PFS and Evil Acts


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1/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In fact, there's a *movie* about this idea.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

*imagines a First World settlement where it's illegal to follow the law*

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Tallow wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Philippe Lam wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Due process of law isn't really a thing in fantasy worlds. We need to stop applying real modern world ideology to Golarion.
This. The amount of times GMs or players use IRL beliefs to translate on Golarion is nothing short of shocking, when it would be more accurate to put onself into the PC or NPC's mindset and ponder what it would realistically do in that sequence.

Medieval Fantasy is not Medieval History. While it might be fair to forgive Ghenghis Khan or Thomas Jefferson as men of their times, it is totally appropriate to measure Xena the Warrior Princess with a Modern Yardstick. She is a modern character created by modern people with modern sensibilities and she has a lot more in common than the modern people who wrote her than the ancient people her writers are portraying. And so is Golorion.

From what I've heard from the creators of Golorion, I predict that due process of law is something that they do want to champion in their fantasy worlds, if only as an ideal to aspire to. For instance, I have personally seen the Pathfinder Design Team has weigh in strongly that the institution of slavery in Golorion exists as an exemplar of evil to be fought against by the players. And it seems like a very short jump from anti-slavery to Habeas Corpus. I have little doubt as to what kind of act they will see the murder of defenseless prisoners as being.

And as I said before, such an act might be necessary or unavoidable. It might be forgivable. But it sure is an evil thing to do. Of course, the OP's PC is not a Good guy, but rather a Neutral one, and Neutral people do evil things sometimes--murderhoboing someone is an example of that--so I am not at all certain that that 1 act should Evil the character to retirement, in fact I think it shouldn't.

I think you can equate it to the Wild West much more easily. Where US Marshals had a lot of judge/jury/executioner jurisdiction depending on the warrant...

No. You can't. I can't think of any analog to modern society because the logic of the world is vastly different. In the real world you have Bo Jenkins murder someone you kind of know its murder. In Golarion Bo Jenkins could be perfectly innocent.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Quote:
No. You can't. I can't think of any analog to modern society because the logic of the world is vastly different. In the real world you have Bo Jenkins murder someone you kind of know its murder. In Golarion Bo Jenkins could be perfectly innocent.

Or the clergy of Sarenrae being Neutral Good as a whole but not raising more than an eyelid about slavery. Relationships with Milani are known to be frosty at best.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Sigh... basically what I was trying to say, but when you have two diametrically opposed view points, one usually tries to find some common ground to make the point.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:
*imagines a First World settlement where it's illegal to follow the law*

...sounds like New Hong Kong in the Buck Godot reality...

(paraphrased) When the first colonists arrived, the Law machines arrived shortly after. The fateful utterance "There will be no Law on New Hong Kong" rendered the Law machine a bystander.

However, just because there is no Law on New Hong Kong does not mean there are no Rules.

Silver Crusade

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Philipe Lam wrote:
This. The amount of times GMs or players use IRL beliefs to translate on Golarion is nothing short of shocking, when it would be more accurate to put onself into the PC or NPC's mindset and ponder what it would realistically do in that sequence.

I think this gets it exactly backwards. Medieval Earth is not the same as High Fantasy Golarion. This is a fantasy world where Good and Evil are objective concepts that parties on both sides can agree on. It's bizarre to me to claim that ethical philosophy would be somehow foreign to people living in a world where celestials, fiends, and everything in between are vying for their souls, and which has been continually inhabited for sometimes tens of thousands of years.

Habeus corpus, rights of prisoners, restorative justice, etc are not going to be foreign concepts to the servants of many goodly faiths and churches (especially ones on the Lawful end) and societies/governments influenced by those religions would likely have it reflected in their legal systems. This is an easy conclusion to draw simply by examining the world as it presents itself, instead of drawing on Earth history instead of the assumptions Golarion is predicated on. Andoran and Cheliax are obvious examples of this, but others abound.

Grand Lodge 3/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Florida—Kissimmee aka blackaeon

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Honestly, I kind of wish that they'd implement the same Infamy mechanic that they have going on for Starfinder Society in Pathfinder Society; it turns out, just from what I've seen from running games, that limiting someone's equipment purchases is a horribly potent way to make people reconsider whether or not they're playing like a sane/decent human being. A long-time friend of mine has some serious murder-hobo tendencies when he runs in games, but man, one Infamy point and he calmed right the heck on down. Warnings are good, but when there's no carry-over from GM to GM, the don't hold a lot of weight.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
In fact, there's a *movie* about this idea.

