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RPG Superstar 2015

Getting Rid of Alignment Restrictions for Classes


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would never get rid of alignment outright. I'm far to involve with the concept of the Outer Planes and the concept of primordial, abstract forces at war to remove them from my games entirely. I'll admit, I'm more attached to Law/Chaos than I am to Good/Evil because the latter more often has those vague areas and every GM handles them differently.

Really, the only problem I have with the Alignment system as is is how it pertains to mortals. It's easy to assign an angel or demo nan alignment that they will rigidly stick to because it is literally what they are made of, but in the real, physical world it is so much more complicated.

So for me, I say alignment for characters is a role-playing aid and nothing else, and a player doesn't have to think about it if they don't want to. This would change the following things in my games:

-First, Protect/Detect alignment spells will only work on outsiders and character wielding intelligent magic items. Alignment descriptors for spells are also out; casting Animate Dead is not in itself an evil act, though desecrating a corpse might be. Furthermore, classes with alignment descriptions change in the following ways:

-Paladins: A Paladin must choose a two of the following three "codes" from a list (I haven't decided yet on how many they must choose), and violating that personal code will cause them to lose their powers for 24 hours, repeated transgressions may constitute a fall. This would allow a paladin to survive making some tough, morally grey calls without losing class abilities for good Codes may include:
1. Mercy: The paladin cannot kill a sentient creature and cannot allow torture of any kind.
2. Charity: The paladin must refuse any monetary reward for good deeds, and must give any wealth in excess of their needs to a charitable cause.
3. Integrity: The paladin cannot lie, cheat, or steal (they may use Bluff to feint)

-Clerics: A Cleric must obey the tenants of their deity; if they commit an act forbidden by their deity or fail to do something mandated by their deity, they lose their powers for 24 hours. Repeated transgression cause a fall.

-Monks: A monk must conduct himself with temperance and discipline. He must not eat or drink in excess (except for the Drunken Master, who drinks all he wants), never give into anger, and respect authority figures. A monk who violates this, or violates the violates the philosophy of his school, loses the use if his ki pool abilities for 24 hours (Martial Artists are exempt from this, naturally).

-Druids: A druid must always defend the natural world. Draining natural resources more than necessary (killing animals for reasons other than food when death can be avoided) or causing excessive damage to the natural environment will cause the druid to lose her powers for 24 hours or until the damage they caused is repaired, whichever comes first.

-Barbarians: No alignment restriction. I see no reason why a barbarian can't be a perfectly civil, law-abiding gentlemen that keeps all of his rage inside until he loses it against a foe that attacks him.

For PCs, alignment will only come into play when they die, and their soul is judged and sent to a particular plane. So far as a GM I've only had one character death (I sometimes fudge things in the players' favor mid-combat), but when it happened I describe this suspenseful epilogue of the character being guided through the Astral plane to the place where his soul was judged. He decided he wanted to play a True Neutral character when we started, but the vast majority of his choices reflected a NG character, so he was sent to Nirvana and his spirit eventually ascended to become a Leonal Agathion.

Thoughts? Critiques?


For me, if you allow angels and demons into your campaign, a great deal of their storytelling power stems from the fact that (in your world) good and evil are real. They are not abstracts, they are not philosophies (or not merely philosophies) - they are actual cosmic forces with the power to heal and hurt.

That may not be true in our own world; I personally believe it isn't. But then again, there is no magic in our world, either.

Clearly, I wouldn't ignore good and evil for mortal characters in my game. My advice for you, if you go this route, is to leave out demons and angels also. They would introduce an internal inconsistency in your world by their simple existence.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Its not removing them from the mortal world entirely, but putting mortaks, regardless of their personal beliefs, in an area where they cant be affected in the same way as immortals by these forces. I never liked the idea of the Protect and Detect spells working on mortal characters, there's no way a LE cleric could convince the party his actions are justified if they just go "Nope, you're evil".

AND i disagree that it woukd create inconsistency from this alone. Those tangible forces still exist, but mortals have no real way of knowing where they themselves fall. There are ppllenty of realistic (at least as much as one can get) fantasy texts that include celestial beings without holding humans to the same standard. The Dresden Files comes to mind: wards that protect against evil can stop vampires and demons from entering a house but mortal can get in regardless of how evil he is inside.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Alignment wont be gone, but restricting players by them will be

Shadow Lodge

The Paladin codes need work. "Mercy" is extremely limiting and while an excellent option should only be chosen only if the paladin and the party can handle it (and perhaps should exclude creatures like intelligent evil outsiders and undead). Or you could loosen it up a bit by requiring the paladin to always offer and accept surrender. "Charity" is extremely vague - is this a vow of poverty? Is there an allowance for magic gear, and if so how much? Requiring a "tithe" to charity might be simpler. Also, you'll have to specify whether things like a dragon's hoard count as a "reward for good deeds." And both Mercy and Charity are much more limiting than Integrity.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Weirdo wrote:
The Paladin codes need work. "Mercy" is extremely limiting and while an excellent option should only be chosen only if the paladin and the party can handle it (and perhaps should exclude creatures like intelligent evil outsiders and undead). Or you could loosen it up a bit by requiring the paladin to always offer and accept surrender. "Charity" is extremely vague - is this a vow of poverty? Is there an allowance for magic gear, and if so how much? Requiring a "tithe" to charity might be simpler. Also, you'll have to specify whether things like a dragon's hoard count as a "reward for good deeds." And both Mercy and Charity are much more limiting than Integrity.

Valid points. Mercy should probably be limited to intelligent mortal creatures from the material plane (since devils will just be sent back to Hell when killed anyway), though I don't know a concise way of saying that right now. Always offering and accepting surrender might be a better way to handle it, and to avoid killing whenever possible, neither of which applies to evil aligned outsiders or undead.

Magic items found wouldn't be counted against the Charity code, especially since magic items are less frequent in my games. I'm more inclined to hand out potions, scrolls, and gold while having magic items be rarer things that increase in power over time (flavored as the PC's "discovering" new abilities of these artifacts, scaling with the average character wealth). Taking a closer look at the Vow of Poverty, I suppose it basically is that, I just didn't want to cause confusion by giving it the same name as the monk option. Rephrasing it to be a little more than the Vow is a good idea, I think.


I have to admit I never play monks or paladins because I just don't like being held to the standard of being lawful, but I also agree that remove those requirements takes away from what makes those classes so special and enjoy holding a paladin or monk's feet to the fire if they don't adhere to their alignment restrictions.

