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Grapes of Being Tired wrote:
The problem here is that you can also be NE and worship Asmodeus, and NE includes complete nihilists, selfish a$%*$+&s who couldn't give less of a damn about the law if it doesn't help them, and so on. If you're going to restrict Good/Evil, then you also need to restrict Law/Chaos. Asmodeus would be far less offended by someone who's all about the Law to the Letter but doesn't have a need to oppress anyone if the law is on their side, than someone who's just into being a dick for s#~!s and giggles and doesn't care about keeping his promises if he doesn't feel like it.

Personally I would agree that the Law/Chaos axis needs to be more restrictive for Clerics, so I'm on board with the first half of this, but in regards to the bolded part, why do you think that's true?

We're talking about Asmodeus here, most powerful Prince of Hell, one of the most powerful Fiends in existence, and absolutely as fundamentally Evil as he is fundamentally Lawful.
Your description here paints him as "Lawful Neutral, but sometimes a real prick about it," when in actuality he is looking to screw over every single solitary person who ever signs a contract with himself or an underling; but he'll do it in a way that is honest and in your face so that, when you inevitably skip the fine print, it's your fault when the time to pay comes and your eternal soul is dragged down to the Hells.

Aah, okay, well that makes me less worried!
(Missing that extra Druid info sucks tho - you'd think they'd at least link to it in the preview with it being that relevant and all <_< lol)

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rooneg wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
I very much hope you're wrong. If the shapeshifting druid is just "don't you wish you were as good as a Fighter" X/day, then... well, you should've just been a Fighter.
Umm, being almost as good as a fighter X/day and being able to cast a bunch of spells and do a bunch of other druidy things when you're not being almost as good as a fighter at doing the fighter's job seems like a pretty good deal. The whole point of having a fighter class is that they're the best at fighting in return for not getting to be good at a whole pile of other stuff.

Back when shifting was not tied to spellcasting, I wouldn't make the argument.

Now, however, you're using up those spell slots to assume your animal forms, which directly eats up your available "utility/non-combat" options.
Top it all with less spell slots available than there used to be.

Maybe I'm worrying over nothing, and the actual playtest material will show it won't be so bad, but with the tiny bit of info the previews have given us to go on, it sounds like "either you shift into animal forms for your combats, or you have spells to do other stuff, but you probably won't have enough to do both."

Xenocrat wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
I see Druidzilla is coming back. Aside from Strength(if Wild) you don't really need the other physical scores...
It's really limited in duration. You need your best slots to roughly meet a martial in base stats (but you won't have their special abilities) and if you buy more duration with lesser stats you won't be able to fight even that well.
Wild Shape sounds like free slots just for shaping, so your actual spells are free for other things. I'd be more worried about being behind, say, a fighter if one of the fighter's 14th level feats wasn't god awful. Being a point or two behind might be a bigger deal than it used to be, but not much.
You still have to burn two(?) actions casting one at the beginning of every fight (1 minute durations are probably the norm for combat forms) and then you have the base stats but none of the enhancers (Power Attack, babarian rage, etc.) so you're not actually as good. This seems to give you flexibility to be a backup frontliner at the opportunity cost of being able to cast spells during the fight. That seems fine.

I very much hope you're wrong. If the shapeshifting druid is just "don't you wish you were as good as a Fighter" X/day, then... well, you should've just been a Fighter.

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Right, but Mark's examples are exactly what you would use Control Weather to do. Kinda makes the spell pointless, no? (Or if not pointless, terribly unexciting.) :P

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I just wanted to say...
Casting Lightning Bolt outside of natural stormy conditions is both unnatural weather and potentially harmful to wildlife.

It also seems like a pretty staple action of a Storm Druid.

Also, basically any use at all of Control Weather. Making a thunderstorm worse than it already is isn't something you cast high level magic to do - making a tornado or four on a sunny day is *exactly* what you use high level magic to do!
And it's anethema...

So... Uh... Rewording plzkthx?

Also, I'm really not liking the sound of shape shifting being tied to Polymorph spells.
Prepared at the beginning of the day? Limited by number of times you can cast?
This makes the class fantasy of a shapeshifter basically impossible to fully realize... Unless I'm missing something.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Also, neo vancian carries a whole host of problems which are probably beyond the scope of this thread, but I think how bad the 5e sorcerer feels compared to the 5e wizard illustrates some of them.

A lil late coming back to the party, but this is nonsense.

Sorcerer problems in 5E are entirely about not having enough of their given resources (spell points, spells, etc) and have absolutely nothing at all to do with *how* their spells are cast.
The fact that a 5E Bard knows more spells than a 5E Sorcerer is a Sorcerer problem. Neo-vancian casting is not.

