Killing Orcs toddlers is evil?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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You could give them to a church of Lamashtu.

It's in their tenets of faith to care for monstrous children.

It's even in the Antipaladin Code.

Lamashtu Anitpaladin Code wrote:

All things are monstrous, and only the weak hide their marks. I show the world as it is.

I will bring the outcasts in from the cold and teach them the taste of victory.

I fill the wombs. I birth the children. I teach our enemies why they fear the night.

I bring madness to the cities, that in their blood and fear they may understand the chaos of the world.

I will spread the Mother’s seed. If the blind cannot be taught to see, their children can.

Liberty's Edge

Caliban_ wrote:
The thing that gets me about this type of dilemma, is that it usually seems that the PC's are the first sentient creatures in the game world to encounter it.

What? Who says that? People could encounter it all the time.

Caliban_ wrote:
Either it just never came up for any other adventuring party, ever, or no one other than the PC's ever had any moral qualms about killing the babies or leaving them for dead.

Or some people totally did, and did things about it.

Caliban_ wrote:
I mean, if it it's the sort of thing that happens (and it should, unless the PC's are the first adventuring party in the world) from time to time wouldn't there be some sort of custom regarding it?

Why? It's not like it's gonna happen very often. Something that happens to five people once every decade and they don't necessarily talk a lot about does not a tradition make.

Caliban_ wrote:
If "good" people are expected to drop the kids off at a conveniently located orphanage or church, then that implies that there are full blooded orcs (and goblins and kobolds) that have been raised among the core races.

Yep. Or at least that it's a possibility. It might easily be hideously rare and nowhere near where you are, though.

Caliban_ wrote:

Which begs the question - why can't I play one?

Which in turn leads to the inescapable conclusion:

If I can't play an Orc, then it's OK to kill orc babies.

Nope. It could just as easily lead to the conclusion "Everyone else who kills whole humanoid tribes are really bad people."

Which, y'know, sounds pretty plausible.

Or that the GM doesn't allow all possible races just because they happen to be raised in civilization (see: every GM to ever disallow Aasimar or Tiefling PCs). Which sounds even more reasonable.


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Also by sparing the kids you will have an excellent chance of continuing the cycle when they grow up determined to kill all humans/elves/dwarves.

Solution? If they raid, kill the raiders. That is a pretty good message and make it clear that raising is bad, Mmmkay?


Rogar Stonebow wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:

inb4 Mikaze's Social Defense Force

Killing the babies is probably a terrible thing to do, no matter what, but that doesn't mean the party itself had the time or the patience to do the right thing themselves. It's not like the villagers would take orc babies in anyway.

Those kids were pretty much destined to die or, at best, raise themselves in the wilderness after you killed their parents, which was a distinctly good act considering their crimes. In effect, your Barbarian was just cutting to the chase.

Its just to bad that the barbarian killed the one orc baby that was going to find the cure to all STDs. The brothels would of been safe. But nooooooo. Had to cut to the chase.

Brothels of Calistria are probably pretty safe, what with Remove Disease n all.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . .}

For the record, even Fiends can canonically redeem themselves (and in doing so, lose the Evil subtype). So, Ragathiel presumably did that.
{. . .}

Actually, a Fiend becoming redeemed does not guarantee losing the Evil subtype.

Creature Types & Subtypes wrote:

Evil Subtype

This subtype is usually applied to Outsiders native to the evil-aligned Outer Planes. Evil Outsiders are also called fiends. Most creatures that have this subtype also have evil alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment.

This means that a Fiend could be redeemed, and then be vulnerable to BOTH Smite Evil and Smite Good, and other things that work like those. This could add significantly to the reasons for the rarity of redeemed Fiends . . . .


MannyGoblin wrote:

Also by sparing the kids you will have an excellent chance of continuing the cycle when they grow up determined to kill all humans/elves/dwarves.

Solution? If they raid, kill the raiders. That is a pretty good message and make it clear that raising is bad, Mmmkay?

If they raid, kill the raiders. And their friends. And their families. And anyone who might possibly want to avenge them. Or avenge any of the people you killed while you were killing people who might want to avenge the first people you killed. And then anyone who might want to avenge them.

Yeah, that's showing them who the good guys are.

I'm back to my previous scene of the orcish rear guard sacrificing themselves holding the party back so the children and elders have time to escape.


