Chewing on Champions


Second Edition

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Raylyeh wrote:
Hell if it wasn’t made clear earlier I particularly hate the Law and Chaos part of alignment because Chaos in particular is so completely diluted from what it actually is that I honestly would rather Have the Law and Chaos alignments called Conservative and Liberal because it is more accurate. The problem is that those are sadly loaded words these days.

I couldn't disagree more. For in-world examples, WftC's Eutropia is incredibly liberal in ideology (from what I've seen, at least - I haven't gone through the whole thing), and is NG. I'm personally quite liberal, and I don't think anyone who knows me would in any way disagree that I'm Lawful. Quite a few tradition-bound people I know I'd consider Chaotic. (Funnily enough, I think most people I know veer significantly more towards Neutral or Chaotic.)


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What always startles me is the idea that justice is a lawful concept. Law and order are lawful concepts, not justice. Judges are given leeway in deciding sentences for crimes so they can uphold justice, a concept about everyone being punished for their crimes to the correct degree and getting a fair shake. This leeway is so that justice can be pulled from a system of rules that are about maintaining order, nothing else.

Justice/Injustice are a Good/Evil thing, while Rule of Law/Anarchy are the Lawful/Chaotic thing. They can be related and some rules of law are better suited to justice than others, but a police state is VERY Lawful without hardly any justice.


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I’ve said my piece. Not as well or as elegantly as I’d have liked but whatever. The only thing this thread really proves, along with every other discussion over these topics I’ve been a part of or even just witnessed, is that people will always disagree about it. Though that isn’t surprising since people have been arguing over some of these topics for probably all of human history.


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Raylyeh wrote:
I’ve said my piece. Not as well or as elegantly as I’d have liked but whatever. The only thing this thread really proves, along with every other discussion over these topics I’ve been a part of or even just witnessed, is that people will always disagree about it. Though that isn’t surprising since people have been arguing over some of these topics for probably all of human history.

Yeah, I think the fact that nobody can agree on alignment does mean that the idea of tying alignments to different styles of Champion is basically doomed to cause endless arguments, when it really didn't need to.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
I’ve said my piece. Not as well or as elegantly as I’d have liked but whatever. The only thing this thread really proves, along with every other discussion over these topics I’ve been a part of or even just witnessed, is that people will always disagree about it. Though that isn’t surprising since people have been arguing over some of these topics for probably all of human history.
Yeah, I think the fact that nobody can agree on alignment does mean that the idea of tying alignments to different styles of Champion is basically doomed to cause endless arguments, when it really didn't need to.

All the more reason why, at absolute minimum, the Champion needs at least one "Fury Totem" equivalent, so players can enjoy the concept or mechanics or both of the class without necessarily having to be on the exact same page on ethical/moral/whatever philosophy with a GM who, if the rules didn't insist on it, wouldn't require it anyway.

Dark Archive

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I see the River Kingdoms as a good example of a Chaotic society. Each kingdom has its own ruler who may do as they please and have their own (very flexible and often arbitrary) laws. Some freedoms are universally guaranteed, such as the freedom of speech, freedom to travel unimpeded, and liberty from slavery. Of course, other River Freedoms allow oathbreakers to be treated as criminals and permit the use of force to take whatever you want, so it's more Chaotic Neutral than Chaotic Good. A CG society would probably err more towards granting freedoms and ensuring the safety of its citizens, giving up some personal liberties in exchange for basic safety (so no freedom to steal or murder). The formal government, if any, would only have the powers to protect and uphold the freedoms and well-being of its citizens, but nothing more. Nirmathas is as close as it gets to this in Golarion as far as I've seen, with local governments for each city and a national militia with little political influence.

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Tectorman wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
I’ve said my piece. Not as well or as elegantly as I’d have liked but whatever. The only thing this thread really proves, along with every other discussion over these topics I’ve been a part of or even just witnessed, is that people will always disagree about it. Though that isn’t surprising since people have been arguing over some of these topics for probably all of human history.
Yeah, I think the fact that nobody can agree on alignment does mean that the idea of tying alignments to different styles of Champion is basically doomed to cause endless arguments, when it really didn't need to.
All the more reason why, at absolute minimum, the Champion needs at least one "Fury Totem" equivalent, so players can enjoy the concept or mechanics or both of the class without necessarily having to be on the exact same page on ethical/moral/whatever philosophy with a GM who, if the rules didn't insist on it, wouldn't require it anyway.

I feel that this relates more to the nature of Alignment than being specific to the Champion class itself.

Thus I think it will be better served with removing alignment altogether rather than trying to tweak the class.


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I feel like even without alignment, the various anathemas imposed on a character by their deities will create just as much ambiguity and table variation.

Like Pharasma's says "you can't desecrate a corpse" and you know some GMs are going to interpret that as "you can't loot fallen enemies" and some aren't.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like even without alignment, the various anathemas imposed on a character by their deities will create just as much ambiguity and table variation.

Like Pharasma's says "you can't desecrate a corpse" and you know some GMs are going to interpret that as "you can't loot fallen enemies" and some aren't.

