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Goblinworks Blog: Put It in Writing


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

For the most part I am in favor of this system, but what I do have to wonder is, while good/evil is fairly predictable what may influence, law/chaos sounds far more complicated.

Namely considering what I am judging as the many guilds that are looking into CG alliances I imagine as very different from almost anything I can see as a computer determinable chaotic. So far the main thing I can very quickly see as chaotic, is breaking contracts. Though of course that sounds very shaky for CG guilds and puts them into very shaky ground for any jobs etc... worse yet risking getting the boot from their settlement for fulfilling too many contracts that are agreed upon, as I'd imagine agreeing to a contract to deliver goods, and then delivering the goods, sounds like the dictionary definition of a lawful act.

Same mystery I have for LN LE companies like the one I plan to make. Banditry on unclaimed territory, is that a NE act or a CE act or just plain NN? I'm sure alignment itself will get it's own total blog post at some point, as I am more than aware of how deep and complex the concept gets, and well every DM I have ever met has his own varied view of it. In my book, lawful means having a personal code of ethics, and sticking to that personal code. Of course that, is virtually impossible to determine with an automated system.

Goblin Squad Member

Buri wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
Chronx6 wrote:
Which seems counter productive to the way that the game seems to want to come together.

I think this is a common misunderstanding of sand box games, and catering to this misunderstanding has been the doom of many of them.

You can't play your character "any way you want". You have to play a character that is constrained by the internal logic of the game world.

We have chosen to use the Pathfinder world as our game world, and its internal logic is that people have alignments and those alignments are intrinsic aspects of the people who live in that world (rather than abstract philosophies like they are in our world).

Not only will your character have to have an alignment similar to your friends' characters in order to create a society with them, but if your character's actions cause your character's alignment to shift too much, you'll be kicked out of that community too!

Playing within these constraints is part of how we generate a world that "makes sense" and is fun to play in. It is also a way that we provide challenges to the players - figuring out how to do what they want while remaining within the rules is fun too.

RyanD

A friendly word of caution. Anything that forces adherence and risking ejection if you don't comply inherently creates division. A large portion of my concern here hinge on how easy it is to shift alignments. If I'm playing with some friends and I do something because I get a wild hair up my bum that shifts me out of the group due to alignment even though my friends may be accepting of my actions would be something I find completely unacceptable.

Also, forcing your concept of "fun" is inherently risky as well, especially when you're talking about sandbox-style play. Take a look at the Diablo 3 forums (a game I've played a lot recently so it's an example I can work with) and you'll see hundreds of people complaining because Blizzard has axed key portions of what Diablo has been classically known for (getting...

Buri,

I think you've made some important points there. The setting of Pathfinder may be a universe where there are absolute positions of morality (Good, Evil, Chaos, Law) and deities tied to those positions. However it is also a world of human beings (and demi-humans) who supposedly are able to excersize some degree of free will. As long as that's the case and individuals (and organizations made up of individuals) are able to excersize some degree of free will....then absolute alignments, even if they do exist, shouldn't logicaly be completely deterministic of who one can associate with and what ones relationships are. And who as a player, realisticaly, is going to want to participate in a game world or a campaign where one is unable to excersize any degree of free will in thier associations with other players?

It why most quality GM's I know are far more nuanced and trepidatious about how they approach Alignment (if at all) within thier Campaigns. It's certainly viable for a GM to say that a player who goes about wantonly slaying innocents without justification every play session can't realisticaly claim to be LG anymore....and if they are a Paladin, might possibly lose thier powers based on thier association with absolute "Good". It's entirely another thing for a GM to say that Bob and Joe aren't allowed to be freinds or associate with one another just because one happens to be LG and the other CG...especialy if say both are Fighters and aren't drawing any of thier powers from thier association with those absolute alignments. I mean a GM COULD say that for thier campaign...but I don't know too many players who would be interested in playing one where they had so little control over thier own characters beliefs, behaviors and interactions.... and I shudder to think about what happens when such a system gets enforced without even any degree of human moderation to act as a sanity check on the results.

I predict that if GW goes too stringently down this road, Alignment is simply one of those things that is going to be routienely meta-gamed by almost everyone....and players will do whatever they need to do mechanicaly to end up with the results they want.... and alignment will end up bearing little to no relation to what the character is actualy like. You'll end up with Bunni the "Lawfull Evil" healer who goes around handing out hugs and rainbow unicorn toys to everyone she meets... but her character sheet will say "Lawfull Evil" and she'll find a way mechanicaly to make that happen because that'll be the only way she's allowed to associate with and play the game with the players she wants to play. YMMV.


I agree with Onishi, questions of the 'trackability' of certain alignment combinations still seem unanswered.
Potentially, I could see participation in Companies/Settlements/Nations with certain management structures could itself be a factor in determining alignment, e.g. certain structures would favor Chaos and others would favor Law, etc.

I have thought some about what we know about the Alignment system and Player Organizations...
The fact that PC Alignment constantly shifts to match your actions, while Organization Alignment is fixed seemed strange to me... But then I realized that it's more than reasonable for Organization Alignment to be able to be changed BY VOTE (/DICTATE for non-democratic groups). In that case, it seems reasonable to have some 'time window' between PC Alignment changing to a non-group-allowed one and actually being kicked out... During that window, you can diplomatize your cohorts to change the Group Alignment to one that lets you stay in the group.

Still, while I'm sure GW has good reasons for going this way with Group Alignments, it's defintitely not something that feels like anything in the tabletop game or the Golarion world. Detect [Alignment] spells don't even work on low level non-Clerics in the Core Rules. The only group that really works like this in Golarion would be Churches and Monk Monasteries, and that is really a function of the Cleric and Monk classes themself... if a Church/Monastery has 'lay' members or Oracles, etc, I don't think the majority of them would be subject to some 'Alignment Test' or anything. ...So it seems like Player Organizations are being made to function like Clerical Churches, with Alignment as the sole determinant (not Deities). Could be interesting, but doesn't evoke Pathfinder or Golarion for me.

Goblin Squad Member

Going by the revised idea behind stettlement alignment restrictions, would Fort Inevitable be all except chaotic, Fort Riverwatch be all except evil, and Thornkeep all except lawful?

Also, how involved is the process to become a chartered company from an NPC settlement? Would it be something that is simple enough that those of us trying to establish one prelaunch could get setup fairly quickly once the servers come online? Or will it take a week or longer to establish ourselves to the point that we can make one and should probably plan on being a party in the interim?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Looking at the consequences of requiring all members of a settlement to be within one step of the settlement (which may not be true neutral):
(assuming that alignment-by-class restrictions are in place)
Paladins may only reside in LN, LG, and NG settlements.
Barbarians may not reside in lawful settlements.

Only a good monk may reside in the same settlement as a paladin and a barbarian. (LG settlement)

Will the requirement for residency in a settlement also extend to the NPC settlements? If there are CG and CG NPCs resident in thornkeep, there may not be lawful nor evil NPCs resident, if the rule is consistent.

