Does helping Nazis effect your alignment?


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Anyway, I, too, would love to hear more about the OP's game.

In the meantime.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don´t have to understand how nazis found their way into a fantasy game and spare us all the comment on this. BUT since i came to belief that there are more active nazis in the U.S.A. now than there ever were in Germany at any time, it might get waived.

There are many examples in the rules on this. Paladin codes etc hint on situations like it. I think there should be no alignment shift as long as the players themselves don´t join them or do evil acts in the purpose to be evil, or revenge.


Bruunwald wrote:
beej67 wrote:
Lesson: War is confusing and generically immoral all around, and morality is typically set aside during it.

It's much more complicated than that, though. I would not say war is "immoral." War is "amoral." That is to say it is morality-neutral, because what happens in it is generally a necessity. So to speak.

That said, check your recent history. Soldiers are expected to act in moral ways, or to not go so far out of their way as to be guilty of war crimes. So there is some expectation of moral behavior on the part of the soldiers. "Fog of war" and "I was just following orders" do not excuse a soldier anymore.

See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_trials
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_convention

Yes, but those two examples were implemented by the winners of a particular war to punish the losers of a particular war, and have been thrown aside by powers throughout history *since*, when it suited them, no matter how noble those powers claimed to be.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_El-Masri
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan

The conventions of 'moral war' are only ever followed when there is a political (and therefore strategic) reason to do so.

Law and morality are both effectively set aside in war. Hell, the Hague Convention strongly suggests the use of full metal jacket rounds for small arms, yet the USA is using depleted uranium, leading to mass irradiation of combat zones and subsequent birth defects. Clearly a violation, yet we do it anyway, and no soldier is held accountable for using the ammunition supplied to him.

War has no alignment. In fact, a good case can be made that the only way to wage a war morally is to wage it totally and without bounds or parameters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_von_Clausewitz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_war


There's another unrelated yet parallel argument to be had as well, for this particular case. And that's that the acts of the Nazis, while horrible and deplorable and clearly evil by modern standards, were basically routine by the standards of midieval or fantasy societies.

Nobody in Pathfinder thinks twice before slaughtering the goblin village and burning it to the ground. Even Paladins. The Jews were just the Nazi's goblins.

There is an understood duality of "Us" and "Other" in fantasy literature, and you kill the "other" without question or reason because that's what you're supposed to do. Quite like the Nazis. What king wouldn't want to rid his kingdom of goblins? Ogres? Dragons? Nobody discusses the "right to life" of monsters in these games. In my mind, the Nazis would probably fit in to a feudal fantasy society much better than the Peace Corps or UINICEF.

Or .. much more succinctly, this:

TOZ wrote:
Nazis never affect your alignment unless you are a Jew.


Alignment is based off the actions to the PCs not the actions of the NPCs. So the action was stopping a dragon, so as long as there was not anything nazi like that went along with that, I assume the dragon was not trying to burn down a concentration camp or anything and the dragons actions needed to be stopped, then nothing happens to the PCs alignment in my opinion. Nor would the nazis become good because they helped the PCs.


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beej67 wrote:

There's another unrelated yet parallel argument to be had as well, for this particular case. And that's that the acts of the Nazis, while horrible and deplorable and clearly evil by modern standards, were basically routine by the standards of midieval or fantasy societies.

Nobody in Pathfinder thinks twice before slaughtering the goblin village and burning it to the ground. Even Paladins. The Jews were just the Nazi's goblins.

There is an understood duality of "Us" and "Other" in fantasy literature, and you kill the "other" without question or reason because that's what you're supposed to do. Quite like the Nazis. What king wouldn't want to rid his kingdom of goblins? Ogres? Dragons? Nobody discusses the "right to life" of monsters in these games. In my mind, the Nazis would probably fit in to a feudal fantasy society much better than the Peace Corps or UINICEF.

Or .. much more succinctly, this:

TOZ wrote:
Nazis never affect your alignment unless you are a Jew.

