Is this an evil act?


Advice

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Kaisoku wrote:

Please stop with the animal comparison, as it's really just comparing apples to oranges.

A wyvern killing because it's hungry is no where near the same as an animal killing because it's hungry. For crying out loud, you are the one trying to say that it should be treated differently for being sentient!

Compare apples to apples. Transpose "Neutral human" for Wyvern in your sentences:

"Mr. Fishy thinks that Neutral Humans with 7 Int aren't evil because they don't pursue an evil agenda. They're man eaters out of hunger or in defence of territory, not a malious intent to cause suffering to other creatures."

"at least the Neutral Human with 7 Int eats his kill."

This is a more apt comparison.

If you treat the wyvern as a base animal, and thus exempt of morality and retaining neutral alignment despite committing morally evil acts... then he can be slaughtered as you would a dangerous animal that threatens innocent people.

You can't have it both ways.

It's almost like you're saying a monster isn't an animal. Let us all ponder this truth together.


ProfessorCirno wrote:


You also have cases where animals enslave each other, engage in infanticide, and use brood parasitism to kill another animal's young and trick it into raising your young for you.

Wait! That sounds like politically thread talk Welfare Reform much.

Nature is trying to survive. They don't even have the internet or TV to tell them what to think.


Kerym Ammath wrote:


Quote:

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others
and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient.
Others
actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty

Thanks for the quote, because to me this sounds like exactly what the paladin did. He killed a creature without regard for the creature's life because it might pose a problem later. That sounds exactly like killing without compassion because doing so was convenient.


HAH!


Monsters are such damned inconvenient people!


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Mr.Fishy wrote:

So animals that kill competion for resourses v.s. a creature that kills for sneakers, that the same?

Umm kill to wear or mount, at least the wyvern eats his kill.

Mr. Fishy doesn't like dolphins they're uppitty.

Dolphins and porpoises don't compete for resources. The two animals have different diets and different food sources.

As far as we know, dolphins literally do it because it amuses them.

You also have cases where animals enslave each other, engage in infanticide, and use brood parasitism to kill another animal's young and trick it into raising your young for you.

Nature is pretty messed up, and pretty Evil aligned, quite frankly.

Mark your calendars, folks- I'm agreeing with Cirno on this last part. Nature is rarely neutral, and I think the alignment is overrused with respect to certain animals and creatures of low intelligence. Evil should NOT be a four letter alignment...even though it does have four letters. You know what I mean. I think.


Freehold DM wrote:
Mayhaps the intelligence portion of alignment should be increased a bit?

HUh?!?!


Freehold DM wrote:
Evil should NOT be a four letter alignment...even though it does have four letters. You know what I mean. I think.

::Sneaks up behind FhDM with restraints::


Freehold DM wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
Mr.Fishy wrote:

So animals that kill competion for resourses v.s. a creature that kills for sneakers, that the same?

Umm kill to wear or mount, at least the wyvern eats his kill.

Mr. Fishy doesn't like dolphins they're uppitty.

Dolphins and porpoises don't compete for resources. The two animals have different diets and different food sources.

As far as we know, dolphins literally do it because it amuses them.

You also have cases where animals enslave each other, engage in infanticide, and use brood parasitism to kill another animal's young and trick it into raising your young for you.

Nature is pretty messed up, and pretty Evil aligned, quite frankly.

Mark your calendars, folks- I'm agreeing with Cirno on this last part. Nature is rarely neutral, and I think the alignment is overrused with respect to certain animals and creatures of low intelligence. Evil should NOT be a four letter alignment...even though it does have four letters. You know what I mean. I think.

Um no.


Charender wrote:
Kerym Ammath wrote:


Quote:

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others
and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient.
Others
actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty

Thanks for the quote, because to me this sounds like exactly what the paladin did. He killed a creature without regard for the creature's life because it might pose a problem later. That sounds exactly like killing without compassion because doing so was convenient.

Your welcome. Feel free to tell your players that they mean less in the grand scheme of things in your game world than, well two lizards.


Kerym Ammath wrote:

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others
and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others
actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some
evil deity or master.

It certainly did not seem to me that the Paladin was killing for sport, neither did he seem to callously suggest killing them. He does not appear to be communing with an evil deity. Neither did he seek to inflict pain for the sake of pain, nor did he try capturing them to sell into slavery. In fact the Paladin was making a tactical choice to remove a probable threat to their mission. So by the RAW I don't see how what he did was evil. All he did was kill, and that for the purpose of protecting his friends, and safeguarding the mission.

Actually I'd say the Paladin in question was killing out of convienience, which is one of the uglier parts of an Evil alignment. THIS I see in my mostly-evil game as a regular occurance on the part of the characters that are evil.

What would I have done if I were the paladin? Probably try to sneak around. Or, if I was so worried that the wyverns were going to wake up, dose 'em with some type of sleeping potion(not a poison) and make sure they didn't wake up for a few hours. Also, there's the possiblity that the Coup De Grace might not have worked and the party had to deal with two angry wyverns(which I've also seen happen in that same game).