In any case, there also needs to be a full discussion of player alignment and its effects before the effects of settlement alignment have full context.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:

Looking at the consequences of requiring all members of a settlement to be within one step of the settlement (which may not be true neutral):

Will the requirement for residency in a settlement also extend to the NPC settlements? If there are CG and CG NPCs resident in thornkeep, there may not be lawful nor evil NPCs resident, if the rule is consistent.

Hm - if Thornkeep were CN, then there could be CG and CE NPC citizens, right? Just no Lawful ones.


It seems like there might be demand for large PC organizations that don't hold territory...
Nomadic mercenary tribes, if you will.
If Charter Companies aren't actually hard limited in size, those should work fine, though.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:

For the most part I am in favor of this system, but what I do have to wonder is, while good/evil is fairly predictable what may influence, law/chaos sounds far more complicated.

Namely considering what I am judging as the many guilds that are looking into CG alliances I imagine as very different from almost anything I can see as a computer determinable chaotic. So far the main thing I can very quickly see as chaotic, is breaking contracts. Though of course that sounds very shaky for CG guilds and puts them into very shaky ground for any jobs etc... worse yet risking getting the boot from their settlement for fulfilling too many contracts that are agreed upon, as I'd imagine agreeing to a contract to deliver goods, and then delivering the goods, sounds like the dictionary definition of a lawful act.

Same mystery I have for LN LE companies like the one I plan to make. Banditry on unclaimed territory, is that a NE act or a CE act or just plain NN? I'm sure alignment itself will get it's own total blog post at some point, as I am more than aware of how deep and complex the concept gets, and well every DM I have ever met has his own varied view of it. In my book, lawful means having a personal code of ethics, and sticking to that personal code. Of course that, is virtually impossible to determine with an automated system.

Good questions. Overlooked the Good-Evil; Lawful-Chaotic consideration.

I imagine Good-Evil could be player-dependent and Lawful-Chaotic could be more towards interaction with NPCs and other PvE aspects of Golarion?

The 3 NPC settlements could on the spectrum Good/Lawful-Neutral-Evil/Chaotic also?

Pure speculation, but it's could be a nice way for players to watch their dealings both in pve and pvp (I mean player-driven vs excl. p-combat interactions) worlds?

A clarification on this would be v interesting, but probably worth a blog post as alignment seems to seep into a lot of the game :).

Goblin Squad Member

@Quandry - such mercenaries might actually choose to be sponsored by the NPC towns because then (a) their sponsor can't be targeted for their actions and (b) their sponsor can't threaten their charter in the middle of a campaign.

But I could also see settlements sponsoring military companies for hire; it might bring in cash and booty, it keeps crafters employed with resupply, and it's always good to have a few companies of allied or friendly soldiery.


Quandary wrote:

It seems like there might be demand for large PC organizations that don't hold territory...

Nomadic mercenary tribes, if you will.
If Charter Companies aren't actually hard limited in size, those should work fine, though.

I'm actually surprised with the notion that CCs must control property. What about brotherhoods, trade guilds and the like whose membership is disjointed? If all their membership were concentrated into one place then they would actually lose their effectiveness.

It'd be similar to all workers rights guilds working for the same company. That single company all those people would work for would be great but it would not be able to pursue a goal of bringing good working conditions to all, for example, as it'd have no voice outside it's own little cluster in the woods.

I suppose that company could inspire others to do the same but nothing like the United Auto Workers that spans several corporations could exist.

A character should also be able to join multiple organizations at the same time. One of the hallmarks of greatness is often holding several prestigious memberships. Any politician of note today has several if not dozens of memberships of import. That's what makes them important! :) Limiting a character to a single membership is simply too constricting. Now, I don't know if this has been explicitly stated so take this with a grain of salt, of course.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:

... law/chaos sounds far more complicated.

Namely considering what I am judging as the many guilds that are looking into CG alliances I imagine as very different from almost anything I can see as a computer determinable chaotic. So far the main thing I can very quickly see as chaotic, is breaking contracts. Though of course that sounds very shaky for CG guilds and puts them into very shaky ground for any jobs etc... worse yet risking getting the boot from their settlement for fulfilling too many contracts that are agreed upon, as I'd imagine agreeing to a contract to deliver goods, and then delivering the goods, sounds like the dictionary definition of a lawful act.

I don't mind that interpretation of Chaotic, actually. The chaotic alignments seem to be about doing what you want to do, not what some boss expects of you, or what society expect you to do, or even what you've agreed to do. So a group of CG and CN characters would prefer to do stuff in-house. Their settlement would attempt to have one of every building so it is mostly self sufficient. If they need something, they'll get it from other chaotics, like-minded people who also don't want to work with contracts. Stuff might not always get there on time, and there's no contract to enforce, but some people don't want to work for The Man or with one His rigid underlings.

If a player wants the character to make and fill contracts day after day, his word an iron bond - then maybe he really wants to play a lawful character.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:

For the most part I am in favor of this system, but what I do have to wonder is, while good/evil is fairly predictable what may influence, law/chaos sounds far more complicated.

Namely considering what I am judging as the many guilds that are looking into CG alliances I imagine as very different from almost anything I can see as a computer determinable chaotic. So far the main thing I can very quickly see as chaotic, is breaking contracts. Though of course that sounds very shaky for CG guilds and puts them into very shaky ground for any jobs etc... worse yet risking getting the boot from their settlement for fulfilling too many contracts that are agreed upon, as I'd imagine agreeing to a contract to deliver goods, and then delivering the goods, sounds like the dictionary definition of a lawful act.

Same mystery I have for LN LE companies like the one I plan to make. Banditry on unclaimed territory, is that a NE act or a CE act or just plain NN? I'm sure alignment itself will get it's own total blog post at some point, as I am more than aware of how deep and complex the concept gets, and well every DM I have ever met has his own varied view of it. In my book, lawful means having a personal code of ethics, and sticking to that personal code. Of course that, is virtually impossible to determine with an automated system.

Interesting point. "Chaotic", it seems to me, has been an alignment that is primarly concerned with the preservation of individual choice. It's not typicaly been regarded as deterministic of what that choice MUST be. Thus a "Chaoticaly" aligned person COULD break a contract/law, if they CHOSE to do so, in that individual case....but I've never been under the impression that they MUST do so....indeed, that would run contrary to the generaly accepted definition...as HAVING to break a contract/law removes the individuals opportunity for CHOICE.

It certainly follows that breaking a contract/law MIGHT be considered a "Chaotic" act...but would that be the only way to mechanicaly adjust ones alignment in that direction.... and would KEEPING one, conversely force ones alignment toward LAW? That would strike me as a very odd dynamic.

