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Alignments and Races


Pathfinder Online


I noticed some of the races in Pathfinder seem to have a set alignment.

I was wondering if that is how it will be in the game.

Will the character we have start as an evil or good being?

Or could be break the stereotype and play which alignment we want?

Example I want to play a Drow that isn't an evil douche.

Goblin Squad Member

It sort of begs the question: where do these non-evil Drow come from? Do you roll the character up, appear in some Drow village in the Underdark with your starting skill set, and get to fight your way out?

Or are you born or abandoned on the surface with none of the education or environmental pressures that make Drow be Drow?

Goblin Squad Member

In either case, you also have to wonder about how this drow survives the majority of the surface dwellers who would try to kill it on sight...simply for being a drow, little different in the minds of many from an undead, demon, or devil. I guess a good disguise skill might help.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Personally I think they need a system for buying character attributes outside the realm of normal via real money.

Is an good aligned drow possible? Yes. Is a 7 foot tall (Or even 6'7" like I am IRL) human possible? Yes. Are there people with the first name Damiel or last name Morgethai other than Damiel Morgethai? Again I am guessing yes.

Do I want to see everyone playing a 7 foot tall drow paladin named Sorenz Morgethai or Damiel Teliirdan? No... no I sure as hell do not.

What I would instead propose is the ability to pay for out of the ordinary character attributes, names, and alignments. Make it so every drow starts as evil and takes penalties for going good unless they buy the good aligned drow package. Make it so you pay more for each inch your character is outside the normal height range for their race/gender (And obviously cap it off so there aren't 50 foot tall halflings or at least if there are that the progressive price increase means only Bill Gates can play that character.) Make people chip in some change if they really want to play a distant relative of an iconic character.

I'll tell you what... if the price is reasonable I will chip in some cash to make my character 6'7". Infact I would RATHER chip in cash than get it for free because if I get it for free, that means 6'7" is going to be the average height for a human or half-elf male on PFO just like max height is the most used height on Guild Wars. Unless I get it for free for being so incredibly handsome. ;)

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


I'll tell you what... if the price is reasonable I will chip in some cash to make my character 6'7". Infact I would RATHER chip in cash than get it for free because if I get it for free, that means 6'7" is going to be the average height for a human or half-elf male on PFO just like max height is the most used height on Guild Wars. Unless I get it for free for being so incredibly handsome. ;)

While i like the sentiment... unless the price is flat out ridiculous, the amount of people wanting to pay for something rare... tend to bring things way outside of rarity... There is a system I can think of, that could work for this however. Upon character creation, an optional dice could be implemented to roll height. This action could be only permitted once a month or so, and have a 1% chance to roll a part of a character well outside of the norm. People with a spare $30, aren't rare enough for my liking for insanely rare attributes, but people with the time to set up 50 e-mail authenticated accounts etc... are significantly rarer.

As far as drow alignment etc... Personally i don't think the game really should bother with implimenting races with a standard alignment. monsterous races in P&P also come with the problem of their trademarks also leading them to be more powerful, and a lack of any system that actually works to balance them. imo monsters should most likely stick to NPC for a long while.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
People with a spare $30, aren't rare enough for my liking for insanely rare attributes

True but you have to consider, how many people are going to spend an extra 30$ or whatever amount for extra height, a rare name, or an alignment rare to their race? I don't think this kind of fluff is so attractive that it will create a huge demand for it if you are paying even as low as 15$ per feature.

I'm guessing only people who REALLY care about that feature will shell out anything. If that doesn't prove true you could always make rare features become more and more expensive as a larger amount of the game's population use them. If you start getting over 1 in 100 characters taking heights above 6'4" or so for a human you double the price until it goes back down, and if it continues to go up it gets doubled again.

This has two benefits for the game:

1. It allows people who REALLY want to play roles outside the norm to do so, not just people who get lucky rolls. Being 6'7" is an important part of Andius' RP since this is a recurring character I play in many games that is always loosely based on me IRL. Not quite as important as the beard but still important.

