concerns about the impossibility of a character who is secretly a necromancer


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ever since i was introduced to table top games this has always been my main character concept

in fact i believe the first video about table top i watched was about someone making a elf who pretended to be a ranger but was actually a necromancer

i think it was called crafting a elven necromancer or something i'm not gonna look for the link because i don't know if i can post it

the idea is playing a character without revealing that he is a necromancer to the rest of the party

i understand some people don't like necromancer and honestly i never hold any hard feelings if my character gets killed or abandoned if i'm found out

my problem is that in pathfinder 2e this character has become impossible to make

normal since you didn't need to keep undead close and didn't need to speak to control them you could just animate them on secret and have them follow you from a big distance and do your bidding meeting during your turn in the nigh watch

but on 2e you have to keep them with you and can only control 4 minion via verbal commands and since animate dead is likely going to be a ritual i fear that it might require secondary casters (or worse)

even if i get help from the gm and get npcs to help me with rituals it doesn't solve the first 2 problems and makes the character dependent on the gm's cooperation which is usually very hard to get

i urge people to think about what necromancers are

what was the last time you saw a lich commanding his army of undead with verbal commands?

remember that necromancer that kept sending powerful undead minions against you yeah i wonder how he did it without loosing control of them?

i understand the worry about balance but this isn't a mmorpg its a tool to tell stories so the player should be able at least to some extent to do as the vialins do

of course not command an giant army but at least not needing to speak outloud to command them


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So I guess the issue is we need to differentiate between "Necromancer" as in a specialist in the magic of Necromancy, which the rulebook defines as "These spells harness the power of life and death. They can sap life essence or sustain creatures with lifesaving healing." and the pop cultural definition of "Necromancer" as "one who raises the dead."

If we're talking specifically about "marshaling the undead" specifically (since in PF2 healers are necromancers, since healing is necromancy) I wonder what is the core part of what we're looking for.

If it's "having minions" shouldn't conjuration be more suited to that?
If it's "having evil minions" wouldn't a conjurer who tracks with fiends work?
If it's "secretly being up to something bad" what is the big difference between playing a necromancer and a diabolist here?
If healing is necromancy, should there be an inherent stigma to specializing in necromancy? Or should we just look at it like other kinds of magic where "what you do with it" is what matters- e.g. evokers are fine, evokers who throw fireballs at orphanages are not. So we mind Necromancers who join the Whispering Way and who turn grandma into an eldritch abomination, not healers or people who cast cloudkill (unless it's in an inappropriate place like an orphanage.)

Like if your minions aren't traveling with you to dangerous places, for fear of discovery, I would think "things which can teleport and be invisible" would be way more useful than skeletons.

Like in general in PF2, there's an issue where minions are not very strong, because "people with minions" should not automatically be stronger than everyone else. But things like summon monster, animal companions, and familiars cut closer to the issue here.

I wonder, if we had a necromancy spell that raised some kind of undead creature for a limited amount of time (akin to summon monster) would that suffice for the necromancer fantasy? Needing to use actions to command your minions is something we can address with a feat, since being able to do this should be an option but not the default.


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Soooo many weird things in the OP:

Neutral_Lich wrote:
the idea is playing a character without revealing that he is a necromancer to the rest of the party

There is a difference between "revealing to the party" and "revealing to the players".

This is a cooperative role-playing game. The PLAYERS at the table are your friends. Even if it's some pickup one-shot adventure somewhere like in a convention, the players are still your friends, if just for the moment.

That means you don't need to deceive the players. Work with them. Say, "Hey, I like this concept of being a necromancer but your characters don't know it. It works best if you don't deliberately make them go out of their way to discover my secret so I can enjoy this aspect of roleplay."

As long as the other players are decent players, this should go over very well.

If not, then I'd look for a better group - these bad players are going to ruin it anyway. I mean, come on, it's going to take about three encounters before the players at the table start figuring you out anyway.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
i understand some people don't like necromancer and honestly i never hold any hard feelings if my character gets killed or abandoned if i'm found out

I would. I hate putting that much work into a character and then have my FRIENDS kill him. Or force him out of the group. Either way I have to make a new character or make new friends. Both are tiring.

That's why I would follow my own advice and make sure this is cool with my friends before I roll up my necromancer in the first place.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
my problem is that in pathfinder 2e this character has become impossible to make

Seems like it was before. I mean, you could say "Hey, I didn't tell all theses zombies to follow me around and fight my enemies. Nope, wasn't me."

But nobody would believe that.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
normal since you didn't need to keep undead close and didn't need to speak to control them you could just animate them on secret and have them follow you from a big distance and do your bidding meeting during your turn in the nigh watch

You could say "No, man, did you see my lips move? Nope, you didn't! I told you it wasn't me."

But nobody would believe that.

"No, that's not the same zombie we saw at the start of the dungeon. No, it hasn't been following me. I don't know why it keeps protecting me. Really!"

But nobody would believe that.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
but on 2e you have to keep them with you and can only control 4 minion via verbal commands

If I invest my skills and spells and abilities into raising an undead minion army (or at least a squad), then go into a dangerous dungeon or other dangerous place, I think I would WANT THEM WITH ME so I don't die.

Seems fine that you need to keep them with you.

Also, the verbal command thing only means that your allies figure it out in the first encounter rather than the second or third. What's the big deal?

Neutral_Lich wrote:
and since animate dead is likely going to be a ritual i fear that it might require secondary casters (or worse)

I dunno anything about that. I might agree with you here. I wouldn't want necromancy, which is traditionally a solitary activity, to require a coven to pull off a ritual just to create basic undead minions.

I don't know if that's what Paizo is doing, but I sure hope they don't.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
even if i get help from the gm and get npcs to help me with rituals it doesn't solve the first 2 problems

Which don't seem like problems to me.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
and makes the character dependent on the gm's cooperation which is usually very hard to get

Wow.

Just wow.

This is the weirdest part of the OP for me.

Are you actually suggesting that you want rules that let you play secret-negro-guy even when your GM does not want you to???

Speaking as the GM, I personally guarantee that NO player at my table plays something I don't want them to. But on the other hand, I'm always willing to work with most players for most character builds. Or at least I'll explain, up front, why that won't work in my campaign and help suggest alternatives that might.

I'll work together with my players to make sure they get the PC they want.

But sometimes, in that process, I run across a player who is clearly not suited for my game, my table, or my other players. "I want a flying space monkey who throws exploding feces bombs" might, maybe, be just a reskin of an alchemist - but any player who insists on THIS character and won't accept gentle guidance to a more genre-acceptable idea probably won't mesh well with me or my other players.

In such cases, I politely tell the player that this isn't the game for him and thank him for his interest as I show him the way out.

