Why do people presume undead template means evil template?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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The Sword wrote:
Following this logic there is nothing wrong with necrophilia.

No, following this logic there is nothing evil about necrophilia. Which there isn't, at least by Pathfinder definitions. Whether or not there is something wrong with it is a matter of personal opinion.

The Sword wrote:
Orcus would agree with you.

Firstly, no he would not, because he is a fictional character. Secondly, I'm not entirely sure that he would care. He doesn't seem to have a particularly strong viewpoint on the matter. Thirdly, Hitler ate sugar.

The Sword wrote:
I believe that canibalism is profane
profane wrote:

relating or devoted to that which is not sacred or biblical; secular rather than religious

not respectful of orthodox religious practice; irreverent

Depends on what religion you're talking about, and has absolutely nothing to do with evil.

The Sword wrote:
and degenerate
degenerate wrote:
having lost the physical, mental, or moral qualities considered normal and desirable; showing evidence of decline

In other words: it's morally bad. Still no reason why.

The Sword wrote:
particularly in a game world where bodies do actually have souls

In Pathfinder, people have souls. People have bodies. Bodies do not have souls. A body is just an object, with no moral connotations attached.

Now, if there is a high likelihood that the creature in question will be revived, and you know that destroying their body will prevent that, then yes, it could be evil. But there's still nothing particularly evil about cannibalism itself.


KujakuDM wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
KujakuDM wrote:
Yes in Golarion there are Evil birds.
Except you're suggesting Birds are Evil, not just some Birds that are Evil.
No, you are suggesting that. I'm saying that Lust as a concept in pathfinder is evil. If you could show me a creature with the good type in pathfinder that is the embodiment of lust I will be more than happy to concede that point.

Ah, given that the very Goddess of Lust in Golarion is Chaotic Neutral, and the Neutral Good Goddess of Love even admits the necessity of lust in a loving relationship, that kind of sinks the idea of Lust being inherently Evil.


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The Sword wrote:
Sorry eating dead intelligent creature unless it is essential to survive - I.e. an 'Alive' type scenario is evil. It isn't just the killing that is wrong. Eating people is wrong - pure and simple.

Without some sort of evidence or appeal to reason your words are worthless. Unless you can explain why it's wrong, why should we take your word for it? You attempt to tell us what is and is not right and wrong morality (whether game morality or not) but there is no authority or qualification that you have to do such a thing, and without some sort of appeal to reason it is, again, worthless.

Quote:
Do you think it is coincidence that no culture permits eating your own people - even those that practice canibalism only do it to outsiders.

Factually wrong. There's at least one recorded culture that considered it respectful to eat your dead. Here's an example.

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This might be a result of historical religious reasons, or a subliminal need to prevent disease, or the fact that generally old people make lousy eating. Nevertheless it is a universal truth.

In your posts, I've universally found little truth.

Quote:
Examples of people eating other people are universally met with horror by all moral people.

Also incorrect. I for example, couldn't care less.

Quote:
This is a debate that has gone round in circles though and I doubt I will change your mind or you mine.

As long as you are making statements as though they were factual but providing no reasoning - not even raw evidence but just a logical map for arriving at that conclusion - you do in fact have no chance of changing my mind, and if that's the way that you prefer to function, then there's nothing to be gained from exerting the effort to try to change your mind. I can only hope that other people reading the thread decide to choose a logical path as opposed to your example of alternative.

Quote:
I do agree though once you make a conscious decision to kill something, how you go about it is more about the law/chaos axis than the good/evil. There is a difference but it is one of hnour and fairness.

Oh geeze, here we go about honor again. Honor varies. You can have honorable ninja and honorable samurai even though both groups would see the other as grossly dishonorable.


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The Sword wrote:
The fact that it hasn't been codified as a rule doesn't mean it isn't true. Alignment rules are deliberately vague to allow groups to reach there own conclusions. Viewpoint on canabilism is a personal moral viewpoint.

