Non-evil necromancers


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Actually, the shadow plane is also not evil. It is just the demiplane where the negative energy plane and the prime material meet, much like the demiplane of ooze where the elemental planes of earth and water meet. Still doesn't explain what makes undead evil.

And yes, zombies are grody. Gentle repose, or skeletons is the way to go. As to animating Grandma, yeah that's rude, but if my party slaughters a tribe of orcs, kills the women and pups, its ok, but if you raise some as cannon fodder, THEN it's evil? Doesn't make sense.


The thing that really cheeses me is that the paizo guys obviously don't have an issue with us PLAYING necromancer, (undeath domain, skeleton summoner, undead mastery feat, undead master archetype (iirc), juju mystery, the PC only limit on number of undead controlled(have you ever seen an NPC follow the 4hd/level guidelines?)) But then they tell us we can't use them in official games. What the heck guys?


LilithsThrall wrote:
Well, it's game designer fiat and nothing else.

Yes, that was admitted. You followed the link from earlier right? Where James Jacobs argued that all undead should be intelligent to make their evil-ness more apparent? That they were made Evil so that Paladins could smite them and for other compatibility concerns?

If you want to argue fluff... it's because they eat babies. If you want to argue mechanics... it's so they would take more damage from evil-baney stuff. They should, they're evilly. Evil-ish possibly.

Sure, the Shadow Plane isn't, but it's not actually intelligent. From the source material the Neg plane *willfully* created the Shadow Plane in an attempt to make its own sandcastle, and because its nothing but entropy and destruction, the twisted 'shadow' of that creation is a life-sucking cesspit of hatred and decay. Hence shadows.

How is Paizo going to stat things for us non-official players to use if we don't have them, and how are we going to get to make our NPCs of horrible undead monstery without them? They're giving balanced rounded tools for the toolset, you can't blame them for that, Fen. :D


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Purplefixer wrote:
In Golarion, the undead are CLEARLY Evil... blah blah blah longwinded blah blah...
Not so. Check the Juju magic section of Serpent's Skull: City of Seven Spears... point point game source point...

I would... if I could.. but I'm currently a PC in that campaign, and cannot read it without dire smiting of my eyes. I needs me them eyes to target my flurry of shurikens.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:


To say 'Animate Dead is Evil because it creates Evil undead' makes us ask why those undead are Evil. We cannot say 'because they are created by Animate Dead', that's circular, of course. Thus we go back to the 'foul magic', making it semantics as to if the 'foul magic' is part of the spell or the created undead. It still means that Animate Dead ultimately is Evil due to the 'foul magic' or 'evil force' used to make it work.

Animate Dead also prevents resurrection. the jury is out as to whether it inteferes with reincarnation as well. (In Arcanis it did, in fact most high level Assasins would reanimate the corpse of those they had killed to prevent resurrection and condemn the soul within to an eternity of wandering after it's undead shell was destroyed.)


I don't know what the problem is -

If you are the GM Change it

If you are a player talk to your GM and see if he will change it.

Every game is different and every gm can run his or her world the way they want. The rules are just guidelines - don't believe me look it up!


eilar wrote:

I don't know what the problem is -

If you are the GM Change it

If you are a player talk to your GM and see if he will change it.

Every game is different and every gm can run his or her world the way they want. The rules are just guidelines - don't believe me look it up!

And yet here we are still arguing about it. You know why? Because every game in existence can be changed to suit your tastes. D&D? House Rule it! Video Game? Mod it! Board Game? More house rules! (see monopoly and free parking house rules) Its a cop out that doesn't add anything meaningful to the discussion.

That said, GM's can't actually just change it whenever they feel like it. If something needs to be changed, it better be with the permission of the players or at least a majority vote or he as an a&! h&*#. Being a GM does not make you god. They are players. A different type of player, sure, but his fun isn't somehow more important than everyone else's at the table. If everyone isn't on the same page than that can cause arguments. The best way to keep people on the same page is to make the rules as perfect as possible and to constantly evolve them into something that more and more people will agree is fine as is.

What I'm trying to say, is that no matter your thoughts on Animate Dead are, please don't try and say that it doesn't matter because your GM can put a band-aid on it for you. The rules in the book can be discussed, analyzed, and ultimately, improved. Sometimes that means people will yell at each other for a while on the internet until someone makes some sense of things at the top.


I disagree the gm chair is NOT a democracy. The GM makes and modifies the rules as he wishes and the players vote by participating or not. But every change does NOT get a vote. If one of the players wants to sit in the GM chair and make the rules then they can start their own game but most don't want to but would love to set the rules for the gm. so sorry the GM SETS the rules and they are not voted on!!!!!

