How to handle characters torturing NPC?


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So the characters got to a town filled with essentially gollum-like people (except without the strange voice) and sincerely hated the townspeople (who were quite nasty and offensive, though not violent whatsoever (with a body like gollum's, would you seriously pick a fight with a group that's armed to the teeth?)). A ghost told them that the people of the town robbed his dead body (he was killed by someone else, they simply robbed his dead body AND his house), so because they wanted the info, rather than try and peaceful means, they went first with intimidation checks (which failed) and then proceeded to torture the fellow, they broke arms, legs and fingers.

I'm NOT (I'd like to repeat NOT) asking about repercussions or whether or not they're evil, what I AM asking is, how do I handle this interrogation? I'd imagine in the real world, a guilty party or a person who's got knowledge they want would immediately spill the beans considering the horrific pain, but there must be some form of skill check involved here that makes sense. There was a book on crime and punishment (Keith Baker) that mentioned this, but they never mentioned what to do in the event of a simple bash and ask (they brought up the whole heal check thing, but this is a simple matter of breaking the guy's legs, no finesse about it whatsoever).

Should I just ignore trying to fit a skill check to it and just stick with harsh repercussions (the village isn't guarded but they ARE under the official protection of a nearby fort)?


I just wanted to add that they tortured the fellow to find out where the stolen gold was.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Torture is not really effective.

Eventually, they just admit to anything, whether it is true or not.

The victim may even try to commit suicide after awhile.

Basically, mechanically, it's just a bonus to intimidate.

I would note this act as a mark, and after a few marks, I would begin an alignment shift, one step, towards evil.


Honestly, it depends. A person being tortured is likely to say anything to get the torture to stop. If you want to give some negative reinforcement, have the guy being tortured point the party to some completely innocent people in order to get the torture to stop. The guy being tortured may not have any idea who did the looting, but he'll direct the party to anyone to get the torture to stop.

Personally, this is what I would do. Mechanically for it, I would roll some secret Bluff checks away from the table, with the thing being tortured getting a bonus since the party obviously thinks that torture is effective (probably a +2 or +3 bonus). Then, if the party takes his lies at face value, then the lies are taken at face value. If the party requests a Sense Motive check, then they roll against those secret Bluff checks you made.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AspectVoid wrote:

Honestly, it depends. A person being tortured is likely to say anything to get the torture to stop. If you want to give some negative reinforcement, have the guy being tortured point the party to some completely innocent people in order to get the torture to stop. The guy being tortured may not have any idea who did the looting, but he'll direct the party to anyone to get the torture to stop.

Personally, this is what I would do. Mechanically for it, I would roll some secret Bluff checks away from the table, with the thing being tortured getting a bonus since the party obviously thinks that torture is effective (probably a +2 or +3 bonus). Then, if the party takes his lies at face value, then the lies are taken at face value. If the party requests a Sense Motive check, then they roll against those secret Bluff checks you made.

I disagree that the bluff should get a bonus. It should really get a penalty, as the person is under severe stress, and likely fears the concequences if his lies are found out. Now ofcourse if he DOESNT actually know the location, thats a different story, but if he knows, he really should have a penalty to his bluff, not a bonus. No one lies better while being tortured, then when they are sitting in a cool room under no pressure.


Being in that much pain, I doubt he could do anything but scream in pain. He probably wouldn't be able to think coherently enough to give any decent amount of info about the gold. Also, he could very well fall unconscious or die from blood loss. In terms of game damage, breaking that many bones would kill all but the highest level (18+) npcs. Think about internal blood loss from broken bones.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kolokotroni wrote:
I disagree that the bluff should get a bonus. It should really get a penalty, as the person is under severe stress, and likely fears the concequences if his lies are found out. Now ofcourse if he DOESNT actually know the location, thats a different story, but if he knows, he really should have a penalty to his bluff, not a bonus. No one lies better while being tortured, then when they are sitting in a cool room under no pressure.

