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They will be okay IMO. They don't have trapfinding which could hurt in certain locations during the path, but generally, if they work together and don't just try to hammer their face into every challenge until something gives, they'll be fine. Most parties will. ROTR is pretty forgiving, accessible to most combinations of party-members. There are exceptions to this rule, and the path features some of the most notorious encounters in pathfinder, but with that said, it's not impossible.
Teamwork is the name of the game. If the party synergizes, and use their ressources smartly they'll triumph. Unless Nuffle wills otherwise, of course :]
Thing is - while GMs and players everywhere can tell whatever story they like and have fun in whichever way suits them, surely you'll need to take, at least a few steps back from reality when playing in a game such as this.
Pathfinder isn't really written for super-realism, the laundry list of trouble that would arise from trying to maintain a realistic feel while playing by the rules, is really quite amazing.
Heroes falling off an airship and dropping a clean, uninterrupted 800 ft, before hitting unyielding flagstones. Then stand back up and brushing the dust off.
High-level martials destroying an iron-golem with a soup-ladle.
Characters outrunning horses.
Characters standing in lava.
Characters doing more damage with a chair-leg than a dagger on an equally clean strike.
The worlds greatest archer misses the broad side of a barn 5% of the time.
A character just punched through a solid-oak door.
A character just eviscerated a stone-collumn in 6 seconds flat.
The list goes on, but it seems impractical, to me, to try to reason away everything the system permits. Surely, if you wanted to run realism you could use the Storyteller system or somesuch. I remember Dark-Ages vampire Chronicles I've played in. Combat tended to be over in one or two solid hits.
Stops sharpening headsman axe - suddenly looking up, scowling at TGTG
U wot mate?
Resumes sharpening axe with slow determination - still scowling
@RDM42: A commoner could retrain his HP to get the 3 hp from his hit die up to 6, I guess. So could most NPCs if they'd put their minds and cash into it. As it stands though, assuming the NPCS populating the world are made with the rules governing NPC creation, all their HD come out to average.
Creating NPCs wrote:
Determine the character's total hit points by assuming the average result.
But yes, you are absolutely right, theoretically they can get half again as many hit points out of their their HD.
The average human commoner has between 4 and 6 hp. :)They have 1 HD and a d6 for their hit die. Since they're NPCs, by default you assume average result on all HD so 3 hp. Since they are probably physically active, giving them the melee-NPC stat array nets them a 12 con which would mean they get +1 hp, coming up to 4. Then the human stat-bonus gets factored in - for those who have that bonus to con, the hp increases by another +1, to 5. The last variable is whether or not they use their favored class bonus for +1 HP or +1 skill point. Commoners are not very durable :P
EDIT: Well, I say that, but let's see how beefy we can make a level 1 human commoner. Non-heroic NPCs use point-buy 3, so we could make an NPC with:
9 STR, 7 DEX, 18 CON, 7 INT, 7 WIS, 7 CHA
Then add the human ability bonus to con for 20 con. Use the favored class bonus to add another HP, and then take toughness for a level 1 feat.
This will net us a level 1 commoner with 12 hp. I don't know if they come any tougher than that :)
Matthew Downie wrote:
I refer you to my explanation of my position, 2 posts up :)
@Orfamay Quest: Since this is off topic for the thread, I'll say my piece briefly and then suggest we leave it at that. After all, there's no need to derail. What follows is my opinion:
WBL has little impact on the balance, unless the GM lets it have impact, and following it does nothing whatsoever to make the game fun.
Looking at the WBL-table is useful for getting an idea of what amount of gear a certain encounter might be designed around, and I use it when my table introduces a character above level 1, but outside of that it detracts from games, rather than add.
A GM who adheres to the WBL table artificially narrows the scope of what the player characters can do. Following WBL also limits agency, and encourages players to not seek out adventure, and take no initiative on their own.
At my tables, if the characters suspect they need gear they don't have, they get to make efforts to acquire it, WBL be damned.
If the characters are undergeared, I'm not gonna drop the items in their lap because WBL told me so, - they get to have agency, they get to make decisions that matter. They get to be the ones who decide to take a trip to the Janderhoff archives of subteranean cartography, and chart a course to the legendary treasure of Zatarax. Items are not going to fall off a cart for them, nor is the next random encounter spontaneously gonna fart CMW potions.
If the characters are overgeared, then what do I care? I'm the GM, they're never gonna win an arms-race against me, even if that was an issue. I can add items to creatures with the snap of my fingers, WBL does NOTHING to upset the balance of the game unless I let it. And if, for some reason, my campaign hinges on the group NOT having that +4 greatclub (which I'd chalk up to bad campaign-writing, not bad GMing) I can make efforts to take it away. Thieves, robberies, enemies with sunder, diplomatic encounters with someone important who wants the wizard's headband of intelligence in return for helping the party. It is SO easy. SO so easy.
