Dragon Totem: Conflicting Anethema?


Classes


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Dragon Totem wrote:


Defying a dragon of your chosen type or letting a personal insult against you slide is anathema to your totem.

Say I choose “gold” as my dragon type. My character is now prohibited from doing two things; defying gold dragons and letting insults slide?

But what if the insult is from a gold dragon?

The barbarian can’t let the insult slide. But they also can’t defy the dragon. Unlike paladins, barbarians have no Asimovian order of priority. The paladin code specifies that paladins must follow the higher tenant when two contradict. But the barbarian has no such clause!

Unable to take any action that would defy the dragon, and unable to take no action and let the insult slide, the barbarian is left in a no-win situation where to simply exist is to lose the ability to rage!

The only way I can see to avoid this fate is to choose the noble fairy dragon as your totem. Matching wits in a verbal sparring match is not defying a fairy dragon; it’s actively encouraged by them. So you could contest, even redirect, the insult without defying the totem creature.

Plus, at level sixteen you can become a Large fairy dragon, which wins in style points.


The barbarian could get angry and threaten or tell the dragon to take back its words. And maybe later lead the dragon's ennemies to its lair. As you said, you can also verbally spare with the dragon : you are not defying it.
Barbarians can use their brain too. As long as they don't directly attack the dragon, as a GM, it would be fine in my book.


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I really dislike the "no defiance" part of the anathema. If my totem is an evil Dragon, I doubt that evil dragons will be nice to me in turn... I see no reason that a barbarian that respects the ideal of a red dragon's power would not want to test himself against an actual red dragon.


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Knight Magenta wrote:
I really dislike the "no defiance" part of the anathema. If my totem is an evil Dragon, I doubt that evil dragons will be nice to me in turn... I see no reason that a barbarian that respects the ideal of a red dragon's power would not want to test himself against an actual red dragon.

Yea, it's like a sith not wanting to kill his own master.


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I see it like the barbarian actually reveres the dragon like a god. Like a Iomedian Paladin would never attack Iomedae if they met her.

But it's true that the way it is described in the rulebook, there are at least two backgrounds (the marauding wyrm's attack and the bathing in the blood scene) in which some barbarians would actively hunt dragons.

Maybe change it to "Attacking a dragon of your chosen type without agreeing to a duel first" ?


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I just registered and downloaded the book, and this really stuck out to me. The book says you could have gained your power after drinking or bathing in a dragon's blood, or watching your village burn at the wrath of a marauding wyrm.

Why would I not be defiant, if I gained my power watching my village being burned by a marauding wyrm???

I really hope that changes before the final touches are put on 2e.


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Killermentat wrote:

I just registered and downloaded the book, and this really stuck out to me. The book says you could have gained your power after drinking or bathing in a dragon's blood, or watching your village burn at the wrath of a marauding wyrm.

Why would I not be defiant, if I gained my power watching my village being burned by a marauding wyrm???

I really hope that changes before the final touches are put on 2e.

i feel the weird part is that you gain the pact of the Dragon you watched killing your village, not the anathema that comes with it.

I mean, If i watch my village getting melted by acid, Acid would probably be the least favorite of the elements for me, not the most favorite of it and somehow i would willingly manifest it.

I would also probably want to kill every single dragon of said color.

So, if anything, I'm in favor of re-flavoring the totem to only be vs a dragon you revere/fear/follow and NOT one that you hate/want to kill.


shroudb wrote:
Killermentat wrote:

I just registered and downloaded the book, and this really stuck out to me. The book says you could have gained your power after drinking or bathing in a dragon's blood, or watching your village burn at the wrath of a marauding wyrm.

Why would I not be defiant, if I gained my power watching my village being burned by a marauding wyrm???

I really hope that changes before the final touches are put on 2e.

i feel the weird part is that you gain the pact of the Dragon you watched killing your village, not the anathema that comes with it.

I mean, If i watch my village getting melted by acid, Acid would probably be the least favorite of the elements for me, not the most favorite of it and somehow i would willingly manifest it.

I would also probably want to kill every single dragon of said color.

So, if anything, I'm in favor of re-flavoring the totem to only be vs a dragon you revere/fear/follow and NOT one that you hate/want to kill.

That might depend on your alignment and how you viewed the people of that town. If you hated them, and led the dragon there to get "revenge" ....


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Joey Cote wrote:
That might depend on your alignment and how you viewed the people of that town. If you hated them, and led the dragon there to get "revenge" ....

Yeah, but then that dragon can give you orders and you have to obey.

Soo....


Almarane wrote:

The barbarian could get angry and threaten or tell the dragon to take back its words. And maybe later lead the dragon's ennemies to its lair. As you said, you can also verbally spare with the dragon : you are not defying it.

