Murder


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Ixal wrote:

What I forgot, rituals do not require spellcaster, so to raise someone from the dead (Ressurect or Reincarnate if you want to gamble with your ancestry) only requires a level 5 or 9 guy and two apprentices to cast it (although level 11 and 13 would be preferable to not need the whole body and have more time to cast it).

So you do not even need to suck up to any churches or need any deities favor besides Pharasma's

Yah but the more you half ass it, the more you have chances of it going horribly wrong (Crit failures, the DC's are very hard so for a level 5 resurect ritual it's DC 33, a level 9 cleric with 19 wisdom and master in religion will have +19, +20 with an item giving him a good chance at failure, not to mention that if the secondary casters f#*! up, they either give him -4 on a failure or auto downgrade to worst result on a crit failure, which is in itself increasing by A LOT the chance of the main caster crit failing)

So it's by no means easy, even for a cleric, and it's even harder for any class that isn't wisdom based and religion focused.

Customer Service Representative

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I've removed some posts. Please don't bicker.


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Am I the only one who feels like the ritual rules were written with the assumption that PCs would be hunting for ways to reduce the DC in mind? I am specifically referring to:

"Casting Rituals, Checks" wrote:
At the ritual’s culmination, you must attempt the skill check listed in the Primary Check entry to determine the ritual’s outcome. Primary checks usually have a very hard DC for a level that’s twice the ritual’s spell level. As with other downtime activities, fortune and misfortune effects can’t modify your checks for the ritual, nor can bonuses or penalties that aren’t active throughout the process. The GM can adjust the DCs of rituals, add or change primary or secondary checks, or even waive requirements to fit specific circumstances. For example, performing a ritual in a location where ley lines converge on the night of a new moon might make a normally difficult ritual drastically easier.

Section bolded. The book doesn't come out and say it, but it feels like the "default" for rituals is that the party should have to go on a mini-quest or adventure to find favorable circumstances to help them out. I could just be projecting, though, since this is how I'd like to run rituals in my games.

Silver Crusade

Precisely, otherwise they would just be spells.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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If I were running a game and the players got so invested in performing a ritual that they put their characters into situations where they self-generate adventure hooks by going out to look for ways to reduce the DCs for their rituals, I would be overjoyed. Not only because it gives rituals a MUCH more powerful thematic role in the game and involves the whole party rather than just one caster, but because games where the players as a group agree to work toward a single goal are more fun than those where each player has a different goal or, worse, isn't invested in the game at all except when it's their turn in combat.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
If I were running a game and the players got so invested in performing a ritual that they put their characters into situations where they self-generate adventure hooks by going out to look for ways to reduce the DCs for their rituals, I would be overjoyed. Not only because it gives rituals a MUCH more powerful thematic role in the game and involves the whole party rather than just one caster, but because games where the players as a group agree to work toward a single goal are more fun than those where each player has a different goal or, worse, isn't invested in the game at all except when it's their turn in combat.

Rituals being a prominent part of the story? As if!

😜


During 3.5 we started using the resurection rules from Iron Kingdoms
(no true resurection raise dead replacing it and most faiths having rules about bringing someone back).
So even if you found a cleric powerful enough to do it it was not a sure thing that they bring someone back. And with just raise dead aviable there are a lot of situations that make bringing someone back just not possible.


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100% murder is bad in Golarion, and even though resurrection might exist and be available to players as a game mechanic, that doesn't necessarily mean it's available to everyone else.

I think the Jhereg series by Steven Brust is an interesting world that very much incorporates ready access to resurrection into its storylines, however. I didn't see it mentioned, but at least the first few books are basically about an assassin living in this world, where rich folks can get a resurrection but for most people it's out of reach. Usually it's about sending a message because it's super inconvenient to get killed. Other times it's actually about ending that person's life by using these illegal soul-stealing blades. The later books are meh (imo) but the first few are a lot of fun.

I feel like that kind of attitude towards resurrection--expensive inconvenience for the rich, out of reach for the majority--feels more at home in a world like Eberron. Golarion seems to be much more conservative with healing/resurrection magic from a story/world perspective.


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Puna'chong wrote:

100% murder is bad in Golarion, and even though resurrection might exist and be available to players as a game mechanic, that doesn't necessarily mean it's available to everyone else.

I think the Jhereg series by Steven Brust is an interesting world that very much incorporates ready access to resurrection into its storylines, however. I didn't see it mentioned, but at least the first few books are basically about an assassin living in this world, where rich folks can get a resurrection but for most people it's out of reach. Usually it's about sending a message because it's super inconvenient to get killed. Other times it's actually about ending that person's life by using these illegal soul-stealing blades. The later books are meh (imo) but the first few are a lot of fun.

I feel like that kind of attitude towards resurrection--expensive inconvenience for the rich, out of reach for the majority--feels more at home in a world like Eberron. Golarion seems to be much more conservative with healing/resurrection magic from a story/world perspective.

Still, most nobility would have access to it. Golarion is not exactly low level and there are enough faiths out there which have not all that much reservations about bringing people back. For some, selling their services for money, is literally one of their core believes.


