Using charm person to interogate the bad guy = BAD?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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most people think that torture to get information from the enemy is pretty bad if not flat out evil.

a common answer to this is, use charm person.

but I recently had a debate with some one who made a very valid argument that using charm person is just as bad as torture.

how would you rate it?

NOTE: I am not really asking if its good or evil lawful or chaotic. its not an alignment question... its more of a cultural response question.

The party captures two assassins who just tried to kill them in the middle of a tavern. The rogue takes one to a corner and starts applying 'physical discomfort' in order to find out who sent them. The Bard walks over to the other one whispers a few magic words and the assassin immediately begins to fawn over the bard answering every question, obviously under the effects of some mind effecting spell.

How would you say the other patrons of the tavern and later the rest of the town would view the comparative methods?


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Mind control is evil, and charm person takes away a persons ability to control their intentions. While physical torture is more brutal perhaps, it's no less invasive than charming someone.

I've seen many more arguments, which better prove the point, by attempting to "charm person" or other mind-control effect on a fellow PC. Would you consider such as being fair and non-invasive. For most, doing such a thing is truly despiccable. Bearing that in mind, what's the difference of doing that to an NPC?

For an evil party, no problem, but as a normal tactic by a non-evil group, I might consider a change of alignment, by the PC perpetrator should that happen on my table.

I know you weren't intending for alignment issues, but 'charm person' is an alignment upsetting act. Others might think differently, but this is how it is at our table.


Charm person makes the person view you as their friend. It is comparable to disguising yourself as their friend and impersonating that friend to gain information.

But spellcasting in public is usually considered illegal unless you have some sort of political perk.


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Charm spells don't have the evil descriptor so aren't evil. Neither are dominate spells for that matter, so unless you are using the spell to force people to kill kittens you shouldn't have any alignment issues.


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I've done this approach with my fighter, but it's less "charm person" and more "dance around lasciviously while wearing a '2cp Party Boy' sign in front of the bad guy, until they (and the GM) beg me to stop and are willing to tell me anything if only the pain will end".

But other than that it's pretty similar.


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Wind Chime wrote:
Charm spells don't have the evil descriptor so aren't evil.

Let me rephrase my post - charm spells used on someone against their will is wrong (not necessarily evil).

I'm not saying Charm spells as having any kind of descriptor - I'm not speaking 'mechanically' here, rather philosophically of doing such an act. Anything that compells someone to act differently than they willingly prefer is wrong.


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Man, I'm pretty sure if Obi-Wan Kenobi can be all "these aren't the droids you're looking for" then something like Charm Person doesn't exactly make you superbad.


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The way I see it is this:

A person under the effects of Charm Person still has free will. I.E they're more susceptible to convincing, but things against their nature can be refused.

Charm Person leaves no lasting harm.

Torture DOES leave lasting harm, both psychologically and physically, and is less effective overall.

It is the least invasive option. Not evil. Not even wrong. Maybe if it were DOMINATE Person, but not Charm.


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gamer-printer wrote:
Wind Chime wrote:
Charm spells don't have the evil descriptor so aren't evil.

Let me rephrase my post - charm spells used on someone against their will is wrong (not necessarily evil).

I'm not saying Charm spells as having any kind of descriptor - I'm not speaking 'mechanically' here, rather philosophically of doing such an act. Anything that compells someone to act differently than they willingly prefer is wrong.

Speaking philosophically hear there are a wide variety of things that are good that stop people from doing things they willingly prefer like laws, people's expectations and morale codes. There are some neutral things like money,the need to survive, misinformation, prisons etc. If charming someone will make the do something good or not do something bad then it is at least neutral possibly even good.


Now, if I'm all digging through your thoughts like a spider monkey on pixie stix, then yeah, yeah that's pretty bad.


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My thoughts on charm person interrogation:

without
Interrogator: "Tell me who you work for!"
Captive: "bite me! I'm not talking."

With
Interrogator: "Who you working for these days?"
Captive: "Sorry man, I can't discuss work details. My boss would kill me."

Nothing evil about getting to the same result with less shouting.


gamer-printer wrote:
Wind Chime wrote:
Charm spells don't have the evil descriptor so aren't evil.

Let me rephrase my post - charm spells used on someone against their will is wrong (not necessarily evil).

I'm not saying Charm spells as having any kind of descriptor - I'm not speaking 'mechanically' here, rather philosophically of doing such an act. Anything that compells someone to act differently than they willingly prefer is wrong.

