The Lawful Good Dilemma ... again


Advice

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Some advice if you please. I'm in a campaign and playing a LG monk. My monk would have a code of honour to stand by and this has on a number of occasions been at odds with the rest of the party. I believe we are at a cross roads given recent events. I don't think I am being lawful stupid. I believe my compromises were reasonable. And most importantly I don't want to derail the campaign over this.

Incident 1) the party snuck up on a bunch of sleeping enemies and killed them in their sleep ... including the paladin. I felt this was dishonourable so I didn't take part in it and instead ended up fighting the bbeg who was not sleeping and rushed into the room at the sound of battle. I thought this was a fair compromise and didn't hamper the party's chance at success. The party thought otherwise because I gave up my surprise round attack. I was soundly berated after the fight because of it. Afterwards we discussed my code and slaying people in their sleep ... even though they were evil ... wasn't something I was prepared to do. I kind of figured it was water under the bridge.

Incident 2) A few sessions later we found ourselves rushing into a room full of evil cultists. We had surprise on them. This in and of itself my monk figured was fine. They weren't sleeping; just surprised. I quickly discovered that the cultists were incapable of defending themselves and the fight was going to be a slaughter. They had no weapons and no armour and no training. Essentially they were peasants. Rather than slay the weak, I chose to subdue them with non-lethal damage. The rest of the party simply chopped their cultists to bits. This in and of itself was problematic but I felt again that I had compromised well. But what happened next is where the real problem is. Just to spite the monk, our party rogue snuck in and killed those unconscious cultists when I rushed to the other side of the room to deal with some other creatures who joined the fight.

So the question is, how should I deal with this? I tried educating the party but that hasn't worked. I don't want to derail the campaign by meting out punishment on my own party members. I don't particularly want to leave the party and start a new character. But when I'm trying to work with the rest of them and find a compromise, some of them are clearly not interested and sabotaging my attempts.

Thoughts?


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Roll up something else, this is never going to work.

Grand Lodge

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Wow.
Your in a party of Murder Hobos and your DM should be punishing the Paladin for slaughtering Sleeping/unconscious unarmed enemies.

You honestly are doing nothing wrong with fighting Honorably. The party refuses to let you play in an honorable manner. This honestly can be solved in a few ways.

First and Foremost talk to the DM. The paladin is out of line and would have fallen for taking part in both slaughterings.

After you speak with him about your concerns see what he thinks and then come back and explain to us about the current situation.


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I agree with Fruian you were perfectly fine, I would start to consider your friends alignment though (especially the rogue and paladin)


VRMH wrote:
Roll up something else, this is never going to work.

I almost have to agree here. Sounds like very different playstyles.

It is possible--possible--that you could bring in something from an external source such as the United States' IHL Guidelines that lists acceptable and unacceptable means of combat between countries, definition of civilians, what is and is appropriate in terms of tactics against the enemy, and discuss having your PC use that as a guideline.

If that source does not work, peruse the others and see if any speak to you and your table. In any case, an outside source may help your argument. Also, treating ooc issues as ooc issues--which it sounds like this is. You need to discuss playstyle and preferences. Alignment and character actions are just a symptom of that, not the source.


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First off, I strongly disagree with the idea that you should try and convince your GM to make the paladin fall. That is just a really really bad idea.

However, you do need to talk with your group about several things.

One is, it is clear that you all need to come to common terms with what the various alignments mean. Obviously you and presumably at least some of them, including and most significantly the GM, have different views on what that entails. Clearly this needs to be clarified, and within that framework you need to have a character that can work well enough with the rest of the party. In general all of the PCs should at least have compatible alignments (based on everyone having a similar understanding of what the alignments are) with each other (my general rule is a couple steps, maybe one more for special circumstances LN and CG usually can manage)

Second, you need to talk to your group, particularly the players, and clarify what kind of game they want to play as far as teamwork. In most groups, having a character who goes around and is a jerk to another character (for example, killing someone they specifically wanted to keep alive, for no reason other that pissing off someone) isn't really acceptable. Pathfinder is best if it is a team game. Sure your characters can disagree on things, but by and large everyone should be supporting everyone else, not trying to thwart them. If the group wants a more PvP style (even if it is just screwing with each other and not killing) then you need to know that and can make your character choice (and whether or not you want to participate) accordingly.

This is not an in-game problem. This is an out-of-game problem whose effects are manifesting in the game. You need to resolve it based on that fact.


@squirrelyogre: I'd not say it is a play style issue. This particular group has gamed together for years and some of us significantly longer than that.

@Dave Justus: And I'm not going to slash the pally's tires. That is between him and the DM. He has been warned more than once. That just isn't my thing.

I don't want to be the party's moral hammer. I'm not interested in changing anyone else's character either. I just want to play my character. It has most definitely created a weird dynamic. My character's morality is being questioned every time I make a decision. It's kind of put me on the defensive and it's sucking the fun out of it honestly.


@ Finneous Frye,

I sympathise with your situation. The only resolution I can see is having an out of character conversation about whether they want to be cowardly murderhobos or play alignments properly. As it stands you can't play your alignment properly either. In character you are going along with evil actions for the sake of out of character group harmony. It is a ridiculous situation, which I don't see any in game resolution to.


If an OOC chat or rolling another character are not great options you could try something like: a stoic acceptance that you are not responsible for the actions of others. Frown in disapproval,but accept the trials and tribulations being foist upon you as a test of your inner fortitude as you undertake a greater quest than correcting one (or two) wayward souls.


