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Addicted to "Detect Evil"


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Brb, gonna go set up camp in a road tunnel and kill anyone who comes in because it's my home and that's a morally OK thing to do according to this thread. The best part is that anyone who fights back is evil.

Not quite how that works.

The road tunnel and the right of way are preexisting. You have no claim on either.

A better analogy would be Cheyenne Indians tearing up the tracks of the Union Pacific R.R. in the 1860's

The Indians were there first. It was their home for thousands of years. They were slaughtered for attempting to defend it.


Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
blahpers wrote:
And we're back to arguing first-grade moral philosophy again. Why am I not surprised....
To the contrary, we're arguing about conflict in fiction and the role of morality in driving or restraining it.

Whatever keeps the post count rising, I guess.

Grand Lodge

The original scenario was yetis in a cave that you needed to travel through. If you live in a large cave system that is just open air with no barriers to entry and you instantly try to kill anyone who comes in then it's absurd to argue that it's wrong for them to fight back or that they're in the wrong in any way.


DRD1812 wrote:
I detect evil at it! When those are the words that kick off every social interaction with, the world becomes a very black and white place. There's no room for questionable alliances or deals with the devil when evil = smite on sight. As a GM, how can you build around this play style? Should you try and break players out of the habit, or incorporate it into your adventure design? How do you play it at your table?

Just make those paladin eyes glitter like golden disco balls everytime they use Detect Evil.

Also remember that they are lawful, which usually means self restraint on civilized areas.

But wait... isn't detect-smite-smash everytine the evil detector pings something a... CN paladin would do?

"Greetings citizen, I see looking at our database that you are involved with a gang, dangerous guys hey, guess I'll have to shoot you because I am sure you will do something "bad" in the future, or maybe you already did who am I to judge?"


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
The original scenario was yetis in a cave that you needed to travel through. If you live in a large cave system that is just open air with no barriers to entry and you instantly try to kill anyone who comes in then it's absurd to argue that it's wrong for them to fight back or that they're in the wrong in any way.

So it was morally wrong of the Congalese natives to resist construction of the Congo light rail system in the late 19th century?

It was also probably morally wrong of them to resist being enslaved and forced to harvest rubber.

King Leopold II was a true paragon of righteousness, helping the people of the Congo Basin see the wrong of their ways. All the money was just a side benefit.

/s

It does not matter how badly you need to get from Point A to Point B. If it involves going through someone else's home, even if that home is a cave, a jungle, or open prairie, you abide by the owners wishes.

Anything less and you are the invader. The moral right shifts to those defending their ancestral homes.

History, however, tends to be written by those with the military might to enforce their will. It's easy to justify actions, taken in the greater good, after all those who opposed said actions are dead.


Bravo good Sir, bravo!


People passing through some effective wilderness is evidently the same as slavery.

Good to know.


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blahpers wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
blahpers wrote:
And we're back to arguing first-grade moral philosophy again. Why am I not surprised....
To the contrary, we're arguing about conflict in fiction and the role of morality in driving or restraining it.
Whatever keeps the post count rising, I guess.

For post count is truly the greatest good.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:

People passing through some effective wilderness is evidently the same as slavery.

Good to know.

You should read your history.

King Leopold II studied his, especially the parts concerning slave revolts in North and South America.


I love when people bring up slavery every time they disagree with something. It's a very solid analogy with 0 faults.


You should read the scenario in question. You're literally equating a bunch of travelers walking through some wilderness vaguely nearby some indigenous settlement with slavery.

Clearly this means I should grab my shotgun and shoot anyone who tries to walk through my backyard because hey, obviously my house is soon to be the next Congo if I let that happen.


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Lord of False Analogies wrote:
Bravo good Sir, bravo!

There is nothing false. It is called history and it has been repeated and documented many times.

While the histories may have been initially written by the victors, little was done to conceal what was done or how it was done.

A more advanced society deciding it has right of passage though a less advanced civilization and proceeding to take that passage by force from the (savages/pagans/primitives) has occurred so many times you could write dozens of textbooks on the subject.

