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Omegonthesane
2009-07-24, 04:08 AM
The imagery of ur-priests is "doesn't like gods, steals power from the gods for whatever purposes".

In a world where evil gods are as prominent and proven as good gods, surely there's room for non-evil ur-priests. Indeed, if they stole power from the evil gods - thereby weakening evil - and then used it to do good deeds - thereby strengthening good - they've on both counts got an argument for being Good, never mind Neutral.

I appreciate it came in the Book of Vile Darkness as a divine caster for the evil, deicidal Vasharans - but that just means Vasharan ur-priests are Evil, not all ur-priests.

Keld Denar
2009-07-24, 04:13 AM
As with most things with alignment restrictions, most of them don't make sense. Ur-Priests are supposed to have a contempt for ALL divine powers, good, evil, and otherwise, but I've heard a lot of defense in the idea of an Ur-Priest who devotes himself to a god with the intent of stealing the power of other gods to further the cause of promoting his specific diety to the top of the food chain. This comes into play specifically when trying to combine Ur-Priest with a tasty PrC like Ordained Champion for smitatrific synergy. Many Sacreligious Fist builds I've seen involve both Ur-Priest AND Ordained Champion along with a splash of Monk and Sacred Fist.

But yea, like anything else in the game, its up to your DM, and alignment restrictions are some of the easiest to relax.

Omegonthesane
2009-07-24, 04:19 AM
Sacrilegious Fist? Is that just a fan-name for UP/Sacred Fist, or..?

Also, I still think you could get to TN, even NG, with the attitude "All gods are lazy gits who can't be bothered to fight their corner themselves, I have to spread good in this world myself because they aren't helping enough". :smallbiggrin:

Yora
2009-07-24, 04:26 AM
Sounds like that one Planescape faction.

Keld Denar
2009-07-24, 04:29 AM
The Godsmen?

And yea, Sacreligous Fist is a fancy name for a Monk/Duskblade/UrPriest/SacredFist build of various flavor. I think the name was coined over on Gleemax a number of years ago.

Tingel
2009-07-24, 05:39 AM
There is a small group of ur-priests (at least in the Forgotten Realms) that are ex-clerics of dead deities. They don't despise gods at all and simply try to resurrect their late patron deity, "borrowing" magic from other deities in the meantime. Based on this background, the evil alignment restriction makes even less sense.



Sacreligous
Sacrilegious.

Project_Mayhem
2009-07-24, 05:49 AM
The Godsmen?


Nah, It's something like the Athar isn't it?

Keld Denar
2009-07-24, 06:19 AM
Yea, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faction_(Planescape)), the Athar believe:


Athar
("Defiers", "The Lost"), who deny not only the gods' right to pass judgment over mortals, but their very divinity. They claim that the gods (whom they call "powers") are powerful but have limits and do not deserve worship. Their headquarters in Sigil is the Shattered Temple, the former temple of the dead god Aoskar.

Could also be shared by the Bleak Cabal (who deny ALL belief systems, and thus the gods and their authority) and the Fated (who believe that an individual is free to do or become what they desire and is within their power to seize. Since an Ur-Priest draws his powers from the gods without their conscent, a Fated Ur-Priest would probably believe himself to be a god seeing as he can successfully take what he wants (Divine Magic) from a god and therefore must be of similar power level.

Saph
2009-07-24, 07:04 AM
The thing to remember about PrCs is that they aren't just a set of class features, they also represent groups, philosophies, and organisations. Alignment restrictions on PrCs are generally there to show that you have to be X alignment for these guys to accept you, and vice versa.

It's the same way that the Assassin PrC has an Evil prerequisite. It's not that being sneaky necessarily makes you evil, because you can have Good-aligned rogues. It's not that killing things necessarily makes you evil, because you can have Good-aligned fighters. It's that the PrC is explicitly designed to represent membership in an "assassin's guild" type organisation that commits murders for fun and profit. Presumably Ur-Priest is similar; disliking the gods isn't an evil act, but the sort of things Ur-Priests do are.

- Saph

FMArthur
2009-07-24, 07:06 AM
Ur-Priest is evil out of a reflection of the player's intent with such a cheesy class...

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-07-24, 07:07 AM
But Sublime Chords are... good?

Jack_Simth
2009-07-24, 07:23 AM
But Sublime Chords are... good?
No, just Chaotic.

Of course, Sublime Chord gives you access to high-level spells more slowly than a Sorcerer (you can't qualify for Sublime Chord until at least 10th, to take your first level of the PrC at 11th - and it gets 9th level spells at PrC level 9, so 19th level, vs. the Sorcerer's 18th level). A Fighter-1/Bard-4/Ur-Priest-10 is a 15th level character with access to 9th level spells, two levels before anyone else gets them (and the Ur-Priest can get 9th level spells at Ur-Priest 9, character level 14, potentially). This is pretty much why the Ur-Priest is a broken PrC - it gets spell access too fast for as early as you can qualify. The Apostle of Peace is a similarly built class, but doesn't have that problem (9th level spells at character level 17 at the earliest).

Mind you, at character level 17 and later, the Ur-Priest is a relatively weak class compared to the normal cleric - because it doesn't get the spell slots to keep up (unless used in an Ur-Theurge build or similar, anyway). However, with earliest Ur-Priest entry, from character level 12 through 16, the Ur-Priest is basically the "strongest" caster out there (if you ignore the Artificer, who has early spell access as well).

Curmudgeon
2009-07-24, 10:44 AM
While the original intent of alignment restrictions may have been to match some philosophical scheme, the practical application is mostly to help with game balance. So you can't have any Ur-Priests with Vow of Poverty, or Bard/Paladins. There are hundreds of classes, and alignment makes a few combinations of those classes off-limits.

Stop complaining and live with it.

AstralFire
2009-07-24, 10:47 AM
Wait, wait, wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Bard/Paladins are disallowed for... mechanical reasons?

What?
Well, I guess they just ARE far too OP compared to the Monk/Paladin, the Healer/Warmage, and the Samurai/Marshal. More seriously, why would that be an issue? Sorc/Paladin or Wilder/Paladin are way better.

Curmudgeon
2009-07-24, 11:05 AM
Bard/Paladins are disallowed for... mechanical reasons? As these are core classes, that goes to the "original intent" of alignment restrictions. Later combinations are where game balance limitations come in.

Wasn't that clear?

Riffington
2009-07-24, 11:17 AM
It also depends what you think they are doing.
If they are just sneaking a bit of power from Vecna's pocket, cool. That wouldn't require Evil. But is that what's happening? Suppose it works like this:
I want to cast a spell, and I need that power to be power that a deity is currently giving out. That means that at the very moment of my spellcasting, I am looking for a deity performing a minor miracle, with a small chance that that miracle fails. Maybe some undead somewhere isn't turned by Pelor. Maybe someone's disease is not cured. If I take my time I could pick and choose - but then, I'd have to spend much longer to cast a spell (and be a different/mechanically inferior prestige class).

If that's what is going on, they'd have to be evil.

AstralFire
2009-07-24, 11:17 AM
You cited Bard/Paladin specifically in the same breath as Ur-Priest.

I'm having a really hard buying the idea that Ur-Priests were given that alignment to prevent them from being comboed with VoP, given that the two were released in two different book series entirely, and no such thought was put into Persistent + Divine Metamagic, which were at least in the same series of books. And seriously, VoP? I'd have an easier time buying that it was meant to prevent being comboed with the Church Inquisitor, which isn't a particularly strong PrC (and is probably worse than sticking with Ur-Priest), but is in the same book at least.

Moreover, your declaration that they should 'stop complaining' about a rule they are trying to understand makes absolutely no sense in a game whose most striking asset is the fact that its community is a confederation of loosely aligned groups who pick and choose and alter what they like. If they cannot ascertain a good and logical reason for why things are the way they are, it makes it easier to rationalize a change than "just 'cause."

Callos_DeTerran
2009-07-24, 11:24 AM
The imagery of ur-priests is "doesn't like gods, steals power from the gods for whatever purposes".

In a world where evil gods are as prominent and proven as good gods, surely there's room for non-evil ur-priests. Indeed, if they stole power from the evil gods - thereby weakening evil - and then used it to do good deeds - thereby strengthening good - they've on both counts got an argument for being Good, never mind Neutral.

I appreciate it came in the Book of Vile Darkness as a divine caster for the evil, deicidal Vasharans - but that just means Vasharan ur-priests are Evil, not all ur-priests.

Why does this sound like more of asking for reasons why the Ur-priest doesn't have to be evil so you can convince your DM to let you play it? :smallannoyed:

The small of the matter is the Ur-priests do not, or cannot, discriminate about which gods they steal divine power from. You can make up all the fancy reasons you want about stealing from evil gods, but the very first time you cast Holy Word, your reasoning goes out the window like months old cheese. Which would restrict you to evil spells and Evil spells. Which eventually turns you evil anyway.

Remeber what it says? They siphon off a little power so deities don't notice that it is missing, but to get that small of energy and from multiple deities your looking at several. Several that may or may not be good or neutral. And for whatever reasoning, stealing the power from gods is a bad thing. Even the evil ones. Just accept it, make an Evil Extremist Ur-priest, and get on with your lives.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-24, 11:27 AM
As these are core classes, that goes to the "original intent" of alignment restrictions. Later combinations are where game balance limitations come in.

Actually, I don't think that's really the case; the paladin and monk anti-multiclassing codes were supposed to do the same thing originally, and yet they have feats and PrCs that allow paladins and monks to multiclass freely (and I believe I recall seeing a monk/ex-barbarian or ex-monk/barbarian feat somewhere, though I'm not sure). If you look at BoVD and BoED, many of the mechanics in there are quite powerful, yet they tend to be "equal opposite" classes (like the Anointed Knight and Warrior of Darkness, for instance) and so limiting someone alignment-wise doesn't really restrict their access to all the powerful material.


And for whatever reasoning, stealing the power from gods is a bad thing. Even the evil ones.

Well, given D&D's alignment system, doing something that harms evil is a good act by definition, the same way casting a [Evil] spells repeatedly will turn you to evil even if you're summoning demons to do field work or using deathwatch to find survivors on a battlefield.

SilverClawShift
2009-07-24, 11:32 AM
Why does this sound like more of asking for reasons why the Ur-priest doesn't have to be evil so you can convince your DM to let you play it? :smallannoyed:

Why are you emotionally invested in a strangers gaming experience?

Chill.

AstralFire
2009-07-24, 11:34 AM
There's a blurry line between making a strange concept that doesn't fit a campaign and making a strange concept that broadens a campaign. Some people see all attempts from both sides as one or the other.

Random832
2009-07-24, 11:41 AM
The small of the matter is the Ur-priests do not, or cannot, discriminate about which gods they steal divine power from. You can make up all the fancy reasons you want about stealing from evil gods, but the very first time you cast Holy Word, your reasoning goes out the window like months old cheese. Which would restrict you to evil spells and Evil spells.

_Unless_ you interpret the fluff as being that there is no difference between raw divine energy from one god or another, it's just in how they use it.

If you had to steal a specific spell that was being cast at this moment, as someone said above, then shouldn't they have a spell failure chance (because no-one's using that kind of energy at that exact moment)? Since they don't, obviously that's not the case.

tldr: Why can't you cast Holy Word with power stolen from an Evil god? Power is power.

Or, less extremely, even if you're restricted to evil spells, it certainly wouldn't be the only class to use evil stuff to try to do good. (*cough* Malconvoker *cough* nonevil alignment requirement *cough*)

Oslecamo
2009-07-24, 11:43 AM
The thing to remember about PrCs is that they aren't just a set of class features, they also represent groups, philosophies, and organisations. Alignment restrictions on PrCs are generally there to show that you have to be X alignment for these guys to accept you, and vice versa.


This. It was the ur-priest cult wich discovered how to steal power from the gods, so if you want their special tecqniques you gotta perform all the special evil rituals they created. Sure there must be some nonevil way of attaining that, but nobody discovered it yet.

AstralFire
2009-07-24, 11:45 AM
This is probably the best answer, as you have both the adaptation section prefacing the game rules that gives suggestions for likely non-evil usages and the prerequisite section that details a need for induction by a previous member of the order.

Riffington
2009-07-24, 11:58 AM
If you had to steal a specific spell that was being cast at this moment, as someone said above, then shouldn't they have a spell failure chance (because no-one's using that kind of energy at that exact moment)? Since they don't, obviously that's not the case.

Well, obviously you don't have to steal the same spell as you are casting. But perhaps you have to steal energy that is being used, for whatever purpose. There's always some divine activity or other going on, for holy or unholy purposes. And if you aren't going to get caught quickly, you need to take a little here and a little there.


it certainly wouldn't be the only class to use evil stuff to try to do good. (*cough* Malconvoker *cough* nonevil alignment requirement *cough*)
Try being the operative word ;)

Duke of URL
2009-07-24, 12:12 PM
The thing to remember about PrCs is that they aren't just a set of class features, they also represent groups, philosophies, and organisations. Alignment restrictions on PrCs are generally there to show that you have to be X alignment for these guys to accept you, and vice versa.

It's the same way that the Assassin PrC has an Evil prerequisite. It's not that being sneaky necessarily makes you evil, because you can have Good-aligned rogues. It's not that killing things necessarily makes you evil, because you can have Good-aligned fighters. It's that the PrC is explicitly designed to represent membership in an "assassin's guild" type organisation that commits murders for fun and profit. Presumably Ur-Priest is similar; disliking the gods isn't an evil act, but the sort of things Ur-Priests do are.

Hence why I often make the assertion that game mechanics need to be kept separate from "fluff" concerns. This is not meant to discount the "fluff" -- far from it. The "fluff" represents how the mechanic should be used in the default setting assumed by the mechanics, and illustrate the concept behind the mechanics.

But nevertheless, the groups, philosophies, and organizations that you refer to are setting information, not mechanical information. As with any other setting information, you should feel to replace any setting-specific restrictions with restrictions (or lack thereof) based on your own setting. This is the DM's job, of course, and (s)he needs to ensure that any changes made make sense within the structures of the setting (s)he is working in.

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-07-24, 12:14 PM
That cheeses me off too! Why the hell can't a malconvoker be evil? Who here doesn't find the idea of a villianous magnificent bastard, who attempts to screw over greater evils to serve his lesser evil desires, to be a wonderful concept? As either a PC, or a BBEG, I'd happily welcome such a character into a game I was in.

In any case, much like any other stupid limits placed on classes, I hand wave alignment. The way I see it, WotC wants players to do what they are while I feel that characters are what they do.

Saph
2009-07-24, 12:19 PM
Hence why I often make the assertion that game mechanics need to be kept separate from "fluff" concerns. This is not meant to discount the "fluff" -- far from it. The "fluff" represents how the mechanic should be used in the default setting assumed by the mechanics, and illustrate the concept behind the mechanics.

But that isn't how 3.5 works. One of the main things prestige classes were designed to represent was organisations. Just look at the 3.5 DMG's section on the subject. So if you try to run mechanics as being separate from fluff, you'll run into problems.

Anyway, I don't see anything particularly bad with having gameworld or alignment restrictions on classes. It makes them more interesting than if they're just disconnected sets of class features.

- Saph

Oslecamo
2009-07-24, 12:19 PM
Hence why I often make the assertion that game mechanics need to be kept separate from "fluff" concerns. This is not meant to discount the "fluff" -- far from it. The "fluff" represents how the mechanic should be used in the default setting assumed by the mechanics, and illustrate the concept behind the mechanics.


D&D before 4e doesn't worck that way.

Take the mineral warrior template for example. It's considered very powerfull because of DR 10/adamantium for LA+1 plus several other bonuses.

However it's a template from a seting where enemies with adamantium weapons are actually quite common, balancing it out.

Now the Ur-Priests are not even seting specific. They either exist in your campaign world, in wich case they're evil, or they don't exist, in wich case there's no way you can unlock their powers.

The entire cleric class is completely based on that. An evil cleric can cast spells that a good cleric can't and vice versa, and the same for lawfull and chaotic clerics. Diferent gods grant diferent domains, ect, ect.

Like Saph pointed out, if the evil and good clerics both are shooting exactly the same spells at each other, just with diferent pictures, then what's exactly the diference between good and evil?

Alignments being actual forces you can control and wield is inherent to D&D 3.5.

AstralFire
2009-07-24, 12:21 PM
The problem was the PrC as a mechanical enabling of a distinct concept and a PrC as a prestigious, flavorful variant of a major class was largely conflated due to how bad the 3.x multiclassing system was at doing much with the base classes.

