Troubles between PC's alignments and actions


Advice

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Hello,
I have a party of 5 I am bringing through a few of the DCC modules. The players get along well enough but one of the PC's who is a dwarven fighter slaughtered a bunch of unarmed bugbears (women and children) the other night and the Druid ( Lawful Neutral) and the archer (neutral good) say they cant continue on in the party if he is committing such atrocities.

i dont want the game to fall apart and the Fighter is saying that he spared the lives of countless people by killing the females and children before they grow up and breed. Bugbears killed some of his family at one time.

Both sides make good points and are right in their own minds.


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If they decide to leave him in the dust, then let them do it.

Players need to be held accountable for their actions in-character, and as a GM you should never force a character to act the way you think they should. That goes for killing bugbears and for abandoning unruly characters.

The dwarf can either control himself while in the presence of his comrades or leave the group (and his player makes a new character).


Genocide falls pretty quickly to the evil side of the scale I think. You might want to talk to the dwarf player about toning it down, or make him suffer the consequences of his actions. What is his alignment anyway?

It could be a good roleplaying experience, but really if he's doing things that horrendous in front of the teammates telling him no its a pretty horrible act and terrible for group cohesion. Have a talk, thats my suggestion.


you might get different opinions about killing women and children of evil races but if they weren't actively being evil at the time he killed them is an evil act. He slaughtered a lot of innocents most normal people wouldn't want to be associated with him and that's reasonable. If he wants to stay in the party have him show remorse and offer to redeem himself. If not you should have the player reroll a new char.

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Have you had the players speak about the incident in character or did the players just mention it to you?


Chaos_Scion wrote:
If he wants to stay in the party have him show remorse and offer to redeem himself. If not you should have the player reroll a new char.

This kind of thing might not go over well. Its telling someone how to play. I don't know many people are okay with this. Bad feelings. Kindly talking it over might be nice, but ultimatums are brutal and can leave people trapped and hurt.

Lantern Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

This is one of those funderful moral sticky spots that always make games fun and happy for everyone involved!

/snark

Seriously, though, this is a moral sticky spot. It may stem from some lack of communication about just how dark everyone was willing to go with their game. The dwarf has a tragic backstory that involves bugbears killing off several of his family members; he probably sees them as a serious threat that need to be eliminated before they can murder more families.

The other players have no such history with their own characters, and are justifiably concerned about his actions.

And as you pointed out, both sides have valid positions. This can be a great roleplaying opportunity, as long as both parties are willing to talk about it. This one act shouldn't be enough to make them walk, though. Maybe the druid and rogue can show some empathy and try to understand where the dwarf is coming from. Maybe the dwarf can consider their stance and try to curb his wrath in the future.

He does not, however need to show remorse or offer to "redeem" himself, unless he decides to roleplay out some sort of change of heart. If he hates bugbears, he hates bugbears. Nobody can tell him "stop hating bubears, or roll a new character."

This is a fantasy world with certain black-and-white realities, and applying modern sensibilities (all noncombatants are inherently innocent) doesn't work. If he left those bugbears alone, they would more than likely repopulate and pose a threat to even more innocent folk. Leaving them be and hoping for the best is foolish.


Definitely talk it over out of character, and if it's just people "playing their characters", then let them handle it in-character. Provided everyone agrees they understand the potential ramifications (boot to the genocidal maniac).

During this conversation, you, as GM, have an important decision to make. Is the wanton killing of non-combatants, children, and infants of an evil race itself an evil act?

This requires defining not only "evil", but the extent to which humanoids have the free-will to decide to go against their own cultural trends. Make sure both sides of the argument understand where you, the GM (and therefore, the gods they worship) come down on this issue.

If everyone's fine with roleplaying the repercussions of the act in-character, complete with an understanding that it could go as far as the LN druid convening "Nature's Court" in the form of a druid circle or LN fey/spirits (if you can find any) to pass judgement, or just getting kicked out of the group, heck of a lot better than competely OOC.

If any party isn't fine handling it through roleplay, then as the one person who's most out of line with the rest of the group if they're okay ret-conning their decision &/or rolling a new character. At a minimum, work out an agreement to tone down the murderous atrocities in the future.


This is the age-old "killing a baby goblin" moral paradox. You'll get dozens of opinions, on both sides, no one will concede anything and in the end, you'll end up more confused than before.

So, since they are all "monsters" why is it that killing bugbear "women & children" so different? You invited this moral issue. It's a paradox where no side is right or wrong and both sides will just end up unhappy.

Why did you even bring them in?

Just say "It didn't happen, it was all a nitemare" and go on with the game. Don't bring in such moral quandaries again.


