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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Klara Meison View Post
    Paizo writing has so many Mary Sues, plot holes and general deus-ex-machina's it's not even funny.

    Spoiler: Significant Curse of the Crimson Throne spoilers
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    So, when that adventure starts, you find this playing card in your house, which gives you a time and a place. You go there, meet the rest of the party and a lady questgiver who gives you a hint where you can find Lamm(person who was hyped up as this untouchable unfindable mafiosi, who ****ed over everyone in the party at least once, and at that point you are thinking "Well, here is the BBEG for the first book"). Lady very unabashedly hints that it was she who snuck the card into your house, bringing you all together. You later find out that she is dead and is actually a ghost thingy tied to the deck of cards, and the ones you got vere illusory.

    Well, here is the thing. She literally couldn't have done it. She has no abilities that let her manifest illusions so good they don't grant a save when interracted with from across the city with no line of effect or line of sight and god knows how many walls in the middle. "O but it doesn't matter focus on the story hurr durr"-it actually does matter very much. I was told about this by a friend who played through CotCT, and at one point they had to get a piece of information to a person on the other end of town. So he said "Well, lets call up our lady ghost friend and ask her to do it, like she did with our cards". Nope. Not possible.

    And by default you kill/capture Lamm in session one. Talk about overhyping.

    Want more? A second serving of plot holes coming up! At the end of first book there is a scene with a public execution. One person participating is JJ's self-insert character who is pretty much batman. Yes, with the costume. Yes, makes about as much realistic sense as the original. What that batman does is stop the execution, right in front of everyone(like half a city is gathered) call for a rebellion, then attempt to escape with the executionee. Party is basically assumed to be helping them. Yep, help out an open rebel out in the open in front of like half of the city, the queen, her guards, and god knows how many other important people. But that's not the insane part. Insane part is that if batman escapes, he manages to hide from Queen's wrath for months. Queen is a high-level caster with a lot of time and money on her hands, and a particular hate for rebels. Batman is something like Fighter 3/Swashbuckler 1. How he manages to not be found in less than a day is beyond me.

    Still here? Well, here is the big one. See, CotCT is generally considered the best adventure path by Paizo out there. Pretty much everyone agrees on that. And out of that whole adventure, book 2 is the central point. Devs literally said that the rest has been written as more or less background for book 2. Book 2 of CotCT is where the best of the best Paizo has to offer in terms of writing quality is. What happens in that book is complicated, but basically the whole city suddenly gets infected with a plague. Dropping the question of how the flying flickety flock a mundane plague can function in a world with Remove Disease(it's really rather easy when you consider population mechanics and how many clerics there are in a city), that plague is the whole point of book 2. You do all sorts of quests related to the plague, trying to find out how it started in the process.

    Well, riddle me this. What does an adventurer who is just about out of the "amazing mundane people" range do with a problem? How about a threat?

    They deal with it. Directly. They don't run away or ignore it, that has been passed behind 2 levels ago. So, what's a good way to deal with a plague? Well, you try to find a cure. AP blessedly enough gives you a fair amount of downtime to allow for this, so unless your Wizard/Witch/Alchemist/Harbinger is particularily lazy or selfish, they would probably either try to either find a cure themselves through experimentation or try to join an existing research division(it has been announced that The Crown is working on the cure by that point in the AP). Well, guess what. AP has literally no support for this rather obvious idea. None. Nada. Nill. Nihil subsidium.

    So, here we have the best book out of the best AP, and it assumes the players will sit on their hands and go on stupid quests on the level of "go and kill those 10 evil people, don't ask questions" to pass the time instead of actually trying to do something productive.

    Yeah, not terribly sad about leaving Paizo forums.

    Spoiler: CotCT Spoilers
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    According to the new hardcover, she's not a ghost, but a Haunt. And the illusions aren't spells, they're all in the pcs head. It's why they can pick them up and such. And it only works on the pcs because she can feel everyone Gaedren hurt and manifest to them through shared hatred of him. That said, they do get a save now. It's will 25. But only if they have doubts on the subject. The pcs now get to manufacture the cure but they can't do so until they get the notes on the disease in the dungeon. There's three sets. With jsut one the check is dc 30. Dc with no notes might be even higher.


    Seems they addressed some of this stuff in the re-release.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    DracoknightZero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    I played a AP for my group called "From the depths",
    Spoiler: I forgot to spoiler this.
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    the introduction to the story was so lame i had to write my own story where they travel from Absolom to the point where the adventure start. The beginning of the adventure was alright with the village and the spooky setup and gave my players a scare ( especially as i used the firelink shrine theme as backdrop ). However as soon as i got to the island **** just didnt go so well as its described that the players are supposed to wander the island for DAYS with random encounters, and the DCs for the knowledge checks were in the 20s so i wonder how the hell a lvl 6 party could make them for a 15pt buy that is standard for APs.. ( our party is equivalent to 34pt, but they still couldnt do the knowledge checks, considering our mage wasnt among us )

    And then its just "go from A to B, event trigger" for 5 locations, and then the adventure end in a litteral "death corridor" with no way back up and rather heavy encounters. I even let my players rest down there as it was kind of stupid how you could have ambush encounters right before the final fight.

    The ending was 2 dominated, the rogue and the sorcerer. The Monk got dominated in the last round and then the paladin managed to kill off the boss with a attack of oppertunity as the boss tries to escape. To make it not a TKP after all of that **** i just made the dominated people pick on the wall for the boss to escape, and later just do a combat manouver to delay the rest of the party.


