Please Don't Call it "Thievery"


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Tridus wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

What I'm saying is that lockpicking is a skill commonly used by characters of majorly moral ambiguities that Paladins generally don't approve of, meaning the odds of a Paladin being able to pick a lock is the same odds of a Paladin being good at sleight of hand: it will probably be taught by someone who doesn't care for the laws of the land, and is someone that a Paladin would struggle to maintain his powers with at best, or outright turn said person into the authorities or he loses powers via alignment change.

If Paladins had the authority to pick locks, they'd be fine. If they could have a legitimate means to learn how to pick locks, they'd be fine. More often than not, however, they have neither.

IIRC from playing PFS without my own character and using premades, the iconic Paladin has a backstory along the lines of "stole a Paladins helmet, that Paladin got killed because of it, felt bad, became a Paladin herself."

It's a very short reach from there to "also learned how to pick locks while learning how to steal before becoming a Paladin."

Any background involving being a criminal/troubled street child/spy/etc before becoming a Paladin would have easy justification for having learned how to pick locks prior to becoming a Paladin.

Okay, but then you run into the issue of when they can expect to use such skills in play without losing powers, or even more accurately, justifications for raising their skills of Thievery beyond Trained to tackle level-appropriate challenges found in locks and traps.

Sure, breaking into BBEG stuff isn't qualms for it, but expecting Paladins to be Legendary Thieves solely because all they do is break into BBEG stuff expressly stretches the suspensions of disbelief far more than what can make sense in a logistical world.

On top of that, not every adventure deals with Evil creatures, and a Paladin has to remember that Evil creatures still have rights in a society of legitimate authority. When entities step beyond those bounds, the Paladin has free reign, but if he's on an errand from the King's Orders, he needs to abide by them, even if it means sparing the life of a murderer to properly bring them to justice.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think trying to say that choosing to put points in a skill risks falling for a Paladin is completely silly, regardless of what the skill is. Paladins fall based on their actions, not their knowledge.

That said, I originally didn't have a dog in this fight. After reading several good points in this thread, though, I agree that Thievery is an unfortunate word choice for the skill. If nothing else, because "why is your Paladin putting ranks in Thievery?!" is going to come up more often than "why is your Paladin putting ranks in Subtlety?" But I also think the "Paladin" side of this debate is becoming hyperbolic and misses the point that it is a problematic word choice for reasons unrelated to Paladins.

There are lots of non-evil uses for the skill, just like there are non-evil uses for every skill and evil uses for every skill. It would be better if the skill didn't have a name that predisposed people to think that they are supposed to only use it for breaking the law.

Unfortunately, I don't have a good suggestion for an alternative. The mixing of Disable Device and Sleight of Hand into the same skill makes it hard to find one word-phrase that describes both eloquently.

Thievery is not it, though. It doesn't even really adequately cover Disable Device.

EDIT: The mixing of skills also creates some unfortunate circumstances - a Paladin that wants to learn to disarm traps has to also learn to pick pockets, leading to debates like this, even if the Paladin has no intention of ever picking pockets.


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There could be a possible compromise if Disable Divice ended up in the craft skill. Though this would make DD an int skill I believe instead of dex; the rest could stay as sleight of hand, or something similar.

Other than that or the Ledger one, the pool of word choices is freighteningly small.


Then it makes no sense that a Paladin who is trained in Thievery never actually used Thievery in its obviously intended usage, since now you're justifying Paladins being Legendary Thieves, which is an absolutely ridiculous character concept. An Antipaladin, sure, because they don't have any moral quandaries and might actually have insidious uses for the skill, but a Paladin? What's next, Paladins being full-fledged Wizards or Alchemists? (And no, Dedication feats don't count.)

It's only a problematic word choice because people want to justify being a thief as being a Capital LG thing that Paladins should have every right to do. And they don't. It's an unrealistic standard to suggest that Robin Hood is a Paladin, because he's not, no matter what amount of piety he may seem to possess. He might be Good, but he's also a Vigilante, sparking Chaos in an otherwise Lawful land, and in the service of legitimate authority, a Paladin would have qualms with that kind of person because the Paladin isn't a lawbreaker. He wouldn't kill him unless he had to, obviously, but a Paladin should, at the very least, be on the side of bringing him to justice and instead finding a better way within the laws of the land to support those less fortunate unless he finds the authority to no longer be legitimate. But for the sake of argument, it is in this case, so if that Paladin wants to aid and abet a criminal, he should suffer the consequences of what that does to his Paladinhood.

You can't really suggest an alternative simply because they are two completely different skill sets by nature. The ability to set and disable traps, the ability to pick and create locks, the ability to steal and hide objects on your person, these are all things that iconic Thieves do. But you know what? I got a better name than anyone else does, and it fits with the existing concept. Roguery. There. Now it's not Evil and Paladins can justify their Robin Hood-ness via Roguery. Problem solved, everyone go home and be a family man and all that silly nonsense.

The long and short of the thread is this: I won't agree to a change on the word Thievery unless we also agree to a change on the word Necromancy, a word that similarly exists with heavily evil connotations that Capital LG characters would have qualms with.

Until then, you're not convincing me to let Paladins play like Rogues and Thieves, because if they wanted to play Rogues and Thieves, there's a class for that already.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

See, this is exactly my point.

You are convinced that the only use of the skill called Thievery is thievery.

This is not remotely true, and is in fact a great argument for changing the word.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Thievery is not it, though.

Bypassing security measures sounds like thievery to me. It's hard to break in if the alarm trap isn't bypassed or escape with your ill gotten gains with a foot in a bear trap.

Then lets look at what the skill says: "You are trained in a particular set of skills favored by thieves and miscreants. Disabling devices and picking locks either are aided by or require the use of thieves’
tools (see page 187)." So you use thieves tools when disabling a trap... Seems appropriate to call a skill that uses thieves tools thievery. ;)


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The long and short of the thread is this: I won't agree to a change on the word Thievery unless we also agree to a change on the word Necromancy, a word that similarly exists with heavily evil connotations that Capital LG characters would have qualms with.