I won't say its a slippery slope to giving your characters the perks of 3.5 vow of poverty without really holding them to it in game, but in my mind the idea of alignment restrictions is a good thing, even if it does bait a billion posts about the semantics and philosophical intricacies of it.


Why keep codes and standards of conduct at all?

If I'm playing a Monk, then I certainly might be playing a character from a monastery who learned what he learned through intense discipline and asceticism, but why should that be the assumption? If I'm playing a Fighter, it might be self-taught, it might be ex-military, but regardless of archetype, it's my choice.

So why is it that if I want to play a character good at attacking unarmed and unarmored with cool supernatural abilities (i.e., not a Martial Artist), I MUST be ascetic and disciplined (whether alignment is in the game or not)? The Martial Artist can do everything non-supernatural that the Monk can do and not have to be a specific character concept. There are Rogues, Ninjas, and at least one archetype for the Oracle that can use Ki without any alignment restriction or behavior restriction.

So why is it that when we combine those two, we're suddenly hamstrung with regards to our characters?

...

An alternative suggestion, if I may.

Alignment does not exist; rather, "Soul Color" (for lack of a better name) exists in its place.

Instead of good-neutral-evil, it's Blue-Gray-Red. Instead of law-neutral-chaos, it's Shiny-Dull-Splotchy.

These things exist solely on a metaphysical plane beyond mortal ken, and (most important of all) bear no relation to how a character acts, who they associate with, what their goals are, or anything of that nature. If an Anti-Paladin has Splotchy-Red as a Soul Color and behaves in a fashion you might refer to as Chaotic Evil, it's pure coincidence.

Now, all other rules constructs (save Codes and Edicts) stay in place. Barbarians may not be Shiny. Monks must be Shiny. Druids must be Dull-Blue, Shiny-Gray, Dull-Gray, Splotchy-Gray, or Dull-Red. Detect Chaos becomes Detect Splotchy. Protection from Evil becomes Protection from Red.

Otherwise, let's leave this whole "class equals concept"-"behavior-mechanics-marriage" junk behind, please.


Tectorman wrote:
"Monks must be Shiny."

Does that include polishing their bald heads?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

LG, Silver Aura (core is white)
LN, Sapphire Aura (core is crystalline)
LE, Ruby Aura (core is black)
NG, Golden Aura (the color of kings!)
TN, Green Aura ('choosing' Neutrality)
False Neutral (no beliefs, i.e. animals, uncaring sentients) - Colorless Aura
NE, Amethyst Aura (the other color of kings)
CG, Shifting rainbows Aura (it's Chaos!
CN, Flaming Aura, any hues
CE, Balefire Aura (black, diseased yellow-green highlights)

Those are the colors of the alignments. Detect Evil and the like are simply detecting how close you are to the paradigm to each of these alignments, i.e. how 'in tune' you are with them. Alignment based attacks are based simply on doing harm to things with auras most in resonance with their targeted alignments.

The very discipline to suppress your rage is one of the things that would disqualify a berserker noble. Rage implies that you lose control, and your emotions frequently overwhelm your reason. The self-control of a Lawful mindset is deliberately opposed to the loss of self-control that Rage represents.

Likewise, I buy completely into the mindset that preternatural discipline is required for the use and development's of a monk's quest for self-perfection, and turning from that path means you've got to find another way, and without great circumstances, you will never reclaim that serenity once you've experienced other things life has to offer and pulls you away from the asceticism neccessary to pursue self-perfection.

But alignment has always been contentious. Some people love the limitations it puts on what they can and cannot do, and how it will shape a world and campaign. Others prefer something less limiting, or 'modern', where alignments are just markers and not forces in their own right.

whatever works for you. I do believe if we were able to sense alignments in the modern world the effects would be drastic!

==Aelryinth


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
tennengar wrote:

I have to admit I never play monks or paladins because I just don't like being held to the standard of being lawful, but I also agree that remove those requirements takes away from what makes those classes so special and enjoy holding a paladin or monk's feet to the fire if they don't adhere to their alignment restrictions.

I won't say its a slippery slope to giving your characters the perks of 3.5 vow of poverty without really holding them to it in game, but in my mind the idea of alignment restrictions is a good thing, even if it does bait a billion posts about the semantics and philosophical intricacies of it.

I'm not giving them the benefit of a Vow of Poverty, in this case it would be purely a drawback that provides part of the restrictions that an alignment restriction otherwise would, only more specific.

Though the biggest problem I have with the alignment restrictions is actually for the Barbarian and Druid, TBH. I feel like it's equating personality traits with ethics and morality; certain someone with a particular moral/ethic belief may be more likely to act that way, but that does not make the converse equally true.

Being impartial to the conflicts of the civilized world and distancing yourself from traditions does lend itself to a Neutral alignment for Druids, but why can a Druid being NG and LN, but not LG?

Similar with the Barbarian. Being loosing your temper a lot =/= being absolutely non-lawful. If a Barbarian (especially an Urban Barbarian) only uses his rage against someone that attacks him first or otherwise deserves it after repressing his anger (as a lawful aligned character would do), I would still consider that lawful behavior. I will admit, it wouldn't be a typical roleplaying experience, but it should not be made impossible by the rules.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

EDIT: Rewording the Paladin codes to be the same as the monk Vows with a few changes.:

Mercy: The paladin must strive to attain peace and may only use violence as a last resort. He can never strike the first blow in combat. If attacked, he must use the fight defensively action or the total defense action for the first 2 rounds. He must always give his opponent the option to surrender, and cannot purposely slay another creature that could reasonably be influenced to flee or join a civilized society as a productive member. This restriction does not apply to evil outsiders and undead. Furthermore, he cannot allow torture to take place regardless.

Charity: The Paladin must refuse any monetary reward offered to him for his good deeds . He may only keep possessions of simple, cheap make, excluding those required to perform his Paladin duties (a single magical item of each slot). Any wealth or expensive item obtained in excess of this by the Paladin must be given to an ally or donated to a charitable cause.

[b]Integrity{/b]: The paladin cannot deliberately speak lies, including bluffing, stating half-truths with the intent to deceive, exaggerating, telling white lies, and so on. If speaking the truth would being harm to another, the paladin remains silent. He may not cheat in any competition. He cannot steal or allow theft of any item, unless the continued use of the item in question will cause suffering or harm.


Quote:
-Druids: A druid must always defend the natural world. Draining natural resources more than necessary (killing animals for reasons other than food when death can be avoided) or causing excessive damage to the natural environment will cause the druid to lose her powers for 24 hours or until the damage they caused is repaired, whichever comes first.