Let's look this over.

Quote:
Canibalism is wrong though for the same reason necrophilia is wrong, or sewing a corpses arms and legs in alternate places. It is an affront to dignity.

But goodness only cares about the dignity of sentient creatures. You're manipulating an object, a soulless, mindless object. Taxidermy is probably not sending anyone to the abyss anytime soon.

Quote:
You mean not to one race in Pathfinder. Lizardfolk don't see it as an affront to dignity. Therefore as far as they are concerned it is not evil.

It's either good/evil or it's not. If Chelaxians considered genocide quite good it doesn't make it so.


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The Sword wrote:
Following this logic there is nothing wrong with necrophilia. Orcus would agree with you.

There actually isn't anything wrong with necrophilia. It's just most people find using a corpse as a dildo particularly gross. I mean, if you saw some guy start doin' the deed with a dead deer, you'd be like "omg, gross, you're sick" and that's A-OK, but there's nothing immoral about it.

EDIT: I mean, is it really any more questionable than killing, gutting, and eating a creature and then wearing its flesh and making art from its bones?


If you only consider you and the corpse itself, perhaps not - but the other consideration is the potential pain and suffering you inflict on other people 'socially' as it were through the act. If you know that in the society the dead are sacred and that defiling grandmas corpse is going to cause people pain and anguish, and you are doing it for self gratification then it's an evil act full stop, do not pass go, no $200 for you. Causing pain and anguish for no other reason than your own self gratification seems like a textbook bit of evil, no?

Stripping the acts of their surrounding context is a no go.


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RDM42 wrote:
If you only consider you and the corpse itself, perhaps not - but the other consideration is the potential pain and suffering you inflict on other people 'socially' as it were through the act. If you know that in the society the dead are sacred and that defiling grandmas corpse is going to cause people pain and anguish, and you are doing it for self gratification then it's an evil act full stop, do not pass go, no $200 for you. Causing pain and anguish for no other reason than your own self gratification seems like a textbook bit of evil, no?

This goes back to the cannibalism isn't evil, murdering someone is. One could make the case that intentionally causing emotional harm to the living relatives of the deceased thing. However, that requires the existence of some people to hurt, which is contextual to the situation.

I mean, most anything could be made evil. If you, for poops and giggles, set a corpse on fire in front of the original owner's loved ones - especially in a society that thinks bad things of burning corpses - would be pretty rotten. But burning corpses, in and of itself isn't evil.

Just like having sex with dead objects isn't. It can be pretty damn gross though. I mean really, you did what with that drider-corpse? Ew, just, ew. Don't even look at me, I might catch whatever you've got. >:(

Quote:
Stripping the acts of their surrounding context is a no go.

Since I've supported this statement 100%, we agree.

However, that literally means that a very desperate adventurer on a very lonely night with a very dead goblin isn't actually doing anything evil. He or she probably shouldn't tell anyone about it though.


"Good or evil is what we are in the dark"

If you know that it would cause those people pain and suffering if they knew about it, and you callously do it anyway with no regard per than your own self-gratification, that has certain implications for the state of your mindset.


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RDM42 wrote:

"Good or evil is what we are in the dark"

If you know that it would cause those people pain and suffering if they knew about it, and you callously do it anyway with no regard per than your own self-gratification, that has certain implications for the state of your mindset.

Far from it. If you know what you're going to do isn't going to be harmful to someone else, then that rationally matters. Because, as noted, these things do not happen in a vacuum.

Eating rabbit isn't evil. Eating someone's pet rabbit in front of them would be pretty cruel. Dissecting corpses isn't evil. Making someone watch you dissecting the corpse that was their husband's body might be. Whether you are doing good or evil is entirely dependent upon which one of those things (if any) you are promoting in your actions.

If you're not actively hurting, oppressing, or killing, you are not doing evil. If you are not actively being altruistic, protecting life, or being concerned for the dignity of sentient beings, you're not doing good.

