So the DC of the lightning bolt doesn't increase for the level 18 version. Is that right?
So does the lightning bolt from a Greater Stormflash have the same DC as the lightning bolt from a regular Stormflash?
I'm going to echo these two questions, as well. The 6th level Lightning Bolt from the initial Storm Flash has a DC of 33. Is the Greater's 8th level Lightning Bolt also 33 or higher?
First World Bard wrote:
No, previously, I could have a character with their armor, a main melee weapon, a second main melee weapon, a backup melee weapon, several light weapons such as daggers or throwing axes, a ranged weapon (and more than enough ammo to not run out in a single adventure, provided I collected arrows after each fight), possibly a second ranged weapon and its ammo, plus rations and water, plus extraneous adventuring gear (shovel, torches, climbing/thieving/disguise kit or kits, acid flasks, healing potions) plus rope, rope, rope, rope, and more rope (yes, all five).
And have enough breathing room to be able to go into a dungeon and take things out. No, not ten orcs' worth of armor and greataxes, but if the adventure has potions, or masterwork or magical gear deliberately put in as loot, then I would at least be able to take that out.
And all without having to obsessively chase after every last carrying capacity increasing element in the game. I.e., without a feat like Hefty Hauler, without a spell like Ant Haul, without a Bag of Holding, without a pack mule, and without devoting every ability score increase to Str just for the carrying capacity, I'd still be able to have a character properly prepared while paying attention to encumbrance.
Heck, I think I'm the only player at my 5E game that pays attention to encumbrance, and that game allows enough breathing room with its encumbrance rules that I'm good to go while still outfitting my characters with that same eye towards being prepared.
Not in this game, though. I already demonstrated that with the iconic Seelah. Just for curiosity's sake, I took one of my 5E characters that I deliberately didn't outfit with a full array of adventuring gear (with a Str of 10, by the way) and converted her gear to playtest Bulk numbers. She would have needed a Str of 18 to avoid the encumbrance penalties, at least as of the playtest.
I mean, if literally everything that had a Bulk over Light in the playtest were converted to 1 Bulk, period (meaning full plate, longbows, snare kits, everything), then that might be a start. If the Bulk limits were 5 + Str score (no, not mod, score) before encumbered, and 10 + Str score before immobile, then that's another maybe.
But right now, it's a nice and tidy Catch 22. You need to adventure to afford a Bag of Holding. You need a Bag of Holding to go out and adventure. With the exception of classes that barely use equipment anyway (hence, the Monk).
How would a backpack help? All it is is storage for 4 Bulk; it doesn't negate the 4 Bulk within from your own total (that would actually be a small step in the right direction).
So it's sounding like I'm going to have to play an equipment-unintensive character like a Monk or a Sorcerer and obsessively max out their Str score and carrying capacity just to have the logistical capacity to not be overburdened by the fundamental looting that the game is built on.
So. Will the GMG be doing anything to address this?
Mark Seifter wrote:
Ok, I missed the Str mod being +4.
This still doesn't allay my concerns, though. Not at all.
Going by the playtest and by what Seelah was depicted as having in the art previews, her maximum starting Bulk would also be 9. Her equipment is a Longsword (1B), Full plate (not something she might have at 1st level, but still a fair assumption) (4B), a Longbow (it looked more like a shortbow to me, but that's what it was called) (2B) plus at least one quiver of arrows (1L), a Shield (1B) plus mandatory repair kit (1B). Throw in a bedroll (1L), one waterskin (1L), and a mere two days' worth of rations (2L), and she's barely scraping by at 9B + 5L.
And that is with a bare minimum of gear, let alone what she would really need to approach a proper level of preparedness. What happens when we throw in a mere 10 additional arrows, a mere three additional days' worth of food, and a dagger (because what self-respecting adventurer isn't going to have a last-resort dagger)?
And this doesn't even address her need to be able to do some manner of looting after raiding a dungeon. She finds one Longsword, deliberately in the adventure as part of the treasure. What does she give up to be able to take it?
That's... not plenty of room. That's suffocatingly small.
Which is why I'm also asking if the actual rules will feature more gradiation. A 9 Bulk limit is far easier to deal with when whole portions of it aren't swallowed up at a time (going from a 1L shortsword to a 3L longsword, as opposed to going from a 1L shortsword to a 1B longsword).
Or is this something the GMG will address?
So, he has a Str mod of +3 and currently has a total Bulk of 5 + 3 light. And this is described as low enough that he can carry more or assist his party members. Does this mean that Bulk limits ramped up from the playtest or that equipment got better gradiation between 1 light and 1 Bulk?
Or is that something we have to hope made it into the GMG?
Captain Morgan wrote:
P1E at least came out with the Masterwork Transformation spell in the APG, which was an enormous improvement over 3.5. I can't tell you how disappointed I was to make my first non-one-shot character, get excited about everything she could do and where she might go, and even draw a few pictures, only to find out that, since her signature weapon didn't start out magic or even masterwork, that it was doomed from day one to fall to the wayside for not being able to maintain relevance as the game would go on.
IMO, that's almost as bad as "Don't bother giving your character a name before level 5".
Agreed. That's exactly what I meant by "flexibility that has to be nailed down beforehand (and therefore doesn't count as flexibility)". It's the equivalent of how a Wizard can change his spell list every day, but not change his unused Burning Hands into the Feather Fall that he suddenly realized he needed right this very second.
