Is Destroying a Fellow Player's Raised Dead / Commanded Undead an action that Constitutes PVP in Society Play?


Pathfinder Society

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5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Since it was the big bad at the end of the dungeon I would have to know the magic item in question. If its a Statuette you can destroy, hands off. If its a resummonable critter AND taking the necromancer alive matters for faction/ secondary prestige I'd let the ranger whack it, but only because its the end of the scenario anyway.

Liberty's Edge

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I think Paladin is just the go to for the "Oh yea! But Paladins are disruptive too!"

This is very true. For infiltration or torture missions they can be very difficult, but for many missions involving that, there are also diplomatic solutions. But that is against the scenario dynamics. The problems Necromancers bring is in party dynamics. If a Paladin is asking you to not torture or maim someone to gain information, well, there are a lot more characters who would ask this than just Paladins. There are actually very few instances that a paladins code would become a problem, because for the most part PFS missions are fairly neutral leaning more good. Far more things oppose necromancers in Golarion in general.

Sarenrea
Pharasma
Paladins
Druids
Rangers
Clerics (large sect)
The Silver Crusade
Most neutral good and lawful good.

Please note that there are two gods that oppose undead completely. Sarenrea has several feat/trait options for killing them. It can also be argued that Erastil, Iomedea, and Torag would oppose undead and necromancers. Erastil and Torag due to thier family/community worship and honoring of life, Iomedea due to their tenants of being clean and honorable, not to mention she was ascended fighting one of the greatest necromancers to ever walk Golarion. Further, Rangers would have a higher propensity for opposing necromancers due to their ties with nature.

On the other side of the coin, who would go with Necromancers?

Urgathoa
Rovagug
Wizards (A sect of)
Clerics (A sect of)
Most neutral, perhaps a fair amount of chaotic good.

Osirion, against popular beliefs, do not actually practice Necromancy in the majority. In fact they fight it, rather effectively using their Thanoptic spells actually. Pharasma is a major deity of Osirion. Their "Risen" Guard are not actually undead, but Raised Dead warriors. They have to prove their devotion by sacrificing themselves. Should they prove this, they are raised back to life and given the title. They are not undead. Necromancers are in an extreme minority in Golarion. They are distrusted at best culturally, and I am personally surprised they were even allowed in PFS.

I really wish people would realize this when they decide to make their necromancer for PFS. They already have a stigma, and rightly so and a great deal of characters would start off distrusting them at best. Sarenrea, Pharasma, and Iomedea are very popular gods. When a paladin joins the society it does so to gain access to the resources of the organization to spread good where it can and help others. Why would a necromancer really join the Society when they could just raise enough goons to have a small army? At level 5, a necromancer has no need of a party. He can summon 4-8 Bloody skeletons, give each one a +1 longsword, and say go!

So if a cleric of Pharasma or Sarenrea decides to channel to kill some horrible undead and can only exclude one or two undead, and chooses not to exclude your most horrible animated dead, do not be surprised. Or if it is a cleric devoted to killing undead and has focused nothing into Selective Channeling? Are you going to yell at them for killing your summons because they built a class that is effective against a very common and very deadly threat, and if they were newish did not imagine having undead as allies?

5/5 ⦵⦵

Rhapsodic College Dropout wrote:

I like the concept of necromancers, I really do, but in a "living campaign" where the group makeup can be a bit on the nefarious side one gaming session can easily be a group of devout crusaders the next gaming session I see raising the dead and controlling the dead for personal use as a bit of a monkey wrench in the gears.

Certainly is PvP.

That said, I haven't seen a single player use Undead in PFS so far.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shifty wrote:
Rhapsodic College Dropout wrote:

I like the concept of necromancers, I really do, but in a "living campaign" where the group makeup can be a bit on the nefarious side one gaming session can easily be a group of devout crusaders the next gaming session I see raising the dead and controlling the dead for personal use as a bit of a monkey wrench in the gears.

Certainly is PvP.

That said, I haven't seen a single player use Undead in PFS so far.

In my New York sessions, I can remember exactly two. Both of them were clerics.


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Zach Williams wrote:
(several disdainful points against necromancers)

It's laughable to me to argue the (imaginary) moral high ground against necromancy while completely skirting the nation of diabolists in Cheliax. If devil-worshippers can be not evil while using the epitome of evil powers, all the while being protected PFS rules and accepted by Society as a whole, I say so too with necromancers.

In your list of "good guys", factions, and deities, how many of those should be actively opposing diabolism with even fervor? Why do we not hear more of that? Is Asmodeus less abhorrent in this world than the undead?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I just love how I have said, repeatedly, in this thread, everyone needs to get along, compromise, and find ways for their characters to work together as pathfinders.

And then I get jumped for this:

The Beard wrote:
FLite wrote:

That said, Shadowcat, the necromancer needs to also be able to get along with the Paladin.

That means a little of the paladin holding back what he really wants to do, and a little of the necromancer holding back what he really wants to do.

Then the paladin should be forced to hold back as well. The activities and codes of a paladin are every bit as disruptive as some guy turning a wolf into an exploding skeleton.

Yes, that is *exactly* what I just said.

I feel like a lot of the problem is that everyone on both sides, both the pro necro and the anti necro see "can you please hold your character back" as "I want you to make all the consessions, and I'm going to do what I want."

Everyone just needs to be adults, work it out, and stop being so hair trigger.

And if people want me to stop using paladins as my example, given that they are the ones most effected by it, give me a generic one word term for someone morally opposed to necromancy that does not imply moral condemnation of their moral stance.