As for being an a#~ h&$@ you obviously are only a player and don't GM.

You can discuss it to death if you want but it won't change Paizo's rules and it shouldn't. But maybe it will change some gm's worlds.


eilar wrote:

I disagree the gm chair is NOT a democracy. The GM makes and modifies the rules as he wishes and the players vote by participating or not. But every change does NOT get a vote. If one of the players wants to sit in the GM chair and make the rules then they can start their own game but most don't want to but would love to set the rules for the gm. so sorry the GM SETS the rules and they are not voted on!!!!!

As for being an a#~ h&$@ you obviously are only a player and don't GM.

You can discuss it to death if you want but it won't change Paizo's rules and it shouldn't. But maybe it will change some gm's worlds.

You are wrong. I am a GM more than 90% of the time and sometimes run as many as three games per week. I've been doing this for over 16 years and I do this quite successfully by talking to my players. I am an arbitrator of rules, not a god and overlord. They are playing the same exact game as me and deserve as much input into the game as I do. Period. We are friends creating a co-operative narrative. They are not my tools to live out my happy fun time fantasy land. It is a game and I would be an a$%@%~& to tell them that they have to play that game by my rules or not at all.

And I will discuss it (even to death) because it has been shown that it IS effective and it HAS changed things. WotC and Paizo both do make alterations in the game from player feedback in the form of errata. Heck, even TSR did this to some extent.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
eilar wrote:
so sorry the GM SETS the rules and they are not voted on!!!!!

I'm sorry, but don't speak for the rest of us. That's your game, not ours.

Check the link in my profile to Kirth Gersen's houserules thread. The fact that there is even one DM that has his group vote on rules disproves your statement.


Purplefixer wrote:

Yes, that was admitted. You followed the link from earlier right? Where James Jacobs argued that all undead should be intelligent to make their evil-ness more apparent? That they were made Evil so that Paladins could smite them and for other compatibility concerns?

...

How is Paizo going to stat things for us non-official players to use if we don't have them, and how are we going to get to make our NPCs of horrible undead monstery without them? They're giving balanced rounded tools for the toolset, you can't blame them for that, Fen. :D

I feel that, to the fullest extent possible, the game designers should just be mute and leave these kinds of decisions up to either the campaign setting designers or to the GMs. Making all undead evil is something that could have very easily been left to the campaign designers/GMs.

On the other hand, this is water over the bridge. It's history and we can't change history.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
eilar wrote:
so sorry the GM SETS the rules and they are not voted on!!!!!
I'm sorry, but don't speak for the rest of us. That's your game, not ours.

I'm with you TOZ, but in the context of the OP (playing PFS) he does kind of have a point. GM's for PFS can't houserule things, if the organizer heads declare something, its set.


The GM does get final say. Let's say that the party takes a vote on whether abortion can be supported by a lawful good church and the majority decides it can. But, the GM considers it to be murder and is deeply uncomfortable with it and refuses to agree with the majority. Guess which vote matters most on whether it will be in the game.


LilithsThrall wrote:
The GM does get final say. Let's say that the party takes a vote on whether abortion can be supported by a lawful good church and the majority decides it can. But, the GM considers it to be murder and is deeply uncomfortable with it and refuses to agree with the majority. Guess which vote matters most on whether it will be in the game.

This is not the same thing. Setting fluff actually is GM's job to create and is not mechanical. However if, for example, you decided that Rogues could only sneak attack once per round, than you better have the agreement of everyone at the table.

But, players actually do have influence over a game world's fluff. They are the stars of the story and the world revolves around them. Its just handled differently than with mechanics, via direct input from their character. So, using your example, a player could actually push for church sanctioned abortion, in game and thus be influencing the plot and feel as if his character has narrative power in the story. Maybe he doesn't succeed. Maybe he gets a council of vicars to get together and discuss the issue. Who knows.


It's debates like this that make me wish that the deathless creature type was OGL.


Fenrisnorth wrote:
The thing that really cheeses me is that the paizo guys obviously don't have an issue with us PLAYING necromancer, (undeath domain, skeleton summoner, undead mastery feat, undead master archetype (iirc), juju mystery, the PC only limit on number of undead controlled(have you ever seen an NPC follow the 4hd/level guidelines?)) But then they tell us we can't use them in official games. What the heck guys?

Not true. There is nothing preventing you from playing a neutral necromancer that creates undead in official games.


