Chewing on Champions


Advice

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Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
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.

The whole reason the Atone ritual exists is as Rysky point out, falling DOES happen, and it's always a major plot device when it does occur. Do I think clerics should be looking over their shoulder waiting for the GM to be a jerk and strip them of their magic juice? No, but if you're playing a cleric/champion/druid, you are literally picking a character who starts play with a contract in place and they have to follow it or else face the penalties of breaking said contract. But the thing about those classes is that the >character< WANTS to follow the contract, that's why they "signed" it in the first place. If I'm playing some evil backstabbing guy, I DO NOT want to be a cleric of Sarenrae, that's just begging fate to put egg on my face, but if I'm playing a genuinely nice, philanthropic type, yes I'm okay with "signing up" with Sarenrae, my values are her values, so that relationship is gonna work perfectly fine. Would you join up with your local equivalent military force if you despised your homeland with every fiber of your being? Would you become a real life version of a cleric for a religion you thought was complete nonsense? So it is with these classes, if the >character< doesn't want to follow these (mostly? Which I guess is your whole point :P) straightforward rules, why would they bother?


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Rysky wrote:
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.

Who says that the character even is a spokesperson for the divine? A divine spell-list Sorcerer is putting out the same magic as a Cleric and he's no one's spokesperson. So why does keeping the same character concept, but gaining the Cleric's class features [b]while trading away the Sorcerer's class features[b] require any divinity to be contradicted?

Rysky wrote:
"Tectorman wrote:
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.

Oh, yes, it is alignmentless and oathless. The only thing you have to do is start out as a nonfallen Paladin and then fall. You can fall for lying, so pick something untrue, say it right at the campaign's beginning, fall, switch character sheets, and continue as before.

So yes, you do have to fall, but that is only a hoop you have to jump through. If anything, the VB isn't a rejection of anything the Paladin stands for (since the VB has no alignment or code restrictions telling him not to turn around and go right back to acting like he was anyway), but rather a rejection of the necessity of a code as a part of the process. Instead, you pay the opportunity cost (and, if higher than first level, the XP cost) and if you go around Paladining after that, it's not because the player's trying to avoid a fall, but because the player genuinely wanted his Paladin to go around Paladining anyway. The VB is the most honest version of the Paladin P1E ever put out.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
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.

You mean "impose a story" that the player shouldn't have to be signing up for just because the collection of class features he picked happened to carry that baggage. Why does not wanting to participate in that bruhaha but still playing a Champion have to be the player screwing up?

Honeybee wrote:

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.)

I don't think you're giving the previously established ruleset enough credit for how much influence it has in the conversation. Because I know there were 3.5 DMs who didn't let Bards be lawful who, after they switched to P1E, did let those Bards be lawful. The rules went from telling the DM he could nix a character to telling him he couldn't. Or PF GMs who, in P1E, won't be allowing nonlawful Monks (outside of a few specific archetypes) and who will be allowing every nonlawful Monk who comes their way in P2E. Or going from not allowing lawful Barbarians to allowing lawful Barbarians.

And no, it doesn't have the be the GM acting out of malice. He can simply be operating under the assumption that, of the two parties (the developers of the game and one of his players), the developers must know something that neither the player nor the GM himself does. The GM has no idea what deeply obscure insight this must be, but he doesn't care enough to belabor the point, so he tells the player to pick a different character. And if the player doesn't, then it must be the player's wrongdoing, right?

Does that mean that every nonlawful Monk player in P2E is a problem player? Is every lawful Bard player in P1E a problem player? In both of those cases, they're picking the editions that they are so that all the negotiating that they might fail at (or even if they succeed, they still run the risk of stepping on people's metaphorical toes to get there) is already done.

So yeah, I resent this implication that I must be operating from an adversarial mindset.


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Tectorman, am I correct in thinking that you've been advocating not for a change in the core rules (which include anathemas and falling) but for an optional "no falling" variant rule?

Keeping in mind that optional rules are rules the GM chooses to use or not in their campaign, not rules that players have the right to come into someone's campaign and invoke as applying to their character.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Re: the whole Cassandra discussion... I'm not sure cleric is the most on-point class to represent "character invested with divine power regardless of piety or worship, but who also suffers a terrible curse". Feel like there might be something else for that.


Kalindlara wrote:
Re: the whole Cassandra discussion... I'm not sure cleric is the most on-point class to represent "character invested with divine power regardless of piety or worship, but who also suffers a terrible curse". Feel like there might be something else for that.

Neither Cassandra nor Tithonus are given as examples of clerics. Both are given as examples of the gods giving gifts they then cannot recall, a principle which could underlie a "nobody falls" system (including clerics).


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Tectorman wrote:

I don't think you're giving the previously established ruleset enough credit for how much influence it has in the conversation. Because I know there were 3.5 DMs who didn't let Bards be lawful who, after they switched to P1E, did let those Bards be lawful. The rules went from telling the DM he could nix a character to telling him he couldn't. Or PF GMs who, in P1E, won't be allowing nonlawful Monks (outside of a few specific archetypes) and who will be allowing every nonlawful Monk who comes their way in P2E. Or going from not allowing lawful Barbarians to allowing lawful Barbarians.

And no, it doesn't have the be the GM acting out of malice. He can simply be operating under the assumption that, of the two parties (the developers of the game and one of his players), the developers must know something that neither the player nor the GM himself does. The GM has no idea what deeply obscure insight this must be, but he doesn't care enough to belabor the point, so he tells the player to pick a different character. And if the player doesn't, then it must be the player's wrongdoing, right?

Does that mean that every nonlawful Monk player in P2E is a problem player? Is every lawful Bard player in P1E a problem player? In both of those cases, they're picking the editions that they are so that all the negotiating that they might fail at (or even if they succeed, they still run the risk of stepping on people's metaphorical toes to get there) is already done.

So yeah, I resent this implication that I must be operating from an adversarial mindset.

"The rules went from telling the DM he could nix a character to telling him he couldn't."

No, they went from characters having to be houseruled in, to those characters being legal within the rules. "If my 3.0 GM doesn't let me play my nonlawful monk, she's nixing my character!" is as much the GM's fault as not letting you play your wizard with a full BAB. It's something she could allow, but just because you want her to doesn't make her wrong for not changing things to fit your wishes.

So all those nonlawful monk players in PF1... however many there were... aren't necessarily problem players. They are, however, trying to play a character that operates on different standards than the game assumes, and just because the GM doesn't let them have their way is no reason to vilify her.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Re: the whole Cassandra discussion... I'm not sure cleric is the most on-point class to represent "character invested with divine power regardless of piety or worship, but who also suffers a terrible curse". Feel like there might be something else for that.
Neither Cassandra nor Tithonus are given as examples of clerics. Both are given as examples of the gods giving gifts they then cannot recall, a principle which could underlie a "nobody falls" system (including clerics).

It... could. Yes. In the same way that Elric of Melnibone could be presented to justify a "wizards should be effective melee combatants" system.

You could start changing existing classes... or you could check out the magus class (or the blade adept arcanist archetype, I suppose).

Silver Crusade

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Tectorman wrote:
Who says that the character even is a spokesperson for the divine?
That's what Clerics are.A divine spell-list Sorcerer is putting out the same magic as a Cleric and he's no one's spokesperson.Correct, just like the Oracle.
Quote:
So why does keeping the same character concept, but gaining the Cleric's class features [b]while trading away the Sorcerer's class features[b] require any divinity to be contradicted?
Becuase that's what Clerics are, that's their theme, it's how they get their abilties.
"Tectorman wrote:
Oh, yes, it is alignmentless and oathless. The only thing you have to do is start out as a nonfallen Paladin and then fall. You can fall for lying, so pick something untrue, say it right at the campaign's beginning, fall, switch character sheets, and continue as before.
That's trying to sweep under the rug that you're playing a fallen Paladin. You're not playing a Paladin of True Neutrality, or a Paladin without fetters, you're explicilty a fallen Paladin and all that entails.
Quote:
So yes, you do have to fall, but that is only a hoop you have to jump through.
If you're going to treat a Vindicitve Bastard as a Paladin of any alignment rather than a fallen Paladin like it is then the Vindicitve Bastard and these rule changes you're asking for were meaningless tyo begin with.
Quote:
Instead, you pay the opportunity cost (and, if higher than first level, the XP cost)
???
Quote:
You mean "impose a story" that the player shouldn't have to be signing up for just because the collection of class features he picked happened to carry that baggage.
If you don't want to play a Cleric than don't play a Cleric, part of playing a Cleric is that you're working for your Deity. That's its whole theme.
Quote:
And no, it doesn't have the be the GM acting out of malice.

