Paladin of Torag - LG limits?


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Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

Something came up today that threw me for a bit. Player said the because he was a Paladin of Torag, and the Torag's strictures say to take no prisoners, he was obligated to kill every enemy he came across. Wether during combat, or coup-de-gra'ing the downed people after combat, or just people who were generally evil.

Glass River Rescue:
He wanted to kill the 3 old ladies after killing the 'cleric'.

I stopped him for tonight, be wanted to see what the actual limits were for this murderous paladin.

Liberty's Edge 2/5 *

Im examining what you said there.

Torag's strictures indeed say take no prisoners. If we are applying that strictly in a combat sense (which Im guessing we are), I would not count the 3 ladies as prisoners because at the first sign of a hostile party they go into lockdown in their room and are no threat. As he is not in battle with them (as they arnt carrying weapons but hiding) then the capacity for them to be in the situation to become a prisoner isnt there.

Killing a defenceless person is an evil act. React accordingly.

Silver Crusade

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Oh Torag, you scamp!

To say Torag's code is problematic is putting it lightly. This is a case of needing to choose between the code or choosing to actually be LG. In most cases, I'd say GMs probably need to give some leeway on the code in order to make such paladins playable as something other than monomaniacal murderers.

Then again, Torag's code is unfortunately set up perfectly for anyone to play a butcher and pass it off as LG.

One sentence in Torag's code you might want to point out: "my actions must always bring honor to Torag's name." That can be used as a safety net of sorts whenever stunts like this come up.

"Does this really bring honor to Torag?"

And before the other popular Torag paladin situation comes up, it's "scatter the families of my enemies", not "slaughter them down to the last child".

Between his code and his actions in Clash of the Kingslayers, he's hard to take seriously as LG sometimes...


One has to take into account that a Dwarf is usually Lawful Good by alignment.

While one can hate Orcs and Goblinoids, they can still relent when it comes to butchering civilians.

There is also room for interpretation when it comes to "scatter the families of my enemies" as a command IMO.

Sczarni 4/5

So a god of protection and creation says "no prisoners"?

5/5 5/55/55/5

but.. but... I've done everything the bible of torag ssays, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!- Ned Flandasite, Paladin of Torag.

He is obligated not to take prisoners.

He can't randomly kill people.

Knock them out with a sap and leave them there.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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I ran into a similar problem, except I was on the other end. I have a paladin of Ragathiel, who is fervently about wrath and punishment. I was playing The Hydra's Fang Incident. I had just dropped the main boss and his two flunkies surrendered. I asked them if they had committed the crimes they'd been accused of and they admitted their guilt. I told them to assume the position, asked if they had any money/possessions/messages to send to relatives. I said a quiet blessing to Ragathiel and give them quick, clean, and merciful executions. The GM was fine with this but one of the other players was mildly shocked and said, 'but you're a paladin!' I countered with 'yes, but Ragathiel has very clear strictures about evil doers and swift vengeful justice.' I and my character felt they were perfectly in line with LG and Ragatheil tenets of faith.

Dark Archive 5/5

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Hail and well met, my comrades. I am Gennadi, chosen warrior of Torag, and I could not help but overhear questions about the Forge-father's code.

Some of our friends here, they ask if we are blood-thirsty? They wouldn't ask such questions if they carried the Code in their hearts. We are men of honor and action, protectors of our kith and kin. Do we basely slay the non-combatant? Of course not. But you should instruct them on the fundamentals of "take no quarter".

Let the paladin of lovely Shelyn embrace her foes once she has beaten them. Let her teach them beauty, and pray they learn from her and not the other way 'round.

Let the paladin of Iomedae demand surrender from her foes, and then support them as her wardsmen. The shield maiden's champions demand the respect due a warrior, but sometimes forget how to give it in return.

But explain, my stout brother-in-arms, how it is the will of the Forge-father that we carry the hammer to our foes, and how, once battle is joined, it is sacred. We would no sooner accept surrender from a foe than we would accept spoiled food or shoddy armor. If a foe throws down his weapon, we demand he take it up again. Should he refuse, we finish the fight.

But tell those Pathfinders over there that Torag demands that we work his will with honor. I've cured a foe's diseases, and once kept one safe from poisons, even as my blows laid him low. May Pharasma never hear that a woman I fought had died of affliction, or slow bleeding, or old age. If a drunkard threatens my folk, let him speak his words again when his head is clear. And if his heart is unchanged, let him take up his sword and die.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Matthew Pittard wrote:
Killing a defenceless person is an evil act. React accordingly.

So every execution ever is evil? Or do you think Golarion death penalties involve handing the prisoner a weapon and having a fight to the death, rather than simply hanging/beheading/spellcasting them to death while they're bound?

