In the Black Company novels, every powerful wizard is protected at all times by many-layered defensive spells that are presumably cast ahead of time off-screen.
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
To be fair, occult classes were developed in PF 1.
People who want Psionics in PF1 are usually asking for D&D 3e style Psionics rather than slightly-tweaked arcane casting. Dreamscarred Press brought it to PF1 of course, but not everyone has the option of using third-party material.
Maybe they'd be happier if RPG used "species" instead of "race". A Dwarf is physically different enough from a Human that their stats should absolutely reflect that, and it's only to be expected that they would tend to adopt fighting styles that suit them. To use an extreme example, Humans are physically well-adapted to throwing weapons powerfully and accurately so so we've made good use of them, but other apes—who are smart enough to use tools, and much stronger than us—are not, so they don't bother.
I think for a Good-aligned character it's better to exhort them to uphold individual freedom, with the proviso that one's freedom ends where another's nose begins (Chaotic and Good) rather than simply to undermine lawful authority (Chaotic only).
One hopes that presenting an absurd set of rules for radicals, and then declaring them a "mirror" of the LG tenets, isn't a setup for an easy "gotcha!" down the road.
I'd expect a lawful good paladin to defend the same quality of life for evil creatures as good creatures and to give both the opportunity to show their morality through their actions. I'd expect a neutral good paladin to encourage redemption, forgiveness and reform. Chaotic good I'd expect to go for immediate gratification, fighting against evil directly with no need to justify their actions.
According to Gygax Himself (PBUH) the Paladin was supposed to massacre baby goblins, because nits make lice. He was supposed to kill surrendered enemies, even the genuinely repentant, to send them to their reward before they could backslide. And he was supposed to uphold lex talionis (an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life) as nothing other than Lawful And Good, Period. The Man even found the time to hint at the righteousness and effectiveness of cruel and unusual punishment as a deterrent to would-be criminals.
Anyone have a copy of BECMI handy? What's the Avenger like?
I'm aware of that. It ticks all the other boxes of future, fantasy, guns, and hacking that a lot of people look for in sci-fi, along with the magic and fantasy elements blended in, hence its place on the list.
Starfinder has sci-fi competitors in Shadowrun, 40k, and of course Star Wars.
Low fantasy, in its current meaning, is for low-level characters. If you don't want your game to leave that feeling behind, cap your PCs at level 6. Maybe PF2 can even devote a little sidebar to the E6 variant rules (essentially capping character level at 6 and making additional XP go towards feats). I think such tiers of play (e.g. Gritty < Heroic < Mythic) are a good idea, unfortunately 4th edition did it and even its good ideas are considered bad by association.
Casters don't have to get their spells nerfed to the ground, or be saddled with unfun chores to be reined in. They just need to have their spell lists tightly restricted along thematic lines: Specialist Wizards don't get extra spells of their chosen school, they get only spells of their chosen school (with perhaps a limited ability to learn spells from one other school), and there are no Universalists. Sorcerers can only choose from Bloodline spells, Clerics can only choose from Domain spells, and so on.
Rob Heinsoo was let go a year after 4e's launch, whereas Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford still have their jobs. In general you don't lay off a lead designer if the product was good, if for no other reason than because he might go work for a competitor.
Chris Sims was laid off during 4e's run as well, rehired later and laid off again after 5e's launch. 5e has a much slower release schedule than PF or previous D&D editions, in spite of its success, hence they have fewer staff. That may in turn be a sign of WotC/Hasbro holding the D&D department's purse strings tighter after 4e.
And that's a complete non-sequitur. Are you claiming that layoffs at WotC for 4e's entire run are unrelated to its financial success or failure?
In Golarion, everyone has a 5% chance, every so often, of being fired from their job and being shamed in their community
As so my conclusion is that since the penalty for wearing armor untrained is just -2, a wizard or sorcerer could just move around in heavy armor and still get a net bonus to AC. Not sure if that's intended... :P
I've never worn plate armor but if someone's gonna swing at me, I'm better off having it than not.
Shouldn't non-casters in general be extremely proficient with skills in order to compensate?
