Positive and Negative Energy Defined Directly


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Another weird interaction:

Conjuration magic involves interplanar and intraplanar transport of objects, creatures, and energies. Conjuring fire involves pulling Fire energy from the Fire plane, for instance. Healing fits well as a sub-category of Conjuration because you are pulling Positive energy from the PEP. But spells that involve pulling Negative energy from the NEP, which should be a sub-category of Conjuration magic, are instead given their own whole school of magic (Necromancy). Realistically, shouldn't Necromancy be a sub-category of Conjuration magic, alongside Healing?


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You can make the argument in reverse though too. That Healing spells should be Necromancy because Necromancy is magic that deals in life and death. In fact in old editions of D&D it was. 3e decided to change Necromancy from life and death to just generally evil sounding stuff instead though.

Part of the problem though is that Conjuration is so broad and vaguely defined that you could co-opt basically all of evocation and necromancy and half of abjuration and probably a decent chunk of enchantment and transmutation too depending on how much you want to stretch what counts as summoning something.


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Another argument is that manipulation of energy should fall under Evocation instead of Conjuration (and there shouldn't be spells like 3.5 acid/cold/fire/lightning orb as moving things from Evocation purview to Conjuration).

Another threadjack about problems with schools of magic in D&D:
The magic schools in D&D are problematic too because they mix two different approaches: thematic (Enchantment, Necromancy) and functional (Abjuration, Divination, Transmutation). The former are defined by what they affect (mind, life & death) while the later are defined by how they affect (protect & repel, perceive, change). Conjuration, Evocation, and Illusion are more borderline cases, as they try to be both thematic (dealing with other planes, manipulating energy, dealing with shadow plane) and functional (creation/summoning things from other places, directing energy, manipulating senses). And there is unclear overlap between them, especially Conjuration and Evocation, but also Necromancy and Transmutation.


Drejk wrote:
Another argument is that manipulation of energy should fall under Evocation instead of Conjuration (and there shouldn't be spells like 3.5 acid/cold/fire/lightning orb as moving things from Evocation purview to Conjuration).

Well, to be fair, Evocation deals with using magic energy to create objects or effects while Conjuration deals with moving fundamental energy, as well as other things, between or through the planes. So if you are using magical energy to increase the temperature of the air until it sparks a fire, that's Evocation. Whereas, if you open up a small conduit to the Elemental Fire plane and bring Fire energy (note the capitalization), that's Conjuration. Handling Negative and Positive energy, by and large, should be matters of Conjuration because there is no physical parity for these energies as there are for the four elemental forces. Fire energy from the Fire plane shares a certain parity with physical forces that generate fire. In Norse Runes, there are three that represent fire. Fehu which is "Raw Fire" or "Primal Fire"; the fire of Muspelheim representing motion and expansion which, in conjunction with the primal fire of Nifelheim, created the multiverse of Norse mythology. Then, you have Kenaz, the Torch Fire, which represents fire under control by humans; fire used to bring light, to cook food, to warm yourself, or to cremate the dead all fall under the scope of Kenaz. Lastly, you have Naudhiz, sometimes translated as "need-fire", or as "friction". It represents the despair we experience in life, but also how that despair leads us to great accomplishments. In other words, "no pain, no gain". If you apply this kind of thinking to uses of fire in Pathfinder, you could say that the Fire energy, nascent to the Elemental Plane of Fire, and which composes the bodies of Outsiders with the Fire subtype, is like the Primal Fire of Fehu. Magically generated fire made through Evocation, rather than called by Conjuration, could be equated to Naudhiz; spawned by magically generated friction. Lastly, mundane fire, the kind you spark using flint and steel, can fall under Kenaz. If you expand this concept to encompass Positive/Negative energy, we have the Primal energy types, nascent to their home planes, called forth to power living and undead bodies. Then, we'd have magically generated life; I can't really think of a pertinent example, but this would be life (or unlife) sparked through "magical friction" without drawing on the energy planes and, like evoked fire, shares physical parity with the principals of our normal understanding of biological principals. Lastly, is mundane healing not involving magic.


