Why is undead considered evil?


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I think some people are arguing what should have been marked as evil, and others are going only by what the book says.

By the rules if it is tagged as evil then it's evil. However some things such as making golems by trapping Elementals should be evil, while the protection from alignment spells should not have alignment tags.

Silver Crusade

Well not all undead are evil, just the mindless ones and the super aggressive ones. There are non-evil ghosts and vampires. A vampire, for example, who exclusively feeds off of the scum of society is not evil. If someone disposes of child molesters and rapists by draining them dry it's a much less evil act than someone who attacks innocent children to feed off of them. Even ghouls can kee their hunger at bay.

Other undead are created by acts of evil, either by their creator or by the soon to be undead being doing horrible things to become undead. Others are so twisted by undeath that even if the bodies weren't evil in life the circumstances of their undeath twist them into beings of pure hate.

As for why evil is the default for undead. Ungothora, the goddess of the undead, is a complete and utter evil b$&#%. She rules them. If it was a setting where the goddess/god of undead was non-evil then undead would likely not be evil either. It's why slavery itself isn't an evil act (because neutral gods condone it) and why boozing it up also isn't evil but abusing that gift is *pokes the lucky drunk*

Silver Crusade

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Dominate is also blocked by Protection from Good... almost like it's Good.

Grim Stalker* - creates a haunt-like creature from the spirits of "Ill-omen", not spirits of the dead. It's a fear/curse. Like Phantasmal Killer not an Evil spell.

Contact Nalfeshnee - just talking with a demon is not an evil act. Summoning them or using one of their wishes though...

Cloak of Shadows- is this another 3pp spell? I couldn't find it.

Shadow projection - you're explicitly creating an Undead Shadow.

Agonize - is used against creatures you yourself summon for the express purpose of torturing them to make them do what you want and can't be used for anything else. Inflict Pain is a combat spell.

Symbol of Pain - is permanent and lasts for an hour. The difference again between setting up something to torture people and using something in a fight.

Wracking Ray - you're in effect causing permanent/long term damage with this one so I can see why the author attached the [Evil] tag.

Slave to Sin - couldn't find it. Another 3pp spell?

Infernal Challenger - specifically summons a Devil for you to kill. And it says this at the end "Summoning a devil is typically an evil act. If cast for any purpose besides the administering of a Hellknight test, this spell has the evil descriptor." So it's not intent, it's Hellknight test yes/no?

Skin Tag* - another haunt-like ability like grim stalker.

* (Haunted) type spells were introduced in Haunted Heroes Handbook. They are not making Haunts they just function similar to them.

Maddening Oublitte - torture, madness, blasphemy, have to worship Zon-Kuthon, yes this is an Evil spell and should have the [Evil] tag as I have mentioned before.

Going off what Isonaroc said, things like Maddening Oublitte and Skeleton Crew are an editorial oversight issue.

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Ventnor wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Because it doesn't.

Dominate > take control of person (not inherently aligned) > make them do stuff (could be any aligned actions)

Create Undead > creates Undead (Evil) > make Undead do stuff (could be any aligned actions)

See, I disagree with that. Taking control of a person is inherently evil, since you are, in essence, hijacking their body without their soul's permission.

By that definition Jedi Mind tricks are all evil acts.

No.

Silver Crusade

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Mark Thomas 66 wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Because it doesn't.

Dominate > take control of person (not inherently aligned) > make them do stuff (could be any aligned actions)

Create Undead > creates Undead (Evil) > make Undead do stuff (could be any aligned actions)

See, I disagree with that. Taking control of a person is inherently evil, since you are, in essence, hijacking their body without their soul's permission.

By that definition Jedi Mind tricks are all evil acts.

No.

And so is the Medium class, since their whole thing is letting other things possess, control, and influence them.


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Rysky wrote:
Mark Thomas 66 wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Because it doesn't.

Dominate > take control of person (not inherently aligned) > make them do stuff (could be any aligned actions)

Create Undead > creates Undead (Evil) > make Undead do stuff (could be any aligned actions)

See, I disagree with that. Taking control of a person is inherently evil, since you are, in essence, hijacking their body without their soul's permission.

By that definition Jedi Mind tricks are all evil acts.

No.

And so is the Medium class, since their whole thing is letting other things possess, control, and influence them.

Hey now, I try to channel the Brightness. It's not my fault I keep getting people instead.

Silver Crusade

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Pomeroy Toussaint wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Mark Thomas 66 wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Because it doesn't.

Dominate > take control of person (not inherently aligned) > make them do stuff (could be any aligned actions)

Create Undead > creates Undead (Evil) > make Undead do stuff (could be any aligned actions)

See, I disagree with that. Taking control of a person is inherently evil, since you are, in essence, hijacking their body without their soul's permission.

By that definition Jedi Mind tricks are all evil acts.

No.

And so is the Medium class, since their whole thing is letting other things possess, control, and influence them.
Hey now, I try to channel the Brightness. It's not my fault I keep getting people instead.

No it is not your fault.


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Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Well not all undead are evil, just the mindless ones and the super aggressive ones. There are non-evil ghosts and vampires. A vampire, for example, who exclusively feeds off of the scum of society is not evil. If someone disposes of child molesters and rapists by draining them dry it's a much less evil act than someone who attacks innocent children to feed off of them. Even ghouls can kee their hunger at bay.

Other undead are created by acts of evil, either by their creator or by the soon to be undead being doing horrible things to become undead. Others are so twisted by undeath that even if the bodies weren't evil in life the circumstances of their undeath twist them into beings of pure hate.

As for why evil is the default for undead. Ungothora, the goddess of the undead, is a complete and utter evil b$~#@. She rules them. If it was a setting where the goddess/god of undead was non-evil then undead would likely not be evil either. It's why slavery itself isn't an evil act (because neutral gods condone it) and why boozing it up also isn't evil but abusing that gift is *pokes the lucky drunk*

I disagree with that. Just because you only murder bad people doesn't make it not evil.

