I'm wondering the same thing. I'll have to allocate resources differently depending on the answer.
I'm nearly done with chargen (I really just need to buy gear before the sheet's almost ready to be finalized), and this is some of the basic non-mechanics stuff I'm working with.
Name: Sieghart Aetheredge (birth name: Arawn d'Cannith)
Main Class: Gunbreaker
Gestalt: Chocobo Knight (Transporter Archetype)
Sieghart is a Cyran refugee, a former agent of House Cannith and an outrider in the Cyran military. After the Day of Mourning left him presumed dead, he abandoned what remained of his unit (though not the specialized elemental weaponry House Cannith had filched from Breland and supplied to his unit) and spent much of the remaining time before the Treaty of Thronehold scouring the Mournlands for survivors and leading refugees to safety.
After settling things in New Cyre, he's made the long journey to Q'Barra with the intention of helping establish a new homeland for the now-displaced Cyrans.
He suffers from a condition where his body can channel magical energy, but not weave it into spell formulae. The spell-like abilities from his Mark of Making and the supernatural powers available to the Gunbreaker are the closest thing to magic he's able to use.
A stout-hearted hero-type who's eager to help anyone in need. He calls himself "a man who can't mind his own business," as it's the job of a soldier to stand as a bulwark for the defenseless. He has a casual and carefree demeanor, even among people who think of themselves as his superiors, but his insight and well-honed instincts show he's more keyed into his surroundings than he lets on.
He charges distant enemies from astride his elemental weapon, a machine resembling a motorcycle, before dismounting and fighting on the ground. The bound elemental within the weapon is no less capable of fighting without him riding it, and by working together, they either outmaneuver larger targets before tearing them apart, or run down smaller and more numerous opponents. Against airborne foes, his primary recourse is the Cannith war-wand he used as a sidearm during the war.
Set 1: 5d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 3, 3, 2) = 19
Set 2: 5d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 5, 6, 4) = 23
Set 3: 4d6 ⇒ (6, 6, 2, 4) = 18
Set 4: 2d6 ⇒ (6, 2) = 8
Set 5: 4d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 6, 1) = 15
Set 6: 4d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 3, 1) = 13
Set 7: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Set 8: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Set 9: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 6, 5) = 17
Set 10: 6d6 ⇒ (1, 5, 1, 4, 1, 2) = 14
Set 11: 7d6 ⇒ (1, 1, 4, 5, 2, 6, 5) = 24
Set 12: 4d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 5, 4) = 16
This probably won't change much, given how many sixes were in the original set. At most, it'll bump maybe the lowest numbers up a bit.
EDIT: Yeah, the 12th set is still the best one, and I don't see it getting usurped by rerolling any of the rerolled 1s in the other sets. Here's how the final numbers shook out.
6, 6, 6 = 18
There actually is a precedent for something either in the form of magitek armor or smaller personal vehicles or even personal sidearms, but it's vague and would be heavily-dependent on GM approval. A throwaway line in one of the books that Zilargo spent most of the Last War developing elemental weapons through alchemy and elemental binding, and by the end, had sold a bunch of elemental weapons to Breland. What exactly elemental weapons even are was not given any detail, in that book or any. An elemental bound to a weapon could cover anything from a cylinder launching motes of fire to a weaponized elemental vessel. Plus, Eberron often changes rapidly right from its start-date, and there is a largely-unexplored region of the world where the casting of magic is unstable and that a large number of people have a vested interest in exploring, which would eventually necessitate something distinct from Aundairian wands.
This is covered more exactly in Kieth Baker's article on firearms in Eberron, but could probably cover magitek armor.
I think my Gunbreaker's sub job will be either a Rook Gunner or a Transporter Chocobo Knight (he'd have a motorcycle instead of a Chocobo). I imagine him as a Cyran refugee who, at one point, made runs into the Mournlands as part of a team. I'm on the fence of whether or not to make him a bastard of Cannith sporting a Mark of Making.