This is only true if you believe jews are irrepressible baby eating pyromaniacs. The Goths who wants to sack your town and do all the nasty unpleasant things I don't think we're allowed to explicitly mention here are not morally equivalent to the legionnaires who want to kill the Goths threatening their town. Not even if they go on punitive raids. The Goths are raiding because they are bored or have an excess of young men they need to get killed off or are too proud to settle down and practice agriculture rather than stealing from the Romans. The legions raided to render the barbarians unwilling or unable to raid in the future.

As long as the evil races are evil because they're aggressive barbarians or parasitic slavers with serial backstabbing disorder or actual incarnations of elemental evil killing them is in no way parallel to exterminating a civilized and peaceful population like the Jews or Ukrainians.

I think you'll find that most gamers who encounter peaceful, civilized populations of, say, kobolds do not attack them except by mistaken identity for an aggressive population in the same region. Unless the players are playing evil characters, of course, in which case they're obviously going to do evil things.


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Helping nazis even though they're nazis would probably be a good-aligned action.

Extending the hand of redemption and all that.


I agree with Timothy Hanson. Sometimes good guys and bad guys have to work together. As long as what they are doing isn't something that goes against their alignment (i.e. the bad guy is saving a town; the good guy is killing innocents), then their alignment doesn't change.

Good/evil, Chaos/lawful, there's nothing in the rules saying they can't work together. Especially if their goals are similar. Just as a lawful good paladin will probably argue with a chaotic good cleric about philosophy and approaches, it doesn't mean they can't work together to save the town.


But I don't get why anyone would help the nazis kill the dragons when they could help the dragons kill the nazis. Lesser evil and stuff.


It's "affect" not "effect", btw. "Affect" is an action. "Effect" is a noun."

There are lots of reasons how and why one could help someone who is ideologically opposed to them:
- Altruism (like Allied sailors rescuing Axis sailors they'd just torpedoed in WWII)
- Professionalism
- Common humanity (like Allied and German troops singing "Silent Night" and exchanging gifts during Christmas in WWI)
- as Ice Titan pointed out- taking the moral high ground for the sake of demonstration and redemption.

Also bear in mind that a soldier doesn't necessarily embody and embrace every political ideal that their commanding officers and politicians do.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
beej67 wrote:
There's another unrelated yet parallel argument to be had as well, for this particular case. And that's that the acts of the Nazis, while horrible and deplorable and clearly evil by modern standards, were basically routine by the standards of midieval or fantasy societies.

Which, of course, is completely disproved by the fact that there were Jews around for the Nazis to kill. There doesn't seem to have been any major medieval genocides as such, though there were a number of smaller progroms. (The Inquisition was late medieval and forced Jews to convert, which while not good is different then just killing them.)


Owly wrote:


Also bear in mind that a soldier doesn't necessarily embody and embrace every political ideal that their commanding officers and politicians do.

Which brings up another point... The cannon fodder enemies we commonly fight in D&D, Pathfinder, etc... Are they really evil? Makes for some interesting thought.


HaraldKlak wrote:

I think there is a much more important question here:

Does helping you fight an evil dragon and cult, change the alignment of the nazis?

This is a good point. Perhaps working with the heroes will show the nazis that there is another way, and the tide of goodness will sweep through their ranks like swine flu.

Probably not, but that is still a good point.


Atarlost wrote:
This is only true if you believe jews are irrepressible baby eating pyromaniacs.

Or you believe all goblins are.

Quote:
The Goths who wants to sack your town and do all the nasty unpleasant things I don't think we're allowed to explicitly mention here are not morally equivalent to the legionnaires who want to kill the Goths threatening their town. Not even if they go on punitive raids. The Goths are raiding because they are bored or have an excess of young men they need to get killed off or are too proud to settle down and practice agriculture rather than stealing from the Romans. The legions raided to render the barbarians unwilling or unable to raid in the future.

Or .. the Goths raided the Romans because the Legionaires raided them earlier. Eye for an eye gets sticky that way. Just ask Israel/Palestine.

Quote:
As long as the evil races are evil because they're aggressive barbarians or parasitic slavers with serial backstabbing disorder or actual incarnations of elemental evil killing them is in no way parallel to exterminating a civilized and peaceful population like the Jews or Ukrainians.

