Non-evil necromancers


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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WPharolin wrote:

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?

In every published adventure (pfrpg) that I've read mindless undead tend to attack any non-vermin living creatures they come across. Most of these are uncontrolled.

It makes you wonder if their former master's commands left a kind of imprint. Mindless undead only understand basic commands when controlled, so it would stand to reason that echoes of those commands remain after control is relinquished. In this case, how much of the command remains? The entire statement, "wander the halls and kill anyone not bearing this symbol", might last a couple of years; within a decade the command imprint has faded to simply "wander the halls and kill". Perhaps after centuries of isolation the only thing the undead remembers is "kill".

This gives me something new to wonder: what if an undead created simply to sweep a tower's floors eventually (years after its master was killed by annoying adventurers) comes to attack everything it sees with its broom? Innate evil or imprinted evil?

Edit: poor word choice


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Odion wrote:
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

Actually, only clerics and specific other divine casters are limited in that way. A good wizard could cast evil spells all day long.

There is no in-book rule saying that casting an [alignment] spell would change your alignment to match. That's strictly an unofficial ruling made by the developers here on the forums.


Thank you Ravingdork for clearing that up for me, helps a lot, now I dont need to keep looking through my books trying to find a rule that isn't in them
@Necromancer: That consept is so good, never really think about why they attack living things at random, but that would fit in very well in the pathfinder world.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:


There is no in-book rule saying that casting an [alignment] spell would change your alignment to match. That's strictly an unofficial ruling made by the developers here on the forums.

Not exactly true. There is no particular rule relative to [evil] spells, but it change your alignment no more or less than doing other things labelled as evil will change it.

Done occasionally: no effect, it is "washed out" by time and the acts of kindness a normal person do during his everyday life (even if the player don't roleplay them).

Done frequently but for "positive" reasons: again no effect or even superseded by the goodness of the motives and results.

Done frequently for pure selfish reasons: it can change the PC alignment if that is the general trend.

Done frequently and for reasons anyone will consider evil: rapid alignment shift.

Same thing if you do good/lawful/chaotic acts.

Every DM mileage vary on how much and what is needed for a change of alignment. For me a "forced" change along the chaos/law axe is more common than a change along the good/evil axe and becoming neutral is more common than moving to one of the extremes, but it all depend on the character behaviour.


Necromancer wrote:


In every published adventure (pfrpg) that I've read mindless undead tend to attack any non-vermin living creatures they come across. Most of these are uncontrolled.

If they were zombies than that's how its supposed to be. It states very clearly under the zombie write up that they devour things. If it was a(n) (uncontrolled) skeleton than the person who wrote the adventure just didn't care (or didn't know) that skeletons don't just randomly kill people...like ever. That's something that requires a command. If you want all undead to have a natural hatred for life than that is a setting consideration. I am actually all for having evil undead in most settings. My problem with making it the default rule is that it makes many classic campaign settings impossible to run a game in without a house rule. For example, Karnath (Eberron) becomes a nation that is objectively evil.

Necromancer wrote:

It makes you wonder if their former master's commands left a kind of imprint. Mindless undead only understand basic commands when controlled, so it would stand to reason that echoes of those commands remain after control is relinquished. In this case, how much of the command remains? The entire statement, "wander the halls and kill anyone not bearing this symbol", might last a couple of years; within a decade the command imprint has faded to simply "wander the halls and kill". Perhaps after centuries of isolation the only thing the undead remembers is "kill".

This gives me something new to wonder: what if an undead created simply to sweep a tower's floors eventually (years after its master was killed by annoying adventurers) comes to attack everything it sees with its broom? Innate evil or imprinted evil?

