In general I agree...I would just add that I believe a character who over a period of time averages 10 good things and 1 evil thing a day is not a "Good" character, but rather a neutral character, perhaps weighted towards good, but still neutral because of a pattern of doing evil things
It isn't real life...it is a game...and as a previous poster pointed out, it is a game mechanic consideration, kind of like the "there is no facing" element of PF.
But I still think the best quote from this whole discussion was "the decision to surrender was a poor tactical choice on the part of the newly dead".
I think of this as a pawn shop possibility. I give a percentage chance that a used wand is available, percentage determined by how big the town/city is and generally not higher than about 60 percent or so (the intrepid party isn't the only cost-conscious bunch around), and number of charges randomly determined on a weighted scale, highest likelihood being around 25 charges. I price the wands kind of steeply...it is a pawn shop after all...
In general, it sounds like we're all in agreement. That may be a PF Message board first! I should get a prize! :)
I agree with what everyone is saying here, that a) it definitely isn't a "good" act, but how "bad" it is depends on more of the situational details, b) an outright shift from "good" to "neutral" isn't necessarily warranted...it depends on past behavior patterns...but the act will certainly influence potential alignment issues in the future, and c) there are certainly some law/chaos implications here as well...killing them as opposed to handing them over to local legal system definitely is on the chaotic end of the law/chaos spectrum.
Thanks to all who responded...
I'm looking for general opinions regarding a situation that recently arose in my campaign.
Big fight...a Big Bad Evil Guy, his almost-as big and bad henchman, and a large number of lower level cronies. Eventually the BBEG and his henchman go down. The cronies left alive throw down their weapons and fall to their knees in surrender.
The two melee characters in the party - 1 Neutral Good and 1 Chaotic Good - indicate they will keep swinging at their surrendered foes. I tell them this is inherently NOT a "Good" act and they could suffer alignment consequences if they proceed.
They have 2 counter arguments - 1) they're in the heat of the battle and can't just turn off the combat "juices" like a light switch, and 2) the fact that these bad guys were just trying to kill them justifies continued hacking, even after they've surrendered.
I say neither of these arguments holds water. But my players continue to disagree. Since we're mostly relatively inexperienced, I thought I'd throw it out to the PF community to get some feedback. I've read through some alignment threads that get down some big time rat holes in terms of interpreting the Alignment system in general, and I'm not looking to do that here. Just within the narrow confines of this scenario, is an alignment shift from Good towards Neutral warranted?
By the time 300k subscribers is reached, the world should be of sufficient size where 300 or even 3000 solo buildings would be a drop in the bucket. If such a number of solo buildings were untenable due to the size of the world, then 300k subscribers would also be untenable.
Eve has approximately 7500 planets, probably as many moons, as many asteroid belts again, and untold vast areas of empty space between each of them.
I can't imagine where it would be impossible to find a balance between # of players who want to go solo and sufficient space for them to do so. Especially for a team as capable as Goblinworks.
Minecraft? Seriously? :)
One final thought. I just read through the blog where the devs are saying this world will be geared towards group play, with solo play potential either on the periphery in support of groups engaged in settlement building, or in the pursuit of wealth. Meh. But I'm reserving judgment. Early enrollment is slated for about 12 months from now, followed by approximately 18 months of continued fundamental development supported and (hopefully) guided by an active but limited user base. Plenty of opportunity for more discussion on things in general :)
I googled current number of subscribers to Eve Online and what I found indicates around 300k accounts. Decius is a little more optimistic and guesses in the millions (and nothing would please me more!)
However many subscribers PfO winds up with, I think the percentage of people who might try to build their own little fiefdom would have to be a function of how hard the developers made it to start, grow and sustain. I imagine a large percentage would consider it. I'd also imagine the developers would have to make it hard enough to discourage a large number of those people...after all, Decius has a good point about overcrowding. It should take time, work, resources and perhaps most importantly dedication to achieve.
I bring all this up because I'm not keen on joining groups led by people who have more time than sense. I've experienced too many times the disappointment of putting lots of effort into helping a group grow, and ultimately seeing it disintegrate (and my efforts go to waste) because of factors completely out of my control. And frankly, I don't have the time to lead such a group myself...it is a tremendous commitment and my priorities lay elsewhere. I want a game I can play 5 or 10 hours a week that lets me build something tangible without being dependent on anyone else to sustain. I'm ok with some risk, even the possibility of catastrophe, but it should be something that can be recovered from without having to completely start over again.
