Tenets of Neutrality?


Homebrew and House Rules

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So... we're seeing a bit of demand for Lawful Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, and possibly even just straight up Neutral champions - holy warriors who'd be dedicated and faithful, but not aligned with good or evil specifically.

The issue is that Champions have tenets. The Tenets of good make sense. The tenets of evil make sense. How are you going to come up with a Tenets of Neutrality, though? Tenets of Law and Chaos would help (so if you're a Lawful Good Champion, you could pick tenets of Law of Tenets of Good) but even those start looking kind of confusing to come up with when you squint at them for a little bit.

So... it's a problem that's going to require some thought... and if we want to see LN/NN/CN Champions, then perhaps we should help crowdsource some of that thought. That's what this thread is for.

Please don't respond with "Tenets suck, and you should be changing the rules so they aren't a thing." If you want to argue that we should be eliminating that aspect of the Champion class, please make your own thread to do it in. This is one for the peopel who aren't willign to houserule the tenets away, and don't want them killed by errata, but *do* want neutral champions to talk about how to solve this particular issue. This thread assumes that the bit where each Champion has Tenets is a good and worthwhile thing, and wants to fix the bit where the (as yet nonexistent) neutral Champions don't.

If you want to talk about useful/interesting stuff for the Champion's Reaction, titles, and so forth for Neutral Champions, *that's* cool. I don't think it's as big of an issue (so maybe not the primary thrust), but sure, join in.


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Do Tenets have to be aligned? I think it'd be easier to fit an ideological connection that spans alignment based on things like Balance, Nature, Society, Community, etc than it is to try and fit a through line between LN/NN/CN.


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As much as I'm not a fan of multi-alignment champions in general, I would say that a tenet of neutrality would have to have some kind of point about zealotry, a warning about good/evil law/chaos you can take it too far.

The draw of middle tree neutrality is that it is possesses the most 'Get the job done' without large concerns of morality. Don't be a jerk, but its gotta get done.

Something else to cover 'Only a Sith speaks in Absolutes' scenarios as well.

I think Neutrality as the space between good and evil is rarely about how good is evil and evil is good, but mostly about 'Reality is the space between your ideals'

Though, the true neutral Champion's title should be Abider. I'm less amused by, but have thoughts for LN as "Decider" or "Adjudicator".


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So I think the big trouble facing Neutral champions is that, by definition, neutral deities don't really have anything approaching a unifying theme. Their interests exist outside the alignment spectrum and while they're all neutral those interests diverge radically.

I think at that point you almost need to look at deity specific tenets and causes. Just because a Champion of Nethys and a Champion of Pharasma would be so far apart from each other I don't see a way to unify them with a single tenet and a single focus spell/reaction.

You'd lose flexibility because you'd have to come up with individual sets of rules and a lot of gods would get lost in the shuffle, but imo it's the best way to make them work.

That said, I think you could start with Tenets of Law (maybe something about not lying or breaking your word) and Tenets of Chaos (not as sure about a good rule there). These tenets would work on the other axis and maybe even function as an alternative to what we already have, so you could have a CE Champion of Chaos rather than a CE Champion of Evil. Focus Spells are usually tied to Causes, but they're the same across the alignment axis so maybe these alternate Tenets could switch those out for those characters too.

Kasoh wrote:
As much as I'm not a fan of multi-alignment champions in general, I would say that a tenet of neutrality would have to have some kind of point about zealotry, a warning about good/evil law/chaos you can take it too far.

The problem is a lot of N gods are pretty damn zealous in their own ways and off the top of my head none of them really take a stand on good vs evil like that. Pharasma is very firm about her anti-undead work. Nethys embodies extremes. Gozreh is described as fickle and violent and again has a dualistic nature. A lot of other deities really just don't care because they're focused on other things.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think the right idea is to come up with tenants about specific concepts that could potentially be mixed with causes of all sorts(and that's where we could have interesting alignment themes.)

For instance. I could see a Tenents of Nature or a Tenents of magic, tenents of death that range across all of the alignments. Then you would pick up a cause that seems appropriate, you are now a liberator of nature, or someone who helps people find redemption in nature, or you are magical desecrator. ( and then also insert one's for ln, n, cn) I think it would easier to create generic causes for specific alignments because we already have wonky combinations such as redeemers who worship gozreh or nether. Heck we could even include tents of law and chaos and they won't feel as stuck or ill-fitting because they would be alongside other options.

Edit: relooking at old Cavalier orders might be a good place for inspiration.


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Last time the Tenets of Neutrality thread came around I was workshopping a couple ideas and now I wish I'd written them down. At the very least I'm sure I was thinking of a tenet to the effect of 'Protect Your Own' ie any group which you are in some way aligned or share an identity with (people from your town/nation, people of your faith, people of your ancestry/family, and/or people of your organization(s)).

This is based on one element of how I boil down the Good-Evil axis--Good is caring about the welfare of anybody and protecting the helpless of innocent wherever you find them, Evil is caring about your own welfare above all others, and Neutral is caring about the welfare of people you like or identify with. Basically tribalism, "Ape no kill ape" where you can always be counted on to stick to your bonds but otherwise aren't compelled to aid somebody you have no connection to.

(Personally though I would prefer not to have in the tenets some clause where you are actually barred from altruistic activities; I don't want the code to care about you balancing good and evil, I'd rather it merely have values to uphold which happen neither to be good nor evil on their own--you can harm or help people not of your group as you desire, but when it comes down to it, you protect your own


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A follow up to one of my points, while tenents making sense for all deities involves, I think Champions act as a unique champion of a philosophy that emerges when their diety, their tenent, and their cause combine.

