Alignment Shift...Because of Pastry!?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
PC determines alignment, always.

Unless PC abuses the privilege (not right, privilege), in which case DM overrides PC and changes alignment.

Sovereign Court

Quote:
Quote:
Morality is objective in the game world
Everybody says this, but I've seen enough paladin threads to know it's goblin droppings.

More to the point, it's wishful thinking on the part the designers of the alignment system. Sure, we can say it's objective, but that's only useful in dangerous situations as a means to validate quick decisions. Outside of that alignment can, at best, be used a framework in which to discuss morality and play with hypotheticals. We view culture through a highly subjective lens. To ask someone to replace that lens with an objective one is like asking someone to become sociopathic. It's a social game - our moral structures are crucial to our enjoyment and understanding of it.

But goblin poo works too.


Jaelithe wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
PC determines alignment, always.
Unless PC abuses the privilege (not right, privilege), in which case DM overrides PC and changes alignment.

Ahem. Allow me to clarify--I'd hoped context would make this clear, but I was saying that the PC's behavior determines alignment. My bad.

Also, your specification of "not right, privilege" makes it sound like we're getting dangerously close to another player entitlement argument. Maybe this thread should die.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
PC determines alignment, always.
Unless PC abuses the privilege (not right, privilege), in which case DM overrides PC and changes alignment.

Ahem. Allow me to clarify--I'd hoped context would make this clear, but I was saying that the PC's behavior determines alignment. My bad.

Also, your specification of "not right, privilege" makes it sound like we're getting dangerously close to another player entitlement argument. Maybe this thread should die.

Sorry I misunderstood.

Nah. I just meant that the PC has the privilege of determining his alignment unless he starts beating up schoolchildren and claiming he's lawful good. Then he loses the privilege.

You're right, of course. PC behavior determines alignment.


Yeah, but your tone is the way someone talks to a kid, which is the tone used in complaints about entitled players. :P


f it were me and I got knocked to evil I wouldn't close up shop, I would roll with it. Get the paladin killed (via blackmail, I'd have an alibi), sell information to evil, and corrupt the city from the inside while becoming a new bbeg. If he has plot relevant info I'm sure he could blackmail his way into some serious power (instead of this whole adventuring nonsense). Because well, that's what evil does and is. No regard for anyone but self and power and all that


I don't think you should really "roll with it" in that way. Like I said, behavior determines alignment, not the other way around. Just keep doing what your character thinks is right--but have a backup plan in case the paladin gets in a narcing mood.

Shadow Lodge

If it were me I would be wondering what other profiteering rackets I could come up with to make new armies for myself.

And continue to still call myself a good person.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, but your tone is the way someone talks to a kid, which is the tone used in complaints about entitled players. :P

I can't reasonably be held responsible for how someone else interprets my "tone" over the net. I misunderstood you; I apologized; I agreed you were right. If that's not good enough, I don't know what to tell you.


Korthis wrote:
f it were me and I got knocked to evil I wouldn't close up shop, I would roll with it. Get the paladin killed (via blackmail, I'd have an alibi), sell information to evil, and corrupt the city from the inside while becoming a new bbeg. If he has plot relevant info I'm sure he could blackmail his way into some serious power (instead of this whole adventuring nonsense). Because well, that's what evil does and is. No regard for anyone but self and power and all that

If the DM allows evil alignments, this would be a terrific way to go—though killing the paladin might really cause a falling out in the party. Murder does that.


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Korthis wrote:
f it were me and I got knocked to evil I wouldn't close up shop, I would roll with it. Get the paladin killed (via blackmail, I'd have an alibi), sell information to evil, and corrupt the city from the inside while becoming a new bbeg. If he has plot relevant info I'm sure he could blackmail his way into some serious power (instead of this whole adventuring nonsense). Because well, that's what evil does and is. No regard for anyone but self and power and all that

If you then did this, then it was obvious from the beginning you were Evil. In which case the GM should feel satisfied in his decision. Then sets the rest of the party up to lay down some smack down on you. Alignment is a reflection of your actions, not the arbiter of them.

A wise person wrote:
An Evil person doesn't need to eat a basket full of puppies to be evil or even kill anyone.

Consider the head of security at an airport. He specifically picks out ethnic groups to undergo additional screening because he hates them. He uses his position of authority to further his goal. Solid Lawful Evil example. He works within the confines of the law to harm others.

