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RPG Superstar 2015

Evil spells


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

51 to 100 of 113 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Jiggy wrote:
Will, do you differentiate between casting animate dead, and an undead creature actually being produced by said spell?

Jiggy, I'm making that distinction because it was one Mike made:

Mike Brock wrote:

Casting an evil spell is not an alignment infraction in and of itself, as long as it doesn't violate any codes, tenents of faith, or other such issues.

Committing an evil act outside of casting the spell, such as using an evil spell to torture an innocent NPC for information or the like is an alignment infraction. Using infernal healing to heal party members is not an evil act.

I can't possibly define what every evil act could be. That is why I rely on GM discretion. But simply casting an evil descriptor spell is not an evil act in and of itself.

If casting an evil spell is "...not an alignment infraction in and of itself....", but "...using an evil spell to torture an innocent NPC..." is, then there is a clear distinction between casting the spell and the use the spell is put to.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, I'm not really getting how casting the spell is not an evil act, but casting the spell successfully is an evil act.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Mergy wrote:
Yeah, I'm not really getting how casting the spell is not an evil act, but casting the spell successfully is an evil act.

Is swinging a hammer evil?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Will, you are either dodging or misunderstanding what's being asked of you, so let me make it inescapably clear:

Two PFS casters, Alice and Bob, each cast animate dead. Bob's spell gets counterspelled, while Alice's resolves normally. Which, if any, of these two characters has committed an alignment infraction?

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Jiggy wrote:

Will, you are either dodging or misunderstanding what's being asked of you, so let me make it inescapably clear:

Two PFS casters, Alice and Bob, each cast animate dead. Bob's spell gets counterspelled, while Alice's resolves normally. Which, if any, of these two characters has committed an alignment infraction?

Depending on their GM's take on evil acts, the GM may warn them both ahead of time that he/she considers creating undead evil. Given this warning, if the players attempt to create undead -- regardless of how -- the GM is within their rights to shift their alignment.

Scarab Sages *** Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Gornil

So when do you mark down that someone's alignment has shifted from good to neutral, or vice-versa?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

@Will Johnson

1) I meant if you were the GM, Will.

2) I asked "which, if any, of these two characters has committed an alignment infraction?" I did not ask what the procedure is for when a player commits one. I asked whether they had.

*****

Tetsu: I channel negative energy for cookies? :) Actually, I only GMed two Society games at Gencon (Special 1&2) as I spent most of my time doing GM101/Kid's Track/HQ. I actually kind of wish I had GMed more, as I really love it.

Back on track: alignment discussions come up a lot...both on these boards, on a VO level, and I'm sure within Paizo internal discussions. It's...just one of those things that people will NEVER agree on. There can never be a complete set of guidelines as to what is or isn't an alignment infraction, because a) there's no way to adjucate and plan for every situation possible and b) does anyone really want it to be that way? I certainly don't. I mean, the reason we have GMs and not robots is specifically because there should be variation. Is killing a helpless prisoner evil or not evil? Well, did they surrender? How close are you to civilization? Did the prisoner just eat a baby? Is the prisoner lying to you? How would you know? (this list of questions can go on and on).

The best thing that Mike did for the campaign (in my humble opinion) is giving the GMs the option in the guide of alignment infractions and the warning system. Before that text, there was no consistent method to adjucate that. There were players who would burn down orphanages and slaughter city guards, but if "turned evil" by the GM, then they would say, hey there's no rules that say you can do that!

In guide 4.2 there is a "common sense" clause. Yeah yeah, no one agrees on what common sense is, blah blah, Ive heard it all before. But point is, Mike is interested in putting the power in the hands of the GMs, assuming that the GM is a reasonable human being. Of course it happens when the GM is not a reasonable human being (which is the subject of a very large forum thread). I know there's going to be a lot of people who don't like that answer...but I *like* having a game where at some tables I can have my gory cleric...I just know that I have to tone it down in certain situations.

Look at it this way, if everything was codified, of COURSE it's not ok for my cleric to be allowed to bathe in the blood of virgins, because it's clearly evil, and would never be ok in front of all audiences. But because it's flexible, sometimes I have a table (like one time when we played Pallid Plague) where the entire table was morally ambiguous...and we had a fabulous morally ambiguous scenario. But everyone at that table was an adult and was OKAY with it and enjoyed themselves.