Claxon wrote:

As far as the rules are concerned the line from Champions of Purity covers it. The act of killing the young of generally evil races isn't considered an out of character or evil act necessarily.

For games played at home, which is 99% of them, feel free to rule this as you wish. But also let your players know ahead of time.

In my games I don't bring in innocent children to cause moral quandries because I'm not interested in them and neither are my players. We prefer much more black and white games because were not there for a debate about morality. If for whatever reason they do appear, I would consider killing them to be neutral. Ensuring their survival would be good a good act. Torturing, causing a cruel death, and slavery would all be evil options. The same as virtually any other characters you encounter.

Also, may I remind everyone that good and evil are objectively set by the gods of golarion so it cannot change based on different characters interpretations. It will however change based on how your GM interprets the gods ideas of good and evil.

Well said. Basically the GM makes the call on these decisions. In my current game, the actions of the barbarian would be justified because of the natural hatred between the barb clans and orc clans. It's a case of kill now or be (potentially) killed later.

But to each their own. I respect those who say it's an act of evil. Just doesn't happen to be evil in *my* games.


Killing orc toddlers certainly isn't good. But if it can be justified as an act of reasonable prudence, it's Neutral, not Evil. Particularly, if you killed all the orc parents, and don't have anyone available to foster them, I wonder what else you would do with them. There are nature-nurture questions here that aren't really settled by the game, and are probably even muddier considerations in-universe.

I don't consider alignment to be purely a matter of ideology. I think you have to look at consequences as well as principles, you have to consider the metaphysics of the setting, and you have to understand that alignment isn't purely a matter of personal belief. Alignment is going to correspond closely with ideologies that encourage behavior that is congruent, but belief systems don't exist INSIDE alignment. Alignment is one component of belief, but is also something that resides in actions.


Roccor wrote:
Claxon wrote:

As far as the rules are concerned the line from Champions of Purity covers it. The act of killing the young of generally evil races isn't considered an out of character or evil act necessarily.

For games played at home, which is 99% of them, feel free to rule this as you wish. But also let your players know ahead of time.

In my games I don't bring in innocent children to cause moral quandries because I'm not interested in them and neither are my players. We prefer much more black and white games because were not there for a debate about morality. If for whatever reason they do appear, I would consider killing them to be neutral. Ensuring their survival would be good a good act. Torturing, causing a cruel death, and slavery would all be evil options. The same as virtually any other characters you encounter.

Also, may I remind everyone that good and evil are objectively set by the gods of golarion so it cannot change based on different characters interpretations. It will however change based on how your GM interprets the gods ideas of good and evil.

Well said. Basically the GM makes the call on these decisions. In my current game, the actions of the barbarian would be justified because of the natural hatred between the barb clans and orc clans. It's a case of kill now or be (potentially) killed later.

But to each their own. I respect those who say it's an act of evil. Just doesn't happen to be evil in *my* games.

Just out of curiosity, is it evil when the orcs kill barbarian children?

Liberty's Edge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . .}

For the record, even Fiends can canonically redeem themselves (and in doing so, lose the Evil subtype). So, Ragathiel presumably did that.
{. . .}
Actually, a Fiend becoming redeemed does not guarantee losing the Evil subtype.

Per Wrath of the Righteous (which includes an example of this), they lose the subtype. That might have something to do with the method of redemption involved, but it's at least possible, if not universal.

So...in Golarion, they can indeed lose the subtype.


thejeff wrote:
Just out of curiosity, is it evil when the orcs kill barbarian children?

Assuming the orcs are marauders raiding villages it's no more evil to kill the children then they're already committing. Which I believe would be the general scenario.

If the orcs were attacking a human village because they had been raided by humans and found a bunch of human children after killing the adults (who were a persistent threat) then I would consider killing the children to be a neutral act.

Tit-for-tat.


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If a DM ever presented a situation like this to my Paladin I'd look him straight in the eye and ask "Surely my Code has something on what to do when encountering small children of generally vile races so that I wont fall, so since I am a devout follower of my deity and code I would know what to do in this situation. Unfortunately the core rule book's code does not have this case written in because the designers wanted to leave this up to DM's fiat. Wat Do."


thejeff wrote:
Roccor wrote:
Claxon wrote:

As far as the rules are concerned the line from Champions of Purity covers it. The act of killing the young of generally evil races isn't considered an out of character or evil act necessarily.

For games played at home, which is 99% of them, feel free to rule this as you wish. But also let your players know ahead of time.

