Psychopomp, Shoki

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I'd say it depends on the needs of the campaign. If ownership disputes would slow the momentum and bore the party, ignore it and assume people see the legitimacy of your claim. If it's the sort of thing that people would enjoy then it makes sense that people would be concerned with the appearance of a fortified castle on their lands, and could be the bases for some interesting encounters.

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RazarTuk wrote:

Yes. I literally just grabbed a wooden longsword I got at the Renn Faire one year, laid down on the ground to establish what 5'9" looks like and guesstimate 5' and 10', then tried swinging that far. I figured this was relevant because it demonstrates what 5-ft squares are approximating, and that concept of actually moving around roughly within that square is why it made sense to me to not need to move with the feat.

Characters aren't standing still when attacking. Like, people don't fill a 5' square when standing, that's how we can pass each other in corridors less than 10' across. If you've ever seen fencers there's a constant back and forth going on, that's what the 5' squares represent. You don't need a feat to physically lunge, (how else do you attack with a piercing weapon?) the feat represents the ability to move and attack someone who thought they were just outside the reach of your weapon without dropping your guard (admittedly probably using a lunge).

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Jeven wrote:

Only slightly off topic, does Riddleport make any sense at all? The city is run by factions that specialize in specific crimes including smuggling and selling drugs. But since the place is run by criminal gangs why is this stuff illegal there in the first place?

So people have to go through them to get them; if they weren't restricted, anybody could sell them. Also, I expect that they also specialise in transporting and distributing them in places where they are illegal.

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Claxon wrote:

I have to ask, why does Hermea make the list?

I've haven't played an AP which involves them, but aside from their description of an Authoritarian Dictatorship which limits your free will, it sounds like a very safe place for individuals to live, providing good potential for personal growth.

Have you heard of an old British series called 'The Prisoner'?

It's less 'limits free will' and more 'surrender any and all personal autonomy and obey a eugenics obsessed near immortal in all things without question or be roasted by dragon fire'. *shudders* I'd take 'might be stabbed' over that any day.

Edit to avoid double posting: Thinking outside the Inner Sea, I suggest (from best to worst); Koaling, Wanshou and Shenmen. (YMMV but I'm not a spider fan.)

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I don't see where RPing a sexual encounter enriches the gaming experience... It's something of the most intimate nature and unless everyone is on board it shouldn't be done. It often just becomes a puerile, childish snickering, giggling mess of crass remarks and crude jokes. If you're group act their ages (assuming they're adults)then this shouldn't be something brought to the table at all.

I defiantly agree that it shouldn't be done unless everyone is on board (basic rule for anything sexual in any context), but in this thread people recounted times it enriched the game for them. I think if everyone is up for it, it can add a lot to a game the same way sexual subject matter can be used in every other form of story telling. I mean, a bunch of the most important fantasy series of all time feature it to some extent. Hell, even if it is puerile and crude, there's a place for that in gaming too.

On the other hand, I think the idea of a grownass man getting mad at their friend for not wanting to write and perform erotica for them is ridiculous. That guy's lucky you invited him back.

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Apparently a lot of Besmera's priestesses are just prostitutes with a 'Pirate Queen' costume and a holy symbol.

Makarion wrote:

Worth pointing out that, according to the lore, it's specifically the Chaotic Good branch of the church of Calistria that supports the temple prostitutes (or is supported by them, of course).

I'm sure I read that her evil temples sometimes used prostitutes to gather blackmail material ect.

Calistria's relationship with prostitutes is a really interesting element of Golorian; they can't be so marginalised when a major world religion is actively promoting the profession. Basically, Jack the Ripper wouldn't have got far when the church of vengeance was looking out for his preferred victims.

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Yqatuba wrote:
The reason I picked Monks and (anti)paladins is due to their disease immunity which would certainly come in handy (ok, the antipaladins are immune but still spread disease however being CE I doubt they care).

Given that temples are where you go for 'remove disease' spells, I wouldn't be too worried about that aspect.

Although, it does open up a nice business plan for Evil temples; one service creating demand for the other.

I understand where you're coming from, wanting to have 'realistic' elements like STDs and stuff occur in game, but would caution against it. People play RPGs to have fun, and nothing kills the fantasy like being punished for it. If people feel they're role playing their character by having them have sex, afflicting them with an STD could seem judgemental. As someone earlier said, it can be used to nudge 'that player' away from disrupting the game with stuff like that. The problem can be especially bad if the party weren't even interested in sex in the first place but you went out of your way to incentivise them. To punish them for something you encouraged them to do will feel like entrapment, and could easily make them resent you.

Every party is different though, and I can see plenty of people not minding their character having an STD, seeing it as funny.,but your posts do seem to indicate that you do expect your players to be uncomfortable with it, hence the embarrassment, trying to hide it ect.
Even if everyone else at the table is having a good time, it's at the expense of that one player, who isn't going to appreciate being tricked into the situation in the first place.

Nidal probably, for obvious reasons. Also, apparently people live in the Worldwound, but I can't really imagine how.

Hermea is probably not the worst possible, but doesn't sound great by any means.

Cheliax has excurciations and state surveillance, but at least its got wine and theatre.

Weapons tend to glow when the DM want the wielder to look awesome. Colour depends on the theme, Graveknight's greatsword might have ominous glowing pale green or purple runes, paladin's longsword might shine golden.

