|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
How many of you as GMs allow evil characters in your standard non-evil campaign?
Generally, yes. But if the story being told is more traditionally heroic, you'd better have a good explanation. For instance, in one of my games all of the PCs had been falsely accused of a crime and were trying to clear their name. Because of the self interested motivations, I allowed evil characters without question. In another, the PCs were tasked with saving a town and a Druid's grove from a rogue Blight Druid granted tremendous power. In that case you'd better have a compelling story why your Chaotic Evil Barbarian decided to help out these innocents instead of slaughtering them.
How many of you as players have played alongside or as the token evil teammate?
One of my most memorable characters was this. The key is never to outright antagonize the group. You can manipulate them, subtly, but never force them to do anything. I was strongly allied with the CN Pirate in our party and I simply kept the worst of what I did hidden from him.
There was actually even a great storyline where my character tried to lead the Paladin to the dark side by creating a test of moral fortitude he was intended to fail. In the end, the Paladin passed his moral test and frustrated my character, but it was a marvelous bit of storytelling that let us both test our role playing chops.
What roles do you guys find most fitting for the TET in terms of group dynamics? Alignment? Classes?
Any alignment I think works. Some people will say never chaotic evil because that means always backstabbing the team or doing the most evil thing possible all the time, but I say those people don't know chaotic evil (Stupid Evil is its own beast). But for classes? Anything with a high CHA - Bards and Sorcerers are my two favorites for this role. If you're going to be -ahem- "morally questionable" you'd better give the group a good reason to keep you around. Haste and Inspire Courage are great reasons.
Wizards, Alchemists, Rangers, Rogues, and Witches also make good choices. What it boils down to is evil PCs need to be schemers, and it's hard to effectively play evil with a class whose schtick is All Combat All the Time. You can write "CE" on your character sheet, but if your fighter is just mowing enemies down then he's no different form the other murder hobos and could just as easily be "CN" or "TN". If you want to play that evil up, you won't have the skills or spells to do much besides start random fights and kill those weaker than you.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Drakainia. If you don't take real life SAN damage after reading "Invert Birth", I don't know what will phase you. Plus, the artwork in the Bestiary 4 is horrifying.
Pretty sure Darakania is the most difficult monster in all of the Bestiaries that isn't a Great Old One, right? And even Great Old Ones don't have Mythic Ranks. (shudder)
For low level, though? Stirges. Just . . . freaking Stirges, man.
Instead of doing a flat "I this class because" and "I love this class because", I'll mix it up with a Love/Hate for each:
Can't speak on the ACG since I've not really played any of them yet.
I personally imagine Hodor from ASOIAF, but a bit more intelligent. No particularly useful skills, not really 'trained' in anything and no magical ability to speak of . . .
But simply a powerhouse. Seems nigh-unto invincible to the other common folk, but easily defeated by somebody with a bit of know-how, training, or mystical ability. (So, your typical level 8+ adventurer)
I mean, let's break it down with a typical stat array and capability:
STR: 14 (+1 Level)
Since most Commoners are peasants, laborers, farmers, etc. the most likely candidate for the stat boost would probably be CON. By either luck or inheritance, he would have come into a couple of magical items to represent a high NPC wealth. The actual 'value' part of his wealth would mostly go to hiring underlings, purchasing land, and paying for equipment. For giggles, let's give him a Cloak of Resistance +5 and his stat boosts would most likely be evenly divided as most of us - rather than focusing on improving one aspect - typically grow a little in all of them. To survive this long without any special skills, he's probably pretty beefy, so any feats not related to his profession are probably going to be those that represent a natural conditioning or predisposition to being hard to kill. I've also kept them to (predominately) General Feats to avoid too many prerequisites.
So how does this look ultimately?
Feats: (10 + 1(Human)) Toughness, Endurance, Diehard, Improved Unarmed Strike, Skill Focus (Profession), Great Fortitude, Alertness, Fleet, Deft Hands/Deceitful/anything that gives a flat +2 bonus to some skills, Survivor, Catch Off Guard.
The last feat is a toss up, but I chose Catch Off Guard to represent his resourcefulness, despite not being formally trained in any actual 'weapons'. If you want to make him more of a brute, put the bonus in STR and give him Power Attack. (So 1d3 + 9. Absolutely brutal to a 1st Level anything) If you want to make him less of a combatant, take out the IUS, Catch Off Guard, and replace with Knowledge feats. His saves are godlike to an inexperienced would-be poisoner, but pretty weak for a typical level 20 adventurer. He is easy to hit, but good luck taking him down permanently.
Some varieties of Paladin I've seen at my table:
A grizzled veteran longbowman looking for his son that was the embodiment of "Good is Not Nice".
A simple-minded country boy who would burst into bouts of righteous fury.
A gambling, hard-drinking light-armor skirmisher who managed to never out himself as a Paladin AND never tell a lie. (Full disclosure: This one had two Bard levels.)
A Gnome with a Don Quixote complex and a large wolf mount he named 'Doggy' that he would routinely try to have accompany him in the tavern.
Be 'Lawful' and 'Good' are broad enough edicts that I would say that it is quite possible to make a variety of character types within those parameters.
I recently started DMing for a bunch of early 20 somethings. Sadly, and this includes my own son, they are a pretty misogynistic bunch. I had to put the hammer down on the use of the "b" word when referring to women, both in and out of games. Next will come the hammer on the "n" word they use when talking to each other.
If it is any consolation, I was like that in my late teens and early twenties as well. That mentality is sadly fostered by an Internet generation that is trained to see others not as individuals with real feelings but objects for amusement - women get this treatment particularly hard.
