One more question, since I asked my GM and we puzzled over it for a few minutes and she suggested asking here; what do verbal spell components (at least within the setting) actually consist of? Mystic chanting? Shorter but still magicky-sounding specific incarnations, ie Avada Kedavra? Whatever-personally-feels-magic-to-the-caster, whether that's just shouting "FIREBALL!", or thematic nursery rhymes, or number sequences, or etc?
Something like this? Would have also been similar to what men wore, including over armor in combat. So, plenty effective.
Oh, and I portray a 12th century Saracen in the Society for Creative Anachronism. The costume I wear for fencing is pretty similar to Kyra's outfit, actually. So, I can speak from personal experience here. Notice how her pants are tucked into her boots, the wider sleeves of the overrobe don't go fully down her arm and stop short enough to not entangle her sword hilt, etc. The overrobe is a little long but could easily be belted up. And I've won fencing bouts because someone hit the edge of my tunic instead of successfully hitting me; having a concealed figure can be an advantage.
Yeah, I don't think Kyra's outfit will hinder her.
I agree with it would be nicer to have a different name. (Although I do like to some extent that the skills were condensed. Often needing Stealth, Sleight of Hand, Bluff, AND Disable Device felt like an awkward income tax on rogues' skill points.)
As for morally okay uses of it. Uhh... my LG paladin of Iomedae in Wrath of the Righteous has max ranks in Disable Device and has picked locks a bunch of times. She hasn't fallen for not using enough brute force while rescuing prisoners, and I'm pretty sure she shouldn't. Her spyglass archon cohort is also pretty good at it.
Regarding breaking down doors being "fairer"... honorable does not mean stupid. Paladins are not forced to give their enemies maximum time to be ready for attack. I mean, there've been canon instances of Golarion paladins being spied on, and if they had to broadcast attack plans for the sake of honor, there wouldn't be much need for that, right?
Between Retributive Strike's trigger and Smite Evil's conditions (have to witness an ally/innocent be harmed before being able to use it...), 2e paladin does not feel even in terms of flavor like it's about stopping evil, but about avenging buddies. Which may or may not actually correspond to any particularly LG causes. "I don't like my friends getting hurt" is really pretty Neutral. Retributive Strike feels more reminiscent of the Vindictive Bastard ex-paladin archetype than it does of paladins.
And this is in terms of flavor. In terms of gameplay... it's ideal to specifically position oneself in such a way as to not prevent allies from being attacked. That is the opposite of being a paladin. I get that probably these abilities were supposed to feel like "attacking him was a big mistake and you're going to pay for it" cool, but in three segments of Doomsday Dawn as a paladin, it has not felt like that even once for me. It's felt like my main ability differentiating my character from the next guy's, and therefore something where I should be trying to set up chances to use it. But setting up chances to use it means doing things that are cruddy. One of my only mandatory class features encourages not roleplaying that class.
It's also still hard on archer paladins, even with Ranged Reprisal helping a bit. And archer paladins don't need more disadvantage on top of archery losing the feats that made it strong and being stuck with +2 Str.
I think it can work and be cool as an optional class feat with less of the class's scaling and power based around it, but I don't think it should be a central ability.
Dante Doom wrote:
I would have preferred Pathfinder 1.5. Something that didn't tie itself to D&D compatibility and carryovers from 3.5 and setting vagueness, but was still not more different than it had reason to be. I don't know how much it will persist in the final version, but so far 2e feels worryingly like some changes were made largely for the sake of change and making it a sufficiently new system to justify new books.
(I know that's essentially what we got with Unchained, but the difference is that Unchained was an alternate ruleset and not a new ruleset. And thus not assumed later, and there were probably fewer changes that could be made.)
Obviously, yes, challenges for higher-level characters do need to be comparatively higher. The issue is, as presented in the playtest, +1/level feels like an oversimplified way of doing this. Being high-level feels fairly meaningless, to me, in terms of everything but spell access and a couple of class features. For comparison, in 1e, higher level play felt defined by the amount of difference between things my PC was good at, and things they weren't. In one game, this took the form that I couldn't just coast on being sorta okay at melee combat, because AC would improve faster than my attack modifiers, but I could feel confident that I could get a basic success on nearly all Intimidate checks, for instance. That was fun. That made level advancement mean something besides just inflated numbers.
