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Quick Question about Throat Slitting...


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Andoran

So, we're running through Crown of the Kobold King with some "special" characters. One PC is a CN Kobold Rogue who left his tribe for several reasons. In the first dungeon room with kids, one of the Baddy Kobolds stabbed Kimi Eavewalker for 2 points of damage then ran. At that point, the kobold PC SLIT HER THROAT. Evil act? (He seems to think, "Not so much...")


Yes, slitting a child's throat is most definitely an evil act.

Andoran

He claims it was "For Mercy's Sake"...

FWIW, I also said it was evil...and changed his alignment to NE immediately.


In a world where there is healing available, both magical (CLW, potions), and non-magical (Heal Skill), mercy killing is kind of unnecessary.


I would talk with that player outside of the game about actions like that. While it may not be the case, I have a suspicion it's a matter of him believe that CN is an excuse to be CE.


Isn't the whole point of the adventure (at least the first half) to rescue those kids? Killing her is definitely an evil act, regardless.

Andoran

End of the day, I'm not mad about it. I actually find it a little amusing, to be honest. We're not terribly serious about our games, so I'm not looking for "solutions" to the problem. I'm more curious how people view this situation...

The current table discussion is revolving around how "monstrous" races are simply "universally misunderstood" and they don't genuinely consider those sorts of actions evil if they're culturally acceptable/necessary. I have to admit to seeing the logic in that point of view to a certain extent...

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It really doesn't matter what those races think. The Nazis and the Soviets didn't think of the stuff they did as "evil," either. Just "culturally acceptable and necessary."

But hey, if you want to play without the alignment system, by all means go ahead! You're going to have heck of a time explaining things to Kimi's family, though.

Andoran

Trinite wrote:

It really doesn't matter what those races think. The Nazis and the Soviets didn't think of the stuff they did as "evil," either. Just "culturally acceptable and necessary."

But hey, if you want to play without the alignment system, by all means go ahead! You're going to have heck of a time explaining things to Kimi's family, though.

Oh, we aren't playing without alignments, and I told the guys that there would be consequences...unless no one admits to the act. But that's going to raise a whole different set of alignment questions. Luckily (and I use the term "luckily" very loosely here), none of the PCs are lawful...I think there's only one Good PC, actually. I'm GMing, there's the CN Kobold Rogue, CG Human Cleric of Sarenrae, N Elf Wizard, and CN Human Ranger. However, the halfling bard survived (though unconscious when the act occurred) and Mikra Jabbs was hiding under one of the other tables. I'm going to give Mikra a chance to explain to the people of Falcon's Hollow what happened. But, since he's "slow", he may not be able to explain the difference between the kobolds who kidnapped them and the kobold running with these "heroes". I think it's going to make for a lot of fun role playing situations in the future.

Finally, this particular player mentioned after we stopped playing that he's thinking it would be a good idea to run a game where "cultural anthropology is relevant"...ie a party of Good aligned monstrous PCs who constantly struggle with their racial prejudices and inclinations. I believe his exact thoughts included the line, "They perform actions they know are wrong then go home and feel bad about them while eating frozen yogurt". I want to play in THAT game...

EDIT: Just did a quick check of the HeroLab portfolios...CN Kobold Rogue, CN Elven Wizard, NG Human Cleric of Iomedae, and NG Human Ranger. So, the Good PCs have some choices to make, it would seem...

Silver Crusade

This right here is the heart and soul of the alignment argument.

So, in situations like this, I merely apply the maxim of Albert Schweitzer;

"Good is that which promotes life. Evil is that which destroys it."

In a world where objective good and evil exist, this is a pretty good maxim to use, and a fairly simple rule of thumb.

Good is protecting people, healing the sick and the injured, and fighting, and yes, even killing the villain if killing him would promote more life.

Evil is harming others, acting selfishly, that sort of thing.

Despite cultural mores, this IS an evil act if we assume objective good and evil.

Don't quote me on this, since, well, the maxim doesn't necessarily apply all that well to a reality with SUBJECTIVE good and evil (our own)

Real life is all about the shades of grey, but in Pathfinder, you got to remember that black and white are shades of grey too.


darth_gator wrote:
Trinite wrote:

It really doesn't matter what those races think. The Nazis and the Soviets didn't think of the stuff they did as "evil," either. Just "culturally acceptable and necessary."

But hey, if you want to play without the alignment system, by all means go ahead! You're going to have heck of a time explaining things to Kimi's family, though.

Oh, we aren't playing without alignments, and I told the guys that there would be consequences...unless no one admits to the act. But that's going to raise a whole different set of alignment questions. Luckily (and I use the term "luckily" very loosely here), none of the PCs are lawful...I think there's only one Good PC, actually. I'm GMing, there's the CN Kobold Rogue, CG Human Cleric of Sarenrae, N Elf Wizard, and CN Human Ranger. However, the halfling bard survived (though unconscious when the act occurred) and Mikra Jabbs was hiding under one of the other tables. I'm going to give Mikra a chance to explain to the people of Falcon's Hollow what happened. But, since he's "slow", he may not be able to explain the difference between the kobolds who kidnapped them and the kobold running with these "heroes". I think it's going to make for a lot of fun role playing situations in the future.

