Is Divine Lance the new Detect Evil?


Advice

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Even without the specific tenets of Sarenrae, I don't have a high enough proficiency level in Mental Gymnastics to say with a straight face that any good deity should accept this sort of thing being done wantonly, rather than in exceptional circumstances.


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And this is why objective morality causes way more issues than it solves.

Silver Crusade

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

This isn’t an issue with objective morality.

The issue is a player randomly blasting people.


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Gaterie wrote:
In Golarion, casting Magic missile on your subordinate because you don't like their answer isn't evil. This is an established fact.

Umm, wut?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
tivadar27 wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
In Golarion, casting Magic missile on your subordinate because you don't like their answer isn't evil. This is an established fact.
Umm, wut?

... i second this.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I was assuming it was a joke about some event written into some published adventure with a character whose stat block does not list an evil alignment.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
HammerJack wrote:
I was assuming it was a joke about some event written into some published adventure with a character whose stat block does not list an evil alignment.

That was my thought too, unless the poster is posing as an evil person whose view of reality is so distorted that they dont see themselves or the abuses they inflict on others as evil.

Think Christopher Titus' father: You wouldn't be where you are if not for me.


tivadar27 wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
In Golarion, casting Magic missile on your subordinate because you don't like their answer isn't evil. This is an established fact.
Umm, wut?

This is what Iomedae does in Wrath of the Righteous.

(iomedae is a Good goddess: i'm not talking about a random non-evil NPC or an evil character with warped view. I'm talking about one of the few character whose actions define what "Good" means.)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
In Golarion, casting Magic missile on your subordinate because you don't like their answer isn't evil. This is an established fact.
Umm, wut?
... i second this.

He seems to be taking the position that Iomedae's appearance in Wrath of the Righteous was actually indicative of the alignment system, and not a massive, massive writing fail.

Look, we all know that it was already a fall-worthy offense, not to mention something that would get your character arrested, to spam Detect Evil at everyone in town and attack them if they pinged. This is even worse because the detection is in and of itself an assault.


Revan wrote:
He seems to be taking the position that Iomedae's appearance in Wrath of the Righteous was actually indicative of the alignment system, and not a massive, massive writing fail.

This encounter is cannon until the authors retcon it. You may not like how alignments work in Golarion - but it's not a fail if it works as intended by the authors.

Quote:
Look, we all know that it was already a fall-worthy offense, not to mention something that would get your character arrested, to spam Detect Evil at everyone in town and attack them if they pinged.

what are you referring to ?


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Gaterie wrote:
Revan wrote:
He seems to be taking the position that Iomedae's appearance in Wrath of the Righteous was actually indicative of the alignment system, and not a massive, massive writing fail.
This encounter is cannon until the authors retcon it. You may not like how alignments work in Golarion - but it's not a fail if it works as intended by the authors.

Nope, this is not how Pathfinder works. Saying "but mom, Iomedae did it!" is not going to get you un-grounded.

You may not like that one author's writing in a single adventure for a single deity doesn't provide conclusive proof about the alignment system as a whole, but your GMs are fully within their right to give you an alignment infraction for Magic Missiling your inferiors.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm saying, someone being evil-aligned is not, and never has been license to attack them, and you certainly can't attack them *to find out if they are evil.* That is, in and of itself, evil and grounds for any Champion-sponsoring deity to retract those powers. This is one of the oldest discussions about paladin powers there is, and J can't remember the last time I saw someone seriously suggest that a Paladin had a license to assault people for the crime of 'being evil.' But then, given the fact you are trying to seriously invoke Iomedae in Wrath of the Righteous as not being massively out of character, let alone suggesting that it is any way binding or informative to GM decisions, I suspect you're not arguing in good faith to begin with.

Liberty's Edge

Meraki wrote:
I feel like it's especially a problem for a Sarenite, as Sarenrae advocates redeeming evildoers if at all possible. You can't convince someone to mend their ways if you've killed them while testing whether they're evil or not.

I agree, but I'm not sure how firm the ground is beneath that agreement because Sarenrae "seeks to redeem evil where possible, or else destroy it swiftly." If the innkeeper was, in fact irredeemable, does it matter whether the Paladin knew that? The specific set of circumstances in this instance ameliorate the issues a bit more than would commonly be the case.