My group just finished Red Flags, and I did not feel that way at all there. My wizard, who was highly specialized in Diplomacy, still had only slightly better than even odds of succeeding at any given Diplomacy check (using the updated DCs), and thus significant odds of a critical failure too. This was with characters who were supposed to be extraordinary and highly-talented. Instead every single skill check was eliciting groans, because it meant things our characters were meant to be incredible at, they could quite possibly screw up completely. It felt like level 1 in most 1e games: all the PCs are just slightly better than average even at things they're good at, and the world is a very risky place to be a normal person in the face of orcs and trolls. For all that training, you still might falter at a critical moment. I like that feeling at level 1, but not at level 14.
The other thing that I don't like about it, is the contrast with the attempted tight math. Being "legendary" instead of trained is a whole +3 more. And grants access to some skill feats. That does not feel "legendary" to me. It's really hard to feel like I can customize characters meaningfully, when the difference between having, say, incredible Deception vs pretty okay Deception is... something like +3 proficiency, maybe a +3 from an item, and with the same Charisma score that would be it. But let's go ahead and say it's +6 vs +3 from Charisma, because with ability scores gained as in the playtest, getting a 16 in a pretty much unneeded stat at high levels is very doable. Let's say it's level 15, to maximize relevance of skill training compared to level. So that's going to be... 1d20+27, vs 1d20+18. That's... okay, I guess. Better than 1d20+24 vs 1d20+18, assuming my character is meant to be good at Deception without being amazingly charismatic. Or 1d20+31/1d20+28 compared to 1d20+23 at level 20. Either way, it feels unimpressive. The largest factor is randomness. The second largest factor is level. Me deciding to make my character good at Deception is the smallest factor. My character having practiced being good at lying, however many years they spent playing poker or making up stories in front of a mirror or getting by as a thief, whatever, account for a measly +3. Equal to the significance of having a nice magic ring. Equal to a relatively minor fluctuation in die rolls. For a game/setting meant to be about human limitations and futility in the face of magic and destiny, sure! But I don't think that's the genre Pathfinder is meant to be.
Something just hit me fully that I'd been thinking for a while but hadn't quite defined to myself yet. I don't like the apparent focus on this forum.
I do want to start this out by saying, I appreciate Paizo doing an open playtest at all, and reading this forum and the surveys and all. It's still really cool. And I appreciate the work you're all doing to keep things relatively positive and non-toxic. The fillable "other" options categories in more of the survey questions is helping a lot too, and I do like that.
But my mindset this week has been pretty much "I guess I have to post so I can say what I think before the end of the playtest window, and stop putting it off." It's not that I don't have time to write anything, my Recent Documents page is full of post drafts. After nearly every session, every evening set aside for character-building, every completed survey, I've been writing my opinions and experiences as articulately and constructively as I can. And then it all sits around in my computer, waiting for a time when I feel like looking for a relevant existing thread to post in per Vic's advice, reading through at least a few pages of it, posting something, and trying to respond to replies, without wanting to just faceplant and go to bed because whoa why are people arguing whether the Liberator code of conduct disallows stopping a mugger.
Because I love all you guys, and I know many sites would be a lot more toxic, but there's a lot of ambient frustration and opinions running high in here, and maybe sometimes I want a way to express more feedback than a 1-5 scale without presenting my opinions for public dissection. And I realized today, I am far from the shyest, most withdrawn person I know, so if I feel like this, how many other people haven't spoken up at all?
And yeah, I know it's how previous playtests have been done, it just feels a little different to me. If someone doesn't like how something else turns out, say, Mythic or vigilantes, they can just not play those, or even exclude those things from their games. There's going to be more content they'll like in a few months. Just get the next book instead. But with 2e, that's not really so much of an option to just wait for something else. So I think it's a little more important this time around.
But then I start thinking again, "it's just a way of making sure the people who are listened to are the ones who are really dedicated to the game." Except that doesn't seem right when I think about it better. I don't know if the idea was something like that or if that was just my own rationalization, but if that was the point, I don't really agree with it. That's the same sort of reasoning as "if you don't like happy hour at the club, you're not a good fit for this company." Comfort level with the community on a section of the official site is not a gauge of liking the game.