The Crimson Jester, Rogue Lord wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Mayhaps the intelligence portion of alignment should be increased a bit?
HUh?!?!

I'm not sure where it was(in fact it might be me getting my wires crossed with respect to edition), but there was a time where creatures of particularly low intelligence were considered shades of evil, not neutral. I'm not sure when this was, though.


You're confusing player statement with character statement. And possibly things written in this thread with good sense. Please, come with me to a comfortable and safe place.


Kerym Ammath wrote:
Charender wrote:
Kerym Ammath wrote:


Quote:

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others
and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient.
Others
actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty

Thanks for the quote, because to me this sounds like exactly what the paladin did. He killed a creature without regard for the creature's life because it might pose a problem later. That sounds exactly like killing without compassion because doing so was convenient.

Your welcome. Feel free to tell your players that they mean less in the grand scheme of things in your game world than, well two HUMANS.

Mr. Fishy fix it for you.


Dr. Mairkenstein wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Evil should NOT be a four letter alignment...even though it does have four letters. You know what I mean. I think.
::Sneaks up behind FhDM with restraints::

And for my next impression...Jesse Owens! runs away from the doctor


No Mr. Fishy that is the point they are WYVERNS and they mean more in the equation than apparently every sentient race out there, especially the well behaved ones. You know the ones who don't generally think eating sentients is normal fare for the table.


Kerym Ammath wrote:
No Mr. Fishy that is the point they are WYVERNS and they mean more in the equation than apparently every sentient race out there, especially the well behaved ones. You know the ones who don't generally think eating sentients is normal fare for the table.

You consider them stupid lizards, I am sure they would disagree with you.

While you are at it, kill all the drow too. They are a mostly evil race, nevermind that there are a few that don't deserve to die.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

I can't believe I read the WHOLE THING.

Some parts of it made me laugh. Others made me cry. Overall, it's the feel-good thread of the year!

Interestingly enough, all I got out of it is whether or not Paladins should use coup de grace on a sleeping opponent or whether or not that would be an evil act.

Doubly interestingly enough, the party I'm DMing for that is mostly evil has been in a similar situation and has run away every time.

INTERVENTION:

Freehold, we're you're friends. We won't stand by and watch this. You must get help.

We care man we do!!!


Kerym Ammath wrote:

The point I have been trying to make from the word go is this.

Pathfinder Core p.266 wrote:

Alignment is a tool for developing your character’s identity—it is not a straitjacket for restricting your character.Each alignment represents a broad range of personality

types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the same alignment can still be quite different from eachother. In addition, few people are completely consistent.
From a RAW standpoint, (since so many seem to think a different view of lawful good is a house rule) using the alignment system to beat characters over the head is plain wrong. The RAW says so...but what about specific over general?

Yep, and that was never questioned. As mentioned, there should be many sorts of different paladins possible within lawful good.

As for specific:

Quote:

A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

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.

Obviously, for the paladin class, just being lawful good doesn't cut it.

They are held to standards over and above others.

Lets continue...

Kerym Ammath wrote:
Pathfinder Core p.266 wrote:
Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life,whether for fun or profit.
At any point do we see the Paladin gloating about killing sleeping wyverns, reveling in the slaughter, painting his face with their bloody entrails, or trying to sell the remains, eat them, or anything else of a similar nature? No, we don't.
Okay, let me try, too.
Pathfinder Core p.266 wrote:
Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life,whether for fun or profit.

At any point did we see the Paladin trying to verify wether the creatures were really evil? Or, even, try to find out WHAT creatures those were? How can you protect innocent life if you don't even care if someone COULD be innocent?

Okay, what next...

Kerym Ammath wrote:
Pathfinder Core p.266 wrote:
Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
It implies these things. There are other traits outside this list which are good, much like looking at this shows us that the literal interpretation makes no mention of ALL life or ALL sentient beings, which leaves us with the latitude to interpret what is good, as suggested by the initial alignment entry. To create an all encompassing definition of good would make the initial alignment guidelines pointless, they go from being a guide to being an exactly defined rule.

I can agree with that. Nobody expects you to have a concern for the dignity of a demon that just depopulated a hamlet.

But the "respect for life" part seems pretty clear to me. Taking lives without need or reason kind of contradicts that. And, at least to me, implies that you better make sure there's a reason when you do so.
And if we are now claiming it's not "Respect for ALL life" then we're on a slippery slope, indeed.

What else have we got, here...

Kerym Ammath wrote:
Quote:

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others
and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others
actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some
evil deity or master.
It certainly did not seem to me that the Paladin was killing for sport, neither did he seem to callously suggest killing them. He does not appear to be communing with an evil deity. Neither did he seek to inflict pain for the sake of pain, nor did he try capturing them to sell into slavery. In fact the Paladin was making a tactical choice to remove a probable threat to their mission. So by the RAW I don't see how what he did was evil. All he did was kill, and that for the purpose of protecting his friends, and safeguarding the mission.

Well, again, let me try:

Quote:

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others
and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient.
Others
actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some
evil deity or master.