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

thistledown wrote:

Something came up today that threw me for a bit. Player said the because he was a Paladin of Torag, and the Torag's strictures say to take no prisoners, he was obligated to kill every enemy he came across. Wether during combat, or coup-de-gra'ing the downed people after combat, or just people who were generally evil. ** spoiler omitted **

I stopped him for tonight, be wanted to see what the actual limits were for this murderous paladin.

I haven't read Torag's code, but here are some thoughts, based on the assumption that all it says on the topic is "take no prisoners":

• Letting a coward run away screaming is not taking prisoners.
• Walking away from a downed-but-not-dead enemy, leaving them where they lie, is not taking prisoners.
• Simply not starting a fight in the first place is not taking prisoners.
Etc.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Jiggy wrote:
Matthew Pittard wrote:
Killing a defenceless person is an evil act. React accordingly.
So every execution ever is evil? Or do you think Golarion death penalties involve handing the prisoner a weapon and having a fight to the death, rather than simply hanging/beheading/spellcasting them to death while they're bound?

This is not the modern world. People do not have right to a speedy trial of their peers. People do not have the right to face their accusers.

What they do have, is the right to plead their case, on the spot, with their judge, jury, and executioner.

Yes, a Paladin is often all three, in the moment.

It is not evil for the Paladin to carry out his sacred duty to execute those they deem worthy of no quarter.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Andrew Christian wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Matthew Pittard wrote:
Killing a defenceless person is an evil act. React accordingly.
So every execution ever is evil? Or do you think Golarion death penalties involve handing the prisoner a weapon and having a fight to the death, rather than simply hanging/beheading/spellcasting them to death while they're bound?

This is not the modern world. People do not have right to a speedy trial of their peers. People do not have the right to face their accusers.

What they do have, is the right to plead their case, on the spot, with their judge, jury, and executioner.

Yes, a Paladin is often all three, in the moment.

It is not evil for the Paladin to carry out his sacred duty to execute those they deem worthy of no quarter.

To put it another way:

Good: Killing someone who deserves it/needs to be stopped, regardless of whether you have the authority to make that determination.
Evil: Killing someone who does NOT deserve it, regardless of whether you have the authority.
Lawful: Killing someone you have the authority to condemn, regardless of whether they deserve it or not.
Chaotic: Killing someone you do NOT have the authority to condemn, regardless of whether they deserve it or not.

So whenever a PC kills someone, you only need to ask two questions:
1) Did the person deserve to die?
2) Did the PC have the authority to decide?
The first determines good/evil, and the second determines law/chaos. But remember to ask the two questions independently of each other! The presence or absence of authority never affects the good/evil axis, and deservingness of the target's death never affects the law/chaos axis.

Or at least, that's how I see it. YMMV.

5/5

My question is, are Paladins considered representatives of the law for the purposes of finding someone guilty of a crime, and executing them.

I know there is a prestige class, whose point is that they are officially appointed to do this, but otherwise, at least inside city limits, it would seem at the very least not lawful to kill someone who is no longer a dangerous threat.

Justicar is the prestige class by the way.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

wjsilver wrote:

My question is, are Paladins considered representatives of the law for the purposes of finding someone guilty of a crime, and executing them.

I know there is a prestige class, whose point is that they are officially appointed to do this, but otherwise, at least inside city limits, it would seem at the very least not lawful to kill someone who is no longer a dangerous threat.

The lawfulness of a paladin executing an evildoer personally will depend on each GM's interpretation of the authority of paladins in general (as well as specific circumstances), and interpretations could include lawful, chaotic, or neutral. Fortunately for paladins, they don't fall for a single chaotic act the way they do for a single evil act; they'd have to behave so consistently unlawfully as to merit an actual alignment shift (same as any other PC) before they would lose their paladin powers.

To help with adjudicating law/chaos issues with paladins, here's a useful metric: ask yourself whether you would shift a monk to neutral and require him to atone before taking more monk levels. If not, the paladin's alignment doesn't shift either, and she keeps her powers.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Jiggy wrote:
...here's a useful metric: ask yourself whether you would shift a monk to neutral and require him to atone before taking more monk levels.

Derailment:
I actually had to have this discussion with a monk's player recently. He was playing what was essentially a slightly insane version of Jackie Chan, and had a propensity for rolling dice to determine his decisions. When I told him he should consider shifting his alignment and look at other classes before advancing he looked at me like I was the one who was insane. "But he's lawful neutral. He doesn't have to be good or evil." Another player pointed out the lawful part and we went from there.
4/5

Regarding the paladin of Torag, I've played an AP with a LG cleric of Torag who executed any remaining goblins after every battle. Given the racial hatred towards goblinoids, the "take no prisoners" aspect, and the goblins' chaotic evil alignment, the GM had no issues with this. But in PFS, I could see some GMs taking issue with this.

