Why is it OK to mess with divine casters?


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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Why do some GMs think it is acceptable to mess with divine casters?

Tonight I didn't die--I had all my class features stolen from me.

It was in Rise of the Rune Lords.

Spoiler:

A BBEG had a prisoner of my cleric's religion. We had nearly wiped out all the BBEG's minions, so she said she would kill the prisoner if we didn't stop fighting. She didn't seem trustworthy, so we didn't stop fighting. The BBEG killed prisoner. Then my goddess abandoned me. Which made me unable to heal my allies or raise the prisoner or remove the rogue's blindness.

Why is acceptable to arbitrarily remove the powers of divine casters, but no other class?

The GM made a "concession" and "let me" sacrifice a level to atone. So now I'm a level below the rest of my party for no reason. No one else lost a level or lost all of their class features (spellcasting AND domain abilities AND channeling).

This happened in a 5th Edition conversion of RotRL and we were deep in a dungeon, so there were no other clerics available. We also all thought it was going to be the final session of the campaign, especially since our gaming hosts will be unavailable for several months due to personal reasons beyond their control.

Otherwise, I probably would have walked away from the table tonight.

I usually enjoy playing support classes and healers, but after tonight, I'm never going to play a class where "role playing" DM fiat can be "justified" in messing with my character.


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A good rule of thumb is "Don't play with dicks". It doesn't even make any sense. The other Cleric knew what he signed on for, you not abandoning your mission just to save his ass doesn't seem a fall-worthy offense unless your goddess is the deity of heroic folly and Saturday morning cartoons.


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Because some people are simply bad GMs who think they have some amazing understanding of morality that is more accurate than your conception of your own back story and ethos. It's nonsense and I would not be cool with it.


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This in no way is a justified loss of class features. You didn't kill her and failing to save someone is not grounds for any cleric to lose their powers. Otherwise every cleric would lose powers every second due to someone dying somewhere they didn't save. In fact higher level clerics with fast travel methods instantly result in power loss due to failing to scry, travel, and save those in danger by said logic.

You only lose your powers if you do something consistently which violates your alignment and shifts it away, or if you violate the CoC for your god. Assuming generic good aligned deity X you pretty much lose your powers if you cull children, engage in theft, or other serious evil acts.


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It's not okay, doesn't change the fact that some dicks still do it. Though, I've seen people screw with martials by taking away all their gear far too often for it to be a coincidence, and wizards can have their pouches and books stolen, so .... you can mess with "most" charaters.... still doesn't justify it though (especially with this example).


The problem here is that the GM is treating you like a Paladin, in that if you don't do the absolutely correct thing, you'll fall.

Clerics, while they can lose their abilities, aren't nearly as limiting. Here's relevant text:

Ex-Clerics wrote:
A cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god loses all spells and class features, except for armor and shield proficiencies and proficiency with simple weapons. She cannot thereafter gain levels as a cleric of that god until she atones for her deeds

Based on what the GM did, not only did you lose a level, but you can't gain that level back unless you utilize the Atonement spell cast from another Cleric of the same faith, which requires ~3000 gold worth of materials to do. Even if you managed to acquire a Restoration scroll, it wouldn't restore it, because you would be gaining a level back from Cleric, which is impossible when you're considered an "Ex-Cleric."

The important thing to note is that this sort of stuff happens only if you grossly violate the code of your deity. Unfortunately, that's not clearly defined anywhere in the book, which is why the GM is able to technically get away with being a rude jerk to whatever the PC may try to do, and that is something that you and the GM would have to get squared away in session 0, so you know what will (and will not) result in falling.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The GM was implying it was a plot point of the AP. He said the captured cleric would match the faith of any cleric in the party.

Also, we're playing 5th Edition, so spells like atonement and restoration either don't exist or are very different from Pathfinder's.

5th Edition generally doesn't have level loss, so there are no game mechanics given to the players to mitigate it.


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That's some s+$*ty GMing...

I'll never understand GMs who are so eager to shout "Gotcha!" and make their players lose their class features. That's just being an a$$%%#! with no empathy for their friends.

This is the kind of thing that makes me angrily ask the GM is he's being serious... Twice. And if he confirms it, I walk away. I have zero patience for this sort of b*&!*&%$.


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Copy-and-pasting what I wrote in the other thread:

SmiloDan wrote:

Tonight I didn't die--I had all my class features stolen from me.

It was in Rise of the Rune Lords.