I am ashamed how long it took me to mature beyond it, but I know that my mother's influence was what won the battle for my mind in the end. Take heart that for most it's mercifully just a phase.
Something that keeps coming up is how you can make a good rogue or fighter, it's just a little trickier. I hate that argument. This is actually what irks me most about underpowered classes and why I simply don't play them on principle.
Most people here have a fairly hardy grasp of system mastery. I'm not nearly in the same league as some people here (That Carnivorous Crystal Wild-Shaping Druid is something that would not have occurred to me in a billion years) but I know it well enough to make pieces fit where I need them to be.
Like I said - it's not about comparing to what everyone else brought to the table, it's about the fact they don't do the concept I like as well as something else would. Name any typical Rogue/Fighter role, and I could probably role up a class that will do it better. At best, the Fighter is a dip for feat trees.
But what about the new players? What about new players who are introduced through APs?
My first introduction to serious role-playing was the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP. After a week of studying the CRB and Player's Guide, I brought a Tiefling (Faultspawn for the DEX and WIS boost with an INT penalty because, thanks to the CRB description, I figured DEX would be more important) Monk to the table.
I spent several frustrating sessions doing no damage, having nothing to contribute outside of combat, and unfortunately not dying. I was bored way too much of the time. I very nearly lost interest in gaming before I began because I was saddled with something not fun at all that was not just being outperformed, but rarely - if ever - contributing meaningfully in any scenario.
Eventually I was put to a merciful death and got to reroll a Half-Elf Bard. I finally had something to do. There were options at my feet. As a new player, with all of those different skills and abilities I got the confidence to try different things. Even before I really understood how to effectively use all of the bard's tricks, I had a fairly useful character.
Good for you if you can optimize a Rogue to outperform a poorly-built Wizard. Yes, the strongest players will make the best characters at the table, period. They'll spec a Fighter that makes GM's cry tears of frustration. They'll squeeze every list little known feat out of every splat book until their Rogue can hit on anything but a natural 1.
But those who don't know any better, those who get caught up in their idea of what the rogue 'can' do, only to find out FREAKING DARKNESS shuts down a sneak attack? That's who really gets shortchanged. All of the 'simple' classes are pitifully weak and those who are learning by trial and error are the ones who really suffer for it. They don't know anything about tiers or Quadratic Wizards or crazy feat combinations to make possibly gamebreaking juggernauts. All they know is they wanted to play a sneaky thief and now they're stuck with a character whose pathetic at everything their chosen class was supposed to excel at. They're sidelined unless there is some very specific hand-holding by the GM, and good luck with that because (from personal experience) it is damn near impossible to make a situations particularly suited to the rogue that someone else isn't already able to do just as well.
Kind of ninja'd me on this one, but yeah . . .
For instance, in a recent game I ran we had a Half-Elf Barbarian, an Orc Fighter, and a Halfling Rogue. Nobody knew what anybody else was making and everybody based their concept around role-play instead of optimization. The Barbarian took ranks in Diplomacy for chrissakes!
Even so, in combat the Barbarian ALWAYS outpaces the fighter unless he gets very lucky. Outside of combat, most of the rogue's time is spent healing herself from the brink of death, and when she fails at some RP-heavy aspect, the Barbarian can reliably step in for an assist. The fighter? Well . . . he got a couple of craft ranks so he can make armor. Whoopee.
K177Y C47 wrote:
I'd call that a matter of taste. I hate the grizzled anti-hero. You want to talk about overdone? Wolverine, The Punisher, Lobo, V, Rorschach, The Question, Elric, Hellsing, Batman (granted this is largely dependent upon the writer, but the most well known Batman - Frank Miller's - definitely qualifies), pretty much every video game character ever that's not a Croft or an Italian plumber.
Just . . . ugh. We get it. These characters are like cigarettes - cool and dangerous but ultimately not worth the money and bad for the health of the culture.
Cynicism is easy. I've fallen to it many more times in my life than I care to admit. It's easy and boring and vulgar (in the Shakespearean sense) and I hate, hate, hate, hate it. Even the perennial Boy Scouts like Green Arrow and Superman are getting gritty anti-hero reboots.
Finding another way, being better than the world and not capitulating to it, showing those who have all but given up that there is hope left - that is far from boring. That is the coolest thing imaginable.
The preceding, of course, is all my own opinion and I'm sure there plenty of people who feel the opposite.
I think somebody already said this, but it deserves to be reiterated: Condensing the feats chains to scaling feats would benefit the other martials, but it would benefit the Fighter in that it would make the Fighter what it should be.
Since the Fighter is still getting feats every level, he could be the pinnacle performer in every single fighting style there is. Whereas a Paladin/Barbarian/Cavalier/whatever would become more powerful in their chosen style, the Fighter could outperform them in ALL styles. He could specialize in Archery, TWF, BFS, Sword & Board, and Mounted Combat. Sure, the Cavalier atop his mount might outperform the fighter slightly still, but if those ponies bite the dust, or they're entering a cramped dungeon, the fighter will whip out his Greatsword or Longbow and embarrass the Cavalier easily.
I've dated a wide variety of women, and honestly as a man of modest means, height, and genitalia, I'm not interested in limiting my choices too much.
But if there is one thing that will absolutely put a woman on my "No Fly" list it is entitlement.
And this is a tricky one, because I am aware of the baggage that comes with calling a woman, or any underprivileged class really, 'entitled'. It's like saying you can't handle a woman who's 'bossy' - what you're saying may be saying a lot more about you than her. So, if I may broaden the subject a bit, this would apply to any person of any gender no matter what level of relationship I am considering.