Our hypothetical desperate, lonely, necrophiliac adventurer with the dead goblin is actually doing neither evil nor good. It's pretty gross though. He or she could take the corpse, do lewd things to eat, then eat the meat, and make wind chimes out of the fingerbones and make the femur into weird scrimshaw art and wear their face as a hat. Literally none of that stuff is actively evil, nor good. It's just really, really gross to most people.


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RDM42 wrote:

"Good or evil is what we are in the dark"

If you know that it would cause those people pain and suffering if they knew about it, and you callously do it anyway with no regard per than your own self-gratification, that has certain implications for the state of your mindset.

For example, people get upset and pained about a lot of things. Including harmless things. We casually go about our days doing things that actively upset or hurt the feelings of people, but we do so without concern unless someone will actually be hurt by it. In some cases we do it anyway because we find their sensibilities so pointless that we don't take the time to try to spare them the suffering of their own petty feelings (such as in the case of bigots who get hurt and upset because you kissed your same-sex dudebro in front of them or their kids and it hurts their feelings).

Have you ever eaten meat when you didn't need to just to survive? Well, you've hurt someone else's sensibilities and feelings.

See, I think the "good and evil is what we are in the dark" is very accurate, but it's not able what good or evils we do in absolutes, it's whether we're really good or if we're just putting on a show in front of everyone or if we're really concerned for others.

For example, if I was with someone that was upset when they saw people eating tasty animals, I'd refrain from eating animals around them. Not because I feel like eating a cheeseburger is morally wrong but because I'd rather make that person happier than not. Unless I found that person's presence repugnant, in which case I might just ask for a McDouble just to piss them off (which would be wrong of me to do).

Shadow Lodge

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Motivations also matters
If you direct a corpse because it would help you learn more about the being that killed her, then that action isn't evil (I'd call it neutral) if you're dissecting the corpse because it would help you save more lives because of the above, that's a good act. If you tear apart the corpse because you're pissed off at her still living husband, then you're being evil (and also a dick)
So also does the inherit prejudice that whatever being or beings decide your your afterlife depending on the setting.
Edit: ninjaed by like 40 seconds.


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Lord Foul II wrote:

Motivations also matters

If you direct a corpse because it would help you learn more about the being that killed her, then that action isn't evil (I'd call it neutral) if you're dissecting the corpse because it would help you save more lives because of the above, that's a good act. If you tear apart the corpse because you're pissed off at her still living husband, then you're being evil (and also a dick)
So also does the inherit prejudice that whatever being or beings decide your your afterlife depending on the setting.
Edit: ninjaed by like 40 seconds.

Agreed. In the case of things like the doctors, they were doing something socially unacceptable but by D&D/Pathfinder's alignment system it wasn't anything evil. In fact, it was actually - factually - good, because they were "desecrating" those corpses in the furtherance of good. Explicitly they were putting themselves in danger to help others, with a concern for protecting life, and to ensure the quality of life for the living.

So they were doing something that at the time was considered reprehensible, despicable, disgusting, unethical, immoral, and abominable. Yet as far as D&D/Pathfinder is concerned, they were definitely Good aligned if that was the general quality of their character.


Ashiel wrote:
snip

Ash, your assumptions *only* work if the ends justify the means in the morality scale.

In Pathfinder, they don't.

That's why killing isn't evil, but attacking someone when not provoked is.


In Pathfinder, it doesn't matter why you are creating undead. It, in and of itself, is a morally evil act.

It doesn't matter if you're planning to order the Undead to save a wagon full of super devout priestesses of Shelyn you've done evil just by raising the undead.

Do we know why?

It's vague.

It seems making an undead requires ripping out a piece of the original owner's soul, presumably after they are at peace, then forcing it back into its former meat suit that no longer functions properly but giving it the ability to move while suppressing its free will.

I'm under the impression that it's not a pleasant experience for the formerly alive consciousness.


