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Fergie's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 2,390 posts (2,418 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 4 aliases.


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S Court wrote:

At the suppression hearing, the prosecutor conceded that Officer Fackrell lacked reasonable

suspicion for the stop but argued that the evidence should
not be suppressed because the existence of a valid arrest
warrant attenuated the connection between the unlawful
stop and the discovery of the contraband.

Based on a quick skim of the documents, it sounds like this case made it to the supreme court because the search occurred AFTER the police found out the guy had an existing warrant. I suspect if the police searched the guy before finding out about the warrant, then the evidence would have been thrown out. (just my guess)

The main thing I took away from my brief reading is that it is unlawful to stop someone without probable cause, and that it is also illegal to charge someone based on said stop. Therefore, Stop and Frisk is F$+%ING ILLEGAL! The NYPD has been making tens (hundreds) of thousands of illegal stops and there are probably tens of thousands of people wrapped up in the "justice" system because of it! Enforce the law, and prosecute the police!

Makes me wish I lived in a country where the law applied to the police and government not just poor and minorities.

Alzrius wrote:
According to Justice Thomas, writing for the majority, this won't cause police overreach because the threat of civil suits will keep them in line.

Ahhhh, Justice Thomas! F that guy in the ear! The lawsuit I was part of against the NYPD took over 10 years from my arrest date before I got paid! What a joke. Also, that money comes from tax dollars, not the NYPD specifically, so it is basically just raising peoples taxes because the police can't follow the law.

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I found high stats to be one of the easiest ways to upset game balance. Primarily this is because the more aspects of play that you can contribute to, the more fun you will have. If your character can only meaningfully participate in combat, or only in adventuring situations, you are going to be bored when other aspects of play come up. For example, if you make a PC with a 6 charisma, you are going to be a detriment to the party in any social situation. On the other end of the spectrum, high stats generally make you dominate at things your character is already good at. For example, if you start you wizard with a 20 Int, and then craft items that boost it even more, you will be able to throw out spells that almost no monster can save against. You will not just be effective at what you do ,you will be neigh unstoppable.

Finally, high stats are much more effective for some characters then others. That wizard for example gets almost all of his power from Int. If you drop other scores, and boost your Int, you will be better at almost everything, because everything you do is Int based. On the other hand, a monk, needs wisdom, strength, and also con, and dex because you will be on the front lines. The monk just can't get those whopping high stats, because he is spread so thin. This is often a problem because full casters are usually the ones who are considered "overpowered", while non-casters tend to lag in power later in the game.

The best advice I can give is to start characters off by evening out their ability scores. For example, it is much more difficult to become a game shattering god wizard with a starting intelligence score of 16. I recommend limiting the max starting ability scores (AFTER racial adjustments) to 16! For the same evening-out reasons, I also recommend limiting minimum stats to 10 or 8 (AFTER racial adjustments). These limits will encourage PCs more capable of dealing with a variety of situations, and less able to damage game balance.

In general, stats are supposed to climb throughout the game, and that is part of the fun of leveling up and gaining treasure. If you start stats off fairly low, then you don't have to worry about restricting access to higher scores later on.

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Here are some numbers for a generic 10th level fighter
Level 10 Fighter Primary Damage
+7 Str, +2 Weapon Training, +2 Feat, +2 Weapon
2d6+13 Damage
2d6+22 Damage Power Attacking

Level 10 Fighter Secondary Damage
+5 Str, +1 Weapon Training, +1 Weapon
1d8+7 Damage

Level 10 Fighter Tertiary Damage
+5 Str
1d6+5 Damage

If I recall, I assumed weapon focus and specialization on the primary weapon, and no feats for secondary or third weapon. I assumed greatsword for primary, long bow for secondary and short sword for tertiary.

Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
I had a long (rambling) response to this, the Ms. Martin video, Sander's "personal foibles," and Clinton's ipecac-ness, but meh.

Well, for what it is worth, I thought your earlier post about sanders and voting and such was very interesting and persuasive. It made me consider what my outlook would be if I lived in a swing state, and how living in NY affected my political beliefs more then I had considered. It's easy to take a stance when you know your vote won't matter, it is interesting to roleplay what it would be like if it did. Or I could just rollplay and let the dice decide!

I don't know if anyone's mind will be changed either way, but participating in these discussions makes me a whole lot less cynical then I would be if I just listened to TV and radio talking heads. One of the few things that make me optimistic about the future is that actual humans (and goblins) beliefs and priorities have almost nothing to do with those of politicians of either party. I love hearing a well made argument even especially if I don't agree with it, and this thread has some really great stuff in it.

I don't know, I was thinking of starting another thread of something like political predictions, but I don't want to create more work for the moderators. If anyone has a good idea for a polititroll thread that won't immediately end in tragedy, that might be a good way to keep the Hillary vs Trumpy type stuff out of this thread.

thejeff wrote:
Wealthy backers certainly influence the campaigns, but even in New York you and all the other independents could join the party of your choice a month ahead of time and have your voice heard (admittedly drowned out in the millions of others, but there's no way around that). If you're too principled to do that, even to vote for a candidate you do like, there's really nothing I can say.

I think what you say sounds perfectly reasonable. But our election laws are NOT reasonable- they are b@+~%&~$ that is intended to keep the masses from interfering with those in power.

As I said, I'm an independent voter, (as opposed to an unregistered voter), so I would have had to join the Democratic Party back in the first week of October 2015. And obviously stay a Democrat for six months.

But honestly, why bother? The Democrats made no secret about how Hillary was supposed to win. The race was slanted in Hillary's favor before it even started (super delegates, Debbie "Her Turn" Shultz, etc. I would be declaring my allegiance to the very people rigging the election against my chosen candidate. Why would any sane person choose that? What kind of piss poor excuse for "democracy" is a system like that?

EDIT: Hawkins 4 LIFE B*#@*ES!

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Sanders wasn't running as an Independent, he was running as a Democrat, which is essentially a private club choosing who to place on it's ballot. If you're not willing to join the club and abide by it's rules, you don't have an implied right to vote in the primary.

That is basically my point, BOTH parties are private clubs operated in the interests of their wealthy backers. If the private clubs set the system up so that your two choices are Mr. Monopoly and Richie Rich, then you get to vote, that isn't democracy, because neither represents the will of the people. I don't want to join their corrupt club, nor do I accept their right to "represent" me in a democracy.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
And given how Nader has consistently badmouthed the Democratic Party which is the closest of the two to being his ally, as well as happily taking money from their Republican enemies, it's really no surprise that they'd be happy to return the favor.

I think the main point is that The Two Parties have no credibility representing anyone but the .1%. The Two Parties just use different dog whistles to appeal to different segments of voters, but serving the moneyed interests is their real purpose. Nader and to a lesser extent Sanders actually represent voters, not donors, and that is a serious threat to both parties. The entire political system of this country is based around serving the interests of the donor class, while wrapping yourself in the flag of democracy in order to get votes. None of the politicians really give a f@&& about most of these social issues, as long as the wealth gets transferred to the top. The system they set up is working perfectly for them, and has been my whole life. I don't see anything that offers even a slight hope of improvement.

Nader is MORE of a threat to the democrats, because he represents many of the people they claim to represent, and that shows how phoney they are.

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In just about every poll I saw before the AP/NYTimes called the democratic race for Hillary, Bernie was trouncing Trump in a general election, while Hillary was squeaking out a win. If you looked at the three candidates approval and disapproval ratings, Bernie DESTROYED both Trump and Clinton. Looking at the numbers, it was baffling to understand what kind of "democracy" would end up with Sanders not even in the race, even though he was far more popular then the other two options.