Dice Pool Rolls:
24d6 ⇒ (2, 4, 6, 4, 3, 1, 5, 2, 6, 6, 6, 5, 2, 4, 1, 3, 2, 5, 5, 1, 1, 1, 2, 4) = 81
24d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 5, 2, 6, 4, 5, 3, 1, 3, 4, 6, 1, 6, 3, 1, 4, 3, 6, 6, 1, 3, 1, 2) = 83
24d6 ⇒ (1, 2, 4, 2, 3, 5, 5, 3, 1, 4, 2, 1, 5, 1, 6, 2, 6, 2, 2, 6, 5, 6, 3, 3) = 80
24d6 ⇒ (5, 4, 6, 5, 1, 5, 5, 3, 1, 3, 6, 5, 2, 3, 5, 6, 4, 5, 6, 4, 2, 3, 3, 5) = 97
24d6 ⇒ (5, 1, 5, 4, 6, 2, 1, 3, 3, 2, 1, 3, 4, 3, 5, 3, 3, 1, 2, 5, 6, 3, 2, 5) = 78
24d6 ⇒ (1, 6, 5, 5, 2, 6, 4, 6, 5, 3, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 6, 1, 4, 1, 3, 5, 1) = 82
24d6 ⇒ (3, 4, 2, 2, 4, 4, 4, 2, 2, 2, 4, 2, 5, 3, 1, 4, 6, 3, 3, 5, 3, 6, 5, 5) = 84
24d6 ⇒ (4, 4, 5, 2, 3, 5, 1, 4, 3, 5, 4, 6, 3, 3, 3, 4, 2, 2, 4, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4) = 84
24d6 ⇒ (6, 1, 3, 6, 3, 4, 1, 3, 2, 5, 5, 3, 6, 5, 6, 1, 6, 5, 2, 3, 3, 2, 3, 3) = 87
24d6 ⇒ (5, 2, 6, 4, 3, 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 2, 4, 5, 3, 1, 2, 4, 4, 6, 5, 4, 1, 1, 2) = 73
24d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 4, 1, 6, 6, 6, 1, 2, 5, 1, 3, 2, 1, 3, 6, 5, 3, 6, 1, 1, 2, 3, 1) = 77
24d6 ⇒ (1, 1, 6, 1, 4, 2, 6, 6, 6, 1, 3, 6, 4, 6, 6, 5, 2, 2, 3, 6, 6, 3, 5, 2) = 93
Chosen Set: Set 12
This guy's going to be a Hume Gunbreaker. Pretty basic, but I like the idea that the aether used in gunblade rounds is distilled from soil, water and minerals gathered from Manifest Zones where the boundary between Eberron and the elemental planes is thin. Sharn was built on one, and there are a few others throughout.
Interest Check: World of Nexus (Worldbuilding PF1e Campaign w / converted Dungeon Magazine Adventures)
Interest Check: World of Nexus (Worldbuilding PF1e Campaign w / converted Dungeon Magazine Adventures)
lets talk about the exact rules before I post this -- ffd20, I usually do gestalt or half-gestalt. Any preferences? What level?
I like the upper level of low to the lower part of middle for the starting point. Level 5 is usually a good baseline, and it has the benefit of being around when a lot of games peter out. Generally, I find characters lower than level 3 to be too fragile and strapped for resources to make risky decisions feel all that worthwhile.
Maybe this is just me, but when I run games for my home group, I tend to give characters really high ability score allotments (albeit with limitations on how any individual score can be). Then again, I mostly just do it for the sake of reassurance because I like to have the characters split up to simultaneously accomplish multiple objectives and I don't want them to feel so anxious about getting in over their heads that they never take risks.
Interest Check: World of Nexus (Worldbuilding PF1e Campaign w / converted Dungeon Magazine Adventures)
I'm a big fan of old, abandoned automatons that continue to perform their intended function long after anyone who has any use for them has died. Amusement park animatronics that keep singing and dancing and maintaining their park centuries after the civilization that built them died off and the park itself has become largely inaccessible, or the machines of an automated railway that continue to move their trains on their intended tracks to their intended schedule, even if they haven't seen a customer in centuries. They have no purpose other than to continue their unbroken vigil, possibly believing that someday someone will again make use of the facilities they maintain, until and unless some external force perverts their sacred mission.
Is there an equivalent for an investigator? I saw on the forums there was someone doing a conversion.
I'm not entirely certain, but I think the Agent of Inquiry archetype of Bard, if it's not a functional rebuild of the Investigator, at least has a lot of its mechanics included in its chassis.