One adage I heard from somewhere (I want to say it was on the GITP boards) says essentially that "flexibility that has to be nailed down beforehand doesn't count as flexibility". I.e., a Fighter might have a lot of Combat feats, but a Brawler can pick the ones he needs when he learns that he's going to need them.
I think any P2E Medium would need the same thing. Not so much Class feats as much as "stand-ins" for Class feats. Take one, and it has no immediate effect, but a laundry list of possessing-spirit-derived benefits that the Medium can beseech them for in the moment as the need arises (and then they may be stuck with that choice/spirit for some amount of time; kind of like the Erudite Psion from 3.5).
Oh, Tectorman, the full world map is in the CRB, and you can already see it as a globe in this video here, at about 00.28.00.
That looks like the half-page map I already saw (albeit, yes, put on a globe) in the previews on Imgur. I'm rather underwhelmed, if that's all the hype is going to amount to. Hopefully, QuidEst is correct and the world guide will have the real world map.
Okay, I distinctly recall tell of a highly detailed map of the entire world coming out in one of the new books. One of the pages I'm seeing here has five individual maps that do not appear significantly detailed that altogether combined take up a whopping half a page.
Is the vaunted detailed map of the world supposed to be in the Age of Lost Omens book instead? Alternatively, is there another, larger world map somewhere else in the book (which still begs the question "Why is this dinky thing here")? Because I hope to God that's not what the hype was about.
Hopefully, one can extrapolate from this that other classes with focus can recharge that focus multiple times per day. Abundant Step is much more attractive if you can use it many times per day but only a few times in quick succession, rather than only a few times per day.
I'll give you Episode 7, but 8 gave me the exact opposite impression.
In Episode 4, we're presented with a vast Galactic Empire as the bad guys, with enough implied military hardware to subjugate most of the galactic populace. By contrast, the Rebels are presented as being a galaxy-wide obstacle to said galaxy-wide Empire. We know they're in possession of multiple bases that they use and then discard (Dantooine), presumably to stay ahead of the Empire's efforts to find them. And I never felt like the base on Yavin 4 was their only base.
In Episode 5, the impression of both the Rebels and the Empire as major military forces is reinforced. We see many more ships in Vader's battle group, and it's stated that there are other fleets besides that one. On the Rebels' side, we see a new base, transports that we didn't see in Episode 4, and at the end, a gathered Rebel fleet composed of ships we didn't see at Hoth (therefore, they came from somewhere else, further establishing that the Rebel Alliance is vast and all over the place. Losing not just Hoth, but all the equipment and personnel there, would have been a major setback, but still not the end of the conflict.
Episode 6 gives us even more, and while the battle of the Second Death Star is presented as very significant, I was still not under the impression that the Rebel fleet used to attack it was every single last scrap of equipment the Alliance had, nor that the Imperial fleet defending the Death Star was every ship the Empire had.
The Prequilogy maintains this impression. The Galactic Republic is vast in scope and the Separatist movement is just as big. Ships, fleets, and battles are all over the place.
Episode 7 maintains this impression, because when we see limited numbers of First Order ships, or only one Resistance base (and that base's complement of fighters), we take this to be a consequence of events in the movie moving so fast that other First Order or Resistance assets aren't able to come into play, rather than as a sign that they plain don't exist.
Episode 8, however, is where things get underwhelming. Apparently, the Resistance base wasn't the only base we saw, but the only base, period. They evacuate in the only three ships they have, period. And by the end of the movie, the Resistance's entire list of military assets is the Millenium Falcon and its personnel, across the entire galaxy, has been reduced to the Falcon's standing room only. And while we're not similarly told that the First Order fleet pursuing them has all of the ships the First Order possesses, one tends to judge a combatant by their opposition. Three ships' worth of Resistance assets is apparently a challenge for the First Order, so how underwhelming must they be?
Lively discussions come from people on the internet theorizing how the Empire and Star Trek's Federation would fare against each other. But based on the Episode 8, I feel like a conversation about the First Order wouldn't need to progress much beyond Voyager's Delta Flyer saying "Hold my beer...".
Oh, that's good too - when I was running 5e we had an app that quickly found for us what spells did and how they worked. Our sorcerer used it all the time. I'm sure as soon as 2e hits the shelves apps like that will spring up like mushrooms.
Yeah, the spell list section of the 5E PHB isn't the most helpful. In addition to short descriptions of the spells themselves, the spells could also have done with abbreviations for what school they belong to, as well as other 5E things like whether they're rituals or concentration spells. Later books like Xanathar's would correct some of that. The playtest did at least include subscript telling if the spell is heightenable or not.
I think if you're gonna argue for why clerics-without-gods should exist you need to be able to explain the Church of Razmir. If you don't need the patronage of a deity to be a cleric then he should have real clerics at his disposal. It kinda breaks down the whole narrative if you open the floodgates on that.
From which side?
From the side of the module writers or the GM, it's as simple as not having any NPC adherents of the Church of Razmir have levels in Cleric. They're all Rangers or Bards or Divine Clerics. They don't know that Cleric-as-a-set-of-class-features is an option they could technically pursue if not for the GM/module writer of whom they are unaware, they just know that they don't do Cleric-seeming spellcasting.
Just like if I use the Fighter class to represent a bunch of Aldori Swordlords. Are they proficient in more than just swords? Yes. Do they exercise this proficiency? No. Because I, the GM or module writer, am deciding to have them forgo those proficiencies for the sake of the story element they represent, despite the mechanics allowing for otherwise? Yes. And can they tell the difference? No.
