Clerics and scrolls with opposed alignment descriptors


Rules Questions

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Alienfreak wrote:


The intend of the alignment system was to make all alignments "equally". A good representation of this is the Wheel (Planescape cosmology) and the style in which the alignment is represented (the 9 field checkerboard). There is nothing ever implied about "weight" or how "hard" or "tiresome" alignments are.

No that was never the intent. Otherwise TSR and WOTC would have showered us with modules evil parties as much as for good. It was always the intention that the players would be heroes struggling against forces of destruction and darkness. There was never any intent to give them both equal merit, or equal strength. Good loses unless the player characters intervene, that's what makes them heroes, and from it's oldest days that's what D&D was mainly about.... the heroic struggle, the Campbellian journey. (not the SciFi Campbell btw)

The rest of my answer to you is in the post I made to Ash. Most of what I said here was also said there. But it's only fair that I respond to you directly as I did him.


LazarX wrote:

This is where you, Alien and I part ways irreconcilably. You both are treating the alignment system as a coordinate scale that you can navigate just like the way you move figures on a hex map. That's wargaming mentality, the reduction of all actions to coordinate numerical analysis. 5 steps Good, 3 steps Chaotic, 2 steps Lawful.

That's not roleplaying.. That's the munchkin reduction of what's supposed to be a roleplaying game to a pure numerical, coordinate, gamist strategy.

That may be the game that you and Alien sign up to play. You're welcome to it, and I truly, sincerely, hope you have hours of harmless fun enjoying it.

That is not the game I play, that is not the game I will ever play, that is the game I walked away from 15 years ago, and leave forever behind as a closed chapter.

Much like this thread is to me. I'm still trying to achieve the maturity of recognizing that one has said all that one can say, and the time comes when nothing of worth can be further said. And for me, it has come to that time in regards to this thread.

Hold on now. Don't go taking that elitist attitude with me. It has nothing to do with being a munchkin or wargaming. I cut my teeth with D&D playing on online RP forums where mechanics took the back seat of the buss 9/10 times, where your stats barely mattered half the time because you could go literally months or even years without getting into combat; so don't give me this "munchkin"/"wargamer" crap.

It's called LOGIC. See, there are 4 major alignment powers in the D&D/PF Game. Chaos, Evil, Good, and Law. There are 9 different alignments on an axis. It explains each, and how they actively function. It notes what determines alignment (the general outlook and actions of a character).

You are making a leap. You are saying that two of the four major powers are vastly more important than the others, and that there are somehow additional rules and exceptions to those. That is blatantly false, and nothing in the core rulebook backs up this assertion.

See, I see it the other way around. I think because you are arguing against this assertion that you are a huge metagamer, and that you don't care a whit for roleplaying because you apparently think that you need to somehow arbitrate alignment not based on the character, their motivations, the circumstances, or how it relates to everything that alignment actually speaks of, and instead base it on a mechanical descriptor that has no specified effect on anything.

See, I kinda like the RAW where it doesn't change your alignment unless you're acting in a way that would do so. Admittedly, more often than not, casting a spell like Protection from Law would probably be used by someone is chaotic, since their foes are probably chaotic (the soldiers under Prince John would probably be Lawful Good/Neutral/Evil, while Robin Hood is the iconic Chaotic Good guy (though he could also be said to be LG since he was fighting an illegitimate power)), but it could just as easily be used to administer law. A Lawful Good wizard who frequently casts Protection from Law to shield himself from a Lawful Neutral rival's enchantments has a perfectly logical and reasonable reason to do so.

However you apparently want alignment not to be about the characters, who they are, how they think, what they do, but instead about a descriptor that doesn't do a darn thing according to the rules.

So yeah, if you've said all you have to say, take your elitism and leave us to discuss the rules and logical reasoning.