This kind of reminds me of how demons (or daemons, if you prefer) in Shin Megami Tensei and some spiritual entities in Mage: The Ascension work. Formless entities without substance latch onto cultural and mythological figures in order to be able to affect the world (which is really hard to do when your existence is infinitely-boundless), but end up having to take on the traits of those mythological and cultural figures just as a natural consequence of the process, like a liquid conforming to the shape of its container.
Like, something akin to "the gods" were always lurking in the blind eternities beyond space and time, but couldn't do anything unless people invented "containers" for them first.
I'd play either a Sword Saint or Gunbreaker for a setting like that, if FFd20 classes are in play. Crystals in Final Fantasy games can always do some anomalous nonsense or another. Sealing away an empire's chosen survivors beyond time and space until something causes them to re-emerge isn't outside of the realm of possibility.
GM R0B0GEISHA wrote:
With respect to this, I've revised Lodestar to fit the rules and done away with the cumbersome 80+ MB form-fillable character sheet (though, I will be keeping and updating it on my end because I consider it useful).
Aurelian-11 Kye-Fei (Kai)
Background: Super Soldier
Triggers: Apply Fists to Faces +2, Assault +2, Get Somewhere Quickly +2, Take Control +2
Talents: Combined Arms I, Duelist I, Skirmisher I
"Cocoon" Assault Hardsuit
Terashima Katana "Ryūsei" [Medium A/C Melee Weapon]
GMS T-1 High-Caliber Pistol [Light Signature Weapon, Kinetic]
GMS Standard Pattern 1 Everest: Crimson Lotus
Systems: Custom Paintjob, Personalizatitons, Rapid Burst Jump Jet System, Pattern-A Smoke Charges
Aurelian-11 Kai-Fei reporting. He's the product of a nonzero amount of Smith-Shimano Corpro genetech and military-grade augments, along with some illegal subjectivity-overriding. He's a close-range duelist who specializes in closing distance and hitting things with swords. My intention was to use the SSC Atlas from The Long Rim as his main frame once we start gaining License Levels, but if that's not going to fly, I've got a backup that doesn't use anything from The Long Rim.
A man in his mid-twenties with dark hair, blue eyes, and a somewhat dusky complexion. He has a handsome face and a lean and muscular build. His hardsuit is sleeker and slightly smaller and less bulky than is typical of its type, and he wears an MSMC military jacket over it under most circumstances.
Kai is an SSC-brand gene-engineered supersoldier, intended to be part of the first production line used to seed a Constellar World with similar "combat spec" humans. His entire production lot was stolen by corporate raiders during transport and put into cryogenic storage for over a century. He returned to life four years ago after his production lot (of which he was presumed the sole survivor) was seized from its captors by MSMC. By this time, all evidence that he was produced from an SSC proprietary genome sequence was scrubbed, and the sequence itself seems to have gotten lost in SSC's paperwork. Unsure of what to do with him, MSMC presented Kai with a recruitment offer, which he accepted barring any better options. The skills and knowledge that were part of his numerous genetic donors and cobbled-together to form his subjectivity-override proved useful, if at times unconventional ("Why did they program me to know how to use a sword?"), and an additional mech pilot in the field can often prove invaluable. He's asked MSMC's legal department to arrange citizenship for him on a Union Core World (or, failing that, as part of the Albatross) once he's worked enough to afford the service.
This mech has been specced as a duelist frame; a high-performance bipedal model covered in sleeker curved armor than the typical Everest design, emphasizing coaxing out greater speed and power over additional features. Each of its two arms ends in a five-fingered hand, and its legs and back contain an array of jet boosters to aid in rapid movement and as part of its Rapid Burst Jump Jet System. The heavier armor on the legs hides storage compartments for additional ammunition and power packs for charged energy weapons. The assault rifle is built into its left arm. A long, one-handed single-edged sword is sheathed at its left hip, and a two-handed sword affixed to its back with electromagnets. The mech's signatures are the curved horn on its head, and its dark red paintjob. As part of its personalizations, the mech's control systems more closely resemble a motorbike's seat than the standard cockpit chair, and provide a greater degree of fine motor control to the mech's extremities through a deeper interface connection with the pilot's hardsuit and neural augments.