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Finneous Frye wrote:

Some advice if you please. I'm in a campaign and playing a LG monk. My monk would have a code of honour to stand by and this has on a number of occasions been at odds with the rest of the party. I believe we are at a cross roads given recent events. I don't think I am being lawful stupid. I believe my compromises were reasonable. And most importantly I don't want to derail the campaign over this.

Well, there's your problem!

Quote:


Incident 1) the party snuck up on a bunch of sleeping enemies and killed them in their sleep ... including the paladin. I felt this was dishonourable so I didn't take part in it and instead ended up fighting the bbeg who was not sleeping and rushed into the room at the sound of battle. I thought this was a fair compromise and didn't hamper the party's chance at success. The party thought otherwise because I gave up my surprise round attack. I was soundly berated after the fight because of it. Afterwards we discussed my code and slaying people in their sleep ... even though they were evil ... wasn't something I was prepared to do. I kind of figured it was water under the bridge.

Remember that you are a warrior. The only reason that the enemy was at a disadvantage is because they put themselves at a disadvantage. Do not turn their poor planning into your disadvantage.

Quote:


Incident 2) A few sessions later we found ourselves rushing into a room full of evil cultists. We had surprise on them. This in and of itself my monk figured was fine. They weren't sleeping; just surprised. I quickly discovered that the cultists were incapable of defending themselves and the fight was going to be a slaughter. They had no weapons and no armour and no training. Essentially they were peasants. Rather than slay the weak, I chose to subdue them with non-lethal damage. The rest of the party simply chopped their cultists to bits. This in and of itself was problematic but I felt again that I had compromised well. But what happened next is where the real problem is. Just to spite the monk, our party rogue snuck in and killed those unconscious cultists when I rushed to the other side of the room to deal with some other creatures who joined the fight.

If they surrendered, then your group should have given them quarter. If they didn't, then the wellbeing of your enemy is not your concern. If you wanted to care for the weak, you should have started an orphanage.

An unconscious enemy is a simple spell away from being a combatant enemy.

Quote:


So the question is, how should I deal with this? I tried educating the party...

Most warriors aren't willing to study poor tactics.


This is not the group of players and GM you want to be with if a fire, flood, or terrorist attack breaks out IRL -- escape this group ASAP.


The most important thing to remember is that your personal code is a personal code. No one else, even members of your party, are beholden to it. If you, personally, refuse to ambush a sleeping enemy, none of the rest of your party is under any compunction to follow your example. That having been said, you need to consider that a "fair fight" might put your allies in grave mortal danger. But they figured it was a better tactical option to nip the problem in the bud. Even the Paladin doesn't need absolutely stay his hand in every conceivable instance; especially when doing so would put innocent lives at risk. Unless a deity's code strictly prohibits him from doing so, it's not strictly out of bounds for him to end a fight before it begins against those who are definitely enemies.

And, again, even if you, personally, spared your foes, your teammates aren't obligated to do the same. Your personal code doesn't extend to their actions. You tried to impress upon them with your actions; they didn't want to follow your example. Oh well. Just accept that you're traveling with a bunch of unsavory fellows that don't hold the exact same world-view as you.


@ Kitty Catoblepas

Was that intended to be tongue in cheek?


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Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:


You honestly are doing nothing wrong with fighting Honorably.

When your playstyle is disruptive to the rest of the group and making the game less enjoyable for everyone else I'd argue that's kind of wrong.

Then turning around and trying to force your playstyle even harder by trying to convince the GM to punish other players for not playing like you is the subject of like half the posts in your typical problem player/problem GM horror story thread.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Anecdotal tale with resonance:
In a different setting I had a character who was very much *neutral* as far as the definition went.

He had a code of conduct.

He held very tightly to it.

And then some of the 'more advanced' (twink) characters decided to murder truly helpless individuals rather than extract as was our mission briefing and then, salt in the wound, attempt a cover-up because 'they didn't like how the GM railroaded them'.

My character had gathered evidence to indict all the individuals on 'war crimes' significant because our entire organization was trying to uphold a 'higher standard' than the opposition and did due diligence in making the report.

And much like happens in some cases with modern law enforcement, the military, and other things, suddenly it was 'all swept under the rug' and the character was being charged with sedition, treason, and failure to follow orders.

There was no 'happy ending' to that scenario.

It took an appeal to the combined campaign leadership to mitigate that last bit, and that was also the hint to stop playing that campaign, for the rot had truly reached epic proportions.

One will have to make the choices one will.

Recommendation: Consider one's mental health before investing one's self in this campaign any further.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If the party ain't working with you, either you work with the party or leave it.


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As it is your playstyle that is 'disruptive' to everyone else, I'd say that you should change. Your monk could just walk away from the group and you could roll up a character more in line with the group. You, the player, could depart until you find another group more to your liking or a new campaign starts with more like-minded characters.

But I think you should seize the opportunity to roleplay your character's descent from Lawful GOOD, through Lawful NEUTRAL, into Lawful EVIL.

The other players at the table will probably really enjoy the fact that you are "finally pulling your head out of your oss and getting with the program."

At least until you finally swing all the way over to evil and your personal code demands your loyalty to your monastic order over that of the party and you screw them over at the final fight, looting their corpses and ending with, "Hey, isn't this what you guys wanted out of me all along?"


