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Karzoug the Claimer

Nearyn's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 962 posts (965 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Hi Silent Justice, and welcome to the GM-chair.

Let me offer you this link to my advice for aspiring GMs

Hope it helps, and I hope you have fun :)

-Nearyn


Aaaand just gonna give this a quick bump.

-Nearyn


Thanks for the input. I like the methodic approach you suggest. And I hope to use carrot over stick. However I do fear that I may have to really shake her belief in what she's fighting for. And I need some way to basically make sure that conversations take place on my conditions.

Also, any suggestions on prisoner management would be appreciated.

-Nearyn


I'm playing an Asmodean cleric in a Way of the Wicked campaign. My character is the leader of the Nessian Knot, our little group of evildoers, and we've just recently accomplished the goal of book one, the conquest of watchfortress Balentyne.

During our examinations of the fortress, we found that my character's younger sister Zhayelle was a captain of the soldiers on the fort, and since my character has a vested interest in turning his siblings to his cause, the Nessian Knot took her alive. She's now well chained and under control in an Inn we've commandeered.

She's a die-hard Iomedaean. For those familiar with the AP, you know the nation of Talingarde is monotheistically worshipping the god Mitra. In our campaign, Talingarde is somewhere southwest of Hermea and instead worships Iomedae in much the same way, except other Golarion-specific non-evil deities are given cursory recognition if nothing else. Zhayelle is also a career soldier. What she knows about Asmodeus is Talirean propaganda, meaning basically what you'd expect a nation of angel-bothering, Iomedae-fanatics to teach their common populace - meaning next to nothing outside of 'attack his worshippers on sight, because evilbad'.

Now we have a spit of downtime after taking the watchfortress, but sooner or later we'll have to move out and I suspect my sweet sister is going to be tough to break.

So what I need is basically the best arguments you can come up with, in favor of Tyranny, in favor of Asmodeus. Your best rhetoric that could shake my sister's stance and help me bring her into darkness.

And ideas for how to best transport her and manage her, should our next quest require some travel. Basic ideas for prisoner management, mundane items, restraints, magic items, poisons, potions, the works. Whatever you can think of to ensure we'll have no trouble out of her. No, killing her doesn't count, and I'd prefer to not beat her into unconciousness every time we have to go somewhere, although I'm not discounting the option entirely.

Anyway, thanks very much for your input, and suggestions, in advance. I look forward to seeing your ideas and reading what you can come up with in defense of tyranny.

Also, let's be honest, we risk political examples being raised in this thread, since I'm asking what I'm asking, so please, let's see if we can keep replies to eachother constructive and civil. Thanks :)

-Nearyn


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wraithstrike wrote:
As for not agreeing with the devs I don't know if you are disagreeing with their intentions(for what is evil), assuming they chimed in, or would be saying their words(written in the book) does not match their intent?

Ah! let me clarify.

What I mean to say, is that if a dev was to drop into this thread and say "No Nearyn, I'm afraid you've misunderstood - our intent was that <explanation>" then I'd say "Okay, thank you for clarifying that. That is not what the book says though. I will consider whether running things by your clarification would improve the game for my players. If not, I'll just continue to run it as written".

Do you feel you got your question answered, wraithstrike?

-Nearyn


Here we go Chemlak, I got around to it:

Chemlak wrote:

Try this sentence in for size.

Quote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

I get it. You're taking this as a list of individual items. When actually you should be reading it as a single sentence.

So answer me this: if you are not hurting, oppressing, and killing others, are you implied to be evil?

Ummm, I'm not sure I understand the question correctly, but I'll try.

If I am not hurting, oppressing or killing others, I'd say I am not implied to be evil.

Then again, I could be evil for other reasons, of course.

Chemlak wrote:
Bear in mind that neutrality only has a problem with killing innocent people (making the guilty fair game). And that good have respect for life (which is incredibly open-ended in scope, but respect does not equal will not kill).

I'm not making the claim that neutral- or good-aligned people cannot kill. It happens quite often in my games. But just because neutrals may have compunctions against killing innocents, that does not mean they get a free pass on the guilty. They are still killing someone.

-Nearyn


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Thymus Vulgaris wrote:

We had a paladin

This paladin never fell from grace. He did get bullrushed off a cliff once, but that's a different kind of falling.

200ft drop, lived on 1 hp. The Inheritor really wanted her champion to survive, that day :). A shame that protection didn't extend to the fight with the ghost :( Rest in peace Jeffrey Starkmourne, you were a great character

Yep, quite correct. The only person at the table who ever touched on the subject of falling, was the player of the Paladin, himself. Noone else, players or GM, even mentioned it the entire campaign. It wasn't necessary, because Jeffrey was an amazing paladin.

-Nearyn


@Wraithstrike:

A dev statement is not going to change what the book actually says. I tend to read dev statements with great interest, but the book is the book. The devs have varying opinions on certain topics, and them "clarifying something", while interesting, does not make me unable to read for myself.

Official Errata is different.

wraithstrike wrote:
For the purpose of not falling do you think he has to accept the surrender and turn the person in every time?<--This assumes that the person surrenders(drops all of his weapon, if any, and removes armor etc etc) every time the paladin shows up.

Accept the surrender, yes.

Turn the person in every time, no. I can imagine cases where turning the person in is not possible, or taking the time out to do so would entail greater harm coming to others. I don't mind a paladin passing judgement on evil-doers either, as they're supposed to punish those who harm the innocent. But that does not excuse them for willfully committing evil acts. Turning the guy in is preferable, although it is not necessarily smart, satisfying or convenient.

Sorry I didn't answer your question before, it appears I misunderstood it.

-Nearyn


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Good morning everyone. Alright, let the conversation continue.