As far as characters go...you should never have a character that hinges entirely on possibly disrupting the table and/or is offensive to people. Is doing something super offensive really the ONLY thing your character can do? PFS disallows evil characters specifically for this reason...this is why we don't have archetypes that depend on eating people, etc. You're required to play a neutral character...so be prepared to act that way for the vast majority of your games. If your character cannot act appropriately, then perhaps that character should be reserved for games with familiar faces. And you should ask yourself, hey, am I playing this character in a way that makes me a jerk? Or can I tone down my character a tad (I guess I don't need my daily baby) and still enjoy it and have everyone else at the table have a good time?

Say I have a diabolist who summons evil creatures. I would certainly play this character at a con. I would explain, either in character or out of character, that I will be summoning evil fiends, who will be fully under my arcane mastery, and that I assure you, oh Paladin, that this is how I will benefit the party. I can guarantee that these creatures will commit no evil acts under my watch. If I need to, I will explain to the player that this is how my character functions, and that I too am a member of the Pathfinder Society, and we operate under the same tenets. If after engaging in a meaningful and polite discussion, the player insists on killing my creatures, then who is being a jerk?

For the record, I see a strong distinction between summoning evil outsiders and creating undead. Again, I know people will disagree with me on this point, but I do not think having a character that hinges entirely on creating undead is a good idea for Society Play, simply because it will encounter so many problems. Also, it's not very powerful and really expensive. There are lots of ways to be a necromancer or a death cleric that are way cooler.

Personally, I think animating undead *is* an evil act, however raising the undead in and of itself would not cause me to warn my player about an alignment infraction. However, killing a helpless human, raising him in a city and walking around with him, while your fellow players are yelling, "hey that's not okay" would garner some severely grumpy warnings from me.

TLDR: Yup, we talk about alignment. A firm ruling is probably impossible, and it's a better campaign because of that. There's lots of great character concepts that need to be flexible or are not all that feasible for Society play. Be a reasonable human being.

Dark Archive **** Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber
Will Johnson wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Will, you are either dodging or misunderstanding what's being asked of you, so let me make it inescapably clear:

Two PFS casters, Alice and Bob, each cast animate dead. Bob's spell gets counterspelled, while Alice's resolves normally. Which, if any, of these two characters has committed an alignment infraction?

Depending on their GM's take on evil acts, the GM may warn them both ahead of time that he/she considers creating undead evil. Given this warning, if the players attempt to create undead -- regardless of how -- the GM is within their rights to shift their alignment.

So on a caster type that can't change out spell lists, you are advocating that a character that uses this particular style should be denied the right to use one of their spell slots based on GM fiat, possibly ambushed mid-scenario with this whim?

At your table, would you advise of this before starting the scenario so prep casters would be fairly treated?

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Jiggy wrote:
Two PFS casters, Alice and Bob, each cast animate dead. Bob's spell gets counterspelled, while Alice's resolves normally. Which, if any, of these two characters has committed an alignment infraction?

Devil's advocate (Assuming the GM in question thinks animating dead is evil):

Both players should be warned as their INTENT was to animate dead. It just happens one didn't work.

I think the problem here is that ya'll are focusing on a single spell, animate dead. I think the problem is that by Will's (and other GMs who will share his view on morality of animating a corpse) casting animate dead is an evil act. FORGET that it has the evil descriptor. If it didn't have it, it would still be used for evil.

See my example a few posts back. Will is arguing some GMs will say using limited wish to animate a corpse is an evil act. Even though the spell cast was not animate dead or had the evil descriptor.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

@CRobledo - Mike said casting a spell isn't an alignment infraction. He said an alignment infraction only occurs due to actions "outside of casting the spell". So unless the effect of a spell that animates dead (whether that's its only function or not) is somehow separate from casting the spell (which is absurd - see the question Will is refusing to answer) then creating undead does not constitute an alignment infraction.

I agree with Nani that people need to be reasonble human beings. Among PFS GMs, that needs to include not flatly contradicting the campaign coordinator.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

nosig wrote:

(I should know better, but I guess I missed my save...)

