Monstrous Compendium Ch 10 Ficbit – Set to Boil

“Would you want to risk whole villages of innocent people on the chance one werewolf might behave like a civilized guy? I wouldn’t. And I’m one of the guys who goes furry.” Klein knocked a fist lightly against Issin’s shoulder. “’Course, I’d want to track the wolf down, hogtie him, and just drag him back for Tetsutora to thump on. But I don’t need to worry about getting bit….”

Hands wrapped around warm ceramic, Kirito grinned at him.

“What?” Klein squinted at his grin, scanned his guild’s matching smirks. “What?”

“Hate to break it to you, Leader,” Harry One leaned his elbows on the table, wiggling his eyebrows. “But it sounds like you fit the build.”

Stifling a giggle, Asuna nodded. “The Commander is noble. He leads the Knights of Blood well; without him, we wouldn’t be half as far clearing Aincrad. But that’s our guild. You, Klein… you do the right thing.”

“A paladin upholds the law, and the right,” Tae said solemnly. “But first of all, he protects the people. The strong, and the weak; the noblest citizens….” Her gaze fell on Kirito. “And the outcasts.”

Kirito felt Asuna stiffen, and lifted a hand from his mug to squeeze her fingers in comfort. It’s all right. I know what I am.

“But… but…” Klein stuttered as he shoved back from the table, ears bright red, “C’mon, that’s just what a decent guy does!”

Kunimittz and Dale traded amused glances. “Paladin.”

Which was interesting, Kirito thought, mind racing. Gods, he wished he could talk this over with Vincent, the elan had always hinted that the magic behind a ranger’s favored enemies was far more than study and fighting spirit – and that power wasn’t as strong in SAO as it should be. Meaning divine. But since Christmas… well. He’d been lucky to even glimpse the ranger’s tattered red cloak at a distance, leading him to new quests. Stheno was still in her cave, still herself, but keeping her conversations near as stilted and cryptic as an NPC. And as for seeing Yui….

He didn’t know how Stheno managed to keep bringing the little girl into SAO. Maybe because Yui was one of the few to whom it was still just a game. But those few times he and Asuna had been able to hug her, the little medusa could read the fear gnawing at them. Sense the time counting down for them all. It made her cry. And then Asuna cried. And then he tried not to cry, and just wanted to kill something.

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67 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch 10 Ficbit – Set to Boil

    1. Elizabeth Moon managed a few decent paladins in the Paksenarrion setting. Of course, she did that by going “all these stories I’m hearing about paladins in gaming and fiction are the exact opposite of what a Paladin should be, if you take the stated concept of a Paladin literally. I’m going to see if I can make one that actually fits the concept.”

      The War God series by David Weber isn’t as good as the Paksenarrion setting, and I don’t think he did as good a job with what a Paladin should be. He went more determinator than he should have, so there’s too much “I’m gonna do this on my own, passive-aggressively actually working to keep my god away from things by trying to do as much as possible without help.” Despite the _very_ good early example of the problem with that, and the very good answer to the question “why didn’t your god help you, when he helped others?” (the answer was “because he didn’t ask. And he didn’t ask not because he didn’t think of it, but because he thought of it and actively chose to reject asking. Forcing him to accept healing in that case would not have been Good.”)

      More questions answered in the War God series, but better paladins in the Paksenarrion setting.

      Liked by 5 people

  1. I’ve been spoiled by the Netflix Voltron. I keep reading Paladin, and wondering when the Black Lion is going to show up to grab Kline for the job.

    If you get a chance, I recommend looking up the Voltron homage to D&D. Season 6 Episode 3, Monsters & Mana. It has maybe one or two very light spoilers, but having watched the rest of the series isn’t mandatory to get the episode.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve been trying to get back into and finish Voltron, but…tax season is a very bad time to /start/ anything.