Furthermore, one would think that a core principle of a "Chaoticaly" aligned character is AVOIDING things that place restrictions on the individuals freedom of action. So would the very acting of ENTERING into a contract, JOINING a Charted Company or ACCEPTING Membership in a Settlement be considered an ACT that shifted ones Alignment AWAY from Chaos....since ALL those actions imply subjecting onself to some sort of outside authority which has the ability to impose rules, regulations and codes of behavior upon onself? It certainly seems to present itself as a bit of a paradox.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
I think most Settlements will be run by well organized guild/corporations from other games who will "colonize" Pathfinder Online once they decide it looks like something thier members will be interested in doing. They'll skip the Chartered Company size and go right to the Settlement size.

Here lies my confusion. We have Chartered Company, Settlement, then Kingdom set up as our player-faction sizes.

So GL hopefully by game release will be a pretty big company. Likely large enough to create our own settlement, that we will likely share with a few allies.

But rather quickly we are going to be looking to establish minor outposts outside our original settlement. For instance our main settlement will be a more urban settlement while we have a more rural settlement a bit farther off more geared for farmers, hunters, etc. And somewhere a bit more remote we have a base for our anti-griefer patrols to operate out of that is perhaps a bit closer to the starter area.

From the impression I have, you need a very large number of players to establish a kingdom, but from the impression I am given here you need a full fledged kingdom in order to have multiple settlements.

Am underestimating the size of settlments a bit, and this rural area we control/base near the starter area might not even be considered a real settlement and we are allowed to run it as a "settlement".

Or am I overestimating what it will take for us to become a real kingdom?

Finally if not, might I suggest a stage in-between settlement and kingdom such as province or fiefdom.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:
Furthermore, one would think that a core principle of a "Chaoticaly" aligned character is AVOIDING things that place restrictions on the individuals freedom of action. So would the very acting of ENTERING into a contract, JOINING a Charted Company or ACCEPTING Membership in a Settlement be considered an ACT that shifted ones Alignment AWAY from Chaos....since ALL those actions imply subjecting onself to some sort of outside authority which has the ability to impose rules, regulations and codes of behavior upon onself? It certainly seems to present itself as a bit of a paradox.

One or two of these actions might trouble the character's inner self, yes. After he makes the gut-wrenching decision to join a settlement, he's not eager to enter into any contracts for a while. Instead, he goes exploring or makes stuff for himself to center himself/his alignment.

Chaotic characters should have less penalty when they join explicitly chaotic groups (rather than neutral good or neutral evil), but those chaotic groups should also have less ability to levy taxes or dictate responsibilities for citizens.

Having the game manage alignment might actually require people to pick an alignment based on how they will play the character. (Role-play? **shudder**) If you're planning to be deeply involved in business with other players, you might want to play a lawful character. If you're a loner and really want to play solo 95% of the time, you're maybe better off playing a chaotic.


Andius wrote:
Rather quickly we are going to be looking to establish minor outposts outside our original settlement. For instance our main settlement will be a more urban settlement while we have a more rural settlement a bit farther off more geared for farmers, hunters, etc. And somewhere a bit more remote we have a base for our anti-griefer patrols to operate out of that is perhaps a bit closer to the starter area.

I think the basic point is that 1 Settlement = Control of 1 Hex.

Whether all buildings are exactly contiguous to each other seems less important than that they are all in 1 Hex.
I AM also curious if there is a minimum level of Hexes (above 2) to qualify for a Nation, or not.
Depending if there is or not, some groups could end up managing multiple Settlements in different Hexes that they all 100% own and run under the same governing rules, yet can't manage them as one unit in-game.

Buri wrote:
I'm actually surprised with the notion that CCs must control property.

AFAIK, there ISN'T any such notion. Property has only been associated with the Settlement and Nation level.

Urman wrote:
Quandary wrote:

It seems like there might be demand for large PC organizations that don't hold territory...

Nomadic mercenary tribes, if you will.
If Charter Companies aren't actually hard limited in size, those should work fine, though.
@Quandry - such mercenaries might actually choose to be sponsored by the NPC towns

Yes, Ryan Dancy said that's how he expects most CC to start out at least initially, and that will always be an option. But my point was about the existence/management of VERY LARGE un-landed groups. If there is a hard limit on CC size, those groups are simply impossible without having SOME Settlement somewhere. That's why I'm hoping there ISN'T any such hard limit on CC membership size, OR there is some other type of organizational option between CC and Settlements that doesn't require land holding.

I wrote:
It seems like there should be options to restrict one character/charter company/settlement from being member of multiple chartercompanies/settlements/kingdoms... Some groups could be fine with that, but others may not, for differing reasons. Especially in set-ups with 'restricted membership' councils/chambers, having characters/groups be members of multiple entities could be seen as unfair or undesired... Or characters/entities could be prevented from holding multiple 'titles'/roles, if it was agreed that would be undesired.

I'm still curious about this question: Should players expect to be able to be members in multiple organizations (what if said organizations are hostile against each other?) or will there be limitations, i.e. you can only be members of organizations which are subsidiary to the same larger grouping (CC->Settlement->Nation)...? Could you be member in multiple CC/Settlements that are subsidiary to the same Settlement/Nation? Would CC that are chartered under a NPC city/faction be exempt to that?

Goblin Squad Member

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Buri wrote:
Elements such as alignments are not present in Eve so I can understand why you don't want to do a nuanced system. Perhaps, you don't see the necessity or the point. Even the security rating allowed a lot of nuance into exactly what was allowed. However, alignments within Pathfinder are pretty regimented (LG cannot kill an innocent as this would be CE or LE if it violates the code of the creature in question, TN can not takes sides, ever, CG can not have a bend toward the law or else they're LG, etc).

I think you misunderstand the way alignment works in the tabletop game, and it certainly won't work the way you think it does in the MMO.

Pathfinder Tabletop RPG wrote:
Alignment is a tool for developing your character's identity—it is not a straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the same alignment can still be quite different from each other. In addition, few people are completely consistent.

You won't shift alignment for one action. An alignment shift will occur gradually over time and you'll know full well that it is happening and why.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

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Andius wrote:


But rather quickly we are going to be looking to establish minor outposts outside our original settlement.

Like Inns, Watchtowers or Forts.

A "Settlement" is an advanced Fort. It's not a city. The important aspect of a Settlement isn't its construction, it's the people who are members of it. You could have a Settlement that had a very low population density but a very high membership.

Quote:
From the impression I have, you need a very large number of players to establish a kingdom, but from the impression I am given here you need a full fledged kingdom in order to have multiple settlements.

The size of a Settlement isn't a factor of its game mechanics. It's a factor of how many people you'll need to have protect it and supply it. The more you advance the Settlement's buildings, the more protection and supply you'll need. The riper a target you become, the more you'll have to work at ensuring you keep what you've built.

RyanD


Buri wrote:
However, alignments within Pathfinder are pretty regimented (LG cannot kill an innocent as this would be CE or LE if it violates the code of the creature in question, TN can not takes sides, ever, CG can not have a bend toward the law or else they're LG, etc).

This isn't how Alignment works in the tabletop game.