If my players decide to take the adventure in a new direction all of a sudden, and rob a coinhouse in Magnimar, you can be damned sure I'm not even thinking of looking at the WBL table. Because I don't care, and it doesn't matter. No way are they gonna beat in the faces of 12 Abadar cleric/fighters standing guard, crack the vault and then find 2060 gp in there, because the WBL table told me that is how much they were off their recommended wealth. That vault is gonna explode in showers of gold, art, gems and exotic items, magical and mundane, and my players get to feel like criminal masterminds and complete badasses for just pulling an Ocean's Eleven.
WBL is utterly useless outside of eyeballing encounters and creating characters above level 1. I prefer my players have agency, and get encouraged to forge their own paths, take their own initiative, rather than just mindlessly chasing the nearest breadcrumb-trail, because whatever they need, is just gonna fall out of the sky anyway.
Let me reiterate that this is just my opinion. Anyway Orfamay Quest - that is why I find it inexplicable that a GM should elect to use WBL. In case a party-member needs raising you go out there and you get him raised. You don't sit there with your hands up your arse, because some weird pseudo-mechanics of the game won't let you earn a buck. :)
I assume transformation into superhero in my games. That way I don't have to reason away everything that happens, and I can still maintain whatever flavour I want to.
GM: "You fall off the 200 ft cliff and take 60 dmg"
That works, right up until the character falls off something where the shape allows no such thing. Like doing a Denethor-dive off Minas Tirith. Then reasoning away how you survived becomes hard.
Same thing happens when you fight a dragon with the Snatch feat. Normally you get a reflex save so it goes like this:
GM: "The fire licks across the ground, you throw yourself for dear life..."
But once Snatch enters the equation, where you take the full blast of dragonfire directly to the face(No reflex save allowed), because the dragon is holding you trapped in its mouth, then you have to reason away why the PC is alive, but every building in a 60 ft cone behind him has been reduced to molten rock, charcoal and scorch-marks.
In my games, you rise to herculean levels of fortitude and strength. A martial with a high damage output, swinging a warhammer at the ground is gonna shake the dust off every nearby building.
Getting stabbed with a dagger and collapsing on the ground, slowly bleeding out is reserved for the level 1 NPC classed people, who make up around 99% of the world's population. So there's plenty of novel-realism IN the world. The heroes just rise above it, becoming more akin to superheroes, demi-gods or warriors of ancient mythology.
That is just my way, though. :)
@Matthew Downie: I didn't mean that it had to be -made- of cubes, but that the shape you create has to fit within 25 connected 1 ft cubes.
But that is still just my present reading of the spell. What is yours?
@Lathiira: indeed? That seems like it fall within the spell's use to me too. What are your thought on the area, though?
Last session, my players were fighting a large sized vampire. We had to end the session before the fight was over, but I get the sense they will win next time.
My players had a really good idea: When the thing turns to fog and attempts to slink back to its coffin, cast stone-shape and trap it in stone, then wait for enough time to pass and the vampire will be destroyed, because it cannot reach its coffin.
I like the idea, but reading through the Stone Shape spell has raised a question for me. A question regarding the shape of the area that can be affected.
Stone Shape, as cast by the party's level 15 cleric, would affect an area of 25 cubic feet. Naturally this is not the same as a 25 ft cube, that much is clear, but what are the rules governing the shapes of the stone and the area? For instance:
must the area the cleric affects be a 25 cu. ft. cube? A small block that is? Or must it simply be any shape that can be formed within 25 1ft cubes, that connect to each-other? Is it completely free of area and only beholden to the mass of stone contained within the 25 cu ft, so you could feasably make an extremely thin, thousand-mile long stone rod?
Personally I'm inclined to say the stone can be shaped into any shape that can be made within any combination of 25 1ft cubes, all of which must be connected - so you could make a 25 ft tall/long stone rod, with a height and with of 1 ft max. If that makes a lick of sense :P
Anyway, your reading of the spell, and thoughts on the are that can be affected, are very much appreciated.
I understand where you're coming from. Losing a character, one you care about and/or have put alot of work into, can be a bitter experience. It doesn't have to be, but it can.
I advice that you make sure to remember the duality of the game. On one hand, it is an around-the-table storytelling-experience, a book read to you by a friend, and you get to be one of the heroes. On the other hand, it is a game, it is a dice-base, chance driven game - like playing a boardgame with your friends, where the goal is to overcome challenges on the board, while having fun with the others.
This duality is why we have rules, but also have rule 0. It is why the GM can bend of break or create whatever he wants, but everybody else still plays by the same rules. Your character may die, but it is all a part of the game. A challenge happened and it overcame you, rather than you overcoming it. Bad luck of the dice? Maybe you accidentally stacked the cards against you while roleplaying? In the end, the reason why it happened can be just as important as the fact that it happened, but it is still just another part of the game. Every time your character picks up a gold-piece, someone else's character gets the axe in another game somewhere, because the risk helps make the game fun. It is why we have dice, and why we introduce chance as well as skill, rather than just participate in a mutually told story.
The best thing for yourself, in my opinion, is to understand that this is what makes the game satisfying, and learn to love it. Appreciate the risk your character takes, and see how the dangers of the world helps to shape it, make it come alive. How the risk, not just to your own character, but the other characters, and the threat of hurt or worse, becomes a vehicle for good roleplay and creativity.
