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


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I Always find a few creatures I have a fondness for the concept of, but I usually find myself annoyed when a few of them end up as an Alignment I don't approve of; For whatever reason.

I always Know We can just rule it otherwise, but sometimes, the cannon alignments still bug me.

So I want us all to discuss our Top 10's of Monsters we wish were another Alignment.

Mine in Reverse Order:

10- Animate Dream: I always think of dreams as that safe place where I'm surrounded by friends, and I get to beat the stuffing out of whatever uncomfortable feelings I have. And even When I wake up, I'm sure that the bad guys in my dreams are just playing the role for a better purpose. (Nightmares are a different story.) So I'm quite disappointed that Animate Dream is Pretty much Pure Evil (NE). Why can't we have some kind of Dream critter that follows you around as a playful companion, eats the nightmares (thus giving you good dreams) and all around is nice to You? Sounds like Kingdom Hearts 3D's "Spirits" side of Dream Eaters, Yes, But I'm allowed to want that, even If I'm only going to get it through home brew.

Preferred Alignment: Chaotic Good

9- Inevitables: I know I shouldn't be asking for a change to the alignment for one of the outer plane Entities... but I'm a little concerned that Something's missing when one says "Machines are by nature Lawful". And considering how many Evolving pieces of technology in anime I've seen that are anything but Predictable, It begins to sound like a stereotype. I mean, I've seen programs that Rage at the gods one minute, and extol the virtues of humanity the next, and close the scene by going complete overkill for no reason, all in defiance of the Authority... So yeah, I'd like to see an after-life that panders to Cyber Punk Crowd, or conversely to the Future-Fantasy/Science-Fantasy Crowd. It might not have to be the Inevitable themselves, but still.

Preferred Alignment: Use of All of them...

8- Aeons: Yeah... The more I think about Aeons, the more I think their Modus Operandi is Broken. They essentially say "Hey, the universe needs to be in a state of never-ending Conflict to stay around, We're going to force that on you!" And at that point I feel like cleansing them from the planes. Theoretically, They're "True Neutral"... but to me, they come across as Lawful Evil in practice.

Preferred Alignment: Lawful Evil, then I'd have an excuse to wipe the floor with their unreasoning behinds.

7- Shikigami: So... A race of diverse creatures, able to shape-shift, as familiars seem to be personally tailored to their spell-caster, and for some reason are still treated as Lawful Neutral? This makes it sound like "Lawful Neutral" was chosen Arbitrarily. I mean... They seem to be THE codifier of spirit companion, and yet they can't be spirit companions to just anybody?

Preferred Alignment: Use of All of them...

6- AstraDaemon: I'm not going to justify this one beyond "they look too cool, and also too dark, to be stuck as Evil". I just freaking like them, and I don't want beings that look like the freaking night sky to be classed as evil. Yeah, it's petty, but I thought I deserved to have one petty moment mixed in with all the better thought out ones.(Shame about their face looking like a fish though.)

Preferred Alignment: Chaotic Good.

5- Vulpinals: Yeah... I'm pretty sure foxes are seen as the more "Trickster" Arch-type. I still like the fact that they're good, but really, how may times have you seen a Mythological fox uphold the virtues of society? None right? Now compare to how many Scammed them, took their money, and used what they got to reward some guy for helping them the other day? In Japan... that kind of thing happens... A lot.

Preferred Alignment: Chaotic Good.

4- Kitsune: Same as Vulpinals, Only more so, as they actually ARE the Japanese tricksters who help people. So excuses here, Kitsune really ARE Chaotic Good in the Myths. The fact that they are still described in lore as being tricksters, but them and their goddess are listed as Neutral seems out of place.

Preferred Alignment: Chaotic Good.

3- Dhampir: Considering the idea of the Dhampir brings to my mind the possibility of a hero that although good, scorns the light, and seeks to bring bat-man style justice to the streets of the local Gotham city rip-off... Unfortunately, their Cannon Alignment says "they don't get much better than Neutral, and they are usually evil"... And at that point I'm reminded of how annoyed I get when one says that dark is usually evil; and how much I would like to see undead taken away from being called Evil themselves when it really doesn't make sense.

Preferred Alignment: Use of All of them... More so than now anyways.

2- Undead in general: See Dhampir just above there? Apply all that, and then add together all the cool undead that I want to see do something heroic for a change. The Nightshades and the Shadows being evil are my biggest annoyance as a "Dark is not Evil" lobbyist. And then there's the fact that undead themselves are animated by what is essentially One of several kinds of metaphysical darkness (although apparently not necessarily actual darkness, as the darkness domain barely qualifies as using it.). I mean... WHY?! Why do you have to make me weep for my precious night?!

Preferred Alignment: USE OF ALL OF THEM! I MEAN IT! ALL! OF! THEM!

1- Scaeduinar: At this point, if you know what the Sceaduinar are, you know where this is going... for those who don't have their Bestiary at the ready, they're essentially the sole Denizens that actually belong in the Negative energy Plane. As such, you can guess I'm probably going to say they shouldn't be listed as evil, much like all the other dark stuff on this list... but here's the kicker... They probably wouldn't be Evil in the first place if the positive energy plane's denizen's weren't such massive [expunged]... I mean The positive energy plane's Denizens the Jyoti are said to have stolen the ability to create from the Sceaduinar. And that makes me want to beat the Jyoti over the head with a frying pan.

Preferred Alignment: Neutral or Use of Any is fine, but at this point, Chaotic Good would be practically Justified.

...

And that's all for me folks, What's you're top ten "I wish it were a different Alignment" Creatures?

P.S. Sorry if this got long winded, annoying, or whiny, or if it became a rant.


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I generally prefer the "evil" humanoids to be more or less neutral (LN or CN is acceptable) with specific tribes or individuals being deviations from the norm. I understand evil and good races are a standard trope of fantasy since Tolkien at least but relentlessly evil natural humanoids just seem so derivative.

Created races I have no problem with being evil or good but the more natural races should be more like humanity in their capacity to be good or evil.

Silver Crusade

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This is my only big one:

Undead: I agree, they're cooler when they're not universally evil. The mindless ones can be universally evil, but they should match the creator's alignment for law/chaos. The intelligent ones should be allowed to make their own decisions, having alignments as varied as the creatures they're created from. See Undying Court. If a wizard wants to live forever in order to fulfill a promise to a village that he would protect them, and becomes a lich in order to do so, he sounds pretty LG. I'm not sure why becoming undead suddenly fills your heart with selfishness and hate. Maybe that's just how it is, but I'd like to see it changed.


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I'm mixed about the undead.

I think mindless undead should probably be neutral (they have no specific intent). Raising the (un)dead might be considered an evil act (depending on the setting) but the undead themselves are merely vessels for negative energy (which isn't evil). Now if the necromancer uses them for evil then yeah it's an evil act but inherently they aren't evil. So exceptions for being animated by an evil artifact might be made.

Feral undead like ghouls and ghasts and wights can definitely be considered evil based upon their tendency to murder and eat the flesh of victims.

I generally prefer evil intelligent undead especially stuff like liches. I think it's fair to assume that the ritual of becoming a lich could easily be considered an inherently evil conscious act. Maybe there are variants of the lich known by various spellcasters that don't involve evil rituals but overall I'm content if liches are by default considered evil. I don't use mummies alot but I could see the same for them. Regular mummification shouldn't produce undead.

Vampires and Ghost are really the exceptions as they are generally created from an external source and shouldn't be as default evil. Yeah drain blood or energy isn't going to win you any fans but I think it could be considered a neutral act if the undead creature seeks to limit harm.