So if I really like to murder, rape, push dangerous psychotropic poisons on minors, and commit heinous acts of fashion terrorism then compelling me to stop is ethically wrong?


Lamontius wrote:


Now, if I'm all digging through your thoughts like a spider monkey on pixie stix, then yeah, yeah that's pretty bad.

I'm pretty sure that is the intent of the OP, as he said, he's not specifically discussing alignment issues. I think he should have phrased his question, as, "Is it wrong?" Not "Is it bad" as he worded it.


Are there mechanics for torture or do you just roll intimidate?


In real life? Morally yeah torture and mind control are bad.

I am fantasy world, where magic is used to sweep the floor, and king rule with a iron hand, that could all be normal stuff.

Shadow Lodge

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AaronOfBarbaria wrote:

My thoughts on charm person interrogation:

without
Interrogator: "Tell me who you work for!"
Captive: "bite me! I'm not talking."

With
Interrogator: "Who you working for these days?"
Captive: "Sorry man, I can't discuss work details. My boss would kill me."

Nothing evil about getting to the same result with less shouting.

Until, of course, the interrogator convinces him to tell with an opposed Charisma check.


Shadowdweller wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
Wind Chime wrote:
Charm spells don't have the evil descriptor so aren't evil.

Let me rephrase my post - charm spells used on someone against their will is wrong (not necessarily evil).

I'm not saying Charm spells as having any kind of descriptor - I'm not speaking 'mechanically' here, rather philosophically of doing such an act. Anything that compells someone to act differently than they willingly prefer is wrong.

So if I really like to murder, rape, push dangerous psychotropic poisons on minors, and commit heinous acts of fashion terrorism then compelling me to stop is ethically wrong?

Yes, exactly this.

This is Pathfinder, so murdering people/monsters isn't necessarily considered evil. I'm not speaking within game, but looking at the subject ethically only.

You're not supposed to use drugs, medical experiments, thought control to anybody, even a criminal in jail, even if that person has done all the heinous things you describe.

In the current 'terrorism' age, military tribunals, water boarding and sending potential terrorists to Guantanomo is technically legal, still many, many people view that as wrong, just the same. In the pre-terrorism days, having such a law put in place, would be unthinkable.

So unless a PC in a given game has witnessed a particular NPC of doing heinous acts, there is no reason to consider that a person having "charm person" to reveal having done them, even truly knows if that person did such a thing in the first place. "Is he guilty?", "I don't know, let's charm him and find out."

Out of game, ethically speaking, that is wrong.


gamer-printer wrote:
Lamontius wrote:


Now, if I'm all digging through your thoughts like a spider monkey on pixie stix, then yeah, yeah that's pretty bad.

I'm pretty sure that is the intent of the OP, as he said, he's not specifically discussing alignment issues. I think he should have phrased his question, as, "Is it wrong?" Not "Is it bad" as he worded it.

yea I could have probably worded it better.

its interesting that so many people agree that using charm person is... not the most socially accepted thing.

many people i speak to in real life basically say charm person is a totally faultless action. I had never thought about it until recently but my opinion quickly fell to the 'people think its bad' mentality.

Quote:
Man, I'm pretty sure if Obi-Wan Kenobi can be all "these aren't the droids you're looking for" then something like Charm Person doesn't exactly make you super bad.

thats a fair point... but then again we generally think that the using truth serum on the hero of a spy movie is pretty despicable.


Serum wrote:
AaronOfBarbaria wrote:

My thoughts on charm person interrogation:

without
Interrogator: "Tell me who you work for!"
Captive: "bite me! I'm not talking."

With
Interrogator: "Who you working for these days?"
Captive: "Sorry man, I can't discuss work details. My boss would kill me."

Nothing evil about getting to the same result with less shouting.

Until, of course, the interrogator convinces him to tell with an opposed Charisma check.

"An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders"

If he is sure, not just afraid of the possibility, but certain beyond all doubt (like if he has seen it happen before) that his boss will kill him if he talks, then ordering him to talk is a suicidal and obviously harmful order.

Further, I think trying to talk a creature into doing something that it believes is a 100% chance of death could be considered a threat which would break the spell.

Shadow Lodge

AaronOfBarbaria wrote:
Serum wrote:
AaronOfBarbaria wrote:

My thoughts on charm person interrogation:

without
Interrogator: "Tell me who you work for!"
Captive: "bite me! I'm not talking."

