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RPG Superstar 2015

Discuss your Top 10 "Monsters" you wish were a different Alignment.


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Odraude wrote:
Who said I am? I'm just explain why I'm okay with certain things being evil.

Eh, that's what I get for ranting I suppose. I was referring to several posters, including LazarX who have oft implied that I (or others) want all undead (or anything else with a forced alignment) to be good or commonly accepted, or somesuch.

The closest thing I have to that sort of thing in my own campaign is a colony (that is connected politically to a desert dwelling civilization that is lightly influenced by egyptian culture from our own world) that is governed by a single lich, and their manual labor force is composed of mindless undead. However, a good 98% of their population (not counting the wrapped skeleton plows) are living, breathing, heart beating individuals. Most of them are born, live relatively normal lives, then die. Their bodies are then animated and placed in the workforce doing manual labor. Occasionally, an individual with an important task may be raised as an undead creature, but due to their religious beliefs many forgo the option of undeath in favor of going on to their afterlife (which unlike in our reality, the existence of an afterlife is not only confirm-able, but you can even meet people from the afterlife!). Most of the undead people in this culture are those who have volunteered for a task or purpose that extends beyond their lives, such as the mummified court guardians, or the governess herself.

Of course, that's in this nice little magic-progressive society that is on the edge of the main continent, and their diplomatic relations aren't exactly stellar with those around them (and a lot of that is due to the fact the natives find their undead workforce to be creepy).

The vast majority of my campaign is innately unfriendly towards undead, with my favorite region in the world being outright hostile to undead (with inquisitions and the like, even). A grand part of this is because the colonists are not native to this land, and this land has seen far more uses of necromantic magics put to evil ends than not. There is a tyrant king whose a very not-nice necromancer type fellow elsewhere on the continent. Evil necromancers used undead animation because they make good mooks who don't talk back or worry about their own safety and don't talk about your plans to nosy adventurers). In one country, the very practice of either animating the dead or summoning fiends (even with summon monster I-IX) is an offense punishable by jailing and branding you with a mark on your face (ouch)!

Having been looking over Kieth Baker's blog, I really like this guy. He says it better than I ever could, I think.

Kieth Baker wrote:
I want my fantasy worlds to feel logical… and as such I believe that for the most part, any creature that possesses free will and human-par intelligence should have the same diversity you find in humans and should be affected by the same factors – culture, history, environment, and so on. I say “for the most part”, because in a magical world a non-human species could have any number of abilities that should have an effect on culture; a telepathic race in which each city has a gestalt personality might have diversity between its city-group-minds, while the individuals within a city are virtually identical.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
Who said I am? I'm just explain why I'm okay with certain things being evil.

You weren't, but several posters were and some actually have a history of habitually reducing the preferences of others to a ridiculous caricature or extreme.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Curse of the Crimson Throne derailage horror story

Wow. Condolences on having one of the best APs completely shot to pieces. Here's hoping you get to run through it with players that are actually open to what the AP is about. It really doesn't run well at all with players that go the extreme black and white insanity/"good means killing evil!" route. That AP can't reach its full potentially played that way.

Probably a good thing they never ran into a local cleric of Asmodeus on the streets.


In my main homebrew setting, undead are not inherently evil. They can act however they like. There's an order of undead paladins who persist beyond death because they swore an oath not to rest until their holy work is done.

But all undead (except the paladins) detect as evil and can be smited as evil.

This is because all undeath beside those oathbound few that oppose them are fragments of an evil god. Undead are created by summoning a piece of that god into a body, or by that god allowing a body to become host to it for whatever reason.

At any time, anywhere, an undead possessed by that dark power can become that god's avatar, a CR 25 undead monstrosity with hideous powers.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Regarding the argument that having creatures not being Always Chaotic Evil nerfs paladins:

I love paladins. I'm a paladin player. And a gameplay style I absolutely do not want to be forced to play is the murderhobo/"it looks evil, let's kill it!" style.

I hate the idea of morality based on race, appearance, aesthetics, etc. I want good and evil to actually mean something. I like tropes like Dark Is Not Evil/Light Is Not Good. I absolutely detest tropes like Beauty Equals Goodness. And I want my paladins, actually...all of my good aligned characters, to think about what they're doing.

And that doesn't lead to a morality play in every encounter, despite some naysayers trying to paint it as such.

The murderhobo/kill-all-X style of play was what damn near drove me away from the game in my earliest experiences, and I sure as hell am not ever going back to it as a player or a GM.

Also, Redeemer is the best paladin archetype.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

On the whole issue of morality and choice, I say that lacking choice doesn't mean you action isn't evil. In Golarion, default pathfinder, good and evil are universal absolutes, and personal circumstances don't change them. Think particle charges. You've got positive, negative, and neutral. In D&D, all actions, including thoughts/intents, are likewise inherently good, evil, or neutral. That's why paladins have to receive atonement for unintentional evil acts. Whether they knew it or not, their action still had it's inherent 'evilness'. Thus, undead who commit 'evil' action are 'evil' because of what they do, not what they want to do.

This is actually one of the things I really like about D&D/Pathfinder. Good and evil are universal constants. With simple divination magic you know where people and things stand. However, this does not actually simplify the difficulty in choosing right/wrong. Since good and evil are balanced universal forces like law and chaos, either one of them is equally valid. Good and evil don't change from person to person, but right and wrong do. I mean, do you really want to follow some dippy artist who floats among the clouds and lacks the organization to affect meaningful change on the multi-verse? Sure she's 'good' and all, but what if I need something done? That Asmodeus and his crew though, particularly Moloch, they get things done. And you know what, maybe I would rather have an effective boss with a successful organization? If so, then 'right' is doing things that further hell's agenda, which usually means evil. Doing good is 'wrong' because it's probably interfering with my goal of becoming a successful mid-level manager in hell's bureaucracy.

Anyway, for creatures with different alignments, I'm definitely on the gargoyle bandwagon. Those guys need to be lurking among the statuary of cathedrals, eating pigeons and guarding the holy/unholy site against any who wish to defile it. Alignment: variable. Have different types/breeds for different alignments, ones of various alignments claiming territory at holy sites that match their alignments, or maybe even have their alignment be determined by where they are born/where they are living. Abandoned temple complex to the empyreal lords whose sole inhabitants are a tribe of gargoyles who have been there for untold eons. So long have they been here that they are almost one with the temple. (Any takers?)


Ashiel wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Hecknoshow wrote:
I've never understood the whole stance of, eating sentient is "evil" while eating animals isn't. Sure, if it's unnecessary that'd be evil. But if you have to do it to survive, well it's not really that malicious is it.

Something doesn't have to be done with sadistic glee to be morally wrong. Evil is being callous enough to hurt innocent people. If I developed a medical condition that meant I had to eat a still-beating human heart every day or I'd die, then the only non-evil thing to do would be to choose to die.

The thing about having non-evil undead is that the implications for the world would be pretty bizarre. Getting turned into a lich or a vampire wouldn't be some terrible transgression or a fate worse than death; it would be a routine medical treatment.

That I think is pretty much how Ashiel's crowd WOULD prefer to have it. Along with common use of undead as house servants.