The Treaty of Tordesillas was just one of several Papal Bulls used as moral justification for these actions. The American's did not even bother with moral justification, they simply killed until there was nobody capable of protesting colonization.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:


A more advanced society deciding it has right of passage though a less advanced civilization and proceeding to take that passage by force from the (savages/pagans/primitives) has occurred so many times you could write dozens of textbooks on the subject.

Or you can generalize that and say that people with military might try to conquer people with lesser military might. This isn't unique to "savages/pagans/primitives" as the victims (or even as the aggressors). Whether it was Alexander, Alaric, or Attila, people took what they could.


Well, that escalated quickly.


blahpers wrote:
Well, that escalated quickly.

And I forgot to pick up popcorn.


blahpers wrote:
Well, that escalated quickly.

Sorry about that; I was on break.


Moving away from, this;

Taking the ethics out of just spamming the ability, you should come up with some way to discourage this. Mainly due to it slowing the game down or causing confusion about when why and how someone pings as Evil.

At basic level, it's on the same level of annoyance as the caster say "I detect magic" on the food they are buying, the chicken they pass, the dagger they buy, the coins they get as change, the men in watch uniforms coming this way...,

Liberty's Edge

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You know what'll discourage the spamming of it? Remind the Paladin that every time they use Detect Evil they provoke attacks of opportunity, it takes them 18 seconds of standing and staring to narrow down the aura, and if a high enough evil cleric is in the cone they get stunned.


MerlinCross wrote:

Moving away from, this;

Taking the ethics out of just spamming the ability, you should come up with some way to discourage this. Mainly due to it slowing the game down or causing confusion about when why and how someone pings as Evil.

At basic level, it's on the same level of annoyance as the caster say "I detect magic" on the food they are buying, the chicken they pass, the dagger they buy, the coins they get as change, the men in watch uniforms coming this way...,

At that point, I'd strongly encourage them to pick up a permanent method of detection, such as magic lenses or a permanency spell.


Just noticed that Conceal Spell and Improved Conceal Spell explicitly do work on spell-like abilities. But these have Deceitful as a prerequisite -- not exactly the kind of feat a Paladin would normally be investing in (and not just fluff -- as feat-starved as they are, they can ill afford this unless they are building specially to be some kind of spy-Paladin).

Silver Crusade

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just noticed that Conceal Spell and Improved Conceal Spell explicitly do work on spell-like abilities. But these have Deceitful as a prerequisite -- not exactly the kind of feat a Paladin would normally be investing in (and not just fluff -- as feat-starved as they are, they can ill afford this unless they are building specially to be some kind of spy-Paladin).

Like a Paladin of Tanagaar based off of Batman?


DRD1812 wrote:
I detect evil at it! When those are the words that kick off every social interaction with, the world becomes a very black and white place. There's no room for questionable alliances or deals with the devil when evil = smite on sight. As a GM, how can you build around this play style? Should you try and break players out of the habit, or incorporate it into your adventure design? How do you play it at your table?

You as the GM decide how things go in your world. At some tables everything is black and white. At others it isn't. Also adventurers can't just go murdering people just for pinging evil, and some evil people have friends in high places.

I would also explain what makes someone evil in my world. Are they evil because they have actually done something bad, or do they just have bad thoughts, and never acted on them?

They might try to pull the "People should believe me because I'm a paladin", but anyone can buy a holy symbol, and some equipment.

To answer the question I'd explain to them how my world ran, and get them to adjust.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
The original scenario was yetis in a cave that you needed to travel through. If you live in a large cave system that is just open air with no barriers to entry and you instantly try to kill anyone who comes in then it's absurd to argue that it's wrong for them to fight back or that they're in the wrong in any way.

So it was morally wrong of the Congalese natives to resist construction of the Congo light rail system in the late 19th century?

It was also probably morally wrong of them to resist being enslaved and forced to harvest rubber.

King Leopold II was a true paragon of righteousness, helping the people of the Congo Basin see the wrong of their ways. All the money was just a side benefit.

