Pathfinder? have you tried looking from the monsters' perspective?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I think people make a mistake when they assume that the motivations of why a creature does something is because its evil. A goblin doesnt eat humans children because its evil. If so then a human would eat children because they are evil.


Exactly. Alignment doesn't determine action, action determines alignment. Goblins are Evil because they eat babies, not the other way around.

This is kind of reversed for outsiders of aligned planes because they're literally made of their alignment.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
and i have never seen a table that allows gnomes or kender.
Wait...you've never been in a game that allowed gnomes?!

I find gnomes annoying but I'll allow them. Though the group I regularly game with knows my distaste for them. I jokingly say "You're allowed to play a gnome but you start the game with cancer." They know I'm kidding. Probably. But no one in my homebrew has played one yet. I had 3 in my Legacy of Fire game at one point.

But typing that just now gave me the idea to dig out my Libris Mortis (I think it was) book from 3.5 and make a gnome cancer mage as an evil NPC for them to meet.


Rogar Stonebow wrote:
I think people make a mistake when they assume that the motivations of why a creature does something is because its evil. A goblin doesnt eat humans children because its evil. If so then a human would eat children because they are evil.

Humans don't eat children because they are evil, but they certainly do other awful things to children because they are evil.

DominusMegadeus wrote:
Exactly. Alignment doesn't determine action, action determines alignment. Goblins are Evil because they eat babies, not the other way around. {. . .}

Actions determine Alignment AND Alignment determines Actions. It is a two way street, in which each maintains the other, thus providing some inertia against change, but with change in the Evil direction being much easier than change in the Good direction, unless external influences are constantly pushing towards Good.


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People do not wake up and say "Ah right, I'm Evil. Better club some orphans today to meet my quota." He can have a reason that he wants to beat orphans (he gets off on it) and that makes him Evil, but he doesn't do thing 'because Evil'. People don't even have to know their alignment, how can it possibly affect their action?

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DominusMegadeus wrote:
Exactly. Alignment doesn't determine action, action determines alignment. Goblins are Evil because they eat babies, not the other way around.

Yup! :)

DominusMegadeus wrote:
This is kind of reversed for outsiders of aligned planes because they're literally made of their alignment.

Actually, this isn't true. They're made from the souls of people who wound up on that plane. So...those who were already that Alignment by choice. So, in a very real sense, their actions, too, are what made them Evil, back when they were mortal. They may not remember all of this (and indeed often do not), but it's still true.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Exactly. Alignment doesn't determine action, action determines alignment. Goblins are Evil because they eat babies, not the other way around.

Yup! :)

DominusMegadeus wrote:
This is kind of reversed for outsiders of aligned planes because they're literally made of their alignment.
Actually, this isn't true. They're made from the souls of people who wound up on that plane. So...those who were already that Alignment by choice. So, in a very real sense, their actions, too, are what made them Evil, back when they were mortal. They may not remember all of this (and indeed often do not), but it's still true.

\

The more you know.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
I think people make a mistake when they assume that the motivations of why a creature does something is because its evil. A goblin doesnt eat humans children because its evil. If so then a human would eat children because they are evil.

Humans don't eat children because they are evil, but they certainly do other awful things to children because they are evil.

DominusMegadeus wrote:
Exactly. Alignment doesn't determine action, action determines alignment. Goblins are Evil because they eat babies, not the other way around. {. . .}

Actions determine Alignment AND Alignment determines Actions. It is a two way street, in which each maintains the other, thus providing some inertia against change, but with change in the Evil direction being much easier than change in the Good direction, unless external influences are constantly pushing towards Good.

UnArcane brings up a good point, the concept of "It gets easier" loans itself to alignment influencing the actions of someone.

That paladin may stall for a while when they first execute a person who's surrendered. But eventually it can come to pass that there isn't a moment's hesitation when burning down a building of innocents that the fallen paladin now considers to all be traitors.


This is interesting as it's one of the key differences between Roman and Greek thought on motivation.

Romans thought your external actions showed who you really were, while the Greeks thought internal thoughts are what showed who you really were. or maybe it's vice versa.


