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Saving Finale is not a good spell for an archeologist since your only performance is luck this means it is a self only spell. Also once you get higher level it becomes even less useful. Once you have heroism and archeologist luck going you will not be failing many saving throws. A better spell would be windy escape especially at first level. The ability to become temporarily immune to poison, sneak attacks or critical hits will always remain useful.

Vanish is also of limited use at first level it is only going to last a single round. You will be getting access to invisibility at 4th level which is a much better spell. You cannot switch out spells until 5th level so that is not so bad but I would wait till at least 2nd level to pick it Vanish. Expeditious Retreat is a surprisingly good spell for an Archeologist. Remember you take a penalty to stealth for moving at over half speed. With the spell you can effectively use stealth at full speed. Once you get fast stealth it becomes even better because then you are moving at 60’ and taking no penalty to stealth.

Mage Hand is going to be a lot more useful for an archeologist than prestidigitation. Also keep in mind that sift allows you to check for traps at 30’ but your perception roll at 1st level may not be high enough to make it useful yet. Read Magic is also going to be one you will want to pick up when you get a chance.

With a low point buy your stats are going to be lower than I usually play at. I would probably leave both INT and WIS at 10. You could even lower you CHA to 13 and put the extra point into DEX 18, and STR 10. The extra DEX is going to be more important at lower levels. The only thing you really need the CHA for is spells and as long as you get 14 CHA by 10th, 15 CHA by 13th and 16 CHA by 16th you can are fine.

It looks like you are going for Dervish dance which would be another reason to get your DEX to 18 from the start. The earliest you can pick up dervish dance is 3rd level but just remember to reserve 2 skill points for perform dance. This would allow you to pick up lingering performance at 5th. If you went the whip and slashing grace you would have to wait till 5th level to get slashing grace as it requires weapon focus. This would mean you don’t get lingering performance until 7th. That is a long time to wait to triple your rounds of luck.

Your favored class bonus should probably be put into rounds of extra performance. A +1 to everything for one round is in most cases better than a permanent +1 to a single skill. With lingering performance each extra round is actually 3 extra rounds. Once you have enough rounds then you can use the human favored bonus to pick up extra spells. Either of those options will probably be better than the +1 skill.

Unless you plan to multiclass you should probably take the Arcane Training alternative racial trait. +1 CL level for spell trigger/completion items is not much but it is still better than nothing. Speaking of multiclassing I would not recommend that.

The trait criminal will give you a total of +4 to disable device +1 trait bonus and +3 for it becoming a class skill. I would probably go for this over armor expert. You will be able to get a mithral chain shirt for only 1,100 GP once you get some gold.

Your first two rogue talents should be trap spotter and fast stealth.


A hunter is able to use all martial weapons and has access to both ranger and druid spells. Hunters also get all the summon natures ally spells in addition to the normal spells for their level. They also get improved empathic link and the ability to see through their companions eyes. Wild Empathy also allows them some influence over normal animals. Woodland stride gives him an edge when it comes to moving in the wilderness.


Since the rules do not specify the code of conduct required by each deity that leaves it up to the GM. My basic interpretation of this is that the cleric must work to extend the power and influence of the deity. Each deity has a portfolio as long as you are what you are doing is in line with the portfolio you are good. A Cleric of Iomedae who lies, cheats and acts like a coward is not living up to the teaching of his goddess and becomes an ex cleric. The portfolio for Urgathoa is gluttony, disease, and undeath so her clerics need are going to be creating undead, spreading disease and encouraging overindulgence.


If you can walk the razors edge more power to you. But when you start doing more evil deeds than good, or do deeds good enough to anger your deity you become an ex cleric. This is the same for any deity. If you are a cleric of Iomedae and start acting dishonorable you will also become an ex cleric.

No Deity is going to grant spells to someone who does not advance their cause. If I have a player running a cleric who routinely ignores the teaching of his deity he becomes an ex cleric. Admittedly this is a very grey area and it is up to the GM to make the call.


Not supporting his church would be the violation not the alignment step. Also in the case of Urgathoa they are supposed to be helping people become undead. That is an evil act according to the rules.


There is a big difference between a worshiper and a cleric. A worshiper can be of any alignment including a diametrically opposed alignment. The cleric on the other hand has to stay within one step of his deity or he becomes an ex cleric. This can also happen if he violates the teachings of his deity.

Ex-Clerics
A cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god loses all spells and class features, except for armor and shield proficiencies and proficiency with simple weapons. She cannot thereafter gain levels as a cleric of that god until she atones for her deeds (see the atonement spell description).

While falling from grace is not as common for a cleric as it is a paladin it is still part of the class. A cleric who does not help his church in my opinion becomes an ex cleric.

