Why is undead considered evil?


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Just to add to this, there are non-evil undead. Dragon's Demand

Spoiler:
contains one, the Iriori Monk. The monks consume certain herbs and such to preserve them into the afterlife if needed.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Sideromancer wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Heck, even intelligent undead are usually biologically incapable of coexisting with living creatures, mostly because Vampires and the like HAVE to prey upon living things to survive
Most people don't consider that evil... considering that's true of all non-autotrophic life.
no they don't unless you are using the optional variant rules, by raw no undead needs to feed to survive
by "RAW" nothing needs to eat to survive.
PRD, creature types wrote:

Humanoids breathe, eat, and sleep.

Outsiders breathe, but do not need to eat or sleep (although they can do so if they wish).

Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep.

RAW enough for me.

I was referring to the fact that we don't have rules for starvation.

... or do we?

Silver Crusade

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

Oooo, we do have rules for Starvation! Sweet!

I'm guessing these were in the Gamemastery Guide?


Apparently we do.


Lady-J wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Heck, even intelligent undead are usually biologically incapable of coexisting with living creatures, mostly because Vampires and the like HAVE to prey upon living things to survive
Most people don't consider that evil... considering that's true of all non-autotrophic life.
no they don't unless you are using the optional variant rules, by raw no undead needs to feed to survive

By raw ghouls are undead who haunt graveyards and eat corpses and are willing to kill fresh meat if hungry enough. Totenmasks drink flesh and memories.

There are more examples of undead that eat than there are evil outsiders who've turned good.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Heck, even intelligent undead are usually biologically incapable of coexisting with living creatures, mostly because Vampires and the like HAVE to prey upon living things to survive
Most people don't consider that evil... considering that's true of all non-autotrophic life.
no they don't unless you are using the optional variant rules, by raw no undead needs to feed to survive

By raw ghouls are undead who haunt graveyards and eat corpses and are willing to kill fresh meat if hungry enough. Totenmasks drink flesh and memories.

There are more examples of undead that eat than there are evil outsiders who've turned good.

while they can eat they don't need to to survive


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Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Heck, even intelligent undead are usually biologically incapable of coexisting with living creatures, mostly because Vampires and the like HAVE to prey upon living things to survive
Most people don't consider that evil... considering that's true of all non-autotrophic life.
Most people consider that extremely evil when the living things preyed upon are sapient as vampire victims tend to be, so your point only stands if you're willing to be highly pedantic about it. Vampires being able to nonlethally feed on animals is usually only a thing if the setting specifically allows it to be. Most of the time it's dragging someone into a dark place and then cracking them open like a red bull, which is kind of different from you and the orc family down the street both enjoying bacon for breakfast.
You mean because the Vampire feeds in the dark, and the pig is killed in the light? The living and the Dead are neither good nor evil, yet the Un-Living/Un-Dead are inherently Evil?

So you're saying you would consider a man who slits human throats periodically to be of the exact same moral character as a man who works in a slaughterhouse for a living? Because that's your argument here.

Quote:
If fighting evil means that you qualify as good, then if you have an entire region inhabited solely by evil creatures. Then you introduced undead into that region, since the entire argument on undead being evil is the things they do to living creatures. Would that mean since the undead are now doing those things solely to evil creatures they become an anti-evil evil, and thus could be considered good?

You have a very bizarre standard of what makes you qualify as good. Evil fights evil all the time. A bugbear that kills and eats another bugbear is still evil. Evil undead attacking evil living creatures because there's nothing else to fight does not make the undead not evil because the undead do not care about the morality of what they're attacking and will indiscriminately try to kill every living thing they encounter, which is evil.

There's no ambiguity here. Unless you change the rules for your particular setting, a zombie can never, ever be non-evil because it is a necromantic puppet which, left to its own devices, will kill everything it meets for no reason. A zombie that is used by good adventurers to fight evil is still evil because if that control is released it will attempt to kill anything it encounters until it is destroyed.

Non-intelligent undead are inherently evil because the only thing they do and will ever do is try to kill people. I don't see how you're having a hard time grasping this.


Rysky wrote:

Oooo, we do have rules for Starvation! Sweet!

I'm guessing these were in the Gamemastery Guide?

It's actually on the CRB. The chapter after gamemastering or part of it. Along with weather it tends to be neglected...


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What I'd like to explore lies less on undeath's inherent evil and more with negative energy.