*facepalm*

What an awesomely baseless insinuation. I prefer sentient creatures to be like sentient creatures and people imply that I want sparkly vampires (I hate Twilight by the way) or I don't want any undead villains (as I've noted before, the vast majority of my games use evil undead at many points throughout). It's baseless and there is no reason to trying to twist my position that way except to make up for a lack of substance on the alternative by attempting to misrepresent my position.

The reference the book 30 Years Of Adventure, it describes pretty much the exact problem with this automatically turning evil nonsense. Vampires had become jokes. They were just another mindless monster to kill in a room. Ravenloft on the other hand paints you a picture with a vampire who is more like a real person. A tragic person. A tragic evil person who incidentally is not evil for being a vampire but because he was evil. Gonna hijack a bit from Wikipedia on...

*AutoSnip*

In all of these cases, the evil vampires are cool because they are not vampire evils. They are evil individuals who happen to be vampires. I've drawn on these sorts of inspirations before in the past when working on adventures involving vampires -- and I must say that the temptation to do so again rises as I discuss this topic.

But it would be really really cool if you guys would stop equating the desire to drop forced alignments and nonsensical alignments with wanting all undead, demons, devils, and monsters to run around with peace signs and flower arrangements.

Well, since you already bolded the important part...

Pretty much, from my angle, my own desire matches yours to some extent. Have The Evil ones be Evil because they really are evil, as opposed to other reasons.

And in a slightly more modernized take, one could have a number of Good Vampires, perhaps introduced early on, dealing with mistrust of them with sly/Creepy-wit, but are otherwise Moral; only for later another group of Vampires to show up that lowers themselves to society's expectations of being evil.

In other words, Good and Evil should be equally Viable. It's Equally Viable for a human to be the Villain as the Hero, so Vampires would probably be similar; Meaning the offset towards evil would be mostly only because of the fact that Most people who want to be a vampire in the setting are already evil.

Note the word "Viable" is different to saying they are Completely equal in number. It's the difference between saying that a specific person that "Just woke up that way" can go either way, and that Everywhere there are vampires there are as many bad as good.

Sudden interesting thought... Have a single "Gypsy style" Vampire caravan that moves from kingdom to kingdom, filled with good Vampires. They Comprise the vast Majority of Good Vampires, and the players meet them regularly. But whatever kingdom they go to, They are outnumbered by the Evil vampires by about 100 to 1... making Evil vampires Over all Nations outnumber them by about 2400 to 1.

Eh... It's one thought.


To those saying that removing absolute alignment from sentient creatures wouldn't make every encounter a morality play, I suppose a large part of that comes down to playstyle.

I play good characters almost exclusively. I play D&D because I want to assume the role of a hero, not a villain or anti-hero. And in playing a Good character, killing a sentient being is not to be taken lightly.

Knowing that certain things are inherently evil makes some of these encounters simpler, although even in such a setup complications can still occur. (My PC is currently trying to find a way to power his group's airship without enslaving a sentient elemental.)

I'd just rather they not occur as often as they would, should every intelligent race be as capable of good or evil as human beings are.

That is my rote stance on the issue. Some creatures in particular I object to on thematic grounds. The undead in particular. For me the undead are, at their core, an embodiment of *wrongness.* They go against the natural order, and are classically evil. I admit that modern culture has altered this in pop culture to a great degree, but I prefer the classical interpretation. :)

Regarding angels/demons, I've always portrayed them as the same race. A fallen angel becomes a devil, a redeemed devil becomes an angel again, etc.


Mikaze wrote:

Regarding the argument that having creatures not being Always Chaotic Evil nerfs paladins:

I love paladins. I'm a paladin player. And a gameplay style I absolutely do not want to be forced to play is the murderhobo/"it looks evil, let's kill it!" style.

I hate the idea of morality based on race, appearance, aesthetics, etc. I want good and evil to actually mean something. I like tropes like Dark Is Not Evil/Light Is Not Good. I absolutely detest tropes like Beauty Equals Goodness. And I want my paladins, actually...all of my good aligned characters, to think about what they're doing.

And that doesn't lead to a morality play in every encounter, despite some naysayers trying to paint it as such.

The murderhobo/kill-all-X style of play was what damn near drove me away from the game in my earliest experiences, and I sure as hell am not ever going back to it as a player or a GM.

Also, Redeemer is the best paladin archetype.

Good news for you, I made a variant of the Redeemer as a racial archetype for one of my homebrews.

Then again, I beefed up some of the combat abilities and gave it additional Diplomacy bonuses.

They're really the kind of Paladins I'd expect both Sarenrae and Iomedae to have, and I'm not getting rid of the original Redeemer's flavor.


Lord Pendragon wrote:

To those saying that removing absolute alignment from sentient creatures wouldn't make every encounter a morality play, I suppose a large part of that comes down to playstyle.

I play good characters almost exclusively. I play D&D because I want to assume the role of a hero, not a villain or anti-hero. And in playing a Good character, killing a sentient being is not to be taken lightly.

I play almost entirely good characters, so I don't believe you. My good characters often spare evil characters because they have no desire to kill anyone, regardless of labels. However, I still hate forced alignments because they add nothing to the game and detract much from it. Virtually any situation that would cause me to kill an evil sentient creature would cause me to kill a good one as well (though a good one is less likely to be involved in such a situation).

Quote:
Knowing that certain things are inherently evil makes some of these encounters simpler, although even in such a setup complications can still occur. (My PC is currently trying to find a way to power his group's airship without enslaving a sentient elemental.)

Why not just create an engine that functions with a repeating burning hands trap at CL 5 inside a boiler that is fed water through a create water resetting trap, both of which are activated using a red button and blue button respectively. The steam from the boiling water could then be used to turn your gears for propellers. A similar system could be used to create hot air balloons.

Quote:
I'd just rather they not occur as often as they would, should every intelligent race be as capable of good or evil as human beings are.

So you're saying you want intelligence, but not sentience?

Quote:
That is my rote stance on the issue. Some creatures in particular I object to on thematic grounds. The undead in particular. For me the undead are, at their core, an embodiment of *wrongness.* They go against the natural order, and are classically evil. I admit that modern culture has altered this in pop culture to a great degree, but I prefer the classical interpretation. :)

Magic is against the natural order. Based on the lore for most of the undead, undead are as natural as druid magic. Also I disagree that they are classically evil. It depends on where you are getting your classics. A mummy is not classically evil for example. Ghouls are not even "classically" undead.


Lord Pendragon wrote:

To those saying that removing absolute alignment from sentient creatures wouldn't make every encounter a morality play, I suppose a large part of that comes down to playstyle.

I play good characters almost exclusively. I play D&D because I want to assume the role of a hero, not a villain or anti-hero. And in playing a Good character, killing a sentient being is not to be taken lightly.

Knowing that certain things are inherently evil makes some of these encounters simpler, although even in such a setup complications can still occur. (My PC is currently trying to find a way to power his group's airship without enslaving a sentient elemental.)

I'd just rather they not occur as often as they would, should every intelligent race be as capable of good or evil as human beings are.

That is my rote stance on the issue. Some creatures in particular I object to on thematic grounds. The undead in particular. For me the undead are, at their core, an embodiment of *wrongness.* They go against the natural order, and are classically evil. I admit that modern culture has altered this in pop culture to a great degree, but I prefer the classical interpretation. :)

Regarding angels/demons, I've always portrayed them as the same race. A fallen angel becomes a devil, a redeemed devil becomes an angel again, etc.