Okay, Wikipedia says that necromany grew out of shamanism, so how about renaming it shamanism?

Another possibility is the Jungian anima.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Then it makes no sense that a Paladin who is trained in Thievery never actually used Thievery in its obviously intended usage, since now you're justifying Paladins being Legendary Thieves, which is an absolutely ridiculous character concept.

I have a really simple reason for a Paladin in the playtest to be Legendary in thievery: They're a Paladin of a less-violent deity and would rather not kill. But, and here's the kicker, tying someone up uses Thievery DC to determine escape DC. So the less skilled your Paladin is in the arts of Thievery, the easier it is for those they're attempting to bring in for legal trial to slip out of the bonds you tied.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Bypassing security measures sounds like thievery to me. It's hard to break in if the alarm trap isn't bypassed or escape with your ill gotten gains with a foot in a bear trap.

No.

Bypassing security measures is a part of thievery, but thievery is not a part of bypassing security measures.

When a SWAT team disarms the traps that a wanted fugitive has barricaded themselves in with, are they performing thievery?


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"I'll disable this Indiana Jones trap"

"Okay, give me an Urban check"

"Somehow this game's lost its charm"


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MaxAstro wrote:
graystone wrote:
Bypassing security measures sounds like thievery to me. It's hard to break in if the alarm trap isn't bypassed or escape with your ill gotten gains with a foot in a bear trap.

No.

Bypassing security measures is a part of thievery, but thievery is not a part of bypassing security measures.

When a SWAT team disarms the traps that a wanted fugitive has barricaded themselves in with, are they performing thievery?

Yes.

"You are trained in a particular set of skills favored by thieves and miscreants."

So you are making the mistake. Thievery in game is a set of skills favored by thieves and miscreants. Nothing says that the skills can't be used by others for more holsom purposes JUST that they they are used by that set of people. That swat dude is using a skill favored by thieves and miscreants, intent is 10000% meaningless and doesn't alter who favors the skill.


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graystone wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Thievery is not it, though.

Bypassing security measures sounds like thievery to me. It's hard to break in if the alarm trap isn't bypassed or escape with your ill gotten gains with a foot in a bear trap.

Then lets look at what the skill says: "You are trained in a particular set of skills favored by thieves and miscreants. Disabling devices and picking locks either are aided by or require the use of thieves’
tools (see page 187)." So you use thieves tools when disabling a trap... Seems appropriate to call a skill that uses thieves tools thievery. ;)

Miscreants? What do miscreants have to do with Thievery, aside from thieves being included among the miscreants? The description already said thieves. "Miscreant" means heretic, unbeliever, infidel, one who behaves criminally or viciously. The direct meaning of the word has nothing to do with picking pockets or picking locks.

That inspired me to check the introduction to every skill.

Acrobatics: Acrobatics measures your ability to perform physical feats that require balance, coordination, and grace.
Arcana: This skill measures how much you know about alchemy, arcane spells, and the most common magic items. Further, it determines how much information you have on theories about alchemy and arcane energies as well as lore about the creatures associated with them.
Athletics: Training in Athletics is the result of conditioning that allows you to perform deeds of physical prowess.
Crafting: You can use this skill to create and repair items.
Deception: You can trick and bamboozle others through disguises, lies, and other forms of subterfuge.
Diplomacy: You influence others through negotiation and flattery.
Intimidation: You bend others to your will through threats.
Lore: You have specialized information on a narrow topic.
Medicine: You can patch up wounds and help people recover from diseases and poisons.
Nature: You know a great deal about the natural world, and you can command and train animals and magical beasts.
Occultism: You have a great deal of knowledge about ancient philosophies, esoteric lore, obscure mysticism, and supernatural creatures.
Performance: With this skill you can perform in front of crowds.
Religion: The secrets of deities, dogma, faith, and the realms of divine creatures both sublime and sinister are open to you. You also understand how magic works, though your training gives a religious slant to that knowledge.
Society: You understand the people and systems that make civilization run, and you know the historical events that make societies what they are today. Further, you can use that knowledge to navigate the twisted workings of settlements, whether they’re physical, societal, or economic.
Stealth: You are skilled at avoiding detection, allowing you to slip past foes, hide, or conceal an item on your person.
Survival: You are skilled at living in the wilderness, foraging for food and building shelter, and with training you discover the secrets of tracking and hiding your trail.
Thievery: You are trained in a particular set of skills favored by thieves and miscreants. Disabling devices and picking locks either are aided by or require the use of thieves’ tools (see page 187).

Paizo, when I studied how to write official documentation, one recommendation was not to rely on the heading to provide meaning to the first sentence. Only the descriptions of Acrobatics and Athletics mention the name of the skill.

Curiously, only Thievery mentions the kind of people who use that skill. Arcana does not say "favored by wizards," Athletics does not say "favored by warriors," Medicine does not say "favored by healers," Performance does not say "favored by minstrels," Religion does not say, "favored by priests," Stealth does not say "favored by scouts and robbers," and Survival does not say "favored by nomads."

If Paizo changes the name of Thievery, then they should change that first line, too. Or change the first line regardless to something that directly describes the skill, such as, "Thievery trains you in the nimble touch necessary to pick pockets and disable sensitive traps."


Maybe add some Crafts that can duplicate some of the skills in Thievery skill. So Lock Smith craft/profession would also also lock picking.

A big issue I have with the "every use of Thievery skills can not be used by Paladins because of what they are", is that bad guys also use weapons to kill people, thus should Paladins be able to use weapons at all as weapons are for killing people?

MDC


Ben Ehrets wrote:
This is a side point, but we have a friend of the family visiting us today who is telling me he doesn't know much about fantasy worlds, but that there is far more legal lockpicking going on in the real world than illegal, and that he would be pretty offended if someone called anything he does thievery.

That's true. Real world criminals rarely bother with lockpicking. It's time consuming and tricky. It's faster and easier to just break a window. On the other hand there are lots of legit locksmiths who pick locks regularly when people loose their keys. There's also recreational lock-picking, which is apparently a growing hobby. The biggest rule is; don't pick a lock if you don't have permission from it's owner. There are even competitions. I'm not sure how much this really applies to the fantasy world of Pathfinder though.


