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

RPG Superstar 2015

Is torturing intelligent undead an evil action?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

151 to 200 of 463 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge

Mikaze wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
DracoDruid wrote:

But the question is:

How do you torture a creature that doesn't feel pain?

Force them to read an alignment thread?
Dude, that's crossing the line. NOT EVEN AS A JOKE.

NEDM.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Winston Colt wrote:
In my opinion torture is never a good thing but sometimes its the right thing. Hidden bomb about to kill millions and need infomation on its location? Torturing someone to get the information would be the right thing to do. But it is not a good thing to do.

Not to pick on this post in particular (which is actually quite eloquent among those that advocate), but this post contains the logical error that most concerns me on this issue.

"Hidden bomb about to kill millions and need infomation on its location? Torturing someone to get the information would be the right thing to do."

This statement forgoes the conclusion that torture will yield the desired information. It could, but there are a long list of alternative outcomes, including the accidental innocence or ignorance of the torture victim. Not such a big deal in our "vampire" scenario, but in real morality, a huge deal.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Atarlost wrote:

Vampires are obligate serial killers. They're not going to wind up in Elysium. Once you end his undeath he will be subjected to horrors you can't duplicate or even imagine. You're not doing any real harm to the vampire by torturing it, you're delaying far worse by not killing it immediately.

If you know someone is evil killing them quickly is the cruelest thing you can do. At this point you can either ban all good alignments from adventuring or you can admit that the morality of actions depends on who they're done to.

It's EXACTLY this type of rationale that certain people use to justify torturing prisoners. If we become like our enemies, haven't they already won? /disgust

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Fleshgrinder wrote:
Winston Colt wrote:

Physically torturing an undead would probably be more mental torture. Seeing your body slowly being destroyed before your eyes and knowing you will most likely have to exist out eternaty in that deformed state would constitute mental torture.

Also the interaction of positive energy and the negitive energy that keeps your body animate would cause some kind of discomfort.

Total aside, but that was sort of the reason explained in Robocop 2 as to why they couldn't make more successful Robocops.

The police officer couldn't deal with no having a physical body, so they'd often go psychotic and kill themselves.

The only reason why Murphy worked out is because he was deeply Catholic and had such a strong internal revulsion to suicide that he was able to stay sane.

So, yes, I could see even the undead (I would consider Robocop undead) have attachments to their body, regardless of the ability to feel pain.

Dude, you just used Robocop 2 to make a serious logical argument. I think I love you. For all the wrong reasons. XD

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Good rule of thumb:

If you would consider an action wicked if it were done to you under similar circumstances, then, yes, it is evil.

Some folks have mentioned that because certain laws, such as the Paladin's Code, does not specifically forbid torture, then it is A-OK. I think that is what they call arguing within the letter rather than the spirit of the law, and misses the point about morality entirely.


Sorry, no matter what sophistry you put on torture, it's just wrong.

it might be a necessary evil, but it is still an evil. It does not make it a good thing, just the least bad.


See I never NEEDED the paladin code to write out each and every thing that is "evil". If you have to ask..its likely a no no. And if attacking from behind, poison use, and attacking a helpless or unarmed foe (notice no where does it say except for evil foes)are of limits, that torture is.


As a GM, I will add that in my games any torture for any reason is an evil act.

Liberty's Edge

May I just say "I love you guys" for having a serious balanced adult conversation on this topic (pardon the multiple adjectives).
#SwellsWithPride


I'd allow chaotic good to get away with it, to an extent.

Neutral can get pretty dark and pragmatic, depending on how you play it. The everyman might easily buy reasons justifying torture.


talbanus wrote:
Fleshgrinder wrote:
Winston Colt wrote:

Physically torturing an undead would probably be more mental torture. Seeing your body slowly being destroyed before your eyes and knowing you will most likely have to exist out eternaty in that deformed state would constitute mental torture.

Also the interaction of positive energy and the negitive energy that keeps your body animate would cause some kind of discomfort.

Total aside, but that was sort of the reason explained in Robocop 2 as to why they couldn't make more successful Robocops.

The police officer couldn't deal with no having a physical body, so they'd often go psychotic and kill themselves.

The only reason why Murphy worked out is because he was deeply Catholic and had such a strong internal revulsion to suicide that he was able to stay sane.

So, yes, I could see even the undead (I would consider Robocop undead) have attachments to their body, regardless of the ability to feel pain.