I have another movie for you: The Hateful Eight. The hero of the story was a bounty hunter nicknamed The Hangman because even when the warrant wanted the fugitive dead or alive, he always brought them back alive because he wanted the outlaws to face justice (hanging).


blackaeon wrote:
Honestly, I kind of wish that they'd implement the same Infamy mechanic that they have going on for Starfinder Society in Pathfinder Society; it turns out, just from what I've seen from running games, that limiting someone's equipment purchases is a horribly potent way to make people reconsider whether or not they're playing like a sane/decent human being. A long-time friend of mine has some serious murder-hobo tendencies when he runs in games, but man, one Infamy point and he calmed right the heck on down. Warnings are good, but when there's no carry-over from GM to GM, the don't hold a lot of weight.

I always supposed the PFS GM had the discretion to dock the player Prestige Points for acting out of alignment in addition to for failing to complete all the objectives. And of course, the primary and secondary objectives in PFS usually favor Good behavior: defeating the possessed captain without disgracing him, convincing the gnomes you're friendly, etc.

A system I always liked was the Hackmaster Honor system, which rewarded Honor Points to both heroes for being awesomely heroic and villains for being awesomely villainous alike. So when Captain Chaos rescues the puppy from drowning, he loses the Cannonball Run but gains lots of Honor Points, and so does Dr. Evil when he abuses his #1 just to make him cry.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Tallow wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Killing a defenseless person is an evil act.
This is not necessarily true. There are hundreds of reasons why killing a defenseless person could be considered a Lawful Good act. Indeed, there are moments when even a Paladin could do this and be considered upholding the overall good and maintain their Paladinhood.

Also considering that almost all forms of legal execution throughout history have been performed against a defenseless person, unless you are arguing all forms of legal execution are evil, this is simply not a good blanket assumption for evil.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Could we circle this back to Golarion, Pathfinder, and PFS, please?

Silver Crusade 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

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I don't think it's right or reasonable to equate someone who has just passed into unconscious during a combat with a prisoner, either. Someone who goes unconscious due to damage while trying to hurt you is not the same as someone whose surrender you have accepted.

Scarab Sages 5/5

CrusaderWolf wrote:
Philipe Lam wrote:
This. The amount of times GMs or players use IRL beliefs to translate on Golarion is nothing short of shocking, when it would be more accurate to put onself into the PC or NPC's mindset and ponder what it would realistically do in that sequence.

I think this gets it exactly backwards. Medieval Earth is not the same as High Fantasy Golarion. This is a fantasy world where Good and Evil are objective concepts that parties on both sides can agree on. It's bizarre to me to claim that ethical philosophy would be somehow foreign to people living in a world where celestials, fiends, and everything in between are vying for their souls, and which has been continually inhabited for sometimes tens of thousands of years.

Habeus corpus, rights of prisoners, restorative justice, etc are not going to be foreign concepts to the servants of many goodly faiths and churches (especially ones on the Lawful end) and societies/governments influenced by those religions would likely have it reflected in their legal systems. This is an easy conclusion to draw simply by examining the world as it presents itself, instead of drawing on Earth history instead of the assumptions Golarion is predicated on. Andoran and Cheliax are obvious examples of this, but others abound.

I don't disagree with this. But ethical philosophy where there is still a "wild frontier" and "lawless zones", would be largely, subjectively, different than what we have in modern day society today. "Due Process" through an official court of law is not going to be a thing that even Lawful Good Paladins are going to care two wits about when out in the wilds. In Absalom or other large, largely good or neutral-aligned metropolis? Sure. But in the wilds, it would be completely acceptable for the Paladin to take on the role of judge, jury, and executioner (if necessary).


Bill Baldwin wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Killing a defenseless person is an evil act.
This is not necessarily true. There are hundreds of reasons why killing a defenseless person could be considered a Lawful Good act. Indeed, there are moments when even a Paladin could do this and be considered upholding the overall good and maintain their Paladinhood.
Also considering that almost all forms of legal execution throughout history have been performed against a defenseless person,

I disagree catagorically. The condemned may not be approaching the headsman armed with an axe of his own to have honorable combat, but if we are talking about an execution and not a lynching, the defendant pretty much always gets to defend himself legally in some fashion or other. Testimonies are heard, evidence is weighed, the defendant is almost always allowed to make some kind of statement. The system has rarely been fair, but there is almost always some kind of system where defendants get some kind of defense. In Medieval Western Europe, there was a trial by combat system. In the Spanish Inquisition, the heretic was allowed to enter a plea.

Bill Baldwin wrote:
unless you are arguing all forms of legal execution are evil, this is simply not a good blanket assumption for evil.

I believe that, but I'm not arguing that.

And another thing, legal execution following due process is nothing like the OP's situation.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Tallow wrote:
CrusaderWolf wrote:
Philipe Lam wrote:
This. The amount of times GMs or players use IRL beliefs to translate on Golarion is nothing short of shocking, when it would be more accurate to put onself into the PC or NPC's mindset and ponder what it would realistically do in that sequence.

I think this gets it exactly backwards. Medieval Earth is not the same as High Fantasy Golarion. This is a fantasy world where Good and Evil are objective concepts that parties on both sides can agree on. It's bizarre to me to claim that ethical philosophy would be somehow foreign to people living in a world where celestials, fiends, and everything in between are vying for their souls, and which has been continually inhabited for sometimes tens of thousands of years.

Habeus corpus, rights of prisoners, restorative justice, etc are not going to be foreign concepts to the servants of many goodly faiths and churches (especially ones on the Lawful end) and societies/governments influenced by those religions would likely have it reflected in their legal systems. This is an easy conclusion to draw simply by examining the world as it presents itself, instead of drawing on Earth history instead of the assumptions Golarion is predicated on. Andoran and Cheliax are obvious examples of this, but others abound.

I don't disagree with this. But ethical philosophy where there is still a "wild frontier" and "lawless zones", would be largely, subjectively, different than what we have in modern day society today. "Due Process" through an official court of law is not going to be a thing that even Lawful Good Paladins are going to care two wits about when out in the wilds. In Absalom or other large, largely good or neutral-aligned metropolis? Sure. But in the wilds, it would be completely acceptable for the Paladin to take on the role of judge, jury, and executioner (if necessary).

Isn't there a scenario where you are in the wilds and its not acceptable to be judge jury and executioner to the point where it does have a mechanical detriment if you murderhobo your way through? Its why your logic doesn't make any sense. The real world and magical world don't operate the same way to the point where its kind of an evil thing to arbitrairly start killing people you capture

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Bill Baldwin wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Killing a defenseless person is an evil act.
This is not necessarily true. There are hundreds of reasons why killing a defenseless person could be considered a Lawful Good act. Indeed, there are moments when even a Paladin could do this and be considered upholding the overall good and maintain their Paladinhood.
Also considering that almost all forms of legal execution throughout history have been performed against a defenseless person,
I disagree catagorically. The condemned may not be approaching the headsman armed with an axe of his own to have honorable combat, but if we are talking about an execution and not a lynching, the defendant pretty much always gets to defend himself legally in some fashion or other. Testimonies are heard, evidence is weighed, the defendant is almost always allowed to make some kind of statement. The system has rarely been fair, but there is almost always some kind of system where defendants get some kind of defense. In Medieval Western Europe, there was a trial by combat system. In the Spanish Inquisition, the heretic was allowed to enter a plea.

Then by that reasoning, any NPC that fought against the PCs had a chance to defend themselves and thus, were not defenseless regardless of whether they lost because they died, were knocked unconscious or surrendered.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

I warned a player about attacking an unarmed human villager who asking for help. The player did, crited the villager and did 30 points of damage. It wasn't a raid on some Aspis flunkies but unprovoked aggression.

Scarab Sages 5/5

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Isn't there a scenario where you are in the wilds and its not acceptable to be judge jury and executioner to the point where it does have a mechanical detriment if you murderhobo your way through? Its why your logic doesn't make any sense. The real world and magical world don't operate the same way to the point where its kind of an evil thing to arbitrarily start killing people you capture

I'm not familiar with that scenario, and I'm pretty knowledgeable about all scenarios through season 7 (Season 8 and 9 I'm pretty weak on.)

But regardless, I bolded (and corrected the spelling of) the key word you used. Killing a captured opponent is not necessarily evil if you do so thoughtfully. If you think of all the consequences of leaving the individual alive, to not just the society/environment around you, but to your team, and you determine its for the greater good to kill them, then it might not be evil. It might be depending on circumstances.

But it isn't always evil.