Define "excessive damage". Sure, a forest fire can destroy an entire forest, but its also a good thing. It clears away the old, dead material, making room for new life. And it returns nutrients to the soil, so the new life grows better. A druid setting a forest fire could be a perfectly acceptable thing.

A flood can do a lot of damage, but can do a lot of good as well. Replenishing an areas ground water, and laying down more fertile/nutrient-rich soil, making a better environment for the plants that grow back after the flood.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jeraa wrote:
Quote:
-Druids: A druid must always defend the natural world. Draining natural resources more than necessary (killing animals for reasons other than food when death can be avoided) or causing excessive damage to the natural environment will cause the druid to lose her powers for 24 hours or until the damage they caused is repaired, whichever comes first.
Define "excessive damage". Sure, a forest fire can destroy an entire forest, but its also a good thing. It clears away the old, dead material, making room for new life. And it returns nutrients to the soil, so the new life grows better. A druid setting a forest fire could be a perfectly acceptable thing.

Typically a druid wouldn't make this decision lightly, but if so, it would only be in the case of a forest being totally dead, and it would only be after making sure that any animals in the forest were evacuated and afterwards being the first to plant new saplings. If a druid just decided "This forest is dead, I need to burn it down" without taking the proper precautions or providing any care for the land afterward, it would constitute breaking their code in my book.


Big Lemon wrote:

I would never get rid of alignment outright. I'm far to involve with the concept of the Outer Planes and the concept of primordial, abstract forces at war to remove them from my games entirely. I'll admit, I'm more attached to Law/Chaos than I am to Good/Evil because the latter more often has those vague areas and every GM handles them differently.

Really, the only problem I have with the Alignment system as is is how it pertains to mortals. It's easy to assign an angel or demo nan alignment that they will rigidly stick to because it is literally what they are made of, but in the real, physical world it is so much more complicated.

So for me, I say alignment for characters is a role-playing aid and nothing else, and a player doesn't have to think about it if they don't want to. This would change the following things in my games:

-First, Protect/Detect alignment spells will only work on outsiders and character wielding intelligent magic items. Alignment descriptors for spells are also out; casting Animate Dead is not in itself an evil act, though desecrating a corpse might be.

I'm with you so far.

Quote:

Furthermore, classes with alignment descriptions change in the following ways:

-Paladins: A Paladin must choose a two of the following three "codes" from a list (I haven't decided yet on how many they must choose), and violating that personal code will cause them to lose their powers for 24 hours, repeated transgressions may constitute a fall. This would allow a paladin to survive making some tough, morally grey calls without losing class abilities for good Codes may include:
1. Mercy: The paladin cannot kill a sentient creature and cannot allow torture of any kind.

The first is a big problem. You can't execute a criminal? You can't kill a villain in order to rescue someone? Quite frankly such a character doesn't belong in an adventuring game.

Quote:
2. Charity: The paladin must refuse any monetary reward for good deeds, and must give any wealth in excess of their needs to a charitable cause.

Unfortunately there's rules about how many items you should have. Any such character is in trouble. (There is a Vow of Poverty feat, although it's not Pathfinder. I've heard mostly negative things about it from a balance perspective, unfortunately.)

Quote:
3. Integrity: The paladin cannot lie, cheat, or steal (they may use Bluff to feint)

Again, doesn't belong in an adventuring party. If a paladin gets caught doing something they "shouldn't" (eg investigating a thieves' guild), they'd rather beat the person that caught them unconscious rather than tell a lie? I wouldn't want to be friends with that kind of paladin.

Quote:
-Clerics: A Cleric must obey the tenants of their deity; if they commit an act forbidden by their deity or fail to do...

Sounds about right. The deity's aims are more important than the cleric's specific alignment. (This is especially the case of nature deities like Gozreh, etc, who probably couldn't care less what's going on in their minion's mind, only that they do as they're told.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kimera757 wrote:


The first is a big problem. You can't execute a criminal? You can't kill a villain in order to rescue someone? Quite frankly such a character doesn't belong in an adventuring game.
.

First off, I revised the codes in a more recent comment, I would like to hear your opinions on those versions. Second, all of the monk Vows are available as optional add-ons to the Monk class in Ultimate Magic. The magic item issues is pretty much sorted for the

But as for this sentiment, I disagree entirely. Simply being an adventurer does not mean you are required to kill everyone who gives you a funny look. There are plenty of ways for a character to fight without using lethal force (the Bludgeoner feat, fighting defensively, using combat maneuvers) that don't make them totally inept in combat. Even using Diplomacy and Intimidate to get someone to back down when they're about to collapse is plausible. It's not as convenient, but playing a Paladin character shouldn't be. The revised version is more like the Vow of Peace, but providing a clause for undead and evil outsiders. Torture is disallowed by the code regardless of the creature type.


Mercy seems like its pretty easy to overcome if you simply allow allies to land killing blows.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Pope William T Wodium wrote:

For me, if you allow angels and demons into your campaign, a great deal of their storytelling power stems from the fact that (in your world) good and evil are real. They are not abstracts, they are not philosophies (or not merely philosophies) - they are actual cosmic forces with the power to heal and hurt.

That may not be true in our own world; I personally believe it isn't. But then again, there is no magic in our world, either.

Clearly, I wouldn't ignore good and evil for mortal characters in my game. My advice for you, if you go this route, is to leave out demons and angels also. They would introduce an internal inconsistency in your world by their simple existence.

The thing is you CAN have real extant Good and Evil, but that does not require an alignment mechanic in the game itself. There are a lot of other game systems and worlds which feature absolute good and absolute evil. (White Wolf Storyteller comes to mind), without having to shoehorn in an alignment mechanic to do so.

What the story should focus on are the consequences to the world and the character, not whether the player is going to lose game mechanics, because it's that latter part that forms the meat of all alignment discussions on these boards.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
johnlocke90 wrote:
Mercy seems like its pretty easy to overcome if you simply allow allies to land killing blows.

which where "must give the option to surrender for flee" comes in.


Charity is a trap. The higher level you get, the more important it is to have magic gear. Losing gear is a really big deal.

This leaves Mercy and Integrity. Both of these seem like they would generate party strife. Integrity is going to hurt a lot of subtlety campaigns. If your party wants to bluff their way through something, they have to leave the paladin behind.