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So I'm confused...
Sorcerers don't get at-will heighten because that would lead to too much analysis paralysis...
But as they're designed now, they have "sometimes heighten" which will lead to the exact same kind of analysis paralysis. If anything, since you can't heighten very often, you won't have as much of an opportunity (through repeated effort) to learn which heightens are the right call and which ones aren't.

tl;dr - Analysis paralysis around heighten will be the same, if not worse, than if Sorcerer got to heighten at-will.
(As to the concern that if heighten was available at will it would lead to non-heighten spells falling by the wayside... That's a design concern; it shouldn't be a player concern. It feels like a sign that you just didn't design spells that don't heighten to be competitive.)

And for what it's worth, there are two kinds of players: Players who bother to do homework on what their class can do, and players who don't. The latter holds up game time regardless of class options, the former tends not to.
Stop trying to fix bad/lazy players with mechanics - that way madness lies. :P

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Lots of cool stuff here, but I don't know that I'd agree with "Without a doubt, the most popular element of barbarians in Pathfinder First Edition is the totem". I don't think I've seen anyone choose one of these, either at the table or in a printed stat block, or if so, quite rarely.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to include totems as a core part of the class, but it certainly wasn't the most popular element of barbarians.

You've played in a very different game than most I've played in or seen played either in real life or on the boards then. Totems (particularly Beast Totem) are nearly ubiquitous IME.

The only thing more ubiquitous was Superstition, which they are now making a Totem. Which is cool. :)

Eeeehhh... let's be intellectually honest here: "Pounce Barbarians" were incredibly popular, almost universally. The "I'm a totem warrior" part of it was very largely ignored. If the Beast line didn't give Pounce, we would have seen drastically different Barbarians.


How relevant are those points though? Do you MM an enemy spellcaster or do you Dispel?
How often are you facing off against incorporeal opponents? At very low levels it can be a huge deal, but you'll rarely see them at very low levels because of the high chance of TPK. At higher levels, there are better options available.
An archer hits at a good range too and has a much better outcome even considering miss chance.
Smart tactics/placement means you never really have to worry about AoEing your allies anyway.

I know in my personal gaming experience, I've always been happy to have a CL9 MM wand available for the rare incorporeal foe, but I've never ever wanted to prepare it. Ever. There's always a better spell for the slot.

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Rysky wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Why can't Magic Missile just become a cantrip? I think we all know in our heart-of-hearts that it's an incredibly under-performing spell and always has been. ;)
I have absolutely no idea how "always hits" and "under-performing" even go into each other's general vicinity.

Always hits with tiny damage that has never scaled well and can't crit.

That's how. ;)

Why can't Magic Missile just become a cantrip? I think we all know in our heart-of-hearts that it's an incredibly under-performing spell and always has been. ;)

Bluenose wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Ultrace wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Well he is a 3.P caster, so he can't be a counterpoint.
Is he? He first showed up in the early 90s, didn't he? And 3.0 didn't even come out until 2000. I think it's pretty clear he was intended to represent 2.0 (although I don't know much beyond the early stuff so it's possible the nature of his portrayal changed after 3.0/3.5.)
1st ed. AD&D, he was the narrator in several articles in Dragon in the '80. And the Forgotten Realm box was printed in 1987.
And he's been powered up in every single edition since that first appearance, with the exception of 4e. 2e added more levels, and a full set of psionic combat abilities in case he had to deal with a psionic enemy, and a version later in that edition had the prototype Chosen powers, 3e added multiple previous classes, and even more levels, and the latest upgrade to being Chosen. It's almost as if the requirement that Elminster be able to Gary Stu everything he wants is written into the fabric of the Realms.

Fun fact: Elminster isn't even in the top 5 of "most powerful casters" of the Forgotten Realms. ;)

Anyway, he was 26th level Magic-User in 1st, a 29th level Wizard in 2nd, he maintained "29th level wizard" in 3rd edition by being 24 Wizard/5 Archmage, and then got a bunch of random useless levels to fill out his "before he became a wizard" backstory (1 Ftr, 2 Rog, 3 Clr - 3.X was really big about bloating character builds with pointless levels just to showcase story points).
4th Edition was the first time he drastically changed power levels by being dropped down to a 19th level Controller. I don't believe he has any 5E stats.
As for the Chosen template, it was much better in 2E than in 3E - 3E downtuned "extra powers" like the Chosen stuff, the Magister abilities, Spellfire, etc.

So he hardly keeps growing in power, and he's hardly a Gary Stu. He's that grumpy old Sage that knows everything and wants to be left alone, but will give helpful info to characters who need it when he sees fit.
Kinda like most powerful NPCs in most games across D&D history. ;)

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

Given that Heightened Invisibility is the equivalent of greater invisibility and Summon Monster IX is now Heightened Summon Monster this is pretty obviously wrong.

They may well be less common than spells inherently of the level in question, but assuming they won't happen? That's pretty clearly incorrect.

Fair enough, I could have been more specific.

The issue quoted is dealing with Magic Missile, and the concern is the comparison between damage-dealing spells.

