|Epic Meepo RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32|
Epic Meepo wrote:Explaining why my character has the abilities I chose for my character is my job, not my class's job.We give a little bit of that up by having classes in the first place...
Classes as they currently exist have numerous flaws, this being one of them. Most of what I have to say on this matter is too far off-topic for this forum, but suffice it to say, I don't want to see the vigilante emphasizing what I consider to be one of the weakest part of the class system (i.e. the baked-in flavor baggage that comes with each class).
Will I be upset if the vigilante ends up working that way? No, because I already have a work-around in place that lets players in my campaigns play Pathfinder without using any pre-existing class. But I will still be a bit disappointed. Though I enjoying designing my own character options, I also like getting an occasional class from Paizo that I can use without creating any house rules (which I would have to do if the vigilante comes with too much baked-in flavor).
I think Origins can serve a similar role to Bloodlines, Orders, Patrons, and Domains...
Bloodlines and domains don't involve any sort of mandatory flavor. "I have fire in my blood" and "I have dominion over over death" are both things that can be attached to almost any origin story, or no origin story at all. Players aren't required to perform or endure any particular actions to be magically infused with fire or to have mystical powers over death. Those are capabilities, not origins.As for orders and patrons, I consider those to be bad design. The entire order concept makes absolutely no sense, since "order of the X" implies membership in some sort of organization, yet does nothing to create or define membership in an organization. Patrons are equally nonsensical, since the flavor stating that you have an otherworldly patron has absolutely no game mechanical justification. Calling orders and patrons "orders" and "patrons" makes no sense to me. I don't want the vigilante following in their footsteps by saying only vengeful people can use a certain combat style, or whatnot.
I say this as a person who has played with identity and superheroism within the context of the rules that already exists and as someone that loves the concept. I believe that the history behind the tropes, it's prevalence in fiction, and scholarly analysis of masked vigilantism backs up my argument.
See, your very argument for implementing origin stories as game mechanics is imposing unwanted flavor on my vigilante character. (So is the class name, but it's too late to change that at this juncture.) Superheroes and masked vigilantes are defined by their origin stories. But stop trying to force my vigilante character to be a superhero or a masked vigilante. Superheroism, supervillany, and masked vigilantism are not a mandatory part of this class. I can just as easily play a gentleman thief vigilante who just happens to like costumes because they are trendy or a serial killer vigilante who kills because he happens to be a sociopath, not because he was subject to some specific event or emotion in the past.
In fact, I would argue that the vigilante is not the "superhero class" at all. Batman might (or might not) have vigilante levels, but that's not what makes him a superhero. Batman is a superhero because he has mythic tiers. A mythic vigilante is a superhero. In fact, a mythic vigilante already has an origin story by virtue of being mythic; defining the source of ones mythic powers is already an integral part of becoming a mythic character. A non-mythic vigilante, on the other hand, need not be a superhero, and shouldn't require a mythic-style origin story.