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 like the idea of simply choosing abilities instead of getting a certain set and being maybe allowed to swap them out, often with a great deal of finagling to get a good combination.
But I think there's better ways to do that than slowly gaining abilities every five levels that have already been established in setting lore as basic capabilities of that race. (most annoying one to me being half-orcs losing darkvision until 5)
And I feel like the ancestries survey failed on giving people a good way to voice opinions on this. Neither "I like that these features aren't mandatory, but I think spending a feat for them is too high a cost" and "I prefer all [dwarves/elves/etc] gain these features" is a good way to communicate wanting more than one or two basic ancestry abilities to be easily possible to start with or gain early on, but still having customization too.
(Personally, I'd like a similar amount of abilities gained at level 1 as in PF1, but with it built in to the core rules that you can choose them from X options, ideally in a more streamlined way than "you can swap out A for B or C, you can swap out Z for X or Y, you can swap out A and Z for N", and keep ancestry feats for scaling abilities or higher-level abilities like the stuff from PF1 racial feats.)
So, in addition to several other reasons* why I dislike how the playtest handled half-elves and half-orcs, a major concern of mine is how Paizo will handle adding more heritage feats after the CRB.
I'm assuming, at least, that they will add more heritage feats. There may not be specific plans for it yet, but it would surprise me if over the entire course of PF2, they were content to not add more.
Right now, having four options for heritage feats if you want to be a gnome, one if you want to be a half-elf, and two if you want to be a human feels somewhat weird, and it feels uncomfortably less customizable to me to play a half-elf or half-orc. But that's only going to get worse, say, once we have nine options for heritage feats for gnomes, five for regular humans, and one for half-elves. Which is kinda lame, especially since heritage feats are imo an amazing way to handle stuff the different aasimar/tiefling/changeling/dhampir/etc variants. And not a great way to make an impression on new players when that's half the way they can customize their character by ancestry for the first quarter of the game.
Unless Paizo's plan is to just expand them anyway. Which also feels awkward to me, imagining a list of human heritage feats needing different individual feats allowing you to be something like five different kinds of half-orc, five different kinds of half-elf, four different kinds of dhampir, etc. And then six kinds of aasimar, six kinds of tiefling, eight kinds of changeling... it sounds like it would be much tidier to give the PF1 races their own ancestry and their own list of feats.
I guess it's Paizo's game and if this is how they want to handle it... but if it's something feedback is wanted on, personally I question whether anyone who actually plays those races is in favor of it.
*(having to use half a feat on knowing a potentially native language originally, post-update not necessarily being able to access it at all without a non-ancestry feat, the "free" heritage feat imo increasing how mechanically inferior a choice it is to Versatile Heritage or Skilled Heritage, and it just plain not feeling as fun to play a human with the Half-Orc heritage feat)
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.
In part 2, playing a sorcerer, having carefully saved my stronger spell slots for if they were needed later, but then the party chose to rest and I wasn't able to cast Heal because I only knew the level 1 version. Ending up with "I wish I unnecessarily heightened some things so I could use a weaker spell now" felt weird and didn't make sense.
Two major things in part 5, playing an archer paladin (v. 1.6).
First was having to wait for Smite Evil to be usable, since we deemed it to require successful harm and not just attempted harm, an enemy had to hit/cause a failed save/etc first. And while my GM deemed it a legal trigger, personally I felt it was unclear whether an enemy attacking the paladin themselves qualified, as "ally OR innocent" wouldn't be needed if the PCs were presumed reasonably innocent (I can get that it might allow for non-good PCs, but in scenarios where an ally was particularly non-innocent, like guards chasing the party rogue after a flubbed pickpocketing, I don't personally think a paladin should be able to use Smite Evil, or choose to, so I'm skeptical that it's meant to cover something like that) so I wondered if "innocent" was supposed to be in the sense of "innocent bystander" ie not a moral judgment but whether they in some way contributed to the outbreak of hostilities. So there were several rounds where my Mendevian crusader paladin, with Fiendsbane Oath and every reason to default to suspicion of anything demonic, was not able to use Smite Evil on a demon that was specifically approaching the party and pretty obviously intending to attack. This felt silly.
The second was that Retributive Strike was useless and unusable when my paladin was the only one standing, just when it would feel most right for them to make a heroic last stand or something more effectively.
Part 6 went better... the main thing was just that my characters (I was controlling two PCs since we had a player drop out and didn't want to be undermanned) had nearly maxed out social skills, but this apparently meant I couldn't even expect them to reliably be able to not flub basic manners. The combination of critical failures, tight math, and true specialization in skills only being through items, made this feel sucky and the PCs inappropriately incompetent.
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.
This sounds exactly like what I think, though.
A LG paladin will prioritize doing good over preserving order, but only as much as necessary. They'll break the law if needed to save lives or something, but generally will try to work with the system.
