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...if a spell only on the Bard list lacks a verbal component, the Bard must use one anyway even though someone else taking the spell from the Bard list doesn't have the same obligation.
That seems perverse.
I believe that Glibness is intended to have no V component as a specific exception to the rule that bard spells need V components and cannot be silenced.
Either that or it's a typo.
It certainly shouldn't be that a class that steals the spell from a bard needs no verbal component but a bard does. Even if they anticipated adding it to other non-core classes' lists in the future it would have made more sense to stick with the components a bard would need.
"If this spell is cast on a magic weapon, the powers of the spell supersede any that the weapon normally has"
I would consider powers granted by Divine Bond to be ones the sword normally has in absence of Holy Sword (even though it's not innate to the weapon. It really looks like the spell is intended to replace all other powers from all sources.
I know you've already done Ultimate Campaign, but Unscathed is really fun on a character with multiple minor energy resistances. Put it on a Suli and they have Resist 7 Acid, Cold, Fire, and Electricity. This means complete immunity to most environmental energy damage (free permanent non-dispellable Endure Elements!) since everything other than lava and immersion caps out at d6 damage. So feel free to casually stroll through a forest fire or use acid as a pleasant facial scrub.
It's also perfectly useful to noncasters so it's not in as stiff competition with most Magic traits.
I think they were intended to be interesting little flavor details...
KainPen has a good point.
Advanced races and templates are hard to balance, especially when only one character has them. They can add big stat boosts or powerful magical abilities, but if you balance them by removing levels (the usual method) your HD, saves, BAB, and spell progressions suffer, which can make the character fragile and prevent them from having the standard tools to overcome challenges.
CR also does not translate well to a monster/template's power as a PC. At-will abilities aren't that much better than 3/day from the perspective of "what will challenge my PCs in this one encounter," but it's a big difference for a PC who may have multiple encounters in a day. There are also abilities that are more or less effective for a monster fighting PCs than a PC fighting monsters. It's more likely, for example, that the PC will be able to bypass a werewolf's DR/silver than that a monster will be able to bypass the werewolf PC's DR. Conversely, trip and disarm abilities are more useful for monsters (using them mostly against humanoid, armed PCs) than PCs (using them often against creatures that are very large, quadrupeds, flying creatures, or creatures without manufactured weapons).
I wouldn't say never let a PC play an advanced race or template, but the drow noble feat chain is a good idea since it's specifically designed as a way to balance the drow noble for PCs.
Just a clarification about sunlight vulnerability, can you block it by covering yourself head to toe or do you need to not have the sun directly hit you, clothes not counting? ( i'm leaning toward the second option)
There's some debate over what provides protection (clothes are discussed as well as magical darkness). I personally lean towards mundane clothing not providing protection since it seems too easy.
Granting the PCs individual boons at the end of the next session and want to make sure they're more or less equally good:
I think they're all about even except for the last one, which is too situational but I like the theme.
Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
but a hanbo, gladius, dagger, sabre, buckler and longbow, isn't an unreasonable thing to ask of a weakling in a chain shirt. in addition to their pack of course.
Depending on the contents of a pack, that could be quite a lot to expect of a weakling. The "bard's kit" in Ultimate Equipment contains "a backpack, a bedroll, a belt pouch, a common musical instrument, a flint and steel, ink, an inkpen, an iron pot, a journal, a mess kit, a mirror, rope, soap, torches (10), trail rations (5 days), and a waterskin" - and it weighs 33lbs.
I don't have much personal experience with armour and weapons, but the backpacking rule of thumb is IIRC to carry no more than one-third of your body weight. That's 40lbs if we assume the "weakling" weighs 120lbs. The chain shirt and shield alone are 30lbs, and the 33lb bard kit makes 63lbs plus weapons - the recommended amount for the average 180-190lb backpacker (likely not a weakling). And the backpacking load assumes a special (masterwork) backpack to distribute weight, and probably would count as a medium load for encumbrance
Using simplified encumbrance, that's 12 encumbrance points*, well over the light-load tolerance for a Str 8 character.
* One point each for light armor, buckler, sabre, longbow, 20 arrows, bedroll, rope, 5 rations, waterskin (full), and two for 10 torches. Other items may be considered insignificant (including the instrument and most of the weapons - we're generous).
Why are you spending 30 minutes whenever you find some new loot looking up how much it weighs and such? The GM should have written that down when he created the treasure, and tell you the weight when you get it. As for strange things the party decides to pick up (such as them liking the look of a tapestry hanging from the wall and decide they want it), just pick a random weight that makes sense.
It can be annoying if multiple items are obtained at the same time, if randomly generating treasure (which does force looking up the weight at table), or if putting together a small hoard in a hurry.
Any suggestion for the lesser vampire template?
