Anathema and falling...


Prerelease Discussion

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So you're calling fighting a desperate battle without a weapon or falling "not a GOTCHA"?


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Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
Just like with the paladin, the best solution is, if a DM thinks the PC is violating some tenant, then drop a challenging monster on the PC (angels seem particularly good for this), and, if the PC wins, then obviously the god was not that displeased, and if the PC loses, reveal it was a dream sequence with a warning that next time it will be real.

lel whut?

EDIT

... I'm afraid I don't find your reasoning self-evident. I'm going to need you to explain it to me.

Respectfully, Asmodeus's Advocate

No problem.

The main benefit is that it moves the conflict to the PC/monster level instead of the player/GM level (assumes the GM budgets the fight like any other; no 3rd level paladin or cleric vs. a Solar). If the dice fall the player's way, then the GM should just accept that the universe didn't work out in his/her way (the fact that the PC's are fighting a good, nonfallen angel is sufficient in itself to indicate the seriousness of the matter). If the dice go the GM's way, then the PC has had a "come to Jesus meeting" with the knowledge the next time it happens, it could be a "go to Jesus meeting."

I know some people will say "this isn't in the rules", but it has been in D&D since the first Fiend Folio, with the introduction of the Aleax (basically a clone of the PC sent to chastise the PC if the PC sufficiently annoys their god). I will also point out the Aleax was in the Book of Exalted Deeds in 3e, so I think it meets any backwards compatibility issues.

Personally I would rather the rest of the party didn't have sit around watching the PC get in a mime fight (the Aleax is invisible to anyone but its target), so I suggest changing it to a monster that the whole party can fight (if they want--if the rest of the party is unhappy that the paladin has gone on a widows and orphans murder streak, not helping his/her against the angel is making a statement).


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Mechagamera wrote:
The main benefit is that it moves the conflict to the PC/monster level instead of the player/GM level

This just seems kind of odd: It kind of sends the message of 'do what I say or I'm going to beat you up' and IMO that's not really sounding too LG...


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necromental wrote:
So you're calling fighting a desperate battle without a weapon or falling "not a GOTCHA"?

clubs are free and readily available in any wooded area.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
necromental wrote:
So you're calling fighting a desperate battle without a weapon or falling "not a GOTCHA"?
clubs are free and readily available in any wooded area.

Unless it's a big club, then you have to buy those... But, good news, wooden stakes seem to grow on trees! ;)


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necromental wrote:
So you're calling fighting a desperate battle without a weapon or falling "not a GOTCHA"?

If you set it up so that there is no other option? Sure, it's a Gotcha. That wasn't what I described. I described a scene where the flow of battle had gone such that the Paladin's weapon had been sundered (a not wholly untypical tactic in many printed modules/APs), the other allies had been downed and, at that moment, the closest available weapon was envenomed.

The Paladin has lots of options. Unarmed combat (with Smite Evil). Take the actions to go to another downed ally who is further away to get a different weapon. Or to pick up the envenomed weapons *knowing* the consequences.


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What if the paladin stabs themself to get rid of the venom, then uses the dagger as normal?


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Elegos wrote:
What if the paladin stabs themself to get rid of the venom, then uses the dagger as normal?

As a GM? I would find that incredibly flavorful and awesome.


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Gotta use that ludicrous fort save for something


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Elegos wrote:
What if the paladin stabs themself to get rid of the venom, then uses the dagger as normal?

Or if the player isn't crazy, they can just wipe the venom off on their cape or shirt... ;3


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Elegos wrote:
What if the paladin stabs themself to get rid of the venom, then uses the dagger as normal?
Or if the player isn't crazy, they can just wipe the venom off on their cape or shirt... ;3

Hey man, wisdom is usually a dump stat for paladins.


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Mekkis wrote:
deuxhero wrote:


Certain games may make codes a balance point for more powerful classes (Force users in Star Wars can't go around choking people or attacking NPCs that annoy them or they go crazy.), but Pathfinder is not and we shouldn't pretend Paladinhood is a super powerful class balanced around needing to abide by a code.
But, Paladins as-written are somewhat balanced by needing to abide by a code. Your claim that Pathfinder is not such a system is counteracted by the published existence of the Paladin's code - and its extensions in further splatbooks such as Faiths of Purity (demonstrating that it's not just a holdover from previous editions).