    Also in a game of "Wrath of the Rightous" and there is so many awkward moments of "HEY LOOK! THIS PERSON IS LESBIAN! HEY LOOK WE HAVE PERSONS WITH DARK BACKGROUNDS!" Our DM had to tone down a lot of the cringy scenes in that AP...
    Last edited by DracoknightZero; 2016-10-20 at 11:06 PM.
    Spoiler: Currently DMing:
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Tels's Avatar

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilrax View Post
    Spoiler: CotCT Spoilers
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    According to the new hardcover, she's not a ghost, but a Haunt. And the illusions aren't spells, they're all in the pcs head. It's why they can pick them up and such. And it only works on the pcs because she can feel everyone Gaedren hurt and manifest to them through shared hatred of him. That said, they do get a save now. It's will 25. But only if they have doubts on the subject. The pcs now get to manufacture the cure but they can't do so until they get the notes on the disease in the dungeon. There's three sets. With jsut one the check is dc 30. Dc with no notes might be even higher.


    Seems they addressed some of this stuff in the re-release.
    Spoiler: CotCT Book 2
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    Actually, the original publication of CotCT addresses the issue of hiw a plague starts when Remove Disease is a thing. In the Dungeon Master's Guide for 3.5, it breaks down the number of casters of each level available by city population, and points out that, even should every caster capable of firing the plague do so, they simply don't have the numbers to pull it off as Blood Veil spreads too quickly.

    You have to understand, the plague itself was not accidental, in the original, the Queen's servants and the Urgathoan Cultists had a ship sunk that was carrying little lock boxes designed to float. Inside the boxes was something like 50 silver coins, each tainted with Blood Veil. The coins were then spread through the population, infecting everyone who handled them. At the same time, they deposited coins in the Bank of Avatar, and also used them for purchases around the city.

    So Blood Veil went from non-existant, to everywhere in the blink of an eye. There simply was no possible way of counteracting the spread of the disease with anything less than, like, an Angelic host or army of Clerics/Paladin's etc. Or without abusing the magic trap system.

    Spoiler: More on CotCT
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    Criticisms of Book 1 are well known, so too are the criticisms for Book 4. Many things can be attributed to oversight, and that they wanted to focus more on telling a good story instead of making everything viable by RAW. It's funny, I always see, "don't worry about the nitty gritty details of the rules when GMing, just focus on the story and fun for the players" as the Number 1 tip for new GMs, yet I see so many people complain when some little aspect of the rules is forgotten or ignored.

    Anyway, CotCT is regarded as arguably the best AP due to its overall story and setting. The scenarios, especially Book 2, are some of the best every written, and Castle Scarwall in Book 5 is a beast. The NPCs in the books, especially Laori Vaus are huge fan favorites too. I mean, what's not to love about a demented and psychotic Elven cleric who giggles at the thought of torturing puppies and enjoys long walks on the beach, dragging you along in chains made from your eviscerated entrails, followed by several hours of flesh rending sex? Also, she makes cookies.
    Last edited by Tels; 2016-10-20 at 06:38 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Rynjin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Anyway...

    Ash (and everyone else ),

    How would you go about creating a setting where humans are relatively rare, being newcomers in a weird world/continent/plane/whatever and so far only having had time to create a handful of cities?

    What contextual and metagame implications can you predict? What would happen to a continent where the other races exist, living mostly in isolation from one another, if humans were suddenly introduced into the mix?

    What if the humans had relatively advanced technology (for a mostly medieval world), but not the resources necessary to use/create it? (The idea being that most humans who actually knew how to create/use said technology either died on whatever event caused the humans to leave their land or on their way to this new world).
    Required reading on this subject, IMO:

    1.) The Coldfire trilogy, by CS Friedman. Three books, obviously. Group of space explorers land on a planet that is ruled by a force they come to call the fae that makes all thoughts reality. They learn to survive and harness the fae to eke out survival, and clash with the natives that always lived in harmony with it.

    2.) The Codex Alera, by Jim Butcher. Seven books. Born of pulling two seemingly unrelated ideas (Pokemon and the lost Roman Legion) out of a hat (literally), and a series that is almost as good, if not on par with the Dresden Files. Elemental pacts abound.

    3.) The Pern novels, by Anne McCaffrey. I am too lazy to open my box and count them, but there are a lot. I suggest just reading the prologue book, which is Dragon Dawn IIRC. Explorers land on a new planet, are ravaged by an unforeseeable threat called the Thread, genetically engineer dragons to survive. No sentient native life to clash with, but a good example of how even limited (by the extent of their resources originally available) amount of sci-fi tech can change things.

  5. - Top - End - #245
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Tels View Post

    Anyway, CotCT is regarded as arguably the best AP due to its overall story and setting. The scenarios, especially Book 2, are some of the best every written, and Castle Scarwall in Book 5 is a beast. The NPCs in the books, especially Laori Vaus are huge fan favorites too. I mean, what's not to love about a demented and psychotic Elven cleric who giggles at the thought of torturing puppies and enjoys long walks on the beach, dragging you along in chains made from your eviscerated entrails, followed by several hours of flesh rending sex? Also, she makes cookies.
    I've heard plenty of good things about CotCT, and have been considering getting the compilation. For the last few years, I've mostly been sticking to buying compilations only for RPG products. It acts as a quality filter of sorts, since there are tens of thousands of RPG products and I can't possibly consider all of them. I do make exceptions for really awesome material (Word Mill's Location Generator, for example), and for the core rules of a game (since I need those to play, obviously.) So CotCT naturally came on my radar due to being one of the few Paizo products that survives my "Core and Compilations" filter, and due to the praise it regularly receives.


    There are, though, a few things holding me back from the purchase button:
    1. Issues with the Paizo.com store push me away from wanting to buy it directly from Paizo.
    2. Adventures are really something that I think are a lot more convenient to have digitally. If I'm going to be referencing it while running a session, I want it on my laptop. I would consider using a print version, but the extra inconvenience of having to handle a big heavy book without a search feature or copy/paste makes it less desirable than it would be if it were digital.
    3. The hardcover is expensive, even with Amazon Prime. Especially when accounting for the fact that it is already in an inconvenient format.
    4. Since my ftf gaming groups don't do Pathfinder, I'd either have to convert it to another game system (which shouldn't be particularly hard for Word Mill's Mythic RPG or Mongoose Legend, but might be harder for 3.5 or GURPS), or I'd need to run it in an online game. And if I'm running a game online, point (2) becomes even bigger.

