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Karzoug the Claimer

Nearyn's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 632 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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I've been begging my DM to run Kingmaker. Unfortunately it does not look like that is going to happen anytime soon. :C

Blackstorm wrote:
Anyway, #16-17, of what GM Tolls do you speak? There are really much of them :)

A good question. I'll provide a little list:

Alvena publishing has alot of great and insightful articles about the game, thoughts on the interactions between magic and the world, as well as some really good articles on encounter design.

Mathemagician has an amazing town-generator that can save you so much mental work when you have to improvise or create a new town. It can generate NPCs, locations, even the menus of the local taverns. Just a wonderful, wonderful tool.

Finding treasure is the backbone of classic adventure, and getting cool loot is -so- satisfying as a player. The problem as a DM, is that generating a big pile of loot can take time. Enter the random treasure generator. This wonderful tool can cut tens of minutes off prep-time, and has options to include 'mundane' items of a certain value, that you can replace with whatever unique little things you want.

Dorkistan has some good bits of info to help understand falling and grappling rules, as well as a range-finder-table for 3-dimensional combat.

We need look no further than our very own paizo-blog to find a little gold-nugget, also known as the stealth playtest v2. This little gem makes stealth useful, without requiring improv or homework on the DMs behalf.

and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Combat Manager. This tool can be used on handheld devices and contains a program for keeping track of initiative and combat in general, as well as containing statblocks for monsters and a list of conditions and other subjects that come up regularly during play. A great tool.

Presently I don't use Combat Manager all that much, because I run my games using Maptool, a crazily customizable mapping tool, that has a thriving and helpful community continuously improving it. I use it only for maps and initiative tracking, but it can be used for just about anything.

These are some DM tools I'd recommend for all DMs. They've inspired me, helped me improve my DMing, and cut down on my work, so that I can use my energy more focussed, for the betterment of my campaigns, and enjoyment of my players.

-Nearyn


I find myself in agreement with Sarrah. If the player is specific in calling out the location of the target such as. "It's right there! Behind that pillar!" then the others may even have cause to attack certain squares. But calling out to your friends still only confer a +2 assist bonus in my opinion. Naturally if more people then spot it, and start yelling, then there could be more assist going around, or it could become distracting, at the GM's discretion.

I'd allow one perception check for each character, each time it becomes their turn, or in between, if a situation calls for an opposed check, out of their turn.

Hope it helps.

-Nearyn


Thank you for the compliment. I'll gladly elaborate.

#9 A story with many settings, is a story with no settings.

If I could edit so far back, I'd have probably rewritten this to say "A story with too many settings, is a story with no real setting"

I've been playing RPGs for a little over 10 years, and on multiple occassions I've been participating in quests that took my adventuring group across land and sea, from sprawling northern settlements, to the golden spires of sandstone-towered southern cities. Or flying across star-systems, and travelling through planes of existence..

These things are staples of adventure and an absolute joy to experience. However, the more the GM has her group travel, the more the GM takes the plot from place to place, presenting the players with all these mindboggling locations, the less time each place to develop and become its own memorable part of the setting. Players can make so much more out of a setting such as a city than what you put in front of them. With only the slightest bit of prodding, players will form relationships with NPCs, take in the sights, give you ample reason to provide them with tons of lore. Given a week of time in a city, where you let them take some time to do stuff each day, the players will come out of it with people, and places firmly stuck in their memory, and if you give them the chance, they will revisit these places, or think of them as their travels continue.

But if you rush it, if the DM finds herself in a hurry to get the players from place to place, then the settings become merely another forest. Merely another plains. Merely another mountain, city, river or whichever location you may take them across.

Carrion Crown Travel Spoilers:
One of my biggest regrets about playing in a carrion crown campaign, was that we had to rush through Ustalav to catch up to the plot. We could never take the time to fully explore, or immerse ourselves in the many amazing locations we were presented with. We had to rush from setting to setting, thereby never really experiencing any setting, if that makes sense?

So while it might seem prudent to cut travelling time, and make short work of certain NPC interactions (such as item shopping), I suggest you take the time every once in awhile to make sure a setting stays with your players. A good way to do this is to make sure your plot does not drag them all over the place, whether it be from city to city, planet to planet, or plane to plane, without leaving your players enough time to really understand where their characters are going.

That is what I mean when I say that many settings can be no setting.

-Nearyn


Mulet wrote:

Hey,

I'm one of two GM's running a game with 5 PC's. The group is very polite, and it's difficult to get them to complain. When they get started though, I learn quite a lot and the game drastically improves.

I'd like to hear what are your issues with GM's in general. What screws up a game, or makes you leave the table? What little things turn an awesome night into a good night?

This is the first Campaign I've ever run, so I don't know the depths of my ignorance just yet.

I realize this is a non-answer, but since your motive seems to be to improve your GM'ing, may I present you with my 20 tips for aspiring GMs?

-Nearyn


@Dorsey: There's an idea.

@Mort: I hoped to make sense of the fact that room construction time stacks. I'd also perhaps hoped for a few alternatives to the present rules, but I did not specify that.

@Billy: That does make more sense to me. If you have to dig out a larger foundation, ensure the stability of the load bearing walls, and finally build one, big, interconnected roof, I guess that it only makes sense that it adds to the time. Without any personal experience with building construction, I'd probably have made it so that you took the construction time of the room that took longest, and added half the time of the others, to represent each room having their own work-team. Then you'd have the option of stacking time as it is now, by only hiring one work-team to do -all- the rooms, but that would cut the cost of labour by 1/4th, or somesuch.

-Nearyn


bump


It would make sense to me if I was building a tower, that I cannot construct the second floor, before the first floor can hold it up. But if I'm not it stops making sense just as fast.

The rules are abstractions, I get that, I just don't think that stacking the construction time is a reasonable or elegant solution. It becomes sillier and sillier the more you use it. With every room you add, you add to the workforce, but the increase in man-hours worked worsens the construction speed of the component rooms. It's contrary to every reasonable fiber in my body.