Whatever colour suits the theme you are going for when you give it as loot, or whatever colour the player wants when they create it.

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Gods are able to res heralds.

Inner Sea Gods wrote:
The Stabbing Beast does not believe that anything other than its master can kill it, despite mortal records that show it has been killed in the past; Norgorber wiped its memory of these failures when he resurrected his herald.

I guess Sarenrae just like, didn't.

Thamir Gixx always has the Primarch's surname.

SOLDIER-1st wrote:

Very interesting, I like this premise. Winlas I think would be a decent patron deity for this society.

Very much looking forward to hearing about Groetus.

Thanks! Winlas is a good choice. I was also thinking about Eritrice. I might add a Mystery Cultist of one or the other at some point.

About who's oldest, I'd say its kinda chicken and egg. As goddess of birth, I can see Pharasma being present for and actually midwifing the 'birth' of the first being, even though that would inexplicably make her older. Maybe appearing at the same moment?

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Interview with a Gorumite
Interview with Jinta Marius of The Iron Arms Company, a worshipper of Gorum and worker of divine magic, conducted by Ieina Genro of the Fellowship of Divine Truths.

Jinta Marius is a powerfully built human woman of Cheliaxian decent, originally from Molthune, although her height and stature, along with her clear blue eyes could be signs of some Kellid ancestry. When we met for the interview she was wearing the spiked plate mail associated with her faith and carried a plain but well crafted bastard sword on her hip. The symbol of Gorum, the sword and mountain, was depicted in a large hunk of wrought iron and hung from her neck on a heavy chain.

She had agreed to the interview in exchange for me recommending her Company to a former college of mine looking for experienced mercenaries, although she made it clear she would have preferred to spar for it. We began the interview after brief introductions and greetings.

Transcript as follows:
Could you start by explaining what you do?
I’m a front line healer for The Iron Arms. Its my job to keep those bastards standing and sword arms strong. Not that I only close wounds mind, I do plenty of causing them too.

So you can channel healing energy?
Wouldn’t be much of a healer if I didn’t.

I ask because most Gorumites I know prefer destructive energy.
I imagine they weren’t healers in a mercenary company. But yeah, I’ve got a brother who does that. Makes sense, calling on Gorum to lay low the foes surrounding you, but that’s not what they pay me for. Gorum gives me the power to keep us in the fight and turn defeat into victory. Also, I can fight side by side with my comrades without worrying about withering them when I channel, which is more than I can say for him.

Your brother? Does your family also worship Gorum?
Brother in arms and brother in faith, not kin. And no, I came to Gorum after I joined the army.

Could you talk more about that? About how you found your faith?
Well like I say, it was once I joined the army. Signed up as soon as I was old enough, no story there, in Molthune they give you every reason to. Then I was a soldier, and no matter what they might say, every soldier is a little bit religious, at least every one I’ve met. There are times when the only thing you have in a battle is prayer. I just kept praying after the battle was over. And who should a soldier in the thick of it turn to but Our Lord in Iron?

There are several gods of battle. Seranrea obviously, but also Iomade and Torag. Even Cayden Cailean. Not to mention various Empyreal Lords and Archfiends. Why choose Gorum?
Didn’t feel like a choice at the time. Honestly none of the others even came to mind. Even if they had though, it wouldn’t have mattered. We weren't on some glorious crusade or anything, despite what the Imperial Governor says. We were just fighting. When you need the strength to kill the person in front of you, or need to charge through their opening volley to even reach the battle, it’s Gorum you need. He doesn’t fret over who or why.

About that, does it concern you at all that Gorum is indifferent to the reasons for conflict? That he doesn’t seem to care about good or evil?
Ha! No. Out there it might be easy, (she gestures vaguely up and out) the ones with animal heads are good and horns are bad, but it’s not so simple here. Here all sorts of people fight for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes even if your going to war for some ‘worthy cause’ it might still be decent people you’re having to fight, or the people you depend on might be pricks. I’ve been to the Worldwound; not all those crusaders are saints. Most soldiers on either side in any battle are fine people, they didn’t start the war but they enlist because they want to protect their family or they trust their ruler or they need a job. It’s easy for a general to point and say ‘they are the enemy’ simple as that, and that’s how those other gods act. They tell you who to fight and how. I lost my faith in generals a long time ago; orders come down to march into what any soldier can tell is an ambush, or to capture a ‘stronghold’ that’s nothing but a goat farm. Gorum is different, he trusts you to pick your own battles. He knows the person best qualified to make decisions on the battlefield is the soldier actually there, because he’s not just a general, he’s a soldier too. A warrior. He’s on the front lines with you.

And which battles do you pick? How do you feel about good and evil?
You do what you can. I lend a hand when I can and I don’t hurt people who don’t have it coming and aren’t in a position to fight back. If I do have a problem with you, you’ll know and we can fight about it. So far as I care that’s the end of it, win lose or draw. Hells, I might even heal you up after. Professionally, I don’t really pick. I go with the Company and I don’t see any ‘good’ in abandoning my brothers and sisters. The Captain chooses the jobs, but I trust him. He’s in the same boat as the rest of us, with the same information. I haven’t always agreed with him but I see why he makes the choices he does and he doesn’t take work from total bastards. We’d never work for, say, Hellknights or Nidal or the like. If any of that changes, we’ll fight about it and I’ll win, die or walk away.