Maybe the party shouldn't try to jump this gap. why? because it could hurt or someone could die. Maybe the party should find another way, or come up with a way to make it less risky? Or remove the risk alltogether? The risk becomes just another vehicle for the story - and if someone does get hurt, or someone does die, it is sad to see the character go, but that too then becomes a way to enrich the experience, not just for the others, who have just witnessed their friend die trying to jump the gap, but to the character who then takes his place, when you talk around the campfire and the friend that was lost is brought up.
I know this is getting ranty, and it's probably really unhelpful, but I cannot give more sage advice than this. Learn to love to win. Learn to love to lose. Be attached to your characters, but never so much that you cannot be attached to the next one. Roleplay and rollplay, have fun - with all of it - and the death of your characters will be just another enjoyable chapter in a long saga of heroes and villains, chancing it in a fantastic world.
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
That seems like a big *snicker* leap *end of snicker* in logic, you're making there. :P
Reading back through The Alkenstarian's posts, it appears quite clear that she's arguing her own opinion, and sharing her personal point of view - not telling others that they're obligated to share it :)
Surely there is no more point to chasing this conversation. Instead, why don't we leave room for others to share their opinion? I don't think anyone has any doubts as to your, or The Alkenstarian's opinion on the topic, any longer ^__^
What will we do with the drunken whaler - Dishonored soundtrack
Love Bites - Def Leppard (if using sour love as a motivation for doing bad stuff)
Alternatively, humming legitimately sweet love-songs or upbeat music while doing despicable stuff will lend an air of intense creepy and madness to the character.
If you're working from Core rules on alignment, then yes, it is an evil action to carry out that order. If you're using non-core material such as Champions of Purity, the answer is maybe - ask your GM.
You could still do well with asking the GM, anyway.
EDIT: if you are the GM, it's decision time. But I will offer you my opinion: Core rules on alignment are perfectly sufficient for running the game, and alot of the alignment dicussions that pop up, are as a result of people not reading/using the core alignment rules.
Keep in mind, that was just my opinion.
Items within a city's purchase limit can be acquired in said city 75% of the time. Aside from these, every settlement has a series of randomly rolled items available on a weekly basis. Depending on the settlement size, as well as its modifiers, the city may have a varying number of minor, medium and major magic items, that the GM rolls up randomly.
If you cannot find what you're looking for in a 30k city, maybe look for a city that is prospering financially, which will raise the ceiling of the purchase limit. You can also hire some people in different cities to scour the markets for you, looking for certain items for you. Then pick the city that has your favorite inn, and hunker down there for a few weeks, see if the item shows up in that city, or if you recieve any messages from the other cities that what you're looking for has appeared for sale.
Alternatively, try using diplomacy to gather information, and use knowledge local and history while visiting libraries and local archives, to try and find legends about lost treasures, sealed dungeons, old ruins, and fabled items. Then pick out a place, do your research, buy what equipment you need for the expedition (that you -can- get hold of), and go treasure hunting.
If your characters don't feel like they're equipped for the challenges yet to come, venturing after the main plot would be stupid at best, and suicidal at worst. Taking out some time to look for really good equipment will keep the party alive.
Hope it helps.
EDIT: If your GM feels like it's a hassle to roll up random items, have him use some tools to smoothen out the GMing experience :) We live in a wonderful age, GMing has never been less stressful. Here, lemme help show you.
Go to this link, copy the URL for your GM and he can roll up city items in under a minute. I'll walk you through its use. You click on button marked N/A, wait for it to unfold, click City Treasure, then choose the type of settlement. Done.
Here's a link for some more GM tools. They really do make it far easier to GM, because you have to devote less time and mental energy to alot of this stuff, than you'd usually have to, and instead you can focus on the story and characters.
Thanks for the input. I like the methodic approach you suggest. And I hope to use carrot over stick. However I do fear that I may have to really shake her belief in what she's fighting for. And I need some way to basically make sure that conversations take place on my conditions.
Also, any suggestions on prisoner management would be appreciated.
I'm playing an Asmodean cleric in a Way of the Wicked campaign. My character is the leader of the Nessian Knot, our little group of evildoers, and we've just recently accomplished the goal of book one, the conquest of watchfortress Balentyne.
During our examinations of the fortress, we found that my character's younger sister Zhayelle was a captain of the soldiers on the fort, and since my character has a vested interest in turning his siblings to his cause, the Nessian Knot took her alive. She's now well chained and under control in an Inn we've commandeered.
She's a die-hard Iomedaean. For those familiar with the AP, you know the nation of Talingarde is monotheistically worshipping the god Mitra. In our campaign, Talingarde is somewhere southwest of Hermea and instead worships Iomedae in much the same way, except other Golarion-specific non-evil deities are given cursory recognition if nothing else. Zhayelle is also a career soldier. What she knows about Asmodeus is Talirean propaganda, meaning basically what you'd expect a nation of angel-bothering, Iomedae-fanatics to teach their common populace - meaning next to nothing outside of 'attack his worshippers on sight, because evilbad'.
Now we have a spit of downtime after taking the watchfortress, but sooner or later we'll have to move out and I suspect my sweet sister is going to be tough to break.