I think when I'm running a paladin in PFS, I'll try to explain any potential issues in my code to the GM before the game. And get a phylactery of faithfulness.

Drogon wrote:
I actually had to have this discussion with a monk's player recently. He was playing what was essentially a slightly insane version of Jackie Chan, and had a propensity for rolling dice to determine his decisions.

That's interesting. Was he doing it as "There are 4 options, and I'll choose based on the die roll?" Or was it "I want to do X, but I shouldn't, so I give myself a 'will save' to stay in control"? Both are a pretty interesting character dynamic. (I often make Fort saves for my characters to avoid vomiting in especially "icky" situations, even when the GM doesn't require it.)

Honestly, I could see a lawful character using some random factor to determine the "will of the Cosmos" before acting, but I would expect the character to have the dice/cards/fortune telling device. That could be worse than being confused!

5/5 5/55/55/5

wjsilver wrote:
My question is, are Paladins considered representatives of the law for the purposes of finding someone guilty of a crime, and executing them.

This probably varies greatly by area. In say, the five mountains the paladin of Torag probably does have a good bit of legal authority to capture but not kill. In riddleport, hermea, or gods forbid Rahadoom... not so much.

In your typical lawless dungeon or stretch of wildnerness they probably can have be the authority.

Silver Crusade 4/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
wjsilver wrote:
My question is, are Paladins considered representatives of the law for the purposes of finding someone guilty of a crime, and executing them.

This probably varies greatly by area. In say, the five mountains the paladin of Torag probably does have a good bit of legal authority to capture but not kill. In riddleport, hermea, or gods forbid Rahadoom... not so much.

In your typical lawless dungeon or stretch of wildnerness they probably can have be the authority.

Even in the middle of Absalom, the city guard will probably accept, "These evildoers attacked our group, so we killed them" as a valid argument, and not arrest the Pathfinders for murder. As long as the Pathfinders didn't start the fight, finishing it with lethal force is usually going to be legal, almost anywhere on Golarion.

Again, assuming that the attackers also used lethal force. In a non-lethal bar fight, for instance, the first one to pull out a lethal weapon would be the guilty party. Those who take him down, using either lethal or non-lethal means, would be justified.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Fromper wrote:


Again, assuming that the attackers also used lethal force. In a non-lethal bar fight, for instance, the first one to pull out a lethal weapon would be the guilty party. Those who take him down, using either lethal or non-lethal means, would be justified.

He hit me with a dagger and took out my kidney, so i hit him with a sword and it took off his head is going to be justified.

He's an evil person who hit me with a dagger, so when he was down and bleeding i judged him guilty and took off his head (what was implied to me with the other poster saying execute) is probably a different matter.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

BigNorseWolf wrote:

He hit me with a dagger and took out my kidney, so i hit him with a sword and it took off his head is going to be justified.

He's an evil person who hit me with a dagger, so when he was down and bleeding i judged him guilty and took off his head (what was implied to me with the other poster saying execute) is probably a different matter.

Only on the law/chaos axis, and with variance depending on who you are and where you are.

Scarab Sages 1/5

Golarion is a violent and bloody world full of murder-hobos (Adventurers). If justice does not come swiftly it arrives not-at-all.

Glass River Rescue spoiler:
Personally I don't think he needed to kill the old women, but if he had burned down their inn that would fall nicely under the 'scatter the families of your enemies' clause of the code. The old crones then get to either flee from their former property or die in a fire.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Torag's paladin code does not say "take no prisoners." It says:

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

1) What's Torag the god of? Dwarves.
2) The dwarven hatred racial ability says, "Dwarves receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblinoid subtypes due to special training against these hated foes."
3) So who are the "enemies" Torag's people? Goblinoids and orcs.
4) So what "my people's enemies" is that part of the code referring to? Goblinoids and orcs.
5) Are three old human women running an inn goblinoids or orcs? No.
6) Are those three old women any sort of threat to a paladin? No.
7) Should those three old women be considered "my people's enemies"? No.
8) Should they be considered opponents, or even villains? Certainly.
9) Is any random evil person on the street automatically an enemy of the paladin or his people? No. Paladins are not above the law and do not have the legal right to just kill anyone they want based on detect evil.

Dealing with threats to your entire race is one thing, dealing with three old ladies who don't even attack you directly (and who, as the scenario specifies, hide in their room because they know they're no match for you in combat) is an entirely different thing.

Don't play a paladin if you can't handle hard questions like "am I justified in killing this person who is no longer a threat to me."

Silver Crusade 4/5

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Paladins are not above the law and do not have the legal right to just kill anyone they want based on detect evil.