The problem is that our voting system is a sham democracy. As an independent voter from NY (I should note that independents are a far larger group nationally, then democrats or republicans) I never had the chance to vote in the primary. My states votes go to the democrat in the general election unless it is a total shut-out (e.g. Reagan 1980), so my vote truly does not matter. I don't mean that it is a drop in the bucket, or needle in the haystack, I mean it is totally pointless. All my vote can hope to accomplish is to to add legitimacy to the sham system.

In the past I voted for third party candidates, but thanks to many aspects of the system being made up by Dems/Repubs, that is a total dead end. Just look at how the Democrats treated Ralph Nader with all the ballot lawsuits and stuff. That is a large reason I would never register as a Democrat. That feeling was confirmed by this primary season. Bernie's money came from small contributions, while Hillary and the Party served their large donors. They represented totally different interests. It was very clear from the very beginning that The Party backed Hillary, and that Sanders had a huge handicap to overcome before the race even started. Bernie was undercut by his own team, before the race even started. Before anyone brings up Obama's "insurgent" 2008 campaign, that was totally different because Obama was, and remains a total shill to the interests of the .1%. He and The Party were always on the same page.

There is a reason that in every election the choice is b#*#~~##- Who in Skull & Bones would you like to be president? Who at Trumps wedding would you like to be president? What kind of democracy puts up the most hated candidates in history as the only two choices? What kind of democracy has approval ratings in the teens for it's congress?

There comes a point when you have to look at a system that puts unpopular people in charge and question where the mandate for governing comes from. Does anyone still think we are governed by the people, for the people? If not, where does their power come from? What kind of government do we have?

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The Sword wrote:
It is ever likely there is disagreement about CMD.

C/MD summary

What part do you disagree with?

EDIT: This is an open question to all, not just The Sword. Does anyone disagree with any part of the summary?

Ugh! I've had to force medicate rats and ferrets, and its ROUGH! Cats are well bigger and have much sharper claws. (House Cat Vs Commoner... FIGHT!)
I gave the ferrets Nutracal brand high calorie paste and that is pretty good. I would recommend attempting many different foods and also feeding arrangements. For example, I thought one of my rats was refusing the medicine, but then realized that he only felt safe enough to eat in his own cage. Maybe try feeding her under the couch or some place secure.

If all else fails, the pills should get easier for both of you with a little time.

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

Also, Doodlebug and Fergie, I'm very sorry about your cat and your rat, respectively. You both have my sincerest condolences in your grief.

And best wishes to your ill cat, thejeff.

THANKS Ambrosia! Also, many positive vibes to thejeff's cat!

In a flood of good will, everyone's post gets a favorite! I'm off to watch Star Trek 4 - The One With the Wales In It.

thejeff wrote:
Yeah, it's all a clever conspiracy or something.

I never implied that there was conspiracy involved, only that everyone is doing exactly what they are paid to do. If you look at the money, intentions are as plain as day.

I think "We are to the left of Antonin Scalia!, (And wouldn't make any practical difference)" should be the Democrats new campaign slogan.

Trump is going to win Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and a variety of other swing states. If it can be described as "Rust Belt" trump is going to destroy Hillary. What he lacks in actual voters, he makes up for in disenfranchised voters. Also, many, many people voting for Hillary are just voting against trump. Her supporters are old, and lack enthusiasm. Trump's supporters are actually fired up and believe the stuff he says, even though it contradicts the other stuff he says. You can say Trump's style shows no sign of actually getting elected, but he just defeated the republican establishment. No one predicted it, no one understands it, and for that reason, they are not going to be able to stop it. If you think otherwise, why did you not see the rise of Trump? Why were the Republicans unable to stop it even with Romney's "fraud and a charlatan speech"?

The only way I see Hillary winning is if people like Karl Rove and the Koch Bros get behind her (which they might). I think that would say more about her as a candidate they any words coming out of her mouth.

Bernie was just the democrats attempt to get a few more lefties on board for Hillary. I don't think he was supposed to do well at all, and it is amazing that a socialist would be the hands down winner of the election if the two party system were not standing in the way of democracy. Everything seems to be working out well enough, as the democrats can give lip service to the Left, while completely selling out to Wall Street. In an election, she is going to say the right buzz words, but just like Obama, she is going to do whatever The Council on Foreign Relations and Wall Street tell her to do. Like going to trumps third wedding, she does what the ultra rich pay her to do.

Also, you can say that the election matters because of the supreme court, but just look who Obama nominated - hardly a friend to the Left. He doesn't even want to overturn Citizens United. Democrats say nice things, but when it comes down to it, they fold on everything except a few social issues, and even those come pathetically late, and tend to affect a very small minority, while the social and economic policies badly screw the vast majority of Americans.

My prediction* is that trump will win due to the electoral college, and the fact that he is operating on a new level from politicians in the past (with the possible exception of Sarah Palin). It is like the Kennedy Nixon debate. Hillary supporters are like radio listeners thinking their Nixon did a great job, while television watchers thought the exact opposite. The Democrats are going to do everything needed to win an election in the TV Age, but they are going to find out (the same way the Republicans found out) that the TV Age has been over for years.

* My predictions have a margin of error close to 100%, so don't get too bent out of shape over them.

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

As it turns out, La Principessa has other plans, so I won't make it.

No problem, I wasn't able to make it down to NYC anyway. On the plus side, I have been enjoying watching back episodes of Empire Files.

If you are going to be in NYC at the end of the month, check out the

Global Capitalism: June 2016 Monthly Update
June 30th, 7:30pm.

Also, Bike Film Festival this upcoming weekend at the Anthology Film Archives.

I enjoy the lower levels, although I've played/GM'd most of the core classes enough that I would prefer to try something different at low level.

Mid levels are where the game shines. Everything runs fairly smoothly.

I found there is usually a point at about 10th level where some builds start to fall apart or the players get bored. It is about when the PCs start facing groups of giants, vampire casters, and nasty outsiders, and what worked at level 5 stops working. Often I think it just boils down to a characters weakness becoming not worth the flavor compared to a shiny new character purpose built for high level play.

The 15-17 range is about the highest I have really played up to, and sadly, games tended to really fall apart at those levels. Much of that was due to using 3.5 where CoDzilla was brutal and even paladins and rangers basically sucked at higher levels.

I think playing above about 12th level is fun in moderation, but high level combats and adventuring can be a bit much if played session after session without a break. I think I have more fun playing at higher levels then GM'ing higher levels.

Jade Reagent campaign:
Fighter (Dagger specialist / Switched to Inquisitor at ~10th level in order to participate in more out-of-combat situations.
Cleric (travel luck, summoning) [my character]
Sorcerer (undead bloodline)

Carrion Crown GM'd by myself:
Wizard (evoker)
Barbarian/Cleric (mostly cleric)

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GM 1990 wrote:
The Caster is never going to be using magic to "solve" a PC story-line for the fighter in my game, because that wouldn't be using choices, it would be stealing the other players spotlight.

The trouble I found playing higher level casters, is that it can be difficult to know when to back-off and let another player solve the problem. Especially when it comes to expending resources and taking risks. Sometimes it is obvious that Mr Disable Device should get the opportunity to open a lock before the knock spell is used. Other times it is difficult to know if you should just shut down an encounter with a feeblemind spell or flesh to stone or whatever. When a PC gets killed, and the wizard could have just ended the fight, but did not want to steal the spotlight, things get weird. I also recall an incident where my wizard was taken out by a feeblemind, when I had decided that using that spell myself was too disruptive to the campaign. The unspoken agreement to share the spotlight and not disrupt the campaign is going to vary from player-to-player and player-to-GM as well.