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Thanks for all the great advice. I have sought out wise counsel and found it here.

I think its been more difficult to settle because the game has been more of a tactical dungeon crawl with less character development and rp. Add to that the fact that we play on a vtt and the players dont really know each other well.

I have sent out an email asking the players to work it out in character and my hope is it will improve the game play overall and lead up to some great Rp. Time will tell,
Thanks for all the great advice.


DrDeth wrote:

This is the age-old "killing a baby goblin" moral paradox. You'll get dozens of opinions, on both sides, no one will concede anything and in the end, you'll end up more confused than before.

So, since they are all "monsters" why is it that killing bugbear "women & children" so different? You invited this moral issue. It's a paradox where no side is right or wrong and both sides will just end up unhappy.

Why did you even bring them in?

Just say "It didn't happen, it was all a nitemare" and go on with the game. Don't bring in such moral quandaries again.

No this is not a good solution to me. Thanks anyway.


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Well, it at least might be manageable in future situations since he is a fighter. Assuming he does not specialize in archery, he has to be up on the target to kill them. No long ranged explosions like a spell caster.

This comes into play because people like this dwarf are the kind that get reputations. A single survivor, maybe a young bugbear collecting fire wood from far off, might be able to generally inform others about the party's actions. From then on, avoid having civilians in the battle, possibly escaping once they found out about who was coming, and then it would take a very conscious effort for your player to repeat his actions since it would either require him to ignore adult male bugbears or drag the party along while tracking down the fleeing civilians. Either option would make the issue far less vague since he would have to abandon the party himself to continue on his vengeance. This would give an in game explanation for eliminating the issue. A bit of a cop out, but it would help relieve tensions without throwing entire parts of his character out by avoiding bugbears.


It's a five character game and we've heard the opinions of three of them; what do the other two think? If they agree or are indifferent to the dwarf's actions then the talk of "the dwarf character gets what he deserves by being left so he has to reroll" is kind of baseless, as why would he be the one leaving if he's in the majority?

Another thing to consider is whether its just the characters who are offended by the actions, or if the players behind them are uncomfortable with the way things went. You should consider talking about that.

That aside, it's interesting roleplay so I'd go with it.


lemeres wrote:
This comes into play because people like this dwarf are the kind that get reputations.

Reputation for what exactly? Being a dwarf? Who is this lone bugbear going to tell? Other dwarves? The nearby human settlement that they raid for food, and I do not refer to the livestock.

From Bestiary p. 38 "Humans are a bugbears favored prey, and most count the flesh of humanity as a dietary staple."

Let us not forget that dwarves explicitly have hatred of goblinoids so ingrained within their societies that it gives them racial benefits. This story spreads to dwarves, and they will probably toast him at the bar and compare kill counts.

I think, if everyone involved can handle it, this provides an excellent roleplay opportunity. But it needs to be approached with the understanding that the dwarf is not "in the wrong," as a lot of people keep inferring, or outright saying. As DM, if you want this to be a good roleplay experience, you need to firmly not be on a side of the issue. You can present the Gods' views on such issues, but keep it separated.


So if Dwarves go around genociding innocent Bugbear women and children who haven't done anything offensive, is it an Evil act for Bugbears to kill innocent Dwarven women and children? Would good Bugbears kill innocent Dwarven women and children?

Anyhow, however the GM moves the Dwarf PC's Alignment is a distinct issue from how the other PCs treat the Dwarf.
Characters can decide they don't want to work with another character for any number of reasons, which don't have to be Alignment related.


First off, what innocents? Unarmed women and children does not immediately equate to innocent. Bugbears, as a race, tend to evil. Can there be exceptions, up to the GM. But simply being female, or being young, does not make the creature an innocent. I refer again to the bestiary entry for the bugbear.

"They prefer smaller-scale mayhem that lets them keep their favorite acts (murder and torture0 on a more personal level." There is even a section on that same page for The Nature of Goblinoid Evil. "Yet the evil personified by the bugbear may be the most terrifying, for they actively seek to inflict pain and suffering in the most destructive ways possible (...) When a bugbear holds its blade, it kills only when it can be assured that the murder will cause maximum pain and suffering to those its weapon does not touch; to a bugbear, the true goal of murder is to strike not at the victim, but at those who held the victim dear."

This is not a race to be treated with kid gloves. I would not make a character even quiver on the Lawful Good side for having done the same thing. Redeeming evil is greater than vanquishing it, but not redeeming it does not make vanquishing it wrong.

Bugbears are effectively a race of psychopaths and sociopaths. I am not a psychologist so I do not know how to properly qualify them, besides the fact that they are not human, and do not think like humans, or need to be treated like them.