In my games I don't bring in innocent children to cause moral quandries because I'm not interested in them and neither are my players. We prefer much more black and white games because were not there for a debate about morality. If for whatever reason they do appear, I would consider killing them to be neutral. Ensuring their survival would be good a good act. Torturing, causing a cruel death, and slavery would all be evil options. The same as virtually any other characters you encounter.

Also, may I remind everyone that good and evil are objectively set by the gods of golarion so it cannot change based on different characters interpretations. It will however change based on how your GM interprets the gods ideas of good and evil.

Well said. Basically the GM makes the call on these decisions. In my current game, the actions of the barbarian would be justified because of the natural hatred between the barb clans and orc clans. It's a case of kill now or be (potentially) killed later.

But to each their own. I respect those who say it's an act of evil. Just doesn't happen to be evil in *my* games.

Just out of curiosity, is it evil when the orcs kill barbarian children?

From the orc perspective, is it evil? No, it is a natural/normal process to slay humans (whatever their ages). From the overall context of my current game, is it evil? I repeat, (in my game) all orcs are evil aligned. What else is there to say?

Anyone can feel free to extrapolate what they wish from this. I am merely sharing what we do in our current Pathfinder campaign in reponse to the OP. :)


Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . .}

Per Wrath of the Righteous (which includes an example of this), they lose the subtype. That might have something to do with the method of redemption involved, but it's at least possible, if not universal.

So...in Golarion, they can indeed lose the subtype.

I didn't say that Fiends COULDN'T lose the Evil subtype (although the general Rules as Written give no specific mechanism for doing this), just that changing alignment away from Evil isn't enough to do it. Presumably the Wrath of the Righteous example had something in addition to alignment change happen off-screen.

It is a reasonable speculation that Ragathiel had to obtain Evil Subtype Removal by some hard-to-get method, since he wasn't accepted among the other Empyreal Lords for centuries (or maybe they're just jerks).

Incidentally, while looking up stuff for my previous post, I first went to the wrong page and stumbled upon Empyreal Lord Traits including Energy Drain. Go figure . . . .


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Moral relativism does not undo the definitions of alignment that Pathfinder has laid out:

"Good Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

Evil Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

Neutral People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others."

Even neutral characters take issue with killing the innocent. Depriving a child of the right to life because they are a certain race or because they might cause trouble for you later reflects the pettiness and sloth of an evil alignment.


So, the Core Rulebook conflicts with Champions of Purity.


Maybe? Is the word 'purity' put in between ironic quotation marks in the title of the book?

-Champions of "Purity"-

Like that? :p


as others have said.
In the history of your game world, this question/issue will have been raised many many times, therefore each culture, church, etc will have an 'answer'........assume the pcs do 'this', and move on

in metagame terms having sections of books about slaughtering children isn't a very good idea so it probably isn't mentioned in them!!


oh goody, this thread again.

short answer: yes.

long answer: yes, are you touched in the head you're MURDERING a SENTIENT SPECIES' BABY. there is literally no way that is ever going to be a good act, and never a not-evil action unless there is some SERIOUSLY extreme circumstances going down, at which point it becomes a very dark moral grey.

the only time this subject EVER gets foggy is when outsiders are involved, what with being a PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION OF THAT ALIGNMENT (conveniently, afaik they aren't born in the Normal Method and don't grow up--they just come into being as they are, so demon babies aren't as much of a thing to worry about unless it is specifically a demon that takes the appearance of a baby), and even with them alignment is more of an extreme disposition, not a hard-coded thing (a certain succubus in golarion canon we've all heard about being the prime and only example in recent memory).


Insain Dragoon wrote:
If a DM ever presented a situation like this to my Paladin I'd look him straight in the eye and ask "Surely my Code has something on what to do when encountering small children of generally vile races so that I wont fall, so since I am a devout follower of my deity and code I would know what to do in this situation. Unfortunately the core rule book's code does not have this case written in because the designers wanted to leave this up to DM's fiat. Wat Do."

That is an eminently reasonable course of action, one I like to call "How to avoid 90 percent of potential paladin problems outright".

Paladins aside, of course the act is evil. You're murdering babies! If you're asking whether good PCs are justified or should do it, that depends on whether that PC views it as a necessary evil. Good people do not do only good things, and sometimes good people do evil things. Sometimes they do evil things believing their course of action to be a lesser evil than the alternative. Sometimes they do evil things because it is more expedient, or because they have a character flaw that prevents them from being the boring stereotype of Incorruptible Pure Pureness.