I feel like accidentally killing someone shouldn't count, but this will lead most Paladin's that are LG(the only kind I think we'll ever get despite the blog) to walk into rooms and ask for surrender first. Because you can't just rush in and attack the demon doing bad things to an innocent. If you do and kill them it is murder and you fall.
If it's a demon it's not murder, just deportation.
In a home game, you can just ignore it. I've never read similar blurbs in any RPG book.
In PFS, it might find a way to irritate me but Paizo can run their venue however they want.
Prescribing that characters shy away from bigotry seems like saying you can't portray Nazis as anti-Semitic. Players can consort with the very Devil of Hell but an Elf can't call a Human a dirty mayfly?
Again, I'm fine with "short sword" encompassing everything from a leaf-bladed bronze sword, to a gladius, viking sword, arming sword, and smallsword. 99% of them, all but a very few exceptions, had cutting edges.
Secret Wizard wrote:
Or is he Lawful Good because he fights in the name of the rightful king, Richard, against the usurper Prince John? He resorts to guerilla tactics simply because those are the means that remain to him when he returned from Crusade to find his land seized by the corrupt Sheriff.
Definitions of Good, Evil, Honor, etc. are rarely given because the chance of getting something wrong approaches 100%. Philosophers can't come up with a final answer that can't be poked full of holes, so what are the odds that some game designers will hit upon the solution? Too broad and you don't account for corner cases. Too specific and it's vulnerable to self-contradiction and inconsistency, or to being gamed (e.g. "my Paladin didn't lie, he merely implied an untruth!"). And, not that I think Paizo would do it, there's a chance to get things really wrong and make your system of morality a complete joke: Just look at the Book of Exalted Deeds and Book of Vile Darkness.
One reason alignment is so contentious is that the idea of actions being Good or Evil intrinsically, regardless of intent or consequences, is so far removed from most people's moral sense (how many strict deontologists do you know?) that it's deeply unsatisfying even in a fictional world. Morality in Golarion is informed by culture—that of the authors—and while most of us belong to it, many of us will not agree with them about everything. It breaks immersion whenever it contradicts itself, which will happen constantly in a setting whose fluff and rules have many different authors. Additionally, the enormous implications of alignment being a universal physical quantity are never taken to their conclusion. Partly because it's a ton of work to figure out how civilization and culture would develop in such a different world, and partly (I suspect) because it would result in a very different and much less fun setting in which culture is irrelevant. That is how morality in Golarion, and under the alignment system in general, works—and why I would rather get rid of it.
N N 959 wrote:
What is balance in a game where the context has nearly infinite possibilities? What are we "balancing?" XP per hour? Gold per hour? Damage per attack? Average change to get hit?
Balance in a complex game is not simple, but it's real, and achievable. Possibilities are infinite, but some possibilities are far more possible than others. I think the best metric is the Same Game Test, which is essentially a measure of ability to handle a wide variety of challenges.
Because if you once allow Paladins to use poison, what's to stop them from dousing a city in nerve gas? /s
PF2 Paladins should be prohibited from using daggers, because of their traditional association with duplicity, deception, and skullduggery, not to mention their association with cultish ritual.
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Exactly. The Paladin need only be a proverbial, not literal, Knight in Shining Armor. Ultimately their fighting style is mere detail: They may be martial artists, lithe fencers, righteous gunslingers, or hunters keeping vigil in the wilderness.
1. I think Survival's close association with hunting is enough on its own to encompass tracking. Surviving in the wilderness, especially one full of creatures as deadly as fantasy worlds always seem to have, is more serious business than camping.
2. Sure, Tracking is a minor ability in the grand scheme of what the game's characters are capable of. But that's partly because it'd get monotonous to have players constantly in the sort of specific situations where Tracking would be useful, and partly because the game eventually introduces magical means both to find creatures and to deny Tracking.
3. Aragorn isn't a Druid because, among many other reasons, he's not a spellcaster. And what I mean by "similar" in this case is that the Ranger and Druid are empowered by nature, just as the Cleric and Paladin are empowered by divinity, the Wizard and Magus are empowered by the arcane. The difference between those sets of classes is the degree to which each is a spellcaster. Not having spells (or not having as many spells) requires the character, from a game design standpoint as well as because it's a good idea in-universe, to possess greater martial prowess and adeptness with mundane skills if they want to keep up. Incidentally, that's one reason the Fighter deserves more skills and a better ability to use them. And unless the Druid is some kind of prodigy, being a Druid must involve living and surviving in nature, and having done so for a long period in which they could not simply magic such problems away. That wilderness apprenticeship heavily implies investment in Survival, and therefore expertise in hunting, and in tracking.