@Kazaan: That's all well and good, but it's largely a difference without distinction. The only meaningful difference between using magical energy to create flame or using magical energy to summon flame from the plane of fire is how you describe it. Likewise the only difference between 2e's necromancy healing and 3e's conjuration healing is how you describe it.

And if you stretch it far enough you can describe a pretty significant number of spells and effects from a conjurer's perspective. Which is why I'm not sure it's great design space to explore.

Drejk wrote:
And there is unclear overlap between them, especially Conjuration and Evocation, but also Necromancy and Transmutation.

Necromancy and Enchantment too. Most fear based mind-effecting abilities end up being given to the former despite being completely in line with the latter's sphere.


Squiggit wrote:

@Kazaan: That's all well and good, but it's largely a difference without distinction. The only meaningful difference between using magical energy to create flame or using magical energy to summon flame from the plane of fire is how you describe it. Likewise the only difference between 2e's necromancy healing and 3e's conjuration healing is how you describe it.

And if you stretch it far enough you can describe a pretty significant number of spells and effects from a conjurer's perspective. Which is why I'm not sure it's great design space to explore.

Drejk wrote:
And there is unclear overlap between them, especially Conjuration and Evocation, but also Necromancy and Transmutation.
Necromancy and Enchantment too. Most fear based mind-effecting abilities end up being given to the former despite being completely in line with the latter's sphere.

Actually, the difference is how the spell interacts with other magic affecting effects like anti-magic shell and spell resistance (magic resistance in the older system was bypassed by conjuration effets).


I'd like to see more creatures with Negative and Positive energy resistance.
I'd like to see more spells that deal positive energy damage, including against living creatures.
I'd like to see more spells that deal negative energy damage, including to undead creatures.
BONUS POINTS: Creatures with Force energy resistance.


Squiggit wrote:

@Kazaan: That's all well and good, but it's largely a difference without distinction. The only meaningful difference between using magical energy to create flame or using magical energy to summon flame from the plane of fire is how you describe it. Likewise the only difference between 2e's necromancy healing and 3e's conjuration healing is how you describe it.

And if you stretch it far enough you can describe a pretty significant number of spells and effects from a conjurer's perspective. Which is why I'm not sure it's great design space to explore.

Drejk wrote:
And there is unclear overlap between them, especially Conjuration and Evocation, but also Necromancy and Transmutation.
Necromancy and Enchantment too. Most fear based mind-effecting abilities end up being given to the former despite being completely in line with the latter's sphere.

There are certain distinctions. For instance, if interplanar travel were blocked, Conjuration to call up Fire energy from the Fire plane would not function while Evocation to generate fire on the spot would have no problem. It also opens up possibilities for creatures with elemental or alignment subtypes to draw upon their own personal energies to fuel their magic, such as refreshing an expended usage of a spell/SLA of the appropriate type using their own HP.

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Air0r wrote:

I'd like to see more creatures with Negative and Positive energy resistance.

I'd like to see more spells that deal positive energy damage, including against living creatures.
I'd like to see more spells that deal negative energy damage, including to undead creatures.
BONUS POINTS: Creatures with Force energy resistance.

Most of your points there just add more confusion and go against the lore of positive/negative energy and force damage.

Dark Archive

I have a doubt related to channel positive and negative energy:

The Versatile Channeler Feat allows a Neutral cleric of a Neutral god to channel both kinds of energy, with the secondary one running as if your cleric level was 2 levels lower.

But, how this interact with Variant Channeling? According to UM, "A variant channeling either modifies positive energy when used to heal or negative energy when used to harm".

The question is: a cleric could use the "standard" channel positive energy and a variant of channel negative energy? For exemple, could a Cleric of Abadar channel positive energy in the standard mode and the Rulership variant for channeling negative energy?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SirPeter wrote:

I have a doubt related to channel positive and negative energy:

The Versatile Channeler Feat allows a Neutral cleric of a Neutral god to channel both kinds of energy, with the secondary one running as if your cleric level was 2 levels lower.

