Anyone else disappointed there are no more Neutral Clerics of Evil Deities?


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Silver Crusade

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Dracala wrote:
Rysky, Life is about shades of gray, shades of gray bring far more nuance and ambiguity than hard lined black and white dichotomy between good and evil... Sure there's neutral in between, but know what? Everyone has their reasons for doing things, and no person is an island for we are All shaped by chance and circumstance.

And Pathfinder is a fantasy game. Where you can have unambiguously good and evil things. And all the grey in-between.


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Rysky wrote:
Dracala wrote:
Rysky, Life is about shades of gray, shades of gray bring far more nuance and ambiguity than hard lined black and white dichotomy between good and evil... Sure there's neutral in between, but know what? Everyone has their reasons for doing things, and no person is an island for we are All shaped by chance and circumstance.
And Pathfinder is a fantasy game. Where you can have unambiguously good and evil things. And all the grey in-between.

One benefit of alignment I notice for myself is that there is far less effort to 'subvert' the image of a 'Good Guy' and draw everything toward that center grey. Easy example: Superman. Yes, I'm aware that because of his horribly expansive library of stories, you can always find one where he sucks, but as a baseline, he's an All Loving Hero who wants to save the world. Hooray! So in Pathfinder, he's Good aligned. Which good, debatable, but there he is. When you strip out alignment, there's so much temptation to say "What skeletons does Hero Person have in his closet." because they don't have to maintain their Good alignment. So you can say he's actually the Plutonian, and he's going to snap and go nuts because he's actually a villain mad with power!

Eberron has moral ambiguity, where a Good aligned leader wants to restart a horribly devastating war, and an Evil aligned leader is desperately trying to keep the peace. But having those alignments forces you to think deeper about them. You can't just say "She wants war, what a horrible person she must be!" How does she maintain that Good alignment even with those intentions? She doesn't want to rule with an iron fist, the post-war landscape of Khorvaire is vulnerable and broken. It has to be re-united so it can heal, by some views. And the Evil guy may want peace, but he is going to do horrible things to keep it.

And I'm not saying alignment is perfect, but I've never had any trouble with moral ambiguity when using it. The turning everything into shades of grey is... boring. I only ever see it really used to muffle things down and make it seem like no one is actually a decent person. Can't trust anyone, any good person will die/turn out to be a Doombot. Its terribly uninteresting to me.

Silver Crusade

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*nods*


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Xerres wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Dracala wrote:
Rysky, Life is about shades of gray, shades of gray bring far more nuance and ambiguity than hard lined black and white dichotomy between good and evil... Sure there's neutral in between, but know what? Everyone has their reasons for doing things, and no person is an island for we are All shaped by chance and circumstance.
And Pathfinder is a fantasy game. Where you can have unambiguously good and evil things. And all the grey in-between.

One benefit of alignment I notice for myself is that there is far less effort to 'subvert' the image of a 'Good Guy' and draw everything toward that center grey. Easy example: Superman. Yes, I'm aware that because of his horribly expansive library of stories, you can always find one where he sucks, but as a baseline, he's an All Loving Hero who wants to save the world. Hooray! So in Pathfinder, he's Good aligned. Which good, debatable, but there he is. When you strip out alignment, there's so much temptation to say "What skeletons does Hero Person have in his closet." because they don't have to maintain their Good alignment. So you can say he's actually the Plutonian, and he's going to snap and go nuts because he's actually a villain mad with power!

Eberron has moral ambiguity, where a Good aligned leader wants to restart a horribly devastating war, and an Evil aligned leader is desperately trying to keep the peace. But having those alignments forces you to think deeper about them. You can't just say "She wants war, what a horrible person she must be!" How does she maintain that Good alignment even with those intentions? She doesn't want to rule with an iron fist, the post-war landscape of Khorvaire is vulnerable and broken. It has to be re-united so it can heal, by some views. And the Evil guy may want peace, but he is going to do horrible things to keep it.

And I'm not saying alignment is perfect, but I've never had any trouble with moral ambiguity when using it. The turning everything into shades of...

