What are the actual penalties for revealing your social identity as a Vigilante?


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You don't get Seamless Guise and... that's it right? Since you can use vigilante abilities while in social form now it seems like playing as a secret identityless super hero a la the Fantastic Four is pretty optimal.

Scarab Sages

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This is in addition to the obvious role-playing implications. All those mob bosses you beat up can now go after your family. Plus, I would imagine a lot of your civilian talents stop working (such as the ones that involve you hobnobing with royalty) after people realize that Steve the socialite is that they go golfing with is actually pumping them for info so he can exact vengeance as the Scarlet Pimpernel. GM's perogative.


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VampByDay wrote:
This is in addition to the obvious role-playing implications. All those mob bosses you beat up can now go after your family. Plus, I would imagine a lot of your civilian talents stop working (such as the ones that involve you hobnobing with royalty) after people realize that Steve the socialite is that they go golfing with is actually pumping them for info so he can exact vengeance as the Scarlet Pimpernel. GM's perogative.

Aside from this, there are those of us who will be using the Vigilante to play a character that has two forms. Where the social persona is the false face in some way.


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Quote:
All those mob bosses you beat up can now go after your family.

So... the exact same situation as every single PC before this class was made and every non-Vigilante in the campaign. Unless they are hiding what they are doing in a traditional way outside of this one specific class feature, of course.

Quote:
Plus, I would imagine a lot of your civilian talents stop working (such as the ones that involve you hobnobing with royalty) after people realize that Steve the socialite is that they go golfing with is actually pumping them for info so he can exact vengeance as the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Alternatively I'm certain the Royal Wizard, Captain of the Fighters, and Archbanker of Abadar will be horrified you are going around battling the Thieves' Guild in normal, legal Adventurer fashion. Renown is little different from being a Celebrity Bard, and I would not see the need to take it away just because people know you put on a different hat and punch people in a legal and socially acceptable manor.

-------------------------------------------------------

While I'm certain some GMs will feel the need to brutally punish players who choose to ignore the Dual Identity stuff, there is no mechanical requirement and the abilities are not out of line with what a normal character could have, and I see not reason to take them away unless they explicitly say to. Frankly, it makes the class drastically more playable in a normal game with other non-Vigilante PCs.

The only weird part is that a known Vigilante would have to change identities at all. If everyone knows that Luke Cage is Luke Cage, shouldn't he just get his Intimidate Bonus or Reaction bonus depending on the person, rather than depending on whether or not he spent a minute grunting and winding himself up first?

Well, that isn't the only weird part, I've got a list of those that starts with switching forms and thus alignments before kicking puppies, but this is the one that is going to come up the most in this situation.


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VampByDay wrote:
This is in addition to the obvious role-playing implications. All those mob bosses you beat up can now go after your family. Plus, I would imagine a lot of your civilian talents stop working (such as the ones that involve you hobnobing with royalty) after people realize that Steve the socialite is that they go golfing with is actually pumping them for info so he can exact vengeance as the Scarlet Pimpernel. GM's perogative.

Kinda depends on who your PC is, really. If you're Tony Stark the consequences for revealing your identity are fairly minimal because your social identity is in its own position of great power, if you're Peter Parker then not so much.


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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:


The only weird part is that a known Vigilante would have to change identities at all. If everyone knows that Luke Cage is Luke Cage, shouldn't he just get his Intimidate Bonus or Reaction bonus depending on the person, rather than depending on whether or not he spent a minute grunting and winding himself up first?

Well, that isn't the only weird part, I've got a list of those that starts with switching forms and thus alignments before kicking puppies, but this is the one that is going to come up the most in this situation.

If Luke Cage doesn't have a secret identity that needs mechanical representation, then by Pathfinder standards he should probably be playing a brawler.


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Ian Bell wrote:
If Luke Cage doesn't have a secret identity that needs mechanical representation, then by Pathfinder standards he should probably be playing a brawler.

The Masked Performer Bard also has the mechanical representation of a secret identity, but it explicitly supposed to be one that everyone knows about. Why is it acceptable for them not to keep their secret but not for Luke Cage?

Further, Dual Identity is just one of a big pile of abilities for the Vigilante. For example the Arachnid Wildsoul is pretty obviously Spider-Man. After a story arc where Peter Parker reveals his secret identity to the world is he supposed to retrain to another class that doesn't actually support any of his iconic abilities because ignoring Dual Identity is totally unacceptable? Similarly, does every villain Vigilante that gets defeated and forcibly unmasked have to do a total rebuilt after because that isn't okay?

One can certainly, intentionally or not, end up with a Vigilante whose cover is totally blown. The issue is that the game does not address that possibility or give guidance to its implications, which really is important given how much time they spend talking about the feature. By doing it purposefully one shines a spotlight on that issue, but they are not responsible for creating it.


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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Ian Bell wrote:
If Luke Cage doesn't have a secret identity that needs mechanical representation, then by Pathfinder standards he should probably be playing a brawler.

The Masked Performer Bard also has the mechanical representation of a secret identity, but it explicitly is one that everyone knows about. Why is it acceptable for them but not Luke Cage?

Further, Dual Identity is just one of a big pile of abilities for the Vigilante. For example the Arachnid Wildsoul is pretty obviously Spider-Man. After a story arc where Peter Parker reveals his secret identity to the world is he supposed to retrain to another class that doesn't actually support any of his iconic abilities because ignoring Dual Identity is totally unacceptable? Similarly, does every villain Vigilante that gets defeated and forcibly unmasked have to do a total rebuilt after because that isn't okay?

One can certainly, intentionally or not, end up with a Vigilante whose cover is totally blown. The issue is that the game does not address that possibility or give guidance to its implications, which really is important given how much time they spend talking about the feature. By doing it purposefully one shines a spotlight on that issue, but they are not responsible for creating it.