Does this also apply to Good acts? When my PC does Good acts at his table, does a GM need to say that my PC is in danger of having his alignment shift? Does a GM "need to warn anyone who attempts to do so at their table. If that player ignores those warnings, it is within the rights of that GM to shift their alignment." Thus my N/L cleric of Pharasma (or Asamodas, etc.) would loose thier cleric powers. At least till he went and kicked some puppies. Oh, and an Atonement.

It absolutely should. If you are a CN cleric of pharasma who on his free time goes and volunteers to orphanages and takes care of the elderly, you bet I will have a problem about it as the GM. Besides roleplay reasons, alignments have mechanical benefits. A goodie-too-shoes who put on his character sheet he is CN is immune to that fiendish XXX's Smite Good ability. They dont get affected by protection from good, and so on.

So heck yeah, alignment infractions should be noted all ways.*

*disclaimer: with all the proper warnings, etc... already discussed in this thread. One act does not an alignment infraction make.**

**disclaimer disclaimer: YMMV

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Jiggy wrote:

@CRobledo - Mike said casting a spell isn't an alignment infraction. He said an alignment infraction only occurs due to actions "outside of casting the spell". So unless the effect of a spell that animates dead (whether that's its only function or not) is somehow separate from casting the spell (which is absurd - see the question Will is refusing to answer) then creating undead does not constitute an alignment infraction.

I agree with Nani that people need to be reasonble human beings. Among PFS GMs, that needs to include not flatly contradicting the campaign coordinator.

Totally agree with you on this (and Nani). I think the thread has degraded to arguing whether animating the dead is evil or not. It just happens that's the purpose of animate dead :P

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

TetsujinOni wrote:
At your table, would you advise of this before starting the scenario so prep casters would be fairly treated?

I personally wouldn't shift a character's alignment for simply animating a corpse. I'd give a warning though if it was specifically disrespectful or vile and may shift the character's alignment if they ignored this warning.

However, the guide itself allows each GM to make this determination. It should be your responsibility to ask the GM before the game their views and to then respect those views.

My concern has been that people have been misinterpreting Mike's comments to mean that casting evil spells does not result in evil acts. I would not want those players to then bully GM's into compromising their own decisions.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Will Johnson wrote:
I personally wouldn't shift a character's alignment for simply animating a corpse. I'd give a warning though if it was specifically disrespectful or vile and may shift the character's alignment if they ignored this warning.

So if someone at your table animates a corpse in order to defend an innocent NPC or some other good (or at least decent) purpose, you would treat that... how?

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Jiggy wrote:
Will Johnson wrote:
I personally wouldn't shift a character's alignment for simply animating a corpse. I'd give a warning though if it was specifically disrespectful or vile and may shift the character's alignment if they ignored this warning.
So if someone at your table animates a corpse in order to defend an innocent NPC or some other good (or at least decent) purpose, you would treat that... how?

If they animated the corpse of an attacker, probably not. If they are about to animated the potential victim's dead six year old daughter to defend them, I'd probably warn that this is a pretty horrific act.

Again, it can be pretty subjective.

Edit: and it doesn't matter what I decide, unless you are playing at my table. The guide makes it very clear that each GM can make their own ruling. This should be respected.

The Exchange ****

Does doing Good acts shift a PCs alignment?

If a PC animates a body, and has that undead creature guard an orphanage and prevent a goblin from setting fire to it.... is it a wash? did he do both an Evil act and a Good Act? is he then OK?

If a PC just prevents a goblin from setting fire to the orphanage, does his alignment shift to good?

Before you dismiss this, realize that that is how we redeem evil creatures. Get them to do enough Good acts. Right?

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
nosig wrote:

Does doing Good acts shift a PCs alignment?

If a PC animates a body, and has that undead creature guard an orphanage and prevent a goblin from setting fire to it.... is it a wash? did he do both an Evil act and a Good Act? is he the OK?

If a PC just prevents a goblin from setting fire to the orphanage, does his alignment shift to good?

Before you dismiss this, realize that that is how we redeem evil creatures. Get them to do enough Good acts. Right?

If I animate a formerly evil goblin to rescue puppies from a burning puppy orphanage, do I lose my paladin powers?

*****

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Jiggy wrote:
Will Johnson wrote:
I personally wouldn't shift a character's alignment for simply animating a corpse. I'd give a warning though if it was specifically disrespectful or vile and may shift the character's alignment if they ignored this warning.
So if someone at your table animates a corpse in order to defend an innocent NPC or some other good (or at least decent) purpose, you would treat that... how?