Except for writeups for "evil" actions on my chronicle sheets, no, nothing stopping me.


Fenrisnorth wrote:
Except for writeups for "evil" actions on my chronicle sheets, no, nothing stopping me.

Say your chronicle sheets show 4 instances of the "evil" action of creating undead. What difference does that make?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Link.

It makes no difference at all.

Joshua J. Frost wrote:

I was sure I put a statement in the guide book about spells cast in one scenario never extending over to the next, but I can't seem to find the page at the moment. If your PC wants to raise some skeletons and their alignment and deity are okay with that (animated dead is an evil spell, after all) then they should be allowed to. However, their fellow PCs and most NPCs will see this as a horrible, evil abomination and will likely destroy the undead. PVP isn't allowed, so there's really nothing a PC could do if they spent the time and gold and summoned a handful of skeletons only to watch the party's barbarian smash them to pieces.

So: no, you can't summon skeletons and keep them from one scenario to the next. Yes, you can use animate dead so long as your alignment and deity are okay with that. Yes, your fellow PCs might destroy them. No, you can't really do anything about that.

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:


I'm with you TOZ, but in the context of the OP (playing PFS) he does kind of have a point. GM's for PFS can't houserule things, if the organizer heads declare something, its set.

But he was not responding in answer to the OP's situation (which has been rendered moot by the above link), he made a blanket statement about all games, which I proved to be false.


Yar.

TOZ, your link is wonky.

As for PFS, evil is strictly forbidden, you are only allowed one character in PFS at a time, and your chronicle is recorded and reported to Paizo so that it can be maintained and ensured that it is legal. Paizo keeps records of every character that plays in PFS (at least, it's supposed to. If the GM doesn't send in the info, then it's not really PFS play). If it is not legal, you can't play. If you cheat, you get kicked out and banned.

Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, page 17 wrote:
If you {...} are caught cheating, you will be booted from the campaign forever.

So I'd say that, in PFS, having "evil" on your chronicle is a pretty big deal.

~P

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Link fixed, and relevant quote posted. You can play a Neutral necromancer and have undead servants without losing your character. They just don't carry over to other adventures.

LazarX wrote:


Animate Dead also prevents resurrection. the jury is out as to whether it inteferes with reincarnation as well. (In Arcanis it did, in fact most high level Assasins would reanimate the corpse of those they had killed to prevent resurrection and condemn the soul within to an eternity of wandering after it's undead shell was destroyed.)

An interesting setting consideration, but in the core rules, it makes no claim about how Good or Evil preventing someone from coming back from the dead is. Indeed, some people would see it Evil to raise the dead, preventing the natural order, placing a greater strain on the community by not allowing people to die.


in my opinion, animating the dead is no worse than looting them. if one of these acts defiles the body, so should the other. Animating a corpse is no worse than throwing a fireball, using poison or eating that deer you slew.


Not being allowed to keep things you have dropped good money on is a pretty big screwjob, as is the party getting around no pvp by attacking the minions. Of course it would have to work both ways so the skeletons could be raise during my watch and then kill the other players, because it isn't pvp.

The gist of that is "no, it isn't allowed, but you can pretend you're a necromancer."


Actually, you can resurrect someone whose remains were animated. Just not raise them. So is it still evil to cast animate dead on someone who has been dead for three weeks? It would take an epic level cleric to bring them back, and he could just use the resurrection spell anyways. So it really doesn't upset the natural order, as though being brought back from the dead was natural anyways.


Fenrisnorth wrote:
The gist of that is "no, it isn't allowed, but you can pretend you're a necromancer."

Actually, the gist is "it's allowed, but you may have to do some role playing with the other players at your table". Could be a lot of fun, especially if you are good at role playing.


Now I'm double cheesed, flesh golems are neutral, and you need to cast animate dead to make them. WHERE IS YOUR FOUL MAGIC NOW? God dang it, the more I looks, the LESS this makes sense.

Silver Crusade

Arevashti wrote:
It's debates like this that make me wish that the deathless creature type was OGL.

It would help, but the fact that the deathless type was made necessary for certain types of creatures because of "undead are ALWAYS evil" getting pushed was frustrating all on its own.

Silver Crusade

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Fenrisnorth wrote:

@thanael

Because the only way to get a game in my area is to play PFS, and they have draconian "no evil actions" policies.

