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Ravingdork wrote:

Alignment threads are as tenacious as always I see.

Kaspyr2077 wrote:
Next time a group of people attacks the party in the hills, the party should wipe them out, not knowing if they're cannibal bandits or a defense force that got anxious and assumed the party were raiders?

Absolutely none of that matters. If someone is actively trying to kill you, and you have no reasonable recourse for immediate escape, you must kill them. Anything else is a foolhardy deathwish.

Because if you don't, you're dead, and nothing else will matter anyways.

If you pull your punches, then you're either not in immediate mortal danger in the first place, value the life of your attacker(s) over your own, or are just going to get yourself killed.

It doesn't matter who they are or what their reasons for trying to kill you are. All that matters in the moment is that your life, and possibly the lives of others, is under immediate threat. Such threats needs to be dealt with swiftly and with brutal efficiency, or you're all gonna' die.

It's not good. It's not evil. It's survival.

Of course, that's all moot in the scenario the OP proposed, so I digress.

You're not wrong at all, but the same time, even in the real world, people surviving combat is more the rule than the exception. Sometimes people on one side are captured by another. It happens.

Most forces try to gauge how aggressive and committed the enemy force is, rather than go for the 100% kill clear. It's generally viewed as preferable to see if these are really intractable enemies or not before everyone is dead.

SuperBidi wrote:

Yeah, it's cool. Sometimes we forget the Internet has all kinds of people on it.

Actually, if you reread the OP, they had patched up and interrogated the prisoners. That's why they knew the prisoners were bandits and cannibals.

In today's society, people tend to be conditioned to let police hold the monopoly on force, let them handle the apprehension of criminals and everything after. I have a different perspective, as if I am the victim of an attack, law enforcement might be here in as soon as half an hour. I have literally no one to rely on in an emergency except myself and my family. That's why people outside cities like to be armed.

Now, extrapolate that out to, say, parts of Alaska without roads. Say a work crew up there was attacked. They successfully fight off their attackers. Some attackers are injured, but captured. The crew learns that the attackers meant to kill the crew and burglarize the site.

By the standards of most of this thread, that crew is obligated to provide care, food, and transportation to the nearest law enforcement installation. They might well not have the supplies or equipment to manage that journey while keeping the prisoners secure. If they can, it might jeopardize their entire operation. Law enforcement certainly can't make it out to site. The crew DEFINITELY doesn't have the spare food for these guys. What can they do?

Keep in mind that, as an American, I do not view the government nor its institutions as sacred. That's more of a French thing. I do my very best to abide by the law, but the law is created by a group of people and enforced by a bunch of people. The people aren't superior to me, and the laws aren't spiritual. It functions where it can, but it breaks a lot. Especially when you're a long way away.

shroudb wrote:

What are you even talking about?

Have you read the OP?

Kinger wrote:

The person who executed one of the bandits thinks that it was perfectly alright citing that they attacked us. Someone else disagrees since they were tied up and helpless.

What are your thoughts?

The actual player who killed them used this justification.

All this theoretical stuff of "what ifs" doesn't mean anything.

The player killed a restrained target because he was attacked first.
That's what the player actually said to justify his actions

That's undeniably kindergarten mentality, and if used by an adult, a pure evil reason to kill someone.


2 people can kill the same target. One because he doesn't like his face, the other because if left alive, the target will murder half a town.

Both killed the same target, one of them is evil, the other isn't.

Did YOU read the OP? Because that PC wasn't talking about the principle of all attacks everywhere justifying lethal response. The PC was talking about the specific attack that the prisoners had just finished making on the PCs. The one with the intent of murdering and eating them. Why would you generalize from that to "all attacks"? The PC wasn't stating a philosophical commitment to disproportionate response. He was talking about a specific attack with lethal intent. You're scrubbing it of context and overgeneralizing.

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shroudb wrote:

But none of those you say were the stated justifications.

The justification given from the player was "it's ok to kill them, they attacked us first".

As I said, there may be legitimate reasons to kill, but that ain't one.

That's a reason given from kindergarten kids of why they fight.

Why aren't they the stated justifications? Because they're true. We're talking about a scenario with a band of murderous bandit cannibals. Why are you stripping it down to a generic "attack"? We are talking about murder, and you're muddying the waters, introducing the idea of a harmless attack and then equating the two.

No one is talking about a mischievous kid. We're talking about murderers. Have been all along.

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shroudb wrote:

As I said in the other thread:

There may be reasons for killing them (esp due to cannibalism).
But the justification given "they attacked me first" is at minimum childish.

Would you kill a kid that threw a rock at you?

Both the captured bandits and a random kid are helpless after their capture.

The kid throwing a rock hasn't caused serious harm. Bandits murder, often along with a lot of other violent crimes. Self-defense is a question of proportionality.

In this case, because they are helpless, modern concepts of self-defense don't apply, but the lack of law enforcement within half an hour drive creates a situation foreign to just about anyone on this forum. The law isn't being effectively enforced. You are living in an anarchic state where the law doesn't apply, because it cannot be enforced. There probably isn't a clear answer to which authority should even be involved. If there is an authority, he probably got the job by killing bandits too.

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The Raven Black wrote:

Again all of these did not appear in the OP's game.

Which is a great thing to know after the fact, but "again," there was no way to know until after the decision what the consequences of the decision would be. I do not make decisions in-game on the assumption that I won't have to deal with implementing them, that the GM will handwave it all. I don't know why anyone would assume that.

The Raven Black wrote:
Also confession is very very far from being a proof of guilt as those experts in legal matters you mentioned previously could tell you.

If someone is caught in the act of a crime, and then confesses to performing that crime regularly, then those legal experts are going to have a hard time formulating an argument for innocence. In fact, if you arrested them and turned them into authorities, on what basis are they going try, convict, and punish these people, if not eyewitness testimony and confession? What fact-finding options does a local fantasy authority have that PCs don't?

It's a really, really bad idea to confess to a crime, and then later try to argue that you didn't do it. If you admit to doing it, you're probably going down for it, because a confession is considered basically the gold standard of evidence by most every legal system in history.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Kinger wrote:
What are your thoughts?
Evil. It's killing for convenience as bringing them to the law would take too much time and energy. It's evil justice 101: You don't care about fairness or anything, you just kill whoever you want without justifications.

Is it unfair to kill someone who tried to kill and eat you? Are you worried you can't ascertain their innocence or guilt, what with witnessing it and hearing their confession? If you can't manage to transport them, what do you do? What if you're in a hurry to save the day somewhere entirely else? Are you going to slow your travel speed by 1/3 in order to humanely care for prisoners? What if the relevant legal authority is back the way you came, but lives will be lost if you don't get to your destination ASAP? Once you've captured them, is it an absolute moral duty to escort them safely and comfortably to the nearest authority to have THEM kill your prisoners on your word, or is there some specific number of people who would have to die before you considered another course of action? What if you didn't have enough food for the journey? What if you didn't have enough people to watch them and protect yourself? Are you willing to die in order to attempt to bring bandits to the judgment of a local guy with no qualifications except a political appointment to the job?