Mercy basically means that the party never gets a surprise round(and has to delay his turn until after the enemy goes), so he is going to be contributing suboptimally for the first few rounds of combat. This isn't too bad, but it might result in situations where someone died because the Paladin wanted to try negotiating with the demon and then let the demon get in the first blow followed by fighting defensively for 2 rounds.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
johnlocke90 wrote:

Charity is a trap. The higher level you get, the more important it is to have magic gear. Losing gear is a really big deal.

This leaves Mercy and Integrity. Both of these seem like they would generate party strife. Integrity is going to hurt a lot of subtlety campaigns. If your party wants to bluff their way through something, they have to leave the paladin behind.

Mercy basically means that the party never gets a surprise round(and has to delay his turn until after the enemy goes), so he is going to be contributing suboptimally for the first few rounds of combat. This isn't too bad, but it might result in situations where someone died because the Paladin wanted to try negotiating with the demon and then let the demon get in the first blow followed by fighting defensively for 2 rounds.

Again, in the updated version of Charity I included a clause for magic items. I never intended it to prevent magic items for the paladin, but I rewrote it to exclude them specifically. I can't edit my original post to put it there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And Mercy does not apply to evil outsiders, I also expressly said that in the updated version.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The reason a player chooses 2 of the three is so they can decide which sacrifices to make. Yeah, it's not convinient to not be able to lie, kill indiscriminately, or keep all of the loot you find, but that is entirely the point and railing against that defeats the purpose. As it is none of these are going to gimp the paladin in combat or make him less powerful than his allies, but it will force some roleplaying decisions.

Furthermore, realize that failing to follow your code once in awhile only causes you to lose your paladin powers for 24 hours. It does not mean I'm going to jump in and stop players from landing a killing blow. Doing so will strike a blow against their purity, but sacrifices for the greater good must be made sometimes.


Big Lemon wrote:

The reason a player chooses 2 of the three is so they can decide which sacrifices to make. Yeah, it's not convinient to not be able to lie, kill indiscriminately, or keep all of the loot you find, but that is entirely the point and railing against that defeats the purpose. As it is none of these are going to gimp the paladin in combat or make him less powerful than his allies, but it will force some roleplaying decisions.

Furthermore, realize that failing to follow your code once in awhile only causes you to lose your paladin powers for 24 hours. It does not mean I'm going to jump in and stop players from landing a killing blow. Doing so will strike a blow against their purity, but sacrifices for the greater good must be made sometimes.

I think they aren't too bad considering its only a 24 hour power loss. So long as they make sure to break their code on noncombat days, it won't hurt.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
johnlocke90 wrote:
Big Lemon wrote:

The reason a player chooses 2 of the three is so they can decide which sacrifices to make. Yeah, it's not convinient to not be able to lie, kill indiscriminately, or keep all of the loot you find, but that is entirely the point and railing against that defeats the purpose. As it is none of these are going to gimp the paladin in combat or make him less powerful than his allies, but it will force some roleplaying decisions.

Furthermore, realize that failing to follow your code once in awhile only causes you to lose your paladin powers for 24 hours. It does not mean I'm going to jump in and stop players from landing a killing blow. Doing so will strike a blow against their purity, but sacrifices for the greater good must be made sometimes.

I think they aren't too bad considering its only a 24 hour power loss. So long as they make sure to break their code on noncombat days, it won't hurt.

Repeatedly breaking their code when it's most convenient would constitute a fall, both from and out of character perspective and by virtue of the fact that the character is repeatedly breaking his code without remorse or penance.


Big Lemon wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Big Lemon wrote:

The reason a player chooses 2 of the three is so they can decide which sacrifices to make. Yeah, it's not convinient to not be able to lie, kill indiscriminately, or keep all of the loot you find, but that is entirely the point and railing against that defeats the purpose. As it is none of these are going to gimp the paladin in combat or make him less powerful than his allies, but it will force some roleplaying decisions.

Furthermore, realize that failing to follow your code once in awhile only causes you to lose your paladin powers for 24 hours. It does not mean I'm going to jump in and stop players from landing a killing blow. Doing so will strike a blow against their purity, but sacrifices for the greater good must be made sometimes.

I think they aren't too bad considering its only a 24 hour power loss. So long as they make sure to break their code on noncombat days, it won't hurt.
Repeatedly breaking their code when it's most convenient would constitute a fall, both from and out of character perspective and by virtue of the fact that the character is repeatedly breaking his code without remorse or penance.

Yeah but falling every 3-4 violations isnt too bad. It cuts atonement costs significantly.

Marathon Voter 2013

I personally always had some of the same problems with Alignment but the solution I found for the "Detect Evil He's the bad guy" issue was the extraplanar or "holy crap" evil, also when Vile Feats were a thing in 3.5 if you had one of those you pinged as Evil. Same with Exalted feats and Good.

I don't agree that every mortal should have their alignment on display cause of a simple class feature but there's something to said that if you start to align yourself with Divine or Infernal forces they're taint and mark should be able to be magically detected. And Paladin in particular are aligned with that kind of energy. Maybe they won't ping as LG for the first few levels but once they get an aura that should show their alignment.

Really as I'm typing this I figure if there's any class feature that could be an aura I figure that they should be able to be detected.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
johnlocke90 wrote:
Big Lemon wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Big Lemon wrote:

The reason a player chooses 2 of the three is so they can decide which sacrifices to make. Yeah, it's not convinient to not be able to lie, kill indiscriminately, or keep all of the loot you find, but that is entirely the point and railing against that defeats the purpose. As it is none of these are going to gimp the paladin in combat or make him less powerful than his allies, but it will force some roleplaying decisions.

Furthermore, realize that failing to follow your code once in awhile only causes you to lose your paladin powers for 24 hours. It does not mean I'm going to jump in and stop players from landing a killing blow. Doing so will strike a blow against their purity, but sacrifices for the greater good must be made sometimes.

I think they aren't too bad considering its only a 24 hour power loss. So long as they make sure to break their code on noncombat days, it won't hurt.
Repeatedly breaking their code when it's most convenient would constitute a fall, both from and out of character perspective and by virtue of the fact that the character is repeatedly breaking his code without remorse or penance.
Yeah but falling every 3-4 violations isnt too bad. It cuts atonement costs significantly.

I think you're thinking about this from a different perspective. I'm not concerned about my players benefitting from being able to do something unpaladin-like every X number of days. My players aren't going to think about things in those terms, and if they were it would be pretty easy to tell. My only concern is limiting the paladin as much as a strict LG alignment normally would and still allow for some forgiveness in morally grey areas.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Woodengolem wrote:

I personally always had some of the same problems with Alignment but the solution I found for the "Detect Evil He's the bad guy" issue was the extraplanar or "holy crap" evil, also when Vile Feats were a thing in 3.5 if you had one of those you pinged as Evil. Same with Exalted feats and Good.

