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Coup de Grâce off the table?


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Is Coup de Grâce illegal for Society characters to use because it is an "evil act"? If anyone has reference to this in writing I would love to see it. I have tried to search it in a few PDF's and on the boards here and haven't had any luck.

A GM yesterday told me the sleep-CdG combo was not legal for society play because it is written that CdG is evil and therefore not allowed. I have seen a lot of people on these boards arguing circumstance and intentionality, but nothing in published text.

Thanks

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

CDG is legal. PFS does not necessarily consider it automatically evil. There maybe situations that would make it evil.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Your GM is misinformed (or potentially full of BS). CdG is not an evil act in itself.

Assuming we're talking about an enemy here (no moral gray areas or whatever), then what's the difference between a sleep+CdG combo and just attacking until they die? (I assume your GM allows the latter, yes?) Frankly, sleep+CdG is probably the more merciful of the two, since it'll be virtually painless.

I have a suspicion. I've heard GMs before complain about sleep (or the Slumber hex, or hold person, or whatever) followed by a CdG because they felt it was too powerful and trivialized encounters. Given that we know that sentiment exists, it's hard not to suspect that the GM in question feels the same way and has made up a rationale to hide behind instead of owning his feelings on the matter.

Might not be the case, but as a courtesy, you might consider using other tactics when at that GM's table, for the sake of his fun.

But as far as answering your question, no, Coup de Grace is not inherently evil.

Andoran *****

It is not written anywhere that I am aware of, that coup de grace is illegal for PFS or that it is evil in PFS.

As a matter of fact, it is not strictly illegal for a PFS character to perform an evil act. There are rules in the current guide (4.2) that allow for GM's to mark on a chronicle if an evil act was committed and if enough of them happen (or the one act was so egregious that it warrants immediate change) then the character can be listed as evil, and then become unplayable in PFS.

Each GM will have their own interpretation of killing a helpless foe as to whether it is evil or not.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hold person and a CdG are the only reason my party avoided a TPK in a particular scenario. The caster and rogue who performed the combo were the only ones still conscious. That sounds like heroism, not evil.

Andoran *****

Especially being that Sleep and Hold Person does not necessarily mean that enemy is never going to fight again.

Pals of the enemy can wake him up, and he can fight again.

The guy gets a new save every round against Hold Person.

*

OK thanks. I don't think the GM was against the action due to any harsh feelings he had about sleep. He said we could freely tie up the enemies we had slept and there were no other enemies around at the time.

I just wanted to clarify because I thought this opened the door to a real problem in the future where we might want to CdG during battle or because my character can barely carry his own equipment, let alone lots of extra manacles/rope/etc we might not always be able to bind them long term.

On reflection, I think my issue stems from a roleplay point of view also. I don't envision my character as having much moral compunction about killing things that have been and may continue to be a threat to us, even if they are not currently so.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

Given the right circumstances, a particularly lawful good PC might take issue with a coup de grace, but in general there is nothing preventing it. It is clearly a good risk vs. reward action that increases survivability. Perhaps your GM is confusing the talk about GMs doing it to helpless characters when there are other, more immediate threats. Some would call that an "evil" act by the GM, or at least a jerk move.

Grand Lodge ****

sleep+CdG is not evil. It's efficient and boring, especially if repeated, but not evil.

However, I've had some issues with PCs killing sleeping targets. Not targets which were attacking them, KOed by a spell, then killed, but just guy guys in a room, asleep, when the PCs come upon them. In cases like this, unless the PCs specifically recognized them, or otherwise have some definitive method of determining if the sleeping guys are bad guys, I'd consider it an evil act to kill them. Have them wake up and attack you would be definitive enough me (so feel free to sleep+CdG them).


Don't think I've ever sen a Coup de Grace performed during PFS play. Just seems a bit... cheap.

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Dust Raven wrote:
However, I've had some issues with PCs killing sleeping targets. Not targets which were attacking them, KOed by a spell, then killed, but just guy guys in a room, asleep, when the PCs come upon them. In cases like this, unless the PCs specifically recognized them, or otherwise have some definitive method of determining if the sleeping guys are bad guys, I'd consider it an evil act to kill them. Have them wake up and attack you would be definitive enough me (so feel free to sleep+CdG them).