Agreed. When I first saw anathemas in the playtest, I rejoiced for the Paladin would no longer be alone in Does the class fall ? country


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The Raven Black wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
I’ve said my piece. Not as well or as elegantly as I’d have liked but whatever. The only thing this thread really proves, along with every other discussion over these topics I’ve been a part of or even just witnessed, is that people will always disagree about it. Though that isn’t surprising since people have been arguing over some of these topics for probably all of human history.
Yeah, I think the fact that nobody can agree on alignment does mean that the idea of tying alignments to different styles of Champion is basically doomed to cause endless arguments, when it really didn't need to.
All the more reason why, at absolute minimum, the Champion needs at least one "Fury Totem" equivalent, so players can enjoy the concept or mechanics or both of the class without necessarily having to be on the exact same page on ethical/moral/whatever philosophy with a GM who, if the rules didn't insist on it, wouldn't require it anyway.

I feel that this relates more to the nature of Alignment than being specific to the Champion class itself.

Thus I think it will be better served with removing alignment altogether rather than trying to tweak the class.

Hard agree. I will admit that various arguments that the champion can represent alignment itself over and above any attachments to a deity are interesting, particularly the idea of championing an alignment so hard you start developing the characteristics of your alignment's outsider (that one if implemented would come closest to changing my mind on this), ultimately I'd still prefer the class be based around its anathemas than alignment. Anathemas strongly biased towards a particular interpretation of an alignment, mind, but not shackled to that single alignment.

As to a fury-totem equivalent Champion oath, I'm curious what that might look like. My first reaction is to say "roll a fighter", but I know many dislike anathema as much as I like them, so I don't want to ignore that segment. I'm not as familiar with Cavlier orders as I should be (the requirement to have a mount annoyed me on principle so I never gave the class a fair chance), but perhaps one of them an be adapted? Maybe with purely martial focus powers that follow the footsteps of Swashbucklers, Daring Champion Cavaliers, or Slueth Investigators?

Edit: and that was a fast search, Ronin/Knight Errant for all your "I'm making an oath but I'm not going to pretend I'm thrilled with it" needs.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Agreed. When I first saw anathemas in the playtest, I rejoiced for the Paladin would no longer be alone in Does the class fall ? country

While I have no clue how this will work in organized play, I think that generally speaking sitting down with the GM and coming to an understanding of "what does 'desecrate' mean?", or "what constitutes a lie?", or "who exactly are 'the enemies of my people'?" in session zero is probably a good practice.

Like for Pharasmans, while it's probably cut and dry that you can take a pouch of gold, a weapon, or a piece of jewelry from recently fallen foe I would want to know stuff like "If I kill someone wearing magic pants, can I take them?" or "Implanted aeon stones, do I have to leave those or can I dig them out?" or "are we prohibited from skinning the dragon to make armor out of?"


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like even without alignment, the various anathemas imposed on a character by their deities will create just as much ambiguity and table variation.

Like Pharasma's says "you can't desecrate a corpse" and you know some GMs are going to interpret that as "you can't loot fallen enemies" and some aren't.

Yes, hence why the Champion needs a "Fury Totem" equivalent, so as to allow Champions with nothing whatsoever hanging over the player's head. Not alignment, nor any other anathemas. A player should have at least one avenue to explore the class or concept or both without having to put it all in the hands of his IRL negotiating abilities.

As for "How do you have a Champion without having even one thing that he's sworn to champion?", we already have suggestions in this thread. The Kineticist got his powers from various planes (through several possible avenues: close proximity to a planar breach, study/meditation, great-grandpa was an Efreet, etc), and without having to put forth that plane's interests first (Pyrokineticists don't have to be pyromaniacs, Phytokineticists (name?) don't have to be any kind of agent for the First World, the Eldest, or any other fey). So keep the origin, change which plane the Champion is drawing power from, and you're done.

And IF a plane or otherworldly interest has to actively be doing some sending, we can just go back to the point of the multiverse in the first place: to provide its own bits of quintessence a chance to experience life without overbearing Outsider influence and be shaped by those experiences and end up where it may on its own merit. All it takes is one planar faction to consider 1) all other Outsider influences (not just on the deific level but even down to their lowest representatives) to be overbearing and 2) even a supernaturally binding oath to be little better, and you have a source for a "Fury Totem" Champion (heck, I can even see this coming from Pharasma, due to her role as Goddess of Fate).


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I kind of expect people to start wanting clerics of nothing now.

Because really, if we're going to assume GMs are going to misinterpret everything in the worst way, then clerics are no more immune than anyone else. And this has been the same since the start of PF1 as well, since "a cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god" was pretty much an anathema in the first place.

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Tectorman wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like even without alignment, the various anathemas imposed on a character by their deities will create just as much ambiguity and table variation.

Like Pharasma's says "you can't desecrate a corpse" and you know some GMs are going to interpret that as "you can't loot fallen enemies" and some aren't.

Yes, hence why the Champion needs a "Fury Totem" equivalent, so as to allow Champions with nothing whatsoever hanging over the player's head. Not alignment, nor any other anathemas. A player should have at least one avenue to explore the class or concept or both without having to put it all in the hands of his IRL negotiating abilities.

As for "How do you have a Champion without having even one thing that he's sworn to champion?", we already have suggestions in this thread. The Kineticist got his powers from various planes (through several possible avenues: close proximity to a planar breach, study/meditation, great-grandpa was an Efreet, etc), and without having to put forth that plane's interests first (Pyrokineticists don't have to be pyromaniacs, Phytokineticists (name?) don't have to be any kind of agent for the First World, the Eldest, or any other fey). So keep the origin, change which plane the Champion is drawing power from, and you're done.