-Nearyn


Ultimate campaign teaches us that every room has a construction time. If you are willing to increase the amount of labour capital used in the construction of said room, you can speed up the construction.

Why does room construction time stack?

Let's say I want to have a lavatory constructed and that I pay for my capital, rather than participate in the construction myself. Building this lavatory would take 4 days. If a party member of mine then wants to build their own lavatory, they can do so at the same time, and that lavatory will be done in 4 days as well. Meaning that after 4 days, 2 lavatories will have been built. But if -I- want another lavatory built, then the construction time of the 2 rooms will stack, making it take 8 days, instead of 4, despite there being no difference in prize.

Call me crazy, but I imagined that when my fellow party member decided he wanted to build a lavatory, he paid for a seperate construction team to work on his lavatory, the same time my team was working on mine. Why is it then, that I cannot hire 2 construction teams and finish in 4 days, without having to pay double the labour cost to both teams?

-Nearyn


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"A miserable little pile of secrets!"

-Nearyn


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I've been meaning to make some infernal rituals for use in my group's Way of the Wicked campaign. I've finished the framework for a series of 9 rituals, and have finished the first draft of the first ritual. I present the work to you, hoping for feedback and insight. Thanks in advance.

The 9 layers

The 9 layers is a series of infernal rituals, used by diabolists and devil-worshippers, to further the glory of their patrons, the 9 hells, and the prince of darkness himself. Like the highly structured hierarchy of hell, each ritual must be led by a ritual-master, also known as the Centre. Other participants, known as pillars, may assist the ritual, but aside from the Centre, no more creatures than twice the HD of the Centre can get benefit from the ritual. If there are more Pillars than twice the HD of the Centre, the Centre chooses who receives the benefits of the ritual, through the ceremonial marking of the chosen Pillars.

In order to perform a ritual the Centre must at the least, have HD corresponding to the layer. A 1HD Centre can only perform the Avernus ritual, while a 3HD Centre can perform the Avernus, Dis and Erebus rituals, but not the Mammon ritual or above. A 9HD creature may perform all 9 rituals. In order to participate in, or benefit from, the rituals, the participants must also possess at least 7 intelligence. The Centre must possess at least 10 intelligence, speak infernal and be able to speak infernal. Each ritual takes a certain amount of time to perform, during which time the participants can take no other action. If a ritual is disrupted (such as by the Centre being attacked, or more than half the Pillars ceasing to participate), the ritual comes to an abrupt end, and must be started anew.

Ritual 1 – Avernus

Avernus is an ash-blasted desert, dotted with molten pools of iron and serrated cliffs of metal jutting out of the ground. Invoking this ritual touches on the inhospitable first look the damned get at hell, and channel it to use against the enemies of Asmodeus.

To perform the Avernus ritual, the Centre must succeed at a DC 15 knowledge(Planes) or knowledge(Religion) check, to recall the proper incantations. The Centre pours religious oils(worth 10gp) on firewood, burns the wood to ashes(these ashes may be prepared in advance), then passes a handful of ash to each chosen Pillar, who must be within 10 ft of each other. After 10 minutes of prayer, the Centre drives a nail into an infernal unholy symbol (usually wooden), and speaks the name of the Archdevil of Avernus. At this, the ritual is completed and the Centre, as well as any chosen Pillars, benefit from the Avernus ritual.

Benefit: Upon completion of the Avernus-ritual, during the next 7 days, you may, as an immediate action, conjure long, sharp iron spikes to coat your worn armor. This effectively turns the armor into a spiked armor of its type, but also inflicts 1d4 points of piercing damage against natural attacks and creatures grappling you. This effect persists for 1 hour and can only be invoked once during the 7 days after the ritual. Once the hour has passed the spikes turn into ash and disappear. If the creature conjuring the spikes is not wearing armor, the power is expended but has no effect. Once the Avernus ritual is completed, no creatures who benefited from it may benefit from it again for the next 7 days.

Cost: The ritual requires religious oils worth 10gp, the ash from 20lbs of firewood(1cp) per 10 chosen Pillars, to be scattered among the participants. A nail of no required value, and an infernal unholy symbol(1gp minimum).

---------

So, that's the first ritual I've written for this series of 9 rituals. The idea is to make the following rituals progressively more powerful (and more complicated/expensive), while maintaining a connection to the layer that is being invoked. Again, your feedback is very much appreciated.

-Nearyn


Oh it's not that I'm not satisfied with 3 nattacks. I just want to understand my options, in case there's gonna be a while between retraining chances.

-Nearyn


Thanks, I appreciate it. Could you provide me with a link to said FAQ?

-Nearyn


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Can it be argued that the 2 claw attacks from the totem could grow on the feet, thereby letting the lizardfolk make a claw attack with each arm and one with each leg?

-Nearyn


If I have a Lizardfolk Barbarian with Lesser Beast Totem, does he get 4 claw attacks?

-Nearyn


I advocate the memorization of Ray of Frost in this list of tips and tricks that I compiled with the help from the board back in 2012.

-Nearyn


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I love terrain and travelling rules, and I love the encumbrance rules.

-Nearyn


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137ben wrote:

For encumbrance, I don't enjoy tracking it, and my players don't either. So we don't.

If the barbarian's player wants to start tracking it, the first question should be "will this make the game more fun for a majority of the group (not just the barbarian)? Will it make the game less enjoyable for some of the players?
If the answers to those questions are no and yes, respectively, then do not track encumbrance. It doesn't matter what the rules say: if they don't make the game better for your group, don't use them.

I agree with the spirit of what you say: "Let's have fun, everybody"

BUT!

I don't think I entirely agree that you should just do away with it. That'd be like saying "Will it make the game more fun for a majority of people if I stop tracking dex bonus to AC?" It's a game-mechanic derived from a stat that has an impact on a character's physical performance.

I'd personally not let encumbrance 'slide'(thereby removing one of the benefits of a high str), any more than I'd let skillpoints 'slide (thereby removing one of the benefits of high int)

To each their own.

