Making a Pacifist Character


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After some issues with my Sorcerer's damage in my recent campaign I've decided to make a Pacifist support character. Basically the concept is that they're perfectly OK supporting and healing other, homicidal characters (especially for cash, as this a Skulls and Shackles campaign) they simply don't harm anyone themselves, won't even carry a weapon or eat meat.

My idea at the moment is an Aasimar Oracle of Life with a focus on channelling. Because that's always fun, or at least effective. I'd appreciate alternative, more original characters or additions to the concept - the single rule is that they can't be capable of hurting anyone. I'm not even planning on de-buff spells. Old D&D and third party will be considered, too.


Good luck, this might be interesting.


Healer class from 3.5 D&D would be the closest thing I can think of. All their abilities are geared towards healing and nothing else. Awesome at their job, just don't expect to be doing anything else.


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Well, since you already suggested an oracle with the willingness to help out more bloodthristy customers for full duty support, do you have an objection to renting out the services of a deadly animal?

I mean, the nature oracle's mount has 6 int, which basically means they might be intelligent enough to train themselves without a need for a squeamish owner having to teach it how to hunt and kill. Theoretically, you would not even need to use handle animal since it is so smart. Thus, your character sticks to the background and its guardian brings the damage on its own. Not entirely sure how much that you would need to segregate your character concept from the actual rules though (as in, do you need to use handle animal even though your AC might be smarter than some party fighters?)

Being small would be a plus, since this just seems easier to pull off with a large, territorial predator than with a horse. Of course the creature would have to hunt on its own rather than your providing food since you refuse to eat meat.

Over all, nature oracle might work well for this concept though, since an early, momentary flashes of the speak with animals revelation while next to a slaughterhouse or a fishing harbor could make you very aware of the pain of all living things.


Healer is a possibility. I have the Miniatures Handboook, but I've never really looked at it, so I shall peruse.

Part of the reason for doing this character is that my previous character did not impress the GM, so I'd prefer to avoid rolling for damage at all, even with an animal companion.

Silver Crusade

Nonnie is essentially the character you describe. Click on the name above for the character's history. I have had success using Mage Hand to drop a blanket on foes. Forbid Action is also a very potent spell in combat. The trait "Blade of Mercy" allows you to use a slashing weapon to inflict nonlethal damage without the -4 penalty.

I also buy elvish trail rations - they're more expensive, but vegetarian.

A character who does not engage in combat can contribute to the party. Keeping enemies alive is often more useful than killing them. Questioning a living person is easier than questioning a dead one.

Nonnie's refusal to kill does not extend to demons and devils. He will also attack summoned creatures and eidolons, since you can't generally kill them.


Nonsense, make a pacifist combat character, a sap vivisectionist alchemist. Although mixing your non-leathal damage with other characters lethal damage is not all that good, having sap master doubles your sneak attack non-lethal damage so that you can try to "race" the other members of your party to see if you can knock an opponent out before they kill it.

Alternatively how about an alchemist with non-lethal bombs - smoke, stink, tanglefoot, blinding and such.


im not trying to be rude but dont in my experiences pacifist character bring the game down it ruins good times and just bothers the other party member if you want to do something like it you could be someone who hates killing or violence but dont play the full blown pacifist vegetarian


Just finished up a rise of the runelords where I played a pacifist healing cleric. I wasnt quite as stringent as you, I used nondamaging debuffs and summoned... twice. I enjoyed it. The DM seemed to think it was my luck domain power that was over the top, not the archer it was being used on, so you can still be quite effective. If allowed the healers touch achievement feat fits perfectly.


I'd actually suggest a monk myself. Probably either Flowing monk or Master of Many styles.

As flowing monk you could focus in directing where your enemy stands.

Likely a better one would be the mater of many styles monk. Trip, grapple, disarm, dirty maneuver are all fair game without actually harming your opponents and still hindering your enemy and supporting the other characters.