So what I need is basically the best arguments you can come up with, in favor of Tyranny, in favor of Asmodeus. Your best rhetoric that could shake my sister's stance and help me bring her into darkness.
And ideas for how to best transport her and manage her, should our next quest require some travel. Basic ideas for prisoner management, mundane items, restraints, magic items, poisons, potions, the works. Whatever you can think of to ensure we'll have no trouble out of her. No, killing her doesn't count, and I'd prefer to not beat her into unconciousness every time we have to go somewhere, although I'm not discounting the option entirely.
Anyway, thanks very much for your input, and suggestions, in advance. I look forward to seeing your ideas and reading what you can come up with in defense of tyranny.
Also, let's be honest, we risk political examples being raised in this thread, since I'm asking what I'm asking, so please, let's see if we can keep replies to eachother constructive and civil. Thanks :)
As for not agreeing with the devs I don't know if you are disagreeing with their intentions(for what is evil), assuming they chimed in, or would be saying their words(written in the book) does not match their intent?
Ah! let me clarify.
What I mean to say, is that if a dev was to drop into this thread and say "No Nearyn, I'm afraid you've misunderstood - our intent was that <explanation>" then I'd say "Okay, thank you for clarifying that. That is not what the book says though. I will consider whether running things by your clarification would improve the game for my players. If not, I'll just continue to run it as written".
Do you feel you got your question answered, wraithstrike?
Here we go Chemlak, I got around to it:
Ummm, I'm not sure I understand the question correctly, but I'll try.
If I am not hurting, oppressing or killing others, I'd say I am not implied to be evil.
Then again, I could be evil for other reasons, of course.
Bear in mind that neutrality only has a problem with killing innocent people (making the guilty fair game). And that good have respect for life (which is incredibly open-ended in scope, but respect does not equal will not kill).
I'm not making the claim that neutral- or good-aligned people cannot kill. It happens quite often in my games. But just because neutrals may have compunctions against killing innocents, that does not mean they get a free pass on the guilty. They are still killing someone.
Thymus Vulgaris wrote:
200ft drop, lived on 1 hp. The Inheritor really wanted her champion to survive, that day :). A shame that protection didn't extend to the fight with the ghost :( Rest in peace Jeffrey Starkmourne, you were a great character
Yep, quite correct. The only person at the table who ever touched on the subject of falling, was the player of the Paladin, himself. Noone else, players or GM, even mentioned it the entire campaign. It wasn't necessary, because Jeffrey was an amazing paladin.
A dev statement is not going to change what the book actually says. I tend to read dev statements with great interest, but the book is the book. The devs have varying opinions on certain topics, and them "clarifying something", while interesting, does not make me unable to read for myself.
Official Errata is different.
For the purpose of not falling do you think he has to accept the surrender and turn the person in every time?<--This assumes that the person surrenders(drops all of his weapon, if any, and removes armor etc etc) every time the paladin shows up.
Accept the surrender, yes.
Turn the person in every time, no. I can imagine cases where turning the person in is not possible, or taking the time out to do so would entail greater harm coming to others. I don't mind a paladin passing judgement on evil-doers either, as they're supposed to punish those who harm the innocent. But that does not excuse them for willfully committing evil acts. Turning the guy in is preferable, although it is not necessarily smart, satisfying or convenient.
Sorry I didn't answer your question before, it appears I misunderstood it.
Good morning everyone. Alright, let the conversation continue.
B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
So if killing is an evil act, can a paladin eat meat? Disinfect his countertops? Swat a mosquito? Chop down a tree? Note it doesn't specify which creatures/species.
No it does not. It would seem that if I want to stick by my own reading, I have a choice to make. Let's see, I can either have my Paladin fall for having his immune-system fight off infection. Or I can elect to not be a pettifogging jerk to my players, and instead behave as if the system is supposed to work.
Incidentally, I tend to feel bad about killing insects, EXCEPT mosquitos... because f**k mosquitos. Disturb my sleep at your own peril.
B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
Ex1) My party member lays dying on the ground, he has two vials, one is a potion of cure light wounds, the other is a vial of poison. I guess incorrectly, and pour the poison down his throat. Do I fall?
Since you'll only fall when you commit a willful act of evil, it would seem to me that you're pretty much in the clear here, no matter the outcome. Even then, you're attempting to save your friend's life to the best of your abilities (I'm assuming you're out of Lay on Hands, since you're taking this chance?).
B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
Ex2) I stop by an orphanage daily and bring cake, candy, and desserts. They love me for it I'm trying to fatten them up for delicious orphan veal, but I get called away to adventure before I harm a single orphan. Have I done an evil act?
You have evil intent, which is not evil in of itself evil. A disgruntled worker who gets embarrassed in front of his coworkers by his ass of a chief, may fantasize about dropping a toolcase on him from great height, but has not done anything evil until he actually does it.
All you're doing is feeding the kids. It seems very likely to me that you're already evil, but as to the alignment of your act, you're just feeding kids. If you return after your adventuring days and eat them, then yes, of course you're doing evil.
What point are you bringing up? I'm not denying that word is being used. I am, however, denying that that line has any relevance to the further elaboration of evil, that follows.
