I'm starting to think pathfinder 2.0 should happen


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's been like 16 years, but to this day mindless animated skeletons having an alignment other than "neutral" bugs me. I heard 5e made them LE, which is among the silliest things I've heard in regards to this family of games.

Skeleton Law, y'all.

5E also gave them INT and WIS, so at least it's consistent. They're not mindless.


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Are y'all sayin' I can be edumacated, like one of them fancy city skeletons.

Liberty's Edge

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Should an (equally mindless) Unholy sword be neutral?

In D&D and it's progeny evil is not 'merely' a description of human morality and intention as we have in our own world. Instead, it exists as a measurable force in its own right.

That this force can emanate from mindless things is simply part of the game world.

As to skeletons specifically... an innate drive to hunt down and kill all living things does not seem 'neutral'.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Should an (equally mindless) Unholy sword be neutral?

Yes, absolutely. The same way a Holy Avenger should be neutral; it's just a sword- a tool that can be used for good or evil.


^Items having no mind of their own could be Evil if they interact with things that have minds to push them towards Evil.


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Or if, as CBDunkerson pointed out, "Evil" in Pathfinder means something different than what "evil" means in the real world.

Alignment debates are just boil down to equivocation.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
What's the alignment of a puppet?
Well, Kermit is LG, Gonzo is CG, Sam the Eagle is LN, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is LE, Animal is CN; so it takes all kinds.

Um...those are Muppets, thank you very much.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
What's the alignment of a puppet?
Well, Kermit is LG, Gonzo is CG, Sam the Eagle is LN, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is LE, Animal is CN; so it takes all kinds.
Um...those are Muppets, thank you very much.

They have the mop and the puppet subtypes, so they ping as puppets.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Should an (equally mindless) Unholy sword be neutral?
Yes, absolutely. The same way a Holy Avenger should be neutral; it's just a sword- a tool that can be used for good or evil.

So... Book of the Damned = Just words on a page.

Blech. No thank you. I'd rather play Pathfinder.


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phantom1592 wrote:
It's the same debate about all evil aligned spells...

No some make sense as evil, some don't.

Quote:
but the game certainly leans toward negative energy = evil when Good priest channel positive and evil priests channel negative.

... except that there are many negative energy spells that aren't evil, and you don't need to be evil to use negative energy, and the negative energy plane isn't evil.

Quote:
Whether the rules every specifically call it out as such is different thing, but that's obviously where they were going with it.

Except the thing it's "evil" isn't negative energy... it's animating undead. So, no. Negative energy is not evil, and the rules don't really suggest that it is.

Grand Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Should an (equally mindless) Unholy sword be neutral?
Yes, absolutely. The same way a Holy Avenger should be neutral; it's just a sword- a tool that can be used for good or evil.

If I recall correctly, if the HA losses is powers and can be destroyed if it is used by a paladin who knowingly slays an angel.

Homogeneous design is bad. Nothing is special if it is not hard work to earn.


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I just can't get over the fact that zombies and skeletons are evil (ostensibly because they require the casting of a spell with the [evil] descriptor to create) but a flesh golem is True Neutral, even though it requires that same spell in its construction (which is almost certainly a nastier process than "creating a zombie.")

I mean, the Smite Evil class feature already calls out "an undead creature" explicitly (without specifying anything about alignment like it does dragons and outsiders), so it even works against good-aligned undead, if there were any. So it's not like that would be a loss if mindless undead were neutral.


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Jader7777 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Should an (equally mindless) Unholy sword be neutral?
Yes, absolutely. The same way a Holy Avenger should be neutral; it's just a sword- a tool that can be used for good or evil.

If I recall correctly, if the HA losses is powers and can be destroyed if it is used by a paladin who knowingly slays an angel.

Homogeneous design is bad. Nothing is special if it is not hard work to earn.

I mean, if I needed one destroyed, I would probably hit it with something adamantine in an antimagic field, but whatever.