B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
So if killing is an evil act, can a paladin eat meat? Disinfect his countertops? Swat a mosquito? Chop down a tree? Note it doesn't specify which creatures/species.

No it does not. It would seem that if I want to stick by my own reading, I have a choice to make. Let's see, I can either have my Paladin fall for having his immune-system fight off infection. Or I can elect to not be a pettifogging jerk to my players, and instead behave as if the system is supposed to work.

Incidentally, I tend to feel bad about killing insects, EXCEPT mosquitos... because f**k mosquitos. Disturb my sleep at your own peril.

B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
Ex1) My party member lays dying on the ground, he has two vials, one is a potion of cure light wounds, the other is a vial of poison. I guess incorrectly, and pour the poison down his throat. Do I fall?

Since you'll only fall when you commit a willful act of evil, it would seem to me that you're pretty much in the clear here, no matter the outcome. Even then, you're attempting to save your friend's life to the best of your abilities (I'm assuming you're out of Lay on Hands, since you're taking this chance?).

B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
Ex2) I stop by an orphanage daily and bring cake, candy, and desserts. They love me for it I'm trying to fatten them up for delicious orphan veal, but I get called away to adventure before I harm a single orphan. Have I done an evil act?

You have evil intent, which is not evil in of itself evil. A disgruntled worker who gets embarrassed in front of his coworkers by his ass of a chief, may fantasize about dropping a toolcase on him from great height, but has not done anything evil until he actually does it.

All you're doing is feeding the kids. It seems very likely to me that you're already evil, but as to the alignment of your act, you're just feeding kids. If you return after your adventuring days and eat them, then yes, of course you're doing evil.

-Nearyn


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I didn't realize someone had turned on the Ashiel-signal?!

Anyway, welcome to the party. We have cake and copious amounts of mental exhaustion. =)

-Nearyn


I'm cracking up myself. Dunno if it's legit funny or I'm tired, either way it's good for the ticker :D

-Nearyn


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It would appear that I am in fact so tired, that I cannot help but ask the paizo staff to respond to whether or not I am dumb or a troll. So much for reading before you click. Oh well. To whomever it may concern, kindly ignore my FAQ request of the above post.

-Nearyn


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Coltron wrote:

This is not proof of what you are saying.

"Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit."

The term innocent is clearly used.

What point are you bringing up? I'm not denying that word is being used. I am, however, denying that that line has any relevance to the further elaboration of evil, that follows.

Coltron wrote:
-OWWWWWW you hurt me while trying to stop me from eating a baby, who are you A LAWFUL GOOD CHARACTER to tell me that eating babies is wrong, stop oppressing me!

At my table, this would be referred to as "trying to game the system", and neither players, nor my GMs from other groups, are douchy enough to try it. I should probably consider what I'd ever do if someone tried that. Maybe a public spanking, and bringing drinks to the next session would fit the crime. Or I could just execute them ;)

Coltron wrote:
You effectively think the rules require a Paladin to sit in a corner praying, while running away from any confrontation.

Have I ever mentioned how immensely grateful I am, that I have you to tell me what I think? I don't know what I'd do without someone else to tell me what I'm thinking, - I'd probably be so confused I started resorting to sarcasm.

Coltron wrote:
if they fall over and land on someones toe. They can FALL FOR FALLING DOWN!

I don't believe I have ever stated that I support alignment impacts based on accidents. Perhaps I've thought it. Can you please tell me if I'm thinking it right now?

Coltron wrote:
Let me guess, the weapon proficiencies and combat abilities only exist to tempt them into falling.

Your guess is as good as mine. But I've always guessed it represented training in the use of martial weapons. You know... to defend yourself, to defend the innocent and to be able to properly match an evil-doer, should he not surrender peacefully. It's just a guess though.

Coltron wrote:
This does not mean only neutral people can kill the guilty

And who exactly are you claiming was making that point? Because it wasn't me, I can promise you that. Everyone can kill, Good characters, chaotic characters, evil characters, all of them. Everyone can kill, everyone can do most everything, that does not require an ability they do not posses.

Coltron wrote:
You can lie to yourself and say that is not what you mean but it is.

Again, thank you so very much. It really is helpful, and not at all collosally conceited, arrogant and annoying. I really do appreciate it. It adds alot of the conversation, you know.

On a more serious note, if you can please stop trying to make permanent residents in my deepest, darkest thoughts, then perhaps I'll bother reading and responding to your future posts. If you are incapable of that, and instead insist of showcasing what I humbly consider to be an exquisite lack of basic manners, then I'm afraid this will be my last post to you for awhile.

Godspeed

-Nearyn


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Nope - you're wrong. I never said that.

What exactly is it you claim to have never said?

Because what I'm talking about it this

Charon's Little Helper wrote:

Nowhere in there does it say that killing is evil.

It says killing innocents for fun or profit is.

In this quote, it seems to me that you are taking the first line of Good Versus Evil, that says "evil characters destroy or debase innocent life, whether for fun or profit", and tie the wording of that line to the line further down, where it says that "evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others". Leading to:

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
It says killing innocents for fun or profit is[evil]

Because to me, this is a 2-way street. If you take the first line:

Good Versus Evil wrote:
Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.

and slap it onto the next line about evil:

Good Versus Evil wrote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

... for it to be evil, then the same must hold true for the rest of the text in the Good Versus Evil segment. So you must take:

Good Versus Evil wrote:
Good characters and creatures protect innocent life

And use as a requirement for any of...

Good Versus Evil wrote:
Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings.

To actually be good.

I'm not saying that you have said that last part about the Good text. What I am saying that, if I follow your logic correctly in the evil example, then I believe, in order for that argument to hold any real value, the same logic must hold true for the good example - leading to the requirement for all would-be good acts, to be done in order to protect innocent life.