Interesting. Putting aside good and evil, Gorum is known for not taking sides in mortal conflict. How do you feel knowing your god may well be supporting your enemy?
Glad. Some one needs to look out for those poor sods. (she laughs) Hardly equal otherwise. The only thing better than winning a fight is winning a fair fight. (she pauses) Honestly though, it’s not a problem. I’m a mercenary. I don’t hate the people I kill. My enemies today might be fighting beside me tomorrow. My cause isn’t more righteous than there’s and they’re as worthy of Gorum’s favour. Well, till we kill them.

And when you come across another Gorumite in combat?
We fight. (shrugs) The only difference is I’d say we fight harder. I do anyway. No one wants to back down then. Normally you retreat because you’re out numbered or out manoeuvred, never a good thing but it happens. In single combat with another Gorumite there’s more on the line. it’s not just my life at stake but my pride, even my faith almost. Mostly I fight for money or glory or the hell of it, but against them fighting is about proving my strength and the strength of my conviction. It’s about dominance. It’s holy. I’m not going to admit weakness readily.

Gorum asks his followers to be forever seeking battle. What do you do when there are no wars to join?
Its never come up and its not likely too. People are always fighting. The Iron Arms Company has never had to look far for employment, and when the job’s done we move on to the next. I can’t imagine I’ll ever have to stop.

You don’t ever want to stop? So you won’t know peace until death?
Not even then, Gorum willing. The faithful can look forward to war eternal on Gorum’s blessed battlefield.

It doesn’t bother you at all that your faith condemns you to conflict for eternity?
Condemns? No, you’ve got it backwards. I don’t fight because I worship Gorum, I follow Gorum because I’m a fighter. If I wanted to herd sheep or whatever, I’d have no use for Gorum and he none for me. I’d probably kowtow to Erastil or somebody and hope anything interesting passed me by. But after I’d been on the front lines there was no going back for me. You can pass the time however you want, drinking or screwing or whatever, but the only time that really matters to me is when you’re in it, with the steel ringing and blood in the air. To be besides my brothers and sisters in arms with the enemy in front of us, that is what is best in life.

You sound quite dismissive of the Stag Lord and his followers. Do you have any thoughts on them, or the gods and followers of any of other religions?
None. I don’t even have anything particular against Old Deadeye’s people, least they look after their own. Doesn’t matter who you worship, if you’re on my side in battle I’d die with you, and if you’re against us I’d kill you.

Thank you for your answers. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Not really. Remember The Iron Arms Company is you ever need mercenaries, and remember me if ever you just want to fight. We’ll be happy to oblige in either case.

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I was thinking about different characters interpretations of their Gods and religion, and thought I could use it as the basis for a writing exercise practising voice and character. I decided to come up a group interested in religion on Glorian as a format thing. They aren't really for anyone exactly, but I thought I'd share it here in case anyone is interested in reading it. Feel free to use any of the ideas in your game. I don't mind getting any writing feedback on these.
Let me know if there are any particular deities or philosophies you'd like me to try, but I'll write these when I have the time and an idea, so erratically and possibly never.
Hopefully someone'll get something out of this.

Details of the group and its members:

Fellowship of Divine Truths:
Fellowship of Divine Truths
An interfaith society dedicated to the cataloguing of the various forms faith takes, with particular attention paid to obscure faiths and practices though all perspectives on faith are valued. Based in Absolom, all three founding members are still the most active, though the society is slowly growing.

Monk of Irori LN- Abram Qual
Male Human Cleric 2/Monk 2 of Iori
An Absolom native, he was inspired by his gods interest in history and knowledge. He also hopes that by better understanding the nature of divinity more might be learnt about his god’s ascension. Has a somewhat cold and detached demeanour and his writing style is plain but meticulous.
Cleric of Shelyn NG- Chamia Ontanic
Female Half Elf Cloistered Cleric 3
Spent the majority of her adult life secluded in a Taldan monastery and perfecting her art (Illustration). Since venturing out, and coming to Absolom, she has become fascinated with the array of faiths and rituals she has seen. Believing that faith itself is an inherently beautiful thing, she hopes to come to understand the appeal of, and beauty in, other forms of worship. She comes across as charitable but naive, and her writing style is descriptive, verging on florid. When not on assignment, she spends her time compiling the Fellowship’s notes into illuminated manuscripts for archival.
Cleric of Sarenrea NG- Ieina Genro
Middle Aged Female Human Rogue 4/Cleric 3
She converted later in life than most. Believes strongly in redemption and cooperation, and that understanding is essential for both. Independently wealthy from her previous life as a merchant, she provides the funds for the organisation. Her genuine interest and charming demeanour comes across in discussion, but in her writing she tries just to provide appropriate context with out colouring her readers’ interpretation.

Pantheist CN- Heuaxit Ancauldian
Male Gnome Expert 5
A former leather worker who’s colour was fading. A friend suggested religion as a solution, and while looking for a faith to join he became fascinated by the variety and intricacies of religion in the inner sea and so far the search itself seems to be keeping the Bleaching away. Non-judgemental with a knack for odd questions.
Inquisitor of Geryon LE- Leric Theed
Male Human Inquisitor 2
Although neither liked nor trusted by the rest of the Fellowship, he is nevertheless keen to uncover and document heresies, seeing them as the holy works of his masters. He is also interested in muddied or uncertain aspects of various faiths, where heresy may be easily introduced. He is under a mark of justice to not introduce falsehood to the archive, or to deceive subjects of interview. Both smug and sycophantic and in writing, his tone is snide.

