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Dead bird

lemeres's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 2,728 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
What's wrong with the standard RPG legal system: wait for a party of adventurers to show up and kill the bad guys?

....because wizards are on my lawn NOW ruining my petunias with fireballs and I WANT HIM ARRESTED IMMEDIATELY!

Helaman wrote:
I like the idea of the Guilds/Acadamies policing their own... And others who may possibly drag down the reputation and standing of wizards such as rogue summoners, sorcerers and the like.

That is certainly an idea. Maybe they have a long standing deal with the mercenary guild to provide experienced muscle in such a case.

Part of the agreement could be that young wizards go down to have mock battles every couple of weeks. I mean, being randomly attacked by casters is not common, but having the warriors have at least some idea of what they are getting into if it does happen seems like a good idea.

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chaoseffect wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Being a wizard does seem like an easy way to make a lot of money legitimately. A few crafted items, a few scrolls, etc, etc.
Hell, just go to a big city and sell your services. If you are a mid to high level wizard you can make enough to retire in a day... a day which amounts to about 10 minutes of actual work for you overall.

You spend more time advertising and waiting for people to buy something than actual spell casting.

Although...I want to see a frustrated saleswizard who couldn't get people excited about his services take his demonstrations too far. Time to call Mage-Cops (tm)!

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boring7 wrote:

This isn't that different from modern-day crime. Cops get tricks, criminals compensate as best they can.

And most criminals wouldn't be big players. I mean you got your BBEG Dark Lord types, but they generally have a "cause" and they're empowered by The Narrative to be bigger and scarier than the authorities. The kind of straight-up criminal that you'd expect a cop to handle is going to be the second-best, the guy who started breaking the system because he couldn't succeed within it.

The kinda guy with less levels, weaker stats, and less foresight. Otherwise he'd be powerful enough to make sure all his crimes were legal.

Being a wizard does seem like an easy way to make a lot of money legitimately. A few crafted items, a few scrolls, etc, etc. I mean, PC wizards manage to do that stuff, and still keep up with a traveling lifestyle. I think that it would generally be easy to make money since they are usually the main source for a lot of these services. If you can cast magic, and you can't make money without dealing demon cocaine on the street... then you need to reevaluate your life.

Of course, that doesn't necessary stop the guys that want revenge because THEY LAUGHED AT ME! I'LL SHOW THEM! I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!!

...or you know, petty guild politics that meant he could no longer make a living in the kingdom.

Thinking about it now, I do believe that the distrust of spiders that I harbor in my heart tells me that the spider would take the vague attack order against an enemy you can't see, and then use that opportunity to eat the party halfling.

I can actually think of very few vermin AC's that I would trust to not do that (Giants Wasps? Praying Mantises?! Come on now. Be serious)

chaoseffect wrote:

1 in 300 capable of casting spells? Anyone with 10 intelligence can learn to cast a cantrip and anyone with slightly above that could fairly easily have the capacity to cast 1 level spells. You'd think in a world of high magic a good portion of the population would have at least some minor magical ability for mundane use, i.e. mage hand to flip those burgers or prestidigitation to help clean up s%#&.

Now someone powerful enough to actually be willfully (instead of incompetently) dangerous with magic, yeah, that would probably be a much smaller percentage of the population.

....and how many people do you meet everyday who would have at least 10 INT? *maximum smarm*

Ok, end of sarcasm- if about 10 is the average score (well, for commoners and the like at least), and everyone is likely either a point above or below in some areas, then I think there is a likelihood that most people don't have a 10-11 in Int, but maybe with Wis or Cha (both of which might be harder to to get access to training; wizards have school, but clerics likely have cloisters...which sounds fun, and CHA users have...random luck most of the time).

Plus, if you look at the starting ages, human wizards on average master their craft by age 22 (15+2d6~22.5). That sounds like a college education, which is either gained from an education in one of a very select number of schools, or via apprenticeship to another wizard (who might be reluctant to add more competition in the area). And remember, the number of 17 year olds with even a full highschool education in the US was roughly 7% in 1900. Could you say that the renaissance style era of the setting is much better?

And this is not even saying that these people aren't smart enough. How many prodigy farm boys could actually even afford to move to the big city and follow his dream of becoming a wizard? And what would their family do without their (cheap) labor?

graystone wrote:

The best use is to get claws on each hand. The extra arms don't give extra attacks but you can use your two 'weapon' attacks [unarmed] and substitute those extra arms claws for them. You end up with 4 claws at full BAB each round.

2 claws + 2 unarmed attacks = 4 attacks. 4 claws = 4 attacks. No extra attacks from arms., that is the exact kind of thing that This FAQ is made to prevent.

That unarmed strike equivilance thing is completely unfair, and it completely falls apart with even a basic inspection. This is the attack routine (before bonuses are added) of punch/punch/claw/claw
Note that all put only one of those attacks gets 1x strength and power attack damage. All the rest only get 0.5x.

Now, here is what you suggest for clawx4
And all get full damage bonuses.

Why is it so hard for people to accept that the designers want, for purely balance reasons, to only allow you to get 2 hands worth of work?

