Yeah, but if people really want to remove redundancy then just replacing it with a different flavor isn't going to help.
I'm fine with everything being a level or a feat with a descriptor, but if people want to break out the thesaurus we need a game glossary to consult first.
Thank you for that, Benchak! I didn't know about that particular bit of lore.
I've used a similar arrangement about Orcus in a previous game. In the early days of creation the undead were nothing more than a way for the departed to help and advise the living until Orcus managed to weave a bit of himself into the magic that fuels Necromancy. Once the Gods realized that was possible, they took safeguards against it happening again, but it was too late to completely undo what the demon lord of the undead managed. After that the undead were tainted by his malice.
I think the wording on Heal could use some tightening up, especially in the Heightening text.
Heightened (+1) Increase the amount of healing or damage by 1d8, or by 2d8 if you're using the one- or two-action version to heal the living.
Heightened (+1) Add an extra d8. If casting on a single target for healing, add 2d8 instead.
Or, if the area of affect doesn't get a boost when heightened (and I think it should)
Heightened (+1) Increase the roll by +1d8. If casting on a single target for healing, increase by +2d8 instead.
Ryan Freire wrote:
This post reminds me that the phrase "The exception proves the rule" is supposed to mean "the fact that some cases do not follow a rule proves that the rule applies in all other cases" not "the fact that some cases do not follow a rule invalidates the rule completely."
In my opinion, negative Energy is like electricity or gasoline. It can only give something designed to accept it the potential to move, it has no motivating power on its own.
What you need is a second ingredient, some lesser entity that can drive a corpse around and be useful. So Animate Dead uses some minor mote of malice to get a Skelton or zombie moving without direct control.
It is possible that such a design is the easiest way to get the job done, but not the only one. Maybe a loyal guardsman would sacrifice a shred of his own soul in a separate spell or ritual that makes a different sort of undead. Or a death cult could buy the rights to a person's body and a sliver of essence so that on death they can animate an eternal servant, again with a separate spell or ritual.
Or a favorite bit of mine from GURPS Technomancer, where "death plus hard labor" is a legal punishment in a magically active United States of America.
I mean that there is no reason to consider weaponized sunlight to have any particular virtue. It isn't more powerful against evil targets and it doesn't do anything particularly good on its own.
Right now Animate Dead and Create Undead make Evil things. They are evil because they make Evil in the world automatically. In the future, maybe Animate Dead will only make servile bone and flesh 'bots that have no independent drive to kill. I'm cool with that. Right now though, they make murder monsters that may or may not be controlled.
Blinding Ray being Good is weirder to me than Animate Dead being Evil.
Even though there are only four Traditions and each class seems like it is only going to get one or two of them on their standard lists, I could see ways for classes to branch out from that using the keywords.
Wizards could take Class Feats like Necromancer that allows them to pick Necromancy spells regardless of what Tradition they are.
A Pharasmin cleric that has the Death domain could similarly take anything that is tagged Death and a Saraenite with the Fire domain could be picking spells from the Material Tradition so long as they are fiery.
Non-specialists of these classes could load up on Class Feats or whatever resources that improves their existing powers, sacrificing scope of ability for depth of power.
I can see potential for good customization here and I hope we see it something along those lines in the playtest.
Da Goblin wrote:
Clearly that wouldn't work in Pathfinder.
Well, not with animate dead as it stands, no. A culture like that would need something custom made, a new spell, a ritual, even a magic item. Or perhaps the local revered ancestors often become a special kind of spirit that can possess and animate its own corpse.
The plot in general would work fine, though.
Flesh golem creation isn't evil because it is making a neutral construct that only does what it is told. Even if a flesh golem retains it's memories there is no promise that it is going to wind up a particular alignment.
Animate Dead is evil because it makes murder hungry monsters that will go on an unreasoning killing spree if not tightly controlled. Whether or not skeletons and zombies should be murder hungry monsters is a different argument.
On the original topic of the thread, if this is still the case in PF2 I agree it should be more clearly stated as it is vague now and subject to inference and opinion. If it is not the case in PF2 then it should be clearly stated that unintelligent undead can't take independent action.