That sucks... Because unfortunately, Juju Oracle Mystery is not listed in the additional resources for PFS, so its not legal... :(

PFS Additional Resources wrote:

Pathfinder Adventure Path #39: "City of Seven Spears"

Equipment: spirit tear, all magic items on pages 55–57 except the mantis blade; Feat: Cry of Mercy
Sorry man... :/

Wow, that...really sucks. One of the Juju Oracle items making it in while staying locked out just adds to the sting.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
in my opinion, animating the dead is no worse than looting them. if one of these acts defiles the body, so should the other. Animating a corpse is no worse than throwing a fireball, using poison or eating that deer you slew.

Once AGAIN...

Looting a body does NOT cause it to rise up in an unholy mockery of all that is life and eat babies. Animating it DOES. Eating the flesh of the deer does not cause it to prance about gleefully charging and goring to death every other man, woman, child, animal, and convincing illusion it perceives, but animating it does.

Killing someone TO take their things is robbery. Taking the spoils of victory from an honorably or justly defeated foe is the perks of adventuring. That Poorly Locked Chest (tm) is yours by right of conquest!

It's not a fine or confusing line. Pathfinder morality is very black and white. We are told a certain list of things are evil (cannibalism, torture, murder, animating unholy abominations who want nothing more than the destruction of all life everywhere, calling the forces of chaos and darkness onto the material plane) and those things are always evil. We are told certain actions are neither evil nor good (hunting animals, bandits, monsters, juggling geese, using poison) and that some actions are good (defending the weak, subduing opponents and offering them honorable surrender, giving succor to the unfortunate, calling upon the forces of Elysium and the other good planes) and these are always absolutes and always true. How your DM defines them may be whack, but they -should- be pretty darn clear.

Defiling a corpse is defined as:
Legal Dictionary
Main Entry: de·file
Pronunciation: di-'fIl
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Forms: de·filed ; de·fil·ing
: to dishonor by physical acts (as trampling, dirtying, or mutilating) < defiling the flag> — de·file·ment noun — de·fil·er noun

So peeing on the corpse and then running it over with your wagon two or three times? Defiling. Taking it's hat and gold? Not defiling. While slicing off the flesh to devour it WOULD be defiling for a human, it does not 'dishonor by physical acts' a deer. Actually, in most cultures it would be considered dishonorable not to eat the deer.

Dictionary'd.


Purplefixer wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
in my opinion, animating the dead is no worse than looting them. if one of these acts defiles the body, so should the other. Animating a corpse is no worse than throwing a fireball, using poison or eating that deer you slew.

Once AGAIN...

Looting a body does NOT cause it to rise up in an unholy mockery of all that is life and eat babies. Animating it DOES. Eating the flesh of the deer does not cause it to prance about gleefully charging and goring to death every other man, woman, child, animal, and convincing illusion it perceives, but animating it does.

Killing someone TO take their things is robbery. Taking the spoils of victory from an honorably or justly defeated foe is the perks of adventuring. That Poorly Locked Chest (tm) is yours by right of conquest!

It's not a fine or confusing line. Pathfinder morality is very black and white. We are told a certain list of things are evil (cannibalism, torture, murder, animating unholy abominations who want nothing more than the destruction of all life everywhere, calling the forces of chaos and darkness onto the material plane) and those things are always evil. We are told certain actions are neither evil nor good (hunting animals, bandits, monsters, juggling geese, using poison) and that some actions are good (defending the weak, subduing opponents and offering them honorable surrender, giving succor to the unfortunate, calling upon the forces of Elysium and the other good planes) and these are always absolutes and always true. How your DM defines them may be whack, but they -should- be pretty darn clear.

Defiling a corpse is defined as:
Legal Dictionary
Main Entry: de·file
Pronunciation: di-'fIl
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Forms: de·filed ; de·fil·ing
: to dishonor by physical acts (as trampling, dirtying, or mutilating) < defiling the flag> — de·file·ment noun — de·fil·er noun

So peeing on the corpse and then running it over with your wagon two or three times? Defiling. Taking it's...

Ignoring practically everything else you wrote on the grounds that in an imaginary world (and in many real world cultures) a lot of what you wrote doesn't hold, the fact is that the poster you are responding to started by saying "in my opinion" and not "in the opinion of the game designers".


Fenrisnorth wrote:

To the people at Paizo...

Can we get some way to play a necromancer, a real necromancer, without being evil? The [evil] descriptor on Animate Dead is silly beyond belief, as there is nothing inherintly evil with bringing the dead to life (see raise dead), and there is nothing inherintly wrong with the Negative Energy Plane (which doesn't even have the evil planar trait.) I mean seriously, the descriptor popped up from 3.0 to 3.5 for no readily apparent reason, and zombies and skeletons changed from true neutral to neutral evil, also for no apparent reason.