And IF a plane or otherworldly interest has to actively be doing some sending, we can just go back to the point of the multiverse in the first place: to provide its own bits of quintessence a chance to experience life without overbearing Outsider influence and be shaped by those experiences and end up where it may on its own merit. All it takes is one planar faction to consider 1) all other Outsider influences (not just on the deific level but even down to their lowest representatives) to be overbearing and 2) even a supernaturally binding oath to be little better, and you have a source for a "Fury Totem" Champion (heck, I can even see this coming from Pharasma, due to her role as Goddess of Fate).

Sounds like some takes I saw on the True Neutral Champion ;-)

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It does sound like we have 3 concepts for Champion vying for our love :

Champion of a deity

Champion of an alignment

Champion of conviction

I do not ask for PF2 to answer all these at once. But I have some hope that the class and the whole system are build so that one can easily adapt the Champion to their favored concept with just a few tweaks


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Cyouni wrote:

I kind of expect people to start wanting clerics of nothing now.

Because really, if we're going to assume GMs are going to misinterpret everything in the worst way, then clerics are no more immune than anyone else. And this has been the same since the start of PF1 as well, since "a cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god" was pretty much an anathema in the first place.

I feel like a a divine sorcerer with cosmetic changes goes a long way to filling that role if you want it, perhaps with a fighter dedication for the proficiency.


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Malk_Content wrote:
I feel like a a divine sorcerer with cosmetic changes goes a long way to filling that role if you want it, perhaps with a fighter dedication for the proficiency.

Yes, but the point was experiencing a champion without needing to respect any tenets. The same request could be made here: someone wants to play a cleric, without any tenets. Not a divine sorcerer with cosmetic changes. A cleric. The difference is quite egregious.

Now personally I think if you wanna play a cleric or a champion you normally should play the whole package, no "but I don't wanna have an anathema!" allowed... then again, talk to your GM...


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Cyouni wrote:

I kind of expect people to start wanting clerics of nothing now.

Because really, if we're going to assume GMs are going to misinterpret everything in the worst way, then clerics are no more immune than anyone else. And this has been the same since the start of PF1 as well, since "a cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god" was pretty much an anathema in the first place.

This.

Honestly, if you can't even trust your GM, you probably shouldn't bother playing with the group. You're probably not going to have a very good time, or help the group have one. It's supposed to be a fun time with friends, not "how can I protect myself from this untrustworthy enemy of a GM". And I can't imagine this sort of baseline atmosphere of mistrust goes away just because your character doesn't have anathema.

I dunno. Maybe I've been playing wrong this whole time. *shrugs*

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Misunderstandings happen all the time. Especially about things we consider obvious.

I have always clarified my take on alignments and such things as the code to my players before character creation. Same as houserules.


Honeybee wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I kind of expect people to start wanting clerics of nothing now.

Because really, if we're going to assume GMs are going to misinterpret everything in the worst way, then clerics are no more immune than anyone else. And this has been the same since the start of PF1 as well, since "a cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god" was pretty much an anathema in the first place.

This.

Honestly, if you can't even trust your GM, you probably shouldn't bother playing with the group. You're probably not going to have a very good time, or help the group have one. It's supposed to be a fun time with friends, not "how can I protect myself from this untrustworthy enemy of a GM". And I can't imagine this sort of baseline atmosphere of mistrust goes away just because your character doesn't have anathema.

I dunno. Maybe I've been playing wrong this whole time. *shrugs*

It IS supposed to be a fun time with friends and not in an atmosphere of mistrust. And I don't believe either of those things is served by anathema being in the game, at least not without a huge warning label saying essentially "Do not use, do not so much as touch, without buy-in from all parties".

Does the atmosphere of mistrust go away? Well, no. What it does is put that player in the same boat as everyone else, which makes all the difference in the world. Where he still runs a risk of houserules or other ill-considered rulings, but no more than everyone else, since at least now, the GM that he may distrust doesn't have something extra to hide behind.

And yes, I do also think the game eventually needs a "Fury Totem" Cleric.


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Tectorman wrote:
Honeybee wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I kind of expect people to start wanting clerics of nothing now.

Because really, if we're going to assume GMs are going to misinterpret everything in the worst way, then clerics are no more immune than anyone else. And this has been the same since the start of PF1 as well, since "a cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god" was pretty much an anathema in the first place.

This.

Honestly, if you can't even trust your GM, you probably shouldn't bother playing with the group. You're probably not going to have a very good time, or help the group have one. It's supposed to be a fun time with friends, not "how can I protect myself from this untrustworthy enemy of a GM". And I can't imagine this sort of baseline atmosphere of mistrust goes away just because your character doesn't have anathema.

I dunno. Maybe I've been playing wrong this whole time. *shrugs*

It IS supposed to be a fun time with friends and not in an atmosphere of mistrust. And I don't believe either of those things is served by anathema being in the game, at least not without a huge warning label saying essentially "Do not use, do not so much as touch, without buy-in from all parties".

Does the atmosphere of mistrust go away? Well, no. What it does is put that player in the same boat as everyone else, which makes all the difference in the world. Where he still runs a risk of houserules or other ill-considered rulings, but no more than everyone else, since at least now, the GM that he may distrust doesn't have something extra to hide behind.