<Snip>

Why is acceptable to arbitrarily remove the powers of divine casters, but no other class?

On the whole, it isn't. It's possible that your GM was attempting to throw in a moral quandary, but as you've described it they were basically being a jerk.

For what it's worth the rules as written state that cleric powers come from their devotion to their god, not the god's attitude towards the cleric, in part because there are settings (Eberron) where there aren't manifest deities whom can actually demonstrate such opinions. Even following the philosophy of "Your god can take away your class abilities if you displease them", you should still need to break the tenets of your faith, and unless said tenets include "Thou shalt lay down your arms if a villain threatens an innocent" then despite Hollywood loving it, it is a horrible choice as it not only permits the BBEG to (probably) escape justice but empowers him to capture/terrorize/oppress/slaughter even more people, starting with the PCs.

Important Note: In the scenario you described you aren't killing the innocent. The bad guy is. The fact that they are willing to do so means that surrendering wouldn't save them anyway - it would just permit the bad guy to kill them (and you) at their leisure. Pressing the attack in this scenario not an evil act.

Edit

SmiloDan wrote:
The GM was implying it was a plot point of the AP. He said the captured cleric would match the faith of any cleric in the party.

Do you mind me asking what boss it was? At 13th level it would suggest the end of Book 4 or early Book 5, but that doesn't match your description.

By my recollection none of the BBEGs from that AP were written as using human shield tactics as you described, and I definitely don't recall any match-PC-cleric-faith clauses. Pretty sure that was your GMs creation.

Edit 2: Also, arbitrarily charging your character (alone) a level for what is ultimately a group decision is extremely unfair, especially given that 5th Edition XP tracking is not designed to let lower level characters catch up at the higher levels, and essentially forces you to be a level behind for any subsequent play.

Personally, I play games for the love of roleplaying and story, and having a "Everyone got cake, but you got broken glass because you're a cleric and I say so" is a terrible idea for ending a campaign.

The general rule of fun is "END ON A HIGH NOTE!". There is no loss to the GM for the PCs getting in a shining victory over his boss at the end of the AP. But ending on forced failure leaves a bitter taste that cannot be undone.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

As soon as this RotRL campaign is over, someone else is going to DM for a couple sessions, then I'll be running a homebrew campaign.

This group has been pretty good DM-wise in the past, but this DM has only been in our group for a couple years.

We only play about once a month if we can.


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Yeah that just sounds like a terrible and outright malicious DM. It's both inconsistent with the rules of the class and with the events that happened in every way.

And, as you pointed out, level loss isn't even a mechanic that's supposed to exist in 5e.

Which book of ROTRL are you on, OP?

Quote:
I usually enjoy playing support classes and healers, but after tonight, I'm never going to play a class where "role playing" DM fiat can be "justified" in messing with my character.

That's not a very good way to go about this. The fact is that if a DM wants to turn off your abilities he will find a way to do it. Regardless of what class you're playing.

Quote:
The problem here is that the GM is treating you like a Paladin, in that if you don't do the absolutely correct thing, you'll fall.

Naw, that would be equally ridiculous and malicious even with a Paladin. There's nothing about the paladin code that would lead them to necessarily act any differently in that situation than the OP did.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

We're in the last book of RotRL.

Spoiler:

We were in the big tower with lots of giants and lamia.

The set up was we were exploring the tower, trying to find Karzaug. We found a room with a statue of a lamia and an altar with a priestess of Desna lying on it. Unresponsive. My dwarf cleric entered to retrieve the priestess. My allies all came in (arcane trickster, barbarian, eldritch knight, ranger, wizard) too. The doors slammed shut and invisible foes appeared.

We were fighting a lamia matriarch, a 2 or 3 advanced lamia, and 6 regular lamia.

We killed 2 advanced lamia (the third fled), and 5 of the 6 lamia were down. The matriarch was kind of on the ropes, so she threatened to kill the priestess unless we stopped fighting, but she had been untrustworthy, so the party decided to keep on fighting. I figured we could just revivify the priestess if the matriarchal lamia killed her. The lamia matriarch killed the priestess, and we killed the lamia matriarch.

I then lost my powers.

After the fight was over, I inquired as to why my powers were gone.
The DM then let me make a Religion check, and then revealed it was an evil altar dedicated to the evil goddess of the lamia, and any creature sacrificed on it had its soul stolen by the evil goddess.

That's right.

The check to see what the consequences were of sacrificing the priestess was allowed AFTER the sacrifice.