And the Barbarian is similar to the Fighter, in the sense that the former relies on rage and pure strength of body and will. And possibly, but not necessarily, a connection to the nature theme. The latter relies on skill as well as physical prowess, and is more or less a blank slate otherwise. IIRC the Barbarian started as a class kit for the Fighter, and if we weren't constrained by tradition dictating that Barbarian be its own class, I would say it would function perfectly well as a Fighter archetype.
What is lost on so many is that as a designer, you don't want the perfect class. You don't want players to be 100% satisfied with any class. There needs to be some, if not several, deficiencies with each class that makes players think the grass is greener on another class. What's more, the deficiencies need to create design space for other aspects of the game, including the need to team-up and the desire to try a different class to get that thing you've been starved for.
What are you even saying here? Obviously I don't want any class to be able to do everything, which is why I'm in favor of tight restrictions on the Wizard spell list. Two skills, while very welcome on a class like the Fighter, isn't going to turn it into 3.5's Factotum. And I think it's been proven over the years since D&D 3rd has been around that the deficiencies have been very unevenly spread. A necessary part of fixing that is making a more skilled Fighter.
If anything I would say your anecdote proves my point: You chose Barbarian over Fighter, even though you wanted a simple character to play, even though you don't like Rage, even though you believe the Fighter has its own advantages in combat over the Barbarian, and even though you went Human and didn't dump INT. The takeaway is taht Fighter isn't fun because it's good at too few things. It doesn't have to be good at everything, nor should it be, but it has to be good at more than that. A class can be fun without being good at everything, it just has to be good at enough things. That's good game design. Making excuses for deficiencies by calling them features is not.
I would add that the Fighter being skilled in so few areas is in its own way a blow to verisimilitude. If you want to be a Mundane Fighting Man getting stuck in with the multiverse's big boys, you had better be a past master of getting things done without magic. That's why one quick-and-dirty fix to both the Fighter and the Rogue is to gestalt them together, and in a way it's fitting: Again, the Thief should never have been split off into its own class to begin with.
For what it's worth, I almost always play Human, and I never dump INT below 10, on any class. 2 skill ranks are nevertheless still welcome.
The Fighter shouldn't have to sacrifice any combat effectiveness for a better use of some skills. They get those bonus combat feats as a substitute for actual class features. That's why PF1's Barbarian blasts PF1's Fighter right out of the water, and not just for damage. Paizo—the professional game designers—seem to agree, which is why the Unchained Barbarian was almost wholly a nerf and the Fighter's Advanced Weapon & Armor training grants, among many other things, more skills.
Since were being blunt, I'd say you need to pull your head out. Like so many on these forums, you're only focused on what you want, "me me me me." Players, by and large, think games are "balanced" when the characters they like to play are the strongest. You think I'm taking a pot shot, but it's the ever-lovin truth.
That's right, because the average player doesn't think holistically or globally, they focus on what they aren't getting and block out arguments on why the game is better off if they don't get it.
Horse s&%~, and I hope I never become as embittered toward players as you apparently have.
I rarely, if ever play Fighter because I find it boring in and out of combat—just as you did. I post what I do as often as I do because I want the game to be the best game it can be, and to succeed. A part of that involves a better role for the Fighter than "guy who's good at fighting and precious little else". Are you accusing me of arguing in bad faith because I want my pet class to get buffs? F$&& your hat.
Weather Report wrote:
Elric was sworn to Chaos, but his behaviour was not always chaotic, and he had his own moral compass/code (hence not fitting in with his people).
Most characters, even in settings that have alignment, don't slot neatly into one alignment. As far as classifying actions, you can't even start until you agree on whether to categorize them based on intent, results, or if the actions themselves are Good, Evil, Lawful, or Chaotic.