What you are describing is pretty much THE most extreme, or THE most exemplar cases of each alignment.
But you don't have to be 110% exemplar of an Alignment, to have that Alignment.
The GM tracks every character's actions (and motivations, etc) and determines where they stand on the L/N/C axis and G/N/E axis. Different actions should 'push' your Alignment one way or the other, but you still have the same alignment until the net sum of 'pushes' has 'crossed a line' in terms of Alignment.
Just because water can exist in either gas vapor/liquid/solid ice doesn't mean there isn't thousands of temperature variations in between, and a given 'action' moving towards hotter/colder may or may not be enough to transition you between 1 or potentially 2 states.

Goblin Squad Member

Great blog as always, and thanks for all the clarification posts, Ryan! The more I read, the more I'm confident in your vision of the game.

Goblin Squad Member

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Quandary wrote:


I AM also curious if there is a minimum level of Hexes (above 2) to qualify for a Nation, or not.

Nope. Two is sufficient.

Quote:
If there is a hard limit on CC size, those groups are simply impossible without having SOME Settlement somewhere.

We want players to focus on the game of running Hexes, not the game of running around in Hexes.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Andius wrote:


But rather quickly we are going to be looking to establish minor outposts outside our original settlement.

Like Inns, Watchtowers or Forts.

A "Settlement" is an advanced Fort. It's not a city. The important aspect of a Settlement isn't its construction, it's the people who are members of it. You could have a Settlement that had a very low population density but a very high membership.

Quote:
From the impression I have, you need a very large number of players to establish a kingdom, but from the impression I am given here you need a full fledged kingdom in order to have multiple settlements.

The size of a Settlement isn't a factor of its game mechanics. It's a factor of how many people you'll need to have protect it and supply it. The more you advance the Settlement's buildings, the more protection and supply you'll need. The riper a target you become, the more you'll have to work at ensuring you keep what you've built.

RyanD

That does clarify a lot. So as a settlement we can have watchtowers, inns, and forts outside our main area, and establishing a settlement/kingdom is less a function of "Do you have X members?" and more "Can you defend what you have?"

If I am understanding correctly then this is a good system and I fully support it.

Goblin Squad Member

@Andius, the questions you're asking are the questions I had in mind when I asked Ryan to clarify his vision on the relative scope of Companies, Settlements, and Player Nations. Based on his replies, I think that all of us were wrong to treat Chartered Companies as replacements for Guilds.

Based on his replies, I think that both of these impressions are wrong:

Andius wrote:
From the impression I have, you need a very large number of players to establish a kingdom, but from the impression I am given here you need a full fledged kingdom in order to have multiple settlements.

First, the minimum number of characters (players?) required to start a Settlement is 10. I also don't see anything that requires there to be more than one Settlement to start a Player Nation, but even if a Player Nation does require two Settlements to start, that's just 20 characters.

Second, I don't see any reason why you'd have to have an active Player Nation in order to found several Settlements. It might make some forms of communication easier, but I don't think it will be necessary.

I get the impression that Goblinworks is not going to try to make an in-game social organization that exactly mirrors what we've come to think of as Guilds - and I don't see a problem with that. Small, casual guilds that will fit inside of a Chartered Company will probably exist. Likewise, some Guilds will form closed Settlements that are, effectively, the Guild. There might even be some Guilds that form a closed Player Nation in the same way.

However, I expect we'll see a lot of intermingling too. I imagine you'll see fairly large Guilds establish a Settlement or three and, perhaps, a number of Chartered Companies. I also imagine you'll see those Settlements be open to players outside of that Guild. If those Settlements are part of a Player Nation, I imagine most often they'll be joined in that Player Nation by Settlements that are not part of their guild.

Anyway, that's just my understanding so far.

Goblin Squad Member

And... Ryan clarified some of that while I was typing... Oh well :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Ryan Dancey wrote:
I think the issue of Neutral being 1-step away from all alignments is the error.

We have struck that part of the sentence from the blog.

Goblin Squad Member

I still see it in the blog...

Goblin Squad Member

Maybe I just needed to wait a bit... It's gone now.


Ryan Dancey wrote:

I think you misunderstand the way alignment works in the tabletop game, and it certainly won't work the way you think it does in the MMO.

Pathfinder Tabletop RPG wrote:
Alignment is a tool for developing your character's identity—it is not a straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the same alignment can still be quite different from each other. In addition, few people are completely consistent.

You won't shift alignment for one action. An alignment shift will occur gradually over time and you'll know full well that it is happening and why.

RyanD

It depends, really. If you're a paladin and you do an evil act then you can instantly lose your pally powers. The same is true if you're a cleric and do something against your god with the selection of which being dictated by alignment. So, it is a straitjacket in at least a couple ways that restrict an entire class.

Thanks for the assurance though!

Goblin Squad Member

Buri wrote:

It depends, really. If you're a paladin and you do an evil act then you can instantly lose your pally powers. The same is true if you're a cleric and do something against your god with the selection of which being dictated by alignment. So, it is a straitjacket in at least a couple ways that restrict an entire class.

Thanks for the assurance though!

That isn't so much alignment as the rules of the God or the order you follow. While relieving yourself into a keg of pristine ale because you decide all alcohol is evil may be in keeping with chaotic good, it's really going to tick of the chaotic-good god Cayden Cailean, and cause you to lose your powers if you are a cleric of him.


Andius wrote:
That isn't so much alignment as the rules of the God or the order you follow. While relieving yourself into a keg of pristine ale because you decide all alcohol is evil may be in keeping with chaotic good, it's really going to tick of the chaotic-good god Cayden Cailean, and cause you to lose your powers if you are a cleric of him.

In the case of the Paladin it is strictly alignment dictated.

Quote:
A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies).

Evil acts are fairly clearly defined in the Additional Rules chapter.

Quote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

A computer seeing these rules as this OR that OR something else matching up my behavior to the second condition will be required to execute the rest of the logic of the ex-paladin rules.

Clerics get some leeway but their domain of actions are maintained by their deity. If they violate this then they lose their cleric abilities outright.

Quote:
A cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god loses all spells and class features, except for armor and shield proficiencies and proficiency with simple weapons.

The term grossly can be interpreted by a GM to handle intent, what the character knows and doesn't know, and other factors but a game server will have no concept of something such as intent so it will be forced to kick out clerics if they kill someone while serving a pacifistic god. Any system such a series of strikes is a tad cheesy especially when you're dealing with gods and their official representatives.

My point though, is that I do get how alignment works on the tabletop version of Pathfinder. There is a disconnect though in how Ryan made an example of being ejected out of a company or town citizenship simply because your alignment changes. I've not seen this in any module and it would have outright broken several things I've seen play out in gaming sessions. They lynchpinned upon infiltration and subversion of a group for various purposes. According to the blog, if you're of x alignment and the company only allows y alignment then you CAN NOT join and uses out of game mechanics to force in-game behavior. This is a huge breakage of verisimilitude. This is not how it generally works in the tabletop and is a point of caution. It forces players to play a certain way "or else."