2. It's a great source of revenue for the game, and one I at least don't consider to be milking us for all we are worth. These are things which I would otherwise say should not be included into the game, but with my system these features not only pay for themselves but help GW gather the funds they are going to need to continually expand and develop this game further rather than be dev time wasted on features only useful to a small minority of players.

Goblin Squad Member

Just my own opinion, but I think having the different races/classes have a set alignment, and having that alignment actually make a difference in the game world, adds depth to the game. Using the drow as an example, they wouldn't be able to trade with, or would even be kos to, those of good alignment. This opens up the possibility of appearance or shape changing enchantments or potions that would allow you to get around this inconvenience temporarily or even having alignments change gradually by working toward the other side. I like Andius' idea of purchasing unusual physical characteristics tho.

Goblin Squad Member

Ugh, please don't encourage them to force random attributes on my character.

Keep in mind, many of us play these games with characters that exist in our imagination entirely separately from any constraints this or any other game system is going to put on them. Please, let me create the character that exists in my imagination.

If I'm choosing "rare" options that are so popular everyone else wants them, then that's my problem for wanting common attributes to be rare.

Goblin Squad Member

You could use a Build Points system; money doesn't have to be involved.

Alternatively, and I like this idea better, you could have the system track the height distribution in the PC+NPC population, and if most players are extra tall, adjust NPC heights to maintain the bell curve.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryghamoc wrote:

I noticed some of the races in Pathfinder seem to have a set alignment.

I was wondering if that is how it will be in the game.

Will the character we have start as an evil or good being?

Or could be break the stereotype and play which alignment we want?

Example I want to play a Drow that isn't an evil douche.

NPC races in the game have it, because that's what their societies generally are. However, we don't even know if we can play those races to start out with. We might end up with just the core rulebook races, so that issue doesn't even come into play.

Goblin Squad Member

I'd be much more supportive of a Build Point system to build up a back story.

Personally, I kind of wish that NPCs would be a lot more visible at all points in the game, so that the "norm" for height and build wouldn't be set by the players. There's a reason some players like to play characters that are taller than average. If those players end up with characters that are average height, they're going to be disappointed, and rightfully so.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryghamoc wrote:

I noticed some of the races in Pathfinder seem to have a set alignment.

I was wondering if that is how it will be in the game.

Unlikely

Quote:
Will the character we have start as an evil or good being?

Yes

Quote:
Example I want to play a Drow that isn't an evil douche.

I wouldn't expect to play a drow any time soon, regardless of alignment.

Goblin Squad Member

Finn The Human wrote:

You could use a Build Points system; money doesn't have to be involved.

Alternatively, and I like this idea better, you could have the system track the height distribution in the PC+NPC population, and if most players are extra tall, adjust NPC heights to maintain the bell curve.

The problem with a build point system is this: If you hand people these features for free, 90% of them are going to make sure to use every last build point. Probably in height with the occasional point in an unusual name or alignment.

The whole build point system is just a total mess. It's an inferior system to the cash system which will make rare features far more rare and not hold back anyone who REALLY wants certain features for their characters. I'm going to wager it is being proposed out of an aversion to the paying real world money.

We ALREADY know we are getting a microtansaction system though. This is JUST the kind of fluff we want to see in that system. I'm sorry if you don't ever buy extra features for your games and you REALLY want to play a good-aligned drow or unusually tall/short character, but there are A LOT of people like you, and I personally don't want to see you achieve that goal unless you prove you are one of the ones who it REALLY matters to because it will hurt overall immersion, or screw over the people it actually does matter to.

Edit: Here is something interesting I found that might help them determine the specifics of what heights cost what.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


We ALREADY know we are getting a microtansaction system though. This is JUST the kind of fluff we want to see in that system. I'm sorry if you don't ever buy extra features for your games and you REALLY want to play a good-aligned drow or unusually tall/short character, but there are A LOT of people like you, and I personally don't want to see you achieve that goal unless you prove you are one of the ones who it REALLY matters to because it will hurt overall immersion, or screw over the people it actually does matter to.