Having to make those kinds of calculations all the time makes it difficult to get into the mindset of my character, who would always uses his powers to their fullest in an adventuring situation.

EDIT: I should also note that having to constantly worry about your character being overpowered affects more then just when to act. I found that buying/crafting items gets difficult when you are already very powerful. I ended up making items for Dex rather then Int because getting a +8 or +9 modifier was just over the top. There were several spells that were too disruptive to the campaign to memorize. Several items (staves and rods) that just made me better at the thing that was already too powerful. By the time I got to 15th level, it was difficult to use any of my highest level options without disrupting the game.

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Lab_Rat wrote:
In the classic test of the C/M D, the barbarian is probably the best candidate for proving it doesn't exist. I absolutely love the versatility and survivability of the class.

You do know that the CM/D is not primarily a combat issue right? Compare what a full arcane caster can do at various levels to affect a variety of situations, and you will see it differently.

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Uugghhhh! Just waded through the last ~150 posts.

Optimizing Pathfinder for Fun:

There are many great guides for building optimal characters for damage dealing, being invulnerable, battlefield control, and being Batman! While it is fun to play a character that excels at what they do, many players find that playing these builds results in a severe game often dictated by the first person to win initiative and go nova. The requirement to keep up with the Best Caster Build or Highest Melee Machine narrows the options down considerably. Likewise such characters require APL+3 (Epic!) or more encounters that bend the CR system in ways that make encounter design and management a more difficult task for the GM. The rules, the adventures, and almost everything else published is not intended for that kind of optimized play.

So what are these rules designed for, if not optimization? Like most other games, the intent is that these rules facilitate a GM and players to have fun. Sounds easy, but what is fun?

As a player, I have fun:

  • Controlling the actions of my PC.
  • Customizing my PC with skills, feats, equipment, and other features.
  • Knowing that if I generally play well, and have a little luck, I will do well most of the time.
  • Having my characters decisions and actions affect the environment and story.
  • Getting experience and treasure that allows me to increase the power of my character.
  • Feeling that I can, and occasionally must do my best to defeat encounters.
  • Knowing that my fellow PCs are supporting me, and that we act in each others best interests.
  • Knowing that my PC is on par with the rest of the party and that we affect the game in fairly equal amounts.
  • Not knowing exactly what to expect, and trying to be ready for anything.
  • Even if bad things happen to my character, or the dice go against me, I still have fun if I am engaged in the game.
  • Feeling that in most opposed circumstances, it is the dice that decide the outcome.*

GMs enjoy the game for different reasons then players.
As a GM I have fun:

  • Presenting a campaign world with locations, encounters, mythos, timeline and NPCs.
  • Presenting a wide variety of encounters that engage the players, and encourage them to have fun playing their characters.
  • Knowing I have general control of the storyline and timeline, with occasional (sometimes unexpected) exceptions.
  • Knowing that players will use wits and creativity to solve encounters, and vary their tactics to fit the situation.
  • When everyone at the table participates in the game to the amount they are comfortable with.
  • When players are friendly, kind, and enjoy themselves.
  • While I decided if a roll is needed and add the modifiers, the dice decide the outcome.*

* GM, and even player "Cheating" (i.e. ignoring dice rolls) is a highly debatable topic. Like all issues, discuss it beforehand, and come to a consensus on how your group views it.

So how do we use the rules to make that kind of fun happen?
We start at the beginning - Creation!

Ability scores and character creation
First off, skip the dice. I know many people love rolling, but a few low rolls can result in less fun for the life of the PC. This can also result in dramatic party imbalances, and players unable to play the character they want. Let the dice decide what happens that round, not for life.

The point buy or stat array system used usually doesn't really matter much, in the sense that it slightly affects everyone in the group fairly equally (Low point buys actually benefit full caster types a little). The goal at this stage is to set the game up to work with the CR system, and encourage parity among classes throughout the game.

  • 10 Points - I generally avoid 10 point buy simply because players are unable to perceive how little it increases difficulty, and even experienced players secretly don't want the added challenge. The balancing effect isn't worth the whining, unless you have a large group of experienced players.
  • 15 Points - This is the "Standard" the game was balanced around, and should be the default for most groups of 4-5 players.
  • 20 Points - This is the PFS standard, and has become a default for many games. I recommend this for 3 person parties, inexperienced players, or players looking to try lower powered builds such as small martial characters, monks, or builds that fall outside the default role of the class.
  • 25 and up Points - While not much stronger then 20 points, this starts to bend the CR system in most games, and should be avoided except for unusual circumstances.

This is normally where the players take over and deliberately or unintentionally exacerbate some of the worst balance issues of the game. The key to evening out those power imbalances is to start characters off by evening out their ability scores. For example, it is much more difficult to become a game shattering god wizard with a starting intelligence score of 16. I recommend limiting the max starting ability scores (AFTER racial adjustments) to 16 or 17! For the same evening-out reasons, I also recommend limiting minimum stats to 10 or 8 (AFTER racial adjustments). These limits will encourage PCs more capable of dealing with a variety of situations, and less able to damage game balance.

Next is Hit Points. This is another area where many people have a wide variety of different methods that frequently bend game balance. Again, skip the dice, as no one wants to play a character that rolls a 1 every level, or be the sidekick to the guy who always rolls max. Follow the default max hit die (plus con modifier) for level one characters. After that, just give the PC happy side of average (plus con modifier) every level. PFS really got this one right. Generally, you should not modify this formula, as it can alter many factors such as the relevance of healing, AC, direct damage, etc.

How does everyone have fun?
So far we have significantly rebalanced the game, without really altering the rules, so much as providing guidelines for character creation. But perhaps I jumped the gun a little. Before we even get to character creation, it is probably a good idea for the GM to sit down with the players, and discuss what the expectations for the game are.

I would start by going over the different ways the players and GM have fun and discussing them as a group. This is NOT the time to argue, it is a time to be HONEST with yourself and the group, and express and LISTEN to everyone's opinions. Do you like Rollplaying more then Roleplaying? Be open about it! Your not doing yourself or anyone else a favor by pretending to like things you don't really like. Be open to new experiences and playstyles, but express your desires and expectations honestly. Come to some kind of consensus with the GM and players about how you will all enjoy the game.

In addition to how YOU have fun, this is a great time to discuss other aspects of play, such as:
House rules.
Use of computers and/or phones and access to reference material at the table. In general characters should have access to information about their own characters, but most GMs frown on players looking at information about enemies. Reading the adventure path or module is usually very strictly forbidden.
What books and material are allowed in the game and what restrictions are there. Do these restrictions apply equally on both sides of the screen?
Dice handling and GM and/or players ignoring dice. This usually take one of three forms:

  • -GM roles in the open, results are not altered by the GM
  • -GM rolls in secret, and may or may not follow the dice. Requires the players to trust the GM will fudge, but they will not know when, for fun to be maintained.
  • -GM dictates action in some opposed circumstances without dice rolls. Requires players to trust the GM will dictate the action for the benefit of the game (without the 'illusion' of dice rolls) for fun to be maintained.

Amount of table time dedicated to combat, NPC interactions, and exploration.
Amount of expected wealth, mundane and magic item availability.
How downtime and/or crafting will be handled.
Tracking of encumbrance, minor items, ammunition, rations, water, mounts, living expenses, etc.
Tracking of important information such as HP, spells cast, limited abilities used, harmful conditions, etc.
If tracking discrepancies occur, will there be punitive action?
Level advancement - will the game use an XP advancement track or will leveling be handled a different way?
How will PC death be handled and how will bringing new PCs into the game be handled. Note: I recommend bringing in new PCs at the same level as the rest of the party, but with the starting wealth of a character one level lower. I also disagree with the designers about allowing characters to exceed WBL if they have crafting feats. I feel this unbalances the game in favor of the classes that generally need the least help (especially wizards) and breaks the assumptions that a PC used all his powers to get his starting wealth.
Expectations about what general types of encounters the PCs can expect. Players should be able to make informed decisions about character aspects such as favored enemy, deity and domains, schools, etc.
How alignment will be handled. Is it polar (the rules/setting default) or more of a subjective "realistic" situation.
Level of gore and sexuality in the game as well as any topics that players would have issues with encountering in game.
Out of game issues like food, drugs/alcohol/smoking, money, attendance, guest etiquette, etc.

