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Paladins and Torture


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:


The thing that confuses me though is that going off how Pathfinder cosmology works, isn't there really no difference between the two methods? I mean, if Bob the Demon dies for real after a planar binding his soul goes up to the Boneyard, he waits in line, and is eventually (and unsurprisingly) condemned to the Abyss where he either pops back up as his old self (since the body and soul of an outsider are the same) or his boss punishes him with a lower form or something.

Unless some book details the process differently natch.

What Rysky said about outsiders turning into quintessence and being reabsorbed by their plane (if that's where they die) or just decaying and having their spirit essence lost otherwise.

The source for this is an article in the sixth volume of the Mummy's Mask adventure path. It's very good.

*nods*

Ish a cool article.

The Exchange

IMHO, who says torture is evil? I agree it's probably not good, but depending on the reasons driving the torture I personally wouldn't call it evil either. As for Law/Chaos that would depend purely upon the Laws of the land in which it is being performed.

Torture for the sake of punishment I would say might be evil, but that could also simply be viewed as "an eye for an eye" type of punishment. Torture for the sake of gathering information to prevent greater evil would fall to a neutral act. Torture just to derive pleasure from torturing something... that would be clearly an evil act.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Torture is evil.

You might be doing it for what you think are the right reasons, but it's still Evil.

Horror Adventures set aside wordcount to point out that, yes, Torture is in fact Evil.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Further, if all it takes is "But it's for a good cause" to tack something down to Neutral, then basically its carte blanche for people to do anything they want providing there's a vaguely justified window dressing for it.

Bamboo shoots under the orc's fingers? Hey we needed to know where the raiders were coming from!

Slaughtering all the civilians in that village controlled by the dark wizard? We're cutting off his supplies and saving lives in the long run!

Summoning a legion of undead? Well they're only being used to fight the demon hordes...

Sacrificing 20 virgins to complete my lich ritual? Just think of all the good I can do as an immortal skeleton wizard!

Trust me, I'm at least a neutral guy here!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
IMHO, who says torture is evil?

I do. I say torture is evil.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Further, if all it takes is "But it's for a good cause" to tack something down to Neutral, then basically its carte blanche for people to do anything they want providing there's a vaguely justified window dressing for it.

Bamboo shoots under the orc's fingers? Hey we needed to know where the raiders were coming from!

Slaughtering all the civilians in that village controlled by the dark wizard? We're cutting off his supplies and saving lives in the long run!

Summoning a legion of undead? Well they're only being used to fight the demon hordes...

Sacrificing 20 virgins to complete my lich ritual? Just think of all the good I can do as an immortal skeleton wizard!

Trust me, I'm at least a neutral guy here!

BRB. Conquering the Heavens for the Greater Good!

TN = Best N


9 people marked this as a favorite.

idk about torture but i do know that necroing paladin alignment discussions should count as an evil act.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Larkos wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Further, if all it takes is "But it's for a good cause" to tack something down to Neutral, then basically its carte blanche for people to do anything they want providing there's a vaguely justified window dressing for it.

Bamboo shoots under the orc's fingers? Hey we needed to know where the raiders were coming from!

Slaughtering all the civilians in that village controlled by the dark wizard? We're cutting off his supplies and saving lives in the long run!

Summoning a legion of undead? Well they're only being used to fight the demon hordes...

Sacrificing 20 virgins to complete my lich ritual? Just think of all the good I can do as an immortal skeleton wizard!

Trust me, I'm at least a neutral guy here!

BRB. Conquering the Heavens for the Greater Good!

TN = Best N

Up next: Judge Death is Lawful Neutral since while killing everyone is usually seen as a bad thing, it DOES stop all crime time so I guess it's neutral.

Every anime villain ever is also now some stripe of neutral. After all, if the world is destroyed all suffering is stopped too! Neutral as I've ever heard.


Really the people of Sanford just wanted everyone in town to have the best village.

It's Nicholas Angel's fault for ruining everything. He's obviously CE.


