Killing Orcs toddlers is evil?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Ulfen Death Squad wrote:
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.

If playing a paladin, I would, first try very hard to avoid killing all the adults in any such situation, thus avoiding the problem.

If the GM forces it anyway, I would take them to such an orphanage. If no such place was easily available, I'd quit the game.
Either way, I'd immediately go buy a Phylactery of Faithfulness because the GM is obviously not to be trusted.

As I've said before, the range of cases where it's definitely good to kill all the adults, but still evil to kill the children should be very small. Races where all the adults are fanatical warriors who fight to the death, but the children are precious innocents don't work well for me.


Burn all the fields before the Ligers can!! wait, is that right?


Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Its evil in my campaigns, not evil in my buddies.

You know, I think Rogar sums this issue up well.

Roger wrote:
For me, it's an evil act. But the PC argued the Bestiary says orcs are bad people. Also I remembered reading drow could only by Evil, so I supposed the same happended with orcs.

Nope. If you wanted it to be an evil act in your world, it could have been. Now, though, it's muddied, since it sounds like you let the player get away with it without warning him clearly that your setting is different from Golarion's default assumption.

Obviously, it can still be a flat-out evil act, but I don't suggest disciplining his character for what he wasn't aware of. Then again, it can be a matter of player vs. character knowledge, so who knows?


Jeven wrote:
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.

Even in D&D there are weirdnesses, if you try to apply the standard definition:

Humans and orcs are the same species, since they can interbreed
Humans and elves are the same species, since they can interbreed
Elves and orcs are not the same species, since they can't interbreed
But both elves and orcs are human, which means humans aren't the same species.

IOW, it's more complicated than that.


If you kill all the baby Orcs then what left for the future generations! my god man! think of the children!

Liberty's Edge

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Nope. If you wanted it to be an evil act in your world, it could have been. Now, though, it's muddied, since it sounds like you let the player get away with it without warning him clearly that your setting is different from Golarion's default assumption.

For the record, I'm pretty sure that Golarion's default setting includes this being Evil. the player was misinterpreting things. In fact, he was misinterpreting them a bunch.

Liberty's Edge

Jeven wrote:
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.

Which is why I said "and produce fertile offspring." Hybrids like that have little to no chance of being fertile.

Also, where does it say elves and orcs can't interbreed? I always assumed they could.


If you're playing Mouse Guard, doing this denies you entry into heaven.

good game, everyone!


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Nope. If you wanted it to be an evil act in your world, it could have been. Now, though, it's muddied, since it sounds like you let the player get away with it without warning him clearly that your setting is different from Golarion's default assumption.
For the record, I'm pretty sure that Golarion's default setting includes this being Evil. the player was misinterpreting things. In fact, he was misinterpreting them a bunch.

OTOH, whatever the official word on the subject, having every single adult orc they might fight fanatically to the death, conveys a very different impression.

Perhaps a couple of non-combatants sobbing and begging our heroes to spare their children would change that a little.

On the gripping hand, if, as some have suggested here, slaying all the adults, even those who try to surrender or run, is the good thing to do, that might explain why they all fanatically fight to the death.


As for the Champions of Purity thing since I saw it brought up again. CoP says that they view that action as good that doesn't necessarily mean it's actually good.

Liberty's Edge

If every single adult orc in a village fought my adventuring party to the death I'd think "hmm, maybe there's something else going on here. Perhaps someone or something is controlling these orcs. We should investigate this before making any hasty decisions." Not "orcs, amirite? Let's go murder some infants without second guessing ourselves at all."


PrinceRaven wrote:
Jeven wrote:
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.

Which is why I said "and produce fertile offspring." Hybrids like that have little to no chance of being fertile.

Also, where does it say elves and orcs can't interbreed? I always assumed they could.

By omission, if nothing else. Half-orcs and half elves are core races. Orc/elf crosses aren't, even in the ARG, and don't, as far as I know, show up even as individuals.

Which is generally the case with all other possible crosses. No explicit rules text stating which races can't interbreed.

In actual fact that kind of thing isn't uncommon in the real world. There are, IIRC, geographically widespread species groups where neighbors can always interbreed, but groups farther apart can't.
A - B - C - D
A is close enough to B to interbreed as are B&C and C&D, but A and D are too distant.

