why alignment (for characters) needs to go


Prerelease Discussion

401 to 450 of 860 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>

once:
ok an 200 member orc horde is 3 days out from a village called tradegador.
said village has a standing militia of 50 men and say a ng ranger has to get them to leave or they die. failing diplomacy they say no that this is their home and they will stay and fight.

ranger knows that if they stay they will die as their village's pallisade isnt that good anymore, and also knows that the village sits in an ancient lake bed that was dammed up 100 years ago.
options:
stay and help them fight knowing that it is foolish and that there is a good chance they will all die and you along with.

break ther dam . knowing that some will escape and some will die( or if you are lucky they will all escape the flood) but they will see the orcs on the other side of the now returned lake and leave counting their blessings that the dam failed.( even my rangers and paladins would not stick around after this, they'd leave)

tell them that their fate is in their hands and jsut leave them to permanent servitude to the horde.( in one of the Alamo movies I watched Gen. Houston in it told Bowie to abandon the alamo and burn it down as it was a death trap) this would be my choice
all of the options are neither wrong or right.
and all of them are chaotic in some form( the first one may be lawful stupid though)

aI would not roleplay any of these actions more than once... lesser evil.

but you could find a GM/DM that would go and say due to the death and destruction that all options were both a chaotic and evil act and that said character should have stayed to help defend the village.

but.... reminds me of the leading a horse to water comment

if nothing else, alignment should be looked into to see what can be fixed


You missed an obvious plan of action.

Ask the village to allow you a guide to see the top of the dam.
The guide then sees the orc horde.
The guide corroborates that they are doomed.

They flee, no one is injured or dies.

The Paladin's Path holds him to a higher standard. :)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:


I’m calling it arbitrary because a whole lot of things in the game that WERE considered to be outside a given genre or tone or outside the bounds of plausible world-building and narrative consistency turned out not to be outside the genre or those bounds at all.
I do not feel the game is better for having had some of these alignment restrictions removed.

The players looking to play those sorts of characters that were once restricted and now aren’t can feel more free to do so. The game does not explicitly tell them their character concept is wrong or misplaced. Nor does it implicitly tell them this by making their concept something they have to bargain or negotiate for. Even if they don’t buy into the idea of, say, “all Rangers must be good”, their character concept isn’t being rejected in favor of that notion, so there’s less of a chance that they’ll reject the lore in turn. It’s easier to buy into the Paladin’s lore when it isn’t being couched in terms of “my way or the highway”. The game is more welcoming, the community is more welcoming. Which part of that was worse for the game?

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:


Anyone taking more than one level of Sorcerer on a Fighter probably would have to make a strong case for it in any PF campaign I have run, fwiw; flavourwise it hasn't fit.
So a multiclass Fighter/Sorcerer as well as a lawful good Rogue would be difficult sells for you. Despite both of those being perfectly valid P1E characters. That tells me you’re already going to allow or disallow character concepts independent of what the rules say.

On a campaign by campaign basis, yes. On the same grounds as not allowing a set of scurvy knaves in a Wrath of the Righteous campaign.

"Any campaign I have run" was talking to my practical experience, there, I am sorry if that was not as clear as I meant it.

But there again, that’s “no knaves in a Wrath of the Righteous campaign”, which is not “no knaves ever”. Even if all your group does is Wrath of the Righteous over and over again, which would be “no knaves ever” for your group, that still wouldn’t be in the best interests of the game at large. Just like the game isn’t served by a default blanket ban on playing as Valeros. Just like the game isn’t served by requiring all Monks to be lawful.

Quote:
Quote:


It’s something that shakes up what you would consider coherent world-building. It isn’t something that shakes up their’s. Nor does it diminish how their game benefits at a flavor level.
Not arguing that point at all. I am arguing that given that it is easier to cut rules than to implement new ones, all other things being equal it is better for alignment restrictions on classes to be in core than not.

Fine. I can buy P2E including a separate chapter or a series of sidebars delineating precisely what including alignment entails, including reimposing various legacy-derived restrictions. However, I am arguing that P1E’s current setup, where those classes have those restrictions by default, do not make it easy to cut those rules out at all, for all the reasons I’ve gone into already. Conversely, the alignment restrictions, even were they not in the game in any fashion, would still be easier to implement. How do you never play a Gnome? Easily, by just not playing a Gnome. Even if the game has Gnomes, I can implement my “Gnome-playing-avoidance-plan” hilariously easy. How do you never play a non-good Ranger? Easily, by never playing a Ranger if your character concept isn’t what you would consider good. The game doesn’t have to say “Rangers. Alignment: Any good.” for me to accomplish this.

Quote:
Quote:
So why is your contention that these sorts of changes must be assumed to mess things up as a default? Especially when these sorts of changes HAVE happened time and time again and did NOT mess things up? Neither for the game (since P1E apparently did well for itself) nor for you (since you still disallow lawful good Rogues, etc.)
My contention is that if you make alignment restrictions core, a group who doesn't want to play them - can say "we're not playing with them" and proceed with no more effort than that. If you don't make them core, a group that does want to play them has to build them from scratch, without the level of testing and insight into mechanics and consequences that the PF dev team has in balancing the game around them.

What testing do you think it would take for a Starfinder group to implement “Operatives can’t be lawful”? All you do is say “Operatives can’t be lawful”. What balance do you think could be involved here?

Or let’s look at the Solarian. From their opening blurb, they’re supposed to be “enlightened warriors”, able to “manipulate the forces of the stars themselves”. They may “apprentice in a temple” or have their abilities through “personal revelation”, but in both cases, the Solarian “recognizes himself as part of an ancient tradition”.

Did I just describe the Solarian or the Monk? Enlightenment? Check. Warrior with power from within? Check. Power that is, in fact, derived from the stars? Check (obviously for the Solarian, and according to Occult Adventures, ki ultimately comes from stars, too). Sometimes hailing from a temple? Check. Tradition? Check.

Very easy to draw a parallel. Very easy for an individual group to reimpose a lawful only alignment restriction on the future Monk. And yet, the fact that Starfinder classes don’t even reference alignment lets players and groups that simply want to avoid alignment not have to take the time to excise that which has no value to them.


Steelfiredragon wrote:

once:

ok an 200 member orc horde is 3 days out from a village called tradegador.
said village has a standing militia of 50 men and say a ng ranger has to get them to leave or they die. failing diplomacy they say no that this is their home and they will stay and fight.

ranger knows that if they stay they will die as their village's pallisade isnt that good anymore, and also knows that the village sits in an ancient lake bed that was dammed up 100 years ago.
options:
stay and help them fight knowing that it is foolish and that there is a good chance they will all die and you along with.

break ther dam . knowing that some will escape and some will die( or if you are lucky they will all escape the flood) but they will see the orcs on the other side of the now returned lake and leave counting their blessings that the dam failed.( even my rangers and paladins would not stick around after this, they'd leave)

tell them that their fate is in their hands and jsut leave them to permanent servitude to the horde.( in one of the Alamo movies I watched Gen. Houston in it told Bowie to abandon the alamo and burn it down as it was a death trap) this would be my choice
all of the options are neither wrong or right.
and all of them are chaotic in some form( the first one may be lawful stupid though)

aI would not roleplay any of these actions more than once... lesser evil.

but you could find a GM/DM that would go and say due to the death and destruction that all options were both a chaotic and evil act and that said character should have stayed to help defend the village.

but.... reminds me of the leading a horse to water comment

Sometimes you just end up having to drown the damned horse.


