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Misapplied QFP Boons, and other Illegal Aspects Noticed as a Player


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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*****

Hey everyone,

So at Gencon, I played and GMed at a whole bunch of great tables. Great players, great GMs. But there was one thing I noticed a few times. Other characters were sometimes blatantly illegal, even without an audit. However, every time I came across these characters, it was when I was a player.

One thing that two players were doing (which is statistically significant out of 9 games at Gencon) was misapplying the QFP boon:

QFP:
They were taking the axebeak right out of the Bestiary 3 as a mount for characters who didn't have a class feature companion of any kind.

We probably need better wording on the boon, since I'm assuming there was no malice and that players just honestly thought they could get a normal axebeak if they didn't have the class feature, even though the wording, though circuitous, seems to me to leave no leeway on the matter.

Another character, for example, had a paladin with a Chaotic Good patron. It wasn't just a new player picking a deity at random without knowing about the deity--the player was a good roleplayer and correctly roleplayed all aspects of said CG deity.

These were also mostly characters more than halfway to retirement levels. They played through over 20 scenarios without anyone noticing. And it's not like it required an audit--these were blatantly announced salient facts about the characters.

So what is another player's place when you see something like that? As a GM, I'm not in favor of lengthy audits slowing down the game, but since these problems were evident without, I let the players know, such that the GMs also heard. The players shrugged and ignored this, and the GMs also didn't care to enforce it in any way. All these games were fun, and the players and GMs were otherwise great. Was there something else I should have done? I figured that as a player, I had done my due diligence, and it would have been too much to pursue it any further (and also I just felt like doing any more as a fellow player would be a dick move, since these were nice people and good players other than that).

What do you do in these situations, if they ever happen to you? As a side question, how can we fix the QFP Boon to make it more obvious which characters can use it. I hadn't even considered the possibility that this many people would misread it the way I mentioned in the spoiler above.

***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Red-Assassin

I am not sure, the exact rules on that boon. Even after re-reading it. I also think the boon should limit them to a single axe beak. I try to use the handle animal skill when i see a player using one. I have not and do not plan on running that series. I have killed several axe beaks with zero remorse.

Cheliax **** Venture-Captain, Virginia—Richmond

On the QFP boon, I admit I read it as being able to buy an Axebeak (which made my sorceress kinda giddy) at first glance. Then when I went to look up what it would cost me, I read the boon again and caught the class feature bit. Only suggestion I'd have to improve it would be to blatantly put at the end that "This does not make an Axebeak available for general purchase" or something like that. I don't really see it as necessary.

On the larger issue, I think the answer is the same if you're noticing it from a player perspective as if you're noticing it from the GM side. Call the issue to the attention of the Event Coordinator/local VO/Mr. Brock (preferably the first two) and they should handle the matter. Honestly the issues you mentioned seem like things that could be rather easily and uncontroversially fixed so they shouldn't be a big deal. Alternative with such minor things would be to nicely point it out to the player since they're not things worth causing a scene over IMO.

*

I will note that I play a Paladin of Pharasma in PFS, and I am courteous enough to do this at a table:

"Hi, I have a Paladin of Pharasma. Paladins do not have the block of text saying they have to follow a deity within one alignment step of theirs in the class description, and when I made the character, this was an undefined area. It is also a large part of why she adventures, and it drives a lot of her roleplaying in fun and interesting ways.

It is also, technically, not permitted since the Inner Sea World Guide was published, because that defines, specifically, which deities empower Paladins on Golarion.

I would like to play the character as I have, because she's fun to play and thought provoking, and it makes no mechanical difference. I can also swap her out with another character who's within tier, if that's a problem for you or anyone else at the table, or I can play her as a Paladin and not mention which deity she follows.

I will abide by whatever you suggest."

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Well, your option at that point is either to do nothing, or to report the GM to the event coordinator or your local VO for knowingly permitting an illegal character to participate in PFS play. It's been made pretty clear that RAW is seen as an important criterion for ensuring fairness across the whole PFSOP environment, and illegal characters are about as unarguable a RAW violation as you could find.

I'm not sure what the appropriate action should be, though. Given how newly-illegal character options are being treated, perhaps unwittingly illegal characters should be allowed a rebuild from the point that the illegal decision was taken. That's only for characters that are still illegal, of course. My first PFS character was, as it turns out, illegal for a few scenarios near the start of his career.

Character History Details:
I started off by playing a dwarf gunslinger through Quest for Perfection. Just before Part III the GM suggested that since I had sufficient funds (we played up for Part II) I would be well served by purchasing a musket. I later discovered that this wasn't an option available to me at that time - Firearms aren't on the 'always available' list, and I didn't have sufficient Fame to be able to purchase a 1500GP item. By the time I found this out, though, I had more than enough Fame, so a retroactive rebuild wouldn't change anything.