So, yes, it's evil, but some good characters might do it anyway, and there's nothing wrong (in a meta sense) with that.


If a Paladin willingly commits an evil act (one is enough), he falls. That's part of the code of conduct.

So if killing the babies is evil (and it is), then doing so would make a Paladin fall. It would be bad for a Good Cleric as well.


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Most of my barbarians would have at least chucked some daggers at there feet to see if they attack, if they do problem solved you kill them in self defence. if not then you take them to the nearest village that the orcs have raided and hand the in to the village elder and let the village decide what to do with them.


Icyshadow wrote:

If a Paladin willingly commits an evil act (one is enough), he falls. That's part of the code of conduct.

So if killing the babies is evil (and it is), then doing so would make a Paladin fall. It would be bad for a Good Cleric as well.

Hence "paladins aside". As for paladins, if it's a "least evil possible action" or simply a moral slip-up in the face of the realities of war, that is what atonement is for.


Agreed. However, I still feel that there are people here that are trying to argue that their character has a Good alignment even when they are regularly performing Evil actions, and justifying them with some rather Evil rhetoric like "it's okay, they were not Human / they were ugly / they have some questionable cultural traits so it's fine to kill them" which is rather horrid considering Orcs are Humanoids too. I can understand if a Good character opts to kill an Evil Outsider rather than try to turn the being to the side of Good. The only exceptions for that would be followers of Shelyn and possibly Sarenrae, who do focus on the redemption thing more than other Good deities.


Paladins are bound by the part of the code that says, "help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents." Paladins are definitely covered in this scenario. Orc babies are in need and are basically innocent, so killing orc babies is out for paladins unless it is a bona fide mercy killing.

Good clerics, well, that takes us back to the original situation. I think to be a Good cleric you would have to be against baby killing, but I'm not convinced every situational killing is Evil in an alignment sense. Even if the balance of the act is evil, it may not be decisive. For instance, two groups in intergenerational warfare might be shading into Evil but may not be, basically and generally, Evil. Acts that result in some deaths of innocent people represent the nastier side of Neutral. Is is when death is disproportionate or unnecessary that you perform an Evil act.

I'm not advocating genocide. But I really have to wonder if a small human community is obliged to run an orc orphanage if they continue to battle their orc neighbors to the point of victory.


Anybody watch Counter Monkey on Youtube? He's got a great piece about prisoners and killing children.

Counter Monkey - The Prisoner Dilemma

Its a long episode but he brings up good points that are fairly universal for rpgs.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

In Pathfinder morality I'm pretty sure lawful good could give a fair trial, convict and sentence to death (ie genocide) a evil race (or nation) for crimes against other sentients. You know issue a ultimatum (sorry a warning) to the effect of any of you evil ****ers can surrender now and be subject to trial and if not sentenced to death for crimes already committed (like partaking in a raid that robbed or killed someone 'cause that's a capital crime) and get rehabilitated. After that, What you didn't heed that? Thought we were stupid do-gooders? Well you turned down a just (and only)opportunity for forgiveness so reap the whirlwind. It wouldn't be a good act, but it would be neutral (and Lawful). After all there's (hundreds?) plenty more sentient races out their, unlike in our time line where's there's only one (???). Surely killing orcs is preferable to killing say, dodos or passenger pigeons (after all, the birds aren't trying to genocide/enslave/rape/sacrifice your souls to an evil god so you're truly buggered, your species). It then comes down to what is more humane (sic) killing the kids or leaving them to starve? Chaotic good not so much, as each individual is responsible for their own actions.


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Maybe I'm the odd man out, but am I the one that doesn't call all children innocents for the purposes of Pathfinder?

I look at in this fashion:
Consider Xenomorphs, the aliens from Alien. Their life cycle is facehugger, chest burster, and adult. Their whole existence is to propogate and destroy any thing which may be a threat. Sounds very similar to orcs, at least to me.

While orc children would lack the capacity for killing that the facehugger/chest bursters do, in general they both end up being things that will try to kill anyone that is not an orc/alien.

Now, is it possible that xenomorphs might not kill? Maybe? Are they redeemable? Maybe? Would humans be justified in killing them anyways? Certainly.