The only thing I have ever heard as a rules explanation for this is "undead are evil because animate dead is [evil]," and "Animate dead is [evil] because undead are evil." There's nothing stopping people from playing evil characters, so it doesn't seem to be a balancing issue. Can't you either make it so that the undead are evil because their necromancer was evil, not the other way around? Or what about a Feat or PRC like the Malconvoker from the complete scoundrel, who ignores the [evil] descriptor? I'm getting fed up with people telling me I'm playing an evil character when I raise a dead person to go into a burning orphanage and rescue the children inside.

I guess if you are going to raise a dead person to go into a burning building to save orphans, that is just one of the things you are going to have to put up with.

I once played a lawful good necromancer. Her backstory was that as a teenager she was captured by an evil necromancer, and got tainted by his dark magic. (this was in Iron Kingdoms where necromancy was frowned upon in polite company.) She then swore vengeance against necromancers everywhere.

After failing to become a Bard, she trained as a Wizard, but never managed to master conjuration or illusion because her magic was tainted.


Azazyll wrote:

The whole thing is fairly illogical.

A) If using a person's body without their permission is evil, then Dominate Person should be an evil spell. And Magic Jar should certainly be an evil spell by that logic.

B) If using negative energy is evil, then all the inflict spells should be evil, as should basically all necromancy spells for that matter. Taking it a step further, all positive energy spells should then be good.

C) If upsetting the natural order and bringing the dead to life is evil, Raise Dead should likewise be on the list. This one is a little weaker because it's a cleric only spell, so theoretically you're just getting a god to do it for you, somehow making it "right" with the universe.

This reminds me of a Silver Surfer novel I read once in which the SS goes to the Negative Dimension, where there is a sort of Anti-Galactus who, instead of draining energy from planets, feeds them with positive energy.

The problem is that this overloads the planets ecosystems, which are suddenly fed with too much positive energy to handle, and become choked with life.

So the Anti-Galactus is just as bad as Galactus is in our universe.


Now you are falsly assuming that that it is always dishonoring someone's remains to animate them to perform good deeds or vital physical labor. Remember, they only go cuckoo for cocoa puffs if I let them.

Raising a farmer who died over the winter to till the fields to feed his family is far from dishonoring his remains, unless you think it would be better to let them starve.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Random whackadoodle conspiracy;

In the D&D universe, spirits and souls that are disembodied (such as ghosts) are damaged by positive energy, whether they are evil or not. Flesh and blood and bone bodies, that must kill and devour other creatures to survive every single day, that age, and sicken and die, are *partially* sustained by positive energy (whether *they* are evil or not). But when that body inevitably dies, that same positive energy will tear their soul apart.

Negative energy sustains disembodies spirits, but does damage to living things, that must devour and slay to maintain their unnatural mortal existences in suits of meat in dimensions other than the planes to which their spirits and souls travel after 'death.'

According to the nature of the setting, *life* is an unnatural and fragile state of being, requiring constant killing to maintain.

Life as pure spirit, whether incorporeal undead spirit, or spirit-mimicking-flesh as an outsider, is eternal, and does not require the killing of others to maintain itself, and positive energy is *anathema* to the immortal spirits.

Positive energy destroys souls, and perpetuates a life of constant killing to survive.

Negative energy destroys the unnatural and destructive and entropic mortal existence of flesh devouring flesh, liberating the soul to return to an eternal and pure existence, free of hunger and pain.


Zombies actually do seek out and eat people (a provision new to Pathfinder. In 3.5 zombies, like all other undead, just didn't eat). Skeletons actually don't do that. It just says...

"Skeletons are the animated bones of the dead, brought to unlife through foul magic. While most skeletons are mindless automatons, they still possess an evil cunning imparted to them by their animating force—a cunning that allows them to wield weapons and wear armor."

There isn't anything that says they would go kill things in the Animate Dead spell or the Undead creature type either. It doesn't need to eat so it doesn't go around devouring like the zombie does. And it doesn't have an intelligence score so it has no desires or goals.

When a skeleton stops being controlled it just stands there. MENACINGLY!! Maybe, their posture is offensive or something. Who really knows?


WPharolin wrote:


When a skeleton stops being controlled it just stands there. MENACINGLY!! Maybe, their posture is offensive or something. Who really knows?

THE DOUBLE DEUCE!