Grand Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the Smite Evil class feature already calls out "an undead creature" explicitly (without specifying anything about alignment like it does dragons and outsiders), so it even works against good-aligned undead, if there were any.

That gets shot down by the clause "If the paladin targets a creature that is not evil, the smite is wasted with no effect."


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I missed that, it seemed like there was no reason to specify "evil dragons" since if it automatically doesn't work on non-evil dragons so they could have just said "dragons."

But, since this is the PF 2.0 thread, there's no reason you couldn't make Smite work on all dragons, outsiders, and undead regardless of alignment. It's not as though powerful beings like that might not have agendas that conflict with the Paladin's charge to protect people, so if the Paladin feels she has good reason to whack the silver dragon that refuses to listen to reason, I see no reason it *shouldn't* work. The Paladin's code requires them to oppose anybody who "threatens the innocent" which is absolutely a thing a good-aligned creature could do, after all.

(e.g. Good-aligned Dragon wants to dam a river in order to create a lake for fishing/bathing, but doing so would result in the flooding of several local communities; which the dragon doesn't really care about, such things being beneath the attention of dragons, but the Paladin cares deeply.)

Grand Lodge

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I've been over that ground before it all. :)


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There's no reason you couldn't make smite work on all heathens


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
There's no reason you couldn't make smite work on all heathens

I ran a game earlier this year where we made alignment work relative to the viewer's moral framework, so detect evil would ping on whomever you would view as evil, and you could smite similarly. It worked pretty much flawlessly. You have to throw away the metaphysical conceit that "demons are made of pure evil in its elemental form" but I always felt that was a lazy tool to ensure that certain types of monsters are always punching bags and never someone to actually empathize with.

Liberty's Edge

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Torg had a interesting spell to that affect. Unbelievers Doom. It damaged those who were of a different religion. The more far removed from the caster the opponent(s) relgion was the more damage it caused. The spell description also included a chart to see how much more damage was caused.

Grand Lodge

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We're running Hell's Rebels with just such a setup. We faced some devils with DR/Good or Silver and joked that we were aligned against a*&*&@#s, so it had DR/A~*&&!# or Silver.


Not to be antagonistic, but is there really that much of a demand for "good" demons and devils?


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
Not to be antagonistic, but is there really that much of a demand for "good" demons and devils?

Less so 'good' than 'human aka redeemable'


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Given that demons and devils are the literal incarnation of evil in the planes, "good" and "remotely human" are pretty much the same thing.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Hi folks, things we aren't doing in this thread include: discussion of if rape victims detect as evil. I removed some posts and a bunch of replies for that reason.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
Not to be antagonistic, but is there really that much of a demand for "good" demons and devils?

I think traditional antagonists like demons and devils are much more interesting if you present them in a fashion where you don't immediately know whether they're trustworthy or not.

For Example
- a Demon appears, tells you a convincing sob story and asks you to work with them in order to prevent some terrible calamity and you do not know whether or not they can be trusted.
is far more interesting to me and the people I play with than
-a Demon appears, roll initiative.

Not *good* so much as *sympathetic* Demons and Devils are something I like to use a lot. You can still fight them if you want to, you just don't have to.

(It's super great when the PCs pre-emptively betray the super-friendly demon who had no intention whatsoever of betraying them, they were just incapable of trust because 'demon'.)


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I quite like the (similar) plot diversion where a devil (or otherwise clearly dubious person) presents a dire scenario and an easy way for you to mitigate part or all of it. Bonus points if doing so will aid you in whatever quest you're on at the time.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
(It's super great when the PCs pre-emptively betray the super-friendly demon who had no intention of betraying them whatsoever, they were just incapable of trust because 'demon'.)

I quite agree, but then I am evil that way. :)


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No, I am not really big on the trend on trying to humanize monsters.

We already have lot of mortals that can have tragic and sympathetic stories to tell. And then we need beings of purity, pure violent emotions. Making demons less pure is just asking for introducing a new race that is actually the old demons.


Envall wrote:
And then we need beings of purity, pure violent emotions.

