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Alaryth wrote:

Just want to say that I do not hate the existence of Alignment itself, spells and creatures based on alignment, and all that. I'm the first that like hardcore alignment on outsiders, I loved Planescape after all.

But, sadly, is NOT true that alignment is only a way to help define character motivations and that it not define your actions. Why? Alignment restrictions. If I lose like 80% class power because the DM interpretation of some action says that is contrary to my alignment, then is hard to negate that it is a straightjacket.
Alignment restrictions on not divine characters need to go, and I have hopes that the ones on Monk are gone. Things like "drunken masters need to be lawful" have zero sense. I would love to have alignment restrictions disappear from divine classes too, but there they can have some sense.

I've seen some rather interesting discussions on the paradigm of law versus chaos (and what law versus chaos should even mean), the recent explorations of what a CG code of conduct would look like, I remember one intriguing take on the Incredibles (Bob as NG, Helen as LG, both in terms of their strengths and flaws), and I still value my copy of the 3.0 Manual of the Planes. Even if I don't agree with the concept of the spectra of behavior being parsed out into 9 general boxes and those results being knowable to mortal mind, it's not like alignment as a concept is harmful or toxic.

As long as there's no agenda. But when I need to be able to continue taking levels in Monk, that requires being lawful, and therefore I need to all observers to agree the character is still lawful no matter what, then it's crossed the line.

Alignment is a lot like riddles, actually.

The comments on this webcomic page delved into the nature of riddles and how difficult it can be to successfully use them in an RPG. Namely, that riddles more often than not have multiple correct answers that can be intuitively arrived at, and the trick is knowing/guessing/licking into the specific correct answer the riddle-giver was looking for. Fun enough if you're into that sort of thing and the riddle is little more than an exploration into different ways to view the world with nothing at stake if you guess the wrong-but-still-intuitively-correct answer.

Now consider the Riddler and his deadly stakes and why everyone in Gotham prefers it when he's locked away in Arkham. Running afoul of alignment restrictions and thereby being forced to express your character in a manner you had no intention of is practically the same thing.


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Secret Wizard wrote:

A+ Roswyn

Your introduction sprouted a thought –

Q: Can a Paladin abide their code without being Lawful Good?

If not, why do we need the aligment restriction?

Can a Paladin/Knight/Oathbpund/pick-a-name in a game without alignment have a code? If so, then your answer is "yes". And therefore, we don't need the alignment restriction from a roleplaying perspective. And we already know from earlier designer statements that the code isn't meant as a drawback to counter extra powerful class features/mechanics.


Pagan priest wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
You're not wrong, but remember that you're saying "could". SF ships "might maybe can" do all of those things, hoping nothing goes terribly wrong enough to seal the ship's doom. But what happens when a modern carrier completely runs out of food? They get more shipped to them. "Less than a planetary diameter", remember? SF ships that run out of food in between star systems are vastly (pun loosely intended) worse off. So for all that they "could" rely on recyclable air or hydroponically grown food alone, there are probably volumes of textbook examples in every flight academy in the Pact Worlds explaining how many different reasons why that's a bad idea. So, repetitive, repeating, redundant, repetitious redundancy at minimum.

"Could" only in the sense that might be better options, including magic, that I did not mention. If those are the best available, then any combat ship would be using all of them. For air and water, other than magic replacement, there is no real option other than recycling with stores to replace battle damage losses.

As far as a modern carrier that ran out of food, 1) the captain would be "allowed" to retire just about immediately, 2) the carrier would radio the supply ship that is accompanying the battle group and arrange for a couple of hours steaming along side for underway replenishment. However, I would not say that that being only 1 planetary diameter or less from resupply is very helpful. That carrier may be a week or more away from any port from which they could be resupplied. A SF ship is always within 1d6 days or less from Absalom Station.

And I'm not saying they wouldn't also be exercising those better options. But that would be in addition to those lesser options, not in place of. Remember, this is my attempt to provide a rationale for why the ships would be bigger while the crews would be smaller, by saying that the space is taken up by, for example, not the ship's water reclamator and atmospheric reconstitutor, but the fifty water reclamators and seventy atmospheric reconstitutors per person, with spare parts enough to make another few hundred of each (also, per person).

And remember, an SF ship is only 1d6 days away from Absalom Station IF they have a working Drift drive and IF they have working thrusters for once they get into Drift space and IF they don't get a random encounter along the way. It's like Bruce Wayne's line about Superman in BvS; if there's even a 0.00000001% chance of those factors contributing to stranding them away from help, simple prudence demands that they treat it as a 100% certainty.


Arachnofiend wrote:
It's important for "unarmed, unarmored" to be a playstyle that anyone can build into because Clerics and Paladins of Irori exist. Outside of the specific Paladin archetype (which even still needed to multiclass with Monk to even approach being workable) in the PF1 paradigm it was largely impossible to make this concept in a way that satisfied the theme.

Not just Clerics and Paladins. I just realized that a dedicated Wizard with an "unarmed, unarmored" build would be perfect for representing Negi Springfield. Not to mention how Negima demonstrates just why there would still be a dedicated Monk class in a world where every class could have some way to add a Monk-esque feel to it (for example, I think Evangeline MacDowell would be an "unarmed, unarmored" Sorceress).


Pagan priest wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Pagan priest wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:
VoodooSpecter wrote:
OK But I'm just going to say it here because one thing in the interview read to me as a bad misconception. They are NOT good on space ships as we currently stand. The game is presently completely lacking any kind of stealth system for starship battles, and there's all kinds of amazing third party stuff that has come out that blows away the meager offerings we've seen so far. New hulls, new hull sizes, new modules and systems. So that's not accurate. Starships aren't in a good state where they just don't need any more content. There is so much more creativity to be plumbed.
I think more important is how utterly AWFUL the existing charts are on the size and crew complements of the ships. A 3,000 meter deep-space dreadnought bristling with weapons ranging from laser self-defense nets to weapons of mass destruction should NOT weigh the same as a modern Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. It just SHOULDN'T.
A modern aircraft carrier, with a length of only 333 meters, has a crew of 5000 and carries 90 aircraft. A gargantuan SF carrier at 2000 to 15,000 meters (1.24 to over 9 MILES)only has room for 200 crew and a maximum of EIGHTSixteen tiny spaceships???
In all cases and under all circumstances, a modern day aircraft carrier is never more than one planetary diameter away from a ready source of air, water, food, fuel, and other consumables. Running out of any one of those is an inconvenience at best compared to running out in the middle of the Vast. So the Starfinder-verse may be running on the assumption that each individual person needs a WHOLE lot more redundancy allocated to them across all the possible consumables, resulting in starships much larger than aircraft carriers fielding crews much smaller.
Air and water are recyclable. Food could be grown in hydroponics, and supplemented with freeze-dried, concentrated, or fresh as circumstances dictate. Modern carriers use nuclear...

You're not wrong, but remember that you're saying "could". SF ships "might maybe can" do all of those things, hoping nothing goes terribly wrong enough to seal the ship's doom. But what happens when a modern carrier completely runs out of food? They get more shipped to them. "Less than a planetary diameter", remember? SF ships that run out of food in between star systems are vastly (pun loosely intended) worse off. So for all that they "could" rely on recyclable air or hydroponically grown food alone, there are probably volumes of textbook examples in every flight academy in the Pact Worlds explaining how many different reasons why that's a bad idea. So, repetitive, repeating, redundant, repetitious redundancy at minimum.


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HWalsh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:

I didn't make it a Paladin alignment thread. You made the claim, which I agree with, that the ends do not justify the means. Earlier, you'd made another claim, which I also agree with, that nothing good, no matter its appearance, can come of evil.

As you say, the Paladin being forcibly married to an alignment restriction and code of conduct is for the sake of legacy, tradition, class flavor, world flavor, and the narrative's cosmology. All appearances. It's still being born of "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless someone else's ability to play their character concept is as hampered as humanly possible. As long as that's true, it's a sham. It will never not be a sham.

I'm sorry, but that's just the only conclusion that I can derive from what you yourself are saying. Your intentions for the game do not bear out with your statements of whether the means outweight the ends or vice versa. Now, again, if you want to let your acknowledgment that you are placing other people's enjoyment of the game below some so-called integrity of the setting/legacy stand in place of you acknowledging that yes, some ends do justify the means (sometimes people are just supposed to be arbitrarily screwed over), then you may do so.

You're not saying anything coherent otherwise.

Just because it is the only conclusion that you can derive doesn't make it the correct conclusion. Just because you disagree with someone else doesn't make their argument incoherent.

Also, everything you are saying can be turned back around onto you.