And yes, I do also think the game eventually needs a "Fury Totem" Cleric.

I see where you come from from a player-friendlyness perspective but...

A cleric is a person that gets their power from a deity/entity by praying to said deity/entity. If the deity doesn't like the cleric, they get no power so the cleric is advised to please the deity through action and behavior.

This "I must beg for my stuff" is the very concept of the cleric. Where would a Fury-Totem cleric get their spells, powers and domains from? The "I have powers but don't know where they are from" base is covered by the sorcerer.

That's like wanting a "Fury-Totem wizard" that doesn't need a spell book because the evil GM could take that away.

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Yeah, both Champion and Cleric are defined by getting power from an external source with rules. I don't see either getting a 'Fury Totem' equivalent in any published Paizo book any time soon.


The PF1 option for a deityless cleric dedicated to an abstract concept was something like a Fury Totem cleric depending on the GM---personally I think if you get power by being dedicated to Justice then you'd better not be blatantly unjust or you'll lose your powers (i.e. there's an implicit code of conduct), but the actual rules only deal with deity-bound clerics having a code of conduct or ever losing their powers.

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
The PF1 option for a deityless cleric dedicated to an abstract concept was something like a Fury Totem cleric depending on the GM---personally I think if you get power by being dedicated to Justice then you'd better not be blatantly unjust or you'll lose your powers (i.e. there's an implicit code of conduct), but the actual rules only deal with deity-bound clerics having a code of conduct or ever losing their powers.

Yeah I was never a fan of clerics of ideas for this very reason, mostly because it changes the dynamic of how the class works.

Cleric: I believe in my deity and serve them, and they give me superpowers.

CoI: I believe in something/anything really strongly and I give myself superpowers.


masda_gib wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Honeybee wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I kind of expect people to start wanting clerics of nothing now.

Because really, if we're going to assume GMs are going to misinterpret everything in the worst way, then clerics are no more immune than anyone else. And this has been the same since the start of PF1 as well, since "a cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god" was pretty much an anathema in the first place.

This.

Honestly, if you can't even trust your GM, you probably shouldn't bother playing with the group. You're probably not going to have a very good time, or help the group have one. It's supposed to be a fun time with friends, not "how can I protect myself from this untrustworthy enemy of a GM". And I can't imagine this sort of baseline atmosphere of mistrust goes away just because your character doesn't have anathema.

I dunno. Maybe I've been playing wrong this whole time. *shrugs*

It IS supposed to be a fun time with friends and not in an atmosphere of mistrust. And I don't believe either of those things is served by anathema being in the game, at least not without a huge warning label saying essentially "Do not use, do not so much as touch, without buy-in from all parties".

Does the atmosphere of mistrust go away? Well, no. What it does is put that player in the same boat as everyone else, which makes all the difference in the world. Where he still runs a risk of houserules or other ill-considered rulings, but no more than everyone else, since at least now, the GM that he may distrust doesn't have something extra to hide behind.

And yes, I do also think the game eventually needs a "Fury Totem" Cleric.

I see where you come from from a player-friendlyness perspective but...

A cleric is a person that gets their power from a deity/entity by praying to said deity/entity. If the deity doesn't like the cleric, they get no power so the cleric is advised to please the deity through action and behavior.

This...

"I must beg for my stuff" being the very concept of the Cleric is problematic because it means that the player is doing the same thing as everyone else (paying the opportunity cost of having the Cleric's class features at the cost of not having another class's class features instead, or at higher levels, paying the opportunity cost AND paying XP that the player has ostensibly earned) for less ownership. It's like paying full price on a house just to rent it. And obviously, that can't be fixed by reducing the price (letting the Cleric level twice as fast) or by increasing what the class grants (because that's how you get CoDzilla).

And the Wizard's spellbook is more an equivalent scenario to a Fighter having his armor and weapons stolen. Something that can still happen, but is either presented as an immediately correctible situation or is the GM outing himself (and obviously so) as someone not participating on the level. While I agree that no set of rules can completely jerk-proof a game, I still believe it should be pushed for wherever possible. I'm also pushing for this for the sake of GMs that aren't inherently jerks, but who take the existence of Anathema as implicit insistence that it be used ("since a Cleric or a Champion can fall, doesn't that mean I'm supposed to push for that storyline to play out at least once?"), when they otherwise wouldn't be pushed into that unfairness.

"Anathema exists in the game, but only after all parties agree to buy into it (and no, merely selecting Cleric, Champion, Druid, or Barbarian isn't explicitly or implicitly buying into it)."

"Anathema exists in the game, but every class that has one also has at least one option to duck out from under it (and an in-universe explanation for what's going on)."

Either would work. And while I get that this isn't likely on an immediate timescale, I will never hold that the game is complete until one of those two options exists. Metal-wearing Druids should be a thing. Champions whose players don't have to be paranoid should be a thing. Clerics of Ideas was a thing and should be again.

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If you don't play divine classes out of paranoia of falling then you need a better GM, or need to talk with your current one to see what is constantly causing this.

Serving your deity and getting powers from them, and thus, if you offend them you run the risk of losing them, is the entire theme of the Cleric. More people play it for that rather than simply I want 9th level spellcasting.