Tectorman wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:


I’m calling it arbitrary because a whole lot of things in the game that WERE considered to be outside a given genre or tone or outside the bounds of plausible world-building and narrative consistency turned out not to be outside the genre or those bounds at all.
I do not feel the game is better for having had some of these alignment restrictions removed.

The players looking to play those sorts of characters that were once restricted and now aren’t can feel more free to do so. The game does not explicitly tell them their character concept is wrong or misplaced. Nor does it implicitly tell them this by making their concept something they have to bargain or negotiate for.

All of these points are true. None of them, to my mind, are of necessity benefits.

I am all for a broader range of character concepts being playable. I just think removing alignment restrictions is the wrong scale for that. Adding more classes is the right way to go.

Quote:


It’s easier to buy into the Paladin’s lore when it isn’t being couched in terms of “my way or the highway”.

And if the entire concept of the paladin is "you demonstrate your faith by accepting the code, your humility by not standing in judgement over it, and your virtue by following it", my way (for values of "my" referring to whatever LG god you are working for) or the highway is a defining feature of the class; and if what you want is to play someone in the fighter-cleric space who doesn't approach it that way, that is what the warpriest class should be for. (Or possibly the inquisitor, if you prefer.)

Quote:


Even if all your group does is Wrath of the Righteous over and over again, which would be “no knaves ever” for your group, that still wouldn’t be in the best interests of the game at large. Just like the game isn’t served by a default blanket ban on playing as Valeros. Just like the game isn’t served by requiring all Monks to be lawful.

I do see a fundamental difference in scale between the last example and the other two; I have tried to set out why "non-Lawful martial arts master" inherently does not work for me before, as a plausibility issue rather than a campaign-specific issue, and I am not seeing any easy way to make that any clearer.

Quote:


What testing do you think it would take for a Starfinder group to implement “Operatives can’t be lawful”? All you do is say “Operatives can’t be lawful”. What balance do you think could be involved here?

That doesn't strike me as a direct comparison.

What testing it would take for a hypothetical non-alignment-equipped Pathfinder variant to make reintroducing alignment work is a test of the consequences of every aligned spell and every other piece of rules that alignment affects for balance and smooth interaction with every other part of the system. That's a lot of interactions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tectorman wrote:


The players looking to play those sorts of characters that were once restricted and now aren’t can feel more free to do so. The game does not explicitly tell them their character concept is wrong or misplaced. Nor does it implicitly tell them this by making their concept something they have to bargain or negotiate for.

The fact that it takes 0 balancing to do so is the kicker. Because removing restrictions by it's very nature means there is still alignment. All the spells and mechanics that work off alignment can continue to do so, all while not stomping all over a character idea.

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ckorik wrote:

The fact that it takes 0 balancing to do so is the kicker. Because removing restrictions by it's very nature means there is still alignment. All the spells and mechanics that work off alignment can continue to do so, all while not stomping all over a character idea.

Except that isn't the case. By removing restrictions you make that guy who is beholden to a power that is far above him and DEMANDS that he act thus and so... not what it was. Sure you could still play this character. But it would be so less meaningful to play. If that guy could go off and do whatever he wanted and retain all the blessings and powers he had gotten he wouldn't be the same character.

Temptations don't matter when there are no consequence. Power without the work to maintain it is not so much fun. It's what makes a paladin a paladin. Now I'm sure you are going to say, "He could just be beholden to a different god." Or something. Sure he could be. Restriction still exists.

But why is a paladin Lawful? Why are they required to be Lawful? Because they follow the edicts of the god they follow and are expected to follow it to both as written/spoken as well as to the intent. Without this they are a fighter with meh. Monks are the same. They are not lawful persay because they follow the law of the land to a point. They are lawful because they build themselves a regimen that they adhere to daily. Meditation, physical training, study.

Being lawful isn't about following the law of the world, these are cosmic concepts. Law is the opposite of chaos. Law is repetition, adherence to a code or concept, tradition, and order. This doesn't mean a monk can't wander on whimsy but that while doing that he is going to maintain his abilities and studies while he does.

Chaos none of that. Chaos is flipping a coin at a cross roads to see where you are going to go, absolute freedom from expectations, and often a lack of responsibility... or at least taking responsibility. These things stand at odds with one another.

A paladin can't be chaotic because he has to take responsibility and answer to a higher power than himself. A monk can't be chaotic because if he ceases to repeat his training, his studies, and his meditations he will grow no closer to that state of enlightenment. BUT Paizo made a chaotic monk for all of those people that wanted to play one. They called him 'Brawler.'


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kiln Norn wrote:
Sure you could still play this character. But it would be so less meaningful to play.

None of that is balance.

I certainly won't tell you that you can't find meaningful play. I'm shocked that you are trying to tell me that I can't unless I play your way.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Perfect balance is basically impossible you realize this right? Also 'Balance' has absolutely no meaning in a debate about 'remove alignment restrictions.' Alignment is NOT balance. They two don't even have the same meaning or context. CN paladin is no more balanced than LG paladin than is a LE paladin.

So... what was this about balance? Also I'm not telling you to play my way. I'm telling you why the book has specific restrictions. Get off your high horse and take a good like at why things are the way they are. You want your alignmentless game go play a home game without it.


Bard of Ages wrote:

You missed an obvious plan of action.

Ask the village to allow you a guide to see the top of the dam.
The guide then sees the orc horde.
The guide corroborates that they are doomed.

They flee, no one is injured or dies.

The Paladin's Path holds him to a higher standard. :)

true. however the village mind you might not even know that the dam is even there and by the time you get a guide there, it could be too late, when 200 could end up being the forward guard of an invasion force of 3000, time however is not on anyone's side...

regardless while it could make for a real good story, we both know anyone could come up with another 500+ reasons and plans for the best outcome..


Steelfiredragon wrote:
regardless while it could make for a real good story, we both know anyone could come up with another 500+ reasons and plans for the best outcome..

That's why I don't really like "Well, here's a hypothetical situation to solve with a preset number of choices, try to keep your alignment"

Because those always felt, I don't know, Railroady? And I feel that creativity can go a very long way even in the confines of alignment.

So while I appreciate your example: I'm glad you also see that many other plans could be considered. I just think that's also a reason why it's a bad example for alignment discussions. That's why I never put stock into the "Goblin Baby" or "Orc Prisoner" discussions. Those seem antagonistic and limiting by default, and instead of suggestion "plan x" or "idea 5,002" you just get normally wonderful people arguing endlessly over what's right and wrong.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

seen the goblin baby once or twice, never heard of the orc prisoner...

hehehe what is right and what is wrong.... the best answer to this is they are all wrong answers.
what makes a warrior great. it is not the valor in battle or how many enemies you have slain in your wake or even the spilt blood you shared with your comrades. what makes a warrior great is to do what feals right at the time and be prepared to deal with the consiquinces later.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steelfiredragon wrote:


what makes a warrior great. it is not the valor in battle or how many enemies you have slain in your wake or even the spilt blood you shared with your comrades. what makes a warrior great is to do what feals right at the time and be prepared to deal with the consiquinces later.