Nothing in Milani, Nethys, Gozreh, Pharasma, or Kurgess faith inherently says anything about redemption. But now we get to ask the question, what does redemption look like in the eyes of an individual who believes you should use magic over mundane means. What does Redemption through the natural elements look like, where does redemption fall in revolutionary action. Would a redeemer of Milani be more likely to give their oppressors a chance to redeem themselves and show they can be comrades in arms given enough time, patience and education? I don't think *needs to make sense* for all gods is a requirement,

(Then again reedemer and liberators are causes not tenents. But then again the tenents of good have connection to nether, gozreh or phrases phrases I think my point still stands)

A champion of just a God is a CLERIC. A champion of a unique philosophy, alignment, diety combination is a CHAMPION.


Take gods of Gods & Magic are a good base for tenets. To be honest I was expecting some champions tenets from there before the release but Paizo don't put anything about champions there.

For lawful champion tenets a good base. Follow the law, keep the order and be loyal are good bases for a Lawful champion don't matter if these laws and loyalty are cruel sometimes for a Lawful champion in long term a lawful society and manners will be the best for itself and all.

For true neutral champion Irori concepts of balance and self-perfection works well. This champion seeks and protects the balance of all things no matter if is from inside, like Irori self-perfection values, or outside like protect the environment from abuses, and fights agains abuses from all sides. Since "fight" against extreme altruists who preach the abandon of their own-selves and accept to being explored and exploited by others in order to keep peace or avoid violence or fight evils that oppress people, protects people from abusive countries with unfair laws, regulations and traditions and fights chaotic people that only seek destruction and disorder.

The chaotic champion is probably most problematic IMO, since the Liberator already takes the freedom part. But Besmara edict of "take what you want" could be useful here. Probably the "do what you want and protect the others wishes". A champion who fights any kind of restriction, physic, mental or moral, a completely anarchist character who it protects itself and others from any lawful abuses and restriction. The main problema is that tenet could be very self-destructive in many means.


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Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
(Personally though I would prefer not to have in the tenets some clause where you are actually barred from altruistic activities; I don't want the code to care about you balancing good and evil, I'd rather it merely have values to uphold which happen neither to be good nor evil on their own--you can harm or help people not of your group as you desire, but when it comes down to it, you protect your own

So something about never prioritizing the needs of outsiders above the needs of your own people, perhaps? So, sure, you can hand out food to some starving urchin in the street in a fit of generosity... as long as you don't have starving kids back home who also need that food.

Might be appropriate to have a Tenets of Hate too, or something similar - define your cause by some group you oppose. For example, I could imagine a LN Champion of Pharasma / Knight of Lastwall who has a very personal hate-on for the Whispering Tyrant and his minions.

Admittedly, there's a few potential issues here.
- There might be too much overlap with the dictates of your individual god. If your god's dictates and the dictates of your tenets have a high degree of overlap, you effectively have fewer tenets.
- If it's too specific, then it interacts poorly with adventures elsewhere. Either the group you hate/love is so far away that you cannot meaningfully interact with them at all, or your tenets require you to keep fighting that particular fight, in which case there's a lot of adventures that your character would just never go on.

Sovereign Court

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Neutral deities tend to have very specific interests, which pushes you towards very specific tenets. But I think it would be best if we could manage to find some broader families of interests that allow you to write a bit more generic tenets. That would allow multiple gods to have champions with the same tenets (+ god specific anathemas).

The big benefit of this would be that if you can keep the amount of different tenets somewhat under control, that you can write feats for those tenets without them being usable to only one deity.

Sanityfairy is on to something here - Tenets of Hate sounds maybe a bit too nasty, but call them Tenets of Opposition then. Your job as a champion is opposing something that your god thinks is really bad. Undead for Pharasma. Destruction of nature for Gozreh.

Then we could maybe also have some other things, like Tenets of Stewardship (taking care of something) or Tenets of Promotion (Nethys wants more people to use magic, Groetus wants more warmongering).


Ascalaphus wrote:

Neutral deities tend to have very specific interests, which pushes you towards very specific tenets. But I think it would be best if we could manage to find some broader families of interests that allow you to write a bit more generic tenets. That would allow multiple gods to have champions with the same tenets (+ god specific anathemas).

The big benefit of this would be that if you can keep the amount of different tenets somewhat under control, that you can write feats for those tenets without them being usable to only one deity.

Sanityfairy is on to something here - Tenets of Hate sounds maybe a bit too nasty, but call them Tenets of Opposition then. Your job as a champion is opposing something that your god thinks is really bad. Undead for Pharasma. Destruction of nature for Gozreh.

Then we could maybe also have some other things, like Tenets of Stewardship (taking care of something) or Tenets of Promotion (Nethys wants more people to use magic, Groetus wants more warmongering).

Yeah... but that takes one of the problems even further. What is "Tenets of Opposition (Undead)" going to require of you that Pharasma herself doesn't already have covered? Ideally, the tenets would be more general than, and harmonious but not inherently overlapping with the requirements of the gods - just like the tenets of Good/Evil are.


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Sanityfairy wrote:
How are you going to come up with Tenets of Neutrality, though?

They should include a lust for gold, power, and being born with a heart full of neutrality, as a starting point.


My preference would be to get a bunch of other tenets that include neutral followers.

There doesn't need to be a catch all for neutral champions if we do things like "Tenets of the Green", "Tenets of Mortality", "Tenets of the River","Tenets of Kallistrade" etc. I mean, we do need Champions for non-deific religious traditions like Sangpotshi, Rivethun, the Green Faith, etc.

Like Champions of Desna, Cayden, and Milani have something in common in a way that Champions of Gozreh, Nethys, and Brigh would not. Give me an affirmative thing to *ahem* champion and I am all for it. A Champion of Besmara who is an advocate for some variant of a "Pirate's Code" would be so much more fun to roleplay than the same character who promotes something abstract like "Freedom".


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I'd rather we didn't get Tenets of Neutrality, and instead get Tenets of Law and Chaos. Leaving TN without normal tenets, but I agree with others that things other than alignment would be better as tenets for them.