And youth alone does not equate to innocent in our world either.

There is a big news story in my area where two young teenagers attempted to rob a mother out walking her child in a stroller. When she told them she didn't have anything, they shot her, and they shot the child in the face. Pause for a moment. They are young, they are not innocent. Even if they go somewhere unarmed they do not suddenly regain a status of innocence.

A news article on it.

Now, the dwarf may have acted rashly in judging them without any evidence presented. Try to remember, however, the dwarf's judgment was almost certainly correct.


What alignment is the dwarf fighter?

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The issue is really less about the morality/ethics of killing bugbear civilians and more about the interparty conflict. Moreover, it is not about who is right. To attempt to resolve the issue, first, take alignment out of the picture for right now. Pretend nobody has that box on their character sheet.

Everyone is playing their character to the way they believe their character would act, end of story.

It is this roleplay that has led to the conflict. The IC points of view follow, and I would use them to explore resolving the issue ICly.

One character is a fighter who attacked the women and children of an enemy race, believing he was keeping a murderous race from reproducing. He effectively committed genocide, but believes in his heart he was protecting innocents by doing so (even if the people he attacked were, if not innocent, at least--I assume--largely defenseless).

((Aside that has nothing to do with the rest of this discussion: although frankly, as a GM, I'd not play a bugbear mama as defenseless--in fact I'd probably make her ready to fight and pretty damn tough.)).

The other members of the party are committed to fighting their active enemies, but a) do not want to commit genocide, and b) are unlikely to attack the defenseless, even if they are connected to a dangerous society. I am going to assume they are likely the kind who aren't going to attack first unless a threat to them or those they are dedicated to protecting is obvious. They are all agreed on this viewpoint except the fighter.

The party has told the fighter: don't do that again, or leave. It doesn't matter whether he's right or wrong, he's the minority member of the group in this opinion.

I would roleplay it out. He's been given a choice--while he travels with his companions, he agrees to refrain from wiping out enemy camps. He is NOT being told to stop believing what he did was right. He is NOT being told to change his morals. He IS being told to curb his behavior when with the group.

He can submit to the majority, or he can leave. I'd RP this out and see what happens.

The only thing I would do out of character is discuss that you'd like to play this situation out in character, encourage roleplay, but also encourage no hard feelings with the group. I would tell the fighter player his character can leave if that's what he would do but that this is about a story element, not about punishing him for playing his character wrong, and to make sure that he has the option to bring in a new character with as good equipment, etc.

If the IC issue does blow over to OOC then it's time to have a longer talk with the group about in game tensions and try to find solutions together.

It could just be fighter-player's play style doesn't mesh with the group and everyone, including fighter-player, would be better off if he left and found another game.

But it could also be an amazing opportunity for role play, and as long as players' concerns are heard out and communication is wide open, could end up bringing the group together in the long run.


DeathQuaker wrote:

The issue is really less about the morality/ethics of killing bugbear civilians and more about the interparty conflict. Moreover, it is not about who is right. To attempt to resolve the issue, first, take alignment out of the picture for right now. Pretend nobody has that box on their character sheet.

Everyone is playing their character to the way they believe their character would act, end of story.

It is this roleplay that has led to the conflict. The IC points of view follow, and I would use them to explore resolving the issue ICly.

One character is a fighter who attacked the women and children of an enemy race, believing he was keeping a murderous race from reproducing. He effectively committed genocide, but believes in his heart he was protecting innocents by doing so (even if the people he attacked were, if not innocent, at least--I assume--largely defenseless).

((Aside that has nothing to do with the rest of this discussion: although frankly, as a GM, I'd not play a bugbear mama as defenseless--in fact I'd probably make her ready to fight and pretty damn tough.)).

The other members of the party are committed to fighting their active enemies, but a) do not want to commit genocide, and b) are unlikely to attack the defenseless, even if they are connected to a dangerous society. I am going to assume they are likely the kind who aren't going to attack first unless a threat to them or those they are dedicated to protecting is obvious. They are all agreed on this viewpoint except the fighter.

The party has told the fighter: don't do that again, or leave. It doesn't matter whether he's right or wrong, he's the minority member of the group in this opinion.

I would roleplay it out. He's been given a choice--while he travels with his companions, he agrees to refrain from wiping out enemy camps. He is NOT being told to stop believing what he did was right. He is NOT being told to change his morals. He IS being told to curb his behavior when with the group.

Exactly this

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Golarion Dwarves have a long history of genocide.

They would make raids on Orc warrens to slaughter Orc females and children.

Likely, many viewed it necessary act, and failed to see anything evil about it.

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blackbloodtroll wrote:

Golarion Dwarves have a long history of genocide.