This would be a pretty cool piece of setting fluff that would explain why undead like to kill things. However, it would also make mindless undead neutral since any left over orders could be imprinted, including practical or socially useful ones like "farm". In such a world where imprints are left remaining I could see some societies require that undead be registered and after your license runs out you must either renew your license and re-establish a strong command to prevent the eventual perversion of you orders, or you must relinquish control of the creature to the courts. You have just given a sufficient story reason why undead could be both dangerous and taboo and at the same time not explicitly evil. In fact, mindless undead in this world couldn't be evil at all since the only thing informing their actions is the intent of the necromancer.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
Not exactly true. There is no particular rule relative to [evil] spells, but it change your alignment no more or less than doing other things labelled as evil will change it.

Quote the rule that says as much then. Though it is likely the intent, there is no RAW to support your claim.


.
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As your glorious leader, I support the right of every glorious citizen to the open access of any and all EVIL Zombie Chickens created.

-.- EVIL

*shakes fist*


We know *EXACTLY* what is Natural in the Pathfinder world.

It's covered under Knowledge: Nature.

Undead: Knowledge: Religion
Bears: Knowledge: Nature
Bear Skeletons: Knowledge: Religion (If animated) or Heal (If not animated)
Glabrezu: Knowledge: Planes
Glabrezu Zombie: Knowledge: Religion
Gelatinous Cube: Knowledge: Dungeoneering
Skeleton Inside A Gelatinous Cube: There's always a 10'x10' room for Jello. Knowledge: Dungeoneering and a good spot check.

The Circle of Life is Nature. Circle of Death is Arcana.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Not exactly true. There is no particular rule relative to [evil] spells, but it change your alignment no more or less than doing other things labelled as evil will change it.
Quote the rule that says as much then. Though it is likely the intent, there is no RAW to support your claim.
Quote:
In the end, the Game Master is the one who gets to decide if something's in accordance with its indicated alignment, based on the descriptions given previously and his own opinion and interpretation—the only thing the GM needs to strive for is to be consistent as to what constitutes the difference between alignments like chaotic neutral and chaotic evil.


Purplefixer wrote:

We know *EXACTLY* what is Natural in the Pathfinder world.

It's covered under Knowledge: Nature.

Undead: Knowledge: Religion
Bears: Knowledge: Nature
Bear Skeletons: Knowledge: Religion (If animated) or Heal (If not animated)
Glabrezu: Knowledge: Planes
Glabrezu Zombie: Knowledge: Religion
Gelatinous Cube: Knowledge: Dungeoneering
Skeleton Inside A Gelatinous Cube: There's always a 10'x10' room for Jello. Knowledge: Dungeoneering and a good spot check.

The Circle of Life is Nature. Circle of Death is Arcana.

Logic Fail. Under your system the following creatures are unnatural in Pathfinder...dragons, displacer beasts, unicorns, owlbears, blink dogs, Worgs, native outsiders, sea serpents, etc. etc. etc.

Your claim is entirely unsubstantiated. However, now I want jello.

Liberty's Edge

WPharolin wrote:

Logic Fail. Under your system the following creatures are unnatural in Pathfinder...dragons, displacer beasts, unicorns, owlbears, blink dogs, Worgs, native outsiders, sea serpents, etc. etc. etc.

Now I want to stat up a inicorn!


Marc Radle wrote:


Now I want to stat up a inicorn!

There's a joke here somewhere. I just know it.

Liberty's Edge

WPharolin wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:


Now I want to stat up a inicorn!
There's a joke here somewhere. I just know it.

Hmmm ...

The joke is (or was) that you had accidentally typed inicorn instead of unicorn and it made me chuckle.

The weird thing is that now the inicorn is gone from your post! I KNOW that your post said inicorn because I actually copied it FROM your post and pasted it into my response.

Now, however, the word inicorn has been replaced by unicorn. I can only assume you edited your post to correct it. What I DON'T know is how it got corrected in the quoted text in MY post!!!

Weird stuff going on ...

Contributor

WPharolin wrote:
Purplefixer wrote:

We know *EXACTLY* what is Natural in the Pathfinder world.