Oh! I know! The planar eddies caused by the animation would race towards the nearest orphanage in a cascading butterfly effect. The orphanage would immediately catch on fire, collapse into a 100ft deep sinkhole, and be subject to a Wail of the Banshee simultaneously as a direct result. Problem solved, clearly an evil act! *snatches character sheet and dances in a circle*

This is why players bribe me with cookies *nods sagely*

The Exchange ****

Mergy wrote:
nosig wrote:

Does doing Good acts shift a PCs alignment?

If a PC animates a body, and has that undead creature guard an orphanage and prevent a goblin from setting fire to it.... is it a wash? did he do both an Evil act and a Good Act? is he the OK?

If a PC just prevents a goblin from setting fire to the orphanage, does his alignment shift to good?

Before you dismiss this, realize that that is how we redeem evil creatures. Get them to do enough Good acts. Right?

If I animate a formerly evil goblin to rescue puppies from a burning puppy orphanage, do I lose my paladin powers?

worse yet, do you loose your anti-paladin powers?

I guess it's a judges call... YMMV.

*****

Mergy wrote:
nosig wrote:

Does doing Good acts shift a PCs alignment?

If a PC animates a body, and has that undead creature guard an orphanage and prevent a goblin from setting fire to it.... is it a wash? did he do both an Evil act and a Good Act? is he the OK?

If a PC just prevents a goblin from setting fire to the orphanage, does his alignment shift to good?

Before you dismiss this, realize that that is how we redeem evil creatures. Get them to do enough Good acts. Right?

If I animate a formerly evil goblin to rescue puppies from a burning puppy orphanage, do I lose my paladin powers?

Um, absolutely. How does your paladin cast animate dead anyway? *audits character sheet*

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nani Pratt wrote:
Mergy wrote:
nosig wrote:

Does doing Good acts shift a PCs alignment?

If a PC animates a body, and has that undead creature guard an orphanage and prevent a goblin from setting fire to it.... is it a wash? did he do both an Evil act and a Good Act? is he the OK?

If a PC just prevents a goblin from setting fire to the orphanage, does his alignment shift to good?

Before you dismiss this, realize that that is how we redeem evil creatures. Get them to do enough Good acts. Right?

If I animate a formerly evil goblin to rescue puppies from a burning puppy orphanage, do I lose my paladin powers?
Um, absolutely. How does your paladin cast animate dead anyway? *audits character sheet*

UMD and a scroll of animate dead, just in case I need to save burning puppies. A paladin is always prepared.

The Exchange ****

Nani Pratt wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Will Johnson wrote:
I personally wouldn't shift a character's alignment for simply animating a corpse. I'd give a warning though if it was specifically disrespectful or vile and may shift the character's alignment if they ignored this warning.
So if someone at your table animates a corpse in order to defend an innocent NPC or some other good (or at least decent) purpose, you would treat that... how?

Oh! I know! The planar eddies caused by the animation would race towards the nearest orphanage in a cascading butterfly effect. The orphanage would immediately catch on fire, collapse into a 100ft deep sinkhole, and be subject to a Wail of the Banshee simultaneously as a direct result. Problem solved, clearly an evil act! *snatches character sheet and dances in a circle*

This is why players bribe me with cookies *nods sagely*

nah, it's more fun to point out that defending the orphanage was both Lawful and Good acts - and this tips the balance so that your Cleric of a neutral god becomes L/G and looses all powers and must pay for an Atonement...

That'll so you you do gooder you!

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Will Johnson wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Will Johnson wrote:
I personally wouldn't shift a character's alignment for simply animating a corpse. I'd give a warning though if it was specifically disrespectful or vile and may shift the character's alignment if they ignored this warning.
So if someone at your table animates a corpse in order to defend an innocent NPC or some other good (or at least decent) purpose, you would treat that... how?
If they animated the corpse of an attacker, probably not. If they are about to animated the potential victim's dead six year old daughter to defend them, I'd probably warn that this is a pretty horrific act.

