Awful Evil Enchanters, oh my


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Continuation of a derail of another thread,

UnArcaneElection wrote:

An awful lot of dystopian agencies and criminal organizations in our world would LOVE to be able to do this.

Exactly how many PC's are representatives of dystopian agencies and real world criminal organisations.

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And can be made to kill multiple other people.

That is one option.

The only option when one is casting chain lightning, or fireball or simply being a barbarian.

Quote:


Ways exist to make mind control permanent.
Most of them are quite far up the tech trees, but Modify Memory is available as early as 10th or 11th level (depending upon what kind of caster you are), and its shadow Memory Lapse is available as early as 1st level (I could have sworn this used to be 2nd level in 1st Edition AD&D, but still . . .).

and being an enchanter is quite different from permanently enslaving someone.

I'm talking about why mind control automatically raises red flags for people but evocation doesn't when your yourself admit its much easier to do something nasty with evocation than it is with enchanting.

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As has been pointed out, you can do neutral things with Fireballs and swords as well.

If incinerating your enemies can be neutral I fail to see how having them chop eachother up is any less. And thats basically as bad as it gets.

Getting them to inform on there allies may be maddeningly painful for them, but at the end of the day you've not killed or harmed anyone. You've simply coerced someone magically.

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At least if you get hit with a Fireball or a sword, you know you've been hurt. If you get hit with Mind Control, you might know, or worse, you might even be compelled to seek out more of it (and in the worst case, even to spread it around).

I don't see how being a transparent murderer is less evil than being a cloaked manipulator.

Making someone in a masochistic self harmer is certainly pretty nasty but that isn't all enchantment has to offer. and frankly not even something that occurs to me when people bring up enchanters.

Is it the first thing that pops into everyone elses head?


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Firstly, there's a player bias. Players don't usually sign up to do nothing but watch cutscenes, and removing the PC's agency is likely annoy the player. This also amplifies the second point

Secondly, individual death is cheap. As a player, you're most likely to care about your PC, as a GM, you're most likely to care about your crafted villains. These are the most likely beings around to get a resurrection. Even in-universe a Chaotic character may prefer standing in line for a few centuries, losing their memories but not their desire for freedom, and spending a few millennia doing their own thing in the Maelstrom before the choice of enchantment or destruction ends up on the shoulders of some Inevitable. If we assume that actions taken under enchantments may influence the soul's standing (get your paladin derail here!), a character worried about what happens to them after death would be more afraid of being forced to break Alignment than dying in their current state.

Finally, the capability of enchantments to traumatize exceeds that of other media. A loved one may know nothing but that their friend stabs them, while said friend has to watch their own hands kill. It takes effort to be that sadistic with other weapons, enchantment has it built in. Anybody who has felt they were forced against their will is going to be wary of enchantment spells, especially the kind of deviants that often become adventurers. Would you expect a Starfinder Shirren to condone Charm Person?

Silver Crusade

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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:


I'm talking about why mind control automatically raises red flags for people but evocation

I answered in the other thread but I'll answer here too.

1) It removes player agency from what is a game. Its anecdotal, but I've seen quite a few PLAYERS who love mind control magic but who HATE to have their characters be mind controlled.

2) Mind control is SUBTLE. It means that you can't trust your friends, it means that you're never sure what is going on. A fireball is very obvious.

3) When done right, mind control is FAR more powerful than evocation. Just look at all the wizard guides saying how comparatively weak evocation magic is. You fireball somebody, you have corpses. You mass suggest, and you have slaves. Slaves are more useful than corpses.

4) Mind control breaks that very thin veneer of "reality" over the world more than blasting. Its pretty easy to arm wave why a blasty mage isn't king. Its a lot harder when that mage is a properly built enchanter sort.

Note - I am NOT saying that it is inherently more evil. I am saying that it inherently has a lot more flags being raised

Grand Lodge

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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Getting them to inform on there allies may be maddeningly painful for them, but at the end of the day you've not killed or harmed anyone. You've simply coerced someone magically.

And left them with the memory of it as well. Once you're dead, the suffering is over. Fireball is actually kinder in that regard.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Getting them to inform on there allies may be maddeningly painful for them, but at the end of the day you've not killed or harmed anyone. You've simply coerced someone magically.
And left them with the memory of it as well. Once you're dead, the suffering is over. Fireball is actually kinder in that regard.

In a cosmos with an afterlife this is not, strictly speaking, true...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yeah, but in Pathfinders setting you don't remember your past life anyway as a petitioner.


