Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

When murder isn't evil, what is slavery, torture, etc.


Gamer Talk

101 to 150 of 191 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Irranshalee wrote:
Yes, killing someone for any reason is evil. Any reason. Thou shall not kill. Easy enough. If religion is an issue for you, I am sure I can find a few non-religious folks with similar viewpoints. This is not even a discussion. It simply is evil.

That's a fault with the King James Version, actually. The literal translation, used by most modern translations, uses the word "murder." Hence the NIV says "You shall not murder." So does the New King James Version.

With regards to your argument that a Christian thinks that all killing is evil, I point you to a number of commentaries on the Bible on that verse (Exodus 20:13) that specifically state that self-defense is justifiable. Wesley's Explanatory Notes, Matthew Henry's Commentary and Adam Clarke's Commentary, to name three.

Your comment about a Christian asking their priest if killing is ever justifiable makes me think that you might be Catholic though, so I also point you to Saint Thomas Aquinas and his Just War doctrine.

Andoran

Irranshalee wrote:
I am sorry if I insulted you. It was not my intent.

That's actually both appreciated and accepted.

I still think I'm gonna bow out here, though. I've stated my basic point and the whole thing is just becoming too frustrating (as opposed to the fun I usually have in moral debates).

Shadow Lodge

Irranshalee wrote:


Here is where most of you are confusing the adjectives of good and evil with nouns and verbs.

I don't think this is a confusion. People ARE good because they DO good. Saying that Bob IS good is the same as saying Bob does good things.

Quote:

Not an odd question but a very good one. One thing I would like to clarify with your statement though, is the overall act seems neutral to me. He is doing something both evil and good.

Well how does that normally work?

You can't usually just kill an orphan on Monday and save an orphan on Tuesday wash, rinse, repeat.

Yet if someone were to, for some odd reason, continue to kill child molesters to save the kids (perhaps quantum leap as written by Frank Miller?) this would be a string of good actions. The person would be lauded as a hero.

There is something about killing a person that well and truly deserves it that makes it different from killing innocent people.

Andoran

This debate will never end without definitions. Please define good and evil.


People have been trying to define good and evil in real life for generations. There are valid points to both considering killing a necessary evil (or even forever unnecessary) and considering killing a moral act - in certain circumstances. Our society wouldn't be as 'good' as it is today if we didn't have both sides of the coin.

I don't believe full pacifists are immoral or utterly wrong (though I might not agree with them) anymore than I believe warriors for peace are immoral or inherently wrong (though I might not agree with them). Both are vital for society to function. Hell, I'd rather have a warrior for peace SWAT sniper in place than a pacifist if I have a gun to my head; and I'd rather a pacifist then a warrior for peace in the case of a peaceful student protest.

Both ARE valid arguments and the existence of one doesn't have to negate the other. I'm glad that people have managed to argue about their most deeply held beliefs in such a reasonably polite manner.

However, a moral debate about what is truly moral in reality WILL NEVER END.

You might convince one person, ten people, or a thousand, but you won't objectively and definitively win the argument.

That is why my question has revolved around game logic / morality.

Someone who believes in execution could, as a GM, rule that the world they want to explore is one where killing is ALWAYS wrong and that redemption is ALWAYS possible, even if they don't believe this is the case in real life. A real life pacifist could want to explore a game where you can make the world a better place through the simple use of violent and definitive force.

One's personal beliefs don't have to gel with the alignment system, anymore than I have to be a violent butcher in real life who gets a kick out of killing when I play a member of the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim.

So, in the interests of keeping the peace, perhaps we should keep our discussion to the purposeful definition and/or adjustment of the alignment system for use in the game?

If there is someone whose personal opinions you would like clarified, it might be best to carry on the conversation in PMs, with their permission, simply because any debate between two people on a forum is going to be confused by the number of other people who throw in their own opinions, definitions, and such.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am wrong. I must fully admit that I am wrong. I just spent over an hour speaking with a friend who helped me understand the futility of this entire thread.

What have I learned?

Spoiler:
Good, evil, god, love, etc. are abstracts. They cannot be defined because they are based on something that is not physically there so it is impossible to agree on what they mean or are.

Killing is a physical act; So is throwing a baseball; Or eating an ice cream cone. Every one of us can agree on how these three actions are defined.

Abstracts are subjective while physical acts are concrete.

What got me over the hump?

Spoiler:
Originally, I thought suicide was not an evil act because the person had free will. The problem is he is killing someone (himself). Therefore my belief that killing is always evil could not possibly be true.