I mean, Eberron as a system went to *great pains* to make alignment as vestigial as possible--most relevantly to this thread, stressing that a cleric could be of *any* alignment.


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Xerres wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Dracala wrote:
Rysky, Life is about shades of gray, shades of gray bring far more nuance and ambiguity than hard lined black and white dichotomy between good and evil... Sure there's neutral in between, but know what? Everyone has their reasons for doing things, and no person is an island for we are All shaped by chance and circumstance.
And Pathfinder is a fantasy game. Where you can have unambiguously good and evil things. And all the grey in-between.

One benefit of alignment I notice for myself is that there is far less effort to 'subvert' the image of a 'Good Guy' and draw everything toward that center grey. Easy example: Superman. Yes, I'm aware that because of his horribly expansive library of stories, you can always find one where he sucks, but as a baseline, he's an All Loving Hero who wants to save the world. Hooray! So in Pathfinder, he's Good aligned. Which good, debatable, but there he is. When you strip out alignment, there's so much temptation to say "What skeletons does Hero Person have in his closet." because they don't have to maintain their Good alignment. So you can say he's actually the Plutonian, and he's going to snap and go nuts because he's actually a villain mad with power!

Eberron has moral ambiguity, where a Good aligned leader wants to restart a horribly devastating war, and an Evil aligned leader is desperately trying to keep the peace. But having those alignments forces you to think deeper about them. You can't just say "She wants war, what a horrible person she must be!" How does she maintain that Good alignment even with those intentions? She doesn't want to rule with an iron fist, the post-war landscape of Khorvaire is vulnerable and broken. It has to be re-united so it can heal, by some views. And the Evil guy may want peace, but he is going to do horrible things to keep it.

And I'm not saying alignment is perfect, but I've never had any trouble with moral ambiguity when using it. The turning everything into shades of...

You know what's boring and uninteresting to me? Constantly reading the same threads over and over again about what makes a Paladin fall or whether or not it's LG to kill orc babies or whether or not a Paladin is even capable of utilizing Sneak Attack without falling. Those things are a direct result of alignment restrictions being a mechanical element of the game. Conversely, the failure to properly distinguish good guys and bad guys by making everyone the bad guy is not a direct result of a lack of alignment as a mechanical element, but rather either the inability of the DM to tell a proper story or the inability of the DM to tell a story that is to your personal liking. I play a lot of 5E, where alignment is something that you write down on your character sheet at the start of the game and then more than likely forget about, and out of all the 5E campaigns I've played I can safely say that virtually all of them have been very good about having legitimately good characters and legitimately evil characters and keeping them firmly separated while also having characters that fell squarely somewhere inbetween. If you haven't found a game without alignment like that yet, then really you're either looking in the wrong places or you've just been unlucky and haven't found a game that fits your personal preferences yet.


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In practice I have found that the most interesting way to complicate alignment is not to "throw it away" but to highlight the disconnect between "the fundamental elemental forces which make up the outer planes" and "the ordinary sense of those same words we use to label those forces."

Like Angels are Good, as they are literally made of the fundamental elemental stuff of Good, but they can also be short-sighted jerks who are wrong about something and whose goals contradict "what is most desirable" or "what benefits the most." Devils are literally made of Evil, and are generally ill-intentioned and scheming, but sometimes they are not mistaken about problems or solutions.

Humanity (et al.) as a culture arriving at a better understanding of morality than the gods themselves is not a bad central conflict in a metaphysical system.

Silver Crusade

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Revan wrote:
Xerres wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Dracala wrote:
Rysky, Life is about shades of gray, shades of gray bring far more nuance and ambiguity than hard lined black and white dichotomy between good and evil... Sure there's neutral in between, but know what? Everyone has their reasons for doing things, and no person is an island for we are All shaped by chance and circumstance.
And Pathfinder is a fantasy game. Where you can have unambiguously good and evil things. And all the grey in-between.