If the GM is refusing to read the rules for the very game they are running and not allowing their players to play characters according to those rules then they are indeed acting out of malice.


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Kalindlara wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Re: the whole Cassandra discussion... I'm not sure cleric is the most on-point class to represent "character invested with divine power regardless of piety or worship, but who also suffers a terrible curse". Feel like there might be something else for that.
Neither Cassandra nor Tithonus are given as examples of clerics. Both are given as examples of the gods giving gifts they then cannot recall, a principle which could underlie a "nobody falls" system (including clerics).

It... could. Yes. In the same way that Elric of Melnibone could be presented to justify a "wizards should be effective melee combatants" system.

You could start changing existing classes... or you could check out the magus class (or the blade adept arcanist archetype, I suppose).

You don't think a campaign based on massive corruption-unto-evil in the PCs' favorite churches, which can readily prosper only if the gods can't just remove the corrupt clerics' powers, would be at all interesting? It doesn't take any significant amount of changes to classes, as you seem to imply. It just takes crossing out the phrase "or you fall." It's not even slightly comparable to making wizards effective melee combatants.


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Re: the whole Cassandra discussion... I'm not sure cleric is the most on-point class to represent "character invested with divine power regardless of piety or worship, but who also suffers a terrible curse". Feel like there might be something else for that.
Neither Cassandra nor Tithonus are given as examples of clerics. Both are given as examples of the gods giving gifts they then cannot recall, a principle which could underlie a "nobody falls" system (including clerics).

It... could. Yes. In the same way that Elric of Melnibone could be presented to justify a "wizards should be effective melee combatants" system.

You could start changing existing classes... or you could check out the magus class (or the blade adept arcanist archetype, I suppose).

You don't think a campaign based on massive corruption-unto-evil in the PCs' favorite churches, which can readily prosper only if the gods can't just remove the corrupt clerics' powers, would be at all interesting? It doesn't take any significant amount of changes to classes, as you seem to imply. It just takes crossing out the phrase "or you fall." It's not even slightly comparable to making wizards effective melee combatants.

I mean yes that is an interesting campaign idea, one which can be already emulated through a) the corrupted priests are careful not to break the normally quite limited anathema or b) they have secretly converted to a new god or c) have a cartel of atonement casters. On the flip side removing the anathema leads us to `there is nothing stopping the pharasman cleric from sleeping with ghasts. '

Silver Crusade

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Re: the whole Cassandra discussion... I'm not sure cleric is the most on-point class to represent "character invested with divine power regardless of piety or worship, but who also suffers a terrible curse". Feel like there might be something else for that.
Neither Cassandra nor Tithonus are given as examples of clerics. Both are given as examples of the gods giving gifts they then cannot recall, a principle which could underlie a "nobody falls" system (including clerics).

It... could. Yes. In the same way that Elric of Melnibone could be presented to justify a "wizards should be effective melee combatants" system.

You could start changing existing classes... or you could check out the magus class (or the blade adept arcanist archetype, I suppose).

You don't think a campaign based on massive corruption-unto-evil in the PCs' favorite churches, which can readily prosper only if the gods can't just remove the corrupt clerics' powers, would be at all interesting? It doesn't take any significant amount of changes to classes, as you seem to imply. It just takes crossing out the phrase "or you fall." It's not even slightly comparable to making wizards effective melee combatants.

It doesn't compare to that purely mechanically no, but it vastly changes things from a setting perspective in an all encompassing manner. Look at the difference between Forgotten Realms and Eberron.


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Guys are we... are we having the argument from the beginning of Gamers 2? Is that what we are doing right now? XD

Silver Crusade

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Haven't seen it so no idea.


Malk_Content wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Re: the whole Cassandra discussion... I'm not sure cleric is the most on-point class to represent "character invested with divine power regardless of piety or worship, but who also suffers a terrible curse". Feel like there might be something else for that.
Neither Cassandra nor Tithonus are given as examples of clerics. Both are given as examples of the gods giving gifts they then cannot recall, a principle which could underlie a "nobody falls" system (including clerics).

It... could. Yes. In the same way that Elric of Melnibone could be presented to justify a "wizards should be effective melee combatants" system.

You could start changing existing classes... or you could check out the magus class (or the blade adept arcanist archetype, I suppose).

You don't think a campaign based on massive corruption-unto-evil in the PCs' favorite churches, which can readily prosper only if the gods can't just remove the corrupt clerics' powers, would be at all interesting? It doesn't take any significant amount of changes to classes, as you seem to imply. It just takes crossing out the phrase "or you fall." It's not even slightly comparable to making wizards effective melee combatants.
I mean yes that is an interesting campaign idea, one which can be already emulated through a) the corrupted priests are careful not to break the normally quite limited anathema or b) they have secretly converted to a new god or c) have a cartel of atonement casters. On the flip side removing the anathema leads us to `there is nothing stopping the pharasman cleric from sleeping with ghasts. '

Well,

(a) tightly restricts the degree of corruption and outright alignment change
(b) shouldn't be necessary
(c) atonement doesn't work if you're not actually repentant

And the non-corrupt Pharasman cleric doesn't sleep with undead because they honestly want to behave in a Pharasman manner. You know, like good-aligned fighters don't torture and murder because they're good, not because being good comes with anathema and they'll lose fighter powers if they break them. Heck, even if the GM rules they've changed alignment, so what? You don't lose levels for that any more.

And you know we're talking about an optional variant rule here, right? Anathema and falling in core and in your campaign are quite safe. I don't see why your concerns about ghast groupies should prevent Paizo from including this variant in one of their Unchained-style books.


Rysky wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Re: the whole Cassandra discussion... I'm not sure cleric is the most on-point class to represent "character invested with divine power regardless of piety or worship, but who also suffers a terrible curse". Feel like there might be something else for that.
Neither Cassandra nor Tithonus are given as examples of clerics. Both are given as examples of the gods giving gifts they then cannot recall, a principle which could underlie a "nobody falls" system (including clerics).

It... could. Yes. In the same way that Elric of Melnibone could be presented to justify a "wizards should be effective melee combatants" system.

You could start changing existing classes... or you could check out the magus class (or the blade adept arcanist archetype, I suppose).

You don't think a campaign based on massive corruption-unto-evil in the PCs' favorite churches, which can readily prosper only if the gods can't just remove the corrupt clerics' powers, would be at all interesting? It doesn't take any significant amount of changes to classes, as you seem to imply. It just takes crossing out the phrase "or you fall." It's not even slightly comparable to making wizards effective melee combatants.

It doesn't compare to that purely mechanically no, but it vastly changes things from a setting perspective in an all encompassing manner. Look at the difference between Forgotten Realms and Eberron.

On the one hand, I haven't used Forgotten Realms or Eberron. On the other hand, "duh." Half the point of the variant rule would be to make a mechanically simple change that has huge fluff impact. Is that a problem for you?


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
You don't think a campaign based on massive corruption-unto-evil in the PCs' favorite churches, which can readily prosper only if the gods can't just remove the corrupt clerics' powers, would be at all interesting? It doesn't take any significant amount of changes to classes, as you seem to imply. It just takes crossing out the phrase "or you fall." It's not even slightly comparable to making wizards effective melee combatants.

