Would a Paladin smite evil babies?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I think it comes down to the level of inherent evilness in the world setting, so you'll have to ask the DM. I'm pretty sure that even if you, as the player, don't know what to do, your character (the paladin) has some idea of his organization's position on such things. Even without knowledge: religion presumably you've been to "Practical Paladining 101: how to get through one quest without falling"


Hitler. There, now the ethics thread is complete. I just saved us about 300 posts.


I would like to point out that the 3.5 Epic Level Handbook had an enemy in it that was a CE stillborn godling.

So while it may not be paladin-y to smite evil babies, it is not only paladin-y but downright required that they smite any dead babies that are still somehow moving.


LazarX wrote:
Bothaag the Bardbarian wrote:
Perhaps some bleeding-heart druid who considers all forms of life sacred?
It'd be a real strange druid that would not recognize the concepts of predator and prey as well as that of natural selection, and that practically all life kills to survive.

Unfortunately, most druids I've seen played were peacenik hippies with Disney delusions about 'all creatures living in harmony'.

Liberty's Edge

This is a sad thread.

At the OP, you have a choice to not go here. There are plenty of other challenges that can be done. I understand that it is a published module; it doesn't make it ok to put that challenge out there. You as a GM have the power to guide the story (forcefully if needed).

There is no time when killing baby of any race in our world would be acceptable. Why make it ok in a game?

If I was your player, I would seriously consider walking out if the outcome was anything other than the remnants of the tribe escaping with the children; and if it was a single player's doing, I would want the GM to step in and make a big deal about it.


Ghastlee wrote:
If something can't talk, act on its own or basically even think, I'd say it's not any alignment - maybe N. Evil creatures are maybe equal parts nature and nurture so who knows.

It is not evil to kill N for a good reason (food, etc: which humans aren't evil innately for eating chicken), so no issues.


MendedWall12 wrote:
LazarX wrote:

I will say however if this is the DM's idea of what kind of moral and ethical issues he throws up only because there's a Paladin in the group, the only thing I'd look for in that campaign is the exit door.

That's the smell of a DM who's more interested in setting up a Paladin trap rather than actually exploring the issues of ethics and morality in a meaningful way.

Would there even be such a question if the character in question was a good fighter, or a good Wizard? If the game is typified by such kind of mindscrewing... I've got better things to do with my time.

Just so you know, it's a published adventure, not something I came up with. I'm also asking ahead of time, because I could see it going either way, and wanted to see if there was a real consensus amongst others. I never try to intentionally mess with anybody. Again, one of the reasons I'm asking first. So I have some frame of reference for when/if that conversation comes up.

What adventure is this. You can put it in spoilers if you want. If you already answered then I will find it. I am reading every post anyway.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Umbral Reaver wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Bothaag the Bardbarian wrote:
Perhaps some bleeding-heart druid who considers all forms of life sacred?
It'd be a real strange druid that would not recognize the concepts of predator and prey as well as that of natural selection, and that practically all life kills to survive.
Unfortunately, most druids I've seen played were peacenik hippies with Disney delusions about 'all creatures living in harmony'.

Maybe in your neck of the woods. We've got a flame druid whose eponymous saying is. "Never saw an opera house that was worth leaving standing." Several druid players here carry a button which reads. "Druids do it the hard way... it encourages natural selection." I have never ever run into a New Agey "Hippy" Druid in my entire d20 career. Knew another fellow who played his Druids traditional celtic like... particurlarly in the art of vengeance. Only it wasn't vengeance for some bush that got clipped that set that half-elf off, it was vengeance against the scientific cult that bottle him up for 500 years separating him from the Human woman he loved. Made it his personal dedication to wiping the techno group out of existence.


Quote:
It is not evil to kill N for a good reason (food, etc: which humans aren't evil innately for eating chicken), so no issues.

Oh, so we can eat peasants when the winter gets rough? :)

I think the problem is less the alignment of the chicken and more the sentience of the chicken.

Silver Crusade

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Paladin schmaladin. No good character I've ever played, paladin or barbarian, would be cool with baby murder.

Either there's some church/organization/whatever that can take them in or my character does it himself. If doing the latter would derail the campaign and the former can't be found anywhere, then that character goes through with it anyway and I say goodbye to it, roll a new PC.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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Since people are still going on about this.

In what kind of ass-backwards world do you have such a thing as evil babies?