One benefit of alignment I notice for myself is that there is far less effort to 'subvert' the image of a 'Good Guy' and draw everything toward that center grey. Easy example: Superman. Yes, I'm aware that because of his horribly expansive library of stories, you can always find one where he sucks, but as a baseline, he's an All Loving Hero who wants to save the world. Hooray! So in Pathfinder, he's Good aligned. Which good, debatable, but there he is. When you strip out alignment, there's so much temptation to say "What skeletons does Hero Person have in his closet." because they don't have to maintain their Good alignment. So you can say he's actually the Plutonian, and he's going to snap and go nuts because he's actually a villain mad with power!

Eberron has moral ambiguity, where a Good aligned leader wants to restart a horribly devastating war, and an Evil aligned leader is desperately trying to keep the peace. But having those alignments forces you to think deeper about them. You can't just say "She wants war, what a horrible person she must be!" How does she maintain that Good alignment even with those intentions? She doesn't want to rule with an iron fist, the post-war landscape of Khorvaire is vulnerable and broken. It has to be re-united so it can heal, by some views. And the Evil guy may want peace, but he is going to do horrible things to keep it.

And I'm not saying alignment is perfect, but I've never had any trouble with moral ambiguity when using it. The turning

...

I love Eberron, but Clerics could be any Alignment because the Gods most likely didn’t even exist wasn’t one of them (the any Alignment part, not the Gods may or may not exist part). One thing I immediately liked in Pathfinder is the move away from “Clerics of Ideas” aka I believe in anything and I get superpowers.


James Jacobs wrote:
RangerWickett wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
What about my CN inquisitor of Desna who was working his way to becoming CG by bettering himself? Does that personal evolution no longer count because he's not good enough (or Good enough)?

Exactly!

Good narratives need nuance and ambiguity.

one last thing to mention....

I agree that nuance and ambiguity are great for stories, but the mere existence of the alignment system fights against that. Taken to an extreme, readers can (and have) interpreted our version of an NPC or deity who does certain acts as Paizo taking a firm stance on rendering judgment on a real-world act as being not evil or good or whatever, which makes for some really frustrating and eye-opening situations in this age of increased visibility and awareness.

If we want to further embrace nuance and ambiguity... the problem might actually be that the alignment system is the fault and it should, perhaps, be abandoned...

I feel the fault is treating the alignment system too rigidly. It should stay, but allow for reasonable interpretations of each alignment.

Silver Crusade

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Seek75 wrote:
You know what's boring and uninteresting to me? Constantly reading the same threads over and over again about what makes a Paladin fall or whether or not it's LG to kill orc babies or whether or not a Paladin is even capable of utilizing Sneak Attack without falling. Those things are a direct result of alignment restrictions being a mechanical element of the game.
Not really, those threads will always exist as long as Falling exists, regardless of Alignment's existence. Even without Falling as a mechanic they would probably still exist.
Seek75 wrote:
Conversely, the failure to properly distinguish good guys and bad guys by making everyone the bad guy is not a direct result of a lack of alignment as a mechanical element,

I don't think anyone's brought that up, just that the Subversion of characters as Xerres mentioned is not terribly interesting to some people. I like playing in campaigns with unambiguous Good characters. Setting up a "perhaps it is the Angels who are the real villains!" is not a scenario I'm at all interested in playing. Falling, Redemption, moral ambiguity? Sure. but I don't want everything to be a shade of Grey, I leave that for the real world.


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In the real world I'm all about the nuances of morality, context, and the difference between intention and outcome. But I don't have a problem taking that real-world ideology and welding the D&D/Pathfinder alignment system onto it.

I love moral philosophy. All of you should watch The Good Place to appreciate how a world with clear Good and Evil can still use moral ambiguity for quality storytelling.


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Rysky wrote:
Not really, those threads will always exist as long as Falling exists, regardless of Alignment's existence. Even without Falling as a mechanic they would probably still exist.

Well, sure, the threads themselves will still exist, but there won't be any reason for anyone to take them seriously anymore, because at that point it won't be a fundamental issue with the system itself anymore. It will be almost purely an issue between the player and their DM. 5E is a good example of this, since as far as I can tell whenever I'm browsing Reddit or the forums for that sort of thing it very rarely if ever comes up.

