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CouncilofAutumn
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 3:32 AM 

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serbiris wrote:
They don't even have a divine spellbook though - they have abilities which we just kind of "say" are divine-based. Most of them are not even spells at all.


d20srd wrote:
A blackguard has the ability to cast a small number of divine spells.


I mean I guess you could be like "well it's not 3.5 it's nwn" and now we're back to tossing lore out the window.

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serbiris
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 4:32 AM 

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That just means P&P says they have an ability which in NWN they don't really have, and it wouldn't be the first case. There are a lot of things in P&P which are simply not practical to use in NWN. All that is even remotely set in stone are the mechanics, which can be built upon with special requests. What exactly is sacred about the blackguard class, pun not intended? It's not an institution, it's just a class with a particularly Evil bent. So if a tiefling player requests to play a blackguard as a "demon disciple", or as a reskin for "Acolyte of the Skin" (again, pun not intended), why should the name of the prestige class they use to represent the mechanics directly constitute a travesty to lore?


 
      
Liz
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 4:35 AM 

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I'm not sure what you guys are even disagreeing about. :) Playing a "Demon Disciple" doesn't have to suggest that the class abilities are no longer divine in nature. It wouldn't change the source of the abilities, just the route by which they reach you.

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davis114
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 5:15 AM 

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Divine powers have to come from somewhere. Period. Amian lore on blackguards is sketchy, but that's a stone cold fact. But Liz is absolutely right. As I've said, the blackguard in no way needs to know from where his or her power originates. They may simply seek to ignite the trace of fiendish blood in their system, and by all rights, succeed. To them, their powers are their own. They've managed it without the aid of anything. In reality, those powers are a blessing from some malignant force that's deigned to bless them.

We're kind of going in circles about semantics here. But let's understand, we're not talking about mechanical rules, or NwN limitations. This is the lore thread. How the class functions mechanically has nothing to do with the lore behind it.

Fact is, Liz, all your ideas sound great. They'd all make for a hell of a blackguard. I only meant to point out that comparing an innate ability to a divine one is comparing apples to oranges.

That being said, I don't see why some of the blackguard abilities are divine at all. Igniting the latent power in fiendish blood is a perfectly legitimate reason behind their existence. However, blackguard abilities are ruled as divine in both the PHB and in everything I've seen here. So they are. Unless someone on the staff wants to definitively correct that, I think that's the stance that should be taken.

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serbiris
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 5:22 AM 

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The issue is more the ironclad Forgotten Realms "Thou shalt not gain any divine powers without a deity to grant them". A tiefling "demon disciple" would still need to swear fealty to a god and all that if any of their powers were considered divine (which would be the case, on the face of it). One can argue for their cha bonus to saves to be considered innate and not the as-it-says-on-the-can Dark Blessing, and their wis-based abilities really don't have the "spell" feel which is the angle I'm arguing. It would all need to be requested at any rate.


 
      
Liz
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 5:42 AM 

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No no no no! :)

Mandating that a deity is the *source* of the power doesn't even address the means by which the power reached you. No fealty-swearing is necessary or even implied. If a god charged up your blood with magic potency, that's innate divine magic. It meets every criteria to satisfy both my Demon Disciple concept and the FR deities rule.

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serbiris
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 6:01 AM 

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I don't think they can do that, though? I mean, that's why you can't have faithless paladins. It might actually be a rule constraining deity behaviour as per Ao the Overjerk.


 
      
Liz
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 7:05 AM 

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Gods (or other spell-granting beings) can do whatever they want. :) They can empower their mortal flock by whatever means they prefer, or find convenient from moment to moment.

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Luckbringer
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 7:47 AM 

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Gods work in mysterious ways afterall. You could pertain that there is a god sponsoring the 'demon disciple' yet unbeknownst to them. The god could be channelling its divine power through the fiendish blood which is the condit to the god's realm in the lower planes. Why the god is doing this is anyone's guess, perhaps its taken an interest in the actions of the blackguard and likes what it see's or is manipulating the blackguard through it's blood connection to it's own ends. For all intense and purposes the blackguard believes that they are in control and the power is self realised, but are none the wiser to the deitiy's influence.

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Larsaan
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 12:53 PM 

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Aren't Favored Souls precedent for deities blessing random people? I mean, they usually end up worshipping said deity anyway, but still.