      …but I’ve been rather cautiously wondering what Vathara might do with the setting and/or characters for a while now.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. *slowly raises hand* Um, well, because I (and I’m sure everyone here) hugely admire Vathara, and because VLD S7-8 got treated with PC kool-aid and narrative C4 (if you haven’t had the misfortune to watch those seasons, don’t. The Wikipedia summaries alone were enough to drive my blood pressure to not-worth-watching levels), I’m writing a fix-it fic starting all the way back with S1 E1 channeling the spirit of Vathara’s Embers. Although I’m covering every episode instead of leaving some alone, because the story is ultimately my VLD therapy/the show I wanted to watch and every single episode had something I wanted to change. Argh. (Also I wanted to write it in such a way that someone can read it without ever having watched the show, because reasons.)

        At the moment I have about 230K words and show no signs of slowing down. Still got a ways to go before I’m at a point where I’m comfortable posting it – some small but important details are still in flux – but it’s coming along. So… I’m no Vathara, but when I start posting it I can let you know? *Shy shrug* I’ve been practicing with a series of down time oneshots, so if you are interested in getting a feel for my writing to see if I’m worth following look for “We All Live in Robotic Space Lions” in the VLD section of FF.

        That being said, the show at least in the first couple seasons really did do an interesting take on the concept of paladin. Shiro was definitely your classic lawful good, Keith tended more toward blood knight, Lance wanted in theory to be like Shiro but didn’t have a good personality match for it, etc. It was interesting to see them all technically in the same position but going about things entirely differently while fitting more or less into the paladin framework. Since one of my favorite D&D characters to date is my chaotic good half drow paladin, I appreciate this.

        Also, the D&D episode was my favorite one in the whole show. I want to add Keith to the party in a oneshot as a kensei monk. Among other shenanigans. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

      2. *Thumbs up!*

        Er, bit of advice? Have another fandom you dabble in/at least watch to let your mind do “something else” every once in a while. Because Embers pretty much burned me out on AtLA, and burning out on a favorite fandom… really sucks.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Your books have been providing that for me so far. 🙂 (I’ve read Pear of Fire twice already, and as usual it gets better with each pass.) But I’ve definitely been doing my best to prop up the fandom, as much as possible, anyway; the show itself killed my love for it with the aforementioned crash and burn seasons, but I’m sticking with the project because of the characters and the original premise. My typical up until now is 100-120K words before burnout and needing to switch tracks for a few weeks, at which point I hop over to some original works to have new food for the creative juices.

        …Aaand I just Ravenclawed. Derp. Um, sorry for unnecessary info dump?

        Liked by 4 people

      4. *Mad cackling*

        How good is Pearl? I read through it four times before I realized there was almost nothing about what stuff actually looked like— I know the Inspector has a black suit, but I don’t even know if mostof thebuildings are painted, or what they’re made of, or…

        But it took several read-throughs, and I think it may have actually made it easier for me to “buy in” on the Flame.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. *Author dies in fiery shame.* That will be one of the things I work on more when I figure out sequels. I mean, yes, Shane not describing what things look like fits, but I really needed to do that more with Allen!

        (Yes, I do have some vague ideas for where to go in sequels. But I’m currently dealing with a RL situation where finding an hour to concentrate is… difficult. Long-term plotting is going to have to wait until I can fix that.)

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Magical explosives could be truly beautiful. Like fireworks, but better.

        Although, if you like House sortings, look up the Tumblr Sorting Hat Chats. It’s a great character creation/analysis tool. Plus it’s just fun. 🙂 (Gryffindor-Ravenclaw. Yeeeaaahhh…)

        Liked by 2 people

      7. I still hold to the analysis that, given both what the houses claim to stand for and what they are viewed as by others, anyone who truly represents the claimed traits of one of the houses should best be sorted anywhere _except_ the house who’s claimed traits they represent. How is it cunning to let everyone know you are cunning and likely to backstab them? How is it brave to go where everyone expects bravery and nobility? How is it wise to go where the knowledge is stale and untested, just learning by rote what others have written? How is it showing loyalty or dedication to join a clique of yes-men?

        For each of the houses, and argument could be made why any of the three other houses is the best one for you to go into, depending on exactly which aspect of the house you best represent or desire to exemplify, but in all cases the argument could be made that you should not go to the house who’s traits you actually hold.

        Like

      8. Because it’s a school house, not an isolation ward– and being surrounded by people who value the same things you do is important for emotional security.

        It sucks to be loyal to those who are not loyal to you.