There is a world of difference between heightening an Invisibility into a new effect, and heightening a dps spell into the same effect with a different numerical value.
I thought it was clear we were discussing the latter.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
There's still going to be a lot of times that you want to cast a heightened spell because it's just an excellent option period, or the main way to create a particular effect, like heightening a summon spell or heightening invisibility to have it stick even if you go on the offense (like greater invisibility in PF1).

Of course there will be situations where you will want to cast a Heightened spell instead of a higher level Prepared spell, based on the situations you find yourself in.

There are a near limitless number of examples of such.

However, the issue is not, "There are times you will want to cast..."
The issues is "How often will you want to prepare a Heightened spell in place of a higher level spell?"

I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

(tl;dr - If Heighten could happen on-the-fly, this wouldn't be a concern at all. However, it seems we can't Heighten on the fly, which makes it a massive concern.)

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The Raven Black wrote:
Lion was the most honorable though :-)

Not if you ask a Crane, Phoenix... or Scorpion. ;)

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Lots of discussions around Paladins lately (obv, lol), and I keep seeing the idea of the Paladin as "the Round Table knightly order style" of class.
I would agree that they're certainly knightly, but I've always kind of seen them as loners taking on the burden they do because "no one else can" rather than a collective working together towards some goal or another, and the "knightly order" classes are the Cavalier and Hellknight.
After all, I can name several Hellknight Orders or Cavalier Orders, but I can't think of any Paladin orders.

So... are there any?

willuwontu wrote:
2.) Using poisons, such as the drow poison to cause the enemy to fall asleep, to allow you to capture them instead of killing them is definitely more honorable than just killing them.

Totally disagree.

Using said sleeping poison may be merciful, but it's certainly not honorable.
Honorable =/= Nice

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You have to fish it out of your pack/pocket/wherever (action)
Uncork it (action)
Drink it (action)
Give it a moment to work (action)
Now you have two choices. You can...
Re-cork it (action) and put it back in your pack (action).
Or you can drop the cork (action) and the vial (action) and move on with combat.


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doc roc wrote:

IMO its when you see thread like this, it emphasises the PF1 and PF2 flaw regarding the cleric in general.

Paladins, Warpriests, Inquisitors are all divinely appointed warriors, granted specific powers linked to their warrior role.

Having clerics as gish serves no purpose either thematically or mechanically. It not only makes the cleric less effective but it clouds the water for the actual divine warrior types..... hence why thread like this crop up!

The fact that you CAN design the cleric as gish is not proof that you SHOULD design it as such. It is a completely redundant concept. Its like having a company and making your accountants spend time improving their skills in buildings maintenance.... yes you can do it... but should you?? Nooooo....

The game has moved on massively since D&D 1st ed....

I disagree that it's a flaw.

Clerics have always been divine gishes. They're not simply clergy, but are champions of their deity's cause in all areas, peaceful or combative.

On the other hand, the Paladin has always been Warrior/Fighter based. A hard-coded connection to a deity is new for them which is why I feel the question is more relevant than it may have been in the past.

I also firmly believe that the Inquisitor and Warpriest only exist to fix the system flaws the Cleric faces and are not necessary in a system without those flaws.
For example, a skill-based Divine character is basically impossible to do well in 3.X/PF because of how both Skills and the Cleric spell list work (we all know the Trickery domain has always been garbage, regardless of edition).
Inquisitor fixes this by adjusting the spell list and adding a bunch more skills per level.
In a system where skills work differently and more consideration is placed on Divine Spells, the necessity of the class vanishes and the Cleric, built properly, can fill the role.

Warpriest, on the other hand, is the solution to the Cleric's BAB/Action Economy problem. A standard Cleric has all the tools it needs to be a combat machine, just not enough time to employ them before the fight is nearly over. Also, it must utilize these buffs or it won't compete well, even though it has the initial combat proficiencies to suggest it should.
Warpriest fixes these issues by letting it "cheat" it's way into Combat Feats and "cheat" the action economy by activating spells faster than normal.
In a system where BAB doesn't exist and spells are designed in a way where they can be cast faster or slower based on need in the moment, the necessity of the class vanishes and the Cleric, built property, can fill the role.

I say all this to say that, as it stands with a strong connection to a deity, a Paladin becomes just a LG Warpriest following a particular code, but we're about to get a new system where the Warpriest may not even be necessary; the changes to attack bonuses and spellcasting may finally allow the Cleric to fill it's role as gish better than it ever has before.

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johnlocke90 wrote:

The compromises listed would create a ton of work for Paizo, which makes them very unlikely to be implemented. Ideas need to account for that.

Building alternative alignments in the vein of the Tyrant archetype is reasonable. Building 3-8 alternatives that have distinct balanced mechanics is not reasonable.

Quoting for emphasis, not to reply to.