Do Edicts carry greater force than Anathema? "Seek and allow redemption" is an Edict. "Fail to strike down evil" is Anathema. If Edicts carry greater weight, then maybe you always have to try. Unless it's a Spawn of Rovagug.


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Luke Styer wrote:
If the innkeeper was, in fact irredeemable, does it matter whether the Paladin knew that?

How do you determine someone is irredeemable if redemption is never even put on the table?

"Eh, they probably wouldn't have repented anyways" sounds more like the language of a morally dubious inquisitor (in the traditional fictional sense, not the Pathfinder class) than a paragon of the goddess of redemption.

Sovereign Court

Gaterie wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
In Golarion, casting Magic missile on your subordinate because you don't like their answer isn't evil. This is an established fact.
Umm, wut?

This is what Iomedae does in Wrath of the Righteous.

(iomedae is a Good goddess: i'm not talking about a random non-evil NPC or an evil character with warped view. I'm talking about one of the few character whose actions define what "Good" means.)

You can't have your objective morality and then say that it's one writer's rather disliked take on Iomedae midway in one AP that defines it. That's rather, well, subjective.

Also, what happens in first edition stays in first edition. Otherwise we might as well grab random D&D editions and quote incompatible alignment rules at each other :P

In Pathfinder 2, BBEG who uses Magic Missile on a subordinate because he doesn't like an answer isn't casting a spell with the [Evil] trait, but the act itself could still be evil:

CRB p. 29 wrote:
Your character has an evil alignment if they’re willing to victimize others for their own selfish gain, and even more so if they enjoy inflicting harm.

Bonus points for any other evil overlord list offenses.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
Luke Styer wrote:
If the innkeeper was, in fact irredeemable, does it matter whether the Paladin knew that?

How do you determine someone is irredeemable if redemption is never even put on the table?

"Eh, they probably wouldn't have repented anyways" sounds more like the language of a morally dubious inquisitor (in the traditional fictional sense, not the Pathfinder class) than a paragon of the goddess of redemption.

^This.

In the scenario as presented, the paladin didn't even know whether the innkeeper was evil at the time the decision to blast him with divine lance was made, let alone A) what acts or thoughts might have caused him to register as evil (there's a pretty broad spectrum of those, not all of which would deserve immediate execution) or B) whether or not he might have been open to mending his ways.

This particular innkeeper, given that he was a dedicated evil cultist and killer? Probably not! But the paladin didn't know that, and (more importantly) didn't even bother to check before divine lancing away. Anyone doing that in a game I ran wouldn't remain good-aligned at all for too long, much less a paladin.

Liberty's Edge

Squiggit wrote:
How do you determine someone is irredeemable if redemption is never even put on the table?

In this case I determine that the innkeeper was irredeemable because I'm the GM, and I designed the infeasibly remote fishing village with the intention that literally everyone except the town drunk who warned the PCs to leave this evil place was a completely devoted worshiper of a Shoggoth at the bottom of the lake.

The Paladin didn't determine that the innkeeper was irredeemable, but as it happens, the innkeeper was irredeemable.

Liberty's Edge

Meraki wrote:
In the scenario as presented, the paladin didn't even know whether the innkeeper was evil at the time the decision to blast him with divine lance was made

Divine Lance keyed to good literally only deals damage to creatures who are evil, so if the innkeeper hadn't been evil the spell wouldn't have harmed him. The more pertinent question is probably whether the mere fact of being evil justifies attacking a creature, which I think we agree does not.

Quote:
Anyone doing that in a game I ran wouldn't remain good-aligned at all for too long, much less a paladin.

With objective morality, and accepting that the PC exists in a world in which violent vigilantism can be good, I think the fact that this particular innkeeper was a murder cultist probably matters, but I'm not granting that it is an acceptable strategy going forward.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Gaterie wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Is someone guilty just because they have evil thoughts, or do they have to commit actual evil deeds?
How can anyone be evil if he doesn't commit any evil deeds ? O_O
Alignment is a pretty tricky and subjective thing, but I think someone "with evil in their heart" could be evil. For example, think of a serial killer. Are they evil once they've started killing people. Definitely.