Just because you might think that it is, for example, inappropriate to "bypass" an encounter in this is no reason to pit a blanket ban on something by abusing the DM's prerogative to adjudicate evil acts. Its not Evil, just brutally pragmatic and not Good.

In this situation though I would accept things like the paladin waking up the enemies as legitimate and not the trolling, disruptive behavior the triggering encounters on the party willy-nilly usually is.

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Funky Badger wrote:
Don't think I've ever sen a Coup de Grace performed during PFS play. Just seems a bit... cheap.

I have, and as the DM, I resisted the temptation to play alignment streightjacket.

The Icebound Outpost:
The party executed some captured Aspis agents in the Tapestry, sine they couldn't in any good conscience actually leave Aspis agents in there, and at the time there was no way to physically remove them. Also the former slaves needed the supplies to survive untill means could be found to gt them out of the tapestry.


Saint Caleth wrote:
Funky Badger wrote:
Don't think I've ever sen a Coup de Grace performed during PFS play. Just seems a bit... cheap.

I have, and as the DM, I resisted the temptation to play alignment streightjacket.

** spoiler omitted **

That sounds like a whole other, different can of worms right there :)

I think we just had a fight to the death...

Qadira ****

Mike Brock might know something about this type of combo...

Grand Lodge *****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

I sometimes wonder how many players have ever considered manacles instead of a coup de gras.

I had one slumber CdG combination in the last game I GMed. To bad for the player who did the hex - and cheered another player on doing the CdG - that they had just killed his mission.

Manacles would have saved him this embarrassment.

Shadow Lodge

i cant see how killing someone who is unarmed, or a non threat can be concidered a non evil act. you're killing out of convenience, you could spend that full round tieing them up.

good v evil from d20pfsrd.com

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

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

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

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

now ignoring out of game morality i would say that it is an evil or neutral act. by definition of what is evil in the rules of the game.

the U.S. law defines murder as "killing a person with evil or malicious intent" and murder is viable as a definition, in the event of an altercation between 2 people, when one person is no longer a threat. so coup de grace is murder, there is no question about that.

do you see murder as evil? i do and as a gm i would have that count as an evil act towards their alignment.

***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Red-Assassin

I see an on going on going alignment and morality thread that should be locked.

Some Coup de Grâce's will be an evil act, some won't. Rely upon your table GM.

Speak with your GM or roleplay the Coup de Grâce, a good GM will give you warning.

For instance I am aware of a LG character CdG a CG cleric in a barfight, the cleric was fighting defensivley doing non-lethal damage till rendered unconscious with a spell. I would consider this to be an evil act. The LG character ignored the GM warning and murders a helpless character, atonement was charged.

Shadow Lodge

Chris Bonnet wrote:

I see an on going on going alignment and morality thread that should be locksd.

Some Coup de Grâce's will be an evil act, some won't. Rely upon your table GM.

Speak with your GM or roleplay the Coup de Grâce, a good GM will give you warning.

For instance I am aware of a LG character CdG a CG cleric in a barfight, the cleric was fighting defensivley doing non-lethal damage till rendered unconscious with a spell. I would consider this to be an evil act. The LG character ignored the GM warning and murders a helpless character, atonement was charged.

its not really an alignment thread. any time you attack a helpless target its an evil act in the real world. i havent ever seen a book of law for absalom so i would use real life morality for such an event.

Grand Lodge ****

Saint Caleth wrote:
Dust Raven wrote:
However, I've had some issues with PCs killing sleeping targets. Not targets which were attacking them, KOed by a spell, then killed, but just guy guys in a room, asleep, when the PCs come upon them. In cases like this, unless the PCs specifically recognized them, or otherwise have some definitive method of determining if the sleeping guys are bad guys, I'd consider it an evil act to kill them. Have them wake up and attack you would be definitive enough me (so feel free to sleep+CdG them).

