The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

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definatelynothealbold
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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by definatelynothealbold » Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:09 am

I mean, the parallels of Defilers and Healers being opposites is kinda baked in.

One specializes in Healing Magic, finding increased success in casting healing and support magic, giving up many other tools it would otherwise have for the purpose of being selfless and aiding others. The entire point that healers literally give up all their personal power to be able to aid others more is the reason I think it should be Good or at least Non-Evil locked. I simply do not see a inheriently evil character giving up so much personal power (The opposite of being selfish) to the benefit of others.

Looking at the Wiki, Healers literally give up everything except light armor proficiency to attain the powers they have. They only have simple weapon proficiency because of magic staves / Fishing tools, originally that was even taken away from them.

Conversely, Defiler Clerics do not give up as much (Like seriously. They lose 33% effectiveness on Positive Healing spells, where as Healer Clerics lose 75% effectiveness of Negative energy spells, and Defilers can still heal themselves just fine with Negative energy spells? Weird), they lose access to heavy armor but still retain the use of large shields, that's it. They lose basically nothing for their raw power increase. And their power does allow them to "Share" the healing they give to their allies whom are close, but the main focus is simply raw destruction and entropy.

One path is mostly selfish with a bit of useful "Oh, I'm totally helping my friends with my powerful magic." while still retaining most of their personal power and suffering very little drawbacks to their powers.

The other literally basically gives up EVERYTHING, and suffers SIGNIFINCANTLY more drawbacks, for the little benefits it does gain, and all their tools are entirely selfless tools made to aid others.

Whether you wanted the paths to be opposing sides or not, everything about the two paths is literally diametrically opposed to one another.

Everything about Defiler Screams Evil Cleric bent on destruction and wrath. (Selfish, Destructive, Evil.)
Everything about Healer Clerics screams selfless priests/Priestesses that forsake personal power to raise others up. (Selfless, Protective, Good)

That's not even bringing up the parallel that Negative Energy is Entropy Incarnate and literally has no application where it's not destructive, compared to the fact positive energy can injure, yes, but it is used in a multitude of ways to bring benefits to the world.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by AstralUniverse » Sun Sep 17, 2023 7:08 am

Kenji wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2023 11:52 pm

t's not too far-fetched to limit the Defiler path to non-Good clerics only

Agreed.

Kenji wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2023 11:52 pm

If anyone has a concept for a good Defiler, I'm interested in hearing it.

I mean.... basically any generic lawful good cleric of Ilmatar, or something like that? If they dont use evil spells, dont animate the dead, seems legit? I dont think it should be a common sight so maybe like a good palemaster or a good monster race, it should be limited. But we should see the rare good defiler from time to time imo.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Cabarcos » Sun Sep 17, 2023 11:53 am

WanderingPoet wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2023 9:27 pm
The GrumpyCat wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2023 12:23 am

Assassins: Choose to kill

Not to derail, but I always find it weird that assassin are evil only for doing what ever adventurer ever does (getting coin for killing things). While dirgesingers (not even alignment locked) and palemasters who animate the dead and do horrendously evil things, are not forced to be evil.

Agreeing with the OP though that it's strange that defiler which does again, horrendously evil things can be good aligned.

Ironically you could have an evil assassinated assisted by a dirgesinger with all their undead pets, and hemomancer ripping the blood from people, and a defiler who fills people with negative-entropic energy and death magic until they drop. Yet the only one that's actually evil is the guy that happens to stab people for money. :D

Also if defilers do become evil only, Healer should probably be good (maybe neutral) only. Evil people don't exactly decide to forgo wielding weapons and protecting themselves in order to keep others alive.

I totally agree. I never understood why you can't be a Lawful Neutral assasin for example, you only accept contracts of people you think deserve to die.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Babylon System is the Vampire » Sun Sep 17, 2023 12:30 pm

Just popping in to say that there should be a bit more balance. Evil only gets a lot of neat things, whereas good only gets paladin and lberator.

That being said, draining anything from another person is definitely not something a good guy does. Neutral, sure, but not a good guy. I know someone mentioned Ilmater (don't see it, they suffer for others not make others suffer for their own benefit) and I know someone mentioned concept diversity, but diversity for the sake of it at the cost of what makes sense is a losing hand.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by MissEvelyn » Sun Sep 17, 2023 12:51 pm

Not to have an exact copy of Defiler, but what about a good non-evil version of it?