Dude, you just used Robocop 2 to make a serious logical argument. I think I love you. For all the wrong reasons. XD

Yeah I recall in one game, we tortured an intelligent talking ghoul with healing potions. We got some intel, then tore out all his teeth and claws (so that he could not prey on people so easy) and left him partially bound and "alive" with some rotting meat.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
DracoDruid wrote:

But the question is:

How do you torture a creature that doesn't feel pain?

Force them to read an alignment thread?
Dude, that's crossing the line. NOT EVEN AS A JOKE.
NEDM.

1. That damn song is stuck in my head again. >:(

1a. I can't stay mad at that song. fires up Coburn on the iPod

2. That is a weirdly appropriate meme to reference for this topic.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

:D


I'd give most good guys a little leeway in roughing up a vampire for information. Neutrals? Sure, under the right cirumstances they might use torture. Getting sadistic or just too brutal is a good way to end up shifting towards evil-alignment. Strong-arming him? Sure. Creative and nasty tortures...ehhhh, maybe your PC is beginning to slide towards neutrality.

I hold paladins to a higher standard. As another poster noted, these guys are supposed to be shining examples of Lawful Good. I'm okay with a paladin (truthfully) telling a vampire who stands before him ''give me the information or I will throw this holy water on you.'' I'm not okay with him gleefully doing in the restrained/subdued vampire by rigging up a Chinese water torture device filled with holy water.

If a paladin, good-aligned cleric, etc. is about to do something that may cost him his powers; I might roll a Wisdom or Knowledge: Religion check behind the screen. If the roll is a success, I will advise the player “your PC’s code/the teachings of your deity forbid or condemn that sort of thing.” I won’t try to talk him out of it. That’s not my job. If he doesn’t take the hint, so be it. It’s not fair to sucker the player, though, or constantly place him in “no-win” moral dilemmas.

YMMV


BTW, I see no problem at all with the N cleric torturing the undead baddie. N guys exist in the gray zone, and are often rather pragmatic about such things.

The CG guy might end up as CN or even CE if he makes a habit out of torturing monsters and villains. CG is still good. One moral lapse doesn’t merit an alignment shift, IMO, unless it’s a doozie. This one isn’t enough. If he appeared to enjoy the torture, I’d note that and keep a very close eye on any future acts of cruelty.

As I noted, I hold paladins to a higher standard. I think a quick destruction would be more in line with a paladin's ethos-- even one who hates undead.

If the paladin’s player wants to be a pragmatic, ruthless, but essentially good guy—he might consider the ‘grey guard’ prestige class from 3.5.

I’m not a fan of that prestige class. I prefer paladins IMC to be clearly defined as Lawful Good and heroic.

Another possibility is to construct some sort of LN undead hunter/crusader class and offer that as a multiclass/prestige option. If you want an easy transition, you could structure it like the blackguard in that paladin levels may be ‘cashed in’ for class levels in the new class. The undead-hating hero can still perform all sorts of good acts and think of himself as “good.’’ He can still serve a LG deity. When confronted with evil villains, especially the undead, he can get downright nasty.

YMMV

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

PCs torturing for/because/in deference to/need to/required/best plot option/why not = no XP for the encounter.

Hit 'em where it hurts.


I'd just go with inquisitor a LN Inq. doesn't have to worry about a code of conduct as long as he doesn't offend his god badly enough to get smote down and he has all the options necessary to be nasty vs undead and to torture people and someone who's LN might very well fit the whole for the greater good mentality that fits this group's current actions.

Offer him a character shift to Inquisitor if he wants to keep playing the questionable moral decisions, or the fall and atone option with some sort of quest to prove the purity of his heart sort of a slap on the wrist to keep him from doing this again if he wants to still be a Paladin.


Cutting a vamp apart round after round with a holy weapon or roasting it to death has got to feel like torture on its end, so I don't quite buy the you cannot torture undead.


B.A. Ironskull wrote:

PCs torturing for/because/in deference to/need to/required/best plot option/why not = no XP for the encounter.

Hit 'em where it hurts.

If that is all the players can grasp, a captured mook of a powerful evil force, then that is what they will try to get information out of. Dms want their plans and info protected, I get that, and some get very put off by torture, but players don't always do it malevolently.

If you said, you get the intel but no xp, what would you do if a player asked "why? We passed the intimidation checks, got the info, no xp at all?"