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Tectorman wrote:
Either would work. And while I get that this isn't likely on an immediate timescale, I will never hold that the game is complete until one of those two options exists. Metal-wearing Druids should be a thing. Champions whose players don't have to be paranoid should be a thing. Clerics of Ideas was a thing and should be again.

I'd argue that the same argument is true of Druids who don't respect nature.

At some point, you're getting rid of the entire point of the class.


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Rysky wrote:

If you don't play divine classes out of paranoia of falling then you need a better GM, or need to talk with your current one to see what is constantly causing this.

Serving your deity and getting powers from them, and thus, if you offend them you run the risk of losing them, is the entire theme of the Cleric. More people play it for that rather than simply I want 9th level spellcasting.

I already identified what's causing this: the permission/suggestion to potentially screw over a player when the GM otherwise wouldn't be that directly comes from Anathema and Anathema-like game mechanics.

And serving a deity is one way and I even agree the primary way to see the Cleric. That doesn't mandate the exclusion of a way to play a Cleric (while even being on-theme) but not have an Anathema hanging over the player's head. And this isn't about me not trusting a GM but rather trying to avoid that trust being tested where it doesn't need to be.

Cyouni wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Either would work. And while I get that this isn't likely on an immediate timescale, I will never hold that the game is complete until one of those two options exists. Metal-wearing Druids should be a thing. Champions whose players don't have to be paranoid should be a thing. Clerics of Ideas was a thing and should be again.

I'd argue that the same argument is true of Druids who don't respect nature.

At some point, you're getting rid of the entire point of the class.

The entire point of the class is that it's a set of class features with a common inspirational source. That stops when the inspirational source becomes prescriptive and mandatory.

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Tectorman wrote:
I already identified what's causing this: the permission/suggestion to potentially screw over a player when the GM otherwise wouldn't be that directly comes from Anathema and Anathema-like game mechanics.

And there's the issue, operating under the assumption that falling is going or has to occur rather than be something that happens extremely rarely.


Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
I already identified what's causing this: the permission/suggestion to potentially screw over a player when the GM otherwise wouldn't be that directly comes from Anathema and Anathema-like game mechanics.
And there's the issue, operating under the assumption that falling is going or has to occur rather than be something that happens extremely rarely.

You're right. It doesn't have to occur. Hence my two suggestions:

Tectorman wrote:

"Anathema exists in the game, but only after all parties agree to buy into it (and no, merely selecting Cleric, Champion, Druid, or Barbarian isn't explicitly or implicitly buying into it)."

"Anathema exists in the game, but every class that has one also has at least one option to duck out from under it (and an in-universe explanation for what's going on)."

It shouldn't have to occur or if it does, it should be rare? This guarantees exactly what you're saying. A player agreeing to play P2E (assuming it had either of those caveats already in place) with a GM who has also agreed to play that same P2E with one of those same caveats already in place doesn't have to worry. It's already going to occur only rarely/not at all unless and until he opts into that scrutiny. He can pick that game specifically so he doesn't have to worry.

Just like how, once P2E comes out and assuming this part hasn't changed since the playtest, I can ask to join a P2E game and already know with no worry whatsoever that I'm not going to have to keep up a lawful alignment just to play a Monk. I don't have to worry about negotiating poorly or using up a favor before I've even really gotten to know the GM or the other players or otherwise wearing out my welcome before I've even started.

I mean, if you've never experienced how unwelcoming it is to feel like you need a lawyer or a PR team just to participate in a social activity that otherwise checks off all of your boxes, then I'm happy for you. This is a major obstacle to others of us.


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I feel like "Oracles are eventually going to exist, and Angelic Sorcerers exist now" means I don't ever need to have a Cleric without Anathema. Since for me, the reason I would play a Cleric, say, of Shelyn instead of an Oracle or a Shaman who casts pretty much the same spells is that I want to RP "someone who's really into Shelyn".


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Look, I highly doubt you're ever going to find official support for "druid that can burn down a forest and laugh maniacally without repercussions". Even clerics of ideas had to hold to their divine source for fear of losing their powers.

There's just a point at which you really should go find a fantasy system that isn't class-based.


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True, even a cleric of an idea should probably be expected to uphold some tenets.

The best that could be done if one doesn't want to deal with being restricted by tenets (or with GMs who might potentially one day revoke special powers on a basis the player doesn't agree with) is to make an optional rule saying you can simply ignore them and all the fall mechanics.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense to most of us, I think, but as an optional rule, why the hell not?

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Tectorman wrote:
You're right. It doesn't have to occur.

It doesn't 99.9% of the time, yet you're treating it like an inevitability every time.

Tectorman wrote:
I mean, if you've never experienced how unwelcoming it is to feel like you need a lawyer or a PR team just to participate in a social activity that otherwise checks off all of your boxes, then I'm happy for you. This is a major obstacle to others of us.

*sends hugs* That is not the norm.


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I mean, generally my perspective on Anathema is roleplaying within restrictions is fun, provided I am not surprised by what those restrictions entail.

Like in various incarnations of d20 games when the Paladin was a weak class, the reason people played them was for the RP challenge that the Paladin code entails.

So I think the Anathemas are going to be fine in any context where you can talk to the GM about what they mean, since most trouble spots are clearly visible from a distance, like a cleric/champion of Torag who wants to make sure the Goblin Alchemist in the party is not "one of my people's enemies".