Ryan's statement about that being fun is also something that raises an alarm as these are those gray areas where I've seen game developers forcing their version of fun is on to us rather than letting us explore our own concepts of what fun is in the environment they made. By extension, this is a symptom of the problem whereby developers are trying desperately to be able to mix business with software to dictate things to such a degree that games are nearing 100% formula (list of x game features = y profit per player in z demographic, for example). Thus, they forsake the soul of what a game is: fun even when an element may not be intended to be fun or the virtue of a lack of elements is also fun. This is the spirit of my concern.

There are probably a dozen or more small reasons why I immensely enjoy games like Skyrim that are not mentioned anywhere in Bethesda's game design document. The same can be said about most other RPGs including tabletop Pathfinder. My example of Diablo 3 is an example where developers have gotten involved into the minutia of their product post-release in the same spirit of them declaring what is and is not fun rather than simply being content with players utilizing the tools they've been presented with. They've taken it so far so as to set mechanical in-game limits flat out stopping certain behaviors or issuing bans to the game altogether. This has had a negative impact on several players including myself and is something I don't want to see happen to Pathfinder Online.

Goblin Squad Member

Buri wrote:
There is a disconnect though in how Ryan made an example of being ejected out of a company or town citizenship simply because your alignment changes. I've not seen this in any module and it would have outright broken several things I've seen play out in gaming sessions. They lynchpinned upon infiltration and subversion of a group for various purposes. According to the blog, if you're of x alignment and the company only allows y alignment then you CAN NOT join and uses out of game mechanics to force in-game behavior. This is a huge breakage of verisimilitude. This is not how it generally works in the tabletop and is a point of caution. It forces players to play a certain way "or else."

Sorry, I don't see it as a problem. It's like we're sitting down for the gaming session and the GM tells us:

"Ok, I'm going to be enforcing strict rules regarding alignment. This mixed party of LG and CE is frankly stupid. If the evils never do anything that offends the goods, then they are hardly evil. If the good guys keep turning a blind eye to evil acts when their friends do it, well, they aren't good. So here are the rules: I'll let you know when your action or inaction will cause your alignment to move and you'll get 2 or 3 out-of-alignment acts before I change your alignment, even the paladin. So you best be sure those acts are worth it."

We can all choose to play thru the session with the GM or not. It isn't 100% by PFRPG rules, but not every game is. And GW has been clear that being true to the setting is important, but they won't follow the PF rules 100%.

Goblin Squad Member

Until we have more details on the alignment system, I would not flat out assume that class alignment restrictions will exist. It might, in which case it will absolutely have to be easy to earn back in the event that one drifts, just as it should not be particularly difficult to work ones way back to the alignment and rejoin the settlement if they are booted from it.

Why I say it has to be done that way, is because all alignment systems will be gamed. By both the players, and by their opponents. The opponents is one of the things that can be feared the worse, IE people intentionally setting a paladin up so that in order to protect something important, he has to cut through someone who as far as the system can tell, hasn't provoked or harmed anyone...

So the main things I would say, no single action can be viewed as large enough to fall from any class, and there does need to be either warnings, and/or an easy track back when one is shifted off alignment. I can't find the image, but there was an old picture of a guy wearing armor made out of baby's strapped to him from the neck down, with the caption, paladin proof armor. Obviously that specific situation there isn't right, but there are cases where a paladin could be thrown into a situation where he is forced to kill a few innocents, to save even more innocents, etc...

A DM would judge the intent and the whole picture, a software program could not always take the entire situation into account.


Re: infiltration

To infiltrate a group, you need an alias. I can't think of a more perfect alias than an alt.

Re: series of strikes to change alignment

I don't see how else it could be done. There is either a gradual change as Ryan described, where you know exactly how and why your alignment is being affected, or a sudden total alignment change which carries a high probability of being unexpected and giving the player a sense of having been screwed by the game.

Goblin Squad Member

I get the feeling that the creation of a settlement is more about a group of like-minded people (guilds, companies etc) who want to hang out and work together, rather than creating a dynamic community (villiage, town etc). I'm not saying this approach is wrong, but it is different from how some of us imagined how this system will work. The proposed system will force the creation of a lot more initial settlements, as we won't be able to all live together.

My only real concern is how strict it will be to enter a non-aligned settlement if you want to trade, craft, rest or something similiar. If access is restricted then it could make it a challenge for merchants or craftsment who have a less clients that can buy their wares.


Urman wrote:

Sorry, I don't see it as a problem. It's like we're sitting down for the gaming session and the GM tells us:

"Ok, I'm going to be enforcing strict rules regarding alignment. This mixed party of LG and CE is frankly stupid. If the evils never do anything that offends the goods, then they are hardly evil. If the good guys keep turning a blind eye to evil acts when their friends do it, well, they aren't good. So here are the rules: I'll let you know when your action or inaction will cause your alignment to move and you'll get 2 or 3 out-of-alignment acts before I change your alignment, even the paladin. So you best be sure those acts are worth it."

We can all choose to play thru the session with the GM or not. It isn't 100% by PFRPG rules, but not every game is. And GW has been clear that being true to the setting is important, but they won't follow the PF rules 100%.

That is fine. However, to me, at least, what you described is entirely different from being auto-ejected from a settlement, city, guild, etc simply because and instantly upon your alignment changing. This is entirely different from the pretext most campaigns have where random adventurers meet up to take on a common enemy. What I'm talking about are the permanent settlements.

At the tables I've played, you'd have to be reported to the town guard, be witnessed doing something treasonous against the corporation or guild, etc in order for your character to have repercussions.

That said, even if there were witnesses and you were able to persuade/slay them before they could report you then still nothing happens to you. It's not the ejection itself I have issue with, it's the automatic part SIMPLY BECAUSE of your alignment and nothing else. This subverts any gray areas your companions may be okay with, any personal plots involving subversion, prevents evil characters from "laying low" as they'll pretty much be game-restricted to evil-only cities, etc. There's just tons of potential story and interesting moments removed by making alignments so strict.

Ravening wrote:
I get the feeling that the creation of a settlement is more about a group of like-minded people (guilds, companies etc) who want to hang out and work together, rather than creating a dynamic community (villiage, town etc). I'm not saying this approach is wrong, but it is different from how some of us imagined how this system will work. The proposed system will force the creation of a lot more initial settlements, as we won't be able to all live together.

I'll admit this was my perception as well. A settlement would consist of fairly common people yet loosely associated who come together for common interests such as commerce and defense instead of a close-knit group laying claim to a square phalanx-style.

Ravening wrote:
My only real concern is how strict it will be to enter a non-aligned settlement if you want to trade, craft, rest or something similiar. If access is restricted then it could make it a challenge for merchants or craftsment who have a less clients that can buy their wares.

