AshVelveteen's page

Organized Play Member. 15 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


I'd like to see a typical halfling slave personally, or maybe a halfling rebel operative pretending to be a slave. I really hope the book doesn't just focus on the powerful, I want to know more about the little guys running underfoot.

Samuel Weiss wrote:
Snorter wrote:
Do you forbid the 1st-level PCs in your games from digging pits?

I do not have to. The players in my game rarely, if ever, stand still long enough to set up defenses like that.

However, when they have, their preparations are taken into account in determining the monster forces available to attack them.

Tell me, do you allow the 1st-level PCs in your games to have 50 flasks of alchemist's fire on their first adventure?
Or 50 tanglefoot bags?
Or 50 doses of greenblood oil?
Or allow them to set up camp outside the dungeon and wait for everything inside to come out and assault their prepared base?
Or inflict the frightened condition on all encounters because they make so much noise the monsters think an army is coming for them?

Well, giving a 1st-level PC who was a trap fanatic two flasks of alchemist's fire and two tanglefoot bags wouldn't be unreasonable. If there were 25 kobalds then 50 each doesn't seem bad. I'm not sure what greenblood oil so I can't comment.

And a siege adventure, where the PCs have to figure out how to hold off an invading force could be fun for some groups. It's different from the norm, but it works.

And if the PCs came up with a clever way to seems more intimidating then they really are I think it would be reasonable to make the invaders hesitant and cautious.

I dunno, it doesn't seem that bad to me.

I really like the idea of a feat that lets you add the +1 Hit Point or +1 Skill Point per level to a new class. IMO it would be a great idea to include the additional favoured class feat in the final release.

I'm playing a halfling cleric/rogue in hopes of getting the Giant in the Playground prestige class and I can vouch that it is underpowered, particularly when it comes to dealing damage. It's good for small groups though since it fills two important roles, and you can get around the low damage problem by using poison weapons or sneaky things like caltrops and tanglefoot bags. Overall I'm really enjoying it.

Can I make a request? I'd really like to see a divine trickster prestige class like the one written by Rich Burlew [link]. I absolutely love the flavour of this class.

Krome wrote:
AshVelveteen wrote:
lots of stuff

essentially what this says that it is impossible to take any action at all as any action will cause an adverse action as a result, therefore non action is the preferable action... yeah ok. Sounds more like true neutral to me.

By the way, one writer described the ultimate force of Law as desiring a frozen monolithic existence where time itself is frozen. Nothing is capable of any change. Any action is chaotic and a change of the status quo.

I don't understand. Why do you think Kantism advocates non-action?

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Just have to say, I'm very impressed with Arcesilaus. That is some amazing negotiation skills.

I'd also have to echo the question about just using Utilitarian ethics. I'm not an expert on the subject, but Kantism seems far more in line with a LG entity [link]

Here's my simplified version

Kantism basically has three laws

1. Universality
Ethical imperatives should apply equally to all people in all applicable situation. You can't say that Ben is allowed to steal in a particular situation but Jill is not.
It also means that just because Ben is committing an immoral act that doesn't mean that Jill is allowed to do it. A universal law is a universal law, end of story.

Essentially what this means is that if it is right for a LG outsider to commit genocide on mortal societies that are not LG, it is also right for non-LG outsiders to commit genocide on LG cultures.

2. Law of Nature
Think about what would happen if your act became a universal law, i.e. if everyone else did the same thing in all applicable situations. If would lead to a good result, then the act is right. If it would lead to a bad result, then the act is wrong

Under this formulation a LG outsider committing genocide on societies of differing alignments is wrong, as it means that other outsiders must commit genocide on LG societies. This results in the destruction of all societies, which is really a triumph for Chaos, not Law.

3. Ends and means
It is wrong to treat rational beings as a means to an end. Stealing from Ben to benefit Jill and John is wrong, even if the act leads to a better end over all.
This can be bent if by stealing from Ben you actually help him. Forcing people to pay taxes can be called stealing, but if the services provided helps them more then allowing them to keep the money then the act is moral.

