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Paladins and Torture


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Sczarni

So I was watching The Gamers: Dorkness Rising the other day (if you haven't seen it, you can find it on YouTube).

Along came the idea that Paladins can't stand by while dishonorable and evil acts happened.

And my mind started churning: If you use Holy Water to slowly destroy a demon, wouldn't you be doing your Paladinian duty? If the demon just so happened to say something useful, it wouldn't be considered torture, would it?

I could use some help. Not because I have a Paladin in the party, but because I want this question answered.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

I'd say that'd be torture, and against the paladin's code of ethics. Sure, the demon is completely against everything you stand for - they exist only to cause pain and suffering, and take pleasure in the torment of mortals. They want to destroy anything that gets in their path, preferably as painfully as possible. Torturing mortals is a game to them; torturing other demons is how you progress up (down?) the Abyssal ladder. So, yes, slowly destroying a demon with holy water (or anything else that can do harm against a demon) is probably torturous, and is definitely not a good act (and probably not lawful).

Combat'd be a different mistress. If all you had was holy water, then it's not an action worthy of falling - you're just using the tools at your disposal to destroy something foul. That's your job. The intent behind using the holy water, that's what causes your paladin to fall.

Basically, the paladin is sinking to the level of the demon. And, as a result, he should fall if he condones such an action.


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If a paladin uses the deliberate infliction of pain to achieve a specific goal, that would be a violation of the paladin code according to most GMs I have played with.

If a paladin incidentally inflicts horrible pain in the process of administering justice to an evildoer, that is an unfortunate unintended consequence and would not violate his code.

(Ninja'd, and with LOTS more words! Wow)

Silver Crusade

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If you kill something slowly (and painfully) when you could give it a quick (or painless) death, that is torture and thus evil. I would also say killing a prisoner is evil as well but there are plenty of extenuating circumstances.


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I'm going to play devil's advocate here, just because its a good conversation. Understand, I believe whole-heartedly that torture would ruin a paladin's code.

Demons are not people. They are things. What little emotion they have is twisted and barely resembles mortal emotion, and could be argued that its not emotion at all, as demons always act a certain way (even if that way is chaotic). Another words, the emotion they show is simply a reflex because of what they are made of (chaos and evil). They are extensions of the Abyss, basically tools the Abyss uses to further the abstract goals of chaos and evil. A demon must sow chaos and cause evil.

Demons are more robots to me (that's the best analogy I can come up with), and you can't torture an robot. You just kick it till it does what you want.

Sczarni

I'm gonna bring up something Misroi said.

If all the Paladin had was Holy Water, he's just using the tools at his disposal. If it was the other way around, the Demon would take his time, making you wish for death.

But if the circumstances were right, would it be considered torture?

Consider Dorkness Rising: Combat is over, the demon is gonna be killed, and they happen to have some holy water. Would you stop part way through if the demon started saying "I'll tell you! I'll tell you!"?


Renvale987 wrote:
I'm going to play devil's advocate

Kill it! Kill it quickly before it spreads its lies!

Renvale987 wrote:


Demons are not people. They are things. What little emotion they have is twisted and barely resembles mortal emotion, and could be argued that its not emotion at all, as demons always act a certain way (even if that way is chaotic). Another words, the emotion they show is simply a reflex because of what they are made of (chaos and evil). They are extensions of the Abyss, basically tools the Abyss uses to further the abstract goals of chaos and evil. A demon must sow chaos and cause evil.

Demons are more robots to me (that's the best analogy I can come up with), and you can't torture an robot. You just kick it till it does what you want.

Well the difference is, I think, that Demons/Devils/Daemons DO still feel the baser emotions. They feel pain, they feel the fear of death (re-death?), and they DO want to live and continue existing, just like any other living creature.

But the main difference is they want to destroy everything/subjugate everything/destroy all sentient life as their purpose for being instead of most living creature's purpose of "Eat, sleep, procreate, and be comfortable".