Now see, that's probably about how I would handle it too. So you know, that is not the position you've been communicating for the last however-many posts. You sounded like no matter what they were going to do with the fresh undead creature, you'd still consider it evil to have created it and their alignment would be at risk. That would be why I and others were so focused on you. The "some situations would be okay" thing that you're claiming now was not being communicated at all.

*****

But what if I wanted the innocent NPC in order to sacrifice to Urgathoa? Man, I just want to animate an undamged corpse for once. /pout

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nani Pratt wrote:
But what if I wanted the innocent NPC in order to sacrifice to Urgathoa? Man, I just want to animate an undamged corpse for once. /pout

Use something that doesn't damage the body like phantasmal killer and you'll be all set!

The Exchange ****

Nani Pratt wrote:
But what if I wanted the innocent NPC in order to sacrifice to Urgathoa? Man, I just want to animate an undamged corpse for once. /pout

First you have to go do some good acts... but not to many, else you shift to good.

Then, just before you shift to good, sacrifice the innocent NPC and animate the perfict zombie,
Now, quick, before you shift to evil, rush out and save the orphanage!

Oh, and if you're Lawful, be sure to obey all traffic laws getting there. But if you are Chaotic, you should speed and jay-walk getting there.

Staying Neutral is SO HARD!

Dark Archive ****

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Fallout neutrality for the win!

Give the beggar water, shift to good. Shoot him in the head, shift back to neutral.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Jiggy, a wonderful thing about the guide is it allows each GM to make up their own mind about what constitutes an evil act. What I have been trying to communicate is that Mike's post does not over-ride this.

Mike simply clarified that casting evil spells in and of themselves is not evil. However, if the GM decides that the act is an evil one, they are in the right to warn players and possibly shift their alignments.

My worry is that many people have taken Mike's post to grant carte blanche to players who wish to use these spells.

If you play a character that animates dead, talk to your GM to get their views on the use of the spell. Comply with their decisions without arguing. Do not tell them that they are wrong and then quote Mike as saying that casting evil spells is not evil and therefore creating undead is not evil.

Dark Archive **** Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber
Will Johnson wrote:
TetsujinOni wrote:
At your table, would you advise of this before starting the scenario so prep casters would be fairly treated?
It should be your responsibility to ask the GM before the game their views and to then respect those views.

this kind of discussion should not be necessary as it bites into the total time for a scenario to be played at a convention (cf my earlier observations about a player having generally about 30-36 minutes to occupy the GM's attention for interactions the player initiates in a given session at a con)... which is why I'm still a little concerned about the hands off position on this broad class of actions.

I'm a lot less concerned about Will's personal opinion in particular, though, since he's clarified his personal position as being one I share in viewing as well within one standard deviation of "perfectly reasonable".

The Exchange ****

Mergy wrote:

Fallout neutrality for the win!

Give the beggar water, shift to good. Shoot him in the head, shift back to neutral.

"not need to shoot him, it was dirty water..."

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Will Johnson wrote:
Mike simply clarified that casting evil spells in and of themselves is not evil.

Up to this point, it sounded like you were blatantly contradicting this and then justifying doing so by trying to separate the casting of a spell from the spell's listed effects (much like saying that casting magic missile and dealing force damage were separate acts). Now it's clear that's not what you meant.

Quote:
My worry is that many people have taken Mike's post to grant carte blanche to players who wish to use these spells.

Well, not to worry. It was people who would consider animating a fallen villain in order to help bring their friends home alive thinking you would warn them of the evil of doing so.

The Exchange ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Will Johnson wrote:

Jiggy, a wonderful thing about the guide is it allows each GM to make up their own mind about what constitutes an evil act. What I have been trying to communicate is that Mike's post does not over-ride this.

Mike simply clarified that casting evil spells in and of themselves is not evil. However, if the GM decides that the act is an evil one, they are in the right to warn players and possibly shift their alignments.

My worry is that many people have taken Mike's post to grant carte blanche to players who wish to use these spells.

If you play a character that animates dead, talk to your GM to get their views on the use of the spell. Comply with their decisions without arguing. Do not tell them that they are wrong and then quote Mike as saying that casting evil spells is not evil and therefore creating undead is not evil.

I only really have a problem with the bolded part above (bolding mine). "...possibly shift their alignments...". I have had a very frosty game at a GenCon back when I suggested that my PC could hand a steel shield to a druid using Beguiling Gift. I feel sure that if I had actually done it, and it was in the judges power to do so, I would have had my PCs alignment shifted to Evil.