Rysky wrote:
I don't think anyone's brought that up, just that the Subversion of characters as Xerres mentioned is not terribly interesting to some people. I like playing in campaigns with unambiguous Good characters. Setting up a "perhaps it is the Angels who are the real villains!" is not a scenario I'm at all interested in playing. Falling, Redemption, moral ambiguity? Sure. but I don't want everything to be a shade of Grey, I leave that for the real world.

That's what I meant when I talked about turning everyone into the bad guy. You don't need alignment for the angels to be...well, angels. Superman, the example Xerres used, is actually a really good example of this; in the vast majority of his depictions, Superman is the quintessential warrior of truth, justice, and good, and is pretty much the gold standard for a fictional depiction of good as a concept. But he was created before alignment existed, before Gary Gygax was even born. If we can have characters like him without alignment, then why do we need alignment at all?


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Seek75 wrote:
You don't need alignment for the angels to be...well, angels. Superman, the example Xerres used, is actually a really good example of this; in the vast majority of his depictions, Superman is the quintessential warrior of truth, justice, and good, and is pretty much the gold standard for a fictional depiction of good as a concept. But he was created before alignment existed, before Gary Gygax was even born. If we can have characters like him without alignment, then why do we need alignment at all?

Precisely. There are plenty of examples in media of good guys and bad guys without the alignment system figuring into it whatsoever. It's probably the vast majority of media, in fact, since alignment is pretty specific to D&D.

The problem that I think James Jacobs was addressing in his post is labeling real-world concepts in the game world "good" or "evil." Which is how we get into icky territory that's liable to offend people.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thebazilly wrote:
The problem that I think James Jacobs was addressing in his post is labeling real-world concepts in the game world "good" or "evil." Which is how we get into icky territory that's liable to offend people.

That is indeed correct. We gamers are the alignment systems worst enemies in this regard, I think.

As for its potential removal, that is STILL a very remote possibility. I'm pretty sure we'll keep it in the game, since it's such a useful tool for things like paladins, evil monsters, whatever... but it does get exhausting wading through the endless alignment argument threads or trying to remind folks that if we publish details on a character or group or whoever who does reprehensable things we're not actually endorsing those things.


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James Jacobs wrote:
As for its potential removal, that is STILL a very remote possibility. I'm pretty sure we'll keep it in the game, since it's such a useful tool for things like paladins, evil monsters, whatever... but it does get exhausting wading through the endless alignment argument threads or trying to remind folks that if we publish details on a character or group or whoever who does reprehensable things we're not actually endorsing those things.

And I dig the alignment-derived planes. And the monsters thereof.

Maybe you could get away with saying, "Mortals never detect as evil unless they're channeling the power of an evil god, but creatures from these planes are evil. Also, if you die, you await judgment (and might be raised), but almost no one's fate is ever revealed to mortals. People assume that those following the teachings of good gods find their way to good afterlifes, but no one knows for sure."

Then keep anathema for clerics and paladins.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The Great Beyond and its planes are here to stay in the setting. Removing alignment as a game rule that we could all be argumentative about wouldn't change that. ;-P

Silver Crusade

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Seek75 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Not really, those threads will always exist as long as Falling exists, regardless of Alignment's existence. Even without Falling as a mechanic they would probably still exist.
Well, sure, the threads themselves will still exist, but there won't be any reason for anyone to take them seriously anymore,

I didn’t really take them seriously beforehand. Very few of them were legitimate “should the Paladin have fallen” thread.

Silver Crusade

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Thebazilly wrote:
Seek75 wrote:
You don't need alignment for the angels to be...well, angels. Superman, the example Xerres used, is actually a really good example of this; in the vast majority of his depictions, Superman is the quintessential warrior of truth, justice, and good, and is pretty much the gold standard for a fictional depiction of good as a concept. But he was created before alignment existed, before Gary Gygax was even born. If we can have characters like him without alignment, then why do we need alignment at all?
Precisely. There are plenty of examples in media of good guys and bad guys without the alignment system figuring into it whatsoever. It's probably the vast majority of media, in fact, since alignment is pretty specific to D&D.

