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Libris Mortis has rules for animating fossils, so I'll use those for this encounter.
You could become a Blackguard (which I don't think has been updated to Pathfinder).
The Blackguard is, I'm pretty sure, product identity, preventing Paizo from using it. That's why Paizo has the Anti-Paladin, which is basically a far superior core class version (Though I disagree with the CE alignment restriction. It should be able to be any evil alignment. Then again, I think the same about Paladins and good alignments, and even have a modified spell list and code of conduct for NG and CG Paladins floating around my Gaia account somewhere.).
I already stated that she is a fallen Paladin. What is being argued about here is a proposal in Heroes of Horror about an evil deity maintaining a fallen Paladin's powers without her notice. I like the idea, others think a class other than Paladin or an Anti-Paladin would be better. It's basically a clash of individual preferences that nobody is ever going to win, simply because nobody is right or wrong.
If an official D&D 3.5 supplement puts forth evil divine intervention as a possible solution, I'm inclined to take it seriously as an option. It's in Heroes of Horror, page 31.
As for alignment, I feel sanity should be taken into account. Not to do so seems rather offensive to the mentally ill. I understand why you think she should still be evil, but it doesn't seem fair to call the ill bad.
An animated T Rex is a heap of HD for a caster to animate using animate dead, and being fossilized might stretch the definition of "dead" a bit. However, a few castings of animate object should get things going and make things a little more difficult for the party cleric.
I just checked my copy of Libris Mortis, and fossils, under 3.5 rules, can't be animated with animate dead at all. A special ritual is used, and it doesn't say how it works or how many of these things I create, or whether they can dig themselves up, so I guess I get to decide that as GM, but the actual template for a revived fossil looks pretty cool. It's hard as stone (DR 10/Adamantine), gets bonus HP, gets Combat Reflexes, gets a brutal claw attack if it didn't already have one, and gets good natural armor.
Dame Desnus wrote:
I just received a copy of that book in the mail yesterday. I ordered it last week. Haven't had time to browse through it, though. I'll look up that fossil template.
I do agree the concept can and should be pulled off with another class as it simply is not a paladin. Class exist to fit help you play a concept. Sometimes a concept simply does not fit the mold you try to force it into.
SHE IS NO LONGER A PALADIN! SHE. HAS. FALLEN. How many times do I have to say it? Some of her powers are being allowed to function in a modified way, but she's not a Paladin anymore. She's a Cleric who used to be a Paladin.
I got the evil deity part from an official 3.5 D&D supplement (Heroes of Horror). If an official supplement says it can happen, it can happen (The code of conduct is pretty much unchanged from 3.5 to Pathfinder).
I don't know about skeletons, but after reading Dead beat I have been looking for an excuse to throw a zombie T-Rex at my players
Is that the Western where everything is getting zombified, and then then find the land of dinosaurs, and THOSE start getting zombified? I liked that story.
Thanks. I like these suggestions. I definitely want the bursting out of the ground effect. It'd be such a scary moment.
The hardness of stone works fine for me.
I'm working on a new campaign setting, and I believe it is time for me to begin preliminary playtesting. I am planning to run though three scenarios. The psycho Former Paladin/Cleric is first. The second scenario is one in which treasure hunters enter an "Egyptian" pyramid and wake up a swarm of undead guardians, magic traps, and one very pissed off mummy sorcerer, and the third scenario is the one I am talking about here. In all three scenarios the PCs are government officials dispatched to handle the situation.
Here's the third scenario. Paleontologists are searching for dinosaur bones, and come across a prime dig site. One paleontologist cheats another out of digging rights, leaving him so angry (this isn't the first time this particular rival has screwed him over like this) that he goes and hires a necromancer to animate all of the intact dinosaur skeletons as his revenge. Chaos ensues.
Now, I COULD just add the skeleton template to the dinosaurs from the Bestiary, but there is one glaring issue: These bones are 65 million years old. Presumably, that would effect their utility as fighting creatures. Should they get an AC penalty due to age? Hit point penalty? Be left alone? Furthermore, they are underground, encased in earth. Can such a skeleton be animated, and if so can it dig itself to the surface if so commanded? Can it even hear the command to do so?
I said it before in the thread.
