Barbarian Spirit Anathema Query ?


Rules Discussion


Anathema
Disrespecting corpses or spirits is anathema to your instinct; defending yourself against undead creatures is not.

So ... Ted the barbarian finds a corpse with all manner of cool loot. Is taking the dead guys stuff considered "Disrespecting corpses" ?


Depends on your GM. Anathema are all very flexible in how they can be perceived, especially ones like this.

For me I would say that robbing a tomb would count as disrespecting the corpse. The only way this wouldn't be the case is if you were taking something that wasn't initially the corpses. So say you as a barbarian investigator of some kind decide to remove a murder weapon from a body. So long as you do so carefully, I would say that this would count more as laying the corpse to rest than robbing it. The spirit of the murdered person would probably be ok with you taking the dagger that ended their life after all.

Similarly if there is an item the person was buried with that they intended to be taken by the right person, think the sword from Raiders of the Lost Arc, this wouldn't count if you are the intended recipient or otherwise a "worthy person". I would not count this against such a barbarian as they are respecting that persons wishes.

Edit: But if you take that persons coin purse, they may take issue with it. It's all in the intention and the "wishes" of the deceased imho.


Default answers will vary enough you have to ask your GM.
Context will alter those answers, so you'll have to ask again.
The PC should know what's anathema to their own beliefs.

If Ted killed the corpse, then in most cases, taking the corpse's gear wouldn't be too grievous. Just bury the body, maybe even give it last rites if time allows. You're actually respecting the corpse.
But if Ted (or Ted's victim w/ Ted knowing) believes warriors should be sent to the afterlife w/ weapons & armor, then Ted would have to respect that. (Thankfully, PF2's proficiency system means not all NPC power is wealth-driven.)
And if the hypothetical corpse was a gold-plated mummy (inanimate) bedecked in wealth, then yep, Ted's pretty screwed. It would be defiling the corpse to strip it of its burial furnishings.

Unfortunately this leads to the trick-the-Paladin types of party chicanery, especially if that wealth was the goal of the adventure or is required to maintain traction in combat. The GM has to factor in such things, which makes published adventures difficult to balance. Just remember, Ted the Barbarian is superstitious to the point that it fuels actual magical abilities!
Also remember, some loot might be worth losing one's Instinct abilities for a spell. :) "I feel so guilty!"-Ted (Okay, what'd we get?)-Player


I have run it with: when looting the recently deceased you can take their weapons, their armor, the contents of their bags and pouches, and their jewelry but like... leave the clothes on.

You'd probably want to take most of that stuff off for funerary rites anyway.


Let your allies loot the bodies while you wait in the other room, then split the loot.


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Aratorin wrote:
Let your allies loot the bodies while you wait in the other room, then split the loot.

Now see, this is the sort of thing that I may poke at a character with an anathema for. It's like if the party had a Paladin and told him to wait outside the orphanage while they borrowed a cup of sugar. Nevermind the place burnt down while they were inside. That was coincidental.

To me being party to acts that are anathema usually break your anathema. There are a few exceptions, like the Wild Druid who wouldn't necessarily be against traveling with "civilized" individuals, as long as they didn't try to make the Druid "domesticate". Similarly the Giant Instinct Barbarian wouldn't care about a party member who failed to face a personal challenge. They may make fun of them for it, but it wouldn't be anathema.

The bounds of Anathema are pretty important, and should be well established during character creation. Make sure that you and your player are fully aware of what is and isn't "against the rules". This goes a long way towards stopping someone from being unfairly punished later in the campaign.

Grand Lodge

Quirrel from Hollow Knight wrote:

"Plenty have come before us and most have met their grisly end, many more equipped than you and I.

I'm sure they wouldn't mind were a fellow explorer to relieve them of their tools. It's a kindness really. The dead shouldn't be burdened with such things."


Aratorin wrote:
Let your allies loot the bodies while you wait in the other room, then split the loot.

