Player Core 2 Preview: The Champion, Remastered

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

With Pathfinder Player Core 2 releasing at the start of August, we know players are anticipating the remastered versions of some of their favorite classes! In a series of blogs starting right here, we’ll be alternating between talking about the changes to four of the classes and showing off some fun fiction and art starring the iconic characters of Player Core 2.

The champion is the premier divine warrior, with some of the best armor and defenses in the game. They’re devoted to their deity and their tenets. One of the major changes to the remaster was dropping alignment, which the champion has always featured heavily, so we know everyone expects big changes to the class!

We’ve already put basic compatibility rules for the champion in the Pathfinder FAQ—see Pathfinder Core Rulebook Errata (Remaster Compatibility)—but the Player Core 2 version will present a much more thorough overhaul. So what do fans of this class have to look forward to?

Seelah, the iconic champion, battles a tyrant devil. Art by William Liu.

Seelah, the iconic champion, battles a tyrant devil. Art by William Liu.


Before the remaster, a champion’s alignment and their choice of champion cause established a strict set of hierarchical rules to be followed. Each good and evil alignment had a cause tied to it, like the lawful good paladin, chaotic good liberator, and neutral evil desecrator. The remastered version still has a cause, but the focus has shifted away from being so strict and static. Now we use edicts and anathema tied to different character choices to guide your roleplaying.

Let’s take the paladin as an example. They used to follow the two tenets of good, two tenets of the lawful good paladin cause, and any edicts and anathema for their deity. A champion under the remastered rules would choose the justice cause. They would follow the edicts and anathema of their deity, plus the following from the cause of justice.

Edicts follow the law, respect legitimate authorities or leadership

Anathema take advantage of another, cheat

More emphasis on edicts rather than an unbendable code loosens some of the restrictions on their roleplaying to allow more well-rounded, nuanced characters. There’s a better balance over “should nots” instead of all “must nots.”

A champion can optionally choose a sanctification. If you’ve read Pathfinder Player Core, you’re familiar with holy and unholy sanctification—a choice based on your deity that lets you commit yourself to the battle for souls between the holy planes and unholy planes. Champions can choose sanctification based on their deity, though unholy sanctification is an uncommon option. Each sanctification gives you another edict and anathema, and adds the holy or unholy trait to all your Strikes.

Some, but not all, champion causes require a certain sanctification. Justice, mentioned above, does not. The Player Core 2 causes are justice, liberation, and obedience (open to all); desecration and iniquity (open only to unholy champions); and redemption and grandeur (open only to holy champions). If you are already playing a champion and want to update them to the new options, you’ll probably be able to keep the core of that character. Though you can always shake things up with the new grandeur cause, which is based on the brilliant splendor of celestials.


Other Changes

This class has seen a huge number of other changes we think will make it more satisfying to play, but we don’t want to keep you here all day with one blog post. So here’s the short version!

  • You now have a defined champion’s aura for your reactions, aura feats, and other abilities, which lets other rules alter and refer to the range of your divine abilities more easily.
  • The divine ally ability has been changed to blessing of the devoted, and the mount has moved to a 1st-level feat. You can instead choose the blessed swiftness option to move faster—whether you’re mounted or not.
  • Feats saw a ton of change, like the new Defensive Advance feat and updated structure for Mercy. We focused on broadly useful feats plus maintaining some backward compatibility, but we did run out of room. You’ll see oath feats moved to Lost Omens Divine Mysteries. We’re hoping to find a book in which it would make sense to remaster litanies at some point, but we don’t have one that can hold them yet.
  • You choose a focus spell based on your deity’s divine font options. As before the remaster, you can choose lay on hands if your deity allows the heal divine font or touch of the void (formerly touch of corruption) if they allow the harm divine font. However, there’s also a new option for a deity with any font, specially made for defense-minded characters. Introducing shields of the spirit!

Shields of the Spirit [one-action] Focus 1

Uncommon, Champion, Concentrate, Focus, Sanctified, Spirit
Requirements You are wielding a shield.

You Raise your Shield, causing ephemeral spirit shields to float within your champion’s aura. The shields last until the start of your next turn or until you’re no longer raising your shield, whichever comes first. While one of your allies is in your champion’s aura, the shields grant them a +1 status bonus to AC, and each time an enemy makes an attack against the ally, the enemy takes 1d4 spirit damage (even if it misses).

The benefit applies only while an ally is in your aura, ending for any ally that leaves and applying to any that enters later. As normal, you don’t count as your own ally and therefore don’t get the benefits of the spirit shields yourself.
Heightened (+2) The damage increases by 1d4.

Logan Bonner (he/him)
Pathfinder Lead Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Pathfinder Remaster Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Sanityfaerie wrote:
I mean, there's an even simpler form. Old king dies, has two kids. Both kids have claims to the throne. Each asserts that their claim is the rightful one for various reasons. Which one is rightful? There's all sorts of different things you could slap in as arguments on either side and the answer would inevitably boil down to "personal interpretation".