This makes me think of the homebrew setting I'm working on. The nomadic desert tribes of this setting are heavy into ancestor worship (kinda like the Mud People for anyone who's read Sword of Truth) but the kicker is they believe that giving the spirits of the ancestors new forms with which to defend their descendants is a great honor.

So the leaders of the nomads are all necromancers who raise undead as guardians of their tribes.

Yeah, I don't feel undead should always be evil, either. :)

Silver Crusade

I'm guessing the reason for so many "naturally" evil things (undead included) is so that paladins don't have to use a standard every combat to determine if something's evil. Sometimes it's a foregone conclusion. This also means the party (which may not include paladins) doesn't have to have moral doubts about everything they're killing. Sometimes it's more fun to not think about it and just kill.

I still think this should be left to playstyle and not the default situation. If you want all your undead evil so your players don't have to think about it, that's fine, but leave it more open like it is for humans etc.

Osirion

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I tend to think of alignments as a suggestion, and not a straightjacket.

Even the most hard-coded-into-their-DNA aligned creatures, the [Evil], [Good], [Chaotic] and [Lawful] subtype outsiders, who might be very credibly described as being *made up of elemental evil,* are capable of falling, being redeemed, etc.

So, if an angel, which is practically made out of 'elemental good,' can fall and become a devil (or, at least, a 'fallen angel'), a red dragon choosing to be lawful, or a goblin trying to be good (although, perhaps, getting it terribly wrong...), should be no big thing at all.

The only place I get all worked up about alignments (other than mindless things having alignments, despite being unable to make moral or ethical choices, 'cause that's just absurd) is the gods of a setting, because, through the alignment requirements for their clergy, that actually can have a game effect on the PCs choices.

Technically, you can play a NE or CN cleric of Pharasma, but the flavor text will fight you kicking and screaming, because even though she claims to be true neutral, she pretty much *hates* evil stuff, and acts lawful enough to make Erastil seem like a big softie. If Pharasma's gonna act all LG, she should just scratch out the N and write in LG and be honest about it.

Also technically, you can play a CG cleric of Groetus or even the Great Old Ones, but that's even more whacky.

And the Eldest of the Fey? When I think 'fey,' I do recognize that the lore of the fey includes seelie and unseelie, malicious and capricious and benevolent by turns, but for them to have almost as many lawful members as chaotic, and no good Eldest at all? Makes me all dissonant-y. I'd expect the average to be CN, with a mix of CG and CE and N, and maybe a NG or NE skulking about, with only a small dash of lawful, at best.


MaxAstro wrote:

This makes me think of the homebrew setting I'm working on. The nomadic desert tribes of this setting are heavy into ancestor worship (kinda like the Mud People for anyone who's read Sword of Truth) but the kicker is they believe that giving the spirits of the ancestors new forms with which to defend their descendants is a great honor.

So the leaders of the nomads are all necromancers who raise undead as guardians of their tribes.

Yeah, I don't feel undead should always be evil, either. :)

Well that's a little more cohesive an explanation than what my settings do to explain stuff.

One of my settings Explains a race of Chaotic Good Technological outsiders (Similar to Inevitables, but more "Digital Age") by having the setting take place in an almost modern time period, and the resident stand in for Desna is an Avid Video gamer...

The Explanation goes downhill from there; essentially making them living programs that are the souls of Gamers who figured out how to hack the system their Petitioners gathered in at the other side of the Astral Sea.

...*awkward pause*...

Now back to the latent undead argument, I just remembered that the "Souls" Sub-domain to Repose; which is held by a lot of good and Neutral deities alike (Edit: Okay maybe not a lot, but at least one of each that I know of), and it has the bonus spell "Animate Dead".

So I really think the bestiary shot itself in the foot by saying undead are evil.

Cheliax

Well, Frost Giants are always in my mind very neutral. Not evil, although some giants would be more evil than others. They are warriors and legendary kings of the frozen north. In the nordic legends most giants are mean, dumb and hate asgardians, but not always chaotic evil monsters.

Shadow Lodge

Any mortal race without an [Alignment] subtype should have more variance, IMO. Sure a vast majority might be ... let's say, LE. But there should also be quite a few LN (simply just don't have as strong a malicious streak) and NE (tend to do things their own way and disdain some of the more strict traditions) who get along in society just fine with a few minor speedbumps, and a few outliers at CE (the insane, the rebels, the criminal element, the desperate), TN (the apathetic), and LG (the disdainful of the society's inherent cruelty, among other things), with other Good and Chaotic significantly rarer.

Granted these things are technically built into the "Always/Often/etc." classifications on the Alignment slot, but it tends to get overlooked/forgotten I've noticed. I've had people give me trouble about playing a NE or LE Drow, as if the idea of a Drow who was anything but Chaotic was impossible. (Frankly I'd rather see an LE Drow than a CG one...)

So yeah. Unless you are MADE of [Alignment], you should probably have a sizable contingent of minor varied alignments, and a smaller subset of even further varied ones. All the way up to dragons.


I agree with Orthos on dragons. Why can't a gold dragon be evil, or a blue dragon good? Color-coding alignment seems silly to me now that I've been playing a few years.

Shadow Lodge

One of my BBEGs was a Silver. Granted she was crazy, but most BBEGs are, on some level.


Silver dragons are the ones most likely to become evil according to Paizo's book on dragons, and I like their powers the most of good dragons so if I ever use an evil dragon that should be good......


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I don't have a "top 10"; anytime I see 'always' next to an alignment, I'm reminded of yet another unnecessary 3.5 remnant. However there are a few instances of alignment assignments that have always pissed me off:

Demons/daemons - I know that with ancient Christianity hijacking the Greek term (and villifying entire pantheons), neither version of the word will rarely be seen in a positive light (outside of linux/unix distros). In addition, the unwillingness of many to accept something sinister as non-evil certainly cements existing biases. Personally, I think 'outsider' should be swapped with demon or daemon, but too many good ideas have been grafted onto that image/cultural thematic for many publishers or writers to try anything different.

Also, I would answer concerns of "what would we use in place of daemons/devils/quippoths/etc?" with "anything". Seriously, the potential is staggering; one could adapt an unaligned daemon to any good, chaotic, lawful, or evil role with a minimal amount of work. Rather than having several types of outsiders (with a dozen species each), I'd love to see a hundred different varieties of unaligned daemons with variations covering specific roles (savior, tempter, destroyer, annoyer, and so on).

Undead - The evil nature attached to this brand of "monster" has been addressed above and I thoroughly support the idea of heroic or, at least, apathetic undead. I get that people want creepy creatures in their games (hell, so do I), but there's no need to cling to an over-established trope every time. Asian ghost stories are perfect examples of non-evil-but-f$**ing-vicious-and-bitter-undead. Of course, all of those examples could be confined to ghost templates, but why should they? Creepy =/= evil.

An associated annoyance is the "positive energy = good" & "negative energy = evil". I know gothic horror and similar styles thrive on this, but I'd love to see both energy types vanish.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:

This makes me think of the homebrew setting I'm working on. The nomadic desert tribes of this setting are heavy into ancestor worship (kinda like the Mud People for anyone who's read Sword of Truth) but the kicker is they believe that giving the spirits of the ancestors new forms with which to defend their descendants is a great honor.

So the leaders of the nomads are all necromancers who raise undead as guardians of their tribes.

Yeah, I don't feel undead should always be evil, either. :)

You should check out the oracles juju mystery. I think it can create no evil undead.