The reason that my position is to share the Paladin chassis with other alignments/codes is not because I want to take the fun parts of the Paladin and leave the parts I don't like, but because Paizo is absolutely not going to devote the development resources to build X different mechanically-similar-yet-thematically-distinct classes.

And we all know it.
Because this is "Pathfinder: The TTRPG." It's not "Paladins: The TTRPG."

tl;dr - A reasonable compromise among the fanbase that the developers definitely won't go for is not, in fact, a reasonable compromise.

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Something I've always wondered: If HP damage is supposed to be an abstract of wounds, fatigue, strain, etc. and you aren't actually in mortal danger until you cross that 0hp threshold...

Then why can't a good backrub heal HP damage?

No really, why is serious amounts of rest or magic required to heal what you're totally allowed (encouraged, even) to call stiff muscles (or the like) after a long fight?
Sure, you'll need magical healing energies or appropriate downtime to heal actual wounds, but HP damage above zero is never flat-out called actual wounds. And yet, a Heal skill-check can't cure HP?

Nox Aeterna wrote:
Actually, i never played with a GM which a paladin and a cleric were about the same, but i guess different folk different strokes.

Well sure! Outside of the Forgotten Realms, I'd imagine most people haven't. ;)

But Paladins seem to be much more closely tied to deities this time around.

Gorbacz wrote:

Yeah, but you can't have Paladins merged into Clerics without having Barbarians and Rangers rolled into Fighters as well as Sorceres into Wizards.

Which brings to the point where doing it is not feasible, because at this point people walking into D&D expect Paladins and Barbarians.

I'll give you Barbarians and Fighters because both are just different sides of the same coin.

I won't give you Rangers however, as they are fundamentally more skill/survival based than simply another fighting style.
Also I can't give you Sorcerers and Wizards, as they are thematically entirely different. Ditto Oracles and Clerics.

These things fill difference places in the world thematically, even though they are similar mechanically.
Clerics/Paladins (as well as Fighters/Barbarians) fill the same places in the world thematically, as well as being similar mechanically.

Gorbacz wrote:
Barbarians and Fighters serve exact the same purpose: hitting things hard. If they can exist as separate classes, so can Clerics and Paladins.

I think it'd be totally reasonable to have that thread too, since a Barbarian is just a specific type of Fighter anyway. There could very easily be Fighter Feats one could take to re-create the traditional "light armored/rage-powered" Fighter.

But this thread is about Clerics/Paladins, not Barbarians/Fighters. ;)

Re-confirmed. Not working here either (Firefox).

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So I'm not interested in alignment issues or mechanical issues (though some mechanics will come up) - this is purely about thematics within Golarion with the information we know.

A Paladin has been described as:

Paladin Blog wrote:
divine champions of a deity

How does this not equally describe a Cleric?

So the traditional response (I would guess) to this is that Clerics are the "spell-casters" to the Paladins "warrior."
The issue I see with this is that Clerics have always been warriors. There is no "wizard-like robed priest" class; there is only the "wears armor and wields their deity's favored weapon in battle" class (Archetypes aside).
(I'd even say that the only reason we ever saw the Warpriest come into existence is that the Cleric was simply bad at doing it's job, through no fault of it's own, because of combat mechanics; ie, the buffing took too long in actual combat because PF combat is extremely quick. Were it not for that particular unfortunate circumstance, the Cleric would fill it's role just fine and Warpriest would have been unnecessary.)

And now, with BAB being replaced with Proficiency, the gap closes even more!

I understand that mechanically they work differently and Paladins have an extra code they must follow, but thematically, in-world, they seem to serve the exact same purpose; champion the cause of their deity. And they do it in essentially the same way; a combination of spells and fighting.

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HWalsh wrote:
I am saying a Paladin is a unique reaction from certain things. It has always been so. It is a divine champion, but it is not just a divine champion. I have explained this at length numerous times in this thread. Rather than restating it I will direct you to read one of the many previous explanations.

I've been following many Paladin threads for quite a long time (I enjoy them, what can I say?) and I will absolutely concede that you have, many many many times made the above claim.

I'm here to tell you, however, that I have never seen you show your work.

In other words, you've said many times that "Paladin is a divine champion but it's not just a divine champion," but I promise I haven't ever seen you explain how or elaborate in any way.

So, if you would be so kind, would you do so here?

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HWalsh wrote:

You forget:

Iomedae can be a Cleric/Warpriest/Paladin just fine.
Sarenrae can be a Cleric/Warpriest/Druid just fine.

Does that make Iomedae less magical than Sarenrae?

Iomedae can be a Fighter/Ranger/Monk
Sarenrae can be a Fighter/Barbarian/Barbarian?

Differences do not equal a power imbalance.

There's a few differences:

1- Druids, Barbarians, and Monks are not defined by their alignments the way Paladins are.
2- There are also lots of arguments made for removing the alignment restrictions for Druids/Monks/Barbarians as being rather tacked-on. There isn't much push-back (if any) against these classes. However, for the Paladin, it has the forums up in arms.