-Nearyn


Chemlak wrote:

If it said "evil implies hurting, oppressing, or killing others", I would agree with Nearyn.

I don't, because it doesn't say that. The "and" is a conjunction, linking all three behaviours.

I'm sorry I haven't answered your last post Chemlak, I'll see if I can get around to it, but the wording confuses me somewhat. Sorry :(

On the topic of the post I'm quoting: Would you then argue that Altruism, Respect for life, and Concern for the dignity of sentient beings are not, on their own, good virtues, but only when all 3 are combined?

-Nearyn


thejeff wrote:

Then, to be consistent, by your second claim, a paladin falls whenever he commits the evil act of killing another.

If that isn't true, then there are cases and conditions when killing others isn't evil. Which was the original debate and really remains the debate: Is this particular case a case where killing is an evil act?

I agree, and as you've correctly mentioned, I have said that not all killing is evil. I used the example that if you were to commit an evil act, such as killing, but at the same time was doing a good act, such as protecting innocents, then your action would be both good and evil. Since a good evil act, seems like a really awful way to induce alot of migraine, I'd argue that it falls in the spectrum between good and evil, which would be neutral.

True I think alot of adventurers are doing evil when they murder-hobo their way through the countryside, but as opposed to many other people on this board, I don't consider that a bad thing about the game. I don't mind evil acts, or evil PCs for that matter. Most of the time my players will fall into the category of neutral killings, or they will have one or two evil ones, which is then buried beneath a mountain of good acts that they perform out of combat.

I recently had a paladin in my RotR group. Never, not even once, did I, or anyone else around the table raise question about his alignment. He played it flawlessly. He didn't start fights, but he wasn't a pushover. He would stand between the party and oncoming danger, selflessly and vigilantly, and he would be a dear friend to all the party. His exemplary and helpful behavior, friendly and chill attitude, and relentlessness in the struggle to protect Varisia led to the Chaotic Neutral (borderline evil) rogue, shifting on the alignment scale, over the course of the campaign, to become Chaotic Good.

thejeff wrote:

Also: Alignment is objective within the world. The game system rules governing it however are subjective enough that each group has to work out the corner cases themselves.

I completely agree. That is the case many places in the game. The game can't do -all- the work for you. Yet, it is rare that you need to think that long about most cases. Usually you just need to quickly compare what was going on to the Good Versus Evil, Law Versus Chaos segments, and it works itself out pretty easily.

-Nearyn


Rynjin wrote:
Even if you were correct (and I disagree), you have yet to provide anything that proves your point except "I can take two words out of context and ignore the rest".

Nearyn's claim: the alignment section of the core rulebook constitutes rules.

Nearyn's proof:
1)the alignment section can be found under "additional rules" in the core rulebook.

2)the alignment section does not specify that the text contained within is not rules. It talks about alignment not being a straightjacket, which is not the same as "this chapter does not contain rules".

It also talks about the descriptions of the individual 9 alignment combinations, and mentions that those 9 descriptions are only guidelines, not scripts. This is, again, not the same as saying that "this chapter does not contain rules".

Nearyn's second claim:by the core rules, killing others is considered evil.

Nearyn's proof:
1)the alignment chapter subsection Good Versus Evil contains the following text:

"Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others." Full text provided below:

Good Versus Evil wrote:

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.

Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others.

-Nearyn


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@Rynjin: I respectfully disagree, what with the alignment section of the core rulebook being found under "additional rules".

Alignment in the real world, that is to say morality in the real world, is very much a subjective thing. Alignment in pathfinder is objective. And THAT is by design, because there are classes and game-mechanics that tie into alignment, necessitating an objective alignment system.

More importantly, by being objective it ignores issues of cultural, tradition-based or religious biases.

Introducing subjectivity means not using the alignment system.

-Nearyn


Zova Lex wrote:
Nearyn wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

@Coltron: My opinion does not factor into this. This is based on the observation from the alignment rules, that killing others is evil.

You are free to have your own opinion, can consider whatever you want, to be absurd. I've been working by the assumption that what the core rulebook has to say on alignment is how alignment actually works. If you disagree and want to run it differently, more power to you.

-Nearyn

Repeat it as many times as you like, it won't make it true.

Your stance is ridiculous even for the Rules forum. This is not that forum.

Whatever makes you feel better, Rynjin. This may not be the rules board, but the OPs question regarded the rules. Make of that what you will.

-Nearyn

It does not befit a person who no one agrees with to be condescending. Especially when we are just piling on the proof against you.

The moment I see anything resembling proof, that by the core rules, straight up killing others is not an evil act, I will take it into careful consideration and see if I mean to maintain my present position, or change it based on the new information.

What you've presented me with is setting specific observations and lots and lots of conjecture. Do not mistake it for proof, because I certainly won't.

-Nearyn


Rynjin wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

@Coltron: My opinion does not factor into this. This is based on the observation from the alignment rules, that killing others is evil.

You are free to have your own opinion, can consider whatever you want, to be absurd. I've been working by the assumption that what the core rulebook has to say on alignment is how alignment actually works. If you disagree and want to run it differently, more power to you.

-Nearyn

Repeat it as many times as you like, it won't make it true.

Your stance is ridiculous even for the Rules forum. This is not that forum.

Whatever makes you feel better, Rynjin. This may not be the rules board, but the OPs question regarded the rules. Make of that what you will.

-Nearyn


@Coltron: My opinion does not factor into this. This is based on the observation from the alignment rules, that killing others is evil.

You are free to have your own opinion, can consider whatever you want, to be absurd. I've been working by the assumption that what the core rulebook has to say on alignment is how alignment actually works. If you disagree and want to run it differently, more power to you.