(Necrophobe is wrong, because a.) they aren't afraid of necromancy, and b.) in our current cultural context ____phobe implys moral condemnation of the person describes intolerance. Misonecromist feels clumsy.)

Liberty's Edge

I never skirted Cheliax, I did not mention them at all. Cheliax I am sure has only been able to survive as a nation simply because of its contracts with devils, and by this point in time, that is simply so huge. I think a lot of this though simply comes down to the point that Paizo is simply trying to create more diversity available. Should diabolists be allowed to not be evil? I do not know. I do not believe they should be able to be, but you can have Lawful Good wizard necromancers, so that instantly blows that argument out of the water.

The alignment of the spells you cast really has no bearing in the alignment you follow unless your cleric. While I find this minorly absurd, its the rules. Some of the fantasy political climes created by Paizo are very well done, while others are a bit...wonky.

Liberty's Edge

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I know in PFS we have to cooperate with the other characters... I just wish people would avoid making characters like necromancers that make that so hard to do.

5/5 ⦵⦵

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J-Bone wrote:
I just wish people would avoid making characters like necromancers that make that so hard to do.

I find it isn't any particular class that makes things difficult, but rather the players themselves. paladins similarly get a bad wrap, but it isn't the class - it's the way the player is choosing to run it.

4/5

I remember my VL telling me that apparently creating armies of undead leads to villagers with pitchforks, and while he also has access to circle of death, that leads to adventurers with better weapons, not to mention removal from PFS organized play. That was why his necromancer didn't do that...

5/5 ⦵⦵

Wow.

I think fairness was just abducted and driven away in the trunk of the VL's Fiat.


I'd like to answer several points of this, if I may:

Zach Williams wrote:
I never skirted Cheliax, I did not mention them at all. Cheliax I am sure has only been able to survive as a nation simply because of its contracts with devils, and by this point in time, that is simply so huge.

Not mentioning the glaring "necessary" evil of Cheliax in the breakdown of good and evil forces that may or may not oppose necromancy is the definition of skirting them. This elephant in the room was a prime factor in my argument against the banning of blood magic as well.

Zach Williams wrote:
I think a lot of this though simply comes down to the point that Paizo is simply trying to create more diversity available.

The desire for diversity should extend to necromancers as well as diabolists- yes?

Zach Williams wrote:
Should diabolists be allowed to not be evil? I do not know. I do not believe they should be able to be, but you can have Lawful Good wizard necromancers, so that instantly blows that argument out of the water. The alignment of the spells you cast really has no bearing in the alignment you follow unless your cleric. While I find this minorly absurd, its the rules. Some of the fantasy political climes created by Paizo are very well done, while others are a bit...wonky.

I agree that a Lawful Good necromancer is a stretch, it is possible. My personal machinations involve only a True Neutral necromancer (who gets along just fine with the paladins, clerics, etc. in our meta, I might add). I also agree that aligned spells should have ramifications (maybe hits if you cast an opposed spell?) but dabbling with evil is as much a diabolist's concern as a necromancer's.

Dark Archive

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As far as I'm concerned people should just lighten up a little. Not everyone is going to have fun playing a goodie goodie, just like not everyone wants to spawn hordes of undead minions. One of the precepts of the Pathfinder Society is that its members are to set aside their personal differences and cooperate. Will the paladin be happy about it? No, but they are "lawful" good. They are expected to adhere to the laws of any kingdom into which they enter. Moreover, while part of the society, they would be expected to follow those rules as well. Even if it means tolerating the undead for a short while. Druids and rangers are under no such compunction, but there is a much easier way to look at it for them. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

One of the major selling points of PFS is how inclusive of an environment it is. Will you always agree with the decisions of other players or their characters? You probably will not, but that does not mean you can't simply agree to disagree. There are plenty of ways to write off why your paladin, druid, ranger, cleric or what have you would temporarily cooperate with a necromancer. The problem I've been seeing is that a lot of people don't know the meaning of compromise. Cleric of Pharasma? Oh yeah, your character is well within its rights to hate a necromancer. That being said, all undead are returned from whence they came at the end of every scenario. They do get their rest. It just comes sooner if an enemy happens to destroy one of them.

Even paladins, lawful good as they are, are noted as being able to cooperate with evil entities/individuals for a short time in the interest of the greater good. This most often falls back to "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Scarab Sages

Edenwaith wrote:
I would like to add a twist. I cared not either way due to the 'cooperate' condition when the Necromancer summoned an undead steed. He sent it after the bad guy and at some point it turned into a chase. My Ranger took a shortcut and cut off the bad guy and ordered him to surrender (good ranger:), which the bad guy did. End of that same round the undead mount showed up and began attacking bad guy and the necromancer hadn't caught up to call it off. So I killed the undead mount. The necromancer threw a hissy-fit because he had summoned it with some magic item and wanted the GM to 'punish' me for committing an 'attack another player' act. We needed information from that bad guy. Normally I'm all about "that's my pet, leave it the hell alone", however, I believe this to be extenuating circumstances. Thoughts?

Its okay. No one likes necromancers. Feel free to abuse players who play them.

More seriously ask yourself would your actions have changed if it was a fuzzy dog companion?

Grand Lodge

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A good way to resolve things is to buy the player a soda or a cookie and tell them. "I'm don't have beef with you or your PC but my PC might have beef with your PC, if you raise the undead. The cooperate part of my PC's mission does not include healing your PC or anyone who does heal him, if he raises undead while on mission with my PC."