Not sure what CR adjustment this is, but I'm using this for a PC of mine whose character will be turned into a vampire at 5th-6th level:
Half-Dead: Though you are no longer alive, you have not entirely shed your mortal nature. You are considered both undead and your previous type for purposes of spells (such as Charm Person or Detect Undead) and other effects dependent on type (such as Bane or favoured enemy), though positive and negative energy effects treat you as fully undead.
You gain the following benefits from your undead nature: immunity to death effects, disease, poison, sleep, energy drain, nonlethal damage, fatigue, and exhaustion. You no longer need to eat, sleep, or breathe.
You are still vulnerable to paralysis, mind-affecting effects, stun, and any affects requiring Fort saves except those listed above. You are still subject to ability damage and penalties, though you treat ability drain as damage instead. You retain your constitution score.
You do not gain fast healing, but instead retain your natural rate of healing.
Weaknesses: You have the same aversion towards garlic, mirrors, and holy symbols that a vampire does, though you receive a +2 bonus on your Will save to overcome this revulsion. You require an invitation to enter a private dwelling. When exposed to direct sunlight or immersed in running water, you take d6 damage per round. This damage cannot be reduced by any means. As a coup-de-grace, an opponent can drive a wooden stake through your heart. If you are not killed outright by the coup-de-grace, you are still rendered completely immobile by the stake, and cannot heal by any means until it is removed.
Other Abilities (as described in the Vampire template): Blood Drain, Darkvision 60ft, Channel Resistance +4, +2 Nat AC, Slam (d4). Your Slam attack does not cause energy drain.
You can add a few bonus feats or extra stat adjustments if you want and remove the sunlight vulnerability entirely (though note Protective Penumbra will deal with that). I'm also planning on slowly adding extra powers to the PC, though not sure of the exact rate:
Basic Powers (level 5+): Spider Climb, Energy Resistance, additional +2 Nat AC (up to twice), skill bonus, feat, Children of the Night, DR 10 (magic and silver)
Advanced Powers (level 10+): Full undead type (with full weaknesses + shadowless), Fast healing 1, Dominating Gaze 1/day, Lesser Gaseous Form (1 round/level), Lesser Energy Drain (???)
Highest Powers (level 15+): Fast healing 5, Dominate at-will, Energy Drain, Gaseous Form
I think it would be better to remove or merge some feats or prerequisites rather than give extras. I'd rather give the weak feats more punch, or make them options available to everyone, rather than add more decision-making to character generation.
For example, Vital Strike could easily just grant an extra weapon die of damage each time your BAB increases by 6 (and would be a more worthwhile feat that way), Spinning Throw and Improved Ki Throw could be combined, and the feat tax prerequisites on maneuver feats aren't much fun.
You also never know when you'll be separated from your cleric. You might not need to carry a tent, but carry your own lunch and waterskin.
Try simplified encumbrance. It's less work than tracking every pound, but still makes sure that players have to make meaningful decisions about gear and that you can't dump Str with impunity.
Note that as described armour counts for a much smaller fraction of encumbrance than currently. This might be been as a feature since as Atarlost pointed out armour is designed to be minimally encumbering when worn, but if you like to restrict Str-dumpers to lighter armour you can just boost the encumbrance value of armours from the recommended values.
Your bard should not have 8 Str in the first place, every class that intends to wear light armor and hold a weapon should have 10 Str at least.
Strength is a perfectly legitimate dump stat for a bard. He/she just needs to be prepared to deal with encumbrance, probably spending a little extra gold on mithral/darkwood gear, extraplanar storage, or load-boosting items like a masterwork backpack.
For encumbrance, handy haversacks are awesome. Next, have a bag of stuff that you can drop as a free action. (Why are you carrying all of your camping gear through the tomb you're looting?).
Because you never know when you'll get stuck somewhere and need food and water.
Religions involving the worship of tons of minor gods are probably best represented in PF either by letting clerics choose whatever domains they want or by treating the whole religion as a major deity that grants a set number of domains (particularly if the setting has other more PF-typical gods with limited domain lists). The druid domains are a good set for a "spirits of nature" religion, while Community, Protection, Magic, Knowledge, and Healing work well for something more focused on daily life.
EDIT: The spirits involved are indeed probably outsiders or fey in PF terms, but given that druids & rangers are powered by nature and paladins are powered by the LG alignment I see no problem with a character drawing divine power from a religion that doesn't have a proper deity.
I don't have any strong feelings on whether gods are created and/or empowered by belief. My current setting leans towards "minor gods/saints/demigods draw power directly from mortals and/or a major god, while major gods are self-sustaining."
Absolutely. In my current campaign, a saint is defined as a mortal who was granted minor godhood by a major deity. I'm still filling them in, but I've already got a saint of vampires and will likely have one for torturers
You can also do fun things by varying power level between gods. Major gods grant more domains, have larger churches, and are more widely recognized and prayed to by the general populace. Minor gods may serve major gods, group together in pantheons with a particular interest, or be unknown and irrelevant outside of a minor sphere.