To me this is a roleplaying issue. I have seen to many people who want to play a cleric as just another caster that happens to be able to wear armor. I have also seen too many players play a supposedly neutral cleric of an evil god, but instead of remaining neutral they are outright evil. I am not saying it is impossible to remain neutral while worshiping an evil god, just it is very difficult. Also some deities have more flexibility in this Asmodeus is a good example of this.


Where do I advocate killing anything? I simply said that someone who knowingly and willingly aids an evil organization is just as guilty as the organization. I have not posted a single post suggesting any kind of punishment or solution to evil. My point has been that anyone who knowingly and willingly serves evil will eventually become evil. RAW it is possible to be a true neutral cleric to an evil god, but my stance is that eventually you are going to cross the line.

When you allow the innocent to be sacrificed for power you are evil at that point. It does not matter if you are the one wielding the knife you still have committed an evil act.

Change the Nazi references to whatever lawful evil god you want and my point is still valid.


Prepared divine casters have a huge advantage over spontaneous divine casters. Knowing the entire spell list as soon as you are able to cast the level of spell is a major advantage. Inquisitors are already one of the most versatile classes in the game; by having their spell casting be spontaneous it weakens them a little. They have a very good spell list and if they had access to the whole thing they would be able to run roughshod over almost anything. Paladins on the other hand don’t have much in the way of spells so by being prepared it gives them a little more versatility which they need.


You are the one who keeps bringing up paladins and detect evil. What I am talking about is that the fact that a cleric are servants of their deity. They like paladins can lose their status if they violate the teachings of their god.

Ex-Clerics
A cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god loses all spells and class features, except for armor and shield proficiencies and proficiency with simple weapons. She cannot thereafter gain levels as a cleric of that god until she atones for her deeds (see the atonement spell description).

You are right about one thing that the spell detects evil alone is not enough to justify a paladin from attacking there are too many ways it can be fooled. You could even have a Lawful Evil cleric of a lawful neutral deity that detects as both lawful and evil. The Lawful aura would of course be stronger than the evil.

Some deities don’t care about part of the alignment grid. A worshiper of a NG good is ok with both lawful good, neutral good and chaotic good worshipers. They will even welcome the rare true neutral character who wants to follow them. This character will be under a tremendous pressure to become good. If the worshiper is a cleric it is going to be even harder. I don’t see how a cleric of a NG god can honestly preach that you should help others out of the goodness of your heart and not slowly shift alignment.

The same is true for a NE deity. If your religion practices sacrifice of unwilling sentient creatures it is going to be very hard to remain true neutral. The deity in question is the goddess of undead and disease. Her priests regularly engage in mass murder, forced cannibalism, and spreading of disease. This is a goddess dedicated to evil, not a borderline case.

Like I said if you want to play an evil character that is fine, just be honest about it.

How am I being a hypocrite about the Nazi? I have already said they were the most evil and vile organization mankind has seen. I have also stated that those that knowingly and willing aided them are guilty, not everyone who worked with them. Stop putting words into my mouth.


This is about more than just the spell. This is about a person serving a EVIL organization or creature. Assuming the cleric is a cleric to a specific god, which is what we are talking about. If the cleric is serving an [b]Evil[\b] deity he is furthering the spread of [b]Evil[\b].
To have an evil aura you either have to be a powerful evil person, or be a direct servant of evil. You may not be directly involved with actively promoting evil, but your efforts are helping those that are.

If the Nazi analogy bothers you it should. They were one of the most evil organizations on the face of the earth. Anyone who knowingly supported them is equally responsible for their crimes. The German citizens who ignored the signs or were otherwise unaware of what was happening might deserve a break. But those that were part of the organization deserve no mercy.


paxmiles wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

One thing to keep in mind about neutral clerics of evil gods is that they will often do evil deeds. Clerics are the servants of a deity not the other way around. This means that the deity will be using the cleric to further the deity’s agenda. If that deity is evil then the agenda will also probably be evil. They may not be doing the evil act for their own enjoyment, but they will do them nonetheless. Any good character able to detect evil will not trust someone who detects evil. They may not automatically attack them, but they will be watched and never trusted no matter what they do.

Detecting evil is like finding out the person is an agent of a hostile forging power.

Certainly seems like a variant on racial profiling. Judge them not on their actions, but based on past statistics for those you've decided are similar. The sort of attitude I'd expect from lawful neutral (...which is the alignment I play).

In regards to classes with detect evil, I've always thought the bigger fear with that one is that the "good" class would start trying to convert the non-believer. I've always considered the paladin's limit on associating with evil characters to be sort of counter the concept of them being religious.

If lawful good, the paladin should consider neutral clerics of evil dieties to be misguided individuals who need to be...