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Pharasma's fickleness (from a mortal's POV) seems an active deterrent to toying with death/resurrection games. It/she's a useful tool for GMs who come from settings where death is just another condition to fix.
Death of wealthy folk seems frequent enough (because plot reasons) that I'd think there'd be a healthy respect for keeping oneself on this side of the veil.

--
For one campaign I had it so only "destined" people could be raised (so PCs and a select villain or two) since money wasn't as much an issue in that world (and there wasn't a magic-market either).
When we moved on to Greyhawk, some of the players were astounded that NPCs could be raised. Oops. I'd forgotten to realign their expectations for a standard setting. :)

One trouble (but not really) is that my players' nobler PCs would often strive to resurrect inconsequential NPCs, sometimes at great relative expense. Because why wouldn't a good person, right?!
"I could beef up my sword, or return that mother to her family."
That should be a no-brainer for most concerned people. Post hoc rationalization could of course validate increasing one's personal power on behalf of saving future lives, but that resembles the ol' ends/means fallacy IMO.


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I think Pharasma is a built-in wrinkle for non-PCs in Golarion, and a reason for why liches or other eternal youth/life activities would still be relevant.

Seems like a resurrection is necessarily another god/power pilfering from Pharasma's domain, and they probably don't want to do that very often or for people who aren't very important. PCs are different because they're necessarily heroes, but some random rich person might be able to afford the ritual and still have it not work because Pharasma's like "Yeah, nah, to the Boneyard with this one."

It's also why Urgathoa is a thing in the first place. Like her whole portfolio is explicitly a giant middle finger to Pharasma.


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There are also the aeons and inevitables from Axis, who take a dim view of someone slinging around resurrection magic all willy nilly, too.

Pissing off a marut is a bad idea, m'kay.


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Puna'chong wrote:

I think Pharasma is a built-in wrinkle for non-PCs in Golarion, and a reason for why liches or other eternal youth/life activities would still be relevant.

Seems like a resurrection is necessarily another god/power pilfering from Pharasma's domain, and they probably don't want to do that very often or for people who aren't very important. PCs are different because they're necessarily heroes, but some random rich person might be able to afford the ritual and still have it not work because Pharasma's like "Yeah, nah, to the Boneyard with this one."

It's also why Urgathoa is a thing in the first place. Like her whole portfolio is explicitly a giant middle finger to Pharasma.

Resurrection still never cheats old age so immortality is still important.

It doesn't help there are very few ways to actually *stop* resurrections short of trapping the soul. As long as they cut off a finger and store it somewhere safe to be rezzed from destroying the body doesn't even work. Since spells like remove curse can be spammed anything that can be removed with a CL check is pretty much worthless. It'd be nice if there was a fast judgement sort of spell which gets them judged by Pharasma so they can't be rezzed.


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If we look even in the country of the undead, murder is bad as the goal of that place is mostly coexistence. Even if the living are treated like cattle. Killing someone while serving no punishment would create distrust, and thus make things a pain.

Much easier to just condemn murderers to death (then they can be raised as undead servants).

As for gods "pilfering on Pharasma". I think the entire thing works more like a contract between the gods. The price of resurrection effectively being a tribute to Pharasma, even if another god is the one handing out the spell. Notice that Pharasma is fine with people being revived via resurrection, but not fine with people extending their age. I think that's the big difference, Pharasma doesn't care if someone gets resurrected cause she knows that person/thing will die again later. Of course there is still the matter of judgement whether the soul is eligible for resurrection, but that's a different matter.

As for technology/society. Golarion is surprisingly advanced despite its medieval looks. A lot of what drives innovation to create technology has been bypassed by magic and magic items. Thus mechanical technology has stalled, but magical technology is advancing steadily. Doesn't help that there are a lot of monsters and things making things harder for mechanical technology to advance.


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A few hitches in the NPC side of things.

- Sure a noble may be able to afford the RAW ritual costs, that doesn't mean the people casting the ritual charge base prices or exist everyone. Not every church will have capable casters who also know the rituals or spells. While any PC can learn the ritual it doesn't mean that any NPC or person can learn the ritual (different rules to represent different roles).

- Nobles would also need to rely on the idea that someone would want to spend gold to resurrect them, not dispose of the body somewhere and find someone in the right time frame. While also be happy enough that someone came and killed them (unlikely to be a painless experience either, lesser crimes against nobility often carried death penalities or close enough).

- Pharasma doesn't allow everyone back, a lot of people may simple choose not to come back after being murdered (finding out that the afterlife and gods are real could mean they want to pass on). And npcs who don't engage with PC level activities probably take less time to judge.

- It isn't even guaranteed to work. The DC is set at the rituals DC, not the target's level and there are plenty of moderately high level NPCs so it isn't really cheap. Historically it would be unwise to assume that nobility were level 1 equivalents.

