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Name it the Martial Maneuvers pool, and I imagine you'll get quite a few converts.
I wouldn't focus on damage as much as options. For example:
- Spend a point to gain extra movement
Matt Thomason wrote:
Yep, yep. :) That's my bad. I suppose the correct term is "embedded text" or "preserved text." I can never recall offhand.
I did a little more digging, and ran across this nice PDF on how to make a document accessible from InDesign, also.
It sounds as though there might be at least a small market for a how-to document aimed at making gaming publications accessible.
For example, although a number of these tutorials mention creating a tagged PDF and how to enable it, they provide fewer guidelines for tagging (part of what makes a document accessible) methodology.
I imagine most game systems (say, a core rule book) could have similar expectations for tags and content flow. That's one of the reasons this could be a potential publication market. Provide an easy guide and a concise, clear set of standards (and maybe an example InDesign, etc. document or two) and make it both easier and aimed at gaming pubs.
I'm not certain, but it seems like a possibility.
...well, I am fairly happy with them. If I do have a complaint, it's that I'd like to see (eventually) a streamlined version of the CRB, but that's far and away from both an effort and a sales standpoint.
Also, that Jacobs never completed the dinosaur-stomp paragon class that I bribed him to do, and which he promised after many drunken drinks at that bar where the kobolds dance the shimmy-shimmy. I don't understand. It had all the best abilities of druid, monk, shaman, wizard and a smattering of inquisitor, fighter, and barbarian, like gestalt but more so. Dinosaurs deserve this.
PS The bar was his idea.
I had similar issues in a game when one side of the table wanted to play murderhobos, and another player wanted to play an inquisitor of justice. I don't use murderhobo as tongue in cheek. If you'd asked, they would have cheerfully said so.
My advice is, since they do want to play evil PCs to that degree...I would not make any goodly PC. This includes not just paladins, but clerics, monks, even fighters from play.
Go with at best, neutrally aligned.
This party is not set out to be heroic.
Sometimes you need to go with the group. Unfortunately for your initial concept, they went for a different sort of campaign than the one you'd intended to.
I would save the goodly PC and play him/her in a different campaign, and make a different PC for this one.
Matt Thomason wrote:
This relies on the text being properly OCR'd, of course.
Let us know how it goes?
It is absolutely a question of perception.
In this sort of situation there's always going to be a lot of "hidden cost" involved. This does not mean it feels any less frustrating when we feel our questions aren't given "the nod" or we feel they're ignored. I don't believe this is Paizo's intent. They wouldn't be answering this thread, otherwise.
On the other hand, I (and apparently a number of other posters) do not feel that the issue is as wholly visible from outside Paizo as inside of it. However, I work in similar situations every day and I'm sure there are others here who do as well. :) So let me see if I can shed some light on a part of it.
I saw for example, that a queue question should only take 5 minutes or so to answer. This isn't true. Given how complex Pathfinder is, let's assume that an employee at Paizo is given leeway to research and thoroughly look into a question. This involves reading all of a poster's concerns, and looking into the context. This clearly takes longer than a few minutes. After all, we /want/ them to spend time on our question, and to consider the ramifications.
So allot 1 day to do this.
Now, as we've seen from some threadsplosions, it will take 1 day to 1 week to address replies and explain the decision. After all, a number of people had been concerned...why wouldn't they have questions afterwards?
Yet...it's starting to look like a larger iceburg, isn't it? And, much of that theoretical Paizo employee's time, and need, is driven by the time taken to respond and /communicate/ with individual fans. That is, /we/ are taking up the queue time. Yes, we. If there are 100+ queues, it means that it then takes an average of 2-8 days per question, when the follow-up queries, explanations are included.
We become our own worst enemy to seeing queues resolved.
It would be nice if Paizo could simply "post an answer," wouldn't it? However, people (like the OP) want explanations. They have questions. ...and so, instead of 5 minutes, it takes a day, because the system is complex and we would like our opinions considered. Instead of a day, it takes two to a week because we want to discuss the result.
At minimum for the current queue, then, we're looking at anywhere from 200-800 days of an employee's time, and that is only if we dedicate that person to the current queue...and ignore any questions which come up later.
