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


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

151 to 158 of 158 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Set wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
I find that idea fascinating. Mind if I swipe it for some of my games, Set? ^-^
Sure! Here's the longer version.

Thank you Set. ^.^

I especially like the bits about the vampires having different favorite times or conditions for their feedings.


I'm not going to quote that big post :P

But I don't see any inconsistency.

There's a rule, Aligment, where every creature can have whatever aligment they want.

There's another, more specific rule, that says mindless are neutral.

Then there's another, even more specific, that says skeletons, even if they are mindless, they are evil

And then there's another, even more specific yet, that says Juju Oracles can raise neutral skeletons.

I don't see the problems you see, and honestly I think your view is biased for how you *would like* it to be. I've never argued if forced alignements are a good thing, I've just stated that skeletons, by RAW, are evil. And they are (mostly, Juju's being an exception to the exception of the exception of the rule). This is consistent, in my opinion. You don't like it, but it's consistent.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

I'm not going to quote that big post :P

But I don't see any inconsistency.

There's a rule, Aligment, where every creature can have whatever aligment they want.

There's another, more specific rule, that says mindless are neutral.

Then there's another, even more specific, that says skeletons, even if they are mindless, they are evil

And then there's another, even more specific yet, that says Juju Oracles can raise neutral skeletons.

I don't see the problems you see, and honestly I think your view is biased for how you *would like* it to be. I've never argued if forced alignements are a good thing, I've just stated that skeletons, by RAW, are evil. And they are (mostly, Juju's being an exception to the exception of the exception of the rule). This is consistent, in my opinion. You don't like it, but it's consistent.

Are you by chance familiar with computer programming? It's a logical problem here. The problem is there is no special quality binding the alignment to make it stick. We're basically doing this.

When applying the template:
1) Alignment changes to Neutral Evil.
2) Type changes to undead.
3) Abilities are adjusted, it becomes mindless.
4) Now mindless, it is Neutral alignment.

Once again, there is no effect that allows a mindless creature to "break" the rules that mindless must be Neutral. At best, the creature is Evil instantaneously and then immediately shifts to Neutral, if you assume each change occurs in order. If the changes occur all at once, then it becomes Neutral because it is pulled towards Neutral because of the rule.

Effectively, the alignment rules note that your alignment shifts to match based on the alignment rules. Someone that is Good who acts evil shifts to Evil. In the same way, even if for a moment a mindless creature is Evil, it will immediately become Neutral because it is in accordance with the Neutral alignment and has nothing to bind it to that alignment.

At this point, I'm irritated that the mechanics are so inelegant. That's before we get into the inconsistency of it, because it basically breaks the alignment rules, negating the whole point of having alignment anyway. I mean, if you are not going to follow alignment, then why do you need it at all?


back to topic:
MY top 10 (also included 3.5monsters)
1.) Linnorms for me they are always CN. untameable forces of nature given flesh and will
2.) Sharruks reading then I couldn't image them as Evil for me they are Neutral
3.)Mummys for me they are LN (i might let my players stumble upon am ummy paladin


Ashiel wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

I'm not going to quote that big post :P

But I don't see any inconsistency.

There's a rule, Aligment, where every creature can have whatever aligment they want.

There's another, more specific rule, that says mindless are neutral.

Then there's another, even more specific, that says skeletons, even if they are mindless, they are evil

And then there's another, even more specific yet, that says Juju Oracles can raise neutral skeletons.

I don't see the problems you see, and honestly I think your view is biased for how you *would like* it to be. I've never argued if forced alignements are a good thing, I've just stated that skeletons, by RAW, are evil. And they are (mostly, Juju's being an exception to the exception of the exception of the rule). This is consistent, in my opinion. You don't like it, but it's consistent.

Are you by chance familiar with computer programming? It's a logical problem here. The problem is there is no special quality binding the alignment to make it stick. We're basically doing this.

When applying the template:
1) Alignment changes to Neutral Evil.
2) Type changes to undead.
3) Abilities are adjusted, it becomes mindless.
4) Now mindless, it is Neutral alignment.

Once again, there is no effect that allows a mindless creature to "break" the rules that mindless must be Neutral. At best, the creature is Evil instantaneously and then immediately shifts to Neutral, if you assume each change occurs in order. If the changes occur all at once, then it becomes Neutral because it is pulled towards Neutral because of the rule.