If they remain evil, a simple change from "mindless" to "unintelligent" might help. Just emphasize that they are without reason instead of implying that they are without motivation.
I don't know about that. My reasoning doesn't take Pharasma into account a single bit.
It is true that a single magical skill makes sense and it would be an improvement from having a spell Craft/knowledge arcana divide.
There could be room for more skills though, so long as they do significantly different things. As an example, we are likely to have acrobatics for DEX based moving about and athletics for STR based moving about, right?
Maybe we are going to get Arcana for INT based messing with magic and Occultism for WIS based messing with magic.
I'll put another series of thoughts out there on the subject, but I really don't have much of a concern with the topic in general. skeletons as creepy bone robots are just as good as skeletons as seething malice engines and honestly, I'd like for Pathfinder to have space to support both.
I'm mainly talking about it for the fun of the process, not to convince anybody.
There is an argument that says "why aren't these spells evil?" I think that if they don't have the Evil descriptor, then they are only good or evil depending on what is done with them. If a fireball scorches a basket of babies to death, then it is the murder of innocents that is the evil act, not the casting of the fireball.
The problem comes when a spell actually has the Evil descriptor. Which means that the casting of the spell has no use that isn't Evil.
It is true a person could very easily command an existing undead to perform an act that supports a Good cause. I note that Command Undead is not a spell that is tagged Evil. However, Animate Dead and Create Undead are both tagged so.
Here is something that I'm fairly certain is an important point that needs to be made. The existence of Goodly aligned undead is irrelevant to the discussion of these spells. It is irrelevant because no matter how many goodly aligned undead there are out there, these spells don't make them.
Animate Dead, Create Undead and Greater Create Undead have one purpose and one purpose only. To bring into the world an evil creature that seeks to destroy life. Once the undead are walking around under the control of the creator, anything good that the creator does with them is a separate act and if any good caster makes undead out of desperation? Destroying the undead once the task is done is likely the only viable in character thing to do.
I would like to see something like "Animate Servitor" which makes a skeleton or Zombie that is well and truly subjugated, or animated with a different sort of animating spirit. Normal, monstrous undead could be easier to animate in greater numbers (the Dark Side is quicker, more seductive), but the Servitors are "tamed" and don't go rogue when uncontrolled.
Similarly a spell like "Create Guardian Undead" could make a non-Evil undead out of a willing subject, allowing for cultures who consider such a sacrifice to be an honorable fate, creepy to other cultures, but not playing with fire.
Perhaps an undead with the Servitor or Guardian templates could have more hit dice so a caster can't control as many of them, but might have some other trait making them less suitable for being minions of Darkness.
Not that the Phrasmins would care about the distinction. All your careful investments in servitors and guardians would be vulnerable targets to them, but then again in the right culture, maybe you could sue for destruction of property!
The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
Now, the wizard can either allow themselves and the rest of the townsfolk to die, or they can animate the corpses of the Evil monsters who just tried to destroy the town and use the resulting zombies to fight off the next attack. Afterwards, they can destroy the zombies to prevent them from causing any harm. It seems absurd that saving the village with animate dead should be an evil act, yet under the current system it is.
Those are two separate acts. Saving the village is good, creating bloodthirsty corpse monsters is evil. The desperation of saving the village and destroying the undead afterwards are mitigating circumstances, so good people would feel bad about the measures they had to take, but could easily keep their alignment due to the overall circumstance.
A paladin under the new edition might even be able to get away with mere penance since the situation was so very dire that they had to turn to the only tool they had on hand!
And again, why is a creature that is a corpse animated by a completely neutral energy force full of malice and hate? I could see skeletons/zombies wanting to destroy things because Negative Energy is entropy, but it wouldn't make them Evil. No more than an avalanche, a forest fire or a tsunami are evil.
If they stay evil it would probably be because there is something else inside of them that has more motivation than a simple natural disaster. Negative Energy is probably just the fuel, not the driver. EDIT In this case, the caster is not the driver either. The caster is nominally in control, but something else is waiting to take over.