Just because you might think that it is, for example, inappropriate to "bypass" an encounter in this is no reason to pit a blanket ban on something by abusing the DM's prerogative to adjudicate evil acts. Its not Evil, just brutally pragmatic and not Good.

In this situation though I would accept things like the paladin waking up the enemies as legitimate and not the trolling, disruptive behavior the triggering encounters on the party willy-nilly usually is.

I would call killing a neutral NPC in his sleep an evil act, especially if the PC killing him is doing so without regard to whether or not he is or isn't any sort of enemy. It's on par with killing anyone you happen to come across "just in case."

If it were clear the sleeping NPC was an enemy, or would wish the PC unprovoked harm if it were awake, then no, no evil. Definitely not good, but also not evil.


Chris Bonnet wrote:
I see an on going on going alignment and morality thread that should be locked.

I have nothing to add past full agrement with this.

Qadira **** Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast aka heretic

I think as RPGers we can get a little too caught up in mechanics. There is a mechanical difference between CdG and a normal attack dealing lethal damage but from the point of view of the attacker both are attempts to kill the target.

So frankly attacking a helpless opponent with either a full round or standard action is not really morally different. When you swing your great axe in the surprise round and behead the foe with a crit or a rogue gets someone flat footed and quite literally goes for the jugular the resulting death is no less fatal than a CdG.

The question is when is it OK to slay a helpless enemy? In particular to the world of Golarion, which if it is anything like our world will probably have a range of standards depending who you ask and where.

So as there is no specific, blanket rule about the morality of killing helpless people via CdG or otherwise is not an automatic evil act. Nor is the act of homicide in an open fight automatically considered to be not evil.

Is it worth a debate as to how the PFS world of Golarion handles such things? I doubt it would hurt and might help reach a consensus.

W

Taldor

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As a veteran GM of 30 years... I would chime in to suggest the context of the campaign, the adventure, and the dynamic of the characters involved are all important variables to consider.

Is the campaign set in a hostile land where mere survival is a daily chore?

Is the adventure mission or quest defining enemies as anyone who compromises the mission?

Do the PCs themselves have views on this in-character, in the context of their own experiences or backstory?

Bottom line: Coup de Grâce is just another attack method, no different from a butter knife or a lazerbeam. What matters most when determining exactly "what is evil" is the context of evil within your campaign setting including its peoples' laws traditions and beliefs, within the context of the adventure story, and filtered against the personal views of the player characters.

A paladin may have a righteous reason to Coup de Grâce a sleeping NPC. And thus careless killing should always be questioned for purpose, rationale, motive, context, and therefore justification.

Good luck - this is a great topic, worthy of discussion. Carry on.
Pax

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I really do appreciate the input. It seems to answer my question that 'No it is not written as evil".

On an added note, I have to say that I am in agreement with Heretic that open discussion about people's personal feelings on the matter is a positive thing. It may help to shade the grey to a more common tone or to spark an official ruling. Apparently this is not the first time something very similar has come up.

As to the good-evil by definition bit by Sidekick, I don't see any of the targets we have had as innocents.

As to bringing about manacles, my character sports a whopping 7 strength and is lucky to drag himself out on the battlefield at full speed, I don't really see the extra weight as a regular option. However, if the person seems like they could potentially be a resource as in Thod's scenario, I try to get someone with more capable hands than myself to hold them for interrogation. I actually don't even have the strength or weapons to deliver the final blow myself; I rely on a like-minded pathfinder to close the deal for me.

What does Mike know that was alluded to?


A CdG is not an evil act but, as others have said, a CdG could be performed with evil intent.

Sidekick- Would you consider a battery victim who, after months and years of abuse, kills their sleeping abuser evil? There are numerous cases in the U.S. alone where the assault and subsequent death of a "helpless assailant" gets classified as self-defense. I don't believe it's as black and white as you seem to be making it.

Grand Lodge ****

Coup De Grace is not evil.
Cold blooded killing can be evil under certain circumstances.