I always consider the monsters perspective and try to portray them naturally.It helps me write the adventure.
Once I decide the kind of enemies I want there to be be,I make up their motivations...after that it sorta writes itself.
Knowing the Why? makes the how? and where? so much simpler.
Monsters flee and/or surrender in my games more than in many.Just because it makes sense that they would.
It's funny how suicidal PC's can be if confronted by 'Too powerful' enemies.I know it's a meta-gamey thing but unless you practically tell them to RUN!,they will instead charge gleefully to their DOOM,confident that the challenge is "CR appropriate".
It just shows that some can't even manage to see things thru their own characters perspective...much less the monsters.


To be fair, running away is boring and makes the party look like a bunch of wimps. No one wants to listen to the DM talk about higher level people and the scary stuff they do. The party wants to be the higher level people that NPCs have to hide from.

Generally. IMO. YMMV.


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I'm not sure I'd want to look at things from the monsters' perspective. Who wants to see a sword aimed at their eyeball or a fireball coming right at them?


DominusMegadeus wrote:

To be fair, running away is boring and makes the party look like a bunch of wimps. No one wants to listen to the DM talk about higher level people and the scary stuff they do. The party wants to be the higher level people that NPCs have to hide from.

Generally. IMO. YMMV.

I think I'm drifting towards the opposite extreme as a DM/GM. The world is large, and some will quake in fear when they see you coming. But there is always a bigger fish, and if you see one, RUN! Zombie movies are fun for just this reason. Killing one is easy, shot to the head. Killing the dozens that are attracted by the sound of the shot, not so much. The main characters spend much of the movie running, no matter how badass they are.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Exactly. Alignment doesn't determine action, action determines alignment. Goblins are Evil because they eat babies, not the other way around.

Yup! :)

DominusMegadeus wrote:
This is kind of reversed for outsiders of aligned planes because they're literally made of their alignment.
Actually, this isn't true. They're made from the souls of people who wound up on that plane. So...those who were already that Alignment by choice. So, in a very real sense, their actions, too, are what made them Evil, back when they were mortal. They may not remember all of this (and indeed often do not), but it's still true.

Not all outsiders come from mortal souls however. I would argue that outsiders are 'made that way' but we have evidence of even that not being 100% sticky either.

Scarab Sages

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Speaking personally I fall in two camps on the mater.

1) If the GM is genuinely trying to give them motivation for their actions and you can actually CHANGE the outcome based on that fact then I'm all for it. For exmaple in one AP there's an entire culture that kills and kills and kills to keep their divine symbol (a gigantic member of the race that just keeps growing) fed. Now finding that out (ingame) meant I could deal with them and offer to use my vast arcane powers (or badger the cleric into it) to create items of endless food so they can keep it fed without raiding and thus avoid conflict plus reduce their agressiveness long term I'm all for it. One of the things I loved in Baldurs Gate was the monsters with goals e.g. the giant bridge keepers who want a toll to use their bridge but let you go without a fight if you pay it or the random ogre who's happy to share his campfire with you.

2) On the other hand if the GM is just trying to give them a backstory but doesn't want to change things I'm against it. Again referring to Baldurs gate the ogre who has a belt fetish and let someone go in exchange for a special belt. Its a fascinating idea but its just their to provide a side quest and you can't trade another better belt to get that one back you just have to kill him. I don't want interesting well thought out stories on my bags of XP (human or otherwise) when I'm playing to escape. Its one of the reasons I'm not interested in playing a lot of AP's because they have all this fascinating backstory (at least the ones I'm interested enough to buy and read even if I can't play them) yet at the same time there's no follow through on it unless a GM personally puts it in. Its the equivilent of NPC X was brainwashed by evil villain (in the long term maniuplation not the magical sense) and now has sent the little sister she originally fought to protect in as a magical suicide bomber and you need to decide whether to kill the child and save the kingdom or let the attack go through and lose the kingdom to someone who views starting and maintianing wars as their only hobby with children as the preferred soldier since they're easy to manipulate (Recently reading a manga with that as the main villian).

So basically giving the various races motivations even if they aren't human ones are fine if you also allow that the players may be able to use those motivations to avoid conflict and still achieve an outcome all are happy with. If your not and its just going to make the players feel guilty then leave it out of the game.


Senko wrote:

Speaking personally I fall in two camps on the mater.