Also can be seen with population evolution over time. When a speciation event happens there's never a firm line when two generations couldn't interbreed, but that doesn't mean the resulting species could interbreed with the ancestral one.

Dragons on the other hand appear to be the same species as everything.


PrinceRaven wrote:
If every single adult orc in a village fought my adventuring party to the death I'd think "hmm, maybe there's something else going on here. Perhaps someone or something is controlling these orcs. We should investigate this before making any hasty decisions." Not "orcs, amirite? Let's go murder some infants without second guessing ourselves at all."

Not if that's always how orcs behave.

Even though they're really free-willed beings with a moral conscience who could be upstanding citizens. It's just that every one anyone has ever met is a remorseless fanatic killer.

Liberty's Edge

Well, there's half-orc and half-elf, an elf-orc could use either race option.
As far as dragons go, I'm pretty sure their biology is governed by "screw the rules, I'm a dragon."

Sovereign Court

thejeff wrote:
Dragons on the other hand appear to be the same species as everything.

Well - Dragons are nearly always depicted with multiple horns. Ba dum bum CHING.


Many times in this thread I have heard that they would kill the babies instead of taking 30 minutes of in game time to role play taking the babies to be raised. What is wrong with saying to the dm our characters will take the children somewhere to be raised properly maybe talk about it out of game or in an email. If at that point the dm insists in role playing it out, then kill the bastards be done with it.


Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Many times in this thread I have heard that they would kill the babies instead of taking 30 minutes of in game time to role play taking the babies to be raised. What is wrong with saying to the dm our characters will take the children somewhere to be raised properly maybe talk about it out of game or in an email. If at that point the dm insists in role playing it out, then kill the bastards be done with it.

While I certainly wouldn't just kill the babies (unless playing more evil than I'm usually comfortable with), I'd assume the GM has some motivation for forcing the situation and thus would be unlikely to make it as easy as "Fine, you take them with you back to town to an orphanage you know about and we move on."

What's the point of a moral dilemma if it's easily defused with no consequences?

OTOH, I am now considering a master villain who uses this known trait of our heroes to slow down their progress hunting him by making his various minions have babies on site in progressively more remote locations so when the heroes defeat the minions they have to trek back to the orphanage rather then continue to follow the clues to his lair. Bwah-ha-ha-hah!!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

what baffles me is that there are still some DMs out there who feel the urge to ask "what do you guys do with the orc women and babies?"

asking the question creates the problem, so IMO the adventurers are not evil, the DM is! ;-)

(I avoid those issues and don't go near them, not even with a ten foot pole--- orc war camp is composed entirely of adult fighting orcs, period)


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

what baffles me is that there are still some DMs out there who feel the urge to ask "what do you guys do with the orc women and babies?"

asking the question creates the problem, so IMO the adventurers are not evil, the DM is! ;-)

(I avoid those issues and don't go near them, not even with a ten foot pole--- orc war camp is composed entirely of adult fighting orcs, period)

That's pretty much my take on it.

If for one reason or another I want them to have to deal with the actual settlement where there should be children and other non-combatants, then there will be ways to do so without wholesale slaughter. Non-combatants will behave like non-combatants. Likely even the warriors will surrender or flee if overmatched.

If the PCs start slaughtering indiscriminately, there will be plenty of cues they're doing the wrong thing and alignments will change long before they're left with only babies.


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Honesty, this is why I just don't play good characters anymore. Moral ambiguity can suck it when your sheet says NE.


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Just don't go calling yourself a hero. And don't be surprised if you die due to a Paladin smiting the hell out of you.


thejeff wrote:
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
Many times in this thread I have heard that they would kill the babies instead of taking 30 minutes of in game time to role play taking the babies to be raised. What is wrong with saying to the dm our characters will take the children somewhere to be raised properly maybe talk about it out of game or in an email. If at that point the dm insists in role playing it out, then kill the bastards be done with it.

While I certainly wouldn't just kill the babies (unless playing more evil than I'm usually comfortable with), I'd assume the GM has some motivation for forcing the situation and thus would be unlikely to make it as easy as "Fine, you take them with you back to town to an orphanage you know about and we move on."