This means killing people is an evil deed.

Quote:
Are they evil while planning to kill people? Probably.

This means planning to kill people is an evil deed.

Again, the champion isn't the one who define the rules. He's the one who stops evil deeds, not the one deciding what an evil deed actually is.

Quote:
Are they evil before they've planned to kill someone, maybe they just have violent thoughts or have the seed of their evil deeds in their mind? I don't know, and this seems like a GM decision.

If they are evil because they have violent thoughts, this means having violent thoughts is an evil deed.

Again, the champion isn't the one who define the rules. He's the one who stops evil deeds, not the one deciding what an evil deed actually is.

this is good an all, but what if all he's done is worthy of like a lot of public service? what if he's just unquestionably an a*~*%$% and just in general is shop owner who charges people too much and hoards all his money, disowned most of his family, etc.

is a scrooge someone who needs to die?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This not an issue new to 2nd ed. Under 1st ed, I have seen the Disrupt Undead cantrip used in much the same way. Players would have their characters zap any body or skeleton with the cantrip, and if it was damaged by it, hey presto, that thing is Undead! Even when Detect Evil was a thing, someone detecting as Evil was not proof they were doing evil, or required smiting. There could be things like Misdirection in place, where the target being scanned was actually just LOOKING like evil, not actually being evil.

For Divine Lance, a person being objectively Evil does not at all grant Champions the right to do harm to someone. Someone who is morally Evil in their views does not really justify a Champion attacking them unprovoked.


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discussion on Iomedaes behavior:
[url=https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qngl?Book-5-Discussion-on-Iomedae-SPOILERS-AHOY] Even James Jacob's admits the punishment she used was probably too harsh, but that he also expected players to not make her angry given everything they went through.

As a goddess it's important to keep in mind that Iomedae was originally a Chelaxian Human. She as the wiki says she is, "the goddess of righteous valor, justice, and honor.", making her the lawful good counterpart to Gorum. And her PF1e obidience shows her narcissistic side specially with the last line, "I will be temperate in my actions and moderate in my behavior. I will strive to emulate Iomedae’s perfection." So yeah I kind of see her as that general that would punish her troops for not acting the par (The punishment is still questionable).


***********
In Pathfinder Alignment is very strict, but alignment isnt so fickle it will change with just one action (baring some exception). So thinking evil wont suddenly make you evil, but do enough evil and you will definitely shift. But the opposite is also true, if you do enough good you will turn good.

Detect Evil was great because while it was an invasion of privacy it was just a screen. Divine Lance turned the passive screen and made it deal damage, so not only are you invading privacy, but you are also harming things without knowing their motives. The whole "is evil but slowly learning to be good" is the perfect example of why Divine Lance fails. Using it as a metric would mean the evil bandit who got spared by a priest of Sarenrae would die because his alignment didnt change fast enough to neutral.

Which bring up the problem of Divine damage dealing half damage to neutral, making it so the spell works even less as an alignment detector.


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Gaterie wrote:

f they are evil because they have violent thoughts, this means having violent thoughts is an evil deed.

That's a particularly harsh and horrifying perspective.

I have evil thoughts all of the time, because I have a lot of thoughts and brains are funny that way, and I have a lot of intrusive thoughts, because mental illness sucks that way.

But I generally react to having those thoughts with horror, because they don't fit with who I am as a person. I care very deeply about people and am generally known for being very kind and caring and I go out of my way to help people. I don't deserve to be punished because of thoughts I cannot control that are just a natural part of how my brain works.

A person's alignment is determined by their personality and deeds, and having a stray thought isn't an evil deed.


Ravingdork wrote:
Glibness, illusory disguise, magic aura, misdirection, greater clandestine cloak, greater hat of disguise, ring of lies, etc., all to protect your BBEG from being found out too early in the plot--all defeated by divine lance.

Glibness & Ring of Lies could work. "No, that didn't really hurt. You just startled me so I yelped. I'm fine. Do it again if you want! But then again, you probably shouldn't be wasting your powers."