MaxAstro wrote:
Unfortunately, I don't have a good suggestion for an alternative. The mixing of Disable Device and Sleight of Hand into the same skill makes it hard to find one word-phrase that describes both eloquently.

Perhaps Sleight of Hand should become part of Stealth and Disable Device part of craft. Perhaps with Skill Feats locking some uses. Both are a bit marginal in their use to really justify a full skill with all the consolidation going on. But combining the two into Thievery (or whatever else you want to call it) just doesn't really fit either. Locksmiths shouldn't all be great at sleight of hand, nor pick-pockets being just as good with mechanical devices. They're very different skills, just lumped together as quintessential rogue skills and because they're the odd skills out.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Then it makes no sense that a Paladin who is trained in Thievery never actually used Thievery in its obviously intended usage, since now you're justifying Paladins being Legendary Thieves, which is an absolutely ridiculous character concept. An Antipaladin, sure, because they don't have any moral quandaries and might actually have insidious uses for the skill, but a Paladin? What's next, Paladins being full-fledged Wizards or Alchemists? (And no, Dedication feats don't count.)

There's no reason whatsoever that a Paladin who winds up picking a lot of locks is a "ridiculous character concept" unless you're being overly judgemental on other people's character concepts for BadWrongFun. We've already shown how easy it is to get the skill on a Paladin. There's no reason whatsoever they can't train it after that to get better at it, just like any other character can train in anything, even if they aren't always using it.

Unless you want to apply this across the board and tell me my Cleric can't get better at Perform at a given level up without actually using it. Because you can't apply these kinds of extra restrictions to Paladins and nobody else because reasons.

It's only a problematic word choice because people want to justify being a thief as being a Capital LG thing that Paladins should have every right to do. And they don't. It's an unrealistic standard to suggest that Robin Hood is a Paladin, because he's not, no matter what amount of piety he may seem to possess. He might be Good, but he's also a Vigilante, sparking Chaos in an otherwise Lawful land, and in the service of legitimate authority, a Paladin would have qualms with that kind of person because the Paladin isn't a lawbreaker. He wouldn't kill him unless he had to, obviously, but a Paladin should, at the very least, be on the side of bringing him to justice and instead finding a better way within the laws of the land to support those less fortunate unless he finds the authority to no longer be legitimate. But for the sake of argument, it is in this case, so if that Paladin wants to aid and abet a criminal, he should suffer the consequences of what that does to his Paladinhood.

No, it's a problematic word because of exactly what you're doing: you're so hung up on the word that you're dismissing every possible usage of the skill as "not something a Paladin would do".

Quote:
You can't really suggest an alternative simply because they are two completely different skill sets by nature. The ability to set and disable traps, the ability to pick and create locks, the ability to steal and hide objects on your person, these are all things that iconic Thieves do. But you know what? I got a better name than anyone else does, and it fits with the existing concept. Roguery. There. Now it's not Evil and Paladins can justify their Robin Hood-ness via Roguery. Problem solved, everyone go home and be a family man and all that silly nonsense.

Seeing as how several alternatives have already been suggested, it's pretty clear that people can suggest them. But hey, lots of iconic Necromancers are good at Arcana, so should Paladins also be banned from that because it's clearly not Paladin like to know about arcane magic?

[quoote]The long and short of the thread is this: I won't agree to a change on the word Thievery unless we also agree to a change on the word Necromancy, a word that similarly exists with heavily evil connotations that Capital LG characters would have qualms with.

Considering how often I run into people confused by Necromancy (enslaving and animating the dead), Necromancy (negative energy/curses/etc), and Necromancy (healing)? Sure. I'd be perfectly happy splitting off the "this is always evil because the Gods have declared it so" one from the other two, where that isn't true.

Quote:
Until then, you're not convincing me to let Paladins play like Rogues and Thieves, because if they wanted to play Rogues and Thieves, there's a class for that already.

Believe it or not, there are people who want to play Paladins differently than you, and they don't need your permission to have BadWrongFun.


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MaxAstro wrote:

See, this is exactly my point.

You are convinced that the only use of the skill called Thievery is thievery.

This is not remotely true, and is in fact a great argument for changing the word.

I'm convinced that a skill called Thievery will more often than not be used in activities like thievery, yes. To suggest otherwise is a little silly. That's like saying using a skill called Arcana should also be validly used to create magic items, and not just identify magical entities.

Then change Necromancy. Why should Necromancy, associated with animating dead bodies and being a deliverer of death, be confused with magic that does the exact opposite? You aren't really on a moral high horse when we have issues like Necromancy still present and apparently "totally acceptable" within the game, and yet nobody is batting an eye at it despite the obvious correlation.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Then it makes no sense that a Paladin who is trained in Thievery never actually used Thievery in its obviously intended usage, since now you're justifying Paladins being Legendary Thieves, which is an absolutely ridiculous character concept.
I have a really simple reason for a Paladin in the playtest to be Legendary in thievery: They're a Paladin of a less-violent deity and would rather not kill. But, and here's the kicker, tying someone up uses Thievery DC to determine escape DC. So the less skilled your Paladin is in the arts of Thievery, the easier it is for those they're attempting to bring in for legal trial to slip out of the bonds you tied.

There are so many other, better ways to make due with the bolded part besides raising a morally ambiguous skill's proficiency. Using non-lethal weapons and attacks, for starters. Furthermore, effects which incapacitate (but not physically harm) the target sound like valid approaches as well. The only entities a Paladin can't really do this sort of stuff on are oozes, undead, constructs, and other similarly non-negotiable things that a Paladin otherwise has no qualms in destroying.

Interesting point on the bondage rules. But if I remember correctly, most items like Manacles have a set DC and # of successes based on the kind of manacles being used, meaning the Paladin carrying manacles isn't very difficult, even if it is heavier. Similarly, he can have someone who is better qualified to tie up prisoners; the Paladin doesn't have to do everything by and for himself, after all.


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graystone wrote:
Igor Horvat wrote:
Pillars of Eternity has Mechanics.