That's the first thing he came in and said, in a thread directly named: "What Would A CG Paladin Code Look Like?" and with his past history on these topics, yeah..... >.> And then he moved onto making an Argument that Specifically swayed in the favor of Law, without Ever trying to Actually Talk about what a Chaotic Good Champion, should have.
Very strange indeed, for someone who likes to start threads with a supercilious litany of rules.
And again, I don't think a code is inherently Lawful:
- Cavaliers have Codes (many of which are compatible with a non-Lawful alignment), and no alignment restriction.
The Raven Black wrote:
Paladin is already much more Good than Lawful. They radiate an aura of Good, not Law. They detect and smite Evil, not Chaos. Good tenets are a higher priority than Lawful ones in the PF2 Paladin's Code, as well they should be.
Too late to edit the last post. I should add that I'm not against restrictions in general. For example, I'd like casters' spell lists to be much more heavily restricted along logical and thematic lines. I'm against restrictions that aren't justifiable with in-universe logic, because they damage verisimilitude. Why shouldn't Survival include the ability to follow tracks, other than to ensure that only people with Ranger levels can do it? Why such a hard separation between Ranger and Druid when ultimately they're very similar conceptually, just on different sides of the Martial/Caster spectrum (on which classes like Barbarian, Rogue, or even Fighter might fit at the far Martial end).
And to be perfectly blunt, get f~@@ing real: Two more skills aren't going to make the Fighter start stepping on the Ranger or Barbarian's toes, never mind that the Fighter isn't actually better at fighting than the Barbarian. You want to talk about vocal minorities? I've never seen anyone else claim that the Fighter would have too much out-of-combat utility at 4+INT skill ranks per level.
You heard it here first: Dump INT and CHA down to 7 and pour your entire customization budget into combat ability. It's not min/maxing, it makes for a better roleplay experience because there are fewer things you can do.
N N 959 wrote:
Roleplaying predates Niche Protection (which was invented in order to justify the Thief class), and rules in general.
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Few, if any players would actually manage to stay at the cap all the time, but it would certainly cut down on Paladin dips.
Chaos has its own set of principles and prohibitions: Chaotic Evil Antipaladins and alignment-agnostic Cavaliers have Codes of Conduct, Chaotic deities have Anathema, and a hypothetical Chaotic Good Paladin has only to switch out his lowest-priority tenet (rather than uphold authority, uphold individual freedom).
Not caring WRT Law/Chaos makes you Neutral, not Chaotic. Chaos has rules. If it seems contradictory, well, that's alignment for you.
Reject My Paladin Compromise, and Then Talk About What Martial Characters Should Be Capable of Please
I'm convinced that 3e/PF's enduring success is in large part because it's one of the few games that allows characters to start out at the first category and grow into the second. Most other games are much more tightly bracketed by power floor and ceiling, and the vast majority of those at the low end. Forgotten Realms and Golarion are quite unlike LotR and ASOIAF and arguably 3.PF is not well-suited to running games in low-fantasy settings.
Reject My Paladin Compromise, and Then Talk About What Martial Characters Should Be Capable of Please
Jester David wrote:
Fighter being completely mundane is both the point and the problem. If high-level casters are going to be what they are, then high-level martials need to be Wuxia-type characters. Mundane Fighting Man is a low-level concept for low-level games and/or low-magic settings. Likewise, Batman either needs non-superpowered opposition, or gadgets that effectively turn him into a superhero.
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Subtlety is an actual stat with mechanics in Dark Heresy.
Nor would they be called moral dilemmas if the right answer was instantly reachable through simple ethical calculus.
It's not often I find myself on the same side of an argument as HWalsh, but... yes. A paladin would gamble on their divine backing, martial prowess and every iota of their ability to get the job done the hard way. Otherwise, why do they have that divine ability and martial prowess in the first place? I don't think a paladin would automatically be willing to make e sacrifice, and I don't think they should fall just for making a choice unless they think they should. It's not a sacrifice of personal honor or morality. It's a sacrifice of lives. Kill one to save a thousand sounds plenty reasonable on paper, but who's going to save that one while the paladin's busy saving the thousand? Who care's about a villain's ultimatum? Saving one person today means a thousand will die later? That's convenient. It means they have until later to save all those people. There is no big picture. There's only an artificial big picture created by a collage of smaller pictures. And every one of those smaller pictures that burns or fades or gets stolen diminishes the big picture. The only way to protect the big pictures is to keep all the smaller ones as intact as you can. You can't let evil get away today in order to do more good tomorrow because you can't promise that there'll even be a tomorrow. You've got to do today's good today and trust tomorrow's you to handle tomorrow's good.