Under no circumstances, ever, EVER, would I enjoy using any game system that allows players to conceal their characters from me, nor would I enjoy playing with a player who tried such a thing.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
i urge people to think about what necromancers are

Literally, someone who can communicate with dead people.

Iconicly, someone who animates and commands undead.

Traditionally, the bad guys of many fantasy games and stories.

Currently, any caster with access to various healing, animating, communicating, or resurrecting magic that involves dead stuff, as well as a few semi-related spells like fear-based magic.

Descriptively, any caster who calls himself a necromancer no matter what he actually does, or anybody that is called a necromancer by other people based on their experiences with that person, no matter what he actually does.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
what was the last time you saw a lich commanding his army of undead with verbal commands?

Skeletor?

Probably more recent than that.

I have no problems with a lich screaming "Kill the intruders!" as his undead lurch forward to do just that.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
remember that necromancer that kept sending powerful undead minions against you yeah i wonder how he did it without loosing control of them?

Me too.

PC necromancers have never had the tools to be the iconic "Boss villain with an army of undead" because PCs never have the ability to raise and control that army.

And they shouldn't.

That would be tedious for everybody at the table. Also, any other player not doing that will be too far behind the power curve. Or, if in some system, a necromancer with hundreds of undead is only at the same power level as a pyromancer wizard or a backstabbing rogue, well, then at least character parity is insured but action economy and the sheer amount of wasted time on each of the necromancers turns would ensure that it's no fun for anybody else.

Neutral_Lich wrote:
i understand the worry about balance but this isn't a mmorpg its a tool to tell stories so the player should be able at least to some extent to do as the vialins do

I assume you meant "villains" and not "violins", right? For doing stuff with violins, you should play a bard... :)

I agree. You should tell your stories. But where we might disagree, as I've mentioned above:

1. Get the GM in on it. It's everyone's story but it's the GM's job to keep it on track, interesting, and fun. Work with him, not against him.
2. Get the other players in on it. Their PCs don't have to know, but they have to. It's their story too. Don't operate behind their backs because they're here to enjoy this story as much as you are.
3. You should NOT have the power of an NPC villain. He's supposed to challenge your entire party, not just you. You shouldn't be able to do everything he can unless it's just a one-player game, you vs. the NPC with no other players. That's not usually how this game is played, though, so you should only be able to do a fraction (usually about 1/4) of what the villain can do. That's fair balance.

Neutral_Lich wrote:

of course not command an giant army but at least not needing to speak outloud to command them

In this game, now, even the villain needs to speak out loud. It's not a bad thing. Use it against them. When the villain gives a verbal command, all you PCs can hear what he says and then act to stop his minions, maybe even before the minions' turns come up (readied actions might help here).

Maybe all you need is a mature GM and a decent group. Maybe it's just your bad luck that you haven't found any yet.

I hope you do.

Your idea sounds fun, but it sounds 10x more fun with the GM and other players cooperating with you instead of hiding from them.


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...You actually came over here from the rituals thread to whine about this?

In a standard game doing this kind of secret Necromancer thing where the PLAYERS (not characters) are unaware of your nature and ESPECIALLY if you think the GM should somehow be unaware, is one of the most d***ish things you could do in a PF game. It's just asking for trouble and by NO means should a GM be expected to allow it if they don't like it. It quite simply should NOT be part of the standard rules, at least not anything under Common rarity.

If your GM and fellow players ARE down with this, then the GM will obviously work with you on the minor tweaks required to make it work from where we are now (Removing secondary caster requirements and altering minion rules).

But you REALLY aren't entitled to be able to use such a usually-disruptive character concept in a regular game against any objections other people would have.

I played with someone once who did something similar to this with an evil Summoner and literally NO ONE in the party liked it except for him. Granted he was a little less subtle and the only reason he never got PVPed dead is that the GM allowed the Bard's massive Diplomacy score to effect PC attitudes as if they were NPCs and because I was inexperience in roleplaying (I was playing a CG Cleric whose parents were killed by the leader of an LE community, he'd have gone straight for an LE character like this one if I knew what I was doing).

And if he had been more subtly or secretly evil that would have made little difference. And his multiple minions were an utter drag on the game as well.

And saying "Well I won't use my minions for combat) desn't mean much considering any method of opening the rules to what you want would open similar concepts that DO use minions heavily in combat and we don't need that mess.

TL;DR what you are looking for has never been standard in Pathfinder and SHOULDN'T be. But for a campaign that CAN work with it and will, your GM will obviouslt make it workable if they are allowing it in the first place.


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to me there is no difference between a devil cultist and a cleric of sarenrae in my view they are people who sold their souls to a outsider and will get turned into servant outsiders after their death forever

a necromancer on the other hand can become a lich (and in pf1 resurrect people via spell sage) and if he feels like humiliating pharasma he can create undead which interferes with afterlife by tearing pieces of a soul he is basically the closes thing to an anti-god in the game

but the reason undead minions worked so well is because they lasted enough and were obedient so you can basically tell them go get lumber or go hunt go destroy that orphanage etc...

summons don't last enough to do anything significant, maybe golems but they are kind of expensive (my gm is stingy) and too late game to use

playing a outright evil character would mean i would have to leave the party and come up with a alibi


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Neutral_Lich wrote:
playing a outright evil character would mean i would have to leave the party and come up with a alibi

Well, no. It would mean you stop playing, period. No sane GM is going to run an entirely separate game just for you, you'd just be disinvited from the table for odious behavior. At best you'd be forced to create another character, and the GM would probably force you to be Lawful Good for good measure. It's just not feasible for someone to take one whole hour out of a four hour biweekly session where the GM is focusing entirely on what just you are doing while the rest of the party has to sit and twiddle their thumbs.

Have you actually played Pathfinder or D&D with others before? Did you play this particular character concept? How exactly did that go down, and why do you think it'd be any different in PF2?

I think, before worrying about anything else, you should be seeking out a specific setting where necromancy is actually accepted as normal, and then find a system where controlling armies is also normal for players. You're not operating on the scale of an adventurer, you're looking more towards an RP-strategy hybrid that would require completely different game mechanics. Like, if you're a necromancer with an undead army, the other players would be monarchs and warlords and wizards with their own armires, of knights and mercenaries and constructs. Something like Warhammer, but focused on actually roleplaying rather than just gamey battles between players. It sounds fun, but it's fundamentally incompatible with D&D and Pathfinder without massive tweaks that probably wouldn't satisfy you.


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Neutral_Lich wrote:
to me there is no difference between a devil cultist and a cleric of sarenrae in my view they are people who sold their souls to a outsider and will get turned into servant outsiders after their death forever

Aside from the obvious: one is evil and the other is not? Or that Clerics of Sarenrae don't "sell their souls"? You can wake up tomorrow and simply choose to stop worshipping Sarenrae if you wish and aside from losing your powers not a whole lot of bad stuff will happen to you. You're not in fact enslaved the way actually selling your soul makes you.