Example:

You said:
"Now, again, if you want to let your acknowledgment that you are placing other people's enjoyment of the game below some so-called integrity of the setting/legacy stand in place of you acknowledging that yes, some ends do justify the means (sometimes people are just supposed to be arbitrarily screwed over), then you may do so."

Now I turn this around:

You are aware that some people's enjoyment of the game is derived from there not being non-Lawful...

Here's the difference.

I'm not beginning with the premise that Paladin's must be LG only, that they must only do good, that any iota of evil is unacceptable. My premise is this: Paladin is just a class, a collection of class features, one of eleven twelve in the CRB. And just like any other class, it can be and is inspired by a certain concept or range of concepts, and it can also inspire (and should be inspiring) a concept or a range of concepts. But anything the class features best serve to represent, whether a previously anticipated concept or something new, IS what the class is supposed to be used for. Under the premise that a roleplaying game isn't supposed to be where players go to have all their "badwrongfun" character concepts forcibly beaten out of them, what the class CAN be used to represent IS what it was meant to*. And IF the concept is "never a product of evil", then it can't be a product of any evil, including this culture of exclusionary elitism that says you get to dictate what I can even do in this game even though you and I will likely never meet.

*

Spoiler:
Subject to the rest of the gaming group, maybe for that particular game or for all of them, but never subject to the idle whims of Joe Random Whoever five hundred miles away.

But since that IF isn't a given, my premise can logically survive my enjoyment "coming at the expense of yours".

Though, again, I'm not even remotely sold on this notion that me, minding my own business, just playing my character my way rather than yours in a game, in a gaming group, in a city or state or country that you aren't even in for all I know, equates to you hampering my ability to enjoy my character without fighting an uphill battle each and every damned time. If I want my Fighter to only use axes, do I get to say that every other Fighter character, in every other game, group, country, must also use axes? Is that anything other than ridiculous selfishness that deserves to be rightly laughed off of every forum board I'd hypothetically be putting that absurdity on? I don't play Gnomes; should you never get to play a Gnome? I'll likely never be gaming with you, but there's still this notion that you're playing a Gnome and you didn't have to struggle to do so. If I say that makes my skin crawl, is that a legitimate position and should I be expecting your sworn statement to never play a Gnome again?

Obviously not. So while my preferences for axe-only Fighters and no Gnomes are things that I do not get to dictate to players I will never meet, my enjoyment, in like fashion, isn't coming at the expense of yours.


Pagan priest wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:
VoodooSpecter wrote:
OK But I'm just going to say it here because one thing in the interview read to me as a bad misconception. They are NOT good on space ships as we currently stand. The game is presently completely lacking any kind of stealth system for starship battles, and there's all kinds of amazing third party stuff that has come out that blows away the meager offerings we've seen so far. New hulls, new hull sizes, new modules and systems. So that's not accurate. Starships aren't in a good state where they just don't need any more content. There is so much more creativity to be plumbed.
I think more important is how utterly AWFUL the existing charts are on the size and crew complements of the ships. A 3,000 meter deep-space dreadnought bristling with weapons ranging from laser self-defense nets to weapons of mass destruction should NOT weigh the same as a modern Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. It just SHOULDN'T.
A modern aircraft carrier, with a length of only 333 meters, has a crew of 5000 and carries 90 aircraft. A gargantuan SF carrier at 2000 to 15,000 meters (1.24 to over 9 MILES)only has room for 200 crew and a maximum of EIGHT tiny spaceships???

In all cases and under all circumstances, a modern day aircraft carrier is never more than one planetary diameter away from a ready source of air, water, food, fuel, and other consumables. Running out of any one of those is an inconvenience at best compared to running out in the middle of the Vast. So the Starfinder-verse may be running on the assumption that each individual person needs a WHOLE lot more redundancy allocated to them across all the possible consumables, resulting in starships much larger than aircraft carriers fielding crews much smaller.


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HWalsh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Being a paladin isn't about winning at all, in my opinion.

And an opened paladin isn't a paladin in your opinion. It isn't incorrect, you just don't agree with them.

Maybe you should tell that to him as well since he *also* didn't explicitly state that it was an opinion. If you are going to try that on me. Thank you very much.

Also, it is onlyyour opinion that it is my opinion and that he isn't incorrect.

See how that works?

Forcing people to preface every statement with "in my opinion" is needless and is basically pointless because EVERYTHING we tend to say about anything is our opinion when discussing a fantasy game.

It doesn't even weaken the person you are stating it to's argument because we all already know that. So there is nothing to gain.

I'll go ahead and acknowledge that. Here it is, spelled out and bolded: An opened Paladin IS a Paladin, in my opinion. But the thing is, an opened Paladin let's the person who wants a not-LG Paladin play his not-LG Paladin with the same minimum of fuss that a person who wants a LG Paladin can play his LG Paladin. A closed Paladin closes one of the two off.

And the premise, last you stated, was that the ends don't justify the means. So your Paladin, being defined as the quintessential "good guy", CANNOT stand on the foundation of something fundamentally unfair. "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless I know that someone somewhere else that I will never meet is having to move heaven and earth to enjoy his Paladin" CANNOT be anything other than unfair. Ergo, a closed off Paladin, not in my opinion but in my basic understanding of right and wrong and logical thought, CANNOT be anything other than self-contradictory.

Now, if you want to say that the ends sometimes do justify the means, then the logical foundation can hold, and your Paladin can be a quintessential "so-called good guy".

This isn't a Paladin alignment...

I didn't make it a Paladin alignment thread. You made the claim, which I agree with, that the ends do not justify the means. Earlier, you'd made another claim, which I also agree with, that nothing good, no matter its appearance, can come of evil.

As you say, the Paladin being forcibly married to an alignment restriction and code of conduct is for the sake of legacy, tradition, class flavor, world flavor, and the narrative's cosmology. All appearances. It's still being born of "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless someone else's ability to play their character concept is as hampered as humanly possible. As long as that's true, it's a sham. It will never not be a sham.

I'm sorry, but that's just the only conclusion that I can derive from what you yourself are saying. Your intentions for the game do not bear out with your statements of whether the means outweight the ends or vice versa. Now, again, if you want to let your acknowledgment that you are placing other people's enjoyment of the game below some so-called integrity of the setting/legacy stand in place of you acknowledging that yes, some ends do justify the means (sometimes people are just supposed to be arbitrarily screwed over), then you may do so.

You're not saying anything coherent otherwise.


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HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Being a paladin isn't about winning at all, in my opinion.

And an opened paladin isn't a paladin in your opinion. It isn't incorrect, you just don't agree with them.

Maybe you should tell that to him as well since he *also* didn't explicitly state that it was an opinion. If you are going to try that on me. Thank you very much.

Also, it is onlyyour opinion that it is my opinion and that he isn't incorrect.

See how that works?

Forcing people to preface every statement with "in my opinion" is needless and is basically pointless because EVERYTHING we tend to say about anything is our opinion when discussing a fantasy game.

It doesn't even weaken the person you are stating it to's argument because we all already know that. So there is nothing to gain.

I'll go ahead and acknowledge that. Here it is, spelled out and bolded: An opened Paladin IS a Paladin, in my opinion. But the thing is, an opened Paladin let's the person who wants a not-LG Paladin play his not-LG Paladin with the same minimum of fuss that a person who wants a LG Paladin can play his LG Paladin. A closed Paladin closes one of the two off.

And the premise, last you stated, was that the ends don't justify the means. So your Paladin, being defined as the quintessential "good guy", CANNOT stand on the foundation of something fundamentally unfair. "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless I know that someone somewhere else that I will never meet is having to move heaven and earth to enjoy his Paladin" CANNOT be anything other than unfair. Ergo, a closed off Paladin, not in my opinion but in my basic understanding of right and wrong and logical thought, CANNOT be anything other than self-contradictory.

Now, if you want to say that the ends sometimes do justify the means, then the logical foundation can hold, and your Paladin can be a quintessential "so-called good guy".


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HWalsh wrote:
Being a Paladin is about winning the right way. It isn't about winning the most effective way, in fact it is often the contrary. Above all the ends shouldn't justify the means.

The ends: The Paladin is supposed to be the quintessential "good guy".

The means: This is enforced by alignment and code-of-conduct restrictions imposed in the game not just on the individual gaming group level, but as a game wide default no matter where you are or who you're playing with because it's somehow unthinkable that someone else in another group/city/state/country/continent should be able to play their Paladin their way without having to move heaven and earth to do so if their way isn't your way.

Oh, I totally agree that the ends don't justify the means. It doesn't matter what sort of "good guy" archetype the Paladin is supposed to be. That it stems from this kind of exclusivity makes it a hollow mockery of itself, and it shouldn't be. Thank you for so eloquently phrasing exactly why (well, one of the myriad reasons why) the Paladin class needs to be opened up.