Again, BE HONEST with yourself and the people you play with.

The more you spread your ability scores out, the more you can contribute in a variety of situations. Always pay attention to weaknesses your character might have, and don't neglect the scores associated with that weakness. For example, clerics and druids have weak reflex saves, and can greatly benefit from a little dex. This can be especially true for will saves, as failing them can often result in loss of actions, or wost, your characters actions being dictated by the enemy. Failing saves and being consistently hit in combat is generally not fun for most players, so plan for strong defenses (adequate Dex,Con,Wis)

To participate effectively in social situations it helps to have a little Cha, although Wis for sense motive is good in a pinch. Being able to put ranks into a variety of social and other types of skills (especially knowledge and languages) is easier when you have more Int. I don't want to leave out Str, especially for characters who wear armor, and want to deal weapon damage.

Save the super raging power attacking crazy high damage stuff for when it is required. Put a little effort into ranged attacking, and consider what you can do when you can't be effective by doing melee damage. Put resources into AC (perhaps ude a shield sometimes) and will saves. Invest in being effective without raging and/or taking excessive damage. Other then intimidate, the class doesn't give many social options, but put some points into sense motive or diplomacy, keep your Wis high, and don't dump Cha or Int.
Other then being aware that you can disrupt combat encounters with massive damage, barbarians are also more then capable of losing massive amounts of hit points as well. As the player of the Barbarian, YOU are responsible for dealing with this, and you should not expect any other player to give up their actions, spell slots, or resources without talking about it first.
Bard is one of the funnest classes to play! You are great in social and skill situations, and with a little effort, you can be an archer, melee, or specialize in enchantment or illusion. You also have great skills, and inspire courage and many other buffs makes you welcome in any party. Huzzah!
Clerics are a very powerful and very versatile class. By selecting domains, you gain access to all kinds of different spells and abilities. Channeling positive energy will make you an exceptional healer, and there are many great buff spells clerics can cast. You can melee, summon, blast, de/buff and more. Keep a supply of scrolls and potions around so you don't have to fill your memorized spells with delay poison and remove paralysis. Clerics are one of the most skill starved classes, so you will need to spread your ranks carefully.
Similar to clerics, druids are versatile, and can be built to fulfill many different roles. Druids can be very powerful summoners, but this can really suck the fun out of the game if used excessively or if the player is not prepared and knowledgeable of the creatures abilities. It is generally best to only have one summon spell at a time, and be aware of affecting other PCs with you summons. A similar idea applies to some of the druids battlefield control spells like entangle and spike stones. Be careful not to slow the game down or interfere with other players.
Fighters are the most consistently powerful martial characters, often the only one in the group who doesn't need time to get up to full power when suddenly facing an enemy. While fighters have many options for specializing in defense, archery, 2HD, 2WP, focus/specialization, maneuvers, they also have enough feats to do a few other things well in addition to their specialties. Fighters should mix up their tactics to best fit the situation and avoid over using action-denial tactics like tripping and grappling. Like Barbarians, fighters struggle to succeed in social situations, and have even less skill points to spend... dig deep, and spend a feat or two on being effective in non-combat situations.
Monks are one of the most difficult classes to play and have fun with. Monks often feel overshadowed by the full BAB classes in combat, and lack decent options for ranged attacking. While monks have some great defensive abilities, AC is not among them, and they struggle with hit points as well. If you are going to play a monk, work with the other party members and get buff spells like mage armor and displacement cast on you. Monks also tend to do better in groups that play a more lawful style rather then chaotic kick-in-the-door-play.
Paladins can be a very fun and powerful class to play, however, this class is more dependent on alignment then any other class. Be sure that the ENTIRE group is willing to compromise with a paragon of lawfulness and goodness. Create a code of conduct that your character will follow, and agree with the GM about what constitutes Lawful and Good.
Rangers are a slightly odd class, with a little of everything, and a few amazing feats and options here and there. Like fighters, rangers class features/ feats focus them in a particular style, but with a little effort into diversity, they can participate in any situation. I highly recommend checking out the switch hitting ranger in Treantmonks excellent guide. Rangers do best in campaigns where their favored enemies and terrains come up frequently.
The rogues problems are largely not the fault of the class, but rather the parts of the game that he specializes in. The rogue is generally consider to be the "skill monkey" however most skills do not ramp up throughout the game as well as other class features. The "skill monkey" is also the character who is expected to sneak ahead, scout, and find/disable/trigger traps, however, none of the other characters can generally be more then a liability for the rogue in these situations. This results in the situation of one player acting alone while the rest of the players wait, and the GM attempts to minimize the rogues spotlight time in order to get the other players back in the game. Finally, rogues generally require a fairly high level of game skill to do well in combat. If possible, work with the other players to maximize your assets and minimize your liabilities.
Sorcerers can be very versatile, however it requires careful spell selection. Try to select spells that can be used in a variety of situations. Remember that you will be casting the same spells over and over (often round after round) so you don't want to select spells that will bog down the game, or focus too much on action denial. Spells that you can cast on other characters will always be appreciated. Sorcerers are one of the most skill starved classes, but have a great Cha for social situations.
Wizards are generally considered the most powerful and easiest to optimize of the core classes. A high Int and focus on save-or-suck magic can upset game balance from the beginning, and full casters progressively get more and more spells that bypass common adventure plots. They also have access to crafting bonus feats that allow them to be masters of magic equipment far beyond their suggested wealth by level. The best way to play a wizard is to focus on teamwork and save your most powerful spells for when things are going badly for the party. If you use your magic to make the whole party succeed, everyone gets to participate, and the GM has a much easier time maintaining parity among party members. Be wary of using powerful spells with long duration such as command undead, dominate person, and planar binding. These spells can be used to drastically upset game balance and story development. Wizards (and other full casters) can eventually do things to break the game - so don't do those things.

NEXT UP: GMing the Game

Here is the quick summary of the guide:
People have fun in different ways, but most players would rather participate in the game, then merely observe the other players at the table. Therefore the key to fun is building characters who are competent in their expected role, but also capable of meaningfully participating in most encounters.

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I don't think those words mean what you think they mean...

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To be fair, most of the problems we are discussing are linked to specific game mechanic systems, that go beyond individual classes.
For example, the value of magic vs the value of steel.

In theory, all the features of the Fighter class should equal the value of all the features of the Wizard class.

Fighter/ Wizard
Low skills/ Low skills*
Full weapons/ Very limited proficiency
Full armor/ No armor
Full BAB/ 1/2 BAB
d10HD/ d6HD
No spells/ Full arcane caster
Many bonus combat feats/ Bonus metamagic, crafting feats.
Bonuses to attacking, move, AC check/ Spell like abilities, familiar, bonded item, spell book.

Basically the design balance is:
Fully loaded physical attacking and defense = Fully loaded spell casting.
At low levels this equation isn't far off, by the high levels, it is often way off.

Now look at the rogue. He is about half-way between the fighter and wizard in terms of his physical offense and defense. In exchange he got lot's of skills.
So we see:
Half physical offense and defense + skills = No physical stuff + full magic + low skills*.