It's covered under Knowledge: Nature.

Undead: Knowledge: Religion
Bears: Knowledge: Nature
Bear Skeletons: Knowledge: Religion (If animated) or Heal (If not animated)
Glabrezu: Knowledge: Planes
Glabrezu Zombie: Knowledge: Religion
Gelatinous Cube: Knowledge: Dungeoneering
Skeleton Inside A Gelatinous Cube: There's always a 10'x10' room for Jello. Knowledge: Dungeoneering and a good spot check.

The Circle of Life is Nature. Circle of Death is Arcana.

Logic Fail. Under your system the following creatures are unnatural in Pathfinder...dragons, displacer beasts, unicorns, owlbears, blink dogs, Worgs, native outsiders, sea serpents, etc. etc. etc.

Your claim is entirely unsubstantiated. However, now I want jello.

There are all sorts of wonky findings and compartmentalizations that come up with any system like that. I generally find it best to do a "check all that apply" arrangement so you can use more than one Knowledge to come after a problem.

If you have Elder Things flying in from beyond the stars and they're fighting vampires, and they find out about them from a Knowledge Religion check which tells them to put a stake through the heart, cut off the head, and stuff the mouth with garlic before burying them face down in the grave, they may understand the religion and metaphysics of what a vampire is. That said, without some appropriate Heal or Knowledge Nature checks to understand human anatomy, or Knowledge History or Local to know what a stake or a grave is, even the handy "How to Kill a Vampire" illustrations in the priest's breviary they have to aid their Knowledge Religion checks will probably end up with the vampire stabbed in the spleen with an icicle, its head shaved, and finally dumped in a horse trough with a tulip bulb stuck up its butt.

What, isn't that how you kill a vampire?


Marc Radle wrote:


Hmmm ...

The joke is (or was) that you had accidentally typed inicorn instead of unicorn and it made me chuckle.

The weird thing is that now the inicorn is gone from your post! I KNOW that your post said inicorn because I actually copied it FROM your post and pasted it into my response.

Now, however, the word inicorn has been replaced by unicorn. I can only assume you edited your post to correct it. What I DON'T know is how it got corrected in the quoted text in MY post!!!

Weird stuff going on ...

I did edit my post, however the only thing I corrected was the spelling of the word 'unsubstantiated'. That and I added a comma between dragons and displacer beasts. Weird stuff indeed...


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Things about stuff and I'm not sure what point he was getting at + "What, isn't that how you kill a vampire?"

Nope. I don't kill vampires. I point and laugh at its pitiful existence and bring it under my control. MWAhahahaha!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Actually, only clerics and specific other divine casters are limited in that way. A good wizard could cast evil spells all day long.

There is no in-book rule saying that casting an [alignment] spell would change your alignment to match. That's strictly an unofficial ruling made by the developers here on the forums.

Yes and no. For the purposes of PFS, there is no particular rule on this save the reaction of the locals (and spell which are flat out banned for PC use). But quite frankly,in any campaign I run, a good (or even neutral) wizard who goes around casting evil spells with gay abandon is going to run into consequences more serious than alignment.

And as the devs have spoken (which you've conveniently left out), this is something intentionally left for GM's to decide on a campaign by campaign basis.


Purplefixer wrote:

We know *EXACTLY* what is Natural in the Pathfinder world.

It's covered under Knowledge: Nature.

Undead: Knowledge: Religion
Bears: Knowledge: Nature
Bear Skeletons: Knowledge: Religion (If animated) or Heal (If not animated)
Glabrezu: Knowledge: Planes
Glabrezu Zombie: Knowledge: Religion
Gelatinous Cube: Knowledge: Dungeoneering
Skeleton Inside A Gelatinous Cube: There's always a 10'x10' room for Jello. Knowledge: Dungeoneering and a good spot check.

The Circle of Life is Nature. Circle of Death is Arcana.