This is more judging someone based on the fact they are members of an evil organization. While they themselves may or may not be evil their superiors (Deity) are in fact evil. This would be more like judging a Nazi prison guard to be evil based on Hitler’s actions. The only time I have seen this come up is when someone really wants to play an evil character, but due to campaign, or group reasons cannot. If you want to play an evil character you should do so. If the GM or group does not want evil characters come up with another character or find a different group.

When you knowing regularly aid and support an evil character or organization you are just as guilty as a full member. If I am working for the Mafia in a desk job and I know for a fact my “Boss” is murdering people I am no better than he is.


One thing to keep in mind about neutral clerics of evil gods is that they will often do evil deeds. Clerics are the servants of a deity not the other way around. This means that the deity will be using the cleric to further the deity’s agenda. If that deity is evil then the agenda will also probably be evil. They may not be doing the evil act for their own enjoyment, but they will do them nonetheless. Any good character able to detect evil will not trust someone who detects evil. They may not automatically attack them, but they will be watched and never trusted no matter what they do.

Detecting evil is like finding out the person is an agent of a hostile forging power.


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Inquisitors could easily do this. They have 2 good saves decent combat ability and the ability to go nova a few times a day. They have enough skill points and class skills that they can cover all the needed skills. With the right domains or inquisitions they can have enough variety to make sure that each character is unique. They have a decent spell list and have full caster level.

Bards could also pull this off, but probably not quite as well as inquisitors. The big problem with the bards is there spell list is a fairly narrowly focused. Many of their best spells are enchantment and illusion so that makes certain types of creatures a greater challenge. Also since they are limited to light armor their combat ability is not quite as good.

Hunters would also do very well for this. Since they all would have animal companions that effectively doubles the size of the party. They can use medium armor and martial weapons so their combat ability is decent. They have decent spells including summon nature’s ally which means they can almost flood the battle field with creatures if needed. They have plenty of skills so they will not be lacking in that regard. This group will be one of the best for setting up ambushes.

Skalds would be another class that would do quite well. Again they have medium armor and martial weapons for decent combat. They don’t get quite as many skills as the others but bardic lore and versatile performance make up for that. Rage song and inspired rage will give a nice boost. Since everyone in the group has this they will be able to use it in almost all combats. They also have decent spells which can complement their other abilities and fill in where they are weak.


I do let characters roll for their character unless asking for a roll would be a dead giveaway. Even then sometimes I will simply tell all characters to roll and ignore the ones that are irrelevant. Mostly I use the die roller for NPCs. By having a copy of the character accessible allows me to call for a roll without specifying what the roll is.


I use Hero Labs and keep a copy of every character on my laptop. I have a portfolio with all the PCs in it so I can look up anything I need. When combat breaks out I load any NPCs and, or monsters into the portfolio and use the tactical console. The console list most of the import details on screen, and if I need further details I simply look at the character directly. It also has a dice roller app built in so I can make any roll I need directly in the program.

This actually speeds up the game a lot. When the wizard cast a fireball on the group of 12 orcs it is a single click to see which ones save. It also means the players don’t realize when I am rolling a dice because it is just a mouse click. There is no way to tell if I am rolling a skill check, or just looking up something.

The only drawback is the cost. You do have to purchase each package and the cost does add up. The initial purchase will be the big thing. Spend a few bucks when something new comes out is not that big of a deal.


Smite good gives you a deflection bonus to AC equal to your CHA vs. the target of your smite. Use it against the paladin to counter his bonus of his CHA to hit. It will only be useable once a day at 2nd level, but how often are you going to be fighting a paladin?


Keep in mind that this is a very strong build and even knowing what they are up against it will be extremely tough to take down. Your characters are going to need to be very competent to take him down.

Everything is based on CHA which will probably be through the roof. Your STR will be high enough that you can go toe to toe with the front line melee characters. Give him Bastards Sting for 2d6 negative energy damage to anyone adjacent to him. This works really well with the Bleeding Wounds revelation. The fast healing from the sword should also stack with the fast healing from being a vampire to give him fast healing 10.


Extra spells help prepared casters more than spontaneous casters. Divine prepared casters get the biggest boost as they automatically know all spells they are capable of casting. Pathfinder with all the extra books already has a large selection of spells. In my opinion all the basic spells you need are already there. Any extra spells will usually be narrowly tailored to specific circumstances. Those are the types of spells that are the most unbalanced.

The other thing to consider is that many 3rd party spells are designed to give the caster access to the types of spells on other casters lists. As it stand certain classes are better at certain types of spells. This creates some needed variation among the characters. When every caster can do basically the same thing it makes it boring. While it does make since that the fire cleric should have lots of fire spells this ends up giving all clerics fire spells. For clerics you can simple only allow them certain spells, but that does not work well with wizards. Also that is a ton of work to sort through over a thousand spells and try and figure out what your players get access to.


