Help with a dead Unicorn


Advice

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How about Speak with Dead. Ask the unicorn.

As for digging a grave...for a horse sized body? With magic not so bad...with shovels (assuming they actually have em) it is quite a chore. And last I checked, IDK what swrvices or rites/rituals pathfinder unicorns prefer anyway.

IDK about the disk of infection, aren't cornies all supposed to be walking anti-virals?


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that and all the talk about people turning into gouls or windegos are only if they eat the same species (humans eating humans, elves eating elves, dwarves eating dwarves, half elves eating halfelves or humans or elves(assuming normal human/elf half elf), orc eating orc, exetra) so unless the party is a bunch of unicorns no canabalizm is ocuring for such effects to take place.


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Goth Guru wrote:
Derklord wrote:
How many unicorns have you spoken to?
I'm following about 10 on twitter. As that's roleplaying, it must count.:)

No, your Brony friends' ponysonas don't count!


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Could point out to them that it's fresh enough for a raise dead spell.
Who wouldn't want a unicorn bro that owes you their life, rather than just having a horse meat dinner?


Lady-J wrote:
that and all the talk about people turning into gouls or windegos are only if they eat the same species (humans eating humans, elves eating elves, dwarves eating dwarves, half elves eating halfelves or humans or elves(assuming normal human/elf half elf), orc eating orc, exetra) so unless the party is a bunch of unicorns no canabalizm is ocuring for such effects to take place.

I would tend to agree, but Paizo has generally explicitly utilized, "eat a sentient creature" as an equivalent of, "cannibalism" - it's a sometimes-strange equivalency, but one that's worth noting when discussing such things.

The ultimate reason, I'm guessing, is two-fold: to explicitly prevent murdering "other" sentient creatures for the sake of food or some-such (trying to rein in the tendency toward anarchy by the old concept of 'murderhobo' PCs), as well as a meta- (or something, I don't know) concepts such as helping explain the prevalence of things like the ghoul-disease or wendigo-curse.

Beyond that, I'm uncertain that creatures like an elf eating an orc or human wouldn't be cannibalism. Both elves* and orcs are known to be able to create progeny with humans - that means there has to be at least some sort of link between the two (and things dragon-spawn could be would nearly have to be the result of, say, magical transformation - or eldritch ritual** or some-such similar thing -, thus physically restructuring themselves into newly biologically compatible forms**).

What makes this even more notable, is that the children of such unions aren't sterile - in fact, long family lines can be created.

As a biological comparison, that means there's more in common between humans and orcs than there is between, say, two different kinds of fireflies, or something like horses and donkeys.

... all that said, there are plenty of instances in nature of this kind of cannibalism: ranging from ants that eat other insects, to other similar stuff (I know, I know - I really just don't feel like doing the research today; sorry, I'm just really tired; maybe wikipedia could help, if you want!).

And what's more, there's plenty of the first kind of cannibalism, too - the three that spring to mind most immediately are the black widow and praying mantis (both after mating), and the ants that eat their own dead (these are in my front yard).

None of that is to say it's "good" or even "not-evil" but there are at least several instances that at least indicate that it's not entirely an unnatural abomination... though nature does have plenty of horrible, horrible things that I'd tend to consider abomination-like...

* I don't know about Golarion's setting, but in settings like Forgotten Realms, at least, both elves and dwarves may create progeny with each other, though, from my understanding (which, I must stress, may be wrong, due to shifting canon and possibly incorrect memories), the result is just a mildly pointy-eared dwarf. Similarly, I think a human and a dwarf can procreate in many settings, though I don't know that any two sources agree - these creatures are called 'muls' in Dark Sun, may be just plain 'dwarves' or 'humans' in FR (I can't recall), and have a new race called 'half-dwarf' in the old Green Ronin published Advanced Player Guide.

** It's worth noting that creatures like tieflings and aasimars do not actually need physical relations between fiends and celestials to come about. It's noted in at least one place that merely being within the physical proximity of those creatures, or by way of eldritch rituals, such being could result. There's even a twice in different APs that important figures are the result of the "by proxy" (an infant that dies) or "eldritch ritual" (a main villain) alteration instead of the "direct descent" - this opens the doors to similar effects for all sorts of other creatures, as well.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not trying to suggest you're out-and-out wrong, Lady-J, but rather point out a few possible counter-arguments, and also mention Paizo's Golarion canon (and a few other settings) for consideration when making the final call.


BLloyd607502 wrote:

Could point out to them that it's fresh enough for a raise dead spell.

Who wouldn't want a unicorn bro that owes you their life, rather than just having a horse meat dinner?

I'd actually considered this, but there are two caveats, there:

1) the body has to be reasonably intact: I was under the impression that it was not (though this could be a mistake on my part)

2) the non-insignificant cost may be more than they have, or could reasonably get access to within the short window of time available on that spell.

That said, those were just my presumptions and/or interpretations - I could easily be wrong; either way, regardless of my own hesitations, I really should have mentioned it, so I'm glad you did. Thanks!

Of course, if they're looking for a relatively quick, more-easily-accessed-and-much-more-easily-afforded spell, there's always reincarnate - I mean, you know, sure, it's probably not ideal, but if they're adventurers on a budget and have relative access to spellcasting, it's definitely an option.

Besides, once the creature is alive, it can then take the time on its own to go about attempting to find that miracle or wish to turn itself back into a unicorn - you've actually done it a solid by allowing it the opportunity in the first place (and it can always reject the reincarnate magic before it's brought back to life, if it so desires - nothing forces it to accept; it also always knows who is trying to bring it back and by what spell before it accepts).

Basically, if it is reincarnated, that, by definition, means that it was willing to accept that as the spell that brings it back and the PCs as the people bringing it back (though it may-or-may not wake up with memories of this knowledge - I don't recall canon, right now, and, as this is the GM's campaign anyway...).

So that's always an option.

(As a bonus, you could kind of have your cake and eat it to - literally, if by "cake" you mean "unicorn" - because you could reincarnate the creature by just a small strand of hair - either mane or tail, doesn't matter. That leaves the entire rest of the corpse...)

EDIT: to add an important bit.

Scarab Sages

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Thornborn wrote:

So many ifs...

If eating sentients is evil... I'm going to pass on that.

If eating sentients is unwise... Why would it be? Well, madcow and similar. What sort of Prion-borne diseases might be held happily in check in the flesh of the unicorn, whose horn is a sovereign curative?

The main issue is that in a lawful society, the idea that you can kill or eat other members of your lawful society results in a rather unsustainable and potential chaotic society. In general, death as a whole, is bad for a lawful society. They just like consistency in a lawful society, so death is one of the many enemies of law, as change in government, however slim, presents an inconsistency.

Lawful people tend to think of lawful actions as being good actions, so this one often get's described in a good vs evil manner, by lawful people.

