Why do people presume undead template means evil template?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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We're set on moving then, huh?


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Moving Goalposts wrote:
We're set on moving then, huh?

You poor thing =[

You deserve the chance to catch your breath.

-Nearyn


Nearyn wrote:
The Sword wrote:

Naeryn: Are you saying you could animate a ghoul PC with create undead to play as a ghoul in a standard game without some special dispensation from the GM, including continuing to gain class levels?

You are saying that is possible under the rules?

It is absolutely possible to continue playing a character, that has been animated with create undead. I'd personally like my GM's cooperation in the matter, since there is no ghoul template - meaning I'd rely on my GM and myself adjusting my newly ghouled character with the rules found in the bestiary, which include adding class-levels to monsters.

I cannot say if you would count that as "special dispensation", but it is very much within the rules of the game. =]

-Nearyn

So you would need to homebrew a ghoul template??? And run a monster as a PC???

... aaaaaand you don't see that as a departure from the rules of the game?

Nearyn if you are homebrewing monster PCs you can play a Tarrasque magus for all I care - it's your table - provided your other players are ok. It's nice how you would like your DMs cooperation though. (Entitlement much?) It isn't as if DMs are the ultimate arbiters of the rules or anything [sarcasm]

Nearyn wrote:
What you call hair splitting, I call paying attention to the words of the game, and playing by the rules.

It seems you have a much looser definition of the rules of the game than you claim.


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There is literally a section from the bestiary titled "Monsters as PCs" that covers this situation. What are you even talking about?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ryan Freire wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
You must be a riot to game with.
You are arguing on an Internet forum. Don't cast stones.
Far as I'm concerned the stone throwing started right about here.

The difference is what the stones are thrown at. Target the argument, not the person.


"Using one of the monsters presented in this book as a character can be very rewarding, but weighing such a character against others is challenging. Monsters are not designed with the rules for players in mind, and as such can be very unbalancing if not handled carefully."

That is what I am talking about.

"GMs should carefully consider any monster PCs in their groups. Some creatures are simply not suitable for play as PCs, due to their powers or role in the game. As monster characters progress, GMs should closely monitor whether such characters are disruptive or abusive to the rules and modify them as needed to improve play."


I cannot tell what you're trying to say by bolding that phrase from one sentence from a 6 paragraph section.


I' am saying that the rules for monsters were not designed for players therefore playing a monster race is with DMs dispensation.

I am saying if you have DMs dispensation you can play whatever you like.

I am saying that homebrewing a ghoul template is not playing within the rules that Nearyn extolls so vocally. It is making them up. Which I am all in favour of it fits your game group.


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There's no homebrewing ghoul templates or anything like that being discussed by anyone else, and nobody other than you said anything about ignoring the existence of GMs or whatever you're on about now. You're officially arguing with an imaginary opponent.


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The Sword wrote:
That is the ghoul fever rule in the bestiary. If your player character is a ghoul with DM permission you are off the reservation rules wise - anything is fair game.

So, if your a ghoul without ghoul fever your fine. Hmm... that probably explains why a ghoul in Rise of the Runelord retains his levels when he becomes a ghoul through a method that isn't ghoul fever, but the ones he infects lack class levels.

Though, ghoul PC's is allowed by RAW without any homebrewing or houserules.

The Sword wrote:

Naeryn: Are you saying you could animate a ghoul PC with create undead to play as a ghoul in a standard game without some special dispensation from the GM, including continuing to gain class levels?

You are saying that is possible under the rules?

Ghouls can gain class level and can be played as a PC under the rules. I mean god, obviously ghouls can get class levels, there is a whole chapter of Monster Codex of ghouls with various class levels and the Monsters as PC rules work without issue or need to homebrew or houserule with Ghouls.


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Hey, The_Sword, I get that you really dislike the undead rules. I really do get it, there are (other) rules in the game I'm not wild about. Since you have such a strong dislike for the current rule, you might find your ideas for house ruling better received on the homebrew forum than here.
Also, in general, people on the forums would be more accepting of your homebrew if you identified it as homebrew, and not as the base Pathfinder rules.


This is just a shock for some people (possible to play monsters).

They get stuck in a mindset/paradigm, when you argue outside it, it upsets them.

It would be interesting roleplay how you sneak off to graveyard to eat their dead of every town you visit.