Wow, that is just... shockingly ahistorical. Most of the land you're talking about was empty desert the first time a European set eyes on it, mostly from the plague that was always going to happen the first time someone from anywhere else on the world landed on these shores. The Lewis and Clark expedition described most of it as a worthless, empty desert wasteland, not villages, orchards, and croplands. The villages that were eventually burned were largely a consequence of people like the Blackfoot putting on other people's markings and making just absolutely horrific attacks as false flags. I would know - I'm Blackfoot. But I'm not sure why you would bring any of that up. It's not exactly relevant.

How moral issues play out at the table is, in many ways, impossible to fully communicate in a Session 0. Most of people's morality is based on unexamined assumptions and life experiences that people are usually not conscious. A person could fill a book with their personal moral code, but first they'd have to spend a decade or so with a great therapist in order to sort out what even needs to be communicated.

An outdoorsman, a soldier, anyone who has studied logistics is going to have serious questions about if a multi-day, multi-prisoner transfer is going to be a practical undertaking with the available personnel and supplies. Someone who has studied law or philosophy will wonder at the nature and extent of an authority that allows bandits to thrive on the roads. These people are working on a whole different mindset than people who have never had to question the role of law enforcement and the judicial system in their life, who trust the police and courts with all their hearts. That's not something that's been covered in any Session 0 I've attended.

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The Raven Black wrote:

The OP's party delivered the 3 surviving bandits to the authorities with zero trouble.

I now wonder why the killer PC did not kill all of the bandits.

I'm assuming they accomplished it with zero trouble because no one at the table is familiar with prisoner transfer, or was interested in making a big deal of it. Which is fine, of course. I would expect that to be true of most tables. But here, we're getting into the decision-making process of why or why not one would execute a captured prisoner, so costs and challenges are relevant. "It happens with no problems" is hand-waving away something that is actually a serious challenge.

If the party had killed the bandits, no one would have even mentioned it again. But because they went to the effort of capturing and questioning them instead, the party is now apparently obligated to go to a lot of effort and expense to transport the prisoners to someone else, so THEY will kill them. Along the way, the party will provide food, water, latrine breaks, etc, along with extra security. If you do it wrong - like keeping them hogtied for multiple days - you've just tortured them to death, wasting your effort and everyone's time. Unless this party's objection was that the kill was too clean, and they wanted to torture the prisoners to death?

I don't have any info on the "killer PC," but I would not make any assumptions about the player or character. There are enough nuances to the situation that I laid out in my first post that it's entirely likely that this PC was operating under a different set of assumptions than the rest of the group, not a murderhobo.

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lemeres wrote:

I think any discussion about wild west style justice is moot since they were able to take 3/4 of the bandits in without any notable difficulties.

Wild west justice was often dictated by the harsh realities of the environment. It would be a very different prospect if you are a 200 mile walk to civilization and you barely have enough supplies for 4 people. And the captives seem dangerous enough to slip out and cut your throats in the night.

But that is not what we're dealing with. They even came with their own mule to carry them. You could hog tie them and wrap them up like mummies, and it would have little effect on your travels.

That's not something mortal beings can survive for multiple days, so if that's your plan, you could have gotten similar results by just crucifying them. You save a few days in the process, too.

Transferring prisoners safely costs time, effort, and resources. Trying to shortcut it like this just results in unpleasant death, or escapes. There is a very good chance you don't have the time, personnel, or resources to pull it off.

Also, you want to put three prisoners on the back of one mule? I hope these are Small creatures, because if not, you should probably just crucify the mule too. It would be more humane.

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Okay, so, you've been attacked. You subdued and captured them, then got an explanation that they are "basically bandits and cannibals." I assume you mean that this means they've engaged in this behavior before.

You have a few choices here. You could execute them, take them to town, or leave them there to either escape or die of exposure. Or release them, I guess.

I figure the most evil is to leave them. If they escape, there's no justice, and other people are in danger. If they don't, you tortured them to death. This one I would definitely say is "evil."

Next, taking them to town for the authorities. How far is it to town? What are your supplies like? Can you afford to feed and water them on the way back to town? What's your security situation like? Do you have enough people to keep a watch on them while transporting them, while also watching for external threats, including more bandits trying to rescue these? What about using the latrine? What's your procedure for keeping them secure while giving them a chance to relieve themselves? Or are you not going to address that, and have them coated in filth by the time you get back? Where were you going when you were attacked? Do you have urgent business? Is making this trip going to prevent you from resolving more important matters? Will it cost lives somewhere else?
Are you prepared to invest the time and resources to take them back to town? If no, what do you do?

What about the authorities themselves? What are they going to do? Are they going to kill the prisoners for sure? If no, why? They're bandits and cannibals - pretty sure that's the only practical penalty. They won't be imprisoned - nobody can afford to do that. Will they let these guys go? Are they that corrupt, or is there another reason why they're ineffectual? If they ARE going to kill the prisoners while bound, why are you transporting them? What's the difference if you kill them or hand them over to be inevitably killed? Is the death somehow qualitatively different if performed by this authority? Where does the authority derive from? Is it divine, and that's why they have to be executed by the authority? Or is it secular authority, and you're enduring a potentially several-day-long, expensive, demanding prisoner transfer operation to hand over the prisoners to be executed by the state, as represented by people who are not much different than you?

Next, release them. Do you really want to release these cannibal bandits to attack the next people to come along? Is that the "good" thing to do?

Finally, killing prisoners. It's easy, cheap, quick. You don't have state authority stamping your action, and if that's important to you, then you could see it as evil. If you aim to solve the problem, though, it may be the literal only solution you can afford.


End of the day, I recommend not accepting surrenders or taking prisoners, if it's going to cause this amount of conflict in your group.

If a government governs something larger than a small town, it is definitely corrupt. If it governs a small town or village, it's only extremely likely to be corrupt. This is true throughout all of human history. As Themetricsystem says, that's human nature. Authority in the hands of imperfect people makes corruption inevitable, and the more people and the more authority are involved, the more corruption will inevitably happen.

For a fun experiment, you could try explaining real governments to your friend as "fantasy" governments, and see if you get the same reaction.

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Just incase you aren't actually intended to be a debate bro about this and are just having a brain freeze, the OP's intent was to convey:

- WotC took actions that caused Paizo to believe creating ORC was the safest and most sensible action to take.
- In doing so WotC forced a scenario in which Paizo had to purge OGL covered IP from their setting.
- The OP is unhappy that WotCs actions resulted in this, and blames them for the scenario and therefore the effect of Paizo deciding to make a choice.

Slow down there, Hoss. Before talking like that, you're going to want to go back and read what the post you're trying to explain actually says. You could even take a minute or two to read what I've said about it, before trying to dress me down.

1. He is angry because "D&D" (Hasbro/WotC) "won't let" "Pathfinder" (Paizo) use their IP.

Not even factually true. Hasbro has thoroughly surrendered on the point of the OGL. If Paizo wanted to, they could go back to using the OGL. I'm sure Hasbro would be delighted. Is that a good idea? No, for reasons I have repeatedly stated in this thread. Now you're lecturing me on them as if it's new information.