Under this formulation a LG outsider committing genocide on societies of differing alignments is wrong. Killing people in hopes of eliminating Chaos does nothing to help them, it simply uses them as a means to an ends. Regardless of how much this might benefit those with LG alignments, the act is still immoral.

IMO Kantism does a much better job of LG. It tends to be inflexible, to contradict itself, and to not lead to easy answers. When applied to real life, it can't usually be used in a binary right/wrong way; it's used to figure out which choice is the most moral. Sounds like a paladin to me.

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Samuel Weiss wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Again, by your definition of why a Lawful Good outsider would kill an entire society of mortals just for being Chaotic, what is the difference? The Chaotic society in the original question is not attacking the outsider or even any Lawful Good societies, yet you say it's OK for the outsider to wipe them out: "The key qualifier is not being Lawful and Good. Any other option is an active choice against the "right" way, and thus deserving of death."
If you cannot recognize the difference between considered action and whim or automatic function there is nothing much more I need to say to refute anything you assert. You are simply unwilling to consider the entire structure of the system.

OK, I'm confused. How does the difference between a considered action, whim, or automatic function matter to the discussion? It doesn't matter if the Lawful Good outsider committed genocide on a Chaotic Good tribe via careful planning, sudden impulse, or internal compulsion. The actual action and reason for the action are the same.

In effect you are saying that there is no difference between Lawful Good and Lawful Evil; both are required to eliminate those of different alignments with equal prejudice.
Actually, it could even be stretched to say that there is no difference between any alignment at all. A Chaotic Good outsider is required to kill a Lawful Good town if given the chance, or a Chaotic Neutral asylum for that matter.

Heck, if a Neutral Good Cleric who worships a LG God summons the LG outsider, he should off her too. Whether he plans to do it from the start, does it at the end for the lulz, or does it because of instinct doesn't change the logic behind the action; this person does not wear the right hat, therefore they must die.

Samuel Weiss wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
This isn't an "impulsive decision to default to violence," but an implementation of the principles of your definition. A principle is a principle for a Lawful Good being, especially using your definition. You can't argue that an outsider would be more willing to perform an extreme action (killing an entire society) than a minor, less risky action (killing one mortal/small group).
Yes it is. Again, you are ignoring the circumstances. Just because the alignment system is absolute does not mean it is not also circumstantial. The two are not incompatible. Just because something deserves death does not mandate it must be put to death immediately, or immediately upon encountering. It only means there is nothing contradictory between the alignment and the putting to death on a basic theoretical level. A principle is a principle; that does not mean it must always be a one-line sound bite.

This doesn't make sense. What circumstances? Nothing bad is going to happen if the LG outsider kills the one mortal in your example. Unless you can describe why circumstances demanded he spare the bad mortal, my conclusion is that Gygax did not in fact agree with the alignments == hats idea. Being kind of a dick is a far cry from being genocidal.

Samuel Weiss wrote:

The question was, among the many variations, can a LG outsider such as a solar commit genocide?

The answer to that is yes, under certain conditions.
By simple English that means there are other conditions under which it could not. To ignore that is to be unable to employ the system at all.

True, but you are arguing that committing genocide is the norm. Unless circumstances demand sparing the CG tribe, he should put all adults to the flaming sword and drag the children to the equivalent of Canadian Residential Schools in the 1800s [link]. Again, this seems like a pretty shaky extrapolation from one instance of a LG outsider being an ass.

Samuel Weiss wrote:

Dragonchess Player wrote:
You cannot claim that your view is "close" to Gary Gygax if the actions you claim a LG outsider would take are so far from what the solar actually did in the book.
Except they are not. You are simply coming to an incorrect conclusion derived from a complete misunderstanding of my statements.

I don't want to be too mean, but as far as I can tell the reason your statements aren't being understood is because they don't make sense.

Dragonchess Player wrote:

Samuel Weiss wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
No, preemptive action is only justified in cases of imminent threat, not merely potential threat. Potential lethal threat would be killing all gun owners because they can kill someone while imminent threat would be killing someone waving a gun around or shooting at people.