What's the point of a moral dilemma if it's easily defused with no consequences?

OTOH, I am now considering a master villain who uses this known trait of our heroes to slow down their progress hunting him by making his various minions have babies on site in progressively more remote locations so when the heroes defeat the minions they have to trek back to the orphanage rather then continue to follow the clues to his lair. Bwah-ha-ha-hah!!

That's actually pretty common and can make for a fun situation (Kill Bill comes to mind twice).

Grand Lodge

I didn't make the situation to create a slaughter. I only said there were toddlers. I suposes they would prefer to take care of them, but the barbarian simply butchered them.
Thanks everybody for all that answers!


thegreenteagamer wrote:
Honesty, this is why I just don't play good characters anymore. Moral ambiguity can suck it when your sheet says NE.

Meh. LN, NN, CN is the way to go. No fraks given about good or evil. Don't do one too much or the other. No paladins to worry about, no weight of moral restrictions. Just you and your goal. Everything else is superfluous.


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Roger Corbera wrote:

I didn't make the situation to create a slaughter. I only said there were toddlers. I suposes they would prefer to take care of them, but the barbarian simply butchered them.

Thanks everybody for all that answers!

But you did. Even if you weren't doing so intentionally.

Were all the adult orcs dead? Why? Were they all warriors? Why did they have no non-combatants, except for the children? Why did they all fight to the death? None tried to flee or surrender?

Did you present a race of all fanatical warriors and then expect the party to treat the toddlers as innocent kids instead of monsters?

Of course, if there were adults left who could have taken the toddlers, but the barbarian killed the kids anyway, that's a different story. It's also not one that requires the whole orphanage routine.

Silver Crusade

AndIMustMask wrote:


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).

Also dragon babies, because they might still try to chew your face off, even when fresh out of their eggs.


Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:


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).

Also dragon babies, because they might still try to chew your face off, even when fresh out of their eggs.

Dragons are pretty much born able to take care of themselves and act independently.

I've used wyrmlings as BBEGs for low level adventures. With their own minions and everything.

That puts them in a different category than humanoid kids. More so if you consider anything below young adult as "dragon kids" .


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Nice try Roger, you arent escaping that easy.

Not to murderhobo this any more, but turn "orc" into "trained killer psycho pit bull" and "orc toddler" into "untrained killer psycho pit bull puppies". The game dehumanizes them by their nature so we dont have to live with all that sadness.

They are MONSTERS, why deny them their nature? If a twenty seat wagon with eighteen orcs went over a cliff, I am sad there were two empty seats, and am gonna miss those horses.

Sure, they are cute when they are little, but look what they grow up to be...


Heimdall666 wrote:

Nice try Roger, you arent escaping that easy.

Not to murderhobo this any more, but turn "orc" into "trained killer psycho pit bull" and "orc toddler" into "untrained killer psycho pit bull puppies". The game dehumanizes them by their nature so we dont have to live with all that sadness.

They are MONSTERS, why deny them their nature? If a twenty seat wagon with eighteen orcs went over a cliff, I am sad there were two empty seats, and am gonna miss those horses.

Sure, they are cute when they are little, but look what they grow up to be...

I've met some very nice, well trained and socialized adult pit bulls. Not a threat at all.


thejeff wrote:
Heimdall666 wrote:

Nice try Roger, you arent escaping that easy.

Not to murderhobo this any more, but turn "orc" into "trained killer psycho pit bull" and "orc toddler" into "untrained killer psycho pit bull puppies". The game dehumanizes them by their nature so we dont have to live with all that sadness.

They are MONSTERS, why deny them their nature? If a twenty seat wagon with eighteen orcs went over a cliff, I am sad there were two empty seats, and am gonna miss those horses.

Sure, they are cute when they are little, but look what they grow up to be...

I've met some very nice, well trained and socialized adult pit bulls. Not a threat at all.

Then those pit bulls were neither killer nor psycho. Orcs are, usually.


DominusMegadeus wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Heimdall666 wrote:

Nice try Roger, you arent escaping that easy.