Starbuck_II wrote:

This is just a shock for some people (possible to play monsters).

They get stuck in a mindset/paradigm, when you argue outside it, it upsets them.

It would be interesting roleplay how you sneak off to graveyard to eat their dead of every town you visit.

you don't need to go to the graveyard, just drag a few bandits or goblins along and bury them outside of town, just remember where you buried them and you should be fine


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also with goblin you might want to bring floss, they are rather stringy


There are more than a few non-evil undead to be found in myths, legends and other source materials too. Mummies are divine rulers, bodies preserved in case they one day return to lead the living once more. All the stuff about curses tended to come from gods and spirits acting as tomb guardians, the mummies themselves being more likely to return with powers fitting the glorious god-kings they had become. LN is much more likely for a mummy alignment, with a decent number of LE and LG over the centuries.
There are so many stories of goodly ghosts that Paizo has even granted them an exemption from their view of non-evil undead being anathema to the Golarion setting.
And here and there other stories crop up about undead who aren't malevolent. It's been a long time and the details are fuzzy, but I recall a tale of a murdered man, who later overhread his killers standing on his grave and plotting to rob his daughter and fiance on their wedding. He dug himself out and proceeded to warn the police and his daughter. He was there when they were caught, and didn't go trying to kill them or anything. He did wish his daughter a wonderful life, and returned to his grave to rest in peace.
And then there are ideas that just don't work if all undead must be evil. A paladin, loyal beyond death, who still strives to complete their last, vital objective; to hold back the hordes of Hell at a forgotten portal or to protect all travelers in an area from whatever killed the paladin.
Perhaps something based on the RL, self-mummifying monks? Sounds like a non-evil lich option.


the whole nocturnal thing had a big impact. Mainly it was being able to ignore things that would hurt the rest of the party, poisons, enchantments, and Fortitude based stuff really. I think it got annoying very quickly. I certainly wouldn't want to play a character that was pissing off the rest of the party.


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The Sword wrote:
the whole nocturnal thing had a big impact. Mainly it was being able to ignore things that would hurt the rest of the party, poisons, enchantments, and Fortitude based stuff really. I think it got annoying very quickly. I certainly wouldn't want to play a character that was pissing off the rest of the party.

How the heck would being immune to a bunch of stuff be annoying? If you're worried about us healers feeling down that a party member is immune to a bunch of stuff, well I'm only one healer, but to me a party member that's immune to a ton of stuff means I can focus my status removal/protection on the rest of the party.


I do think undead have too many immunities personally, especially mind-affecting... I mean... why... vampires still have minds, ghosts still have minds.... It's easier to manipulate the mind of a superpowerful eldritch being formed from thousands of damned souls condensed into flesh than it is to manipulate the mind of a ghoul? You can't feint skeletons? You cannot be a badass paladin who intimidates shadows?

Shadow Lodge

the Smurfoz wrote:
TL;DR of Ashiel's point: It's okay to say alignment/undead/smurfs are objective and absolute. It's not okay to say they are always absolute according to the rules. Because they aren't.

because sometimes smurfs are actually feegles


Because we don't play with one player stealing the limelight. Our parties share threats and risks. If you are playing reign of winter and one player is immune to cold damage and the others aren't I would expect frustration at the table. That's just how we roll.

I'm not sure why you should need a feat for turning personally Milo. Thems the breaks though.


The Sword wrote:
I'm not sure why you should need a feat for turning personally Milo. Thems the breaks though.

Admittedly, I actually prefer what they did with Turn/Rebuke Undead, since I've seen more clerics who's religion didn't focus on being anti-undead or pro-undead, than I have religions who did have a focus on it. I mean, I'd still prefer if there was a way to not be linked to positive or negative energy but I'll take what I can get (Okay, there's divine strategist that removes it but that works for less concepts than the energies do).


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The Sword wrote:

Because we don't play with one player stealing the limelight. Our parties share threats and risks. If you are playing reign of winter and one player is immune to cold damage and the others aren't I would expect frustration at the table. That's just how we roll.

I'm not sure why you should need a feat for turning personally Milo. Thems the breaks though.

That feels... very alien to me. Do people in your group get angry at paladin players for being immune to fear, or alchemists for being immune to poison? If not, why is that any different from immunity to cold?

What's so inherently wrong with different people having different defensive capabilities?