Give a holler if there's any trouble viewing the sheet.
That'd do it. While the setting chapter was excised from the free version of the core book, it's still intact (and mostly unchanged) in the playtest document, which the devs still keep available, free of charge, if you know where to look (by which I mean that their Google Drive was the first result when I searched "Lancer Pre-Release"). I had not meant to come off as unduly harsh. As an indie RPG whose development is headed by open socialists, Lancer tends provoke knee-jerk reactions from people who argue in bad faith. I made a hasty assumption and I'm sorry.
GM R0B0GEISHA wrote:
I will actively apologize. I had assumed basically everyone read the setting chapter. It isn't really intended that players keep their eyes off it, but I understand if it's a part someone wanted to keep secret from the players. It is also totally a secret in-universe.
It's not for me to say, and I already overstepped by bringing it up at all. There's a lot of good stuff about Union today and in the past in the section on the Third Committee in the setting chapter of the core book. The long and short of it is that thinking of Union as "communistic" is probably an overestimation of their own progress. Union has a centralized leadership within Cradle, and it has an uneasy relationship with imperialists and corporate states that span entire star clusters. Plenty of people across the galaxy see Union's Third Committee as being exactly as imperialistic as Second Committee, only preferring soft power to hard power, and there are plenty of very convincing arguments to be made for or against this. Union making economic sanctions against less-prosperous multi-planet empires in order to essentially starve them into compliance sounds more peaceful and less jingoistic than just sending an invasion fleet and killing all local leadership, but it must be remembered that it's the poor who suffer when the rich wage war, even if it's a trade war. It's hard to argue that people shouldn't be angry that the galactic superpower outsiders made them ration food for forty years, especially if it was just to force their society to enter into a galaxy-wide community with which none of them will ever personally interact.
Union wants, someday, for everyone in the galaxy to have their material needs met and never fear being forced into bondage or having their dignity and personhood rejected by the hammer of state violence, but they need desperately to resolve troubles in their own house first. And the longer they wait, the more their doctrine of universal prosperity looks like a grift.
No it isn't. The Third Committee is an experiment. It doesn't present itself as "perfect." It presents itself as "different from Second Committee, who were monsters." Third Committee-era Union doesn't have an ulterior motive and its leadership is genuine in its pursuit of First Committee's three pillars, but it's hardly perfect. Already, they are in a less-than-ideal compromise with the major mech manufacturers, including the very anthrochauvanist Harrison Armory, which does not even begin to describe what a raw deal their thing with the Karrakin Trade Baronies is. Already, they are juggling, like, three different ideas of what they want the future to look like and billions of people across the Orion Arm are dying while they struggle to find an answer. Already, they're trying to figure out what keeping track of a civilization the size of an appreciable portion of an entire galaxy will even look like. The logistics alone are orders of magnitude above what any person can even begin to conceptualize.
There are good, legitimate reasons to oppose Union. They loudly intervene into conflicts that aren't really any of their business. They take their marching orders from a giant moon computer that already spat out one handful of gods from one of its simulations and they still think keeping the damn thing on is a good idea. They are, even in their most benign form, the very kind of coercive hierarchy, the very kind of state, that communists want abolished (they're also the kind of state the socialists like Orwell warned about: those that use the aesthetics of socialist revolution without adopting anarchist praxis). Most of all, they're just too big. It is not possible to cleanly administrate a single civilization of that size. Something, somewhere, will eventually get lost or overlooked, probably with disastrous results. It takes, like, five minutes at most to look this up and come up with a more coherent reason to oppose them than "communism bad."
So, Index III is really bad, and I think it's really weird that it's really bad, but it's also not all that difficult to understand why it's really bad.