Much depends on the specific circumstances, which is why the corner cases are always the thorns in the side of every ethical system from Alignment to the Categorical Imperatives.
Maybe ignorance is the wrong word for it, but simplicity and detachment are held to be virtues by religions from Catholicism to Hinduism. The idea, broadly speaking, is to recapture the innocence (i.e. simplicity, guilelessness, and total absence of worldly concern) of childhood.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
As of PF2, Lawful Good is not required to "fight fair" against Evil, because the highest priority in the Paladin code is "do no evil" and the second-highest is "protect the innocent". Honor, fairness, and truth rank only at bronze.
When lives are at stake, only a fool or a desperate man fights without every advantage available to him. When innocent lives are at stake, Good characters may avail themselves of any and all advantages that do not require them to commit an evil act.
I've always held that there's very little difference between Lawful and Chaotic characters in practice. Partly because it's easier to come up with justifications for a given action being Lawful or Chaotic than Good or Evil, and partly because almost no one plays a committed anarchist or strictly legalistic character that doesn't look like a caricature (e.g. That Guy who didn't realize that Judge Dredd is an over-the-top self-parody).
And that's a far more narrow and rigid view of how to play The One True Way than many people hold, even among the Paladin's fans. Of course Paladins don't refrain from doing evil in order to keep their powers, but for them the act must be a sort of spiritual martyrdom: Sacrificing one's soul, rather than one's life, for the greater good. And what kind of Paladin would realistically weigh the moral cost of one evil act against killing three Absaloms and an Oppara and decide the world's better off with the latter? Or that he, with his divine backing and martial prowess, would gamble on his ability to get the job done the hard way? What is that if not vanity?
[Atonement] is a possibility, yes, though unlikely. There are a whole lot of reasons that wouldn't exactly work so well. It would require a high level Cleric to do the atonement, then the Paladin would have to be willing to lie about what happened. It opens a can of worms that makes it a very unlikely series of events.
Regardless, it supposes a lot of things that aren't immediately clear: One, that characters in-universe are as rigidly delineated by class as they are in the rules (and "RAW ≡ Lore" is dangerous territory that opens up some major cans of worms indeed). Two, that most people can actually tell if a Paladin's powers have disappeared or not. Three, the phrase "until you demonstrate your repentance by conducting an atone ritual" seems to imply that the Paladin can atone by himself, without the aid of a high-level Cleric.
So why is a Chaotic reflection of the Paladin not possible while a Lawful reflection of the Antipaladin is? Once again, most of what a Paladin is doesn't come from Law, it comes from Good. He radiates Good, not Law, and he detects and smites Evil, not Chaos.
Save for, I do not believe that following a code that they didn't personally write is a chaotic thing to do. I do not feel, for a second, that a Chaotic Good would not violate the code if to do so meant saving someone. Period.
Under the PF2 Code's priority system—for Lawful Good—the only tenet that takes precedence over saving innocents is not doing evil. A champion of Chaotic Good still wouldn't do evil to save innocents unless, again, the stakes were so high that he'd be willing to sacrifice his very soul to save them. That doesn't depend on Law or Chaos, that comes from Good, at least in my book—I'm sure yours says differently. Isn't alignment fun?
On top of that, Clerics of Chaotic gods agree to a lot of rules as a condition to gain their power, and if they can do it, then more martially-oriented champions can as well.
I do not believe that you are going to be able to convince me to come to your side on this, in this matter I have given enough thought that I cannot be moved. It would require you to change an outlook that I believe strongly in and have for my entire life about a class I have had a personal attachment to for 29 years. My first character ever in D&D was a Paladin. I was drawn to it then, I am drawn to it now.
Neither do I, which is why I made the other comment:
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Again, it's just a possibility. In just about any given group of people, many more will listen or read silently than will speak.