    So, yea. There's still a pretty high chance I'll get it eventually, but I'll wait until the price goes down somewhat. RPG books have shelflives of decades, after all.

  6. - Top - End - #246
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    sigh Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Don't you love when electricity goes out on Saturday of all days... And you have nothing to do but fiddle with your phone?

    Even my cat is bored...
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  7. - Top - End - #247
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Not nearly as bad as when the power goes out and you have work you actually have to do, but can't

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    Not nearly as bad as when the power goes out and you have work you actually have to do, but can't
    Not as bad, but just as boring...

    Electricity is back now, though!
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Tels View Post
    Im not sure the Dwarves and Humans would actually fight too much in this case. Humans are fairly lazy creatures, so why would they try and start mining the Mountains if they have a good relationship with a race of beings who are already mining it, and already have huge fortresses and cities built into said mines? Better to just trade with them, than try and take it from them. Or perhaps even send people into the mines and work with the dwarves to improve mining, like via their steampunk technology.
    Yeah... That's a good point. I'm actually considering the idea of humans having adopted the dwarven currency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tels View Post
    How long will the Truce last between humans and elves? The humans are going to need more wood eventually, even if they aren't expanding and population has stabilized. They need it for houses, wagons, barrels and all sorts of things. Eventually, someone is going to cross that border.
    Yeah, that's meant to be one of the sources of conflict in the setting. Even if humans adopt a very environment-friendly policy, they'd still expand and have to revise their policies much faster than elves find acceptable. For humans, raising the limit of how much can be harvested/cut/hunted every 20 years or so would be very reasonable... Elves would see that the way we'd see someone proposing a new policy every 3 months. Both sides have individuals/organizations proposing diplomatic solutions as well as individuals/organizations proposing military conflict.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tels View Post
    What is the relationship between dwarves and elves? Stereotypical Tolkien one of "mutual dislike" between them? Or something different? The about other races, like halfling and gnomes? I assume half-orc and half-lives are basically non-existant as there just hasn't been enough time for such races to really be even a minority instead of a unique being. What other races will be playable in this setting, as that will greatly change how the setting is shaped.
    Mostly they find each other really strange and somewhat foolish, but do not hate each other. Historically, they've been allies more often than they have been enemies, but still, most of the time they are just uninterested in each other, save for a few trade agreements.

    Half-elves are nonexistent (so far)... Half-orcs are extremely rare, but not unheard of, as humans did encounter a few orcs tribes and raiding parties. Nearly all of these encounters ended in military conflict, but not all of them. Since orcs are rare in this portion of the continent (mostly because of the presence of elves and dwarfs). A few orc tribes were incorporated into human society as mercenaries and bounty hunters, but they are still widely seen as 2nd class citizens at best.

    Not sure on the other races populating the continent... Halflings live among other aces, and have no significant society of their own. Gnomes have a small, but prosperous kingdom close to the elven borders...

    There are a number of islands on the southern half of the continent, where the climate grows increasingly tropical the more you go south... I'm trying to decide what races to place there... Maybe catfolk based on the desert-dwelling saber cats from Diablo. Lizardfolk could be cool too...
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  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    On the subject of power...

    This summer my phone company came by to work on our phone lines due to frequent issues with internet. We have two buildings on our property, and the other being was built first (intended to be a shop, but we ended up living in it until we could finish our house). The phone line connects to the, now, shop, and we live in the second building (which is our house).

    Anyway, we had our phone connected through a buried cable between the two buildings (easier and cheaper than hooking the house up directly), but an earthquake damaged it. So the phone company laid a temporary line across the surface of the ground, along the backside of our property. We were supposed to dig a new trench for a new buried line, but with everything going on this summer, we forgot.

    So this brings us to last Wednesday, the 12th. Local power company was doing maintenance on the lines behind my house, trimming off dangerous branches and cutting bush growth. They did this with a machine with, what amounts to, a giant lawn mower attachment. A lawn mower the shredded our temporary phone line.

    So we dug our trench that Friday, the 14th... And we're still waiting for the phone company to come by and reconnect us. It seems most of their techs have either quit or gone on vacation, so they are short handed and super backed up in my area.

    Now here I am with no internet except my cell phone, thank heavens for unlimited data, and I've been trying to prep a Halloween Zombie short game using only my phone. To make it even worse, looks like no one is wanting to play, so most of my effort is being wasted. At least I've got some NPCs to use.
    Founding member of the Cult of Ashiel

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Ashiel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Just a heads up!

    I'm staying with my friend Artorious for a short while, to help him out with some things. I had some difficulties in getting online since I got here but those issues have since been resolved. I just got home from work a few hours ago, and I need to take a nap before I fall out, but I just wanted to let everyone know why I've been absent a few days. I'll read over all the posts I've missed when I get up, and respond accordingly.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Ashiel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Tels View Post
    Ashiel-senpai, is this.... Well, I guess my phone has learned my speech, it just auto corrected "Ashiel" into "Ashiel-senpai" :D

    Anyway... Is this person, like, an illegitimate offspring, or long lost twin? Perhaps a secret cultist? (Read all of his comments on Urgathoa)
    Wow, phones do that?

    Also, no, it's not me but I like what I see.

    My great appreciation of Urgathoa began with the Pathfinder Campaign Setting book, which was released for 3.5 D&D rather than Pathfinder proper. However, since it's almost entirely world fluff, it's pretty usable regardless of edition. However, it was the first book in which I was introduced to the Golarion deities. In the early days of Pathfinder, a lot of the deities such as Asmodeus and Urgathoa were, even if unintentionally, more "respectable" as deities. There were threads on the forums discussing places like Cheliax and how the nation could conceivably, rationally, end up with Asmodeus as their patron, and the benefits that it provided to the everyman.

