Psychic Octopus's page

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Wow, I am surprised by the amount of reactions. My post was more provocative then I thought.

Accordingly, I would like point out that I wasn’t implying anyone was imbecilic. Rather, I am pointing out how the story/background factor supports the position that the Smite Evil ability should be treated as the same ability (just as the Champion armor enchantment does). When there is a rules question one of the questions I consider is-does the application of the rule detract or enhance the story background? A related question is-are creatures and objects acting in accordance with their defined natures? For example, recently I played in a game where another player was playing a Leshy character. The player wanted to turn into a vine plant (small size) and squeeze way through a tiny crack in the floor. Although the rules don’t state the Leshy could do such a thing and the Leshy was defined as a small creature, the DM allowed it because it made sense given the nature of a vine.

Similarly, the nature of a Paladin is someone who strives to be good in hopes of becoming a celestial being. The source of a Paladin’s powers are the celestial realms. Again, it does not make much sense from mythos or story perspective to have a creature who has been summoned from the plane that is the source of a Paladin’s power (at 1st level) to wield a slightly different yet inherently weaker version of the same power. Call me a necro all you want (ad hominem), it doesn’t change the argument above. But this isn’t the only factor I talked about.

The other factor I considered was rules consistency and simplicity. Generally, it is better to have simpler and consistent rules than not and therefore, it is better to interpret rules in such a fashion. Terms should be named consistently because if not confusion and absurdity arises. Again this factor points to interpreting Smite Evil to be equal to Smite Evil (A=A). And just because Piazo does create confusion and inconsistency in its rules at times doesn’t mean that a DM should compound the issue. Having consistent and simple rules is still better.

Finally, earlier I didn’t bring up one factor because I didn’t think it applied to this issue – Game Balance. If there is a rules question and the rules interpretation would break the game then the alternative should be embraced even if the alternative is more complicated, inconsistent and doesn’t make any sense or is even imbecilic from a story perspective. I bring this up now to show that a DM or any person isn’t imbecilic or wrong if they ignore or disregard the story at times. Sometimes it is the best call to make.

Summon creatures can Smite Evil if they are Celestial. The problem is that the description in the template section (which is a summary description) is ambiguous at best. However,, treating these as separate abilities leads to moronic rules lawyering that only slows down the game. What happens if you see Smite Evil in a description? Do you have to go through the rules and determine which one it is? Also in other descriiptions of items and abilities the Smite Evil ability is treated as one and the same ability. For instance, the Champion Feature for Armror provides:

Aura faint abjuration; CL 5th; Weight —; Price +1 Bonus
This armor special ability works only for good creatures with the challenge ability (such as cavaliers) or THE SMITE EVIL ABILITY (such as paladins, half-celestials, and creatures with the celestial creature template). A wearer with one of these abilities gains a +2 sacred bonus to AC against attacks from the chosen opponent. (Emphasis Added). Found in Ultiamte Equipment and Advanced Players Guide.

The description says THE, as in one and the same ability. Even if it said "a" (which it doesn't) the description describes one ability that can be manifested by three groups Paladins, Half-Celestials, and Creatures with the Celestial Template.

Story/Campaign: The idea that a Paladin would manifest a holy power inherently (at 1st level) stronger than a creature who lives in the realm that is the source of the Paladin's power, seems strained at best and utterly imbecilic at worse.