Heres why I believe he is evil.

1. He uses magic on the unknowing, altering their minds to his own desire.(Neutralish, Lawfulish, somewhat Selfish and therefore Evil, he has decided that he should have power over others without their consent which is definitely evil, ultimately this has to do with the results as well. I wouldn't say Charm Person is evil, but blackmailing them over information they gave to you in confidence while under the effects is most definitely evil. In which case the entire act is evil.)

2. He then withdraws information from them while in this altered state to blackmail or bribe others for his own profit.(Evil)

3. Hes gone on to state that he'd have people who were concerned about his business and investigating it removed. (Evil, most folks would agree with the idea of "Why worry if you have nothing to hide?")

4. He donates a paltry sum to charity. (Meaningless, mostly a show act "Look I'm a nice guy!" that most politicians and companies do. Minor act of Good. Unlikely to be anything real changing amounts of charity)

5. He occasionally gains information that aids the party. (Eh. The information would come eventually anyways. I highly doubt the DM would let a game stagnant. Hooks will come regardless if this is going on or not.)

Sovereign Court

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Scavion, you've framed your argument too neatly, attributing motivations that don't have parallels in the OP's original scenario. Your analogous man has a job that has specific, enforceable authority, racist motivations and desire to harm others. You practically put him in a storm trooper outfit before you itemized your points.

Foul wolf cries foul. Fooooowwl!


Selk wrote:

Scavion, you've framed your argument too neatly, attributing motivations that don't have parallels in the OP's original scenario. Your analogous man has a job that has specific, enforceable authority, racist motivations and desire to harm others. You practically put him in a storm trooper outfit before you itemized your points.

Foul wolf cries foul. Fooooowwl!

That example was for the feller who was making a fuss over evil characters and such. It wasn't a comparison to the OP. It was meant to show you can be a terribly bad person without killing people.

The charity assumption is an assumption but one grounded in a pretty damn good assumption. Bad people like to donate to make themselves look good. Then tell people about it. Good folks don't care if people know if they donated or not. They're happy with the knowledge that they donated. OP deliberately included that passage to make himself look better in our eyes. It's not going to work on me. Very nicely BBEG-esque however.

The rest of the points are still valid.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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In any case, donating a comparative pittance isn't Good: Good is about selflessness. If you're not giving away enough that you notice its absence, it isn't Good.


Scavion wrote:
5. He occasionally gains information that aids the party. (Eh. The information would come eventually anyways. I highly doubt the DM would let a game stagnant. Hooks will come regardless if this is going on or not.)

Eh, I don't think a meta reason rules out an IC reason. That's like saying a paladin isn't a real hero for dying to save his friends because, like, the GM's too much of a wuss actually allow a TPK.


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I'm going to come down on the side of the guy selling drugged pastries and running a blackmail operation being evil.

Why not just own it? You've managed to create evil pastries. That's not something everyone can say.


LazarX wrote:
The Beard wrote:
.. This begs the question of exactly how you think alignment change should work, then. You don't think doing a lot of good in the world can balance out some evil you might've done? If that were the case, the only way to shift your alignment towards good would be atonement spells. Let me assure you, I've had some of my characters in the past be threatened with an alignment shift to good; it is a thing that does indeed happen. Doing good things tends to cause your alignment to drift back that way. The thing to keep in mind here is that actions dictate alignment, not the other way around. A character could be assigned "evil" by their GM for a handful of evil acts, but that won't stop them from behaving like they're good if that's how they roll.
I try to view the mindset of the character as a whole. If the character is approaching the world with the attitude that "If I'm this good this week, I can be this evil a few days next week." then he really hasn't progressed from being evil.

If a neutral character said, "I need to be evil this week so next week I can volunteer at the soup kitchen (or whatever)" would that mean the character should have their alignment shifted to good? Because they never stopped being good in their hearts.


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Korthis wrote:
f it were me and I got knocked to evil I wouldn't close up shop, I would roll with it. Get the paladin killed (via blackmail, I'd have an alibi), sell information to evil, and corrupt the city from the inside while becoming a new bbeg. If he has plot relevant info I'm sure he could blackmail his way into some serious power (instead of this whole adventuring nonsense). Because well, that's what evil does and is. No regard for anyone but self and power and all that

Oh!?!? You thought that was evil?