Paladins really can't torture. It's flat out evil, and isn't reliable anyways. Besides, even demons have a real (if extremely small) chance of redemption. You can't always write them off.

Shadow Lodge

blackbloodtroll wrote:

In the real world, torture doesn't really work.

Eventually, they just tell you whatever they think you want to hear, regardless of it's truth.

Inducing fear, with things like summoning an Angel of sort, combined with the Discern Lies, or Zone of Truth spell will work better.

Nah, Good does not mean stupid. When everything under the sun consistently makes their save, and you can not tell one way or the other, those sorts of tactics are half-hearted attemptz at being a psychopath.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM Beckett wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

In the real world, torture doesn't really work.

Eventually, they just tell you whatever they think you want to hear, regardless of it's truth.

Inducing fear, with things like summoning an Angel of sort, combined with the Discern Lies, or Zone of Truth spell will work better.

Nah, Good does not mean stupid. When everything under the sun consistently makes their save, and you can not tell one way or the other, those sorts of tactics are half-hearted attemptz at being a psychopath.

Au contraire!

Magic wrote:
A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature’s saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.

You know when a Discern Lies or Mind Probe target makes their save. Not Zone of Truth, though.

Shadow Lodge

Which leaves you in exactly the same place you where before hand, unsure if they are telling you what you want to hear, the truth, or just sucking it up to "take one for the team" so that you lead your fellow goody-two-shoes into the belly of the beast.

:P

I'm only partially being serious here.

Discenr Lies wrote:


School divination
The spell does not reveal the truth, uncover unintentional inaccuracies, or necessarily reveal evasions.
Zone of Truth wrote:
Therefore, they may avoid answering questions to which they would normally respond with a lie, or they may be evasive as long as they remain within the boundaries of the truth.


side thought:

when it comes ingame of torture.

does it mean torture of living creatures?

cause there is a difference in existing and living.

and a demon/devil/etc is the former not the latter.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

.... wtf?

Outsiders are living creatures (except the Undead ones, then they're unliving).


I almost said that you can't torture undead then vampires sprung into mind. Treat intelligent undead as demons for all intents and purposes in that case.

additionally torturing mindless undead is just essentially mutilating a corpse.


Torturing a demon is still not a Good thing to do. I mean, just ask Arushulae.

Liberty's Edge

Bard-Sader wrote:
Paladins really can't torture. It's flat out evil, and isn't reliable anyways. Besides, even demons have a real (if extremely small) chance of redemption. You can't always write them off.

Some of the Empyreals even have a thing *for* bringing even the thought-to-be-lost-to-Evil back to the side of Good.

Andoletta comes to mind.

If there's even a smidgen of Good in a being, however small it is, it should be encouraged, within the bounds of good sense.

Torture would actually *validate* the demon's belief about pain and suffering being used to coerce an entity...


In fact Ragathiel is a devil who turned into an empyreal iirc.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Yep. Granted it's unknown if he was even Evil to begin with, but he is referred to as an Ascended Fiend.


Aren't all friends "born" evil?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

His mother was a non-Evil Fire Goddess so he's already outside the realm of expectations and assumptions there.


always though he was a half god half fiend.

Shadow Lodge

It's hard to really say, as Paizo sort of goes out of it's way not to define these sorts of things like D&D did. I assume that the divine side completely overrides all "fiendish" aspects of his "biology". Essentially he was half deity, half doesn't matter at all that gave Evil the finger, and then did some pretty awesome stuff . He has as much in common with Tieflings and Half-Fiends as he does turtles, Half-Orcs, and Aasimar.

Shadow Lodge

Steelfiredragon wrote:

they are created as such.

made from evil souls condemned to the lower planes by Pharasma or sent there via pacts with fiends

Wouldn't that make Pharasma the most evil of all Evils in existence? I mean, diabolical on levels that would make even Demon Lords and Archdevils blush.

Doesn't that also seem rather telling for "Neutral".
:P

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

@Steelfiredragon, that is pretty much all stuff you just made up and not supported by the rules.