I'm not sure what I would do in your shoes. I'd probably let the QFP boon thing slide - it's unlikely that it would have made all that much difference to the end results of most scenarios (for a variety of reasons), so all it was doing was occasionally adding a little colour.
Edit: I'd make it clear, though, that I'd expect to see it corrected the next time I saw that character, or it would be reported.

The paladin with a CG deity, though, I find more troubling. The paladin gets abilities in exchange for trade-offs, one of which is the difficulty of playing a character within the limitations of the paladins' code. I'd think that an atonement might be called for as well as a retroactive rebuild. I probably would report that one immediately (and punt the decision on the necessary correction up the chain).

Osirion

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While I appreciate that players occaisionally make errors out of simply not knowing, I can't imagine that a GM in my area would nod and simply allow a character to continue playing a character with something (anything!) that they knew to be disallowed. Especially if a player actually drew their attention to it, and said - essentially - " ...look, I know that this is illegal, but, will you let me play it anyway?" What I would suggest is correcting it, because you know it's illegal, and not simply "saying" it's something else, and going back to playing the illegal rule when you're at a new table.

To the original poster, while it's probably not kosher with most people for a player to call for an audit, I would agree that mentioning it in no uncertain terms to the GM, with the player present, is a fairly good idea. If both GM and player choose to ignore it, I would definitely bring it to the attention of the event organizer. Barring that, the Venture Captain. Barring that, Mike Brock. And I would bring attention to the PFS# or names of GMs who've allowed it to continue, and definitely mention that to the organizer/VC/Brock.

Yeah, I know that no one likes a whistle blower ... but, if people are being allowed to simply pretend that rules aren't there, we might as well allow a whole lot of other things, as well.

*

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That boon is really confusing. Now that I go back and look at it again, I see your point. I would let that slide with an explanation on how the boon actually works, since I myself was under the impression that it works the other way. This sort of rules error is an unfortunate side effect of the fact that

The paladin that you see as illegal is a different issue. You need to absolutely let that slide. As you said it was a good roleplayer effectively playing their chosen character concept. To me it is axiomatic that a DM never interferes with someone's character concept or says "your character concept is wrong", the DM's job being to facilitate the players having fun interacting as their characters. I know that PFS is unusually restrictive about fluff even compared with other OP campaigns, but it kind of boggles my mind the level of fluff policing that is going on here.

On the other hand, as AdAstraGames pointed out, a player with an especially creative character that pushes the envelope needs to ask the DM with the understanding that the character may not be able to play at every table. If the DM objects to your character there is not much you can do besides pull out another, or skip the game if you had your heart set on playing a particular scenario with a particular character.

Kristoph, a player calling for an audit on another player's character is out of line for fluff you do not like, especially if mentioned in "no uncertain terms". If there is a mechanical problem, you can mention it politely, but "no uncertain terms" sounds an awful lot like accusing the player of something, which is not ok at the table. Also what is all this nonsense about reporting people's PFS#'s to Mike and the VO's. Do you really need to implicitly threaten other gamers at the table? Seriously?

*****

Saint Caleth wrote:
I know that PFS is unusually restrictive about fluff even compared with other OP campaigns, but it kind of boggles my mind the willingness lots of people have to tattle and run things up the chain of command for things that are fluff and not even actual rules mistakes.

The Guide to Organized Play does specifically call out that any worshipper of a deity must be within one alignment step of their deity:

GtOP wrote:
Characters...must always be within one alignment step of their chosen deity.

and paladins must be Lawful Good:

PRD wrote:
A paladin must be of lawful good alignment

So by those two rules quotes, it's actually a rules mistake as far as PFS is concerned.

*

Paladins don't mechanically need a deity though to grant them their divine abilities like clerics and inquisitors do. I would still let it slide, especially if the character is well RP'd.

Would it make you happier if they just play a paladin, don't mention any deity and just RP a concern with the portfolio of the CG deity that they want to base their character around? I find it to be a meaningless distinction between that and just letting the player have fun.

Qadira **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Amsterdam aka Seraphimpunk

one boon i totally don't get is the golden serpent one. I don't see how it can be taken as a familiar in PFS , since your alignment and your familiar's have to match.

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

The rules are clear - paladins must be Lawful Good. You can't really be a follower of a Chaotic Good deity while staying Lawful Good.

James Jacobs pretty much confirms that here

*

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As mentioned - I play a Paladin who, because the rules closed it off, is technically no longer "legal". This was legal until ISWG definitively stated which deities did and did not have Paladins.

She is, however, Lawful Good. She is Lawful Good down to her very bones - she managed to make it almost to 5th level before she dropped a non-animal, undead or outsider opponent to -CON and could NOT use a wand of Cure Light Wounds to stabilize them and save their life.

She takes prisoners. She turns them over to the duly constituted authorities. She particularly hunts undead with a vengeance. She is a worshipper of Pharasma. If it is someone's fate to be sent to Her Lady of the Boneyard, so be it...but if it is within Agda's not inconsiderable abilities to prevent this, she will endeavor to do so, because if she can prevent it, then clearly, that person is not yet called by Pharasma...and perhaps, their brush with fate will cause them to change their behaviors and seek out a life in better service to their communities.

