Lawful Evil for PFS 2.0


Pathfinder Society Playtest

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Dark Archive ****

I'd like to tip the hat to allow LE based characters into PFS 2.0.

It's worked in other Living Campaigns, and I believe we have the play base to be able to handle what is, and isnt appropriate for public games.

Thoughts?

Dark Archive ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

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NO -> I see it as more realistic to ban CN (it causes a lot of problems) than open up LE.

Realistically I can see no change in the allowed alignments.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm of two minds here. I've played with (and played myself!) Lawful Evil characters in Adventurers League, and it can be fine... Or it can be a nightmare. It very much depends on the player in question and how much they recognize the whole "Organized Play adventurers are on the same team trying to accomplish the same goals" thing.

On the other hand, it's not like a badly played Lawful Evil character is any less disruptive than a badly played Chaotic Neutral character, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Dark Archive ****

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The society has, by it's own description evil characters included within it. I just believe it's time to open up the alignment a bit more. As stated, a badly played CN is no worse than a badly played LE character.

Here's to seeing real clerics of Asmodeus in PFS 2.0!

Scarab Sages *****

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No. I absolutely do not want to see any more tip of a hat to evil play. I'd like to remove the ability to worship evil deities to be honest.

My experience is that the average gamer is not capable of playing evil responsibly or maturely.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Jacksonville aka Kyrie Ebonblade,

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Uh..NO. Just no. I won’t go as far as Tallow but I’ve seen enough LN followers of Asmodeous play ‘lawful asshat’ that I don’t want to further empower them.

I mean two ‘Chelaxian Marshalls’ hassling a Liberies Edge halfling player to ‘prove’ he’s not a slave was bad enough with just Lawful Nuetral (and hard enough to step on then)

Scarab Sages *****

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Thomas Graham wrote:

Uh..NO. Just no. I won’t go as far as Tallow but I’ve seen enough LN followers of Asmodeous play ‘lawful asshat’ that I don’t want to further empower them.

I mean two ‘Chelaxian Marshalls’ hassling a Liberies Edge halfling player to ‘prove’ he’s not a slave was bad enough with just Lawful Nuetral (and hard enough to step on then)

I think the community policy covers that pretty strictly. If the player was uncomfortable with all the "slave" jokes, then as a GM, you can definitely step in and tell the other two to knock it off.

But the point you are making is very valid. This is definitely one of the reasons allowing any Evil into the game is a bad, bad idea.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

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No in favor of this change. there are a number of reasons, but the fact that there are goblins on the cover of the playtest.. well let's just keep this door closed.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Yeah, I'd rather move away from Evil rather than towards it.

*

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I personally would love to see it... BUT evil actions are not allowed, and there are very good reasons for this. And it's hard to imagine a character which is evil but does no evil. So no.

Liberty's Edge *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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I see no reason to allow Evil player characters in 2.0.

I also agree that a serious look of Chaotic Neutral characters.

Dark Archive ****

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I'd second Tallow's suggestion of eliminating evil dieties. The I'm going to harass the paladin by bringing a necromancer is annoying because there is no mechanism in organized play to let them really settle the issue. It's similar to getting rid of the Shadow Lodge. I do like a little bit of that style of play in general, but it is a poor fit for organized play.

***

The grey morality of the Pathfinder Society is one of the things that drew me into PFS. I think moving further towards "we always have to be the good guys" will lose a lot of the interesting potential to explore uncommon alliances (as long as there's no paladin in the group, of course) and the repercussions of those alliances.

That said, I'd rather wait and see how much alignments will affect things in 2.0 before starting up another argument about how role-players can't be trusted to role-play responsibly in public. The last one was exhausting enough and we don't have Mike Brock around anymore to be a counter-point to "no campaigns with evil characters ever work out".

(Unless he's still watching from inside his Decemvirate Helm... )

*** Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

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As an organizer the 'No Evil' rule has made my life easy.

Telling new players right out of the gate that there are no evil characters permitted sets expectations very clearly. I've seen many new players do the double take on the no evil rule, stop, rethink things, and come back with a character that cooperates (and makes the game more fun for everyone, not just them).