Silver Crusade

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Necromancer wrote:
An associated annoyance is the "positive energy = good" & "negative energy = evil". I know gothic horror and similar styles thrive on this, but I'd love to see both energy types vanish.

DON'T MAKE THE CLERICS CRY!!!


Springheeled wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

This makes me think of the homebrew setting I'm working on. The nomadic desert tribes of this setting are heavy into ancestor worship (kinda like the Mud People for anyone who's read Sword of Truth) but the kicker is they believe that giving the spirits of the ancestors new forms with which to defend their descendants is a great honor.

So the leaders of the nomads are all necromancers who raise undead as guardians of their tribes.

Yeah, I don't feel undead should always be evil, either. :)

You should check out the oracles juju mystery. I think it can create no evil undead.

And apparently it was an oversight.

Unfortunately...

Contributor

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Necromancer wrote:


An associated annoyance is the "positive energy = good" & "negative energy = evil". I know gothic horror and similar styles thrive on this, but I'd love to see both energy types vanish.

I'm with you, it's too simple and cliche of a dichotomy, and it's surprisingly prevalent despite no previous or current versions of the world's oldest rpg or most popular rpg actually having alignment tags on the positive and negative energy planes. I like things to be more complex, hence the jyoti being xenophobic jerks, and the sceaduinar having arguably been twisted only as a result of their actions (in my home game, they're more often TN).


Todd Stewart wrote:
Necromancer wrote:


An associated annoyance is the "positive energy = good" & "negative energy = evil". I know gothic horror and similar styles thrive on this, but I'd love to see both energy types vanish.
I'm with you, it's too simple and cliche of a dichotomy, and it's surprisingly prevalent despite no previous or current versions of the world's oldest rpg or most popular rpg actually having alignment tags on the positive and negative energy planes. I like things to be more complex, hence the jyoti being xenophobic jerks, and the sceaduinar having arguably been twisted only as a result of their actions (in my home game, they're more often TN).

[slightly-off-tangent]

I've always been at odds with idiot-proof magical healing in 3.5/Pathfinder or rather in how it's "explained". Positive energy seems to just fix things and negative energy equally damages, yet the how & why behind it all gets glossed over. Any theories?
[/slightly-off-tangent]

Silver Crusade

Necromancer wrote:

[slightly-off-tangent]

I've always been at odds with idiot-proof magical healing in 3.5/Pathfinder or rather in how it's "explained". Positive energy seems to just fix things and negative energy equally damages, yet the how & why behind it all gets glossed over. Any theories?
[/slightly-off-tangent]

Positive energy is pure life and negative energy is pure death. It's pretty easy to see why positive is labeled "good" and negative labeled "evil". They're even named "positive" and "negative" which have their own obvious meanings. Not that I think it's a particularly good setup, just that it makes sense with the way the system is structured.


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Copy-pasted from another thread.

Ashiel wrote:

Healing spells used to be necromancy spells. Remove disease was necromancy. As was raise dead (and I don't mean animate). 3.x messed it up by making conjuration (healing) where you channel positive energy to heal stuff, leaving all the inflict spells necromancy, and didn't think of any of the ramifications or logical problems of painting necromancy with only negative energy and trying to fluff it all as bad-evil-nasty.

The game was a bit more Intelligent back in the day."

There is no sacred cow that the positive/negative energy and stupid undead stuff is pandering to or trying to hold on to. It was something that was partially birthed in 3.0, mutated in 3.5, and should have died with PF/4E.

I personally prefer back in previous editions and the golden years of 3.x where the DMGs and rules had sensible things like "Unintelligent creatures cannot make moral choices and thus are always Neutral". A time where you had to be bad to be bad, or be good to be good.

I miss the days where necromancy was the school of life/death, instead of conjuration being the life school and necromancy only being death. I miss when you killed parasites in a body by proper use of necromancy, or called a soul back to life with necromancy when you cast raise dead. I enjoyed that cure and inflict were two sides of the same school.

There is a mountain of logical problems that erupt from these "fixes" that have never added anything to the game but make it seem dumb. When I read books in 3.0 about good and evil (pre-Bo*Ds), and when I read books like Manual of the Planes as a young teenager, I felt like I was reading things by really intelligent forward thinking people. They were good mechanics that made you think about things like morality, and really got you to expand your mind. Today there is little good to take away from the game that can be applied in life without making you seem stupid, unbalanced, or completely cracked in the head.

"And these people are all evil."
"Why are they all evil?"
"Because of their race" or "Because they aren't pretty" or "Because they are different than us".
"You need help."

Count me as one of the people who is on the "evil undead are evil because they are undead is stupid" wagon. Same with any other creature type really (even the creature types of alignment subtypes make it very clear that their alignment subtype is only because they are from aligned planes and can have different alignments). I'd rather have character, personality, motivations, plot. Reasons.

I want to headdesk every time someone tries to make an argument for why taking a neutral object and stuffing tons of neutral energy into it to turn it into a mindless unthinking automaton that only exists to follow the orders of its creator is both evil and makes you evil, while making Golems is entirely peachy keen and neutral even though golems actually enslave and subjugate a sentient creature to use as a battery.

It gets really old having the mechanics of my favorite RPG being a mish-mash of bad reasoning and logic, internal conflicts, forced fluff, bad mechanics, and writing that looks like someone seriously needs a philosophy class or at least a lesson "elephants are gray, but not everything gray is an elephant".

It is annoying to watch the game devolve. It is more annoying to watch people frantically cling to defend faulty logic and bad writing because it is the new status quo (it's never, ever hard to pick apart, because the problems are many and obvious).

I also dislike hardcoded alignments in general. Forcing alignments only to make breaking them more "impactful" is dumb. Give me stuff and let me decide if I want the BBEG of the campaign to be a fallen angel, or if I want a succubus who is more Chaotic Neutral than Evil, or if I want the PCs to engage in survival horror while the world is overrun by mindless plague zombies at the behest of a horrible evil and quite insane ghast-cleric who wants to slaughter the world so his flesh eating companions can gorge themselves like never before. Bonus points if there are ghoul-NPCs and vampire-NPCs who want to help the PCs because they realize the BBEG is nuts and if he kills all the living off then there will be no more dead bodies to eat in the future!

The end result is a ton of forced fluff in a game about imagination, shoveling tons of material that is effectively useless to me or anyone who ever cared anything about philosophy or morality, and is the reason people in other gaming circles make fun of the D&D crowd for being stupid. "Yeah that's the game where you play murderous hobos that commit genocide for money, because all the black elves are evil and need to die because they are black elves". Yeah, good show guys, good show.


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Riuken wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

[slightly-off-tangent]

I've always been at odds with idiot-proof magical healing in 3.5/Pathfinder or rather in how it's "explained". Positive energy seems to just fix things and negative energy equally damages, yet the how & why behind it all gets glossed over. Any theories?
[/slightly-off-tangent]
Positive energy is pure life and negative energy is pure death. It's pretty easy to see why positive is labeled "good" and negative labeled "evil". They're even named "positive" and "negative" which have their own obvious meanings. Not that I think it's a particularly good setup, just that it makes sense with the way the system is structured.

Because clearly death is innately evil (um, no?) and life is innately good (um, no?), ignoring the fact that by pumping enough death into something you get un-death (not dead?) that is the opposite of living (not dead?).

Clearly because positive and negative polarities are morally aligned.

Clearly because matter and anti-matter are good and evil.

Clearly because light and dark are the difference between loving parents and touching small children inappropriately.