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Weather Report wrote:
khadgar567 wrote:
you know I think some people wishes friar tuck one of the monk archtypes but the point of making monk with cleric based fluff is either kinda hard but but i kinda like to atleast read about it.
Speaking of, it would be nice to have an unarmoured archetype or something for the cleric.

Actually, I'd much rather have the system just generally support unarmored characters of all classes. Make it a feat (or two), and have it come online for everyone else later than it does for the Monk, but the Worldscape comic series had multiple archetypes introduced for the characters the series introduced (Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Red Sonja, etc.) and all the archetypes had Monk-style AC bonuses. I'd rather the system not have to reach around its elbow to get to its thumb and just make that sort of thing a thing you can do out of the gate.


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I don't know whether to make a joke about Red Scales giving you Wiiings, or to celebrate that at least it didn't take as long as Clark on Smallville.


Iron_Matt17 wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
You CAN make an army of LN drizzt clone fighter drow too. It doesn't mean it fits as a major portion of the setting.
and we run into that wall again: is the Paladin the blessed warrior with a code and a patron, or is it a beefed up cavalier order of LG knights? If you see it (as I do) as the blessed warrior class, then yes, Cayden sure would have them, tgey might fight differently, but equipment is props, at least imho.
Except you can't mandate CG and manage a behaviorally restrictive code that holds any meaning at all.
Chaotic gods (good, neutral, or evil) having anathema and chaotic clerics (good, neutral, or evil) abding by those anathema says you totally can.
Yes, it is very true. But Paladins have an anathema AND and a Code. Anathemas are general guidelines that are generic enough to be not too restrictive on the individual. The traditional Code (by its very nature) pushes it much farther and is too restrictive on the Chaotic individual.

For the record, while I'm fine with the traditional Paladin Code as written being in the game and setting, I also have no qualms with it being 100% separate from the class. So while I agree that Paladins HAVE both a Code and an anathema and that the anathema is far less restrictive than the Code, I cannot see the Code or its chaotic counterpart being a necessity. Not at the "class" stage of the game.


Another thing I'm wondering: is Conceal Spell going to be Wizards only, or do they just have earliest access to it, or did the Wizard blog just happen to be the earliest Conceal Spell was mentioned?


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
You CAN make an army of LN drizzt clone fighter drow too. It doesn't mean it fits as a major portion of the setting.
and we run into that wall again: is the Paladin the blessed warrior with a code and a patron, or is it a beefed up cavalier order of LG knights? If you see it (as I do) as the blessed warrior class, then yes, Cayden sure would have them, tgey might fight differently, but equipment is props, at least imho.
Except you can't mandate CG and manage a behaviorally restrictive code that holds any meaning at all.

Chaotic gods (good, neutral, or evil) having anathema and chaotic clerics (good, neutral, or evil) abding by those anathema says you totally can.


Thebazilly wrote:

Well, it looks like the question has been partially answered in today's blog.

Link to Mark Seifter's clarifying comment.

There is a Conceal Spell metamagic that seems to replace(?) Silent and Still spell and conceal whatever spell manifestations happen during casting.

Partially answered, yes. We still need to know what the default manifestations are supposed to be, do they cast light, how bright, do they go invisible if the caster goes invisible, do they also/alternatively make noise a la transporter chimes, and so on. But at least they're saying up front that manifestations are a thing.


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Ryan Freire wrote:

Because gods like iomedae torag, abadar et-al make sense for a heavily armored warrior with a mount of some kind, whereas dialing down the spellcasting is not really an in theme thing for nethys to do, nor is being heavily armored for cayden, or norgorber. While making their holy warriors archetypes of swashbuckler, rogue, bard, or in the case of nethys mage/sorceror/magus is a profoundly stronger fit thematically.

Also because no one seems able to come up with a chaotic or evil code that provides anything resembling a similar behavior restriction.

You didn't answer the question. I can make a Cleric of all those deities. I can have a Fighter devoted to all those deities. I can mix those two classes in any ratio, including 1:1. No matter how unthematic you may find it, neither the game nor the setting disappear in a puff of logic when I make a Fighter 10/Cleric 10 of Nethys or Cayden or Norgorber or Gorum or Pharasma. So why does that change by making the mechanical representation of such a character a single base class?


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Ryan Freire wrote:
The issue is, imo, as a golarion centric rpg there's no reason for nethys and caiden, and irori, and rovagug to use even remotely similar base chassis for their holy warriors. The modularity of "class feats" lets each god have an archetype that slots onto 1 or 2 different classes and modify say, a rogue or alchemist, or monk into a holy warrior. Paladin, on its own can be a fine base chassis for gods like iomedae, sarenrae, torag, abadar and the like. It begins to stretch as a chassis for norgorber, or nethys, or rovagug.

Why is it that we can dial down the spellcasting and dial up the martial prowess to go from Clerics of Iomedae, Torag, Abadar, etc., to Paladins of the same, but dialing down the spellcasting and dialing up the martial prowess for Clerics of Cayden, Nethys, Gorim, etc., gives us "HP Error 404 Not Found"? Does the game or the setting implode when you have a Cleric 10/ Fighter 10 of one of the not-LG deities who was built alternating each class in turn? Why would consolidating that into a more elegant base class using 95%+ of the same chassis as the LG Paladin be any different?


Okay, yesterday posters were rattling off characters they would consider iconic representatives of a CG Paladin. I just saw Deadpool 2, and I'm going to have to throw out Deadpool (at least as depicted here) as such an example. Without going into spoilers, both his behavior and his goals were screaming chaos AND good in equal measure, especially when we get to his

Spoiler:
confrontation with Colossus towards the beginning of the second act. If anything is a textbook example of a LG Paladin and a CG Paladin having a fundamental disagreement about what is the right thing to do, it's those two.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Many, many people see a clear difference between Law and Chaos. That they do not completely agree on what that difference is does not mean there is none

But it does make the difference between arguing for chaotic laws and codes versus lawful laws and codes and arguing that chaos can't even have laws and codes. The latter might be an intuitively correct interpretation of chaos, but not when the game has had chaotic codes and laws (demonic hierarchies, drow society, King Boranel, chaotic edict-abiding Cavaliers, etc.).


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Neurophage wrote:

So, with regard to how Chaotic Good interacts with societies and laws, I'd like to bring up something from Eberron: the nation of Breland and its Chaotic Good king, Boranel. King Boranel, believing in the people's right to independence and autonomy, gave the legislative duties to a democratically-elected parliament, who revised the Galifar Code of Justice and made it the nation's constitution, making Breland the continent of Khorvaire's first constitutional monarchy (of course, it wouldn't be a fantasy constitutional monarchy without a Lawful Evil Prime Minister). The Brelish seriously value their great political experiment, as it allows local laws to be voted upon by public assembly and anyone with enough support to be voted into parliament. They are a people who believe that no man is born superior to any other, than different is just different, and that anything can change. Your average Brelish is Chaotic Good, but they're accepting of most other creeds and attitudes, so long as those attitudes don't infringe upon the autonomy of others.

So, yeah. Chaotic Good can totally support nation-building and even laws, so long as those nations and laws foster the independence, free thought and autonomy of the people.

The trouble with the law/chaos axis is that it's trying to be too many things. Is it "holding to a code" versus "not holding to any code" or is it "consistently holding to values that emphasize the collective" versus "consistently holding to values that emphasize the individual"?

Some parts of the other CG Paladin Code thread have made me wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just have the game say the following:

"All player characters must be lawful or neutral. You may not under any circumstances be chaotic. The good news is that it's impossible to be chaotic anyway, so you will never run afoul of this rule in the first place. After all, if you have ever done one thing and then at some point in your life done that same thing again, then you are far and away too consistent to ever be chaotic."

Except that that would (I hope, obviously) be in contradiction to what the entire history of that game has tried (and sometimes failed) to have chaotic mean. We have chaotic deities. We have anathema for chaotic deities. *Insert tired but completely true statements about Anti-Paladins and chaotic Cavaliers here.* Holding to a code simply cannot be in conflict with a chaotic alignment or even with being a champion of a chaotic alignment. It creates something the game has never been trying to create before.


Kittyburger wrote:
Tectorman wrote:

*Crosses fingers for an extra page, paragraph, sidebar, or something that gives a satisfactory answer to why shields and armor work they way they do; i.e., why your shields don't take damage until after your armor has already failed to do its job despite shields being traditionally envisioned as OUTSIDE and IN FRONT OF the armor.

It's not a gameplay issue at all; it's a world immersion issue.

There's nothing actually inherently wrong with that conception. The issue with traditional shields is that there's no known mechanism to "bound" a force field in the way that traditional shields are shown (a "hard" bubble of force that acts as a second layer of armor). So while shields as an intermediary layer between the hull and the armor isn't a TRADITIONAL depiction of how shields work, it's one that is at least within the realm of physical possibility (and it's actually one I've used in writing).