It seems pretty clear that the intent is that you shouldn't just drop the vigilante class in as a regular option for every game:

Quote:


Game Masters should consider carefully whether
or not a vigilante will make for a good fit with their
campaign. The class is one that requires a degree of social
aptitude and roleplaying to make full use of its potential.
Campaigns that focus more on wilderness exploration,
travel, or dungeon delving and that are lighter on politics,
negotiation, and manipulation might require a vigilante
player to put in additional effort to make full use of his
class features.

So yeah, in a game where there's no story impact or importance to the presence of the vigilante as character-with-secret-identity, then there's not necessarily going to be much of a reason to care if the identity gets out. The book pretty much tells you to not even use the vigilante in games like that, though.

I would, personally, rather let the consequences of the secret getting out be mostly in my hands as a GM rather than a particular mechanical representation that might not reflect what's going on in any given game.


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I don't see anything like that in the text you quoted. It mentions "social aptitude, roleplaying, politics, negotiation, and manipulation." None of those are "definitely keep your identity secret." It says wilderness exploration, travel, or dungeon delving would be poor choices. Still not a single word about secret identities being absolutely mandatory to keep secret.

And again: What of the Masked Performer? Same ability, but it is inexplicably okay for them to ignore it.

As for what the GM chooses to do, I'll just repeat what I said before:

Past Mort wrote:
While I'm certain some GMs will feel the need to brutally punish players who choose to ignore the Dual Identity stuff, there is no mechanical requirement and the abilities are not out of line with what a normal character could have, and I see not reason to take them away unless they explicitly say to. Frankly, it makes the class drastically more playable in a normal game with other non-Vigilante PCs.

People can choose to do otherwise. However I do not think it is necessary, and think doing so unnecessarily pigeonholes the class to an ultra specific idea for no good reason.


I'm not really seeing something like, for example, 'the social side of your renown talent stops working on people who both know your vigilante identity and are opposed to it' as being a "brutal punishment". That's the kind of thing I would expect to see happen at my table or the other tables I play at.

Also - I think the ultra-specific pigeon-hole-y design of the class is completely deliberate.

EDIT: With regard to the masked performer, it's not clear to me why it even has the ability. It has basically no mechanical impact on the archetype, since while you can only use Social Grace in your social identity, none of your abilities require the masked identity. I would thus hesitate to use it as an example for anything on either side of the argument, it appears to serve no purpose at all.


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As written that is simply not how it works. Luke Cage has people in his area of renown be Friendly instead of Indifferent. He can spend a minute getting angry and maybe change shirts, then everyone in several miles will be intimidated instead. Whether they know they are the same guy is completely unrelated to this, it is a function of the form rather than their knowledge. More importantly he needs to spend that minute, because he still keeps a social and vigilante form.

This is a pretty classic Oberani Fallacy. "The class has no issues, because I can ignore what is written and make up a bunch of house rules. If you have problems you are doing it wrong." The fact is this class didn't really think through the fact that, in totally normal play, these are important issues that could come up. They didn't even bother to talk about it as an issue. Rather, it is just totally ignored and all issues people raise handwaved.


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Don't you specifically lose your protections against divination if the diviner knows that both identities are the same person? That's a pretty serious penalty for going "I am Iron Man" on everyone.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Don't you specifically lose your protections against divination if the diviner knows that both identities are the same person? That's a pretty serious penalty for going "I am Iron Man" on everyone.

Yeah, we all saw Iron Man 3, right?

Cause that's what would happen.


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Sure (unless you hide as an Everyman or something). It is also one that is already in the rules, and the situation literally every non-Vigilante in the game faces.

However, there is no conception of ignoring the ability and have an identity that is well known as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Given the possibility of that choice, or being unmasked, or needing to create a new identity, it seems a pretty big hole in the mechanics. If a random townsperson sees Spider-Man and knows he is Peter Parker, is it really reasonable that (as written) Spidey needs to spend a minute changing pants and psyching up to be Pete before his Social boosts applies?

More importantly, from what I've seen, people seem very keen on applying penalties for people whose identity is known. Not so much integrating the abilities or something, but penalties. Which is the topic of the entire thread. Despite the lack of mechanics it seems very important for people to tell someone doing this they are playing wrong, or chose the wrong class, or should lose abilities for it, or horrible things from mobsters will happen despite every other character being in that exact situation, or at the very least the fact the game doesn't even entertain the concept is somehow a good thing.


bigrig107 wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Don't you specifically lose your protections against divination if the diviner knows that both identities are the same person? That's a pretty serious penalty for going "I am Iron Man" on everyone.

Yeah, we all saw Iron Man 3, right?

Cause that's what would happen.

certainly in cheliax and galt


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Revealing your secret identity removes the protection from divinations and the advantages of having two separate identities (namely that what you do as one has no direct repercussions for the other).

That's both logical, rules compliant and not unnecessarily punitive I think. Seems fine to me.


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Except for the whole "Council of Thieves" and "Hell's Rebels" APs that came out before Vigilantes existed, and seemed to be able to do just fine. If they needed this class to be okay then the whole party would need the class to be okay, because otherwise you just scry Aquaman instead because he is always just Aquaman while the rest of the Justice League... er... Children of Westcrown do their thing.

Also, in relation to Squiggit, the problem is you DO still have two identities. "Oh no, it is Peter Parker! I know he is Spider-Man, but since he is not wearing the suit I am not afraid!" Alternatively "Oh no, it is Spider-Man! I know that is actually well liked local reporter Peter Parker, but I'm not going to like him better until he switches back into his civies. I'll wait."


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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:

Except for the whole "Council of Thieves" and "Hell's Rebels" APs that came out before Vigilantes existed, and seemed to be able to do just fine. If they needed this class to be okay then the whole party would need the class to be okay, because otherwise you just scry Aquaman instead because he is always just Aquaman while the rest of the Justice League... er... Children of Westcrown do their thing.