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Dark Immolation
 
PostPosted: Wed, Jul 29 2015, 19:30 PM 

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I was tempted to say, but was being lazy. But the only instance I can think of where people have "innate" divine powers are the Favored Soul class... and despite me using it in the lore of an earlier character, it really isn't a great class lorewise(let alone mechanically). It makes little sense for a god to invest miracles in a mortal who has absolutely no obligation to serve them or further their cause. A Favored Soul could even actively work against their god and his clergy and there is nothing the god can do to stop it, short of intervening against them like any other mortal. If I had a campaign, the distinction I would make for using them would be they are "granted" a certain number of spells per day, similar to how spells are granted through prayer, whether they pray for them or not. They're just there, the god holding out a bowl full of candy hoping you'll take it and do the right thing. But they wouldn't be the source of that magic themselves, like any divine magic.

IMO, "awakening demonic/fiendish" blood falls under sorcery. The Favored Soul class itself seems like a poor attempt at what Pathfinder solved through their Celestial, Demonic, and Diabolic sorcerer bloodlines, because you get access to what are sometimes considered divine spells, wings, natural resistances--the same stuff, you make yourself an Outsider, basically. Or if you want to stick with 3E, you can even have a sorcerer with Sanctified Magic which accomplishes much of the same goal in terms of spells. But that's just the thing; there's nothing intrinsically "divine" about magic unless it comes from a divinity or pseudo-divinity. It can be a subtle source unknown to a character, it can be granted by heralding angels on high, it can be a number of things, but tapping into angelic/demonic blood doesn't automatically make everything you do through it divine. Innate divine magic generally doesn't make sense for FR, despite it being there in a few places, because it creates an oxymoron. What separates Divine Magic from Wizardry or Sorcery is that it doesn't come from you. You can channel it, you can do part of the work via your own Force of Self, you can study it, but you're only half of the equation.

To my knowledge, BG is a divine class. It requires some sort of tried and true outsider or a deity to access, even by my rather loose interpretation of the class's spirit. However, I wouldn't fault anyone for not wanting to explain all the granted abilities as divine, and there's room for "awakened blood" stuff through the feats and widgets they get. But at the end of the day, no one up and crowns himself as a blackguard without a little help. It just becomes a little weird to me that someone would try to RP it as being a Divine class, when it would only be divine in that there's a divine force helping you do sorcerous things or physically making yourself demonic. Something like that would better be represented by Acolyte of the Skin, which is somewhat similar to BG in lore, barring that distinction. But having a mix of divinely and innately granted powers seems reasonable, just as long as there is some semblance of some outside help.

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Arkun
 
PostPosted: Tue, Oct 06 2015, 10:09 AM 



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I'm curious as to how people play their Blackguards. Do you stick with the strict description of a Blackguard written in the lore, or do you add your own sparks of flavour to it?


 
      
WrathOfTheNorth
 
PostPosted: Sat, Oct 24 2015, 13:47 PM 

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Dead is Raised

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Blackguards are really varied, In Lore itself its like an open book, Below are only two common examples and are not exaustive of course (And this is my own opinion):

Fiendish Blackguard
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Typical Alignment: Chaotic/Neutral Evil

Intro
The fiendish blackguard can be the most dangerous of all. Making negotiations with the chaotic and unpredictable malign forces of the layers of the abyss. Mostly aligning to spreading chaos, war and unbridled "evil", Blackguards with fiendish pacts can oft prove to be as unstable as the powers they draw and bargain from.

Way Of Life
Serving deities that embody chaos, destruction and hedonistic pleasures if oft not enough for the Blackguards that serve the fiendish pantheon of demons. Most by the day may guise as adventurers but enjoy the dynamics of tempting others or coercing them into conflict, Lying or even downright subverting them. As adventurers they are keen to spill blood, act selfishly and sometimes consider without acting.

Some fiendish blackguards may live within cities and cause small forms of anarchy or riots to cause widespread chaos, Acting as "One of the people".

Abyssal Lords (There are many more)
Demogorgon The Prince Of Demons
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Dagon, Prince Of The Depths
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Pale Night, The Mother of Demons
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====================================================================================


Infernal Blackguard
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Typical Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Evil

Intro
Infernal Blackguards are individuals that pride,consort and work with the Lords of the Nine hells of baator. With each hell showing different aspects of the spectrum of devils. Oft coming from a culture where martial law and oppression is common (The Thayvian empire for example) allows this culture in the prime to cultivate and grow.