Silver Crusade

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captain yesterday wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Well not all undead are evil, just the mindless ones and the super aggressive ones. There are non-evil ghosts and vampires. A vampire, for example, who exclusively feeds off of the scum of society is not evil. If someone disposes of child molesters and rapists by draining them dry it's a much less evil act than someone who attacks innocent children to feed off of them. Even ghouls can kee their hunger at bay.

Other undead are created by acts of evil, either by their creator or by the soon to be undead being doing horrible things to become undead. Others are so twisted by undeath that even if the bodies weren't evil in life the circumstances of their undeath twist them into beings of pure hate.

As for why evil is the default for undead. Ungothora, the goddess of the undead, is a complete and utter evil b$~#@. She rules them. If it was a setting where the goddess/god of undead was non-evil then undead would likely not be evil either. It's why slavery itself isn't an evil act (because neutral gods condone it) and why boozing it up also isn't evil but abusing that gift is *pokes the lucky drunk*

I disagree with that. Just because you only murder bad people doesn't make it not evil.

Also slavery is Evil. Neutral gods condoning it is why they are Neutral instead of Evil.


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Yeah, I've learned not to even touch slavery on the boards.

I agree though. :-)


Rysky wrote:
And so is the Medium class, since their whole thing is letting other things possess, control, and influence them.

No? Since that's willingly letting other things possess/control/influence them....

Their right to agency isn't being revoked, so it's not inethical.

Also, there's a reason why Paizo decided to make the Mesmerist's iconic evil. It's a lot harder to be good when your repeatedly forcing people to do things against their will.

Silver Crusade

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Milo v3 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
And so is the Medium class, since their whole thing is letting other things possess, control, and influence them.

No? Since that's willingly letting other things possess/control/influence them....

Their right to agency isn't being revoked, so it's not inethical.

Also, there's a reason why Paizo decided to make the Mesmerist's iconic evil. It's a lot harder to be good when your repeatedly forcing people to do things against their will.

I brought up the Medium since by previous statements the Medium's spirits are Evil for possessing them, going by logic that possession is inherently Evil and the Medium would be Evil by constantly using and associating with the spirits. I obviously disagree with the thinking that possession and mind control are inherently Evil.

And the right to agency is very easily revoked when you get enough points of Influence.

Maybe, but not impossible. Mal is Evil because he's a douchebag that uses his powers for Evil, not just because he uses mind control. Though he does serve to illustrate how easy it is become Evil when you have those types of powers.


Rysky wrote:
I brought up the Medium since by previous statements the Medium's spirits are Evil for possessing them, going by logic that possession is inherently Evil and the Medium would be Evil by constantly using and associating with the spirits. I obviously disagree with the thinking that possession and mind control are inherently Evil.

The person you quoted said "hijacking their body without their soul's permission." With medium spirits, they have your permission.

Quote:
And the right to agency is very easily revoked when you get enough points of Influence.

Nope, since your the one who chooses if they get influence.

Quote:
Maybe, but not impossible. Mal is Evil because he's a douchebag that uses his powers for Evil, not just because he uses mind control. Though he does serve to illustrate how easy it is become Evil when you have those types of powers.

Yes.

Silver Crusade

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Milo v3 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I brought up the Medium since by previous statements the Medium's spirits are Evil for possessing them, going by logic that possession is inherently Evil and the Medium would be Evil by constantly using and associating with the spirits. I obviously disagree with the thinking that possession and mind control are inherently Evil.

The person you quoted said "hijacking their body without their soul's permission." With medium spirits, they have your permission.

Quote:
And the right to agency is very easily revoked when you get enough points of Influence.

Nope, since your the one who chooses if they get influence.

Quote:
Maybe, but not impossible. Mal is Evil because he's a douchebag that uses his powers for Evil, not just because he uses mind control. Though he does serve to illustrate how easy it is become Evil when you have those types of powers.
Yes.

Look at the ways to gain influence. Would you consider permission under extreme duresss to be legitimate permission?


Rysky wrote:

Dominate is also blocked by Protection from Good... almost like it's Good.

Grim Stalker* - creates a haunt-like creature from the spirits of "Ill-omen", not spirits of the dead. It's a fear/curse. Like Phantasmal Killer not an Evil spell.

Contact Nalfeshnee - just talking with a demon is not an evil act. Summoning them or using one of their wishes though...

Cloak of Shadows- is this another 3pp spell? I couldn't find it.

Shadow projection - you're explicitly creating an Undead Shadow.

Agonize - is used against creatures you yourself summon for the express purpose of torturing them to make them do what you want and can't be used for anything else. Inflict Pain is a combat spell.

Symbol of Pain - is permanent and lasts for an hour. The difference again between setting up something to torture people and using something in a fight.

Wracking Ray - you're in effect causing permanent/long term damage with this one so I can see why the author attached the [Evil] tag.

Slave to Sin - couldn't find it. Another 3pp spell?

Slave to Sin - Adventurer's Guide

Cloak of Shadows - Villan Codex

Pain - it's not just pain - *every* pain spell other than inflict is evil - it's almost like - inflict pains is oversight like you claim for every other spell I've listed that isn't evil that you disagree with.

Or it could be whim of the designer.

It's at this point I'll point out that Deathwatch was [Evil] and Pathfinder changed it. So even dev's can disagree on the tag.

Unliving Rage - makes undead stronger - not evil (there is no other reason you could ever cast this spell other than to make undead better killing machines - so yeah)

Transmute wine to blood - makes blood suitable for a vampire to feed on - not evil

Carrion Compass - if it was like animate object it would work with any part of the undead - it literally re-animates an organ for a short time - while you can say the intent is good - if that's the case you could claim good intent for a real animate spell - I mean if casting an [evil] spell is evil - then casting a small amount of one should still be [evil] even if the intent is good. (for Reference - Grasping Corpse, which is a temporary (shorter) animation is listed as evil)

I find it funny that Hellknights can summon a Devil that explicitly calls the spell non-evil - but Signifer's Rally is evil even though it's just a bog standard teleport effect.