With
Interrogator: "Who you working for these days?"
Captive: "Sorry man, I can't discuss work details. My boss would kill me."

Nothing evil about getting to the same result with less shouting.

Until, of course, the interrogator convinces him to tell with an opposed Charisma check.

"An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders"

If he is sure, not just afraid of the possibility, but certain beyond all doubt (like if he has seen it happen before) that his boss will kill him if he talks, then ordering him to talk is a suicidal and obviously harmful order.

Further, I think trying to talk a creature into doing something that it believes is a 100% chance of death could be considered a threat which would break the spell.

Fair enough. I was innocently thinking it might've been a turn of phrase.


Serum wrote:
AaronOfBarbaria wrote:

My thoughts on charm person interrogation:

without
Interrogator: "Tell me who you work for!"
Captive: "bite me! I'm not talking."

With
Interrogator: "Who you working for these days?"
Captive: "Sorry man, I can't discuss work details. My boss would kill me."

Nothing evil about getting to the same result with less shouting.

Until, of course, the interrogator convinces him to tell with an opposed Charisma check.

This is why Charm Person is so fun

An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing.

I would rule that as a suicidal action, assuming it is the kind of thing his boss would actually kill him for divulging.


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blue_the_wolf wrote:
thats a fair point... but then again we generally think that the using truth serum on the hero of a spy movie is pretty despicable.

We only think that because the villain is generally going to use that information to harm innocents, whereas the hero in the same situation is likely to use the information to do the opposite.

In a world (like Golarion) where good and evil are tangible, measurable qualities, you also don't get to use the "But what IS evil?" cop out.


once again... this is not about good and evil.

this is about how the people in the environment would react.

a person can be a vile evil individual but the people see his acts as generous and just.

the question is not asking about alignment its more like this,

if your in the crowd and dont really know whats going on, a fight broke out and now one guy took another guy to the corner and is hurting him and asking questions, you have no idea what the questions are or why they are being asked but your generally going to think that the guy causing the pain is a pretty bad guy, even if in reality he is trying to find the vampire that is eating the towns children.

Then you look to the other person who whispers magic words and suddenly the person he is talking to is like, "Sure buddy I will tell you everything i cant believe we had this fight your such a good good friend of mine" you know that magic exists, you know that a spell caster can do grand and powerful things with magic, and you have just witnessed a person twist another persons mind with a spell. do you think, "Hey at least he is not breaking his ribs" or do you think "Oh my god! he just mind raped that poor sot. If you beat a man he can heal, but if you invade his mind how can he ever trust his own thoughts again. the witch must burn!"

Thats the question I am asking.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

You might as well say good aligned characters can't use intimidate. Intimidate after all could very well mean torture. Batman aside, using a scary voice alone usually doesn't work on the BBG. I don't recall seeing anywhere that Paladins can't use intimidate so it must not be a problem. The game has mechanics for a reason. If a spell does not have the "evil" descriptor it is not inherently evil. Just like intimidate isn't. Spells are tools just like swords. Nowhere in RAW does it say spells can't be used in public or are seen as distasteful, even mind mind affecting spells...or said a different way, if Intimidating someone into spilling the beans is ok so is casting a spell to get the same thing.


i get the impression you have not read a single word past the heading.


And I already answered your question. Charm Person is the magical equivalent of getting the sod drunk and then asking him questions. You even still have to be convincing and charismatic to get him to tell, and EVEN THEN he likely won't tell anything that gets him in trouble.

As I said, if it were Dominate Person you'd have a good argument, but Charm Person is about as innocuous as magic gets.


Rynjin... your entitled to your opinion and I am not arguing with or debating that opinion.

but let me be sure I understand what your saying.

in the above example or in any similar situation your mentality while siting at the bar and not meta gaming would be something along the lines of "oh well, better to magic his mind than beat his body."

is that what your saying? Not asking about mechanics or alignment. just asking how you think NPC bystanders would view the situation.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
blue_the_wolf wrote:
i get the impression you have not read a single word past the heading.

If you were talking to me then nope I read most of it. I originally had a huge paragraph written but realise it would not have helped. By RAW neither is evil...therefore...most people would not have a problem with either. However, you can play however you like and many DM's do assign morale significance to actions even if by RAW they don't have alignment implications. In my opinion a bystander is more likely to think "at least that wizard didn't disintigrate him" as charm is a "low impact" spell. It would be like pushing someone around rather than stabing them.


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Yes.

Better to make him think he's having a nice conversation with a group of friends than to start beating him, chopping fingers off, and burning him.