Effectively, the alignment rules note that your alignment shifts to match based on the alignment rules. Someone that is Good who acts evil shifts to Evil. In the same way, even if for a moment a mindless creature is Evil, it will immediately become Neutral because it is in accordance with the Neutral alignment and has nothing to bind it to that alignment.

At this point, I'm irritated that the mechanics are so...

I see your point, but it can easily be fixed by changing the "order of operations", as it were.

1) Type changes to undead.
2) Ability scores adjusted, it becomes mindless.
3) As a mindless creature, its alignment becomes Neutral, and it loses all of its feats and skills whatnot.
4) Template changes alignment to Neutral Evil.

I think the shift to Neutral Evil is implied to take place after the shift to true Neutral.

Incidentally, I don't have a problem with mindless undead being evil, despite not having the capacity to understand or chose their actions. In fantasy, some things are evil not by choice, but by the circumstances of their creation. Undead are nearly always evil because they are conduits to unholy, destructive energy. Likewise, their very creation is usually tainted by some evil act. It's the same logic that dictates that a magic item (with no Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) can still have an evil aura, even though that suit of Demon Armor doesn't have a means of debating the moral or ethical ramifications of its use.
From a real-world perspective, it doesn't make much sense. From an old-school fantasy perspective, it does (at least to me). Still, the beauty of the system is that if you want to have mindless undead be Neutral, it still works. Heck, in my games, all spells of the [healing] subtype are Necromancy spells. Not evil, of course, but still Necromancy. I figure the Inflict and Cure spells should be different sides of the same coin, and wanted to remove some of the stigma from the school.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I think Gargoyles are aligned wrong, mythically they were created to ward off evil spirits from churches.

I think mindless undead should be neutral, but still valid smite targets due to being "negative energy powered". It might violate cultural/religious taboo, but it means Neutral & Good necromancers have something they can do that isn't outright evil.

Lemures being made of Evil should be evil (they mindlessly seek to hurt and kill if not given other instruction from a summoner/other demon).

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Ashiel wrote:

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 the subject here:

THIS is why vampires are damn good villain material. He was an evil guy before, but now he's evil with teeth. He was a once good man who became darker through his own heart's desires, and became a vampire out of a dark pact because he wanted to. He killed his brother of his own choice and will, and if he is truly cursed, it is to forever want for the love he gave everything up for who died.

Longtime Ravenloft fan here. One of the books for the setting, Van Richten's Guide to Vampires, had a neat story about a man who was turned into a vampire against his will. After the elder one who created him was destroyed, he set out to use his powers for good. He acted as a secret benefactor to his home town, protecting it from various threats while secluding himself from the townsfolk for fear he would be unable to resist feeding on them.

After many years of do-gooding but living by himself in a cave, he got lonely and left notes asking the townsfolk for concerete signs of appreciation, eventually money. He didn't need the wealth for anything, but to him it was the only sign his efforts meant anything to the people he never saw. The townsfolk met his demands at first, but they eventually grew so high that the town stopped paying. The vampire took it as an insult that his sacrifice of humanity and all the years he'd spent protecting the townsfolk meant less to them than some paltry sum of coin, and he started preying on them in revenge. Adventurers eventually destroyed him the same as they would any other ravening monster, and that was that.

The way Ravenloft did things, all vampires were evil. The transition wasn't instantaneous, but rather a gradual and inevitable shift where the vampire lost its sense of kinship with the living and put its own wants and desires before theirs - for what did pitifully brief human lives mean next to an immortal being's? Eventually they all became monsters completely disconnected from their former selves, no matter how noble a mortal life they'd led. The transition was more or less invisible for vampires who'd been evil in life like Strahd was (other than to snuff out the last remnants of his humanity), but for ones who'd been good people it could be quite tragic.

I've always thought that when the sad fact of their nature is played up - no one is born a vampire, and many of them are forced into their undead state against their will - one can play intelligent undead as Always Evil Bad Guys who are nevertheless compelling and sympathetic characters. Ravenloft did an excellent job at this even with such villains as Azalin, a lich who executed his son and knowingly embraced undeath, but (for me) was one of the setting's most tragic figures.


Calder Rooney wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

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 the subject here:

THIS is why vampires are damn good villain material. He was an evil guy before, but now he's evil with teeth. He was a once good man who became darker through his own heart's desires, and became a vampire out of a dark pact because he wanted to. He killed his brother of his own choice and will, and if he is truly cursed, it is to forever want for the love he gave everything up for who died.

