Is poisoning an evil act?


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Dark Archive

Pretty simple question all in all. Is using a poison in combat an evil act? I know that the Paladin does not use it because it is not honorable, but that is different than it being evil. Many a good character will lie to end up with a good result, and that also is not honorable, but it is not evil.

This has come about because my DM is running a level 13 short game, and I would like to play an Alchemist (sounds like a good way to see what they are capable of). It appears to me that the alchemist is designed partially around the ability to use poisons in combat. The DM is saying that I can only use Poisons if my character is LE, NE, or CE. Not CN.


Happler wrote:

Pretty simple question all in all. Is using a poison in combat an evil act? I know that the Paladin does not use it because it is not honorable, but that is different than it being evil. Many a good character will lie to end up with a good result, and that also is not honorable, but it is not evil.

This has come about because my DM is running a level 13 short game, and I would like to play an Alchemist (sounds like a good way to see what they are capable of). It appears to me that the alchemist is designed partially around the ability to use poisons in combat. The DM is saying that I can only use Poisons if my character is LE, NE, or CE. Not CN.

Poison in in D&D is considered an inherently evil act.

Of course like any moral(or alignment) situation, it can (and probably will be)debated ad nauseum here on the boards to make it not.

:)


Adding poison to a weapon is no more evil than adding Flaming to a weapon.

You are just making the attack more effective.

Dark Archive

Gilfalas wrote:


Poison in in D&D is considered an inherently evil act.

Of course like any moral(or alignment) situation, it can (and probably will be)debated ad nauseum here on the boards to make it not.

:)

Can you point to me where in the book it says that?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Snapshot wrote:

Adding poison to a weapon is no more evil than adding Flaming to a weapon.

You are just making the attack more effective.

Agreed. There is nothing in Pathfinder that says poison is inherently evil. Is a jungle frog evil because it secretes deadly toxin? Of course not!


Poisoning is not considered an inherently evil act, it is considered an inherently dishonorable act:

PFSRD wrote:
Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Dark Archive

It being dishonorable is why I view it as chaotic and not evil.

Lantern Lodge

Most notably, the Alchemist has poison use, and the class has no alignment requirement.


poison does not have the [evil] descriptor on it. :D

Paladins specifically can't use poison because it's against their code.


Happler wrote:
It being dishonorable is why I view it as chaotic and not evil.

The LG Couatl would disagree.


pres man wrote:
The LG Couatl would disagree.

But LG Couatl speaks with a forked tongue. :)

Mark L. Chance
Spes Magna Games


Putting poison on a weapon isn't really all that different from making it flaming. Still, just as burning down a house is generally evil, using poison on the supplies of an army, or the wine of a king is probably evil. Older editions just stated that poison was evil so that PCs wouldn't use it. Of course, back then poison was all save or die.

So, poison isn't inherently evil, but it's easy to go overboard with it. You'll notice the LG Couatl doesn't use it's poison to taint water supplies or assassinate covertly, as those actions are cowardly. It just uses it to enhance it's attack in combat.


Happler wrote:
Can you point to me where in the book it says that?

Well apparently I can't any more. I would have sworn that there was a stricture on it but apparently that was removed pre 3.5/Pathfinder at the very least.

Sorry for the misinformation on RAW.

Although on poisonous animals

Quote:
Is a jungle frog evil because it secretes deadly toxin? Of course not!

No it is not evil because as an animal it is not smart enough to be able to concieve of good or evil and therefore make a choice based on it. That IS in the rules.

Quote:
Animals and other creatures incapable of moral action are neutral. Even deadly vipers and tigers that eat people are neutral because they lack the capacity for morally right or wrong behavior.

Natural acts that are painful or traumatic can be perceived as evil by the those who are victims of them but truly, to put it simply, if your incapable of making a moral choice you cannot really be good or evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Spes Magna Mark wrote:
pres man wrote:
The LG Couatl would disagree.

But LG Couatl speaks with a forked tongue. :)

Mark L. Chance
Spes Magna Games

It gets a special dispensation.


Would using a poison that would knock someone unconscious be evil to avoid a fight where people might die? Sometimes it just might depend on how you use the poison and just how deadly it is.

