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"Hey GM, when you mentioned that the party was planning on starting a rebellion against sect X in city Y, I was picturing a game that was heavy on intrigue and social interaction. My enchantress is feeling a little out of place in these monster hunting storylines. Have I misjudged where the campaign is going, and if so can I make a character that's a better fit?"
I'm coming at this from another angle. There are two ways to justify the Bestiary's listed "evil" alignment for the lich.
There's a lot of discussion on the thread about the process of achieving lichdom and whether it's possible to go through it without being evil.
I'm suggesting that even if the actions required to become a lich are not sufficient to require an evil alignment, it is reasonable to assume that the transformation itself would push you over.
Dwarf in the Flask wrote:
Well then the 10th level witch is even better. Not only do you jump bodies, but you can jump into more powerful bodies. What can kill a level 10 witch? Whatever it is now is possessed by the witch.
Will negates, SR applies, duration 1 hour / level. The familiar is also somewhat more difficult to safeguard than a phylactery. And though it's not spelled out, I don't think it's intended to work if the witch dies of old age.
Still really powerful but it has downsides compared to lichdom.
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
You're right, they don't count as spellcasters for pre-reqs, but the FAQ indicated that it wasn't entirely intentional to deny them access to certain things like crafting feats. Many groups house-rule alchemists to allow them to count as spellcasters for some purposes.
We've encountered an alchemist lich and he certainly wasn't funny. Really nasty former half-orc who knew how to hold a grudge and hit fast and hard when he saw the opportunity.
I like your Philosophers, though. And the concept is do-able with the 20th level immortality grand discovery - though a new template allowing them at a lower level would certainly be interesting!
Frankly I'd probably model her as a Brawler//Paladin but Inquisitor//UC Monk works and is a ridiculously good gestalt. Not only do you get Wis synergy, but you get full BAB, all good saves (plus Improved Evasion and Stalwart), lots of skills, and good mobility. Judgment is great on a full BAB character, and Bane works really nicely with the extra attacks from flurry.
VMC bard is optional. I don't think Buffy is that much of a knowledge character, and while I can see her having Inspire Courage I don't think she's a good enough leader that it's necessary to the concept. The teamwork feats the inquisitor gets represent the ability to benefit from allies - or try the Preacher archetype if you prefer to be able to benefit from a quick quip in combat or yell a warning to a friend.
Sanctified Slayer and Vampire Hunter archetypes may be thematic, though the latter is generally underpowered unless you're in a very undead-focused campaign (and Buffy really wasn't that specialized).
Yes, the lich template clearly involves something other than "simply being immortal."
There are a number of different ways to achieve immortality, and not all of them require an evil alignment. However the others are not as durable as lichdom and often require even more personal power. A 20th level wizard or alchemist can stop aging but can still be killed normally. Cloning can't help someone who has died of old age (and as an 8th level spell requires a caster of at least 15th level). Reincarnation needs to be repeated each time you die, and can't help you if you are killed by a death effect.
Becoming a lich protects you from death both from old age and violence, and it's achievable by an 11th level caster of any class (albeit with great effort and expense). Is it any surprise that there are some downsides to the process, like a loss of empathy?
It's certainly theoretically possible for someone to improve on the process in a way that prevents alignment corruption, but it hasn't happened yet, and as James Jacobs says it's likely that the result would be something subtly different from a lich.
Our first pathfinder campaign featured an arcane archer lich. She used slaying arrows and some seriously deadly poison.
We also had a serious bard lich - a vain diva who as a lich preserved not just her life but the appearance of youth.
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Oh and HUNTER LICHS!!! That would be weird...
Our arcane archer lich was thematically a hunter, just without the pet. While I expect most liches wouldn't want a living thing around, a verminous hunter lich with a giant mantis seems terribly cool to me. Or maybe a packmaster using a bunch of well-trained but expendable creatures as messengers and spies? After all, you can see through the eyes of any member of your pack.
Jack Enderi wrote:
He's very passionate about his character and - in his defense - it's a great character. He's trying for this kinda wonky Prestige Class though that's really tying his hands and making him a 5th wheel in combat until much later, however.
What's the prestige class? Will it differentiate his character from your planned grippli? If so, can you hold off with the new character until he gets the prestige class?
A friend of mine is trying to make a "The Last Unicorn" themed version of the Love Letter game as a gift. She is not very familiar with the movie and needs help determining which characters are closest to the unicorn. Her working order is:
(8) The Unicorn
Another consideration is that the effect of the (4) rank is to protect you from hostile plays, which is more appropriate for Molly even if she might otherwise be closer to the unicorn.
It doesn't say anything about bonus spells so I don't think you get them. This is consistent with the other class abilities, which are generally more limited in uses/day than those granted by the actual classes. For example, a paladin creature can only use smite and lay on hands once per day, even though the strength of those effects is based on their HD.