The Sideromancer wrote:
Some good stuff

Good points, I guess I'd rather lose player agency for half an hour than have my PC die though.

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If we assume that actions taken under enchantments may influence the soul's standing

I don't assume or accept this.

Any person of any worth to a god is still going to be of worth to them after they're released from mind control aren't gods supposed to be unfathomably wise and intelligent. Its not that hard to see that the fault in these instances would not lie with the victim of enchantment.

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Would you expect a Starfinder Shirren to condone Charm Person?

I have no idea.

pauljathome wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:


I'm talking about why mind control automatically raises red flags for people but evocation

I answered in the other thread but I'll answer here too.

1) It removes player agency from what is a game. Its anecdotal, but I've seen quite a few PLAYERS who love mind control magic but who HATE to have their characters be mind controlled.

Well anecdotally speaking I've never felt that I'd rather my character die than lose control of them briefly.

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2) Mind control is SUBTLE. It means that you can't trust your friends, it means that you're never sure what is going on. A fireball is very obvious.

No magic is subtle anymore. An errate saw to that.

If you're fireballed you can't trust your friends cause they're dead, as are you.

protection from X can help with the trust issue, its quite a lot harder to resurrect yourself.

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3) When done right, mind control is FAR more powerful than evocation.

I don't dispute this (well I do, but I'm thinking about very minmaxed high level evocation builds that can do 400+ damage to 20 targets in an AOE)

But more to the point it doesn't matter.
Being a powerful option doesn't make it an evil one.

Archery isn't more evil than sword play and pounce isn't more evil than charge.

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Just look at all the wizard guides saying how comparatively weak evocation magic is. You fireball somebody, you have corpses. You mass suggest, and you have slaves. Slaves are more useful than corpses.

You're already derailing a thread made to counter a derail. Evocation vs Enchanting is an entirely different no alignment related debate.

I will not Enchanting is one of the most commonly chosen schools as an opposition, more so than evocation, because the weakness of enchanting is its so often hard countered.

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4) Mind control breaks that very thin veneer of "reality" over the world more than blasting.
Its pretty easy to arm wave why a blasty mage isn't king. Its a lot harder when that mage is a properly built enchanter sort.

I mean, I disagree and this is just an opinion... so yeah. Permanent circles against X exist I'm pretty sure.

I find it hard to get my head around anyone ever having an army in pathfinder when a well placed fireball can kill tens of men with ease and be rained from above via indivisibly.
And it'll be well placed and they're always unfailingly charged with pin point accuracy.

But more to the point being effective, does not make it evil. Braking verisimilitude does not make it evil, you seem to be missing the point of the thread somewhat.

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Note - I am NOT saying that it is inherently more evil. I am saying that it inherently has a lot more flags being raised

Well that isn't really the point of this thread. I'm asking why people think its evil, not what people don't like it.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Getting them to inform on there allies may be maddeningly painful for them, but at the end of the day you've not killed or harmed anyone. You've simply coerced someone magically.
And left them with the memory of it as well. Once you're dead, the suffering is over. Fireball is actually kinder in that regard.

You being inclined to dwell on your failings doesn't make a spell evil.

I could just as easily reply that fireball leaves your entire family in morning for your loss.

Being charmed into letting someone into a building you weren't supposed to let someone into, might haunt you forever. But then you're family is pretty pleased that the wizard didn't turn you to ash.

Also a mercifully inclined enchanter could just take the memory of your failure. Pretty sure a mercifully inclined evoker isn't going to bring you back to life.

Shadow Lodge

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Some good stuff
Good points, I guess I'd rather lose player agency for half an hour than have my PC die though.

Death is just another condition to be removed.

Silver Crusade

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:


No magic is subtle anymore. An errate saw to that.

This is just NOT true. Ultimate Intrigue decided that magic was not subtle BY DEFAULT (I don't know or care whether that made it into an official errata or FAQ).

But it also provided several ways to STILL do subtle magic.

And any enchanter worth their salt is going to grumble at the feat tax, mutter about Paizo changing rules to sell books, and then pay the tax to make their magic subtle again :-) :-).


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Mind control isn’t subtle because the Sense Motive checks after the fact are so easy.


pauljathome wrote:


Note - I am NOT saying that it is inherently more evil. I am saying that it inherently has a lot more flags being raised

As the person who accidentally started this derail in the other thread, I'd like to clarify that I don't think mind control is inherently more evil than any of the other examples brought up here or there, just that it's less appealing to me personally to play (for characters supposed to be non-evil).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Chromantic Durgon, simply put, some people regard loss of agency worse than death. Even more pointed, there is the phrase, "...fates worse than death."