As with a lot of the other suggestions, it leave a few actions the skill can do behind. Mechanics falls far short when it comes to sleight of hand/pick pockets.

Helmic wrote:
+1 for Manipulation.

Going with "fine motor skills" would also cover things like escape and grab edge [acrobatics], practice a trade [lore/craft], administer first aid [medicine], create a diversion and feint [deception], Performance [instrument] and/or create forgery [society].

Secondly, "Fine motor skills are involved in smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, feet and toes." As such, it could cover things like climbing, stealth, trip, jump, grapple, balance...

I'm still sticking with thievery for the best option.

Except those are very much stretching it, all sorts of actions are ambiguous and could fall under other skills, and thievery is probably one of the worse examples of that exact phenomena since stealing doesn't necessarily require fine motor skills. Is it "thievery" to sneak into someone's house and grab a pearl necklace sitting on a nightstand right next to the sleeping homeowner? No, that's stealth, but "Thievery" implies that because it's literally thievery it should apply.

You're also just using the description of manipulation, which thievery shares. They're both fine motor skills, regardless of the name, and a GM that would make those calls would mix them up regardless. Manipulation, as a name, at least better reflects what the skill does. It's about using a hairpin to jam a tiny gear to stop a trap from triggering, or fishing a coin that's fallen down a drain out with a string, a bit of chewed gum, and some patience.

Manipulation works a lot better because it's more specific about what the skill actually does, and a GM is no more likely to "confuse" a crafting check with a manipulate check when smithing a sword than they are to call for an Athletics check because it's such a workout.

Mechanics is another one that works fine. Anything that suggests "this is the skilled use of hands" skill. Thievery, as a word, covers way too much else to be clear on what it actually does unless your'e already intimately familiar with the role of "thieves" or rogues in fantasy tabletop RPG's.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

See, this is exactly my point.

You are convinced that the only use of the skill called Thievery is thievery.

This is not remotely true, and is in fact a great argument for changing the word.

I'm convinced that a skill called Thievery will more often than not be used in activities like thievery, yes.

That is exactly the reason many of us want the skill name (and parts of the description) changed. The name brings to mind all of the worst uses of the skill.

There are iconic characters like Quinn (the Investigator) that have Disable Device but are very concerned with lawful behavior. The iconic Paladin Seelah has a shady background and there is even a Rogue/Paladin in a PFS Scenario.

What is important is how you use a skill.

My personal choice for a new name would be something like Security Systems.

As for some of the other suggestions, I have no problem with them changing Necromancy to a different word. It would be a good time for them to change the names of the Barbarian and Monk classes as well. If someone wanted to make a separate thread suggesting those changes, I would support such a change.


Tridus wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Then it makes no sense that a Paladin who is trained in Thievery never actually used Thievery in its obviously intended usage, since now you're justifying Paladins being Legendary Thieves, which is an absolutely ridiculous character concept. An Antipaladin, sure, because they don't have any moral quandaries and might actually have insidious uses for the skill, but a Paladin? What's next, Paladins being full-fledged Wizards or Alchemists? (And no, Dedication feats don't count.)

There's no reason whatsoever that a Paladin who winds up picking a lot of locks is a "ridiculous character concept" unless you're being overly judgemental on other people's character concepts for BadWrongFun. We've already shown how easy it is to get the skill on a Paladin. There's no reason whatsoever they can't train it after that to get better at it, just like any other character can train in anything, even if they aren't always using it.

Unless you want to apply this across the board and tell me my Cleric can't get better at Perform at a given level up without actually using it. Because you can't apply these kinds of extra restrictions to Paladins and nobody else because reasons.

It's only a problematic word choice because people want to justify being a thief as being a Capital LG thing that Paladins should have every right to do. And they don't. It's an unrealistic standard to suggest that Robin Hood is a Paladin, because he's not, no matter what amount of piety he may seem to possess. He might be Good, but he's also a Vigilante, sparking Chaos in an otherwise Lawful land, and in the service of legitimate authority, a Paladin would have qualms with that kind of person because the Paladin isn't a lawbreaker. He wouldn't kill him unless he had to, obviously, but a Paladin should, at the very least, be on the side of bringing him to justice and instead finding a better way within the laws of the land to support those less fortunate unless he finds the authority to no...

Sounds like Paladins are now allowed to lie, cheat, steal, and get away with capital felonies because if I don't let them do that with the ThieveryRoguery skill, I'm called BadWrongFun and I won't have any players at my tables. Okay. Cool. What else is new with Paladins and their supposed rights to walk all over every table they come across? Not much I suppose, just more of the same entitled BS. But to add, I never said the Paladin can't train it, I just said the Paladin couldn't logistically make full use of the skill without potentially breaking Paladin code, which like any other case of using skills, should be obvious enough (such as using Intimidate to coerce citizens to hand over their money), in the same vein that if a Cleric has a deity who opposes Performances, if that Cleric decides to use a Performance, he suffers the anathema of his deity, no questions asked. The Cleric should know his code of conduct, and if he violates it, then he should suffer the consequences as appropriate. Otherwise, what's the !@*&#^$@# point of those mechanics? Just what I need from Paizo, more pointlessly written BS to throw out the window.

In case you haven't noticed, I haven't dismissed every possible usage of the skill. Some, yes, but not all. All I've said is that Paladins more often than not have moral quandaries with the uses of such skills and are averse to taking and training in them. But hey, I'm BadWrongFun if I don't let Paladins play like Rogues, right? Again, more entitlement crap that is spewed in every Paladin thread because apparently Paladins can't ever be opposed or contested in the way they are played otherwise you're BadWrongFun. Get the steamroller already, the tamper isn't fooling anyone or getting anything accomplished.

They've tried and failed. I'm probably the only one who has come the closest, since I just took the formula of Thievery and copied it to a noun that's less contentious and yet similar in nature. Roguery is a word, and a thing. Not difficult, really, though certainly not catchy or well understood to those unfamiliar.

No, you have to change it. If you don't, you're a hypocrite, full stop. When a element of the game has unwanted negative connotations, you change it to something more appropriate. Necromancy isn't an appropriate name for magic that heals and bring people back to life when it has the connotations of association with death and undead.