How about a variant Oradin? Take 2 levels of Antipaladin and the rest as an oracle of bones. This gives you a CHA based caster who wears full plate. CHA to saves is also a big help. Smite good is a nasty surprise to the paladin in the group. Not so much for the damage, but getting CHA to hit and AC is going partially counter smite good.

Wearing full plate will probably throw the party off a little. More than likely they will assume he is some sort of martial class instead of a spell caster. If the party is going to encounter him multiple times have him not use spells the first couple of times to reinforce this idea. Then when they least expect it have him cast flame strike on the party. Also having a couple of demon summoned by planar ally is going to be a nice touch.

Pureblood Azlanti are still human so get everything a human gets except they get +2 on all stats. If you are not a pureblood Azlanti you are just a normal human with a bonus language.


Try a variant Oradin build. Go 2 levels of Antipaladin the rest in Oracle. Bones or battle is probably your best bet. Bones would give you lots of undead for followers. Your Defense against smite evil is smite good. Being able to add CHA to AC counters the CHA to hit. Since you will be wearing full plate and can use a shield your AC should be good. Use Oracle spells to boost your combat even further.


I was working on an undead lord for a campaign I was thinking of running and came up with a pretty good combination. Antipaladin 2/Oracle of Bones 18 with the Graveknight template (Fire) If you take a dual path Mythic Champion and Hierophant That is going to be one tough undead. Can you take more than one template? If so you could add the Half Fiend template for even more abilities.


Look at this from the Lawful aspect. To take control of any part of Hell you are either going to be taking over some other beings domain, or taking unclaimed land. Chances are any unclaimed land is has nothing worth claiming so you would be unable to build anything. Hell is the ultimate hierarchy so every creature has its place and knows it.

The one way it could work is if you were able to take territory from somewhere else and add it to hell. If you conquer part of another plane and have some way to make it part of hell, that would work. A Lawful Evil ruler is not going want to have his vassals overthrown. On the other hand he will gladly welcome new vassals if they enlarge his power.

The only other way would be to take out a major devil by yourself. Hell may have some sort of challenge that proves the right to rule. This would probably be some sort of personal challenge.


The biggest problem with the rogue is that most rogue talents are way too weak. There are a couple of good ones, but for the most part they are just plain bad. Many of them are usable only once a day, or are very narrowly focused. Camouflage is a perfect example. Once a day you can gain a +4 bonus to stealth that is limited to a specific natural terrain, and can easily be destroyed. Why would I ever bother with this when I can take skill focus stealth and get a +3 in all terrains that work under all conditions and at 10th level the bonus goes up to +6.

A lot of the rogue talents focus on sneak attack. The problems with sneak attack have been discussed multiple times in multiple threads. When half the rogue talents are focused on something that may be difficult to get it does not help. Don’t get me wrong I think sneak attack is a decent ability, but too many people misunderstand it. It is not designed to make the rogue equal to a fighter or other combat focused characters. If that is what you want you are going to be disappointed. I also do not consider it to the rogue’s main ability. I look at it as something decent that sometimes work.

Rouge talents should be at least as good as a feat, and probably a little better. They should also allow the rogue to do what no one else can do. Giving mall bonus to skills and abilities just is not enough. Ninja talents are generally a lot better, but many of them require a ki pool to use.

I don’t see a problem with the fighter as long as you realize what he is. He is called a fighter because he fights things. With the number of feats he gets he can pull of feat chains better than anyone else. With the variety of archetype available you can create a lot of completely different fighters. The problem is that a lot of people want to do more than just fight. For someone who wants a fairly simple character to play and is not that interested in more than combat they work fine.

The biggest problem with monks is they require a great deal of system mastery to build properly. They also require a good concept of both tactics and the rules to use affectively. You really have to know your character and all its abilities to make them effective. There are also a lot of traps when building and playing a monk that many people fall for.


Considering that Hell is under the control of Asmodeus himself I think you are going to have some problem. Hell is Lawful Evil so there is probably not any unclaimed territory for you to claim. While you may be a cleric of Asmodeus the Archdevils are his vassals. They would probably take your claiming territory as an act of war. I doubt if he is going to want you starting a war in the middle of his kingdom. More than likely he would tell you to stop trying to cause problems and serve him on the material plane like you are supposed to.


Any group of adventures that is high enough level to deal with a vampire should have properly equipped itself. Grab a bag of holding or a handy haversack and fill it up with a bunch of equipment. This is where you put alchemical weapons, climbing kits, various tools, and anything else you think may come in handy. Spare weapons and extra ammo should also be included.

This is just common sense like a modern day soldier making sure he has his full pack before leaving on a patrol. I can understand that there may be sometimes you don’t have you pack with you, but if you are wandering so far away from anything that you can’t even take a body out to sunlight you should have your equipment.