-Nearyn


Coltron wrote:

-Use Phylactery of Faithfulness to ask Lawful Good God Ragathiel if he will take away your Paladin powers for executing a guy

-Ragathiel says "no, in fact I kinda think its hawt"

-Execute said guy

-GM "you fall"

-But but "Muh God"

-GM "Show me where it says paladins can kill helpless victims without falling? I don't see it. Merely a boon for offering the god what he wants. Ragathiel offers you that, but that does not mean that killing the person was good or lawful, or that you won't fall. All it means is that Ragathiel approves, and being a creature that can be assumed to have at least enough capacity for personal complexity, as any given mortal, he could approve for a myriad of reasons."

-But my God wants me to and he grants me my powers, the code is vague and no one with a modicum of common sense would expect the Paladins of a God to have a code that expressively goes against said God.

-GM "The code grants you your powers, its not like it says anywhere that Paladins are gifted there blessing from their god. And the atonement spell you will now have to cast: it's not like it specifically says that you have to now ask your deity to forgive you for doing something he said was right...oh wait it does...and it does, well Rules are Rules, hate for this game to make sense"

Or my preferred version:

"Hey boss, will you take away my powers if I kill this dude"

"Yeah, 'fraid so"

"Awww, but the priests keep doing it, and it seems like a really good bonding experience for them"

"Yeah, but you see... they're my clerics, you're not a cleric, you're a paladin. You are not just beholden to me, but to goodness in the very essence of the word. You know this kiddo, they taught you so in paladin basics 1"

"I know, but it gets hard, you know. Sometimes I look at all the evil in the world, and I wonder if I should just take matters into my own hands"

"So do all who want the best for everyone, but recognizing what is good, what is truly good, and seperating it from your own sense of moral outrage is what seperates you from those who are not fit to bear the mantle of paladin. You are paladin, not just because you have faith in me, but because I have faith in you. I trust you to be able to the right thing, not just work my will, but do THE.RIGHT.THING. And should the day come where the skies darken, the oceans burn, where all moral men and creatures are tempted to darkness and ruin, and I myself should turn from the light and succumb to the siren call of sin and tyranny - then I have faith that you will be there to stop me."

"But... but how can I... the mere thought... "

"You can, my child. Because you are Paladin."

...

...

"I understand my lord, I shall strive to be the best I can possibly be, for you and for everyone"

"Good man"

"...about the Torag Paladins thought..."

"oh don't even get me started on that clusterf**k!"

-Nearyn


Thh heh, yeah that'd suck.

-Nearyn


@Zova Lex: I am not cherry-picking your argument, I am responding to accusation.

No, it does not mention execution anywhere in the evil description. Nor does it mention arson, drowning or defenestration. Lawful or unlawful execution or burning witches at the stake. Because if it was to explain its way around every societal and cultural assumption, then the abridged version of the alignment rules would take up a library.

So if I understand you correctly, you disregard the fact that killing is evil, because you infer from the example following that statement, that evil means you are either lacking in compassion, killing for sport or out of obligation to an evil master. So crimes of passion are just not evil? You trashtalks a guy for long enough, that he sees red, wheels around and beats your skull in with a smithing hammer – not evil? This guy was not lacking in compassion, not out to debase or destroy innocents, not doing it for sport or out of obligation to an evil master. He just lost his temper and offed you. Not evil? If he was a paladin, he would not fall?

And that's another thing. Paladins are designed by their gods to kill evil? Nowhere in the CRB does it say that, you are just pulling your opinion into it again. Paladins oppose evil, they fight to defeat evil. They don't fight to kill all evil. If they did, the text would contain that word. I completely agree they fight evil, but I don't know why the idea is so prevailing that a fight must result in someone dying. Fighting relentlessly != killing your enemies. Punish the guilty != killing your enemies. Using these to justify your reading of the alignment rules has no basis in logic. At best it makes your reading possibly true, nothing else.

A person's alignment is not defined as a series of actions. A persons alignment is defined as a creature's general moral and personal attitudes. It is the mentality of the character, or lapse in said mentality, that leads to action. Whether in accordance with, or opposed to, the character's alignment. Basically, it is possible to change alignment without performing any action whatsoever, all it requires is the moral capacity and philosophical inclination. This would mean that a player could have his character slip into all kinds of alignments as he pleased, were it not for the rules on alignment change, which state that a character's alignment is solely in the GMs control.

You claim I move the goalpost, but I've not yet argued from a position that moved outside the core rules. I recognized and lamented that I was not being clear about that, but since you insist that I am merely twisting the conversation to improve my own position, you're liable to believe whatever you want.

It is not a matter of whether I would disallow setting specific material. The pathfinder core rules system, as presented in the CRB is written so it can be used in many settings, homebrew or otherwise, at the many different tables that enjoy our hobby. Just because something is written by the same people, but for a specific setting, doesn't make it suitable to run in every other setting, or at every other table. And it doesn't mean it meshes perfectly with the core rules.

There are indeed gods mentioned in the Core Rulebook, and none of them are mentioned in anything but a cursory fashion, not touching on individual paladin codes and whatnot. They are provided in the book, just as deities have been provided, in the basic rulebooks, back in earlier D&D. Because having some basic gods, with prepacked domains to pick from, is easier than making up your own, if you're only just getting into the game and have only picked up the CRB.

Yes, I can ignore material about the gods, published in other books, as can everyone else. In fact, we SHOULD ignore it, if we're claiming to argue from a core rules only -perspective. Not saying we are, just saying -I- am, and I've explained why.

Your definitions of gods and morality are your own, and not representative of the system. It is mere opinion.