But then again, I don't prefer to add a lot of moral ambiguity to a game. After all, this is just a game. So maybe it's just my preference, and thats fine. But I feel people are trying to hard to apply real life morality, and apply the nurture argument to a simple game.

I dunno, I guess the easiest thing is just don't include damn moral traps like this in a game. As a player I will only find it laborious.


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Icyshadow wrote:
Why punish the babies for the crimes of their parents?

Actually, this is the norm in many historical and even some current legal systems. Though usually "toddlers" are exempt.

I'd say it could pass for not-evil (but only just) if the PC invoked rules and customs of warfare. But in most cases that won't fly.


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In these situations you really need to bring along a human toddler. Throw the human toddler amongst the orc toddlers. If the orc toddlers rip the human infant to pieces, then you can safely kill them. If they all play nicely together, then round the orclings up and take them to an orphanage.

Alternatively, if the paladin scans the orclings for evil, you can probably just skip the whole feed them a human baby to prove it schtick and just kill them.


Claxon wrote:

Maybe I'm the odd man out, but am I the one that doesn't call all children innocents for the purposes of Pathfinder?

I look at in this fashion:
Consider Xenomorphs, the aliens from Alien. Their life cycle is facehugger, chest burster, and adult. Their whole existence is to propogate and destroy any thing which may be a threat. Sounds very similar to orcs, at least to me.

While orc children would lack the capacity for killing that the facehugger/chest bursters do, in general they both end up being things that will try to kill anyone that is not an orc/alien.

Now, is it possible that xenomorphs might not kill? Maybe? Are they redeemable? Maybe? Would humans be justified in killing them anyways? Certainly.

But then again, I don't prefer to add a lot of moral ambiguity to a game. After all, this is just a game. So maybe it's just my preference, and thats fine. But I feel people are trying to hard to apply real life morality, and apply the nurture argument to a simple game.

I dunno, I guess the easiest thing is just don't include damn moral traps like this in a game. As a player I will only find it laborious.

I very much agree with the last part. Actual interesting moral dilemma are fun. Contrived things like this are obnoxious.

Two big differences between orcs and xenomorphs: The most obvious is that facehuggers are themselves deadly dangerous, so you really couldn't take them home and raise them even in the short term. (Short of things like programs to use them as weapons.)
It's also not clear how intelligent xenomorphs are. A certain level of cunning, certainly, but it appears to be all or nearly all instinctive programmed behavior. They don't have anything recognizable as culture. They don't make tools or build cities or anything else. They're designed as weapons. Killing machine.

Orcs are far, far closer to humans. They may be innately more ferocious and dangerous than humans, but they are capable of self-restraint. They can trade and form alliances or peace treaties. They do not simply reproduce and kill anything not orc on sight.
At least in Golarion and under the official PF take on them. If you, in your home game, want to change that so that they are nothing but killing machines, then the moral calculation would change.

As a side note: That's part of my problem with Paizo's take on goblins. As much fun as the little pyromaniacal things are, it's very hard to both accept that take and that they are really free-willed sentients capable of moral choice or of being raised to be members of civilized society. Their default behavior is just too extreme to be "just culture". IMO.

Sovereign Court

Claxon wrote:

I look at in this fashion:

Consider Xenomorphs, the aliens from Alien. Their life cycle is facehugger, chest burster, and adult. Their whole existence is to propogate and destroy any thing which may be a threat. Sounds very similar to orcs, at least to me.

While orc children would lack the capacity for killing that the facehugger/chest bursters do, in general they both end up being things that will try to kill anyone that is not an orc/alien.

That was basically my earlier point. In most settings (like Golarion) it'd be evil because orcs aren't ALWAYS evil, and it's mostly a nurture vs nature thing, with orcs just tending to have short tempers etc. - often just being viking style raiders.

But IF you're in a setting where orcs are little more than murder machines and are never anything else, then it wouldn't be evil. Still not good, but not evil. (40k style orks for one thing - though 40k avoided the moral issue by having orks be basically fungus/animal hybrid - they literally pop out of the ground - scrawny, but fully grown.)

Not all humainoids in every setting are just humans with a twist.


thejeff wrote:
Roccor wrote:
Claxon wrote:

As far as the rules are concerned the line from Champions of Purity covers it. The act of killing the young of generally evil races isn't considered an out of character or evil act necessarily.

For games played at home, which is 99% of them, feel free to rule this as you wish. But also let your players know ahead of time.

