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Topic Brainstorm! One for the Good Guys


Pathfinder Player Companion

51 to 100 of 122 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns Subscriber

Player Companion Ideas:

Gunslingers of Golarion
Oracles of Golarion
Witches of Golarion
Cavaliers of Golarion
Summoners of Golarion
Monks of Golarion
Alchemists of Golarion

I want new feats, gear, archtypes, spells, etc. Also nice write ups on how these classes fit into Golarion and it's varios nations.

Tomb Raiders of Osirion
...Some osirion themed archtypes, feats, spells, organizations, gear, etc.
(updated and more player-centric than the previous Osirion book).

Bards of Golarion ("Songs of the Inner Sea"?)
Rangers of Golarion


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This thread is for Good Guy concepts, not a companion wishlist.

Wishlist is here

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Alrighty guys, I'm doing some outlining this week. Anything else you guys want me to be thinking about before I put pen to paper?

Osirion

Mikaze wrote:

Speaking of -ar angels...

Solar
Planetar
?

Wonder if there's anything that could be mined out of further expanding a "celestial bodies"-themed series of angels. Lunar angels for example? Nebular?

Lunar?

Galactar? (Galactar must feed!)
Cometar?
Black Holear? :)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

7 people marked this as a favorite.

A quick bullet list of ideas:

Spoiler:

1) Redemption - Mentioned upthread several times, but give players a reason to try redeeming someone rather than just killing them and taking their stuff. Not all villains are evil to the core. Some are just misguided and stepped off the path of righteousness and need help turning things around. Create some material that supports this style of play with tangible rewards.

2) Sacrifice - Provide some insight into the mechanics of willingly sacrificing one's self for the greater good. Can a hero summon up a greater measure of skill/power/etc. when faced with a situation where he's willing to give up his life to accomplish something that's worth more? Explore it.

3) Honor - How about some better definition around an honor system and codes of conduct? Codify some of these things by building a mechanic around it and explain how it can apply to more than just paladins, cavaliers, and samurai. What if another character class of a suitable alilgnment also lives honorably? Are there any benefits derived by that? Can they inspire others with their good example?

4) Vows - Along the same lines, create more vows for the game that PCs can adopt (or even NPCs) and explain the in-game effect for benefits and drawbacks of such things. Give examples in Golarion of vows in play with various religions and organizations. Describe some moments in history where such vows proved pivotal in riding out difficult times or facing down incredible temptations and evils.

5) Moral Dilemmas - Spend some time exploring how the GM can effectively challenge PCs who trod the path of good. Prepare players with knowledge of how their characters can be tested...both by the GM and by their own choices during roleplay encounters and downtime between adventures.

6) Agents for Good - Golarion has plenty of forces for evil and selfish means traipsing about the countryside pursuing various goals. It seems like a lot of the good organizations are generally in defensive positions rather than going on the offensive. Why not create some new organizations that sponsor agents operating in the field to right wrongs and oppose evil wherever they find it? Give us a league of heroes which PCs can aspire to join at low levels and beyond. Tell us where they're active and how further adventures can be spun out of them.

7) Intercessory Prayers - Give us something new for priests and various layfolk in the form of prayers intended to intercede on someone else's behalf. What happens when entire groups of the faithful get together to pray in unison for something? Can they affect the world by moving a higher power to act?

8) Divine Intervention - What happens when a faithful hero dutifully carries out the will of the divine? Do they watch over him with an added boon to see him safely through the trials he'll face? Do they act to resurrect him from the dead when he falls so he can continue until his task is complete? Are they moved to help him to overcome some obstacle in his way?

9) Ceremonies of the Faith - Give us something more than just spells for divine priests. What about rituals and ceremonies? Arcane casters have their own form of these cooperative efforts. Give the clergy something that's more than the sum of its parts. What kind of ceremonial magic can they wield through the faith and actions of their gods? How have then been invoked in Golarion before? How can they be used to face down the evils which continue to threaten the world?

10) Good Cohorts, Companions, and Familiars - Give us some more options here. Evil may be threatening on all sides, but the forces of good have many servants and sentinels who stand ready to fight the good fight, especially when paired with a mortal hero. How do they guide those who follow their deity's will? Is it possible for ancestors to come back in the form of eidolons, familiars, or ghostly servants? Can they send messages and guidance from beyond the veil?


My dime's worth,
--Neil


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

We're doing a lot of brainstorming here for new products coming down the road in the Player Companion series, and while we always get our say, I wanted to hear what you want.

As GMs, I think a lot of us tend to gravitate toward monsters and villains and antiheroes. But does that mean that good guys have been getting the short end of the stick? So say we did a Player Companion focused right on the good guys - and by that, I don't mean just paladins and knights in shining armor and good clerics, but good guys of all stripes, races, nationalities, organizations - what would you want to see?

Partly due nostalgia, I went and re-familiarize the material I actually have in my remaining (and limited) PF and other D&D books.

Other than just Good organizations based on CRB character class (Paladins and knights etc) what about "good" organizations out side of the classes?

For example a guild/organization based on merchants/craftsmen. Is there a McDonalds Corp, Wegman's, Trader Joe's type "organizations"? (Maybe this creative thread is neutral?)

For small, rural scale organizations what about a farming community's "council of elders", The "wise one" and/or their entourage. (This may actually be a "neutral" hierarchy than a "good" organization).

Does Golarion have anything equivalent to Robin Hood's "Merry Men"? You know "rob from the rich, steal for the poor" type groups?

For bards is there a Golarion equivalent of Motown, Atlantic, RCA, Sony etc? You know so that Bards seeking stardom, fame and fortune can have their "manager" and "Public Relations agent" set them up for Concert Tours all across the land???

Does Alkenstar have an equivalent of Stark Enterprise, Umbrella or OmniCorp?

What are Golarion's "law enforcement" agencies? Is there a S.H.I.E.L.D equivalent for Golarion? Town Militia for sure, but do they have an organizational name(s), ranks, benefits, antagonist organizations??? For inspiration think Robert Jordan's Aes Sedai, Starship Trooper's Roughnecks etc.