Actually, I agree with the bonus. In the real world, torture doesn't work for getting accurate intel, and the DM clearly wants to discourage this behavior in the future, so the mechanics should be made to reflect that rather than to create a 24-esque fiction where it does work.

When a person is calm and under no pressure, the only stress is from the fact they tell a lie, so you're watching for that stress.

When they're being tortured or intimidated, they're completely stressed the4 whole time, so you can't watch for the stress reaction.

They may not have the attention to tell a "good" lie - they'll blurt out the first thing they think of. They're more likely to send the PCs after someone they don't like, or someone who seems plausible as the thief, than they are to send the PCs into a carefully-considered trap. The most likely clues to let the PCs realize the lie are inconsistencies in the account the NPC gives. But how easy will it be for the PCs to catch inconsistencies when they don't know the people in the area?


Umm, breaking bones is not taking HP damage, and as far as I can tell, lots of normal level 2-4 humans in the real world could suffer those breaks without dying (as the neck and spine are being left alone).


Kolokotroni wrote:
I disagree that the bluff should get a bonus. It should really get a penalty [...] No one lies better while being tortured, then when they are sitting in a cool room under no pressure.

It wouldn't actually be a houserule to grant a bonus to the Bluff check under those circumstances, that's just RAW. +5 to Bluff checks if your target wants to believe you, such as by possessing misplaced faith in the efficacy of torture.

Now, it is of course up to the GM to determine whether the characters are deceiving themselves about the usefulness of torture against this NPC, but if he determines that they are (for instance, by determining that this NPC's response to torture will be to lie), then a +5 to his Bluff checks is the rules.

The bonus to the Bluff check doesn't come from the prisoner becoming a better liar, it comes from his captors' expectation that torture will produce truth.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Another thought, depending on how you want to discourage this behavior - where are the PCs when they perform this torture-interrogation? Torturing someone should result in a fair amount of noise. It seems reasonable that the villagers might come out in force with torches and pitchforks - or if they think the PCs are too powerful, they might desert the area (hide in the woods) and plan a guerilla-style attack.

Also, what's to say that the PCs don't go too far and kill the guy they're questioning? Breaking someone's limbs might seem "safe" but not if they tear a major artery on bone shards, or if the NPC has a bad heart. Then the NPC can become a ghost and cause them all sorts of trouble on account of their killing an innocent man.


I agree with AspectVoid and Coriat. Punish your players for even considering, much less doing, this. Have the NPC lie his ass off to make the pain stop, and send them on a wild goose chase based on made-up information. If any of them are good or follow a good deity, make it clear that this was a bad idea. If the NPC does poorly on the first bluff check, tell a different lie and roll again.


There were rules for this the Book of Vile Darkness for 3.x.

Essentially just a series of intimidate checks, intending to wear the victim down until they are friendly (they break).

Note that torture does work... but not necessarily in the way the torturer expects.

1) Tells the truth
2) Tells the truth while mixing a bunch of crap in.
3) Babbles incoherently, saying anything
4) Goes essentially catatonic (treat as feeblemind?)
5) Dies (& probably returns as undead, like a revenant)

Except they are morons for doing this. In a world with charm person, suggestion, curse (-6 to wisdom!), potions of glibness and Adabar's Truthtell, only a sadist would bother with such methods.

I'll stay away from repercussions, as I know nothing of the nature of the players, the characters or the campaign.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Coriat wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
I disagree that the bluff should get a bonus. It should really get a penalty [...] No one lies better while being tortured, then when they are sitting in a cool room under no pressure.

It wouldn't actually be a houserule to grant a bonus to the Bluff check under those circumstances, that's just RAW. +5 to Bluff checks if your target wants to believe you, such as by possessing misplaced faith in the efficacy of torture.

Now, it is of course up to the GM to determine whether the characters are deceiving themselves about the usefulness of torture against this NPC, but if he determines that they are (for instance, by determining that this NPC's response to torture will be to lie), then a +5 to his Bluff checks is the rules.