Nah, that's what makes a warrior Chaotic.

What makes a great Lawful warrior is to work out the right thing and do it regardless of what feels right at the time.

Whether feelings take precedence over principles is the essence of the Law/Chaos distinction.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...

So Lawful characters aren't allowed to use their heart in the interpetation of the Law? ie, the *spirit* of a Law?

That sounds more Lawful Neutral than Lawful Good. Or even... dare we say it... Lawful Evil.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

puts on monocle. looks up from tea," I dare say it is lawful stupid." goes back to tea


1 person marked this as a favorite.
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:


I’m calling it arbitrary because a whole lot of things in the game that WERE considered to be outside a given genre or tone or outside the bounds of plausible world-building and narrative consistency turned out not to be outside the genre or those bounds at all.
I do not feel the game is better for having had some of these alignment restrictions removed.

The players looking to play those sorts of characters that were once restricted and now aren’t can feel more free to do so. The game does not explicitly tell them their character concept is wrong or misplaced. Nor does it implicitly tell them this by making their concept something they have to bargain or negotiate for.

All of these points are true. None of them, to my mind, are of necessity benefits.

I am all for a broader range of character concepts being playable. I just think removing alignment restrictions is the wrong scale for that. Adding more classes is the right way to go.

But if we’re creating a class for the martial-arts master called the Monk with all his class features, lore, background, and alignment restrictions, and then creating an identical class with all the same class features, just no alignment restriction, why not just make the one class and leave it open to be restricted or not at the group’s own preference? What does your approach accomplish that “Monk: Alignment: Any (though they are usually lawful)” doesn’t?

Quote:
Quote:

It’s easier to buy into the Paladin’s lore when it isn’t being couched in terms of “my way or the highway”.

And if the entire concept of the paladin is "you demonstrate your faith by accepting the code, your humility by not standing in judgement over it, and your virtue by following it", my way (for values of "my" referring to whatever LG god you are working for) or the highway is a defining feature of the class; and if what you want is to play someone in the fighter-cleric space who doesn't approach it that way, that is what the warpriest class should be for. (Or possibly the inquisitor, if you prefer.)

That first “if” right there is precisely the point of contention here. First of all, I find it highly contradictory that the Paladin is conceptually supposed to be this paragon of good and virtue, yet its single most crucial feature is supposed to be this “my way or highway” aspect. Second, of course the Paladin class is nothing more than the halfway point between Cleric and Fighter. Now, that’s not saying a word about Paladin-the-concept. I fully agree that if you’re intending on playing a character beholden to a specific behavior/code, you should hold to that. It’s just that that is always a 100% separate conversation from class mechanics. Playing a character who is Paladin-the-concept with Wizard-the-class means you are agreeing to hold to that code. But picking “Full BAB 4/9 divine not-nature-y spellcasting warrior” does not in any way imply I agreed to Paladin-the-concept. And even if I were to, those would by necessity be two separate decisions.

For what it’s worth, though, I agree the Warpriest could have been close to what we should have had; had they made it Full BAB and 4/9 spellcasting and kept a full class’s worth of class features (not like the travesty that was the Grey Paladin), later P1E would probably have had fewer of these arguments.

Quote:
Quote:


Even if all your group does is Wrath of the Righteous over and over again, which would be “no knaves ever” for your group, that still wouldn’t be in the best interests of the game at large. Just like the game isn’t served by a default blanket ban on playing as Valeros. Just like the game isn’t served by requiring all Monks to be lawful.
I do see a fundamental difference in scale between the last example and the other two; I have tried to set out why "non-Lawful martial arts master" inherently does not work for me before, as a plausibility issue rather than a campaign-specific issue, and I am not seeing any easy way to make that any clearer.

Okay, I must have missed this. What about the concept doesn’t work? Is it that they shouldn’t have to be disciplined? Because I’m not saying that at all. I agree that’s fundamental to the concept. It’s just that being disciplined is not the be all end all of being lawful. Law vs chaos is also about respecting authority, adherence to order, prioritizing the group over an individual, being rigid and inflexible, so on and so forth. None of which the Monk, lorewise, cares about (or if he does, it’s only incidental). Ergo, a Monk can ultimately be neutral-neutral-neutral-lawful (disciplined)-neutral-neutral-neutral and hit all the checkmarks for Monk, and not be ultimately lawful. Or even chaotic-chaotic-neutral-lawful (disciplined)-chaotic-neutral-chaotic and still be fully within the stereotype of the Monk.

After all, Monks aren’t supposed to be lawful for the same reason as Paladins, are they? The only reason they both end up on that side of the alignment spectrum is due to how poorly categorized it all is. Which can be chalked up to nothing more than the developers being fallible humans making mistakes.

For example, the Antihero’s Handbook included an archetype for ex-Monks called, I believe, the Sin-Eater that let them continue taking levels in Monk but replacing some of their abilities with abilities tied to the classic seven sins. Here’s the thing: what the crap business does a NG or CG Monk have using sin-themed abilities? He became not-lawful; he didn’t turn evil.

Another example: who’s a better shapeshifter? The Shifter or the Druid?

So if the developers can make mistakes regarding whether a class or archetype models what it’s meant to model, why can’t they also make mistakes regarding how much a class can model? You think the martial-arts master is limited to lawful. Why is that right? And even if it’s right for you or even the developers too, why must everyone else playing this game be beholden to that?

Quote:


Quote:
What testing do you think it would take for a Starfinder group to implement “Operatives can’t be lawful”? All you do is say “Operatives can’t be lawful”. What balance do you think could be involved here?

That doesn't strike me as a direct comparison.

What testing it would take for a hypothetical non-alignment-equipped Pathfinder variant to make reintroducing alignment work is a test of the consequences of every aligned spell and every other piece of rules that alignment affects for balance and smooth interaction with every other part of the system. That's a lot of interactions.

That’s not an argument for its forced inclusion, though. At best, it’s a subsystem that needs careful consideration before it’s ready to be overlaid onto the alignment-less game.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Ckorik, can I ask whether you have similar objections to feats/abilities/etcetera having racial prerequisites? (Or perhaps even more significantly - flavour prerequisites “must worship X” and so forth?)

I’m trying to understand if it’s something specific to alignment or if you have a general preference for less restrictions by default (comfortable that people can add in such restrictions later).


Steve Geddes wrote:

Ckorik, can I ask whether you have similar objections to feats/abilities/etcetera having racial prerequisites? (Or perhaps even more significantly - flavour prerequisites “must worship X” and so forth?)

I’m trying to understand if it’s something specific to alignment or if you have a general preference for less restrictions by default (comfortable that people can add in such restrictions later).

The only prerequisites a mechanical thing like a feat should have, are when said feat directly modifies, improves or builds on those prerequisites. So a feat that has a prerequisite of Dwarf because it builds on the Hardy trait is fine, a feat that has a prerequisite of Dwarf "just because" is not.

Factions and organizations and deity oaths and whatever, though, go nuts. Lay on those flavor prerequisites, that's where it's appropriate~


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steelfiredragon wrote:
seen the goblin baby once or twice, never heard of the orc prisoner...

