Official Clarification Request: Is Casting Spell with "Evil" Descriptor Still Not Evil?


Pathfinder Society

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MrSin wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Like that will save you. :p

To be fair, I'd be afraid of what people we attract when we start using choke collars...

The Beard wrote:
Hey, you never know! If the change DOES go through, keeping them on a leash might be the only thing that saves us from being thrown into a pit full of angry chickens. :P And we all know what happens to people with pointy ears when someone makes the chickens mad.
More chickens? We'll never go hungry again! Even better, we can save a few for trapfinding and dungeoneering purposes!... or maybe that's just me.

Nope! The chickens become invincible and mob you from every conceivable angle. ... Okay, more chickens do show up to the party, but uhhh you don't want none of that. Ragechickens are the second deadliest game of all, right behind pretty redheads.

Anywho, back to the topic at hand again. At the core of it all, what is the reason for people wanting the exemption revoked? The fact that it's there at all really helped with the flavor of the game in the opinions of many. It made for a more inclusive, interesting and immersive environment with the potential for interparty squabbles while en route to <insert mission location here.> So long as it's all in good fun, what's the harm? That's one angle, but I'm more curious about it from a strictly rules perspective. The exception was made, I presume, for a good reason. It has not in any way harmed the game, but more than likely proved beneficial to it. So why change?

Grand Lodge

IMO, casting a spell of an opposite alignment should be a neutral action.

I haven't read the whole thread, but this solves all of the "What about X" cases that I've seen so far.

A neutral character isn't devoted to either ideal - and if you're willing to cast Blood Money and Protection from Evil, you're most certainly neutral.


Jason S wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Basically, if a PC is about to commit an alignment infraction (not just evil, but anything deviating from their chosen alignment), the GM warns them first and asks if they want to do it. If, over the course of a scenario, a PC commits enough alignment infractions in that one scenario, the GM can enforce an alignment shift and note it on the chronicle sheet.

Currently, there's an inconsistency in that aligned spells are exempted from that. I'd personally like that exemption removed.

If that's what you want then "no", that's just terrible gaming. Alignment debates are bad enough, everyone has their own opinion on it. It would be crappy to have a GM judge every PCs actions to see if they are within their alignment limits every scenario. Call the alignment police!! Not fun, not the kind of game I'd want to play.

Alignment was never meant as a straightjacket, it was meant as a shorthand for the character's basic attitudes. That's it. It wasn't meant to define their each and every action.

If its not important but just basically to define their basic attitudes....then why is it important for a cleric or paladin to stay within a certain alignment? If its not a big deal, then why are their rules of consequence for straying outside ur alignment then?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The Beard wrote:
At the core of it all, what is the reason for people wanting the exemption revoked?

Can't speak for everyone, but for me it's two things.

The first is a matter of immersion. In my experience, people won't roleplay anything (that they didn't make up themselves) that doesn't connect to paper somehow. Every time my NG sorceress says "Ew, that's icky, I'll just use my own CLW wand," I get confused looks from players who try to explain to me (out of character) that it won't affect alignment so why wouldn't I use it? And as often as not the character offering IH, whose player thinks I just don't understand the lack of ramifications, is playing an allegedly good-aligned character. Anything that might finally communicate to those players that good people in Golarion wouldn't do that lightly is worth investigating in my opinion.

The second is a matter of policy. Every time a thread comes up asking why something isn't legal, there'll be someone saying "Well, why not change it to X?" The answer given is always "PFS tries to deviate from Pathfinder game rules as little as possible, only doing so when necessary." So unless we're throwing that stance out the window, we need a good reason not to revoke the exemption.

That said, I'd be very interested to hear from Mike or John what THEIR reasons are; it sounded like they were already planning to talk about this, so maybe if we knew their goals/concerns, we could direct our discussions in that direction?

