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When / how can a PFS Daemon Blooded Tiefling use Death Knell?


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Given the debate about spells with an [Evil] descriptor are there any PFS guidelines for how/when/if a PC character with Death Knell as a racial ability (i.e. a Daemon heritage Tiefling) can use his racial ability w/o breaching PFS rules about doing an Evil act?

My specific Tiefling is good so this is definitely an issue for him. He's a fighter so killing his enemies and protecting his party aren't issues for him. And frankly given the amount of Undead he's been encountering he hasn't had all that many opportunities to even consider using Death Knell.

But given that he will occasionally have an opportunity to do so - are there any guidelines I as the player should follow - or will many GM's just automatically assume that using Death Knell is an evil act & dock me accordingly? (I've been trying to use it mostly against neutral vermin/animals as we're not likely going to get any info out of them if we keep them alive). I also figure that it could be situational - i.e. using it on an enemy who might be healed by her allies in the middle of combat might be different than using it after combat has ended on a helpless, intelligent enemy...

How would you play this? (I can also see a valid argument for potentially changing this racial ability for PFS play since it could be hard to find non-evil uses of Death Knell)

***

I may be wrong, but my understanding was that Daemon heritage Tieflings were not permitted?

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Modules Subscriber
Sasayaki wrote:
I may be wrong, but my understanding was that Daemon heritage Tieflings were not permitted?

No. That is right. Daemon heritage is not PFS legal per the additional resources page.

It sounds like you may need to adjust your character Rycaut to another heritage.

***** Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—Boston aka Harley Quinn X

Additional Resources Page, Blood of Fiends wrote:
Bloodlines: daemon bloodline is not legal for Pathfinder Society; Feats: all feats on pages 24–25 are legal; Heritages: all heritages, and associated traits, on pages 18–23 are legal;

The Daemon BLOODLINE (for sorcerers, on page 29) is not legal. The Daemon-spawn heritage, which gets Death Knell is on page 19, and it legal as per text quoted above.

****

It's no different than any other coup de grace action, when you get right down to it. I see a lot of those at local PFS tables without talk of alignment issues, so I don't think you'll have as much trouble as you're expecting.

Shadow Lodge *** Dedicated Voter 2014

Evil acts aren't banned in PFS, but as a good character you shouldn't be committing them. Using an [Evil] spell is an evil act. The DM is supposed to technically warn you you're about to commit an alignment violation, you do it.. but nothing happens because one evil act doesn't change your alignment and it would be a PITA to keep track of all your minor evil acts to add up to an alignment change.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Using an [Evil] spell is an evil act.

Not in PFS - it depends on what you're using it for. I'm sure someone will come along with the link to Mike Brock's statement on that, maybe even before I finish posting this.

Quote:
The DM is supposed to technically warn you you're about to commit an alignment violation, you do it.. but nothing happens because one evil act doesn't change your alignment and it would be a PITA to keep track of all your minor evil acts to add up to an alignment change.

Actually, my understanding is that PFS GMs are supposed to mark alignment infractions on the chronicle sheet (and if doing so, check for previous infractions to see if it's time for an alignment shift).

Liberty's Edge ***

There has only been one DM to give me an odd look and asked what my alignment was when I Shaighaied a soul for Besmara's crew (Death Kneel), and Bansen up to level 9 with a couple levels of slow progess.

Shadow Lodge *** Dedicated Voter 2014

Jiggy wrote:


Not in PFS - it depends on what you're using it for. I'm sure someone will come along with the link to Mike Brock's statement on that, maybe even before I finish posting this.

I assume you're referring to this

Theres also this out of the guide

Characters who commit potentially evil acts (casting spells with the Evil descriptor, killing or maiming someone, etc.)

If the Tiefling were neutral I wouldn't bat an eye at it. Even being Good ALL that i would do is bat an eye at it assuming the tiefling isn't a paladin or a cleric.

Quote:
Actually, my understanding is that PFS GMs are supposed to mark alignment infractions on the chronicle sheet (and if doing so, check for previous infractions to see if it's time for an alignment shift).

For the major stuff that results in an alignment change yes,

If the GM deems these continued actions warrant an alignment change, she should note it on the character’s Chronicle sheet at the end of the session in the Conditions Gained box

but i don't see anything for a minor note on someone's permanant record. (paladins are always on double secret probation)

Shadow Lodge *****

Ive had a discussion on this topic with another friend of mine
Specifically about the Heritage and how to get around Death Knell... and my opinion is that this heritage slipped through the cracks ...

one way we have found (POSSIBLY) to sneak around on this particular heritage ... but were not 100% if it would work the way we are thinking is the Alternate Tiefling Racial ability

Soul Seer:
Rare tieflings have a peculiar sight that allows them to see the state of a creature's soul. They can use deathwatch at will as spell-like ability. This racial trait replaces the spell-like ability and fiendish sorcery racial traits.

the end resulting question becomes - which comes first ... The heritage .. or the racial trait .. and which SLA gets used

***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It is very clear that per the Additional Resources the Deamon Heritage is perfectly PFS legal (the Sorcerer Bloodline - is not) . And I think as many have noted Death Knell is much like Coup de Grace - not forbidden, not always evil but definitely could be interpreted as evil from time to time.

I think one strong area of confusion for many people is that they are thinking that "all spells with the [Evil] discriptor are an evil act to cast" even though this has been stated as NOT being the case many times over. Doesn't mean a Paladin would love to get some Infernal Healing but casting it (or having it cast on you) isn't in an of itself inherently evil (much as casting Protection from Evil isn;'t in and of itself inherently good (for a neutral castor for example)

As a player I think of this daily death knell ability as a bit of a double edged curse/blessing for this character - he's very much a rebel against his heritage and all of Cheliax (I literally took a trait that represents someone who is a rebel in Cheliax) and he's a Pathfinder for the knowledge and to be a force for good (he's a Lore Warden likely multiclassing - not certain into what yet however - still debating either Magus, Monk or Rogue or perhaps a few of those). If he does go Magus (or another Arcane casting class) then that CL boost from Death Knell might occasionally come into play - and the temp HP boost also can be useful.

But counterbalencing that is that most of the time he won't have a "good" (in all senses) opportunity - putting down the mindless vermin that attacked the party - not a particularly evil act - but death knelling an intelligent hired thug - probably far more questionable.

As a DM I would tend to say that the "order" would be: Choose race. Choose heritage if applicable (i.e. Aasimar or Tiefling) then choose any racial alternatives - the heritages being in essence sub-races. At least that's how I would tend to interpret the rules as written and as intended (I would guess)

Shadow Lodge *****

I would agree with you ... tho the flavor of that particular heritage is REALLY grey (more on the black side) .. and with the recent round of Archtype Ban hammers ... my opinion is that this heritage is likely not far behind

Shadow Lodge *** Dedicated Voter 2014

Wraith235 wrote:
I would agree with you ... tho the flavor of that particular heritage is REALLY grey (more on the black side) .. and with the recent round of Archtype Ban hammers ... my opinion is that this heritage is likely not far behind

Well there's a difference between being born evil and choosing to do evil. Trying to overcome your own baser nature and become good is a staple of fantasy stories.

Silver Crusade **

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Trying to overcome your own baser nature and become good is a staple of fantasy stories.

Amen, brotha!

;)

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