        Liked by 2 people

      9. Yes. It sucketh mightily. It sucks to the point I believe it’s listed in one of the chapters in “Lost Connections” on why people can get fatally depressed.

        I personally attest that it sucks. Unfortunately, if you are in such a situation, getting out is usually… sticky. Because those not-loyal have a vested interest in making it as hard as possible for the Useful One to get gone.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. There’s a reason I used the term “clique” in the description I gave. None of the houses (even hufflepuff) had any true loyalty. The most they had was a clique’s fake loyalty out of fear of being shown to not match up to the standards that they thought everyone else was looking for. The hufflepuffs and slytherins just chose to tear down the other two cliques first, rather than their own, as the means of distracting from their own failure to meet their standards (while the ravenclaws and gryffindors tore down their own first). But like all cliques, everyone was doing stuff because of what they feared the others thought, knowing that they didn’t really match up, but not wanting to be “outside the group” and thus turning all their fear of “not matching up” towards faking it and tearing others down, rather than recognizing that no one else in the group matched up either.

        This is not what you’re talking about, people who actually value the same thing you do and value you for valuing those things. This is its dark mirror, turning everything good about what you are saying into something bad and harmful. And yet, that’s what I see in canon. I agree with you about the mental health problems, tho I’m not sure that going to the house who’s traits you think you value actually does that, as canon seems to show that it’s actually harmful instead. A case of theory vs practice.

        This is also separate from the point I was making previously, which wasn’t about the emotional or psychological health aspect of “where should they go”, and merely about the “these houses are theoretically supposed to favor certain traits, but if you actually value those traits what would those traits have you do?” Purely on the basis of what those traits actually mean, they are best exemplified by going to any of the houses that do not value them, with arguments being able to be made for any of the other three houses for any given house’s theoretically valued traits. But again, that’s not about the person, that’s about the traits.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. This is also separate from the point I was making previously, which wasn’t about the emotional or psychological health aspect of “where should they go”, and merely about the “these houses are theoretically supposed to favor certain traits, but if you actually value those traits what would those traits have you do?”

        I understood that argument, I simply don’t agree with it, which is why I made the counter argument that I did. Being sorted into a house where they value the same traits that you do is a good thing for your own mental health, and it doesn’t prevent you from exercising them elsewhere– it just gives you a firm foundation from which to launch.

        The idea that none of them had loyalty or honor or etc is an entirely different one.

        Liked by 2 people

      12. Let’s be honest, all four houses in the actual books are unbelievably dysfunctional and pretty much the only character without issues is McGonagall. Plus Rolling really has it out for Slytherins. It’s… one of several reasons I don’t think the HP books are nearly as good as they’re cracked up to be. Not that they’re bad, they’re just not as good.

        BTW here’s that Sorting Hat Chats thing I mentioned. Ashley, you might find it interesting because everyone gets not one but two sortings based around their “why” and their “how”, which often has people landing in more than one house. The creators basically go “okay, well, if the houses are ‘poor impulse control, overachievers, chill foodies, and bigots’, the whole school is going to implode in short order. So how does this actually work?” The resulting sorting system is brilliant. It’s a fantastic character creation tool, since it focuses on a person’s “why” and “how”. Plus they go into the good and bad sides of each trait, which is kinda refreshing. http://sortinghatchats.tumblr.com/post/163885743058/inky-and-kats-sortings-a-masterpost-update

        Liked by 2 people

      13. That’s an interesting site, kateriobrian, with several interesting points tho I disagree with it on several significant areas. First, it appears to be an analysis of a theoretical ideal of the system, not of what was actually in the stories (despite its claims otherwise). Second, is that of the individual sortings it did, and the explanations it gave for their reasoning on those sortings, I consider them to have gotten many things diametrically opposite of how canon showed them, including cases where they had the potential explanation to use. Tho their explanation that they take WoG and Informed Attributes even when those are counter to what’s actually shown on page/screen does make it understandable why my opinion of the results of their work is so extreme.

        Still, it did make me think a bit, so at least that’s good.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually had a good Paladin run by one of my players in my campaign.

    Dwarven Paladin of Mordain.

    If he could, he talked. If not? Well, he did what he could. Admittedly the game focused on frost giants running amuck, but he even talked first to the ones he could. Ancient enemies or no.