And I have no problems with that being the conceptual paradigm they're using. Just that if that's how shields are supposed to work here, recognize that that isn't the traditional depiction and come right out and say that's what it's supposed to look like.

Or just don't call them shields in the first place. Call it a Structural Integrity Field instead, since that is something that traditionally operates in the same fashion that these "shields" are supposed to.


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Unicore wrote:
Remarkably, I feel like I am starting to see clarity on the whole paladin issue finally. It doesn't seem like everyone wants paladin mechanics for every single champion of X (god or ideal), in fact, it seems like most people don't want most of the "iconic" paladin features of the class at all, they want to know that they will be able to build a character that is visually and mechanically accepted as the paragon of the thing that they are championing.

That's part of it. The other part is the idea that the best, most thematic, or most appropriate mechanical representation for any character or concept should occur at the level of the individual table, and not be censured from on high in another state/country.

For example, your Paladin of Shelyn concept may or may not be best expressed by the Paladin class. You eventually decided "no, I need some Bard in here". You might have decided another way. But in either case, shouldn't that be your call?

With all of his emphasis on small communities, nature, and living simply, one could make the case that Erastil doesn't need Paladins, that the most Erastiliest champion of Erastil should be an LG Ranger. You or I may agree or not, but how is it our.s or anyone else's place to say that another player out there who is fine with what we think is a thematic disconnect between Erastil and Paladins or who doesn't think there is such a disconnect in the first place shouldn't be able to go ahead with a Paladin of Erastil?

Or take Nethys and how he has Clerics in the first place. Personally, I think the most worshipful representative of that deity wouldn't even be using divine magic at all, but would instead be a Wizard or maybe an Arcanist. That's how Dragonlance handled its gods of magic, and Nethys strikes me as the same. I think that a Cleric of Nethys, while it isn't fundamentally self-contradictory, doesn't strike me as particularly thematically appropriate. But I don't and I shouldn't have a say over anyone else's character concept or how they decide to express it. Nor do I believe that anyone else has that say, either.


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Rob Godfrey wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
I'd be concerned about the space requirements to make 9 distinct sub-classes

I don't feel the urge to make everything symetric, and I have no problem if some of the aligments are left out (I think NE and CN are the ones I have more problems envisioning a paladin archetype for), and I agree it's a waste of space to design 9 full classes in the way Antipaladins are, for example. That said, I think a savvy game designer (and Paizo have those a plenty) might find the way to fit those 9 "flavors" in not much more space you need for, say, the 8 specialty wizards, which I'm absolutely positive will find space in the CRB.

So the problem for 9 kinds of paladins, one for each aligment, is not as much "book space", like pages and words, as "design space", like "what the hell do we give this particular alignment as tennet, to make it different enough from the two alignments it's closer to". If Paizo finds a way to write 9 codes that make sense, cool. If not, drop a few, it's not the end of the world if in the end it's not symetric.

I could easily leave out NE, although it seems like a lot of people would want CN. And if we're going to do most of them, we might as well do all of them. I agree, it could definitely be done in less space than the wizard section. I'm just not design savvy enough to know how to do it myself ;) I wonder if they could take the axis approach for the codes? Then a LG paladin would take the law and good codes. That might be harder for the neutral alignments though.
NE has the Four Horsemen and Szuriel at least having paladin analogues makes way to much sense to leave out as a possibility. CN.. I can't think of, off the top of my head, but something to do with the Elder Gods or Slaad is a possibility.

Wouldn't Gorum want his Paladin-analogues too? He's been granting significant divine powers to his Warpriests and Clercs and Inquisitors all this time, and he's probably chomping at the bit to grant only just enough for his servants to make up most of the difference with their own martial skill.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Yep. We have a Knowledge Arcana skill, a Knowledge Religion skill, and a Spellcraft skill, but there is no "Knowledge Class Feature" skill.

Actually, per the Spymaster's Handbook (p.9) identifying Class Features is absolutely doable, though the skill varies by Class (it'd be Knowledge - Religion on a Paladin), with a DC of 10 + The Level the Class Feature is gained.

Still, that's a DC 11 check at a minimum when only DC 10 or lower checks can be made untrained, so only people with Knowledge (Religion) can reliably identify a fake Paladin.

That's identifying class features, though, and the language appears to be the same as the application of Spellcraft on identifying spells. As in, you can identify a class feature or a spell, but those skills don't cover what those class features or spells are associated with. Spellcraft doesn't reveal anything about the existence of "spell lists" (at most, you have Wizards having an easier or more difficult time depending on the spell's school, which is an in-universe thing). The Spymaster's Handbook similarly doesn't peel back the curtain on classes as being things in-universe (for which I'm personally thankful, since that's a level of fourth-wall breaking I don't think serves the roleplaying part of the game well).


Yep. We have a Knowledge Arcana skill, a Knowledge Religion skill, and a Spellcraft skill, but there is no "Knowledge Class Feature" skill. Adjudicating how recognizable certain class features are, or whether they're associated with one class or those other two classes or whether they're actually a feat isn't laid out in terms of difficult the task is or when it's even a task that can be accomplished.

That's why I phrased Paladinic Authority as something inherent to the universe and independent of class features or even classes, and specifically laid out that it was a skill check, which skill it was, and how difficult.


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Paradozen wrote:
Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I like interchangeable classes that can't instantly be recognized. Would be a shame if that was taken away. Even for Paladin. Doesn't really make any sense to me to have the entire universe decide being a Paladin makes people always know to trust you, and this makes the Razmir problem worse IMO, because being a god should be far harder to take than a mere servant to them. I'd really like to get rid of in-universe absolute proof someone is X class.

Yep, me too.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

I think game terms are used in game, not in world.

I can say "I'm an assassin" because I'm a killer for hire. I don't need to have the Assassin prestige class, I can be a rogue, slayer, ranger, fighter, or even sorcerer.

Same with paladin. I can say "I'm a paladin of Iomedae's just cause", even if my class is not Paladin, but Inquisitor, Cleric, Warpriest, Cavalier or even sorcerer. I would not be a Paladin, but I would be a paladin.

Same here. I think classes should not equal concepts, that they can be inspired by concepts and inspire players to use the class for certain concepts, but there should not be a "MUST" involved. It's a setting full of millions of people. That's something that cannot possibly be accurately modeled, something has to give, and so I think classes should be as open as possible to what they can be used for, limited only by the person using it (in this case, the player).

Malk_Content wrote:
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
I dont know where this "everybody knows you are a paladin" thing came from.

Not going to mine for quotes [I got chores to do] so if this in any mischaracterizes someone I'm sorry and I hope you correct me.

It was brought up multiple times as an argument in the Paladin blog thread defending the idea that being a Paladin means something in the world and that such a thing is directly observable. Thus broadening the alignment inherently reduces this meaning as being observable as a Paladin would not necessarily indicate the status it does now.

This right here. I don't buy that the Paladin class (any class, really) should be narrowly defined by a single concept. But that doesn't have to mean the concept shouldn't exist or that it can't be a concrete thing in-universe.

That's my whole point for this idea. To try and frame those two things as not having to be mutually exclusive in the first place. No, I don't want the Paladin/Sentry/Champion class to be stuck behind the Paladin concept. Proponents of the LG-only Paladin concept don't want that character concept to be diminished in status. So this is me "reaching across the aisle", not by creating a compromise, not by suggesting an amicable solution that diminishes both sides towards the middle but by suggesting a satisfactory solution that preserves as much as possible for both sides.

Paladinic Authority is, by default, sacrosanct and unassailable. Even more so than when it depended on characters in-universe being aware of traits and class features that we're not going to agree they should be aware of. And I know some of the posts claimed it wasn't even about the specific class features. This makes that true. And on the other side, the Paladin/Sentry/Champion class is open to whatever concept the player thinks this chassis best serves as the vehicle for.

Though, yes, I agree this probably won't see the light of day.


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One thing at issue with the Paladin is how it is supposed to have this special, set aside place in-universe. A true Paladin claiming to be one isn't supposed to be doubted. How? While you might point at the class features or the Paladin-exclusive spells, I find there to be several issues with those as solutions. One, probably every single class feature of the Paladin is swappable for something else via an archetype. Two, that makes a lot of assumptions about how average Joes are even aware of classes, class features, and what they're associated with. I.e., is Flip Rodriguez in American Ninja Warrior an 8th level Expert or a 4th level Rogue with a class feature boosting his Athletics to the level of what an 8th level Expert could do? Would you really be able to tell the difference? Could we in today's age of global communication accomplish such a thing? And could it be done with the world dialed back to news being relayed by messengers and bards?