I don't really know if it's possible to do anything about it, let alone now. Maybe I should have posted this earlier. Maybe I should just start another thread or two focusing on just giving personal opinions and not discussing anyone else's, myself. But I just figured I'd toss the perspective out here. Because maybe there's other people who don't want to deal with the Trial by Internet Debate to prove their fanhood and say their two cents, who are more reticent than me to post, so in case anyone at Paizo has a cool idea for a solution, I think this could use it.
I'd be fine with getting rid of ability scores, but not in the same game as "legendary means you have +3 more than your buddy who practiced a bit!" Not in the same game as "well, the DC is based on your level, and your skill mod is based on your level, so if you're a master you have a slightly better chance of succeeding than failing, and are only a little likely to fall on your face." 2e already has so many ways of making the PCs feel like chumps, I don't think it can afford to also swap out "you have 12 strength!" for "you have 1 strength", purely in terms of psychology and appeal.
Alright. Not that there's any shortage of ranting about paladins, but here's my additional two cents for the wishing fountain...
First of all, to get this straight, I'm not really opposed to non-LG paladin variants or equivalents. In fact, I like the idea, as long as they are handled with respect for the role of the "traditional" paladin. What I see as conditions of this are as follows:
Now, why I feel the 1.6 paladin breaks these rules.
First of all, the means of choice. Something being in the CRB is, as I understand it, generally indicated to represent a certain status. These things are relatively basic to the universe and are expected to be always accessible. It is, in essence, the first indicator of rarity, in absence of any specification. And alignment is presented as a basic choice, comparable to a sorcerer's bloodline or a wizard's arcane school. Even if the umbrella name of the class is changed, that won't change the implication that CG "champions" or whatever are just as normal and standard a choice as LG ones.
Why do I not like this?:
First, because the act of swearing devotion to an ideal and choosing to follow a strict code of conduct is inherently more lawful. Don't get me wrong, I think it's absolutely possible for Chaotic characters, but would be significantly less likely/common. Second, because I think the class variants are similar enough that a bunch of Caydenite "champions" or whatever would presumably influence how traditional paladins would be viewed in-universe; no longer necessarily upholders of justice, no longer necessarily heroes, no longer necessarily going to defend the weak or confront the wicked, just more martial priests championing whatever ideals they wanted. This might not affect a paladin of Iomedae, but a paladin of Abadar or Shelyn would probably be seen a bit differently, I'd think, if paladins weren't necessarily LG.
Potential fixes: Either delaying variant paladins a book or two, and/or handling them similarly to the current (and not-liked-by-me) implementation of half-humans by letting you use your first class feat to get "you can be this alignment, which gives you this ability" to at least present it as a divergence from the norm, and/or making them archetypes of the original 1e style (I liked all the 1e paladin alignment-variant archetypes, and would have welcomed a CG one of it was done in that way) would all solve this in my opinion. At the least, a little bit of flavor text saying non-LG paladins are uncommon would be nice, but by itself would feel a little insufficient. But it would be better than nothing.
Second concern: the codes of conduct. IMO, the way it was subdivided actually encourages Lawful Stupid interpretations of traditional paladins, and similarly poor roleplaying of others.
Here's the thing. All of these, minus some absoluteness on the try-redemption-first one, are how I think all paladins should be required to act. Subdividing it this way indicates these codes are specific to the alignments.
So it's fine for a CG champion to lie and take advantage of others? They don't need to show compassion for others?
It's fine for a NG champion to engage in slavery and tyranny?
It's fine for a paladin to coerce people to act in particular ways even if they're doing no harm? Or mete out undeserved punishment?
Even some of the less cut-and-dry cases, for instance if an authority figure hasn't made any laws that violate other tenets of the paladin code, I see absolutely no reason a CG champion shouldn't be encouraged to respect them in the absence of any reason not to. Fighting the power just 'cause it's there even if there's no substantial gain from disrupting people's lives is CN imo, not CG.