We demand a community--want one, in fact, and we appreciate the interaction Paizo gives us. We've all seen their staff on this thread, for example. However, what does it cost Paizo to engage with us, to answer official questions which require carefully worded responses?
We can determine a rough cost. Assuming 200-800 days, we're also looking at paying a salary of...okay, assume 40k per year and about 250 business days per year.
...so there is our starting salary, and our average salary cost per question. ...I'm not going to do the math, there. Everyone here is capable of it, and my numbers are rough. Not only that: I'm about to expand on them.
Anyone who's worked in project management, editing, or publication knows that we can NEVER assume "just" salary cost. We must also include:
Given time and research, we could likely put a number on this and round it out to the "cost per question."
What I am saying is: nothing is as simple as "go erase the one line." Or, "just take 5 minutes and respond." As this thread illustrates, we ourselves require engagement, responses, and thoughtful replies...on top of the research we clearly, and should, expect before an answer is given. Too, we must include the "time cascade effect" is pushing these errata onto editors, publishers, and project managers.
From here, the cost and time cascade well, cascades. Each employee costs a greater amount than just a salary. Each project costs a greater amount than the time given on its sheet.
It is remarkable that Paizo has done what it has accomplished. To clear out the queue more quickly would take more staff and more overhead than they currently possess. It would then involve the delayment of other projects.
This is largely a problem of perception. We see the iceburg, but it's hard to see underneath. Instead, we feel hurt because our questions aren't responded to. We don't receive that handshake when we feel we deserve it--or worse, we feel overlooked.
...and we get really, really upset.
However, at this point, we owe it to ourselves--and before we make our next demands--to understand what the bottom of the iceburg looks like.
I could well imagine, if this does not happen, that someone might demand that one of the Paizo staff be willing to submit a rough work schedule for a day, and ask the forum how they might prioritize...just to illustrate the types of decisions made each day. It may not be a bad idea.
...though on the flip side, if we've gotten to the point where anyone is informing a Paizo employee of /how much time they have/ and /what their priorities should be/...then...
...That's a problem.
Gwen Smith wrote:
Very much. You might also work on shining the spotlight/rewarding behavior that you like to see. For example, you could give out some sort of award for general team helpfulness. I'm a little fuzzy on the concept here, but the idea is to get him to sit up and go: wait! I want that, too! How do I earn it?
Matt Thomason wrote:
Hmm, could you set up the Inner Sea World Guide PDF and feed it into Text-to-Speech software?
I'm not quite sure what you're asking. I suspect that if the text is OCR'd/available within the PDF, then existing software could read it. I could ask around and see if anyone's had success. Or were you asking more generally or more specific?
Hey, there. I do not think it's an issue of trust so much...or at least...he just had very little from the get-go, and it likely has nothing at all to do with you. :/ There are friends who don't do well at the table, as they say. Or friends who you enjoy as a friend, but wouldn't enjoy being the coworker of.
That sounds sort of like this. It is not uncommon.
I don't think this situation will end up well, though I'll pass along an idea I'd heard a little while back.
The idea ran like this: Give each player a card that they could hold in front of them. If that player wasn't having fun during the game, he or she could raise the card. Then, you say: Sam, why aren't you having fun?
This could give the other players a chance to say: I'm not having fun because Jake is rules-lawyering and attempting to Backseat DM.
Aside from that, what Tark typed.
As many as you like or your players wish to invent. The one caveat that I'd avoid is having any singular god be the sole proprietor of an "Unbeatable" concept. For example:
- Freedom good!
My examples are a little tongue-in-cheek, but I hope the concept comes through. In terms of hard to defend concepts, never put all of your eggs in one basket.
That is, have at least two deities who stand against undead, for example. Don't have a single deity who is all about ending slavery...and have that be all that they're about. Make two who are.
These concepts on their own are too easily an "I win" button in the social sense.
This is less of an issue with a single table top group, though, granted. If you're designing for a larger group with a greater number of players, it does become a thing.
Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:
I do know a company who is producing board games for the vision-impaired. You might google "64oz Games" and see where it takes you. They're about to begin their first Kickstarter, and one of the owners is a professional teacher for the blind.
It isn't PF, but they may be a source a person could work with or interview for how it could be done, the expense, and so on.
Second this, aye. I've no beard, but at this point I would pat it proudly. :3
Also, dang, son. Dang! Courtesy is a thing, ya know, son, ya know!
Repeating what's been said above...they may just be after feeling Epic. If that is the case--it doesn't (as much) matter what numbers you throw at them. Describe the encounter in an epic fashion, make the enemies memorable. This is something you need to know. If they come to the table wanting to be Badass, describe them as Demigods with the World Underneath Their Feet. You can amp the challenge up just enough that they feel they've earned it, but...
They. Are. Badass.
...so see if that's what they want.
More general advice: Memorize action economy. Become very familiar with the types of actions allowed in a round and the type of action each thing they do requires. Review which cause AoOs and which do not. I've found this quite small stumbling block is where many errors end up triggering. What sort of action is fetching a metamagic rod out of a pack? A haversack? And so on.
Minmaxers are also fond of summons. Recall that dispelling just 1 of say, 3 summoned tigers dispels all 3 tigers.
But do look into action economy, then memorize it.
OTOH, if they're wanting to go Badass...you might also be more lenient and remember to handwave for Epic Happenstance.
...look forward to hearing the report. :D
It can be a helpful tool when learning. There is enough foo in the PF system that you'll be getting under your belt and so on, so talking with your players, and remind them hey, new at this, is helpful.
Also, for larger groups, some amount of railroading can be helpful, even later on. Gamers can be like cats, sometimes.
I'm not sure it would be an option, but I can look into it. I admit--I'm a little more on the side of "a varied list which players can petition and suggest to add to, and which evolves with the game" for a few reasons...
- It clearly illustrates that there are other options aside from binary
...Census is a powerful tool for a game. It can become very difficult to sort data if instead of say, 12 options...there are 47, each variations of multiple themes. It is a lot of work by game staff to sort through, especially if that staff is limited.
This isn't saying it is not a great idea--it definitely is.
There are just well, considerations aside from "can it be done, technically"? Both would likely work well, and have ups and downs.
Also, a big thank you to all of the feedback so far.
I've a few general questions if no one minds, regarding appropriate terminology. I very much appreciate any responses if someone wishes to give them, and also apologize ahead of time for any ignorance I may possess. :3
- What is a good term for someone who identifies closely with -neither- gender? I've heard asexual, as well as supposedly, FB introduced neutrois. Are these acceptable terms? Is one preferable? Are there better terms?
- This one is a little trickier. ...if you had the option in a game to list a gender for a character, and are able to pick from a variety of options...should those options include trans?
I ask this as I've had a few responses on this topic. Some folks seem to want to be able to be identified as such, others would prefer to only list for example, male or female.
I do appreciate the feedback, and ask y'ignore me if this is in any way offensive. :) Also, if this has been discussed before...this is quite a long thread, though I certainly appreciate it, and the responses given.
AZ has a number of other discriminatory laws on the books. I'm not at all surprised.
I can't recall offhand, but it may be one of the states where if the child has little to no chance of survival outside the womb, the doctor can cite "religious reasons" and not inform the mother...even if it impacts her health as well.
I can't recall for certain, though.
Oh, I don't disagree. My point was more about it being defined as either exclusively or as the sole definition of.
Apparently I just did not express that very well!
Just as depictions of law are often one-sided, it would be nice of chaos' depictions could be explored further.
That is, there are depths that are often undeveloped.
Chaos is often divided into descriptions of murderhobo or Captain America. While we can laugh at the former, it's actually the second that's more concerning. The latter is this idea that "chaos = freedom = the end of slavery." So far this isn't too bad...except now if you don't like freedom then you support slavery.
I'm not sure I explained that well, so I'll try to clarify.
Saying that "chaos = freedom = end of slavery" presents a quandary. This definition not only ignores the potential depth chaos has, it makes it difficult to paint a chaotic hero who is not a "champion of freedom."