Shadow Lodge

Kyrademon wrote:

I'm going to come down on the side of the guy selling drugged pastries and running a blackmail operation being evil.

Why not just own it? You've managed to create evil pastries. That's not something everyone can say.

True evil takes time.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Scavion wrote:
5. He occasionally gains information that aids the party. (Eh. The information would come eventually anyways. I highly doubt the DM would let a game stagnant. Hooks will come regardless if this is going on or not.)
Eh, I don't think a meta reason rules out an IC reason. That's like saying a paladin isn't a real hero for dying to save his friends because, like, the GM's too much of a wuss actually allow a TPK.

I do believe it does since the GM is the only one who decides whether you get the plot hook at all. The Player isn't like "Oh! and I'll order 1 plot hook please with my establishment." The GM can just as easily have a church contact the paladin with an issue or an ally of the party comes with the plot hook.

But regardless, the Plot Hook comes, so attributing it to your establishment is somewhat silly no?


Not really. Again, it's a meta reason. Whether or not the player is a good person is irrelevant, because the character doesn't know that the GM is going to help out no matter what he does. The paladin metaphor still applies.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Not really. Again, it's a meta reason. Whether or not the player is a good person is irrelevant, because the character doesn't know that the GM is going to help out no matter what he does. The paladin metaphor still applies.

It looks heavily to me that he didn't build this spynet to begin with to fish for plot hooks, the fact they come as a side effect is simply to add more justification for his actions.

Ultimately his goal for building the spynet was for building his influence and profiting from the information he gained.

So that "good point" is irrelevant to the discussion, and the fact he mentions it as a good thing makes me skeptical.


First, that's an assumption, not a fact. Second, you're switching gears here. You were talking about how the act doesn't count because the GM would hand out those plot hooks anyways. Now you're talking about the character's motivations.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
First, that's an assumption, not a fact. Second, you're switching gears here. You were talking about how the act doesn't count because the GM would hand out those plot hooks anyways. Now you're talking about the character's motivations.

Yes I am switching gears. That's what you wanted. I'm doing what you asked me. You said meta reason, I thought, "Okay, lets look at his passage again and take a look at his character motivations....Mmhmm. Looks like he's mainly doing this to set himself up as an influential figure within the town and bribe/blackmail others for profit based on how much of the passage is dedicated to that set up."

The fact that one short sentence is dedicated to speaking about how his information net got him plot hooks says just how much he values that portion.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the goblin and kobold are fighting? :)

The Exchange

Ross Byers wrote:
In any case, donating a comparative pittance isn't Good: Good is about selflessness. If you're not giving away enough that you notice its absence, it isn't Good.

Also donating just for PR isn't good. at best it is an attempt to hide evil.


Well since he isn't going to answer my question... ~sigh~
I will have to answer without his clarification:

Is it evil to use spells on people without their consent? Yes or No depending on the nature of the spell. If the spell causes harm of any sort (not just the HP kind) and these people are innocents then it is absolutely evil. By the OP's description it does indeed appear he is targeting indiscriminately so yes a large number of innocents are being targeted. I have no idea the level of effect the spells are generating so it IS possible that these are not harmless spells; like a spell which forces you to do something against your will is a harmful effect... on the other hand if the spell just alters mood and the person doesn't necessarily do anything he wouldn't anyway then it probably isn't evil and is merely an expedient form of neutral.

Let us assume (since the OP refuses to elaborate on the exact spell effect) that these spells ARE harmful. Then yes he is displaying a pattern of evil behavior. But what alignment is the character? Overall the character seems willing to do good or evil as his code of behavior dictates. So he seems Lawful Evil... maybe. Remember alignment isn't about looking at a specific action and there are no balance sheets saying one good act cancels an evil one. You have to see the character in a broad sense and his pattern of behavior. Good characters wouldn't willingly do evil so in this case he can't be good... Buuut... is neutral out of the question here? No it isn't. Neutrals are perfectly capable of turning a blind eye toward evil and since the character isn't directly doing the evil and instead using a network of others to do it on his behalf, can he stay neutral even though his network is doing evil? Maybe. I mean I would need more information about the rest of the stuff the character is doing. He is definitely straddling that line between LE and LN and that IS worth an alignment warning if someone confronts him in character. If they make it plain as day that your network is hurting people then your character should feel reluctant to continue... neutrals are squeamish about doing evil themselves. Not an automatic change to LE, but rather a warning that if you take even a small step further down that path you will change.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

I once devised an alignment points system with Wis/2 points in any direction being the threshold (i.e. warning that you're about to change alignment), and when you reach align points = Wis then your alignment switches.