I agree with this sediment, but I also agree your argument does not stack up well. The problem is at some point common sense and the way the real world work need to seep into the game sometimes. Saying everything is natural because it exists and therefore a part of nature is taking a very liberal definition of natural. Under that logic every person should eventually have "natural causes" on their birth certificate, but we all know the real world does not work like that. It is no more natural for skeletons to exist in Pathfinder then it is for bears to ride bicycles in the real world.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:


There is no in-book rule saying that casting an [alignment] spell would change your alignment to match. That's strictly an unofficial ruling made by the developers here on the forums.

Not exactly true. There is no particular rule relative to [evil] spells, but it change your alignment no more or less than doing other things labelled as evil will change it.

Done occasionally: no effect, it is "washed out" by time and the acts of kindness a normal person do during his everyday life (even if the player don't roleplay them).

Done frequently but for "positive" reasons: again no effect or even superseded by the goodness of the motives and results.

Done frequently for pure selfish reasons: it can change the PC alignment if that is the general trend.

Done frequently and for reasons anyone will consider evil: rapid alignment shift.

Same thing if you do good/lawful/chaotic acts.

Every DM mileage vary on how much and what is needed for a change of alignment. For me a "forced" change along the chaos/law axe is more common than a change along the good/evil axe and becoming neutral is more common than moving to one of the extremes, but it all depend on the character behaviour.

This just sort of proves the point you are arguing against in my opinion. It would seem that what the undead once raised has far more weight then casting the spell ever could. So even if their was an alignment based spell it would be trivial.

Contributor

Timothy Hanson wrote:
Purplefixer wrote:

We know *EXACTLY* what is Natural in the Pathfinder world.

It's covered under Knowledge: Nature.

Undead: Knowledge: Religion
Bears: Knowledge: Nature
Bear Skeletons: Knowledge: Religion (If animated) or Heal (If not animated)
Glabrezu: Knowledge: Planes
Glabrezu Zombie: Knowledge: Religion
Gelatinous Cube: Knowledge: Dungeoneering
Skeleton Inside A Gelatinous Cube: There's always a 10'x10' room for Jello. Knowledge: Dungeoneering and a good spot check.

The Circle of Life is Nature. Circle of Death is Arcana.

I agree with this sediment, but I also agree your argument does not stack up well. The problem is at some point common sense and the way the real world work need to seep into the game sometimes. Saying everything is natural because it exists and therefore a part of nature is taking a very liberal definition of natural. Under that logic every person should eventually have "natural causes" on their birth certificate, but we all know the real world does not work like that. It is no more natural for skeletons to exist in Pathfinder then it is for bears to ride bicycles in the real world.

Actually, various supernatural phenomenae may cause skeletons to arise spontaneously. The same cannot be said of bicycles (and I'm assuming they have the penny-farthing boneshaker type in Alkenstar) and it's even more unlikely that bears would spontaneously figure out how to ride them.

So all in all, animate skeletons are less unnatural than bicycle-riding bears. However, they're more destructive and unpleasant than the circus bears, so the "They're unnatural!" tends to get stressed.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Timothy Hanson wrote:
Purplefixer wrote:

We know *EXACTLY* what is Natural in the Pathfinder world.

It's covered under Knowledge: Nature.

Undead: Knowledge: Religion
Bears: Knowledge: Nature
Bear Skeletons: Knowledge: Religion (If animated) or Heal (If not animated)
Glabrezu: Knowledge: Planes
Glabrezu Zombie: Knowledge: Religion
Gelatinous Cube: Knowledge: Dungeoneering
Skeleton Inside A Gelatinous Cube: There's always a 10'x10' room for Jello. Knowledge: Dungeoneering and a good spot check.

The Circle of Life is Nature. Circle of Death is Arcana.