Dark Archive

To Redneckdevil: What they meant, I believe, is that people should not scrutinize each and every action of a PC. That just takes too much time and effort, and most definitely takes away from the fun. The issue with clerics and paladins is also a very simple one: Their deity demands that they behave within the confines of <insert alignment chart here>. Refusal to do so results in serious consequences. A fighter on the other hand is under no such compunction, and could therefore do whatever he wanted. It would just have to NOT be particularly malevolent acts if taken within the context of a PFS game.

To Jiggy: I can't say I've had the same experience. Obviously there are heavy variances from region to region and group to group, but I rarely see someone refusing to act appropriately for their alignment. You've also got to consider that not everyone playing Pathfinder Society does it for some sort of deep, well thought out roleplay. A lot of people just look at it like they would any other video game they might slip in their PS2 or download from the internet. Still, now that I see your reasoning, I can understand it fair might better. I can't say I agree with revoking the exemption, but I can say I see your point if that is indeed how your experiences have gone.


Redneckdevil wrote:
If its not important but just basically to define their basic attitudes....then why is it important for a cleric or paladin to stay within a certain alignment? If its not a big deal, then why are their rules of consequence for straying outside ur alignment then?

Because ideally alignment matches your deities ideals and there's a strong legacy gig going on there. 'Alignment isn't a straightjacket' is a bit of mantra. If you stripped alignment, they'd still have to apply themselves to the deities ideals and tenants(ideally).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Chicken derail:
Played Ocarina of Time in my youth. Provoked the chickens.

They were swooping from everywhere, and from nowhere. Looked for the nearest cover: the empty well in Kakariko Village.

Took a dive, took some damage.

Stood up, held my breath a moment.

Silence.

Looked up, saw a circle of clear sky.

Kept looking, saw a dot.

Dot got bigger.

Dot brought friends.

Chickens came down the well.

Scrambled for the ladder, had to find a real building. Had to get out.

Chicken knocked me off the ladder, less than halfway up.

And again.

And again.

Died in a haze of feathers with only the dimmest view of open air above me...

Dark Archive

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Jiggy wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

... Chickens are clearly servants of Asmodeus. They bring damnation to us all, just some happen to get it a little more directly than others. >_>

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

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Who put the rockets on this thread?

Jiggy, when I asked if it would make the game more fun, I wasn't really referring for you in particular, but to the player base in general.

If the reaction on this thread is any indication, then the majority would not find the change to be more fun, quite the opposite. Yeah, I know that the vocal minority of us on the forums do not accurately represent the player base as a whole, but it does give some indication.

I had/have a long list of things that I was going to reply/comment on, but I think that I will pass on it and simply summarize my main point.

I think that revoking/changing the PFS rule about aligned spells not affecting alignment is a bad idea.

I think it will cause a much higher administration burden on Mike and John, as players appeal to them to have alignment changes reversed - the variance in GM interpretation and perspective on this issue is just too high. That it will cause even more strife at tables than necromancers ever have. That it will not make the game better or more fun.

Edit to fix a copy and paste error

Shadow Lodge

I just want to point out one thing
Casting holy word in an orphanage (or anywhere else) good act

Shadow Lodge

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I would say what is it we gain from hand-waving alignment to the degree that we do? It doesn't make for a grittier, more morally grey game, but rather the opposite of that. It allows people to play evil characters without having that on their character sheet, which is really only fun for the guy/gal that does that, and tends to be the cause of a lot of the alignment debates and "paladin issues".

On the other hand, I would say that risking casting evil spells or doing other evil acts put your alignment and even playability on the line would increase the game and the fun. It would enforce the setting to a much better degree. Having a LN Chelaxian that might actually fall to the lure of evil and become the villain they have tricked themselves into believing they couldn't possibly, all because they summoned one too many fiends that turns out to have been playing the long game the whole time is what adds dark and grey. Not being that same character that no matter what is perfectly safe just because some arbitrary ooc rule that says they can freely summon evil without any risk. One causes a sense of tension, while the other is kind of like playing with "godmode" on.

It also makes Neutral Alignments an actual Alignment rather than, as they currently are, a lack of one. Always a good thing.