Yeah, it's also known as the prisoner dilemma, but it got turned into an "extreme" by adding Orc. Let's say a group of adventurers takes out a small band of raiding orcs, but one surrenders. What do you do? Do you just kill the thing outright because they were raiding, or do you show mercy and bring them back to town for trial. The question is usually expanded upon with "it would take weeks to get to town and you are on a different quest, and the orc will probably try to escape."

One of my favorite answers to this "Challenge the Orc's tribal honor in a duel. If you win, he becomes YOUR warrior, if he wins, he can go. Trial by combat." But, like any other "D&D Alignment Dilemma" it has many many other answers and reasoning and leads to many arguments.

Steelfiredragon wrote:
what makes a warrior great. it is not the valor in battle or how many enemies you have slain in your wake or even the spilt blood you shared with your comrades. what makes a warrior great is to do what feals right at the time and be prepared to deal with the consiquinces later.

Being from a military family in the modern day? The answer to what makes a warrior great is: Supporting your brother in the field. It doesn't matter what your orders are, or what the war is about, your duty is to the man under fire beside you, and getting everyone home.

^^ and that is why I play my humanoid races far more tactical and less "fight to the death."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...has memories of a PF1 campaign that took a really neat turn when his rogue defeated the lieutenant of a hobgoblin army (the general had met a truly grisly fate) and we essentially put the hobgoblins in charge of making their own prison camp on their honor (and let them take care of their own discipline problems).

They became an elite unit for an ostensibly 'Chaotic Good' civilization.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
The only prerequisites a mechanical thing like a feat should have, are when said feat directly modifies, improves or builds on those prerequisites. So a feat that has a prerequisite of Dwarf because it builds on the Hardy trait is fine, a feat that has a prerequisite of Dwarf "just because" is not.

Even then, we need to take care to be precise about such prerequisites. In this case, the prerequisite should be "hardy racial trait" since it is possible to have a non-dwarf with this trait or (more likely) a dwarf who lacks it.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


So Lawful characters aren't allowed to use their heart in the interpetation of the Law? ie, the *spirit* of a Law?

That sounds more Lawful Neutral than Lawful Good. Or even... dare we say it... Lawful Evil.

The concept of 'spirit of the law' itself feels Chaotic to me, in a putting your judgement above your principles sort of way. Lawful characters use their heart in selecting a code of conduct in the first place, or if they find a place their code genuinely does not cover and there isn't a wiser mentor around to get advice from (but really, what truly Lawful character doesn't spend their spare time thinking through situations they've not met yet to figure out how they should be handled?)


David knott 242 wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
The only prerequisites a mechanical thing like a feat should have, are when said feat directly modifies, improves or builds on those prerequisites. So a feat that has a prerequisite of Dwarf because it builds on the Hardy trait is fine, a feat that has a prerequisite of Dwarf "just because" is not.

Even then, we need to take care to be precise about such prerequisites. In this case, the prerequisite should be "hardy racial trait" since it is possible to have a non-dwarf with this trait or (more likely) a dwarf who lacks it.

Very true, especially if they're being a bit better about consistency in building races and monster races this time, so the same trait can reasonably appear multiple times.


Tectorman wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:


The players looking to play those sorts of characters that were once restricted and now aren’t can feel more free to do so. The game does not explicitly tell them their character concept is wrong or misplaced. Nor does it implicitly tell them this by making their concept something they have to bargain or negotiate for.

All of these points are true. None of them, to my mind, are of necessity benefits.

I am all for a broader range of character concepts being playable. I just think removing alignment restrictions is the wrong scale for that. Adding more classes is the right way to go.

But if we’re creating a class for the martial-arts master called the Monk with all his class features, lore, background, and alignment restrictions, and then creating an identical class with all the same class features, just no alignment restriction, why not just make the one class and leave it open to be restricted or not at the group’s own preference?

I'm not arguing for all the same class features except for alignment, though. I am arguing for class features for the Monk that fit with being Lawful, and class features for other classes that fit with their different alignments.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:

It’s easier to buy into the Paladin’s lore when it isn’t being couched in terms of “my way or the highway”.

And if the entire concept of the paladin is "you demonstrate your faith by accepting the code, your humility by not standing in judgement over it, and your virtue by following it", my way (for values of "my" referring to whatever LG god you are working for) or the highway is a defining feature of the class; and if what you want is to play someone in the fighter-cleric space who doesn't approach it that way, that is what the warpriest class should be for. (Or possibly the inquisitor, if you prefer.)

That first “if” right there is precisely the point of contention here. First of all, I find it highly contradictory that the Paladin is conceptually supposed to be this paragon of good and virtue, yet its single most crucial feature is supposed to be this “my way or highway” aspect.

Being a champion of LG righteousness involve having, or at least believing in, a fairly solid definition of righteousness by which things are either right or wrong. Acknowledging more flexibility in your take on Good is moving away from the Lawful part.

Quote:


Second, of course the Paladin class is nothing more than the halfway point between Cleric and Fighter.

I don't regard that as an "of course"; the warpriest seems a better fit there.

Quote:


Now, that’s not saying a word about Paladin-the-concept.

Whereas to my mind, paladin-the-concept is of course what the class is.

Quote:


Playing a character who is Paladin-the-concept with Wizard-the-class means you are agreeing to hold to that code.

Playing a wizard with paladin-type ethos seems entirely workable to me. Giving that wizard paladin-specific mechanics, otoh, doesn't.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:


I do see a fundamental difference in scale between the last example and the other two; I have tried to set out why "non-Lawful martial arts master" inherently does not work for me before, as a plausibility issue rather than a campaign-specific issue, and I am not seeing any easy way to make that any clearer.

Okay, I must have missed this. What about the concept doesn’t work? Is it that they shouldn’t have to be disciplined? Because I’m not saying that at all. I agree that’s fundamental to the concept.

It’s just that being disciplined is not the be all end all of being lawful. Law vs chaos is also about respecting authority, adherence to order, prioritizing the group over an individual, being rigid and inflexible, so on and so forth. None of which the Monk, lorewise, cares about (or if he does, it’s only incidental).

That, there, breaks my suspension of disbelief.

One of the arguments here a few days ago mentioned people taking about wanting to play some of the characters Jackie Chan plays as chaotic monks, and my immediate reaction is that the plausibility issue isn't with the characters, it's with whether I can believe Jackie Chan himself having the skillset he has without intense and focused training. Download Jackie Chan's skillset into the head of a desk jockey like me, set me up to fight half a dozen mooks, and I'll do myself a bunch of serious injuries from not having a body adapted to that level of activity.

Quote:


For example, the Antihero’s Handbook included an archetype for ex-Monks called, I believe, the Sin-Eater that let them continue taking levels in Monk but replacing some of their abilities with abilities tied to the classic seven sins. Here’s the thing: what the crap business does a NG or CG Monk have using sin-themed abilities? He became not-lawful; he didn’t turn evil.

My own primary grumble with that would be about how inherently Christian that concept of sin is making it a poor fit for Golarion, fwiw.

Quote:


Another example: who’s a better shapeshifter? The Shifter or the Druid?