Thankfully the anathema rules are loose enough to allow a gm to utterly shutdown rules lawyering of this sort.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Aratorin wrote:
Let your allies loot the bodies while you wait in the other room, then split the loot.

This reminds me of my most recent vampire game I ran. Players had abducted a mortal on an elders behest and were pretty certain they would have to torture her. One pc sat outside as committing torture was against their convictions. The other pcs went in, found what they were asked to do was too much and rebelled. The outside pc lost humanity even though no torture actually took place because he stood aside thinking it was going to happen.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Let your allies loot the bodies while you wait in the other room, then split the loot.
Thankfully the anathema rules are loose enough to allow a gm to utterly shutdown rules lawyering of this sort.

There's a nearly 200 post thread with people arguing that you should be able to use Battle Medicine, with zero hands and no healer's tools, from across the battlefield, but letting the Barbarian, who already gimped himself by taking the weakest instinct, be given gear by his comrades is rules lawyering?

Look, teabagging a corpse is anathema. Taking gear, in a game which, in its purest form, is about killing things and taking their stuff, is not.


Aratorin wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Let your allies loot the bodies while you wait in the other room, then split the loot.
Thankfully the anathema rules are loose enough to allow a gm to utterly shutdown rules lawyering of this sort.

There's a nearly 200 post thread with people arguing that you should be able to use Battle Medicine, with zero hands and no healer's tools, from across the battlefield, but letting the Barbarian, who already gimped himself by taking the weakest instinct, be given gear by his comrades is rules lawyering?

Look, teabagging a corpse is anathema. Taking gear, in a game which, in its purest form, is about killing things and taking their stuff, is not.

To you perhaps. If you play ttrpgs for the slash & loot, that is fine. It's a reasonable way to play. And Grog wasnt saying you are specifically wrong. Just that the rules are loose enough to veto that sort of act if you as the gm see it as breaking anathema.


Aratorin wrote:

There's a nearly 200 post thread with people arguing that you should be able to use Battle Medicine, with zero hands and no healer's tools, from across the battlefield, but letting the Barbarian, who already gimped himself by taking the weakest instinct, be given gear by his comrades is rules lawyering?

Look, teabagging a corpse is anathema. Taking gear, in a game which, in its purest form, is about killing things and taking their stuff, is not.

I am not saying it is anathema, i am saying that the rules allow a gm to say no to obvious attempts to sidestep their rulings like "okay I can't lie, so here, you say these lies to that person over there for me"

Or "i have to respect this surrendering foe so I will just walk out of the room while you torture and kill them"

If a gm wants to rule either as breaking anathema in their game the rules are flexible enough that they can thank god. I have had people try and pull this crap with me in public games before and it ruins the fun and sense of world building for a lot of others in the group.

Either you agree with your gm what the anathema boundaries are in advance and decide if you want to play with them, or you accept their limitations because you want to play in their game regardless.


I have a spirit barbarian in my group and haven't ruled it as anathema to take gear btw, I have ruled against defacing dead or leaving them as a warning though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aratorin wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Let your allies loot the bodies while you wait in the other room, then split the loot.
Thankfully the anathema rules are loose enough to allow a gm to utterly shutdown rules lawyering of this sort.

There's a nearly 200 post thread with people arguing that you should be able to use Battle Medicine, with zero hands and no healer's tools, from across the battlefield, but letting the Barbarian, who already gimped himself by taking the weakest instinct, be given gear by his comrades is rules lawyering?

Look, teabagging a corpse is anathema. Taking gear, in a game which, in its purest form, is about killing things and taking their stuff, is not.

First off I don't think anyone is abdicating to break the rules on being adjacent in that thread, second that thread is about understanding how the rules work and what is needed to make that feat work, not taking a rule that says you can/can't do X and arguing against it.

As to the Anathema I agree that especially in a game where a lot of the parties items might come from long dead tombs or recently downed opponents it shouldn't be overly restrictive. But I agree that knowing the party is going to desecrate a tomb and simply going to look at the "rustic architecture" should be against it.

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