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You influence the actions of the target creature by suggesting a course of activity (limited to a sentence or two). The suggestion must be worded in such a manner as to make the activity sound reasonable. Asking the creature to do some obviously harmful act automatically negates the effect of the spell.

The bolded section is the key. If the target is not in any danger and you Suggest that he play the piano for the next hour that is reasonable. You never stated that he was not able to defend himself or that he could not leave if it became dangerous to remain. So if either of those conditions comes up he is free to act. If on the other hand you worded your Suggestion play the piano for the next hour ignoring all danger to yourself, and don’t stop for anything that would be unreasonable and fail.


One thing that can help with the saving throws is to make sure you have spells that target all three saving throws. Very few creatures have good saves in all three categories. Being able to target a creature’s weak save is often the best way to affect creatures. Also keep in mind that Reflex saves are usually the least important. Reflex spells are usually direct damage spells which are often less effective especially at high level. Will saves are probably the most effective because they often allow you to control the enemy. Fortitude saves are usually incapacitate or kill type spells.

Another concern for high level casters is spell resistance. If you can’t get past the spell resistance then the save does not matter. A lot of high level creatures have decent spell resistance. Spell penetration, and greater spell penetration are just as important if not more so then spell focus.

Summoning is also a good tactic that ignores saves and AC. Sometimes the easiest way to deal with something is to summon up something else to deal with it for you. The summon monster spells are some of the most versatile spells in the game. Augment Summoning is great, and is almost considered a feat tax on a summoning focused caster.

If you have not already done so make sure to read Treantmonk’s guide to Wizards. While it only covers the core rule book the idea presented in it are still valid. Often the best thing you can do with your spells is to buff your allies. At high level casting haste on your party is going to do a lot more damage than a fireball. A fire ball will do 10d6 damage which averages about 35 HP before save, if it makes the save which it probably will this drops down to 17. This is assuming you get past spell penetration and it does not have fire resistance. Haste on the other hand means the paladin and barbarian get an extra attack at full BAB, a bonus to AC and reflex save and additional movement. Haste will also probably last for the duration of the fight so that is one extra attack per creature per round, or you could do between 0 -35 HP to each creature in the blast radius.


For save the first thing to do is to boost your INT. Get the best headband you can afford, and maybe look into getting a tome of clear thought. The feat Heightened Spell will allow you to increase the DC for spell by using a higher level slot. Assuming you start out with a 18 INT, put all level ups into INT, have a +6 headband and acquire a +5 tome your DC for a 9th level spell is going to be 31. If you are willing to take some age penalties on your stats you can get it up a little higher. Be careful of doing that because you end up getting twice the penalty to physical stats as the bonus you get on your mental stats.

In games I run if a wizard is starting out higher level and wants extra spells I have him pay as if he bought the spell on a scroll.

The nice thing about the wizard is that he can have potentially unlimited number of spells. A sorcerer has to be very careful in his selection of spells because he has a limited number. With a wizard you don’t face that so the need for spells to level up is less crucial.


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Running water is traditionally free flowing natural water like a river or stream. Pouring water from an urn or other container would not work. Moving the water does not make it free flowing or you could dump a vampire in a bath tub and pull the plug.

Ambrosia should work. It says it affects undead and evil outsiders as if it were holy water. Considering it cost x4 the cost of holy water I don’t see a problem with this.

Destroying the coffin will work as long as the vampire does not have any other coffins. Dracula had around 30 in the book.


Does he have a laptop and use Herolabs? If he does have him use the built in die roller and it will automatically add up the results. It can even add a static bonus to the total.

I use this feature when I am running as it saves a lot of time. It works really well for when you need to make a lot of rolls. Having a group of 20 orcs make a saving throw vs a fireball is now a single click.


Divine and arcane are game terms. Other than the fact that some clerics use holy symbols how do you tell if a person is casting a divine spell? As a player I can see cleric written on Bob’s character sheet, but my character cannot. Also how do you tell who is really a god? Razmir has about as much divine power as a turnip, but still claims to be a god. He has actually managed to pull off the fooling everyone. Considering that the other gods have not denounced him he may have even fooled them. He even has arcane casters pretending to be his priests which complicate the matter even further.

I had a friend who created a religion that denied not only gods, but magic itself. It claimed that the supernatural was not real and magic was just trickery and deception. Strangely enough the religion actually had clerics who cast spells, but they denied they were casting spells. They could only cast spells that spells that revealed tricks that revealed or protected against tricks. This was under 2nd edition AD&D and the campaign did not require memorization of spells. Pretty much all spell casters were spontaneous, before there was there were spontaneous casters. The founder of the religion was the great philosopher AtheI so the Atheists were a pain in rear.