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Cyouni wrote:
Look, I highly doubt you're ever going to find official support for "druid that can burn down a forest and laugh maniacally without repercussions". Even clerics of ideas had to hold to their divine source for fear of losing their powers.

I could see them making a Druid archetype just for that, but it would indeed be just for that. Not a Druid that can do whatever it wants without tenants, but a fallen Druid committed to destroying forests with fire, that would be it's whole thing. Just like we had the blight based Druid in 1st.


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I mean, the druid anathemas only require you to care about one specific part of the environment. So there probably are druids who can burn down the forest just fine, they are just obligated to be kind to animals.


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Roswynn wrote:

The best that could be done if one doesn't want to deal with being restricted by tenets (or with GMs who might potentially one day revoke special powers on a basis the player doesn't agree with) is to make an optional rule saying you can simply ignore them and all the fall mechanics.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense to most of us, I think, but as an optional rule, why the hell not?

It can be rationalized. The ancient Greeks had a saying (unless a modern poet made it up): The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.

IIRC, one classic example was Cassandra. When she was Apollo's lover he gave her the gift of prophesy. When they broke up it was not within his power to take it away, so instead he cursed her to never be believed. Similarly, Tithonus was granted immortality by Aurora, but she forgot to grant him eternal youth. When he got old enough to pray for death, she couldn't grant it, so she turned him into a grasshopper instead. Presumably he's still hoppin' around out there somewhere.

Assume the same dynamic holds with clerics and paladins. Once the god has granted you the right to draw on their power, you're in and they literally can't take it away no matter how badly you behave. Of course, if you're really blatant about it in public your fellow clerics and paladins might take matters into their own hands, but even they can't strip you of your divine powers.


Roswynn wrote:

True, even a cleric of an idea should probably be expected to uphold some tenets.

The best that could be done if one doesn't want to deal with being restricted by tenets (or with GMs who might potentially one day revoke special powers on a basis the player doesn't agree with) is to make an optional rule saying you can simply ignore them and all the fall mechanics.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense to most of us, I think, but as an optional rule, why the hell not?

Ding ding ding! That's all the consideration that I'm looking for, an avenue to just play the game using whatever class or set of class mechanics interests me just like everyone else is just playing the game using whatever class or set of class mechanics interests them.

And yes, I know I'm playing a long game. It took a whole decade just to nix the Monk's alignment restrictions. I know I'm looking at having to keep this up not for P2E's sake, but for P3E or even P4E.

But giving up (this isn't Roswynn's phrasing specifically; others posted words to that effect, so this is more general) means not seeing the Monk alignment-restriction-free at long last. Giving up means not seeing the Vindictive Bastard come out, even if that was towards P1E's end.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
You're right. It doesn't have to occur.
It doesn't 99.9% of the time, yet you're treating it like an inevitability every time.

It doesn't matter how rarely it occurs when the goal is to take it to straight-up "never". 0.1% is still greater than 0%. Especially when it requires so little effort to bridge that gap.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
I mean, if you've never experienced how unwelcoming it is to feel like you need a lawyer or a PR team just to participate in a social activity that otherwise checks off all of your boxes, then I'm happy for you. This is a major obstacle to others of us.
*sends hugs* That is not the norm.

???

It's not the norm, so an almost effortless caveat added to Anathema is unnecessary? "Sucks to be those people, but they're a small number of people, so 'Oh, well'"? Do I need to quote Picard about how many people is required before something needs changing? I get that you may be trying to be sympathetic, but honestly, I don't know what those hugs are supposed to do.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Roswynn wrote:

The best that could be done if one doesn't want to deal with being restricted by tenets (or with GMs who might potentially one day revoke special powers on a basis the player doesn't agree with) is to make an optional rule saying you can simply ignore them and all the fall mechanics.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense to most of us, I think, but as an optional rule, why the hell not?

It can be rationalized. The ancient Greeks had a saying (unless a modern poet made it up): The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.

IIRC, one classic example was Cassandra. When she was Apollo's lover he gave her the gift of prophesy. When they broke up it was not within his power to take it away, so instead he cursed her to never be believed. Similarly, Tithonus was granted immortality by Aurora, but she forgot to grant him eternal youth. When he got old enough to pray for death, she couldn't grant it, so she turned him into a grasshopper instead. Presumably he's still hoppin' around out there somewhere.

Assume the same dynamic holds with clerics and paladins. Once the god has granted you the right to draw on their power, you're in and they literally can't take it away no matter how badly you behave. Of course, if you're really blatant about it in public your fellow clerics and paladins might take matters into their own hands, but even they can't strip you of your divine powers.

Another example comes to mind from recent media.

The Wizard Shazam was originally looking for someone pure of heart to be his successor. Circumstances dictated that he relax his criterion to the point that, by the time Shazam got to him, Billy Batson was only the best of a short list of subpar candidates. And despite not being pure of heart, Billy still got the power of three gods, a titan, and two epic mortals.


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I've run games for over a decade with the assumption that Clerics and Paladins must be devout worshipers of their deity and follow their deity's rules and regulations.

I've had Clerics lose their powers exactly zero times and a Paladin fall exactly once. Said Paladin was an NPC in an evil campaign that the players manipulated into falling.