I used Wisdom to reflect the fact that wise people may be able to get away with more acts of a certain nature before changing alignment, as they usually have an overarching philosophy that guides them or are better at seeing the big picture in all things.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Okay, so by this logic, when is Charm Person allowed? I mean, the way you're talking, it's an inherently cruel (i.e. Evil) spell that should only be used in dire circumstances. Y'know, like the spells with Evil descriptors. Using Charm Person on a guard is evil but hitting him with a Daze Monster or knocking him unconscious wouldn't be?

I'm seeing a bit of a disconnect here. Is the spell inherently evil, or is the way it's being used evil? We need to decide so people will stop focusing on one problem or the other. Is the "mind rape" the problem, or is it how he uses what he gains from an otherwise non-evil compulsion?

1 That's a misconception on descriptors.

Evil descriptor spells tap into supernatural evil power and leave a taint of detectable supernatural evil even if done for good.

An evil wizard can summon a [GOOD] angel and evilly command it to slaughter an innocent orphanage and come away with a lingering aura of good at the end.

A good wizard can summon a fiend to have it rescue orphans from a fire and there will be a detectable lingering aura of evil.

I would see charm person a bit like assaulting someone with a daze spell or a sap or with lethal force. Can be done for good or neutral reasons depending on context but generally wrong at base if not done for good reasons.

Mind rape is bad. The reasons to use it can be problematic as well.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

Sure, but the Op also hurts non-evil innocent townspeople. That is one of the definitions of 'evil".

How does he hurt them? We have no evidence he uses the information they give him unless he has reason to believe they aren't innocent.

To use the pot brownie comparison, this could be the equivalent of a detective giving people the brownies so he can work out if they committed a murder. Invasion of privacy? Sure. Evil? That's a stretch. The most hurt the innocent will suffer is a case of the munchies afterwards.

Quote:

The original posting is that he sifts the secrets he gains for valuable information he can clandestinely sell. He sells valuable secrets period, not secrets from evil non-innocents that will not harm non-evil innocents.

I'd say it is a reasonable assumption that valuable secrets gleaned from the city watch that others want to pay to get will lead to harm.

A detective slipping a drug to someone to loosen them up is committing assault. Slipping people drugs is immoral. Slipping people more dangerous or more powerful drugs is more immoral but does not make slipping them less powerful drugs morally neutral.

Shadow Lodge

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I dont know if @Gallos Thran is still reading the thread or not, but here's why I think he believes his characters actions havent ruined anyone.

From his posts it seems to me that most, if not all, of the spy business is hand waved by the GM and as such what happens after the info is sold is never determined.

To me the problems with selling info to rivals can lead to BIG consequences for one of the parties. Take a business rivalry. The person who gets the inside info will profit but the rival will not and that could very well lead to the rival going out of business, which leads to him, his family, his employees and their families now having no job/income. I'd call that ruin.

Thats just what I see could happen from his actions.


Jacob Saltband wrote:

I dont know if @Gallos Thran is still reading the thread or not, but here's why I think he believes his characters actions havent ruined anyone.

From his posts it seems to me that most, if not all, of the spy business is hand waved by the GM and as such what happens after the info is sold is never determined.

To me the problems with selling info to rivals can lead to BIG consequences for one of the parties. Take a business rivalry. The person who gets the inside info will profit but the rival will not and that could very well lead to the rival going out of business, which leads to him, his family, his employees and their families now having no job/income. I'd call that ruin.

Thats just what I see could happen from his actions.

That's the way I see it too.


Scavion wrote:


Yes I am switching gears. That's what you wanted.

Sure, but y'gotta let me know so I can keep up. I wasn't disputing the rest of the point.

Voadam wrote:

1 That's a misconception on descriptors.

Evil descriptor spells tap into supernatural evil power and leave a taint of detectable supernatural evil even if done for good.

An evil wizard can summon a [GOOD] angel and evilly command it to slaughter an innocent orphanage and come away with a lingering aura of good at the end.

A good wizard can summon a fiend to have it rescue orphans from a fire and there will be a detectable lingering aura of evil.