Mindless only means that they lack an intelligence score and are immune to mind affecting magic. It is one of those moments where a game term doesn't line up exactly with a real world definition. They simply can't be trained out of their normal state, which at the moment is full of malice and hate for the living.
If skeletons and zombies wind up being simple bone robots that sit on their shelves politely when they aren't being used or continue to perform their last order until they wear out, then I don't think creating them should be an evil act. It would be like making any other tool, but with a creepy motif and possibly criminal to get. Religions and governments would possibly have strictures and punishments about them, but simply making bones walk around and do things wouldn't be an evil thing all by itself.
Ideally though, I think there should be ample room in Necromancy to do both things. Create Undead being the fast route to having a bunch of minions, but having the motivating force inside the creatures be one of the insinuated evil spirits fueled and bolstered by Negative Energy. The creation of constructs from corpses being the slower, more reliable way to make stable minions that are not ravening body counts waiting to happen.
Both of them would use Neg Energy as fuel and be disrupted by Pos Energy, but Undead remain the blasphemous creatures who spread horror and destruction while necromantic constructs are just seriously creepy tools and not particularly hazardous when uncontrolled.
Negative Energy should be a morally and ethically neutral force without alignment.
Necromancy as a general school should have applications that are not Evil.
If the only things Create Undead makes are barely controlled and irredeemable murder junkies or forces a soul into ghosthood, then I'm fine with the spell being Evil.
I've always liked the Bleaching myself. It hasn't been a big feature in anything I've run so far, but it is something that gnomes in my game are aware of, but don't talk about. It rarely happens because gnomes are sufficiently into art, exploration and discovery as a culture that it isn't a normal issue. But they know. And like a history of dementia in the family, it worries them sometimes.
Do small characters do the same damage as medium characters or did they pull away from different sizes of the same weapons?
As an example, are halflings swinging halfling sized longswords one handed for 1d8 damage (or whatever) or are halflings swinging human sized longswords two-handed for 1d8 damage (or whatever)?
I know that halflings were cited to be swinging the same damage dice worth of sling as the larger characters, but that might not translate to other weapons exactly.
I would prefer gnomes +Int, Halflings +Cha, and goblins out of the core, but I'm fairly convinced the later is not going to happen.
Remember, it has been said (I wish I had the post right now) that goblins are 100% in the playtest document, but they are not carved into the CRB in stone. If you don't want core goblins, keep politely making that point!
John Lynch 106 wrote:
+2 INT makes them better wizards than gnomes. That's a problem IMO.
I'd rather gnomes in Pathfinder remain sorcerers and gently steer goblins to alchemists rather than wizards, but that is a flavor issue I think we can put aside. I have no serious objection aside from I wanting gnomes to be as far removed from gadgeteer gnomes as I can get them.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I can see them as irrational and generally detached from empathy and perspective, but with a cunning and ingenuity that leads them to having an INT bonus even though they don't normally have much sense. Just as I can see them being driven and intense enough to have a +CHA without them being nice or sociable. And very possibly if you can get them past their cultural taboos, then they might make surprisingly adept wizards, but they normally go for alchemy in that direction.
Nobody expects that of them though, since the normal encounter with goblins leads people to think their apparent insanity is also stupidity.
This could all be fixed by giving goblins less bonuses to ability scores or giving them +2 CON, +2 DEX, -2 WIS. Unfortunately Paizo are married to the idea that core races can't have +2 to the same category of attributes (I'm not sure why though).
These ideas also have merit though.
To go back to my earlier post, I'm not too concerned what race gets what bonus so long as they are all different somehow.
Out of everything that has been revealed so far, all the small people getting CHA boosts is the only thing that has edged out shield use being so unwieldy for rubbing me the wrong way.
I am fine with goblins having CHA as their bonus due to their animal magnetism (the old school pseudosciencey force of will meaning not the usual seductive definition). I'd also be okay with them having INT for their bonus as mentioned above because they are consummate salvagers. It is also better synergy with the new iconic Alchemist.