Unless they have the Undead type, Fiends are living creatures. They are alive. You don't have to be born from a womb to be "alive". That is something you just made up and is not in any way supported by anything in Pathfinder lore or rules.


I disagree with that definition of Living.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Well that's on you, and not the definition I, the game, or plenty of other people use.


Steelfiredragon wrote:
I disagree with that definition of Living.

Anything with a Constitution score is living. So no to undead and constructs.


they are also irredeemable evil

demon

they were created from evil souls

abyss

pharasma

she does too


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
I disagree with that definition of Living.
Anything with a Constitution score is living. So no to undead and constructs.

back in the day, in baldur's gate II: Thronw of Bhaal wehn Seravok got a body back from a piece of the protagonist's essence. Jaheira stated that he did not live, but he existed even though he had a con score.

whether or not it would be the same in pathfinder or not Id have to ask elsewhere. but it has become how I view fiends

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Again, that's on you.

1) that's a video game.

2) that's Dungeons and dragons.

3) that's like 2nd edition?

4) that's a unique creature.

One unique individual from a completely different system and setting does not determine how every creature in another system/setting works.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Personally, I see Rorschach as the most iconic Paladin I've ever seen in media. His "Never Compromise! . . ." line pretty much sums up what a true Paladin should strive for, none of this "for the greater good" stupidity.

Such a Paladin is beyond the temptation and corruptions of "shades of grey". They know that a small Evil and a large Evil is Evil, plant their foot, draw a line in the sand, flip off the rogue, and say you cross it and you die. Making a deal with a lesser devil to take down a bigger one is not an option. They both go down, and hard.

What the local law says is right or wrong is irrelevant. What a politician might try and push has no moral weight.

Different iterations of the Punisher are another really good modern example. Courts and Kings, politicians and media, laws and failed systems are the easy road that might make folks feel good, but simply don't get anything done 90% of the time. The Paladin is willing to take the hit to do the right thing, no matter the cost to themselves. To walk the harder road, to sacrifice things that actually matter to help keep others safe. To have the self-discipline NOT to give in to the easy road or nice words. To be willing to be hunted and exiled if it means even one more ruffian is off the streets and not breaking out of Arkham every other week.


and Rysky did you not think that I knew that,. yes I knew that it was a video game, yes I knew it was a different setting and edition.

it was however where my stance on it came from.

though you are correct that is on me.

and at that , lets move on....

Rorschach is no paladin.

how said character came across to me is that he started murdering criminals instead of bring them in for trial after flipping out after not being able to get there in time to save that child.

lost his mind when that mask started becoming his face......

not lawful good anymore.

and as Batman once put it in some animated flick to superman" We are criminals" putting a point to each of them being vigilantes. even in real life it is frowned upon.

edit: someone hand me a dictionary please.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steelfiredragon wrote:


Rorschach is no paladin.

how said character came across to me is that he started murdering criminals instead of bring them in for trial after flipping out after not being able to get there in time to save that child.

lost his mind when that mask started becoming his face......

not lawful good anymore.

and as Batman once put it in some animated flick to superman" We are criminals" putting a point to each of them being vigilantes. even in real life it is frowned upon.

edit: someone hand me a dictionary please.

Neither Lawful nor Good implies being either nice or stupid. In fact, I would argue that being nice, that is trying to please others and giving in to things you don't believe in in order to make others like you more is an opposite of being Good, and mutually exclusive to being Lawful. That isn't to say such a person can not be respectful, only that how other feel, emotionally about or towards you is not important. Doing the right thing, regardless of how others feel or what agenda's they might have is.


aaah not sure you'd get me to argue against that.

the right thing to do....

sometimes the right thing to do might be the wrong thing.

the right thing for the wrong reason or the wrong thing for the right reason is still the wrong thing to do.

never compromise

I say never compromise your own integrity, which may mean what Rorschach was meaning..... if that was the case( never read the books so....) he had a point, that also said , as for everyone else in the movie world where he went wrong is that it wasnt his place to choose for anyone else. The other chose the peace via deception and fear from Ozymandias to avoid Armageddon, also not their right to choose for anyone else; but did so as not to cause anymore unnecessary deaths innocent of the deception. the lesser of two evils... choose your poison and chose well for you have to live with it. Both chose. False peace is not true peace, but that kind of peace can become true peace after a few generations.. it is still better than the alternative.

okay i'm done. stomach is growling . Dinner time.