Set wrote:


In the D&D universe, spirits and souls that are disembodied (such as ghosts) are damaged by positive energy, whether they are evil or not. Flesh and blood and bone bodies, that must kill and devour other creatures to survive every single day, that age, and sicken and die, are *partially* sustained by positive energy (whether *they* are evil or not). But when that body inevitably dies, that same positive energy will tear their soul apart.

Wrong again. When you die your spirit does not become a ghost. It becomes a Petitioner, an outsider affiliated with the plane of your alignment or diety. Petitioners are healed by positive energy and damaged by negative energy. Positive energy is creation, though being exposed to the pure stuff will pop you like an overfilled creme pastry.

Only GHOSTS are Ghosts when the body falls. It's a rare and special circumstance that sometimes results in a non-evil undead, and is unique amongst undead (paraphrasing James Jacobs).

Set wrote:


Negative energy sustains disembodies spirits, but does damage to living things, that must devour and slay to maintain their unnatural mortal existences in suits of meat in dimensions other than the planes to which their spirits and souls travel after 'death.'

Natural cannot be defined as unnatural. Does not scan. Nature is the circle of life, the predation of the predator on the prey, the decay of matter into mulch used by plants to grow and feed herbivores which are then in turn eaten by predators again. We learn this in grade school, or from the Lion King, depending on your place of education.

Set wrote:


According to the nature of the setting, *life* is an unnatural and fragile state of being, requiring constant killing to maintain.
Life as pure spirit, whether incorporeal undead spirit, or spirit-mimicking-flesh as an outsider, is eternal, and does not require the killing of others to maintain itself, and positive energy is *anathema* to the immortal spirits.
Positive energy destroys souls, and perpetuates a life of constant killing to survive.
Negative energy destroys the unnatural and destructive and entropic mortal existence of flesh devouring flesh, liberating the soul to return to an eternal and pure existence, free of hunger and pain.

This argument is specious, Set. It's straw that blows in the wind and you must *know* that. NATURE cannot be defined as unnatural.

See my earlier blurb about Petitioners. You do not become a ghost when you die, and your spirit is not harmed by positive energy any more than it is obliterated utterly when someone casts Raise Dead (such as the vulnerability of some undead to such a spell?).

You're a great lobbyist for the Undead Right, but the Living Left will oppose you at every turn! Every one of your arguments is fallacious, and based on intentional misdefinitions.

Contributor

Purplefixer wrote:
See my earlier blurb about Petitioners. You do not become a ghost when you die
Skipping your earlier blurb about Petitioners and going on to something in the bestiary section of the new Carrion Crown:
"Ashes at Dawn, Nosoi Psychopomp, p. 87 wrote:
Most cultures on Golarion tell tall tales of mortals cheating death at games of cards or in other contests with nosois. While in actuality nosois lack the power to restore the dead to life, desperate petitioners occasionally slip away from the scribe psychopomps, or else win days of freedom in games of chance, allowing the petitioners to briefly visit loved ones or complete important tasks. Each nosoi varies in its willingness to play with its charges or gamble away its secrets, but most will concede to a few hours’ distraction, with or without a prize.

So, what this means is that just about any dead person can become a ghost if they feel like it, if just long enough to tell the wife and kids to get on with their lives, scrawl "MURDER" on the bathroom mirror, knock their last will out from where it was hidden behind the painting on the mantel, or any other task that can be accomplished in a few hours.

The note doesn't say how to do that, but the ghost stats seem the most obvious, especially since ghosts don't have that whole "must be evil" thing going on.

And while it doesn't say it explicitly, I don't see anything wrong with the idea of a soul who beats a nosoi at a few round of Harrow while waiting in the endless line to see Pharasma to be able to slip back to the world of the living for something like a seance or just appearing to a grieving loved one who's grieving in something other than the few hours after the departed's death.


The major problem I see with all arguements that "in the game world evil is objective" whenever I see them, is that if one accepts this as true and the intention of the designers, then it means they could and should have answered all these questions explicitly in the alignment section.

If good and evil are objectively measurable, then somewhere there is a giant chart of "very good, a little good, a little evil, very evil" actions, within the game system. And if that's the actual intention of the game, then it is simple laziness that none of the designers have ever written it out for all the GMs and players.

Granted, the moment this was done, everyone of us would start looking at the list and saying "but what about this exception?"

Pathfinder, like all it's predecessors, falls into the trap of saying "I want good and evil to be Real, but I don't want to even try and answer the difficult questions that have plagued moral philosophers since the dawn of time."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In theory I support the idea of non-evil undead.