Also, in relation to Squiggit, the problem is you DO still have two identities. "Oh no, it is Peter Parker! I know he is Spider-Man, but since he is not wearing the suit I am not afraid!" Alternatively "Oh no, it is Spider-Man! I know that is actually well liked local reporter Peter Parker, but I'm not going to like him better until he switches back into his civies. I'll wait."

Weirdly, I can see this working, but it forces a very narrow and specific aspect of RP for the person in question - effectively a multiple personality disorder - but one is likeable enough that people forgive it, but when they switch to the other... people are afraid of that one. In that regard, it's kind of like Harvey/Big Bad Harv from Batman TAS, before he became Twoface.

Or that old poem:

"There was a little girl...
who had a little curl...
... right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good...
... she was very good indeed, ...
... but when she was bad, she was horrid."

From the perspective of others, you'd have the, whole, "Please take off the mask." aspect going for you.

A Random Example wrote:


Vig-in-Civ-Guise: The city. It calls. I... I must go.

Lover: Dangit, woman. You can't keep doing this to yourself.

Vig-in-Civ-Guise: I... I must.
* Vig-in-Civ-Guise takes the mask, stares at it, and picks it up. *

Lover: Selina! You don't have to do this to yourself! The city knows who you are! They've accepted you, Selina! You don't have to become... her. Put the mask down! Please! For us!

* A shadow moves, rising up across Lover's face. He quakes in terror. *

Lover: No...

Vig-in-Costume: I'm sorry, Alfred. Selina can't be here with you, tonight. I have work to do.

* Vig-in-Costume cocks her head to the side. *

Vig-in-Costume: He's gone too far, this time. It's time to murder a madman.

Lover: Go. Get out of here! You're not welcome in this place of love and peace! It was supposed to be our place of respite! From the monsters like you~!

Vig-in-Costume: Too bad, Alfred. You know you both need me. And so does this filthy stinking cesspit of a city. Selina's wealth and status will keep you safe - as will her guards.

* Vig-in-Costume slips out the window as curtains blow in the breeze, and Lover weeps in fear and frustration *

No, that was not Catwoman/Alfred Pennyworth Slashfic, and I find these empty and baseless accusations entirely outrageous! *Huffs away about it*

Or maybe this,

A Random Example wrote:


* The light swings back and forth, revealing Selina, blood running down her cheek and chin from her cracked lip. Her bruised eye is nearly swollen shut. A hand steadies the lamp, leaving it squarely on Vig-in-Civ-Guise *

Vig-in-Civ-Guise: You... she should have killed you when she had the chance!

Villain: Oh, do shut up, Say-lin-aa. Glad you fell for my water-works right enough... but you're really kinda whiny ain't'cha? Ya sure did manage ta kill our boss well enough, I gotta say - that was impressive, I hafta admit. Didn't think ya had the guts, and didn't think he was such a wuss! And hea' I thought I'd gotten' th' perfect pats-ey! And you show up, and - BOOP~! - that's all he' wrote! Geeze! Now I gotta go corrupt some otha' unsuspectin' joik~! Oh well; wasn't like Mista Jay was that much a thin' anyway, right? Bards... *tch* amirite?! *long sigh*

Vig-in-Civ-Guise: That... wasn't me, and you know it.

Villain: True enough, I s'pose~! It was her, wa'nit?

* Villain picks up the mask, gestures with it, stares at it for a moment, and tosses it into a fire. Vig-in-Civ-Guise starts, then stares as the flames consume it, a tear rolling down her face. *

Villain: Fo'tunately, she's easiah 'ta deal wit' than you o' Mista' Jay. I'll miss 'dat freak - well, both of 'em, really, Mistah Jay could be a tiga' if ya know what I mean... a really, really messed up tiga... hee... - but, hey, at least that's one mo'a thing I ain't gotta mess with no mo'a~! Now... we gotta do somethin' 'bout you, sweetums.

Vig-in-Civ-Guise: *still staring at the mask * No.

Villain: Yes, ac'chully. So, I gotta go see a man about a charm - some sorta modify memory effect, or somethin'! Gotta learn it, just ta erase our real plot from ya somehow~! And people won't jus' take y'r disappearance easy, now that y'r all... rich and famous... Well, I mean, now that they know you're rich and famous. Hey! I'm mesmerist in trainin', maybe I can figya how ta make sure ya publicly quit the whole hero business! People'd like ya more of th' time, that's f' sure... Anyway, toodles!

* Vig-in-Civ-Guise stares defiantly, but also with fear *

Villain: Oy! Dumbo! Make y'self useful fa once! Any time she looks like she's tryin' ta concentrate on somethin', smack 'er a bit, m'kay? Don't kill 'er - jus' break her concentration! Heck, if she gets too squirmy o' focused, jus' break one'f her legs 'r arms 'r fingers somthin'. Make it hurt, too, 'kay? 'Kay. Don' worry 'bout non-death permanent damage, though. We got ou'selves one o' 'dem healy types! She promises to make all physical and mental scarin' go away! Woo~! This city will be ours, boys~!

* The half-orc in clown makeup smiles menacingly while standing, and cracking his knuckles Vig-in-Civ-Guise looking at him with fear but defiance *

Half-orc flunky: Yooz gonna be easy pickin's wi'out yooz mask, cat-lay-dee. I wanna heaz ya scream...

How will our daring heroine ever escape this dastardly deva of diabolic dooooooommm~! Tune in next time to find out! Same cat-time, same cat-channel~!

But, again, that kind of RP is definitely not for everyone, and it pigeonholes the class into a very exacting standard, presupposing that everyone will respond to it the same way.