My current campaign world has 10 major deities each granting about 6 domains. However there are a number of minor deities, including:
Your PCs will generally only need to worry about the major gods, but you can always bring in minor ones to serve the plot, flavour a new culture, or accommodate a PC who isn't keen on the main pantheon. I've got a dhampir PC who wanted to worship a death deity with the Death and Darkness domains, and the major death goddess in my campaign doesn't grant Darkness, so I pointed him at the patron saint of vampires.
I don't think the devs pay much attention to the prices of stuff other than adventuring gear - there's a bit of discrepancy in livestock costs within the same book.
Point out the illogic to your GM and ask what they would consider appropriate. I'd probably drop the cost of a gallon of mead to 5sp or so and call it 20 servings a gallon (half cost for buying in bulk).
If you're using monthly cost of living you can include drinking costs in that. Food purchases under 1gp are included in the average cost of living, though your GM might decide to add a few gp to account for unusually frequent drinking. Then you just decide how much of your carrying capacity you're allotting to booze when travelling (to determine when your supply runs dry).
Ross Byers wrote:
A devil has a harder time, but has leverage in being able to promise to de-demonify the succubus. One infernal contract later, the devil simply kills the succubus or otherwise banishes her from existence. This fulfills the terms of the contract, since there is nothing in a succubus BUT a demon. If you cast out the demon, literally nothing is left. Hell gets a soul, the Abyss is down a demon, and a mortal has been tricked into betraying the only thing he cared about. Win!
How delightfully LE.
Neal Litherland wrote:
Interesting site, but not relevant to PF cosmology and it loses some credibility when it claims Archangels are at the top of the angelic hierarchy - that's Seraphim.
Does your characters turn down the gold gained at the end of the game that does not balance your expenses, that came from looting the dead or the places they guard - do you heal up your enemies and take them someplace safe?
My gnome druid did that! Helped the party avoid criminal charges, too, when we had to defeat a shadowy evil organization that happened to include members of local law enforcement.
The Beard wrote:
The 4th level Goblin ninja in my current game rolled a 41 stealth check last session. I don't think anything in his CR range can manage a DC 51 Perception check to detect him while sleeping.
Got to have the skills to execute your strategy.
(Plus if they wake up when you try to tie them up in their sleep it's basically identical to a normal ambush except most of them will be prone and possibly unarmoured.)
Conceptually, I don't have a problem with a non-evil assassin (by class) as long as their skills aren't used indiscriminantly. If it's OK to kill the BBEG I don't see a huge difference between breaking into his lair and challenging him to single combat, and slitting his throat while he sleeps. In the former case you're giving him the chance to surrender at least, but with really evil foes that can be the difference between Good and Neutral, not between Neutral and Evil.
Mechanically Assassins don't seem to work so well for PCs, but a friend of mine had a (nonevil) assassin cohort and it was fun. The assassin did some scouting, and often didn't contribute much in combat, but we got a fun story out of that one time the assassin one-shotted a legendary wyrm with his death attack - it rolled a 1.
A good character — on the other hand — may announce their intentions clearly, give the bandits an opportunity to surrender, fight only when attacked, strike non-lethally, and turn over the bandits to the authorities.
Or they might sneak into the bandit camp, tie everyone up while they sleep, and then announce their intentions clearly and turn the bandits over to the authorities. Good characters don't have to give you a fair fight.
Yes, "dim light" is generally darker than a simple shadow, but the point was that "shadow" is typically used to represent an area of intermediate light as compared to an area of total (or supernatural) darkness.
I also think it's a very reasonable to allow Shadowdancer and similar abilities to work in Darkness and would probably run it that way in my game. But then, I'm permissive (particularly with PCs).
Another option is to ask them in general terms whether they have a character arc in mind, and how comfortable they would be with dramatic changes to their character that might occur during the story (you can mention major battle scars, loss of limb, cursed belt of gender switching, performing acts they'd despise under magical compulsion, finding out that they were deceived about some significant part of their backstory, etc., as examples).
If any of your players have a firm character arc in mind and seem uncomfortable about departures from that arc, then you can either warn them explicitly what you have in mind (and ask that they not tell the other players) or make sure that whatever changes you impose on that particular character are extremely minimal and do not deviate from the arc.
Letting them actually design the new characters will probably help, but some players might still be attached to the original concept and dislike having to change trajectory for the first 5 levels.
Cosmetic physical changes will probably be fine even without warning (and note that some players consider sex "cosmetic"). One suggestion would be to get your players' builds at least a week or two in advance of the game, and figure out what fairy tale character they're closest to. That'll keep changes minimal (and again, mostly cosmetic). For example, a cold-specialist character could be cast as either "The Snow Queen" or "Jack Frost." If you have difficulty, feel free to invent some. In fact, it might be more interesting if they're all turned into fairy tale characters from your world that may resemble, but not perfectly match, those from ours. I'd expect most players would be fine with having their character's hair dyed black to turn them into "Princess Raven-Hair" whose story happens to mostly parallel Snow White's.