So there was no way to know that was going to happen until after it had already occurred.

So essentially, the DM removed all my class features because we didn't trust an evil monster to not be an evil monster.

Then he made a "concession" by letting me sacrifice a level to read a scroll of resurrection to bring back the priestess.


There are really only two logical choices in this kind of situation; which choice you take largely depends on the attitude of the rest of your group. If the rest of them are sane and competent, kick the GM to the curb. Tell him that he isn't welcome if he's going to make clearly incorrect and spiteful rulings. On the other hand, if the rest of the group are perfectly fine with the situation, walk away; they aren't worth your time.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Mostly because there are actual rules for removing the characters class abilities. So bad GMs feel authorized by the rules to do so.


The premise of this is ridiculous. I don't get it, have you been some sort of awful player to the GM in the past? There's no reason for the GM to mess with divine casters any more than any other member of the party. If the GM is going to make you fall, there should be plenty of heads up. Losing all your class features can't come right out of the blue. Unless the basic tenets of your faith involves dealing (somewhat) amicably with evil monsters, (looking at you, Lamashtu) killing the lamia was almost certainly more in line with your faith. Nobody would want to sacrifice fellow clergy, but nobody would trust a lamia to not kill said cleric.


SmiloDan wrote:
The GM was implying it was a plot point of the AP.
SmiloDan wrote:
We're in the last book of RotRL.

I can't find anything in my copy of spires even remotely close to what's described in the OP. Does anyone know what event it might be?


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swoosh wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
The GM was implying it was a plot point of the AP.
SmiloDan wrote:
We're in the last book of RotRL.
I can't find anything in my copy of spires even remotely close to what's described in the OP. Does anyone know what event it might be?

You can't find it because it doesn't exist in the published AP. Period.

This isn't a plot point of the AP, it is the GM making a ham-fisted attempt to make the last fight "more interesting" and then getting petty and vindictive when it didn't work.

At least, having just looked through the Anniversary edition on my shelf, that is the only explanation I can give.

And in 5E, I should point out that the rules (at least the ones I've read) don't include clauses for removing PC class abilities for clerics. 5E empowers the GM a lot, but primarily for the purpose of making calls on obscure bits of the rules and telling a story, not screwing over PCs on whim.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Mostly because there are actual rules for removing the characters class abilities. So bad GMs feel authorized by the rules to do so.

Yeah, but there's also the most important rule. That authorizes the GM to do anything, under the conditions that everyone enjoys it. The GM was already authorized to do anything. The GM is allowed to give a player's Fighter 20 amnesia so he forgets his feats, steal all the Fighter's gear, cut off his sword arm, and make the Fighter's allies turn on him if everybody (Fighter player included) enjoys it. The rules for removing class abilities are more for the player's benefit, to provide a roleplaying framework to build off of, instead of as a way for spiteful or bad GMs to mess with players. The rules tell Clerics that they can't violate their deity's basic tenets, since those tenets define your life as a magical priest. The rules tell Paladins they need to be upstanding and righteous, since Paladins are meant to be that way. The mumbo-jumbo about making you fall is a form of enforced roleplaying or a path a roleplayer can choose to go down. It's not something that a GM must inflict upon their players merely because it exists.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The session before, my PC was petrified, but I got to use my Divine Intervention class feature to get unpetrified (1% chance per cleric level, so 13%) and I rolled a 01 on 1d100, so I got unpetrified.

I took that as an indication I was doing OK by my deity.

Also on a quest to save the world, you know?

The DM is a grognard, so maybe he's upset that there haven't been any permanent player deaths? I've been able to use in-combat healing to keep everyone alive. Although I've died twice (once raised by the local church of Desna, once through a deal brokered by the PCs with a balor-succubus.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
My Self wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Mostly because there are actual rules for removing the characters class abilities. So bad GMs feel authorized by the rules to do so.
Yeah, but there's also the most important rule.

A specific rule is much more empowering than 'do whatever you want'.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Short Answer: It is not OK. DM was being a jerk.

The Exchange

And people wonder why no one wants to play a cleric...well, that's one of the reasons, which I also mentioned in the other thread. I've yet to take anyone's powers away from them before, and I actually believe that paladins are allowed to sneak around bad guys (if they can manage it, since most like to wear heavy clanking plate armor), plan an ambush etc.