Not played with one myself, but enough smart people have made that point that I see no argument against at that level. I do get the impression that a goodly part of this was mismatched expectations in that what the designers were aiming for with the shifter was "simple class to pick up" over other considerations; which may be an unsatisfying aim for many of us, but is not necessarily a failure at what it was intended to be.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:


What testing do you think it would take for a Starfinder group to implement “Operatives can’t be lawful”? All you do is say “Operatives can’t be lawful”. What balance do you think could be involved here?

That doesn't strike me as a direct comparison.

What testing it would take for a hypothetical non-alignment-equipped Pathfinder variant to make reintroducing alignment work is a test of the consequences of every aligned spell and every other piece of rules that alignment affects for balance and smooth interaction with every other part of the system. That's a lot of interactions.

That’s not an argument for its forced inclusion, though. At best, it’s a subsystem that needs careful consideration before it’s ready to be overlaid onto the alignment-less game.

If we were starting from an alignment-less game, yes. I'm not arguing for imposing alignment on Starfinder (which I have not yet played or run) or indeed GURPS (which is by far my most-played system in the last couple of decades). I am arguing for Pathfinder keeping, and indeed enhancing, the extent to which it uses alignment not just on grounds of tradition but on grounds of maintaining a more distinct identity from games that do not have it or use it so much.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:

Ckorik, can I ask whether you have similar objections to feats/abilities/etcetera having racial prerequisites? (Or perhaps even more significantly - flavour prerequisites “must worship X” and so forth?)

I’m trying to understand if it’s something specific to alignment or if you have a general preference for less restrictions by default (comfortable that people can add in such restrictions later).

I don't have issues with those Steve. The fact that you and I can look at the rules and say 'do you worship Torag? No? Then you can't have this' - this is a very simple rule - it's clear, you can't argue with me what was in your heart when you made the decision not to worship Torag.

Feats can also be retrained (even in PF1) - so if you worship Torag today - and take the feat - but have a total conversion to Desna - you can retrain.

I do understand that in a game like Pathfinder - the GM will be forced to make on the spot arbitrary decisions, that's just a fact of a role playing game, however the progression of the game has been to codify those rules so that less and less are 'make things up' situations, and instead you have guidance or at least a baseline to adjust your own game from. Some players like Pathfinder Society *for the sole reason that GM's aren't allowed to change rules*.

Alignment however affects some classes and not others. The ones it affects, it restricts. The ones it restricts, it hurts should game mechanics (helm of opposite alignment) change a line on your character sheet through no fault of your own.

That's bad enough for me to think it's outdated game design, however it's not the end of it. Alignment as a restriction on class mechanics rules out entire swaths of stories that *could* be told at the table but aren't - and for every 'talk to your gm' response I'd point at this thread - and I don't know anyone who would want to deal with the adversarial reactions presented here *in the defense of these restrictions* to do something they thought might be cool Just one post about 'how players should be punished for violating... blah blah blah' is enough to suck the fun out of an idea and even turn them off from gaming.

I've seen it happen.

I've had it happen to me, by people I still play with to this day.

I had an argument with a GM once because I *wanted* my paladin to fall - it was a story I felt strongly about. He wouldn't agree to it because he felt different about what happened in the game. (what happened? Not important frankly to this discussion - it's just a story like all the others) I stopped playing that character that day - RiP my level 8 Paladin fighting for justice and against slavery in the jungles of Mwangi.

People get hung up on trying to prove how alignment is *needed* to make 'this happen' or 'that happen' - when in fact it's a straight jacket, the keys for which are held by the GM, that players can either accept or find another game - in a world where GM's are already rare enough that people *pay* them just to have a game.


Ckorik wrote:


Feats can also be retrained (even in PF1) - so if you worship Torag today - and take the feat - but have a total conversion to Desna - you can retrain.

You probably wouldn't be surprised that I favour tightening up on that some too.

Quote:


Alignment however affects some classes and not others.

Rules for magic affect casters and not non-casters. Rules for rage affect Barbarians and not others.

Quote:


The ones it affects, it restricts.

Running out of spells restricts a wizard and not a fighter.

Quote:


The ones it restricts, it hurts should game mechanics (helm of opposite alignment) change a line on your character sheet through no fault of your own.

A Shadow sucking away your Strength changes a value on your character sheet through no more nor less fault of your own than putting on a random magical helmet without getting it identified. (True, it's a numerical value, but numbering the nine alignments to save space on your character sheet is not hard.)

You list these things as if they were obviously, inarguably bugs. To some of us they are obviously features.

Quote:


Alignment as a restriction on class mechanics rules out entire swaths of stories that *could* be told at the table but aren't

I am arguing that this is a good thing for any specific game, to define what sort of stories it is good for, as selling points. Doing that requires also defining what sort of stories it is not optimised for.

Quote:


I had an argument with a GM once because I *wanted* my paladin to fall - it was a story I felt strongly about. He wouldn't agree to it because he felt different about what happened in the game. (what happened? Not important frankly to this discussion - it's just a story like all the others) I stopped playing that character that day - RiP my level 8 Paladin fighting for justice and against slavery in the jungles of Mwangi.

That sounds quite a bit like "I'd rather not play a campaign than compromise my vision of my character to better fit with the other people playing the game". And sure, the game supports many different playstyles, but I would favour not having something that far away from collaborative be the default expectation of the rules.

Quote:


People get hung up on trying to prove how alignment is *needed* to make 'this happen' or 'that happen' - when in fact it's a straight jacket, the keys for which are held by the GM, that players can either accept or find another game

Once the relevant discussions have been had and joint decisions made, yes, that's exactly what it is. That is the power of it as a game tool and a storytelling technique - providing the challenge of developing an interesting and fun story co-operatively within mutually agreed restrictions. Same as playing all wizards or all martials, or a horror game or an all-heroic game, or any other kind of restriction whatsoever. In the case of PF specifically, I am willing to say that that is what I feel it should be. If PF were the only RPG out there, and therefore had to cover all the options of preferred playstyle for people who wanted any game at all, I would argue exactly the opposite.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Perhaps we've all been looking at this the wrong way the whole time?

What if instead of 'baked in' it was a character option? Follow my drugged-from-getting-a-filling logic, please

What if it was like Ancestry, Class, whatnot, but a character option that *could* be taken (not directly related to a Class or Ancestry) that gives characters the bonus of aligning their weapons/whatnot with their given ethos (for an action? for the day? something?) but while they are aligned like that, they are vulnerable to the counterpart.

As an optional Trait/Feat/whatnot, it then puts agency into the player's hands in a way that is not available in any other previous iteration, and is balanced by the fact that there is a hard counter to it.

The only drawback I could see at first glance is that a lot of folks would go 'Unaligned' to avoid any sort of drawback from it, but if they didn't get healing from certain aligned characters that might be a mitigator?

I'm spitballing here, and as noted above, still drugged up from dental work.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Ckorik wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Ckorik, can I ask whether you have similar objections to feats/abilities/etcetera having racial prerequisites? (Or perhaps even more significantly - flavour prerequisites “must worship X” and so forth?)

I’m trying to understand if it’s something specific to alignment or if you have a general preference for less restrictions by default (comfortable that people can add in such restrictions later).