Could do a sorcerer (depending on level) that focuses on spells that daze, paralyze and debuffs enemies as well.


JonGarrett wrote:

After some issues with my Sorcerer's damage in my recent campaign I've decided to make a Pacifist support character. Basically the concept is that they're perfectly OK supporting and healing other, homicidal characters (especially for cash, as this a Skulls and Shackles campaign) they simply don't harm anyone themselves, won't even carry a weapon or eat meat.

My idea at the moment is an Aasimar Oracle of Life with a focus on channelling. Because that's always fun, or at least effective. I'd appreciate alternative, more original characters or additions to the concept - the single rule is that they can't be capable of hurting anyone. I'm not even planning on de-buff spells. Old D&D and third party will be considered, too.

Use my 'mad dwarf':

Dwarven Cleric (Evangelist - Madness)
He's not just a straight healer and as such he's a lot more fun to play. Evangelist gives you Bardic buffs and spontaneous enchantments while the Madness domain gives you access to one of the best buffs/debuffs in the game: Visions of Madness. The dwarven favored class option will give you plenty of uses. You'll facilitate tons of carnage without ever doing a point of damage yourself... which means that you should target the healing achievement feat ASAP.

IMO that suits the theme of the AP a lot better than an angelic pacifist might and should be a lot more fun to play than a simple heal bot.


Hmm.. there's some levels of pacifism you might need to consider.

Will you be willing to:

- Cast sleep on someone? It's kind of a debuff, but it ends things quite peaceably, although what your comrades do after that might not be.

- Cast summon monster or use an animal companion? It's not technically "you" doing the damage/killing/attacks, but it's a fine point. Technically if you are a wizard with a familiar, you could have it doing the touch attack to deliver a debuff... is that still bad?

- Destroy non-living things? Especially the unthinking undead or constructs? I mean, it's basically no different than bashing down a door when you get right down to it.

- Kill things that are irredeemably evil/destructive? A demon is on a rampage, will you debuff it or attack it? How will you react when a Purple Worm is about to eat that orphanage? Etc, etc.

These are things that will come up in play. Good to think about them in advance so you know how to react, and know how to build your character.

.

As for ideas...

Hedge Witch is a nice option that is different from the typical cleric or oracle of healing. Different set of buff spells, and such.
If you are okay with using Sleep (maybe through your familiar), that's an option too.

Bards are also great for buffing the group, lots of abilities and spells to boost people or heal them. Geisha and Songhealer (note, they don't interfere with each other, so you can be BOTH), are great for more buffing/less attacking. Only things you give up are weapon/armor proficiencies and some attacky performances.
Well... and versatile performance, but that's neither here nor there. You can focus on Int, since your spellcasting stat (Charisma) isn't as needed if you don't need to boost save DCs.
Nice out of combat usage there too, since you can focus on knowledge and other skills. Be the party face, know-it-all, and healer/buffer all wrapped in one.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

There is the spell weaver prc from 3.5 that might be interesting for you. Basically you get to do mass buffs on your party at range.
Another one is play a Razmiran Sorcerer. I have one I've been playing in PFS that is a pacifist ( for similar reasons to yours it sounds). Now I know you said limited debuffs, but charm person and lock gaze are some really (potentially) useful spells if you have a high DC. I play mine as the quintessential "Preacher Bob" type (Stillwater OK ref). Then doing the fake healing is quite nice too as it adds some interesting fluff to my in party role play.

Liberty's Edge

A life shaman could be VERY interesting...


Thank you all for the advice. I might take some of it as a back up, but I don't intend to even take a swing at people.

Yes, playing a pacifist character isn't my first choice. But I literally can't damage people without a series of comments on how I'm trivializing the encounter. The guy with the 3d6+6 Large Earthbreaker (not including some rage) and the dual wilding Knife Master Rogue flanking with him for a total of 4d8+2d4+4 damage are all fine, but being able to use Snowball to do 5d6 six times a day was too much. Heck, I got told off for the 1d4+1 might oof Acid Spash and Havok of the Society combo once. It got so bad that it was ruled that when I killed a enemy all his gear was destroyed too, "Because you did so much damage."