    Meanwhile, Urgathoa was often prayed to for deliverance from disease and malady, since as she gives, so too can she take. She also has a lot of traditions and cultural bits that seem totally normal and respectable. Every holiday for Urgathoans are celebrations like Thanksgiving, with friends, family, and lots of food. A satanic-like religion where people celebrate their lives constantly, and one that promises to extend the joys of living eternally, by the grace of the one who beat death and Pharasma. It seemed like people could totally worship her as a deity without being seen as raving baby eating murder-crazies. Of course later books ruined that.

    Though certainly unintentional, the one thing that really attracted me to the deities of Golarion were how not all the good deities were perfect, and how many, but not all, of the evil deities had good qualities (not always in a moral sense but also practical and pragmatic senses) that would lead to sane people worshiping or learning from them. It was extremely refreshing, since I had frequently seen campaigns with evil deities who are described as having many followers but no reason to actually have any followers at all. Truly, I would argue, that the number of people who would worship a deity who has no one's interests, who only cares about things like destruction and murder, would have to be abysmally low. Even evil people would be slow to worship any deity whose only interests were things like the destruction of the world, wanton murder, etc.

    In Golarion, originally, I could see people across the alignment spectrum that worshiped, even if misguidedly, evil deities like Asmodeus and Urgathoa. It made sense. It felt pretty real. It was this interpretation of these deities that led me to create some of my most beloved characters set in Golarion. I've had a few that worshiped Urgathoa and were active believers who payed homage, said prayers, and served others. One was a vampire who awoke after a very long time (essentially the spear she had been skewered with eventually rotted away) and began wandering the world again. When she came upon a village that had been massacred, one of the other PCs from the same village was trying to bury everyone alone. Given that it was night when she arrived in the village, she urged the other PC to rest and helped them bury them until dawn. When the sun rose, she spent her time inside the now empty town's inn. What was she doing in there? Sleeping perhaps? No.

    She was cooking. She was preparing a feast in the honor of all the dead in the village. Later the rest of the PCs showed up, including a bunch of Paladins and Clerics who found her gesture a bit odd but benign (not realizing that she was a vampire). She prayed for the dead - and their freedom in the afterlife. She celebrated many things that the PCs experienced. One of the PCs was a dhampir in the custody of the Paladins and Cleric (something of a ward, as they were protecting the young woman from some cultists who had some evil shenanigans planned). They, of course, were trying to get the dhampir to reject her "taint". Naturally, my vampire was a bit appalled that this young woman could hate herself so much, and view her "noble" heritage as a taint rather than a mark of honor. As it turned out, she found that a past run-in with the cultists had left the dhampir mute, and so with no real way of ratting her out effectively, she began to steal the little dhampir away at night to teach her to love herself and embrace what she was. She was teaching her to be a "noble lady" with the intention of eventually siring her into true nobility.

    It was a fun character. Another character was an arcanist who acted as a priestess of Urgathoa. Her mode of operations was taking a more direct route to spreading the good word. That route was...openly living her life and freely admitting her religion and rocking life like it was going out of style. I didn't get to play her very much but what time I did was fun.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    How would you (and everyone else who has a cool idea ) give an advantage to longer weapons without giving them reach (say... a rapier vs a dagger)?

    Also... How would you make TWF cool and effective/balanced without doubling the number of attacks?
    Last edited by Lemmy; 2016-10-25 at 02:44 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #254
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    DracoknightZero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Hmmm, i had my disagreements with JJ in the past over how the whole Cleric and beliefs system he uses, though i later figured a oracle was a better fit to me both flavor and mechanically.

    But we had a bit of a talk about "animate" undead...
    Lets see:

    Spoiler: Draco
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    A question behind the nature of "animate dead", how does this spell interact with the body/soul of the victim of the spell?

    I theorized that the animate dead spell would be similar to animating an object and just use the arcane energies to move it, but since the spell is *evil* would that mean that the caster uses the victims soul as a energy source and is thus the reason to why the animated undead is an evil act?

    I can understand the thoughts behind "create undead" and the like as you actually create some form of unlife, but "animate dead" just sound so similar to "animate object" in terms of usage as you are technically just animating something.

    But yeah, i am just interested to hear your idea behind the undead, the creations of such and their connection to how negative energy and alignment works, especially since you mentioned that negative energy isnt "evil" in itself rather than just being "anti-life".


    Spoiler: JJ reply
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    James Jacobs wrote:

    If you're making something more than a mindless undead, the soul is corrupted and housed within the rotting body as part of the transformation into undead; this is why undead are almost always evil; and the retention of the corrupted soul is what grants them their intelligence and self-awareness.
    But when you use animate dead to make a zombie or skeleton, the spell only uses a fraction of the soul. Not enough to prevent the soul from moving on to be judged, but enough to prevent the body from being raised from the dead until the undead body is destroyed.
    Animate dead is NOT similar to animate object at all, since the creature made by the spell isn't a construct; it's undead. And that's why animate object is its own spell. You can cast animate object on a skeleton or corpse and the result LOOKS undead but is in fact just an animated object. Doing so is creepy and nasty, but isn't on the same scale of evil as creating undead.
    And my response were just: "Ah that makes sense, thanks for clearing that one up."


    So it kinda feels like Urgathoa is only evil because "yay undead" instead of being a "neutral" deity... which seems rather weak to me.
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    How would you (and everyone else who has a cool idea ) give an advantage to longer weapons without giving them reach (say... a rapier vs a dagger)?
    Honestly, I really don't know. There are some cases where having a larger weapon is a disadvantage, sometimes a great advantage. Sometimes having a longer weapon isn't really much of an issue (parrying a spear thrust with a short sword is fairly practical and can be easily led into an attack that a spearman cannot react to with the spear itself), other times it's pretty terrible ("a wall of spears is your best friend").