Try this checklist:

-Is the CdG participant being threatened by allies of the CdG recipient at the time of the deed?
-Does the crimes of the CdG recipient deserve death as punishment?
-Does the surrounding settlements NOT have the resources to rehabilitate or imprison the potential CdG recipient? (assuming the recipient is a criminal)
-Is the CdG recipient of an evil or destructive race as described by the Bestiary?
-Does the CdG recipient have an intelligence of 3 or lower?
-Does the CdG participant refuse to take pleasure from the killing?
-Are there no other team members of the CdG participant offering a reasonable, alternative method other than murder?

If you get a fair few YES answers to the above questions, you can be pretty sure the CdG participant is just doing what any reasonable person would under the dangerous circumstances.

(And yes, the Slumber hex is irritating for the GM, especially for those one foe versus an entire party fights!)


I think that if they took action against you, such as an attack for damage, it is not evil. If you just "pass them by" then they won't know you are there, therefore you have to assume that they are neutral. Uniformed soldiers/guards, of course, are an exception.

In pathfinder it is possible to be facing a LG opponent, generally you can expect the good foes to give you a chance to prove yourself a non-enemy. You have to give them the same courtesy

Shadow Lodge

Ed Girallon Poe wrote:

A CdG is not an evil act but, as others have said, a CdG could be performed with evil intent.

Sidekick- Would you consider a battery victim who, after months and years of abuse, kills their sleeping abuser evil? There are numerous cases in the U.S. alone where the assault and subsequent death of a "helpless assailant" gets classified as self-defense. I don't believe it's as black and white as you seem to be making it.

killing hitler in his sleep is an evil act even though he would have deserved it.

so to answer your question yes it is illegal, as to wether or not its murder is up to the judge and jury. many cases have went both ways, its the fallacy of the american court system, judges have limitless power (literally) while on the bench. a jury also has emotions and will be swayed by a charasmatic lawyer, but this is digressing the thread.

in this case the act of "sleep, cupe de grace" in combat is evil even if the living creature is also evil, you dont lower yourself to there level, which is what this is. now an undead, demon, ect... they can burn in hell as most god would say.


Sidekick what separates killing a helpless opponent from killing a opponent so much weaker it can't survive? Or from killing during an ambush when they are unaware? It even the simple act if killing?

Shadow Lodge ***

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Sidekick, pretty much none of what you're saying is correct. Law isn't good, so you can't use that as a benchmark.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Dust Raven wrote:
I've had some issues with PCs killing sleeping targets. Not targets which were attacking them, KOed by a spell, then killed, but just guy guys in a room, asleep, when the PCs come upon them. In cases like this, unless the PCs specifically recognized them, or otherwise have some definitive method of determining if the sleeping guys are bad guys, I'd consider it an evil act to kill them.

What?

You've actually had PCs see complete strangers asleep and decide they need to die?

That's... wow. I don't even know what to say. Paranoid much? That's not even in the same category of action as CdG on an incapacitated opponent.

Andoran ****

I get alot of Slumber Hex CdG at my tables. Boring as heck and easy to do but not illegal in any sort of way.

Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Dust Raven wrote:
I've had some issues with PCs killing sleeping targets. Not targets which were attacking them, KOed by a spell, then killed, but just guy guys in a room, asleep, when the PCs come upon them. In cases like this, unless the PCs specifically recognized them, or otherwise have some definitive method of determining if the sleeping guys are bad guys, I'd consider it an evil act to kill them.

What?

You've actually had PCs see complete strangers asleep and decide they need to die?

That's... wow. I don't even know what to say. Paranoid much? That's not even in the same category of action as CdG on an incapacitated opponent.

I believe it has already been mentioned upthread, but once again it depends. What if the sleeping person was located on the campus of the evil bad guy's manor who you are infiltrating and trying to eliminate? Killing the sleeping person reduces the number of threats later on and prevents an alarm from going off.

However, if you were on a "find object and return" mission, the boundaries of morality are less clear. Or even worse, if it was a rescue mission and it was the person you were supposed to rescue - that would not only be not-good (borderline evil) but also a mission failure, surely to look bad upon your character in the society.