First up, Gorum. I'm thinking Groetus or Zon-Kuthon next.

Edit: I should clarify, I'm not saying that the views expressed represent the only, or even typical attitudes of followers. I might even include multiple different interpretations or overtly heretical ones.

As a natural born critic and nerd, I'd maybe have to go with Sivanah, as she's the only one who teaches advanced critical theory.

From Inner Sea Faiths; "Sivanah’s priests teach that each text has four levels of meaning: the literal or surface meaning, the symbolic meaning, the personal meaning an author brings to it, and the personal meaning a reader brings to it. Somewhere in the combination of these four layers lies truth."

Also, illusion is fun.

Chucaro, Kofusachi, Arshea and Calistra all seem like strong options too.

Edit for formatting.

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HWalsh wrote:

The closest I know of in fictional mediums of this was in a DC vs Marvel Comics crossover where Batman fought Captain America and it took Batman 2 minutes of sparring to find out that Captain America was a better hand to hand combatant that he was.

Note: That was BATMAN and it took him 2 minutes.

Yeah, I'll be that guy. Batman actually determined that they were reasonably equal in close combat, and that determining a victor would leave them fighting all day so they decided to find an alternative. No official ruling exist as to which is better.

Nerdy pedantry aside, I have no issues with your argument, though I can also comfortably cite many example of fiction where people can judge peoples' skill in combat just from a stance, or the callouses on their hands without even getting in to combat (pretty much anything with a katana in it). I'm fine letting my players find a middle ground between the too extremes.

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Psiphyre wrote:

Perhaps PF2 could keep the more restrictive alignments for the deities, as well as add more alignment options (probably best within one-step), but in parentheses?

For example: Sarenrae - NG, LG, CG, (N)

So, the 'non-official' one-step alignments could be a character/ roleplaying hook for a player. The "bordering heresy" explanation above is just one idea - I'm sure many others could work, e.g. someone new to the faith's teachings, or a member of a "race" neither known for worshipping the particular deity nor of an alignment associated with the deity, etc. (I miss Eilistraee & Meriadar...)

This could also work as means of explaining in-world 'discrepancies' with a particular deity's faith/worshippers, e.g. Nocticula....

While I still prefer 'One Step' as the rule, and have some confusion as to why some of the restriction were made and others not, that does work as a compromise and fits neatly with the rarity system. If those additional alignments were marked as 'uncommon' then players and GM would know that it was both unusual and depends upon the GM's discretion to allow. If they did want to branch out with some gods, they could mark those further out 'rare'. It should also lessen the number of people being told that their character is wrong.

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Feros wrote:

Actually the current Pathfinder comics Spiral of Bones story line has been showing the pychopomp bureaucracy as being ordered but with individuals able to make calls outside the rules when they feel is is just to do so. It is a lot less "absolute rules" and more "make sure its done right".

Sweet, hadn't seen that! Guess I've got some more reading to do! Thanks for mentioning it.

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Kalindlara wrote:
Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."
Desna also believes in Fate, both temper it with belief in free will. The fact that Desna favours one, while Pharasma balances the two is what makes Pharasma Neutral on the law/chaos axis. If Pharasma is all about orderly hierarchies where everyone fits to the degree of excluding worship, that sounds like a lawful deity to me. I still don't understand how permitting privileges to one group and denying them to another can be considered being neutral towards either group.
I've honestly wondered for a while why (other than deity by alignment number balance) Pharasma was neutral, rather than lawful neutral. The Psychopomp bureaucracy certainly sounds pretty lawful.

I think the argument (other than the one I listed) is that she presumably shows no favouritism, either to the cause of Law, nor to the individual souls of Lawful mortals, because if she does the entire why the multiverse works breaks down, both in a game setting sense, and probably literally from an in world perspective. Of course, you could argue that she does this despite her own personal preferences precisely because it is her duty and is very important (and the fact she gives souls to daemons and Urgathoa despite her hatred for them supports this.) That's my LN Dawrven Cleric's interpretation at least.

I do see the other side though, that the court less 'judges' souls and more sorts them, in the same way it isn't necessarily a lawful act to call a spade a spade, and they just keep the flow moving as best they can. When Pharasma is actually called upon to do judgement, she doesn't just pull out a copy of 'Da Rules', she looks at the soul individually, and is comfortable with making judgement calls on the fly and acknowledges that flexibility is often needed to best accomplish her task. In short, adopting a balanced approach to Law and Chaos in her actions.

Yossarian wrote:

As a big Pharasma fan I see the problem with her and chaos in this way:

Fate and free will are all fine and matter to her, but above that she has really one thing she cares about most: the flow of souls. That flow literally keeps the outer planes existing (see the new Planar Adventures book). For this reason she's also the most powerful deity imho.

Believing in a fundamental structure is kind of lawful: it's a belief in an absolute flow that must remain. A constancy.

Not very chaotic.

I don't see how belief in the flow of souls precludes CN. CN character's can believe in physics, or in this case metaphysics. A CN wizard can believe that there is a fundamental structure to magic, that dictates that THESE gestures combined with THESE words will produce THIS effect. An CN alchemist can believe that these chemicals combined like so will create the mutagens they enjoy so much. A CN druid is not compelled to reroute rivers simply because they have flowed over the same course for centuries.