MickJay
2009-07-24, 12:21 PM
Well, given D&D's alignment system, doing something that harms evil is a good act by definition, the same way casting a [Evil] spells repeatedly will turn you to evil even if you're summoning demons to do field work or using deathwatch to find survivors on a battlefield.

It's been pointed out from time to time that if this was the case, then the participants of the Blood War would eventually become neutral. Instead you have 2 evil sides which battle each other and don't get any "better" because of it.

Oslecamo
2009-07-24, 12:25 PM
It's been pointed out from time to time that if this was the case, then the participants of the Blood War would eventually become neutral. Instead you have 2 evil sides which battle each other and don't get any "better" because of it.

That's because demons and devils still find plenty of time to go out there corrupt mortals and slaughter celestials for fun and profit. The blood war only takes a small amount of their resources actually. Only one layer of the 9 hells is busy fighting it after all, the others are too busy scheming and ploting to increase their own power, while the abyss, well, is the abyss.

The blood war is nothing more than a grandeous scheme controled by the demon princes and devil lords to weed out the weack in their own factions and strenghten the others, untill they are ready to take down the heavens.

Duke of URL
2009-07-24, 12:29 PM
D&D before 4e doesn't worck that way.


But that isn't how 3.5 works.

I never said WotC did it right. My intent was quite the contrary, actually. Go no further than the Book of Exalted Deeds for proof.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-24, 01:16 PM
That's because demons and devils still find plenty of time to go out there corrupt mortals and slaughter celestials for fun and profit.

Exactly. If devils and demons did nothing but fight the Blood War 24/7, they'd tend towards neutrality, but they get rotated out often enough to corrupt mortals, slaughter people, and otherwise go wild with evil stuff that they remain firmly with Team Evil.

DragoonWraith
2009-07-24, 01:27 PM
Also, presumably, though they are damaging or weakening the opposite Lower Plane, they are simultaneously improving their own side's standing more so, so the overall effect is improving and strengthening Evil, even if it is a step backward to take two steps forward.

Random832
2009-07-24, 01:39 PM
It's been pointed out from time to time that if this was the case, then the participants of the Blood War would eventually become neutral. Instead you have 2 evil sides which battle each other and don't get any "better" because of it.

So explain how Malconvokers can be non-evil (mechanically they must be non-evil)

Riffington
2009-07-24, 03:14 PM
So explain how Malconvokers can be non-evil (mechanically they must be non-evil)

They are doing a few mildly evil acts (consorting with a demon) and a few good acts (saving innocents). While they are Malconvokers, those good acts more than balance the evil ones. Eventually, with every Malconvoker who lives long enough, the corrupting influence of the diabolic intelligences will turn him evil. At that point, he ceases to be a Malconvoker, and [retrains as a warlock or blackguard//is made an undead minion//is murdered and his soul taken]

Devils_Advocate
2009-07-24, 05:07 PM
So, Ur-priest have to be Evil because Ur-priests will only train Evil people, apparently. For some reason.


I want to cast a spell, and I need that power to be power that a deity is currently giving out. That means that at the very moment of my spellcasting, I am looking for a deity performing a minor miracle, with a small chance that that miracle fails. Maybe some undead somewhere isn't turned by Pelor. Maybe someone's disease is not cured. If I take my time I could pick and choose - but then, I'd have to spend much longer to cast a spell (and be a different/mechanically inferior prestige class).

If that's what is going on, they'd have to be evil.
I don't see why. The gods of D&D are not Good as a whole. You'd be as likely to interrupt an Evil miracle as a Good one.


The problem was the PrC as a mechanical enabling of a distinct concept and a PrC as a prestigious, flavorful variant of a major class was largely conflated due to how bad the 3.x multiclassing system was at doing much with the base classes.
How does Ur-Priest fulfill any role that a Cleric of Misotheism doesn't fill far less cheesily? You can go ahead and include the "steals divine power" fluff, I still don't see how it requires a different class than Cleric.


And for whatever reasoning, stealing the power from gods is a bad thing. Even the evil ones. Just accept it, make an Evil Extremist Ur-priest, and get on with your lives.
No, thank you. And please don't tell everyone else what to do.


They are doing a few mildly evil acts (consorting with a demon)
What makes consorting with a demon evil?

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-07-24, 05:12 PM
What makes consorting with a demon evil?

Because it's so good that... it has to be bad for you? :smallconfused:

-man, that makes Incubi/Succubi all the more awesome doesn't it? :smalltongue:

hamishspence
2009-07-24, 05:20 PM
BoVD's "allowing a fiend to exist, let alone cooperating with one, is clearly evil" is perhaps not very viable for some settings. In places like Sigil, Fiends interact peacefully with celestials- if you are a paladin and you meet a fiend shopkeeper or trader, you may need to "associate with them" for short periods.

D&D fiction also doesn't take this extreme position- a paladin teams up with an army of demons to help rescue two kidnapped deities (one good, one evil) in Tymora's Luck by Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak.

Then there is the Savage Tide Dungeon adventure, where the party need to enlist both fiends and celestials into the fight against Demogorgon.

So, "associating with fiends" is perhaps not as evil in practice as BoVD portrays it.

one prestige class in Tome of Magic, while nongood, can be Neutral, and has a fiend as a companion. So, there is some support for the concept of "nonevil guy who utilizes fiends"

Lamech
2009-07-24, 05:25 PM
First off casting evil spells is NOT an evil act. It says that no where. (Its fairly strongly implied in the fiendish codex II, but I think it really clashes with core so I ignore it.)
Anyway, I would say that non-evil Ur-priests are not allowed to use spells with the (good) descriptor. I guess I would also say they have to be more discriminating with the stealing so spell prep is longer. Finally, I would say that the Ur-Priests in the campaign are pretty much all evil, and therefore will need to be forcibly made to teach you everything.

hamishspence
2009-07-24, 05:34 PM
In what way does FC2 "clash with core" ?

BoVD states "casting evil spells leads to corruption" though a nonevil caster can "get away with" casting "a few" evil spells as long as its done for "a good purpose".

Some of its comments match BoVD and BoED- (evil spells, torture, etc) so, if anything, it doesn't clash with the sourcebooks that provide the most detail on what is and what isn't an evil act.

The whole "enough evil acts send you to Baator regardless of your alignment" theme is a bit more unusual.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-24, 05:45 PM
First off casting evil spells is NOT an evil act. It says that no where. (Its fairly strongly implied in the fiendish codex II, but I think it really clashes with core so I ignore it.)

One book (maybe one of the Codices, I forget which) has a quote something along the lines of "Divine casters cannot cast spells with a descriptor opposed to their alignment. Arcane casters can cast spells with opposed alignment descriptors, but repeated use of such spells will tend to shift their alignment accordingly." I use that rule in my games, though I frequently disagree with the spell descriptions as to what constitutes an "evil" spell (such as that creation of undead is evil and deathwatch is evil and so on).


Anyway, I would say that non-evil Ur-priests are not allowed to use spells with the (good) descriptor. I guess I would also say they have to be more discriminating with the stealing so spell prep is longer. Finally, I would say that the Ur-Priests in the campaign are pretty much all evil, and therefore will need to be forcibly made to teach you everything.

Why? Why would good ur-priests be any weaker, and why would all ur-priests be evil?

hamishspence
2009-07-24, 05:49 PM
given repeated inclusion of Deathwatch on the spell lists of classes and PRCs that "must be good" (Healer from Miniatures Handbook, Slayer of Domiel from BoED) I treat it as a rules bug, and remove evil descriptor.

Also, while Clerics and Druids have it clearly stated that they simply cannot cast spells of an alignment opposed to theirs, I can't find a similar statement for most of the other divine casters-

favored soul, archivist, shugenja, spirit shaman.

kamikasei
2009-07-24, 05:55 PM
So, Ur-priest have to be Evil because Ur-priests will only train Evil people, apparently. For some reason.

The basic problem I have with reasoning like this (even if it is in fact what was in the minds of the authors) is that it's an unwarranted intrusion of setting into the rulebooks. One could just as easily say that the Arcane Order is a cabal of evil mages and that therefore Mage of the Arcane Order requires an evil alignment to enter. The concept of the MotAO PrC is that of a member of a thaumaturgical society - that's built in to the mechanics of the class; but the nature, goals, and morals of that society should be entirely open. For the Ur-Priest, which doesn't inherently require an organization in the first place, to be restricted based on the standards of group membership is just a waste of space in the books.

paddyfool
2009-07-24, 06:04 PM
Strangely, all of this makes me want to imagine a setting with only heartless bastard-style evil gods (who, say, slaughtered the good, most neutral, and any foolishly uncooperative evil gods linked to the plane in question). In such a setting, one of the leading hopes for mortals of fighting back might lie with a sect of Ur-priests. Alongside, perhaps, the odd epic-level arcane spellcaster here, druid there etc.

Let's imagine a pantheon that might, somehow, run such a plane:

Supreme deity: LE tyrannical type who put together an alliance to destroy the other gods because they wouldn't respect his authority. Wants the whole world to bow to him, or be smote heavily, other gods included.

Other major deities:
- A NE-style undead themed deity whose tasks include guarding the husks of the slaughtered good gods, and whose clerics marshall ever-increasing hordes of the undead in areas under his dominion.

- A CE-style master manipulator who may have been the brains behind the whole thing all along, and who has put the world to a state where she can just watch it go to hell, literally, and play with people on the way there.

etc.


Out of curiosity, how exactly do Ur-priests hide from the gods? You'd think they'd be noticed soon enough...

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-24, 06:05 PM
Because Ur-priest is a title, not a job gosh darn-it! *shakes fist*
Back when I was your age, we didn't have your new fangled equal leveling. Exp to level was based off power, and we didn't have your fancy artifacts, we just had fly spells, and we would have to use them both ways!
And back when I was your age we didn't have this sissy gravity you kids have, our gravity was manly! And it had a job! Now get a hair cut!

Anyway, The one thing you have to remember about PrCs, is that they're not just a set of abilities, they're a title. When you're an Ur-priest, people are supposed to know it, and fear it. An Assassin is an Assassin because he/she/mindflayer gender joined the assassin's guild or whatever.
An Ur-Priest is evil because they're an Ur-priest. They have an evil agenda, and you have to be evil to join their ranks.

hamishspence
2009-07-24, 06:06 PM
Yes- that is a bit tricky, what with the divine sensing ability the gods have.

Even if they cannot locate the ur-priest from the power drain, they can sense anything near one of their shrines.

The Athar in Planescape (and Planar Handbook) are very similar, and they are not "Evil by definition" the difference being, possibly, how they express the way they "despise the gods".

Devils_Advocate
2009-07-24, 06:07 PM
The thing is, the best way to deal with Ur-priest isn't to remove its alignment restriction. The best way to deal with U-priest is to ban it.


The whole "enough evil acts send you to Baator regardless of your alignment" theme is a bit more unusual.
I think that you have to commit enough Evil acts from a specific list and enough Lawful acts from another specific list. Anyway, what's the part that clashes with core. In the core cosmology, you go to the Outer Plane of your patron deity or else one that matches your alignment, correct?

The Rose Dragon
2009-07-24, 06:09 PM
I think that you have to commit enough Evil acts from a specific list and enough Lawful acts from another specific list. Anyway, what's the part that clashes with core. In the core cosmology, you go to the Outer Plane of your patron deity or else one that matches your alignment, correct?

Actually, you commit enough Evil acts (two murders) and be Lawful. So most paladins are going to hell when they die (may depend on your definition of murder).

Lamech
2009-07-24, 06:10 PM
Why? Why would good ur-priests be any weaker, and why would all ur-priests be evil?An evil ur priest can steal from good, neutral, and evil gods so they can get spells with both the evil and good spell descriptor. Now stealing something from a good god would be assumed to be an evil act, so a character that as a matter of course steals from good gods would become evil. So they like an evil cleric, they are drawing power from an evil god so I would give them the restriction of "no good spells". Also they can't steal from just any god so they have to pick and choose, meaning it will take more time. Hence longer spell prep.

The all Ur-Priests are evil is because the book says they are all evil. So I would probably say that "this class in my campaign is composed of all most entirely of evil people." This would be for a variety of reason. The rituals to steal power were first developed by evil people and only shared with other evil people who shared the same disdain for the divine. Stealing makes good people hesitate as a reflex. Of course, its really just a setting thing so it can be changed at will.

Yora
2009-07-24, 06:12 PM
The concept of stealing power from the gods seems rather pointless if you're playing in a campaign that has clerics that draw their magic from cosmic principles.

kamikasei
2009-07-24, 06:13 PM
Anyway, The one thing you have to remember about PrCs, is that they're not just a set of abilities, they're a title. ... An Assassin is an Assassin because he/she/mindflayer gender joined the assassin's guild or whatever.

Thing is, that simply doesn't hold. All Duelists are not members of the Duelist's Club. Mystic Theurges of different deities are not somehow kindred. Some PrCs, such as the Eldritch Theurge or Enlightened Disciple, are assumed to be part of individual journeys of personal discovery.

Some PrCs are built around the idea of membership in some group. Most, however, are just a set of mechanical abilities, and can/should be used to help assemble a mechanical build to reflect a wide range of different flavour concepts. It makes sense that a Mage of the Arcane Order or a Knight of the Sacred Seal has to have a group affiliation. It doesn't make sense that a Duelist, Assassin, Mystic Theurge or Ur-Priest should.

hamishspence
2009-07-24, 06:13 PM
I think its "if you are evil but not lawful, you must have committed enough Lawful acts to get sent there" and

"if you are lawful, but not necessarily evil, you must have committed enough Evil acts to be sent there.

And if you are neither? Not sure. Maybe committing enough of both will send you there anyway.

In core, I think its "deity (if close enough) then alignment". A NE worshipper of Pelor wouldn't get to Elysium merely because Pelor is patron deity, but a LG or CG cleric would, despite not matching alignment of plane.

Possibly because clerics and other divine casters get that special exemption- a plain LG or CG worshipper might not get in, I'm not sure.

hamishspence
2009-07-24, 06:15 PM
Actually, you commit enough Evil acts (two murders) and be Lawful. So most paladins are going to hell when they die (may depend on your definition of murder).

Only if players play paladin as killing Evil beings without just cause. Played right, a paladin's killings shouldn't fit the category of murder.

The Rose Dragon
2009-07-24, 06:17 PM
Only if players play paladin as killing Evil beings without just cause. Played right, a paladin's killings shouldn't fit the category of murder.

Like I said, depends on your definition of murder.

Oslecamo
2009-07-24, 06:19 PM
It makes sense that a Mage of the Arcane Order or a Knight of the Sacred Seal has to have a group affiliation. It doesn't make sense that a Duelist, Assassin, Mystic Theurge or Ur-Priest should.

Says who? One of the requisites of the assassin is precisely to murder someone just to join their guild.

An assassin isn't any killer. He's a professional killer. But there happen to exist many assassin guilds, so it's not specific to a particular name.

hamishspence
2009-07-24, 06:22 PM
BoVD says: killing "for nefarious reasons" is murder- which is not very helpful.

Modern legal standards, as applied to police snipers, soldiers, FBI agents, etc might be a good place to start- these are closer to D&D adventurers than ordinary civilians might be.

These may kill in defense of others, and self, or as part of crime-fighting, and its not deemed murder. But they tend to be held to standards- threats must be real and serious. Shooting a fleeing pickpocket is murder, even if you are entitled to "use lethal force under certain circmstances".

kamikasei
2009-07-24, 06:31 PM
Says who? One of the requisites of the assassin is precisely to murder someone just to join their guild.

I get the feeling this discussion is going around in circles, in part because people are replying to "why do the books say this?" with "because it's what's in the books...".

The abilities that assassins get fit an assassin. They fit someone who kills stealthily for profit (using magic too... so, okay, it's not as general as it could be). No feature of the class screams out, "this is here because the character is a member of an organization". A freelance assassin would benefit just as well from the PrC as a guild operative and none of the mechanical abilities it grants would need to be reflavoured or given alternate justifications.

Now obviously, the class as written in the books says "you are a member of a guild". My point is that if you take that line out the class requires no other modifications to remain exactly as usable. Assassin is an example of a PrC which the books present as tied to certain fluff that is in fact totally unnecessary.