The details of the OGL debacle are certainly not anything that the OP has "attempted to convey." It is not clear that he knows anything about it. That's you making a lot of assumptions based on very little.

2. Golarion, as a consistent and cohesive setting, will suffer.

Yeah, maybe, a little. As I have repeatedly addressed, and you are now lecturing me about as if I've never heard of the idea, I understand better than most how passionate people are about canons and continuity.

In the case of an RPG setting, though, I've suffered through many instances of settings being revised to match rules changes or new marketing approaches. Personally, I find the removal of D&D elements make the setting more immersive as a setting. Fewer signposts that say "CLASSIC GAME ELEMENT HERE."

More than that, though, I would like OP to understand that this is the inevitable fate of license agreements, and posting angrily about it 6-8 months later is probably an indication of a lack of perspective.

The time to be angry at Hasbro was last summer, in the thick of it, when the battle was on. Now, Hasbro has been beaten, apologized, and all the parties have chosen a direction and started walking in it. Maybe relax and have fun gaming. Being angry about it now is almost as pointless as being angry on forums at the guy who was trying to offer information instead of screaming "burn the witch."

3. He doesn't want to give Paizo money.

And he's not obligated to. They burned a lot of bridges in their mad scramble for solvency. It's like Titanic, only Jack tries to get on the door, but Rose shoves him off with a slur about the Irish. Saving yourself is okay, but how you treat everyone around you in the process matters.

I just think there are a lot better reasons to avoid giving Hasbro money. Anger isn't good for the health.

YuriP wrote:
It was I understood about OP. Unless it's complaining about the Paizo decision to not use Drows anymore or something like this.

Yeah, give it another quick read. He's angry that the Golarion setting is going to be disrupted when the WotC IP is stripped out. Which is absolutely understandable. There's a lot of fictional canons I am fiercely protective of, and would be outraged if they were altered due to a years-later change to an IP contract.

The problem is that there is literally no way out. Hasbro is bleeding and desperate, looking for new monetization strategies and making boneheaded mistakes in an effort to stay alive. As a result of one of those, they ruined their relationship with third party publishers via the OGL. Therefore, they have to divide the IP. It's shockingly common in licensing agreements, and getting moreso all the time.

YuriP wrote:
No I'm just saying since the beginning that the fact that we probably won't get anymore things from Golarion's setting into D&D is a consequence of the Hasbro's decision during the early of last year when they tried to change license retroactively.

Either this is phrased awkwardly, or I'm missing something. Things from Golarion's setting into D&D? Either you said it backward, or you're primarily focused on Paizo's conversions of their own material to 5E.

YuriP wrote:
Then I added my own commentary to the topic that for Paizo this was less impactful than it was for many other settings due the existence of PF2 and how this system is already a lot outside the D&D's IP and its changes was minimal in comparison to other settings need to do.

Yes, the mechanics of PF2 existing are very helpful for publishing future material, but it looks like the OP's outrage is specifically about the disruption to the setting, where WotC proprietary IP has to be removed going forward. Which is an issue. It's just an unavoidable one, at this point. Even if Hasbro proceeded with pure intent and goodwill from the moment Paizo announced they were ending their participation in the OGL, the two IPs have to separate. There is no alternative.

YuriP wrote:
And my 3rd point is that the fact that's if the Hasbro is right or not legally when they try to change the contract to protect the IP don't really matters in face of the undesired consequences that they had to deal.

Yes, but if you're going to be angry at them, be angry for the right reasons. Their fault led to the need for the divorce, but they're accepting the division of assets exactly as they're required to. Don't focus your anger on the division of assets when it's the relationship that was the problem.

YuriP wrote:
So don't need to be harsh. I'm not disagreeing from you. It was Paizo who decided to abandon the OGL in a free will due distrust not the Hasbro that prohibited new Golarion content for D&D. I also pointed this in my first paragraph in my first reply here. But this doesn't change the fact that the exit of Paizo from OGL was the consequences of Hasbro's acts.

Between you and me, you're the one being harsh. You're extrapolating the first post to mean something that it does not say. I'm trying to bridge the gap to the OP to understand the issue, and you (and others) are hassling me for not reading an understanding of the issue into it that is not demonstrated.

Arcaian wrote:
It just feels like you're arguing against a point that no-one is making; OP isn't saying that Hasbro is mean for enforcing their IP against Paizo now that they are no longer using the ORC to access WotC's IP, they're saying that they wish that WotC had never tried to pull the rug out from under everyone's feet with their revoking of the old OGL. This isn't a legal argument, this is a statement of frustration that the bad behaviour of WotC has led much of the tRPG community to feel unsafe in continuing to use the OGL, because this means that many parts of Paizo's setting that they enjoy will have to be removed. The specifics of the legality of it is seemingly irrelevant to what they're trying to communicate with their statement - at least that's how I read it.

It's a statement of frustration, yes. A statement of frustration in need of some fact. Of course Hasbro can't let Paizo use their stuff any more. The licensing agreement ended. We all have a well-established opinion on the situation leading up to the end of the agreement, but the agreement is now over, and there's no way forward where Hasbro can let Paizo use their IP.

Come back to beating the drum of the OGL shenanigans being vile? Yes, absolutely, 100% on board. Skip over that and go straight to "I don't care about a licensing agreement, Hasbro should let Paizo use their stuff"? No.

Squiggit wrote:
Unreliable and treacherous... but you don't assign any malice?

Even if the relationship ended badly, they're handling the divorce as well as anyone could ask of them, so yes, no malice involved in the division of assets. That's all happening exactly as anyone would expect.

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Dancing Wind wrote:
So, if I understand your belief system and world view correctly,

Oh, this should be good. A single post about a highly specific topic is always a great way to understand an entire person and their philosophy.

Dancing Wind wrote:

people/corporations cannot be 'forced' to do anything.

They are always simply making a decision.

... Dear Lord... it's everything I hoped it could be. Disingenuous and uncharitable reading, wild generalization... marvelous. I'm printing this and hanging it on my fridge.

People, corporations, any entity with agency can indeed be forced or compelled to do something. That's just not what happened HERE. Paizo wasn't compelled to flip Hasbro the bird, ride off on a motorcycle, and make their own licensing agreement, with blackjack, etc. That was one of many options. One I believe most didn't expect. And because it was their own decision, made by their own will and according to their own vision, it was AWESOME.

They had the option of waiting out the public backlash, banding together with other creators, and hoping they could pressure Hasbro to abandon the new OGL and go back to the old one, like they eventually did. They probably had the option of selling out, too. They didn't have to say "f 'em, I don't need 'em," and a less bold decision probably could have kept everything intact. But that's not the choice they made, and that's the biggest reason I am a Paizo fan. Cutting OGL material and replacing it with original stuff will probably result in an overall superior, if less familiar, product.

YuriP wrote:

Yes, these are the legal consequences and we are not saying anything against them, not that what Hasbro did is outside their rights, or that Paizo was wrong to exit a license that proved unreliable after trying to maneuver the license retroactively.