Shifting a PCs alignment against the players will is not an action one table judge should be able to do. Please do NOT give me that power. I do not need it, or want it. I am not the GM. I'm just a table judge.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Jiggy wrote:
Well, not to worry. It was people who would consider animating a fallen villain in order to help bring their friends home alive thinking you would warn them of the evil of doing so.

There may be GM's who hold this to also be evil. The guide permits this variation. Mike's post doesn't contradict this variation. Talk to your GM and respect their decision.

**

Will Johnson wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Will Johnson wrote:
I personally wouldn't shift a character's alignment for simply animating a corpse. I'd give a warning though if it was specifically disrespectful or vile and may shift the character's alignment if they ignored this warning.
So if someone at your table animates a corpse in order to defend an innocent NPC or some other good (or at least decent) purpose, you would treat that... how?

If they animated the corpse of an attacker, probably not. If they are about to animated the potential victim's dead six year old daughter to defend them, I'd probably warn that this is a pretty horrific act.

Again, it can be pretty subjective.

Edit: and it doesn't matter what I decide, unless you are playing at my table. The guide makes it very clear that each GM can make their own ruling. This should be respected.

I just wanted to point out that this is a very reasonable position, and seems to be exactly what Mike intended. The casting of create undead is no more alignment changing than casting fireball (baring a cleric of Pharasma animating undead, and becoming chaotic). However, intentionally using fireball on a helpless orphan and then animating them probably would both be alignment changing acts.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Flavor text from an undeath-related Magic: the Gathering card:

"Most clerics give up when their patients die. Can I help it if I'm more compassionate?"

;)

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington , Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka WalterGM

An aside: I love how orphans are our go to examples of "innocent" people.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

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Furious Kender wrote:
I just wanted to point out that this is a very reasonable position, and seems to be exactly what Mike intended. The casting of create undead is no more alignment changing than casting fireball (baring a cleric of Pharasma animating undead, and becoming chaotic).

Many GM's will disagree. Casting fireball produces a large explosion. Casting animate dead produces an evil undead creature.

Regardless of how I may rule at my table, the act of creating undead can and will be considered an evil act by some GM's.

The guide grants GM's the flexibility to interpret evil acts as they choose. As players, we need to respect this decision.

**

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Will Johnson wrote:
The guide grants GM's the flexibility to interpret evil acts as they choose. As players, we need to respect this decision.

So if a gm says, "infernal healing is evil," we need to respect that decision? If so, then what was the point of Mike's statement?

Silver Crusade **

Furious Kender wrote:
Will Johnson wrote:
The guide grants GM's the flexibility to interpret evil acts as they choose. As players, we need to respect this decision.
So if a gm says, "infernal healing is evil," we need to respect that decision? If so, then what was the point of Mike's statement?

If used on a Paladin in an attempt to make him lose his powers, evil. If used to save a dying innocent, not evil.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Furious Kender wrote:
Will Johnson wrote:
The guide grants GM's the flexibility to interpret evil acts as they choose. As players, we need to respect this decision.
So if a gm says, "infernal healing is evil," we need to respect that decision? If so, then what was the point of Mike's statement?

Mike said: "Using infernal healing to heal party members is not an evil act."

Many GM's may decide: "Using Animate Dead to create evil undead slaves is an evil act."

The Exchange ****

Will Johnson wrote:
Furious Kender wrote:
I just wanted to point out that this is a very reasonable position, and seems to be exactly what Mike intended. The casting of create undead is no more alignment changing than casting fireball (baring a cleric of Pharasma animating undead, and becoming chaotic).

Many GM's will disagree. Casting fireball produces a large explosion. Casting animate dead produces an evil undead creature.

Regardless of how I may rule at my table, the act of creating undead can and will be considered an evil act by some GM's.

The guide grants GM's the flexibility to interpret evil acts as they choose. As players, we need to respect this decision.