Not saying they're sympathetic, not by a long shot, but they do feel that pain and a sort of distorted drive to keep existing, and torturing a demon/devil/daemon is no different from torturing any other creature.

They're not worthy to continue living (by Good standards) but neither should Good abandon their principles just because the things are their sworn enemies.


Rynjin wrote:
Renvale987 wrote:
I'm going to play devil's advocate

Kill it! Kill it quickly before it spreads its lies!

Renvale987 wrote:


Demons are not people. They are things. What little emotion they have is twisted and barely resembles mortal emotion, and could be argued that its not emotion at all, as demons always act a certain way (even if that way is chaotic). Another words, the emotion they show is simply a reflex because of what they are made of (chaos and evil). They are extensions of the Abyss, basically tools the Abyss uses to further the abstract goals of chaos and evil. A demon must sow chaos and cause evil.

Demons are more robots to me (that's the best analogy I can come up with), and you can't torture an robot. You just kick it till it does what you want.

Well the difference is, I think, that Demons/Devils/Daemons DO still feel the baser emotions. They feel pain, they feel the fear of death (re-death?), and they DO want to live and continue existing, just like any other living creature.

But the main difference is they want to destroy everything/subjugate everything/destroy all sentient life as their purpose for being instead of most living creature's purpose of "Eat, sleep, procreate, and be comfortable".

Not saying they're sympathetic, not by a long shot, but they do feel that pain and a sort of distorted drive to keep existing, and torturing a demon/devil/daemon is no different from torturing any other creature.

They're not worthy to continue living (by Good standards) but neither should Good abandon their principles just because the things are their sworn enemies.

If you believe something is not worthy enough to live, than why on earth would you care if it felt pain before it died. You've already sentenced it to death. I think you're going down a psychopath's road, and we know that some of them believe that certain people and or demons, are not worth to live, therefore torture isn't really an issue. Death is far worse to torture in my opinion.


No it isn't. Because the logical conclusion to torture is death.

Which is worse:

One quick clean chop to the head, quick, painless, and then it all goes dark?

or

Prolonged agony lasting hours/days/weeks/months/YEARS until finally you beg to be killed just so the pain will stop?

I don't think you thought your post through.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

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.


Quote:
If you believe something is not worthy enough to live, than why on earth would you care if it felt pain before it died.

Spoken like someone who isn't lawful good. Now pretend you are a Paladin and consider the action from their point of view.


The paladins perspective upon demons would be informed by his religion and given most good gods in fantasy setting generally support giving no quarter when dealing with the forces of evil and actively destroying demons and undead. If a paladin can save the lives of innocents by torturing a creature beyond redemption well it's debatable but I would argue that it is a neutral act rather than an evil one.


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Renvale987 wrote:

I'm going to play devil's advocate here, just because its a good conversation. Understand, I believe whole-heartedly that torture would ruin a paladin's code.

Demons are not people. They are things. What little emotion they have is twisted and barely resembles mortal emotion, and could be argued that its not emotion at all, as demons always act a certain way (even if that way is chaotic). Another words, the emotion they show is simply a reflex because of what they are made of (chaos and evil). They are extensions of the Abyss, basically tools the Abyss uses to further the abstract goals of chaos and evil. A demon must sow chaos and cause evil.

Demons are more robots to me (that's the best analogy I can come up with), and you can't torture an robot. You just kick it till it does what you want.

I you have to rationalize your action then those actions are non-good and proabbly evil.


SinBlade06 wrote:


And my mind started churning: If you use Holy Water to slowly destroy a demon, wouldn't you be doing your Paladinian duty? If the demon just so happened to say something useful, it wouldn't be considered torture, would it?

>:(


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Paladins are paragons of virtue; a weird and stupid sort of virtue by modern, real world standards, but virtue all the same.
The moment they start looking for loopholes in their own standards is the moment they leave the path of righteousness.

