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

DM seeking advice on a player who likes to mutilate NPCs.


Gamer Talk


So we've been playing for about 6 months now, maybe a touch longer. One of my players, a monk, likes to hit NPCs (not just any NPCs, luckily, they're always the bad guy.. thankfully) with a stunning fist, and while the NPC is stunned he likes to tie them up and take them prisoner... After which he does what he can to torture them seeking information.

Usually when he gets into this situation he likes to mutilate their hands for some reason. One time he chopped off each of the NPCs one by one and another time he attempted to melt the NPCs hands together with a slice of ham in-between them in order to make a "Ham Handwich".

Luckily the other players held him back from making the Ham Handwich, but it took two of them to hold him back and he's quite a strong monk, I was worried he would overcome the two of them.

I personally don't like torture coming into my games as it really starts to put a negative spin on the fun aspect of the game. At the same time however, and more than anything, I respect my player's freedom. Considering I'm relatively new to DMing, and the players are all quite new to tabletop RPGs, I try not to enforce alignment too much. I rather like them to take actions and have their actions *define* their alignment, but this can cause all sorts of grey areas and it puts a bit more work on me while I'm still learning all the rules and the complexities of being a DM.

Does anybody have any advice on how to handle this? Do the rules actually allow an NPC to be tied up after being stunned? I use a survival skill check to see how well he ties his knots, at least.

I've been considering having an NPC seek revenge at some point so the monk ends up with his own deformities, but as I said, I'd ideally like to keep that kind of morbid play off of my table. :)


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

In the real world, torture is a poor tactic.
Most end up telling you whatever they think you want to hear, not the truth.

Also, if does this enough without viable reason, push his alignment one step towards evil.


Thanks for the advice, blackbloodtroll. This leads me to another question - how do you handle evil PCs? I presume the town (and the other non-evil PCs) would begin trying to put an end to his exploits. Also, are PCs able to play an evil alignment "undercover"? It's slightly off-topic to my OP but I have someone wanting to play an evil assassin. Lack of experience as DM has caused me to say "no" for now.

I've not found anything in the books about this and my lack of RPG experience doesn't help. More than happy to do the reading if you can point me in the right direction. :)

Star Voter 2014

Well depending the area he is in this could be unlawful. HE could lose his alignment needed for his class as well.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

He could build up a nasty reputation, which could cause otherwise helpful organizations or NPCs to disdain him and possible refuse to assist him.

By the way, as the DM, you make the rules, and everything is subject to your fiat.

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Obviously I don't know exactly how he is capturing NPCs he stunned. If he's having allies grab them that's one thing. But do make sure to keep in mind that the stun from a Stunning Fist ends just before the monk's next turn. By the time the monk can make another attack, the stun has worn off.

Star Voter 2013

Spinkler wrote:

Thanks for the advice, blackbloodtroll. This leads me to another question - how do you handle evil PCs? I presume the town (and the other non-evil PCs) would begin trying to put an end to his exploits. Also, are PCs able to play an evil alignment "undercover"? It's slightly off-topic to my OP but I have someone wanting to play an evil assassin. Lack of experience as DM has caused me to say "no" for now.

Nobody have to know the PC is EVul and besides even if other peopel know they maybe do not do anything unless the PC becomes a problem to them.

Now, play with evil PC can be funny or can be frustrating. IF you allow the evil PC tell him that messing with the fun of the party is not allowed.


If you have a problem with evil PCs, don't allow them. Tell the player first, along with the fact that they're evil playstyle is making you uncomfortable.


I don't know how your GM, but in my world things are somewhat realistic. If the bad guys get wind of his tactics they will be less likely to let him live, if for not any other reason than a revenge factor. I also don't turn a blind eye to what PC's do just because they are the PC's. PC fun should never equal no consequences. It seems as the player knows you won't take such an approach and is taking advantage of it. Having his buddies investigate could lead to them finding out what is going on. They might not know the monk is doing it, if he has not spoken to anyone about it, but they will know the party is responsible assuming the bad guys are one group.


I think that an npc or family member seeking revenge would be a good idea. I mean, if some monk captured my brother and mutilated him, I'd find that guy and grease him.