As to the moral side of the belief in the flow of souls, you mean the process by which independent action of sentient beings go on to literal shape and gradually change the zeitgeist of the universe, whilst simultaneously preventing the established ideas (those held by currently living people) from lingering and stifling the expressions of the new beings it is perpetually generating, there by making the multiverse a protean, ever growing, ever reforming being? The heart of said being, incidentally, being arguably the wellspring of pure chaos which perpetually recycles and renews the old so that the process might continue?

Now I'm not pretending that's the only possible interpretation of the flow of souls, but nothing there is actually incorrect as I understand it from Planar Adventures. I do think it demonstrates how her beliefs and a commitment to the ideals of Chaos are not incompatible.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Prevent conflict through negotiation" seems like it's inherently a "might makes right" situation which makes it hard to be good.
Show mercy to your enemies sounds hard to fit with good too, but paladins can follow that one apparently.
I always let people equivocate by redefining "enemies" in line with "this is how I feel 'good' should be." Like civilians, for example, are not "your enemy."

Re-reading, I misquoted anyway. It should read "show mercy to the enemies of your people". I apologise, that does change things somewhat. Although, honestly, being forbidden from being merciful seems hard to reconcile with how I perceive good anyway, and the fact that it seems like Torag tends to draw down racial lines on that only makes it harder. I guess if you could convince a Torag cleric that this specific orc could in no way be considered an enemy of Torag's people then you could get a one off exception, but how you'd do that, and especially before they'd been 'shown no mercy', I'm not sure.

Edit: yeah making too many mistakes, realise I very need sleep. Will continue advocating for The Forbidden Clerics tomorrow.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."

Desna also believes in Fate, both temper it with belief in free will. The fact that Desna favours one, while Pharasma balances the two is what makes Pharasma Neutral on the law/chaos axis. If Pharasma is all about orderly hierarchies where everyone fits to the degree of excluding worship, that sounds like a lawful deity to me. I still don't understand how permitting privileges to one group and denying them to another can be considered being neutral towards either group.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Prevent conflict through negotiation" seems like it's inherently a "might makes right" situation which makes it hard to be good.

Show mercy to your enemies sounds hard to fit with good too, but paladins can follow that one apparently.

Rysky wrote:
There’s also the Empyreal Lord Lymnieris, who is LG.

That may be who I was thinking of, my mistake. Or maybe there's both and I straight forgot them. I'm generally better at Arch-demons and Infernal Dukes than Empyreal lords, they seem to get a lot less fluff for some reason. Still, 2 lawful does undermine my point a somewhat. Well, there's still noticeably more on the side of Chaos, I'm certain.

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Yossarian wrote:

Having a custom alignment spread for each deity is a big step up. +1

Now we can debate the specifics of whether a specific deity supports a certain kind of follower or not. Those are good debates to have: they get deep into the lore and themes of the world. How ecumenical!

Plus, it's very easy for a GM to house rule an exception if a player can come up with a fun and flavourful reason why their specific character might not fit the mould.

Well, I DO enjoy the debates! (clearly)

As I said before my problem is one of consistency more than anything. Well that and I'm against systems that restrict player agency when coming up with character concepts beyond the purely mechanical.
There just seems so little rhyme or reason to why certain deities preclude certain followers, when others allow it in similar situations. Especially when there are usually cannon examples in official material of concepts that don't fit the mould.
I guess one way of interpenetrating it is narrowing the scope of what the different alignments mean. As in, CN can now be defined as an alignment in which it is not possible to follow Pharasma's religion to her standards. But that raises the question as to why, nothing about the CN alignment seems to demand messing with the dead, or taking a particular stance on abortion. (although, admittedly, I'd rather not debate that topic; very loaded. So if you disagree, I'd rather accept that and move on) You could argue that Her prophecy domain implies predestination, which you could see a CN character objecting too, but then Desna is also a godess of prophecy.

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CorvusMask wrote:
Like I said, the way I see it is that while Zon Kuthon is evil, he doesn't really care that his followers are lawful evil as long they are one of them(he wants them to either want to feel pain or want to inflict pain, if they want to do both then good)

Except he turned a nation of barbarians who had horses in to an oppressive totalitarian theocracy demanding absolute obedience, perpetually shrouded in secrecy and shadow, rather than just asking they 'occasionally hurt themselves or each other, either ways cool'. He has a vision of a world of darkness, suffering, bones, tears and blood filled with constant pain. If you say a cleric is only those who can participate in all the rituals and believe the entire doctrine whole heatedly, how can he have neutral followers. Why would attending his gatherings not force you to participate in the humiliation, degradation and suffering of an innocent any more than attending a feast of Urgathoa would force you into cannibalism. I feel the Lawful deity is the one more likely to demand that the full extent of their doctrine be enforced than the Neutral one.

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The Gold Sovereign wrote:

now I can build a N god that accepts LG and CE clerics at the same time, without going against the rules, because a god can grant spells to any alignment he wants. Nothing bars a GM from allowing his player to be a cleric of a god because of their alignment, so you could always have a N cleric of Erastil or a LN cleric of Asmodeus, as this is just a cosmetic change to the setting flavor. There's nothing saying you can't make a cleric of an alignment that's two steps from a deities' alignment or something like this.