The free soda or cookie will let them know that its not personal as a player but it will also tell them that your role-playing fun isn't going to take a backseat to his/her role-playing fun. My cleric of Pharasma pretty much says this before any mission, 'Please don't raise the undead but if you do, please be aware that the consequences are not going to be to your liking. If you disrespect my faith, I'm not going to spend weeks atoning, for the sin of using Pharasma's power to heal or aid, those who dabble in the necromantic arts.'


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I think it is strange that in a game where you can not be evil but you can cast evil aligned spells and bring dead things to kill living things. So my paladin being upset by this inconsistency is wrong?

I guess we just have to remember this is organized play so stop RPing and get the mission done. Your character personality and background mean nothing to the greater purpose of this "cooperate" idea that functions in the case of the necromancer as a loophole for do evil things (like use evil spells).

And people wonder why PFS is the home to the munchkin and powergamer. Its because RP is always placed secondary to kill and kill fast.

5/5 Venture-Captain, Georgia—Savannah

Sitri wrote:
For a little while I played a gunslinger cleric of Dranngvit who was hellbent on punishing wrongdoers. Any time a player would do something I thought transgressed against an innocent, I would have my character write down in a journal (as I wrote down on my character sheet) the name of the offending character, the type of offense, and "Awaiting arbitration," that was what I called it when I killed a wrong doer. So mechanically I didn't screw over any one else's character, but from a roleplay point of view, my character planned to track these people down and inflict justice on them at a later time when it didn't compromise the mission. It was a fun way for me resolve what otherwise might have led to nasty moral dilemmas.

That is a beautiful take on the old "Could you write your name down here, please? Thank you. When I'm famous, I'll make it a point not to like you." thing. I am *SO* stealing this...

5/5 ⦵⦵

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Briit wrote:


And people wonder why PFS is the home to the munchkin and powergamer. Its because RP is always placed secondary to kill and kill fast.

Maybe where you play, individual results may clearly vary.

Dark Archive

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Briit wrote:

I think it is strange that in a game where you can not be evil but you can cast evil aligned spells and bring dead things to kill living things. So my paladin being upset by this inconsistency is wrong?

I guess we just have to remember this is organized play so stop RPing and get the mission done. Your character personality and background mean nothing to the greater purpose of this "cooperate" idea that functions in the case of the necromancer as a loophole for do evil things (like use evil spells).

And people wonder why PFS is the home to the munchkin and powergamer. Its because RP is always placed secondary to kill and kill fast.

I think it is stranger that your character concept would include "both being a pathfinder" and "not being willing to cooperate with other pathfinders." You don't have to set aside your character and not RP him in favor of hack'n slashing your way through a scenario if you're running, say, the lone Paladin in the group with a necromancer, diabolist, and bloatmage. You just have to take it as an RP challenge - how does your character reconcile his own faith with having to work with these people. Maybe you choose not to help them if they're in trouble, maybe you open a discourse and try and convert them, maybe you just bring a different character because even on Drendle Dreng's most senile day, even HE wouldn't put this group together. Being openly antagonistic with your fellow Pathfinders, however, should be your last option.


Briit wrote:

I think it is strange that in a game where you can not be evil but you can cast evil aligned spells and bring dead things to kill living things. So my paladin being upset by this inconsistency is wrong?

I guess we just have to remember this is organized play so stop RPing and get the mission done. Your character personality and background mean nothing to the greater purpose of this "cooperate" idea that functions in the case of the necromancer as a loophole for do evil things (like use evil spells).

Again and again, how can you bring this up and give Cheliax a free pass? Because there are too many of them and a faction who openly worships Asmodeus backing the whole thing?

Elephant. In, The. Room.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Baron Ulfhamr wrote:
Briit wrote:

I think it is strange that in a game where you can not be evil but you can cast evil aligned spells and bring dead things to kill living things. So my paladin being upset by this inconsistency is wrong?

I guess we just have to remember this is organized play so stop RPing and get the mission done. Your character personality and background mean nothing to the greater purpose of this "cooperate" idea that functions in the case of the necromancer as a loophole for do evil things (like use evil spells).

Again and again, how can you bring this up and give Cheliax a free pass? Because there are too many of them and a faction who openly worships Asmodeus backing the whole thing?

Elephant. In, The. Room.

How about this. Almost every example that I've seen has been the 'good guy' as the heavy. My cleric of Pharasma is to simply turn away from an active HERETICAL act done in her presence. It is a cardinal sin to them. Yet I see no comment on the Necromancer raising the dead as a party disruptive act. I heard of one group where the necro raised another PCs slain animal companion. How is that NOT disruptive?

As for Chelliax. Yeah I got issues. My players tend to be good guys who are wary of them.

But how is this for an example. Five Andoran players ACTIVELY (and metagamingly) working to disrupt the Chelliax players mission. Who is disruptive there?

I know ONE Necromancer who actually told clerics to put down his creation but he liked to create 1 HD 'mine detectors' to save other party members. Minimal cost for trap finders he said, but his biggest complaint was a lack of 'anti undead spells from. Necromancy. His arguement was it should be a great school of anti undead spells as well as undead making

I point this out because of this: I hear a LOT of 'It's bad for the paladin/Cleric of Pharasma to follow their code' but no comment of the Necromancers who do jerk moves or go out of their way to rub it in other players faces with actions like raising an animal companion.