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Ashiel wrote:
Clearly the best answer would be for the Paladin to eat enough to live, then use Ultimate Mercy, and rinse and repeat. :P

....damn it....I just realized that you could theoretically eat someone without killing them, and then use lay on hands to seal the wounds (thus, it could be done to a limited degree by level 2).

Even if you are just collecting blood, the game and the hp mechanics doesn't cover slow starvation as nutrients are removed prior to healing, so I can only assume that it replenishes that (because you do not exactly have to up your ration intake, even if you are a paladin that has 33 uses of lay on hands and just lets himself bleed out near completely before healing himself until he runs out of LoHs)

Or would this be some form of con damage? Honestly, I can't say, since a lot of this is abstracted for very, very good reasons. Even then, a 4th level paladin could still do it using lesser restoration.

I guess faith provides......

EvilPaladin wrote:

Option 1:Eat your friend, raising your chance at survival, the chance of his next of kin being notified of his passing, the chance of him getting Ressurected, the chance of him getting a proper burial instead of rotting on a boat/in the desert/in the wilderness.

Option 2:Don't eat your friend, increasing the chance that you and your friend's corpse never get discovered, practically ensuring that your bodies will simply rot away, and raising the odds of either of your loved ones never knowing what happened to you, neither of you getting a proper funeral, and pretty much guaranteeing that you will never get Ressurected/Raised/etc.

Me, I choose option #1.

Well, while you certainly noted the pros, there are a few more complicated cons

-This is a world where people turn into horrible monsters due to such acts. Ghouls, wendigos, and even the relatively mundane antipaladin are all major threats that can originate from such actions.

-The obvious question of 'are we sure it is necessary?' Imagine how you would feel if a rescue party showed up tomorrow. Egg (and other, less pleasant things) on your face, huh?

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If you get to level 9 and beyond, you might want to check out lunge if you are using a longspear/other reach weapon.

Normally, this might seem useless, since the advantage of lunge, a 5' increase in threatened area, end at the end of your turn (thus, it does not help you cover more area for Attacks of Opportunity). But actually, it is valuable because it helps you position enemies into the best conditions.

You see, normally, when you attack with a reach weapon, enemies end up 10' feet away and only need to take a 5' step (which does not draw AoO's) and full attack you.

But with lunge, enemies end up 15' feet away, and thus need to move 10' if they want to attack you. That means that they must not only spend a move action (which prevents full attacks...except pounces, but those are always hard to deal with) and they have to trigger an AoO. That is rather strong defense since it prevents full attacks and discourages enemies from even trying to attack you.

Meanwhile, you can full attack the same amount of area as a huge creature (Well you have to spend your 5' step to do so, while the huge creature would cover a lot more if it did the same.... Point is, you can full attack anything in a circle 45' across)

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Wheldrake wrote:

You'd really need wizards who are as high level (or higher) than the criminal wizards they are supposed to chase. Which poses a real conundrum when you stop and try to figure out just how many high-level wizards there are rolling about, and how many you can draft into selfless service to the nation, without them simply deciding that they, the wizards, should be in charge instead of the powers that be.

Indeed, it can be difficult to fathom why mageocracies aren't the rule rather than the exception in a magic-heavy world like Golarion.

I would think that there simply wouldn't be any magic police most places, and that most governments would have to resort to the equivalent of hiring adventuring parties to deal with magical criminals. Though I suppose a sufficients advanvced bureaucratic government could, over time create the infrastructure needed to make Magic Police a viable possibility.


Aren't BBEGs usually a higher level than parties, yet still lose despite the fact that the PC's usually only have 1-2 casters? And aren't high level BBEGs usually casters?

Action economy tends to bring an end to someone trying to take over with his own skill. You can only have so many fireballs prepared. The wily manipulators who bring the people (such as the rare talents that are PC's) to their sides are the ones that end up with the most power. And only the truly great such as Nex can overcome an army of hundreds on his own. Even the whispering tyrant saw that he needed orcs as cannon fodder soldiers if he wanted to become a conqueror.

Still a good bureaucracy and infrastructure seems like the best solution so you do not have to rely on something as unreliable as adventurers (since you never know when powerful ones are going to be available)

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Would shadow dancers be useful?

Besides the obvious advantage of having someone sneaky, they get shadows under their control. How effectively could a wizard fight an ambush from a shadow coming from under the floor? How many hits can a wizard take with the 'typical' strength score before they get taken out? (I know there are exceptions... but it is like saying that you are going to fight a librarian, not a MMA star)

Of course, casters are the best ones to deal with threats like shadows. While I would downplay the threat of clerics (since only neutral and good ones get positive energy channeling, and those are usually not the ones that cause the most trouble), wizards and sorcerers can use force damage spells.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
If we're doing squads, I'd suggest a Wizard (Diviner or Abjurer...dabbling in the other), a Spellkiller Inquisitor, an Investigator, and a Tetori Monk (or Superstition Barbarian...though I'd prefer the Tetori, myself). That gives a good mix of skills, spells, investigative techniques, and the stuff needed to take down a Wizard.
We're missing an obvious option here - why not Golems, like a Flesh Golem, crafted for this specific purpose?

Golems aren't a bad idea, but they're expensive as hell, require a handler, have the potential to go wrong, and are actually easily countered by a clever spellcaster (who can just fly away, for example).