Headfirst, maneuvers do tell a great story, but using them like you describe realistically requires them to be easier to pull off at low levels. You need two feats to avoid provoking AoO on a maneuver - the Improved Maneuver feat and its pre-requisite - which is impossible for a level 1 orc warrior. If the orcs provoke AoO before bull rushing the rogue, or tripping the cleric, or disarming the fighter a lot of them are going to get taken out of the fight without providing any real threat.
That doesn't just reduce combat's swingy lethality - it makes it plain easier, and also affects the tone. Remember, your earlier example with the orcs trying to use monk weapons (and provoking AoO in the process) turned into a "hectic, often hilarious brawl" which is awesome for an occasional encounter but not so great for the typical low level adventure.
One good house-rule I've seen for this is to introduce a "Powerful Maneuvers" feat which lets you use the Power Attack line of maneuver feats (bull rush, sunder, etc) without AoO and a "Deft Maneuvers" feat which lets you use the Combat Expertise set (trip, disarm, etc). Use these as pre-reqs for the appropriate Improved Maneuver feats, or just go straight to the Greater Feats. This allows a level 1 character or basic orc warrior to use a variety of maneuvers without fear, with minimal investment (and since the orcs won't all have Power Attack it slightly decreases how hard they actually hit).
Let me help you brain.
To assign spellcasting, you:
1) Check the monster's HD
Example 1, succubus sorceress:
1) A succubus has 8 HD
2) An 8 HD sorcerer template gets 1 3rd level spell known, 2 2nd level spells known, and 2 1st level spells known.
3) I select 3 - Lover's Vengeance; 2 - Seducer's Eyes, Unnatural Lust; 1 - Mage Armour, Silent Image. The succubus sorceress casts these spells spontaneously, with 2 spells/day of each level, at CL 8. Spell DCs = 10+spell level+Cha mod (which is 10 after the template's bonus).
4) If the succubus runs out of these spells I can also give her two cantrips, Message and Touch of Fatigue.
Example 2, succubus wizard:
1) A succubus still has 8 HD
2) An 8 HD wizard template gets 1 3rd level spell slot, 2 2nd level spell slots, and 2 1st level spell slot.
3) I prepare (as a wizard) 3 - Lover's Vengeance; 2 - Seducer's Eyes (twice); 1 - Mage Armour, Silent Image. The succubus wizard casts these spells at CL 8. Spell DCs = 10+spell level+Int mod (which is 6 after the template's bonus).
4) Like the sorcerer, I can add 2 cantrips if she uses all the above spells.
Example 3, balor cleric:
1) A balor has 20 HD
2) A 20 HD cleric gets 1 7th level spell, 2 6th level spells, and 2 5th level spells.
3) I prepare (like a cleric) 7 - Destruction; 6 - Harm (Twice); 5 - Dispel Good, Unhallow. The balor cleric casts these spells at CL 20. Spell DCs = 10+spell level+Wis mod (which is 9 after the template's bonus).
4) If the balor uses these spells I can give him 2 spells each of levels 4-0 (like Inflict Critical Wounds, twice), but I shouldn't use these slots to pre-buff with things like Protection from Energy and I probably won't need them at all.
And now we get into cosmology.
As I understand Christian theology, good actions are not so much important in their own right as they are important in that they express faith in God. Ultimately, God wins, and mortal suffering is insignificant next to the salvation of our souls. If the paladin is significant because they are a symbol of ultimate faith and purity, it's important that they remain perfectly faithful and pure.
However many polytheistic religions (and D&D / PF settings) feature some kind of cosmic battle between good and evil in which concrete gains on the material plane matter. If paladins are important because they're the front lines against a demonic invasion, then it's decidedly counterproductive to take away a paladin's powers in the middle of a war because of a minor offense.
I lean towards the latter side - faith and the will to do good matters in itself, but specific actions are ultimately important not just to the people who aren't getting eaten by demons today, but because the amount of suffering in the world affects the cosmic balance. This take emphasizes the importance of the PCs' actions, even those PCs who aren't particularly faithful.
This is part of why I use the "it's evil if you know it's evil or should know it's evil" standard for paladins in cases like this. The cosmic battle against evil is too important for the Powers That Be to depower a paladin over an honest misunderstanding, but a paladin who is negligent or reckless erodes faith in the paladin ideal even if that paladin is able to justify their actions - and even if they're still overall a Good person. (I also really like the idea of partial falls because it gives you a direct way to signal divine displeasure with someone who is not taking their role seriously enough without actually invalidating their entire service as a paladin.)
Though honestly this is armchair theory for me because the only situation in which my party even considered a fall was instigated by the player saying "falling might be a valid character arc for my character in situation X." Our paladin players usually take that more seriously than the GMs.
Do we really need to make it binary? Shadowkire's group seems to have very intentionally moved away from the idea that we should be able to determine definitively whether an action is evil or not, and that paladins should either suffer no consequences or all the consequences.