Furthermore, I was asked if he threw a baseball at my head with intent on hitting me was an evil act. I could not come up with a plausible reason why it would not be evil.

I was then told that I was walking into a street with a speeding semi that was about to hit me. I had headphones on and could not hear a warning. The only thing he could see was my head and he was too far away to stop me otherwise. He threw the ball at my head to stop me from stepping into my death.

That pretty much solidified it for me.

I cannot come up with a reason why torture or slavery could possibly be good but by the examples explained to me tonight, I can no longer say they are inherently evil.

I do however feel that most kills are evil. Not because the acts are evil but because most of the time the intent is evil. I am sure someone posted that earlier, they just didn't provide good examples :(

This thread has ended for me. I am sorry if I offended anyone else.


Irranshalee wrote:
I like you Jupistar. Some day I hope my pride will die.

Thanks. I have the same hope for mine.

Irranshalee wrote:
Would you do me a favor? Define these two words: evil and good.

I doubt I could to anyone's satisfaction. The dictionary lists a bazillion definitions for the words, the philosophers have dreamed up a bazillion ways of measuring the good of something. Me? I tend to think of Good in two ways: 1) A subjective thing that people use to describe their own personal ideal (and there are many ideologies that measure Good differently). 2) An objective thing that comes to exist as people try to find common ground in their subjective opinions.

For me, goodness is a conflict of purposes. I actually believe that good is found in the balance, in the tension, that exists between several of the philosophies (that they each express a truth, but that none reflect it perfectly). I have a lot more studying to do before I'm willing to take any kind of definitive position, if I ever will. I do know I'm a consequentialist, though. All of the theories of morality only make sense if they are judged by the [intention of] consequence.

And evil would then be degrees as intents and actions fall further away from the balance.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Irranshalee wrote:


Hypothetically, it is 1930. You know where Hitler is. You have seen the future. You have seen that he is responsible for millions of deaths. You plot to kill him. You eventually go through with it and murder him. You have saved millions of lives.

Or you've destroyed millions of others.

Or has we say in the Continuum, it's a classic Narcissistic temptation line. From my old religious days a far greater crime than murder was to presume to be God. What gives anyone the moral right or wisdom to decide destiny of that scale unilaterally?

You've also however caused people that were born in your timeline to be unborn. I do know for a fact that my own existence would be negated if somewere able to prevent or alter the Second World War in a significant way.

It's also a major ignorance of what actually went down. Hitler himself would have been nothing but a discontented war veteran if there was not a major groundswell of discontent. Removing him would not have neccessarily prevented a war whose seeds lay far beyond any one person.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Irranshalee wrote:


Here is where most of you are confusing the adjectives of good and evil with nouns and verbs.
I don't think this is a confusion. People ARE good because they DO good. Saying that Bob IS good is the same as saying Bob does good things.

I think it comes down to the sheer fact the alignment system has never been about absolutes. It is only a general thing. Even the core alignment rules say few individuals fit the alignment descriptions completely. A good person can preform evil acts occasionally without ceasing to be good, just like a lawful character can be spontaneous sometimes without ceasing to be lawful.

In essence, if you run around just wantonly killing, killing, killing, killing, then you might find your evil acts quickly will outweigh your good. A neutral good fighter who slaughters an orc village, for example, is probably going to have a heavy amount of evil on his hands to contend with; even if they were orcs. If he killed the orcs for benevolent reasons, however, such as to save the life of hostages or to stop the rampage of the orcish warlord who is razing farmsteads, then he is also doing good altruistic things. Now in games where stuff isn't black and white, the Fighter could remain Neutral Good; because every kill he makes is backed by a good act at the same time (fighting for the sanctity of another). To many, that would result in a wash. No net gain on either side.

I personally ascribe to the idea that actions are not inherently good or evil. Stuff like intent and reasons play too much a role in things. Actions being aligned is silly. Only through a will can an action actually occur, and that will determines its alignment. The alignment rules in the core paint killing as an evil thing. In fact, it actually uses killing to define evil more than any other action. So if actions are evil, then killing is definitely evil; but instead it discusses the willingness to kill. It mentions evil characters as being willing to kill or having no respect for their killing, neutral characters as having compunctions against killing but lacking the commitment to make sacrifices to help others, and good characters has no mention of killing and instead notes commitment to personal sacrifice and altruism.