In my games I don't bring in innocent children to cause moral quandries because I'm not interested in them and neither are my players. We prefer much more black and white games because were not there for a debate about morality. If for whatever reason they do appear, I would consider killing them to be neutral. Ensuring their survival would be good a good act. Torturing, causing a cruel death, and slavery would all be evil options. The same as virtually any other characters you encounter.

Also, may I remind everyone that good and evil are objectively set by the gods of golarion so it cannot change based on different characters interpretations. It will however change based on how your GM interprets the gods ideas of good and evil.

Well said. Basically the GM makes the call on these decisions. In my current game, the actions of the barbarian would be justified because of the natural hatred between the barb clans and orc clans. It's a case of kill now or be (potentially) killed later.

But to each their own. I respect those who say it's an act of evil. Just doesn't happen to be evil in *my* games.

Just out of curiosity, is it evil when the orcs kill barbarian children?

Nope not at all....


Rogar Stonebow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Roccor wrote:
Claxon wrote:

As far as the rules are concerned the line from Champions of Purity covers it. The act of killing the young of generally evil races isn't considered an out of character or evil act necessarily.

For games played at home, which is 99% of them, feel free to rule this as you wish. But also let your players know ahead of time.

In my games I don't bring in innocent children to cause moral quandries because I'm not interested in them and neither are my players. We prefer much more black and white games because were not there for a debate about morality. If for whatever reason they do appear, I would consider killing them to be neutral. Ensuring their survival would be good a good act. Torturing, causing a cruel death, and slavery would all be evil options. The same as virtually any other characters you encounter.

Also, may I remind everyone that good and evil are objectively set by the gods of golarion so it cannot change based on different characters interpretations. It will however change based on how your GM interprets the gods ideas of good and evil.

Well said. Basically the GM makes the call on these decisions. In my current game, the actions of the barbarian would be justified because of the natural hatred between the barb clans and orc clans. It's a case of kill now or be (potentially) killed later.

But to each their own. I respect those who say it's an act of evil. Just doesn't happen to be evil in *my* games.

Just out of curiosity, is it evil when the orcs kill barbarian children?
Nope not at all....

Good to see we're endorsing the killing of children of any race. I was afraid it was a "nits breed lice" argument.

Nope, it's just that killing babies really isn't a bad thing.


thejeff wrote:
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Roccor wrote:
Claxon wrote:

As far as the rules are concerned the line from Champions of Purity covers it. The act of killing the young of generally evil races isn't considered an out of character or evil act necessarily.

For games played at home, which is 99% of them, feel free to rule this as you wish. But also let your players know ahead of time.

In my games I don't bring in innocent children to cause moral quandries because I'm not interested in them and neither are my players. We prefer much more black and white games because were not there for a debate about morality. If for whatever reason they do appear, I would consider killing them to be neutral. Ensuring their survival would be good a good act. Torturing, causing a cruel death, and slavery would all be evil options. The same as virtually any other characters you encounter.

Also, may I remind everyone that good and evil are objectively set by the gods of golarion so it cannot change based on different characters interpretations. It will however change based on how your GM interprets the gods ideas of good and evil.

Well said. Basically the GM makes the call on these decisions. In my current game, the actions of the barbarian would be justified because of the natural hatred between the barb clans and orc clans. It's a case of kill now or be (potentially) killed later.

But to each their own. I respect those who say it's an act of evil. Just doesn't happen to be evil in *my* games.

Just out of curiosity, is it evil when the orcs kill barbarian children?
Nope not at all....

Good to see we're endorsing the killing of children of any race. I was afraid it was a "nits breed lice" argument.

Nope, it's just that killing babies really isn't a bad thing.

All though it may have not seemed it, my above post was completely sarcastic.

Unless an infant is lethally able to kill a fully armed adult, no matter the race killing said infant is wrong.

Liberty's Edge

Icyshadow wrote:
So, the Core Rulebook conflicts with Champions of Purity.

Pretty much every single sentence of Champions of Purity except one agrees with the core rulebook's definitions.

That one is, I'm basically positive, designed to let GMs decide moral issues themselves, not endorse child murder. Which I think is a pretty defensible position given what James Jacobs said on the issue.


Rogar Stonebow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Roccor wrote:
Claxon wrote:

As far as the rules are concerned the line from Champions of Purity covers it. The act of killing the young of generally evil races isn't considered an out of character or evil act necessarily.