And on the PC side, any PC "Cleric of Razmir" would be someone with the class features of the Cleric class, thinking that said class features are coming from Razmir, when in fact, they're coming from somewhere else.
Which is something that already canonically exists. In the second Pathfinder Tales novel with the alchemist and his thief buddy, the two of them are traveling through the River Kingdoms on their way to Numeria at one point. One of their fellow travelers is a crazy man capable of Cleric spellcasting, and the crazy man believes that his power comes from an entity that literally crapped reality into existence (no, I'm really not kidding, that's in the novel), with the anus-like Worldwound (it was still around at the time) being the direct manifestation of this entity's will. The alchemist and those few of his fellow travelers who care enough to speculate come to the agreement that the crazy man is definitely casting spells and getting the power to do so from somewhere, but certainly not from the source the crazy man thinks.
If you're going to compare his view with mine, then let me clarify my view for you because you're misunderstanding it here.
The bolded is not my argument. A character with the abilities and class features of a Cleric (or even a Cleric of Abadar) is exactly and only that: a character who has those abilities. None of that necessitates that he be known in-universe as a Cleric (of Abadar or anyone else).
He has the ability to cast prepared spells off the Divine list. How does he have these abilities? Take your pick.
1) He stood too close to a falling meteorite that radiated magic of the Divine variety.
2) He has a magical ancestor in his family tree and, for whatever reason, despite his Sorcerer-sounding background, he casts prepared, not spontaneously.
3) Long ago in Iomedae's past while she was still mortal, she chipped a sword in [insert significant battle here], leaving a sliver of that blade behind; hundreds of years later, this dude pricked his finger and somehow got a backdoor into Cleric-seeming spellcasting.
4) Actually, if we're talking about Abadar, then that would include the First Vault, where Abadar has a perfect version of everything that exists, which would presumably include the perfect security breach. So this dude stumbled upon that breach and now can do what bears a remarkable resemblance, despite a different origin, to Cleric spellcasting.
5) PossibleCabbage mentioned other deities (specifically ones that don't give a damn and don't check up on the mortals they grant their power to) being responsible.
6) Insert any other explanation an imaginative and motivated person might come up with here.
Character with class features the same as a Cleric of Abadar destroying civilization =/= Cleric of Abadar destroying civilization. Class =/= Concept. If I misspoke or didn't clarify otherwise, I apologize for the confusion.
Who says it has to be a setting change, though? Why would "Cleric the Class being used for this other thing" have to be identified in-universe as "hey, that Cleric of Blah just did something Blah wouldn't approve of and he's still casting spells; my entire worldview is upside-down"?
This would work. Keeps the larger concept of the Cleric in-universe intact while giving the player a chance to opt out of Anathema, instead of being saddled with it unduly. See, this never needed to be this big chore. "I can't imagine what a Cleric without an Anathema would look like, but on the off-chance someone else might, far be it from me to decide the end of my imagination is the end of their's." Just that little bit of consideration.
I like that, PossibleCabbage. Like, I don't really have a problem with there being a Cleric whose god has no anathema. I just have a problem with Shelyn being forced to still grant powers to a Cleric who decides to go on a rampage through an art museum.
For the record, while I'll advocate a character with all the class features of a Cleric (and even the same Focus powers as those that come from one or more of the domains that Shelyn is associated with), I'm not advocating for this character to be a Cleric of Shelyn in-universe. Class =/= Concept. I'd expect the in-universe clergy of Shelyn (however they are statted out and with whichever classes) to seek the end of any art museum rampage, with no never mind about how similar the perpetrator's abilities may be to their own clergy.
One reason is the Superstition Anathema. For all the rest, you're right. They're not supposed to have any game balance impact whatsoever, if I recall correctly (I want to say this came from Mark). The Superstition Anathema, on the other hand, provides greater than normal benefit that is deliberately balanced against a list of prohibited actions. Take away Anathema and it needs to be lessened or changed to avoid being OP. Additionally, it's existence is potentially a gateway for other such Anathemas that would also have to be dialed back in an Anathema-less game.
And @Rysky, that back and forth is getting out of hand and I apologize for my contribution to it, and will leave it at "Agree to disagree", except for one thing:
I've had many DMs in many gaming groups. Those that I'm not playing with anymore are due almost entirely to the group finding it more difficult to keep meeting or similarly falling apart. None of them ended in any kind of knockdown dragout fight. In only one instance was it a case of irreconcilable differences between me and the GM, and that had nothing to do with game-setting-mandated class interpretations.
So no, this isn't me lashing out because of bad, traumatizing GMs. Yes, this is me advocating what I'm advocating for solely to prevent a situation that I, in my gaming groups, have been lucky to avoid, and that I emphatically do not believe should be a matter of luck for anyone. So your advice to find a new GM is unwarranted and unhelpful.
I don't see that to be the case. Here's an analogous situation: two factions surrounding the Fighter. One wants the Fighter, across the entire game and for every gaming group, to be "swords only" (no axes, no hammers, no polearms, nothing that isn't a sword). The other wants the Fighter to have all the options and let those who only want swords self-censor their own characters into just using swords. In one case, catering to one leaves the other SOL. In the other, "catering" still gives everyone the avenue to play their character their way.
So if you want to say that someone wants Paizo to cater to them, I will agree, but not that that person is me.
Which is fine. That's one of the things this forum is for. But I really wish you'd just come out and say "I want anathema to be the tacked on optional variant, and anathema-free classes to be the default." It's cool to want things, you don't have to justify yourself further. We aren't your DMs (probably anyways).