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Mykull wrote:

As it is your playstyle that is 'disruptive' to everyone else, I'd say that you should change. Your monk could just walk away from the group and you could roll up a character more in line with the group. You, the player, could depart until you find another group more to your liking or a new campaign starts with more like-minded characters.

But I think you should seize the opportunity to roleplay your character's descent from Lawful GOOD, through Lawful NEUTRAL, into Lawful EVIL.

The other players at the table will probably really enjoy the fact that you are "finally pulling your head out of your oss and getting with the program."

At least until you finally swing all the way over to evil and your personal code demands your loyalty to your monastic order over that of the party and you screw them over at the final fight, looting their corpses and ending with, "Hey, isn't this what you guys wanted out of me all along?"

That sounds like fun.

You would need the blessing of the GM though, sounds like he is not happy with how the paladin of the group has been behaving.

The Exchange

Resist the urge to 'educate' your fellow players. If the players, not the characters, are complaining about your character choosing not to murder, then you've got an issue at the table. But if their characters feel that the monk is 'too soft', you can tell them (in character) that you're not going to start murdering people just to keep your fellow adventurers from feeling self-conscious. Try not to be judgemental about it - just stick to consistent rules about what your character feels is right and what isn't.

To help your case, make practical use of living captives. Quiz them for info, 'free' them and then trail them to find the evil lair, or use them as go-betweens to correspond with the villain. Don't insist on dragging prisoners along - that's always a pain for both moral and practical reasons. But don't fall for the fallacy that you have to execute captives "for their crimes."


I agree with Furian in that you are describing a murder hobo party. I agree with Furian and Dave Justus that you need to talk with your party and GM about what is going on.

Finneous Frye wrote:
I tried educating the party but that hasn't worked.

That is probably not your job. Unless they are new players, or they are all 8 years old or something, you should presume they know just what they are doing, and they think their style of play is just swell.

The answer you get might well be that they know it's a murder hobo campaign, and they like it that way. If that's the case, then I advise you forget about alignment and play murderhobo yourself. Or get your GM's permission to change your character's Alignment and show them how evil you can be!

Another possibility might be that you might be mistaken about something. There might be circumstances you overlooked that made their evil actions necessary somehow.

Staying true to your alignment by going against the party somehow might be the thing to do. I've done that successfully. This is risky as a player: in most tabletop roleplaying games, the party is supposed to work together, and it is usually wrong to cross them regardless of the circumstances. Your character is Lawful Good, and so is supposed to work with your team regardless: you should only cross them when you really have to and in ways that won't prevent you from working with them in the future. If your group sees this this roleplaying game as more game and less roleplaying, then they will more resent you for making them "lose." If your group appreciates roleplaying, then they should respect your decision to cross them to be true to your character, and your actions--if that is the way you go--will heighten the drama and improve the game.

Something else to consider, it seems like your fellow players are messing with you on purpose.

Finneous Frye wrote:
I was soundly berated after the fight because of it.... Just to spite the monk, our party rogue snuck in and killed those unconscious cultists

That sounds like maybe you are being bullied. Maybe not, even if they are messing with you on purpose, it is possible you have it coming.

Finneous Frye wrote:
I tried educating the party but that hasn't worked.

Because, again, not your job.

Squiggit wrote:
When your playstyle is disruptive to the rest of the group and making the game less enjoyable for everyone else... Then turning around and trying to force your playstyle even harder by trying to... punish other players for not playing like you... I'd argue that's kind of wrong.

More than kind of wrong, that's just plain wrong. Maybe you owe those murder hobos an apology.

But maybe it is the PLAYERS that are being evil, and not just the player characters. If, after having a heart-to-heart with your group, they then stomp on your heart, you should leave the group, perhaps after betraying the party, causing a TPK and then telling each player and the GM to perform an anatomically impossible act of physical intimacy.

Finneous Frye wrote:
I don't want to derail the campaign over this.

Then you should not follow that last option I brought up, since that is exactly what that would be doing. That last option is for if you are truly being bullied, and you need to make a political and moral statement that bullying people is wrong.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

One will have to make the choices one will.

Recommendation: Consider one's mental health before investing one's self in this campaign any further.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

This is not the group of players and GM you want to be with if a fire, flood, or terrorist attack breaks out IRL -- escape this group ASAP.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
But maybe it is the PLAYERS that are being evil, and not just the player characters.

...Why does everyone in these threads automatically assume "The other players aren't abiding by an LG code/disagree with OP? They must be horrible untrustworthy sociopaths in real life!"?

Jesus people, it's just a game. Chill the f&#& out.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Seems that the Paladin having already fallen in behavior if not crunch, the haters of shining knight LG have decided to make your Monk fall

Better check with them (Rogue player comes to mind) why their characters act this way and what the player thinks would be the appropriate answer from your Monk. You just might be pleasantly surprised ;-)


Seems to me that your group isn't acting plain evil (definitely not murderhobos) but more in a tactical/efficient way. I could really see some LN character acting this way.
The only people they murdered yet were evil.
Killing helpless people may not be very honorable but it is an efficient way to take down enemies. And nothing tells us that your party had the resources to imprison the cultists and that these cultists would not represent a possible issue in the future.

If i was playing this kind of "things need to be done" character, i would indeed be upset that you rush into the bbeg room alone without commiting to the plan. You don't have to educate other party members here, they just see the world in a different way...