If my players tried to pull this I’m pretty sure my immediate response would be “hell no”, unless they were playing some kind of LN/LE zealot-style character.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Glibness, illusory disguise, magic aura, misdirection, greater clandestine cloak, greater hat of disguise, ring of lies, etc., all to protect your BBEG from being found out too early in the plot--all defeated by divine lance.
Glibness & Ring of Lies could work. "No, that didn't really hurt. You just startled me so I yelped. I'm fine. Do it again if you want! But then again, you probably shouldn't be wasting your powers."

Also, once again, the villain having a high AC would also work, which can be achieved using magic items and other magical protections. Divine Lance could fail to penetrate and they would have their "proof" that they are not evil (as the spell did not harm them).

In that case, divine lance is actually harmful to the party, as it can ostensibly exonerate the real villain, allaying the parties suspicions and potentially leading to them dropping their guard.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This all hinges on the assumption that the spell doesn't leave behind holy scorch marks or some such.

If it passes through good people harmlessly, and impacts and harms evildoers, then the fact that it didn't hurt you doesn't matter. It didn't go past you harmlessly.

That's all pretty much dependent on how your group describes the effect though, and would generally just come down to a GM ruling, as many corner cases like this one should.


Temperans wrote:
Detect Evil being at will was needed because Smite Evil had so few uses.

The simpler - and much more elegant solution to this - would have been to just have smite *not be used* if it was attempted to an invalid target.


Luke Styer wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
Seems kind of reckless. He could end up killing a low level character or hit a high level character causing his own death.
He killed an innkeeper with this stunt tonight. The innkeeper was a member of a shoggoth worshipping murder cult in an isolated, lawless village, so I didn’t really press the issue, but it sort of felt like murder.

Sounds like murder to me. Even evil people have a right to life. Now if he was in the middle of killing someone, it's not murder so much as defending others.

Liberty's Edge

AnCap Dawg wrote:
Sounds like murder to me. Even evil people have a right to life. Now if he was in the middle of killing someone, it's not murder so much as defending others.

The circumstances were sort of a perfect storm for this nonsense because as I said, the innkeeper was a member of a murder cult that was intent on kidnapping the party Sorcerer and killing the rest of the party. The PC didn't actually know that the Innkeeper was part of the cult, but did know that the cult had that intent. The Paladin basically tripped over his ridiculous action and landed in a puddle of "defense of self and others."

What this all adds up to is that I don't like the idea generally (at least for a Paladin, especially of Saranrae -- I think it's a perfect tool for House Thrune), but this niche situation was weird enough to alter the moral calculus.


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Luke Styer wrote:
AnCap Dawg wrote:
Sounds like murder to me. Even evil people have a right to life. Now if he was in the middle of killing someone, it's not murder so much as defending others.

The circumstances were sort of a perfect storm for this nonsense because as I said, the innkeeper was a member of a murder cult that was intent on kidnapping the party Sorcerer and killing the rest of the party. The PC didn't actually know that the Innkeeper was part of the cult, but did know that the cult had that intent. The Paladin basically tripped over his ridiculous action and landed in a puddle of "defense of self and others."

What this all adds up to is that I don't like the idea generally (at least for a Paladin, especially of Saranrae -- I think it's a perfect tool for House Thrune), but this niche situation was weird enough to alter the moral calculus.

"Dad! You killed the zombie Flanders!"

"Flanders is a zombie?"

Finding out after the fact that the guy you murdered was a villain doesn't make the act any less evil - the paladin didn't know the guy was evil at the time, so the act was pretty indefensible.

I think there is pretty strong backing in the rules for this paladin to lose their divine ally and focus powers;

Tenets of good;

you must never perform acts anathema to your deity or willingly commit an evil act (such as murder).

You must never knowingly cause harm to an innocent (from what has been said, there wasn't strong evidence to suggest the npc wasn't an innocent until after the fact)

Paladin tenets:

You must respect the lawful authority of legitimate leadership, and respect its laws (attacking someone at random means bypassing the local legal system, which isn't respecting the law).