We were commenting on the consequences of this!
That commercially and for the company's image and reliability within the TTRPGs market was considerable damage. Which won't end Hasbro/WotC or D&D, but in the end it caused more setbacks than benefits.

Actually, the OP framed this whole discussion as if Hasbro not letting Paizo use their IP was a mean-spirited decision, or even an intended consequence of what Hasbro did. I pointed out that this was not the case. Then you responded to me with "I understand, but" and then ignored my post and said a bunch of stuff that wasn't related to what I said.

YuriP wrote:
The fact that you have a right does not mean that exercising that right is not necessarily the best choice, not to mention that the form also matters.

Actually, most rights come with obligations. When it comes to property, many of those obligations come in the form of maintenance. If you own something, and you don't care for it, in some instances, it can be considered neglect or abandonment. That's how IP works. You have to maintain it, or it's not yours any more.

In this case, it's not even relevant, because Paizo saw the situation with the OGL and left of their own free will, taking the proactive approach of excising OGL material themselves, even after Hasbro surrendered. The form of Hasbro enforcing their own IP, in this case, is nothing. They're not trying to run Paizo off. At this point, I'm sure they would prefer if Paizo stayed, for the same reason that the OGL originally existed for. Hasbro isn't doing this. Paizo is. Yes, for important reasons, but it is still their action.

YuriP wrote:
And the topic itself is about this,

I know what the topic is about. I just quoted that entire post. It's about Hasbro not letting Paizo use their IP in Golarion. That isn't a full or useful picture of the situation. You're putting an awful lot of your own special sauce on the OP, telling me what it is and isn't about, using concepts that weren't even alluded to in the OP.

Gisher wrote:
I'm not sure what point you are trying to make here. Is there someone who is actually arguing that the OGL material is all public domain?
Thomas Jones wrote:
I am mad as Hell about what D&D won't let pathfinder use any more. This is going to throw off the continuity of the world of Golarion one of the richest and most detailed fantasy settings of all time. I have been buying D&D products for about 40 years now, but they won't be getting a single penny from me ever again!

This. The OP. Thomas is angry that "D&D" (Hasbro/WotC) won't "let" "Pathfinder" (Paizo) use its IP any more. I'm trying to clarify that Paizo no longer has the legal right to publish that material, and Hasbro must protect its right to that material. The proximate cause for that is Paizo's decision to leave the OGL, though I think we all agree that their reasons for doing so were justified, to say the least.

There are plenty of reasons to be upset at Hasbro in this whole debacle, but Hasbro can't just decide one day to not be meanie-poopie-heads and pinkie-promise that they'll let Paizo play with their toys forever. It's a bit more complex than that.

YuriP wrote:
Dancing Wind wrote:

Mostly true, and yet, 100% irrelevant.

The OGL is a licensing agreement. Paizo was, for many years, comfortable publishing material under that agreement. Quite recently, Hasbro made an ill-advised move to try to retroactively alter the agreement. Even after failure, Paizo was now aware that Hasbro was an unreliable partner and potentially treacherous partner to be in such an agreement with, and so they ended their participation in the agreement.

As a result, they have to stop using licensed IP in future products. If Paizo continued to use licensed IP in future products, they would be open to lawsuits that Hasbro MUST pursue, or lose the right to their IP. This is not a thing that Hasbro can legally opt to do, because of obligations to their owners.

Any history and individuals involved is irrelevant. Feel however you want to about any of it, what I've described is the cold, hard legal fact.

YuriP, the motives and virtues of WotC, the follies of edition transitions, etc., yes, might all be true, or at least a valid way of looking at events, but none of that impacts the legality of the matter.

Dancing Wind, I, too, think that it's a fun bit of trivia that the lawyer that initially drafted the OGL is now working with another company to draft the ORC, but that doesn't actually affect the legal situation between Hasbro and Paizo. Paizo had been publishing material drawing from IP licensed via the OGL. They decided to discontinue with the OGL as a result of last year's events. That's a technical description. If you want to reframe it into a saga, feel free to do that. I think it's a great story. Arguing rhetoric against the technicalities is kind of an odd way to approach it, though.

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Dancing Wind wrote:

Which no one would have minded. But the actual license included that pesky word "perpetual", which Hasbro decided didn't mean "perpetual" after all.

Yes, absolutely, and Hasbro/WotC deserves heaps of scorn for what they tried to pull with the "updated OGL" debacle, as I said. This isn't the same issue, though. Even after Hasbro walked all that back, Paizo (wisely) maintained the posture that Hasbro/WotC could not be trusted to honor the OGL going forward, and decided to walk away from the OGL. That is a decision Paizo made.

There is no version of this course of events where Paizo becomes unbound by past, present, or future iterations of the OGL while retaining the ability to use WotC proprietary IP. Regardless of how in the wrong Hasbro definitely was, Paizo has no grounds to keep that IP, even if it was originally released in their own D&D publications. Hasbro owns all of that, to the extent that it's material that could be copyrighted or trademarked at all. In order to leave their (suddenly abusive) relationship with WotC, Paizo had to leave behind the things that belong to WotC.

I stopped giving WotC money because I found their products lazy, uninspired, and un-fun.

That said, as much as I sneer at what happened with the OGL, I hold WotC and Hasbro entirely blameless in the matter of protecting their IP from parties who are no longer part of an agreement to use it. They have to do that, or they don't have any IP at all. It's not (inherently) acrimonious or mean-spirited - it's the legal process of two companies ending a licensing agreement.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
Arcaian wrote:
The existence of vaguely-similar creatures in real-world mythology doesn't save something from the OGL crisis, I'm afraid. It would be possible to make a new golem creature that is inspired by the original mythology, but the existence of golems as anti-magic creatures made of specific materials with associated abilities is all very much part of the WotC IP that was made available by the OGL. I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with a construct inspired by the original mythology, and the golems that paizo has made themselves might be able to be tweaked to fit past, but an Iron Golem that is vulnerable to rust and acid, immune to non-acid magic, and has a breath weapon isn't something that can come back in a post-OGL world.

...and, honestly, good riddance.

I'm not going to cry for the rust monster, either.

Same. A lot of D&D-isms are things that I found pretty tiresome.

There exists a category of monster that is beloved not because they're evocative or narratively brilliant, but because they're D&D classics. Deploy them for a table full of grognards, and they shout with joy. Use them with new players, and they'll be confused and a little taken aback.

It's sometimes fun to indulge in gamer culture for its own sake, but these things tend to seem weird and out-of-place in most adventure narratives, so mostly I avoid them when possible.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
<etymology stuff directly contradicting the content of an etymology resource>

Fascinating. It's like you can acknowledge that I'm talking, but not what I'm saying.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

Of course, while interesting, this etymological history is nevertheless not pertinent to the question. To date, Golarion elves have never been fey creatures. They do not, to my knowledge, live in fairy mounds, and they are not sidhe. Certainly not anymore than they are goblins, or incubi. Whatever old folkloric inspirations make their way into Pathfinder's depiction of elves, they're still aliens from another planet.