In the Paladin vs Necromancer, it gives them both a more level playing field, as both cases then have the risk of falling, which then encourages the two to find a way to work together, because they both have a bit of common ground.

It also helps with immersion into the setting and the story. Particularly by showing how if the PFS is a strictly neutral organization, on that is mostly interested in exploring and knowledge, allowing all sorts, that those players that want to be the big scary bad Cheliaxian/Necromancer/etc. . . can actually work together because there are a lot worse things out there, (like the evil necromancer that also has evil on their character sheet, and is so twisted that they no longer care that spamming create undead spells affects their own soul or the rest of the world). Or that the Aspis Consortium is actually worse than the PF because they really will do anything. <in case you don't get the reference, there are a lot of threads questioning why the AC is supposed to be the bad guys when you have things like the PFS around much, much worse>.

So if you want some moral shades of grey in your PFS game, this is the way to go, not by scooping it under the rugs and hand waving that can act evil without really being affected by other choices, but by embracing that those choices might have consequences. I do think that overall changing that, and that is including alignment spells affecting players would increase the fun. It would not disallow you from playing your darker, less ethically clear-cut characters, only to be more careful with them.


DM Beckett wrote:
I would say what is it we gain from hand-waving alignment to the degree that we do? It doesn't make for a grittier, more morally grey game, but rather the opposite of that. It allows people to play evil characters without having that on their character sheet, which is really only fun for the guy/gal that does that, and tends to be the cause of a lot of the alignment debates and "paladin issues".

We gain a sort of security against certain nastiness, that's always important. Additionally, I don't think it allows people to play evil characters without writing evil on your sheet?

It doesn't make the game more fun for me if evil spells to turn me evil based on the current GMs whim. I have a hard time preparing for that sort of thing dontcha' know.

Something to think about is evil characters just stop being playable, so its not really that gritty as much as risky.

Shadow Lodge

necromancers can have any alignment
in my home games the cure/inflict are still conjuration/necromancy instead of cure arbitrarily being conjuration and inflict being necromancy
course that last part is in my home games but still, I thought it might be relavant

Dark Archive

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I'm afraid I simply can't bring myself to agree at all with regards to the supposed benefits of revoking the exemption. I have no immersion problems with things as-is, nor does anyone I know that actually plays Pathfinder Society. It sounds more like punishing people than actually "increasing roleplay opportunities." Not to mention the fact that, once again, the vast majority of PFS players are casuals. Most don't know much about the lore, nor would they care if informed, I would wager. The game is as much for casuals as it is for hardcore RPers, if you ask me.


MY BEST IDEA YET

Howsabout this (as I think I have gleaned understanding from Jiggy and BigNorseWolf's various posts)

If serious and undeniably aligned action takes place in onesession, record and report it on the sheet. It would have to be something significant akin to the existing rule about really evil actions having your character being reported DEAD.

Which characters this should apply most to:
-Clerics who act/cast opposed of their deity's alignment
-Paladins acting Evil/Chaotic
-Monks acting Chaotic
-Barbarians acting Lawful
-Dark, neutral characters (diabolists, necromancers, etc.) who routinely cast Evil spells and/or perform Evil acts. This is the fine line you walk as a dabbler!

Which characters this should apply least to:
-Neutral clerics/druids/divine casters, as they are expected to employ Good/Evil/Lawful/Chaotic spells/actions, as long as not in opposition to the non-neutral portion of their alignment
-True Neutral characters
-Most other characters, unless they commit blatant Evil, as per the existent rule.

What do you guys think of this? No book keeping necessary, unless said action violates your class restriction (calling for atonement or loss of class abilities) or pushes you over the line into Evil/unplayable in PFS? (It even creates a bit of a tightrope for dark characters, making them seek balance their Evil spells/actions if in excess.)

Dark Archive

There is absolutely no reason that diabolists and necromancers should be treated any differently than Sorcerous McSorcererson in the corner who is spamming hellfire ray.