Quote:
but the reason undead minions worked so well is because they lasted enough and were obedient so you can basically tell them go get lumber or go hunt go destroy that orphanage etc...

And the point of that is... what, exactly? If you do that, any Paladin that uses Detect Evil is going to see you light up like a Christmas Tree. Any DM worth their salt who has a "secretly evil" character like this in the party is at some point going to have the world react. NPCs won't just sit idly by while someone is sending undead around to mass murder children.

What this is really going to do is draw the wrath of the good forces of the world upon you, and the rest of the party by association.

And when is all of this even happening? Are you having the DM effectively run a secret second piece of the campaign for you alone that no other player is allowed to be involved in, or are you making the other players sit around and do nothing while you sneak off every night to do this stuff and expect them to never know about it?

I was in a game once where someone tried to pull something like this. When we got suspicious, one of the other PCs passed a note to the DM that said "I use my class invisiblity and stealth to follow him tonight and see what he does." We caught him red handed. The rest of the party, being good aligned, was having nothing to do with it.

That character ended up very dead when we confronted him and instead of being turned in to the guards, he tried to attack us.

(I'd also question if mindless undead are capable of following instructions like "go get lumber" or "go hunt" in any useful way, because they are mindless. They don't know what lumber is or how to harvest it in usable form, nor do they understand how to hunt something, field dress it, and bring it back to you in any kind of usable form. What you seem to actually want is followers.)

Quote:
playing a outright evil character would mean i would have to leave the party and come up with a alibi

I hate to break it to you, but you are playing an outright evil character. Animate Dead, and every other undead raising Necromancy spell in PF1 has the [Evil] tag on it. Casting it is an openly evil action.

Sending undead to destroy orphanages is cartoon supervillain evil. There is no deniability here at all. You're playing an evil character and actively trying to deceive the other PCs of that fact.

There's a time and place for this character: an evil party. You should find a campaign that suits it, instead of complaining that the system doesn't allow you to fit an absurdly evil character into an otherwise good party, especially when PF1 didn't really let you get away with that effectively in any meaningful way anyway. I mean, you're complaining that you have to come up with an alibi?

You already have to do that unless what you're doing is so isolated from the other PCs that you're effectively playing your own campaign seperate from them. There's no table where you can simply wander off in the middle of a session, raise a bunch of Undead, send them off on a murder spree over and over again without having the rest of the party notice something's up. That is just not believable.


You could still be someone who secretly researches undead when the party's not looking. Having a big army of undead secretly following you around is silly.

Making or partially making undead to learn more about how they work, how to defeat them, and how to make more useful minions in smaller numbers is more viable imo.

It would still require GM cooperation since it normally costs gold in Onix form to make undead, and you'd probably need help making sure your wealth isn't being spent on essentially nothing, but that's a problem with your secret zombie army too since you have a big pile of your gold following you around in zombie form basically doing nothing most of the time.


Corwin Icewolf wrote:

You could still be someone who secretly researches undead when the party's not looking. Having a big army of undead secretly following you around is silly.

Making or partially making undead to learn more about how they work, how to defeat them, and how to make more useful minions in smaller numbers is more viable imo.

It would still require GM cooperation since it normally costs gold in Onix form to make undead, and you'd probably need help making sure your wealth isn't being spent on essentially nothing, but that's a problem with your secret zombie army too since you have a big pile of your gold following you around in zombie form basically doing nothing most of the time.

usually blood money, false focus and stuff like runesage can be useful to deal with the onyx problem


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I can guarantee Blood Money isn't going to be an option in PF2. As "people were taking blood money despite where it came from (possibly with literally no knowledge of where it came from)" was a significant issue in PF1, and fixing this largely motivated the creation of the rarity system.

If Blood Money returns, count on it being a rare (not uncommon) spell.


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Have you considered playing another concept? By now everyone knows every single game you're going to be a secret necromancer. It's been done. I saw it in 1989 in high school. Your fellow players are probably pretty tired of it and are secretly doing things to mess with you. How about playing a gnome nature lover who's into painting? Get out of your comfort zone and try something other than SNtRPG (Secret Necromancer the Roleplaying Game).

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Anyone else in this thread waiting for the lock


I mean, even if it's impossible to play [foo] with the core rulebook, it doesn't mean that it's impossible to play [foo] forever. I'm going to have to wait for a few books to play a Kitsune Oracle or a Changeling Psychic, but that's fine since there is other stuff I can play in the meantime.

In a game like Pathfinder we're always adding new rules to allow for things which were not previously possible. I mean, in PF1 we had to wait until November 2018 to do the martial artist who wraps their hands and dips them in tree resin and subsequently ground glass to punch people, but now we can.


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I'm hoping he's a troll actually, and this is only going to become more ludicrous. Every thread, this guy is posting about his secret necromancer concept and how PF2 is thwarting his hijinx. /r/secretnecromancerincels ?

In all seriousness, folks complaining about concepts they can't do anymore are complaining prematurely. Sure, get your gripes out there for the record. Then relax. This is supposed to be a materials-light playtest, not a full content system. It has way more content than I expected, but it's still missing things. So don't give up. One day you WILL be a secret necromancer and enjoy all the devilry and excitement that entails (while annoying your fellow players, GM, the community, etc. just kidding, or am I?)


Neutral_Lich wrote:
Corwin Icewolf wrote:

You could still be someone who secretly researches undead when the party's not looking. Having a big army of undead secretly following you around is silly.

Making or partially making undead to learn more about how they work, how to defeat them, and how to make more useful minions in smaller numbers is more viable imo.

It would still require GM cooperation since it normally costs gold in Onix form to make undead, and you'd probably need help making sure your wealth isn't being spent on essentially nothing, but that's a problem with your secret zombie army too since you have a big pile of your gold following you around in zombie form basically doing nothing most of the time.

usually blood money, false focus and stuff like runesage can be useful to deal with the onyx problem

That's not even the main point of my post. Your army of the dead is literally doing nothing most of the time. Being mindless limits their hunting and gathering skills in the way that tridus mentioned so it's really rather silly.

It's also often dangerous because in many settings mindless undead kill living things on sight and indiscriminately unless under control and specifically ordered not to, so leaving them running around without supervision is just irresponsible and likely to get your party attacked or chewed out by a paladin of some sort, depending on how accepted undead are in setting.


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The DM of wrote:

I'm hoping he's a troll actually, and this is only going to become more ludicrous. Every thread, this guy is posting about his secret necromancer concept and how PF2 is thwarting his hijinx. /r/secretnecromancerincels ?