Dark Archive

depends if you believe that the ends justifies the means.

is it wrong to kill a baby worg? how about a baby dragon? a baby gnoll? a baby human?

it it evil to poison that baby who grows up to be hitler?

its perspective.

also could depend on the type of poison. knock out poison is different than con poison. Thats the difference between taking alive and slitting a throat.

now the theory is making people suffer is evil, and most poisons does make people suffer.

poison isn't evil, but it can be used for evil acts.

Now its up to each DM to decide what exactly is an evil act


Poison is a weapon. Therefore the morality of its use is in the hands of it's wielder. A viper does not have a concept of morality, or even of a choice to use its poison or not. It bites, it injects, and it eats, living another day because of it.

A person, on the other hand, has a choice. He has a choice of what poison to use, and whom to use it on.

He also has a choice to use a serrated sword covered in otyugh excrement. Or a whip made from barbed wire. Or a chainsaw. He has the choice to use these weapons on sentient creatures which can fear the horrible pain they will experience, or on unthinking or unfeeling targets like undead and constructs. He has the choice of using his weapons quickly and efficiently, striking to kill and finishing off downed foes before they suffer needlessly, and he has the choice to slowly nip and slash, letting them bleed out, dragging out their death in a painful or humiliating manner.

Unless you are an outsider, and sometimes even then, in the world of D&D, evil is a choice. A choice the individual DM needs to arbitrate and hopefully be frank and open with his players in how he arbitrates it.


Well said!


I would like to point out that this is becoming a morale debate with nobody using actual information to answer the question, Which is "is using poison in combat an evil act". The question was never about assassination, subtlety, or morals, only a rules question.


Using poison is usually chaotic (as it is usually used in a hidden or deceptive manner) and can be used for evil (to murder or torture someone, for example), but doesn't have to be either. Poisons do more than just kill, and some poisons are completely painless. Tranquilizers can be considered a form of poison, after all, and they can certainly be used for good purposes (tranquilizing a wild animal so that it can be moved to a habit more suitable for it to live in, for example).

Venom, on the other hand, which is any poison secreted by an animal, is never chaotic or evil. It's part of the animal's natural defense or hunting mechanism and is no more evil than your opposable thumbs.


Kierato wrote:
I would like to point out that this is becoming a morale debate with nobody using actual information to answer the question, Which is "is using poison in combat an evil act". The question was never about assassination, subtlety, or morals, only a rules question.

This is exactly the same as asking "is using weapons in combat an evil act?". It's a non-question. Poison is a tool. What you do with the poison is what determines the morality of the action.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Poison wrote:


No other affliction is so prevalent as poison. From the fangs of a viper to the ichor-stained assassin's blade, poison is a constant threat. Poisons can be cured by successful saving throws and spells such as neutralize poison.

Contact poisons are contracted the moment someone touches the poison with his bare skin. Such poisons can be used as injury poisons. Contact poisons usually have an onset time of 1 minute and a frequency of 1 minute. Ingested poisons are contracted when a creature eats or drinks the poison. Ingested poisons usually have an onset time of 10 minutes and a frequency of 1 minute. Injury poisons are primarily contracted through the attacks of certain creatures and through weapons coated in the toxin. Injury poisons do not usually have an onset time and have a frequency of 1 round. Inhaled poisons are contracted the moment a creature enters an area containing such poisons. Most inhaled poisons fill a volume equal to a 10-foot cube per dose. Creatures can attempt to hold their breaths while inside to avoid inhaling the toxin. Creatures holding their breaths receive a 50% chance of not having to make a Fortitude save each round. See the rules for holding your breath and suffocation in Environment. Note that a character that would normally suffocate while attempting to hold its breath instead begins to breathe normally again.

Unlike other afflictions, multiple doses of the same poison stack. Poisons delivered by injury and contact cannot inflict more than one dose of poison at a time, but inhaled and ingested poisons can inflict multiple doses at once. Each additional dose extends the total duration of the poison (as noted under frequency) by half its total duration. In addition, each dose of poison increases the DC to resist the poison by +2. This increase is cumulative. Multiple doses do not alter the cure conditions of the poison, and meeting these conditions ends the affliction for all the doses. For example, a character is bit three times in the same round by a trio of Medium monstrous spiders, injecting him with three doses of Medium spider venom. The unfortunate character must make a DC 18 Fortitude save for the next 8 rounds. Fortunately, just one successful save cures the character of all three doses of the poison.