So a good character is a neutral character than is more likely to be altruistic. It's not that the act is aligned, but instead that the motivations of that act are. All three kill, but only evil does it with such lack of remorse or for personal pleasure. This, combined with the fact that alignment is neither rigid nor absolute, implies very heavily to me that actions do not have alignments at all. Only those who take those actions, and we have generalized descriptions that let us gauge the weight of the alignment aspect based on the circumstances surrounding the action.

In my experience, Altruism = Goodness, Selfishenss = Evil, most Neutral characters exhibit a more equal balance of both.


So am I the only one that thinks that Anakin Skywalker in the prequals is Chaotic Evil? I mean all that angsting about what path to follow and how he is morally confused to the murder of young defenceless children in a few months time :P


Xabulba wrote:

A solider killing an enemy combatant, is that evil?

A husband and father who kills an attacker to prevent said attacker from raping and killing his wife and children, is that evil?

A pious man sacrifices his son because he was instructed to by his God, is that evil?

Killing someone who was trying to kill you, is that evil.

Murder isn't always evil; sometimes it’s necessary to do good.

I agree with other posters that murder is evil. Necessity may rationalize (so that you can live a with your conscience) it but not make it less evil. As a matter of fact, there is a good debate about whether killing should ever be a necessity.

I know that America is very gun-ho about the right of killing in legitimate-defense (which can sometimes be taken very broadly), but many countries don't even consider it legitimate to kill in self-defense (Canada for one).


Actually Canadian law on the subject is...

34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.
(2) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if
(a) he causes it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and
(b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm.

So when attacked in Canada with presumably lethal intent you can be legally protected in the case of self-defence. Most modern "westernized" countries have similar laws regarding self-defence.

Edit: Oh, and I am neither American nor live in the United States.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Jörmungandr wrote:
So am I the only one that thinks that Anakin Skywalker in the prequals is Chaotic Evil? I mean all that angsting about what path to follow and how he is morally confused to the murder of young defenceless children in a few months time :P

I don't use alignment outside of the wargame it was designed for. I will say that I'd like to know what Quingong was smoking when he thought that Anakin was going to be the salvation of the Jedi.


Jörmungandr wrote:
So when attacked in Canada with presumably lethal intent you can be legally protected in the case of self-defence. Most modern "westernized" countries have similar laws regarding self-defence.

Yes, assuming the defender has no lethal intents against his assailant(s).

"Reasonable Grounds" for intentionally using lethal force against an assailant has been debated in court in many cases, and the judgement doesn't systematically go in favour of the defender.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Laurefindel wrote:


I know that America is very gun-ho about the right of killing in legitimate-defense (which can sometimes be taken very broadly), but many countries don't even consider it legitimate to kill in self-defense (Canada for one).

Keep in mind that in America, most of these statues are decided on the state level, not Federal. Different states have different standards on just how far you can go in self defense.


Actually 2b gives the right, and has been used successfully within courts to defend people who have killed in self defence, that you can intend to kill if you are able to prove that you believed that it was the only way to protect your life. Now arguing about how much of a threat the other person posed to yourself has been debated over many times, and will no doubt again be in future, however all I was pointing out was that that when you stated that it was not legal to kill in self-defence within Canada, the statement was incorrect.

Edit: Also not claiming to be an expert on Canadian Law, I have however been using their Department of Justice's website. Some simple research goes a long way in supporting arguments and debate :)


My apologies guys, I didn't meant to start a legal argument, or worst, a my-country-is-better-than-your-country argument.

What I actually meant to say is that what is considered a "necessary evil" changes from countries, states and eras.

What I would consider unacceptable in 2012's Canada would very likely differ from the opinion of a Golarion's citizen who has to deal with orcs, demons and crazed wizards...

'findel


Oh, well yeah, it is always weird that your a "hero" if you wipe out a tribe of goblins or orcs, even if they were just sitting in a dungeon somewhere making sure some random adventurers weren't looting their masters dungeon :)

Also I apologize for being such a condescending bastard, I shouldn't be so quick to see daggers behind the words of others and I did assume the earlier comment was a dig on the US and Americans. They say it makes an ass of me, assuming.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Jörmungandr wrote:
Oh, well yeah, it is always weird that your a "hero" if you wipe out a tribe of goblins or orcs, even if they were just sitting in a dungeon somewhere making sure some random adventurers weren't looting their masters dungeon :)

In some folks' games maybe. In others, guys that go around wiping out entire tribes of people are typically the ones the heroes need to be putting down.

(kinda goes back to Anakin really. His butchering of that entire tribe in Attack of the Clones really gets swept under the rug in that narrative after he admits to it)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:

In my experience, Altruism = Goodness, Selfishenss = Evil, most Neutral characters exhibit a more equal balance of both.