Index III is doing this thing where J.C. Staff are absolutely hell-bent on spending no more than three episodes per book of the novel, no matter how badly doing so messes with the pacing of the show. I could understand doing that for volume 14 because nothing really happened in it besides a boring antagonist that no one liked (Terra) dying and Accelerator blowing things up in France. And I guess Itsuwa was also there. But it doesn't make any sense to put so little effort into doing a good job with the first arc of the new season. Index II was eight years ago. That's a really long time for fans of the series to have to wait and J.C. Staff couldn't project any harder just how much they want to speed through the source material so they can make something that makes money instead. Volume 15, while largely self-contained, has the most going on it out of any single book in the entire series. It's starting to show the cracks in Academy City as well as the beginning of GROUP breaking free of the Board of Directors's control. And almost everything of relevance to that arc except the fights was cut out (and even the fights were made pretty underwhelming). And volume 16. Oh my god. If any arc of the series deserved to be at least four episodes, it was Rules of Nature. Doing the whole Acqua fight in only three episodes is nothing short of a tragedy. In any just universe, the British Magic Civil War arc would be the major conflict taking up the majority of the second cour of a 24-episode season. The end of the Old Testament saga of the novel series deserves to be its own 24-episode season, not hastily
So, Index III is bad largely because of its pacing. But pacing problems have been part of the Index anime from the very beginning. Remember ten years ago in season 1, when J.C. Staff spent six episodes adapting volume 1, one more episode that went into adapting the Sisters Arc where they introduced Accelerator? Or when they cut out subplots from volumes 2 and 4, one of the three stories from volume 5 (all of which were decisions I ultimately agree with), and then hastily shoved that story into the beginning of season 2 (which I completely disagree with)? Or hen they put the adaptation of SS1 at the end of season 2 instead of making the better decision of putting it at the beginning of season 3? Or how about how both seasons of Railgun are half a meandering adaptation of an arc of the manga with a bunch of filler, with the second half being original content that's worse than what came before it?
So, yeah, Raildexverse anime have pacing problems, but usually those pacing problems involve spending too many episodes on some material, not too few. In the end, Index and Railgun are still J.C. Staff anime, so I can't say I hadn't set my expectations fairly low. But to fall below even those low expectations is just... disappointing.
The Artificer is one of the most complicated classes in d20. By far, the Artificer's most important class feature is Craft Reserve. In 3.5, crafting a magic item requires an expenditure of XP. Craft Reserve is a pool of points the Artificer spends instead of or in addition to XP to craft items. Points of Craft Reserve are not carried over between levels. If you don't use them, you lose them. Don't worry about taking Item Creation feats. The Artificer gains them automatically. Item Creation lets you craft an item if you don't know the spells it requires to craft it, so long as you make a fairly easy Use Magic Device check. Artificer Knowledge, Artisan Bonus and Disable Trap are pretty self-explanatory in terms of what they do.
Level 5 is the game-changer for Artificers, because of Retain Essence. Retain Essence lets you take a magic item, break it down and add the XP used to craft that item to your Craft Reserve. What this means is that every single magic item in the entire game is useful to an Artificer. This completely breaks the clause on Craft Reserve about points not carrying over between levels. To the Artificer, every magic item is a battery for storing Craft Reserve. The party no longer sells magic items they don't need anymore. Just give them to the Artificer and let them turn the obsolete junk into something new.
Your key responsibility as an Artificer is to jack your Use Magic Device bonus as high as you possibly can. It is the end-all be-all.
So long as some people are talking examples, I have one.
One of my favorite evil characters I've ever played was an Infernal Pact Warlock in 4E. His whole thing was that he was the scion of a noble family in a country whose entire noble class and royal family had made bargains with Hell. In exchange for bargaining with devils that their lives would be cut short and their souls claimed by Hell, they received enough magical power to turn their country into a paradise. The people of his country, even the commoners, enjoyed a higher standard of living than almost anywhere else in the setting, all at the cost of the lives and souls of whatever creatures the nobility cursed in order to extend their own lives (that was part of the bargain. Your devil caseworker can and will kill you the moment your time is up, but you can extend your time by laying curses on other creatures, which damns their souls to the Pit when they die).
This guy was arrogant, absolutely convinced of his own superiority and more than willing to give each and every one of his enemies to the devils, not just to keep himself alive, but also because he'd made a deal with his contracted devil to help her advance in the infernal hierarchy in exchange for even more power should she succeed (this was how I represented his Hellbringer Paragon Path and Prince of Hell Epic Destiny). He was also intensely loyal to his party members. As far as he was concerned, there was an "in" group and an "out" group. All of his horrible magical power was for the sake of supporting his friends and countrymen (which is to say, the "in" group), as well as for destroying anyone who got in their way (which is to say, the "out" group). When he served someone, he made them a king so long as their ambition was genuine. When he served alongside someone, he conspired to make their work effortless so long as their efforts were stout-hearted. When someone served him, be basked them in marvels and riches so long as their service was to his standards. He was leal servant, dark confidante and uncompromising-but-rewarding taskmaster.