Osirion

Riuken wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
An associated annoyance is the "positive energy = good" & "negative energy = evil". I know gothic horror and similar styles thrive on this, but I'd love to see both energy types vanish.
DON'T MAKE THE CLERICS CRY!!!

Transmutation magic is a perfectly viable option for healing, in a game setting without positive or negative energy, knitting up wounds and setting bones and keeping the good stuff on the insides and the bad stuff on the outsides.

Undead can still be animated by whatever arcane forces allow golems to walk around, or by the spiritual energies of ghosts bound to them, or whatever, without any need for negative energy at all.

OTOH, I like the idea of a 'wellspring' at the top of creation, from which all light and life flows, and a 'drain' at the bottom of creation, into which everything swirls to be annhilated. (and, perhaps, recycled?) I don't know that it's ever really been portrayed that way, but there's great potential for positive energy and negative energy to be something far more interesting than white-colored goodish free infinite mana and black-colored evilish free infinite mana.


Set wrote:
Riuken wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
An associated annoyance is the "positive energy = good" & "negative energy = evil". I know gothic horror and similar styles thrive on this, but I'd love to see both energy types vanish.
DON'T MAKE THE CLERICS CRY!!!

Transmutation magic is a perfectly viable option for healing, in a game setting without positive or negative energy, knitting up wounds and setting bones and keeping the good stuff on the insides and the bad stuff on the outsides.

Undead can still be animated by whatever arcane forces allow golems to walk around, or by the spiritual energies of ghosts bound to them, or whatever, without any need for negative energy at all.

OTOH, I like the idea of a 'wellspring' at the top of creation, from which all light and life flows, and a 'drain' at the bottom of creation, into which everything swirls to be annhilated. (and, perhaps, recycled?) I don't know that it's ever really been portrayed that way, but there's great potential for positive energy and negative energy to be something far more interesting than white-colored goodish free infinite mana and black-colored evilish free infinite mana.

Mmmm. Infinite black mana. Sounds like a job for consume spirit!


I thought this was about listing top 10 monsters you wish were of a different alignment. Not why people who think negative energy is evil are stupid.


Undead. For the record, I also think it's silly that undead, constructs, and vermin don't have intelligence scores of at least 1. If you can take in stimuli and interact with your environment, you need intelligence scores.

The other big one is Gargoyles - if these things were on cathedrals, shouldn't they be temple guardians? That's at least one way of interpreting things.


Odraude wrote:
I thought this was about listing top 10 monsters you wish were of a different alignment. Not why people who think negative energy is evil are stupid.

Think of it as a combination of long winded responses that could be summed up as:

"Pick 10 mindless undead at random. We hate it."
"Pick 10 forced alignments at random. We hate it."
"Pick 10 badly justified alignments. We hate it."


I think the pos/neg energy comes down more to their effect on living things, then good or evil. pos energy heals the living, neg energy harms it..that's why neutral clerics choose one. Good gods don't want to play in the energy that is antilife, and evil gods only use pos energy for actual healing spells, as it benefits them. Instead of asking "why is pos energy "good"", ask "why would good god would use neg energy", and build YOUR story from there. One answer is clerics would be somewhat overpowered if they could use both.
My thought on the undead, especially shadows and nightshades "always" being evil both simple flavor, and story/drama. They are created out of pure negative energy, which by its very nature destroys life..every instinct, urge and desire is to drain the life out of the living..kinda hard to be "good" in that sense. Undead are very machine like in that way..they are "programed" with the desire to destroy and often consume the living. Lichs are generally evil because they are so overwhelmingly selfish, if for no other reason; mummies are evil because they have been forced to be eternal guards, existing with nothing but emptiness, possibly forever, vampires have their bestial hunger "downloaded" into them on creation, which overwhelms their willpower. Even the Asian ghost stories mentioned above depends on how you define evil..that level of viciousness, bitterness and rage really is not a "good" trait, even if it is only taken out on the deserving.
Changing these backgrounds generally needs to be done with some care, because that is the horror of being undead. No matter how good, loving and strong you where in life, it is overwritten by the curse. An unusually strongwilled vampire, that retains its alignment and fights the urge to drink blood, a lich or mummy that became an eternal guardian and somehow maintained its sanity over the centuries, even a ghoul that managed to cling to its intelligence enough to control its hunger can all be great characters..because they are all but unique. If you have packs of misunderstood, mostly goodish ghouls running about, they lose the drama of being an unusual character, and the curse of being undead seems less of a horror and more of another "cool" set of abilities.
As far as Kitsune..I seen neutral as the best "typical" alignment. They react to people depending on the situation, and don't have the best or worst interests of others in mind over their own survival. Some may like people enough to risk their lives for them, others seem them as a target. There is this entry on them: There are two common classifications of kitsune. The zenko (善狐?, literally good foxes) are benevolent, celestial foxes associated with the god Inari; they are sometimes simply called Inari foxes. On the other hand, the yako (野狐?, literally field foxes, also called nogitsune) tend to be mischievous or even malicious. Local traditions add further types. For example, a ninko is an invisible fox spirit that human beings can only perceive when it possesses them. Another tradition classifies kitsune into one of thirteen types defined by which supernatural abilities the kitsune possesses.
One reason may of these beings on the list are "neutral"..is that their desires/goals/views have nothing to do with what a "normal" race would view as good or evil. Their either have a view that would be insane in a mortal creature (Inevitables, Aeons), or simply don't take the greater well being of others into account (kitsune, dhampir). Even the sceaduinars are "creatures of pure entropy, the antithesis of life)that hate the living AND undead. They are not evil because they look dark and scary..they are dark and scary because they are evil, and by their nature almost can't be good. All of the above is flavor and freely changable...but to make every creature that is dark or scary good simply because you think they look cool is every bit as silly as making every dark creature evil.
Allowing 1 good demon out of millions of evil ones is much more profound and powerful then making them common. Things like undead are evil because of the powers that create and run them..they destroy. Most outsiders are alignments made flesh..they literally ARE good and evil. Aberrations are usually evil for the same reason Cthulhu is..they have no respect, or caring for the good of anything other then themselves and their plans. Part of the reason for this is cohesive story..aboleth are slave taking creatures that view all others as cattle. It gives them "character, personality, motivations, plot. Reasons."..because racially/culturally that's what they are.
Also keep in mind..evil does not mean stupid. There is no reason why a totally evil vampire NPC can't work with others to take out another evil creature that is a threat. Just don't expect said vampire to suddenly care about the good of the orphans down the street, or want to hang out at the inn after work. It is still undead, still craves and needs the lifeblood of others.
You are free to change ALL of this in your home games..no rule says otherwise. But if your players have to stop and make 100% sure that the <insert monster here> is actually not one of the good ones, they should be set up for all kinds of attacks. In our game, orcs and hobgoblins are hireable as mercs, and the humans and lizard men have a treaty. The orcs and hobs are still evil as viewed from a human perspective..selfish bullies that want to destroy or take over..but the players just cant attack them at random just bc of their race. I play up the alien nature of the lizard men..if you dont want your slain friend eaten, then you better get the body before they do..to make sure that they are not simply reskinned humans, and to retain that flavor that makes them, in fact, monsters.
Even from the original red box, the game has always been about Law vs Chaos and Good vs Evil, and painted those things in very broad bright colors. I personally dont see a racial alignmet..say bugbears..as something a "just because the writer said so". Your typical Joe the bugbear has grown up in a brutal tribal society, where might makes right. You eat other intelligent beings..sometimes they are still moving. You are trained to be stealthy as you kill them. And yes, as written they do have an instinct to be killers..like a cat. Mix that with the culture that 99.5% of them live in, and I don't have to say that they are inherently evil..Joe will almost always come out evil, because thats all it knows, and it enjoys the rewards of it. If you mix in a racial lean for dong the cruel thing, as opposed to a lizardfolk that just does what ensures its survival with no enjoyment of poking things with sharp objects..as opposed to an elf that is raised to respect others rights, and put others first..there you have a blanket of evil/neutral/good that has an explanation other then because the book says so.