A Man In Black wrote:

Since people are still going on about this.

In what kind of ass-backwards world do you have such a thing as evil babies?

Golarion seems to lean that way.

Older editions leaned that way.

Silver Crusade

BigNorseWolf wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:

Since people are still going on about this.

In what kind of ass-backwards world do you have such a thing as evil babies?

Golarion seems to lean that way.

I've never seen this stated outright, even as much as Golarion leans so hard(too hard for my tastes) on Always Chaotic Evil.

Goblins of Golarion even points towards nurturing making a difference under the "player advice" section.


LazarX wrote:


Maybe in your neck of the woods. We've got a flame druid whose eponymous saying is. "Never saw an opera house that was worth leaving standing." Several druid players here carry a button which reads. "Druids do it the hard way... it encourages natural selection." I have never ever run into a New Agey "Hippy" Druid in my entire d20 career. Knew another fellow who played his Druids traditional celtic like... particurlarly in the art of vengeance. Only it wasn't vengeance for some bush that got clipped that set that half-elf off, it was vengeance against the scientific cult that bottle him up for 500 years separating him from the Human woman he loved. Made it his personal dedication to wiping the techno group out of existence.

Neat! I guess there are all types. To be honest, I've never really played with many druids (at least not for very long), but the ones I did play with weren't very good representatives of the class, I suppose.

Dark Archive

Proclamation of manifest virtue those scaly babies cleave if ya have it


A Man In Black wrote:
Ghastlee wrote:
If something can't talk, act on its own or basically even think, I'd say it's not any alignment - maybe N.
This poses the problem of skeletons and zombies.

N - problem solved.


Ghastlee wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
Ghastlee wrote:
If something can't talk, act on its own or basically even think, I'd say it's not any alignment - maybe N.
This poses the problem of skeletons and zombies.
N - problem solved.

Actually undead aren't alive, and the magic that animates them is evil. or has an evil spell description.


A Man In Black wrote:


Since people are still going on about this.

In what kind of ass-backwards world do you have such a thing as evil babies?

I was surprised to find an actual question at the heart of this thread. On the face of it, it just sounded... Trollish :) As for the Paladin I don't think it matters if the babies are evil, the question is will the Paladin "do evil"? Killing the helpless (outside of the coup de grace for the odd Demon), and babies are about as helpless as it gets, is pretty much evil. As for annihilating the whole tribe -- what, they all fought to the death? You have Kobolds with that level of bravery? I'd imagine any number of them would run like the dickens (especially the non-combatant) and slink back later. If bad luck, or their evil neighbors, finish them and their munchkins off later, that's not your call. If your'e squeamish, and the opprtunity for a total kill arises, and this doesn't compromise your mission, just make sure to let a few run off. They'll do it. Kobolds didn't survive by being heroes. In the traditional, non-Koboldish, way that is...


Mikaze wrote:

Paladin schmaladin. No good character I've ever played, paladin or barbarian, would be cool with baby murder.

Either there's some church/organization/whatever that can take them in or my character does it himself. If doing the latter would derail the campaign and the former can't be found anywhere, then that character goes through with it anyway and I say goodbye to it, roll a new PC.

I can't recall but wasn't there some awesome poster who a few months back described orphanages and church groups with this very thin in mind? I remember it being an entertaining read.

Sovereign Court Contributor

What would be the most fun for the players?


A Man In Black wrote:

Since people are still going on about this.

In what kind of ass-backwards world do you have such a thing as evil babies?

Actually, most of our DnD games over the years were pretty black and white. kobold babies are evil. We usually play something else to focus on more grey morality stuff. white wolf, cyberpunk, or heck there was one super's game we played that had oodles of morality RP.

For our group, D&D is the less morally ambiguous game we turn to.

(oh, and check out horror movie plots sometime for evil babies, it is a trope :P so not always arse backwards.)

Greg


Well, most children, even human children, are at heart Chaotic Evil. The laughter of children is beautiful... until you can hear what they're saying. But that doesn't mean you get to kill them. Mostly not even if they're coming at you with a pick-axe and a desire for murder. RA Salvatore makes a -big deal- about it in his books, which is one of the better known D&D style settings, about the children of Drow and Goblins being just... vicious. Wrong. Mean. Spiteful little monsters who deserve nothing more than swift relief from the world's misery.