Worse, it makes it very difficult to paint flaws into characters /or/ oppose them, because of course, slavery is evil. It is too easy to agree with or argue for, and arguing against chaos then--not only becomes arguing against /freedom/ but /for slavery/ (and potentially, mind control).
It's an indefensible position.
To put it a little more directly: you can't disagree with it. Chaos is not chaos, but freedom, and freedom means the end of slavery.
...see what happens there?
All at once, we've set up a Mary Sue, while shoveling chaos into a singular definition.
Okay, I'll bite. What type of bonus do you propose it is?
Are you saying that neither ability grants a bonus, but an increase?
If you are arguing it isn't a bonus at all, but an increase, what's the argument that similar increases stack?
I'd like to hear your reasoning. You're obviously invested in barbarians and have spent some time thinking as regards this.
Well, isn't this the pretty little thing. It does say "the weapon's enhancement bonus" in both texts. In Furious, it mentions "enhancement" three times.
I suppose the real question is if enhancement can stack with itself.
I think in the end, I'd be interested in a barbarian alternative published with these rules.
I've got my fingers crossed, though I don't think it will happen. I do have them crossed, though.
I'm with you on the "feels awkward" boat. I'd rather smoother mechanics and ones that offered more options over time, and started offering them earlier (though with a trade-off). I imagine...there may be some folks at Paizo who'd agree, though I don't expect them to speak up, and I wouldn't want to presume something like that, either.
...I wouldn't be above bribing them with a delicious, chocolate pie though.
Absolutely delicious, and I would totally promise it had Dutch chocolate, heavy cream, and a home-made topping.
Part of it isn't so much the damage as it is the options. A FA can pump out quite a bit of damage. Where the caster shines is his or her ability to:- Multiply their actions per round
- Affect the battlefield in ways aside from damage
They can do damage as well, but it's access to these additionals that truly make them a force to be reckoned with.
No one has said this is a good act, or at least, very few people have. The majority have ruled that it is either evil or neutral.
We have also not heard from the opposing players. We've been told instead, that at least one player involved has no internet and is therefore unable to respond.
I do not find this likely, but I do not know their situation or the situation of the other players. It surprises me that no one from this gaming group, including the DM, has internet except the OP.
That none of them apparently do potentially leads to the assumption that the OP would not like them seeing this thread. The OP set a specific tone when they went online and accused a game mate in open, negative terms and then chose ridiculing language to describe the situation ("a pastry?!").
This is a player issue and it needs handled that way. Unfortunately, we can't really give advice without knowing more than one side of it.
Argue alignment, sure, but anyone can do that, you know?
Just making rage a swift/immediate action instead of a free action to turn on/off would "fix" the issues of rage cycling multiple times a turn, if that is against the RAI. Personally, I agree that simple changing the 1/rage to X rage rounds per use will address the majority of balance concerns.
There are a number of ways to look at this, to be sure. By basing it on a cost, this becomes something that could be used at the beginning of a barbarian's career, without the need for items, cross-classing, or other tricks. It could also provide a smooth backbone which could be built upon, and provide more options, not fewer, for the barbarian.
It does not need to be limiting. That is probably just a knee-jerk reaction. :)
Nice! Which of his CDs would you suggest starting with. I was browsing through, and there are quite a few.
This was an ability leftover from 3.x, and carried into Pathfinder because of backwards compatibility. This leftover and PF's new round-by-round mechanic, plus the rage power introduction had an interesting side effect when combined.
Whether it's intentional or not is up to debate, and can be quite muddy.
I'm on neither side of it. I'd have preferred points because it would have been cleaner, not only from an intentions and rules standpoint, but also in terms of the "waiting until 17th level to get something awesome".
The points would have scaled more nicely, over the course of the barbarian's career, instead of a spike at 17.
Yeah multiple people have mentioned that, I just have no idea how to go about it.
I might suggest pbwiki...more if you're trying to build or describe an entire world/setting. I've used it for the same a few times.
I'd be willing to share what I'd done via PM, but nothing I want out there right now.
