Question about Champion's Code, archetypes, and no good deed going unpunished.


Rules Discussion

Scarab Sages

So this is a bit of walk.

I'm playing an neutral evil Champion with the Blessed One archetype (the deity has heal/harm). We pulled two encounters and being the sort of player who can do math after a few hits, I tell the party we can't win and they need to run. I'm mostly surrounded and on the wrong side of both groups, but I'm able to at least buy a few rounds. End of the fight comes, my character is unconscious but made recovery saves so is alive. The post-session discussion turns to what to do.

In my opinion, I broke Code. Take Divine Ally and the Focus Pool. General consensus is that's the case.

The question comes down the archetype. Breaking Code says you lose Focus Pool. I'm of the opinion that I lose it all, including from the archetype. There's some discussion as to if that's the case. I can't find rules saying otherwise, but figured I'd through it out there in case there was any clarification.


The breaking of the code could use some cleaning up, but yes I agree that, RAW you straight up do not have a focus pool (any focus pool) till you atone.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Well...yeah, it seems so. Kind of a pity. I might fight against that a bit if you were a multiclass Sorcerer or something, perhaps suggest you tweak rules to only lose focus points up to the number of Champion spells you had, but Blessed One is thematically appropriate enough (assuming you're going with the "corrupted" theming of the archetype mentioned in its description, rather than a gift from a good deity) that you may as well travel where the rules lead and see what comes from it.


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This is actually an interesting scenario.

If you are good with going through a redemption (anti-redemption?) arc, that is fine. It is your character and your game, so up to you.

But if you are looking to make the argument that you didn't violate tenets, it sounds like you need a demonic-level rules lawyer.

From what you have described, I am assuming that the tenet in question is the first part of the second tenet of Evil. "You must never put another person's needs before your own". However, also from what you described, you did not willingly sacrifice yourself for your companions. You were in fact trapped behind enemy lines. The most that you did was point out something that anyone in the vicinity should have been able to see for themselves - that the battle was lost and that everyone should cut their losses and leave. Pointing out that fact does not, in itself, aid your allies. The fact that you were grievously injured and nearly killed is not a direct result of your choice to say anything to your companions.

But like I said, up to you and your group. And whatever you decide to do, make sure that it is fun for everyone at the table. You mostly (since it is your character), the GM (because he is the one having to create content for the game), and the other players as well.


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In fact, now that I think about it for a minute or three, that would be a very interesting and thematic variation of the Atonement ritual. Summoning a divine court tribunal for your deity and summoning a devil (sorry, devil not demon) that successfully argues that you actually did not violate your Champion Tenets.


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Person-man evil, but Person-man evil..ENOUGH?

Scarab Sages

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breithauptclan wrote:

This is actually an interesting scenario.

If you are good with going through a redemption (anti-redemption?) arc, that is fine. It is your character and your game, so up to you.

But if you are looking to make the argument that you didn't violate tenets, it sounds like you need a demonic-level rules lawyer.

From what you have described, I am assuming that the tenet in question is the first part of the second tenet of Evil. "You must never put another person's needs before your own". However, also from what you described, you did not willingly sacrifice yourself for your companions. You were in fact trapped behind enemy lines. The most that you did was point out something that anyone in the vicinity should have been able to see for themselves - that the battle was lost and that everyone should cut their losses and leave. Pointing out that fact does not, in itself, aid your allies. The fact that you were grievously injured and nearly killed is not a direct result of your choice to say anything to your companions.

But like I said, up to you and your group. And whatever you decide to do, make sure that it is fun for everyone at the table. You mostly (since it is your character), the GM (because he is the one having to create content for the game), and the other players as well.

I'm not arguing to get out. I was the one who called my own foul. At this point the discussion in the group has become "how playable is champion without focus spells and divine ally?" and "Do you keep focus pool/spells from the archetype". I have a personal aversion to the Atonement ritual, so there's not really a redemption arc that way in the cards.

Liberty's Edge

If you and your GM want to run it that way and your person Deity would look down on that, that sounds perfectly fair.

As for an atonement... I have NO idea what you'd do, and it would probably be rather grim to say the least no matter what so... I'm not sure, maybe work with the GM to rebuild/retrain the character into a heavily Champ themed bad guy but without TOO much of the baggage for a longer-term "solution" to the problem.


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I could possibly see keeping a focus pool, or rather, the focus pool from the archetype. The archetype says that it grants you a focus pool if you haven't got one, or gives you an extra point if you have one. The Champion Cause feature states that, if you violate it, you lose your focus pool.
So I could see an interpretation going along the lines of saying that, since the state of your character has changed, the benefit of the archetype's feat would also change. You still lose your focus pool, divine ally, and though I don't think it's specified your devotion spells, but you keep the focus point from the archetype and whatever else the archetype gives you access to.