Speaking of Grim Stalker - it's not like Phantasmal Killer - it's like Nightmare - which is dispelled by 'dispel evil' - the phantasmal killer is just the final rider. Grim Stalker is not a specific spell - it's placed on an object and doesn't care who picks it up to get the curse - it's 100% evil every time you cast it - but not [Evil].

Yellow Sign - seems pretty evil - not

Symbol of Death - how this is non evil when Symbol of Pain is evil - I don't get - your explanation for *why* symbol of pain is evil applies to symbol of death but it's not [Evil].

Deathless - keeps the target's soul from leaving it's body. In all other instances of this happening it's evil - but not here. (I will admit this is kind of iffy - but if your justification for undead being evil starts with 'prevents the soul from moving on' then this should apply.

You keep saying 'it's obviously an oversight' I feel like no - it's not - because there are just too many of them. I don't think you can make the claim that any spell that is always evil to cast gets the [Evil] descriptor - I think the [Evil] descriptor means exactly what it says - that it's powered by [Evil] or that it summons from an [Evil] aligned plane of existence.

[Evil] (by the rules) are evil actions to cast. But not all spells that are evil actions to cast are [Evil].

All Oranges are fruit. Not all fruit are Oranges.

That's the entire point - your statement that any spell that is intrinsically evil to cast gets the evil descriptor doesn't hold up to rules or evidence.

*edit* added 'gets the evil descriptor' to the last line - not enough coffee - thought was complete in the head but didn't make it to the page.

Silver Crusade

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Slave to Sin - uh, this is an anti-Evil spell, I don't see why you think it would have the [Evil] tags.

Cloak of Shadows - this has nothing to do with the Shadow Plane but with Invidiaks (Shadow Demons) and also gives you DR/Good 5.

Pain spells - this is flat out incorrect, there's dozens of spells with the [Pain] tag, only a few of them have the [Evil] tag.

Deathwatch - because there's absolutely nothing Evil about the spell, though Pathfinder still clings to it in parts there better about Necromancy not being completely Evil, unlike 3rde.

Unliving Rage - it buffs Undead, and it's more natural to Negative Energy than Create Undead which warps Negative Energy. Negative Energy on its own isn't Evil, and spells that affect Undead aren't automatically Evil either.

Transmute Wine and Blood - it doesn't require hurting anyone and enables the opposite actually, allowing vampires and Dhampirs to feed without hurting or killing anyone. Kinda the opposite of Evil there.

Carrion Compass - it's a divination spell that hunts down people that made the Undead, its not animate in the necromantic sense of creating an Undead, it literally just propels the organ forward, it doesn't make it its own creature.

Infernal Challenger - it stands out as an exception to ye rule and specifically calls out when it is not an exception.

Signifer's Rally - it's a shout out to Event Horizon, you're using/traveling through Hell when you use it. Continuing the shout out, It tends to f%$& you up in the head like that.

Nightmare - that might actually be an error and meant to say "dispel evil or similar wards" like dominate and the like call for. It also requires you to cast it on the target when Nightmare is cast on them....

Grim Stalker - how you use this spell can be an Evil act. Leaving it around randomly for anyone to find and be killed by? That's Evil. Using it to assassinate a specific person? Depends on why you're killing them. Spells that kill are not automatically evil, it's why they are used to kill and who you're killing that makes them Evil or not.

Yellow Sign - Yes that spell should have either the [Chaos] or [Evil] tags.

Symbol of Death - Symbol of Pain tortures people for an hour, SoD kills them instantly and effectively painlessly, in that regard its more humane than Fireball or Lighting Bolt. Just because it's subtle or used as a trap doesn't make it Evil.

Deathless - it keeps you from dying, not Evil. And that is not my justification for why Undead are Evil, though trapping a soul vs empowering the living body and soul are two different thingies. It's corrupting the soul and warping Negative Energy that I think believe makes Undead Evil.

----

Actually this back and forth kinda backs up my statement, since less than a handful seem to be oversights and other spells that you claim are Evil (Slave to Sin and Transmute Blood to Wine) are just because you want them to be. Grim Stalker kills people, so does almost every other spell. Just because it's sneaky doesn't make it Evil, Explosive Runes and Delayed Blast Fireball aren't Evil. How how you use these specific spells is what makes them evil or not.

Spells that are intrinsically Evil get the [Evil] tag.


Rysky wrote:

Actually this back and forth kinda backs up my statement, since less than a handful seem to be oversights and other spells that you claim are Evil (Slave to Sin and Transmute Blood to Wine) are just because you want them to be. Grim Stalker kills people, so does almost every other spell. Just because it's sneaky doesn't make it Evil, Explosive Runes and Delayed Blast Fireball aren't Evil. How how you use these specific spells is what makes them evil or not.

Spells that are intrinsically Evil get the [Evil] tag.

No - ignoring all the evidence that doesn't back you up doesn't make you correct - RAW you are wrong.


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Quote:
Grim Stalker - how you use this spell can be an Evil act. Leaving it around randomly for anyone to find and be killed by? That's Evil. Using it to assassinate a specific person? Depends on why you're killing them. Spells that kill are not automatically evil, it's why they are used to kill and who you're killing that makes them Evil or not.

Case in point - a Paladin has high enough UMD to cast the scroll of Grim Stalker - please explain how he does so and doesn't fall.

I'll point out again - this spell will affect anyone - including the caster - it's the *next creature* that touches the object - you are literally setting a nightmare trap with the intention of killing - and can not control if it targets an innocent.

Same thing with Unliving Rage - how does a paladin not fall if they use the spell?

All these spells I listed - while you can do the mental gymnastics to somehow use them in non-evil ways - that's the same argument as to why animate dead can be a good act. If a paladin can't use the spell without falling - then the spell is evil. The simple fact is that not all spells that are intrinsically evil are labeled [Evil].

And symbol of death... Really? A spell that indiscriminately kills is worse than pain? You pretend that if given a choice 1000 people told 'go through door a and you have pain like you never knew for 1 hour then you are fine' and 'go through door b and you die' - what one would anyone *freely* choose - that's just a silly argument to make - the reason it's evil is because it's out of the casters control - you can add a trigger - but once triggered you have no way to stop it - no way to shut it off, and to top it all off - it will ignore stronger targets and affect the weaker ones just to make it that much more evil.