My recommendation (though it's definitively a house rule, not RAW) as an easy way to 'patch' this puppy up is some sort of talent or other similar option that allows for a more rapid alteration, or perhaps some minor rule change that notes that identities that become known shift attitude among various individuals, leaving it up to the GM to determine their starting attitude and the skill-bonus application. But that's not really the RAW, I don't think.


On the topic of "playing wrong", this is one of the very few (I mean, like two) times that I'm okay with saying you might be playing wrong.
Just as a fighter should (mostly, with exceptions) want to be good at combat, and a wizard should want to be good at spells and stuff, a vigilante should want to keep both identities separate.

There's a very specific flavor assigned to this class, to the point that the book even says "hey, don't put this guy in a normal campaign, as he doesn't belong there".
There are a plethora of ways to play a Vigilante, I get that, but I don't think that the "Tony Stark" superhero is one that they really had in mind while constructing the actual mechanics.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone is going to stop you from playing Tony Stark, but don't expect to get treated like any other superhero.
Not keeping your identities separate will come with penalties, and in my opinion, should do so. Saying that any GM who doesn't impose some sort of penalty is "playing wrong" is absurd. If you want to keep your separate identities' bonuses, play the part.

A player that chooses to be a Paladin doesn't (on solid ground, anyway) complain that they have to have a code of conduct; its part of the class, and is known about before you choose your class.
Playing a Vigilante is accepting that you'll need to use your identities wisely, or suffer the consequences of your actions.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As others have said, the penalty should be that NPCs should be free to choose how they react to you once they know you are both identities. If the king's wizard is impressed at how Madame Firerose has taken care of the Theives guild, then she'll probably not look down on her even after knows her true name and profession is Illenka Rosales, humble cook. The guard captain, who has been tasked with containing ALL lawlessness, including vigilante justice, might now try to arrest her where before he might have bought her a drink at the pub.

I would treat the character as if they were now both identities at once, instead of only one at a time. Case the joint, feign innocence, the one social talent that gives you protection from truth spells, and your multiple alignments probably wouldn't work anymore, or would require the mundane identity of Many Guises. Double Time, Social Grace, Mockingbird, and Many guises (plus the various talents that build off them) should work just fine. Renown and the many talents that build off that would also more or less work, although the network of people in the renown network would probably shift slightly, as I mentioned above, as people that might not respect your station might now respect the mask, but previous confederates might look askance.


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bigrig107 wrote:

A player that chooses to be a Paladin doesn't (on solid ground, anyway) complain that they have to have a code of conduct; its part of the class, and is known about before you choose your class.

Playing a Vigilante is accepting that you'll need to use your identities wisely, or suffer the consequences of your actions.

The difference would be a Paladin actually has a code of conduct. It also has a penalty for breaking it. Right there in the CRB, page 63-64.

The Vigilante has no code of conduct, nothing saying you have to stay secret, and more importantly nothing about what happens if someone's identity becomes widely known against their will. It says it isn't appropriate for every campaign, but that seems to talk about urban vs wilderness campaigns and I don't see any part of that ignoring that one specific class feature is a particular issue and choosing to ignore it or being unmasked should have the GM houserule all your abilities.

Rather, the idea that a Vigilante can be unmasked or could even choose to be unmasked is just ignored, which many have filled with all sorts of unwritten rules rather than accept as a blind spot. Personally, I think that making a class like this and never addressing "what happens when the Green Goblin gets unmasked at the end?" (even if it addressed by saying in the book "the GM will have to make stuff up") is a pretty severe issue, and no amount of enforced roleplaying can fix or even fully avoid it.

Liberty's Edge

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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Also, in relation to Squiggit, the problem is you DO still have two identities. "Oh no, it is Peter Parker! I know he is Spider-Man, but since he is not wearing the suit I am not afraid!" Alternatively "Oh no, it is Spider-Man! I know that is actually well liked local reporter Peter Parker, but I'm not going to like him better until he switches back into his civies. I'll wait."

Actually...that mostly works for me.

Peter Parker just isn't as scary as Spider-Man. Yeah, you might realize consciously and logically, that they're the same person, but the faceless creature is still scarier than the nerdy looking guy. Remember that nothing actually penalizes a Vigilante's Intimidate when he's in social identity, he just doesn't get a bonus to make him extra scary. If you have maxed Intimidate you're still scary, just slightly less so.

As for people being less friendly when you're in Vigilante mode...when people see Peter Parker they know he's 'off duty', and are likely more inclined to want to hang around him and be friendly. When he's Spider Man he's kinda scary, after all. And more likely to currently be fighting some psychotic madman. Once he's known, the only reason to put on the disguise is when expecting a fight, after all.

The only part that bothers me is the bonus from Social Graces to, say, Sense Motive going away in Vigilante mode. That just doesn't make a lot of sense, and I hope a Social or Vigilante Talent is forthcoming that fixes the issue...but that's an issue whether their identity is secret or not.


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Tacticslion wrote:
How will our daring heroine ever escape this dastardly deva of diabolic dooooooommm~! Tune in next time to find out! Same cat-time, same cat-channel~!

I...I wanna see more....


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The Vigilante is a bit of a queer duck. He's really not a character whose features make sense in a traditional dungeon exploring group. The monsters he encounters there aren't going to care about his social identity, nor his flashy costume.

The other end of the problem is that people are thinking Vigilante equals "superhero". That comparison fails because the Vigilante doesn't have powers or skills above and beyond any other equally seasoned adventurer.

The more appropriate paradigm is the "Man (or Woman) of Mystery" Such as the 40's serial where the only difference between the hero and everyone else is that he wore a chainmail mask. Or Will Eisner's Spirit, who has a Domino mask because the publisher insisted that "super heroes were the thing" and he had to have one. And if I remember correctly, he doesn't even have a secret identity.


Tacticslion wrote:
How will our daring heroine ever escape this dastardly deva of diabolic dooooooommm~! Tune in next time to find out! Same cat-time, same cat-channel~!
Freehold DM wrote:
I...I wanna see more....