I'd use them in concert with teams of professionals, not instead of them.

They make good muscle for your teams. And heck, most of the advantages and disadvantages sound like what you would expect from a superstitious barbarians (strong, magic resistant, might go berserk, needs a handler so things don't go badly... price comes from booze, women, and damages though...heh)

Rynjin wrote:
LazarX wrote:

That's where the decision to forebear and have faith in the god(ess) steps in and says "No. faith provides." I know that for those of us determined to maintain our cynical jaded street cred that this is an unacceptable answer, but I think the time has come to accept that this has become a circular argument and agree to leave this topic be.

Except faith doesn't provide. In this world or another.

Paladins wouldn't need to exist if it did, after all. "Faith" would just provide everything, not a mere flesh and blood human.

Well, faith did kind of provide. I mean, you can gain access to an array of mystical powers and magics because you believed hard enough in the possibility to bring peace and order to the world. And we have had a lot of arguments of how a powerful paladin could use specific spells and mercies to solve some of our problems. But again, the gods help those that help themselves (because that makes them better conduits for divine powers)

Wiggz wrote:
Thelemic_Noun wrote:

So, it seems obvious that in a world of sprawling kingdoms and high magic, the long arm of the law would have developed some way to protect the public from misuse of magic.

So what forms of "wizard police" exist, and which are more effective than others?

Assume one "anti-wizard policeman" for every 300 people.

If I were to build such a thing in a setting, I'd have special 'quads' sent out, consisting of a Diviner, an Abjurer and either two Fighter-Brawlers or two Urban Barbarians with Superstition to deal with martial threats/minions and to subdue the caster in question.

Eh...but for one, how do you rope in barbarians into this kind of task? They are typically against working for large authorities. And secondly, how can you be sure they are 'superstitious'? Or at least to an extent that it can actually block out magic. I mean, it is not like they are going to consent to a test to see if they are more resistant to spells than normal....

Overall, while you might occasionally find a famous barbarian mercenary famous for fighting casters, you would never get it to a large enough institutional level to get 'two per squad'

This also touches on one of the quandaries of the game: states of existence that you can't help are options that are easily interchangeable with trained techniques, and just as easy to choose and switch between for the player. Plus, it brings up the problem that the characters can't just look at the character sheets to tell who has what.

LazarX wrote:
lemeres wrote:

That is noble...but what if he is 'needed'. Lets assume that he is the only character with a score over 10, and that he is the only one with skill points in profession(shipwright). Or if they are lost and adrift on a life raft, he is the only one left with ranks in profession (cartography) and knowledge (geography). I know, unlikely, but it would be justification as to why he was at sea in the first place, since he was the only one in the order with experience with the sailing.

That could put him in the position of the only person with the ability to save most of the survivors. But that is only if he has the strength to take action.

That's where the decision to forebear and have faith in the god(ess) steps in and says "No. faith provides." I know that for those of us determined to maintain our cynical jaded street cred that this is an unacceptable answer, but I think the time has come to accept that this has become a circular argument and agree to leave this topic be.

"Well, if your faith doesn't provide for me, then just eat me and provide for every one else"-said the guy on death's door.

Plus, I somewhat question how much faith provides in a polytheistic world where gods often have a physical presence and are not omnipotent (they too might be busy fighting a demon army to send an angel to save your rear).

But I do think we have covered a lot of the key arguments for and against, haven't we?

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...or how about Spell Breaker Inquisitors. They are a class designed around hunting down and punishing the guilty, and this is an archetype built around resisting casters.

They get a nice set of bonuses (which all get introduced by level 3), they reroll for a better result on mind affecting effects, they have great fort and will saves, they have 6 skill points per level (giving them a lot of room to build up a set that can recognize magical criminals) and they have access to spells and spell like abilities.

Overall, a rather nice chassis for a magehunter.

EvilPaladin wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

Exactly. The fiend, disguised as a priest of the paladin's god, might say something like, "I'm as horrified as you Sir Justin, but the fact is that we haven't been able to stop this disease and these children are going to die unless we sacrifice one of them so that we can use my scroll to locate the long lost healing spring of MadeUpName." (He's lying of course; the scroll really will locate the healing spring, but it doesn't require any sacrifice to work.)

Sir Justin:"No need to fear, Father Faithless, I can fix this"procedes to use his disease mercy to heal all of the children"There, all better. Just call me if another thing like this happens again, I can heal disease by merely touching people thanks to the Joe, the Great and Holy One. Oh, you better let me burn that scroll. We certainly don't want to risk evildoers getting their hands on it and locating that healing spring and using it for evil purposes, after all."

Father Faithless:*discrete facepalm*

Father Faithless: ...oh, you hit level 6 since we last met?

*note to self: have accurate intel so you aren't too late for your plots to be effective. Never let goody two shoes get too strong before you break him*

Mojorat wrote:

What is the int of the spider? If it is - giving it a blanket attack with no paramiters is probably a bad idea.

If it is int 2 it is probably safe to assume it has a full grasp of its masters pack dynamics. Having it be told attack should be fine.

Int 1... I have no idea my friend has a lizard and its pretty dumb.