My option 1 leaves Anathema in the game but puts in at least one avenue in each and every class to ignore Anathema. My option 2 leaves Anathema alone, but puts its compliance AFTER agreement by all parties ("makes it the tacked-on variant to the Anathema-free default", if you prefer).
Sorry I didn't make that more clear, but yes, had I my druthers, you'd be able to play a Dragon-themed Barbarian without having to worry about dragon-related encounters or missions (unless, of course, you opted in anyway, just like how I don't need Fighters all across the game to be banned from using swords just to have MY Fighter only use swords).
And if those fury totem options like "Philosophical Cleric" or "Ronin Champion" become the most heavily chosen, then yes in PF3 those will likely become the default. But that will be because the playerbase embraced those options, not because you personally advocated for that position.
I know. I said already that Paizo didn't change the LG Paladin to the Any Good Champion in a vacuum but based on player and GM input (and since that change got introduced before I had even filled out the class survey, I know it wasn't my personal advocation).
Which is why I want to see this be in the game as an existing option. Because last edition, a nonlawful Monk was also something that wouldn't require a completely new class to be built from the ground up, but would require that talk. Here, a player can make that choice expecting exactly as much controversy (read: none) as a Fighter deciding to dual-wield instead of go sword-and-board. Between P1E and P2E, the players are the same and the assumed setting (at least on the part of the developers) is the same, but one stays out of the way and doesn't force a negotiation where there never needed to be one.
In my opinion one shouldn't as a player feel like it is your right to insist on that fundamental change. A more comparable analogy on the Fury token would be to say, my barbarian concept gets boosts of power by saying magical words that boost their abilities and get the rage benefits. However, it has nothing to do with anger, it is all magical or even perhaps alchemical. Since its source is not actually rage, I should have no limitations on my actions during the rounds I am raged, since those limitations no longer fit my presented 'fluff' I should be able to do things that require concentration and mental acuity with no problem, if anything I should get the bonus to such actions.
But who's to say that that has to even be a fundamental change? A player doesn't have the right to insist on such a change, but do they get to have any expectations? They see the Fighter class, get excited about the Fighter class, start envisioning all the cool twin hammer fighting they're going to be doing, only to find out the GM thinks Fighters should be "swords only" and that switching them to also work with hammers is a "fundamental change" that the player needed to ask about first?
And yes, that's an exaggeration. Fighter players today (and I think always) never have to be worrying about dodging that bullet. Someone playing a nonlawful Monk today doesn't have to worry about dodging a bullet, either, when, last edition, that was also a bullet, a "fundamental change" that needed to be asked about. It's not a bullet now, and it was a disservice to players of last edition and earlier that it ever was a bullet.
The above analogy is perhaps an exaggeration, and I'm not saying you are requesting this specifically, but it may hopefully help you understand why some, such as myself find it as dropping a component that should generally remain a core part of the class. You are asking to have divine powered magic, which the class presumes a willing/chosen affiliation, with that specific deity, but don't want the limitations that would be appropriate for someone who would have made/chosen that affiliation. Does this analogy make sense now? Rage is a power you are granted, it means you have limitations you have to abide by. Clerical divine magic is a suite of powers you have, and along with it come some limitations that you have to abide by, although there are quite a few choices that you may choose between, to fine one that will hopefully be reasonable to your concept?
Who told the class to presume that? Why not have that enter the equation AFTER the player picks that as an interpretation on the larger class? Again, the Fighter class COULD have been (and thankfully wasn't) built on the presumption that the Fighter would only be using swords, and if you want something else, there's the Warrior or Commoner class over there.
Here's why I will never hold "Class equals Concept" to be true. Suppose P2E didn't have Pirate as a dedication feat. That doesn't make Pirate as a concept that deserves to be expressed any less valid. If it's not expressed as a dedication feat, it will still be in the game in some fashion, using mechanics that are already ear-marked for other concepts (whether they're other feats or even another class or classes). And even though Pirate is a dedication feat, what do you do if the mechanics it provides are either lackluster or perfectly good, just not for the specific pirate concept you have in mind, and you therefore didn't take the feat?
In any game, the number of tools in the toolbox are finite. They can't not be. But the world they describe is infinite. Even when you narrow the scope such that, say, a Twi'lek Jedi former-Sith doesn't fit, it's still infinite. Ergo, I can only see forcibly tying Cleric the Class to Cleric the Concept as deliberately shortsighted. Does the process begin with Cleric the Concept? Yes. Once constructed, does Cleric the Class have an obligation to, if nothing else, satisfactorily express Cleric the Concept? Yes. But what if it turns out that Cleric the Class also does a good job of expressing some other concept, too? Bearing in mind that since we're talking about finite tools expressing an infinite number of concepts, this isn't an "if" so much as it's a guarantee.
The P1E Monk the Class used to have an alignment restriction cutting out a whole bunch Valid concepts besides what was then thought to be the only Monk the Concept that class was meant to express. Now, that alignment restriction is no longer with us, Monk the Concept didn't go anywhere and still serves as the foundational inspiration for how Monk the Class is constructed, and any other concepts that Monk the Class ends up being able to express as well can proceed without issue. That is nothing but a positive, a success story that needs to be repeated.
Why would I need to do that when I've got a perfectly good set of class features that can already express the concept anyway?