The bonus to the Bluff check doesn't come from the prisoner becoming a better liar, it comes from his captors' expectation that torture will produce truth.

Toture is ineffective in a world with limits and the rule of law. In terms of seeking out information as part of an investigation its a crap shoot at best, because if the person DOESNT know the information, they will blurt out whatever they think will stop the pain. However if someone DOES know what the people torturing them are asking, it is fairly effective. The unreliability of torture comes from the fact that A the person has a reason to expect eventual release, and B the torturers are not sure if the person has the information they want.

Mechanically it would be disengenuous to give the npc a bonus to a bluff check if he is being tortured AND knows the information being asked. Telling them something else is a deliberate lie, something much harder to do when in pain. Mostly because people who torture dont ask once, they ask repeatetly and try to catch person in a lie, hurting them the whole time. A person being tortured would have difficulty keeping track of the lie.


It is also great for getting people to confess to whatever you want them to. Whether they've done it or not.
That's generally the most common use for it.


Bluff bonus would fit depending on how zealous your PCs are. How badly do they want an answer? It would be similar to the part of Bluff that suggests the character wants to believe you, it works both ways (PCs/NPCs). This would be similar to police desperately trying to find the person responsible for a high profile murder.

Maybe if someone takes a level headed approach and uses the torture aspect of heal over a few days they don't get the Bluff bonus.


I think I should give some more information on what happened:

The town itself is really a hamlet, there's no more than 20 people there (all of whom have the feeble bodies of gollum). In the middle of the torture (after the fighter had ALREADY broken the legs and arms of the villager) the cavalier stepped in and put a stop to it. The area itself is like a big piece of land with houses strewn around (they're farmers and try to avoid one another, they're horribly cursed (not actually cursed, just a nasty deep rooted flaw) with avarice). MOST of the townspeople (around 15-18 of them) got involved and ransacked the dead man's house.

As for sadism, yep, I'd easily define that character (well the player really, he'd simply roll up another sadist if he doesn't have this one) as a sadist, he's had instances where he goes out of his way to cause harm or even laugh at others' suffering. Yep, he's evil and so is another character, the rest of the party are ESSENTIALLY CN (complacent neutral). The only one to bother speaking up was the cavalier to stop him while in another instance when the guy was going to massacre the town after they laughed at him for having essentially saved its future, it was the cleric that persuaded him otherwise. The player was literally trying to use the logic of 'ANYONE would commit bad deeds if they thought no one else would know', and while I agree to a certain extent (perhaps a little white lie, perhaps a prank or two), I would CERTAINLY draw the line at torture and massacre.

This next part is irrelevant but talks on my approach to evil in the town and the campaign:

Spoiler:

The townspeople are certainly CE (my definition of CE in THIS instance being that they have no qualms with robbing the dead, laughing heartily at the misfortune or wasted efforts of others, gladly laughing at someone dying in front of them), but they do not harm others, I've even explained to the group that evil exists LEGALLY in the world and that people are fine with it (evil merchants, lawyers, laborers and such) and that the ONLY thing legally punishable in this world is breaking the law. It is NOT legal to be a vigilante or to kill evil folk left and right, you might not like evil folk but neither are you allowed to take the law into your own hands.

Scarab Sages

I would say torture may add an intimidate bonus, but also a minus to sense motive for the torturers so they can't tell if the person is lying.

If you read the book "Mistakes were made, but not by me" it is all about this issue and others, where people (in this case the torturers) want to believe so bad they fool themselves into believing.

Torture may even fool a true seeing spell, because the person may believe they are telling the truth, (since in real life plenty of experiments have shown even without physical torture, it is easy to ask leading questions and mess with people's memory and get them to admit something they didn't do, and only later say "no wait I didn't do that") This concept goes all the way back to experiments by Kassin and Kiechel and called it "Coerced-Internalized"

Liberty's Edge

Make some Fortitude (or CON) check every torture. Likely with a +2 bonus due to avarice.

Success = holds on for another round of torture or tries to lie.