    It is amazing how a Paladin can be run if you aren’t spamming Detect Evil.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Actually, I forgot this earlier, but for further good examples – as well as a breakdown of everything wrong with bad examples – there is the Dungeons & Dragons webcomic The Order of the Stick.

        It takes the party a little bit to reach Azure City, home of the big Paladin order in setting, and the first Paladin the strip introduced was specifically the frustrating/annoying holier-than-thou variety, but every other Paladin since then has been… I can’t actually say ‘a unique character and different take on the class’ because many of them are background charactera, and none of them are as developed as the main party, but most of them are good takes on ‘Paladin’.

        For another webcomic example there’s also the guest-star party member Madeline the Paladin from the webcomic Rusty & Co. Madeline is The Ditz, but I suspect that’s more as a parody of Stupid Good Paladins than to make her a Stupid Good character. As is, her TVTropes character entry lists her as one of the best examples of paladins on the internet, and while I think that might be overselling her, she is an absolute boss of a character and frankly one of my favorite reocurring characters in the comic.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It is incredibly hard to play one, that’s for sure. My only experience with trying was a supers system…and I think she was the second hardest character to play, because there’s a lot of how to be a good person with power, when it’s so much easier to go the expidient route, but I’m glad I did so.

    Also, ah, Klein is so cuddly in this short bit, though I can imagine the conversation before this. And it’s cute he’s all like “But that’s just what people do.”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Part of what makes the Paladin tricky is figuring out exactly what “Detect Evil” is detecting, assuming it exists in the version/campaign.

    About 90% of justice is dealing with ambiguity.
    We think this is what happened, but we can never be completely certain… *boom* hundreds of thousands of pages of law and jurisprudence.

    But if you *know* with absolute certainty that a person is objectively evil… you end up behaving like a fanatic, because in real life only fanatics have that certainty.

    I have played games where the DM flat out said “no detect evil” and it actually made things much easier.

    For Rangers, I think I prefer it if Favored Enemy doesn’t have any mystical component.
    Sometimes saying “it’s magic” makes things less impressive.

    “How do you know there are goblins in the area?”
    “Because the trees are covered in goblin shit, idiot.”
    “How can you kill them so easily?”
    “Practice, and if you don’t stop talking I’ll get some practice in Favored Enemy: Chatterbox.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My favorite GM (and now husband) tended to be pretty philosophical about it– Detect Evil would detect objective evil, but not “cheats on his taxes.” So if you can make a choice to be good, you’re going to come up has hazy, if you are evil and have no choice then you ring the bells.

      Oh, and casting it in an evil god’s temple will probably blind you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think our DM allows Detect Evil to detect the degree of evil. (This may be inherent to the spell description, I don’t know of the top of my head)

        So in any given city, there would be a “normal” amount of evil, basically what you would expect from a bunch of people who aren’t saints and have no reason to want to be. The only reason to take alarm would be if the level of evil detected went well above that “normal” amount.

        …that might make cities a rather uncomfortable place for a paladin to hang out, I suppose.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Depends on the part of town, probably.

        …And now I have an image of the mob at the docks having an emergency meeting, because Sir Knight the Shiny was spotted heading into town, “and you know what happened last time, Don Castrati now sleeps with the fishes.

        “Not that we care how he spends his spare time, but….”

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Elegant Yokai Apartment Life

        Haven’t seen it, so I’l have to look it up, but maybe?

        “Not that we care how he spends his spare time, but….”

        XD.

        —-

        To be fair, bumping off the local crime lord on the wrong side of the tracks might have fewer unpleasant consequences for Sir Knight than taking out an actual lord and his dinner party up in the ritzy bits of town.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. There’s only 26 (or 28?) episodes, it’s very nicely written, and it kind of reminds me of Count Taka but different subject matter.

        Warning, you will probably cry, several characters are ghosts, but they don’t wallow.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. And make more work for him, at that; frequently, the high level criminals get there by carefully not making waves in places that get attention.

        (Funky thing, sometimes the “underclass” and “organized crime” beat the legit guys on lawfulness– the history of the Mob seems to be best summarized as “wow, these guys are horrible; holy cow, those guys are WORSE!”)