Also, with the kitsune and dhampir, it only has suggested alignments. None of them are completely hardcoded in like an outside is. Remember, rarely happens means it still happens.


The "intelligent undead shouldn't be evil" argument drives me crazy.

Intelligent vampires aren't evil because they are undead or because they have negative energy. They are evil because they eat people. They EAT people!

Intelligent ghouls aren't evil because of negative energy. They also EAT people!

Sheesh.


Sometimes there is cats wrote:

The "intelligent undead shouldn't be evil" argument drives me crazy.

Intelligent vampires aren't evil because they are undead or because they have negative energy. They are evil because they eat people. They EAT people!

Intelligent ghouls aren't evil because of negative energy. They also EAT people!

Sheesh.

There is that. My point was they eat people BECAUSE they are not the people they were; the negative energy/curse of undeath makes them into something that in most cases can be nothing BUT evil; they eat intelligent beings alive and often in the most cruel manner possible.


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Sometimes there is cats wrote:

The "intelligent undead shouldn't be evil" argument drives me crazy.

Intelligent vampires aren't evil because they are undead or because they have negative energy. They are evil because they eat people. They EAT people!

Intelligent ghouls aren't evil because of negative energy. They also EAT people!

Sheesh.

You misunderstand. The lamentation is where the moment you become a vampire your alignment changes from whatever it was to chaotic evil. You could have a good character who gets bitten and suddenly instead of going "Oh crap, I'm a vampire, must resist" you immediately jump on eating baby orphans and drinking the blood of orphanages. Whole orphanages. Even the hard wood floors man!

Even sources that paint vampires as near ravenous monsters, such as the ol' Interview with the Vampire movie, you had a protagonist vampire who wasn't really into being a vampire and tried to subsist off animals like rats and cattle. Then you have your more cultured vampires like those in Underworld who use science to their advantage, either using synthetic blood or blood banks / donors.

Ghouls primarily eat dead stuff. There is no morality issue there. Dead object is dead object. Cannibalism is squicky but not evil (because no harm is being done). Hell, their fluff suggest ghouls don't even like eating people. Here it is, horses mouths and stuff.

PRD wrote:

Ghouls are undead that haunt graveyards and eat corpses. Legends hold that the first ghouls were either cannibalistic humans whose unnatural hunger dragged them back from death or humans who in life fed on the rotting remains of their kin and died (and were reborn) from the foul disease—the true source of these undead scavengers is unclear.

Ghouls lurk on the edges of civilization (in or near cemeteries or in city sewers) where they can find ample supplies of their favorite food. Though they prefer rotting bodies and often bury their victims for a while to improve their taste, they eat fresh kills if they are hungry enough. Though most surface ghouls live primitively, rumors speak of ghoul cities deep underground led by priests who worship ancient cruel gods or strange demon lords of hunger. These “civilized” ghouls are no less horrific in their eating habits, and in fact the concept of a well-laid ghoul banquet table is perhaps even more horrifying than the concept of taking a meal fresh from the coffin.

Pretty much says ghouls do not like eating people. Killing people to eat them is not high on a ghoul's list of priorities. Eating things long dead, or making do if they are hungry enough. An adventurer comes along and fights with a ghoul, ghoul kills adventurer. Ghoul buries adventurer because the ghoul really doesn't want to eat fresh adventurer. Ghoul digs adventurer up a week later and noms it, while avoiding more adventurers. If anything, we can see the ghoul is at least not wasteful.

Again, vampires and ghouls could happily subsist on livestock. Hell, ghouls would probably be a really wonderful way to get rid of diseased livestock who were unfit to eat, or get rid of plague corpses, or whatever.

See, in my reasoning, my undead villains aren't evil because their diets change. They aren't evil because the mindless inert soulless piles of protein and calcium they devour once had a face. They are evil because they hunt them anyway. A ghoul that kills people to pickle them and eat them later is a murderer. A vampire who becomes arrogant and gluttonous in their undead immortality who preys on sentient creatures for the thrill or bloodlust knowing good and well what they are doing is wrong and other possibilities exist. That is what makes them evil. Not their creature type, not because their template arbitrarily changes their alignment with no rhyme or reason.

See, in one of my games, when Count Jerkass Von Badguy claims the title of evil, it's not because his girlfriend was a vampire and got too frisky in belfry one evening. It's because he's a terrible, monstrous, evil individual who delights in preying upon the weak, abusing his power, lusting after young nubile maidens and taking the as thrall consorts before eventually growing tired of them and either consuming or turning them into his slave spawns. He is not interested in redemption, and it is entirely his fault that he is evil with a capital E. He's evil because he knows the difference between right and wrong and he revs down hard on wrong and enjoys the twisted ride that it is.

EDIT: In other words, Count Jerkass Von Badguy would be evil even if he wasn't undead. Or he would be closet evil. Maybe he hasn't done anything evil yet but he would given the ability to get away with it. Then low and behold he ends up a vampire. Now he has power, immortality, and all that entails. No one can stop him from giving into, nay, relishing his dark urges with reckless abandon. He was evil before he became a vampire. Now he's just evil that is dangerous.

Cheliax

Riuken wrote:

This is my only big one:

Undead: I agree, they're cooler when they're not universally evil. The mindless ones can be universally evil, but they should match the creator's alignment for law/chaos. The intelligent ones should be allowed to make their own decisions, having alignments as varied as the creatures they're created from. See Undying Court. If a wizard wants to live forever in order to fulfill a promise to a village that he would protect them, and becomes a lich in order to do so, he sounds pretty LG. I'm not sure why becoming undead suddenly fills your heart with selfishness and hate. Maybe that's just how it is, but I'd like to see it changed.

Because you have to eat the still beating heart of a unicorn and other really bad things to become a lich. That's why FR had Archliches people who sought a different path there and were good guys but didn't have the same power set as a normal lich.


I think it depends on how you define "vampire". IWTV vamps had an intense humger that made them emo and mopy, but didn't change who they were. Other fiction has you hardly be human at all, once you change (from dusk to dawn comes to mind). As written, a being killed by a vampire means the essence that made the character NOT chaotic evil is gone, replaced by the animating force of the vampire. That is the baseline vampire in the Pathfinder setting, same as it is in From Dusk to Dawn, or Sunglasses After Dark. If you don't like it, change it in your home game, but railing on a game based in part about fighting monsters because their vampires turn evil seems odd. Look at it like this..you may like the drama of the character fighting the hunger V:tM style; others may like the sheer horror of a once trusted ally becoming wholly monstrous..
The ghoul is another good example..morally it has NO PROBLEM killing a person for food..it is just to lazy to. The reverse of what you are saying, in a sense..because being to lazy to hunt people does NOT make it good. Most folktales of ghouls where just that; they where evil creatures that would waylay and kill the living if they had an easy chance too, but they were also cowardly and afraid of discovery. They also knew that eating the dead was taboo, as was murdering the living, but where helpless NOT too..and most overtime just gave in to the urges. Otherwise being undead means you dont age, and eat funny..hardly a curse. Is a vampire that is incapable of not killing innocents, even if it feels remorse afterwards any less of a monster? This is also the chase the tail argument..baseline setting is by becoming a ghoul/vampire/other undead you exist to kill the living..they don't HAVE the choice to not prey on sentient beings. They are evil because that's what they exist to do..kill and devour the bodies and/or lifeforce of living beings. The horror of being undead is that the desire to ruin the living is ALL you have..no other joy, or pleasure..you can't fight the urge to kill even those you once loved most. They can't simply subsist on livestock, because they also want to/have the urge to kill the person delivering the livestock.
Cannibalism being evil is a whole other issue..real world it is grey enough that most cultures view it as evil..in most fantasy games/worlds it is an evil act.