I would suggest roleplaying a nice descent into evil as Mykull suggested. Or talk to them about how this is a waste of ressources and how these enemies could be put to good use.
Your monk may be LG, he can be a diplomat too and find arguments that can make the party change its mind.


TheMask wrote:

Seems to me that your group isn't acting plain evil (definitely not murderhobos) but more in a tactical/efficient way. I could really see some LN character acting this way.

The only people they murdered yet were evil.
Killing helpless people may not be very honorable but it is an efficient way to take down enemies. And nothing tells us that your party had the resources to imprison the cultists and that these cultists would not represent a possible issue in the future.

If i was playing this kind of "things need to be done" character, i would indeed be upset that you rush into the bbeg room alone without commiting to the plan. You don't have to educate other party members here, they just see the world in a different way...

I would suggest roleplaying a nice descent into evil as Mykull suggested. Or talk to them about how this is a waste of ressources and how these enemies could be put to good use.
Your monk may be LG, he can be a diplomat too and find arguments that can make the party change its mind.

It's hard to justify killing helpless people, and prisoners that surrender to you. But it is not impossible that that party's actions are not unforgivable, even if not justifiable.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
It's hard to justify killing helpless people, and prisoners that surrender to you. But it is not impossible that that party's actions are not unforgivable, even if not justifiable.

There were no prisoners who surrendered in any of the OP's scenarios. There were enemies who were unconscious.

Even then, Paizo's material has shown that this is not only consistent with a lawful good alignment but explicitly consistent with the paladin's code of conduct.

Look at Torag's Paladin Code: "Against my people's enemy I will show no mercy. I will not allow their surrender, except to extract information. I will defeat them and scatter theirs families."

Look at Sarenrae's Paladin Code: "The best battle is a battle I win. If I die, I can no longer fight. I will fight fairly when the fight is fair, and I will strike quickly and without mercy when it is not."


If you aren't lawful stupid, then you know that not everyone else will follow your code. Your first scenario sounds like it played out exactly as it should have: the other players did not act LG and according to your code; you did. No problem there, other than that you seemed to feel as if their was some resentment towards you/your character for not taking part in the needless slaughter. To me, that is their problem, since you clearly laid out your characters code/ethos.

For the second situation, you did the right thing again: only dealing nonlethal to the ones you had control over. You can't force your allies to follow your code, so they are free to not take quarter the way you do. Now, you didn't mention anything about the enemy surrendering, which means they still meant you and your party harm, so I'm not sure if they even deserved mercy, but that's beside the point.

Now, the fact that the rogue went out of their way to go back and slit some unconscious throats seems a little evil to me, but it could also just be a way to ensure a known enemy doesn't wake up and sneak up on your group later, or go warn some better equipped enemies to your presence. Characters intentions and motivations can be as important as their actions. If the DM doesn't feel the need to question the characters motives, then they must feel it wasn't evil enough to warrant a discussion about falling.

Now, this act of the rogue has no impact on you. You did the right thing, you held up to your ethos. The rogues actions don't reflect upon you as not living by your code. You could express some anger/resentment toward the rogue for slaying someone you spared, but it's still their prerogative to act according to their character, and there isn't much you can do/say about it.

If, however, your ethos includes some bit about administering justice, standing up for helpless folks, or otherwise righting some wrong, then maybe there needs to be an in-character confrontation. You seemed ok with letting them slaughter the sleeping enemies, as long as you stayed out of it, so I don't feel like this is the case. Letting them slaughter enemies you knocked unconscious seems like the same thing; even if this time it was (potentially) meant as more of a thumbing their nose at you and your beliefs. Again, unless they specifically stated "I'm doing this to spite you", you can't really know their motives.

If their characters are going to continue to regularly attempt to undermine your attempts, that should just make your character feel more righteous about taking the moral high ground. Also, the more their characters commit more and more seemingly evil acts, the more likely the DM will eventually have them fall. But that is a DMs call. You can keep notes/records on the actions you feel make them evil, and maybe make mention to the DM that you feel your party members may be falling to the dark side, but until the DM decides to act on it, all you can do is appreciate that your character is correctly holding to his code while a member of a group who refuses to do the same. Your character is resisting a lot of temptation and peer pressure and coming out a better person on the other side.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

When I started on the Paladin road after 9 levels as a TN Ranger, my fellow PCs were surprised that I stopped doing my shoot first think later if at all routine

They were at least as surprised when I closed the door behind them to better protect their escape from a dreadful foe that I had the best chance of surviving.

Not something my old self would have done. His previous remarkable feats included kicking purring cats and scaring kids into fleeing, thereby provoking AoOs he did not wish on himself

Some of the greatest fun in RPG comes from actually following your PC's chosen morality


Boomerang Nebula wrote:

@ Kitty Catoblepas

Was that intended to be tongue in cheek?

Yeah. I should have put up tags, eh?

It was my take on "How a Pathfinder Fighter would respond to this post."

In other words, I don't expect that pushing his Code of Honor would go over very well.


Yeah by "educating" I meant only that I explained clearly to them what I was willing and/or not willing to do. I didn't mean the preachy "you should be like me because my way is superior" kind of educating. I was trying to find a compromising path through this messy situation whereby I don't threaten party safety, the fun of others, and my own character's background and principals. It has resulted in repetitive attempts to undermine what I was trying to do and then chastising me ooc after several encounters.