-Nearyn


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Touc wrote:
Always keep the threat of a character "audit" in mind. If you ask them what their encumbrance is and they don't know, then enforce a penalty of being encumbered until they figure it out. Same should go with food and water. ** spoiler omitted **

Mother Nature is a CR40 encounter that lasts from birth to death.

-Nearyn


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Welcome to the game.

Now the following is just my opinion, but I'm guessing opinion is what you are here for.

You are better off not handwaving encumbrance, ever. You are better off enforcing it to the letter. The bard in question has 8 strength. That is 2 less than the average of a person who does not do alot of manual labor. It is approaching a level where it becomes a medical muscular handicap. She is not supposed to be able to carry what you describe without penalty, much less travelling gear on top of it. When I play a low strength adventurer, I keep only the absolute essentials on me, pseudo-essentials in a backpack that I can drop as a move-action, and everything else on a beast of burden. At my table I enforce encumbrance, and, as well as I am able, containers. Managing all that info as a single GM is too much paperwork, so instead I keep my players personally responsible for keeping track of their items, where they put them and how it affects them. To get them into this mindset, I took it upon myself to ask them, every time they picked up items "Where do you put the 300 gold pieces/longsword/magical necklace?". That way, my players would start keeping an eye on their encumbrance and their containers. It also paints a clearer image of what the characters are doing. "We take the 10.000 gold pieces" gives me a ridiculous mental image of the characters depositing the cash into a video-game inventory screen. "I walk out to the wagon, empty the last few helpings of beer into tankards and toast to our succes. Then I scrape the 10.000 gold into the empty barrel, and fit it for the ride to town" rings much better in my ears, and I think my players prefer it that way.

So IMO enforce encumbrance and enforce containers as best you can. Low STR is a punishing thing to have, it should not just be considered an acceptable dumpstat because you are not melee-based.

On the topic of the Perception Disease:

In my opinion this is not a disease, this is the trait of an adventuring party who is going to live longer than the average party. Thoroughly checking out your surroundings is clever, and I applaud it. Even if they don't find a solution to the problem, keeping an eye out is always a good idea. Its the first step to not getting your leg torn off by traps for instance.

I suggest you introduce your players to the Take 20 action. If they want to be really thorough when looking around let them take 20. Their characters spend 2 minutes looking everything over (or more if there's alot of ground to cover and distance makes a difference on whether the check succeeds or not). The characters spend a few minutes being cautious and the table resolves it in 10 seconds.

Hope it helps. Don't hesitate to ask follow-ups.

-Nearyn


I generally do not advocate the use of Wealth By Level, and there's a reason for that. WBL assumes your playes will do as you've predicted. That they will pick up the gear you leave for them, that they will sell what they don't immediately need, and that they will do nothing of their own initiative to bolster their finances.

Presently I have a Rise of the Runelords campaign going. My players sell alot of the loot they find, but they have quite a few, quite valuable pieces of loot that they've kept as trophies, despite them being worth alot of money. They have made investments that are not immediately useful to their adventuring career, and have spent both money and effort on helping others, with no foreseeable payoff. I'm not gonna drop more coin in their lap, nor am I going to put more loot on their path. If they find themselves underequipped to deal with the challenges ahead, that is them dealing with the consequences of their generosity. If they find they might die because they are underequpped, yet continue to push on, then that is their decision as well, and they get to live(or die) by it. If they want to improve their gear or get a big chunk of cash from somewhere, I give them a chance to be creative. I'm not gonna stop them from playing their characters.

So, in essence. Beyond what you get for making a character above level 1, I don't use WBL. I find it to be a waste of my time. If my players do stuff that earns them alot of cash, all power to them. If somehow my campaign hinges on a certain encounter being challenging, and they are overequipped, I am still the GM, and can boost the encounter any way I want to.

-Nearyn

EDIT: AH! I see you're running Rise. Very good, it's a great path. Then permit me to tell you about what my players wasted their money on, for the sake of roleplay(which, to me at least, means it's not really wasted :] ).

Spoiler:
My players have both Xanesha's mask and spear in their trophy room, rather than selling or using it, they've kept it as mementos.

They bought toys for a child in Sandpoint after he tragically lost his father.

They screwed up their deal with Longtooth royally, pissed him off, then allowed him to escape, and failed to take the proper precautions appropriate to when you have an angry Red dragon wanting revenge on you. This resulted in Longtooth laying waste to Turtleback Ferry, and my players made a HUUUGE investment in seeing the town rebuilt. They sank well over 30k into it, and maybe the campaign will end before they even get a chance to see the town restored.

The only reason most the people of Turtleback Ferry even survived, was that the halfling rogue had taken cash out (around 6k), to host a huge, lavish party in celebration of her own awesomeness and invited the entirety of turtleback ferry. Only a few did not attend, and they died in dragonfire. Mind you, I had rolled for how many days would go until longtooth attacked and she decided to host the party on that exact date. Halfling Luck I tell ya :)

OH! Right! And they -gave- away the deed to the Foxglove townhouse in Magnimar

AND (I'm remembering more and more of these) when Ameiko didn't want the Kaijutsu manor in Sandpoint because of all the bad memories she had of the place, they took it out from under her, and have been making regular payments to keep it well-maintained, despite them only using it on rare occassions.

Those are some of the times I can think of where the party has blown their money(directly or indirectly) on things that do not benefit their adventuring career. Trying to adjust WBL to account for player initiative and agency is tedious busywork and a waste of your time IMO.


AsmodeusUltima wrote:
Okay, one thing that has to be understood in any discussion of alignment is that within the game system's world alignment is objective.

Quite right, it has to be since, the paladin has game-mechanics keyed directly to whether or not his acts are evil-aligned. Alignment is objective, and what is considered an evil, good or neutral act can be read right here:

Alignment Chapter wrote:

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.

Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others.

AsmodeusUltima wrote:
This demon is a being composed of the pure metaphysical essence of what it is to be chaotic and evil, a being with no greater impulse than hedonistic pleasure at the expense of all other beings.