From a practical standpoint, I have found it odd that a non-fae humanoid has an exclusive form of incredibly dangerous undead, as if elf souls are in some way unique compared to all other souls. In D&D this at least made sense where elves are descended from fae, even though it's still a bit weird. I'd rather an actual fae banshee rather than a pretend-fae banshee, whether it's undead or not.

If making a setting from scratch that included both the fae and non-fae elves, I would probably opt to have the banshee be fae rather than elf. However, since we're dealing with an existing setting, wherein elves are alien and banshees are elf-ghosts, I don't see anything wrong with the concept of ancestry-specific forms of undeath. It might have something to do with unique qualities of their souls, ancestral magic, or whatever, but how established is it that death and souls are universally identical across all ancestries? That seems like a fascinating thing to explore, actually, and if there was a possibility of exploring it in the future, that might actually be more fun than fae banshees.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
In any case, Dancing Wind is right, Paizo will do with their banshee what they think best, based on advice from their lawyers and not whether any one of us thinks it would be easy to argue one way or another in court. These discussions about what the OGL does and doesn't mean have filled the boards since the announcement of the remaster, but still sometimes people feel the need to dictate what Paizo does or doesn't need to do, rather than keeping their tone speculative.

That's a good point, and we should definitely keep an eye out for that when we see it. Not sure why it's come up now, though, because that's clearly not what I'm doing. I'm not talking to Paizo or their lawyers. I'm talking to you. I have something of a legal background myself, and while I haven't read many of the specific documents about this issue, I have listened to a few analyses from those who have. I have found myself surprised to find out that the term "lich" originated in D&D, for example, and that the word "phylactery" was actually extremely poorly chosen and, in context, very offensive, and thus undead super-mages should definitely get a solid revamp to get away from anything created in D&D. The banshee, though... it isn't hard to find non-gaming-related sources linking banshees and elves, so I believe it would be a real stretch to call the idea unique and proprietary to WotC.

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Is the Two-Handed Weapon Fighter really lacking in some way? Because from my reading of these boards, Fighter is recognized as probably the best class, and Two-Handed is arguably one of the better ways to build it. I haven't heard anyone particularly bemoan its survivability.

There does seem to be relatively little reason to use a weapon and shield. You give up the damage option of a weapon in both or each hand, and the control option of each hand. Those builds tend to have options to emulate the defensive nature of the shield. Shield Block is the only thing really uniquely good about using a shield. Sacrificing damage and control for survivability is possibly a valid trade, but what if the other options are sturdy enough?

Personally, I think shields should be buffed substantially before we talk about taking away what benefits they currently get.

Dancing Wind wrote:

I suspect that Paizo is going to follow their lawyers' advice about what needs to change for legal reasons and to follow their creative directors' advice about what needs to change for Golarion lore reasons, and to follow their game designers' advice about what changes are 'important' or 'substantial'.

Not random business advice from their community discussion boards.

Why are you addressing this to me, and not to the OP of this thread and others like it devoted to talking about what's in, what's out, why or why not?

Benjamin Tait wrote:

First of all, no, obviously OGL doesn't mean WotC reserves folklore, that's not what anyone is saying. The OGL represents a certain expression of the folklore that is WotCs idea/mechanics, the way they did the Banshee is theirs.

And for the record, you don't translate sidhe to elf, they're comparable entities involved but sidhe is the word for the mounds and hills the Aos Si (the actual similar folks) live under. End of the day it is a conflation, and a DnD/WotC original one.

I love how I provide a non-gaming-related citation, keep referring back to it, and people without citations keep ignoring what it says. Let's try again. See if it does any better.

Dictionary.com wrote:


pl n the sidhe
1. the inhabitants of fairyland; fairies

I don't really like this one. It lacks context, so I'm going back to Etymonline.

Etymonline, Banshee entry wrote:

Banshee (n)
in Irish folklore, a type of female fairy believed to foretell deaths by singing in a mournful, unearthly voice, 1771, from phonetic spelling of Irish bean sidhe "female of the Elves," from bean "woman" (from PIE root *gwen- "woman") + Irish sidhe (Gaelic sith) "fairy" or sid "fairy mound" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit"). Sidhe sometimes is confused with sithe, genitive of sith "peace."

It is ambiguous whether the word refers to the people or the mound, has been used for both, and in common use, as illustrated by the Dictionary.com entry, it tends to the former.

Once again, this is a non-gaming citation, conflating elves and the sidhe. Two very similar concepts from two very proximate cultures.

It would be very difficult to argue in court that the relationship between elves and banshees in their setting is more unique IP than Tolkien's elves are in the first place. If both WotC and Paizo can use elves, then elf => banshee remains valid for both.

It's not the only way to go, perhaps not even the preferable way to go, but there is no need for Paizo to change the banshee. There are many more important and substantial adjustments that could be made.

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RaptorJesues wrote:
Boy, do I hate getting this free thing I do not want. Class ruined. F tier. Gimme back my money pls

Nah, I get it. It does make sense. Ordinarily, you would expect the class chassis to work 100% with every build you might want to play, while the build-specific features should come in a subclass, feats, etc. Seeing a feat included in the chassis that seems intended for a build you don't intend to play can feel a bit awkward.

The thing with Fighters in PF2, though, is how much the game emphasizes their versatility. Flex feats built in, etc. Say OP's character is for some reason in a situation where they can't use their main weapon, or just needs extra defense in the encounter. Swap your flex feats to fit, and you can be a sword-and-board Fighter for the day. Lucky for you, you don't even have to burn a feat on Shield Block, because you're at least that good with a shield by default.

Benjamin Tait wrote:
I can see Banshees being unmarried from Elves anyhow, since that connection is pretty much just an OGL thing right? The Rakshasa has experienced greater changes over it, lost their backwards hands and are now primordial evil spirits, not even fiends anymore. So I'd be surprised if Banshees were entirely unchanged.

The OGL can't reserve folklore for WotC's use.

OceanshieldwolPF 2.5 wrote:
And that’s the thing with pulling real-world folklore into established Campaign Settings. My understanding was that Golarion’s elves are aliens from Castrovel, and not tied to the fey/fae or the First World.

And that is certainly one of the established things about the setting, which complicates things, because the banshee comes from a body of traditional lore where elves and sidhe are basically synonymous. It means you can't have the banshee be both in this setting. Seems odd, but workable. Not having the banshee be EITHER just makes me wonder what about it is supposed to be a banshee.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
You want to homogenize two similar mythical beings from two different cultures and I'm the one who hates folklore. Funny thing is, among the things these cultures have in common is how little we know about the state of the folklore before Christianization. We simply do not have the information to track the no doubt rich folklorical similarities and connections.

Do not act as if the commonalities between Norse and Celtic culture originates with me. There are countless books on the subject. If you're more of a casual enjoyer of mythology, folklore, and history, the mutual influence of Norse and Celtic cultures is a subject that frequently comes up on several YouTube channels. My favorite folklore channel is The Fortress of Lugh, and while the Norse influence doesn't come up in every video, it has been mentioned several times in the ones I've watched. Yes, a lot of it has been lost to time and Christianization. No, not enough has been lost that we can't study cultural influences.