....the point is moot. Vermin have no Int. That is probably why the number of tricks is so low- they are all bonus tricks (well, they get 1 trick on their own, but that is it)

Oddly, you can do the intelligence increasing trick at 4hd.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
the druid is reincarnated a day later, in a safe location within 1 mile from his body. So we have a guy with 2 negative level, naked, in the middle of an hostile territory
Seems a bit contradictory.

Well, if you die in the middle of Mordor, there's not going to be any very safe place within a mile.

Thought: a reincarnation druid could make a great recurring villain.

Well, considering that reincarnated druids gain wildshape one level after near immortality, I think their definition of a 'safe place' might be different that normal.

I mean, if you can just turn into an eagle, what stops the roof on the castle's highest tower from being a 'safe place'?

That would stop random soldiers from coup de gracing you when they spot you before you wake up at least.

And honestly, wildshaping into small birds seems like the safest thing a reincarnated druid can do for his week of cool down before he gets his 'get out jail free card'.

avr wrote:
Find a webpage talking about Golarion and apply

Avr, I think that while there are a couple of gems, the style of writing for Pathfinders tends to break Observe here

I did like "Put ya muthaf~$&in choppers up if ya feel dis!"...but I doubt it was actually meant to reference their tusks.

........then I vaguely feel that we need to get very, very offensive with the already questionable undertones associated with orcs and dark elves.

Balgin wrote:

Given the title of the thread I feel the need to quote scripture.

"Greather love hath no man than that he giveth his life that others may live."

I don't imagine a paladin consuming the flesh of others. He may, however, offer up his own life so that others would not fall victim to the knife. He would not condone the act of cannibalism and try to talk people out of it but if they were dead set on it and could not be disswayed then he might make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the innocent little cabbin boy.*

* Probably not that innocent actually.

That is noble...but what if he is 'needed'. Lets assume that he is the only character with a score over 10, and that he is the only one with skill points in profession(shipwright). Or if they are lost and adrift on a life raft, he is the only one left with ranks in profession (cartography) and knowledge (geography). I know, unlikely, but it would be justification as to why he was at sea in the first place, since he was the only one in the order with experience with the sailing.

That could put him in the position of the only person with the ability to save most of the survivors. But that is only if he has the strength to take action.

...I think that Black Dynamite (the Blaxploitation parody series by the creators of the Boondocks) already has that covered for you. They have 5 minute previews on Adult Swim's site, or you could possibly see if you can find more.

JoeJ wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Thinking further about it, I don't believe that would happen. It's pretty much never a choice between only two possible courses of action. The fiend would try to make it appear that way, however, so whether you do what it suggests or do the opposite, you're still wrong.

Ah, the most devious move of all....the TRIPLE TRAITOROUS TRICK! Fooling you into believing that choices are ever just one of a few options, when the whole question is deceptive.

Actually, that is something people actually use publicly. Loaded questions ("Have you stopped beating you wife?") are an example. So, the thing you should tell fiends in this situation is "Mu".

Well, you can say that before or after you cut his head off. I am going for before, since the answer is confusing.

Ashiel wrote:

Dude, druids are kickass in horror games. o_o

Especially as villains. >:)

Even with beast shape I and II, they can do a lot when it comes to subtly. I mean....who suspects the little bird? And who thinks that the cat in your window is hiding a dagger INSIDE ITSELF and it is waiting for you to go to sleep.

Druids make fantastic assassins and thieves... Well, assuming you can play with tropes well; just mentioning that a cat is watching is a give away. Throwing in 3 different scene with cats at the houses of victims/future victims that you are guarding... that can throw people for a loop. Especially if the focus of those scenes are the 'people' around the cats.

I've also been in a conversation recently where I realized that earth elemental shaped, earth gliding, spring attacking druids could end up remaking classic scene from the Tremors movies. They can even produce legitimate siege situations (which is surprising, since the game is usually built around wars of attrition with a bit of battlefield control and artillery thrown in that make a battle lasting 2 minutes highly unusual). It might take a bit of meta-ing by the GM (since a wizard with the right spells can ruin it)...but if you write them off as a team of druid assassins that have been spying on you a while? Yeah, it could work.

Ashiel wrote:

Oh, well thank you then. ^_^

Out of said that you were making some assumptions (presumably about my posts/or mindset perhaps?) that my response kind of rebuked unintentionally. Would you mind if I asked what those assumptions were?

Mostly going off of how a few of the arguments I was proud of were getting torn apart and this joke:

Rynjin wrote:
Did he give you the whole "You know why I'm right, this should be obvious to anyone with a moral compass, you morally bankrupt monster you" spiel?

I have little first hand knowledge of how the developers/former developers are in conversation/as GMs (are they that bad?). I mostly know them as the ones that make comments in the rule threads that banish silliness like "half orc raised catfolk barbarians with 4 claw attacks" who get dissed by the kind of people....with those catfolk barbarians.

Admittedly, I feel now that I was likely overly defensive (I think I have been making that a bad habit lately), and thus assumed you were just trolling. But that is again the danger of how we have limits on interpreting written statements, no? We end up painting more of ourselves onto it than the writer in our eyes.