I don't agree that every mortal should have their alignment on display cause of a simple class feature but there's something to said that if you start to align yourself with Divine or Infernal forces they're taint and mark should be able to be magically detected. And Paladin in particular are aligned with that kind of energy. Maybe they won't ping as LG for the first few levels but once they get an aura that should show their alignment.

Really as I'm typing this I figure if there's any class feature that could be an aura I figure that they should be able to be detected.

In those cases one would be able to detect SOME aura but not a specific alignment. Maybe the paladin is championed by a specific angel that a fiend familiar with that angel might know, or a cleric may exuade an aura of positive or negative energy that would be associated with good or evil but not indicate it necessarily (could always be a LN cleric who channels negative energy)

It might due to expand Detect Magic to detect the auras of magic items and creatures with strong ties to arcane and divine magic, and when a player uses it it will be described in such a way as to provide clues but not outright say "This guy has a NE aura, he's NE."

Shadow Lodge

It would be a good idea to have another one or two options for paladin codes. Even modified, Mercy and Charity are both individually more restrictive in terms of ultimate effect on the character than the current paladin's code, especially if that paladin is also bound by Integrity. More options also allows a character to better choose which sacrifices they want to make. If you have five or six possible codes, you can make it pick 3 instead of pick 2. Just take a look at all your possible combinations and make sure that there's nothing you'd consider undesirable in there.

Something a bit more active would be nice, like "Protection," requiring that the paladin actually protect the innocent (maybe with a bit more specific detail). I think many players would also appreciate a "Justice" option, requiring the paladin to uphold the law, respect lawful authority, and punish lawbreakers and evildoers. For a different flavor you could also try "Purity," maybe working with some combination of the monk vows of chastity, cleanliness, or fasting (no sexual behavior, can't touch the dead or undead or the diseased except to heal them, must eat simple foods and water only and can't benefit from potions).

The Protection, Justice, and Integrity combination would be very similar to the current paladin.

Protection and Mercy together would really stress respect for life.

Charity and Purity together would make more of an aesthetic paladin.

Kimera757 wrote:
Again, doesn't belong in an adventuring party. If a paladin gets caught doing something they "shouldn't" (eg investigating a thieves' guild), they'd rather beat the person that caught them unconscious rather than tell a lie? I wouldn't want to be friends with that kind of paladin.

As is the case with a strict reading of the current Paladin code of conduct, which prohibits lying or cheating. My group doesn't strictly enforce this one if the deceit is clearly serving a greater good, but some groups hold to it.

Aelrynth wrote:

The very discipline to suppress your rage is one of the things that would disqualify a berserker noble. Rage implies that you lose control, and your emotions frequently overwhelm your reason. The self-control of a Lawful mindset is deliberately opposed to the loss of self-control that Rage represents.

Likewise, I buy completely into the mindset that preternatural discipline is required for the use and development's of a monk's quest for self-perfection, and turning from that path means you've got to find another way, and without great circumstances, you will never reclaim that serenity once you've experienced other things life has to offer and pulls you away from the asceticism neccessary to pursue self-perfection.

Except self-discipline isn't actually described as a lawful trait:

Law vs Chaos wrote:

Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties. Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor new ideas over tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it.

Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, self-righteousness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.

Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

You could easily have a Lawful barbarian, who is committed to the traditions of his people and is obedient to the tribal elders, who believes that a warrior must be honourable and keep his word, but who allows himself to be overcome by furious spirits (loss of self-control) in order to fight the enemies of his people. This barbarian may have a number of tribal rituals preparing for battle or for purifying himself after a rage.

You could easily have a Chaotic monk who believes that individuals must be free in their personal searches for enlightenment and self-improvement and that honor and traditional master-student relationships prevent a person from reaching their full individual potential. This kind of monk may say that to understand, you must experience broadly, and interprets the injunction to "flow like water" as a call for adaptability in life. This does not prevent the monk from throwing themselves into their training with intense zeal, though they are more likely to "mix it up" with different training techniques, or to take training opportunities wherever they present themselves, rather than having a rigid routine.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I also think linknig the breach of Monk code to loss of ki pool points is appropriate, since the Martial Artist archetype, which has no alignment requirement, does not have ki abilities.


Big Lemon wrote:
I also think linknig the breach of Monk code to loss of ki pool points is appropriate, since the Martial Artist archetype, which has no alignment requirement, does not have ki abilities.

Yep, same thing with the Ninja, the Rogue (should the Rogue take that particular talent), and the Tengu archetype for the Oracle. They use ki, so they have to be lawful as well.

Except, wait, that's not the case at all.

And non-Martial Artist Monks that cease to be lawful can still gain an increase in the size of their ki pool simply by bumping up their Wis modifier or by taking Extra Ki. And there are plenty of feats for the Monk that make use of ki (thematically if not mechanically) that the so-called Ex-Monk can still take even after he disqualifies himself.

Not to mention that Idyllkin Aasimar Monks can continue to take levels in Monk even if non-lawful, so long as they pick a certain racial trait. Which of course means that anyone with access to two racial traits from the getgo can do the same thing, Aasimar or not.

So, no, I don't buy that for a moment.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tectorman wrote:
Big Lemon wrote:
I also think linknig the breach of Monk code to loss of ki pool points is appropriate, since the Martial Artist archetype, which has no alignment requirement, does not have ki abilities.

Yep, same thing with the Ninja, the Rogue (should the Rogue take that particular talent), and the Tengu archetype for the Oracle. They use ki, so they have to be lawful as well.

Except, wait, that's not the case at all.

And non-Martial Artist Monks that cease to be lawful can still gain an increase in the size of their ki pool simply by bumping up their Wis modifier or by taking Extra Ki. And there are plenty of feats for the Monk that make use of ki (thematically if not mechanically) that the so-called Ex-Monk can still take even after he disqualifies himself.

Not to mention that Idyllkin Aasimar Monks can continue to take levels in Monk even if non-lawful, so long as they pick a certain racial trait. Which of course means that anyone with access to two racial traits from the getgo can do the same thing, Aasimar or not.

So, no, I don't buy that for a moment.