Arachnofiend just above also does a good job of pointing out how Paladin is a champion of Good, judged by their Goodness, but locked behind a requirement of Law.
If Paladins got as many Law-themed powers/abilities as they do Good-themed ones (or any at all, really), I'm sure we'd all be having a very different discussion/argument.

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HWalsh wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
you are still saying LG is besy good, you are now calling it a 'unique reaction' but its still 'best good'

I have not called it the best good. I have explicitly said the opposite. I simply stated the facts.

Baking Soda and Vinegar has a dramatic reaction when combined.

Baking Soda and Water does not have this dramatic reaction.

This does not make Vinegar better than water.

Weird analogy.

Are you saying that Law is vinegar and every other alignment is water?
How did you come to such a conclusion?

Also, if the goal is to get a reaction, then yes, vinegar IS better than water.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...some of us would like a neat story and character that best Lawful Good just isn't providing with some meaningful mechanics and flavor.

without being attacked for wanting this sort of thing.

Can you explain to me this "Lawful Good = Best Good" argument and why you think it's so implicit?

As far as I can tell, nobody who is arguing that Paladins should be restricted to being LG believes that Lawful Good is better Good than Chaotic Good or Neutral Good (I don't really see a ranking as being meaningful, but Neutral Good seems obviously the "purest" Good, if not better).

In fact, it seems to me that, in a world where Paladins are always Lawful Good, the in-world explanation has to be that what makes Paladins possible is the lawfulness and not 'degree of goodness' (if it were degree of goodness that mattered then a paladin could be of any non-good alignment, surely?)

** spoiler omitted **


Here's the deal - no one arguing for LG-only Paladins is outright stating that "LG is the best alignment." That just ends up being a consequence of the argument.

If "Alignment Champion" was the class, and Paladin was the LG version, this would not be an argument. However, there are people who are arguing that "alignment champion" should either not exist and it should *only* be LG Paladins, or at the very best a different alignment "Alignment Champion" should be fundamentally different/weaker than the Paladin so the Paladin stays special.

What this results in is a situation where LG is so pure and holy and special that it gets a special holy warrior champion (the Paladin) but other alignments are not pure and holy and special enough to get their own holy warrior champions.
ie: If CG was "as good" as LG, then where is the CG holy champion class? There isn't one. Ipso facto, CG is lesser than LG.

Or, to put it in Golarion-ish terms:
Iomedae can be a Priest/Warpriest/Paladin just fine.
Sarenrae can be a Priest/Warpriest but cannot be a Paladin.
Therefore, even though they are both champions and warriors of Good, Iomedae is more special/powerful/whatever than Sarenrae.

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HWalsh wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

A Valid LG Paladin Deity

At least, that would appear to be the case.

Tell me I'm wrong, please?

There is nothing within the code to prohibit the gathering of information.

True, but it seems you're ignoring the glaring issue:

Pathfinder Wiki wrote:
Her followers use guile, subterfuge, and shadow magic to break into evil bastions and return with valuable information

Guile and subterfuge are deceitful by their very nature; implicit lying.

A Paladin trying to follow Kelinahat with her preferred tactics would be a fallen paladin almost immediately.
I imagine the only way she herself gets away with the LG alignment is because *she* is her own authority - her tactics certainly aren't lawful (assuming we're treating 'Lawful' and 'Honorable' as synonymous - which is usually the case).

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

I've been trying to formulate and parse one of the 'disconnects' with Best Lawful Good having Paladins and Neutral Good not, and I think I've come up with why it bothers me.

This does touch slightly on RL perceptions and analogues, so please accept my apologies in advance if it goes squirrely.

A. Iomedae, the Inheritor, is effectively a Taldan deity (the Byzantine 'analogue' on Golarion). Sure, she has other places she's got worshippers, but overall, that seems to be one of her big places?

B. Saranrae, the Dawnflower, is effectively a Qadiran deity (the Ottoman Empire/Persia 'analogue' on Golarion). Sure, she has other places she's got worshippers, but overall, that seems to be one of her big places?

Okay, now here's the rabbit-hole my brain keeps bumping up against:

The Lawful Good Deity could be a paladin.

The Neutral Good Deity could not (as currently being offered in Playtest).

Yet they are both allies against the forces of Evil.

So why on Golarion is Iomedae NOT sharing her tactics/techniques capabilities with Saranrae?

Does she not trust the Dawnflower?

Does it feel to her as if the exclusive franchise of her particular flavor of Heavenly Goodness is inherently superior to the Dawnflower's?

Why can't the Dawnflower, the one who (with the help of other deities) *imprisoned Rovagug* the biggest and worst thing in Golarion, grant this power to Her faithful?

What strange cosmic rule allows this to happen?