If we were to get Tenets of Law and Chaos, it would also allow champions with corner alignments to choose between them and the existing tenets based on which aspect of their alignment is more important to them.


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Are "Law" or "Chaos" fun things to promote as a character? It seems like both would be a bummer to be around in the context of a party. The former is the guy for whom "following the rules" is the absolute most important thing, while even Paladins have contexts where they can choose to promote Good over Law. The PC who is an agent of Chaos is someone who 9 times out of 10 is just going to be exhausting to be around.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

My preference would be to get a bunch of other tenets that include neutral followers.

There doesn't need to be a catch all for neutral champions if we do things like "Tenets of the Green", "Tenets of Mortality", "Tenets of the River","Tenets of Kallistrade" etc. I mean, we do need Champions for non-deific religious traditions like Sangpotshi, Rivethun, the Green Faith, etc.

Like Champions of Desna, Cayden, and Milani have something in common in a way that Champions of Gozreh, Nethys, and Brigh would not. Give me an affirmative thing to *ahem* champion and I am all for it. A Champion of Besmara who is an advocate for some variant of a "Pirate's Code" would be so much more fun to roleplay than the same character who promotes something abstract like "Freedom".

Is a Champion of Mortality on the table? It'd be pretty weird for a philosophy that's all about denying the value of divinity to have dedicated divine warriors.

Sovereign Court

Tenets of Nature could work for Gozreh, Yamatsumi, might even be palatable to Erastil. Would be focused around upholding balance and purity of nature.

Tenets of Progress might be something for Bright, Casandalee, but also interesting to Abadar and perhaps Torag.

... and so on.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Are "Law" or "Chaos" fun things to promote as a character? It seems like both would be a bummer to be around in the context of a party. The former is the guy for whom "following the rules" is the absolute most important thing, while even Paladins have contexts where they can choose to promote Good over Law. The PC who is an agent of Chaos is someone who 9 times out of 10 is just going to be exhausting to be around.

I don't see how this is any different from Good and Evil. If you play it in a group that doesn't believe the same things, you're going to run into some degree of conflict either way. Just in this case one's Judge Dredd, to use Lawful as an example.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Is a Champion of Mortality on the table? It'd be pretty weird for a philosophy that's all about denying the value of divinity to have dedicated divine warriors.

My favorite idea for a Rahadoum plot is where belief in the "Laws of Man" starts generating Divine casters and the country loses its mind. (Some Demon-Lord messing with people is the cop-out solution, but I still like the idea.)


Arachnofiend wrote:
Is a Champion of Mortality on the table? It'd be pretty weird for a philosophy that's all about denying the value of divinity to have dedicated divine warriors.

Mark Seifter brought up the Tenets of Mortality on a stream like a year and a half ago, and I was somewhat surprised, but it does make some sense to me. We do need champions (i.e. martial advocates) for things that are not strictly related to divinity. There's lots of people on Golarion who are into things like shamanism, nature worship, or ancestry worship, or a reincarnation cycle, etc. and those people deserve a version of the Champion class (I mean, we do lock legendary heavy armor proficienty in this class.)

I'm just not sure how much excising the divinity from the class would require a class archetype and how much can be in "you just follow these tenets".

But regarding the "Law" and "Freedom" tenets, in the current political climate the "we just respect the authorities and follow the rules even if they suck" character and "we must allow the individual to choose to resist what they're being told to do, even if it's a really good idea and the people suggesting it have your best interests in mind" character are not things I'm interested at hosting at my table, since both can go in pretty toxic directions very easily.

So my strong preference is for bespoke tenets that cover a handful of potential champions, rather than relying on alignment for the non-good/evil ones.


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(On themed Tenets for the various neutral deities)
It's not a bad idea, but I'm kind of lukewarm on the concept of making a set of tenets for Nature/Death/Magic etc., at least as an idea to satisfy the need for neutral champions. It feels like there are too many possible themes for neutral deities to make a new set of Tenets for each, instead of allowing one set of tenets to cover every god that shares an alignment.

Right now we have only 2 tenets, Good and Evil, which each cover 3 Causes/Alignments and every deity which allows champions of one of those combined 6 alignments. It feels like Tenets should in general cover a broad variety of possible deities and alignments. There are many nature gods, but perhaps not so many as there are gods who allow good-aligned worshippers.

On the other hand, making a flexible Cause of Nature/Death/Magic which can be taken with any Tenet (so a Champion of Good could support goodness first and then foster Nature as their personal cause rather than Justice/Redemption/Freedom) seems like it has potentially fertile ground. Of course, that still leaves the problem of only allowing Good or Evil champions and lacking Tenets that can cover any of the G-E Neutral champions so far.

.
(On Tenets of Law and Chaos)
Separate to that, I think there's potential for Tenets of Law or Chaos (and the bonus option to allow the corner alignments to choose which alignment they promote more, moral or ethical, but I also really don't want to skip True Neutral as a viable Champion character option, and if not doing across-the-board Neutral, I feel like we'd be headed for a 'Neutral Cross' Tenet and those historically have been a pet peeve of mine--finding a theme where it makes sense that it would support either Good or Chaotic followers but not followers who happen to share both of those alignments without making the whole things seem even more artificial than it already is.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
It feels like there are too many possible themes for neutral deities to make a new set of Tenets for each, instead of allowing one set of tenets to cover every god that shares an alignment.

Well yeah, but what would that look like?

What's the unifying theme that connects Pharasma, Nethys, Abadar, Gorum, Grandmother Spider, the Eldest, Besmara and Yog-Sothoth?

I just don't see one blanket idea that adequately fits the umbrella of neutrality when the elements are so disparate. None of these deities really have 'neutrality' as something to ascribe to, they're just all off on their own agendas.


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Kasoh wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Is a Champion of Mortality on the table? It'd be pretty weird for a philosophy that's all about denying the value of divinity to have dedicated divine warriors.
My favorite idea for a Rahadoum plot is where belief in the "Laws of Man" starts generating Divine casters and the country loses its mind. (Some Demon-Lord messing with people is the cop-out solution, but I still like the idea.)