Edit: Here is something interesting I found that might help them determine the specifics of what heights cost what.

I far from oppose the cash system on the grounds of not wanting to pay. I certainly am planning on paying money for decorative items down the road. I just largely disagree that it hinders or lessens the popularity of anything item.

In DDO, I can say pretty confidently that in my experience, warforged characters were no rarer than any of the races that were available for free in groups above level 10 (pre level 10 the curve of the population is skewed by large amounts of F2P, try the game once and quit before ever paying a penny for anything).

I've played quite a few free to play games with paid options and extras, and I have to note one thing, more or less anything under $100, is fairly common to see in mass. The only time things are particularly rare, is if they put them in say a $5 mystery box with a .1% chance of getting it. Other than that, there are just too many people who have more than enough money to drop $20, on something they kind of want, and well I don't see putting it at over $100 as making it available to people who really want it, I see it as making it unavailable to many people who really want it, but don't have $100 laying around, and making it available to very rich people who don't really want it very badly, but don't see money as an issue.

Don't get me wrong, I don't see the concept as bad for GW financially, assuming they are pure appearance I don't see them even as harmful to the games model etc... I expect and support cosmetic cash shop items.

But if the 2 goals are

1. keep the number of players with something under 5% (IE actually have it as rare).
2. Make it so that the people who get it, are the ones who really want it the most.

The microtransaction model, would fail miserably in accomplishing those 2 goals. The difference in the value of a dollar to different people, is far too great for price to be anywhere close to a determining factor of how much someone wants something, and the number of people willing to pay medium amount of money (IE $50 or less) for cosmetics, is in my experience more or less close to 75% of people who are willing to pay for anything in a game (IE once you weed out the people who intend to f2p permanently and either can't or won't ever put a dime in the game for anything at all).

Goblin Squad Member

The problem is that some players want their characters to possess rare traits, which means those traits must be difficult for other players to acquire.

A Build Point system might fail to accomplish the goal of keeping those traits rare if the other options that could be bought with those points are only temporary. For example, if the choice is between buying an extra inch of heigh, which is permanent on your character, or buying Skill Rank 1 in something, which basically just saves you a fairly small amount of time early on, I imagine a lot of players will choose the extra physical trait.

However, if the Build Points can be used to buy other permanent physical characteristics, like +1 Strength, then there's a real cost to choosing the extra height, and a lot of players will avoid it. Of course, for this to be reasonable, Height would need to have significant effects like increased reach and increased body mass.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:

I far from oppose the cash system on the grounds of not wanting to pay. I certainly am planning on paying money for decorative items down the road. I just largely disagree that it hinders or lessens the popularity of anything item.

In DDO, I can say pretty confidently that in my experience, warforged characters were no rarer than any of the races that were available for free in groups above level 10 (pre level 10 the curve of the population is skewed by large amounts of F2P, try the game once and quit before ever paying a penny for anything).

There are a few major differences here. First off, warforged are an entire race with it's own special abilities, roleplay and playstyle. That is going to generate a lot more interest than things like character height/name/unusual alignment that is simply one small aspect of a character.

2nd off correct me if I am wrong, but warforged is a free race for everyone with a VIP subscription package is it not? That is going to DRASTICALLY increase it's popularity over purchased items/races that are not part of a subscription package.

Onishi wrote:

I've played quite a few free to play games with paid options and extras, and I have to note one thing, more or less anything under $100, is fairly common to see in mass. The only time things are particularly rare, is if they put them in say a $5 mystery box with a .1% chance of getting it. Other than that, there are just too many people who have more than enough money to drop $20, on something they kind of want, and well I don't see putting it at over $100 as making it available to people who really want it, I see it as making it unavailable to many people who really want it, but don't have $100 laying around, and making it available to very rich people who don't really want it very badly, but don't see money as an issue.