Otherwise, you could just talk to him and say you're not into that sort of thing.

I had a friend playing pbp here with me and I'm dungeonmaster.
He had a pet dog in game, and I essentially put a divine dungeonmaster protection on his dog (assuming his dog remained out of combat) because I'm the king of my world and the notion of bad things happening to peoples' dogs doesn't entertain me. I'm just....not into that sort of thing. So, unbelievable as it seems, voila Tenser the Great Dane never once got injured in damn near 100 deadly combats.

I'd just tell him that the creative and graphic torture of npc's is a subject I find rather dross if not disturbing, it puts a grey cloud over the proceedings of the game, and from here on out I do not plan to entertain such notions.

I also run the game on Paizo, so it has to be much more "family friendly" than I am typically used to. If you look back at Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, the shower scene....you never once see what is happening graphically, you never see a knife going into a body, and yet it is a powerful, classic scene, a classic of the horror genre. Too much over the top gore can be and often is rather gauche and dross; it's actually harder to invoke a mood of horror subtly, and yet it's all the more effective when you pull it off. (I personally think the Ham Handwich is funny, but I could see where it would get old after a while).

Star Voter 2015

If he is torturing people and mutilating them (even if they are the "bad guys") then you either have handless victims walking around or mutilated bodies. In either case, local militia frown on murder or torture. Put a price on his head that is high enough for the other players to have to seriously think about turning him in. Or, put a price on the heads of the whole party and make them run from place to place being chased by authorities and bounty hunters. A posse with hunting dogs is a pain in e butt.


Some great advice here, thanks to all!

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Obviously I don't know exactly how he is capturing NPCs he stunned. If he's having allies grab them that's one thing. But do make sure to keep in mind that the stun from a Stunning Fist ends just before the monk's next turn. By the time the monk can make another attack, the stun has worn off.

This would be very helpful to me in game, and would instantly help remedy these situations transparently, but doesn't Stunning Fist stun the opponent for 1d4 rounds? This alone has been what is giving the monk sufficient time to tie up his enemy.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright, a few things!

First off, let's look at Stunning Fist.

https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/feats/combat-feats/stunning-fis t-combat---final

"You must declare that you are using this feat before you make your attack roll (thus, a failed attack roll ruins the attempt). Stunning Fist forces a foe damaged by your unarmed attack to make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Wis modifier), in addition to dealing damage normally. A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round (until just before your next turn). A stunned character drops everything held, can’t take actions, loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, and takes a –2 penalty to AC. You may attempt a stunning attack once per day for every four levels you have attained (but see Special), and no more than once per round. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be stunned."

Alright, so an important thing to note here. And this is where Pathfinder gets a little tricky.

In order to tie someone up, we look to the rules for tying up people:

https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/gamemastering/combat#TOC-Grappl e

"If you have your target pinned, otherwise restrained, or unconscious, you can use rope to tie him up. This works like a pin effect, but the DC to escape the bonds is equal to 20 + your Combat Maneuver Bonus (instead of your CMD). The ropes do not need to make a check every round to maintain the pin. If you are grappling the target, you can attempt to tie him up in ropes, but doing so requires a combat maneuver check at a –10 penalty. If the DC to escape from these bindings is higher than 20 + the target's CMB, the target cannot escape from the bonds, even with a natural 20 on the check."

Stunned is a powerful condition, but I would not allow a player to automatically succeed on tying up a stunned person. I would require a CMB vs CMD check. The text of Stunned seems to indicate, as well:

https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/gamemastering/conditions#TOC-St unned

"A stunned creature drops everything held, can't take actions, takes a –2 penalty to AC, and loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).

Attackers receive a +4 bonus on attack rolls to perform combat maneuvers against a stunned opponent."

That last part is key. If a player wants to tie up a Stunned enemy, they're free to do so, and even gain a +4 bonus on the attack roll, but I would not let it automatically succeed. A stunned character is still hanging in there. They cannot, for instance, be coup-de-graced.

Anyway, onto the player problem.

I have players who enjoy letting their sadist tendencies out at the table and torturing or mutilating enemies.