I dunno if that is strictly RAW or RAI, but it seems logical enough to me to use if it turns out you and your group don't think you can run a champ without those things but want to keep them in the game. TBH I also like the interpretation because it can suggest something like a goodly deity offering the champion a kind of reverse temptation on the sly, offering them power that is intended to encourage them to help people and move closer to good.

Scarab Sages

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Themetricsystem wrote:

If you and your GM want to run it that way and your person Deity would look down on that, that sounds perfectly fair.

As for an atonement... I have NO idea what you'd do, and it would probably be rather grim to say the least no matter what so... I'm not sure, maybe work with the GM to rebuild/retrain the character into a heavily Champ themed bad guy but without TOO much of the baggage for a longer-term "solution" to the problem.

There's surprisingly a lot you can still do locked out of divine ally and focus pool. There's only a few levels where you'll have to back fill feats. From an RP standpoint, having broken the Code technically means they're less evil. Just had a breakup with their god.


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zeonsghost wrote:

So this is a bit of walk.

I'm playing an neutral evil Champion with the Blessed One archetype (the deity has heal/harm). We pulled two encounters and being the sort of player who can do math after a few hits, I tell the party we can't win and they need to run. I'm mostly surrounded and on the wrong side of both groups, but I'm able to at least buy a few rounds. End of the fight comes, my character is unconscious but made recovery saves so is alive. The post-session discussion turns to what to do.

In my opinion, I broke Code. Take Divine Ally and the Focus Pool. General consensus is that's the case.

The question comes down the archetype. Breaking Code says you lose Focus Pool. I'm of the opinion that I lose it all, including from the archetype. There's some discussion as to if that's the case. I can't find rules saying otherwise, but figured I'd through it out there in case there was any clarification.

This should help.

In particular, this box:

Quote:

Focus Points from Multiple Sources

It’s possible, especially through archetypes, to gain focus spells and Focus Points from more than one source. If this happens, you have just one focus pool, adding all the Focus Points together to determine the total size of your pool. (Remember that the maximum number of Focus Points a pool can have is 3.) If you have multiple abilities that give you a focus pool, each one adds 1 Focus Point to your pool. For instance, if you were a cleric with the Domain Initiate feat, you would have a pool with 1 Focus Point. Let’s say you then took the champion multiclass archetype and the Healing Touch feat. Normally, this feat would give you a focus pool. Since you already have one, it instead increases your existing pool’s capacity by 1.

Focus Points are not differentiated by source; you can spend any of your Focus Points on any of your focus spells. Likewise, when you Refocus, you get back a point as long as you follow the guidelines of any abilities that granted you focus spells. Having Focus Points from multiple sources doesn’t change the tradition of your spells; if you had both cleric domain spells and druid order spells, your domain spells would remain divine and the order spells primal. This could mean that you need to keep track of a different proficiency and ability modifier with the spell DC and spell attack roll of different focus spells.

Thus, if an anathema effect causes you to lose access to your focus pool, you lose access for all purposes. A sorcerer/champion loses the ability to use sorcerer focus spells, and the same goes for a champion/blessed one.


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zeonsghost wrote:
I'm not arguing to get out. I was the one who called my own foul. At this point the discussion in the group has become "how playable is champion without focus spells and divine ally?" and "Do you keep focus pool/spells from the archetype". I have a personal aversion to the Atonement ritual, so there's not really a redemption arc that way in the cards.

Yeah, that's fair. And yes, the flavor of the Atone ritual is tailored to Good characters begging forgiveness. That's why I think for Evil characters a re-flavoring of the ritual where you effectively gaslight the **** out of your own deity would feel better. That sounds more like a NE thing to do.

As for the focus pool: While I agree with Sandslice and the rules for focus points from multiple sources that focus points that you have are not differentiated, focus points that you don't have should be differentiated. If you lose the focus pool from your Champion class, then the feat from Blessed One says that it gives you a focus point of its own. If the feat only said that it added to an existing focus pool, that wouldn't work.


While I wasn't here of course and am thus certainly lacking information, this doesn't sound like you broke the Tenets of Evil. You didn't make a heroic last stand, you were forced into a bad situation and went down swinging. So unless your character thought he could get away without compromising his relationship with the group and simply chose not to for altruistic reasons, I think you are good. Evil and its tenets are like 90% a question of intent. If someone incidentally or intentionally benefits from your actions, that's good for them but doesn't make it an inherently good action.