Yet, I remind you, and everyone else who reads your comment, not so evil that they are beyond redemption. Risen demons, fallen angels. All have been known to happen in the default campaign setting.

AsmodeusUltima wrote:
If the party knew it was a demon, then claiming to not have known what it would do or to not be responsible for its subsequent actions is nothing more than selfish abdication of responsibility.

Flat out incorrect. Even Pharasma, the goddess of fate and prophecy, who is said to know every creatures final alignment and fate from the moment it is born, still takes the time to carefully go over the creatures actions, before consigning them to the afterlife. She does so because she realizes that no creature is so bound by fate that it cannot decide to do something else at the last minute. Even the goddess of prophecy does not claim to know, with certainty, the actions and would-be-actions of a creature. As a measly, little, absolutely insignificant mortal, making judgements based on what you "know" will happpen, is nothing short of the highest arrogance.

AsmodeusUltima wrote:
They knowingly released a bit of pure evil on the world, which is definitely an evil act.

Again, incorrect. The person who called the creature into whatever trap it was caught in, cast a spell with the [evil] descriptor (which is only an evil act if you play with the book Champions of Purity at your table BTW) Releasing the creature from the outsider trap is not an evil act. They are not responsible for the actions of a sapient creature. It makes its own decisions. Had it warned them beforehand of its intentions, then there would have been an argument to make(but even that could be contested). As it stands it is not, and will never be, an evil act.

AsmodeusUltima wrote:
Furthermore they then became in part responsible for each and every act of depravity said demon committed once it was released, and if they refuse to acknowledge this responsibility and rectify the damage, that is furthering the cause of evil.

Wildly Incorrect, again. They are no more responsible for the actions of that demon, than the mother of Abrogail Thrune II is responsible for her daughter violently assuming control of Cheliax with the help of the infernal host.

AsmodeusUltima wrote:
If they had even the slightest inkling of the pure malice the creature embodies, then the act was both evil and foolish. Further, even if they did not know, once they become aware of the destruction caused by the creature then ignorance is no longer a defense of any sort. If, at that point, they do not take responsibility for their actions and seek to put things right then they are guilty of negligence and evil.

Not interceding is a neutral act. If a merchant does not fund the construction of a dam, and then suddenly the following spring, a flood threatens to destroy and flood 2 orphanages and a kitten-farm, his decision not to fund the construciton of the dam is still neutral. And not putting on his swimming trunks and leaping into the water trying to save the children and kittens is also neutral. Read the alignment chapter.

If the players were to try to stop the demon, for no other reason than it killing and hurting alot of people, that would mean the players SACRIFICING something to HELP others. That is what we know as a good act within our objective alignment system. Not doing anything, at my social circles known as "the way of the druid", is neutral.

AsmodeusUltima wrote:
To those claiming the act was chaotic, not evil, I would say read the previous paragraph replacing the word foolish with chaotic. Few things in gaming annoy me more than players claiming that seemingly any action is justified for their character because they are chaotic neutral.

Few things annoy 'me' more than people arguing alignment without reading the alignment chapter.

-Nearyn


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Uh...considering it's powered by a crucified person, so I think that falls under the same justifications as Undead presented in the thread I linked.

Just because I don't have it in me to look through the entire bestiary right now, I'll not object to your justification, merely add that it -is- an evil construct. :)

This discussion of whether intelligence has anything to do with alignment is something I started, and it's taking away from the question the OP was asking, so let's leave it here. :)

-Nearyn


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Okay, let me explain my point of view: Animals, like mindless Constructs, are not smart enough to have moral agency. They cannot make choices on any real moral basis, and are thus as close as the game generally gets to not having an alignment at all. This causes the game to define such creatures as Neutral, and makes them generally inappropriate as examples in Alignment discussions.

I respect your viewpoint.

deadmanwalking wrote:
With Int 2 or less? The levels that are less than sapient creatures can have? Only undead.

I present to you, the Akaruzug

-Nearyn


Kazaan wrote:
By that logic, I could go to a prison, find the most ruthless, sadistic, bloodthirsty inmate I can, open his cell, and tell him, "I'm setting you free... but don't hurt anyone after you're out." By the logic presented, this wouldn't be an inherently evil act, despite knowing that this will almost certainly go back to his evil ways, because the decision to act is on him

Absolutely correct. It is not evil. It is chaotic neutral.

Kazaan wrote:
Same goes for contracting an assassin to commit murder; it's just as evil to hire a murderer to go kill someone as it is to do it yourself.

Again, absolutely correct. Because you are actively and knowingly causing circumstance with the intention of hurting/killing other people.

nearyn wrote:
an exception to this would be actively and knowingly causing a scenario that would hurt others (like removing the magical crystal from its place to sell it, knowing full well that it will cause the volcano beneath the city to erupt and kill everyone).

Hiring an assassin would be just like the example above. Actively causing circumstances that, if things go as you intend, will cause harm and death. Evil act.

Kazaan wrote:
Just setting a wild lion in a closed pit with a person in hopes of seeing some bloodshed and carnage is certainly evil. Setting that same wild lion in the closed pit in hopes that the powerful and brave person will be able to get it under control so it won't hurt anyone, however, is not evil.

You're really good at making me write "Absolutely correct"

Kazaan wrote:
Likewise, if they set the demon free hoping that the obvious result will come to pass, it's evil. If they set the demon free hoping he will leave without incident, it's neutral. Stupid, but neutral.

^ This

-Nearyn


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

Incorrect. Animals are neutral because they are neutral. Stupidity has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of stupid, even mindless, evil creatures in the world. Animals are neutral because they do primarily neutral acts.

-Nearyn

No. Creatures of the Animal type are listed as Always Neutral. You can argue that it's for reasons other than Intelligence if you like (it's a dumb argument, but I can't cite anything to prove you wrong)...but they definitionally cannot switch from Neutral no matter how many Chaotic, Lawful, Good, or Evil acts they perform.