divineshadow wrote:
Riuken wrote:

This is my only big one:

Undead: I agree, they're cooler when they're not universally evil. The mindless ones can be universally evil, but they should match the creator's alignment for law/chaos. The intelligent ones should be allowed to make their own decisions, having alignments as varied as the creatures they're created from. See Undying Court. If a wizard wants to live forever in order to fulfill a promise to a village that he would protect them, and becomes a lich in order to do so, he sounds pretty LG. I'm not sure why becoming undead suddenly fills your heart with selfishness and hate. Maybe that's just how it is, but I'd like to see it changed.

Because you have to eat the still beating heart of a unicorn and other really bad things to become a lich. That's why FR had Archliches people who sought a different path there and were good guys but didn't have the same power set as a normal lich.

Yeah, they were actually stronger than normal liches, and had extra cool powers like the ability to cast animate dead at will as a spell-like ability (IE - no material component).


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I agree completely regarding Aeons.

Aeons destroy and devastate for []no appreciable reason[/i].

That they claim it is for some mysterious universal balance means absolutely nothing.

Their reasons cannot be known by any other being in existence, other than other Aeons. For this reason, they are practically no different from being completely insane. Their reasons are not real reasons. They are handwaves from the GM as 'your mortal minds would never understand'.

Aeons are evil and insane in the same way a homicidal conspiracy theorist is. They go around killing because they believe in some vast and greater order to things that simply cannot be understood by anyone else.


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Blackerose wrote:
I think it depends on how you define "vampire". IWTV vamps had an intense humger that made them emo and mopy, but didn't change who they were. Other fiction has you hardly be human at all, once you change (from dusk to dawn comes to mind). As written, a being killed by a vampire means the essence that made the character NOT chaotic evil is gone, replaced by the animating force of the vampire. That is the baseline vampire in the Pathfinder setting, same as it is in From Dusk to Dawn, or Sunglasses After Dark. If you don't like it, change it in your home game, but railing on a game based in part about fighting monsters because their vampires turn evil seems odd. Look at it like this..you may like the drama of the character fighting the hunger V:tM style; others may like the sheer horror of a once trusted ally becoming wholly monstrous..

The problem I have with this is that vampires get smarter, more cunning, and more charismatic. There is not much that suggests that D&D/PF vampires somehow devolve into ravenous beastly feral thing. Nor are they presented as such in D&D lore as such (vampires feature prominently in Baldur's Gate II, and a powerful vampire matriarch is an antagonist) and they are cool, calm, and collected.

Vampires in D&D/PF are generally presented as your noble vampire sorts (my favorite sort of fantasy vampires). They are not some mindless ravenous undead for which many other brutish things could be used. They are noble, charismatic, and dangerous. If you compare vampires in D&D to those found in 28 days of night vs say Count Magnus Lee and his Daughter Mamika from Vampire Hunter D, they clearly fall much more in line with the latter.

If you want to know what's really cool and scary about your friend getting turned into a vampire, it's the fact that not only does he or she have to deal with the whole bloodlust thing, but now they are the minion thrall of the vampire who sired them. For example, if your perky friendly bard in the party gets dominated and then turned by Count Jerkass Von Badguy, then suddenly you can't trust her at all until Jerkass Von Badguy is destroyed or releases her from his grasp, or else she can turn on you at his slightest whim. It makes being charmed or dominated look like kindergarden play. But what makes it really bad is you know that there is nothing she can do to stop it, and your only way to stop her should she go berserk or be forced to go berserk is killing her. Killing her while she's undead no less (which makes bringing her back to life more than a little tricky for anyone without access to resurrection spells.

Also, I'm happy you think the game is just about killing monsters. That's good for you. Roleplaying games (D&D being the first one) are about a little more than just monster slaying to me and many other people. If all there is to the game is just monster slaying then there is no need for an alignment system at all, or personalities, or stories for that matter. In the meantime, I'm going to take the wealth of fluff (which often does not mix with the mechanics), the various detailed NPCs, stories, skills, and non-combat related material and make an educated guess that there is more to the game than killing monsters.

Hence my issue with the "haha, you got bit, chaotic evil". It pisses all over the alignment system for what it supposed to be. It dumbs down the game and frankly makes evil not so evil. If evil is just something you are branded with like a coating of paint, then evil isn't really evil. If evil is a moral conscious choice, then evil is evil. I won't even argue that the vast majority of vampires are probably terrible evil individuals. I just argue that they are terrible evil individuals for being terrible evil individuals, not for being vampires.

Quote:
The ghoul is another good example..morally it has NO PROBLEM killing a person for food..it is just to lazy to. The reverse of what you are saying, in a sense..because being to lazy to hunt people does NOT make it good.

I'll put it like this. Adventurers have NO PROBLEM killing a person for some reason, such as self defense or because they were paid to kill them (such as when you're paid to kill orc bandits), or when you're doing it for some sort of "greater good". If ghouls are evil people bent on murdering people, then they're going to be evil, they're going to kill people, they're going to eat them. But that's because they're evil, not because they are ghouls!

If they are evil because they are ghouls and not because they are actually consciously evil by choice, then you diminish what it is to be evil. By their Paizo given fluff in the bestiary, ghouls don't actually sound evil by nature. More like opportunists who avoid people. They clearly have the ability to kill people with virtually no reciprocation on the parts of the victim (your average commoner has 3 hp and a 1d3 nonlethal attack, so a ghoul ambush is GG for the commoner). Most don't do that. They hang on the edge of civilization and only resort to killing for food if they are extremely hungry. Sounds more like Neutral to me that does, but I'm even willing to say many ghouls are likely to be evil. But again, I stress that they are evil because they are evil, not because they are ghouls!

Quote:
Most folktales of ghouls where just that; they where evil creatures that would waylay and kill the living if they had an easy chance too, but they were also cowardly and afraid of discovery.

I'm not sure what you mean by most "folktales" of ghouls. Ghouls traditionally were demons who were shapeshifters who ate dead things, lured people into traps with their shapeshifting tricks and then killed them and took their stuff (like a naughty adventurer). The eating the dead thing stuck though, and the ghouls in D&D and Pathfinder are clearly not demons, nor shapeshifters, nor do they go out of their way to kill people and take their stuff.

Quote:
They also knew that eating the dead was taboo, as was murdering the living, but where helpless NOT too..and most overtime just gave in to the urges. Otherwise being undead means you dont age, and eat funny..hardly a curse.

Again, what folktales are you talking about? It sounds to me like you're just making stuff up to justify your position. Can you cite some examples? I cited the Pathfinder Bestiary, and I can cite wikipedia as well. Also, taboo does not mean evil. It was a taboo to exhume corpses for doctors to learn how to treat still living patients. It has been a taboo to be left handed. Being a homosexual was (and is) taboo in some places. Eating human bodies is taboo. What makes it evil is if you are harming someone with it. Eating dead bodies by its nature is impossible to define as evil in D&D's morality because it has nothing to do with hurting, oppressing, or harming living sentient creatures. Once you're dead, your remains are only just so much protein, calcium, and other elements. Much like rocks.