DM Beckett wrote:

Personally, I see Rorschach as the most iconic Paladin I've ever seen in media. His "Never Compromise! . . ." line pretty much sums up what a true Paladin should strive for, none of this "for the greater good" stupidity.

Such a Paladin is beyond the temptation and corruptions of "shades of grey". They know that a small Evil and a large Evil is Evil, plant their foot, draw a line in the sand, flip off the rogue, and say you cross it and you die. Making a deal with a lesser devil to take down a bigger one is not an option. They both go down, and hard.

What the local law says is right or wrong is irrelevant. What a politician might try and push has no moral weight.

Personally I would be somewhat careful, in seeing to much of a Paladin, in Rorschach. He bears some attributes that could be the result of mental illness (not respecting others property by breaking into others houses and stealing their stuff, doesn't wash, low social skills and awkward with physical contact).

He's follows a form of moral absolutism of his own making (he was a fringe extreme right-winger, who saw society as sick, infected and corrupted by sex, drugs and so on), he believes that life only has the meaning that we give it...actually the more I think about it, he might be a caricature of a nietzschean übermench.

Shadow Lodge

On the other hand, the guy was willing and able to tell a god "No! You are wrong.", to his face, and live and die by the consequences of not giving in, no matter what.


DM Beckett wrote:
On the other hand, the guy was willing and able to tell a god "No! You are wrong.", to his face, and live and die by the consequences of not giving in, no matter what.

Which is where Good and Evil meet, it doesn't really matter if you are Good or Evil, as both could pursue their particular "moral compass" all the way up to the Gods, and claim they are wrong (and probably die in the attempt).

Belief in your cause doesn't really know Good or Evil. It is, for lack of a better term, proof enough in it self, that you are doing the correct thing


Kjeldorn wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
On the other hand, the guy was willing and able to tell a god "No! You are wrong.", to his face, and live and die by the consequences of not giving in, no matter what.

Which is where Good and Evil meet, it doesn't really matter if you are Good or Evil, as both could pursue their particular "moral compass" all the way up to the Gods, and claim they are wrong (and probably die in the attempt).

Belief in your cause doesn't really know Good or Evil. It is, for lack of a better term, proof enough in it self, that you are doing the correct thing

Exactly. Being a fanatic doesn't make you a paladin - even if you think you are.


WWPD - What Would Paksenarrion Do?

I know of no reason a demon can't flee by returning to its home plane - though I'll concede that my PF system mastery is not good. If all you have is holy water, its use on a demon is justified, in the maximal methodology to slay it or make it return to its home domain as quickly as possible. That means you aren't just splashing holy water on it a flask at a time, you're creating a bath and then submerging it until the demon is gone.

A paladin would, I think, take very little heed to a demon; s/he would not pause in its destruction, or stop in an attempt to destroy it, 'just to hear what it had to say', unless it was begging for mercy - and then, only pause in order to ask it if it wished to refute its ways and be turned to the light, and if it did not (and was offering useful information in proof of that desire) the paladin would continue to try to slay the thing.

But here's the thing - a question like that should not be a question that any being, asked in such a manner, should be able to lie about. There are laws in a fantasy universe that extend well beyond the physical and magical and mental; there are laws of morality, of binding, of being unable, physically unable, to utter a falsehood in answer to. And for an outsider, the question of whether they will turn from their path should, IMO, be one such thing, for of such deep truths is the universe entire made.