There's also the question of Razmir. If information about Paladins is so widespread that they can somehow be unerringly recognized by the average Joe, how is being a deity not more unmistakeable? And yet, Razmir has the whole of his nation fooled. Isn't that a mark against the idea that unassailable reputations (such as the Paladin's) can exist that widespread?

Thing is, we already have a similar situation in the lore of the setting. I think we can solve this issue by looking to Norgorber. According to Inner Sea Gods page 109, it is literally impossible for Norgorber to be depicted with any kind of specificity. He can be average and nondescript, but his true appearance cannot be known or even accidentally lucked into. Cosmos-wide, such a thing just cannot be done.

Okay, so let's just do something like that for the Paladin. Create a literal game mechanic to preserve the Paladin's reputation.

Paladinic Authority (or "Mandate of Heaven" or whatever evocative name you like)
"By default, the Golarion setting and the Pathfinder Second Edition game operate under the existence of a trait called Paladinic Authority. With this trait in play, it is literally impossible for a character to claim to be a Paladin unless he is one. This ignores antimagic, dead magic, null magic, and literally anything and everything else that might try to circumvent this. Attempts to do so anyway in either voice or writing result in the character essentially acting out that scene in Liar Liar where Fletcher Reed kept trying to say the pen was re-... rrrre-... rrrRRREE-... blue. I.e., the entire multiverse is under a Zone of Truth spell, but only insofar as it pays attention to claiming to be a Paladin.

Characters must maintain an LG alignment and abide by the Paladin's code of conduct to qualify. Other characters can become aware of this (the general knowledge that claiming to be a Paladin can't be faked and the general parameters of the Paladin's code) via a DC 5 Religion or Knowledge (Religion) (or whatever the pertinent skill ends up being) check that they are always allowed to take 10 on."

So what does this do? Several things, in fact.

1. It lets the Paladin have the unerring recognition and unassailable reputation he's supposed to have. It's almost impossible for NPCs to not know that the guy claiming to be a Paladin actually is one. The fact that he could even successfully say that he was a Paladin must mean he is one. So even though he's splattered with blood and standing over a dead body, if he says everything is on the up and up, it must be so. He's either not lying, or we can trust him to be lying in service to a higher priority aspect of his code. He doesn't even have to go through the song and dance of showing his aura or casting his class-exclusive spells to prove this.

2. It gives a game mechanic to prove a Paladin's Paladinness that doesn't peel back the curtain of the world. By making it something that can be resolved in-universe, it refrains from leaning on the fourth wall and ruining the cohesiveness of the game world. After all, if I can be aware of classes, where does it stop? Do I know about hit points? Or the d20? Or how the world aligns with a 5-foot grid? Do I know that Talking is a Free Action?

3. It halfway solves the Razmir question. True, it does nothing to explain why being a deity is even a thing that can be faked, but at least it explains why and how Paladins have their reputation.

4. It negates the association of adhering to the Paladin's restrictions with getting/avoiding losing the Paladin's shiny powers. There are no mechanical power booststo a character picking this. He isn't trading roleplaying restrictions for better class features than another character with the same amount of XP would have. They're completely off the table. What he is trading some of his roleplaying freedoms (the ability to lie, cheat, tell authority to go stuff itself) for is roleplaying rewards (the ability to easily and reliably "grease the wheels" where a Paladin's reputation would help). It also means the player can have his character be a Paladin for the same reason his character wants to be a Paladin, as opposed to the character remaining a Paladin because he felt the call of good while the player is busy just avoiding becoming a Fighter without feats.

5. This makes it easier to remove for campaigns not meant to include Paladins with this kind of reputation. This trait can exist by default for Pathfinder Second Edition, Golarion, PFS, etc., while exercising the option of lifting this trait removes everything else associated with it. With alignment being something meant to be easily remove-able, this can only also be helpful.

6. Making this trait an aspect of the game rather than an aspect of the class prevents the class from being locked to only that concept. The chassis of the Paladin class is perfectly capable of covering everything a Warpriest or a multiclass Cleric/Fighter would represent and can do so in a less clunky manner and with more refinement. The exclusivity of the Paladin is attained by the Paladinic Authority trait, in the game, in the setting, and in PFS by default. Heck, characters with the Paladin class and adhering to the Paladin's code in a game with Paladinic Authority could even have more selective power compared to other characters using that class. I.e., at 3rd level, their class feature choices could be the entire list plus Righteous Ally while characters not keeping to the code would have a smaller list. Each individual option would be just as worthwhile, but the Paladin-y Paladin's list of choices would be bigger.

7. Conversely, this also prevents the concept from being locked to the class. A character who holds to the Paladin ideals but who wants to wage his fight against evil by being the best Wizard he can only has two options right now. Either he can act like a Paladin and say he's a Paladin without either the proof that he's truly holding to the code or the trust of others that believe he is what he says he is. Or he can spend one level on Paladin for class features he will probably never use (the Detect Evil, sure, but he's not going to be smiting or wearing heavy armor). Never mind that Rule #1 of being a caster is "Thou shalt not sacrifice caster levels". With Paladinic Authority being a trait outside and independent of the class structure, Good now has more ways it can fight against Evil and more varieties of Paladin can be made without clunky multiclassing or hollow claims.


I had made a thread on this very topic before. So it's been asked, but I don't know if it's been addressed.

Certainly needs to be, so I, too, agree.


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Okay, this thing about the Paladin somehow having narrative power. How? Short of the NPCs literally being able to see the Paladin's character sheet, how would they know? How is the fact of a Paladin being a Paladin such an unerringly recognizable thing? Especially when being a deity would have to be even more unerringly recognizable (hello, the nation of Razmiran).

Show me the observable difference between these two.

LG Wizard 19. He has no levels in Paladin, not now and he didn't retrain out of them prior. He nevertheless follows the code and keeps that behavior as though he was one.

LG Paladin 1 Wizard 19. Because he is primarily a Wizard, he does his Paladin-y things through the lens of his Wizard abilities. That is how he best contributes to the fight against evil. So much so that he has never smited a person, nor used Detect Evil. So if he fell but stayed LG, no one would notice. Heck, his 19 levels of LG Wizard provide a Moderate Aura of Good that would actually drown out his Faint Aura of Good from his 1 level of Paladin, and similarly disguise its absence.

Plus, there's the Vindictive Bastard. And don't say it's an Ex-Paladin. That's just how you qualify to go VB in the first place. For the purpose of how the game works, he's a Paladin. Based on how archetypes work, you trade your existing abilities for the new ones the archetype gives you. Ex-Paladins have nothing to trade, but the VB gets his abilities as replacements for all those Paladin class features. Ergo, he's a Paladin and counts as one.


CapeCodRPGer wrote:
Would it be too meta if Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch have cameos?

Is the voice actor for the Great Mouse Detective still alive?


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Malachandra wrote:
I think I actually agree with everything here. I guess "alignment champion" isn't quite what I'm going for, it's just a good distinction from "divine champion". That said, different champions of the same alignment could still look radically different, because there isn't an "everything that is LG". But I think if you were to go the "divine champion" route, these problems would grow beyond control. There is no one class that can champion every deity, no matter how modular it is.

How are you even espousing the bolded here? "There is no one class that can magically represent every deity, no matter how modular it is." Yes, there is; his name is the Cleric and he does his job quite nicely, no matter the deity. And then they did it all over again with the Oracle. Different take on the specific methodology of the class, but the thing the new class represents (the entire width and breadth of all the deities in the game) did not change. "There is no one class that can guard every deity's interests from the shadows, no matter how modular it is." Impossible class, thy name is Inquisitor. Why is tweaking the spellcasting down to its minimum level over the course of 20 levels and subbing in real martial-y goodness so bewildering?


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Wermut wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:

Starfinder did a good job of making alignment largely meaningless, outside of a few feats and weapon fusions. Any class can be any alignment.

I don't see why Pathfinder 2E can't do that. What is a paladin but a fighter with a particular overlay or archetype? Do you really need to be lawful to excel at unarmed combat, or be chaotic to play a lute magically?

Morality and ethics should not be a straightjacket on game mechanics.

If you must keep alignment in the game, make it a personal choice. If someone wants to have paladin game mechanics but play a selfish, evil character... well that wouldn't even be unrealistic, as there are plenty of people in the real world that see themselves as shining paragons, but are actually trash people.

Back when I was playing 3.5E, I had a plan to play a kung fu panda, a druid that got bear shapechange and then switched to monk. He had to be Lawful Neutral, and I played him that way, as the most civilized city druid in existence. It required some mental gymnastics. I couldn't have played a barbarian/monk, even through there are plenty of uncivilized cultures that have ascetic wise men and unarmed fighters.