To me: it all comes down to 'Don't be a jerk.' My cleric has issues with undead. Her goddess is FIRMLY against it. PRIME tenant of faith. So I don't play her with Necromancers who raise the dead willy nilly.
To throw out arguments like its okay to RP a Necromancer but then through out the PVP charge when Paladins, clerics or whoever try to do the same isn't fair. Like how some folks will get upset about having infernal healing done on them.
It all comes down to one thing. Don't be a jerk. Baroness Roasa Annarey Delaphine Del Noire is a servant of Pharasma. So I don't play her around Necromancer types who raise armies because I like Rping her as an entitled snob who speaks her mind and she would be disruptive in such a group. To RP her would be a jerk move. So I don't.

As for Chelliax vs Necromancers. It's an Apples and Oranges argument. MY single Chelliax faction character? NG summoner who summons his 'sister' from the great beyond. Creepy with issues BUT he's a NG follower of Adabar who figures if the Asmodeans game the system to their benefit that he needs to be their to 'game' it back for the 'little people.' I fully intend on his 'failing' some factions missions. I don't see him too happy with the current season goals either.

Dark Archive

I can honestly say I have seen zero necromancers going out of their way to rub anything in anyone's face, raising any sort of companion without the express permission of its actual owner, or otherwise doing anything disruptive. Well, other than "daring" to protect party members through use of vacant shells, whose souls have already moved on to be judged. So far the strangest thing I've seen is a necromancer raising a fallen party member into undeath at the request of said character's player. I'm not entirely sure why, but I can only assume they were planning to retire the character or something. 'Cause that'd be an awful lot of gold or PP to get THAT fixed.

As for the reason the necromancer using raise dead on some NPC isn't brought up as a party disruptive act? A lot of people choose to have their characters bite their tongue, so to speak. A lot of pathfinders wouldn't be pathfinders very long if they had a meltdown every time something they disagreed with happened. Heck, my hell knight has discovered the joys of summoning relatively powerful devils to the battlefield, and I do regularly play with lawful good characters. No issues yet, and that hell knight is awfully nice to the devils he summons. In fact, I dare say he likes devils more than people. Buuutt still no issues.

It is the responsibility of the players whose characters might conceivably have these meltdowns to ensure no jerkiness goes on, not the guy whose character is protecting the party by letting previously slain enemies get blown away instead. Does this mean I don't think there are jerk necros out there? Of course not. That would be a fairly blind take on things. Fact is, experiences vary from area to area, and I am fortunate to have good groups to play with regularly. At any rate, it's a bit silly to punish a necromancer for.... well, necromancing. So long as they aren't being a jerk with it anyway. Believe you me, the rules already punish them enough. That sort of magic gets expeeeeennnnnssssiiiiiivvveeee.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Briit wrote:

I think it is strange that in a game where you can not be evil but you can cast evil aligned spells and bring dead things to kill living things. So my paladin being upset by this inconsistency is wrong?

I guess we just have to remember this is organized play so stop RPing and get the mission done. Your character personality and background mean nothing to the greater purpose of this "cooperate" idea that functions in the case of the necromancer as a loophole for do evil things (like use evil spells).

And people wonder why PFS is the home to the munchkin and powergamer. Its because RP is always placed secondary to kill and kill fast.

Actually, I would think you would take this as a role playing challenge. Your character has conflicting pressures, get the job done and follow the code. How do you find a way to reconcile that in character *through roleplay*

several people in this forum have brought up some awesome solutions, such as the character who carefully noted every infraction in his journal, for later punishment.

Why do so many people (on both sides of this question) equate "roleplaying" with "doing whatever my character wants to do" and if you place an obstacle, you are "preventing them from roleplaying" rather than giving them an opportunity.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

FLite wrote:

There is a thread here somewhere by someone who matters that addresses this. (Specifically Paladins and undead summoners.)

My recollection is it boiled down to "please don't go to war with your parties animated undead, it disrupts game. But you can make the necromancer promise to put them somewhere respectful when he is done."

Can someone find and link said post?

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Chris Mortika wrote:
Just out of curiosity, if a druid had sent her animal companion on ahead, to attack a fleeing enemy, would anyone here think that it would be acceptable for the party warrior to kill the animal companion in a situation analogous to Edenwaith's?

At least my PCs, Chris, would have more options to deal with an animal companion. (stunning, sleep effects, etc) Most of my characters, if they have the strength, carry at least one tanglefoot bag (Oh dojre of entangling ectoplasm I miss you so!)

For me, part of the confusion comes into how do we handle PVP? From a GM point of view, I tend to err on the side of 'good'.

To use the "My Undead Pony" example, Rotbow Dash would attack the BBEG, up until the ranger intervened. To avoid PVP, it would stop. Just like I'd disallow the ranger to attack it.

YMMV of course.

Scarab Sages

In the above situation mentioned, if a necromancer is to be animating undead minions, I feel he should be responsible for them at all times, especially in light of the attitudes already in place. I would have ridden the undead steed personally to the villain. If this were not possible and the ranger slew him needlessly, I'd ask for recompense on the cost of the onyx used, or some simple boon at a later date. Uncontrolled undead are wild cards, even if they're just beyond range (and how far ahead was it that it couldn't heed its master's instruction?)

No one with experience could sensibly argue that necromancers can't be a disruptive influence, the point of my public use of necromancy in the Pathfinder Society is, in part, to reverse this stigma.

Shadow Lodge

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I would rule first for the class that might loose all their class features for tolerating something that another player/character did not likewise have to do to keep their class features. Pharasma specifically instructs her followers to destroy undead at the first opportunity and is grounds for the cleric to fall. No greater good, and the DM that does not warn the cleric abouy it is not doing their job.