A debate cannot exist where the two options are based in opinion with no relevant factual contributions. It is either a discussion, or an argument.

Also, moralistic debates/discussions about the alignment system are fruitless as the alignment system is a game mechanic. And, this particular game mechanic does not care of magnitudes of evil, only evil (yes/no).

You have made very valid points on how causing death is very evil. Others have made points on "fate worse than death" is evil. I fail to see how this thread can progress any further. Everyone is right.

EDIT: Xenocrat, there's a feat to make it harder to sense motive as well. Though, as I'm sure it will be argued, yes with enough buffs to sense motive it doesn't matter.

Liberty's Edge

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Quote:


2) Mind control is SUBTLE. It means that you can't trust your friends, it means that you're never sure what is going on. A fireball is very obvious.

No magic is subtle anymore. An errate saw to that.

If you're fireballed you can't trust your friends cause they're dead, as are you.

protection from X can help with the trust issue, its quite a lot harder to resurrect yourself.

Quote:

mesmers can make mind effecting spells subtle
its really there key edge in mind magic

in starfinder overlords can do the same


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There is nothing inherently evil about enchanting. Certainly not more so than actually killing a person. I’m sorry, but enchanting isn’t evil by default. Like with everything, intent is what matters to decide if something is evil or good.

For instance, let me give you an example, and until you can justify it as evil, enchanting isn’t evil by default:

A bunch of (insert common enemy here) raid the town. A young boy picks up a dagger that a dead guard had, and attempts to fight so he can go save his family. He clearly has no chance surviving the fight. He will not listen to reason. You mind control him and force him to leave, thus sparing his life.

Please find a way to justify this as evil if you are going to continue arguing that enchanting is inherently evil.


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pauljathome wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:


No magic is subtle anymore. An errate saw to that.

This is just NOT true. Ultimate Intrigue decided that magic was not subtle BY DEFAULT (I don't know or care whether that made it into an official errata or FAQ).

But it also provided several ways to STILL do subtle magic.

And any enchanter worth their salt is going to grumble at the feat tax, mutter about Paizo changing rules to sell books, and then pay the tax to make their magic subtle again :-) :-).

It's both true and untrue. Magic is not subtle by default (any longer). UI and a few other sources gave us new, somewhat inefficient, ways to be subtle with magic.

However, the errata broke a lot of monsters, published adventure encounters, and other aspects of the game that operated under the assumption that subtle magic was the default.

Any statement claiming that subtle magic didn't exist prior to the errata and release of UI is blatantly untrue. There is just too much evidence indicating otherwise.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Continuation of a derail of another thread,

UnArcaneElection wrote:

An awful lot of dystopian agencies and criminal organizations in our world would LOVE to be able to do this.

Exactly how many PC's are representatives of dystopian agencies and real world criminal organisations.

In some parts of Golarion, quite a lot. Hell's Vengeance isn't the only one. (Although Granted, it would be kind of hard to get a representative of one of our world's criminal organizations on Golarion -- not impossible, though, as Reign of Winter showed. Hmmm . . . future AP hook . . . .)

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

And can be made to kill multiple other people.

That is one option.

The only option when one is casting chain lightning, or fireball or simply being a barbarian.

Making somebody betray their friends is one of the more effective options for mind control. Once you start talking about less generally effective but still potentially useful options, both Barbarians and Fireballs also have other uses.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:


Ways exist to make mind control permanent.
Most of them are quite far up the tech trees, but Modify Memory is available as early as 10th or 11th level (depending upon what kind of caster you are), and its shadow Memory Lapse is available as early as 1st level (I could have sworn this used to be 2nd level in 1st Edition AD&D, but still . . .).

and being an enchanter is quite different from permanently enslaving someone.

I'm talking about why mind control automatically raises red flags for people but evocation doesn't when your yourself admit its much easier to do something nasty with evocation than it is with enchanting.

Everything raises red flags, but mind control (usually Enchantment, but also Necromancy to a noticeable extent) raises especial red flags for the potential to turn someone against their own free will without them ever knowing it, or making them not be themselves any more.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
As has been pointed out, you can do neutral things with Fireballs and swords as well.

If incinerating your enemies can be neutral I fail to see how having them chop eachother up is any less. And thats basically as bad as it gets.

Getting them to inform on there allies may be maddeningly painful for them, but at the end of the day you've not killed or harmed anyone. You've simply coerced someone magically.