The Paladin is not balanced by its code because the Paladin would not be overpowered without it. The Paladin is about equal with the other good martial classes, namely the Barbarian and Bloodrager. The Barbarian is arguably a little better since the Barbarian's great problem solving rage powers tend to come online sooner than the Paladin's problem solving spells (compare Spell Sunder at 6th level to Dispel Magic at 10th level).


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Elegos wrote:
What if the paladin stabs themself to get rid of the venom, then uses the dagger as normal?
Or if the player isn't crazy, they can just wipe the venom off on their cape or shirt... ;3

Sane players character's wear capes?


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graystone wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
The main benefit is that it moves the conflict to the PC/monster level instead of the player/GM level
This just seems kind of odd: It kind of sends the message of 'do what I say or I'm going to beat you up' and IMO that's not really sounding too LG...

Discipline is an important lawful attribute. Preventing or correcting moral failure is obviously good. Therefore, discipline to correct/prevent moral failure is patently LG:"spare the rod, spoil the child", "better a little chastisement then an eternity in Hell", etc. It is practically the reason for paladins in the first place, and we don't want them to be hypocritical, disciplining evil but not being willing to be disciplined themselves.

Which clearly shows why the LG ministry of marketing is so important. The hoi poi would get the wrong ideas without good PR to tell what is right.


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AaronUnicorn wrote:

If you set it up so that there is no other option? Sure, it's a Gotcha. That wasn't what I described. I described a scene where the flow of battle had gone such that the Paladin's weapon had been sundered (a not wholly untypical tactic in many printed modules/APs), the other allies had been downed and, at that moment, the closest available weapon was envenomed.

The Paladin has lots of options. Unarmed combat (with Smite Evil). Take the actions to go to another downed ally who is further away to get a different weapon. Or to pick up the envenomed weapons *knowing* the consequences.

I think it all boils down to this: no one is comfortable with the idea of a GM being able to control whether or not ones character can actually do what their class is supposed to be able to do.

This isn't like a situation where a Fighter or other martial loses a weapon - such can always find another and can still fight in other ways while weaponless. This would be more equivalent to a Fighter not only losing their weapon but also literally being unable to fight thereafter. Feats? Gone. Class Abilities? Gone. Anything that literally made you a Fighter? Gone.

It wouldn't matter that the rules were made to add flavor not to punish the players - the fact is the GM can make such a ruling because it is in the rules.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Elegos wrote:
What if the paladin stabs themself to get rid of the venom, then uses the dagger as normal?
Or if the player isn't crazy, they can just wipe the venom off on their cape or shirt... ;3

I was more thinking, does it count as using a poison weapon if they use it on themselves?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Elegos wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Elegos wrote:
What if the paladin stabs themself to get rid of the venom, then uses the dagger as normal?
Or if the player isn't crazy, they can just wipe the venom off on their cape or shirt... ;3
I was more thinking, does it count as using a poison weapon if they use it on themselves?

Is it dishonorable ? If not the code allows this


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Elegos wrote:
What if the paladin stabs themself to get rid of the venom, then uses the dagger as normal?
Or if the player isn't crazy, they can just wipe the venom off on their cape or shirt... ;3

Not really allowed by rules. Wish it was.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The whole envonemed example shows just how stupid alignment is in the first place. "You used poison so you fall." "Why thats stupid." Poison is evil, it is used to kill things." *Paladin player stares at his sword he has been killing things with for the past 20 years*

Now a god having an anathema against poison. Well that is known from the get go and can be as arbitrary as the devs like.


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Malk_Content wrote:

The whole envonemed example shows just how stupid alignment is in the first place. "You used poison so you fall." "Why thats stupid." Poison is evil, it is used to kill things." *Paladin player stares at his sword he has been killing things with for the past 20 years*

Now a god having an anathema against poison. Well that is known from the get go and can be as arbitrary as the devs like.

Wait, how is a the paladin code a gotcha, but anathema is known, and not? This is what i'm talking about when I say that codes are far more problematic than alignment is.