Cool idea but not one that can really exist in Golarion unfortunately; Razmir's existence demands that things that are not divine cannot give divine power, if that rule is broken then his whole deal unravels and becomes uncompelling. The cop-out solution would work but I agree that it isn't nearly as interesting.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

Mark Seifter brought up the Tenets of Mortality on a stream like a year and a half ago, and I was somewhat surprised, but it does make some sense to me. We do need champions (i.e. martial advocates) for things that are not strictly related to divinity. There's lots of people on Golarion who are into things like shamanism, nature worship, or ancestry worship, or a reincarnation cycle, etc. and those people deserve a version of the Champion class (I mean, we do lock legendary heavy armor proficienty in this class.)

I'm just not sure how much excising the divinity from the class would require a class archetype and how much can be in "you just follow these tenets".

I guess I could see that, but tying it to the Champion class wouldn't really work IMO. I could see a more general martial archetype for "militant atheist" types that is designed as a cleric-slayer archetype in the same way you get undead-slaying and demon-slaying archetypes. Of course, the problem with that is that cleric-slaying is a very specific type of campaign. Mortality knows I'd be down for an AP where you play genuine followers of the Laws but I doubt the general appeal of that premise, it's hard enough convincing people that the pantheon should not necessarily be taken at their word.


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Squiggit wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
It feels like there are too many possible themes for neutral deities to make a new set of Tenets for each, instead of allowing one set of tenets to cover every god that shares an alignment.

Well yeah, but what would that look like?

What's the unifying theme that connects Pharasma, Nethys, Abadar, Gorum, Grandmother Spider, the Eldest, Besmara and Yog-Sothoth?

I just don't see one blanket idea that adequately fits the umbrella of neutrality when the elements are so disparate. None of these deities really have 'neutrality' as something to ascribe to, they're just all off on their own agendas.

I remain unconvinced that the Champion's Tenets need to unify all deities who might fall under that alignment. The published Tenets can pretty much be summed up as "Do no Evil/Good" followed by "Protect the innocent from harm" vs. "Prioritize your own needs above all others". These are basically a summary of what it means to be Good or Evil--to me they only count as a unifying theme among the gods of Good and Evil in as far as they happen to share the same alignment.

I'm not saying I know what the best solution for the Tenets of Neutrality are--that's what this and the three other threads before it are attempting to brainstorm. Only that offering a separate set of Tenets for each god-theme seems too busy and honed in on individual deitific portfolios compared to the published Tenets, which together have room for a Champion of any deity who allows either good or evil worshippers, not merely an ideal represented by a few goodly deities (indeed that seems to be what Causes are for, which is why I suggested Causes of Nature/Magic/Death might be a viable option).

I would not describe the Tenets published as necessarily reflective of the portfolios of all Good and Evil gods, but rather a description of what it means to prioritize Good or Evil, which unifies said gods only because they do that. Thus, the Tenets of Neutrality I feel don't need to present a unified theme among all the gods, but rather merely reflect that neutral gods (and gods who allow neutral worshippers) don't necessarily care about Good, but also aren't necessarily callous enough for Evil.

To that end, I submit for a possible tenet, "Protect your own" probably at the same tier as "Protect the innocent" and "Serve yourself". I can think of no neutral god who would object on moral grounds to helping others you identify with, and since deity anathema are always in the top slot anyway, it meshes well with the idea of championing whatever your deity's theme happens to be since naturally the members of your own faith and their goals would naturally be included in that. As far as extending that to "Protect your people/community" goes, lawful adherents would obviously view community in the lens of their settlement, while for chaotic adherents, community can but does not require a focus on the arbitrary associations of civilization but may include any other arbitrary association they feel kinship toward.

--

Postscript I almost forgot to mention: The last time this topic came around, somebody offered the idea that the Tenets of Neutrality could be influenced by or otherwise subordinate to their Cause/secondary alignment. While this seems a little messy, I don't think it's a bad idea either, and could offer people what they desire in terms of placing Tenet-level importance on more thematically specific ideals.


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If nothing else, I think the archetype of the LN Champion is one that is thoroughly defined in fiction: the inflexible enforcer of order, be they Javert from Les Mis, Dredd from Judge Dredd, the Mercykillers from Planescape, and so on.


I'm pretty sure tenets of law and tenets of chaos will arrive sooner of later.

A code for True Neutral champions would be really weird, though. True neutral alignment either enforces non action in the name of balance or is detached from morality all together, both things would be really weird to translate into tenets. The only way I can see it working is as some sort of mediator between opposed forces.

I think it is both more probable and more compelling a tenetless champion or a champion that follows codes non related to alignments. I would love to see something like tenets of protection and destruction, where you swear to a cause and uphold it to the letter.


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I do agree that non-alignment Champions also seem like a good idea; a Champion of Death (or against Undeath) focused on respecting the dead seems like an easy fit, as foes a defender of nature.


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At least one thing seems clear to me; Do not emulate Mordenkainen (as in mercilessly killing off whichever alingment side seeming strong ATM).


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
We do need champions (i.e. martial advocates) for things that are not strictly related to divinity.

Do we though? Seems like that can easily be just fluff for any other class.

The first sentence in the Champion section makes it pretty clear a deity is the whole point:

Champion wrote:
You are an emissary of a deity, a devoted servant who has taken up a weighty mantle, and you adhere to a code that holds you apart from those around you.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

The tenets of Good and Evil are actually pretty limited. There is one about not doing things that are explciitly evil/good which is really about casting spells of the opposite alignment, which can apply to Law and Chaos easily.

Spoiler:
”tenet of good” wrote:

You must never perform acts anathema to your deity or willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or the casting of an evil spell.