You'll definitely want to know your players, though. Some might be perfectly OK with having their character essentially reincarnated gender, race, and all, while others will be put off merely by the rapid shift in theme to "fairy tale."
Interesting stuff, but what if mass teleportation doesn't exist - a world without 17th level casters capable of setting up teleportation circles and permanent versions thereof (or at least a world where such casters are impractically rare)?
Obviously level of magic in the world is going to affect how prominent certain forms of communication are. For example, whether you can count on finding someone to cast Sending for your magical telegram in any major city.
Tippyverse assumes magic at the highest level is reliably available. I'm curious about all levels.
What sort of effect would magic have on how messages get around?
According to google, carrier pigeons can fly about 500 miles in a day (40-50mph) - for comparison, that's a little under the length of the UK. Should Animal Messenger be assumed to be similar? A little slower, if the messenger isn't as suited to the task as a bred pigeon (even with magical homing)?
Whispering Wind clocks 6mph, making it a little better than a foot messenger. With a range of no more than 1 mile/level, it's not really up to sending messages between major settlements - maybe the next village over. You also need to be certain someone will be at a known location to receive the message.
Sending and Dream allow limited instantaneous communication, but are expensive and require that a high-level caster be on hand.
Would Ring Gates be used as an express postal service between large cities?
I did read it, I just didn't think it was clear enough whether the OP meant to ask about two weapon fighting or fighting with two weapons (and from his post above it looks like it was the latter), and your post did not clearly explain the distinction. Just trying to make sure there was no misunderstanding.
Let me rephrase that: I never saw anyone play an array that good. I've seen several players roll similar arrays (in fact, one in each of the most recent two games I'm involved in), but they usually drop them to be just a little better than the rest of the party (eg in the case above, swapping the 17 for an 11).
Learning by hindsight is perfectly fine for a group made up of novices (you mentioned it's their first major dungeon away from civilization).
like more opinions about. As I already stated the group is level 6 and about to hit level 7 - is it really that commonplace to have means to fly around at this level? While the group fought some flying enemies, this is the first one with a ranged attack, so the I-can't-reach-him-problem did not come up so far. I'm hesitant about a potion: fly, though.
I'd let him find a sling and bullets instead of a potion, especially if he's a bit overconfident. That'll let him participate in the encounter but still feel the sting of overconfidence + underpreparedness.
EDIT@ Forthepie: just because the sorcerer is at the level to cast Fly doesn't mean it's on his spells known. The party is certainly assumed to be able to deal with flying encounters by this level, but that frequently means ranged weapons and spells rather than joining their opponents in the air (and giving the whole party flight isn't feasible at this level).
Counterspelling happens at the moment a spell is cast. You choose Dispel Magic (for simplicity) as a Readied action, and when your target casts a spell, any spell, your action triggers, and the spell is prevented form ever being cast in the first place.
You don't have to choose what spell to counterspell with when you ready an action to counterspell - you just have to ready an action to counterspell. When your counterspelling action triggers, you get a check to see if you identify the specific spell and then can decide whether you counter it with the exact spell, a spell that counters it (eg Slow/Haste), or Dispel Magic.
You only take massive penalties if you try to take an extra attack with the second weapon. If you have iterative attacks you can make them with different weapons without penalty.
That's a good point.
With that in mind, not entirely sure how to go at the cleric from a demon's POV.
The second one's weak point is definitely still his kids, though. Two options. First: kill the kids horribly and frame a goodly person for the act. Watch the blacksmith destroy himself in a quest for revenge. Option two: make the blacksmith kill his own kids. Engineer it as an accident (eg slipping poison into foods he feeds his kids) or if they're really cunning about it, convince him that they're deathly sick with a terrible disease, cursed, approaching damnation, and that it's better for everyone that he kill them mercifully. This will be hard but theoretically possible (Maus mentioned a woman poisoning herself and her children rather than allowing them all to be taken prisoner by the Nazis.) It might help if the information comes through his adventuring customers if there's a relationship of trust there. Then after the kids are dead reveal that it was all a lie. Bonus points: blame someone else and combine with the "revenge" option.
I see devils as liking to play on your deepest desires and even noble impulses, twisting those things - hence corruption.
A devil would play with the first one's desire to redeem his succubus, perhaps allowing him to find a deeply evil ritual that reportedly will cleanse a demonic taint. For increased subtlety, the ritual could be much less obviously dark, but require evil acts in order to complete it. For example, one of the ingredients is found only in the gardens of a particular monastery, and the monks won't part with their sacred plant - or the ingredient is possessed by an evil person who requires a favour. For bonus points, the ritual's effect is actually to transform a demon into a devil. OR a devil might offer to bind the succubus' affections to the cleric, which might cause a little more mayhem than the devil likes but has the bonus of probably really annoying the succubus.