So the ghoul must be evil for some other reason. Either the individual ghoul (or even most ghouls) are nasty heinous sentient creatures, ore they are not. It's not because they are ghouls.

Quote:
Is a vampire that is incapable of not killing innocents, even if it feels remorse afterwards any less of a monster? This is also the chase the tail argument..baseline setting is by becoming a ghoul/vampire/other undead you exist to kill the living..they don't HAVE the choice to not prey on sentient beings.

If you have no choice then it is not an issue of morality. If you have no choice then you are not responsible for your actions. You are only responsible for your actions and thus going to register on the alignment radar by having choice. That's the whole point of good and evil. It's not what hat you wear, it's what choices you make. If a vampire literally cannot choose to not kill people then he is not committing evil.

Quote:
They are evil because that's what they exist to do..kill and devour the bodies and/or lifeforce of living beings.

Not buying it. Either you have choice or you don't. You make an amazing argument for all vampires to be True Neutral, but a really crappy one for them being Evil. In fact, if your argument is "they kill because they must, and thus they are evil" then we should just make every other creature incapable of making a moral choice that kills things to survive (IE - all predators) automatically evil as well. Either your logic applies across the board or it is faulty.

It's also worth noting that much of your arguments are entirely grounded in your own fiction. You are not citing vampires as they are in D&D, nor ghouls. You are creating excuses for their evil alignment rather than evaluating what we actually have to go on, and you are attributing weaknesses, conditions, states, and other circumstances that are entirely your own creation or assertion to justify them being evil (but make a better case for them being Neutral than I ever would).


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lol @ Count Jerkass Von Badguy


Grimmy wrote:
lol @ Count Jerkass Von Badguy

Thank you, I'll be here all week!

Hisss!
Get back in your coffin, Jerkass! The power of voodoo compels you! (It's technically a holy symbol!)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Have to narrow it down to ten?

This is going to take a while.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll play:

Mortal Sapient races: I personally believe and would rather have anything that is intelligent and possesses free will be neutral in alignment. Yes, some species are bound to have crappy societies or behavioral tendencies that will make them lean in one direction or another, but I don't like the baggage that an "all evil" race has. It encourages cliches and stereotypes, creates logic problems (how are they not extinct if the entire race are nothing but stab happy baby eaters?), and also leads to some icky situations (It's okay to slaughter that nursery of orcs, after all we know they are evil!).

Exceptions would be races that are so alien in mindset that compromise is impossible (Quite a few aberrations would fall here) or who have life cycles whose perpetration requires harming others (see Xenomorphs).

I actually think that ghouls and vampires being evil as a general rule is quite a bit different. Both creatures have been afflicted with an unnatural craving that they can never cure or truly contain. Add in immortality and I think it's the eventual fate of nearly every member of either group to lose there humanity and start thinking of people as food, not, well people

Nonsapient undead: This is entirely different; if it doesn't have a mind, it can't consciously be evil. Now if your fluff says that zombies and such can only be raised by some sort of heinous act or something, then zombies might be evil, but only because of how they were made.


Aeons suffer from the Mordenkainen Syndrome (aka True Stupid). And I don't really like the idea of supporting neutrality in that manner.

I personally am fine with certain things being universally evil. Things like demons, devils, certain undead. I feel that it makes redeeming one all the more rewarding and that it should be more the exception to the rule.

Undead I play by ear. I don't believe that mindless always equals non-evil, but I'm okay with neutral. Ghosts would probably keep their alignment, while wraiths are evil since they are spawned more from violence and hatred. Ghouls (in my setting) are evil only because they prefer the flesh of the freshly killed covered in grave dirt. I have come to dislike the tragic vampire you see in the media now. It was novel with Interview with a Vampire, but has honestly become overdone. Still, I don't like the Instantly Evil! idea and I simply make the vampiric curse gradual, with people making an effort to fight the bloodlust and urges that comes with the curse. But like lycanthropy, I still want it to be a curse that will eventually consume and blacken the soul. Similar thing with liches. And for me, negative energy is evil and positive energy is good. Although I don't have that silly "Too much Positive Energy kills you with life" and until today, I had no idea those planes had denizens.

I don't know, perhaps that I'm the opposite of you Ashiel. I find the tragedy of good turning evil to be much more engaging and fun than themes of redemption. I can definitely acknowledge both being great, but I just love seeing the classic story of good following the dark path of lichdom and becoming corrupted into something wholly demented.

And I want my villains to be smart, twisted, and deliciously evil. And voiced by Tim Curry.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Just going to collapse a lot of mine into "mortal sapient races", like a lot of folks have done upthread.

I just prefer variety in my orcs, goblins, etc. Always detested Always Evil being applied to them, and I absolutely hate the places the game goes with that route.

On the flipside, the typically "good" races often seem to not deserve that general alignment at all between their behavior in the actual setting and the race-hate-as-class-feature built into their mechanics. That's another thing that has led to some unfortunate behavior when allegedly good characters play their racism mechanics to the hilt.

so 1. Mortal sapient races in general.

That certainly clears up some space.

2. Forlarren

I much prefer Tome of Horrors' approach here. N bipolar beings of troubled heritage present more possibilities than NE wickedly evil with a self-debuff mechanic. This is an example of a creature that got MUCH less interesting in the shift to PFRPG rules. I'm just sticking with Tome of Horrors' flavor for mine.

ToH Forlarren are presented as troubled NPCs with a wide range of possibility for a lot of groups. PF Forlarren are presented as simple villains.

3. Scaeduinar

I just don't like adding more fuel to the fire for the whole positive energy = good/negative energy = evil misinterpretation. Really prefer these as neutral in the same way the jyoti are.

Speaking of negative energy:

4. A whole lot of undead

For a lot of the reasons listed already. The blanket statement of "all undead are always evil" just kills a lot of stories and themes. Personally, I love the idea of eternally faithful mummy guardians watching of the necropoli of the just. Ghost bards haunting and teaching promising and touched musicians. Stuff like the Undying Court. And one can have all of that and evil undead, even types of undead that would always be evil, like demiliches and devourers. It's not an either-or that many people try to make it out to be.

I'd rather have an undead's alignment generally depend more on the individual and how* they became undead than a simple blanket classification.

Also, Crypt Thing is still neutral and I don't care what Bestiary 2 says.

Wasn't a fan of that particular shift in 3.x at all.

*This is part of why I love Kobold Quarterly's White Necromancer so much.

5. Medusa

Y'know, I really just want to see some sympathetic and possibly heroic medusas show up. Because honestly? That particular mythological figure needs a damn break. Look back at the original myth and her origins. Who are the real monsters there?

New Clash of the Titans was horrible by the way. Yeah, real heroic there guys.

That we had a horrifically ugly thread way back where some truly disgusting actions were "justified" by some by pointing at the LE alignment as concrete universal fact only makes me want to see this race get a fair shake free from the shadow of Ancient Greek misogyny that much more.

6. Shinigami

This is a really weird one. On the one hand, it's general flavor should make it a good fit for the Psychopomp crew.

On the other hand, it acts like a damn Daemon. Considering its abilities, if it uses them, it shouldn't be anything other than evil unless its abilities don't do exactly what they say they do. Otherwise, these guys should be getting hunted down just like daemons.