Symbol of death is about the most evil thing you can cast and *not* be summoning demons or raising the dead. You can't even make the argument that it's a combat spell with it's 10 minute cast time.

Silver Crusade

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Ckorik wrote:
Quote:
Grim Stalker - how you use this spell can be an Evil act. Leaving it around randomly for anyone to find and be killed by? That's Evil. Using it to assassinate a specific person? Depends on why you're killing them. Spells that kill are not automatically evil, it's why they are used to kill and who you're killing that makes them Evil or not.

Case in point - a Paladin has high enough UMD to cast the scroll of Grim Stalker - please explain how he does so and doesn't fall.

I'll point out again - this spell will affect anyone - including the caster - it's the *next creature* that touches the object - you are literally setting a nightmare trap with the intention of killing - and can not control if it targets an innocent.

Same thing with Unliving Rage - how does a paladin not fall if they use the spell?

All these spells I listed - while you can do the mental gymnastics to somehow use them in non-evil ways - that's the same argument as to why animate dead can be a good act. If a paladin can't use the spell without falling - then the spell is evil. The simple fact is that not all spells that are intrinsically evil are labeled [Evil].

And symbol of death... Really? A spell that indiscriminately kills is worse than pain? You pretend that if given a choice 1000 people told 'go through door a and you have pain like you never knew for 1 hour then you are fine' and 'go through door b and you die' - what one would anyone *freely* choose - that's just a silly argument to make - the reason it's evil is because it's out of the casters control - you can add a trigger - but once triggered you have no way to stop it - no way to shut it off, and to top it all off - it will ignore stronger targets and affect the weaker ones just to make it that much more evil.

Symbol of death is about the most evil thing you can cast and *not* be summoning demons or raising the dead. You can't even make the argument that it's a combat spell with it's 10 minute cast time.

I could totally see the forces of good using a symbol of death to guard some horribly dangerous artifact or something. If the church of Torag captured the Regalia of Evil or Book of Vile Darkness or whatever, do you really think a symbol of death would be an unusual safeguard?


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If keeping the soul from moving on past a mortal lifetime is evil, why are alchemists with that wonderful elixir of immortality or wizards with the Immortality discovery not evil? Those may only affect the self, but how is it different?

If it is specifically the souls of others, a strange distinction to make in universal law, why not then make Trap the Soul an evil spell? It explicitly keeps the entire soul from moving on, whereas Animate Dead only uses small fragments left behind in the body that seem to be going nowhere.

Why not petrification effects? Those keep the subject in a limbo between life and death until they are cured, assuming they ever are. Pretty sure eternity as a statue is denying Pharasma her due of the mortal in question.

In a setting where even demon lords can be redeemed and many believe there is a moral imperative to not wipe out goblin babies because reasons, why is it that taking a hunk of fallow flesh and making it useful is so bad? Why is it that you can enslave minds, bind outsiders and keep them from their duties until Groetus goes all Majora's Mask on everyone, and burn people to death, but you can't use a teensie piece of semi-soulstuff that is doing nothing else and that is not actually part of the soul that moves on to the afterlife to animate a corpse? How is animating undead bringing more negative energy into the world by dint of creating mindless puppets any worse than the gods themselves choosing to 'punish' murderers by giving them immortality and greatly enhanced prowess to continue their sprees?

'Big Grey Goddess Says So' is not a logical answer. It makes Pharasma look hypocritical to allow gods to punish mortals by keeping their souls in eternal torment on Golarion, but not allowing mortals to simply harvest the remains of someone whose soul has already passed on for a constructive purpose.

Pathfinder is not alone in making claims of 'undead are icky, so let's drum up reasons why they are evil and flag them accordingly'. As much as I like The Elder Scrolls, creating undead is considered evil there as well. That doesn't make the base argument any more reasonable, however. It is, thankfully, kept in the purview of mortal perception of morality, as opposed to hard moral truths in The Elder Scrolls universe.


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Consider a Reincarnated Druid who acquires the "Animate Dead" spell somehow (they're a Samsaran maybe). Over that character's total existence, they could presumably die dozens, or hundreds of times.

Should it really be that evil for that character to reanimate their own remains as a skeleton or zombie? The only soul involved is your own, and that one is currently safely in a Hobgoblin or something.

Silver Crusade

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Ckorik wrote:
Quote:
Grim Stalker - how you use this spell can be an Evil act. Leaving it around randomly for anyone to find and be killed by? That's Evil. Using it to assassinate a specific person? Depends on why you're killing them. Spells that kill are not automatically evil, it's why they are used to kill and who you're killing that makes them Evil or not.

Case in point - a Paladin has high enough UMD to cast the scroll of Grim Stalker - please explain how he does so and doesn't fall.

I'll point out again - this spell will affect anyone - including the caster - it's the *next creature* that touches the object - you are literally setting a nightmare trap with the intention of killing - and can not control if it targets an innocent.

Same thing with Unliving Rage - how does a paladin not fall if they use the spell?

All these spells I listed - while you can do the mental gymnastics to somehow use them in non-evil ways - that's the same argument as to why animate dead can be a good act. If a paladin can't use the spell without falling - then the spell is evil. The simple fact is that not all spells that are intrinsically evil are labeled [Evil].

And symbol of death... Really? A spell that indiscriminately kills is worse than pain? You pretend that if given a choice 1000 people told 'go through door a and you have pain like you never knew for 1 hour then you are fine' and 'go through door b and you die' - what one would anyone *freely* choose - that's just a silly argument to make - the reason it's evil is because it's out of the casters control - you can add a trigger - but once triggered you have no way to stop it - no way to shut it off, and to top it all off - it will ignore stronger targets and affect the weaker ones just to make it that much more evil.

Symbol of death is about the most evil thing you can cast and *not* be summoning demons or raising the dead. You can't even make the argument that it's a combat spell with it's 10 minute cast time.

The same way he can use a scroll of Explosive Runes and not fall. Just because a spell creates a trap or works off subtly doesn't make it automatically Evil. It's how you use it. Are people with access to Explosive Runes Evil since anyone can set off the rune?