Would you take away the xp of the defeated monster if they beat it then got the info? If so, why?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This thread once again stands as another example of the decline of western civilization since September 2001. Like any other "hey, torture is totally okay, right right?" thread. :-/


@magnuskn
I doubt that the date is the main reason for this. Also it just might be that a minory sees public approval (well at least the government does it, even if it's not approved by anyone) and becomes the vocal minority.

I prefer not to believe that the message board population is a good representation of america or any other country.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sure, I can't really back up that the general population of torture-excusers has gone up on RPG boards since then... but it surely feels like the "moral relativism"-quota in fiction in general has spiked in the last decade. Which clearly influences a lot of peoples opinion on a matter which was already settled quite a while ago. Like in the Geneva Conventions.

Torture is not a good deed. It is never a good deed.

And being good is not defined by what other people would do to you, but by how you treat even those people decently.


I agree with magnuskn. But also, torture is not good, but that doesn't mean good characters can't torture, or that all characters must be good. That Jack Bauer garbage is perfect grist for fallen paladins, chaotic neutral barbarians, and moral dilemmas that are classic themes in adventure fantasy.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Good characters who torture would not be good much longer in my games.

As for the rest, agreed. I don't put an arbitrary "you cannot do that!" limit on my campaigns ( outside of people not being allowed to play evil characters ), but actions do have consequences.

And the Jack Bauer "We must torture him now or a bomb will explode" canard is often used in fiction but, to the best of my knowledge, has never actually happened in real life.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

Evil Lincoln wrote:
I agree with magnuskn. But also, torture is not good, but that doesn't mean good characters can't torture, or that all characters must be good. That Jack Bauer garbage is perfect grist for fallen paladins, chaotic neutral barbarians, and moral dilemmas that are classic themes in adventure fantasy.

Feh, anyone who does the 'torture is more popular after 9/11 failed history, forever.

The problem with the 'Jack Bower' approach is that there's no way to verify the information.*

Back on topic. I agree that it's not a 'go to evil, go directly to evil, do not pass neutral, do not collect 200XP' to torture (for that's what this is) one creature. However, those who gain their class abilities from a <i>code</i> that condemns lying/evil acts etc should lose their powers.

Again, this isn't "Your druid failed a perception check to put out the campfire, the forest burned down, you lose your powers" screwing of the character. This is "You knowingly willingly contributed to an evil act, clearly breaking your code" territory.

*

Spoiler:
Again, Interrigation relies on mixing known information into the questions with trying to get additional information.
Interrigator: What kind of undead is your boss? (Interrigator knows he's a lich)
Minion: Ok, he's a vampire.
Interrigator: I can tell you're lying. Come on, what is he?
Once you get the correct answer, then you move on to a question you don't have the answer to. "Where is his lair?" Then back to a question you know the answer to, or some combination. Your subject doesn't know which questions you already know the answer to.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:


Feh, anyone who does the 'torture is more popular after 9/11 failed history, forever.

Or maybe knows his history a bit better than you. But whatever.


magnuskn wrote:

Good characters who torture would not be good much longer in my games.

As for the rest, agreed. I don't put an arbitrary "you cannot do that!" limit on my campaigns ( outside of people not being allowed to play evil characters ), but actions do have consequences.

And the Jack Bauer "We must torture him now or a bomb will explode" canard is often used in fiction but, to the best of my knowledge, has never actually happened in real life.

Agreed mostly. I still think that paladin being driven to torture out of desperation to serve the greater good (then falling, then atoning) sounds like everything is functioning according to spec, even though I find the use of that fiction as justification in real world discussions to be disgusting. That is: torture is a universally evil act, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't come up. The game is (was?) dungeons and dragons, no?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:
This thread once again stands as another example of the decline of western civilization since September 2001. Like any other "hey, torture is totally okay, right right?" thread. :-/

I posted using the 'bomb killing millions' example as a reason to use torture and yet I agree with this post. I think someone else has already stated that its the little pieces that make up the whole, and it takes only once for something bad (torture in this case) to be used before it starts to be the norm, and hence the decline of a society.

I started DMing a new game this week and had an intersting time with a human paladin that had been raised by orcs. Needless to say that along the lines he threw off the wonton destruction of his tribe but retained some savagery.