Question, is non-spell undead creation evil?

Also, I just want to say that I've had a bit of fun with the fact that nowhere in undead fluff does it say they torture the persons soul except for specific undead, so I've been able to do things like have an outsider meet an undead made from itself.

edit: Another question, how does the "Soul capture" theory work with situations were you make multiple undead from one body?


SAMAS wrote:
KujakuDM wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
KujakuDM wrote:
Yes in Golarion there are Evil birds.
Except you're suggesting Birds are Evil, not just some Birds that are Evil.
No, you are suggesting that. I'm saying that Lust as a concept in pathfinder is evil. If you could show me a creature with the good type in pathfinder that is the embodiment of lust I will be more than happy to concede that point.
Ah, given that the very Goddess of Lust in Golarion is Chaotic Neutral, and the Neutral Good Goddess of Love even admits the necessity of lust in a loving relationship, that kind of sinks the idea of Lust being inherently Evil.

She's Chaotic Neutral tending towards Nasty and Vindictive, so it's a fairly weak argument.


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According to the table in Champions of Purity, at least two good gods grant access to the Lust subdomain (Cayden Cailean and Kofusachi).

Also, Then there's the Neutral Good Empyreal Lord Arshea, the "Spirit of Abandon", worshipped by Courtesans, embodying Freedom, Physical beauty and Sexuality: "Arshea's most devout followers endeavor to achieve sexual release daily (either solo or with partners), praise the beauty of the partners and self, and pray to Arshea while naked." And also grants the Lust domain.


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HWalsh wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
snip

Ash, your assumptions *only* work if the ends justify the means in the morality scale.

In Pathfinder, they don't.

That's why killing isn't evil, but attacking someone when not provoked is.

You got it backwards, the means justify the ends. A Paladin doesn't fall because he killed an orc because the Paladin was actively being altruistic and protective of life in doing so. The action that he was taking had elements of both good and evil to it but in some cases the action is more good than evil or is just neutral.

Because killing is defined as an aspect of evil which is used to determine evil actions (there are no innately evil actions according to the alignment rules), so if you do not allow temperance through good, then the end result is every adventurer is going to end up committing many, many evil actions, because the alignment rules make no distinction between different forms of killing (but temperance through how good the action is does this naturally).

You can say that killing isn't evil but it's expressly evil. It's in fact one of three core definitions of what evil is and how to recognize what is evil in Pathfinder.

To show just how effective the system actually is when being used, the reason attacking someone while unprovoked is evil is because you're hurting, oppressing, and possibly killing someone and you're not being altruistic, protective of life, or concerned for the dignity of sentient creatures.

It's nothing but evil.


Ashiel wrote:
*snip*

Killing isn't evil in Pathfinder. Unlike raising undead. You lose any argument where you make that claim because you know its not true.

There is 0 supporting evidence for the claim.


Milo v3 wrote:


edit: Another question, how does the "Soul capture" theory work with situations were you make multiple undead from one body?

Since you only use a piece of the soul it works fine. It just means you're ripping out more than one piece.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:

Killing isn't evil in Pathfinder. Unlike raising undead. You lose any argument where you make that claim because you know its not true.

There is 0 supporting evidence for the claim.

Da fuq?

Alignment wrote:
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.

Everything in that paragraph is about killing.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Killing isn't evil in Pathfinder. Unlike raising undead. You lose any argument where you make that claim because you know its not true.

There is 0 supporting evidence for the claim.

Da fuq?

Alignment wrote:
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.
Everything in that paragraph is about killing.

I just really wish people would actually read the rules if they're going to talk about them. It would be super helpful to this discussion.

Well, except the discussion would probably abruptly end, but y'know.


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HWalsh wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:


edit: Another question, how does the "Soul capture" theory work with situations were you make multiple undead from one body?
Since you only use a piece of the soul it works fine. It just means you're ripping out more than one piece.