    I've seen people try to do things like provide attack/defense modifiers, initiative modifiers, try to decide on spacial issues, etc. None of it really seems to work very well, except perhaps allowing smaller weapons to suffer less penalties when squeezing, or being allowed to use them in grapples (which is something d20 already does). It's one of those areas I feel like someone could try to gain a high mechanical fidelity, but the effort wouldn't be worth the cost. There's a reason that things like weapon speeds and weapon specific AC modifiers were left in the past (though honestly I think weapon specific AC adjustments could be plausible if done carefully), and that's mostly because they just added more complexity for little gain.

    In 3.x, having a larger weapon meant getting a better bonus on certain combat maneuvers. For example, there was a +4 advantage on things like Disarming or Sundering when using a larger weapon, representing things like it being easier to use the weapon's weight, leverage, length, or whatever. Smaller weapons had benefits like being easier to conceal or being more practical in grapples and such.

    But I can't, at the moment at least, think of a good way to really draw attention to longer weapons without some sort of reach-based mechanic. Even if it didn't increase your actual threatened space (which would be sad), being able to attack enemies further away from normal seems like the intuitive use of a long weapon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoknightZero View Post
    Hmmm, i had my disagreements with JJ in the past over how the whole Cleric and beliefs system he uses, though i later figured a oracle was a better fit to me both flavor and mechanically.

    But we had a bit of a talk about "animate" undead...
    Lets see:

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    A question behind the nature of "animate dead", how does this spell interact with the body/soul of the victim of the spell?

    I theorized that the animate dead spell would be similar to animating an object and just use the arcane energies to move it, but since the spell is *evil* would that mean that the caster uses the victims soul as a energy source and is thus the reason to why the animated undead is an evil act?

    I can understand the thoughts behind "create undead" and the like as you actually create some form of unlife, but "animate dead" just sound so similar to "animate object" in terms of usage as you are technically just animating something.

    But yeah, i am just interested to hear your idea behind the undead, the creations of such and their connection to how negative energy and alignment works, especially since you mentioned that negative energy isnt "evil" in itself rather than just being "anti-life".


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    And my response were just: "Ah that makes sense, thanks for clearing that one up."


    So it kinda feels like Urgathoa is only evil because "yay undead" instead of being a "neutral" deity... which seems rather weak to me.
    More or less. Though it's provably false that animate dead traps the soul of the victim. In addition to the spell saying nothing of the sort (and since this is an exception design game, if it it doesn't say it does, it doesn't), there are myriad ways to cast animate dead on a corpse that either never had a soul in the first place or the soul is already elsewhere, possibly still in a living, breathing creature. For example, if a wizard takes a ragelancepounce charge through the chest while on the toilet reading the daily paper, and then wakes up in his clone in the next room, a bit miffed. He could then cast animate dead on his own dead corpse and have it clean up the mess later.

    EDIT: Also, I think JJ is misreading the stuff about raising undead. You can't raise a soul into an undead creature because it's currently an undead creature. However it's very clear that you can raise a creature if you can provide a new body for it. For example, the spell resurrection is cast, you need nothing more than a piece of body to cast the spell on. A bit of hair, a skin sample, a bone, some fingernail shavings, whatever. You can, again, cast resurrection on a piece of body and it creates a new body to house the soul. The old body, of course, is still a valid target for animate dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    How would you (and everyone else who has a cool idea ) give an advantage to longer weapons without giving them reach (say... a rapier vs a dagger)?
    Attach a PoW maneuver-like mechanic to the weapon. Standard action make a reach attack at no/small penalty, full-round action to recover. Would make sense for a rapier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Also... How would you make TWF cool and effective/balanced without doubling the number of attacks?
    I'd just use stats for one weapon and fluff it as two. Not everything has to have mechanics associated with it, and TWF is a pain to make balanced and sensible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiel View Post
    EDIT: Also, I think JJ is misreading the stuff about raising undead. You can't raise a soul into an undead creature because it's currently an undead creature. However it's very clear that you can raise a creature if you can provide a new body for it. For example, the spell resurrection is cast, you need nothing more than a piece of body to cast the spell on. A bit of hair, a skin sample, a bone, some fingernail shavings, whatever. You can, again, cast resurrection on a piece of body and it creates a new body to house the soul. The old body, of course, is still a valid target for animate dead.
    Also, i think he is falling into the trap of making a "mechanic" of a soul in the spellcasting while its not even described in the spell, what about other spells that affect souls... and animate undead doesnt really prevent you from being raised either so it doesnt really make sense.

    If anything i feel he is contradicting himself trying to make animate dead be evil without blaming negative energy which isnt evil by itself. I would understood it more that it would be "evil" in the sense that the negative energy used would gain a "hatred of life" if uncontrolled, but hatred isnt in itself evil and neither is "natural" instincts... its like a animal that can never stop feeding.

    In the end i just believe JJ just dug himself a hole and have no mechanics to back it up and try to make rulings which is only in "his" world.
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    I always wanted to ask JJ or any of the other undead-are-evil proponents wherever it is Evil to cast Create Undead on a body of someone who explicitly asked you to do it. If someone wants to be tortured, does it count as torture for allignment purposes?
    Last edited by Klara Meison; 2016-10-25 at 04:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klara Meison View Post
    I always wanted to ask JJ or any of the other undead-are-evil proponents wherever casting Create Undead on a body of someone who explicitly asked you to do it Evil or not. If someone wants to be tortured, does it count as torture for allignment purposes?
    You could check my earlier posts on the Paizo forum and see if you find anything there, i had to poke at JJ quite a few times to make any sense out of "his" world that he claimed was a part of Golarion but was not described neither in the rules nor lore.
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    I've actually had a number of characters who've been raised by create undead, and it's probably the most common way of achieving undead-based immortality in my games. It's a legitimately cool spell and your options are pretty good for general adventuring. Ghouls & Ghasts are pretty well rounded and are good for almost anything, while mummies are just gnarly tanks once you've got a reliably decent way of not getting insta-gibbed by fire damage (and if you can afford to be a mummy you can probably afford resist energy).