Of course they should follow their code, but what I find concerning is this situation:

So if a justice champion is a loyalist for one brother, and hates the other brother, but the other brother wins, should the justice champion be obliged toward switching to that brother's side or change class?

If both brothers have a host of justice champions that are loyal to their seat on the throne, what should the champions of the losing side do?


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Fort reaper 225 wrote:
Logan Banner wrote:
Heightened (+2) The damage increases by 1d4.

Is anyone else thinking that this scales quite poorly? 1d4 every 2 spell levels bounds up to practically nothing at most stages of the game...

Wait until that Draconic Frenzy hits, or another multi attack ability that triggers several times on your protectees.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
moosher12 wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
I mean, there's an even simpler form. Old king dies, has two kids. Both kids have claims to the throne. Each asserts that their claim is the rightful one for various reasons. Which one is rightful? There's all sorts of different things you could slap in as arguments on either side and the answer would inevitably boil down to "personal interpretation".

Of course they should follow their code, but what I find concerning is this situation:

So if a justice champion is a loyalist for one brother, and hates the other brother, but the other brother wins, should the justice champion be obliged toward switching to that brother's side or change class?

If both brothers have a host of justice champions that are loyal to their seat on the throne, what should the champions of the losing side do?

"My lord is the rightful ruler and his brother is a feckless usurper " is a valid option.


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It's wild that no one brought up the fact that Shields of the Spirit is sanctified and what that's going to mean to things weak to holy. Fiends absolutely cannot afford to consistently take 5/10/15 damage on top of the d4s each time they try to hit one of your allies. They're going to have to focus on you.

If a level 16 Seraptis demon uses Bloody Dance (two actions to get four attacks against four different targets) against a party of four all within a level 13 holy champion aura it's doing to take 3 x 4d4+15, or average 75 damage. That's 22% of its HP gone. I imagine it will try something else on the next turn.

Diabolic Dragons wanting to use Draconic Frenzy are in the same boat.


Looks good. Hopefully all the reactions can be better balanced this time around to be more equally useful.

About the new spell, even against a single boss, ones that have 3+ attacks like hydras and multi armed creatures, getting 3-6 instances of automatic damage means trying to focus down a squishy is going to come at a non insignificant cost.

Hope there's more feats for expanding what your aura does, what your reaction is capable of and somehow more deity related options.

As an aside, this makes the guardian look even worse to me.


Shield of the spirits really make Blood Ward & Protective Ward sad in comparison, the main advantage they have against it is the ability to be sustained.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
moosher12 wrote:

Though that does raise the question. If the legally-rightful tyrant in the region, and your respected commander of a rebel group, are both legitimate authorities in their domains. Which authority is more legitimate?

What defines being rightful, when it may not be moral, but remains done lawfully and accordance to tradition? Or if a difference in cultures makes what is rightful for another culture not rightful to you?

Edicts and anathema are inherently subject to personal interpretation. They always have been. The definition of "rightful" is part of that.

I mean, there's an even simpler form. Old king dies, has two kids. Both kids have claims to the throne. Each asserts that their claim is the rightful one for various reasons. Which one is rightful? There's all sorts of different things you could slap in as arguments on either side and the answer would inevitably boil down to "personal interpretation".

Of course, the munchkin immediately says "aha! That lets me cheese it so that this isn't a meaningful restriction at all, and i can just ignore it!" That's missing the point entirely. The issue here isn't about following a set of mechanistic rules as a limitation on character freedom. The issue is that these are supposed to be things that your character actually cares about at a fundamental level, and a creed that they are following to the best of their ability. As soon as you handwave it away and say "so I can stop worrying about it now", that's the moment that you've truly violated your edict and/or anathema. Even when it goes along with what you would have done anyway, your character (and by extension you) are supposed to both know and care why that is.

If someone swears upon their honor to follow a creed that they don't understand half the words to, they have already indicated that they do not care about their word of honor. It doesn't matter if they're following the creed. If their honor meant what it was supposed...

Lord Almighty, I wish I could favorite a comment more than once.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have to say in general I'm really excited for this. The changes sound fun, the new causes sound much more flexible, the various updates all sound good.

I do kind of wish the new focus spell wasn't shield-only, just because it's a very cool ability and sort of a shame that the new focus option is so style locked.

But it's a fairly minor complaint. Overall I'm really excited for the updated Champion.


Will there be a preview of the monk?


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Pagan priest wrote:
Will there be a preview of the monk?

Of course not. All the other classes, yes. But not monk.


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Farien. Stop that.

If the pattern holds from the last Remaster book release, these blog post previews come out once a week. We don't know what order the classes will be previewed in, but they should all appear.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder LO Special Edition, PF Special Edition Subscriber

I'd like to support the idea of class feat decks (as well as race, general etc). This would be fantastic to have at the table especially given the remaster move toward more feats for fun.