Again, I'm just letting the ideas flow. Hope this helps Mr. Schneider, sir!

[Space for Rent],

Rom


Ask James Jacobs if "How to Play/Role-Play a Paladin" guide would be useful (He often mention the disparity between Rules-As-Intended vs Rules-As-Written vs Rules-As-Interpreted for Paladin).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Alrighty guys, I'm doing some outlining this week. Anything else you guys want me to be thinking about before I put pen to paper?

Gah, I can't think of anything new immediately beyond "no class/race left behind!" as far as Big Damn Good character support goes.

A couple of times players have expressed surprise that aasimar came from the fact that celestials...do it. As in some had difficulty seeing celestials actually having a good time and enjoying life and...well being people. Ascended dead people quite often, but still...people. Maybe some touching on what celestials do and how they live beyond fighting evil could help there.

Showing celestials reflecting mortal cultures they originated from/adopted/fostered/etc could be really cool too. Osirioni-themed angels, Vudrani and Mwangi azatas, Minkai archons...

Set wrote:

Black Holear? :)

Blackstar! Wait, not quite so Good there... Probably need to think this over more...

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

This probably falls outside the scope of what's being developed, but it may be something that could be supported or discussed in some way. Just remembered this thread where someone was having trouble making their character work in a world shaped by somewhat hardwaired WBL expectations:

HawaiianWarrior wrote:
Over the years I've formulated a theory that D&D (in all its incarnations, including Pathfinder) is, at its heart, a game about Imperialism. It is built on the notion of acquiring wealth by taking it, by force or by duplicity, from minorities, other cultures, or from the remains of people from the past. In the deepest part of the game, it is about taking s~** that ain't yours. For me to refuse to participate is to violate the fundamental essence of D&D. Actually, my character does take wealth from vanquished foes if they are evil or are her favored enemies, but even that in itself is a form of rationalization of violence in the pursuit of profit!

I think that post jumped out at me because it really summed up a number of things that make it hard for Good characters to genuinely feel good, and that's before getting into wanting your good characters to be able to give charity without it being all-but-certain suicide.


Mikaze wrote:
Set wrote:

Black Holear? :)

Blackstar! Wait, not quite so Good there... Probably need to think this over more...

Singular. ;)

Also, Binar?

Lunar would be an enjoyable concept...though possibly better suited to a separate guide on Lycans in general?


Mikaze wrote:
Set wrote:

Black Holear? :)

Blackstar! Wait, not quite so Good there... Probably need to think this over more...

Maybe a different Black*Star.


The good part about having excellent people like Mikaze on the boards is that they write a lot of the posts for you which one would write oneself otherwise.

The bad part is that writing my own post ( which echoes a lot of things Mikaze said ) would just sound derivative at this point, especially since Mikaze brought up some points I never even had thought about before, like about the lack of stuff the Saranraen faith had to show for itself in the large-scale redemption department.

On that topic, I guess this goes a way in the direction on how the PCs are the only competent heroes in the world ( given the very small number of real high-level humanoid do-gooders on Golarion, especially compared to the legions of evil high-level people ), but you'd really think that the Saranrean church would have a crisis of faith, let alone the goddess herself, if their efforts at redemption constantly fail at getting the evil-inclined races to convert.

I'd love to see a bit more hope brought into Golarion. Sometimes it really feels like Werewolf: The Apocalypse.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Every voice added to the chorus helps!

I would love to see examples of monsters or whole tribes that have been swayed by Sarenraen/Shelynite/etc. efforts. One, it would add a lot of hooks. Two, it offers a lot of new background possibilities for players of both Core races and other races that go beyond "Drizzt again". And finally, it would show that there is hope for that sort of thing and that heroes setting out to do such things aren't just fools setting themselves up for inevitable failure.

Michael Radagast wrote:
Lunar would be an enjoyable concept...though possibly better suited to a separate guide on Lycans in general?

Tsukiyo and Tsukuyomi would probably love having those guys in their employ as well.

Belle Mythix wrote:


Maybe a different Black*Star.

Only manga could get away with having a character's name be partially made of Wingdings. ;)


I would like to see some content granting mechanical bennies to RPing good aligned characters that aren't typically associated with Holy crusading.

If I want to play a Lawful Good Wizard, what's the benefit?

As a Wizard, my alignment can come into play from a rules perspective, say with Summon Monster 1-9.... but Good alignment isn't going to be a help.

Rant on Summoning:

With 7 possible good outsiders to face off against the 19 listed evil outsiders, not to mention, neutral outsiders, Good aligned casters are hurting, if anything.

That issue was previously mentioned.

I'll only add here that I think we need at least double the Good aligned creatures to evil, not 3x more evil than good. Good creatures should be concerned with the greater good, making good aligned creatures more willing to come to the aid of creatures on other planes, who in theory could summon them.

Surely summoning bypasses the summonee's interests, at least on the surface, but its not beyond the Good aligned Deities to colude on a benefit to help the struggle on every plane.

A Feat Line which granted benefits for the Good Aligned, based on personal devotion could do just that.

Such could tie it in to the character's personal devotion, make it dependent on alignment status and subject to the need of atonement before enjoying the benefits were alignment to shift.

I would hope for feats to aid both magic use and combat related functions. The list of feats specifically for casting improvements is slim. I would enjoy more options, or at least something that boosted what already existed.

On that note,

As an example:
Consider a feat (meta-magic or otherwise) that grants a (supernatural in origin)
meta-magic cost reduction equal to ½ character level applied against total meta-magic feat costs for any spells with the subtype "good." Reduced total meta-magic cost cannot be less than 1 level adjustment.

Justification:

Good aligned adventurers are implicitly if not explicitly tossing their hat in the ring of the fight of good vs evil. An individual's commitment to do good when applied to daily life would necessarily result in this.
Its not beyond reason that the Good deities out there are willing to provide their followers with feats dependent upon and based on their followers devotion to higher ideals. Tying it into character level makes sense as with increased power comes increased potential for doing good things and the greater the potential need for help.