I don't think interacting with settlements will be so much of a concern but my perception is that you won't be able to be a bonafide member unless you fit squarely within their alignment selections.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Buri wrote:
Elements such as alignments are not present in Eve so I can understand why you don't want to do a nuanced system. Perhaps, you don't see the necessity or the point. Even the security rating allowed a lot of nuance into exactly what was allowed. However, alignments within Pathfinder are pretty regimented (LG cannot kill an innocent as this would be CE or LE if it violates the code of the creature in question, TN can not takes sides, ever, CG can not have a bend toward the law or else they're LG, etc).

I think you misunderstand the way alignment works in the tabletop game, and it certainly won't work the way you think it does in the MMO.

Pathfinder Tabletop RPG wrote:
Alignment is a tool for developing your character's identity—it is not a straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the same alignment can still be quite different from each other. In addition, few people are completely consistent.

You won't shift alignment for one action. An alignment shift will occur gradually over time and you'll know full well that it is happening and why.

RyanD

I love the sound of that. What I hope you guys are also accounting for are those types who think they can slaughter an innocent today and then do an equivalent good deed that teeters the scale back to "neutral" so that they can slaughter another innocent on the third day.

That's not maintaining a philosophical alignment balance, that's just meta gaming the system. I'd hope the system monitors if little johnny happens to kill an innocent on the 5th of every month or any other consistent pattern but then goes on a Demon slaughter binge that he isn't just a bad shot trying to atone.

Label him NE or CE and let him own it.


Urman wrote:
"Ok, I'm going to be enforcing strict rules regarding alignment. This mixed party of LG and CE is frankly stupid. If the evils never do anything that offends the goods, then they are hardly evil. If the good guys keep turning a blind eye to evil acts when their friends do it, well, they aren't good. So here are the rules: I'll let you know when your action or inaction will cause your alignment to move and you'll get 2 or 3 out-of-alignment acts before I change your alignment, even the paladin. So you best be sure those acts are worth it."

You seem not to like this method, but honestly that is how I wish it worked and hope is how it will work online. Your example is really the only way people of severely differing alignments can work together at all, and exemplifies well how that interaction can instigate changes in someone's alignment. I might call that the most meaningful type of human interaction.

Ravening wrote:
I get the feeling that the creation of a settlement is more about a group of like-minded people (guilds, companies etc) who want to hang out and work together, rather than creating a dynamic community

Likewise, I anticipated a more diverse setting as being the norm. A "Deadwood" atmosphere, all kinds thrown in the mix. Stir it up and see what happens. Admittedly, that anticipation was part of my misgivings about the game. But I was slowly coming around, and now that it doesn't seem to be the case, I find I miss it. But I'm still not sure whether it would be good or bad for the game.

Goblin Squad Member

Quick question: Will some classes be slotting into pre-selected alignments?

Goblin Works Blog wrote:



  • Barbarians
  • Bards
  • Clerics
  • Druids
  • Fighters
  • Monks
  • Paladins
  • Rangers
  • Rogues
  • Sorcerers
  • Wizards

EG: Will a paladin or cleric be intended to be LG vs other classes closer to Chaotic eg Ranger?? Or is it purely volitional/independent of class chosen?

Goblin Squad Member

Looking further over posts, the more I am starting to interpret GW's definition of law/chaos, seeming to reflect their likelyness to follow contracts

blog wrote:


Violating the terms of contracts is a fundamentally chaotic act. Doing so repeatedly will have effects on character's alignments. Alignments have meaningful consequences that affect the way characters interact with the world and the way the world interacts with them. The availability of some services, especially those related to the intervention of divine beings, will be keyed to alignment. And you can expect that players will form opinions of who your character is and based on alignment. Someone who has become chaotic evil is going to have a hard time hiring others to perform various tasks, and that character is likely to find it hard to get work from those who need a reliable and trustworthy hireling.

Every time I see something like killing, I see that tend to fall towards shifts towards evil, things like contracts always seem to emphasize chaotic. I could be way wrong on this, but until GW gives a more solid definition, CG is looking like someone likely to bail on a contract, but unlikely to kill you. (admitted I have very few data points to work with, so this is just a very lightly educated guess).

Goblin Squad Member

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Buri wrote:

The term grossly can be interpreted by a GM to handle intent, what the character knows and doesn't know, and other factors but a game server will have no concept of something such as intent so it will be forced to kick out clerics if they kill someone while serving a pacifistic god. Any system such a series of strikes is a tad cheesy especially when you're dealing with gods and their official representatives.

My point though, is that I do get how alignment works on the tabletop version of Pathfinder. There is a disconnect though in how Ryan made an example of being ejected out of a company or town citizenship simply because your alignment changes. I've not seen this in any module and it would have outright broken several things I've seen play out in gaming sessions. They lynchpinned upon infiltration and subversion of a group for various purposes. According to the blog, if you're of x alignment and the company only allows y alignment then you CAN NOT join and uses out of game mechanics to force in-game behavior. This is a huge breakage of verisimilitude. This is not how it generally works in the tabletop and is a point of caution. It forces players to play a certain way "or else."

Ryan's statement about that being fun is also something that raises an alarm as these are those gray areas where I've seen game developers forcing their version of fun is on to us rather than letting us explore our own concepts of what fun is in the environment they made. By extension, this is a symptom of the problem whereby developers are trying desperately to be able to mix business with software to dictate things to such a degree that games are nearing 100% formula (list of x game features = y profit per player in z demographic, for example). Thus, they forsake the soul of what a game is: fun even when an element may not be intended to be fun or the virtue of a lack of elements is also fun. This is the spirit of my concern.

There are probably a dozen or more small reasons why I immensely enjoy games like Skyrim that are not mentioned anywhere in Bethesda's game design document. The same can be said about most other RPGs including tabletop Pathfinder. My example of Diablo 3 is an example where developers have gotten involved into the minutia of their product post-release in the same spirit of them declaring what is and is not fun rather than simply being content with players utilizing the tools they've been presented with. They've taken it so far so as to set mechanical in-game limits flat out stopping certain behaviors or issuing bans to the game altogether. This has had a negative impact on several players including myself and is something I don't want to see happen to Pathfinder Online.

Two things. Nothing binds GW to follow the example set by the tabletop. I would rather debate this issue from an angle of which is better for Pathfinder Online, then which more strictly adheres to the tabletop rules.

Second off I'm tired of seeing the majority of player run organizations allow both good and evil players and thus getting the benefit of having both types among them. While there are some organizations in lore that do allow both good and evil players allowing it in-game means it will become the standard company format, and all but the most strict roleplayers willing to nerf themselves for the sake for roleplay will become mixed organisations. Forcing players to pick an alignment eliminates this and will allow GW to allow and disallow certain features to companies of certain alignments. Also, let me add that a company would quite frankly have to be idiots to let in someone of an opposing alignment if all opposing alignment players do is spy on them.

That being said I would not be opposed to seeing companies that have no alignment restriction. But companies with restriction should have available to them certain benefits not available to companies without them and/or should take some form of penalty. As long as the bonus/penalties are strong enough to avoid 90%+ of the game's companies falling into the same boring old "We accept anyone" type format they do in most games with no restrictions.