ALL THAT BEING SAID:

No. The paladin shouldn't destroy them. If he discovers the nest at all when the parents are all slain, he has a duty to do something with the defenseless young to perhaps turn them around. He is a PALADIN, and held to a higher standard. He needs to pass the babies off to his church and let higher ranking members of his faith decide their fate.

Skeletons and Zombies move and attack quite on their own. The second they become uncontrolled they attack living creatures with the intent of snuffing out all life. They're int 0, so they stop moving if no living creature is in sight, but they go right back to it again as soon as they see a cat, or a deer, or a peasant, or a 17th level cleric. They are driven by negative energy, which is drawn to living creatures like iron filings to a magnet. They are evil by definition in the PF basic setting, and by story reasons on Golarion. Even six year old newly made vampire girls are going to be an immortal mind-raping evil that must be ended to end her own torment. If you have guilt, pay the family 5k to get her raised and escort them to Absalom to find a cleric after the undead form is destroyed.


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Maybe the "dilemma" isn't necessary in the first place. Ask yourself first if you aren't being a bit sadistic yourself in adding the hatchery and thus the anguish into all of this. Is the hatchery really necessary? If so, maybe there's someplace the paladin can take the eggs so the potential kobolds can be brought up "right." In that case, you'd be a more fair GM making that possibility known to the paladin before you put him in a situation where the players at the table are forced to be uncomfortable and potentially begin an unwinnable argument.

I think it's interesting to add in a little moral dilemma on occasion. I just personally think that 99% of the paladin drama on these boards is completely avoidable and totally unwarranted. It more often arises from some unnecessary detail, usually added by a GM who is a closet hater of the class in the first place.

Just an observation.


RedDogMT wrote:


There is no time when killing baby of any race in our world would be acceptable. Why make it ok in a game?

First of all that is true in our time, not always.

Also in this game evil is objective and not subjective, and fighting evil is always good, sure if you can convert them instead of killing them bonus points for you but from what we can see in the paladin oaths there is only deity that asks the paladins to talk first smite later.


Wow, I laughed way harder at this thread than I probably should have.

Now, seriously. You're getting into nature versus nurture when it comes to babies of any race that don't pop out sapient. Now, in the absence of rules on this I'm going to suggest kobold babies aren't sapient when hatched as reptilian humanoids, given sapience upon hatching tends to be reserved for stuff like true dragons, aberrations, some magical beasts, and such. If it's something that is born sapient, then it's all nature and smite away; if it's something that's not born sapient, then you have to consider nurture and killing them is out of the question given that introduces moral ambiguity in the face of which paladins tend to not act decisively in that manner.

The ideal resolution here as I see it would be to take the eggs to someone that can hatch and raise them to be good. Again, that assumes kobolds are not sapient when hatched. That would also reasonably extend to already-hatched young kobolds which may not be of an age of accountability.

Besides, what paladin could resist taking leadership and having an entire tribe of good kobolds as their followers?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
It is not evil to kill N for a good reason (food, etc: which humans aren't evil innately for eating chicken), so no issues.

Oh, so we can eat peasants when the winter gets rough? :)

Actually cannibalism isn't evil in D&D.

Using cannibalism for power is evil though (certain spells require sacrificing/eating people and those are evil.) But eating people for food isn't. But you can't do it in preference of other food as you then aren't keeping the sanctity of life sacred.
It should be a last resort thing.
While not evil, it does have the slight chance of when you die you become a ghoul though... But ghouls as intelligent creatures can be any alignment technically...
Think about that: LG Ghouls, should ponder before slaying them.
Quote:


I think the problem is less the alignment of the chicken and more the sentience of the chicken.

If Babies are sentience then they have an alignment thus can be evil. Problem solved.


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I want to address a couple things here. First @Wraithstrike

Spoiler:
Crown of the Kobold King

@A few people. This is a Paizo published adventure. I didn't make up the hatchery, and I'm not adding it myself because I want to set up some kind of morally ambiguous trap for a paladin. If I've become a sadistic GM for running a Paizo published adventure then I guess I'm a sadistic GM.

@R_Chance: Actually the particular tribe of kobolds in this adventure are described as pretty zealous, they are following a pretty powerful and angry kobold king who is trying to restore the tribe to a former level of glory. In fact many of the "tactics" entries say: "fights to the death."