Honestly why? I mean, what story can you tell using demons of some kind of "pure" evil, that you couldn't also tell using humans or other natives to the material plane?

It's much more interesting to have antagonists that chose to be evil, and explore the reasons behind that decision, than "they were born on this plane, so they're automatically evil and didn't have a choice in the matter."

I honestly don't see any benefit to having anything that's "kill on sight" particularly in a campaign where the PCs are ostensibly "good."


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I don't much mind outsiders being portrayed the way they already are, though I do wish they were presented a little more coherently. From my experience most devils as written in pathfinder do a very bad job of being LE and many demons are just self destructively capricious rather than just chaotic.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I honestly don't see any benefit to having anything that's "kill on sight" particularly in a campaign where the PCs are ostensibly "good."

If you want to play an escapist game with no moral dimension, perhaps?

When I play first person shooters, I don't agonise over whether I should be redeeming the people I fight against, nor question their motivations for being there. They're just baddies that need to be killed in the interests of making the world a better place. I think there's still room in the RPG world for similarly escapist, black-and-White campaigns with no questioning of moral consequences - even though the modern trend is towards more shades of grey.


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Pathfinder has more staying power than 5e. At least for me. 5e is cool, but the options are limited and the new material is lower quality than the PH. Pathfinder on the otherhand has lots of options and the newer material is of solid quality.

IMHO starfinder is PF 2.0


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Steve Geddes wrote:
If you want to play an escapist game with no moral dimension, perhaps?

While I agree with most of your post, I disagree that having fundamentally aligned outsiders is lacking in moral dimension (though I submit that it can be).

I find that there is a llllllllooooot of potential depth and interesting consequences in a moral universe that has such things.

But that can easily derail into an alignment debate and so, on that note... I'm out!

(Of this conversation, at least here in this thread.) :D


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Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
If you want to play an escapist game with no moral dimension, perhaps?

While I agree with most of your post, I disagree that having fundamentally aligned outsiders is lacking in moral dimension (though I submit that it can be).

I find that there is a llllllllooooot of potential depth and interesting consequences in a moral universe that has such things.

Yeah, I disagree with that as well. :)

I didn't mean to imply that including "beings of evil" means your game necessarily has no moral dimension. I was just suggesting one potential benefit - if the DM wants to give PCs enemies they can kill without thinking too hard about it, demons fit the bill.

Grand Lodge

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People want to empathize with everything. I call this 'Orcification'

From the traditional orcs, no one liked them, they were basically fantasy vikings with inbuilt nazish racism and rape culture who were anti intellectual and anti society.

In D&D 5e orcs get married to humans because deep down every one is a misrepresented flower petal.

Now people want to orcify everything; undead, demons and cuthulhus: they're just a friend you haven't met!

Paladin, you're old fashioned- no one likes your bigotory and lack of tolerance. #notallabyassals


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Jader7777 wrote:
Now people want to orcify everything; undead, demons and cuthulhus: they're just a friend you haven't met!

Why that's ridiculous! No one would ever do that to Cthulu!

... wait.

link added by me


Steve Geddes wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
If you want to play an escapist game with no moral dimension, perhaps?

While I agree with most of your post, I disagree that having fundamentally aligned outsiders is lacking in moral dimension (though I submit that it can be).

I find that there is a llllllllooooot of potential depth and interesting consequences in a moral universe that has such things.

Yeah, I disagree with that as well. :)

I didn't mean to imply that including "beings of evil" means your game necessarily has no moral dimension. I was just suggesting one potential benefit - if the DM wants to give PCs enemies they can kill without thinking too hard about it, demons fit the bill.

Ah! Cool, cool. XD


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Steve Geddes wrote:


Yeah, I disagree with that as well. :)

That means you were playing Devil's Advocate, which is obviously an Evil act. It totally detects as Evil!


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I like fiends who're canny enough to restrain themselves while passing through The Cage, and have a philosophical debate with an angel over the relative merits of their differing alignments.