I searched "etymology banshee" and cited the first good link. I didn't go shopping for it. That was the Etymonline quote, translating "sidhe" as "elf." I do not understand how you could in good faith insist that elves and Irish folklore have no connection, and that's something I'm making up.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

You claim that the dead elf is accurate to the folklore

I did nothing of the sort. I objected to you wanting to remove the elf bit - the IMPORTANT bit - from the creature. It's not an elf ghost, originally. It's an elf. I'm okay with elf ghost, in an adaptation. You want to make it just a ghost, and that's a bit too far for it to be the same thing. It's not even related to the original, at that point.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

but you seem unbothered that you have blurred several different cultures together on the assumption that they probably knew each other once, so their folklore is thereby indistinguishable.

... Seriously? The... assumption... that they had met...

There is endless documented history and reams of paper devoted to analyzing the commonalities and divergeces of mythology and folklore between the Celts and the Norse.

In this case, the reason why the site I cited translated sidhe to "elf" was because those stories are closely enough related to be more or less the same thing.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I support the idea that a remastered version of the banshee might take a turn closer to their mythological roots and be classed as a type of fae spirit. It is strange to me that the baobhan sidhe is fey, while the banshee is undead. Meanwhile, given that the elves of Golarion are not fae, nor in any particular way associated with the First World, it's even stranger that these random humanoids from another planet have some unique form of (very...

Make it an elf thing, and that's fine. Make it a fae thing, and that's fine. You want it to just be a ghost thing, and that's just not a banshee any more.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

Perhaps you missed my point. I don't object to banshee being fae. Elves originate from Norse mythology, and despite much conflation in modern takes between them and fae folklore, if we're going to insist on staying true to the folklore in our depictions, perhaps exclusively tying the banshee to an alien humanoid (as Golarion's elves are) that originates from a totally different culture may be seen as a strange way to do that.

Elves "originate" in Norse folklore, if folklore ever really "originates," but the Norse and various Celtic cultures had hundreds of years of interaction, so I'm not sure what point you think you're making with that.

The banshee as it currently stands is an undead elf woman, which is close enough to certain readings of the folklore. Why would you change it to reflect folklore LESS? Do you hate folklore in general, or just unique and interesting monsters?

OceanshieldwolPF 2.5 wrote:

There’s always going to be “filing off” of serial numbers when transmigrating real-world folklore/myths/legends to a campaign setting that isn’t set on Earth. It’s kind of an auto-assumption. And endless hand-wringing on how “authentic” those transmigrations are are in essence, a waste of time, with no “correct” answer.

Personally, nothing about having “clay golems” as a statblock means I can’t inject more nuance derived from anywhere in my imagination or real world cultures. Or I can ignore all of human culture for *my* presentation of clay (or any) golems in my game at my discretion.

Similarly, while I prefer the ban-shee as a mangled transliteration of “dark-elf” and thus dark-fae spirit, typically but not exclusively tied to the woods, I lean more on the elfin/fae-spirit than vengeful ghost.

Not sure why anyone should call any of that “tasteless”. Have your own imagination.

Of course there is some change inherent in adaptation. The issue I have is that the Banshee is an example of something that was adapted suitably well - not perfectly, but it fits into the setting and is useful for its purpose - and then someone wants to come along and wants to wipe away its defining characteristic for not being generic enough.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

It's folklore that the Irish wailing woman of the fairy mounds is just the ghost of an alfr from Norse myth? This does not quite track with my understanding of how folklore works.
Etymonline wrote:

banshee (n.)

in Irish folklore, a type of female fairy believed to foretell deaths by singing in a mournful, unearthly voice, 1771, from phonetic spelling of Irish bean sidhe "female of the Elves," from bean "woman" (from PIE root *gwen- "woman") + Irish sidhe (Gaelic sith) "fairy" or sid "fairy mound" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit"). Sidhe sometimes is confused with sithe, genitive of sith "peace."

The root is not a ghost of vengeance, but fae (or elvish) women. The concept has migrated a bit, to the point you're here trying to make them a generic vengeance ghost. Making them vengeance ghosts is a fine take on them, but why are you trying to file the serial numbers off to the point of removing any of the fae/elvish roots? Seems a bit tasteless.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Of course, on the other hand the hosts of the dead were also thought to belong to the fey, so that line isn't precisely a hard one, but I think it would be quite an appropriate change. Perhaps maybe we'll get lucky and banshee won't be randomly an elf-specific entity? Never really liked that apparently only elves can feel betrayal strongly enough to become a mega-undead.

It's not random. It's folklore. It wouldn't be the greatest thing to go around reducing folklore to game constructs by cutting it to fit.

Thank you. It looks intriguing.

Squiggit wrote:

It's third party but I like what Barbarians+ did with their rework. Fury gets the Giant Instinct gimmick of being generic max damage instinct while Giant got reworked into something Giant related.

How would one go about finding Barbarians+? It's not coming up on a web search for me. Is it cool to link third party stuff here?

GameDesignerDM wrote:

There's reading someone's lips when they are talking at you, or in a place that isn't crowded and talking nearby to someone else - and then there's lip reading like in spy movies or heist films where someone sitting across a busy airport or other locale is reading the lips perfectly of someone in an entirely different room talking to 3 people.

The latter is what the feat is enabling you to do - which is not a skill most people have. You might even say it's a feat to have that ability.

Untrained, Trained, Expert, Master, Legendary.

Five levels of skill.

What is so special about your scenario that it's not just increased DC?

Errenor wrote:
Kaspyr2077 wrote:
You brought up Lip Reading as a failed attempt ...
I brought up Lip Reading?! You really don't read.

You know what? You're right. I don't have the patience to go back and figure out where Lip Reading found its way into this conversation tangent that had been very nearly exclusively about Eye for Numbers until that point. My bad. Now will you please contribute something besides snark and ridicule to the conversation about it?


You have to start by examining if there is a need for the feat at all. You don't do that by seeing how mechanically well executed you think the feat is.

Dude, small children can read lips, at least a little. That's part of how learning to speak works.

... and once again you're using the specifics of the existing mechanics to muddy the issue. Fantastic. I wasn't asking about replicating the effects of the feat exactly.

If you have a game with an unusual premise, you should probably consult the GM about what feats might or might not work, but if you're playing a game where you're reading lips regularly enough to invest in it, you should probably be playing with an intrigue-based system, not Pathfinder, a game that is 90% fantasy combat rules.

... What makes me think Read Lips would use Society? You don't know what the Read Lips feat does, do you? It's a SOCIETY SKILL FEAT. IT REQUIRES YOU TO BE TRAINED IN SOCIETY. IT REQUIRES SOCIETY ROLLS TO USE. PAIZO DECIDED THAT READING LIPS WAS A SOCIETY ACTION.

It's weird how you can come up with a niche use for reading lips in gathering intel, but you can't imagine how counting things could be useful. Not enough to justify a feat, but you don't see the value in counting, say, troops in an approaching column...

And I'm still waiting to hear the justification for gating either of these things behind a feat instead of a skill roll.

Hey. Graystone.