Silver Crusade

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Renvale987 wrote:

I'm going to play devil's advocate here, just because its a good conversation. Understand, I believe whole-heartedly that torture would ruin a paladin's code.

Demons are not people. They are things. What little emotion they have is twisted and barely resembles mortal emotion, and could be argued that its not emotion at all, as demons always act a certain way (even if that way is chaotic). Another words, the emotion they show is simply a reflex because of what they are made of (chaos and evil). They are extensions of the Abyss, basically tools the Abyss uses to further the abstract goals of chaos and evil. A demon must sow chaos and cause evil.

Demons are more robots to me (that's the best analogy I can come up with), and you can't torture an robot. You just kick it till it does what you want.

But demons are made from the souls of people.

Some of those people weren't irredeemably evil and still had a spark of something more in them.

Demons have the capacity to choose and the capacity for change. Some of those demons actually have the capacity to rise, just as angels can fall.

And not every soul claimed by the Abyss and twisted into demons deserved their fate. There are many many ways innocent people wind up claimed by the Lower Planes through no fault of their own.

Demons feel pain and fear. They are far from robots.

And even if the above wasn't true, it wouldn't matter.

Good does not go down that road. Good has to mean something more than "kills evil", or else it's good in name only.

Good and Evil deserve better than to be turned into a variation of Red vs. Blue.

Silver Crusade

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In other words, Good doesn't rationalize to get murder-highs or torture-boners.


Was just playing devil's advocate. That was a best argument I could come up with, so I think people are right in saying, yeah, a paladin torturing folk, demon or not, is bad.


VRMH wrote:
The moment they start looking for loopholes in their own standards is the moment they leave the path of righteousness.

True. But it's also the moment they leave the path of stupidity.


Killing demons is like killing Nazi's in Hollywood Movies something they give you a medal for. So what you are really getting into is giving evil its just desert territory.

Sovereign Court

SinBlade06 wrote:

So I was watching The Gamers: Dorkness Rising the other day (if you haven't seen it, you can find it on YouTube).

Along came the idea that Paladins can't stand by while dishonorable and evil acts happened.

And my mind started churning: If you use Holy Water to slowly destroy a demon, wouldn't you be doing your Paladinian duty? If the demon just so happened to say something useful, it wouldn't be considered torture, would it?

I could use some help. Not because I have a Paladin in the party, but because I want this question answered.

There are a lot of interesting layers in this question, but I'm not sure the forums wouldn't just sour them with absolutes and zingers. I think questions like these are best answered with more questions; a sort of religious exploration that can add depth to rp and flex the characters' Wisdom bonuses. Stuff like...

- What is the purpose of holy water, to punish or to purify? If there's no purification, just pain, is it grotesque to use?
- Does a demon secretly desire torture at the hands of a servant of good because it knows such treatment pleases the gods of evil?
- Can demons even experience 'clean deaths'? How does one know a death by beheading is any less torturous and prolonged than a death by burning? Why do mortals assume demons die like them or like animals?
- Can a paladin use torture to pursue a greater good? Do some good gods promote doctrines that support the idea of a 'greater good' moreso that other gods? Would Abadar see the wisdom in torturing 1 to save 1000 where Desna would not?
- Can a paladin lose paladin-hood as a step on the path to being accepted to the deeper mysteries of their god?

In short, I don't think your question has an answer. But if your (theoretical) paladin player gives it some serious thought and integrates some doubt into their rp because of it, then the unanswered question is much more useful than a plain ol' answer.


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Well, in the instance of a captured demon who has vital information which could stop a great amount of misery, any Paladin would be in a quandary.

Ultimately, the Paladin has to consider whether it is better to simply slay the horrid thing, sending it back to where it came from WITHOUT the information and take the risk that Creation will be profoundly warped, OR if it's better to briefly torture the demon to extract information on how to stop the upcoming disaster.