I really, really don't want true paladins reduced to "you don't have to be compassionate and can go beat up gays, those rules are for NG and CG!"
Potential fix: Use all tenets for all Good alignments. Have variation in the code of conduct be in the form of how the tenets are prioritized.
The last point is this: the abilities themselves. I don't like the idea of locking redemption-related abilities to NG-only. Okay, maybe Paizo wants LG paladins of LG-adjacent deities to no longer be a thing, so I'll leave out paladins of Sarenrae and similar, but that doesn't change that redemption-focused LG paladins have been supported, allowed, and encouraged up until now. The Redeemer archetype doesn't change alignment. Iomedae and a few other LG deities have the Redemption domain. Erastil would probably be more in favor of trying to bring a misguided local teenager back into the fold than meting out justice, if maybe not in favor of showing the same mercy to outsiders. But now LG paladins don't, and quite possibly will never, have access to abilities enabling that.
Potential fix: I like the idea of alignment variants getting different abilities, but I don't think LG should be relegated to "I guess they get the killy stuff". This will probably be amended by more options, and Retributive Strike being changed to something that doesn't only work if you let your allies be meatshields. Because "come on, come on, cut that guy down so I have a chance to retaliate" is not my LG.
(EDIT: Ooooops, I meant to put this in the classes subforum, I guess I had the wrong tab up. Sorry!)
Two most important things to me:
Make half-orcs and half-elves real races and not a feat tax with what will probably be permanently fewer choices than other races, most acutely for the first quarter of level progression.
Keep LG paladins with a focus on redemption as a valid and sensible option. My 1e LG paladin of Iomedae would hands-down want the "make people rethink their actions" options rather than "need to let my buddy draw attacks before I can do anything". As is, if options stay locked to simplistic alignment interpretations, then YES, the variant paladins ARE taking something away from traditional paladins.
The amount of keywords tends to be confusing to me, not simplifying. Looking up keywords accounted for three quarters of my character design time in part 1. They haven't been very intuitive to find in the rulebook, either.
So... I like the original spell statblocks and the one fewer keyword better, but maybe if you could use the extra space to make room for some really awesome things, idk.
I read through the rulebook twice, had it pointed out that the definition of the gameplay meaning of "manipulate" was in the appendix, and that still didn't make it clear the idea was or might be to avoid AoOs.
First real hiccup with character creation, but that was a doozy of one.
[Edit: turned down the GRAAAAAAWR because trying to figure it out was frustrating, but I don't want to be a grump at all the cool people here]
I like this system a lot. It should cut down on some of the absurdity of players combining tons of options that make no sense, and also amend some of the confusion when a splatbook implies but doesn't require that a spell or a feat or whatever is limited to such-and-such group, or how to have something in the game intended for use by an enemy group and not PCs without restrictions that look scummy OOC.
YES! Allowing poison is a reasonable adjustment, love the clarifications (thank you for further confirming that yes, torture is evil...), happy about the tease of maybe alignment variations with significant gameplay differences but that won't change the paladin's identity as primarily LG.
Mechanics-wise I think a lot of this sounds cool but I do hope it doesn't remove too much versatility, I like playing tanky paladins but I like having the option for more offensive builds too.
I don't think so, personally... but okay, I'll assume sincerity and conclude that my "nobody could misinterpret this accidentally" has been disproven.
I don't think doing that would be so effective a tactic, really... guy surrenders, gets turned over to the city guard or whatever, ???, profit? I'm a bit skeptical. Also I don't see how it's about what the player does rather than what the character does.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Isn't the GM already allowed to do this?
Why would anyone want to play a Half-Orc if the Orc Orc was on offer? I don't understand why this is such a big issue. It wouldn't even be a big shock to the Golarion lore as we have a big ass place called Belkzen that has been developed fairly well with a campaign book and an AP. If the Half-Orc comes off as rapey, which the core material implies, get rid of it. If you still want your semi-monstrous PC,just go with Orc as the OP suggests.
I don't know about you or anyone else, but I don't play half-orcs to play orc lite. For characters like Oloch or Thog, that could maybe work. For Therkla or Imrijka, not as much.