Negative energy is a source of destruction to positive's creation. It's a primal force, something that should not answer to either good nor evil. A negative energy creature (not necessarily an undead) feels the desire to destroy life because that's its intended purpose. Like predators keeping an infestation of prey from devouring every leaf in a forest, they trim the outgrowth of reality. It's like ouroboros, the eternal snake that devours itself and regenerates anew, a never-ending cycle.

Yet, just about ALL creatures born of negative energy are 'evil' because their purpose is destruction, to unmake and devour life and leave behind an emptiness, which inevitably, life will fill in again with new life. That's the way things work.

But you could say daemons do the same thing. Except daemons actively obliterate souls, taking them out of the equation entirely. Negative energy is subtraction. The daemons effectively want to make 1 = 0.

Getting off on a tangent here. What I'm basically saying is that infusing a formerly-dead body with negative energy is to create an agent of destruction, but it isn't purely that. It's almost like an adulteration of negative energy as much as it is of life itself.

So I want to contend the notion of negative energy = evil, especially since positive energy =/= good. Pathfinder IS a place where there is a cosmic balance.


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Aldrius wrote:

What I'd like to explore lies less on undeath's inherent evil and more with negative energy.

Negative energy is a source of destruction to positive's creation. It's a primal force, something that should not answer to either good nor evil. A negative energy creature (not necessarily an undead) feels the desire to destroy life because that's its intended purpose. Like predators keeping an infestation of prey from devouring every leaf in a forest, they trim the outgrowth of reality. It's like ouroboros, the eternal snake that devours itself and regenerates anew, a never-ending cycle.

Yet, just about ALL creatures born of negative energy are 'evil' because their purpose is destruction, to unmake and devour life and leave behind an emptiness, which inevitably, life will fill in again with new life. That's the way things work.

But you could say daemons do the same thing. Except daemons actively obliterate souls, taking them out of the equation entirely. Negative energy is subtraction. The daemons effectively want to make 1 = 0.

Getting off on a tangent here. What I'm basically saying is that infusing a formerly-dead body with negative energy is to create an agent of destruction, but it isn't purely that. It's almost like an adulteration of negative energy as much as it is of life itself.

So I want to contend the notion of negative energy = evil, especially since positive energy =/= good. Pathfinder IS a place where there is a cosmic balance.

Negative energy represents the ability to take a life. Positive energy represents the ability to give a life. It's not that they are aligned themselves, it's just that those who fully embrace the ability to take a life tend to be evil.


My ideas for why it could be:

- Mindless undead are evil because living things are animated by positive energy, and as such our existance is inimical to the negative energy that animates the undead, and so it drives them to snuff out all life. Unleashing them is evil because their basic instinct when faced with other creatures is KILL, KILL, KILL.

- Undead were created by Urgathoa when she refused to stay dead and brought herself back to life, as creator goddess of the undead, the creation of undead is fueled by her power, and anyone casting a spell that creates undead is channeling her evil.


The thing with the undead and "eating" is that most of them you need to go into the expanded material to actually find any requirement of eating. Maybe all. A ghoul using just the bestiary... doesn't have any consequences to not eating people (in fact, the undead type says they don't have to). Ditto vampire. And then if we use the extra material, it's very clear (for vampires at least) that it's not necessary. It's just really, really nice (for the vampire). And if the vampire chooses to do that, they're Evil. They've prioritized their own happiness over someone else's suffering.

It's like if McDonalds offered a free milkshake (or whatever) if you just punched the person behind you in the face. You know some people would take that offer, and they would universally be Evil.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:

The thing with the undead and "eating" is that most of them you need to go into the expanded material to actually find any requirement of eating. Maybe all. A ghoul using just the bestiary... doesn't have any consequences to not eating people (in fact, the undead type says they don't have to). Ditto vampire. And then if we use the extra material, it's very clear (for vampires at least) that it's not necessary. It's just really, really nice (for the vampire). And if the vampire chooses to do that, they're Evil. They've prioritized their own happiness over someone else's suffering.

It's like if McDonalds offered a free milkshake (or whatever) if you just punched the person behind you in the face. You know some people would take that offer, and they would universally be Evil.

Specific usually trumps general. Undead as a class don't need to eat, but undead listed as feeding to assuage an insatiable hunger may as well need to eat because even if they aren't going to die from not doing it, eventually hunger pangs are going to drive you to eat something.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

The thing with the undead and "eating" is that most of them you need to go into the expanded material to actually find any requirement of eating. Maybe all. A ghoul using just the bestiary... doesn't have any consequences to not eating people (in fact, the undead type says they don't have to). Ditto vampire. And then if we use the extra material, it's very clear (for vampires at least) that it's not necessary. It's just really, really nice (for the vampire). And if the vampire chooses to do that, they're Evil. They've prioritized their own happiness over someone else's suffering.