What is "iminent" on the time scale of an immortal being?

Now? Tomorrow? Ten thousand years from tomorrow?
If you ignore the Evil (or Chaos) "now" and the numbers grow a hundred-fold by the time you decide the threat is "iminent", the task to defeat it becomes that much harder, endangering the lives of that many more Good (or Lawful) people.
It also means that if any were salvageable, say any children that might be brought up as Good (or Lawful) are left to grow up as Evil (or Chaotic), as are their children, condemning all of them to the inevitable death and damnation that comes to those of such incorrect beliefs.
Leaving Evil (or Chaos) to fester and grow in no way protects those who are Good (or Lawful). They should be dealt with at the most opportune time to deal with them.

Sophistry. If the threat is not imminent (on the timescale of the populations involved), you have many other methods to accomplish the task without killing people in job lots: education, diplomacy, espionage, etc. A Lawful Good individual should promote Law as well as Good, but as others have stated they cannot maintain a LG alignment while promoting Law (or even Good) by using questionable methods.

Actually, if you take the really long view, killing the Chaotic Tribe is the opposite of helping Lawful Good, even if the Tribe is killing Lawful Good people.

I mean, from the outsider's point of view death isn't really a big deal for people already of his alignment - they just go to the proper afterlife. Death is almost a positive, since people are more prone to changing hats while they're alive.

Killing someone who's not wearing your hat, however, means that you've effectively given up and gift wrapped them for the other side. So long as the people are alive they might start wearing the outsider's hat. At the very least, they may start wearing hats that are closer to his colour, depriving his worst enemies of recruits.

So, long term seduction is the better strategy, even if that results in the death of a few properly hatted mortals. It's much better PR, requires less effort, and lets you keep your more martial resources in reserve in case of major enemy attack. There may be times when eliminating wrong hatted mortals results in a larger yield of souls, but I'd imagine that it would be the exception, not the rule.

Nah, I'm not really criticizing, I think that the body soul link adds flavour. And yeah, in real life actual cannibalism wouldn't be safe.

I just like pinning down details. I mean, would a normal autopsy in our culture be considered torture for that realm as well? Again not a criticism, it's just interesting how moral treatment of the dead might differ.

R_Chance wrote:
By the way, eating sentient beings is evil in my game. Has to do with the soul. The spirit of an animal doesn't hang around. It's bright enough, or simple enough, to know the game is up and exits, stage right. Or left. Whatever. Sentient beings, however, get confused, hang out and suffer some more with their bodies. Religeous burial rights sever that link allowing them to go on to their rest / just deserts etc. This is what makes necromancy evil (in my game). As well as disgusting. YMMV

What if the traditional, religious burial rights involve being eaten? I know, I know, YMMV, but it seems like a point of conflict in the system.

Personally, I'm a bit baffled as to why people find voluntary, natural death cannibalism evil. The idea of my body becoming part of my loved ones, of giving them one last gift to aid them in their grief before I go, bothers me way less then the traditional burial rights of our culture. The idea of being pumped full of poison, put in an expensive box, shown off for a few days, and then put in the ground gives me the willies. To have the piece of meat that was me just lie there, in an air-tight little pocket, for decades until the lacquered wood finally rots; it just seems like an odd monument to death, a huge expensive effort to try to keep something that isn't yours anymore from returning to nature and becoming something new. If you want to be remembered, just have the gravestone, that's all that people actually see. I understand people find modern burial comforting, but honestly I just find it icky.

Myself, I've already signed up for our society's version of acceptable cannibalism. First the organ donation, then scientists can go through and take anything they find interesting, and the rest goes into a hole untreated so the worms can have it. The idea of being eaten honestly doesn't bother me, and the idea of my body being useful to someone after I'm not using it anymore makes me happy. I just don't understand why people would find that evil.

Paul Watson wrote:
Uhm, evidence to back this statement up, please. Give me an example of ethics that is non-human.