No, nothing stops a GM from house ruling for more freedom, but nothing stopped them from house ruling for restriction before, but there a big difference between a group saying 'We don't allow this option, because our specific group has more fun without it.' and a publisher saying 'We are taking these options away because... no.'

You could have always made your created god grant spells to who ever you wanted before anyway, but I assume we'd all rather follow the rules when they don't prevent fun, hence celebrating the fact the rules don't specifically prevent you from creating that god. I'm not opposed to lifting some restrictions on who can get spells if it makes sense (like for Nethys), but that has not been the case at all; every alignment is still within one step, but some have been taken away.

PFS isn't a reason to remove option from the general rules. It's not a PFS document; They include so many options unavailable to PFS character, for instance, every Evil God but ZK and the reaper of reputation. They can just state in the PFS rules 'you cannot be an evil PC, or a cleric of an evil deity (except, inexplicably, Zon-Kuthon or Norgorber)'. The rules still support Evil PC, they just support neutral PC less now.

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Rysky wrote:

Uh, that same logic for followers of Zonzon can be applied to Urgathoa, and vice-versa. You’ll have pushers in every group.

Also not sure how I feel about the statement that if you practice kink you’ll totes slide into horrendous Evil stuff.

Yeah, I know. I was demonstrating that point by swapping words from a post that was applying the logic the other way. And no, kink=evil is probably my least favourite thing about pathfinders deities. Also that recreational sex seems to be trending to a chaos thing, minus one NG Angel and one LE devil. Maybe that's why so many of the Law deities seem a little up tight.

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Kalindlara wrote:

But Zon-Kuthon? Yeah, this guy is the reasonable and open-minded one.

That said. If this is building to the redemption of Dou-Bral, I'm 100% sold. I doubt it is, since last I know, there's no intention of making that happen. But I'm on board.

Off topic I know, but yeah, I was so eager looking over the starfinder deities hoping to see Dou-Bral (and maybe Noctalia), but no sill Zon-Kuthon. I was also hoping 'the thing' that corrupted him might be a separate deity now, serving as the thematic link to all that 'space is big and cruel and scary and alien and I want to go home' sauce that they might want a little bit of.

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"I guess what I think is that Urgathoa does not take an active role in her followers appetites in any way, so as long as people are eating lots and sometimes becoming undead, I think people who have clear and hard boundaries on their tastes (and respect the same in others) can manage there, even if they are not exactly common. It could be a sign she's self involved and respects the same in others.

But ZK? If you're just showing up for the kink orgy, you're eventually going to get pushed in the direction of kidnapping, burning ghettos, and torturing random people with needles so you're either going to become evil or you're going to get out of the cult (possibly as an art exhibit)"

Its the inconsistency that annoys me as much as anything. At this stage I'd rather all deities were 'Exact Alignment Match Only' or it went back to 'One Step'. Obviously I prefer the latter, as it gives people more interesting options and 'cleric of <blank>' isn't all you need to hear to understand what the character'll be like, but at least it seems based on solid logic.

Interesting. Small change with decent sized result. You could try you could try creating a party alongside one generated conventionally and run them though the same challenges at a few different levels, see what difference it makes.

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Yeah, I can see that. I'd want Orc added as core, even if dripping with disclaimers saying 'not meant for good PCs' and 'attacked on sight in most places' to give half-orcs from orcish backgrounds a stronger base.
Also, certain species haven't previously been able to inter breed with each other (Dwarves and anyone not an outsider, for example), though I suppose that doesn't preclude it from being added in. Or they could add feats to each race saying "half your ancestry is of a different people, choose one of the following <list of compatible options>. Immediately choose one feat from that ancestry, and you can choose from it's feats at any time you gain another ancestry feat. You also gain it's trait."

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like a significant part of the restrictions is "who can genuinely and intensely believe the entirety of the holy writ of this god and do ll of the rituals, without becoming an entirely different alignment in the process."
Clerics of Zon-Kuthon?

ZK has clerics who are serious masochists right? Like I could see a LN cleric of ZK who wants to endure tremendous pain to drown out the sorrow deep inside, and then heal themselves up so they can do it again (you channel negative but can still prepare heal, I think.)

If you're not hurting anybody but yourself (and you're hurting yourself *a lot*) I think you can be an LN Kuthite cleric, but perhaps I'm wrong.

Revelling in suffering and misery and loss is a big part of the creed. Paraphrasing the above 'No, I don't go in for the whole kidnap, torture, non-consent and purifying the weaknesses of fear and joy part. I'm just in it for the kink and body mods.'

Apologies if this is in the wrong category, I'm happy to repost it somewhere more appropriate.
Full disclosure, I've been thinking about alignment a fair bit recently because of a discussion somewhere else and it reminded me of a gaming anecdote I want to share. I do have a point though I swear, bare with me.