Likewise with the paladin and most good clerics. The PFS is not working for the greater good in any way, so that snipet in the code doesnt apply. In both cases, and many others, like the Druid, being a Pathfinder is not their first or main priority, their faith is.

Even if the DM is just hand waving that under the rug, that should be a legit concern for players of classes that can fall gor not adhering to their established faiths doctrine.

Thankfully, Ive never seen it come up.

Liberty's Edge

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Baron Ulfhamr wrote:
Briit wrote:

I think it is strange that in a game where you can not be evil but you can cast evil aligned spells and bring dead things to kill living things. So my paladin being upset by this inconsistency is wrong?

I guess we just have to remember this is organized play so stop RPing and get the mission done. Your character personality and background mean nothing to the greater purpose of this "cooperate" idea that functions in the case of the necromancer as a loophole for do evil things (like use evil spells).

Again and again, how can you bring this up and give Cheliax a free pass? Because there are too many of them and a faction who openly worships Asmodeus backing the whole thing?

Elephant. In, The. Room.

Alright, for one, this thread is not about Cheliax. It is not an elephant in the room because this is about necromancy, not diabolism. Diabolism has been discussed and touched on.

Quote:

I would rule first for the class that might loose all their class features for tolerating something that another player/character did not likewise have to do to keep their class features. Pharasma specifically instructs her followers to destroy undead at the first opportunity and is grounds for the cleric to fall. No greater good, and the DM that does not warn the cleric abouy it is not doing their job.

Likewise with the paladin and most good clerics. The PFS is not working for the greater good in any way, so that snipet in the code doesnt apply. In both cases, and many others, like the Druid, being a Pathfinder is not their first or main priority, their faith is.

Even if the DM is just hand waving that under the rug, that should be a legit concern for players of classes that can fall gor not adhering to their established faiths doctrine.

Thankfully, Ive never seen it come up.

This is very true. While I do see it as a possible problem for a long term campaign, I do not believe a GM would penalize you for having to party with someone who makes you have to buy an atonement spell for allowing the undead to live and benefit from their existence. At least I wouldn't. Not many GM's sadly enforce alignment, or religious tenants. While I believe they should be enforced, and I try to at my table, it can be difficult.

Sadly this does introduce metagaming over roleplaying, and the forcing of a group to work together.

While I understand the concept of challanging your character to deal with the situation in a roleplay manner, some simply cannot. It is the paramount, highest heresy to allow undead to walk the earth to Pharasma. Your not challanging th cleric to deal with it roleplay wise, your challanging the player to metagame a reason for the cleric to not pvp the necromancers minions.

Before someone says, perhaps the cleric should play a different character, imagine if the party is level 8. Not many people can just pull another level 8 character out. Sure they could use a level 7 pregen, but that is not their character.

Bare in mind that the releasing the undead after the scenario is metagame knowledge. The only reason that is in place is because of rules set up for the campaign.

I will never deny a necromancer at my game. I actually really enjoyed playing them in campaigns. My only point to this thread is ingame cultural and social placement of the necromancer, and how they can fit into a society with good characters, paladins, and Pharasman Clerics, and not be the force to constantly force those elements out of their comfort zones. For a NEcromancer wizard to not be a necromancer for a session is fairly simple. Just memorize a few more evocation spells. For a Cleric of Pharasma to not be a Cleric of Pharasma for a session means losing their class abilities.

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

In game, I can see greater good arguments and probably a way around faith issues with undead.

While the Pathfinders are a neutral organization, their enemies (those that the PCs fight), are usually evil in nature.
Second point about the greater good, is the PCs are trying to influence the pathfinders towards the good side (Silver Crusade faction would seem to demonstrate that).

For the faith based issues, the necromancer is promising to destroy the undead at the end of the very short duration mission (the metagame reality put into ingame character).
As the PCs are going on these missions with random other pathfinders, I have trouble seeing a deity forcing an atonement on the PC, especially if the PC were trying to convince the necromancer to give up their habit of raising undead (killing a low-level undead is good, but convincing the person raising to stop is better).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rhapsodic College Dropout wrote:

Title says it all I think.

I know the topic of necromancy ethics has been discussed in length on the forums, but I just don't see how a druid (especially one with a good alignment) who sees undead as a severe disruption to the cycle of nature can sit idly by and watch the animation of undead unfold.

I like the concept of necromancers, I really do, but in a "living campaign" where the group makeup can be a bit on the nefarious side one gaming session can easily be a group of devout crusaders the next gaming session I see raising the dead and controlling the dead for personal use as a bit of a monkey wrench in the gears.

Thoughts?

As a GM, I would expect the players of the characters to work out some sort of compromise, and as a player, I would try to do the same.

In PFS, i have quite a few characters.

The majority of them, while they would find necromancy and the undead distasteful, they wouldn't see red.

There are of course a few exceptions.

My 8th level cleric of Sarenrae would do his best to strongly discourage a fellow party member from desecrating the dead by animating them. When channeling positive energy to harm the undead, I doubt he would be bothered to worry about undead enslaved by an enemy or dubious ally (necromancer).