Some uses of Enchantment could be non-Evil. It's just that Enchantment has a lot more potential for Evil, and it's insidious.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
At least if you get hit with a Fireball or a sword, you know you've been hurt. If you get hit with Mind Control, you might know, or worse, you might even be compelled to seek out more of it (and in the worst case, even to spread it around).

I don't see how being a transparent murderer is less evil than being a cloaked manipulator.

Making someone in a masochistic self harmer is certainly pretty nasty but that isn't all enchantment has to offer. and frankly not even something that occurs to me when people bring up enchanters.

Is it the first thing that pops into everyone elses head?

A transparent murderer is like an explosive or a non-addictive poison. A cloaked manipulator is like an addictive poison and/or a disease.


UnArcaneElection wrote:


In some parts of Golarion, quite a lot. Hell's Vengeance isn't the only one. (Although Granted, it would be kind of hard to get a representative of one of our world's criminal organizations on Golarion -- not impossible, though, as Reign of Winter showed. Hmmm . . . future AP hook . . . .)

and in most parts never the reality is its much more common for someone to play an enchanter than it is for them play a representative of a dystopian regime.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Making somebody betray their friends is one of the more effective options for mind control. Once you start talking about less generally effective but still potentially useful options, both Barbarians and Fireballs also have other uses.

Charm person

Suggestion
Hold Person
Sleep
Geas
Heroism

To name a tiny fraction of the many many many Enchantment spells regularly in use which do not involved you murdering your friends. But are still pretty damn effective.

You seem to have ceased arguing over why Enchanting is seen as evil and move to why using dominate person to kill said persons allies is evil. I was never arguing it wasn't.

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Everything raises red flags, but mind control (usually Enchantment, but also Necromancy to a noticeable extent) raises especial red flags for the potential to turn someone against their own free will without them ever knowing it, or making them not be themselves any more.

I don't think everything raises red flags. How many clerics of Shelyn are raising red flags? Not for most people anyway.

I think this boils down to a philosophical difference of opinion.

I don't think that momentary loss of agency and memory is as bad as being murdered by a hulking rage engine.
You clearly do.

Quote:
Some uses of Enchantment could be non-Evil. It's just that Enchantment has a lot more potential for Evil, and it's insidious.

I'd say it has less opportunity for evil than most other schools. You're picking on a very small set of powerful compulsions used maliciously as possible and acting as though they're the standard use for all of enchanting. They're not.

Quote:


A transparent murderer is like an explosive or a non-addictive poison. A cloaked manipulator is like an addictive poison and/or a disease.

I think I'm just going to skirt around what I can help feeling is a pretty clumsy defense of evocation. Seems like its too easy to offend with this point.


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Comparisons with necromancy are where things get interesting, as well.

Animate dead: Uses parts nobody else is currently using, creates automaton rather than suppressing will, incapable by itself of effective impersonation, only downside to the target (more difficult resurrection) is irrelevant if the corpse is old enough. Objectively Evil.

Dominate person: Steals body in use by another, suppresses will and forces them to watch, easy impersonation, target can also only be restored once effect is removed, larger potential for emotional scarring. Not objectively Evil.

Sovereign Court

Reksew_Trebla wrote:

There is nothing inherently evil about enchanting. Certainly not more so than actually killing a person. I’m sorry, but enchanting isn’t evil by default. Like with everything, intent is what matters to decide if something is evil or good.

For instance, let me give you an example, and until you can justify it as evil, enchanting isn’t evil by default:

A bunch of (insert common enemy here) raid the town. A young boy picks up a dagger that a dead guard had, and attempts to fight so he can go save his family. He clearly has no chance surviving the fight. He will not listen to reason. You mind control him and force him to leave, thus sparing his life.

Please find a way to justify this as evil if you are going to continue arguing that enchanting is inherently evil.

Yes... intent is what matters. And here the intent is to enslave someone against their will.

You are literally trying to claim that enslaving a child is not evil. Is enchanting evil by default? No. Using it to enslave goodly people? Yes, that is evil.

Especially when that poor boy, all alone, lost in the wilderness where he ran to until the enchantment wears off, slowly dies of hunger and frostbite.


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I would say our perceptions are skewed on the matter. We have all manners of ways to hurt people in real life but loss of agency is rare and often scarier. Enchantment also is much more dangerous than evocation. That means more fear and therefore more stigma attached

Another way to consider it might be that an evocation spell is a weapon while an enchantment spell turns the target into a weapon to be used against those around them, typically with them being aware or becoming aware later

I agree logically that enchantment is as moral as evocation. However we are not logical creatures.