If they chastise you OOC then it means they, as a player, are likely not having as much fun because of your actions. I don't see why it would be an issue, but that's what it sounds like. I suppose they could be worrying that you aren't pulling your weight as a party member if, every time there is an encounter, you have some reason to not want to harm one/some of the enemies. This results in the rest of the party having a harder time of it, and suffering as a result.

A possible fix to this might be for the DM to assign less XP to you and more to the other players due to you not fully participating in an encounter, but that feels too much like punishing you for roleplaying, which is usually encouraged, not punished.

Another approach might be for you to try to become more of a face/diplomat of the group and make more attempts at peaceful resolutions. Maybe something like "hey guys, before we go in and slaughter them, let me go in first and see if I can talk to them". You could point out that this saves resources like HP, spells/day, rounds of rage, etc. This might help them be more amicable to letting you try the diplomatic route before they flex their murder-hobo muscle. Don't expect them to always to want give up the element of surprise though.

As a player that often plays murder-hobos though, I can usually only take so many minutes/hours of wasted time, where-in a player tries to diplomacize only for it to inevitably fall apart before my reaction to another player asking "can I Diplomacy?" is to make an attack roll on the enemy he was about to try to diplomacize. Diplomacy checks are usually only fun/interesting for the player doing them, while the rest of the party waits, foaming at the mouth and sharpening axes, bored out of their mind. Again, I say this as a murder-hobo. Some groups might embrace face skills and tact, but it sounds like that is not your group.

It's tough being the odd player out (either a murder-hobo in a party of tacticians or vice-versa), but you've kind of imposed this upon yourself by choosing a strict LG code in a party of CN miscreants. There's going to be some character friction, which will likely cause some OOC friction, since players tend to get attached to characters they've spent hours of their precious gaming time on.

I do feel like the players shouldn't take it so personally when you correctly RP your character, but I also think you shouldn't take it too personally if they correctly RP their character in response to your character.

It does seem odd, though, that the Paladin isn't a little more understanding of your position. They sound barely LG, and maybe a slight slip as a warning of an impending fall is in order. Perhaps a failed spell or smite evil at a semi-crucial moment. Especially if said moment is when said Paladin is about to commit another questionable act.


Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

Wow.

Your in a party of Murder Hobos and your DM should be punishing the Paladin for slaughtering Sleeping/unconscious unarmed enemies.

You honestly are doing nothing wrong with fighting Honorably. The party refuses to let you play in an honorable manner. This honestly can be solved in a few ways.

First and Foremost talk to the DM. The paladin is out of line and would have fallen for taking part in both slaughterings.

After you speak with him about your concerns see what he thinks and then come back and explain to us about the current situation.

Killing evil scum isn't an evil act, most gods wouldn't punish a paladin for that, and some gods (Torag for example) practically demand it. "Good" doesn't mean "Nice".

Also, what the Rogue did behind everyone else's back shouldn't reflect on the paladin at all. Now, if the paladin had promised mercy and then slaughtered everyone, that's a different story. But "no quarter asked or given" to evil people/creatures is not an evil act.

Personally, I don't think this is a case of a particular person "playing wrong", this is simply a case of different playing styles.


lmao, even my way of the wicked evil group don't even kill people that surrender. That is a waste of good slaves, servants or potential gladiators that are really meant as pet food for their hydra. they do kill them eventually but they find a use for them for a little while at least. you are in a group that is playing heavy Chaotic group, you are not going to fit in with the group, my group is normally like this also, their aliments are most often this way, I never though they could do any lawful aliment because of this but they proved me wrong when going into way of the wicked. They Do lawful evil just as well. They just don't like the Lawful Good or neutral aliments and prefer chaos or ordered evil based games. it also seems like the two extreme alignments CE and LG cause the most problems with groups I have played in. I notice also most people like to play CN because it allows them to do what ever they want when they want. One what their idea of what their characters should do at any given time. The group you are playing with now is really a CN group, no matter what is actual the aliment is actual on their paper.


As is usually the case in these scenarios, I'd like to hear from someone else in the party. This particular scenario sounds incredibly snowflakey, and I mean no offense there, truly. Either something is being left out(which may or may not be ops fault), or there was a conversation that should have been had pre game one conversation that simply was not had.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sundakan wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

One will have to make the choices one will.

Recommendation: Consider one's mental health before investing one's self in this campaign any further.

...Why does everyone in these threads automatically assume "The other players aren't abiding by an LG code/disagree with OP? They must be horrible untrustworthy sociopaths in real life!"?

Jesus people, it's just a game. Chill the f@&@ out.

I made no such presumption.

The spoiler related an anecdotal experience I had in play with a given campaign.

My exact words are valid. The suggestion/recommendation, likewise.

There was no assumption in O/P's situation that it was identical.

Please stop attempting to ascribe morality to a personality conflict issue, and please stop lumping ME in with that.

Thank you.


HeHateMe wrote:


Killing evil scum isn't an evil act, most gods wouldn't punish a paladin for that, and some gods (Torag for example) practically demand it. "Good" doesn't mean "Nice".

Murdering helpless/unarmed people is evil. Period.

It does not matter what their alignment is, what demon lord they serve, or who they killed and ate last week.

No, good does not mean nice. You don't have to be particularly polite or gentle while handing your prisoners over to the authorities. It does mean you don't act like the evildoers you just murdered.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Please stop attempting to ascribe morality to a personality conflict issue

This is funny, because that's exactly what I've been trying to get across. And yet when I point out that this is what people are doing, they get mad at me.