There is the potential here for things to go fine. Some slaves have the potential to escape. The hatchery is actually "guarded" by a kobold midwife, but nobody in the party speaks draconic, and the midwife will ping evil, and that might lead the paladin to decapitate her. So I wanted to hear some ideas from a learned community on ways to handle it. I'm not going to railroad the group into the hatchery, and, after listening to the chat here, I don't plan on any decision adversely affecting the paladin. We're there to have fun. If he has fun cracking open kobold eggs and killing them so they don't turn evil, so be it. If he has fun bringing them somewhere where they can be raised with love, so be it. If he has fun cooking them and eating them with ham and potatoes, so be it.

One interesting note. This adventure has an orphanage that burned down, and, as it turns out, was run by a old woman that had a penchant for "purging" evil from some of the kids she was supposed to be taking care of. How's that for irony?

There is the potential to take the eggs to a nearby church, if that's what the players decide. Regardless, all I was really looking for was a consensus on whether or not creatures that are "usually" Evil, are genetically or inherently Evil from conception. Obviously that's a moral/philosophical argument that seems to never be addressed by the game's mechanics. As the GM of the group I'd lean towards evil from conception, so I don't care if they all die. Maybe they can be nurtured not to be evil though.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Oh, so we can eat peasants when the winter gets rough? :)

or if you just need to make a snazzy new coat. It puts the lotion on it's skin or else it gets the hose again.

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

Davor wrote:
Bryan Stiltz wrote:

In Pathfinder, creatures with less than 5 HD that are also not undead or outsiders do not detect as Evil, using the ability/spell Detect Evil.

Does this solve the situation? No. But it does give your Paladin some leeway in refusing to kill babies, as they are not detectably and demonstrably evil.

Of course, that also means most 1HD Kobolds also do not detect sucessfully as evil...

Actually, I've seen a lot of people make that argument. This is true of Detect Evil, but not of Detect Evil, the spell-like ability of the Paladin. The paladin ability has a special use:

PFSRD wrote:
A paladin can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is evil, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the paladin does not detect evil in any other object or individual within range.
This is a fundamentally different effect from the actual Detect Evil spell, allowing you to actually determine individual alignment (as well as determining the presence or absence of an alignment-based aura).

Except that the Paladin version allows one to determine the strength of its aura as if it had concentrated for 3 rounds - which, according to the Detect Evil spell, is still NONE.


If you find a kobold hatchlig, he/she won't probably be evil per se, I suggest you take one and raise it to be as lawful stupid, I meant, lawful good as you! teaching by example!


My paladin would probably leave them be, being babies and all. About "letting them to live would be a slow cruel death" it depends. I remember in Sunless Citadel the moms were considered "non combatants" as well. My pally would let them live too.

Yeah, we all know they will return one day for revenge. Well, they would be right. The only thing that can be done is prepare for that likely moment. "You killed my daddy!" "I did, for he was an evil man (or kobold xD)" "I will kill you and rip the intestines out of your still living body" "Bring it on".

There's no 100% certainty that those kobold babies will grow and be evil when they are adults. Maybe 90%, 95%, 99% will be. When they become a problem then you go for them, not before =/. No one said being pally would be easy.


edit: i just saw the "mom" of the kobold babies. mmm my take is that even if she's evil, she's still necessary for her role (protecting the babies). Should the paladin don't understand that and decapitate her just for being evil, well, nothing can be done.

I remember that their alignment comes because of how they are raised. Demons/devils on the other hand are born evil. Even then, I remember there was a succubus paladin, so nothing is impossible.

Honestly I think killing the mom is a lawful stupid act (unless she attacks first), and killing the babies is an evil act (at the very least is not a lawful act as they are helpless).

**Spoiler:** Remember the book "IT"?

:
I believe that was a very different case, quite the opposite, I would have killed the eggs as they were inherently evil (and ultra mega powerful once they grew up. Perhaps I'd have lost my paladinhood but I'd know I did the right thing

I don't think I'd take them to the church (as that's not their culture). If possible I'd take them to a place of neutral / good kobolds. Failing that, Id take them to any kobold tribe who was not at war with the former kobold tribe

Silver Crusade

Oh, a paladin alignment thread.

Must be Tuesday.


He would

smite them all soundly
and put them to bed
while visions of sugar-plums
dance in their heads.....

......you get no more chances because you are an evil baby....

"Who's an evil baby?"

Who's an evil baby?"

"Peek-a boo I smite you."


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KenderKin wrote:


"Who's an evil baby?"