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Planpanther wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

The whole envonemed example shows just how stupid alignment is in the first place. "You used poison so you fall." "Why thats stupid." Poison is evil, it is used to kill things." *Paladin player stares at his sword he has been killing things with for the past 20 years*

Now a god having an anathema against poison. Well that is known from the get go and can be as arbitrary as the devs like.

Wait, how is a the paladin code a gotcha, but anathema is known, and not? This is what i'm talking about when I say that codes are far more problematic than alignment is.

Generally codes will have do's and don'ts that are easy to figure out so you can be on the same page. Alignment is nebulous at best. Is it the intent, the action or both?

If you have 4 do's and don't's for a code that's 8 things you might have to go over to make sure everyone understands what the DM's/players thoughts are on them. Alignment? You have an infinite number of actions/situations you would need to go over to make sure you're on the same page. It's pretty easy to figure out which is easier to manage.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Planpanther wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

The whole envonemed example shows just how stupid alignment is in the first place. "You used poison so you fall." "Why thats stupid." Poison is evil, it is used to kill things." *Paladin player stares at his sword he has been killing things with for the past 20 years*

Now a god having an anathema against poison. Well that is known from the get go and can be as arbitrary as the devs like.

Wait, how is a the paladin code a gotcha, but anathema is known, and not? This is what i'm talking about when I say that codes are far more problematic than alignment is.

Because the Paladin's code doesn't mention specifics and thus it is easy to get caught out by things. Like poison being for some reason arbitrarily morally wrong in all situations. Of course placing the Angel Feathers in the Demons mess hall to weaken them before battle isn't the same thing!

The Code just leans on alignment, a nebulous and bat s&~% crazy system. The anathemas rely on specific tenants.


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Yeah folks im not following. Alignment is a supposed straight jacket, but a defined list of can/cants isnt? I think the code is far more limiting and binary in the least interesting way. Alignment might be nebulous, but you have to put far more thought into your characters choices, which is a lot more interesting.

I'll acknowledge the paladin can be problematic, but thats on the code, not alignment. The unique combination of code and alignment makes the paladin a very specific experience. It never should have been a core class. As a prestige, it would be handled differently from table to table. However, the paladin identity has taken on a very different meaning to many gamers. So this solution would be a take away for many.

Now instead we have pally codes for each alignment on clerics. Paizo will need an entirely new sub-forum to handle all the falling questions. Go back and read any of ninja in the rye's silly scenarios and you will see the code sets all these up, while alignment is no where to be found.


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Planpanther wrote:
Alignment is a supposed straight jacket, but a defined list of can/cants isnt?

A defined list is the straight jacket you know about before hand. Alignment is the one you get thrown over your head when you aren't looking.

Planpanther wrote:
I think the code is far more limiting and binary in the least interesting way. Alignment might be nebulous, but you have to put far more thought into your characters choices, which is a lot more interesting.

IMO alignment is FAR more disagreements and debates: the thought is often isn't this action x alignment but will the DM think the action is x alignment. Codes you know going in what is and isn't allowed. Myself I'd rather the character think 'would my character do this?' or 'is this consistent with my characters outlook?' It seems SUPER meta to step outside your characters personality to bring in thoughts of alignment.

Planpanther wrote:
I'll acknowledge the paladin can be problematic, but thats on the code, not alignment.

No, it's an unholy hybrid of both: it's a code that says you can't do one alignment [and THAT is the key to 99% of the paladin issues].

Planpanther wrote:
The unique combination of code and alignment makes the paladin a very specific experience.

IMO, paladin is just the poster child for the issue.

Planpanther wrote:
Now instead we have pally codes for each alignment on clerics.

We just need/use the code for deities. Paladins would work just fine without alignment.


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Malk_Content wrote:

The whole envonemed example shows just how stupid alignment is in the first place. "You used poison so you fall." "Why thats stupid." Poison is evil, it is used to kill things." *Paladin player stares at his sword he has been killing things with for the past 20 years*

Now a god having an anathema against poison. Well that is known from the get go and can be as arbitrary as the devs like.

I imagine the ban on poison use is due to it being considered an underhanded and dishonorable approach.

I don't agree with the explanation personally but that's what I would assume the argument is. It'd make much more sense for it to be a god-by-god basis; I could see Iomedae being more explicitly concerned with "honorable" combat while Ragathiel is more anything-goes-as-long-as-you're-smiting-evil.