Therefore, their behavior cannot be used as a guide to anything Alignment based.

Such a hypocritical argument. You've only just 1 post ago written that animals are not smart enough to be anything but neutral, but now they're suddenly not acceptable to guide anything alignment based? Tsch, please.

Even if we don't use animals as a way to determine if intelligence has anything to do with alignment there are low-int and mindless evil creatures in print.

-Nearyn


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

This can also be described as "What happens when one animal attacks and hurts/kills another of its kind to take over its territory(such as with lions)" and is not evil, it is neutral.

-Nearyn

Uh...animals aren't smart enough to be anything but neutral, as Thymus notes, but acts done in the animal kingdom can be Evil when performed by sapient beings. To continue your Lion example, they also kill all the previous male's cubs when they gain a pride...but a warlord killing the king, marrying his wife (likely against her will), and having the king's children killed, is still an Evil act. Male ducks commonly commit rape. Male bears often kill bear cubs they find so the female will be ready for new cubs (which might be his) sooner. And that's all just mating behavior.

All those acts, if performed by thinking beings on other thinking beings, are profoundly Evil. "Animals do it." is not a valid excuse (though a NE Druid might try to use it as one).

Your alignment is not determined by committing an aligned act, it is determined by what aligned acts you commit the most often. Animals are neutral because they primarily commit neutrally aligned acts. Yes they commit evil acts too, every now and again, as do most creatures, including some good-aligned outsiders. The fact that they commit that act does not magically turn them to a specific alignment, it is if they commit enough, and severe enough such acts, that their alignment change. Stupidity has nothing to do with alignment.

-Nearyn


Thymus Vulgaris wrote:
Nearyn wrote:
AsmodeusUltima wrote:
blatant disregard for harm caused to others in the pursuit of personal gain is also quite evil.

This can also be described as "What happens when one animal attacks and hurts/kills another of its kind to take over its territory(such as with lions)" and is not evil, it is neutral.

-Nearyn

Let's just point out here that anything an animal does is by definition neutral, because they don't have the intelligence to knowingly commit a good or evil act.

Incorrect. Animals are neutral because they are neutral. Stupidity has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of stupid, even mindless, evil creatures in the world. Animals are neutral because they do primarily neutral acts.

-Nearyn


AsmodeusUltima wrote:
blatant disregard for harm caused to others in the pursuit of personal gain is also quite evil.

This can also be described as "What happens when one animal attacks and hurts/kills another of its kind to take over its territory(such as with lions)" and is not evil, it is neutral.

-Nearyn

ADDITION: an exception to this would be actively and knowingly causing a scenario that would hurt others (like removing the magical crystal from its place to sell it, knowing full well that it will cause the volcano beneath the city to erupt and kill everyone). Enabling another creature to consciously decide to hurt other people(releasing a demon) is not evil, since the decision to do so lies with the demon.


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What you describe is not an evil act, at all.

The simple act of bartering with a demon, or any creature whatsoever, is not an inherently aligned act. Nor is releasing the demon. Releasing a creature from captivity is at best a good act, and at worst a neutral.

The destruction that followed in the creatures wake was caused by the creature, not the party, and the creature reaps all the evil from it, not the party. The fact that they had the means to intercede but did not, is not an evil act either. It is a neutral act.

All in all, a big batch of neutrality, with not a trace of evil.

-Nearyn


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Nearyn wrote:


Good initiative on your part. I'll provide you with my take on it, in order to help you "see it" :]

His answer was short, but pretty clear: "Logically plausible but effectively nonsense is indeed the correct interpretation. The spell your guy wants is in fact just binding, which is the spell that's intended to do the type of thing he's looking for."

Doug M.

An interesting position posed by the dear Mr. Jacobs. He is, however, completely wrong. The Binding spell is in no way, shape, or form what I am looking for, and poses 0 usage in the context we're discussing.

His position on the duration of planar binding is interesting, considering I'm fairly sure there are occurences of just such uses of the spell in published modules. This may be me misremembering things though, but I can check.

-Nearyn


Cap. Darling wrote:
In my book somthing that can become an unreasonable demand after the creature have agreed to it, would fall in to this catagory as well. What is keeping the wizard from asking for the moon in a glass of water after the creature have agreed to obey him?

"Now that you have agreed to serve me for 12 months, I order you to bring me the moon in a glass of water!"

"Sorry, can't do it. I can try, but it'd be pointless"

"Oh okay(Or in case of mentally challenged binders: DO IT ANYWAY!)"

Whether the creature wastes its time trying to make the idiotic request come true or does something else, it still only serves the binder for 12 months. What it does and does not achieve in that time is irrelevant, as long as it obeys the terms of the deal.

-Nearyn


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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

I'm not seeing it.

[Edit: posted this over on Ask James Jacobs, so we should have a near-canon answer within a day or so.]

Good initiative on your part. I'll provide you with my take on it, in order to help you "see it" :]

A outsider-binder calls into the material plane, an imp. The creature, more curious than initially offended, asks where he is, and why it has been called? The binder says it has been brought to the prime material, and that it has been brought with the express purpose of serving the binder. At this point, the outsider takes offense, and attempts to break through its magical prison, but it finds it cannot. After the binder is done with whatever wants to do in preparation for the deal, he stars the opposed charisma check, attempting to force compliance from the outsider.

Here I will provide (terribly suboptimal) examples of different deals, and tell you why I think they are within, or outside the failsave, thereby determining whether they are limited to day/CL or not. We assume that all deals proposed that is not unreasonable or impossible is accepted.

remember the failsave we are trying to avoid is this:

planar binding wrote:
"If you assign some open-ended task that the creature cannot complete through its own actions, the spell remains in effect for a maximum of 1 day per caster level."

"I order you to bring me the moon in a glass of water" - this is an impossible demand and the imp cannot agree to this deal.

"I order you to stand guard over this hallway from now until next summer" - This task is not open ended. It has a start point (now) and an end point(next summer). As such it does not fall within the failsave.