It was put to me well, once: With great power comes great responsibility. Being a paladin isn't about doing what you want to do. Having that kind of power requires the discipline to use it, a responsibility you answer to, and a willingness to put others before you.
It is a theme.
The mechanics would need altered substantially to support a different theme. Chaos would deserve Unbindings instead of Mercies. The ability to mislead The Man, to inspire Riots, create kinks in Bureaucracy (and be beyond Freedom, Captain America! that so much of Chaos feels narrowly shoe-horned into, which feels so limiting). I would enjoy playing a class like that, but would never see it as a paladin. The theme is too different.
And you'd want it to be.
As for "holy warrior of a different take," Inquisitor and Warpriest fill these niches nicely already. Your Inquisitor is your "end justifies the means" divine warrior, the "paragon of a random divine cause" warrior and the war priest is exactly what it says.
There's no need to if what you want is a shining knight or divine warrior.
If you want a Chaos Knight, give it the full retooling and retheming it deserves and please, if anyone does take this challenge...make it not shoehorned into Freedom, Captain America.
Pretty much this. I've run human-centered settings and non-humancentered ones (hcs and nhcs?). My favorites tended to be the second set.
Now, what I do dislike are the misunderstandings--that either interest set plays x or y because they're "lazy." That's silly and we shouldn't say these things.
What I've found instead is that people who play humans do so because they're 1. More comfortable, 2. It allows them to more closely fulfill a fantasy. I am cool with both of those reasons.
The ones who play different races tend to want to: 1. Explore something different and fantastic, or 2. Want that extra separation that allows them to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fantasy tale. I am cool with those reasons, too.
Looking forward to the blog so far, man. I've shared your guide with a number of people kicking off as a DM.
A few concerns regarding the header and graphic: I haven't tried it on different resolutions, but I imagine there are instances where the black bars are going to collide with the title. Since they're the same color (black bars and black text) this has potential for conflict. On my monitor it comes quite close.
The logo/header space is also fairly large, forcing a user to scroll to begin reading.
Best wishes on the blog and looking forward to seeing it.
The only limits are:
2. Etiquette. As a previous poster stated, etiquette matters. Time spent on you is less time spent on everyone else and with 5+ creatures, it can quickly bog down a table. That isn't fun. There are different approaches:
3. In some cases, nature. Animals will require use of the Handle Animal skill for doing things that would go against their nature, and this can require different sorts of actions. Summoning certain types of creatures can also lead to issues if summoned in the wrong situation. For example, that demon may save the child, but it doesn't mean it might not try to cause some minor havoc on the way.
Of course, the last depends on how your DM roleplays, also.
It has all the plant immunities because it does not say it does not. It looks like its simply making clear that you don't use the bestiary stats.
Is there a similar case or example? I'm aware there's been a lot of "animal companions/polymorph get what is stated, and only that."
For example, does it use the plant type's skill list (if any) instead of the AC list? What else would change under the guise, "otherwise works like"?
I'm not doubting you, just looking for more verification.
Alright. I'm assuming "just like" means they don't get any of the plant immunities, but I'm not 100% on it. Could someone help me out?
Looking at the alignments historically may illuminate some ideas. Back in 1e, alignments were were part of philosophical and cosmic forces, so much so that they possessed their own languages. They possessed them, because according to Gygax:
Gygax on Alignment Languages:
As D&D was being quantified and qualified by the publication of the supplemental rules booklets. I decided that Thieves' cant should not be the only secret language. Thus alignment languages come into play, the rational being they were akin to Hebrew for Jewish and Latin for Roman Catholic persons.
I have since regretted the addition, as the non-cleric user would have only a limited vocabulary, and little cound be conveyed or understoon by the use of an alignment language between non-clerical users.
If the DMs would have restricted the use of alignment languages--done mainly because I insisted on that as I should have--then the concept is vaible. In my view the secret societies of alignment would be pantheonic, known to the clerics of that belief system and special orders of laity only. The ordinary faithful would know only a few words, more or less for recognition.
Lawful Good Throughout Editions:
1st Edition: While as strict in their prosecution of law and order, characters of lawful good alignment follow these precepts to improve the common weal. Certain freedoms must, of course, be sacrificed in order to bring order; but truth is of highest value, and life and beauty of great importance. The benefits of this society are to be brought to all.