No matter who you're talking about, there is nothing more irritating than a person who believes they are owed something by the world and treat the rest of humanity as mere pissants to witness their greatness. And I feel like so many of the most common 'deal breakers' - rude to waitstaff, doesn't show gratitude, complains, can't have fun, "Nice Guy" misogynists, even racism/sexism/homophobia - can all be described as some form of personal entitlement.
If I may play GM's advocate here:
I am a lover of classic Paladins. I want the law-and-order, holy avenger, could-never-behave dishonestly types. For all the talk of "lawful stupid" Paladins I hear about, I do not think I've ever seen one played in this method.
Every - and I do mean every - Paladin I've ever encountered was trying to be a Chaotic rebel with awesome powers. The worst of these veered hard into Chaotic Neutral territory (one even skirting chaotic evil - but that's was more seriously a Good vs Evil issue, so I digress) and should anybody have the audacity to call them on it they were - say it with me now - "just playing their character."
I know I'm in the minority here since I interpret Lawful to pertain specifically to societal law because EVERYBODY has a personal code, even if that personal code is "Do What Feels Good". (I also drop the Lawful restraint from monks for this reason to remain consistent.)
Being "Good" in most tabletop games, and especially PF adventure paths, is usually pretty easy. It's the default setting for most adventures. Just by participating in most of the quests you're given you'll be on the side of the angels - and usually those scenarios where you're not it's a big last minute "Gotcha!" reveal.
Being ethical, on the other hand, is much more difficult. And it should be. Why would Paladins have to be Lawful Good if the Lawful part of that statement meant nothing?
Ultimately, Good is more important, but Paladins should exhaust every other option before resorting to anything illegal or dishonest. I have some rules for Paladins a lot of players would call 'arbitrary', but I don't do a lot of mechanical punishment. Rather I would prefer my players try to think before they just take the path of least resistance.
OK, I hate to be nitpicky, but one thing that sort of gets my goat is when people say, "Neutral just does whatever is most expedient/easiest."
When you really break down that standard, 'whatever is the most expedient' is Evil. Some examples:
You're alone with a wealthy benefactor in poor health. Upon his death, you will receive a large sum of money that you are counting on to repay a serious debt. You know you can smother the benefactor while nobody is in the room and it will be assumed he died of natural causes.
You're in charge of building a bridge. You know you could save a week's worth of work (and some serious coin) by doing a slap-dash job, even though there is a very strong likelihood that the bridge's collapse could result in serious injury or somebody's death. By the time these flaws become apparent, you'll be long-gone and beyond the reach of the law.
You're married and away on a very long business trip. After weeks of loneliness, you go out for a night of drunken debauchery, during which a very attractive person of the same/opposite gender (take your pick) comes onto you. Passions inflamed, you can easily spend the night with them.
Although these are varying degrees (murder isn't the same as infidelity, after all) nobody would call those actions 'neutral'. They all involve some sort of betrayal, maliciousness, or recklessness and in every case the easiest or most personally beneficial option would hurt somebody else.
Evil loves the easy way out. Neutrality is simply maintaining a level of common human decency - which can itself even be difficult at times - while good is exceeding it.
However, one of my personal favorites to refer to is Jack Valentine - the DEA agent played by Ethan Hawke in Lord of War. The Hero Antagonist to Nicolas Cage's Villain Protagonist Yuri Orlav, there's a scene where Valentine has Yuri cold, but can't bust him without fabricating evidence. Instead of breaking his code, he finds the loophole and leaves Yuri in detainment for 24-hours and allows his plane intended for the smuggling of illegal weapons to African warlords to be dismantled and stolen in a VERY dangerous area.
If you want to know how a Paladin should be, watch Lord of War.
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
WHOA! Hold up!
Okay, I never said anything about people being legitimately abused. That's a completely unfair characterization.
The OP made a point about men attacking a feminist blogger because she pointed out some of the more odious sexism that - while prevalent in all media - is particularly egregious in the video game market, since the target demographic is typically considered to be adolescent boys and young men.
Rather than addressing that, several posters completely ignored the very real issues about our treatment of women and instead said men are the ones who are REALLY discriminated against. They were insisting that there is a widespread institutional discrimination against men and that this discrimination against women was actually no big deal. That by taking steps to address this disparity between men and women we were actually guilty of REVERSE sexism.
That is entitlement speaking, and factually wrong besides. I stand by that.
After that, the conversation turned toward abused men. I've never said that a man who has been abused is just an entitled whiner. Again, though, another posted what a ridiculous argument this is. Feminists are not the people claiming men cannot be abused - it's typically a patriarchal attitude that insists a man never appear weak, in particular in his relationship with a woman, that creates an atmosphere that prevents these men from coming forward and treats them less seriously when they do.
Simon Legrande wrote:
Bards get it first level and don't have to blow a feat on it.
2. A dervish dancer bard's performance only affects the bard. Yes it will make the bard better in combat but then there is no benefit to the rest of the party.
Still a better benefit than Sneak Attack, to which the same argument can be applied.
3. Why does the bard automatically have higher CHA than a rogue? Why is this a fact that isn't up for debate?
It's not that the Bard necessarily has higher CHA. It's that the Bard gets so much more out of it. The Rogue gets a skill boost - and admittedly, a boost to his most important skill, UMD. The Bard, meanwhile, by boosting his CHA not only gets more performance rounds but also raises his spell DCs and Spells-per-Day.
4. Somebody else already mentioned Shadow Strike.
You have to sacrifice a feat slot for something you should be able to do in the first place. This is a serious mark against the rogue.