Heh, subtle sledgehammer hints? ;)
I've been in enough situations where something that the GM thought was clear wasn't clear to the players. A paladin falling because he wasn't paying enough attention makes a good story, but a paladin falling because a player (or worse, GM) wasn't paying attention doesn't make a good game.
Sure, i missed that they were telepathic, i looked for the telepathy spell and forgot to check for any natural telepathy. It doesnt change the fact that shed only have a few villagers dominated at best, who would likely not pose any threat to the paladin to the point where he couldnt try to reason with them or easily knock them unconscious.
That's enough of a distraction for the succubus to escape.
You also are taking liberties with the power of Charm. It makes the target friendly to you, not even helpful. Thats one level above indifferent. Thats like "know your name and see you around town" level of friendship.
Charm makes you friendly, which makes you more susceptible to Diplomacy, which a typical succubus has +19 in, which is more than enough to convince a friendly person to give you dangerous aid (DC 20+person's cha).
Official statement on charm:
Charm person makes a humanoid "friendly" to you, as per the rules found in the Diplomacy skill, but it also allows you to issue orders to the target, making an opposed Charisma check to convince the target to do something that it would not normally do. How does that work?
The charm person spell (and charm monster by extension) makes the target your friend. It will treat you kindly (although maybe not your allies) and will generally help you as long as your interests align. This is mostly in the purview of the GM. If you ask the creature to do something that it would not normally do (in relation to your friendship), that is when the opposed Charisma check comes into play. For example, if you use charm person to befriend an orc, the orc might share his grog with you and talk with you about the upcoming raid on a nearby settlement. If you asked him to help you fight some skeletons, he might very well lend a hand. If you asked him to help you till a field, however, you might need to make that check to convince him to do it.
If the demon teleports away and comes back tomorow the paladin can be there to stop it.
Can he be everwhere at once? What if the succubus just moves to the next town over - is this still a mission accomplished? What if she kills a few people in the next town over and then comes back to this one again?
That actually would change my assessment of the situation as a whole. It's certainly not impossible for a succubus to feign vulnerability like this, but this kind of visible pain is enough to at least raise reasonable doubt about the situation - the kind of doubt that would require a paladin to ask more questions before dispatching the "threat." If I gave that kind of description to a player and they still decided to smite first, I would not feel bad about telling them they fell. Though even then, I'd probably give the "Are you sure you want to attack the succubus who is in obvious and mysterious pain without asking questions?" warning and remind the player that his Oath would not require him to do so.
Dimensional Anchor is a 4th level spell, wizards get it at level 7. Coincidentally, a Succubus is a CR 7. So the magic is readily available in the party, and if its not should be readily available nearby.
1) You're assuming there's a party. The OP's situation described a lone paladin.
2) You're assuming the party is actually level 7, and not a level 5 or 6 party facing a succubus. I throw APL+2 challenges against my group all the time.
3) You're assuming the party has a wizard, and that at 7th level the wizard would already have Dimemsional Anchor available despite just being able to cast spells of that level.
4) Dimensional Anchor lasts 1 minute/level, which means if you have to so much as travel to the next town over to find a high level cleric, you're back in the "can't take my eyes off her for a second" situation.
5) If you do have a party, you probably have someone more susceptible to Dominate Person than your average paladin.
Oath against fiends paladin s have anchoring aura and other dimensional traps anyways
Yes, but only at level 8. Even if the paladin does have access to that effect, it either allows a will save for every attempt at teleportation (and succubi are fairly strong-willed) or has the same short-duration issue as the dimensional anchor spell, giving you at most about half an hour. And as Gaberlunzie pointed out you're still susceptible to Dominate, Charm, or Suggestion. That's too many potential points of failure for me to feel comfortable requiring that the paladin try to capture a succubus.
How exactly does the succubus plan to tell the villagers to attack the paladin without the paladin noticing? Dominate and Charm both require verbally telling your opponent what to do, as does Suggestion. Succubus are not telepathic so thats out. So the only way is to say "Attack the paladin! No dont!" and hope he buys it.
Succubi are telepathic, range 100ft. Check under Languages. In fact, all demons are telepathic so that's probably something a demon-hunting paladin would know.
Keep in mind also that her dominate is once per day. So to get the whole town she would have to charm, which makes them only friendly to her. When the noble renowned paladin who saved several towns by level 7 shows up, you dont attack him on sight because he says he "just wants to question her a bit to make sure shes legit." Do you attack policemen on sight if they want to take your friends in for questioning?
The renowned paladin who has sworn an oath to slay demons? Yeah, I'd be suspicious about leaving him alone with my demon friend. Probably wouldn't attack the guy but I'd definitely follow him out of town to act as a witness - after all, if he's a renowned paladin he can protect me from any bandits on the road, and it's not like my good friend the succubus would do anything to hurt me.