It's like if McDonalds offered a free milkshake (or whatever) if you just punched the person behind you in the face. You know some people would take that offer, and they would universally be Evil.

Specific usually trumps general. Undead as a class don't need to eat, but undead listed as feeding to assuage an insatiable hunger may as well need to eat because even if they aren't going to die from not doing it, eventually hunger pangs are going to drive you to eat something.

fluff=/= raw so it doesn't matter how the thematic of the creature is written if there is no rule that stats it must feed it does not have too. a vampire could say in its fluff that it drains 100 people a day but unless its a hard set rule into the template it would not need to even drain one person


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
So you're saying you would consider a man who slits human throats periodically to be of the exact same moral character as a man who works in a slaughterhouse for a living? Because that's your argument here.

Except there is nothing preventing the undead from feeding on animals....


Milo v3 wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
So you're saying you would consider a man who slits human throats periodically to be of the exact same moral character as a man who works in a slaughterhouse for a living? Because that's your argument here.
Except there is nothing preventing the undead from feeding on animals....

This is correct, but that's not what he pointed out.

What he did was question how my point of vampires eating people if they feel like it is different from humans and orcs both eating pigs.


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Lady-J wrote:
fluff=/= raw so it doesn't matter how the thematic of the creature is written if there is no rule that stats it must feed it does not have too. a vampire could say in its fluff that it drains 100 people a day but unless its a hard set rule into the template it would not need to even drain one person

Do the rules say whether or not Dwarves need to eat? Can they subsist entirely on rocks and pebbles? Are gnomes capable of photosynthesis?

I mean the starvation rules say that "characters" need about a pound of "decent food" per day (half for small sized critters) without defining what "decent food is", but presumably it would be "something nourishing to the life form in question". So a vampire would need to drain about a half liter of blood per day, which is conveniently within the range what a person low on blood would produce in a given day.


Lady-J wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

The thing with the undead and "eating" is that most of them you need to go into the expanded material to actually find any requirement of eating. Maybe all. A ghoul using just the bestiary... doesn't have any consequences to not eating people (in fact, the undead type says they don't have to). Ditto vampire. And then if we use the extra material, it's very clear (for vampires at least) that it's not necessary. It's just really, really nice (for the vampire). And if the vampire chooses to do that, they're Evil. They've prioritized their own happiness over someone else's suffering.

It's like if McDonalds offered a free milkshake (or whatever) if you just punched the person behind you in the face. You know some people would take that offer, and they would universally be Evil.

Specific usually trumps general. Undead as a class don't need to eat, but undead listed as feeding to assuage an insatiable hunger may as well need to eat because even if they aren't going to die from not doing it, eventually hunger pangs are going to drive you to eat something.
fluff=/= raw so it doesn't matter how the thematic of the creature is written if there is no rule that stats it must feed it does not have too. a vampire could say in its fluff that it drains 100 people a day but unless its a hard set rule into the template it would not need to even drain one person

The ecology section is as much rule as a listing of what creature types are and do.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
fluff=/= raw so it doesn't matter how the thematic of the creature is written if there is no rule that stats it must feed it does not have too. a vampire could say in its fluff that it drains 100 people a day but unless its a hard set rule into the template it would not need to even drain one person

Do the rules say whether or not Dwarves need to eat? Can they subsist entirely on rocks and pebbles? Are gnomes capable of photosynthesis?

I mean the starvation rules say that "characters" need about a pound of "decent food" per day (half for small sized critters) without defining what "decent food is", but presumably it would be "something nourishing to the life form in question". So a vampire would need to drain about a half liter of blood per day, which is conveniently within the range what a person low on blood would produce in a given day.

except as undead they do not need to eat or drink


Ryan Freire wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

The thing with the undead and "eating" is that most of them you need to go into the expanded material to actually find any requirement of eating. Maybe all. A ghoul using just the bestiary... doesn't have any consequences to not eating people (in fact, the undead type says they don't have to). Ditto vampire. And then if we use the extra material, it's very clear (for vampires at least) that it's not necessary. It's just really, really nice (for the vampire). And if the vampire chooses to do that, they're Evil. They've prioritized their own happiness over someone else's suffering.

It's like if McDonalds offered a free milkshake (or whatever) if you just punched the person behind you in the face. You know some people would take that offer, and they would universally be Evil.

