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Religious PC Classes - clarifying the Team attitude

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Religious PC Classes - clarifying the Team attitude

PostAuthor: spool32 » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:00 pm

As well all know, Avlis is a role-playing server. This lends itself to all sorts of creative and interesting personalities, actions, and beliefs. I'd like to take a moment and focus on the religious roles today - in particular, clerics and Holy Warriors.

The Team feels it's very important to give players the freedom to create their own RP concepts (within the boundaries of the rules of course - no lost jedi elf king of M'Chek!), and for the most part we don't want to draw boxes around these concepts. There are two general exceptions to this, though, and I want to focus a bit of attention on each. Clerics and Holy Warriors are often very challenging roles to play, and both of them carry with them the expectation that certain guidelines be adhered to.

Clerics: This might be obvious, but you have to worship and venerate your god, as he or she is written! Part of this is RPing the religious beliefs in your day-to-day interactions with others. Another part of this is maintaining the alignment of your God. With a couple of notable exceptions, Gods tolerate clerics of only one alignment - while the followers can stray from the path, the cleric must maintain his alignment, or risk falling out of favor. The path from one faith to another, of from belief to non-belief, can be an amazing opportunity for RP, and we want to stress that having your PC's alignment adjusted, or even being marked out of favor, is not a punishment. We are not here to punish roleplay or IC dramatic changes, but we do feel strongly that a PC who acts out of step with his god's teaching should face the consequences of his act. As the player of a cleric, this might be exactly the role-play opportunity you were seeking... the fall from favor and progression to a new faith is a story arc that's full of good dramatic content, and good fun. If you don't want your PC to convert, though... alignment adjustments and falling out of favor should be a reminder that your PC's actions need to come back into line with his god's teaching.

The Holy Warrior is even more challenging. The Team is very supportive and interested in expanding the base of Holy Warrior PCs in the game, but we've set a high bar for Holy Warrior role-play. The HW is supposed to represent the pinnacle of militant faith and strength, the ultimate that a fighting person of faith can attain. Players of Holy Warriors are expected to cleave tightly to their God's beliefs, and express them as a core of the role-play concept. Multiclassed Holy Warriors should be an HW first, and everything else second. Holy Warriors must maintain one alignment, with no deviation. The rewards are great; both in terms of abilities in the game engine and in the RP opportunities available, but the costs for a PC failing to live his God's word are much higher. I want to restate here, alignment shifts and falling out of favor are not meant as a punishment, because falling from grace can be one of the most compelling story arcs in the game. I must stress that a player should be certain he wants to follow that RP path, though... because falling from grace as a Holy Warrior comes with significant and irreversible changes to the PC. While your PC can recover his God's favor, he can never recover his status as a Holy Warrior.

The Team is committed to providing enough reminders and hints that losing Holy Warrior status should never come as a shock. I can think of only one case in which a Holy Warrior lost his status all at once - the Paladin Ion fell instantly when, believing that the High Paladin of the Order of Gorethar was possessed by a demon and leading the Order to destruction, Ion attacked him in the throne room of the Fortress of Light during a general meeting and promotion ceremony. It was an incredible moment, and one that still resonates through the role-play of many Gorethites, more than a RL year after the fact... a strong demonstration of the RP opportunities a fall from grace can create. This kind of massive shift isn't often what a player wants, though... so please take any hints from the Team not as a threat or a punishment for bad or inappropriate role-play, but as a reminder of what may come. If that isn't what you want, consider adjusting your role-play accordingly, and be aware that a fall from grace cannot be reversed. Once we've made the call, as a Team, that a Holy Warrior no longer has the favor of his god, there's no turning back.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Clerics and Holy Warriors represent a critical part of what makes Avlis a unique and interesting setting, and we're constantly trying to support that through new systems, new spell effects, and religious stories and plotlines tuned to support or compliment the classes. It takes a lot of energy and creativity to pull off a strongly religious PC, and we have great respect for those players who take up the challenge and really breathe life into the world through their amazing portrayals.

For the Avlis Team,

-spool32
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PostAuthor: Micah » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:18 pm

As a somewhat different testimonial to the fun this can be... I have an example that doesn't pertain to a cleric or holy warrior, but is just as severe of a situation.

About two years ago, when Micah Ormane was the Archmage of the Ebony Order, the priestess of Ankhara and Micah got into a clash of egos. Ankhara, a priestess of Andrinor, demanded respect from Micah. Micah only had respect for two people. One day, in the High Temple of Andrinor, Ankhara got snappy with Micah (Micah was always snappy, so it is implied she started it) and Micah murdered her on the altar of Andrinor in front of High Priestess Rayna. Rayna was possessed by Plethora at the time.

Boy was Micah ever in trouble...

OOCly, you see, I knew full well that if one of Andrinor's Trust ever attacked Andrinor's Clergy, they would be severely punished by the god of magic. Micah, however, didn't know and didn't care. *Kapow!* The Archmage of the Ebony was now marked out of favor and could no longer cast spells. The look on Damar's face was priceless.

There were some rather heated IC events going on at the time within Ebony, and leading a NE mage order without actually having any magic led to some of the most knuckle whitening RP I have experienced here on Avlis. By acting as though she was even more ruthless as ever, Micah managed to get through her trials without anybody blinking, but had it gotten out that she was powerless there was a line of about 50 PCs who would have been on her ass kicking her around in no time.

Damn I miss those days. Tribulation is what drama in role play is all about. Enjoy it when it comes, because it is what makes your character unique and not just another cookie cutter PC.
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PostAuthor: Darkfire » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:31 pm

The one thing that matters is the effort. It continues, whereas the end to be attained is but an illusion of the climber, as he fares on and on from crest to crest; and once the goal is reached it has no meaning. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands
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Re: Religious PC Classes - clarifying the Team attitude

PostAuthor: TripleAught » Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:48 pm

spool32 wrote:(within the boundaries of the rules of course - no lost jedi elf king of M'Chek!)


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PostAuthor: Drac » Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:44 pm

Reading this thread made me curious. Can a character who loses their holy warrior status because the lose their faith in their god, become a holy warrior for another god?
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PostAuthor: Ghostie » Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:46 pm

Drac wrote:Reading this thread made me curious. Can a character who loses their holy warrior status because the lose their faith in their god, become a holy warrior for another god?


I don't think I've seen an example of this happening - but I suppose it could in theory... maybe.

It would need to involve a lot of RP and hard work if it did happen, but this is a new one, so what I say could be wrong. If you're really looking for an official answer, I think it'd need to be discussed teamside first on a case by case basis.
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PostAuthor: spool32 » Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:39 pm

I'd have to agree with Ghostie... case-by-case is how we'd handle it. I suspect that striving for your opposite would be the most likely change we'd offer... Paladin to Blackguard, Justicar to Confounder, Avenger to Dominator, Annihilator to Champion, or the reverse of those... that sort of thing. I think the Team would want to see the whole history of the PC, watch the story unfold, and possibly offer it as a reward someday in the future... I'm not sure how we'd handle it. If your RP seems to lead you that direction, it's not contrived, your PC doesn't have a history of being fickle, etc... we'd consider it at the least.

-spool32
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PostAuthor: Drac » Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:41 pm

Thanks for the quick replies. I was just wondering if it were even feasibly possible or if it was a hard and fast prohibition.
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