Failure = spills the beans (if he knows), lies with a minimum circumstance bonus of +5 (if he doesn't).

Fumble = heart attack.

I got the latter once with my players. Boy, talk about getting mad with frustration.

Silver Crusade

You can justify pretty much any mechanics you want. If you want to mimic Hollywood (which thinks that torture is exceedingly effective) then make it an intimidation check with +5 or +10 modifier.

If you want to mimic reality then have the person make his profession torturer roll, failure by 5 or more killing the person being interrogated. Will rolls to try and lie (IF the person knows the answer), bluff rolls for the person to convince you that he is telling the truth.

Given the above, it boils down to what you want to accomplish. If you want the PCs to torture, go for the first. Hollywood all the way. If you want them not to torture, have the victim die a lot and mislead them a lot so torture becomes a VERY ineffective technique.

I know the following isn't what you are looking for, but personally I'd actually treat it very differently. I'd point out that this is not the game that I'm interested in running and the players either stop doing this or find another GM.


Here's a thought experiment for you.
Imagine a group of thugs, perhaps from a three letter agency bust down your door and demand the password to one of your encrypted computer systems. They're prepared to use 'rubber hose cryptanalysis' in order to get it. Assuming you've not set up anything like a duress key that opens a mildly embarrassing partition on your drive, which I doubt any of you have, what do you think the probability is that you'll cough up the key after the thumbscrews are applied? Remember that the statements you make under torture can often be easily verified by the torturing party and lies can be severely punished. I know it's a common trope that 'torture only gets you what the tortured thinks you want to hear, but it's a lot more messy and complicated than that. There's a reason it has been used historically an awful lot, and that reason isn't 'because it doesn't work'.


Yeah, for things that are easily verified it works just fine.

It also works just fine for things like "Tell us who you're working with". You name some names, they grab the people, torture them a bit and they confess too, spilling more names.
Which can be "works" for some definitions of "works".

Scarab Sages

Let it work, but let there be consequences. Maybe there is a urchin looking as his had is tortured. He doesn't attack, but takes some levels in bard and makes it his mission to tell the world what monsters the PCs are. Negative reputation and character assassination can be hell to live with, and zone of truth makes it nigh impossible to deny.


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While the torturing is occurring, to mask the screams, make the group play stuck in the middle with you.


Thanks for the suggestions guys, I think I have an idea formed:

To physically torture someone they'd have to roll a heal check, if they simply break limbs or stab freely, I'll treat it as a critical hit against the foe (and for commoners, that'll most likely mean death). If they try something like breaking fingers without rolling a heal check, I'll treat it as a critical hit with non-lethal damage, upon which the fellow will most likely fall unconscious.

If they roll a heal check, on a success they'll deal 1d4 lethal damage and 1d4 non-lethal damage, on a failure, they'll deal 2d4 lethal damage and 2d4 non-lethal damage. If they try this check again immediately afterwards, the DC will increase by 2 and I'll treat is as a critical hit with non-lethal damage. On a successful heal check, it was painful enough to elicit a response upon which I'll go for a bluff check with a +2 modifier because he's filled with avarice (and I'll also add around I think +5 because they want to believe the lie), on a failure, the pain is too much and he's babbling incoherently due to it.

They MIGHT be able to heal the guy back up to torture him down again, but the cleric is definitely out of the picture since he's (I think) supposed to be LG (the player is usually passive about what goes on, but I'll warn him that his character will suffer a bad alignment shift and that it could affect his abilities if he chooses to help out, the player himself most likely would not choose to aid in torturing an NPC). That leaves them (the summoner and the fighter who are both evil) to buy potions since neither has UMD, and the players are pretty cheap, they PROBABLY won't want to waste gold on them since most likely they'll fail their checks given that neither has points in heal.

The Exchange

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Gah! I started a post and it turned into a creepy Cold-War-style lecture on the strategic and personal value of loading your field agents with misinformation. Let me start again.