A devil would go through the second's kids, probably engineering some financial misfortune that the blacksmith would need emergency funds to deal with, and then offering to provide those. Assuming the tiefling is canny and somewhat aware of the ways of devils, they'd probably try to disguise their nature. They might attack his reputation - framing him for something or tainting or cursing his work so it will fail - in order to make him desperate. This might be extra-effective if there's some local prejudice against tieflings (depends on setting). A third tack might be to tempt one of the kids and then maneuver the blacksmith into a position where they have to do evil things in order to save their kids.
The average demon? Torture and murder in both cases, though a smart demon would probably go for the blacksmith's kids first in order to twist the knife.
I'm going out on a limb, and will likewise say that Law is Hard as well. It's just easier to be chaotic: you don't need a set of rules and principles to follow.
Oh hell no. As a lawful person, living without rules and principles is scary. If I don't have a schedule my day dissolves into randomness and I don't get anything done. If plan A doesn't work, better pray I have a plan B because no plan is no good.
I've become better at improvising through long practice, but I'm still in awe of people who seem to improvise effortlessly - who can fit all the pieces in place as they come without planning it out beforehand - because that stuff is hard.
VM mercenario wrote:
It is in the end about actions. A character that simply fantasizes about killing and torturing people without performing these actions is creepy, but not evil. A character that rounds up and executes all the half-orcs in town because they're "corrupted by evil and bound to kill us all" is not good (and is probably evil).
But it's about patterns of actions rather than individual acts, and patterns are best understood in light of the why. It's particularly useful if figuring out whether acts that appear against alignment are actually so.
Another way to think of it is that lawful and chaotic characters go through a different thought process when making decisions. A lawful character thinks: "Does this action follow any rules I have decided to live by (applicable laws, moral structures, promises, routines)? Is it harmonious with any structures I am a party of (duty, tradition)? Does it help me to live a more ordered life?" A chaotic character thinks: "Is this action consistent with my greater principles (moral or selfish)? If so, does it agree with my short-term desires or goals? Does it tie me down or in any way restrict my future options?" Sometimes the two will arrive at the same decision, but often they won't, and it's where the two types of thinking lead to different actions that we determine alignment.
All of these involve giving up a full attack or charge. Might not be as costly at low levels or for the Inquisitor (who has a less impressive full attack) but there's a reason pounce is prized and people complain about martials being denied full attacks. And even if you're not giving up iterative attacks, you sometimes want to move.
A rule saying "you cannot perform the same swift action more than once per round fixes this" and seems clean enough to me. Wording, including the immediate action issue:
Recommended revision wrote:
The first two sentences simply restate and would replace the current text under action types that reads "In a normal round, you can perform a standard action and a move action, or you can perform a full-round action. ... You can always take a move action in place of a standard action."
Draco Bahamut wrote:
Both people will have a very visceral feeling - that they are good and the other person is evil.
Some of the most heated arguments occur when two people have opposing gut feelings - and these tend to be the least likely areas for compromise. Intellectual discussions can be more civil and it's more likely for people to come away having changed their mind. I'm not sure if it matters whether the reality is objective or not given peoples' attachment to their ideas and especially their visceral gut responses. If we were able to objectively prove IRL that eating babies is good I don't think anyone would start eating babies.
Whether Law & Chaos is really an intellectual discussion is hard to say. Maybe in most contexts, but I think in PF many people have developed an emotional attachment to whatever interpretation they've used for years of gaming, which complicates things.
The Crusader wrote:
But does Kaoss want to cross at the crosswalk because he respects the order it represents? Does he feel that the street is for cars and the crosswalk is for pedestrians and this structure should not be violated? Or does he live in an area with a lot of traffic and it is dangerous or difficult to cross elsewhere? If he were presented with a gap in traffic, no crosswalk, and something he wanted on the other side of the street, would he take a detour to a crosswalk, or would he cross?
A character who respects the order of the crosswalk even when it is inconvenient for him is performing a lawful action and is likely lawful. In terms of alignment, a chaotic creature does not have the option to respect inconvenient orderly structures, or give up flexibility that is not costly, or they will become lawful. This is a parallel to the manner in which a lawful character does not have the option to take part in disruptive disorder, or to ignore structures that are not obstructive, or they will become chaotic.