So I simply have no intention of interacting with enemies at all with this new character. Not unless I have to to prevent a TPK.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

With all due respect, it sounds like your gaming group might have issues a pacifist character isn't going to solve.


MythicFox wrote:
With all due respect, it sounds like your gaming group might have issues a pacifist character isn't going to solve.

Agreed. Lot of full-caster hate going on there.


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Sounds like your problem is a childish GM and childish players. Are you playing a home game or is this PFS? Based on comments I'm guessing home game.


I say go Dual-Cursed Lunar Oracle (wolf-scarred/deaf fit the mystery well), and have your animal companion do all the damage while you debuff enemies/heal.

I've played pacifist healers before, and it's exceptionally boring unless you have a secondary role. So, I highly recommend either debuffing, casting illusions (Haunted curse), or a utility role like divination (Seer Oracle).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

If I can add something: While I don't wish to cast aspersions or anything, I do hope your decision to play a pacifist character isn't some sort of passive-aggressive revenge move. Because if it is, it's going to lead to bad feelings and someone will probably wind up walking away from the gaming table over it.

And even if it isn't, it's likely to look like it -- leading to bad feelings and someone probably walking away from the table over it.

Just a warning. Best of luck.


It's a home game - and last time I played a fighter. Still got grief. So it seems to be an issue between me and the GM...which I'm aware should be dealt with in other ways. It was talked about before the campaign and I thought the issue resolved, but apparently it hasn't been. I'd walk away if I felt I could, but it'll likely cause bad feelings, and being irked over Pathfinder isn't something I'm willing to cause a fight over, since the rest our friendship is good. I won't be playing in his future campaigns, however. It's not ideal, but I'm just not willing to upset my personal life and friendships over this.

The move to make the character a full pacifist was because of his frustration with me doing damage, but the move to a support character was done because we lost both out witch and cleric players (They both didn't like there character, so one has switched to a Hexcrafter Magus and the other a Barbarian/Ragechemist build) so we did need an additional support character anyway.

Anyway, thank you all for the concern - I'm aware this is a somewhat crappy situation, and ideally I'd simply get out of it - but I' appreciate it if people could limit advice to character creation, at least for now. It's not really fair for me to give my side in such little detail, and of course not get the GM's version of events, especially since I'm currently at least in a fairly bad mood about it.


Could play a cleric of who has the protection/defense AND magic/divine domain to always boost ur people and then channel as ur healing. U would never attack and u could wear heavy armor and tower shield if u want and not need uses feat since u will not b attacking.


Monk of the lotus with touch of serenity. Sensei if the archetypes'll overlap.
Take crane or snake style for extra defense. Trip/disarm for "safety's sake"


Make a paciFIST a monk of some kind

Didn't read the whole thread so I suspect the joke was made


I think this might be the class that you are looking for malefactor. it all about debuffing your enemy by curse like effect. most don't even do damage. take the blade of mercy trait to do a harrowing strike here and there and your all good.


I never really played 3.5, so I don't have the same opinions on power level and viability of that era's classes as others do (or any opinions, really).

However, if you're a pacifist, surely nothing you make will be all that disruptive. I humbly submit the Apostle of Peace, but, for fun, enter as a monk of the lotus. You have the ability to still anything which is not tranquil with a touch (well, a punch, but still). The vows appear to keep you wearing few or no magic items, but provide great defensive bonuses in return. Thus, you may sit placidly in the middle of battle, abetting allies and allowing foes to wage useless battle against you. They will wield spells of furious power; arcane fire will roll down your shoulders like a soothing rain. They will take unfailing aim with mighty arms, and be rendered harmless by your serenity.