If they just kill folks, cause they fought them, without putting some level of thought into why they are killing that individual, then yeah, that's evil.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

• Death in Golarion isn't permanent like it is IRL.
• Wrongful murder almost has its own repercussions: Ghosts.
• Death isn't the final stage for most creatures.
• Some creatures don't care about dying *because* of the above reasons (See also: "So-and-so fights to the death").

Those reasons alone mean that modern philosophies, while certainly eligible for discussion in Golarion, shouldn't be the basis for all moral discussions.


Bill Baldwin wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Bill Baldwin wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Killing a defenseless person is an evil act.
This is not necessarily true. There are hundreds of reasons why killing a defenseless person could be considered a Lawful Good act. Indeed, there are moments when even a Paladin could do this and be considered upholding the overall good and maintain their Paladinhood.
Also considering that almost all forms of legal execution throughout history have been performed against a defenseless person,
I disagree catagorically. The condemned may not be approaching the headsman armed with an axe of his own to have honorable combat, but if we are talking about an execution and not a lynching, the defendant pretty much always gets to defend himself legally in some fashion or other. Testimonies are heard, evidence is weighed, the defendant is almost always allowed to make some kind of statement. The system has rarely been fair, but there is almost always some kind of system where defendants get some kind of defense. In Medieval Western Europe, there was a trial by combat system. In the Spanish Inquisition, the heretic was allowed to enter a plea.
Then by that reasoning, any NPC that fought against the PCs had a chance to defend themselves and thus, were not defenseless regardless of whether they lost because they died, were knocked unconscious or surrendered.

Again, execution upon due process is nothing like the scenario the OP proposed.

Also, not equivalent. Death is a risk of combat, not the inevitable result of combat in anything like the same way death inevitably results from a death sentence. When you enter combat with someone, and the combat ends with you looking down at your unconscious, defenseless foe. The decision to kill that foe is not all equivalent to the decision of an executioner to carry out the execution.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Some people say you can't put a price on life.

But here at the abadar diamond district and resurrection services we disagree. We're committed to providing you with the highest quality diamond dust for the ultimate financial safety net...


Tallow wrote:

If you think of all the consequences of leaving the individual alive, to not just the society/environment around you, but to your team, and you determine its for the greater good to kill them, then it might not be evil. It might be depending on circumstances.

But it isn't always evil.

If they just kill folks, cause they fought them, without putting some level of thought into why they are killing that individual, then yeah, that's evil.

I can see a decision like that being unavoidable. I can see a decision like that being necessary. I can even see a decision like that being neither unavoidable or necessary but still forgivable. But doing a crappy thing like murdering a defenseless person because the circumstance leave you no other option does not make it not a crappy thing to do. It just makes it something the gods shouldn't punish you for. It makes if something you should forgive yourself for and with counseling, we hope that you do. But it's not Good. There's nothing Good about murdering a defenseless person.


Tallow wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
Isn't there a scenario where you are in the wilds and its not acceptable to be judge jury and executioner to the point where it does have a mechanical detriment if you murderhobo your way through? Its why your logic doesn't make any sense. The real world and magical world don't operate the same way to the point where its kind of an evil thing to arbitrarily start killing people you capture

I'm not familiar with that scenario, and I'm pretty knowledgeable about all scenarios through season 7 (Season 8 and 9 I'm pretty weak on.)

But regardless, I bolded (and corrected the spelling of) the key word you used. Killing a captured opponent is not necessarily evil if you do so thoughtfully. If you think of all the consequences of leaving the individual alive, to not just the society/environment around you, but to your team, and you determine its for the greater good to kill them, then it might not be evil. It might be depending on circumstances.

But it isn't always evil.

If they just kill folks, cause they fought them, without putting some level of thought into why they are killing that individual, then yeah, that's evil.

You what, though? Give me an example. I'll listen.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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Scott Wilhelm wrote:

There's nothing Good about murdering a defenseless person.

This is the key disconnect in our discussion. In the context of fantasy RPGs, killing does not always equate to murder. Murder is evil. Killing is not necessarily so.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So which is more Evil?

Leaving a person lying on the ground bleeding out (or not) in the middle of a monster-infested wilderness (where plenty of monsters are KNOWN to GAIN strength from somewhat living bodies they find for plenty of reasons)

OR

Finishing the job and ensuring they at least have a proper burial/corpse disposal (time permitting)?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


So which is more Evil?

Leaving a person lying on the ground bleeding out (or not) in the middle of a monster-infested wilderness (where plenty of monsters are KNOWN to GAIN strength from somewhat living bodies they find for plenty of reasons)

OR

Finishing the job and ensuring they at least have a proper burial/corpse disposal (time permitting)?

Batman wrote:
I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you.

I mean...he's Batman! How could he be wrong?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

CrusaderWolf wrote:

...

Habeus corpus,

Be careful asking for that one in cheliax...

Dark Archive

This thread is precisely why I hate alignment. For the same action, we have the range of answers going from perfectly fine to immediately retire your newly evil PC. This is acknowledging the fact that the guide lays out clearly what is and isn't wantonly evil. At this point I have been told in forums it is evil to kill any animal, person, monster, magical beast, literal demon, any creature without an evil alignment, any creature that has surrendered, any creature that has been subdued, and any creature that you can't verify isn't one of the listed above.

I know that that is compiling the extremes of many people's viewpoints, but I'm getting close to say that the only way to 100% not offend someone in a TTRPG is to not play it and avoid all people as much as possible.

1/5

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Killing a defenseless person is an evil act. Troglodytes are people.

The first sentence is patently not true. The coup de gras action must be against a helpless target and is not listed as an evil action. The second sentence is highly debatable.

1/5

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...blrrrrrb blrb blrbbrlblrbl blr...

Translation:
...oozes are people too?

Scarab Sages 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Super Oozewampi! wrote:


...blrrrrrb blrb blrbbrlblrbl blr...

** spoiler omitted **

*cuddles the ooze*

takes the dissolved "ooze discrimination is icky" protest sign out of the inside and shakes off a few remaining phalanges.

1/5

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...<3...

5/5

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


So which is more Evil?

Leaving a person lying on the ground bleeding out (or not) in the middle of a monster-infested wilderness (where plenty of monsters are KNOWN to GAIN strength from somewhat living bodies they find for plenty of reasons)

OR

Finishing the job and ensuring they at least have a proper burial/corpse disposal (time permitting)?

not casting Death Knell and wasting precious resources... ;-P


Niemand wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

So which is more Evil?

Leaving a person lying on the ground bleeding out (or not) in the middle of a monster-infested wilderness (where plenty of monsters are KNOWN to GAIN strength from somewhat living bodies they find for plenty of reasons)

OR

Finishing the job and ensuring they at least have a proper burial/corpse disposal (time permitting)?

not casting Death Knell and wasting precious resources... ;-P

Euthanasia is a different matter and not what the OP was talking about.


Tallow wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

There's nothing Good about murdering a defenseless person.

This is the key disconnect in our discussion. In the context of fantasy RPGs, killing does not always equate to murder. Murder is evil. Killing is not necessarily so.

I've been having a suspicion that our differences have had more to do with definition-of-terms and less to do with morality.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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Scott Wilhelm wrote:

[

I've been having a suspicion that our differences have had more to do with definition-of-terms and less to do with morality.

I'm pretty sure that most of the differences in this thread have to do with peoples differing opinions on morality :-).

In the real world reasonable and good people disagree on things like whether or not capital punishment is a good thing, whether and under what circumstances killing is justified, etc. Its hardly surprising that we're going to disagree even more on the subject in the context of a game, a game where the trope "kill things and take their stuff" is a trope for a reason :-).

In PFS the only sane answer is for the GM to only ding people for doing egregiously bad things AND for players to not push the limits of their particular GM for no particular reason. Unless either side REALLY wants their game session to become a discussion of morality.

If you DO want a discussion of morality may I suggest that you wait until after the game and go to a bar? All discussions of morality go a lot better with copious amounts of alcohol (or similar drug) :-) :-)

5/5

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Niemand wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

So which is more Evil?

Leaving a person lying on the ground bleeding out (or not) in the middle of a monster-infested wilderness (where plenty of monsters are KNOWN to GAIN strength from somewhat living bodies they find for plenty of reasons)

OR

Finishing the job and ensuring they at least have a proper burial/corpse disposal (time permitting)?

not casting Death Knell and wasting precious resources... ;-P
Euthanasia is a different matter and not what the OP was talking about.

I'm all for helping youth in Tian Xia... Hail Iuz! (I was in bandit kingdoms after all)

as intent is hard to read in posts, these are humorous asides.

on a more serious note - Outlining various acts of Evil would simply make the Guide longer than it currently is and not add much to PFS. In fact a laundry list of Evil acts would simply add fuel to people arguing that their specific act was NOT on the list and thus not Evil. If a Player does something Evil the GM issues a warning before implementing the act and if the Player insists on doing it then they get the consequences. If things escalate usually there is a VO around to help clarify things. VOs have meetings and discuss these kinds of things and try to keep their community informed and having fun at PFS/SFS/ACG sessions.

Lantern Lodge

I think the best way is for both players and GMs to work through any alignment discrepancies. I like how currently GMs don't have a lot of power in enforcing what they view as an alignment infraction.

During one scenario while traveling in a demonic plane we were ambushed by a demon. The demon nearly kills one of the pcs. My paladin activated smite and started a full attack (he had three attacks due to haste) after the second attack the Gm interrupted my turn to say the demon pleas for mercy. When I said no we got in a heated debate about how demons are manifestations of pure evil and he said there have been cases of demons being redeemed (but only through the intervention of a god). Turns out the scenario called for the demon to surrender because since we were in its home plane it feared being wiped from existence. I said that was precisely why my paladin was destroying the demon forever .

Luckily I was at GenCon and was able to pull one of the Paizo Devs into the conversation who agreed with me.

5/5

kaisc006 wrote:
... Luckily I was at GenCon and ...

At GenCon ask an Orange Shirt(HQ/Staff), they're all about. Paizo staff are sweet people but they can be there for fun or just chatting and it's not really their job to settle table issues. They can but it may put them on the spot.

Scarab Sages 3/5

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The thing that irks me is that a lot of people I meet don't seem to understand that Golarion is not Earth! Even though it was envisioned in a modern earth setting does not make it follow our rules.

Good, Evil, Lawful and Chaotic are discrete, measurable and tangible things in Golarion. Good does not mean right, evil does not mean wrong, lawful does not mean legal and chaotic does not mean random and neutral is not a weigh scale of helping orphans and selling them to Folca cults.

Just because you think an action is wrong or deplorable does not make it evil. If an action or type of play is not up your alley just come clean on that - most of us are willing to bend our characterization if it's really ruining your experience but don't tell us finishing trolls and aspis agents is evil. The Amethyst Sage is evil and he's an ally of the Society.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Tallow wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
Isn't there a scenario where you are in the wilds and its not acceptable to be judge jury and executioner to the point where it does have a mechanical detriment if you murderhobo your way through? Its why your logic doesn't make any sense. The real world and magical world don't operate the same way to the point where its kind of an evil thing to arbitrarily start killing people you capture

I'm not familiar with that scenario, and I'm pretty knowledgeable about all scenarios through season 7 (Season 8 and 9 I'm pretty weak on.)

But regardless, I bolded (and corrected the spelling of) the key word you used. Killing a captured opponent is not necessarily evil if you do so thoughtfully. If you think of all the consequences of leaving the individual alive, to not just the society/environment around you, but to your team, and you determine its for the greater good to kill them, then it might not be evil. It might be depending on circumstances.

But it isn't always evil.

If they just kill folks, cause they fought them, without putting some level of thought into why they are killing that individual, then yeah, that's evil.

It's a setting where large scale mind control exists. Just thinking about it for a few minutes and then lopping someone's head off is morally dubious at best evil at worst.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Flutter wrote:
Super Oozewampi! wrote:
...blrrrrrb blrb blrbbrlblrbl blr...

*cuddles the ooze*

takes the dissolved "ooze discrimination is icky" protest sign out of the inside and shakes off a few remaining phalanges.

Umm... That's Larry's handwriting...

Scarab Sages 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

"He is in so much trouble for littering "

Silver Crusade

I am a total newcomer to the game. I have 4 games under my belt, first two as a pregen. So perhaps I am out of line to venture an opinion. Countering that I have been playing RPGs since 1979. To kill or not to kill, that is the question. To me that depends on a couple of factors. My personal rule of thumb is this, is the thing being killed considered as a general consensus a monster? If the answer is yes I have no qualms about killing it out of hand. To me, leaving it alive is tantamount to killing the next person that encounters it that doesn't have my training to survive. That is the greater evil in my opinion. Is the thing a possible character class? Then I have to think harder as I am equating character class with not just a monster. So, dwarf, a character class, very possibly, known for being evil the vast majority of the time, no. Probably won't kill them. So it comes down to a simple equation for me and thus my characters. Is leaving this being alive more likely to cause harm to someone else later on. Monsters are monsters. Kill them.


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Kyrie Smithson wrote:
I am a total newcomer to the game. I have 4 games under my belt, first two as a pregen. So perhaps I am out of line to venture an opinion. Countering that I have been playing RPGs since 1979. To kill or not to kill, that is the question. To me that depends on a couple of factors. My personal rule of thumb is this, is the thing being killed considered as a general consensus a monster? If the answer is yes I have no qualms about killing it out of hand. To me, leaving it alive is tantamount to killing the next person that encounters it that doesn't have my training to survive. That is the greater evil in my opinion. Is the thing a possible character class? Then I have to think harder as I am equating character class with not just a monster. So, dwarf, a character class, very possibly, known for being evil the vast majority of the time, no. Probably won't kill them. So it comes down to a simple equation for me and thus my characters. Is leaving this being alive more likely to cause harm to someone else later on. Monsters are monsters. Kill them.

More or less this.

A Goblin who is attacking travelers is evil, or at the very least a threat to sapient beings. They kill and eat humans, elves, dwarves, etc. They are known to torch entire towns solely because fire is pretty.

It is perfectly okay for anyone, even a Paladin, to kill them.

Now, of course, someone is going to bring up the "Goblin Younglings" argument. First of all, that is a rare situation that may even be the exception that proves the rule. For the most part killing monsters is okay, they are not innocent, they aren't going to reform, and they aren't going to be relocated to a new habitat.

Golarion is not the United States of America in 2017. It is Golarion. A brutal place where villages regularly get attacked by monsters that kill (and worse) their citizens. So even CDG'ing an unconscious monster isn't an evil act. They are dangerous creatures that aren't going to be released into the wild and don't exactly have a natural place in the ecosystem. If you spare them they will either:

1. Wake up, and try to hurt or kill someone.
2. Be executed by the militia.

At worst killing them is a neutral action. At best it is a good action.

They are more akin to wasps. Nobody complains when an exterminator is called to take care of a situation when a wasp nest pops up outside of a home and a wasp swarm attacks and/or kills someone. The same should be thought of with monsters who enter into a civilized settlement.

Again, there are exceptions, but they are rare.

A monstrous creature who is captured by someone and brought into a settlement, and the creature doesn't hurt anyone other than its abusive owner, then yes. By all means. Don't kill it.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Kyrie Smithson wrote:
I am a total newcomer to the game. I have 4 games under my belt, first two as a pregen. So perhaps I am out of line to venture an opinion. Countering that I have been playing RPGs since 1979. To kill or not to kill, that is the question. To me that depends on a couple of factors. My personal rule of thumb is this, is the thing being killed considered as a general consensus a monster? If the answer is yes I have no qualms about killing it out of hand. To me, leaving it alive is tantamount to killing the next person that encounters it that doesn't have my training to survive. That is the greater evil in my opinion. Is the thing a possible character class? Then I have to think harder as I am equating character class with not just a monster. So, dwarf, a character class, very possibly, known for being evil the vast majority of the time, no. Probably won't kill them. So it comes down to a simple equation for me and thus my characters. Is leaving this being alive more likely to cause harm to someone else later on. Monsters are monsters. Kill them.

I also agree with this.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kyrie Smithson wrote:
I am a total newcomer to the game ... it comes down to a simple equation for me and thus my characters.

This is often the line of logic that I hear from people, but eventually, after your newness wears off and you start to see things differently through the eyes of different characters, hopefully you'll have several different ways of looking at the situation.

I have moral characters, immoral characters, philosophical characters, religious characters, lawful characters and renegades that would all look at a downed opponent in different ways.


HWalsh wrote:
You know that there are those of us who play Lawful Good characters and we're getting really, really tired of this Lawful Stupid nonsense phrase.

I’ve played lawful good and lawful stupid characters. Both can be fun in the right type of game.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Knight who says Meh wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
You know that there are those of us who play Lawful Good characters and we're getting really, really tired of this Lawful Stupid nonsense phrase.
I’ve played lawful good and lawful stupid characters. Both can be fun in the right type of game.

With the notable problem that not many scenarios are designed to allow the paladins to express themselves. Also the "fanaticism" of a minority of the players piloting them gives a poor view of the class as a whole, and it's not possible to get past nor it's useful like I said before to grumble. Players piloting paladins should be prepared for players making their ingame life difficult even if not being disruptive in that way.

I might myself insist that the paladin follows the agenda of the group before his/her own, provided they don't do something egregiously evil.

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