The shield focus spell is actually pretty good. Artist highest its a free 13 points damage against anyone who attacks an ally - not even hitting just attacking. Free damage is great.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Eoran wrote:

Farien. Stop that.

If the pattern holds from the last Remaster book release, these blog post previews come out once a week. We don't know what order the classes will be previewed in, but they should all appear.

blog post wrote:
In a series of blogs starting right here, we’ll be alternating between talking about the changes to four of the classes and showing off some fun fiction and art starring the iconic characters of Player Core 2.

So... based on this quote, only 4 classes of the 8 in the book will get a preview. Probably the 4 that got the biggest change... We already know Champion... Maybe Sorcerer, Oracle and Alchemist?

Liberty's Edge

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Given that the Player Core 2 product page reads:

Player Core 2 Product Page wrote:
Fully integrated errata from the first 4 years of Pathfinder Second Edition, including a revised alchemist, champion, and oracle!

It seems a safe bet to say that Alchemist and Oracle are 2 of the remaining 3 classes that will be shown.


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Arcaian wrote:

Given that the Player Core 2 product page reads:

Player Core 2 Product Page wrote:
Fully integrated errata from the first 4 years of Pathfinder Second Edition, including a revised alchemist, champion, and oracle!
It seems a safe bet to say that Alchemist and Oracle are 2 of the remaining 3 classes that will be shown.

Is it?

I'd say it's a toss up between showcasing all the "more complex reworks" or if they're going to stick to "we don't want to discuss X in isolation because it may give false impression" and they decide to go with the least contentious reworks.


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moosher12 wrote:

Of course they should follow their code, but what I find concerning is this situation:

So if a justice champion is a loyalist for one brother, and hates the other brother, but the other brother wins, should the justice champion be obliged toward switching to that brother's side or change class?

If both brothers have a host of justice champions that are loyal to their seat on the throne, what should the champions of the losing side do?

They should... follow their code.

Perhaps they think that fully claiming the throne by force and/or killing everyone else with a claim is enough to make you the rightful ruler. Then they should acknowledge and accept that the winner is now the rightful ruler. Perhaps they do not think this thing, and instead think that the man currently on the throne has somehow rendered himself unfit for the position. Then they should react accordingly. If two brothers each have a group of loyal champions of justice, and each orders them into battle, and they consider these to be lawful orders, then they should do battle with one another... just as they would if they were aligned with different governments, and those governments were in a dispute over the proper disposition of a certain chunk of land.

A justice champion's code just tells you what to do with respect to the rightful rulers. You yourself have to decide who is the local rightful ruler (or if anyone is) based on your own interpretations. Everything else descends from that.

Squiggit wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
I mean, I'd love to play around the grey edges of these things, but... it only goes so far.

Farther than I think you're giving it credit for.

A cleric of Abadar or Calistria (or another god that allows both) can choose to Sanctify to Unholy and as far as I can tell has absolutely no requirements whatsoever needed to maintain that sanctification (other than the rule about gaining the opposite trait). Maintaining their powers as is, including their holy/unholy augmentations, only requires adhering to their deity's own rules and nothing else.

Obviously, willingly associating yourself with a certain faction has its own implications, but the fact that there are no anathema connected to sanctification itself is also pretty meaningful and something I think people gloss over too easily sometimes.

Again, we have actual official text: "The holy trait indicates a powerful devotion to altruism, helping others, and battling against unholy forces like fiends and undead. The unholy trait, in turn, shows devotion to victimizing others, inflicting harm, and battling celestial powers." It's not enforced, and I'm not aware of any rules for how one might lose sanctification, but it's pretty clear that if you're getting sanctified, that's more than just associating yourself with one faction or the other. If we take the text at face value, either the trait causes you to have devotion, or it requires same. Regardless, if you have that trait, the devotion is there.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
shroudb wrote:
Arcaian wrote:

Given that the Player Core 2 product page reads:

Player Core 2 Product Page wrote:
Fully integrated errata from the first 4 years of Pathfinder Second Edition, including a revised alchemist, champion, and oracle!
It seems a safe bet to say that Alchemist and Oracle are 2 of the remaining 3 classes that will be shown.

Is it?

I'd say it's a toss up between showcasing all the "more complex reworks" or if they're going to stick to "we don't want to discuss X in isolation because it may give false impression" and they decide to go with the least contentious reworks.

They are doing the following 8 classes right?

These are already some of my favorite classes
Champion - thanks for showing this class first
Sorcerer - favorite caster class
Barbarian - instincts make this class interesting and smashing is fun
Monk

not as interested in these as they are but could have a change of heart when I see the changes.
Swashbuckler
Investigator
Oracle
Alchemist


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shroudb wrote:
Arcaian wrote:

Given that the Player Core 2 product page reads:

Player Core 2 Product Page wrote:
Fully integrated errata from the first 4 years of Pathfinder Second Edition, including a revised alchemist, champion, and oracle!
It seems a safe bet to say that Alchemist and Oracle are 2 of the remaining 3 classes that will be shown.