Finally, if the Succubus teleports away, congrats! Hes saved the town and next time when he sees her he will know shes evil without a doubt and can attack on sight. Well done paladin, managed to beat an encounter and secure knowledge of a targets evil with 1 offer of mercy. If thats not the perfect act of a Paladin I dont know what is.
Teleporting away doesn't mean she won't come back tomorrow to continue exactly what she was just doing.
The official statement on redemption of fiends is as follows:
"Champions of Purity p 15” wrote:
Creatures with an evil subtype (generally outsiders) are creatures that are fundamentally evil: devils, daemons, and demons, for instance. Their redemption is rare, if it is even possible. They are evil to their very core, and commit evil acts perpetually and persistently. Mortals with an evil alignment, however, are different from these beings. - Champions of Purity p 15
Also seen here.
UnArcaneElection's scenario suggested that a tiefling had been mis-identified as a succubus. Since they had cast Greater Infernal Healing on themselves, they would detect as evil. From the paladin's POV the situation would look almost identical.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
I agree that remorse shouldn't excuse you from accountability, but disagree that death is an appropriate punishment for a truly repentant serial killer. The most powerful forms of redemption involve the penitent working hard and making personal sacrifices in order to do good. This is called Restorative Justice.
A succubus who has become a paladin with all that implies, and who is working to heal others at the cost of her own vitality, is living justice and does not deserve to die.
The only reason I believe that killing this succubus is a reasonable course of action is that from the paladin's perspective it's much more likely that she's an immediate threat to innocents than that she is redeemed.
His mistake here isnt deciding to bring a surrendered foe in, his mistake is turning his back on her and allowing her to teleport away. Hes completely in the right to offer even the most evil being a chance to surrender and prove its innocence. That kind of action is even required in the 3.5 Book of Exalted Deeds.
Keep in mind that “turning your back” here means “one round in which the paladin doesn't have a readied action to stab the succubus if she tries something funny.” That's all it takes. By your own admission, securely proving a demon is not evil takes high level magic that a paladin generally does not have direct access to. Do you think it's likely that a paladin will be able to find someone capable of casting those spells without glancing away from the succubus or letting his sword hand falter for so much as six seconds? When the succubus is trying to engineer exactly such a distraction using her considerable guile and natural telepathy? She could goad the villagers into attacking the paladin while outwardly appearing to be asking them to stand down. Or she could prompt them to come with her – to make sure the paladin wasn't about to execute her as soon as they left city limits – and then if they encounter any danger whatsoever on the road the paladin has a choice between defending his escort and keeping the prisoner secure.
I'd say that this passage very well describes a paladin who believes that his skill is enough to keep a captured succubus from escaping and causing more evil.
In this context, disabling is inclusive of killing.
And whether it's preferable to attack nonlethally in this case is a tricky question because it boils down to "should I reduce the harm to the person I believe is a threat, but increase the chance that that person will seriously hurt me or others?" And that's a question that we've been struggling with in the real world.
My first instinct is that this is why a Merciful weapon should be mandatory for all paladins. (Can Sarenrae "curse" the offending paladin with an inability to deal lethal damage? That might be fun.)
In the context of a game I'd have to consider the expectations I'd set to date. Have I encouraged the party to take prisoners in general? Has stopping to negotiate repeatedly screwed them over, or is it often fruitful? Have they encountered any "traditionally evil" foes that turned out to be more nuanced? Have I led them to believe that fiends in particular are absolutely evil, or given clues that they are redeemable? Have I given the paladin any particular instruction according to his code? For example I've had one GM inform me going into a game that a LG character should always avoid killing wherever possible.
This is sort of the meta version of whether the paladin should have known better - did the player know that nonlethal force was appropriate in ambiguous situations, and did the player have reason to interpret this situation as at all ambiguous? Or has the player been led to expect a game about killing Bad Guys with fiends as the Biggest Bads? Keep in mind that there's nothing necessarily wrong about the latter. In a morally complex world it can be really satisfying to confront obvious villains and Smite them, and that doesn't make you a murderhobo.
It sounds like your main problem is the high cost of gunslinger ammo.
The easy solution is to stop tracking basic ammo. If the gunslinger isn't overpowering your game it shouldn't be a problem.
Or if you actually enjoy that kind of low-level resource management then just extend it. Rule that an alchemy crafting kit has to be refreshed every so often. Spell component pouch too, to be fair. Keep in mind though that the alchemist is generally pretty well balanced without adding extra costs, so if you make it more expensive (in gold and carrying capacity) to be an alchemist, people won't want to play it. If you think the gunslinger is too expensive I would suggest reducing the cost of bullets rather than making the alchemist costly to match.