Some other PrCs are not tied to any such fluff (Duelist); some clearly work better without it (Enlightened Disciple); some are much more strongly tied to the fluff such that reworking them to not be part of an organization requires actual changes, reflavouring, and rejustification besides just leaving out the "oh yeah, you're in a secret society" line from the description. My point is twofold: one, it's clearly false to say that all PrCs reflect in-game organizations identifiable as such, and two, given this it's reasonable to peg the Ur-Priest as a class which doesn't inherently require you to be part of an organization - it's one of the ones where you can drop that single line from the class description and have a perfectly functional freelancer.

Omegonthesane
2009-07-24, 06:42 PM
An evil ur priest can steal from good, neutral, and evil gods so they can get spells with both the evil and good spell descriptor. Now stealing something from a good god would be assumed to be an evil act, so a character that as a matter of course steals from good gods would become evil. So they like an evil cleric, they are drawing power from an evil god so I would give them the restriction of "no good spells". Also they can't steal from just any god so they have to pick and choose, meaning it will take more time. Hence longer spell prep.
Erm, Ur-Priests do not steal spells. They steal pure power, which they convert into spells. With that in mind, give me a convincing reason why my hypothetical NG ur-priest couldn't nab two 1st level spell slots from Erythnul and use them to cast Protection from Evil and Protection from Chaos.


The all Ur-Priests are evil is because the book says they are all evil.
This is exactly the point I am challenging. There has to be fluff reason why the book says they are evil - not fluff derived from the fact that the book says they are evil. As well start making up silly justifications for how deathwatch is [evil] even though Slayer of Domiel, who falls if they do a single evil thing, has it as a class spell.

Indeed, the idea of an [Evil] conspiracy of ur-priests is directly at odds with the flavour - Vasharans possibly aside, they rarely team up for fear of a deity noticing them all in one place...


Says who? One of the requisites of the assassin is precisely to murder someone just to join their guild.

An assassin isn't any killer. He's a professional killer. But there happen to exist many assassin guilds, so it's not specific to a particular name.

However, the mechanical abilities of the Assassin PrC are perfectly suited to someone who goes and assassinates fiends and evil creatures when all other options are exhausted. Mind you, this is kinda why Slayer of Domiel was invented, but that's LG-only rather than allowing for all non-evil applications of the assassin's Death Attack and Poison Use.

Blue Ghost
2009-07-24, 07:00 PM
According to the DMG, prestige classes were originally intended to give flavor to a setting. So in the default setting, the Ur-Priest was probably meant as a member of an evil organization. Of course, I see no reason why that has to be the case in a homebrewed setting.

Alternatively, it could be that stealing from good gods is such an evil act that there is no way to balance it out. I don't have any evidence for this, but it's a possible interpretation.

paddyfool
2009-07-24, 07:20 PM
Or that stealing from gods full stop tends to put the balance out of whack, leading inevitably to destruction... or something.

Again, like pretty much all alignment restrictions, I'd view this as more of a guideline than an absolute rule (Paladins being one of the few exceptions).

I still like the idea of the context of this class in a setting with entirely malevolent gods. To avoid it being too hellscape or Cthulhu-esque, I reckon they'd have to have taken over relatively recently, and perhaps be tired and wounded from whatever they did to wipe out the good gods, and those neutral gods with a desire to preserve the balance. And in such a setting, the (good-aligned) mortal races, with their clerics etc. suddenly deprived of power, might somehow end up largely at war with said gods. In such a context, ur-priests might either be ex-clerics employing previously forbidden and sealed-away knowledge to directly weaken the gods themselves... or a previously spurned sect suddenly sought out as a weapon. Interesting, no?

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-24, 07:22 PM
Thing is, that simply doesn't hold. All Duelists are not members of the Duelist's Club. Mystic Theurges of different deities are not somehow kindred. Some PrCs, such as the Eldritch Theurge or Enlightened Disciple, are assumed to be part of individual journeys of personal discovery.

Some PrCs are built around the idea of membership in some group. Most, however, are just a set of mechanical abilities, and can/should be used to help assemble a mechanical build to reflect a wide range of different flavour concepts. It makes sense that a Mage of the Arcane Order or a Knight of the Sacred Seal has to have a group affiliation. It doesn't make sense that a Duelist, Assassin, Mystic Theurge or Ur-Priest should.
Then some are simply because they are, but you wouldn't run around as a Mystic Theurge calling yourself a Wizard.
One thing yuh gotta remember is the tone Ur-priest is set in.
It's from the BoVD last I checked, a book filled with supplements for evil characters. Why in Odin's name would you go in there and want to use something for a good character?

Blue Ghost
2009-07-24, 07:25 PM
One thing yuh gotta remember is the tone Ur-priest is set in.
It's from the BoVD last I checked, a book filled with supplements for evil characters. Why in Odin's name would you go in there and want to use something for a good character?

Ur-Priest was reprinted in Complete Divine, which I'm sure many people go to for material for good divine casters.

Omegonthesane
2009-07-24, 07:29 PM
Then some are simply because they are, but you wouldn't run around as a Mystic Theurge calling yourself a Wizard.
One thing yuh gotta remember is the tone Ur-priest is set in.
It's from the BoVD last I checked, a book filled with supplements for evil characters. Why in Odin's name would you go in there and want to use something for a good character?
The presence of Ur-Priest in BoVD does not in any way indictate evilness of the class. What it does indicate is that in the default setting the first ur-priests were Vasharans - humans mark one, filled with evil and famously sacrilegious to the point of attempting deicide with their very first weapon. Vasharans need divine magic, but will never serve gods, so ur-priests were born. Vasharans happen to be Always Evil. But that still doesn't mean "Ur-Priest = Evil", just that "First Ur-Priest = Vasharan".

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-24, 07:39 PM
Ur-Priest was reprinted in Complete Divine, which I'm sure many people go to for material for good divine casters.

Ah, good stuff then. Only reason I got the ComD was for the Gauntlets of the Blood Lord. Not very good for their cost, but still fun.


The presence of Ur-Priest in BoVD does not in any way indictate evilness of the class. What it does indicate is that in the default setting the first ur-priests were Vasharans - humans mark one, filled with evil and famously sacrilegious to the point of attempting deicide with their very first weapon. Vasharans need divine magic, but will never serve gods, so ur-priests were born. Vasharans happen to be Always Evil. But that still doesn't mean "Ur-Priest = Evil", just that "First Ur-Priest = Vasharan".
No, but shows intent. If they were made for Vasharans, they were made with the intent to be used by evil PCs.

AstralFire
2009-07-24, 07:54 PM
How does Ur-Priest fulfill any role that a Cleric of Misotheism doesn't fill far less cheesily? You can go ahead and include the "steals divine power" fluff, I still don't see how it requires a different class than Cleric.

I don't know if you could say that it's 'far less' cheesy, though the Ur-Priest is certainly in a high class of power by itself. And paring away all of its flavor, the Ur-Priest is one of those classes which represents late entry into divine spellcasting, with an accelerated power track to make up for it, since generally it's hard to use most of your prior class features at the same time as an Ur-Priest class feature - it notably requires some build monkeying to actually get any real use out of being both an arcane and a divine caster, for example.

Riffington
2009-07-24, 09:41 PM
I don't see why. The gods of D&D are not Good as a whole. You'd be as likely to interrupt an Evil miracle as a Good one.

Maybe, but the world relies on the Good and Evil miracles to run properly. Interrupting a Good miracle is like punching someone in the dark. Interrupting a random Evil miracle is like freeing a random lab's rats. Maybe you've saved something from suffering, and maybe you've just introduced murine encephalopathy into the forest. Actually, a better analogy would be that my government does evil and good, but I still oughtn't to steal random pieces of government mail without first figuring out what information or processes I'm fudging up.



What makes consorting with a demon evil?
The fact that they are consorting with you for the very purpose of corrupting your soul and turning it to evil, and they have a few millennia of experience doing it, and you have a duty to keep your soul free of evil that such dealings violate.

Lamech
2009-07-24, 10:19 PM
Erm, Ur-Priests do not steal spells. They steal pure power, which they convert into spells. With that in mind, give me a convincing reason why my hypothetical NG ur-priest couldn't nab two 1st level spell slots from Erythnul and use them to cast Protection from Evil and Protection from Chaos.So Erythnul's power is evil power 'cause he is an evil diety. To throw your question back at you, why couldn't a cleric of Erythnul cast pro evil if he's going up against a Malconvoker? I'm saying that they suffer the same restrictions because the power the diety has is unusable for [good] spells. You could use differant fluff, and not have my restrictions.



This is exactly the point I am challenging. There has to be fluff reason why the book says they are evil - not fluff derived from the fact that the book says they are evil. As well start making up silly justifications for how deathwatch is [evil] even though Slayer of Domiel, who falls if they do a single evil thing, has it as a class spell.
One [evil] spells are not evil acts, so I'm not sure what you mean by your last line. I always just assumed that [evil] spells incorperated some "raw" evil, and [good] used some "raw" good. (Although it wouldn't be raw after being placed in the spell.)


Indeed, the idea of an [Evil] conspiracy of ur-priests is directly at odds with the flavour - Vasharans possibly aside, they rarely team up for fear of a deity noticing them all in one place...Well vasharans were the inventors right? Perhaps they are the main source of Ur-Priest training, and they only give it out to people who share there views, and so on and so forth. So most Ur-Priests are evil. Then good people hear that Ur-Priests are a thieving evil bunch (they mostly are), so a propaganda campaign starts, that Ur-Priests are evil. So very few good people seek out Ur-Priest magic.

Again this is fluff and it can be easily changed opening the class to all. (In fact assuming evil dieties arn't free to smite whomever they want, I can see a school for Ur-Priests who steal from evil dieties.) Also I the only thing I know about the Vasharans is what I read this thread.

Omegonthesane
2009-07-25, 01:40 AM
No, but shows intent. If they were made for Vasharans, they were made with the intent to be used by evil PCs.

Yeah... Gimme a better reason than WotC's intent for something to be true, please. Given how they borked 3.5 - as proven by there being a 5-tier system of classes at all.


So Erythnul's power is evil power 'cause he is an evil diety. To throw your question back at you, why couldn't a cleric of Erythnul cast pro evil if he's going up against a Malconvoker? I'm saying that they suffer the same restrictions because the power the diety has is unusable for [good] spells. You could use differant fluff, and not have my restrictions.
A cleric of Erythnul COULD cast Pro Evil against a Malconvoker, actually. He'd just have to be a CN cleric of Erythnul. By RAW, it's the cleric's own alignment that bars alignment-related spells, not the alignment of their god.

The overall feeling I'm getting is that there's no compelling fluff reason for Ur-Priests to be evil. It's not like they rape puppies to reload their spells per day or anything.


Well vasharans were the inventors right? Perhaps they are the main source of Ur-Priest training, and they only give it out to people who share there views, and so on and so forth. So most Ur-Priests are evil. Then good people hear that Ur-Priests are a thieving evil bunch (they mostly are), so a propaganda campaign starts, that Ur-Priests are evil. So very few good people seek out Ur-Priest magic.
Once, there was this Vasharan guy, who was born Chaotic Neutral. He lost his bonus Vile feat for level 1, because he was not Evil, but he was otherwise a Vasharan right down to the deicidal urges. He enrolled in the college of Ur-Priests, and then was exiled for reasons related to his CN alignment - he was too strong for them to simply kill and/or killing for alignment reasons is too much like evil gods for the Vasharans to ever consider. After all, their big trait other than "evil" is "we hate gods". The CN ur-priest wandered the world, until a farmer took him in as a farm hand (who says all people with class levels are ambitious?) and he got friendly with the NG son, so friendly that he trusted him with the secrets of the ur-priests. Thus began a secret order hidden from the eyes of a bigoted church, dedicated to stripping the evil gods of power and alleviating the pain caused by their tyranny.

THERE, fluff for Good Ur-Priests. :P

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-25, 02:03 AM
Yeah... Gimme a better reason than WotC's intent for something to be true, please. Given how they borked 3.5 - as proven by there being a 5-tier system of classes at all.


Why? All signs point to it, it's their game, they made it. Who are you to tell them it's bunk?
Why are wizards better than sorcerers? Because that's how they made it.
Why can't paladins normally be bards? Because of how they made it. They wanted it that way.
Why do Ur-priests have to be evil? Because WoTC wanted them to be. In their world, what they do, and their intent is considered evil. That's their perogative, and until you're making a game that sells like hot cakes, you really have no room to tell them they're wrong. If you don't like, "Because Wizards says so" as a reason, than play a different game. You don't like their rules, live with it. But by most of the reasoning I see to most people's complaints as to "why is X evil?", Wizards should have made everything neutral, and then you'd all be quiet.
Wizards kind of knows what they're doing, if they say it's evil in the game, than play it evil. Don't sit there and go, well, why can't it be good? An evil act for a good end is still an evil act.
Ur-priests are evil because they are. And no, that's not just a label as it's a PrC, you don't become an ur-priest by accident, you have to want to be one.

PId6
2009-07-25, 02:21 AM
Why? All signs point to it, it's their game, they made it. Who are you to tell them it's bunk?
The one putting money in their wallets.


If you don't like, "Because Wizards says so" as a reason, than play a different game. You don't like their rules, live with it.
So anyone who has ever complained about fighters being weak or monks being useless should just switch to a different game? Anyone who has ever thought casters are overpowered should shut up and suck it up because Wizards wanted it that way and that's the One True WayTM the game should be? What do you think the point of homebrew is?


But by most of the reasoning I see to most people's complaints as to "why is X evil?", Wizards should have made everything neutral, and then you'd all be quiet.
Well why not? Most class alignment restrictions are stupid and limits roleplaying. Why can't I have a Lawful bard who works as royal herald for the kingdom? Because Wizards said so. Can my homebrewed world have an order of ur-priests dedicated to taking power from Evil gods in order to help the cause of Good? No, because Wizards said so.


Wizards kind of knows what they're doing, if they say it's evil in the game, than play it evil.
"Knowing what they're doing" and "being completely immune to mistakes of any kind and being absolutely right no matter what" are two completely different things. And I don't care what they say, if I want to play a Good ur-priest or a Lawful bard and my DM allows me, then I will play it.


Ur-priests are evil because they are. And no, that's not just a label as it's a PrC, you don't become an ur-priest by accident, you have to want to be one.
What does deliberation have to do with anything? Stealing from Evil gods and turning it to Good means? At the very worst, you can argue that's Chaotic. But there is absolutely no reason why ur-priests must be Evil.

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-25, 02:31 AM
Needlessly long useless yammering.

If it's your intent to homebrew, than homebrew. But it makes you look petty to sit on your computer and whinge about how WoTC are a bunch of morons because they didn't make one minute aspect of the game fluffy enough for you. It makes you sound like the child whinging about how he got a slightly off colored limited edition Cobra Commander figurine.

Oh, and about your money, if you have such a big problem with the product, don't buy next time. Duh.

hamishspence
2009-07-25, 02:35 AM
you can certainly play Lawful bards- the Devoted Performer feat in Complete Adventurer allows this. Plus, even if you change alignment with a normal bard, you still retain all powers, you just don't advance (unless you have said Devoted Performer feat).

PId6
2009-07-25, 02:48 AM
you can certainly play Lawful bards- the Devoted Performer feat in Complete Adventurer allows this. Plus, even if you change alignment with a normal bard, you still retain all powers, you just don't advance (unless you have said Devoted Performer feat).
So I should have to take a feat to correct something the developers overlooked in the first place?

hamishspence
2009-07-25, 02:54 AM
I've no idea why they chose to make bards non-lawful as a rule- possibly because they are portrayed in the game as people who move around a lot- never staying anywhere.

They created the archetypes with limits- and started trimming back on those limits later on. "a good answer right now is preferable to a great answer later"

Were bards limited in any way, alignment-wise, in 2nd ed?

ghost_warlock
2009-07-25, 02:54 AM
So...after 3 pages of discussion, the answer to the question in the OP is "because WotC said so and it makes you look like a petty child to question them."

Hm.

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-25, 02:56 AM
So I should have to take a feat to correct something the developers overlooked in the first place?

Is it an overlook or an option. bards needing to be unlawful is just the way it is, that's the way they wanted it. it's kind of hard to imagine a guy basing his life around scoring with random loose women and starting bar fights as being lawful.

The feat would just designate you as basically being the Bard who manages to go completely beyond that. Seriously, if you're young enough, go down to your local college, wear ripped jeans, sandals, and don't shave for a few days. Sit out on some grassy knoll, and play a guitar for like, thirty minutes. Tell me you'd be able to resist the ladies if you were single.