You must never knowingly harm an innocent, or allow immediate harm to one through inaction when you know you could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents at an indefinite time in the future, or to sacrifice your life to protect them.

Spoiler:
”tenet of evil” wrote:

You must never perform acts anathema to your deity or willingly commit a purely good act, such as giving something solely out of charity, casting a good spell, or using a good item.

You must never put another person's needs before your own, and you must never put your own needs before those of your deity. Though you can perform acts others might consider helpful, it must be done with the expectation that it ultimately furthers your own goals or those of your master.

So if you’re going to have equivalents for Law and Chaos, you could look at the causes for what the Lawful and Chaotic champions have in common (respecting hierarchies for lawful, for example).


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So something like, for Lawful:
- You must never perform acts anathema to your deity or willingly commit a chaotic act, such as disobey laws and rules, treason, or the casting of an chaotic spell.
- You must never knowingly disobey laws and rules, or allow such thing to one through inaction when you know you could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible actions at an indefinite time in the future, or to sacrifice your life to prevent them.

So something like, for Chaotic:
- You must never perform acts anathema to your deity or willingly commit a purely lawful act, such punish someone in name of a law or rule, casting a lawful spell, or using a lawful item.
- You must never put another regulations before your own will, and you must never allow other rules before the will of your deity. Though you can perform acts others might consider lawful, it must be done with the expectation that it ultimately furthers your own goals or those of your master.


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For lawful that is reasonable but that is a far too lawful way of handling chaos.

If you are trying for chaos to not be trite and nasty you need to make it more about independance and free will so that CG and CE can be catered for. Its quite awkward to avoid falling into good or evil themes though. Some thoughts:

Look to the example of your deity - they are awesome. Make no deal beyound a day, be bound to no master, choose for yourself what is proper in every situation. Order and structure is a prison that rots the soul. True power and beauty comes through independance and self sufficiency.

Liberty's Edge

I still stand by my post from a year ago in a similar thread :

The Raven Black wrote:

My take on the Neutral tenets :

. You must never perform acts anathema to your deity.

. You must never put your own needs before those of your deity. You must never knowingly harm an innocent unless doing so furthers the goals of your deity.

Taking from both Good and Evil tenets without forbidding aligned acts, and putting your deity's goals above anything else. No need for protecting innocents but also no need for oppressing them. And no talk of "your master" because it smacks too much of Evil.


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The Raven Black wrote:

I still stand by my post from a year ago in a similar thread :

The Raven Black wrote:

My take on the Neutral tenets :

. You must never perform acts anathema to your deity.

. You must never put your own needs before those of your deity. You must never knowingly harm an innocent unless doing so furthers the goals of your deity.

Taking from both Good and Evil tenets without forbidding aligned acts, and putting your deity's goals above anything else. No need for protecting innocents but also no need for oppressing them. And no talk of "your master" because it smacks too much of Evil.

I forgot to change "your master" to "your deity" so consider like this.

Liberty's Edge

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And for the reactions, I take the solution for Channel from PF1 : if you follow a Good or Evil deity, you get the reaction that has their Good/Evil component and your Chaotic/Lawful component.

If your deity is also Neutral on the Good/Evil axis, you get your choice (chosen when you first get the reaction and cannot be changed unless retrained or alignment changes) of using either the Evil or Good reaction that has your Chaotic/Lawful component.

And likely a later Class feat similar to PF1's Versatile Channeler.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

I think we might actually see some guidance from Champions of Balance in the first edition. Each of the core neutral alignments had three options, and those are things that could easily be translated to champions in 2E.

The best bets in my estimation are:

Champions of Balance wrote:

Lawful Neutral: Judge

Judges render decisions on others. These decisions can be—and often are—quite complicated. Judges deal with this by rigorously applying predefined standards and criteria, ensuring that the decision at which they arrive isn’t theirs alone, but reflects the wisdom of a body of thought greater than any single individual.
If you are a judge, you:
• Weigh all the data before you, sifting out key details.
• Consider your personal authority to be representative of a greater one.
• Resist revisiting past decisions.
Code: You weigh your decisions carefully. Once made, these decisions are binding—for others and for you.

True Neutral: Agent of Balance
These characters know the extremes of alignment need to be kept in their proper place if peace and prosperity are to be
maintained. They may be actively protective of mortal life, or just resentful of past or ongoing interference from strongly aligned external forces. They tend to point to Cheliax and the Worldwound as evidence of what happens when you give the Outer Planes an inch, and see the immortal beings of the multiverse as little more than soldiers in an endless and ultimately pointless struggle.
If you are an agent of balance, you:
• Seek out outsiders and other strongly aligned forces and neutralize them.
• Strenuously resist any infringement on your soul, and see your fate as your own and not another’s to manipulate or control.
• Probably have a number of enemies both mortal and immortal.
• Are more likely than others to become an envoy of balance (see pages 30–31).
Code: If the Outer Planes want to meddle, they can put up with you
meddling back.

Chaotic Neutral: Rebel
Some rebels are opposed to specific laws or rulers. Others just want to smash the cage of obedience that binds the mortal spirit. But whether the rebel is attempting to free a nation or just herself, she’s never afraid to go against the grain to achieve what she believes is right.
If you are a rebel, you:
• May or may not have—or need—a vision of what should replace what you’re destroying.
• Resent those who dare try to hold authority over you.
• Can’t stop fighting, even when you probably should.
Code: It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.


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I think for TN tenants of preservations I think would work. Pharasma want to protect the cycle of life and death, Gozreh wants it for nature, and Nethys to protect and spread magic. Brigh cares about protecting and expanding artificial life.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My first suggestion would be that 1e's Envoy of Balance would have been a compelling basis to start on. Champions whose goals are to counter the forces of extremism, no matter where they stand within morality, and maintaining that universal balance within the multiverse. However, Paizo has decided that balance and law are coterminous to one another; so such a "Champion/Arbiter of Balance" would likely be LN in 2e. Not something I necessarily agree with given my own background in law enforcement; enforcing the law is ever hardly about maintaining balance, but rather is about maintaining order; which aren't the same thing imo.