I agree with this sediment, but I also agree your argument does not stack up well. The problem is at some point common sense and the way the real world work need to seep into the game sometimes. Saying everything is natural because it exists and therefore a part of nature is taking a very liberal definition of natural. Under that logic every person should eventually have "natural causes" on their birth certificate, but we all know the real world does not work like that. It is no more natural for skeletons to exist in Pathfinder then it is for bears to ride bicycles in the real world.

Actually, various supernatural phenomenae may cause skeletons to arise spontaneously. The same cannot be said of bicycles (and I'm assuming they have the penny-farthing boneshaker type in Alkenstar) and it's even more unlikely that bears would spontaneously figure out how to ride them.

So all in all, animate skeletons are less unnatural than bicycle-riding bears. However, they're more destructive and unpleasant than the circus bears, so the "They're unnatural!" tends to get stressed.

I don't think you can use supernatural phenomenon to argue how natural something is. The word itself implies that is goes above and beyond the natural order of things. It is a little different in a fantasy setting I agree with that. But most supernatural things do not pervert the natural order in quite the same way as animating dead does.

Contributor

Timothy Hanson wrote:
I don't think you can use supernatural phenomenon to argue how natural something is. The word itself implies that is goes above and beyond the natural order of things. It is a little different in a fantasy setting I agree with that. But most supernatural things do not pervert the natural order in quite the same way as animating dead does.

The latest Carrion Crown, Ashes at Dawn, has a Living Topiary in its Bestiary. This is somehow less unnatural than a zombie? How about an animated table or for that matter a flesh golem stitched together from six different bodies and animated by lightning bolts and the Animate Dead spell, rather than a zombie which requires only one body, still looks relatively like the person it formerly was, and also uses the Animate Dead spell.

Or, for that matter, look at a flying carpet. The wool of sheep has been spun and dyed, woven together, clipped, tassels braided on the edges, and to top it all off, the thing is levitating in the air. If we're going to talk about perverting the natural order, the flying carpet really takes the cake. Ditto the flying broomstick. It's a stick of one plant with a bunch of other plant material artificially bound to one end and it floats in the air and pretends it's a horse assuming that horses could fly except they can't.

The zombie? Even if in evil killer mode, the difference between this and someone infected with rabies is what precisely? It's unpleasant and dangerous, certainly, and should be put down on that basis alone, but the "perversion of nature" business really doesn't rank that high when you've got a world with flying broomsticks and rugs.


WPharolin wrote:
stringburka wrote:
In pathfinder, skeletons are evil, and the reason has been posted several times.
What we have heard is a non-nonsensical excuse that attempts to pardon this failed design. "Skeletons are destructive and kill things and thus are evil" which makes fire, earthquakes, hippos, and adventurers, evil. The claim that skeletons are evil is a violation of the concept of evil (and of moral choice) and a contradiction of the games definitions for each evil alignment type, which necessitate that evil creatures, and in fact all aligned creature, be capable of volitional thought processes. As long as these alignment definitions (vague as they may be) stay the way they are, it doesn't really matter what the official rules say about mindless undead. They're wrong.

I don't see where the game requires volitional thought processes. In fact, quite a few things are evil that can't think. A Darkskull can't think at all, or even act, and it is evil. Why is the Unhallow spell evil? How can a Mace of Blood make you evil? Skeletons have an instinctual drive to hurt innocent beings. Hippos don't. I don't see many non-evil monsters in the book that do and still aren't evil.

The whole alignment system is completely arbitrary. Saying that the necromantic energies used in the creation of a skeleton are evil isn't any weirder than saying that the energies used in an Unhallow spell are evil.


stringburka wrote:

I don't see where the game requires volitional thought processes. In fact, quite a few things are evil that can't think. A Darkskull can't think at all, or even act, and it is evil. Why is the Unhallow spell evil? How can a Mace of Blood make you evil? Skeletons have an instinctual drive to hurt innocent beings. Hippos don't. I don't see many non-evil monsters in the book that do and still aren't evil.