2nd Edition: Characters of this alignment believe that an orderly, strong society with a well-organized government can work to make life better for the majority of the people. To ensure the quality of life, laws must be created and obeyed. When people respect the laws and try to help one another, society as a whole prospers. Therefore, lawful good characters strive for those things that will bring the greatest benefit to the most people and cause the least harm. An honest and hard-working serf, a kindly and wise king, or a stern but forthright minister of justice are all examples of lawful good people.
3rd Edition: A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion.
Neutral Good Throughout Editions:
1st Edition: Unlike those directly opposite them (neutral evil) in alignment, creatures of neutral good believe that there must be some regulation in combination with freedoms if the best is to be brought to the world - the most beneficial conditions for living things in general and intelligent creatures in particular.
2nd Edition: These characters believe that a balance of forces is important, but that the concerns of law and chaos do not moderate the need for good. Since the universe is vast and contains many creatures striving for different goals, a determined pursuit of good will not upset the balance; it may even maintain it. If fostering good means supporting organized society, then that is what must be done. If good can only come about through the overthrow of existing social order, so be it. Social structure itself has no innate value to them. A baron who violates the orders of his king to destroy something he sees as evil is an example of a neutral good character.
3rd Edition: A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order.
Chaotic Good Throughout Editions:
1st Edition: While creatures of this alignment view freedom and the randomness of action as ultimate truths, they likewise place value on life and the welfare of each individual. Respect for individualism is also great. By promoting the gods of chaotic good, characters of this alignment seek to spread their values throughout the world.
2nd Edition: Chaotic good characters are strong individualists marked by a streak of kindness and benevolence. They believe in all the virtues of goodness and right, but they have little use for laws and regulations. They have no use for people who "try to push folk around and tell them what to do." Their actions are guided by their own moral compass which, although good, may not always be in perfect agreement with the rest of society. A brave frontiersman forever moving on as settlers follow in his wake is an example of a chaotic good character.
3rd Edition: A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit.
Lawful Neutral Throughout Editions:
1st Edition: Those of this alignment view regulation as all-important, taking a middle road betwixt evil and good. This is because the ultimate harmony of the world -and the whole of the universe - is considered by lawful neutral creatures to have its sole hope rest upon law and order. Evil or good are immaterial beside the determined purpose of bringing all to predictability and regulation.
2nd Edition: Order and organization are of paramount importance to characters of this alignment. They believe in a strong, well-ordered government, whether that government is a tyranny or benevolent democracy. The benefits of organization and regimentation outweigh any moral questions raised by their actions. An inquisitor determined to ferret out traitors at any cost or a soldier who never questions his orders are good examples of lawful neutral behavior.
3rd Edition: A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs her. Order and organization are paramount to her. She may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or she may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot.
True Neutral Throughout Editions:
1st Edition: The "true" neutral looks upon all other alignments as facets of the system of things. Thus, each aspect - evil and good, chaos and law - of things must be retained in balance to maintain the status quo; for things as they are cannot be improved upon except temporarily, and even then but superficially. Nature will prevail and keep things as they were meant to be, provided the "wheel" surrounding the hub of nature does not become unbalanced due to the work of unnatural forces - such as human and other intelligent creatures interfering with what is meant to be.
2nd Edition: True neutral characters believe in the ultimate balance of forces, and they refuse to see actions as either good or evil. Since the majority of people in the world make judgments, true neutral characters are extremely rare. True neutrals do their best to avoid siding with the forces of either good or evil, law or chaos. It is their duty to see that all of these forces remain in balanced contention. True neutral characters sometimes find themselves forced into rather peculiar alliances. To a great extent, they are compelled to side with the underdog in any given situation, sometimes even changing sides as the previous loser becomes the winner. A true neutral druid might join the local barony to put down a tribe of evil gnolls, only to drop out or switch sides when the gnolls were brought to the brink of destruction. He would seek to prevent either side from becoming too powerful. Clearly, there are very few true neutral characters in the world.