-OWWWWWW you hurt me while trying to stop me from eating a baby, who are you A LAWFUL GOOD CHARACTER to tell me that eating babies is wrong, stop oppressing me!
At my table, this would be referred to as "trying to game the system", and neither players, nor my GMs from other groups, are douchy enough to try it. I should probably consider what I'd ever do if someone tried that. Maybe a public spanking, and bringing drinks to the next session would fit the crime. Or I could just execute them ;)
You effectively think the rules require a Paladin to sit in a corner praying, while running away from any confrontation.
Have I ever mentioned how immensely grateful I am, that I have you to tell me what I think? I don't know what I'd do without someone else to tell me what I'm thinking, - I'd probably be so confused I started resorting to sarcasm.
if they fall over and land on someones toe. They can FALL FOR FALLING DOWN!
I don't believe I have ever stated that I support alignment impacts based on accidents. Perhaps I've thought it. Can you please tell me if I'm thinking it right now?
Let me guess, the weapon proficiencies and combat abilities only exist to tempt them into falling.
Your guess is as good as mine. But I've always guessed it represented training in the use of martial weapons. You know... to defend yourself, to defend the innocent and to be able to properly match an evil-doer, should he not surrender peacefully. It's just a guess though.
This does not mean only neutral people can kill the guilty
And who exactly are you claiming was making that point? Because it wasn't me, I can promise you that. Everyone can kill, Good characters, chaotic characters, evil characters, all of them. Everyone can kill, everyone can do most everything, that does not require an ability they do not posses.
You can lie to yourself and say that is not what you mean but it is.
Again, thank you so very much. It really is helpful, and not at all collosally conceited, arrogant and annoying. I really do appreciate it. It adds alot of the conversation, you know.
On a more serious note, if you can please stop trying to make permanent residents in my deepest, darkest thoughts, then perhaps I'll bother reading and responding to your future posts. If you are incapable of that, and instead insist of showcasing what I humbly consider to be an exquisite lack of basic manners, then I'm afraid this will be my last post to you for awhile.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Nope - you're wrong. I never said that.
What exactly is it you claim to have never said?
Because what I'm talking about it this
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
In this quote, it seems to me that you are taking the first line of Good Versus Evil, that says "evil characters destroy or debase innocent life, whether for fun or profit", and tie the wording of that line to the line further down, where it says that "evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others". Leading to:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
It says killing innocents for fun or profit is[evil]
Because to me, this is a 2-way street. If you take the first line:
Good Versus Evil wrote:
Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.
and slap it onto the next line about evil:
Good Versus Evil wrote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.
... for it to be evil, then the same must hold true for the rest of the text in the Good Versus Evil segment. So you must take:
Good Versus Evil wrote:
Good characters and creatures protect innocent life
And use as a requirement for any of...
Good Versus Evil wrote:
Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings.
To actually be good.
I'm not saying that you have said that last part about the Good text. What I am saying that, if I follow your logic correctly in the evil example, then I believe, in order for that argument to hold any real value, the same logic must hold true for the good example - leading to the requirement for all would-be good acts, to be done in order to protect innocent life.
I'm sorry I haven't answered your last post Chemlak, I'll see if I can get around to it, but the wording confuses me somewhat. Sorry :(
On the topic of the post I'm quoting: Would you then argue that Altruism, Respect for life, and Concern for the dignity of sentient beings are not, on their own, good virtues, but only when all 3 are combined?
I agree, and as you've correctly mentioned, I have said that not all killing is evil. I used the example that if you were to commit an evil act, such as killing, but at the same time was doing a good act, such as protecting innocents, then your action would be both good and evil. Since a good evil act, seems like a really awful way to induce alot of migraine, I'd argue that it falls in the spectrum between good and evil, which would be neutral.
True I think alot of adventurers are doing evil when they murder-hobo their way through the countryside, but as opposed to many other people on this board, I don't consider that a bad thing about the game. I don't mind evil acts, or evil PCs for that matter. Most of the time my players will fall into the category of neutral killings, or they will have one or two evil ones, which is then buried beneath a mountain of good acts that they perform out of combat.
I recently had a paladin in my RotR group. Never, not even once, did I, or anyone else around the table raise question about his alignment. He played it flawlessly. He didn't start fights, but he wasn't a pushover. He would stand between the party and oncoming danger, selflessly and vigilantly, and he would be a dear friend to all the party. His exemplary and helpful behavior, friendly and chill attitude, and relentlessness in the struggle to protect Varisia led to the Chaotic Neutral (borderline evil) rogue, shifting on the alignment scale, over the course of the campaign, to become Chaotic Good.
I completely agree. That is the case many places in the game. The game can't do -all- the work for you. Yet, it is rare that you need to think that long about most cases. Usually you just need to quickly compare what was going on to the Good Versus Evil, Law Versus Chaos segments, and it works itself out pretty easily.
Even if you were correct (and I disagree), you have yet to provide anything that proves your point except "I can take two words out of context and ignore the rest".
Nearyn's claim: the alignment section of the core rulebook constitutes rules.