In all seriousness, folks complaining about concepts they can't do anymore are complaining prematurely. Sure, get your gripes out there for the record. Then relax. This is supposed to be a materials-light playtest, not a full content system. It has way more content than I expected, but it's still missing things. So don't give up. One day you WILL be a secret necromancer and enjoy all the devilry and excitement that entails (while annoying your fellow players, GM, the community, etc. just kidding, or am I?)

don't worry i'm not gonna be posting anymore if that is what you are so bothered about

its not about annoying anyone for instance the last table i played where i was a veteran one of the new players literally pm'd me saying he was gonna kill my char "during the character creation" because he didn't like necromancers and i was forced to play a character that i hated more than anything in my life, and he wasn't even good aligned

its either play in secret or don't play


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Why would anyone play with you? That's not an insult. It's a question every player sitting down at the table needs to answer.

If I want to play a pickpocket who steals from every npc, that could cause problems for the group. I should probably tone it down, and I definitely shouldn't steal from my fellow players. That wouldn't be fun for them.

If I want to play an assassin sent to kill another player, that might be fun for me, especially if I hate that person. It won't be fun for them. Oh, and if I hate someone at the table, why would I play with that group? Maybe I need to tweak that character concept to not be opposed to the party.

You can't have fun at everyone else's expense. How are you going to make accommodations to fit?

Bringing a spirit back from the dead and enslaving it to your will consigning it to an unlife of torturous pain is evil. Anyone who would do that is a sick puppy. You'll violate the sensibilities of heroes and authorities and become a major distraction. Unless the rest of the party is evil, and the gm is in on an evil campaign, you're going to ruin the rest of the table's fun.

This is a multiplayer team game of friends for fun. If you're not there to have mutual fun...


I can break this down into 3 things.
1. Others have stated this but I will reiterate. Just because the playtest doesn’t delve into the rules for creating undead doesn’t mean it won’t be there for the final product. The necromancer is a staple of the genre and has existed in all previous forms of the D&D/PF game and it won’t go away. They just didn’t feel that it was relevant for testing the system at this point. I would be surprised if it wasn’t in core when released. At worst it will be in the bestiary or something later.
2. A lot of your complaints seem to imply that you don’t understand table etiquette or the GMs role in the game. Others in this thread have thoroughly covered this topic so I’ll leave it in their hands.
3. Unless you are in an evil group, in an evil campaign Golarion is not the setting to play an undead summoning necromancer. In some settings necromancer’s can be tolerated because creating undead may not be inherently evil just disturbing and in poor taste. But in Golarion, creating an undead creature tears that creature’s soul away from its intended afterlife and is canonically an evil act. The neutral goddess of death calls it evil and being one of, if not the most powerful of deities, no one is going to argue it. Especially since she even decides where the gods go when they die. Add to that the goddess of undeath is evil so... To reflect this the undead creation spells have the evil tag.
To sum up, if you want to play an undead horde summoning necromancer you will have to wait for the final product and if you want to do it without being ganked almost immediately, make sure everyone is onboard and you probably need to use a different setting. Sorry.


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I mean, Pharasma's problem with Undead is in large part because if the River of Souls doesn't keep flowing at sufficient volume, all of existence will be consumed by the Maelstrom.

As a neutral goddess she doesn't have a problem with evil, she has a problem with *unraveling literally everything that exists*, including Hell, the Abyss, and Abbadon.


The DM of wrote:

Why would anyone play with you? That's not an insult. It's a question every player sitting down at the table needs to answer.

If I want to play a pickpocket who steals from every npc, that could cause problems for the group. I should probably tone it down, and I definitely shouldn't steal from my fellow players. That wouldn't be fun for them.

If I want to play an assassin sent to kill another player, that might be fun for me, especially if I hate that person. It won't be fun for them. Oh, and if I hate someone at the table, why would I play with that group? Maybe I need to tweak that character concept to not be opposed to the party.

You can't have fun at everyone else's expense. How are you going to make accommodations to fit?

Bringing a spirit back from the dead and enslaving it to your will consigning it to an unlife of torturous pain is evil. Anyone who would do that is a sick puppy. You'll violate the sensibilities of heroes and authorities and become a major distraction. Unless the rest of the party is evil, and the gm is in on an evil campaign, you're going to ruin the rest of the table's fun.

This is a multiplayer team game of friends for fun. If you're not there to have mutual fun...

you do realize the dead bodies that the good party is gonna kill are bandits, murderers, devil cultist etc... right?

i mean the afterlife i'm taking them from is literally hell how bad can it be? if i remember right they turn into lemures in the afterlife but i might be wrong


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, Pharasma's problem with Undead is in large part because if the River of Souls doesn't keep flowing at sufficient volume, all of existence will be consumed by the Maelstrom.

As a neutral goddess she doesn't have a problem with evil, she has a problem with *unraveling literally everything that exists*, including Hell, the Abyss, and Abbadon.

Fair enough, and thank you. Sorry for my crappy way of wording it. But you get the idea, she doesn’t like it and anyone who cares about their soul shouldn’t either.


Neutral_Lich wrote:
The DM of wrote:

Why would anyone play with you? That's not an insult. It's a question every player sitting down at the table needs to answer.

If I want to play a pickpocket who steals from every npc, that could cause problems for the group. I should probably tone it down, and I definitely shouldn't steal from my fellow players. That wouldn't be fun for them.

If I want to play an assassin sent to kill another player, that might be fun for me, especially if I hate that person. It won't be fun for them. Oh, and if I hate someone at the table, why would I play with that group? Maybe I need to tweak that character concept to not be opposed to the party.

You can't have fun at everyone else's expense. How are you going to make accommodations to fit?

Bringing a spirit back from the dead and enslaving it to your will consigning it to an unlife of torturous pain is evil. Anyone who would do that is a sick puppy. You'll violate the sensibilities of heroes and authorities and become a major distraction. Unless the rest of the party is evil, and the gm is in on an evil campaign, you're going to ruin the rest of the table's fun.

This is a multiplayer team game of friends for fun. If you're not there to have mutual fun...

you do realize the dead bodies that the good party is gonna kill are bandits, murderers, devil cultist etc... right?

i mean the afterlife i'm taking them from is literally hell how bad can it be? if i remember right they turn into lemures in the afterlife but i might be wrong

could you link me that?

i know the maelstrom is chaotic but you should still be able to walk on it right? i mean there are creatures who inhabit it right?

one of the reasons i hate her is because as far as i know atheists who reject pharasma's judgement become trapped in the boneyard until they become vestiges or so i read on the pathfinder wiki


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I actually quite like Pharasma, when I came to PF 10 years ago it was nice to see a death deity that wasn’t some generic evil grim reaper spin off. And that there was a lot more thought put into what happened in the afterlife than most settings.


Neutral_Lich wrote:

one of the reasons i hate her is because as far as i know atheists who reject pharasma's judgement become trapped in the boneyard until they become vestiges or so i read on the pathfinder wiki

Planar Adventures fixed/clarified this.