As an address to that... Technically, according to who you ask in the setting, Cyborgs, Robots and Sentient Constructs... Heck, even "living" constructs could be seen the same way. Esspecially by Druids.

Of course, by that logic, It's technically possible to kill "Good" undead" and still be good, so long as it's seen as some kind of mercy killing; and that the act helps undo corruption to the world at large.

I'm not personally one for that view, but it's one that Neutral Good Followers of Pharasma are going to have to look at it as.


What is "natural" in a fantasy world? Hell, what is natural in our own world? By logic, there is likely nothing that can happen that is not "natural". Iron naturally turns to steel through processing. Sand naturally can be blown into glass. Computers are built out of natural components and function based on natural principles of nature and physics.

So what most would define as "natural" would likely be trimmed down to things that occur without the interference of others. If that is the case, undeath is more "natural" than a sword, because undeath can occur through a natural process. No one has to engineer the creation of a ghost, for example. Some undead are born through a saturation of a natural element. Incidentally, before PF removed the "wightocolypse effect", through both 3.0 and 3.5, being slain by negative levels resulted in you becoming undead (yes, a 1st level evil person who picked up a +1 holy arrow would die an rise as an undead).

Now under most definitions of natural we would use in reality all magic is unnatural. However if magic is natural in a fantasy world then it is subject to the natural laws of the world, which means if harnessing energy and turning it into a fireball is natural or turning yourself into a wolf with beast shape I then so to is raise dead and animate dead just as natural because they are following the same laws and natural effects of the universe just as sand is when it is blown into glass, because it was a process that is done by applying knowledge of how the universe functions to achieve a desired effect.

By all accounts, a druid who turns into a wolf has just as much "natural wrongness" involved in it as any other act of magic. I'm sure druids would argue that their magics are natural and not abominations against the natural order of the world.

If we return to "what only occurs naturally" then wizards in general are abominable because they cannot cast magic naturally and must use study and the manipulation of principles of the universe to achieve their effects. Sorcerers would be "natural", as apparently would Bards. Clerics and Druids are iffy, since it is not "natural" for humans to possess magic and it is clearly learned or granted by an outside source. In this interpretation, all constructs are also abominations made of absolute wrongness. Ironically, undead are not in this case, because again undeath can occur in nature, making undead more "natural" than anything else described here.

"It's not natural" is a fail in fantasy.

Shadow Lodge

I though Aberrations were the embodiment of wrongness and against the natural order.


Hecknoshow wrote:
I though Aberrations were the embodiment of wrongness and against the natural order.

Or aliens.

EDIT: What I mean is that there is also a lot of lore in 3.x (especially towards latter 3e/3.5) that emphasizes aberrations being connected to mysteries beyond the stars, aliens, and cthulu-type stuff as well. Mind flayers were time traveling aberrations that became particularly famous during Spelljammer as well (though I've never bothered to play spelljammer because certain things in the setting turned me off).


I build monstrously-sized critters from the Cambrian Explosion as aberrations.


Ashiel wrote:

What is "natural" in a fantasy world? Hell, what is natural in our own world? By logic, there is likely nothing that can happen that is not "natural". Iron naturally turns to steel through processing. Sand naturally can be blown into glass. Computers are built out of natural components and function based on natural principles of nature and physics.

So what most would define as "natural" would likely be trimmed down to things that occur without the interference of others. If that is the case, undeath is more "natural" than a sword, because undeath can occur through a natural process. No one has to engineer the creation of a ghost, for example. Some undead are born through a saturation of a natural element. Incidentally, before PF removed the "wightocolypse effect", through both 3.0 and 3.5, being slain by negative levels resulted in you becoming undead (yes, a 1st level evil person who picked up a +1 holy arrow would die an rise as an undead).

Now under most definitions of natural we would use in reality all magic is unnatural. However if magic is natural in a fantasy world then it is subject to the natural laws of the world, which means if harnessing energy and turning it into a fireball is natural or turning yourself into a wolf with beast shape I then so to is raise dead and animate dead just as natural because they are following the same laws and natural effects of the universe just as sand is when it is blown into glass, because it was a process that is done by applying knowledge of how the universe functions to achieve a desired effect.

By all accounts, a druid who turns into a wolf has just as much "natural wrongness" involved in it as any other act of magic. I'm sure druids would argue that their magics are natural and not abominations against the natural order of the world.

If we return to "what only occurs naturally" then wizards in general are abominable because they cannot cast magic naturally and must use study and the manipulation of principles of the...

That's a long way to say that "Natural is a matter of perspective".

As I said in post above you (as an address to the same issue, probably to the same person you appear to be addressing) before changing topic, Robots, cyborgs, Constructs, and Living Constructs; would all be considered "Unnatural". But the only ones that decide its a Bad thing are Druids, who are Neutral.

And not a single Being in Pathfinder other than Druids would think a Numerian Robot should be destroyed for being a Robot. They'd have other reasons for particular ones, but not for being robots.

And since Robots are Always Intelligent (their subtype gives it to them), they are also, to a degree, Sentient.

Now Replace all the above uses of the Word "Robot" with "intelligent Undead" and "Druid" with "Cleric of Pharasma" and you begin to see things... clearer.

In short, You're right, Arguing for "Natural" is fail...

Unless your role-playing as a worshiper of a god that Prefers things to follow a certain way; Such as Pharasma or the Druid's Green Way, both of which are decidedly Neutral.


BlueStorm wrote:

That's a long way to say that "Natural is a matter of perspective".

As I said in post above you (as an address to the same issue, probably to the same person you appear to be addressing) before changing topic, Robots, cyborgs, Constructs, and Living Constructs; would all be considered "Unnatural". But the only ones that decide its a Bad thing are Druids, who are Neutral.

And not a single Being in Pathfinder other than Druids would think a Numerian Robot should be destroyed for being a Robot. They'd have other reasons for particular ones, but not for being robots.

And since Robots are Always Intelligent (their subtype gives it to them), they are also, to a degree, Sentient.

Now Replace all the above uses of the Word "Robot" with "intelligent Undead" and "Druid" with "Cleric of Pharasma" and you begin to see things... clearer.

In short, You're right, Arguing for "Natural" is fail...

Unless your role-playing as a worshiper of a god that Prefers things to follow a certain way; Such as Pharasma or the Druid's Green Way, both of which are decidedly Neutral.

Ahh, but Neutral is their alignment (though Pharasma has Good and Evil clerics as well, and there are Good and Evil druids as well), their hatred is based on religious belief or personal philosophy. One can say "it's not natural" but that's a statement of demonstrate-able ignorance and likely used purely because it sounds bad to people who are dumb.

"That's unnatural! Here take this fabricated sword, which has been enhanced to burn magically without a fuel source, that did not grow on a tree and slay the unnatural heathen!"