I can tell you that medieval people would not have a tiny whiff of problem with this. They'd torture the demon and not care for whether their methods were horrible. Souls are simply more valuable than bodies, thus torturing a soulless being (by definition a demon has no soul) to save hundreds of living souls from damnation and death is a no brainer.

However, by modern morality, the ends do not justify the means. Thus, the Paladin would be guilty of an evil act if torturing a demon for information.

Yes, if the torture goes on too long, the victim WILL say anything it thinks would get the torturer to stop. Thus at most torture should be brief if pragmatism is important. In the real world, most vital information known tends to expire within 24 hours of being captured. By then, the victim's superiors will have changed passwords, etc. I do not know how it is in fantasy worlds.

Choose which standard of morality you intend to be basing your gameworld on. Me, while it disturbs my sensibilities, I am bound to run my gameworld based on medieval values, because this is a medieval fantasy game we are playing. I have little choice, given that I feel honor bound to adhere to the spirit, not just the letter of the rules.

Silver Crusade

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Probably needs to be pointed out again: Demons have souls.


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Well, Demons ARE souls technically aren't they? But that's still a good point.


Can I just chime in and say that the vast majority of the replies to this thread are surprisingly well thought out given the way these alignment/ethic discussions usually go. Kudos guys.

I think there are several factors that play into this.

Firstly, the particular tennants of a Paladin's deity and how they interpret those tennants. Torm and Iomedae might have vastly different views on the subject. Beyond that, consider how many people in the real world who supposedly belong to the same denomination of a religion have different interpretations of how their religion is supposed to work. Granted, this would probably be less of an issue in a fictional world where one's deity can be literally and physically contacted and interacted with, but I would imagine that even in Golarion, different members of the same order might disagree on something as tricky as this.

Secondly, and I'm not sure what the general mythology dictates here, but it's entirely possible that by "mercifully" ending a Demon's existence on this plane, one might be condemning it to a fate far worse than a splash of holy water. Wether at the hands of a displeased master or through the uncarring nature of the abyss itself, you could be sentencing this creature to a potential eternity of misery. And if you knew that this outcome was likely, is it any better than going into the next room while the rogue plays bad cop?

Finally, and this is the most interesting aspect from a roleplay standpoint I think; Does it matter? Someone used the example of saving a thousand lives by torturing one. If we are sticking to this particular scenario, then wouldn't the salvation of a thousand souls be worth the possiblity of losing one's divine favor? I'd love to see a paladin who realizes full well that a certain path might separate him from the deity he reveres but taking it anyway because they know it will save more lives than they ever could have hoped to when they started out as a paladin. Frankly, I think many would consider it a far greater sacrifice than merely losing their life. Imagine playing along side a fighter (formerly a paladin) who knowingly and willingly severed his connection to the thing that was most important to him, in order to save the lives of others. That would make for some interesting conversations I think.


Mikaze wrote:
Probably needs to be pointed out again: Demons have souls.

Nope. I go for a much older and well established concept called "ancient religion" which is far older than Pathfinder, you and I combined. Demons don't have souls, and they are monsters incarnate. They also don't have bodies either, which is another thing Pathfinder and every D&D version got wrong.


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And none of that changes the fact that in Pathfinder (the forum for which we are on right now) Demons are souls.

And I find it laughable that you can go, without any doubt "it's wrong" when nobody has any proof one way or the other whether demons even exist in the first place.


I never understood the gain of torturing demons (or undead for that matter) i mean if a paladin is trying to extract information what is his offer going to be to the demon? i will cause you pain until i slay you and send you back to the abyss; if you tell what i want i will slay and banish (painfully i might add) quicker? A paladin cannot offer to let him go because either he would be lying or commit a worse act to suffer evil in the world.

Torture to anyone is evil. Evil acts cause a paladin to fall. If he needs information that badly to save thousands couldn't he just ask the mage he travels with to help him or consult a diviner NPC?