EDIT: Damn! I started this at B&N and came home and missed all the responses. I got Ninja'd on all of this.
Sorry, I should have been more cautious with my tense. But yes, it would be correct to say ongoing discrimination.
pres man wrote:
The white guy sporting the power mullet, living in the trailer park, somehow missed this year's invitation to the Illuminati dinner. Maybe he'll get it next year.
Actually, what is interesting about your choice of analogy is how perfectly it summarizes who actually holds white men back - rich white men.
Not in a Secret Cabal "Illuminati" conspiracy sort of way, but it is true that rich oligarchs have rigged the system to stagnate economic mobility and keep the lower classes - well, lower. And a big part of that is making sure that poor white men blame poor black men, immigrants, and the influx of women into areas traditionally reserved for men for their lack of economic opportunity. Pretty much anyone NOT responsible for falling wages and shrinking opportunities.
I think the Bard is just the most often brought up because it is so similar, but just so superior, to the rogue that it's an easy comparison. They're 3/4 BAB lightly-armored skill monkeys with a motif based around out thinking rather than overpowering opponents. But when it comes down to it, whatever aspect of that character you want to focus on, the bard does it better.
I want a whole mess of skills! Bard gets more.
I want to be sneaky! Bard has Stealth and a whole slew of Illusion spells to buff herself.
I want to be a master spy, a silver-tongued beguiler unmatched in disguise and intrigue! Bard has better CHA, better skills, spells to enhance herself (like she needs it) and I mean come on, seriously, we all know Bards are hands-down the best Party Face characters. Glibness, Disguise Self, Charm Person all make the rogue obsolete before we even do a Skill-for-Skill comparison.
I want to be a lightly-armored skirmisher! Bard might eclipse the rogue only slightly here, but she'll have cooler weapon proficiency (Especially for Finesse - the whip rocks) and performance is hands-down a better bonus than Sneak Attack. It's not situational, it actually boosts accuracy, and it improves the whole party.
I want to be an expert in disarming traps! A) Why would you want to focus on the lamest part of dungeon crawling? and B) Archaeologist Bard will take that focus and still keep pace in the skills department.
Snorri Nosebiter wrote:
OK, take this from a fellow white man: You have no idea what you're talking about. 'Reverse' isms don't exist. Not institutionally. Are there black people who think white people are inferior? Yes. Are there women who think men are obsolete and we'd all be better off if the 'Y' chromosome disappeared? Yes. Are there people who think we should outright ban Christianity? Yes.
Do those people have any real power? No.
The people who do have power are the politicians who are claiming that 'real' rape shuts down abortion and, besides, she was "asking for it". It is the pastors of megachurches who say that gays being allowed to marry is an affront to THEIR rights. It is the criminal justice system that says it's okay to shoot unarmed black teenagers but unacceptable for an abused woman to fire a warning shot to scare off her attacker.
Blacks are more likely to be arrested for the same offenses, sentenced to harsher punishments when convicted. 1 in 5 women will suffer some form of sexual assault in her lifetime, and enormous wage gaps still exist on both fronts. More acts of terrorism have been committed by white Christian men than any other group since our nation's founding and yet we have never profiled them as terrorists nor spawned movements forbidding them from building their places of worship. Gay teens commit suicide at 4 to 6 times the rate of straight counterparts, and I won't even get into the homeless and murder rates for transgendered men and women.
When white heterosexual males complain that somehow society is being unfair to them, it is not only wrong. It's stupidly offensive and belittling to all of the REAL discrimination that is still rampant in our society.
pres man wrote:
The craziest thing about Kucinich is that he is naively optimistic about our politics and how much 'We the People' can affect change. But he is also way ahead of his time (he warned us about the dangers of privatization before Enron - actually a big factor in why he didn't win reelection that year - and supported gay marriage at a time when speaking for equality was political suicide) and, having met him, I can tell you he is infectiously pleasant. Kucinich perfectly demonstrates the difference, for me at least, between looks and charisma.
Being chiseled, tall, and having a deep timbered voice makes things easier. But there are things that will always matter more than all of that combined. Hell - look at Prince.
I don't have much to add to the topic that hasn't been said already. All I can say is that every time a woman points out the sexism that is a major problem in our society, the MRA guys dismiss it and whine about how bad men have it. It's as inevitable as a white person crying from the halls of privilege about reverse racism. It's embarrassing.
By the way, do you have any evidence that societies do better BECAUSE they have more open attitudes about sex? I'd really like to see it, but all I get when I search for related statistics is things like "more single parent families" and "decreasing population because of low birth rates". I didn't know either of those were good for nations...
Across the board, the Netherlands has lower rates of STI's, abortion, and teen pregnancy. The Dutch are known for having incredibly liberal attitudes towards sexuality - abortion is accessible and federally funded, prostitution is legal and treated like any other profession - in fact, in general, the concept of treating sex as shameful or taboo is rather foreign. Teenagers are expected to have sex and teenage partners sleeping over is no cause for alarm.
Not coincidentally, The Netherlands also has a lower divorce rate.
In fact, if you look at the best countries to live in ranked by Life Expectancy, GDP per capita, lack of corruption, general life satisfaction among citizenry, etc. - the list is consistently populated by countries who inherited enlightenment ideals and have liberal attitudes toward sex. Australia, Denmark, the aforementioned Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Canada, et al.
To be clear, it was YOU who made an assertion when you indicated in your post a lament that we, as a society, are having issues because we do not hold to Biblical sexual ideals.