Also, keep in mind that gunslingers are usually relatively weak up until level 5, when they get a big boost due to a combination of gun training and having picked up core feats. If you spend a lot of time in low level play you might need to make more substantial alterations to the class - though you also mentioned an alchemist with 20 bombs/day plus extracts and that doesn't happen until quite high levels so I'm not sure whether there's any particular level of comparison.
The fact that this demon WAS good proves that in this GMs game not all demons are evil. Whether she was mortal isn't relevant.
But unless the paladin has reason to know this demon is good (and I argue below he doesn't) saying that he should have known that demons could be good because this demon is good is circular reasoning. And he OP didn't indicate whether the paladin had any other evidence that good fiends existed.
No, it's not obvious that the succubus was abnormal just because she was standing in the middle of villagers without killing them.
This isn't an orc or a goblin. This is a succubus, the physical incarnation of seduction, temptation, and foul deceit. Her kiss both actually sucks the life force out of a mortal and makes them want more.
I've had a disguised succubus royally screw with my players by depending to be an ally. She framed an enemy of hers for her own crimes and sent the party after the enemy. They took him prisoner instead of killing him so she cut his throat. Up until then the succubus was entirely helpful. A succubus is perfectly capable of playing nice with some (possibly charmed) villagers while she gets her evil ducks in a row.
Physically Unfeasible wrote:
Not only are demons overwhelmingly usually evil but the side effects of the (evil) subtype produce observable evidence that support the idea that these creatures are literally bad to the bone. Fiends are particularly vulnerable to things infused with Goodness, including holy water, a paladin's smite, and the holy smite spell (which notably ONLY gets extra damage against evil outsiders). This means that even someone who might say "I've never seen a good orc but this one might be the first" would be (reasonably) much less inclined to give a fiend the benefit of a doubt.
In most settings I've played in, non-evil fiends are either non-existent or rare enough to be unheard of. As in, most people haven't heard of them, and those that have heard of them don't always believe they exist. After all, people really like the idea of a redeemed succubus so it'd be easy for someone to mistake a tiefling paladin for a succubus and start spreading rumours.
You may not like the idea that something is "evil by species" and I agree that it compares uncomfortably with historical claims that certain human races were savage or otherwise inferior by nature. But if we accept the idea that some type of supernatural entity might be overwhelmingly and demonstrably driven to cause death and suffering, then treating any given such entity as a threat without strong contradictory evidence is a reasonable call.
Humility is great. If the paladin had destroyed the hospital I would be all for making him rebuild it. But this is a crisis situation in which the people require care that the paladin may be poorly qualified to give. While he's grinding in his humility, the villagers are suffering from lack of adequate care.
If the paladin accidentally killed a diplomat, would you want him to negotiate a peace treaty with no training in negotiation?
Again, I'm assuming that the penance is being suggested by a benevolent NPC who doesn't want the paladin's lesson to come at the villagers' expense. The OP says the paladin went back to find someone to 'break the enchantment' on the villagers, so I'd expect him to find a moderately powerful cleric to set him straight. If there isn't such an NPC present, it's perfectly effective to let the paladin struggle through the realistic consequences of that action even if those consequences involve further suffering and death.
Though from the paladin's POV the best option for protecting the villagers is still to kill the thing that's killing them, not to humbly struggle on as their medic while they die - which defeats the "blood and glory are not always the way" lesson.
I'm still shocked this is a conversation. "I didn't know any better" is NEVER a valid excuse. Why does the paladin get one for killing an innocent creature? Because he was stupid?
No, it's because he wasn't stupid that there's a discussion.
"I didn't know better" is only a lame excuse if you're supposed to know better.
"I gave peanuts to someone who had an undiagnosed allergy and they died. I didn't know better." Fine.
"I gave peanuts to someone who warned me about their allergy because I didn't check the ingredients label. I didn't know better." Not OK. You might not have known about the peanuts, but you should have known to check the label.
What if you could've reasonably known that there were drugs, but you just didn't bother to check?
Depends. Should you have checked? In an airport everyone is held responsible for the contents of their own luggage - you're expected to know what's in it and keep it close enough that no one can add things to it without your knowledge. However if you're a shipping company and someone gives you a package to ship I don't think you're responsible for the contents of that package - in fact there's a contrary expectation that you shouldn't check because mail is private.
WillFULLy =/= WillINGLy
The English language, everyone!
Physically Unfeasible wrote:
There's room for debate on the second paragraph, hence the issue.
"Willingly" doing X implies, for me, that the will or intent was to do X.
So the paladin willingly killed someone.
The paladin did not willingly kill a good being doing good things, because did not know that the being he killed was a good being doing good things (nor did he even have any reason to suspect that was the case).
The legal system shares this assessment of the concept of "willing." Involuntary manslaughter is defined as an act that causes death but wasn't intended to kill. To qualify as voluntary manslaughter, you need intent to kill.