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graystone wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Now instead we have pally codes for each alignment on clerics.
We just need/use the code for deities. Paladins would work just fine without alignment.

I recently took another look at the Antihero's Handbook and found the Vindictive Bastard. So, as of 2017, Paladins DO work just fine without alignment (for that matter, without codes).

And they can still be just as heroic as any other character. The only difference is the player doesn't have anything hanging over his head.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Poison and lying are examples of acting without honor which is what the PF1 code forbids. They have nothing to do with alignment

Paradoxically they cause problems because people focus on these specific actions and overlook the greater theme which is acting without honor


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Tectorman wrote:
graystone wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Now instead we have pally codes for each alignment on clerics.
We just need/use the code for deities. Paladins would work just fine without alignment.

I recently took another look at the Antihero's Handbook and found the Vindictive Bastard. So, as of 2017, Paladins DO work just fine without alignment (for that matter, without codes).

And they can still be just as heroic as any other character. The only difference is the player doesn't have anything hanging over his head.

Er.. the Vindictive Bastard is specifically a post-fall archetype. You've ceased to be a Paladin in the traditional sense. I agree with your overall premise but it'd be best not to use examples that disprove your claim. >.>


@graystone If alignment is the issue what are the arguments outside of the paladin? Animate dead being evil? That is a metaphysical explanation rooted in setting flavor. When does it fall apart? When you apply a can/can't do logic to the act.

Can you come up with more alignment problems?


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Er.. the Vindictive Bastard is specifically a post-fall archetype. You've ceased to be a Paladin in the traditional sense. I agree with your overall premise but it'd be best not to use examples that disprove your claim. >.>

The funny thing is, even though it's an ex-archetype you still detect as a paladin, can take paladin only options, ect. So as far as the world at large is concerned, it's still a paladin. Now the people IN the world might want to call you something other than paladin...

Planpanther wrote:
@graystone If alignment is the issue what are the arguments outside of the paladin?

Literally EVERYTHING about alignment. You can have 2 rational people honestly look at just about any situation and come up with two entirely different opinions as to what alignment said actions involved. it is so subjective/nebulous that it's virtually useless.

Planpanther wrote:
Animate dead being evil?

Sure: This is especially true of mindless undead. How can you be mindless AND evil?

Planpanther wrote:
That is a metaphysical explanation rooted in setting flavor.

What about the metaphysics REQUIRES the initials G, E, L, C, or N? If the super tiny blurbs under the alignments are OK for player, why not move those to planes and such as the type of people that end up there and what supernatural creatures live there. NONE of it requires alignment.

Planpanther wrote:
When does it fall apart?

As soon as any two people disagree an what alignment something is: this usually doesn't take very long... Something a paladin can run into even before play.

Planpanther wrote:
When you apply a can/can't do logic to the act.

"can/can't": the reason these work is EVERYONE can agree on what these means and even if you do come up with an issue with them, you have only those few concrete issues to talk through. That's something you just can't do with alignment. It the difference between a handful of black and white statements vs a infinite number of grey situations is stark.

Planpanther wrote:
Can you come up with more alignment problems?

LITERALLY anything/everything that alignment touches. it a rule with mechanics attached that is nebulous and ill defined enough that any action has the potential for a difference of opinion on it.


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HWalsh wrote:

I am a deity who grants you, my loyal worshipper, magical powers as reward for your devotion to my teachings. These powers mark you as an authority figure, a teacher and guide to other worshippers.

Now, I tell you 2-5 things NOT to do.

When you do them, you're asking for a tap on the wrist? Just for even suggesting that I should strip my power from you.

I'm a God, this is not a democracy.

You're not a god. You're some guy in the pub who has had perhaps too much mead. (I'm kidding around.)

But seriously, why assume that these powers actually come from a god? Isn't it equally feasible game-wise to come at Anathema as entirely a man-made decree established by the church. Violating the tenants would lead the church to expel you, perhaps excommunicate you. This, and all of the associated role-play is, to me, much more interesting than the ever-vigilant all-knowing deity who instantly strips you of powers. Omnipotent ever-vigilant deities also don't feel like the fallible classic deities of say Greek or Norse origin.


A Fallen Paladin sounds like a really cool character conception, as would be a disgraced Cleric. You'd have to build them using different classes, else you'd be stunted compared to the abilities of your peers.