Unless the Golarion canon of orcs is drastically changed to make them a race of misunderstood Drizzt wannabes, which I very much hope isn't done to orcs as well as goblins, a heroic orc PC should be an extreme outlier. That's not the kind of thing I want to play all the time. A character who's close enough to human but isn't treated as such makes for a more interesting and less contrived story, to me.
Personally one of the things I like about RPGs is for the same kinds of problems to exist, but in a medium where I feel more able to do something about them. In real life, if someone tells me "hey, ew, you're [sexuality/race/religion/etc] I don't like!" I don't have a whole lot of options, besides maybe swaying onlookers with a witty comeback. If that comes up in Pathfinder then the witty comeback can be "Yeah, I am. I'm also a level 14 wizard, and you're now a mouse."
The existence of rapists bothers me a lot less when I get to kill them with swords.
I'd be fine with alignment restrictions on shifter/monk/barbarian/non-divine casters in general being removed... wouldn't particularly be inclined to do it myself, but if it happens in 2e I'll play along without complaint.
Yes, actually, it is. Just because it's not what you had in mind when you started the thread doesn't mean it's not a concept people in this thread are advocating for.
There is you, who started this thread but do not own it, arguing for alignment to be in the game but not applied to people/PCs/etc. And several people agreeing with this.
There are also people in this thread arguing for removing/diminishing alignment across the board entirely, unless I'm seriously misunderstanding.
That post of mine was directed toward the latter group. It's quite possible cfalcon's also was. "That's not what I'm talking about and not what I want" would be valid. Saying it's not being discussed in the thread is just flat out incorrect.
Also, it seems very likely to me that if alignment was removed for PCs and the majority of NPCs, that rules options using alignment would be decreased, so the point stands. It would still be harder to houserule in than to houserule out.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
I really don't see Starfinder as compatible on this. It's a genre thing. Forces of cosmic morality, honor or hatred made manifest and granting magical protection or strength, noble and heroic knights fighting ultimate evils, that's high fantasy stuff - aka reasonable for people to expect to be enabled by the Pathfinder system. Alignment is relevant.
Lovable rogues who everyone understands to be reliable if sometimes reluctant or misrepresented allies, upstanding and respected commanders and politicians, feared bounty hunters, and intimidating aliens of superhuman martial prowess are more the norm for space opera. Hence, infamy is more relevant, so that's the more used system for Starfinder. Alignment generally would not be seen as relevant as much anyway, I would suspect.
Removing (mechanically relevant or otherwise) alignment is easier than adding mechanically relevant alignment.
The "keep alignment" argument is just that - leave alignment-based gameplay in place, present removing it as an option for people who want that, don't have PFS mandate no alignments or adventure paths expect it. For most games, it is then a choice of "keep alignment, keep alignment but remove alignment mechanics, remove alignment" with no substantial redesigning or customization. Just that one decision that's simple enough for a vote or something.
The "remove alignment" argument, as many people are presenting it, requires taking away the framework for that system. Not just listing one before the other in the CRB, but making it so people who want alignment mechanics will have to homebrew all the spells, archetypes, rituals, monster abilities, etc that they think should use it, AS WELL AS finding a group of players who are on board with that AND agree on the precise implementations. To save the anti-alignment crowd the trouble of "hey guys can we try a game without alignments".
This is the essence of the compromise problem. It's the difference between "there's a red house on this sign, but you can paint your house red or blue" and "you can paint your house red or blue, but red paint is now illegal, so you'd have to find a black-market paint salesman or make your own paint, because we like blue better."
I think they're fine to include at least sometimes. Otherwise you render any precautions players take against them meaningless, and/or nerf-by-extension things that are balanced around having some of those protections innately. Possibly without players having been made aware so they can account for it. I'd be peeved if I spent resources, say, shoring up my Will saves, or casting Protection from Evil a lot, and then the worst threats they would be preventing weren't really in the game my GM was running.
And as long as it's not constant, it's scarcely a game-ruiner.
I like the idea, they're a fun little extra thing to play around with. I don't like the execution, but I'd rather they be improved than axed. If it wasn't for the completely disproportionate ability to increase spells known for human(-ish) spontaneous casters, it wouldn't bug me as much... Expanded Arcana is terrible, Pages of Spell Knowledge only go so far, there's really no alternative if you want any versatility at all. I know, I know, versatility is kind of a human thing in PF lore, but still.