Selgard wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

The main argument for this being an evil act seems to be that taking away a person’s freedom is evil. I think this is a mistake because freedom is not so much a matter of good vs. evil, but rather a law vs. chaos. This stems from the idea that anything positive must be good, so anything negative has to be evil.

While I think the idea of freedom and liberty is a great thing and should be upheld, it is not in itself “good”. That being said I don’t think that a paladin would have any problem using magic to change a person’s behavior.

Who you are and what you do is the only real choice you have in life. Permanently, magically, altering that thing into something else is probably one of the greater evils you can do to a person.

You can imprison them, you can execute them- but magically forcing them into just doing what you want? Not only is it incredibly lazy for the Paladin to do (should be teaching/converting) but its also disgusting and should be evil. (yes, I know, the game is silent on whether or not it is.)

Permanently Dominating someone and forcing them to do what you want is an abhorrent, vile thing whether you are forcing them to be nice or to be a jerk.

Having a prison with some pacify effect or whatnot is one thing. Using magic to apprehend someone and safely return them to the authorities is one thing.
But using that same magic to mentally neuter them and force them to view life as you do just because you think you are right?

Evil, here you come.

-S

Magic is neither good nor evil. It is a tool and like any other tool it is the person using the tool that is responsible not the tool. So to say something is worse if it is done using magic is false. If you are allowed to use therapy on a person to change his behavior and still be considered good, why using magic is considered evil. If the person is in prison and forced to go to therapy there is no difference.

Modern medicine has found that a lot of behavior is the result of chemical imbalance in the brain. They have come up with medication to treat many of the conditions. What if in a fantasy world evil behavior is the result of a magical imbalance in the soul, maybe demonic possession? By your definition modern medicine is vile and evil when it uses medication to treat psychological problems.

Again I am not saying I agree that freedom and liberty are not important, but rather that is a question on the law vs. chaos axis not the good vs. evil.


DominusMegadeus wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

The main argument for this being an evil act seems to be that taking away a person’s freedom is evil. I think this is a mistake because freedom is not so much a matter of good vs. evil, but rather a law vs. chaos. This stems from the idea that anything positive must be good, so anything negative has to be evil.

While I think the idea of freedom and liberty is a great thing and should be upheld, it is not in itself “good”. That being said I don’t think that a paladin would have any problem using magic to change a person’s behavior.

This falls in line with my theory that Paladins are the greatest evil plaguing game worlds. That's a lowercase 'e', btw.

The idea that since I am good anything I disagree with is evil is a hard trap to avoid. Unfortunately most people don’t see the trap and fall for it. I think that is one of the reasons the real world is so screwed up.


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The main argument for this being an evil act seems to be that taking away a person’s freedom is evil. I think this is a mistake because freedom is not so much a matter of good vs. evil, but rather a law vs. chaos. This stems from the idea that anything positive must be good, so anything negative has to be evil.

While I think the idea of freedom and liberty is a great thing and should be upheld, it is not in itself “good”. That being said I don’t think that a paladin would have any problem using magic to change a person’s behavior.


Do you have to wear full plate? A bard can cast in light armor with no chance of spell failure. Medium mithral armor counts as light so you could use a breast plate instead of full plate. If you have high enough DEX the AC will be the same.


A bard may be a good mix. Bards can cast in light armor so using medium mithral armor would eliminate spell failure.

An oracle of battle would also be a good combination. It would boost your combat abilities to an obscene level.


How about coming back as an inquisitor?


Actually a hedge witch may work well. Take the healing patron and you will automatically get most of the important condition removal spells. Once you get to 4th level you can spontaneously swap out spells for the cure spell of the same level. All of the summon monster spells are on the witches spell list. Between cure wound spells and summoning you should do fine vs undead. Witches also have at least one direct damage spell for each spell level that will also work against undead. Hexes probably don’t work that well vs undead, but that does not make you totally useless.

You don’t need divine magic as much as healing and condition removal. Buffing and debuffing is also needed, but a witch can also do that quite well.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
To put it in modern terms if a marine guarding a US embassy in Russia is given an order by a Russian official that directly contradicts his orders he will not obey them. The reason being is the Russian official does not have authority over the marine. For example let’s say a Russian police officer wanted to arrest someone granted diplomatic asylum by the US in the embassy. The marine is not going to allow the Russian police officer to enter the embassy even though arresting the person is completely legal.

On the other hand, a marine posted to Russia will obey orders given to him by a Russian policeman if he's off-duty and drinking in a restaurant. Even if the order is "come with me, you're under arrest."

* Yes, the marine probably has some form of diplomatic immunity, so the cop is exceeding his authority. But this can and will be sorted out at the precinct office.