But I do like them to be evil to their very cores at the end of the day, because there's certainly a place within the fantasy genre for beings of absolute evil that can be hacked and slashed without moral messiness.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Knight who says Meh wrote:
Not to be antagonistic, but is there really that much of a demand for "good" demons and devils?

I think traditional antagonists like demons and devils are much more interesting if you present them in a fashion where you don't immediately know whether they're trustworthy or not.

For Example
- a Demon appears, tells you a convincing sob story and asks you to work with them in order to prevent some terrible calamity and you do not know whether or not they can be trusted.
is far more interesting to me and the people I play with than
-a Demon appears, roll initiative.

Not *good* so much as *sympathetic* Demons and Devils are something I like to use a lot. You can still fight them if you want to, you just don't have to.

(It's super great when the PCs pre-emptively betray the super-friendly demon who had no intention whatsoever of betraying them, they were just incapable of trust because 'demon'.)

Well, one might say...

Quote:


Honestly why? I mean, what story can you tell using demons, that you couldn't also tell using humans or other natives to the material plane?

But, to each their own. I find it odd that some play this game with paladins killing demons and devils making you racist (as was mentioned in another thread), but I don't play with those people so, ultimately, it's doesn't affect me. So I'll drop this particular derail and let you (plural) get back to discussing Pathfinder 2.0.

Thanks for your time.


Steve Geddes wrote:
When I play first person shooters, I don't agonise over whether I should be redeeming the people I fight against, nor question their motivations for being there. They're just baddies that need to be killed in the interests of making the world a better place. I think there's still room in the RPG world for similarly escapist, black-and-White campaigns with no questioning of moral consequences - even though the modern trend is towards more shades of grey.

The thing I think is that video games tend to avoid those areas of gray for technical reasons. If you're playing a WWII game as an allied soldier, pretty much all the Germans you're going to encounter will be soldiers, who you can kill for reasons of context (there's a war on). But you're not killing them so much because of where they were born, but because they're soldiers fighting for the other side. You could complicate that, by putting German civilians in your game, who you should not kill because that would be a war crime. But "you killed a civilian, you are a war criminal" wouldn't be fun, and it would cost money to code and animate, so you just leave it out.

But TTRPGs are a wholly different manner. It costs nothing to mix wholly innocent Chelish folks in with the true villains of a fairly villainous place, and the PCs can generally tell who not to murder. In fact, for the most parts PCs seem to have no problem realizing that for things like humans you pretty much only kill them for what they've done, what they're doing, or what they're going to do. There generally has to be some context to justify the PCs starting a fight.

So my question is, if you really want to play an escapist sort of game where you don't consider moral issues, can't you just establish that with the framing context? That is, just like how the only Germans you encounter in a WWII game will be soldiers, the only demons you encounter are ones whose violent deaths are justified by their acts or intentions. If you want to run demons or undead that way, that's a valid use for them.

But that's certainly not the only way to run demons et al. So I'm against codifying "they have to be pure evil with no moral nuance" in the rulebook. If that is going to be a setting rule in one person's setting, that's fine. But other people who are running games who want sympathetic fiends shouldn't be told not to.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
When I play first person shooters, I don't agonise over whether I should be redeeming the people I fight against, nor question their motivations for being there. They're just baddies that need to be killed in the interests of making the world a better place. I think there's still room in the RPG world for similarly escapist, black-and-White campaigns with no questioning of moral consequences - even though the modern trend is towards more shades of grey.

The thing I think is that video games tend to avoid those areas of gray for technical reasons. If you're playing a WWII game as an allied soldier, pretty much all the Germans you're going to encounter will be soldiers, who you can kill for reasons of context (there's a war on). But you're not killing them so much because of where they were born, but because they're soldiers fighting for the other side. You could complicate that, by putting German civilians in your game, who you should not kill because that would be a war crime. But "you killed a civilian, you are a war criminal" wouldn't be fun, and it would cost money to code and animate, so you just leave it out.