I would see charm person a bit like assaulting someone with a daze spell or a sap or with lethal force. Can be done for good or neutral reasons depending on context but generally wrong at base if not done for good reasons.

Mind rape is bad. The reasons to use it can be problematic as well.

So you are, for the record, saying that Charm Person is mind rape?

Obviously not, but your last and second-to-last paragraphs appear to conflict. Is this mind rape or not? That's what I'm asking, but nobody wants to pin it down.

Quote:
The original posting is that he sifts the secrets he gains for valuable information he can clandestinely sell. He sells valuable secrets period, not secrets from evil non-innocents that will not harm non-evil innocents.

Actually, he didn't say either way what he sold and what he kept to himself. I'm choosing to give him the benefit of the doubt, 'cause someone has to. :P

Quote:
A detective slipping a drug to someone to loosen them up is committing assault. Slipping people drugs is immoral. Slipping people more dangerous or more powerful drugs is more immoral but does not make slipping them less powerful drugs morally neutral.

So someone spiking the punch is evil, for the record?


I disagree with the alignment change from Neutral to Evil. I personally think an alignment change is in order and that is from Lawful to either neutral or to Chaotic.

Because due to the character's alignment of LN.. the neutrality or the pragmatism between good and evil is not being broken but that between law and chaos. Giving someone a controlled substance or anything for that matter without them knowing is an inherently chaotic act. Like for example when you give someone frog legs and tell them it is chicken. It is not done to cause harm so therefore it is more a matter of chaos.

The only thing that really burns me about paladins is their overconcern with evil but a lack of concern with chaos.


Insnare wrote:

I disagree with the alignment change from Neutral to Evil. I personally think an alignment change is in order and that is from Lawful to either neutral or to Chaotic.

Because due to the character's alignment of LN.. the neutrality or the pragmatism between good and evil is not being broken but that between law and chaos. Giving someone a controlled substance or anything for that matter without them knowing is an inherently chaotic act. Like for example when you give someone frog legs and tell them it is chicken. It is not done to cause harm so therefore it is more a matter of chaos.

The only thing that really burns me about paladins is their overconcern with evil but a lack of concern with chaos.

While it may seem chaotic it isn't. Chaotic people respect free will and wouldn't deprive another of it... unless they are evil as well. In which case it highlights the fact that depriving another of free will is evil not chaotic.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:


Voadam wrote:

I would see charm person a bit like assaulting someone with a daze spell or a sap or with lethal force. Can be done for good or neutral reasons depending on context but generally wrong at base if not done for good reasons.

Mind rape is bad. The reasons to use it can be problematic as well.

So you are, for the record, saying that Charm Person is mind rape?

Obviously not, but your last and second-to-last paragraphs appear to conflict. Is this mind rape or not? That's what I'm asking, but nobody wants to pin it down.

Sorry, I was using the language you had when I was responding to you but I should have included your quote marks as well to be clear.

"Mind rape" is bad. Charms are morally problematic tools.

They are not descriptor evil spells, they don't tap into Cosmic Evil power sources, and won't show up as leaving lingering detectable evil auras, but they are morally problematic.

Quote:
The original posting is that he sifts the secrets he gains for valuable information he can clandestinely sell. He sells valuable secrets period, not secrets from evil non-innocents that will not harm non-evil innocents.
Actually, he didn't say either way what he sold and what he kept to himself. I'm choosing to give him the benefit of the doubt, 'cause someone has to. :P

I'm not giving him the benefit of the doubt, I'm trying to take him at his word. ;)

He said: "I also know a lot of tidbits that, while unimportant to me, are of the highest importance to others. . . . I pass along all the info I think can be useful to others and he sells it."

Quote:
Quote:
A detective slipping a drug to someone to loosen them up is committing assault. Slipping people drugs is immoral. Slipping people more dangerous or more powerful drugs is more immoral but does not make slipping them less powerful drugs morally neutral.

So someone spiking the punch is evil, for the record?

Someone secretly spiking punch that others will drink thinking it is nonalcoholic is doing an immoral act.

Shadow Lodge

@Kobald Cleaver,

What exactly are you trying get at with this staement?

"So someone spiking the punch is evil, for the record?"

It has been said many time in this thread that how you use a spell will determine wheather you could consider 'that' use of the spell evil. Just because a spell doesnt the [evil] discriptor doesnt mean it cant be used for evil ends.