Me, too, friend. Me, too. Perhaps, someday, the publisher will finally acquire the funds they need to continue!

!O.O!

;D

EDIT: I hear they have more surprises and unexpected turns in store! :D


The more I read it, I become convinced that for most groups, the Vigilante works best as an NPC encounter, such as the Red Raven in Galt. Where your secret identity IS a matter of life or death.

Scarab Sages

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When I posted that earlier, I didn't mean that you should lose all of your civ talents, what I meant to say was, basically, that it could have serious role-playing reprocussions, not mechanical ones. Let's say your social identity is some sort of nobleman in Kyonin, trying to undermine the winter court and stop xenophobia politically, while your vig identity takes actions, beating up the court's agents and physically stoping hate crimes. Your identity gets exposed, and all the sudden you loose a lot of your political clout with the nobles, as those xenophobes you were buttering up and starting to convert suddenly know who you are and what you were doing, and that you were manipulating them.

Or a Taldor based Vig looses all his cred with the out-of-touch aristocracy when they learn that he's been 'stooping' so low as to be consorting with 'street-trash' and 'common folk.'

The class seems based around having two identities, and even if the reveal doesn't have any mechanical effects, it COULD have huge role playing effects.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

People don't automatically hate your Vigilante identity. If you're not keeping it secret, then you can treat it like you're a Fighter with social skills. My Psychometrist will only have one identity, and only use the shift when circumstances force him to step outside LG to TN. He's a scarier guy when he's pushed there, and he won't be using a diplomacy bonus.

Or take my Warlock. He's the best baker in town, doing the work of two lesser bakers all by himself. He's an affable fellow who just happens to be able to light you on fire with a wave of his hand if he wants to, and his well-fed pet lemming just happens to be a barely contained being of primordial chaos.


Seems kind of counter-intuitive to make a Vigilante with the intention of having no secret identity. Any GM running a campaign where the Vigilante works would probably not be OK with you doing that. It's such a class-defining feature, it's almost like if the Paladin's LG code was just a purely flavor feature, and someone made a Paladin and played him like a CN thug because there was no mechanical repercussions for doing so.

That being said, there IS something to the secret identity-less Vigilante. The Fantastic 4, Iron Man, and many others come to mind, although these could simply be done with different classes, since the secret identity is kind of the point in the first place. Who knows, maybe we'll get an archetype some day. In the meantime, though, this just seems like a cheesy munchkin thing to do. Legal, but basically kills the spirit of the Vigilante. Barring a significant plot development, or the player genuinely screwing up and accidentally letting someone discover their secret identity, I wouldn't, as a GM, let something like this happen. Mechanical/social penalties or not. It's akin to Metagaming.


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Cuup wrote:
In the meantime, though, this just seems like a cheesy munchkin thing to do.

... for what advantage? What is the mechanical gain, here? The "munch" as it were?

EDIT: Like, yeah, I get that it doesn't "gel" the flavor you like, but I'm not seeing the actual "munchkin" part.

That said,

Cuup wrote:
Barring a significant plot development, or the player genuinely screwing up and accidentally letting someone discover their secret identity, I wouldn't, as a GM, let something like this happen. Mechanical/social penalties or not. It's akin to Metagaming.

... seems really incongruous. The two bolded parts are the really confusing part, specifically. It brings to question: how would you not let this happen? At least, not through the very same metagaming?

What is it that a person gains from being an "open" vigilante?

To be clear, the above is a legitimate question - I have the playtests, and am planning on getting the book, but I do not own it yet. So... what is it, exactly, that is gained or lost in the current edition? Mechanically, I mean.

We've shown the weirdness that the class can have when ousted RP-wise... but it can also make cool or compelling stories, depending on the group dynamic.

That's why I'm curious why it's munchkiny. I mean, to be sure, there's nothing wrong with doing it your way at your table - but I'm trying to understand it. Thanks!


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Tacticslion wrote:
Cuup wrote:
In the meantime, though, this just seems like a cheesy munchkin thing to do.
... for what advantage? What is the mechanical gain, here? The "munch" as it were?

The Social- and Vigilante-sides of the Vigilante class were intended to be separate. There's a minute of prep time required to switch between your 2 different niches. You can reduce this time with some investment, but why invest when you can just pull an Iron Man? Now you're 100% social AND 100% combat at the same time. Granted, there are much bigger exploits out there, but this one is pretty blatant. I can respect your heavy RP take on the scenario, but like you said, such RP is not going to be expected out of most players. So in most cases (i.e. not your example), I'd call Cheese.


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Cuup wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Cuup wrote:
In the meantime, though, this just seems like a cheesy munchkin thing to do.
... for what advantage? What is the mechanical gain, here? The "munch" as it were?
The Social- and Vigilante-sides of the Vigilante class were intended to be separate. There's a minute of prep time required to switch between your 2 different niches. You can reduce this time with some investment, but why invest when you can just pull an Iron Man? Now you're 100% social AND 100% combat at the same time. Granted, there are much bigger exploits out there, but this one is pretty blatant. I can respect your heavy RP take on the scenario, but like you said, such RP is not going to be expected out of most players. So in most cases (i.e. not your example), I'd call Cheese.

I dunno. I mean, again, I can see it: Tony isn't really as intimidating without his suit.

Even if you reveal, mechanically, don't you have to spend that minute to change?

Again, if it's just the feel, that's fine. I was genuinely wondering if there was a different reason. Thanks! :D

Liberty's Edge

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Cuup wrote:
The Social- and Vigilante-sides of the Vigilante class were intended to be separate. There's a minute of prep time required to switch between your 2 different niches. You can reduce this time with some investment, but why invest when you can just pull an Iron Man? Now you're 100% social AND 100% combat at the same time. Granted, there are much bigger exploits out there, but this one is pretty blatant. I can respect your heavy RP take on the scenario, but like you said, such RP is not going to be expected out of most players. So in most cases (i.e. not your example), I'd call Cheese.