If a Paladin somehow got and used Unliving Rage then they would need an atonement, not for casting the spell, but for associating with Evil in that fashion like it says in their Associates section.

No Animate Dead can not be a good act, you can do good things afterwards but the spell itself is Evil because you're creating an Undead, it doesn't matter what you want to do after. The spell doesn't do anything else except create Undead, nothing else, there's nothing good itself for the spell to do.

I want to create an Undead to...
I want to create an Undead for...
We need an Undead now for...

Doesn't matter what you have the Undead do, that can be any number of aligned acts. Creating the Undead itself is evil.

In your mock example the person forcing 1,000 people to make that choice for an experiment would be Evil for doing so, spells involved or not.

"Out of the caster's control" does not make a spell Evil. Again look at Explosive Runes. And the symbol spell are actually in the caster's control since they can attune them to other people.

Grim Stalker and Symbol of Death are subtle spells that work great as traps. That does not make them Evil.

Silver Crusade

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Consider a Reincarnated Druid who acquires the "Animate Dead" spell somehow (they're a Samsaran maybe). Over that character's total existence, they could presumably die dozens, or hundreds of times.

Should it really be that evil for that character to reanimate their own remains as a skeleton or zombie? The only soul involved is your own, and that one is currently safely in a Hobgoblin or something.

I believe with Samsaran, the same with Androids, is that you have a new soul with a bit of the old mixed in, rather than just having one single soul. I could be misremembering though.

Something interesting to do would be to go to the afterlife to talk to your previous lifes.

Silver Crusade

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Ckorik wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Actually this back and forth kinda backs up my statement, since less than a handful seem to be oversights and other spells that you claim are Evil (Slave to Sin and Transmute Blood to Wine) are just because you want them to be. Grim Stalker kills people, so does almost every other spell. Just because it's sneaky doesn't make it Evil, Explosive Runes and Delayed Blast Fireball aren't Evil. How how you use these specific spells is what makes them evil or not.

Spells that are intrinsically Evil get the [Evil] tag.

No - ignoring all the evidence that doesn't back you up doesn't make you correct - RAW you are wrong.

RAW you are wrong. Slave to Sin, Transmute Blood to Wine, and Grim Stalker are not Evil Spells. The mere act of casting them is not an Evil act. You wanting them to be Evil does not make them Evil.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Hannibull Rektor wrote:

If keeping the soul from moving on past a mortal lifetime is evil, why are alchemists with that wonderful elixir of immortality or wizards with the Immortality discovery not evil? Those may only affect the self, but how is it different?

If it is specifically the souls of others, a strange distinction to make in universal law, why not then make Trap the Soul an evil spell? It explicitly keeps the entire soul from moving on, whereas Animate Dead only uses small fragments left behind in the body that seem to be going nowhere.

Why not petrification effects? Those keep the subject in a limbo between life and death until they are cured, assuming they ever are. Pretty sure eternity as a statue is denying Pharasma her due of the mortal in question.

In a setting where even demon lords can be redeemed and many believe there is a moral imperative to not wipe out goblin babies because reasons, why is it that taking a hunk of fallow flesh and making it useful is so bad? Why is it that you can enslave minds, bind outsiders and keep them from their duties until Groetus goes all Majora's Mask on everyone, and burn people to death, but you can't use a teensie piece of semi-soulstuff that is doing nothing else and that is not actually part of the soul that moves on to the afterlife to animate a corpse? How is animating undead bringing more negative energy into the world by dint of creating mindless puppets any worse than the gods themselves choosing to 'punish' murderers by giving them immortality and greatly enhanced prowess to continue their sprees?

'Big Grey Goddess Says So' is not a logical answer. It makes Pharasma look hypocritical to allow gods to punish mortals by keeping their souls in eternal torment on Golarion, but not allowing mortals to simply harvest the remains of someone whose soul has already passed on for a constructive purpose.

Pathfinder is not alone in making claims of 'undead are icky, so let's drum up reasons why they are evil and flag them accordingly'. As much as I like The Elder...

It has to do with damaging/tainting the soul rather than merely trapping it.


Rysky wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Consider a Reincarnated Druid who acquires the "Animate Dead" spell somehow (they're a Samsaran maybe). Over that character's total existence, they could presumably die dozens, or hundreds of times.

Should it really be that evil for that character to reanimate their own remains as a skeleton or zombie? The only soul involved is your own, and that one is currently safely in a Hobgoblin or something.

I believe with Samsaran, the same with Androids, is that you have a new soul with a bit of the old mixed in, rather than just having one single soul. I could be misremembering though.

Something interesting to do would be to go to the afterlife to talk to your previous lifes.

You would go for Samsaran to get Animate Dead on your Druid spell list, not for any other reason.


The Sideromancer wrote:
You would go for Samsaran to get Animate Dead on your Druid spell list, not for any other reason.

Yeah, the point of being a Reincarnated Druid (and not just any old Samaran) is that when the Reincarnated Druid dies (within a few constraints) their consciousness (and presumably soul) appears in a new body as with the "Reincarnation" spell. So there are going to a bunch of "you-husks" lying around after all the years.

Though honestly the line in Reincarnation:

Quote:
A creature that has been turned into an undead creature or killed by a death effect can’t be returned to life by this spell.

Gives me pause. I think the idea is that "if the soul is currently tied up in an undead thing, you can't bring it back" (this is why it doesn't work with Raise Dead) but if you die, successfully reincarnate, figure "I've got these perfectly good bones just lying around, and it's not like I would be disrespecting myself if I did something with them" and you made them into a skeleton, would that prevent you from reincarnating the next time? After all, the creature who dies next is not the same creature as the creature that died and got made into a skeleton, it's just that the same consciousness/soul inhabited both bodies for a time. Probably safer to make them into bone golems (so make your Mystic Past Life choices something like Animate Dead, Limited Wish, Geas/Quest, and Telekinesis) though.

[This is a rad NPC concept that I'm probably going to flesh out, I just don't know if he or she should be evil.]