Another idea I've seen, that I find highly interesting, would be opening up the Champion to less religious convictions. Basically, take the Cavalier's Order ability from 1e, adapt it to the Champion's Cause feature in 2e, and allow players the option to basically play Knights. For what is a Knight but a Champion of a particular Cause or Conviction, religious or not? This could open up more ideas moving forward for certain story telling opportunities and class mechanics. I think if one can make a Champion of the Godclaw (which you. An, as it is a a pantheon), than you should theoretically be capable of making a Champion dedicated to any of the other less religious Hellknight Orders. I don't think this would distrupt the class too much. As long as they ensure that each non-religious Cause features a Champion's Reaction and two thematically appropriate abilities, alongside a favored weapon and a focus spell, it should work fine without much fine tuning. If they wanted to, they could simply make it a Class specific Archetype for the Champion, so they have a little more room to customize aspects of its abilities.

Last suggestion, that also works with the second idea, is one I'm fairly certain we are going to see somewhere down the line anyways: Alignments with multiple Causes. Not every Deity or Divinity that shares an Alignment possesses the same desires and dogmas. While Sarenrae is primarily concerned with redemption and smiting evil where it rears its head; Shelyn is more about peace and leading by example. So, really, I don't see many, if any, of Shelyn's Champions being Redeemers, but are likely Pacifists in their endeavors; seeking nonviolent solutions where possible and possessing abilities that promote peace. Same principle can be applied to Champions of Nethys, Gozreh, or Pharasma. Gozreh's Champions could often be Ovates, devoted to the protection of nature in all forms. Keepers are those that seek to preserve knowledge in all its forms, coming to blow with those who would destroy it and are often followers of Nethys. Champions of Pharasma are often Ushers, seeking to guide the souls of the dead to their final rest and defend them from those who would abuse them. Likewise, Gozreh and Pharasma are both opposed to the Undead, so maybe they can also fittingly be Sentinels, actively fighting against such unholy creatures. Admittedly, some of these ideas may be more fitting as an Oath Feat (or are one already). But, the idea stand that if the Tenets of Good and Evil could receive more than one Cause, that would allow for some room to create Neutral Champions with tighter and more compelling convictions. And, as I said, this would work well with the non-religious Causes as well. It would all come down to ensuring that each cause and ideal is compelling enough to formulate mechanics around it.

Sorry for not giving specific tenets for a strictly Neutral-Aligned Champion. I've had this on my chest for a while and saw a good place to post. Was actually planning on making my own thread on the matter and diving into the idea of what it actually means to be a neutral individual. Paizo has kind of painted them in this almost exclusively negative light, as people who are selfish, uncaring, indifferent, impartial, and lacking in conviction of any sort. I disagree with that idea. But, again, hard to really form any other sound ideas when LN has take over the aspects of balance, equality, and harmony that Neutrality once represented. I, again, argue that Order and Balance are not the same concepts. But that is a moot point at this time.

Also, down with the Antipaladin, long live the Ravager!!


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I think the biggest downside for neutral aligned tenets are that they don't do/promote something, while the tenets of good and evil are trying to get something done. Good-aligned tenets want to spread good and prevent evil, evil-aligned tenets vice versa. What would a Lawful Neutral tenet try to accomplish? Fair arbitration? LG wants you to follow the law, LN makes sure that also happens? How would that work in practice? A LG character sees someone breaking the law or doing an evil act and punishes them for it (or brings them to the authorities who will), LN does... the same, but will make a case for the person in question? And what about Chaotic Neutral? I already find Chaotic Good's schtick of "freedom, regardless of circumstance" rather tenuous, how would you make that more neutral?

As I said, most neutral causes just want to be left alone, they don't actively do anything. The only deities that could be actively promoting something are the lawful ones (keeping it to the core 20):
- Abadar, LN: mostly keeping order, maybe promoting it in the wild, but mostly keeps to cities.
-Calistria, CN: revenge, passion. Makes sure people get their dues, but I don't see them as a driving force in the world like Iomedaeans are.
- Gorum, CN: Fighting. Again, not a driving force of morality or anything,
- Gozreh, TN: nature. Not necessarily the spread of it, just making sure it's not threatened. Mostly just wants to be left alone.
- Irori, LG: promotes perfection, but doesn't get in anyone's business about it.
- Nethys, TN: Magic. But doesn't dole it out willy-nilly, only people who he deems worthy. They don't just recruit anyone who signs up, unlike most good or evil faiths.
- Norgorbe, NE: certainly isn't a driving force in the world.
- Pharasma, TN: is against undead, similar to Sarenrae, but more in the "let the dead lie" kind of sense.

I don't see any of these mounting a crusade like any of the good deities are capable of. They're not disinterested, they're just hands-off. I see most of these as the more rational of the bunch. If a Cailenite sees someone being taken prisoner, they rush into the fray to stop it. A follower of Irori might see it as a chance to better themself. Oh, they can be passionate about their interests, but I don't think they'd start wars about it. If nature is getting spoiled, who would jump into action first, you think: Erastil, or Gozreh? Okay, maybe bad example, since Gozreh is known to be temperamental, but you know what I mean. Say there was a good-aligned god of magic. They'd hand out magic to anyone who'd apply. Someone denying people that magic would make them knock on their door ASAP. Nethites would approach more subtly, I feel.

A paragon of a neutral alignment would simply not work, I feel. Not because they miss the conviction or zeal, but because they miss the relentless drive of the good/evil alignments. Good and evil want to change the world. Neutral just wants to exist in it.