Additionally, involuntary manslaughter requires negligence or other unlawful behavior - if a reasonable person would have acted as you did given the information you had, then it's not even involuntary manslaughter. It's not a crime nor is it morally wrong to give someone a peanut butter sandwich, even if they have a fatal allergy and the sandwich kills them.
To do something wrong, it's required that you know what you did, or that you should have known what you did.
My gut says that it's intended to let the magus use stuff like ki throw - it's an ability that normally uses ki. IIRC until Ultimate Combat and the ninja, only monks had ki, so the wording "a monk may... by spending 1 ki point" may not reflect an intent to limit other ki-using classes.
Saying it counts as a monk for abilities using ki might give the Esoteric Magus other things like ki strike, explaining why that wording would be absent from the archetype.
Normally I'd like the idea of taking on the succubus' role, but in this case I see problems.
The succubi is clearly a healing-focused paladin and her killer appears to be more combative, so if he tries to actually fill her role he'll fall far short. Ordinarily that would be a good teachable moment but in a crisis like this the villagers pay, and that's not OK from the POV of whoever's setting the atonement. (It would be a dandy setup from a GM/storyteller's POV but I'm looking at this like someone who wants to avoid further evil.)
If the villagers don't suffer it's probably because the fiendslayer has gone out and efficiently killed the fiend that was originally causing problems - which does nothing to teach the lesson "be more careful about killing things, even fiends."
^Keep in mind that Abadar is Lawful Neutral. so from his point of view, a Chaotic Good Succubus is just as much of a threat as the more standard Chaotic Evil variety.
The succubus is LG, she just detects as chaotic (and evil) thanks to alignment subtype rules.
Speaking of other consequences...
Abraham spalding wrote:
Actually, it doesn't even take True Resurrection - Limited Wish will work.
Outsider traits wrote:
Unlike most living creatures, an outsider does not have a dual nature—its soul and body form one unit. When an outsider is slain, no soul is set loose. Spells that restore souls to their bodies, such as raise dead, reincarnate, and resurrection, don't work on an outsider. It takes a different magical effect, such as limited wish, wish, miracle, or true resurrection to restore it to life. An outsider with the native subtype can be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected just as other living creatures can be.
I'd also like to repeat my original idea of making the paladin go redeem a tiefling for a more in-depth learning experience.
Better options in hindsight doesn't mean better options apparent at the time the paladin made the decision. Imagine you were reading this post:
"The paladin had heard rumours about a fiend in this particular area - people turning up dead with demonic symbols carved into them, that kind of stuff. He comes across this village and finds everyone reverently gathered around this succubus, seemingly oblivious to her obvious demonic nature. He tells her to surrender. She does, claiming this is a big mistake and she's been redeemed by the power of Sarenrae. The paladin is skeptical but decides to bring her in. The locals make a fuss and the second his back is turned she teleports out of her bonds. Now the paladin has been finding dead bodies in his path and all the locals are convinced that he's the killer..."
I think you'd see a lot of people calling the paladin stupid for trying to take a succubus prisoner.
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
You don't re-write the game, you tweak the paladin.
Paladin: "I attack the lich."
GM (to himself): WTH?
Paladin: "Well, my Oath requires me to destroy all undead even if they're not evil."
GM: "That doesn't make sense in my game. Your oath would only apply to evil undead."
Player: "Ok. Well I still don't like undead so I'll just glower and say I'm keeping an eye on her..."
Note that the GM doesn't have to wait until the paladin has assaulted the lich, he can step in as soon as he sees a decision that doesn't make sense according to how he sees the paladin, in order to make sure everyone is on the same page.
I don't think it's fair to call a paladin a murderhobo for making a single bad call in an easily misinterpreted sitation, unless you're also OK with calling every single cop who has ever mistakenly shot someone a murderhobo.
For all we know this guy usually makes a habit of bringing bandits in alive to face The Law and spends his downtime helping widows find affordable housing.
1.) It's not mean. The Paladin has a Code. The player knows he has a Code when he picks the class. Don't break the Code, you won't fall. If you can break the Code and not fall, why have a Code?
The issue is when the player and the GM have different expectations about the code or the situation causing the fall.
You see "killed an innocent person who was not attacking you."
Others see "killed an apparent threat to innocents."
A player who believes that all fiends are evil, designs a character specifically to fight fiends, is currently on a quest to hunt down a fiend who is killing people, and sees a fiend who is capable of mind control standing in the middle of a crowd of villagers has every reason to expect that it is OK to kill that fiend.
And if a GM sees that a player has brought a paladin to the table who has an oath to destroy fiends, the GM should expect that behavior and either ensure that the player knows that he can't smite fiends who haven't attacked first, or give lots of in-character cues that this particular fiend is different (such as describing her laying on hands and reviving villagers).
2.) I didn't realize "Has to pay for an Atonement" was equivalent to losing your character.