And I, as a GM, am generally not comfortable with such things. I generally pull such players aside, and tell them that I am not comfortable with their actions, and that either they should stop, or they should leave my table.

In all seriousness, this is definitely a table-etiquette sort of thing. You and your players will have to come to an agreement over what is morally acceptable in your games. I would suggest that you speak frankly with your players, and come to a decision on what should be allowed, for the moral boundaries of the game.

While I understand that you probably respect "player freedom", you also need to understand that as a GM, it's your job to set some sorts of limits, in the cases of the extreme.

If a player of mine decided to go out and murder little children in the town next door for no apparent reason, I would not only eject the character from the game. I would also ask the player to probably never come back, because I really have no interest in playing games like that.

Of course, some tables like playing games with evil characters who like to go around using their powers to slaughter others. I find that... reprehensible, personally, but maybe that's the sort of thing you want to do! It's really up to your group.

What you most certainly should not do is let it stew and pretend that there's nothing wrong. You need to confront your players openly and honestly if they're doing something that you find discomforting. While I can't tell you the 'right way' to play an RPG game with respect to morality, in-game, I can tell you that open honesty is necessary in ensuring that everyone is on the same page with regard to where they want the campaign to go. It does no good if the players or GM get into arguments or fights with each other, or just become so disgusted by each other's actions that it breaks the table. Talk to your players, not us, and see what they think if it's acceptable to treat your prisoners of war in such a way.

Though one thing's for certain. You should probably make it harder for them to get NPCs into such a situation. In order to tie someone up without risk of error, the creature should be unconscious, paralyzed, or helpless. Stunned is not a strong enough condition to warrant auto-success in tying a creature up (though it probably gives you the chance to roll CMB vs CMD to get it started in the first place).

Liberty's Edge

I also do not care for PCs using torture. If you do not want it in your game, just talk to your players and tell them. It's your game too and if it bothers you personally, there are ways to play around it.

The downside to not allowing torture is that you may want to emphasize a bad guys evilness by having him use torture. Also, sometimes even good guys may decide they may have no other option but to do something bad (like torture). I prefer to not have the PCs describe the act and just call it an intimidate with a bonus to the roll based on whether they are acting intimidating, threatening violence, or actually doing violence. The worse they are, the more it shifts their alignment more towards evil (though it takes a few evil acts to cause a shift). I do not allow evil characters in my game, so they have to consider that. Once they shift to evil, they are NPCs.


nope stunning fist is one round. You should learn your PC's moves and research them so they don't run wild claiming they can do more than what they really can do.

Silver Crusade

Stunning Fist stuns a creature for one round if it fails it's save. That means, just before the monk's next turn, it is not stunned any more.

By the way, stunned creatures are not helpless, so you can't just tie them up by saying so!

''Stunned: A stunned creature drops everything held, can't take actions, takes a –2 penalty to AC, and loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).''

So a stunned creature is easier to hit, but you still have to roll to attack. On it's turn a stunned creature can't take actions. But it is not helpless.

Speak frankly to the player outside game time. Tell him how you feel about his monk's behaviour. Ask him to change it. Point out that it is evil and unlawful (make it illegal!) and if he changes alignment to non-lawful he can't advance as a monk. Pathfinder society doesn't allow evil PCs and there's no reason you should. Tell him that if a PC becomes evil then he becomes an NPC under your control.

Start with the softer stuff and if that works to change his behaviour, fine. If not, get harsher and harsher until it either works or his monk is either dead or an NPC.

Offer to work with him to make the game better for all concerned. But, if he is either unable or unwilling to make those changes then you must lose him!

Harsh, but fair.


step one: the party starts hearing rumors about their evil acts. maybe the local magistrate calls them in for a chat (they will deny everything most likely)

Step two: Add a negative diplomacy mod to all financial transactions (locals do not like them). Make sure it is just the monk at first, but then the whole party if they keep hanging around this guy...once they have to start paying more for everything (and getting less for sales) they might tire of his antics...