Shadow Lodge

The Beard wrote:
I'm afraid I simply can't bring myself to agree at all with regards to the supposed benefits of revoking the exemption. I have no immersion problems with things as-is, nor does anyone I know that actually plays Pathfinder Society. It sounds more like punishing people than actually "increasing roleplay opportunities." Not to mention the fact that, once again, the vast majority of PFS players are casuals. Most don't know much about the lore, nor would they care if informed, I would wager. The game is as much for casuals as it is for hardcore RPers, if you ask me.

That's fine that you do not agree with me. But at the same time I don't think a lot of the response really goes with one or the other. Having moral tension does not discourage casual gamers, and would honestly probably encourage them in further. And there is no punishing people at all. There's a big difference between "hey, if I do a bunch of evil stuff, I might turn evil" and "hey if I do a bunch of evil stuff, meh".

Shadow Lodge

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Baron Ulfhamr wrote:

MY BEST IDEA YET

Howsabout this (as I think I have gleaned understanding from Jiggy and BigNorseWolf's various posts)

If serious and undeniably aligned action takes place in onesession, record and report it on the sheet. It would have to be something significant akin to the existing rule about really evil actions having your character being reported DEAD.

Which characters this should apply most to:
-Clerics who act/cast opposed of their deity's alignment
-Paladins acting Evil/Chaotic
-Monks acting Chaotic
-Barbarians acting Lawful
-Dark, neutral characters (diabolists, necromancers, etc.) who routinely cast Evil spells and/or perform Evil acts. This is the fine line you walk as a dabbler!

Which characters this should apply least to:
-Neutral clerics/druids/divine casters, as they are expected to employ Good/Evil/Lawful/Chaotic spells/actions, as long as not in opposition to the non-neutral portion of their alignment
-True Neutral characters
-Most other characters, unless they commit blatant Evil, as per the existent rule.

What do you guys think of this? No book keeping necessary, unless said action violates your class restriction (calling for atonement or loss of class abilities) or pushes you over the line into Evil/unplayable in PFS? (It even creates a bit of a tightrope for dark characters, making them seek balance their Evil spells/actions if in excess.)

Because we need even more mechanical benefit to playing True Neutral? :)

Dark Archive

This falls back to the need for additional rules that will prevent GMs from just making rulings based on their own personal preferences. Sure, that necromancer just used create undead to spawn a dread wraith, but he then set this otherworldly horror loose on a bunch of child stealing bandits. At no point did the creature attack anyone that was not involved in the heinous act of child theft, and was promptly sent back to the grave after its task was finished. No collateral damage at all.

They just cast an evil spell for a very good reason, and used the creature spawned in the interest of doing good in the world. What then?


DM Beckett wrote:
There's a big difference between "hey, if I do a bunch of evil stuff, I might turn evil" and "hey if I do a bunch of evil stuff, meh".

Well... Likely if your disruptive someone will still do something about you, and burning down an orphanage still turns you evil(Unless its an evil demonic orphan eating orphanage or something I guess).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Mechanics support and foster roleplay to match; removing the mechanics to make something as far-reaching as alignment into "pure fluff" allows people to play things that couldn't even exist in the setting, shattering any pretense of immersion.

You know how devils are lawful and demons are chaotic? That actually means something. It means that the devil will honor the contract, so as long as I'm clever and know what I'm doing, then this is probably a good idea, right...? Welcome to Cheliax. The whole premise of that nation is built on the idea that devils are creatures of their word, and people know it (even though it's still dangerous to deal with them). Being lawful corresponds to a certain type of behavior.

When a monk claims to also be lawful, and registers as such under detection spells, and so forth, people will expect him to act that way. If said monk is an NPC, and the players determine he's lawful and make a deal with him, and he breaks said deal and otherwise acts unlawful, the players would be (rightly) enraged. If he's the sort to do things like make a deal/promise that he has no intention of keeping, then he shouldn't register as lawful under detection spells (without misdirecting magic, obviously).

When we fail to apply these same rules to PCs, it shatters immersion.

If you want to play a morally-gray character, great! Go right ahead, just put your money where your mouth is and write an alignment on your sheet that actually matches your concept, and make your mechanical choices accordingly.