Can we get signatures for the forums, just so I use this quote from you in my signature? I really hate it when people insist that paladins are required to be lawful stupid.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Core Rulebook, Environment chapter:

Law Enforcement: The other key distinctions between adventuring in a city and delving into a dungeon is that a dungeon is, almost by definition, a lawless place where the only law is that of the jungle: kill or be killed. A city, on the other hand, is held together by a code of laws, many of which are explicitly designed to prevent the sort of killing and looting that adventurers engage in all the time. Even so, most cities' laws recognize monsters as a threat to the stability the city relies on, and prohibitions about murder rarely apply to monsters such as aberrations or evil outsiders. Most evil humanoids, however, are typically protected by the same laws that protect all the citizens of the city. Having an evil alignment is not a crime (except in some severely theocratic cities, perhaps, with the magical power to back up the law); only evil deeds are against the law. Even when adventurers encounter an evildoer in the act of perpetrating some heinous evil upon the populace of the city, the law tends to frown on the sort of vigilante justice that leaves the evildoer dead or otherwise unable to testify at a trial.

Silver Crusade 1/5

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Torag's paladin code does not say "take no prisoners." It says:

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

1) What's Torag the god of? Dwarves.
2) The dwarven hatred racial ability says, "Dwarves receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblinoid subtypes due to special training against these hated foes."
3) So who are the "enemies" Torag's people? Goblinoids and orcs.
4) So what "my people's enemies" is that part of the code referring to? Goblinoids and orcs.
5) Are three old human women running an inn goblinoids or orcs? No.
6) Are those three old women any sort of threat to a paladin? No.
7) Should those three old women be considered "my people's enemies"? No.
8) Should they be considered opponents, or even villains? Certainly.
9) Is any random evil person on the street automatically an enemy of the paladin or his people? No. Paladins are not above the law and do not have the legal right to just kill anyone they want based on detect evil.

Dealing with threats to your entire race is one thing, dealing with three old ladies who don't even attack you directly (and who, as the scenario specifies, hide in their room because they know they're no match for you in combat) is an entirely different thing.

Don't play a paladin if you can't handle hard questions like "am I justified in killing this person who is no longer a threat to me."

Respectful Counter-Argument

3 and 4a. Certain Dwarves can take alternative Racial Traits (not Racial. Traits.) That change this hatred to other races or gives them advantages over other races. So you're argument presents immediate loopholes (Ancient Enmity, Giant Hunter, Saltbeard, Sky Sentinel, Xenophobic, Wyrmscourged, with a nod to the Stonelord Paladin Archetype to also toss in any and all constructs and golems).

3 and 4b. The code of Torag does not mention racial hatred, it says my people's enemies. You're inferring, not RAW, that this only applies to those races mentioned in the various Racial Traits (not Racial. Traits.) as particular enemies of the Dwarves.

3and 4b part deux. Now I'm not disagreeing that we shouldn't use inference to understand this rule, but that said, it can logically be argued that

5-01:
These Crones, were as I understand, willfully and with malice operating a Concentration Camps for Dwarves. Additionally, these were not just any civilian Dwarves, but lawful representatives of the Dwarven Nation of the Five Kingdoms. This makes them an enemy of the Dwarven State, and as I would logically infer, enemies of the Dwarves.

9. Based on what I was described as a player in this Scenario,

5-01:
We were to avoid any evidence that the Pathfinders were involved in this rescue and that this Inn was located not in a city with Guards etc, but on the frontier. Additionally, as the only legal representatives of this nation were the very individuals we had just killed to rescue the illegally held diplomats from the Five Rivers Nation, it would be reasonable to infer that the laws of this nation would not be enforced on these women, nor would they accept them as prisoners.

Finally, the actions of these women, in conjunction with the plots of the "legal authority" of this area, were decidedly evil and not just evil, but potentially world endingly stupid evil, I would argue that the Paladin of Torag was acting 100% in accordance to his and the Paladin code.

The Defense Rests :P

Scarab Sages 5/5

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Matthew Trent wrote:

Golarion is a violent and bloody world full of murder-hobos (Adventurers). If justice does not come swiftly it arrives not-at-all.

It has previously been defined in the campaign that doing a single point of damage to a captured enemy while interrogating them is torture and has been defined as an evil act.

I fail to see how a point of damage on a captured foe is an evil act but a coup de grace is not.

Perhaps Torag is not a valid choice for paladins in the Pathfinder Society Campaign.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

Well, that's quite an answer. Thanks.

Silver Crusade 1/5

Can you source that Dhjika, I did a search of both Mike and Mark's comments and didn't find anything like that?

I ask, because my Paladin also executed a prisoner for War Crimes and Crimes against Creation, because there was no true lawful authority (the legal authority was complicit in the prisoner's crimes) to hand the prisoners over too. My GM complimented the process I put my Paladin through before making the decision to execute the prisoner, but it would be handy for me in the future, especially as a Judge.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
P33J wrote:
The Defense Rests :P

You do realize that the individual that you are arguing with is the one who wrote the gods for Pathfinder, right?