Citation please. Nothing in the core rules says that animate dead uses the soul that resided in the corpse to be animated. There is material that supports that create undead keeps the soul of the person, and that other sentient undead retain the souls, but there's nothing at all that suggests mindless undead have souls at all.

Further, we can actually prove that a person's soul can exist alongside a mindless skeleton or zombie made from their former corpse.

Shadow Lodge

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HWalsh wrote:

In Pathfinder, it doesn't matter why you are creating undead. It, in and of itself, is a morally evil act.

It doesn't matter if you're planning to order the Undead to save a wagon full of super devout priestesses of Shelyn you've done evil just by raising the undead.

Do we know why?

It's vague.

It seems making an undead requires ripping out a piece of the original owner's soul, presumably after they are at peace, then forcing it back into its former meat suit that no longer functions properly but giving it the ability to move while suppressing its free will.

I'm under the impression that it's not a pleasant experience for the formerly alive consciousness.

it's just as evil as casting holy word in the middle of an orphanage is "good"


HWalsh wrote:


Killing isn't evil in Pathfinder.

Core Rulebook wrote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.

Apparently it is.

HWalsh wrote:
Unlike raising undead.

Again, try reading the actual rules. Creating undead being evil isn't in there: you just made it up. As a matter of fact,

Quote:

You lose any argument where you make that claim because you know its not true.

There is 0 supporting evidence for the claim.


137ben wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


Killing isn't evil in Pathfinder.

Core Rulebook wrote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others.
Apparently it is.

Keep reading the rest of the quote. Where it explains evil creatures kill for X, Y, and Z.

Quote:
HWalsh wrote:
Unlike raising undead.
Again, try reading the actual rules. Creating undead being evil isn't in there: you just made it up. As a matter of fact,

Create Undead states the following:

School necromancy [evil]; Level cleric/oracle 6, shaman 6, sorcerer/wizard 6; Domain death 6, evil 6

I'll highlight the important part:

School necromancy [evil]

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You know what the [Evil] tag does?

Tells you clerics of Good deities can't cast it. That's it.

Nowhere in the actual rules does it say "Spells with the Evil descriptor are Evil acts/spells/whatever". It's totally reasonable to say they are, but the rules don't actually do it.

Community Manager

Removed some unhelpful posts and responses. Please be civil to each other, thank you!


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Varg the orc stopped mid bite, noticing the horror on his companions' faces. "What?"

Sasha the priestess shook her head. "You can't just eat people, Varg! It's wrong!"

Varg looked confused. "I just took his whole face off with my axe about three minutes ago. Was that wrong?"

"No, we were in a fight." Sasha said, like it was self evident.

Vary eyed his chunk of human like a philosopher. "I coulda tried not to kill him or somethin'. Used the flat of the axe. Swung at his arms, maybe. I aimed for the face. On purpose. Was that wrong?"

"No." Sasha said, little exasperated. "We were in a fight. He was trying to kill you."

Vary scoffed. "There wasn't any chance of that happenin' and you know it. He took a go at me and I killed him for it. Now our faceless pal here's dead as dead gets. He's just meat. I killed him. We stole all his stuff. Hell, you just finished forcin' to his dead spirit to tell us where we're supposed to go next. We leave him here now, something's gonna come eat him. Why not me?"

"Well, just... because." Sasha said, disgusted.

Varg rolled his eyes and dropped the nice jucy leg he was just beginning to enjoy. "You pinkskins got weird rules."


TriOmegaZero wrote:

You know what the [Evil] tag does?

Tells you clerics of Good deities can't cast it. That's it.

Nowhere in the actual rules does it say "Spells with the Evil descriptor are Evil acts/spells/whatever". It's totally reasonable to say they are, but the rules don't actually do it.

According to Champions of Corruption, Faiths of Corruption, or another one of those books (don't remember which), "Evil spells = evil action" is a rule for Golarion. But no, it's not actually a thing in the game proper.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I never speak about Golarion unless the discussion is specifically about Golarion.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I never speak about Golarion unless the discussion is specifically about Golarion.