They would make raids on Orc warrens to slaughter Orc females and children.

Likely, many viewed it necessary act, and failed to see anything evil about it.

While an interesting fact, it is unlikely to change the minds of the other PCs, especially if they're not dwarves.

I should add the fighter also has the option to try and persuade the other PCs to his way of thinking, but I'm gathering that this has already been tried and was unsuccessful.


Godwyn wrote:
lemeres wrote:
This comes into play because people like this dwarf are the kind that get reputations.

Reputation for what exactly? Being a dwarf? Who is this lone bugbear going to tell? Other dwarves? The nearby human settlement that they raid for food, and I do not refer to the livestock.

From Bestiary p. 38 "Humans are a bugbears favored prey, and most count the flesh of humanity as a dietary staple."

Let us not forget that dwarves explicitly have hatred of goblinoids so ingrained within their societies that it gives them racial benefits. This story spreads to dwarves, and they will probably toast him at the bar and compare kill counts.

I think, if everyone involved can handle it, this provides an excellent roleplay opportunity. But it needs to be approached with the understanding that the dwarf is not "in the wrong," as a lot of people keep inferring, or outright saying. As DM, if you want this to be a good roleplay experience, you need to firmly not be on a side of the issue. You can present the Gods' views on such issues, but keep it separated.

+1.

Bugbears are flesh eating monsters, more specifically the eating of sentient PC races.

In 1e, the bugbears "children" were statted as GOBLINS, meaning = adult goblin. As in NOT a non combatant.

PF makes no mention of this in the bestiary entry, but it also does NOT state bugbear "women and children" are 'non combatants'

Also, if they have no weapons, they arent dangerous!

Stop! dont kill that monk! he's unarmed!
Stop! dont kill that cleric, wizard, sorcerer or witch! they are all unarmed!

Should I wait to get smacked in the face, or have a spell cast before I decide my racial enemy is "harmless"?

Toss out a millennia of history on this subject because the half-elf doesn't know any better?

I also think that if someone objects to something THEY are the ones free to leave.

Forcing someone else out because they killed monsters you didnt agree with? I cry foul.

Should we spare the lives of female dragons and their "young?"

YOUNG dragons aren't exactly something I want to just leave there.

Ohhh look at cute lil Smaug, we will just leave him be, we wont hurt a fly, he's only 20 feet long.... 300 years later....RUN FOR YOUR LIVES the DREADED SMAUG is HERE!

I dont see how bugbears are different, especially when raised by other bugbears to be a..,,BUGBEAR.


DeathQuaker wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Golarion Dwarves have a long history of genocide.

They would make raids on Orc warrens to slaughter Orc females and children.

Likely, many viewed it necessary act, and failed to see anything evil about it.

While an interesting fact, it is unlikely to change the minds of the other PCs, especially if they're not dwarves.

I should add the fighter also has the option to try and persuade the other PCs to his way of thinking, but I'm gathering that this has already been tried and was unsuccessful.

Why do the other PCs have different opinions? Because they do not know what a bugbear is?Maybe they don't have the history?

Perhaps the bugbears aren't being RP's by the GM properly?
I fail to see why a female Bugbear is any less powerful or dangerous than a male, or for that matter WHY a female Bugbear WOULD BE unarmed???

Blood thirsty human eating masochists who don't have a butcher knife for cooking/dismembering?

Crazed little psychopath children without little knives or clubs themselves they use to play war and practice killing random forest fauna pretending they are dwarves?

If trying to mirror human society with bugbears one must look at what humans would have had or been like had you approached their camp.

Too often we think of an unarmed society of the modern era, for the most part our lives are not threatened by wild beasts nor are we forced to hunt or fight something.
But I challenge you to find a modern house hold that isnt LOADED with deadly implements, mainly the kitchen.
Even the pacifist vegetarian has knives to cut up his veggies within reach in his home.

Now turn that into a camp, with no drawers. There are knives and hatchets anywhere and everywhere.

Now have someone break into your home/camp and start killing your loved ones, do you watch in horror as someone puts an axe to the face of your husband? Or pick up his weapon were he fell and fight too? Or grab the hatchet by the pile of wood used to stock the fire and prepare to defend yourself.

Ok that's a NORMAL HUMAN. Now lets make you a scary monster, that not only is defending herself and her children, but sees FOOD threatening her family.... un armed in deed.

This smells foul.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This is no different than killing a baby Aboleth.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Pendagast wrote:
Godwyn wrote:

...

From Bestiary p. 38 "Humans are a bugbears favored prey, and most count the flesh of humanity as a dietary staple."

...

+1.

Bugbears are flesh eating monsters, more specifically the eating of sentient PC races.