The person who is in a definite position of knowing exactly what the gods think about things and how their code should be interpreted, right?

Grand Lodge 3/5

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Torag's paladin code does not say "take no prisoners." It says:

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

1) What's Torag the god of? Dwarves.
2) The dwarven hatred racial ability says, "Dwarves receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblinoid subtypes due to special training against these hated foes."
3) So who are the "enemies" Torag's people? Goblinoids and orcs.
4) So what "my people's enemies" is that part of the code referring to? Goblinoids and orcs.
5) Are three old human women running an inn goblinoids or orcs? No.
6) Are those three old women any sort of threat to a paladin? No.
7) Should those three old women be considered "my people's enemies"? No.
8) Should they be considered opponents, or even villains? Certainly.
9) Is any random evil person on the street automatically an enemy of the paladin or his people? No. Paladins are not above the law and do not have the legal right to just kill anyone they want based on detect evil.

Dealing with threats to your entire race is one thing, dealing with three old ladies who don't even attack you directly (and who, as the scenario specifies, hide in their room because they know they're no match for you in combat) is an entirely different thing.

Don't play a paladin if you can't handle hard questions like "am I justified in killing this person who is no longer a threat to me."

I agree with everything here (I play dwarves almost exclusively) however

5-01:
The women are holding and torturing 3 dwarfs. 1 of them is specifically called a devotee of Torag. So yes if I was a Paladin of Torag I would consider people who chain and torture a devout of my patron and enemy to my people. That doesn't mean killing unarmed old women is honorable, so I would have to come up with something else.
Silver Crusade 1/5

Really?

That's what the developer tag means?

Holy crap!

I...I'm in such awe and so embarrassed.

/sarcasm.

The point of my post was to make a point that just because it was in his head that way when he wrote the rule, doesn't mean he wrote it in such a way that the reader could be expected to understand he meant only Goblins and Orcs.

Now his oversight has created an issue because PFS is RAW, not rules as SKR intended*

I'm glad he clarified, but he did so in way that makes it seem like it should have always been clear.

He used arguments based on the rules he helped write. Rules that have options for who the Dwarves hate most — which can with the proper selection include anyone who isn't a dwarf.

My counter-argument was to point out why it could be reasonably inferred, by a person who is not SKR or has access to his innermost thoughts, that the enemies of the dwarves could easily include three women who were running a concentration camp for Dwarves based on the way He wrote the code.

And finally, he mentions how the scenario was written, well we don't know how the Judge presented these three women. In the scenario I played, the GM actually had the women watching through a window as we dealt with the immediate threat and then cowering in the inn once their muscle had been defeated.

5-01:
They weren't presented as helpless to the players at my table, they were presented as willing collaborators with a xenophobic and dangerous gov't that was kidnapping Dwarves only and torturing them and killing them. This made them a threat in my opinion to the Dwarven people and without SKRs insights above, I could, if playing a dwarf logically deduce that they were enemies of Torag's people.

My comment at the end that the Defense Rests, was just because I had written a long and well thought out argument that reminded me of how a lawyer would defend his client. It was intended to poke fun at me, see below about the intent of a writer sometimes being unclear even when the writer thinks it is clear.

*This isn't meant as judgement on SKR. I write advertising for a living, I've put plenty of sentences down on paper that I intended for the reader to take one way, but didn't make perfectly clear, so some people reasonably read another way.

Scarab Sages 5/5

P33J wrote:

Can you source that Dhjika, I did a search of both Mike and Mark's comments and didn't find anything like that?

I ask, because my Paladin also executed a prisoner for War Crimes and Crimes against Creation, because there was no true lawful authority (the legal authority was complicit in the prisoner's crimes) to hand the prisoners over too. My GM complimented the process I put my Paladin through before making the decision to execute the prisoner, but it would be handy for me in the future, especially as a Judge.

I don't know how to link to a specific post - but I have copied it from the torture thread

Michael Brock wrote:


Yes torture is evil.

Intimidation is when you threaten to do physical harm that would cause maiming, injury, etc...

Torture is when you deliberatly cause pain and suffering to an individual and they are unable to defend themselves. It also includes inflicting such pain for the purposes of obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession or needlessly and excessively punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed (even if you can heal the damage afterwards).

As I tell my six year old, if you have to ask......

Silver Crusade 1/5

K, gotcha. He later on amends the point from causing deliberate pain and suffering to causing excessive.

Of course this becomes an entirely different situation that I wouldn't begin to presume to have the right answer to, but if I recall correctly from the thread, he said what's excessive is up to the discretion of the Judge. Or as we are all so found of saying, expect some table variance ;)

Thanks for the follow up!

Scarab Sages 5/5

P33J wrote:

K, gotcha. He later on amends the point from causing deliberate pain and suffering to causing excessive.