I think the central issue here is that saying "hey, Pharasma, please come fix this for us" is never an option for the players. If a specific church has been corrupted, any diety worth their salt is going to expect their faithful to fix the problem. So you could phrase "not taking their powers away, when you could" as a test for the faithful.

Like "how are they getting away with this" is a better thing to leave as a mystery than build into the metaphysics.


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Rysky wrote:
Haven't seen it so no idea.

The movie starts with a group of players TPK'ing because their cleric suddenly loses his powers in the middle of a fight - something the players didn't know was possible. It results in a loud argument about whether "it makes a good story" is an acceptable justification for that kind of thing.

(Side note, personal opinion is no; if you want to pull a stunt like that you either bring the player in on it or you make sure you know your players well enough to know they will be okay with it)

By the by, my original comments on this subject was under the assumption that people were asking for anathema to be removed from core.

If above posts are correct and all that is being asked for is removing anathema to be presented as an optional rule at some point... I think it's an obvious enough change (like removing Alignment) that I'm not sure it needs to be pointed out, but I don't have any problem with that being in a book of optional rules.


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Tectorman wrote:


Oh, yes, it is alignmentless and oathless. The only thing you have to do is start out as a nonfallen Paladin and then fall. You can fall for lying, so pick something untrue, say it right at the campaign's beginning, fall, switch character sheets, and continue as before.

So yes, you do have to fall, but that is only a hoop you have to jump through. If anything, the VB isn't a rejection of anything the Paladin stands for (since the VB has no alignment or code restrictions telling him not to turn around and go right back to acting like he was anyway), but rather a rejection of the necessity of a code as a part of the process. Instead, you pay the opportunity cost (and, if higher than first level, the XP cost) and if you go around Paladining after that, it's not because the player's trying to avoid a fall, but because the player genuinely wanted his Paladin to go around Paladining anyway. The VB is the most honest version of the Paladin P1E ever put out.[/b]

It also has practically zero paladin class features, getting only aura of courage/resolve.

So there's that.

The warpriest and fighter have more in common with each other than the VB and paladin. It's not a paladin in anything but name (and even then, there's a big ex- in front of it.)

So again, if you want to play a fighter that hard, just play the fighter.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
You don't think a campaign based on massive corruption-unto-evil in the PCs' favorite churches, which can readily prosper only if the gods can't just remove the corrupt clerics' powers, would be at all interesting? It doesn't take any significant amount of changes to classes, as you seem to imply. It just takes crossing out the phrase "or you fall." It's not even slightly comparable to making wizards effective melee combatants.

I think the central issue here is that saying "hey, Pharasma, please come fix this for us" is never on the option for the players. If a specific church has been corrupted, any diety worth their salt is going to expect their faithful to fix the problem. So you could phrase "not taking their powers away, when you could" as a test for the faithful.

Like "how are they getting away with this" is a better thing to leave as a mystery than build into the metaphysics.

Yet Paizo (and most posters here) think that "any deity worth their salt" will automatically strip of their powers any cleric who violates their anathema or strays too far from the deity's alignment.

It's impossible to act Paizo's way and your way... so I guess there aren't any deities worth their salt.


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I'm fine with "Anathema are particular to player characters, who are special" honestly. If I need a fallen Paladin NPC for something, I can just create one, but there's no reason to ask the GM to track "who all around here is falling"?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm fine with "Anathema are particular to player characters, who are special" honestly. If I need a fallen Paladin NPC for something, I can just create one, but there's no reason to ask the GM to track "who all around here is falling"?

It might be a fine way to do things, but I'm pretty sure it's not what Paizo has written in the core rulebook. If you think it is, please justify that; if you don't, please don't use "PCs are special" as the basis for your arguments.

And I don't see that it compels a GM to actually think about which NPCs might be falling in the background any more than they've ever been compelled to think about which NPCs might be changing alignment in the background.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Haven't seen it so no idea.
The movie starts with a group of players TPK'ing because their cleric suddenly loses his powers in the middle of a fight - something the players didn't know was possible. It results in a loud argument about whether "it makes a good story" is an acceptable justification for that kind of thing.

Game design based on The Gamers 2. *nods* Maybe next we can look at the Knights of the Dinner Table comics. Can't wait to implement Demerits for players who mouth off to the GM... that sounds like a good idea, right?

In all seriousness, I'm pretty sure the anathema system exists to minimize ambiguity and prevent this exact sort of situation. It's about as clear a set of rules as it'll ever be while still supporting the flavor of divine beneficence.

That said: if they made this an optional rule that groups could opt into, like the Removing Alignment rules in Pathfinder Unchained, I'd support that. It gives groups that prefer to play that way the green light, and that's just fine by me.

Silver Crusade

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Re: the whole Cassandra discussion... I'm not sure cleric is the most on-point class to represent "character invested with divine power regardless of piety or worship, but who also suffers a terrible curse". Feel like there might be something else for that.
Neither Cassandra nor Tithonus are given as examples of clerics. Both are given as examples of the gods giving gifts they then cannot recall, a principle which could underlie a "nobody falls" system (including clerics).

It... could. Yes. In the same way that Elric of Melnibone could be presented to justify a "wizards should be effective melee combatants" system.

You could start changing existing classes... or you could check out the magus class (or the blade adept arcanist archetype, I suppose).

You don't think a campaign based on massive corruption-unto-evil in the PCs' favorite churches, which can readily prosper only if the gods can't just remove the corrupt clerics' powers, would be at all interesting? It doesn't take any significant amount of changes to classes, as you seem to imply. It just takes crossing out the phrase "or you fall." It's not even slightly comparable to making wizards effective melee combatants.

It doesn't compare to that purely mechanically no, but it vastly changes things from a setting perspective in an all encompassing manner. Look at the difference between Forgotten Realms and Eberron.

On the one hand, I haven't used Forgotten Realms or Eberron. On the other hand, "duh." Half the point of the variant rule would be to make a mechanically simple change that has huge fluff impact. Is that a problem for you?

If it has a huge impact it definitely isn't a "fluff" thing.

And even off the top of my head I don't know the full ramifications this would have, but that's why I bring up those two settings for how drastically different things are.

That said I'm not opposed to it being a variant rule, but definitely a variant rule, not something included in Core.


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm fine with "Anathema are particular to player characters, who are special" honestly. If I need a fallen Paladin NPC for something, I can just create one, but there's no reason to ask the GM to track "who all around here is falling"?

It might be a fine way to do things, but I'm pretty sure it's not what Paizo has written in the core rulebook. If you think it is, please justify that; if you don't, please don't use "PCs are special" as the basis for your arguments.

And I don't see that it compels a GM to actually think about which NPCs might be falling in the background any more than they've ever been compelled to think about which NPCs might be changing alignment in the background.

Core Rulebook (as we maybe understand it) Justification: PCs are built using an entirely different system than NPCs. Sure. You CAN build NPCs like PCs, but that isn't the default assumption.

Also: Paizo has established that their setting is woven into the core rules for PF2. On Golarion, Clerics (or Paladins, etc.) are tied to the whims of their deities and anathema represent that contract mechanically. If you don't play in Golarion, go nuts, but that is homebrew or a future supplement, at best.

There's nothing inherently wrong with systems enforcing RP restrictions. There are many successful indie games that do just that and is one of the things I'm most excited about in PF2.

To a point you made above, I don't know that Paizo or most of the posters here expect that a deity is looking for reasons to strip their priests of power. Some might. Others may be more interested in giving their followers some leeway, as long as they don't stray too far, because mortals are primarily how they interact with the world.


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I mean the basic reason Pharasma might hold a PC Cleric to a much higher standard than a random Ustalavic priest is that Pharasma knows that the former is going to 20th level and will save the world so will be the sort of person tales are told about, whereas the latter may never get more than 100 miles from where they were born.