I don't have issues with those Steve. The fact that you and I can look at the rules and say 'do you worship Torag? No? Then you can't have this' - this is a very simple rule - it's clear, you can't argue with me what was in your heart when you made the decision not to worship Torag.

Feats can also be retrained (even in PF1) - so if you worship Torag today - and take the feat - but have a total conversion to Desna - you can retrain.

I do understand that in a game like Pathfinder - the GM will be forced to make on the spot arbitrary decisions, that's just a fact of a role playing game, however the progression of the game has been to codify those rules so that less and less are 'make things up' situations, and instead you have guidance or at least a baseline to adjust your own game from. Some players like Pathfinder Society *for the sole reason that GM's aren't allowed to change rules*.

Alignment however affects some classes and not others. The ones it affects, it restricts. The ones it restricts, it hurts should game mechanics (helm of opposite alignment) change a line on your character sheet through no fault of your own.

That's bad enough for me to think it's outdated game design, however it's not the end of it. Alignment as a restriction on class mechanics rules out entire swaths of stories that *could* be told at the table but aren't - and for every 'talk to your gm' response I'd point at this thread - and I don't know anyone who would want to deal with the adversarial reactions presented here *in the defense of these restrictions* to do something they...

Thanks very much. I think you make a strong argument.

I very much like restrictions in my games - the more flexible, “you can make anything you like” systems (or the “everything is optional”) games don’t inspire me to make interesting characters. For me, the constraints are what trigger the creative side of coming up with a PC. For me, that’s often about breaking the rules and suffering consequences (not being punished, but having a real tie between flavour and mechanics).

However, I take your point that there are clearly tables where it’s problematic. FWIW, my preference would be to not quite take it out but rather label “alignment restrictions for classes” as explicitly an optional mechanic. That would take more wordcount, but it seems to me that alignment needs more wordcount.

I still prefer a game with hard coded alignment restrictions, but you’ve changed my mind on how they should be presented in PF2 (even if I’d still retain more than you’d find ideal).


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:


I still prefer a game with hard coded alignment restrictions, but you’ve changed my mind on how they should be presented in PF2 (even if I’d still retain more than you’d find ideal).

Thanks - this thread has done everything I set out to do - which was stir up enough debate to really 'shake the tree' and see what people had to say (lots of strong emotional ties to the system - from what I could see) and attempt to tighten up my argument (as best as I could).

This early in the stage of 'PF 2' I wanted the argument out there, because while *my suggestion* may not be what goes forward (if anything is done with alignment) but I felt it did need to be 'looked at'. I appreciate everyone who contributed from devolving into another Paladin thread - because I do feel there are more issues with alignment than just the Paladin.

While they didn't pipe in, I feel certain that this thread got noticed, and if nothing else let them be ready for the discussion if and when they do want to talk about alignment. Hopefully they have a solution that makes everyone happy (well.. I doubt there is something that could make *all* of us happy - but I can hope).

I think, at the end of the day, the only thing I'd consider a 'not playing this any more' type of deal is if they stopped using D20's. If someone is reading this hopefully you found some more places to use the D12's - they never get enough love either. (Seriously though a game that stopped using the D20 would actually find me leaving... oddly enough).


Bard of Ages wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
seen the goblin baby once or twice, never heard of the orc prisoner...

Yeah, it's also known as the prisoner dilemma, snipped

Steelfiredragon wrote:
what makes a warrior great. it is not the valor in battle or how many enemies you have slain in your wake or even the spilt blood you shared with your comrades. what makes a warrior great is to do what feals right at the time and be prepared to deal with the consiquinces later.

Being from a military family in the modern day? The answer to what makes a warrior great is: Supporting your brother in the field. It doesn't matter what your orders are, or what the war is about, your duty is to the man under fire beside you, and getting everyone home.

^^ and that is why I play my humanoid races far more tactical and less "fight to the death."

and if you don't mind I am going to steal that.

though as for orders... if I thought said orders were unjust, I wouldn't follow them, and would try to convince those around me of it.

military tribunals have never bought the I was just following orders excuse ( and if they did, it was likely a case by case thing).... which still doesn't bother to explain why one did it anyway...

and if I thought the mission was compromised, id speak my mind.
tactics are great, but so is judging the situation which is why I said do what feels right at the time and be prepared to face the consequences afterwards. as you said, get everyone home.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Ckorik wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


I still prefer a game with hard coded alignment restrictions, but you’ve changed my mind on how they should be presented in PF2 (even if I’d still retain more than you’d find ideal).

Thanks - this thread has done everything I set out to do - which was stir up enough debate to really 'shake the tree' and see what people had to say (lots of strong emotional ties to the system - from what I could see) and attempt to tighten up my argument (as best as I could).

This early in the stage of 'PF 2' I wanted the argument out there, because while *my suggestion* may not be what goes forward (if anything is done with alignment) but I felt it did need to be 'looked at'. I appreciate everyone who contributed from devolving into another Paladin thread - because I do feel there are more issues with alignment than just the Paladin.

While they didn't pipe in, I feel certain that this thread got noticed, and if nothing else let them be ready for the discussion if and when they do want to talk about alignment. Hopefully they have a solution that makes everyone happy (well.. I doubt there is something that could make *all* of us happy - but I can hope).

I think, at the end of the day, the only thing I'd consider a 'not playing this any more' type of deal is if they stopped using D20's. If someone is reading this hopefully you found some more places to use the D12's - they never get enough love either. (Seriously though a game that stopped using the D20 would actually find me leaving... oddly enough).

Heh. I’ve played more rolemaster than anything else. The idea that there’s only 20 possible outcomes still bugs me from time to time. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ckorik wrote:
Alignment however affects some classes and not others. The ones it affects, it restricts. The ones it restricts, it hurts should game mechanics (helm of opposite alignment) change a line on your character sheet through no fault of your own.

Putting on cursed items (or having them forced on you or whatever) hurts most classes at various times. Some more than others. Boots of Dancing won't be as likely to be trouble for a wizard, or other characters who won't generally be in melee combat, for instance. Seems fine to me.

"Through no fault of your own" misrepresents how cursed items work. Which a helm of opposite alignment is. If I drink a potion of poison, the GM is not forcing Con damage on me randomly through no fault of my own. I should have identified it better before drinking it. It would be silly to portray it that way, unless there was some particular agreement or expectation of no cursed items.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Perhaps we've all been looking at this the wrong way the whole time?

What if instead of 'baked in' it was a character option? Follow my drugged-from-getting-a-filling logic, please

What if it was like Ancestry, Class, whatnot, but a character option that *could* be taken (not directly related to a Class or Ancestry) that gives characters the bonus of aligning their weapons/whatnot with their given ethos (for an action? for the day? something?) but while they are aligned like that, they are vulnerable to the counterpart.

As an optional Trait/Feat/whatnot, it then puts agency into the player's hands in a way that is not available in any other previous iteration, and is balanced by the fact that there is a hard counter to it.

The only drawback I could see at first glance is that a lot of folks would go 'Unaligned' to avoid any sort of drawback from it, but if they didn't get healing from certain aligned characters that might be a mitigator?

I'm spitballing here, and as noted above, still drugged up from dental work.