Step 3: A bounty on the monk (high enough to tempt the other PC's) from the families of the victims, and the local churches (who are having to tend to the maimed victims)

Step 4: if the PC's keep associating with the monk, the bounty extends to them too.

Step 5: a 15th-20th level Paladin (or whatever is 5-10 levels above the Monk)comes looking to collect the bounty....or the local thieves guild is sick of getting blamed for this nut jobs actions, and sends a hit squad...

make sure the monk (and party too if needed) knows from the beginning that this cannot end well if the behavior does not change....and make it clear that you are merely reacting to his stimulus, he decides when this all ends....

If the laws of the land make this illegal, then the monk changes alignment away from lawful (make this a slow progress - you can graph the alignments and show his slide to chaos....then his temple-mates (monks all) might come looking for him (for making THEM look bad)

The Exchange

You're right that a DM shouldn't tell his players how to play their characters. On the other hand, that doesn't give players the right to damage the mood for the DM or anyone else.

I'd suggest that you talk to the player privately and let him know that you don't really like the torture stuff in your game. If he isn't willing to compromise, you have to decide if you're willing to tolerate it, would rather ask him to leave the group, or would be happier laying out in-game consequences for the behavior.

Evil PCs are a similar matter, and it really depends on your campaign and your group. If you have a group willing to find good reasons to have the evil and nonevil PCs working together, it can be a lot of fun... but be aware that this requires players who are willing to take on some of the responsibility for keeping the story moving forward.

At the end of the day, the DM generally puts more effort into the game than the players, and this gives him/her the right to set some ground rules, like "I want to play a game where the PCs are not evil and will work together" or "In my game, everyone will be a pirate". If someone doesn't want to play that kind of game, you negotiate and find a solution that works for everyone. You don't allow one player to dominate the game by insisting everyone bends to his will.


Critical deck that lops off body parts. Except only your NPC's get to use it. And only against him.


Brilliant advice again, thank you. I thought I had been quite open and honest to my players but simply considering the fact that I didn't bring this up with them and came here first indicates that maybe that isn't quite so. I'll make more of an effort with that in future.

Thanks to everyone, the members of these boards never fail to give amazing advice, and the points that zean has mentioned regarding the complexities of tying people up and the stunned condition will help immensely. Cheers! :D


All of the above advice is great stuff. One tool I would offer it to let him know that there can be repercussions for his actions. I would tell him this as he is about to start doing this but before he actually does it, and I would say it in front of the group. If he asks for an example you can site some of the ones above, like a relative seeking revenge, the law could come after you, he could build a rep and many NPC's could act differently toward him or not talk to him completely. The choice would be yours to make later if he continues it.

I played in a werewolf game and we were werewolves going after some other werewolves. We never used silver bullets, but sense they worked so much better we started talking about maybe using them. Our GM didn't want silver in his game, so he let us know that he preferred to keep silver out of the game or at least more of a rare thing, and that if we continued to use it then NPCs might start packing silver to use against us. Knowing that there could be bad things that would happen to us and that the GM didn't want it to be in the game, it was an easy choice for us to not use it and we all still had a good time.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When I started my game with a new group after moving to Texas, during the first fight, they wanted to walk around slitting the throats of the villagers (LE fishfolk) that had attacked them. I told them they could, and it wouldn't change their alignment (given they were attacked), but I did tell them that in my game, your reputation affects how opponents respond to you. If you leave downed people alive, you get a reputation for not being ruthless, plus it slows down retribution (IE: the fighters who ran away and then regrouped spent more time getting their friends back up again than chasing them down). By the same token, I tell them about reputations of people who have them, so they know how the bad guys work when they can get intel. They decided that not killing everyone was better, on the whole, than killing all enemies.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I once played an evil PC, did some gruesome stuff as well. However, once I realized that it may shake the boat for my fellow party members (As notified by a fellow player asking essentially, "How attached to this character are you?") I gave him to my DM to use as a background character that would help and hinder us as he saw fit.

As others have said, perhaps the player doesn't realize that he is making things uncomfortable for others. So, I'd suggest letting him know how you feel.