Sarenrae edicts: seek and allow redemption
Sarenrae anathema: deny a repentant creature the chance at redemption

Liberty's Edge

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Tender Tendrils wrote:
Finding out after the fact that the guy you murdered was a villain doesn't make the act any less evil

What you’re saying makes perfect sense, but in the weird objective mortality of F20 gaming, I’m not sure whether that’s true or not.

Quote:
the paladin didn't know the guy was evil at the time, so the act was pretty indefensible.

It literally wouldn’t have hurt the dude if he wasn’t evil. That’s not why it’s indefensible. It’s indefensible because just being evil doesn’t mean it’s okay to attack you.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Luke Styer wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
Finding out after the fact that the guy you murdered was a villain doesn't make the act any less evil
What you’re saying makes perfect sense, but in the weird objective mortality of F20 gaming, I’m not sure whether that’s true or not.

No it's true.

Murdering someone just because without any knowledge of them is blatantly evil. The person's alignment is irrelevant to your actions.


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Let's be serious for two minutes. A PF2 character has to overcome 25 level-appropriate challenges to level up. This means, he probably kills 20+ opponents per level. This means, a level 10 champion has probably killed 200+ opponent.

So, did you play 200+ times the scene where the champion offer redemption and the opponent refuses? Or did you just play the fight, every enemy dies and the game moves on?

In a former case, then yes, the paladin should offer redemption instead of casting divine lance. Your game sounds very boring though - playing 200+ times the same scene isn't the most amusing thing ever.

In the latter case, it's just hypocrisy: the PC does something you don't want him to do, so you invent a reason to bring him back to your railroad. At that point, you shouldn't try to play rpg and write novel instead.

Revan wrote:
But then, given the fact you are trying to seriously invoke Iomedae in Wrath of the Righteous as not being massively out of character, let alone suggesting that it is any way binding or informative to GM decisions, I suspect you're not arguing in good faith to begin with.

Fun fact: some people liked the encounter with iomedae. Are those people defending the writing of the AP troll with secret agenda? Or are they the silent majority: the encounter wasn't retconned because most people like it?

Temperans wrote:
Even James Jacob's admits the punishment she used was probably too harsh

Seriously, who cares? He didn't retcon the encounter, quite the reverse: he spent one short sentence explaining this punishment is "probably" too harsh, and several paragraph explaining why it was justified.

In other words: if PCs encounter another good deity in another AP, it will be written the same.

Fun fact: as a player playing AP, iomedae's behavior is the kind of behavior I can expect from good NPCs. This is therefore the behavior the DM should expect from good PCs. The DM can't make good NPCs act like jerk, and then forbid good PCs from acting the same way because his railroad works only when the PCs have a very specific behavior.

Any level 5+ PC talking to a level 0 NPC is in the same situation: the NPC is talking to a superior good being and should be subservient (as explained by JJ). Should the PC not like an answer from the NPC (eg because the answer is too fast or too slow), he's justified to attack and mutilate the NPC.

Of course, the DM may change the encounter with Iomedae and decide her described behavior is actually Evil. ie, he can decide not to play the official setting with the official AP, but a homebrewed version instead. That's all great and good, but anyway we're on the official forum talking about abstract cases - and as a matter of fact, there are setting where good people can molest weaker characters if they don't like the way they talk. eg: the official setting. Maybe it's not the kind of setting you like, but this is how some settings work.

In those settings, casting divine lance on random characters can't be wrong - divine lance isn't even a slap on the wrist on good and neutral characters.

Quote:
Detect Evil was great because while it was an invasion of privacy it was just a screen. Divine Lance turned the passive screen and made it deal damage, so not only are you invading privacy, but you are also harming things without knowing their motives. The whole "is evil but slowly learning to be good" is the perfect example of why Divine Lance fails. Using it as a metric would mean the evil bandit who got spared by a priest of Sarenrae would die because his alignment didnt change fast enough to neutral.

1/ why is Sarenrae always used as an example? An anathema of Sarenrae is "fail to strike down Evil" - so striking Evil is literally as important as offering redemption. A champion of Sarenrae can deny redemption if it allows him to strike down evil.

In the other hand, Shelyn doesn't care about striking Evil, and offering redemption is the third tenet of NG champions. Isn't Shelyn a better example of deity offering redemption to everyone?