When I GM for PFS, I tend to only remark upon blatantly evil acts, such as torture and casting evil spells. Things that are in the grey area I'll let stay there; perhaps give a word of caution to the player, but I won't punish them for it. And if it is blatantly evil, I'll warn the player that it is an evil act, and give them the option to not perform the action for their character. I would much rather say, "CdG might be an evil act in this situation, are you sure you want to perform it?" than to say, "You have performed a CdG and it is evil in this situation; I'll be marking your scenario sheet at the end that you have performed an evil action."

For example, in one scenario, the players are instructed by their Venture-Captain not to steal from a particular individual or his home. One of the players decided to steal anyways. Before the party left the person's home, I asked, "Are you sure you want to take those items?" Now, in this case, it wasn't an evil action, but a non-lawful action that was requested of the characters immediately before the mission. Giving the players this option at the end gives them one last chance to follow instructions.

Cheliax **** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Leg o' Lamb

Funky Badger wrote:
Don't think I've ever sen a Coup de Grace performed during PFS play. Just seems a bit... cheap.

When I was a player in The Goblinblood Dead, tier 4-5, we

Spoiler:
cast hold person on the hobgoblin lieutenant who wandered into the Oracle's room during the final encounter. The Hobgoblin missed his save. The next player to act asked, "What should I do?" to which I responded "CdG the hobgoblin! Now!" They did and the hobgoblin failed his saving throw.

Doing this allowed us a chance at survival (6 players all roughly level 3 or 4), even though my level 3 fighter still died. Someone explain to me how a level 3 fighter is expected to survive 7d8 + a whole lot of negative energy.

Had we not done the spoiler all of us would have died.

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
bookrat wrote:
When I GM for PFS, I tend to only remark upon blatantly evil acts, such as torture and casting evil spells...

Just an irrelevant side note about the bolded.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I thought about pointing that out as well, but couldn't find the link. :/

Shadow Lodge

El Baron de los Banditos wrote:
bookrat wrote:
When I GM for PFS, I tend to only remark upon blatantly evil acts, such as torture and casting evil spells...
Just an irrelevant side note about the bolded.

Thank you for the correction. :)

Edit: To my luck, I haven't yet come across someone casting an evil spell, so I haven't made the error in a PFS game. But it has come up in home games to my disadvantage (as a player).

**

My witch used to bring manacles. However, I had a DM who ignored manacles for spellcasters, which almost led to my death. I coup de grace any enemy I can now.

I also had one mod in which I specifically asked the Venture Captain giving us the mission whether we should eliminate the Aspis we encounter in the tapestry. The Captian said "Yes, eliminate them". So then in our first fight we captured some Aspis and the DM encouraged us to not kill them, as coup de gracing the helpless Aspis, who didn't surrender, could be considered evil. Keep in mind that we cannot bring the Aspis to justice as they cannot leave with us through the tapestry.

So I had to in character ignore the captain's orders and my character's wishes so that I could please the DM. So we captured the temple, and then left the Aspis there, with the temple. They had a jail, but it was pointed out that they may die there as we might not be around to feed them.

This did not make me happy

Shadow Lodge

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Sidekick, pretty much none of what you're saying is correct. Law isn't good, so you can't use that as a benchmark.

i dont know how you made the assumption that i was ever under the impression that the law is "good" i quoted a sentence from the penal code of california. murder is defined by an evil or malicious act. never once did i say "the law is good".

if you were to get into a fight, knock someone unconcious and then pull out a gun and shoot them dead, youre going to jail for a LOOONNG time. that is exactly whats going on here, and as defined by murder it is an "evil or malicious act". if i were gming it would be evil. I wouldn't tell people that need to atone for it, unless they were doing it when they had other options, like tieing them up.

but anyway i said my piece, im done

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

TheSideKick wrote:
i dont know how you made the assumption that i was ever under the impression that the law is "good" i quoted a sentence from the penal code of california. murder is defined by an evil or malicious act. never once did i say "the law is good".

Except you keep saying that it's evil because it's illegal/because the law says so. So yeah, you have equated law with good and illegality with evil.