Keeping it Pathfinder only, I've been perpending a Dawnflower Dissident build with the intention of staying frustratingly harmless in combat. Specifically, I like the idea of using the sixth-level Shift Blame ability to cause enemies to attack each other instead of you. I don't know whether this comports with your idea of pacifism, but, if it does, here are some entry ideas:

  • cleric with Conversion or Heresy inquisition to maximize Bluff
  • oracle with maximized bluff; flame oracle could work for cinder dance (move faster! Provoke more AoOs!), as could life oracle (be so helpful!), or lore/ nature oracle (have all the AC!)

For even more fun (with either class, really) one could pick up a ki pool (monk 4, ninja 2, shigenjo (oracle archetype) 7, ...) and take Bewildering Koan. If you're already maximizing Bluff (for the Dawnflower Dissident, perhaps?), this comports nicely with pacifism. Those are my ideas; I hope something there helps!


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I sorta did the same thing with my Life Oracle for PFS. Pretty much the ultimate healer. The only offense I have is Hold Person, Channel Energy (Alignment Channel) and just recently, Searing Light. Mainly I just keep Lifelink up and Shield Other on the main melee person. On numerous occasions such as AOE spells I have been dropped to single digit HPs only to go back up to full after a channel energy and quick channel in the same round (I recently ate a Horrid Wilting without dropping Lifelink.

If you want to have a look...http://paizo.com/people/KaerilAdon

The normal PFS group I play with LOVES this character. The rest of the party likes it because they can concentrate on offense. The only thing I need is for them to keep the enemy off of me.


Thassilonian Greed Specialist. A wizard specializing in the transmutation school. One the best buffers around. Focus on control spells as your secondary option.

On a similar note, this is a great setup for a Mystic Theurge. Especially if you can go Aasimar and use the spell like abilities for early entry into the PrC. (I realize this is cheese, but it's generally accepted cheese. It's even legal in Pathfinder Society play.)

Theurges are considered underpowered in most respects, but their wide spell selection make them fantastic buffers while still having okay control.

There's also nothing wrong with the Oracle of Life approach (it was the first one that jumped to mind). They have a few spells you can use to disarm or incapacitate, and the rest of your slots will be spent on buffing and healing spells.

Whatever you choose, I'd suggest spending a lot of time creating a character personality that's really fun to roleplay though. Fights are likely to get boring if all you do is buff and heal. Perhaps an evanglist cleric? That would give you a reason to role play during fights as you extort your allies and banter with or condem your enemies.

Shadow Lodge

Merciful Healer cleric fits a pacifist flavor, and you can remove debuffs as you channel. Could work. Monk also works well, and there is the peace vow you can always take.


I hope your GM loves role playing.

Silver Crusade

Declindgrunt wrote:
im not trying to be rude but dont in my experiences pacifist character bring the game down it ruins good times and just bothers the other party member if you want to do something like it you could be someone who hates killing or violence but dont play the full blown pacifist vegetarian

As you say, it depends on the character's degree of pacifism. I do not try to stop other characters from doing their jobs. I just try to prevent killing unnecessarily, even to the point of stabilizing fallen opponents. I recognize that Golarion is a violent place, and killing cannot always be avoided.

I can make a more valuable contribution by keeping my allies alive than by wading into combat myself.

A character who tries to be a Gandhi would certainly be a drag on the party. "Ha! I have scored a moral victory by allowing you to strike me!"

EDIT: "Stabilizing opponents" means "stabilizing opponents AFTER combat"!


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/other-races/featured-races/arg-aasimar/tranqu il-guardian

a a pacifist class if iv ever seen one.


JonGarrett wrote:

It's a home game - and last time I played a fighter. Still got grief. So it seems to be an issue between me and the GM...which I'm aware should be dealt with in other ways. It was talked about before the campaign and I thought the issue resolved, but apparently it hasn't been. I'd walk away if I felt I could, but it'll likely cause bad feelings, and being irked over Pathfinder isn't something I'm willing to cause a fight over, since the rest our friendship is good. I won't be playing in his future campaigns, however. It's not ideal, but I'm just not willing to upset my personal life and friendships over this.