    Create greater undead is less useful for most adventurers since it's primarily about creating incorporeal undead and while that's quite powerful, there are myriad woes that an adventurer has to face if they intend to be an incorporeal undead creature (with the largest being that ghost touch isn't something you can get on most things). I almost got to play a shadow once, which was cool, but the GM decided he wanted to run a different adventure (he was flip-flopping between concepts) and the adventure he settled on, I felt the shadow wouldn't fit very well into conceptually so I decided on something different.

    Rivalling it would probably be spawn propagation. However, in my games, vampires tend to be fairly selective about who gets to join the club. They don't usually just turn a village into vampires or anything goofy like that (but they might keep a village as thralls or something, especially for feeding), and it's a big deal for them. Ghouls in a similar fashion usually don't bite people unless they are either A) intending to kill them, or B) intentionally trying to turn them into ghouls, which means that barring run-ins with ghouls who were going all out to slay you (really the paralysis inducing claws weren't enough?) but you escape or kill them, you're not running into too many spawned ghouls.

    Wights in my games have motivations so they don't just murder every beggar and bandit they meet unless it serves the individual's purposes (and it might all considered), and shadows are for some reason sparing all of humanity a grim fate. They could destroy the entire world and blanket it in undead darkness but for some reason they just don't, preferring to haunt places mysteriously, often driving others away from the places they guard - which beggars the question as to what their true motives really are...

    The most common form of undead is as a result...mindless undead. The skeleton and zombie types. These bad boys take the cake as most frequent undead, because any doofus with Craft Wondrous Item is probably within arms reach of making some sort of grim trinket to get their own skeleton housekeeper or quick path to vengeance. There's an entire nation and colony of that nation that uses undead labor (that's a lot of meatbags, lemme tell ya), and an empire that uses them as the lion's share of their army (that kingdom is filled with a bunch of meanies, yes sir), etc. They're frequent enough and dangerous enough that people know what they are, but exotic enough that they still scare the britches right off normal folks and are banned in the largest country in the world and even where they aren't banned you're going to get a cold shoulder from the locals. At least outside of earshot (hey, most commoners know better than to badmouth the guy with twenty other dead guys as his homies).

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    Mindless undead is a classic "cannon fodder" for most D&D adventures, but the other kinds of undead have a "hint" of a tragic story but way too often get shoved in front of adventures like "skeleton lvl5" or "ghost lvl3" where they are just next in the "evolution" of cannon fodder.

    Personally my favorite in the golarion universe is the city of Geb, even though my aasimar is on a vengence against them i still find the concept of a necromancy nation that actually uses the corpses of the fallen to boost the industry. How is this any different from a sci-fi nation full of robots and androids? ( Well, unless they are just cyborgs that have been fixed and rebuildt for so long that there is no "humanity" left in them is a better metaphor here )

    So personally i dont think a spell in itself can be evil, but the means, the uses, and the ritual of it. I had a concept of a "ancestor worshipper" that would call to her ancestors into nearby skeletons and corpses, or a spirit caller that would call out to the spirits around her for help and they would infuse themselves of their fallen bodies and raise again for a chance to redeem their deaths.

    In the end i think i play as Golarion should be played: A large world which have a bit of everything :P
    I might be better off creating my own worlds, but i am not good at making detailed nations only large scale concepts like "Magi-Technologists like the empire in FF6, with crystals everywhere".
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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoknightZero View Post
    Mindless undead is a classic "cannon fodder" for most D&D adventures, but the other kinds of undead have a "hint" of a tragic story but way too often get shoved in front of adventures like "skeleton lvl5" or "ghost lvl3" where they are just next in the "evolution" of cannon fodder.
    I actually rewrote a portion of Jade Regent when I was intending to run a tabletop campaign using it (some scheduling changes came up so the game never started), but it involved rewriting a wight in the keep dungeon. His entire presence there is questionable and his purpose there even more so. So I made him a side-event of the dungeon, where you could combine forces with him to defeat his murderers (the badguys in the keep), so I turned it into a side quest and gave an NPC to interact with.

    The homesteading ogrekin got massively revamped as well.

    Personally my favorite in the golarion universe is the city of Geb, even though my aasimar is on a vengence against them i still find the concept of a necromancy nation that actually uses the corpses of the fallen to boost the industry. How is this any different from a sci-fi nation full of robots and androids? ( Well, unless they are just cyborgs that have been fixed and rebuildt for so long that there is no "humanity" left in them is a better metaphor here)

    So personally i dont think a spell in itself can be evil, but the means, the uses, and the ritual of it. I had a concept of a "ancestor worshipper" that would call to her ancestors into nearby skeletons and corpses, or a spirit caller that would call out to the spirits around her for help and they would infuse themselves of their fallen bodies and raise again for a chance to redeem their deaths.
    There colonists I mentioned consider death a sacred, often good thing (mostly due to their spiritual predilections). When their citizens die, their bodies join the workforce. They exist as a sort of grand social experiment turned into true calling of the lich queen that governs their society. Their society uses Adepts in place of Commoners, and they're trying to bring prosperity to the world, but they're so damn weird to outsiders that a lot gets lost in culture shock. To an outsider, there are strangely dressed people, with strange buildings, strange gods, and a crapload of walking dead things everywhere. Most people don't stick around long enough to find that they're by the large really swell people.