"I order you to follow my son, and protect him from any that would do him harm, from now until his 12th year birthday" - this task is not open ended. Once more it has a start point (now), and an end point (sons 12th birthday). This is not an open ended-task, as such it does fall within the failsave.

Let's assume you've bound an angel instead. You give it this order.
"I order you to travel to the city of Falconrest and smite every man, woman and child within 100 miles distance of the center of town, in any direction" This is a potentially open-ended task, seeing as how the people could flee, necessitating a hunt for them that might take however many days. This is subject to the failsave. However, that is not all it is subject to. The GM has a choice to make. Is this angel willing to commit such an act, ever, of its own volition? Some celestials fall from grace you know. If this is not one such creature, and it would willingly risk destruction or worse at the hand of the binder, rather than stain its sword with the blood of innocents, then the deal falls within "unreasonable", and automatically fails.

Cap. Darling wrote:
In my book it says " Impossible demands or unreasonable commands are never agreed to." I think obey my every command is unreasonable

Ah!, but unreasonable compared to what? Above we explored what might be unreasonable to a creature born of self-sacrifice and righteousness, but what if we go back to the imp?

An outsider lives forever. It does not breathe, it does not eat, it does not die of old age. Serving a mortal, even for months, years... even for the mortals entire lifespan, is a drop in the ocean for this creature. When the binders entire bloodline has died out and has been forgotten, the imp will still be in hell, laughing, counting its souls and plotting to rise in the infernal ranks.

However, what does it risk by NOT agreeing? Well that is very simple. It risks destruction. An outsider caught in an outsider trap with a warding diagram is entirely at the binders mercy. In short, any outsider you catch must weigh the deal against the price of whatever is the worst fate the binder is capable of bestowing upon the creature. Considering that, I (and I suspect you as well) find that MANY deals become alot more acceptable. Favor, service, slavery, years upon years of service, it is all annoying, hurtful to its pride, but ultimately meaningless to an outsider. It will remain, and you will rot, and it will celebrate your demise as it tortures your kin for the rest of your bloodlines history. The deal may destroy it, the imp might die defending the hallway or son, but it might not. And to the imp, the only certainty is that it is at the binders mercy. Denial could mean immedate destruction. It could mean tortures only limited by the unknown capabilities of this mortal spellcaster.

Even things such as true-names can be bartered for (if the creature even knows it) on an outsider by outsider basis, because one thing holds true for planar binding. While the binding is maintained, the binder holds ALL the cards(circumstance may vary, but that would be a story point). A horrid fate might stalk the binder who imposes his will on outsiders, as he digs his own grave deeper and deeper, inevitably earning the ire of other powerful creatures from other planes. But that is for the binder to deal with, when the time comes.

------

That was long-winded. Anyway, there it is. I hope to find you in agreement with my observations, but even if you don't, I hope you can at least see where I'm coming from :)

-Nearyn


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

Why limit yourself to days/cl?

Because that's the spell's duration.

Doug M.

Incorrect, that is the duration of the spell, provided the creature cannot complete the task through its own action, or the task is open-ended. In my examples, it is not open-ended, and the creature is more than capable of completing the task through its own action, seeing as how all you are asking for is its obedience.

Since you do not subject your request to those two failsaves, you are not limited to days/CL

-Nearyn


Very well, I'll assist you:

Here is my original input to your question. How about you start there?

-Nearyn


Damian Magecraft wrote:
So what what other reasons are there

Other reasons have been provided, several times over the past 6 pages. Please go back and read through those, before asking people to post "other reasons" again.

-Nearyn


Why limit yourself to days/cl?

Moment of prescience makes you damn-near auto-succeed on the charisma-check against most outsiders, so force a different deal, with a longer duration.

Instead of it being days/cl, make it months. Or until you turn x years old. Or until a certain requirement has been fulfilled.

-Nearyn


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Marthkus wrote:
Daenar wrote:
Can i flag this thread as derailed? If we arent going to discuss why choose wizard? I will be forced to take measures!
Poor wizard with low cha can't convince people to do things because charm magic does not work through the internet.

Ah, but you forget that he's a 9th level wizard, so he can already use dominate person, instead ;)

I apologize, I could not resist a final stab. I think I'm done with this thread unless someone needs responding to.

-Nearyn

/Thread


It'll come to you :)

-Nearyn


gnomersy wrote:
Fair enough. I don't entirely agree, if you've ever read the Dresden Files...

I've had that series recommended to me several times, now. I think I'll try to get my hands on it.

-Nearyn


gnomersy wrote:

That being said I think certain spells shouldn't be classed as evil but some spells are definitely evil. And if you think summoning demons shouldn't be evil I could point out one of a million stories and real life examples of where the summoning and communing with demons is pretty much universally considered evil.

Logically speaking I can't see any reason why the gods of good would be like "Well sure he's summoning demons that could get loose and kill and spread evil throughout the world but if he had to do his dishes and make a sammich with his own power why that would be truly evil!"

Again I cannot urge you enough to find and read that thread... well, not really the thread, there is -alot- of nonsense in it, but at least the input from Ashiel and the ones addressing her.

Anyway, you want a good reason to rule it that way in-world? Turn the argument on its head and suddenly it spells idiocy for entire campaign world. Consider this scenario:

[evil] magic is an evil act, motivation, purpose and reason be damned. Okay, then by extension [good] magic must be good acts. So fret not, evil sorcerers the world over! just chain-cast protection from evil for days on end, and get a free ticket to the cushy afterlife, guaranteed! :D

The alignment of casting a spell should be dictated by what you use it for, not its alignment descriptor.

-Nearyn

EDIT: I'll not pursue the alignment topic further. You know my stance and I've provided you with what reason I believe a person reasonably need in order to share my viewpoint. If you don't, then that's well and good. If you do, euraka! another one sees the light! <3


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What is essential in a character?

The ability to be described with at least 3 sentences, without touching on what the character is called, what he does, what he looks like, or what his role is in the group.