Please explain why these things can't be attempted by everyone. And I don't mean reference the feat mechanics about "100% comprehension." You are, right now, evaluating whether or not these feats need to be created. Why could 99.99% of Pathfinder characters never read someone's lips? Why do you need a Socialize skill feat to guess the number of coins in the treasury? What sets this task apart from what you could do by simply having the skill? What is your rationale?

I mean, most people would say that the Swashbuckler fails to work, but at least the way it's played matches what it says on the tin. You're right, though - that's a place where the Barbarian suffers. How it plays in practice is not how it's meant to play according to its description in its own entry. It's described as a high-risk glass cannon that will get hit, but can soak those hits long enough for its stellar offense to get it out of trouble, but trying to play it that way is likely to be a brief experience.

graystone wrote:
Kaspyr2077 wrote:
Are any of the differences relevant to the rest of the conversation? Is Lip Reading more or less worthy of a skill feat than Eye for Numbers? What about it makes it so? Why does it satisfy you more to have one or both of these things as a skill feat, instead of an ungated skill action that anyone can do?
I'd argue that Lip Reading is more worthy of being a feat. Outside of encounters it grants an automatic success: This means while others might have to roll a perception check vs a Dm fiat DC, you could tell what people are saying across a noisy bar or what the guards are saying while you watch through a spyglass from a building hundreds of feet away. Still niche use, but one with an automatic success and that, IMO, is what bumps it up to feat worthy.

I'm not asking which existing feat has better mechanics. Forget the feat mechanics. The concept of being able to estimate numbers effectively. The concept of being able to understand someone's speech when you can't hear their voice but you can see their face. Why does the game need to gate these things behind feats, rather than being a skill anyone can try to do? Is there that much specialist knowledge involved in either? Is either thing going to come up so often that a player will spend scarce resources on it and feel good about all the mileage their PC is going to get out of that investment?

If 'guaranteed success' is what tips you over on the issue of Read Lips, would it not be better if the player could take Assurance (Society) and get a guaranteed success on all sorts of Society rolls, not just this one roll that they might or might not have to ever make once in a campaign?

Errenor wrote:

True, if you don't read.

"Well, no, lip reading is at least a real skill. I definitely don't have it. Not meaning you can discern a couple of very common words like 'hello', but read a conversation completely, as if you were hearing it. I was very tempted to take the feat a couple of times for my characters. But yet haven't as it's still too niche. "

We were discussing Eye for Numbers. You brought up Lip Reading as a failed attempt to make a distinction. Nothing in the following two posts in that avenue of the conversation would be different if we had still been talking about Eye for Numbers. Therefore this...

Errenor wrote:

It's entirely about reading lips and nothing else. I do have hope people can properly attribute 'it's and 'the' to one subject in one small paragraph.

On your other points, I don't want to repeat myself. I do see a huge difference between counting and lip reading.

is semiotic disorienteering, for reasons I can't begin to guess.

Are any of the differences relevant to the rest of the conversation? Is Lip Reading more or less worthy of a skill feat than Eye for Numbers? What about it makes it so? Why does it satisfy you more to have one or both of these things as a skill feat, instead of an ungated skill action that anyone can do?

Errenor wrote:

What the heck are you talking about? With you I was very clearly discussing Read Lips, not Eye For Numbers.

And was saying from the start that Eye For Numbers is a terrible feat and characters should count everything they want without that feat just fine.
And yes, it shouldn't exist. At least in this form.

It certainly isn't "very clear." The topic was Eye for Numbers. Read Lips was brought up as another example. If you're going to hare off in the direction of the example, you could probably mention its name at some point in the post you're making.

It doesn't even make a difference, because everything that's true of Eye for Numbers is also true of Read Lips. It's something that almost everyone can do, to some extent, though doing it well requires more skill. If almost everyone can do it, in some capacity, why is it gated behind a Feat? Why would it be worth investing a Feat in? Why does that make sense?

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The Raven Black wrote:

Toi bad that you did not mention "whereas others try to hold back the storm of emotions inside them and release their rage only when it matters most."

FWIW my PFS Animal Barbarian is a LN Dwarf and tries to always take the most sensible course of actions when fighting.

Should he Rage as soon as a combat starts, even if all opponents are flying ? Because suddenly he is more useless than if not Raging because of his anathema.

And TBT I find my Barbarian much more interesting to play with these constraints than if the one true way was always Sudden Charge+Rage. Not all Barbarians should have to be Hulk Smash.

How silly of me, ignoring one sentence in the introductory flavor text, and concentrating on 100% of the content below that.

I'm here, arguing that your preferred playstyle needs more mechanical support and encouraged, not dismissed, by the text, and here you are acting like you're arguing with me by telling me you're doing it already, and anyone not doing it is wrong. Gosh, the Internet is great.

SuperBidi wrote:

You exactly point out what I criticize. There's no class that should be defined by their weakness in specific situations or encouraged into playing badly.

For example, the Barbarian says "You use intimidation to get what you need, especially when gentler persuasion can’t get the job done." stating that the only way to socialize as a Barbarian is by being a bully. On the other hand, the Fighter says "You can be an intimidating presence. This can be useful when negotiating with enemies, but is sometimes a liability in more genteel interactions." which is not forcing you into bullying people but just pointing out that you are certainly better at Intimidation than Diplomacy.

So, yes, what you raise is an issue: the Barbarian should not be painted as a one-dimensional character. There are plenty of people who like to play complex characters and don't like to be shoehorned into a specific behavior (especially this one).

PS: I don't really care about the discussion on what you can do while raging, I don't have a strong opinion on either side. I find the limitation makes sense and don't think it's a big deal, on the other hand I wouldn't bat an eye if it changes.

See, I look at your two posts immediately following my initial post, and what I see is you pointing out that, technically, options exist for the Barbarian to do things that aren't Rage immediately, therefore if a player Rages immediately, it's their own problem and they should Git Gud.

It's one thing to recognize that the way players are currently encouraged to play a class is suboptimal, distasteful, and possibly encouraging unfortunate playstyles. I don't even disagree with you on that. It's another thing entirely to pretend that the class is not designed and presented as exactly the thing you dislike, and players should know better than to play like that.

Re: PS: I agree that there is a certain degree of sense to the restriction, especially thematically. If you're designing a class to represent the phenomenon of sacrificing higher function for aggression, there does need to be some mechanical weight to change the playstyle when that happens. I'm not arguing that it shouldn't be there. My argument is that its current implementation is quite costly in terms of mechanical options, precludes things that it probably shouldn't, and doesn't give enough benefit in return for the cost.

I think part of the issue is the width of the concept trying to be covered. On one hand, there's the concept they're trying to represent with the Fury Barbarian - basically a lightly armored, more aggressive Fighter - to the other extreme of Spirit, Dragon, or Giant Barbarians, who channel awesome supernatural powers through their Rage. I love all of these, wouldn't want to exclude any of them, and wish several of them got more love than they did. Still, it's difficult finding room for all of this under the umbrella of one class.