Yeah. That pretty much sums up the stupidity in arguing natural vs unnatural. If someone actually wanted to argue something, they need to prove something with logic. Otherwise their stance is invalid. Of course, we're talking about religious nutcases here (I'm not saying that being religious makes you a nutcase, I'm saying being a cleric of Pharasma and certain druid orders borders on insanity if not stepping over the line). Heck, Pharasmian clerics are insane for believing that their god knows everything that will ever happen in a world where free will exists (and thus things cannot be pre-ordained or free will is only a non-existent illusion), but I'm sure it would tick them off to point it out.

Someone mentioned that Good and Evil are tangible realities in D&D. That's correct. Those tangible realities are explained in the alignment section.

PRD wrote:

A creature's general moral and personal attitudes are represented by its alignment: lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good, lawful neutral, neutral, chaotic neutral, lawful evil, neutral evil, or chaotic evil.

Alignment is a tool for developing your character's identity—it is not a straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the same alignment can still be quite different from each other. In addition, few people are completely consistent.

All creatures have an alignment. Alignment determines the effectiveness of some spells and magic items.

Animals and other creatures incapable of moral action are neutral. Even deadly vipers and tigers that eat people are neutral because they lack the capacity for morally right or wrong behavior. Dogs may be obedient and cats free-spirited, but they do not have the moral capacity to be truly lawful or chaotic.

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.

Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others.

Now we have Good and Evil on the table. So now let us through scientific process weed out different points and see where things are in error.

Mindless undead (and lemures)
They are mindless and incapable of moral consideration. Regardless of how they act, the actual alignment rules say they are Neutral. The Bestiary is in error, because the core alignment rules say it is wrong and there is no special effect in place to change the rule.

Cannibalism / Blood Drinking
If the character is eating already dead bodies then there is no hurting, oppressing, or killing going on. We can see that this is a neutral act. It is not hostile, it is not evil. It is gross, but it is not evil.

Attacking, disabling, or killing people for you hunger is evil, but on the grounds that harming, oppressing, or murdering people is evil. In this case the ghoul is committing evil as a means of sating its hunger.

In the case of vampires who do accept donated blood (as in, willing donors), one could even consider the vampire to not only be committing no evil, but actually committing good, because it is a respect for life and the dignity of sentient beings.

However, the common modus operandi for vampires to get what they want is more heavily leaned to the EVIL end of the scale. Most vampires are perfectly willing to dominate creatures (oppression), drink their blood until they are dead (killing them), and treat them as cattle (debasing their dignity as sentient beings).

Conclusion
We can see that mindless undead are in fact Neutral aligned. That's RAW. We can also see that neither eating corpses nor drinking blood is in and of itself evil. Which means that ghouls and vampires that are evil must be evil not because they are undead, but because they are evil individuals. Unfortunately, the rules (in the case of the vampire template) do not reflect this. By order of alignment rules, the template should have little to nothing to do with alignment at all, because a character's alignment is both not a strait jacket and a representation of the character's moral and ethical will.


Ashiel wrote:
BlueStorm wrote:

That's a long way to say that "Natural is a matter of perspective".

As I said in post above you (as an address to the same issue, probably to the same person you appear to be addressing) before changing topic, Robots, cyborgs, Constructs, and Living Constructs; would all be considered "Unnatural". But the only ones that decide its a Bad thing are Druids, who are Neutral.

And not a single Being in Pathfinder other than Druids would think a Numerian Robot should be destroyed for being a Robot. They'd have other reasons for particular ones, but not for being robots.

And since Robots are Always Intelligent (their subtype gives it to them), they are also, to a degree, Sentient.

Now Replace all the above uses of the Word "Robot" with "intelligent Undead" and "Druid" with "Cleric of Pharasma" and you begin to see things... clearer.

In short, You're right, Arguing for "Natural" is fail...

Unless your role-playing as a worshiper of a god that Prefers things to follow a certain way; Such as Pharasma or the Druid's Green Way, both of which are decidedly Neutral.

Ahh, but Neutral is their alignment (though Pharasma has Good and Evil clerics as well, and there are Good and Evil druids as well), their hatred is based on religious belief or personal philosophy. One can say "it's not natural" but that's a statement of demonstrate-able ignorance and likely used purely because it sounds bad to people who are dumb.

"That's unnatural! Here take this fabricated sword, which has been enhanced to burn magically without a fuel source, that did not grow on a tree and slay the unnatural heathen!"

Yeah. That pretty much sums up the stupidity in arguing natural vs unnatural. If someone actually wanted to argue something, they need to prove something with logic. Otherwise their stance is invalid. Of course, we're talking about religious nutcases here (I'm not saying that being religious makes you a nutcase, I'm saying being a cleric of Pharasma and certain druid orders...

Pharasma's view isn't totally without Logic, but only when one considers that her Job of judging the dead, in practice comes across more as "recruiter for the outer Planes Forces, all alignments welcome". In which case her followers claiming its "unnatural" is wrong, but her actual point may be that "Mature Souls are needed to expand the outer Sphere, Undeath Slows that Process."

...But... One needs to remember there are a good half a dozen ways to prevent death, such as Wizardry (Immortality Discovery), Alchemy (eternal youth), A Druid template (Reincarnated Druid has Auto Reincarnate), Oracle Mysteries (Time, Heavens) and a Template (Enlightenment Philosopher is also Auto reincarnate), some Monks (Four winds is Immortal i think), timeless planes (No aging, so long as you stay there, Also Counts as TARDIS if you have Astral Projection), and some class Template abilities that turn one into an outsider (which are implied to be immortal) such as the Paladin's Empyreal Knight.

Although Pharasma probably has a problem with all of these, she only speaks against Undead? What The? I...

*shrug*

Pharasma's got Weird priorities.

Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that what her followers Claim is the point (being unnatural) might not be her actual point (the outer planes needs YOU! Yes, YOU! And to do that, You must die eventually.)

Still not a point on behalf of Good though, and in fact, its incredibly annoying.

The Setting I'm home-brewing up Kinda Nukes away Pharasma... Literally... so I won't have to deal with that logic. The rest of the Outer Planes save for Hell and the Maelstrom are also nuked, but that's a Different story.


Ashiel wrote:

Mindless undead (and lemures)

They are mindless and incapable of moral consideration. Regardless of how they act, the actual alignment rules say they are Neutral. The Bestiary is in error, because the core alignment rules say it is wrong and there is no special effect in place to change the rule.

Well, not by rules. Specific trumps general, and thus the bestiary trumps the Core book. Lemures and undead are evil, by a specific rule in the bestiary, which trumps the general rule in the Core Book.

You might make a case about it not being desirable, or whatever, but right now, RAW, it's so.


Pathfinder is derived from D&D (read, copy-pasted from it) and follows some of the dumber changes from 3.5e.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Who said I am? I'm just explain why I'm okay with certain things being evil.
You weren't, but several posters were and some actually have a history of habitually reducing the preferences of others to a ridiculous caricature or extreme.

The really funny thing is that you completely don't mind when posters aligned with you call things "ridiculous", "dumb" or question the intelligence of people who write the books.

Which is nothing else than reducing the preferences of others to a ridiculous caricature or extreme.

Double standards and all that. :)


...I don't even get what you're trying to say this time.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

He's accusing Mikaze and those on her side of the argument of being okay with the same thing they're deriding, as long as it agrees with them.


Which is of course completely wrong.