/s

It does not matter how badly you need to get from Point A to Point B. If it involves going through someone else's home, even if that home is a cave, a jungle, or open prairie, you abide by the owners wishes.

Anything less and you are the invader. The moral right shifts to those defending their ancestral homes.

History, however, tends to be written by those with the military might to enforce their will. It's easy to justify actions, taken in the greater good, after all those who opposed said actions are dead.

Traveling through a forest does not equal enslavement. That is a poor analogy, but I do agree that if the cave is their(Yeti) home, and they tell you to get out that you should find another way.


Is there a way to switch the apparent alignement of someone else? If that’s the case have a vilain switch the alignement of a innocent man to appear like evil. When the smiting starts, explain to your Paladin that he just killed an innocent

Liberty's Edge

Heaps of ways. Infernal/Celestial Healing, class based auras, Misdirection, possession by something with an evil aura, holding an item with an evil aura, Imbue with Aura. It's so easy to fake an alignment aura even if there was a good god okay with murdering all evil creatures you meet they still would want you to take steps to make sure they've actually done something horrible to make sure.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:


Traveling through a forest does not equal enslavement. That is a poor analogy, but I do agree that if the cave is their(Yeti) home, and they tell you to get out that you should find another way.

Indeed, it does not. And I agree, there's a good point to be made about traveling through someone else's territory without permission. If Russia got into fight with Mexico, I doubt we'd be too keen on them passing through with a few armies. Or, more to the point of history, I don't think we'd have been too keen on making the Philippines a friendly port of call for the Japanese interested in picking off the European colonies further south. The Japanese were pretty sure we'd use them to interfere, hence the attempted knock-out blow on Pearl Harbor.

That said, there's nothing about passing through someone's territory that mandates violence from either side when negotiation may be an option.


wraithstrike wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
The original scenario was yetis in a cave that you needed to travel through. If you live in a large cave system that is just open air with no barriers to entry and you instantly try to kill anyone who comes in then it's absurd to argue that it's wrong for them to fight back or that they're in the wrong in any way.

So it was morally wrong of the Congalese natives to resist construction of the Congo light rail system in the late 19th century?

It was also probably morally wrong of them to resist being enslaved and forced to harvest rubber.

King Leopold II was a true paragon of righteousness, helping the people of the Congo Basin see the wrong of their ways. All the money was just a side benefit.

/s

It does not matter how badly you need to get from Point A to Point B. If it involves going through someone else's home, even if that home is a cave, a jungle, or open prairie, you abide by the owners wishes.

Anything less and you are the invader. The moral right shifts to those defending their ancestral homes.

History, however, tends to be written by those with the military might to enforce their will. It's easy to justify actions, taken in the greater good, after all those who opposed said actions are dead.

Traveling through a forest does not equal enslavement. That is a poor analogy, but I do agree that if the cave is their(Yeti) home, and they tell you to get out that you should find another way.

No, traveling through is not the equivalent of enslavement. That isn't the point though. It's a series of events.

1: People trespass in another people's home.
2: The local people resist this intrusion.
3: Said resistance is used to justify evil acts committed by the trespassers.

Just because someone attacks you does not mean you are justified in killing them. You might be justified in preventing harm to yourself, but that does not automatically mean that you are entitled to kill them.

If an adventurer steps on and breaks a toy in a village street, and this causes a small, unarmed child to rush the adventurer in anger, is that adventurer entitled to kill the child? The child is intending to cause harm.

It's an extreme example, but the point stands that violent intent is not binary, but rather a spectrum. Just because someone has violent intent does not automatically mean they deserve to be put to death. Something to consider is how D&D has conditioned people to automatically think that killing is the primary means of resolving a situation. You earn experience for killing other things. An encounter is typically resolved when one side has been completely wiped out. Many GMs and groups may award experience for solving a situation with something other than violence, but that typically isn't the majority of encounters, nor would I suspect that it is the majority of GMs. The culture created by D&D (and clones) is one of binary violence, but as people in the real world we understand that it should exist on a much larger spectrum.