A man so obsessed with his research into undeath that he'll risk self-corruption through the use of dark magics to learn its secrets, and who has to take deliberate precautions to preserve his soul against the darkness, is very interesting and morally-gray concept.

A man so obsessed with his research into undeath that he'll... well, do really nothing risky or questionable at all, because a spell is just a spell... That's not morally gray. Not even close.

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

DM Beckett wrote:
That's fine that you do not agree with me. But at the same time I don't think a lot of the response really goes with one or the other. Having moral tension does not discourage casual gamers, and would honestly probably encourage them in further. And there is no punishing people at all. There's a big difference between "hey, if I do a bunch of evil stuff, I might turn evil" and "hey if I do a bunch of evil stuff, meh".

But it will require a lot more book keeping.

Player wrote:

OK, my spellcaster cast three evil spells, used a wand of infernal healing 12 times today. Total of 15 evil spells.

I also cast communal protection from evil on 6 characters, three times today: total of 18 good spells.

I am good to go - I don't need to worry about sliding into evil due to cast spells this scenario - but I am worried about an alignment shift to being neutral good.

You would also need for players to keep track of their good spells, lawful spells and chaotic spells.

I don't see the extra booking or hassle benefiting the game at all. Those that want to play a necromancer can do so by casting good spells to balance out their evil spells.


Alignment isn't perfect.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

MrSin wrote:
Alignment isn't perfect.

Neither are you or I, but let's hope that's not cause for anyone to handwave us away to save themselves some work.

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

Jiggy wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Alignment isn't perfect.
Neither are you or I, but let's hope that's not cause for anyone to handwave us away to save themselves some work.

I tried, but it hasn't worked yet

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Sort of looking like the ultimate question is "Is the additional internal consistency of the setting worth the additional jerk-GM risk?"

Frankly, I don't feel qualified to answer that question. I'd like to achieve the former without taking on the latter, but that's obviously impossible. So it's down to basically a cost/benefit analysis; one I'm not comfortable trying to make, even as a messageboard suggestion to the powers that be.


Jiggy wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Alignment isn't perfect.
Neither are you or I, but let's hope that's not cause for anyone to handwave us away to save themselves some work.

That has nothing to do with anything though?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

MrSin wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Alignment isn't perfect.
Neither are you or I, but let's hope that's not cause for anyone to handwave us away to save themselves some work.
That has nothing to do with anything though?

It was general commentary. Isn't that what yours was, too? Or did I miss something?

Scarab Sages

Bob Jonquet wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
Infernal Healing, on the other hand, has been specifically called out as being ok, and notes that it does not have long term affects on alignment, despite both being an Evil spell and giving an Evil Aura.
That's one of the "cheats" that have been made to allow its use in PFS. An evil spell is evil, period, seems to be the message we are getting from the designers and trying to force that square peg into the round hole of PFS is what is causing all the problems.

If evil is evil, period - then I would agree we need to go the whole hog - ban worshiping evil deities, channeling negative, banning all spell use of evil descriptor and review a few classes, archtypes etc. for removing

. Honestly I would rather do that, that have a fluid 'depends-on-the-GM-at-the-time' or a 'pattern-of-abuse-standard' where what constitutes a pattern changes from GM to GM and possibly from character to character, situation; though I would rather not do either.

The total ban would mean you could hand-wave other alignment spells as not changing alignments. There would have to be a lot of rebuilding - because infernal healing is the basis of healing for so many characters - and considering that often you are at tables without divine spell casters, it is often the only healing at the table. The accessibility of infernal healing, on one example, has been a consideration on picking a few arcane class choices, or dipping into an arcane class [I have a character that usually memorizes an greater infernal healing spell for a little emergency self healing).

Honestly I think the standard should be what you do with the evil spell rather than using it - is healing someone with infernal healing more evil than blowing up people with an intensified fireball?

I have heard GMs say that if one uses an infernal healing wand to heal a cleric with a god of good alignment- it requires an atonement - even if the cleric didn't want it (but was unconscious). That aspect I would really want to see clarified about when that happens or is required.