What a difference-maker that would be.
If something like that existed, choosing a non-good alignment at character creation (at least as a spell caster) would mean the choice to give up something powerful .

Osirion

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Raven4114 wrote:

As a Wizard, my alignment can come into play from a rules perspective, say with Summon Monster 1-9.... but Good alignment isn't going to be a help.

With 7 possible good outsiders to face off against the 19 listed evil outsiders, not to mention, neutral outsiders, Good aligned casters are hurting, if anything.

Hell (or heaven, in this case) yes. When you've got Pathfinder Society, which explicitly forbids evil characters, game mechanics that quiffily dance around whether or not casting [evil] spells is an evil act, and the rules, in utter defiance of that, are flat-out discouraging playing good characters by having twice as many options for the evil team, that's just silly.

*If* the intention is that players should be playing good characters, preferentially, then team good should have some attractive options, and not come across as a red-headed stepchild.

Since celestial animals aren't even good-aligned in Pathfinder, there are *zero* good creatures to be summoned via summon monster I, summon monster II, summon monster VII and summon monster VIII, and only *one* good aligned choice at summon monster III, IV, V and VI.

It isn't until summon monster IX that a good aligned cleric, sorcerer or wizard will have more than *one* good aligned choice.

When you've got a suggestion that good aligned play is preferred, and evil play strongly discouraged (when not outright forbidden!), it makes no sense for the game mechanics to encourage non-good play over good play.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I would just emphasise that GOOD is not pre-conditioned on religion, location, background or circumstance.

I don't want to have a book of options for clerics, paladins and inquisitors.

I don't want to have a book of options for worshippers of good deities (we've already got that book).

I want options to play a good character, regardless, even if I am playing a CG tiefling rogue who worships Pharasma and lives in Nidal, I want to be supported by the good guy book because of the big G in my character description.

And that makes sense, because when my character makes important decisions, that big G is often going to be even more important than the words 'rogue'. 'tielfing', 'Nidal' or 'Pharasma'.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

and Blackstar or Black Star... shewerly?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, Contributor

Odds are late to this party but some ideas to add to the pile.

-variant holy waters (themed on good gods, good concepts, good outsiders, the higher planes, etc)

-a bunch of new spells with good as a descriptor

- ways to tweak the celestial template applied to summoned creatures in order to support other sorts of good themes, more specific planar origins, good gods, etc

-good alchemical items and special materials

-Feats that grant bonus spontaneous casting lists for good clerics-maybe tie these lists to a god or other sort of good ideal-if necessary create some new spells to fill any holes

-Ways to tweak animal companions or similar creatures on good themes

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, Contributor

Some more thoughts...

-Feats that grant you various sorts of combat advantages when you wield your god’s favored weapon (not just for clerics, any worshipper-but maybe more for the cleric?)

-bless has already been taken as a name but some sort of spell (maybe with a greater or lesser version) that grants allies specific benefits themed on each of the good gods or something similar. Maybe the effects are greater if you actually support that particular god. Could also apply to other good themes like higher planes or concepts.

-spells that enhance holy symbols or favored weapons

-“Virtue is its own reward”-benefits gained from acting in accordance with specific good concepts, maybe a balancing mechanism that uses the limitations of a virtue as the starting point-or maybe some benefit gained when you gain a long-term disability by following your conscience

-A feat tree that allows you to form a connection with one of the good outsider subtypes-either use that one as a guide or grant different benefits depending on which subtype you choose

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, Contributor

Sorry for multiple posts, I worry about things getting eaten if I type too long into just one.

Advantages gained from using Celestial as a verbal component in spells

-good traps? Static effects that benefit good creatures or harm evil ones?

-I know some people are down on traits right now but I think they still have a lot of unexplored potential. For instance, what about a new trait category? Alignment-So, good traits-

-Speaking of optional subsystems, hero points have never really gotten the attention they deserve, especially when compared to traits-so what about expanding on them in the context of good heroes?

-Tokens-advantages gained when good creatures give you something physical as a reward (e.g. an angel’s feather)-maybe bonus spell components or affecting a class feature

-Martyrdom-a way of affecting your allies, enemies, or surroundings one last time even as you die for your beliefs-


There was a dragon magazine article many a moon ago that created paladins of different alignments. I would love to see what holy warriors who were NG or CG or even any of the neutrals would look like in Pathfinder. It would be fun for me to see both the classes and NPCs that make up the major holy warriors of their faiths.
Also, (although it is not exactly regarding good guys) I would love to see a player's guide regarding druidic societies in Golorian.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, Contributor

Last one...

-Each race’s take on the meaning of good-maybe some mechanical crunch to support that perspective

-good weapon and armor qualities

-good special purposes for intelligent items

-“good books” and the advantages gained once you read them-presumably the writing fades after reading so the whole party can’t read the same book-different effects then the ability enhancing books but a similar concept

-Thoughts on the seven virtues and how they oppose the seven vices-maybe some crunch tied to the virtues

-battle prayers-feat-standard action to make the prayer, gain a short term advantage after making the prayer-tie different advantages to specific god, theme, etc

-Angelic mutagens

-More channel foci (Adventurer’s Armory) themed on good concepts, gods, etc


The Paladin is a much maligned class and is the favoured kick-thing of so many players and GM's alike.

A lot of the pettiness and 'Paladins fall - hurr durr' neckbeardy grognardia hinges on the notion that the class has some vague and ambiguous wording that can be interpreted literally and then through the eye of a pedant and make the class lose its powers.

No other class is (I would argue) subject to such a glaring 'weakness/exploit'.

Now I can only ask nicely, but perhaps a look at the 2nd Ed COmplete Paladins handbook as a research tool and then a guide to Pallys be drafted? I can't see how the current sentence and a half 'guideline' does the class any favours - the CBPH ran to around 8 pages on the oaths/laws/patrons and definitions and consequences of breaking the code (minor through grievous). As it is, the Paladin can't lie to the CE demon about the location of the babies it wishes to eat... so it would be argued by many many people (see Paizo forums).