Shadow Lodge

and youre making an assumption again. LAW has nothing to do with good or evil, but it does base its laws on moral and immoral. in the case of murder the law defines murder as "...evil..." so the law has nothing to do with good or evil, but it does determin events as such.

so a judge has the ability to decide as to whether or not an act is evil by definition of what the law dictates as evil (websters dictionary for all us regular people). the law isnt good or evil, the law dictates the actions of an event based on evidence whether or not it is evil.

so in conclusion i never said nor implied that the law is good or evil. what i said in different words is, i will bold it so you dont missunderstand again, the law determins what is evil based on evidence in the case of knocking someone unconcious and killing them, that is murder which is evil.

unfortunately i cant find the penal code that has the exact definition of murder, but this will do click here

once you choose not to restrain the target you are no longer using self defense and are comitting murder.

killling helpless person-> no longer self defense-> means muder-> and murder is evil.

now how much bearing would this have on a fictitious game with dragons? i would only apply this logic to sentient living creatures where restraining them is an option.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jiggy wrote:
you keep saying that it's evil because it's illegal/because the law says so
TheSideKick wrote:
i will bold it so you dont missunderstand again, the law determins what is evil

So you claim I'm making assumptions, then reassert exactly what I said you were saying, almost verbatim?

I think we're done here.


Sidekick I think I understand your intent, but your words do support Jiggy's interpretation. When you simplify it, that is what it sounds like. Your argument make it sound like you act is evil in nation A, but not evil in nation B.

The game says murder is evil, but I don't think it is using varying definition of murder. More than likely it is referring to killing, that has nothing to do with self-defense, such as killing someone for some ritual or if you are trying to rob them.

The reason why murder by law equal evil would not work in the game:

Example:If someone breaks into my house and tries to kill me 5 times, but they keep getting off on a technicality, or just escaping jail, and I kill them on the 6th time after subduing them again, that is self-defense even if the local law wants to call it murder. They might actually kill me if they get a 7th chance. I doubt many people would consider me to be evil in that situation in RL or fantasy land.

In short the law saying it is murder does not make it evil.

PS:

Jiggy wrote:
Except you keep saying that it's evil because it's illegal/because the law says so.
Sidekick wrote:
i will bold it so you dont missunderstand again, the law determines what is evil

edit:Now I am confused. Sidekick I am not seeing a difference here. Is there is a difference between "the law says so" and "the law determines"?

Shadow Lodge

TheSideKick wrote:

so a judge has the ability to decide as to whether or not an act is evil by definition of what the law dictates as evil (websters dictionary for all us regular people). the law isnt good or evil, the law dictates the actions of an event based on evidence whether or not it is evil.

so in conclusion i never said nor implied that the law is good or evil. what i said in different words is, i will bold it so you dont missunderstand again, the law determins what is evil based on evidence in the case of knocking someone unconcious and killing them, that is murder which is evil.

For one, a judge and jury determine whether someone is guilty of committing a crime, they do not decide whether something is good or evil, so your statement that "the law determines what is evil based on evidence" is incorrect. For another, good and evil are subjective in our world; much less so in Golarian. And for a third, killing someone is not always evil nor is it always murder, otherwise you are denouncing all soldiers as evil for going to war; some specialized soldiers are trained to kill in opportunistic ways, such as taking out enemies who are sleeping or attacking by artillery strike or drones, and we often laud these soldiers as heroes. Morals get a bit fuzzier when we're talking about battles between opposing countries or agents thereof (such as fighting Aspis).

If we talk about the Aspis Consortium exclusively, they are known for not only providing weapons to both sides of a conflict, but having a hand in creating the conflict to begin with. They start wars and then profit by selling to both sides.

Some further thought: if the law determines if something is evil, such as murder in most civilized countries, then is murder not evil in countries were no such law exists, such as Somalia (a country with no government to create and enforce laws)? Would state sanctioned murder be not evil, such as Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and other countries giving the death penalty for being homosexual? If putting someone to sleep and then ending their life is evil, does that mean the death penalty by lethal injection is evil (the prisoner loses consciousness before dying)? It is legal, after all.