GMs eager to make the shortcomings of torture clear in game are advised to ensure that minions are loaded with information... but most of it is false. After all, the villain's Evil. He assumes anybody who captures his pawns will torture them, so there's no way he's going to provide any valuable information. On the other hand, filling their heads with plausible lies (such as claiming that the one-way door into the Maximum Fun Chamber is actually a secret tunnel to the boss's bedroom) is tactically valuable and tickles the evil funny-bone.


inflicting physical pain through torture would require a heal check Vs Flat Footed CMD

the asking would be an intimidate check opposed by a will save

the target would get a bluff check at a penalty opposed by a sense motive check.

each heal check would inflict a condition that penalizes the will save and the bluff check and stacks as well as nonlethal damage

Damage is to be considered the same as if it were inflicted by starvation or thirst.


If the LG cleric is aware of the torture going on and takes no actions to prevent it, and continues associating with the people who did it, then he's committing an evil act. Is he a follower of a good deity? If so, that deity will probably have some serious issues with this. If he were a paladin, just failing to act to prevent the torture would cause him to fall. Even a LN deity would probably have issues with a group of vigilantes going around torturing people for information, even if their ends are good-intentioned.

Liberty's Edge

EWHM wrote:

Here's a thought experiment for you.

Imagine a group of thugs, perhaps from a three letter agency bust down your door and demand the password to one of your encrypted computer systems. They're prepared to use 'rubber hose cryptanalysis' in order to get it. Assuming you've not set up anything like a duress key that opens a mildly embarrassing partition on your drive, which I doubt any of you have, what do you think the probability is that you'll cough up the key after the thumbscrews are applied? Remember that the statements you make under torture can often be easily verified by the torturing party and lies can be severely punished. I know it's a common trope that 'torture only gets you what the tortured thinks you want to hear, but it's a lot more messy and complicated than that. There's a reason it has been used historically an awful lot, and that reason isn't 'because it doesn't work'.

You are thinking of this strange alternate reality that some people call Real Life. In PFRPG, torture does not work at all as you can easily surmise from the fact that no self-respecting NPC has ever wasted time trying to get some info by torturing PCs. Who just laugh at torture devices and spit in the face of the torturer.


Why is the party listening to the ghost? Did the villagers kill the ghost and he wants the party to avenge him? If the villagers had nothing to do with his death why does the party have any rights to the gold (or at least any more rights than the villagers)?

As far as the villagers would be concerned the party is no better than a band of orcs who turn up to kill and pillage.

You mentioned the village was under the protection of a nearby fort. I'd have the soldiers there take a very keen interest in the party brutalising "their" peasants. Even in a society such as you have described random acts of torture - which is effectively what the party has done - would be frowned on by legitimate authorities (even if it is a case of "we're the law, only we are allowed to torture").

If the victim of the torture is just a random villager he is going to say anything to get the torture to stop. If he doesn't know where the gold is he is likely to name some other random villager (especially if he is CE as you suggest). Even if he knows he is likely to deny it and name another villager. What is the party going to do, break every arm and leg in the village?

I would not worry about bonuses or penalties to bluff or any other check. I'd just handwave whatever outcome you want to get the game moving on and away from the fighter, and any other party members who condone his actions, demonstrating some very worrying personality traits (in game and out).

The Exchange

To be fair, Gallo, a willingness to resort to torture isn't always a sign of some repressed tendency... although one of the first steps to getting people to become torturers is to make them regard the person they're torturing as "not a real person," and NPCs have the disadvantage here of actually not being real people.

Sometimes a player is just frustrated and figures that either the GM will 'spare' the NPC by having them recall some bit of info, or that some other event will interrupt the torture - based on the fact that in the movies, something always interrupts the torture scene and gets the action moving again.

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Takin the game habit seriously if someone gets booted for imaginary fingernail pulling. Seriously if someone hurt my child and I got them before the cops it would get interesting let's just say.

Liberty's Edge

I must admit that I am a bit wary of people who exult in having their characters act as full-blown bloodthirsty psychopaths. YMMV


Pfff. Crazy isn't scary. Actual violent with no self control is. A game is a game, I have stopped playing with people I didn't care for you can too it is a choice.