A friend who has never really been a fan of the alignment system explained that this notion made it click a bit better for him some time back, with "altruism" being replaced by "selflessness" in the exact verbatim.

That might be generally where I fall as well, with empathy and concern for others beyond yourself being the driving force of good.

Not to say that neutral or evil types are absolutely incapable of that, but the distinction might be the range of their concern:

Neutrals tend to care about their own. Basically the people within their monkeysphere. A neutral person could very well be willing to lay down his life for the sake of a friend.

Goods ideally don't play favorites. They care about everyone. A good character is more likely to lay down their life for a stranger.

Evils? Well when they lay down their lives for someone else they actually care about, we usually call that a redeeming trait for that particular character. If they do it to visit harm onto others on the other hand...


Mikaze wrote:
Jörmungandr wrote:
Oh, well yeah, it is always weird that your a "hero" if you wipe out a tribe of goblins or orcs, even if they were just sitting in a dungeon somewhere making sure some random adventurers weren't looting their masters dungeon :)

In some folks' games maybe. In others, guys that go around wiping out entire tribes of people are typically the ones the heroes need to be putting down.

(kinda goes back to Anakin really. His butchering of that entire tribe in Attack of the Clones really gets swept under the rug in that narrative after he admits to it)

I'm not a fan of the prequals so I won't go on too much of a rant but things like that are what I'd see as pretty much being the path of a chaotic evil character. I'm angry so I wipe out a tribe of people including the women and children. Afterwards I angst about it so its okay. Then I think celebacy sucks so I get married, then I get jealous about a life long friend getting a promotion over me so when I'm told to murder a bunch of children, no sweat.

To me the Choatic aspect is shown via his constant gnashing of teeth over his own actions but in the end needing very little motivation to murder, a lot. I mean the sand people are kind of understandable, the whole "red mist came down over my eyes" (Still kills kids though) excuse but the slaughter of the Jedi Temple?

He'd grown up from the age of ten(?) among these people, they'd tutored him during his formative years, played and laughed with him and because of a mere pass over of promotion? He gaily murders everyone he can find including ten years olds and gives himself over to a maleific force he has been taught since childhood is the equivalent of pure evil.


I'll rant if you won't.

Doing the prequel trilogy about the fall of Anakin was a bad idea. For one thing, anyone who saw the first three movies in the theatre (me) has the story as a part of their cultural reference; I've already seen it, and it was better in my head. For another titling the second trilogy Episodes I-III kills practically all the dramatic tension if you watch the movies as numbered. (Yes, Darth Vader is Luke's father; yeah and Liea's, cause they're twins. Weren't you watching?)

I would have loved to have seen a prequel trilogy about some nobody like Senator Palpatine's speechwriter, or social secretary, who, over the course of three movies realizes that his boss is Pure Evil {tm} and the only sane course of action is rebellion. Put something like that in the foreground and have the Darth Vader origin story going on in the background, and that could be a trilogy I'd enjoy.

Okay, so all I'm doing is b$#@$ing that Star Wars didn't grow up with it's fan base, and it's not even on topic, but C'MON!

[/rant]

Shadow Lodge

Ashiel wrote:
The alignment rules in the core paint killing as an evil thing. In fact, it actually uses killing to define evil more than any other action. So if actions are evil, then killing is definitely evil; but instead it discusses the willingness to kill. It mentions evil characters as being willing to kill or having no respect for their killing, neutral characters as having compunctions against killing but lacking the commitment to make sacrifices to help others, and good characters has no mention of killing and instead notes commitment to personal sacrifice and altruism.

And yet paladins have smite evil, not chat with evil. The heroes are expected to go out and kill the bad guys week after week... and still stay the good guys.

Wantonly killing, yes that's evil. Repeatedly killing is not. A paladin can in fact hack their way to 20th level and beyond on a pile of corpses as long as those corpses deserved it.


"Wow, thats a heck of a pile of bodies you have beind you Mr. Paladin"

"Yeah, well as you can see they were demons, goblins and other assorted evil asshats so they deserved it"

"What about that child over there?"

"Possessed"

"Fine, well it seems you exemplify Shelyn's values so I guess it's onto a nice afterlife for you"

Pharasma judging a paladin.

:)

Andoran

Alright! The part that caused me to leave seems to be over, so I'm back. :)

Mikaze wrote:

A friend who has never really been a fan of the alignment system explained that this notion made it click a bit better for him some time back, with "altruism" being replaced by "selflessness" in the exact verbatim.