Are these power balances true in your game?

*Note on Int bonus to skills. In AD&D there was a limit on how much you could benefit from a skill based on class. For example, a fighter with an 18 Con score might get +4 hp level, while a magic user with the same Con could only get +2 no matter what his ability score. Also, back in the day 18 was a hard cap on ability scores. Except for Strength which could go up to an 18/100%, but only if you were a fighter (or maybe ranger or paladin?). This would get you a whopping +3 to hit +6 to damage. I don't think the math of the game really takes into account PCs getting ability scores into the high 20's or beyond late in the game.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
darth_borehd wrote:
Trust me, it's all in your head. Now relax...
It's amazing -- every time I hear this in real life, it means the person talking is about to create a huge godawful mess and I'm going to have to be the one who cleans up after them.

There is probably a good proctologist joke in there somewhere, but I'm too slow witted to make it.

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I'm just going to re-post this so that people will have an idea of what the C/MD is, regarless of how they feel it affects the game:

The Caster - Martial Disparity:

Or The Angel summoner and the BMX Bandit.

The caster/martial disparity is a tendency for higher level magic using characters to outshine their non-magic using counterparts in many aspects of adventuring.

Before we go further, let's get specific about what we are talking about here:
Casters: For purposes of this topic, casters are the classes that have a caster level equal to class level, and generally have access to 9th level magic. Wizards are the most classic example of "caster", while druids, clerics, sorcerers, generally present similar issues. Classes that only have access to 6th level spells are generally considered "casters", although many people have far more problems with summoners then bards. Each class fits into the disparity is slightly different ways, although the end result is usually similar.

Martials: Martials are classes that never have a caster level, and whose class features are usually extraordinary special abilities, not supernatural or spell-like abilities. Fighters are the most representative martial class, with rogues, barbarians, and monks presenting fairly similar issues.

Others: Classes that have access to 4th level spells such as rangers and paladins are generally not considered to be representative of balance problems, and are used more as a reference point for appropriate class power rather then an exception to it. Some people put bards into this category, although summoners are almost always considered representative of casters.

Now that we have defined the caster/martial part, let's move on to "disparity". While many words such as imbalance and inequity get used to describe the issue, it is important to realize this is NOT about identical performance, perfect balance or sameness! No one is asking for the classes to perform the same, or have perfect mathematical equality. Generally, people find the core problem to be a lack of options for out of combat effectiveness for martial characters. Beyond use of skills, martial characters generally have no class features that allow them to influence the narrative. Monks and rogues have adequate and great skills respectively, however both classes infamously struggle to stay relevant in combat. As both classes were recently rewritten in Pathfinder Unchained, I'm not going to bother discussing their previous issues, except to mention that they both required full round actions to contribute well, and almost completely lacked a decent ranged attack option.

At the lowest levels of play, martial characters are often considered to be better off then casters. A strong fighter or skilled rogue can effectively solve most problems that low level adventures face, and magic is usually fairly limited. This is not to say that casters are weak, they are fully effective at facing CR appropriate encounters, and if built for it, can disrupt encounters from level 1.

Most effects of the disparity begin around level 6, although they frequently don't affect gameplay much until level 11 or so. These effects can be broken into several categories.

  • Point Buy Economy. Casters generally need only one really good stat, and have numerous class features (magic!), and supernatural and spell-like abilities that benefit from that stat. They also have class features to boost that stat, or compensate for a lack of other stats. Wizards often have more skill ranks then rogues later in the game, and the spellcraft skill is what item crafting is based off of. Bards and sorcerers are well set up to dominate social encounters. Druids and clerics can have great perception and whopping will save modifiers.

  • Action Economy. Generally, martial characters need a full attack action to be fully effective, while casters can generally do almost everything as standard actions. Casters are also given numerous class features that allow their player additional actions. From an animal companion or familiar, to summoned creatures, to dominated or bound minions, casters frequently act for several creatures, while martials are often forced to spend actions moving, switching weapons, etc.

  • Economy Economy. Casters are far more adept at creating their own magic items. This can have a drastic effect on individual power as magic items make up a substantial chunk of a characters power, especially as they get to the mid to high levels. Wizards easily have whopping spellcraft, bonus crafting feats, and the ability to access or bypass many crafting requirements. While a caster can craft for other party members, those items are treated as purchased when calculating WBL, while items the caster makes for themselves count as cost to craft. This results in casters often having 125% to 175% of WBL. Since casters often don't need weapons (some of the most expensive items) and get amazing use out of stat boosting items, they are much better served by the game economy.

  • Skills vs. Spells - Some martials have can have substantial access to skills, however, even max ranks and a decent ability modifier in a class skill is often a very poor substitute for what a spell can accomplish. Skills are useful if you need to do a fairly easy task for a long time, but in many cases, magic allows automatic success for more time then you need to accomplish the task. For example, rather then make a bunch of climb and acrobatics checks to climb up a 100' wall and cross a narrow ledge, the caster can just fly right up, much quicker, and with no checks required. While skills do have their place, they are severely limited for classes like the fighter, and many other martial classes lack the ranks or class skills to use them effectively. Casters generally also have ways to increase their use of skills, while martials have none. Several casting classes are better able to use skills, and even the "master of skills" - the rogue, is often outdone by bards and even wizards.

  • Versatility. Martial characters generally have three basic options for dealing with a combat situation: Melee attack vs. AC, Ranged attack vs. AC, or Attack vs. CMD. In social or adventuring encounters, they can use a skill. Casters on the other hand, can target AC, touch AC, 3 saves, etc. they can use deal damage from 5 different elements, force, positive/negative energy, etc. The can alter the environment, add allies, move friends or foes, buff/debuff, etc. Outside of combat, they can do... well... anything they wish. Prepared casters also have the option of selecting spells based on what they expect to face on a given day. Martials generally have no class options to customize their PC for specific situations.

What the caster martial disparity does NOT say (Or Myths about the caster martial disparity):

  • "Casters are better at fighting then martials" - Most people consider fighters and barbarians to excel at combat, however that is generally all they excel at. Due to limited skills and ability scores, and no class skills related to most social encounters, these classes are generally only able to contribute to combat, and even then frequently suffer if situations don't allow effective full attacking. While druids and clerics can be very effective in combat, it generally requires a few rounds, and the caster must sacrifice some casting power in exchange for martial prowess. The problem is that while the caster can play martial, martials can never play casters.

  • "Casters can finish any encounter with a single spell." - While this is occasionally true, the reality is that a spell is often enough to decide the encounter, while the martial characters often are just needed for coup de grace, or other shooting fish in a barrel uses.

  • "Casters are squishy" - Many people think that sorcerers and wizards are fragile and vulnerable on the battlefield. This has never been less true. Casters generally have good HP and thanks to spells like mirror image, invisibility, displacement and fly, they are often the safest PCs on the battlefield. All casters have good will saves, some have good fortitude saves, and they have numerous options for boosting saves, AC, HP, and other defenses. Casters also have ways to make themselves basically immune to everything from fire, to grappling, to mental effects. 3/4 BAB casters are generally not considered vulnerable on the battlefield.

  • "spells are a limited resource" - This was largely the balancing factor back in the AD&D era, however, running out of useful spells can easily be avoided once you get past the lower levels of the game. Most casters start with a few infinite-use 0 level spells, and frequently class abilities that can be used a half dozen times per day. Once you add in scrolls, wands, and other items, casters can frequently participate effectively in encounters without using any of their memorized spells or spell slots. Once you get past 10th level or so, most casters will have several dozen different daily options for effective magic use.