Of course this becomes an entirely different situation that I wouldn't begin to presume to have the right answer to, but if I recall correctly from the thread, he said what's excessive is up to the discretion of the Judge. Or as we are all so found of saying, expect some table variance ;)

Thanks for the follow up!

I would think by anyone scale - all of a person's damage would be excessive


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
P33J wrote:

Really?

That's what the developer tag means?

Holy crap!

I...I'm in such awe and so embarrassed.

/sarcasm.

Actually, I wasn't referring to his developer tag. I was referring to the fact that SKR is the one who writes up the entries on the Gods at Paizo. He wrote Pathfinder Chronicle Gods and Magic in 2008, and if you take a look at the Shattered Star AP, Curse of the Lady's Light, p70, there is a 6 page write up on Torag, please note that he is the author of that.

P33J wrote:
*This isn't meant as judgement on SKR. I write advertising for a living, I've put plenty of sentences down on paper that I intended for the reader to take one way, but didn't make perfectly clear, so some people reasonably read another way.

This I agree with - whom ever drafts something knows what they want to say so it is perfectly clear to them. But as the reader doesn't have that background information in their head, may not interpret the words in the manner that the author.

In this case, while your arguments are logical, the author has cleared up what was intended.

Paladin of Torag: I deem these old ladies to be enemies of the dwarves.
The Paladin slays the ladies
TORAG: These were not enemies of the dwarves. Enemies of the dwarves are those that threaten the race as a whole, the orcs and goblinoids!
Paladin of Torag: But the holy texts could be interpreted to mean that they are.
TORAG: I am telling how my texts should be interpreted. Now go forth and spread the word.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5 *

Spoiler:
The old ladies doesn't tortured the dwarfs ! (Even the dwarf prisonner said they saw the old ladies only once, just before being put to prison, then to the question by the Priestess)
They are just old ladies devotees of Razmir.

Grand Lodge 3/5

Florent FOURNOL wrote:

5-01 stuff

Spoiler:
The old ladies doesn't tortured the dwarfs ! (Even the dwarf prisonner said they saw the old ladies only once, just before being put to prison, then to the question by the Priestess)

They are just old ladies devotees of Razmir.

be sure to spoiler your text.

Spoiler:
No they didn't do the physical act, but they facilitated it. The dwarfs paid their "tribute" to Razmir and were then accosted, and taken there to be jailed. Knowing letting your home be used for torture doesn't make you innocent. They are guilty of crimes against the dwarven people. So they must pay for it. That doesn't mean brutal murder, but they can't get off with no punishment either. My stonelord paladin of Abadar would bind all of them and have them taken back to Highhelm for trial. If I had a paladin of Torag, I would bind each sister on a horse and send them different directions. Then I would destroy their home.

These are all my personal views on how dwarves would act in bearing witness to the events. They would not sit back and let those responsible go unpunished.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jacob Dotter wrote:
**These are all my personal views on how dwarves would act in bearing witness to the events. They would not sit back and let those responsible go unpunished.

So, you are advocating that if a Paladin of Torag sees someone following the laws of their country, but who has harmed dwarves (or who has not stepped in to help the dwarves), that they should kidnap those individual, smuggle them across sevearl countries, and then bring them before magistrates in a dwarven nation.

How are you able to present any evidence? How are they supposed to defend themselves when any possible physical item that could aid in their defence is likely 1000s of kilometers away?

This brings honor to Torag's name?

Scenarios specific information:
The three ladies in question are devout followers of their religion, the state reglion, and are aiding their government by running a detention facility.

Based on what is in the scenario, they don't go downstairs (they send their less than gifted stable boy). They don't torture anyone. The detainees are visited on a regular basis by clerics of their religion, likely seeking to convert the poor souls in the basement (and if that conversion is helped by a little physical persuation, well spare the rod and spoil the child type thing).

The ladies had nothing to do with the transit fees paid or not, and likely don't know and don't care about them.

Case 1: kidnap them, smuggle them into Mendev, then back home. Break laws of other countries and likely those in HighHelm.

Case 2: Burn down the inn, which as the three ladies are running the facility on the behalf of the government they likely will get another one, but this bit of arson will also punish all of the locals who use that inn as a social gathering place, merchants who sell them food, items, etc.. locals who are innocent (or presumedly so)

Again, these two scenarios bring honor to Torag how?

5/5 5/55/55/5

Every DM presents the adventure differently

Every player interprets that presentation differently.

Dark Archive

my torag worshiping half orc was in this mission...

spoiled:
i asked the cleric how to handle it, and fulfilled torags will. knock them out to be safe, take to town, let dwarves handle it

Dark Archive 2/5

It's quite disappointing if the take no prisoners attitude does indeed only apply to goblinoids and orcs. This would mean that each and every paladin of Torag I've seen in play should have been given alignment infractions out the wazoo for choosing to slay enemies rather than leaving them a crumpled mess on the ground, but still alive.