The black raven wrote:
I must admit that I am a bit wary of people who exult in having their characters act as full-blown bloodthirsty psychopaths. YMMV

The guy in question is a buddy of mine, he's a great guy, salt of the earth kind of guy, but his current character is appallingly evil AND he's enjoying it. This guy was smiling through the explanation of how he broke the guy's arm with his bare hands (he's got a 18-20 strength and the guy was emaciated like the starving folks you'd send charity money to), after finishing up with the arm, he moved on to a leg, and to avoid having it go too fast, started cracking fingers backwards one by one.

In another instance, he made sure to tell me his character laughs at his dying foe and then to proceed to stick his dead enemies on hooks that reached down from the skies (story reason behind hooks that are dangling from the skies).

I wanted to run a heroic campaign (set in a dark world, I personally am interested in heroic characters in dark settings) and he's turning it into an entry out of the book of vile darkness. I'd already warned him before starting the campaign that I don't want to DM evil characters and that the evil alignment was out, so he thought he'd try to stick it in anyway.


Anyway being this is a game thread on a game forum who is to say torture should be unacceptable in every game? I have in games: tortured, pillage, desecrated, violated npcs, guess what? So did the rest of the players. In a home game among peers that are cool with it, most any theme can be fun. Cause its not real. Yeah I have said it a lot but some folks seem to have trouble accepting this point of view as not only valid in certain games but that as it is in fact a game and not real who cares?


Lincoln Hills wrote:

Gah! I started a post and it turned into a creepy Cold-War-style lecture on the strategic and personal value of loading your field agents with misinformation. Let me start again.

GMs eager to make the shortcomings of torture clear in game are advised to ensure that minions are loaded with information... but most of it is false. After all, the villain's Evil. He assumes anybody who captures his pawns will torture them, so there's no way he's going to provide any valuable information. On the other hand, filling their heads with plausible lies (such as claiming that the one-way door into the Maximum Fun Chamber is actually a secret tunnel to the boss's bedroom) is tactically valuable and tickles the evil funny-bone.

Tickles the evil funny bone. That is funny


In several ancient cultures, a slave's testimony was allowed in court ONLY if it had been tortured out of him. Many masters refrained from allowing their slaves to testify for this reason. I believe the Greeks had this convention.

Liberty's Edge

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cmastah wrote:
The black raven wrote:
I must admit that I am a bit wary of people who exult in having their characters act as full-blown bloodthirsty psychopaths. YMMV

The guy in question is a buddy of mine, he's a great guy, salt of the earth kind of guy, but his current character is appallingly evil AND he's enjoying it. This guy was smiling through the explanation of how he broke the guy's arm with his bare hands (he's got a 18-20 strength and the guy was emaciated like the starving folks you'd send charity money to), after finishing up with the arm, he moved on to a leg, and to avoid having it go too fast, started cracking fingers backwards one by one.

In another instance, he made sure to tell me his character laughs at his dying foe and then to proceed to stick his dead enemies on hooks that reached down from the skies (story reason behind hooks that are dangling from the skies).

I wanted to run a heroic campaign (set in a dark world, I personally am interested in heroic characters in dark settings) and he's turning it into an entry out of the book of vile darkness. I'd already warned him before starting the campaign that I don't want to DM evil characters and that the evil alignment was out, so he thought he'd try to stick it in anyway.

I believe that everything we play as PCs is based on something which resides inside us. After all, every human being has its part of shadows.

You should check with your friend that he understands that his enthusiastic portrayal of Evil Stupid is ruining your fun in GMing this campaign.

Liberty's Edge

Conundrum wrote:
Anyway being this is a game thread on a game forum who is to say torture should be unacceptable in every game? I have in games: tortured, pillage, desecrated, violated npcs, guess what? So did the rest of the players. In a home game among peers that are cool with it, most any theme can be fun. Cause its not real. Yeah I have said it a lot but some folks seem to have trouble accepting this point of view as not only valid in certain games but that as it is in fact a game and not real who cares?