^^ That, and this ...

Pyrrhic Victory wrote:
In my opinion a bystander is more likely to think "at least that wizard didn't disintigrate him"

are what I am looking for. the rest about raw and alignment is irrelevant... no disrespect intended.

thanks a bunch.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

or a bystander might think "ooooh, look at that awesome wizard. I wish I could do that to the bullies that trouble me." or a more physical bystander might ask himself why hadn't he been brave enough to do that to the obviously bad individual.

I think of most fantasy settings as like the old west. When a barfight breaks out and someone drags a fellow down the bar you pick up your beer so it doesn't spill. When a gun fight breaks out you dive behind the bar until the shooting is over. Then you go back to minding your own business.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

PC's are like superheroes. The best option for commoners is just to keep out of the way.


I would vote, it depends. It is certainly magical assault - not to far from injecting truth serum in the real-world but with less side-effects.

Is it bad to put someone on a stand and to interrogate them and make them look silly in a semi-public forum, such as a court? In a magical court would casting detect lie be bad, is using a polygraph in the real world bad?

If, in the real world, there existed a drug that enabled police to interview somebody in a friendly manner for 1 hour and allowed the individual to retain their faculties, would still require the police to persuade the person to give up incriminating information and not leave any adverse side effects one it wore off, would that be considered bad?

The Exchange

Rynjin wrote:

Yes.

Better to make him think he's having a nice conversation with a group of friends than to start beating him, chopping fingers off, and burning him.

Except he might have that "just raped" feeling when your spell runs out.....


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I've banned the fighter class at my table because violence is bad and dedicating your life to harming others makes you automatically evil.


when you have superhero films, it seems to be forgotten that the heroes are responsible for a drastically greater amount of collateral damage than the bad guys they are trying to round up.

the same can be said about fantasy adventurers. they cause way too much collateral damage due to their recklessness, they attract way too much trouble due to their greed and their arrogance, they drastically kill local economies by trading powerful magical loot not many can afford due to their desire for bonuses that make them better at killing stuff and dislike for stuff useless to their profession, they aren't very reliable due to their craziness, their homicidal nature encourages them to take progressively bigger risks for progressively larger rewards, and their arrogant ways make them a threat to the local social ecosystem.

adventurers aren't very nice people to have around. you would think most of the peasants would cheer "Burn the Witch" but most of them are too busy panicking, cowering, and worrying about what atrocities those greedy bastards will commit to the realm this time. worrying about things like an increase in mundane prices, the loss of a sacred artifact or family heirloom to some lowly greed driven brigand who doesn't know the difficulty of life, or worrying that the children will be brain washed by dreams of wealth and excessive ambition.

but the use of enchantment spells to interrogate is no less pragmatic than the use of torture. and i would see it as more effective, because enchantment spells actually coerce the will and compel, while torture just inflicts pain, and tortured individuals will eventually say something, just to avoid further torture. such as making a false confession or making up a false location.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
when you have superhero films, it seems to be forgotten that the heroes are responsible for a drastically greater amount of collateral damage than the bad guys they are trying to round up.

Technically, that's true, in the sense that the damage the bad guys cause to the city they're trying to destroy isn't "collateral".


Roberta Yang wrote:
I've banned the fighter class at my table because violence is bad and dedicating your life to harming others makes you automatically evil.

the act of inflicting harm, is neutral. it is the intent behind it that makes it good or evil. and the premise of Pathfinder, it's mother system, D&D, and all the derivative systems is taking turns rolling dice to see how well you kill and how much loot you acquire from inflicting bodily harm. even if combat isn't the sole factor, it is like 80% of the system's focus.


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Andrew R wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Yes.

Better to make him think he's having a nice conversation with a group of friends than to start beating him, chopping fingers off, and burning him.

Except he might have that "just raped" feeling when your spell runs out.....

Better to have the "just raped" feeling than that "phantom limb" feeling.

Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
when you have superhero films, it seems to be forgotten that the heroes are responsible for a drastically greater amount of collateral damage than the bad guys they are trying to round up.

Pay close attention next time you watch a superhero movie or show.

When Brainiac's flying around chopping buildings in half with laser beams, trying to cause as much destruction as possible, taking out 2 buildings is a small price to pay to stop him from nuking the whole city.


Andrew R wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Yes.

Better to make him think he's having a nice conversation with a group of friends than to start beating him, chopping fingers off, and burning him.