2/ Maybe the cleric of Sarenrae should have been there - to survey if the NPC doesn't commit evil deeds, and to prevent other cleric of Sarenrae to strike down Evil. Anyway, the fact the NPC convinced 1 single cleric of Sarenrae he won't perform evil deed anymore doesn't means every champion in the world should forgive him - especially if the cleric of Sarenrae let the NPC free to do whatever he wants.


So you're telling me that if you shoot a NPC that didn't really do anything wrong, and they die, you're going to true rez them?

Because anything less, by the standard you have created, is unacceptable.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

That's a particularly harsh and horrifying perspective.

I have evil thoughts all of the time, because I have a lot of thoughts and brains are funny that way, and I have a lot of intrusive thoughts, because mental illness sucks that way.

But I generally react to having those thoughts with horror, because they don't fit with who I am as a person. I care very deeply about people and am generally known for being very kind and caring and I go out of my way to help people. I don't deserve to be punished because of thoughts I cannot control that are just a natural part of how my brain works.

A person's alignment is determined by their personality and deeds, and having a stray thought isn't an evil deed.

Good thing the real Universe doesn't gives you an evil alignment because of your thoughts.

And once again, if the Pathfinder universe gives you an Evil alignment because of your thoughts, this means your thoughts are an evil deed. I don't see what's hard to understand: the Universe itself judges you Evil for doing something (in actions or in thoughts) <=> the thing you do (in actions or in thoughts) is an evil deed. That's, you know, the very definition of an evil deed in an universe with objective morality: evil deeds are the deeds that make you evil.

I fail to see your problem. Pathfinder's Universe does something particularly harsh and horrifying (like declaring people are evil because of their thoughts), and you expect this to have fair consequences? No, the consequences of a harsh and horrifying premise are harsh and horrifying.

Silver Crusade

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

Orrrrr that’s not how the game or setting works and you’re not actually encouraged to play a psychopath.


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Rysky wrote:
you’re not actually encouraged to play a psychopath.

Of course you are.

Once again, by level 10 you should have killed 200+ people, that's more than any real-world serial killer.


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Gaterie wrote:
Rysky wrote:
you’re not actually encouraged to play a psychopath.

Of course you are.

Once again, by level 10 you should have killed 200+ people, that's more than any real-world serial killer.

However you are supposed to kill them on a battlefield or in a battlefield-like situation.

There is a reason why we have war heroes and serial killers.

Kicking in doors and shooting divine lances at random people wont certainly net you hero status...


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Rysky wrote:
you’re not actually encouraged to play a psychopath.

Of course you are.

Once again, by level 10 you should have killed 200+ people, that's more than any real-world serial killer.

However you are supposed to kill them on a battlefield or in a battlefield-like situation.

There is a reason why we have war heroes and serial killers.

Kicking in doors and shooting divine lances at random people wont certainly net you hero status...

Actually you are supposed to kill them in home-invasion and home-invasion-like situation. You find the dungeon the DM wants you to invade, kick in doors, kill every guard, pillage everything.

4 PCs vs 8 goblin guards isn't a war, for any reasonable definition of "war". 4 PCs vs 8 goblin guards in the house of the goblins is a home invasion.


Gaterie wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Rysky wrote:
you’re not actually encouraged to play a psychopath.

Of course you are.

Once again, by level 10 you should have killed 200+ people, that's more than any real-world serial killer.

However you are supposed to kill them on a battlefield or in a battlefield-like situation.

There is a reason why we have war heroes and serial killers.

Kicking in doors and shooting divine lances at random people wont certainly net you hero status...

Actually you are supposed to kill them in home-invasion and home-invasion-like situation. You find the dungeon the DM wants you to invade, kick in doors, kill every guard, pillage everything.

4 PCs vs 8 goblin guards isn't a war, for any reasonable definition of "war". 4 PCs vs 8 goblin guards in the house of the goblins is a home invasion.

I’m not sure I understand your argument here. What you’re describing here sounds like murderhobo-behavior, and people don’t usually consider murderhobo PCs capital G Good. I don’t think the Pathfinder setting or APs generally imply unprovoked violence is Good.