I really don't see the problem. And I also tend to agree that "my GM might use anathemas to screw me over" is a social contract problem, not a mechanics problem.

Relevant for PFS, I suppose, but I can't speak to that; I don't play PFS.


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Roswynn wrote:

The best that could be done if one doesn't want to deal with being restricted by tenets (or with GMs who might potentially one day revoke special powers on a basis the player doesn't agree with) is to make an optional rule saying you can simply ignore them and all the fall mechanics.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense to most of us, I think, but as an optional rule, why the hell not?

It can be rationalized. The ancient Greeks had a saying (unless a modern poet made it up): The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.

IIRC, one classic example was Cassandra. When she was Apollo's lover he gave her the gift of prophesy. When they broke up it was not within his power to take it away, so instead he cursed her to never be believed. Similarly, Tithonus was granted immortality by Aurora, but she forgot to grant him eternal youth. When he got old enough to pray for death, she couldn't grant it, so she turned him into a grasshopper instead. Presumably he's still hoppin' around out there somewhere.

Assume the same dynamic holds with clerics and paladins. Once the god has granted you the right to draw on their power, you're in and they literally can't take it away no matter how badly you behave. Of course, if you're really blatant about it in public your fellow clerics and paladins might take matters into their own hands, but even they can't strip you of your divine powers.

Just wanting to say that Cassandra broke her promise to Apollo and 'that' is why she was cursed, it wasn't because he couldn't take it back...only that it was far more cruel to leave her with an ability to know the future but be unable to change it (just ask Odin how that feels).

Also being a Cleric is a two-way street, it's a personal connection between Mortal and God, a willing agreement between two parties on the only level that the two can be equal on: Ideals. If you sever that connection, even if it didn't immediately lose all of your powers, YOU are still not Divine in nature and cant simply reproduce those abilities on your own.


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I agree that Anathema is a positive contribution, helping to assert that the flavor of the character should match their class.

I understand the response that comparing a spellbook being taken away might be more like having all your armor and weapons taken away from a fighter. However, I kind of feel that having a Purveyor of the faith (cleric) of honesty, going around and lying about things and saying they are justified in doing so, and insisting they shouldn't have to have any limitations is more like the fighter with the two handed sword tossing it on the ground at the beginning of every battle and insisting they should still be getting the 1d12 damage from it as they tear into the foes with their attacks. [they after all paid for their two handed-ed sword, so why can't they do the damage they are entitled to, why are they being targeted?]

Saying you have to have an explicit optional rule or choice for clerics/champions so that the GM cannot say you are in danger of falling seems folly. By definition... any GM can claim anyone loses their class powers, because they say. If the GM seems to abuse this, do people play with that GM any longer? Probably not, unless the players feel like there was a good story in it, at which it probably isn't considered abuse, but artistic license. If you want to cast spells you learned from a mystical order, but want the power to come from yourself, why aren't you a wizard or sorcerer, then the mechanics match the fluff?

If you need to have a meeting to discuss how Anathema will be handled in your game by GM and players, that is honestly great, and it is probably a great idea. Everyone being on the same page is absolutely on the good idea side. The player should not be able to say, you can't take this from me, no matter how I behave, because I get to be me no matter what.

Lets say you have a character idea, one where you are a cleric, but you struggle with one of your faith's anathema, but you want to stay a cleric. Talk to the GM, work with the players. Have it understood it will be allowed, and play up the struggle and character development of the priest struggling with their actions and faith. Make it a fun story, and I'm sure it could be a fun game. The GM is in charge of figuring out how to help bring fun to the players in the form of the game. The GM can have a reason why said violations have not distanced them far enough from their deity to be impacted. Getting together with the GM and the players, agreeing how it will be handled, and viola. Game goes on.

Trust you GM, or find one who you can. Or offer to GM yourself, for others, and deal with their concerns of fairness. You aren't going to be able to write rules to prevent a GM from making calls you won't like. Like someone said, long before P2, as a GM I expected clerics to embody their faith enough to be worthy of being a cleric.


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I've played with people who have said Neutral means, "I can do good or evil, because I'm neutral." To which I was like, "Um..no. That just means you're evil." Only an evil person thinks it's okay to murder and pillage as long as they do an equal amount of good.
I've also played with people who think Neutral means you "must maintain the balance" at all times. So if goodness & mercy were too strong in a certain area, they felt it was their duty to do the opposite until it was all fair again.
Both of these views are ridiculous to me.
Neutral just means you don't have any strong views one way or the other. Most people are neutral. You don't want bad things to happen, but you're certainly not going to go put on armor to stop it. That's dangerous. Leave that to the Good Guys.
I don't see a "champion" of Neutral.


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PF2 seems to be going for a strengthening of GM authority-to-make-rulings in general, which I'm just fine with. But I suppose it won't be quite as golden for players with an adversarial, rather than collaborative, mindset.

(Or GMs out to screw the players, of course... though I don't expect most of those GMs would be swayed by "well, the rules say you can't screw me, so nyah" in any case.)


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If Druidism is Neutral, I don't see why there can't be Druidic Neutral Champion.
That is one of stronger implementation I can imagine off top of my head. Pharasmin* Soul Cycle also seems apropo of specific Champion ethos.
* not strictly requiring worship of Pharasma, I'd imagine multiple allied demi-Gods at the least could share same Champion path.
The latest Concordance of Rivals probably having some more material to give food for thought in this area.