The whole alignment system is completely arbitrary. Saying that the necromantic energies used in the creation of a skeleton are evil isn't any weirder than saying that the energies used in an Unhallow spell are evil.

I agree. I am arguing that Unhallow spells and Darkskulls aren't evil and cannot be, based on the games own definitions for each alignment. I may be the only one taking this position. To define alignment in the way that D&D and Pathfinder has makes it impossible to attribute it to anything but volitional creatures despite the games history to the contrary.

Yes, there are evil objects in Pathfinder. They are a violation of the concept of alignment as written. This thread talks specifically about animate dead so I am trying to stay on topic as much as possible. But the root cause is that alignment is completely borked and doesn't work. Perhaps I'll start a thread sometime to talk about it...then again, I'd rather work on something that people will actually have an open mind about.


Set wrote:
Random whackadoodle conspiracy;

Ey berk, ye some kind'o Dustie?


WPharolin wrote:
stringburka wrote:

I don't see where the game requires volitional thought processes. In fact, quite a few things are evil that can't think. A Darkskull can't think at all, or even act, and it is evil. Why is the Unhallow spell evil? How can a Mace of Blood make you evil? Skeletons have an instinctual drive to hurt innocent beings. Hippos don't. I don't see many non-evil monsters in the book that do and still aren't evil.

The whole alignment system is completely arbitrary. Saying that the necromantic energies used in the creation of a skeleton are evil isn't any weirder than saying that the energies used in an Unhallow spell are evil.

I agree. I am arguing that Unhallow spells and Darkskulls aren't evil and cannot be, based on the games own definitions for each alignment. I may be the only one taking this position. To define alignment in the way that D&D and Pathfinder has makes it impossible to attribute it to anything but volitional creatures despite the games history to the contrary.

Yes, there are evil objects in Pathfinder. They are a violation of the concept of alignment as written. This thread talks specifically about animate dead so I am trying to stay on topic as much as possible. But the root cause is that alignment is completely borked and doesn't work. Perhaps I'll start a thread sometime to talk about it...then again, I'd rather work on something that people will actually have an open mind about.

No, they're not, because they are part of the concept. Evil is an objective force that is active A. when someone does evil actions and B. in evil objects/creatures/spells/places. A creature that is always evil - such as a glabrezu - doesn't really have volitional choice either.


Actually, Darkskulls and Unhallows are evil for a piking good reason. They are aligned with the lower planes. They are powered by infernal magic. This, I approve of.


stringburka wrote:


No, they're not, because they are part of the concept. Evil is an objective force...

"A creature's general moral and personal attitudes are represented by its alignment"

"Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies..."

Emphasis mine.

You're wrong. These are the written definitions for what alignments actually are. Your theory about objective forces clearly isn't supported. Items (unless they are intelligent), spells, mindless creatures, and locations cannot have these attributes. The game is breaking its own rules every time we see an evil skeleton.


Well, many PLANAR things do have an alignment, in that case it's cool. the problem it that undead aren't affiliated with an aligned plane.


WPharolin wrote:
stringburka wrote:


No, they're not, because they are part of the concept. Evil is an objective force...

"A creature's general moral and personal attitudes are represented by its alignment"

"Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies..."

Emphasis mine.

You're wrong. These are the written definitions for what alignments actually are. Your theory about objective forces clearly isn't supported. Items (unless they are intelligent), spells, mindless creatures, and locations cannot have these attributes. The game is breaking its own rules every time we see an evil skeleton.

A freewilled non-aligned creature has an alignment based on his actions and morals, yes. It's been stated by devs that good and evil are objective forces, and it's been that way in D&D since god knows who.

Neither of those quotes go against evil as an objective force or that other things can be evil. Those are from the Description chapter and are meant as guidance to players when choosing a proper alignment, and they don't say "the only thing alignment encompasses are the morals of conscious creatures".