Except he might have that "just raped" feeling when your spell runs out.....

I would say, that feeling would pobably be better than the feeling of an actual rape.


Rynjin wrote:


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
when you have superhero films, it seems to be forgotten that the heroes are responsible for a drastically greater amount of collateral damage than the bad guys they are trying to round up.

Pay close attention next time you watch a superhero movie or show.

When Brainiac's flying around chopping buildings in half with laser beams, trying to cause as much destruction as possible, taking out 2 buildings is a small price to pay to stop him from nuking the whole city.

yes, the bad guys do cause a lot of destruction, and taking out 2 buildings to stop a single bad guy from nuking a city is a favorable trade.

but if you look at how often each bad guy appears in the same area, how many of them a superhero arrests, and how much destruction the superhero causes with each arrest that needs to be repaired. the combined total for any one signature superhero is more to a given community than any single individual villain.

i'm not as familiar with the superhero genre, but i have seen plenty of superheroes cause quite a bit of collateral damage over time. racking far bigger economical debts than any one localized villain.

it is one of the reasons that Weekly William reserves Paladins, Pacifists, and Noncombatants for NPCs only.

paladins, can lose their powers the moment they violate a tenant of their code. and most DMs i know are extra harsh with paladins. tis one of the reasons it is agreed that paladins are NPC only and not fit for adventuring. they are too restricted, their code causes too many headaches, and accommodating them requires too much effort, both in resources expended due to having to follow their standards, and in finding patience to deal with a lawful stupid player.


But see that's the thing. If you were a bit more familiar with the superhero genre you'd know that collateral damage is usually only accrued when somebody going for widespread destruction is being taken down.

They might snap a few desks in half and break some lamps on a regular basis, but real damage generally only happens versus the big tough villains.

Someone's house might get trashed when Captain Boomerang comes out, but it's only when you've got somebody like Darkseid rearing his head that streets and stuff get trashed and cratered.

Unless it's one of those "very special episodes" where somebody calls them on it. Then it'll happen everywhere.

I just got finished watching all 5 seasons of the Justice League and I can count on about 3 fingers the times they've unnecessarily wrecked private property.


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In terms of what the town thinks, that depends on the population, customs, and expectations. This has no real bearing on right or wrong; I could see the patrons of a particularly rowdy inn chastising the bard for his sissy interrogation techniques and offering to demonstrate a proper choke-hold. The city of Peacelovington could have strict laws, customs, and beliefs regarding violence that view what the rogue is doing as repugnant but have no issue with the bard's method. The township of Freewillville could view the bard's action as disgraceful and inhumane even as they think nothing of the rogue's coercive methods. So in answer to your specific question I think it totally depends on who the bystanders are.

As for the good/evil consideration, I can see going with either interpretion; the GM just needs to be forthright and consistent with the players. It all depends on how you view the magical effect of the charm person spell. If you view it as being analogous to a mind-altering drug, then it's an incredible personal violation and quite a reprehensible act; not bad enough to cause an alignment change or to cause a Paladin to fall, but definitely a notch towards evil.

On the other hand, you can view it as a very passive and subtle effect that subtly influences the target's demeanor without actually exerting any undue influence on his mind; in this case it's a bit underhanded and perhaps causes the subject to be indignant and angry afterwards, but not violating in the same way as the previous interpretation.


Care to provide examples of these superheroes who are more destructive than their villains? Thinking back over recent superhero movies, I can't think of a single one that fits that description. (No, Hancock doesn't count.)

Bonus question: compare the damage the villain would have caused were it not for the hero's intervention to the damage the hero would have caused were it not for the villain's intervention.

You do realize that the opening to the Incredibles where the supers get sued into hiding is a joke, right? You're supposed to laugh. You're not supposed to literally think, "That old guy is right, Mr. Incredible is the real monster for letting him get injured while saving his life, Bomb Voyage is the actual good guy here and is far less destructive, this movie has really opened my eyes to the true nature of these so-called heroes."


i guess i am not familiar enough with the superhero movies. and i could be confused by the destruction on both sides.