That I think gets back to people's tendency to infer absolute natures of alignments, ignoring multiple ethoses can measure as given alignment.
Cosmic Balancer Neutral AKA Neutral Ridiculous being POSSIBLE doesn't conflict with most Neutrals not being remotely like that.
Pedestrian AKA Non-Interference Neutral can certainly be Neutral, but not really one very relevant to heroic adventurers IMHO.
But as already mentioned, there isn't any reason why Paizo can't "do" multiple Champion paths of a given alignment,
so there is no reason all of these approaches must necessarily be catered to within a single Neutral Champion path.


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Magus Black wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

It can be rationalized. The ancient Greeks had a saying (unless a modern poet made it up): The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.

IIRC, one classic example was Cassandra. When she was Apollo's lover he gave her the gift of prophesy. When they broke up it was not within his power to take it away, so instead he cursed her to never be believed. Similarly, Tithonus was granted immortality by Aurora, but she forgot to grant him eternal youth. When he got old enough to pray for death, she couldn't grant it, so she turned him into a grasshopper instead. Presumably he's still hoppin' around out there somewhere.

Assume the same dynamic holds with clerics and paladins. Once the god has granted you the right to draw on their power, you're in and they literally can't take it away no matter how badly you behave. Of course, if you're really blatant about it in public your fellow clerics and paladins might take matters into their own hands, but even they can't strip you of your divine powers.

Just wanting to say that Cassandra broke her promise to Apollo and 'that' is why she was cursed, it wasn't because he couldn't take it back...only that it was far more cruel to leave her with an ability to know the future but be unable to change it (just ask Odin how that feels).

<shrug> It's not the first myth to have multiple conflicting versions. Wikipedia agrees with mine on why she was cursed (and no I didn't write nor edit it).

Wikipedia wrote:
Cassandra was cursed to utter prophecies that were true but that no one believed. The older and most common versions state that she was admired by the god Apollo, and he offered her the gift to see the future in order to win her heart. Cassandra agreed to be his lover in return for his gift, but after receiving the gift, she went back on her word and refused him. Apollo was angered that she lied and deceived him, but since he couldn't take back a gift already given, he cursed her that though she would see the future accurately, nobody would ever believe her prophecies.

Looks like I got the "lovers" bit wrong, though.

Magus Black wrote:
Also being a Cleric is a two-way street, it's a personal connection between Mortal and God, a willing agreement between two parties on the only level that the two can be equal on: Ideals.

That the agreement is willing on both sides going in doesn't mean it's not binding on the god regardless of agreement going forward, like an oath sworn on the Styx.

Magus Black wrote:
If you sever that connection, even if it didn't immediately lose all of your powers, YOU are still not Divine in nature and cant simply reproduce those abilities on your own.

Nobody has proposed anything to the contrary. The proposition is that the system can be such that you can behave badly without the connection being severed. Oh, and while you are not divine, your clerical powers are by definition.


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Tectorman wrote:

Ding ding ding! That's all the consideration that I'm looking for, an avenue to just play the game using whatever class or set of class mechanics interests me just like everyone else is just playing the game using whatever class or set of class mechanics interests them.

And yes, I know I'm playing a long game. It took a whole decade just to nix the Monk's alignment restrictions. I know I'm looking at having to keep this up not for P2E's sake, but for P3E or even P4E.

But giving up (this isn't Roswynn's phrasing specifically; others posted words to that effect, so this is more general) means not seeing the Monk alignment-restriction-free at long last. Giving up means not seeing the Vindictive Bastard come out, even if that was towards P1E's end.

I, for one, dislike the way they implemented the alignment-free monk. All the words in the description saying how dedicated monks are, how ascetic, and not a single class feature actually supports that description. I'm perfectly fine with Monks being alignment free, but either update the description or add something for monks to play into that dedication they're supposed to be all about. Because right now, while I can certainly choose to roleplay a monk as an ascetic whose life is bound by rules handed down over generations, I can also do that with every other class in the game. No reason to waste that narrative space on a class that doesn't support it when the Brawler exists in PF1 and a dozen other wuxia tropes exist to also lean on.

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About falling, I always considered it my duty as a GM to give players info that their characters know even if the player forgets to ask about it.

A Cleric or a Champion or any other class with tenets, anathemas, codes has years of experience learning and practicing them. They know their specifics inside out even if the player does not. Hence I warn my players when they are in danger of breaking those.

Falling by surprise is not fun for anybody.

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Tectorman wrote:
It doesn't matter how rarely it occurs when the goal is to take it to straight-up "never".
And I am at odds with that goal. I do not care for a setting where you can have a spokesperson for the divine and have them do whatever they want, especially if it is in dire contradiction of what that divinity stands for.
Quote:
Giving up means not seeing the Vindictive Bastard come out
The Vindictive Bastard is quite possibly one of my favourite archetypes. It’s also not an alignmentless/oathless Paladin though, it’s a Paladin with a very specific theme dealing with falling.
Quote:
It's not the norm, so an almost effortless caveat added to Anathema is unnecessary?

A cruel GM setting up falling scenarios is not the norm, and in fact, players falling at all is rare. But it is there for when players screw up, to facilitate a story.

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