Specific usually trumps general. Undead as a class don't need to eat, but undead listed as feeding to assuage an insatiable hunger may as well need to eat because even if they aren't going to die from not doing it, eventually hunger pangs are going to drive you to eat something.
fluff=/= raw so it doesn't matter how the thematic of the creature is written if there is no rule that stats it must feed it does not have too. a vampire could say in its fluff that it drains 100 people a day but unless its a hard set rule into the template it would not need to even drain one person
The ecology section is as much rule as a listing of what creature types are and do.

Environment any

Organization solitary or family (vampire plus 2–8 spawn)
Treasure NPC gear (cloak of resistance +3, headband of alluring charisma +4, ring of protection +2)

this is the information in the ecological area of the stat block for vampires nothing says anything about needing food every thing above that is the rest of the stat block every thing below is fluff and how to make vampires


Dalindra wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Vampires being able to nonlethally feed on animals is usually only a thing if the setting specifically allows it to be. Most of the time it's dragging someone into a dark place and then cracking them open like a red bull, which is kind of different from you and the orc family down the street both enjoying bacon for breakfast.

I have revised the Vampire template and I don't see any rule that states they have to kill anybody. Quite the opposite, their feeding just deals 1d4 CON damage. That would hardly be able to kill someone. Plus:

Blood of the Night wrote:
A vampire who refuses to feed on intelligent beings is relegated to the dull taste of animal blood out of necessity.

That is 1d4 con per round of draining blood. Unfortunately there is no indication of how many rounds a vampire needs to feed for a full day's worth of sustenance(if they even need it).

Just 3 rounds of feeding has a chance to kill the average (con 10) person.


Shadowkire wrote:
Dalindra wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Vampires being able to nonlethally feed on animals is usually only a thing if the setting specifically allows it to be. Most of the time it's dragging someone into a dark place and then cracking them open like a red bull, which is kind of different from you and the orc family down the street both enjoying bacon for breakfast.

I have revised the Vampire template and I don't see any rule that states they have to kill anybody. Quite the opposite, their feeding just deals 1d4 CON damage. That would hardly be able to kill someone. Plus:

Blood of the Night wrote:
A vampire who refuses to feed on intelligent beings is relegated to the dull taste of animal blood out of necessity.

That is 1d4 con per round of draining blood. Unfortunately there is no indication of how many rounds a vampire needs to feed for a full day's worth of sustenance(if they even need it).

Just 3 rounds of feeding has a chance to kill the average (con 10) person.

According to Blood of the Night, 1 use of this ability constitutes as a feeding. So, minimum 1 point CON damage, max 4, per vampire, per day, is the minimum needed to not starve or, rather, go feral with hunger.


Lady-J wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
fluff=/= raw so it doesn't matter how the thematic of the creature is written if there is no rule that stats it must feed it does not have too. a vampire could say in its fluff that it drains 100 people a day but unless its a hard set rule into the template it would not need to even drain one person

Do the rules say whether or not Dwarves need to eat? Can they subsist entirely on rocks and pebbles? Are gnomes capable of photosynthesis?

I mean the starvation rules say that "characters" need about a pound of "decent food" per day (half for small sized critters) without defining what "decent food is", but presumably it would be "something nourishing to the life form in question". So a vampire would need to drain about a half liter of blood per day, which is conveniently within the range what a person low on blood would produce in a given day.

except as undead they do not need to eat or drink

Which does not say that as creatures described as having a hunger for (insert material from the living here) that they do not suffer hunger pangs when they don't eat, which will on a long enough timeline lead to doing whatever you can to relieve those pangs.


Dαedαlus wrote:
According to Blood of the Night, 1 use of this ability constitutes as a feeding. So, minimum 1 point CON damage, max 4, per vampire, per day, is the minimum needed to not starve or, rather, go feral with hunger.

I don't know how much we should base off Blood of the Night's specifically optional ruleset in this discussion.


Rysky wrote:

Oooo, we do have rules for Starvation! Sweet!

I'm guessing these were in the Gamemastery Guide?

Actually, the CRB in the environment chapter (p444).


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
fluff=/= raw so it doesn't matter how the thematic of the creature is written if there is no rule that stats it must feed it does not have too. a vampire could say in its fluff that it drains 100 people a day but unless its a hard set rule into the template it would not need to even drain one person

Do the rules say whether or not Dwarves need to eat? Can they subsist entirely on rocks and pebbles? Are gnomes capable of photosynthesis?