Now, she could just as easily be a Paladin of a theosophrastic concept. Paladins are not actually required, mechanically, to have a deity...

But I go out of my way to tell convention GMs "this is technically illegal, I get no mechanical benefit from it, I do play it, and I do try to make it fun for other people. If you're uncomfortable, I'll play another character in tier, or I'll downplay her religious affiliation."

I have never had a GM say anything other than "Hey, wow, you actually put a lot of thought into how your character fits into Golarion, and made an interesting and consistent philosophy to play by. That sounds like it'll be fun."

Cheliax *

I think I'd do exactly what you did, Rogue Eidolon: Point these issues out politely, but leave it to the GM to intervene. If they don't, that's their call from a time perspective. As long as the player isn't using this option to infringe on my or others' enjoyment of the game, that's alright.

I might pull the GM aside post game and ask, or if it were my local game day, bring the issue to the VC/VL's attention (as mine has one or the other in attendance fairly often).

Honestly, I feel like the Paladin issue needs to be spelled with great specificity in the next incarnation of the Guide to Organized Play. This issue comes up with alarming regularity.

*

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Paladin of a concept, I didn't even think of that. Nice catch AdAstraGames.

Why can we not shift to a paradigm of finding ways to let players make the characters they want instead of scouring the forums for reasons to not let people do things?


Seraphimpunk wrote:
one boon i totally don't get is the golden serpent one. I don't see how it can be taken as a familiar in PFS , since your alignment and your familiar's have to match.

It's Lawful Neutral, which is totally legal. And not sure what happened with that or whatever, but on Improved Familiar, it says you must be within one step of your familiar both lawful/chaos and good/evil. (IE a Lawful Good can choose a Neutral, Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Lawful Neutral familiar, but not a Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, or any Evil alignment.)

Sczarni **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Seraphimpunk wrote:
one boon i totally don't get is the golden serpent one. I don't see how it can be taken as a familiar in PFS , since your alignment and your familiar's have to match.

You can be within one step on each alignment axis for a familiar.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Marthian

*

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I suspect, for most GMs, given a choice between:

"Paladin that's an interesting take on the class and shows some consideration of the background and history of Golarion, even if...technically a violation of fluffyiness"

is pleasanter to have at a table than

"This is Fred VII, my fighter who has an INT of 7, a CHA of 7, and who fights with an oversized Aldori duelling sword, Tower Shield and Plate Armor. He has the Accelerated Drinker and Quick Draw abilities, and starts every combat quick drawing a potion of Enlarge Person, and drinking it as a move action while drawing his sword and swinging for 3d6+6 damage with a one handed melee weapon at 2nd level."

*

AdAstraGames wrote:

I suspect, for most GMs, given a choice between:

"Paladin that's an interesting take on the class and shows some consideration of the background and history of Golarion, even if...technically a violation of fluffyiness"

is pleasanter to have at a table than

"This is Fred VII, my fighter who has an INT of 7, a CHA of 7, and who fights with an oversized Aldori duelling sword, Tower Shield and Plate Armor. He has the Accelerated Drinker and Quick Draw abilities, and starts every combat quick drawing a potion of Enlarge Person, and drinking it as a move action while drawing his sword and swinging for 3d6+6 damage with a one handed melee weapon at 2nd level."

You would assume so, but from some of the stuff that I read from a bunch of the people on the PFS boards, you might be surprised.

An interesting character with a fluff violation would always be welcome at my table.

Osirion ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Sydney aka Luke_Parry

Marthian wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:
one boon i totally don't get is the golden serpent one. I don't see how it can be taken as a familiar in PFS , since your alignment and your familiar's have to match.
It's Lawful Neutral, which is totally legal. And not sure what happened with that or whatever, but on Improved Familiar, it says you must be within one step of your familiar both lawful/chaos and good/evil. (IE a Lawful Good can choose a Neutral, Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Lawful Neutral familiar, but not a Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, or any Evil alignment.)

That is true for a majority of familiars, but the Raktavarna is one of the ones that (normally) provides an additional alignment restriction:

Bestiary 3 wrote:
A 7th-level lawful evil spellcaster with the Improved Familiar feat can gain a raktavarna rakshasa as a familiar.

So, RAW, the only way to get one of those as a familiar in PFS is to have the particular boon which specifically circumvents the normal alignment restriction.

Sczarni **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Luke_Parry wrote:
Marthian wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:
one boon i totally don't get is the golden serpent one. I don't see how it can be taken as a familiar in PFS , since your alignment and your familiar's have to match.
It's Lawful Neutral, which is totally legal. And not sure what happened with that or whatever, but on Improved Familiar, it says you must be within one step of your familiar both lawful/chaos and good/evil. (IE a Lawful Good can choose a Neutral, Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Lawful Neutral familiar, but not a Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, or any Evil alignment.)