The fundamental flaw in the Detect Evil/Kill It behavior is that it takes that binary stance to it's logical extreme. Since violence is binary, the character needs only find as small of a justification as possible and killing violence is now permitted. If you want to address this problem, the easiest way is to recognize that violence should not be binary. That means admitting that maybe violence against the yeti's is okay, but that killing them is not (ie, it should be lower on the spectrum than killing).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Having not played Jade Regent, here's how a good character/party in my groups would likely deal with the situation if:

We must pass through the cave system for some pressing reason.
..and the inhabitants are intractable, including attacking us for trying to negotiate passage.

The answer is subdual. Use nonlethal combat to end fights with a minimum of lasting harm, including using our healing resources to save "enemy" lives. Pass through with as little harm and loss of life as possible.

Hope we don't have to pass back through on way back.

Our good parties try and talk to everything. We regretted attacking an evil tree without provocation(we didn't realize it was intelligent).


ryric wrote:

Having not played Jade Regent, here's how a good character/party in my groups would likely deal with the situation if:

We must pass through the cave system for some pressing reason.
..and the inhabitants are intractable, including attacking us for trying to negotiate passage.

The answer is subdual. Use nonlethal combat to end fights with a minimum of lasting harm, including using our healing resources to save "enemy" lives. Pass through with as little harm and loss of life as possible.

Hope we don't have to pass back through on way back.

Our good parties try and talk to everything. We regretted attacking an evil tree without provocation(we didn't realize it was intelligent).

When I ran Jade Regent, my wife created a 1st-level ninja character from Minkai. In her backstory, her ninja had traveled with her master while training, but the master had died fighting yeti to save their caravan. She had continued on their mission to Varisia alone, before the events of the first module.

Jade Regent Book 3, The Hunger Storm:
The party and the caravan they protected were running from a killer morozoki storm, the "hungry storm" the module was named after, that was obviously consciously guided and had been chasing them for a day. One passenger in the caravan knew of the ancient tunnel. The tunnel traveled for miles under the mountains, so it might let them sneak away without the storm following them. If the storm had been natural, they could have sheltered at the entrance and waited out the storm, but they had learned that supernatural morozoki storms could last for months.

Further down the tunnel, it opened up into abandoned rooms. They had to battle incorporeal undead, I forget the exact variety, so had no time to check the side passages. When the last spirit dispersed, the yeti attacked out of the side passages, giving no warning and no chance for the party to catch their breath. (The lack of healing time was a deliberate choice by me to add to the challenge.)

The only reason the yeti knew the party was in the haunted tunnel was that the ghost controlling the morozoki storm had possessed their chief and led a war band to kill the party. The PCs were willing to talk. The possessed chief wanted no talk and no mercy. Two rounds later, the chief was dead, the ghost physically manifested from his corpse to continue the battle, and the war band fled. A few of the yeti warriors had died before the chief.

The incorporeal undead, the morozoki-related ghost, and the mummies further down the tunnel were worse hazards than the yeti. I didn't even mention the yeti when I wrote the chronicles of this adventure.

After the yeti battle, the party checked the bodies and found a jeweled improved ring of jumping. The ninja recognized it as belonging to her dead master. She had gotten revenge on the yeti who had killed him.

1) The tunnel was not the home of the yeti. It was inhabited by undead that kept the yeti out.
2) The tunnel was beneath the hunting grounds of the yeti.
3) The yeti would never have detected the party except a villain sent the yeti against the party.
4) The yeti attacked from ambush without warning.
5) The yeti refused to negotiate.
6) Non-lethal damage ("subdual" is a D&D term) did not seem warranted against a war band.
7) The revenge story above was a coincidence. The dead master and the ring were not in the adventure path, and my wife did not know yeti were in the adventure path when she wrote the backstory.
8) The party never had to return through the tunnel again.

I don't know whether Matthew Downie meant the scene from Jade Regent when he said in comment #56, "The only way to get to the next place you're supposed to go is to pass through the yeti caves." But the yeti encounter from Jade Regent is a terrible example of a battle against people defending their home.