Personally I would like to see this anyway. As neutral good GL has much broader access to a wider range of players than a company that is lawful good or chaotic good. These more narrow and specific company alignments should get some advantages we don't have because of that. Otherwise we quite simply may never see a successful lawful-good company.

I consider my access to any good or neutral aligned character a bonus which should be offset by something.

Goblin Squad Member

Hudax wrote:
Urman wrote:
"Ok, I'm going to be enforcing strict rules regarding alignment. This mixed party of LG and CE is frankly stupid. If the evils never do anything that offends the goods, then they are hardly evil. If the good guys keep turning a blind eye to evil acts when their friends do it, well, they aren't good. So here are the rules: I'll let you know when your action or inaction will cause your alignment to move and you'll get 2 or 3 out-of-alignment acts before I change your alignment, even the paladin. So you best be sure those acts are worth it."
You seem not to like this method, but honestly that is how I wish it worked and hope is how it will work online.

No, I'm 100% fine with this method. I think alignment is supposed to be a representation of a character's moral code or convictions or philosophy or all mixed together. I think a lot of people pick alignments for in-game advantage or purpose; when I was younger I did the same. Now I'd prefer a strict enforcement.

Buri wrote:
There's just tons of potential story and interesting moments removed by making alignments so strict.

I partially agree with you. The game is being transferred from a tabletop game, closely moderated by a human GM, into an MMO with the required computer/algorithm moderation. So some potential stories will be lost, but there will be all sorts of other stories created by a lot of people bumping into each other - and the computer is needed to balance those stories.

As for the summary ejection for changed alignment. The character's alignment won't change overnight. If it is a representation of how the character really thinks and feels, then alignment must be presumed to be changing *before* whatever action tips the character into the new alignment. The character is kicking dogs and cursing at children long before he snaps and kills that person. And yes, his mates and the other villagers notice all these little transgressions that aren't worth role-playing. By the time the alignment actually changes the relationship between the character and his settlement is pretty worn. That's what I see behind "summary" ejection. It isn't summary at all, it's been building for some time.

(And it goes both ways - it could be the settlement kicking the character out or the character walking away from the settlement. He no longer fits there.)


Andius wrote:
Two things. Nothing binds GW to follow the example set by the tabletop. I would rather debate this issue from an angle of which is better for Pathfinder Online, then which more strictly adheres to the tabletop rules.

Which, to be honest, is what makes me a bit dubious about Ryan's rule quote from the PRD. It's a tad disingenuous to do things like that to reassure people how it's going to be while stating flatly that they're not looking to conform to the tabletop in the MMO.

Andius wrote:
Second off I'm tired of seeing the majority of player run organizations allow both good and evil players and thus getting the benefit of having both types among them. While there are some organizations in lore that do allow both good and evil players allowing it in-game means it will become the standard company format, and all but the most strict roleplayers willing to nerf themselves for the sake for roleplay will become mixed organisations. Forcing players to pick an alignment eliminates this and will allow GW to allow and disallow certain features to companies of certain alignments. Also, let me add that a company would quite frankly have to be idiots to let in someone of an opposing alignment if all opposing alignment players do is spy on them.

I agree with you about forming a company with mixed alignments. Those who are intended to be there should at least have similar goals and alignment is one way to tackle that. I'm talking about somehow joining an org, a spy is a good example, for a time, as someone who was not originally intended to join it aka infiltration.

Andius wrote:
That being said I would not be opposed to seeing companies that have no alignment restriction. But companies with restriction should have available to them certain benefits not available to companies without them and/or should take some form of penalty. As long as the bonus/penalties are strong enough to avoid 90%+ of the game's companies falling into the same boring old "We accept anyone" type format they do in most games with no restrictions.

I'm sure it won't all translate, but from what I've seen from these boards, which will actually be the first pool of players insofar as I understand things, people WILL do this: "gimp" themselves to preserve their roleplay experience. Going forward once/if the MMO outgrows the tabletop fanbase, I see what you're saying and I agree. Though, to parallel with Eve, all you get is security rating. That tells you nothing about a characters intentions. You have to work the social aspect to know what that character is all about. You have a couple OOG APIs to give you a glimpse into their history, if they allow it. Alignment in Pathfinder is much more specific than security rating in Eve and fairly specifically tells you how someone will act.

Andius wrote:

Personally I would like to see this anyway. As neutral good GL has much broader access to a wider range of players than a company that is lawful good or chaotic good. These more narrow and specific company alignments should get some advantages we don't have because of that. Otherwise we quite simply may never see a successful lawful-good company.

I consider my access to any good or neutral aligned character a bonus which should be offset by something.

Can you give any examples or more detail about what you'd like to see?

Goblin Squad Member

I'm honestly pretty skeptical about the role of the Alignment system in game as described so far.

I think anyone who is expecting an automated system to somehow be an accurate predictor of a players/characters real behavior are setting themselves up to be SORELY disappointed. Automated systems just aren't that smart/sophisticated. Players will EASLY figure out ways to game them to get the results that they want out of them....and worse, figure out ways to game them to push other players into results that they don't want.

You'll end up with LG characters who are completely untrustworthy because they've figured out ways to screw over other players that the system doesn't detect...and ways to shift thier alignment back to where they want it to be to compensate for when they do get shifted by the system.

You'll end up with CE characters who are the souls of honor and trustworthiness but got manipulated into doing actions that the system technicaly interprets as an alignment shift, even if that doesn't match the intent or spirit of what they did.

You'll end up with characters who truely do have compatable philosophies or worldviews that end up NOT being able to associate or interact with each other in the ways that they should or want because of mechanical technicalities in the arbitrary rules of the system.

At BEST you are going to end up with a system that is nothing more then an annoyance to players and which players routienely find ways to manipulate to get the results they want and do thier best to ignore otherwise.

I get that people want an Alignment system to be meaningfull, I do too. This is actualy the REVERSE of how to get there.

No alignment system is going to adequitely subsitute for human intelligence in judging another characters behavior, reputation or trustwothiness...or how it should relate to one another....at best it's a no op.

No system of arbitrarly enforced rules is going to be able to effectively control human player interaction in a game and sort those players into neatlty labeled boxes.... and in a sandbox game trying to do so actualy defeats a great deal of the fun and strengths of that sort of game....namely PLAYER CREATIVITY.

Leave Alignment to what it properly should be... a ROLE-PLAYING choice. If you divorce it from other mechanical implications....most players will actualy play thier characters alignment appropriately....because there is absolutely no incentive to do otherwise....and those who have no interest in doing so will just ignore it, but they would just manipulate the system to achieve the same result they wanted anyway, otherwise.

In general I really respect what GW is trying to do with PFO, but I just can't see any way this particular mechanism is going to end well.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:
You'll end up with CE characters who are the souls of honor and trustworthiness but got manipulated into doing actions that the system technicaly interprets as an alignment shift, even if that doesn't match the intent or spirit of what they did.

