I have always believed that out of game problems should be handled out of game, not in game. If you make bad stuff happen to them in game because their behavior bothers you out of character, that is an abuse of your authority as GM. Just tell them out of game that it bugs you and tell them that there won't be any speaking to dead, zombies, or other such things if they leave the bodies alone.
I was thinking about WoD and it occurred to me that it might be interesting to run a medieval or fantasy style game with major WoD elements with Pathfinder. Including vampire or werewolf PC's, using rules from the Bestiary for those kinds of creatures and modeling Clans or Tribes with the creature's class. I thought that the d20 system may actually be more thematic in depicting these sorts of supernatural creatures than grittier lethal d10.
Has anybody ever tried or done anything like this?
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
If I was an adventurer and that guy wanted to join my group, I would give him a silver piece and tell him to go back to what ever village he was the idiot of.
My high attributes would be Strength and Intelligence, low are Dexterity and Charisma. I studied science in college and grad-school, I've also done SCA fighting and some boxing. I would probably either be an alchemist/fighter or magus. I'm short and chubby with a beard, and a slow runner, I'd probably be a dwarf.
This is a little bit of a tangent, but a few of the comments in the thread have made me wonder about the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of a Succubus.
I was intially thinking that Succubi should be sexuality personified. Constantly aroused, filled with lust and perverse desires, completely hedonistic, having an insatiable appetite for pleasure, etc. Combine this with cruelty, sadism, and the desire to create chaos and mayhem, and you essentially have a creature which causes trouble to have fun - where it's life involves the constant pleasure seeking of sex and destruction. The for the Succubus, existence is fun and games.
Then I thought about it a bit and an alternative idea for the Succubus came to me. This incarnation of the Succubus doesn't have fun, it doesn't like sex at all or even its demonic existence. The Succubus hates sex, even the thought of sex or attraction fills her with complete revulsion and hatred. For her, every sexual act is an act of utter degradation and humiliation, filling her with loathing for her partner and for herself. When ever she sees someone else enjoying sex, expressing attraction or desire, or even falling in love; it fills her with disgust and bitterness, it makes her want to make those people suffer. The Succubus must, however, utilize her sensuality else her demonic power fade and she be forced back to the Abyss where her essence will be devoured by other demons or she becomes reduced to a dretch or manes. For this Succubus, her existence is hell, and she seeks to make others suffer as she does.
I'm not sure which of these ideas I like more, I maybe mix and match a little the next time I have the issue come up in a game. Maybe the first should be the Abyssal CE Succubus, while the second could be an equivalent LE sex devil from Hell.
Anyway, back on topic, you might want to decide what the motivations of the Succubus are and what she wants to ultimately gain from the party or the player.
I'll have to agree with everybody else and say that it isn't evil. Possibly chaotic, but even so it shouldn't result in an immediate alignment change. I would say, however, that willing doing this would indicate a pretty low Wisdom score.
I would introduce consequences in other ways. If she just drains him a bunch and starting dominating him to attack the party or what not, then you just have a fight on your hands and the fun is over so soon. The most fun would be to have the consequences be more long lasting, make this a long term story arch where the succubus uses the PC to cause all sorts of problems. In fact, have the succubus not drain his energy, she holds back to avoid hurting him. Have her tell him how awesome he is and how she loves being with him and spending time with him. Have her become a reoccurring character, she visits some times to see the ranger. She then tells him about some plot hook, a dungeon with a valuable magic item, something like that. Or she asks for a favor or offers something in return for going on a quest for her. The quest or mission shouldn't be something obviously evil, but should serve evil in some way or is perhaps a small part of larger plan.
Ultimately, she should want to turn the character and the party evil, not just kill them or drain their life forces. If she can get the party, or the character, to start moving towards evil then you can change their alignments. Even without openly evil deeds though, she can use them to serve her purposes better if she plays it cool avoids tipping her hand too soon.
Also, a question - how does the rest of the party act towards the succubus and the ranger's desire to have sex with her?
Even IF a deity were to come down in front of you, how could you tell it apart from a powerful angel?
As a matter of fact, what is the difference between a god and a powerful angel, demon, or other supernatural being? It's not like the gods are omnipotent or omniscient. They aren't all benevolent either. They are just powerful beings from another plane who mortals sometimes serve. Nothing special about them really, maybe worthy of respect or fear, but not worship.
I am to the point now, after over 20 years of playing D&D, that I can't stand rolling characters and unless there are unusual circumstances, I will not play in a game where attributes are rolled. I have seen far too many games where one player had insanely high attributes while others had horrendously low ones, and in such games the low rolling party members simply couldn't contribute as much mechanically.
Also, I have consistently seen the power gamers, game breakers, and dishonest or bad players push the hardest for rolling while the honest players, the ones most concerned about character development, and plot favor point buys. Of course, this is only my personal observation, but it has been a consistent observation over the years.
As for the argument that real life isn't fair - well, I can't throw fireballs or slay dragons in real life either. I have the other areas of my life to deal with the unfair circumstances in my life that are beyond my control, in a game I play for fun I don't want to start with an insurmountable disadvantage because of random chance. Also, in real life I had no say over my race or my gender, yet I have made choices and taken actions which have significantly changed what might be called my attributes.