Who makes the barbarians aggressive? Their leader, or are they just born that way? Do you think everyone in the Nazi army was evil? Hitler was an elected official, dude, and was elected by non-evil people. That's what I'm getting at. Austria welcomed him as a hero when he marched in and threw out their dysfunctional government.


prosfilaes wrote:
beej67 wrote:
There's another unrelated yet parallel argument to be had as well, for this particular case. And that's that the acts of the Nazis, while horrible and deplorable and clearly evil by modern standards, were basically routine by the standards of midieval or fantasy societies.
Which, of course, is completely disproved by the fact that there were Jews around for the Nazis to kill. There doesn't seem to have been any major medieval genocides as such, though there were a number of smaller progroms. (The Inquisition was late medieval and forced Jews to convert, which while not good is different then just killing them.)

Umm, Crusades much?

Hell, rounding everyone up and killing them in a forced death march to a concentration camp is a time honored USA tradition, well after medieval times.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

When did this go antisemitic?

Let's not.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
beej67 wrote:
Or you believe all goblins are.

They are. That is part of the game. You can like or hate D&D/Pathfinder's simple duality, but that's part of the world.


prosfilaes wrote:
beej67 wrote:
Or you believe all goblins are.
They are. That is part of the game. You can like or hate D&D/Pathfinder's simple duality, but that's part of the world.

Or the front line goblins charging to their death at your sword are doing so because Goblinicus The Great is going to slay their family if they don't.

But again, it's war, so ethics go out the window anyway.

edit: pretty sure nothing in this thread is antisemitic, at least as far as I've seen. My overall point is that the German army was full of regular dudes who weren't evil at all, following the orders of a democratically elected official, and I'm sure they felt they were doing the right thing. Who's to say the "Nazis" in the OP are evil at all? Were the PCs helping them run a concentration camp for dragons?

There's a whole lot of people in Pakistan right now who know in their minds that Obama's evil, but that doesn't mean every soldier in the US rank and file army is evil, nor that some spec-ops division off on Dragon hunting duty is evil.


prosfilaes wrote:
beej67 wrote:
Or you believe all goblins are.
They are. That is part of the game. You can like or hate D&D/Pathfinder's simple duality, but that's part of the world.

[Adds Prosfilaes's names to the list to be dealt with on the Night of the Stinking Buzzards]

Down with Paizo and its anti-goblin bigotry!

Vive le Galt!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ever wondered why so many europeans emigrated to the U.S. some hundred years ago? Poverty and famines were one thing, but a lack of social and religious freedom was another. Nearly anyone not roman catholic was hunted and killed, even in organized form often for centuries. Then came Martin Luther and 30 years of war in Europe. After that there were two main religions hunting the rest. A lot of the christian stuff you have in the U.S. today were refuges of religious suppression in europe and nothing more than sects in the beginning. Jews had a special status because they were allowed to trade with money, what gave them religious freedom but made them outcasts in a way at the same time.

I really don´t like Nazis entering a game and fiction because it´s very close to anti-semitism and has a big tail, especially if people don´t really know of history only from Indiana Jones movies, where nazis are banalized as standard stupid evil in my eyes.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Snorter wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Watching the JoJo's Bizarre Adventures anime, a parallel question comes up: does accepting help from Nazis affect your alignment? ^.^
Like THIS?

No, that's 1916. WWI not WWII. Imperial Germans, hoping in vain for a repeat of the war of 1870.

Liberty's Edge

beej67 wrote:

Was the entire country of Germany evil during WW2?

I tend to think not.

The USA is killing one child a week on average in Pakistan right now with our flying death robot program. I'm not evil. I pay taxes, some of which get spent on those flying death robots.

Lesson: War is confusing and generically immoral all around, and morality is typically set aside during it.

Killing one child might be considered evil (are you sure it was not an Evil halfling though ?).

However, a single evil act is not enough to change your alignment.

Lesson : War is confusing, but it is as nothing compared to the alignment system.