A persistent world ought to make some accommodation for people who want to go it alone, and offer some of the same sorts of persistent achievable goals to individuals that are available to groups.
Eaghen: Where should those tens of thousands of villages be?
Thanks for the response. You make a good point. Couple thoughts in responsea) not everyone one would want one because not everyone would want to go the solo path
b) pursuant to this thought, not everyone would want one because of limitations congruent with the idea of being small communities
c) left unattended, they would revert to the wilderness (or be occupied by baddies)
d) they'd take a lot of work (and/or money, maybe even real life money)to get off the ground
e) with these thoughts in mind it seems fair to think there wouldn't be an inordinately large number of players willing to even try to build their own village
Still I have to recognize your concern. Certainly, the world would need to be big enough, and the effort/expense of building your own village high enough, so that overcrowding would be avoided.
I've read through this thread (more or less) and there's a lot of good discussion about transitory soloing e.g. soloing a critter or some other relatively short duration solo activity. But I'd like to explore a longer-term vision practical for a solo player which includes building something, as opposed to just bouncing from one solo encounter to the next. I mean...our efforts are supposed to be persistent, right? OK, what sort of persistence element is there for someone who prefers (for whatever reason) to play solo?
I'd like to see single players have the capability to build their own base of operations (village or whatever) and have a reasonable chance of being able to nurture it and protect it.
Here's a few bullet points of what I have in mind:
- Firstly, of course a solo player shouldn't be able to build a major city, but a small community should be achievable.
Maybe this capability is already there, and I'm just not aware of it. Admittedly, I haven't been following the development blogs or these boards particularly closely. If I'm just rehashing a point that's been covered elsewhere, I'd appreciate a pointer to that discussion. Otherwise, I'd love to hear other peoples' thoughts.
So...let me see if I understand here...you've gotten $750,000 in loans for business (which must be paid back)...while Paizo is working on a cool million with no strings attached...and you think your way is better? LOL
But seriously, seems some folks are taking this whole think awfully seriously. It's just a game...not a religion for heaven's sake. Who cares if the guy sitting next to you paid 5 bucks to get an extra +1 on his will saves or some such...big deal.
Just checking in...didn't want ya'll to think I'd fallen off the face of the planet. I hate having missed so much fun, but there are only so many hours in the day. I am so excited to read about all the things going on and how large we've grown and I can't wait for the next opportunity to come down and join in the good times. Toodles
Considering the way I've been buried with work and other real life committments lately, I've got a suggestion for another...
Asheville Area Role Players (AARP)
then repair replaces new... and no demand for new items means ultimately, low demand for materials and less interest in transport of goods. No Nihimon Caravans :D
A valid concern. Since I'm a sentimental SOB, and like the idea of hanging on to things for the long haul, I'll paraphrase a few ideas I've read here that would address it.
So long as coin, time and resources required to repair/upgrade >= new item, then no problem.
@insorrow - the scenario you present (negative tone aside) is a perfectly reasonable one.
My point, and I think that of most of the PvP-averse presence on these forums, is this: we're willing to accept a PFO world where getting killed while flower-gathering is a possibility. We are simply expressing our hope that the game design (along with the user community aka content) will be such that it is generally the exception, not the norm.
You raise an excellent point Valkenr...something I haven't quite got my hands around completely...
I can understand someone reaping a reward for winning a PvP encounter (and as an aside, being averse to PvP, I am 100 perecent in favor of anything that adds risk to it). But why is it necessary for a character's entire inventory to be lost if someone loots their corpse. I would rather see a system where...ok fine, you lost the fight so you lose an item or two from your inventory...but the rest of it will still be there for you when you do manage to make it back to your corpse. Why delete the rest of it automatically?
Is this mechanic intended to function as a way to remove stuff from the world...sort of an economic balancing factor? I can see the need for such factors, but man...triggering it by way of an event that has already kind of sucked just adds salt to the wound...
With all due respect, this is pretty harsh, and frankly quite unfair. It seems to me to demonstrate precisely the attitude which causes the concerns I have about PvP...namely "I can kill you ha ha and I will again and again just because I feel like it ha ha and if you don't like it, go play WoW hardy har har".
If I were to lash out in kind, I might say something like "if all you want to do is fight with other people, get a job, or get married, or at least get out of your parents' basement once in a while". But, that would probably be pretty unfair too :)
So let's keep this an objective and constructive conversation, shall we?
Most of the concerns about PvP I've seen posted don't advocate a complete restriction against it, but rather express concerns about PFO devolving into a gank-fest where only the strongest (or quickest twitch fingers) survive. If that's what you're advocating, then I believe there are few on these boards (even those in favor of PvP) who'd support your position.