Thanks graystone for answering. I guess your viewpoint is anathema to my playstyle :) Hope alignment is easy enough to ignore as it is in PF1 for you.


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Planpanther wrote:
Thanks graystone for answering. I guess your viewpoint is anathema to my playstyle :) Hope alignment is easy enough to ignore as it is in PF1 for you.

It's hard-coded into more than one class, multiple spells, and more. It is not at all easy to simply say "No alignment" in PF1 without actively ignoring multiple built-in (in some cases, intertwined) rules. I'd be THRILLED for it simply being reduced to a point where it COULD be easily ignored (much like Starfinder...it exists, and can be tossed aside without impact by those who don't want it).


Dread Moores wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Thanks graystone for answering. I guess your viewpoint is anathema to my playstyle :) Hope alignment is easy enough to ignore as it is in PF1 for you.
It's hard-coded into more than one class, multiple spells, and more. It is not at all easy to simply say "No alignment" in PF1 without actively ignoring multiple built-in (in some cases, intertwined) rules. I'd be THRILLED for it simply being reduced to a point where it COULD be easily ignored (much like Starfinder...it exists, and can be tossed aside without impact by those who don't want it).

Eh, I had a GM that avoided it pretty easy. He didnt like the chaos-law part so are there was only good/evil. Pallys just had to do good things and not evil things. He skipped using planar and other problematic foes. Seemed pretty effortless.

I can see PFS being a problem tho. Are PFS scenarios often alignment heavy adventures?


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graystone wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Animate dead being evil?
Sure: This is especially true of mindless undead. How can you be mindless AND evil?

It's not "you, the corpse" being evil. It's "your existence as an aberration of the laws of nature" being literally anti-good. The mere fact that you exist goes against Good itself.

It makes no sense for us? Sure. But the metaphysics of the Pathfinder universe are rooted in the fact that Good/Evil Lawfulness/Chaos are tangible Magical forces.


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Planpanther wrote:
Thanks graystone for answering. I guess your viewpoint is anathema to my playstyle :) Hope alignment is easy enough to ignore as it is in PF1 for you.

My perspective is driven by not having a stable, home group: I play online with multiple GM's/players. Alignment becomes much more workable once you've played enough with a group of players and can figure out how everyone thinks. It's a much different thing when you have a different Dm and players everytime you start up a game and have to start from scratch. It doesn't take many games breaking down and ending from alignment arguments before you really start disliking the entire system. it's the main reason I don't play any game with a paladin and don't play one myself.

I'm HOPING the new game has alignment with less impact and/or rules for playing without it. If you can play the game with alignment and I can play without it, and neither of us are burdened with a lot of effort to play that way, I'll count that as a win/win.


Creating a mindless undead involves trapping a soul in a lobotomized horror that can do nothing but suffer and make others suffer. On the other hand are liches, who only exist through a process of committing multiple atrocities. In the middle are sapient undead that were not in control of their own transformation like vampires, which are... more difficult to pin down.


Planpanther wrote:
Eh, I had a GM that avoided it pretty easy. He didnt like the chaos-law part so are there was only good/evil. Pallys just had to do good things and not evil things. He skipped using planar and other problematic foes. Seemed pretty effortless.

That doesn't address inquisitors detection abilities. (Or similar abilities for several archetypes of different classes). Or classes built around alignment requirements (or potentially losing aspects of a class due alignment infringements). Or the spells that specifically have built-in variable damage based on alignment. Or the ones that have variable effects in general based on alignment. Or protection spells. Or spells that can possibly act as alignment infractions. Or items opposed or linked to particular alignments. Or how it can affect alternate or variant methods of channeling.

It's not that cut and dried. There's far too many little, out of the way places it gets baked into the rules. It isn't impossible to do by any stretch. I'd prefer to avoid needing to houserule all of those bits of materials players desire to use. I'd simply like to have it near a point that it is as simple as noted above: in for those that want it, out for those that don't.

Edit: I can't comment on PFS. That's not a play style I could handle, dealing with potentially random folks each time and the level of restrictions necessary for it to work well.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Creating a mindless undead involves trapping a soul in a lobotomized horror that can do nothing but suffer and make others suffer.