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"Hey, Bob, it's those adventurers."
"Yeah, I know, aren't they awful?"
"Awful? They got rid of those bone devils that took over our town and destroyed our temple. Without them, we'd still-"
"And who do you think has to sweep the remains of those bone devils off the street, eh!?"
"..."
"Not those 'heroes', I tell you. No, they just leave a mess behind. Don't even think about us."
"Well, I suppose, but-"
"And that damage to the wall from when the devil tossed that knight into it! Who's going to pay for that?"
"You're not seriously blaming the knight for that, are you?"
"Look, all I know is that while devils were running our town, there was no damage to that wall. Then those adventurers had to make trouble."
"Um, the devils destroyed our temple-"
"Sure, the temple, but did they damage that wall? No, that's squarely on the heroes' shoulders. And they didn't even apologize."
"..."
"Oh gods, now he's selling a +3 Longsword!"
"Wait, that's bad too?"
"Of course! I'm a baker. How am I supposed to sell bread with that +3 Longsword around?"
"What?"
"The economy. It's ruined!"
"..."
"Well, maybe not bread, but suppose I were a smithy. What would that +3 Longsword do to my local business, eh?"
"Probably very little, your local clientele can't afford a +3 Longsword anyho-"
"Bloody adventurers ruining our economy by also participating in it. Who gave them the right to sell things?"
"...are you sure you're feeling okay?"
"Those devils closed the city gates, no more merchants could get in. I bet we'd have had a stable economy for years under their rule."

VOTE MINDFLAYER/BONEDEVIL 2016
"We promise to kill those pesky adventurers quickly so they don't cause property damage while ending our reign of terror."

Silver Crusade

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It's confusing to try to apply modern sensibilities to a fantasy setting. The idea that charming bad guys is so wrong that we must stick to stabbing them is absurd!

I remember my DM threatening to make my paladin fall if he cast Nybor's Gentle Reminder, a 1st level spell which caused pain to render the baddy unable to act (when his 'act' would be to kill us!). So, causing pain was wrong, but killing him is okay?

Paladins aren't empowered by their gods to make friends with baddies; paladins are killers for their god! That's 'good', in fantasy role-play! If a 'good' guy manages to achieve their (good) ends non-lethally, that won't seem 'bad', when the alternative is killing.

I understand that no-one wants their will usurped, but in the worlds in which we play the commoners won't view charm-type spells as 'bad', compared to torture or death. They'll judge 'badness' by other criteria. They'll view charm as a tool, and a humane tool at that.

Can you imagine a commoner faced with a choice between the charm or the sword? 'Oh, please! Don't make me friendly! Have mercy and run me through instead!'

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

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blue_the_wolf wrote:

do you think, "Hey at least he is not breaking his ribs" or do you think "Oh my god! he just mind raped that poor sot. If you beat a man he can heal, but if you invade his mind how can he ever trust his own thoughts again. the witch must burn!"

Thats the question I am asking.

Yes to both.., and everything in between are possible reactions because every individual who witnesses the events will be seeing it through their own experiences. Do they know magic, understand it, fear it, admire it? Have they been charmed for good or bad? Have they known someone affected by a charm spell and how did that event unfold? Have they been tortured, abused, picked on? Do they bully or use force themselves? What is their disposition to the persons in the corner being questioned, meaning do they have an biased feelings towards them from personal, racial, sexists, or classist values and the like? How do they view the persons doing the questioning? What are the social norms about magic in the community, are there laws regulating it? Same for the use of violence? How has the witness experienced the use of magic and or violence to reach the end of a means before? These and probably dozens of other questions could be asked to try and figure out how any one person might react to seeing the scenario you suggest and every individual will be different. Sure, groups who are together at a table might all react the same, maybe with varying degrees of tolerance..but another table may react completely differently.


As bad a torture, not even close, but I don't expect people to look kindly on it.

When I use charm, I try to get the person alone if possible so no one else hears. If that isn't an option I try and max out my range from the target and in my quietest, firm voice cast on them. I have had a lot of DMs that impose an arbitrary bluff or stealth check for this. If I am spotted, I have my bluff and diplomacy through the roof to try and play it off as I am very regretful of doing something so stupid and so uncalled for.


BuzzardB wrote:
Serum wrote:
AaronOfBarbaria wrote:

My thoughts on charm person interrogation:

without
Interrogator: "Tell me who you work for!"
Captive: "bite me! I'm not talking."

With
Interrogator: "Who you working for these days?"
Captive: "Sorry man, I can't discuss work details. My boss would kill me."

Nothing evil about getting to the same result with less shouting.

Until, of course, the interrogator convinces him to tell with an opposed Charisma check.

This is why Charm Person is so fun

An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing.

I would rule that as a suicidal action, assuming it is the kind of thing his boss would actually kill him for divulging.

Pure fiat. Next you can't ask them to eat red meat because it is bad for them.

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