Tactical it might have been, but it was also the most convenient option. He didn't seem to have much compassion for them, nor any qualms about doing so, in fact, it was his idea.

He doesn't have to fulfill all the parts at the same time for the act to qualify.

Okay, almost done...

Kerym Ammath wrote:
Quote:

Pathfinder Core p.166 wrote:

Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness
can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, self-righteousness, and a lack of adaptability.

Here is my problem with the non RAW version of interpreting Lawful Good. It takes the Lawful in Lawful Good and makes it awful. For those advocating the straitjacket code for the Paladin you are elevating Lawfulness above Goodness, and I don't think that is how the Paladin Code is or was ever meant to be interpreted. To follow the straitjacket code would require a Paladin to have no self respect, no dignity, no life, because all he would be is the shell of a character the DM might as well be playing.

Not at all. But honor and thrustworthyness are also explicitly mentioned in the paladin's code. And obedience to authority? To a Paladin, the highest authority is his god. What comes after that, depends on the character. A church, a king, a personal dogma...

He doesn't have to have a stick up his behinds, but the RAW version pretty much demands some of those things. Basically, what it boils down to: The Paladin should be a to adventurers what a model citizen is to the general population. He should be a shining example. PRIMARILY in service to his God. The good, and the lawful, are a close and equal second. Everything else, rather far behind.

Kerym Ammath wrote:


So it is plain as day that nothin about my interpretation is against RAW so my real question is why so serious? Why so serious about something that only has the potential to detract from others enjoyment of the game? Why does playing a Paladin have to include the DM watching with a microscope? What is it about the words Lawful Good that seem to drive some DM's mad?

The reason for seriousness is that the paladins of (follow rules, ignore spirit) sound more like lawful neutral from what little i heard. Which was very little here, so i have nothing to even base your interpretation on.

Also, nobody is watching with a microscope and being driven mad about lawful good.
But, as was mentioned, a Paladin SHOULD be a challenging roleplaying experience, BECAUSE he has a code to follow.
Unfortunately, due to all that goodness package, it is also drawing min-maxing powergamers/callthemwhatyouwills to the class. Who then proceed to PLAY it without ANY regard to good or law.

It's not that a paladin should permanently be in high-alert mode about the DM possibly screwing him over. If a player slips now and then, but generally plays the part, thats all fine. We all make mistakes. But if a Paladin enters "kill-first"-mode without even regarding other options, thats calling for a dampener.

Please also note that even then, he has full base attack and access to all feats. While not on-par with a fighter, he's still a pretty decend combatant and not damned to sitting on the sideline(like a wizard without spellbook would be) when he loses powers until he can get an atonement.

It's not about detracting from others enjoyment about the game, it's about the opposite. If everybody else properly plays their parts, wether that be the venerable elven wizard, the half-orc thief-acrobat or the ex-barbarian that became a monk after becoming lawful(and civilized...he got his ass kicked in a bar brawl he started and decided to learn to fight like that...pretty nice in-character reasoning, over several sessions, there)
i've got nothing against power-gaming, as long as the group is fine with that and the character plays their part...if the only 'odd' one is the human paladin who's first response to anything is "kill it", that actually quite hurts game experience.
True, thats a group thing, but as said, to each their own, if your groups style works better in a streamlined variant, perfect for you.

If a friendly reminder may help him remember WHY he has all those smite and weapon bond boni and act a bit more in-character for a few weeks, whats speaking against that?
One of the most memorable characters i played was a Paladin that had fallen from grace and was questing to eventually be redeemed. And "until an atonment" doesn't last more than a few sessions. If a player doesn't rather take that as a hint AND a good roleplaying-opportunity but would rather walk away from your table, then i'd assume he's more into this for all the numbers and boni than for the roleplaying and character...


Freehold DM wrote:
Dr. Mairkenstein wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Evil should NOT be a four letter alignment...even though it does have four letters. You know what I mean. I think.
::Sneaks up behind FhDM with restraints::
And for my next impression...Jesse Owens! runs away from the doctor

Get him!!


The Crimson Jester, Rogue Lord wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Dr. Mairkenstein wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Evil should NOT be a four letter alignment...even though it does have four letters. You know what I mean. I think.
::Sneaks up behind FhDM with restraints::
And for my next impression...Jesse Owens! runs away from the doctor
Get him!!

::Gives chase::

Remind me to fire my editor!


Kerym Ammath wrote:
No Mr. Fishy that is the point they are WYVERNS and they mean more in the equation than apparently every sentient race out there, especially the well behaved ones. You know the ones who don't generally think eating sentients is normal fare for the table.

So they're on the "LIST"?


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
The Crimson Jester, Rogue Lord wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Dr. Mairkenstein wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Evil should NOT be a four letter alignment...even though it does have four letters. You know what I mean. I think.
::Sneaks up behind FhDM with restraints::
And for my next impression...Jesse Owens! runs away from the doctor
Get him!!