Then again, I already know Gorbacz loves to troll.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Mindless undead (and lemures)

They are mindless and incapable of moral consideration. Regardless of how they act, the actual alignment rules say they are Neutral. The Bestiary is in error, because the core alignment rules say it is wrong and there is no special effect in place to change the rule.

Well, not by rules. Specific trumps general, and thus the bestiary trumps the Core book. Lemures and undead are evil, by a specific rule in the bestiary, which trumps the general rule in the Core Book.

You might make a case about it not being desirable, or whatever, but right now, RAW, it's so.

Yes. Specifically, the alignment rules are specifically what govern alignment. Ergo, it is clear that since skeletons and zombies lack a special ability that would make them stand out from the law, their alignment is in error. The specific alignment rules trump general (the listed alignment for the creature), because the bestiary is referencing the alignment rules and does not declare an exception.

Specific trumps general is an important part of exception based design, but it must have something that creates that exception, otherwise it is an error. Mindless creatures without some special rule calling them out as exceptions are in error. Because the specifics (the actual alignment mechanics) say they are with no exception based mechanic (the specific exception).

A fine example would be the Tyrannosaurus. It inflicts x2 its Strength damage with its bite instead of x1.5 as normal. It declares this exception to its statblock from the normal rules for damage with its Powerful Bite ability. If it did not have its ability declaring an exception, the damage would be in error. In the same way unless a mindless creature has a quality declaring it to not follow the alignment rules then its alignment is likewise in error.

In some cases, there are exceptions based on effects. By the alignment rules, Lemure devils are Neutral aligned. However, the possess the Devil, Law, and Evil subtypes. So even though they are Neutral morally (for being mindless) they are for all intents and purposes considered Evil by virtue of their subtypes (see creature types and subtypes; Chaos, Evil, Law, and Good).

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

I think you run into alot of cases where corruption/unnatural = evil. This seems to be the case regarding aberrations and undead, regardless of how you personally view them (unnatural or not). They are attacked by people yelling "Die monster, you don't belong in this world!" and labeled as evil to justify the violence.

A 3 axis alignment system with good vs evil, law vs chaos, and corruption vs purity would fix alot of it, though I admit it complicates the weak alignment system even more. As an example, a paladin is lawful pure good, but someone who obeys the laws and helps the people but does it in horrifying and gruesome ways would be lawful corrupt good. A lawful pure evil person works within the laws for his personal gain without regard to other people, where a lawful corrupt evil person uses the laws to get what he wants, frequently harming people to "make a point". Pure evil steals your money, corrupt evil makes a point of killing you first, just in case.

The result would be that most things currently labeled "evil" would actually move to "corrupt". Having both good and evil PCs together in a group wouldn't be a problem, assuming they weren't also opposed by purity/corruption.

I haven't developed this idea much, but as an example, your "Badman von Evilface, Eater of Babies" vampire is lawful corrupt evil, and your "His Selfishness Lord Meanie Nogood" vampire is lawful pure evil. A paladin of Iomedae is lawful pure good and an inquisitor of Iomedae is lawful corrupt good.

If you don't like having an alignment system to start with, this isn't for you. Saying, "I don't like the alignment system, we should scrap it not expand it." means you've found your own solution to the problem already. This is for people who want to keep the alignment system, but try to refine it a bit more.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Mindless undead (and lemures)

They are mindless and incapable of moral consideration. Regardless of how they act, the actual alignment rules say they are Neutral. The Bestiary is in error, because the core alignment rules say it is wrong and there is no special effect in place to change the rule.

Well, not by rules. Specific trumps general, and thus the bestiary trumps the Core book. Lemures and undead are evil, by a specific rule in the bestiary, which trumps the general rule in the Core Book.

You might make a case about it not being desirable, or whatever, but right now, RAW, it's so.

Actually, It's the Very beastiry that says that Uninteligent Creatures are Neutral. It's on the Introduction page under "Alignment, Size and Type".

Quote:
creatures with an intelligence of 2 or lower are almost Never anything other than Neutral

Other books Claim that some level of understanding of what exactly they are doing is required for any alignment other than Neutral.

Of Course, other rules mention the Alignment subtypes, that work under the general assumption that if a creature moves into an alignment other than the subtype, then it still detects and is hurt as if it was that alignment, as well as the New Alignment. (What?! It's Detecting as Good AND Evil?! That's... odd...)

So you could have a Chaotic Good Devil, but the rules would say that they'd still be hurt by anti-law and Anti-Evil Spells.

Of course, Undead don't have those Subtypes usually.

What else does the Bestairy Say?

Quote:
While a Monster's Size and type remain constant (unless changed by Templates and other unusual Modifiers), Alignment is far more Fluid. The Alignments Listed are the usual for those Monsters-- they can vary as much as you require them to in order to serve the needs of your campaign. Only in the case of relatively unintelligent monsters...

Let's skip ahead a little, I've already quoted the Bracketed part.

Quote:
and Planar monsters (Outsiders with Alignments other than the kind listed are unusual and typically outcasts from their kind) is the listed Alignment Relatively Unchangeable.

If you look at it as a whole, They seem to pick their words carefully. beings bellow two are "Almost" never... Planar monsters have "Relatively" Unchangeable...

Really, they want us to make up our own mind. But it's still trying to root it in logic.

Of Course, Vampire Template saying to change the alignment of a creature still sucks. But that's ONE of the reasons why we have house rules, in case the Dev Team Says something... We really think makes no sense.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Who said I am? I'm just explain why I'm okay with certain things being evil.
You weren't, but several posters were and some actually have a history of habitually reducing the preferences of others to a ridiculous caricature or extreme.

The really funny thing is that you completely don't mind when posters aligned with you call things "ridiculous", "dumb" or question the intelligence of people who write the books.

Which is nothing else than reducing the preferences of others to a ridiculous caricature or extreme.

Double standards and all that. :)

Actually, I do mind.

I also flag, move on, and try to ignore such remarks just as I do when "the other side" does it. For example, look at all of your posts aimed at me that I've ignored over the past few years.

Asking me to take responsibility for someone else's posting habits is like asking me, as a Pathfinder fan, to take responsibility for those fans that threadcrap and bash 4E every chance they get.


Mikaze, please do not feed the troll...


Icyshadow wrote:
Mikaze, please do not feed the troll...

Saying that in a D&D or Pathfinder Thread brings up weird mental images...

...Ones that actually support that phrase if one trusts the Bestiary to decide what a creature acts like.

...And Suddenly I feel Like I've made a cheep shot at all sides. I need to Kick myself in the face now.


Nicely done!


Ashiel wrote:

Yes. Specifically, the alignment rules are specifically what govern alignment. Ergo, it is clear that since skeletons and zombies lack a special ability that would make them stand out from the law, their alignment is in error. The specific alignment rules trump general (the listed alignment for the creature), because the bestiary is referencing the alignment rules and does not declare an exception.

Specific trumps general is an important part of exception based design, but it must have something that creates that exception, otherwise it is an error. Mindless creatures without some special rule calling them out as exceptions are in error. Because the specifics (the actual alignment mechanics) say they are with no exception based mechanic (the specific exception).

Oh, you are right... specific trumps general, and specific needs to have an exception explicitly mentioned.