That is true for a majority of familiars, but the Raktavarna is one of the ones that (normally) provides an additional alignment restriction:

Bestiary 3 wrote:
A 7th-level lawful evil spellcaster with the Improved Familiar feat can gain a raktavarna rakshasa as a familiar.
So, RAW, the only way to get one of those as a familiar in PFS is to have the particular boon which specifically circumvents the normal alignment restriction.

Which, if they put it on a boon as an available familiar, why would they still require you to be Lawful Evil unless the goal is to pick that as a familiar and become unplayable, or have a useless boon?

Grand Lodge

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At least Fred VII is legal. Using annoying rules application, as opposed to creative rules application. Far far far more annoying yes, but fair within the context of PFS.
That being said, my pref is for the CG pali, i just couldnt allow it.

N

Osirion ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Sydney aka Luke_Parry

Jack-of-Blades wrote:
Luke_Parry wrote:
Marthian wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:
one boon i totally don't get is the golden serpent one. I don't see how it can be taken as a familiar in PFS , since your alignment and your familiar's have to match.
It's Lawful Neutral, which is totally legal. And not sure what happened with that or whatever, but on Improved Familiar, it says you must be within one step of your familiar both lawful/chaos and good/evil. (IE a Lawful Good can choose a Neutral, Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Lawful Neutral familiar, but not a Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, or any Evil alignment.)

That is true for a majority of familiars, but the Raktavarna is one of the ones that (normally) provides an additional alignment restriction:

Bestiary 3 wrote:
A 7th-level lawful evil spellcaster with the Improved Familiar feat can gain a raktavarna rakshasa as a familiar.
So, RAW, the only way to get one of those as a familiar in PFS is to have the particular boon which specifically circumvents the normal alignment restriction.
Which, if they put it on a boon as an available familiar, why would they still require you to be Lawful Evil unless the goal is to pick that as a familiar and become unplayable, or have a useless boon?

If you have the boon, you do not have to be Lawful Evil to have that familiar. That is kind of the point of the boon :-)

Sczarni **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Luke_Parry wrote:
If you have the boon, you do not have to be Lawful Evil to have that familiar. That is kind of the point of the boon :-)

That's what I thought, so... Now I'm just confused. Was someone trying to take that familiar without the boon or...?

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

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Wennalonn Fordaryde wrote:

At least Fred VII is legal. Using annoying rules application, as opposed to creative rules application. Far far far more annoying yes, but fair within the context of PFS.

That being said, my pref is for the CG pali, i just couldnt allow it.
N

Yep. What I'd allow at my home game table and what I'd allow at a PFS table aren't necessarily the same. In my home game, I set the rules. In a PFS game, Mike Brock sets the rules, and I've agreed to implement those rules to the best of my ability.

If I think the rules are wrong, I'll make sure Mike knows that. But that doesn't give me the authority to ignore explicit rules I don't like.

*

Wennalonn Fordaryde wrote:

At least Fred VII is legal. Using annoying rules application, as opposed to creative rules application. Far far far more annoying yes, but fair within the context of PFS.

That being said, my pref is for the CG pali, i just couldnt allow it.

So, if the Paladin of a CG deity was respectful of the proper duly constituted authorities, worked for the greater good of the community, and otherwise behaved as a Paladin is expected to - what harm is it to let him at your table?

How is letting him at your table reducing the fun of the other participants, as opposed to Fred VII, who can solo most combat encounters while the rest of the party watches?

I have always felt, as a GM, that my greatest obligation is to make the game fun for everyone...and that includes me. Watching a Fred VII played by someone who's texting on their phone rather than roleplay, and whose only interest in the game comes when someone says "Roll for initiative" tends to make it less fun for me as the GM. It's usually even less enjoyable for the other players at the table...

Sczarni **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AdAstraGames wrote:
Wennalonn Fordaryde wrote:

At least Fred VII is legal. Using annoying rules application, as opposed to creative rules application. Far far far more annoying yes, but fair within the context of PFS.

That being said, my pref is for the CG pali, i just couldnt allow it.

So, if the Paladin of a CG deity was respectful of the proper duly constituted authorities, worked for the greater good of the community, and otherwise behaved as a Paladin is expected to - what harm is it to let him at your table?

How is letting him at your table reducing the fun of the other participants, as opposed to Fred VII, who can solo most combat encounters while the rest of the party watches?

I have always felt, as a GM, that my greatest obligation is to make the game fun for everyone...and that includes me. Watching a Fred VII played by someone who's texting on their phone rather than roleplay, and whose only interest in the game comes when someone says "Roll for initiative" tends to make it less fun for me as the GM. It's usually even less enjoyable for the other players at the table...

While I will agree I'd rather have the interesting Paladin at my table flavor wise, when you agree to play PFS or GM for it, you agree to follow the rules as set out by the campaign staff. Just like you agree to the rules a GM sets forth in a home game, you agree to the PFS rules by agreeing to play or run.