Btw every game I play in has at least 1 dystopian regime member in it........


Do you always play dystopian regime members then?


Only me once

3/5 characters in the current game


I feel sorry for the other two xD

Silver Crusade

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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:


Exactly how many PC's are representatives of dystopian agencies and real world criminal organisations.

One could make a fairly strong argument that EVERY SINGLE PC in PFS falls into this category :-) :-)


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
pauljathome wrote:


Note - I am NOT saying that it is inherently more evil. I am saying that it inherently has a lot more flags being raised
As the person who accidentally started this derail in the other thread, I'd like to clarify that I don't think mind control is inherently more evil than any of the other examples brought up here or there, just that it's less appealing to me personally to play (for characters supposed to be non-evil).

Just had to say that the novel The Soprano Sorceress by L.E. Modesitt Jr explores the relative evil of evocation vs enchantment in depth.

Essentially, is it better to char someone to death, or force them to act like a decent human being (i.e. Good/Lawful)?


Charm Person and Dominate Person are essentially magically forcing people to take roofies.


The King In Yellow wrote:
Reksew_Trebla wrote:

There is nothing inherently evil about enchanting. Certainly not more so than actually killing a person. I’m sorry, but enchanting isn’t evil by default. Like with everything, intent is what matters to decide if something is evil or good.

For instance, let me give you an example, and until you can justify it as evil, enchanting isn’t evil by default:

A bunch of (insert common enemy here) raid the town. A young boy picks up a dagger that a dead guard had, and attempts to fight so he can go save his family. He clearly has no chance surviving the fight. He will not listen to reason. You mind control him and force him to leave, thus sparing his life.

Please find a way to justify this as evil if you are going to continue arguing that enchanting is inherently evil.

Yes... intent is what matters. And here the intent is to enslave someone against their will.

You are literally trying to claim that enslaving a child is not evil. Is enchanting evil by default? No. Using it to enslave goodly people? Yes, that is evil.

Especially when that poor boy, all alone, lost in the wilderness where he ran to until the enchantment wears off, slowly dies of hunger and frostbite.

Wow, okay no. The intent is to prevent the boy from killing himself by having him leave the general area. And who says he is going to go into the wilderness? The caster certainly didn’t. Because if the caster has even the slightest bit of knowledge of the wilderness, they would know it’s safer fighting a raid of (insert common enemy here) than to ever go into the wilderness. S*** gets crazy in the wild. That’s where all the high cr stuff lives. So yeah, he’ll probably be instructed to hide in the crawl space under a house, where nobody will find him till the caster and friends have killed the raiding (insert common enemy here), but at the same time, when the spell ends, he’ll just crawl out from under the house and be seen by the survivors looking for other survivors.

How is any of that evil?


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unintended consequences shouldn't equate evil deeds. or else we're all screwed.


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pauljathome wrote:


3) When done right, mind control is FAR more powerful than evocation. Just look at all the wizard guides saying how comparatively weak evocation magic is. You fireball somebody, you have corpses. You mass suggest, and you have slaves. Slaves are more useful than corpses.

Animate Dead.

Problem solved. Your corpses are now slaves.

It’s so good being a necromancer!


It's a bit like comparing the villains of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.

Diamondback is just a force of destruction. He shoots and then punches things really hard. He just kills people.

Kilgrave forces allies to turn on each other and can make people do anything, as horrible as it may be. This has the bonus of traumatizing the people he controls and ruining their lives. There was one father he forced to abandon their kid and then they lost custody.

You can't really quantify how evil an evoker or enchanter is, but one is generally considered more disturbing.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

{. . .}

Making somebody betray their friends is one of the more effective options for mind control. Once you start talking about less generally effective but still potentially useful options, both Barbarians and Fireballs also have other uses.
{. . .}

Charm person

Suggestion
Hold Person
Sleep
Geas
Heroism

To name a tiny fraction of the many many many Enchantment spells regularly in use which do not involved you murdering your friends. But are still pretty damn effective.

Charm person, Suggestion, and Geas/Quest do make you in part be not yourself, and can easily be used to make you betray your friends (again, one of the more effective uses).

Just to be clear, I am not saying that these should not be in the game. After all, these are things that Demons, Devils, other Evil Outsiders, and their cultists use to great effect. They have excellent Evil reasons for having these powers.

* * * * * * * *

djdust wrote:
unintended consequences shouldn't equate evil deeds. or else we're all screwed.