Note that a strongly aligned character will act in alignment even when other costs are high (risking your life for a sense of duty, or to break a law that is an onerous restriction on freedom) but many characters will act out of alignment given sufficient pressure and that doesn't necessarily change their alignment.
table of options for law vs chaos:
Action respects order and has other value - perform action
Action respects order and has no other value/cost - perform action
Action respects order and is costly - MAY perform action*
Action promotes flexibility and has other value - MAY perform action*
Action promotes flexibility and has no other value/cost - DO NOT perform action
Action promotes flexibility and is costly - DO NOT perform action
*depends on strength of alignment.
analagous good/evil actions:
Action hurts me but helps others - perform action
Action helps me and helps others - perform action
Action helps me and hurts others - DO NOT perform action
The Crusader wrote:
But, those who champion the chaotic alignment, consistently argue that the things that make lawful Lawful (structure, discipline, tradition, focus), apply equally to chaotic. I respectfully disagree. And frankly, I don't see the point.
Some of those who champion the chaotic alignment don't think that all of those things are what make lawful Lawful.
As I argued earlier, focus and (self-)discipline correlate with but do not require lawfulness in the sense of order. Many people use rigid, orderly structures in order to obtain self-discipline. And it is often easier to be disciplined - to act against your immediate desires - if you have strict rules and respect those rules enough to stick by them in the face of temptation. If you obey the rule "I don't eat cake when I'm on a diet" you don't have to make a hard decision every time you encounter cake.
HOWEVER acting against your immediate desires to attain a greater goal (not necessarily an orderly goal) is not itself an orderly action. Chaotic doesn't mean you lack concern for the future or the big picture. Indeed, flexibility can be forward-thinking in that you are leaving your options open until the last possible moment in anticipation of changing circumstances.
A chaotic character with strong willpower may be able to sacrifice their immediate desires for the big picture even if they have to re-evaluate the big picture (eg their physical well-being) every time they encounter temptation rather than just reference the rule that says "I won't eat cake when on a diet."
This is not inconsistent/paradoxical any more than a lawful character making a contingency plan or writing an exception into a rule is being inconsistent. A lawful character can appear flexible through complex orderly systems, and a chaotic character can appear reliable through a strong motivation towards a certain goal. The mental processes however (and the areas of weakness or discomfort) are rather different.
Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
The not being able to "downgrade" Moves and Standards into Swifts causes players to make decisions. Swift Action abilities are usually pretty powerful. As a player of a Paladin myself, there are many times it would have been great to be able to throw down three Smites in the first round of combat, or some combo of Smites and LOH. Doing so would have been pretty powerful, so I was forced to make choices.
Obviously in some situations it will be desirable to make more than one swift action, otherwise no one would suggest the change. But I think that allowing more than one swift creates more interesting decisions, and that the fun of these decisions outweighs a small increase in power (especially if repeating the same swift action is disallowed).
But you are still making decisions spend time smiting and now the baddie is tearing your wizard buddy apart and now you arnt ajacent to anyone because you didnt move last round...
This is exactly the point.
Swift actions currently enable martial (and hybrid) characters to do something in their turn (sometimes making interesting decisions) without interfering with their ability to full attack. And that's very good, because for most martial characters a full attack is the best tactical decision whenever possible. Swift actions allow a paladin to decide whether they want to smite the bad guy before full attacking in the hope that the extra damage from smite will finish him off, or to heal themselves in case a full attack isn't enough and they have to withstand the bad guy's counterattack.
But after making the decision to heal or smite, the paladin's turn is almost always "full attack the bad guy." Combat maneuvers and special actions like Dazzling Display add some variety, but for characters who have invested in other areas, swift actions can provide alternative interesting ways to break up the full-attack routine. Why not allow the paladin, having used Smite on the opponent and failed to drop him with the first attack, choose between cancelling the full attack for a move and Laying On Hands, or continuing with his iterative attack and hoping it hits? Or having dropped the opponent with the first attack, choosing to heal himself before moving to the next opponent, or moving to place himself between an opponent and an ally?
Sometimes this means characters will take swift-action buff rounds, but since buffing in combat is often considered inferior to attacking, I can't imagine this would be too powerful. Why not give the Inquisitor the option to activate both buffs in the first round in exchange for a full attack? Why not allow a character with Kirin Style to enter the style and identify an opponent in the same turn rather than make a charge, reducing the overly long charge-up time of Kirin Style and Strike? Why not let the Magus improve his sword with Arcane Pool and also use Spell Recall at the cost of Spell Combat?
It's fun, it doesn't increase power too much at my table, it mostly helps martials (who are generally considered weaker than casters), and it mostly helps martials by giving them more options for how they use the abilities they've got (which breaks up the monotony of full attacks - see "it's fun")
Philippe Perreault wrote:
Copy-paste from 3.0 edition that has never been reworded even with the advent of swift action.
Now that you mention it, probably did come from when Quickened spells were a free action (and you can take multiple free actions). Still helps with deciding whether to allow multiple swifts.
@The Crusader - safest to assume formality where others' titles are concerned and let them assume a more informal method of address.
The only knight I ever played in PF was very relaxed about his own title (including accepting unflattering nicknames), but very precise about others', at least until given permission to be more familiar.