Longtime Ravenloft fan here. One of the books for the setting, Van Richten's Guide to Vampires, had a neat story about a man who was turned into a vampire against his will. After the elder one who created him was destroyed, he set out to use his powers for good. He acted as a secret benefactor to his home town, protecting it from various threats while secluding himself from the townsfolk for fear he would be unable to resist feeding on them.

After many years of do-gooding but living by himself in a cave, he got lonely and left notes asking the townsfolk for concerete signs of appreciation, eventually money. He didn't need the wealth for anything, but to him it was the only sign his efforts meant anything to the people he never saw. The townsfolk met his demands at first, but they eventually grew so high that the town stopped paying. The vampire took it as an insult that his sacrifice of humanity and all the years he'd spent protecting the townsfolk meant less to them than some paltry sum of coin, and he started preying on them in revenge. Adventurers eventually destroyed him the same as...

You are aware that with forced alignment changes that entire story is not possible, right? By the way the rules are currently, the moment he was turned into a vampire he would have turned evil instantly, so either he turned evil, then turned good again and then turned evil again naturally, or if vampires actually are incapable of being anything except evil then he could not have been a sympathetic villain anyway because he would have immediately begun acting in accordance with his alignment -- which directly breaks the rules that alignment is determined by actions and not actions determined by alignment!

See the problem here?

Montyatreus wrote:

I see your point, but it can easily be fixed by changing the "order of operations", as it were.

1) Type changes to undead.
2) Ability scores adjusted, it becomes mindless.
3) As a mindless creature, its alignment becomes Neutral, and it loses all of its feats and skills whatnot.
4) Template changes alignment to Neutral Evil.

I think the shift to Neutral Evil is implied to take place after the shift to true Neutral.

The problem is that by the standard rules for alignment is that the mindless undead would naturally become Neutral again because alignment is determined by your moral choices and personal philosophies, which means regardless of the way you order it, you have the alignment shifting back to Neutral because the creature functions as Neutral.

Let me put it another way. Alignment does not determine actions, it is determined BY actions. That's spelled out clearly in the core alignment rules. So here is a hypothetical rule to help us stand back and look at the whole situation objectively. Let's pretend for a moment you have a template that makes a creature "Always Good". You apply it to a creature, and then that creature instead goes forth and proceeds to act in accordance with the Evil alignment (again because alignment does not affect actions, actions affect alignment) instead. The creature as per alignment rules becomes Evil, even though the template made them Good.

This is essentially what is occurring here. You are taking a creature, giving it an alignment, and then it immediately shifts back because of the normal alignment rules because alignments change. If you want something that does not change, you have to give them some effect that makes them treated as X regardless, such as the Good or Evil subtypes which allow the creature to act and adopt a new alignment but still treat the creature as the associated alignment for effects related to alignment. If I wanted to create a mindless creature made of evil, that's what the subtype is for (and what it was used for in 3E, where Lemure devils were Neutral for being mindless but possessed the Baatezu/Devil, Evil, and Law subtypes which being both mindless and innately evil via the subtypes mean it was time to remorselessly blow up some fiends with holy smite).

Examining our hypothetical template, instead of having:
Alignment: Always Good
We would instead have:
Type: The creature gains the Good subtype.

This works. The alternative does not because you have what amounts to a catch 22, except one clearly has priority because one is a constant effect while the other only occurs when you apply the template (making it pointless).

So even barring the fact I hate forced alignments in general, and I hate that mindless creatures incapable of making moral choices can have an alignment, I hate the poor mechanics most of all. Here I am basically helping to build a "better mindless evil". After that's built, I'll turn around and begin trying to break it down again, because that is MY order of operations. Perhaps a bit OCD, but if you gotta have something that is morally aligned without being in the moral pool, then at least do it well.

Quote:
Incidentally, I don't have a problem with mindless undead being evil, despite not having the capacity to understand or chose their actions. In fantasy, some things are evil not by choice, but by the circumstances of their creation.

This describes Lemure devils more or less to a T. Incidentally in 3E their alignment was Neutral, but they possessed the Law and Evil subtypes, so they were mindless outsiders made of raw evil incapable of having their own alignment but being made of law and evil meant they were blown up by holy smite and holy weapons and smite evil and so forth.