Path of the Radiant Manipulator
Healing spells are slightly less efficient when used on allies, but deals empowered positive damage to enemies and undead.
Amazing synergy with Favored Soul. Not entirely sure how, but thematically that makes sense. Monk synergy to create a Sacred Fist type.
And, like Defiler, it loses access to certain armors.
As a special, they lose access to all Inflict spells, but can regain slots similarly to Healer and Defiler, when using Positive energy spells.

Please do take inspiration from 3.5 and Pathfinder classes 🙏🏻😊


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Subtext » Sun Sep 17, 2023 1:07 pm

I think a lot here is mostly hung up on the name of the path and the idea that negative energy = bad.

It may be a good reminder that both the positive and negative energy planes are considered unaligned and too much exposure to each will kill any living creature. If you view both planes as offsetting each other, you'd end up at a balanced state that actually enables life by a slightly net positive balance. Undead seem to be on the other side of the net zero.

(I suppose you could have a drunken philosophical discussion about other universes that are slightly net negative where living creatures are viewed as terrible abominations by the local undead populace)

If you take the name of the path out of the equation, you end up as a caster that kills things to death fairly straightforwardly by the use of negative energy. Not more, not less.
In a cosmic sense, it's not worse than burning things to cinders, hacking them to bits, freezing them to death or high speed radiation sickness from positive energy eldritch blasts.
Just like that, it works just as well on actual cosmic evil like fiends.

Unlike Warlocks for example, you don't necessarily get your powers from an evil entity. It also doesn't require actively draining others like Hemomancer does in order to be able to use your powers.

Overall, there is a lot of space on team good for people with predominantly destructive powers and in the end it matters what they are used for. I don't see clerics focusing on negative energy on principle being any worse than say...paladins who hack Underdarkers to bits or elementalists having a blast when shocking devils in hell. Sure, if they also bring undead to the party and engage in wanton murder, it's a whole different story.

Perhaps it would be best to find a different name and description for the path. Defiler is very suggestive and there's definitely some moral judgement unlike every other cleric path.
I also don't think we should have more fun alignment locked stuff for team evil.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by WanderingPoet » Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:05 pm

Eyeliner wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2023 10:56 pm
WanderingPoet wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2023 9:27 pm

Also if defilers do become evil only, Healer should probably be good (maybe neutral) only. Evil people don't exactly decide to forgo wielding weapons and protecting themselves in order to keep others alive.

I don't agree on the healers at all. Having the power to heal doesn't mean you have to use it for good. Evil factions need healers too and there are evil deities like Luthic who are all about healing monsters to go out and do more monstrous things.

I don't see any problem with limiting defilers to evil and neutral but that doesn't mean there has to be a flip side to the equation. I know that's a common impulse ("if this class gets a restriction, its counterpart should have one too") but it doesn't always apply.

Not an impulse thing, no. Healer class prevents you from using weapons or armour and weakens your inflict spells and otherwise is -all- about healing. Weakening yourself for the benefit of others is not generally something evil does; as it's an inherently -selfless- path.

While I wasn't aware of Luthic, every other cleric option still has access to healing spells (even if reduced power in the case of Defiler); and evil factions would still have access to neutral healer clerics.

Though you make a good reason for why they shouldn't be good only.

It's always strange how many things get locked from Good because they're selfish or mean, but how little is locked away from Evil because it's easy to rationalize away that being selfless is actually selfish in the end.

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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Paint » Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:31 pm

Subtext wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 1:07 pm

I think a lot here is mostly hung up on the name of the path and the idea that negative energy = bad.

It may be a good reminder that both the positive and negative energy planes are considered unaligned and too much exposure to each will kill any living creature. If you view both planes as offsetting each other, you'd end up at a balanced state that actually enables life by a slightly net positive balance. Undead seem to be on the other side of the net zero.