OK, when I were a lad I was playing a game of AD&D (this was the 2000s, btw, I'm younger than this makes me sound) in a fairly low magic world based on the Roman empire (It was awesome, except for the tendency every character I played to die right before they'd be useful to the party). Wizards were uncommon, elves and gnomes weren't PC races and outsiders were basically myths. Even the existence of Gods was open for interpretation. (None of this would have sold the game to Lil' Gug, but it was worth it just to see the GM role play the strange looks our MU got for trying to swallow live fish every time he cast identify)

In a setting like that, our GM didn't feel the need to have us select our alignments during character creation, as a lot of the rules that depend on it wouldn't be coming up a lot. We went about our adventuring lives in a fairly mercenary fashion. I was going through a phase of favouring Thief/fighter half orcs, so fairly gleeful with the backstabs ect. and everything was fine. Then we were making a deal with someone we didn't know we could trust and our cleric (who alone amongst us was obviously LG) decided to try 'Detect Evil' for the first time. We all nodded at what a good plan this was, then stopped and looked at each other with growing concern. There was a moment of quiet, until finally the GM asked us each to write down what alignment we THOUGHT we were on a slip of paper and hand it to him. We each stared at our scrap in silence for a while, before one by one my party mates wrote two letters, folded their paper and handed it to the GM. I honestly had no idea what to write. I obviously wasn't Good, exactly, but how 'not good' was I? Did the thing with the kobolds count? I mean they were evil though, right? Wait, this character wasn't alive when we collapsed the mine. Maybe I'm Neutral? Though there has been a lot of theft and deception, maybe CN? I'm definitely not CE, but NE? I could see the argument. People were waiting on me, so I ended up just writing all three and a question mark.

There was another long silence as the GM read each of our answers in turn, then looked at the player, down to his notes and back to the player, weighing our character's actions with what the scrap said. It was like having died, and finding out there really was a reckoning at the end of it all. Whatever the ruling was would have sever repercussions for our party; it's one thing to know your friend isn't the sweetest cherub in the world, but another to know they were in the same category as assassins, monsters and fiends. It's a hell of a thing to know about yourself. We all shared one last nervous look as he turned to the cleric and answered. "You sense one evil presence." I wasn't the only one to shout "From where!?"

The point is, I never felt alignment mattering more before or since. When I'd written it down in the past, it had ceased to be very important and I didn't think about it; So long as I didn't do anything excessively evil, I was comfortably Neutral Good and it wasn't a concern. This was the first time I realised how different alignment looked from the other side of the sheet, the first time it felt less like something you just were and more like something you Earned. I'm not gonna pretend it made me a better person or anything, but it definitely made me a better role player.

So yeah, what I'm saying is unless its vital straight off the bat, maybe try not having your players pick alignment next time they create characters. Obviously not as a system wide rules thing or something that'll work on every table, but it created one of the most memorable moments in a already memorable campaign and can have some really interesting results with the right group.

Sorry if this ran on too long, but 'Maybe leave Alignment till level 5ish? It's neat, try it.' didn't seem like it got my point across.

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The Gold Sovereign wrote:

It's all about the identity of the divine, and not the identity of the PC.

A god can grant spells to those who he wants to. If it wants to grant spells for LE characters and LE evil characters only, them it does so out of his own will. It's not like it wouldn't allow Neutral characters to worship it, but they are not worth enough to get spells, as a cleric is not a common worshiper...

Ok, I can see that argument, and will address it in a moment. First though, It really should be about the player. It is a game for the players; The deities aren't having a worst time because players are choosing to make a cleric of a different alignment. It's different if it is making players miserable, but with any gaming group if any aspect of any character is making other players uncomfortable it shouldn't be allowed at that table, but I find it hard to believe just knowing that other groups interpret a deity's religion differently within the rules affects someones enjoyment of the game to a significant degree.

I do understand that a rich and rules supported lore does make a game better, and this could be part of that. However;
A) This seems to contradict elements of the lore as I understand it, specifically with regards to (for example) LN Asmodean Cleric Hellknights, and any clerics (and I'd guess war priests, but the rules aren't in for them) in The Cult of the Dawnflower.
B) The argument you made (as I understand it) might work for edge (LG, CG, CE, LE) gods, but makes less sense for any with a Neutral component. You can't really claim to be neutral with regard to two groups if you offer resources/accept aid from one group but refuse the other.
c) It is just as easy to justify why a deity would choose to grant spells to a group one step removed on either axis as it is to explain why it wouldn't. With regards to Asmodeus (as that was the example used), he's the master of fine print, subtle corruption and deals that seem to work for you. Devils are only too eager to offer you all sorts of things easily. Once you're a cleric it's that much easier to align you to his 'correct' way of thinking, with the built in incentive/safety net that he can withdraw your powers the moment you are not furthering his agenda. Don't get corrupted? Well, being LN doesn't protect you, you're damned anyway and maybe as a cleric you indoctrinated or tainted other and he gets their souls too.

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Yamazakana wrote:

The Great Spirits whispered Animal Totem lacks Bird totem...

though I can understand that it is difficult to handle fly speed.

Dragon has one, so bird should be possible.

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Grimcleaver wrote:

I've always felt like half-elf and half-orc work best as templates rather than races in their own right. Both are supposed to be devilishly rare in the setting lore anyway.
The rest are rootless drifters and outcasts doomed to watch everyone else age and die in front of them--and there's not many. The number of these elves that decide to settle down with a human who's rotting away to entropy in front of their eyes? And start a family? So they can have a child that they will just have to watch die? That feels like a rarity within a rarity within another rarity.

1) If you don't count the Growing communities in the Iron Archipelago and on the Isle of Kortos for Half orcs, plus the popularity of half-orc gladiators in just about any city with an arena.

and 2) I feel bad for breaking this to you, but you don't need to settle down or decide to start a family to create a child. Those drifters and outcasts need to do something on all those centuries of cold winter nights. How many half elves do you think a Calistrian could farther in 500 years of adulthood? Even one deciding that Bachelor's snuff was too expensive or they didn't like the side effects, and you couldn't exactly call half elves rare.
3) Both Cross bloods breed true, I'm sure I've read your as likely to have only one or two similarly 'half' parents than be the direct offspring of a human and a member of another ancestry.