I have always thought that Druids should have access to bows. When I think of forest weapons, a bow is the first thing that pops into my head and yet the Druid can't use it.
I have also frequently thought that spell casting classes that normally get access to simple weapons should instead use light weapons. I can more easily picture a robed sorcerer using a short sword or rapier than wielding a massive mace.
If the GM doesn't punish the cleric player for not killing the horse, then the OP should figure out some justification for leaving the horse alone, as it is obviously important to the rest of the party. Or, as I have already said, discuss things out of game.
Honestly, how much will it ruin the cleric player's fun to quest with this undead horse for a while?
Table manners come first, RP issues come second. Worry more about your relations with real people, and less about pretend problems in a pretend world.
Problems like this are ultimately OOC issues that need to be resolved out of game. One player kills undead, another gets an undead mount, I presume with GM permission so the GM needs to smooth things over. You should get together with the player with the undead horse and the GM and talk things through to try to find a solution that will make everybody happy. The first thing that needs to be cleared up is making sure the GM doesn't intend to punish you with your god for failing to destroy the mount, if he has any such plan then he is clearly in the wrong for letting the mount come into the party when he knew it would cause strife.
Once that is resolved, the three of you can come up with a method to role play this out. Maybe the undead mount character and the cleric can constantly argue over the mount or have theological or philosophical debates about the undead, maybe you can threaten to leave the party but some important mission forces you to stay, something like that. The game is ultimately about having fun, so come up with an OOC solution that maximizes fun.
During the days when the English were still killing witches, the term "witch" was used for a female who got magical powers from the Devil and the term "wizard" was used for a male who did. These days, warlock is most commonly used as a masculine form of witch and if I were to make a male witch, I'd probably just call him a warlock.
Timothy K. Wickham wrote:
That strikes me as being passive aggressive.
There is nothing wrong with being attached to one's characters, but even if there were, the GM should either talk to his players about it to see if some compromise can be reached or at the very worst letting the dice fall where they may. Don't torment your players for getting attached to their characters.
I'm generally against letting players die, and have found that having characters who never die is often better for generating tension and suspense then having characters who die frequently. If death happens too frequently, they will not be attached to their characters and will in turn not fear death as much, better to frighten them with failure and suffering for the players they are attached to than death, especially if death is going to ruin their fun. It also allows for a lot more role playing and character development.
As for what to do, I would say that you should not save the players with an NPC, that cheapens their struggle, makes them feel powerless, reduces suspense, and makes them reliant on NPC's for help. I would allow them to fail and be defeated. This can include getting captured, losing items, having to flee, having importance NPC allies get killed, making enemies, failing to achieve major objectives, and so on.
I would, however, keep it a secret from the players that you don't let them die. You can say that you prefer for them not to die, but always leave the possibility open at least in their minds.
Sir Jolt wrote:
I don't see how you get that from my quote. Let me ask a counter question: Why is Cheliax Lawful Evil?
I used "moral justification" in the context of a paladin killing somebody with his sword. You said that there are never moral justifications, which can only mean that you're saying that killing is never justified and thus that paladins must be pacifists.
Maybe you were trying to say that the ends don't justify the means and that you can't commit an evil act for a good cause. But whether or not killing is evil, along with most actions a character might take, depends on all sorts of factors including the goal such actions are trying to achieve.
Sir Jolt wrote:
The entire reason that I bring up culture is for role playing. Playing a paladin with a checklist of evil vs good, and lawful vs chaotic acts is lame. It much better to play a character with a real culture and belief system with reasons for accepting or rejecting various activities.
If you don't that fine. It means that drinking blood is OK because it does not match the definition of evil according to the player's handbook.
Sir Jolt wrote:
I disagree. "Moral justification" is irrelevant. The more you allow moral realtivism in your game the less the alignment system means as a whole. Cheliax is Lawful Evil for a reason. It doesn't matter that some people might not "view" Cheliax as evil because how you view things doesn't matter. Good and evil are fundamental forces and not just abstract concepts that can change from one person to the next.
Then you require that all paladins be pacifists because killing is never justifiable?
Sir Jolt wrote:
If you want to take that much of a hard line about no shades of gray and the irrelevance of cultural opinions, then drinking blood is fine and not evil, full stop.
I've never been a fan about paladins with no religion. While the RAW does OK it, it seems to me to go against the base concept of what a paladin is, a holy warrior. While an RPG may say that good for good's sake may be enough of a cause for a paladin to dedicate himself to, just about all real world or literary inspirations for the paladin have a deity, religion, or some similarly involved ideology for the paladin to follow. Not just, be good. Sure, you can champion good causes without a religion, but for the paladin, it seems that to me, the religion is as big a part of a paladin's theme as goodness itself, in fact even more so.
When I GM, I would never allow a paladin without a religion.