I like the work on Aasimar, and I can only hope one day I get a GM who isn't afraid of them being OP.

Sometimes its nice to be the angelic actually Dudley-Doright, I've grown up and out of my phase of Ph34rl322 N3cr0m4nc3r CN Drow.


+1 for barbarian celestial totems.
And something for good Witches. There are quite a bit of wicked hexes, I want to see a noble hex- for example, creating delicious food with healing properties, or else building a gingerbread cottage JUST TO MAKE CHILDREN HAPPY.


+1 for Barbarian celestial totems.

Give them some cold fury! :)

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Shifty wrote:
Sometimes its nice to be the angelic actually Dudley-Doright, I've grown up and out of my phase of Ph34rl322 N3cr0m4nc3r CN Drow.

Damn straight. Dark and moody is so often a short hop-and-a-skip from pubescent.

Osirion

3 people marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Sometimes its nice to be the angelic actually Dudley-Doright, I've grown up and out of my phase of Ph34rl322 N3cr0m4nc3r CN Drow.
Damn straight. Dark and moody is so often a short hop-and-a-skip from pubescent.

[tangent]

The real problem with 'dark and moody' is that it's so often paired with loner type characterization.

If the game isn't a solo / one on one game, that sort of behavior doesn't really work in an RPG with multiple players. The 'moody loner' doesn't get the solo-focus he wants, and everyone else just sort of plays around him, while his 'compelling mystery' or whatever is totally ignored. It ends up being at cross purposes to the social aspects of the game.

It's a playstyle encouraged by all sorts of other media, where the 'N NPCs' are always asking the brooding protagonist about why he's so taciturn or whatever (so I wouldn't blame the player for thinking that this is 'how it's done'), but, in a multiplayer game, the other players aren't being written as fascinated NPCs who serve no narrative role other than to draw out the secrets of the moody loners dark past and inner conflicts and whatever.
[/tangent]


I agree with the tangent.

I would like to see some 'good guy' content that is divorced from a religious bent as well.

Maybe a Robin Hood type archetype?

The White Witch suggestion also caught my interest - although I think maybe the gingerbread house was a bit too far, unless it can be animated and attack a band of marauding orcs.

Similarly specialist wizards who see themselves more as guardians and protectors, sending 'strange things' away back to whence they came. (big on dispels, banishment, light, etc)

Familiars and AC's just dont seem to have much in the way of 'interesting; in the way Evil does.

Osirion

Shifty wrote:
Similarly specialist wizards who see themselves more as guardians and protectors, sending 'strange things' away back to whence they came. (big on dispels, banishment, light, etc)

Abjuration (and Divination) can always use some love, and a good wizard who specializes in anticipating and preventing harm, such as a counterspell specialist (who uses some rules that are vastly superior to the 3.X/PF counterspelling rules, which, as far as I know, has never been used in the history of ever) could be interesting.

Sanctified evocation spells that flat out don't harm good aligned people in their area of effect could be funky, like an arcanist answer to Holy Smite or Holy Word. (Some spells that any good wizard could learn, and *also* a metamagic feat option, and *also* a good wizard archetype that can automatically modify their evocations to work that way. Three different ways to approach the same goal, rather than have it so that everybody who wants to do this must take Archetype X or use Metamagic Feat Y.)


+1 for angelic mutagens and NG/CG paladins
And celestial lords-themed prestige classes!


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I'm not down with the Ng/Cg pallies, make a different Base class for them.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Shifty wrote:
I'm not down with the Ng/Cg pallies, make a different Base class for them.

And call it inquisitor?

Cheliax

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Well, I'm not a player but I can throw my two domars in -

If you were going to have a book about good guys I have a few ideas - they may be broad enough to cover their own books or narrow enough just to be chapters in a single book on good guys.

Some sections/ideas:
Dragon/Fiend/Undeadslayers - Covering you you classic peasant done right, to professional monster killers. This can be the lone heroic fighter who goes into the dragon lair (with the proper skills and ability) or group of heroes who fight undead or supernatural threats (think Peter Vincent from Fight Night) as best and as hard as they can.

King and Country - This can cover a wide range of agents who work for a specific good nation out in the open as agents of a good king or gov't or in a more covert fashion (cloak and dagger) fighting evil. All are good guys, they just use different tools and wear different uniforms.

Lone Wolves - Classic hero that operates within the confines of his own rules, but is a good guy (Batman). May just work in an area inflicted with evil, crime or corruption, or may travel the land fighting said evil.

The Envoy - a little like a lone wolf, but this guy goes through to the bad areas to get info, supplies to small enclaves or just travels to other side just to help out. He may also delve into bad places to help out in the fight going or over there to help others in over his their heads/conduct rescues. Works well for battle weary or border conflicted areas of Golarion. The envoy can also be very much a mission based type character - think Max in the Road Warrior getting the gasoline out of the wasteland (and serving as a distraction) while fighting the bad guys as he breaks their hold on the community of good survivors.

I don't want to partake in the discussion of what is or is not good - just covering some classic tropes that I don't think are fully covered in the existing material that is a out at this time.

Some could be lumped in a small book (King and Country +envoys) while books dedicated to dragonslayers or fiend/undead slayers could easily be expanded to individual works of their own.

Anyway


GeraintElberion wrote:


And call it inquisitor?

Sort of.

I'd base class it off a Paladin, in the same way Samurai was based off Cav.

I (personally) find the tone of the Inq is a bit out of synch with a paragon of 'goodness', in the way that LG is personified by the Pally. I'd say NG and CG (bearing in mind the G) might bristle at the undertones of imprisonment, interrogation, compulsion, and torture that run through the Inqy.


Raven4114 wrote:

I would like to see some content granting mechanical bennies to RPing good aligned characters that aren't typically associated with Holy crusading.

A Feat Line which granted benefits for the Good Aligned, based on personal devotion could do just that.