One thing I would like to see, but it's probably too late to get this officially, is to have Anathema get progressively more restrictive as you gain levels. Perhaps that's how Deific Obedience can work now, it's a prestige archetype or just higher level general feat that gives you extra divine power in exchange for extra restrictions.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am pretty sure the anathemas were indeed created to give clearer guidelines than PF1 did to properly play Clerics of a given deity.

I am also pretty sure that the vague PF1 info for Clerics led to far less contentious threads than the PF1 Paladin code did. And anathemas are closer to the latter, so I am expecting similar results


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

Ok, there is a Cannon story with a priest who obviously was violating Anathema, but the implication was the Goddess didn't know who was responsible for the actual transgression, and there was planar intrigue involved in the transgression.

I don't necessarily feel like individual transgressions should necessarily cause a cleric to fall. Champions (paladin's) I have a stricter feeling about, although I strongly agree that the GM should point out to a player when they feel like they are going down a 'bad' path. It should not be a surprise to the player that they are running into an issue.

In my 'head cannon' the instance of the priest who was definitely willfully violating a KEY premise of his faith, and committing willful crimes to facilitate and cover up said fact, I felt like they were high enough level, that they probably had in game respect taken a feat that was enabling them to HIDE a secret from his patron. Hidden until a servant of the church revealed it by their investigation. This became a life long goal of the individual. It wasn't just a 'poor' choice they made in a moment of passion, it took over their life goals.

So, I'm all for Anathema for Clerics and Paladins. However, you do have Paizo fiction that backs up that clerics don't always suddenly lose there abilities if they do something that others aren't aware of. Indicating the gods don't know everything all of their (even powerful) followers are doing at all times. It doesn't justify that they are not subject to their God's favor however. It seemed clear he clearly feared being found out, and losing his position.

Honestly, I kind of feel like we don't need tons of material on Anathema rules protecting players, etc. all concisely defining everything. Instead I feel general rules, kind of like it seemed like those as I recall them, and potentially some extra 'web resources' available to help GM and Players, to better understand best practices to help avoid individuals feeling like their Gaming 'social contracts' have been broken by unintentional (or intentional) actions that end up feeling like an abuse of the actions involved in the mechanics. (be that by calling for a Fall, or doing actions that are clearly not what are intended in the game to be a part of such a character concept)

Again, I don't see them as needing to be rules published in the core rule-book, as guidelines that can be refereed to if needed to help better understand the rules primary purposes. Key point on making the games fun, being that these parts of Role Playing adjudication involves cooperation between the GMs and the Players. I see this being an article or even perhaps more than one article that could amount to a lot of words, and may be able to be improved upon over time as potential other mechanisms come into play that might offer adjustments to the application of anathema slightly over time..

This cooperation should exist in any games. Trying to play without them, I can only imagine will result in a failed game for at least one of the gamers, if not more likely, most of the gamers. This is why I don't see this particular aspect really fixed by 'rules'.


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Falling shouldn't be just fluff, but the players should form a strong social contract right from the start. For instance it would be much better if the GM warned the player when the pc was starting to enter anathema territory, before they actually fell. Then, if the player still wants to carry on with the forbidden action, they can't say the GM is acting out of malice. The anathema should also be discussed before starting play with the character involved - what the restrictions mean, where do they extend to, and possible exceptions. This holds true for champions' codes, barbarians' totems, druidic beliefs and whatnot. When a rules element could result in the removal of most, or even some, of a pc's powers, the group should socially reach an agreement and keep to it.

I think these added mechanics add verisimilitude and should apply in general to npcs too, except for very exceptional circumstances. Level the playing field, as it were. This also allows the pcs to make up smart tactics resulting in the fall of an npc cleric or champion. This should still be rare, but possible. Likewise, I can conceive of an enemy deceiving a pc into falling.

About the church falling into evil and the adventure that such a plot could provide, the only requirement for the local clerics to keep casting divine spells and still be for all effects clerics is that they turn to some other deity, be it full, semi- or quasi- . Simple as that.

I also think that an optional rule to dispense with anathemas, codes and so on would hurt absolutely no one and should be included in the 2e Unchained. Even if it weren't, the group can always decide how they wanna play.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Full agreement with Roswynn's entire post; couldn't have said it better myself.


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Roswynn wrote:
I also think that an optional rule to dispense with anathemas, codes and so on would hurt absolutely no one and should be included in the 2e Unchained. Even if it weren't, the group can always decide how they wanna play.

I feel like this is the sort of optional rule that would be a waste of page space to actually print, since "Anathema" can be easily excised from a class with no repercussions so it's completely clear how one would do that.

Like in PF Unchained in the "dropping alignment" section they had to talk about how things like Detect and Smite Evil would work, because alignment ties into other things than conduct. Only potential complication of a game just completely ignoring Anathema is that there's no longer any incentive for characters to behave like they are supposed to (e.g. Pharasman clerics raising hordes of the undead, Druids despoiling nature, etc.).

So after you remove Anathema, if you're having a problem with the Shelynites in your group just burning down every art gallery you come across, I'm not sure there's a mechanical solution for this short of "put Anathema back."


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Honeybee wrote:

"The rules went from telling the DM he could nix a character to telling him he couldn't."

No, they went from characters having to be houseruled in, to those characters being legal within the rules. "If my 3.0 GM doesn't let me play my nonlawful monk, she's nixing my character!" is as much the GM's fault as not letting you play your wizard with a full BAB. It's something she could allow, but just because you want her to doesn't make her wrong for not changing things to fit your wishes.
So all those nonlawful monk players in PF1... however many there were... aren't necessarily problem players. They are, however, trying to play a character that operates on different standards than the game assumes, and just because the GM doesn't let them have their way is no reason to vilify her.

Why are the game's assumptions so sacrosanct, though? Yes, it would have taken a houserule to allow a nonlawful Monk in P1E, but that's not because it was ever an invalid concept. These changes aren't made in a vacuum. Paizo didn't change the LG Paladin to the Any Good Champion based on nothing, nor was the removal of an alignment requirement from the Monk or Barbarian based on nothing; they did so because those were valid concepts that were being nixxed when they shouldn't have been. Because players and GMs alike were tired of those being issues that they have to address. Because those were egregious mistakes that needed to be corrected.

So a player is not a problem player whether they're exercising an option that used to not exist or whether they're calling a game out for overstepping itself. And the GM shouldn't be vilified. More to the point, the GM shouldn't have to be put in a position where they may be defending ill-conceived game rules. Any-good Champions and alignment-restrictionless Barbarians and Monks are valid and legal concepts now, and they always should have been. And since these valid concepts are legal now, GMs aren't influenced into disallowing these perfectly valid concepts.

Hurray! That's a worthy goal. The GM will get caught in being put in the position of being the bad guy (even though they aren't) on fewer and fewer occasions. So why not nip it in the bud as much as possible?


Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Who says that the character even is a spokesperson for the divine?
That's what Clerics are.

That's one thing that Collection of Class Features #5 (hereafter referred to as the Cleric) CAN be used to express. There are so many other things that tool in the toolbox can be used for. Just like how the chassis of the Champion CAN be used for the LG Paladin, and that need not mean that the LG Paladin should be the only thing the Champion class is used for.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
A divine spell-list Sorcerer is putting out the same magic as a Cleric and he's no one's spokesperson.
Correct, just like the Oracle.

The Oracle casts prepared rather than spontaneous and off of his entire spell list? Since when? Regardless, if the Oracle ended up being the Fury Totem for the Cleric class, that might work (unless it just trades the Anathema baggage for Curse baggage).

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
So why does keeping the same character concept, but gaining the Cleric's class features while trading away the Sorcerer's class features require any divinity to be contradicted?
Becuase that's what Clerics are, that's their theme, it's how they get their abilties.

Again, that is true of Cleric the Concept which can be easily expressed by CoCF5 (Cleric the Class). Why is any exclusivity necessitated here?