I mean the starvation rules say that "characters" need about a pound of "decent food" per day (half for small sized critters) without defining what "decent food is", but presumably it would be "something nourishing to the life form in question". So a vampire would need to drain about a half liter of blood per day, which is conveniently within the range what a person low on blood would produce in a given day.

Yes, there's several rules for what dwarves have to do.
Humanoid wrote:
Humanoids breathe, eat, and sleep.
Starvation and Thirst wrote:

Characters might find themselves without food or water and with no means to obtain them. In normal climates, Medium characters need at least a gallon of fluids and about a pound of decent food per day to avoid starvation. (Small characters need half as much.) In very hot climates, characters need two or three times as much water to avoid dehydration.

A character can go without water for 1 day plus a number of hours equal to his Constitution score. After this time, the character must make a Constitution check each hour (DC 10, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. Characters that take an amount of nonlethal damage equal to their total hit points begin to take lethal damage instead.

A character can go without food for 3 days, in growing discomfort. After this time, the character must make a Constitution check each day (DC 10, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. Characters that take an amount of nonlethal damage equal to their total hit points begin to take lethal damage instead.

Characters who have taken nonlethal damage from lack of food or water are fatigued. Nonlethal damage from thirst or starvation cannot be recovered until the character gets food or water, as needed—not even magic that restores hit points heals this damage.

Those are the ones that cover "eat or you die".

Since undead do not eat or drink, clearly these rules cannot apply. Metaphorical "eating" is clearly not the same as the eating defined by the creature type entries, as (again) undead do not eat.

And that's a whole bunch of pedantry for the (I thought) relatively simple point that while the fluff (and our own preconceived notions) of the monsters include certain behaviors, nothing about the actual monster requires it. If we expand to the material that actually includes a reason to do it, it's very clear that it's not required so much as... addictive? Basically, you can't say "vampires need to feed but they can feed on animal blood indefinitely". No, they either don't need to feed (bestiary only) or they need to feed on some blood and humanoid blood gives them a sweet drug hit and is thus very tempting (blood of the night). If we are leaving out blood of the night vampires don't have to feed. They can (they have an ability and the fluff says they do) but they don't have to.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
According to Blood of the Night, 1 use of this ability constitutes as a feeding. So, minimum 1 point CON damage, max 4, per vampire, per day, is the minimum needed to not starve or, rather, go feral with hunger.
I don't know how much we should base off Blood of the Night's specifically optional ruleset in this discussion.

If nothing else, it serves as a guideline; something we can base off of. Going only off of the Bestiary entry limits us incredibly. The description, additional rules text, and other entries all are what let us know about the creature.

Using a parallel example, (ignoring the subtype, alignment, and DR) how would you know the Interloctor Kyton isn't a benevolent life-giver? If you ignore the keys in the stat block that specifically show it as evil, we see it has breath of life, cure serious wounds, and stabilize as spell-like abilities. It's only in reading the descriptive text that we find out why it's Evil.

You're doing something similar with Undead. Looking only at their stat blocks, and ignoring sources that talk about behavior, the optional rulesets that translate what would otherwise be described as "an insatiable hunger" into game terminology, you are cutting out everything that makes them evil.

What makes Drow evil? Not their stat blocks, to be sure. It's in the descriptive text that we find out they're slavers, torturers, fleshwarpers, demon worshipers, and worse.

Basically, my point is that the descriptive text, extra supplements, and other sources should all be factored when discussing alignment.


Dαedαlus wrote:
Basically, my point is that the descriptive text, extra supplements, and other sources should all be factored when discussing alignment.

Descriptive text, supplements, and other sources yes. Material which is specifically stated to be an optional ruleset, no.

It's like making decisions on alignment based on the subjective morality optional ruleset.


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Because reasons.

Seriously, it's just fiat. Never mind that you're feeding starving peasants with undead farmers, or saving children from soul-crushing manual labor. It's EVILLLL.


Dalindra wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Vampires being able to nonlethally feed on animals is usually only a thing if the setting specifically allows it to be. Most of the time it's dragging someone into a dark place and then cracking them open like a red bull, which is kind of different from you and the orc family down the street both enjoying bacon for breakfast.

I have revised the Vampire template and I don't see any rule that states they have to kill anybody. Quite the opposite, their feeding just deals 1d4 CON damage. That would hardly be able to kill someone. Plus:

Blood of the Night wrote:
A vampire who refuses to feed on intelligent beings is relegated to the dull taste of animal blood out of necessity.

They don't HAVE to kill, but just like in the movies they are often played as killers so they are evil. They also have the dominate ability, and in PF official adventures they have taken people as slaves, which many consider as evil.