I think there would be less overall resistance to the evil ban if somehow infernal healing - became a non-evil spell in Pathfinder - a change the Admins are loath to make, I know.


The Beard wrote:

This falls back to the need for additional rules that will prevent GMs from just making rulings based on their own personal preferences. Sure, that necromancer just used create undead to spawn a dread wraith, but he then set this otherworldly horror loose on a bunch of child stealing bandits. At no point did the creature attack anyone that was not involved in the heinous act of child theft, and was promptly sent back to the grave after its task was finished. No collateral damage at all.

They just cast an evil spell for a very good reason, and used the creature spawned in the interest of doing good in the world. What then?

That's exactly the kind of balance I'm talking about- net sum of neutral(ish) hence no extra bookkeeping. Naturally any caster dabbling with Evil runs the same risk as diabolists and necromancers, they're just the darlings of these type of debates, is all :)

Jiggy wrote:
A man so obsessed with his research into undeath that he'll risk self-corruption through the use of dark magics to learn its secrets, and who has to take deliberate precautions to preserve his soul against the darkness, is very interesting and morally-gray concept.

Oh, you've met Pogrist!


I've read over most of this thread thus far.
The biggest issue I have with it is, once a character dips into the evil alignments they are effectively dead without any chance of redemption and their story ends.
To my knowledge, though slim as the possibility may be, every other method of having a character removed from the game has a chance of recovery. Be it being poisoned, petrified, roasted by dragon fire, or a rogue GM killing every character he can find. We have a way to recover the time spent developing that story.
But once someone's turned evil, that's it, they are out of the game, and from what I've been able to infer from some people posting, there's going to be table variances that will cause massive headaches for all, and for more reasons than I've seen so far.
There'd be two ways to do it.
One is to set the alignment lines, but that can and will straightjacket people into a mindset that while 'good' is to me draconian, especially as it would break immersion into the story due to having to weigh every decision instead of bringing the story to life. Plus there will be people who don't track both sides of the equation, as it is a lot of work.
Two is to leave it to the GM's, where one could be at jeopardy change alignments even if you are performing the same actions in similar situations, simply because you are sitting with a different GM. This can lead to hard feelings or worse.
Three, leave it as it was before the ruling. And thus no change from present play.

I'd only be comfortable with such a change to the way alignment works if we had a chance at redemption, a way to keep that story going a little further.
This means letting us play evil characters as we try and redeem them, offering ways to 'buy our way to salvation' or maybe having special scenarios.
I doubt they'd let us play evil characters though, so they'd have to add rulings to limit it, the most interesting I've come up with is making any alignment change a condition that we have a set time to clear before it becomes 'permanent', with my personal preference being 3/6 games depending on your experience track when you acquired it.

Scarab Sages

Mark Seifter wrote:
Keht wrote:

What do you do with the good character who has 12 con, at -11 and bleeding out when a party member hits him with the IH wand to save his life?

Is receiving the healing so evil or is more the person casting it?

In strict observance of this goodness everyone is speaking about should the now saved Cleric or Paladin pay to get an atonement?

I would be sad that the dying character is now dead because infernal healing has a 1 round casting time.

That is why its important to carry a potion of infernal healing on you, but of course that means you are drinking a little devil's blood.

eww

Silver Crusade

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I see a lot of "the ends justify the means" sort of thinking here.

"If I do this really evil act, but its for a good cause, then I'm ok, right?"

That logic leads to a lot of dark places. If we advocate the ends justify the means, then the ban on torture has to go. Just because something had a good result does *not* mean it was good in and of itself.

2/5

Redneckdevil wrote:
If its not important but just basically to define their basic attitudes....then why is it important for a cleric or paladin to stay within a certain alignment? If its not a big deal, then why are their rules of consequence for straying outside ur alignment then?

Even for clerics, alignment isn't a straightjacket. it's not like you perform one uncharacteristic action and you're another alignment. Alignment is just the general trend.