True, to a point. You can point to a character and everything they’ve done and say “Yeah I think they’re Good”. That doesn’t actually mean they’re Good because they could be doing other things as well. With the Alignment system you have things that are objectively Good, not just what you guess is Good. It’s a meta, but I still like having that.


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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
RangerWickett wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
What about my CN inquisitor of Desna who was working his way to becoming CG by bettering himself? Does that personal evolution no longer count because he's not good enough (or Good enough)?

Exactly!

Good narratives need nuance and ambiguity.

one last thing to mention....

I agree that nuance and ambiguity are great for stories, but the mere existence of the alignment system fights against that. Taken to an extreme, readers can (and have) interpreted our version of an NPC or deity who does certain acts as Paizo taking a firm stance on rendering judgment on a real-world act as being not evil or good or whatever, which makes for some really frustrating and eye-opening situations in this age of increased visibility and awareness.

If we want to further embrace nuance and ambiguity... the problem might actually be that the alignment system is the fault and it should, perhaps, be abandoned...

I feel the fault is treating the alignment system too rigidly. It should stay, but allow for reasonable interpretations of each alignment.

I've never really had problems with alignment, quite possibly because this is how every game I've been involved in has done it. We treat alignment as a sort of general starting point, not the sum total of a character. LG people can disagree with each other on the best course of action, after all.

I wouldn't want alignment to go entirely since I like the effect it has on the cosmology, but I've never interpreted it too strictly to begin with.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
The problem that I think James Jacobs was addressing in his post is labeling real-world concepts in the game world "good" or "evil." Which is how we get into icky territory that's liable to offend people.

That is indeed correct. We gamers are the alignment systems worst enemies in this regard, I think.

As for its potential removal, that is STILL a very remote possibility. I'm pretty sure we'll keep it in the game, since it's such a useful tool for things like paladins, evil monsters, whatever... but it does get exhausting wading through the endless alignment argument threads or trying to remind folks that if we publish details on a character or group or whoever who does reprehensable things we're not actually endorsing those things.

Anathema/codes of conduct, allegiance a la d20 Modern and other such things are far more nuanced tools.

Silver Crusade

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Revan wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
The problem that I think James Jacobs was addressing in his post is labeling real-world concepts in the game world "good" or "evil." Which is how we get into icky territory that's liable to offend people.

That is indeed correct. We gamers are the alignment systems worst enemies in this regard, I think.

As for its potential removal, that is STILL a very remote possibility. I'm pretty sure we'll keep it in the game, since it's such a useful tool for things like paladins, evil monsters, whatever... but it does get exhausting wading through the endless alignment argument threads or trying to remind folks that if we publish details on a character or group or whoever who does reprehensable things we're not actually endorsing those things.

Anathema/codes of conduct, allegiance a la d20 Modern and other such things are far more nuanced tools.

In some ways most likely, but not in others. There’s lots of mechanics that interact with Alignment.


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One of the reasons I like alignment more than things like "allegiance" is that alignment posits the question "why does my character think this is an okay thing to do?" and presupposes characters have a more basic notion of "some things are desirable, some things are undesirable, and a lot of things are in the middle" than "who you work for" or "what group you are in".

Like the whole point of alignment as a game mechanic is to get players to consider the ethical consequences and repercussions of their actions. I guess to circle back to the original point of the thread, I would venture that a LN person who encourages others to follow the teachings of Asmodeus is likely someone who is probably not thinking through the moral and ethical implications of their actions enough.


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Can we all at least agree a Feat or Heretic Archetype that allows for Clerics of a deviant alignment would be a nice option to have available? I mean come on, Agents of Evil was a pretty interesting read if nothing else.


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Not a feat I think, but maybe just a sidebar for an alternate rule or something. "You aren't really your Gods normal cup of tea, but gosh darn it, you're just adorable they love you anyway, so they give you the powers of their Clerics!"

A feat that just lets you bypass alignment rules is annoying for the people that hate alignment. Archetypes that let you do special things tied to being a Heretic of that Deity would be fun for later though.