Nowadays, fornication is a fairly common thing, and marriage is almost like a used tissue thrown into the trash (Very sad generation we live in). Today's society doesn't much pressure on "staying true" and "stay pure"
While it's true that one cannot say any one thing is responsible for the welfare of a country, the facts bear out that having a repressive attitude toward sexuality is unnecessary for a vibrant and happy society. Enforcing mores meant to establish very strict rules, control women's sexuality and demonize homosexuality serve no beneficial purpose.
(As a semi-related aside, the notion of "purity" is probably the most perverse sentiment I can personally imagine. I find it disgusting that we are still raising young women with the notion that they can be reduced to what happens with their vagina. As if having sex somehow creates a stain on her soul that trumps everything else about who she is as a person. How unbearably genitally obsessed and misogynistic.)
But ultimately to the original point, real world religions can push mysterious ways or 'higher reasons' all the want - especially in Pathfinder rules, evil is evil is evil. I, of course, am of the opinion that there's really no excuse for the more disgusting tenets of religion when we can easily find contemporary philosophers and writers espousing far more ethically sound ideas. But while we can debate shifting real world definitions of good, in Golarion there is an objective good and an objective evil. If you're performing human sacrifice or murdering fornicators in Pathfinder, the religion is evil. You can't really claim 'mysterious ways' when the gods plainly interact with mortals.
Here is the thing - a lot of us complaining about the rogue actually love the concept. I don't harp on the rogue because I hate the class, but because I would love to see it work. (FWIW, I think the Slayer class might fix these issues, unfortunately evil sounding name aside.)
And 'just don't play one' does not solve the problem. This is a cooperative game and if a class cannot meaningfully contribute it not only causes problems for the player but the party and DM as well. My biggest problems with rogues honestly has been as a DM having all of the fun sapped out of encounters due to the power disparity.
This - I just, wow, what?
I mean, REALLY? I know we all want to be respectful of others' beliefs, but is nobody else shocked or disgusted that somebody would make the argument that a good society could approve of killing "fornicators"?
Disproportionate retribution against people who disobey societal norms is textbook lawful evil - I think there is a tacit admission to that in the fact you were so quick to warn posters against trying to put alignments to real world religions. That anybody could hold MURDER as a morally justifiable or even righteous punishment is mind-boggingly unethical. (Worse so if one says any premarital sex is tantamount to adultery.)
Posts like this remind me why religion is definitely best left to the realm of fantasy.
And for the record, societies with more open attitudes about sex and sexuality do fare better. Comparisons between places with progressive attitudes towards sexuality and premarital sex - Sweden, Denmark, etc. - and places with regressive attitudes - the Middle-East, the conservative parts of the US - strongly favor the fornicators.
Detect Magic wrote:
It should say something, however, that you not only had to houserule the rogue to make it viable, but then STILL had to ban a class that continued to make it obsolete.
Seems like a simpler fix is just to reskin the Ninja/Vivisectionist/whatever as a rogue and ban the utterly useless Rogue-as-written altogether.
Detect Magic wrote:
I'd much more likely ban the rogue.
Having been DMing for a party the past few weeks that consists of a Wizard, Sorcerer, Sword-n-Board Fighter, and a Rogue; I can tell you it sucks a lot of the fun out of it for me. If I don't want the rogue to sit there to the side and watch the grown-ups play, I have to do a lot of adjustments. The casters will always have something to do, of course, and even the fighter will always hit things real hard and keep on trucking. But my choices essentially always boil down to either kill the rogue, not challenge the rest of the party, or specifically play counterintuitively. They could be a party of 3 and I can honestly say it would make no difference if she were there.
Even when it comes to roleplay, the Sorcerer can outshine her with his pumped up Bluff and Diplomacy and insane CHA score. At least an alchemist could be brewing healing potions or providing buffs.
Now, I understand if she had optimized we'd be looking at a different story - a bit. But that's the thing: NONE of these characters are optimized. The Sorcerer is all blasts all the time, the Transmuter Wizard's spelllist is mostly a flavor vehicle (He wanted the most 'traditionally' magical of schools, which pretty much boiled down to transmutation or conjuration, and he took the weaker option because he loved the polymorph ideas), and the fighter's not even two-handed or power attacking. Even though nobody is optimized, the Rogue is probably the closest to optimized of the group (High DEX, small size two-weapon fighting - generally agreed upon as the best-of-the-worst rogue build) and she still drags them down.
The problem is that other classes do EVERY SINGLE THING the rogue does, but better. It would be one thing if the Rogue were a Bard-style jack of all trades that's good at everything but not excelling in anything, but the problem is it sucks at everything. I could choose almost any other class in this game and make a build that will surpass the Rogue in all of its designated roles, or far exceed it in one designated role and perform comparably in its others. Leaving behind the theorycrafting, I've never been in a game where encounters did not have to be tailored to make the rogue useful. I've seen a 12th level rogue outshined by a 4th level Fighter cohort. When you're of less use to the party than 1/3rd level NPC, the class is demonstrably broken.
Am I the only huge nerd who flashed back to this when reading the thread title?
The only way I could see this going down is if two beings are given charges by different lawful good gods who think there is only one right way to solve a problem. Say, some elder force of destruction (maybe not even evil, just very unpredictable CN?)is locked away under the charge of a LG god, but it is the only being that might know the secret to stopping a world shattering cataclysm. One good god tells his charge to commune with this creature, the angel is told to let absolutely nobody speak with it ever for fear that even a minor breach will let it free. That I would see as something a good character would see as worth killing for - even though they would feel absolutely remorseful about it.
I know I'm late to this party, but I am a sucker for Chaotic Neutral debates. (Now if only I could find several dozen other topics on this, fallen Paladins, and how to handle homosexuality in a campaign. But alas, that's just not the world we live in. Le sigh.)