Quote:
Many mortal philosophies teach that all atheist souls meet this end, but in truth, most atheists and agnostics whose souls are judged can experience the full range of afterlives just as adherents of any other belief system do, passing on to the Outer Planes best aligned with their convictions.

However, there are two types of souls who do persist on the boneyard until they lose their memories and their personalities- dissident souls and failed souls. Dissident souls are people whose rejection of the metaphysical order is so thorough that they would prefer not to have an afterlife and will opt out of participating in the cycle of souls when presented with the choice, which Pharasma honors. Failed souls are people whose lives were so meaningless that there's no natural place to put them and so bereft of conviction they cannot even opt into the afterlife. Both of these types of souls end up losing their personalities and memories in the Graveyard of Souls, but all the rest of the atheists, agnostics, etc. end up in the most appropriate afterlife.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Neutral_Lich wrote:

one of the reasons i hate her is because as far as i know atheists who reject pharasma's judgement become trapped in the boneyard until they become vestiges or so i read on the pathfinder wiki

Planar Adventures fixed/clarified this.

Quote:
Many mortal philosophies teach that all atheist souls meet this end, but in truth, most atheists and agnostics whose souls are judged can experience the full range of afterlives just as adherents of any other belief system do, passing on to the Outer Planes best aligned with their convictions.
However, there are two types of souls who do persist on the boneyard until they lose their memories and their personalities- dissident souls and failed souls. Dissident souls are people whose rejection of the metaphysical order is so thorough that they would prefer not to have an afterlife and will opt out of participating in the cycle of souls when presented with the choice, which Pharasma honors. Failed souls are people whose lives were so meaningless that there's no natural place to put them and so bereft of conviction they cannot even opt into the afterlife. Both of these types of souls end up losing their personalities and memories in the Graveyard of Souls, but all the rest of the atheists, agnostics, etc. end up in the most appropriate afterlife.

the option here is oblivion or eternal serfdom as a petitioner them outsider while losing your memories

wait so wouldn't my character turn into either a hunted from abaddon and them into a souls devouring daemon or a undead from urgathoa

disrupting the river of souls is a sin except when i turn you into creature that sole existence is to disrupt the river of souls then its ok

if so i think she is little bit of a hypocrite


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Neutral_Lich wrote:
The DM of wrote:

Why would anyone play with you? That's not an insult. It's a question every player sitting down at the table needs to answer.

If I want to play a pickpocket who steals from every npc, that could cause problems for the group. I should probably tone it down, and I definitely shouldn't steal from my fellow players. That wouldn't be fun for them.

If I want to play an assassin sent to kill another player, that might be fun for me, especially if I hate that person. It won't be fun for them. Oh, and if I hate someone at the table, why would I play with that group? Maybe I need to tweak that character concept to not be opposed to the party.

You can't have fun at everyone else's expense. How are you going to make accommodations to fit?

Bringing a spirit back from the dead and enslaving it to your will consigning it to an unlife of torturous pain is evil. Anyone who would do that is a sick puppy. You'll violate the sensibilities of heroes and authorities and become a major distraction. Unless the rest of the party is evil, and the gm is in on an evil campaign, you're going to ruin the rest of the table's fun.

This is a multiplayer team game of friends for fun. If you're not there to have mutual fun...

you do realize the dead bodies that the good party is gonna kill are bandits, murderers, devil cultist etc... right?

i mean the afterlife i'm taking them from is literally hell how bad can it be? if i remember right they turn into lemures in the afterlife but i might be wrong

So... you're looking for an Animate Dead spell that only works on corpses that were evil in life? That's a new one on me.

Also your statement could be easily rephrased as "Torturing them can't be evil because they were engaged in an ultimately self-destructive lifestyle!". It doesn't work particularly well. Like if someone rescues someone from a torture hall and then proceeds to go torture them somewhere else then most people will agree that is not exactly a good person. Like at all.


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I for one would be very happy if the game's default structure made this style of character (a character with goals and motivations at odds with an agreed upon party focus) impossible within the core rulebook, and then introduced antagonistic play rules in a separate later splatbook. This kind of play gets romanticized a little in things like the Glass Cannon Podcast, because it does add a lot more dramatic tension to the game, and can be a lot of fun in specific scenarios, where everyone is on the same page about keeping the page they are on secret, but it is directly oppositional to the idea of collaborative play, which is what needs to be in core focus for a good role playing game. It is not a good introductory playstyle for cultivating considerate player characters and shouldn't be something that someone picking up the game for the first time should be thinking about for a character concept to fit in with a party looking for a fun cooperative experience.


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Unicore wrote:
I for one would be very happy if the game's default structure made this style of character (a character with goals and motivations at odds with an agreed upon party focus) impossible within the core rulebook, and then introduced antagonistic play rules in a separate later splatbook. This kind of play gets romanticized a little in things like the Glass Cannon Podcast, because it does add a lot more dramatic tension to the game, and can be a lot of fun in specific scenarios, where everyone is on the same page about keeping the page they are on secret, but it is directly oppositional to the idea of collaborative play, which is what needs to be in core focus for a good role playing game. It is not a good introductory playstyle for cultivating considerate player characters and shouldn't be something that someone picking up the game for the first time should be thinking about for a character concept to fit in with a party looking for a fun cooperative experience.

But should't the game also cater to those individuals who see the GM and other players as enemies?

Yes it might ruin YOUR fun
but, if that is their way of having fun, by denying them you are ruining THEIR fun.
So you need to make a few sacrifices and accept that their needs take precedence!

;)


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Lol now I kind of want to see Paranoia: Pathfinder edition.


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Other than stating that I believe all players have the responsibility to be group/story constructive in an RPG game such as this. If you are going to secretly play a character that will be operating counter to the groups goals, it should only be with the GM's knowledge, with their having a purpose for it. And I would hope the GM is a really good one, who has the trust of the players, and knows what the players like.

On the other hand, if you are up front with the other players, and the secret is from the other characters, that is fine, because everyone is signing up for it.

Now, lets go on with the actual bits regarding the game rules potentially stopping you from playing this character. (not rules of etiquette)

Your concern about requiring verbal command. This can potentially be dealt with with a Message Cantrip. May put you at some risk of being found out, but it can at least place you in a position where you can attempt to deny it, pointing out you didn't shout any commands to the creatures when they were far away. So you aren't controlling them.

As to the minion rules, I think some of the restrictions are a bit extreme requiring one for one/two actions and such. I really feel they need some more advanced rules in the future as I do find them overly limiting on established types of character concepts.

On the other hand, I think it would be very easy to imagine some form of traditional Archetype that might be overlayed on top of a Druid/Wizard/Sorcerer chassis that would give a good necromantic spell selection and an Undead Companion which would be a variant of the Animal Companion. It might come in the same book as Summoners, for instance. Summoners might be a similar type of archetype which gives a character a Summoned Companion.