The move to make the character a full pacifist was because of his frustration with me doing damage, but the move to a support character was done because we lost both out witch and cleric players (They both didn't like there character, so one has switched to a Hexcrafter Magus and the other a Barbarian/Ragechemist build) so we did need an additional support character anyway.

Anyway, thank you all for the concern - I'm aware this is a somewhat crappy situation, and ideally I'd simply get out of it - but I' appreciate it if people could limit advice to character creation, at least for now. It's not really fair for me to give my side in such little detail, and of course not get the GM's version of events, especially since I'm currently at least in a fairly bad mood about it.

I like that you have decided to go the opposite of what has gotten you in "trouble" with the other players and GM.

May I also suggest that you make a completely useless character, the worst you can think of. Not like "Wizard with 10 int" but more like a very, very suboptimal build. Sit back and watch. Play a Bard.

Alternatively you could play something that is truly optimal and revel in it's might. A summoner comes to mind :)...

I once played in a group with a very, very loud player (he has since gotten better). One day I became weary of him HOGGINGthe spotlight, shouting, and general being a bousterous boor. SO, I made a character who was deaf, who couldn't hear himself speak very well so he ALWAYS SHOUTED. ALL THE TIME, EVEN WHEN THE GROUP WAS HAVING A QUIET MEETING IN THE TAVERN. REALLY DROVE THE POINT HOME TO THE OTHER PLAYER. IT WAS FUN TOO!


We have a pacifist vegetarian gnome paladin veterinarian in our campaign, and it's great fun watching how he interacts with the party. He currently has a docile, mangey old bear he's just bought from captivity at the circus.

Some characters may well be sub optimal if the game is wholly combat driven, but if you want your game to be more fun- and reading your post I think you do- there can be a lot to enjoy from out of the ordinary characters.


Well, from the sounds of what you've lost, a Bard (Geisha/Songhealer) sounds like it could have a lot of the utility and enough healing for what you lost.
With inspire courage, heroism, haste and whatnot, you'll be able to buff others into doing tons more damage, effectively hiding the damage you are bringing to the party.

Instead of a bunch of d6s hitting an enemy, you might make the others do a bunch more d6s on the extra attack they get, or the extra attack bonus letting a bad roll still do damage, or just the straight up bonus damage you are granting them.

In my experience, if you have a combat heavy group, if you took into account all the damage that occurred from the Bard's buffs, he'd be the highest damage dealer in the group.
And yet, no one notices because you didn't roll any of it yourself. Everyone else feels awesome for getting to roll bigger numbers.

Unless you think they'll be upset that your character is causing them to do so much damage. ;)

Hope you can find your fun with this group!


JonGarrett wrote:

After some issues with my Sorcerer's damage in my recent campaign I've decided to make a Pacifist support character. Basically the concept is that they're perfectly OK supporting and healing other, homicidal characters (especially for cash, as this a Skulls and Shackles campaign) they simply don't harm anyone themselves, won't even carry a weapon or eat meat.

My idea at the moment is an Aasimar Oracle of Life with a focus on channelling. Because that's always fun, or at least effective. I'd appreciate alternative, more original characters or additions to the concept - the single rule is that they can't be capable of hurting anyone. I'm not even planning on de-buff spells. Old D&D and third party will be considered, too.

You have GM problems, and damage is the least optimal thing you can do with a caster. Buffing, debuffing, and SoL's are more troublesome to deal with..:)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

seconded - nothing like being the debuffer...


My thoughts are that if you were playing a one of module or something you might be OK but to try it in an AP that has lots of combat going on and the need for all PC's to chip in and do there bit...

Good luck sir...

The problem I see is that the pc you had annoyed the group as is did a lot of damage. You now want to go the complete opposite and do one that does no damage.

Honestly...you will get the same reaction as you have gone the other way now.

Find a happy medium, a healer/buffer and hitter instead.