Is it?

I'd say it's a toss up between showcasing all the "more complex reworks" or if they're going to stick to "we don't want to discuss X in isolation because it may give false impression" and they decide to go with the least contentious reworks.

They haven't really done that though. The PC1 blogs covered the Wizard rework and the removal of modifiers from cantrips, which were the most contentious changes from that book. They've already talked about some of the Alchemist and Oracle changes during the PaizoCon panel. The only time they said that was in response to a very specific question that was asked on Discord.


I'm looking forward to the rework removing some of the 'clunkiness' of my Tengu Fist of the Ruby Phoenix Champion of Sun Wukong.

Being able to actually pursue Justice while being a follower of the Monkey King instead of being sort of pigeon-holed to Liberator is refreshing.


Is it July yet?

Liberty's Edge

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Several points :

There are non-Unholy undead IIRC. Standard undead being Unholy is the Remastered equivalent to standard undead being Evil.

Law and Chaos still fully exist within the setting. They just do not have PC-affecting effects anymore.

All this talk of evil Holy and good Unholy gives me hope (kind of) that the "Does the Paladin fall ?" threads will know reincarnation.

People debating Justice now sounds EXACTLY like people debating Lawful sounded before.


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The Raven Black wrote:

Several points :

There are non-Unholy undead IIRC. Standard undead being Unholy is the Remastered equivalent to standard undead being Evil.

Law and Chaos still fully exist within the setting. They just do not have PC-affecting effects anymore.

All this talk of evil Holy and good Unholy gives me hope (kind of) that the "Does the Paladin fall ?" threads will know reincarnation.

People debating Justice now sounds EXACTLY like people debating Lawful sounded before.

- Aeons and Proteans still exist, and they're still at war with one another, and we even have some interestingly arranged outer planes, but Law and Chaos are no longer fundamental in the same way. Law and Chaos no longer exist as fundamental constants of the universe that can be detected by spells, damaged additionally by the right enchantments, blasted by... you get the idea. So yeah, people can (and will) still act in the same ways... but they don't really "fully exist in the setting" - or at least, not really much more than they do in the real world.

- evil Holy and good Unholy is weird, because we have fairly unequivocal statements about what the tags indicate, but they're not backed up with any kind of rules, or even a particularly clear idea of why they'd be that way. Maybe we'll get a clearer idea in Divine Mysteries or something?

- I don't think that Justice is being debated, really - not in the same way. I think we just have people who are trying to grapple with it and perhaps being somewhat confused at first. Thing is, Justice is a *lot* more clearly laid out than Lawful ever was.


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See, all this discussion makes me long once again that PC1 had icluded (or PC2 will include) a sidebar about alternate sanctification systems.
Maybe I'm not telling a story where good and evil (whatever you name them) are immutable cosmic forces.
Maybe in my setting the various Imperial factions and their divine backers are the driving forces of the world, vulnerabilities determined by who's at war with whom at the moment.
Maybe I just preferred the Law/Chaos axis, or I'm going for an Elric vibe.
Maybe I want to run a campaign where you can be Sanctified Pirate.
There's a broad range of possibilities to explore here!


TheTownsend wrote:

See, all this discussion makes me long once again that PC1 had icluded (or PC2 will include) a sidebar about alternate sanctification systems.

Maybe I'm not telling a story where good and evil (whatever you name them) are immutable cosmic forces.
Maybe in my setting the various Imperial factions and their divine backers are the driving forces of the world, vulnerabilities determined by who's at war with whom at the moment.
Maybe I just preferred the Law/Chaos axis, or I'm going for an Elric vibe.
Maybe I want to run a campaign where you can be Sanctified Pirate.
There's a broad range of possibilities to explore here!

Somewhat agreed. The idea of being a paragon of order versus a paragon of discord still has it's appeal. Ended up home ruling them back in so that a character like Harrim in Kingmaker who is a dour cleric of Groetus can have now have an "Entropic" sanctification, as neither Holy nor Unholy fit him.


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Elfteiroh wrote:
Eoran wrote:

Farien. Stop that.

If the pattern holds from the last Remaster book release, these blog post previews come out once a week. We don't know what order the classes will be previewed in, but they should all appear.

blog post wrote:
In a series of blogs starting right here, we’ll be alternating between talking about the changes to four of the classes and showing off some fun fiction and art starring the iconic characters of Player Core 2.
So... based on this quote, only 4 classes of the 8 in the book will get a preview. Probably the 4 that got the biggest change... We already know Champion... Maybe Sorcerer, Oracle and Alchemist?