-Nearyn


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gnomersy wrote:
*one of the stupidest rules clarifications that has ever been made by the design team*

I urge you to remember the following. According to the CORE RULES, those being CORE only, casting spells with the [evil] descriptor is not an evil action. The paladin book (Champions of purity, I believe it was called) had a section called "evil magic in golarion" or something like that, that spelled out that in Golarion, casting [evil] magic is an evil act.

I'm personally -really- glad that this is not a core rule, so I don't have to house-rule it out of all of my games, because it is just the stupidest, most nonsensical ruling ever. If you doubt it, go find Ashiel's response to SKR stating that casting [evil] magic is an evil act, and watch her spin arguments that just completely, utterly -DESTROY- any semblance of reason SKR and half the thread try to muster in the defense of this bad, bad ruling :)

I'm not joking, she obliterates that ruling on a subatomic level, spelling out clearly and precisely, why it is an absolute nonsense ruling. It's a good read.

-Nearyn


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gnomersy wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
gnomersy wrote:
or a paladin hunts you down and guts you for endangering the common folk.
He falls after the first swing of his sword for trying to kill a good character.
Summoning evil outsiders onto our plane is reason enough to gank a "good" character if you ask me.

...Sir Lionell said in his defense, looking disheartened at the sky. There was no answer, no spark of inspiration, nothing. Just a sinking, empty feeling in his heart, that perhaps everything had not been so clear cut as he had once thought. Feeling truly alone for the first time, in a long time, he gazed out into the distance, remembering the words of his swordmaster and senior knight of order of the sacred shield. "This world is filled with good and evil, but everything is not black and white. You must never make snap-judgements or assumptions on the guilt or innoncence of others. Lest you endanger the integrity of your order, and cast a shadow on the righteousness of your goddess". Sir Lionell looked at the bloodstained sword. It appeared dull and worn, where before it had appeared pristine, had appeared to glow with its own, subtle light. His grib tightened on the blade, but he found his strength leaving, and then, suddenly, the blade fell from his hand, and landed on the ground with a dull clank. His vision blurred, and his breath hastened, as he found himself wiping tears from his face. He hadn't meant to. He hadn't meant to. It had appeared so clear just a few short moments ago. Now.... now it was different. He knew he had to look for answers. Seek penance. He looked at the body of the dead wizard, and realized for the first time, that the demon he had summoned was talking. No, not talking, laughing. Sir Lionell wished to grab his sword, to lunge at the fiend, but what strength he thought he posseses, had left him, and he found himself... afraid. A feeling he'd thought he'd left behind forever.

"I should kill you, little mortal", the beast spoke, every note of its foul tongue like shattered glass in his ears. "But I'm in a good mood right now. I mean a -really- good mood. You have my thanks, mortal. Know that I shall follow the affairs of you and your kin, closely".

With a harsh laugh and a burst of fire, the fiend disappeared, leaving Sir Lionell alone with his rage, his guilt and his frustration. He stood for a long time, he knew not how long, but when he finally found the strength to move forward, he stopped and took another look at the dead wizard. After thinking for a short while, he kneeled down, and picked up the body, hoistered it over his shoulder, and started walking.

"I am so sorry" he said, and promptly wondered why. Were the words for himself? For the body? For his goddess? Maybe, they were words spoken for all 3. Maybe some other reason entirely. Putting one foot in front of the other, Sir Lionell started out on the road once more. In time, he'd find his answers. So he dared hope.

-Nearyn


Marthkus wrote:
Zero shame in my Balor simulacrum making my PBJ sandwiches.

I like this thinking :)

-Nearyn


Aelryinth wrote:
An evil wizard using any form of magic against the planetar is going to trip the aura.

Incorrect. If I use a neutral source (such as an unaligned magic item) it does not trip the aura. An evil item has the [evil] descriptor, and is expressly cited as being blocked by the protection from evil effect, enjoyed by such outsiders.

protection from evil wrote:
but it does prevent them from controlling the target. This second effect only functions against spells and effects created by evil creatures or objects, subject to GM discretion

Evil creatures or objects, meaning non-evil objects are not blocked. A wand of magic missile, even if crafted by an evil wizard and used by an evil wizard, does not suddenly get the [evil] descriptor. So magic items work just fine against our hypothetical trapped outsider.

Aelryinth wrote:
And an intelligent neutral character doing so for the benefit of an evil character is committing an evil act. It's going to be very hard to pass the sniff test on that. "I keep my neutral alignment while performing an act designed to completely subjugate a good outsider of the highest heavens to this evil bastard" is probably not going to fly.

Even if it was relevant, one evil act does not change your alignment. If I was to (for some reason) commission a neutral caster to geas the creature, the act would not magically turn said character evil, thereby saving the outsider out of convinience. I mean... I guess technically it might, if you employed some form of point system for calculating alignment shifts, and the neutral character was on the very edge of evil? So I guess in very situational circumstances, I -might- be prevented from commissioning a casting of geas. Not that I need it though, seeing as how I can just use a magical object.

Aelryinth wrote:
Good outsiders will probably willingly die before being forced to act against their alignment. That's a very key difference between them and evil ones. You cannot force one to act against its nature, it is GOOD incarnate.

For the most part I agree with you here, but I would not make a broadstroke generalization and say that not a single good outsider would be willing. Instead i'd probably say that most would be unwilling. However, this is easily subverted if you do not profess your intentions before making the deal. Sure, some celestials will not be thusly tricked, and those who will not will have to be *dealt* with.

Aelryinth wrote:
Subjugating neutral and evil outsiders, not so much, especially evil...being enslaved is essentially part of what they are, after all.

Again, for most part I find myself in agreement with this. But once again I must say that I would say, as I did above, that this is the case for most, but not all :)

-Nearyn


Abraham spalding wrote:

Meh my default position on calling outsiders is to do it with an unprotected circle, with the following spoken as soon as they come through, "Yes you can leave or attack, but realize you are actually here and if I kill you that is it forever for you. As I brought you here it is well within my power to send you back, if you don't wish to bargain say so and it's home with you. Otherwise let's talk."