But, how this interact with Variant Channeling? According to UM, "A variant channeling either modifies positive energy when used to heal or negative energy when used to harm".

The question is: a cleric could use the "standard" channel positive energy and a variant of channel negative energy? For exemple, could a Cleric of Abadar channel positive energy in the standard mode and the Rulership variant for channeling negative energy?

Variant vs Standard is a choice you make when becoming a Cleric. So No ;-)

Dark Archive

The Raven Black wrote:
SirPeter wrote:

I have a doubt related to channel positive and negative energy:

The Versatile Channeler Feat allows a Neutral cleric of a Neutral god to channel both kinds of energy, with the secondary one running as if your cleric level was 2 levels lower.

But, how this interact with Variant Channeling? According to UM, "A variant channeling either modifies positive energy when used to heal or negative energy when used to harm".

The question is: a cleric could use the "standard" channel positive energy and a variant of channel negative energy? For exemple, could a Cleric of Abadar channel positive energy in the standard mode and the Rulership variant for channeling negative energy?

Variant vs Standard is a choice you make when becoming a Cleric. So No ;-)

Variant is a choice when you make a cleric, or when you choose the kind of energy you can channel?

Another thing: as variant channeling either modifies positive energy when used to heal or negative energy when used to harm, does this mean a cleric could have two different Variant Channels with the Versatile Channel feat (one for positive and one for negative energy), assuming both variants were within her deity's portfolio? For example, could a Cleric of Adabar have the Cities variant for channeling positive, and the Contracts variant for channeling negative?


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Kazaan wrote:

Another weird interaction:

Conjuration magic involves interplanar and intraplanar transport of objects, creatures, and energies. Conjuring fire involves pulling Fire energy from the Fire plane, for instance. Healing fits well as a sub-category of Conjuration because you are pulling Positive energy from the PEP. But spells that involve pulling Negative energy from the NEP, which should be a sub-category of Conjuration magic, are instead given their own whole school of magic (Necromancy). Realistically, shouldn't Necromancy be a sub-category of Conjuration magic, alongside Healing?

Note on healing: used to be Necromancy and I still think it belongs there.


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I would like to see a lot more positive energy based spells in necromancy, there are like only two.


I suppose the question becomes what you'd do with positive energy. Its main effects are "heal damage" and "hurt undead". We probably don't want to replicate the Cure line in another school of spells, so... what would you choose to do with it?

For my own part, I've created some alternate uses of channeled energy that I give to NPCs who have that power. XD So they might be able to form a barrier of negative energy by channeling, add energy to their weapon... whatever fits the NPC in question.


Some necromancy spells that grant fast healing would be cool especially if it is on the wizard/sorcerer list.

A positive energy barrier that grants negative energy resistance and you auto save to prevent negative levels from becoming permanent.

A negative energy barrier that grants positive energy resistance and auto save vs disruption effects.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Those sound abjuration-y.


Serisan wrote:
Those sound abjuration-y.

They also sound conjuration-y, since they move energy from other planes into the world to work.


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All could be energy types like so:
Elemental - Fire, Cold, Electricity, Acid
Planar - Positive, Negative
Universal - Force

There should be resist spells for them, you should be able to enchant weapons with them.
In short, all energy types should have the same general rules apply to them, or call them something else.

Imho, of course.


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A positive energy sword that heals (most)any living creature and harms undead that it strikes would be fun.


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So, basically, a multiple-strike Cure spell? That sounds quite potent. I mean, if it lasts for a set period of time instead of a number of strikes, characters with high BAB could get quite a lot of use out of that... but you'd probably want to crunch the numbers quite carefully to ensure it wouldn't be any more potent than an equivalent-level cure spell (and since those are one-shots...).

Point is, balanced spell design can be challenging. XD Of course, the rules DO allow you to try and create original effects within the game.

Incidentally, Spheres of Power kind of allows this. You can learn a talent to allow you to deal positive energy to non-living creatures, or give temporary HP to living ones. XD I think that's a little more balanced than full healing would be.


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Dragon78 wrote:

A positive energy sword that heals (most)any living creature and harms undead that it strikes would be fun.