I'd argue that Cannibalism is eating of other Citizens (or those eligible to become Citizens), not members of a particular race. If a race is unable to become a Citizen, and is designated a food race, it's sentience doesn't really matter for a lawful society. And more so, Lawful Societies don't always acknowledge sentience in races, even if it is present (Slavery is a Lawful Neutral concept, and a great example of not acknowledging the sentience of creatures.).


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I rather favor the Narnian definition of cannibalism -- you don't eat anything that you could have held a conversation with.

I remember one campaign where I played a character who was grossed out by the idea of eating some sahuagin that we killed while on a sea voyage (as suggested by one of the other players).


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Tacticslion wrote:
I don't know about Golarion's setting, but in settings like Forgotten Realms, at least, both elves and dwarves may create progeny with each other, though, from my understanding (which, I must stress, may be wrong, due to shifting canon and possibly incorrect memories), the result is just a mildly pointy-eared dwarf. Similarly, I think a human and a dwarf can procreate in many settings, though I don't know that any two sources agree - these creatures are called 'muls' in Dark Sun, may be just plain 'dwarves' or 'humans' in FR (I can't recall), and have a new race called 'half-dwarf' in the old Green Ronin published Advanced Player Guide.

Straight outta Bastards of Golarion:

Why are there no half-dwaves?:
Although humans can have children with many other races, there are limits to this gift. Half-dwarves, half-gnomes, half-halflings, and numerous other combinations are all but unheard of on Golarion. Biological incompatibility is the first and foremost reason that such half-races cannot exist. Simply put, dwarves, gnomes, and others just aren't compatible with other races, even humans.

In a realm shrouded in magic, it would be foolish to assume no spell in the known multiverse could produce a viable child between a dwarf and a humanoid of another race. Indeed, dwarven aasimars and gnome tieflings are known to exist, arising through the influence of outsiders or because of magical anomalies understood by few. A miracle or wish spell could likewise result in the birth of a half-dwarf, though the individuals able or willing to practice such spellcraft are few and far between.
In short, races in Pathfinder are basically species.


Ah! Sweet! Thanks!


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At this point you realize you're beating a dead unicorn.


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David knott 242 wrote:
I rather favor the Narnian definition of cannibalism -- you don't eat anything that you could have held a conversation with.

Tends to be my personal opinion for when it matters.

As far as this case, though... I'd look at how the same characters treated non-enemy human/humanoid corpses. If they'd respectfully cremate an elf they found murdered, or similar, generally showing respect for humanoid dead, and they know unicorns are sentient and usually Good, then I wouldn't change their alignments, but I would let them know it wasn't very nice of them and point out any relevant deities who might disapprove. (I imagine Desna rather likes unicorns, for example.) As far as the using it for dragon bait, I'd consider it somewhat justified as long as it was in the spirit of "for the greater good" and not just for the lulz, and they actually thought it was their best idea, but still a gray area unless it's their general opinion on how to treat bodies.

(Also, would the dragon even want its meat pre-cooked? I'd think they'd generally be a little weirded out by that, unless they were expecting it as a tribute.)


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One thing that really helps deal with a dead Unicorn is a the chainsaw from the Technology Guide.


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What, you want to replace it's horn with a chainsaw and than resurrect/undeadify it?


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Ravingdork wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Druids - and others - (at least, in any publication I've seen) explicitly aren't evil to wear dragonhide, and that material only comes from sentient creatures; killing a sentient creature just for its hide would seem rather evil, to me, so. (Dragons do get grumpy about this, however.)
Haven't a few non-sentient dragons been published though?

Bit late to this part of the discussion, but shed dragon scales/hide is also an option. You don't have to kill a dragon to have dragon hide armor.


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Smythers00 wrote:

I have figured out a few responses, depending on how the characters go forward. I'm hoping that they don't back down from what they were thinking of doing... it should be pretty fun. I'm sure one or two of them have tripped over this thread (hi guys!), so I don't want to reveal anything before the game. But i do have the reward/penalty thing figured out to my satisfaction now.

I would like say thanks to everyone in this thread for their thoughts, it all helped me get to this point, and it should be great fun for the next game :)

OOOOPS! I didn't know we should spoiler anything. I'm eager to find out what they did and you did and how it all turns out. Please, do tell, when you have answers!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
I rather favor the Narnian definition of cannibalism -- you don't eat anything that you could have held a conversation with.

Tends to be my personal opinion for when it matters.

As far as this case, though... I'd look at how the same characters treated non-enemy human/humanoid corpses. If they'd respectfully cremate an elf they found murdered, or similar, generally showing respect for humanoid dead, and they know unicorns are sentient and usually Good, then I wouldn't change their alignments, but I would let them know it wasn't very nice of them and point out any relevant deities who might disapprove. (I imagine Desna rather likes unicorns, for example.) As far as the using it for dragon bait, I'd consider it somewhat justified as long as it was in the spirit of "for the greater good" and not just for the lulz, and they actually thought it was their best idea, but still a gray area unless it's their general opinion on how to treat bodies.

(Also, would the dragon even want its meat pre-cooked? I'd think they'd generally be a little weirded out by that, unless they were expecting it as a tribute.)

This. A unicorn is a sentient creature, just like any other. More good then most. If the players had come across a group of orcs, trussing up a bunch of elves, would the party think it is a good idea to cook one up to lure a dragon? Then while discussing it, think about eating said elf.

How I would handle it, is if they did it, they should be in for a month or so of sleepless night as guilt makes them feel terrible and gives them nightmares. If they are too callous about it, maybe some powerful nature spirit will take umbrage and throw a curse or worse.


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Tacticslion wrote:


1) the body has to be reasonably intact: I was under the impression that it was not (though this could be a mistake on my part)

2) the non-insignificant cost may be more than they have, or could reasonably get access to within the short window of time available on that spell.

In this context:

1) The Unicorn was killed, racked and dressed for butchering by NPC Poachers (Neutral Evil). The party wandered into the camp before they could fully butcher the Unicorn's carcass.

2) The party did have the means financially to bring the animal back to life. Also, the Unicorn was recently dead, I would say no more than 3 days tops, so raising it would have been possible.

However, the PC's didn't have the magical means to do that on the spot, they would have to go back to the village and see if that could be done there... In all likelihood, they would have had to cast Gentle Repose and transport the creature to someone who could raise dead. Which would have been an absolute pain in the behind, even in it's dressed state - which would apparently be a touch lighter what with all the internal organs being removed and whatnot.

Giving it a decent burial would have been a simpler solution to them - given that the poacher's huts had tools suitable to dig a grave. (What a pity the PCs didn't search them!)


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Smythers00 wrote:
In all likelihood, they would have had to cast Gentle Repose and transport the creature to someone who could raise dead. Which would have been an absolute pain in the behind, even in it's dressed state - which would apparently be a touch lighter what with all the internal organs being removed and whatnot.

This makes no sense. If the internal organs are removed, Raise Dead doesn't help - "missing parts are still missing when the creature is brought back to life."