Who's an evil baby?"

"Peek-a boo I smite you."

That seems like a sort of dead baby joke. You sir, are not taking the discussion of killing of Kobold/Goblin/Orc babies as seriously as you should. I find your post both shallow and tasteless.


****bows deeply****

"I am honored beyond measure.... your words warm the cockles of my heart and give me a tingly feeling far up the leg.....wait that sounds bad"

;)


MendedWall12 wrote:


There is the potential here for things to go fine. Some slaves have the potential to escape. The hatchery is actually "guarded" by a kobold midwife, but nobody in the party speaks draconic...

Wait, your playing Crown of the Kobold King, and no one thought to take draconic? Was that on purpose?


Bothaag the Bardbarian wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:


There is the potential here for things to go fine. Some slaves have the potential to escape. The hatchery is actually "guarded" by a kobold midwife, but nobody in the party speaks draconic...

Wait, your playing Crown of the Kobold King, and no one thought to take draconic? Was that on purpose?

Meaning did I purposefully steer them away from draconic? Of course not. At character creation, if they get extra languages, I give them the list of available languages and they make their choice based on their own personal desire, and character back-story. BTW we didn't start with CotKK, we started with an apprentice level adventure of my creation, then moved to Hollow's Last Hope, and are now on CotKK. So draconic didn't even really become necessary until now. I'm guessing as soon as someone levels up they'll be taking linguistics: draconic. Depending on their choices in the adventure that could happen later than needed, though.


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MendedWall12 wrote:

... I don't plan on any decision adversely affecting the paladin. We're there to have fun. If he has fun cracking open kobold eggs and killing them so they don't turn evil, so be it. If he has fun bringing them somewhere where they can be raised with love, so be it. If he has fun cooking them and eating them with ham and potatoes, so be it.

What's the point of playing a paladin, then, if there's no moral choice to be made? Might as well be playing a fighter, or some other class. I'd be disappointed if I chose to play a paladin and then found out that my choices had no consequences.


There is no one answer for this. This is why we have a GM. Prior to this the GM should layout general guidelines. In areas where it is unclear, the player should be able to seek guidance from their god. It is the GM's job to provide this guidance or let the player know that there is none (this is test of their judgement). These situations have potential for great roleplaying.

Being good does not always mean being nice. Doing the right thing is seldom easy. A bad action for a good reason should still be punished, but atonement should be attainable.

Liberty's Edge

Wise Owl wrote:
A Paladin, as an exemplar of Good, Honour, etc. would not kill a helpless foe, regardless of it's alignment.

If the detect evil spell detects an evil aura it indicates a minimum level of power. This level of power is enough to warrant a swift slaying.

My paladin is dedicated to eradicating evil and will go to what some might consider extremes. At one point in the current campaign he was planning to wipe out an entire village of redcaps at one point, but was convinced other things were higher priority. However, he has not forgotten the location of that particular den of evil. He is also willing to work with a lesser evil to destroy a greater evil. Once the greater evil is dealt with he returns to his mission to cleanse evil from the world and does not hide this fact in advance. He has taken the oath bound vengeance optional class feature and is working in Cheliax to destroy evil. He has learned that direct means are not always the most successful and is willing to be stealthy, but when presented with the opportunity to remove evil from the world he does so without hesitation.

If a baby detected as evil he would purge the world of that evil through violent means. He is Lawful Good, not nice or forgiving.

EDITED TO ADD: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/d/detect-evil

The description of detect evil specifically mentions that for your generic creature it must have 5+ HD in order to be detected as evil. Something with that level of power has the potential to cause a great deal of damage if left unchecked. Outsiders, undead, clerics, and paladins are the exception. There are no baby clerics or paladins and the other two are sentient beings which should be dealt with appropriately.


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RedDogMT wrote:

This is a sad thread.

There is no time when killing baby of any race in our world would be acceptable. Why make it ok in a game?

Veal?


I haven't read too many of the other posts, but I assume I am repeating the sentiment of a majority of other posters when I say Babies Don't Have Alignment, They Are Babies.


Rotolutundro wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:

... I don't plan on any decision adversely affecting the paladin. We're there to have fun. If he has fun cracking open kobold eggs and killing them so they don't turn evil, so be it. If he has fun bringing them somewhere where they can be raised with love, so be it. If he has fun cooking them and eating them with ham and potatoes, so be it.