Seriously, it's just hard to imagine a completely upstanding law abiding bard, being they're typed as generally being the cause of problems.


So...after 3 pages of discussion, the answer to the question in the OP is "because WotC said so and it makes you look like a petty child to question them."

Hm.

The answer is there is none. Why do ur-priests have to be evil? *everyone and their dog shrugs.* Just house rule if you feel otherwise. Whining about it is petty.

hamishspence
2009-07-25, 02:59 AM
as for the whole ur-priest problem- homebrewing a "doesn't have to be evil" is certainly a viable option in "deities are malevolent" settings.

but in the default setting, why they are "always evil" is tricky to explain.

PId6
2009-07-25, 03:12 AM
Is it an overlook or an option.
Looks like a lack of option to me. Not having an alignment restriction would make it an option.


bards needing to be unlawful is just the way it is, that's the way they wanted it. it's kind of hard to imagine a guy basing his life around scoring with random loose women and starting bar fights as being lawful.
This is exactly the problem with it; they're assuming aspects with the fluff that are completely unnecessary and not backed up at all by the mechanics. Why does a bard have to be a traveling minstrel? They have a bunch of music abilities, that's it; they'd be equally suited to be a court performer or a military musician, both of which would lead much more lawful lifestyles.

The alignment restriction limits character options without giving any mechanics to back that up. It'd be different if the bard had an ability called Summon Loose Women or one called Start Bar Fight, but they don't.


The answer is there is none. Why do ur-priests have to be evil? *everyone and their dog shrugs.* Just house rule if you feel otherwise. Whining about it is petty.
I'd appreciate if you don't just call discussing anything "whining", and if you insist, I'll have to ask why you're posting in this thread at all.

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-25, 03:29 AM
Looks like a lack of option to me. Not having an alignment restriction would make it an option.


This is exactly the problem with it; they're assuming aspects with the fluff that are completely unnecessary and not backed up at all by the mechanics. Why does a bard have to be a traveling minstrel? They have a bunch of music abilities, that's it; they'd be equally suited to be a court performer or a military musician, both of which would lead much more lawful lifestyles.

The alignment restriction limits character options without giving any mechanics to back that up. It'd be different if the bard had an ability called Summon Loose Women or one called Start Bar Fight, but they don't.


I'd appreciate if you don't just call discussing anything "whining", and if you insist, I'll have to ask why you're posting in this thread at all.

Subject number one: A traveling minstrel can by all means be lawful. But the qualities that make them a Bard (see what I did there?) are not normally seen in a lawful character. Sure you could just have a "minstrel" or "General artist" class, but he wouldn't have half of the sneakiness, half of the skills, it would almost be different 100%. (Keep in mind, Bards don't always have to be minstrels, that is just the way they are most often portrayed. 3.5 and 4.0 describe them as being artistic in more than just musical fashion. It's just easier to play the fiddle while Rome burns than to paint while an orc smacks you with an axe.)
A minstrel and a Bard are different in the D&D world. A minstrel is a man whom plays music for money, an entertainer.
A bard is an artist, a troublemaker, and a fellow with a tongue sharper than any sword.
It's the characteristics that make them unlawful. It is certainly viable to have a lawful bard likecharacter, but to be a BARD, it's quite difficult to be lawful. (Not impossible, just difficult.)

Subject number 2: "Why is stupid WoTC saying Ur-priests have to be evil" Answer: "Because WoTC is stupid." Is equivalent to whining.

"Why is stupid WoTC saying Ur-priests have to be evil"
Answer: "Because the setting they are introduced in, as well as their basic intent points towards them being geared towards evil characters."
Is discussing. Following up with, "That's not good enough of a reason", is whining because then no reason will be good enough for you. If the intent the creators set out isn't a good enough reason, than no reason will be good enough and at that point you are whining.

PId6
2009-07-25, 03:59 AM
A minstrel and a Bard are different in the D&D world. A minstrel is a man whom plays music for money, an entertainer.
A bard is an artist, a troublemaker, and a fellow with a tongue sharper than any sword.
And why must WotC enforce such a strict limitation on roleplaying for no reason at all? Again, I ask, what part of their class mechanics forces them to be a troublemaker?

A legitimate use of alignment restrictions would be paladin. A paladin gains specific mechanics that target evil creatures (Detect/Smite Evil), hence a good/nonevil limitation would make sense there. A paladin has a code of conduct that must be followed, hence a lawful limitation makes sense. A bard doesn't have any such mechanic, which is why an alignment restriction is completely unnecessary on the class.


Subject number 2: "Why is stupid WoTC saying Ur-priests have to be evil" Answer: "Because WoTC is stupid." Is equivalent to whining.
I have not seen anyone in this thread say "Because WoTC is stupid." I have, however, seen you say it's evil "because that's how they made it." I fail to see how either answer adds much to this discussion.


Answer: "Because the setting they are introduced in, as well as their basic intent points towards them being geared towards evil characters."
They are also introduced in Complete Divine, which is not meant to be setting specific. Since the class does not have any mechanics that are inherently evil, it should be made as general as possible, and be workable under any non-specific setting. It'd be the same as limiting all wizards to evil because in so-and-so setting, all wizards have to worship the God of Ultimate Unholiness.


Is discussing. Following up with, "That's not good enough of a reason", is whining because then no reason will be good enough for you. If the intent the creators set out isn't a good enough reason, than no reason will be good enough and at that point you are whining.
There are plenty of better reasons than "because they said so." Game balance, or to provide consistency with existing mechanics, or to give better roleplaying options. All of these are far better than simple arbitrary intent.

It isn't a good enough reason if the restriction limits roleplaying and adds nothing to the class. Why should we playing fighters the way they are? Because WotC intended it is not enough of an answer. WotC makes plenty of mistakes; you shouldn't accept everything they make as perfect in all ways.

ghost_warlock
2009-07-25, 04:15 AM
Subject number one: A traveling minstrel can by all means be lawful. But the qualities that make them a Bard (see what I did there?) are not normally seen in a lawful character. Sure you could just have a "minstrel" or "General artist" class, but he wouldn't have half of the sneakiness, half of the skills, it would almost be different 100%. (Keep in mind, Bards don't always have to be minstrels, that is just the way they are most often portrayed. 3.5 and 4.0 describe them as being artistic in more than just musical fashion. It's just easier to play the fiddle while Rome burns than to paint while an orc smacks you with an axe.)
A minstrel and a Bard are different in the D&D world. A minstrel is a man whom plays music for money, an entertainer.
A bard is an artist, a troublemaker, and a fellow with a tongue sharper than any sword.
It's the characteristics that make them unlawful. It is certainly viable to have a lawful bard likecharacter, but to be a BARD, it's quite difficult to be lawful. (Not impossible, just difficult.)

So bards can't be lawful for the same reasons that rogues can't be. Wait...

Omegonthesane
2009-07-25, 04:36 AM
So bards can't be lawful for the same reasons that rogues can't be. Wait...

<DEVIL'S ADVOCATE>
The rogue mechanics technically represent spies just as well as thieves. The bard mechanics... whoever heard of a singing spy?
</DEVIL'S ADVOCATE>

The fact that it's "difficult" to be a Bard while being Lawful should not be enough for an alignment restriction. Take Frank & K's Fighter and Barbarian - because fighters are more organised than barbarians, the former tend to be nonchaotic while the latter tend to be nonlawful, but there's no reason to not have exceptions. Or take cielingcat's Sphere-Warlock designed for that set of homebrew:

Warlocks who bargain away their souls for power tend to be Evil, though nothing requires them to be. In fact, demons and devils will jump on the chance to corrupt someone Good to Team Evil, but such instances are rare. People whose power comes from their blood can be any alignment.
The powers they get are all fiendish in source and nature, but there's absolutely no reason why they can't do more good than harm to the point of earning a Good alignment. Mind you, the bit about required alignment for soul-selling is a little iffy; I'd houserule that selling your soul to get Spherelock 1 turns you Evil so you end up in the right evil plane, but without any reason why later divine intervention couldn't change your alignment back.

((Also, there needs to be a Chaos Spherelock as well as a Fiendish Spherelock to completely match the CA Warlock's flavour. But that's on a tangent.))

If all you can say is that it's "really hard" for a given alignment-restricted character to break that restriction in-character, then you say "Any alignment, but here's some fluff text to explain why this class is Usually Evil". In the world with a Succubus PALADIN, just saying "Has to be evil" simply doesn't cut it.

Yora
2009-07-25, 05:01 AM
After all, all prestige classes in any book are merely "suggestions" how to make custom PrCs for your campaign.

Lamech
2009-07-25, 06:48 AM
A cleric of Erythnul COULD cast Pro Evil against a Malconvoker, actually. He'd just have to be a CN cleric of Erythnul. By RAW, it's the cleric's own alignment that bars alignment-related spells, not the alignment of their god.
Err... no? Scroll down too chaotic, lawful, good and lawful spells (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/Classes/cleric.htm) it says "A cleric canít cast spells of an alignment opposed to his own or his deityís (if he has one)." And I'm saying that my fluff would say the good Ur-Priest would effectively have evil deities for his god.



A cleric canít cast spells of an alignment opposed to his own or his deityís (if he has one). Basically no except for the fact that one might not be able to get training unless that person is evil.


Once, there was this Vasharan guy, who was born Chaotic Neutral. He lost his bonus Vile feat for level 1, because he was not Evil, but he was otherwise a Vasharan right down to the deicidal urges. He enrolled in the college of Ur-Priests, and then was exiled for reasons related to his CN alignment - he was too strong for them to simply kill and/or killing for alignment reasons is too much like evil gods for the Vasharans to ever consider. After all, their big trait other than "evil" is "we hate gods". The CN ur-priest wandered the world, until a farmer took him in as a farm hand (who says all people with class levels are ambitious?) and he got friendly with the NG son, so friendly that he trusted him with the secrets of the ur-priests. Thus began a secret order hidden from the eyes of a bigoted church, dedicated to stripping the evil gods of power and alleviating the pain caused by their tyranny.

THERE, fluff for Good Ur-Priests. :P

Yup, thats good fluff. Pun not intended.

PId6
2009-07-25, 07:01 AM
And I'm saying that my fluff would say the good Ur-Priest would effectively have evil deities for his god.
Well, that depends on whether taking a little power from good/neutral gods for the right reasons is still considered evil. Is taking the occasional Protection from Evil really that bad when you're out to save the universe from destruction? Using questionable means for a good cause usually count as neutral or slightly good, as long as the means aren't too heinous.

Yrcrazypa
2009-07-25, 08:40 AM
A rogue can be lawful because he can be a very structured individual, working for the King to carry out jobs. Lawful does not mean they follow every law of the land, and chaotic does not mean they break every law. They really should have called them something different to make that more obvious. Rogues don't HAVE to be assassins and such, they can simply be the type that sneaks into an area and listens for whatever happens, reporting it to the authorities.

A bard can't be lawful because the lifestyle is one that would be hard to be a structured person in. Look at any musician, they don't live lives with a definite routine, most of the time. Most of the time, they travel from place to place, and their talents tend to cause mischief. Yes, you could stay in one spot as a bard, but the whole musical/artistic ability and diplomacy/bluff skills don't lend themselves to a lawful individual. Making music is an artform, it takes freedom of spirit and mind to make, something that a typical lawful person, being of routine and things that go with that, generally don't have.

Ur-priests have to be evil because in the setting they were introduced for, they are part of an evil cult. A POWERFUL evil cult that not just anyone can infiltrate to learn the ability to become an Ur-priest and teach just anyone. Do you honestly thing they would let someone that didn't have the cults best interest in mind into it? There are so many magical abilities that the top Ur-priest would definitely have that it would be impossible. Granted, you could rule that in your world, this is not so. And just change the rule if you decide that. Most PrCs have the required alignments that they do because of the fluff that goes along with it for the world it was created for. If that doesn't apply in your world, just change it and rewrite the fluff as it applies to your world.

AstralFire
2009-07-25, 08:43 AM
A bard can't be lawful because the lifestyle is one that would be hard to be a structured person in. Look at any musician, they don't live lives with a definite routine, most of the time. Most of the time, they travel from place to place, and their talents tend to cause mischief. Yes, you could stay in one spot as a bard, but the whole musical/artistic ability and diplomacy/bluff skills don't lend themselves to a lawful individual. Making music is an artform, it takes freedom of spirit and mind to make, something that a typical lawful person, being of routine and things that go with that, generally don't have.

The amount of people that get by with undisciplined, unstructured talent and become much of a musician is not very high at all, and even then, they tend to have a lot of discipline and structure when it pertains to their art. You've made a fine argument for why a bard may be chaotic, but not for why it must be.

PId6
2009-07-25, 09:50 AM
A bard can't be lawful because the lifestyle is one that would be hard to be a structured person in. Look at any musician, they don't live lives with a definite routine, most of the time. Most of the time, they travel from place to place, and their talents tend to cause mischief. Yes, you could stay in one spot as a bard, but the whole musical/artistic ability and diplomacy/bluff skills don't lend themselves to a lawful individual. Making music is an artform, it takes freedom of spirit and mind to make, something that a typical lawful person, being of routine and things that go with that, generally don't have.
That's an extremely broad generalization that cannot apply to every bard. Which musicians are you talking about? Rock and roll stars? That's a very biased sample. Plenty of my friends play instruments and most of them are, not just routine, but also a little boring, which probably says something about me. And speaking from experience of having tried and failed to learn an instrument, playing music requires far more discipline and persistence than freedom and creativity, especially for those that learn from taking music classes and aren't composing their own music.


Ur-priests have to be evil because in the setting they were introduced for, they are part of an evil cult. A POWERFUL evil cult that not just anyone can infiltrate to learn the ability to become an Ur-priest and teach just anyone. Do you honestly thing they would let someone that didn't have the cults best interest in mind into it? There are so many magical abilities that the top Ur-priest would definitely have that it would be impossible. Granted, you could rule that in your world, this is not so. And just change the rule if you decide that. Most PrCs have the required alignments that they do because of the fluff that goes along with it for the world it was created for. If that doesn't apply in your world, just change it and rewrite the fluff as it applies to your world.
Actually, in Complete Divine, it says that ur-priests frequently work alone and are afraid to congregate into anything resembling temples for fear of drawing attention. So no, they don't normally form evil cults by that fluff.

The assumption that ur-priests started evil, has always been evil, and has never had a single non-evil person infiltrate their ranks is very absurd. Since ur-priests work as individuals, do you really think that no ur-priest in the history of the world has ever taught someone nonevil? It seems easy enough to convince an evil, selfish individual to teach someone ur-priest knowledge, either using intimidation, bribery, or through magical means. So it's quite possible to have nonevil ur-priests.

An alignment restriction represents an absolute statement that such a character cannot exist. So if it's possible at all to have one exception to that rule without contradiction, then the restriction is unfair. A paladin that's not LG would fall because of his deity/order's displeasure, which is why that alignment restriction does make sense. Why would a bard that suddenly decides to obey society no longer learn to play his instrument better?

Oslecamo
2009-07-25, 11:45 AM
Actually, in Complete Divine, it says that ur-priests frequently work alone and are afraid to congregate into anything resembling temples for fear of drawing attention. So no, they don't normally form evil cults by that fluff.

The assumption that ur-priests started evil, has always been evil, and has never had a single non-evil person infiltrate their ranks is very absurd. Since ur-priests work as individuals, do you really think that no ur-priest in the history of the world has ever taught someone nonevil? It seems easy enough to convince an evil, selfish individual to teach someone ur-priest knowledge, either using intimidation, bribery, or through magical means. So it's quite possible to have nonevil ur-priests.

You answered your own question. Ur-priests aren't very social guys. So they only pass their teaching to other equally minded people. Evil people. And having acess to divine spells, well, good luck cheating on them, when they have plenty of divination spells and zone of truth to discern if you're really an evil bastard or a spy from Pelor.

After all, when you're stealing power directly from the gods, you don't want risking anyone running to the local church to when they discover your dark secret.



Why would a bard that suddenly decides to obey society no longer learn to play his instrument better?
Oh, he can play his instrument quite fine. His teammate just don't find his new logic songs as inspiring as before, and his enemies don't kneel in awe anymore at the nonexciting sounds of his politically correct music.

hamishspence
2009-07-25, 11:50 AM
He retains all his old bard powers- he just can't get any new ones. And his Perform skill csn continue to develop.