(I suppose you could have a drunken philosophical discussion about other universes that are slightly net negative where living creatures are viewed as terrible abominations by the local undead populace)

If you take the name of the path out of the equation, you end up as a caster that kills things to death fairly straightforwardly by the use of negative energy. Not more, not less.
In a cosmic sense, it's not worse than burning things to cinders, hacking them to bits, freezing them to death or high speed radiation sickness from positive energy eldritch blasts.
Just like that, it works just as well on actual cosmic evil like fiends.

Unlike Warlocks for example, you don't necessarily get your powers from an evil entity. It also doesn't require actively draining others like Hemomancer does in order to be able to use your powers.

Overall, there is a lot of space on team good for people with predominantly destructive powers and in the end it matters what they are used for. I don't see clerics focusing on negative energy on principle being any worse than say...paladins who hack Underdarkers to bits or elementalists having a blast when shocking devils in hell. Sure, if they also bring undead to the party and engage in wanton murder, it's a whole different story.

Perhaps it would be best to find a different name and description for the path. Defiler is very suggestive and there's definitely some moral judgement unlike every other cleric path.
I also don't think we should have more fun alignment locked stuff for team evil.

I wholly disagree that positive and negative energy aren't aligned based on the planar cosmology of the setting. Negative energy has been described repeatedly as a corrupting force. In addition, excess negative energy in the setting has been known to lead to lead to blighted areas where undead spontaneously form -- not just within the forgotten realms setting, but on Arelith itself. Negative energy is worse for a vast majority of the population of Toril than positive energy, because of what negative energy has been known to leave behind.

Using the main power that allows undead to exist at all without actually directly creating undead is still using that power, whether or not the formation of undead actually occurs. There is implication in it. If you use it every once and awhile, it's no big deal. But if it's your main method for dealing with problems, it's going to have an effect on you, and it's going to have an effect on your surroundings. That effect is going to be bad.

A lot of the arguments surrounding this sound a lot like the arguments for defending folks who summon undead but use them for good purposes, but recontextualized. It's a bit disappointing to me, because I was hoping there was another gold mine to dig at here.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by ReverentBlade » Sun Sep 17, 2023 5:13 pm

The Realms are absolutely cock full of magic and weapons that have the potential for collateral/environmental damage that can be used irresponsibly. Singling out Negative Energy as somehow alignment locking anyone that uses it is strange to me. If Inflict Wounds was cosmically evil, the spells would have the evil tag. They do not.

Its fully possible to play a Defiler while abstaining from animating the dead or using the worst spells in the cleric spellbook (that any other cleric still has access to, mind) and whom uses her powers for benevolent causes and her knowledge to actively work against malevolent uses of necromancy.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by definatelynothealbold » Sun Sep 17, 2023 6:20 pm

I'd still argue that person would be a neutral character. Not a good character.

Neutral character can be plenty charitable or willing to help people. You're using corrupting magic to protect others? Okay, you have a positive motive, your methods are still suspect, and I don't see why you'd make the conscious choice to use dark magic for protective purposes, when there are non-corruptive magics to use or choose from.

If you're thinking "Fight Fire with Fire" or "By any means necessary" or maybe "For the greater good" That's not a good aligned thought process, that's a Neutral Thought process (Or maybe even a Lawful evil). Which again. Is completely valid. But again, it's not a Good Aligned thought process.

Evil gets waay more cookies on arelith than good aligned characters get imho.

Negative Energy is a Foul, Corruptive Force that actively twists reality into horrific versions of reality. IT's the source of undead period, and there is not a single positive influence Negative Energy can have, because it requires still the destruction of something else to do anything.

Yes. Too much positive energy can hurt someone. But positive energy is Good Aligned. Negative energy is Destructive Entropy, and that's it's ONLY purpose. I'm of the opinion defilers should -not- be able to heal people using negative energy, because Negative energy only destroys, that's it's entire function and purpose. It's sort of ridiculous that Defilers get extreme amounts of power and the ability to heal / support. While healers get basically nothing and lose quite alot to be just somewhat better at healing.

These two paths are diametrically opposed, because Positive energy and Negative Energy are diametrically opposed. Trying to hand wave away the utter destructive force that Negative energy canonically is because "Too much positive energy hurts people to" is ridiculous.

Too much Food can hurt people
Too much water can hurt people
Taking too much of a medicine can have ill effects.

That doesn't make any of these remotely in the same realm as a virus that exists only to replicate itself and destroy everything around it.