Even better, a super wraith with ER 10/positive and force...

Dark Archive

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Kazaan wrote:

Another weird interaction:

Conjuration magic involves interplanar and intraplanar transport of objects, creatures, and energies. Conjuring fire involves pulling Fire energy from the Fire plane, for instance. Healing fits well as a sub-category of Conjuration because you are pulling Positive energy from the PEP. But spells that involve pulling Negative energy from the NEP, which should be a sub-category of Conjuration magic, are instead given their own whole school of magic (Necromancy). Realistically, shouldn't Necromancy be a sub-category of Conjuration magic, alongside Healing?

And Illusion spells sometimes 'conjure' matter/energy from the Plane of Shadow, yet remain Illusion spells.

Other Illusion spells create patterns of light and darkness (and sound), even though creating light is Evocation and creating darkness is Evocation and making loud noise is also Evocation, and rearranging the shape and form of pre-existing stuff (such as light or darkness) is Transmutation.

Enchantment spells affect minds and emotions, and make people happy or sad or angry or sleepy, but not scared, that's Necromantment...

In short; schools are weird.


Dragon78 wrote:

A positive energy sword that heals (most)any living creature and harms undead that it strikes would be fun.

I did this in 3.0.

I made negative and positive energy enchantments for weapons, of the +1d6 variety. The negative ones would harm living things but heal undead, and the positive ones would harm undead but heal living things. Even in 3.0 the d6 of healing didn't make it worth using to heal unless they could do subdual damage. Finally someone thought to put it on a whip. It still wasn't overpowered. A d6 of healing a round makes it worse than any lv1 or higher cure spell.

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

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Mark Seifter wrote:
I'm creating this thread to prevent further derail of the havoker witch thread. Feel free to discuss positive and negative energy here, as well as the lack of a direct definition of what they are and how they work. It's also fine to FAQ this post if you'd like to see these definitions directly stated in a FAQ (things like "positive energy healing effects don't heal undead, even if the individual effect doesn't mention undead at all" which right now is inferable but not directly stated).

Here's your answer, you rapscallion!

FAQ wrote:

Positive and Negative Energy: These two terms show up in a variety of abilities, but they have no definition outside those abilities, and the abilities aren’t always consistent. How do positive and negative energy work?

Positive and negative energy are two damage types, though despite their name, they are usually not included on the list of energy types you can choose with spells like resist energy or feats like Elemental Spell. You’ll sometimes come across both the phrasing “deals X damage; this is a negative energy effect” and the phrasing “deals X negative energy damage”; these two are functionally equivalent.

Positive energy often heals living creatures, though not always (for instance channeled positive energy to harm undead or the life blast spell). It often harms undead creatures, though not always (for instance channeled positive energy to heal living creatures). Individual effects will tell you whether they heal living (if they mention healing without specifying what they heal, they always mean only living creatures), harm undead, or both. Positive energy never heals or harms creatures or objects that are neither living nor undead (such as constructs), and it never directly damages the living or heals undead, barring some special effect that explicitly changes this like a dhampir’s negative energy affinity. These rules extend to the fast healing from positive-energy attuned planes as well (though overhealing on a major positive-energy attuned plane can be dangerous as well); only living creatures gain fast healing on such a plane.

Negative energy works just as described above for positive energy, reversing living creatures and undead in all cases (it often heals undead, it often harms living creatures, if it mentions damage without specifying what it damages, it always means only living creatures, and so on).


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Does this FAQ in any way address the challenges of Positive-Dominant and Negative-Dominant planes?

GMG wrote:

Negative-Dominant: Planes with this trait are vast, empty reaches that suck the life out of travelers who cross them. They tend to be lonely, haunted planes, drained of color and filled with winds bearing the soft moans of those who died within them. There are two kinds of negative-dominant traits: minor negative-dominant and major negative-dominant. On minor negative-dominant planes, living creatures take 1d6 points of damage per round. At 0 hit points or lower, they crumble into ash.