"Let me clarify some things. I've done some thinking since the OP, and have come to the decision that she is now advancing in level as a Cleric, not a Paladin, as she has lost her Paladinhood, but that, due to the evil influence bolstering her, some of the Paladin abilities from when she was a Paladin that shouldn't be functioning are functioning, though a bit differently. Detect Evil is detecting neutral and sometimes good characters, and Smite Evil is smiting EVERYTHING. She is also channeling negative energy.
She does not realize any of this due to her mental issues. I'll say a second time, to make it clear, that she HAS lost her Paladinhood. The fact that some of the abilities are functioning when they shouldn't be doesn't change that. The evil influence is making some of her Paladin abilities function, not letting her stay a Paladin. Secondly, she is True Neutral because she's so delusional that the moral choices she is making are completely skewed and nonsensical. She lacks the mental capacity to be good or evil, even though she thinks she is good."
Let me clarify some things. I've done some thinking since the OP, and have come to the decision that she is now advancing in level as a Cleric, not a Paladin, as she has lost her Paladinhood, but that, due to the evil influence bolstering her, some of the Paladin abilities from when she was a Paladin that shouldn't be functioning are functioning, though a bit differently. Detect Evil is detecting neutral and sometimes good characters, and Smite Evil is smiting EVERYTHING. She is also channeling negative energy.
She does not realize any of this due to her mental issues. I'll say a second time, to make it clear, that she HAS lost her Paladinhood. The fact that some of the abilities are functioning when they shouldn't be doesn't change that. The evil influence is making some of her Paladin abilities function, not letting her stay a Paladin. Secondly, she is True Neutral because she's so delusional that the moral choices she is making are completely skewed and nonsensical. She lacks the mental capacity to be good or evil, even though she thinks she is good.
Require skills to use the stuff. Not as in make a UMD check, but needing a certain level of relevant knowledge skills to use them.
I think that common stuff that most everybody has should not require the Knowledge skill, but I am willing to require it for more complicated devices that require special training.
I don't plan on doing that. The races generally differ in social structures and traditions, not in available technology. An elf is just as likely to posses a modern firearm as a human. The same with other technology. Just because elves like their woodlands doesn't mean they don't like high tech equipment.
What if I'm not even using dollars? My planned system is pence, shillings, and pounds. Once penny (pence coins are called pennies) is about 2 copper pieces, 20 pence are a shilling, and 20 shillings are a pound. Pence, shillings, and single pounds come in coins, multiple pounds come in paper (actually a fabric) currency.
As you will no doubt notice, this is essentially a highly simplified version of 19th century British currency (The real deal was INCREDIBLY complicated, and I'm not even going to try and translate it into Pathfinder terms.). This is because the planned campaign setting takes place in an analogue of the British empire (Though here institutionalized racism was canned after a near collapse of the empire, though unofficial racism is still an issue. Like regular Pathfinder, gender roles are pretty loose, and women can legally serve in any area of the military or any other career, and often do. They can also be legally drafted in times of war.). This analogue, however, colonized some things Britain did not and did not colonize some things they did. It possesses analogues of the American Southwest/Texas (for all you cowboy fans out there), California (my beloved homeland), Hawaii, New England (Salem witches coven, anyone?), and a chunk of Brazil (not the whole thing), but it does not posses India or the Middle East (Except Egypt. This analogue MUST have Egypt. I want mummies and pyramids.). It DOES posses Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and Jamaica. It also (obviously) possess England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
EDIT: What I like about this country is that, although it has the classic 1890s setting (the American West), it's also got lots of other places, so not every campaign or adventure has to be a Wild West romp, though they certainly can be. There are all sorts of places to go adventuring in. If I want to protect a town from undead in Texas, Colorado, or Arizona, I can do that. If I decide I want to hop over to Australia to track a dangerous bush ranger across the Outback, I can do that. If I want to explore a medieval Scottish castle, and try to bring peace to the ghosts that've been plaguing it for 800 years, I can do that. If I want to hunt alongside the Iroquois in Eastern Canada, I can do that. If I want to explore an ancient Egyptian pyramid, I can do that. There are a plethora of options available in this world.
I'm the GM. This Paladin is mean as an NPC that the PCs need to subdue or kill (preferably subdue), and I wanted advice on how to handle her.