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Oh, yes, it is alignmentless and oathless. The only thing you have to do is start out as a nonfallen Paladin and then fall. You can fall for lying, so pick something untrue, say it right at the campaign's beginning, fall, switch character sheets, and continue as before.
That's trying to sweep under the rug that you're playing a fallen Paladin. You're not playing a Paladin of True Neutrality, or a Paladin without fetters, you're explicilty a fallen Paladin and all that entails.

Again, "fallen Paladin" is one way you CAN use that collection of class features. But unless you can point to an alignment, code, or behavioral requirement to the effect of "a VB must be portrayed as a fallen Paladin", then no such thing was entailed. Suggested? Sure, but a suggestion is only ever one interpretation to be kept, tweaked, or discarded.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
So yes, you do have to fall, but that is only a hoop you have to jump through.
If you're going to treat a Vindicitve Bastard as a Paladin of any alignment rather than a fallen Paladin like it is then the Vindicitve Bastard and these rule changes you're asking for were meaningless tyo begin with.

I'm asking for the same rule change that lets a Barbarian player duck out from under the last edition's alignment requirement while avoiding this edition's Anathema. That's not meaningless, it's a Godsend.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
You mean "impose a story" that the player shouldn't have to be signing up for just because the collection of class features he picked happened to carry that baggage.
If you don't want to play a Cleric than don't play a Cleric, part of playing a Cleric is that you're working for your Deity. That's its whole theme.

That is indeed the whole theme of Cleric the Concept. Just like fighting in a rage while holding to certain behavioral restrictions is the theme of a number of Barbarian the Concepts. Fortunately, the developers recognized that some players are going to want to use Barbarian the Class for more than just those Barbarian the Concepts. Hence, the Fury Totem. So, a Fury Totem equivalent for Cleric the Class allows that tool to not be limited to just Cleric the Concept.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Tectorman, am I correct in thinking that you've been advocating not for a change in the core rules (which include anathemas and falling) but for an optional "no falling" variant rule?

Keeping in mind that optional rules are rules the GM chooses to use or not in their campaign, not rules that players have the right to come into someone's campaign and invoke as applying to their character.

Here's what I'm advocating for.

Option 1: Every class with an Anathema has at least one "Fury Totem" alternative. One that exists already in the game, that the player does not have to negotiate for. One that, if the GM feels the need to take it away, then that is a change he must make and own and defend. And while the player may not have any real way to enforce "the Fury Totem is already in the game, so you, Mr. GM, have to keep it there", the GM removing the Fury Totem option for no reason or for a bad reason serves as a decent enough red flag to the player that he needs to run, not walk, out of there.

In other words, a prospective P2E Barbarian player, one that feels that Anathema is nothing but an impediment and something to be ducked out from under or avoided at all costs, has an option by default to avoid that entire argument and he isn't a problem player, or paranoid, or incapable of trusting the GM just for expecting to exercise that option. That is a blessing that shouldn't just apply to the Barbarian.

And no, this would be no more or less optional than any other defaultly existing class feature (i.e., it's just as optional as the Barbarian's Fury Totem).

Option 2: Anathema still exists, but the language behind it comes with an addendum. Let's say it comes in keyword form, that all class features that introduce an Anathema have the Anathema keyword. And this Anathema keyword, wherever it is defined, provides a humungous caveat/Surgeon General's warning that classes/concepts that include Anathema work best only after both parties have agreed. This agreement can include exploring the ins and outs of what constitutes a fall. If the player isn't wanting "or you fall" to be an option on the table, then the keyword should either STRONGLY advise the GM to have a phenomenally good reason why it must be enforced anyway or it should come out and say "ignoring the 'or you fall' is perfectly fine and the game won't change anyway".

Still not a thing that any player can enforce, but it still serves as a red flag. A GM willing to enforce Anathema for no reason or no good reason is a sotuation where the player should run, not walk.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like this is the sort of optional rule that would be a waste of page space to actually print

No optional rule is ever a waste of page space to actually print. Remember, you might be on the fence regarding a homebrew modification to the rules, and finding that Paizo published your idea as a distinct possibility could help you make up your mind. Legitimization is important.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Only potential complication of a game just completely ignoring Anathema is that there's no longer any incentive for characters to behave like they are supposed to (e.g. Pharasman clerics raising hordes of the undead, Druids despoiling nature, etc.).

Which is exactly why I would write such an optional rule: to advise GMs to not allow these behaviors. Sure, you can't fall, but that's no reason to let characters run roughshod over their archetype and act like their class is just a bunch of mechanics with no unifying theme (of course, a druid could despoil nature in the direst circumstances, if the greater good for the natural world were better served that way... same about the Pharasmin cleric etc).


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Tectorman, the thing you are ignoring, I feel, is that Pathfinder as a system, especially in 2e, is tied to Golarion the setting.

"Twi'lek Jedi that was once an apprentice to a Sith lord but had a change of heart" is a totally valid and interesting character concept, but it's not relevant to Golarion and doesn't belong in Pathfinder core, to use an extreme example.

Liberty's Edge

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Tectorman wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Tectorman, am I correct in thinking that you've been advocating not for a change in the core rules (which include anathemas and falling) but for an optional "no falling" variant rule?

Keeping in mind that optional rules are rules the GM chooses to use or not in their campaign, not rules that players have the right to come into someone's campaign and invoke as applying to their character.

Here's what I'm advocating for.

Option 1: Every class with an Anathema has at least one "Fury Totem" alternative. One that exists already in the game, that the player does not have to negotiate for. One that, if the GM feels the need to take it away, then that is a change he must make and own and defend. And while the player may not have any real way to enforce "the Fury Totem is already in the game, so you, Mr. GM, have to keep it there", the GM removing the Fury Totem option for no reason or for a bad reason serves as a decent enough red flag to the player that he needs to run, not walk, out of there.

In other words, a prospective P2E Barbarian player, one that feels that Anathema is nothing but an impediment and something to be ducked out from under or avoided at all costs, has an option by default to avoid that entire argument and he isn't a problem player, or paranoid, or incapable of trusting the GM just for expecting to exercise that option. That is a blessing that shouldn't just apply to the Barbarian.

And no, this would be no more or less optional than any other defaultly existing class feature (i.e., it's just as optional as the Barbarian's Fury Totem).

Option 2: Anathema still exists, but the language behind it comes with an addendum. Let's say it comes in keyword form, that all class features that introduce an Anathema have the Anathema keyword. And this Anathema keyword, wherever it is defined, provides a humungous caveat/Surgeon General's warning that classes/concepts that include Anathema work best only after both parties have agreed....

I feel that you really underestimate the ability of a player to impose something on their GM.

What you propose does not erase a need for iron will and exceptional negotiating skills. It just puts it solely on the GM's shoulders. Which is not by any way fair IMO


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Tectorman wrote:

Option 2: Anathema still exists, but the language behind it comes with an addendum. Let's say it comes in keyword form, that all class features that introduce an Anathema have the Anathema keyword. And this Anathema keyword, wherever it is defined, provides a humungous caveat/Surgeon General's warning that classes/concepts that include Anathema work best only after both parties have agreed. This agreement can include exploring the ins and outs of what constitutes a fall. If the player isn't wanting "or you fall" to be an option on the table, then the keyword should either STRONGLY advise the GM to have a phenomenally good reason why it must be enforced anyway or it should come out and say "ignoring the 'or you fall' is perfectly fine and the game won't change anyway".

Still not a thing that any player can enforce, but it still serves as a red flag. A GM willing to enforce Anathema for no reason or no good reason is a sotuation where the player should run, not walk.

That's just rule 0 though, and applies to every rule in the game. Playing the game at all should involve both the DM and the player being comfortable with the rules they agree to play, but the DM should have the final say (and not have to jump through hoops for it, "This is the story I want to tell" should be more than enough). It feels like you want the player to have the final word, since that's the effective result of both of your options.