The party had captured a bandit. The paladin: kicked the tied up bandit to get his attention (not to inflict damage), threatened him with death for his crimes, tried to verbally intimidate him into giving the where abouts of the head bandits camp and yet stopped a fellow PC from strangling the bandit get the infomation. In the end the bandit was hung for his crimes (is was the first Kingmaker module and they had a writ autherising them to hang any bandits)>

I didnt intervene in the paladins actions or call him up on them to see how he would play it out. I think he played it well without breaking any of the paladins tenants.

What do other people think?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sure, the scenario of the Paladin sounds like a plausible and usable storytelling tool. But my point that "torture is evil" is not contradicted by it. I would probably use torture as a storytelling tool to demonstrate how evil an antagonist is ( or to make a point about the banality of evil ), but I simply won't tolerate torture as an act of good by good characters.

Torture doesn't work to get true confessions, anyway, so I'd be much more likely to impart a good lesson if anybody of my players ever would try to get away with a Jack Bauer impression. Which, thankfully, is not likely to happen.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

What is torture?

baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me...no more...

Grand Lodge

I would tolerate it as a act of evil by good characters. Everyone makes the wrong choice sometimes even if it seems like the right one at the time. As long as the PC's dont fall back on torture as a go to device to try and get infomation and they show some remorse for their misdeeds than Im ok with a slip up once and a while.

Also I think I should say that in everything I have send I am presuming that the 'torture by good people' is used in extreme circumstances where lives are on the line. Not just 'Where did you stash your loot?'


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And if we go by real-life examples, it shouldn't work. People who get tortured will tell you a lot of things to make you stop torturing them... but not necessarily the truth.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If that is all the players can grasp, a captured mook of a powerful evil force, then that is what they will try to get information out of. Dms want their plans and info protected, I get that...

Only until it is exciting and alarming to reveal them. After all, the PCs have to know what they are stopping for it to matter. :)


magnuskn wrote:
This thread once again stands as another example of the decline of western civilization since September 2001. Like any other "hey, torture is totally okay, right right?" thread. :-/

Not American, don't back torture in the war on terror. Have no problem torturing fictional undead.

Problem? lol.

Liberty's Edge

Winston Colt wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
This thread once again stands as another example of the decline of western civilization since September 2001. Like any other "hey, torture is totally okay, right right?" thread. :-/

I posted using the 'bomb killing millions' example as a reason to use torture and yet I agree with this post. I think someone else has already stated that its the little pieces that make up the whole, and it takes only once for something bad (torture in this case) to be used before it starts to be the norm, and hence the decline of a society.

I started DMing a new game this week and had an intersting time with a human paladin that had been raised by orcs. Needless to say that along the lines he threw off the wonton destruction of his tribe but retained some savagery.

The party had captured a bandit. The paladin: kicked the tied up bandit to get his attention (not to inflict damage), threatened him with death for his crimes, tried to verbally intimidate him into giving the where abouts of the head bandits camp and yet stopped a fellow PC from strangling the bandit get the infomation. In the end the bandit was hung for his crimes (is was the first Kingmaker module and they had a writ autherising them to hang any bandits)>

I didnt intervene in the paladins actions or call him up on them to see how he would play it out. I think he played it well without breaking any of the paladins tenants.

What do other people think?

I think the Paladin lived up to the Paladin's code. In my estimation, roughing someone up a bit does not exactly equal torture (although there is definitely a thin line between the two). Of course, if the Paladin started punching the bandit across the chops until he got answers, the torture flag would go up immediately.

In addition, scaring someone with a legal threat (i.e., if you help us, we'll try to get you off with imprisonment/labor; if you don't help us, you will hang) does not, in my mind qualify as torture. The man was a known bandit. He knew the penalties for his crimes. He might have been able to make things go easier on himself (maybe gotten out of getting a death sentence). But he didn't.

Further, I would rule that a Lawful Good character may legally execute a person properly convicted of a capital offiense without dropping in alignment. In fact, I would say that the Paladin exhibited great restraint under the circumstances.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

Vampires are obligate serial killers. They're not going to wind up in Elysium. Once you end his undeath he will be subjected to horrors you can't duplicate or even imagine. You're not doing any real harm to the vampire by torturing it, you're delaying far worse by not killing it immediately.

If you know someone is evil killing them quickly is the cruelest thing you can do. At this point you can either ban all good alignments from adventuring or you can admit that the morality of actions depends on who they're done to.

Ignoring the "vampires' actions don't impact the original soul's afterlife" bit, and the fact that not all Evil people wind up in a nasty afterlife according to Pathfinder, this whole attitude is still very problematic.