I'm not sure how much of this is even an argument against it being in the game, or just that it shouldn't be described as a requirement for realism or accuracy or anything. And for the record, I agree with that latter part. Because it's not "Paizo put this in an AP once, and besides that it's realistically medieval, so it's badwrongfun not to have it in games". If you wanna have it that way, cool for you. If you wanna tone it down, cool for you. Heck, if you want to amp up the dark stuff and your players are on board with that, cool for you.
But it's a choice and should be acknowledged as a choice. Even if it's a little more awkward because no decent person wants to be saying "I like my games extra rapey", taking responsibility for what you think the game should be and talking about it as a choice helps with self-awareness, and leads to less accidental negative-soundingness toward people who don't agree.
(for what it's worth, I'm one of those people in favor of keeping the dark aspects. I don't particularly like Game of Thrones-esque "crapsack world with scummy antiheroes vs horrific monsters of people" gritty fantasy so much as Lord of the Rings's tone of... the heroes are about as noble and purehearted as you can get, but still struggle with temptation and sanity and resolve because things are just that bad and against the odds. Accordingly, I like my squicky badstuff in moderate and not-too-overt amounts.)
As for the OP, frankly the only people who play proper half-orcs are the people who would be playing a full-blooded orc if given the option so I would fully support half-orcs being replaced with orcs as a core race.
Also, I'm... let's just say I'm curious why you say this. And what you consider "proper" half-orcs.
There was a situation in a game I was in that I think might demonstrate the concerns of traditional-paladin advocates in terms of how default "paladins" being non-restricted or significantly-less-restricted does detract from the identity of the class lore-wise.
My character had once been a paladin, but had fallen from grace prior to the start of the campaign in her backstory. Mostly due to a lot of impulsive actions and lack of discipline; things like secretly taking supplies from her order's headquarters to give to a friend who needed them, acting against orders because she thought she had a better idea of how to handle something, letting petty criminals go because she wanted to give them a second chance without really thinking about what they might do, etc. In game terms, shifting from LG to NG. The first time it happened, she atoned and regained her status, but fell back into NG again, and eventually decided she was better suited to serving her god in some other way. So, at the time of the campaign start, she was a NG Inquisitor. Most of her class features and spellcasting went into keeping up a pretense of still being a paladin - much less effectively - out of shame.
I got the GM's approval on the backstory, no problem. I think he liked the character concept. I think he overlooked why the second player's PC made it awkward. I went along with it anyway, and didn't make a fuss, but I did feel like it compromised my own PC and would have decided to play something else if I'd known in advance.
Second player's character was a NG paladin. Nothing to it other than the GM deciding NG paladins were fine too.
I'd have been fine with it if there had been an in-game reason for there being a difference. I would have been happy for the other player to have gotten some kind of houserule that let them play a variant of the class or something as NG. But my character concept was simply not really compatible with a setting in which paladins could be NG just as easily as, and otherwise identically to, LG. Altering the default assumption did make a difference. And it would bug me to have Golarion go from "paladins are basically always LG" to "paladins can be any alignment appropriate to their deity" just because.
"You can play what you want and I can play what I want," is a compromise on it's face. More specifically, we're prepared to give up the specific name 'Paladin' and have certain mechanical differences in exchange for being able to use the mechanical chassis overall on a Chaotic Good character. That's a compromise. We give up part of what we want, you give up part of what you want, but we both get something out of it.
I think basically all the traditional-paladin advocates are fine with something like that. Wires just get crossed and misunderstandings happen with the times when the point is overstated into "...and besides, you're wrongity wrong wrong and CG paladins wouldn't hurt anything, get over your sacred cow" because then people have to defend their own perspective when they would have otherwise agreed. I'd be happy with a compromise like that; it just needs to be one that leaves the default/assumed/most common use of "paladin" to mean something that acts like a standard paladin.
Alignment however affects some classes and not others. The ones it affects, it restricts. The ones it restricts, it hurts should game mechanics (helm of opposite alignment) change a line on your character sheet through no fault of your own.