Much though I may dislike Fred the Ubermonkey, and much though I may like Interesting Pally, I would still have to enforce the rules set out for PFS and would let Fred at my table and would inform the Pally that, even if it's just fluff, that aspect of the character isn't legal by campaign standards.

Sadly, them's the breaks.

Osirion ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Sydney aka Luke_Parry

Jack-of-Blades wrote:
Luke_Parry wrote:
If you have the boon, you do not have to be Lawful Evil to have that familiar. That is kind of the point of the boon :-)
That's what I thought, so... Now I'm just confused. Was someone trying to take that familiar without the boon or...?

This familiar in particular...? Not that I am aware of. Some of the other familiars, which also *don't* follow the 'within one step of your alignment' trend? Yes.

I just wanted to try and clarify what was 'special' about that particular boon; I apologise if I just made things more confusing instead :-/

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

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AdAstraGames wrote:
Wennalonn Fordaryde wrote:

At least Fred VII is legal. Using annoying rules application, as opposed to creative rules application. Far far far more annoying yes, but fair within the context of PFS.

That being said, my pref is for the CG pali, i just couldnt allow it.

So, if the Paladin of a CG deity was respectful of the proper duly constituted authorities, worked for the greater good of the community, and otherwise behaved as a Paladin is expected to - what harm is it to let him at your table?

How is letting him at your table reducing the fun of the other participants, as opposed to Fred VII, who can solo most combat encounters while the rest of the party watches?

I have always felt, as a GM, that my greatest obligation is to make the game fun for everyone...and that includes me. Watching a Fred VII played by someone who's texting on their phone rather than roleplay, and whose only interest in the game comes when someone says "Roll for initiative" tends to make it less fun for me as the GM. It's usually even less enjoyable for the other players at the table...

Seating Fred's player at your table is required by the PFS rules. Allowing him to solo combat while the rest of the party watches, spoiling their fun, isn't. Neither he not you should be using "it's a legal character build" as an excuse for his being a jerk.

The paladin, however, was explicitly stated to have "correctly roleplayed all aspects of said CG deity". Note carefully - all aspects. That's an alignment violation for a (LG) paladin, which results in loss of all granted paladin powers until atonement is made, even if you make him a paladin of a CG concept, not a paladin following a CG deity.

Your greatest obligation, as a PFS GM, is to be fair to all organized play participants, not just those seated at your table. That means providing a level playing field, and following the PFS rules.

Sczarni **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Luke_Parry wrote:
Jack-of-Blades wrote:
Luke_Parry wrote:
If you have the boon, you do not have to be Lawful Evil to have that familiar. That is kind of the point of the boon :-)
That's what I thought, so... Now I'm just confused. Was someone trying to take that familiar without the boon or...?

This familiar in particular...? Not that I am aware of. Some of the other familiars, which also *don't* follow the 'within one step of your alignment' trend? Yes.

I just wanted to try and clarify what was 'special' about that particular boon; I apologise if I just made things more confusing instead :-/

To be honest, I probably just confused myself. It happens often enough, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. XD

Cheliax *

JohnF wrote:


The paladin, however, was explicitly stated to have "correctly roleplayed all aspects of said CG deity". Note carefully - all aspects. That's an alignment violation for a (LG) paladin, which results in loss of all granted paladin powers until atonement is made, even if you make him a paladin of a CG concept, not a paladin following a CG deity.

Your greatest obligation, as a PFS GM, is to be fair to all organized play participants, not just those seated at your table. That means providing a level playing field, and following the PFS rules.

This.

** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Fred VII won't tell me to stop summoning undead, or prevent me from executing prisoners, so I'd rather have him I think than the Paladin...

Grand Lodge ****

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A more sensible rule would be: 'A Paladin may not worship an evil deity.' I'd love it if someone brought a Paladin of Calistria, Gorum or Gozreh to my gaming table. They have to be LG by RAW anyway.

*

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JohnF wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:
Wennalonn Fordaryde wrote:

At least Fred VII is legal. Using annoying rules application, as opposed to creative rules application. Far far far more annoying yes, but fair within the context of PFS.

That being said, my pref is for the CG pali, i just couldnt allow it.

So, if the Paladin of a CG deity was respectful of the proper duly constituted authorities, worked for the greater good of the community, and otherwise behaved as a Paladin is expected to - what harm is it to let him at your table?

How is letting him at your table reducing the fun of the other participants, as opposed to Fred VII, who can solo most combat encounters while the rest of the party watches?

I have always felt, as a GM, that my greatest obligation is to make the game fun for everyone...and that includes me. Watching a Fred VII played by someone who's texting on their phone rather than roleplay, and whose only interest in the game comes when someone says "Roll for initiative" tends to make it less fun for me as the GM. It's usually even less enjoyable for the other players at the table...

Seating Fred's player at your table is required by the PFS rules. Allowing him to solo combat while the rest of the party watches, spoiling their fun, isn't. Neither he not you should be using "it's a legal character build" as an excuse for his being a jerk.