I disagree. You're giving up one of your better Class Features (the Divination Immunity and +20 Disguise bonus) for...the ability to not risk losing that feature! To repeat: You lose something so you never have to risk losing it. That's all you get, the avoidance of risk by having had the worst consequence of that risk happen already.

Vigilantes can already use Vigilante Talents in social identity. Nothing stops that, people just get the chance to realize he's more than he seems whenever he does.

So, to simplify, say you just have a Class with a +20 Disguise bonus all the time, and every time you use a particular ability, you risk losing it. Is deciding to not have that bonus not an objectively worse choice than just risking it whenever you feel like it? Since the risk might pay off and you'll never get caught.

In short, by ditching your secret identity, you actually gain nothing, and indeed lose a valuable feature. It's in many ways the opposite of 'cheese'.


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Cuup wrote:
There's a minute of prep time required to switch between your 2 different niches. You can reduce this time with some investment, but why invest when you can just pull an Iron Man? Now you're 100% social AND 100% combat at the same time.

That is the thing though: you aren't. As written your forms are still completely, 100% separate. If post-registration legally sanctioned Spider-Man wants to have his Renown intimidate people he needs to wear the suit, and he has to switch to slacks if he wants discounts and gifts. He can also switch alignments, which Masked Performer seems to think is really neat for "a different perspective" as well.

He would no longer need to care about using his Wildsoul (Arachnid) abilities in public, but frankly that goes for many Golarion Vigilantes anyway. It says you "risk exposing your secret," but that is only going to be the case if you are doing something you shouldn't be able to. Plenty of members of "polite society" have combat abilities and spellcasting as well, so as long as they mesh or you aren't being super obvious like serving as High Priest of Shelyn by day and "Zealot Zon-Zon of Shelyn" by night it isn't much of a give away. It would be like assuming everyone who can ride a horse and swordfight is Zorro.

Honestly, it was repeatedly brought up from the very beginning of the playtest that constantly staying in Vigilante or Social identity would be a thing people would do with little drawback, and if Paizo wanted it to be a bigger deal they should have written a class where it was a bigger deal. Or addressed the effect of a "meshed" identity. They didn't, and I don't think it is fair to accuse people willingly giving up the scry defenses (a darn good ability) for what is essentially a flavor choice (the same one Masked Performers are directly told to make) of being "munchkins" or "cheesy."


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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Also, in relation to Squiggit, the problem is you DO still have two identities. "Oh no, it is Peter Parker! I know he is Spider-Man, but since he is not wearing the suit I am not afraid!" Alternatively "Oh no, it is Spider-Man! I know that is actually well liked local reporter Peter Parker, but I'm not going to like him better until he switches back into his civies. I'll wait."

Actually, in this kind of a scenario, I see it as more of an Indiana Jones/Dr.Jones situation.

Dr. Jones' students don't know about that side of him - to them, he's kindly archeology professor Dr. Jones. His appearance and mannerisms are completely different from those when he dons the hat and bullwhip and goes off on adventures as Indiana. I mean, they could - some of his students *might*, it's not like he exactly hides it.

Indiana Jones, on the other hand, is known to his enemies as a tenacious and clever foe, but most of his enemies have better things to do than go out of their way to try and get to him when he's not actively being a thorn in their side - it's not that they don't know about Dr. Jones, it's that when he's engaging them as Indiana, that part of his personality is irrelevant. And when he goes back to teaching class - good, he's out of their hair.

In short, when Indy is acting as the professor of archeology, he's simply *not* intimidating, even to those who know about his exploits. That is, until he puts on the hat and jacket...


That is a frankly one of the neatest interpretations/concepts I've heard. While obviously not applicable to every character I think it is a super creative way one could run a semi-open Vigilante, and even try to mesh it with the rules.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
That is a frankly one of the neatest interpretations/concepts I've heard. While obviously not applicable to every character I think it is a super creative way one could run a semi-open Vigilante, and even try to mesh it with the rules.

Thanks! Glad you liked it; Indy just happened to be one of the characters I thought of first when I heard about the Vigilante in general, and he seems to work really well with the concept of an open Vigilante that retains that separation of identity despite being a known adventurer.

In particular, this conversation made me think of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where a couple of the Nazi characters deal with him as Dr. Jones knowing full well about his adventurous double-life (particularly Elsa Schneider and Walter Donovan), but in those moments, they *treat him as* Dr. Jones... but they react around him very differently when he's got the hat and jacket on.

They also have numerous opportunities throughout the movie to kill him while he's unarmed as Dr. Jones, but don't take an antagonistic approach to their relationship with him until he's Indy, despite knowing the whole time that he's their enemy. Now, that's because of the plot and the fact that they need him, but it still holds water, I think.


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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:


It says you "risk exposing your secret," but that is only going to be the case if you are doing something you shouldn't be able to. Plenty of members of "polite society" have combat abilities and spellcasting as well, so as long as they mesh or you aren't being super obvious like serving as High Priest of Shelyn by day and "Zealot Zon-Zon of Shelyn" by night it isn't much of a give away. It would be like assuming everyone who can ride a horse and swordfight is Zorro.

The potential issue with spellcasting abilities is that the new Greater Detect Magic can spot spell signatures and match them to the caster. It's possible, but unclear, that you'd have different signatures in your different personas, I guess.


Slithery D wrote:
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:


It says you "risk exposing your secret," but that is only going to be the case if you are doing something you shouldn't be able to. Plenty of members of "polite society" have combat abilities and spellcasting as well, so as long as they mesh or you aren't being super obvious like serving as High Priest of Shelyn by day and "Zealot Zon-Zon of Shelyn" by night it isn't much of a give away. It would be like assuming everyone who can ride a horse and swordfight is Zorro.
The potential issue with spellcasting abilities is that the new Greater Detect Magic can spot spell signatures and match them to the caster. It's possible, but unclear, that you'd have different signatures in your different personas, I guess.