I know, it's 'that's how the rules are' from an out of the box perspective, but if I were the Dawnflower I'd want my people of Goodness to focus on Being Good first? And I'd want them to be empowered as my divine champions -- after all, my ally Iomedae can make it happen for Her faithful, why can't I do it for mine?

What is the flavor to bridge this disconnect?

EDIT: Further rambling -- Evil is selfish and greedy and doesn't want to share, or if it does, it wants huge payoff for doing so.

Good works together and shares equally and fairly.

So why is one Good more important than All Good?


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
And finally, Paladins have always prioritized Good over Law. They have Smite Evil and Detect Evil, not smite Chaos and Detect Chaos, y'know?

This is kinda the crux of my point, actually.

The Lawful Good character is at a legitimate impasse when legitimate authority prevents action against evil. By weakening the code the way PF2 looks to be doing, it's essentially saying that Paladins are going to be Lawful... eh, kinda. Good is what really matters.
Which is pretty much NG in a nutshell: Do the best good. If the law is the best good, obey it. If the law gets in the way of good, discard it.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Mark, what is the official stance on how "respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be" interacts with being in a land with cruel, but lawfully enacted practices and mores?

Say, your paladin finds himself in ancient japan circa any year before the abolishment of slavery in 1590. You are in a land where people are not only routinely oppressed, but as you are traveling and observing this, you see a samurai murder a hapless serf in front of you for merely having irritated him - something fully in his legal authority to do.

What, OFFICIALLY, is the Paladin supposed to do in this case, according to Paizo?

In PF1? It's very tricky. In PF2's code as shown in the blog, you explicitly can ignore that lawful authority to protect the innocent serf because protecting the innocent is a higher tenet.

Question: Are the alignment descriptions changing from PF1 to PF2?

I ask because, as written, the Paladin code is too flimsy for a truly LG character, but fits rather perfectly for a NG character.

So how is this action (ignoring a tenet of the code for the greater good) not a perfect example of Neutral Goodness in action?

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
So here Is why I think the paladin is generally lawful. It is because of the code. Its been very traditional that anyone with a code in D&D and PF is lawful. Monks for example usually (and more so in the past) had a code or some rules they would follow so they would be lawful. Now i"m not opposed to CG paladins however chaotic would imply your getting rid of the code so it would be a substantial change to the fluff and even the mechanics since the code is built in to the mechanics.

So to the idea that Chaotic or Neutral alignments can't follow a code...

Rush, probably... wrote:

If your code is to have no code,

you still follow a code!

Ponder to the tune of Freewill. ;)

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Also, even assuming the example is correct about consequences, the right thing for the Paladin to do is to heal the woman, fall, and then do an atonement. Having to perform an atonement after using an Evil spell is a pretty reasonable thematic thing for a Paladin to need to do even if they have to cast such a spell for some reason.

Everyone talks about falling like it's something that makes the character ruined forever, but that's not actually quite how the rules work.

While this is true, it is looking at the scenario in a very limited context.

What does the RP look like in the aftermath when the Paladin has to contend with the fact that they did the right thing, but the powers of Good/their god abandoned them anyway?
Is the Paladin who will do anything, even an evil act, to save innocent lives more moral than the entity that granted them the power in the first place? Less moral? Is such an entity even worth returning to, knowing that if a similar situation arises again, that paladin will have to be forsaken once again in order to do the most good?
Perhaps they'll reject the very idea of seeking atonement; after all, they did what was necessary and were punished for it.
Or maybe it's during the atonement quest the Paladin realizes that Iomedae (or whomever), if they were *truly* the champion for Good they claim to be (or rather, their clergy claims them to be) would have understood the necessity of the moment, and if they were *truly* as good as that, there would be no need for an atonement.

And so on and so fourth... ;)

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Open question:
As I said back on page 9, the "Paladin Code" as presented is absolutely follow-able by a NG character.

Please tell me why I shouldn't be able to make a NG Paladin when I can follow their code as laid out?
Or does the code just not matter, and all that matters is the Alignment written on the character sheet?

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A few thoughts:

I think the plans to place an "order of importance" on the tenets a Paladin has to follow is excellent. It will go a LONG way to ensure that Paladin players know where they stand and bad GMs will have a much harder time trying to bully into a fall.

That said, I think your structuring points a giant spotlight at the very problem of "LG-only" paladins; your list is so very strongly NG ;).
You've clearly decided that Good is the most important and Law takes a backseat (as always, frankly).
When law comes into conflict with doing good? Leave law behind and do the best good.
When good comes into conflict with upholding law? So what? Just do the best good!
Sounds like a pretty standard NG aligned character. Except a NG character can't be a Paladin because Paladins must be LG...
Law has always come second fiddle to Good for Paladins (both in powers received and in importance of code), so the idea that Paladins must remain LG even going into a new edition? How is that anything but sacred cow worship?