Applying poison to a weapon or single piece of ammunition is a standard action. Whenever a character applies or readies a poison for use there is a 5% chance that he exposes himself to the poison and must save against the poison as normal. This does not consume the dose of poison. Whenever a character attacks with a poisoned weapon, if the attack roll results in a natural 1, he exposes himself to the poison. This consumes the poison on the weapon. Characters with the poison use class feature do not risk accidentally poisoning themselves.

Poisons can be made using Craft (alchemy). The DC to make a poison is equal to its Fortitude save DC. Rolling a natural 1 on a Craft skill check while making a poison exposes the crafter to the poison. Crafters with the poison use class feature do not risk poisoning themselves when using Craft to make poison.

Nothing in the Poison rules says anything about what type of aligned act it is.

I don't know that I would place hiding/deceiving something as a Chaotic act. If it was meant to hurt someone, it would be Evil. If it was meant to spare someone harm it would be Good.


Zurai wrote:

Kierato wrote:

I would like to point out that this is becoming a morale debate with nobody using actual information to answer the question, Which is "is using poison in combat an evil act". The question was never about assassination, subtlety, or morals, only a rules question.

This is exactly the same as asking "is using weapons in combat an evil act?". It's a non-question. Poison is a tool. What you do with the poison is what determines the morality of the action.

You didn't read my post, this is not a moral question, it is a rules question "Will I violate my alignment for using poison in combat".

Thank you TriOmegaZero for being one of the few people to answer this as a rules question as opposed to a moral question.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Kierato wrote:
Thank you TriOmegaZero for being one of the few people to answer this as a rules question as opposed to a moral question.

An argument could be made that it is an Evil act based on the description of Evil. 'Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.' And purposely inflicting poison on someone is hurting that person. But then the question is 'is poison Evil or the act of poisoning?' And why does replacing poison with sword make a difference?


But by that definition "Heroes" cannot exist in D&D. Further more, "is using weapons in combat an evil act?" is a rules question, there is nothing moral about this. Moral things can go on around this, but that is not part of the question and is best left up to the DM and his PCs, as it is an opinion not a fact.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah, the typical 'hero' in D&D goes into other peoples homes, murders them, and loots the house while their body is still warm. What Good and Evil mean is best left up to the group to decide.


Happler wrote:

Pretty simple question all in all. Is using a poison in combat an evil act? I know that the Paladin does not use it because it is not honorable, but that is different than it being evil. Many a good character will lie to end up with a good result, and that also is not honorable, but it is not evil.

This has come about because my DM is running a level 13 short game, and I would like to play an Alchemist (sounds like a good way to see what they are capable of). It appears to me that the alchemist is designed partially around the ability to use poisons in combat. The DM is saying that I can only use Poisons if my character is LE, NE, or CE. Not CN.

I don't think there is anything in RAW that explicitly states that poison would violate your alignment. A Paladins code, sure but they go to extremes. Apparently however your DMs not into your interpretation or the lack of RAW on this point. Unless you're in a game where you can "rules lawyer" your DM you are out of luck anyway. End of story.

*edit* Trotting out the argument that a bunch of guys on a message board said it's "OK" is not likely to impress either. If he gets ticked he'll just rule 0 you and shut the debate down. I'd go subtle and be prepared to play an "E".


Kierato wrote:
You didn't read my post, this is not a moral question, it is a rules question "Will I violate my alignment for using poison in combat".

Actually, I did read your post. You specifically said, "Is using poison in combat an evil act", which is why I used the comparison to "Is using weapons in combat an evil act". In addition, the original post has nothing about "violating alignment"; it's about whether the act of using poison is evil. In fact, the first time anyone mentioned "violating alignment" was in your post just now.

Like I said: poison is a tool, just like a sword. What you do with it determines the morality of the act. Again, tranquilizers are poison. Does anyone think that using tranquilizers would be an evil act that would cause a good character to become evil?


And again I say this is not a question of morality, it is a rules question. And I am well aware that I was the first one to state this because that would be the point of wondering if it is evil.
You have not paid attention to my posts because you keep resorting to morality which means you cannot answer the question.