The paladin, however, was explicitly stated to have "correctly roleplayed all aspects of said CG deity". Note carefully - all aspects. That's an alignment violation for a (LG) paladin, which results in loss of all granted paladin powers until atonement is made, even if you make him a paladin of a CG concept, not a paladin following a CG deity.

Your greatest obligation, as a PFS GM, is to be fair to all organized play participants, not just those seated at your table. That means providing a level playing field, and following the PFS rules.

Rules over fun. This is the failing of most OP campaigns and why it is unfortunate that PFS is the only gaming that I have access to at the moment.

My greatest obligation as a DM is to ensure a great time for the players. Period. Even in PFS. I want to see this campaign get better and live up to the top notch staff running it. Overadhearance to nitpicky rules is not going to get us there. Facilitate, don't search around for reasons to say no.

Adhearing to a CG concept like liberty or overturning unjust laws does not automatically mean that a paladin would lose their powers, even if you follow "all" the strictures. The take home lesson here seems to be to just not say what your paladin follows and just RP them, which does not seem like the correct way to do things to me.

Cheliax *

Saint Caleth wrote:


Adhearing to a CG concept like liberty or overturning unjust laws does not automatically mean that a paladin would lose their powers, even if you follow "all" the strictures. The take home lesson here seems to be to just not say what your paladin follows and just RP them, which does not seem like the correct way to do things to me.

The difference is in the approach.

A Chaotic Good character wouldn't work to change the system or work within the system to change it; they would actively seek to tear it down. The opposite is true of a Lawful Good character. Liberty and overturning unjust laws aren't inherently chaotic concepts; how you go about championing these causes is where it matters. I don't think anyone is arguing against a concept/philosophy that compliments the aspects/portfolios of a Chaotic Good deity; they're arguing against using it to justify Chaotic Good conduct with a Lawful Good character.

Sczarni **

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:

Rules over fun. This is the failing of most OP campaigns and why it is unfortunate that PFS is the only gaming that I have access to at the moment.

My greatest obligation as a DM is to ensure a great time for the players. Period. Even in PFS. I want to see this campaign get better and live up to the top notch staff running it. Overadhearance to nitpicky rules is not going to get us there. Facilitate, don't search around for reasons to say no.

Adhearing to a CG concept like liberty or overturning unjust laws does not automatically mean that a paladin would lose their powers, even if you follow "all" the strictures. The take home lesson here seems to be to just not say what your paladin follows and just RP them, which does not seem like the correct way to do things to me.

So then what should I say to the cheese monkey that wants to play a Barbarian/Paladin of Besmara (CN Goddess of Piracy) and keep all his class abilities while wantonly promoting theft, debauchery, and living by the pirate's code?

Yes, it's unfortunate that strict rules adherence stifles creativity, but the rules are there for a reason. That reason isn't to be disregarded when convenient or "fun". It's to keep things consistent so that when one player does something that the campaign staff finds unacceptable, they can say "No" and have the rules in place to enforce the decision. If they just let the "good" players get away with bending/breaking the rules, then the ones that were told "No" have every right to complain about the unfairness of the rulings/enforcement.

I'm deeply sorry you can't get into a more flexible home-game setting where you can have CG Paladins, but when you agree to play PFS, you agree to PFS rules. I don't agree with all of the rules in place, but I deal with it because that's what the rules are.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think Fred F and Jack-of-Blades summed up my position nicely.
As much as the game is meant to be fun to all concerned, ALL concerned are expected to adhere to the rules.

*

bdk86 wrote:
Saint Caleth wrote:


Adhearing to a CG concept like liberty or overturning unjust laws does not automatically mean that a paladin would lose their powers, even if you follow "all" the strictures. The take home lesson here seems to be to just not say what your paladin follows and just RP them, which does not seem like the correct way to do things to me.

The difference is in the approach.

A Chaotic Good character wouldn't work to change the system or work within the system to change it; they would actively seek to tear it down. The opposite is true of a Lawful Good character. Liberty and overturning unjust laws aren't inherently chaotic concepts; how you go about championing these causes is where it matters. I don't think anyone is arguing against a concept/philosophy that compliments the aspects/portfolios of a Chaotic Good deity; they're arguing against using it to justify Chaotic Good conduct with a Lawful Good character.

I read it as being unable to separate the two and then trying to use that as evidence that a paladin can never follow CG concepts or deities.

I wouls however argue that both liberty and overturning unjust laws are much more CG than LG. It would be the very rare paladin indeed who ttok very much notice of either of those things.

Taldor ***

The whole idea that the alignments are purely black and white is ridiculous. A chaotic good character doesn't necessarily always oppose order and lawfulness, nor does a lawful good character always go by every sacred rule there is.

Intriguing paladins are always welcome to my PFS tables. Paladins of Iomedae are so boring anyways. I know of a local player who plays a "Paladin of Asmodeus", which in real life is just a Cavalier/Cleric of Asmodeus. He would have, however, wanted to create a genuine paladin, but that would have created all kinds of new problems with the Cheliax faction and its missions.