I think most would agree with you on one very important point though. I certainly do. We all want a game everyone can enjoy. And it must be recognized that not everyone enjoys PvP. I think the developers' goal here is to make a game that appeals to as wide an audience as possible, including those of us who 1) don't particularly like PvP, 2) understand there's a development vision of a large, dynamic and immersive world for PFO, 3) understand that this vision includes PvP for various reasons which are discussed at length elswhere, 3) are willing to accept PvP with the hope that it will at most be simply an element of a much larger game, not the central tenet.
If PvP does become the central tenet of PFO, then yes, I agree with you on another point...many of us should, and undoubtedly will leave for other pastures.
Agreed. I wasn't aware of the legal element, but have understood from the earliest Goblinworks blog posts that the character advancement mechanics would be significantly different. Not terribly worried about mechanics. As you say, it is the "feel", or character/flavor/texture of the game that I'm mostly concerned with being true to PFRPG.
I think the PvE elements discussed will provide some of that...e.g. 4 guys walk into a tavern and find out the ostler's daughter has been kidnapped by evil goblins (themepark quests). Of course, the downside to this is once you've done the quest once, there's nothing new to a repeat experience.
Far more intriguing to me is how far the game design will go in providing people the capability to put on home-brew GM hats and coming up with their own quests...and bestowing those quests on other people. Yes, contracts will give some of that, but there is a limit to what can be done with contracts...escort this guy there, bring me 20 widgits, etc...
I wonder if the developers envision a player-accessible toolset to build their own bad-guy places/scenarios. That's something I'd willingly pay a premium for :)
I am an anti-PvP'er in general. I was thrilled when I first heard about PFO, but I was initially tempted to pass on the Kickstarter Tech Demo because of the PvP element that has bothered me since I read about it. Ultimately, I wound up kicking in a significant chunk of change for the demo because of blog statements that that the system would provide means for strongly discouraging "murder" e.g. PvP when it was unwanted or unwelcome.
I remain concerned that outside of the NPC safe zones, any character will essentially be vulnerable to such unpleasantness. I imagine under the best of circumstances, from time to time I'm going to get ganked by someone with nothing better to do and I really dislike the prospect. I am hopeful that all the goodness I'm reading about will outweigh it though.
The bottom line for me is this: I want to play an interesting, challenging game with many character growth options/paths. I do not want to pay money to become some snot-nosed idiot's virtual chewtoy.
If I find that I am getting killed by other people too often (which for me means anything more than very infrequently), I'll simply walk away disappointed that PFO for me failed.
Semi-related note...Interesting thought train expressed in several posts on this thread. Simply put, in some fundamental ways, PFO will be completely different that Pathfinder table-top. This is something else that concerns me a bit. I am excited about PFO because I love Pathfinder table-top. How true PFO stays to table-top will be another major factor in whether I become a long-term devotee, or try it for 1 month and then cancel my subscription.
Is this viable or is there a hole in my logic somewhere?
Net-using Human Fighter...Exotic weapon net, net adept and PA feats at first level...typical tactic will be to advance to within 15 feet of the bad guy and ready a sword attack if the guy moves to within 5 feet of me...so if he moves to attack me, I net him with attack of opportunity (melee 10 foot reach attack because of net adept feat), then drop the net which is hopefully already entangling the guy as a free action and hack him with my greatsword as my readied action.
James, number for Trip is 43472 -6. I've already decided to retire him though...gonna create a variation that I think will be better. Net-using 20 Str Human Fighter...Exotic weapon net, net adept and PA feats at first level...typical tactic will be to advance to within 15 feet of the bad guy and ready a sword attack if the guy moves to within 5 feet of me...so when he moves to attack me, I net him with attack of opportunity (melee 10 foot reach attack because of net adept feat), then drop the net which is already entangling the guy as a free action and hack him with my greatsword for 2-12+10 as my readied action. Mwahaha...
Probably shouldn't be telling you this...I'll probably get 14 level-draining wights dropped on my head when I walk through the next of one of your doorways...
Great time last night at WT. Great job GMing as usual Luth. Hated the deaths...dying happens, but those were some particularly nasty critters for 1st level. Wow.
WT looks like a great space...little bit of charm in that old gal of a building. Many thanks to Simeon and Nillic for letting us sneak in early.
26th is a holiday weekend. I imagine a lot of folks might have family plans. I know I am most likely going to have my mother visiting.