3.5 vows... Vow of peace....any healer, ever... /finish


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If the GM is allowing for personal feelings to enter into this it wont matter what he does. He is better off leaving the game if the conflict can not be settled.


The out of game stuff sounds messy. I'd suggest doing what you can with talking to the GM and other players, trying to resolve these things so that they don't poison the game or for that matter your friendship.

However playing a pacifist character does also sound like a lot of fun. Particularly if you avoid building someone who makes things more difficult for everyone else because of your own code of morality (the paladin dilemma).

Bards are a great choice for pacifists in my opinion. You can buff and heal your friends without needing to commit any violence yourself. Druids can be quite good as well, as long as you focus on the less combative side of their abilities.


Just a note - the group was entirely fine, and entirely support me. The GM was the only one upset with me. As I mentioned, the others are a fairly brutal bunch, and usually out damage me - it's simply an issue between me and the GM, and since this is the sole issue between me and the GM (and one that I have talked with him about before and assumed had been solved) I'm not especially interested in causing issues.

The character is, if I can, going to be as helpful to the rest of the cast while at the same time not directly harming the enemy in anyway. I don't want to sabotage the game or make anything awkward, and I certainly don't want to spoil things for the other players - including an old friend who lives with me and my wife. So being effective is a definite must.

I'll look over the character suggestions in a short while, since I'll be writing the character up this evening. Thank you all for the help.

Silver Crusade

wraithstrike wrote:
If the GM is allowing for personal feelings to enter into this it wont matter what he does. He is better off leaving the game if the conflict can not be settled.

This. Without a doubt. The GM is your play by play guy, not your color commentator. One more sit-down talk and if its not resolved, walk away.


For the curious - my wife talked to the GM, who apologized, saying he hadn't realized he'd been making so many comments about my character. So that's all resolved.

But since I'm still working on the character, any futher suggestions for that would be welcome. I've become quite enamoured with the idea. I shall definitely be using the Vow of Non-Violence and Vow of Peace from D&D's book of exalted deeds, and am tempted by the vow of Poverty as well.


I would avoid VoP. Magic items are good, not just for static bonuses, but because they give you options, and VoP does not allow for any magic items.

Contributor

I don't really have any advice to offer up on this one because I've never liked the concept of a pacifist character. Why is someone who doesn't like hurting people adventuring at all? More importantly, why do you feel the need to play a pacifist character in a game where over 90% of the rules are about ways to violently inflict painful death onto your enemies.

Pacifism works for NPCs. For PCs, I've found that its often used as a poor man's excuse for a personality. If you've written your character's backstory, look at it. Often pacifism will utterly dominate it; your backstory will explain why the character is pacifist but provide little to no actual information about the character.

Just my 2 cp. Enjoy your game!


Well an amusing build I did was a Tetori Monk of Irori. His viewpoint was that any idiot can kill another, it takes true skill to defeat a person without killing. So he always did non-lethal damage, and grappled his opponents into submission if they fought. Though he always tried diplomacy first. He still followed Irori's tenants. The only beings hes ever "killed" were undead as they technically were never alive and are usually hostile (they always tended to strike first)
Though that campaign, my character actually walked/ran away from the group several times, because they were making dumb mistakes and they all got arrested and went to magic jail (my guy was free as a bird and continued on his mission)


Wait a minute. Just wait a damn minute. Your DM was upset about a 5d6 snowball? Only 5d6?
I got one player who deals over 150 damage, whatever energy he wants, snowballs at 11th lvl! Hell, I think I'm even lowballing it! Point is that your DM is complaining about rain when he's never seen the hurricane!
As for the pacifict, look up old 3.5 Book of Exalted Deeds, they have some fun options.


I'm going to recommend a witch. They have good buff spells and the hexes are great at buffing and debuffing. When I played one, I rarely rolled dice, let alone made damage rolls. One note: to avoid boredom and the ire of your DM, I would avoid the Slumber hex. You'll end up doing nothing but that hex otherwise.


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I doubt that 5 years later this is still an issue.

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