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Ashiel wrote:
lemeres wrote:
...with all this argument about moral ambiguity, I began to make assumptions. I must say, that is a fantastically honorable answer. Thank you for the guidance and helping me to look past myself.

Um, thank you. o_o

Are you...being sarcastic? :o


..that is a legitimate, 'I'm not pulling a double bluff' nope. But this could be interpreted as sarcastic too... darn you limits of written media and our sarcasm obsessed generation!

It was an elegant argument that did in fact espouse the core ideals of a paladin (sacrifice of the self for the sake of others).

I am a person that is rather serious about paladin conduct. When I look at this class, and think 'this makes a great tank', my next question is 'could I possibly try negotiating with those hill giants rather than go in smiting?' since I can take a few hits if the answer is 'no'.

Admittedly, I would not go in without a plan either, since I have a party to worry about. Stealth and readied actions exist for good reasons, and 'blast the first thing that looks at good-two-shoes funny' seems like a reasonable way to use them.

Lord Phrofet wrote:
Lemeres: That is a good example of the more severe things that could happen, penalties for it and how to fix. Now the issue is how do I get to the missing limb? And more minor things like missing a finger, or too many attacks to the ribs over the years...

Not much help I can offer there. I know that 4 winds also has some feats, one of which introduces 'sever' as a maneuver. But overall, it seems to paint in much broader strokes than what you are looking for.

Oh, but for Paizo material, apparently there is an achievement feat called History of Scars which is based around how much HP damage you get over your career (and it even has a mechanic where magic healing messes with your total). Interesting feat (-2 to CHA skills in return for +2 natural armor)...although it disregards how intimidate could be helped by scars.

Ashiel wrote:
Blazej wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If a GM told me my Paladin fell for using said scroll on said child, I'd walk out and never associate with him or her again. Not because of the game ruling, but because I would want to stay far, far away from that human being.
What if told your Paladin fell for lying if telling the truth meant a family of innocents dying? (Lets say for this example this is like Speed, but the bus explodes if the paladin doesn't tell at least 50 lies per hour.)
I'd lie my ass off (putting my power before the needs of others would kind of kill the whole point). I'd lose my powers, but if I did otherwise I wouldn't deserve them anyway.

...with all this argument about moral ambiguity, I began to make assumptions. I must say, that is a fantastically honorable answer. Thank you for the guidance and helping me to look past myself.

Thinking about that INT....I wonder whether having a familiar (tattooed sorcerer, arcane bloodline, dip into wizard, etc) would change things.

I mean, even a level 1 familiar has 6 INT. And if you have something like a thrush or raven, which have the supernatural ability to talk from the get go, then they could actually give you advice....

That could theoretically solve this kind of problem (might not be a viable solution for you, since I doubt you have this specific kind of build...but eh)

The Lion Cleric wrote:
They never asked for this...
Lord Phrofet wrote:
SO my question to people is if anyone knows of a GOOD permanent wound( scars, missing limbs, bum knee, etc.) system for D20? It can be 3rd party, homebrew, or from a non pathfinder system as long as it makes sense in a fantasy d20 system.

While adamantine weapons ignore hardness.... well, living flesh doesn't have a hardness rating, but you still have to roll for damage rather than going right through people's arms.

Or another example, imagine a shovel going through soft mud. Sure, it is far, far harder than the much, but you still need to push it out of the way as you move.

Or the fact mechanical fact that that hardness only comes up when you are doing things like sunder, and has nothing really to do with AC. That and balance issues kind of explain most of it.

Saint_Yin wrote:

Low intelligence, high wisdom tends to be impulsive in my mind. In this specific circumstance, it could be said the player saw strange men take away his friends, and thus did what he could to get them back.

With that said, he's 2 intelligence away from animal-grade intellect RAW. You know, like a deer?

Hey, don't make fun of him, he is at least twice as smart as a deer!

I am typically loathe to discuss 3rd party products, but unfortunately, the wound system by 4 Winds got mixed in with the thing I looked at when I first got into pathfinder.

I was mostly entranced by its rules for prosthetics, since it included things like clockwork arms and even monstrous grafted limbs. I think the problems brought on by hacking parts of your players off might be lessened by the fact that there are rather affordable replacements that are basically magical items. Heck, they even have a prestige class built around people that made themselves into clockwork cyborgs...

The point is that you can have serious consequences, but you shouldn't have it permanently reduce functionality.

Bard-Sader wrote:
Where can I see the preview?

It should be right HERE

It should be a free download for the PDF, if nothing has changed.

phantom1592 wrote:

Mechanically I would agree.

Fluff? It could depend on some things...

If Killing the kid was spell component and they used that to make the scroll... what if all the damage isn't done yet? I could see an evil wizard coming up with this spell powered by the kid's soul... that is utterly destroyed when the spell is cast.

Does that change your opinion any? Is it worth destroying a kids eternal soul to cast the spell? Would burning it free him?

That would be an ethical dilemma. I could see that as an Evil act that requires some serious atonement for... at that point it really is YOU that's committing the sacrifice and not so much the guy who made the scroll...