LazarX wrote:


No that was never the intent. Otherwise TSR and WOTC would have showered us with modules evil parties as much as for good. It was always the intention that the players would be heroes struggling against forces of destruction and darkness. There was never any intent to give them both equal merit, or equal strength. Good loses unless the player characters intervene, that's what makes them heroes, and from it's oldest days that's what D&D was mainly about.... the heroic struggle, the Campbellian journey. (not the SciFi Campbell btw)

Come now- the reason that most modules have the players be good is because most people wouldn't be comfortable playing evil. As this thread has so well illustrated, most people have a problem with role playing a moral scheme too far outside of their own.

Everyone knows how much DnD was demonized in its early days, and it hasn't completely stopped. Murder, rape, treachery, and manipulation are tenuously accepted because its only the bad things doing them, and the players fight the bad things. Look at video games. How many games involve innocents being hurt? Bad guys bomb a village, zombies attack, etc etc. Now, think how people react when the PC is allowed to hurt innocents (grand theft auto). Innocents are still getting hurt either way...

Good fights evil, evil fights good. Both have struggles, physical and spiritual- but most people only would want to play out the good versus evil ones.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Here's the thing about the rules: they leave the judgement of what is a good a act up to the players. And so it becomes a question of ethics. And philosophers have debated that forever.

So every group will have different answers to the question of how hard it is to be good.


LazarX wrote:


No that was never the intent. Otherwise TSR and WOTC would have showered us with modules evil parties as much as for good. It was always the intention that the players would be heroes struggling against forces of destruction and darkness. There was never any intent to give them both equal merit, or equal strength. Good loses unless the player characters intervene, that's what makes them heroes, and from it's oldest days that's what D&D was mainly about.... the heroic struggle, the Campbellian journey. (not the SciFi Campbell btw)

The rest of my answer to you is in the post I made to Ash. Most of what I said here was also said there. But it's only fair that I respond to you directly as I did him.

Its because high fantasy is mostly seen in a heroic context, as you point out correctly.

People like heroes because they are heroes and thus most likely want to be one, too. Its a simple concept to stick to and have fun with.
Thus we have so many epic struggles of good versus evil.

Additionally people most of the time can't cope with the thought of a law/chaos struggle because in our societies people tend to characterize the opponent always as evil and themselves always as good.
Nobody ever looked at problems of the world as law versus chaos (not that a 9 field checkerboard should be used to potrait reality, not even by boston consulting group guys). Except things like the Perry Rhodan series, I guess. In that universe there is no good/evil struggle but an law/chaos struggle. It actually works as well... but people are still people, huh?

The Exchange

Alienfreak wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
Alienfreak wrote:
So technically he could?
Regardless, attempting to circumvent his deities restrictions on which spells he's allowed to cast is a good way for a Cleric to end up on his deities bad side; Clerics have to worry about violating the tenets of their religion and winding up ex-Clerics, which this almost certainly lead to.

Since when is it a "deities restriction"?

If I answer to a True Neutral deity and play a lawful neutral cleric and try to use a Protection from Chaos it leads the deity to making me an ex cleric?
Also it would do the same to an neutral evil cleric of its order?

What makes you assume its not just a technical difficulty of granting the spells to you?

What should the deity care about you using a PtC?

The only reference I can find to that is "cleric can’t
cast spells" and not "is not allowed to" or "is forbidden to"...

Alignment restrictions on clerical spells are more moral and ethical than they are mechanical. Casting a spell with an alignment component opposing one of your deity's alignment axes stands a good chance of bringing your deity's wrath down. But if it merely opposes one of your alignment axes but not one of your deity's, especially if it is in an emergency situation, it is far less likely to invite dire consequences. Your alignment is a guideline for how to roleplay your character in general, but it is not necessarily a hard and fast law; if you're playing a lawful character, you're not going to get struck by lightning just because you performed one chaotic act (unless someone is actually flinging lightning bolts at you, of course). At any rate, even if the spell isn't on your list, you can still use the Use Magic Device skill to emulate a class feature, alignment or other such requirement.


Nightwish wrote:


Alignment restrictions on clerical spells are more moral and ethical than they are mechanical.

They are? How so? The Core Rulebook says nothing to support your claim.

The Rulebook says "you cannot cast x". No explanation or anything. So its a highly mechanical rule.

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