3rd Edition: A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil—after all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she’s not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion.
Chaotic Neutral Throughout Editions:
1st Edition: Above respect for life and good, or disregard for life and promotion of evil, the chaotic neutral places randomness and disorder. Good and evil are complimentary balance arms. Neither are preferred, nor must either prevail, for ultimate chaos would then suffer.
2nd Edition: Chaotic neutral characters believe that there is no order to anything, including their own actions. With this as a guiding principle, they tend to follow whatever whim strikes them at the moment. Good and evil are irrelevant when making a decision.
3rd Edition: A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn’t strive to protect others’ freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society’s restrictions and a do-gooder’s zeal.
Lawful Evil Throughout Editions:
1st Edition: Creatures of this alignment are great respecters of laws and strict order, but life, beauty, truth, freedom and the like are held as valueless, or at least scorned. By adhering to stringent discipline, those of lawful evil alignment hope to impose their yoke upon the world.
2nd Edition: These characters believe in using society and its laws to benefit themselves. Structure and organization elevate those who deserve to rule as well as provide a clearly defined hierarchy between master and servant. To this end, lawful evil characters support laws and societies that protect their own concerns. If someone is hurt or suffers because of a law that benefits lawful evil characters, too bad. Lawful evil characters obey laws out of fear of punishment. Because they may be forced to honor an unfavorable contract or oath they have made, lawful evil characters are usually very careful about giving their word. Once given, they break their word only if they can find a way to do it legally, within the laws of the society. An iron-fisted tyrant and a devious, greedy merchant are examples of lawful evil beings.
3rd Edition: A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is loath to break laws or promises. This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains. Some lawful evil people and creatures commit themselves to evil with a zeal like that of a crusader committed to good. Beyond being willing to hurt others for their own ends, they take pleasure in spreading evil as an end unto itself. They may also see doing evil as part of a duty to an evil deity or master. Lawful evil is sometimes called "diabolical," because devils are the epitome of lawful evil. Lawful evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.
Neutral Evil Throughout Editions:
1st Edition: The neutral evil creature views law and chaos as unnecessary considerations, for pure evil is all-in-all. Either might be used, but both are disdained as foolish clutter useless in eventually bringing maximum evilness to the world.
2nd Edition: Neutral evil characters are primarily concerned with themselves and their own advancement. They have no particular objection to working with others or, for that matter, going it on their own. Their only interest is in getting ahead. If there is a quick and easy way to gain a profit, whether it be legal, questionable, or obviously illegal, they take advantage of it. Although neutral evil characters do not have the everyman-for-himself attitude of chaotic characters, they have no qualms about betraying their friends and companions for personal gain. They typically base their allegiance on power and money, which makes them quite receptive to bribes. An unscrupulous mercenary, a common thief, and a double-crossing informer who betrays people to the authorities to protect and advance himself are typical examples of neutral evil characters.
3rd Edition: A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has. Some neutral evil villains hold up evil as an ideal, committing evil for its own sake. Most often, such villains are devoted to evil deities or secret societies. Neutral evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents pure evil without honor and without variation.
Chaotic Evil Throughout Editions:
1st Edition: The major precepts of this alignment are freedom, randomness, and woe. Laws and order, kindness, and good deeds are disdained. life has no value. By promoting chaos and evil, those of this alignment hope to bring themselves to positions of power, glory, and prestige in a system ruled by individual caprice and their own whims.
2nd Edition: These characters are the bane of all that is good and organized. Chaotic evil characters are motivated by the desire for personal gain and pleasure. They see absolutely nothing wrong with taking whatever they want by whatever means possible.
3rd Edition: A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. Thankfully, his plans are haphazard, and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him. Chaotic evil is sometimes called "demonic" because demons are the epitome of chaotic evil. Chaotic evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents the destruction not only of beauty and life but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.
I would not say that any specific interpretation is correct or incorrect. More, looking at their progression (or regression, going by other views) can show us different ways they've been interpreted and from there, different ways they may be challenged.
Anyhow, spoilers added because dang, that's a lot of text. I figured a person would only want to examine pieces at a time, as well.