Alchemist and Oracle? Sure. Not so sure about Sorcerer. Sorcerer and Monk got the least amount of changes, it seems like. More likely Swashbuckler (due to their new Bravado trait), or maybe Investigator with their new function for their Devise a Stratagem.

As for the pattern, Eoran, they literally said "we’ll be alternating between talking about the changes to four of the classes and showing off some fun fiction and art starring the iconic characters of Player Core 2". So next week's blog will likely not be a class preview, but fiction instead. Likely fiction based off of an art piece found within PC2.


Like the reason the only sanctifications available are "Holy" and "Unholy" is that if you look at all previous Pathfinder adventure, almost all of the "Law" vs. "Chaos" stories also map onto "Good" vs. "Evil".

Like Hell's Rebels was "Chaotic Good vs. Lawful Evil" story, Wrath of the Righteous was "Lawful Good vs. Chaotic Evil". They just weren't, for whatever reason, interested in "Lawful Good vs. Chaotic Good" or "Lawful Evil vs. Chaotic Evil" sorts of stories.

But it's easy to make your own systems for something like this.

Dark Archive

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Like the reason the only sanctifications available are "Holy" and "Unholy" is that if you look at all previous Pathfinder adventure, almost all of the "Law" vs. "Chaos" stories also map onto "Good" vs. "Evil".

Like Hell's Rebels was "Chaotic Good vs. Lawful Evil" story, Wrath of the Righteous was "Lawful Good vs. Chaotic Evil". They just weren't, for whatever reason, interested in "Lawful Good vs. Chaotic Good" or "Lawful Evil vs. Chaotic Evil" sorts of stories.

But it's easy to make your own systems for something like this.

The first Hellknights were canonically brought together in order to combat a cult of demon-worshipers.

Why should a Hellknight champion need to be holy-sanctified in order to be an effective demon slayer?


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Veltharis wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Like the reason the only sanctifications available are "Holy" and "Unholy" is that if you look at all previous Pathfinder adventure, almost all of the "Law" vs. "Chaos" stories also map onto "Good" vs. "Evil".

Like Hell's Rebels was "Chaotic Good vs. Lawful Evil" story, Wrath of the Righteous was "Lawful Good vs. Chaotic Evil". They just weren't, for whatever reason, interested in "Lawful Good vs. Chaotic Good" or "Lawful Evil vs. Chaotic Evil" sorts of stories.

But it's easy to make your own systems for something like this.

The first Hellknights were canonically brought together in order to combat a cult of demon-worshipers.

Why should a Hellknight champion need to be holy-sanctified in order to be an effective demon slayer?

And while not all Hellknights worship Asmodeus, those that do certainly would not be allowed to take a holy sanctification.


The "Hellknights are good at fighting Demons" thing should be addressed in the rules for being a Hellknight, anyway.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ezekieru wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
Eoran wrote:

Farien. Stop that.

If the pattern holds from the last Remaster book release, these blog post previews come out once a week. We don't know what order the classes will be previewed in, but they should all appear.

blog post wrote:
In a series of blogs starting right here, we’ll be alternating between talking about the changes to four of the classes and showing off some fun fiction and art starring the iconic characters of Player Core 2.
So... based on this quote, only 4 classes of the 8 in the book will get a preview. Probably the 4 that got the biggest change... We already know Champion... Maybe Sorcerer, Oracle and Alchemist?

Alchemist and Oracle? Sure. Not so sure about Sorcerer. Sorcerer and Monk got the least amount of changes, it seems like. More likely Swashbuckler (due to their new Bravado trait), or maybe Investigator with their new function for their Devise a Stratagem.

As for the pattern, Eoran, they literally said "we’ll be alternating between talking about the changes to four of the classes and showing off some fun fiction and art starring the iconic characters of Player Core 2". So next week's blog will likely not be a class preview, but fiction instead. Likely fiction based off of an art piece found within PC2.

I chose Sorcerer cause it would be the perfect place to talk about how they got affected by the Dragon changes. And maybe also talk about how the "dragon Disciple" archetype stuff can be converted now that the archetype doesn't exist anymore (so potentially doubling as a Dragonblooded blog too).

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:
moosher12 wrote:

Of course they should follow their code, but what I find concerning is this situation:

So if a justice champion is a loyalist for one brother, and hates the other brother, but the other brother wins, should the justice champion be obliged toward switching to that brother's side or change class?

If both brothers have a host of justice champions that are loyal to their seat on the throne, what should the champions of the losing side do?

They should... follow their code.

Perhaps they think that fully claiming the throne by force and/or killing everyone else with a claim is enough to make you the rightful ruler. Then they should acknowledge and accept that the winner is now the rightful ruler. Perhaps they do not think this thing, and instead think that the man currently on the throne has somehow rendered himself unfit for the position. Then they should react accordingly. If two brothers each have a group of loyal champions of justice, and each orders them into battle, and they consider these to be lawful orders, then they should do battle with one another... just as they would if they were aligned with different governments, and those governments were in a dispute over the proper disposition of a certain chunk of land.