I assume in the fullness of splatbooks, we'll get the Option 1 you're asking for. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if we get both that and a way for anathema to be applied to other classes as well, to make an oathbound fighter or a sorcerer that swears a pact for her spells, or whatever else. Or options to move the anathema from a deity to the domain itself. Sort of how playtest paladins had class feats to pick up more lines of anathema in exchange for more powers, clerics could also pick up increasingly complex anathema as they chose domain power class feats. Doesn't even have to be an Unchained book; this would be totally appropriate for an Ultimate Magic supplement.

But all that will come later. For the CRB, I wouldn't want them, especially since they don't mesh with the Lost Omens setting and everything in the CRB should.


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I'm all for using Classes for concepts that aren't traditionally thought of for that class. I've used a Rogue class for a prison guard with great success. But asking for Core for the reliance on a good relationship with your deity for a cleric who is a divine caster who's prime role is to represent the character who acts as that divine powers hands, it just seems to be pushing it.

That doesn't mean you can't come up with a concept, and ask for permission to play it. But for instance, in Golarion, they are quite specific, clerics CAN NOT draw power simply by their belief. Razmirian clergy can not cast divine spells because they believe in their patron.

If in your homebrew world, the only thing that makes divine magic divine, is that it was first taught to the mortals by the divine, and arcane magic was merely invented/discovered by experimentation, then sure... take the cleric class and divorce it from their deities. But it does't make sense for Golarion, which is what they are tying Core to. [personally, I liked the more generic ruleset as per 3.5, but I understand that by tying it to a specific fluff, they can have more meaningful options, than if they try to remain agnostic]

I had a 1st edition cleric concept. It used a specific archetype and tied me to an evil god. This concept didn't have me worshiping that god. Instead the powers coming from the clerical level came not from worship, but more like a curse they were born with. An inseverable tie, which made them channel negative energy, and ended up preventing from truely becoming good. However, they were raised in an orphanage, cared for by a good clergy. Given a choice, they would have personally chosen to say they followed the good god. But they couldn't tear themselves from their tie to their 'godparent' whom granted/forced powers upon them that most others considered evil. [and at least in certain respects were] The character tried to use their powers to be helpful to others, and to protect themselves. They were intended to be generally heroic. Idolizing good more than evil, but never quite managing to get themselves to being able to achieve that completely themselves.

Here's the thing. I don't, in the slightest, feel like I have the 'Right' to play this concept. I have the ability to ask if the GM would permit it, and if they think it can fit in the game. I don't want the rules to tell a GM they have to accept the concept, or they are making a anti-player houserule. I believe it is appropriate to say, enabling this concept is a pro-player house-rule, not that anyone should ever accuse a GM who refuses it as being Anti-player. Some game I was in, if I had suggested that concept, after seeing the other players concepts, I would have been shocked and disappointed if the GM had said yes without pointing out there would be very structural issues that would have to be addressed early on if they let this concept in.

If you want permission to play a Divine Sorcerer concept, using Cleric rules, that should be a question you ask the GM, not something you point to a rule and say, here the rules that you pointed to saying I might not be able to do that are 'taboo rules' that can't be used unless everyone agrees, which I will simply veto since I'm a player. And I apologize if that isn't what you are saying. But it seems like the statements are being made with the emphasis one the GM can't do without the players permission, which in then end is completely contrary to what a GM must do. I fully agree, the GM should be working cooperatively with ALL the players. But they have to make the judgement calls for the group. Not at the whim of all the individuals. There has to be an implied trust and respect of the GM for the whole thing to even work.

Have something that outlines the importance of the GM making sure the players understand the expectations of Anathema's that apply to any classes in general. Make sure they understand they don't have to be super strict with it. Make sure the characters would/should almost always know when they are making choices that violate their Anathema. It should be extremely hard to fall doing something you had no clue would result in the Anathema. Throwing a bucket of water on a burning child, to save their life, and you fine out after the fact that the child was laying on a piece of living flame artwork that had existed for centuries, and got destroyed by the water, probably should not cause a priest of Shelyn to fall. Maybe if they knew about the artwork, but can you not argue the child is a form of art too?


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Note that Shelyn's anathema specifically allows for the destruction of art:
- to save innocents
- to create greater art.


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Tectorman wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Tectorman, am I correct in thinking that you've been advocating not for a change in the core rules (which include anathemas and falling) but for an optional "no falling" variant rule?

Keeping in mind that optional rules are rules the GM chooses to use or not in their campaign, not rules that players have the right to come into someone's campaign and invoke as applying to their character.

Here's what I'm advocating for.

Option 1: Every class with an Anathema has at least one "Fury Totem" alternative. One that exists already in the game, that the player does not have to negotiate for. One that, if the GM feels the need to take it away, then that is a change he must make and own and defend. And while the player may not have any real way to enforce "the Fury Totem is already in the game, so you, Mr. GM, have to keep it there", the GM removing the Fury Totem option for no reason or for a bad reason serves as a decent enough red flag to the player that he needs to run, not walk, out of there.

In other words, a prospective P2E Barbarian player, one that feels that Anathema is nothing but an impediment and something to be ducked out from under or avoided at all costs, has an option by default to avoid that entire argument and he isn't a problem player, or paranoid, or incapable of trusting the GM just for expecting to exercise that option. That is a blessing that shouldn't just apply to the Barbarian.

And no, this would be no more or less optional than any other defaultly existing class feature (i.e., it's just as optional as the Barbarian's Fury Totem).

Option 2: Anathema still exists, but the language behind it comes with an addendum. Let's say it comes in keyword form, that all class features that introduce an Anathema have the Anathema keyword. And this Anathema keyword, wherever it is defined, provides a humungous caveat/Surgeon General's warning that classes/concepts that include Anathema work best only after both parties have agreed. This agreement can include exploring the ins and outs of what constitutes a fall. If the player isn't wanting "or you fall" to be an option on the table, then the keyword should either STRONGLY advise the GM to have a phenomenally good reason why it must be enforced anyway or it should come out and say "ignoring the 'or you fall' is perfectly fine and the game won't change anyway".

Still not a thing that any player can enforce, but it still serves as a red flag. A GM willing to enforce Anathema for no reason or no good reason is a sotuation where the player should run, not walk.

Oh, dear. That's far less optional---quite mandatory, really---than I'd thought. I apologize to you for misunderstanding your intentions, and to anyone I may have confused about them.

FTR, I think the Fury Totem was a brilliant idea and that it would be a great idea to replicate it in Core wherever it fits nicely, which doesn't include clerics now that the rules aren't setting-neutral.

And there should definitely be a longish discussion in Core about anathema and enforcement to encourage GMs to be at least vaguely in sync. (I also want Core to include short essays on each anathema to try to create a common understanding, but that's neither here nor there.)

And there should definitely be a "no falling" optional rule... in Pathfinder 2e Unchained. It's not trivial material, in that there should be discussion of the implications of the change, possible explanations and their implications. And like any other optional rule, it's there for the GM to choose for their campaign, though obviously players can always make requests.

But I don't think Paizo has any obligation or much reason to push all GMs to cater to any player who wants to play a particular class but not be subject to some of its mechanics, whether those mechanics are anathema or not---especially when the rest of the PCs are subject to them.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Like that Banksy painting. :P


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Sorcerer aside, the design of most classes is heavily influenced by the connotation surrounding the classes name. It is why barbarians rage, wizards study, and rogues sneak attack. In an edition where you are focusing on existing players (PF1, for example), you can focus on the connotation internal to the gaming culture. The more you are trying to get new players (which I believe is a goal of PF2), the more you should consider the external connotation (which can be influenced by the gaming one, as seen in paladins).

That means that, in the beginning, clerics and paladins are going to be servants of the gods with mechanics that support that. Over time there will be more alternatives for dedicated players, but they aren't going to confuse the new players with that.


First of all, to everyone advising me that what I'm asking for will likely not appear in the CRB if ever, I'm already resigned to that. I said I was prepared for a long haul, and I meant it. I was pushing for a completely alignment-restrictionless Monk back during P1E's Beta Playtest, and I believe I kept at it all during P1E's run. And while we got to see the Martial Artist and Sin Eater archetypes, we never got the any-alignment Monk Class, even up to P1E's end. And now look at it, finally fixed and everything. So I realize that I'm pushing more for the sake of P3E or later than for any change we'll likely see during this edition.