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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TimD wrote:
The grey morality of the Pathfinder Society is one of the things that drew me into PFS. I think moving further towards "we always have to be the good guys" will lose a lot of the interesting potential to explore uncommon alliances (as long as there's no paladin in the group, of course) and the repercussions of those alliances.

I'm currently playing with a paladin who goes out of his way to be antagonistic to every character, NPC or not. I don't want to even consider what he would be like as a Tyrant archetype.

Scarab Sages *****

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I've played in plenty of Evil campaigns that went well. Generally, if you are going to allow evil in play, it should include one or more of the following:

1) All characters should be evil or at best neutral. (I am playing in a Skulls and Shackles campaign where we are really horrible people who happen to be Pirates.)

2) Players should attempt to work together, despite being evil, so you actually get to experience the campaign and not inter-character conflict.

3) Players should be mature enough to handle the gritty, squicky, and sometimes adult nature of Evil. If they aren't, the characters often are actually caricatures, and then it just becomes spoofy eventually.

4) If you are going to have PvP, everyone needs to be on the same page. (I played in a legacy Vampire: The Masquerade game using the Transylvania Chronicles. It lasted for 4 to 4-1/2 years and we extended it by another year by playing Gehenna. It was great, but all the players bought in to how it was going to work, and that their character might die a horrible, horrible death, possibly the hands of another player character.)

----

The main thing is, organized play is not the right place to force any of those sorts of things on players. Its not fair to expect a group of random players to create the mature chemistry necessary to handle such a game.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I'm currently playing with a paladin who goes out of his way to be antagonistic to every character, NPC or not.

Let me at 'em, RAWR! ;-P

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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I vote no to evil alignments of any kind. I also agree with Tallow I would rather a shift in the other direction, banning evil deities, even as far as banning evil spells (if those even still exist in 2E). It was not feasible in PFS1 since so much of it already existed, but relaunching PFS2 would give us a chance to correct (IMO) some of those problems. It could be incorporated into a shift in the Society itself. Maybe they recognize that they swung too far into the "ends justify the means" using evil agents and such and have made an effort to "clean up" the society. I dunno, its just my opinion and I'm sure there will be plenty of people to disagree.
The next year and a half is our time to express our opinions and let Paizo sort out the results so I encourage everyone to do so. I'm not speaking on behalf of my community. This is simply my preference as a player and GM.

*** ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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I also vote no. I’m sure there are plenty of players who could handle this deftly, but I think it will lead to a lot of really disruptive PCs and table arguments.

The Exchange *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

NO Evil, we are the "mostly" good guys after all!

Dark Archive ****

Funny though, there is Al, which does have evil aligned characters, and they were no were near the grey scale that PFS season 1-4 was.
Sadly, those seasons are the ones I remember most fondly, as I think the current seasons are lackluster to what has come before.

I'd love to see PFS go back to it's mature themes and roots going forward, and to help it along, we should incorporate lawful evil.

Dark Archive ***** ⦵⦵

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In my experience, CN has been the place where players take their PCs who want to be evil but aren't allowed to go 'full-on EVIL'.

While I'd prefer to see Tallow's suggestion implemented (no worship of evil deities), I'd be just as happy seeing the CN option removed, if only to close the loophole of allowing worship of CE entities. PCs could still manage to follow those deities of the CN pantheons (Gorum, Besmara, Calistria, etc) under this realignment.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

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No to evil as well. A problem player may be disruptive regardless of his alignment, but if we have a 'no evil' rule, then he can't use his evil alignment as a bootstrap justification for disruptive behavior.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Asheville aka mogmismo

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Lawful Evil characters can work well in an hierarchy, follow commands and generally be skilled and diligent pathfinder agents. Conceptually, I would love to allow LE agents. Realistically, I'm just very aware that a small percentage of players can't handle it, so unfortunately I'm also very opposed to this idea.

Allowing worshipping of LE evil gods by LN characters is a good compromise at the moment. It allows GMs to remind the players of their true alignment and reign in disruptive behavior, while allowing some of the flavor.

