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Why I have an example of this just the other day from my game. My NG cleric of Sarenrae (Nice for the win!) made a gesture- he gave to a person from a very distant place a copy of his holy text, and a pair of spectacles of understanding as well. The rest of the party objected rather strenuously to simply giving away a 5K piece of loot with no mechanical benefit, even though it was entirely within my character's appropriate scope of behavior.
Apparently when good is actually altruistic, even others who consider themselves good will object. Why? Because truly being good isn't the norm for good players. My story wouldn't be remarkable if players held Good to the same standards as Evil.
See, Set and Ryjin are going on about what I'm talking about.
I suggested a NE character - a Magnificent Bastard sort ala Al Swearengen-- to a GM I was playing with who is really generally a very good GM, and he recoiled in horror. He was convinced my NE character would betray the party at the first opportunity. I was agog- while my NE probably WOULD betray the party, it wouldn't be at the FIRST opportunity- it would be at the BEST opportunity.
I explained that if you're NE, you're motivated entirely by self-interest. Aligning yourself with a group of people who make you stronger and enable you to garner more power, prestige, and wealth makes perfect sense. And I would be absolutely out for the best for the group (and thus, myself) up until the point where I A- didn't need them or B- got an undeniably better offer.
He countered that I would lie, cheat, kill, and steal from teammates. I said that I wouldn't, because my character is not stupid. Just being NE doesn't mean that you have absolutely no self control- it means you don't exercise self-control where it won't benefit you to do it.
I dropped the idea when it became clear we just had very disparate ideas about what a NE, and indeed what any Evil character, would do in a group setting. But it really got me thinking.
Truthfully, I could see restricting Paladins for the same reason as the TET.
If a player lacks the maturity to do it right, it will end badly. More likely with the Paladin than the TET, because Lawful Stupid is easy, and because you can attempt to drag the rest of the party with you on the basis of your "Code".
Does it sort of feel that, in a perverse sort of way, Evil is held to a higher standard than good?
Everyone assumes the TET is going to go axe-crazy without provocation, or be compelled without recourse to do evil at every opportunity, but no one ever imagines that the good characters are going to be compulsively buying food for the poor instead of better gear, or spending spells to heal lepers and atone for criminals.
Meet the Iconics wrote:
I believe she was born, biologically speaking, male, but self-identified as female. Therefor, she is female, albeit... "disjuncted", I believe, would be the word that the post used.
The references to alchemical tinctures put me to mind of modern day hormone blocking treatments that delay the onset of puberty for transpersons, which help to minimize the physical differences between the sexes that emerge during that time period. In effect, it prevents them from becoming more of something they do not believe they are or should be.
Further undercut, apart from his behavior in Ariel, in his recruitment "Out of Gas" where he turns his gun on the guy he's working with currently to hear out Mal's offer.
Or in Jaynestown when he admits to tossing his partner of 6 months out of a flying spacecraft to effect his escape first, and only dumping the money as a last resort.
Loyalty? Decency? Jayne?
I'm very comfortable with his designation as a Token Evil Teammate- but I'd also point to him as an example of how it can be done well.
Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
Mal: What happens when it is?
Jayne: (smiling) Well... that'll be an interesting day.
How many of you as GMs allow evil characters in your standard non-evil campaign?
How many of you as players have played alongside or as the token evil teammate?
What roles do you guys find most fitting for the TET in terms of group dynamics? Alignment? Classes?
I'm always sort of fond of the TET characters. Be they Jayne from Firefly, Alice Morgan from Luther, Loki from the most recent Thor movie, Jack from ME2, Morrigan from Dragon Age- I feel like the TET can provide a valuable perspective to an otherwise monolithic group of "heroes" (or muderhobos, depending on your group). They can give the opportunity, if played well, of interpersonal friction within the party that doesn't necessarily lead to blows. You can redeem 'em! You can fall to their level! They can provide a pragmatic counterpoint to an otherwise circuitous plan!
Just not in a party with a Paladin. Ever.
First, you have my sympathies for your peanut and/or chocolate allergy.
Second, I used to play quite regularly in a local lodge (which I have recently been a poor attendee), but have also gamed at cons and in other lodges when I travel for work. I have seen all manner and variety of games and gamers, but most frequently when I set down at the table, folks will ask "What does your character do?" Our Warhorn sign-up even includes a slot for class, level, and party role. I'm not saying they need to know your + to hit and damange, but they do want to know, mechanically, what your character does.