Was he evil? Only if you consider making pacts with devils, sacrificing your enemies to those devils and supporting an empire that does the same on a mass scale evil. But just because you're an unstoppable force of evil on a quest to become a Lord of Hell and turn your imperial capital into paradise on Earth doesn't mean you have to be a jerk about it.
He was even a member of a mostly-good party. And why not? Good people on a journey tend to fight bad people, and bad people tend to not only have a lot of good stuff, but are also usually bound for Hell already, which just makes the whole process so much smoother. As far as he was concerned, if you're going to sacrifice people's souls to the Pit, you might as well do it to other bad people. The party's already murdering those bad people, and they're evil people so they're probably headed for Hell anyway, so does it really make any difference if it just happen to have this warlock's devil patron's name attached to it? The good people get to beat up the bad people and the scheming devil-worshiper who works with them gets what he wants, too. Everyone wins.
You can't call something "broken" for failing at something it wasn't trying to do in the first place.
Igor Horvat wrote:
It's a feature, not a bug. Lower level encounters should be trivial to higher level characters, and quickly so.
Igor Horvat wrote:
No and double no.
Signature Skills feel wonky to me, too. At the very least, I'd like to see every class get get to pick one skill from off-list to be a Signature Skill. The big breaking point for me there is rituals. As much as I love the idea that you don't have to be able to cast spells to use rituals, the way the Signature Skill lists work functionally locks Fighters, Barbarians and Rogues from ever using them.
You were lied to.
"Expected" is the operative word. Most adventure paths are also expected to have 5 PCs at 15 point-buy, but I've never done that before, either. A party that exceeds wealth by level is obviously going to be punching above their weight class, but so is a party whose ability score point-buy totals out to 55. And yet that's the array I give my players. Wealth by level, like the ability score generation rules, was always intended to be a loose measuring stick rather than a hard-and-fast rule.
This is an adaptation to defend against a particular problem behavior epidemic among GMs. What's point in investing time and effort into giving my character a family if their first actual appearance just has them be murdered for cheap drama? They never understand that it's not engaging or interesting. It's just disheartening. Like, why did I waste all that time in the first place? Sure, you can tell your GM that your character's family is off-limits, but how often does that work?
Now, a new version is coming out. To prevent combat abuses, lets have resonance on magic items so you can only use/have so many. Ok.. so no magic items just for fun? The magic cat who I can play with 3 times a day now costs a resonance point each time I play with it? My character has 50,000 gold pieces, and is homeless. My character has gems and jewelry, but no wife/husband/children to support. Look, I'm rich, but I have no parents to send money to so that they do not loose the farm because they had a bad year.
As a GM, I would probably rule that a magic item that does literally nothing wouldn't cost resonance. If you want a house, a family, then fine by me. If you want to invest in them, then good. You'll be rewarded commiserate to your investment, because that's how I like to do things.
There has never been, and likely will never be, a maximum cost of gear you can own. Maybe the culture of the boards is distorting your view of how people play, but the people on the internet generally want to discuss mechanics because mechanics are objective. They're an easy place to establish common ground between people who may otherwise have wildly different experiences. Personally, I always run well ahead of wealth-by-level, but a lot of that extra is in intangibles: property, convenience, clothes and art, expensive rare books and chess sets, houses and castles, things that are not easily liquidated, sometimes not easily transported, but exist to add richness to the world and help the party be of prominence. I can't speak to anyone else's GMing style, but I can't imagine it's all that uncommon to give PCs a little something extra once their level-appropriate adventuring needs have been taken care of. And crafting has never provided a livable wage in d20, because the game's money system wasn't built on the assumption that normal people use it. If it were, then some prices would be way higher than they are in PF, and some would be way lower. It was build with the idea that player characters, the kinds of people who go through magic swords, potions and spell scrolls like toothpicks, cheap beer and toilet paper, would be the people making use of it. I don't think it discourages roleplaying. It just leaves it up the party.