In addition, the paladin code and tenets of the faith are far more restrictive than any alignment. Alignment comes from the faith, not the other way around. For example,

Paladin: The code is more restrictive than the LG alignment, alignment isn't needed and is in fact redundant.

Cleric: Tenets are more restrictive. For example, Iomedae clerics must be act with righteous valor, justice, honor, rooting out evil wherever it's found. Again, alignment is redundant since it's already part of that church's beliefs and tenets.

I'm running an AP right now without alignment and the game is much better for it. Everyone is playing the character they want to play, not the character they should play.


Tumskunde wrote:

I've read over most of this thread thus far.

The biggest issue I have with it is, once a character dips into the evil alignments they are effectively dead without any chance of redemption and their story ends.

You can pay for an atonement. You go to a priest, hand him a pile of gold, go through a short ritual, and boom! Your a good guy again. This all happens offscreen too probably. Not the most exciting story in the world.

Shadow Lodge

I agree. Just because you do something evil for good intentions does not by any means equal that the two nullify out to neutral. That's kind of the entire point of moral repercussions, and exactly what makes playing "grey" interesting. That's also a great reason that those few spells do have an [Evil] tag, because it might seem like it's not that bad, not if you just do it for the greater good. Of course then you see that it really wasn't all that bad, and you shouldn't worry so much next time. . .

Shadow Lodge

MrSin wrote:
Tumskunde wrote:

I've read over most of this thread thus far.

The biggest issue I have with it is, once a character dips into the evil alignments they are effectively dead without any chance of redemption and their story ends.
You can pay for an atonement. You go to a priest, hand him a pile of gold, go through a short ritual, and boom! Your a good guy again. This all happens offscreen too probably. Not the most exciting story in the world.

I would also add that it's not just dipping. It's dipping, and then coming back for a little more, and again, and then simply wading in.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jason S wrote:
Everyone is playing the character they want to play, not the character they should play.

The "should" doesn't come from simply using the alignment system; it comes from picking your alignment first instead of letting your character determine what your alignment is.


DM Beckett wrote:
I agree. Just because you do something evil for good intentions does not by any means equal that the two nullify out to neutral. That's kind of the entire point of moral repercussions, and exactly what makes playing "grey" interesting. That's also a great reason that those few spells do have an [Evil] tag, because it might seem like it's not that bad, not if you just do it for the greater good. Of course then you see that it really wasn't all that bad, and you shouldn't worry so much next time. . .

So evil is using the slippery slope fallacy? Suckers!


The only Good/Evil/Lawful/Chaotic actions I'm talking about are blatant, willful ones that nearly exemplify said alignment. It would have to be a dramatic act to make significant impact on alignment in an episodic game like PFS, as there may be different GMs week to week, no one knows what the character did in between sessions, etc. etc. Casting aligned spells don't even register to my reckoning unless they are dramatically opposed to the professed alignment and repetitive (in session).

Examples of infractions:
-Characters spamming oppositely aligned spell
-Creating undead spawn from grandma, little Timmy, Bob Ross, etc.
-Acting so out of alignment that it's hardly questionable (Chaotic monks, Evil paladins, Lawful barbarians...etc)
-any blatant, willful, disruptive, unquestionably Evil act (common sense applies here)

Examples of things that don't necessarily carry over:
-Aiding oppositely aligned party members
-Creating undead spawn from fallen foes, your own fallen animals/servants/whatever
-Casting aligned spells that don't oppose your alignment (because they match or you are Neutral in that regard)

In an ongoing campaign with constant GM and party composition, patterns and subtleties emerge, but PFS is not such an arena.

Dark Archive

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I just don't see a mechanical reason that the exemption being removed is a good plan. I see a ton of reasons it isn't, and even more reasons waiting in the wings to fall in people's laps once the first wave of problems get resolved. Set aside doing anything for "roleplay" reasons, and consider this for a moment purely from a mechanical stance. As stated earlier, it would ruin a lot of characters. And I mean a /lot/ of characters. That's just the tip of the iceberg as far as trouble it'll cause goes. Yeah, I might have mentioned this already, but it's something that bears repeating. We're seeing a lot of people citing the roleplaying aspect of the game as their primary reasoning.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Jiggy wrote:
The "should" doesn't come from simply using the alignment system; it comes from picking your alignment first instead of letting your character determine what your alignment is.