Not to murderhobo this any more, but turn "orc" into "trained killer psycho pit bull" and "orc toddler" into "untrained killer psycho pit bull puppies". The game dehumanizes them by their nature so we dont have to live with all that sadness.

They are MONSTERS, why deny them their nature? If a twenty seat wagon with eighteen orcs went over a cliff, I am sad there were two empty seats, and am gonna miss those horses.

Sure, they are cute when they are little, but look what they grow up to be...

I've met some very nice, well trained and socialized adult pit bulls. Not a threat at all.
Then those pit bulls were neither killer nor psycho. Orcs are, usually.

It depends on how they were raised and socialized.


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thejeff wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Heimdall666 wrote:

Nice try Roger, you arent escaping that easy.

Not to murderhobo this any more, but turn "orc" into "trained killer psycho pit bull" and "orc toddler" into "untrained killer psycho pit bull puppies". The game dehumanizes them by their nature so we dont have to live with all that sadness.

They are MONSTERS, why deny them their nature? If a twenty seat wagon with eighteen orcs went over a cliff, I am sad there were two empty seats, and am gonna miss those horses.

Sure, they are cute when they are little, but look what they grow up to be...

I've met some very nice, well trained and socialized adult pit bulls. Not a threat at all.
Then those pit bulls were neither killer nor psycho. Orcs are, usually.
It depends on how they were raised and socialized.

I think the commonality of Half-orc thugs (or even outright barbarians) kind of spits in the eye of the nature versus nurture idea. Orcs just come out of the womb with anger. Not that it can't be overcome. Not that humans aren't like that sometimes. Not that every single half-orc is a barbarian or dumb or violent.

Not all of them all of the time. Just a lot a lot of the time.


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This is all kinds of real-world unsavory, but here's a question. Let's say your party got into a fight with a village of warrior-raiders, and you killed all the adults, thereupon discovering a creche of young human toddlers. What happens next?

To be honest, historically speaking, things do not look good for those kids. That's probably not a situation most players want to deal with, but it's not very different than the orc situation.

I think, generally speaking, when you write "Good" on your character sheet, you should be thinking you're amenable to the idea of escorting a dozen orc toddlers to an orphanage or at least the vicinity of a non-evil adult humanoid. But I'm also not opposed, in a grittier game, for letting Good non-paladins get away with some Neutral Nasty behavior. For me, part of the appeal of fantasy gaming is the violent brutality and the warrior culture ethos, which is quite different from a modern conception of morality. Mind you, if characters keep somehow, how does this keep happening?, ending up in situations where they are committing genocide, I think looking at the big picture that's a steady slide into evil. But situationally killing orc toddlers is, well, justifiable, for a very low bar of acceptable behavior.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Honesty, this is why I just don't play good characters anymore. Moral ambiguity can suck it when your sheet says NE.

I'm partially agreeing with you here, as I've recently experienced playing Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Evil characters and it can be interesting. I say partially, because having evil on my sheet has led to way more planning on my behalf (potions of undetectable alignment, investing in protections against mind reading, etc.)

Remember that murder is murder, regardless of your alignment, and only morons will use murder indiscriminately as a solution... (my two PCs are intelligence 16 and 14, respectively, so while they're evil, killing fellow humanoids in civilized areas is not on their do-do list... evil is so much sweeeeeter when applied in more subtle ways, like applying political pressure on a city council member to stop a rezoning application done by your ex-wife's new boyfriend... MUHAHAHAHAHAH!)


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See, and thejeff makes my point about pit bulls (orcs), you can either be soft and fuzzy or realistic. "It depends on how they were raised and socialized."

Reality says: Pit Bulls will kill some of the people who piss them off including their own family/children, there really doesn't need to be a good reason, it's just Homicide Tuesday. "And he never bit anyone before he killed little Junior, he was such a good dog."

S&F says: We should just hug it out with them and everything will turn out ok. And forgive them. And let them play with the other children.

Nature is a cruel Mother.

I will agree that pit bulls are dogs, however the true test is to go to any animal shelter in America and adopt one that you trust out of the 40 killers awaiting execution. Its very sad, they dominate the kennels in population.