        Liked by 3 people

      6. Actually what put the thought in my head is a certain webcomic in which the presence of evil caused a physical reaction – pain or nausea or something like that – in the group’s paladin.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Honestly, most of what makes paladins hard to figure is that they’re played by people who are going to have trouble with the idea of “lawful” that isn’t an idiot, and “good” as anything more than a bad parody.

      Basically, sophomoric philosophy.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That was the premise of the Paksenarion setting. Elizabeth Moon heard all these stories people were telling of horrible “lawful stupid” paladins in fiction and games, and went “wait, what?” Then sat down and asked “what is a Paladin? And once it is defined, what follows as a logical consequence of that definition as to how it should work in practice?”

        And pretty much everything in the standard “lawful stupid” variants of paladins was directly opposite of what it should be. Paladins are those who are directly Chosen by a deity to be the Shining Ideal that represents them in the world, that exemplifies their ideals and standards, that acts in the world as a human face for their deity, and that seeks to perform the tasks the deity wants done with a more human hand. Right there, that cuts out pretty much all the negative portrayals as “clearly not real Paladins”.

        An evil deity might choose someone to do their dirty work, or to represent them, but that wouldn’t be a Paladin because they wouldn’t be Shining Ideals. A good deity who can be hoodwinked into Choosing someone as a Paladin who wouldn’t actually be a Paladin is showing incompetence unbecoming of a deity (this is as opposed to a deity choosing to say “see what I can work with? It is clearly my power that is producing the results, not this person’s ability. I’m doing this despite their failure”), and brings into question whether they are truly either Good or a deity. Someone who was Chosen, yet chooses to act counter to the Shining Ideal is also showing lack of wisdom, morals, and survival instinct (if deities can Smite, wouldn’t their first target be traitors who turn on them?).

        And on and on the questions go. As you said, the only way to fail that badly is the combination of sophomoric philosophy and blatant lack of understanding of the concepts involved in either “good” or “law” (let alone the rest of it).

        Liked by 5 people

      2. The worst bit is that… Well, the way Dungeons & Dragons is set up successfully playing an accurate paladin has two key points where this can bring a caharacter down. The first is the player’s understanding (or lack thereof) of ‘Lawful Good’. The second is the GM’s understanding.

        Speaking from experience, there’s very little quite as frustrating as trying to play an interesting character who exemplifies their alignment… only to have a GM who derides Lawful Good and insists that the only accurate variety of Lawful Good by the rules is Lawful Stupid.

        It made me want to cry.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. The second is the GM’s understanding.

        Most embarrassing moment so far:
        having to explain TO THE GM that no, a paladin of the God of Suffering wouldn’t try to heal someone when my check showed they were going to die no matter what. (I rolled very high there, so not sure if that was just bad GMing…but he was an antagonist GM)

        Guy never did figure out how a “lawful neutral” (vampire with a strong desire to uphold the law) and a “lawful good” (first that paladin, who died in a sudden swarm of 5 corpse golems right after that, and then a cleric-adin, a cleric designed by my dear power gamer to do everything a paladin does, but survive the established rules of that campaign) character could get along.
        Because constantly throwing out chaotic evil didn’t give an obvious reason…..

        Liked by 3 people

      4. *shrug* Given that the “law” that lawful neutral
        was following was pretty dang close to natural law, it takes a lot to get it up where the “neutral” would tip into “evil.” Basically, a sin of charity would be the breaking point…but the GM didn’t understand philosophy enough to set up a case where the LN would go one way, and the LG would go the other, where charity would harm the rational good.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Oh, it turned out great anyways, the five of us BEAT DOWN the GM due to the power of rules lawyer; he made the initial mistake of doing a strict interpretation of a rule in order to take the relic he’d made me spend most of my character points on to purchase, and thus set the example.

        (FWIW, he tended to target me because I was a newb, and thus easy hunting. Except fully half of the rest of the gamers had a solid grasp of teh idea that something used against one could be used against all, and then two meetings later he actively attacked the other two. At which point it was a “What if the Greek heroes had access to the rule book?” situation, and WE BUILT IN ASSUMPTIONS FOR WHAT TO DO WHEN HE CHEATED. He gave himself extra free actions, and STILL ran into that Wall Of Force in the air….)