Finally, this particular player mentioned after we stopped playing that he's thinking it would be a good idea to run a game where "cultural anthropology is relevant"...ie a party of Good aligned monstrous PCs who constantly struggle with their racial prejudices and inclinations. I believe his exact thoughts included the line, "They perform actions they know are wrong then go home and feel bad about them while eating frozen yogurt". I want to play in THAT game...

EDIT: Just did a quick check of the HeroLab portfolios...CN Kobold Rogue, CN Elven Wizard, NG Human Cleric of Iomedae, and NG Human Ranger. So, the Good PCs have some choices to make, it would seem...

I can understand wanting to play that struggle. It can be fun. However, if all the actions end up being "I did something wrong and now I feel bad", that's not too much of a struggle. I feel like it should be more them actively trying hard to suppress those murderous tendencies and occasionally having that failure/misuderstanding of it.

That said, there's a huge difference between cultural difference and slitting a child's throat. It'd at the very least make a kobold think "Hmmm, would my human companions be okay with this?"


At the end of the day, there are more merciful ways to kill than by slitting the throat.


darth_gator wrote:
So, we're running through Crown of the Kobold King with some "special" characters. One PC is a CN Kobold Rogue who left his tribe for several reasons. In the first dungeon room with kids, one of the Baddy Kobolds stabbed Kimi Eavewalker for 2 points of damage then ran. At that point, the kobold PC SLIT HER THROAT. Evil act? (He seems to think, "Not so much...")

It's an evil act, but it shouldn't make the kobold evil right away. Its a chaotic neutral kobold. It will take several evil acts and no countervailing good acts, for the kobold to become evil.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Culturally acceptable vs good and evil? While he was completely right in his line of thinking, I'd think stuff like that goes on in the kobold cave he grew up in quite often, it is an evil act though where I grew up. If he thought he was helping her maybe he isn't really that evil after all.

That said, premarital sex is evil in this day and age, depending on where you grow up, some places not so much though. So, how do you even begin to define something like that? Who has the moral "high ground"? Does having premarital sex make me evil because of some outdated philosophy? Is it ok because in my society its acceptable? Slitting a throat, having a little fun in the sheets, same thing.

Is the kob evil? You tell me. I think his intentions, the real ones and not that pathetic load of tripe for an excuse he handed you, are what really defines the action one way or the other. Different strokes for different folks. You can't judge someones actions by your own limited views. Find out the true intent before you hang him.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If I were an NG Cleric of Iomedae in that situation, that kobold would be dead. Immediately. I think Iomedae is pretty strict on the "no murdering children" thing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Trinite wrote:
If I were an NG Cleric of Iomedae in that situation, that kobold would be dead. Immediately. I think Iomedae is pretty strict on the "no murdering children" thing.

Absolutely correct. In this case he was certainly evil, not preforming a merciful service. You're a cleric, a healer, no reason to put the kid out her misery with a doctor in the house. Sadly, back in the old kobold cave the only crusading clerics of a LG goddess they were likely to see are the ones coming to murder them. Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe he just thought he was saving the kid from you?

So, while you're right in the situation you just proposed, it still stands, intent is what counts as far being evil or not goes. Was he trying to save the child from bleeding out and dying slow, or just getting in a giggle? Realistically? Yeah, we all know it was for player giggles, but this is exactly why I don't allow my players to roll monsters. Way too many misunderstandings just begging to happen.

Silver Crusade

in D&D this wouldn't be a wrong doing since the most common explanation on CN was "Might save your life, might steel your car" but since pathfinder changed the idea of CN, which I have decided weather I agree or disagree with it, I find it perfectly acceptable to change his alignment. However I think switching him to CE would have been better since NE means that there actions are based personal gain, and even NE have second thoughts about killing children. CE doesn't give a F... and will kill and torture those who wrong them.

Silver Crusade

Trinite wrote:
If I were an NG Cleric of Iomedae in that situation, that kobold would be dead. Immediately. I think Iomedae is pretty strict on the "no murdering children" thing.

I played a Paladin of Iomedae and that is one of her laws. She is a no leeway goddess if the cleric knows this happened and did nothing about it short of killing him themselves or locking them away forever they have a vary high chance of loosing there powers. just saying


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Syberfang wrote:
even NE have second thoughts about killing children. CE doesn't give a F... and will kill and torture those who wrong them.

Huh? As far as I remember, killing for sheer convenience, no matter who the victim is, was solidly into NE territory.

As for that particular character, I am with you. Since he was chaotic to begin with, I'd simply adjust his position on the good-vs-evil axis...

Silver Crusade

An NE would have a good well benefiting reason for killing a child, I've never known them to just randomly kill unless they were in a high position of authority, or a thief or something. NE are smart and would rather not deal with consequences of horrific actions, like hey one of my party is a cleric of Iomedae, I'm gonna kill a child. That is definitely CE territory.


People who are NE can be selfish but stupid, just like a CE Antipaladin of Norgorber can be an evil genius.

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