If all Pit Bulls do that, why do we still keep them around? Either you're generalizing or I have way too much faith in humanity.


Heimdall666 wrote:

See, and thejeff makes my point about pit bulls (orcs), you can either be soft and fuzzy or realistic. "It depends on how they were raised and socialized."

Reality says: Pit Bulls will kill some of the people who piss them off including their own family/children, there really doesn't need to be a good reason, it's just Homicide Tuesday. "And he never bit anyone before he killed little Junior, he was such a good dog."

S&F says: We should just hug it out with them and everything will turn out ok. And forgive them. And let them play with the other children.

Nature is a cruel Mother.

Just to switch to a different bandwagon for a moment. That's really bull. Reality says that a lot of Pitbulls are owned by people who like the vicious dog image and don't train them properly. Or who actually train them for use as guard animals or something else where they want the vicious.

Like any large powerful breed, they require more care and training than smaller ones, but they're not inevitably going to kill people just because they're Pit bulls.

Plenty of incompetent dog owners of all breeds do the "My dog is safe" routine when they have no control over their precious monster.

Edit: Adopting an adult pit bull is an entirely different story. You don't know how they were raised. Even a puppy is going to be a lot of work and a longterm commitment.


RJGrady wrote:

This is all kinds of real-world unsavory, but here's a question. Let's say your party got into a fight with a village of warrior-raiders, and you killed all the adults, thereupon discovering a creche of young human toddlers. What happens next?

To be honest, historically speaking, things do not look good for those kids. That's probably not a situation most players want to deal with, but it's not very different than the orc situation.

I think, generally speaking, when you write "Good" on your character sheet, you should be thinking you're amenable to the idea of escorting a dozen orc toddlers to an orphanage or at least the vicinity of a non-evil adult humanoid. But I'm also not opposed, in a grittier game, for letting Good non-paladins get away with some Neutral Nasty behavior. For me, part of the appeal of fantasy gaming is the violent brutality and the warrior culture ethos, which is quite different from a modern conception of morality. Mind you, if characters keep somehow, how does this keep happening?, ending up in situations where they are committing genocide, I think looking at the big picture that's a steady slide into evil. But situationally killing orc toddlers is, well, justifiable, for a very low bar of acceptable behavior.

1) You can certainly get away with some evil behavior even as a good (non-paladin) character. You're definitely heading in that direction once you start killing the babies though.

2) I do think that if the appeal is "the violent brutality and the warrior culture ethos", you really want a game without the objective morality of D&D/PF. Or at least a heavily modified version of it.


thejeff wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Heimdall666 wrote:

Nice try Roger, you arent escaping that easy.

Not to murderhobo this any more, but turn "orc" into "trained killer psycho pit bull" and "orc toddler" into "untrained killer psycho pit bull puppies". The game dehumanizes them by their nature so we dont have to live with all that sadness.

They are MONSTERS, why deny them their nature? If a twenty seat wagon with eighteen orcs went over a cliff, I am sad there were two empty seats, and am gonna miss those horses.

Sure, they are cute when they are little, but look what they grow up to be...

I've met some very nice, well trained and socialized adult pit bulls. Not a threat at all.
Then those pit bulls were neither killer nor psycho. Orcs are, usually.
It depends on how they were raised and socialized.

And how much is nature vs. nurture and how certain it is that the toddlers will become monsters if left alive depends on things we don't even know in real life.

So, it really depends on the PF universe as defined by the GM. If the toddlers are near-certain to become monsters if left alive, they should be killed. If that's only true if they're raised in orc culture, then they should be taken to an orphanage of a civilized culture, even if there are adult orcs alive to raise them, so that they can be redeemed. If there's a reasonable chance they'll turn out okay even if raised in orc culture, then leaving them with adult survivors would be preferable.

We know in real life that all human races are equal. We know in PF that not all humanoid "races" are. A GM's definition of the universe, which should be known to the players at least if they ask, determines what is good or evil in the situation.


Watch The Dog Whisperer. Daddy and Junior — Cesar's main two dogs that he uses to help adjust other dogs — are pit bulls. He uses these dogs as role models for problem dogs. And it works, because he is a man who knows what he's doing and has trained his pit bulls properly.