Also, as another has noted, if someone was trying to cut my hands off, I'd tell him I built the tower of london and was responsible for a war 300 years ago when I wasn't even born, if that is what they wanted to hear and wouldn't get my hands chopped off. In these situations it'd be very easy for the DM to give incorrect and dangerous information to the torturer player.

"My hidden treasure is located here!" *Points at map*

Turns out that location is where thugs, assassins and thieves that are quite friendly to the one that was being tortured hang out. Also, it happens that they've gotten word of the torturing and didn't take kindly to that. So, they've decided to set a trap / ambush for the party when they reach there.


Its all about the setting and group. Is this a story about the dark and gritty old world and the skaven turning people into horrendous abominations? Is your game about the paragons of good coming into their destiny and saving Golarion from the return of rovagug?

A DM once set me loose in a setting akin to the spanish inquisition as a member of the inquisition. I was a rogue, and not the good kind. I threw people out windows, threatened and actually tortured people, stabbed people in the face, etc. The point is that in that setting I was a corrupt cop who could get away with what he did. No one was a paragon of good. The closest thing we had to a good character was a cavalier who would give everyone one chance to surrender before he road you down like dog and skewered you on the end of his lance. The game was meant to be morally gray and the GM expected us to do bad things. They were socially acceptable. No one would speak up if I grabbed the bartender and shoved him face first into a fire, because it was a scary time and no one wanted the ire of our organisation.

The above mentioned game is a corner case. Most games will not find such behavior acceptable. PC's will not be above the law and can expect their actions to have repercussions. As a player its important to know your game just like the GM must know his players.

When a player goes astray you need to talk to him about your setting and explain what might happen if he does action X which you think is unacceptable. Let him make the decision, but make sure he is informed of what is likely to happen in this setting.

If the character is a thief and wants to steal from everything and anyone then maybe its time to tell him what they do to thieves in these parts. If he continues to be a larcenous thorn in your side then catch him sooner or later. He as a player knew what would happen, his character as a member of the world he lives in should have had some idea as well. Actions have consequences, don't be afraid to use them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

In my games historically, I have warned disruptive or disturbing PC behavior by dropping hints that as the party is gaining reputation or power, they are getting the attention of more important entities... and provide carrots and sticks for behavior respectively. Here's an example to a couple of sticks:

A) The PCs are raiding/intruding/sneaking in a base of some bad guys -- they find in their prisons a dead member of a powerful and/or influential group they either know of (or learn of through this discovery) -- among his possessions is a note that indicates he was captured in this area tasked with spying on the PC who is the torturer. Basically the party is starting to show up as a rising star in power, and while the majority of the group seems like a new piece on the chessboard that could be a force for good, the organization finds that wicked monk may be a corrupting influence. He was tasked to keep an eye on the monk and if reports/divination continue to indicate his imbalance the larger entity intends to "Remove him from the board" lest the party be steered in a direction from law towards chaos. (basically a wealthy, powerful, and good organization will start sending assassins to get HIM specifically) if he doesn't stop, have his next sleep at an inn interrupted by somebody strangling him, or if higher level, have a night hag or some other dream-killer creature start preying on him. If he beats that, let him find another one of their agents dead/captured or whatever -- and this time he'll intercept a communication that if his ways are not observed to change very soon... the organization is going to pay a premium for "The Grey Man" to take care of this disturbing anti-hero. (In game or out of game you can explain that the grey man is a 20th level assassin, out JUST to kill him... if you think the party might be able to police them make them worry he might kill them incidentally (he doesn't leave witnesses or avengers as part of his professional exercise) ... It's a better answer than "No" as a GM, but lets the player know he's digging his own grave.

B) Have the party come to a village on the way to the next thing, but nobody will talk to them, or sell them anything, and basically treats the party like s$~% or just goes into hiding. Windows slam, kids are called inside, women hurry into the temple and close the doors. The only person who will talk to them is the town's protector, a blind oracle with powerful divination abilities. He says he foresaw the coming of a brutal and insensitive torturer, and the fools who stand by and enable his cruelty. He warns them that despite their overarching intentions -- the common people and the gods are more black and white in their perceptions. They should ask themselves if torturers are who they really want to be known as.