In 1e, the bugbears "children" were statted as GOBLINS, meaning = adult goblin. As in NOT a non combatant.

PF makes no mention of this in the bestiary entry, but it also does NOT state bugbear "women and children" are 'non combatants'

Also, if they have no weapons, they arent dangerous!

...

+2

I have the same 1e ref. Females had stats of Hobgoblins (but CE) and clubs, staves and slings can be grabed the next day and the same counts for the bugies.

Perhaps it's the LotR/Bilbo feeling I have but unless you (DM) specified that the cruelty and violence can't be assumed as being part of the nature of the MONSTERS I think you are assuming something of the players.

You have to make it clear at the start of the game.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Pendagast wrote:

...

Crazed little psychopath children without little knives or clubs themselves they use to play war and practice killing random forest fauna pretending they are dwarves?
...

I actually had the image of them seeing a mushroom-picking dwarshish little-girl ...


Why do the other PCs have different opinions? Because they do not know what a bugbear is?Maybe they don't have the history?
Perhaps the bugbears aren't being RP's by the GM properly?
I fail to see why a female Bugbear is any less powerful or dangerous than a male, or for that matter WHY a female Bugbear WOULD BE unarmed???

Blood thirsty human eating masochists who don't have a butcher knife for cooking/dismembering?

Crazed little psychopath children without little knives or clubs themselves they use to play war and practice killing random forest fauna pretending they are dwarves?

If trying to mirror human society with bugbears one must look at what humans would have had or been like had you approached their camp.

Too often we think of an unarmed society of the modern era, for the most part our lives are not threatened by wild beasts nor are we forced to hunt or fight something.
But I challenge you to find a modern house hold that isnt LOADED with deadly implements, mainly the kitchen.
Even the pacifist vegetarian has knives to cut up his veggies within reach in his home.

Now turn that into a camp, with no drawers. There are knives and hatchets anywhere and everywhere.

Now have someone break into your home/camp and start killing your loved ones, do you watch in horror as someone puts an axe to the face of your husband? Or pick up his weapon were he fell and fight too? Or grab the hatchet by the pile of wood used to stock...

Response:

The question is how far are you willing to take this? Is it ok to snatch a suckling baby bugbear from its mothers breast and kill it simply because it will most likely become a killer. Should you murder the children to young to walk, speak, or in any way be harmful even if they are as murderous as you believe. That goes well beyond what I think a lot of people are willing to justify even assuming they knew how evil bugbears generally are. There is also the problem of outliers. Bugbears are generally evil like the Drow but one of the most iconic heroes in fantasy is Drizzt because he came from a largely evil race. Anyone who judges by the races is a sloppy role player. Good chars in pathfinder kill based on what they have seen their enemies do or have evidence they have done not because of their inherent characteristics(unless your talking about creatures of pure evil like demons). Under this theory if the dwarf fighter came upon a sleeping Drizzt and killed him in his sleep he would be justified and that's crap. FOr the same reasons we scorn racist in real life we should scorn players who do the same in game as a crutch for actually role playing.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Chaos_Scion wrote:


... to snatch a suckling baby bugbear from its mothers breast and kill it ...
... most iconic heroes in fantasy is Drizzt ...
... Anyone who judges by the races is a sloppy role player ...
.. Under this theory if the dwarf fighter came upon a sleeping Drizzt and killed him in his sleep ...
... we scorn racist in real life we should scorn players who do the same in game ...

Sorry if I'm wrong but that post feels trollish.

You go with extreme modern reality in fantasy/mytical stories.

let's go over alignement assumption, this is what I got from the Golarion setting and that matches our settings: The "bad" humanoids (orcs, goblin, trolls, ogres, etc.) to us they come with base psycho brains.

Orc are super violent and destructive.

Goblins are viscious, pain-thrilled maniacs.

Trolls are gold and humanoid-made food obsessed.

Ogres ... jezz they got all of that plus rape drive!

And many of those actualy reflect the actual historical stories of those mytical monsters (oh, Drow reflect some norse version that would steal chidren to be there slaves in the underworld).

So a Bugbaby is either a rolplaying option that should have some options to solve (a known place that will make it safe and try to "fix" it) but not take all the adventure wrecked-off or a freakshow where you use the stats of a cat (anyone else got scratched by a long nail baby?) that actually attacks someone who picks it up or will otherwise grow by itself after running away.

So, if a game includes frequent "exceptions" to the psyco-raced-humanoids I feel it should be made clear to begin with.


Except they didnt come upon a sleeping anyone.

They came upon a camp of bugbears, and fought the males and killed them, they have already HAD an interaction with these bugbears, that for what ever reason lead to deadly violence. And we should stop now because these other bugbears are of a different gender....?