The Raven Black wrote:

I feel that you really underestimate the ability of a player to impose something on their GM.

What you propose does not erase a need for iron will and exceptional negotiating skills. It just puts it solely on the GM's shoulders. Which is not by any way fair IMO

No, I believe a player of sufficient negotiating skill can push for plenty. But regardless of what it is, or how easy it is to implement, or even whether the GM agrees with the player, it's still something the GM has to address that he otherwise wouldn't have to, thanks to the player. It paints the player as nitpicky or unpleaseable in a way that exercising an already existing option doesn't.

And it no more puts anything on the GMs shoulders than the alignment-restrictionless Monk or the Fury Totem. The GM, if he wants a game where PCs don't have those options, would have to show that iron will and negotiating skills you talked about to push that goal. Why is that an acceptable burden on the GM, but expanding that to include imposing Anathema on Clerics or Champions is suddenly a step too far?

MaxAstro wrote:

Tectorman, the thing you are ignoring, I feel, is that Pathfinder as a system, especially in 2e, is tied to Golarion the setting.

"Twi'lek Jedi that was once an apprentice to a Sith lord but had a change of heart" is a totally valid and interesting character concept, but it's not relevant to Golarion and doesn't belong in Pathfinder core, to use an extreme example.

Thank you for at least calling that extreme example for what it is. And I get that P2E is no longer setting-neutral like P1E was supposed to be (even though it fell short of that promise, too). Thing is, I believe that in any case where the setting integrity (of any setting) may come into conflict with the underlying social contract, the setting should have far less priority. Exploring alternative interpretations for Cleric the Class to be in the game even without the Anathema of Cleric the Concept should be on the list of things to do long, long before "we're keeping Anathema; deal with it" or "no, you don't have to pay attention to this Anathema, you just have to pick a different class".

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Oh, dear. That's far less optional---quite mandatory, really---than I'd thought. I apologize to you for misunderstanding your intentions, and to anyone I may have confused about them.

FTR, I think the Fury Totem was a brilliant idea and that it would be a great idea to replicate it in Core wherever it fits nicely, which doesn't include clerics now that the rules aren't setting-neutral.

And there should definitely be a longish discussion in Core about anathema and enforcement to encourage GMs to be at least vaguely in sync. (I also want Core to include short essays on each anathema to try to create a common understanding, but that's neither here nor there.)

And there should definitely be a "no falling" optional rule... in Pathfinder 2e Unchained. It's not trivial material, in that there should be discussion of the implications of the change, possible explanations and their implications. And like any other optional rule, it's there for the GM to choose for their campaign, though obviously players can always make requests.

But I don't think Paizo has any obligation or much reason to push all GMs to cater to any player who wants to play a particular class but not be subject to some of its mechanics, whether those mechanics are anathema or not---especially when the rest of the PCs are subject to them.

What do you mean "far less optional"? A Fury Totem equivalent for the Cleric or the Champion would be exactly as "optional" as the already existing Fury Totem for the Barbarian. The GM isn't being pushed into catering to anyone there.

And why would there be a disparity between some players ignoring Anathema and others staying subject to them? I'm advocating it be an opt-in choice for all parties, such that every player makes their character subject to an Anathema or not based on their own preference. Just like how there's currently no disparity between Barbarian players that don't pick the Fury Totem (and therefore have an Anathema) and, say, Sorcerer players (who don't).


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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.

I can go with that "gift can't be taken back".

Seriously, it's not the falling per se that I find problematic but the "You loose all of your powers immediately". Because that is quite a blow.

So suppose, as a cleric, your deity can't take back gifts. What happens, when you fall?
- I think channel energy might just stop working... because you literally need divine energy the moment you do it as it is described.
- Your spell? You keep the ones you have but you can't pray for new ones. Given spells can't be taken but your deity doesn't gift you any more.
- You keep your cantrips because they are fixed and you keep your domain powers because they too are fixed and fuelled by Focus which is class-agnostic.

You don't loose all your powers and not all immediately. Basically you keep the fixed powers and loose all those that you choose everytime you use or prepare them. A fallen Champion might keep its Focus Spells but can't summon their divine blade/shield/horse anymore.


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Tectorman wrote:
Thank you for at least calling that extreme example for what it is. And I get that P2E is no longer setting-neutral like P1E was supposed to be (even though it fell short of that promise, too). Thing is, I believe that in any case where the setting integrity (of any setting) may come into conflict with the underlying social contract, the setting should have far less priority. Exploring alternative interpretations for Cleric the Class to be in the game even without the Anathema of Cleric the Concept should be on the list of things to do long, long before "we're keeping Anathema; deal with it" or "no, you don't have to pay attention to this Anathema, you just have to pick a different class".

Anathema is what ties the Cleric class to Golarion, though. The class isn't "Bundle of Class Features #5"; it is a class that derives divine power from worship and dedication to a deity. Paizo specifically removed the option of "cleric of an ideal", so I don't see them going back in the other direction. And while I think social contract issues can take precedence over setting when they are highly disruptive, I don't see this as a highly disruptive issue. Anathema is less restrictive or controversial than the Paladin code, and while there have certainly been games disrupted over the Paladin code, that is not the standard experience.

I think the much more likely answer is going to be "if you want an official way to get divine magic without devoting yourself to a deity, play a Sorcerer or Oracle".

On the other hand, Paizo has suggested that we are going to get rules for heretical Clerics at some point, and I imagine that archetype or w/e it ends up being may have some ability to ignore (or at least reinterpret) anathema.

Silver Crusade

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Tectorman wrote:
That's one thing that Collection of Class Features #5 (hereafter referred to as the Cleric) CAN be used to express.
The Cleric "part" is not something tacked onto these mechanics you want, they're the whole of the class that the mechanics help represent. The "person who worships a deity and is granted divine power in turn" is not something just thrown in at the last minute.
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There are so many other things that tool in the toolbox can be used for.
Yes you can make a completely new class when you build it from the ground up, *points at the Oracle*
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Just like how the chassis of the Champion CAN be used for the LG Paladin, and that need not mean that the LG Paladin should be the only thing the Champion class is used for.
Yes, the Champion chassis can be used to make other champions. Beyond that you need to work from the ground up.
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The Oracle casts prepared rather than spontaneous and off of his entire spell list? Since when?
Never? Just like the current Divine Sorcerer.
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Regardless, if the Oracle ended up being the Fury Totem for the Cleric class, that might work (unless it just trades the Anathema baggage for Curse baggage).
It would certainly get the Curse, that's part of its theme. If you want a 9th level Divine caster than doesn't have anything to do with Gods or Curses you would need to make a whole new class.
Quote:
Again, that is true of Cleric the Concept which can be easily expressed by CoCF5 (Cleric the Class). Why is any exclusivity necessitated here?
I don't understand your question here. The only thing I can surmise is your asking for an entirely new class, not a Cleric with an optional rule applied.
Tectorman wrote:
Again, "fallen Paladin" is one way you CAN use that collection of class features. But unless you can point to an alignment, code, or behavioral requirement to the effect of "a VB must be portrayed as a fallen Paladin", then no such thing was entailed. Suggested? Sure, but a suggestion is only ever one interpretation to be kept, tweaked, or discarded.
I can point to the archetype description itself. You're a fallen Paladin, not a Paladin of simply different mindset, you are in fact a fallen Paladin. You can play it however you wish aster since you're not bound by anything anymore, but that doesn't make you not be a fallen Paladin.
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is one way you CAN use that collection of class features.
Since you keep using this rather disparaging phrase to refer to Classes and your insistence on ignoring the requirements and flavor text of classes and archetypes I'm suspecting more and more that Pathfinder at it's core just does not jel with you, since it is built upon a Class system. The Class system isn't going away and you're already modifying and ignoring large swathes of the content (shown by your "is one way you can use that collection of class features" statements) so I don't really see what these optional rules would accomplish for you.
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I'm asking for the same rule change that lets a Barbarian player duck out from under the last edition's alignment requirement while avoiding this edition's Anathema. That's not meaningless, it's a Godsend.
Alignment restrictions and codes of conduct are two completely different things. The Barbarian didn't have to duck anything, they casually sauntered.
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That is indeed the whole theme of Cleric the Concept.
It is the whole theme of the Cleric, full stop. There is no "concept Cleric", again the Cleric was not something tacked onto this class, it is this class. If you want the Cleric class without the Cleric then you're going to have to make a whole new class.
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Just like fighting in a rage while holding to certain behavioral restrictions is the theme of a number of Barbarian the Concepts. Fortunately, the developers recognized that some players are going to want to use Barbarian the Class for more than just those Barbarian the Concepts. Hence, the Fury Totem. So, a Fury Totem equivalent for Cleric the Class allows that tool to not be limited to just Cleric the Concept.