Can we get a preliminary show of hands on who would be showing up for the 26th? If a lot of people have holiday plans, we might need to consider making it either the 19th or pushing all the way out to 2-June.
Yes, you heard right. There is an effort underway to develop and bring to us an MMORPG version of Pathfinder. It is being worked on by an offshoot of Paizo called Goblinworks.
Click here to read the blog that's been ongoing for about 6 months. I read through it and get the sense that this MMO will be a very different experience than the yawners that are out there now.
Also, Goblinworks launched a Kickstarter project a few days ago, to raise money that will fund a technology demo to be presented to potential investors. The $50k goal was hit in less than 24 hours (pretty danged amazing). There is also a secondary goal to have as many contributers as possible. This will show the potential investors how much interest, and perhaps more importantly how many people there are out there willing to pay a few bucks a month to play it. Click here to see and maybe contribute to this project.
Hello from the depths of "too much going on at once". Its great to see all the things happening here :)
T-shirts? Sign me up! I'll take an XL.
Geekout? hmmm...the 12th is my monthly golf tournament, though we should be starting pretty early in the day...headed to Warhorn after this to check out what's shakin and see if I can fit in both golf-out and geek-out.
And nice to hear from you Dink. Hope things are well.
Howdy! My name is Dave and I'm moving back in the area soonish and I was hoping to try out Pathfinder when I do. I've only played D&D 2.0, 3.5,modern, and Hackmaster so far. How would I get involved with this group?
I'll chime in here with my own welcome and glad to have you :) Some of the guys have already provided some great info and links. I highly recommend the Guide to Organized Play. I was a little confused when I first started looking into Pathfinder, and it explained a lot.
You see, there are really two flavors of Pathfinder games. Pathfinder, which is the open-ended game where people use published adventures/story arcs (or their own home-brew) in a home-based campaign with a small group of dedicated players who are needed at every session to continue the ongoing multi-session storyline.
And then there's Pathfinder Society (also commonly referred to as PFS and Organized Play). This is what we play in our every-other-Saturday sessions. The scenarios used in PFS are all pre-published specifically for PFS. They are 4 hour scenarios that stand alone, starting and finishing in that 4 hours. There is an established world they are all set in, with some rather complex societal dynamics, but each scenario can be played whenever by whoever with no need for keeping to any particular order. This allows players to come to sessions as they wish without having to feel obligated to come to any given session. It is common to play with different players, different party compositions and different GMs from session to session. It also makes it possible to play PFS at Cons (I recently went to a Con in Chattanooga and played PFS all weekend with people I'd never met before...had a great time).
If you have any questions about any of all this, just post away right here and we'll bury you with helpful info!
Don't make the error of thinking it's about the players FIRST - it's about selling more PFRPG product. The fluff is important. Good stories are important. Selling more product is the POINT.
Quite a cynical viewpoint. Perhaps it would help to consider that the single most effective way to sell more product is to give the customers what they want. If that doesn't equal "players first", then nothing does.
In other words, "players first" and "selling more product" are not mutually exclusive as the post seems to suggest. On the contrary, they go hand in hand. And right there with them is the idea of catering to the widest player base possible.
In the posts I've seen by Mike and Mark, it seems clear that while considering potential game changes, they place the highest priority on the understanding the opinions and experiences of all players, and go out of their way to find creative ways to do so.
I will be there on Saturday...finally finalized the Singapore trip but worked a little schmooze and not heading out till Monday. I would be willing to try my hand at GMing 1st Steps part 1 IF (big if) we are desperate for another GM, but would really prefer to wait until after I get home from SG. If I am able to play, I have a 1st level Pally, 2nd level bard and 3rd level wiz locked and loaded.
One other thing...we had a respondant to the flyer and he said he'd be there on Saturday as well...he'll have (obviously) a 1st level character.
zrinka znidarcic wrote:
Zrinka, With respect, your example doesn't apply because there were only two subtiers. I've expanded on your bolded text to demonstrate my point.
Jake Dodd wrote:
APL North (we had our first few games this week)
Wow! I had no idea! That's great. Congrats on getting it going. Is it a relatively static table, or is there room for people to come and go? I might be interested in playing some mid-week games from time to time.
Any word on Blitzkreig space being available for the 18th?
I sent an email to Nillic at TWT last week just to find out when TWT would be opening and see if he had any thoughts on potential gaming spaces. In his response he mentioned that it wasn't likely the space at Blitzkrieg could be used to game between now and then.
Awesome time last night. Great job GMing Luth! And it was great to run with Zylph, Aravandor and QC. Two things I learned...