So they would need Resurrection, a 7th level spell that costs 10k gold and requires a large city (i.e. >10.000 people) to hire a spellcaster for it. But, for Resurrection, a small part would have been enough, and time absolutely no issue.

This means that the unicorn's body was, at the time the party found it, in a state that eating most of it wouldn't have any effect on the resurrectability. The nonedible parts are more than enough for a resurrection - unless the party either powderises all the bones, hoofes, and the horn and then scatter the dust in the wind, or takes every single one of those with them, the party's actions are irrelevant regarding NPCs trying to resurrect the unicorn.

Are you expecting the party to spend their recources on Resurrecting every dead good creature they stumble upon? If not, the posibility of resurrection should be completely irrelevant.


Well, they could have (and technically still could) reincarnate it...

>.>

... but otherwise, yeah, not much they could do with raise dead, once they found it, that I can figure.


darkwarriorkarg wrote:
At this point you realize you're beating a dead unicorn.

Eye sey thie neigh! Neigh eye sey! Ther 'r' manny mor theengs tue dysuss an- yeah, I don't know what I was doing with that accent, either, outside of a really lame pun, which, by all 'counting, wasn't that funny to begin with.


Tacticslion wrote:
Druids - and others - (at least, in any publication I've seen) explicitly aren't evil to wear dragonhide, and that material only comes from sentient creatures; killing a sentient creature just for its hide would seem rather evil, to me, so. (Dragons do get grumpy about this, however.)
Ravingdork wrote:
Haven't a few non-sentient dragons been published though?
Azten wrote:
Bit late to this part of the discussion, but shed dragon scales/hide is also an option. You don't have to kill a dragon to have dragon hide armor.

I'd thought of this, but I was pretty sure there were rules that noted it had to be hide (not just scales, but leather, too), and some moderately strict rules on how big the creature had to be to supply how much material on death.

Point in fact, here they are, I found them again, and they appear to be from an official Paizo product - that's the reason I disregarded the idea earlier.

Had I never found those particular rules, though, I'd tend to be with you - those dragon scales look more than large enough to work as armor pieces on their own, no smith needed; in that sense, you've a very good point.

One ancillary point of those rules, is the note about energy immunity - while the energy immunity thing doesn't definitively state it must be sentient dragons, it does narrow the scope quite a bit.

... that said, this product, seemingly entirely from said Paizo product, pretty firmly puts to bed any question if all the parts of the "buffalo" (dragon) are being used or not (they seem to all be valuable), and this feat (explicitly from that book) makes it clear,

No Ambiguity At All wrote:
You gain the ability to create a variety of dragoncraft items from materials gathered from the bodies of true dragons (not lesser dragons, such as linnorms or wyverns)

... that it's true dragons, not "lesser" kind.

You also have items made from:
- gall (from the liver)
- musk (from dragon mating rituals)
- blood (ever-popular, both for bathing and imbibing)
- stomach/gut (like a potent alchemcial acid, but in a bag, also spell-enhancer)
- and the for-mentioned dragonskin (here, and probably more properly, called "dragonskin grip")

... which means that the creature pretty much has to be dead.

Sizes range from tiny to colossal, so age isn't a factor.

It explicitly notes that druids can wear this without penalty.

... ssssssssssooooooooooooooooo...

Silver Crusade

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Tacticslion wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Druids - and others - (at least, in any publication I've seen) explicitly aren't evil to wear dragonhide, and that material only comes from sentient creatures; killing a sentient creature just for its hide would seem rather evil, to me, so. (Dragons do get grumpy about this, however.)
Ravingdork wrote:
Haven't a few non-sentient dragons been published though?
Azten wrote:
Bit late to this part of the discussion, but shed dragon scales/hide is also an option. You don't have to kill a dragon to have dragon hide armor.

I'd thought of this, but I was pretty sure there were rules that noted it had to be hide (not just scales, but leather, too), and some moderately strict rules on how big the creature had to be to supply how much material on death.

Point in fact, here they are, I found them again, and they appear to be from an official Paizo product - that's the reason I disregarded the idea earlier.

Had I never found those particular rules, though, I'd tend to be with you - those dragon scales look more than large enough to work as armor pieces on their own, no smith needed; in that sense, you've a very good point.

One ancillary point of those rules, is the note about energy immunity - while the energy immunity thing doesn't definitively state it must be sentient dragons, it does narrow the scope quite a bit.

... that said, this product, seemingly entirely from said Paizo product, pretty firmly puts to bed any question if all the parts of the "buffalo" (dragon) are being used or not (they seem to all be valuable), and this feat...

Why not put the body of the red dragon who tried to bbq you to use? Also a dragon would harvestband sell their own blood...


... but that still (hypothetically) violates the "sanctity" of a sentient creature. Beyond that, there is zero mention of the morality of anything. And the rules take you from newborn hatchling to ancient.

Dragons strongly tend toward alignment, but, as the early PF writings about them are now considered non-canon, they are not inherently aligned. There is no way to assume that a red dragon is evil, "just because".

That said, even if it is evil... why not put the corpse of that Orc or drow or human wizard to good use? You've killed it, because it was necessary: now it's time to utilize it! Is that wrong?

Probably not, but it most definitely comes with intense social consequences.

But how far does that extend? And why doesn't it go further?

Why not feed the corpses of your dead to sentient non-evil plants as a means of securing a peaceful alliance?

If getting them back is a big deal, keep a small piece for reincarnation. If the exact body is a big deal, either deliver the skin and organs and keep the skeleton for use with restore corpse (which apparently creates a nasty putrefied corpse, even one that has been gently repose'd) and then spring for a raise dead (incidentally, this may be a solution to the adventurers' problem, above); or spring for a resurrection. If neither of those work, or people are super squeamish and/or selfishly sentimental about their corpse, then there really isn't any reasonable option... but it's worth noting that the problem, in this case, is with those who are demanding certain concessions from a corpse, when it doesn't really matter. There is only so much that a dead body can do for a society.

Sure, respect that society's wishes (if you know them; unicorns, being individualists, will not have a single societal standard that applies), but that society is being impractical.

That said, because of disease, eating people is bad, even if they're well-cooked. But it seems unlikely that such things transfer between species.

That said, the "Narnia Principal" seems to be in play in Golarion, due to the presence and origins of ghouls... unless it's dragons, 'cause you totally need to drink their blood, dudes.

My point is that the line drawn is an arbitrary one. "It's super okay to use dead things, but only these dead things, and you can't eat them, unless you can; also, respect the corpses of sentient beings, except when you don't need to." is a very... chaotic... moral code to live by. Wearing sentient flesh is either problematic or is not problematic. If there are specific consequences, those should not only be more clear, but more easily known.

... but more than that, running it as you want to is the most important thing. In-canon, the morality is vague and contradictory.


Like, here's a scenario:
- adventurers who are not master craftsman bring a red dragon hide to a craftsman and claim they killed it protecting the country
- the craftsman must now decide whether he believes them (if it's because "it's a dragon" or "it's red" this makes him a bigot, whether he knows this or not), or he questions them. To properly ascertain the truth, he could "easily" go pay for a commune... but would be spend the money and time? Does he even know that dragons are sentient? If it was sentient, would that matter to him, a human?