Let them play their "Paladins" at their tables differently and see if I care. Just don't expect me to call characters who break into houses and steal things "Paladins."


BretI wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

See, this is exactly my point.

You are convinced that the only use of the skill called Thievery is thievery.

This is not remotely true, and is in fact a great argument for changing the word.

I'm convinced that a skill called Thievery will more often than not be used in activities like thievery, yes.

That is exactly the reason many of us want the skill name (and parts of the description) changed. The name brings to mind all of the worst uses of the skill.

There are iconic characters like Quinn (the Investigator) that have Disable Device but are very concerned with lawful behavior. The iconic Paladin Seelah has a shady background and there is even a Rogue/Paladin in a PFS Scenario.

What is important is how you use a skill.

My personal choice for a new name would be something like Security Systems.

As for some of the other suggestions, I have no problem with them changing Necromancy to a different word. It would be a good time for them to change the names of the Barbarian and Monk classes as well. If someone wanted to make a separate thread suggesting those changes, I would support such a change.

As it should, because that has always been the skill's primary function. I mean, we're trying to paint Robin Hood out to be a saint here, and he's not. He might have done Good with his actions, but he's still a Vigilante that has broken the laws of the land. That makes him a Liberator at best. A Liberator is not a Paladin. A Champion, yes, but not a Paladin.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A Paladin that focuses on Thievery so they can go around freeing slaves/hostages and retrieving stolen property is a perfectly legitimate concept that is fully backed up by their Code.

There’s also absolutley no moral argument to disabling traps either.

Darksol is putting forth the best example of why the name needs to be changed, since they can’t seem to grasp that people might focus on the lockpicking/disabling skill for any other reason than in order to steal stuff for selfish reasons.

Tangent, if it’s against the law to pick the lock it’s also against the law to break down the door or window, so that flimsy argument crumples right there.

For alternative names we have Security (my preference), Manipulation, Trickery, and Skulduggery (not serious but I like saying it).


Rysky wrote:

A Paladin that focuses on Thievery so they can go around freeing slaves/hostages and retrieving stolen property is a perfectly legitimate concept that is fully backed up by their Code.

There’s also absolutley no moral argument to disabling traps either.

Darksol is putting forth the best example of why the name needs to be changed, since they can’t seem to grasp that people might focus on the lockpicking/disabling skill for any other reason than in order to steal stuff for selfish reasons.

Tangent, if it’s against the law to pick the lock it’s also against the law to break down the door or window, so that flimsy argument crumples right there.

For alternative names we have Security (my preference), Manipulation, Trickery, and Skulduggery (not serious but I like saying it).

The slave argument really only holds water if people aren't legally the slave of someone's ownership. In an area of legitimate authority where it's legal to own slaves, a Paladin freeing such slaves would be in the wrong, and if caught by law enforcement, would suffer the punishment for breaking that law among other things. But hey, I guess the Paladin doesn't have to obey laws or his code when it's convenient for him to do the "Good" thing. Robin Hood as a Paladin has been confirmed by the community, so I'm arguing with a brick wall here.

There is also some qualms with stolen property because if law enforcement isn't aware of an agent such as a Paladin, or if other onlookers who don't know better think the Paladin may instead be another thief, he's now once again on the other side of the law (even if mistakenly) and puts the Lawful side of his alignment into question if others can't tell the difference.

I imagine a good reason Paladins don't get involved in this sort of thing is because it's very easy to be confused with actual lawbreakers and give in to the luxuries and benefits of having such a skill set to get what you want instead of doing things in a more legitimate manner. A Redeemer may not particularly care, and a Liberator doesn't care in the slightest, but a Paladin that has to value and uphold laws of legitimate authority needs to be more cautious with this sort of thing.

Silver Crusade

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The slave argument really only holds water if people aren't legally the slave of someone's ownership. In an area of legitimate authority where it's legal to own slaves, a Paladin freeing such slaves would be in the wrong, and if caught by law enforcement, would suffer the punishment for breaking that law among other things. But hey, I guess the Paladin doesn't have to obey laws or his code when it's convenient for him to do the "Good" thing.
There's no "convenience", Good trumps Law.
Quote:
There is also some qualms with stolen property because if law enforcement isn't aware of an agent such as a Paladin, or if other onlookers who don't know better think the Paladin may instead be another thief, he's now once again on the other side of the law (even if mistakenly) and puts the Lawful side of his alignment into question if others can't tell the difference.
Schrodinger's Law, you can't just point at a Paladin and assume they're breaking the law for no reason and have that Paladin fall on that person's assumption.
Quote:
I imagine a good reason Paladins don't get involved in this sort of thing is because it's very easy to be confused with actual lawbreakers and give in to the luxuries and benefits of having such a skill set to get what you want instead of doing things in a more legitimate manner. A Redeemer may not particularly care, and a Liberator doesn't care in the slightest, but a Paladin that has to value and uphold laws of legitimate authority needs to be more cautious with this sort of thing.

A Paladin that easily falls into selfish greed does not stay a Paladin.

Liberty's Edge

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I have no particular dog in this fight. They could change the name...or not. Personally, I think Skullduggery or Legerdemain would be fine (Security sounds too high tech and only really covers the Disable Device stuff, while Manipulation and Trickery both sound like Deception should fall under them, leading to confusion).

However:

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The slave argument really only holds water if people aren't legally the slave of someone's ownership.

This is factually incorrect in PF2. Upholding the law is the lowest possible tenet of the Paladin Code. They cannot violate it casually or for fun, but the very second that 'saving an innocent from harm' (and freeing slaves is often precisely that) comes into conflict with 'obey the law' the Paladin is obligated by the Code's priority system to save the innocent, ignoring the law entirely.

Now, you can dislike that if you want (though I personally find the very idea of Paladins valuing Law over Good confusing and abhorrent), but please argue based on the actual rules for things like this.


Rysky wrote:
For alternative names we have Security (my preference), Manipulation, Trickery, and Skulduggery (not serious but I like saying it).