Seriously, read over those statements I quoted again and really think about what you, Scott, and (especially) Arcane wrote.

You suggested that staying with this group is hazardous for the person's mental health. Because of playstyle differences in a game.

Scott implied that there's a possibility that these random people he's never met might be evil. Because of playstyle differences in a game.

And Arcane implied that everyone else he's playing with are likely to abandon him or fight each other in any sort of crisis. Because of playstyle differences in a game.

Really think about that. This person has a very simple problem. The other players at the table don't want to play the same way he does. That's it. That is ALL YOU KNOW.

Casting aspersions on their morality and competency over this is...I really don't know how to describe it. Why would anyone do this?

Why is this so common in these alignment threads?

On a re-read, maybe that's not what you meant, it was supposed to be a lighthearted "Haha, these people are going to drive you nuts with their shenanigans" statement, but in the greater context of this thread, and every nearly identical thread like it that came before, you can see why it would come across as needlessly hostile to people you've never met, never will meet, and only know about secondhand from a person who just says their characters IN A GAME don't have moral codes that mesh.

Who knows, maybe a bad time to bring it up. Should have waited until, inevitably, this thread has 20 pages and there's a full on flamewar over whether killing sleeping enemies is evil, and what it says about your personal moral code if you think it's not.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This doesn't even sound like it has anything to do with Lawful Good. A code of honor has nothing to do with alignment. All alignments can have codes of honor. (And questions of morality are always a sticky area, since it's not uncommon for people to view the exact same action in a different moral light. For example, in addition to varied other reasons, people are for or against the death penalty in the real world based on moral grounds.)

Lawful Evil people can have codes of honor that prevent the slaying of sleeping foes. Lawful Good people can have codes that require them to take advantage of their evil foes being asleep to kill them. In either case, it doesn't change the alignment of the person.

Good does NOT mean dumb. It does NOT mean giving up tactical advantages. SOME codes of honor might, though.

The problem doesn't seem to be your alignment. (Though I'm not sure if someone who actively works against the group they are with could be considered lawful good...) And before you object to that, remember that taking prisoners, in almost all cases, puts the party more at risk. This is fine when the party agrees to that risk, of course, but when most of them don't you are in the wrong.

Playing LG and following a code of honor are different things. If your code of honor requires you to not harm sleeping foes, that's perfectly fine in a code of honor. If it requires you to take every tactical advantage to kill your evil foes, that's fine as well.

Heck, look at some of the examples given. Your code, as represented by you, would go directly against a couple of Pathfinder's Paladin codes in many situations. You aren't wanting 'compromise' ... you are wanting them to follow YOUR code, instead of theirs. That's not compromise. Compromise would be you accepting they will do things you won't like. And you will do things they won't like, but you will both keep doing them, because that's just how you are.

It seems to me, you have 3 viable options.

You can examine your code, in the light of the 'real world' of the game, and modify it.

You can work WITH the party, understanding, as mentioned above, that you simply won't always agree. Just make sure they understand you are pulling your own weight. Some tension with parties isn't always a bad thing, as long as it's kept to CHARACTER tension, and not player tension.

You can make a different character, that fits more in line of the party.

As an aside, while -murder- is probably an evil act, killing someone in their sleep is not, in and of itself, murder. (Let's face it, in a RPG where characters have divine mandates, etc, they all to often ARE the legitimate authorities for executing an evil foe, not as murder, but as a just execution.)


MeanMutton wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
It's hard to justify killing helpless people, and prisoners that surrender to you. But it is not impossible that that party's actions are not unforgivable, even if not justifiable.

There were no prisoners who surrendered in any of the OP's scenarios. There were enemies who were unconscious.

Even then, Paizo's material has shown that this is not only consistent with a lawful good alignment but explicitly consistent with the paladin's code of conduct.

Look at Torag's Paladin Code: "Against my people's enemy I will show no mercy. I will not allow their surrender, except to extract information. I will defeat them and scatter theirs families."

Look at Sarenrae's Paladin Code: "The best battle is a battle I win. If I die, I can no longer fight. I will fight fairly when the fight is fair, and I will strike quickly and without mercy when it is not."

I agree with Snowlilly and disagree with Torag and Srenrae: killing helpless people is a bad thing to, but I have already said that it is potentially forgivable. You and I would be just aruguing about matters of degrees on a case-by-case basis.

I think the OP may well be well-bothered by his party's killing helpless people, even helpless evil people. I wasn't there, so in giving him advice, I want to consider all possibilities.


My first piece of advice is sarcastic and aimed at the GM, but if you think it might make them laugh, please share it: "Hahaha! Now when the party least suspects it is the perfect time to rain down Pleroma Aeons and Zelekhut Inevitables as the gods smite these evil beings for their villainy! And hey, why not throw in some Bearded Devils under an Ice Devil to max out the carnage and the chance to TPK in an entirely-justifiable manner?"

Right. Sorry. Being serious now.

The difficulty with alignment is it's arbitrated by the GM. A few sharp words from your GM could make it clear that sabotaging other player's role-playing is not acceptable. More subtly, more alignment-based creatures could show up in non-combat situation (or heck, in combat situations. An angel is unlikely to attack a LG person). Other such subtler approaches are also out there.
However, you're going to have to talk to your GM. Ideally in private. And I'd start with exactly what you told us: you have a problem, and you'd like advice on finding a solution.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
MeanMutton wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
It's hard to justify killing helpless people, and prisoners that surrender to you. But it is not impossible that that party's actions are not unforgivable, even if not justifiable.