Such a god would be neutral, you say, but you base that on nothing. You just claim it is so, because a god can apparently not decree anything that falls anywhere outside his own immediate alignment. But then again, earlier you seemed willing to let someone's alignment be meaningfully impacted by not interceding, so I don't know what I'm expecting at this point. If someone stands, uninterrupted on a town-square and repeats the words ”kill your family” out loud, until someone does it, the murderer's alignment is affected, not the alignment of the man standing out in the square. By the same token a god should be able to say whatever he wants, preach whatever message he wants, without it affecting the god's alignment. You may not like that, but there is nothing in the rules that contradict it.

You are utterly missing my point on the gods. Either that or you're not addressing it. Damerrich is LG, but does that mean that his goodness is expressed through the killing of people who have been convicted in a trial of law? You can say yes, but the alignment system says no. Can his lawfulness be expressed through the killing of people who have been convicted in a trial of law? You can say yes, and the alignment system would agree, then I'm inclined to go with executions being more of a lawful aspect of Damerrich. But what then makes the execution lawful? Is it the killing? No, what can make an execution lawful, where a murder may be chaotic, is that an execution may be performed as law-ordered punishment for crimes committed. Goodie, but when you then take a look at the other axis to determine the implication on a scale of good and evil, killing is very soundly evil. At the very least, there is nothing to indicate that it is not.

And for all the talk of creatures being composed of the essence of their planes, for example angels being composed of law and goodness, they still fall. They remain fallible, their creature type does not change. A fallen angel remains a [good] and [law] creature, its alignment merely changes. Being composed of the essence of cosmic forces, apparently does not mean you are locked into, and cannot represent, a mindset that differs from that cosmic make-up. Chalk up one for free will, and the fallibilty of all. Asmodeus was right, Ihys ruined everything :P

Nice quote from ISG... now where is the aforementioned paladin code? Or part that says paladins can kill helpless victims without falling? I don't see it. Merely a boon for offering the god what he wants. Ragathiel offers you that, but that does not mean that killing the person was good or lawful, or that you won't fall. All it means is that Ragathiel approves, and being a creature that can be assumed to have at least enough capacity for personal complexity, as any given mortal, he could approve for a myriad of reasons.

But again, we're moving away from core. You've made it abundantly clear that there is alot of material in the peripheral books that contradict the letter of the alignment rules, but most of us knew that already.

That alignment is not a straightjacket is something we can agree on wholeheartedly.

Thanks, I enjoyed some of it :)

-Nearyn


Charon's Little Helper wrote:

Please stop blatantly straw-manning me.

I never said any of those things.

I never limited what good was. All I did there was prove logically that - according to the Pathfinder alignment rules - killing in general is not inherently evil.

Nothing else.

Anything else you claim I said there is nothing but straw-manning.

Call it an attempt to apply "proof" that you applied to the description of evil, to the description of good.

As far as I could tell, you made the claim that the sentence "evil implies hurting, oppressing and killing others." naturally derives from the higher point that "evil characters destroy or debase innocent life", and as such Hurting, Oppressing and Killing are not evil, unless done to innocents. Since you made that point, I was merely attempting to apply your very own "logic" to the description of good, which led me to the conclusion that Altruism, Respect for life and Concern for the dignity of sentient beings, is not good values unless they are expressly used to protect the innocent.

Also, depsite you saying so, I see no proof in your text, that killing is not evil.

-Nearyn


If this continues, I may be slow to respond today and tomorrow - got some programming I need to catch up on.

-Nearyn


@Coltron: Can you quote me the place in the core rules where it says you can kill a helpless evildoer and not only avoid falling, but get a boon?

If it's not in Core, could you then quote that segment, and cite the source? Because it seems ... unlikely to me, that it has actually been expressly written that a paladin can avoid falling, and be rewarded, for killing someone who is helpless.

If you're reading over the piece I'm asking you to cite, and find that it does not expressly say that, but that you instead only infer it from the text, that is okay I'd still like to see the quote and know the source.

Thanks anyway.

@wraithstrike: I've already answered.

wraithstrike wrote:
How many times would he have to escape prison and commit the same crime before it becomes "not evil" in your opinion?
Nearyn wrote:
If the man repeatedly escapes imprisonment and hurts others, that is not the paladin's fault. Killing a blind, relatively helpless, unarmed man who is begging for his life will not stop being evil. Naturally you can then ask the question, whether the paladin is being naive, or if killing him would be smart. But neither of those two, change the alignment of the act. Perhaps there will come a time, where the paladin decides that he can no longer personally justify this guy repeatedly escaping and hurting others, that would be understandable, the paladin is only mortal after all. If that happens, the paladin may decide to cut him down and kill him, and willingly take the fall, because he's mistaking his actions for protecting people against the evils he is convinced this man will commit. He can then seek atonement for his evil act.

Nobody is forcing the paladin to drag the criminal back every time, that is a concious choice the paladin makes, because that is the action that does not conflict with the code he holds himself to. If he decides that enough is enough, he may be willing to take the fall. Try googling "The Powder Keg of Justice". It does not deal specifically with killing someone, but it does deal with a paladin touching on subject of electing to fall.

And yes, I am quite sure that alot of people are arguing about Paladin related stuff, all the time. looks at thread ... yeah...

Anyhew, no I've not left, I just needed some sleep :)

-Nearyn


Answer for Wraithstrike coming up


Goodmorning everyone... well, good noon-ish everyone.

@Zova Lex: Writing on a phone can be such a b**ch. I've recently aquired a new laptop, and for some reason (I don't know if it's windows 8 or the new skype) it randomly capitalizes letters. If that happens with an actual keyboard under my fingers, I dare not imagine how it'd be to try to write a post on a phone :P

Anyhew ahem

First - to address the idea of nitpicking: no. Just no. I cannot agree with you, that posting the entire Good versus Evil block, the segment of the alignment rules, relevant to what we were discussing, can be called nitpicking.