Wait . . . you mean we're not?


Yeah you right.


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Some just call him...Tim


UnArcaneElection wrote:
After all, these are things that Demons, Devils, other Evil Outsiders, and their cultists use to great effect. They have excellent Evil reasons for having these powers.

The spells listed above are also used by numerous Good outsiders. Like Solars and Lillends and Vulpinals. Presumably used for Good reasons and to build good cults religions.

I think of mind-control as lawful more than evil personally. It strips a person of some personal freedom and enforces respect for your authority. And of course, the school of enchantment as a whole is unaligned like every other school of magic.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

{. . .}

Making somebody betray their friends is one of the more effective options for mind control. Once you start talking about less generally effective but still potentially useful options, both Barbarians and Fireballs also have other uses.
{. . .}

Charm person

Suggestion
Hold Person
Sleep
Geas
Heroism

To name a tiny fraction of the many many many Enchantment spells regularly in use which do not involved you murdering your friends. But are still pretty damn effective.

Charm person, Suggestion, and Geas/Quest do make you in part be not yourself, and can easily be used to make you betray your friends (again, one of the more effective uses).

Charm person makes people treat you as an ally. That doesn’t mean your former allies cease being allies so not unless you succumb to a diplomacy check after charm person you’re probably not gonna do anything that bad. Certainly not kill them.

Suggestion must sound reasonable and can’t be obviously harmful.

Quote:


Just to be clear, I am not saying that these should not be in the game. After all, these are things that Demons, Devils, other Evil Outsiders, and their cultists use to great effect. They have excellent Evil reasons for having these powers.

I don’t think anyone is saying they shouldn’t be in game. Evil should be in the game. Obviously, ergo even if they were evil, which they aren’t they should be in the game.

Devils can also cast fireball and wall of fire invisibility Dispel magic and fireball. Being on an evil persons list means you might be used for evil means. Not the thing itself is evil.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Any statement claiming that subtle magic didn't exist prior to the errata and release of UI is blatantly untrue. There is just too much evidence indicating otherwise.

Except, of course, that the default rules for spellcraft gives everyone with line of sight to a caster an immediate check to identify any spell that was just cast, with the only modifiers to the check being those that would apply to perception checks.

Casting a spell 300 feet away gives everyone a -30 on the check to ID the spell, but everyone 300 feet away can still tell a spell was cast and gets to try to ID it.

Spellcasting has always been hilariously conspicuous; UI just made that clear (rather than being an easy conclusion to draw from the spellcraft skill).

If anything, what I'd call BS on is UI requiring you to get all new metamagic feats to conceal your casting, instead of just allowing silent & still spell to do the trick.


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Zhangar wrote:
Except, of course, that the default rules for spellcraft gives everyone with line of sight to a caster an immediate check to identify any spell that was just cast, with the only modifiers to the check being those that would apply to perception checks.

They were consistently ignored in multiple publications. So much so that it was clear that they didn't follow those rules when making content. Until UI of course when they made a 180 degree turn because of psychic magic...


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Like the various enemies who had vital strike + spring attack (which never worked with how spring attack was written) as part of their tactics, that's a long running editing issue, not the rules team suddenly changing how something actually worked.

Also, keep in mind that the rules team is separate from the editing team and the adventures team.

Heh. If anything, the UI call-outs/revisions may be a result of the rules team trying to get everyone else synced up again after revisiting those rules; "getting their house in order" as it were.

Edit: The rules are also kind of badly organized, so it's very easy for writers to be unaware of stuff that's actually kind of important. Like how scrying spells create sensors that only DC 20 + spell level to perceive if you don't beat invisibility, and are just blatantly there if you do. Like, you cannot scry a dragon without immediately tipping it off, because your sensor is not getting past blindsense.

Now, a critical thing with Charm, is that if it works, it slams your victim's attitude towards you to Friendly.

Which means your victim can be perfectly aware that you just cast charm monster or person on him or her, and simply not care because he or she is Charmed.


Zhangar wrote:
If anything, the UI call-outs/revisions may be a result of the rules team trying to get everyone else synced up again after revisiting those rules; "getting their house in order" as it were.

IMO, it was a pure reaction to psychic magic. If that had not been made, I'm confident that they would never have gotten "their house in order" as it were, happily ignoring the inconsistencies.

As to vital strike + spring attack, that wasn't clear and in fact they had to FAQ it to make it not work. Before that, attack action wasn't clearly "a specific kind of standard action." As such, it's not really analogous to 'subtle magic'. As you put it, "the default rules" rules were there, it was just that no one used them.