So, maybe this is just me, but the burden of the RP side of RPG has always been on the players, at least with respect to d20. The system has never done all that much to encourage it. Maybe it's done what it could to not get in the way (personally, I disagree with this. There's been some level of obstruction in nearly every edition I've had the chance to read), but almost all encouragement thereof has been at the level of the individual table, not at the level of the system.
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Same, save for gods.
I don't even think Chaos necessarily has a problem imposing their will on people, because Chaos doesn't shy away from conflict. If you shove enough people with loud, passionate personalities into the same place, sooner or later someone will have a problem with someone else. Even fighting is, in a narrative sense, a conflict born of two groups of people trying to impose their will on each other. So what? It happens. Conflict, once resolved, brings about change, and change is part of Chaos's bag. Nobody's perfect, so everyone always has the potential to change for the better. So, a paragon of Chaotic Good wouldn't so much avoid conflicting with someone else's will or freedom (while asserting their own will and freedom, naturally) as they would try to turn as many conflicts as they could into engines of positive change.
So, with regard to how Chaotic Good interacts with societies and laws, I'd like to bring up something from Eberron: the nation of Breland and its Chaotic Good king, Boranel. King Boranel, believing in the people's right to independence and autonomy, gave the legislative duties to a democratically-elected parliament, who revised the Galifar Code of Justice and made it the nation's constitution, making Breland the continent of Khorvaire's first constitutional monarchy (of course, it wouldn't be a fantasy constitutional monarchy without a Lawful Evil Prime Minister). The Brelish seriously value their great political experiment, as it allows local laws to be voted upon by public assembly and anyone with enough support to be voted into parliament. They are a people who believe that no man is born superior to any other, than different is just different, and that anything can change. Your average Brelish is Chaotic Good, but they're accepting of most other creeds and attitudes, so long as those attitudes don't infringe upon the autonomy of others.
So, yeah. Chaotic Good can totally support nation-building and even laws, so long as those nations and laws foster the independence, free thought and autonomy of the people.
Outside of examples entirely specific to Golarion, there also isn't anything mechanical that contradicts it. It's certainly always been my interpretation that paladin codes are internally-enforced, and I've never encountered any resistance to the notion until extremely recently.
Discussion of clerics is kind of out of the wheelhouse, so I'm not going to touch that one.
Chaotic characters are not children. They understand the nature of personal responsibility. In fact, it's part of their thing. Owning yourself means owning your actions. If what you (a Chaotic character) does makes someone mad, it's their right to be mad at you. If it makes the police mad, then it's similarly their right to be mad at you. When people break laws, the consequence is that those people get arrested (so long as they're caught). Chaotic characters might not let rules and restrictions get in their way, but they understand that what they do has fallout, and some of that fallout might be related to rules and restrictions.
Different Chaotic characters interpret this differently. One Chaotic Good character might peacefully surrender to arrest in a Good-aligned society because they understand that it's just the consequence of breaking laws. Even if what you did was Good, it wasn't permitted. Getting busted is just the cost of doing business. Another might decide that if you manage to catch him, then getting thrown in the slammer is fair game. Until they catch you, you're a free man. But once they do catch you, then you have to accept the consequences of your actions. Another still might accept long-term cosmic-level consequences, but not short-term ones. Evade the cops, break out of prison and skip town. You'll get yours when the time comes and they balance the scales, but until then, nothing ties you down except your own sense of morality.
Bolding for emphasis by me.
The extent to which a given character prioritizes the ethical portion of their alignment with respect to the moral portion is entirely up to the player. But I want to focus on the portion I bolded there. As I've expressed previously, I don't see Chaotic as being all about personal freedom. I see them as being all about agency, self-ownership, self-determination. It's easy to conflate that with full-stop personal freedom, but like I said, Chaotic characters understand that actions have consequences. They're not children. They know that being without external control also means being without external protection, and they accept it and everything that comes with it. So, they instead have internal control. Their best qualities are theirs to express, however they see fit. So, to that end, a Chaotic character could certainly follow a code of behavior, but only because see the tenets of that code as part of who they are. They're never going to use that code as an excuse for doing or not doing something, because that isn't Chaotic. If they do something, and someone asks why, they'll say that it's because that's who they are. If they don't do something and someone asks why, they'll say it's because they wouldn't have been able to live with themselves if they did. The reason they'll live by their code and resist breaking it isn't because they need order and stability in their life. It's because they looked inside of themselves and realized the code was what was written in their heart, and breaking it would send them into an identity crisis of self-loathing and existential angst. Their oath is part of who they are. If they break their oath, when they betray themselves, their heart breaks too.
I'm going to paraphrase the only intelligent thing any Assassin's Creed game has ever said, from Revelations and with respect to the latter half of the code "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." To say that "everything is permitted" means that we must be the shepherds of our own societies and fates, and accept whatever consequences come of our actions, be they glorious or tragic. We can't hold out our laws and orders and use them as excuses for action or inaction, because the choice or whether or not to act ultimately comes down to us. Chaos doesn't object to rules (at least, not inherently). They just don't see the value in using rules as an excuse or justification for anything, because people themselves are ultimately the arbiters of what they do. A law doesn't stop you from acting. You stop you from acting. A law doesn't compel you to act. You compel you to act. That is Chaos.
If a Chaotic character's god said "Thou shalt" and they wanted to do it anyway, then they'd still do it. If the god said "Thou shalt not" and they already weren't going to do it, they'd wonder why the god's wasting their breath. You see the paladin as "holy warrior devoted to a deity," and I think it's a shame that Paizo seems to see it that way as well, because I've never seen it that way. I've always seen paladins as oathsworn heroes empowered by their devotion to a cause bigger than themselves. They draw their power from a light within, a light that exists inside of every good heart (if only they knew it themselves), a cosmic force of good that is divine in equal measure to the gods, but is simultaneously part of them and separate from them. The light cannot abandon a paladin. When a paladin falls, it's the paladin losing sight of the light, and only atonement allows them the perspective to forgive themselves. I've never gotten any pushback for that interpretation before. It's always been a valid interpretation of the paladin. It's totally the paladin's design space. It's just that the design space has recently become artificially limited, and I don't think I stand alone in hoping that fake restriction gets removed.
You as well.
Conflict over depictions of a holy person has a particularly-fun solution: non-iconic art. A good number of religions around the world admonish depicting the gods in their art, believing that art is a kind of creation and that humans, incapable of making use of the power of creation, are stepping on the toes of the gods by depicting them in their art. Non-iconic art naturally cropped up as a way of representing the gods and their works through abstract representation in visual art and architecture. Islam in particular takes issue with artistic depictions of Allah, and some of the religious art in mosques is seriously kicking-rad. While I think any in-world religion that had a rule against depicting a particular holy person or persons would've already figured out non-iconic art, it would certainly be interesting for a group of PCs to bring about a renaissance of religious art.
I still feel like losing their powers for breaking their oath is appropriate. I realized earlier today that I really like the imagery of a self-sworn oath being something you make a part of yourself, and that you can't against with damaging your self-image to the point of existential crisis. It's like "You swore this oath because this is who you are. You said the words because the virtues they represented were written in your heart. When you betray yourself, when you break your oath, your heart breaks, too."
I can respect that. I think we arrive at different conclusions from the phrase "Respect legitimate authority." Respect, to me, does not imply obedience. You can respect someone and their position while disagreeing with them. You can even do it while disobeying them. After all, they have a hard job and it's made harder by disagreeable elements like Chaotic Good people going off and doing good without their authorization or approval. If that means the good king has to have you arrested, then that's fair (you know, so long as they can catch you). They probably had a good reason for telling you not to do whatever you did, and you probably jeopardized something or another by doing it anyway. A Chaotic Good person owns their actions, as well as the consequences of those actions. If the consequences of what they did is that they're considered an outlaw, then it's only fair.
It's possible I've also been too narrow in how I think of paladins. Personally, I don't see maintaining a standard of honor as being inherently Lawful, but I guess the decision of whether or not to lie, cheat, or steal (as a last resort to protect the innocent from the forces of tyranny) should be a personal one. I still think even a Chaotic Good paladin should get to choose whether or not they get the standard paladin code or the CG-specific one (what with agency being so important to Chaos), but if a variant code helps more people fully commit to their vision of their character, then I'm in support of it.