You can make a case for the creation of undead being evil: Why are the mindless undead evil? How can you have - int and then make moral actions?

Grand Lodge

graystone wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Creating a mindless undead involves trapping a soul in a lobotomized horror that can do nothing but suffer and make others suffer.
You can make a case for the creation of undead being evil: Why are the mindless undead evil? How can you have - int and then make moral actions?

I think it's because they mindlessly just try to murder everything. Cuz being animated with negative energy makes you do that apparently.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Mindless creatures with natural drives are N in Pathfinder. Mindless creatures with unnatural drives are evil.


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graystone wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Thanks graystone for answering. I guess your viewpoint is anathema to my playstyle :) Hope alignment is easy enough to ignore as it is in PF1 for you.

My perspective is driven by not having a stable, home group: I play online with multiple GM's/players. Alignment becomes much more workable once you've played enough with a group of players and can figure out how everyone thinks. It's a much different thing when you have a different Dm and players everytime you start up a game and have to start from scratch. It doesn't take many games breaking down and ending from alignment arguments before you really start disliking the entire system. it's the main reason I don't play any game with a paladin and don't play one myself.

I'm HOPING the new game has alignment with less impact and/or rules for playing without it. If you can play the game with alignment and I can play without it, and neither of us are burdened with a lot of effort to play that way, I'll count that as a win/win.

I can respect that. I have a personal rule to never ever under any circumstances join a long term campaign with strangers. I need to start with one shots or PFS to decide if our styles are compatible. I can temper my experience for even the most grating individuals in this manner.

That said, I find it hard to believe an alignment gutted online game would be difficult to find. Though I have no point of reference. I genuinely hope you find great gaming in PF2 and beyond.


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
graystone wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Creating a mindless undead involves trapping a soul in a lobotomized horror that can do nothing but suffer and make others suffer.
You can make a case for the creation of undead being evil: Why are the mindless undead evil? How can you have - int and then make moral actions?
I think it's because they mindlessly just try to murder everything. Cuz being animated with negative energy makes you do that apparently.

So if I program a mindless murderbot to do the same it becomes evil? An animal? A trap that tries to kill everything? A construct? A vermin?

I have the same issue with neutral animal though... How/why does a non-sentient have an alignment? It isn't driven by any morality or it WOULD have an intelligence...

Planpanther wrote:
That said, I find it hard to believe an alignment gutted online game would be difficult to find. Though I have no point of reference. I genuinely hope you find great gaming in PF2 and beyond.

Generally it's quite rare to see a game actively remove it. More often, it's instead treated like encumbrance, ammo, rations, ect... it's there but not an issue unless someone pushes things to an extreme [unless someone has a paladin... :P] or it's an integral plot point.

EDIT: we should most likely end our alignment tangent as i see we're in the Anathema thread. Thanks for the talk Planpanther. ;)


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Planpanther wrote:
Dread Moores wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Thanks graystone for answering. I guess your viewpoint is anathema to my playstyle :) Hope alignment is easy enough to ignore as it is in PF1 for you.
It's hard-coded into more than one class, multiple spells, and more. It is not at all easy to simply say "No alignment" in PF1 without actively ignoring multiple built-in (in some cases, intertwined) rules. I'd be THRILLED for it simply being reduced to a point where it COULD be easily ignored (much like Starfinder...it exists, and can be tossed aside without impact by those who don't want it).

Eh, I had a GM that avoided it pretty easy. He didnt like the chaos-law part so are there was only good/evil. Pallys just had to do good things and not evil things. He skipped using planar and other problematic foes. Seemed pretty effortless.

I can see PFS being a problem tho. Are PFS scenarios often alignment heavy adventures?

I have never seen any PFS scenario that was "alignment heavy". I have seen two PFS scenarios where paladins had fallen. One was when he deliberately told a lie, (and the GM asked "Are you sure?" twice when he did so).

The other was when the paladin participated in the torture of an NPC.

I would find it hard for anyone to argue that these were not justified.


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Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Violating the tenants would lead the church to expel you, perhaps excommunicate you.

Violating one's tenants really should be a problem, and should result in being kicked out of a church immediately.