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Bone Golems also have the advantage of having PCs waste Anti-Undead resources on them.


Rysky wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Actually this back and forth kinda backs up my statement, since less than a handful seem to be oversights and other spells that you claim are Evil (Slave to Sin and Transmute Blood to Wine) are just because you want them to be. Grim Stalker kills people, so does almost every other spell. Just because it's sneaky doesn't make it Evil, Explosive Runes and Delayed Blast Fireball aren't Evil. How how you use these specific spells is what makes them evil or not.

Spells that are intrinsically Evil get the [Evil] tag.

No - ignoring all the evidence that doesn't back you up doesn't make you correct - RAW you are wrong.

RAW you are wrong. Slave to Sin, Transmute Blood to Wine, and Grim Stalker are not Evil Spells. The mere act of casting them is not an Evil act. You wanting them to be Evil does not make them Evil.

No - RAW you are wrong. Because a spell isn't tagged [Evil] doesn't mean it's safe to cast. There is literally not a single line of rules you can point to that says so - the only information we have about the [Evil] subtype isn't all inclusive, nor should it ever be.

RAW I proved there are spells you agreed should be evil that aren't. Ignoring them or saying they are oversights don't magically fix that. Your ignoring the examples that don't fit your narrative only shows how weak your argument is.

The only RAW spell I'd grant is an 'oversight' is the one that creates undead. If that was even the only spell you agreed was incorrect I could at least understand your viewpoint - as is all I see you do is stick your head in the sand and ignore that RAW disagrees with you - both in rules and in practice.

Quote:

Consider a Reincarnated Druid who acquires the "Animate Dead" spell somehow (they're a Samsaran maybe). Over that character's total existence, they could presumably die dozens, or hundreds of times.

Should it really be that evil for that character to reanimate their own remains as a skeleton or zombie? The only soul involved is your own, and that one is currently safely in a Hobgoblin or something.

You can't re-incarnate or be raised if your corpse is currently undead, that's part of why it's evil. My understanding of the entire thing hinges on reincarnation being normal and at some point the soul still moves on - while undead can turn to dust and never move on (honestly you are better off asking James Jacobs for the gritty details).

The 'can't be raised or re-incarnated' is RAW - check the spell writeups for resurrection.


Ckorik wrote:
You can't re-incarnate or be raised if your corpse is currently undead, that's part of why it's evil. My understanding of the entire thing hinges on reincarnation being normal and at some point the soul still moves on - while undead can turn to dust and never move on (honestly you are better off asking James Jacobs for the gritty details).

Okay, sure. But let's break it down.

Life 1: Samsaran, die.
Life 2: Reincarnates as a an Aasimar, die.
Life 3: Reincarnate as a Half-Elf, die
Life 4: Reincarnate as a Bugbear

If during life 4, I cast "Animate Dead" on the Samsarran bones that have been sitting around for a 100 years, is that going to prevent me from reincarnating the next time? It doesn't really seem like "the creature that my consciousness and soul inhabited 200 years ago but does not currently inhabit" isn't the same creature as the one that's coming back to life.

I think how undeath interacts with the Reincarnated Druid is that if someone animates your (most recent) corpse the day you die, you don't come back to life like you normally would. Not that you have to guard all of your remains for all time to keep anybody from reanimating any of them of them.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ckorik wrote:
No - RAW you are wrong. Because a spell isn't tagged [Evil] doesn't mean it's safe to cast. There is literally not a single line of rules you can point to that says so - the only information we have about the [Evil] subtype isn't all inclusive, nor should it ever be.
There is also not a single line of rules you can point to that says a spell without an [Evil] tag is automatically Evil whenever you cast them no matter what.
Ckorik wrote:
RAW I proved there are spells you agreed should be evil that aren't. Ignoring them or saying they are oversights don't magically fix that. Your ignoring the examples that don't fit your narrative only shows how weak your argument is.
Actually that's what you're doing by claiming certain spells are inherently Evil without anything other than your assertion that they are Evil. Grim Stalker kills people. So does Fireball. So does Explosive Runes. None of those spells are Evil in and of themselves, it's how you use them.
Ckorik wrote:
The only RAW spell I'd grant is an 'oversight' is the one that creates undead. If that was even the only spell you agreed was incorrect I could at least understand your viewpoint - as is all I see you do is stick your head in the sand and ignore that RAW disagrees with you - both in rules and in practice.

I did agree there were some that were oversights. The Undead creating one and Yellow Sign and Maddening Oublitte require worshiping Evil deities so that they lack the [Evil] tag is an Oversight rather than the game saying these spells aren't evil. You can say RAW disagrees with me but that isn't true since you don't have any RAW to refer to to back your claim up.

Grand Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
If during life 4, I cast "Animate Dead" on the Samsarran bones that have been sitting around for a 100 years, is that going to prevent me from reincarnating the next time? It doesn't really seem like "the creature that my consciousness and soul inhabited 200 years ago but does not currently inhabit" isn't the same creature as the one that's coming back to life.

Can confirm, previous incarnations being undead do not prevent samsaran reincarnation.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
If during life 4, I cast "Animate Dead" on the Samsarran bones that have been sitting around for a 100 years, is that going to prevent me from reincarnating the next time? It doesn't really seem like "the creature that my consciousness and soul inhabited 200 years ago but does not currently inhabit" isn't the same creature as the one that's coming back to life.
Can confirm, previous incarnations being undead do not prevent samsaran reincarnation.

Ooooo, does that come up in a society scenario or somewhere?


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First the Negative Plane is not Evil, Negative energy is not Evil :

From the Inner Sphere Book:

Quote:

The Negative Energy Plane An empty, infinite void of entropic darkness, the Negative Energy Plane exists as the antithesis of its bright twin at the heart of the Material Plane, and an eternally devouring hunger that spawned the plane of shadow in flawed mockery of its twin’s creation. Known simply as the Void, the Negative Energy Plane empowers undead just as positive energy is the driving force behind all living things, but contrary to some religious dogma, neither

it nor its destructive energies are evil. As dangerous and antithetical to life as they might be, they simply exist as an opposite to the creative potential of the positive, divorced from any notion of morality.