That might be generally where I fall as well, with empathy and concern for others beyond yourself being the driving force of good.

I tend to agree with this as a general rule. Goes back to that whole 'intent' thing.

Mikaze wrote:
Evils? Well when they lay down their lives for someone else they actually care about, we usually call that a redeeming trait for that particular character. If they do it to visit harm onto others on the other hand...

I definitely agree on the Good and Evil summaries, but this one rings slightly hollow to me. Yes, having people you care about is a redeeming trait, but let's be honest, it's one most villains either have or should have. Very few people really care for nobody. Hell, even Drow and Orcs (both really Evil cultures) tend towards some degree of tribal/house loyalty.

I think the key thing distinguishing most Evil people from Neutral folks is the degree to which they're willing to harm the people outside their 'monkeysphere' to get what they want, and the size of said sphere (much smaller for most Evil people than most Neutral ones). So still measures of selfishness...but very few are completely selfish.

Jörmungandr wrote:

"What about that child over there?"

"Possessed"

All joking aside, I'd have a Paladin fall for this. Barring the child being literally an Apocalypse-bringer who couldn't be exorcised (or something like that), anyway. Paladins are supposed to risk their life to save the kid, not just kill him.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I definitely agree on the Good and Evil summaries, but this one rings slightly hollow to me. Yes, having people you care about is a redeeming trait, but let's be honest, it's one most villains either have or should have. Very few people really care for nobody. Hell, even Drow and Orcs (both really Evil cultures) tend towards some degree of tribal/house loyalty.

I think the key thing distinguishing most Evil people from Neutral folks is the degree to which they're willing to harm the people outside their 'monkeysphere' to get what they want, and the size of said sphere (much smaller for most Evil people than most Neutral ones). So still measures of selfishness...but very few are completely selfish.

Oh no, I don't really expect every evil character to be completely bereft of people they care about(be it genuine love, shallow sentimentalism, or comradery born out of an "us vs. them" mentality) save for those characters that literally bleed and poop evil(your various fiends and those rare mortals that qualify for Complete Monster status). I actually find having nothing but the latter tends to make for pretty dull and unbelievable worlds. I'd still see that capability for concern as a potentially redeeming feature though, and something that makes those characters more three dimensional.

However, strongly agreed on the "degree of harm" making for a better point of comparison between evil and neutrality. I knew "level of concern" was getting awkward around those parts even as I posted it. ;)


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Jörmungandr wrote:

"What about that child over there?"

"Possessed"
All joking aside, I'd have a Paladin fall for this. Barring the child being literally an Apocalypse-bringer who couldn't be exorcised (or something like that), anyway. Paladins are supposed to risk their life to save the kid, not just kill him.

Oh I completely agree I was being silly with that :)

On a more honest note though, I've always found the idea of Paladins only being Lawful Good a bit unwieldy to me. I much prefer the idea that a paladin must have his alignment match that of his/her god and must follow a code based on his diety to maintain his divine patrons support (via smite/spells etc). I know this wanders a fair bit off topic and if people want to drop it as a topic like a hot potato I don't mind but for me the image of a dour Paladin of Pharasma hunting down undead, caring not a whit for the morality of his duty except for the fact that it must be done, appeals to me (Guess I could just play an Inquisitor though :P). It's also one of the reasons Iomedae appeals so little to me, her "Destroy all evil on sight no matter the circumstances" demands make her paladins Lawful Stupid.

Andoran

Mikaze wrote:
Oh no, I don't really expect every evil character to be completely bereft of people they care about(be it genuine love, shallow sentimentalism, or comradery born out of an "us vs. them" mentality) save for those characters that literally bleed and poop evil(your various fiends and those rare mortals that qualify for Complete Monster status). I actually find having nothing but the latter tends to make for pretty dull and unbelievable worlds. I'd still see that capability for concern as a potentially redeeming feature though, and something that makes those characters more three dimensional.

Oh, I agre completely. Having a villain be legitimately angry and driven to vengeance when they kill his protege or lover (or other similar evidence of emotional connections) always adds an amusing element to their confrontation with the PCs. Adds a needed element of verisimilitude.

Mikaze wrote:
However, strongly agreed on the "degree of harm" making for a better point of comparison between evil and neutrality. I knew "level of concern" was getting awkward around those parts even as I posted it. ;)

Cool, glad we're more or less in agreement on this, too. :)

Jörmungandr wrote:
Oh I completely agree I was being silly with that :)

I figured. Just sayin'.