Hayato Ken wrote:

Ever wondered why so many europeans emigrated to the U.S. some hundred years ago? Poverty and famines were one thing, but a lack of social and religious freedom was another. Nearly anyone not roman catholic was hunted and killed, even in organized form often for centuries. Then came Martin Luther and 30 years of war in Europe. After that there were two main religions hunting the rest. A lot of the christian stuff you have in the U.S. today were refuges of religious suppression in europe and nothing more than sects in the beginning. Jews had a special status because they were allowed to trade with money, what gave them religious freedom but made them outcasts in a way at the same time.

I really don´t like Nazis entering a game and fiction because it´s very close to anti-semitism and has a big tail, especially if people don´t really know of history only from Indiana Jones movies, where nazis are banalized as standard stupid evil in my eyes.

Funny. I was thinking the same about posts where Europe and Christians are banalized as standard stupid evil : "start reading real history books"


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Down with Paizo and its anti-goblin bigotry!

Vive le Galt!

The preferred term is "antigoblitism."

The black raven wrote:
Lesson : War is confusing, but it is as nothing compared to the alignment system.

Nice.


Mr FuFu143 wrote:
My players assisted Nazis

Theres no good way to end this sentence unless its "remove the pin from the grenades in their mouths".

Mr FuFu143 wrote:
because they were in a war with the dragons and a cult. They technically have a common enemy but I'm not sure what to make of this...
Did I miss a memo? How does a 1930s-40s political party turned genocide machine make its way into pathfinder? <trying to suspend belief for sake of thread>
Mr FuFu143 wrote:

Should this be taken as an alignment alteration?

I'm completely stumped.

Seriously with all the issues mentioned above alignment is the problem? I think the issue is between the chair and the DM screen.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

[Adds Prosfilaes's names to the list to be dealt with on the Night of the Stinking Buzzards]

Down with Paizo and its anti-goblin bigotry!

Vive le Galt!

Bring your army of oversized chaos creatures. My well-ordered kobolds shall chop you down to the one true size.


Jeven wrote:
LowRoller wrote:
Evil are always free to evilly plot against other evil while good are not free to plot against good, it's totally unfair!
Unless a good religion has a schism, then the two good sects are allowed to kill each other.

If they think it's ok to kill each other over a difference of opinion, they are by definition non-good. A case could be made for neutral, but definitely non-good.


AtomicGamer wrote:

If they think it's ok to kill each other over a difference of opinion, they are by definition non-good. A case could be made for neutral, but definitely non-good.

Like most paladins...?


I don't know any paladins like that.

If players are playing it like that, they've probably missed something when they read the definition of 'Good'


If I remember correctly, Torag, the Lawful Good god of dwarves, and Sarenrae, the Neutral Good goddess of Redemption, seem to have a rather violent relationship among their religions.


Kazaan wrote:
Psh... that's no alignment dilemma. If you want a moral quandary... read this article and try figuring out who to root for.

I root for the KKK in that one hands down. WBB Church is a cult which is only not as evil as ISIS, Nazis, and politicians because they have no power.

As to alignment there's few singularly evil acts which I would drop a good character from good to neutral but there are a TON of evil acts which I would drop a neutral character to evil for.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

i smell necromancy

and obligatory: alignment is based on reasoning not actions. if you're good you can slaughter a village if it was done to further your good and you can be evil and save a village if it was done to further your evil.


It's OK if you bring along THIS SWORD.


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I'm sure the OP will be right back. Probably getting snacks.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I loved that episode!

Spark was an awesome drug. It's a red cube, that's done by walking into a dark room, and come out feeling like crap.

Also, you find out Cobra Soldiers have normal lives and families just like everyone else.

...besides how fast it does it, how is that much different from an all night computer session?


Mr FuFu143 wrote:

My players assisted Nazis because they were in a war with the dragons and a cult. They technically have a common enemy but I'm not sure what to make of this...

It is even worse than an alignment shift. Nazis are contagious, so helping one turns you into one. Killing them is the only option.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What foul necromancy brought back the Nazi Zombie, that is this thread?

Liberty's Edge

Pst! Hail Hydra.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
No single act changes one's alignment.

This.

And, either way, a person is only responsible for himself and his own actions.

(Obligatory 'alignment is stupid and useless' signoff.)