Fenrisnorth wrote:
Well, many PLANAR things do have an alignment, in that case it's cool. the problem it that undead aren't affiliated with an aligned plane.

Why are the lower planes evil? It's as arbitrary as Animate Dead being evil is.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LilithsThrall wrote:


Frankly, I enjoy playing characters whose morality systems are quite different from my own. It stretches my roleplaying chops to try to get into the mind of someone who is truly foreign to me.

But more to the point of this thread there are a few people who think that getting into the hobby of animating your neighbors as shambling undead shouldn't disqualify you for a White Hat.


Seems to me that the OP's real problem is that he is limited to PFS play right now, and the restrictions of organized play are interfering with the concept he would like to play.

I sympathize with his plight, and wish him the best of luck in finding a group outside of PFS in which he can play whatever concept he wants.

For now, I might make the suggestion that rather than rail against the restrictions of the rules as applied in PFS play (which aren't going to change, because those who run it and the majority of those who play in it want them that way, for very good reasons), that he just abandon the concept he is thinking of and play one of the thousands of other possible concepts that are PFS-legal.

In short, you are unlikely to change PFS or the Core Rules to meet your own personal desires. You'll be happier if you can just change your desires to get along with the larger group.

Of course this also applies in any standard gaming group. If you want a happy gaming experience, you have to be willing to bend on some of your preferences to go along with what the rest of the group wants. Gaming Nirvana is reached when you find the right group of folks whose gaming desires are very similar to your own.


Brian Bachman wrote:

Seems to me that the OP's real problem is that he is limited to PFS play right now, and the restrictions of organized play are interfering with the concept he would like to play.

I sympathize with his plight, and wish him the best of luck in finding a group outside of PFS in which he can play whatever concept he wants.

For now, I might make the suggestion that rather than rail against the restrictions of the rules as applied in PFS play (which aren't going to change, because those who run it and the majority of those who play in it want them that way, for very good reasons), that he just abandon the concept he is thinking of and play one of the thousands of other possible concepts that are PFS-legal.

In short, you are unlikely to change PFS or the Core Rules to meet your own personal desires. You'll be happier if you can just change your desires to get along with the larger group.

Of course this also applies in any standard gaming group. If you want a happy gaming experience, you have to be willing to bend on some of your preferences to go along with what the rest of the group wants. Gaming Nirvana is reached when you find the right group of folks whose gaming desires are very similar to your own.

+1

@Fenrisnorth - That said, I'd recommend the Skeleton Summoner feat. This feat is PFS legal and can be used (if human) at level one. And remember you can pull from lower summoning lists using higher summon monster spells; at higher levels this means a temporary army of undead without the expenses.


stringburka wrote:


A freewilled non-aligned creature has an alignment based on his actions and morals, yes. It's been stated by devs that good and evil are objective forces, and it's been that way in D&D since god knows who.

Neither of those quotes go against evil as an objective force or that other things can be evil. Those are from the Description chapter and are meant as guidance to players when choosing a proper alignment, and they don't say "the only thing alignment encompasses are the morals of conscious creatures".

No, this is listed in the ADDITIONAL RULES chapter right along side encumbrance, overland travel, and light sources. Call it whatever you want, it doesn't change the fact that these are the only existing definitions for alignment in the game. They are the only basis we have for even having an alignment discussion at all.

Yes, both of those quotes do go against evil as an objective force, by demanding sentience and volition. Those are the games actually definitions for what alignment means. It isn't the definition for what alignment means if you are free willed. It is what alignment is at all. If the dev's do not change this specific rule, then their statements to the contrary are flat-out bull. Alignment cannot be soft and hard at the same time. They must either change the definition of alignment to reconcile the game mechanics that assert alignment to mean an objective force, and get rid of the hold over from the Gygaxian era of bad writing, or they must deal with the fact that they are wrong and breaking their own rules.