So, in general, mindless creatures are neutral. Except Skeletons, which are made with an specific template, which says:

Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Type: The creature's type changes to undead. It retains any subtype except for alignment subtypes (such as good) and subtypes that indicate kind (such as giant). It does not gain the augmented subtype. It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

You can find another specific rule that trumps this (such as the Juju Oracle), but you can't make "mindless" rule to trump a more specific excception (like "skeleton template"). Not without houseruling, or changing the rules.

So, by RAW, mindless skeletons are evil, even if in general, mindless creatures aren't. Again, you might *want* it to be different, and it *might* be even desirable, but it's not how it is, right now, by RAW.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

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I'm sad this thread has devolved into a "You're a jerk!" "No, you're a jerk!" argument. Everyone can be as verbose as they want, but that's how it is when distilled down.

Does anyone else want to see constructs with sentience and a capacity to make their own moral decisions? I don't mean warforged really, just golems with an int score over 2.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Natural doesn't mean good (or even neutral) in our world.

Radiation is perfectly natural, but I don't think you would want to skinny dip in a pool of toxic waste.

That is generally how I think of negative energy. It's not a healthy force to be around, and spells which actively introduce it into the environment are probably bad (In the same way that barrels of toxic waste are bad). It is just rather sad that the fluff in this hasn't been developed more.

Pharasma, I think she is mostly concerned with judging the dead. If you have found someway to hold off death, than she probably doesn't care. It's only when you cheat death by "coming back" does she have a problem. Although this does create a weird situation where she should be really against resurrection, which I can't recall ever reading about.

At any rate she is a truly ancient god. Immortal as described above are not invulnerable. She knows they will make her way there.

As for Lemures, why wouldn't they be evil? They started off as evil souls (Being sent to Hell is a punishment that comes from doing some pretty nasty things in life), that were then tortured for eons into insanity and mindlessness. That is not going to improve your alignment.


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Riuken wrote:

I'm sad this thread has devolved into a "You're a jerk!" "No, you're a jerk!" argument. Everyone can be as verbose as they want, but that's how it is when distilled down.

Does anyone else want to see constructs with sentience and a capacity to make their own moral decisions? I don't mean warforged really, just golems with an int score over 2.

You're sad about this? I'm amused, if only because my inner misanthrope gets to see how stupid human beings can be.


Riuken wrote:

I'm sad this thread has devolved into a "You're a jerk!" "No, you're a jerk!" argument. Everyone can be as verbose as they want, but that's how it is when distilled down.

Does anyone else want to see constructs with sentience and a capacity to make their own moral decisions? I don't mean warforged really, just golems with an int score over 2.

Technically exists, if you apply a template[Edit-Actually a subtype that can be applied like a Template]: Robot. Can be applied to anything, and just about any character can make one. (Probably, since not fully elaborated.)

Still not the same as a "Living Construct" yet, and thus probably can't be resurrected, But considering how my settings usually Roll, I'd Probably house rule it.

P.S. They're mentioned as being used, or easy to make, in Numeria.


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MMCJawa wrote:

Natural doesn't mean good (or even neutral) in our world.

Radiation is perfectly natural, but I don't think you would want to skinny dip in a pool of toxic waste.

That is generally how I think of negative energy. It's not a healthy force to be around, and spells which actively introduce it into the environment are probably bad (In the same way that barrels of toxic waste are bad). It is just rather sad that the fluff in this hasn't been developed more.

Pharasma, I think she is mostly concerned with judging the dead. If you have found someway to hold off death, than she probably doesn't care. It's only when you cheat death by "coming back" does she have a problem. Although this does create a weird situation where she should be really against resurrection, which I can't recall ever reading about.

At any rate she is a truly ancient god. Immortal as described above are not invulnerable. She knows they will make her way there.

As for Lemures, why wouldn't they be evil? They started off as evil souls (Being sent to Hell is a punishment that comes from doing some pretty nasty things in life), that were then tortured for eons into insanity and mindlessness. That is not going to improve your alignment.

Think about it in this light: Resurection, and even True ressurection, don't restore to life those that have died of old age...

That Might be how she Prefers it too. All beings dying of old age, so that whatever fate awaits them, it was one they had a long time to decide on through their actions and what not.

...Clerics don't get reincarnate, the one thing that can bring you back if you die of old age.

[Off-Topic-Tangent] Reincarnate brings up an interesting idea, considering one of the settings I'm trying to work on.

In a world where only Hell remains, it becomes paramount to reincarnate as many beings as possible, so as to stave off the legions of Devils.

How long would one object to the undead, when it becomes a viable alternative, that may keep the devils forever at a manageable level?

And in a world where reincarnation can make you into any "living" creature, how hard would the divisions between races and Nations be? or between "Man" and any other Creature?

The answers... lead to friendships that will last forever... because Friendship... is Magic...

Whoops! Took that too far![/Off-Topic Tangent]


Hecknoshow wrote:
I though Aberrations were the embodiment of wrongness and against the natural order.

aren't qlippoth natural and things created by the gods divine and not natural and they came first.

Yet qlippoth and chaotic evil how does that make sense. The qlippoth came to existence on their own.


Ashiel wrote:
I play almost entirely good characters, so I don't believe you.

You seem to have misinterpreted what I said. Let me rephrase. I think that one's feelings towards fixed alignments can be based in large part on one's own preferred playstyle. My own preference is for relatively few moral quandaries, therefore I find it convenient if, say, goblins are reliably evil, and not imbued with a humanlike range of moral potential.

I was not suggesting that all people who play good characters necessarily believe as I do.

Quote:
Why not just create an engine that functions with a repeating burning hands trap at CL 5 inside a boiler that is fed water through a create water resetting trap, both of which are activated using a red button and blue button respectively. The steam from the boiling water could then be used to turn your gears for propellers. A similar system could be used to create hot air balloons.

It's an Eberron-based homebrew, so technology is almost universally magic-based. It's still very early in the campaign. We found the ship as a wreck and were repairing it...last session it was set on fire by the local chapter of the airship guild. ;_; Anyhoo, my guy is currently researching potential ways to power it. The most intriguing being the possibility of using Planar Ally to contract a creature to power it, or making a deal with a djinni.

Quote:
So you're saying you want intelligence, but not sentience?

The word 'sentience' does not imply moral awareness. But that aside, I want killing most (not all, but most) enemies to be unequivocally non-evil. This is not to say that killing is ever *good* (and that's a topic for another thread :p) but non-evil.

In our last long-running campaign, goblins were infernal creatures brought into our world from Hell. They started out small (goblins), and just kept growing unless killed, so they'd evolve into hobgoblins, bugbears, trolls, etc. You knew when you were fighting a goblin that there was no moral dilemma in killing it.

I understand that some folks want a much more morally complicated gaming experience. I'm not bashing it. But I *am* asserting that not all of us find that fixed morality takes anything away from the game, and in fact find that it provides us with something we want from our gaming experience.

Grand Lodge Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I`m Brazilian, and the first translated D&D iteraction i played (D&D, Black Box) Alignment was translated as Tendência - that means Trend, or Tendency. So i grew understanding alignment as a guideline, not as an obligation.

I`m in favor that there may be all alignments for some undeads, redeemed monsters, etc. But i also believe that what is good for humans it`s not good for all other sentient creatures.