Basically it goes back to media tropes and Paizo following those tropes. Most movies involving undead and or necromancers dont have them doing good things.


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If really every aspect concerning a creature had to be fully realized as part of the stat block, the basics Bestiary alone would be the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica, without adding any real worth by doing so. Things trying to model real world objects or being based on our myths simply carry instructions based on understanding what it is. You ignore that, it´s not that thing anymore.
A Ghoul is an eater of the dead. You ignore that, it´s anything but a Ghoul.


Purple Overkill wrote:

If really every aspect concerning a creature had to be fully realized as part of the stat block, the basics Bestiary alone would be the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica, without adding any real worth by doing so. Things trying to model real world objects or being based on our myths simply carry instructions based on understanding what it is. You ignore that, it´s not that thing anymore.

A Ghoul is an eater of the dead. You ignore that, it´s anything but a Ghoul.

and while some ghouls eat others may not that doesn't make them any less ghoul. and if your going to be nit picky id like to mention zombies actually aren't suposta be undead they are just living people poisoned by witch doctors to do their bidding in a trance like state and that's just one of the ways pathfinder is different from the real world input


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Lady-J wrote:
Purple Overkill wrote:

If really every aspect concerning a creature had to be fully realized as part of the stat block, the basics Bestiary alone would be the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica, without adding any real worth by doing so. Things trying to model real world objects or being based on our myths simply carry instructions based on understanding what it is. You ignore that, it´s not that thing anymore.

A Ghoul is an eater of the dead. You ignore that, it´s anything but a Ghoul.
and while some ghouls eat others may not that doesn't make them any less ghoul. and if your going to be nit picky id like to mention zombies actually aren't suposta be undead they are just living people poisoned by witch doctors to do their bidding in a trance like state and that's just one of the ways pathfinder is different from the real world input
Ghoul Fever wrote:
Disease (Su) Ghoul Fever: Bite—injury; save Fort DC 13; onset 1 day; frequency 1/day; effect 1d3 Con and 1d3 Dex damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Charisma-based. A humanoid who dies of ghoul fever rises as a ghoul at the next midnight. A humanoid who becomes a ghoul in this way retains none of the abilities it possessed in life. It is not under the control of any other ghouls, but it hungers for the flesh of the living and behaves like a normal ghoul in all respects. A humanoid of 4 Hit Dice or more rises as a ghast.

Normal ghouls specifically hunger for the flesh of the living. It's in the literal rules text of the disease that is a core part of their reproductive process.


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Entities without darkvision, abstain.


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To support the concept of the overwhelming majority of Undead being Evil, it would probably be good to change the rules so that most Undead have a real need to feed (eating flesh or blood for most corporeal Undead, and Energy Drain or Ability Damage/Drain for most incorporeal Undead, although with specific exceptions in both cases; either way, the instictual preference of prey choice is strongly towards sentient beings). If they don't feed, they won't completely starve outright, but they can't heal, and their activities are extremely curtailed, while their hunger becomes maddening even as they find themselves forced to sleep to conserve energy; if they can feed sufficiently, they don't need to sleep. Intelligent Undead are often terrified of the prospect of being forced into sleep (to rebuild their energy very slowly by the trickle of energy that comes from their Negative Energy Plane connection) for long periods and being unable to defend themselves effectively (and if they have managed to build up a bit of reserve energy, when awoken they may not be able to resist their hunger, and do something that gets themselves killed even when they know better). This by itself doesn't absolutely guarantee that Undead will be Evil, but it provides an extremely strong push in that direction.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

To support the concept of the overwhelming majority of Undead being Evil, it would probably be good to change the rules so that most Undead have a real need to feed (eating flesh or blood for most corporeal Undead, and Energy Drain or Ability Damage/Drain for most incorporeal Undead, although with specific exceptions in both cases; either way, the instictual preference of prey choice is strongly towards sentient beings). If they don't feed, they won't completely starve outright, but they can't heal, and their activities are extremely curtailed, while their hunger becomes maddening even as they find themselves forced to sleep to conserve energy; if they can feed sufficiently, they don't need to sleep. Intelligent Undead are often terrified of the prospect of being forced into sleep (to rebuild their energy very slowly by the trickle of energy that comes from their Negative Energy Plane connection) for long periods and being unable to defend themselves effectively (and if they have managed to build up a bit of reserve energy, when awoken they may not be able to resist their hunger, and do something that gets themselves killed even when they know better). This by itself doesn't absolutely guarantee that Undead will be Evil, but it provides an extremely strong push in that direction.