Interesting. Are you thinking of "didn't get healing" as meaning they mechanically could not get it, or that said characters would be disinclined to offer it ?


Steelfiredragon wrote:

and if you don't mind I am going to steal that.

though as for orders... if I thought said orders were unjust, I wouldn't follow them, and would try to convince those around me of it.

military tribunals have never bought the I was just following orders excuse ( and if they did, it was likely a case by case thing).... which still doesn't bother to explain why one did it anyway...

and if I thought the mission was compromised, id speak my mind.
tactics are great, but so is judging the situation which is why I said do what feels right at the time and be prepared to face the consequences afterwards. as you said, get everyone home.

Saving Private Ryan is a great movie that I think would be wonderful to scrutinize under the lens of "alignment" as the whole goal in that movie is to follow an order to bring one man home alive because of the "single child" clause in the military.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:


The players looking to play those sorts of characters that were once restricted and now aren’t can feel more free to do so. The game does not explicitly tell them their character concept is wrong or misplaced. Nor does it implicitly tell them this by making their concept something they have to bargain or negotiate for.

All of these points are true. None of them, to my mind, are of necessity benefits.

I am all for a broader range of character concepts being playable. I just think removing alignment restrictions is the wrong scale for that. Adding more classes is the right way to go.

But if we’re creating a class for the martial-arts master called the Monk with all his class features, lore, background, and alignment restrictions, and then creating an identical class with all the same class features, just no alignment restriction, why not just make the one class and leave it open to be restricted or not at the group’s own preference?

I'm not arguing for all the same class features except for alignment, though. I am arguing for class features for the Monk that fit with being Lawful, and class features for other classes that fit with their different alignments.

What “Monk class features that fit with being Lawful” are you talking about? Almost the entire class ignores alignment anyway. We can even run through the list. The Martial Artist archetype includes a number of Monk class features and can be any alignment, so let’s look at the Monk class features the Martial Artist gives up and see what’s so lawful about them.

Still mind: What exactly is inherently lawful about this? Bearing in mind its benefit is almost the same as the benefit of the Elf racial trait Elven Immunities (and elves are supposed to be primarily chaotic good).
Slow fall: A suckier version of feather fall. Does the feather fall spell have the lawful descriptor?
Ki pool: That thing Ninjas, Rogues, and Tengu Oracles can also get, while still being chaotic, if they so please.
Purity of body: What, pray tell, is so lawful about being immune to disease?
Diamond body: Immunity to poisons? You mean that thing Alchemists can also get while being as chaotic as they please?
Wholeness of body: The ability to heal their own wounds. Do any of the cure wounds spells have the lawful descriptor?
Timeless body: The same thing Druids get, and only a fifth of them are lawful.
Tongue of the sun and moon: That’s the tongues spell and it does not have a lawful descriptor.
Diamond soul: Spell resistance. That thing drow get as a racial ability (and lorewise, they’re mostly chaotic evil).
Empty body: Etherealness, which does not have an alignment descriptor.

Next to nothing about the Monk’s class features give a damn about being lawful, chaotic, or anything. There are only two that might be construed as alignment-relevant: the ki strike (lawful) part of the Ki pool class feature, and the DR 10/chaotic part of the Perfect self class feature. And they could easily have been written to accommodate non-lawful alignments. The Ki strike could have been “Your unarmed attacks are treated as lawful weapons if you’re lawful, chaotic weapons if you’re chaotic, and if you’re neutral on that axis, then pick one”, similar to the Cleric and his spontaneous casting. And then the DR that Perfect self grants would be dependent on the Monk’s ki strike.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:

It’s easier to buy into the Paladin’s lore when it isn’t being couched in terms of “my way or the highway”.

And if the entire concept of the paladin is "you demonstrate your faith by accepting the code, your humility by not standing in judgement over it, and your virtue by following it", my way (for values of "my" referring to whatever LG god you are working for) or the highway is a defining feature of the class; and if what you want is to play someone in the fighter-cleric space who doesn't approach it that way, that is what the warpriest class should be for. (Or possibly the inquisitor, if you prefer.)

That first “if” right there is precisely the point of contention here. First of all, I find it highly contradictory that the Paladin is conceptually supposed to be this paragon of good and virtue, yet its single most crucial feature is supposed to be this “my way or highway” aspect.
Being a champion of LG righteousness involve having, or at least believing in, a fairly solid definition of righteousness by which things are either right or wrong. Acknowledging more flexibility in your take on Good is moving away from the Lawful part.

No, I’m saying that the Paladin’s in-universe so-called righteousness is contradicted by the “my way or the highway” mentality occurring in real life. I’ll buy your Paladin being a champion of LG righteousness when I see that occurring for real. Otherwise, it’s a hollow mockery, the very concept tainted by the means by which its occurring.

Quote:
Quote:


Second, of course the Paladin class is nothing more than the halfway point between Cleric and Fighter.
I don't regard that as an "of course"; the warpriest seems a better fit there.

Yeah, and the Paladin is just the Warpriest who happens to be devoted to lawful and good. But I’m not asking you to accept that. Just accept that other players shouldn’t have to go through a philosophical war just to play a freaking game.

Quote:
Quote:


Now, that’s not saying a word about Paladin-the-concept.
Whereas to my mind, paladin-the-concept is of course what the class is.

And if the separation of class and concept is allowed for, you are still able to forcibly marry Paladin-the-class to Paladin-the-concept for your own purposes while other players aren’t limited by your preferences. If I want my Fighter to only use axes, does that mean every other Fighter player in every game everywhere should have to campaign to use a sword?

Quote:
Quote:
Playing a character who is Paladin-the-concept with Wizard-the-class means you are agreeing to hold to that code.
Playing a wizard with paladin-type ethos seems entirely workable to me. Giving that wizard paladin-specific mechanics, otoh, doesn't.

And again, keeping class and concept as things that CAN be tied together OR NOT accommodates you and players that don’t see class as something that can be forcibly married to a concept.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:


I do see a fundamental difference in scale between the last example and the other two; I have tried to set out why "non-Lawful martial arts master" inherently does not work for me before, as a plausibility issue rather than a campaign-specific issue, and I am not seeing any easy way to make that any clearer.

Okay, I must have missed this. What about the concept doesn’t work? Is it that they shouldn’t have to be disciplined? Because I’m not saying that at all. I agree that’s fundamental to the concept.

It’s just that being disciplined is not the be all end all of being lawful. Law vs chaos is also about respecting authority, adherence to order, prioritizing the group over an individual, being rigid and inflexible, so on and so forth. None of which the Monk, lorewise, cares about (or if he does, it’s only incidental).

That, there, breaks my suspension of disbelief.

One of the arguments here a few days ago mentioned people taking about wanting to play some of the characters Jackie Chan plays as chaotic monks, and my immediate reaction is that the plausibility issue isn't with the characters, it's with whether I can believe Jackie Chan himself having the skillset he has without intense and focused training. Download Jackie Chan's skillset into the head of a desk jockey like me, set me up to fight half a dozen mooks, and I'll do myself a bunch of serious injuries from not having a body adapted to that level of activity.