"A Lawful Neutral Cleric of Asmodeus, the Dark Prince appreciates someone lying so convincingly they even fool themselves and has a use for you! Congratulations, your suffering will be legendary even in Hell, but maybe you'll lie your way out of that one too."

"A Chaotic Good Cleric of Gorum, Our Lord in Iron finds your gumption charming, and is interested to see just how well you'll do in your seemingly hopeless battle. And maybe you'll cheese off a Demon Lord or two and they'll be stupid enough to fight Gorum himself! Fun!"


Kalindlara wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."
There is admittedly some validity to this. I suppose the "mad prophet of Pharasma" would be a concept that might be well-suited to a special archetype.

Or it can be a mad prophet of Pharasma, who is not CN.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."
There is admittedly some validity to this. I suppose the "mad prophet of Pharasma" would be a concept that might be well-suited to a special archetype.
Or it can be a mad prophet of Pharasma, who is not CN.

Indeed. There are some pretty unfortunate implications in saying that people with mental illnesses are all inherently chaotic.


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MidsouthGuy wrote:
There are no more Neutral Clerics of Evil Gods in Pathfinder, and I for one am extremely disappointed. Now I have to retire the character I've been playing for nearly ten years, or find a group that's okay with houseruling Chaotic Neutral Clerics of Lamashtu back into the game. Maybe I'm overreacting, maybe people won't find this fact a big deal, but for me, unless Neutral Clerics of Evil make it back in by the time the official Second Edition comes out, I'm done with Pathfinder.

I think classes should be allowed to have whatever alignment they want without house rules. This applies not only to clerics but Paladins. The whole concept of a paladin being required to be lawful good in nature is an idea I was glad 4E got rid of and 5E did not reverse.


This is a very interesting thread.

I am totally on board with the idea of being able to take a Heretic Archetype with perks and built-in role-playing hooks for why your cleric of (Deity Name) might have an alignment or ideals a little outside of the usual standards of their clergy. I think that is actually pretty cool, and allows you to build N Dawnflower Cultists as well as LN Asmodeans.

I play with a group who frequently suffer from "choice paralysis" with PF1 and several games have stopped before they started because they couldn't decide on a character. So while I rejoice at the idea that PF2 has a lot of customization and flexibility at the get-go, I am also in favor of leaving some things more restricted... although I wouldn't have minded perhaps some LE (blackguard), CE (antipaladin) and CG (avenger) options with the paladin ;)

Admittedly, I think the "few non-evil clerics of evil gods" thing is fine, but that is because we've always played with a "no worshipers of evil gods" house rule. At least when not doing a specifically evil-themed game. After 15 years of gaming, we found it prevented a lot of unwanted friction at our table. But I also know plenty of people who have had no issue with it in the past; this really is just my own experience :)

Dark Archive

Revan wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
The problem that I think James Jacobs was addressing in his post is labeling real-world concepts in the game world "good" or "evil." Which is how we get into icky territory that's liable to offend people.

That is indeed correct. We gamers are the alignment systems worst enemies in this regard, I think.

As for its potential removal, that is STILL a very remote possibility. I'm pretty sure we'll keep it in the game, since it's such a useful tool for things like paladins, evil monsters, whatever... but it does get exhausting wading through the endless alignment argument threads or trying to remind folks that if we publish details on a character or group or whoever who does reprehensable things we're not actually endorsing those things.

Anathema/codes of conduct, allegiance a la d20 Modern and other such things are far more nuanced tools.

The problem is that about half those threads I have read the first post on aren't actually about Good vs Evil, they are about 'I want to do this thing without having to face the consequences of losing my class abilities, so I am going to try to weasel-word my way out of it', or the corresponding 'One of my players wanted to...'. Anathema and codes of conduct aren't going to reduce the number of those posts, because they aren't about what is good and what is evil, but rather, how do I do what I want consequence free. Nuance just gives more cracks and nooks to weasel.

Sovereign Court

Looks like another new way to tell people how to play their characters that wasn't in Pathfinder before. Not a fan of this one either.


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I'm pretty sure GMs calling BS on "no, I am a chaotic neutral cleric of Rovagug, you see, not evil at all" is in no way a new thing.