The fact of the matter is I cant see the situation where there ARE "innocent" Bugbear wifes just making soup. They make Dwarf head soup and human humus.

IF these were "outlier" bugbears a parlay presumably would have averted slaughter "please dont kill us, we are but humble halflings transformed into this shape by the evil wizard magnamon, in the tower yonder...." or whatever.

Im just not buying the female bugbears watching the battle, see their mates go down and then throw up their arms shouting "mercy!"
They would try to hit the dwarf with the stew pot while the kids gnawed on the dwarfs knee caps.

IF they did something ELSE...something NOT normal to bugbears...MAYBE there was something else going on. But for the DM to describe the female and young hiding in the corner whimpering in fear? or just hand wave "oh there are some females and young here" and sya nothing more...seems a little off (if not lazy).

Now if there is a battle raging, am I going to check to see if that's a bugbear with hairy boobs? No.

In fact im seriously surprised none of them got caught in an AoE?

and for the record, CAN you tell the difference between and adult goblin and a young bugbear, easily, during the heat of a battle? Bugbears are known to regularly mingle with other goblinoids, unlike their smaller cousins.

Also as per raw, there is no definition of bugbears, their gestation periods or what they come out looking like or doing. SO.... maybe there ARE no suckling bugbear young, maybe they come out as a GOBLIN full capable of eating meat??

This would all depend 100% on what was exactly described.

All the armed males in one cave get killed and very next corner/cave/room has all the females in this room with some kids cowering??

Again there is no way that would be "Normal", so if I were the PC I might be curious.
But they could also have hidden weapons.

Just because a bugbear isn't armed doesnt mean it cant grapple.

It can also take a -4 to hit and deal lethal damage with a punch if it so chose (little referred to RAW right there).

So this is a 7 foot tall 400 pound female goblin, with a 16 strength that can tear my face off with a -1 to hit and 1d4+3 lethal damage with it's BARE hands! (and a 13 AC NAKED)

The youngins are as of yet undefined, but without anything else to go on, father gygax defined their young ages ago as goblins. That would give them an AC of 13, hp 6, and a -3 to hit for 1d3 lethal damage if they so chose.

Noted that would be the 'standard' bugbear females and youth, unarmed. But they are still going to try to kill you and eat you.

Them being unarmed and 'defenseless' his highly suspicious.

Now, As a dwarf I can chop normal goblins to pieces, but I cant attack a goblin sized bugbear, because it's YOUNG? And thats if we all KNOW it's a goblin sized bugbear, and infact, not just an adult goblin.

we are trying to apply age/gender bias to modern sensibilities here and trying to imagine monsters as furry humans with teeth that suckle babies, and nurse them lovingly to health.

Lion males often eat male cubs if not protected properly by their mothers.... this isn't human behavior. Im not sure why we want to uphold bugbears to human behavior either.
Recall that these are monsters that EASILY bully HOBGOBLINS... this isn't your evil uncle larry, this is a monster.

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It is pretty sexist to assume the female bugbears aren't capable of the same amount of violence as a male bugbear.

If you're going to put modern subjective morality into your character's worldview, they should also be pretty open minded about gender roles and equality.


The "unarmed" issue is also a throwback consideration of honor and knighthood, from RL chivalry.

This is a dwarf fighter, why does unarmed mean anything to him? Why does unarmed mean anything to anyone else. Again this is metagaming RL sensibility into your fantasy world.

There is no standing orders or anything similar to say that this is a law of the land or accepted etiquette here. MANY monsters are "unarmed".

The RL knight would refuse any fight that wasn't worth of him...it was mostly an ego thing and a "my friends will make fun of me issue"

Honor was status amoung peers, NOT virtuous action.

A peasant with a stick COULD not injure a knight.
There was NO fight there.

Even if the knight were to turn his back, the peasant then grabbed and pulled his sword, the knight could stomp him and take him back, THEN run him through for the insult. AND be right to do so.

The "reality" in the Pathfinder setting is not so.

Unarmed things can still punch you to death in the PF world.

Unarmed things have spells.
Unarmed things can be very deadly monks.
An unarmed vampire can hand you you're azz!

so what is the definition then of "defenseless"?

I'm in your house, I just broke in, Im 6'5" and 250lbs, Im here for your TV. your blue ray and some tv dinners because im hungry. Can you not shoot me because Im not armed?
Do you know Im not here to kill your kids and carry you wife off kicking and screaming?
Do you you why Im here?
Did you stop to ask me first?
Wait you just shot my six buddies in the parking lot a minute ago who were stealing your car, but they WERE armed.
Am I less of a threat?
Maybe we can sit down over TV dinners and discuss why I am here and what threat I pose?
IF you come to the understanding that I'm "only" here to rob you and not harm your family, can I go about my business and you wont kill me know?