In practice having monsters be quick and easy to identify as evil is actually super useful for the game.
"What if they're the rightful guardians of the tomb?"
"Perhaps they are help for the farmers fields!"

Some nights you don't want to have an ethics argument, some nights you just want to smite evil, take some treasure and come home in time for a nap.

Silver Crusade

But hot damn wouldn't it be awesome to have mummy paladins guarding the tomb of Rahotep, Pharaoh of Tomorrow, keeping it safe until his return. Or possibly guarding the tunnels between Osirion and that ghoul city located right underneath it.

Silver Crusade

Purplefixer wrote:

You're a great lobbyist for the Undead Right, but the Living Left will oppose you at every turn! Every one of your arguments is fallacious, and based on intentional misdefinitions.

I think he's more calling into question the shaky ground upon which the positive-good/negative-bad and "undead always = evil" things are rooted.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
But hot damn wouldn't it be awesome to have mummy paladins guarding the tomb of Rahotep, Pharaoh of Tomorrow, keeping it safe until his return. Or possibly guarding the tunnels between Osirion and that ghoul city located right underneath it.

I don't mind it as an exception rather than a rule. Localized differences are cool and occasionally explore a nifty thematic space, but if undead become commonly neutral then it becomes another excuse to argue at the table.

I'd like to see an option for creating non-evil undead, and non-evil guardian type undead variants, but only for specific flavors. (Osirion is a good space for this).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mikaze wrote:
But hot damn wouldn't it be awesome to have mummy paladins guarding the tomb of Rahotep, Pharaoh of Tomorrow, keeping it safe until his return. Or possibly guarding the tunnels between Osirion and that ghoul city located right underneath it.

Having played for D&D in his different incarnations for 30 years I can assure you that there have been plenty of neutral and even good undead.

Before 3rd edition the mummies were fueled by positive energy.

Remember this little piece from the bestiary too:

PRD wrote:
The alignments listed for each monster in this book represent the norm for those monsters—they can vary as you require them to in order to serve the needs of your campaign. Only in the case of relatively unintelligent monsters (creatures with an Intelligence of 2 or lower are almost never anything other than neutral) and planar monsters (outsiders with alignments other than those listed are unusual and typically outcasts from their kind) is the listed alignment relatively unchangeable.

Note that undead aren't one of the exceptions with a relatively (sic!) unchangeable alignment

Dark Archive

Purplefixer wrote:
Natural cannot be defined as unnatural. Does not scan.

Nothing that exists can be defined as unnatural, actually.

If undead, demons, angels, magic, etc. exist in a setting, then they are natural parts of that cosmology.

Like black holes or ebola, they may not be terribly welcome or *fun* parts of that cosmos...

But spirits and souls, requiring no food, requiring no animation by external energy sources, and not subject to breaking down or entropic decay, are inherently more stable and self-maintaining than corporeal existence.

Flesh and blood bodies, in the game setting, are empowered by positive energy, making them incapable of surviving without energy from another dimension animating their bodies, exactly like undead. Like ghouls and vampires, the living cannot survive by this 'unnatural' animating force alone, but must also kill and feed to maintain this 'unnatural' existence. (Liches cheat by using magic to get around this need, making them the undead equivalent of a living person wearing a ring of sustenance.)

If a flesh and blood living creature was indeed 'natural' to the 'natural world,' it would be like an elemental or an outsider, not requiring energy from another dimension to animate it, and being in constant need of tearing apart other living things and consuming them to stave off inevitable entropic decay. The living are in a constant state of rot, as their unnatural existence is always breaking down, and requires constant repair.

Instead of being stable and eternal, in harmony with their native planes of existence, like elementals and outsiders, the bodies of the living in Golarion/Greyhawk/the Realms are under constant assault by the natural world, almost as if the natural world *was rejecting their presence.*

Indeed, to the angels and devils, mortal life itself might be seen as nothing more than a larval stage, transitory and practically irrelevant in the great scheme of things, as, to them, only the stable and 'natural' status of outsider really counts as 'life,' since it exists in harmony with its home dimension, unlike humans on Golarion, who are so antithetical to the world they are born into that it eats away at them like acid, and, as the saying goes, 'nobody gets out alive.'

.

Anywho, don't take this seriously. I referred to it as a whackadoodle conspiracy theory for a reason.

The 'facts' are that mindless things with no volition or malice aforethought, who cannot and will not ever want to do evil, seek to do evil, plot to do evil, or, in some cases, even be used by others to do evil, can, in fact, be evil.

A banal, rules-mechanic-y sort of evil that has no moral weight, but evil nonetheless.