As an example:
Consider a feat (meta-magic or otherwise) that grants a (supernatural in origin)
meta-magic cost reduction equal to ½ character level applied against total meta-magic feat costs for any spells with the subtype "good." Reduced total meta-magic cost cannot be less than 1 level adjustment.

To clarify, I was going for 'over the top' here to make the point that if 'Team Good' is working toward the greater good, there should be some mechanical bennies to such a situation.

Seriously though, a feat that reduced meta-magic cost for subtype "good" spells, say 1/4 or 1/5 the PC's character level would be awesome. I'd prefer what I posted, but it would create too big a disturbance in the force.....and balance we seek, yes?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Auxmaulous wrote:

Some sections/ideas:

Dragon/Fiend/Undeadslayers - Covering you you classic peasant done right, to professional monster killers. This can be the lone heroic fighter who goes into the dragon lair (with the proper skills and ability) or group of heroes who fight undead or supernatural threats (think Peter Vincent from Fight Night) as best and as hard as they can.

I'm not picking at this suggestion specifically or a criticism of this post, but this did remind me of something I forgot to include in the "Good actually being Good" entry.

If support does come out for characters along these lines, please avoid the pitfalls the Paladin Oath Against X options fell into in Ultimate Magic. While it would be great to give characters flavor options based around fighting typically evil threats, it could be done without painting those same characters as not really all that Good.

Too often the flavor for the Oath Gainst X options slipped into some very shady or even flat out Evil territory, where the oaths could be taken as excuses to persecute and commit genocide. They seemed like the options many stereotypical "bad paladins" we hear so many horror stories about would be drawn to take. This really becomes a problem with the oaths are approached with an absolutist attitude.

Oath Against Corruption - Pretty much throws flumphs, azruverda, and any non-evil aberrations under the bus if this gets taken as an absolute. And then there's the poor aberrant-bloodline sorcerers.

Oath Against Fiends - Besides shutting down potential risen fiend plots before they start, if this targets tieflings and the fiend-bloodline sorcerers it falls right into race hate.

Oath Against Savagery - This kind of goes back to the complaint about Good and Evil often being dumbed down to Law vs Chaos/"Civilized" vs "Primitive". To be fair this is an option for lawful paladins, so there's that angle. But again it gets shady if this is taken along racial lines and if it involves primitive tribes that are rightfully defending their way of life against colonial invaders(Shoanti, many of the Mwangi, and possibly the Arcadians are very visible examples of this conflict). Thos conflicts tend to be very grey ones at best, so to cast it as straight up Good vs. Evil with the "primitive" culture in the villain role is getting into some very uncomfortable territory.

To this oath's credit, it's code of conduct is based entirely around defending communities rather than going out and slipping into hate crime territory.

Oath Against Undeath - Yeesh. This one explicitly mentions destroying the good and neutral along with the evil. If this gets taken as an absolute, where undead are destroyed simply because they're undead, regardless of what their destruction might mean for their souls, this can't be anything other than unthinking evil. There's an explicit example of a Pathfinder adventure we ran through where an innocent ghost's soul would have been doomed if it had been destroyed by PCs without any compassion.

I know the idea of non-evil undead really grates on a lot of the higher-ups(which is frustrating when that attitude leaks into the setting neutral books like Ultimate Magic and such), but that kidn of absolutism in the face of exceptions(even in Golarion) is nothing short of monstrous, especially when it might involve allegedly good heroes dooming souls. Team Good should be about helping restless spirits move on to their proper destination. Sometimes that might involve smiting ghosts or shooting undead in the head. But sometimes it involves a very different approach, like with the ghost from the adventure mentioned earlier.

Peter Cushing killed the hell out of some vampires, but I don't really see him murderin' the Murderered Lady Ghost that's just asking for help or the eternally loyal LN Osirioni tomb guardian(that keeps out ghouls and grave robbers) just for being there.

Also, dhampir and undead-bloodline sorcerer persecution.

Oath Against Wyrms - Like Against Undead, this one dives right into Evil territory, complete with paladins doin' eugenics. Draconic-bloodline sorcerers are explicitly called out as targets of their ire. The notion of palaidins being called to prevent such individuals from ever having children just doesn't work. It's not even "just" targetting descendents of evil dragons(not that it should even matter, blood doesn't dictate character). Everyone with draconic blood is targetted. There's no getting around it; this isn't Good, it's just fantasy racism. It Good in name only.

It should be noted that the Oath Of options don't really have these problems, partially because they're not about targetting wide groups of beings as the Other. Even Oath of Vengeance gets by, because it targets beings because of what they've done, not what they are or who their ancestors were.

But there can be good support for Good PCs built around the idea of fighting and standing up against evil dragons, evil undead, evil aberrations, etc. But they have to be handled with quite a bit more finesse than the flavor built into the Oath Against options. Namely, they have to actually be Good.

Cheliax

Why is your assumption based that these issues would be by creature type only?

Since we are talking about "good" player options wouldn't the reasonable assumption be: Dragon Slayer - Dragon + Evil, Fiend Slayer - Outsider + Evil, Undead Slayer - Undead + Evil? Unless of course we are talking about an evil dragon slayer who kills good dragons, which we are not since we are talking about good guys.

I think your thought process is extreme and a bit unnecessary Mikaze.
Roles of this kind do not exist in a vacuum - they arise for an in-game/story reason. Dragon slayers generally exist because of the depredations of evil dragons on communities - not as a archetype to fit a gamest/design criteria. If you did have a good guy chasing and ignorantly trying to kill good dragons you potentially get a "Dragonheart" type scenario. A misguided good guy dragon slayer assumes good dragon is evil, finds out it isn't and they eventually become friends. Unless the player is a Jerk. That or the DM tries very hard to trick the good Dragon Slayer into killing the good dragon, again now the DM is being a jerk.

There are so many mechanics and obvious facets which are part of creature interaction in the game (parley, observe behavior, detect evil, etc) that a good guy who looks to kill good dragons is doing it to exploit the stupid - playing CN on a different level with excuses for all actions based on character role instead of the usual abuse of alignment.