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-25, 12:08 PM
you shouldn't accept everything they make as perfect in all ways.
I don't, but guess what: There's not a very good reason for why everything is, the way it is. No, WoTC is not good at backing their up their decisions, does that make them inherently "wrong"? NO! Because it's THEIR GAME. Bards are the way they are simply because in that setting, they are. In Avatar: The Last Airbender they come across a bear. Just a bear, not a bear-moose, not a bear-weasel, a bear. And they get confused. Why? because every animal is something else. Why? BECAUSE THAT"S HOW THEY MADE THE SHOW.
There is no rhyme or reason, there's no arguing it, sure at some points it is in fact completely idiotic (paladin of slaughter anyone? Bye-bye blackgaurd), and at other it for some reason makes the most sense in the world. But yuh know what, just because they don't provide a "role playing" mechanic, or in this case you practically want bards to have "Summon some booty", doesn't mean they can't make a rule for it and it be completely justified. Why can't bards be lawful? Because WoTC said so. Pure and simple, there is all the reasoning you need.
If you need more reasoning, you're playing the wrong game. If you need more mechanics to justify alignment restrictions, than homebrew them. The DMG encourages it

Random832
2009-07-25, 01:12 PM
Were bards limited in any way, alignment-wise, in 2nd ed?

Any neutral. (i.e. they could be LN, but they couldn't be CG or CE)

Omegonthesane
2009-07-25, 05:06 PM
You answered your own question. Ur-priests aren't very social guys. So they only pass their teaching to other equally minded people. Evil people.
Wrong. Evil people, as a general rule, trust other evil even less than they trust neutral or good people, because they know first hand the depths of betrayal that kind of person is likely to descend to having gone there themselves. And you don't have to be evil to make friends with an evil person, or even to be their lover or their son - and thereby trusted enough to be the next ur-priest.


And having acess to divine spells, well, good luck cheating on them, when they have plenty of divination spells and zone of truth to discern if you're really an evil bastard or a spy from Pelor.
...Assuming you don't make your save against Zone of Truth, there are ways around it. Admittedly, the only one I can think of immediately is L1 Disciple of Mammon, but you could also roll a few good Bluff checks and deceive your interrogator without speaking one word that is not true.


After all, when you're stealing power directly from the gods, you don't want risking anyone running to the local church to when they discover your dark secret.
Ever heard of Binders? They have this exact same problem, and have no alignment restrictions whatsoever. Heck, a LG one can have Acererak and Geryon running around in his head.


Oh, he can play his instrument quite fine. His teammate just don't find his new logic songs as inspiring as before, and his enemies don't kneel in awe anymore at the nonexciting sounds of his politically correct music.
Logic songs? Don't be ridiculous. He'd be singing patriotic songs, which are just as inspiring and/or offensive as his old nonspecific angsty songs.
Also, running a band requires an amazing level of organisation. Clearly a Lawful bard gets the Leadership feat as a bonus, but it doesn't give him a cohort (unless he spends a normal feat on it...) and at least two of his followers must also be Lawful Bards who play in his band.

MickJay
2009-07-25, 07:46 PM
Wrong. Evil people, as a general rule, trust other evil even less than they trust neutral or good people, because they know first hand the depths of betrayal that kind of person is likely to descend to having gone there themselves. And you don't have to be evil to make friends with an evil person, or even to be their lover or their son - and thereby trusted enough to be the next ur-priest.

They can trust them to be evil, and they can trust them to follow their own interests first and foremost. If goals of two evil people are similar or the same, then why on Earth shouldn't they cooperate? Priests get enough magic to discern true intentions of people they interact with (and they are well aware of tricks that might be used to be prepared for them). Almost any Evil organization that would start accepting N or G people would find itself infilitrated and destroyed very quickly. We are talking about D&D, where Good and Evil are inherently at odds, and where people of both alignments are far more likely to interact with their own than with people having completely different views.

Also, if WotC decided that the Bard class is going to be a class of free-spirited musicians who avoid commitments and have some roguelike abilities, and you want to play a Lawful minstrel, then why not just pick a Rogue or Fighter and give him ranks in Perform? As it stands, Bard's power as a Bard come from his inner freedom, but there's nothing preventing some other minstrel to sing patriotic songs. IRL, most of the time the "official" renditions of patriotic songs actually lack the strength to really move people and are more often than not just a part of some celebrations; D&D rules correspond with this tendency very nicely.

WotC already has an overwhelming tendency to drop limitations on classes. Point in case: Paladin - originally limited to LG humans; first the race limitation got dropped, then half a dozen "paladin" variants appeared, making it possible to play a chaotic, or even evil counterpart to Paladins. And all of that because players whined that they wanted to have the same powers, only without the limitations that actually made the bloody class something different and interesting. Now you can substitute primary stats to perform functions of others, how cheesy is that? No wonder people still play AD&D... :smalltongue:

PId6
2009-07-25, 08:02 PM
Any neutral. (i.e. they could be LN, but they couldn't be CG or CE)
Okay, that's just weird.


You answered your own question. Ur-priests aren't very social guys. So they only pass their teaching to other equally minded people. Evil people. And having acess to divine spells, well, good luck cheating on them, when they have plenty of divination spells and zone of truth to discern if you're really an evil bastard or a spy from Pelor.

After all, when you're stealing power directly from the gods, you don't want risking anyone running to the local church to when they discover your dark secret.
Um, what? A evil person, especially individualists like ur-priests, are often very selfish. Do you really think that if you say to an ur-priest "Teach me your secrets and I'll pay you money; if you refuse, I'll expose your cover" that they won't do it? Again, alignment restrictions represent an absolute restricting saying "This cannot happen." So if it's at all possible to have a nonevil ur-priest, then the restriction should not be.


Oh, he can play his instrument quite fine. His teammate just don't find his new logic songs as inspiring as before, and his enemies don't kneel in awe anymore at the nonexciting sounds of his politically correct music.
Why does having a lawful alignment suddenly make him unable to make inspiring music? What do you think military bands or people in marching bands do? Or musicians that conduct symphonies in a group? An alignment doesn't have to perforate into every aspect of one's personality. You can respect authority and still sing about whatever you want.


He retains all his old bard powers- he just can't get any new ones. And his Perform skill csn continue to develop.
And yet, if he can perform so much better, how come his music never becomes more inspiring just because of an alignment change?


I don't, but guess what: There's not a very good reason for why everything is, the way it is. No, WoTC is not good at backing their up their decisions, does that make them inherently "wrong"? NO! Because it's THEIR GAME.
Um, what are you arguing here? Nobody has stated that WotC is "inherently wrong". I am saying they have made a mistake in this one instance, and I have given plenty of reasons to support that. If you wish to rebuke that, please point out the flaws in my reasoning, i.e. alignment restrictions limit roleplaying, that it's possible fluff-wise to have lawful bards or nonevil ur-priests, that their class mechanics do not support the alignment restriction at all.

Please argue against my reasoning if you're so set against it, rather than ceaselessly repeating "because that's how it is."


Bards are the way they are simply because in that setting, they are.
Ignoring the fact that the PHB is meant to be setting-nonspecific for a moment, I have already shown that there's no reason bards need to be nonlawful even in the default setting. A "bard" is a person that sings to inspire others; it's not an organization that allows only nonlawful people to join. They may often be chaotic or nonlawful, like rogues, but there's no reason they have to be. I've listed examples of lawful bards already.


In Avatar: The Last Airbender they come across a bear. Just a bear, not a bear-moose, not a bear-weasel, a bear. And they get confused. Why? because every animal is something else. Why? BECAUSE THAT"S HOW THEY MADE THE SHOW.
Are you equating a TV show script with a roleplaying game mechanic? As I've already pointed out, WotC made a mistake with alignment restrictions, one that needlessly limits roleplaying without providing anything in return.

I have no reason to think the bear should be otherwise on that show, since putting a bear there does not constitute a mistake, unless it's somehow inconsistent with the setting or something. If it's already been established on the show that all bears have been wiped out eons past, and the writers put a bear in an episode and ignore the issue entirely, then yes, I would think they did something wrong.


But yuh know what, just because they don't provide a "role playing" mechanic, or in this case you practically want bards to have "Summon some booty", doesn't mean they can't make a rule for it and it be completely justified. Why can't bards be lawful? Because WoTC said so. Pure and simple, there is all the reasoning you need.
No, it is not all the reasoning I need. If someone tells me the earth is flat, then I will ask them why. If the government tells me they want to reprogram my brain, I will ask them why. Because I said so is not a good enough reason at all. And if WotC comes up with a stupid mechanic that isn't backed up by anything else and is limiting for no apparent reason, I will ask why. If I'm not satisfied with the answer, then I will change it in my game, pure and simple.


If you need more reasoning, you're playing the wrong game.
Who are you to tell me how I should play my game? Or what reasoning I need? If I want to ask questions or I want to have reasons, why should I not ask them just because you're telling me I shouldn't? If you think that I'm wrong, that alignment restrictions are actually helpful for the game and do make sense, then argue against my reasoning, don't tell me I shouldn't ask any questions in the first place.

PId6
2009-07-25, 08:20 PM
They can trust them to be evil, and they can trust them to follow their own interests first and foremost. If goals of two evil people are similar or the same, then why on Earth shouldn't they cooperate? Priests get enough magic to discern true intentions of people they interact with (and they are well aware of tricks that might be used to be prepared for them).
Because evil is often selfish and backstabbing. An evil person should know that another evil person would easily betray them if they have an incentive to do so; in such a situation, mistrust is not only inherent, but logical. And someone who's strong enough to be of any help to them (i.e. high enough level) should easily make the will save against truth detection spells. Will saves are good saves for ur-priests, you know.


Almost any Evil organization that would start accepting N or G people would find itself infilitrated and destroyed very quickly. We are talking about D&D, where Good and Evil are inherently at odds, and where people of both alignments are far more likely to interact with their own than with people having completely different views.
It's not an organization. Hence individual ur-priests, working alone, could easily be persuaded to betray their own kind if the incentives are good enough. They're evil and selfish, it's not hard.


Also, if WotC decided that the Bard class is going to be a class of free-spirited musicians who avoid commitments and have some roguelike abilities, and you want to play a Lawful minstrel, then why not just pick a Rogue or Fighter and give him ranks in Perform?
If you want to play a good wizard, but wizards are restricted to evil only, why not play a fighter or rogue with ranks in Spellcraft?

If I have to circumvent the mechanics in such a fashion in order to play the character that I want, then they've done something wrong. The bard class, mechanically, has a few abilities that let them sing inspiring songs. That's it. There no mechanic on the class that makes them inherently nonlawful, so why limit it? It's always better to have more options than not.

And why must you play "government sanctioned" songs if you're lawful? Even if, for the sake of argument, lawful bards aren't able to write their own inspiring songs, why can't they play the inspiring songs of other, more chaotic bards that came before them? If someone plays some great classical piece, and plays it very well, is that not inspiring? And judging from the fact that lawful bards can still raise their Perform skill, they can learn more songs and play these songs better and better. So why can't their mechanical abilities get better as well?


WotC already has an overwhelming tendency to drop limitations on classes.
Then that shows they had recognized that such limitations are pointless and unhelpful.


And all of that because players whined that they wanted to have the same powers, only without the limitations that actually made the bloody class something different and interesting.
If a player feels that the class's mechanics suit their character concept very well, why should they be barred from it by a single pointless alignment restriction?

Riffington
2009-07-25, 08:30 PM
Okay, that's just weird.
Not as weird as you think. The idea there is that druids have to have a certain amount of balance in their selves, on at least one of the two spectra. And of course Bards would carry the same legacy.


Again, alignment restrictions represent an absolute restricting saying "This cannot happen." So if it's at all possible to have a nonevil ur-priest, then the restriction should not be.
That's one way to do it. Others would argue that all alignment restrictions are "more like guidelines".



Why does having a lawful alignment suddenly make him unable to make inspiring music? What do you think military bands or people in marching bands do?
Right. So, military bands have no alignment restrictions, but even if they did have to be lawful for some reason: they're experts. Anything a skilled musician can do is inherent in the Perform skill, which doesn't have an alignment requirement. Bards use their music to unleash primal powers and speak directly to mens' animal souls. It is possible that they must have creative wells of wildness in their own souls to learn such feats.



Ignoring the fact that the PHB is meant to be setting-nonspecific

The PHB can easily accomodate mild changes to its setting, but it is hardly nonspecific. It includes rules for locks more complex than AK-47s yet lacks firearms. It lists deities. Its domains include specific spells.


No, it is not all the reasoning I need. If someone tells me the earth is flat, then I will ask them why. If the government tells me they want to reprogram my brain, I will ask them why. Because I said so is not a good enough reason at all. And if WotC comes up with a stupid mechanic that isn't backed up by anything else and is limiting for no apparent reason, I will ask why. If I'm not satisfied with the answer, then I will change it in my game, pure and simple.
And here I agree with you entirely :)

PId6
2009-07-25, 09:04 PM
Not as weird as you think. The idea there is that druids have to have a certain amount of balance in their selves, on at least one of the two spectra. And of course Bards would carry the same legacy.
What do bards have to do with druids? If it's ranger, I can understand. But bards really don't scream nature to me.


That's one way to do it. Others would argue that all alignment restrictions are "more like guidelines".
Yet the class says that a bard who's nonlawful cannot progress in bard levels. Doesn't leave much room for argument there. A wizard's alignment entry in the PHB says they favor law over chaos, but they're not limited to any one. That's a guideline. The only way for a bard to be lawful and stay a bard is to make a houserule to that effect.


Right. So, military bands have no alignment restrictions, but even if they did have to be lawful for some reason: they're experts. Anything a skilled musician can do is inherent in the Perform skill, which doesn't have an alignment requirement. Bards use their music to unleash primal powers and speak directly to mens' animal souls. It is possible that they must have creative wells of wildness in their own souls to learn such feats.
Wouldn't it make sense for a military organization to hire bards who can actually inspire courage in the troops? And if a chaotic or neutral bard becomes lawful, why can't they keep developing their abilities and performing better? A bard's powers are extremely similar to a sorcerer's, even to the point that magic comes from their souls, as it says in the PHB. Yet if their powers are so similar, why must bards be nonlawful while sorcerers don't have to be?


The PHB can easily accomodate mild changes to its setting, but it is hardly nonspecific. It includes rules for locks more complex than AK-47s yet lacks firearms. It lists deities. Its domains include specific spells.
Okay, I suppose I should qualify that as nonspecific in terms of D&D-style fantasy worlds. If it said that all bards draw their powers from the God of Chaoticness, or that all barbarians come from this specific tribe, then it would be too setting specific. But it doesn't, so I really don't see why bards must not be lawful.

Callos_DeTerran
2009-07-25, 09:54 PM
Why are you emotionally invested in a strangers gaming experience?

Chill.

It's just a personal pet peeve I have. I've had players want to completely disregard the fluff for a class, even base classes, for purely mechanical reasons. Add to that the fact I usually pick PrCs FOR the fluff rather then the actual abilities of the class, and you get someone who finds it extremely distasteful to strip the fluff and requirements you don't like from a PrC just to use the class.

Especially when it comes to alignment requirements or fluff. My two most hated PrCs are the Grey Guard and Malconvoker, not because of the abilities but because of what the classes are supposed to be.

Maybe I was harsh, but I still think the same about the OP.

Riffington
2009-07-25, 09:56 PM
What do bards have to do with druids?
History, man.



The only way for a bard to be lawful and stay a bard is to make a houserule to that effect.
Right, this whole thread is about a potential houserule of allowing nonevil ur-priests.

PId6
2009-07-25, 10:13 PM
It's just a personal pet peeve I have. I've had players want to completely disregard the fluff for a class, even base classes, for purely mechanical reasons. Add to that the fact I usually pick PrCs FOR the fluff rather then the actual abilities of the class, and you get someone who finds it extremely distasteful to strip the fluff and requirements you don't like from a PrC just to use the class.
I and others in this thread have given plenty of in-fluff reasons why an ur-priest can be nonevil. And besides, fluff should only limit the class if the mechanics themselves reflect the fluff. The ur-priest has no inherently evil aspects in its mechanics, hence there's no reason why it should be restricted to evil. Even by the fluff, an ur-priest is an individual, not a member of some evil society, so it's perfectly possible to have a nonevil ur-priest.