Ultimately, alignment class requirements are an unneeded restriction on our creativity as players, and should eventually be done away with, or marginalized.

Wholeheartedly agree, there is nothing in alignment thats not already part of a good character background.

You forget the value of needless strife and undue exclusivity. Kind of like those things shouldn't be valued.


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Malachandra wrote:

I'm not sure why people even think of the Paladin as the divine champion class. I mean, for most of the deities their divine champion would look nothing like the paladin. A champion of Nethys would have way more magic. A champion of Calistria would be more subtle in conflict. A champion of Irori wouldn't use weapons or armor. The deities already have champions. It's just that the paladin is not the divine champion class. It's the knight in shining armor class. Subtle difference, but really important.

What would a champion of Erastil look like? More like a Ranger than anything else. But despite how unthematic an LG Paladin might be for Erastil, he can have his LG Paladins, no problem. But other deities' champions? No, we have to gut the entire class and start from scratch. Paladin for Erastil when Ranger is more thematic, sure. Paladin of Nethys when a more caster-y class would be more thematic, no? Why?

But to answer your question, Clerics, starting in at least 3.5 if not sooner and extending at least into P1E, were the most spellcastiest class of a deity OR of a philosophy. And if that deity isn't LG or LG-adjacent or if that philosophy isn't lawful and good, then that's how much refinement you're allowed without going the extra steps of making a multiclass Frankenstein's monster. But a LG deity or LG as a philosophy, if you see your character as being more warrior-y and less caster-y, then you get more choices on how to express your character.

Oh, unless your theme is nature. Then you get also get that level of refinement (full Druid or dialed back to Ranger).

Why? We have a class that CAN be both the "knight in shining armor" class AND the "divine champion" class. And I think it's unfairly stifling to have that opportunity sitting right in front of you and not allow it to be used to its fullest potential. I'm not even sure how people could NOT see that. By having a class that can easily fulfill your idea for what it should be used for and my idea of what it could be used for and going out of its way to make the job more difficult for one of us, it's essentially the game enforcing "One True Way-ism". How is that its job?

I never would have pegged a fantasy role playing game as being the vehicle by which players learn what sorts of character concepts they're not supposed to be interested in. It's disheartening that I find myself changing that view.


Dragon78 wrote:
It looks like the third Roby Downy Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie will finally happen. It has a release date for Christmas 2020.

I wonder who's going to be the big bad? They've already done Moriarty, and I think it would be rather cheap to have him survive the waterfall, too.

Hmm. Except for the fact that they already had Holmes delve into the (fake) world of the occult, they could've had Sherlock vs Chuthlhu.


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Mbertorch wrote:
SilverliteSword wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Malachandra wrote:

Are you though? I've pointed out what the paladin would lose by switching to any alignment, yet you continue to say that it would be a compromise. To go back to the druid example, if we made druids not nature oriented, they would no longer be druids.

To use your example, I can really see a CG nature themed Druid, without being forced to be neutral.

I don't want to change the paladin theme. Just want to open his alignment.

Quote:
But paladins are no longer Round Table knights
Yes, they still are. Just not all of them are Sir Gallahad.

I had a player play a CG Druid. No problem with that. This is the exact same discussion I had just a few posts before. It's the flavor that matters. Being CG doesn't make a druid less nature themed. Making it not nature themed makes it less nature themed. The paladin is unique, because when you change the alignment, you do change the theme. You make it flavorless. For some classes that's OK. We need the basic fighter. But we also need flavorful options, especially for the paladin. Hence the four corners option, or any other compromise I've brought up.

I never said all paladins should be Sir Gallahad. Do you think all LG paladins are the same? A NG paladin is not a Round Table knight. And that's the point.

So what about (LG only) Paladin as a subclass of the more generic (any alignment) "Holy Champion" class? That way Paladins are unique and restricted to "Knights of the Round Table" while I can still make a "Holy Champion of Veganism"?
Veganism is an alignment?? Now things have gone too far!...

Are you kidding? The Bacon vs Vegan axis is the most important philosophical discussion we can engage in. Followed closely by Pirates vs Ninjas.


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SilverliteSword wrote:
Ok, so this is the real hangup between the "Paladins should be any alignment" crowd and the "Paladins are LG only" crowd. You assume that when a rogue walks down the street people look at him and go "Oh, you're a rogue!" I expect that such metagame terms would never cross an NPC's mind or lips, and instead they would say "Good morning Ambassador, how are you doing today?" In none of my roleplaying games would anyone use an OOC term like class while in character. NPCs don't ask "What Class are you?" It's just not a thing. In other words, a "Cleric" character doesn't have to be a member of the in-world clergy.

Exactly. A character's race is an independent facet of their being within the game world. An elf is an elf is an elf and will not be a goblin. This is something that can be recognized in-universe. Class is (and can only ever be) a collection of abilities thematically associated with each other, organized as needs be to allow a player in said class to be able to contribute at all levels of the game. They should certainly be inspired by certain concepts, and ideally, they will also be inspiring certain concepts out of the players that read these classes and have their imagination sparked further. At no point is a forced marriage of the two warranted.

Classes being recognizable things in-universe just strikes me as horribly contrived and very poor writing. Who remembers the first Fantastic Four movie (well, first one in this millenium)? Do you remember the scene where they first use their powers to save a fire engine on a bridge (and a few other things)? After things calm down, they're separated by the police and we have one reporter calling out, "What do you call yourselves?".

No one would ask that. That character asked what he did because the writers wanted to set up an expectation that the Four would eventually be a superhero group, and somehow that character read ahead in the script and knew it would be a thing. But otherwise, no group of people, even a group of super-powered beings who all show up at the same time and all pitch in to save the day and who all seem to know each other, would be expected to have a special name that they'd call themselves. Contrived. The only character I could seriously see recognizing something like a class in-universe would be Deadpool.

If characters can recognize class, why does it end there? Shouldn't the people in-universe also know about the almighty d20? Or hit points? Or how the movement and placement of objects in their world seems to adhere to a 5-foot grid? Wouldn't they know just as much as the players sitting at the table that Talking is a Free Action? For that matter, wouldn't they know about their status as NPCs?

Like SilverliteSword, my goal for any RPG is "how can you best help me tell a story". Classes being things that can be knowable is as contrary to that as you can get.


Depending on how Righteous Ally and the Spell Points work, this may be what we already have right now. A player who buys into the whole LG + Code is the only true Paladin sticks with the behavioral restrictions and gets RA and SP. A player who wants a Paladin of a different alignment (or even a player who wants to play as a LG Code-abiding Paladin but doesn't want the code hanging over their head) "falls" on purpose, loses only those class features, but otherwise has nothing else to worry about.

And if you can select class features completely in place of those two things, then you have a fully functional class and the LG-only crowd gets their precious exclusivity (why that's even being valued in a conversation about the quintessential good guy, I'll never know) in the form of RA and SP.


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HWalsh wrote:

Doesn't work that way.

Part of the appeal of the type of hero the Paladin represents is the exclusivity.

If you open it up, you destroy that exclusivity, and you destroy the class.

So yes. You being able to play an CG Paladin of Milani damages the LG Paladin, because for us it isn't about what we can play. It is about the class's place in the world. You have to understand that.

In another thread, you were calling me out for asking Paizo to ask for reasons for our positions regarding the Paladin in the upcoming survey and for my personal view that they should give less weight to reasons coming from a place of selfishness. You said I shouldn't be asking that anyone be discounted.

Okay.

HWalsh, you shouldn't be asking that players be discounted. And yes, when what you emphasize and hold above all else is the Paladin's exclusivity, discounting people is exactly what you're after. The very concept of the Paladin's specialness being reliant on its exclusivity is a fundamentally disrespectful stance (and that's before we get into how this is in the name of, of all things, what's supposed to be the quintessential good guy). You're telling people that they should be and need to be marginalized. You have to understand that.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

We knew the Paladin was going to be a bit contentious. The class has provoked strong emotions and discussion since the earliest days of gaming. In designing this class, we really had two routes we could take. Traditional, but very flavorful, or Reimagined, but ultimately more generic. I chose the former.

Now.. I know this is a playtest, and the point is to try out new things, but stripping that Paladin of this core piece of identity felt like changing what it was, making something else. I am fine with doing that through rules alterations and modifications, like archetypes, but it seems like we would lose something special if the class went away from its roots.

Okay, how is any of what we're asking for "stripping the Paladin of this core piece of identity"? We're asking for the thematic space of "divinely empowered warrior" to be fulfilled from Core on, for servants of other deities besides the LG ones. This is not something that threatens the Paladin. Paizo already has exactly this: the Warpriest. It fulfills precisely and exactly the thematic space we were asking it to since the ACG playtest years ago.