Such minions would be more permanent like you wanted. If the archetype allows for it (or your GM allows for it) these companions can have enough intelligence to act more independently and based on more complex requests.

So, verbal commands may be a little limiting, but there are options to try to hid it that are immediately available. Additionally, there might be some sort of feat that might give you the ability to switch to a telepathic control. (but perhaps still requiring a certain range, and an action to pass the commands)

Also, does your concept require you being able to raise undead? Or would it be acceptable to command undead that might already exist? Having the ability command a certain number of undead, but not necessarily create them, may open up quite a number of stories that might be more tolerable in group setting, and doesn't open up the 'risk' from a story standpoint of creating some great number of undead.

Also, of note in some settings, (I'm not a hundred percent certain where Golarion stands here) animation unintelligent undead, such as zombies and skeletons are not actually tied to actual souls. So one might be able to argue that that form of animation may not be 'entirely' vile. It is certainly still disrespectful of the sanctity of the tomb. So Pharasma would hate it for that. However, it may not clog the river of souls any.

Creation of intelligent undead, liches and other forms of twisted soul undead is obviously 'breaking planar' law relating people's souls. I imagine doing that is a much greater crime than the creation of non-intelligent undead.

So I think there might be potential for the necromancer concept that manipulates existing undead, will be viable. Creation of long term undead will probably be relegated to much higher play, and might be harder to hide. I would not be suprised to see some future book provide the concept of an Undead companion for a Necromantic caster of one or more types in the future, but probably not core. I honestly don't think that specific a concept with the corpse companion needs to be in the core, if you ask me. I do think it makes sense to become an option in the future, if not primarily for the creation of villainous NPCs. But I think there are some viable options for PC play in some circumstances.


ok can understand peopel's hatred for the undead minions but at the very least let me seek lichdom in peace

i mean its my soul and pharasma would obliterate it anyway for rejecting her judgement so there is no crime there


Raylyeh wrote:

I can break this down into 3 things.

1. Others have stated this but I will reiterate. Just because the playtest doesn’t delve into the rules for creating undead doesn’t mean it won’t be there for the final product. The necromancer is a staple of the genre and has existed in all previous forms of the D&D/PF game and it won’t go away. They just didn’t feel that it was relevant for testing the system at this point. I would be surprised if it wasn’t in core when released. At worst it will be in the bestiary or something later.

Comparing the Playtest with the 2008 Pathfinder Beta, this genre was possible, with either a base cleric or base wizard (also achievable with Sorcerer).

A core-to-core comparison should be valid - saying that it might be in a future book is admitting that the product as released is an incomplete product.

Removing core options on the surface, makes it harder to tell the same stories using the new system.

Rather than attacking the OP on the kind of character he wants to play, it's better to ensure that the options are available.


Richard Crawford wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:

I can break this down into 3 things.

1. Others have stated this but I will reiterate. Just because the playtest doesn’t delve into the rules for creating undead doesn’t mean it won’t be there for the final product. The necromancer is a staple of the genre and has existed in all previous forms of the D&D/PF game and it won’t go away. They just didn’t feel that it was relevant for testing the system at this point. I would be surprised if it wasn’t in core when released. At worst it will be in the bestiary or something later.

Comparing the Playtest with the 2008 Pathfinder Beta, this genre was possible, with either a base cleric or base wizard (also achievable with Sorcerer).

A core-to-core comparison should be valid - saying that it might be in a future book is admitting that the product as released is an incomplete product.

Removing core options on the surface, makes it harder to tell the same stories using the new system.

Rather than attacking the OP on the kind of character he wants to play, it's better to ensure that the options are available.

We already know they will be available. Animate Dead has already been written.


Richard Crawford wrote:
Rather than attacking the OP on the kind of character he wants to play, it's better to ensure that the options are available.

I feel like nonetheless, "how to become a lich" or "how to stick it to whichever setting deity you have a grudge against" is splatbook material in any edition.

It's just the nature of an edition change that sometimes people are going to need to stick with the old edition sometimes for the rules to catch up to their favorite thing. I mean, even if they print animate dead and associated spells, we may not get the "Agent of the Grave" PrC in the core rules, and we might have to wait a bit for something akin to "Shade of the Uskwood" for our Necromancer Druids (an aside to the OP, in a PF1 game, try playing a Reincarnated Druid who takes that feat and commits to the PRC ASAP, I had a villain like this and it was great.)


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Richard Crawford wrote:

Rather than attacking the OP on the kind of character he wants to play, it's better to ensure that the options are available.

I think most of us would rather not play a game that gave the option to play a d*** character without other people's knowledge OUT of character without requiring approval from the GM. That's the kind of character the OP wants to play, and that's what people are telling off about. XP

Also some comment have indicated they might want to be able to do it without the GM's knowledge too but I might be misreading that.


Edge93 wrote:
Richard Crawford wrote:

Rather than attacking the OP on the kind of character he wants to play, it's better to ensure that the options are available.

I think most of us would rather not play a game that gave the option to play a d*** character without other people's knowledge OUT of character without requiring approval from the GM. That's the kind of character the OP wants to play, and that's what people are telling off about. XP

Also some comment have indicated they might want to be able to do it without the GM's knowledge too but I might be misreading that.

Exhibit A. Page 30 of the Playtest rulebook.


Edge93 wrote:
Richard Crawford wrote:

Rather than attacking the OP on the kind of character he wants to play, it's better to ensure that the options are available.

I think most of us would rather not play a game that gave the option to play a d*** character without other people's knowledge OUT of character without requiring approval from the GM. That's the kind of character the OP wants to play, and that's what people are telling off about. XP

Also some comment have indicated they might want to be able to do it without the GM's knowledge too but I might be misreading that.

its not that i wanna do it against the gm's will its that i don't want to rely on the gm to house rule in my favor

for instance if a gm lets me use stuff like ignoring verbal commands or even cover for me in some way other players might call that cheating and to be honest they would be right


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I ran a game once (8? 10 years ago?) with a Necromancer that made it to Neutral Lich, and the party was successful for several reasons, most importantly: everyone worked together to have fun.

When we sat down, we had 2 Veterans, 1 person who hadn't gamed in 5~10 years, 1 person who had "played a little WoW" and 1 person who had zero experience, not even a MMO to draw on, and it was interesting to find a frame of reference to explain things to them.

The 2nd ed returnee, asked to play a undead raising necromancer, with a side of blaster wizard. One of the newbies played a Cavalier, and the other a Gnome Barbarian.

The Vet's settled on a Rogue, and a Cleric. (They knew I like traps....)

Setting was Homebrew, with a set of homebrew Deities. (this being before I started running AP's set in Golarion). The Cleric player, spent time going through my portfolio before settling on the Goddess of Healing, and since I didn't have a favored weapon written down at the time, asked if it could be a Battle Axe. I was fine with this, and wrote it down.