And to answer your question about is spiking the punch evil....depends on what you spiked the punch with. If you used booze to make everyone have a better time, then your just an a#!. If you spike the punch with a roofie so everyone awakes up going "whut just happened?', then your an evil a*&.

The OP has posted that the info he gets he uses to help his group if its useful, if its dirt on a "good" guy he keeps it quiet, anything else gets sold.

look at my last post to see what could happen by selling info.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Scavion wrote:


The original posting is that he sifts the secrets he gains for valuable information he can clandestinely sell. He sells valuable secrets period, not secrets from evil non-innocents that will not harm non-evil innocents.

Actually, he didn't say either way what he sold and what he kept to himself. I'm choosing to give him the benefit of the doubt, 'cause someone has to. :P

Gellos Thran wrote:


I am like a giant spider sitting at the center of a vast information web. Many times information important to the campaign finds it's way to me. I also know a lot of tidbits that, while unimportant to me, are of the highest importance to others. That's when my other "employee" comes into play. I have a low level rogue I use as an information broker. He never meets me personally (I mentioned I know magic, right?) but I pass along all the info I think can be useful to others and he sells it. Many times for a high price.

"tidbits that, while unimportant to me, are of the highest importance to others. .... All the info I think can be useful to others and he sells it."

From that post he pass along anything that isn't useful for him. Hard to give the "the benefit of the doubt" after that statement.

Gellos Thran wrote:


The information itself gets used for a variety of things. I sell a lot of it. That isn't necessarily something sinister. Many people will pay good money just to know what a business rival or romantic rival has been up to lately. Sometimes I use it for blackmail. That gets used against people who deserve it.

I run a blackmail ring, but only against people deserving it. How nice. It should be hard to find enough deserving target to make it worthwhile ....

Gellos Thran wrote:


I will point out that at no time have I deprived anyone of their freedom (or free will as I did specifically say I didn't want them to be an addiction) nor have I damaged their dignity in any way. Also it says life not well being. A minor distinction but in any case I have not caused any deaths or even bodily harm.

Nice, he use blackmail in a way that don't do harm and don't damage dignity. And the wonderful "I have not caused any deaths or even bodily harm" when he later said that he has eliminated a rival gang.

Gellos Thran wrote:


Yeah that happened once. Another would be power broker, this one absolutely evil, decided to get rid of me. As I mentioned I am very careful that my rogue intermediary does not know who I am. The one who was working for me at the time met a bad end because he couldn't give up my identity even if he wanted to. This lead to a short information war until I finally figured out who was trying to take me out. He learned the hard way that a wand of lightning bolts is a very unpleasant thing when you are not prepared for it.

Interesting how someone doing what he do is "absolutely evil".

Gellos Thran wrote:


To be fair the GM is hand waving a lot of things for this plot to work but its about having fun and it gives the GM a unique way to push us info and develop plot hooks.

And that put a lot of blame on the GM shoulder. So he is hand waving the spells used, the negative effects of his actions on the targets and their lives, the costs and risks, giving him enough money that he was capable to craft at least a magic item for each party member for free and still be ahead on the money department and he use him to feed hooks to the party.

Yes, GM do some of that at times, as long as it don't bother the other players and it work for the better of the campaign, but the whole bagfull of things, to the point that at least the paladin player is bothered? it is a bit too much.

- * -

Charm is a form of mind rape. If you have played the old Basic D&D [Red Book], the introductory tale had the protagonist charmed and used as a dupe. It felt exactly as mind rape.

If the goal and end result is good it can be excusable mind rape, but it still is a form of coercion.


Diego Rossi wrote:
If the goal and end result is good it can be excusable mind rape, but it still is a form of coercion.

That depends a lot on who's doing the excusing. Many would say "excusable mind rape" is an oxymoron.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jaelithe wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
If the goal and end result is good it can be excusable mind rape, but it still is a form of coercion.
That depends a lot on who's doing the excusing. Many would say "excusable mind rape" is an oxymoron.

Agreed. I think that it is better than torturing someone, but worse that getting the truth from him using Perry Mason stile diplomacy.

"Excusing" something is always problematic.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:


Who here's seen Miracle On 34th Street? Remember the scene where the mother's friend gets his wife drunk so she'll agree to let Santa Claus stay at their place? The friend was a pretty "slimy" guy, but it'd be pretty harsh to call him evil.