There is at least a better way that does not create inconsistencies. The irony is I used to spend a lot of time on the WotC boards back pre-3.5, and these sorts of arguments did not exist. When someone asked "Hey, why are Lemure devils Neutral? They are devils." someone would pop up and say "Because they are mindless and thus can't make decisions or have a non-neutral alignment, but they have the Law and Evil subtypes so they are still evil for all effects." and then the OP would come in and say "Oh, that makes lots of sense. Thanks." /thread.

Quote:
Undead are nearly always evil because they are conduits to unholy, destructive energy.

Except they aren't. Negative energy is clearly and provably a Neutral energy just as much as Fire or Electricity. Dangerous to the living does not mean evil. First you have to prove that negative energy is evil before this argument can hold water, and there is too much evidence to disprove it.

Quote:
Likewise, their very creation is usually tainted by some evil act.

Some of them are, most of them aren't. Mindless undead are made with onyx gems and negative energy and then directed via the master's will. The process for creating mummies is neither tainted by evil, but they are actually wrapped in blessed linens, stuffed with flowers and sacred prayers, and so forth (this is from the Bestiary by the way). The mummy lords on the other hand have reason to be evil (the bestiary says most of them are high-ish level priests who are evil and use mummification as a means of escaping death because they know they are so much going to hell, essentially, and use it similar to cheap lichdom).

Quote:
It's the same logic that dictates that a magic item (with no Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) can still have an evil aura, even though that suit of Demon Armor doesn't have a means of debating the moral or ethical ramifications of its use.

Demon armor is powered by the contagion spell which has the [Evil] descriptor. Unholy weapons uses unholy blight in its creation which possesses the [Evil] subtype which treats the magic as evil regardless of the caster's own moral compass. In essence, we're talking about the magic equivalent of the alignment subtypes found on creatures. The weapon itself has no alignment (it would have to be an Intelligent magic item for that) but it can be treated as having a certain alignment.

You could create a +1 anarchic axiomatic holy unholy weapon legally within the rules (in fact, there is a legendary weapon in Baldur's Gate II more or less identical to this called "The Equalizer"). It could only be wielded properly by someone of the true Neutral alignment, as it would inflict negative levels on you the further you were away from the Neutral alignment. This weapon would ping on every alignment detection spell, but the weapon itself is not aligned.

Quote:
From a real-world perspective, it doesn't make much sense. From an old-school fantasy perspective, it does (at least to me). Still, the beauty of the system is that if you want to have mindless undead be Neutral, it still works. Heck, in my games, all spells of the [healing] subtype are Necromancy spells. Not evil, of course, but still Necromancy. I figure the Inflict and Cure spells should be different sides of the same coin, and wanted to remove some of the stigma from the school.

What you may not realize is you actually changed it back to the way it was. All healing spells were Necromancy spells (naturally, necromancy was used to kill bacteria, manipulate life force, bring people back from the dead, and so forth).

And it's important to note that I don't mind creatures being innately evil within reason. I absolutely love fiendish creatures, and I have used variant undead for certain purposes that included an extra step during their creation (using unholy water instead of onyx gems in their creation, IIRC) which gave them the Evil subtype (these variant skeletons and zombies possessed DR 5/good in addition to their normal damage reductions, which meant that a simple mace would not work so well vs the skeleton, but a blessed mace would), but those undead had clear explanations as to why they were evil instead of merely Neutral (there was an extra step infusing them with evil energies in addition to negative energies, and a concept that is not vastly different from the latter released infernal healing).

People have oft misrepresented my position on these matters horribly. I do not desire "sparkly vampires", I do not desire "friendly undead everywhere", I do not desire "every game to devolve into paladins falling for killing orcs or smiting monsters". Those are not things that I desire. What I do desire is:

1) Consistency within the rules concerning alignment (which existed in 3E but was broken in 3.5).
2) Elegance in the rules concerning innate alignments (which existed in 3E but was broken in 3.5).
3) The removal of forced alignments from sentient and mindless creatures on the grounds of logic. Even the core rules declare that creatures with alignment subtypes can have different moral alignments than their subtypes so there is no basis for it and I feel it hurts the game and its players on fundamental levels.

PS: I consider this discussion to be on-topic, because it is effectively countless instances of "10 Monsters" with messed up alignments.

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