Now, what it didn't do was fulfill the mechanical space we asked it to (which in P1E was 4/9 spellcasting and full BAB), which is why it wasn't an acceptable substitute for the Paladin, but that's something that can be fixed now by as little as acknowledging that using the Paladin chassis for more than just its initial concept doesn't harm that concept and solves so much more.


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HWalsh wrote:

Whoa.

Hold on there.

You don't get to say, "Paizo should discount anyone who wants Paladins to be lawful good only because they're being mean to those who want to play non-LG Paladins."

That's not cool.

Our desire for them to remain LG only is only as valid as your desire for them to open for other alignments.

Your desire for them to remain LG only may be valid. But are you honestly and in good faith saying that the desire to be mean to those who want to play non-LG Paladins is also valid? Because frankly, I find that to be a contradiction in terms.

Secondly, I will absolutely cop to it being an attempt to marginalize the other side and that being a bad thing to do if you will agree that it's bad in both directions. And yes, I absolutely feel that that has been the sad sordid story of the past decade.

And lastly, I did not, in fact, tell or ask Paizo to discount anything. What I said was that I think the upcoming survey should have its participants on all sides (see, that's what reciprocity looks like) have reasons behind their position, whatever their position is. I then also gave my personal take on why. They can do whatever they want with their survey and weight whatever input they ask for however they decide to weight it. But I can only ever give my honest take.


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Malachandra wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
I guess in that case my problem is still that Paladins lose the flavor, because it's almost the same as paladins of any alignment. They're no longer paladins. It'd be like if the Monk section included: "Not all monks train hard for their abilities. Some just sit on the couch and watch martial arts movies, slowly gaining the benefits of monk training over time". I don't know if it's that way for other people, but that's what I hear when people advocate for paladins of any alignment. The four corners option fixes that for me. I'd even consider a "fifth corner", Neutral, although I wouldn't be excited about it.

Okay, just to clarify, however opposed to alignment restrictions for the Paladin that I am, I'm more opposed to alignment restrictions for the Monk. Whether the Monk had alignment restrictions or not was literally the deciding factor of whether I was going to support 5E or not.

That said, not wanting Monks to have to be lawful has NOTHING to do with wanting to be able to play a Monk who got as exceptionally trained and talented by sitting on a couch. Yes, I intend my Monks to put in hard work and earn their abilities. No, that has nothing to do with being lawful. Those two concepts are not in contradiction with each other.

Batman gets thrown around a lot in these sorts of discussions. He can be successfully assigned to all 9 alignments because of how long the character's been around and how many writers have been involved. Here's an aspect that's more unchanging: he represents the pinnacle of human achievement. No matter whether he's written to be lawful, neutral, or outright chaotic, he is a character that pushes himself to the maximum of what a human can achieve. Olympic levels of physical ability, a mental focus consistently rated as equivalent to the greatest scientific and investigative minds humanity has ever had.

Batman is sometimes chaotic. He is never written as someone who got where he is by sitting on a couch.

For...

What I said has absolutely nothing to do with alignment restrictions. I actually really think the monk should have no restrictions. It's about the flavor. It seems like people want the sack of mechanics that they think is the paladin, but don't want the flavor of it. My monk example shows what I hear when people say paladins of any alignment. To me, it's no longer a paladin, just like a monk that doesn't train is no longer a monk (maybe a superhero or something?).

Very well. I'm glad you can make the distinction between the flavor of the Monk and the misapplication of the lawful alignment requirement as a sledgehammer that tries to enforce that flavor. There are those that can't. And that misapplication of behavioral restrictions is exactly what I hear whenever someone talks about why the Paladin is supposed to be LG-only with a code of conduct.

For example, the Paladin (the character) is supposed to be doing what he's doing because he genuinely believes in it. He has a code of conduct, but he doesn't need it. He'd behave as a paragon of virtue anyway. The player, however, may never see this. All he might see is the Sword of Damocles constantly hanging over his head. There's a reason why I hold 5E's Oath of Treachery Paladin and P1E's Vindictive Bastard as the best examples of being a Paladin, and it's not about being able to be treacherous or vindictive, respectively. It's about those archetypes coming the closest to letting the player have his Paladin behave like a Paladin for the same reasons as his Paladin character (because he genuinely believes in it, no stick required).

Does that mean that way is also opened for "all it is is Core Rulebook Collection of Class Features #7 #8" (since the Alchemist is getting added)? Yep. So what? Why is that something that needs to be policed? More to the point, how could it be policed? If players aren't going to engage in that aspect of the game, why is it something that has to be imposed?


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
the idea that armor mastery is somehow locked to LG
In the beta alone, there is a way to be legendary with a heavy armor + shields that doesn't involve paladin in any way, and of course there's at least one class that is legendary with something else in the AC department.

That's good at least, but what about everything else? Why can't all deities have sacred champions? What makes LG unique in being able to exemplify an ideal?

Because we're testing LG first since that's what everyone could agree on. As I said in the blog, not even the design team is unanimous on this question, so the best thing that people could do who have ideas for the paladin is participate in the playtest and participate in the survey we'll put out about the paladin.

I've seen a lot of sentiment here on the forums from people who wanted to see a different iteration of paladins in the playtest that they think we made this decision based on the people who posted in threads that they did want to see this iteration of paladins. I assure you, we didn't, so please don't blame your fellow forum members. The decision was made well before the playtest forum even existed.

That whatever we did in the playtest with the paladin, people who wanted a different iteration were going to be upset and need to vent here was kind of a given; that's why we needed two warnings in the blog thread before it even started. Whoever aren't getting what they currently want are going to be loudest, not just in RPGs, but in all sorts of other venues, and we want you guys to have space to vent, but the most productive way to make your opinion heard is through the survey, where we can gather data and discover a more accurate distribution of opinions than in the forums.

Regarding the upcoming survey (however distant it may be), will it be asking for the reasons why a particular poster is for or against whatever he's voting for or trying to vote down?

Because I do think some of the views expressed are ones that should, just from a standpoint of integrity, be thrown out (if for no other reason than that a Paladin class, being the goto for the concept of the forthright honorable guy, should come about however it does in an honorable fashion). It worries me that views to the effect of "I can play my Paladin my way and will never see this other player hundreds of miles away; nevertheless, he should have to have as difficult a time as possible playing his character if it's different from how I would" might be counted as equivalent as more unselfish views.

Which is, yes, a polarized viewpoint of my own. I should have more faith in others. To my mind, that means I should also be able to have more faith in others. And given the past decade, with what I can only describe as utterly selfish viewpoints negatively impacting my ability to enjoy this game being (I want to hope inadvertently) enabled by the past decade's worth of Paizo not doing right by the sorts of character concepts that by all rights should be just as legitimate (the Gray Paladin, the Martial Artist, the Warpriest, etc), I feel I have very legitimate doubts that my good faith is being reciprocated.


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Malachandra wrote:
I guess in that case my problem is still that Paladins lose the flavor, because it's almost the same as paladins of any alignment. They're no longer paladins. It'd be like if the Monk section included: "Not all monks train hard for their abilities. Some just sit on the couch and watch martial arts movies, slowly gaining the benefits of monk training over time". I don't know if it's that way for other people, but that's what I hear when people advocate for paladins of any alignment. The four corners option fixes that for me. I'd even consider a "fifth corner", Neutral, although I wouldn't be excited about it.

Okay, just to clarify, however opposed to alignment restrictions for the Paladin that I am, I'm more opposed to alignment restrictions for the Monk. Whether the Monk had alignment restrictions or not was literally the deciding factor of whether I was going to support 5E or not.

That said, not wanting Monks to have to be lawful has NOTHING to do with wanting to be able to play a Monk who got as exceptionally trained and talented by sitting on a couch. Yes, I intend my Monks to put in hard work and earn their abilities. No, that has nothing to do with being lawful. Those two concepts are not in contradiction with each other.

Batman gets thrown around a lot in these sorts of discussions. He can be successfully assigned to all 9 alignments because of how long the character's been around and how many writers have been involved. Here's an aspect that's more unchanging: he represents the pinnacle of human achievement. No matter whether he's written to be lawful, neutral, or outright chaotic, he is a character that pushes himself to the maximum of what a human can achieve. Olympic levels of physical ability, a mental focus consistently rated as equivalent to the greatest scientific and investigative minds humanity has ever had.

Batman is sometimes chaotic. He is never written as someone who got where he is by sitting on a couch.

For that matter, chaotic characters are perfectly capable of devoting themselves to mastery of an art or a profession. It would literally be impossible for a CG, CN, or CE character to have 20 levels in one class otherwise. That a chaotic character isn't forced to multiclass at least once in his career is more than enough proof that chaos is completely immaterial to being devoted to a profession.