I saw it decades ago but I don't remember that scene. If he got her drunk secretly then I'm fine being the harsh guy calling his actions out as immoral methods to achieve his goal.


The morality of Charm Person and similar spells becomes a non-issue in cases where you'd willingly consent to have someone use the spell on you for some agreed-upon purpose. I don't see a good reason why anybody would consent to having Charm Person done to them, but other compulsion spells might actually be beneficial in some circumstances: Sleep (aka Cat Nap), Heroism, Rage, Dominate Person, etc. might all have uses in which the subject foregoes the saving throw and lets the magic happen. In such a scenario, as long as the caster didn't abuse this power, it would not constitute "mind rape".

Rape - mind or otherwise - can only happen without consent, i.e., when the individual's agency is being violated. Is the pastry shop owner getting consent from the people eating the pastries? No? Mind rape, and as evil as it sounds.


Now here's an interesting question:

You charm someone, via the spell. You employ them to your purposes. You release them, at which point they're furious. You explain why you took the actions; after some thought, they decide your use of them is understandable, forgive you for it, and grant you permission for what you did—after the fact.

Is it still an evil act, or does the forgiveness and subsequent allowance whitewash the, for lack of a better term, sin?

Silver Crusade

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Jaelithe wrote:

Now here's an interesting question:

You charm someone, via the spell. You employ them to your purposes. You release them, at which point they're furious. You explain why you took the actions; after some thought, they decide your use of them is understandable, forgive you for it, and grant you permission for what you did—after the fact.

Is it still an evil act, or does the forgiveness and subsequent allowance whitewash the, for lack of a better term, sin?

Forgiveness does not change the morality of the action that was forgiven. It merely means that the forgiven person has another chance to do better.


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Quote:
Is it still an evil act, or does the forgiveness and subsequent allowance whitewash the, for lack of a better term, sin?

I think a reasonable stance here would be that the act remains evil, although obtaining forgiveness effectively cleans the slate. To break it down: let's say person A mind rapes person B.

Person A mind rapes Person B: +1 Evil to Person A.
Person A tells person B about the mind rape and submits to whatever retribution Person B demands: +1 Good to Person A.
Person B forgives person A. +1 Good to Person B.
(alternative endings: Person B murders person A. +1 Evil to Person B. Or Person B demands fair compensation: No alignment implications at all.)

How does this apply to the pastry case? Simple. Like I've been saying all along, the only way to make peace with this behavior - to see whether you were doing evil all along and, if so, to make it right - is to march into court, deliver a lengthy confession to all in attendance, and ask forgiveness from all your patrons (submitting to their reasonable punishments, where reasonable possibly means something like fitting the crime). This could mean losing a lot of money, a lot of influence, your freedom, and possibly your life. But that's how evil is; evil's hard, just in different ways than good is hard.

Good is everyone wanting your help when they're helpless.

Evil is everyone wanting to kill you when you're helpless.


Hrothdane wrote:
Forgiveness does not change the morality of the action that was forgiven. It merely means that the forgiven person has another chance to do better.

I agree. It seems self-evident to me. For some reason, though, I want to hear others' takes on it, if any. There are usually some interesting convolutions of interpretation here. :)


Hrothdane wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:

Now here's an interesting question:

You charm someone, via the spell. You employ them to your purposes. You release them, at which point they're furious. You explain why you took the actions; after some thought, they decide your use of them is understandable, forgive you for it, and grant you permission for what you did—after the fact.

Is it still an evil act, or does the forgiveness and subsequent allowance whitewash the, for lack of a better term, sin?

Forgiveness does not change the morality of the action that was forgiven. It merely means that the forgiven person has another chance to do better.

Seconding (thirding, whatever) this. Being forgiven doesn't make the initial act any less wrong. Heck, an important part of earning forgiveness is usually admitting one's wrongdoings.


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The length of this thread and the nature of the replies itself should speak volumes about the alignment system. This is not a character issue, not in any way shape or form. This is a player/player and player/GM interaction issue. It is not the paladin player that needs to monitor this thread, it is the GM in question.

You want to discuss alignment in general with the GM? No problem.
You want to discuss my character's alignment with the GM while I am around? No problem.
You want to discuss my character's alignment with the GM while I am NOT around? BIG problem.
GM Makes a ruling and you continue to harass GM about my character's alignment? BIG GM problem.