As I said before, some players like making peace and other players like making war. I set up the yeti encounter as a clear-cut battle. Pathfinder is a battle and exploration game, and sometimes we revel in fighting the good fight without moral doubts.

Detect Evil can be a tool for sorting out ambiguous situations. The mysterious hamster-people attack--are they scared potential allies or bloodthirsty enemies? Cast Detect Evil. Okay, only a small percentage are evil. Defend non-lethally and try to talk. What about the gerbil-people? 90% evil. Okay, fight hard.


Mathmuse wrote:
Pathfinder is a battle and exploration game, and sometimes we revel in fighting the good fight without moral doubts.

I fully agree. My point would be that how we frame fighting within the game will alter how we view it from a moral and ethical standpoint. If the only goal is to find things to kill, and even tiny justifications are sufficient to warrant killing, then your players are going to kill (You proverbially, not you "Mathmuse") very indiscriminately.

Your game sounds interesting, with good attention to nuance. It's probably why you aren't the OP who is frustrated with a player in his campaign who engages in Detect Evil/Kill It behavior.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Just noticed that Conceal Spell and Improved Conceal Spell explicitly do work on spell-like abilities.

The "absurdly sneaky Telekineticist" has been a blast ever since Ultimate Intrigue came out, FWIW.


I have had Paladins who use that ability for every encounter. I kindly remind them they are playing a Paladin not a Paranoidlin. Second I ask to make sure it's something in their character background. Third more importantly it requires the Paladin to focus and concentrate on a subject. So any npc can ask "why are you starring at me so intently". If the Paladin responds to see if Npc Xyz is evil he not only stupidly reveals himself as a Paladin. He probably takes a hit in terms of dealing with that npc.

I had a player who kept doing that in a 2E game and they had a town which they had help to protect from a Orc raid and to use as a base of operations. He eventually stopped because word of mouth went around that the Paladin was Detecting Evil at the drop of a shaved copper piece. Which resulted in the Paladin player getting major penalties when interacting with shop owners etc. Essentially the Paladin is telling everyone around him he does not trust them and that they are evil people.

So my solution let them Detect Evil at first for every encounter. If they insist on spamming it for every damn social encounter hit them with penalties when dealing with npcs imo.


Detect Evil (SP) is a SPELL, which requires casting, casting time and concentration.

Randomly casting a spell infront of someone is a hostile action - if a paladin starts casting a spell in front of an NPC in my game most NPCs (of any alignment) will give them a big shove, interrupting their casting, and saying 'Hey, what do you think you are doing?'.

Your other option is to teach the Paladin a lesson. Use the spell misdirection (level 2) to obfuscate alignment. The Paladin kills someone they think is evil: and then as they die, the spell fades and they realise they accidentally killed a good creature.

Result: Paladin's alignment is moved away from LG and they lose their paladin abilities until they atone. That should stop them randomly killing evil things in future.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Yossarian wrote:

Detect Evil (SP) is a SPELL, which requires casting, casting time and concentration.

Randomly casting a spell infront of someone is a hostile action - if a paladin starts casting a spell in front of an NPC in my game most NPCs (of any alignment) will give them a big shove, interrupting their casting, and saying 'Hey, what do you think you are doing?'.

It does not require casting like a spell. It's a spell-like ability and that means no verbal, somatic, or material components - just concentration.

... and a stupid expectation that it have an obviously magical manifestation thanks to the FAQ answer when it should be more subtle.


Yossarian wrote:

Detect Evil (SP) is a SPELL, which requires casting, casting time and concentration.

Randomly casting a spell infront of someone is a hostile action - if a paladin starts casting a spell in front of an NPC in my game most NPCs (of any alignment) will give them a big shove, interrupting their casting, and saying 'Hey, what do you think you are doing?'.

Your other option is to teach the Paladin a lesson. Use the spell misdirection (level 2) to obfuscate alignment. The Paladin kills someone they think is evil: and then as they die, the spell fades and they realise they accidentally killed a good creature.