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Looking only at Azata (you know, the manifestations of Chaotic Goodness)?
Lillend: Charm Person SLA 3/day, and Charm Monster, Charm Person and Suggestion as spells known.
Bralani: Charm Person at will.
Gancanagh: Charm Person at will.
Ghaele: Charm Monster at will.
Yamah: Charm Person 1/day.

How about Neutral Good Agathions?
Vulpinal: Charm Monster 3/day
Procyal: Dominate Person 1/day, and Charm Person 3/day

Angels, the "Any Good" outsiders?
Monadic Deva: Charm Monster at will
Planetar: Mass Charm Monster 1/day
Solar: Mass Charm Monster 3/day

Archons? Yeah, I didn't find any charms or compulsions in their spells and spell-likes.

So, going by "who casts it", it seems that Charm, at least, is Chaotic, but certainly not evil. Dominate can't be automatically evil either.
It's almost as if the ability to turn enemies into friends is only as evil as you are.

I'm to lazy to compile a similar list for evil aligned outsiders, but a few cursory searches through Archive of Nethys gave similar results - lots of demons have Charm, fewer devils and daemons. Dominate is less common than Charm and similarly distributed.


^Now you're making me nervous about the Good Outsiders . . . Of course, this isn't new to Pathfinder. Some of the recommended methods in D&D 3.5 Book Of Exalted Deeds sound like they were distilled from a CIA manual. So Pathfinder has actually taken a step in the right direction, that the Good Outsiders just have these abilities, not the recommendation to use them like they worked for the CIA . . . .


Ultimate Intrigue, p. 157 wrote:

Charm Person: The main thing to remember about charm magic is that it is not a compulsion (that is a different subschool of enchantment), which means it doesn’t directly force someone to do something. Instead, the spell basically makes someone feel like the caster is a friend, and puts what the caster says in the best possible light. Just like in the Diplomacy section of Skills in Conflict (see page 184), being someone’s friend doesn’t mean the caster gets to dictate everything they do, and even the opposed Charisma check the spell grants can only go so far; it doesn’t compel them to act exactly as the caster desires.

For instance, an evil necromancer might be willing to allow her friend to sit as her new right hand, but she won’t quit her entire life’s goal just because a friend asked, even with an opposed Charisma check. This advice applies equally as well to other charm spells (such as charm animal and charm monster).

Emphasis on "even the Charisma check has limits".

It's not mind control. It's just a temporary pacification that allows you to talk it out and have them actually consider your words. It makes them no more "in part not themself" as a Calm Emotions spell or a good Diplomacy check.

I mean, if you prefer murder, threats, and blackmail to (magically aided) diplomacy, then that's a choice, too. I'm just not convinced it's a Good choice.


^It depends upon how it is used, of course. But remember that although it is not a compulsion, it could easily get you to betray your friends -- not by killing them directly, but by letting your guard down against the one who Charmed you.

* * * * * * * *

With respect to the distribution of Charm and Dominate among the Good Outsiders posted a bit above -- it's almost as if Chaos doesn't trust people to have their own judgment, whereas Law is more willing to respect your right to keep your mind as your own. Counterintuitive, but interesting take . . . Actually, it would fit in with an idea I have been toying with (explicitly contradicted by Pathfinder Campaign Setting lore, but maybe good for another setting) that Azatas actually came originally from enlightened Demons, so they retain a number of Demonic characteristics, including some of their more insidious spell-like abilities.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
But remember that although it is not a compulsion, it could easily get you to betray your friends -- not by killing them directly, but by letting your guard down against the one who Charmed you.

Only if the person who charmed you is likely to kill your friends. Otherwise, it's as dangerous as a good diplomacy check. Even when they're likely to kill your friends, at worst that adds the need for a bluff check.

It's exactly as dangerous and malicious as the person who uses it.

You can use charm person for peaceful diplomacy. Charm them, and then just talk to them to find a peaceful compromise between friends. If they still think the compromise is acceptable after the charm ran out, all is well. If not, you can still go back to murder, blackmail, and threats.

Meanwhile, the only reliable diplomatic application of fireball is blackmail, threats, and murder. You know, "gunboat diplomacy". Outside of some obscure demolition and fireworks uses, it is always a tool of violence. Sure, you can aim it in the right direction, but if you want a truly peaceful solution? Your only option is to not use it at all.
A fireball is always dangerous and usually malicious, just sometimes it's dangerous and malicious "to the right people".