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Aratrok wrote:
The Sword wrote:

Because we don't play with one player stealing the limelight. Our parties share threats and risks. If you are playing reign of winter and one player is immune to cold damage and the others aren't I would expect frustration at the table. That's just how we roll.

I'm not sure why you should need a feat for turning personally Milo. Thems the breaks though.

That feels... very alien to me. Do people in your group get angry at paladin players for being immune to fear, or alchemists for being immune to poison? If not, why is that any different from immunity to cold?

What's so inherently wrong with different people having different defensive capabilities?

there isn't anything wrong with it


No one got angry, we're friends. Normal people don't do that in a game. If immunity to cold came as an addition at no cost to the player and cold was the main source of damage in the world then yes that is allowing one player to saunter through challenges that others struggle with.

In carrion crown being an undead is a dramatic advantage for many many reasons.

The issue isn't immune to poison or immune to disease. It is immune to poison and disease and level drain and ability damage and negative energy and mind effecting spells and resistance to cold and electricity and damage from normal weapons.

(Edit with immunities)


Funny thing, with their immunities and difficulties healing undead are harder to fit into a game, but there is a race with all the undead immunities + immune to things that effect undead + are harder to heal than undead + are harder to deal with if they die than undead. Wyrwood.


Milo v3 wrote:
Funny thing, with their immunities and difficulties healing undead are harder to fit into a game, but there is a race with all the undead immunities + immune to things that effect undead + are harder to heal than undead + are harder to deal with if they die than undead. Wyrwood.

that's why i convinced my dm to allow the repair/inflict damage spells from Ebberon


Someone correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the APs from Paizo cakewalks if you optimize even slightly? That's the impression I got from the forums at least.


We heavily beef up the encounters in all the aps we play to compensate. If you're not playing PFS they are a resource like any other.


HyperMissingno wrote:
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the APs from Paizo cakewalks if you optimize even slightly? That's the impression I got from the forums at least.

Some of them, yes. Kingmaker and Curse fo the Crimson Throne are, definitely.

The later books of Carrion Crown and Reign of Winter are super deadly. Optimization is almost necessary


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The Sword wrote:

Naeryn: Are you saying you could animate a ghoul PC with create undead to play as a ghoul in a standard game without some special dispensation from the GM, including continuing to gain class levels?

You are saying that is possible under the rules?

Not only is there an entire section of the bestiary explicitly about playing as monsters but there's also nothing that strips a character's accumulated experience totals or their ability to gain levels, so even if a character is turned into a ghoul, they're going to have some class levels very soon after if they were higher than their effective character level is as a ghoul.

Further, creating ghouls via create undead doesn't strip anyone of levels as ghoul fever does, which doesn't even imply a rebuild of the character as with ghoul fever.

And while purely anecdotal, I have indeed played undead characters, using create undead spells to do so, after discussing it with my GM(s).

While I'm not sure what you mean by "standard game", I can only assume that it means 15 PB, core races, Pathfinder rules followed, no special house rules, etc. Which, amusingly, is the exact sort of game that I played a Mummy in (I had a curse of the crimson throne character that became a mummy very early in her adventuring career).

The sky doesn't fall.


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On a side note, I really like this feat: Civilized Ghoulishness.

EDIT: As an aside, I mentioned ghouls because they are among the easiest undead to end up as in the game and some of the least offensive in terms of wild supernatural powers. The most powerful thing a ghoul has going for it is its paralysis which makes it very dangerous in melee against most creatures if it's fighting with its natural attacks.

They are otherwise fairly unremarkable.

However, ghouls are only CR 1, and it's easy for PCs to end up as ghouls and then get some class levels back on them (possibly instantly since being a ghoul doesn't specify that you lose your accumulated experience points, so if you happen to be a 4th level character and die of ghoul fever you immediately drop to a normal ghoul, then may advance to ghoul 1 / class level 3).


Ashiel wrote:

On a side note, I really like this feat: Civilized Ghoulishness.

EDIT: As an aside, I mentioned ghouls because they are among the easiest undead to end up as in the game and some of the least offensive in terms of wild supernatural powers. The most powerful thing a ghoul has going for it is its paralysis which makes it very dangerous in melee against most creatures if it's fighting with its natural attacks.

They are otherwise fairly unremarkable.

However, ghouls are only CR 1, and it's easy for PCs to end up as ghouls and then get some class levels back on them (possibly instantly since being a ghoul doesn't specify that you lose your accumulated experience points, so if you happen to be a 4th level character and die of ghoul fever you immediately drop to a normal ghoul, then may advance to ghoul 1 / class level 3).

I already ninja'd you on that but i didn't put the correct name, i just put civilized ghoul


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I swear I don't mean to disagree with you about everything, Ashiel, but where do you get that you retain class levels when you turn into a ghoul? It doesn't specify and mohrgs seem not to ("some" retain enough memory to hang out in their old locations).

It seems like the default assumption would be that the undead you create would be garden variety unless otherwise specified. Do you disagree?


Blackvial wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

On a side note, I really like this feat: Civilized Ghoulishness.

EDIT: As an aside, I mentioned ghouls because they are among the easiest undead to end up as in the game and some of the least offensive in terms of wild supernatural powers. The most powerful thing a ghoul has going for it is its paralysis which makes it very dangerous in melee against most creatures if it's fighting with its natural attacks.

They are otherwise fairly unremarkable.

However, ghouls are only CR 1, and it's easy for PCs to end up as ghouls and then get some class levels back on them (possibly instantly since being a ghoul doesn't specify that you lose your accumulated experience points, so if you happen to be a 4th level character and die of ghoul fever you immediately drop to a normal ghoul, then may advance to ghoul 1 / class level 3).

I already ninja'd you on that but i didn't put the correct name, i just put civilized ghoul

Sorry, it's hard to keep up sometimes. Just got home work a while ago and was catching up and trying to respond to individual posts so as not to miss anything. I generally try to give the courtesy of addressing people directly rather than just speaking into the crowd. (^~^);


Berinor wrote:

I swear I don't mean to disagree with you about everything, Ashiel, but where do you get that you retain class levels when you turn into a ghoul? It doesn't specify and mohrgs seem not to ("some" retain enough memory to hang out in their old locations).

It seems like the default assumption would be that the undead you create would be garden variety unless otherwise specified. Do you disagree?

I don't disagree at all.

I was remarking that nothing prevents a ghoul who has been created via ghoul fever from gaining class levels, and XP is not spent to buy class levels, you just have X accumulated experience and when that amount hits certain values you advance to the next level.

If the ghoul doesn't lose class levels, then a commoner 1 who becomes a ghoul would be a ghoul commoner 1. Likewise, if they were a barbarian 12 and became a ghoul, they would be a ghoul barbarian 12. However, you're stripped of your class levels when you become a ghoul.

However, nothing strips you of your accumulated experience total. So a 5th level fighter who becomes a ghoul still has the total XP value of a 5th level character, which means that the ghoul could immediately begin advancing, but the ghoul's racial CR eats up a class level, so the ghoul would end up advancing to ghoul 1 / fighter 4, until he reached enough XP to be a 6th level character.


Wait, what?

You're actually arguing that while the ghoul is stripped of all levels, it still keeps all of its XP and gets a full set of levels right back?

So that the "loses all levels" language is largely meaningless?

That's a reading that is massive, massive stretch =P


Zhangar wrote:

Wait, what?

You're actually arguing that while the ghoul is stripped of all levels, it still keeps all of its XP and gets a full set of levels right back?

So that the "loses all levels" language is largely meaningless?

That's a reading that seriously, seriously strains the rules =P

I think I'm failing to communicate.

You lose all your levels and become a normal ghoul.
You can still advance in levels after being a normal ghoul.
Someone that has accumulated a lot of experience can advance in level.
Becoming a ghoul doesn't say that it removes your experience total (XP total is not the same as class levels) which means that someone that was a relatively high level can begin advancing immediately but will not be able to reach where they were at before.

Does that make it clearer?

EDIT: To further clarify, if you didn't lose all of your levels, then you'd end up as being just strait up stronger than you would have without because you'd be at the same XP total as before but suddenly you have a +1 CR monster race on top of it. Removing the class levels prevents this and forces the ghoul to re-advance.


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I'm not sure it would ever apply to NPCs though since I'm not even sure if NPCs can gain experience points. Literally every instance of advancement of NPCs I know of is either through GM intervention or through a subsystem with the Leadership feat.

I don't know of a way to get rid of experience points in Pathfinder. If there's a way, I haven't found it. Since XP isn't spent to buy levels or anything it doesn't go away when you advance.

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