Well, it's not too far off from "Raise Dead." 2500gp vs 5000gp, and in both cases you have to find a 9th level cleric to cast the spell. I expect most people would be upset if a GM set up a situation where if you attack a particular enemy you die instantly with no saving throw.
Agreed. My LG Inquisitor put Merciful on his scimitar before adding keen. You get an extra d6 nonlethal with Merciful, too, so as long as you're not fighting something that resists nonlethal it's doing the same damage as flaming.
The code says she must be lawful good (which she is) and that she can't commit an evil act.
Committing an evil act isn't the same thing as being (or counting as) evil.
EDIT: The trick is that a creature with alignment subtypes counts both as their actual alignment and as the alignment(s) associated with their subtypes. Also I'm pretty sure that the code of conduct isn't an effect either, but even if it were, it wouldn't actually prevent the succubus paladin.
And if the succubus doesn't surrender? The paladin might be swamped with charmed villagers trying to protect their "friend" while the succubus enchants or kills the paladin or simply escapes.
Calling for surrender isn't a no-risk option.
And if in the setting redeemed fiends are so vanishingly rare that most people (including the paladin) don't believe it's possible, you're weighing a very big chance of committing evil act "allowing a terribly evil creature get away to sow more death and destruction" vs a vanishingly small chance of committing the evil act "killing an innocent succubus"
And this is an assessment that is made very quickly.
There was a case in my hometown growing up where a police officer fatally shot a fellow officer in plainclothes because he the latter drew a gun at the scene of a violent crime. Cases like this are not uncommon - in fact the NYPD colour-codes their undercover officers in order to protect them from friendly fire.
These incidents are tragic, and the officers responsible have made grave mistakes, but that doesn't mean that they have committed evil acts.
You're right, I didn't read far enough in the description. Citation:
Oathbound Paladin wrote:
If a paladin violates the code of her oath, she loses the class abilities associated with that oath until she atones. If she violates her paladin’s code, she loses her oath abilities as well as her other paladin abilities.
So an oathbound paladin who knowingly kills a succubus paladin or friendly neighbourhood vampire falls, but if they put aside the oath in the interest of the greater good they merely lose their oath features
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
You're right, it's entirely pointless to look at the situation in the OP because the paladin's ignorance distracts from the actual question:
Is it OK for a paladin to commit an evil act if their specific oaths require it, for example to kill a non-evil creature because they took an oath to destroy that type of (almost always evil) creature?
I would say that that RAW makes this a no-win situation, because RAW does not allow a paladin to prioritize. Paladin falls either way.
Understandably most people don't like to accept a situation where the paladin always falls. The positions I've seen in this thread:
1) Hypothetically this could happen and the paladin would fall either way, but it's contrived and the GM would be a dick to let it happen in game.
2) It would never happen because a demon who is redeemed really should be obviously transformed into something not demonic, as seen the at least one Paizo AP, regardless of the rules under the (evil) subtype.
3) The requirement to be good and do no evil is more important than specific oaths, so the paladin falls for knowingly killing a succubus paladin (or any other non-evil member of a "typically evil" race/species).
I don't think I've seen an argument for "racist oaths beat the goodness mandate" though I think that would be an interesting basis if you wanted to create a setting with more morally grey paladins. Just be aware that some people like paladins specifically because they are not grey.
How does he know it's a demon? No knowledge ranks in Planes remember?
He has taken a Holy Oath to destroy fiends, and he is completely untrained in the skill that would allow him to identify fiends?
I would have serious reservations against allowing that character at my table.
Not to mention it seems to contradict the original description of the situation:
she suddenly shifts into a Succubus! A fiend! Of the CHAOTIC subtype
That sounds to me like a successful knowledge check to identify a succubus, which would be a "positive identification of enemy forces." His belief that the villagers were charmed also implies that he's aware succubi can charm people.
If he failed the knowledge check to identify that it was a demon, it would be another story. It would also be another story if he positively identified the demon as a species that would not plausibly be found surrounded by charmed villagers (such as a glabrezu) because it would be obvious that something odd is going on.
The only reason this is a justifiable misunderstanding is that it was presented as a situation where the paladin identified a succubus and was aware that succubi are subtle manipulators, making it dangerous to give her any chance to "explain herself" (read: enchant the paladin or use the charmed villagers as human shields).
My Self wrote:
Being a chunk of evil doesn't seem to get in the way of being a paladin, the purest agent of Good a mortal can be. So it can't be that much of an affront to all things Holy.
Which is why in my original post I said that the paladin wouldn't fall but should try to make amends - because a good person wouldn't be at fault for accidentally killing an innocent because they were in enemy uniform, but should feel bad about it and try to make it up to the innocent's community.
I only complained when this guy argued that it was OK to kill the succubus because she wasn't innocent enough*, and it's OK to kill innocents anyway because the code doesn't specifically say you can't. The mitigating factor here is that it's a misunderstanding, not that anyone in an enemy uniform deserves to die.