And before, "other Champions" was something beyond other Paladins and we'd be told we had to work from the ground up. But that was the previous edition making a mistake, forcing a situation that never needed to be forced. Why was that something that needed to be (and was) fixed, but using the chassis of the Cleric class for as large a swath of concepts isn't?
But that doesn't address a character who gains the same prepared-and-off-the-whole-list casting as the Cleric, but using the Divine Sorcerer's background (i.e., Cleric the Class, but Divine Sorcerer the Concept).
Then it wouldn't work. I've got no interest in merely an exchange of baggage.
No, I'm asking why Cleric the Class can't express a larger swath of Cleric the Concepts, one of which would include what you're calling what the Cleric should be, as opposed to only having that one interpretation.
Yes, you do technically have to fall, you have to do something to get the twin monkeys of the alignment restriction and the code of conduct off your back. That's why I suggested lying, because it's the most efficient method. But yes, you do have to become someone who has lied at least one (1) times. Then you become a fallen, fallen Paladin. Beyond that, what sway does the archetype description have?
These optional rules would accomplish the exact same thing for me as the removal of the alignment restriction for the Monk. For a solid decade, I pushed for that change so that the Monk class could finally become something that I could just sit down and play, without having to dread a potential argument that I wouldn't have to face if my favorite class were something like the Sorcerer instead. Sorcerer players have no more right than me, and I no less than they (and Cleric players no less than either of us now), to be able to just pick their favorite class and sit down and play with no dread whatsoever.
Well, one decade later, and I can finally play a Pathfinder game without that dread. I've enjoyed a large portion of what the game system and setting did anyway, and this new edition has taken away a major impediment. You've got another think coming if you think that after that progress, giving up is an option.
The P1E Barbarian had to avoid being lawful. That's still having to duck something, still a Sword of Damocles hanging over the Barbarian player's head.
But what about the change to Golarion itself that comes about when it turns out that LG Paladins were merely one subset of Champions and lawful Monks were merely one subset of the larger Monk population. Why isn't that "changing Golarion to what it always could have been" or "correcting for last edition's imperfect realization of that world"?
I'm thinking it's unnatural, as in, their species was genetically tampered with long ago. Given their present-day proclivity for weapons manufacture, one can assume it wasn't amicable, and that they had to drive said tamperers away.
Alternatively, they suffered some kind of close-to-extinction level event, and they genetically altered themselves (it's easier to get the population to bounce back when any two Moclans can mate, as opposed to humans where two of the same gender gets you nowhere; they're kind of like Chakats in that regard). It would also explain their adherance to traditional ways, since that's probably what kept them alive through whatever crisis it was.
Man those Moclans. Also Dolly has been making a comeback between this and Deadpool.
Yeah, the Planetary Union needs to first re-examine the wisdom of being allied with only one weapons manufacturer, and then re-examine their continued alliance with the Moclans. Because while I see the point of being cautious about applying your own culture's standards to another's, you are still allowed to apply them to your own.
Also, while I think this season has been a bit Moclan-heavy, I'd still like to see it spelled out exactly what role gender plays in Moclan physiology. We know the males don't need females to reproduce, even though it turns out that females are a lot more common. Do the females need the males (i.e., were Ed's worse-case scenario of the Caylin wiping out everyone but that all-female colony to come to pass, would that colony be able to sustain itself past a generation)?
First of all, to everyone advising me that what I'm asking for will likely not appear in the CRB if ever, I'm already resigned to that. I said I was prepared for a long haul, and I meant it. I was pushing for a completely alignment-restrictionless Monk back during P1E's Beta Playtest, and I believe I kept at it all during P1E's run. And while we got to see the Martial Artist and Sin Eater archetypes, we never got the any-alignment Monk Class, even up to P1E's end. And now look at it, finally fixed and everything. So I realize that I'm pushing more for the sake of P3E or later than for any change we'll likely see during this edition.
The Raven Black wrote:
No, I believe a player of sufficient negotiating skill can push for plenty. But regardless of what it is, or how easy it is to implement, or even whether the GM agrees with the player, it's still something the GM has to address that he otherwise wouldn't have to, thanks to the player. It paints the player as nitpicky or unpleaseable in a way that exercising an already existing option doesn't.
And it no more puts anything on the GMs shoulders than the alignment-restrictionless Monk or the Fury Totem. The GM, if he wants a game where PCs don't have those options, would have to show that iron will and negotiating skills you talked about to push that goal. Why is that an acceptable burden on the GM, but expanding that to include imposing Anathema on Clerics or Champions is suddenly a step too far?
Thank you for at least calling that extreme example for what it is. And I get that P2E is no longer setting-neutral like P1E was supposed to be (even though it fell short of that promise, too). Thing is, I believe that in any case where the setting integrity (of any setting) may come into conflict with the underlying social contract, the setting should have far less priority. Exploring alternative interpretations for Cleric the Class to be in the game even without the Anathema of Cleric the Concept should be on the list of things to do long, long before "we're keeping Anathema; deal with it" or "no, you don't have to pay attention to this Anathema, you just have to pick a different class".
What do you mean "far less optional"? A Fury Totem equivalent for the Cleric or the Champion would be exactly as "optional" as the already existing Fury Totem for the Barbarian. The GM isn't being pushed into catering to anyone there.
And why would there be a disparity between some players ignoring Anathema and others staying subject to them? I'm advocating it be an opt-in choice for all parties, such that every player makes their character subject to an Anathema or not based on their own preference. Just like how there's currently no disparity between Barbarian players that don't pick the Fury Totem (and therefore have an Anathema) and, say, Sorcerer players (who don't).