Jörmungandr wrote:
On a more honest note though, I've always found the idea of Paladins only being Lawful Good a bit unwieldy to me. I much prefer the idea that a paladin must have his alignment match that of his/her god and must follow a code based on his diety to maintain his divine patrons support (via smite/spells etc). I know this wanders a fair bit off topic and if people want to drop it as a topic like a hot potato I don't mind but for me the image of a dour Paladin of Pharasma hunting down undead, caring not a whit for the morality of his duty except for the fact that it must be done, appeals to me (Guess I could just play an Inquisitor though :P).

Inquisitors and Clerics fit that well enough for me. A Paladin isn't just an enforcer of a deity's will, they also stand for a set of principles (their Code) that may be reflected in their deity...but that they wouldn't outright break even if the deity told them to.

That being the case, I see them as pretty extreme folks...but I do allow CG Paladins. And LE Antipaladins. Those Alignments strike me as extreme enough to have similarly devoted crusaders.

LN or NG Paladins though? Those just feel wrong on all sorts of levels. YMMV, of course.

Jörmungandr wrote:
It's also one of the reasons Iomedae appeals so little to me, her "Destroy all evil on sight no matter the circumstances" demands make her paladins Lawful Stupid.

Huh? I just looked over her Code in Faiths of Purity. She's pretty martial, but her code actually encourages taking prisoners and requires them to be "temperate in my actions and moderate in my behavior." I'm actually not seeing anything that indicates that as the right way to play a Paladin of Iomedae. Kind of a prissy, self-righteous sort? Sure, possibly. Lawful Stupid charging crusader? Not so much.


Yeah, I think one of the trickiest parts of the alignment system is combining the Slay Your Way To Level 20 with a Good alignment. I mean, it's certainly doable in a more RP-heavy game with strong social / investigative aspects as well as physical, but when you're dungeon bashing your way through the levels, it starts to look a little ... chaotic evil. The way a dungeon basher's eyes light up at the sight of a dozen new critters to kill!

Not to diss those who like to kick in the door and smash things for loot. The alignment system in that sorta game obviously shouldn't be as ambiguous, detailed, and present as in a game with a heavier role play focus.


laraqua wrote:

Yeah, I think one of the trickiest parts of the alignment system is combining the Slay Your Way To Level 20 with a Good alignment. I mean, it's certainly doable in a more RP-heavy game with strong social / investigative aspects as well as physical, but when you're dungeon bashing your way through the levels, it starts to look a little ... chaotic evil. The way a dungeon basher's eyes light up at the sight of a dozen new critters to kill!

Not to diss those who like to kick in the door and smash things for loot. The alignment system in that sorta game obviously shouldn't be as ambiguous, detailed, and present as in a game with a heavier role play focus.

That is why the alignment system should removed from all RPG's.

Shadow Lodge

laraqua wrote:

Yeah, I think one of the trickiest parts of the alignment system is combining the Slay Your Way To Level 20 with a Good alignment. I mean, it's certainly doable in a more RP-heavy game with strong social / investigative aspects as well as physical, but when you're dungeon bashing your way through the levels, it starts to look a little ... chaotic evil. The way a dungeon basher's eyes light up at the sight of a dozen new critters to kill!

Not to diss those who like to kick in the door and smash things for loot. The alignment system in that sorta game obviously shouldn't be as ambiguous, detailed, and present as in a game with a heavier role play focus.

I think the solution is something pathfinder has been very good at helping: make your bad guys bad. If your orcs and goblins are just differently skinned humanoids then of course slaying them is ging to cause alignment problems. But if they are gleefully and pathologically EEEEEVIL with a capital EEEEE then you're back to being justified in killing them.


Hmm, having another relook at Faiths of Purity and it isn't as bad as I remembered, it's more the weird structure of the paragraphs describing her adventurers, goals and taboos. The first two start with a sentence along the lines of "I swear to fight evil on sight" but finishes the paragraph with "unless that'd be dumb". Must say I hate the taboo section still and that it promotes lawful stupid play, "If you see an evil being done and do not rectify it you must seek out three similar wrongs and right them or loose your traits and class abilities until the penance is done". Wow, that last one was a run on sentence and I was paraphrasing.

Edit: Oh, and yeah, the goblins are so delightfully evil in PF, kinda makes me want a plushie of one :)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

IIRC, Iomedae's full god-article goes into detail on how she comes down hard on those who commit atrocities in her name. That plus the fact that she denies her grace from the Burners of Mendev made me appreciate Io a lot. :)

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I think the solution is something pathfinder has been very good at helping: make your bad guys bad. If your orcs and goblins are just differently skinned humanoids then of course slaying them is ging to cause alignment problems. But if they are gleefully and pathologically EEEEEVIL with a capital EEEEE then you're back to being justified in killing them.