Female bugbears are ONLY raising children to hunt more dwarves to make more dwarf head soup, they aren't actively killing you right now....


Has something happened to the bugbear race since the last time I looked at a Monster Manual? It used to be that female bugbears were counted as warriors, although a lower HD than the males. And I believe that the young were treated as goblins.

As the GM, you are allowed to make the game world in any manner that you wish, and if you wish to make monster females and children non-combatants, than that is your right. However, did you communicate that with your players before starting your campaigns? Some may be under the impression, from previous experiences, that a monster is a monster, regardless of age or gender. They are considered to be evil, and at war with all "civilized" races, with no peace possible between them. In that case, the dwarf's actions are very understandable.

Now if your party travels about the world, meeting "monster" races inside of cities, where they trade and mingle with the rest of humanity, your other two characters have a very valid point. Being on a vtt makes things difficult, when it comes to actual ROLE-playing, but as it has been pointed out, some more interaction between characters, regarding their backgrounds, and beliefs would have been very helpful. Hopefully not too late for the future.

My own characters usually treat the monster races, the same way that I treat rattlesnakes in my own backyard. I may double check to make sure they are not bullsnakes (which look and act VERY much like their poisonous cousins) which are considered to be beneficial. But every rattlesnake killed, lessens the chance that it will bite and kill a child, pet or someone else that I would prefer to see alive than that snake.


Quote:
to a bugbear, the true goal of murder is to strike not at the victim, but at those who held the victim dear.

They sound pretty bad to me.


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A paladin of Torag using the per deity paladin codes would fall for not exterminating the bugbears given the chance. By definition anything a paladin can be obligated by his code to do cannot be evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hell, Pathfinder went out of their way to make Bugbears more evil.

Instead of the Down-syndrome Wookies that were 3.5's Bugbears, we have sociopath terrors, apparently evolved from only the largest, cruelest, and murderous of Goblins.

Making these evil Humanoid races true monsters was purposeful.

In Golarion, Bugbears are the things of nightmares.

To have lived in Golarion, and not know the evil that is a Bugbear, is to be ignorant of them.

I would have the Dwarf introduce the other PCs to a Dwarf Historian(not to hard to find), and let them in on the history of evil, that is the Goblinoid Races.


Atarlost wrote:
A paladin of Torag using the per deity paladin codes would fall for not exterminating the bugbears given the chance. By definition anything a paladin can be obligated by his code to do cannot be evil.

Torag's paladin code states "Against my people's enemy I will show no mercy. I will not allow their surrender, except to extract information. I will defeat them and scatter theirs families. Yet, even in the struggles against our enemies, I will act in a way that brings honor to Torag."

That doesn't mean he would fall for NOT killing the bugbears. he could extract information from them, Code doesn't mean you don't have choices.

Ultimately he is NOt going to leave them there, unmolested to go about their business. but he's not going to "fall" for failing to exterminate them.

However the point is correct, a Paladin code and a lawful good deity ALLOWS for killing them off.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Hell, Pathfinder went out of their way to make Bugbears more evil.

Instead of the Down-syndrome Wookies that were 3.5's Bugbears, we have sociopath terrors, apparently evolved from only the largest, cruelest, and murderous of Goblins.

Making these evil Humanoid races true monsters was purposeful.

In Golarion, Bugbears are the things of nightmares.

To have lived in Golarion, and not know the evil that is a Bugbear, is to be ignorant of them.

I would have the Dwarf introduce the other PCs to a Dwarf Historian(not to hard to find), and let them in on the history of evil, that is the Goblinoid Races.

The more i think about this, this is mostly a RL sensibility. It could be the players themselves feel this way, not that their characters would feel this way, necessarily.

This might actually need to be addressed OoG


Assuming they're all doing the same thing, why do the women and children get a pass, but the men get butchered?


Most cultures are going to consider bugbears KOS. KOS Cultures are ones that pretty much everyone who isn't KOS or explicitly allied to wants to exterminate. They tend to do things like heap up huge mounds of skulls into pyramids. They also generally don't abide by norms of prisoner exchange or ransom or even the proper methods ethnic cleansing or conquest.
Get conquered by a non-KOS but evil culture and it means you're probably (if you're lucky) paying a 20% additional tribute to them every year until you throw off their yoke, with some of you sold into slavery and a normal, by historical standards, amount of rapine and looting in the process. A KOS culture on the other hand makes Nazis look rather humanitarian in its conquests and occupations.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

A lot of y'all are talking like you play Macgreine's game and saw exactly what happened that caused the interparty conflict. Are you? Then why aren't you just working this out around the table? Otherwise this is getting waaaay blown out into an entirely different discussion which may bear no resemblance to what the OP was talking about.