Silver Crusade 1/5

Mistwalker wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

On SKR Derail:
First, yes I know exactly who SKR is. And just like I think Midichlorians are a ridiculous interpretation of the Force and would tell George Lucas that if I had an open forum to discuss it with him, I think his interpretation of the Enemies of Torag's people leaves a lot to be desired, especially since he bases his reasoning on rules that allow for many different races to be the Hated Race/Enemy of Torag's people based on Trait selection. Secondly, him posting it on the Forums in the PFS GM section still doesn't make it a PFS Rule, because as Brock, SKR and JJ have said in the past, until it's an FAQ or Mike Brock comes in and calls it law, it doesn't matter what the writer's intent for the rules were, its RAW. And while I'm not a big RAW fan for some of the bookkeeping stuff, I am in terms of how we play our characters, especially when it comes to a Player being punished for their actions because a rule is unclear. We seem to disagree, which is cool, everyone is entitled to an opinion, I want you to know I respect your position and think that you are absolutely within your rights as a Judge to say, SKR said Enemies of my People only refer to Racial Hatred Races. But expect table variation. And don't be shocked if someone says, "well that's nice but that's not RAW and SKR didn't make a FAQ to make his intent clear."

Derail aside, I think I see the problem. You're, rightfully so as we're in the GM forum, looking at this from a GM perspective. The problem is not every GM describes the situation exactly as written. If you read several of the people who posted from a player's perspective, almost all of them had the crones explained as:

Crones in 5-01:
Essentially Prison Guards for a concentration camp. Yes they didn't do the torturing, but they made sure the Dwarves couldn't escape. The capture of these 3 diplomats from the Five Kings Mountains can be seen as an illegal act/act of war. I would argue that the Five King Mountains would consider their actions, illegal, in that they interned legal representatives of their people, without provocation. So, while execution may be extreme, their capture and transport to Mendev or to the Five Kings Mountains, would most likely be seen as lawful capture of enemy combatants (I know they didn't take a swing, but they were running an internment camp).

Now, I would point out that as this inn was being used by the enemy for military/internment purposes, it's total destruction is not an evil act, it's a consequence of War, a War this nation has initiated. Now whether you want to execute the directors of this internment camp or scatter them is up to you. But again, from my experience as a player in this scenario.

5-01:
We were specifically instructed to ensure that no one knew the Pathfinders were involved in this rescue operation. The crone called us Pathfinders during the interrogation, I'm not sure why I don't recall any of us identifying ourselves as such, it might have been metagaming, but this combined with the fact that they were running a concentration camp for dwarves, made it quite difficult for us to leave them there alive.

*Edited out a joke that could be seen as a personal insult,

Paizo Employee Developer

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If only we had a book coming out soon that presented the opportunity to clarify this tenet of Torag's faith so there's absolutely no room for differing interpretations. It's a shame when we have to dilute the flavor of the game so that no element of flavor can be treated as a rule and abused under the auspices of RAW, but it is what it is. Needless to say, when we get to the Torag section of Inner Sea Gods, I imagine this point will be one that gets extra attention.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
P33J wrote:
We seem to disagree, which is cool, everyone is entitled to an opinion

I am not sure that we do disagree much. I wanted to make sure that you knew who SKR was, that he is the author of the write ups of the Gods of Golarion. If you knew, then great, if not, it may have changed some of your arguments/approach.

And I agree that a clarification should be included somewhere, the FAQ or the new product that Mark Moreland has mentioned, the Inner Sea Gods.

But I was also trying to address some of the comments by the OP, about Paladin's of Torag having to kill everyone who fought them, and not just this scenario (with all of the table variations that occur about them - when I ran it, I tried to play up their kindness, grandmotherly approach).

I would prefer that people do not play a Paladin as Lawful Stupid or Lawful Butcher or Lawful etc..

Oh, I didn't take the joke as an insult, nor was I offended.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

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My favorite paladin of Torag did several things in Torag's name.

  • Every game would start with his usual clause to the GM. "I am fine with paying for an atonement if I do anything that breaks my oath." To my knowledge, he's paid for several.
  • He tossed out pamphlets of Torag to a group of impoverished citizens in a kind of "join our church" college-campus styled way of advertising his faith. The pamphlets were in reality heavy stone slabs, so the GM described them crashing into the gathered masses. Dozens injured.
  • He would give enemies traditional Toragian burials, where he would bury his opponents in the ground up to their neck, and then pretend to "tee off." Using his earthbreaker like a golf club and their head as the ball.
  • With levels in Holy Vindicator, he would start bleeding from his face using his stigmata. As he attacked foes, he'd cry out "I'M UNCLEAN! YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE I'VE BEEN!!"
  • He murdered his herald, after he convinced himself that the herald had slept with his wife. An atonement was paid.