It's a divination spell so the vigilante abilities fool it.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Also, in relation to Squiggit, the problem is you DO still have two identities. "Oh no, it is Peter Parker! I know he is Spider-Man, but since he is not wearing the suit I am not afraid!" Alternatively "Oh no, it is Spider-Man! I know that is actually well liked local reporter Peter Parker, but I'm not going to like him better until he switches back into his civies. I'll wait."

Actually...that mostly works for me.

Peter Parker just isn't as scary as Spider-Man. Yeah, you might realize consciously and logically, that they're the same person, but the faceless creature is still scarier than the nerdy looking guy.

Except you know that he can throw a truck at you. So he's as frightening to most as any other dude with super strength or exceptional abilities.

Quote:

Remember that nothing actually penalizes a Vigilante's Intimidate when he's in social identity, he just doesn't get a bonus to make him extra scary. If you have maxed Intimidate you're still scary, just slightly less so.

As for people being less friendly when you're in Vigilante mode...when people see Peter Parker they know he's 'off duty', and are likely more inclined to want to hang around him and be friendly. When he's Spider Man he's kinda scary, after all.

Except for the part that spiderman isn't scary, at all. He even makes jokes and puns as he's fighting. The only thing that would make him scary is, in fact, the fact he could turn you into a pretzel and may be unstoppable if he ever learned kung-fu rather than flailing his arms about wildly and still winning.

Quote:
And more likely to currently be fighting some psychotic madman. Once he's known, the only reason to put on the disguise is when expecting a fight, after all.

And children's birthday parties.

Quote:
The only part that bothers me is the bonus from Social Graces to, say, Sense Motive going away in Vigilante mode. That just doesn't make a lot of sense, and I hope a Social or Vigilante Talent is forthcoming that fixes the issue...but that's an issue whether their identity is secret or not.

The thing is, rarely is a costume intended to strike fear into the hearts of badguys. A lot of them are uniform (X-Men), some of them are downright goofy (Superman), but the real purpose of them is to protect something (rarely your modesty).

That something is your real life. The people you love. It's to keep people from ambushing you in the shower, or to keep the Rhino from crashing your sister's wedding and eating all the cake.


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Even if it isn't intended to, it probably does.

"Is that Canadian drunkard going to start a fight?" is a significantly different situation than "holy f*+$, it's Wolverine!".


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I'd say the penalties are hard to define since they likely depend on the character and his actions. How he's treated others, how he's acted, how much he shared, etc.

In the case of Peter Parker (depending on the time-line), if J. Jonah Jameson found out he was Spider-man all of sudden, he's probably lost his job. He's never selling a photograph of the web-slinger again. I mean, the guy would rightly feel betrayed and used (despite how illogical his aversion to Spider-man might seem to us). Ultimately, without a regular freelance job from the Daily Bugle, Peter might not have been able to stay in school, might have had to start turning to crime or 'confiscation' of things like drug money or such (obviously not a problem in DnD where the modus operandi is
to loot everything a person owns.) Regardless, now that's a lot (literal) bad press and everyone is going to view Peter Parker the same way.

In fact, we can all agree that Spider-man has practically never done anything even remotely bad, but that never stopped people from questioning whether he was a 'Threat or a menace?' Even if Parker sells a photo of Spider-man fighting off a bunch of super-villians, J. Jonah Jameson probably ran the caption 'Spider-man attacks Trick-or Treaters!' Sure, Spider-man can try suing for libel but he'll probably be open to tons of lawsuits from property damage, accidental injury, etc., especially now that there's an address and identity linked to him.

All of sudden, everyone he works with knows he was lying to them. Now they understand how Peter Parker was able to get all those photos of Spider-man when no one else could. Any respect they had for his photography skill is lost because now they think he's just a narcissist taking pictures of himself.

Aunt May probably has a heart attack hearing the news. Even if she survives that one, now has a heart attack every single time something bad happens because Spider-man might get involved.

It's hard to put mechanical rules to a social aspect that depends on a characters actions, interactions, relationships, etc.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:

A player that chooses to be a Paladin doesn't (on solid ground, anyway) complain that they have to have a code of conduct; its part of the class, and is known about before you choose your class.

Playing a Vigilante is accepting that you'll need to use your identities wisely, or suffer the consequences of your actions.

The difference would be a Paladin actually has a code of conduct. It also has a penalty for breaking it. Right there in the CRB, page 63-64.

The Vigilante has no code of conduct, nothing saying you have to stay secret, and more importantly nothing about what happens if someone's identity becomes widely known against their will. It says it isn't appropriate for every campaign, but that seems to talk about urban vs wilderness campaigns and I don't see any part of that ignoring that one specific class feature is a particular issue and choosing to ignore it or being unmasked should have the GM houserule all your abilities.

Rather, the idea that a Vigilante can be unmasked or could even choose to be unmasked is just ignored, which many have filled with all sorts of unwritten rules rather than accept as a blind spot. Personally, I think that making a class like this and never addressing "what happens when the Green Goblin gets unmasked at the end?" (even if it addressed by saying in the book "the GM will have to make stuff up") is a pretty severe issue, and no amount of enforced roleplaying can fix or even fully avoid it.