There's actually two reasons I've seen it done. One was the aforementioned "the rules tell me I can", the other (still based on that same rule) is "I haven't done it yet, I should try to work it in". Both lead to tortured logic, convoluted plots, and railroads galore to ensure the depowering happens. Both are, well, terrible reasons to trigger something that's supposed to be the nuclear option for things like sacrificing babies to Shelyn or making peace treaties in honor of Gorum.


I find it hard to believe a deity (especially if they're not evil-dick aligned) would abandon or punish his/her cleric for failing a task (maybe if they did something that actively spat in the face of the deity enough times, but failure??).

That cleric probably already feels bad enough about not being able to save that follower and the deity knows it. 90% of deities have an almost parental bond with those that follow them, treating them as their children and guiding them, only scolding when they misbehave, not when they try their best.

Can you imagine watching your child try their best to do something, do everything in their power to accomplish this and (to their best of their ability) make a difficult judgement call in the best interest of saving the lives of multiple people? Would you turn around and kick them in the shins for not managing to save one of these people after trying so hard and putting their life on the line to do so?

That GM is harshballs. If your deity isnt evil-dick aligned then she/he wouldnt be so vindictive, and if your cleric isnt evil-dick aligned they probably feel bad enough already.

(If you feel your character would want to take a level off or renounce casting for feeling they are unworthy of their deity then that's cool and i'd allow it, could even be a thematic time for a level dip in something like fighter while you eschew your divine gifts)


It seems to me as I read through this thread that all of you seem to pretty much be on the same level. IMO your DM is a dick, find better people to run for you.


SmiloDan wrote:
The session before, my PC was petrified, but I got to use my Divine Intervention class feature to get unpetrified (1% chance per cleric level, so 13%) and I rolled a 01 on 1d100, so I got unpetrified.

Hot damn. It's probably been 20 years since I've heard anybody mention this mechanic.


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PRD wrote:

The Most Important Rule

The rules presented are here to help you breathe life into your characters and the world they explore. While they are designed to make your game easy and exciting, you might find that some of them do not suit the style of play that your gaming group enjoys. Remember that these rules are yours. You can change them to fit your needs. Most Game Masters have a number of "house rules" that they use in their games. The Game Master and players should always discuss any rules changes to make sure that everyone understands how the game will be played. Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules, the Pathfinder RPG is a shared experience, and all of the players should contribute their thoughts when the rules are in doubt.

Having a Paladin fall or a Cleric lose their powers for a good reason is one thing. Having a Paladin fall or a Cleric lose their powers because the GM just wants to justify his need to be a jerk is a completely different thing. The GM is an arbiter of the rules; he is a referee. But the game belongs to all the players involved. Freedom and responsibility go hand-in-hand. The GM is free to adjudicate the rules as he sees fit, but is responsible for doing so fairly. The GM in question here did not. He made up a rule mid-game that wasn't discussed, didn't allow for a check, was total BS, and tried to cite it as a story event in the AP (it wasn't) to "rational lies" it. That is a problem GM who cannot handle the task at hand appropriately. In my book, he can feel free to GM a table with just himself and "most important rule" to his heart's content.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
My Self wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Mostly because there are actual rules for removing the characters class abilities. So bad GMs feel authorized by the rules to do so.
Yeah, but there's also the most important rule.
A specific rule is much more empowering than 'do whatever you want'.

If you're playing with a jerk, it won't matter how "empowered" they are. Hundreds if not thousands of us read those same rules and haven't felt the need to depower our divine casters for no reason.

Sovereign Court

You should just change to being a cleric of Helm - he'd most certainly have a 'no negotiating with terrorists' sort of stance. (Plus - Helm is a badass.)

PS: The above is sarcastic. All PCs should have a 'no negotiating with terrorists' stance because they're not stupid.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
PS: The above is sarcastic. All PCs should have a 'no negotiating with terrorists' stance because they're not stupid.

(checks wisdom score) Seconded.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Psyren wrote:
If you're playing with a jerk, it won't matter how "empowered" they are.

The point is that having a specific rule for it puts it into the jerks head more often than they come up with it on their own.

Liberty's Edge

I've rarely seen this happen. Certainly no more often than I've seen the Wizard's spell-book get targeted. I've never actually seen either in person.

Speaking of which, this isn't a Divine character issue in general, it's specific to certain Classes, just like the spell book issue. Now, one of those issues actually applies to most casters, with only spontaneous casters seeming to escape from having some such issue (and not even all of them).