The world would be so much nicer if more people were like you.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I never speak about Golarion unless the discussion is specifically about Golarion.

I get that, but I just knew the conversation would get there sooner or later, so I wanted to just nip it in the bud early. Though I do think the game would've been better served had they deliberately made Pathfinder Golarion-only, if only to send a consistent message.


Tectorman wrote:
I get that, but I just knew the conversation would get there sooner or later, so I wanted to just nip it in the bud early. Though I do think the game would've been better served had they deliberately made Pathfinder Golarion-only, if only to send a consistent message.

Umm.... isn't one of the big points of Pathfinder and D&D so you can make your own stories and worlds and adventures.... I mean god, if PF was golarion-only then you couldn't even have clerics of religions that aren't deity based.

Many people like Golarion... but I know many groups in my area that would never have bought Pathfinder if it was just golarion, we'd'av' kept on 3.5ing.


Milo v3 wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
I get that, but I just knew the conversation would get there sooner or later, so I wanted to just nip it in the bud early. Though I do think the game would've been better served had they deliberately made Pathfinder Golarion-only, if only to send a consistent message.

Umm.... isn't one of the big points of Pathfinder and D&D so you can make your own stories and worlds and adventures.... I mean god, if PF was golarion-only then you couldn't even have clerics of religions that aren't deity based.

Many people like Golarion... but I know many groups in my area that would never have bought Pathfinder if it was just golarion, we'd'av' kept on 3.5ing.

You'd think so. But when the game proper is made and includes a number of assumptions that fit for Golarion but aren't necessarily true in other settings (and therefore shouldn't be assumed the default for the core game, just by definition) that non-Golarion players then have to work around and play the game in spite of, then it becomes really difficult to accept that Pathfinder being a setting-neutral game system was really an honest effort on the developers' part.


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Tectorman wrote:
But when the game proper is made and includes a number of assumptions that fit for Golarion but aren't necessarily true in other settings (and therefore shouldn't be assumed the default for the core game, just by definition) that non-Golarion players then have to work around and play the game in spite of, then it becomes really difficult to accept that Pathfinder being a setting-neutral game system was really an honest effort on the developers' part.

Setting neutral-ness is why bestiaries list monsters in limbo rather than the maelstrom, why rules for playing without alignment exist, why you can worship concepts as a cleric, elves are not aliens in RPG-line, that undead do not all have to be evil, etc.

James Jacob was actually annoyed with the setting neutral-ness and backwards compatibility making it so that he couldn't make it a new rule that clerics Have to worship gods to get powers.

Admittedly, there was a recent example of Golarion fluff overriding RPG-line fluff with Aasimar/Tiefling lifespans for no actual good reason.... which I am still very very annoyed about.

As a person who dislikes the golarion setting and disagrees with James Jacobs a decent amount, if PF was just a golarion RPG I would have never played it.


In pathfinder, undead are the product of sinister magic inflicted or taught by fiends, evil aberrations, or dark gods. The magic denies a soul passage to the afterlife while twisting it into a mockery of its former self. Lesser, mindless undead may be little more than constructs, but the spells used to make them have a corrupting influence on the caster's spirit. The magic that creates undead is literally meant to turn something evil, so while there may be exceptions to the rule, they are almost always struggling against the magic that animated them in the first place.

However, some settings will work under other assumptions fitting their story and world. Additionally, there is nothing to suggest a sufficiently powerful archmage couldn't modify the rules of reality in such a way as to allow undead of good or neutral alignments to exist.


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Jabborwacky wrote:
In pathfinder, undead are the product of sinister magic inflicted or taught by fiends, evil aberrations, or dark gods.

Nope. Those can cause undeath, but none of those are required to create undead. I have even provided a giant list in this thread of undead that are created through non-magical and non-evil events.