Perhaps we'll see a few NPC agents who are LE in Season 10.

Scarab Sages *** Venture-Agent

I agree with Tallow. I like playing in an evil campaign now and then, but it would be a bad fit for society play. I do not think phasing out Chaotic Neutral characters should happen though. I do enjoy exploring the morally gray sides of the Society.

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Lead Developer

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Sin of Asmodeus wrote:

Funny though, there is Al, which does have evil aligned characters, and they were no were near the grey scale that PFS season 1-4 was.

Sadly, those seasons are the ones I remember most fondly, as I think the current seasons are lackluster to what has come before.

I'd love to see PFS go back to it's mature themes and roots going forward, and to help it along, we should incorporate lawful evil.

Its mature themes? Care to elaborate in a spoiler? While Seasons 5+ have considerably fewer faction missions that ask a PC to stab a random guy and make sure he screams, my impression's that the later seasons have numerous opportunities built in for tough choices and morally questionable decisions.

The Exchange *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sin of Asmodeus wrote:

Funny though, there is Al, which does have evil aligned characters, and they were no were near the grey scale that PFS season 1-4 was.

Sadly, those seasons are the ones I remember most fondly, as I think the current seasons are lackluster to what has come before.

I'd love to see PFS go back to it's mature themes and roots going forward, and to help it along, we should incorporate lawful evil.

Which is another reason I play PFS and not AL. The LE characters/faction as most of the others were really lack luster. They provided nothing in any of the games I played but a way for those players to be Lawful A$$ hates. IMO. YMMV

***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein-Main aka GreyYeti

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Strongly opposed.
As some have mentioned i would rathet make the society more good by removing the worship of evil deities than make it more evil

The Exchange ***

Lawful Evil would have opened up a lot of character creation options in 1.0 such as being a Hellknight Signifier cleric with a NE god. With no change in the evil actions rules I see no reason why it couldn't be allowed.

***

Opening up ALL alignments is actually the only way I'll ever be convinced to play 2E PFS. Just release half the modules for good characters and half the modules for evil characters.

During Specials, open it up for all characters, and allow PVP. That would insanely cool. I can see the Special for Season 0 2E PFS: '2E Pathfinder Society Scenario #0-99: Zincher's Arena'

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Silly PDK!

There are other things that could convince you to play 2E PFS. I know there are. You like challenges and roleplay and being heroic and interesting. I am betting that if I throw out the challenge to you, you could create something fun and quirky in the new system. C’mon, join us for the Playtest in August.

We won’t know if we’ll like it until we actually try it.

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

I’m supposed to say something about alignments here, so I will surprise everyone by saying that lawful evil characters can be very interesting if they have a code, and honor that matters to them. They’ll keep their word, value their agreements, try to work towards goals. They often care deeply about their teammates even if outsiders matter little to them. I always love villains in stories that are working with the heroes — but may have a very different perspective on tactics.

I can understand if PFS does not want to go there... But I actually think that LE alignment is not that disruptive, so long as the LE characters are built around teamwork and valuing the structure and goals of the society. Then again, I really wish that Pathfinder and D&D would ditch the alignment system altogether. So maybe I’m not the one to ask about this!

Hmm

***

Don't tempt me, woman! I am old, set in my ways, and granular. :P

But seriously, on the LE front (or NE, or CE): after GMing the first third of Hell's Vengeance, I can vouch that if the scenario is written to account for evil characters, it can be a great experience for the whole table. The story brings the characters together, not their alignment. The PFS story team would just have to watch out for the authors who tend to be overly dark, that's all... :)

Scarab Sages ***

The Society works with Zarta, Sinuhotep and Torch. I can't find an in-setting reason to disallow it. If alignments were better defined that might help with some people - I know a few Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Jerks and Baby-Eating Evil players that just thought that was how the alignment was and adapted after learning that wasn't the case.

The "problem" with the alignment, to me at least, looks like people that want an easy or blame-free way to moderate their lodge. I don't think that's viable or healthy for the campaign and rubs me the wrong way on principle.