And to bypass all these clauses couldn't the paladin be a non-deity paladin, and practice worshipping Pharasma as a "hobby"? Personally I feel it a tad ridiculous characters are required to worship just *one* god. Why not pantheons instead?

"May Pharasma grant you eternal peace."

*

Jack-of-Blades wrote:
Saint Caleth wrote:

Rules over fun. This is the failing of most OP campaigns and why it is unfortunate that PFS is the only gaming that I have access to at the moment.

My greatest obligation as a DM is to ensure a great time for the players. Period. Even in PFS. I want to see this campaign get better and live up to the top notch staff running it. Overadhearance to nitpicky rules is not going to get us there. Facilitate, don't search around for reasons to say no.

Adhearing to a CG concept like liberty or overturning unjust laws does not automatically mean that a paladin would lose their powers, even if you follow "all" the strictures. The take home lesson here seems to be to just not say what your paladin follows and just RP them, which does not seem like the correct way to do things to me.

So then what should I say to the cheese monkey that wants to play a Barbarian/Paladin of Besmara (CN Goddess of Piracy) and keep all his class abilities while wantonly promoting theft, debauchery, and living by the pirate's code?

Yes, it's unfortunate that strict rules adherence stifles creativity, but the rules are there for a reason. That reason isn't to be disregarded when convenient or "fun". It's to keep things consistent so that when one player does something that the campaign staff finds unacceptable, they can say "No" and have the rules in place to enforce the decision. If they just let the "good" players get away with bending/breaking the rules, then the ones that were told "No" have every right to complain about the unfairness of the rulings/enforcement.

I'm deeply sorry you can't get into a more flexible home-game setting where you can have CG Paladins, but when you agree to play PFS, you agree to PFS rules. I don't agree with all of the rules in place, but I deal with it because that's what the rules are.

The sounds like a problem of a disruptive player, and it is nice to have the campaign rules to hide behind when confronting said player, it is not necessary in my opinion.

I admit that there does have to be a balance of rules and fun, but the culture of the PFS boards is too far on the rules side of that. Fortunately the players and DM's who I encounter "on the ground" are more reasonable.

Taldor ***

Jack-of-Blades wrote:
Saint Caleth wrote:

Rules over fun. This is the failing of most OP campaigns and why it is unfortunate that PFS is the only gaming that I have access to at the moment.

My greatest obligation as a DM is to ensure a great time for the players. Period. Even in PFS. I want to see this campaign get better and live up to the top notch staff running it. Overadhearance to nitpicky rules is not going to get us there. Facilitate, don't search around for reasons to say no.

Adhearing to a CG concept like liberty or overturning unjust laws does not automatically mean that a paladin would lose their powers, even if you follow "all" the strictures. The take home lesson here seems to be to just not say what your paladin follows and just RP them, which does not seem like the correct way to do things to me.

So then what should I say to the cheese monkey that wants to play a Barbarian/Paladin of Besmara (CN Goddess of Piracy) and keep all his class abilities while wantonly promoting theft, debauchery, and living by the pirate's code?

Yes, it's unfortunate that strict rules adherence stifles creativity, but the rules are there for a reason. That reason isn't to be disregarded when convenient or "fun". It's to keep things consistent so that when one player does something that the campaign staff finds unacceptable, they can say "No" and have the rules in place to enforce the decision. If they just let the "good" players get away with bending/breaking the rules, then the ones that were told "No" have every right to complain about the unfairness of the rulings/enforcement.

I'm deeply sorry you can't get into a more flexible home-game setting where you can have CG Paladins, but when you agree to play PFS, you agree to PFS rules. I don't agree with all of the rules in place, but I deal with it because that's what the rules are.

The issue wasn't at all about chaotic good paladins, but lawful good paladins who've chosen a chaotic good deity. The example you gave us is a rules violation with significant mechanical benefits. Thusly a barbarian/paladin is illegal and against the rules.

Sczarni **

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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:

The sounds like a problem of a disruptive player, and it is nice to have the campaign rules to hide behind when confronting said player, it is not necessary in my opinion.

I admit that there does have to be a balance of rules and fun, but the culture of the PFS boards is too far on the rules side of that. Fortunately the players and DM's who I encounter "on the ground" are more reasonable.

By all means, please tell me how you'd deal with that player without "Hiding behind the rules". Would you tell them to make a more "Reasonable" character? Or let them blatantly break the rules in the name of "Fun"? Trust me, they take that character to a Con or another location and they're going to be sorely disappointed that their character that you allowed to run is being shot down by another GM in the name of keeping it "Fun" for the other players by making sure they're playing by the same rules that everyone else has to play by.

The reason the boards are so full of rules arguments, is because this is where we can bring them to get official answers. Besides, the levels of creativity you can manage while staying completely within the rules is astounding. You don't need a rules-breaking special little snowflake to have a fun and entertaining character to play.