Conflating Positive Energy to be Just as bad as Negative energy is like conflating that medicine is just as bad as disease.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Eyeliner » Sun Sep 17, 2023 8:23 pm

I think positive and negative energies are as neutral as the elements— that is, they have no alignment, they are just raw force.

Negative is extremely harmful to life so its use will primarily be for cruel purposes, and that’s why defilers should be limited to neutral and evil— its use as a tool is pretty heinous to witness. But negative energy itself isn’t “evil”, it’s just energy. If it corrupts, it’s the power the tools offers itself not some sinister demonic force pulling the strings. I might liken it to poison… Which is considered a cruel and evil tool to use but poison itself doesn’t have an alignment.

Positive heals when used in regulated ways but again, the energy itself is not “good”— its use (when careful) gives life so it’s considered generally benevolent, but feylocks and positive weapon essences are both common examples of how positive energy can be as destructive as anything else when weaponized.

I’d still maintain an evil army or monster race will have as much use for healers as their good counterparts and there’s no need to block evil healer concepts, I mean if an orog or gnoll or goblin or kobold wants to be a healer cleric for their people is that somehow disruptive? And wouldn’t a Banite army have as much use for battlefield healers as Tormites? I’ve seen all these concepts played and they’ve been perfectly fine.

I respect opinions otherwise, but I’d urge evil healers not to be touched, it’s just not a disruptive concept like good defilers might be and there’s no need to limit character options unnecessarily.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Subtext » Sun Sep 17, 2023 8:52 pm

Eyeliner wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 8:23 pm

I think positive and negative energies are as neutral as the elements— that is, they have no alignment, they are just raw force.

Negative is extremely harmful to life so its use will primarily be for cruel purposes, and that’s why defilers should be limited to neutral and evil— its use as a tool is pretty heinous to witness. But negative energy itself isn’t “evil”, it’s just energy. If it corrupts, it’s the power the tools offers itself not some sinister demonic force pulling the strings. I might liken it to poison… Which is considered a cruel and evil tool to use but poison itself doesn’t have an alignment.

More or less. Lorewise, the Inner Planes are considered unaligned and make up for the foundation of the universe. The Positive Energy plane creates energy, the Negative Energy plane sucks it out again...inbetween you have living creatures who live and eventually die. Without the "bad" negative energy plane, nothing would ever get taken out.

The Positive Energy plane is also an extremely hostile place for living creatures. Someone described it as too much medicine - it's more like getting forcefed till you burst. It's not a nice place, it just keeps pumping you full of energy until it's too much.
I read up on the rules for that back when I did PnP and exposing a healthy creature to it will lead to death at about the same pace as exposure to the negative energy plane. (Mechanically, you keep getting HP and once you have double your maximum, you go poof.)

I get that Harm and Inflict spells are harmful and violent but other clerics have access to them as well - they are "just" stronger with the defiler path. The path doesn't really deal with undead either, necessarily aligns with evil powers or requires sucking the lifeforce of others to be able to do anything in the first place.
Sure, if they whip out undead and make it a point to kill and murder indiscriminately, they probably shouldn't be good...but I don't think the simple capacity for that is sufficient to alignment lock it and force it down the Team Evil path. There's already a bit much exclusively there to begin with.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Kenji » Sun Sep 17, 2023 10:28 pm

definatelynothealbold wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:09 am

I mean, the parallels of Defilers and Healers being opposites is kinda baked in.

Because I’m the one who baked it in and I don’t agree with my own decisions then.

definatelynothealbold wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:09 am

Everything about Defiler Screams Evil Cleric bent on destruction and wrath. (Selfish, Destructive, Evil.)
Everything about Healer Clerics screams selfless priests/Priestesses that forsake personal power to raise others up. (Selfless, Protective, Good)

These are limited, even if viable, perspectives on the conceptual interpretation for the mechanical paths. One can point out that the drow priestess in Baldur’s Gate 2 Underdark used healing spells to heal the wounds to prolong the torture of a captive.