(sarcasm warning)Casting fireball which sets the fire to a town, in the dead of winter, driving the commoners out into the cold (notice how I avoided the orphan issue) is less evil then animating the dead goblin raiders to fight the fire and save food stocks from the warehouse. Got it. (sarcasm off)

.
I still want to know if a table judge has the athority to shift a PCs alignment over the objections of the player, for the casting of one spell during one session of play. Is that what is being said? Can we define when Nani's cleric of Urgathoa will have her alignment shifted to evil by a table judge? Doesn't her past "Good Deeds" effect this? Worse yet, does her past "Good Deeds" and "Lawful Deeds" shift her alignment and loose her her cleric abilities? On the decision of a table judge?

Silver Crusade **

nosig wrote:


I still want to know if a table judge has the athority to shift a PCs alignment over the objections of the player, for the casting of one spell during one session of play. Is that what is being said? Can we define when Nani's cleric of Urgathoa will have her alignment shifted to evil by a table judge? Doesn't her past "Good Deeds" effect this? Worse yet, does her past "Good Deeds" and "Lawful Deeds" shift her alignment and loose her her cleric abilities? On the decision of a table judge?

Yes, it can happen. I had it happen to one of my characters, and I was ok with it. The GM warned me that my action would be considered quite evil, and it would have alignment consequences, namely going from LG to LN. We talked it over, and I eventually decided I was ok with that happening. Long story short, yes, a table judge can shift your alignment. They should let you know before you before you go through with your action tho.

The Exchange ***

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As a player of an Asmodean cleric, I am most amused when other players at the table do everything in their power to stop me from doing something vaguely Asmodean (like giving a sermon on the virtues of a well-ordered society to the village we just rescued or casting malediction on someone capable of recognizing it and then saying "are you sure you want to have this fight right now?") but eagerly fork over one of their wands of infernal healing when they take damage. I've even run into some who won't let me cast infernal healing on them but will happily try to UMD their own wand of infernal healing.

My point? It ties in to the fact that people rarely argue that good deeds make you "more good." A lot of people don't see Golarion through the eyes of their character, they see it through their own eyes. "Your motivations are clearly wrong. Mine are right and therefore shouldn't have a negative impact on me."

The Exchange ****

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
nosig wrote:


I still want to know if a table judge has the athority to shift a PCs alignment over the objections of the player, for the casting of one spell during one session of play. Is that what is being said? Can we define when Nani's cleric of Urgathoa will have her alignment shifted to evil by a table judge? Doesn't her past "Good Deeds" effect this? Worse yet, does her past "Good Deeds" and "Lawful Deeds" shift her alignment and loose her her cleric abilities? On the decision of a table judge?
Yes, it can happen. I had it happen to one of my characters, and I was ok with it. The GM warned me that my action would be considered quite evil, and it would have alignment consequences, namely going from LG to LN. We talked it over, and I eventually decided I was ok with that happening. Long story short, yes, a table judge can shift your alignment. They should let you know before you before you go through with your action tho.

Sorry Alexander, I think you missed the most important part of my question. I bolded it above, and I'll repeat it here. "over the objections of the player". In your example you "...talked it over, and I eventually decided I was ok with that happening." in other words you changed the alignment of your PC after the judge discussed his view of your actions and you both came to an agreement. Not what I am concerned about. If I think your PCs actions are evil - I'll tell you (give you a warning if you want to call it that). But I am not going to say, "you cast Fireball in a wooden building AGAIN? Give me your character sheet mister, that PC is evil."

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I don't really want to get super into this alignment issue, as it tends to just be an endlessly revolving door :P I can't say what is right or wrong, but these are my general thoughts on GMs and player alignment:

1) Generally, GMs shouldn't have any control over a player's alignment. It is a manner of personal choice and style. I believe that a player can play a given alignment in a whole gamut of ways, depending on character background, motivations, ethos, etc etc. However, if I believe a player does not understand a given alignment, I may suggest an alternative after a game. This is especially true of newer players. Example: I am CG, and I think freedom means sleeping with everyone I meet and casting lots of enchantment spells so everyone loves me! Um, perhaps you should think about being CN. In fact, there's this great goddess that I can introduce you to...

2) Players who are beholden to an alignment restriction are held to a higher standard than other players. Players who serve a God directly are held even higher (Clerics, Inquisitors, Paladins). If I believe that a player is in major violation of their alignment and/or god, I will give them a single chance to redact their action ("Are you sure you would like to do that?"). If they persist in this action (which has to be a pretty gross alignment violation for me to object to it) then I will remove class abilities, but I will not actually change the player's alignment. Probably a semantic argument, but that's just me.