Why the Caster Martial Disparity might not appear in your games.
After leading a sheltered existence surrounded by luxury and game balance in his younger years, Prince Siddhārtha ventured out of his palace for the first time at the age of 29, accompanied by his charioteer Channa.
Prince Siddhārtha - "Why is that Fighter limping and covered in blood?"
Channa responded, "That Fighter has been injured in combat, and has no spells to heal with. Even the Heal skill is not a class skill for him."

As Pathfinder is a highly complex game, and varies widely from table to table, there are almost in infinite number of reasons it might appear or not. Here are some of the most common reasons it might not affect your games:

  • Most of your play happens under 10th level.
  • Players don't choose to play pure martial, or pure caster characters.
  • Caster players don't optimize, and/or martial players optimize heavily.
  • There is a spoken or unspoken agreement not to use some options and spells.
  • The GM is highly skilled in pacing, presenting a campaign setting, presenting challenges, and giving rewards that even out or minimize the disparity.
  • The GM alters dice rolls, and/or encounters so that everyone has fairly equal amounts of success.
  • The group views combat and/or other rules heavy parts of the game as something to get resolved as quickly as possible, in order to move on to more roleplay and storytelling elements.
  • House rules.

How to Fix the Disparity
"...I don't think its as big a deal as the internet makes it out to be. In my games, casters and non-casters tend to be equally valuable to the party, and equally dangerous in various situations as enemies. ...
...responsibility to keep things fair and fun for all involved lands on the GM's shoulders. ....
It's a balancing act."

-James Jacobs

  • 1) When making characters, no starting ability scores above 16, or below 10 after racial adjustment.
    That fixes many of the problems of class power imbalance, without altering any rule.
  • 2) Remove hold person and dominate person from the game. (If you want to keep hold/dominate monster, at least they are higher level spells.)
  • 3) 7th, 8th, and 9th level spells take at least a full round action to cast. Optionally, all save or suck/die spells take 1 round to cast. Removing the highest level spells from the game, and using the slots for metamagiced lower level spells (heighten spell feat free?) is a more extreme option.
  • 4) Spells with a duration of days/level get changed to hours/level. Some permanent spells might have their duration reduced.
  • 5) Remove quicken spell from the game, or make it apply only to spells with a range of personal.
  • 6) Remove or rewrite known problems like dazing spell meta-magic, witches slumber hex, and other obviously broken stuff.
  • 7)Consider crafted items the same as purchased when determining Wealth By Level. I would also make master craftsman into a more useful feat. To take it a step further, you could make crafted items cost market price to craft.
  • 8)It should be noted that many aspects of casters are intended to be limited by the GM. Access to new spells, planar binding/ally, divination magic, etc. are not blank checks or guaranteed success.
  • 9)Many intelligent foes will ready actions to disrupt spell casting. While it should be done rarely and only by appropriate foes, things like targeting a casters component pouch, wands, familiar and even spell books are not out of the question.
  • 10) Communicate with the players and explain that you don't want a lot of action denial techniques used in the game. RPG-Tag is not a fun way to play. This applies on both sides of the screen. I don't want to consistently take a player out of action with save-or-suck and for similar reasons, I don't want players using those tactics on my named NPC/monsters.

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The Sword wrote:
Casters can attempt them but won't be as good as a martial if they don't have the BAB, strength or skills to do these things and the DM uses those very reasonable stats as the base for adjudicating those actions.

But if my caster wants full BAB, I can cast transformation, or righteous might, and I have it. I can get a whopping strength score from buff spells and polymorphing or wildshaping or divine power or whatever. My bard or wizard is going to have far more skill ranks then anyone but the rogue, and maybe even him. If I want my caster to be physical guy - it is usually a spell or two away. If I want my physical guy to be a caster... UMD is as close as I can get.

In the last campaign I played in, my wimpy elf cleric was the best at combat maneuvers, despite his weak strength and 3/4 BAB. Why? Because all he had to do to get a +20 bonus was cast a 1st level domain spell - true strike.

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The Raven Black wrote:
Survive low levels with no need for meat shields.

Full casters do fairly well at low levels. Wizards and sorcerers might struggle a little in the 2-3 levels, but bards, druids, clerics, etc. are GREAT. If you count the partial caster classes they are AMAZING. Again, let's turn it around- How do the martial characters do with no access to magic.

The Raven Black wrote:
Keep on being relevant when all spell slots have been expended.

Again, this might be somewhat of an issue under 5th level, but in addition to nifty spell like abilities, there are scrolls, wands, staves, and various wondrous items like pearls of power. And the same thing as above applies, the 1/2 BAB class might have to get creative, but the 3/4 BAB casters are still doing great. And how long do the martials go on without healing, debuff removal, movement magic, resist energy, etc.

We can see that the casters can still participate even at their least powerful level range, while martials never do very well without magic.

Basically: Those two arguments are myths 3 and 4 of the CMD:
"Casters are squishy" - Many people think that sorcerers and wizards are fragile and vulnerable on the battlefield. This has never been less true. Casters generally have good HP and thanks to spells like mirror image, invisibility, displacement and fly, they are often the safest PCs on the battlefield. All casters have good will saves, some have good fortitude saves, and they have numerous options for boosting saves, AC, HP, and other defenses. Casters also have ways to make themselves basically immune to everything from fire, to grappling, to mental effects. 3/4 BAB casters are generally not considered vulnerable on the battlefield.

"spells are a limited resource" - This was largely the balancing factor back in the AD&D era, however, running out of useful spells can easily be avoided once you get past the lower levels of the game. Most casters start with a few infinite-use 0 level spells, and frequently class abilities that can be used a half dozen times per day. Once you add in scrolls, wands, and other items, casters can frequently participate effectively in encounters without using any of their memorized spells or spell slots. Once you get past 10th level or so, most casters will have several dozen different daily options for effective magic use.

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Nostradamus Anklebiter wrote:
"Have fun voting for Hillary in 2016, Bernie supporters."


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The Sword wrote:
The vast majority of actions in the book can be performed by any character. These are then supplemented by special class abilities - not the other way round.

Not really, or rather, not vastly.

There are a few VERY important sections of the book that are functionally off limits to 'martial' characters- the section on using magic, and the spell lists. You can also add many of the magical items, and basically the section on making magic items. There are also the sections of the book that magic makes a mockery of, such as most skills (I won't even bring up the fly skill).

So what sections are off limits to the caster characters?
What do martials do that makes a mockery of what casters are capable of?

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There is really no statistical analysis, (pseudo or otherwise) that means anything when it comes to classes. The victory condition of Pathfinder is fun. Unlike xp, gp, dpr, etc. fun is virtually impossible to quantify mathematically. Two people can have the exact same experience,- one will hate it, the other will have loads of fun.

Furthermore, there are far too many variables in the game rules to even have a basis for comparison. Does the GM 'fudge' dice rolls? Does he have the skill and the will to play the monsters to the best of their abilities? Does he play the monster right out of the book, or add treasure to the statblock? None of these things are hard-coded into the game, they vary table-to-table.

The C/M D is about options. In-combat, AND out-of-combat options. If having options is important to you, you are likely to experience the C/MD. If you are largely happy making attack rolls, (or skill checks in the case of the rogue) and don't feel the need for more options, the C/MD won't affect your enjoyment of the game.

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Just entered Battle of Wabash into youtube, and one of the top links had this:
During the Ohio Indian Wars Anthony Wayne built Fort Recovery on the site where Arthur St. Clair fought, and lost, the Battle of the Wabash.

Mad Anthony Wayne is a bit of a yokel legend in the area around West Point, NY. (I live on the other side of the Hudson River, and south a little.) He did some interesting stuff like taking a fortified British position in a daring night-time raid (Battle of Stony Point), even though many of his troops did not have a single musket ball to fire. Apparently, he was hit in the head by a musket ball during the battle, and recovered.