        Liked by 4 people

      6. only to have a GM who derides Lawful Good and insists that the only accurate variety of Lawful Good by the rules is Lawful Stupid.

        Note:
        90% of the “rules lawyer” accusations I have actually SEEN boil down to this.

        The GM’s philosophy hits the rules as written, bounces off and breaks.

        Liked by 4 people

      7. The friend in question… Well. He is a friend, but I don’t game with him much anymore, because anything he disagrees with he will refuse to let go, and anytime you try to argue with him… When he no longer has good counter-arguments but hasn’t been convinced his response is always to throw his hands up in the air and insist you’re still the one in the wrong while refusing to engage/listen. It’s blindingly frustrating and in the end effectively leads to a refusal to ever admit to being in the wrong.

        The friend in question isn’t a bad guy overall, but as I said there’re reasons I don’t game with him anymore.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. In Pathfinder, Detect good/evil/law/chaos/magic all detect the strength of the source, tho the granularity is rather lacking, and it has no adjustment for relative level (it doesn’t matter if you’re stronger than the source you’re detecting, all that matters is how strong the source you’re detecting is. A lvl 20 cleric is still going to be “overwhelmed” by a lvl 12 cleric’s aura if he tries detecting it, since that’s where it maxes out). It got exceptionally annoying when I was playing a mythic Aasimar warpriest (who was a literal “daughter of Sarenrae”, and able to grant her own followers cleric domains), and still couldn’t use Detect Evil safely, since I joined the campaign midway through.

      Also, while not technically a Paladin, I did play that character as a Paladin should be played. It was just that she was on the path to ascension, rather than sticking as a mere mortal follower of a deity.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If that’s how your DM was running the Detect Alignment school of spells then they either hadn’t read the rules very closely or it’s been errata-ed since then.

        I thought that didn’t sound right, so I actually checked the entry for Detect Evil on the PFSRD and the relevant section is as follows:

        >> If you are of good alignment, and the strongest evil aura’s power is overwhelming (see below), and the HD or level of the aura’s source is at least twice your character level, you are stunned for 1 round and the spell ends.

        I put the relevant section in bold. Point is that it does take the caster’s level into account. Without checking my corebook for Pathfinder I can’t tell if that’s something that was fixed in later errata or how it’s always been, but the site usually places any errata in side-bars so people will know it’s been errata-ed.

        Interestingly, from a design perspective the choice to have the spell immediately end is interesting. I don’t know about previous editions, but in Pathfinder paladins can’t just Detect and immediately go to town. A caster actually has to concentrate for 3 full rounds to get detailed information: Round 1 just gives you ‘are Evil auras present’; Round 2 – when the above rule kicks in – tells you the strength of the strongest aura present; and Round 3 tells you the source and number of auras.

        So a GM going the drama route, and wanting to delay a major high-power encounter until investigation has been done, could allow the players to Detect Evil, and then all the players get is that ‘yeah, there’s an Evil Aura present, and yeah, it’s overwhelmingly strong and it’s source is at least double your level in HD’ but not a precise source. A high level enemy with shapeshifting or who’s able to use a crowd as cover can maintain their anonymity even if the PCs are now on alert because they know something is going on, just not who’s behind it.

        Of course there are ways around this, since the 1 round stun and spell termination only occurs if the caster is of an opposite alignment to the one they’re detecting a muchkin-y party could get around this by having the party cleric (or whatever divine caster who isn’t the Paladin) be Nuetral aligned.

        Conversely the spell isn’t necessarily reliable. I would have to double-check, but divine casters follow the one-step rule in most settings, where their alignment has to be within at least one step of their divine patron (Eberron is the major exception among Dungeons & Dragons settings, where a divine caster may be of any alignment, no matter their patron. Eberron base rules pair this with divine powers being internally sourced instead of granted to further the ‘do the gods even truly exist?’ ambiguity of the setting). However a divine caster’s aura – at least in Pathfinder mechanics – matches the alignment of their god, so a Detect Alignment spell cast on a divine caster is liable to return an incorrect alignment if he caster doesn’t actually match their God’s alignment exactly.