One of the main things that paladins do is kill people. They are, after all, holy warriors. So if there is a moral justification for hacking somebody to death with your sword, or protecting your wizard friend while he burns them to death with magical fire, then drinking a bit of the bad guy's blood should be pretty minor. In fact, after you have killed someone, and lets assume you had an entirely lawful good reason to do so, then wheat happens to that person then? Well, you party loots the body for anything remotely valuable, then you leave the body to turn into rotting slime to be eaten by bugs, worms, or various other carrion creatures. How exactly is drinking blood from the body worse than letting it be eaten body maggots?
Really, how is drinking the blood of the dead any different than taking a gold piece from the dead person's pocket to help buy a healing potion? Aside from being more gross, in which case eating a spider is more evil than eating a steak.
Really, with any paladin or cleric character, the DM and/or player should come up with a religion that the paladin follows that acts as a code governing different sorts of behavior that doesn't clearly fall into good or evil - which should address these sorts of issues along with providing role playing fodder for the character. Some religions or cultures may well believe that drinking the blood of the dead is honorable, others might hold it to be taboo or sinful. In any case, its clearly not evil, despite being unpleasant to most people's sensibilities.
Did Hitler have a Charisma of 12? Did MLK? When you think of a person with a 12 Charisma, do you think of a famous movie star, beloved politician, cult leader, or master manipulator? How about a Charisma of 14 then? No? Well then why do you picture somebody with a Charisma of 8 or even 6 as Quasimodo? An 8 Charisma is just as common as a 12, a 6 Charisma is just as common as a 14 - it is just on the opposite side of the bell curve. We tend to have an inflated sense of attributes because player characters tend to be so high above the average, but low attributes aren't low at at. In real life, you probably have an attribute that is 8 or below.
Think of the people you know personally. That shy guy, he has a Charisma of 8. That chubby guy has an 8 Dexterity. Most women you know probably have a Strength below 10. So when you imagine a character with an attribute of 8 or even lower, don't think of that character as being horribly unbalanced or min-maxed, think of them as a normal person, who like most of us, is below average in at least on regard.
As for making Charisma more desirable - why? For classes or concept that can benefit from Charisma, it's very useful. For others, then it is the player's choice. Charisma means something, it means being good with people, if somebody doesn't want their character to be good with people or thinks that some other attribute is more important, then why is that a problem? D20 by its nature is about specialization, what with the class system, and so why would it be a problem have a low attribute that doesn't benefit your area of specialization?
Charisma is not useless, or even underpowered, by any means. Any attribute can be low priority for certain classes or character types, Charisma is no exception. But, in addition to Charisma being vitally important to a number of classes - like sorcerer, summoner, paladin, and bard - it is also quite useful for anybody to have. Anybody can benefit from the ability to make a good impression on NPC's. The same can't be said for somebody who doesn't do much fighting, to some classes Strength is virtually worthless. Intelligence can be a dump stat too for a class that doesn't need it for spell casting or rely much on skills.
So, in my opinion, Charisma is fine as is even if some people use it as a dump stat, because it is not alone in that regard. In any campaign that involves a lot of social interaction, there will be major downsides to dumping Charisma - I have experienced this first hand. It can really ruin the moment when you're a brave warrior leading the charge against forces of darkness and you try to give a rousing speech to the troops only to have them look at you like you're an idiot.
I would say that it should not be evil and not cause the paladin to fall. Why? Not for any philosophical reason necessarily, but because role playing is about having fun. It is a game where the purpose is to have fun and to prohibit your player's character concept is going to reduce that player's fun and should therefore be avoided. Of course, if there was such an outlandish character concept that it reduced the fun of the DM or other players, that would be different, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.
I have a bit of a crazy question here ... why not just give undead creatures a Constitution score? While all undead are immune to poison and the like, it seems reasonable that some undead will be tougher than others, have denser bones, thicker flesh, more resistance to being melted or disintegrated because of the composition of their bodies. This toughness would be based on the physical body of the undead creature, not what ever Charisma represents. That being the case, why not just give them a Con score and be done with it?
My raven familiar always was an imp, it just hadn't spent enough time on the material plane to manifest its powers and so has had to stay in raven form. Now that it has had time to develop its powers a bit, it can assume its true form and access it's powers. It still stays in the raven form much of the time though.
As for capturing the feel of a warlock, that is to say a spell caster who draws power from forces of evil, demons, devils, and the like, then Pathfinder already has the idea covered pretty well with evil clerics, witches, and summoners.
As for a class where you have a handful of magical powers that you can use repeatedly without limit, including a magical attack, then that is what is lacking. That idea, in my mind, matches more with what a sorcerer is supposed to be than a warlock is supposed to be. In any case, Pathfinder rules are pretty much the same as D&D rules, so if the DM says its OK, just use the warlock class from D&D.
Personally, I think that D&D has traditionally overvalued the ability to use powers over and over again without limit. You can see this in how weak they made monster PC's who have natural spell-like powers (huge LA's so that you have half the Hit Points of the rest of the party), Innate Spell where you have to spend four feats so that you can switch out a 9th level slot for a 1st level at will spell, or the warlock class where you have a paltry number of relatively weak invocations. Just getting some basic natural resistance to an energy type is difficult even when it can easily be had with a 1st level spell. Basically, what I am saying here is that the warlock class should get a boost of some kind if you bring it into Pathfinder. More invocations I think, more versatility and thematic powers.