If the cleric had NOT known that there was going to be an undead raiser in the party, there would have been some very different decisions made, as the player had been looking at several anti-undead domains before settling on Healing and Glory.

During play, the rogue ended up with extra flanking buddies on many occasions, and there was a memorable low level encounter where the necromancer controlled some wild undead, and set them up so our Cavalier (one of the new players), could go "Bowling for Zombies", and overrun 4~5 kobold zombies in a line. This increased the fun all around the table.

Many levels later, the necromancer tried several different arrangements for what undead to bring around, and we found it slowed things down, even when EVERYONE had an undead sheet in front of them, and ran that in addition to their own character.

Late game, he kept 1, and at most 2, despite having the ability to raise 4+ of the same weight class. This made things more fun for everyone. He got his undead on, and the Players enjoyment didn't suffer.

Fun was had by all, and there are MANY stories from that game that still come up from time to time.

One of those funny stories, was LATE game, where the undead raising wizard, who had been quicken/maximizing Fireballs for 5+ levels, looked over at the rogue and said with a straight face.
"Man, you are BROKEN."

The rogue smiled, and kept counting out D6's to roll for one combat round. (If I recall correctly, it was like 10~12d6/swing, with 8 attacks/round, and most of those hit that round... 8? Sneak attack dice, 2 Elemental dice, and some alignment dice?)

We ended with up to 20 levels of base class, and then 4 levels of something else, and the Necromancer, ended up going through Agent of the Grave, to Lich. Baelnorn specifically, and he was riding the Neutral to NE line pretty hard, but managed to JUST squeak by on the upper edge of the line.


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Richard Crawford wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Richard Crawford wrote:

Rather than attacking the OP on the kind of character he wants to play, it's better to ensure that the options are available.

I think most of us would rather not play a game that gave the option to play a d*** character without other people's knowledge OUT of character without requiring approval from the GM. That's the kind of character the OP wants to play, and that's what people are telling off about. XP

Also some comment have indicated they might want to be able to do it without the GM's knowledge too but I might be misreading that.

Exhibit A. Page 30 of the Playtest rulebook.

Are you not going to list Page 104 of the Playtest book as well then? If you are implying what I think you are implying?

Playing a Page 104 character can be as anti-group as playing some other characters, but they don't have to be. Playing a Page 30 character, could be the same. Someone could just decide they are unwilling to play. But hopefully that's just at the loss of that one person. As long as people are playing together and coming up with workable group, it should be able to be fun.

There are going to be other personality traits that could become taboo at individual tables, depending on the makeup of the group. One of the things Pathfinder is trying to do, is encourage people to attempt to be open and accepting of other concepts. Give you a chance to role play in an environment that you yourself might not even be personally as comfortable being in. It might give you a different perspective, or it might increase your starting beliefs. But in the end, people can work together in the span of a few hours to focus on having fun, and not work on fixing everyone else.

But, if someone's goal is to cut others down, for their own enjoyment, then that's a different matter. I'd try myself, at first to give someone the benefit of the doubt, but if they aren't fun to play with, I don't see anyone with the obligation to continue playing with them.

I've enjoyed games where I couldn't stand a character. I've even enjoyed some games I couldn't stand a player before.

But no, if the players come together, and one wants to play a necromancer, and the other a Paladin or Priest of Pharasma, unless they can come up with a fantastic plan amoungst themselves, one or more of them probably needs to come up with another concept. If they manage to come up with a workable concept... by all means, if it is workable, I imagine it could be a fantastic game if everyone's one board, so run with it. Otherwise, work together as a group to come up with something that will work, together.

edit: PS @Roonfizzle Garnackle:
Sounds like a fun example of how players can get together to make a party work for ideas people have. Simply put, working together to have fun is generally a win-win situation, if everyone is honestly in with it.


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One think I would suggest to the OP though is that "Secret Necromancer" is much more fun when you are the GM, because "Someone in this town is up to no good, you have to find out who it is and stop them" is a fine campaign concept.

Plus as the GM you don't have to worry about stuff like "creation and minion rules" since you run everything behind the scenes, and bestiary monsters don't take actions to control. Also you don't have to worry about doing a special campaign just for one character since the entire "between sessions" time is available for you to move the NPCs around how you want them to be.

All you have to do is be okay with the possibility that you will lose in the end, since "making the PCs/Players look/feel good" is your job. But anybody whose default state is "I want to be the bad guy, I want to rationalize their actions" should probably look into GMing.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Richard Crawford wrote:

A core-to-core comparison should be valid - saying that it might be in a future book is admitting that the product as released is an incomplete product.

Removing core options on the surface, makes it harder to tell the same stories using the new system.

This argument makes little sense to me.

"Wizard that obviates the need for the rest of the party" was available in core PF1e; do we want it in 2e?

Alternatively, "multiclass ranger/wizard that doesn't suck" is a valid concept in 2e and impossible in 1e core; does that allow us to lose one concept from 1e in exchange? Archetypes are in 2e core but not in 1e core; where does that factor into this balance?

"Every build that was possible in 1e core MUST be possible in 2e core" seems like an illogical constraint to me. And I don't see how admitting that there is room to expand or add a concept means that the product is "unfinished". This isn't GURPS...


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

....

All you have to do is be okay with the possibility that you will lose in the end, since "making the PCs/Players look/feel good" is your job. But anybody whose default state is "I want to be the bad guy, I want to rationalize their actions" should probably look into GMing.

That is certainly a really good point. Evil villains are always welcome as the villain. Another option, if you don't like GMing would be asking the GM if they would be willing to have you be an assistant GM and simply play the villain. You might need to be willing to make your character fit what the GM needs for the villain, but if you would enjoy playing the villain. They work the the GM to play the villain. Even if the PCs know your' the villain, it doesn't mean they can't work towards uncovering the truth of the plot so their characters can finally unmask you from the village.


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Roonfizzle Garnackle said wrote:
I ran a game once (8? 10 years ago?) with a Necromancer that made it to Neutral Lich, and the party was successful for several reasons, most importantly: everyone worked together to have fun.

As your entire post shown, special character concepts can be a lot of fun, but it did require some work from the other players and you as a GM to get there. And that is of course how it should be, and in a home-brew setting it can easily be ruled that raising the dead isn't one of the most vile acts, thus letting more good/neutral characters that isn't strictly opposed to the undead can work together with a necromancer for extended periods of time.

But kudos on what sounds like a fun campaign :)

I think your post show exactly why the OP's wishes aren't feasible (especially in core), since he have earlier stated that he don't want the concept being dependent on house rules or home-brew and it seems he prefers to work against his fellow characters (in secret) and not with them.


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Loreguard wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

....