    In the end i think i play as Golarion should be played: A large world which have a bit of everything :P
    I might be better off creating my own worlds, but i am not good at making detailed nations only large scale concepts like "Magi-Technologists like the empire in FF6, with crystals everywhere".
    Eat what you like, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoknightZero View Post
    So personally i dont think a spell in itself can be evil, but the means, the uses, and the ritual of it.
    I disagree, some spells can be inherently evil because of what they do. A spell that exists to torture a soul, for example, can be inherently evil as it's only use is torture.

    It's always kind of bothered me that animate dead is "evil" because it's evil and you absolutely can't use it for good purposes because it's evil, and then you've got the entire charm school of magic which has so much worse potential for evil, but it's okay, because it depends on your actions and isn't inherently evil.
    Last edited by Tels; 2016-10-25 at 01:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tels View Post
    I disagree, some spells can be inherently evil because of what they do. A spell that exists to torture a soul, for example, can be inherently evil as it's only use is torture.
    What if torture is the only way to get information from a villain, and that information is necessary to save innocents? What if the spell has a different effect on a certain soul (or type of soul)? What if you use the spell to feed a magic-eating creature or fuel a magic-fueled transport? What if people willingly submit to the effects of the spell as penance and/or to strengthen their minds?

    The spell is just a tool. In this case, it's a tool designed with an evil intention in mind, and is pretty good at is intended function. That doesn't mean it's evil. It has no more morality than a gun... Or a rock.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    What if torture is the only way to get information from a villain, and that information is necessary to save innocents? What if the spell has a different effect on a certain soul (or type of soul)? What if you use the spell to feed a magic-eating creature or fuel a magic-fueled transport? What if people willingly submit to the effects of the spell as penance and/or to strengthen their minds?

    The spell is just a tool. In this case, it's a tool designed with an evil intention in mind, and is pretty good at is intended function. That doesn't mean it's evil. It has no more morality than a gun... Or a rock.
    Well, in the end, wherever you think something is inherently Evil or not depends on wherever you can figure out a way to use it for Good or not. Even if you consider a spell that is intelligent (i.e. spell does three things-first, it creates a magical mind bend on bringing Evil into the world. Then that mind analyses the situation and the knowledge the caster posesses to determine wherever casting of the spell would be Evil or Good. Finally, if it would be Evil, main spell effect goes off. If not, spell fizzles out) it's still ultimately just a matter of creativity-a stronger, faster mind would be able to trick the spell into doing a Good thing, and then, logically, casting of the spell would be a Good act.
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    Like the spell of torture it doesnt have a mind of its own to do evil. Take napalm forexample its usage is to stick to something and burn, does it do evil or is it just *used* for evil?
    You have inquisitor spells thats basically "tell the truth or get a zap" type of spells, wouldnt that be considered torture aswell?

    In the end... what is good and evil anyway? Who is the one to claim the "right" and "wrong" in the alignment tree? What prevents a paladin from just end all evil guys because "If they have done no evil yet, they will"? So if anything we are in the end just pointing out the flaws in the sense of morality/alignment here, like Ashiels example above would the undead workforce be considered "slaves" as they are technically "brainwashed" into becomming a tool... So is the cult/colony "evil" or "neutral" or even "good" and who is to judge?

    So in the end, i just feel the alignment system doesnt even make sense other than to force two or even one dimensional character and "parodies" of the alignment. A lawful good is basically described to be the "Mary sue" of alignments where they cannot do evil, and Chaotic Evil is your cartoon villian "haha destroy everything". Despite the decades of discussions in the sake of alignment i will say it loses out as "non-sensical" and merely a "NPC stat" to quickly convey in a mechanical terms what you can expect of them... for players, alignments mean nothing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoknightZero View Post
    Like the spell of torture it doesnt have a mind of its own to do evil. Take napalm forexample its usage is to stick to something and burn, does it do evil or is it just *used* for evil?
    You have inquisitor spells thats basically "tell the truth or get a zap" type of spells, wouldnt that be considered torture aswell?

    In the end... what is good and evil anyway? Who is the one to claim the "right" and "wrong" in the alignment tree? What prevents a paladin from just end all evil guys because "If they have done no evil yet, they will"? So if anything we are in the end just pointing out the flaws in the sense of morality/alignment here, like Ashiels example above would the undead workforce be considered "slaves" as they are technically "brainwashed" into becomming a tool... So is the cult/colony "evil" or "neutral" or even "good" and who is to judge?

    So in the end, i just feel the alignment system doesnt even make sense other than to force two or even one dimensional character and "parodies" of the alignment. A lawful good is basically described to be the "Mary sue" of alignments where they cannot do evil, and Chaotic Evil is your cartoon villian "haha destroy everything". Despite the decades of discussions in the sake of alignment i will say it loses out as "non-sensical" and merely a "NPC stat" to quickly convey in a mechanical terms what you can expect of them... for players, alignments mean nothing!
    The way I look at it, I feel the alignment system - as described in alignment - is simple an elegant enough to have a good idea of what is defined as being good or evil. The alignment mechanics define good as altruism, protecting life, and concern for the dignity of others, while evil is defined as hurting, oppressing, and killing. These simple concepts are in many ways the fundamental features of what we traditionally consider good and evil, and beautifully isn't 100% black and white because of...

    Neutrality.

    Frequently, a character can be acting in a way that promotes both good and evil at the same time. For example, the Paladin hurts and kills as part of their very existence. However, rather than doing so for fun or profit, Paladins (and most good adventurers I'd wager) don't generally kill outside of altruism or protect another life. That's why things like self defense or battle to protect another is acceptable. It's not good persay, but it's not evil exactly, because it implies elements of both.