A justice champion's code just tells you what to do with respect to the rightful rulers. You yourself have to decide who is the local rightful ruler (or if anyone is) based on your own interpretations. Everything else descends from that.

Squiggit wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
I mean, I'd love to play around the grey edges of these things, but... it only goes so far.

Farther than I think you're giving it credit for.

A cleric of Abadar or Calistria (or another god that allows both) can choose to Sanctify to Unholy and as far as I can tell has absolutely no requirements whatsoever needed to maintain that sanctification (other than the rule about gaining the opposite trait). Maintaining their powers as is, including

...

Just gonna repeat what I said before: "My Lord is the rightful ruler of these lands, and his brother is a feckless usurper who must be overthrown for the good of all" is a CLASSIC character trope for a paladin knight (in the classical sense of the word "paladin" - a senior knight whose post is as a close guard to the king).


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I hope the aura auto improves by 5 ft chunks. Clerics got the divine font auto scaling QoL adjustment so I'm hoping champion aura auto bumping to 20ft, 25ft, and eventually 30ft by lvl 17-20ish wouldn't be beyond the pale. It would definitely help their late game tanking/party utility when threats become the size of hills and you can't reasonably expect the party to cluster in a blob. Regardless I'm excited for what the mechanical implications might be feat wise for a bunch of champion mechanics rolling into one unified "aura"

Liberty's Edge

Sanityfaerie wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Several points :

There are non-Unholy undead IIRC. Standard undead being Unholy is the Remastered equivalent to standard undead being Evil.

Law and Chaos still fully exist within the setting. They just do not have PC-affecting effects anymore.

All this talk of evil Holy and good Unholy gives me hope (kind of) that the "Does the Paladin fall ?" threads will know reincarnation.

People debating Justice now sounds EXACTLY like people debating Lawful sounded before.

- Aeons and Proteans still exist, and they're still at war with one another, and we even have some interestingly arranged outer planes, but Law and Chaos are no longer fundamental in the same way. Law and Chaos no longer exist as fundamental constants of the universe that can be detected by spells, damaged additionally by the right enchantments, blasted by... you get the idea. So yeah, people can (and will) still act in the same ways... but they don't really "fully exist in the setting" - or at least, not really much more than they do in the real world.

Where a creature's soul ends up in the afterlife of the setting still depends on where they are on the Law-Chaos axis.

Pretty big in-setting effect for something that does not really fully exist.

Detected by spells and aligned damage are merely examples of the PC-affecting effects I mentioned and that are gone with the Remaster.

Unless a GM uses them as Legacy of course.


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The Raven Black wrote:

Where a creature's soul ends up in the afterlife of the setting still depends on where they are on the Law-Chaos axis.

Pretty big in-setting effect for something that does not really fully exist.

Detected by spells and aligned damage are merely examples of the PC-affecting effects I mentioned and that are gone with the Remaster.

Unless a GM uses them as Legacy of course.

So... a loyal Champion of Pharasma who picked Justice and served Her with unswerving dedication, carefully following all of her rules and maintaining a well-ordered life... would wind up in Axis rather than Pharasma's Palace? No.

Where a creature's soul winds up in the afterlife if they are not a loyal worshipper of some deity, have not bartered their soul away to some devil, or something similar... that is when your general tendencies and character may wind up determining which plane you go to. That's not most people, though. I'm thinking that most people on Golarion have a deity that they follow pretty religiously. Those that don't often have some sort of arrangement that winds up with them being ancestor spirits or whatever, as we know that those *also* exist.

So what we wind up with, then, is that for the people of Rahadoum, and possibly a smattering here and there from other places of those who aren't devoted enough to anybody for it to count, the soul goes up in front of a psychopomp. That psychopomp is basically stuck with the job of picking whichever of the outer planes that person is best suited to and sending them there... and it's a subjective enough decision that there are angels and devils and whatnot out there making arguments as to why the soul should go to *them*.

So it's still not a fundamental fact about reality. You just have a bunch of planes out there with various traits and features, and a bunch of psychopomps making the best choices they can. There is no essential Law or Chaos anywhere in teh process - just a bunch of judgement calls.

Liberty's Edge

And here I thought getting rid of Chaotic and Lawful on the PCs' level was not going to result in Law/Chaos disappearing from the setting.

IMO it makes for a blander, more one-dimensional, setting, if easier to access for newcomers.


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There is nuance here that I think is getting missed. I think to some degree you're both right. If you don't have a particular patron deity--and there's no reason to assume this is the default--your afterlife destination is indeed based on the plane that most closely matches your ideology in life (among, I assume, a number of other factors, such as whether you plan to reincarnate). In the Remaster, there is not necessarily any lawfulness or evilness particles in your soul (nothing to detect, nothing that matters re: spirit damage) unless you specifically put your name down to join the holy war and do it with some manner of deific sponsorship.