Best worst paladin of Torag ever.

Silver Crusade 1/5

Mistwalker wrote:


I would prefer that people do not play a Paladin as Lawful Stupid or Lawful Butcher or Lawful etc..

Oh, I didn't take the joke as an insult, nor was I offended.

1. I completely agree. I very rarely and only in extreme circumstances treat my Paladin character as Judge, Jury and Executioner. This scenario (as I was presented it by the GM) was one of those few scenarios when I made a hard decision (I'm not a Paladin of Torag, and they didn't surrender, I arrested them). I explained my logic to my fellow characters and to my GM and asked for my Goddess to provide me with a sign before I struck the killing blows (The GM actually loved the way I rped it out and he's a friend in real life who I know is anti-death penalty as am I)

2. Good, sometimes people take things the wrong way on the forums due to lack of inflection or knowledge of the person chatting with you, I tend to be a good natured smart aleck and can take as good as I can give, so I'm glad you didn't take any offense.

Silver Crusade 1/5

Mark Moreland wrote:
If only we had a book coming out soon that presented the opportunity to clarify this tenet of Torag's faith so there's absolutely no room for differing interpretations.

Respectfully, there was plenty of room for differing interpretations and people presented plenty of logical reasons as to why their interpretation was logical, especially when you read the spoiler quotes and saw how some GMs were presenting the scenario.

That is until a developer came in and said, "NO THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO INTERPRET WHAT I INTENDED FOR TORAG'S CODE AND HERE IS A BREAKDOWN OF WHY IT SHOULD BE SO BLATANTLY OBVIOUS TO YOU IF YOU'D JUST READ THE RULE BOOKS."

Now there is no room for differing interpretations, because the developer has spoken, that's not our fault.

Mark Moreland wrote:
It's a shame when we have to dilute the flavor of the game so that no element of flavor can be treated as a rule and abused under the auspices of RAW, but it is what it is.

Again, respectfully, I wonder how, when you read the way GMs were presenting this scenario, how you could feel the Paladin of Torag was abusing the flavor under the auspices of RAW.

If anything, the vagueness of the developer's flavor, when he so clearly had a one-true interpretation intent, led to a character feeling that he had to make a hard decision to stay true to his character's code.

I also played a Paladin (not of Torag), and I also executed the crones, not because of my code or in spite of my code, but because I felt it was the only way to ensure that they received their justice and that the war effort would not be further hindered by the Razmiran Gov't.

In over 50 scenarios played, they made numbers 2, 3, and 4 captured NPCs that any of my LG, NG, CG, LN, N or CN characters have executed. I don't take my decision to end imaginary life lightly.

Mark Moreland wrote:
Needless to say, when we get to the Torag section of Inner Sea Gods, I imagine this point will be one that gets extra attention.

Again, that's only up to you guys.

You run the campaign.

You set the rules.

You tell us what's open to interpretation and what's not.

Don't get mad at us when we take loosely worded Flavor and derive a different interpretation from it than intended. Instead embrace the fact that worshippers of Torag don't suffer fools who would cause harm to the Dwarven People. And that some worshippers of Torag, might show them the mercy of letting them live while burning their house down. And other worshippers of Torag only slaughter Orcs and Goblins without a thought to whether their life has meaning.

In the end, SKR could have ended the discussion by saying. Torag demands there be no mercy shown to the enemies of the Dwarves, but sometimes Torag has a different idea on who the enemies of the Dwarves are than you do, perhaps you should ask Torag (your table GM) before you show no mercy.

And boom, we just set the precedent that the GMs are the final authority on what is or isn't a breaking of Paladin code, while reinforcing the PFS rule that a Judge has to warn a character before they do something that would be considered an evil act or cause them to fall.

Problem solved, no reason to rehash old ideas in another splat book.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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I didn't write the paladin codes for Torag. I did look them over before they were published and I thought they were fine.

Apparently my mistake in reading that code was assuming that people aren't going to twist words to justify a paladin killing old ladies who can't directly harm said paladin.

Silver Crusade

I'm just grateful for the kinda-confirmation that Torag doesn't give the allclear to murder orc and goblin non-combatants. :)

Silver Crusade 1/5

I didn't write the paladin codes for Torag. I did look them over before they were published and I thought they were fine.

My apologies for saying you did. I think the rules are fine too, as is without clarification, they leave enough ambiguity that you can get some fun table variance. I've never used this as an excuse to play judge jury and executioner. I have used it to create creative tension for my characters, making hard moral decisions.

I appreciate that you take time to respond. Sorry you think I'm a dumbass for having what I thought was a logical thought out interpretation to the rules, that made for an interesting character.

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