Don't get me wrong, I don't see the concept as bad for GW financially, assuming they are pure appearance I don't see them even as harmful to the games model etc... I expect and support cosmetic cash shop items.

But if the 2 goals are

1. keep the number of players with something under 5% (IE actually have it as rare).
2. Make it so that the people who get it, are the ones who really want it the most.

The microtransaction model, would fail miserably in accomplishing those 2 goals. The difference in the value of a dollar to different people, is far too great for price to be anywhere close to a determining factor of how much someone wants something, and the number of people willing to pay medium amount of money (IE $50 or less) for cosmetics, is in my experience more or less close to 75% of people who are willing to pay for anything in a game (IE once you weed out the people who intend to f2p permanently and either can't or won't ever put a dime in the game for anything at all).

I am generally the kind of person who will pay a subscription fee for a game, but beyond 15$ a month... skrew it. However I would make an exception in this one circumstance because it is REALLY important to me, probably to the tune of $50+.

I simply cannot see the majority of people deciding to put down 50$+ on a single feature, for a single character, so regularly that it would destroy immersion. You have to consider a lot of people intend to have multiple characters.

If 6'7" humans and good aligned drow and people with names from Golarion cannon are so popular that once they go above the expected quota and the price increases and people are still blowing 100$ apiece on them... I fully support it because 100$ apeice for each feature, for each character, is going to make GW RICH. They'll be raking in more money than WoW in no time if they have a halfway decent playerbase. That means more funding for this project!

Personally I don't see the people who desire these features, who are also willing to spend money on these features being so large as to make them frequent at an immersion breaking level.

For instance if you were to give me all these options for free I doubt I would use any of them other than a 6'7" human or half-elf for Andius. I have no desire to rip off a name from the lore and the only non-typical alignment I find at all tempting is a chaotic-good goblin if you can have goblin-dog riders in combat. I wouldn't be willing to all that much for it though since I don't even like to have to use alts.

So in order for people to buy it, they not only need to have the money for the feature, but have a desire for the feature.

I don't see too many cases where the desire to have the feature will outweigh its.

Just out of curiosity I would like to know how much people spent on the kickstarter, what subscription fee they are willing to pay, how much they tend to spend on micotransactions in an average month of active play, and what features they would be willing to buy for 30$.

For me, 75$ KS, 15$ sub fee, 0$ MT, 30$ 6'7" Human or Half-Elf.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
The problem is that some players want their characters to possess rare traits, which means those traits must be difficult for other players to acquire.

To keep rare traits rare, how about a small chance per month for a subscriber to gain a rare trait "card"? The traits would either have to be applied to existing characters as a secret past, or saved and applied to a future character on the same subscription. GW could control the rarity of some traits that way.

Goblin Squad Member

@Urman, as I said above:

Nihimon wrote:

Keep in mind, many of us play these games with characters that exist in our imagination entirely separately from any constraints this or any other game system is going to put on them. Please, let me create the character that exists in my imagination.

If I'm choosing "rare" options that are so popular everyone else wants them, then that's my problem for wanting common attributes to be rare.

It's not going to do me any good to eventually win a Rare Trait award if I can't use it on the character I create when I first start playing PFO.

As I said, I'd much rather have a Build Point system that I could use to build up my character's back story. If one of the things I can buy with my leftover points is a permanent income (doesn't have to be significant), then there's a real cost-benefit trade-off for people to consider when deciding to apply those points to guaranteed permanent income versus some other trait such as Extra Height, or Unusual Alignment.

Goblin Squad Member

I would rather just go the tried and true one size fits all and block out all these options than go with some of the ideas being proposed. Getting cards to make myself taller or change my name partway through the game? Trading stats for cosmetic features?

Seriously...

BTW. Mortal Online had height as a stat. You had a lot of tall fighters and a lot of very short crafters and wizards. As much as height as a stat is logical it's not very balanced in a system where many people are not going to be willing to sacrifice stats for RP.