There were no prisoners who surrendered in any of the OP's scenarios. There were enemies who were unconscious.

Even then, Paizo's material has shown that this is not only consistent with a lawful good alignment but explicitly consistent with the paladin's code of conduct.

Look at Torag's Paladin Code: "Against my people's enemy I will show no mercy. I will not allow their surrender, except to extract information. I will defeat them and scatter theirs families."

Look at Sarenrae's Paladin Code: "The best battle is a battle I win. If I die, I can no longer fight. I will fight fairly when the fight is fair, and I will strike quickly and without mercy when it is not."

I agree with Snowlilly and disagree with Torag and Srenrae: killing helpless people is a bad thing to, but I have already said that it is potentially forgivable. You and I would be just aruguing about matters of degrees on a case-by-case basis.

I think the OP may well be well-bothered by his party's killing helpless people, even helpless evil people. I wasn't there, so in giving him advice, I want to consider all possibilities.

I have the slightest feeling Torag and Saranrae are regarded as more credible sources... :p

Well, alignment can't really be gauged well. I mean, who ever stopped for their first encounter and tried to negotiate with the goblins? Well, I did. I cast Charm Person and then the Barbarian, made them all into... jelly, but, oh well.


Sundakan wrote:
Scott implied that there's a possibility that these random people he's never met might be evil.

Worse than that, I stated that there is a possiblility that these people might be evil. I do believe there are evil people in this world, and the OP might be gaming with some of them.

But you were quoting my post as evidence of people assuming that Finneous's fellow players are evil:

Sundakan wrote:
automatically assume "The other players aren't abiding by an LG code/disagree with OP? They must be horrible untrustworthy sociopaths in real life!"?

And I am saying nothing of the sort. Raising a possibility is by no means making an assumption. Your quote of my post is poor evidence for your thesis. It only appears to be compelling evidence when taken out of context. Doing so is a misrepresentation of what I was saying that I hope you now understand I can't abide.

Sundakan wrote:
'They must be murderhobos", someone says

Maybe someone, but not I. I didn't say they are murderhobos. I said that Finneous's was describing murderhobos.

I wrote:
you are describing a murder hobo party.

--not the same thing. This distinction I am mentioning is important to me, and I hope you respect it.

Sundakan wrote:
...might be evil. Because of playstyle differences in a game.

No. Not because of playstyle differences. Because the OP gave indications that his fellows are berating him and going out of their way to do things for the purpose of making him feel bad.

Finneous Frye wrote:
I was soundly berated... Just to spite the monk, our party...

It's not because they have differences that I bring up the possibility that Finneous is being abused, but because he is saying his fellow players are berating him and doing things just to spite him.


Snowlilly wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:


Killing evil scum isn't an evil act, most gods wouldn't punish a paladin for that, and some gods (Torag for example) practically demand it. "Good" doesn't mean "Nice".

Murdering helpless/unarmed people is evil. Period.

It does not matter what their alignment is, what demon lord they serve, or who they killed and ate last week.

No, good does not mean nice. You don't have to be particularly polite or gentle while handing your prisoners over to the authorities. It does mean you don't act like the evildoers you just murdered.

I understand that's your opinion, and in real life I totally agree with you. What I'm saying is that in the game setting some of the gods that have paladins don't seem to agree with that, based on how their paladin codes are written. So it's not as black and white an issue in the game world as one might think.


HeHateMe wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:


Killing evil scum isn't an evil act, most gods wouldn't punish a paladin for that, and some gods (Torag for example) practically demand it. "Good" doesn't mean "Nice".

Murdering helpless/unarmed people is evil. Period.

It does not matter what their alignment is, what demon lord they serve, or who they killed and ate last week.

No, good does not mean nice. You don't have to be particularly polite or gentle while handing your prisoners over to the authorities. It does mean you don't act like the evildoers you just murdered.

I understand that's your opinion, and in real life I totally agree with you. What I'm saying is that in the game setting some of the gods that have paladins don't seem to agree with that, based on how their paladin codes are written. So it's not as black and white an issue in the game world as one might think.

I find it helps to think of an individual as a nation state when it comes to alignment matters. Is it murder for a nation state to kill helpless/unarmed enemies of the state? Of course not, because murder is a legal term for unlawful killings. Is it Evil for a nation state to kill helpless/unarmed enemies? Maybe. Is it Good for a nation state to kill helpless/unarmed enemies? Sometimes. The idea that a nation state must wait for it's enemies to arm themselves or pose a threat before killing them is a strange stance to take. You don't think drones strikes are only carried out on people who are awake and armed do you?

The major problem with alignment threads is that people forget a Good person can do Evil things and still be Good. Much in the same way doing Good things doesn't make an Evil person suddenly not Evil. Remember, killing your child's mother with the intention to commit genocide is not sufficient to change a good character's alignment in the right circumstances.


Sundakan wrote:
On a re-read, maybe that's not what you meant, it was supposed to be a lighthearted "Haha, these people are going to drive you nuts with their shenanigans" statement, but in the greater context of this thread, and every nearly identical thread like it that came before, you can see why it would come across as needlessly hostile to people you've never met, never will meet, and only know about secondhand from a person who just says their characters IN A GAME don't have moral codes that mesh.