For games played at home, which is 99% of them, feel free to rule this as you wish. But also let your players know ahead of time.

In my games I don't bring in innocent children to cause moral quandries because I'm not interested in them and neither are my players. We prefer much more black and white games because were not there for a debate about morality. If for whatever reason they do appear, I would consider killing them to be neutral. Ensuring their survival would be good a good act. Torturing, causing a cruel death, and slavery would all be evil options. The same as virtually any other characters you encounter.

Also, may I remind everyone that good and evil are objectively set by the gods of golarion so it cannot change based on different characters interpretations. It will however change based on how your GM interprets the gods ideas of good and evil.

Well said. Basically the GM makes the call on these decisions. In my current game, the actions of the barbarian would be justified because of the natural hatred between the barb clans and orc clans. It's a case of kill now or be (potentially) killed later.

But to each their own. I respect those who say it's an act of evil. Just doesn't happen to be evil in *my* games.

Just out of curiosity, is it evil when the orcs kill barbarian children?
Nope not at all....

Good to see we're endorsing the killing of children of any race. I was afraid it was a "nits breed lice" argument.

Nope, it's just that killing babies really isn't a bad thing.

All though it may have not seemed it, my above post was completely sarcastic.

Unless an infant is lethally able to kill a fully armed adult, no matter the race killing said...

Oh good. Poe's Law strikes again.

Liberty's Edge

In a universe where orcs are like xenomorphs, monstrous killing machines that cannot be reasoned with or pacified in any way short of killing them, I could see killing the orc children not being an Evil act. But by that point what you have is no longer an orc as described by the Pathfinder books.


thejeff wrote:
Nope, it's just that killing babies really isn't a bad thing.

As others have said, it's completely dependent on the metaphysics of the setting. If orcs are guaranteed (or near-guaranteed) to grow up to be evil, then killing them before they can do evil is 100% justified and good.

If every adult orc in the village attacked, that suggests that all of their children, if allowed to grow up, will become evil and kill many more innocents than you would be killing if you kill the children.

This really is a problem with calling these "races" rather than "species," because that opens up comparison with humans who have killed other humans based on race, which we all can agree is evil in real life. They are a different species.

Officially, in Golarion, orcs sometimes can be neutral or good. But if every adult attacked in this settlement, it's reasonable to conclude that their children will, almost certainly, grow up to kill others (the exception being possibly if raised in a civilized species' orphanage, if said species will accept them).

I even more strongly believe those who attack and flee because the fight isn't going well for them should, if possible, be killed. Otherwise, they just live to kill innocents another day (and in their case, they are not even innocents themselves). And in their case there is no chance even by official Golarion rules that those who flee are not evil.

Liberty's Edge

I'd just like to point out that since orcs can reproduce with humans and produce fertile offspring they are definitely not different species unless you're using a wildly different definition of "species" than I am.


Poe's Law?


Oly wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Nope, it's just that killing babies really isn't a bad thing.

As others have said, it's completely dependent on the metaphysics of the setting. If orcs are guaranteed (or near-guaranteed) to grow up to be evil, then killing them before they can do evil is 100% justified and good.

If every adult orc in the village attacked, that suggests that all of their children, if allowed to grow up, will become evil and kill many more innocents than you would be killing if you kill the children.

This really is a problem with calling these "races" rather than "species," because that opens up comparison with humans who have killed other humans based on race, which we all can agree is evil in real life. They are a different species.

Officially, in Golarion, orcs sometimes can be neutral or good. But if every adult attacked in this settlement, it's reasonable to conclude that their children will, almost certainly, grow up to kill others (the exception being possibly if raised in a civilized species' orphanage, if said species will accept them).

I even more strongly believe those who attack and flee because the fight isn't going well for them should, if possible, be killed. Otherwise, they just live to kill innocents another day (and in their case, they are not even innocents themselves). And in their case there is no chance even by official Golarion rules that those who flee are not evil.

Define "attacked" in this case.

If a subgroup from the village has been raiding, prompting the party to attack the village to stop/avenge the raids, then all the adults present fight to defend their village (and their kids) are they all automatically evil?

Even in the case of those doing the raiding, some are likely just following along with their bullying leader (which is pretty much how orc society works). Under a different, less aggressive leader they might not be a threat.

Also, not all conflicts between groups are caused by one side being "evil", even in fantasy worlds.