Silver Crusade

It seems like casting that spell recklessly is a good way to quickly lose the ability to cast it, though that might just mean that you have to change deities.


1) Sarenrae is used because she is honestly more known than Shelyn (I like Shelyn as I think her premise and story is good, and her combat style is great).

But yes, Shelyn goes even harder on redemption. Her previous vows included: Dont be the first to attack (unless it could save an innocent); Always accept surrender if the enemy can be reedemed and never assume someone cannot be reedemed; Dont cut down art unless to save a life because they have untold potential, later also stating "lead by example not by blade, because killing lowers the potential for beauty in the world." (She only has 2 vows relating to art directly.)

2) Its not a problem of whether 1 follower of a deity forgave him and now everyone must forgive him; Its a problem of not giving them a chance to be reedemed before killing them.

3) I posted the link to show that: 1) this debate regarding Iomedae isnt new; 2) that the devs have admitted they probably wrote the encounter wrong, even if they dont disavow the personality; and 3) that there are many views and potential justifications to her actions, every table is different and so what she says and do will be slightly different due to different reasons.

I have not played that campaign so my knowledge of it is only second hand, but I can see how it could play out and it makes sense to me for "a god" to act that way.

But what a god with nearly unkillable, unstoppable, and omnipowered entity does not reflect what a lv 5 random person is free to do. So no the lv 1 NPC should not be subservient to the lv 5 player or even the lv 20 player, because in the grand scheme of things they are still pawns to the gods (depends on table).
Doesn't mean that the lv 1 NPC shouldn't be wary of misspeaking.


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Henro wrote:
I’m not sure I understand your argument here. What you’re describing here sounds like murderhobo-behavior, and people don’t usually consider murderhobo PCs capital G Good. I don’t think the Pathfinder setting or APs generally imply unprovoked violence is Good.

I'm not sure you've played or read an AP ever. The behavior I describe is the expected behavior in every AP i've played or read: find the dungeon where the evil guy hides, break in, murder everyone, loot.

Actually, the game actively punish any other behavior: each time you avoid an encounter, you don't get any loot and you may receive less xp. In an AP with a limited number of possible encounters, if you do it too many time you ends up under-leveled and under-equipped; especially in PF2, where magic swords are everything.


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Temperans wrote:
1) Sarenrae is used because she is honestly more known than Shelyn (I like Shelyn as I think her premise and story is good, and her combat style is great).

In 2e, for any Sarenrae follower, offering redemption and striking down evil are of equal importance.

"you killed an evil guy before you offered him redemption!
- he was evil, I had to strike him down"
is a valid answer.

Quote:
2) Its not a problem of whether 1 follower of a deity forgave him and now everyone must forgive him; Its a problem of not giving them a chance to be reedemed before killing them.

Again, a level 10 champion has murdered 200+ people. Either you force the player to play the redemption offer 200+ times (and your game sounds quite repetitive and boring), either you're hypocritical: you bring this argument to the table because killing this particular NPC derail your railroad, not because the character is supposed to offer redemption to everyone.

Quote:
3) I posted the link to show that: 1) this debate regarding Iomedae isnt new; 2) that the devs have admitted they probably wrote the encounter wrong, even if they dont disavow the personality; and 3) that there are many views and potential justifications to her actions, every table is different and so what she says and do will be slightly different due to different reasons.

And yet, a lot of people like this encounter, and the encounter wasn't retconned. Right now it's perfectly fair to use it as an example of LG behavior. If JJ didn't want LG character to act like this, he was free to retcon it like he retconned Asmodeus' paladins.

Quote:
But what a god with nearly unkillable, unstoppable, and omnipowered entity does not reflect what a lv 5 random person is free to do. So no the lv 1 NPC should not be subservient to the lv 5 player or even the lv 20 player, because in the grand scheme of things they are still pawns to the gods (depends on table).

The action of a good god are an example of non-evil behavior.

More generally, a cleric imitating his god's behavior can't fall because of this. His god should be his model, not "some random entity who happens to profess stuff I like".


Gaterie wrote:
I'm not sure you've played or read an AP ever.