C) An aspiring bard/rogue has been following the party, picking up their leavings, treasure they miss, and getting inspiration for songs and stories watching their adventures from afar or picking through the aftermath. The torturing is REALLY centrally featured in the songs, and casts that particular member of the party in a bad light, which gives them an unfavorable reputation. The PC is torturing because it's fun, and lacks consequence. Let him see the consequence, as it may seem less fun.

D) Have a vital introduction or plot point in a mission take place at a party or social event -- the rest of the party is allowed to attend, but the torturer is snubbed. Because of the reputation that guy is getting (via word of mouth from anything like the above 3 sources) the monk is asked to go around "To the servant's entrance" -- there he realizes that he is not to be admitted to the party, but is instead given A HAM SANDWICH and told my several burly guards to wait in the stables. If he starts bullcrap, it begins to disturb the social event -- and the folks in power (who the party need to give them information, or vital item, or the quest, or whatever -- end up asking the PCs to help (their more than adequate defenders) to put the monk down... not diffuse the situation, but literally kill or subdue him for jailing. If he doesn't start crap -- just have him sit there, in the rain with his sandwich -- maybe hearing a jeer about how he's outside because he's a bully and a sadist. Some young ladies gossiping by a window above chitter that the rumor going around is that one of the heroes is an immature sadist... and likely because he's a eunuch or "otherwise stunted in a manly regard." ... stuff like that. Sometimes players like bad reputations... but if your reputation starts to become "you're the prick" ... or "He's crazy from syphalis" or something like that, less so.

E) Monks can be of various faiths, orders, and disceplines. Have the party come across an area where a big feature is an order of monks of the same or almost the same type as the offending monk in the party. They'd normally make great contacts and this would be a huge boon for the monk, and the party -- except the misdeeds of that monk have been reflecting bad on them... and they're REALLY mad about it. They've cultivated a tradition of honor for centuries, now peasants who can't tell one monk from another think they are all bullies and sadists. This can be worked in all sorts of ways -- but if he's not listening after all of what came before, and still won't take the hint or listen when monks of a like practice disdain his actions and ask him to repent... I'd give him a high level foil via this monastery. This could basically be a single-combat fight against a monk he has little or no chance of beating on his own (and if the party decides to fall in with him warn them the entire party's alignment will shift) or if he's overpowered or you don't want to go that route, basically say one of the mischievous patron monks has decided to teach the PC a lesson -- by torturing him. Give this monk insane powers -- and every time the monk turns his back, the monk is doing things like sneaking a turd into his drink-cup, or switching his packed items with similar-shaped rocks, drugging him so that he goes into fights unable to focus his abilities, writes embarassing epithets on his forehead while sleeping, places itching oils in his footwear or robes, blowguns sovereign glue between his fingers from insane range so that he has to fight with twisted up, palsied hands... etc.

F) Have somebody he cares about tortured in revenge by the significant others or handlers of somebody HE tortured. Have them horribly resent him (not be killed, let them live because if they're killed they become martyrs to avenge... NO, this was somebody the PC liked, who thinks he's a DICK now.

G) Get to him via the cleric. If the Cleric is lawful good -- start impressing to the cleric his god (or his angels/whatever) that keep his holy power bills paid, are starting to grumble. Let it start by the cleric getting uneasy when he uses spells/powers on the monk... then after that -- have one fail when on the monk specifically. That should send a clear message. If the cleric thinks he'll lose his POWERS over the monk's shenanigans -- the cleric will either stop healing the monk, or the party will work him away from the table.

If the above doesn't do it... lose the player... because after hints like that, expressed through the narrative of the game, he doesn't need any more chances. Bounce him. It would mean the character isn't just a dick, the player is.

H) Out of game, tell the player that you don't want torture as a part of your stories for the same reason you don't want rape in your stories... it's gross, and detracts from YOUR enjoyment. If he still tries to pull his crap, whack him HARD with the GM stick.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Mutilation after interrogation (i.e. for no lawful or good reason) is the act of a non-lawful evil person.

I believe Monks must be Lawful to remain Monks. Also his Order of Monks may hold certain beliefs that would affect his powers as well.