Here's what I'm advocating for.
Option 1: Every class with an Anathema has at least one "Fury Totem" alternative. One that exists already in the game, that the player does not have to negotiate for. One that, if the GM feels the need to take it away, then that is a change he must make and own and defend. And while the player may not have any real way to enforce "the Fury Totem is already in the game, so you, Mr. GM, have to keep it there", the GM removing the Fury Totem option for no reason or for a bad reason serves as a decent enough red flag to the player that he needs to run, not walk, out of there.
In other words, a prospective P2E Barbarian player, one that feels that Anathema is nothing but an impediment and something to be ducked out from under or avoided at all costs, has an option by default to avoid that entire argument and he isn't a problem player, or paranoid, or incapable of trusting the GM just for expecting to exercise that option. That is a blessing that shouldn't just apply to the Barbarian.
And no, this would be no more or less optional than any other defaultly existing class feature (i.e., it's just as optional as the Barbarian's Fury Totem).
Option 2: Anathema still exists, but the language behind it comes with an addendum. Let's say it comes in keyword form, that all class features that introduce an Anathema have the Anathema keyword. And this Anathema keyword, wherever it is defined, provides a humungous caveat/Surgeon General's warning that classes/concepts that include Anathema work best only after both parties have agreed. This agreement can include exploring the ins and outs of what constitutes a fall. If the player isn't wanting "or you fall" to be an option on the table, then the keyword should either STRONGLY advise the GM to have a phenomenally good reason why it must be enforced anyway or it should come out and say "ignoring the 'or you fall' is perfectly fine and the game won't change anyway".
Still not a thing that any player can enforce, but it still serves as a red flag. A GM willing to enforce Anathema for no reason or no good reason is a sotuation where the player should run, not walk.
That's one thing that Collection of Class Features #5 (hereafter referred to as the Cleric) CAN be used to express. There are so many other things that tool in the toolbox can be used for. Just like how the chassis of the Champion CAN be used for the LG Paladin, and that need not mean that the LG Paladin should be the only thing the Champion class is used for.
The Oracle casts prepared rather than spontaneous and off of his entire spell list? Since when? Regardless, if the Oracle ended up being the Fury Totem for the Cleric class, that might work (unless it just trades the Anathema baggage for Curse baggage).
Again, that is true of Cleric the Concept which can be easily expressed by CoCF5 (Cleric the Class). Why is any exclusivity necessitated here?
Again, "fallen Paladin" is one way you CAN use that collection of class features. But unless you can point to an alignment, code, or behavioral requirement to the effect of "a VB must be portrayed as a fallen Paladin", then no such thing was entailed. Suggested? Sure, but a suggestion is only ever one interpretation to be kept, tweaked, or discarded.
I'm asking for the same rule change that lets a Barbarian player duck out from under the last edition's alignment requirement while avoiding this edition's Anathema. That's not meaningless, it's a Godsend.
That is indeed the whole theme of Cleric the Concept. Just like fighting in a rage while holding to certain behavioral restrictions is the theme of a number of Barbarian the Concepts. Fortunately, the developers recognized that some players are going to want to use Barbarian the Class for more than just those Barbarian the Concepts. Hence, the Fury Totem. So, a Fury Totem equivalent for Cleric the Class allows that tool to not be limited to just Cleric the Concept.
Why are the game's assumptions so sacrosanct, though? Yes, it would have taken a houserule to allow a nonlawful Monk in P1E, but that's not because it was ever an invalid concept. These changes aren't made in a vacuum. Paizo didn't change the LG Paladin to the Any Good Champion based on nothing, nor was the removal of an alignment requirement from the Monk or Barbarian based on nothing; they did so because those were valid concepts that were being nixxed when they shouldn't have been. Because players and GMs alike were tired of those being issues that they have to address. Because those were egregious mistakes that needed to be corrected.
So a player is not a problem player whether they're exercising an option that used to not exist or whether they're calling a game out for overstepping itself. And the GM shouldn't be vilified. More to the point, the GM shouldn't have to be put in a position where they may be defending ill-conceived game rules. Any-good Champions and alignment-restrictionless Barbarians and Monks are valid and legal concepts now, and they always should have been. And since these valid concepts are legal now, GMs aren't influenced into disallowing these perfectly valid concepts.
Hurray! That's a worthy goal. The GM will get caught in being put in the position of being the bad guy (even though they aren't) on fewer and fewer occasions. So why not nip it in the bud as much as possible?
Who says that the character even is a spokesperson for the divine? A divine spell-list Sorcerer is putting out the same magic as a Cleric and he's no one's spokesperson. So why does keeping the same character concept, but gaining the Cleric's class features [b]while trading away the Sorcerer's class features[b] require any divinity to be contradicted?
Oh, yes, it is alignmentless and oathless. The only thing you have to do is start out as a nonfallen Paladin and then fall. You can fall for lying, so pick something untrue, say it right at the campaign's beginning, fall, switch character sheets, and continue as before.
So yes, you do have to fall, but that is only a hoop you have to jump through. If anything, the VB isn't a rejection of anything the Paladin stands for (since the VB has no alignment or code restrictions telling him not to turn around and go right back to acting like he was anyway), but rather a rejection of the necessity of a code as a part of the process. Instead, you pay the opportunity cost (and, if higher than first level, the XP cost) and if you go around Paladining after that, it's not because the player's trying to avoid a fall, but because the player genuinely wanted his Paladin to go around Paladining anyway. The VB is the most honest version of the Paladin P1E ever put out.