Putting on cursed items (or having them forced on you or whatever) hurts most classes at various times. Some more than others. Boots of Dancing won't be as likely to be trouble for a wizard, or other characters who won't generally be in melee combat, for instance. Seems fine to me.
"Through no fault of your own" misrepresents how cursed items work. Which a helm of opposite alignment is. If I drink a potion of poison, the GM is not forcing Con damage on me randomly through no fault of my own. I should have identified it better before drinking it. It would be silly to portray it that way, unless there was some particular agreement or expectation of no cursed items.
I'd like to see a system where you gained spell levels in fractions like BAB or saves. Have each level in Cleric grant .5 toward a new spell level of the Cleric spell list, but if you want to multiclass to Warpriest, spellcasting progresses on the same track and you just gain only .33 spell levels per Warpriest level. Maybe merge a few spell lists to enable it, or let you gain X many spells per day from Cleric and X many from Wizard based on your total spell level, for instance.
I'd like to clarify that I for one am not trying to say your experiences are invalid, and I'm sorry if I gave that impression, I can see how I might have done so.
I do think you're taking the quote out of context and I doubt JJ meant for it to be used this way.
If I say something to another individual, and they feel it's rude but I don't, I will apologize because whatever I think, it's valid that they felt hurt by it, and I'll consider if it would be generally offensive or was something personal to them, if it's the latter I'll stop saying it around them and it's the former I'll stop saying it at all.
But, for example, if as a GM, something in one of my games offends or upsets an individual, I will apologize to them and consider it valid that they were hurt, but I will also have to consider whether that element of the game is something the other 3-5 players like and wouldn't want removed, or whether other people might have found it offensive as well, or if everyone else feels pretty neutral about it so I may as well get rid of this.
What I'm trying to say here isn't "you're not negatively affected by alignment rules, shaddup, it's fine." What I'm trying to say is "yes, you're negatively affected by alignment rules and it's a shame that happened, but other people including me like having them, so whatever decision is made, it will be negative for some people and that means Paizo ought to weigh how it affects everyone."
1. Gray Paladin (Paladin)
2. Eldritch Scoundrel (Rogue)
3. Crossblooded Sorcerer (Sorcerer)
4. Cloistered Cleric (Cleric)
5. Pact Wizard (Wizard)
(although if it was actually just my top 5 favorite archetypes, and not which ones I think should be published early on, somewhat different list: Gray Paladin, Sacred Servant (paladin), Tortured Crusader (paladin), Sword of Valor (paladin), Chosen One (paladin)... yeah, my favorite core class is probably obvious.)
I don't get this whole idea of people being punished for failing to roleplay their alignment. I wouldn't do that and I haven't seen that done. For an anecdotal example, in one single campaign, I've seen the CG bloodrager try to trade his blood to a devil, the TN mage steal holy symbols from a tomb, the CG summoner make a pact with a succubus, the LG swashbuckler advocate torturing a prisoner... and no one was punished. No "gotcha!" forcible alignment changes, nothing. Every time a player has wanted to do something alignment-change-worthy, the GM has pulled them aside for a conversation of "hey, are you sure your character would do this? It's not like how they've acted in the past, and I think it's a bit out of line with their alignment", they talked over how things would probably play out, and the player got to make an informed decision on if they still wanted to do that thing. How is this punishment for having trouble roleplaying?
Sounds like maybe what's needed is a page in the Gamemastery Guide on handling alignment.
Malik Gyan Daumantas wrote:
They still don't die often enough for it to make much sense as a factor of consideration.
IMO the main issue is that it makes characters designed to do nonlethal damage that much less valid. You pretty much are looking at a one in four maybe one in three chance for that to matter and that you're the one who gets the last hit. All those Sarenrae abilities to do nonlethal damage unpenalized? Way worse with SF nonlethal rules.
As was mentioned before, party members agreeing to take someone alive but not wanting it so much that they feel like eating the -4 penalty is more likely than outright disagreement.
I'd be on board with it if penalties for nonlethal damage were removed with most weapons/reduced/etc, and nonlethal-encouraging options maybe worked differently instead. Although tracking nonlethal hasn't been a big deal in my experience as a player, either (though admittedly with most NPCs if they rack up a huge amount of nonlethal, I do start just tracking total and figuring they survive KOs and heal on both tracks.)