Let me just address this in points:

1. Ninjas, and Rogues to a lesser extent, have their ki pools governed by Charisma, not Wis. Similarly to how a cleric casts with Wisdom and an Oracle casts with Charisma, one aquires his abilities through discipline and adherence to a strict code (for clerics, their deity's code), while the other aquires their abilities through a natural talent and force of will and as such is not subject to the same limitations (Oracles don't have to follow a deity's rules). There isn't just one way to gain divine spells, and there isn't just one way to learn who to use ki, but the way a monk does requires discipline, and if he does not maintain that, he cannot use his ki.

2. The description of the Martial Artist: "The martial artist pursues a mastery of pure martial arts without the monastic traditions. He is a master of form, but lacks the ability to harness his ki. This implies that forgoing monastic tradition makes him unable to harness ki. The Martial Artist doesn't possess the natural talent for ki that a ninja or rogue might have in the same way he doesn't have the natural arcane talent of a sorcerer, and since he doesn't study the discipline of developing ki powers, he cannot access them.

3. I'm not familiar with any setting-specific archetypes, but it sounds to me that those Aasimar can continue to take monk levels because they have an inherently holy nature that they use to gain their ki. The fact that these are racial traits means that only they can do this. That makes them an exception.

A 24hr loss of the use of ki is a thematically appropriate penalty that matches a 24hr loss of spells the others classes suffer.


Aelryinth wrote:

The very discipline to suppress your rage is one of the things that would disqualify a berserker noble. Rage implies that you lose control, and your emotions frequently overwhelm your reason. The self-control of a Lawful mindset is deliberately opposed to the loss of self-control that Rage represents.

Likewise, I buy completely into the mindset that preternatural discipline is required for the use and development's of a monk's quest for self-perfection, and turning from that path means you've got to find another way, and without great circumstances, you will never reclaim that serenity once you've experienced other things life has to offer and pulls you away from the asceticism neccessary to pursue self-perfection.

But alignment has always been contentious. Some people love the limitations it puts on what they can and cannot do, and how it will shape a world and campaign. Others prefer something less limiting, or 'modern', where alignments are just markers and not forces in their own right.

whatever works for you. I do believe if we were able to sense alignments in the modern world the effects would be drastic!

==Aelryinth

I can understand wanting to play those sorts of characters and being fine with those limitations defining those sorts of characters. What I don't understand is why they're considered the be-all-end-all.

You see, if this was an RPG for Star Wars or Star Trek, I wouldn't have a problem. An RPG made for Star Wars is meant to facilitate a game set in that specific universe and if it lacks elements that help you to use the system for a game set somewhere else (say, somewhere with transporter technology or frequent time travel), then oh well, it's supposed to. Likewise, you don't complain about the nonexistence of the Force in an RPG for Star Trek.

I can understand limiting character concepts in a setting specific game. If Pathfinder was Golarion-specific, not meant to be used or usable for Faerun or Eberron or Dragonlance or Greyhawk or any number of other settings, including homemade settings that may share all, some, few, or none of the assumptions made about the world of Golarion, then I wouldn't have an issue.

I might have been disappointed that the design team taking 3X forward decided to change it from setting-neutral to setting-specific, but at least I could've understood it.

Except that Pathfinder isn't setting-specific. It's meant to be used in Golarion or in any other setting you create. The whole purpose of the design team's guiding star of "backwards compatibility" was to allow Pathfinder material to be used in existing games, such as games existing in previously established settings (FR, Dragonlance, etc.). Why make that such an issue if the game is in fact intended to only be used for Golarion the same way Star Wars is only supposed to be used for, well, Star Wars?

Well, part and parcel to that is the fact that assumptions that apply in one setting should not be assumed to carry over into all others. If Pathfinder wants to say that in Golarion, only those who adopt a certain mindset and live a certain lifestyle can figure out the magic code of combining skill at unarmed fighting with skill at unarmored fighting with cool supernatural powers, then they have every right to say so. If they come up with another campaign setting, they have every right to say how things work there as well.

But they should not be determining that in campaign settings that they have nothing to do with. That being the case, they should not have made the game in the format that a player wanting to play something unconventional for one setting (but possibly very conventional for another setting, something this game by definition should not be getting in the way of) should have to fight, bribe, beg, cajole, threaten, arm-twist, or "other" the DM just to be able to play.

So in the case of the Monk class, we currently have a setup with three different types of Monk class players. One group likes or at least tolerates the alignment restriction for the Monk but would be just as fine with it gone ("Don't Carers"). The second group requires the Monk class have those restrictions; they make sense for some Monks, therefore, all Monks should have them ("As Isers"). The third group needs the alignment restrictions to be gone so they can enjoy the Monk; they don't care whether other players choose to still play Lawful Monks, they just don't want to have to do that themselves (the "Disenfranchised").

Now, what I want to say is that the current setup satisfies the Don't Carers and leaves the Disenfranchised behind. And that it would mathematically be better for the company, the game, everyone really, for the alignment restrictions to go away entirely. The Disenfranchised can finally enjoy the game without reservation and the Don't Carers are no different than they were before (they could play Lawful Monks before, they still can now).

Except, that completely forgets the existence of the As Isers. So if the current setup is, say, 70% Don't Carers 15% Disenfranchised 15% As Isers (where 85% of people are happy, 15% are not), then getting rid of alignment doesn't actually make the approval rating go up (it's still 85% pleased 15% displeased).

But I have to ask "So what?"

Even if the numbers were 50% Don't Carers 30% As Isers 20% Disenfranchised, the game is still leaving behind players that just want to be treated fairly in favor of players that can only have their fun at the expense of someone else. (Sounds mean, but I don't know how else to perceive it).

I mean, just because the default fluff of the Barbarian is that his rage is a loss of control doesn't mean it's the only fluff possible for a Barbarian's rage. Personally, I think it's even more of an argument for a Lawful Barbarian that he can turn something like that into a tangible benefit; i.e., anyone can throw a fit and have a tantrum, but it takes someone of real mental focus to take an emotional state and do something with it. And if the Barbarian's alignment restrictions were taken away, it would not stop you from simply deciding for your own self to just disallow yourself from playing Lawful Barbarians.

You can decide that knights have to be Lawful and the closest class to a knight (in your view) is a Fighter, and therefore all of your Fighter characters have to be Lawful. That doesn't mean that every Fighter in every game and every setting ever should have to be Lawful.

Or you can decide that a "Swordmaster" character is best represented by the Fighter class, and therefore all of your Fighter characters only use swords, only know how to use swords, and are sworn by sacred oath never to use anything that's not a sword. Again, that doesn't mean that all Fighters everywhere should not be able to use the weapon they want.