And all Undead are not Evil as example an undead who lives on the Negative energy plane :

Frome the Inner Sphere Book:

Quote:

Malikar’s Keep: Atop a massive, drifting island of heavily

teathered bedrock stands the redoubt of the mad, planewalking lich, Xegirius Malikar (CN male unknown lich wizard 20). The lich’s rare visitors find the desolate rock occupied by the ruins of a city, or rather a fragment of a city, apparently wrenched free from its original plane and dragged into the depths of the Void. Most of the buildings have long since succumbed to the plane’s destructive, entropic inf luence, but some explorers have remarked that the architectural details vaguely resemble some of those encountered among the equally ruined debris that comprises the Diaspora of Golarion’s solar system.

Why are Skeletons Evil ? It's written in the bestiary entry :

Quote:
Skeletons are the animated bones of the dead, brought to unlife through foul magic. While most skeletons are mindless automatons, they still possess an evil cunning imparted to them by their animating force—a cunning that allows them to wield weapons and wear armor.

Same for Zombies :

Quote:

Zombies are the animated corpses of dead creatures, forced into foul unlife via necromantic magic like animate dead. While the most commonly encountered zombies are slow and tough, others possess a variety of traits, allowing them to spread disease or move with increased speed.

Zombies are unthinking automatons, and can do little more than follow orders. When left unattended, zombies tend to mill about in search of living creatures to slaughter and devour. Zombies attack until destroyed, having no regard for their own safety.
Although capable of following orders, zombies are more often unleashed into an area with no command other than to kill living creatures. As a result, zombies are often encountered in packs, wandering around places the living frequent, looking for victims.

So for these two the answer is simple : Whoever designed the animate dead and other undead creation spells have done it with evil in mind and that is why there's the Evil descriptor in these spells...

For sentient Undead if most of them are Evil it's for the same reason why most Kobold are Evil... It's in their nature to be so but it's not mandatory... ;)


Rysky wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
If during life 4, I cast "Animate Dead" on the Samsarran bones that have been sitting around for a 100 years, is that going to prevent me from reincarnating the next time? It doesn't really seem like "the creature that my consciousness and soul inhabited 200 years ago but does not currently inhabit" isn't the same creature as the one that's coming back to life.
Can confirm, previous incarnations being undead do not prevent samsaran reincarnation.
Ooooo, does that come up in a society scenario or somewhere?

Yes, yes it does.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
andreww wrote:
Rysky wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
If during life 4, I cast "Animate Dead" on the Samsarran bones that have been sitting around for a 100 years, is that going to prevent me from reincarnating the next time? It doesn't really seem like "the creature that my consciousness and soul inhabited 200 years ago but does not currently inhabit" isn't the same creature as the one that's coming back to life.
Can confirm, previous incarnations being undead do not prevent samsaran reincarnation.
Ooooo, does that come up in a society scenario or somewhere?
Yes, yes it does.

Cool!


TriOmegaZero wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
If during life 4, I cast "Animate Dead" on the Samsarran bones that have been sitting around for a 100 years, is that going to prevent me from reincarnating the next time? It doesn't really seem like "the creature that my consciousness and soul inhabited 200 years ago but does not currently inhabit" isn't the same creature as the one that's coming back to life.
Can confirm, previous incarnations being undead do not prevent samsaran reincarnation.

That's actually surprising. Are they special and get an explanation?


Rysky wrote:

There is also not a single line of rules you can point to that says a spell without an [Evil] tag is automatically Evil whenever you cast them no matter what.

No there isn't a single line of proof that you can say a spell without [evil] is assumed safe. I've given examples - we've agreed on some of them - proof made.

Quote:
Actually that's what you're doing by claiming certain spells are inherently Evil without anything other than your assertion that they are Evil. Grim Stalker kills people. So does Fireball. So does Explosive Runes. None of those spells are Evil in and of themselves, it's how you use them.

Nothing you said actually proves Grim Stalker isn't an evil spell - the spell it mimics is evil - ergo it is as well. (spell = Nightmare)

Quote:
I did agree there were some that were oversights. The Undead creating one and Yellow Sign and Maddening Oublitte require worshiping Evil deities so that they lack the [Evil] tag is an Oversight rather than the game saying these spells aren't evil. You can say RAW disagrees with me but that isn't true since you don't have any RAW to refer to to back your claim up.

No - the RAW is the spells in question don't have [Evil] - you agree they should be - you have 0 (none, nada, zilch, etc.) proof they are an oversight - I only had to find one you agreed with - I found several.


Ckorik wrote:

No there isn't a single line of proof that you can say a spell without [evil] is assumed safe. I've given examples - we've agreed on some of them - proof made.

Nothing you said actually proves Grim Stalker isn't an evil spell - the spell it mimics is evil - ergo it is as well. (spell = Nightmare)

Mouarf... A spell without [Evil] is not inherently Evil and so those kind of spells depends of the context to know if casting it is evil or not... ;)

And Grim Stalker is NOT inherently evil since most of my Calistria revenge dedicated Cleric use it...Of course using it is risky: If you're right and it's a revenge it's Neutral, If it's not the good person you've now condemned an innocent person and that is evil, you risk losing your Cleric powers and becoming Evil...
That's why you should not cast this kind of spell easily from a RPG point, if you don't care about that, well, cast all non [Evil] Spell as if it was [Good] but it's not how the rules works... :p
Once again it depends on how you use the spell... It can never be good, but it can be neutral if used well... ;)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Grim Stalker isn't based on an Evil spell, Nightmare isn't Evil, it should be blocked by Dispel [any alignment] since it's not an Aligned spell, and how you even get to do that in the first place is questionable Since you have to cast it on the target while nightmare is being cast in the first place.

Again, you have pointed out oversights and I have given reasons why those are oversights, you have not provided a single bit of evidence or RAW why certain spells outside oversights would be inherently and always Evil to cast without having the [Evil] tag. All you have is your assertion that they are Evil because you don't Like them. You're assertion is just that, it is not RAW.