Result: Paladin's alignment is moved away from LG and they lose their paladin abilities until they atone. That should stop them randomly killing evil things in future.

Ah, yes, the "lesson". But you wouldn't cast it after you kill someone so you would never know there weren't.

Actually, since there abilities can't actually help, they realize they must kill evil anyway.


Yossarian wrote:

Detect Evil (SP) is a SPELL, which requires casting, casting time and concentration.

Randomly casting a spell infront of someone is a hostile action - if a paladin starts casting a spell in front of an NPC in my game most NPCs (of any alignment) will give them a big shove, interrupting their casting, and saying 'Hey, what do you think you are doing?'.

All NPCs automatically attack someone casting a spell in your world? I presume that the PCs are expected to do so as well?


Bill Dunn wrote:
Yossarian wrote:

Detect Evil (SP) is a SPELL, which requires casting, casting time and concentration.

It does not require casting like a spell. It's a spell-like ability and that means no verbal, somatic, or material components - just concentration.

... and a stupid expectation that it have an obviously magical manifestation thanks to the FAQ answer when it should be more subtle.

It should have been a constant, always on sense like an Angel or Azata has.


I agree that a paladin shouldn't detect and smite, but keep in mind a paladin can't just associate or ally with any evil creature. In the case of the previous poster whose King was evil, the paladin would likely have to leave the country or risk falling, especially if that king was his liege. The class just doesn't allow those associations.

A DM that constantly challenges the paladin's alignment is in my opinion a poor DM. No other class has to worry about the consequences of killing a creature whose alliances might be questionable, but we are going to hold the paladin to that standard because we want to see him fall? If you think the Paladin is abusing his detect evil ability then perhaps putting a limit on the uses per day is an answer, but putting him in an impossible position isn't the answer however funny you might think it is at the time.

Personally if a DM was going to run his game like this I'd rather him just tell me he doesn't like paladins and to choose another class.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Instead of disguising an evil aura or making somebody radiate a false evil aura, maybe there is some way for an evil character to actually strengthen his evil aura? You could have some fun stunning a paladin who overuses this ability -- especially if the stun effect for an overwhelmingly evil aura is something he could reasonably expect to happen from the nature of the encounter.


Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Yossarian wrote:

Detect Evil (SP) is a SPELL, which requires casting, casting time and concentration.

Randomly casting a spell infront of someone is a hostile action - if a paladin starts casting a spell in front of an NPC in my game most NPCs (of any alignment) will give them a big shove, interrupting their casting, and saying 'Hey, what do you think you are doing?'.

All NPCs automatically attack someone casting a spell in your world? I presume that the PCs are expected to do so as well?

If your cell phone could also be used as a gun or mind control device, social convention would not permit you to just whip it out without warning around strangers unless you want to be tackled or punched or everyone else drawing their gun/phone just in case. You’d have to announce your intention and everyone would watch to see that’s what you’re actually doing. 3.5 worlds should feature plenty of Experts and a few urban Commoners who pick up a rank of Spellcraft just to control their paranoia.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
It should have been a constant, always on sense like an Angel or Azata has.

I don't agree with that either. It should take an action of some sort and Move action is a good choice for it. But, honestly, having all spell-like abilities require some kind of obviously magical manifestation is a bit ridiculous. Some magic abilities, particularly ones that affect the caster, should be subtle.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
It should have been a constant, always on sense like an Angel or Azata has.
I don't agree with that either. It should take an action of some sort and Move action is a good choice for it. But, honestly, having all spell-like abilities require some kind of obviously magical manifestation is a bit ridiculous. Some magic abilities, particularly ones that affect the caster, should be subtle.

Concentrating on a spell or spell-like ability, on the other hand, has no default observable manifestation that I'm aware of. So if you know you're going into a situation where you'll want to detect evil without drawing attention to yourself, you can always use your ability ahead of time and concentrate on it for the next 10 minutes/level. It's the same tactic that makes detect thoughts viable in social interaction.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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I'd allow a Sense Motive check to realize that someone was concentrating on something besides their immediate situation. Most people concentrating on a spell effect would come off as distracted at best.