I think you need to re-read the UM Oathbound Paladin. I think your understanding of the Oaths as being absolute dictates is incorrect based on the opening paragraph on the subject.

Ultimate Magic, pg 60 wrote:
For example, an Oathbound paladin who takes the Oath of Vengeance may be tasked with killing the orc warlord who razed her home city, while a paladin with the Oath against the Wyrm may be asked to secure a nonaggression pact with a family of dragons.

So no genocidal warfare against dragons even if you have an Oath against Wyrms. If that is the way it's played then it all goes back to player legitimizing the "stupid".

On the note of the genocidal: It all comes down to compact between the players and the DM.
If I, as a DM say that the game worlds accepted morality is all undead are unnatural and should be destroyed I don't think that I would be wrong/immoral for presenting it that fashion. That is, if I told my players that I was running a game of absolutes: All Orcs and undead are all evil to the core and should be destroyed I don't think that would be immoral in or out of the game.

I do think if I ran in absolutes it would make me a limited DM, in both storytelling options and challenges to my players. If a DM were to go down that route I wouldn't call it Fantasy Racism. I don't think that bashing the "always evil" orcs in that game world turns into a scene from Romper Stomper or American History X.

This is why I don't like these "subjective" good discussions. Everyone has a different definition of Good and Evil.

Anyway

Andoran

Shifty wrote:
I (personally) find the tone of the Inq is a bit out of synch with a paragon of 'goodness', in the way that LG is personified by the Pally. I'd say NG and CG (bearing in mind the G) might bristle at the undertones of imprisonment, interrogation, compulsion, and torture that run through the Inqy.

While I'm willing to agree that CG Paladins are a perfectly fine idea, I've got to disagree rather profoundly with this characterization of the Inquisitor.

With the exception of a single quick reference to "extreme methods" and a single spell (Confess) there's nothing in the class to suggest any such thing. And neither of those suggest even remotely that a Good Inquisitor remains Good if he uses any such methods. Suggesting that such things run through the class is like suggesting a thread of deception runs through the Paladin class because they get Undetectable Alignment.

People have a tendency to get wrapped upin the name of Inquisitor and ignore what it actually does and requires it's members to do...which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with those things you list.


opening description of the class wrote:


Grim and determined, the inquisitor roots out enemies of the faith, using trickery and guile when righteousness and purity is not enough.

They answer to their deity and their own sense of justice alone, and are willing to take extreme measures to meet their goals.

Where righteousness and purity aren't enough? I assume then that the Grim and Determined means they aren't refering to breaking out the hot cocoa and a nice chat as they root out their enemies.

Extreme measures hardly sounds like carebears at play and an episode of the Circle.

opening description of the class wrote:


Inquisitors work with members of their faith whenever possible, but even such allies are not above suspicion.

Not above suspicion?

So lets look at the summary of the class:

Grim and determined
roots out enemies
trickery and guile
deity and their own sense of justice alone
extreme measures
even (such) allies are not above suspicion

Thats hardly Ned Flanders, the opening narrative ALONE forms a bunch of why the Inqs are seen this way.

Class abilities?
Cunning Initiative
Judgment
Exploit weakness
Stern Gaze
Slayer

Hardly sounds like the Boy Scouts on a biscuit drive.

Then we can look at their spells, 'Tell me what I want to know or have a horrible painful existence. You have no rights to silence'...

Yeah I think I see the confusion now.

Andoran

Shifty wrote:
opening description of the class wrote:


Grim and determined, the inquisitor roots out enemies of the faith, using trickery and guile when righteousness and purity is not enough.

They answer to their deity and their own sense of justice alone, and are willing to take extreme measures to meet their goals.

And the Barbarian description includes the line "these warmongers know little of training, preparation, or the rules of warfare;"

But few people assume all Barbarians commit atrocities or are unwilling to follow orders.

Shifty wrote:
Where righteousness and purity aren't enough? I assume then that the Grim and Determined means they aren't refering to breaking out the hot cocoa and a nice chat as they root out their enemies.

Inquisitors are basically Divine Rogues, they get various abilities focused on trickery, skills, and killing their enemies. None of that makes them bad people, just tricky (and, as is mentioned, typically a bit grim).

I'm not arguing that all Inquisitors are happy, friendly, folk. Hell, I'm even willing to believe it's one of those classes with more Evil members than Good, but no Class restricts or impacts the way it's members pursue their existing Alignment...so a LG Inquisitor is every bit as LG as a Cleric or even a Paladin, and a CG one is every bit as CG as any other character of that persuasion, and neither are any more likely to do anything morally unpleasant than any other Class of that Alignment.

Shifty wrote:
Extreme measures hardly sounds like carebears at play and an episode of the Circle.

Yeah, like I said, the extreme measures line is one of the only valid reasons to think this at all. It's one line, and not one that's been expanded on, either.

Shifty wrote:
opening description of the class wrote:


Inquisitors work with members of their faith whenever possible, but even such allies are not above suspicion.
Not above suspicion?

Read the Alchemist description. It says all Alchemists are reckless and love explosives, yet it's perfectly justifiable playing a cautious Alchemist (indeed, all the ones we've seen in the fiction thus far have been fairly cautious), and it's possible to play Archetypes that don't even have bombs.

Class descriptions are a vague baseline at best, actively incorrect at worst. Not all Rogues consider life 'an endless adventure', not all Fighters wish to 'shape themselves into living weapons', not all Wizards are arrogant asses, or ambitious tyrants, simply because their description says they have 'the ambition and the intellect to rise above the common folk to grasp true might.' And Rangers are not clearly all social darwinist monsters because 'For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, there are only predators and prey.'

Shifty wrote:
So lets look at the summary of the class:

Sure.

Shifty wrote:
Grim and determined

Okay. WH40K aside, grim doesn't really mean much of anything beyond taking things pretty seriously. So they're serious. Check.