1) I say 'no'. These were obviously bad guys. Thugs. Good might do the honorable thing, but as long as the people he's dealing with are capital 'E' evil then neutral can justify a lot. ESPECIALLY chaotic neutral. Lawful neutral might hold his word as his bond, true neutral might be more concerned with his immediate safety. But that, to me, is chaotic neutral played correctly. This is a case of messing with the wrong freaking guy.
2) I'd say if you still don't buy that, it would only push slightly toward chaotic evil.
3) Even though mechanically I wouldn't make this shift his alignment, I would still provide some in-game consequences. Someone mentioned earlier that, particularly if this took place in an urban environment, the chances of nobody noticing are slim. For that matter, these are brutal thugs --- who knows with whom they are allied?
I think for sure the Cleric of Asmodeus would get along better with the Paladin of Iomedae. At least between the two, there will be a mutual understanding of the importance of contractual obligations and order. (Also, Lawful Evil doesn't necessarily mean malicious. Just ruthless. A merciless assassin who performs his duties without question, for instance, could still find common ground with a Paladin easily.)
Here's the thing, though: I like Family Guy. I love American Dad. (Honestly a far superior show.) I think even Cleveland Show wasn't really given its fair shake. I found Ted hilarious.
But even loving all of that, Dads is just godawful. The jokes are like 80's sitcom jokes that Family Guy would parody.
Pineapple - my theory is that, if it exists, a human has tried to eat it, shoot it, or have sex with it - or sometimes all three. Just like we figured out pineapples, coconuts, and psychedelic mushrooms, we also figured out from the Darwin Awards that eating nightshade is deadly, live crocodiles don't make good sex toys, and flinging yourself from a trebuchet is a bad idea.
Given, although that does bring up another point I don't think anybody gets.
Religious fundamentalism - contrary to conventional opinion, devout belief and scientific curiosity aren't mutually exclusive - otherwise, we wouldn't have Newtonian physics, genetic theory or certain key theories of electromagnetism (or we'd have had them much later than we did). It takes all kinds, and most importantly people understanding that ignorance and stubbornness is not the exclusive province of any group - idiots abound from Sea to Shining Sea. :)
Yes and no. Newton was a product of his era and was able to push the boundaries of what we knew at the time without running into any glaring religious inconsistencies. But how a person of an intellectual curiosity could believe that the earth is 5,000-years-old or that species do not evolve in the face of overwhelming evidence is mind-boggling.
Belief in the supernatural, I grant, is a philosophical difference that by its definition cannot be debated on an empirical foundation. But it's the obviously, plainly false things that get me.
No, BG2 and NWN yes, but SoA no :)
Not to quibble, but BG2 is Shadows of Amn.
There was also Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, but we'll just pretend that NEVER HAPPENED.
Vod Canockers wrote:
Two things about that:
1. We're talking about role-playing adventurers. If you're going to make a TN character, he still needs to find an excuse to be a part of things.
2. Neutrality is not psychopathy. "Ha, I'll let that dragon kill everybody and take the treasure for myself!" is definitely E-V-I-L. I can see the argument for neutral ignoring conceptual evil, because to some degree we all have to do this. I can see the argument for self-preservation, but see number one for that.
People --- almost always family members of course --- who forward you every idiotic, blatantly false chain e-mail as gospel truth.
I am preparing for the onslaught after Halloween passes and we liberals begin our fictional War on Christmas, but just the reminder that I'm related to people who believe this stuff is depressing. Why can't they keep their insanity to themselves?
I love using Fey as villains. Here's the thing: Most monsters are just evil. If you encounter a Bugbear, you know the solution is to kill it and just keep killing it until it's properly killed.
But dealing with Fey is a different beast altogether. Even quote unquote 'good' Fey are capricious, mercurial creatures that only offer the most cryptic of help or advice. A few, granted, are just plain ol' "Kill on Sight" baddies, but for the most part, you never quite know where you stand.
Sure, maybe you should kill that Satyr. But he may also be the only hope you have of finding a guide through the treacherous forest. But he may screw with you a bit on the way. But he might reward your diligence if you impress him. (Note to self: Idea for next session.)
Ditto with evil Druids. I think they get less attention because it's harder to picture the motivations for an evil Druid. What does an evil Druid want? A Cleric of Urgathoa is going to raise an army of zombies. A Cleric of Zon-Kuthon is going to 'enlighten' (re: torture) an entire city's worth of victims to appease his dark god. A Cleric of Asmodeus is going to instill a tyrannical dictatorship and trek with devils.
Evil Druids, though? Harder to pull off. Typically it's a noble goal (e.g. The protection of a sacred Grove) taken to an ideological extreme (e.g. Preemptively destroying every neighboring civilization as a potential threat.) but it seems like Paizo specifically introduced things like 'Plague Druids' just to make it easier to use them as bad guys.
I think Neutral Outsiders get under utilized. You see a lot of Angels vs Demons, Agathions vs Devils, Demons vs Devils, and so on, but very rarely do you get to see the Aeons or Kalyrauts getting involved.
Edit: OH! And evil gnomes. Where are all the evil gnomes? I think an evil gnome has the potential to be absolutely terrifying.
All right, now I think we're getting the point of the shun thread.
Shun! Shun! SHHHUUUUNNNN!
Although I'd like to point out that confession was sort of meant tongue in cheek. If you do enjoy beating games on Insane Hardcore Murder Mode, knock yourself out. To each his own.
Of course, my experience has always been a sort of snobbish disregard for those who don't. I understand this isn't indicative of everybody who enjoys playing that way, but those gamers---those 'Hardcore' gamers who cannot stand that video games have become accessible to the unwashed masses---irritate me to no end.