My 11 level Inquisitor of Iomedae, while not a religious fanatic, would be less then thrilled by the animation and control of the undead. If a Paladin or cleric in the party, were to object, or act against PC undead, he would back them up and actively destroy the undead. (this has happened in the past)

My 14 Mystic Theurge of Pharasma (Cleric 3rd Pharasma/ Wizard (Necromancer) 3 / Mystic Theurge). Has had to find a "compramise" between his service and devotion to Pharasma, and his study of the Necromantic Arcane Arts. He will use his necromantic spells to harry harass and harm the undead. He will use spells like command undead, hide from undead, hold undead, and his new found favorite "death to Undead"....He will never use Animate dead, either the Devine version ( He wouldn't get it anyways) or the arcane version. He will never animate the dead, but he will control undead on a temporary basis, to either turn them on their masters, or each other, and after the battle he puts them to rest.

As for other Players and PCs, I would as a player request for the other player to refrain from the animation of the undead, but wouldn't mind if the other pathfinder commands the undead.

I hope these answers are helpful.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Myles Crocker wrote:
As a GM, I would expect the players of the characters to work out some sort of compromise, and as a player, I would try to do the same.

Compromising about what another character's build is sort of like compromising about what another person has in their lunch box: its thier business. There is no compromise.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Zach Williams wrote:
I will never deny a necromancer at my game. I actually really enjoyed playing them in campaigns. My only point to this thread is ingame cultural and social placement of the necromancer, and how they can fit into a society with good characters, paladins, and Pharasman Clerics, and not be the force to constantly force those elements out of their comfort zones. For a NEcromancer wizard to not be a necromancer for a session is fairly simple. Just memorize a few more evocation spells. For a Cleric of Pharasma to not be a Cleric of Pharasma for a session means losing their class abilities.

My problem here is that one player made a choice to be a Necromancer rather than an Evoker, and another player made a choice to be a Cleric of Pharasma rather than a Cleric of Abadar. Since the Pathfinder society, a Neutral group and not one run by "good characters, paladins, and Pharasman Clerics," accepted both of these players into their Society, then they should both be able to use all of their class abilities. GM's shouldn't force a player to deny legal choices.

Saying that a Necromancer should just deal with it and play a weak Evoker instead of their class is just another way of saying that they're losing their class abilities, which is precisely what you suggest the Cleric of Pharasma should be spared. One player's choices shouldn't invalidate another player's choices, as long as each of those choices are legal.

Should it make for a fun and interesting RP session? Absolutely.

To make an analogy... Strawman argument, blah blah blah:

Student 1: You can't use a calculator on this test!
Student 2: Yes I can. The teacher said I could.
Teacher: That's right, I said it's fine. You can use a calculator if you want to.
Student 2: So there, I can use a calculator. Mind your own business.
Student 1: I don't believe in calculators! I believe everyone should be able to do basic arithmetic in their heads!
Student 2: OK, but the rules say I don't have to. Also, I took some time and programmed some important functions in here, so I'd be at a disadvantage if I didn't have it.
Student 1: Promise not to use your calculator or I will destroy it. Right now.

What do you think the teacher would say next? I'm betting the teacher would RATHER the students all know how to do arithmetic, but the Pathfinder Society seems a little more focused on results than methods. That's right, my cold, uncaring math teacher is more Good-aligned than the Society, because he cares about methods, not just results.

In nations where Sarenrae, Pharasma, or other anti-undead deities have become the Official State Religion, then I'll assume raising the dead is outlawed. Anywhere else, unless it is specifically called out, I'd give full clearance to the Necromancer. If the LAWFUL paladin would like to take it upon themselves to enforce laws that don't necessarily exist in a region, I'd let them know they are moving into "jerk" territory. If the cleric of Pharasma doesn't want a necromancer bringing a zombie into a temple of Pharasma, I'd say that's pretty darn reasonable.

All that to say, Golarion is the kind of world where this kind of argument is totally circumstantial, and the Pathfinder Society has clearly decided not to pick a side (according to Additional Resources). As far as I'm concerned, if a character can't learn to Cooperate with other Pathfinders, then they should be fired at the end of the scenario. (Darn right I went there. In fact, lots of PFS issues could be solved if the Society had a system for letting people go for rules infractions. Ah well!)

Dark Archive

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Just being a part of the Pathfinder society you've had to commit a crime or be a party to a crime. Provided you've been to Golarion over the past 5 seasons. I think there is no need to bring up an extended list.

But after all these things you have done and left undone...(and you're still both lawful and good.) Then someone raises undead (even for a limited time - you can't keep them between missions) to the point where you'd rob him of his spent resources or you fall (lose your abilities)?

I think you're very far out from the nature of Pathfinder. Very directly Pathfinder trains its agents to work together. The various factions are vying for supremacy (for a number of reasons (good/bad).)

I don't think its possible to fall (for being in a group with a necromancer or a devil binder) when you've not fallen yet (for being a Pathfinder). You should influence other members (definitely!) But I see no reason to go farther than that.

Something similar to this scenario has occurred with me and an Andoran Paladin before. We didn't come to blows (of course) and strangely he didn't become a fighter as a result of being in my company....odd that.

Grand Lodge

Arkos, in your opinion, would my PC be considered 'uncooperative' if he refuses to heal or bless, a Necromancer as a Pharasmin Priest? Not attack the minions of the Necromancer PC, just refuse to use his divine power to aid him in any way?

Also, and this did come up once. We were fighting undead and someone wanted to channel positive against undead and couldn't exclude all of the minions of the PC necromancer. Would you consider that PVP?

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Eric Saxon wrote:

Arkos, in your opinion, would my PC be considered 'uncooperative' if he refuses to heal or bless, a Necromancer as a Pharasmin Priest? Not attack the minions of the Necromancer PC, just refuse to use his divine power to aid him in any way?