Wind Chime wrote:
Killing demons is like killing Nazi's in Hollywood Movies something they give you a medal for. So what you are really getting into is giving evil its just desert territory.

No. Killing evil is good, I agree with that. But torture is very deep into the domain of Evil. If you're going to Godwin this, I'm going to Godwin it right back:

If we made concentration camps and threw the nazis in them, would we still be any better than them? Any different?
No. Doing evil unto evil makes you sink to their level. That is bad enough for any good person, but paladins don't sink. They fall.


Mcduff wrote:

Can I just chime in and say that the vast majority of the replies to this thread are surprisingly well thought out given the way these alignment/ethic discussions usually go. Kudos guys.

Don't be too quick... It's only page one. They always START well ;)

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If a paladin uses the deliberate infliction of pain to achieve a specific goal, that would be a violation of the paladin code according to most GMs I have played with.

If a paladin incidentally inflicts horrible pain in the process of administering justice to an evildoer, that is an unfortunate unintended consequence and would not violate his code.

(Ninja'd, and with LOTS more words! Wow)

This. It deals with motive and intent. Hitting a person with a torch to hurt them is torture. Hitting a Troll with a Torch is KILLING it. Same with Holy water.

I am not TORTURING my victim... I'm KILLING it. It doesnt' matter what information he tries to buy his life with... I'm still KILLING it.

If I had a Better weapon... I'd use a bettter weapon. If all I have is D4 burning... then so be it. I use what I have.

It's not the PALADINS fault their enemies have so many immunities and Damage resistances... They STILL have to die ;)

Giggling while you melt of thier toes one by one... Yeah, that's bad. Using a weakness as a weapon? nope.

Silver Crusade

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Piccolo wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Probably needs to be pointed out again: Demons have souls.
Nope. I go for a much older and well established concept called "ancient religion" which is far older than Pathfinder, you and I combined. Demons don't have souls, and they are monsters incarnate. They also don't have bodies either, which is another thing Pathfinder and every D&D version got wrong.

To add to Rynjin's note on how this is about Pathfinder, casting such a wide net as "ancient religion" isn't going to get you a consensus on what demons are either.

Some traditions might suggest they're soulless bodiless things.

Some suggest something very different.

Ancient belief, tracing all the way up to modern, is far from a monolithic thing.

(For example, I roll pretty close to Origen on such matters, and even then not precisely)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Paladins do not rationalise cruelty. A demon needs to be sent back to the Abyss from whence it came, before it uses the opportunity to decieve and tempt.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Also I'm of the opinion that Demons are manifest metaphors. They are ideas made flesh, they are corrup ideas further corrupted by the touch of human souls.

Still does not justify torture, as information gained under torture is suspect and information gained from fiends is even more suspect.

Silver Crusade

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On a related note, on the "isn't killing vampires with holy water torturous?" thing:

If there's a quick and relatively painless way to take a vamp out, a good person should be going for that. But one of the things about non-Buffy-style vampires that adds to their horror is the gruesome nature of what it takes to put them to rest.

Talking about the "stake the heart, then remove the head, then put holy wafers in the mouth, then burn the body, and then annoint the ashes, and...and...oh God I can't do th- loses lunch" style vampires here. It's horrifying not only because of what's having to be done to the vampire, but because of the lengths their slayers are forced to go to to keep them down.

Hopkin's Van Helsing in Bram Stoker's Dracula is a good place to look for this.

They're not using those gruesome methods because they want to, but because it's the only way to keep vampires down. And it's killing htem inside.

Silver Crusade

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Also I'm of the opinion that Demons are manifest metaphors. They are ideas made flesh, they are corrup ideas further corrupted by the touch of human souls.

Sounds Planescapey! I can see a real Gaimanesque take building off of that...

Silver Crusade

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(Bear with me for a moment....)

I'm against blood sports, like fox hunting.