Yeah, I know, every hobby has them. But still, perhaps my rant came across a bit harsh because there's always seemed to be a stronger undercurrent of it among video gamers than anywhere else I've encountered.
I have zero interest in being challenged in video games, and I really don't get people who do. Seriously. What's the accomplishment there? Are you going to tell your boss you beat Halo on Legendary in one life? Is it going to score you a date with an attractive woman? Is it going to win you a trophy your family and friends give a crap about? No, no, and no.
Some challenge in a game is fun. (The 2008 Prince of Persia was so dull precisely because you couldn't die.) But I have better things to frustrate myself over than playing the same 1/2 hour chunk of Dark Souls just to say I did.
Oh, this isn't one that comes up a lot, but something that has always been a source of contention between my fellow players and me:
-Paladins don't gamble. They just don't, I'm sorry. If you're playing a Paladin and your GM allows it, fine, cool, whatever. I'll let it go. I hate it, though, and not one of my NPC Paladins would ever indulge. To be sure, in my world you'd definitely get some aside glances from the other Paladins if they caught you doing it. It's not "fall-worthy" (something that's just way too abused) but it's just a really terrible way for a champion of light to spend her time-it would be like if you eyed somebody eating from the bins at the grocery; not something you would turn someone into the authorities for, but distasteful and rude. If you win, you're taking money from poor saps having a run of bad luck. If you lose, you're throwing good coin away that could be put to better use vanquishing evil or helping the less fortunate. Since I am apparently the only person in the world who holds this opinion, I'll include it here.
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
(Sorry I cut the description. Brevity and all.)
I've actually never seen a Tiefling played what you would describe as 'emo'---correct me if wrong, but I would imagine you mean full of angst and pseudo-philosophical. (I did notice a lot of appeal for Drow, among those types when I was younger and some of my friends were really into the scene, and now Dhampir among some of the younger players, but I digress.) Tieflings I've always seen played like ludicrous caricatures of 1990s Anti-Heroes. That is, always played as an excuse to act like an anti-social jerkward. Every Tiefling player I've encountered was essentially Wolverine of the setting turned up to 11.
But again, I recognize that is a personal hang-up. Though it has created a pretty large mental block that makes me cringe a little inside at the thought of playing a Tiefling.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
A bit off topic, but I've always hated the Forgotten Realms Drow as a very intricate, powerful society . . . consisting entirely of stab-happy for the evulz CE psychopaths.
Now, I'm not super familiar with Golarion Drow (other than the whole good elves turning drow when they become evil enough, which bothers me in its own way) but the idea of a bunch of chronic needlessly malicious murderers building a powerful underworld society that rivaled even the most powerful human settlements just bothered me. Every other mundane CE evil 'society' is barely held together under strong leadership or external threat and then disbands or implodes on itself due to the nature of chaotic evil. THAT makes sense. What doesn't make sense is a delicate power scheme in impressive underground labyrinths featuring powerful magic. That screams Lawful Evil and Drow should, over all, be Lawful Evil.
I also agree Tieflings are lame, but I do have to admit that's partially a personal prejudice in that I've never seen one played well. As a race, the are apparently very attractive to angry teenage boys and men who never grew out of being angry teenage boys because that's about the only way I've encountered them.
In the games I run relationships tend to play an enormous role, though the mechanical aspects of sex are generally left out. But I greatly enjoy role playing the social aspects. Homosexuality comes up on occasion, though I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that the only gay character outside of a game I ran was when one of our female players played a sex crazed fighter in the world's most transparent closet. In her defense all of her female characters were pretty sex crazed as well, though they were also interested in men.
I have played several gay NPC's. Actually my gay hobgoblin warlord is still an easy favorite among our group for NPC's I have run. So far I have not had an obviously gay PC, although the only time my character's sexuality even came into play was when another player decided to "make a man" of my young Druid by purchasing the services of a lady of the evening, and I suppose even so it would not preclude him being bisexual.
I don't think anybody said blaster sorcerers suck, per se, just that they are mechanically not the most powerful route you could go with a sorcerer.
Now monks, on the other hand, get all the hate. Although as a GM I hate our monk because she is nigh unto invincible.
spontaneously cast summons vs spontaneously cast heals thats an equal trade.
No way, not even a little. Wands of CLW are cheap, cheap, cheap.
Wands of SNA? Not so much. At least not ones that will be of much use. Plus those spontaneous summons get WAY better with each level (letting you keep them around for more rounds per caster level) whereas Cure spells hit a maximum efficiency pretty quickly. Sure it's a little gimped compared to Summon Monster, but summoning is bar-none the most powerful thing a caster can do low levels.
Wildshape also gives druid a Fly ability before anybody else in the party. That's nothing to sneeze at. It also gives them pounce before even the martial classes. With the proper feats Wildshape is beastly. (Edit: Er, no pun intended of course.)
I think very much in terms of general and selfish. In particular, our groups have problems justifying why these people are even traveling together, so I go generous so my character (at least) will be considered indispensable to the group.
The ultimate generous character is, of course, the Bard. IIRC, there is a Bard archetype that trades the Rapier and Whip proficiencies for proficiency with the Net and Trident. You are the penalty stacking king. The wizard can't hit some ultra-dextrous little bugger because of its high touch AC? Start your bardic performance, use your boffo BAB to hit it with the net, and hand it off to the fighter to hold onto. The rest of the time you're casting Good Hope, or Haste, or Grease, or using wands of CLW and so on. Out of combat, you use your high Bluff and Diplomacy skills to get the best deals on trade goods and lead the party to its next quest.