In fact, the class doesn't even list any penalties for an ur-priest changing its alignment, nor in fact, is there any reason fluff-wise that they would be penalized for it, since ur-priests don't serve any higher power than themselves so nothing can revoke their "membership" as an ur-priest. What happens if an evil ur-priest turns good and then started teaching other good students how to become ur-priests?


History, man.
Care to expand on that?


Right, this whole thread is about a potential houserule of allowing nonevil ur-priests.
And, your point? I'm explaining why alignment restrictions are not guidelines, they're hard and fast rules. Hence, the need for such a houserule to reduce the limitations.

Callos_DeTerran
2009-07-25, 10:30 PM
I and others in this thread have given plenty of in-fluff reasons why an ur-priest can be nonevil. And besides, fluff should only limit the class if the mechanics themselves reflect the fluff. The ur-priest has no inherently evil aspects in its mechanics, hence there's no reason why it should be restricted to evil. Even by the fluff, an ur-priest is an individual, not a member of some evil society, so it's perfectly possible to have a nonevil ur-priest.

I disagree. I could expand upon my reasoning, get into an argument about how the fluff and mechanics should be one and the same even if the mechanics don't reflect the fluff, and whatnot but I won't. My position is one that lots of others, clearly just looking at the thread :smalltongue:, disagree with. I won't change anyone's minds and all I'll accomplish is getting a headache and worn out fingers. And, just point of fact, an ur-priest needs to be trained by another ur-priest, which suggests that there IS a selection process that a DM shouldn't ignore when allowing the class. Why WOULD a traditional ur-priest train a good character? Aside from the fact they don't qualify for the class as is written.


In fact, the class doesn't even list any penalties for an ur-priest changing its alignment, nor in fact, is there any reason fluff-wise that they would be penalized for it, since ur-priests don't serve any higher power than themselves so nothing can revoke their "membership" as an ur-priest. What happens if an evil ur-priest turns good and then started teaching other good students how to become ur-priests?

You may not lose any class features from changing alignment as a ur-priest to good but you know what? You can't progress any further in the class either because you no longer met the requirements. As written of course.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-25, 10:44 PM
Care to expand on that?

In the real world, bards were Celtic scholars and poets (more info here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bard)). In 1e AD&D, they were the first (and only) PrC-ish class, and required being a fighter/theif/druid to enter. So RL bards are associated with RL druids, and D&D bards actually started as druids with extra abilities.

PId6
2009-07-25, 10:45 PM
I disagree. I could expand upon my reasoning, get into an argument about how the fluff and mechanics should be one and the same even if the mechanics don't reflect the fluff, and whatnot but I won't. My position is one that lots of others, clearly just looking at the thread :smalltongue:, disagree with. I won't change anyone's minds and all I'll accomplish is getting a headache and worn out fingers.
Consensus means nothing if the consensus is made without reason. I can promise you that if you can present enough good reasons on why the alignment restriction on the ur-priest is a good idea, does not unnecessarily limit roleplaying, and does make sense, then I would change my mind and say that I am wrong. Call me idealistic, but I believe even internet arguments can be meaningful if pursued with reason and maturity.


And, just point of fact, an ur-priest needs to be trained by another ur-priest, which suggests that there IS a selection process that a DM shouldn't ignore when allowing the class. Why WOULD a traditional ur-priest train a good character? Aside from the fact they don't qualify for the class as is written.
Since there's no organization of ur-priests, and ur-priests are generally meant to be evil, a single ur-priest would be individualistic and probably quite selfish. If you give enough incentives or enough threats, why wouldn't one of them capitulate and teach a non-evil person?

And the whole point of the argument is to point out that the as-written restriction on the class is unreasonable, so that's not an adequate explanation if unsupported by anything else.


You may not lose any class features from changing alignment as a ur-priest to good but you know what? You can't progress any further in the class either because you no longer met the requirements. As written of course.
Which doesn't reflect the fluff at all. If a level 10 ur-priest who's turned good takes a good student in, why can't that student become an ur-priest? There isn't any fluff-wise explanation for why this doesn't work, simply a blanket mechanical "NO". Does that sound reasonable?

PId6
2009-07-25, 10:48 PM
In the real world, bards were Celtic scholars and poets (more info here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bard)). In 1e AD&D, they were the first (and only) PrC-ish class, and required being a fighter/theif/druid to enter. So RL bards are associated with RL druids, and D&D bards actually started as druids with extra abilities.
Ah, it was a PrC? I can see why it would have the druid's alignment restrictions on it then. I don't like the druid's restrictions either but at least it makes slightly more sense than the current bard's or ur-priest's.

Callos_DeTerran
2009-07-25, 11:07 PM
Consensus means nothing if the consensus is made without reason. I can promise you that if you can present enough good reasons on why the alignment restriction on the ur-priest is a good idea, does not unnecessarily limit roleplaying, and does make sense, then I would change my mind and say that I am wrong. Call me idealistic, but I believe even internet arguments can be meaningful if pursued with reason and maturity.

Doubt it. Not that you'd change your mind, for all I know you would, just past experience has taught me that you won't and I'll end up arguing for hours for no reason. But why not?


Since there's no organization of ur-priests, and ur-priests are generally meant to be evil, a single ur-priest would be individualistic and probably quite selfish. If you give enough incentives or enough threats, why wouldn't one of them capitulate and teach a non-evil person?

A single ur-priest would be an individual but they were still taught by someone else. And that someone else imparted on them certain teaching methods which are likely to be used again. In any case if you give enough incentives then you need to worry about the ur-priest murdering you in your sleep to take said incentives without having to do work. If you give enough threats then you'll likely realized your threatening an evil person with the cajones and know-how to steal from the gods themselves and not get caught and expecting it not to come back to bite you in the arse.

More importantly...threatening=blackmail. Blackmail=Evil. It may not be the tipping point, it likely wouldn't be, but from threatening the ur-priest just to accomplish your own ends you've become a little more Evil doing it. Hell, a wise (most ur-priests) corruptive (most lawful ones) ur-priest will hold out until the potential ur-priest applicant IS evil before teaching them. Net gain for evil since 'Evil methods for a good cause' is at best a neutral act and thus not pulling the new ur-priest back towards Good.



And the whole point of the argument is to point out that the as-written restriction on the class is unreasonable, so that's not an adequate explanation if unsupported by anything else.

Just because something is unreasonable does not mean it needs to be changed. That's a poor argument but then saying it's unreasonable just because it's unsupported is fairly poor itself. I had a comment about someone whining that their paladin fell for eating already dead babies because the idea of a paladin's diet being restrictive is un-supported by the fluff or rules but I lost the train of thought and it lost most of it's wittiness.



Which doesn't reflect the fluff at all. If a level 10 ur-priest who's turned good takes a good student in, why can't that student become an ur-priest? There isn't any fluff-wise explanation for why this doesn't work, simply a blanket mechanical "NO". Does that sound reasonable?

Answer this question first. WHY would an Evil evil (both kinds) ur-priest who has gotten to level ten in the class and become an unholy and cheesy bastion of evil power randomly decide to become good? It makes no bloody sense unless alignment altering magic is involved and in that case you still have to answer the question of...

'WHY would said freak-ur-priest who mysteriously turned Good for some bizarre reason, decide to teach his blasphemous and previously evil ways to a good student thus making them a target of EVERY religion in the world and putting them into the same dangerous-as-hell life style every Ur-priest lives?

As for it being reasonable, I think it is. Because it's true to the idea of what an ur-priest is. An ur-priest is a mortal who spitefully steals powers from the gods for personal gain every single day and is a blight upon the service of the multi-verse. Yes, even the freak good-ur-priest. Except for the spiteful part maybe.

Xenogears
2009-07-25, 11:25 PM
The way I see it the only way bein an Ur-Priest is always evil is if the gods are intrinsicly necessary to the universe and stealing even a tiny bit of energy from them is somehow potentially damaging to the fabric of existence. Now if the fluff were to work that way I'd agree about Ur-Priests being evil but if Rogues can steal my gold and not be evil then why cant Ur-priests steal divine power and not be evil. I can definately see a "usually evil" moniker on them either way tho.

The argument that the society of Ur-Priests is always evil is incongrous (to me) with the fact that i says that they are loners by nature. So there shouldn't be any all-encompassing alignment restriction on them...

PId6
2009-07-25, 11:50 PM
It's getting annoying copying quotes over and over, so I'm just going to respond inside it. Mine are in bold.


Doubt it. Not that you'd change your mind, for all I know you would, just past experience has taught me that you won't and I'll end up arguing for hours for no reason. But why not?

Meh, arguing's fun regardless. :smallwink:

A single ur-priest would be an individual but they were still taught by someone else. And that someone else imparted on them certain teaching methods which are likely to be used again. In any case if you give enough incentives then you need to worry about the ur-priest murdering you in your sleep to take said incentives without having to do work. If you give enough threats then you'll likely realized your threatening an evil person with the cajones and know-how to steal from the gods themselves and not get caught and expecting it not to come back to bite you in the arse.

So are you saying it's absolutely impossible for anyone nonevil to ever convince an ur-priest to teach them the power? Because that's what an alignment restriction constitutes, an absolute. So if there's even the slightest chance a nonevil person can become an ur-priest, then the alignment restriction is wrong.

So I don't think it's unreasonable to expect even some possibility of success in getting that to happen. Maybe you're an epic character who's much stronger than the ur-priest you're threatening. Maybe you're extremely resourceful and have a way to ensure the ur-priest is reported to the local paladins if he turns on you. You have to admit that it's possible to convince an ur-priest to teach someone nonevil.

More importantly...threatening=blackmail. Blackmail=Evil. It may not be the tipping point, it likely wouldn't be, but from threatening the ur-priest just to accomplish your own ends you've become a little more Evil doing it. Hell, a wise (most ur-priests) corruptive (most lawful ones) ur-priest will hold out until the potential ur-priest applicant IS evil before teaching them. Net gain for evil since 'Evil methods for a good cause' is at best a neutral act and thus not pulling the new ur-priest back towards Good.

Good person, tries to learn ur-priest secrets for a good cause, turns neutral because of it. Neutral, not evil. Threatening someone evil for a good cause is at worst neutral or only mildly evil. As long as their intentions are good and they otherwise do good things, they're not going to be dragged all the way down to evil just because of this.

Not to mention it doesn't even have to be threats. I'll pay you 5 gazillion gp if you teach me your secrets. There are numerous ways to ensure they stick to the deal, and there's bound to be at least one ur-priest greedy enough to take it. There's also plenty of spells like Charm Person or Dominate Person to circumvent the problem entirely. If you're doing it for a really good cause, it's probably not enough to cause you to fall to evil by that act alone.

Just because something is unreasonable does not mean it needs to be changed. That's a poor argument but then saying it's unreasonable just because it's unsupported is fairly poor itself. I had a comment about someone whining that their paladin fell for eating already dead babies because the idea of a paladin's diet being restrictive is un-supported by the fluff or rules but I lost the train of thought and it lost most of it's wittiness.

It's unreasonable and harmful to the game itself. If you have a character concept of a good person who wishes to weaken the evil gods by drawing power from them, whoops, you can't play it because ur-priests have to be evil. That, or you'll have to find some other convoluted way to get the character you want when a clear solution is right here, as long as you ignore the unnecessary alignment restriction. Hurting roleplaying is a good reason for it to be changed.

Answer this question first. WHY would an Evil evil (both kinds) ur-priest who has gotten to level ten in the class and become an unholy and cheesy bastion of evil power randomly decide to become good? It makes no bloody sense unless alignment altering magic is involved and in that case you still have to answer the question of...

Again, however unlikely, it's not impossible, especially with spells like Sanctify the Wicked.

'WHY would said freak-ur-priest who mysteriously turned Good for some bizarre reason, decide to teach his blasphemous and previously evil ways to a good student thus making them a target of EVERY religion in the world and putting them into the same dangerous-as-hell life style every Ur-priest lives?

Perhaps he thought the evil gods a sufficient threat that he's willing to use the lesser evil. Perhaps he knows that his students are mature enough to understand this and are willing to risk themselves for the greater good. The fact is, it's possible to have a good ur-priest, and that's all it takes. An alignment restriction isn't a guideline, it doesn't mean "usually", it means "always", and if you can find a single possible counterexample to that restriction then the restriction is wrong.

As for it being reasonable, I think it is. Because it's true to the idea of what an ur-priest is. An ur-priest is a mortal who spitefully steals powers from the gods for personal gain every single day and is a blight upon the service of the multi-verse. Yes, even the freak good-ur-priest. Except for the spiteful part maybe.

Since deities (collectively) in D&D are neither Good nor Evil, it shouldn't be inherently evil to steal a little power from them, especially if you're selective about only stealing from evil gods and you use that power for a good cause. It doesn't say it's only for personal gain, and it doesn't say they can't use their powers for good. They despise gods, but that's not inherently evil when deities on the whole are not inherently good. So which part of their fluff makes it impossible to have good ur-priests? And how are they different from Gray Guards and Malconvokers (which I know you hate but they still do exist) who use mildly evil or questionable means for good ends?

ghost_warlock
2009-07-25, 11:57 PM
And, just point of fact, an ur-priest needs to be trained by another ur-priest...

This is something I read in gaming books that simply makes zero sense to me. If this were true, ur-priests (or whatever) couldn't exist at all since someone had to originally puzzle out the process in order to teach it. And if one person can do it, why can't someone else independently come up with the same technique, or even a variation on it?

I think the point that Fiendish_Dire_Moose and others are trying to make is that there is no reason whatsoever that an ur-priest has to be evil other than that's the way they were originally created by WotC in BoVD as a PrC developed by that group of evil humans.

When the class was included in CompDiv, with the intent to use it in non-BoVD setting, the class requirements weren't changed because WotC decided it wasn't worth the time to do much more than a copy+paste job.

Really, if you want, you can homebrew your game to completely ignore any and all alignment restrictions; ignore alignement completely. There won't really be any impact, balance-wise, on the game because the majority of these restrictions are arbitrary.

Riffington
2009-07-26, 01:05 AM
I just want to throw another thing out there: why do Ur-Priests need Spell Focus (evil)? Does that have something to do with what an Ur-Priest is/does? (ie the way they take energy of one kind and turn it into another is by "laundering" it via the most flexible of all energies, namely evil?) Or would your Neutral Ur-Priest get to take Spell Focus (Conjuration) instead?

Now, I know some of you will say that Spell Focus: Evil is an illegal feat because Evil is not actually a school of magic. That would just mean that all Ur-Priest builds are illegal.

ghost_warlock
2009-07-26, 01:13 AM
I just want to throw another thing out there: why do Ur-Priests need Spell Focus (evil)? Does that have something to do with what an Ur-Priest is/does? (ie the way they take energy of one kind and turn it into another is by "laundering" it via the most flexible of all energies, namely evil?) Or would your Neutral Ur-Priest get to take Spell Focus (Conjuration) instead?

Now, I know some of you will say that Spell Focus: Evil is an illegal feat because Evil is not actually a school of magic. That would just mean that all Ur-Priest builds are illegal.

Spell Focus (Evil) is printed in BoVD and reprinted to apply to any of the 4 alignment axes in CompDiv. It's not illegal, just wonky.

As for how it relates to the ur-priest, it has zero mechanical relation to the class' abilities. It's just a copy+pasted BoVD-fluff-related requirement.

PId6
2009-07-26, 01:16 AM
I just want to throw another thing out there: why do Ur-Priests need Spell Focus (evil)? Does that have something to do with what an Ur-Priest is/does? (ie the way they take energy of one kind and turn it into another is by "laundering" it via the most flexible of all energies, namely evil?) Or would your Neutral Ur-Priest get to take Spell Focus (Conjuration) instead?

Now, I know some of you will say that Spell Focus: Evil is an illegal feat because Evil is not actually a school of magic. That would just mean that all Ur-Priest builds are illegal.
Spell Focus (Alignment) is from Complete Divine. And yes, that requirement is likewise stupid and likely resulted from the original (false) assumption that ur-priests are inherently evil. If they steal from all gods, good/evil/neutral, why would they focus on evil spells more? Ironically, Spell Focus (Evil) actually makes more sense on a good ur-priest who only steals from evil gods.

Nerd-o-rama
2009-07-26, 01:17 AM
Oh, he can play his instrument quite fine. His teammate just don't find his new logic songs as inspiring as before, and his enemies don't kneel in awe anymore at the nonexciting sounds of his politically correct music.Random aside here: so, 3.x Bards lose the ability to take more levels when they sell out?