You mean "impose a story" that the player shouldn't have to be signing up for just because the collection of class features he picked happened to carry that baggage. Why does not wanting to participate in that bruhaha but still playing a Champion have to be the player screwing up?
I don't think you're giving the previously established ruleset enough credit for how much influence it has in the conversation. Because I know there were 3.5 DMs who didn't let Bards be lawful who, after they switched to P1E, did let those Bards be lawful. The rules went from telling the DM he could nix a character to telling him he couldn't. Or PF GMs who, in P1E, won't be allowing nonlawful Monks (outside of a few specific archetypes) and who will be allowing every nonlawful Monk who comes their way in P2E. Or going from not allowing lawful Barbarians to allowing lawful Barbarians.
And no, it doesn't have the be the GM acting out of malice. He can simply be operating under the assumption that, of the two parties (the developers of the game and one of his players), the developers must know something that neither the player nor the GM himself does. The GM has no idea what deeply obscure insight this must be, but he doesn't care enough to belabor the point, so he tells the player to pick a different character. And if the player doesn't, then it must be the player's wrongdoing, right?
Does that mean that every nonlawful Monk player in P2E is a problem player? Is every lawful Bard player in P1E a problem player? In both of those cases, they're picking the editions that they are so that all the negotiating that they might fail at (or even if they succeed, they still run the risk of stepping on people's metaphorical toes to get there) is already done.
So yeah, I resent this implication that I must be operating from an adversarial mindset.
Another example comes to mind from recent media.
The Wizard Shazam was originally looking for someone pure of heart to be his successor. Circumstances dictated that he relax his criterion to the point that, by the time Shazam got to him, Billy Batson was only the best of a short list of subpar candidates. And despite not being pure of heart, Billy still got the power of three gods, a titan, and two epic mortals.
Ding ding ding! That's all the consideration that I'm looking for, an avenue to just play the game using whatever class or set of class mechanics interests me just like everyone else is just playing the game using whatever class or set of class mechanics interests them.
And yes, I know I'm playing a long game. It took a whole decade just to nix the Monk's alignment restrictions. I know I'm looking at having to keep this up not for P2E's sake, but for P3E or even P4E.
But giving up (this isn't Roswynn's phrasing specifically; others posted words to that effect, so this is more general) means not seeing the Monk alignment-restriction-free at long last. Giving up means not seeing the Vindictive Bastard come out, even if that was towards P1E's end.
It doesn't matter how rarely it occurs when the goal is to take it to straight-up "never". 0.1% is still greater than 0%. Especially when it requires so little effort to bridge that gap.
It's not the norm, so an almost effortless caveat added to Anathema is unnecessary? "Sucks to be those people, but they're a small number of people, so 'Oh, well'"? Do I need to quote Picard about how many people is required before something needs changing? I get that you may be trying to be sympathetic, but honestly, I don't know what those hugs are supposed to do.
You're right. It doesn't have to occur. Hence my two suggestions:
It shouldn't have to occur or if it does, it should be rare? This guarantees exactly what you're saying. A player agreeing to play P2E (assuming it had either of those caveats already in place) with a GM who has also agreed to play that same P2E with one of those same caveats already in place doesn't have to worry. It's already going to occur
Just like how, once P2E comes out and assuming this part hasn't changed since the playtest, I can ask to join a P2E game and already know with no worry whatsoever that I'm not going to have to keep up a lawful alignment just to play a Monk. I don't have to worry about negotiating poorly or using up a favor before I've even really gotten to know the GM or the other players or otherwise wearing out my welcome before I've even started.
I mean, if you've never experienced how unwelcoming it is to feel like you need a lawyer or a PR team just to participate in a social activity that otherwise checks off all of your boxes, then I'm happy for you. This is a major obstacle to others of us.
I already identified what's causing this: the permission/suggestion to potentially screw over a player when the GM otherwise wouldn't be that directly comes from Anathema and Anathema-like game mechanics.
And serving a deity is one way and I even agree the primary way to see the Cleric. That doesn't mandate the exclusion of a way to play a Cleric (while even being on-theme) but not have an Anathema hanging over the player's head. And this isn't about me not trusting a GM but rather trying to avoid that trust being tested where it doesn't need to be.
The entire point of the class is that it's a set of class features with a common inspirational source. That stops when the inspirational source becomes prescriptive and mandatory.
"I must beg for my stuff" being the very concept of the Cleric is problematic because it means that the player is doing the same thing as everyone else (paying the opportunity cost of having the Cleric's class features at the cost of not having another class's class features instead, or at higher levels, paying the opportunity cost AND paying XP that the player has ostensibly earned) for less ownership. It's like paying full price on a house just to rent it. And obviously, that can't be fixed by reducing the price (letting the Cleric level twice as fast) or by increasing what the class grants (because that's how you get CoDzilla).
And the Wizard's spellbook is more an equivalent scenario to a Fighter having his armor and weapons stolen. Something that can still happen, but is either presented as an immediately correctible situation or is the GM outing himself (and obviously so) as someone not participating on the level. While I agree that no set of rules can completely jerk-proof a game, I still believe it should be pushed for wherever possible. I'm also pushing for this for the sake of GMs that aren't inherently jerks, but who take the existence of Anathema as implicit insistence that it be used ("since a Cleric or a Champion can fall, doesn't that mean I'm supposed to push for that storyline to play out at least once?"), when they otherwise wouldn't be pushed into that unfairness.