What's the point of playing a paladin, then, if there's no moral choice to be made? Might as well be playing a fighter, or some other class. I'd be disappointed if I chose to play a paladin and then found out that my choices had no consequences.

You took the words out of context. At no point did I say any of his choices wouldn't have consequences. I've just decided that this particular decision could really go either way, for any myriad of reasons. I'll make sure the paladin explains why he's made his choice, and if it is a sound reason, with a good intention (which, as per the bulk of this thread, could go either way. "I'm killing them because I think they'll turn evil later." "I'm going to take them to town to be raised by the church." "I'm killing them as a mercy because I wiped out their entire family." etc.), all is well, and off we go.

Grand Lodge

What kind of babies are we talking about here? Normal babies with evil alignments? Or things like the terror tots from Malifaux? The former probably not, the latter, probably so if it's actually evil. Which most terror tots aren't evil, they just want the invading humans to go away.


Ask your DM what the tenets of your faith and code say.
Iron that stuff out before making your pally.

In my game? There are no evil mortal babies, because they can't perform evil or good actions of any notable worth.
There are no baby outsiders, either, so the notion of baby demons is null and void... well... baby half-fiends are an exception, and also an abomination, so killing them quickly and mercifully is Pally-approved. However, if the non-evil mother/father loves the baby half-fiend and is willing to take responsibility for it, no smitey-smitey - to kill harmless family members of a non-evil family is tsk tsk.


Kais86 wrote:
What kind of babies are we talking about here? Normal babies with evil alignments? Or things like the terror tots from Malifaux? The former probably not, the latter, probably so if it's actually evil. Which most terror tots aren't evil, they just want the invading humans to go away.

Actually, can babies be evil in the first place? As I can see it, for non-undead, non-outsider creatures alignments other than true neutral are reliant on the ability to understand your actions, which is why animals are true neutral. By the same standard, babies should also be true neutral - while they may be smarter than animals (or not - I'm not sure what behavioral science says on the topic), they have yet to understand what they do and why they do it.

Ergo, if it's not an outsider or another creature inherently given an alignment, there is no such thing as "evil babies".


Hi. CPS curator here. Babies are incapable of coherent thought, much less moral thought. They have effectively int 1 and are as naturally neutral as any given animal.

Years 1-3 they are more or less still unable to understand right and wrong. They understand consequence. Do bad, and get yelled at, nobody likes me, and it sucks. Do nice things, get toys, everyone is happy, life is good. Feel smart for figuring this out. Innate and external parameters outside their conscious control mostly dictate if they are good boys and girls, or hellish brats sent to make your life agony.

Years 4-7 they start getting it somewhat. Playing with other children, they start developing social skills, and experience first hand how crappy it is when someone else is a little douche to THEM, and not compelled to be nice through biological imperative.

8+ is when a person starts really grasping morality and ethics, and in my games, that is when children get alignments.

Paladins don't need Int, and can dump it to 7 to get more points for Str and Cha, and bounce back from "consciously committing an evil act" by going "Whuddyamean babies cain't be eevuhl?" :P


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This discussion cannot be considered comprehensive without taking into account Penny Arcade's viewpoint:

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/10/26


Kamelguru wrote:

Hi. CPS curator here. Babies are incapable of coherent thought, much less moral thought. They have effectively int 1 and are as naturally neutral as any given animal.

Years 1-3 they are more or less still unable to understand right and wrong. They understand consequence. Do bad, and get yelled at, nobody likes me, and it sucks. Do nice things, get toys, everyone is happy, life is good. Feel smart for figuring this out. Innate and external parameters outside their conscious control mostly dictate if they are good boys and girls, or hellish brats sent to make your life agony.

Years 4-7 they start getting it somewhat. Playing with other children, they start developing social skills, and experience first hand how crappy it is when someone else is a little douche to THEM, and not compelled to be nice through biological imperative.

8+ is when a person starts really grasping morality and ethics, and in my games, that is when children get alignments.

Paladins don't need Int, and can dump it to 7 to get more points for Str and Cha, and bounce back from "consciously committing an evil act" by going "Whuddyamean babies cain't be eevuhl?" :P

Yes, irrelevant assessment of human mental development is correct. But Humans aren't "always evil" and are humans. How do Goblins work? Or Kobolds? Kobolds are reptiles; perhaps they are born with a genetic memory that compels them to be evil. You don't know, Mr Childhood Development Specialist.

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