Shifty wrote:
roots out enemies

Okay. The Inquisitor's job is to find and destroy his faith's enemies. This is an entirely morally neutral statement, and pretty much a Paladin's job, too, actually.

Shifty wrote:
trickery and guile

Shall I bring up Rogues again?

Shifty wrote:
deity and their own sense of justice alone

How is doing what you believe is right a bad thing?

Shifty wrote:
extreme measures

And here it is again. Only real bit that really supports them doing bad things.

Shifty wrote:
even (such) allies are not above suspicion

Being a little paranoid is hardly a huge condemnation of the Class, y'know.

Shifty wrote:
Thats hardly Ned Flanders, the opening narrative ALONE forms a bunch of why the Inqs are seen this way.

Most PCs aren't. And I agree that the opening narrative

Shifty wrote:

Class abilities?

Cunning Initiative

Wait, cunning is bad now? There goes the Rogue, whose description uses it extensively.

Shifty wrote:
Judgment

I'm...really not clear how an ability called 'Judgement' is bad. Yes, they judge things. Also, know about them and track them down. It's kinda their job. No more morally weighted than the Favored Enemy or Quarry of a Ranger.

Hell, Paladins have 'Aura of Justice'.

Shifty wrote:
Exploit weakness

And again, Rogues, with their Sneak Attack, will be very upset to hear that exploiting weaknesses makes you a bad person.

Shifty wrote:
Stern Gaze

Uh...what does being stern have to do with Good and Evil?

Shifty wrote:
Slayer

Yes, they kill things. So do all clases, and many even have abilities named for it. Even Bards have 'Deadly Performance' at high levels.

Shifty wrote:
Hardly sounds like the Boy Scouts on a biscuit drive.

Never said they were.

Shifty wrote:
Then we can look at their spells, 'Tell me what I want to know or have a horrible painful existence. You have no rights to silence'...

Yep, one spell in their entire list. By this logic, as I mentioned, all Paladins are master infiltrators since they have Undetectable Alignment.

Shifty wrote:
Yeah I think I see the confusion now.

Oh, I'll not deny the description doesn't help. I'm simply saying that nothing in the class itself either necessitates, or remotely justifies, the attitude.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Auxmaulous wrote:

I think you need to re-read the UM Oathbound Paladin. I think your understanding of the Oaths as being absolute dictates is incorrect based on the opening paragraph on the subject.

I'd like to think that was the case, but the flavor and Code of Conduct sections for those oaths stray so far into evil territory it's hard to ignore. Espcially bits where even good creatures are explicitly mentioned as targets, or the part about preventing draconic bloodlines from spreading(which is going to lead to some very questionable behavior from anyone looking to enforce that). Even situationally getting involved in that sort of stuff is crossing several lines Good shouldn't be skirting.

It just felt like much of the Oath Against stuff was meant to make for more paladins away from Good rather than the other way around. My big worry was seeing stuff like persecution/eugenics/genocide getting the thumbs-up in a potential Book o' Good, which would go back to the "good in name only" complaint.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

And the Barbarian description includes the line "these warmongers know little of training, preparation, or the rules of warfare;"

Umm, where does it say they are grim and determined, only answering to themselves and god and all the suspicion? Grim, by sheer definition, is not exactly upbeat. Grim and determined kind of implies a few things, and the rest of the narrative pulls it into context.

Where is it written that Rogues are 'the good guys', or alchemists, or Barbarians?

Sorry, but at best, these guys don't come off as 'good guy heroes', so your question about 'why people might get the impression these guys are't really nice' has been pretty much answered in full.

They aren't just 'a little bit tricky playing a game of gotcha'.

Trying to isolate particular individual traits and then offsetting them against another class is pretty pointless - because we are looking at the picture in its entirety, not just in bite sized chunks that in and of themselves might not be that bad.

Petrol by itself ins't that bad.
Lit matches by themselves aren't that bad.
Its when they all happen to cohabit the same space that we need to consider.

Andoran

Shifty wrote:
Trying to isolate particular individual traits and then offsetting them against another class is pretty pointless - because we are looking at the picture in its entirety, not just in bite sized chunks that in and of themselves might not be that bad.

Fair enough. I'm gonna quote the Ranger entry in it's entirety, as a counterpoint:

Ranger Description wrote:
For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, there are only predators and prey. Be they scouts, trackers, or bounty hunters, rangers share much in common: unique mastery of specialized weapons, skill at stalking even the most elusive game, and the expertise to defeat a wide range of quarries. Knowledgeable, patient, and skilled hunters, these rangers hound man, beast, and monster alike, gaining insight into the way of the predator, skill in varied environments, and ever more lethal martial prowess. While some track man-eating creatures to protect the frontier, others pursue more cunning game—even fugitives among their own people.

Based on this, all Rangers are hunt-obsessed nutjobs as well as borderline social darwinists. It's at least as dark a description as Inquisitors get...and their class abilities really only reinforce it, too. But people still don't go around acting like every Ranger wants to reenact "The Most Dangerous Game", and few of the published Ranger NPCs would do any such thing. This is because the Ranger class isn't new, and the name conjures up images of Aragorn, not Torquemada. And because we have few NPC Inquisitors to examine, I suppose.

But this is basically my point. Inquisitor, as a class neither necessitates or advises anything darker than Ranger does as a class.


Except we are talking about being 'the good guys' here.

You seemed to be in a state of confusion and bewilderment about why Inq get a 'bad rap', and I have provided you with an answer as to why it is so. Whilst you might also feel that some other classes are equally 'dodgy', thats not exactly a solid case for making out a clean and innocent demeanour on behalf of Inqs, it just means they are no more (or less) shady than other shady types. Indeed the Ranger can be a human with favoured Enemy as other Humans. Rangers stopped being a friendly Dr Doolittle in 2nd Ed where they HAD to be good.