Icyshadow wrote:
If all Pit Bulls do that, why do we still keep them around? Either you're generalizing or I have way too much faith in humanity.

My opinion is that enough Pit Bulls do that, that owning them should be illegal and Pit Bulls should be forced to be sterilized or killed.

That's easy, because Pit Bulls are non-sentient (Int < 3) and while it's possible to raise those who aren't monsters, too many are monsters.

It's not as simple with a sentient species, and since probably 1/3 (maybe more) of pit bulls are not a threat, that would be wrong if they were sentient. And in a universe where 1/3 of orcs were benign, killing orc children would be very wrong/evil. In a universe where only 1/100 of orcs are benign, all orcs of any age should be killed on sight.

So it all comes down to the laws of the universe.


What happens when the paladin wants to parry the blade of the barbarian? How would you handle that? Especially if the ethos is about protecting the innocent. Which I assume orc infants are?


Oly wrote:
thejeff wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Heimdall666 wrote:

Nice try Roger, you arent escaping that easy.

Not to murderhobo this any more, but turn "orc" into "trained killer psycho pit bull" and "orc toddler" into "untrained killer psycho pit bull puppies". The game dehumanizes them by their nature so we dont have to live with all that sadness.

They are MONSTERS, why deny them their nature? If a twenty seat wagon with eighteen orcs went over a cliff, I am sad there were two empty seats, and am gonna miss those horses.

Sure, they are cute when they are little, but look what they grow up to be...

I've met some very nice, well trained and socialized adult pit bulls. Not a threat at all.
Then those pit bulls were neither killer nor psycho. Orcs are, usually.
It depends on how they were raised and socialized.

And how much is nature vs. nurture and how certain it is that the toddlers will become monsters if left alive depends on things we don't even know in real life.

So, it really depends on the PF universe as defined by the GM. If the toddlers are near-certain to become monsters if left alive, they should be killed. If that's only true if they're raised in orc culture, then they should be taken to an orphanage of a civilized culture, even if there are adult orcs alive to raise them, so that they can be redeemed. If there's a reasonable chance they'll turn out okay even if raised in orc culture, then leaving them with adult survivors would be preferable.

We know in real life that all human races are equal. We know in PF that not all humanoid "races" are. A GM's definition of the universe, which should be known to the players at least if they ask, determines what is good or evil in the situation.

I very much agree with this. Especially with the GM making it clear to the players what his take on the situation is.

For example, I would be very upset with a GM who would only give in-world information "Everyone knows orcs are just violent monsters", but treated killing orc babies as evil because they really are redeemable, even though your culture doesn't think so.

I'd be bothered by the "take them away, even if there are adult orcs left" approach being the best one though. Even with word of God saying it's the right thing to do, it's got way too much resonance with real world history for me.

If we're going with orcs as more realistic not-always vicious monsters, I'd rather go all the way and make their culture(s) sufficiently complex to be "always evil if raised in culture".

Scarab Sages

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Oly wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
If all Pit Bulls do that, why do we still keep them around? Either you're generalizing or I have way too much faith in humanity.

My opinion is that enough Pit Bulls do that, that owning them should be illegal and Pit Bulls should be forced to be sterilized or killed.

That's easy, because Pit Bulls are non-sentient (Int < 3) and while it's possible to raise those who aren't monsters, too many are monsters.

It's not as simple with a sentient species, and since probably 1/3 (maybe more) of pit bulls are not a threat, that would be wrong if they were sentient. And in a universe where 1/3 of orcs were benign, killing orc children would be very wrong/evil. In a universe where only 1/100 of orcs are benign, all orcs of any age should be killed on sight.

So it all comes down to the laws of the universe.

In a thread about the morality of killing babies, I'm surprised that this is the most inhumane thing I've read. If one was to actually compare pit-bulls to orcs, it'd be a fantastic argument for saving the orcs, because Pit Bulls are one of the naturally sweetest and most affectionate breeds... that get trained and bullied into being monsters.