All you have to do is be okay with the possibility that you will lose in the end, since "making the PCs/Players look/feel good" is your job. But anybody whose default state is "I want to be the bad guy, I want to rationalize their actions" should probably look into GMing.
That is certainly a really good point. Evil villains are always welcome as the villain. Another option, if you don't like GMing would be asking the GM if they would be willing to have you be an assistant GM and simply play the villain. You might need to be willing to make your character fit what the GM needs for the villain, but if you would enjoy playing the villain. They work the the GM to play the villain. Even if the PCs know your' the villain, it doesn't mean they can't work towards uncovering the truth of the plot so their characters can finally unmask you from the village.

i have never been a gm but i'm pretty sure playing a pc as a gm which already a taboo

and if i reveal that character was a necromancer and the party didn't found out because i gave hims the ability to ignore player rules i think they would be pissed

i could just be a gm and make a lich as a questgiver or ally npc but that would be like teleportation to the finishing line

and there is always the risk of the party deciding they are gonna kill the good lich anyway just cause they hate necromancy


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I can definitely understand the appeal of the character.

I have a homebrew setting I've been working on for a bit that involves a clan of nomadic necromancers that worship a Chaotic Good goddess... the basic idea is that as desert people they use every resource available, and they believe that once the spirit leaves the body it's just an empty shell, and it would be a waste to let it rot. They have a whole religion built around the idea of honoring their ancestors by raising their bodies as undead guardians.

Unfortunately, with the ironclad "raising the dead is evil" written into the Golarion setting concepts like that don't really work without moving to another setting or just accepting that your character is evil.

Same with lichdom - it's been outright stated that one's path to lichdom will always involve committing atrocities that would turn you Evil if you weren't before. No balenorns in Golarion, I suppose. :)


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Digging into it, Baelnorn appear to be specifically Forgotten Realms Lore.

Here's a decent write up

I tripped over them, most likely in the 2001 Monsters of Faerûn that I have on my shelf. And well, I had an Elvish settlement that I'd written up for a game a couple years prior that was suited to have an undying protector, and had that player be a native to that culture.


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Neutral_Lich wrote:
Loreguard wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

....

All you have to do is be okay with the possibility that you will lose in the end, since "making the PCs/Players look/feel good" is your job. But anybody whose default state is "I want to be the bad guy, I want to rationalize their actions" should probably look into GMing.
That is certainly a really good point. Evil villains are always welcome as the villain. Another option, if you don't like GMing would be asking the GM if they would be willing to have you be an assistant GM and simply play the villain. You might need to be willing to make your character fit what the GM needs for the villain, but if you would enjoy playing the villain. They work the the GM to play the villain. Even if the PCs know your' the villain, it doesn't mean they can't work towards uncovering the truth of the plot so their characters can finally unmask you from the village.

i have never been a gm but i'm pretty sure playing a pc as a gm which already a taboo

and if i reveal that character was a necromancer and the party didn't found out because i gave hims the ability to ignore player rules i think they would be pissed

i could just be a gm and make a lich as a questgiver or ally npc but that would be like teleportation to the finishing line

and there is always the risk of the party deciding they are gonna kill the good lich anyway just cause they hate necromancy

Planing a NPC in the party is generally referred to as a GMPC and is an accepted practice, however there are specific things to avoid, such as most notably making the story about the GMPC and not the PCs. I was originally thinking you would simply make your concept the local villain, and not have them travel with the party, but you could do so, but you need to make sure your plan allows for the players to heroically discover your deception and overcome your villain heroically. (by conquest, redemption, or potentially banishment)

And as for my other option if you don't want to GM yourself, of your playing a villain while assisting another GM; I have specifically done this before for a college friend who was the GM for a group in his area. I was visiting town during the time of a session, so he asked me to play a role, allowing him to focus on other aspects, and allowing the PCs a more interesting ability to interact with the NPC I played. I presume others have done this, before for 'guest stars'. If you could find a group willing to have a recurring villain, perhaps you could work with a GM. I don't think pathfinder is generally set up to be a two team game, such as that. And the NPC rules being more 'generic' get what they need structure, P2 might be seen as slightly less prone to that feeling like a fair setup, it would still be possible with P2.

The core, is find a group you can play with, that is interested in playing together and explore the character concepts you are interested in. Be as interested in others being able to play their ideas, as you would like them to be interested in you being able to play your own concept.

edit: add
Also, note, I'm pretty sure that while some spells have the Evil descriptor, technically, just by RAW, it means a Good person cannot cast the spell. It does not Require you to be Evil to cast the spell.

So in theory, a necromancer, even one who raises/animates the fallen's bodies to defend his own interests, doesn't have to be inherently, overtly evil.

Killing people to be able to use their bodies... yeah... that'd probably get you there. Using bodies already available... not good, but you might have the ability to maintain a neutral state depending on your general nature. Using to dead to protect your family and community. Not good in Golarion, but potentially something that a neutral individual, following a non-good deity (or arcane necromancer) might do.

Doesn't mean the Good deities (and neutral ones) that are against undead, aren't going to be going after the person as if they are criminal and bad... but alignment-wise, I'd say might be able to stay neutral. Especially if it makes the story interesting. I'd also be fully supportive of a GM who said no, if they felt such magic was too tainting. (or maybe perhaps might rule only mindless undead animation is not inherently, unavoidably tainting)


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Neutral_Lich wrote:

ok can understand people's hatred for the undead minions but at the very least let me seek lichdom in peace

i mean its my soul and pharasma would obliterate it anyway for rejecting her judgement so there is no crime there

I am fairly certain that Necromancer is a viable player option in the core rulebook of the playtest and will remain there in the next edition book. Pursuing something like lichdom, just to avoid Phrasma's judgment is a perfectly legitimate character backstory that you should feel free to run. Even having the character be evil, or even a neutral character that use spells with the evil descriptor can be fine, but shouldn't be done without consulting the GM, and, in the vast majority of games, consulting with the other players. The core idea you are wanting to play is 100% feasible in the playtest. A lot of players will be fine with this as a background that motivates your character as long as you agree not to be secretly undermining them or working against group goals.

What is not present, and shouldn't be a core feature of the game, is classes, feats, spells, and abilities designed to manipulate and deceive other players without being gated behind requiring GM, and other player approval. And, of all the things that could be included in the core rulebook, antagonistic play rules are near the absolute bottom of things I would want to see in the next edition of this game.

The kind of game where every character agrees ahead of time not to reveal any backstory of their characters, nor their character abilities, and accepts that character motivations may lead to violent conflict is not "bad wrong fun," but it has to the play style chosen by everyone or it is a violation of the core level of trust that is necessary for people to be able to play roleplaying games.

Pathfinder is also not the best game for this model of play though. There are so many die rolls that need to be visible, if not to the other players, at least to the GM. If PF1 was going to really seek to develop antagonist play, it would have happened in Ultimate Intrigue.

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