Goblin Squad Member

@Andius, the card system I proposed was an attempt to control the number of really rare traits in an online game. Clearly some traits like extreme height or an odd race could not be a secret past; I guess I needed to leave that sentence in.

Height and mass have real effects on a person's abilities, they aren't merely cosmetic. Some games represent that by having height and build modify the rolls for other stats. Some games have character size affect things like carrying capacity. But the games I am thinking of have random character creation.

With build points, the player could choose body type first, say a tall and big frame and get +1 str, +1 con, -1 dex to the base stats, then have more build points for adjusting the stats. Other height/frame picks would have different bonuses. That could have the effect of changing your max stat characteristics, if GW chose.

Goblin Squad Member

One thing to keep in mind is that there's a significant cost in making armor that scales well with character models that can be radically customized. I think this is why you see some of the "best" character creation systems in superhero games where you generally keep your look consistent over time. I remember how silly it felt in Vanguard when the devs were explaining that they couldn't implement helmets because of the custom head shaping options, and they had to remove some of those options before they were able to implement helmets.

I'd love to see the full range of body types supported, but if it's not economical to do so, it's not going to cause me grief.

Goblin Squad Member

Good point on the modeling. And I agree that it trumps character customization.

Goblin Squad Member

Personally I was never a fan of races having set alignments. I just used those as the Alignments that they lean to as a majority. I mean not every Goblin is evil. Not every kobold tribe is LE. It would be dissapointing if it were that black and white in a sand box.

Goblin Squad Member

JakBlitz wrote:
Personally I was never a fan of races having set alignments. I just used those as the Alignments that they lean to as a majority. I mean not every Goblin is evil. Not every kobold tribe is LE. It would be dissapointing if it were that black and white in a sand box.

Agreed, that is why most humanoid races are disclaimered as "Usually X", with the exceptions of undead, lycanthropes and outsiders.

but the main thing I think is that they should just avoid putting things with usual alignments as PCs, unless they load them with traits or abilities to make them more viable as their standard alignment, and less viable as other alignments. In P&P the overal ratio of a race is fully controllable by a DM. Sure the party can be 4 LG drow in the same area, but they are 4/100 drow that are likely to be seen over the course of that campaign.

vs an MMO, in which it is very possible that LG drow are a majority of the drow that many people are going to cross paths with. Really though there is little to no pressing need for obscure races. They lose the obscure feel as soon as they become common anyway so they have very little purpose.


How about a gnoll that was a redeemed by a druid or ranger of Erastil and becomes a ranger of Erastil himself?

Goblin Squad Member

Kodyax wrote:
How about a gnoll that was a redeemed by a druid or ranger of Erastil and becomes a ranger of Erastil himself?

About the same as everything else when it comes to encoraging unique exceptions in PFO... The intent of the players wanting them is for them to be something unique... but in an MMO, unless GW makes 10,000 different races, "Unique" "Obscure" options become the most common the quickest.

Goblin Squad Member

The moment you explicitly make something rare and make it something people can buy, it no longer becomes rare. TERA works with a system of cosmetic things you can buy that are ONLY available for 1 or 2 months, then they replace it with something else. So you see those items everywhere, with people complaining about how expensive it is (but still buying it). The items give you ABSOLUTELY no benefit, they are purely cosmetic, and often novelty items (for example the sorcerer's disc replacement was a patchwork teddybear, the berserker's sword was an icecream).

I can see a compromise though. You add a special rare buildpoint system which is just for adding special items, but you do lots of them, extra height/weight, names, hairstyles, scars, tattoos, earrings, skin and hair colours, other cosmetic items like eyepatches, some rarer eye colours, perhaps makeup options.

So you create a bunch of premium content on creation, some of which can be changed and purchased later (hairstyles and colours, eyepatches, makeup) and some that can't (height/weight, names, skin/eye colours). And you only have a limited number of points to spend on your character, so if you want it from the offset, you have to buy it straight away.

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