::Gives chase::

Remind me to fire my editor!

making three stooges noises while running away


Mr.Fishy wrote:
Kerym Ammath wrote:
No Mr. Fishy that is the point they are WYVERNS and they mean more in the equation than apparently every sentient race out there, especially the well behaved ones. You know the ones who don't generally think eating sentients is normal fare for the table.
So they're on the "LIST"?

A euphemism for MENU?


Mr.Fishy wrote:
Kerym Ammath wrote:
No Mr. Fishy that is the point they are WYVERNS and they mean more in the equation than apparently every sentient race out there, especially the well behaved ones. You know the ones who don't generally think eating sentients is normal fare for the table.
So they're on the "LIST"?

Can we get puppies on the list too? I mean they are just animals right?

/sarcasm


Kerym Ammath wrote:
No Mr. Fishy that is the point they are WYVERNS and they mean more in the equation than apparently every sentient race out there, especially the well behaved ones. You know the ones who don't generally think eating sentients is normal fare for the table.

ah, you mean like the lawful good guardian naga?

No wait, that eats evil humanoids(and, unlike the wyvern, specifically states so in its description)

Anyway, nowhere is it etablished that wyverns usually eat sentient creatures. Please stop claiming that already.

Also, :

Quote:
Your welcome. Feel free to tell your players that they mean less in the grand scheme of things in your game world than, well two wyverns.

Nope, why would they mean less? Still, if they "kill without compassion for others and no qualms if doing so is convenient", and their CLASS specifically says that's a no-no, and their ALIGNMENT says that the should have "respect for life"...?

It's not about the wyverns, it's all about the players. As said, you could also replace those two wyverns with griffins, pseudodragons, elves, rangers, whatever. Its what the CHARACTERS did that's important here.


Aardvark Barbarian wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


The BoEd also says that if the paladin(good character)has to choose between committing an evil act to save the world or keep his alignment he should choose his alignment.
It doesn't say he should choose alignment, it just says it doesn't make it not an evil act. I'm sure in the extreme example of the only way to save the world is by killing the unconscious child with out of control/uncontainable reality bending powers (ala Franklin Richards, of FF) then I'm sure that one will not be a big hooplah to atone for.

Does your quote not say there is no excuse for an evil act? So either you choose the evil act, even though it is for the greater good which goes against your quote, or you go with the quote and the world ends. I am too lazy to open the book, but it is saying f*$k the world. I am assuming quoted correctly when you said "no matter the reason" in your previous post.


Aardvark Barbarian wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
A lot of deep succint things about the separation of good and evil

This, or +1, or this +1 or whatever is the forum terminology for "I wholeheartedly agree"

If you were to measure good and evil by a point scale, evil does evil, and the forces of evil get a point, good overcomes evil, good gets a point, good used evil to overcome evil... sorry that point still goes to evil. So sure you can follow your "use evil on evil justification", just know that your merely empowering the forces of evil each time you do, therefore counteracting the good you intended.

Is there ever a point when the paladin should not agree to talk things out?


MordredofFairy wrote:
Nobody talked about waking them and having tea. Let sleeping dogs lie, just ignore them, easy as that.

When you have to pass the dogs on the way back home, that is not so simple as it sounds.


wraithstrike wrote:
Aardvark Barbarian wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


The BoEd also says that if the paladin(good character)has to choose between committing an evil act to save the world or keep his alignment he should choose his alignment.
It doesn't say he should choose alignment, it just says it doesn't make it not an evil act. I'm sure in the extreme example of the only way to save the world is by killing the unconscious child with out of control/uncontainable reality bending powers (ala Franklin Richards, of FF) then I'm sure that one will not be a big hooplah to atone for.

Does your quote not say there is no excuse for an evil act? So either you choose the evil act, even though it is for the greater good which goes against your quote, or you go with the quote and the world ends. I am too lazy to open the book, but it is saying f*$k the world. I am assuming quoted correctly when you said "no matter the reason" in your previous post.

if i remember correctly, the BoED was meanwhile etablished to apply to exalted characters and specifically excluded normal PC's from having such harsh limits. So yep, an exalted PC Paladin would choose his alignment. A normal PC Paladin? It depends.

wraithstrike wrote:
Is there ever a point when the paladin should not agree to talk things out?

No, unless he has reason to believe it will lead to more evil OR his god would want him to deal swift justice because the bad guy is currently desecrating his altar by using it as pissoir while talking with the paladin.

wraithstrike wrote:


When you have to pass the dogs on the way back home, that is not so simple as it sounds.

Welcome to the world of "good", where things are usually not as simple as for neutral or evil.

You may have to pass them, you don't know. You're taking a chance. You're going that extra mile, BECAUSE your good. Choosing the easiest path? Thats not caring, thats neutral. Or, often, evil, since it involves killing who/whatever is between you and your objective.


Interesting...


Freehold DM wrote:

The only problem I have with code of honor/conduct is that they are silent in areas that they shouldn't be. The pushing an orc down the stairs thing is hilarious, but it is actually part of what I'm talking about- what advantages should a paladin take advantage of, which ones should they not, and which ones should they avoid?