That's a pretty uncharitable assumption.

Gaterie wrote:
Actually, the game actively punish any other behavior: each time you avoid an encounter, you don't get any loot and you may receive less xp.

I haven't seen any reason to believe players ought to get less exp for an encounter if they circumvent it with diplomacy or stealth. As for the loot thing, I agree that adventures have much to gain by presenting alternate rewards for players who solve conflicts through diplomacy or stealth. Pathfinder APs have been pretty good at this in my experience, allowing redeemed foes to become potential allies.

Gaterie wrote:
The behavior I describe is the expected behavior in every AP i've played or read: find the dungeon where the evil guy hides, break in, murder everyone, loot.

It's possible we're talking past each other here, so I figure an actual example might clear things up. A recent AP I've run is "The Fall of Plaguestone".

Major spoilers for Fall of Plaguestone ahoy:
This AP has three major dungeons, Hallod's lair, The Orc Hideout and Vilree's lair.

Hallod's Lair: When the PCs make it here, they most likely have strong reasons to suspect Hallod for the murder. Breaking into his home instead of waiting for law enforcement to arrive is probably not entirely Lawful, but I certainly don't think it's evil. Hallod is clearly a dangerous individual so investigating him protects the village, if nothing else. When the PCs reach Hallod, he attacks them on sight. Here the players are entering Hallod's secret lair uninvited, but it's hardly unprovoked or unreasonable.

The Orc Hideout: The players are unlikely to even be aware about the Orcs before they enter the camp, they are simply investigating the source of the "Blights". The orc guards attack the PCs on sight even before they enter the cave complex. When they make it to the sculptor, they also find a farmer who is being used as a test subject.

Vilree's Lair: At this point, the players have identified Vilree as the mastermind behind the murder as well as the forest's corruption. If the players don't act quickly, it is highly likely Vilree will further corrupt the forest, leading to more deaths (Vilree will also enact her deadly revenge plan if the players don't act, but they don't know that yet.).


Gaterie wrote:
Again, a level 10 champion has murdered 200+ people.

A level 10 champion, perhaps, but not every level 10 champion.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Again, a level 10 champion has murdered 200+ people.
A level 10 champion, perhaps, but not every level 10 champion.

More likely none of them at all. I'm giving an ole Cole Phelps to the general idea that the local paragons of good went and unlawfully killed 200 people (particularly in APs where virtually everything falls under self defense [x attacks on sight] or some stripe of protecting others [goblins are raiding the village! The mayor is summoning pit fiends!] and kept his class.


“Right now it's perfectly fair to use it as an example of LG behavior.“

Note that Iomedae is not just an example of a good character, but so far as I am aware she makes no claims of being the ultimate good (the definition of good).

She has a character, and this example of her actions is just that. It could maybe be held up as an example for followers of Iomedae to follow, but not necessarily more than that. Shelyn in her place would likely have acted differently, while Asmodeus might have acted similarly.

Your statement also assumes that the gods in this universe are infalliable, which I see no reason to assume. They may be just as faliable as mortals.

I don’t know, but I suspect you are applying Christian influenced logic to the pathfinder universe.


It definitely sounds like applying Cristian views to pathfinder gods.

Also, it's strange how you quote me stating "different tables do things differently" and then respond with "some people like it. Yeah if tables do things differently some will like it and some will hate it, I dont get how any of what I said there merits being negative about it.

The ultimate examples of good in my view are probably Shelyn (protect art and life) or Desna (be free, explore, and enjoy life). Iomedae looks more like the War general (like I suggested) of the good deities. Sarenrae is the closest to the Christian view of God, very forgiving and loving, but will destroy any enemies with vicious fury.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Luke Styer wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
Finding out after the fact that the guy you murdered was a villain doesn't make the act any less evil
What you’re saying makes perfect sense, but in the weird objective mortality of F20 gaming, I’m not sure whether that’s true or not.

No it's true.

Murdering someone just because without any knowledge of them is blatantly evil. The person's alignment is irrelevant to your actions.

well, that's the thing, you do technically know one thing about them if you hurt them, that they were evil. it's a strange area to be in morally.

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