1) The Barbarian is not a divine class working for a divinity so they are already have fields more freedom than classes like a Cleric.

2) The Fury Totem does not make the Barbarian not be a Barbarian, nor does it remove it's rage. Removing the need to worship a deity for a Cleric, and all that entails, and you no longer have a Cleric.


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A divine caster "whose gifts the gods cannot take back" is plainly an oracle. I don't really want the cleric to encroach on the eventual oracle's thematic space.


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Tectorman wrote:
What do you mean "far less optional"? A Fury Totem equivalent for the Cleric or the Champion would be exactly as "optional" as the already existing Fury Totem for the Barbarian. The GM isn't being pushed into catering to anyone there.

Paizo is being pushed into catering to you.

Which is fine. That's one of the things this forum is for. But I really wish you'd just come out and say "I want anathema to be the tacked on optional variant, and anathema-free classes to be the default." It's cool to want things, you don't have to justify yourself further. We aren't your DMs (probably anyways).

Personally, I LOVE anathema. I want them on more classes, especially Monks and maybe even Rangers. I could even see it as an opt-in choice for bardic masterpieces. And then I want an archetype or seven letting me put it on every class. But as much as I love that rule, I see the value in "Fury-totem" equivalents, and I'm certain Paizo does too. Like I said on my last post, I am 100% certain you will get your option 1 variants in PF2 (eventually) without having to wait for another edition.

And if those fury totem options like "Philosophical Cleric" or "Ronin Champion" become the most heavily chosen, then yes in PF3 those will likely become the default. But that will be because the playerbase embraced those options, not because you personally advocated for that position.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
A divine caster "whose gifts the gods cannot take back" is plainly an oracle. I don't really want the cleric to encroach on the eventual oracle's thematic space.

That's not plain at all.

Oracle wrote:

Although the gods work through many agents, perhaps none is more mysterious than the oracle. These divine vessels are granted power without their choice, selected by providence to wield powers that even they do not fully understand. Unlike a cleric, who draws her magic through devotion to a deity, oracles garner strength and power from many sources, namely those patron deities who support their ideals. Instead of worshiping a single source, oracles tend to venerate all of the gods that share their beliefs. While some see the powers of the oracle as a gift, others view them as a curse, changing the life of the chosen in unforeseen ways.

Role: Oracles do not usually associate with any one church or temple, instead preferring to strike out on their own, or with a small group of like-minded individuals. Oracles typically use their spells and revelations to further their understanding of their mystery, be it through fighting mighty battles or tending to the poor and sick.

Nothing in there hints at whether the oracle's power could be taken back by whoever bestowed it. Rather, the key difference between a oracle and a cleric (supported by the cleric description) is whether you get power from a single deity you dedicate yourself to or from a bunch of deities you need not be dedicated to at all.


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Rysky wrote:

...

Tectorman wrote:


That is indeed the whole theme of Cleric the Concept.
It is the whole theme of the Cleric, full stop. There is no "concept Cleric", again the Cleric was not something tacked onto this class, it is this class. If you want the Cleric class without the Cleric then you're going to have to make a whole new class.

Now I'm going to partially disagree here. You don't HAVE to start with a brand new class... but you have to talk to your GM and potentially other players and find out if a change you would like to make would be accepted by the whole.

If you want to have a Priest of Healing Magics, not tied to any particular deity, existing in your local Golarion, and the rest of the players, GM included are good with it. You have your GO! You have a choice, you can discuss playing a Cleric, but being given dispensation to not need a god. Or you can ask to keep your 'god' but have dispensation, saying that in that Golarion the gods can't take back the Class abilities they have granted.

In my opinion one shouldn't as a player feel like it is your right to insist on that fundamental change. A more comparable analogy on the Fury token would be to say, my barbarian concept gets boosts of power by saying magical words that boost their abilities and get the rage benefits. However, it has nothing to do with anger, it is all magical or even perhaps alchemical. Since its source is not actually rage, I should have no limitations on my actions during the rounds I am raged, since those limitations no longer fit my presented 'fluff' I should be able to do things that require concentration and mental acuity with no problem, if anything I should get the bonus to such actions.

The above analogy is perhaps an exaggeration, and I'm not saying you are requesting this specifically, but it may hopefully help you understand why some, such as myself find it as dropping a component that should generally remain a core part of the class. You are asking to have divine powered magic, which the class presumes a willing/chosen affiliation, with that specific deity, but don't want the limitations that would be appropriate for someone who would have made/chosen that affiliation. Does this analogy make sense now? Rage is a power you are granted, it means you have limitations you have to abide by. Clerical divine magic is a suite of powers you have, and along with it come some limitations that you have to abide by, although there are quite a few choices that you may choose between, to fine one that will hopefully be reasonable to your concept?

Again, if the concept of the anathema really infringes on your concept that much, talk with the GM and other players. Even if the GM doesn't like it in general, if they find out more than half of the players like the concept, they may choose to allow a home rule to bypass the restrictions, for free, or for some other more acceptable limitation you feel fits better to your concept.

Someone mentioned a fallen cleric getting to keep their domain powers, that quite honestly seems completely very wrong, the clerical domain bonuses come from their deities power/affinity over a certain domain. If the cleric lost that link to their divine patron, I don't see how they should be able to keep control over that domain. It would seem they shouldn't be able to pray for their spells the same way, so I'd imagine how they got the spells would need to be explained further somehow, and might not be as simple as praying every morning any longer. Perhaps a new fallen patron might allow clerics to scribe scrolls to be used later, or have certain ways to steal divine energy to fill spell slots. But the existence of this sort of cleric would have significant ramifications for the region of Razmiran, unless he simply refused to allow his faith to utilize such fallen priests to build up his own faith's infrastructure.

It seems like it could be reasonable for completely fallen priests to perhaps still being able to use magical items that provide spell completion and the like for divine spells, as they are used to channeling magic, as long as they somehow don't become 'cursed' into inability to touch divine magic, why not allow them to use scrolls and such.

Anyway, this makes me think. Something potentially wonderful in terms of optional rules would be optional rules on how to deal with breaches of anathema. For instance, a sudden fall in the middle of a combat, first transgression, especially for clerics doesn't seem necessary or in my view. Champions/Paladins in my view have a much higher standard that they hold themselves to. Conceptually, to me, 1st edition Paladins actually probably held themselves to a higher standard than even their own deity would hold them to in reality. But having falling not having to be a binary occurrence could be reasonable. Things could include refusing to provide specific spells any longer, or reducing their spell slots they get fulfilled when their pray. Losing a domain ability, or finding the cost to activate a domain power suddenly higher might all be things that could be a result of an infraction. Atonement would clearly be and option clear such things, but less severe first infractions might clear over time and personal correction, and not require such powerful magic. This could increase the meaning of such stories, so would certainly be a reasonable set of optional rules that could help leverage some interesting stories, that the more binary FALL stories would be less interesting.

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