Morality can vary from race to race, even from culture to culture, person to person. A Evil Orc Civilization don`t see them as evil, they look at others as prey, and they are the predators - but they are just doing what they think it`d needed for their survival as a race.

Imagine an alien race that have the ability of foresight. They saw that human expansion would be the doom of their race, they could hunt down down mankind with no regreats or second thoughts.


Lord Pendragon wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
I play almost entirely good characters, so I don't believe you.

You seem to have misinterpreted what I said. Let me rephrase. I think that one's feelings towards fixed alignments can be based in large part on one's own preferred playstyle. My own preference is for relatively few moral quandaries, therefore I find it convenient if, say, goblins are reliably evil, and not imbued with a humanlike range of moral potential.

I was not suggesting that all people who play good characters necessarily believe as I do.

Quote:
Why not just create an engine that functions with a repeating burning hands trap at CL 5 inside a boiler that is fed water through a create water resetting trap, both of which are activated using a red button and blue button respectively. The steam from the boiling water could then be used to turn your gears for propellers. A similar system could be used to create hot air balloons.

It's an Eberron-based homebrew, so technology is almost universally magic-based. It's still very early in the campaign. We found the ship as a wreck and were repairing it...last session it was set on fire by the local chapter of the airship guild. ;_; Anyhoo, my guy is currently researching potential ways to power it. The most intriguing being the possibility of using Planar Ally to contract a creature to power it, or making a deal with a djinni.

Quote:
So you're saying you want intelligence, but not sentience?

The word 'sentience' does not imply moral awareness. But that aside, I want killing most (not all, but most) enemies to be unequivocally non-evil. This is not to say that killing is ever *good* (and that's a topic for another thread :p) but non-evil.

In our last long-running campaign, goblins were infernal creatures brought into our world from Hell. They started out small (goblins), and just kept growing unless killed, so they'd evolve into hobgoblins, bugbears, trolls, etc. You knew when you were fighting a goblin that there...

Well... I heard of a few "rare Cantrips" that were posted on the paizo blog. I think one was "Breeze".

If your Airship simply requires magic air, you could get a few wizards to learn it and just keep pumping it in... Or make a few magic items that does much the same thing...

That way, you can have it cast all day long without moral problems...

However, if it requires an air creature (nothing else will work), then maybe you can look into recruiting one as a mercenary, or some other extra character with air based heritage. I'm sure a Sylph (Humanoids with air elemental heritage) or two might work, and I'm sure they'd be willing to help you guys out if you pay them well enough; or convince them (they're described as wanting to learn a lot, and so the possibility of picking up a few bits of gossip along the way might convince them at a lower cost.)

And then... One could always make a copy of an air creature using Shadow Conjuration/Evocation/I-Forget-its-name And its quasi real effects should be able to power the thing to some degree of efficiency. Other spells like Simulacrum could work too.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Yes. Specifically, the alignment rules are specifically what govern alignment. Ergo, it is clear that since skeletons and zombies lack a special ability that would make them stand out from the law, their alignment is in error. The specific alignment rules trump general (the listed alignment for the creature), because the bestiary is referencing the alignment rules and does not declare an exception.

Specific trumps general is an important part of exception based design, but it must have something that creates that exception, otherwise it is an error. Mindless creatures without some special rule calling them out as exceptions are in error. Because the specifics (the actual alignment mechanics) say they are with no exception based mechanic (the specific exception).

Oh, you are right... specific trumps general, and specific needs to have an exception explicitly mentioned.

So, in general, mindless creatures are neutral. Except Skeletons, which are made with an specific template, which says:

Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Type: The creature's type changes to undead. It retains any subtype except for alignment subtypes (such as good) and subtypes that indicate kind (such as giant). It does not gain the augmented subtype. It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

You can find another specific rule that trumps this (such as the Juju Oracle), but you can't make "mindless" rule to trump a more specific excception (like "skeleton template"). Not without houseruling, or changing the rules.

So, by RAW, mindless skeletons are evil, even if in general, mindless creatures aren't. Again, you might *want* it to be different, and it *might* be even desirable, but it's not how it is, right now, by RAW.

Hence the error. The template changes the creatures alignment, but then makes the creature mindless. By RAW this makes the creature Neutral. Unless the skeleton has some special quality that declares it an exception to the rule, then it is not. Again, like the Tyrannosaurus that has a quality that declares it an exception to the rule.

It does not have this exception. However, even if it did, consistency would be a virtue. The following is true. The Alignment Rules say mindless creatures are Neutral. The bestiary says mindless creatures are almost always Neutral. The skeleton lacks a special quality that allows it to bypass the law that says mindless is Neutral. So without this special quality, the template changes the skeleton's alignment and then it immediately changes back because of the normal rule.

And if you think that you can't have rules that are just as worthless, see Prone Shooter. Sometimes things work strangely or even not at all. In this case, something works strangely. A template tells you to change the alignment, then make it mindless. Being mindless changes the alignment to Neutral.

EDIT: Furthermore, the alignment rules make it absolutely clear that alignment is morals and philosophies. You have to be able to make conscious moral decisions to have an alignment, raw instincts or urges do not create an alignment. For creatures that are treated as an alignment even if they are incapable of having an alignment, or regardless of their actual alignment, you have to have a special in-game effect such as an alignment subtype (which causes the creature to be treated as a specific alignment regardless of their actual alignment) or some other quality that stands out.

For example, you could add something like:

Quote:
Profane (Ex): Any effect that depends on alignment affects this creature as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment.

Or you could add the Evil subtype to them.

Types and Subtypes wrote:
Evil Subtype: This subtype is usually applied to outsiders native to the evil-aligned outer planes. Evil outsiders are also called fiends. Most creatures that have this subtype also have evil alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the evil subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are evil-aligned (see Damage Reduction, page 299).

Not that that would be consistent, but it would at least work mechanically.

EDIT 2: Or you could just follow the alignment rules and let them be Neutral like the first 5 or so editions of D&D (OD&D, AD&D, D&D 2E, AD&D 2E, 3E?) before 3.5, since it sure was working in all of those without the logical problems that appear under the slightest of scrutiny. Players everywhere can still whip out their maces and happily proceed to smash some mindless undead knowing good and well they are doing nothing bad by smashing to bits these soulless non-sentient automatons who are likely either in the way of their general adventure as crypt guardians (filling much the same purposes as constructs except with the verisimilitude enhancing feature of not costing 2,000+ gp per 1 HD creature) or by breaking up the evil necromancer's army.

EDIT 3: Also, since some folks may not actually believe me when I say that mindless undead have a much longer standing history as being Neutral aligned, here is a snippet from the 3.0 Monster Manual / SRD (and OSRIC has the same, and to my knowledge it has been the same in all editions between).

3rd Edition SRD wrote:

Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground

Organization: Any
Challenge Rating: Tiny 1/6; Small 1/4; Medium-size 1/3; Large 1; Huge 2; ­Gargantuan 7; Colossal 9
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: Tiny, Small, and Medium-size -; Large 3 HD (Large); Huge 5-15 HD (Huge); Gargantuan 17-31 HD ­(Gargantuan); Colossal 33-64 HD (Colossal)
Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.
Immunities (Ex): Skeletons have cold immunity. Because they lack flesh or internal organs, they take only half damage from piercing or slashing weapons.