Yeah, but if they tell the dragon to take back its words it could just tell them to shut up, at which point responding would be defying it.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't disagree with the basic idea that the dragon anathema has issues, but specifically the "marauding wyrm" experience seems to me more likely to make one seek out or emulate its opposite - using the Sith analogy, if Darth Maul wipes out your village, you go to the Jedi for the training to defeat him, right?


Shisumo wrote:
I don't disagree with the basic idea that the dragon anathema has issues, but specifically the "marauding wyrm" experience seems to me more likely to make one seek out or emulate its opposite - using the Sith analogy, if Darth Maul wipes out your village, you go to the Jedi for the training to defeat him, right?

Well, unless the experience leads you to conclude that good and evil are just ideas that people make up children to control children and that the only real truths are power, and how much much twirling your moustache can withstand before falling off, of course. But is there actually a rule stopping you from going to an opposite type of dragon? I thought those were just examples.


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I think the dragon anathema could be resolved by giving two options:
1) You never defy the chosen type of dragon or
2) You always seek out to hunt down the chosen type of dragon at all costs. If you choose this one, you become the dragon color opposite of the chosen dragon type.

With a little table showing the opposite types. With LG opposing CE and CG opposing LE, etc.


Claxon wrote:

I think the dragon anathema could be resolved by giving two options:

1) You never defy the chosen type of dragon or
2) You always seek out to hunt down the chosen type of dragon at all costs. If you choose this one, you become the dragon color opposite of the chosen dragon type.

With a little table showing the opposite types. With LG opposing CE and CG opposing LE, etc.

Maybe for #2 and the chart you have the opposite type of primary breath weapon, where you can. So gold dragon/white dragon, blue/green, black/bronze. Either that or just have the character have an alignment the complete opposite of the dragon type? I don't see where barbarians have to be chaotic anymore, but maybe I missed it somewhere.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm still a bit surprised the anathema were even introduced for barbarians in the first place. They really have no reason for being there, and should just be eliminated. These sorts of things are roleplaying decisions, and shouldn't be codified into the class features.


Joey Cote wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I think the dragon anathema could be resolved by giving two options:

1) You never defy the chosen type of dragon or
2) You always seek out to hunt down the chosen type of dragon at all costs. If you choose this one, you become the dragon color opposite of the chosen dragon type.

With a little table showing the opposite types. With LG opposing CE and CG opposing LE, etc.

Maybe for #2 and the chart you have the opposite type of primary breath weapon, where you can. So gold dragon/white dragon, blue/green, black/bronze. Either that or just have the character have an alignment the complete opposite of the dragon type? I don't see where barbarians have to be chaotic anymore, but maybe I missed it somewhere.

They aren't alignment restricted anymore.

But I like the idea of your power coming from the dragon that is morally opposed to the one of your hatred.

Maybe I just see it too much, but I'm not really interested in opposite elements. It also doesn't really work that well since for example black dragons live is swamps and have acid breath. None of the other elements really are the opposite. And lightning doesn't really have an opposite either. Only cold and fire are traditional opposites.

But I mean, I guess we could make it an option too. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean it wouldn't work equally well.


Claxon wrote:
Joey Cote wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I think the dragon anathema could be resolved by giving two options:

1) You never defy the chosen type of dragon or
2) You always seek out to hunt down the chosen type of dragon at all costs. If you choose this one, you become the dragon color opposite of the chosen dragon type.

With a little table showing the opposite types. With LG opposing CE and CG opposing LE, etc.

Maybe for #2 and the chart you have the opposite type of primary breath weapon, where you can. So gold dragon/white dragon, blue/green, black/bronze. Either that or just have the character have an alignment the complete opposite of the dragon type? I don't see where barbarians have to be chaotic anymore, but maybe I missed it somewhere.

They aren't alignment restricted anymore.

But I like the idea of your power coming from the dragon that is morally opposed to the one of your hatred.

Maybe I just see it too much, but I'm not really interested in opposite elements. It also doesn't really work that well since for example black dragons live is swamps and have acid breath. None of the other elements really are the opposite. And lightning doesn't really have an opposite either. Only cold and fire are traditional opposites.

But I mean, I guess we could make it an option too. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean it wouldn't work equally well.

In pathfinder acid is associated with earth and lightning with air. Though I don't know why, it seems like acid was just associated with earth to make it lightning's opposite.

Dasrak wrote:
I'm still a bit surprised the anathema were even introduced for barbarians in the first place. They really have no reason for being there, and should just be eliminated. These sorts of things are roleplaying decisions, and shouldn't be codified into the class features.

I agree, but it's probably a big enough topic for another thread.


Corwin Icewolf wrote:
In pathfinder acid is associated with earth and lightning with air. Though I don't know why, it seems like acid was just associated with earth to make it lightning's opposite.

I always thought it was because "underground cavern scarred by rivers of acid" is a semi-iconic setting.

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