Post in the middle to not lose it, will edit/finish soon.

EDIT: DANG IT. Edit was eaten by the site. Trying again...

>:/


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Derklord wrote:


So they would need Resurrection, a 7th level spell that costs 10k gold and requires a large city (i.e. >10.000 people) to hire a spellcaster for it. But, for Resurrection, a small part would have been enough, and time absolutely no issue.

Good point.


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As I mentioned before, we've played out the whole Unicorn on a fire scene with the PCs last Saturday, and I've gotten permission from one of the PCs (Roxy - many thanks) who keeps the Campaign Log to post the Unicorn bit of it (see spoiler below). Unfortunately, it doesn't say anything about the consequences of their actions, and I'm not going to post those just yet as the PCs do read this thread (they're all a little "left-eyebrow-raised" at the rainbow diarrhea suggestion). It's great having them see all of your ideas because now they have no clue which direction I'm going to take this in >:)

When, or *IF*, those consequences do come about, I promise to post the results :)

Campaign Log::

As Locksley begins his roasting of the unicorn leg for eating, Xaris, Aedan and Archer are coming up with a plan to roast the rest of the unicorn to attract the dragon. They decide to dig a huge pit and use some of the poachers’ cabin as a giant pyre that they can roll the unicorn on. After tasting what was declared the “magical ham” of the unicorn, Locksley moves over to help. The four watch the unicorn begin to roast when they hear a strange singing. Locksley unaffected watches the other three walk off into the woods in a daze. He eventually decides to follow Aedan thinking if he can help the spell caster, then maybe Aedan will figure out what is going on.
Meanwhile off some 100ft away, Roxy who took the unicorn horn away from the barbarians roasting and eating the majestic guardian of the forest, ignores the strange singing believing the justice of the forest is being doled out and that her companions deserve the punishment. She begins to say some prayers to Desna for the unicorn and finds a beautiful tree to bury the horn under.

Locksley catching up to Aedan finds him out of his trance but a little confused as to what happened. They spot Xaris and Archer some 60ft away recovered from the trance and heading back to the roasting pyre. When the four of them arrive back they find the unicorn is gone! A few feathers lay around the fire and Locksley and Aedan begin to suspect that they belong to Harpies. Soon their suspicions are confirmed as the singing starts again enchanting everyone but Aedan, who plays along to look like he was enchanted. When the Harpies arrive down to attack the group Archer is pulled into the fire pit catching on fire. Everyone breaks free of the enchantment and defends themselves. Xaris tosses Archer who is on fire at one of the harpies but in the end their valiant efforts are for naught as Archer and Xaris are knocked unconscious by the harpies. Luckily Aedan and Locksley were not badly injured from the fight against the poachers and had some vitality left to take on the harpies. They dispatch the fowl creatures to save the day. Still without Roxy, the only hope for Archer and Xaris is to have them drink their own potions, but that only helps so much.

So Archer and Xaris go off to find Roxy, which is not that hard as she basically stayed to the trail that lead them to the poachers. Roxy refused to return to the group because of their actions with the unicorn, and again Archer in his asking of her to return was a bit of a jerk in Roxy’ mind. She told them she was out of spells for the day and would have to pray to regain them so she would be of no help.

They return to Aedan and Locksley to try and figure out how to continue. Without healing Xaris and Archer would be no good against a dragon and they were sure Roxy would come around once she prayed to Desna. Locksley wanted to forge on since this was the last chance they had to get the bonus for killing the dragon. But Aedan successfully argued that they stay the night here by the fire and rest.

Meanwhile off some 100ft away, Roxy who set up her own campfire spends the rest of the evening praying and sleeps through the night alone down the trail. Until raccoons attack her in the night! "I did the right thing, why is the forest attacking me?" Roxy fends off the three raccoons by squishing two with her mace and sending the last one scurrying. Sad that she has now killed innocent little raccoons, she digs a grave for the two corpses and buries them.

When the sun rises Roxy walks back towards the group with caution and after looking them over thanks to a spell from Desna, rejoins the group and administers healing to Xaris and Archer. At this point Aedan and Locksley still try to figure out what to do next. They have lost the bonus and the events have left the group fractured. Roxy chimes in that they should just return to the caravan while Locksley hates to leave a job unfinished. So they decide to vote and head after the dragon some more.

Essentially, the PC's plan to lure the Dragon in with the BBQ Unicorn didn't work out like as they hoped - they attracted some Harpies who lured them away with their song and stole the Unicorn Carcass for themselves, then - feeling overconfident - came back for the rest of the party.

Edit for grammar


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Smythers,
You call the Unicorn an animal. If this is your opinion, or is just the way you talk about them, it is no wonder your players see nothing wrong with eating one. I get that a lot of magical beasts are just animals with a couple extra options, but with mental stats (Int 11, Wis 21, Cha 24) probably above most of your PCs as a whole, animal doesn't come close to describe them.

Also, not everyone is OK with parting out Dragons. I read a book years ago that had dragons themselves keeping and using relics of their ancestors, but that was well before Pathfinder was a gleam in Paizo's eye. I am trying to remember the author or title. We can justify it either way, we are more rationalizing than rational, mostly.

As a GM I would have made it clear that eating a Unicorn would be considered evil by nearly every goodish culture in my game, that, using ritual cannibalism, Unicorn flesh could be a significant source of power, and finally, it would be a difficult thing to hide from some beings. It could be worse, Mielikki isn't part of the local divine community.


Tacticslion wrote:

Like, here's a scenario:

- adventurers who are not master craftsman bring a red dragon hide to a craftsman and claim they killed it protecting the country
- the craftsman must now decide whether he believes them (if it's because "it's a dragon" or "it's red" this makes him a bigot, whether he knows this or not), or he questions them. To properly ascertain the truth, he could "easily" go pay for a commune... but would be spend the money and time? Does he even know that dragons are sentient? If it was sentient, would that matter to him, a human?

Post in the middle to not lose it, will edit/finish soon.

EDIT: DANG IT. Edit was eaten by the site. Trying again...

>:/

Blarg. Any edit too big seems to kind of break the post.

Anyway, carrying on:

- certainly the craftsman, above, would not be a bigot if he is truly ignorant (that's just ignorant). And certainly evidence in his own life can lead him to various differing conclusions. So do these justify him?

- let's say that, whether or not he believes them, he goes through and makes the thing. But then the guy buys it from them to sell later.

- A customer comes along. He also has a choice on whether or not to believe, but this time it's whether he believes the salesman. Let's say that he is knowledgeable and thus recognizes it as a copper dragon (they're reddish) instead of red - do they have a moral obligation against it? Or do they respect the supposed sentience of such creatures and assume its current fate was warranted by its life? If the salesman is an amazing Bluff character, or truly does believe the story they were told? How far does the obligation on the craftsman's part go?