The older versions of the game put Poison as Evil. Generally speaking from a Moral sense they are probly considered Vile. in the same sense as say Mustard gas

but PCs drops tinking clouds cloudkill etc on monsters all the time without moral dilema so i am not sure why poison would be different.


It depends where you draw the line and the kind of poison, generally poison is thought of as dishonorable so users would tend to be non-lawful, especially if such actions are taken with forethought.

Poisons that bring needless suffering would be considered more evil ish, even if your aim is to kill it should be quick and painless in most cases for neutral and good aligned individuals.

Cloudkill as mentioned has potential to be a bit more evil ish than other spells, but using it to kill rats, force goblins out off their trapped tunnels or as a repellent wouldnt be evil.

Using it to kill creatures slowly with no place to run/flee, might be morally shady if other options are likely to work, otherwise same rules apply as other kill and loot scenarios I guess.. most adventurers will tend to be neutral rather than good in my opinion.
(and CN tends to be NE or CE, oddly never tend towards G somehow)

long story short, no generally not, though many cultures will think of it as dishonorable and most users tend towards evil, bearing poison tends to be with intent and willingness to use it to kill which is evil ish.


*edit cause I missed the point too*
No, nothing says poison is evil. How you use it might affect your alignment, but using it alone shouldn't.


Happler wrote:

Pretty simple question all in all. Is using a poison in combat an evil act? I know that the Paladin does not use it because it is not honorable, but that is different than it being evil. Many a good character will lie to end up with a good result, and that also is not honorable, but it is not evil.

This has come about because my DM is running a level 13 short game, and I would like to play an Alchemist (sounds like a good way to see what they are capable of). It appears to me that the alchemist is designed partially around the ability to use poisons in combat. The DM is saying that I can only use Poisons if my character is LE, NE, or CE. Not CN.

I think an alchemist using poison on a regular basis might be excluded from good alignments if the DM thinks it appropriate, I might myself question a good aligned character with a habbit of poisoning others.

Though one could be good aligned and use poisons within restrictions, I think barring good alignment from using it frequently in his/her campaign isnt unfair. I'd say the DM could be more lenient towards neutral characters though.


Kierato wrote:

And again I say this is not a question of morality, it is a rules question. And I am well aware that I was the first one to state this because that would be the point of wondering if it is evil.

You have not paid attention to my posts because you keep resorting to morality which means you cannot answer the question.

The question is about morality. Morality as defined in game terms.

Hasn't the question been answered though? In that there are no rules in the morality section of the book regarding the usage of poison? I'd say talking about the different moral situations as tangentially involved with this thread isn't out of the question.
It might not be answering the OP, but we can talk about it...

.

Anyways...

There was book in 3.5e I think that said specifically that use of poison was inherently an evil act. Book of Vile Darkness or something like that? This is probably where Gilfalas remembers it from.
This upset a number of people, as it was basically saying, in D&D, it was better to beat someone over the head repeatedly with a club, for hours than use a tranquilizer like the Drow's poison.

I'm glad this wasn't carried over with Pathfinder. It wasn't core rules before, but I'm pretty sure it was a WotC book so a lot of people took it as canon.
The rest of the book wasn't that great either, for what it's worth.


My DM from 3.5 had a nice way of dealing with this topic.

Evil Poison - Anything that causes damage or loss of stats and/or hitpoints, potentially killing or indirectly causing the death of the target(death by losing hp from con, putting someone in a coma from 0 int).

Non-Evil Poison - Poisons used to subdue without any damaging effects(sleep, paralyze, fatigue, etc.)

Also, Non-evil poisons can be used in evil ways. If you paralyze someone in the water, they will drown - this would also be evil.


Remco Sommeling wrote:
Though one could be good aligned and use poisons within restrictions....

Precisely. For example, a good-aligned PC ought not use poison in an evil manner. ;)


Kaisoku wrote:

There was book in 3.5e I think that said specifically that use of poison was inherently an evil act. Book of Vile Darkness or something like that? This is probably where Gilfalas remembers it from.