DRD1812 wrote:
I detect evil at it! When those are the words that kick off every social interaction with, the world becomes a very black and white place. There's no room for questionable alliances or deals with the devil when evil = smite on sight. As a GM, how can you build around this play style? Should you try and break players out of the habit, or incorporate it into your adventure design? How do you play it at your table?

That sounds like a REAL fast way to fall!

Just 'cuz someone pings as evil doesn't mean they should be summarily executed. There are plenty of normal, every day, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who are productive members of society who are self-centered, focused on their own personal gain, and don't particularly care about the well-being of others. In other words, evil; simply an intelligent form of evil that realized they have to operate within the rules of society to get ahead.

If you murder someone just for pinging evil, you just murdered somebody. Fall.

Also, if you murder somebody just for pinging evil as a paladin... you just failed. Hard. A dead person cannot be saved. Killing the "evil" person is less important than saving their soul!


When "should" the Paladin use Detect Evil? Is quitting cold turkey the only way to end the addiction, or can you still Detect Evil "socially" on occasion?

Is the Paladin's Detect Evil ability maybe intended more to help friends and allies check to make sure that they haven't slipped over some moral precipice? "Sorry, Larzak, but I think when you summoned the Shadow Demons in our last encounter you might have slipped into Evil. If you don't get an Atonement and give some gold pieces to charity we'll have to break up the party."


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good people can do atrocities and the opposite is also true. An evil character can have Good intentions but have the wrong method to accomplish his goals. And I think the best way to get over the I detect evil at him, auto smite if confirmed to be evil, is to challenge or discuss what means to be good and what means to be evil (same goes for chaos and law, though to a lesser extent).

Lets put for example a mage that is killing the unwanted members of the society for a ritual, she is evil no doubt (as confirmed by a detect evil). But what if she is doing that to prevent a calamity that would wipe out the city. those are good intentions driving her atrocities. Should a paladin kill her and doom the city, should he aid her and commit evil, should he let her be and keep the city safe or should he try and find another way to stop the calamity. Those are the kind of decisions that would help a player to look twice at an alignment and think more about goals and consequences.

Also having a talk about what alignment means for everyone in the table usually helps everybody come to a common ground.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just noticed that Conceal Spell and Improved Conceal Spell explicitly do work on spell-like abilities. But these have Deceitful as a prerequisite -- not exactly the kind of feat a Paladin would normally be investing in (and not just fluff -- as feat-starved as they are, they can ill afford this unless they are building specially to be some kind of spy-Paladin).

Like a Paladin of Tanagaar based off of Batman?

Or a Paladin/Ninja of Kelinahat -- the Empyreal Lord of Spies. (Mine's a Wayang.)


pH unbalanced wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just noticed that Conceal Spell and Improved Conceal Spell explicitly do work on spell-like abilities. But these have Deceitful as a prerequisite -- not exactly the kind of feat a Paladin would normally be investing in (and not just fluff -- as feat-starved as they are, they can ill afford this unless they are building specially to be some kind of spy-Paladin).

Like a Paladin of Tanagaar based off of Batman?
Or a Paladin/Ninja of Kelinahat -- the Empyreal Lord of Spies. (Mine's a Wayang.)

These are interesting finds -- I wish they were more fleshed out somewhere. Seems almost like some kind of Spy Paladin archetype might be in order.


if nothing else. rework detect evil so that it becomes detect motive and only grants a bonus to sense motive.

no detect evil.....to abuse.

of course said player might not like it


Talk to the player...
Explain your view on his actions on casting Detect Evil and how that would interact with the Paladin falling. Apologize for not discussing with him your interpretation of the Paladin Code during character creation. Offer a rebuild if he isn't happy.

Or...
Have family and friends of the people the Paladin has murdered come after him.
The authorities place a bounty on the Paladin's head.
Have the Paladin arrested for murder.

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