Nor do I agree that "hurting, oppressing and killing others" is in context of innocents. If it was, it would read "evil implies hurting, oppressing and killing the innocent". There. It would have been that easy, if that was the intent of the text, but I don't agree that it is. To me, it seems very obvious that the opening line is an "extreme examples" line. A line in sand if you will. Not all good creatures must protect innocent life in order to do good. If they did, then all non-combatants would be neutral.

Sandpoint - a village in the Rise of the Runelords AP, has a smattering of LG npcs who are just simple commoners living their day to day lives. Eventually, if they had to "protect innocent life", and had to "make personal sacrifices to help others" in order for their actions to not be neutral, all of them would be just be Lawful Neutral. They're not. And by the same token, I don't agree that the action is not evil unless done to innocents. I don't agree that is the intent of the text, I don't agree that I'm ignoring context, I think you are misinterpreting the intent of the opening line of Good Versus Evil.

On the topic of deities and the in-world justification for execution.

First of all, remember that I'm arguing strictly from a perspective of 'how am I presently reading the rules'. I am doing this, because I find it relevant that we seperate Core Rules from setting specific material.

My position is that of the Core Rules, I am sorry I did not clarify that. Setting specific material can (and often do) include material that differentiates from what is presented in Core RAW, or at least clashes a bit with it. This includes, but is not limited to certain paladin codes, as well as certain rulings on spell descriptors and so on.

In the end, I work with what I am given by the OP, and nowhere in his post am I seeing a reference to a certain named deity, a location or anything else that puts his gaming group in Golarion. Meaning the only thing I assume with a level of certainty is that his GM is using the core rules, everything else, from other material, does not factor into my considerations, because it muddies the issue, since we don't know if that material is relevant to the OP's question and setting.

As a person who argues from this position, I must inform you, that what you are quoting is not the core rules on alignment, and that text does not appear anywhere within the core rulebook. What the core rulebook has to say, specifically on the topic of the Lawful Good alignment, is as follows:

CRB p. 167 - Lawful Good wrote:

Lawful Good: A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished.

Lawful good combines honor with compassion.

As you can probably already tell, there is quite the distinction between what you posted, and what the Core Rules say. Two keywords that spring to mind for me is that yours contain the "can seem pitiless", whereas Core has "combines honour with compassion".

Now what you infer from the gods is a seperate thing from what the core rules has to say on Alignment, and for what it's worth, I like that the gods are so versatile in the Golarion setting, because I think it adds flavour. But some of their paladin codes (if there fx is a paladin code that says 'Kill me an evildoer each day for extra god-bucks') wind up conflicting with the alignment rules as presented by the core rulebook. That is unfortunate, but it also shows that the alignment system is an old, fallible construct, that nevertheless still made it into the core rules.

Your argument also seem to be based on the fallacy that a good diety can do no wrong, or perhaps would encourage no wrong. But that is something you take for granted, something you predicate based on conjecture. You tie the alignment of the god into their aspect somehow. Asmodeus is a god of fire, does that make fire Lawful? Does that make fire Evil? He is also a god of pride. Does that mean pride cannot be chaotic? Or simply that it can be lawful or evil?

You have a divine being, an empyreal, dedicated to vengeance - does that make vengeance good? or execution? or do you infer, from these being aspects of Empyreals, that execution CAN be good? that vengeance CAN be good? That is an interesting way to read into divine aspects - if so, can empty places be chaotic? Not "can something chaotic occur at an empty place", but can an empty place be cosmically tied, on a conceptual level, to chaos? Can Scars can be evil?

The Empyreals you present, Ragathiel and the other one, the execution one, both are Lawful Good. Well, is it possible that what Vengeance and Execution can tie into is Lawfulness, not goodness? It seems likely to me, and matches up with the alignment rules.

You say the gods would not make their followers do stuff that was opposed to their general principles. I say the gods are bigger than mortal comprehension, and what they would and would not do, can and cannot do, is entirely in the hands of the GM who reads their entries.

And since it is never actually mentioned in any rules that they could not encourage actions that did not fall within their own alignment, I don't agree that that argument is watertight. It is certainly not without merit, though.

-Nearyn


thejeff wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

If the alignment segment makes it clear that killing is evil, then the paladin falls the first time he kills in a fight - he's committed an evil act.

Since that is obviously not how the game works, then there are cases where killing is not evil. This may be one of them.

It is not impossible at all.

Let's say you see an orc - you elect to attack it. You cut it down and the countryside has one less orc in it. You've just committed an evil act.

Let's say you see an orc attacking someone, you spring to their aid and in the battle you kill the orc. You've just put your own life on the line for the sake of someone else, protecting someone, killing someone, all motivated by altruism. You've just committed a good AND evil act... that sounds an awful lot like a neutral act to me.

So a paladin attacks an orc community because they are orc, and f**k orcs. Evil.

A paladin responds to an orc community sending out raiding parties, murdering, pillaging and enslaving their way through the countryside. He sticks his neck out for the local populace, and kicks some ass in the name of the light, and for the protection of the innocent, all while accepting honourable surrenders, and not harming non-combatants. Neutral act.

If a paladin does nothing but kill and kill and kill, in the name of his god, just a death-machine for the light, then eventually he'll slip into neutrality and no longer be a paladin. But killing is not what being a paladin is about. It's about doing good, holding yourself to that higher standard, being a shield for the innocent, and punish (not necessarily kill) those who would harm them. Charity, compassion, mercy, humility, honour. A paladin is liable to do ALOT of good between the times where he gets his sword wet.

-Nearyn


Zova Lex wrote:
Becacause you were given example of good aligned dieties who suggest and in some instances require execution to their LG, NG, and LN followers alike? Because you deliberately chose to quote only the part of the rules which (you mistakenly believed to) support your argument? Because in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, you still decide that you are correct? Take your pick, my friend.