I'm glad this wasn't carried over with Pathfinder. It wasn't core rules before, but I'm pretty sure it was a WotC book so a lot of people took it as canon.
The rest of the book wasn't that great either, for what it's worth

I don’t recall anything about poison being inherently evil in the BoVD. Maybe, it has been a long time since I read that but I didn’t think there was anything in 3.5 that stated poison was evil. Anyway, if BoVD does say that then 3.5 materials are contradicting themselves (big surprise) because the 3.5 Ninja class from Complete Adventurer gained Poison Use as a class ability but the class doesn’t have to be Evil. Also there is a feat in Drow of the Underdark that grants you Poison Use as well as the skill to apply poison as a Swift Action and there is no alignment restriction for the feat.

I’m glad it wasn’t carried over also, IMO it is a bit ridiculous when people try to say that using poison is inherently chaotic or evil. Then they will proceed to pull out their +1 Flaming, Human Bane longsword and skewer some guy. Can you imagine being run through by a sword wreathed in fire and magically keyed to be extra lethal / painful against your race? But hey, that is totally acceptable, no morality issues there right. Thanks, but no thanks; I think I will take the poison that stops my heart.

To answer the OP: There is no RAW that prevents any alignment from using poisons. And the very fact that your class abilities include Poison Use but your class is not alignment restricted is a lout testament to the fact that it is not inherently chaotic or evil or anything else. No different than running someone through with a sword that explodes with fire when you crit, if that’s not cruel and unusual punishment I don’t know what is. Don’t forget that POISON is now used to humanly carry out death sentences whereas the Electric Chair has been largely done away with, but for some reason people in D&D would rather use Flaming, Frosting, or SHOCKING weapons rather than dip their blade in some poison that simply stops the lungs and heart of their enemy, or puts their enemy to sleep, etc.

Unfortunately this is one of those things that is really in the hands of DM discretion. However, if you wish to debate it respectfully, I certainly would, I would approach it from the “There are no rules about alignment restrictions on poisons, and the fact that my non-restricted character class has Poisons Use is a ruling of sorts in my favor” approach. Also, with a lack of RAW all you really have left is debating the morality and honor of it. For a decent discussion on that subject you could read a few posts starting HERE on the second page of this thread.

Poison is not good or evil, it just IS. It is no more evil to kill your enemy with a poison coated blade than it is to kill them with a blade wreathed in fire, ice, electricity, acid or sonic vibration.


Ultimately, Poison is not an inherently evil thing. So no, your Alchemist can safely use poison in combat. Tell your DM to re-read his rules.

Hit a wild, rampaging beast with a Blowgun and several darts coated with a strength-dropping poison to make it easier for the rest of the party to Bull-Rush into a cage.

Take down the guards with Fog Cloud laden with a inhaled-version (+5 to Craft DC) of the Drow Knockout Poison to gain entrance without bloodshed.

Drop several dozen vials of a PC-made poison that basically makes you puke until unconscious or gives everyone explosive runs. Great for really taking the wind out of the elite soldiers' sails when they can't even get off the latrine on the day of the big fight.

Is using Poison a Good act ... no, not really, but neither is it evil. It's a tool and like all tools can be used for a variety of purposes and uses.

I'm glad we did away with some of the facepalmingly stupid rulings in 3.5, as they were just that, facepalm material.


HalfOrcHeavyMetal wrote:
Is using Poison a Good act ... no, not really, but neither is it evil. It's a tool and like all tools can be used for a variety of purposes and uses.

I absolutely agree, and so does RAW.


Kierato wrote:
And again I say this is not a question of morality, it is a rules question. And I am well aware that I was the first one to state this because that would be the point of wondering if it is evil.

Wondering if it is evil is a question of morality. "Evil" is a moral designation.

Quote:
You have not paid attention to my posts because you keep resorting to morality which means you cannot answer the question.

False. Saying the morality depends on the action you use it for is answering your question. Just because you don't know what "morality" means doesn't mean that I am incapable of answering the question; it means you're ignorant.


Ravingdork wrote:
Snapshot wrote:

Adding poison to a weapon is no more evil than adding Flaming to a weapon.

You are just making the attack more effective.

Agreed. There is nothing in Pathfinder that says poison is inherently evil. Is a jungle frog evil because it secretes deadly toxin? Of course not!

I would note that the people in favor of this are a DROW and a man whom is wearing a BLINDFOLD!!!!

;-)

Dark Archive

Thanks all.