1) If the GM is genuinely trying to give them motivation for their actions and you can actually CHANGE the outcome based on that fact then I'm all for it. For exmaple in one AP there's an entire culture that kills and kills and kills to keep their divine symbol (a gigantic member of the race that just keeps growing) fed. Now finding that out (ingame) meant I could deal with them and offer to use my vast arcane powers (or badger the cleric into it) to create items of endless food so they can keep it fed without raiding and thus avoid conflict plus reduce their agressiveness long term I'm all for it. One of the things I loved in Baldurs Gate was the monsters with goals e.g. the giant bridge keepers who want a toll to use their bridge but let you go without a fight if you pay it or the random ogre who's happy to share his campfire with you.

2) On the other hand if the GM is just trying to give them a backstory but doesn't want to change things I'm against it. Again referring to Baldurs gate the ogre who has a belt fetish and let someone go in exchange for a special belt. Its a fascinating idea but its just their to provide a side quest and you can't trade another better belt to get that one back you just have to kill him. I don't want interesting well thought out stories on my bags of XP (human or otherwise) when I'm playing to escape. Its one of the reasons I'm not interested in playing a lot of AP's because they have all this fascinating backstory (at least the ones I'm interested enough to buy and read even if I can't play them) yet at the same time there's no follow through on it unless a GM personally puts it in. Its the equivilent of NPC X was brainwashed by evil villain (in the long term maniuplation not the magical sense) and now has sent the little sister she originally fought to protect in as a magical suicide bomber and you need to decide whether to kill the child and save the kingdom or let the attack go through and lose the kingdom to...

This

This is what makes an rpg rather than a hack and slash game.

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Abraham spalding wrote:
Not all outsiders come from mortal souls however. I would argue that outsiders are 'made that way' but we have evidence of even that not being 100% sticky either.

True. But most are. Only Qlippoth leap to mind as not, come to think of it.


I don't think Proteans come from mortal souls.

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Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:
I don't think Proteans come from mortal souls.

True enough. Nor Inevitables (though Axiomites, who built the Inevitables, probably do).

Still, I'm pretty sure it's true of all the Evil ones but Qlippoth (and I guess Asura, but that's only because they're corrupted genies, not corrupted mortal souls...putting them in the same category for practical purposes), and the Evil ones is what we were talking about. :)


There are a few adventures that allow players to be monsters.

Reverse Dungeon has the players be monster races trying to defend their dungeon from pesky adventurers

The Ogre's Skull/Key/Whatever has ogres trying to recover a relic.

The old Mystra setting had 'Orcs of Thar' where there was an entire country of humanoids who could have lots of dark humor style adventures. The art was hilarious as well.

For computer games, Dungeon Keeper.

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any creature that arises on the Outer Planes rises from mortal souls as they form the actual matter of the planes when their souls discorporate and merge with the essence of the plane. They aren't formed directly, but indirectly.

Qlippoth came from before the Abyss was part of the actual multiverse and got suborned into the river of souls.

==Aelryinth


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:
I don't think Proteans come from mortal souls.

True enough. Nor Inevitables (though Axiomites, who built the Inevitables, probably do).

Still, I'm pretty sure it's true of all the Evil ones but Qlippoth (and I guess Asura, but that's only because they're corrupted genies, not corrupted mortal souls...putting them in the same category for practical purposes), and the Evil ones is what we were talking about. :)

Actually that's Divs, not Asuras.

Also, I guess elementals would count.

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Odraude wrote:
Actually that's Divs, not Asuras.

You're right. My bad.

Odraude wrote:
Also, I guess elementals would count.

We were clearly talking Alignment subtype Outsiders. Those are the ones usually made of people's souls.


I love this thread...


Aelryinth wrote:

any creature that arises on the Outer Planes rises from mortal souls as they form the actual matter of the planes when their souls discorporate and merge with the essence of the plane. They aren't formed directly, but indirectly.

Qlippoth came from before the Abyss was part of the actual multiverse and got suborned into the river of souls.

==Aelryinth

However we still have plenty of examples of outsiders from before mortals existed.

Mortals are not a requirement to have outsiders. It's primarily the good and evil aligned outsiders that ultilize souls directly in the making of outsiders but even here we have examples of angels and devils from before the time of mortals.

So while many outsiders are made out of souls we know a lot of them are not (elementals are another example).

It would be more accurate to say that many good and evil aligned outsiders that have been created since the time of mortals use mortal souls to be created.

Contributor

Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:
I don't think Proteans come from mortal souls.

Not exclusively so, but mortal souls can become proteans. They can breed and they can also spontaneously generate from the raw stuff of the Maelstrom.

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