Jabborwacky wrote:
In pathfinder, undead are the product of sinister magic inflicted or taught by fiends, evil aberrations, or dark gods.

Also natural processes, neutral gods, pure philosophical concepts, random people with magical blood, unfortunate events, people who studied about it in books, and spontaneous magical happenstances.

Jabborwacky wrote:
The magic denies a soul passage to the afterlife while twisting it into a mockery of its former self.

It really doesn't. Making a mindless undead creature out of someone's body doesn't affect their soul any more than making a bone golem out of it would.

Jabborwacky wrote:
Lesser, mindless undead may be little more than constructs, but the spells used to make them have a corrupting influence on the caster's spirit.

Do they, now? I never would have noticed. They really should label these things more clearly.


(also, useful to note that neither undead nor evil are templates)

Now,
You may point out that there ARE some non evil undead.
Yes, there are.
However, they are VASTLY outnumbered by the evil ones.

Now,
You may argue that you're not talking about Golarion specifics.
At this point, you may as well not argue at all.
The game is meant to be adaptable.
You want non-evil undead in your home game?
Go for it!
The rules say that they (the rules) are a guideline rather than 100% set in stone.
That's called a house rule, and that's fine.
Just don't expect strangers on the internet to like nor agree with it.

If you can give me a good plot to chew on, I'll totally accept your Good aligned undead.


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Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:


You want non-evil undead in your home game?
Go for it!
The rules say that they (the rules) are a guideline rather than 100% set in stone.
That's called a house rule, and that's fine.

Or... you could read the rules on alignment which say it's fine with no houseruling required.


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137ben wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I never speak about Golarion unless the discussion is specifically about Golarion.
The world would be so much nicer if more people were like you.

Although if everyone used multiple aliases in the same thread it might be more confusing.


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Sad, the better portion of my post got lost to the Abyss, and as such my point was lost.
Ah well, retyping it.

Consideration.

Vermin are (usually) mindless.
They lack an Int score.
They are incapable of understanding their actions, or the consequences thereof.
Vermin are (usually) Neutral because of this.

Skeletons are (usually) mindless.
They lack an Int score.
They are incapable of understanding their actions, or the consequences thereof.
Skeletons are (usually) Evil.

Why do you suppose that is?
Like it or not, that's because, by rules, there is something inherently evil about skeletons.

The overwhelming majority of undead have the same bit included.
The overwhelming majority of undead are evil.
There is NO argument you can make about it; it says right in their stat block that they are.
This is why people assume all undead are evil.

You want good undead?
Fine.
Go do it.
The rules let you do it in a home game, because they say right in them that the rules are guidelines rather than stone.
You seem to have your heart set on it.
Give a compelling story for WHY they are, and heck, I may even be willing to go along with it.
You want to redeem evil?
Fine.
It should be quite the story of an undead abomination fighting against its very being.

However, the ASSUMPTION, which is what this thread is all about: the ASSUMPTION.
The ASSUMPTION is that undead are evil.
That SOMETHING, some aspect of their being, makes them such.
Skeletons, zombies, ghouls, wights, vampires, and liches; all the classic undead monsters are by book evil.
The alignment section of the lich template EVEN SAYS EVIL.
You want to go off book?
Fine.
Go off book.
But by book, the vast majority is EVIL.
Which is why there is the assumption.

The assumption is that birds are not poisonous.
THE VAST MAJORITY of birds have no poison.
YES, THERE ARE AT LEAST FOUR SPECIES OF POISONOUS BIRDS!
However, considering that I am most likely never going to encounter a member of those four species, I will continue to assume that the bird I see outside my window is not poisonous.


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Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Consideration.

Vermin are (usually) mindless.
They lack an Int score.
They are incapable of understanding their actions, or the consequences thereof.
Vermin are (usually) Neutral because of this.

Skeletons are (usually) mindless.
They lack an Int score.
They are incapable of understanding their actions, or the consequences thereof.
Skeletons are (usually) Evil.