    In much the same way a sword is made to kill, not subdue, many other weapons and tools have an innate bias towards evil. If hurting and killing imply evil, fireball is poised to be a very terrible thing. However, like the sword, most wizards aren't casting fireball simply to do so or solely for profit - at least not good or neutral wizards - it's usually in the heat of battle as they seek to minimize harm to someone or something else (including themselves). In a similar fashion, as oppression is a mark of evil, most charms and compulsions are likewise poised ready for evil, yet most would agree that using charm person to gather information without violence or to somehow promote good such as dissolving a violent situation without loss of life wouldn't be evil, yet we innately seem to dislike the idea of using a spell like charm person to magically coerce someone into loving or having sex with us. Why is this? Well, on a subconscious level we recognize the former promotes good as well while the later has no traits of altruism, protection, or concern for dignity and it's wrong.

    This is one of the reasons that people struggle with the idea of torture. Realistically, torturing an bandit to make him tell you where a kidnapped victim is holds no more evil than casting charm person on them and doing the same. One is hurting, the other oppressing, but both are marks of evil. However, if looked at rationally, one is equivalent to the other and in some ways the torture could be seen as more humane than some and less humane by others depending on how highly an individual values the integrity of a creature's mind and will versus the issues of pain. Yet, like running through an evil monster with your sword, this sort of thing can simply be neutral because there are elements of both.

    However, in a similar fashion, one might intend to use spells and abilities that inflict grievous amounts of pain because they see them as a lesser of two evils. Using an ability like symbol of pain which is [Evil] in Pathfinder but realistically can be used like a magical taser. Debilitating foes so fiercely that they cannot rationally continue a battle or have the will to do so, with the added benefit that no life is lost in the process. Again, elements of both good and evil when used in such a manner.

    This is why many people dislike the "always" part of certain abilities - and I agree with them.

    Now it's worth noting that barring some extremely odd circumstances, nothing mentioned above is going to make you Good. From attacking something with a sword to overriding or subverting the free will of another, these tools are innately slanted towards evil, but can be "refined" up to at least partially good or Neutral. That's fine, because unless all your time consists of simply roving from one area to another doing good deeds through evil means, those will likely only be a tiny fraction of who a character is. Paladins, for example, don't only kill orcs and dragons. It's generally implied that they're Paladins outside of battle as well, right?

    Now it's very easy for someone to be evil without carrying a card saying they're on team evil. If you're doing any of the above things for less than good reasons you'll end up there swiftly. For example, someone who uses the same sword to run someone through for money, or tortures for their amusement, or charms someone to seduce or rob them, is doing the same things but with none of the redeeming qualities of the action. In fact, the best you can be if you're not actively doing good through other means is Neutral because at best everything you're doing is at least marred by evil. If the best you ever do is Neutral and do Evil as well, naturally you'll end up as evil. Most Neutral aligned people do both on the regular or too little of either for it to be considered their norm.

    With this said, it becomes even more mind boggling that certain spells such as animate dead are viewed as innately evil since the spell shares less hallmarks of evil than fireball. The spell hurts no one, oppresses no one, and kills no one. Thus it can only stand to reason that the spell is evil purely to say that it is, a matter of one author's preferred "flavor" that stands outside the alignment system itself and truly goes against everything else implied by the laws of the world as described by the game, from alignment saying nonsentient creatures cannot be anything but Neutral to the planes themselves clearly noting that Positive and Negative energies are both dangerous and destructive and very much unaligned as the fires of the Plane of Fire are unaligned.

    However, I like the fundamentals of the alignment system in that it paints a very fair picture of what good and evil is by tying it to fundamental manifestations of those things, giving you enough to spot good and evil clearly, without any social baggage. For example, in a fantasy world you might have a culture that has no problems with slavery or treating halflings a second class citizens. However, we can clearly and quickly see that if nothing else those practices are tainted by evil because of their oppression.

    I think when used in this way, alignment can contain the entirety of personality concepts. It has a wide valley for lots of moral necromancers, gruff or pragmatic heroes, etc. It has enough room that you can be that good guy who's become a bit cynical and while the rest of the party is bickering over how to get the bandit to talk, walks up and says to the bandit "Look here you son of a b****. I'm asking you where your boys took those people and you're going to tell me, because if I ask and you don't, I'm going to break your finger. And if I ask again and you don't, I'm going to break another, until any inclination your whore mother had of your future as a pianist evanescence like the morning mist," for the bandit to reply "Hah! You wouldn't dare!" *snap* "Arggghh!", "That's one, now I'm going to ask again", *three fingers later* "Wrap his hands and turn him in for trial, those folks may not last the night if we don't get there soon".

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiel View Post
    The way I look at it, I feel the alignment system - as described in alignment - is simple an elegant enough to have a good idea of what is defined as being good or evil. The alignment mechanics define good as altruism, protecting life, and concern for the dignity of others, while evil is defined as hurting, oppressing, and killing. These simple concepts are in many ways the fundamental features of what we traditionally consider good and evil, and beautifully isn't 100% black and white because of...

    Neutrality.
    I think where it breaks down for a lot of people is when it stops being a system of morality and starts being a prerequisite for that feat you want. The best way to handle alignment IMO is to keep it entirely in the realm of fluff.


    On a totally unrelated note, Ashiel, what webcomics (if any) do you follow regularly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    I think where it breaks down for a lot of people is when it stops being a system of morality and starts being a prerequisite for that feat you want. The best way to handle alignment IMO is to keep it entirely in the realm of fluff.
    I can pretty much agree with this 100%.

    On a totally unrelated note, Ashiel, what webcomics (if any) do you follow regularly?
    "Regularly" is a bit subjective here. I'll usually go a very long time without reading any and then binge read a few hundred until I'm completely caught up again.

    Ones I enjoy include Menage3, Spinnerette, VGcats, Eerie Cuties (and its spinoffs), Flaky Pastry, NerfNow!, Questionable Content, I Roved Out In Search of Truth and Love, and anything else that catches my fancy.

    I really need to read Drowtales though, and several others recently recommended. :o

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