Whether this is L/N or L/E is solely up to the GM running this game. If the GM is allowing #3 above to go on, then shame on him. As soon as you do something like that at my table, your request gets broadcast to the whole group for discussion. Antics such as this need to be quashed IMMEDIATELY or you end up with all sorts of out-of-game problems at your table.

Lastly, I would question the motivation of the paladin's player in doing this. If you want in-game conflict, there are numerous ways you could work to a) show the other player the negative effects of his bakery b) actively work against those effects c) provide enough suspicion to have the bakery investigated or d) actively work to make sure the bakery drifts toward good instead of evil. All of that detracts from the adventure at hand, but might really be cool if played right. If all he is looking for is a LE party member to smite, then he should not be playing a paladin. (Here's a small hint... your first response should have been, "how can I keep my friend from becoming evil" rather than "he's doing things that are evil and his alignment should change to reflect that") I've known some AWESOME paladin players. Have him prove he is one of them rather than attempting to double deal with the GM behind the other party member's back.


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I'm with Darkbridger on this one. Alignment is deliberately fuzzy, pretty poorly defined, and generally not an issue at tables where everyone is on the same page. If people are arguing about each other's alignments in a way that goes beyond simple good-spirited academic debate, it's because there's bad blood at that table.

My guess is that the paladin player feels the wizard player is hogging the spotlight in a particularly nasty way that undercuts his character's whole RP premise of being a pretty good dude. My guess is also the wizard is rather proud of his whole cartel and doesn't want someone theoretically on the same team ruining it for him.

As far as ex parte GM communications, I've seen groups with very busy lives and frequent lapses in communication. I'd have no problem with someone discussing any characters they had with me or my character when I'm not around, as long as I trust that the GM and the player involved aren't just huge jerks and I'll get a chance to say my piece.

But as for mind-altering pastries, yeah, that's evil, and even if you don't think so, it's being used towards evil ends.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Alignment System isn't to blame in this discussion.

This isn't even thread on Good vs. Evil (although people are trying to make it one).

This is about a player being upset that another player who is virtuous and has moral compass is objecting to another PC's charming and blackmailing a city for fun and profit.

If this was happening IRL; people would be calling for the police and food inspectors,there'd be no chance of the owner getting away with this. It would be jail for sure; and possibly repercussions from the families of the innocents who had eaten some of his product - as well as legal suits etc... IRL he'd be stuffed...

A PC trying this on in one of my games would be subject to the laws of the town/city. The moral PC in OP's case happens to be a Paladin but could have just as easily been a Cleric or any other class whose PC had a basic moral compass.

Shadow Lodge

Darkbridger wrote:

The length of this thread and the nature of the replies itself should speak volumes about the alignment system. This is not a character issue, not in any way shape or form. This is a player/player and player/GM interaction issue. It is not the paladin player that needs to monitor this thread, it is the GM in question.

You want to discuss alignment in general with the GM? No problem.
You want to discuss my character's alignment with the GM while I am around? No problem.
You want to discuss my character's alignment with the GM while I am NOT around? BIG problem.
GM Makes a ruling and you continue to harass GM about my character's alignment? BIG GM problem.

Whether this is L/N or L/E is solely up to the GM running this game. If the GM is allowing #3 above to go on, then shame on him. As soon as you do something like that at my table, your request gets broadcast to the whole group for discussion. Antics such as this need to be quashed IMMEDIATELY or you end up with all sorts of out-of-game problems at your table.

Lastly, I would question the motivation of the paladin's player in doing this. If you want in-game conflict, there are numerous ways you could work to a) show the other player the negative effects of his bakery b) actively work against those effects c) provide enough suspicion to have the bakery investigated or d) actively work to make sure the bakery drifts toward good instead of evil. All of that detracts from the adventure at hand, but might really be cool if played right. If all he is looking for is a LE party member to smite, then he should not be playing a paladin. (Here's a small hint... your first response should have been, "how can I keep my friend from becoming evil" rather than "he's doing things that are evil and his alignment should change to reflect that") I've known some AWESOME paladin players. Have him prove he is one of them rather than attempting to double deal with the GM behind the other party member's back.

Two things.

1) Only the posters on this thread, who have issues with all paladins, are the ones who said the reason the player of the paladin was making a fuss was so that he could smite the OP. The OP never made this claim

2)From what the OP has said the player complaining to GM was done at the table not behind the OP back. [I think]

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