But TTRPGs are a wholly different manner. It costs nothing to mix wholly innocent Chelish folks in with the true villains of a fairly villainous place, and the PCs can generally tell who not to murder. In fact, for the most parts PCs seem to have no problem realizing that for things like humans you pretty much only kill them for what they've done, what they're doing, or what they're going to do. There generally has to be some context to justify the PCs starting a fight.

So my question is, if you really want to play an escapist sort of game where you don't consider moral issues, can't you just establish that with the framing context? That is, just like how the only Germans you encounter in a WWII game will be soldiers, the only demons you encounter are ones whose violent deaths are justified by their acts or intentions. If you want to run demons or...

FWIW, I wasn't speaking to your overall position, but just addressing this specific query:

Quote:
I honestly don't see any benefit to having anything that's "kill on sight" particularly in a campaign where the PCs are ostensibly "good."

You could set it up via context (make the enemies all career soldiers, or something) but you could also make them extraplanar, "pure evil" demons. I wasn't denying other ways to do it, merely pointing out that there are some benefits to having an uncomplicated race of baddies if you want a quick and easy "hunt and kill the bad guys" story.

To address your broader point, I think it's a matter of taste. I personally find games interesting when they have restrictions and kind of bland when they're "anything goes". I like class restrictions based on race, campaigns in which there's no divine magic, or whatever...

I can see why some people would prefer such restrictions not be "baked in" but rather left to individual tastes. However, it seems symmetric to me - I can add in class/race restrictions as easily as someone else can take them out. Similarly it doesn't seem inherently easier/harder to me to add in shades of grey to a moral absolutist setting than to make a morally subjective world more black and white.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

{. . .}

The thing I think is that video games tend to avoid those areas of gray for technical reasons. If you're playing a WWII game as an allied soldier, pretty much all the Germans you're going to encounter will be soldiers, who you can kill for reasons of context (there's a war on). But you're not killing them so much because of where they were born, but because they're soldiers fighting for the other side. You could complicate that, by putting German civilians in your game, who you should not kill because that would be a war crime. But "you killed a civilian, you are a war criminal" wouldn't be fun, and it would cost money to code and animate, so you just leave it out.
{. . .}

As I saw when visiting a friend, return to Castle Wolfenstein actually did put in a couple of civilians that you are not supposed to kill. I played a bit of this game including one of those instances; due to a trick of the light and shadows, I believed that the civilian I had encountered was holding a gun, and shot her. Something I have kept in mind ever since when thinking about situations of war and law enforcement, even though I have never been in either of those professions . . . .


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Steve Geddes wrote:
I can see why some people would prefer such restrictions not be "baked in" but rather left to individual tastes. However, it seems symmetric to me - I can add in class/race restrictions as easily as someone else can take them out. Similarly it doesn't seem inherently easier/harder to me to add in shades of grey to a moral absolutist setting than to make a morally subjective world more black and white.

In any given RPG that doesn't have alignment or alignment-based restrictions, I can still, if I so desire, self-restrict what I play without any need for anyone else to get involved, or indeed, even be aware I am self-restricting. When the game allows "Paladin or Monk, Alignment: Any", I can still say "Self, even though you can play any way you want, only play the character lawfully".

The converse is not true. It is not remotely symmetrical. If it were, then I could likewise sit down at any given Pathfinder table, declare my intent to play a non-lawful ki-using Monk and legitimately not expect any resistance or friction to my efforts. Instead, I likely would have to face a steeply uphill battle to do so. Which was much more difficult than playing a lawful good Paladin in a game that didn't require its Paladins to be lawful good.

Put it this way: how easily can a person with two hands hold one behind his back and go about his day as though he only has one? And is it just as easy for a person with only one hand to operate as though he has two? Because that is how symmetrical it is to leave alignment restrictions in rather than take them out.

The Exchange

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Well I think that Steve was talking more from a GM's perspective. I agree that as a player, you're more dependent on what the rules (of the game, of the table, of your GM) says on a specific matter.

But as a GM, you aren't, as it's basically your game.

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