- And what about humanoids? Non-humanoid sentients? What is the difference between a magical beast that is sentient and one that isn't? Aberrations?

I don't think any of these things are evil. I don't even think that eating it is evil. By canon, though, it's linked with ghouls (or wendigos) and similar curses.

In that regard, it may well have hidden drawbacks. My point is not that the characters should know, but the players should (at least, in terms of alignment repercussions)... unless, of course, the group is okay with that sort of thing, or is having fun the other way, in which case: never mind!

Silver Crusade

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Tacticslion wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

Like, here's a scenario:

- adventurers who are not master craftsman bring a red dragon hide to a craftsman and claim they killed it protecting the country
- the craftsman must now decide whether he believes them (if it's because "it's a dragon" or "it's red" this makes him a bigot, whether he knows this or not), or he questions them. To properly ascertain the truth, he could "easily" go pay for a commune... but would be spend the money and time? Does he even know that dragons are sentient? If it was sentient, would that matter to him, a human?

Post in the middle to not lose it, will edit/finish soon.

EDIT: DANG IT. Edit was eaten by the site. Trying again...

>:/

Blarg. Any edit too big seems to kind of break the post.

Anyway, carrying on:

- certainly the craftsman, above, would not be a bigot if he is truly ignorant (that's just ignorant). And certainly evidence in his own life can lead him to various differing conclusions. So do these justify him?

- let's say that, whether or not he believes them, he goes through and makes the thing. But then the guy buys it from them to sell later.

- A customer comes along. He also has a choice on whether or not to believe, but this time it's whether he believes the salesman. Let's say that he is knowledgeable and thus recognizes it as a copper dragon (they're reddish) instead of red - do they have a moral obligation against it? Or do they respect the supposed sentience of such creatures and assume its current fate was warranted by its life? If the salesman is an amazing Bluff character, or truly does believe the story they were told? How far does the obligation on the craftsman's part go?

- And what about humanoids? Non-humanoid sentients? What is the difference between a magical beast that is sentient and one that isn't? Aberrations?

I don't think any of these things are evil. I don't even think that eating it is evil. By canon, though, it's linked with ghouls (or wendigos) and similar curses....

Well windigos the link is not eating the flesh of a sentient. It is eating the flesh of a fellow humanoid in societies where that is taboo. It is the taboo of act, not the act that makes it evil. There are non-evil races who take a nonchalant approach to eating the already dead (though not killing them for eating) since they go by the ideal that "meat is meat". They are neither plagued by ghouls or wendigos. The most common way to become a ghoul is to contract ghoul fever, so that's more like becoming a zombie than anything else.

As for the craftsman, if he got truly duped then he should feel obligated to hand it over with an explanation of what happened to a temple of Apsu.


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Daw wrote:

Smythers,

You call the Unicorn an animal. If this is your opinion, or is just the way you talk about them, it is no wonder your players see nothing wrong with eating one. I get that a lot of magical beasts are just animals with a couple extra options, but with mental stats (Int 11, Wis 21, Cha 24) probably above most of your PCs as a whole, animal doesn't come close to describe them.

I feel that's a bit of an over-simplification. I've only used the word "animal" to describe the Unicorn once in this thread.

That being said, how I was perceiving the Unicorn was the biggest reason why I started this thread. I was worried that as a DM I was holding the Unicorn in too-high of esteem and wasn't going to be fair. My instant reaction was "If the party eats the Unicorn, they get an alignment change". Fortunately it was the end of the night before it came to that.

At the time this scenario was playing out, the characters saw what was described as a horse with a pure, snow white coat - with blood stains of course. When the PCs went in for a closer inspection, they found a wound where the horn should be. At the very same time they made a successful knowledge nature check was made dc 19 (DC 15 for rarely encountered creature + 4 from the challenge rating) and quickly identified it as an ex-Unicorn.

From that point, I let the players work it out on their own.

Daw wrote:


Also, not everyone is OK with parting out Dragons. I read a book years ago that had dragons themselves keeping and using relics of their ancestors, but that was well before Pathfinder was a gleam in Paizo's eye. I am trying to remember the author or title.

I agree. Parting out of Unicorns, Dragons, etc. is not necessarily ok. I mean, the poachers were fine with it, but the campaign setting is a LG society and this wouldn't be seen as a good thing by the population as a whole. Heaven help them if this got out on Youtube.

Daw wrote:


We can justify it either way, we are more rationalizing than rational, mostly.

I feel this whole Unicorn situation kind of went down like this:

Dead unicorn + fire burning nearby = let's eat. Now, how do we make sense of this?

Daw wrote:


As a GM I would have made it clear that eating a Unicorn would be considered evil by nearly every goodish culture in my game, that, using ritual cannibalism, Unicorn flesh could be a significant source of power, and finally, it would be a difficult thing to hide from some beings. It could be worse, Mielikki isn't part of the local divine community.

I appreciate that... however, in this campaign I'm choosing not to lead the players too much when it comes to letting them make their own decisions for their characters (give them enough rope...)

Every one of those players in that group has considerably more experience at roleplaying than I do, we all know the basics about Unicorns as players. The players had every opportunity to inquire about rules, what the community would think if they found out, what their characters would "know", and they all did that to a certain extent.

They had an opportunity to stop what they were doing, but one character persisted. Locksley's player honoured his call to have his character eat the Unicorn, even after reading this thread before the game and understanding that his character would have known about Unicorns and that this was not a good thing to be doing and that there would be consequences. I respect that, so I want to make sure what I do next is even-handed, and above all else, fun for everyone in the game.

Which is why I appreciate everyone's contribution to this thread - it's really helping me out.


so the party is high enough level to fight off a group of harpies 2-3 in guessing a cr8-12 encounter but all failed their dc 16 will saves to avoid the trance?


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Lady-J wrote:
so the party is high enough level to fight off a group of harpies 2-3 in guessing a cr8-12 encounter but all failed their dc 16 will saves to avoid the trance?

cr 6, actually. 2 pcs made their save.


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There is no moral bearing on eating the flesh of a dead creature. At that point, it is nothing more than meat. The meat isn't even magical.

It isn't cannibalism. It's simply food. The soul/spirit/guiding intelligence has left the body. If a wild animal were to come across the carcass, they wouldn't hesitate to feed off of it, the same would apply to your carcass if the animal found your dead body in the wilderness.

Had they just left it there, the nearest scavenger would have eaten, regardless.

Consumption of a dead body is a wholly natural thing in the cycle of life -- the dead nourish the living.


Smythers00 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
so the party is high enough level to fight off a group of harpies 2-3 in guessing a cr8-12 encounter but all failed their dc 16 will saves to avoid the trance?
cr 6, actually. 2 pcs made their save.

even at a cr 6 encounter(im assuming 2 young templated harpies than?) even if you will save is your weakest save they shoulda made the save on a between a 4 and a 6 on the die with 5%chance to fail on a will is good save character how did all but 2 people fail their saves?


Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
Well windigos the link is not eating the flesh of a sentient. It is eating the flesh of a fellow humanoid in societies where that is taboo. It is the taboo of act, not the act that makes it evil.

You'll have to enlighten me where you get your information from, as my go-to source for remembering such things doesn't currently have anything on that, and I don't recall reading any articles that make that statement or overly-fine distinction.

Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
There are non-evil races who take a nonchalant approach to eating the already dead (though not killing them for eating) since they go by the ideal that "meat is meat". They are neither plagued by ghouls or wendigos.

Your note that there are races that do this is correct; your apparent-suggestions as to why they are not are somewhat specious.

One of the interesting things about those in society who eat dead sentient creatures, is that, generally speaking, that means that they, too, will be eaten upon death. This is an exceedingly easy way to explain the lack of ghouls in such social cultures - they simply eat the corpses before they manage to turn. This does not negate the "stain" upon them.

Heck, in a twist of irony, it could be this very cycle that produces the origins of their consumption: perhaps at some point in the distant past, some starving racial members resorted to cannibalism, then survived to have progeny; upon death, these became ghouls - it is self-evident that those who were eaten did not become ghouls (as, you know, they were eaten), and so, now, there is a tradition of, "meat is meat" (and/or "freeing the soul" or somesuch) among those people. It would be seen not only as a waste, but also dangerous and cruel to avoid eating people in such a state.

Of course, this has repercussions: you'd need to have an entire generation of non-cannibals who somehow destroy the corpses of their forebears (which would be socially terrible) to break the endless cycle of such nonsense.

What I find quite telling (in Pathfinder lore) is that most creatures that resort to cannibalism are neutral but are struggling, as a race, to continue to thrive; or are some shade of evil (possible exemption: if the eaters are powerful enough non-humanoids; this is purely speculation, however, as there are no mechanics for non-humanoid ghouls, but within the Darklands, magical radiation causes some creatures to die and return as ghouls, so it makes such an exception seem less likely).

(Those linked are purely examples, such things are not exhaustive, nor are they intended to be.)

Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
The most common way to become a ghoul is to contract ghoul fever, so that's more like becoming a zombie than anything else.

The most common but by no means the only. But, please note,

Quote:
A rarer, less well-understood transformation sometimes occurs when a sentient human is forced to resort to cannibalism. Whether they starve to death or die sometime after matters little, for the foul deed has stained them often causing them to rise again as ghouls.

(Source: Classic Horrors Revisited)

Saying "that's not the most common" is by no means, "that's not how it works" - and your argumentation implies (though does not state) the latter.

Here's the thing - I don't think resorting to cannibalism is necessarily evil, in real-world or in game-world; to that end, I don't suggest that there should be any sort of direct alignment-based repercussions.

I have, however, linked to numerous sources suggesting that in both worlds (well, in several different worlds), regardless of the intent and nature of those who engage in such practices, there are potentially powerful negative consequences to the well-being of those who engage - in our world, it directly leads to diseases, and in theirs it potentially leads to a magical disease.

I have carefully avoided making any mechanical statements on the subject in-game (outside of citing a specific campaign's interpretation), because, frankly, there are none - only lore and fluff.

Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
As for the craftsman, if he got truly duped then he should feel obligated to hand it over with an explanation of what happened to a temple of Apsu.

Why? Why should he? How does he know he got duped? At what point does he feel the responsibility - should he feel the responsibility?

"Because it's metallic" means that you assume that metallic dragons aren't evil - that disregards their free will as sentient non-inherently-aligned beings.

"Because it wasn't evil" means that you somehow gained significant access to divinatory resources you either didn't use (shame on you), or didn't previously have (no shame there) - there really shouldn't be any other way to tell.

What if the craftsman never discovers it?

What if, only quite some time down the road, an adventurer discovers the truth... but by that point they have sunk so much gold into improving their awesome armor that, if they let it go, it would actively hamper their efforts to do good in the world?

Heck: what temple of Apsu?

Apsu is absolutely daggum awesome, but he's not exactly well-known by humanoid creatures - that means that his temples are few and far between. And that means someone who learns such truth has little recourse - how are you to know that such-and-such is a priest of him, and how exactly do you know that you won't be killed or eaten by them before you have a chance to explain? Is the character obligated to find a temple somewhere? On another planet? Go to the immortal ambulatory to explain himself in-person?

Those are awesome adventure ideas, but the perfect way to derail a plot, and an excellent way to make a GM say, "Nah, too much trouble." and go to something else when they randomly roll up a dragonhide armor.

Note as well that dragonhide armor, though costly, it's really not all that costly, meaning that, all things being equal, it's going to be available in many settlements. That suggests that there are a very large number (relatively speaking) of potential dragons that are dead and able to be used for armor - at least enough to kit out an entire adventuring troupe. And it's common enough that not only have the techniques been passed down through the centuries, but they're considered consistently useful enough to do so. That is an astonishingly vast number of creatures that have been slain over the ages.

You present a very simple suggestion, but the reality in any world would be far more complex.

As another example: let's suppose there is a paladin. Let's suppose that, earlier in his career, he has run into two things in his life: angelskin armor (worn by a bad guy; this was later revealed to said paladin) and a gold dragon. Now, in a manner that is exceedingly simple (given their ability score requirements) let us presuppose that he is neither super-well knowledgeable about material things, nor the most insightful fellow (low intelligence/wisdom, no knowledge). And now, his previously non-evil (but neither good; neutral walking the border) druid comes boasting about his shiny new dragonhide armor. What does the paladin do?

Note, I'm not asking at what point he falls - such a question is irrelevant. I'm asking what he, according to the sum total of his knowledge and moral code, do? What would he see as just?

(First, these are not meant to be alignment debates, though I can see them skirting the issue - it's mostly meant as a thought-exercise; heck, I don't even need a solid answer - it's mostly meant to be thought-provoking. Above all, please do not get hung up on "Paladin." If it helps, substitute "paladin" for a lawful good "literally any other class that could have a lack of knowledge and insight" and the argument remains the same. I do not care what any one's interpretation of the code, alignment, or anything else in particular is, for this purpose. You have a person with strong life experiences, and something that comes up against them. Point in fact...)

This example can easily be expanded beyond. Let's say you have that smith who's been taught his whole life that, "dragons are bad, m'kay?" and he's seen plenty of proof of it. If someone hands him something that comes from a dragon, how is he to know the difference?

What about a merchant? A commoner?

If a particular area has been plagued with evil dragons for a long time, it is exceptionally reasonable for them to assume, "All dragons are awful." At what point can they be held accountable for accidental deaths of those who are not?

My point has never been that such things were evil, but rather that there is a lot more nuance than can be easily answered. There are social expectations - these are neither inherently evil nor good - and these often drive how characters and the world experiences and expects things. Sometimes those line up well with morals. Sometimes they do not. Sometimes morals line up well with, "better over-all choices" - and sometimes they do not seem to (for how can starving to death be the better choice?).