Epic Meepo wrote:
Thank you very much.
Crimson Jester wrote:
Correct. It usually takes time for a Paladin's fall from grace to become obvious under this system.
Crimson Jester wrote:
Yes, Anti-Paladins would work.
Crimson Jester wrote:
I didn't think of the Inquisitor thing. Thanks. Inquisitors could be useful in this campaign. If the lack of evidence of God didn't get rid of Inquisitors in the real world, it won't here.
That's what I was aiming for: religious strife intensified by the fact that neither religion can prove itself to be correct.
Crimson Jester wrote:
Ancestor worship could work, especially if in some cultures they were thought to be the spirits.
As for Paladins, if they cease to be good aligned, they will be dealt with. It's just that the structure of this divine magic system makes me feel a storyline resolution (having other Paladins and agents of the Paladin organization sent after them) works better here than a simple taking of their powers would, what with the lack of deities to take their powers away.
So, I have an idea for a religion system in this campaign setting. Under this setting there is no hard evidence of the existence of deities. There are, however, millions of spirits, and there are everywhere in the world (Think Japanese Kami). These spirits exist to provide humans with magical power in the same manner as deities, but unlike deities they can only do this if the individual is nearby. Furthermore, different spirits offer different types of magic. In game terms, each spirit has a general focus, like healing, divination, smiting, and the like. When a divine spellcaster prepares or learns a spell, a spirit of the appropriate focus provides the power instead of a deity. This requires prayer to the spirit in the same manner as one would pray to a deity. Spirits exist specifically for this purpose, so they do not refuse to give the power. Since there are millions of spirits, it is always assumed that there is an appropriate spirit close enough to give the power.
Under this system, Cleric domains show a preference for certains kinds of spirit, as divine spellcasters focus on types of magic that fit their moral beliefs or interests, and gain power from those types of spirit more often than from other types of spirit.
Since Clerics do not gain power from deities under this system, they cannot lose their spells and class features for misbehaving. This also applies to Paladins, and for the same reasons: there simply isn't a god to get mad at them for violating the code of conduct. However, there is an organization of Paladins that trains all Paladins and shows them which prayers to make to which types of spirit, and this organization keeps an eye on it's members. As a result, any Paladin who violates the code of conduct will have agents of this organization sent to either reform, or, if it should prove absolutely necessary, execute him or her. Paladins may not be able to lose their abilities for violating the code of conduct, but any such violations will be dealt with appropriately. It'll just be done in RP terms instead of through loss of power.
Now, just because there is no hard evidence of deities does not mean there is no belief in deities. Religion and the belief in higher powers still plays a large role in this campaign, and the lack of hard evidence of the existence of deities just serves to intensify religious tension and, at times, violence and prosecution. Spirit warship is also highly common, often alongside deity worship.
I've decided to split the PDF into two parts:
First - Basic Stuff - This is useful for any campaign with 1890s technology
An overview of how the core and base classes work with firearms
Recommendations on which classes to allow and disallow
Information on skills in a tech-heavy world
Travel rules (such as how trains and steamships work)
Naval combat rules
Vehicle combat rules
Recommendations regarding spells
An overview of the technology that existed in the real 1890s in game terms
Part two is campaign setting specific stuff. It has a lot of the stuff I've been talking about here, such as explanation of a world where magic and technology work together more often than not. It has:
An explanation of the technology/magic system I've been talking about where magic and technology work together to do greater things than either can do alone
Information about the countries (Maps, culture bases, legal codes, diets, economies, militaries, race interactions)
Classes and weapons allowed
Religion (I have something pretty good in mind)
I'm organizing it this way so that people who just want the 1890s tech rules can simply read the first part without bothering with the whole campaign setting, which is a setting I feel some will like but others will not (It subverts a lot of basic D&D world assumptions.).
I'm getting told that it is, and I don't have enough experience with Rogues to agree or disagree. I've always leaned towards Ranger, Fighter, and Sorcerer. How does the Rogue stack up in combat to other classes as far as RAW is concerned?
Edit: Should I have posted this here? It seemed appropriate since this is an issue dealing with the class under RAW, but maybe it should have gone in Advice. Would a moderator please move it?