        All of this adds together to – if that was something Pathfinder didn’t change when updating from 3.5, and/or if you’re playing Pathfinder mechanics in the Eberron setting – mean that Detect Alignment spells only detect the alignment of the power the target believes they serve, and therefore the alignment of their faith instead of the targets actual alignment. All important information for a GM to remember, and a player/NPCs to not necessarily realize when it comes to characters like High Cardinal Krozen.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I don’t remember that line being in there back when it happened (this was years ago), and I was the one assigned to study mechanics like that for rules lawyer purposes in our group. But then, we I know the d20pfsrd didn’t originally indicate when stuff was changed (and still doesn’t always indicate changes if they’re not put out as part of collections of “official errata”, and are instead just retconned into new printings), so it’s quite possible that bit’s been added in later.

        Also, we didn’t actually run into the situation that it would cover (my character joined the party at lvl 12, to replace some other players that were leaving), as it only covers what happens if the source of the aura is significantly more powerful, not what “overwhelming” means. Specifically, note that the power of the aura is based on the source’s HD/level, not the observer’s level, with the mechanical effect only cropping up if _both_ the fluff “overwhelming” feature is met _and_ the source is at least twice the HD/level of the observer. What this means, is that it’s left to the GM to describe what “overwhelming” means in gameplay, and also that with the fastest progression (where “overwhelming” can be reached by lvl 11, it’s possible for the observer to be almost twice as high level as the source, and still find the source “overwhelming”… just without specific mechanical effect.

        Also, as a side note, being an Aasimar leads to an interesting case when this is used against us. Aligned outsiders get the same progression on aura strength as clerics, and while Aasimar are native outsiders, the rules didn’t say anything about not also being able to be aligned, and my GM ruled that as a “daughter of Sarenrae”, my character should be aligned. Tho starting at lvl 12, that was starting straight off at “overwhelming” if anyone looked.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I suspect this is going to be a running gag.

    Klein keeps insisting he’s not a paladin etc and then goes and does/says something that is 150% paladin material without even thinking about it.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. – I can see people wondering, “That’s a paladin?”-
        Bah. Earth stereotypes.

        Being a Paladin doesn’t mean you have to be celibate. Heck, depending on the code of the god(s) they follow/worship, there is a pretty wide spectrum of possible behaviors for paladins.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Even here on Earth, just within the Christian spectrum, full Celibacy isn’t always required. Chastity is, but Chastity doesn’t mean “doesn’t have sex”, it means “stays within the bounds of propriety” (so a husband and wife having sex, but neither looking at others, are still Chaste). And as Lewis pointed out, even what the “bounds of propriety” are varies wildly, and includes both sociocultural effects and intent (someone dressed up in the height of Victorian fashion may be less Chaste than someone wearing a bikini, if the one wearing the bikini is on the beach going swimming, and the one wearing Victorian fashion is doing it as a fetish).

        Tho, I’d still consider Klein’s reaction to meeting a pretty girl to be a bit on the side of “even if you’re not intending to do anything wrong, you’re still going about this the wrong way.” At least he’s not on Naotsugu’s level.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. -Yeah, there’s usually more dignity involved than “falls over feet, drooling.”-
        Klein, possessing dignity?

        He’s a great guy but you’re asking a but much here. 😛

        Liked by 2 people

      4. >> Being a Paladin doesn’t mean you have to be celibate. Heck, depending on the code of the god(s) they follow/worship, there is a pretty wide spectrum of possible behaviors for paladins.

        *Snrk*

        In Pathfinder‘s default ‘Golarion’ setting, the Goddess of Art, Beauty, and Love is Shelyn and she’s Neutral Good (Not the Goddess of Lust tho’, different Goddess, Calistria, she’s Chaotic Neutral), since she’s one-step from Lawful Good she has Paladins dedicated to her – not as many as the Lawful Good Goddess of Justice and Honor, Lawful Neutral God of Cities and Law, the Neutral Good Goddess of the Sun and Redemption, or even the Lawful Neutral God of Asceticism and Enlightenment, but Shelyn still gets more’n a few.

        Paladins of Shelyn may be chaste but are pretty rarely celibate, and the popular perception/stereotype is of the kind of ‘Courtly Romantic’ knight.

        Liked by 1 person

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