Violating the tenets of the faith might not be an insta-ban, depending on the tenet and situation - and possibly the church/god in question.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
A Fallen Paladin sounds like a really cool character conception, as would be a disgraced Cleric. You'd have to build them using different classes, else you'd be stunted compared to the abilities of your peers.

The antihero's handbook introduced a new type of archetypes with its specific rules : the ex-class archetypes which exactly answered this need.

I hope this ex-class archetype's type will be ported to PF2 because it opened a whole new vista of character concepts


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I dunno - Maybe the reason none of this bothers me is I have never had a GM try to force a gotcha fall on me in all these years of gaming. I've never had a Paladin fall, save for one time, where I knew doing what I was about to do would cause the fall. I've never had a clash with the GM over what constituted a fall or not save for one time and it was a minor one.

Generally you are good if you act in good faith, and act with traditional concepts of honor.

Don't lie, don't cheat, don't use poison, act with respect, and think of things in terms of a fair fight.

I can see where some players may have some clashes, there are some nebulous things that could happen. For example, perhaps having a clash with a DM over stabbing an enemy that your ally was pinning? I could see that happening and being an issue (I, personally would consider that dishonorable in a fantasy setting providing the enemy was a humanoid).

So, I do get some of the complaints, because certain groups and situations could be a cause for concern.

The biggest one I have heard about (though oddly have never run into in game in all these years) is laying an ambush for someone. Is it considered dishonorable?

That one could be seen as a "gotcha" I guess, but that seems like a simple enough question to ask the GM during the planning stages.

"Is it dishonorable to ambush opponents and attack them in the surprise round?"

Generally speaking? Me personally? Yes.

The only time it is usually fair to attack someone in a surprise round is if your party was the one ambushed, but you spotted it and were able to act in the surprise round.

Is it honorable to dispatch a helpless enemy with a coup de gras while they are paralyzed via Hold Person? I would generally think no.


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Graystone is rapidly becomming one of my favorite people... though my standard is "Same vision on the alignment system" but hey! You go you glorious person!

Still i must say i like the idea of a more consistent code for all believers than just vague wishwash. As a VERY important aspect of this discussion that people forget is that not everyone play with friends, not everyone have that close knit group, not everyone have played on years on end.

For me that is one of those "game wanderers" would like to have consistency in the game where this vague stuff is more solidfied (more like a half-solid than a mere gas). I dont mind houserules, but for what is not accounted for it is better to have rules being consistent until otherwise notified. (Edited: The usage of the "Royal we" might draw the wrong impression on my statement here)

Alignment talk is pure opinions and views, and basing a mechanic on it will likely make it a very controversial topic whenever it does pop up. And i for one would like to play with a group on a whim and not "accidentally" lose my class features because my GM decide my god is in a bad mood that particular moment.


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Dread Moores wrote:

That doesn't address inquisitors detection abilities. (Or similar abilities for several archetypes of different classes). Or classes built around alignment requirements (or potentially losing aspects of a class due alignment infringements). Or the spells that specifically have built-in variable damage based on alignment. Or the ones that have variable effects in general based on alignment. Or protection spells. Or spells that can possibly act as alignment infractions. Or items opposed or linked to particular alignments. Or how it can affect alternate or variant methods of channeling.

It's not that cut and dried. There's far too many little, out of the way places it gets baked into the rules. It isn't impossible to do by any stretch. I'd prefer to avoid needing to houserule all of those bits of materials players desire to use. I'd simply like to have it near a point that it is as simple as noted above: in for those that want it, out for those that don't.

I've ignored alignment since around 1980. It is pretty easy to do, but you will have to make little on-the-spot rulings that I've found to be rather obvious.

Detection abilities often become "detect enemy" rather than "detect evil."

Class alignment restrictions either get ignored or you ask the player to describe what they envision as ways to violate their code.

Spells usually get translated such that "evil" becomes "enemy."

Infractions based on some spell attribute are like class restrictions if you want. I tend to just ignore them. I don't mind of a good character casts an evil spell from a mechanical stand point. I want the player to assume the role they've carved out, so moral dilemmas are for them to determine. I worry about NPC reactions.

An intelligent item will have a personality. They will either get along, or not, in a roleplay sense.

It doesn't take an extensive list of house rules to ignore alignment. You can adjudicate things on the fly with little effort. Usually its really obvious.

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