If anything this thread has made me reexamine the paladin in hard game terms, not roleplaying terms.

A paladin is a solder, and an army that fights like some of these people want to play a paladin will not win a war. That does not mean that must because the paladin happens to be in army that he should be allowed to do everything without repercussion, but I think many of us are far apart on what is honorable. I mean really honorable, not those fake rules knights set up to make sure they did not get trounced by peasants. Is a Pincer movement not honorable since it involves deception?


wraithstrike wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

The only problem I have with code of honor/conduct is that they are silent in areas that they shouldn't be. The pushing an orc down the stairs thing is hilarious, but it is actually part of what I'm talking about- what advantages should a paladin take advantage of, which ones should they not, and which ones should they avoid?

If anything this thread has made me reexamine the paladin in hard game terms, not roleplaying terms.

A paladin is a solder, and an army that fights like some of these people want to play a paladin will not win a war. That does not mean that must because the paladin happens to be in army that he should be allowed to do everything without repercussion, but I think many of us are far apart on what is honorable. I mean really honorable, not those fake rules knights set up to make sure they did not get trounced by peasants. Is a Pincer movement not honorable since it involves deception?

Pincer Movement is a tactical maneuver. It is no different that going after the enemy spellcaster first.

Luring the enemy into lowering their guard by asking to parlay under flag of truce then attacking them. That is deception. It is not honorable, and a paladin should have a major issue with it.


An army fighting like these people do might not win the battle, but they will win the war. If you're THAT honourable, the enemy better hold on tight to his people, because defections are going to be a pretty serious problem. Offering surrender and decent treatment after it is a strategically good thing, because it gets you recruits. Ask people who join the military: Why did they do it? A lot of them will tell you it's about standing up for what's right, another bunch will say it's because they are grateful to their country and want to give something back.

A paladin should talk when doing so is not obviously a stalling tactic from the enemy, or if the other party consists of supernatural evil like demons or devils.

The stuff paladins don't hold with is deceptions, murder, poison, you know, all the things generally seen as bad neighbour policy. That still leaves room for most tactical options.


Charender wrote:
Kerym Ammath wrote:


Quote:

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others
and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient.
Others
actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty

Thanks for the quote, because to me this sounds like exactly what the paladin did. He killed a creature without regard for the creature's life because it might pose a problem later. That sounds exactly like killing without compassion because doing so was convenient.

Killing something before it can kill you is not about convenience. It is about survival. If we are in opposing armies and I snipe you from a mile away it is because you are a threat. Now if I have you in a position where I can take you prisoner without almost no danger to myself, and I kill you because I dont want to feed a prisoner, that is a kill of convenience. Convenience is when it is not necessary, and before you try to go that route with the wyvern we already know that wyverns in stories don't just allow players to walk by unmolested. The fact that the DM had the monster sleeping sounds like a setup to me anyway, but that has already been stated.


MordredofFairy wrote:


if i remember correctly, the BoED was meanwhile etablished to apply to exalted characters and specifically excluded normal PC's from having such harsh limits. So yep, an exalted PC Paladin would choose his alignment. A normal PC Paladin? It depends.

I need a page number for that. The way the intro desctribes the book it is a deeper explanation as to how good should behave. I am not buying it though. Good to me does everything it can to preserve life within moderation. Did the backstabbing BBEG just surrender? Do you believe him? It does not matter. Take him prisoner, and turn him over to the authorities. <--Good

Has he escaped 5 times, and killed thousands after every escape? <----If you turn him over again then you are just being silly. At worst killing him is the lesser evil, and I would not even consider it evil, but I understand some DM's might.
Quote:

Is there ever a point when the paladin should not agree to talk things out?

No, unless he has reason to believe it will lead to more evil OR his god would want him to deal swift justice because the bad guy is currently desecrating his altar by using it as pissoir while talking with the paladin.

I just wanted to see how far you were convinced to talk to everyone.

Quote:

Welcome to the world of "good", where things are usually not as simple as for neutral or evil.
You may have to pass them, you don't know. You're taking a chance. You're going that extra mile, BECAUSE your good. Choosing the easiest path? Thats not caring, thats neutral. Or, often, evil, since it involves killing who/whatever is between you and your objective.

Just because I kill something that does not mean I don't care about it. In any situation you have to weigh risk. This is not about being good or evil. It is about being practical. The paladin has a duty to protect the people. If he allows certain things to live he is not following the code. At some point you have to weigh the chance of letting it live even though it might try to kill you, and if you are the protector of an area, which most PC's are, by risking your life you are risking other people's lives by extension.

Is it more evil to let the people die or to kill the monster?<---I know that is situational, but it is why killing the unconscious monster is not always an evil act.

Scarab Sages

Sissyl wrote:
A paladin should talk when doing so is not obviously a stalling tactic from the enemy...

With that unnecessarily warlike attitude, you're going to find yourself butting heads with the crowd that believe a paladin should accept all offers of surrender, no matter how fake, no matter many times they've been broken.

If that crowd turn up here, they'll denounce you as one of us!