Times Article

A more in depth discussion

Others can be found pretty easily by typing 'morality in animals' into a search engine. Not definitive proof, though to be fair this kind of thing is all but impossible to conclude decisively (I mean, can you prove that say the Swedish are really ethical, and don't just appear to be? How would you do that?). Nevertheless, they definitely support the hypothesis of non-human ethics, and thus satisfy your request.

Moving away from the idea of absolute morality, in my experience it's quite possible to have LG and CG working together without violent conflict.

It brings to mind the game I'm currently playing - I play a very chaotic good rogue/cleric, and another player plays a paladin. Goal-wise the two of us get along fairly well. However, the paladin pretty much refuses to give me my share of the wealth - I keep giving to random people, including a thief that we had just defeated (well you can hardly expect him to redeem himself if he's destitute, he'll just have to steal again to survive!). This is fairly easy for him because I have a strength of 8 - I can and do smuggle small things for myself, but he ends up carrying the bulk of the treasure.

He's quite happy to make purchases for me if I request something that actually relates to the task at hand, but as I have repeatedly shown myself to be untrustworthy he generally won't give me money directly.

This is how I imagine the law/chaos conflict would go on between good outsiders. It wouldn't be fighting to try to destroy one another; it would struggle over resources, with the chaotics lying about what they have available and what they actually need (and out right stealing if they think it's justified), the lawfuls being suspicious and tight-fisted, and the neutrals refusing to help either side until they stop fighting over stupid things and focus on what's really important (good).

Wait, doesn't our society actually regularly practise a form of cannibalism? I mean, what would you call organ donation?

Yes, organ donation doesn't entail chewing up and digesting the flesh of another, but the organ receiver still 'consumes' a bit of a dead person's body. Our society doesn't view this as evil, it frequently praises it; people are encouraged to volunteer to agree to be 'consumed' after death.

Now, imagine if the tribe felt the same way about consuming the flesh of their heroes. What if they viewed it as a panacea, heck this is DnD, what if it really was a panacea to them? What if it really could heal their sick and ward off disease?

Tying this in to a previous comment, viewing the dead flesh as heroes as a panacea might tempt kobalds to try to kill heroes in order to save a dying loved one. This is like in real life, where people have been known to buy black market organs that probably didn't come from a willing or even a dying person.

Does the fact that some people are willing to kill for other's organs make all organ donation evil, even when the donor was clearly willing? If not, why is cannibalism any different?

Speaking as a player, there are few things more frustrating then, after investing a fair amount into making your character a social magnet, consistently failing at social tasks without being given the chance to roll, while the combat min-maxer nearly always succeeds without having to roll because of 'better' roleplaying.

I have no objection to roleplaying, I actually like it a lot. I love doing risky social moves, like attempting to talk fast or con the NPC into doing something; unfortunately, if everything depends on roleplay conservative moves tend to win.

I mean, no matter what happens the GM is going to get his plot points across, and so long as you don't do anything really stupid you're going to 'win' automatically even if the returns are small. The lack of fail also means, in my experience, 'roleplaying' GMs also tend to make social situations very railroady, and autofail or punish any moves that go off script. Overall it makes the whole process very boring to me; if I can't fail and have to follow script, it's just not as interesting.

The method that I've enjoyed most is when you roll first, then roleplay out the encounter. The roll dictates how receptive your audience is, how well you present yourself, and the environment around you. So a low roll could indicate that the king is in a bad mood, that you forgot to wipe your boots before coming in and have left a trail of mud behind you, or that two noblewomen get into a cat-fight behind you making it hard to keep everyone's attention.

Then you roleplay out the encounter; the roll doesn't excuse you, it just dictates the conditions you get to present in. If things last long enough you get another roll; this means if you roll low it's still worthwhile to try to make things work because the environment around you could change for the better. You still have to make your case if you roll high; just because your listeners are favourably disposed toward you doesn't mean that they'll automatically agree. Plus, if you do a good job maybe you'll get something extra; take too long trying to maximize your gain though and things may turn against you (you roll low).

There's a good article on the subject at this URL: