How often should you bait your players into slaughtering the innocent?


Gamer Life General Discussion

51 to 74 of 74 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Baiting PCs into slaughtering the innocent sounds like what Fiends (especially the Big Three) and people seeking a corner office job in Hell/Abaddon/The Abyss would do. So don't count it out, but it has its proper place (and remember, Fiends would definitely want to make a Paladin fall).


in a good campaign, never in an evil campaign nearly all the time

Dark Archive

Only if it makes sense in story for it to happen :P "Bandits were actually civilians dressed as bandits" is contrived and serves to only make players feel bad, this type of scenario makes much more sense in "there are shapeshifters among innocents and pc's can' tell which one are innocents and which ones are evil shapeshifters!" or when demon dominates guards to fight alongside their cultists' while dressed the same and taunts PCs about it to make them hesitate fighting cultists.

In otherwords, in any situation similar to this, player's should either know it in advance or have fairly good chance of getting chance at rolling sense motive before fighting or other way of noticing it. In that case its tragic if all dice rolls fails, but if its just that "lol you attacked, you killed innocents" then gm is just being mean.

That being said, "roll initiative" for non combat situations can be effective when player's are in bizarre places that differ from pcs' normal sensibilities, but I still consider it mean and it shouldn't be done with people npcs. Killing someone's strange exotic equivalent of puppy is much less punishing while still as cruel way to teach pcs to be careful. (Poor Applesauce...)


If the liege-lord hires you to clean out the monsters, and it turns out they are sentient teddy bears with big eyes, then...(trust me on this now)...you are going Ewok-hunting with a rigid take-no-prisoners policy, alignment be damned. Their entire village will be exterminated, burned to the ground, the ashes swept into a mound, transmuted into stone, then into flesh, then fed to the dogs.

It's the only way to train your GM to never do that again.


Always!

There are no innocents!, only degrees of guilt!


Evil Kjeldorn wrote:


Always!

There are no innocents!, only degrees of guilt!

shouldn't that be from a space marine not a chaos marine


I don't believe in baiting my players. But I also wouldn't describe the situation that happened above as "baiting."


Slim Jim wrote:

If the liege-lord hires you to clean out the monsters, and it turns out they are sentient teddy bears with big eyes, then...(trust me on this now)...you are going Ewok-hunting with a rigid take-no-prisoners policy, alignment be damned. Their entire village will be exterminated, burned to the ground, the ashes swept into a mound, transmuted into stone, then into flesh, then fed to the dogs.

It's the only way to train your GM to never do that again.

Well, Lord Palpatine does offer good bounties for their hides.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
PrinceRaven wrote:
Also, paladins should never fall from a catch 22 unless they deliberately take a third even worse option.

That's 100% wrong. I've seen option 1, 2 and 3 make the paladin fall. Some games it's only a matter of WHEN a paladin falls, not if.

"Oh no, you didn't save the innocent villagers!! Fall!
"Oh no, you attacked the natives that are fighting back against the invading people!! [the villagers] Fall!!!

Failure never makes a Paladin fall, alignment shifts and committing evil acts make a Paladin fall. Picking a side in a battle where no one's the good guys is neither of these things.


PrinceRaven wrote:
graystone wrote:
PrinceRaven wrote:
Also, paladins should never fall from a catch 22 unless they deliberately take a third even worse option.

That's 100% wrong. I've seen option 1, 2 and 3 make the paladin fall. Some games it's only a matter of WHEN a paladin falls, not if.

"Oh no, you didn't save the innocent villagers!! Fall!
"Oh no, you attacked the natives that are fighting back against the invading people!! [the villagers] Fall!!!

Failure never makes a Paladin fall, alignment shifts and committing evil acts make a Paladin fall. Picking a side in a battle where no one's the good guys is neither of these things.

I can think of ways where failure could cause the paladin to fall. But usually, it would be connected to that 'pick the unlisted third option' thing.

The example I had in mind when the '3rd option' thing came up:

The village is being protected by the army, but a larger army of monsters showed up. The villagers are being attacked by the monsters' infantry. The commander orders you to take out the monsters' archers so they don't pick off your forces.

You choose to ignore both of these to go fight the big boss monster (more of a brute , like how Lotr uses trolls) that the commander already had contained.

Disregarding the order to save the villagers instead? That is natural for a paladin. Taking out the archers? Well, they are reducing your army's soldiers, who could be used to save the villagers, so that is valid too. Both are valid, and even if you fail to save the village after choosing either- its fine.

But picking to fight the big shiny BBEG that was not a major problem- that is just arrogance that abandoned the lives of others. You wanted the big achievement, rather than protecting those you are supposed to protect. Thus, if you fail to save the village... yeah, that seems like a potential fall.

Of course, the GM should make it very clear that this would be a mistake (have the commander yell at you to follow orders, and have the villagers cry out in pain). But I guess that is the thing- moral 'surprises' never really go over well- we already deal with enough ministers that turn out to be disguised demons or mind controlled. We have enough surprises- it is best to make moral choices into something that we see coming- that we know we made a moral, rahter than a tactical, choice.


PrinceRaven wrote:
graystone wrote:
PrinceRaven wrote:
Also, paladins should never fall from a catch 22 unless they deliberately take a third even worse option.

That's 100% wrong. I've seen option 1, 2 and 3 make the paladin fall. Some games it's only a matter of WHEN a paladin falls, not if.

"Oh no, you didn't save the innocent villagers!! Fall!
"Oh no, you attacked the natives that are fighting back against the invading people!! [the villagers] Fall!!!

Failure never makes a Paladin fall, alignment shifts and committing evil acts make a Paladin fall. Picking a side in a battle where no one's the good guys is neither of these things.

You seem to be missing 1 VERY IMPORTANT POINT. The DM can say your failure is an evil act; he can in fact call anything he wants an evil act.

He can say any choice you make in a situation you take is evil and just sit back and watch to see which way you fall.

Failure can make you fall, picking a side can make you fall, doing nothing can make you fall, ect [well you should get the point]... The reason some don't play paladins is for this reason is this: the morality of anything in the game is entirely within the subjective mind of the DM and some skew that to make the paladin 'pay for'/earn their powers with impossible situations. If you haven't seen them, count yourself lucky: they exist and are most likely happening right now someplace. :P


graystone wrote:
PrinceRaven wrote:
graystone wrote:
PrinceRaven wrote:
Also, paladins should never fall from a catch 22 unless they deliberately take a third even worse option.

That's 100% wrong. I've seen option 1, 2 and 3 make the paladin fall. Some games it's only a matter of WHEN a paladin falls, not if.

"Oh no, you didn't save the innocent villagers!! Fall!
"Oh no, you attacked the natives that are fighting back against the invading people!! [the villagers] Fall!!!

Failure never makes a Paladin fall, alignment shifts and committing evil acts make a Paladin fall. Picking a side in a battle where no one's the good guys is neither of these things.

You seem to be missing 1 VERY IMPORTANT POINT. The DM can say your failure is an evil act; he can in fact call anything he wants an evil act.

He can say any choice you make in a situation you take is evil and just sit back and watch to see which way you fall.

Failure can make you fall, picking a side can make you fall, doing nothing can make you fall, ect [well you should get the point]... The reason some don't play paladins is for this reason is this: the morality of anything in the game is entirely within the subjective mind of the DM and some skew that to make the paladin 'pay for'/earn their powers with impossible situations. If you haven't seen them, count yourself lucky: they exist and are most likely happening right now someplace. :P

Seems like the better solution is not play with the GMs. They're likely to screw you over one way or another, even if you don't play a paladin.

Then feel free to play a paladin with a GM who isn't a jerk.


thejeff wrote:

Seems like the better solution is not play with the GMs. They're likely to screw you over one way or another, even if you don't play a paladin.

Then feel free to play a paladin with a GM who isn't a jerk.

I play online, usually with a new DM every time. I don't find out a DM's a jerk until they are in fact a jerk, and by that point I'd have already fallen. Hence my not ever picking a class that is SO VERY, VERY prone to 'jerkiness' from DM's. ;)

Not everyone sits with the same DM face to face every time.


The only time a properly played paladin should fall is based on a narrative choice by the player. Before you let a paladin into your game, talk with the player about opportunities to fall and opportunities for redemption.

The paladins fall needs to be dramatic, a situation where the paladin willing disregards their own code. The exact reason can vary, from selfishness, to a situation where the paladins sense of vengeance has over come their sense of justice. It needs to be a situation where the paladin gives into their mortal and fallible nature. The paladin needs to make the conscious choice that whatever they are about to do is WORTH THE COST; and their redemption (if they choose to go through that route) needs to involve them either learning to excise that part of themselves or accept that part and live with the consequences.

The core concept of the paladin is not just a warrior who fights for good, but as a man among men. Paladins are meant to be that city on the hill, a beacon of goodness in an unfair world. They are meant to appear perfect, and so the best stories about them involve dispelling that notion. Revealing that even paladins have flaws, and are mortals like the rest of us, can be intense. However, the reason they are paladins is that even failure will not stop them. The fall from grace is important because it leads to the redemption.

So talk to your player about what being a paladin really means, about being mortal and fallible while being held to THE highest standard at all times. Talk to them about what it would take to make their paladin fall, and what would be a thematic method for them to rise up in redemption.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

All kidding aside I think it has to do with your players and what they'll tolerate. What level of realistic roleplay do they want? If you pitch your campaign as a beer-and-pretzels/megadungeon/sandbox where at character creation players were encouraged to build on the idea they'd be slaying evil and looting treasure, chances are when you get bored as the GM and decide to throw them a curve ball by having those "bandits" on the side of the road be starving survivors from a raided village, your players will be a tad put out.


DRD1812 wrote:


This kind of thing can be a cool setup for an encounter. It teaches players to investigate thoroughly rather than murderhoboing across the landscape.

Actually, it doesn't teach them to investigate at all. What it teaches the players is that the GM will spring surprise information on them.

Sometimes we think we are teaching one lesson, but we are actually teaching a completely different one.

Edit: to elaborate, you as the GM of a game have near complete control over reality within that game. You can make any NPC/monster an "innocent" if you choose. You can make sunflowers into an oppressive empire that brutally tortures people until they sing songs about clouds. Altering the reality that player's perceive isn't some sort of special trick. It's a normal tool in your toolbox.

Situations like this are good for players who want to be surprised, and if it is done well.

If you don't like how your players are approaching the game, instead of contriving tricks into shaming them, perhaps just talk to them. If you're just using this as a story device, that's legitimate, but be sure that you're using it well and that the process is enjoyable for everyone involved.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
You seem to be missing 1 VERY IMPORTANT POINT. The DM can say your failure is an evil act; he can in fact call anything he wants an evil act.

If someone says you can play a paladin in a game, and then arbitrarily changes the rules to break your character, I strongly recommend you cease playing with them. Because at that stage quitting is the best option.


lemeres wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:

If the liege-lord hires you to clean out the monsters, and it turns out they are sentient teddy bears with big eyes, then...(trust me on this now)...you are going Ewok-hunting with a rigid take-no-prisoners policy, alignment be damned. Their entire village will be exterminated, burned to the ground, the ashes swept into a mound, transmuted into stone, then into flesh, then fed to the dogs.

It's the only way to train your GM to never do that again.

Well, Lord Palpatine does offer good bounties for their hides.

EE-3 carbines and jet-packs aren't going to buy themselves.


Lucy_Valentine wrote:
graystone wrote:
You seem to be missing 1 VERY IMPORTANT POINT. The DM can say your failure is an evil act; he can in fact call anything he wants an evil act.
If someone says you can play a paladin in a game, and then arbitrarily changes the rules to break your character, I strongly recommend you cease playing with them. Because at that stage quitting is the best option.

Once again, something is missed. Alignment is 100% up to the GM's estimation. It's NOT changing ANY rule for the Dm to say something done is evil: the rule is that paladins can't do any evil acts however there isn't a rule as to what every evil act is.

Now, I agree that it's best to avoid 'those' kind of DM's, but they don't wear name tags so for me the best way to avoid paladin issues is to not play them. Add to that the fact that some DM's only seem to act this way for paladins, it's even more of an incentive to avoid the class.


Slim Jim wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:

If the liege-lord hires you to clean out the monsters, and it turns out they are sentient teddy bears with big eyes, then...(trust me on this now)...you are going Ewok-hunting with a rigid take-no-prisoners policy, alignment be damned. Their entire village will be exterminated, burned to the ground, the ashes swept into a mound, transmuted into stone, then into flesh, then fed to the dogs.

It's the only way to train your GM to never do that again.

Well, Lord Palpatine does offer good bounties for their hides.
EE-3 carbines and jet-packs aren't going to buy themselves.

Didn't you know that EVERY teddy bear ever made was one of those creatures that was stuffed? All those kids as now EVIL!!!


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

The man in the black cowl sits down on his human leather armchair while sipping a balloon glass filled with the tears of a thousand widows...

"Ahhhh! The murderhobo style! D&D played in its purest, undiluted form!"

He exclaims before twirling his mustaches and giving a bout of bloodcurdling laughter!


Rogar Valertis wrote:

The man in the black cowl sits down on his human leather armchair while sipping a balloon glass filled with the tears of a thousand widows...

"Ahhhh! The murderhobo style! D&D played in its purest, undiluted form!"

He exclaims before twirling his mustaches and giving a bout of bloodcurdling laughter!

Evil comes with a free subscription to mustache aficionado magazine. ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was supposed to get a mustache!

Starts dousing the school house with gasoline.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:

If the liege-lord hires you to clean out the monsters, and it turns out they are sentient teddy bears with big eyes, then...(trust me on this now)...you are going Ewok-hunting with a rigid take-no-prisoners policy, alignment be damned. Their entire village will be exterminated, burned to the ground, the ashes swept into a mound, transmuted into stone, then into flesh, then fed to the dogs.

It's the only way to train your GM to never do that again.

Well, Lord Palpatine does offer good bounties for their hides.
EE-3 carbines and jet-packs aren't going to buy themselves.
Didn't you know that EVERY teddy bear ever made was one of those creatures that was stuffed? All those kids as now EVIL!!!

That sounds like a good hook for a christmas themed campaign- Satan Claws wants to taint all the children in order to spread the glory of Cheliax.

51 to 74 of 74 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / How often should you bait your players into slaughtering the innocent? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.