Security would be ok, although the term isn't great because it is almost an antonym of thievery.

A word meaning fine manipulation or manual dexterity would be perfect! Not that I can think of one.


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I'm more on the side of those who want to split the skill in two, such as dividing the device manipulation (Mechanics?) from the Sleigth of Hand part.
This way both skills would have their well-defined field of application and a name without moral or social complications.
Also, there could still be rogues with those skills that are not thieves.

As an alternative, what do you think about Troubleshooting? It's an old proficiency name from AD&D 2nd Edition and is basically a Mac Guyver-style catch-all skill.

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I have no particular dog in this fight. They could change the name...or not. Personally, I think Skullduggery or Legerdemain would be fine (Security sounds too high tech and only really covers the Disable Device stuff, while Manipulation and Trickery both sound like Deception should fall under them, leading to confusion).

However:

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The slave argument really only holds water if people aren't legally the slave of someone's ownership.

This is factually incorrect in PF2. Upholding the law is the lowest possible tenet of the Paladin Code. They cannot violate it casually or for fun, but the very second that 'saving an innocent from harm' (and freeing slaves is often precisely that) comes into conflict with 'obey the law' the Paladin is obligated by the Code's priority system to save the innocent, ignoring the law entirely.

Now, you can dislike that if you want (though I personally find the very idea of Paladins valuing Law over Good confusing and abhorrent), but please argue based on the actual rules for things like this.

^ All of this.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mad Master wrote:

I'm more on the side of those who want to split the skill in two, such as dividing the device manipulation (Mechanics?) from the Sleigth of Hand part.

This way both skills would have their well-defined field of application and a name without moral or social complications.
Also, there could still be rogues with those skills that are not thieves.

As an alternative, what do you think about Troubleshooting? It's an old proficiency name from AD&D 2nd Edition and is basically a Mac Guyver-style catch-all skill.

Hmm, Troubleshooting isn't half-bad.


Rysky wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The slave argument really only holds water if people aren't legally the slave of someone's ownership. In an area of legitimate authority where it's legal to own slaves, a Paladin freeing such slaves would be in the wrong, and if caught by law enforcement, would suffer the punishment for breaking that law among other things. But hey, I guess the Paladin doesn't have to obey laws or his code when it's convenient for him to do the "Good" thing.
There's no "convenience", Good trumps Law.
Quote:
There is also some qualms with stolen property because if law enforcement isn't aware of an agent such as a Paladin, or if other onlookers who don't know better think the Paladin may instead be another thief, he's now once again on the other side of the law (even if mistakenly) and puts the Lawful side of his alignment into question if others can't tell the difference.
Schrodinger's Law, you can't just point at a Paladin and assume they're breaking the law for no reason and have that Paladin fall on that person's assumption.
Quote:
I imagine a good reason Paladins don't get involved in this sort of thing is because it's very easy to be confused with actual lawbreakers and give in to the luxuries and benefits of having such a skill set to get what you want instead of doing things in a more legitimate manner. A Redeemer may not particularly care, and a Liberator doesn't care in the slightest, but a Paladin that has to value and uphold laws of legitimate authority needs to be more cautious with this sort of thing.
A Paladin that easily falls into selfish greed does not stay a Paladin.

If a Paladin can still be called a Paladin by being NG or CG, you'd have a point. But they aren't, and we actually have rules for this. And there's nothing to suggest that the slaves in question are being mistreated or harmed, making the assumption that they are is no different than my apparent viewpoint of thievery as a skill.

If a citizen sees someone breaking into another citizen's house, I'm fairly certain that an upstanding citizen would bring that to the attention of the proper authorities for them to handle if they feel that a crime is being committed. Paladins don't walk around with neon signs attached to themselves saying what they are, contrary to popular opinion, so a citizen telling the difference between a Paladin using thievery as a skill and a Rogue using thievery as a skill is not as black-and-white as it's made out to be.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Darksol, trying to argue that a Paladin can't free slaves in places where slavery is legal seems indicative of a poor understanding of what Paladins are as well as what Lawful actually means.

Graystone, I completely agree with you. The description of the skill IS terrible and should be changed.

Mathmuse, I wish I could upvote you more than once.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

I have no particular dog in this fight. They could change the name...or not. Personally, I think Skullduggery or Legerdemain would be fine (Security sounds too high tech and only really covers the Disable Device stuff, while Manipulation and Trickery both sound like Deception should fall under them, leading to confusion).

However:

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The slave argument really only holds water if people aren't legally the slave of someone's ownership.

This is factually incorrect in PF2. Upholding the law is the lowest possible tenet of the Paladin Code. They cannot violate it casually or for fun, but the very second that 'saving an innocent from harm' (and freeing slaves is often precisely that) comes into conflict with 'obey the law' the Paladin is obligated by the Code's priority system to save the innocent, ignoring the law entirely.

Now, you can dislike that if you want (though I personally find the very idea of Paladins valuing Law over Good confusing and abhorrent), but please argue based on the actual rules for things like this.

In none of the slave examples was there any mention of cruelty or abuse being done to them, meaning the higher tenants of the code never had to be brought up and making this effectively a strawman argument. Can we assume it? Sure, but now we're at a Pot Meet Kettle situation, so I wouldn't likely be convinced of this argument if the same argument I made likewise doesn't convince others of my position.

Even then, with the code in place like that, a Paladin doesn't need to use subtlety like the thievery skill to fulfill his code, which then begs into question the whole point of training in thievery as a Paladin when a Paladin doesn't have any need to use it to fulfill his code.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm sorry, if you don't think slavery is inherently cruelty and abuse then I don't think we can continue to talk.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@Darksol

Why do almost all of your arguments against changing the name involve the Paladin? There are other character concepts that would also object to the name suggesting illegal activities.

It would be very in character (some might even say expected) that a cleric of Alseta (LN Goddess of Doors, Transitions, and years) would be trained in whatever skill covers Picking Locks. A number of people have already mentioned how there are legal instances where this is acceptable.

That cleric is most likely lawful.