This is why I argue by canon tendencies and make no hard judgments one way or the other.

"Undeath almost always leads to evil, by canon." is a statement that can be made with confidence. "Undead are always evil." is inherently incorrect.

"Demons are inherently evil, by published stats." is a statement that is made with reasonable confidence, with the caveat, "... but they can still choose to rise or fall, as they are sentient creatures (but this probably won't happen without literal divine intervention)."

This is the kind of statement that I am making. "In canon, cannibalism is usually associated with the consumption of sentient creatures, and is often associated with neutral-at-best societies or outright evil creatures."

Quintain wrote:

There is no moral bearing on eating the flesh of a dead creature. At that point, it is nothing more than meat. The meat isn't even magical.

It isn't cannibalism. It's simply food. The soul/spirit/guiding intelligence has left the body. If a wild animal were to come across the carcass, they wouldn't hesitate to feed off of it, the same would apply to your carcass if the animal found your dead body in the wilderness.

Had they just left it there, the nearest scavenger would have eaten, regardless.

Consumption of a dead body is a wholly natural thing in the cycle of life -- the dead nourish the living.

I tend to feel this is correct - but I also have a suspicion that various publishers would not agree with me.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I mean, there are several reasons why this action isn't intelligent, but there is very little justification for it being immoral unless you're playing under an absolute morality system (in which case, you can just state: "that is evil" and debate is irrelevant, as you can classify things as good or bad and they stay that way, free of context...thus, absolute morality).

1.) While there's no gameplay reason this is unwise, typically, folklore warns against consuming or using the flesh of a unicorn, as it tends to curse the individual in some fashion. Either the unicorn's flesh/ichor is poisonous when used by another without the being's consent, or else it invokes the ire of the unicorn's protector.

2.) Unicorns tend to be overseen by protectors. As good-aligned magical beings, they tend to work closely with good outsiders and deities related to same. "Defiling" a unicorn's corpse might insult some good-aligned deities. The only way you can get around that is the necessity angle, and even then, that might not cut it for some (here;s looking at you, Erastil).

But realistically...it's dead, so who cares? It certainly doesn't (unless it's soul stuck around and it decides that this desecration is enough to warrant a haunting...which is statistically unlikely, as that would make predation...complicated), and nobody else does either. Meat is meat. Sure, it *used* to be a thinking, feeling being. But now it isn't. It is a pile of slowly rotting organic matter which is technically edible, so...yeah, whatever. Most of the "moral" reasons such practices are looked down upon IRL have cultural ties (e.g. curses, improper burial which leads to hauntings, blasphemy, etc.), or else have practical concerns that were voiced by our ancestors in weird pseudo-magic babble because nobody knew what allergies and food poisoning was. Or, finally, because the idea of eating something that you could talk to a minute ago might squick you out. These are all reasonable concerns in a magical world, where the aforementioned curses may very well be real. But if that is just a folkloric exaggeration, this doesn't appear to be a moral issue at all. They found roadkill. They ate it. Soooooo...what? The fact that the roadkill was a unicorn isn't really that big a deal. Like, they make wands and spell components out of unicorn parts, and not even for evil-aligned spells and magic items. I don't see why cooking it is any different. Besides...again.

Is it wrong ethically? No. Ethics doesn't really concern the dead in any way except on a societal scale. This is not a societal issue. They found a lone dead body in the woods and then chowed down. Gross, sure. Immoral? Not in a relativistic definition of morality, no. Unethical? Hardly. Should they be penalized? Up to you. I'd let them roll knowledge (arcana) or (religion) first though before making that a rule, because by RAW, unicorn-eating has no mechanical downside, so even if they are invoking the wrath of some demigod or spirit, you should give them a reasonable shot at intuiting that first. Otherwise...ew, sure, but...meh? These are people who dig up people's graves for their shiny objects for a living and kill people over mild disagreements just for the experience points. This isn't exactly out of character behavior for adventurers, who tend to have...unconventional solutions to normally non-existent problems.


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I have questions. Why are you calling the poachers "poachers?" Robin Hood was a poacher; he was chaotic good by most conceptions. How do you or anyone know the poacher are/were evil? Maybe the unicorn attacked them?
Why would a dragon prefer cooked unicorn over raw unicorn? Cooked unicorn spells TRAP. Anyway, open air encounters with an intelligent dragon are a bad idea. The dragon has no reason to take any risks. This sound more like a strategy for dealing with a wyvern. Anyway, the primary purpose of the player actions here seems to be to mess with the DM. I don't think fey or druids would care about the "act."
Also, the cannibalism thing as quoted from a Pathfinder wiki is a no go. While conceptualizing everyone as one great big huggly-wuggly sounds good, it doesn't relate to canniabilism as defined in common English. Cannibalism is mommas eating babies when they're hungry, eating dead associates in a starvation situation, or ritual cannibalism by eating hearts or livers.
A man cooking a talking dolphin, a dragon eating an uppity maiden, or adventurers checking out unicorn drumstick ain't cannibalism, although it may be bad politics. I don't care what a wiki or a developer says, it's meaningless to extend the word to that extent.


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The Drunken Dragon wrote:

1.) While there's no gameplay reason this is unwise, typically, folklore warns against consuming or using the flesh of a unicorn, as it tends to curse the individual in some fashion. Either the unicorn's flesh/ichor is poisonous when used by another without the being's consent, or else it invokes the ire of the unicorn's protector.

there is also the thing that some people belive unicorn blood will grant the drinker immortality


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You could always do a curse in the form of a unicorn revenant.


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Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
Why not put the body of the red dragon who tried to bbq you to use?

This is basically the argument I used to explain what I did to the bandits who attacked me, but the guards still didn't approve of me wearing my human-skin shirt into town.


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David knott 242 wrote:
I rather favor the Narnian definition of cannibalism -- you don't eat anything that you could have held a conversation with.

In a world with "Speak with ____" this gets really complicated.


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"Come on, stop being so fussy and pick something."
"I'm not fussy... I just have access to Speak with Plants and Speak with Animals. So I can eat everything except plants and animals. Is there anything on the menu that doesn't have either?"
"I could have the chef make you some boiled rocks?"
"Ugh. Not boiled rocks again..."


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Having truespeech means you starve.


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Parsimony, et al.
Paizo reasonably extends Cannibalism to the eating of any Sentient, because we don't have a word for it, since our language is based on a core belief that there is no other sentient species. (Note that Vegetarianism/Veganism hasn't made a serious impact on our culture. No, I cannot take anyone seriously who decries honey as a product of animal slavery.) Eating chimpanzee, dolphin or whatever isn't considered a big deal, though there is some limited concern that we are wiping out species. Carnivore/Omnivore is a name most wear with some pride, we even name our pizzas thus.