Major negative-dominant planes are even more dangerous. Each round, those within must make a DC 25 Fortitude save or gain a negative level. A creature whose negative levels equal its current levels or Hit Dice is slain, becoming a wraith. The death ward spell protects a traveler from the damage and energy drain of a negative-dominant plane.

Positive-Dominant: An abundance of life characterizes planes with this trait. Like negative-dominant planes, positive-dominant planes can be either minor or major. A minor positive-dominant plane is a riotous explosion of life in all its forms. Colors are brighter, fires are hotter, noises are louder, and sensations are more intense as a result of the positive energy swirling through the plane. All individuals in a positive-dominant plane gain fast healing 2 as an extraordinary ability.

Major positive-dominant planes go even further. A creature on a major positive-dominant plane must make a DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid being blinded for 10 rounds by the brilliance of the surroundings. Simply being on the plane grants fast healing 5 as an extraordinary ability. In addition, those at full hit points gain 5 additional temporary hit points per round. These temporary hit points fade 1d20 rounds after the creature leaves the major positive-dominant plane. However, a creature must make a DC 20 Fortitude save each round that its temporary hit points exceed its normal hit point total. Failing the saving throw results in the creature exploding in a riot of energy, which kills it.

Stick an undead creature in either of those planes and there's weirdness.


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"Positive energy never heals or harms creatures or objects that are neither living nor undead (Such as constructs)..."

Construct Channel Brick

Paizo Employee Designer

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"If the bearer has the channel energy class feature, she can focus her power on the brick, allowing her to repair damaged constructs and objects as if they were living creatures. The item works whether the bearer channels positive or negative energy."

So it's not channeling positive energy or negative energy specifically, but rather channeling energy (either type) into the brick and then the brick repairs.


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Serisan wrote:
Does this FAQ in any way address the challenges of Positive-Dominant and Negative-Dominant planes?

Yes.

Undead can no longer go to the positive energy plane and have 1034382 billion health from fast healing (I'm not really sure what issue undead have on the negative-dominant planes?)


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How does the new FAQ work regarding Alignment Channel (and Elemental Channel)?
I've assumed (mostly based on discussions on the this forums and on other places) that a character who channels positive energy could choose to harm outsiders of the chosen subtype, but I guess it can only be used to heal now? Or is the damage from those feats not considered positive/negative energy?


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Milo v3 wrote:
Serisan wrote:
Does this FAQ in any way address the challenges of Positive-Dominant and Negative-Dominant planes?

Yes.

Undead can no longer go to the positive energy plane and have 1034382 billion health from fast healing (I'm not really sure what issue undead have on the negative-dominant planes?)

I did not have as thorough a read of that as I thought.

The problem with Neg-dominant is that they do literally nothing for undead. That seems highly counterintuitive.


Serisan wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Serisan wrote:
Does this FAQ in any way address the challenges of Positive-Dominant and Negative-Dominant planes?

Yes.

Undead can no longer go to the positive energy plane and have 1034382 billion health from fast healing (I'm not really sure what issue undead have on the negative-dominant planes?)

I did not have as thorough a read of that as I thought.

The problem with Neg-dominant is that they do literally nothing for undead. That seems highly counterintuitive.

Positive-dominant is fluffed as producing life and mechanically helps (to a limit) living creatures. Negative dominant mechanically produces undead creatures and is fluffed as helping undead creatures.


Serisan wrote:

I did not have as thorough a read of that as I thought.

The problem with Neg-dominant is that they do literally nothing for undead. That seems highly counterintuitive.

It's an innately selfish hungry energy, I can see it not bothering to spread into creatures already filled with it.


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Tiomat wrote:

How does the new FAQ work regarding Alignment Channel (and Elemental Channel)?

I've assumed (mostly based on discussions on the this forums and on other places) that a character who channels positive energy could choose to harm outsiders of the chosen subtype, but I guess it can only be used to heal now? Or is the damage from those feats not considered positive/negative energy?