Why do you suppose that is?

Because the devs imported some of the poorly defined optional rules from the Book of Vile Darkness that were wholly contradictory to the actual alignment rules and traditional alignments of skeletons and zombies in 3.0 and all prior conditions, into 3.5, and then it was ported from 3.5 to Pathfinder. EDIT: It has yet to this day been justified, or even explained or defined, in any sort of logic that doesn't have more holes in it than the finest swiss cheese.

Even the alignment as listed doesn't exempt them from the normal alignment rules, which at best is sloppy.


Ashiel wrote:
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Consideration.

Vermin are (usually) mindless.
They lack an Int score.
They are incapable of understanding their actions, or the consequences thereof.
Vermin are (usually) Neutral because of this.

Skeletons are (usually) mindless.
They lack an Int score.
They are incapable of understanding their actions, or the consequences thereof.
Skeletons are (usually) Evil.

Why do you suppose that is?

Because the devs imported some of the poorly defined optional rules from the Book of Vile Darkness that were wholly contradictory to the actual alignment rules and traditional alignments of skeletons and zombies in 3.0 and all prior conditions, into 3.5, and then it was ported from 3.5 to Pathfinder. EDIT: It has yet to this day been justified, or even explained or defined, in any sort of logic that doesn't have more holes in it than the finest swiss cheese.

Even the alignment as listed doesn't exempt them from the normal alignment rules, which at best is sloppy.

Alternately they ported alignment rules from a book intended only for players, who in general are the exceptions to the rules as they are the center of the story.


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Quote:
The rules let you do it in a home game, because they say right in them that the rules are guidelines rather than stone.

Well... actually it's more just that the alignment rules specifically say that monsters (except for certain exceptions such as aligned outsiders and unintelligent creatures [so skeletons will be evil]) can easily be of whatever alignment they want. It's not a houserule, it's not "because books are guidelines", it's not "table variance". It's RAW.

edit: Another reason for evil skeletons is because James Jacobs loves the horror genre and feels that there is little point in using undead from a narrative point of view in situations that are not horror in genre. Though I personally think a horror can fit with undead without shoving "Undead = Evil" everywhere...


On the Mutilation being evil point, there's an Empyreal Goddess of Martyrdom who plucked out her own eyes lest evil offend her by being seen. Her cultists, canonically, self-mutilate in her name, the pain obedience aspect involves self-mutilation and doesn't require the owner to be evil.
And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. There's power in suffering and sacrifice to be had in damage to yourself.

At least in Pathfinder. So the desecration argument holds little water, when you have servants of some of the most powerful good aligned forces in the setting sawing bits off themselves for Justice.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:

You know what the [Evil] tag does?

Tells you clerics of Good deities can't cast it. That's it.

Not exactly. Good Clerics, even of Neutral deities, cannot cast it either.

Quote:
Nowhere in the actual rules does it say "Spells with the Evil descriptor are Evil acts/spells/whatever". It's totally reasonable to say they are, but the rules don't actually do it.

It is not written that specific way, but still :

"Her alignment, however, may restrict her from casting certain spells opposed to her moral or ethical beliefs; see chaotic, evil, good, and lawful spells." (PRD, Cleric class, section on Spells).

So, there are indeed evil spells and these spells are exactly those that a Good Cleric or Cleric of a Good deity cannot cast.

"Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A cleric can't cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity's (if she has one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions." (PRD, Cleric class too).

So, some spells do indeed have an alignment. The prohibition on casting them indeed checks if they are opposed to the alignment of the Cleric or his deity. And the association with an alignment is indicated by the alignment descriptor.

So, the rules do indeed tell us that spells with the indicator Evil are indeed evil spells.

They do not tell it like this because a CE spell (with descriptors Evil and Chaotic) is an evil spell, but also a chaotic spell. The wording used in the PRD (above) just uses less wordcount which has great value for designers and publishers ;-)

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