And lastly...

Paladin Blog wrote:
Paladins are divine champions of a deity.

Er, no, Clerics are the divine champions of a deity.

Aren't they?
The distinction between Paladin and Cleric has always been very muddied, but I feel like doubling down on Paladins being tied to Gods, you've only muddied the issue further.

(I'd like to comment on the mechanics, but honestly, there just isn't enough here to have an opinion on. :( )

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theGlitch wrote:
graystone wrote:
Debatable as it just gives a bonus to the smite but itself doesn't trigger the smite. Note that is goes out of it's way to mention EVIL dragons. IMO, undead aren't mentioned the same way as they are assumed evil.
Not debatable as the text is quite clear about undead triggering the effect.

No. You cannot Smite a good-aligned ghost because it's not evil, but if you could, it would take 2x the damage on the first hit because it's undead.

The solution is to allow the smite on the good-aligned ghost because it's undead.

theGlitch wrote:
graystone wrote:
Makes no sense. If I use the soul of an orphan to make a mundane knife, it's not an EVIL knife. The aligned act doesn't affect the target: an evil spell doesn't cause it's target to be evil.
This makes no sense. Why would using the soul of an orphan be influential in the creation of a mundane knife? If you make a magical knife with said soul you probably are not creating a Bane of the evil outsiders, Merciful Holy knife, but more realistically a sacrificial dagger for some dark ritual. Also if the effect of the spell is to create a creature then yes, an evil spell creates an evil creature (planar binding comes to mind).

Bolded for emphasis.

Where are you getting this from? It seems like a rather arbitrary addition to spell text that you just made up to support your own views.
If casting Animate Dead is evil because it has the [Evil] tag, that means the caster takes a hit towards evil to their alignment, but it doesn't logically hold that it's the reason that the undead animated are evil.
If that were the case, Infernal Healing would turn the people healed by it evil too, but no one's making that argument.

Undead don't have to be [Evil] to be a dangerous threat that needs to be taken care of. ;)

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I've spent most of my two decades of gaming doing TotM-style gaming, and I'm just gonna come out and say it: Grids and tokens/minis/whatever is flatly superior for D&D/PF gaming.

"Mother, May I?" as described above, is absolutely right! People don't like finding out that 30ft of movement really isn't as far as they thought, or that no, if we're being honest the Fireball spell won't actually hit everyone you want it to.
Too many "sure, that's fine" GMs out there.
And I can tell you from plenty of personal experience that, everyone at the table might be watching the TotM, but not everyone is playing the same show. What you're imagining may not be quite what your fellow player(s) imagine, or even worse, what the GM is imagining, because some detail was left out or misunderstood or goes unheard or any number of reasons why miscommunication happens.
That never happens with a map/grid and tokens/minis.

And contrary to what others may tell you, you don't miss out on the "detail" when using physical representation. It's a very weak imagination that gets lost in the grids so badly that they can't imagine the terrain or fearsomeness of the creatures.

Grid 1/TotM 0

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HWalsh wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
This sounds like a homebrew thread, not discussing the playtest rules.

Not at all - This isn't homebrew.

Currently - Undead are evil - those are the rules. This is to pitch plausible explanations for Paizo to use because currently a small portion of the player base disagrees with the statement of undead being evil because they find the explanation lacking. This is to shore up that weakness in the PF lore/setting/rules and as such is directly pursuant to the playtest forums.

We don't find the explanation lacking - we find it directly contradictory to the printed text.

James Jacobs says that souls are involved in animating or creating the undead.
Well, can we point that out in the spell descriptions at all? No we can't:
Animate Undead
Create Undead
Create Greater Undead
As a matter of fact, we can instead point to spell text that specifically says corpses are fueled by negative energy and not stolen/mistreated souls.

So, since no souls are involved, the next "go-to" in an attempt to explain things is to point out how the negative energy fueling these corpses has an evil and corrupting influence.
Except it doesn't:
Scroll down and notice that the Planes can come with an Alignment Trait or not. Now notice that the Negative Energy Plane lacks an Alignment Trait - because it is not a Good or Evil source of energy.
Also, as graystone pointed out earlier in the thread, pg9 of The Great Beyond flatly says:

The Great Beyond wrote:
"Known simply as the Void, the Negative Energy Plane empowers undead just as positive energy is the driving force behind all living things, but contrary to some religious dogma, neither it nor its destructive energies are evil. As dangerous and antithetical to life as they might be, they simply exist as an opposite to the creative potential of the positive, divorced from any notion of morality.

You'll notice this supported by the (very commonly pointed out) fact that other Negative Energy spells, such as Inflict Wounds, are not Alignment-tagged as "Evil."

Further evidence that not all undead are evil is the very alignment rules themselves:

PRD Additional Rules - Alignment wrote:
"Animals and other creatures incapable of moral action are neutral. Even deadly vipers and tigers that eat people are neutral because they lack the capacity for morally right or wrong behavior. Dogs may be obedient and cats free-spirited, but they do not have the moral capacity to be truly lawful or chaotic."