It actually does change things, because books have word count restrictions and Paizo has had to cut down on stuff to meet them in the past. This sounds like a lot of clunkiness that really only needs a few notes in one place, not everywhere there's an alignment restriction.
Other than that? As long as it's not a matter of actually changing the amount of content there is that does use alignments? And your whole complaint of "no alignment as the default" meant all this time "present them both clearly, just specify that playing with or without alignment is possible, in case someone didn't read/believe in Rule Zero"? I couldn't care less which one is listed first or explicitly tagged as optional.
Whatever you do at your table is of no concern to me, I just don't want to have to write pages of houserules and homebrew content to reestablish alignment in my own games.
I'm fine with that too, there's a reason I prefer 6-level casters. Nice attempt to twist my point, though.
Mythic is no longer Mythic if it's part of standard progression. The whole concept is about being something beyond just even high-level adventurers.
I really like the idea of the mythic rules, I'd love to see a better-balanced 2e version, I'd even very much like just an update to 1e Mythic. But it should be a subsystem, not just "you're mythic at level 10" or whatever. Same way I don't want every other campaign to be mythic. To quote Syndrome of The Incredibles, if everyone's special, no one will be. And that's not what I want done with 2e Mythic.
Starfinder is wonderful about this. You need not ever write alignment on your character sheet and the game plays the same regardless. Even parts of the game that seem to interact with alignment really don’t. Someone uncomfortable with alignment can easily consider Holy weapon fusions to simply be emitting a lot of G radiation, which works well against creatures vulnerable to it. Demons and devils are just creatures with a lot of E radiation. They are also evil people. Some players can consider those two things to be causally related while those who don’t like alignment can consider them coincidentally related. Just like how I wear glasses and drive a Camry, but I don’t wear glasses because I drive a Camry (or vice versa). Even the Planar Calling spell has the potential for an alignment descriptor tag, but since there’s nothing in the game about what those tags interact with, using Planar Calling to summon a devil could just as easily be signified by the spell having the Chariot and Fish descriptors. At no point is anyone in any direction forced to abandon what they deeply hold personally true, and I think that’s something to be applauded in a Saturday afternoon diversion. And I’m hoping P2E follows suit.
Thank you for so effectively putting into words just what I don't want.
I love that morality has real relevance in Pathfinder/3.5. I like having actual incentive to make character-appropriate moral decisions, instead of feeling like I'm meaninglessly hamstringing myself for the sake of vague roleplaying by having a wand of Cure Light Wounds instead of Infernal Healing. I like having to sometimes think of a more creative way to solve problems than letting the hostage die or stealing the macguffin. I like when cooperating with a devil has actual dangers of moral and/or religious failure. I like the reason to summon things of a similar ethical stance. I like that saving the orphans has value besides just because I want to and any loot or exp the GM happens to hand out.
I get that it appeals to you, and that's fine, but I don't want alignment descriptors to just be verbal algebra. That is, to me, killing the thing I most like about the game and propping up its corpse at the dinner table.
W E Ray wrote:
I don't know about you but I see plenty of design room for more stuff. There's still a good three books worth of things I've been particularly wanting, and that's just specific wishlists, not even vague like that I think there's lots of archetypes that could still be made but can't point as much to "I want this one idea".
If there's cases where a player cannot realistically include a base class in a Paizo AP on an equal footing without houseruling or significant adjustments, just due to lack of content, I think there's room for more products. (Psychic, Wrath of the Righteous, for the record on an example here.)
I don't think it's a catch-22, or that the paladin has no good option, personally. There's plenty of options. Answering slowly and asking questions to delay the guards, politely and openly declining to answer even if it has negative consequences for the paladin, stepping into the alleyway to bodyblock the guards and informing them that yes, you did see a slave pass by...
Paizo can't jerkproof the game. Yes, a GM who doesn't like paladins can make life hard for paladins. A GM who doesn't like anything can still make the game miserable for someone who plays it. They don't need to be able to use codes of conduct or misinterpret morality, they'd find other ways.