I’m really shocked people can’t imagine at least Lawful tenets. The idea of order is just as powerful as evil and good in my opinion. Someone devoted to enforcing order is an easy concept to get behind. Bastions of civilization, hierarchy, and control, LN champions will support order whenever possible. Without order, civilization crumbles to the dangers of anarchy and monsters that lie beyond the walls. Judge Dredd is a popular fictional representative of this fantasy. Hobbes Leviathan is another good source of inspiration: anarchy is the most dangerous state for people to be in, which justifies an all powerful ruler to maintain order. In fantasy where actual monsters exist, this is even more true. LN champions believe any form of order and law is safer and more peaceful than it’s absence, and they will fight to preserve order at all costs.

Chaotic neutral is a bit harder but still doable IMO. CN Champions see the dangers that lie behind the temptation of order. It offers peace and security but at the cost of one’s freedom and liberty. But the offered peace and security is a lie. Often enough, order leads to tyrannical rulers that impose their rules on others, while openly acting above everyone. A modern example are politicians that espouse one idea but are hypocrites in private, not doing what they says others should. For a CN champion, this is abhorrent, and they rightfully are skeptical of authority and are well aware of the slippery road from order to cruel authoritarian despots. CN champions are the check and balance against the “natural” progression of order into tyranny. Unlike CG champions, CN champions have no moral qualms holding them back. I’m imagining a League of Shadows like organization of CN champions that proactively remove authority figures before they become too powerful or help collapse powerful regimes. Their methods are not heroic as they are not above using anything in their fight against order. A CN champion would view a CG champion as well intentioned by held back by silly notions of morality.

That went kind of long, but CN requires more explanation than LN. either way, alignment in Pathfinder has cosmic importance. If we extraplanar beings imposing order or chaos, why not mortal champions? Law vs chaos, or order vs liberty is a dichotomy as old as time and still very relevant in modern politics.


I do wish Champions felt more defined by their god and less by their alignment, but I think that ship has sailed. Since I don’t like Clerics, I’m hard up for 2e divine characters until they make an Inquisitor…


I'm still surprised Champions don't also have to follow their god's edicts.


Quentin Coldwater wrote:

I think the biggest downside for neutral aligned tenets are that they don't do/promote something, while the tenets of good and evil are trying to get something done.

...

A paragon of a neutral alignment would simply not work, I feel. Not because they miss the conviction or zeal, but because they miss the relentless drive of the good/evil alignments. Good and evil want to change the world. Neutral just wants to exist in it

Because like most posters here you are overlooking that there are several daimetrically opposed types of neutral

1) We care about balance and acknowledge the problems of law/chaos good/evil and believe the right path is some where in between. Inbalances and extremes should be opposed.

2) We care about issue X and don't have a major interest in law/chaos good/evil, because X is more important. There are an unlimited number of these and to a ceratin extent they are opposed to each other.
Example X might be Love, Battle, Commerce, Self, Music, Magic, Our Deity, etc etc.

You can't do a unified set of tenants because they just aren't unified.

There are divisions in the accepted tennats for good anyway as its not so easy to defing good in a way that is acceptable to a group of relgions. But you can get somewhere.


fanatic66 wrote:

I’m really shocked people can’t imagine at least Lawful tenets. The idea of order is just as powerful as evil and good in my opinion. Someone devoted to enforcing order is an easy concept to get behind. Bastions of civilization, hierarchy, and control, LN champions will support order whenever possible. Without order, civilization crumbles to the dangers of anarchy and monsters that lie beyond the walls. Judge Dredd is a popular fictional representative of this fantasy. Hobbes Leviathan is another good source of inspiration: anarchy is the most dangerous state for people to be in, which justifies an all powerful ruler to maintain order. In fantasy where actual monsters exist, this is even more true. LN champions believe any form of order and law is safer and more peaceful than it’s absence, and they will fight to preserve order at all costs.

Chaotic neutral is a bit harder but still doable IMO. CN Champions see the dangers that lie behind the temptation of order. It offers peace and security but at the cost of one’s freedom and liberty. But the offered peace and security is a lie. Often enough, order leads to tyrannical rulers that impose their rules on others, while openly acting above everyone. A modern example are politicians that espouse one idea but are hypocrites in private, not doing what they says others should. For a CN champion, this is abhorrent, and they rightfully are skeptical of authority and are well aware of the slippery road from order to cruel authoritarian despots. CN champions are the check and balance against the “natural” progression of order into tyranny. Unlike CG champions, CN champions have no moral qualms holding them back. I’m imagining a League of Shadows like organization of CN champions that proactively remove authority figures before they become too powerful or help collapse powerful regimes. Their methods are not heroic as they are not above using anything in their fight against order. A CN champion would view a CG champion as well intentioned by held back by silly notions...

The problem is Order and Chaos are means to ends. Few follow order for the sake of order and few who do remain LN for long as they dehumanize those within the society which degrades to evil. It also doesn't make for a compelling PC. Someone who protects the law simply because it's the law doesn't think about their actions. They are a passive actor letting the established powers dictate how the world should be.

And zealous Chaos is hard to remain neutral. Acting to create anarchy and undermining non-evil lawful structures quickly descends to violence. Or they go the other direction and reject violent means which quickly turns them towards CG. People always expect something from chaos. If the champion just wanders around overthrowing countries with no greater goal than they're CE. If they have some idealistic view of how life could be when sentients are no longer blinded by society they probably start out CG at least. Chaos is inherently destructive and that makes it hard to maintain zealous CN.


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I feel like a major issue with "neutral as balance" is that unlike in some other settings, in Golarion Good is actually supposed to be good. Good Gods aren't supposed to be jerks who do harm on purpose, since if they did that then they wouldn't be Good anymore. Evil, likewise, is actually evil and not just misunderstood.

The neutral character who believes "we can't have too much Good in the universe" or would tell a good person "you should be less good" is a deeply disturbed individual.


Arachnofiend wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

My preference would be to get a bunch of other tenets that include neutral followers.