Indeed, this attitude justifies literally anything you do to Evil people or creatures. Literally anything. It thus rather makes any system of morality largely pointless, and is profoundly disgusting to me on a moral level.

Don't blame Atarlost for how the setting is written. The rules about Petitioners clearly say what happens to most creatures in Golarion who die. Perhaps there should be qualifications about how a soul's alignment changes after being made into a Vampire, but I do not see any in the RAW.

Consider Vampires specifically, who as Chaotic Evil creatures they will experience:

Quote:
Abyss (Chaotic Evil): “Larvae” are perhaps the most hideous of petitioners—they appear as pallid, maggot-like creatures with heads similar to those they possessed in life. Larvae that feed long enough on Abyssal filth eventually transform into demons...

Do you really think the PC Paladin will cause a Vampire as much pain as the demons of the Abyss will when tormenting it as a Larvae?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
davidvs wrote:
Do you really think the PC Paladin will cause a Vampire as much pain as the demons of the Abyss will when tormenting it as a Larvae?

It should bring no comfort to a paladin who has tortured any soul for any reason that he has done the same, only less, than the agents of evil and chaos do to their own.

Rather, the paladin should aspire to bring the corrupted soul to rest, sooner, rather than later. I do believe he would delay this rest to serve the greater good, depending on the magnitude of that good.

But "it's not as bad as the Abyss" is a completely unacceptable rationale for any virtuous act.

It's the complete inability of some players to understand the basics of portraying a just and virtuous character that makes the paladin such a frequently poorly role-played class. Paladin is character-driven role-play on hard mode. Anyone who can do it right can truly claim to be an experienced role-player.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Rather, the paladin should aspire to bring the corrupted soul to rest, sooner, rather than later.

How?

I don't think the Rules As Written provide this option. I think Vampires, according to RAW, change their Vampire-spawn from people often deserving eternal reward to people who get eternal maggoty filth-eating (with the very slim chance of becoming a demon at the bottom of the demonic pecking order, which may be no less gruesome).

Golarion is a really gritty place. It's not a setting for kids.

Consider the famous Witch Trials of New England. Those folks really believed in a kind of evil that (a) looked human (b) was irredeemably evil (c) kidnapped infants and sacrificed them to Evil which doomed the infants' souls to eternal punishment instead of eternal bliss (d) blighted crops so everyone else starved.

As C.S. Lewis wrote, if we also believed in that kind of monster, we would also mercilessly hunt it down and kill it. Even a few innocents killed would be acceptable.

We are more "civilized" than Golarion and the Witch Trials not because of differing morality but only because we do not believe the evils of those places exist.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

2 people marked this as a favorite.
davidvs wrote:
Don't blame Atarlost for how the setting is written. The rules about Petitioners clearly say what happens to most creatures in Golarion who die. Perhaps there should be qualifications about how a soul's alignment changes after being made into a Vampire, but I do not see any in the RAW.

There are no RAW regarding souls, really. There's fluff, but no crunch beyond 'They exist, petitioners and certain other Outsiders used to be them.' Oh, and Daemons can eat them.

James Jacobs has said that a Paladin who was made an intelligent undead, slain, and ressurected, would then be LG and a Paladin again without the need of any magic to make his Alignment different...so that implies that the soul's alignment probably doesn't change.

davidvs wrote:

Consider Vampires specifically, who as Chaotic Evil creatures they will experience:

Quote:
Abyss (Chaotic Evil): “Larvae” are perhaps the most hideous of petitioners—they appear as pallid, maggot-like creatures with heads similar to those they possessed in life. Larvae that feed long enough on Abyssal filth eventually transform into demons...
Do you really think the PC Paladin will cause a Vampire as much pain as the demons of the Abyss will when tormenting it as a Larvae?

Not according to James Jacobs, whose opinion is, in fact, controlling on these matters. In Golarion, Pharasma judges all souls and sends them where she sees fit. This is based on how well they live up to their own ideals and intentions...which caqn result in souls going to Planes other than the one their Alignment says (a Paladin of Sarenrae or Shelyn might easily wind up with their deity despite the Alignment diffference, for example...as might an Antipaladin of Gorum or Calistria), and can also wind up as something more than a mere petitioner sometimes. Hell, one serial killer wound up a nascent demon lord almost immediately.