It would be just like Brick channel; you aren't really channeling positive OR negative when you use Alignment or Elemental channel. If you want to visualize it better, it helps to view it as you're channeling the alignment or elemental energy itself. If you have Alignment Channel (Evil), you're channeling the raw Evil energy either into or out of an Outsider with the Evil subtype. Remember, Demons aren't just Chaotic and Evil, they are made of Chaos and Evil as fundamental energies. So you can either siphon it away from them or tap into one of those planes and siphon from there into an Outsider who can use that energy type. Same goes for the elemental energies; you can siphon the raw elemental Fire energy right out of a Fire Elemental if you want to and cause damage. Or you can tap into the Fire plane and draw the raw Fire energy from there and funnel it into the Fire Elemental to heal them. It doesn't work this way when handling Positive and Negative energies because living and undead creatures aren't strong enough sources of these energies. We "run" on these energies, but there are no Positive and Negative subtypes for creatures that make them strong enough sources to directly funnel the energy out of them to cause harm.

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Kazaan wrote:
Tiomat wrote:

How does the new FAQ work regarding Alignment Channel (and Elemental Channel)?

I've assumed (mostly based on discussions on the this forums and on other places) that a character who channels positive energy could choose to harm outsiders of the chosen subtype, but I guess it can only be used to heal now? Or is the damage from those feats not considered positive/negative energy?
It would be just like Brick channel; you aren't really channeling positive OR negative when you use Alignment or Elemental channel. If you want to visualize it better, it helps to view it as you're channeling the alignment or elemental energy itself. If you have Alignment Channel (Evil), you're channeling the raw Evil energy either into or out of an Outsider with the Evil subtype. Remember, Demons aren't just Chaotic and Evil, they are made of Chaos and Evil as fundamental energies. So you can either siphon it away from them or tap into one of those planes and siphon from there into an Outsider who can use that energy type. Same goes for the elemental energies; you can siphon the raw elemental Fire energy right out of a Fire Elemental if you want to and cause damage. Or you can tap into the Fire plane and draw the raw Fire energy from there and funnel it into the Fire Elemental to heal them. It doesn't work this way when handling Positive and Negative energies because living and undead creatures aren't strong enough sources of these energies. We "run" on these energies, but there are no Positive and Negative subtypes for creatures that make them strong enough sources to directly funnel the energy out of them to cause harm.

This is exactly how I think of it as well. Good post Kazaan!

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So I can still Channel Positive to harm Angels, if I have Alignment Channel [Good]?


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Alignment channel means you change that energy into an alignment damage type like holy, unholy, etc.


Nefreet wrote:
So I can still Channel Positive to harm Angels, if I have Alignment Channel [Good]?

Yes. This doesn't make any difference to how alignment channel works.

Channel [Alignment] works exactly the same whether you normally channel positive or negative energy. When you choose to channel energy you choose at that moment whether to heal or harm the chosen aligned outsider.

As Kazaan says it's better to think of it as Channel Good Energy, allowing you to channel good into them (heal) or channel good out of them (harm). You no longer really channel positive or negative energy when you use this feat.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So, it will bypass Positive Energy Resistance?

Silver Crusade

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I would say so yes.

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Rysky wrote:
I would say so yes.

I agree with Rysky. But if you had corruption resistance up, it would potentially protect you (the question there becomes whether "based on a target creature's alignment" lines up with alignment subtypes; if not, then it leads to interesting implications for a non-chaotic chaos subtype outsider with the example in the spell of order's wrath).

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You just actually touched on a huge issue of table variation.

Demons targeting Lawful-aligned Aasimar characters with Chaos Hammer, for example.

Some GMs rule the character takes extra damage.

I don't believe it works that way.

But that's a topic for another thread.

Paizo Employee Designer

Nefreet wrote:

You just actually touched on a huge issue of table variation.

Demons targeting Lawful-aligned Aasimar characters with Chaos Hammer, for example.

Some GMs rule the character takes extra damage.

I don't believe it works that way.

But that's a topic for another thread.

Indeed. I've literally seen this vary by table too, that's why I touched on it as an ambiguity above. ;)

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Does phrasing like "if the target is an evil humanoid" only refer to humanoids with the evil subtype?


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Kalindlara wrote:
Does phrasing like "if the target is an evil humanoid" only refer to humanoids with the evil subtype?