I am fine with Gnomes having CHA as their thing due to their driving need to be outgoing extroverts or they suffer the bleaching. I am less okay with them having INT as their bonus because INT boosted gnomes are a flavor I'm tired of. Tinker gnomes from Krynn or Faerun or wherever have spoiled that for me.
Halflings with a CHA bonus also makes sense, but if they are going to go for Golarion infused lore for their CRB, then halflings with WIS is even better. Very aware, tenacious, unbreakable spirits makes great sense for the setting and sets halflings in Pathfinder apart from the normal variety. Plus a lot of their ancestry abilities are geared towards willpower, so that works out too!
Gimme Goblins (+INT), Gnomes (+CHA), and Halflings (+WIS).
In my games alignment has two parts to it. One is a general outlook on life. Lawful people generally believe in discipline, honor, and an orderly society. Chaotic sorts believe in freedom, flexibility and independence. Neutral people don't feel any particular drive towards or against either side. It is very broad and internal arguments are common even in world.
The second part is actual metaphysical force. It is an actual underpinning of reality and as such enhances the overall fantasy of the game to me. Even more than magic, gods and dragons, the idea that there are these fundamental forces that can act on your soul like a magnet acts on iron filings makes D&D based fantasy more exotic.
It is also why I favor alignment restrictions for divine casters. It isn't that their gods shut them down for misbehaving (although they do have the ability to do so) is is because the actual power they are getting can't be channeled if their soul is too far out of ... Well, alignment.
Monks and barbarians I'm not so supportive of alignment restrictions since I don't think their power comes from the Great Beyond. I get that minks are highly disciplined which implied a Lawful Outlook and barbarians are deeply free spirited which implies a Chaotic outlook, but I'd be more okay if the alignment restrictions were dropped for those classes.
I am perfectly happy with combat techniques and weapon familiarity being things that are developed with time instead of something that everybody of a particular race gets automatically.
Heritage feats sound like a good way to play different kinds of a particular ancestry, but dwarfs should have a standard resistance to poison and magic from day one.
"Hardy" might be an improved version of their normal toughness, which would be fine, but they need to have something more than just a Con/Wis boost.
Likewise, elves need to start out with at least a small bonus to their keen senses.
I appreciate that biology and culture are being decoupled from race into a general Ancestry category, but if things that really NEED to be inherent traits are being shaved away for later development, maybe one of the things that should get retooled is bringing all the ancestries up to the same standard instead of grinding some of them down.
So just to boil this down for clarity,
Ancestry is the general category for feats that relate to your characters biological capabilities based on Heritage and your characters cultural abilities based on upbringing.
Is that correct? Can we confirm that a character of a certain Heritage can claim a different upbringing?
I'm very much in the raccoons camp myself. Goblins are an unwelcome sight everywhere, but they are largely a tolerable presence. Not nice and not pleasant, but normally more trouble to hunt down than ignore.
Adventure scenarios are, naturally, not normal situations and that is where the ravenous green tide stories get started. There is a big difference between the campfire stories of wicked goblins and how often the little devils actually get brave enough to work up to that level of mischief.
What I expect is that goblins aren't going to go from a despised minority to a normal part of society overnight, or in fact at all. They will suffer as much and likely more prejudice than half-orcs, which are also deeply mistrusted by most people. They won't be allowed in a lot of places and assaulting one isn't likely to be a crime.
I also don't expect that there will be a gluten of neutral goblins and hardly any good ones. Most adventuring goblins are still going to be evil, but I expect them to be more pragmatic than their tribal kin. They will largely be regulated to mercenary and criminal work and remain untrusted and feared. A goblin going into a nice part of town is still going to get harrassed at best.
This could be part of their mechanical makeup as well. They could have an ancestry trait that alters their results on diplomacy tests to peacefully deal with certain groups. Say, within a given community they count as one rank lower, or more, when trying to use diplomacy until they can develop a better reputation. Even though they have a boost to Charisma, it would be easy to add in another flaw preventing them from being diplomancers.
HOWEVER, before that happened they went for an undisclosed length of time with nothing in particular happening. Could have been years and years of minor irritation and kids watching them pick through the trash heap at the bottom of the cliff. It took a major plot point to rile them up into actual violence.