2)the alignment section does not specify that the text contained within is not rules. It talks about alignment not being a straightjacket, which is not the same as "this chapter does not contain rules".
It also talks about the descriptions of the individual 9 alignment combinations, and mentions that those 9 descriptions are only guidelines, not scripts. This is, again, not the same as saying that "this chapter does not contain rules".
Nearyn's second claim:by the core rules, killing others is considered evil.
"Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others." Full text provided below:
Good Versus Evil wrote:
@Rynjin: I respectfully disagree, what with the alignment section of the core rulebook being found under "additional rules".
Alignment in the real world, that is to say morality in the real world, is very much a subjective thing. Alignment in pathfinder is objective. And THAT is by design, because there are classes and game-mechanics that tie into alignment, necessitating an objective alignment system.
More importantly, by being objective it ignores issues of cultural, tradition-based or religious biases.
Introducing subjectivity means not using the alignment system.
Zova Lex wrote:
The moment I see anything resembling proof, that by the core rules, straight up killing others is not an evil act, I will take it into careful consideration and see if I mean to maintain my present position, or change it based on the new information.
What you've presented me with is setting specific observations and lots and lots of conjecture. Do not mistake it for proof, because I certainly won't.
Whatever makes you feel better, Rynjin. This may not be the rules board, but the OPs question regarded the rules. Make of that what you will.
@Coltron: My opinion does not factor into this. This is based on the observation from the alignment rules, that killing others is evil.
You are free to have your own opinion, can consider whatever you want, to be absurd. I've been working by the assumption that what the core rulebook has to say on alignment is how alignment actually works. If you disagree and want to run it differently, more power to you.
Or my preferred version:
"Hey boss, will you take away my powers if I kill this dude"
"Yeah, 'fraid so"
"Awww, but the priests keep doing it, and it seems like a really good bonding experience for them"
"Yeah, but you see... they're my clerics, you're not a cleric, you're a paladin. You are not just beholden to me, but to goodness in the very essence of the word. You know this kiddo, they taught you so in paladin basics 1"
"I know, but it gets hard, you know. Sometimes I look at all the evil in the world, and I wonder if I should just take matters into my own hands"
"So do all who want the best for everyone, but recognizing what is good, what is truly good, and seperating it from your own sense of moral outrage is what seperates you from those who are not fit to bear the mantle of paladin. You are paladin, not just because you have faith in me, but because I have faith in you. I trust you to be able to the right thing, not just work my will, but do THE.RIGHT.THING. And should the day come where the skies darken, the oceans burn, where all moral men and creatures are tempted to darkness and ruin, and I myself should turn from the light and succumb to the siren call of sin and tyranny - then I have faith that you will be there to stop me."
"But... but how can I... the mere thought... "
"You can, my child. Because you are Paladin."
"I understand my lord, I shall strive to be the best I can possibly be, for you and for everyone"
"...about the Torag Paladins thought..."
"oh don't even get me started on that clusterf**k!"
@Zova Lex: I am not cherry-picking your argument, I am responding to accusation.
No, it does not mention execution anywhere in the evil description. Nor does it mention arson, drowning or defenestration. Lawful or unlawful execution or burning witches at the stake. Because if it was to explain its way around every societal and cultural assumption, then the abridged version of the alignment rules would take up a library.
So if I understand you correctly, you disregard the fact that killing is evil, because you infer from the example following that statement, that evil means you are either lacking in compassion, killing for sport or out of obligation to an evil master. So crimes of passion are just not evil? You trashtalks a guy for long enough, that he sees red, wheels around and beats your skull in with a smithing hammer – not evil? This guy was not lacking in compassion, not out to debase or destroy innocents, not doing it for sport or out of obligation to an evil master. He just lost his temper and offed you. Not evil? If he was a paladin, he would not fall?
And that's another thing. Paladins are designed by their gods to kill evil? Nowhere in the CRB does it say that, you are just pulling your opinion into it again. Paladins oppose evil, they fight to defeat evil. They don't fight to kill all evil. If they did, the text would contain that word. I completely agree they fight evil, but I don't know why the idea is so prevailing that a fight must result in someone dying. Fighting relentlessly != killing your enemies. Punish the guilty != killing your enemies. Using these to justify your reading of the alignment rules has no basis in logic. At best it makes your reading possibly true, nothing else.
A person's alignment is not defined as a series of actions. A persons alignment is defined as a creature's general moral and personal attitudes. It is the mentality of the character, or lapse in said mentality, that leads to action. Whether in accordance with, or opposed to, the character's alignment. Basically, it is possible to change alignment without performing any action whatsoever, all it requires is the moral capacity and philosophical inclination. This would mean that a player could have his character slip into all kinds of alignments as he pleased, were it not for the rules on alignment change, which state that a character's alignment is solely in the GMs control.
You claim I move the goalpost, but I've not yet argued from a position that moved outside the core rules. I recognized and lamented that I was not being clear about that, but since you insist that I am merely twisting the conversation to improve my own position, you're liable to believe whatever you want.