This is a custom world from the DM, and I am okay if he says that in this world, poisons are evil. I just wanted to make sure that I was not missing something from the core book that said that it was.

I was thinking of using stuff like Purple worm poison (1d3 STR damage/turn for 6 turns, 2 saves to end) coated onto my morningstar to end combat quicker. (For the rare cases where I can not avoid melee).

With his decision, I am going away from that (it is his world, and a silly argument in the long run). But I did want to make sure that he understood that the "poison is evil" is a house rule and not a core rule.

Liberty's Edge

Mojorat wrote:

The older versions of the game put Poison as Evil.

...but PCs drops tinking clouds cloudkill etc on monsters all the time without moral dilema so i am not sure why poison would be different.

Agreed. Poison = evil is a holdover from previous versions of the game. Pathfinder no longer expressly indicates the use of poison as an evil act. Further support is in the PFS organized play. Evil characters are not allowed but the organized play rules expressly indicate Alchemist characters can always purchase and use a range of poisons.

Your point about Cloudkill is spot one. Does anyone who would say the use of poison is automatically evil slap the Evil descriptor on Cloudkill?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I can't find anything in the Book of Vile Darkness that says using poison is evil. In fact, there's a passage about whether acts are evil or not based on context and intention that implies that the act isn't necessarily evil at all.

Shadow Lodge

Bill Dunn wrote:
I can't find anything in the Book of Vile Darkness that says using poison is evil. In fact, there's a passage about whether acts are evil or not based on context and intention that implies that the act isn't necessarily evil at all.

Yeah, an evil book not always the place to find what's "evil" and what's not. :)

Book of Exalted Deeds wrote:
Poison and disease are generally the tools of evil monsters and characters, implements of corruption and destruction. If snakes and vermin are associated with evil, as the are in many cultures, it is usually because of their venom that they are viewed in such negative light despite their neutral alignment. Using poison that deals ability damage is an evil act because it causes undue suffering in the process of incapacitating or killing an opponent. Of the poisons described in the Dungeon Master's Guide, only one is acceptable for good characters to use: oil of taggit, which deals no damage but causes unconsciousness. Ironically, the poison favored by the evil drow, which causes unconsciousness as its initial damage, is also not inherently evil to use.

Now, this was from a supplement that was only for mature audiences that really wanted to explore good vs. evil, so take it as you will.


I would like to add Joshua Frost's comments from Pathfinder Society play on the matter. You can find the link here. They clarified it when the alchemist became a playable class.

Quote:

As poison use is something that carries with it a legacy "rule" that poison use is "an evil act," for the sake of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, using poison is no more evil than casting fireball. Paladins, per their code of conduct, will still not use poisons, but don't necessarily view the use of poisons as an evil to be opposed—it's simply something their code prohibits them from doing.


Yeah, there we go. I had it reversed. It's in the book about good stuff, not the book about bad stuff.

Book of Exalted Deeds. Was it WotC? As I recall, it didn't have the familiar format and backgrounds of the other WotC stuff.. hence why I wasn't sure if it was third party or not.

Still not sure why dealing ability damage would not be better to incapacitate someone over, you know, beating them into unconsciousness. And continuing to bash them every once in a while to keep them unconscious too, since healing nonlethal damage is in hours, not days.

At least the "makes people go unconscious" poisons were listed as not evil.


Let's see -

Indo-European and Japanese cultures: Poison on a weapon is considered cowardly, sneaky, and 'evil'.

West African, South Amerindian, and Pacific Islander Cultures: Poison on a weapon is considered good strategy, and only a really stupid warrior would ignore an advantage in combat.

Chinese and other East Asian Cultures: I do not know….

Your GM ruled that use of poison in combat is evil.

No contest - GM ruling stands.

If you want a fight: Maybe you can play a character based on an African Culture and then argue that not only poison on your paladin's sword 'good', but that he would be violating his culture to not use it!.


Book of Exalted Deeds wrote:
Using poison that deals ability damage is an evil act because it causes undue suffering in the process of incapacitating or killing an opponent.

Of course, this same book introduced the concept of "ravages", which inflict ability damage using exactly the same game mechanics as poison, but they only do it to evil creatures, so that's OK.

It also said paladins shouldn't kill succubi if they were lesbians.

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