7. Garudas

I'd rather not change their alignment, but rather some of their suggested behavior that would pretty much require them to be non-good. The naga-hate is questionable even before you get into the fact that many nagas aren't typically evil. I'm probably just going to add some nuance there and have their attitudes towards naga-kind be rooted more in extreme values dissonance rather than "KILL ON SIGHT!"

A supposedly good celestial outsider race that would hate on an entire mortal race(Nagaji)? No thanks.

8. Dark Slayers

I really didn't like what these guys did to the Dark Folk. It just dropped a very curious, interesting group of races into "It's dark, it's evil" territory. If there had been a good-aligned Dark Folk variant to balance things it would be a different matter entirely, but as it is currently, it pretty much ruined the "dark, but not evil" thing the Dark Stalkers and Creepers had going for them. It undermines a lot of what made the original Dark Folk interesting.

I disliked the evil slaad variants for similar reasons.

9. Orcs

Yeah, covered in 1. Don't care. Predominantly CN, which as much range towards good or evil as humans.


They don't really force an alignment on many of the playable races. They mostly give possible outcomes of alignment based on culture, but really, many of the playable races can be of any alignment.


I never said that they were out of control killing machines..There is no reason a vampire can be cool calm and collected..and still thinking and planning to kill you when your dealings are done. That is what makes them both dangerous and dramatic..they are ice cold killers. Its less a "moral choice" then having the part of you that would be moral being destroyed and replaced by a monstrous other. But to paint ALL vamps..and other undead as simply making a moral choice..again it removes part of the horror of the undead. Its hardly "putting a new coat of paint"..its taking someone that was..say a lawful good priest..and turning him into everything he hated. He may even know it, and hate it..but he is now a monster.
I never said that the game was "only" about killing monsters..if anything my points about making a nonevil undead npc should show that..but lets face it..a lot of people enjoy that aspect of the fantasy. It is a part of the game..and you can build a deep and full drawn NPC that is deeply and truly evil, with a back story that can emotionally affect players.
We clearly have different views on evil..the simple event of becoming a ghoul is so perverting and twisting..that at best you could have one constantly at war with its nature, and likely CN. Its not about morals..its about having a lack of them. I am well aware of the origin of ghouls in folklore..and how the term has evolved over time. If you really want I will try to find the stories I am referring too. As far as taboo..I think there have been pages and pages and pages on here debating eating the dead and cannibalism..not going there.
If you have no choice..it is NOT an issue of morality..but its still EVIL. Like it or not the outside world puts a point of view on it. The reason a vampire is different..and undead in general..to a lion or bear is that there is a maliciousness to it. As written they do one of two things..casually kill with no thought..or kill in cruel ways. That and the simple unnaturalness of what they are.

I think I am done..there was really no reason to be snarky or insulting. You accuse me of "my" fiction..yet that is exactly what you are doing. I said many times..play as YOU like. And if you are going to push folklore..then your vampires should be near mindless killing machines.

Andoran

I've always felt that it was implied that the alignments given in the Bestiary are only a guideline. After all, there's only so much space in the book, and it would be infeasible to try and describe the particulars of a races' alignment in the book. After all, tieflings appear in the Bestiary as NE, but it's well established in cannon that they can have any alignment. If they put, say, Humans in the bestiary instead of the core rule book, their alignment would probably be listed as Neutral, because they're being described as being more or less neutral "over all" as a species.

On the other hand, I can see some very good reasons for making, say, good or lawful members of certain monstrous races rare in the extreme. Gnolls, for instance, are described as being raised in an environment of extreme competition and violence, to the extent that, like real life spotted hyenas in the wild, only one member of a given litter is likely to survive because they *eat their siblings*. Furthermore, if I'm not mistaken they, like several other monstrous races, mature relatively quickly and die relatively young. When your entire society consists mostly of out-of-control adolescents, you've been raised to think of institutionalized demon-worship and human sacrifice the same way people in the Bible Belt think of going to church on sunday, and your earliest memories consist of killing your siblings with your bare claws and then eating them, it's hard to imagine that you're going to be able to conform to any "civilized" humanoid's idea of good. That's not to say there aren't any good gnolls, just that they're likely very rare and probably have an even shorter life expectancy than an evil gnoll.

I mean, things like child abuse, torture, rape, and human sacrifice are pretty much universally considered "evil" in Golarion, and yet there have been cultures in the real world where these things have been not only acceptable, but *ordinary* parts of everyday life. When you take into account the kind of instinctual behaviors we find in the animal world, infanticide in lion prides, for instance, it's not really that hard to imagine a non-human culture that wouldn't bat an eye at things we would consider horrifying atrocities.

That being said, the best reason for not having a lot of good orcs and goblins and gnolls running around is probably just that a lot of us are still trying to get the bad taste of Drizzt out of our mouths.

And as for positive and negative energy being innately associated with good and evil deities, respectively, it makes sense to me. From the perspective of literally every living thing everywhere, negative energy does exactly one thing, and that's hurt things. Positive energy, on the other hand, can literally only heal living beings. You could certainly make the argument that negative energy could be wielded to protect the innocent just as much as a sword could, and that positive energy could be used to bolster the forces of evil, and I couldn't really argue with you. When it comes down to it though, I tend to agree with the idea that if good and evil could somehow be boiled down to elemental forces, evil would be "that which hurts/destroys things" and good would be "that which creates/restores things."

Ugh, sorry for rambling; probably should go to bed before I make a total fool of myself >_>

Andoran

1) Asura - confusing, I call the old CG ones Ahuras now, Persian name
2) Frost Giants - and other giants-titans, tough that's D&D's fault, rebellion against the gods automatically turned creatures evil - Zeus was CG
3) Archon - they are gnostic creatures, N or LE I think
4) Valkyrie - not sure why chaotic?
5) Agathion-Guardinal - neutral with good tendencies, like the Beastlands
6) Sceaduinar
7) Duergar
8) Troll - from mythology I don't think they're pure CE
9)

can't think of any more that I disagree, the rest seem ok


For the frost giants, they are based more on the Hrimthurs of Niflheim in Norse mythology. They were generally though as evil, like most giants in ancient mythologies (cyclopses, ogres, ettin). I think the Norse goddess Skadi was a frost giant, but I could be mistaken. Loki was half frost giant.

As for Asura, The word itself is lent to confusion. In Zoroastrianism, they are Ahuras and are good while the Daevas (in Pathfinder, Divs) are evil. In Hinduism, they aren't necessarily evil, but more opposed to the Devas. It's in Buddhism where you see the asuras as beings of pride and evil. I think that's why Pathfinder's asuras are evil but have the capability of redemption. They probably had to be evil since we already have the devas in the bestiaries as an angel. Course... we also have Divs.

Asuras play a very large part in my setting, which has a lot from Indo-European cultures. It's how I know a lot of this stuff. :D


I like the fact that many races, including most undead, are almost always evil. It prevents every freaking combat encounter from turning into a morality play. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a good moral quandary now and then. But I don't want to have to worry about whether or not killing is the right thing to do every time I come across a group of goblin raiders.

Most of the time I want to break out Ye Olde Battle-Axe and just get down to business.

I do like that in Eberron dragons are not necessarily tied to an alignment by color, because that always seemed odd to me, and dragons tend to lend themselves to more than a throwaway combat encounter in any case.


Am I the only one who thinks that - at least be the looks alone - Angels and Archons should have their alignments swapped?

If you think Lawful Good Celestials, do you think:

a) Beautiful but also awe inspiring humanoids with large white wings

OR

b) funny blue shapechanging dogs, floating lights and blue men with wings?

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