.
.
.
But none of that matters, morally. You control what you do, not what others do. You torturing someone is a choice, and it is a choice to do something Evil. Whether others will later torture that person or not is immaterial, it's what you do that matters.

If you see a beggar on a street corner, and see others kicking or abusing him, and know others will continue to do so in the future, you are in no way absolved of the sin of doing so too. Just because someone will be mistreated by others gives you no moral right to do so.

Silver Crusade

Torturing anything when it's not necessary is evil.

Good creatures will usually find other ways to get information out of someone.

Evil creatures do it and are allowed to get away with it morally.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

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

Deadmanwalking has it right. It's a fairly regular thing in adventures written throughout the history of hte game, including now, to mention that destroying undead allows their souls to move on to where they should have gone before becoming undead. Pretty much that common occurance where the staked vampire/exorcised ghost/whatever-else says "thank you" before crumbling to dust.

DMW and Evil Lincoln are also right that that's beside the point. Something bad happening to someone further down the line anyway doesn't absolve someone of doing it to them beforehand.

Remember, evil acts aren't bad just because of what happens to the victim, but also because of what it does to the one doing the deed.

Neither the victim nor the perpetrators in the OP leave that scenario untouched by what was done.

"Nobody walks away from torture unchanged, not the subject or the torturer" - Zaeed Massani, and if a complete ass like that is self-aware enough to realize that, any good character worth a damn should as well.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Yup...torturing any sentient creature is an obviously evil act.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
If you see a beggar on a street corner, and see others kicking or abusing him, and know others will continue to do so in the future, you are in no way absolved of the sin of doing so too. Just because someone will be mistreated by others gives you no moral right to do so.

Indeed!

The poor behaviour of others should be justification for our own poor behaviour.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I would postulate that it is actually impossible to torture undead. My reasoning is as follows. Torture is usually application of pain to force the victim, or application of mind-manipulation. Application of pain should not work. The APG introduces a new spell descriptor called "pain" and notes that creatures that are immune to effects requiring a Fortitude save—such as undead—are immune to these pain effects. If they are immune to magically induced pain, that should mostly apply to mundane pain as well. So, applying pain will not force an undead, as they probably cannot even feel it. Mind-manipulating torture should fail as well, as undead are immune to mind-affecting effects.

So, torturing an undead should not help you anything.

The Exchange

Louis Lyons wrote:

Good rule of thumb:

If you would consider an action wicked if it were done to you under similar circumstances, then, yes, it is evil.

Some folks have mentioned that because certain laws, such as the Paladin's Code, does not specifically forbid torture, then it is A-OK. I think that is what they call arguing within the letter rather than the spirit of the law, and misses the point about morality entirely.

That ends all adventuring since it is mostly based on invading someone else's space and killing them when they engage in self defense. And grave robbing

Liberty's Edge

--- Please consider these:

- Torturing a sentient being creates pain, suffering and fear in the being. Most souls rise as undead because of the pain and suffering they endured prior to their deaths. (Shadows, allips ...etc)

The evil comes from creating more pain and suffering in the world. Would a good cleric or paladin do that? Plucking out a flies wings is not a good act. Is it natural? I don't think so.

- Characters base 'their' good and evil scales in line with their beliefs. Do the characters deities consider these evil or are in favor of them?

- Was it absolutely necessary? Is it for a good cause? If it was absolutely necessary, in line of duty, this vile acts can be tolerated, but they should be heavy burdens on a good characters soul.

--- Some examples:

- A LG paladin of Iomedae might consider torturing a sentient being (whether it is undead or not) if it is absolutely necessary to save lives. He will not take pleasure in it, he will not elongate the process, he will reason with the being to make sure it understands that he needs the information or they will both suffer. He would never lie to this being. He will deliver what is just after he gains the information he needs, preying to his goddess that she protects her honor for he succumbed to such a low tactic. He might atone for it afterwards.

- A LG Paladin of Sarenrae would not, never consider torture if it is not absolutely necessary and if the information can be gained in any other way. Sarenrae teaches "Swift justice for the irredeemable" and a Paladin would never break that law. Doing so would be putting his goddess' tenets at question.

- A LG Paladin of Erastil might consider torture an option if it is for the good of all, for he has the strength and responsibility to protect all. He will not take pleasure in it, he will not elongate the process, he will reason with the being to make sure it understands that he needs the information or they will both suffer. He would never lie to this being. He might atone for it afterwards.