***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Red-Assassin

heretic wrote:


So frankly attacking a helpless opponent with either a full round or standard action is not really morally different. When you swing your great axe in the surprise round and behead the foe with a crit or a rogue gets someone flat footed and quite literally goes for the jugular the resulting death is no less fatal than a CdG...

There is a huge difference.

During a battle you are fighting for your life. Strike from a weapon or spell can kill, or damage. If there is damage you can trigger morale. With luck you can crit someone, the outcome they loose hit points, becoming closeer to dying, they may surrender. You take them into the negatives they are bleeding. They become helpless.

Helpless you can hit them they have a dex of 0 and you have a +4. If they are asleep you can hit them trying to wake them up, you can attempt to do non-lethal damage. Your buddies can surround them and ready an action to beat them if they continue fighting. You could also tie them up, or do any amount of actions.

CdG takes a full round, the percieved outcome is death. Not loosing hit points, not forcing the opponent to surrender. Attempting to kill a helpless combatant. A single strike targeting a vital spot, causing an auto crit forcing a fort save vs death. CdG outcome will likey be death, at least the outcome will be more likely than the (Evil) Assassin PrC's, Death Attack.

Should CdG happen? Sure.
Should CdG occur every session? Not likely.
Are there tactics that could replace CdG? Yes.
Will some CdG be percieved as Evil? Yes.
Will some CdG be percieved as not Evil? Yes.
Will everyone see it the same? No.
Should CdG's affect PCS diplomacy, intimidate or other tactics after being viewed? Yes (+2 on intimadate, you killed my boss!)(-2 Diplomacy I will not date you you killed my husband!... humor)
If a GM uses CdG against a player is he a bad GM?...
Should a GM use CdG in response to a NPC observing the parties CdG?...

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Chris Bonnet wrote:
(-2 Diplomacy I will not date you you killed my husband!... humor)

I dunno, sounds like a pretty standard soap opera plot. ;)

**

In addition to all the relativism added in, equating breaking the law with evil simply breaks down in worlds like Golarion in which there are a lot of places that simply aren't controlled by a polical entity (like a nation or city-state) or have lands that are claimed by several political entities.

For example, the Tapestry demi-plane isn't in any country. Does this mean that anything goes there?

Forest areas are commonly claimed by elves or druids or both, as well as the neighboring human countries. In these areas, logging may be a capital offense and completely legal within the same woods.

***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Red-Assassin

Jiggy wrote:
Chris Bonnet wrote:
(-2 Diplomacy I will not date you you killed my husband!... humor)
I dunno, sounds like a pretty standard soap opera plot. ;)

Insert joke...

(+10 Diplomacy I will date you, you killed my husband/wife!... humor)

Grand Lodge ****

Jiggy wrote:
Dust Raven wrote:
I've had some issues with PCs killing sleeping targets. Not targets which were attacking them, KOed by a spell, then killed, but just guy guys in a room, asleep, when the PCs come upon them. In cases like this, unless the PCs specifically recognized them, or otherwise have some definitive method of determining if the sleeping guys are bad guys, I'd consider it an evil act to kill them.

What?

You've actually had PCs see complete strangers asleep and decide they need to die?

That's... wow. I don't even know what to say. Paranoid much? That's not even in the same category of action as CdG on an incapacitated opponent.

It took me by surprise to be sure, and it was a "good" character who did it (well, tried, after the 2nd one of the others woke up and screamed).

What Happened:
A group of bandits had stolen a minor holy relic from a small village and were tracked to their hideout. The PCs managed to sneak into the sleeping quarters, where around a dozen bandits lay sleeping. So, okay, they were bandits and they stole something, but sneaking in and killing them in their sleep is about as evil as sneaking in to a neighbor's house and killing the entire family in their sleep because one of them stole your newspaper.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Mesa aka TriOmegaZero

Dust Raven wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Those two scenarios are nothing alike.

Grand Lodge ****

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dust Raven wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
Those two scenarios are nothing alike.

More alike than unlike.

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