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James Jacobs wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
The biggest offender in my eyes is Pharasma though. A True Neutral goddess supposedly above it all, playing no favorites except for hating everybody who creates undead....yet she does not have CN and NE worshippers? That just means she does play favorites, with Law and Good.

Pharasma is not a "perfect true neutral goddess who is above it all." If she were, she wouldn't have as much of a hate for undead and, in particular, Urgathoa. Her intolerance of undeath does mean she isn't "above it all." She does have opinions and goals and the like. Furthermore, true neutral in Pathfinder doesn't mean you strive to get a balance in all things (that goal has always actually struck me as more lawful than anything else, but that's a discussion for another thread, not this one!).

Her alignment spread (NG, LN, N) should probably have also included CN in retrospect; that's a good example of something playtest feedback can easily help us find and change later on (assuming we keep this setup for alignments and clerics). But she'll be unlikely to approve of NE, for the above reasons, which does help set her up as not the perfect "balanced viewpoint" deity. Which she isn't when it comes to some things, such as undeath and Urgathoa.

Pharasma always struck me as more lawful than chaotic.

She's in part about making sure the dead get to where they are supposed to go. She may not be lawful herself, but I'd bet she has more chaotic enemies than lawful ones.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm pretty sure GMs calling BS on "no, I am a chaotic neutral cleric of Rovagug, you see, not evil at all" is in no way a new thing.

Alternately there is the trend of GMs throwing Neutral villains at you because then things like Holy weapons and Smite Evil don't work on them. But their actions are still pretty evil. One of players in my game calls this "Greyhawk Neutral" because he used to play a lot of Living Greyhawk and it was apparently common in many of their modules.

"Oh sure I'm unleashing a plague of monsters on the world who are slaughtering innocents. But I'm not evil, just indifferent. So no smite for you!"


Xerres wrote:

Not a feat I think, but maybe just a sidebar for an alternate rule or something. "You aren't really your Gods normal cup of tea, but gosh darn it, you're just adorable they love you anyway, so they give you the powers of their Clerics!"

A feat that just lets you bypass alignment rules is annoying for the people that hate alignment. Archetypes that let you do special things tied to being a Heretic of that Deity would be fun for later though.

"A Lawful Neutral Cleric of Asmodeus, the Dark Prince appreciates someone lying so convincingly they even fool themselves and has a use for you! Congratulations, your suffering will be legendary even in Hell, but maybe you'll lie your way out of that one too."

"A Chaotic Good Cleric of Gorum, Our Lord in Iron finds your gumption charming, and is interested to see just how well you'll do in your seemingly hopeless battle. And maybe you'll cheese off a Demon Lord or two and they'll be stupid enough to fight Gorum himself! Fun!"

I once made a Cleric in D&D 3.5 who was neutral but followed a Chaotic Neutral trickster god, which wasn't allowed in the normal rules, but the DM allowed it. DM had a non-standard campaign that was all about doing underhanded and sneaky things, so since I thought the Cleric would be the least suited class for such a thing, that's what I picked. The idea was that the Cleric was good at disguising as Clerics of other gods, being neutral allowed them to avoid alignment detection magic and cast both Heal and Harm. The character wasn't particularly Chaotic or Lawful, had little in terms of personal motivations, just followed directions for the most part. Being able to disguise as a Cleric of any god allowed them to go into many places much more easily.

The god was okay with this because they were causing a bunch of divine and religious chaos due to the actions, even if they weren't trying to specifically do so.

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At least Zon-Kuthon allows for LN clerics.

However, his clerics should have the option of choosing either Positive or Negative Channel. Many of his clerics are well known for using healing spells and medicine to keep a subject healthy during .

I would also like to see his Ambition domain get replaced with passion as mixing pain with pleasure is also totally Zon-Kuthon's MO. It also ties well with his previous identity as Dou-Bal and brother of Shelyn.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

This is one of many things we're following in the playtest to see how folks like/dislike a change.

Wall of text below!

** spoiler omitted **...

Well, I'm in agreement with the Directorsaur this time around! :D

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