Some honorable mentions: Cavalier (Challenge makes him basically the game's only effective tank and teamwork feats make for a great buddy system), Cleric (Lots of Buffs and spontaneous cures), and Paladin (just by being near her your saves improve, and she has some great Lay on Hands buffs)
The ultimate selfish character? There are two. The monk. High saves, high AC, moves like lightning, giving you the ultimate in survivability. But he hardly hits, and when he does it doesn't really do enough damage to quickly take an enemy out, which is about the only way most martial types can be generous to the party. The monk can penalty stack, too, but honestly the monk usually has to do it just so he can get a shot in. Out of combat your class skills as hardly useful and CHA is about your only dump stat so prepare to sit quietly or muck it up for the party face.
The second for an entirely different reason is the Summoner. A Summoner IS his own party. Druids might get a little out of hand with their animal companion and summons, but they are at least limited to a weaker summon list and have fewer per day. And an animal companion is far more limited than eidolon. An eidolon can be built to outclass a fighter in combat with a summoner spec'd for healing or blasting. Why is the rest of the party even there?!
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
We had a guy like that once. It came to a head when the party had opened a gate to a pocket dimension that was obviously leading to the next part of the story.
(Spoilered for convenience)
Guy: My character wouldn't go in there.
(Collective groan from the table. This is the third time this has happened.)
Guy: He wouldn't go in there. It's none of his concern.
DM: Make it your concern. You want to play, you have got to be part of the story.
Guy: Hmm . . . okay . . . well . . .
DM: OK, you think of a reason he would go in there. We'll deal with the rest of the party and come back to you.
(All of our characters go through the portal and role-play a moment. A few minutes later he turns back to the guy.)
DM: Got a reason yet?
Guy: Hmm, uh . . .
DM: Suddenly a Tarrasque-Pit-Fiend-Balor appears behind you! You are clearly no match for this unholy blight and if you stay you will surely die! The only escape left to you is the portal. . . but that's irrelevant because you pissed yourself when you saw the hell-beast and slipped on the stream into the pocket dimension. You will take a -4 to all Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate checks until you find a change of clothing as you vaguely smell of urine and cowardice.
Actually the most frustrating thing about playing the opposite gender...
1st Player: "I turn to Honora, Favored Daughter of Emerisk and ask him-"
I always play my C/E and N/E characters as unflinchingly polite and supremely likable.
If you're going to be doing some horrible things, it helps a lot if you're able to make people like you so they will have a hard time squaring the circle of this nice guy being an utter sociopath.
One of my favorite story hooks are the unpopular heroes trying to defeat a beloved villain. It prevents the typical, "Kill, loot, rinse, repeat" mentality of so many campaigns by requiring the players to first reveal the true nature of the big bad.
Bard, hands down.
No full BAB? No problem, because I can buff/penalty stack. Haste+Inspire Courage+Grease = Extra attacks and bonuses for the whole party against the enemy's flat-footed AC.
Spell list? Not much for blasty, but no problem, because blasting is for chumps. I get some of the best utility spells in the game, including being the only class to get Glibness. With my natural Charisma I can make the NPC's believe I'm the deposed king and build my own army.
I may not know as much as the Wizard about Arcana, but I'll come damn close, and there's not a knowledge I don't have a chance at. PLUS, while I may not get the same amount of skill points as the rogue, I get to roll some of them up into my highest ability modifier and condense them, effectively making me the best skill monkey in the game.
And if I want to get down and dirty like a fighter, or mix it up with some traps like a rogue, there are so many archetypes which give me sweet bonuses as well as my awesome bard spells/inspire courage.
You just cannot beat the bard for all around versatility, effectiveness, and utility. People complain about the Schroedinger's Wizard who is only god-like because of lenient DM's----every Bard is Schroedinger's Bard. There's not a feasible situation he could not be of some use in.
To be clear it is not the rage part that makes me think Wolverine is chaotic (although the restrictions on Barbarian alignment seems to indicate that Paizo and WotC think so). I think Wolverine is chaotic because his spot on the team is always as the The Lancer, a person whose role is to challenge the established leader.
To clarify, I also don't think that's bad. This is necessary, and any GOOD leader will have one and afford him great respect. Leadership needs to be challenged. But to constantly challenge authority and do your own thing is the very essence of a chaotic character.
Furthermore, in those instances where he's not on a team, he's usually a disaffected loner with few close relationships who never stays in one place, and makes a point of remaining unpredictable. Everything about the character screams "Chaotic!"
I'd have to disagree there. I've never bought the notion that "Good" characters in most fantasy RPGs can't or won't kill a whole lotta bad things in the course of their adventures and likely not shed many tears over it.
For the record, it's not just that Wolverine has killed. He's killed SEVERAL people who, while perhaps not innocent, did not pose an immediate threat. The justifications ranged from reasonable to flimsy, but it was usually vengeance of some sort. Since morality it not a Zero Sum game, and motivations matter, I would place this at squarely neutral in most stories, good in others, and occasionally downright evil (vengeance extending out to those who were only tangentially related to his previous victimization.)
For the record, both of my nonlethal characters were actually non-good. The monk was trying to intellectualize what he couldn't understand intrinsically, and the other was chaotic evil character who simply saw death as they end of his fun. My good guys will kill if it comes down to it. But I do think violence, to a good character, should be the last resort and never something he seeks out. I don't think a Paladin killing a bad guy in self-defense is an evil act. I do think a Paladin trying to find a bad guy who was currently minding his own business so he could pick a fight and smite him to death would be.