Yes, Jackie Chan got to where he is, and maintained the level of physical fitness necessary to continue doing his own stunts and so forth without putting a bunch of serious injuries on himself, via intense and focused training. You just described every Martial Artist character, who indeed must also maintain an intense physical regimen to keep up their abilities. And yet, can be as chaotic as they like. Heck, this is every physical character in the game, the Fighter, the Ranger, the Cavalier, the Brawler, all the way down to the lowly NPC Warrior and over to the Anti-Paladin who is supposed to be chaotic.

Again, Monks need to be disciplined, and “disciplined” is only one aspect of the lawful side of alignment. A character who is disciplined but otherwise chaotic (by valuing the individual over the group, by elevating innovation over tradition, by not respecting authority for its own sake, and so on) IS HITTING EVERY CHECKMARK that the Monk class cares about, and all the other aspects of his behavior that qualify as chaotic DO NOT CONTRADICT any part of the Monk concept. The assignation of the whole and entire lawful alignment as a requirement for Monks is a mistake. You might as well say “having a name with an even number of letters” is a class-defining feature of the Monk.

Or are you telling me that you think the entirety of the lawful alignment consists of being disciplined and not one thing else? Does a character who values individuality, forsakes tradition, and disregards authority (literally trying to be the single most chaotic bastard that ever lived) yet still keeps an intense regimen qualify as lawful to you?

Quote:
Quote:


For example, the Antihero’s Handbook included an archetype for ex-Monks called, I believe, the Sin-Eater that let them continue taking levels in Monk but replacing some of their abilities with abilities tied to the classic seven sins. Here’s the thing: what the crap business does a NG or CG Monk have using sin-themed abilities? He became not-lawful; he didn’t turn evil.

My own primary grumble with that would be about how inherently Christian that concept of sin is making it a poor fit for Golarion, fwiw.

Quote:
Another example: who’s a better shapeshifter? The Shifter or the Druid?
Not played with one myself, but enough smart people have made that point that I see no argument against at that level. I do get the impression that a goodly part of this was mismatched expectations in that what the designers were aiming for with the shifter was "simple class to pick up" over other considerations; which may be an unsatisfying aim for many of us, but is not necessarily a failure at what it was intended to be.

My point, though, is that the developers can make mistakes and I and others regard the misassigning of the lawful alignment requirement to the Monk class as one such example. And removing the Monk’s alignment restriction allows for individual players (such as yourself) who think the developers got it right to keep their lawful Monks while also allowing for players who don’t see the Monk as inherently lawful to play their Monks how they see fit.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:


What testing do you think it would take for a Starfinder group to implement “Operatives can’t be lawful”? All you do is say “Operatives can’t be lawful”. What balance do you think could be involved here?

That doesn't strike me as a direct comparison.

What testing it would take for a hypothetical non-alignment-equipped Pathfinder variant to make reintroducing alignment work is a test of the consequences of every aligned spell and every other piece of rules that alignment affects for balance and smooth interaction with every other part of the system. That's a lot of interactions.
That’s not an argument for its forced inclusion, though. At best, it’s a subsystem that needs careful consideration before it’s ready to be overlaid onto the alignment-less game.
If we were starting from an alignment-less game, yes. I'm not arguing for imposing alignment on Starfinder (which I have not yet played or run) or indeed GURPS (which is by far my most-played system in the last couple of decades). I am arguing for Pathfinder keeping, and indeed enhancing, the extent to which it uses alignment not just on grounds of tradition but on grounds of maintaining a more distinct identity from games that do not have it or use it so much.

It’s a tradition of disallowing otherwise reasonable character concepts. Maybe alignment does contribute something of merit, but if it does, those benefits are drowned out by and do not outweigh that heinousness. Why is that a distinct identity worth maintaining?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:

Interesting. Are you thinking of "didn't get healing" as meaning they mechanically could not get it, or that said characters would be disinclined to offer it ?

The idea I had was that if someone was 'Good' and they tried to heal someone who didn't have a 'Good' component it'd have maybe half effectiveness for 'Neutral/Unaligned' characters and no effectiveness for 'Evil' characters?

I don't know how to parse it beyond that at the moment, as it was drug-addled insight.

EDIT: Also, quid pro quo if someone was 'Evil' and attempting to harm someone, the effect would be full against the opposite (in this case, 'Good') and half against 'Neutral/Unaligned'.

So there'd be a benefit to not taking an alignment, but also a drawback as well, so it'd kind of balance out.


Bard of Ages wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

and if you don't mind I am going to steal that.

though as for orders... if I thought said orders were unjust, I wouldn't follow them, and would try to convince those around me of it.

military tribunals have never bought the I was just following orders excuse ( and if they did, it was likely a case by case thing).... which still doesn't bother to explain why one did it anyway...

and if I thought the mission was compromised, id speak my mind.
tactics are great, but so is judging the situation which is why I said do what feels right at the time and be prepared to face the consequences afterwards. as you said, get everyone home.

Saving Private Ryan is a great movie that I think would be wonderful to scrutinize under the lens of "alignment" as the whole goal in that movie is to follow an order to bring one man home alive because of the "single child" clause in the military.

that is the only war movie that I could sit and watch.

I couldn't get interested in lone survivor through its commercial previews.. really kill the kid or let him go? compromised the whole mission right there.... if that part actually happened in the true story it was based on? me thinks people should take a look at children soldiers from ww2 and Vietnam.... it was done..

now I want to go see Dunkirk at some point

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed some posts and responses to those posts. The debate here has been thoughtfully considered and well mediated, just make sure not to ruin it by attacking the person, instead of their points. Please avoid aggressive language and personal attacks.


I thought Thin Red Line was a better war movie to analyze in relation to alignment myself.


Quote:
The Paladin that is best friends and adventures with an evil wizard - and remains best friends with him (Dresden Files)

Eee... what evil wizard? Harry Dresden is Chaotic Good. Well now wielding mantle of Winter Knight, he got a solid drop of I'd say Neutral Evil (I'd generally put Winter as NE) power... but... well he's still in most of his actions Chaotic Good.

Definitely adventuring with CG won't cause Paladin to fall.
Definitely neither of adventures when Michael and Harry went together does not push Michael into doing something that will make him fall - although it was close with Bianca.

Quote:

The CE Hunter that is out for trophies only (Kraven the Hunter)

Now is he a hunter? I'd say more of ranger or brawler or maybe slayer.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes please, get rid of Alignment


Nope, keep it in.

spoiler:
Actually already confirmed its in from recent Bulham vid. Time to change the discussion from removing it to how it will be implemented.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Get Rid of Good-Evil Law-Chaos Alignment in favour of Warcraft - Order-Chaos, Life-Death, Holy-Void alignment!!!


Wicked Woodpecker of the West wrote:

Get Rid of Good-Evil Law-Chaos Alignment in favour of Warcraft - Order-Chaos, Life-Death, Holy-Void alignment!!!

This is for you.


As far as I know - WoW D20 use D&D Alignment.
So... ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Orville Redenbacher wrote:

Nope, keep it in.

** spoiler omitted **

Confirmed by multiple Paizo people including the very top dog - nothing is off the table.

Time to let people have a discussion and not try to shut it down.


Yes time to discuss how it can be implemented in a way you can live with it.

401 to 450 of 860 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / why alignment (for characters) needs to go All Messageboards