If it takes several significant actions to move your alignment (let's say 3, for argument), then that soul of honor and trustworthiness just happened to be manipulated 12 times in a row to have his honor shifted from LG to CE? And he was powerless to do anything at all, to take any action to reverse his slide into moral bankruptcy? Sorry, I can't buy that scenario.

That said, I think that GW has quite a challenge to make this system work. What alignments represent in their system may mean something slightly different that in a PF tabletop game, but once we understand what alignments represent in PFO I think that it will work.


Urman wrote:
If it takes several significant actions to move your alignment (let's say 3, for argument), then that soul of honor and trustworthiness just happened to be manipulated 12 times in a row to have his honor shifted from LG to CE? And he was powerless to do anything at all, to take any action to reverse his slide into moral bankruptcy? Sorry, I can't buy that scenario.

According to tabletop rules, if a player comes to reasonably believe a town or even a few individuals are actively promoting/aiding/etc demons/evil/etc and kills a few then that'd be enough for them shift into evil. He's no less righteous than before. Rather, he was simply lied to.

Goblin Squad Member

Urman wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
You'll end up with CE characters who are the souls of honor and trustworthiness but got manipulated into doing actions that the system technicaly interprets as an alignment shift, even if that doesn't match the intent or spirit of what they did.

If it takes several significant actions to move your alignment (let's say 3, for argument), then that soul of honor and trustworthiness just happened to be manipulated 12 times in a row to have his honor shifted from LG to CE? And he was powerless to do anything at all, to take any action to reverse his slide into moral bankruptcy? Sorry, I can't buy that scenario.

That said, I think that GW has quite a challenge to make this system work. What alignments represent in their system may mean something slightly different that in a PF tabletop game, but once we understand what alignments represent in PFO I think that it will work.

I think you are really underestimating the degree to which people can manipulate automated systems. Set up right, 12 discrete shifts could be the result of a single button click in the wrong situation. It's also entirely possible for the "harrasser/bad guy" to set themselves up where they look "innocent/LG" to the system and the only recourse the character has to react is to do something the system interprets as an "Evil" act....So the character has the choice of either repeatedly being victemized and ignoring it/putting up with it.....or fighting back and getting labeled "Evil" because the system isn't sophisticated enough to pick up whats really going on..... generaly speaking, most people will pick the latter...either that or get fed up and leave the game....often times both. I've witnessed it first hand more times then I can shake a stick at.

Goblin Squad Member

@GrumpyMel, yeah, was writing this up as you wrote yours. There does need to be a way to have visibility on such manipulation.

As far as alignment goes, it seems that alignment in PFO will be fairly public. It might not be visible, but the alignment of settlements and companies will be known and a player's current/apparent alignment is within a step of the organizations he belongs to.

What I would like to see is something along these lines: the game could keep count of a character's actions that influence alignment, over the character's playing time. When alignment detection spells are cast, they could reveal the current counts for each alignment. Players might be able to always check their own count.

So two newish characters might be "Neutral Good". One might have 6 NG acts, 1 LG act, 1 LN act, 1 CN act. The second might have 3 NG acts, 12 LG acts, and 12 CE acts. Both might have a net NG alignment, but there's something fishy about that guy with a lot of evil acts with enough good acts to cover it up.

Players who stay within alignment over a long time would build up a serious bank of alignment ticks that would demonstrate how they have played the character.

Goblin Squad Member

Buri wrote:
I'm sure it won't all translate, but from what I've seen from these boards, which will actually be the first pool of players insofar as I understand things, people WILL do this: "gimp" themselves to preserve their roleplay experience.

I think that this game will have a larger roleplay community than usual as well but first off, I don't think it will be the majority but rather a larger minority than usual if meta-gaming gives similar rewards as it does in other MMOs.

Second off I don't think anyone should have to gimp themselves to follow a logical role. I would rather see incentive to RP. Obviously they can't fit in everyone's roles but we know there are going to be good an evil player factions. Lawful and chaotic player factions. We know some player-factions may want to disallow certain classes or races from joining their companies. We should penalize those companies as little as possible, or in the case of alignment reward them.

Buri wrote:
Can you give any examples or more detail about what you'd like to see?

It's hard to give good examples knowing as little as we do but I'll throw out a few suggestions. More positive reactions from certain NPCs that share the companies alignment. Reduced upkeep or cost for certain assets and actions that can be related to alignment. If there are NPC guards of different types you might make it so a neutral good faction has access to paladins and freedom fighters but only a lawful good or chaotic good faction has access to elite paladins and elite freedom fighters.

Basically the bonuses should make sense based of of the player-factions RP. I would tend to avoid giving direct bonuses to players and focus more on company assets and NPC interactions.


Ravening wrote:
My only real concern is how strict it will be to enter a non-aligned settlement if you want to trade, craft, rest or something similiar. If access is restricted then it could make it a challenge for merchants or craftsment who have a less clients that can buy their wares.

Well Ryan pretty much directly stated that this is up to how each Settlement wants to run things. If they want to kill Non-Citizens on sight, they can. If they want to kill people wearing red clothing on sight, they can. Or they can allow them in, that's their choice.

Since the Blogs have made a point of NPC towns persecuting CRIMINALS who are within their territory, it kind of implicitly means you can move and function within their territory just fine if you aren't a CRIMINAL... If they persecuted all non-citizens, the distinction of how they treat criminals would be irrelevant.

------------------------

Personally, I'm baffled why Ryan feels it is so necessary to 'promote' land-ownership to the point that that large groups who don't own land are barred by the game. Of course, that just means such groups would function only by organizing out of game, and using small CC's to operate, making their presence less transparent to those not in their group... Or else you are just 'forced' to own and defend ONE hex which you only really care about just because the group entity is dissolved if you lose that hex, NOT because you actually care about the infrastructure in that hex.

Personally, the whole concept of 'sandbox' to me means that you can play how you want... Land-owning has it's benefits of course, but if you find a way to operate your group without owning land then that's just as legitimate approach as owning land. Rather than EVERYBODY in the game playing a 'territorial defense' game, some groups being more dynamic (while 100% dependent on trading services with land-owners for stuff that you can only get from owning land) seems more interesting... And of course, at some point such groups may be motivated to take over some hexes themselves.

I also like the idea that a Settlement/Nation could be wiped out, but still persist as an entity, potentially regrouping to take back their territory, or moving on either to new territory, or to a land-less existence.

Goblin Squad Member

Quandary wrote:
Personally, I'm baffled why Ryan feels it is so necessary to 'promote' land-ownership to the point that that large groups who don't own land are barred by the game.

Hold on. Do we actually have confirmation on the limitation of a size of a chartered company?

As far as I understood things you could have a 300 man (Or any number) chartered company if you don't want to control a settlement.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

There's already a major organization in lore that allows members from all alignments: The Pathfinder Society.

Ryan, would the PFS be incorporated as a CC, settlement, kingdom, alliance, something else, or not recognized by the rules you are describing?

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