EDIT: Spelling error.

Sczarni **

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deussu wrote:
The issue wasn't at all about chaotic good paladins, but lawful good paladins who've chosen a chaotic good deity. The example you gave us is a rules violation with significant mechanical benefits. Thusly a barbarian/paladin is illegal and against the rules.

A LG Paladin worshiping a CG god has been expressly stated to be illegal within the rules of the PFS campaign, and is also a rules violation with significant mechanical benefits.

Yes, I realize my example is extreme, but should we allow the LG Pallies to run around worshiping CG gods, we're going to have people arguing that's no different than an LG Paladin worshiping a LE god, like Asmodeus, under the guise of upholding law, instead of promoting good. You start bending the rules to allow some builds, and others will argue until we finally have Paladins running around worshiping Lamashtu "as a hobby".

*

Now you are being ridiculous. Huge difference between a paladin worshiping a CG fellow Good deity and any Evil deity.

I think that Paladins of Asmodeus should not have been retconned out. It is a very interesting idea. I guess there are still Hellknight paladins though. Paladins have to be Good, but they can easily not be "the good guys".

Sczarni **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:

Now you are being ridiculous. Huge difference between a paladin worshiping a CG fellow Good deity and any Evil deity.

I think that Paladins of Asmodeus should not have been retconned out. It is a very interesting idea. I guess there are still Hellknight paladins though. Paladins have to be Good, but they can easily not be "the good guys".

Just to be the devil's advocate here (pun not intended), how is a Paladin worshiping any Chaotic god any better than worshiping a fellow Lawful god?

Just as the Good/Evil axis exists for a reason, so does the Law/Chaos one.

And whether or not I'm being ridiculous, I'm merely following these actions out to a logical end. Why? Because I have had to explain these things to players that wanted to do just that. Yes, they may be the marginal cases, but that's why rules exist and must be enforced. To keep the rules enforced fair and uniform throughout the society.

EDIT: I should also add that I find it both annoying and unreasonable, that the only deities to get martial champions that are granted divine powers directly from their gods are the LG, LN, NG ones.

*

It is a well established fact that Good more important than Law to paladins in terms of their code (cf an Evil act immidiatley causes you to fall, a Chaotic act does not). It is absolutely better for a paladin to worship a fellow Good deity, even a Chaotic one, rather than an Evil god who happens to be Lawful. That is the rational that I would use for shutting down one and letting the other slide.

I would think that the fellow clergy of a CG deity would be happy to help out a paladin in their ranks by not telling him things that he probably does not need to know and being willing to send someone else when the paladin has qualms about something that needs doing.

Sczarni **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Saint Caleth wrote:

It is a well established fact that Good more important than Law to paladins in terms of their code (cf an Evil act immidiatley causes you to fall, a Chaotic act does not). It is absolutely better for a paladin to worship a fellow Good deity, even a Chaotic one, rather than an Evil god who happens to be Lawful.

I would think that the fellow clergy of a CG deity would be happy to help out a paladin in their ranks by not telling him things that he probably does not need to know and being willing to send someone else when the paladin has qualms about something that needs doing.

Yes, avoiding evil is emphasized in the paladin's entry, but so is avoiding breaking their code. Their code which includes staying Lawful Good. Yes. They must remain Good, but they must also remain Lawful.

Paladins are designed to be the extreme of LG, just like Anti-paladins are designed to be the extreme of the other end of the spectrum. An Anti-paladin can't worship Asmodeus anymore than a Paladin could, just like an Anti-paladin can't worship Desna anymore than a regular Paladin can.

Again, I'm sorry this isn't a home game where you can bend the rules as you see fit in the name of fun, but just as you as a GM can decide what you'll allow and what rules you'll enforce hard and fast, so are M&M the GM's of PFS and they've made the ruling that Paladins in PFS must be within one step of their deity, and they must remain LG.

Sczarni **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Heck, maybe we'll get lucky and in one of the future splat books, we'll get an archetype that allows for non-lawful and/or neutral paladins. It happened with monks...

Osirion ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Sydney aka Luke_Parry

Jack-of-Blades wrote:
Heck, maybe we'll get lucky and in one of the future splat books, we'll get an archetype that allows for non-lawful and/or neutral paladins. It happened with monks...

True, but you *do* have to be an Aasimar...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Ah, the much-loved rule of 'you must be within one alignment step to the deity you worship'.
Yeah. Does someone have an idea how I should explain that to our (CG) wizard worshipping Nethys? As in, the god of, well, magic?

Sczarni **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Luke_Parry wrote:
Jack-of-Blades wrote:
Heck, maybe we'll get lucky and in one of the future splat books, we'll get an archetype that allows for non-lawful and/or neutral paladins. It happened with monks...
True, but you *do* have to be an Aasimar...

An Aasimar Paladin worshiping Asmodeus or Lamashtu would get the weirdest looks...

Now I'm hoping they make an archetype like that legal, just for grins and giggles...

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