There's an interesting idea... Orcs start off as cuddly, warm, and compassionate, and become monsters due to societal views that they are constrained by, and consequently raised into.


thejeff wrote:
Oly wrote:
thejeff wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Heimdall666 wrote:

Nice try Roger, you arent escaping that easy.

Not to murderhobo this any more, but turn "orc" into "trained killer psycho pit bull" and "orc toddler" into "untrained killer psycho pit bull puppies". The game dehumanizes them by their nature so we dont have to live with all that sadness.

They are MONSTERS, why deny them their nature? If a twenty seat wagon with eighteen orcs went over a cliff, I am sad there were two empty seats, and am gonna miss those horses.

Sure, they are cute when they are little, but look what they grow up to be...

I've met some very nice, well trained and socialized adult pit bulls. Not a threat at all.
Then those pit bulls were neither killer nor psycho. Orcs are, usually.
It depends on how they were raised and socialized.

And how much is nature vs. nurture and how certain it is that the toddlers will become monsters if left alive depends on things we don't even know in real life.

So, it really depends on the PF universe as defined by the GM. If the toddlers are near-certain to become monsters if left alive, they should be killed. If that's only true if they're raised in orc culture, then they should be taken to an orphanage of a civilized culture, even if there are adult orcs alive to raise them, so that they can be redeemed. If there's a reasonable chance they'll turn out okay even if raised in orc culture, then leaving them with adult survivors would be preferable.

We know in real life that all human races are equal. We know in PF that not all humanoid "races" are. A GM's definition of the universe, which should be known to the players at least if they ask, determines what is good or evil in the situation.

I very much agree with this. Especially with the GM making it clear to the players what his take on the situation is.

For example, I would be very upset with a GM who would only give in-world information "Everyone knows orcs are just violent monsters", but treated killing orc babies as evil because they really are redeemable, even though your culture doesn't think so.

I'd be bothered by the "take them away, even if there are adult orcs left" approach being the best one though. Even with word of God saying it's the right thing to do, it's got way too much resonance with real world history for me.

If we're going with orcs as more realistic not-always vicious monsters, I'd rather go all the way and make their culture(s) sufficiently complex to be "always evil if raised in culture".

If they are always (or almost always) evil if raised in culture, then not taking them away creates other evil beings.

I actually don't know when in world history that was done (as opposed to race/ethnic-based genocide, which we all know of), but I'll trust you it was done wrongly at some points in real world history.

But again, all human races are equal (cultures not necessarily, but no human culture creates almost exclusively evil people). All PF "races" are definitely not. If orcs are almost always evil if raised in-culture, but redeemable if raised outside of orc culture, then the good thing is not to allow them to be raised in culture.

Good should desire a world free of evil to the extent possible.


Heimdall666 wrote:

Nice try Roger, you arent escaping that easy.

Not to murderhobo this any more, but turn "orc" into "trained killer psycho pit bull" and "orc toddler" into "untrained killer psycho pit bull puppies". The game dehumanizes them by their nature so we dont have to live with all that sadness.

They are MONSTERS, why deny them their nature? If a twenty seat wagon with eighteen orcs went over a cliff, I am sad there were two empty seats, and am gonna miss those horses.

Sure, they are cute when they are little, but look what they grow up to be...

But it isn't in their nature they have the chance to choose just like anyone else, if brought up in an environment such as the stereotypical evil Orc raider village they most likely will grow up to be like those around them(a few might not and might actually leave the village) but if they were taken out of that setting and placed in peaceful village(or was already in a village like this) they will most likely grow up to be like those around them(again a few might not).

I'd agree with you on the Orcs going over a cliff if they were nothing but bloodthristy murders but I'd be sad if they were on a quest to heal the sick, trade with a village, just be traveling to see new places/find a place to live, etc.


Davor wrote:
Oly wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
If all Pit Bulls do that, why do we still keep them around? Either you're generalizing or I have way too much faith in humanity.

My opinion is that enough Pit Bulls do that, that owning them should be illegal and Pit Bulls should be forced to be sterilized or killed.

That's easy, because Pit Bulls are non-sentient (Int < 3) and while it's possible to raise those who aren't monsters, too many are monsters.