Liberty's Edge

PrinceRaven wrote:
In a universe where orcs are like xenomorphs, monstrous killing machines that cannot be reasoned with or pacified in any way short of killing them, I could see killing the orc children not being an Evil act. But by that point what you have is no longer an orc as described by the Pathfinder books.

Agreed.

Oly wrote:

If every adult orc in the village attacked, that suggests that all of their children, if allowed to grow up, will become evil and kill many more innocents than you would be killing if you kill the children.

This really is a problem with calling these "races" rather than "species," because that opens up comparison with humans who have killed other humans based on race, which we all can agree is evil in real life. They are a different species.

Officially, in Golarion, orcs sometimes can be neutral or good. But if every adult attacked in this settlement, it's reasonable to conclude that their children will, almost certainly, grow up to kill others (the exception being possibly if raised in a civilized species' orphanage, if said species will accept them).

Killing children because they 'might grow up and kill more of my people' is one of the most vile sentiments I've ever encountered, and frankly the exact excuse used by various real world genocides.

See also PrinceRaven's comment on species and interbreeding.

Oly wrote:
I even more strongly believe those who attack and flee because the fight isn't going well for them should, if possible, be killed. Otherwise, they just live to kill innocents another day (and in their case, they are not even innocents themselves). And in their case there is no chance even by official Golarion rules that those who flee are not evil.

Fighting defensively =/= going out and killing innocents. So...this is true if you're fighting off a raid, but not if you're attacking the Orc village.


Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Poe's Law?
Quote:
it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.

Alternately phrased as "It's impossible to create a parody of extremism that somebody won't actually defend."


PrinceRaven wrote:
I'd just like to point out that since orcs can reproduce with humans and produce fertile offspring they are definitely not different species unless you're using a wildly different definition of "species" than I am.

It's pretty obvious that D&D broadly uses a different definition of species than the commonly accepted scientific definition.

(Which isn't exactly the real scientific definition, once you get into things like chonospecies and hybrids anyway.)

Liberty's Edge

So if a bunch of orcs attack a human settlement and every adult human tries to fight back, and these orcs find some human children, the right thing to do would be to slaughter them mercilessly, lest they grow up to kill orcs like the adults did?

Sczarni

If playing a paladin, I would take the orc babies to a trusted orphanage to raise them. If the orc then decides to be evil, it is dealt with.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Oly wrote:

If every adult orc in the village attacked, that suggests that all of their children, if allowed to grow up, will become evil and kill many more innocents than you would be killing if you kill the children.

This really is a problem with calling these "races" rather than "species," because that opens up comparison with humans who have killed other humans based on race, which we all can agree is evil in real life. They are a different species.

Officially, in Golarion, orcs sometimes can be neutral or good. But if every adult attacked in this settlement, it's reasonable to conclude that their children will, almost certainly, grow up to kill others (the exception being possibly if raised in a civilized species' orphanage, if said species will accept them).

Killing children because they 'might grow up and kill more of my people' is one of the most vile sentiments I've ever encountered, and frankly the exact excuse used by various real world genocides.

I'm saying in a universe where it's not 'might' but almost definitely 'will.' If you time traveled and came across Hitler as a toddler, it would be a good act to kill toddler-Hitler.

Your argument of 'might' would hold according to official rules of Golarion, where not all orcs grow up to be evil.

There is not "racial" (if it's called that) equality between the D&D "races" (which I therefore prefer to call species) the way there is between human races.

Oly wrote:
I even more strongly believe those who attack and flee because the fight isn't going well for them should, if possible, be killed. Otherwise, they just live to kill innocents another day (and in their case, they are not even innocents themselves). And in their case there is no chance even by official Golarion rules that those who flee are not evil.
Quote:
Fighting defensively =/= going out and killing innocents. So...this is true if you're fighting off a raid, but not if you're attacking the Orc village.

That's fair, at least in a universe (like Golarion officially is) where some Orcs aren't evil, and might have just been defending their village. But I think some in this thread would even oppose killing fleeing raiders, and I have a major problem with that view.


PrinceRaven wrote:
I'd just like to point out that since orcs can reproduce with humans and produce fertile offspring they are definitely not different species unless you're using a wildly different definition of "species" than I am.

Some species can interbreed.

Mule = horse + donkey.
Cama = camel + llama.
Liger = lion + tiger.
and so on.

But since we are talking about a fantasy world, the orc breeding ability could be an unnatural demonic gift.

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