And thankfully, that's not the case. Fighter players dodged a bullet in that, long ago when the game was first created, no one got it into their heads that since Fighters can represent certain kinds of characters they should only be able to represent those kinds of characters. I'm just saying that there never should have been a bullet in the first place. Not for Paladins, not for Monks, not for Barbarians, not for Bards, not for Druids, not for anyone.

Yes, I realize that all of that sounds like I'm saying that you should be ashamed of yourselves, but again, I don't know how else to perceive it.

"I can play the character that I want to play, and even though you being able to play the character you want to play has no negative effect on me whatsoever, it's still no skin off my back that you can't so I might as well vouch for the way things are."

How am I not supposed to see things like that? Why in Hell would I not argue vehemently against that? Why argue for it?

Why cater to the As Isers over the Disenfranchised?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In a way, the Most important Rule clause expressly allows a GM to change any rules they can agree upon with players as a part of the rules, but a far as those changes go it's good to be able to discuss them with a broader range of players in order to come up with something that will work.

I've already heard several helpful ideas about this from people in this thread so I say it's a plus.

Shadow Lodge

I don't actually mind individual gaming groups applying alignment restrictions (or race restrictions, or deity restrictions for that matter) on particular mechanics in their games if that group agrees that it adds to their gaming experience. I don't see someone who doesn't want to play in a game with a Chaotic paladin as being inherently unreasonable, any more so than someone who dislikes sexual content in their games. They find it runs counter to their personal values or preferences, and I don't have to shove it in their face. I already often alter characters or pick from several character concepts based on what I think will fit with the party, so even if an official CG paladin or Lawful Barbarian were introduced, I wouldn't choose to play one if it made one of my friends uncomfortable.

However, I do find it odd that some people take offense at the idea that someone somewhere is playing a different style of game that doesn't include these restrictions, or who bristle at the idea that these restrictions might be loosened in "official" products. Why not design a game to give people options, and then let individual groups decide which options they like? After all, plenty of GMs prohibit Evil PCs or the firearm rules. If those GMs and their groups would like to keep alignment restrictions, they can keep them even if the rulebooks say otherwise. As it is, the status quo is fewer options, and the burden is on the individual player to prove the value of the options they'd like to play.

I would like to see the official materials acknowledge that room exists at the table to bend or break these restrictions, and encourage groups to be flexible about them. There's a line in the Cleric description that reads:

Cleric wrote:
While the vast majority of clerics revere a specific deity, a small number dedicate themselves to a divine concept worthy of devotion—such as battle, death, justice, or knowledge—free of a deific abstraction. (Work with your GM if you prefer this path to selecting a specific deity.)

I think it would be nice to see a similar note in any class that has a flavor-based alignment restriction.

While the vast majority of (class) are (alignment), a small number instead (alternate philosophy, brief explanation or justification). Work with your GM if you prefer this path.

Liberty's Edge

My simple solution for Paladins is this: They have to be Good. ANY Good. Lawful Good Paladins are the standard enforcers of Law and Order. Chaotic Good Paladins are heroes of the people, fighting against Tyranny. Neutral Good Paladins care for neither Order nor Chaos, but focus on helping the innocent.


Big Lemon wrote:
I would never get rid of alignment outright. I'm far to involve with the concept of the Outer Planes and the concept of primordial, abstract forces at war to remove them from my games entirely. I'll admit, I'm more attached to Law/Chaos than I am to Good/Evil because the latter more often has those vague areas and every GM handles them differently.

Odd, I've always thought that Law/Chaos is the more ambiguous of the two. *shrug*

From what I've seen of this thread, I'd much rather play in your PF than RAW PF. I'd still avoid paladins though. I like the way you think about barbarians; being tribal and able to productively channel rage doesn't prohibit anyone from being lawful. I don't like being wrapped up in tropes, tradition, and overly narrow archetypes. So I'd love to see you expand this kind of attitude to other classes.


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Weirdo wrote:
You could easily have a Lawful barbarian, who is committed to the traditions of his people and is obedient to the tribal elders, who believes that a warrior must be honourable and keep his word, but who allows himself to be overcome by furious spirits (loss of self-control) in order to fight the enemies of his people. This barbarian may have a number of tribal rituals preparing for battle or for purifying himself after a rage.

Absolutely. In point of fact, many historical tribes, in the real world, have been quite regimented, having many taboos, rituals and so forth, i.e. they have been quite Lawful. And with good reason: living in a truly Chaotic culture is not conducive to long-term survival, in the wild. For this reason, the whole "barbarians can't be Lawful" thing has always bugged me. It smacks of a very pulp/cinematic - but not very realistic - understanding of what tribal life is really like.

As for monks... well, Paizo has already put the horse's head in the door, with martial artists (who can have any alignment), drunken monks (lawful? yeah, right...), and so forth. Seems to me, the alignment restriction should probably be ditched for them, too.

Really, the only alignment restrictions I think are best left in place are those that involve ties to the divine, i.e. a cleric's need to mirror his deity's alignment, etc. Having said this, I sometimes wonder if paladins should simply be restricted to Good, rather than Lawful Good. It would make just as much sense and allow for interesting possibilities. By extension, it would also imply that anti-paladins need only be Evil (I want my Lawful Evil anti-paladin!).

There is something else worth noting. I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this before, but most of the alignment restrictions were originally put in place as a balancing mechanism (in the days of 1st edition D&D and even the original brown books). Paladins, for example, had a code of conduct (along with tithes, possession restrictions, etc.) to make up for the fact that they were simply better than fighters in every other way. These days, with the classes being more internally balanced, that particular use for alignment restrictions is long gone. So, if it's simply a flavor thing, shouldn't that depend on the campaign in question?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cleric wrote: wrote:


While the vast majority of clerics revere a specific deity, a small number dedicate themselves to a divine concept worthy of devotion—such as battle, death, justice, or knowledge—free of a deific abstraction. (Work with your GM if you prefer this path to selecting a specific deity.)
I think it would be nice to see a similar note in any class that has a flavor-based alignment restriction.

Personally, since Pathfinder introduced the Oracle class, I don't like the idea of Clerics not worshipping a deity. I'd much rather have a Cleric player make up a minor deity (and have on one occasion) than worship a "divine concept". If he didn't want to have one, I would just say play an Oracle, since the class is more built toward a vague divine concept anyway.