Probably not, Evil is an outsider subtype, not a humanoid subtype


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Kalindlara wrote:
Does phrasing like "if the target is an evil humanoid" only refer to humanoids with the evil subtype?

You won't see that sort of phrasing, because Evil Alignment and Evil Subtype are not the same, nor are they always the case. Relevant text from the PRD:

Evil Subtype wrote:
Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment.

So, if a creature has an Evil Subtype (typically Outsiders, perhaps some Elementals), they're always considered Evil for effects that depend upon alignment, and if they have a different alignment, they count as that other alignment as well. This means if you have, for example, a Chaotic Good Demon with the Evil Subtype, he can be subject to both Smite Good (because his alignment is Chaotic Good), and Smite Evil (because he has the Evil Subtype), either individually or simultaneously.

In the above instances, the Chaotic Good Demon would suffer the increased penalties of Smite Evil (i.e. the increased damage from the first successful attack), and the normal penalties of Smite Good (because it is not an Outsider with the Good subtype).

If you really want to know why you hardly see the "Evil becomes Good" trope, especially in a combat-heavy, min-maxing table, it's because it is mechanically inferior to simply staying Evil and not giving yourself a dual weakness.

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The Sideromancer wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Does phrasing like "if the target is an evil humanoid" only refer to humanoids with the evil subtype?
Probably not, Evil is an outsider subtype, not a humanoid subtype

My point exactly.

Evil humanoid =/= humanoid with the evil subtype.
Evil dragon =/= dragon with the evil subtype
Evil outsider... why do words suddenly mean something different?

An evil outsider is a creature of the outsider type with an evil alignment. An outsider with the evil subtype is an outsider of any alignment with the evil subtype. These are two different things.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Does phrasing like "if the target is an evil humanoid" only refer to humanoids with the evil subtype?

You won't see that sort of phrasing, because Evil Alignment and Evil Subtype are not the same, nor are they always the case. Relevant text from the PRD:

Evil Subtype wrote:
Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment.

So, if a creature has an Evil Subtype (typically Outsiders, perhaps some Elementals), they're always considered Evil for effects that depend upon alignment, and if they have a different alignment, they count as that other alignment as well. This means if you have, for example, a Chaotic Good Demon with the Evil Subtype, he can be subject to both Smite Good (because his alignment is Chaotic Good), and Smite Evil (because he has the Evil Subtype), either individually or simultaneously.

In the above instances, the Chaotic Good Demon would suffer the increased penalties of Smite Evil (i.e. the increased damage from the first successful attack), and the normal penalties of Smite Good (because it is not an Outsider with the Good subtype).

If you really want to know why you hardly see the "Evil becomes Good" trope, especially in a combat-heavy, min-maxing table, it's because it is mechanically inferior to simply staying Evil and not giving yourself a dual weakness.

I know about all of this. I was making a point. ^_^

See my post above.


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Why wouldn't aasimar take extra damage from 'chaos hammer-esque' spells if they have the appropriate alignment?
They are outsiders after all.


QuidEst wrote:
Serisan wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Serisan wrote:
Does this FAQ in any way address the challenges of Positive-Dominant and Negative-Dominant planes?

Yes.

Undead can no longer go to the positive energy plane and have 1034382 billion health from fast healing (I'm not really sure what issue undead have on the negative-dominant planes?)

I did not have as thorough a read of that as I thought.

The problem with Neg-dominant is that they do literally nothing for undead. That seems highly counterintuitive.

Positive-dominant is fluffed as producing life and mechanically helps (to a limit) living creatures. Negative dominant mechanically produces undead creatures and is fluffed as helping undead creatures.

It does-

"Major negative-dominant planes are even more dangerous. Each round, those within must make a DC 25 Fortitude save or gain a negative level"

Undead with Negative levels: Normally immune, but two spells (Enervation/Energy Drain) grant Temp hps for each Negative level they wou8ld have gave.

So, in 3.5, it was assumed that they had tons of Temp hps.
But in Pathfinder, it looks like they give nothing.

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