[Evil] Spells


Rules Questions


By RAW, do evil spells make you evil? Like If I come across someone who is hurt (being lawful goood oracle), and use Infernal healing to heal them. Do I turn evil? (By RAW)


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Renen wrote:
By RAW, do evil spells make you evil? Like If I come across someone who is hurt (being lawful goood oracle), and use Infernal healing to heal them. Do I turn evil? (By RAW)

In Golarion, Evil spells do corrupt you a bit. One casting won't do it, but over time you will become Evil if you keep tapping into it.


So, casting evil spells make you more evil, and casting good spells makes you more good?


Yep.


Hmm... Do you know of any [good] spells I can spam, if I ever drop from being good? :D


Hah. Protection from Evil is the obvious one. Keep in mind that the reason this is the way it is is that Good and Evil aren't just simple concepts of alignment. They are completely metaphysical forces that push and pull on everything. Evil tries to corrupt and damn you, Good tries to redeem and save you. Devils are literally the physical manifestation of Lawful Evil. Angels are physical manifestations of Neutral Good.


Renen wrote:
By RAW, do evil spells make you evil? Like If I come across someone who is hurt (being lawful goood oracle), and use Infernal healing to heal them. Do I turn evil? (By RAW)

No.

But if you are a good aligned cleric you can't cast it.

Also others might look at you poorly for it.

Casting [good] aligned spell doesn't make you good either.

Nor does casting a [fire] spell cause you to spontaneously burn...

-James


Scavion wrote:
Renen wrote:
By RAW, do evil spells make you evil? Like If I come across someone who is hurt (being lawful goood oracle), and use Infernal healing to heal them. Do I turn evil? (By RAW)
In Golarion, Evil spells do corrupt you a bit. One casting won't do it, but over time you will become Evil if you keep tapping into it.

This is only true if you also perform no good deeds, and note also that a good deed done with an evil spell results in no net change.


Renen wrote:
Hmm... Do you know of any [good] spells I can spam, if I ever drop from being good? :D

Summon monster used to summon a good creature, like celestial eagles. Cast it hundreds of times, maybe from scrolls until your GM turns you good again. Maybe use them to build orphanages, I dunno, whatever sounds good but doesn't take personal effort.

And it really depends on your GM. Its an evil act that does no evil, so you have to make up reasons for why its actually evil and how many it takes to turn you evil(how many licks...) Careful though, some people have a confirmation bias problem and others think evil far outweighs good and may think you've forever tainted your soul and made the world worse for healing the injured.

This comes up every now and then. Usually turns into an argument long after the OP got his answer.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Casting a spell with the evil descriptor is generally a slightly evil act, yes. To quote Champions of Purity:

Quote:
The Pathfinder RPG assumes good and evil are definitive things. Evidence for this outlook can be found in the indicated good or evil monster subtypes, spells that detect good and evil, and spells that have the good or evil descriptor. Characters using spells with the evil descriptor should consider themselves to be committing minor acts of evil, though using spells to create undead is an even more grievous act of evil that requires atonement.

That does not necessarily mean that casting a spell with the evil descriptor will 'make you turn evil', nor that casting a spell with the good descriptor will 'make you turn good'. As the Core Rulebook states:

Quote:
In the end, the Game Master is the one who gets to decide if something’s in accordance with its indicated alignment, based on the descriptions given previously and his own opinion and interpretation — the only thing the GM needs to strive for is to be consistent as to what constitutes the difference between alignments like chaotic neutral and chaotic evil. There’s no hard and fast mechanic by which you can measure alignment — unlike hit points or skill ranks or Armor Class, alignment is solely a label the GM controls.

Even a good person might be tempted to commit an act of minor evil, especially if by doing so, they can do something good. Ultimately, it's up to your DM as to whether or not you committing minor acts of evil is enough to make you actually become neutral, much less evil...and equally up to your DM if committing minor acts of good (such as spells with the good descriptor) would let you rise to neutrality from evil, or to good from neutrality. I think it would have to be a very extreme DM who would judge you to have dropped all the way to an evil alignment from a good alignment by committing a minor act of evil.


Luthorne wrote:
There’s no hard and fast mechanic by which you can measure alignment — unlike hit points or skill ranks or Armor Class, alignment is solely a label the GM controls.

This is the primary reason alignment is a horrible, stupid mechanic. Good mechanics are clear and unambiguous. Trying to codify abstract concepts is anything but.


Quote:
This is the primary reason alignment is a horrible, stupid mechanic. Good mechanics are clear and unambiguous. Trying to codify abstract concepts is anything but.

I don't disagree with you, but hard mechanics may not be so good either - take Fallout 3, for example, where you can nuke a peaceful town that did nothing wrong to you, sell children into slavery and extort money, and then give a few bottles of water to a beggar and be considered a saint with max karma.

In short, players are discouraged from breaking alignment when they don't know if or when they will be punished (by an official alignment change). If they know they have "points to spare", they'll see it as license to do what they want and "bank more points" later, by, for example, spamming Good spells.

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