That we have had a conversation this long on the topic would surely give you pause for thought now about why the Inqs are seen as they are, and frankly when someone tells you that they think Inqs aren't exactly good guys you will now have a thorough understanding of their reasons (by the way, you dont have to AGREE with their reasons, but you will now be comfortable in the reasons they HAVE their view) - Im sure you could make Doris Day the Inqy, but to us that would always be the freakish exception and very far from the 'rule'.

Andoran

Shifty wrote:

Except we are talking about being 'the good guys' here.

You seemed to be in a state of confusion and bewilderment about why Inq get a 'bad rap', and I have provided you with an answer as to why it is so. Whilst you might also feel that some other classes are equally 'dodgy', thats not exactly a solid case for making out a clean and innocent demeanour on behalf of Inqs, it just means they are no more (or less) shady than other shady types. Indeed the Ranger can be a human with favoured Enemy as other Humans. Rangers stopped being a friendly Dr Doolittle in 2nd Ed where they HAD to be good.

Uh...I was never saying that Inquisitors were all sweetness and light, just that Good aligned ones were every bit as Good as Good members of other classes.

I was, in fact, specifically disagreeing with your assertion that "the undertones of imprisonment, interrogation, compulsion, and torture that run through the Inqy." made it inappropriate as a class for Good characters (or at least for a CG or NG paladin-type). I think the preponderance of NG and CG Rangers belies that given their equaly unfriendly description.

Shifty wrote:
That we have had a conversation this long on the topic would surely give you pause for thought now about why the Inqs are seen as they are, and frankly when someone tells you that they think Inqs aren't exactly good guys you will now have a thorough understanding of their reasons (by the way, you dont have to AGREE with their reasons, but you will now be comfortable in the reasons they HAVE their view) - Im sure you could make Doris Day the Inqy, but to us that would always be the freakish exception and very far from the 'rule'.

No, I know why they're seen as they are. It's, as mentioned, mostly the name, IMO, though the description certainly doesn't help. And I never denied that a lot of people felt that way, I just feel that they are wrong to do so. And will argue strongly against such asertions whenever they arise.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
It's, as mentioned, mostly the name, IMO, though the description certainly doesn't help. And I never denied that a lot of people felt that way, I just feel that they are wrong to do so. And will argue strongly against such asertions whenever they arise.
Deadmanwalking wrote:

With the exception of a single quick reference to "extreme methods" and a single spell (Confess) there's nothing in the class to suggest any such thing.

Cool, you are entitled to your opinion, and I wish you all the best with your arguments.

I also hope you now realise that its not just the one small quick reference and one spell that generates the opinion, as that certainly didn't stand up well to scrutiny as an opening position.

Andoran

Shifty wrote:

Cool, you are entitled to your opinion, and I wish you all the best with your arguments.

I also hope you now realise that its not just the one small quick reference and one spell that generates the opinion, as that certainly didn't stand up well to scrutiny as an opening position.

*sighs* The Ranger is actually much worse than the Inquisitor description-wise...which means that the difference in perceptions between those two classes pretty much comes down to the name (and lack of positive Inquisitor examples). Which was, in fact, my original position.

So no, my opening position's still pretty solid. Indeed, my first thought was that the description did have some bearing on it...but based on the Ranger I appear to have been at least partly wrong there (since Rangers don't have a similar rep), making it pretty much just the name and lack of positive examples.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
*sighs* The Ranger is actually much worse than the Inquisitor description-wise...

Except this has nothing to do with a ranger or a fighter, and everything to do with the Inquisitor.

AS I say, perhaps the Inq really is the great misunderstood Doris Day society and they just need to fire their publicity agent, however until such an activity is undertaken, the name of the class has a particular significance in our Westernised culture that only the most socially unaware person could possibly miss, the whole opening description of the class does nothing but reinforce our cultural view of the title, and the the naming conventions and verbs/nouns used throughout the class ability does nothing but reinforce over and over that the class does exactly what we think it does. Then you have the players PICKING that class because of those factors who want to play a torturous nasty (see the moral relativism threads and 'torture is ok if the guy is bad' threads abounding) and there lies your social battle too.

I'd probably *sigh* like you just did if I too faced an almost insurmountable task of such magnitude riddled with so many complex battlegrounds. Once again though, perhaps you are a better PR agent.

Good luck.

Andoran

Shifty wrote:

Except this has nothing to do with a ranger or a fighter, and everything to do with the Inquisitor.

AS I say, perhaps the Inq really is the great misunderstood Doris Day society and they just need to fire their publicity agent, however until such an activity is undertaken, the name of the class has a particular significance in our Westernised culture that only the most socially unaware person could possibly miss, the whole opening description of the class does nothing but reinforce our cultural view of the title, and the the naming conventions and verbs/nouns used throughout the class ability does nothing but reinforce over and over that the class does exactly what we think it does.

True enough. Really, much as I love the Inquisitor (and I do, both mechanically, and thematically as a "Divine Secret Agent" or "Divine Hunter" type), I wish they had picked another name for it, and maybe presented it a bit differently.

I don't deny that said name is a real problem with people realizing that Good and heroic Inquisitors are a possibility (though the presence of new Inquisitions in Blood of Angels will hopefully help, as would other such things)...but it doesn't change the fact that both rules and world-wise, Inquisitors of someone like Cayden Cailean or Shelyn are likely to be very nice people indeed.

Shifty wrote:
Then you have the players PICKING that class because of those factors who want to play a torturous nasty (see the moral relativism threads and 'torture is ok if the guy is bad' threads abounding) and there lies your social battle too.

Dfinitely also a problem. Though hopefully one that overcoming the first will make somewhat less of a difficulty. I've had three Inquisitors in games I've run and not had this problem, though, so here's hoping.

Shifty wrote:
I'd probably *sigh* like you just did if I too faced an almost insurmountable task of such magnitude riddled with so many complex battlegrounds. Once again though, perhaps you are a better PR agent.

I'm trying...

Shifty wrote:
Good luck.

Thanks. :)


This sounds excellent. Can't wait to see it.

Seconding pretty much everything Mikaze has said here. I don't think I could add much. ;)

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