Actually a lot of people care about not upsetting the other players/GM.

And this kind of actions could be quite out there in a group of good or even neutral PCs. It would be far more common in an evil party I think.

Of course, if all people in your group are ok with it, keep on enjoying your collective fun.


Exactly. Not even saying this is how we play every campaign. Just that we have and it's not a big deal if it's a consensus thing.


cmastah wrote:
The black raven wrote:
I wanted to run a heroic campaign (set in a dark world, I personally am interested in heroic characters in dark settings) and he's turning it into an entry out of the book of vile darkness. I'd already warned him before starting the campaign that I don't want to DM evil characters and that the evil alignment was out, so he thought he'd try to stick it in anyway.

Well here is my take. I would allow it. Give it a skill check (Heal) with an immediate Intimidate retry with a bonus based on how much and how long the torture has been going on.

Also...

1. This is clearly an evil act. Treat it as such. Warn your player that continued use of torture will cause his alignment to shift. If it shift to evil his character becomes a DM NPC and he will need to reroll a new character (After all you already explained that an Evil alignment is restricted from play.)

2. This is also more then likely against the local law. If caught he can be brought up on charges.

3. If this is discovered this could shift other locals initial Attitude down a step.

This should effectively discourage the use of torture while still giving it as a last resort option.


Conundrum wrote:
Anyway being this is a game thread on a game forum who is to say torture should be unacceptable in every game? I have in games: tortured, pillage, desecrated, violated npcs, guess what? So did the rest of the players. In a home game among peers that are cool with it, most any theme can be fun. Cause its not real. Yeah I have said it a lot but some folks seem to have trouble accepting this point of view as not only valid in certain games but that as it is in fact a game and not real who cares?

It's not the doing it that really bothers me. As a GM, I've had NPCs do some nasty stuff. As a player I've run characters who've crossed the line as well. Generally with much provocation or what they considered very good reasons. I didn't enjoy it. It was in character and they would have done it again, but I didn't enjoy playing it out. I didn't like thinking like that. I didn't like living in that head.

What bothers me about some of the comments in this thread is not so much whether it's ok to torture in game or not. You're right. No one is actually getting hurt.
It's the glee some seem to take in it. Is it wrong to be a little wary of those who get into acting like psychopaths? Sure, it's not real. No one is actually getting hurt. But why enjoy imagining it so much?


thejeff wrote:
Conundrum wrote:
Anyway being this is a game thread on a game forum who is to say torture should be unacceptable in every game? I have in games: tortured, pillage, desecrated, violated npcs, guess what? So did the rest of the players. In a home game among peers that are cool with it, most any theme can be fun. Cause its not real. Yeah I have said it a lot but some folks seem to have trouble accepting this point of view as not only valid in certain games but that as it is in fact a game and not real who cares?

It's not the doing it that really bothers me. As a GM, I've had NPCs do some nasty stuff. As a player I've run characters who've crossed the line as well. Generally with much provocation or what they considered very good reasons. I didn't enjoy it. It was in character and they would have done it again, but I didn't enjoy playing it out. I didn't like thinking like that. I didn't like living in that head.

What bothers me about some of the comments in this thread is not so much whether it's ok to torture in game or not. You're right. No one is actually getting hurt.
It's the glee some seem to take in it. Is it wrong to be a little wary of those who get into acting like psychopaths? Sure, it's not real. No one is actually getting hurt. But why enjoy imagining it so much?

I enjoyed playing Cop's and Robers as a kid. Never once had the urge to steal in real life.

Sometimes its fun to play something completely opposite of who you are. I think of myself as a generally good guy. I am a faithful Husband of 10 years. I serve in the Military. I volunteer and I have faith. But I had a blast playing a LE wizard a few years back. He was EVIL to the core. I dont feel that reflects on me personally. I was RPing. I cant throw lightning bolts in real life either come to think of it.

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