There are plenty of instances where the skill could be used in legal ways. It is how you use the skill that matters.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I have no particular dog in this fight. They could change the name...or not. Personally, I think Skullduggery or Legerdemain would be fine (Security sounds too high tech and only really covers the Disable Device stuff, while Manipulation and Trickery both sound like Deception should fall under them, leading to confusion).

However:

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The slave argument really only holds water if people aren't legally the slave of someone's ownership.

This is factually incorrect in PF2. Upholding the law is the lowest possible tenet of the Paladin Code. They cannot violate it casually or for fun, but the very second that 'saving an innocent from harm' (and freeing slaves is often precisely that) comes into conflict with 'obey the law' the Paladin is obligated by the Code's priority system to save the innocent, ignoring the law entirely.

Now, you can dislike that if you want (though I personally find the very idea of Paladins valuing Law over Good confusing and abhorrent), but please argue based on the actual rules for things like this.

In none of the slave examples was there any mention of cruelty or abuse being done to them, meaning the higher tenants of the code never had to be brought up and making this effectively a strawman argument. Can we assume it? Sure, but now we're at a Pot Meet Kettle situation, so I wouldn't likely be convinced of this argument if the same argument I made likewise doesn't convince others of my position.

Even then, with the code in place like that, a Paladin doesn't need to use subtlety like the thievery skill to fulfill his code, which then begs into question the whole point of training in thievery as a Paladin when a Paladin doesn't have any need to use it to fulfill his code.

y i k e s my dude. There's no such thing as slavery without cruelty or abuse, it's inherent to the system. Someone that would refuse to free slaves given the opportunity is a bad person, and I'm not just talking about paladins in fantasy games.

I think the hot and spicy takes on owning other humans as property are a sign we need to get back on topic. That there's this confusion does kind of illustrate why Thievery isn't a sufficiently descriptive name for what the skill does. The best I've heard id Manipulate, but again that's a word that could mean something other than just fine motor skills.

I'd just call it Fine Motor Skills if it wasn't an extremely dumb name, since it literally just is the skill.


Helmic wrote:
The best I've heard id Manipulate, but again that's a word that could mean something other than just fine motor skills.

Manual Manipulation is more precise to denote "with your hands".

Manual Dexterity would be the most natural term to cover lockpicking, disable device and sleight of hand, but probably not practical because the word dexterity is already in use.


Personally I don't see anything wrong with the name Thievery (it's just a skill name, not related to anything in-game), but I sorta get the concern and based on several of the post in this thread a name change does seem like a reasonable idea.

There haven't been a single suggestion that seems 100% perfect to me, but something like Manipulation or Minute Manipulation (the adjective regarding size) seems to be the best so far, at least if the current "package" of skill uses stays the same.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Honestly, even though it doesn't perfectly cover picking pockets, Security is kinda my favorite suggestion to far. It also works for actual thieves on an ironic level. "I'm a... security specialist, you might say." :P


MaxAstro wrote:
Honestly, even though it doesn't perfectly cover picking pockets, Security is kinda my favorite suggestion to far. It also works for actual thieves on an ironic level. "I'm a... security specialist, you might say." :P

But nothing is stopping the current master of thievery of framing it that way in game. Thievery is an OOC term for the selection of skill uses, so I don't see the reason why the name should in anyway dictate anything in-game. Security to me fails to cover Palm an Object and Steal an Object and to some extend Lockpicking as well.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The OOC aspect of it basically is the problem, as has been well-illustrated by this thread.

"Why is your Paladin Legendary in Thievery? He should fall for that!" is not a discussion I want to have IRL like has come up in this thread. I also don't want to have to explain to new players that having the Thievery skill doesn't mean they should be stealing from their party members.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm really not sure this will be as big an issue as people seem to think. I've played a lot of games over the years, including those featuring skills with names like Larceny or Burglary. At no point has anyone ever used such skill names as excuses for being a dick or a kleptomaniac.

I'm not saying it'll never happen, but frankly, new players can probably be corrected if they do this, and non-new players are almost certainly just looking for an excuse to be an a*!#!~& (and would find an alternate excuse if this one were made unavailable).

I suppose GMs having this attitude is more problematic, and a name change might fix the issue...but it seems a rather small problem all things considered.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
In none of the slave examples was there any mention of cruelty or abuse being done to them, meaning the higher tenants of the code never had to be brought up and making this effectively a strawman argument.

No, it isn't. Even assuming slavery isn't immediately and inherently harmful (which it often is), it's not a strawman if it comes up a significant portion of the time, and even if you assume slavery in and of itself is not harm, slave owners harming their slaves is extraordinarily common. It is a situation that will absolutely come up in many games, and in some games quite regularly.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Can we assume it? Sure, but now we're at a Pot Meet Kettle situation, so I wouldn't likely be convinced of this argument if the same argument I made likewise doesn't convince others of my position.

This is more of an 'All ravens are black' situation (which can be disproved via a single white raven). You are claiming that a Paladin has no need of Thievery, ever. All we need is a singular example of it being useful to a Paladin and your argument falls apart.

Meanwhile, nobody here is saying 'All Paladins can always use Thievery under all circumstances.' which would be the contention that your statements disprove.

In short, you're the one arguing an absolute and thus the one that singular counterexamples disprove.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Even then, with the code in place like that, a Paladin doesn't need to use subtlety like the thievery skill to fulfill his code, which then begs into question the whole point of training in thievery as a Paladin when a Paladin doesn't have any need to use it to fulfill his code.

The point is not that Thievery is the only solution to freeing an abused slave. The point is that it's a valid solution, and one more likely to leave the Paladin alive than some alternatives. It is useful to them and thus some Paladins may possess it and use it for such purposes (to say nothing of the Paladin who works as a locksmith, or the equivalent of a Special Forces team member, or a host of other entirely legal examples).

Thievery is probably a bit less useful for Paladins, on average, than it is for most others. But that's true of several other Skills as well (Deception, most notably). This in no way means they can never have it or use it, just that the circumstances under which they can are somewhat restricted. Of course, the circumstances under which they can use their weapon skills are at least as restricted, and yet nobody is arguing they can't have those...