This...In my last home-game, the characters started with an "undefined" alignment, even the paladin. I, as the GM, determined their alignment based on their actions as the game progressed with occasional shifts. It was a bit cumbersome for me, but the players liked it because they could just act as they envisioned the character rather than trying to fit the specifics of what was written in the CRB. Of course, in a shared campaign that's not possible, but that fact results in alignment being an uncertain thing with table variation. Unless you are pushing the bounds of acceptability, you should incur no issues with alignment or GMs with differing opinions.

IMO, alignment does not determine actions, actions determine alignment.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Let me put it this way.

What has anyone been doing that is so absolutely horrible that you need to turn to your fellow player and say "Stop playing your character" ?


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Let me put it this way.

What has anyone been doing that is so absolutely horrible that you need to turn to your fellow player and say "Stop playing your character" ?

I could make a list... But that's probably best left to another thread(one with lots of funny stories preferably, because I have a lot of those). Safe to say its of a variety of alignments and character concepts though. Only one evil one has really gotten to me in the past, and that's because the GM was fine with PvP. Don't see to many evil guys around sometimes.

Sovereign Court

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Let me put it this way.

What has anyone been doing that is so absolutely horrible that you need to turn to your fellow player and say "Stop playing your character" ?

Well, I've been playing organized since about 2001, which isn't long. However, in that time I think the only time that I've seen a major disturbance due to someone's actions is when a Cavalier killed a villager NPC (the NPC was fair game, due to actions the NPC was taking) then strung the NPC up on a gibbet and carved a threatening message to the rest of the (innocent) town into the gibbet itself.

I've never really thought that casting a spell with a certain type of descriptor was that large of an issue.

Dark Archive

MrSin wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Let me put it this way.

What has anyone been doing that is so absolutely horrible that you need to turn to your fellow player and say "Stop playing your character" ?

I could make a list... But that's probably best left to another thread(one with lots of funny stories preferably, because I have a lot of those). Safe to say its of a variety of alignments and character concepts though. Only one evil one has really gotten to me in the past, and that's because the GM was fine with PvP. Don't see to many evil guys around sometimes.

I rather hope the mention of PvP isn't pertaining to a PFS game, because that's quite a no-no, isn't it?


Dhjika wrote:

is healing someone with infernal healing more evil than blowing up people with an intensified fireball?

No. Casting Infernal Healing is more evil than casting an Intensified Fireball. (or should be, I believe is the argument.)


I prefer saving my infernal healiong for saving dying characters, and my intensified fireballs for innocent people.


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The Beard wrote:
MrSin wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Let me put it this way.

What has anyone been doing that is so absolutely horrible that you need to turn to your fellow player and say "Stop playing your character" ?

I could make a list... But that's probably best left to another thread(one with lots of funny stories preferably, because I have a lot of those). Safe to say its of a variety of alignments and character concepts though. Only one evil one has really gotten to me in the past, and that's because the GM was fine with PvP. Don't see to many evil guys around sometimes.
I rather hope the mention of PvP isn't pertaining to a PFS game, because that's quite a no-no, isn't it?

Oh! Definitely not. That's a long story, ended with someone being turned into a possum. Bit of a noodle incident to be honest...


Just trying to point out the difference. You're (in the general sense) tying two acts together in order to taint one of them. Guilt by association as it were.
Healing someone is a good act.
Casting Infernal Healing is a bad act.
Casting Infernal Healing to heal someone is two acts (so to speak).
I understand the "doing bad for the greater good" argument, I just always get annoyed when people making that argument try to say it makes the "bad act" a "good act." It is still bad, just outweighed.

But I really shouldn't be in PFS forums. I was just being nosy and that caught my eye.

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