Mechanically, yeah, its rubbish. But there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes with 'made up spells'

Well, a nicer way to put it is that you don't know what will happen with 'unknown dark arts spells'. I think knowledge:arcana check is not going to help to much with that (since where would you have learned about it from?). Maybe spellcraft? Yeah, that sounds good, since it is supposed to be about the 'technical art of casting a spell', and works on magic items with weird, randomly added rules that do not come from spells.

And even if it doesn't do any more damage to the sacrificed kid...well, what does it do to the kid being 'helped'? I mean, why would an evil spellcaster go to the trouble of making a spell like this when other options already exist (it is obvious part of the reason why some do gooders decided to divorce his head and body). I would be suspect of whether the sick kid would start growing tentacles.....

That is why you avoid the dark arts kids- no one wants to talk about them, so it can be hard to tell what you are signing up for.

Also, Wheldrake, the comment about 'universally recognized in the West'.... we have brought up the situations where it is morally acceptable (survival cannibalism).

Besides certain famous cases, such as the Andres Flight Disaster or the Donner Party, I also brought up sailing in the beginning. Unfortunately, due the the harsh nature of 19th century sail and exploration.... things happened. It is referred to as the Custom of the Sea. It is the unspoken set of mores that people generally agreed upon, despite the fact that it did not necessarily agree with Maritime Law. And one of those is that, due to the low chance that a ship would pass by in time for all of them to survive.... people would draw lots to see who would be killed and eaten if they are stranded without supplies. This would allow the rest to survive a little longer, betting on the slim chance that help will come.

I remember watching some educational special about the Essex (which is the basis for Melville's Moby Dick), where such events took place. Can't remember the name of the special now (I suspect, through google-fu, that it is called The Essex: The True Story of Moby Dick, but it is hard to be sure) Anyway, check that out if you can to gain a better understanding of the kind of situations we are putting our hypothetical paladins into in this argument.

Not to say that it only happens in the sea. I mean, the Wendigo myth and associate psychosis appeared in North Eastern Native American cultures for a reason, but still, it seems like the easiest way to say 'no survival checks'.

Also, interesting note-now that I bothered going through wikipedia, apparently there is a distinction between endocannibalism (done to members within the community) and exocannibalism (done to members outside of the community.

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JoeJ wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Well, the right answer there is obvious, since making deals with fiends is historically a bad idea.

In my world, there will never be a situation where the morally correct thing to do is follow the advice of a fiend.

...unless.... they give you perfectly legitimate advice based on the idea that you will never follow it, since they are so untrustworthy.


Bard-Sader wrote: the Slayer a base class or Prestige class? I haven't heard of it.

Btw the race has to be Drow for roleplay reasons.

It is part of the advanced class guide... pretty sure it hasn't been released yet, but there is a preview available (so read with a grain of salt since nothing there is finalized)

What is the point buy?

If I had a 25 pt buy it would be easy.... but what build isn't it easy to get working with 25 pts?

My only problem is the focus on CHA. If it wasn't for that, it would be easy to use a 20 point buy to get a strength based TWF build with stats like these:
STR: 16 (14+2)DEX: 16 CON: 14 INT: 10 WIS: 10 CHA: 10

16 dex is all you need to grab the important TWF feats. Put the 4th level ability score adjustment into DEX, and get 17 DEX. That qualifies you for everything other than Greater TWF (which isn't that good a feat; so much trouble for an offhand attack at BAB-12?). After that, you just need to build up strength.

You sure he couldn't get by with INT:8/CHA 12? Maybe have him grab a +2 CHA head band and use the 8th level ability score adjustment....

EDIT: mantis has a good will save? Ok, use this-
STR: 16 (14+2) DEX: 16 CON: 14 INT: 9 WIS: 7 CHA: 14
Switch the Int and Wis how ever you want. Maybe put the 8th level ability score adjustment to raise one of them up.

JoeJ wrote:

The whole situation is pretty much BS in my opinion.

If I wanted a moral challenge for a paladin PC, I would change the scenario to a whole town full of dying children and a fiend (who is in disguise, of course) offering a spell that will cure them all at the cost of sacrificing one. The fiend's argument is that it's better to sacrifice one innocent child than to let them all perish.

The right answer, of course, is to do neither; find a third option that saves all of the children. And to really amp up the tension, I would try to make the third option something that the PC doesn't find until after they have definitively refused to make the sacrifice.

Well, the right answer there is obvious, since making deals with fiends is historically a bad idea. You either get a Glabrezu, where the wish is twisted beyond all recognition, or you get a devil, who are only making the offer because they think they can find an angle that lets them rake in greater profits (maybe it comes in as 'Uncle Azzy' and talk about how he saved them all and needs their help to 'solve some problems'). Basic understanding of tropes tells you it is a bad idea.

I like the scroll example more, since it implies (not saying it IS, but implies; remember-evil, unknown spell) that the evil is done and none of the evil beings involved are around any more

Anyway, a lot of these moral question bring to to appreciate the Irorian paladin. Say what you will about its unarmed focused, it lets you write your own paladin code.

Rynjin wrote:

...yeah, but that is because the part where people got hurt was already over with, and the techniques could be replicated without so much damage.

Encouraging the hypothetical spell that runs on orphan blood is slightly different, since it needs the dead kid each and every time. It is less 'medical research', and more 'pair of stolen kidneys'....

Slightly, but the same principle.