Any concept can easily apply selfish or selfless reasons to become a healer/someone who focuses on healing arts: altruism, academic, monetary, fame, or vanity

To address this, too:

WanderingPoet wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:05 pm

Not an impulse thing, no. Healer class prevents you from using weapons or armour and weakens your inflict spells and otherwise is -all- about healing. Weakening yourself for the benefit of others is not generally something evil does; as it's an inherently -selfless- path.

It can be a selfless thing, or maybe the healer just doesn’t care for martial prowess if all the healer focuses on is politics or studies in academia. The healer could be just as selfish, using healing as a means of manipulation. cough the megachurch televangelists irl for example

Now the opposing question remains: how does one be an altruist or a caring figure while the individual’s sole focus on divine magic is also that of harmful/maiming nature. If anyone has thoughts on that I’m more than happy to hear it.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Babylon System is the Vampire » Mon Sep 18, 2023 3:02 am

Subtext wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 1:07 pm

I think a lot here is mostly hung up on the name of the path and the idea that negative energy = bad.

This isn't it at all though. I'm all for a good necromantic specialist wizard, assuming they don't raise dead outside of a controlled area and have a good intention behind it when they do, like say a wizard raising dead at the tower to teach people the weaknesses of fighting them or something. Thats probably more liberal than the mainstream of arabel, but I like shades of Grey when they make sense for the character, because it leads to interesting interaction.

But the schtick of the Defiler is that it drains the life force of others and replenishes itself with it. There's no way to angle that to fit it with a good alignment.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by BlinkDelight » Mon Sep 18, 2023 3:13 am

But the schtick of the Defiler is that it drains the life force of others and replenishes itself with it. There's no way to angle that to fit it with a good alignment.

I'm going to add my two cents in here, because I have a chaotic good woof elf defiler cleric. Her domains are death and suffering, the exact same domains as Naralis Analor: the neutral good elven deity of death. So while it may be paradoxical, it is well confirmed within the lore.

Now the opposing question remains: how does one be an altruist or a caring figure while the individual’s sole focus on divine magic is also that of harmful/maiming nature. If anyone has thoughts on that I’m more than happy to hear it.

She is an elven caregiver, focused on mundane healing and comforts to ease the suffering of others. She only uses her magics in defense of her people, or when the situation calls for it; and when she does use her magic, it is the full fury of the Seldarine, as it should be for any cleric. Magic is not good or evil, it is how it is used that matters.

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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by hi chat » Mon Sep 18, 2023 11:25 am

I feel like it'd be easier to just change the fluff text to be less over-the-top evil. As mentioned before; negative and positive energies aren't inherently 'evil' in any specific way and there's a lot of good-aligned gods with themes of suffering, death, so on. You don't even need to summon the undead to play a Defiler.

Also everything fun is already alignment locked to evil; warlock, blackguard, hexblade, so on. More alignment locks to evil would be annoying.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by WanderingPoet » Mon Sep 18, 2023 1:59 pm

Kenji wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 10:28 pm
definatelynothealbold wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:09 am

I mean, the parallels of Defilers and Healers being opposites is kinda baked in.

Because I’m the one who baked it in and I don’t agree with my own decisions then.

definatelynothealbold wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:09 am

Everything about Defiler Screams Evil Cleric bent on destruction and wrath. (Selfish, Destructive, Evil.)
Everything about Healer Clerics screams selfless priests/Priestesses that forsake personal power to raise others up. (Selfless, Protective, Good)

These are limited, even if viable, perspectives on the conceptual interpretation for the mechanical paths. One can point out that the drow priestess in Baldur’s Gate 2 Underdark used healing spells to heal the wounds to prolong the torture of a captive.

Any concept can easily apply selfish or selfless reasons to become a healer/someone who focuses on healing arts: altruism, academic, monetary, fame, or vanity

To address this, too:

WanderingPoet wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:05 pm

Not an impulse thing, no. Healer class prevents you from using weapons or armour and weakens your inflict spells and otherwise is -all- about healing. Weakening yourself for the benefit of others is not generally something evil does; as it's an inherently -selfless- path.

It can be a selfless thing, or maybe the healer just doesn’t care for martial prowess if all the healer focuses on is politics or studies in academia. The healer could be just as selfish, using healing as a means of manipulation. cough the megachurch televangelists irl for example

Now the opposing question remains: how does one be an altruist or a caring figure while the individual’s sole focus on divine magic is also that of harmful/maiming nature. If anyone has thoughts on that I’m more than happy to hear it.