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
The point is not that Thievery is the only solution to freeing an abused slave.

I can picture this playing out: a runaway slave pursued by angry plantation owners with slavering dogs begs a Paladin for help.

The Paladin stands there confounded by the quandary--
(1) "I am Lawful. You are legal property so I can't help. Good bye." (Paladin falls for not upholding Good.)
(2) "I am Good. You are an abused innocent in need so I'll help. [Uses Thievery skill to pick shackles lock.]" (Paladin falls for not upholding Law.)

I would tend to go with the Paladin not upholding unjust laws! They are a divine class after all and the Laws of Heaven should outweigh the Laws of Man.


Jeven wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The point is not that Thievery is the only solution to freeing an abused slave.

I can picture this playing out: a runaway slave pursued by angry plantation owners with slavering dogs begs a Paladin for help.

The Paladin stands there confounded by the quandary--
(1) "I am Lawful. You are legal property so I can't help. Good bye." (Paladin falls for not upholding Good.)
(2) "I am Good. You are an abused innocent in need so I'll help. [Uses Thievery skill to pick shackles lock.]" (Paladin falls for not upholding Law.)

I would tend to go with the Paladin not upholding unjust laws! They are a divine class after all and the Laws of Heaven should outweigh the Laws of Man.

Hot take: chaotic good paladins are actually the only real paladins. Lawful good paladins are too busy upholding the institution of slavery to be useful to good-aligned gods.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Forgive my <TVTropes>Insistent Terminology</TVTropes> here, but a Chaotic Good divine champion isn't a paladin in the first place. :P

And at the risk of this becoming even more of another paladin thread, Paladins have just as much reason to oppose slavery as Liberators. As has been said before, "uphold the law" is the least important Paladin tenant, and is superceded by all the others.

But again, the fact that this discussion is even happening is a pretty good argument for Thievery being a problematic name for the skill.

Liberty's Edge

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Jeven wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The point is not that Thievery is the only solution to freeing an abused slave.

I can picture this playing out: a runaway slave pursued by angry plantation owners with slavering dogs begs a Paladin for help.

The Paladin stands there confounded by the quandary--
(1) "I am Lawful. You are legal property so I can't help. Good bye." (Paladin falls for not upholding Good.)
(2) "I am Good. You are an abused innocent in need so I'll help. [Uses Thievery skill to pick shackles lock.]" (Paladin falls for not upholding Law.)

I would tend to go with the Paladin not upholding unjust laws! They are a divine class after all and the Laws of Heaven should outweigh the Laws of Man.

Uh...as of PF2, Option #2 is explicitly correct by the RAW and does not result in the Paladin falling. That's what the Code getting a hierarchy does.


Rysky wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

This is factually incorrect in PF2. Upholding the law is the lowest possible tenet of the Paladin Code. They cannot violate it casually or for fun, but the very second that 'saving an innocent from harm' (and freeing slaves is often precisely that) comes into conflict with 'obey the law' the Paladin is obligated by the Code's priority system to save the innocent, ignoring the law entirely.

Now, you can dislike that if you want (though I personally find the very idea of Paladins valuing Law over Good confusing and abhorrent), but please argue based on the actual rules for things like this.

^ All of this.

How does this actually work in a society of slavery? Is the Paladin obligated to free all the downtrodden slaves they come across, laws be damned? How would they have acted in the pre-Civil War American South? In ancient Egypt? Would they have been obliged to free all the Helots of Sparta? (I realize this is the right thing to do, for sure, but we're talking about breaking the law.)

I realize that this is sounds like it is shooting off on a tangent which is not directly related to the "Thievery" debate, but in truth, the scenario being described is theft of legal property. If the Paladin either directly (or through facilitation such as lockpicking) takes, removes or frees something that is legally recognized as the property of another, they are breaking the law and committing what would commonly be seen as "Thievery." Is it for the greater good? Probably, but that doesn't change the term. Though he redistributed wealth and often took things that had been unlawfully gained themselves, Robin Hood was still a thief.

Exo-Guardians

Ultrace wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

This is factually incorrect in PF2. Upholding the law is the lowest possible tenet of the Paladin Code. They cannot violate it casually or for fun, but the very second that 'saving an innocent from harm' (and freeing slaves is often precisely that) comes into conflict with 'obey the law' the Paladin is obligated by the Code's priority system to save the innocent, ignoring the law entirely.

Now, you can dislike that if you want (though I personally find the very idea of Paladins valuing Law over Good confusing and abhorrent), but please argue based on the actual rules for things like this.

^ All of this.

How does this actually work in a society of slavery? Is the Paladin obligated to free all the downtrodden slaves they come across, laws be damned? How would they have acted in the pre-Civil War American South? In ancient Egypt? Would they have been obliged to free all the Helots of Sparta? (I realize this is the right thing to do, for sure, but we're talking about breaking the law.)

I realize that this is sounds like it is shooting off on a tangent which is not directly related to the "Thievery" debate, but in truth, the scenario being described is theft of legal property. If the Paladin either directly (or through facilitation such as lockpicking) takes, removes or frees something that is legally recognized as the property of another, they are breaking the law and committing what would commonly be seen as "Thievery." Is it for the greater good? Probably, but that doesn't change the term. Though he redistributed wealth and often took things that had been unlawfully gained themselves, Robin Hood was still a thief.

If doing so is unreasonable or would constitute a significant threat to the Paladin's life or potential then they are not required to act, however they would oppose slavery in other, less direct, methods.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Again, though, even if we accept that (I have some counterpoints but I want to avoid derailing the thread), Paladins are not the core of the issue.

Why is a SWAT team disarming traps to take down a wanted fugitive "Thievery"? Why is tying up a criminal so they can't escape "Thievery"? Why is picking a lock because you were paid to because someone locked themselves out of their own apartment "Thievery"?


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Largely because it's a convenient catchall for the conglomeration of skill focuses the skill itself encompasses.

In other systems, I've seen the same sort of skill grouping get classed as "Criminal" and people have managed to not lose their minds that their character who day jobs as a locksmith is indeed not a Criminal despite being trained in Criminal.

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