3E didn't have these arguments, or logical problems.

EDIT 4: Undead and negative energy in 3E didn't take the plunge until the very late 3.0 optional books not intended for a vast majority of the D&D audience, which is anyone under 18 years old, the Book of Vile Darkness and Exalted Deeds, basically painted everything involving either negative energy or the undead as evil. This was part of an optional set of books that have received much criticism (and IMHO deserve all the criticism they get in fact and probably more) which directly contradicted many other sources of published material including (but not limited to) the core rulebooks (all three, PHB, MM, DMG), Monsters of Faerun, Manual of the Planes, Deities and Demigods, and so forth. It was these books that branded spells like deathwatch EVIL spells (even though they were most definitely not in 3E). Some of these optional bits were picked up in 3.5 (including deathwatch gaining the evil tag, mindless undead being evil, and so forth), and I'm sad that Paizo didn't remedy the situation when they were removing the Evil subtype from deathwatch.

EDIT 5: Ultimately, for me this argument is twofold. I think forced alignments need to die in a fire, and I also want consistency and rational explanations for things. "It just is" is not acceptable. People refuse to let the alignment system die, and yet then refuse to actually follow their own rules for it, or try to be consistent, or otherwise avoid the utter screw up that is trying to explain what is and what isn't due to inconsistencies and contradictions in both written material and simple scientific examination; despite the fact that D&D has probably one of the simplest and most efficient means of determining Good vs Evil I've ever seen.

Virtually everything can be weighed in good vs evil using the very alignment bits in the core rulebook right now. Just as I weighed the case of the cannibalism and blood drinking before. It's near effortless, it's efficient, it's fair regardless of race, religion, ethos, or background. It finds hold in natural human reasoning, and is irrelevant to social stigmas or taboos (so alignment in D&D is absolute, regardless of the differences in traditions or taboos of elf culture vs dwarf culture vs orc culture vs fifteen different human cultures).

Scarab Sages

Odraude wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Vampires can drain a bit and leave you alive, from what I know about D&D vampires.
That is true and you see that in fiction, like Dracula. Of course, it makes one wonder how much blood a vampire needs per night to survive ... That would be up to the GM honestly. Right now, my graveyard shift is finished and I'm passing out.

Or even if human blood is required. If a vampire can subsist on animal blood, a vampire who owns a farm could raise cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, etc. for slaughter and just drink the blood of the creatures that are next up for the big chop.

I prefer that vampires get more sustenance from sentients, so that a 'farmer' would have to drink gallons and gallons of cow blood to get the same nourishment that he'd get from a cuppa commoner. Some sort of preference ranking from same race to other races to predatory creatures (wolves and tigers worth more than cows and sheep) etc. with magical beasties like dragons and manticores being worth more than mundane creatures.

Then again, I prefer 30 Days of Nights style vampires as well, with few or no supernatural powers, with gaseous form / animal controlling / etc. vampires being limited for the Dracula / Strahd special 'boss mobs.'


Set wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Vampires can drain a bit and leave you alive, from what I know about D&D vampires.
That is true and you see that in fiction, like Dracula. Of course, it makes one wonder how much blood a vampire needs per night to survive ... That would be up to the GM honestly. Right now, my graveyard shift is finished and I'm passing out.

Or even if human blood is required. If a vampire can subsist on animal blood, a vampire who owns a farm could raise cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, etc. for slaughter and just drink the blood of the creatures that are next up for the big chop.

I prefer that vampires get more sustenance from sentients, so that a 'farmer' would have to drink gallons and gallons of cow blood to get the same nourishment that he'd get from a cuppa commoner. Some sort of preference ranking from same race to other races to predatory creatures (wolves and tigers worth more than cows and sheep) etc. with magical beasties like dragons and manticores being worth more than mundane creatures.

I find that idea fascinating. Mind if I swipe it for some of my games, Set? ^-^

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

The idea of a vampire addicted to a specific type of rare blood (dragon, for instance) or having unusual reactions to drinking a different kind of blood (say, aberrations?) could be fun to play with.

Scarab Sages

Ashiel wrote:
I find that idea fascinating. Mind if I swipe it for some of my games, Set? ^-^

Sure! Here's the longer version.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

Orthos wrote:
The idea of a vampire addicted to a specific type of rare blood (dragon, for instance) or having unusual reactions to drinking a different kind of blood (say, aberrations?) could be fun to play with.

"Unusual reactions" meaning "Dude, I'm so high off this shoggoth blood right now." kinds of stuff?

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Riuken wrote:
Orthos wrote:
The idea of a vampire addicted to a specific type of rare blood (dragon, for instance) or having unusual reactions to drinking a different kind of blood (say, aberrations?) could be fun to play with.
"Unusual reactions" meaning "Dude, I'm so high off this shoggoth blood right now." kinds of stuff?

Sure, on the low end. High end you get mutations, Old Ones muttering in their heads, and so on.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reminds me of a Sigil/Union/urban planar campaign I ran years ago:

Wealthy and decadent vampire lord hires the party to retrieve a solar and preserve the celestial's heart. Preserving a fresh heart and subsequently re-animating the organ was a common practice that allowed a vampire to savor a favored taste a bit longer than normally possible. The vampire in question had previously bought an aasimar slave and accidentally drained her; his reasoning was that the taste intoxicated one to such levels that reason vanished and a gluttonous euphoria overcame him. He sought to recapture that feeling and the costs be damned.

What the party didn't know was the vampire had also been experimenting with fiendish consumption in preparation for taking a level in the Acolyte of the Skin PrC (absorbs fiend's essence and eventually gets the half-fiend template). In mixing the aasimar's holy taint with a bit of fiendish energy, an internal reaction rocked the vampire's anatomy and just happened to hit the right spots to trigger a pleasing experience. By the time the party would return with the prize, the vampire lord would have completed his training (and, in fact, all ten levels of AotS).

The party managed to slay a solar and preserve the corpse--almost a campaign in and of itself--in order to finish the vampire's celestial "wine". Before paying the party, he poured a glass to sample only to experience the full celestial-vs-fiend reaction as his body caught fire. The vampire's body literally exploded as he attempted to transform into a mist to avoid the damage.

The party's immediate reward was permanent resistance vs. certain energy types.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Riuken wrote:
Orthos wrote:
The idea of a vampire addicted to a specific type of rare blood (dragon, for instance) or having unusual reactions to drinking a different kind of blood (say, aberrations?) could be fun to play with.
"Unusual reactions" meaning "Dude, I'm so high off this shoggoth blood right now." kinds of stuff?

A vampire blood aesthete who has a special feat or can brew up elixirs of blood from various creatures and gains powers similar to the bloodline powers of the appropriate Sorcerer bloodline (along with a terrific high).

Different variations on this could range from;
any vampire automatically having these side-effects when ingesting appropriate blood,
certain vampires of a specific lineage / bloodline having this as a racial ability,
any vampire purchasing the appropriate feat being able to gain temporary bloodline powers by drinking special bloods,
vampire alchemists being able to buy a feat or Discovery that allows them to create blood elixirs from such creatures blood types that any vampire can drink to gain temporary bloodline powers.

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