I also don't believe in 'animal rights'. I believe in 'human responsibilities'.

I'm also not a vegetarian. I'm perfectly fine with killing animals for food or other things that we have needed to survive over the course of our evolution.

So, is the torture of animals okay? No! Killing to survive and killing for fun are different things. The reason I don't think we should torture or kill animals for fun, is not because I believe that animals have rights, but because what this kind of torture says about us!

So when a paladin is considering (as an exercise in philosophy, I hope!) whether or not to torture a demon (see! I knew I'd get to the point eventually!), the reason he does not torture it has nothing to do with what a demon may or may not be! He refuses to torture, because of who the paladin is! It's about what the paladin believes, represents and thinks is wrong!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Also I'm of the opinion that Demons are manifest metaphors. They are ideas made flesh, they are corrup ideas further corrupted by the touch of human souls.

Sounds Planescapey! I can see a real Gaimanesque take building off of that...

I would definitely cite Gaiman, Pratchett and Butcher as sources of inspiration when it comes to metaphysical properties of my fantasy campaigns, particularly as relates to Outsiders and Fey.

Silver Crusade

Ok, if all you have to effect the demon is holy water then it depends on how you are using the holy water. Splashing the whole thing on the demon to try to kill it: ok. Splashing a tiny amount every round to slowly kill it and cause it lots of pain before you banish it from the Prime for a 100 years: non-paladin like behavior.

I addressed this issue in a differnt thread (What is an Evil act in Pathfinder). Torture is causing harm, therefore it would be considered an evil act, even if you are trying to get information that will save thousands. Besides, as someone already stated, torture is not an effective means of getting information anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:

On a related note, on the "isn't killing vampires with holy water torturous?" thing:

If there's a quick and relatively painless way to take a vamp out, a good person should be going for that. But one of the things about non-Buffy-style vampires that adds to their horror is the gruesome nature of what it takes to put them to rest.

Talking about the "stake the heart, then remove the head, then put holy wafers in the mouth, then burn the body, and then annoint the ashes, and...and...oh God I can't do th- loses lunch" style vampires here. It's horrifying not only because of what's having to be done to the vampire, but because of the lengths their slayers are forced to go to to keep them down.

Hopkin's Van Helsing in Bram Stoker's Dracula is a good place to look for this.

They're not using those gruesome methods because they want to, but because it's the only way to keep vampires down. And it's killing htem inside.

"Ya, she was in great pain! Then we cut off her head, and drove a stake through her heart, and burned it, and then she found peace."

*spray of blood*

*Cary Elwes throws up*


Rule of thumb I've heard: "If you find yourself needing to break out calipers and elaborate rationalizations to determine exactly where 'the line' is so you don't cross it, you are already on the wrong side of 'the line'."

Sovereign Court

I am sort of a Yes and No on this issue. Its not a Paladin's role to extract information, just to uphold the holy tenants of his God and be a warrior of the faith. Good example is the Way of the Wicked adventure path. The Mitrans who are Lawful Good freely torture and execute "Forsaken" through gruesome methods (including Burning at the Stake, Drawing and Quartering and Sentencing People to be worked to death in the mines).

However Torture on behalf of the faith isn't a part of a Paladin's job. That's what Constables, Inquisitors, Zelous Clerics or others who serve the State/Faith are responsible for. A Paladin can certainly know this stuff happens but if he does not directly involve himself in these acts and his Church accepts this kind of punishment then he is not violating his Code. Only if he actually participates would he be going against his oaths.


ummmmmmm.......

asked James Jacobs something once..... if the demon or devil does not have that ability listed in its MM entry it cant do so. which would leave me to

just chiming in on the banish for 100 years thing.

something else to consider, if said fiend had human souls captive within its body then killing the fiend could free said souls.

torture= bad

slowly killing evil fiend with holy water, well if that is all you have and all that and it only does xdx damage and its going to take a while to kill it that way. would I consider it torture? NO.