With prepared casters? If the GM wants to be a dick and take your casting away, they can. They probably need to actively misinterpret the very narrow conditions the rules say that happens in (as appears to have occurred here), but having it possible is sorta the price you pay for being a prepared caster. Which is fair enough given how powerful prepared casters are.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Psyren wrote:
If you're playing with a jerk, it won't matter how "empowered" they are.
The point is that having a specific rule for it puts it into the jerks head more often than they come up with it on their own.

If they're going to ignore "the most important rule," then they're going to do that no matter what you play. You can try to mitigate this by playing something that can't fall or be denied, like a sorcerer, psychic or oracle (so they can't make you fall or steal/sunder your spellbook), but even then, a jerk is probably just going to find another way to screw you over.

Falling is still a useful mechanic; it adds verisimilitude to the setting that a cleric can't simply flout their deity (or ideals) and still enjoy vast amounts of power. If you want to play a game where devotion isn't required to be a devout class, there are probably others out there that will suit your fancy, but I'm glad this isn't one of them.

I guess I'm fortunate that nobody I play with (or am ever likely to play with) is this petty.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
The session before, my PC was petrified, but I got to use my Divine Intervention class feature to get unpetrified (1% chance per cleric level, so 13%) and I rolled a 01 on 1d100, so I got unpetrified.
Hot damn. It's probably been 20 years since I've heard anybody mention this mechanic.

We're playing 5th Edition, and it's an actual class feature for clerics. Gained at 10th level.

We've been playing in this RotRL campaign for over a year, started at 1st level, and now we're "one more session" away from completing it. I don't want to disrupt the rest of the group. One player had to move out of state for a new job, and we adjusted by Skyping him in. So we're pretty dedicated to finishing the quest.

Liberty's Edge

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SmiloDan wrote:


We've been playing in this RotRL campaign for over a year, started at 1st level, and now we're "one more session" away from completing it.

It really is a dick move. I have had my fair share of old-timer grognard GMs in the past who liked to do stuff like this, but luckily I think people more and more are realizing that it is not acceptable. It seems that virtually all modern GMs don't do this.

Part of it comes from the fact that the old style dungeons were often impossible. If it was "recommended for a party of 4 level 1-3 characters" you had better come in with 6 level 4 characters or there will be massive deaths. They were arbitrary and capricious and often no-win. So people who "miss the old times" sometimes have problems with modern games.

I personally like the old games, but would have to modify portions of them (e.g., adding in point buys for characters rather than random roles that decide everything) before wanting to play/GM them now.

If you talked it over with him and he won't budge (show him this thread!) and there is really just one more session, probably grit your teeth and get through the last session. Just make sure you never allow him to GM again...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Psyren wrote:
If they're going to ignore "the most important rule," then they're going to do that no matter what you play.

Yes, but they are more likely to do it if there is already the idea in the rules.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Psyren wrote:
If they're going to ignore "the most important rule," then they're going to do that no matter what you play.
Yes, but they are more likely to do it if there is already the idea in the rules.

Well, too bad. That rule existing is better for the health of the game as a whole, than trying to head off every Napoleon Complex GM who wants to abuse it at the pass.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Why do you think I'm against the rule? I'm answering the question posed by the OP, not arguing for the removal of said answer.

SmiloDan wrote:
Why do some GMs think it is acceptable to mess with divine casters?


sound like your DM really wanted his BBEG to survive the encounter and was trying to force a train on you guys. and since you guys did not board that train he decided to punish one of you.

train = to story on a track that you can't get off.

this is why i think a DM in a homebrew should have a charater or npc attached to the group that he or she can put their hopes in so they don't want to kill or F@^k over the party. but that is just my two cents.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

zainale wrote:

sound like your DM really wanted his BBEG to survive the encounter and was trying to force a train on you guys. and since you guys did not board that train he decided to punish one of you.

train = to story on a track that you can't get off.

this is why i think a DM in a homebrew should have a charater or npc attached to the group that he or she can put their hopes in so they don't want to kill or F@^k over the party. but that is just my two cents.

One of the lieutenants of that encounter's BBEG had been encountered a couple times before. So he should have gotten his "recurring villain yayas" from that. The encounter's BBEG seemed like a one-off. The whole thing sounds like a setup. It's not like we one-shot Karzaug. Or even got close to him.

And I don't get why. I'm DMing the next campaign, and I'm incorporating a lot of that DM's feedback into it. It's going to be a swashbuckling steampunk Dying Earth pastiche, and he's going to be playing a swashbuckler with access to a steampunk dirigible that will adventure in a Dying Earth jungle & desert wasteland with dinosaurs, ruined cities, crumbling temples, and cannibalistic cultists.