The harm is done. It can't be undone. Try to make some good of it.

It's really like a pair of stolen kidneys that have already been transplanted into someone without their knowledge of the evil origins of the organs.

Yes, the kidneys are stolen.

Is the right thing to do REALLY to rip them out of the sick person just because they were procured unlawfully?

No, but anyone that knew they were stolen and still let them get put in should be arrested. Because those are called accomplishes (or some other term; I am a lit major, not a lawyer; point is that I am fairly sure it is illegal, for good reason).

The system is also in place to make sure that all the organs are in acceptable condition too. Do you want the kid finding out a year later that he has a demon STD because he was given human sacrifice kidneys? (this would be the 'evil subtype spells have that for a reason' argument)

Rynjin wrote:

The Nazis invented all sorts of amazing things we still use today during World War 2. Among other things, the precursor to modern pesticides, various medical advances and research into the inner workings of the human body, and caulking in a tube.

It was not evil to take these things and use them just because of the morally appalling research done to come up with them in the first place.

The evil was done, it's over with. Ignoring the helpful results just makes it all pointless.

...yeah, but that is because the part where people got hurt was already over with, and the techniques could be replicated without so much damage.

Encouraging the hypothetical spell that runs on orphan blood is slightly different, since it needs the dead kid each and every time. It is less 'medical research', and more 'pair of stolen kidneys'....

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Rynjin wrote:
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
It's in Faith of Purity I believe.
Wouldn't that be an AP specific rule then?

Faiths of Purity is not an AP.

Ashiel wrote:

I was once in a debate with both SKR and JJ about the alignment and spell thing, and neither could provide a RAW example of it being true, nor could either of them discredit the absurdity of the natural conclusion to that sort of ruling (that standing in a field casting protection from evil over and over will therefor make you good).

But, I was utterly repulsed and disgusted when SKR presented a scenario where a BBEG had a spell that he made up, which requires you to sacrifice an innocent as a spell component but otherwise healed all diseases; kidnapped a kid, and made a scroll of said spell; then he said if the PCs didn't destroy the scroll and instead used the scroll (keep in mind, the kid is already dead at this point) would be evil.

Except the PCs aren't hurting, oppressing, or killing anyone, and to use the scroll would be to destroy it (because that's how scrolls work). Yet he stood me down that to use the scroll to save the life of another innocent, such as a child with cancer, was evil because the spell had the [Evil] descriptor. Literally that it would be more good to burn the scroll and let the child die.

I was disgusted. Truly disgusted.

Did he give you the whole "You know why I'm right, this should be obvious to anyone with a moral compass, you morally bankrupt monster you" spiel?

I can certainly see why it is evil (or at least morally questionable). I mean, while the crimes that got it in the first with are said and done with, I certainly would not look towards the black market organ trade. Doing so would taciturnly support its use (because it mostly relies upon on desperate people deciding it is worth it).

Of course, I can understand there is also the 'if a tree falls in the forest' style argument, since presumably you got the scroll by killing the one guy that knows how to make it. If you don't take any notes of how the scroll works so you can replicate it later (when some other person you care about is ill, and you just happen to know someone 'that no body cares about'), then there would be no future uses of the spell due to your actions.

Avoiding the whole issue and questing for a more normal healing spell would be for the best though.....

Shub-Niggurath's cousin Al wrote:
Joex The Pale wrote:

Oooooo,or maybe undead!

Here's that Jester mentioned above.
Contortionist/hitman/spy/scary mo-fo
A good mook.
Just plain creepy as f**k!

Undead are, for the most part, the minions of the clown demon's enemy. But, THAT JESTER! Its just too good to pass up. Maybe a failed experiment of the death cult that retained its allegiance to the demon? Seems legit.

How about something that is 'not' undead?

The worm that walks is a template for spellcasters that die, but the corruption of the ground and their own evil souls do not allow them to stay dead. Instead, they come back through the very insects and worms that eat their flesh. They are dead...but so full of horrible, horrible life (I am sure the irony would not be lost on the Jester)

I'm suggesting this because the daily bestiary did an entry which examined them in comparison to Liches (which I shamelessly steal from for this post). It portrayed lichdom as an extremely conservative existence where those who lacked the power to gain true immortality 'settled' for undeath because of their feat of dieing. Meanwhile, Worms that Walk are purpose filled individuals that treat death as a mere road bump for their goals.

....also, I loved Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I can easily see him fitting into this setting....

Hitdice wrote:
Or equip a Ring of Sustenance, I guess; this whole conversation could have been avoided if Create Food and Water was on the Pally spell list!

Well, if the party wizard had teleport, then they could all go somewhere where there was food. But that would need a high enough level wizard.

Heck, paladins don't even get spells prior to level 4

If you were high enough level, you could possibly even bring the dead person back to life, making most of the moral question moot. Actually, I am pretty certain they could even join in the eating if you used Reincarnte, which would make this all sorts of weird since I think a human might be able to just have enough meat so that the party eat and cast restoration on themselves indefinitely..... which is a whole lot of moral and ethical questions that really should never get an answer....

Anyway, the point- just pretend everyone is level 2. It makes setting up ethical problems a lot easier when everybody follows physics closely enough that we can relate to them.