All the same, cosmic law as a concept that exists outside of you is still very much present in the setting. Axis still exists, and still represents the pinnacle of law in the setting as a spiritual force. law and chaos damage don't exist (nor, for a certain description do good or evil damage) but the place the spiritual forces occupy in the setting is unchanged except only that they can't gain a damage bonus on each other.

Unless major lore changes are coming to the outer planes (and War of Immortals is right there, there is still a plane of cosmic law and cosmic chaos, but those things have moved from the realm of mechanics to the realm of setting description. The cosmic idea of law still governs Axis, and ~so far~ the layout of the outer planes still revolves to some degree around the compass, even if these forces don't do anything if wielded anymore than you could wield the concept of North as a weapon.

--

But then maybe we'll see post-War that the outer planes splinter such that there's a plane in the outer sphere for every discrete 'ideology' and good, evil, law, and chaos are nothing more than a vague set of compass directions. "You're looking for the plane of tyranny? You wanna head 4 motes Evilward and about 2 Lawwise and you should get where you're going." "Yeah, classically we categorize Justice as a lawful-leaning plane, but for some reason rebellious types keep landing on its shores coming from the wrong direction so we're thinking we're really gonna have to reimagine our classification system."


Sanityfaerie wrote:
So... a loyal Champion of Pharasma who picked Justice and served Her with unswerving dedication, carefully following all of her rules and maintaining a well-ordered life... would wind up in Axis rather than Pharasma's Palace? No.

This is why it's actually a good thing to drop alignment since canonically where your soul ends up in the afterlife is "Pharasma makes a call" and thus "the GM makes a call" because Pharasma is an NPC. So whatever needs to happen for the story to make sense does happen.

All we've really done is recontextualized "someone gets seemingly sent to the 'wrong' plane" when a seemingly virtuous person ends up in the lower planes or a wicked person ends up in the higher planes as "Pharasma knows more about what the person was *really* like" instead of something weirder going on.

Like it shouldn't be actually weird for a Chelaxian patriot who attends Asmodean services as their social duty but is in practice a kind person and a reformer to end up somewhere other than Hell.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
So... a loyal Champion of Pharasma who picked Justice and served Her with unswerving dedication, carefully following all of her rules and maintaining a well-ordered life... would wind up in Axis rather than Pharasma's Palace? No.

This is why it's actually a good thing to drop alignment since canonically where your soul ends up in the afterlife is "Pharasma makes a call" and thus "the GM makes a call" because Pharasma is an NPC. So whatever needs to happen for the story to make sense does happen.

All we've really done is recontextualized "someone gets seemingly sent to the 'wrong' plane" when a seemingly virtuous person ends up in the lower planes or a wicked person ends up in the higher planes as "Pharasma knows more about what the person was *really* like" instead of something weirder going on.

Like it shouldn't be actually weird for a Chelaxian patriot who attends Asmodean services as their social duty but is in practice a kind person and a reformer to end up somewhere other than Hell.

Technically there is a clause that a character who was raised by Asmodean belief has their souls bound to Asmodeus for all eternity. This is from the Asmodeus entry in regards to Divine Attribute. And comes from the Raised by Belief background, which applies if you grew up in either a monastery, a religious household, or simply had Asmodean tradition as part of your everyday life. This background applies even if you have turned away from the creeds.


moosher12 wrote:
Technically there is a clause that a character who was raised by Asmodean belief has their souls bound to Asmodeus for all eternity. This is from the Asmodeus entry in regards to Divine Attribute. And comes from the Raised by Belief background, which applies if you grew up in either a monastery, a religious household, or simply had Asmodean tradition as part of your everyday life. This background applies even if you have turned away from the creeds.

Well, if there's one being in the multiverse who is willing and able to stand up to Asmodeus in terms of contractual shenanigans, it's likely Pharasma. Like I'm sure Hell has people in Pharasma's court making cases for all sorts of people, but Pharasma also likely does not rule in their favor 100% of the time and they ultimately have no recourse here. They have to play along because she sometimes does rule in their favor and this is less costly than other means of acquiring souls.

Asmodeus is a good lawyer, but Pharasma is the judge.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, if there's one being in the multiverse who is willing and able to stand up to Asmodeus in terms of contractual shenanigans, it's likely Pharasma. Like I'm sure Hell has people in Pharasma's court making cases for all sorts of people, but Pharasma also likely does not rule in their favor 100% of the time and they ultimately have no recourse here. They have to play along because she sometimes does rule in their favor and this is less costly than other means of acquiring souls.

Asmodeus is a good lawyer, but Pharasma is the judge.