Omegonthesane
2009-07-26, 01:43 AM
More importantly...threatening=blackmail. Blackmail=Evil. It may not be the tipping point, it likely wouldn't be, but from threatening the ur-priest just to accomplish your own ends you've become a little more Evil doing it. Hell, a wise (most ur-priests) corruptive (most lawful ones) ur-priest will hold out until the potential ur-priest applicant IS evil before teaching them. Net gain for evil since 'Evil methods for a good cause' is at best a neutral act and thus not pulling the new ur-priest back towards Good.
In addition to all the other points: An evil ur-priest has no reason to care what your alignment is. By definition, an ur-priest is not a hierophant of Evil, he is a selfish magician who will never willingly serve any alignment. In the general case, he gains nothing from turning you to Evil before teaching you


This is something I read in gaming books that simply makes zero sense to me. If this were true, ur-priests (or whatever) couldn't exist at all since someone had to originally puzzle out the process in order to teach it. And if one person can do it, why can't someone else independently come up with the same technique, or even a variation on it?
If by "ur-priest" it means "person with ur-priest class levels" then yes, it makes no sense in the long run by RAW. However, mechanically, it's possible that the very first ur-priest was a CE Vasharan Cleric of Atheism, who called himself an Ur-Priest and taught techniques by which his students could quickly gain the power he had painstakingly researched - thereby introducing the Ur-Priest class to the setting.

PId6
2009-07-26, 02:07 AM
Random aside here: so, 3.x Bards lose the ability to take more levels when they sell out?
Yep, weird huh?


In addition to all the other points: An evil ur-priest has no reason to care what your alignment is. By definition, an ur-priest is not a hierophant of Evil, he is a selfish magician who will never willingly serve any alignment. In the general case, he gains nothing from turning you to Evil before teaching you
Indeed, nor does he lose anything from teaching you, and he can potentially gain a lot if the offer's good. He couldn't care less about compromising his "side" by giving out ur-priest secrets for cash.

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-26, 02:54 AM
Gobbledy Goo
Saying they amde a mistake is equal to saying they're wrong. If you say 9+8 is 7, you made a mistake thus your answer is wrong.
So, here it is then, you made a mistake, your mistake was not accepting a rule. Bards are unlawful, live with it or house rule. You have no case.
And with that, I'm done with you. You can't accept the rules of the game, that's your problem, peace.
D&D is very setting specific. It's specific to the worlds and rules set forth by the game. The same is true for WoD, Call of Cthulu, and even Shadowrun.

PId6
2009-07-26, 03:21 AM
Gobbledy Goo

Saying they amde a mistake is equal to saying they're wrong. If you say 9+8 is 7, you made a mistake thus your answer is wrong.
So, here it is then, you made a mistake, your mistake was not accepting a rule. Bards are unlawful, live with it or house rule. You have no case.
And with that, I'm done with you. You can't accept the rules of the game, that's your problem, peace.
D&D is very setting specific. It's specific to the worlds and rules set forth by the game. The same is true for WoD, Call of Cthulu, and even Shadowrun.
Thank you for respecting my opinion and addressing all of my points.

Now I'd appreciate it if you actually contribute a reasoned argument to this discussion rather than repeat your view over and over without giving any support for it. Thank you.

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-26, 04:16 AM
Thank you for respecting my opinion and addressing all of my points.

Now I'd appreciate it if you actually contribute a reasoned argument to this discussion rather than repeat your view over and over without giving any support for it. Thank you.

You want support? How's this: Your argument boils down to, "WoTC didn't tailor the game to what I feel it should be and that's a problem."
Seriously, that's pretty much been your entire argument. They made a "mistake". How is it a mistake? Because you say so. There is plenty of fluff and mechanic supporting why their rule. It's all available to you, your problem is you just don't like it. I could throw every rule, fluff and kitten at you, and you'd still stand firmly where you are. So I've got a good place where you can stick your pathetic idea of respecting your opinion. Because you aren't arguing it like an opinion, you're arguing it like a fact.
Bards are Bards because they do what WoTC says that's what Bards do in their world. There is fluff, there is mechanic. Ur-priests aren't as heavily fluffed, but that doesn't really matter, in my opinion Ur-priest isn't worth the paper it's printed on anyway, though I can barely see why you'd play anything other than a wizard if you want a powerful caster anyway. Cleric, maybe. Druid, okay, yeah, play it.
If you want a better reason why Bards have to be unlawful, you aren't going to get one because how good soemthign is is ridiculously subjective. All the reasoning to why bards are unlawful is in your hands, you just refuse to accept it. So, I don't have to respect crap about your opinion because you have no intention of listening to anything to the contrary, because you don't want to.
Bards are unlawful, because, what they do makes them that way, moving around constantly, constantly getting into trouble while wooing women of possibly questionable nature. How would anything close to that represent lawful?
All your "good" reasons you want are there in front of you, you just don't want them. Pure and simple.

Nerd-o-rama
2009-07-26, 04:42 AM
Yep, weird huh?Makes more sense than any other interpretation of that rule.

PId6
2009-07-26, 05:27 AM
You want support? How's this: Your argument boils down to, "WoTC didn't tailor the game to what I feel it should be and that's a problem."
They made a mistake because they created restrictions inconsistent with their own fluff and they limited roleplaying options for no good reason. Is it so wrong for me to expect a roleplaying game to allow me to, I don't know, roleplay?


Seriously, that's pretty much been your entire argument.
Thank you for telling me exactly what my argument was. Apparently everything else I have said, that such restrictions don't make sense even within their own setting, that I can make a perfectly fluff-consistent character against their restrictions, that these restrictions needlessly limit roleplaying options for the players, have all been complete gibberish to you.


There is plenty of fluff and mechanic supporting why their rule.
It's hard to understand a sentence that goes utterly contrary to grammatical expectations, but I'll presume you mean to say "There are plenty of fluff and mechanics to support their ruling." If that's the case, I ask that you list them.


It's all available to you,
Then please, prove me wrong, list them.


I could throw every rule, fluff and kitten at you, and you'd still stand firmly where you are.
If you really have no arguments left, you should at least be adult enough to admit it, geez.


So I've got a good place where you can stick your pathetic idea of respecting your opinion.
I suppose that's the difference between us; I respect that you have an opinion contrary to mine, however wrong I may believe it to be.


Because you aren't arguing it like an opinion, you're arguing it like a fact.
Is it not a fact that alignment restrictions limit roleplaying? Really, I have not seen you make a single argument to the contrary that actually addressed the class fluff/mechanics, rather than just repeatedly point out "because they said so." If you're expecting to wear me down from repetition, please stop.


Bards are Bards because they do what WoTC says that's what Bards do in their world. There is fluff, there is mechanic.
That's just it, their fluff doesn't actually explain why they can't be lawful. They do the same things a rogue does, yet a rogue can be lawful. Their power comes from the same place as a sorcerer, yet a sorcerer can be lawful. By their own setting, there's no reason why bards can't be lawful, hence why it's inconsistent with the setting.


Ur-priests aren't as heavily fluffed, but that doesn't really matter, in my opinion Ur-priest isn't worth the paper it's printed on anyway,
Then why are you even posting in this thread? This entire thread is about the ur-priest. So if you don't care for it, why are you even here?


though I can barely see why you'd play anything other than a wizard if you want a powerful caster anyway. Cleric, maybe. Druid, okay, yeah, play it.
Maybe because I like the idea of a divine caster that steals from the gods? Ever thought that perhaps someone would like the class for its flavor, and dislike the restriction because it detracted from that flavor? If, by their own fluff ur-priests don't need to be evil, why must they mechanically be so?


If you want a better reason why Bards have to be unlawful, you aren't going to get one because how good soemthign is is ridiculously subjective. All the reasoning to why bards are unlawful is in your hands, you just refuse to accept it. So, I don't have to respect crap about your opinion because you have no intention of listening to anything to the contrary, because you don't want to.
So because I found your arguments unpersuasive, and since you are always absolutely right, I must therefore be a dogmatic maniac? There are more graceful ways to exit an argument without admitting you're wrong, you know.


Bards are unlawful, because, what they do makes them that way, moving around constantly, constantly getting into trouble while wooing women of possibly questionable nature. How would anything close to that represent lawful?
Is it impossible to have a bard that doesn't get into trouble, doesn't move around, and doesn't visit prostitutes? What deus ex machina swoops down to stop bards from advancing in their class if they stop doing those things? And if someone wants to play a character that marches with an army and inspires courage on the field of battle, should they automatically be barred from it because of alignment?


All your "good" reasons you want are there in front of you, you just don't want them. Pure and simple.
I have rebutted every argument anyone has posted against my view, pointing out exactly why their argument is flawed. So no, I didn't reject those reasons because I "just don't want them," I rejected them because of the reasons that I wrote in response, which you can see if you actually took the time to read my opinions.

MickJay
2009-07-26, 05:59 AM
I all fairness, I can see your arguments, I see why you think this way, but I simply don't agree with 90% of your interpretations; for example, I don't see how the fluff and restrictions of bard are inconsistent (I'm willing to accept that Bards can't be lawful, because their power is such that it relies on non-Lawfulness - because this explanation is sufficient to me). All in all, you have your opinion which is as valid as any other, in your games you're absolutely free to have Lawful bards. That, and why is it a problem at all that bards can't be Lawful? Most of the time you can't even tell the difference between Neutral and Lawful characters, and I can't really see a reason why a Chaotic or Neutral bard couldn't be singing for an army in the field.

Also, claiming something that (apparently) puts you in minority and then demanding others to prove you're wrong doesn't look like a good debate tactics :smallwink: (I know of one person on these fora who uses it consistently, but he's a bit infamous for that).

PId6
2009-07-26, 06:40 AM
I all fairness, I can see your arguments, I see why you think this way, but I simply don't agree with 90% of your interpretations; for example, I don't see how the fluff and restrictions of bard are inconsistent (I'm willing to accept that Bards can't be lawful, because their power is such that it relies on non-Lawfulness - because this explanation is sufficient to me). All in all, you have your opinion which is as valid as any other, in your games you're absolutely free to have Lawful bards. That, and why is it a problem at all that bards can't be Lawful? Most of the time you can't even tell the difference between Neutral and Lawful characters, and I can't really see a reason why a Chaotic or Neutral bard couldn't be singing for an army in the field.
If the line between neutral and lawful is so blurred, as you're saying right here, why would a bard who's lawful with neutral tendencies not be able to advance while one who's neutral with lawful tendencies can? Let me put it this way: what is it about bards that forces them to be inherently chaotic? Mostly nonlawful, I can understand, but always? That requires a lot more than listing the "typical" bardic behavior, i.e. the image of the traveling minstrel who gets into bar fights and sleeps around.

First and foremost, ability-wise bards have nothing inherently chaotic about them. Spellcasting? Like sorcerer. Skills? Like rogue. The bard's only unique abilities, the various Bardic Music abilities like Inspire Courage and Countersong, just require the ability to sing/play an instrument. None of these abilities seem like someone who's lawful is completely unable to do them.

Now, under the "Alignment" entry for bard in the PHB, it only says "The spontaneous talent, magic, and lifestyle of the bard and incompatible with a lawful alignment" as justification. Let's look at each piece of that. First, the bard has spontaneous magic, yet so does the sorcerer. How come the sorcerer's spontaneous magic doesn't make him incompatible with a lawful alignment?

Well then, let's look at lifestyle. Does the bard's power only come if he lives a certain way? Does he have to seduce so-and-so number of prostitutes a month in order to keep his powers? Lifestyle is determined by each individual. A neutral bard probably wouldn't have the same romping lifestyle of the typical image of a bard, how come they don't lose their advancement? And a mildly lawful person can easily live the same lifestyle as a lawfully inclined neutral. So it can't be lifestyle.

Well then, finally there's spontaneous talent. This one's a bit trickier, since it's not clear what is meant by "spontaneous talent". Does the bard have to be born with the ability to play an instrument well? Well why can't a person who's lawfully inclined be born with musical talent? Or, for that matter, why is it that when a person with talent decides to respect authority a bit more, they suddenly are no longer able to develop their talent? Alignment doesn't perforate through every part of your body and personality, and you can be lawful for reasons completely unrelated to being a bard. If your views are lawful with respect to government, but neutral when it comes to creativity or playing music, why can't you be just as good a bard as a neutral person? Why should your views on government affect your talent at all?

Essentially, that's the bulk of my argument regarding bards. Why is there such a strict line where being a little lawful, even if it's for reasons completely unrelated to music, suddenly prevents you from being a bard? If their power comes from pure chaos, it'd make sense that they'd be more powerful depending on how chaotic they are. So a chaotic bard should be more powerful than a neutral one then, but that's not the case. Actually, this rolls neatly into the problems of the entire alignment system, but I'll stop here.


Also, claiming something that (apparently) puts you in minority and then demanding others to prove you're wrong doesn't look like a good debate tactics :smallwink: (I know of one person on these fora who uses it consistently, but he's a bit infamous for that).
I have given plenty of support for my opinions. I simply have a problem with Fiendish_Dire_Moose consistently insisting that since WotC made the game that way, that's the way it is and I shouldn't question it. I've no problem expanding on my arguments if you ask for it, as I just did.

Oslecamo
2009-07-26, 06:50 AM
Essentially, that's the bulk of my argument regarding bards. Why is there such a strict line where being a little lawful, even if it's for reasons completely unrelated to music, suddenly prevents you from being a bard? If their power comes from pure chaos, it'd make sense that they'd be more powerful depending on how chaotic they are. So a chaotic bard should be more powerful than a neutral one then, but that's not the case. Actually, this rolls neatly into the problems of the entire alignment system, but I'll stop here.


Because if your alignment is lawfull, then you're not being just a little lawful, you're being very lawfull.

Being neutral isn't about perfect balance, it's about swinging all ways. A neutral cleric can cast all spells, because he's not tied up to any particular alignment. Similarly, a neutral bard still has a chaotic side wich he can summon to fill his music with power.

The lawfull bard, however, no. He has greatly supressed his chaotic side. He would have a lot of trouble being naturally spontaneous.

Remember, bard isn't only about music, is about improvisation, and freedom, and wandering around the land following your whims.

PId6
2009-07-26, 07:07 AM
Because if your alignment is lawfull, then you're not being just a little lawful, you're being very lawfull.

Being neutral isn't about perfect balance, it's about swinging all ways. A neutral cleric can cast all spells, because he's not tied up to any particular alignment. Similarly, a neutral bard still has a chaotic side wich he can summon to fill his music with power.

The lawfull bard, however, no. He has greatly supressed his chaotic side. He would have a lot of trouble being naturally spontaneous.

Remember, bard isn't only about music, is about improvisation, and freedom, and wandering around the land following your whims.
You can be lawful with neutral tendencies. If you're extremely lawful with respect to government and authority, why does that have anything to do with music? An alignment is calculated based on your personality and philosophical views, not the other way around. If you fully and consistently support government or societal traditions, you'd be labeled lawful, even if you enjoy creativity and freedom in music.

Alignment doesn't determine your personality; your personality determines your alignment, so there's nothing stopping a bard that supports government from enjoying flexibility and spontaneity in his musical talent. Yet somehow, his political views hinder his ability to perform music.

Riffington
2009-07-26, 08:09 AM
I don't think that flaming others regarding houserules is helpful. We all play with houserules. Whether it's giving monks a free proficiency with Unarmed attacks, banning healing-by-drowning, allowing Lawful Bards, banning rule 0 in order to play "RAW", whatever. It's just helpful when using a houserule to know that it's a houserule. Fine, we all know that allowing a lawful bard would be a houserule; the question is whether it's a rule that makes sense. Saying "WotC said so" is not very useful.

Now, as to whether it makes sense: I'm wondering whether PI buys into a certain aspect of alignments. There's a notion that the things grouped together under Evil (or Lawful, or whatever) have a common thread. That chaos includes freedom, lack of respect for tradition, creation/destruction, and distrust of authority - and that these things are all related. That if you continually practice some of these, it will move you towards the others a bit more.
There is a different view that the things are separate adjectives all lumped into one category. That someone very creative or very destructive may both be hit harder by Axiomatic weapons, but that their creativity has zero influence on their destructiveness.
Now, if you subscribe to view 2, then alignment restrictions make sense only for classes like Assassin or Paladin. If you subscribe to view 1, then alignment restrictions make more sense. It might be that a certain degree of conformity and respect for tradition will suppress a wellspring of creativity and savage nature inside your soul that Bards rely upon. By view 2 that's nonsense.