3) The only exception to my alignment guidelines. If a player commits an unbelievably horrendous action (which so far in every case I have seen is in tandem with violating Dont be a Jerk, and sometimes with the no PvP), then I will give the player a verbal warning before he commits the action. If he or she continues with the action, then I will tell the player that they have committed a action that is in violation of the rules of Organized Play (alignment isn't the issue here). It is only the second time that they choose to commit some sort of gross violation that I will ask them to leave the table, and that they are evil, and that the character is forever gone from Pathfinder Society. Please note that this must be some sort of TRULY evil act, and in every case I've seen has involved them being a jerk to the party simultaneously. We are not talking about casting animate dead here. There must be something along the lines of burning down orphanages, killing helpless people for the express purpose of animating them into undead, eating babies, etc. I have not ever to this point ever reported a player to be dead because of alignment.

I know a lot of GMs will believe differently, but I don't think that a GM (in PFS) can change a player's alignment because of simple stuff like...infernal healing, summoning a devil, killing a prisoner, or even on other axis like saving a drowning child or getting drunk in a tavern or upholding the law. I think that's silly. An alignment goes far deeper than that, it goes down to the core beliefs of a character...and one action never changes that. The only reason that we have the anti-evil stipulation has almost nothing to do with actual alignment, and almost everything to do with being a jerk. PFS is a game that is about getting along with other players, sometimes total strangers. And it would very quickly devolve if there was no way to keep players from doing horrendously outrageously terrible things that ruin the game for everyone else, including the GM (we don't want to deal with you burning down orphanages...we want to move on with the story so we can get to the cool stuff). The evil alignment thing is a tool for GMs to have a reasonable punishment for the most egregious actions...not a straight jacket for players into their alignments. Some GMs just have a hard time with asking players to leave a table. I know I do sometimes, because I don't want to suddenly have a reputation as a terrible GM (over the years, I've gotten more comfortable with being a bit more heavy handed with disruptive players). This is those GMs method of dealing with that.

Dark Archive **** Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

Totally turning into a Nani Pratt fanboy over here. THAT is how the alignment system that I understand works.

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Yeah, now if I could only cast "Nani's Magical Love and Peace" on the deities and alignment thread >< But thanks for the vote of confidence anyway :) I just hope that presenting my opinions on the subject will help other GMs form their own opinions on how they handle alignment issues.

I'm all about the "gray area", which doesn't go over very well sometimes :) An "egregious alignment infraction" will in vary, depending wildly on the context of the action, the tone and attitude of the table, the players present, how early it is in the morning, whether anyone has given me a cookie...

*****

Nani Pratt wrote:

Yeah, now if I could only cast "Nani's Magical Love and Peace" on the deities and alignment thread >< But thanks for the vote of confidence anyway :) I just hope that presenting my opinions on the subject will help other GMs form their own opinions on how they handle alignment issues.

I'm all about the "gray area", which doesn't go over very well sometimes :) An "egregious alignment infraction" will in vary, depending wildly on the context of the action, the tone and attitude of the table, the players present, how early it is in the morning, whether anyone has given me a cookie...

I think the only time I've seen an "egregious alignment violation" was as a player, and it was the fault of the reassignment of faction missions for early seasons:

Silent Tide:
A Chaotic Good worshipper of Desna bound the souls of the dead to Asmodeus due to having their Shadow Lodge faction mission replaced with a Cheliax one instead.

This was before the new clarification about bad mojo going to the faction leader and not the agent who performs the mission. As a player, I expressed incredulity at this action, but then the game continued as normal. As a GM I would have probably had Desna send some bad dreams at the least, considering it was akin to a Shelynite burning paintings or something. Then again, I think most players just want their prestige points badly enough that they'll have the character do whatever the mission in front of them says, regardless of alignment, deity, or class.

*****

Caution: touchy subject
I believe that the clause in guide 4.2 means that players are immune to "you turn evil and are banned from PFS". It does not make you immune to violating your clerical/pally oaths. In one of my games, that cleric would need an atonement. After a warning.

To almost quote Kyle Baird...if you don't want to play a character with morality restrictions, don't play a cleric or a pally

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