Charender wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

The only problem I have with code of honor/conduct is that they are silent in areas that they shouldn't be. The pushing an orc down the stairs thing is hilarious, but it is actually part of what I'm talking about- what advantages should a paladin take advantage of, which ones should they not, and which ones should they avoid?

If anything this thread has made me reexamine the paladin in hard game terms, not roleplaying terms.

A paladin is a solder, and an army that fights like some of these people want to play a paladin will not win a war. That does not mean that must because the paladin happens to be in army that he should be allowed to do everything without repercussion, but I think many of us are far apart on what is honorable. I mean really honorable, not those fake rules knights set up to make sure they did not get trounced by peasants. Is a Pincer movement not honorable since it involves deception?

Pincer Movement is a tactical maneuver. It is no different that going after the enemy spellcaster first.

Luring the enemy into lowering their guard by asking to parlay under flag of truce then attacking them. That is deception. It is not honorable, and a paladin should have a major issue with it.

It is a tactical manuever that tricks the enemy into taking a bad position, not different than an ambush which some have stated as being underhanded.


Sissyl wrote:

An army fighting like these people do might not win the battle, but they will win the war. If you're THAT honourable, the enemy better hold on tight to his people, because defections are going to be a pretty serious problem. Offering surrender and decent treatment after it is a strategically good thing, because it gets you recruits. Ask people who join the military: Why did they do it? A lot of them will tell you it's about standing up for what's right, another bunch will say it's because they are grateful to their country and want to give something back.

A paladin should talk when doing so is not obviously a stalling tactic from the enemy, or if the other party consists of supernatural evil like demons or devils.

The stuff paladins don't hold with is deceptions, murder, poison, you know, all the things generally seen as bad neighbour policy. That still leaves room for most tactical options.

No it won't win the war. Why would anyone go to Team B when Team A is winning? You assumed Team A has not morals. That is not the case. Team A is just practical, and knows that a agreeing to fight without using ambushes and other trickery(not white flag stuff) is a good way to lose a fight.

Trickery=Examples are making the enemy think you have more or less men than you actually have. The Paladin would see this as lying. Team A would use this to make the "smaller" army hold off until the reinforcements showed up. If Team A has the larger army then Team B will attack, but find themselves outnumbered.
The false white flag is underhanded though. If you pull that one time the other army will probably never accept your real surrender.


wraithstrike wrote:
A paladin is a solder, and an army that fights like some of these people want to play a paladin will not win a war. That does not mean that must because the paladin happens to be in army that he should be allowed to do everything without repercussion, but I think many of us are far apart on what is honorable. I mean really honorable, not those fake rules knights set up to make sure they did not get trounced by peasants. Is a Pincer movement not honorable since it involves deception?

The Pincer and deception thing, already covered by Charender.

as for the war part, sissal got that covered.

As for the bold part?
No, he's not. Simple as that. A Fighter is a soldier. As it happens, they can be any alignment.
A Paladin? He's a "holy warrior". Not a mere soldier. Unlike that soldier, this paladin:

a.: Has a purpose higher than any single battle or war. He is an agent of his god. Furthering his goals even at the cost of his own life, if that is necessary.
b.: Is a representative of his faith. As such, he is upholding the virtues of his deity not only when it is deemed convenient to do so, but especially when it would not be so.
c.: Is an example of what man should strive to be. They lead by example, and because that MAY be harsh if their enemies play unfair, they've been given plenty of powers by their deity so that they may make a stand while remaining true to their faith, where others would fall.

wraithstrike wrote:
Charender wrote:
Kerym Ammath wrote:


Quote:

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others
and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient.
Others
actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty

Thanks for the quote, because to me this sounds like exactly what the paladin did. He killed a creature without regard for the creature's life because it might pose a problem later. That sounds exactly like killing without compassion because doing so was convenient.

Killing something before it can kill you is not about convenience. It is about survival. If we are in opposing armies and I snipe you from a mile away it is because you are a threat. Now if I have you in a position where I can take you prisoner without almost no danger to myself, and I kill you because I dont want to feed a prisoner, that is a kill of convenience. Convenience is when it is not necessary, and before you try to go that route with the wyvern we already know that wyverns in stories don't just allow players to walk by unmolested. The fact that the DM had the monster sleeping sounds like a setup to me anyway, but that has already been stated.

Killing something BEFORE it can kill you is self-defence. If you are in opposing armies, you are already in a hostile relation to each other.

If you are, however, a freelancing agent or another country that mine is NOT at war with, and you snipe me from a mile away, then at best, you are a terrorist and murderer.

The Paladin had no good reason at hand for considering the relation with the dragonlike creature he could not identify as hostile. So, it was a kill of convenience. He did not even bother finding out what he killed. Sounds pretty convenient for me. Also, the compassion part and killing without qualms part, don't forget those, they also both apply.

As for wyverns in stories: Thats player knowledge. Don't assume things. Your character has no reason to believe that EVERYTHING that would just about equal a "fair fight" will jump at his throat at the first opportunity.

Possibly the DM had them sleeping to OFFER them a chance of bypassing the encounter simply by ignoring them.
Believing it's a setup and you'll be attacked anyway, thats a player speaking, and a paranoid one at that.


wraithstrike wrote:
MordredofFairy wrote:


if i remember correctly, the BoED was meanwhile etablished to apply to exalted characters and specifically excluded normal PC's from having such harsh limits. So yep, an exalted PC Paladin would choose his alignment. A normal PC Paladin? It depends.

I need a page number for that. The way the intro desctribes the book it is a deeper explanation as to how good should behave. I am not buying it though. Good to me does everything it can to preserve life within moderation. Did the backstabbing BBEG just surrender? Do you believe him? It does not matter. Take him prisoner, and turn him over to the authorities. <--Good

Has he escaped 5 times, and killed thousands after every escape? <----If you turn him over again then you are just being silly. At worst killing him is the lesser evil, and I would not even consider it evil, but I understand some DM's might.

As for the page number, it was not me that etablished that, but one of the other "the paladin was right"-guys. Better ask around in your team if you want to question that one.

As was mentioned, you should not play lawful stupid. If the BBEG surrenders and i can reasonably expect that my paladin order is quite capable of containing him, thats possible. It's just as possible that the verdict is already etablished though. If it's the BBEG, it may well be that i'm under orders to eliminate him. Lawful Good is about redemption, but in a medieval fantasy setting, i doubt the death sentence is out, especially for extreme cases.

wraithstrike wrote:


Quote:

Is there ever a point when the paladin should not agree to talk things out?

No, unless he has reason to believe it will lead to more evil OR his god would want him to deal swift justice because the bad guy is currently desecrating his altar by using it as pissoir while talking with the paladin.

I just wanted to see how far you were convinced to talk to everyone.

It's the agree-part in your quote there. If someone wants to surrender, or wants to talk it over, you should at least hear them out, unless there's obvious reasons not to.

That does not mean you have to go with anything. If you know it's a sorcerer capable of casting bound(silent+still spell) that hopped around during the battle(dimension door) and looks all spent now, and the party wizard highly advises that you can't contain him? Your sense motive suggests he's not serious about surrender? Fine, knock him unconscious and make sure he doesn't wake up before you have a way to keep him imprisoned.

wraithstrike wrote:


Quote:


Welcome to the world of "good", where things are usually not as simple as for neutral or evil.
You may have to pass them, you don't know. You're taking a chance. You're going that extra mile, BECAUSE your good. Choosing the easiest path? Thats not caring, thats neutral. Or, often, evil, since it involves killing who/whatever is between you and your objective.

Just because I kill something that does not mean I don't care about it. In any situation you have to weigh risk. This is not about being good or evil. It is about being practical. The paladin has a duty to protect the people. If he allows certain things to live he is not following the code. At some point you have to weigh the chance of letting it live even though it might try to kill you, and if you are the protector of an area, which most PC's are, by risking your life you are risking other people's lives by extension.

Is it more evil to let the people die or to kill the monster?<---I know that is situational, but it is why killing the unconscious monster is not always an evil act.

yep. All true. But only after you, as CHARACTER, are aware that some being is indeed a danger, a threat, whatever.

Killing a known cannibal demon worshipper? Good.
Killing some random person on the off-chance that he's a cannibal demon worshipper? Not good.

If you (as CHARACTER) know that those winged creatures are:

a.: indeed dangerous creatures.(true for wyverns)
b.: have been attacking people or show strong tendency to.(true for those mentioned, they are revealed as such in the AP, as far as i read here)
c.: you are quite certain that your information is reliable

Then yes, it's a good course of action to take them out.

If you (as CHARACTER) only know:

a.: they have wings
b.: they are large

and you base your lethal strike on that alone, you may not be defending anyone but rather kill innocent creatures.

wraithstrike wrote:


It is a tactical manuever that tricks the enemy into taking a bad position, not different than an ambush which some have stated as being underhanded.

Yep, but tactical maneuvers are a test of wits, in a sort. The side with superior tactics gets an advantage in the course of the battle, but it's only about outwitting the other side with clever use of flanks, reinforcements, whatever.

The battle ranks are there, and the soldiers are ready.

In an ambush, per definition, only one side is ready. It is also a tactical advantage, but bought at the price of surprising an unready enemy.

Think of it as a pistol duel, wild west style. How you wear the weapon(crossdrawing or normal), how you shot(from the hip or straight arm), who draws quicker and aims better, wins. Thats the battle of wits and skill.

Arranging it so the morning sun is blinding your opponent, drawing the gun before the official "draw", or paying someone to slip a sedative into your opponents drink, thats the ambush-like options.

It's not said that it's not likely to happen in a war, but the Paladin will have nothing to do with that.


Good should not comprise it ideals, Paladins won't.


wraithstrike wrote:
A paladin is a solder, and an army that fights like some of these people want to play a paladin will not win a war.