- A LG Paladin of Torag knows strategy is founded upon information and he can go to some untasteful lengths to gain the information he needs. He doesn't take pleasure in torture and prays to his god that he can deliver information to him in ways he can show his valor. He knows he has protected his people and improved his strategy and does not feel the need to atone.

- A NG or N Cleric of Pharasma would never think to torture an undead creature. They dispose of the suffering soul as swiftly as possible, allowing the soul to be delivered to the courts of their lady. Toying with undead life can be something near to heresy for a Pharasmin.

- A LG Cleric of Gorum would be bored with all the tortures and the necessities. He would sharpen his sword, clean the little pieces of meat on the spikes of his armor and moves to meet the evildoers, head on! And he goes for the eyes with his space rodent, using Channel Smite as he moves on.

- A CG Cleric of Cayden Cailean would not resort to torture if he isn't pushed to the absolute limits of his mind by the circumstances. His god is a free spirit and binding and torturing an being (evil or not) is a move against freedom and the his beliefs. He would try to parlay with the being and if he sees no other options, he ends the beings evil existance so he doesn't continue his evil deeds.

- A CG Cleric of Calistra would not think twice about torturing a sentient being for the information he needs. He knows her goddess delivered this being to him so he can both further his goals for good and punish the creature to take revenge for the evil he has done. He would not extend the torture than what he feels necessary for the creature to learn and feel remorse for his deeds. If the creature cannot feel remorse, there is no point in torture, for no sensation of revenge can be received.

- A CG Cleric of Desna would not resort to torture and would not want to think about torture. He knows such an evil and freedom limiting act would harm their luck in the long run, and that the tortured creature's screams will haunt his dreams.

- A CN Cleric of Desna might be interested in seeing a being tortured, maybe try it himself if he feels like it. He knows there's always new sensations to be explored, and wonders how a body twitches with pain. He dreams of the pains and screams and looks upon the stars to gain new insights with all the awesome things in life.

----

These are my takes on various alignments and deities of Golarion and how characters might think. I hope this will be helpful.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Andrew R wrote:
Louis Lyons wrote:

Good rule of thumb:

If you would consider an action wicked if it were done to you under similar circumstances, then, yes, it is evil.

Some folks have mentioned that because certain laws, such as the Paladin's Code, does not specifically forbid torture, then it is A-OK. I think that is what they call arguing within the letter rather than the spirit of the law, and misses the point about morality entirely.

That ends all adventuring since it is mostly based on invading someone else's space and killing them when they engage in self defense. And grave robbing

That's an exceedingly narrow range to draw adventure ideas from. There are far more possibilities outside that scope.


estergum wrote:

Evil.

If its evil doing it to a kitten then its evil doing it to a vampire.

The nature of the act is not dependent on the target.

Furthermore, demons and devils torture, kill and subjugate their own kind more than they do so to mortals. They certainly don't gain "good guy points" or turn into paladins from it.


Zaister wrote:

I would postulate that it is actually impossible to torture undead. My reasoning is as follows. Torture is usually application of pain to force the victim, or application of mind-manipulation. Application of pain should not work. The APG introduces a new spell descriptor called "pain" and notes that creatures that are immune to effects requiring a Fortitude save—such as undead—are immune to these pain effects. If they are immune to magically induced pain, that should mostly apply to mundane pain as well. So, applying pain will not force an undead, as they probably cannot even feel it. Mind-manipulating torture should fail as well, as undead are immune to mind-affecting effects.

So, torturing an undead should not help you anything.

Apologies for two posts in a row, but here's a thought on that-

The undead probably can't feel it. However, it could be psychological torture. Essentially, removing bits of usefulness from an undead. Each cut, each digit removed, each sensory organ destroyed, is one less they have to carry on with. An intelligent undead knows this, and understands this as his mode of existence in the world is slowly being torn apart. Feel it or not, the existential crisis it would raise would be nothing to sneeze at.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Shah Jahan the King of Kings wrote:
estergum wrote:

Evil.

If its evil doing it to a kitten then its evil doing it to a vampire.

The nature of the act is not dependent on the target.

Furthermore, demons and devils torture, .... They certainly don't gain "good guy points" or turn into paladins from it.

To be fair, some of the kinkier angels do a bit of it too.

But they always use safewords. It's the right thing to do, folks.

The More You Know[/rainbowstar]

151 to 200 of 463 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / Is torturing intelligent undead an evil action? 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.