* The alternative is to resist arrest, which will probably result in someone getting hurt. Possibly the cop, possibly bystanders, possibly the marine himself. Shooting a Russian cop is a bar is probably a career-limiting move. Shooting a bystander is definitely a CLM.

You are right about the Russian police officer in the bar. Like I said legitimate authority is not cut and dried. There is a hierarchy of authority that needs to be established.

Authority need not be hierarchical, and in most cases isn't. In your example, if the commanding officer told him not to go with the Russian police officer.... that's actually down in the books (UCMJ, Art. 90, Explanation (2)(a)(i)) as a "patently illegal order" (he's being ordered to commit the crime of resisting arrest) and need not be obeyed. (And if the CO said "don't go with the cop, but don't resist arrest" or some other inanity it's a patently impossible order that also need not be obeyed.)

Which is to say, marines are expected to to be...

What I meant by a hierarchy of authority is that sometimes one authority takes precedence over another. Your example is better than mine. The case of the illegal or impossible order is a lot clearer than mine.

I actually agree with everything you said. My original point was that a paladin does not need to blindly follow every law.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
To put it in modern terms if a marine guarding a US embassy in Russia is given an order by a Russian official that directly contradicts his orders he will not obey them. The reason being is the Russian official does not have authority over the marine. For example let’s say a Russian police officer wanted to arrest someone granted diplomatic asylum by the US in the embassy. The marine is not going to allow the Russian police officer to enter the embassy even though arresting the person is completely legal.

On the other hand, a marine posted to Russia will obey orders given to him by a Russian policeman if he's off-duty and drinking in a restaurant. Even if the order is "come with me, you're under arrest."

* Yes, the marine probably has some form of diplomatic immunity, so the cop is exceeding his authority. But this can and will be sorted out at the precinct office.

* The alternative is to resist arrest, which will probably result in someone getting hurt. Possibly the cop, possibly bystanders, possibly the marine himself. Shooting a Russian cop is a bar is probably a career-limiting move. Shooting a bystander is definitely a CLM.

You are right about the Russian police officer in the bar. Like I said legitimate authority is not cut and dried. There is a hierarchy of authority that needs to be established. If that same marine’s commanding officer was there and told him not to go with the Russian police he would follow the orders of his commanding officer. Also if the US ambassador was in the bar and the Russians were attempting to arrest him he would not allow that.


Bandw2 wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

I think the whole legitimate authority is actually referring to those who have authority over the paladin. Paladins are lawful good and that usually means they are part of an organization. While not all paladins serve a deity they can. If a paladin is a member of a religious order than the command of the order is what he considers legitimate. If he servers a secular lord than legitimate authority are those of higher rank than he is. If the organization he servers has alliances with other organizations he may respect them as legitimate authorities as long as they are not in conflict with his own organization.

Some organizations may be seen as neutral and would generally be respected if their orders do not conflict with the goals and orders of his own organization. Under no circumstance will the paladin consider enemies of his organization as legitimate authority.

yeah, but following a god doesn't change his paladin rules, thus he still has to behave exactly the same. PFS is special.

a paladin that is the only man alive on his plane, is still lawful good. he doesn't have to be part of an organization. he simply must always try to promote the common good and order. if doing good would destabalize a region, he would not do it. as mentioned he would work from within the system.

also the wording legitimate authority, is almost exclusively used in the context of rulers of nations, kingdoms or states.

Again while a paladin does not have to follow a deity he can. If he is a member of a religious order than that order will be considered a legitimate authority. The same is also true for being a member of a kingdom. If I have sworn allegiance to a group and that group is not evil than they become my legitimate authority. And some paladins do worship a deity there are several archetypes that state they serve a specific deity. These archetypes are no less of a paladin than any other archetype.

Also a paladin will always choose Good over law. If a paladin knowingly commits an evil act they fall right then and there. They can commit a chaotic act and do not fall until their alignment actually shifts from lawful Good to neutral good. That is RAW straight out of the book.

To put it in modern terms if a marine guarding a US embassy in Russia is given an order by a Russian official that directly contradicts his orders he will not obey them. The reason being is the Russian official does not have authority over the marine. For example let’s say a Russian police officer wanted to arrest someone granted diplomatic asylum by the US in the embassy. The marine is not going to allow the Russian police officer to enter the embassy even though arresting the person is completely legal.

Legitimate authority is not always a cut and dried situation.


I think the whole legitimate authority is actually referring to those who have authority over the paladin. Paladins are lawful good and that usually means they are part of an organization. While not all paladins serve a deity they can. If a paladin is a member of a religious order than the command of the order is what he considers legitimate. If he servers a secular lord than legitimate authority are those of higher rank than he is. If the organization he servers has alliances with other organizations he may respect them as legitimate authorities as long as they are not in conflict with his own organization.