It's not as simple with a sentient species, and since probably 1/3 (maybe more) of pit bulls are not a threat, that would be wrong if they were sentient. And in a universe where 1/3 of orcs were benign, killing orc children would be very wrong/evil. In a universe where only 1/100 of orcs are benign, all orcs of any age should be killed on sight.

So it all comes down to the laws of the universe.

In a thread about the morality of killing babies, I'm surprised that this is the most inhumane thing I've read. If one was to actually compare pit-bulls to orcs, it'd be a fantastic argument for saving the orcs, because Pit Bulls are one of the naturally sweetest and most affectionate breeds... that get trained and bullied into being monsters.

It's entirely different. Orcs are sentient in any reasonable universe, so it takes much more justification to kill them than to sterilize (or kill if necessary) a breed of dog. It can still be justified, but it takes a world where about 99% of them are evil.

I've seen statistics that pit bulls cause far, far more dog bites per capita than any other breed. Getting rid of them is therefore good for the only sentient species (which includes several sentient races) on the planet. There are enough innocent/"good" pit bulls that it would still be wrong if they were sentient; but given that they aren't, we should get rid of them.

Some communities ban them for that reason.


Oly wrote:
Davor wrote:
Oly wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
If all Pit Bulls do that, why do we still keep them around? Either you're generalizing or I have way too much faith in humanity.

My opinion is that enough Pit Bulls do that, that owning them should be illegal and Pit Bulls should be forced to be sterilized or killed.

That's easy, because Pit Bulls are non-sentient (Int < 3) and while it's possible to raise those who aren't monsters, too many are monsters.

It's not as simple with a sentient species, and since probably 1/3 (maybe more) of pit bulls are not a threat, that would be wrong if they were sentient. And in a universe where 1/3 of orcs were benign, killing orc children would be very wrong/evil. In a universe where only 1/100 of orcs are benign, all orcs of any age should be killed on sight.

So it all comes down to the laws of the universe.

In a thread about the morality of killing babies, I'm surprised that this is the most inhumane thing I've read. If one was to actually compare pit-bulls to orcs, it'd be a fantastic argument for saving the orcs, because Pit Bulls are one of the naturally sweetest and most affectionate breeds... that get trained and bullied into being monsters.

It's entirely different. Orcs are sentient in any reasonable universe, so it takes much more justification to kill them than to sterilize (or kill if necessary) a breed of dog. It can still be justified, but it takes a world where about 99% of them are evil.

I've seen statistics that pit bulls cause far, far more dog bites per capita than any other breed. Getting rid of them is therefore good for the only sentient species (which includes several sentient races) on the planet. There are enough innocent/"good" pit bulls that it would still be wrong if they were sentient; but given that they aren't, we should get rid of them.

Some communities ban them for that reason.

I would be for banning them in deed restricted communities. If the dog owner doesnt want to lose his dog....move.


Oly, that really isn't going to score any morality points outside of discussions of utilitarianism. For instance, I find your viewpoint abhorrent to the point of evil, though it may be well-intentioned.


Oly wrote:

If they are always (or almost always) evil if raised in culture, then not taking them away creates other evil beings.

I actually don't know when in world history that was done (as opposed to race/ethnic-based genocide, which we all know of), but I'll trust you it was done wrongly at some points in real world history.

But again, all human races are equal (cultures not necessarily, but no human culture creates almost exclusively evil people). All PF "races" are definitely not. If orcs are almost always evil if raised in-culture, but redeemable if raised outside of orc culture, then the good thing is not to allow them to be raised in culture.

Good should desire a world free of evil to the extent possible.

Yeah, I know it makes logical sense, but it's the kind of logical sense that leads to atrocities. In the fantasy world, we can decide that such and such a culture is irredeemably evil and know we're right about it.

But at that point we're doing the exact same thing many cultures have done in the past because they thought they were right about it. It's different, because we have an outside viewpoint and are objectively defining what's good and evil in the world, but from inside it would look very much the same.

Many of those sending Native Americans to Indian Schools truly believed they were doing good by destroying their culture. Earlier many missionaries believed they were doing good by killing the heathen and converting their children.
Not the same, since we'd actually be right about it, but the resonance is too much for me. I'd rather not set up the world to work that way.

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