Of course this works better if you can actually end its existence as you claim.

A very diplomatic solution, and in all likelyhood waaaay more likely to -not- earn you lifelong enemies than my own position :)

I'd still use a warding diagram, just for the added safety of knowing that I can back up my claim. If its trapped in a circle trap with a warding diagram you can basically kill nearly anything you call with magic missiles alone, or patience and a sharp stick.

-Nearyn


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andreww wrote:
Anyone snickering at a full 9 level caster can expect to have a life expectancy measured in minutes.

Actually, Jafar is a good example, so permit me this little, tiny piece of trolling, k? :)

Jafar gets lucky and wishes to become a 20th level sorcerer with 10 mythic tiers! Amazing! He's unstoppable! But alas, he's a sorcerer, so he has unfortunately dumped int, and has only mediocre wisdom. This leads to him failing his sense motive against a street-rat's bluff attempt, and failing his subsequent knowledge(planes) check to realize that becoming an Efreet instead would diminish his powers. Alas, if only he'd had better int :P

Okay, I'm done being clever(read:tired).

andreww wrote:
As far as Moment of Prescience scrolls go sure you can buy them for 3k but at level 11 your average WBL is 82000. Are you really willing to spend 3.5% of your WBL to bind a single 12HD Outsider.

You're damn right I'm willing to do just that! I'd spend much more if I didn't have a silent agreement with my GM to not break his campaigns.

andreww wrote:
That seems like a pretty bad idea.

paying 3000 gold pieces for a Glabrezu servant for 22 months seems like a bad idea to you?! Show me where you shop, mate, because you are obviously used to better deals than I am.

-Nearyn


Ssalarn wrote:
...we give them a "penetration rating"

............

............

............

No. It'd be too easy.

-Nearyn

/Thread


Werebat wrote:
Nearyn wrote:


Maybe read my post again, mate? ;)

Apologies, I had your post confused with Gilarius' where he said:

"Vs Gunslingers/archers/ranged attackers: go into melee and drop them"

Aaaah~ that explains it. I will admit, I was really confused for a moment :]

For what it's worth, I completely agree. Melee is usually the worst option for dragons, which is why I'm astounded that many APs write into their tactics that they enter melee. That is something I'd expect of a dragon if it had 7 int, not 10 or higher.

-Nearyn


Aelryinth wrote:
Actually, given the extraordinary amount of penalties you can rack up trying to bind a good outsider against its will (i.e. that it will NOT do anything against its alignment), you're best restricting yourself to evil ones that will bow to your power, even if they hate you with all their might.

This is, of course, a matter of table-to-table decisions, but while I agree that most good outsiders will not do acts of abominable evil, I'd think that faced with the potential of being obliterated by the wizard, while helplessly contained in their traps, will make most deals seem okay-ish, by comparison :)

Aelryinth wrote:
Also keep in mind that there are outsiders that can remove those conditions that you inflict on them promptly, and planetars are among those.

Quite right, but let's face it. Even if you cannot break apart the creature's charisma, you can still get yourself a very good chance of succes with the proper items, buffs and moment of prescience.

Aelryinth wrote:
Thirdly, keep in mind that some DM's will go old school and consider casting spells on something inside a magic circle to be violating the circle, which will immediately set loose the creature. There were spells in older editions that were specifically designed so that you could cast them on bound creatures. Use anything else, and you set it loose.

Some DMs might do that, but then again, I make my DMs state house-rules up-front before we start the campaign to avoid those kind of misunderstandings.

Aelryinth wrote:

Fourthly, remember that outsiders aren't stupid. They can loophole, and they know more binding stories then any mortal imagines exists. The DM can and should be looking for ways out of anything the PC does trying to bind a centuries or millennia-old being against its will. Especially ones that are extremely intelligent.

And we all know how Evil outsiders love to get revenge on those who abuse them, while Good outsiders will go waaaay out of their way to bring such conjurors to justice.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained >;]

Aelryinth wrote:

Evil Wizard: Casts Geas.

Planetar/any Angel: With Protective Aura looks slightly amused...
Wizard: Uhhh....

Planetar/any Angel: Hah! what now?!

Evil Wizard: *casts geas from a neutral source*
Planetar/any Angel: ...F**K!!

Aelryinth wrote:

lastly,

The creature cannot reach across the magic circle, but its ranged attacks (ranged weapons, spells, magical abilities, and the like) can. The creature can attack any target it can reach with its ranged attacks except for the circle itself.

Which, when you're dealing with higher-level opponents with, oh, telekinesis, is a recipe for disaster. One little ricocheting chunk of stone, falling tile, etc...

Magic circle against <alignment> wrote:

You can add a special diagram (a two-dimensional bounded figure with no gaps along its circumference, augmented with various magical sigils) to make the magic circle more secure. Drawing the diagram by hand takes 10 minutes and requires a DC 20 Spellcraft check. You do not know the result of this check. If the check fails, the diagram is ineffective. You can take 10 when drawing the diagram if you are under no particular time pressure to complete the task. This task also takes 10 full minutes. If time is no factor at all, and you devote 3 hours and 20 minutes to the task, you can take 20.

A successful diagram allows you to cast a dimensional anchor spell on the magic circle during the round before casting any summoning spell. The anchor holds any called creatures in the magic circle for 24 hours per caster level. A creature cannot use its Spell Resistance against a magic circle prepared with a diagram, and none of its abilities or attacks can cross the diagram. If the creature tries a Charisma check to break free of the trap (see the lesser planar binding spell), the DC increases by 5. The creature is immediately released if anything disturbs the diagram - even a straw laid across it. The creature itself cannot disturb the diagram either directly or indirectly, as noted above.

Aelryinth wrote:
Also, to get real technical, you're going to need a pretty big diagram to contain some fiends if they take the simple precaution of appearing with their wings spread wide out...unless your DM lets it slide on the 'space' rules.

This, however, holds true for wizards and sorcerers alike. We must all abide by the basic premise set by the spells we cast.

-Nearyn

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