UnArcaneElection wrote:
With respect to the distribution of Charm and Dominate among the Good Outsiders posted a bit above -- it's almost as if Chaos doesn't trust people to have their own judgment, whereas Law is more willing to respect your right to keep your mind as your own. Counterintuitive, but interesting take . . . Actually, it would fit in with an idea I have been toying with (explicitly contradicted by Pathfinder Campaign Setting lore, but maybe good for another setting) that Azatas actually came originally from enlightened Demons, so they retain a number of Demonic characteristics, including some of their more insidious spell-like abilities.

I don't see it.

The only judgement Charm X spells really affect is "is this person a trustworthy friend?" - and Azata are at least well meaning (especially to humanoids, you know, the person in "Charm Person"), if not always the most reliable folk. They do want to help everyone to get along. Charm isn't a long term solution, but it helps getting a foot in the door.

It's "diplomacy in a can", an uncanny knack at befriending people. Not control, of mind or otherwise.


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Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:


It's exactly as dangerous and malicious as the person who uses it.

This


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Some people have a very strong belief in Freedom. To them, killing is sometimes evil, but taking away someone's right to choice and consent is always evil.

To this mindset, saying "Mental compulsion is only malicious in the hands of a malicious person," is creepy, like saying, "Slavery is only bad when it's bad people owning slaves; a good person can use slavery as a force for good, by making sure their slaves only do good and productive things rather than letting them do whatever they want."


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Matthew Downie wrote:
"Slavery is only bad when it's bad people owning slaves; a good person can use slavery as a force for good, by making sure their slaves only do good and productive things rather than letting them do whatever they want."

Isn't this the idea around prisons? That's it's cool to take away someone's freedom as long as they are 'bad'? It's totally cool to make prisoners do "good and productive things" like collect garbage along the highway: I see it done all the time... it's a matter of perspective.


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Hey, I just wrote a blog post about this:

http://www.handbookofheroes.com/archives/comic/clingy-boyfriend

Think Inigo Montoya. When the six fingered man killed his father, it was murder. Imagine if the six fingered man cast dominate on Inigo, forcing him to kill his father with his own hands. The result is the same (e.g. dead father), but the enchantment version is some next level messed up type evil.


DRD1812 wrote:

Hey, I just wrote a blog post about this:

http://www.handbookofheroes.com/archives/comic/clingy-boyfriend

Think Inigo Montoya. When the six fingered man killed his father, it was murder. Imagine if the six fingered man cast dominate on Inigo, forcing him to kill his father with his own hands. The result is the same (e.g. dead father), but the enchantment version is some next level messed up type evil.

Or the six fingered man could have used his CMB that comes hand in hand with his BAB (which was apparently high enough to defeat Inigo's father) to tie Inigo and his father up and slowly torture his father to death in front of Inigo.

"You can do bad things with it" means nothing, because you can do bad things with pretty much everything. You know what you can do with a full BAB? Brutally murder helpless orphans. All day long. You know who has a full BAB? Paladins. Isn't that creepy?

Meanwhile, spells that can only be used to harm people are considered fine, as long as you only harm "enemies".
But spells that you can use to befriend people - helping them over the first prejudice, and then treating them well and not pushing them to do all kinds of things against their nature - get a bad reputation because other people use them less wholesome.

At least there are peaceful ways to use Charm Person. More than there are for Magic Missile.


Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
DRD1812 wrote:

Hey, I just wrote a blog post about this:

http://www.handbookofheroes.com/archives/comic/clingy-boyfriend

Think Inigo Montoya. When the six fingered man killed his father, it was murder. Imagine if the six fingered man cast dominate on Inigo, forcing him to kill his father with his own hands. The result is the same (e.g. dead father), but the enchantment version is some next level messed up type evil.

Or the six fingered man could have used his CMB that comes hand in hand with his BAB (which was apparently high enough to defeat Inigo's father) to tie Inigo and his father up and slowly torture his father to death in front of Inigo.

"You can do bad things with it" means nothing, because you can do bad things with pretty much everything. You know what you can do with a full BAB? Brutally murder helpless orphans. All day long. You know who has a full BAB? Paladins. Isn't that creepy?

Nonsense. Orphans are Young templated Commoner 1s. Even the weedy wizard isn't going to have an issue stabbing those all day.

Also the 6 Fingered Man took out Inigo's father in a surprise round. Dad clearly didn't invest in either Perception or Sense Motive and was also something extremely low level to die in one attack (albeit likely a crit since it was said it got him in the heart but rapiers are only x2 weapons so...)

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