While many people can and do roleplay well at our lodge, I see an equal amount of persons attempting to be mechanically unique to stand out from the crowd. I don't see anything particularly wrong with this approach, and indeed, in organized play, given the limited time to accomplish a set goal, sometimes RP opportunities fall by the wayside. When all your character interactions are in 4 and 5 hour increments, you may not know that Buliwyf, Son of Folkvardr became obsessed with armor as a kid because he was slow and his father the blacksmith was convinced he would hurt himself if given weapons to train with, but you would remember that shielded fighter with armor spikes who is nearly impossible to hit and wrecks faces up close.
Generally speaking, for PFS and other organized play, the odds are very high that your character will be reduced (by the other players, at least) to his mechanics anyways. Unless you play with a regular organized group, where personalities and RP can come to the forefront over time, folks aren't going to care too much about your character backgrounds or motivation, so much as they're gonna wanna know what you can do for the party.
So long as you enjoy playing the character you've made, they're like a Reeses' Cup. There's no wrong way to make a character.
Anyone ever tried the grid method?
I haven't done it but I find it to be fascinating. Everyone gets to use the same array, but it provides for a little more flexibility.
Mark a 3 by 3 grid. Across the top, it goes STR DEX CON.
Roll 4d6 and drop the lowest, 9 times. Start in the top left box and go left to right, top to bottom.
For each ability, you choose one stat from the corresponding row. Once chosen, it's out of play for the other stat row it would be in.
A Helpful Halfling (trait) Bard or Cleric of Sarenrae (Evangelist with Heorism or vanilla Cleric with Heroism and Restoration domains) wielding a longspear can not only buff magically but can, without placing themselves in too much danger, aid another with their front-line allies for an additional +4 to hit or +4 to AC, depending on the situation.
Gives you something to do in the rounds after you've fired off all your buffs. If interested in pursuing that more, you can add in the Halfling combat traits Cautious Fighter and Blundering Defense (I'm not aware of anything that prevents you from fighting defensively while aiding another in combat), meaning you'd be sharing +6 AC to one person on top of whatever else you've been handing out via Inspire Courage, Prayer, Heroism, or whatever else you're tossing around.
Imma have to pick on this a pit, because... well, I disagree with it. All the stuff you mention in Skyrim, apart from being DragonBorn, are actually things that your character must achieve through participation in quests. It somewhat undercuts your entire argument to suggest that people want to be special snowflakes without doing anything when your prime example of this is a game where to accomplish that level of specialness required dozens of hours of gameplay. If anything, I think this would be endemic of power-gaming, as opposed to roleplaying.
Your larger point, that backstory is a problem in roleplaying culture, strikes me as rather counter-intuitive. Your character performs deeds, but absent a backstory to provide some context into which to put those deeds, they have absolutely no significance to themselves, other than a mechanical accumulation of XP.
The dichotomy that "It's not who you are, but what you do, that defines you" is a false dilemma. I went to college, to law school, and became a lawyer, but is that all I am? Is my existence defined solely by what I do? Who am I am provides context to what I do, and what I do provides a means to express who I am. They are not mutually exclusive, they are integrally connected. This is absolutely true of backstory and RP.
That whole part about the culture, though, makes you come across as an angry old man standing on his porch wanting all these damned entitled kids to get off his D&D.
Two whole pages!?
However do you find the time to read all that?
I would not use an archetype. They tend to not be worth what you give up, in many cases. The ranger archetypes especially. If however you need a rogue in the party and don't have one, the Trapper archetype has trapfinding.
Trapper, or Skirmisher, are the two archetypes I'd consider if you absolutely don't want spells... but Longstrider, Falcon's Aim, Lead Blades, Resist Energy... you're giving up a lot of your self-sufficiency, which is sort of the calling card of the Ranger.
Power attack- you need it WAY earlier. Like Level 3.
Crafting your own armor is never worth it.
Keep Combat Reflexes for 5, and at 7th take Lunge so you can make better use of your additional Attacks of Opportunity by extending your reach. Don't worry about armor class- that's why you have Lay on Hands. Your HP are as much a factor as your AC.
Do you intend to be mounted much? Or take the bonded mount? That's generally only advisable for smaller Paladins
Dwarf cleric with Healing Domain. Use the other domain for something buff-related, and keep your strength high since you get proficiency with good martial weapon and you can get HAP for very little.
Gruff? Check. Low charisma? Check. Efficient healer? Check. Capable of contributing in other ways? Check.