The paladin issue could easily be dealt with by expanding the "no more than one quickened spell in a round" rule to a "no repeating the same swift action in a single round" rule.
I'm not too familiar with magi and gunslingers, but I don't think monks typically get a lot out of spending multiple Ki points in a round in exchange for move actions. Of the basic ki abilities, one requires a full-round action (so it's no good if you trade your move to a swift to activate it), and one boosts your move speed (and if you want to move an extra 20ft it's better to spend your move on moving >20ft rather than spend a move and a ki point on boosting your speed). High jump is also a swift, but that's hardly unbalanced as a move. You're also giving up a full attack/flurry, which is a big deal.
Archetypes (or the magus or gunslinger, or feats) might offer better options, but you're still giving up full attacks (which means spell combat for the magus) and that's a big deal.
About the best use of "swift for move" I can think of is an Inquisitor activating Judgment and Bane in the same round - pretty big buffs, and an Inquisitor full attack isn't fantastic - and that still wasn't unbalancing in my group.
There's also some exploits in that there are magic items that grant you extra move actions that you could then turn into swift actions.
This is a bit worrisome since it allows extra swifts without sacrificing full attacks, but could be avoided if you add a rule "if a character somehow gains more than one move action in a round, they may not trade move actions for swift actions in that round."
I would be hesitant to upset the established boundaries on action spending because of the wide range of things that could be unbalanced. But it really doesn't seem like there's a balance problem with allowing characters to trade standard -> move -> swift with the restrictions that you can't perform the same kind of swift action more than once in a round, and can't trade move for swift in a round in which you get more than one move action.
Ross Byers wrote:
Pathfinder monks are Lawful because they seek perfection and enlightenment, even if they aren't a member of a larger order or temple. They follow a regimen of exercises, meditation, kata (themselves orderly patterns).
Much as I like the OP in general, I have to object to this.
First, seeking perfection and enlightenment isn't Lawful (otherwise, law is better than chaos and the OP says that isn't intended to be the case in PF).
Second, when it comes to the type of martial and spiritual training that characterizes the monk, regularity is more important than routine. A character that performs grueling exercises for 2 hours before breakfast, and then meditates for 2 hours before bed is not at an advantage over the character that sometimes performs the 2 hours of grueling exercise between breakfast and lunch, or sometimes meditates in the morning and exercises in the evening. Routines are often used as a tool to help people attain frequency of training, but routine is not itself necessary for good training.
Third, in terms of the content of the training, structure does not provide more benefit than flexibility. Katas are useful and beneficial because they allow you to train an idealized set of moves until it is very familiar, but training only using katas does not prepare you to adapt to your opponent's actions in an actual sparring situation. I did martial arts for a couple years and our sensei repeatedly told us not to let our training to get routine or predictable. One exercise consisted of performing different techniques as they were called out at random by an instructor. Supplementary training in Tai Chi consisted of two parts - the formal, orderly sequence and then a more flexible/disordered applied exercise. We were also repeatedly told "if the technique doesn't work, don't just try it again, try a different technique." This is approaching fighting from a non-orderly direction.
I believe that the "Lawful" descriptor was attached to monks because monks are considered disciplined and discipline has associations with law. However, while military or organizational discipline is indeed orderly, self-discipline of the type required of a monk is not necessarily. Self-discipline is less about being rigid, and more about impulse control and delayed gratification. It's about doing what is right or what is more advantageous in the long run rather than giving in to short-term desires. Many people use routines or structures to help them develop these skills, and that's just dandy. But it is not contradictory to have someone who dislikes routine, and thinks that novelty is awesome, and prefers flexible guidelines to inflexible rules, and also is able to pass on dessert and spend hours a day meditating in the hopes of becoming the next Bruce Lee. Such a character is not orderly overall, and thus should not be lawful.
Spear Maiden or Blade Sister might be fine names for an order of female knights, or perhaps a more ornamental title a la "knight of the realm," but they don't have the snap or ease of use that a title like "sir" does.
But, that said, now it's got me wondering... Female knights. Do you follow military rules (all officers are "sir" regardless of gender)?
Fact checked this initial assertion, and not all militaries use sir for all officers - ma'am is sometimes used.
It's absolutely fine to say that in a less gender-biased world, "sir" is considered a gender-neutral title. It's also fine to say that in a less gender-biased world, "dame" does not carry a connotation of soldierly weakness.
Some swift actions (noticeably, casting quickened spells) are better than some move actions.
Spell casters getting 3 spells around immediately comes to mind.
The big reason not to allow a swift to move substitution is Quickened spells.
Luckily, there is already a specific rule preventing characters from casting more than one Quickened spell in a round, so even if you could trade a move for a swift, you couldn't cast 3 spells per round.