Also, it is perfectly fine to narrate a certain set of events resulting from his actions, especially if he's been abusing the rules.

Paizo Employee Project Manager

Freedom of expression is great, but in a social gaming setting, I think it has to play second fiddle toward the comfort and enjoyment of the group as a whole. The main goal of playing a game is to have fun. If someone is regularly doing something that impedes everyone else's enjoyment, their behavior is counterproductive to that goal (and we're not talking about some dude who chews with his mouth open and is mildly annoying, here -- we're talking about someone describing pretty gruesome torture in what sounds like a disturbing level of detai).

So I'd check in with the rest of your group and ask them each privately if they were bothered by it. If anyone's answer was "yes," I'd have a firm talk with the guy and tell him it had to stop.

Heck, if *your* answer is a firm yes, he needs to stop. Playing an RPG is a significant time and energy investment, and one of your responsibilities as a GM is to do your best to ensure that that investment remains worth it for all your players. It's an even greater investment for you as the GM, and you have a right to forbid behavior that makes you uncomfortable. You also have the right to draw some bright lines demarcating what is and isn't acceptable in your campaign.

(As far as playing secretly evil characters, there was a secretly evil assassin (posing as a straight-up rogue) in my group before I joined. My understanding is that it nearly broke the group.)


Couple of things to consider.

1) The alignment is a sliding scale that is adjustable by the GM. At minimum their new alignment is Neutral Evil sliding towards Chaotic. Ding that alignment like there's no tomorrow. There are consequences to all actions and one of these should be that they are no longer a Monk.

2) A lot of players act like they are the biggest fish in the pond and anything out there is within their abilities. This is mostly due to lack of world building and a GM's focus on only level equivalent encounters. Show them that this is not true. There are stronger, smarter, faster, more cruel, and more righteous NPCs in the land. Put him on the wrong end of a very strong and righteous paladins crusade and see how he acts. Please do this after said alignment ding. Nothing says stop playing like the idiot like having your character almost die, arrested, tried, sentenced, and thrown into prison.

On second thought...this character is a freaking blessing. You can make whole story arcs around the consequences of his actions and how he and the other players react.


I would personally allow it, but I would consider the alignments of the others characters and ask them if they will allow it. Also, I try to reward bad behavior in character with bad rewards in game too, but it has to be realistic with the setting. Also, if the player makes another character like this in the future I would pull the carpet out from under him.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

All of Vicon's ideas are awesome. I'm definately remembering those for future reference.

While working it through in game, simply take the fun out of it. Just make him say "Yes or No" and no descriptions allowed.

"Are you torturing the prisoner?"
"Yes. I want to..."
"I don't want descriptions. I know you are clever enough to figure out some way to hurt a helpless captive. I only want to know if you are going to do it? Yes or No."
"Yes..." (Sulks)

Then implement Vicon's ideas. Any one. They are all good. You don't need to be subjected to someone elses' fetishes. If neccessary, tell him so in no unclear terms.

I'm dead serious here. Subjecting you to descriptions of vile acts like rape or torture is rude. The only response to rudeness is a stern rebuke. Let him do the act in game and apply the consequences. But the description is limited to, "I torture him."
I stress the period.


One good thing to note is that newbs often play this way, and they often grow out of it. Being able to do anything you want in an imaginary game, where you are not tied to locations or specific actions as you are in a video game, can be a heady experience for a new player. Thus, they are prone to indulging in behavior that they later will likely be embarrassed about.

Again, they typically grow out of it.

But, remember, you also deserve to have fun, so if it continues, and it continues to make you uneasy, you should have a talk with this play outside of the game, to express your unease.


Meh, if someone is making the game less enjoyable for people, tell them.


My solution to your problem ( I run dnd 3.5 game ) iron bands of Bilarro
has a high DC to break or escape from kidnap the pc then explain to him out of game that torture wont be allowed in your game and roll up a new character and new character does the same out of game warn him or her that it wont be allowed or to leave your game

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Community / Gamer Life / Gamer Talk / DM seeking advice on a player who likes to mutilate NPCs. 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.