Of course, there is a third solution. One that has worked for most since the beginning of the game. And that is to pretend that there is no problem at all by simply not really thinking to deeply about it. To some extent, I can understand wanting to turn alignment in D&D into a Saturday morning cartoon where villains are evil because...well just because. Sometimes its kinda depressing to think more heavily about it than that. But for me, alignment in D&D has always been a bad joke when examined thoroughly.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Timothy Hanson wrote:
I don't think you can use supernatural phenomenon to argue how natural something is. The word itself implies that is goes above and beyond the natural order of things. It is a little different in a fantasy setting I agree with that. But most supernatural things do not pervert the natural order in quite the same way as animating dead does.

The latest Carrion Crown, Ashes at Dawn, has a Living Topiary in its Bestiary. This is somehow less unnatural than a zombie? How about an animated table or for that matter a flesh golem stitched together from six different bodies and animated by lightning bolts and the Animate Dead spell, rather than a zombie which requires only one body, still looks relatively like the person it formerly was, and also uses the Animate Dead spell.

Or, for that matter, look at a flying carpet. The wool of sheep has been spun and dyed, woven together, clipped, tassels braided on the edges, and to top it all off, the thing is levitating in the air. If we're going to talk about perverting the natural order, the flying carpet really takes the cake. Ditto the flying broomstick. It's a stick of one plant with a bunch of other plant material artificially bound to one end and it floats in the air and pretends it's a horse assuming that horses could fly except they can't.

The zombie? Even if in evil killer mode, the difference between this and someone infected with rabies is what precisely? It's unpleasant and dangerous, certainly, and should be put down on that basis alone, but the "perversion of nature" business really doesn't rank that high when you've got a world with flying broomsticks and rugs.

Yes all those things are unnatural. I did not say, or did not mean to say if I did, that unnatural = evil. Dressing a dog in Christmas sweaters is unnatural, but it is not evil. Guns are unnatural but they are neutral. My point was it was making a mocker of the natural state of things. I probably could not quantify it, it is just something that "seems" so I doubt I could actually win a debate. People have always made people more sacred then other things. You can skin a cow and wear it as a jacket and few will care, if you skin your grandma and wear her as a jacket, people will not stand for it.

Note this is just an example and not suppose to become a political discussion on democracy:

American Democracy for all its flaws is considered ideally a good thing. Electing George Washington as President is considered ideally a good thing, but re-electing him at this point would be a mockery of that said Democracy. As is electing Mickey Mouse or Homer Simpson. It was the mockery of the system that was evil, not the unnatural nature of it.


Necromancer wrote:
@Fenrisnorth - That said, I'd recommend the Skeleton Summoner feat. This feat is PFS legal and can be used (if human) at level one. And remember you can pull from lower summoning lists using higher summon monster spells; at higher levels this means a temporary army of undead without the expenses.

That would be cool if this were an acceptable solution, but it doesn't work. The skeleton template states the skeleton is always neutral evil, and the summon monster spell states that the spell's alignment matches whatever is summoned. (Most things match your alignment, but the skeleton is "always neutral evil.")

So the only difference would be, instead of spending gold on an undead pet, he spends a spell on a skeleton that lasts 1 round. Still an evil act and an evil pet.


Hudax wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
@Fenrisnorth - That said, I'd recommend the Skeleton Summoner feat. This feat is PFS legal and can be used (if human) at level one. And remember you can pull from lower summoning lists using higher summon monster spells; at higher levels this means a temporary army of undead without the expenses.

That would be cool if this were an acceptable solution, but it doesn't work. The skeleton template states the skeleton is always neutral evil, and the summon monster spell states that the spell's alignment matches whatever is summoned. (Most things match your alignment, but the skeleton is "always neutral evil.")

So the only difference would be, instead of spending gold on an undead pet, he spends a spell on a skeleton that lasts 1 round. Still an evil act and an evil pet.

Well it wouldn't work for a cleric, but an arcane caster would have no problems.

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