Conversely, a CG paladin will prioritize doing good over protecting freedom, but only as much as necessary. They'll stop freeing the slaves and go fight the demons when it really comes down to it, but you're absolutely right that doing something about slavery should be their usual focus.
So, essentially, priorities would be this:
So, this could easily be represented by prioritizing the alignment tenets differently, and maybe using less absolute versions of different-alignment ones. Instead of unnecessarily potentially implying they're only at all relevant to that alignment.
Yes it does, and it probably should. You need to think of these in context, which is that all are subordinate to the Paladin not committing Evil Acts, and also subordinate to protecting innocents. That really just fixes many of your seeming problems with them.
I'd love for it to work that way. But I don't think it's going to.
People can't even agree here on if casting evil spells is evil, or if torture is evil, or if raising undead is evil, or if killing baby goblins is evil. You think they'll suddenly agree on if Liberator Bob flirting with the barmaid behind his wife's back is evil? Because I sure don't.
And, if these things were so clearly evil, why call them out at all? I think it should be obvious that taking advantage of people or engaging in slavery is evil, definitely. But solely looking at the writing without accounting for anyone having a moral compass... if the alignment tenets are all meant to be subordinate to protecting innocents and not committing evil acts, then logically it makes sense to assume anything in them isn't redundant. As it's written now, why would they specifically forbid Liberators from engaging in slavery, unless the other alignments could?
And no, I don't think all alignments should be held to all of these rules as strictly as they're written now. I tried to say as much.
And respect for authority and the law is not the same as always following the law. It can be as simple as "I wouldn't make this many laws personally, but the king is a decent fellow and means well, even if I didn't vote for him." Yeah, I don't think that should be strictly and completely required for CG, but I do think it should still be a recommendation that even if the town guards aren't such fun guys, you still generally respect that they're trying to do their part.
But yeah. Important part is, the tenets are written in a way that implies they aren't redundant, and thus these things are only prohibited for that alignment, even if common sense imo says otherwise. And I'd really rather they be written in a way that doesn't rely on common sense that much, what with how lacking it can be at times.
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 admittedly don't really see the cases in which the suggested system would be an improvement as likely to be very common.
Reducing arguments? Anyone who saw the complaints about cleric spells per day in the blog discussion, are you seriously hoping people will argue that much less over "just losing a few spell points/whatever"?
Preventing unreasonable/differently opinionated GMs from wrecking your character? No, a GM who doesn't like clerics/paladins/divine casters/you, or how you're playing such a character, will still ruin your ability to do so successfully... it'll be a little more gradual, but it also could just mean smaller things they can feel justified in penalizing you for, I expect. I guess it's extra warning time to get your PC's affairs in order and find a new table?
Helping with games with reasonable GMs you can see eye to eye with? It might add some more room for mechanical competence for players who want to fall for narrative purposes, or something, but generally seems unnecessary.
I'm fine with similar classes for other alignments. I'm also of the opinion that the less they resemble knockoff paladins while filling the role of a religion-affiliated full BAB martial, the better for both game design and lore.
EDIT: Also, maybe this is just me, but I don't think the majority of the paladin-traditionalists are arguing that in terms of design, paladins need to be better mechanically to balance out the difficulty of playing an LG character. But that in terms of lore, the concept revolves around the character gaining strength from sacrificing personal freedom to follow a strict code. IC flavor, not OOC balance, guys.
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?
Now, clerics have this new feature called "anathema", things that are abhorrent to a given deity. And naysayers are already claiming that there will be horrible conflicts over what causes a cleric to "fall" or not.
I thought the naysayers had just last alignment thread been asking for clearer definitions of what was fallworthy. Isn't that literally what this is? Much more specific actions being called out? I really don't see a ton of likelihood for disagreeing that much on how to interpret them unless someone is being willfully stubborn about it...
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.
Cool. And should dhampirs have identical aging to humans, instead of the weird 20+4/6/10d6? Because I'm guessing the possibility of them dying of old age during sufficiently randomized character creation is a sign something got lost in translation somewhere.
Character ages came up during a game, sorry for the weird questions about it!
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.
Okay, in that case...
- It doesn't give other identities unless it specifies, so you're still in social or vigilante no matter who or what else you're disguised as with Seamless Shapechanger.
- They still have magical manifestations, grab Cunning Caster or Conceal Spell to hide those. I'd advise the latter for a mesmerist. Whether she knows she was under a spell, when not specified, is kinda a GM call afaik. She wouldn't know stuff about the caster unless the spell specified it, though.
- Use mundane disguises, or mind-controlled false doubles? This one's tricky.
- I don't know why you couldn't just be clear about what you were and only hide your intentions, really, but if it's a concern... concealing spells should work at least for many things, and Vexing Daredevil with Vital Strike would be my go-to for a partly-martial mesmerist.