It is not a matter of whether I would disallow setting specific material. The pathfinder core rules system, as presented in the CRB is written so it can be used in many settings, homebrew or otherwise, at the many different tables that enjoy our hobby. Just because something is written by the same people, but for a specific setting, doesn't make it suitable to run in every other setting, or at every other table. And it doesn't mean it meshes perfectly with the core rules.
There are indeed gods mentioned in the Core Rulebook, and none of them are mentioned in anything but a cursory fashion, not touching on individual paladin codes and whatnot. They are provided in the book, just as deities have been provided, in the basic rulebooks, back in earlier D&D. Because having some basic gods, with prepacked domains to pick from, is easier than making up your own, if you're only just getting into the game and have only picked up the CRB.
Yes, I can ignore material about the gods, published in other books, as can everyone else. In fact, we SHOULD ignore it, if we're claiming to argue from a core rules only -perspective. Not saying we are, just saying -I- am, and I've explained why.
Your definitions of gods and morality are your own, and not representative of the system. It is mere opinion.
Such a god would be neutral, you say, but you base that on nothing. You just claim it is so, because a god can apparently not decree anything that falls anywhere outside his own immediate alignment. But then again, earlier you seemed willing to let someone's alignment be meaningfully impacted by not interceding, so I don't know what I'm expecting at this point. If someone stands, uninterrupted on a town-square and repeats the words ”kill your family” out loud, until someone does it, the murderer's alignment is affected, not the alignment of the man standing out in the square. By the same token a god should be able to say whatever he wants, preach whatever message he wants, without it affecting the god's alignment. You may not like that, but there is nothing in the rules that contradict it.
You are utterly missing my point on the gods. Either that or you're not addressing it. Damerrich is LG, but does that mean that his goodness is expressed through the killing of people who have been convicted in a trial of law? You can say yes, but the alignment system says no. Can his lawfulness be expressed through the killing of people who have been convicted in a trial of law? You can say yes, and the alignment system would agree, then I'm inclined to go with executions being more of a lawful aspect of Damerrich. But what then makes the execution lawful? Is it the killing? No, what can make an execution lawful, where a murder may be chaotic, is that an execution may be performed as law-ordered punishment for crimes committed. Goodie, but when you then take a look at the other axis to determine the implication on a scale of good and evil, killing is very soundly evil. At the very least, there is nothing to indicate that it is not.
And for all the talk of creatures being composed of the essence of their planes, for example angels being composed of law and goodness, they still fall. They remain fallible, their creature type does not change. A fallen angel remains a [good] and [law] creature, its alignment merely changes. Being composed of the essence of cosmic forces, apparently does not mean you are locked into, and cannot represent, a mindset that differs from that cosmic make-up. Chalk up one for free will, and the fallibilty of all. Asmodeus was right, Ihys ruined everything :P
Nice quote from ISG... now where is the aforementioned paladin code? Or part that says paladins can kill helpless victims without falling? I don't see it. Merely a boon for offering the god what he wants. Ragathiel offers you that, but that does not mean that killing the person was good or lawful, or that you won't fall. All it means is that Ragathiel approves, and being a creature that can be assumed to have at least enough capacity for personal complexity, as any given mortal, he could approve for a myriad of reasons.
But again, we're moving away from core. You've made it abundantly clear that there is alot of material in the peripheral books that contradict the letter of the alignment rules, but most of us knew that already.
That alignment is not a straightjacket is something we can agree on wholeheartedly.
Thanks, I enjoyed some of it :)
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Call it an attempt to apply "proof" that you applied to the description of evil, to the description of good.
As far as I could tell, you made the claim that the sentence "evil implies hurting, oppressing and killing others." naturally derives from the higher point that "evil characters destroy or debase innocent life", and as such Hurting, Oppressing and Killing are not evil, unless done to innocents. Since you made that point, I was merely attempting to apply your very own "logic" to the description of good, which led me to the conclusion that Altruism, Respect for life and Concern for the dignity of sentient beings, is not good values unless they are expressly used to protect the innocent.
Also, depsite you saying so, I see no proof in your text, that killing is not evil.
@Coltron: Can you quote me the place in the core rules where it says you can kill a helpless evildoer and not only avoid falling, but get a boon?
If it's not in Core, could you then quote that segment, and cite the source? Because it seems ... unlikely to me, that it has actually been expressly written that a paladin can avoid falling, and be rewarded, for killing someone who is helpless.
If you're reading over the piece I'm asking you to cite, and find that it does not expressly say that, but that you instead only infer it from the text, that is okay I'd still like to see the quote and know the source.
@wraithstrike: I've already answered.
How many times would he have to escape prison and commit the same crime before it becomes "not evil" in your opinion?
If the man repeatedly escapes imprisonment and hurts others, that is not the paladin's fault. Killing a blind, relatively helpless, unarmed man who is begging for his life will not stop being evil. Naturally you can then ask the question, whether the paladin is being naive, or if killing him would be smart. But neither of those two, change the alignment of the act. Perhaps there will come a time, where the paladin decides that he can no longer personally justify this guy repeatedly escaping and hurting others, that would be understandable, the paladin is only mortal after all. If that happens, the paladin may decide to cut him down and kill him, and willingly take the fall, because he's mistaking his actions for protecting people against the evils he is convinced this man will commit. He can then seek atonement for his evil act.