***

I agree with Angel! in any event, lodges that would encounter problems moderating the baby-eaters could correct the problem when '2E Pathfinder Society Scenario #0-99: Zincher's Arena' comes out. :)

*** Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

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Angel Hunter D wrote:
The "problem" with the alignment, to me at least, looks like people that want an easy or blame-free way to moderate their lodge. I don't think that's viable or healthy for the campaign and rubs me the wrong way on principle.

Easy blame-free way to moderate the lodge is accurate. I am fallible and inexperienced. I don't want to do things the hard way, and I'm hugely biased, I don't want to be kicking players on my judgment alone. I want an easy set of guidelines that has been built by those with far more experience building communities than I.

In a home game that was mine alone, I'm happy to accept those challenges. In a public game that belongs to everyone present, I want a better way.

The PFS rules have been great litmus test for new players, can they accept and operate under limitations for the good of the community? If they can, great! If they can't, it is better that they see the unyielding line in the sand (no evil characters, or no chained summoners, or Cooperate) and go play elsewhere. This has made an pseudo-opt-in environment where players can conform to the campaign, or leave. I feel my lodge and the lodges I've played in are healthier for this.

Disclaimer: I don't mind evil characters or evil campaigns, I just think Society is better for their absence. And I fully believe evil can be done well. I'm enjoying my 'Neutral' warpriest of Norborgor in a pfs pbp right now.

***

Pfft! your 'Neutral' warpriest of Norgorber will not even see his god when he dies! i.e. he is a lukewarm version of himself who has not yet discovered his true inner-Norgorberite! :P

PS: but yeah I totally know what you mean... it's good to say 'sorry, no evil allowed bud' when you encounter a dumbass player. :P

Dark Archive ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

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Also agree that this would be a good opportunity to ban evil deities alltogether.

*** Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

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GM PDK wrote:

Pfft! you're 'Neutral' warpriest of Norgorber will not even see his god when he dies! i.e. he is a lukewarm version of himself who has not yet discovered his true inner-Norgorberite! :P

PS: but yeah I totally know what you mean... it's good to say 'sorry, no evil allowed bud' when you encounter a dumbass player. :P

Yes, it is a struggle. Every time I ask myself, can I Explore, Report, and Cooperate here AND murder everyone? and every time the answer is no...

Funny thing is, 70% of the time those players come back with a different concept and become great additions to the game.

***

Fair point. It is a little anticlimactic to pit your players against evil priests of Asmodeus when you have some LN Hellknight wannabe in the party with an Asmodeus 'justification' and/or fetish.

***

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Ward Davis wrote:
Funny thing is, 70% of the time those players come back with a different concept and become great additions to the game.

Ah... ever the diplomat! ;)

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Angel Hunter D wrote:
The Society works with Zarta, Sinuhotep and Torch.

What evil acts have you seen them perform?

***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein-Main aka GreyYeti

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
The Society works with Zarta, Sinuhotep and Torch.
What evil acts have you seen them perform?

I have witnessed Torch murder a helpless prisoner, that is pretty evil in my book.

Dark Archive *****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Nils Janson wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
The Society works with Zarta, Sinuhotep and Torch.
What evil acts have you seen them perform?
I have witnessed Torch murder a helpless prisoner, that is pretty evil in my book.

Sinuhotep is undead and we have witnessed at least two heinous acts he has performed, both of which iirc involve his apprentices.

Zarta has a listed alignment of Lawful Evil and has, back when faction missions were a thing, on at least one occasion ordered you to procure an item to make one of her playthings a bit more pliable.

I'm not for evil PCs in the game, but we can't pretend that everyone that works with the society are rose-colored paragons of virtue.

** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Lafayette aka Poison Dusk

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I am all for allowing a little evil into the campaign. I won't be upset at all if it isn't though. However, if they were to outright ban evil deities I would walk out and never look back. Saying that it allows people to play "jerks" is intellectually dishonest. Jerks are gonna play like jerks no matter the alignment. You could ban evil, neutral and chaotic characters and people would still hassle other players. Having a spectrum of characters makes the game better all around. Let's not punish good players because of the bad ones.