- If I went with a Vigilante dip at all rather than using the... iirc it's Inner Sea Intrigue? rules for dual identities without the full class feature, I'd aim for two levels for a vigilante talent.
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.
Make nonstandard combat actions more usable on the spur of the moment:
It's unrealistic, silly, and awkward to build around just being the guy who trips people really well and does little else, or whatever. But with so much investment needed for combat maneuvers to not be harmful to try using, it's what happens. I'd like for specializing in this stuff to stay an effective option, but also for maneuvers, unarmed strikes, feints, etc to be reasonable choices in the right situations for characters who haven't specialized in them (and by that I mean more situations than just against squishy casters). Let it make sense for the fighter to knock someone off a bridge if there's a narrow bridge, without him having to have trained for years in a fighting style consisting solely of shoving people. Let punching somebody because you got your weapons confiscated be much worse than using a sword, but not "the AoO does over ten times as much damage to you as the punch did to him" amounts of bad. Give martial combat that little bit of versatility.
Provide an option for paladin-alternatives without diluting the identity of paladins:
I'm all in favor of the idea of being able to play champions of alignments other than LG and CE. I really like the Gray Paladin, Tyrant, and Insinuator archetypes, for example, they allow doing some neat stuff. But I want paladins to stay being paladins. I think warpriests/clerics/whatever have the flavor role of "warrior who follows whatever their god's code of conduct is" covered just fine. Paladins are heroes first and religious paragons second, as I see it. And I want that to remain the assumption when someone says "I'm playing a paladin".
Make HP/healing/injuries make sense:
I just can't rationalize HP in so many ways.
First of all... in most situations (ability damage/drain/negative levels/diseases/etc being much less common and even less often significant) PCs routinely go straight from fighting at full capacity to completely unconscious. I had high hopes for Unchained's wound thresholds to solve this before I realized just how much tracking it amounted to and how much it would encourage wand-spamming and 15 minute adventuring days or else make encounters snowball from bad to insurmountable. As is, apparently everything is just a flesh wound, but people don't have 100 HP worth of unnecessary flesh. Or is it stamina you fix by curing wounds but not by sitting down and resting for anything short of eight hours?
Second, the sheer scaling makes it really hard for me to rationalize high levels. I know, I know, it's just a game mechanic, but, for example, by level 10 or so I may as well sit down in the campfire to keep warm. Suspension of disbelief is pretty hard for me trying to figure out how to roleplay a reaction to having been shot fifteen times but only having lost maybe a third of my hit points.
Third, the difficulty of having people be conscious but dying and not saveable by an idle application of CLW. Anyone having last words or anything takes extreme contrivance or blatant "you can't do that, it doesn't work because I say so" GM fiat. This is a standard fantasy trope, it should be possible within the game without awkward scriptedness.
Enable weapon flexibility:
Because it's annoying when the party, put together, uses *maybe* five different weapons. And therefore any weapons you intend to give them HAVE to be a greatsword, an agile elven curve blade, a kukri, or a whip, or else they're going to be sold at the first opportunity without a second thought. And you can't even blame the players when you have things like Weapon Focus being a common prerequisite, or convoluted stacking of "need finessable weapon, need swashbuckler weapon, really encouraged to have 18-20 crit range", or "deity's favored weapon only".
On that note, I love that Warpriest offers a way around that reasonably efficiently without overly comproming flavor - because "I need a CG or NG deity who gives me greatsword proficiency" or so on gets annoying.
- Have 5ft steps take up a full action. That is all. I don't have a huge rant worth of things to say about it.
If you're not sure if it counts as obvious, it's not obvious.
That said, I usually think the best way to look at these definitions is... what else would and would not be ruled out? Like, Dominate Person's "actions against its nature". Clearly they don't mean you can only order the target to do things it would do anyway of its own free will, because that would be a pretty lousy level 4 spell. It makes much more sense as the difference between "kill your wife" and "kill that person down the street". For Suggestion's "obviously harmful", they don't mean "if you think about it, would it have bad results" or "you have a theory this is dangerous", they mean "heck no, nope nope nope I am not getting near that bomb for a million dollars" type of things.
You ever look out over a cliff or a balcony or something and get this random urge to jump, or briefly imagine doing something horrible to hurt somebody? And then you think "wtf no" and move on? Something like that, that you can dismiss even when it's actually your own thought (if mental illness isn't a particular factor, anyway) is the kind of thing those spells can't make you do.
Darius Alazario wrote:
I let players decide. Remove the last enemy from the roll20 initiative tracker, remove tokens or mark them as dead or whatever is appropriate, sometimes someone will ask if there are enemies left and I'll answer with "you don't see any more imps besides the dead and dying ones" or whatever, and I'll ask them if they want to end combat or continue acting in initiative.
I don't want there to be an expectation that I make that decision for them, and either reveal things I don't want to or risk being perceived as misleading players/forcing bad choices.