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Planpanther wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
There is definitely a problem with folks being able to relate these days. It seems like folks would rather avoid, ostracize, and make a villain out of someone of opposing view, than understand and compromise with them. knockdown dragout philosophical discussion makes the game worth playing. IMO, of course.
Yes. "In your opinion". So you should absolutely be able to play a game with an aspect that makes it worth playing TO YOU. And I should be able to do the same. The fault does not lie in me for my preferences nor in you for yours. It lies in the people responsible for engineering the situation to be one or the other. Had I any hope of reciprocity in this discussion, I would be more willing to try to relate. That ship already sailed before I ever joined the conversation though.
I thought there was a plan to sidebar alignment out for folks who dont want it?

I need for it to do more than just "technically exist". P1E had a section in Pathfinder Unchained about nixing alignment. It technically existed there. But as a playstyle, it had next to no support and a player who needed that as an option to be able to play the game would still have to fight to get it made available. Little better than a houserule. Starfinder, on the other hand, flat out tells us on page 25 that alignment is contingent for exactly nothing and can be ignored as easily as the player saying "Opt out" and just not writing anything on his character sheet. Same playstyle, but one does more than just technically exist.

In like fashion, the LG, Code-abiding Paladin exists now and can be playtested as soon as the Alpha becomes available. We can't even playtest other versions of the Paladin. Even should they be available in the Beta, players in favor of that option are still behind in terms of the options they can exercise, the mechanical refinement their version of the class has, and other advantages that being introduced at day one grant.

Still no reciprocity.


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Planpanther wrote:
There is definitely a problem with folks being able to relate these days. It seems like folks would rather avoid, ostracize, and make a villain out of someone of opposing view, than understand and compromise with them. knockdown dragout philosophical discussion makes the game worth playing. IMO, of course.

Yes. "In your opinion". So you should absolutely be able to play a game with an aspect that makes it worth playing TO YOU. And I should be able to do the same. The fault does not lie in me for my preferences nor in you for yours. It lies in the people responsible for engineering the situation to be one or the other. Had I any hope of reciprocity in this discussion, I would be more willing to try to relate. That ship already sailed before I ever joined the conversation though.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Meh, pass. Oh well, no Paladins at my table again :)

Oh, c'mon, Bagsy! Why so grumpy again? Do the dwarven nekkid beard dance and enjoy the previews! ;P

(Although nice to see some old...er, faces (?) still around here! :))

I'm enjoying the previews and nekkid beard dwarven dances (wait wait what?) but I was kind of looking forward to a cheeky blog that features a Paladin of Ragathiel torching an orphanage so that none of those kids grows up to be evil.

I mean, Thanos is basically a Paladin. Show me a man of more noble intent and readiness to sacrifice what he loves in order to get done what everybody else is afraid to even think about. That's dedication. That's altruism. That's casting aside your ego, your ambition and your gluttony for power in order to pursue a higher goal. This is what Paladins are all about.

Spoilered because there probably are some unfortunate souls that haven't seen Avengers Infinity War.

Spoiler:
No, what Thanos was was incredibly short-sighted. His stated goal is to improve the quality of life for everyone still alive by allowing the universe's resources to have less people competing for them. Let's examine whether that could even work.

The Earth's population is 7-ish billion. Halve that and we're at 3.5-ish billion. Halve it again and again and again. The Earth is at less than 500 million people. You know what folks were doing when the Earth only had 500 million people?

Starving. It's not just a matter of there being too many people for a finite set of resources, it's also about how those resources are distributed. Thanos's solution cannot solve what he wanted to solve.

Of course, he had all the power he needed to solve it right. With the Reality Stone, he can create food wherever it's needed. With the Space Stone, he can eliminate "uneven resource distribution" as a problem. With the Mind Stone, he can influence the people of the entire universe to practice responsible population control. All of this to the point that people would be able to survive happily fed right up until the end of the universe. Except with the Time Stone, that's not an obstacle, either.

He had so many methods at his disposal to solve the problems he foresaw AND in such a way as to avoid unnecessary strife and suffering. Instead, he causes the maximum amount of strife and suffering and his solution doesn't solve a thing.

If anything, Thanos isn't a Paladin. Thanos is Gygax.


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avatarless wrote:
With respect to tradition and those who believe Paladins must be Lawful Good, we should exclusively refer to Lawful Good Paragons as Paladins. Hopefully everyone can live with that idea.

Just as long as you can be a lawful good Paragon without being saddled with the rest of the Paladin's restrictions. That was the greatest strength of the Vindictive Bastard archetype, that it 100% eliminated all of the Paladin's behavioral restrictions and didn't add new ones. So you could start as a Paladin, "fall", go VB, and then turn right around and continue behaving as a code-abiding, LG Paladin like before. With the only difference being that now the player doesn't have anything hanging over his head to do so. He's completely on his own recognizance and his LG behavior is only driven by his own sense of integrity. If anything, it allows the player to play a more genuine Paladin than any other archetype in the game.

Just as long as it becomes more difficult to bully people. That doesn't need to be enabled.


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Sam Phelan wrote:

While there was the possibility for this topic to become contentions, I wanted to state that upon review I have not removed any of the content since the discussion was last reviewed. This is because, while some arguments sought to polarize the topic, I can see the effort in which posters have taken to broaden the conversation scope to allow for these different points of view.

It is often very easy to equate out-of-game morality with the concept of alignment in Pathfinder, and that is what can infuse passion into these discussions. It is hard for people with different definitions on the specifics of morality to come together and reach a combined understanding of one another's viewpoints. This is not to say that you ever have to adopt ideas which you are uncomfortable with, nor agree or validate, but I appreciate that we can all look at what could be a dichotomizing argument, and recognize that forcing a "my way versus yours" argument is never productive. While the use of grey areas in alignment may be contested here, I appreciate the openness to allow for these grey areas in forum discussion, as a discussion should not have two distinct and opposite goals, but a myriad of experiences which can culminate in this social community setting.

With that in mind, if you feel a conversation has run its course and has no more to offer, feel free to abandon the conversation. Refrain from direct attempts to dichotomize the argument and force ultimatums in discussion. These stunt topics and cause a harmful oversimplification where people should be allowed to have more complex opinions.

And again, I'm having a hard time seeing this viewpoint being something the folks at Paizo can express while at the same time shutting down perfectly valid character concepts such that those players are left to their own devices, having to bribe, beg, or twist arms in order to not be unfairly excluded. Though maybe it's a matter of interdepartmental miscommunication.

"It is hard for people with different definitions on the specifics of morality to come together and reach a combined understanding of one another's viewpoints." That, that right there, is why alignment (for characters) needs to go, so their ability to come together and reach such a combined understanding doesn't have such an obstacle constantly imposed on them. As an option that can be put back in (such that any tripping over their different definitions on the specifics of morality is entirely the players' doing)? Sure. But players should be able to sit down for this without such a knockdown, dragout philosophical war being a requirement.


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Okay, finding whatever I can to grasp at some semblance of hope for P2E...

The game is supposed to have the alignment cancer be very easy to excise. God willing, this will trump whatever alignment/code-of-conduct restrictions exist.

The class is only LG-only right now. We have a chance that that will die in a fire between now and the final launch.

The class is the armor class, and gating that behind a behavioral restriction is bad form.

On a related note, we cannot fairly playtest non-LG Paladins if they don't exist. They need to exist to be evaluated. God willing, the Beta playtest will correct this heinous oversight and maybe we can then do two playtests worth of evaluating at once.

The only things lost on a fall are spell points and righteous ally. For all we know, those may be entirely optional class features such that a Paladin that never takes them can "fall" (read: become the Paladin of Desna or Gorum or Pharasma that the player meant to play from the getgo) and lose no effectiveness; he may have to take other class features, instead, but as long as those are just as good, it's not the "like what the Paladin gets but lesser" heinousness that the Gray Paladin got saddled with.

Which is really reaching on my part, but I have to hope for a silver lining, that the baggage of bullying and "Neener neener" that has plagued what is ostensibly supposed to be a concept of a guy defined by honor, decency, and forthrightness will finally no longer by supported, rewarded, or enabled.

And yes, I have felt that Pathfinder was enabling a very toxic mindset for the past decade. No, not liking alignment in your game or for your character; that's not toxic. Nor having your character adhere to a code or set of edicts. But the idea that the game should create a situation where certain players with certain character concepts should have to fight tooth and nail, face probable rejection time and time and time and bloody time again? I'm tired of that bullying getting enabled. I'm sick of how being a jerk is the easy option.

Regardless, I will do what I did last time; support Paizo however long it takes for them to finally take this legacy of "Neener neener" and finally bury it in the ground where it belongs. Whether that glimmer of hope lies just over a year from now or another decade or (God forbid) two.

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