I would love to see more consideration given to appealing non-Rage options for the Barbarian. If Raging was a legit tactical trade-off, and time spent outside Rage could more directly and obviously be spent in a meaningful way in service to winning the encounter, that would be awesome. In the current iteration of the class, it feels like not being in Rage is a wasted opportunity to bring everything you could to the battlefield.

I would love to see better support for Fury Barbarians overall. If your Barbarian concept isn't supernatural in the current iteration, you're bringing a lot less to the table than you could have. You could have played a Fighter instead, and everyone wishes you had.

At the same time, I loved the 4E take on Barbarians as well, with their Rage channeling awesome Primal powers, and I feel like PF2E could take that even further with the supernatural Instincts, to open up fun new options to replace all the ones sacrificed to the Rage feature.

Oh, and Raging Intimidation. Needing a feat to buy back a thematically appropriate option everybody else has, but your class chassis cost took from you, feels REAL bad.

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Yeah, I think Errenor really misread exequiel. At that level, for that slot, you can learn to demand the True Names of supernatural beings, perform battlefield medicine, advanced herbalism, two languages, circus acrobatics, alchemical crafting... or how to guess how many jelly beans are in the jar, apparently.

Estimating numbers is something you can get better at, and has its uses (like I mentioned earlier with military scouting), but it's not as big, comprehensive, or useful as a first-level skill feat. It should be a basic skill check, not a feat at all.

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Hey, SuperBidi, Gortle, Raven Black. Thank you for your contributions. If you don't mind, I would like you all to do a couple small favors for me, to better ensure we're all on the same page here.

First, I would like you to open your book or the AoN to the Barbarian class and give it a quick once-over.

I invite you to consider the "During Combat Encounters..." section. The first guidance on how to play a Barbarian.

You summon your rage and rush to the front lines to smash your way through. Offense is your best defense - you'll need to drop foes before they can exploit your relatively low defenses.

After that, I suggest taking a read through the class features, and take a note of how many of them mention "your rage" or "your fury" as a flavor element before giving Barbarians basic progression upgrades. While you're there, observe how access to critical specialization effects - basic for other Martials - is gated behind Rage for the Barbarian.

Now, please explain to me again how it's debatable that the class is supposed to be all about Rage, and that the player who plays according to the above advice is somehow at fault for failing to consider other tactical approaches.

That done, let's revisit something before coming back around to my big question.

The Raven Black wrote:
RootOfAllThings wrote:
Teridax wrote:
The restriction on concentrate actions sort of makes sense as a legacy restriction against spellcasting, perhaps also Recalling Knowledge, but ends up meaning the Barb can't Demoralize without a feat, which is a bit silly. It also means a Barb can't do something like Hunt Prey, which would otherwise be thematically appropriate.
It also locks the Barbarian out of 90% of active/reactive magic item use. Both envision and command are concentrate-tagged, and a surprising number of runes weapons, and wearable items have one of them. 108 of the 154 talismans are Envision, and 19 are Command. Magic items are already bad enough that there's not much incentive to use them (low DCs, awkward handedness, bad action economy), so its not like a barbarian is really expected to give up their class feature to use them, but it still feels bad to look at all the toys you can't even begin to fit into your combat routine. Preventing spellcasting barbarians is one thing, but it seems wrong for them to be cut off from a good chunk of one of 2e's axes of character progression.

The restriction on Concentrate is only when Raging.

Entering Rage is not necessarily the best use of a Barbarian's first action. Or even of later actions.

I sometimes spent entire fights with my PFS Animal Barbarian not Raging.

Even the Barbarian has to use sensible tactics in PF2

Here is a great list establishing what Barbarians can't do while Raging. Included for emphasis is the argument why that's somehow not a big deal, despite my point above.

Would the Barbarian be overpowered without these limitations?

Would they really be notably ahead of the Fighter or Rogue if they could use Demoralize without a feat buy-back? If they could Hunt Prey? If they could use any weapon runes they chose?

The Barbarian is the only class that suffers a "thou shalt not" clause on their core class mechanic. This should be a rather heavy balance consideration. It seems to me that the Barbarian accepts more limitations than any other class, and in return, gets to be overall-pretty-good-with-the-right-subclass, which... doesn't seem like enough.

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The Raven Black wrote:

Most Monk stances forbid you from attacking with other attacks.

But a stance is not required to use FoB.

And Hunting Prey is one action each time you choose a new prey. Which is often more than once per combat.

Not that straightforward to compare.

True, yet missing the point.

A stance prevents you from using other attacks, but you're not losing anything, because the new attacks are better. More relevant, it doesn't lock you out of huge swathes of the PF2 combat experience.

Hunting Prey imposes no limitations at all, except that you need to spend an action on it it before you get the damage boost from it.

Barbarians get two sources of limitation - rage and anathema. Of the two, I suggest anathema is the minor one. It influences some character decisions, sometimes. Rage, on the other hand, is the core of the Barbarian combat engine. Everything about the class is designed and themed around Rage. If you choose not to be Raging in combat for a turn, you're foregoing everything that makes being a Barbarian enticing and fun for that turn. Whatever you're doing with that turn, is it going to make a difference by the time combat is over? Are you really the one who should be doing that? What if you're Fatigued, or fell down in combat with your AC penalty? Congratulations - you have no class abilities for the duration of this combat.

Now, in a hypothetical PF3 where I had any input whatsoever, I would at least want to consider the idea that Barbarians could have benefits to non-Raging combat turns. This is not that edition. Right now, the important question is, would Barbarians really be overpowered without either of those restrictions? Because Fighters and Rogues don't have ANY of those restrictions, and I don't think Barbarian is so awesome that it would outpace Fighter or Rogue without two separate leashes holding it back.

Those two leashes are interesting and thematic and traditional, but they also introduce penalties and burdens to the character that I do not feel are properly addressed in the balance equation. The Barbarian is the only character iced out of most of the combat system by playing them as intended. If that isn't a great loss, then is the rest of the combat system really doing what it's supposed to in the game? If it is, are Barbarians fully compensated for that loss?

All that said, let's remember the Fury Barbarian, who accepts the penalties of Rage in return for a whole lot of not much.

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In some campaign out there, someone has made decent use out of having a character with Eyes for Numbers do some military scouting and come back with accurate troop numbers and dispositions. And good for them.

Still, though, true military combat with hundreds of people isn't exactly what PF is for, and you could do a lot more good in any number of situations with the much better feats listed above. I don't think that scouting needs to be gated behind a feat, either. It feels like the feat exists to fill someone's quota.

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So, what you're working with is a party setup that works well in a variety of situations, but works optimally when you can set up a chokepoint and a vertical killzone.

As an infantryman, that makes sense to me. There are a variety of scenarios to prepare for, but you have to be able to respond to them with more or less the same loadout every time. Each one is more optimal or less optimal, and the degree to which you can choose or shape the scenario to your advantage is important. Succeeding is making the battle take shape in a way very much resembling one of a small number of scenarios in which your weapons and tactics are effective, while theirs aren't.

The setup you're describing works with great effect in a common scenario, but even in a scenario that doesn't resemble that one as much, it still works better than most. Yeah, I wouldn't want to be running an unmodified AP with you guys and be looking for a challenging fight.

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