*And she wasn't innocent enough because smite worked - despite the "keeps the subtypes" rule leaving even a succubus paladin vulnerable to holy power.
If you really think redemption means something, remove the whole "keeps its subtypes" rule from your game. That'd solve the problem.
I don't have a problem with the keeping its subtypes rule. People in my group don't tend to kill things just because they detect as evil.
Rynjin, I think Duncan is right. They removed this bit of text:
Alternatively, a master of many styles may choose a feat in that style’s feat path (such as Earth Child Topple) as one of these bonus feats if he already has the appropriate style feat (such as Earth Child Style).
...leaving only the option to take a "bonus style feat." Plus wildcard.
Note that only the base feats have the (Style) tag on the prd, which suggests to be that only the base feats count as "style feats," with others being "feats in that style's feat path" - now only selectable using the wildcard slot.
Are we actually having a discussion over whether it's evil to kill someone who not only poses no threat, but is actively seeking to help others at personal risk/cost?
This isn't whether the paladin is allowed to kill the BBEG in pitched combat. It's not even whether the paladin is allowed to execute a bandit who they have taken prisoner.
It's whether the paladin is allowed to kill a fellow paladin with a shady backstory.
Personally I like to think that redemption means something and that even in a fantasy adventure it's not OK to kill someone just because they were evil once.
This is a theoretical question about how a paladin prioritizes multiple duties, not an actual situation to put a player in. Calm down everyone, you've seen too many paladin threads.
Honestly if the succubus detected as evil and smite was working on her then she is not innocent.
Smite works on anything with an evil subtype even if it doesn't have an evil alignment. It's rare but theoretically possible within the rules.
Evil subtype wrote:
Whether that's actually a good way to handle it is debatable. On the one hand, I like the idea that a redeemed fiend has a kind of taint that makes them vulnerable to holy power even as they embrace holiness. On the other, it does make sense for a redemption that significant to be wholly transformative.
Can the paladin lose paladin powers even with Abadar approving of his actions?
Yes, unless you're houseruling. Default RAW says paladins have to follow the code, not their deity's wishes.
If he did not have those Oaths would the judgement be any different?
Strict RAW, paladin falls either way. He falls if he kills an innocent, and he falls if he fails to kill a fiend.
As I treat paladins, neither paladin falls because as I discussed earlier a reasonable person with the information the paladin has would believe that the succubus is evil and that further investigation would more likely hurt than help. The oaths add a little extra urgency but the ultimate judgment is the same.
Now, the real question is - what happens if the paladin has strong evidence that the succubus is not evil, and he kills her anyway? That's a situation in which his fall is not due to ignorance but to deliberately choosing his specific oaths over the general good.
Personally, I prefer paladins to prioritize the Good first, then any additional restrictions or oaths whether they concern use of poison or slaying fiends.
However I think it is also valid to allow a paladin to select their own priorities, possibly in reference to their deity. In this case the priorities should be clearly stated prior to play and followed consistently.
No, it's just useful to fewer builds. Druid/monks will find it a big boon to Flurry with a Hippo bite. Unarmed archetype fighters will also benefit from using Style feats with natural weapons and don't care that monk UAS damage doesn't apply - and because they don't flurry they add natural weapons to their usual UAS routine.
I wouldn't have the paladin fall, but I would require penance.
I use the due diligence standard for paladins, which means that they don't fall for not having all the information unless they should have realized they needed more information - unless they're being careless or stupid.
Redeemed fiends are in most settings extremely rare. It's not unreasonable to assume that any given fiend is up to no good, even when there is no obvious sign of evil intent. This is particularly the case with succubi, fiends that are known for being subtle. Note also that the paladin is responding to reports of fiendish mayhem. He might have drawn the wrong conclusion, but it's not a stupid one. It's also not feasible for this paladin, acting alone, to verify the situation. An evil succubus certainly would be capable of winning over the townsfolk between charm and astronomical social skills, and most paladins are short on investigative skills. Compare an inquisitor who should be able to detect charm effects and the succubus' good aura.
However, this is a significant injustice and the paladin is obligated to remedy it once the situation becomes clear (presumably once he returns with better-equipped backup). Failing to take responsibility for your mistakes is dishonourable, and in this situation I would also describe a lack of regret as evil even if the initial act wasn't.
I would suggest requiring the paladin to find a way to return the succubus paladin to life (a limited wish spell, at least) and then performing one service at her bequest, such as redeeming a tiefling.
No. Cloistered cleric loses both combat ability and casting ability, meaning it fails at the cleric's two main roles, and the improvement in skills isn't enough to give it a new role.
While Ecclesitheurge has to be more cautious in combat than even the cloistered cleric, it actually gains spellcasting ability. It thus represents a greater specialization in one of the cleric's roles rather than clumsily botching both.