Some organizations may be seen as neutral and would generally be respected if their orders do not conflict with the goals and orders of his own organization. Under no circumstance will the paladin consider enemies of his organization as legitimate authority.


darkwarriorkarg wrote:

Raistlin Majere

Belkar in Order of the Stick
Danearys Tartagen's brother
Agent Ward's mentor on agents of shield

Raistlin was lawful evil if I remember correctly.

Viserys Targaryen was an idiot who sucked at manipulating people. He got molten gold poured over his head when he pushed. Most of the time people were manipulating him without him realizing it.

Garrett is also lawful evil not chaotic. He has long range plans no one understands but is willing to sacrifice anything to achieve them. He is HYDRA which is the ultimate lawful evil.


Chaotic evil characters can restrain themselves if they want to, but it is their choice. To have any alignment besides true neutral you have to have at least some intelligence, chaotic evil is no exception. They are able to recognize that their actions have consequences and act accordingly. A chaotic character who wants something will generally take it unless there is an advantage to doing otherwise. He could even give it as a gift to someone else if it would benefit him. Chaotic evil is no more stupid than lawful good. Alignment and intelligence have nothing to do with each other.


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I think you are confusing intelligence and imagination with chaos. Doing something no one else understands is not chaotic. If I am smart enough to come up with schemes that no one else understand that does not make me chaotic, that makes me a genius.

Chaos is all about doing what you want. Chaotic evil is evil without restraint of any kind. You do what you want; when you want unless someone stronger stops you.


The problems with slashing grace applying to shorts swords are over stated. Simply use a gladius instead of a short sword. They cost 5 extra GP and count as a short sword for all feats and abilities.


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Aranna wrote:
Umbranus wrote:
In a city where it is disallowed to give food or money to beggars the LG guy will not feed the starving child because he isn't allowed to.

I also disagree with this. Lawful is about following a code not about following laws. A paladin will NOT obey an evil law; he will oppose such a law and certainly never follow it. And a code against giving food or money to others certainly isn't a 'good' code. Doesn't sound at all like the sort of code a LG person would follow.

In such a city a lawful good type may hire the beggar to do something for him. The easiest way would be to have the starving child get him something to eat, and to get one for child. He could even take a bite of the food and decide he is not hungry anymore and give the rest to the child to take home to his family.

Lawful types know how to work the system better than anyone else. Lawful good is no exception to this.


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All good alignments have similarities. When confronted with evil all of them will fight against it. All of them will also try to help others. Even a lawful good, and a chaotic good character will agree that the evil outsider needs to be taken down, or that stopping the undead horde from destroying the village is a good thing. Often where they disagree is when it is a not a matter of good vs. evil.

The lawful good character will try to get people to act the way he thinks they should act. They have no qualms about imposing his will on others as long as it is for the greater good. Requiring everyone in the village to pay a tithe to support the church, so it can provide help to the poor is perfectly acceptable. Many of their plans and efforts are long term. They are willing to sacrifice for other and think that everyone should be required to do the same.

The chaotic good character does not believe in forcing other people to be good. To them freedom is equally important and no one should be required to do anything that do not want. They have no problems giving money to help the poor, but believe this is up to the individual and instead of requiring it they will try and convince people. They deal with situations as they come up and try and tailor each solution to the problem. They believe that a good deed comes from the heart and forcing someone to do it cheapens it.

The neutral good character is the middle ground between them. They look at what is most likely to work and solve the problem. If the people in the area are generous and there is enough money to help the poor they are good with leaving things as they are. If on the other hand the poor are not getting the aid they need they will not have a problem setting up a tithe to fund the church. They will have some plans for the future but not to the extent a lawful good will. To them what matters is what does it take to get the job done.


I think the problem was that both of you were playing essentially the same character. The problem was not so much that he had a strong mechanical build, but that he was a stronger version of your character. If you think that build was bad for skills try an elven archeologist bard with breadth of experience. Between archeologist luck, heroism and bardic lore his skills are going to be even better.


Keep in mind at 9th level he is supposed to be one of the most powerful individuals in the kingdom. The vast majority of people are supposed to be 6th level or lower. There are supposed to be handful of level 7th to 12th in each kingdom. Characters over 12 level are the most powerful in the entire world.

While individual campaigns may vary this is the baseline assumption. Player characters are supposed to be special and be able to do things other cant. Also keep in mind that circumstance bonus or penalties are cumulative and stack. With the bard I don’t think having a +26 sing is the problem, what is probably the issue is versatile performance.

Another thing is most skills that the character max out tend to be skills that can be opposed. Sure with a +26 bluff it seems like you can lie to anyone, but keep in mind that there will be people and creatures the player interact with that have equally high skills. A quick check on CR 9 creatures showed that most of them have perception and sense motive skills ranging from +3 to +23.

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