An Evil requirement for Ur-Priests could be defended given either of these two views - but it depends what you think Ur-Priests are really doing. The books really don't spell that out. They don't say whether Ur-Priests are stealing power in the way that Prometheus "stole" fire, in the way that Gus Gorman steals a bit from everyone, or in the way that burglars steal. Your answer is really going to depend on what an Ur-Priest fundamentally is/does.

PId6
2009-07-26, 06:43 PM
Now, as to whether it makes sense: I'm wondering whether PI buys into a certain aspect of alignments. There's a notion that the things grouped together under Evil (or Lawful, or whatever) have a common thread. That chaos includes freedom, lack of respect for tradition, creation/destruction, and distrust of authority - and that these things are all related. That if you continually practice some of these, it will move you towards the others a bit more.
There is a different view that the things are separate adjectives all lumped into one category. That someone very creative or very destructive may both be hit harder by Axiomatic weapons, but that their creativity has zero influence on their destructiveness.
I think that's exactly it; the different facets of alignment describe so many arbitrarily chosen traits shoved under a common heading. Is it so impossible to have a person who's both trustworthy and flexible? Or follow their conscience and still be honorable? The good and evil axis makes more sense in this aspect in that they have a much more limited scope, but law and chaos just feels like someone flipped through a dictionary and randomly selected adjectives.

Alignment is a label applied to you based on consistent behavior or beliefs. If someone keeps their word, respects authority, follows tradition, and tells the truth, they'd be considered far more lawful than not even if they happen to also be creative and flexible at the same time with regard to music. Good and evil at least has clear, opposing traits: that of helping others or hurting others. Law and chaos has no such thing; honorable and adaptable, trustworthy and free, why can't you be all of those things at once?

deuxhero
2009-07-26, 08:10 PM
<DEVIL'S ADVOCATE>
The rogue mechanics technically represent spies just as well as thieves. The bard mechanics... whoever heard of a singing spy?
</DEVIL'S ADVOCATE>

As far as espionage goes, a bard is acctually better than a rogue. A common profession works a lot better for blending into a crowd than being able to strike people in vulerbul areas.

ghost_warlock
2009-07-26, 11:15 PM
An Evil requirement for Ur-Priests could be defended given either of these two views - but it depends what you think Ur-Priests are really doing. The books really don't spell that out. They don't say whether Ur-Priests are stealing power in the way that Prometheus "stole" fire, in the way that Gus Gorman steals a bit from everyone, or in the way that burglars steal. Your answer is really going to depend on what an Ur-Priest fundamentally is/does.
:smalleek: The Promethean ur-priest has got to be one of the best interpretations/re-fluffs of the class I've heard. Awesome! :smallbiggrin:


As far as espionage goes, a bard is acctually better than a rogue. A common profession works a lot better for blending into a crowd than being able to strike people in vulerbul areas.
Hm. Also, a bard could take that 'Subsonics' feat which, IIRC, would allow him to use his fascinate, suggestion, and similar bardic music abilities on targets subtlely.

Dracomorph
2009-07-27, 01:55 AM
As far as espionage goes, a bard is acctually better than a rogue. A common profession works a lot better for blending into a crowd than being able to strike people in vulerbul areas.

And that's not even MENTIONING the number of IRL spies who were performers.

Omegonthesane
2009-07-27, 04:49 AM
And that's not even MENTIONING the number of IRL spies who were performers.

I WAS arguing against myself at the time. Maybe I picked a bad analogy.

Also, here's the official "All Gods are Bastards" setting under construction (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119533) so we have somewhere to actually play as Good ur-priests.

Oslecamo
2009-07-27, 05:13 AM
You can be lawful with neutral tendencies.

No you can't. You can be neutral, and be at the brinck of changing alignment, but for all effects and purposes you're still neutral. And then you change to lawfull if you keep doing too much lawfull stuff, or remain neutral. There's no "tendencies" to anything. If you're doing more lawfull stuff than chaotic stuff, you're lawfull.



If you're extremely lawful with respect to government and authority, why does that have anything to do with music? An alignment is calculated based on your personality and philosophical views, not the other way around. If you fully and consistently support government or societal traditions, you'd be labeled lawful, even if you enjoy creativity and freedom in music.

Neither.Alignment is based in your actions.[/I] The overlord who slaughters weack people because he thinks he's doing them a favor is still evil, even if he thinks he's doing a good action.

So if the bard fully suports a lawfull society and plays by their rules, he can think he's a free creative man all he wants, he'll just be lying to himself, detect alignment will resist him as lawfull and he'll go to a lawfull plane after death.

On the other hand, if the bard follows the book by day and then goes by wild with music during the night, he'll simply be neutral, because the lawfull and chaotic actions balance each other.

Plus there are chaotic societies.



Alignment doesn't determine your personality; your personality determines your alignment

Again, neither. You can be a LG paladin and still be an arrogant prick to everyone as long as you're helping them, and you can be a CE psychopath and still act as the cool kid in the neighborhood after you've murdered and raped another family during the night. It's your actions wich determine your alignment, not your vision of the world. The guy who wants to help people but never has the guts to move a finger to do so won't definetely be good.



so there's nothing stopping a bard that supports government from enjoying flexibility and spontaneity in his musical talent. Yet somehow, his political views hinder his ability to perform music.
You just described a neutral bard. If you perform equal number of chaotic and lawfull deeds, you end up neutral, not lawfull with politician tendencies or whatever new alignment you're trying to make up here.

MickJay
2009-07-27, 06:12 AM
Alignement, in its more modern versions, is a weird mix of views on life, of personality and the result of previous actions. It's assumed that if a person does an evil deed (regardless of motivations), they will "magically" start to believe in evil philosophies more. Alignment is now treated as something to be roleplayed, but in fact it used to be more of a net result of player's actions than a guideline to how the PC should act. You start as Lawful, you perform Chaotic deeds, then it's natural your current alignment doesn't reflect who you are - switch to Neutral, then Chaotic. Your alignment says "CE", but you're not that much of a cad, and actually help people from time to time, and you've got a fairly strict personal code - you slowly switch to LN. Making alignment something that has to be roleplayed or you'll be punished by change of alignment is something I dislike the most in D&D roleplaying - not the mechanics, because alignment should shift if you act at odds with it, but the way this shift is often represented - and how DMs expect you to roleplay your alignment, as if it was the only thing worth roleplaying in D&D.

Yora
2009-07-27, 06:15 AM
People should get away from the notion of "acting according to alignment". the explaination of "net result" seems much more better to me.
The thoughts and deeds of your past determine if your soul burns in the holy fire of a Holy Word spell.
And mostly, I think alignment is an ultra-quick reference for gms to get a very basic general idea what that NPC is about. But not much more.

MickJay
2009-07-27, 06:40 AM
Pretty much so. It's a very convenient tool for tracking some mechanical issues (Paladings need to roleplay their alignment a bit, but that's part of the class, same with druids, but few other classes necessitate certain type of roleplaying) and knowing what kind of personality an NPC has in one glance, but the way it's used in some games is absolutely terrible (IMO :smalltongue:). I'm not really interested in playing an NPC-like character so that my alignment would have to dictate what I do.

Random832
2009-07-27, 06:52 AM
An Evil requirement for Ur-Priests could be defended given either of these two views - but it depends what you think Ur-Priests are really doing. The books really don't spell that out. They don't say whether Ur-Priests are stealing power in the way that Prometheus "stole" fire, in the way that Gus Gorman steals a bit from everyone, or in the way that burglars steal. Your answer is really going to depend on what an Ur-Priest fundamentally is/does.

The other thing the question can be defined in terms of is just why these things calling themselves "gods" - evil or not - have the right to use this energy and provide it for their followers' usage and others do not. Which really depends on defining a lot of fluff that's left unspecified - does the power come from the gods, does it come from the mortals who worship them (and if so is there any consideration for whether they may have tricked them in any way), does it come from the planes themselves (and they're just monopolizing access to it), etc.

PId6
2009-07-27, 07:07 AM
No you can't. You can be neutral, and be at the brinck of changing alignment, but for all effects and purposes you're still neutral. And then you change to lawfull if you keep doing too much lawfull stuff, or remain neutral. There's no "tendencies" to anything. If you're doing more lawfull stuff than chaotic stuff, you're lawfull.
So are you saying that every lawful person is just as lawful as every other lawful person? That every good person is just as good as every other good person? This (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/description.htm#alignment) description of alignment disagrees with you.

Alignment is a tool for developing your characterís identity. It is not a straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the same alignment can still be quite different from each other. In addition, few people are completely consistent.

I believe "tendencies" were from previous editions, though they're not officially in the 3.5 PHB. Regardless of what you call them, different levels of lawfulness or goodness can easily be seen if you look at any real person's personality (this page (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119354) is a good example). To quote the SRD, an alignment "is not a straitjacket for restricting your character."


Neither.Alignment is based in your actions.[/I] The overlord who slaughters weack people because he thinks he's doing them a favor is still evil, even if he thinks he's doing a good action.
Alignment can result from philosophies and beliefs just as much as they do from actions. If a person consistently desires to murder, but never has the courage to do so, they're still evil, regardless of the fact that they never actually murdered anyone. The consistent belief that he should murder someone is enough to set his alignment.


So if the bard fully suports a lawfull society and plays by their rules, he can think he's a free creative man all he wants, he'll just be lying to himself, detect alignment will resist him as lawfull and he'll go to a lawfull plane after death.
So basically, your argument is that if you're lawful, you must be lawful in every way possible. Well as I've already shown, that's not true at all, as the SRD clearly says. I'll repeat again, "each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies" and "few people are completely consistent."


On the other hand, if the bard follows the book by day and then goes by wild with music during the night, he'll simply be neutral, because the lawfull and chaotic actions balance each other.
If the bard supports lawful society, honors tradition, is trustworthy, and also happen to act creatively when it comes to music? His lawful traits far outnumber and far outweigh his single chaotic tendency, that of his music, and thus he would be labeled lawful, not neutral.


Plus there are chaotic societies.
And this is relevant because?


Again, neither. You can be a LG paladin and still be an arrogant prick to everyone as long as you're helping them, and you can be a CE psychopath and still act as the cool kid in the neighborhood after you've murdered and raped another family during the night. It's your actions wich determine your alignment, not your vision of the world. The guy who wants to help people but never has the guts to move a finger to do so won't definetely be good.
The parts of your personality that is relevant to alignment characteristics do indeed determine your alignment. Arrogance has nothing to do with alignment, and thus you can be as arrogant as you want without affecting your alignment. Nor do other traits like patience, bravery, extroversion, or perfectionism affect your alignment. Altruism or trustworthiness, however, do affect your alignment. If you're a poor beggar who has no money, and you consistently and truly wish that you had money so you can donate it to charity, then yes, you would be a good person, even if you never have a chance to act out your altruism.


You just described a neutral bard. If you perform equal number of chaotic and lawfull deeds, you end up neutral, not lawfull with politician tendencies or whatever new alignment you're trying to make up here.
Yes, if you are equally lawful and chaotic, then you would have a neutral alignment. But what if you are lawful in every way except in the few ways related to being a bard? Once again, a bard that supports lawful society, honors tradition, is trustworthy, and also happen to act creatively when it comes to music would have so many more lawful traits than the minor chaotic one that he would be considered lawful. Why then should all of those traits completely unrelated to being a bard affect his bard ability?

MickJay
2009-07-27, 07:09 AM
Given that clerics can get power because they worship a cause, not a deity, it would seem that the gods merely transfer the power that's already there (or maybe just put their "label" on it, like expensive brands do with 2-per-dollar products made in China, and get few hundred/thousand % of profit "margin" because of that). Then there was the whole issue of being a cleric of yourself, and being able to use 1st and 2nd level spells, granted by you to you.

Whether the power comes from belief or is more of an elemental force is not that important, I think. Both just seem to be inherently there to be used.

PId6
2009-07-27, 07:13 AM
Whether the power comes from belief or is more of an elemental force is not that important, I think. Both just seem to be inherently there to be used.
If they're there just to be used, then should it really matter how you get them, as long as you use them in good (or evil) ways?

Duke of URL
2009-07-27, 07:37 AM
You want support? How's this: Your argument boils down to, "WoTC didn't tailor the game to what I feel it should be and that's a problem."

No, the argument is that WotC over-tailored the game with unnecessary insertion of setting information into the mechanics, thereby making the mechanics not necessarily make sense in alternate settings without changing the unnecessary elements that shouldn't have been there in the first place.

Arcane Archers have to be elves or half-elves? Really? (And don't get me started on Dwarven Defenders...) A halfling can't study magic and archery to produce the same effects simple because (s)he is a halfling and not an elf? Why? Oh, because that's what is assumed in the default setting.

I'm not making the argument that setting-specific restrictions and requirements are a bad thing. But the rule designers need to do a better job laying out the differences between what is an actual game rule, and what is a setting rule. A setting designer or DM needs to go through the setting-specific rules and determine which ones still apply to his/her setting and which ones need to be altered, replaced, or removed.

Going back to the Arcane Archer, I may be designing a setting that says that the technique was developed by the kobolds, and they don't teach it to anyone else, so that non-kobold arcane archers are so rare as to be non-existent. Alternatively, maybe learning how to become an arcane archer is only something half-elves can do, requiring them to draw on both halves of their heritage (might as well pair the suckiest race in core with the suckiest PrC after all).

I'll say it flat-out, WotC made a mistake. One big mistake, early in the design process. They decided -- consciously or not -- that the general assumptions inherent in the default setting could be encoded into the game rules, despite the fact that the rules were made to allow for multiple settings. I 100% disagree with that decision, and I'll continue to call it a mistake every time the subject comes up.

kamikasei
2009-07-27, 08:11 AM
I agree with Duke of URL, and applaud how well he put forward his views on the matter. I'd been ignoring the thread since it seemed to have turned into PId6 vs FDM, but felt I should voice my support for that last post.

Furthermore,


D&D is very setting specific. It's specific to the worlds and rules set forth by the game. The same is true for WoD, Call of Cthulu, and even Shadowrun.

Seems to be the root of the problem - I don't think that's true at all. The core D&D books make a bunch of setting-based assumptions, but don't detail the setting itself in any depth, and don't distinguish between what parts of the core rules of the game are actual rules - "this is how things work" - and which are just setting details - "this is how the vague and fuzzy setting we imagine the game being played in is arranged".

The fact that the same core D&D rules are supposed to work with settings as diverse as Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Greyhawk, and a host of other published settings (not all at once in the same edition, of course) as well as whatever DM-created worlds different tables may use is a rather clear indication that D&D is supposed to be much less setting-bound than WoD, Exalted, Shadowrun etc.

Yora
2009-07-27, 08:26 AM
I'll say it flat-out, WotC made a mistake. One big mistake, early in the design process. The decided -- consciously or not -- that the general assumptions inherent in the default setting could be encoded into the game rules, despite the fact that the rules were made to allow for multiple settings. I 100% disagree with that decision, and I'll continue to call it a mistake every time the subject comes up.

In fact, the Prestige Classes in the 3.0 DMG were explicitly stated to be examples how to make custom prestige classes for custom settings. The mistake probably happened early during the writing of the first splat-book, I guess.

PId6
2009-07-27, 08:35 AM
I agree with Duke of URL, and applaud how well he put forward his views on the matter. I'd been ignoring the thread since it seemed to have turned into PId6 vs FDM, but felt I should voice my support for that last post.
Actually, it feels more like me vs everyone at this point, but meh, haven't heard any arguments that proves me wrong yet.

puppyavenger
2009-08-01, 02:00 PM
<DEVIL'S ADVOCATE>
The rogue mechanics technically represent spies just as well as thieves. The bard mechanics... whoever heard of a singing spy?
</DEVIL'S ADVOCATE>

Alfred the great?


anyway, for Ur-priests, whats to stop some outsider from simply reading their minds for the knowledge of how Ur-priesting works while they're sleeping? Then writing it down, and sending off text-books of the core theory and practice without all the baby-killing or whatever is normally included to ever printing press institute of learning and magical university the next day?


Also, why exactly does Pelor the NG undead-hating epic-level master of healing and goodness have more right to phenomenal divine power the billy-bob the NG undead-hating epic-level master of healing and goodness?