Combat Rules wrote:
Interactions at the corner alignments is probably worth its own post/essay. CG characters will make sacrifices to respect/protect others' freedom, while CE characters ignore the usual qualifier "my freedoms end where yours begin." Just like LG characters believe they have a duty to help others, while LE ones believe others have a duty to serve them.
As for chaos vs law I still hold that Chaos vs Law is defined by valuing the end goal vs the means to said goal. (ie. for the classic murder 1 to save 10 problem Lawful would refuse to kill the one and try to find a different solution [they see a necessary evil as a necessary evil] where as Chaotic would kill the one [they see a necessary evil as a necessary evil])
That's inconsistent with the description in the CRB, which while admittedly imperfect doesn't say anything about means vs end. (It does touch on duty vs individualism, tradition vs novelty, reliability vs adaptability, etc)
@The Crusader - All of the oddities you describe are a result of defining Lawful as "must obey laws." If Lawful characters must obey laws it's natural that chaotic characters must break them (and indeed the highly imperfect CRB does talk about a "compulsion to obey" vs "compulsion to rebel"). I have argued this myself in the past.
However, if Law is Order (rigidity, routine) and Chaos is Flexibility (adaptability, change) then most of your concerns are addressed:
The Crusader wrote:
First of all, Law and Chaos are not under this interpretation a matter of restrictions vs lack of restrictions. Rather both characters are acting naturally in response to their preferences - see my above comment on Lawful/Judging vs Chaotic/Perceiving personality types. There's also some very good discussion upthread on Lawful Rules (letter of law) vs Chaotic Guidelines (spirit of law) and other differences in the way the two alignments handle issues of conduct.
The Crusader wrote:
"Freedom" always enters the discussion at some point. Chaotic characters value freedom, for themselves, for others, for everyone. As opposed to what? Lawful characters want everyone to be shackled or tiered in a societal caste? Wouldn't a chaotic king want to maintain his status quo? Wouldn't a lawful peasant try to improve his lot? Does that mean such characters can't exist?
Lawful characters can support social mobility, they'll just want to go about it in an orderly way (such as formal promotion through ranks based on performance review, testing, or training). A chaotic king may want to remain in power, but he'll be motivated to change his style of rule based on the situation of the kingdom, and might be a reformer in terms of throwing out laws or courtly traditions he sees as dead weight. A lawful peasant might want to improve his lot, but he'll do it in a structured manner (whether by making use of existing social mobility systems or with an organized rebellion to introduce a better system).
The Crusader wrote:
Chaos isn't randomness or bizarre behavior, and perfect unvarying order is pathological (see OCPD, not to be confused with OCD).
A character ceases to be lawful when his actions demonstrate he is at least as comfortable with flexibility (change) as order. He ceases to be chaotic when his actions demonstrate he is at least as comfortable with order (structure) as with flexibility. For example, I am a lawful person but have become less lawful over time due to association with chaotic people (who I cannot force to follow my rigid plans) and consciously training myself to improvise more. Increased lawfulness is a common byproduct of age - people sometimes become set in their ways or slip into familiar routines as they grow older.
The Crusader wrote:
The point of these questions is not to dismantle the alignment system. I'm really just looking for a version of Chaos that is... well, something more than "I don't want to be Lawful."
Which is what Chaos is Flexibility does.
Good stuff! Also some good comments on chaos, but I'd like to suggest a one-word definition for chaos in the style of "Law is order."
Chaos is flexibility.
Chaos suffers discomfort in routines because routines are typically inflexible - they follow a fixed pattern. Chaos prefers flexible guidelines of behavior over precise rules and laws. Chaos/Flexibility also supports change and innovation when the way things are is not demonstrably the best way for things to be. Chaos/Flexibility can work around individual differences rather than insist that everyone play a rigid role in the social order.
If you're familiar with Jungian personality types and Meyers-Briggs this correlates rather well with Judging vs Perceiving.
Lawfulness/order is sometimes associated with logic over emotion because logic is a system that makes use of absolutes and rigid statements. However, emotion is not inconsistent with lawfulness, for example, when clinging to duty or tradition despite logic supporting other decisions. Chaos/flexibility is likewise associated with emotion because flexibility makes more allowances for individuals to bend the rules according to their emotions. However, chaotic characters can be logical and simply understand that limited human knowledge requires that our logic be tolerant of and adapt to new evidence or exceptions – that logic embraces probabilities and not just binary absolutes.
Ross Byers wrote:
No one (well, very few people) would argue that a Chaotic person is required to break the law, but I constantly see posts in alignment discussions where someone claims that a Lawful person is required to follow the law of the land
I only argue that a chaotic person is required to break the law when I see people arguing that a lawful person is required to obey it. |X| = |-X| and all that. :D
Mike Franke wrote:
Probably accurate historically, but unfortunately Chaos = Destruction is very much a "chaos leans to evil" idea. Compare with PF cosmology where the CG celestials, the Azata, are very artistic and creative.