Also, and this did come up once. We were fighting undead and someone wanted to channel positive against undead and couldn't exclude all of the minions of the PC necromancer. Would you consider that PVP?

Honestly, then we get into the nature of what "cooperate" means. I'm sure that generally we hope for "help each other all of the time la la la," but I wouldn't be sad if we at least got to "don't hinder each other."

If I were the cleric, I'd want to say something like "look I'm sorry, it just isn't within my powers to exclude your minion and still hurt the enemies" rather than "Death to all undead! Especially YOURS, vile necromancer!" And I'd hope that conversation happened well before combat.

If I were playing a rogue and it was strategic for the wizard to drop a fireball on me AND I AGREED WITH IT then that's fine. Same thing here. Acting against a player without the consent of that player is basically my definition of PVP.

Dark Archive

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Eric Saxon wrote:

Arkos, in your opinion, would my PC be considered 'uncooperative' if he refuses to heal or bless, a Necromancer as a Pharasmin Priest? Not attack the minions of the Necromancer PC, just refuse to use his divine power to aid him in any way?

Also, and this did come up once. We were fighting undead and someone wanted to channel positive against undead and couldn't exclude all of the minions of the PC necromancer. Would you consider that PVP?

Refusing to heal a fellow party member could jepardize the success of the pathfinder mission. No one says you have to bless the necromancer, but refusing to heal him when he's bleeding to death because he's risking danger at your side would be a jerk move, in my opinion.

Grand Lodge

Victor Zajic wrote:
Refusing to heal a fellow party member could jeopardize the success of the pathfinder mission. No one says you have to bless the necromancer, but refusing to heal him when he's bleeding to death because he's risking danger at your side would be a jerk move, in my opinion.

But him raising undead, knowing I'm a cleric of Pharasma would not be considered a 'jerk move?' So, only necromancers get to RP their PC but the rest of us don't get to, because you've decided that we have to serve their RP needs and not our own?

So, your definition of fair is that the Paladins and Priests of Good Deities have to heal and help PCs who show nothing but contempt for their religions? And that makes it a good RP experience for whom?

I'm sorry but if you are bleeding to death and are a necromancer who raised dead 2 minutes ago, you are going to bleed out. Because a Priest or a Paladin of those Deities has ZERO obligation to save you. It might actually put his soul and his allegiance to his god at risk to aid said Necromancer.

That's the difference between Roll Playing and Role Playing, IMO. You want to play a Necromancer, you do so at your own risk with the full knowledge that half the people who meet your PC will not lift a finger to aid him, if he gets in trouble.

Dark Archive 4/5

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Eric Saxon wrote:
I'm sorry but if you are bleeding to death and are a necromancer who raised dead 2 minutes ago, you are going to bleed out. Because a Priest or a Paladin of those Deities has ZERO obligation to save you. It might actually put his soul and his allegiance to his god at risk to aid said Necromancer.

Don't you think of yourself as a "Good Guy" Though? I normally don't play "Good Guys" but isn't it part of being one that you don't just let people die? Even if you're offended?

5/5 ⦵⦵

Dresden10589 wrote:
Don't you think of yourself as a "Good Guy" Though? I normally don't play "Good Guys" but isn't it part of being one that you don't just let people die? Even if you're offended?

Apparently good is about cherry-picking who you like and don't like, and then letting them die because you don't like them. It's about people doing it your way or a way that suits your moral preferences, and being punitive if they do not comply with your dogma. It's about telling others what they can or cannot do, assuming you are in the position of 'righteousness'.

Because a person bleeding out in front of you means you have zero obligation to save them, not even a moral inclination from your deity of redemption.

I'd hate to meet Evil if that is Good.

Grand Lodge

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Dresden10589 wrote:
Don't you think of yourself as a "Good Guy" Though? I normally don't play "Good Guys" but isn't it part of being one that you don't just let people die? Even if you're offended?

Ah, I see the misunderstanding and I'm sure you're not the only one, so I'll explain. Pharasma is not a 'good' deity. (True Neutral) So, priests of Pharasma don't consider themselves to be 'good guys.' And to them raising the dead is the defilement of all that is holy, Pharasma being the patron goddess of Life and Death.

As for the Paladins and the 'good' clerics. The good guys don't have an obligation to perpetuate what they consider 'evil.' And necromancy is certainly evil, even if the necromancer isn't.

Silver Crusade

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My Paladin is more focused on saving souls than slaying evil. You raise dead around her? She won't protect your undead, but she will protect you. She'll take pity on you. She'll try to change your mind. Killing evil doesn't make her good, changing minds does. Total loyalty to her party, the to death if that's what it takes.

Dark Archive 4/5

Eric Saxon wrote:
Dresden10589 wrote:
Don't you think of yourself as a "Good Guy" Though? I normally don't play "Good Guys" but isn't it part of being one that you don't just let people die? Even if you're offended?

Ah, I see the misunderstanding and I'm sure you're not the only one, so I'll explain. Pharasma is not a 'good' deity. (True Neutral) So, priests of Pharasma don't consider themselves to be 'good guys.' And to them raising the dead is the defilement of all that is holy, Pharasma being the patron goddess of Life and Death.

As for the Paladins and the 'good' clerics. The good guys don't have an obligation to perpetuate what they consider 'evil.' And necromancy is certainly evil, even if the necromancer isn't.

Wouldn't you want to keep them alive to have them repent or face justice? I play strict Chaotic Neutral, and my characters tend to be in it for thier own entertainment or profit, but they like to keep even the bad guys alive for information or to toy with them for a while. And they generally think they can get more money out of the Society if they keep them alive.