Infernal blackguards are individuals that are bound to agreement but that doesnt mean to say that in the small print or clause in the agreement that one would agree with a blackguard could mean that extra payment or a certain situation that the blackguard would benefit from.

Infernal blackguards atypically are conniving, patient and considering in their plans much like their masters. Oft preferring to negotiate and deal if the odds are not within their favour and oft in the case their diplomatic skills can result in a complete situation change.

Way of Life
Infernal blackguards can find themselves into city guards, Politics and any place that power can be grabbed in the format of coercing others. From the lowly guard where they enforce rules but interpret them in such a way it benefits the blackguards cause or the higher goal to the politician that deliberates and carefully arranges situations where enemies of the nine are found targeted.

Archdevils
Asmodeus, Archdevil of the Ninth Hell
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Levistus, The Frozen Ruler Of Stygia
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Mephistopheles, Lord Of Cania
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====================================================================================

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Arkun
 
PostPosted: Thu, Dec 29 2016, 6:51 AM 



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*Create Undead.*

New questions:

* What does it feel like to be a Blackguard?

* What does it feel like to use your abilities?


 
      
Fimbulvetr
 
PostPosted: Mon, Feb 20 2017, 14:00 PM 

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:arrow: What does it feel like to be a blackguard?

I can only give you a 'how I play it' answer, I'm afraid. There isn't really a guiding principal for Blackguards as they all serve a different master, or at the very least have an uneasy partnership with their source of Power.

In respect to my own character, I play Snikt as being far more confident than your average goblin. He's driven by a purpose that pervades him; he sees himself as directly serving his god. Though being a Blackguard and Maglubiyet being an evil god, Snikt seeks to do this by serving one of his god's fiendish servants. It's this entity that grants him both a wellspring of power beyond normal and a purpose.
Via DM event, or established RP they often make demands to retain this power, which gives him an often zealous motivation.

In essence, you're empowered. But, you're also a slave to that power. You have to be driven and ambitious or it'll consume or ruin you. Unlike a paladin you have no mantle against fear, because fear is used by your pact holder to motivate you. It's a double edged sword.
I RP the Dark Blessing ability, for example as Snikt being able to overcome normal fears and challanges, because was he to fail his 'master', he would then know true fear.


:arrow: What does it feel like to use your abilities?

I roleplay Snikt as tapping his wellspring of power with euphoric pleasure and delightful pain. It's a surge of pure might; addictive and desecrating.

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Last edited by Fimbulvetr on Wed, Feb 22 2017, 13:00 PM, edited 1 time in total.

 
      
Opustus
 
PostPosted: Mon, Feb 20 2017, 17:25 PM 

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What does it feel like to be a Blackguard?
I have played two blackguards. For the first one, it was a systematic attempt to seize control and power. He was conscious of his objectives and the deal with the devil, so to say, was a contract of mutual interests. For the other one it was a deep-set moral judgment that entitles her to do something; she practically feels that she is inhumane, hence she does not need to abide by the morals of human. Whether she ascends or descends "popular morality", her deviation from it tears her apart from humanity or from what is humane/decent/good. She feels like an alien, she feels like an evil in disguise, and the conceptions of good are foreign and incomprehensible to her. She would never question herself for the dark voice in her head always reasserts her rightfulness.

What does it feel like to use your abilities?
This can be a reflection or manifestation of the answer to your first question. It could be a rush or a high; perhaps it makes one susceptible to the indoctrination of the evil who grants the powers, slowly consuming the wielder. A bit like Gollum in LOTR! For my first BG I played it like a surge of power. For my second I play it as an unravelling; she reveals her true self in all her disgust, abomination and indignation.

The looming darkness of the BG aura surely grows whilst using their abilities, and I could not bring myself to play a BG as a "hidden evil": for me the BG aura renders that virtually impossible to accomplish. The BG represents and embodies evil, and measures taken to conceal it, while they might be possible, are hardly in line with the principle of becoming one in the first place. If one's character wanted to remain inconspicuous, why would she make pacts with evil entities? Surely your character can obfuscate or cause controversy of her personhood: a beautiful young girl who is evil to the core and also pulsates it might have a succubus-like effect, playing on the weakness of flesh and lust. But a person with her wits about would probably see through the act.

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