I defy you to point to a place where I've been selective in my quoting of the rules so as to support my own argument.

I've only quoted the same entire block from Alignment, that being the Good versus Evil segment, and the one exception to that, was when I only quoted the line about neutrality - which was specifically because we were discussing whether it was neutral to not intercede.

Everything else has been full quotation of Good versus Evil, and one full quotation from the Paladin Code of Conduct. Claiming that I've deliberately chosen to quote only part of the rules because they support my argument is insulting. I've offered you nothing but sincerity.

You claim there has been offered evidence to dispute my position. I say that I've seen no such thing, and not for a lack of reading the posts over.

-Nearyn


But see, this is where our opinions differ, and here I am talking strictly on the subject of alignment.

I think the alignment segment make it clear that killing is evil. We are in complete agreement that the NPC in question was guilty of the crime, but I disagree that the severity of the crime makes a difference in terms of alignment in this situation. When they are defeated, kneeling on the ground and begging, killing them outright is the same, no matter their crime. Not saying their crimes are equally severe - society and law judge crimes differently. What I'm saying is only that the alignment system doesn't differentiate based on the crime, and I've read nothing to indicate otherwise.

It's clear that you do not agree, but I've yet to see a compelling argument for why I should not maintain my position.

-Nearyn


Rynjin wrote:
Nearyn wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Which is your opinion/interpretation of the semi-rules text on this subject.

True, but I was talking about not including my personal opinion on the topic of rape.

-Nearyn

Then perhaps a thread where the topic of discussion is "What do you do with someone caught raping a woman on a battlefield" is a bad place to be?

The topic of this thread is "can this paladin player execute a surrendered criminal, without it affecting him as a paladin". I'm electing not to include my opinion on what exact crime was committed, because I find it irrelevant to the discussion, which I consider a simple matter of looking into the Alignment rules to check if said execution would be an evil act.

The topic was never "what do you do with this guy" or "what is appropriate punishment"... simply this:

LrdHades wrote:

Can the Paladin walk up and just kill him?

Paladin says it is execution and is totally in his rights to do without issues to his alignment or Paladinness.

-Nearyn


Rynjin wrote:

Which is your opinion/interpretation of the semi-rules text on this subject.

True, but I was talking about not including my personal opinion on the topic of rape.

-Nearyn


Rynjin wrote:
If you're set on not including your opinion STOP POSTING, because everything you write is your opinion on this subject.

Step back Rynjin. I've not included my opinion on the subject of rape, anywhere in this thread. All I've done is use the text from the alignment segment of the rules, to comment on whether or not the paladin could execute his prisoner without it conflicting with him being a paladin.

-Nearyn


Arachnofiend wrote:
I will say that I am very uncomfortable with the fact that you are equating "looking at me funny" with "just raped this person in front of me". Surely someone with the capacity to string words together to create sentences would know that these are two separate things with two separate appropriate reactions.

sigh

Yes Arachnofiend, because that is what I was talking about. My secret agenda to equate cross glances with rape, of course. And yes, you are of course well within your rights to condemn me for it, having seen through my ruse. Because, when you read what I write, I am obviously NOT commenting on the issue of "heroes" wantonly murdering everyone in the name of good, but rather drawing a sneaky parallel between that post, and my post from earlier. As opposed to just making an unrelated comment in a post where I do not even touch on the topic of rape.

Well done, you solved the crime.

Now, if you're done passing the sentence, could you please execute me in a battlefield somewhere(preferably without a trial, and in the name of good, please), so I can reincarnate into a creature who can write "I'm not including my own opinion in this discussion" without people misreading it as "everything I write is my deep-seeded personal opinion, and you should all feel extremely uncomfortable while we calmly discuss an interesting topic on the hobby we share". I'd like that.

..... sigh

I'm sorry for the snark, but for goodness' sake....

-Nearyn


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Nearyn wrote:


I've backed up my claim Charon's Little Helper. Now I'm waiting for you to prove that you're not "ignoring every part of the game system".

It says it's evil to "debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit"

and

"Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master."

Nowhere in there does it say that killing is evil.

It says killing innocents for fun or profit is.

It says hurting, oppressing, and killing others is evil. (Note - 'and' - not 'or'.)

It says killing for mere convenience is evil. Killing for sport or solely for a duty to an evil deity/master is evil.

Killing in general? Not evil.

So just to be clear - your position is that...

It is not good to be altruistic, it is not good to show respect for life, and it is not good to be concerned for the dignity of sentient beings.

For it to be good, you must be altruistially protecting innocents whose dignity you are concerned about.

And an act is not good if it is merely atrustic or or shows respect for life or concern for the dignity of sentient beings, it must do all of these, else it doesn't count?

It says concern for the dignity of sentient beings is good, only when you sacrifice something for your concerns.

Exhibiting these things, without expressly protecting innocent life, - not good, right?

I'm just trying to see if that is indeed what you think the alignment rules are saying.

-Nearyn


1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Zova Lex: Are you implying that the existence of an aligned divine creature tied to a certain aspect or concept, makes that concept inherently of the divine creature's alignment?

Because it seems silly to me to suggest that Virginity is lawful good, as is War, and Suffering for that matter.

Or are you making a different point?

-Nearyn


Rynjin wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

I'm sad that I'm not well-schooled enough in the technical terms of english grammar and the english language, that I can properly express why I disagree with Charon's Little Helper and Zhangar.

That will have to be a weakness in my argument.

I do not agree. I do not agree that the "killing" part is supposed to mean "killing innocents".

I also do not agree with the validity of Charon's Little Helper's take on the rules text.

Now if only I knew the terms with which to explain why.

-Nearyn

There are no terms which explain away context and logical flow.