While Pharasma is the judge, she is not necessarily Asmodeus' enemy, nor his friend. She is also not beholden to being good, nor is she beholden to evil (And classically, she was neither lawful or chaotic). She is neutral to him. And his contracts do hold their due weight. Her job is to issue souls where they are due, and to keep others from breaking from the proper cycle.

(Though Asmodeus might lean more friendly than not considering he actually assists Pharasma in defending the order of the cycle of souls by sending devils to protect the River of Souls from soul theft).


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:

And here I thought getting rid of Chaotic and Lawful on the PCs' level was not going to result in Law/Chaos disappearing from the setting.

IMO it makes for a blander, more one-dimensional, setting, if easier to access for newcomers.

Does it? In terms of practical implications, that one protean no longer takes 5 extra damage from certain attacks but otherwise the setting is pretty much the same.


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Just had a nice realization that I hope Paizo would capitalize on in the future. Like with Wizard Spell Schools, the new Cause system would allow Paizo to create new Causes that are defined as Neutral, Holy, or Unholy that splash into more specific causes.

Liberty's Edge

Squiggit wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

And here I thought getting rid of Chaotic and Lawful on the PCs' level was not going to result in Law/Chaos disappearing from the setting.

IMO it makes for a blander, more one-dimensional, setting, if easier to access for newcomers.

Does it? In terms of practical implications, that one protean no longer takes 5 extra damage from certain attacks but otherwise the setting is pretty much the same.

How people read the setting certainly seems different to me.

Some see it as fundamentally dissociated from the alignment grid from the get-go.

I think that is just wishful thinking encouraged by the disappearance of alignment in Remaster.

Grand Archive

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The lore is not changing. Also, even when alignments were still a mechanical thing, the PRIORITY for your soul was always "where your deity is" if you worshipped one dilligently, or "the place you sold your soul to". THEN your alignment. Basically, you kinda had some control over it, as you could "promise" your soul to a specific plane even if it didn't quite fit your alignment, but you hadd to either "sell your soul", or follow a deity's edict/anathema.


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Alignment not being a mechanical thing doesn't impact the fact that morality exists.

You can still be an evil bastard or a virtuous paragon without having a tag on your sheet.

And since we are speaking about morality on a fantasy world where the gods walk amongst us and have planes and rules and such, you'll still be judged the same, based on your actions, regardless if your character sheet no longer has an alignment entry.


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shroudb wrote:
Alignment not being a mechanical thing doesn't impact the fact that morality exists.

More precisely, lots of different moralities exist — arguably at least one for each sapient creature.

shroudb wrote:
You can still be an evil bastard or a virtuous paragon without having a tag on your sheet.

And you can be an evil bastard under some of those moralities while simultaneously being a virtuous paragon under others. :)

Replacing a singular definition of good and evil with the realism of subjective ethics is the main reason that I'm so happy that alignment was eliminated.

Liberty's Edge

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Gisher wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Alignment not being a mechanical thing doesn't impact the fact that morality exists.

More precisely, lots of different moralities exist — arguably at least one for each sapient creature.

shroudb wrote:
You can still be an evil bastard or a virtuous paragon without having a tag on your sheet.

And you can be an evil bastard under some of those moralities while simultaneously being a virtuous paragon under others. :)

Replacing a singular definition of good and evil with the realism of subjective ethics is the main reason that I'm so happy that alignment was eliminated.

I think the singular definition of good and evil is still there. It is merely hiding behind the Holy/Unholy tags.

There is still a one true way of cosmic morality even if its impact on a PC level has been drastically reduced.


While I don't expect it to be articulated in the game, removing alignment opens up alternative systems, with the holy/unholy one being specifically enforced by divine edict. There could be other systems, like Honored/Dishonored, or even something like a rock/paper/scissors relationship, like Free/Righteous/Just or Primordial/Civilized/Enlightened.


The Raven Black wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

And here I thought getting rid of Chaotic and Lawful on the PCs' level was not going to result in Law/Chaos disappearing from the setting.

IMO it makes for a blander, more one-dimensional, setting, if easier to access for newcomers.

Does it? In terms of practical implications, that one protean no longer takes 5 extra damage from certain attacks but otherwise the setting is pretty much the same.

How people read the setting certainly seems different to me.

Some see it as fundamentally dissociated from the alignment grid from the get-go.

I think that is just wishful thinking encouraged by the disappearance of alignment in Remaster.

No, I think Squiggit has it mostly right.

Yes, it is different. But if anything, I think the perception of the setting has become more nuanced, rather than less. It certainly has at my table, immediately.

Because before, the discussion and usually even the perception was like 80% about alignment. Now, we still have the vague "good vs evil" thing floating around. But the focus has absolutely shifted to the "commandmends" your character subscribes to. And those are so many times more varied than the old alignment could have ever hoped to be.

So just because there is no longer law/chaos written on a sheet somewhere doesn't mean the ideas behind them are gone. And in my eyes those ideas are what actually matter, not weird supposedly cosmic forces.

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