There is an understood duality of "Us" and "Other" in fantasy literature, and you kill the "other" without question or reason because that's what you're supposed to do. Quite like the Nazis. What king wouldn't want to rid his kingdom of goblins? Ogres? Dragons? Nobody discusses the "right to life" of monsters in these games. In my mind, the Nazis would probably fit in to a feudal fantasy society much better than the Peace Corps or UINICEF.

TOZ wrote:
Nazis never affect your alignment unless you are a Jew.

This is the exact kind of thinking that caused the Holocaust. Congratulations.

This mindless killing of the other isn't something to celebrate, it's something to change. We need to move past stereotypes.

If for no other reason, we get better stories when we have fully fleshed out NPC's who act like real people.

Being less racist is just a free bonus.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I loved that episode!

Spark was an awesome drug. It's a red cube, that's done by walking into a dark room, and come out feeling like crap.

Also, you find out Cobra Soldiers have normal lives and families just like everyone else.

Literally the only episode of GI Joe I ever watched.

It was a thing of rhapsodic and beautiful 80s-ness.


Actions certainly effect your alignment since an alignment is composed of the morality of your actions however helping a group of people on one side does not mean agreement with them on anything else or complicity in their actions.

As such helping a group of people should not affect your alignment in an of itself.

After all if you are freeing slaves and one of those slaves happens to be evil this does not mean you are evil for having freed him.

This is a type of transitive error.


...my first impression is that the party should have tried to talk the dragon into eating Nazis until it died from gastrointestinal distress.

I mean, it may not be Candide as far as the best of all possible worlds, but I think it might be a step in the right direction.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Nazis never affect your alignment unless you are a Jew.
This is the exact kind of thinking that caused the Holocaust. Congratulations.

You're going to have to run that one by me a little slower.

Dark Archive

Was Finland evil?


Nazism as a philosophy is evil. Nazis as individuals are just regular human beings, not demons. My grandfather was a soldier during the war not because he was evil but because there wasn't really any choice back then. Hell they were supporters of the Emperor and couldn't stand the upstarts. Not joining the Hitler Youth wasn't really an option though.

So ya it totally depends on the individuals and situation in question. It's not so neatly black and white like in a Captain America comic strip.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mr FuFu143 wrote:

My players assisted Nazis because they were in a war with the dragons and a cult. They technically have a common enemy but I'm not sure what to make of this...

Should this be taken as an alignment alteration?

I'm completely stumped.

You blew it when you wrote this question.

What you're supposed to have written was. "Does a Paladin fall for helping Nazis?"

Who are your player characters, Polish Jews? If not, If the players are from another world, it sounds to me that they're being good players, and not metagaming knowledge that isn't common knowledge until after the end of World War 2. Nor should you be metagaming in your judgement of their actions.

For the most part Nazi soldiers were like any other soldier who fought on either side of the war. Some were atrocious murderous a%~@+$+s, and others just happened to be guilty of fighting for the losing side, while others fought for the winning side. And some fought for nations that later changed sides.


helping seemingly evil people defeat a greater evil doesn't change your alignment, unless you willingly mimic the evils practiced by those evil people.

Scarab Sages

Ok, strip out the world-specific term "Nazi", and replace with with "Demon". It's effectively the comparison being made here, by assuming that anyone with the label "nazi" attached to them is effectively an inherently evil being.

Does helping demons automatically cause you to change alignments? The answer is it depends entirely on the act or acts commited, and how willingly they went along with it.

For example, if the scenario the GM puts forward absolutely requires that you do this, then you'd be an ass to make them change alignments as a result. If it's optional to work with demons, but in doing so you get a better result for others, then you might come off feeling a bit grubby, but would keep your alignment, if by working with them and things get worse for others, then you are looking at sliding from good alignments but not from neutral.

If on the other hand, you not only work with them, but whole-heartedly embrace their ideology and methodology, then that's the time an alignment change comes in.

Alignment is supposed to be how your actions are percieved by an all powerful cosmic judge (in the form of the GM), weighing both intent and deed against a scale of good, evil, law and chaos). It's a very different moralistic worldview to normal society, which tends to embrace moral relativism rahter than Pathfinder's moral absolutism.

As a final aside, Paladins would be at risk of falling for all except the first scenario, as the paladin code is very strict about working with evil beings.

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