On the subject of firearms, on WBAI radio they played the clip of Obama speaking about how baffled he was that he was not allowed to restrict firearms from people who visited ISIS websites. I'm a little shocked that he would admit to monitoring what websites people visit, and try to remove people's constitutional rights with no due process. Not shocked that he would want to do it, just shocked that he would admit it without some coded language or something. Oh well, he didn't mention anything about people being investigated by the FBI not being allowed to run for president, so some freedoms are different then others.

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HWalsh wrote:
Slavery, as I said on page 1, is evil. It is never anything other than evil. It is the removal of free will and the ability for a sentient being to choose their own path. It reduces a person to the status of property.

The removal of free will is not Evil in Pathfinder. Compulsion magic isn't Evil, inevitables are not Evil, etc. Free will is the domain of Chaos. Also, reducing a person to property is generally bad in the real world, but in a fantasy world, it does not have to be. In our society, pets are considered our property. We own them. Are we Evil because we own another sentient creature? The ideas that let you own an animal without it being evil are the same ideas that would let a Solar or Gold Dragon own a human.

This is also a persuasive argument for animal rights in the real world. It is wrong for some advanced alien race to show up on Earth and do medical experiments that are harmful to humans for the same reasons it is wrong for humans to experiment on animals.

In Pathfinder, removing someones free will (which could include the will to do bad things) is an affront to Chaos.
Oppression, brutality, sadism, etc. are affronts to Good.

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Wait... what!? I don't think we're going to come to any agreement on this, but capitalism is pretty much the basis for tons and tons of benefits to the world, including the bulk of technological advancements.

Capitalism was the system that supported the American slave trade, and very good arguments could be made that neither system could have flourished without the other. Capitalism very proudly reduces people to nothing more then their dollar value, in essentially exactly the same way as slavery. There is absolutely nothing in capitolism that is incompatible with slavery, so I would not argue it's virtues.

I had to put my rat down on Wednesday. I've been too upset about it to post more about her. If it's any consolation, I think I know how you feel.

PS I feel for everyone posting about pets of the past, but clicking the "favorite" button is just not the right thing to express my feelings.

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CrystalSeas wrote:

How did you get from "obedience to authority" to "fanatical amount of obedience to authority"?

I totally disagree that being lawful makes you a fanatic.

If you check my post, I said, "A creature COMPOSED of Law." That is to say, an outside with the Lawful subtype (Archons, Devils, Inevitables). These creatures are the embodiment of Lawful ideals made flesh. They are as Lawful as a Water Elemental is wet or a Fire elemental is... well, fire. I would think that it would be difficult for most humans to even imagine the absolute inflexible dedication to Law that these outsiders embody.

And just to say it for the tenth time: Real World alignment and morality are DIFFERENT then In-Game alignment. Applying Real-to-Game or Game-to-Real is not effective, because they are VERY different! Comparing in game alignment to the real world is about as relevant as comparing real world magic to magic in the game world.

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For all definitions in this thread, I use google and enter:
define: (word)
for example- define: slavery
Yeah, I'm pretty lazy. Sorry about that.

EDIT: And if you look back in the thread, you can see what definitions I was using.

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Ckorik wrote:
Example: quoting oppression from a dictionary but crossing out the part that proves us wrong and then dismissing it as if it was irrelevant.

Oops! Sorry about that. I had intended the strikethrough to indicate the parts that I felt where not inherent aspects of slavery in a fantasy world. Thus concluding that it did not meet the conditions of "oppression", which I agreed was an Evil characteristic.

Sorry for any confusion.

EDIT: As Tacticslion indicated - If your definition of slavery requires oppression and cruelty. Of course it's evil. I would add that either way it is an affront to Chaos.

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"Non-voluntary" does not equal oppression or Evil. If people want to do Evil things, or don't want to do Good things, making this behavior compulsory, is Lawful. Allowing people the freedom of choice is Chaotic.

EDIT: Please note capitalization of alignment terms indicates Pathfinder definitions, not a statement about real life morality.

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Well, I was quoting the Pathfinder alignment section, but if we are quoting the dictionary, let's do it fully:
gerund or present participle: oppressing
"keep (someone) in subservience and hardship, especially by the unjust exercise of authority.
But we are not talking about hardship or injustice, so oppression is not really an applicable word.
We are talking about subservience:
"Subservient means "compliant," "obedient," "submissive," or having the qualities of a servant. Something that's subservient has been made useful, or put into the service of, something else."
Given peoples willingness to proudly declare themselves servants of religions, governments, philosophies, etc. I'm just not seeing the inherent Evil oppression of being a servant.

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Again, since we are talking about Pathfinder alignment issues, I would encourage everyone to re-read the alignment section again.
"Law: Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. "

"Chaos: Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. "

A creature composed of Law, is going to exhibit a fanatical amount of obedience to authority, while likely lacking (perhaps actively fighting) the traits of Chaos.

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thejeff wrote:
Though oppressing others is evil and it's generally difficult to remove freedom from people who want it without straying from good and into evil.

I would agree that "oppression" is generally associated with evil (or Evil) because it involves injustice and often cruelty. The idea that it is difficult to remove freedom from people without straying into evil would not really be a problem in the Pathfinder world. Unlike the real world, you would have the assistance of various magics, and also the most important thing - gods specifically dedicated to those same concepts. Those gods, along with entire planes of existence populated by various outsider races literately composed of their alignments, and legions of worshipers. This Host of whatever alignment interact with the world on a daily basis.

thejeff wrote:
I'm also a little disturbed by your apparent merging of all types of institutions together, along with slavery, and saying they all have bad things, like slavery did and thus implying they're all somehow bad or not bad.

Hmmm, I have reread what I wrote several times, and I can't see where I implied that they were somehow equal. Allow me to try again:

In the real world:
All various social power structures exist solely between humans*. Various systems produce common results (i.e. power corrupts), but I would contend that those results are usually because of how those result are in the real world, vs the theory that produced them. The theoretical ideal of something like communism, or democracy, or prostitution will always be very different then what it looks like among real humans.
[* We will leave human-animal, or -plant relationships out of this for now]

In the classic D&D/Pathfinder world:
Almost all social power structures exist, but they would exist with the filter of all the gods, planes, outsiders, worshipers, and perhaps most importantly, the wide variety of races that exist in-game. Often, those races have an alignment associated with most of their members. Unlike some settings, in Pathfinder, you can count of most elves being Chaotic Good, and most drow being Chaotic Evil. Every demon you encounter is CE, unless there was some serious divine intervention. Anyway, when you take a system like feudalism, for example and apply it to a group like LG Dwarfs, it is going to look very different then in our world. Likewise marriage between a blue dragon and a devil would be unbelievable to most humans (insert divorce lawyer joke here).

To bring this back to the topic, slavery is an extreme form of forcing another to obey you. The slaves free will is subsumed to the will of the master. Among humans, this had predictably horrible results. Among a race like archons, who are composed of both Good and Law subtypes, absolute obedience is baked into their very fiber. The hierarchy among them is unquestionable, and benign subservience would be hardwired by their very nature. Humans would find such a structure untenable and prone to abuse, but that would be to humanities failure to implement a theoretical ideal.

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Ckorik wrote:

This. Tired of this topic - tired of seeing people try to justify the very worst of humanity in some manner like they suddenly found some clever logic bomb that turns a topic on it's head.