That's a good point! Doesn't have to be that they chose to not learn to fight in order to heal others, it could be they chose not to because they just didn't want to. So, I agree; Healers can reasonably be selfish and be evil.

I think for your opposing question though - we could make the same argument about evocation or necromancy wizards. Their sole dedication and years of study are on hurting people.

Another example then - a devote cleric of Ilmater who spends all their days among the suffering. However, when they catch those who perform extreme cruelty or atrocities their wrath as much like Ilmater's, and unleashes the all their magics to destroy the evil with magic that shows them the suffering they cause.

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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Amateur Hour » Mon Sep 18, 2023 2:14 pm

BlinkDelight wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 3:13 am

She is an elven caregiver, focused on mundane healing and comforts to ease the suffering of others. She only uses her magics in defense of her people, or when the situation calls for it; and when she does use her magic, it is the full fury of the Seldarine, as it should be for any cleric. Magic is not good or evil, it is how it is used that matters.

Have to keep in mind that Sehanine is violently opposed to the vast majority of necromancy - not just animation, necromancy in general.

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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by BlinkDelight » Mon Sep 18, 2023 9:49 pm

Amateur Hour wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 2:14 pm
BlinkDelight wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2023 3:13 am

She is an elven caregiver, focused on mundane healing and comforts to ease the suffering of others. She only uses her magics in defense of her people, or when the situation calls for it; and when she does use her magic, it is the full fury of the Seldarine, as it should be for any cleric. Magic is not good or evil, it is how it is used that matters.

Have to keep in mind that Sehanine is violently opposed to the vast majority of necromancy - not just animation, necromancy in general.

Every god has their likes and dislikes, you cannot make a cleric that every god loves. While she respects Sehanine, she does not get her spells from her. She gets her divine magic from Naralis, who would fully enforce her as a defiler cleric.

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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by definatelynothealbold » Tue Sep 19, 2023 12:04 am

Kenji wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 10:28 pm
definatelynothealbold wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:09 am

I mean, the parallels of Defilers and Healers being opposites is kinda baked in.

Because I’m the one who baked it in and I don’t agree with my own decisions then.

definatelynothealbold wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:09 am

Everything about Defiler Screams Evil Cleric bent on destruction and wrath. (Selfish, Destructive, Evil.)
Everything about Healer Clerics screams selfless priests/Priestesses that forsake personal power to raise others up. (Selfless, Protective, Good)

These are limited, even if viable, perspectives on the conceptual interpretation for the mechanical paths. One can point out that the drow priestess in Baldur’s Gate 2 Underdark used healing spells to heal the wounds to prolong the torture of a captive.

Any concept can easily apply selfish or selfless reasons to become a healer/someone who focuses on healing arts: altruism, academic, monetary, fame, or vanity

To address this, too:

WanderingPoet wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 2:05 pm

Not an impulse thing, no. Healer class prevents you from using weapons or armour and weakens your inflict spells and otherwise is -all- about healing. Weakening yourself for the benefit of others is not generally something evil does; as it's an inherently -selfless- path.

It can be a selfless thing, or maybe the healer just doesn’t care for martial prowess if all the healer focuses on is politics or studies in academia. The healer could be just as selfish, using healing as a means of manipulation. cough the megachurch televangelists irl for example

Now the opposing question remains: how does one be an altruist or a caring figure while the individual’s sole focus on divine magic is also that of harmful/maiming nature. If anyone has thoughts on that I’m more than happy to hear it.

I'm sorry, but I heavily disagree

A Drow Priestess using healing magic to torture someone is quite simply not the same as someone dedicating their life's path to healing and tending to the wounded. These are not equals. These are not parallels. That drow priestess would not be a Healer Path Cleric if they were put in an arelith setting. Evil clerics -can- cast healing magic. That doesn't make them a "Healer".

Also, I highly disagree with the conflation of a healer priest being a Megachurch Televangalist. Those people are 1000% charalatins with literally zero power, that prey on desperate people and provide them nothing and steal their money. That's a thief/rogue pretending to be a priest. Not a Healer Cleric.