Fekk off Rynjin xD

Just told you that I don't know the terminology and that I cannot explain this. Don't hit me while I'm down :P

-Nearyn


I'm sad that I'm not well-schooled enough in the technical terms of english grammar and the english language, that I can properly express why I disagree with Charon's Little Helper and Zhangar.

That will have to be a weakness in my argument.

I do not agree. I do not agree that the "killing" part is supposed to mean "killing innocents".

I also do not agree with the validity of Charon's Little Helper's take on the rules text.

Now if only I knew the terms with which to explain why.

-Nearyn


1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Rynjin: I direct your attention to the quoted segment from the alignment section of the CRB.

Why would it be a bad thing that the heroes do evil things? It's not like they're not also doing good things and neutral things?

Rynjin wrote:
Further, the Alignment section is not RULES. Alignment in general is not RULES except where Paizo f~!~ed up and made some spells that affect Alignment.

I think you've ventured into the area of "my personal opinion" and not levelheaded observations based on actual readings of the text in the book.

Rynjin wrote:

By your (flawed) logic killing is never for a good cause and we should all live in a world of fluffy rainbows where we talk the bad guy into stopping whatever it is he's doing.

Neither real life or the game world is like that.

Yeah silly me, expecting my players to consider things such as imprisonment or lawfully rendered judgement, when in fact they should just be frenzying through the countryside, horrifically murdering everything that dares look at them cross. That is, after all, what we associate with gallant heroes and shining knights.

-Nearyn


Zova Lex wrote:

So Nearyn's philosophy is thus:

Government institutionalized genocide (let’s use the extreme... Hitler) - Evil
Ignoring this genocide even if one has the means to easily stop it - Neutral
Executing the dictator who allows such genocide to take place - Lawful Evil

Well, to be precise, that may or may not be my philosophy, I've not bothered to talk about my philosophy.

But that is the letter of the pathfinder rules, as far as I am able to tell.

-Nearyn


Thanks for jumping to my defense Spook205.

As I said to Arachnofiend earlier, I've yet to bring my personal opinion into this thread, because I don't think it belongs here. Here we're discussing an issue of a player's claim that his paladin can summarily execute a guy he caught raping someone. I don't need to bring my own stance on rape or capital punishment into it, all I have to do is look at the alignment chapter, look at the situation the OP presented, and provide my opinion, based on the rules provided in the system.

@Charon's Little Helper:

You are wrong mate. I am not ignoring every part of the game-system. In fact I do seem to be the only one in the past many post who has bothered ACTUALLY quoting it. I'll do it again, if only for the sake of the argument.

You say executing criminals is Lawful Neutral. I say killing is evil.

CRB p.166 - Good versus Evil wrote:

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.

Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others.

There it is. Lawful or unlawful, you're considering the wrong axis of the alignment chart.

I've backed up my claim Charon's Little Helper. Now I'm waiting for you to prove that you're not "ignoring every part of the game system".

-Nearyn


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
points about justice

And yet, despite you saying there is no way that justice can be evil, every corpse dragged from the headsman's block is another evil act done by the executioner. Is it his duty? Yes. Does he consider it evil? Maybe not. Is it the fairly rendered punishment for a criminal, based on a fair trial in the court of law and based on the judgement of his peers? Probably. But the minute that axe comes down, the executioner is committing a lawful evil act. Does not make him lawful evil, does not make him a fascist, doesn't mean the sentence was unjust. It's just Lawful Evil. And that's not a flaw with the system.

-Nearyn


Rynjin wrote:
You're not preventing "future crimes" you're punishing a crime you caught the man RED HANDED doing. Letting the man go is like saying "Yeah man, you get right back to what you ere doing" because what else are you going to do with him?

I've not bothered to ask the question of whether the Paladin was going to render judgement based on any real authority. I've neglected to do so, because it's not relevant to the discussion. The topic of the discussion was that the paladin player said he could just kill the dude, without it affecting his paladin-status. Whether the Paladin is a field-marshall or not, is not likely to change the alignment of the act tied to the sentence.

Rynjin wrote:
You're punishing a crime you caught the man doing.

And the punishment you've chosen entails carrying out an evil act. Perhaps if you'd decided on a different punishment, then there would not be an issue at all.

Rynjin wrote:
And rape is nothing like manslaughter. You can't "accidentally rape" someone.

Cmon Rynjin, you know damn well that was not the point I was making xD I was objecting to the notion of punishing potential "future crimes", based on the fact that a crime had been perpetrated. Whether it was rape, accidental manslaughter or stealing pennies out of the church donation-box is irrelevant to this point I was raising. :P

-Nearyn


I'm not sure i agree Spook205, at least I don't agree with everything you just said.

In your opinion then, what is justice, from an objective, in-game point of view?

Because as far as I can tell, even in pathfinder, justice is a societal construct, whereas Law is very much tangible and objective, like Chaos, Good, Evil and Neutrality.

-Nearyn


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

Alot of people are making some excellent points.

With that said, an evil act, done in accordance with the law, is still a lawful evil act.

-Nearyn

Justice is evil?

Interesting thought. Looks askance at Asmodeus

-Nearyn


Alot of people are making some excellent points.

With that said, an evil act, done in accordance with the law, is still a lawful evil act.

-Nearyn


1 person marked this as a favorite.
RDM42 wrote:
Nearyn wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
"If you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

Indeed - a neutral choice. :)

-Nearyn.

Not acting when you a: see something evil happening. AND

b: know you are capable of preventing it.
Is an evil choice.

Does it make you evil by itself? No. But it isn't neutral.

The rules say differently, and I am more inclined to believe the rules, than I am to believe those who speak contrary to the rules. ;)

-Nearyn


1 person marked this as a favorite.
RDM42 wrote:
"If you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

Indeed - a neutral choice. :)

-Nearyn.

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