But if you think the decision was correct and want to use it for RP reasons, then go right ahead. Just don't limit yourself too harshly ^^

As for the focus pool, Breithauptclan and the others have it right in my opinion, at least mechanically. From an RP perspective, I think it would make sense to lose all of your focus stuff in this very specific case. You swore an oath to your deity and they are now disappointed in you, so they rescind the gifts they have granted to you, including those represented by the Blessed One archetype. Just to be clear, this has no basis in mechanics and is thus absolutely voluntary. I just think it would make sense.


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OK. I have to write this up because it is floating around in my head and it is too much fun to not share.

So, what we know: Neutral-Evil Champion, Deity has both heal and harm. I'm going with Raumya since it meets the description and the ideas I have in mind.

We also don't have the name of the character, so let's call him Anoren. We also don't know the level, so I'll put it at 6 (it doesn't really matter for the story, just the mechanics).

Mechanics:
RAW Atone spell. Needs a primary caster with expert proficiency in religion, probably a cleric of Raumya. Anoren also needs to participate as secondary caster using religion. Cost is 20gp x level = 120gp.

Assuming all the rolls succeed. Because it is more fun that way.

Anoren: *walks in to the small chapel and sees the chaplain on the steps to the dais, playing a small instrument*

Anoren: Are you the chaplain of this synagogue to Raumya?

Coren: I am. My name is Coren. What brings you here?

Anoren: I have been erroneously stripped of my divine graces. I have come to seek audience with an avatar of Raumya so that this oversight may be corrected.

Coren: Ah. Very well. You have the required payment for the incense and tribute for the synagogue, yes? It is 350 gold for the day-long service.

Anoren: That is preposterous. The incence is worth no more than 15 gold. I will bring my own if you are overcharging by that much.

Coren: There is also the premises that you will be occupying, as well as the upkeep of this fine edifice to consider. That is surely worth at least 200 gold.

Anoren: I will pay you 120 gold, or I will find another temple.

Coren: Very well. Your room is over there. Fast and meditate until this evening.

Anoren: *hands over gold and goes to the room*

Later

Coren: Anoren, it is time.

Coren: *enters the small room and lights several more candles.*

As the cleric meditates, he begins humming. Soon several other instruments can be heard in a haunting, ethereal manner. The cleric's eyes open and from the shine of them Anoren can tell that the avatar has arrived.

Anoren: *Kneels quickly* Avatar. I come seeking audience.

Avatar: Yes. You seem to have become too friendly with the servants you travel with. Sacrificing on their behalf even.

Anoren: The tales have been greatly exaggerated. We have a mutually beneficial agreement. I have simply avoided exploiting them more, as they are loyal and harming a loyal servant is anathema.

Avatar: Indeed. And does this failure to exploit their services rendered extend to nearly dying in their defence while they fled from battle?

Anoren: Ah, that event. Yes, they were quite brazenly cowardly. I have chastised them most severely for that incident of betrayal.

Avatar: Yes. Which is obviously why they are currently *looks through the wall towards town* drinking beer at a pub and staring at the barmaid.

Anoren: A few evenings of penance in acts of gluttony, lust, and carousel seemed fitting.

Avatar: ... Hmm... Well, be that as it may, there is still the matter of your putting their needs above your own in the midst of that battle.

Anoren: That is not an accurate representation of what happened. I was thinking out loud to myself that the battle was not going well. They took that upon themselves to mean that the plan was to retreat from battle, which left me stranded there surrounded and fighting alone.

Avatar: Well, let's see, shall we. *Motions, and an illusion of the battle appears. After several seconds of fighting, Anoren is clearly heard shouting, 'Guys, I'm not sure we are going to win this. Head back out, I'll hold them off for as long as I can'.*

Anoren: See. As I said, they are loyal servants and it would not do well to abuse them.

Avatar: Did you seriously come in here, harass my cleric, waste my time, and lie directly to my face all for the sole purpose of trying to get your divine abilities back!!??

Anoren: Yes! And I am fantastic at it!

Avatar: Excellent! That is just the sort of selfish, egotistical, manipulative, and abmitious attitude that I expect from my champions. Don't forget that again. *smiles briefly* Oh, and be sure to give your cleric a tip on your way out.

The surreal light from the Avatar's eyes fades

Coren: I take it the error has been corrected.

Anoren: Yes. I was also told to give you a tip.

Coren: Oh?

Anoren: Always collect all of your money first. No one will give you more money after services have already been rendered. *walks out*

Coren: ... Well said, Anoren. Well said indeed.

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