SmiloDan wrote:

Why is acceptable to arbitrarily remove the powers of divine casters, but no other class?

It isn't. Seriously. I really don't get those DMs who seem so trigger-happy with falling Paladins and the like. They're punishing players for attempting to play the good guy, the hero. Not a stupid killer-hobo (I would get it if they DID play the paladin as a killer-hobo).

I'm not a kind DM, my players will tell you that. But this just stops the game. It's as if they see the sentence suggesting it in the class entries but purposely ignores "if" and instead read "when", because f@@& fun.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
SmiloDan wrote:

Why do some GMs think it is acceptable to mess with divine casters?

Clerics have a lot of power and flexibility in the game and, in previous editions, one of the means GMs had to keep their power in line was to mess with them if they grossly violated their deity's ethics or morals. There isn't anything inherently wrong with that.

The questions here are whether or not that's appropriate for 5e and whether or not failing to rescue a co-religionist is really grossly violating their deity's ethics or morals. I think the count on the last question is a resounding no for at least 99% of the deities out there (there may be a few pacifist or other oddball deities out there for which this would apply). As far as whether its appropriate for 5e? Maybe - I'd be looking to mess with clerics who blatantly violate their deity's outlook in any game, any edition, as long as there were active gods about. It's part of the charm of dealing with divinities and deriving your power from them. The operative words there are "blatantly violate" not just make pragmatic choices for more important goals even if those choices lead to unfortunate ends for some people here and there.

Silver Crusade

I think everyone in this thread pretty much agrees: Wheaton's Law should trump Rule Zero.


Your GM is being a pretty massive tool here, and he's not even following the advice 5e gives for situations like this.

When a 5e paladin ceases to be a paladin the handbook points out specifically that the player should be allowed to trade out their now-invalid paladin levels for an EQUAL AMOUNT of levels in another class. The ex-paladin doesn't remain in limbo with no class features in 5e, the player will typically become an equivalent-level fighter in all respects unless their paladinhood is restored.

If you became an ex-cleric because of what sounds like a spiteful knee-jerk reaction by your GM, you were entitled to class shift until your powers were restored, and at no point should the GM have taken away one of your levels because he felt like it, much less expected you to be thankful for such a backhanded "concession."

In both PF and 5e, it should also be stressed the gods shouldn't pull that crap unless you have grossly violated the tenants of your faith/oath and are unrepentant.


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This is another of those threads i'm sure many of us keep visiting just to watch the absolute wrecking of this GM's dickery.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

What is Wheaton's Law?


SmiloDan wrote:
What is Wheaton's Law?

I think its something along the lines of "Dont be a dick".

Fun fact: In the UK we have a comedy program hosted by an Australian whose slogan is pretty much the same thing.

It's a pretty decent rule for living.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Isn't that also the first rule on these forums? :-)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Have you spoken to him about it?

I think people are jumping to the "he's a jerk" conclusion too readily. My first thought would be that he improvised it thinking it would be a cool twist and just made a mistake. I can't count the number of times I've done something similar over the years (not specifically taking away powers, but just run with something I came up with on the fly only to realise down the track that the player didn't enjoy the "twist" at all).

I think it's only jerkish if he insists on keeping it after you point out what a harsh penalty it is, how unreasonable the logic is and most importantly how you're not having fun being one level lower than everyone else.

If you want your DM to improvise, adjust APs and run a game which isn't just a series of ever-more-difficult encounters then I think you're going to run into some poor decisions from time to time. That in itself isn't malicious.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

Have you spoken to him about it?

I think people are jumping to the "he's a jerk" conclusion too readily. My first thought would be that he improvised it thinking it would be a cool twist and just made a mistake. I can't count the number of times I've done something similar over the years (not specifically taking away powers, but just run with something I came up with on the fly only to realise down the track that the player didn't enjoy the "twist" at all).

I think it's only jerkish if he insists on keeping it after you point out what a harsh penalty it is, how unreasonable the logic is and most importantly how you're not having fun being one level lower than everyone else.

If you want your DM to improvise, adjust APs and run a game which isn't just a series of ever-more-difficult encounters then I think you're going to run into some poor decisions from time to time. That in itself isn't malicious.

Well, the GM has already lied about that part of the encounter being part of the AP - it makes the jerk conclusion easier to jump to.

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