True. But using the regular tables, the Sorcerer gets a bunch more spells per day anyway, so I reflected that in my updated tables. Make sure to look at the Conversion Note comment at the bottom. I noted some of my thought process there. And let me know how it works out in play -- I haven't playtested it yet, so I haven't figured out if the boosts to SP totals would be disruptive.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Though fair warning. This kind of concept only works in morally gray to evil groups. Try it in a good aligned group with any common sense and you might find yourself rapidly put down or quickly abandoned to whatever fate you find yourself in.
This isn't a character that's joining the adventuring party, it's an NPC I'm running as the GM that the (good aligned) party has to go up against and either kill or subdue and somehow find some sort of mental treatment for. She is in no way, shape, or form ever meant to be used as a playable character.
Thanks a billion. I have noticed that the Sorcerer has over a hundred more SP than the Wizard, which was not the case in Unearthed Arcana. That should compensate for the Wizard being more Sorcererish very nicely.
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
I'm the GM. What I wanted to do in this thread is try to figure out how insanity effects whether someone can be evil, something I wasn't 100% clear on as far as RAW is concerned. I have my answer now, though I have decided to implement my own house rule on the issue.
I'm willing to accept an Anti-Paladin under the house rule that they can be of True Neutral alignment and not lose their class abilities if they are insane.
Silent Saturn wrote:
I like this. Thank you.
As I said before, she is too badly delusional to comprehend the deity change. She would be able to do so if she were sane, but she isn't sane.
As for why the evil deity is helping her, her delusions are causing her to kill a lot of people for incredibly minor things, which is causing a lot of problems, and the evil deity wants these killings to continue.
You do have a point, however. She is mostly fighting good and neutral people, so perhaps her smite evil and protection from evil spells are actually functioning as smite good/neutral and protection from good/neutral?
After some thought, I am instituting a new house rule. Any character who is mentally ill to the point where he or she is incapable of differentiating right from wrong or of making reasoned morality choices is of True Neutral alignment. I base this off the fact that animals are True Neutral do to their inability to make moral choices. I feel that the same should apply to those individuals too insane to make moral choices. As such, the Paladin, under this house rule, is True Neutral.
As to the issue of her alignment disqualifying her from Paladinhood, I decree that she is no longer a member of the Paladin class (she now levels up as a Cleric) do to the alignment change brought on by her insanity, but do to the evil deity's intervention her Paladin abilities from the Paladin levels she once possessed still function (though her Smite Evil is now Smite Anything).
Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
Her mental illness has made her commit evil acts which have shifted her alignment towards evil. She has, barring an atonement, lost her paladinhood. Do not try to get around the class restrictions by attempting to ascribe motivations and actions to the Gods.
If a good deity can provide a Paladin with power, shouldn't an evil deity have the same ability? It makes mechanical sense, and I think the story of a badly delusional Paladin who doesn't understand what she's doing is worth subverting the class restrictions. I feel it makes for a rather sympathetic villain.
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
It would be nice to abandon alignment, but difficult because of everything that relies on it.
I'd like to clarify what I'm asking in this thread: Can a character be evil if they are mentally ill, and cannot form the intent to do evil or understand that they are doing evil? That is what's going on with this Paladin. She's Lawful Stupid out of bona fide insanity, not out of stupidity or ineptitude. If an insane person cannot be evil, should their alignment be True Neutral like animals not intelligent enough to make morality decisions? If not, how should alignment be handled for the mentally ill?
The thing is, she is mentally ill, and has been for a long time. The fact that she isn't all there could conceivably cause her to have trouble realizing that she has changed deities, even with detect evil. People with mental issues people can be highly easy to manipulate, especially when deities are involved, and that's what's going on here. She isn't moronically inept, she's too sick to realize what's going on, which is how the evil deity got to her in the first place. Her brain just doesn't work well enough to make well reasoned decisions anymore, and the evil deity is taking advantage of the situation. That's actually why her original, good deity abandoned her: the deity realized her Paladin was going mad, and had take her powers for the safety of others. Then the evil deity gave them back.
An Anti-Paladin wouldn't work. It focuses specifically on doing evil, and this character doesn't. She does evil unwittingly.
Furthermore, this isn't an "I want the goodies but don't want the baggage issue", it's something I think would be an interesting idea to explore.