It does have ramifications in the fact that not only can you beat truth spells by having information in a different form,but having a huge bonus to have your identity safe. Knowledge checks don't reveal information about your other identity unless your identity is revealed. [Ultimate Intrigue, Dual Identities Feature, Page 9]

Also, your example of unmasking doesn't really have to apply here, unless your character does not take full advantage of his abilities. Wearing a mask is one way, but also disguising yourself with make-up and other things is part of it too. And a +20 disguise from the Seamless Guise check can make it nearly impossible. (A level 1 with 10 charisma and 0 ranks can still have a 40 check to identify the character as both characters, if they roll a 20. Commoners with 10s and no ranks couldn't with a character having a minimum of 21 disguise check).

In short, why would you want to play a Vigilante if you wanted to just reveal yourself? I mean, the level 2 Shadow Sight ability is really nice for a class feature.

Dark Archive

i always figured the vigilante had a secret identity so that they could mingle with a group (like aristocrats) while in their social form, but be able to do things that group wouldn't approve of in their vigilante identity, since the default flavor for the vigilante is a defender of an oppressed people who uses another identity to mingle with their oppressors, gaining their trust as well as useful information. granted, that's not what all vigilantes do, but seamless guise, a second identity, and divination protection certainly help with things like that, and can also be used as simply a way to hide from enemies.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Heathwool wrote:
In short, why would you want to play a Vigilante if you wanted to just reveal yourself? I mean, the level 2 Shadow Sight ability is really nice for a class feature.

Well, my reasons are different for my two characters who are revealed-identity Viglantes.

One is because I'd been eying Occultist for a particular character. It was a good fit, but the spell selection didn't really fit. Being able to make a version that trades casting for full BAB and some combat/skill stuff really fit the character well. Sort of like a Fighter with a few magical tricks up his sleeve.

The other is because I wanted to make the most OP baker. Double the work speed with an extra +4 to Profession(Baker) checks thrown on top. The fact that it comes with 6/9 casting, at will touch attacks, and a familiar is gravy on top.


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Quote:
It does have ramifications in the fact that not only can you beat truth spells by having information in a different form,but having a huge bonus to have your identity safe. Knowledge checks don't reveal information about your other identity unless your identity is revealed. [Ultimate Intrigue, Dual Identities Feature, Page 9]

This is the whole thing: if you don't care if your identity is known, then abilities to keep your identity known do not matter. Just like every other character. The problem is people are comparing not wanting to bother with that one ability to ignoring a Paladin's code, but since there is no defined effect (other than the aforementioned, which we intentionally do not care about) it is being responded to with unwritten roleplaying penalties, house ruled ability changes, and straight telling you you are playing the game wrong.

I feel much of this comes from the fact the game's choice to deal with forms rather than knowledge gets very weird. I should note that your example, presumably "Subjective Truth," is yet another ability that goes bonkers. Like many abilities it is based on your form rather than the targets knowledge. You could watch me stab a shopkeeper as a Vigilante and then Quick Change to Social, but if asked me if I stabbed the shop keeper I'd still get the "Subjective Truth" benefits!

Heathwool wrote:
In short, why would you want to play a Vigilante if you wanted to just reveal yourself? I mean, the level 2 Shadow Sight ability is really nice for a class feature.

Literally everything else. Talents like Cunning Feint and Mad Rush and Lethal Grace would work for any Fighter, Rogue, or Slayer, but they are glued to this class so this is the class to use if those represent your character concept the best. Dual Identity is just one ability, and I don't see why ignoring it is so much worse than my Inquisitor ignoring Monster Lore.

Why must I be forced into the shadows just for wanting to play a Magical Girl? It cuts off a huge amount of character concepts, in my opinion because a desire to force flavor on others combined with a desire to avoid dealing with the massive gaps in how the Dual Identity ability actually works.

EDIT: Also, literal unmasking is not the issue. It doesn't matter if you wear a rubber mask, face paint, or part your hair differently, it is about what happens when you are defeated and your identities made known.


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To be fair, Magical Child is actually a pretty bad archetype for playing a magical girl anyways.


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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:


Why must I be forced into the shadows just for wanting to play a Magical Girl?

That's between you and society, not you and Paizo.


The consequences of Peter Parker revealing his identity were covered in Civil War...and it's aftermath.

Liberty's Edge

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Ashiel wrote:
Except you know that he can throw a truck at you. So he's as frightening to most as any other dude with super strength or exceptional abilities.

Knowing that and feeling it in your gut are two entirely different things. It's hard to believe at a gut level that Peter Parker can do that sort of thing unless you've physically seen him do it sans suit, even if you know in your head he can. Still potentially scary, but a little less so.

It's not like you lose your ability to make Intimidate checks out of Vigilante identity, after all. You lose a Circumstance bonus to doing so...in Spider Man's case, probably a +4.

Ashiel wrote:
Except for the part that spiderman isn't scary, at all. He even makes jokes and puns as he's fighting. The only thing that would make him scary is, in fact, the fact he could turn you into a pretzel and may be unstoppable if he ever learned kung-fu rather than flailing his arms about wildly and still winning.

Actually, when Spider Man stops joking around criminals throughout New York get scared s&#$less. It's been brought up a couple of times that when he's just fighting you silently, it's because he's too angry to make jokes. This occurs occasionally. People wind up beaten half to death in the Emergency Room. It's ugly. Criminals know this and often surrender rather than fight him when he's upset.

Spider Man is an excellent example of a hero who rarely uses his Intimidate preferring Diplomacy and Bluff. That doesn't mean he lacks the skill, though.

Ashiel wrote:
And children's birthday parties.

I'm not sure Spider Man does birthday parties.

Ashiel wrote:

The thing is, rarely is a costume intended to strike fear into the hearts of badguys. A lot of them are uniform (X-Men), some of them are downright goofy (Superman), but the real purpose of them is to protect something (rarely your modesty).

That something is your real life. The people you love. It's to keep people from ambushing you in the shower, or to keep the Rhino from crashing your sister's wedding and eating all the cake.

Oh, agreed. I was just complaining that, by the rules, Bruce Wayne can be better at Sense Motive than Batman. That seems wrong.

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