Nobody is forcing the paladin to drag the criminal back every time, that is a concious choice the paladin makes, because that is the action that does not conflict with the code he holds himself to. If he decides that enough is enough, he may be willing to take the fall. Try googling "The Powder Keg of Justice". It does not deal specifically with killing someone, but it does deal with a paladin touching on subject of electing to fall.
And yes, I am quite sure that alot of people are arguing about Paladin related stuff, all the time. looks at thread ... yeah...
Anyhew, no I've not left, I just needed some sleep :)
Goodmorning everyone... well, good noon-ish everyone.
@Zova Lex: Writing on a phone can be such a b**ch. I've recently aquired a new laptop, and for some reason (I don't know if it's windows 8 or the new skype) it randomly capitalizes letters. If that happens with an actual keyboard under my fingers, I dare not imagine how it'd be to try to write a post on a phone :P
First - to address the idea of nitpicking: no. Just no. I cannot agree with you, that posting the entire Good versus Evil block, the segment of the alignment rules, relevant to what we were discussing, can be called nitpicking.
Nor do I agree that "hurting, oppressing and killing others" is in context of innocents. If it was, it would read "evil implies hurting, oppressing and killing the innocent". There. It would have been that easy, if that was the intent of the text, but I don't agree that it is. To me, it seems very obvious that the opening line is an "extreme examples" line. A line in sand if you will. Not all good creatures must protect innocent life in order to do good. If they did, then all non-combatants would be neutral.
Sandpoint - a village in the Rise of the Runelords AP, has a smattering of LG npcs who are just simple commoners living their day to day lives. Eventually, if they had to "protect innocent life", and had to "make personal sacrifices to help others" in order for their actions to not be neutral, all of them would be just be Lawful Neutral. They're not. And by the same token, I don't agree that the action is not evil unless done to innocents. I don't agree that is the intent of the text, I don't agree that I'm ignoring context, I think you are misinterpreting the intent of the opening line of Good Versus Evil.
On the topic of deities and the in-world justification for execution.
First of all, remember that I'm arguing strictly from a perspective of 'how am I presently reading the rules'. I am doing this, because I find it relevant that we seperate Core Rules from setting specific material.
My position is that of the Core Rules, I am sorry I did not clarify that. Setting specific material can (and often do) include material that differentiates from what is presented in Core RAW, or at least clashes a bit with it. This includes, but is not limited to certain paladin codes, as well as certain rulings on spell descriptors and so on.
In the end, I work with what I am given by the OP, and nowhere in his post am I seeing a reference to a certain named deity, a location or anything else that puts his gaming group in Golarion. Meaning the only thing I assume with a level of certainty is that his GM is using the core rules, everything else, from other material, does not factor into my considerations, because it muddies the issue, since we don't know if that material is relevant to the OP's question and setting.
As a person who argues from this position, I must inform you, that what you are quoting is not the core rules on alignment, and that text does not appear anywhere within the core rulebook. What the core rulebook has to say, specifically on the topic of the Lawful Good alignment, is as follows:
CRB p. 167 - Lawful Good wrote:
As you can probably already tell, there is quite the distinction between what you posted, and what the Core Rules say. Two keywords that spring to mind for me is that yours contain the "can seem pitiless", whereas Core has "combines honour with compassion".
Now what you infer from the gods is a seperate thing from what the core rules has to say on Alignment, and for what it's worth, I like that the gods are so versatile in the Golarion setting, because I think it adds flavour. But some of their paladin codes (if there fx is a paladin code that says 'Kill me an evildoer each day for extra god-bucks') wind up conflicting with the alignment rules as presented by the core rulebook. That is unfortunate, but it also shows that the alignment system is an old, fallible construct, that nevertheless still made it into the core rules.
Your argument also seem to be based on the fallacy that a good diety can do no wrong, or perhaps would encourage no wrong. But that is something you take for granted, something you predicate based on conjecture. You tie the alignment of the god into their aspect somehow. Asmodeus is a god of fire, does that make fire Lawful? Does that make fire Evil? He is also a god of pride. Does that mean pride cannot be chaotic? Or simply that it can be lawful or evil?
You have a divine being, an empyreal, dedicated to vengeance - does that make vengeance good? or execution? or do you infer, from these being aspects of Empyreals, that execution CAN be good? that vengeance CAN be good? That is an interesting way to read into divine aspects - if so, can empty places be chaotic? Not "can something chaotic occur at an empty place", but can an empty place be cosmically tied, on a conceptual level, to chaos? Can Scars can be evil?
The Empyreals you present, Ragathiel and the other one, the execution one, both are Lawful Good. Well, is it possible that what Vengeance and Execution can tie into is Lawfulness, not goodness? It seems likely to me, and matches up with the alignment rules.
You say the gods would not make their followers do stuff that was opposed to their general principles. I say the gods are bigger than mortal comprehension, and what they would and would not do, can and cannot do, is entirely in the hands of the GM who reads their entries.
And since it is never actually mentioned in any rules that they could not encourage actions that did not fall within their own alignment, I don't agree that that argument is watertight. It is certainly not without merit, though.