From my reading of the thread, absolutely no one has tried to justify the worst aspects of slavery (especially American slavery). And it should be noted that there are almost no aspects of real world slavery that are decent. However, slavery is just one of many arrangements or contracts that people formed societies around. Like virtually every other type of hierarchical structure, there are endless examples of horror perpetrated in it's name. If we removed every type of government, economic system, religious institution (such as marriage) that had bad deeds associated with it, there would be nothing left.

I would encourage people to remember that we are NOT talking about the real world when we discuss fantasy settings. We are talking about a world with a bizarre universe of entire planes of existence based on the Good-Evil axis and Law-Choas axis. Unlike the real world, these axis are not at all theoretical to the populations of the settings. They can commune with creatures made purely of these philosophies, and perhaps even meet them in their daily lives. They can visit these planes and return, and even return from the dead! When you think about what type of arrangements exist between individuals and groups of such a society, you need to remember that it is VERY DIFFERENT from the real world.

I would also encourage everyone to crack open their core rule books and read the section on alignment again. It is VERY DIFFERENT then real world assumptions about morality. For example, in the real world, most people associate freedom with goodness. However in the game world, that association does not exist.

So you have a title in the name of the original owner?

What about license plates (registration)? Very few owners will leave the plates on a car, and it is generally considered a VERY BAD idea. Also, to cancel insurance in NY, you are required to hand in at least one plate.

What about insurance? In NY, operating a motor vehicle that has been uninsured for about a month or more (10 days even?) is a felony. In order to get plates, you are required to show proof of insurance.

What about inspection? Most owners won't scrape the sticker off, but you are technically required to have the car inspected within 10 days of getting plates.

The trouble I'm seeing with the plan is that you are going through all this trouble to have no physical/digital connection with this car, but if you get in it and turn the key, you are likely committing several crimes, serious ones if you use plates, stickers, etc that don't belong to you.

My general thoughts on getting an "unknown car".
Avoid anything new or expensive. These cars are MUCH more likely to have all manner of security measures, including "black box" type recorders.
Go down South, to the rural Midwest, or maybe New Hampshire. These states are much less likely to require all kinds of proof of this and that.
Go to the most rural, middle of nowhere spot you can, and buy some old pick-up with "farm" plates from 1982. There is a good chance that this vehicle has never existed on a computer. You might even be able to get a registration at some county level that is still paper.
Estate sale - buying a car from someone who is deceased, or perhaps even better about to be deceased is a way to add all kinds of gray areas to a sale.
Other options include salvage titles, "clips" (large chunks of a vehicle), kit cars, or various other ways to piece a working vehicle from various parts. I have also heard that with some dirt bikes and such, people are afraid to report them stolen, because anyone can wait a few months, then file a request for title, and end up the "legal" new owner.
In terms of registering the car, that is probably best done through some form of shell corporation.

The bottom line is that getting the physical car is very easy. The hard part is getting a car that you could get through a police checkpoint with.

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thejeff wrote:
The problem with the first definition is that you then have to define "legal property".

That is not so hard however. For example, my pets are my legal property, although they are treated more like family then property. Generally if something tangible can be exchanged for money, (not including services) then it could be considered property. Just like there are special laws for selling and owning pets, there would be simiar laws for slaves. I would also note that for modern military personal and convicts, there are some ways that they are treated more like property then persons - for example, right to refuse injections and such.

thejeff wrote:
Though "is forced to obey them" is a pretty long step towards evil in the first place.

Well, again it depends on interpretation. I'm "forced" to obey laws by armed police who can imprison me. I'm "forced" to obey my boss by economic conditions. I'm forced to pay rent in order to have shelter. If I had kids, I would be forced to school them, feed them, etc. I think arguments could be made both ways. In real life, "forced to obey" tends to get ugly pretty quick. In a world of Good dragons and angels, and gods, I can imagine something different*.

*Which I think is the appeal of fiction... It is nice to imagine a world where things are better then reality.

Just a quick note about the definition of 'slavery'. For this discussion, I had been using the google dictionary definition:

dictionary wrote:
a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.

However, I just read this article in the BBC News, that included this definition:

The 2016 Global Slavery Index, from the Walk Free Foundation in Australia wrote:
situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception.

I think the first definition allows for possible situations of benevolent "slavery" that could exist in a LG society. However the second definition is basically evil any way you look at it.

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Moving Goalposts wrote:
Hold on guys, we're going over here now. I understand, it's hard to keep up.

Explain please...

Also, the link contains humor - BE WARNED!

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Hrothdane wrote:
What does polygamy have to do with same-sex marriage?

Well in the context of a Pathfinder alignment thread about slavery...

Marriage was the other institution that in REAL WORLD history allowed one human to own another. I think almost all the same arguments about slavery being immoral could be applied to olde timey marriage, but somehow marriage transitioned into the 21 century (or is transitioning...), while slavery morphed into exploitative labor practices.

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Was there a part above the TL;DR that got removed?

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Harleequin wrote:
Am I right in thinking with charge, that you get to double move but only in a straight line and have a single attack (+2 to hit but -2 AC for first round) and not provoke an AoO??

You are correct, at least about the first stuff. The charge itself would not provoke an AoO, but if you left a threatened square you would still provoke as normal. For example, if you charge an opponent who is holding a long sword, he does not get an AoO. If you charge an opponent who is holding a long spear (a reach weapon) then he may take an AoO including the AC penalty.

Note: When you are limited to a single standard action, such as during a surprise round, or when staggered, you may make a single move (not double) charge.

You can charge at any angle, as long as it is the shortest route between your current location and a square where you threaten your opponent with the weapon you are going to attack with.

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yesterday, captain yesterday wrote:
We would NOT get along.

I can't really tell if that comment was directed at me, but since it followed my post, I will respond to it.

I would just like to ask if you think we would not get along in real life, due to the way I view the two-axis alignment system of a fantasy role playing game? Do you really think my views about a world where your gnome sorcerer could summon literal CE demons and LG angels are the same as my morality in the real world?

I apologize in advance if your comment was not directed at me, or if I am incorrectly reading it. Internet communication is often difficult for me. I'm not trying to debate you, or argue, but there seems to be a response to things that I'm not aware of saying, and I would like to figure out how to communicate better in the future.

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The Sword wrote:
I wonder why people put so little value on freedom? Is it because we take it for granted I wonder, or because people don't really feel free!?

I think this is the heart of the miscommunication.

Lawful Good does not equal Super Good or the Most Good of the alignment spectrum. It is Goodness AND Lawful behavior. As indicated in the rules of the game we are discussing, Lawful is associated with obedience, not freedom. Freedom is a virtue of Chaos. You will note that no one ever said any variation of Chaotic alignment would be in favor of institutional slavery.

I am NOT putting less value on freedom, I'm acknowledging how it fits into the rules of Pathfinder. And in case anyone missed my post on the first page of the thread, we are talking about a fantasy world of elves, magic and dragons, NOT DISCUSSING REAL WORLD SLAVERY.

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Quark Blast wrote:
But your primary point still stands - that LG values free will.

I'm still not seeing that. In fact it seems like the opposite:

PRD wrote:

Law Vs Chaos

Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, self-righteousness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.
Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

and also:

PRD wrote:

Good Vs Evil

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.
Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

I'm just not seeing anything that would prevent LG slavery.

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OK... this... I... it's... I'm... this...

As someone who has had several ferrets as pets, and just took one of my rats out for a stroll earlier today, I sanction this fully.

Not saying I would want to GM it, but I really love the idea.

Just a note: Based on one of my rats who passed away recently, I've been working on an idea for a feat that would be available to some little creatures.
Fafnir's Wizard Hands - Basically allows a creature like a rat, squirrel, raccoon, ferret, etc. to use their hands for somatic components. I might impose a movement penalty, since they would kind of be up on their hind legs.

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