Tequila Sunrise said wrote:
Odd, I've always thought that Law/Chaos is the more ambiguous of the two. *shrug*

Law, as I see it, is a simple binary. Either you are following tradition or you are breaking it. Either you are keeping your oath or you are not. Good can be so much more flux; making someone suffer is by default evil, but can sometimes be acceptable if it's for the greater good, or at least it's something that can be argued. The weird ambiguous part comes from the fact that people don't normally think about people or actions in terms of being lawful. "You're such a good person" sounds much more familiar than "You are so lawful". Typically, someone who obeys all of our society's social customs would be Lawful Good, and we usually only notice the good part.


Another thought about barbarian rage: it can represent different things. For example, it can represent a quirky fight-or-flight response - a character who is not normally violent or angry but freaks out under extreme stress, reacting with adrenaline (credit where it's due: this was my wife's idea, for a character). Or it can represent religious zeal and/or extreme, burning focus (as in the case of my own aasimar barbarian). Neither of these versions of rage would require a non-Lawful alignment (or any particular alignment, for that matter). Indeed, it could be argued that a character of the latter sort might actually lean towards Lawful.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cwylric wrote:
Another thought about barbarian rage: it can represent different things. For example, it can represent a quirky fight-or-flight response - a character who is not normally violent or angry but freaks out under extreme stress, reacting with adrenaline (credit where it's due: this was my wife's idea, for a character). Or it can represent religious zeal and/or extreme, burning focus (as in the case of my own aasimar barbarian). Neither of these versions of rage would require a non-Lawful alignment (or any particular alignment, for that matter). Indeed, it could be argued that a character of the latter sort might actually lean towards Lawful.

Exactly. And alignment may manifest certain traits, but not the other way around.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Actually, tribal culture is a ruling for a chaotic mindset, because you are adhering to localized custom, and not a greater law that covers more then just friends, families and relatives...particularly if there is no reasoning behind the traditions, they are just that way, and outsiders who don't hold to them are just kinda nuts.

Most chaotics will come from tribal backgrounds, actually, because Law endorses civilization, holding everyone to the same standard, regardless of origin, and most Chaotics don't do that. The fact you have regimented traditional duties and have to fight to get past them is no more then bucking tradition gets anywhere. IF you are strong enough, you will change things...that's what Chaotics do, the will of the one is stronger then the will of the many. If Lawful, it's the other way around.

If you are already a musclebound rage machine, it's a lot easier to break out of the traditional mold and get the power to crack heads of others who want to put you in your place. In Chaotic socities, this is an admired ability. In Lawful, it's the sign of a rabble-rouser and rebel who needs to be taught his place!

==Aelryinth

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just like to +1 Cwylric and Weirdo's take on the lawful barbarians. I have floated a similar boat with some homebrew colleagues but it didn't go down to well, or rather, it sank without a trace.
Having lived with some tribal folk I'd have to say Aelryinth's take doesn't gel too well with me. I'm not sure what "chaotic mindset" Aelryinth is talking about. I do however agree with the part about tribal societies having rules for:

Aelryinth wrote:
friends, families and relatives...particularly if there is no reasoning behind the traditions, they are just that way, and outsiders who don't hold to them are just kinda nuts

but the point Aelryinth makes later:

Aelryinth wrote:
If you are already a musclebound rage machine, it's a lot easier to break out of the traditional mold and get the power to crack heads of others who want to put you in your place. In Chaotic socities, this is an admired ability. In Lawful, it's the sign of a rabble-rouser and rebel who needs to be taught his place!

seems to suggest that by following your tribal elders to the letter you aren't actually Lawful, but are Chaotic due to the small geographic/demographic nature of your tribe and their "chaotic mindset". I don't agree. Unless I misunderstood.

Lore-as-Law in animist cultures is Lawful, no matter how superstitious or illogical. Lawful Paladins and Barbarians can be flavored for "tribal people". At least in my IMHO.


@ Aelryinth, I gotta agree with Oceanshieldwolf. Your view on cultural alignment sounds like it comes from stereotypes, romanticized folk tales, and pulp fiction tropes.

Now I'm not a cultural anthropologist, but it seems to me that tribal culture allows for a lot less chaotic 'rebel'-types than more tech-advanced culture. Why? Because tribal folk don't have nearly as much of a safety net [read: tech] between them and extinction. Tribal folk have to rely more on tradition and 'local law' to survive.

For example a woman who rejects her traditional gender role in a literate culture just might find her way into becoming a scribe or a spinster midwife or even a prostitute. She might be trash-talked, underpaid, and even abused. But she's not eliminating any significant portion of her society's next generation by refusing to bear children, and she has many alternative ways of contributing to its survival and success.

Whereas a tribal woman has a tougher road ahead of her: by not having children, she's eliminating a more significant portion of her tribe's next generation and thus its survivability. And this will be reflected in the attitude of her tribesfolk; Disney gives us the impression that tribal culture is some kind of hippy utopia, but it can be downright cruel to anyone who bucks tradition. Stoning, exile, rape, you name it. And there are fewer productive alternatives for a tribal spinster; no learning to read and write, not even prostitution to buy food with.

But hey, this is D&D, where the difference between male and female is a single little entry on the character sheet, and logic need not apply. So what the hel!


Tequila Sunrise wrote:

@ Aelryinth, I gotta agree with Oceanshieldwolf. Your view on cultural alignment sounds like it comes from stereotypes, romanticized folk tales, and pulp fiction tropes.

Now I'm not a cultural anthropologist

Yeah it actually shows. You traded in one set of racist and offensive stereotypes for another set of racist and offensive stereotypes.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
I'm not a cultural anthropologist, but

Is this going to be the new "I'm not racist, but"?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A tribe is just a culture with fewer people in it. It doesn't make their laws any less lawful. A LG person understand that rules, such as currency and property laws, limit some freedoms in order to proserve others, such as making sure people don't constantly steal eachothrrs things. A CG person will ignore that and follow his own conscience, such as stealing from wealthy lords who unfairly tax their subjects. Someone coming from a tribe or coming from a city could be either of these things.

I think we are getting into dangerous, somewhat offtopic territory here.


I played a homebrew race Ironskin Monk / Qinggong Monk / Urban Barbarian who's alignment was Neutral Good and she was going to take levels in Brother of the Seal. So how hard and how many times do my fellow players and DM need to hit me in the face with a Core Rulebook for that much badwrongfun, even though I was the DM and said character was a DM PC that was created by request from the players who lacked a fourth party member and actually wanted one?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Floating a line between discipline and uncontrolled fury is an interesting way to play NG.

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