- Nobility don't make up a majority of the people in the world. Making murder laws laxer because they can sometimes come back if the stars align at great cost, shouldn't mean much for a law maker (even if it did somehow make sense that golarion wouldn't reflect the real world where people with massive power demand greater protection again)

If I chopped off your fingers maliciously would I avoid grievous bodily harm charge against me because we have the technology to reattach them? How about if you are a homeless person, I mean you cannot pay for it but bill gates could pay for the very best so the laws should reflect that right ;) :P

Grand Lodge

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Well, not to be argumentative, but there are an awful lot of people who would say that the laws of most "civilized" nations heavily favor the wealthy over the poor. So, without making a judgement on the right/wrong of it, yes, at times I do expect some laws to favor Bill Gates. Course that depends on how much "realism" you want in your "fantasy" game. :-D


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I was pretty sure most laws benefiting the rich have to do with making them money and less with getting away with murder.


Good post, Grognard, though this stood out:
"And npcs who don't engage with PC level activities probably take less time to judge."
I'd think it'd be the opposite. If somebody has a small life, one must weigh minutiae to find the balance. Somebody who risked all to save others (even including the difficult choices and sacrifices along the way) seems pretty simple since those would outweigh everyday behavior. Fewer factors to be concerned with.
I'd think, who knows in the Golarion scheme of things!

Also, PC motivation is often transparent due to having players. :)
But that (perhaps undeveloped) NPC in the background? Who knows the depth of their personal struggles!


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Temperans wrote:
I was pretty sure most laws benefiting the rich have to do with making them money and less with getting away with murder.

I was pretty sure it has to do with the rich buying the people who make the laws, so that the laws are written to favor them.

Which may involve being able to get away with murder by paying a fine that would bankrupt normal people, and be barely noticeable to the rich.


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True Claxon. Specially in the context in this thread it seems very much like a fine to avoid getting in trouble.


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TwilightKnight wrote:
Well, not to be argumentative, but there are an awful lot of people who would say that the laws of most "civilized" nations heavily favor the wealthy over the poor. So, without making a judgement on the right/wrong of it, yes, at times I do expect some laws to favor Bill Gates. Course that depends on how much "realism" you want in your "fantasy" game. :-D

Not the rich, the powerful. But that depends on how modern/capitalistic you run your medieval/renaissance inspired game.

Most of Golarion is still feudal with a big divide between nobility and common people, at least it pretends to be.
The laws are made by the nobles and can be pretty arbitrary. And of course the nobles ensure that the laws favor them and their peers, after all their entire station depends on the common people somehow accepting that they were born better and have the inherent right to rule over them because of their family name.

But the nobility needs money from time to time and here the wealthy come in. By helping out impoverished nobles or flat out bribery they can also demand concessions when it comes to laws. And even in democratic societies the wealthy tend to have much more access and influence over the people who make the laws than the rest.

As for nobles getting raised from the death, considering that most of them are expected to fight on the battlefield it makes sense that everyone takes precautions should they die. And that can easily be extended to other violent deaths.

And considering that there are several competing faiths in Golarion, finding one who is willing to raise a noble should not be hard as it usually means your church gets a huge influence boost over others. And for some faiths selling services is part of it.
And even if no priest or ritual caster is available in the moment, most nobles should have the resources to get Gentle Repose casted on their corpse until one can come from the next temple.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
demon321x2 wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:

I think Pharasma is a built-in wrinkle for non-PCs in Golarion, and a reason for why liches or other eternal youth/life activities would still be relevant.

Seems like a resurrection is necessarily another god/power pilfering from Pharasma's domain, and they probably don't want to do that very often or for people who aren't very important. PCs are different because they're necessarily heroes, but some random rich person might be able to afford the ritual and still have it not work because Pharasma's like "Yeah, nah, to the Boneyard with this one."

It's also why Urgathoa is a thing in the first place. Like her whole portfolio is explicitly a giant middle finger to Pharasma.

Resurrection still never cheats old age so immortality is still important.

It doesn't help there are very few ways to actually *stop* resurrections short of trapping the soul. As long as they cut off a finger and store it somewhere safe to be rezzed from destroying the body doesn't even work. Since spells like remove curse can be spammed anything that can be removed with a CL check is pretty much worthless. It'd be nice if there was a fast judgement sort of spell which gets them judged by Pharasma so they can't be rezzed.

So you're saying that as long as I am willing to permanently disfigure myself as an insurance policy, I can slightly increase the chances of my resurrection? Sign me up, no further questions. I'm sure the person who kills me and completely destroys my body won't bother adding an additional heist step to their scheme.

Aside from all the general reasons people have cited, the problem with nobility relying on resurrection is that usually when a wealthy noble dies their arrangements would come down to family. Family who may very well be inheriting a lot of wealth and/or titles if the deceased stays dead. And the cost of Raising a level dead guy is the same as a new sailing ship....

Plus, there's human psychology. Young people often think of themselves as immortal or just don't focus on long term survival (most smokers start as teens, after all) and the older you get the less years you'd have even if you did ressurect.

And even if you everything right, Pharasma may still just be like lol nope. Rezzing is something that may happen, but it isn't enough of a given to drastically change how people view their own personal safety.

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