This particularly applies to mindless undead such as skeletons and zombies because mindless creatures are, by their very nature, incapable of moral action.

Now, all that said, are undead always evil? Yes. Because they possess the "Evil" Alignment tag.
So what we're really left with is a contradiction within the rules that we, as players and GMs, have to content with and sort out on our own.
So the real question is, do we follow the tag and treat undead as evil always every time? Or do we follow the massive amount of other rules evidence that shows that tag is misplaced?

I'm going with the mountain of evidence rather than the tag, personally.
(And since JJ's comments on the forums are in direct contention with the up-to-date printed rules, he does not get the final say simply by being the Lead Designer; LDs can be wrong, after all.)

It was already designer-confirmed earlier in the blog thread.

graystone wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
two pairs of bracers seem reasonably doable, for example
I have to say it doesn't to me: that sounds like wearing a shield over your shield...

One pair of bracers on your wrists, another pair on your ankles (anklets).

Any more than that is really stretching the imagination though...

John Lynch 106 wrote:

You could totally wear bracers on your biceps, as shin guards and if you get big enough ones you could wear them on your thighs. That makes total sense. Also if alchemists still grant an extra arm you could stick both of them one that's!

(Sad thing is, I know players who would argue this. It's how we got Mr Ed the talking horse animal companion. The player was told that character wasn't welcome anymore).

There's even been an example of this for decades. ;)

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Mark Seifter wrote:
I don't think it is currently possible in the playtest rules for a character who is at least trained in both armor and shields to have a worse proficiency from shields because abilities that give you really good proficiencies with armor tend to always raise your proficiency with shields.

To be frank, this right here is why I've been so unimpressed with these preview blogs.

Information like the above from Mark is *incredibly* relevant in having any understanding of the system going forward, and will directly relate to how excited or apprehensive I am about the upcoming rules...
And it's nowhere to be found in the blog itself.

For instance, if I have a character with Legendary Shield Prof., Regular Armor Prof., and a Light Shield, then using my shield will actually *decrease* my AC (+3 Prof bonus goes down to +0 Prof bonus, and is only offset by the +1 Shield, for a net loss of 2 AC.)
Unless it doesn't work like that. Is it even possibly to have Legendary Prof. with Shields and Regular Prof. with Armor? Are they guaranteed to be closer to one another based on the options you pick and the wording of the Proficiencies themselves?

We don't know, and the blogs aren't telling. =\

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Just some thoughts I want to interject after reading the thread:

•Spell scaling for dps will not work out well.
Based on examples we have seen; Compare a 3rd level Magic Missle (five 1d4+1 missiles) vs Fireball (6d6 to everything in the area). You'd be silly to prep the MM over the FB, regardless of whether you need ST or AoE damage - the FB is better. Using a 5th level slot for 10d6? Feels bad man...

•Mook swarm just does not happen.
Yes, AoE spells really shine when they can be used against hordes of enemies - but let's get real; you never face hordes of enemies. It's the same reason that good GMs never put a party up against a solitary BBEG - action economy will *wreck* the BBEG regardless of how powerful they are compared to individual party members. In the same regard, a single goblin/skeleton/orc/whatever isn't a threat to a single adventurer past a certain point, but 30 of them? If the AoE can't handle most of that, the party loses - period. (Not to mention no one, GMs included, like trying to keep track of that many HP pools.)

•Increased spell DCs are less meaningful when "+level" proficiency bonuses are added to all saves.
Maybe some new math will be previewed to change my opinion on this, but as of what we've seen now, it's a wash, and you should expect a lot of your blasting targets to be making their saves a decent amount of the time. (And remember, the average damage of a saved-against Fireball is gonna be 10.5. That's not exactly scary stuff.)

•The options to optimize for damage in PF1 are probably too plentiful. Blasting without system mastery feels bad. Blasting with system mastery feels *too* good. The bottom needs to come way up, but the top needs to be reigned in too. After all, Fireball should be strictly better than Create Pit - largely, it's not.

•There will be noticeably fewer spell slots, and Vancian isn't going away.
This means the competition for which spells get picked only goes up, and blasting needs to be as worthy a pick as a BFControl effect, etc.

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•Will crossbows suck still?
•Will thrown weapons still suck?
•Can I comfortably use two different types of weapons (say, dagger and axe) without a) being a Fighter or b) feeling over-taxed?
•Will using a shield offensively feel satisfying or will it continue to feel underwhelming as it does in PF1?

These are the only things that matter to me at this point (now that "X weapon is just a worse version of Y" has been addressed and, it seems, fixed! Yay!).

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Elegos wrote:
A better comparison might be Cavalier orders

Probably, but the point gets across all the same. ;)

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