That depends on the war. Wars between moral forces are not just about winning militarily, they are about hearts and minds. You win those battles not by fighting dirtier and nastier than the other guy (what does that prove other than that you are a dirtier, nastier person?), but by showing yourself to be morally superior to the other guy, and if that means fighting with one hand tied, you do it because even if you lose in the short term it will secure victory in the long run. The people see that your side is much more beneficial to them to be running things than the other guy, and you gain support and he loses it.


Ahem. If you don't mind me saying, this is a rather ridiculous thread.

We are all using our own real-world biases on what is good, lawful, evil and so on, and applying them to a game where the alignment rules give such a simplistic view of the personalities and situations involved, all arguments become not only ill-defined, but illogical. Perhaps it is subtle, but it cannot be otherwise.

If highly intelligent people in the real world cannot even agree on whether evil exists, let alone whether it can be applied to people or actions or both, then what hope do we have?

By the continuing lack of consensus on this thread, I think I have my answer.

But it is entertaining at least.

BTW, Snorter, if you want to know what you've missed, go read the thread, lazy arse!

Cheerio!


Who are this so called intellgent people?


Snorter wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
A paladin should talk when doing so is not obviously a stalling tactic from the enemy...

With that unnecessarily warlike attitude, you're going to find yourself butting heads with the crowd that believe a paladin should accept all offers of surrender, no matter how fake, no matter many times they've been broken.

If that crowd turn up here, they'll denounce you as one of us!

Reminds me of the War God's Own series by David Weber. The Champions of Tomanak were essentially "Palladins", they had to hold to Tomanak's code which included always accepting surrender.

Of course if an enemy did that and then violated the surrender the code no longer applied to that enemy at all.....


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
Killing something before it can kill you is not about convenience. It is about survival. If we are in opposing armies and I snipe you from a mile away it is because you are a threat. Now if I have you in a position where I can take you prisoner without almost no danger to myself, and I kill you because I dont want to feed a prisoner, that is a kill of convenience. Convenience is when it is not necessary, and before you try to go that route with the wyvern we already know that wyverns in stories don't just allow players to walk by unmolested. The fact that the DM had the monster sleeping sounds like a setup to me anyway, but that has already been stated.

Fair enough. But what about killing something before it knows you're present?

Stop there, answer that question as asked. Something. Not "a pair of wyverns". Something. Some un-specified thing. Don't add in baggage involving wars and armies and necessity.

"Wow, that looks scary. Let's ambush it."

You know what's missing from the original poster's story? A Knowledge(arcana) check. Or mention of previous history of having contact with wyverns.

Sorry, but the original scenario involves "oh, look. Something. It's sleeping. It's sleeping in our way. Let's kill it before it wakes up."

Not noble. Not dignified. Not fair. Not necessary. Not Good. Not even hunting.

I repeat - I don't think this is the end-all-be-all nuke-the-paladin Evil kind of act. It's just like... having overdue books out from the library isn't Lawful. It's kind of Chaotic, and you should get fined for it, but it isn't death-penalty time.


MordredofFairy wrote:


As for the bold part?
No, he's not. Simple as that. A Fighter is a soldier. As it happens, they can be any alignment.
A Paladin? He's a "holy warrior". Not a mere soldier. Unlike that soldier, this paladin:

From the PRD

Paladins
....... Knights, crusaders, and law-bringers... Are you going to tell me a knight is not a soldier?

Quote:


Thanks for the quote, because to me this sounds like exactly what the paladin did. ...

That is because your definition of convenience is different than mines. Your definition includes taking foolish risk, such as having to fight it on the way out of the area in a weakened state. Mine includes things like killing it because you don't want to take the time to talk to it, even if it is known as a reasonable creature.

I also thank you for --->Killing something BEFORE it can kill you is self-defense. If you let the other person/creature take the first swing you may not get to retaliate.
The sniper in my example was in a war. Sniping was also called out as dishonorable by another poster so I included it in case you agreed.

Quote:
The Paladin had no good reason at hand for considering the relation with the dragonlike creature he could not identify as hostile. So, it was a kill of convenience. He did not even bother finding out what he killed. Sounds pretty convenient for me. Also, the compassion part and killing without qualms part, don't forget those, they also both apply.

Since when is knowing a creature is a man eater that prefers to talk last and eat first, unless it knows you are stronger that it, not a good reason to kill it? The DM said the metagaming part was the paladin playing his himself, not that the character did not know what a wyvern was.

If the DM did not want the players to deal with them he could have simply not put them there. Either do or don't do. If he intended for the monsters to harass the players on the way out he could have waited until they were on the way out. Knowing you have a swing first, talk later player, assuming that is true, you don't put targets in front of the, unless you want to fight.


Mr.Fishy wrote:
Who are these so called intelligent people?

What is this so called real world?

But that is another debate...

:-)


MordredofFairy wrote:
Killing some random person on the off-chance that he's a cannibal demon worshipper? Not good.

I hope the off-chance is not referring to the normally bad-tempered, man-eating wyvern when that is basically how they are described.

Off chance usually means less than 50%. I don't think the wyverns fall into the less than 50% category for their description.

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