Mind you, we don't have to agree, but I find your examples to be extremely poor.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by Kenji » Tue Sep 19, 2023 7:39 am

definatelynothealbold wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2023 12:04 am

I'm sorry, but I heavily disagree

A Drow Priestess using healing magic to torture someone is quite simply not the same as someone dedicating their life's path to healing and tending to the wounded. These are not equals. These are not parallels. That drow priestess would not be a Healer Path Cleric if they were put in an arelith setting. Evil clerics -can- cast healing magic. That doesn't make them a "Healer".

Also, I highly disagree with the conflation of a healer priest being a Megachurch Televangalist. Those people are 1000% charalatins with literally zero power, that prey on desperate people and provide them nothing and steal their money. That's a thief/rogue pretending to be a priest. Not a Healer Cleric.

Mind you, we don't have to agree, but I find your examples to be extremely poor.

I agree with you on the subject of televangelists, the small text is meant for a tongue-in-cheek moment not meant to be taken as an actual example of the discussion at hand. It steps on the line beyond real-world politics and religion which are topics that are frowned upon in the forums.

The drow may not be the best example on my end, but still- what about the following sentiment, do you agree that not all healer paths have to be good and selfless?

Kenji wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2023 10:28 pm

It can be a selfless thing, or maybe the healer just doesn’t care for martial prowess if all the healer focuses on is politics or studies in academia. The healer could be just as selfish, using healing as a means of manipulation.

To further elaborate, dedicating oneself to a certain craft does not equate to being as selfless or altruistic as you claimed earlier. Being selfless and altruistic is just that, it reflects the characteristics of a character. The healer's path may often be conflated with those characteristics but they are not definitive traits for all healers.

Let's take real-world doctors for example. Would they not be the healer-equivalent in our world? While there are certainly doctors and nurses who are empathetic, altruistic, and selfless, there are just as many who went into the medical field for prestige and monetary gains (or maybe just a means of living). Who is to say a healer in the fantasy realm can't be the same?

Healers will not get alignment locked unless any of you can persuade me otherwise (by finding a fault in my logic, examples likely won't do much anymore).

Defilers, on the other hand, may become non-good only, pending further discussion.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by definatelynothealbold » Tue Sep 19, 2023 3:17 pm

There's a difference between a Cleric that can heal and a Healer Path Cleric.

A standard cleric can use healing magic. They can have a variety of motives, methods, and personal interests. They are flexible in their faith and can do basically whatever they want based on their god and personality. These standard clerics have a plethora of abilities and motives and they can manifest themselves in so many ways including the ways you've suggested (Evil Clerics using Healing magic to allow them to keep torturing people) That's the whole point, from what I understand, of the standard Path of the Cleric is it not?

A healer path cleric isn't suppose to be just a cleric that heals good. It's a dedication to a specific way of life, one that fundamentally changes your training as a cleric and fundamentally changes the way you interact with the world. This is why despite the fact that clerics usually gets many Proficiencies with Weapons and Armor, a Healer gets none of it. This choice fundamentally changes the way they learned to be a cleric (Reminder: Clerics are strictly taught, they do not simply exist, they are not favored souls).

Healer Path clerics give up the ability to defend themselves, most of the ability to harm others (We still have a few methods, especially harming undead), and basically end up wholly dependent on others to be able to do things (Whether that be a Conjuration or an Actual player character).

In exchange they become better than anyone in the field of specifically healing magic (Supposedly). To the point they can rebuke death itself for a short duration once they are powerful enough. The only situation in which a healer cleric really shines in combat is against Undead, creatures created by negative energy, which is a fundamental force of entropy in the world and thus evil (Because Undead are Evil, they just are, one off examples of weird nonevil undead doesn't change the fact that undead as a whole are evil creatures bent on the corruption and destruction of the world)

Between having to go through fundamentally different training than other types of clerics, and the fact that the more selfish / evil interests someone learning to be a cleric can be far more easily achieved through multiple other means and paths. I simply do not see why a Evil Aligned Character would take the choice that weakens them personally to help others. Another key aspect of evil characters is inevitable betrayals for power grabs, or distrust of your allies.. why would one of these types of characters make themselves so vunerable to others when they again, simply choose a different path and get most of the benefits along with the personal power they likely crave?