There doesn't need to be a catch all for neutral champions if we do things like "Tenets of the Green", "Tenets of Mortality", "Tenets of the River","Tenets of Kallistrade" etc. I mean, we do need Champions for non-deific religious traditions like Sangpotshi, Rivethun, the Green Faith, etc.

Like Champions of Desna, Cayden, and Milani have something in common in a way that Champions of Gozreh, Nethys, and Brigh would not. Give me an affirmative thing to *ahem* champion and I am all for it. A Champion of Besmara who is an advocate for some variant of a "Pirate's Code" would be so much more fun to roleplay than the same character who promotes something abstract like "Freedom".

Is a Champion of Mortality on the table? It'd be pretty weird for a philosophy that's all about denying the value of divinity to have dedicated divine warriors.

I think it'd have to be a class archetype that replaces the divine abilities with nonmagical ones to be satisfying for my tastes, but I would like to see one personally. For Good-aligned followers of the Laws of Mortality, a martial character with a strong defensive focus centered on the idea that if the divinities cannot be trusted to protect mortals then they have to protect each other would be pretty cool.


Much like the Good & Evil Champions do not embody all the possible permutations of good or evil, I do not think the advocates of Law or Chaos need to either, i.e. a Lawful Champion could work for harmony/community w/o mirroring a Hellknight's "law uber alles" mentality.

Or there's Moorcock's version of Law vs. Chaos as early D&D emulated (and which Paizo touched upon in the Age of Wyrms AP long ago on Oerth, Greyhawk). This is where it makes sense for other Lawful deities to team up w/ Asmodeus because of the existential threat of Chaos, something they did do on Golarion (though vs. CE Rovagug).

Locked up uber-evil ties back, BTW, the Neutrality of Mordenkainen. More than him wanting to attack any alignment that grew too strong, he wanted all factions to grow powerful because of Tharizdun, an existential threat which all the universe would need to unite against to defeat. Our "lesser" concepts of good & evil pale in comparison to that infinite, primal (some might say elemental) evil which in that universe had no counterbalance. Of course tossing "infinite", "absolute", and such terms onto the scale skews all discussion of our mortal morality.

Other than "balance", a vague concept to roleplay and requiring too broad a POV IMO, I can't think of a True Neutral ideology worth championing, with tenets worth pursuing for an adventurer. As PossibleCabbage noted, Golarion's sense of "Good" isn't just a war banner, but is actually good such that those on the fence about it have moral issues.

Liberty's Edge

Neutral on the Law-Chaos axis means you do not particularly care about how you do your thing. Doing as you are told and upholding the legal and social order or rebelling against it and trying to overthrow it are of no importance compared to your focus.

Neutral on the Good-Evil axis means you likewise do not care about innocent people either way. You will not hurt or oppress them for the sake of it but neither will you go out of your way to protect them. Basically, you have more important things to worry about.

So, for a True Neutral, their cause is everything. It is more important than what happens to innocent people and more important than the system or the revolution.

In a way, the True Neutral way is simpler and clearer, as it is not sullied by concerns about Good, Evil, Lawful or Chaotic.


A cause for everything is a cause for nothing.

Central maxim: "Keep doin' what yer' doin', folks."

ETA: Being apathetic to the plight of others isn't neutral IMO.
Good and Evil do not mirror one another evenly. As pointed out be another, doing good most of the month and evil for one day a month means you're evil. There's a reason several neutral gods do not allow evil followers.


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I believe it is a mistake to say that neutrally aligned characters and gods are lacking in conviction. Just because a creature's beliefs or behaviours are neither overtly kind or cruel doesn't mean those beliefs are any less strongly held, or those behaviours are done with a lack of conviction. I would caution against focusing on capital-N Neutrality as a specific commitment to non-Good and non-Evil.

Even leaving aside the idea of causes 'more important than good or evil' (such as the oft-cite Nature/Magic/Cycle of Life and Death of the core TN deities), there remains room for characters whose convictions themselves neither harm the innocent. This is the territory who fight to defend their 'team' (faith, country, family, etc.), whether right or wrong, as long as it doesn't betray their trust by committing atrocities (or I guess, going too altruistic, but what would that even look like?). Basically, they have standards about what they won't do.

In my opinion, this is actually not too far from the concept of the 'Noble Demon', or general Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain as the case may be. I feel like there is plenty of room for characters who are neither outright heroes or villains and are flexible about who they are siding with but are strict about where they draw the line for how much they'll go out of their way to help or what is acceptable harm.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like a major issue with "neutral as balance" is that unlike in some other settings, in Golarion Good is actually supposed to be good. Good Gods aren't supposed to be jerks who do harm on purpose, since if they did that then they wouldn't be Good anymore. Evil, likewise, is actually evil and not just misunderstood.

The neutral character who believes "we can't have too much Good in the universe" or would tell a good person "you should be less good" is a deeply disturbed individual.

This is important to me because the idea of neutrality as a 'balance between good and evil' is an artifact of the alignment system (and probably to an extent, the older D&D concepts of cosmic alignments beyond mortal morality). The thing is, there really can't be a 'balance between good and evil', at least not as a personal goal. It doesn't matter if there is a rough balance between the amount of good and evil in the universe, there is no worthy cause in seeking 'balance' between these things because there isn't a harmonious middle ground between hurting people and not hurting people. Hurting people only a little is still hurting people, and even moreso for killing people.

Individuals may be between these two, hence the G-E Neutral alignments in general, but seeking a balance between the Good and Evil on principal is pretty much the result of thinking about the alignment system in the abstract. It makes sense to strive for a balance between order and freedom--this self vs. other, love vs. duty paradigm is excellent fodder for character plots, but the same cannot be said for striving to find a balance between kindness and cruelty.

Addendum: I think it's worth restating that your deity's anathema is always up there at the top of your code. Even if the neutral tenets ended up being a nothing-burger of non-committal edicts, champions would still be able to prioritize their above-good-and-evil causes whatever they may be

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