Here are a few bonuses:
Alignment Description of Chaotic from Greyhawk:
Chaotic Alignment by a player generally betokens chaotic action on the player's part without any rule to stress this aspect, i.e. a chaotic player is usually more prone to stab even his lawless buddy in the back for some desired gain. However, chaos is just that -- chaotic. Evil monsters are as likely to turn on their supposed confederates in order to have all the loot as they are to attack a lawful party in the first place. While there is no rule to apply to groups of chaotic players operating in concert, referees are urged to formulate some rules against continuing co-operation as fits their particular situation, but consideration for concerted actions against chaotic players by lawful ones should be given.
And... 1e Alignment Image, using descriptive alignment names.
I've seen this go back and forth a few times. My best advice is to google "Rules of the Game Mounted Combat" and review the articles there. It's a comprehensive article and one that I don't think has yet to have been replicated anywhere in terms of both depth and quality.
The basic concept behind it is that the rider and the mount "act as one." It simplifies a number of rules questions and quandaries.
It doesn't solve every issue, but it does go a way towards it.
It's my hope that Paizo eventually adopts an "act as one" baseline when working with the mounted combat rules. It would need some exploration and refinement, but as a baseline and means of streamlining, it works well.
Moderating and adminship are tough cookies. Every place is going to have a flavor to it because it is run by people, not machines. There is no "neutral godhead" that oversees a forum or community or website, there is no "universal."
What there are, are people. In addition to being people, they are people who own the website or service.
This results in different flavors based on where you go. A place like 4chan will be different than someplace else. A place like MuzzyPetz for Kidz will have a different flavor and feel, and moderation, than say, Honda Racing Mods. I've never minded these differences as much because the internet is a wide place.
Also, context is very, very important.
I've found myself disagreeing with say, SKR from time to time. However, I absolutely respect his efforts and what he goes through. He does not have an easy job, and bottom line, he's human, too.
On the flip side, I would hope he'd say the same even though he'd likely disagree with me on a number of things. However, were he to come to my home, so to speak, I'd also expect him to be respectful to those there.
...and I can't imagine him not being so.
I'd also hope he liked queso.
Part of what you're going to run into is that the "I have to prove myself as a woman to the men around me" as part of a storyline gets old and tiring.
There's certainly something to be said for being able to start on equal footing and then making your story from there.
As a less-mentioned side effect of these "I have to prove myself because I'm a woman" storylines, settings such as those can (not always) involve varying degrees of sexist commentary "because of roleplay."
I'm not accusing anyone in particular here, more relaying previous experiences and saying: here's another reason to shift away from elements of historical fantasy. Sexist/catty comments, even "as roleplay" aren't fun. In fact, they're a reason for women not to join in gaming groups.
So, while not disagreeing with you that historically, there women who bucked the trend, there are also distinct advantages to avoiding the "all women warriors are exceptions" trope. Not only does the gaming table become more welcoming, but it allows a greater variety of characters and storytelling.
How this trope is avoided can involve a number of different approaches. That's the beautiful thing about creativity. Also, thank you for the links. :)
DM: "The temptress barmaid leans over the table." Here the DM gets up and leans on the table, before continuing, "You can see into her cleavage," he wiggles his stomach/chest seductively. "She looks deeply, DEEPLY into your eyes..."
Player: "...forget the Appearance score. If we're going to roleplay this, I need five or six more beers!"
Player2: "I have the camera and this is going up on Youtube."
The dwarves might have a tradition where, one arm behind their back, they shove at one another and refuse to give ground. This would be a test of endurance and stability (which they're known for).
An alternate idea could have them "stand their ground" while an increasingly weighted log or battering ram is swung at their chest.
Treat this as an increasingly difficult Bull Rush maneuver which also does damage each turn. Then, the dwarves are defending on two ends: their stability (the bull rush) and their fortitude (the repeated damage).
Bonus points if done while drinking.
EDIT: To bring the players into it, I'd have them roll for the battering ram. Damage and DC increases would be based roughly around the CR chart.
Whoever can go highest CR above their level would win the game. In this way, level differences are less of a determining factor.