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Isiah.AT wrote:
Keep in mind this is a play test and paizo has given numerous disclaimers that this would not be final. They have mentioned that they still need help catching typos or how to better explain things... If you don't understand something, simply ask for clarity.

I thought that was exactly what this thread was for...

I can accept I could but steel in a town where I couldn't find someone who knows how to fold it to forge a katana, yeah. I definitely wouldn't expect the people at my local chemist or garden centre to know how to make bombs, certainly not reliably or safely.

CRB wrote:
Flurry of Blows (feat) - Make two unarmed Strikes. If both hit the same creature, combine their damage and enhancements for the purpose of resistances and weaknesses.

I'm assuming that the intention is you make two Strikes at the cost of only one action, can target them as you wish, and that each strike would do it's normal damage on a hit unless both hit and are targeting the same creature, in which case they do combined damage as if it came from only one Strike.

Firstly, I'd like clarification as to how that interacts with multi-attack penalties (are both made with the same penalty, -0 if they are the first attack? If so how does that affect other attacks you make this round, counting as one or two attacks? Or does the second suffer a penalty as a second attack?).
Secondly, and this seems pedantic, but RAW could be interpreted as they only do damage if both attacks hit the same target, with either splitting them or missing one resulting in no damage dealt. As I say, pedantic, but I have known people to rules lawyer to that degree and if it could be tidied that'd be cool.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

In PF1 the CRB section for Monks said "Lawful only" but this didn't mean there were only lawful monks since we subsequently printed several archetypes and an Aasimar trait which enable non-lawful monks.

I don't see how this is fundamentally different. I see "there aren't rules for this yet" to mean "this option is currently unavailable to players" not "this sort of thing doesn't exist in the world."

OK, last post I'm gonna make on this, as I'm sure no one wants to read me elaborating further. They currently do not exist, they may exist in future, I'm not clairvoyant, but not now. Non lawful monks did not exist in Glorian until those archetypes came out, and then they were retconed in to existing. Similarly, lightsabers do not exist IRL, they might in future but it is still correct to say that they do not exist. It does not seem useful to me to ignore complaints about the current rules or the rules implications for the setting, because they hypothetically might change. I don't know what changes may happen, so I can't comment on them, I can only comment on what is currently true.

I do not like the tightening restrictions on deities and alignment, as I prefer games to emphasise player choice and creativity. I'm not saying I'm abandoning the system or company, nor trying to fight about it. I just don't think the change will fix the problem of poor/disruptive roleplaying, but will make some players unable to play certain interesting characters using Rules As Written.

Emeric Tusan wrote:
I wish they would use encounter mode for the current duration's and have longer duration's for exploration mode.

An elegant solution for allowing them to be used for convenience and flavor but preventing them for being OP in combat. You could hand wave it with a little line of fluff like 'but the additional stress of a dangerous encounter can dramatically shorten the duration of certain spells.'

Is anyone still recruiting for the playtest? I'd be up for a PbP, my old group has problems actually getting it together to game, and I'd like to be able to provide feedback based on play rather than just how the rules read. Can't do voice though, if that's a problem.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Implications of what is allowable under the current ruleset is in no way an indication of all the things that can exist in the world. Nowhere is this saying "Asmodeus has no LN or NE clerics" it's just there are no rules for them yet.

It sort of is, in the rules for clerics where it disallows them from existing. There is no equivalent table labelled 'weapons that exist on Glorian' with a big 'No' next to firearms, so that really isn't an equatable. Granted there may be a future archetype that lets them exist, but you can say that about just about any concern with the playtest. Additional rules may come later, but we can only express our feelings about what we have. Feedback based on assumptions as to what we hope happens can't be of much help to the devs. Also, a) why create that archetype in the first place if the reason for disallowing clerics of certain alignments was because you didn't want people of certain alignments getting spells from certain gods? ans b)why would you need an archetype to allow clerics to do it? just let them be within one alignment step in the first place.

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MelodicCodes wrote:

The issue is so - if you don't want your players to abuse CLW wands, then don't make them available. It's not that difficult for the GM to say that there doesn't happen to be a CLW wand in ye olde magic item shoppe.

It's easy to not have it for sale, but I don't want to have to tell a player they can't take Wand/Staff creation feats because I want them to be more likely to die.

Still, resonance doesn't seem like a great system to me, especially how it affects alchemists. The party has to pay out double if they want any healing or buffs from them, and it reduces their attack options to do so.

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Isiah.AT wrote:
Due to these factors, most groups put alternative versiins in place

Do they? I haven't really heard mention of anyone doing it. Honest question. It's also not something I've seen players struggle with, though I guess those who do might just be the people who pick spont casters, so maybe?

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Almarane wrote:

Why not ? Unless I missed something, I don't see anything preventing you from saying that you are a varisian half-elf. You don't need to take an ancestry feat to say "I am varisian".

Well yeah, you can say your character has traditional tats, but if you want that to actually mean anything (like being the basis of your spells) you'll be behind an actual human, who's character sheet reflects their background. I mean, I can play a half-orc and say I can see in the dark, but the game won't back me up on it till 5th lvl.

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