On the topic of quoting people out of context, I guess I just had my turn doing that to you. Oops.

Sundakan wrote:
TL; DR: Saying two reasonable things ("You might be wrong, you should just talk it out") doesn't excuse the one unreasonable thing ("Of course, they might be evil. Just sayin'.").

I disagree with you, but this argument is much better than your first one.

In my advice, am carefully weighing what Finneous is saying and considering such things as he might be mistaken, that maybe he should just go along to get along, that maybe he is the one in the wrong even if he is describing things accurately, and that maybe he should walk away from the group and never have anything else to do with any of them ever again.

All the while, I am trying to be mindful that I only have the OP's perspective, and not even. Only the OP has the OP's perspective: what I have is the OP's story. And while I have no reason to believe he is lying or anything, there are lots of ways my picture of this might be distorted. I am doing my best to explore lots of interpretations of his situation to give the best advice I can.

Sundakan wrote:
Here's the thing though, you didn't just leave it at "bad players", you went a step further and said they might be EVIL PEOPLE.... Using language like that isn't helpful,

Maybe not. Sometimes I do favor a more florid writing style than is constructive. I'll consider toning down my rhetoric.

Sundakan wrote:
this kind of sentiment pops up in pretty much every alignment thread like this.

Maybe. That seems plausible. I can't speak to that.

Sundakan wrote:
If these people ARE evil, he's got bigger problems than a game, so why even bring it up?

Well, that is why I bring it up. He's saying that people are doing things just to spite him. He's saying that he is personally being berated. While using the word "evil" might be hyperbole, if it is the case of his being abused and berated and having his fellows going out of their way to ruin his fun directly and continue to do so even when he is earnestly trying to reconcile and communicate his feelings, I stand by my advice that he should leave the group, perhaps ruining their fun right back at them, and telling them to perform anatomically impossible acts of physical intimacy upon themselves.


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Finneous Frye wrote:


Incident 2) A few sessions later we found ourselves rushing into a room full of evil cultists. We had surprise on them. This in and of itself my monk figured was fine. They weren't sleeping; just surprised. I quickly discovered that the cultists were incapable of defending themselves and the fight was going to be a slaughter.

To slaughter evil cultist is like the best way to deal with evil cultists.


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I do have to wonder if the tone of this thread would be nearly the same if the OP was a CE character encountering moral dilemma with his flowers and sunshine good party members.


Couple of things worth mentioning here ...

William H Watson wrote:
Your code, as represented by you, would go directly against a couple of Pathfinder's Paladin codes in many situations.

I am not a paladin. I am a monk as clearly stated more than once.

William H Watson wrote:
You aren't wanting 'compromise' ... you are wanting them to follow YOUR code, instead of theirs. That's not compromise. Compromise would be you accepting they will do things you won't like. And you will do things they won't like, but you will both keep doing them, because that's just how you are.

Uh I never berated them on how they do business. I just ask that they respect how I do mine. That is not happening. I'm perfectly willing to work with them. Incidentally, I am not alone on my side of the quandry. Two others feel the same way I do.


As others have said, your prohibition that killing sleeping enemies is more about your code of honour than it is your alignment (yes, your code is an LG one, but it's not the only way to play LG) -- of course, that very much depends on who/what the sleeping things are, as well. A sleeping peasant army that's been taken in by a warlord (possibly pressed) is not the same as a roving band of hill giants or bugbears.

Now, I think your character saying, "I cannot do that" is a perfectly valid RP response, and your willingness to distract the boss while they did it showed a good amount of compromise. If I were playing a good-aligned character, I'd likely respect your character's unwillingness to kill the sleeping foes -- though I'd think your unwillingness to strike from surprise against the boss was daft -- but, hey, codes of honour are generally restrictive.

In a healthy party, there would be a discussion after the fact, maybe some tension, and generally, it *would* be water under the bridge... the fact that it wasn't makes me also think this is more a matter of play style than anything else.

In the second case, you choosing to be merciful and knocking out your opponents was, again, a decision that makes sense based on your own code of conduct -- and, really, your monk should have realized that he was in a somewhat different position than the others that allowed him to do so (most characters don't have a lot of non-lethal options, at least not without sacrificing a whole lot of effectiveness, which isn't something you want to do when being swarmed with 'helpless' foes -- especially given how any clever villain could be hiding among the 'helpless'. Where the problem comes is the rogue murdering the guys you subdued.

Looking at it in character, your monk would see that as murder, which is evil, and either try to apprehend or stop the rogue -- or, at the very least, refuse to associate with him -- and I can't see a way around that.

Stepping out of character, your description very much makes it sound as though it was done out of spite -- of course, that may be because of your reaction more than his intent -- it could just be him playing his nasty thief IC -- but either way, you're at an impasse in terms of party cohesion.

And, really, allow me to sympathize -- I've been in similar situations myself in the past, and literally had to roll up another character, because there was no way that the high-minded, swashbuckling "hero" type would be able to associate with at least 2 other party members... However, as much as the new character fit in more, it was still a problem of playstyle and the type of game I wanted vs. what they wanted -- I played another 4 months with them and was miserable the whole time (so much so I was actually relieved when the party was TPKed later)... which is when I realized that life is way too short (and gaming time way to precious) to waste time not having fun.

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