stop humanizing fiends.
secondly fiends dont have souls. they have souls imprisoned within their bodies, but the fiend's pain would not affect them.

now if their essence was judged by pharasma after being killed the essence would be sent to the lower planes only to start again at the bottom of the food changed where as the souls might be able to get rejudged or beg for mercy from her in order to redeem their souls nad be reincarnated or resurrected.( though reincarnated might be a better option for some aslong as it was a civilized humanoid that isnt really know for being evil)

PS. I cant even beleive I chimed in on this.

goodbye


its entirely dependent on what paladin you are talking about wile some it would be a big nono others would be fine with it


The point here really is kind of moot, in my opinion.

However painful or slow a demon/devil's death on the material plane may be, they cannot truely die on the material plane, and the demon knows this. The demon also is therefore under no real duress to tell the truth. The paladin should always suspect the demon is lying or attempting to manipulate the paladin. So the paladin would logically never have reason to torture rather than kill the demon outright.


TheAggroLancer885 wrote:

The point here really is kind of moot, in my opinion.

However painful or slow a demon/devil's death on the material plane may be, they cannot truely die on the material plane, and the demon knows this.

This isn't true in Pathfinder. Summoned (rd/level) outsiders don't die if killed, but Called outsiders, or those who travel to their Material Plane of their own devices (a gate or plane shift spell, a naturally existing planar rift, etc.) die permanently when they are killed. The only examples of outsiders who would not die are those using Astral Projection to visit (most/all statted demon lords have this ability) and the various resurrection abilities of demigods like demon lords, elemental lords, archdevils, etc. (when killed they are instantly reborn in their planar realm, but this ability then doesn't function again for one year).

Outsiders reforming at home when killed on the Material Plane was a 3.5 thing that didn't carry over.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
TheAggroLancer885 wrote:

The point here really is kind of moot, in my opinion.

However painful or slow a demon/devil's death on the material plane may be, they cannot truely die on the material plane, and the demon knows this.

This isn't true in Pathfinder. Summoned (rd/level) outsiders don't die if killed, but Called outsiders, or those who travel to their Material Plane of their own devices (a gate or plane shift spell, a naturally existing planar rift, etc.) die permanently when they are killed. The only examples of outsiders who would not die are those using Astral Projection to visit (most/all statted demon lords have this ability) and the various resurrection abilities of demigods like demon lords, elemental lords, archdevils, etc. (when killed they are instantly reborn in their planar realm, but this ability then doesn't function again for one year).

Outsiders reforming at home when killed on the Material Plane was a 3.5 thing that didn't carry over.

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.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
TheAggroLancer885 wrote:

The point here really is kind of moot, in my opinion.

However painful or slow a demon/devil's death on the material plane may be, they cannot truely die on the material plane, and the demon knows this.

This isn't true in Pathfinder. Summoned (rd/level) outsiders don't die if killed, but Called outsiders, or those who travel to their Material Plane of their own devices (a gate or plane shift spell, a naturally existing planar rift, etc.) die permanently when they are killed. The only examples of outsiders who would not die are those using Astral Projection to visit (most/all statted demon lords have this ability) and the various resurrection abilities of demigods like demon lords, elemental lords, archdevils, etc. (when killed they are instantly reborn in their planar realm, but this ability then doesn't function again for one year).

Outsiders reforming at home when killed on the Material Plane was a 3.5 thing that didn't carry over.

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.

When Outsiders die they turn into Quintessence that fuels the Planes, they don't get back in line.

The Exception being Rakshasas I believe, but they're Native Outsiders anyway.


Rysky 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.

When Outsiders die they turn into Quintessence that fuels the Planes, they don't get back in line.

The Exception being Rakshasas I believe, but they're Native Outsiders anyway.

I see. Thanks.

Silver Crusade

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

Np :3


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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.

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