This doesn't work for those who, for any number of reasons, dislike or outright detest the idea of Always Chaotic Evil mortal races.

Always Evil organizations on the other hand are much more justifiable and believable for many of those folks, and more satisfying* to fight.

Keeps good and evil potent, in that it's then a matter of choice more than the luck of being born into the "right" or "wrong" race.

*I mean I know I'd feel better about my good characters raiding Hellnazi HQ than some savage humanoid tribe's home.

Andoran

I'm in agreement with Mikaze. I'm perfectly willing to stipulate a particular race's culture, and even biology, predispose them toward evil, but making it inevitable for anything natural to be evil really rubs me the wrong way (Evil is a choice, by the Gods!), so I, too, prefer Evil Organizations, as a rule.

A good compromise between the two (for those who don't want either moral ambiguity but still like them some good old-fashioned Orc slaying) is the Band of Raiders. A group of savage Humanoids such as Orcs who are out raiding settlements and commiting atrocities. No non-combatants or children along. All presumably volunteers (since there are presumably some folks left guarding the home village), all engaged in unprovoked aggression.


I kinda vary it up. Some creatures are (very nearly) always bad but generally only if there's some greater reason for it, such as saturation of malignant forces. I mean, heck, Pathfinder's even stated (can't remember where) that there are ascended demons and devils who've shaken off their evil.

By the way, thank you, Paizo, for not only having rebelliously bad angels, etc. but having rebelliously good demons / devils. A lot of other systems that have Good vs. Evil always show either a moral vision that evil is irredeemable or, worse, that good is weaker than evil and can be corrupted while the reverse is impossible.

Shadow Lodge

Well, you don't have to make EVERY orc evil. You just have to make the groups of them that your party runs into either evil, or willing to go along with the herd around them. A little predisposition goes a long way.

Cheliax

Xabulba wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Murder is always evil, even when done for good reasons.
A pious man sacrifices his son because he was instructed to by his God, is that evil?

I know I am late to this party, but yes, absolutely. 100% unabashedly evil. I know the whole story about Abraham and Isaac, but once you remove the loaded language of Biblical allegory and use stand-in deities, in almost every instance only evil gods ask for human sacrifice. It's the crux of almost every movie or book about a deranged cult or evil demon that there will be a human sacrifice. It's usually the activity used to point out just how evil this particular cult IS.

Sacrificing yourself is either noble or stupid, depending on how highly you regard religious faith, but sacrificing an innocent person for YOUR deity is evil. Especially so in Golarion where Evil/Good is spelled out in very clear terms.


EntrerisShadow wrote:
Xabulba wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Murder is always evil, even when done for good reasons.
A pious man sacrifices his son because he was instructed to by his God, is that evil?

I know I am late to this party, but yes, absolutely. 100% unabashedly evil. I know the whole story about Abraham and Isaac, but once you remove the loaded language of Biblical allegory and use stand-in deities, in almost every instance only evil gods ask for human sacrifice. It's the crux of almost every movie or book about a deranged cult or evil demon that there will be a human sacrifice. It's usually the activity used to point out just how evil this particular cult IS.

Sacrificing yourself is either noble or stupid, depending on how highly you regard religious faith, but sacrificing an innocent person for YOUR deity is evil. Especially so in Golarion where Evil/Good is spelled out in very clear terms.

Really? You sure about that? No other way to look at it?


So I was re-reading through an older AP and I noticed that when your characters interact with the queen at the start of Crimson Throne she's always got a buff on that makes alignment checks ping off of her handmaiden. Now the thing I find funny is not that it doesn't make sense but for a character to be constantly using that spell they'd have to internalise the fact that they're Evil with a capital "E" according to the majority view point of their world and that they have to hide it from evil sensing people like paladins. I think it'd take a fiar toll on me mentally to know that I'm evil enough for paladins to smite :)

Andoran

Jörmungandr wrote:
Now the thing I find funny is not that it doesn't make sense but for a character to be constantly using that spell they'd have to internalise the fact that they're Evil with a capital "E" according to the majority view point of their world and that they have to hide it from evil sensing people like paladins. I think it'd take a fiar toll on me mentally to know that I'm evil enough for paladins to smite :)