There was a book in 3.5 that described undead that way. If they didn't feed they would wither and loss powers. I wanna say libor mortis but there was like 3 hard backs focused on undead so could of been any of them.


Not sure what was in Libre Mortis (although I have heard of the name), but I wouldn't recommend having them wither away. If you awaken them from starvation-induced sleep, you have a big risk that they will still be very dangerous, unless you really know what you are doing with timing your attack after they have sustained damage and been unable to feed sufficiently to repair it. This goes up to a virtual certainty of danger if they have been asleep long enough to trickle-charge up to full.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

To support the concept of the overwhelming majority of Undead being Evil, it would probably be good to change the rules so that most Undead have a real need to feed (eating flesh or blood for most corporeal Undead, and Energy Drain or Ability Damage/Drain for most incorporeal Undead, although with specific exceptions in both cases; either way, the instictual preference of prey choice is strongly towards sentient beings). If they don't feed, they won't completely starve outright, but they can't heal, and their activities are extremely curtailed, while their hunger becomes maddening even as they find themselves forced to sleep to conserve energy; if they can feed sufficiently, they don't need to sleep. Intelligent Undead are often terrified of the prospect of being forced into sleep (to rebuild their energy very slowly by the trickle of energy that comes from their Negative Energy Plane connection) for long periods and being unable to defend themselves effectively (and if they have managed to build up a bit of reserve energy, when awoken they may not be able to resist their hunger, and do something that gets themselves killed even when they know better). This by itself doesn't absolutely guarantee that Undead will be Evil, but it provides an extremely strong push in that direction.

There was a book in 3.5 that described undead that way. If they didn't feed they would wither and loss powers. I wanna say libor mortis but there was like 3 hard backs focused on undead so could of been any of them.

There were more hardbacks on the undead than the Libris Mortis in 3.5?


ghost walk and heroes of horror. although I guess heroes of horror wasn't just undead but there was a large section on undead. I guess it had to be libro mortis that had hunger section in it.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

To support the concept of the overwhelming majority of Undead being Evil, it would probably be good to change the rules so that most Undead have a real need to feed (eating flesh or blood for most corporeal Undead, and Energy Drain or Ability Damage/Drain for most incorporeal Undead, although with specific exceptions in both cases; either way, the instictual preference of prey choice is strongly towards sentient beings). If they don't feed, they won't completely starve outright, but they can't heal, and their activities are extremely curtailed, while their hunger becomes maddening even as they find themselves forced to sleep to conserve energy; if they can feed sufficiently, they don't need to sleep. Intelligent Undead are often terrified of the prospect of being forced into sleep (to rebuild their energy very slowly by the trickle of energy that comes from their Negative Energy Plane connection) for long periods and being unable to defend themselves effectively (and if they have managed to build up a bit of reserve energy, when awoken they may not be able to resist their hunger, and do something that gets themselves killed even when they know better). This by itself doesn't absolutely guarantee that Undead will be Evil, but it provides an extremely strong push in that direction.

Hm... I don´t know. That´s too close to a real (bodily) and necessary function for my liking.

I prefer it when say´re indefinitely sustained by their connection to negative energy, but each having an unavoidable need to destroy, based on their undead type.

AFB right now, but in one of the undead-focused books, there´s a table on feeding/behavior and slowly losing control when not doing it.

That´s also a bit why it rankles me that there´re undead that don´t really have one of those urges build in, like the Skeleton Champion.


Purple Overkill wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

To support the concept of the overwhelming majority of Undead being Evil, it would probably be good to change the rules so that most Undead have a real need to feed (eating flesh or blood for most corporeal Undead, and Energy Drain or Ability Damage/Drain for most incorporeal Undead, although with specific exceptions in both cases; either way, the instictual preference of prey choice is strongly towards sentient beings). If they don't feed, they won't completely starve outright, but they can't heal, and their activities are extremely curtailed, while their hunger becomes maddening even as they find themselves forced to sleep to conserve energy; if they can feed sufficiently, they don't need to sleep. Intelligent Undead are often terrified of the prospect of being forced into sleep (to rebuild their energy very slowly by the trickle of energy that comes from their Negative Energy Plane connection) for long periods and being unable to defend themselves effectively (and if they have managed to build up a bit of reserve energy, when awoken they may not be able to resist their hunger, and do something that gets themselves killed even when they know better). This by itself doesn't absolutely guarantee that Undead will be Evil, but it provides an extremely strong push in that direction.

Hm... I don´t know. That´s too close to a real (bodily) and necessary function for my liking.