Scarab Sages *****

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Nils Janson wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
The Society works with Zarta, Sinuhotep and Torch.
What evil acts have you seen them perform?
I have witnessed Torch murder a helpless prisoner, that is pretty evil in my book.

That's arguable depending on context.

Killing a helpless prisoner is not always murder and it is not always evil. After all, lawful execution of a guilty prisoner is not Evil. And , even in a city, in a fantasy world loosely based on Medieval to Renaissance times, powerful people often carry the appropriate authority to handle the judge/jury/executioner role on their own. Torch could be argued to be one of those.

We need to get over this, "killing a helpless prisoner is always evil" crap. Context matters.

Liberty's Edge *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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GM PDK wrote:

Opening up ALL alignments is actually the only way I'll ever be convinced to play 2E PFS. Just release half the modules for good characters and half the modules for evil characters.

During Specials, open it up for all characters, and allow PVP. That would insanely cool. I can see the Special for Season 0 2E PFS: '2E Pathfinder Society Scenario #0-99: Zincher's Arena'

Allowing evil characters would drive me away from PFS2.0. I HATE PVP on video games. I see what some broken builds can do to the NPCs. Allowing that to happen to the fellow party members?

No thank you.

Liberty's Edge *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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Here is an idea, have a charity boon that allows you to be play any alignment.

That way it would very limited because I would buy it and it would never see the light of day.

Put at least it is out there on a boon!

***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein-Main aka GreyYeti

Tallow wrote:
Nils Janson wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
The Society works with Zarta, Sinuhotep and Torch.
What evil acts have you seen them perform?
I have witnessed Torch murder a helpless prisoner, that is pretty evil in my book.

That's arguable depending on context.

Killing a helpless prisoner is not always murder and it is not always evil. After all, lawful execution of a guilty prisoner is not Evil. And , even in a city, in a fantasy world loosely based on Medieval to Renaissance times, powerful people often carry the appropriate authority to handle the judge/jury/executioner role on their own. Torch could be argued to be one of those.

We need to get over this, "killing a helpless prisoner is always evil" crap. Context matters.

The situation i am talking about is clearly not a lawful execution or anything like that. Getting any more specific would be a major spoiler.

Scarab Sages ***

Ward Davis wrote:
GM PDK wrote:

Pfft! you're 'Neutral' warpriest of Norgorber will not even see his god when he dies! i.e. he is a lukewarm version of himself who has not yet discovered his true inner-Norgorberite! :P

PS: but yeah I totally know what you mean... it's good to say 'sorry, no evil allowed bud' when you encounter a dumbass player. :P

Yes, it is a struggle. Every time I ask myself, can I Explore, Report, and Cooperate here AND murder everyone? and every time the answer is no...

Funny thing is, 70% of the time those players come back with a different concept and become great additions to the game.

"Murder Everyone!" is a really limited view of evil, that's in the same category of misrepresenting the alignment as the lawful-stupid paladin.

As people have said: Jerks will be jerks, regardless of alignment. And regardless of how evil a PC is, they are still a pathfinder and their selfish interests would make them want to be good at their job.

Scarab Sages *****

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Angel Hunter D wrote:
Ward Davis wrote:
GM PDK wrote:

Pfft! you're 'Neutral' warpriest of Norgorber will not even see his god when he dies! i.e. he is a lukewarm version of himself who has not yet discovered his true inner-Norgorberite! :P

PS: but yeah I totally know what you mean... it's good to say 'sorry, no evil allowed bud' when you encounter a dumbass player. :P

Yes, it is a struggle. Every time I ask myself, can I Explore, Report, and Cooperate here AND murder everyone? and every time the answer is no...

Funny thing is, 70% of the time those players come back with a different concept and become great additions to the game.

"Murder Everyone!" is a really limited view of evil, that's in the same category of misrepresenting the alignment as the lawful-stupid paladin.

As people have said: Jerks will be jerks, regardless of alignment. And regardless of how evil a PC is, they are still a pathfinder and their selfish interests would make them want to be good at their job.

Yes, Jerks will be Jerks. But that doesn't mean we should give them more tools that make it easier to be a Jerk.

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