Again, what you (generic) or I or the dog think of the morality of the situation doesn't matter, or the alignment of the situation. What matters is the party work out a way past their disagreement. It's over a difficult situation, yes, but they still need to work it out. I'll reiterate I think the best thing to do in this case is take alignment out of the equation and just focus on the PC's beliefs and where they are and aren't willing to compromise.

Fact remains 1 party member acted in a way a couple others didn't want, and are threatening to break up the party if the first party member does something like that again. (And from my first post here, I was wrong, it's the offended party members saying they will leave, they are not saying they will force the fighter to leave, so a correction on that).

You could replace "the fighter took a banana and the party druid is allergic to bananas and threatened to leave"--whatever it is, they still gotta work it out amongst themselves.

Silver Crusade

Pendagast wrote:
Why do the other PCs have different opinions?

It could be because:

They don't want baby murder as part of their heroic fantasy.

They were under the impression that they were playing in a setting where sentient mortal races aren't robotically bound to narrow alignment norms.

They don't believe genocide is acceptable for decent folk to do.

Because the GM himself might be running a world where their expectations hold true.

And despite what some may push, the game does have room for their mode of play. The Bestiary itself points out that alignment norms aren't set in stone. Hell, even in Golarion itself, risen fiends can happen.

This conflict isn't "their fault" for "playing the game wrong". There just might be some incompatible playstyles and expectations meeting in this group.

Not wanting to play in a game where the good guys commit genocide isn't an alien badwrong way to play the game.


exactly, passive aggressive behavior, dont do what i dont like, or I will hold my breath, Let them leave or learn that that cant control others actions.

Lantern Lodge

The DM should depict female and child bugbears committing atrocities.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, if they find the pot with the half cooked human baby in it, that the Bugbear mom was going to feed her kids, opinions may change.


Deadmoon wrote:

The DM should depict female and child bugbears committing atrocities.

well the DM could be operating one of those worlds were alignment and disposition arent set immediately upon birth, where everything isnt black and white. where you can take a bugbear baby and raise it from a pup into a paladin.

If so, he should tell the dwarf player that.

That standard golarion fantasy world, that's not the case. so the dwarf might think he's playing in standard black and white world.

More over, the other two players night also not know which world they are playing in.

If in fact, they are playing standard golarion, then bugbears are evil monsters and the kids should be playing soccer with a mummified halfling head.


If you want to get an idea how evil and disturbing a KOS culture is, and you've a strong stomach, google General Butt Naked sometime. Their 'antics' are a somewhat toned down version of what a KOS culture does when it goes a raiding.


Macgreine wrote:
Both sides make good points and are right in their own minds.

I’m not sure what you’re asking, was there a question in there?

First of all, I wouldn’t let the alignment system restrict a character’s actions.

Second, I think the PC can still be “good” even if he performs these actions, especially given his history. If he’s doing it all the time, perhaps not, but not in this one instance.

Lastly, this is a good roleplay opportunity and I would let the players roleplay it out.

I think the players also need to talk about it out-of-game. If the act bothers people out of game, that’s a much bigger problem than an in-game problem (which can be resolved through some roleplay). The game should never fall apart unless there is an out-of-game problem. Worst case scenario the dwarf has to make a new PC (at least for awhile)


EWHM wrote:

Most cultures are going to consider bugbears KOS. KOS Cultures are ones that pretty much everyone who isn't KOS or explicitly allied to wants to exterminate. They tend to do things like heap up huge mounds of skulls into pyramids. They also generally don't abide by norms of prisoner exchange or ransom or even the proper methods ethnic cleansing or conquest.

Get conquered by a non-KOS but evil culture and it means you're probably (if you're lucky) paying a 20% additional tribute to them every year until you throw off their yoke, with some of you sold into slavery and a normal, by historical standards, amount of rapine and looting in the process. A KOS culture on the other hand makes Nazis look rather humanitarian in its conquests and occupations.

Did you use the PNBK when you TRGd that WNoT, or was the MN too GTL?

The idea is, if you plan to use an abbreviation, please explain what the hell it means if it's not a standard language abbreviation. KOS is not a standard abbreviation.


kill on sight, I believe


Yes, KOS is Kill on Sight. Includes mind flayers, drow in most worlds, kuo toa in nearly all worlds. Generally includes trolls and ogres and probably half of orcish tribes as well as a few human cultures.
Apparently I overestimated how pervasive the acronym was.

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