Such things are akin to the Narnian Deep Magic of the Stone Table, and the Deeper Magic that binds the Table itself; such things are like superstrings, or the defining essence of a being and of their relationship with the rest of the universe. Few beings can (or should) have the ability to ask a question that so pierces to the innermost core of a being; IMNSHO, the paladin is one such, for it is for this reason he exists: to eliminate evil and to nurture good, whether that elimination is of the militant destruction type or of the conversion type.

Or why else do we have stories like Ragathiel, and those beings of whatever type who have fallen, and yet are brought back into the light?


my lorefu not that good, but was ragathiel evil to begin with? remember he is half god half fiend.....


Steelfiredragon wrote:

they are also irredeemable evil

demon

Not irredeemable. Just very difficult. Just ask Fall-From-Grace or Arushulae.

Shadow Lodge

Kjeldorn wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
On the other hand, the guy was willing and able to tell a god "No! You are wrong.", to his face, and live and die by the consequences of not giving in, no matter what.

Which is where Good and Evil meet, it doesn't really matter if you are Good or Evil, as both could pursue their particular "moral compass" all the way up to the Gods, and claim they are wrong (and probably die in the attempt).

Belief in your cause doesn't really know Good or Evil. It is, for lack of a better term, proof enough in it self, that you are doing the correct thing

Agreed. BUT, in the case Im talking about, the characters cause is not lying to the world, but making sure the truth is known, even if it costs him his life, which it does. His cause is to justice to an individual that literally just killed millions, even if it was for the um, um "greater good", and making sure that all those folks that worked the system to get back on the streets and do more harm, which they did, do not have that chance to hurt more innocent people, even if his own name was drug through the mud and his life was over.


Bard-Sader wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

they are also irredeemable evil

demon

Not irredeemable. Just very difficult. Just ask Fall-From-Grace or Arushulae.

nope.

not going to work.
F-F-G is a computer game character from a different setting and ruleset and edition and is an unique monster...., and the tiefling was way hotter looking

namely she is dnd 2nd not pathfinder.( Sarevok existing and not living didnt work for me so..)

and i'm not familiar with the other.

wiki says irredeemable. and beastiary book 1 likely says it too.... book is put away and I want to do something else right now anyway


Arushulae is from an adventure path.

Spoiler:
The mythic Paizo AP "Wrath of the Righteous" She is a redeemed succubus who, with the PCs' help, can eventually be CG.


So first you tie the bad guy down. then you take off their boots and grab your novelty over-sized feather. Thus begins the tickling.

*how to torture as a paladin without alignment shift*


Bard-Sader wrote:

Arushulae is from an adventure path.

** spoiler omitted **

my thanks.

still though, that would make her an unique monster and not teh norm. same with F-F-G.
irredeemable is the norm.

now someone put her on the wiki....

or point me the way


2 people marked this as a favorite.

If Arushalae could be redeemed, then irredeemable is not an absolute. You can never know if that evil demon you are facing can walk the same path as her.

Exception does NOT prove the rule in that way. That is a fallacy. If there is an exception, the rule is invalidated. "Exception proves the rule" true meaning is a legal one:

Exception proves the rule:
The expression comes from the Latin legal principle exceptio probat regulam (the exception proves the rule), also rendered as exceptio firmat regulam (the exception establishes the rule) and exceptio confirmat regulam (the exception confirms the rule). The principle provides legal cover for inferences such as the following: if I see a sign reading “no swimming allowed after 10 pm,” I can assume swimming is allowed before that time; if an appliance store says “pre-paid delivery required for refrigerators,” I can assume they do not require pre-paid delivery for other items. The exception here is not a thing but an act of excepting. The act of stipulating a condition for when something is disallowed (or required), proves that when the stipulated conditions do not hold, it is allowed (or not required). The general rules are that swimming is allowed before 10pm and that pre-paid delivery is not required. The fact that exceptions to those rules have been stated confirms those rules hold in all other cases. The full statement of the principle reads exceptio probat regulam, in casibus non exceptis. The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted.

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