To revist your example of a Drow Cleric that likes to Heal their torture victims so they can torture them longer. Would that not far better suit a Cleric seeped in the Suffering Domain than Healing? Why would that priest give up the ability to inflict that harm upon others themselves? That cleric could fully function as a Defiler or Base cleric much better and achieve their interests and goals far better than if they were a Healer path cleric. Why would that Drow Cleric go through the specific training to become a cleric of the Healer path (And where would they learn it) when there are much easier methods available to them that achieve the same thing without them having to give up personal power? (Because if it's a drow cleric, power is important, giving up any form of power would be not only hazardous to their health, but their standing as a drow cleric, where usually their clergy are excessively cutthroat are they not?)


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by ReverentBlade » Tue Sep 19, 2023 8:09 pm

I see no reason a creepy anatomy obsessed necromancer-healer with a laboratory full of limbs and heads in jars couldn't be an evil character. Some slimy, dweeby thing that can't fight worth a damn but is still an expert surgeon.

Every competent evil overlord has their own medic on the team, after all. Alignment locks are bad and just encourage RP policing by folks with little creativity. Now Healers can't be evil? Ya'll aren't even trying.


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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by The GrumpyCat » Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:58 pm

I think it's worth concidering what putting an alignment restriction on Defiler clerics will do

So some pointers

1) It will of course have mechanical effects - limiting (slightly) the amount of classes said cleric can crossclass too. I honestly don't know if this is a big deal or not- it's not something the OP brought up and it doesn't seem to be the centeral reason for the suggested change, so I'm guessing not. But I could be wrong

2) As DMs, we really don't police alignment that heavily - and this goes doubly so for the evil alignments. People tend to notice when 'good guys' do things wrong, they're held to standards. An evil pc acting nice? Well they're just lying.
In extremes of cases (a paladin summoning and working knowingly with undead, helping drow arrainge raids, maybe a Blackguard consntatly singing about love and cuddles and the delights of Illmatur, ect) then maybe we'd step in. But the amount of cases where we've had to do anything much more than lower RPRs I can count on one hand. This is no bad thing, I hasten to add. Again - alignment is complex and when it comes to evil pcs, doubly so. So it's not like upon this change we'll be hounding down all defiler clerics yelling 'WHY HAVN'T YOU EMOTED TORTURING A PUPPY TO DEATH YET!?'

3) So the next point comes down to how 'showy' a defiler cleric is - which honestly I'm not sure? I wouldn't say that their abilities are much more obvious than say, a Hemomancer or a Warlock, or any other class. if they're restricted simply to 'None good' then honestly again- in line with Hemomancer, and so on, I don't think we'll see much change. Generally unless a class is limited to out and out evil, I've not experienced or seem much rp difference. A little maybe, (and that's cool) but not much. If a class is out and out evil, or if there's been a push by the Dms to remind people that said class is Bad News (e.g. warlocks) then we tend to see a lot more ostrosization.
If that's what we're after for Defiler Path Clerics, - (and it should be noted, restricting them to Evil only means they'd almost certainly be following an evil god or goddess) then we'll probably see a heavy reduction of them played on the surface, and they become something far more commonly seen in the Underdark, as they'll tend to get driven out from the Surface fairly quickly.

So that's the outcome I predict from this change, that or nothing at all because the class is too subtle that no one will really care.

EDIT: To addend -this is not me saying any or all or some of the above is good/bad/whatever. Just what I predict the outcome of this will be.

This too shall pass.

(I now have a DM Discord (I hope) It's DM GrumpyCat#7185 but please keep in mind I'm very busy IRL so I can't promise how quick I'll get back to you.)

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Re: The Unfun Question: Defilers, Hexblades, Hemomancers, oh my.

Post by RedGiant » Wed Sep 20, 2023 11:53 am

I have now read this post, which is remarkably self-aware in the "no good will come of this, but Imma talk about it anyway" vibe.

Put me in the camp that thinks this is a name/description problem rather than a true mechanical one.

If we called it a Hurty McHurtster no one would bat an eye if we had any number of zealots on the alignment spectrum that were keen on dishing out divine punishment.

Maybe thats it...path of The Punisher. BYOBlackTshirt.

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