"Anathema exists in the game, but only after all parties agree to buy into it (and no, merely selecting Cleric, Champion, Druid, or Barbarian isn't explicitly or implicitly buying into it)."
"Anathema exists in the game, but every class that has one also has at least one option to duck out from under it (and an in-universe explanation for what's going on)."
Either would work. And while I get that this isn't likely on an immediate timescale, I will never hold that the game is complete until one of those two options exists. Metal-wearing Druids should be a thing. Champions whose players don't have to be paranoid should be a thing. Clerics of Ideas was a thing and should be again.
It IS supposed to be a fun time with friends and not in an atmosphere of mistrust. And I don't believe either of those things is served by anathema being in the game, at least not without a huge warning label saying essentially "Do not use, do not so much as touch, without buy-in from all parties".
Does the atmosphere of mistrust go away? Well, no. What it does is put that player in the same boat as everyone else, which makes all the difference in the world. Where he still runs a risk of houserules or other ill-considered rulings, but no more than everyone else, since at least now, the GM that he may distrust doesn't have something extra to hide behind.
And yes, I do also think the game eventually needs a "Fury Totem" Cleric.
Yes, hence why the Champion needs a "Fury Totem" equivalent, so as to allow Champions with nothing whatsoever hanging over the player's head. Not alignment, nor any other anathemas. A player should have at least one avenue to explore the class or concept or both without having to put it all in the hands of his IRL negotiating abilities.
As for "How do you have a Champion without having even one thing that he's sworn to champion?", we already have suggestions in this thread. The Kineticist got his powers from various planes (through several possible avenues: close proximity to a planar breach, study/meditation, great-grandpa was an Efreet, etc), and without having to put forth that plane's interests first (Pyrokineticists don't have to be pyromaniacs, Phytokineticists (name?) don't have to be any kind of agent for the First World, the Eldest, or any other fey). So keep the origin, change which plane the Champion is drawing power from, and you're done.
And IF a plane or otherworldly interest has to actively be doing some sending, we can just go back to the point of the multiverse in the first place: to provide its own bits of quintessence a chance to experience life without overbearing Outsider influence and be shaped by those experiences and end up where it may on its own merit. All it takes is one planar faction to consider 1) all other Outsider influences (not just on the deific level but even down to their lowest representatives) to be overbearing and 2) even a supernaturally binding oath to be little better, and you have a source for a "Fury Totem" Champion (heck, I can even see this coming from Pharasma, due to her role as Goddess of Fate).
Doktor Weasel wrote:
All the more reason why, at absolute minimum, the Champion needs at least one "Fury Totem" equivalent, so players can enjoy the concept or mechanics or both of the class without necessarily having to be on the exact same page on ethical/moral/whatever philosophy with a GM who, if the rules didn't insist on it, wouldn't require it anyway.
Then I'll also recommend the Klingon Art of War, also by Keith R. A. DeCandido, which goes a long way towards the whys and the mindset.
Regarding the worship of Gorum being compatible or not with being good, I'm reminded of the Star Trek IKS Gorkon series, a trilogy of books written with a Klingon crew as the main characters (you know, to seek out new life and new civilizations and conquer them).
Spoilered because not everyone is a Trekkie and might find this a dull read
At one point, the crew has encountered a new planet full of people with a tribal level of technology. Easily conquered if the Gorkon brought all of its technological superiority to bear, but what would be the point of that?
The Gorkon starts with a smaller landing party with limited weaponry and against that, the natives prove a formidable foe, one worthy of respect (even though they still have to be conquered). Meanwhile, the natives have become aware that the Klingons are far better armed and have the ability to all but snap their fingers to end the fight if they so choose. So, the natives call for a parley.
For the purposes of determining how to continue the conflict going forward so as to preserve the honor of both sides.
You see, the natives didn't even have a word for peace. They welcomed the continued violence, so long as both sides had a fair shot. They ended up with a series of challenges, all based on physical prowess, two of which the natives won, two of which the Klingons won. The last one ended with the defeat of the Klingon captain, but before he could surrender (and yes, he was going to), the native he fought stepped out of bounds, resulting in his defeat.
Neither side realized this at the time. Instead, the captain of the Gorkon acknowledged their victory and when other, less honorable, Klingons came to force the natives' surrender, the Gorkon fought to defend their freedom. The Gorkon won, only for the natives to bring up their defeat by technicality and accept Klingon rule. You see, during the battle, the natives became aware that Klingons also had far better medical abilities.
So it came to be that another world came under the Klingon banner due to Klingons having good doctors. Who knew that was even possible?
The point is that I don't see a conflict between an anathema against preventing conflict through negotiation and being good so long as you read that anathema as more "you can negotiate all you want, as long as violence is still somehow involved, even if barely more than an arm-wrestling contest".
This is exactly what I was saying earlier (so thank you Malk_Content for phrasing it in a way I didn't think to). A LG Champion may have no strong convictions one way or the other regarding pirates versus ninjas or being Vegan versus eating bacon, but they still have strong convictions (their convictions just so happen to manifest in a direction that alignment cares about). It is thus likewise possible to have a strong set of convictions that don't show up in any direction on an alignment chart (I'm very Neutral Bacon, for example). Alignment does not in any way hold an exclusive monopoly in terms of "things to care about or have strong convictions for".
But yes, there is a whole lot that needs to be done to take the Champion to being a complete class.