Turkina_B wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Earthglide only covers unworked earth.

Where does it say that?

Universal Monster Rules say "Earth Glide (Ex) When the creature burrows, it can pass through stone, dirt, or almost any other sort of earth except metal as easily as a fish swims through water."
Emphasis mine.

It still provides opportunities for wooden structures to serve as protection. Hope you have Create water prepared, since flame spheres are a major concern.

While I can't give very many suggestion from the bestiary (others are far more experienced at this than me), I can suggest some reading for inspiration, if you might be interested in making your own monsters, or at least to look at an interesting take on a semi-similar subject that could help flesh out your characters. With that, I introduce: Karakuri Circus

About 60 chapters into this series, it introduces a type of alchemical construct referred to as 'Automatons'. These mechanical monstrosities feed on human blood, have no regard for human life, and have a sick, twisted, and violent sense of humor.

Interestingly, the jester persona and motifs were originally intended as a way to help complete the original Automaton. Despite her beauty and elegance, she was not QUITE human. Her creator focused on the fact that she never laughed or smiled (personally, 'no breathing' would be the turn off for me, but to each his own..), and turned to whatever method he could use in order to fix that. Of course, with all the tropes this highlights and the description of Automatons above, it is fairly easy to predict that this failed and turned into unending bloodshed.

Overall, a decent enough read, and it can provide a wide array of wicked and inhuman monster designs and motivations that you could use for inspiration.

Ashiel wrote:
lemeres wrote:
More like 'it is evil since it highly encourages predatory behavior, and I have to ask why you spent you time figuring out how to do that'

Experience points encourage predatory behavior. As does treasure. As does the Survival skill. And so on, and so on.

It also encourages survivalist and scavenging, since it can be used on dead creatures too. Adventurers *cough*murderhobos*cough* tend to have a lot of those around even if they don't want to.

The original thing JJ was talking about was the Blood Drinker feat, which has this line:


That sound evil. You hunt down and drink the blood of intelligent enough creatures that you have detailed preferences and have learned how to more effectively feed on them and gain power from it.

Similarly, the Cook People Hex is a high level hex that you need considerable training to learn.

Citation? I'm pretty sure a witch can just hit that level and decide that she wants to get creative in the kitchen by applying the magic she's learned or intuitively acquired from her familiar/patron. Even then, you could get considerable practice without murder, it just means you need to find dead bodies that aren't in use (IE - graveyards or the countless orcs and demons who died in your defending the hapless peasants).

Planning to get either of these effects means that you do things like this regularly enough that it is not just plain 'necessity'.
Necessity has diddly to do with evil. If you are not HURTING, OPPRESSING, or KILLING somebody you are not doing evil. End of story.

Necessity has a lot to do with it.

-If someone tries to lodge an axe in your head, you 'need' to stop them, possibly with deadly force, in order to survive. And that is...'neutral' really. Not evil at least.
-You might 'need' to snipe a bandit with an axe attacking an innocent person, both because you want to stop that person from getting an axe in the head, and because you would rather not let the bandit think to put an your own head. That is 'good', since you prevented another person from getting killed.
-Just seeing a random person going down the road, and deciding to kill them with no provocation. That is not necessary, and it is 'evil.'

And yes Ashiel, I do recognize this problem with the experience and loot system (I keep on trying to make 'Murderhobo Paradox' a thing, I worry it is never going to be a thing). Still, I can safely say that within the system, you can generally avoid eating people. Campaigns might force you to be at odds with various violent opponents, requiring the use of deadly force, but that is still different from eating people. The game may require you to loot treasure, due to the fast scaling nature of a system that assumes you will do so, but you can generally avoid eating corpses (since food is laughably affordable)

Eating people is not an inherent part of the system, since it assumes more 'European wilderness' rather tan the isolated island where cannibalism was a necessity. It generally should rest as a very particular and situational occurrence, rather than your default modus operandi.

Imagine if the enemy knows about you and your methods. Don't you think the idea "I have to kill them, or they will tear the flesh from my bones and devour it" seem like 'oppressing' or 'harming'?

And yes, you might be right about how they GET the Cook People hex. Nothing says that a witch necessarily chooses her hexes, so they might be handed down from their Patrons (controlled, in this case, by the Player). Still... I would be worried if I was a LG witch and my patron suddenly tried to get me into the idea of eating people. At the very least, the graveyard situation you suggested sounded like theft and the destruction of a body for rather shaky benefits (again, wizards and clerics can cast most of those spells rather easily; do you need to eat a person to do this? And the effects last an hour. What are you planning to do in the next hour that justifies theft and destruction of a body?)

Aratrok wrote:

I didn't make any arguments about necessity.

The ability to use something in a predatory fashion doesn't necessitate using it that way. For example, death knell can be used in animal sacrifices to empower a spell cast later, or used to slay incapacitated enemies for a boost of power.

And the guy caught in the border station with 50 kilos of Cocaine in his trunk of his car wasn't planning on selling them to the drug dealers.

There are only so many ways to use the Cook People hex. How could you make full use of that hex without ever the thought 'oh, a random encounter? Great, my buffs were about to run out' coming up. And encouraging that kind of mentality is generally 'evil'.

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