I prefer it when say´re indefinitely sustained by their connection to negative energy, but each having an unavoidable need to destroy, based on their undead type.

AFB right now, but in one of the undead-focused books, there´s a table on feeding/behavior and slowly losing control when not doing it.

That´s also a bit why it rankles me that there´re undead that don´t really have one of those urges build in, like the Skeleton Champion.

i for one would not like any of those changes as it would mean all my undead characters would be guaranteed the most evil of evil which i don't like im gona be what ever alignment i want to be no matter what i'm playing


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Lady-J wrote:
and while some ghouls eat others may not that doesn't make them any less ghoul. and if your going to be nit picky id like to mention zombies actually aren't suposta be undead they are just living people poisoned by witch doctors to do their bidding in a trance like state and that's just one of the ways pathfinder is different from the real world input

Depends on your source material. I'll just leave the link to this Wikipedia article here.

"The term comes from Haitian folklore, where a zombie is a dead body reanimated through various methods, most commonly magic."

...why am I engaging with this user? We know from other threads how off-base their understanding of the game is, so I know this is a mistake.

I'd generally say that whoever wrote the Undead type screwed up by saying they don't need to eat instead of saying that some Undead don't need to eat. You don't see a Skeleton in Subway that often, after all. Probably a bit late to fix that now, though.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
ghost walk and heroes of horror. although I guess heroes of horror wasn't just undead but there was a large section on undead. I guess it had to be libro mortis that had hunger section in it.

I don't remember much on undead in HoH, and Ghostwalk was the one for undead PCs was it not?

I still have Libris Mortis somewhere, and might check that stuff if I can extract it from whatever corner it's stuck in.


Its possible I could be thinking of a different one there is really undead stuff scattered everywhere, And I haven't ready those old books since the early 00's

And yes on the ghost walk one.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

To support the concept of the overwhelming majority of Undead being Evil, it would probably be good to change the rules so that most Undead have a real need to feed (eating flesh or blood for most corporeal Undead, and Energy Drain or Ability Damage/Drain for most incorporeal Undead, although with specific exceptions in both cases; either way, the instictual preference of prey choice is strongly towards sentient beings). If they don't feed, they won't completely starve outright, but they can't heal, and their activities are extremely curtailed, while their hunger becomes maddening even as they find themselves forced to sleep to conserve energy; if they can feed sufficiently, they don't need to sleep. Intelligent Undead are often terrified of the prospect of being forced into sleep (to rebuild their energy very slowly by the trickle of energy that comes from their Negative Energy Plane connection) for long periods and being unable to defend themselves effectively (and if they have managed to build up a bit of reserve energy, when awoken they may not be able to resist their hunger, and do something that gets themselves killed even when they know better). This by itself doesn't absolutely guarantee that Undead will be Evil, but it provides an extremely strong push in that direction.

I would love to see this.

A reason they're usually evil made in mechanics, while not a forced compulsion.


Dalindra wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Vampires being able to nonlethally feed on animals is usually only a thing if the setting specifically allows it to be. Most of the time it's dragging someone into a dark place and then cracking them open like a red bull, which is kind of different from you and the orc family down the street both enjoying bacon for breakfast.

I have revised the Vampire template and I don't see any rule that states they have to kill anybody. Quite the opposite, their feeding just deals 1d4 CON damage. That would hardly be able to kill someone. Plus:

Blood of the Night wrote:
A vampire who refuses to feed on intelligent beings is relegated to the dull taste of animal blood out of necessity.

There's an intriguing implication there. Animal blood might do the job, but human blood is just so... invigorating.


Klorox wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
ghost walk and heroes of horror. although I guess heroes of horror wasn't just undead but there was a large section on undead. I guess it had to be libro mortis that had hunger section in it.

I don't remember much on undead in HoH, and Ghostwalk was the one for undead PCs was it not?

I still have Libris Mortis somewhere, and might check that stuff if I can extract it from whatever corner it's stuck in.

Very weird. I´m positive that I´ve seen the table in one of the Paizo books.

I just did a quick check of some of the books I´ve lying around and found the relevant comments on "the Nature of Evil" in Classic Horror Revisited as well as "Hunting for Sport" and "Addiction to Death" in Undead Revisited. Could have sworn the Hunger table was connected to the Cadaver Crown AP.


Ill look when i get home.


Klorox wrote:
Ghostwalk was the one for undead PCs was it not?

Interestingly despite being about Ghost PCs, it has nothing to do with undead. Handled them as outsiders, which admittedly is more internally consistent.

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