On the topic of party members, though, my characters may antagonize them, or even hate the things they do, but will blow all of their healing items to keep you alive if you're down. Just because I don't like you or find you abhorrent, doesn't mean we aren't in this together. I've used potions I'd really like to have used on myself on PCs I despise since my character knew what she was signing up for when she joined the Society.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Eric Saxon wrote:
I'm sorry but if you are bleeding to death and are a necromancer who raised dead 2 minutes ago, you are going to bleed out. Because a Priest or a Paladin of those Deities has ZERO obligation to save you. It might actually put his soul and his allegiance to his god at risk to aid said Necromancer.

Just tossing this out there, but this isn't a binary situation. There are more party members than just the cleric/paladin and the necromancer. Hopefully they save the necromancer. The party is going to see this situation coming, unless the cleric/paladin is specifically trying to keep their feelings a secret.

The player of the cleric/paladin might also want to let the rest of the players know that there should be a backup plan just in case. Both of these characters are part of a party and this conversation should have happened long before combat starts.

If a character lets another character die, fine. In character, I'd push for you to get fired and I'd learn never to rely on that character again.

If a player lets another character die, that's being a jerk. I'd never sit at your table again. End of story.

Dark Archive

If you want to be technical, intentionally killing another party member through inaction is just as bad as if you'd knowingly caught them in the edge of a fireball. Their death is still a direct result of your character's decision not to act when it was within its power to save them. Yeah, that might be what you want your character to do, but most people would still consider that being a jerk.

Now then! Let us look at a few things here: For example, the party is being overrun by an increasingly large group of enemies. They require extra backup, but one party member knowingly prevent the necromancer from being able to perform to its fullest extent. This ends in a very avoidable TPK as a direct result of someone saying, "I will let you die if you begin using necromancy in this mission." Obviously that is an extreme example, but behaving in that sort of manner still puts missions at risk. Pathfinder is usually very forgiving, but there are scenarios and/or modules where having a party member that you've severely diminished in effectiveness can be very risky.

One could also try to see this from the other side entirely. A cleric of Pharasma rolls up. They are rare, but there are a few PFS legal deities that do in fact condone the use of undead servants. In fact, a couple of them appear to encourage it. What happens if we get those in a party together? The necromancer, who also happens to be capable of casting healing spells, says to the cleric: "I disagree with your faith. I will not be healing, buffing, or in any way aiding you for the duration of this mission." The backlash they'd catch would be off the scale, yet it's supposed to be acceptable for them to be punished out of character just for playing a class they like? Because in all truth, it seems like some people take such an abusive route towards discouraging the use of necromancy that it borders on being a jerk to the person out of character.

Grand Lodge 4/5

The Beard wrote:
If you want to be technical, intentionally killing another party member through inaction is just as bad as if you'd knowingly caught them in the edge of a fireball. Their death is still a direct result of your character's decision not to act when it was within its power to save them. Yeah, that might be what you want your character to do, but most people would still consider that being a jerk.

What if I have to kill a player by inaction, due to saving the rest of the party from an otherwise inevitable death?

I have to expend time, effort and resources to. I can't use spells that would otherwise be useful in a close in fight? (Holy smite) because the Necro is using undead? I'm NOT allowed to RP because if I play my pharasma worshiper as written I'm a jerk?

Hence my decision NOT to play my cleric with undead raisers. I don't need an atonement along with a 6k shortfall due to a mission fail because of things going wrong. And what happens when/if the bad guys take control of the undead? I've played dueling undead with NPC badguys.. my cleric controls undead to make it easier to put them down.

Nothing more fun than having the big nasty undead ogre he just raised turned on us.

Dark Archive

Thomas Graham wrote:

What if I have to kill a player by inaction, due to saving the rest of the party from an otherwise inevitable death?

There is a very large distinction here. Saving the rest of the party at the cost of one person is very different from having every opportunity to save an individual but opting not to.

Grand Lodge 4/5

The Beard wrote:
Thomas Graham wrote:

What if I have to kill a player by inaction, due to saving the rest of the party from an otherwise inevitable death?

There is a very large distinction here. Saving the rest of the party at the cost of one person is very different from having every opportunity to save an individual but opting not to.

And where does that line exactly being. Where is it that I can say 'I'll heal you but not exclude your undead from my positive channels' or refuse to negatively channel to heal them (Yes, I had someone ask if I would do that for his raised undead.. he didn't sit at the table thank goodness)

Where does the Necromaner's RP experience curtail mine? I have to ALWAYS give in to a necromancer? Just sometimes? Work with them (because my experience is something like 5 to 1 against cooperative Necromancers over the years, that's right 5 were 'My way is the only right one' to 1 'Actually go ahead and blow him up..i'll make more)

I ask because I see a LOT of the Pali/clerics have to give ground arguments but no or little for the other side.

Dark Archive

Say your battle is over, and the necromancer is about two rounds away from bleeding out. Does your cleric just stand there and watch them die, knowing the rest of the scenario might get rougher being a man down? I'd consider that a pretty obvious line. As far as the raised dead are concerned.... Well, those do get rather expensive. I can understand people being a bit peeved when someone just intentionally nuked their gold, knowing full well gold is already a limited resource in PFS. I can also see it from the perspective of people wanting to maintain their characters' devotion to a specific faith intact, so it ultimately boils down to needing to compromise. If the necromancers you've played with refuse that, then it isn't something all necromancers should pay for. That's on them, not your cleric or the rest of those of us that might like a darker themed character.

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