Scarab Sages

Set wrote:
Purplefixer wrote:
Natural cannot be defined as unnatural. Does not scan.

Nothing that exists can be defined as unnatural, actually.

If undead, demons, angels, magic, etc. exist in a setting, then they are natural parts of that cosmology.

Like black holes or ebola, they may not be terribly welcome or *fun* parts of that cosmos...

But spirits and souls, requiring no food, requiring no animation by external energy sources, and not subject to breaking down or entropic decay, are inherently more stable and self-maintaining than corporeal existence.

Flesh and blood bodies, in the game setting, are empowered by positive energy, making them incapable of surviving without energy from another dimension animating their bodies, exactly like undead. Like ghouls and vampires, the living cannot survive by this 'unnatural' animating force alone, but must also kill and feed to maintain this 'unnatural' existence. (Liches cheat by using magic to get around this need, making them the undead equivalent of a living person wearing a ring of sustenance.)

If a flesh and blood living creature was indeed 'natural' to the 'natural world,' it would be like an elemental or an outsider, not requiring energy from another dimension to animate it, and being in constant need of tearing apart other living things and consuming them to stave off inevitable entropic decay. The living are in a constant state of rot, as their unnatural existence is always breaking down, and requires constant repair.

Instead of being stable and eternal, in harmony with their native planes of existence, like elementals and outsiders, the bodies of the living in Golarion/Greyhawk/the Realms are under constant assault by the natural world, almost as if the natural world *was rejecting their presence.*

Indeed, to the angels and devils, mortal life itself might be seen as nothing more than a larval stage, transitory and practically irrelevant in the great scheme of things, as, to them, only the stable and 'natural'...


Set wrote:
Purplefixer wrote:
Natural cannot be defined as unnatural. Does not scan.

Nothing that exists can be defined as unnatural, actually.

If undead, demons, angels, magic, etc. exist in a setting, then they are natural parts of that cosmology.

Like black holes or ebola, they may not be terribly welcome or *fun* parts of that cosmos...

But spirits and souls, requiring no food, requiring no animation by external energy sources, and not subject to breaking down or entropic decay, are inherently more stable and self-maintaining than corporeal existence.

Flesh and blood bodies, in the game setting, are empowered by positive energy, making them incapable of surviving without energy from another dimension animating their bodies, exactly like undead. Like ghouls and vampires, the living cannot survive by this 'unnatural' animating force alone, but must also kill and feed to maintain this 'unnatural' existence. (Liches cheat by using magic to get around this need, making them the undead equivalent of a living person wearing a ring of sustenance.)

If a flesh and blood living creature was indeed 'natural' to the 'natural world,' it would be like an elemental or an outsider, not requiring energy from another dimension to animate it, and being in constant need of tearing apart other living things and consuming them to stave off inevitable entropic decay. The living are in a constant state of rot, as their unnatural existence is always breaking down, and requires constant repair.

Instead of being stable and eternal, in harmony with their native planes of existence, like elementals and outsiders, the bodies of the living in Golarion/Greyhawk/the Realms are under constant assault by the natural world, almost as if the natural world *was rejecting their presence.*

Indeed, to the angels and devils, mortal life itself might be seen as nothing more than a larval stage, transitory and practically irrelevant in the great scheme of things, as, to them, only the stable and 'natural'...

... ... ...

Wow.

That's the best word to describe how much I like this take on things.

And it makes the monk's abilities a perfect representation of truly making oneself fit the plane where he is...

I'm stealing this for the next world I build.


I love the idea of a neutral necromacer. I understand that a good character cannot cast evil spells and evil casters cannot cast good spells and so on, however where does it say that it gradually makes you evil casting these spells? I just wondered if someone could post a quote or something


My 2 cents. Do we really want neutral skeletons and zombies running around just so that we can appease a few people that want to play neutral necromancers or worse yet, the necromancer that uses his love of animating corpses for the betterment of humanity?

Think about the impact that it would have on the game. No more channelling and destroying zombies and skeletons. Holy weapons don't work on them any longer. Detect evil gets you nothing; protection from evil; anything from evil.

Necromancy is a classic evil archetype. Sure, you can throw in some weird exception to the rule to a story or campaign if you like but I'd prefer the default be left alone ... even if it doesn't actually make logical sense.

Not sure if this has all been said already. Didn't feel like reading all 7 million posts to catch up.

Edit: Oops! Thought this thread had 700+ posts in it. Must've been the one above it.


*Summon Inevitable*

Crush this thread please.

*Smash*

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