I understand, and used to agree with, the not at all new or clever idea that meat is meat. Problem is, almost universally, we don't respect what we eat. If you call BS on this, go look at how most of the meat you eat is raised. We are also notoriously bad about taking things too far. Look up and read Wilde's "A Reasonable Proposition" and remember that it caused a huge fuss among a lot of people who failed their Recognize Sarcasm checks. I am perfectly happy to personally eat beef, chicken, etc. I draw the line before I get to Primates and Cetacea, because I will not support people killing them.

Since many games consist only of PCs and Targets, this discussion is meaningless for them. Since it is only a game, no biggie. But if you are trying to feel all superior because of your Evolved, Rational world view, whichever side you take in this Game...


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Eh, dead is dead. I'm not sure what the rules are as to whether any god would be annoyed about the consumption of a unicorn in Golarion (In Forgotten Realms I'd be worried about Mielikki, but I'm not aware of a Mielikki equivalent in Golarion), Erastil maybe? I'd imagine that a cleric or paladin might have a problem with eating a unicorn, but outside of those annoying alignment bound types most PCs are a bunch of murder hobos, so I doubt there'd be a problem. I'd take the unicorn's horn with me if I ever encountered a unicorn corpse anyways, if only in hopes that I'd get some bonus against diseases for it. I doubt the unicorn's gonna care, prancing about in Elysium as it assumedly is. I guess it could be sticking around as a spirit and haunt them, but as someone mentioned earlier I doubt they'd be so rare if that was commonly the case.


parsimony wrote:

Also, the cannibalism thing as quoted from a Pathfinder wiki is a no go. While conceptualizing everyone as one great big huggly-wuggly sounds good, it doesn't relate to canniabilism as defined in common English. Cannibalism is mommas eating babies when they're hungry, eating dead associates in a starvation situation, or ritual cannibalism by eating hearts or livers.

A man cooking a talking dolphin, a dragon eating an uppity maiden, or adventurers checking out unicorn drumstick ain't cannibalism, although it may be bad politics. I don't care what a wiki or a developer says, it's meaningless to extend the word to that extent.

The first part of your post has some insightful elements, however, your argument is literally, "Even though the people that wrote the game world said X = Y, it totally does not in the game world they wrote." which is kind of a rediculous argument to make.

I certainly have no problem with an objection in a home campaign - as I've pointed out several times, I suspect that I and some developers have different opinions on the matter, but at the same time, as multiple people in multiple places have agreed on a kind of colloquialistic appropriation of the term or concept of "cannibalism" (Lewis, PFRPG, a random poster trying to deescribe the idea, and others), it is in poor form to fail to recognize the validity of the term as it is being used without supplying a suitable alternate; none of this is to say you are, by denotation, incorrect - only that you've basically just said, "No your wrong!" and put fingers in your ears.

As a stab at coming up with an alternate term, what about, "Sophontivore" for those who eat sentient creatures? Taken from Schlock Mercenary's* preference for using the word "sophont" for "sentient creature" I think it encapsulates what we're talking about.

The problem, of course, is that we aren't in a primarily scifi setting (in that, though it has scifi elements within the setting, it predominantly relies on fantasy genre tropes and "feel" rather than primarily scifi tropes or "feel") so such wordplay would likely feel - heh - "alien" to the ouvre and spirit of PFRPG, and thus - heheh: look, it's not on purpose, I'm just not coming up with another word - alienating potential customers or interested parties - or at the least making the sudden use of such terminology into an experience potentially jarring enough that it makes it feel like we've switch subgenres, which can be painful.

And that's really why such terms as "cannibalism" are so often appropriated instead of new terms being supplied: making new terms is not hard, but sticking to and learning them is hard (for most people), and (for most people) it is much preferable to have a "pretty close to the basic concept" word they are familiar with than to have one that has no context other than a singular meaning, and that feels... *ahem* wrong - nailed it! - for the genre as a whole.

I mean, feel free to supply a word that encapsulates cannibalism "and other similar things" if you know of one, but I don't know any, and I successfully deep-sixed my own word attempt without trying, soooooo... I dunno.

* An excellent webcomic; it comes highly recommended!


The Drunken Dragon wrote:
I mean, there are several reasons why this action isn't intelligent, but there is very little justification for it being immoral unless you're playing under an absolute morality system (in which case, you can just state: "that is evil" and debate is irrelevant, as you can classify things as good or bad and they stay that way, free of context...thus, absolute morality).

Most of this post is very good, but it's worth noting that Golarion and the internal workings of the world does have an objective, absolute morality. That said objective absolute morality is arbitrated by a fallible, non-infinite GM with a (probably) relative, subjective morality in no way negates that in-world it is objective and absolute.

The Drunken Dragon wrote:
The only way you can get around that is the necessity angle, and even then, that might not cut it for some (here;s looking at you, Erastil).

Okay, he keeps getting mentioned, but... why? I mean, really, if anyone, Erastil would seem to be the most likely of all the good gods I can think of to okay self-sacrifice for consumption of, or the, "meat is meat" philosophy. Heck, in his own legends, he hunted the creature who eventually became his herald. Am I missing something somewhere specific?

(Similarly, I'd suspect the neutral Gozreh as okaying the whole thing, while some of his neutral-related allies would be less likely to find it acceptable.)


Quintain wrote:
Having truespeech means you starve.

Yeah, this actually brings up a good point (though I don't recall the TrueSpeech ability allowing you to talk to animals or plants, I could be wrong, of course, and am unable to currently look it up, as I am on my phone - hence the extra typos and multiple posts) - in that magic does to some extent make it more difficult to know or understand where the "correct" boundaries are: heck, rock isn't safe, as stonetell suddenly has these, too, talking to you. Though a poor one in my opinion, I could see the argument even being made that all things - be they loving or not - communicate with you by way of things like commune with nature.

Incidentally, these two spells are (if memory serves correctly, which it may not) both on the Druid list - the very class that explicitly resorts to utilizing the carcasses of sentient creatures as their armor.

I guess it's either that or rings of sustenance for everyone. Let's hope that no one with a mage's disjunction comes along. Oh! Wait! Actually, that doesn't work, because you had to mine or otherwise kill/maim/ruin a natural feature somewhere to get material for the ring... uh, I hope everyone has create food and water?

Obviously, I hope, all of the above is an exaggeration, but it is so for a point: at what point is the cut-off and why? I think several interesting concepts and propositions have been made here.


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Lady-J wrote:
Smythers00 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
so the party is high enough level to fight off a group of harpies 2-3 in guessing a cr8-12 encounter but all failed their dc 16 will saves to avoid the trance?
cr 6, actually. 2 pcs made their save.
even at a cr 6 encounter(im assuming 2 young templated harpies than?) even if you will save is your weakest save they shoulda made the save on a between a 4 and a 6 on the die with 5%chance to fail on a will is good save character how did all but 2 people fail their saves?

They rolled their saves. 2 made their saves, 3 didn't. This part of the game was based on chance. They rolled their dice and they didn't make it. What more do you want me to say? Sorry they didn't all make their saves, but them's the breaks.

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