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RAW is keeping me from having a necromancer served by a dapper undead butler. IT MUST BE PURGED!

Totally not the best butler ever.


So just pondering if there was a spell created that merely powered the corpse in a golem like manner then we would be good to go with alignment issues.

Silver Crusade

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Talonhawke wrote:
So just pondering if there was a spell created that merely powered the corpse in a golem like manner then we would be good to go with alignment issues.

Well we have Flesh, Carrion, and Corpses golems. They're powered by elemental spirits.


Rysky wrote:

Grim Stalker isn't based on an Evil spell, Nightmare isn't Evil, it should be blocked by Dispel [any alignment] since it's not an Aligned spell, and how you even get to do that in the first place is questionable Since you have to cast it on the target while nightmare is being cast in the first place.

Again, you have pointed out oversights and I have given reasons why those are oversights, you have not provided a single bit of evidence or RAW why certain spells outside oversights would be inherently and always Evil to cast without having the [Evil] tag. All you have is your assertion that they are Evil because you don't Like them. You're assertion is just that, it is not RAW.

Nightmare is evil.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/spells/nightmare.html

I dunno what you are looking at, but [mind-affecting, evil] is evil - unless I'm missing something.

Grim Stalker does:

Quote:


Once a creature is affected by the haunt, it begins noticing a large, black mastiff with ominous green eyes watching and following it from a distance, always just beyond the range of focus or interaction. The grim stalker terrorizes the creature’s sleep, affecting it as per nightmare every night during the spell’s duration

But - isn't [Evil] it's only [death, emotion, fear, mind-affecting]

But - it's always evil to cast.

Go figure - I guess it's drawing it's power from a non [Evil] source - which is how you get the [Evil] tag - which (as proven) is not all inclusive of spells that are evil to cast. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Actually Archives of Nethys has it as Phantasm (mind-affecting), will lolok into it More.

But Grim Stalker is not automatically evil, even if it functions similar to an evil spell. The manifestation of it that you can face is even True Neutral.

Grim Stalker is not Evil to cast, only in how you use it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Rysky wrote:

Actually Archives of Nethys has it as Phantasm (mind-affecting), will lolok into it More.

But Grim Stalker is not automatically evil, even if it functions similar to an evil spell. The manifestation of it that you can face is even True Neutral.

Grim Stalker is not Evil to cast, only in how you use it.

Yep, just went and checked my copy of the Core Rulebook and it has the [Evil] tag there.

Doesn't really change my statement though, with Grim Stalker you basically have a very thematic non-Evil version of Nightmare and Phantasmal Killer (also not an Evil spell) smushed together.

Grim Stalker is not Evil to cast in and of itself. And outside of typos (AoN left the Evil tag off of Nightmare, see how easy that was?) you have provided absolutely no evidence that certain spells without the [Evil] tag are always Evil to cast.


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Rysky wrote:


But Grim Stalker is not automatically evil, even if it functions similar to an evil spell.
Rysky wrote:
Waters of Lamshtu say it functions exactly as Curse Water (an [Evil] spell) so the fact that it lacks the [Evil] tag itself is obviously an oversight

(actual wording of the spells)

Grim Stalker: affecting it as per nightmare every night during the spell’s duration

Waters of Lamashtu: The liquid functions in all the same ways as unholy water

All I see here is that you have double standards for what counts as evil and what doesn't based on your own bias and not the actual text of the rules. I've provided several examples of spells that based on your arguments for why 'create undead' should be evil - they would also be evil to cast (Skeleton Crew for example) and also examples of spells that are evil to cast based on your own reasoning otherwise. You ignore your own words and the rules to say whatever you want to say - the fact is the rules don't say what you say they do - in fact or in practice.

Fact: [Evil] spells are evil to cast.
Fact: Not all spells that are evil to cast are [Evil]
Fact: The rules for attaching [Evil] to a spell (when creating a spell) say nothing about using the tag when the spell is morally wrong - but only if the spell draws on evil power or summons a creature from an evilly aligned or subtyped plane - I've posted those rules.

So far you have posted nothing - and as pointed out above you now have argued for and against a spell without [Evil] being in fact - evil to cast based on the rest of the text. Outside of you ignoring spells that don't fit your viewpoint, you have provided no evidence to back up your assertion. Until you produce errata or text changes. The disagreement we have is based on the actual rules and the actual printed text (and errata if any) and not 'whatever you feel like it should say'.

There is no possible way to prove something when actual printed rules are dismissed over and over again as 'obvious mistakes'. By that line of reasoning the animate dead spell being [Evil] is an 'obvious mistake'. Stick to the rules or don't.

Silver Crusade

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Ckorik

You seem to be under a misapprehension as to what RAW means. By RAW, casting a spell without the evil tag is not (in and of itself) evil. The best you can argue is that, by RAW, spells such as maddening oubliette are not explicitly called out as non-evil (which, in the end, leaves them in the same boat as all other non-aligned spells).

Agreeing that some spells should be evil even if they are not marked as such doesn't make RAW, it just means that you agree that the RAW is inconsistent.


wraithstrike wrote:

I think some people are arguing what should have been marked as evil, and others are going only by what the book says.

By the rules if it is tagged as evil then it's evil. However some things such as making golems by trapping Elementals should be evil, while the protection from alignment spells should not have alignment tags.

To be fair - my only beef is that you can assume a spell is morally ok if it's not tagged [Evil] - I don't believe that's the intent of the flag, and I think it's incorrect to assume that a spell that lacks the [Evil] tag is safe to cast - regardless of the intent.

As any 'paladin in a box' thread will show you - people have strong and varied opinions on morality and what is 'good' and what is 'evil'. With some spells (like your Golem example) simply how you were taught may cause you to say 'evil 100% of the time' or 'wait... there is a problem with this?'.

I will point out - that prior to Horror Adventures this wasn't much of an issue - because it was totally left up to the GM. Why they decided to take what (arguably) is the single most contentious thing about playing a paladin and codify it so that as few as three spells could change your alignment from good to evil (or vice versa) is beyond me - apparently the forums needed more alignment angst.

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