I don't know. All you really need to do is lie to yourself that Paladins are all self-righteous hypocrites empowered by harsh and arbitrary Gods to smite anyone who doesn't fit their narrow definition of 'acceptable behavior'. And people are very good at lying to themselves to make themselves feel better.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Jörmungandr wrote:
Now the thing I find funny is not that it doesn't make sense but for a character to be constantly using that spell they'd have to internalise the fact that they're Evil with a capital "E" according to the majority view point of their world and that they have to hide it from evil sensing people like paladins. I think it'd take a fiar toll on me mentally to know that I'm evil enough for paladins to smite :)
I don't know. All you really need to do is lie to yourself that Paladins are all self-righteous hypocrites empowered by harsh and arbitrary Gods to smite anyone who doesn't fit their narrow definition of 'acceptable behavior'. And people are very good at lying to themselves to make themselves feel better.

Some people revel in their own malevolence though, they know they're evil and practice that evil on anybody they come across.

Andoran

Xabulba wrote:
Some people revel in their own malevolence though, they know they're evil and practice that evil on anybody they come across.

Oh, absolutely! But they obviously wouldn't mind being on a Paladin's 'to smite' list. I was talking about thgose who still want to think of themself as a good person, and thus might have issues with the idea.


Ah, your talking about the people who justify their obvious evil actions whit stuff like nation building or racial purity or even religious purity.

I'm talking about truck drivers look forward to their next stop so they can rape and murder a teenage runaway. Or the DMV worker who goes to work happy for the chance to make as many people as possible miserable. Or the cop that abuses his power just to make people feel weak and powerless around him.

Andoran

Xabulba wrote:
Ah, your talking about the people who justify their obvious evil actions whit stuff like nation building or racial purity or even religious purity.

Well, the original comment I was responding to was about how having to use Undetectable Alignment 24/7 to avoid Paladins might mess you up...which kinda necessitates not thginking of yourself as a bad guy.

Xabulba wrote:
I'm talking about truck drivers look forward to their next stop so they can rape and murder a teenage runaway. Or the DMV worker who goes to work happy for the chance to make as many people as possible miserable. Or the cop that abuses his power just to make people feel weak and powerless around him.

I think you might be shocked by how many true monsters have an elaborate justification set up in their own head that somehow makes them the hero of the story. Serial killers (one of my various interests) certainly tend to.

But yeah, if you see yourself as Evil, casting Undetectable Alignment just isn't gonna bug you.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Xabulba wrote:
Some people revel in their own malevolence though, they know they're evil and practice that evil on anybody they come across.
Oh, absolutely! But they obviously wouldn't mind being on a Paladin's 'to smite' list. I was talking about thgose who still want to think of themself as a good person, and thus might have issues with the idea.

They might not mind being on the paladin's To Smite list, but they'd much rather have the paladin waste his time smiting the handmaiden. Then sit back feigning horror, "Why'd you slay Gigi? She was evil you say? *gasp!*"


For those who have said that killing is always an evil act, I would suggest careful study of the Bhagavad Gita.

From a more personal and modern perspective:

Our universe is always moving. What is good in one situation would be evil in another and vice versa. That's why morality can not be written down and handed to another except as a generality.

Regardless of how one chooses to act in a desperate situation, they do so without all of the facts being made clear to them.

Andoran

robertness wrote:


They might not mind being on the paladin's To Smite list, but they'd much rather have the paladin waste his time smiting the handmaiden. Then sit back feigning horror, "Why'd you slay Gigi? She was evil you say? *gasp!*"

Agreed entirely. I'm just commenting on people who might be bothered by needing to do so.


lol, poor Gigi!

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Someone who killed evil people (usually fairly quickly) and enjoyed it, but legitimately put saving innocents first could be Neutral or Good aligned easily enough

Oh no. If you enjoy killing for it's own sake, it's not Good. Even if you put saving live first. Exceptions:

-You finished off a dying person, and be content because he or she doesn't have to suffer anymore.
-You kill someone for a crime that is punishable by death anyway.

Silver Crusade

laraqua wrote:


In a game of G-rated fluffy bunnies, Chaotic Evil Bunny shoves a Bunny Baby out of the way to get to the carrots and Lawful Evil Bunny demands the Bunny Baby give him half of his carrots. In a harsh, grim game of heavy moral ambiguity, both of them could be Good as those are the greatest sins they've committed!

Then you've got the most complex worlds where everyone is capable of good and evil. Where the villain could be...

I'd like to hear about the rest of the alignment Bunnys.

101 to 150 of 191 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Community / Gamer Life / Gamer Talk / When murder isn't evil, what is slavery, torture, etc. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.