why alignment (for characters) needs to go


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HWalsh wrote:
They are arguing that Negative Energy's natural purpose is to take or harm life. That, by using it to create life, reanimating a corpse, they are disrupting its cosmic purpose.

I understand: My point was that none of the steps are be definition evil. Some unknown factor makes undead evil.

For instance, look at the spell Animate Dead: is it didn't have the [evil] tag, nothing in it would indicate that anything done is evil. The undead don't randomly attack the living unless commanded. Nothing under the monsters themselves seems evil other than the alignment given [no evil actions]. Nothing under the creature type forces an evil alignment.

They seem to be evil because they are evil and no other reason. That is all tangential to my disagreement that mindless creatures having an alignment. If you can't meaningfully make informed decisions, how can you be aligned: it's like having alignments for rocks and trees...


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graystone wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
They are arguing that Negative Energy's natural purpose is to take or harm life. That, by using it to create life, reanimating a corpse, they are disrupting its cosmic purpose.

I understand: My point was that none of the steps are be definition evil. Some unknown factor makes undead evil.

For instance, look at the spell Animate Dead: is it didn't have the [evil] tag, nothing in it would indicate that anything done is evil. The undead don't randomly attack the living unless commanded. Nothing under the monsters themselves seems evil other than the alignment given [no evil actions]. Nothing under the creature type forces an evil alignment.

They seem to be evil because they are evil and no other reason. That is all tangential to my disagreement that mindless creatures having an alignment. If you can't meaningfully make informed decisions, how can you be aligned: it's like having alignments for rocks and trees...

But...

Look, I'm not trying to conflict here, but do we really need an explanation beyond: "It just is?"

I mean, James Jacobs gave us an explanation once and people basically replied, "That isn't good enough."

Then, every time after that, every explanation was blown off.

We were told it's evil because it uses a piece of a soul and tortures it to animate the body... The response was, "No it doesn't."

Despite that being the lore.

So, I mean, I don't think it matters what Paizo says anymore on it, some people will reject it because at the end of the day they don't want creating undead to be evil.

Any explanation they give is going to come under scrutiny. So, really, Paizo's best option is to give no explanation thus it can't be picked apart.

It's evil because the universe, the devs, say it is.


Uncontrolled zombies

Quote:
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

skeletons

Quote:
While most skeletons are mindless automatons, they still possess an evil cunning imparted to them by their animating force

Literally an evil cunning.


HWalsh wrote:
It's evil because the universe, the devs, say it is.

That's LITERALLY what I said: "They seem to be evil because they are evil and no other reason." Recall I was originally posting on someone claiming a reason other than "it just is".

Ryan Freire wrote:

Uncontrolled zombies

Quote:
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

I can say the same thing about sharks and THEY aren't evil...

Ryan Freire wrote:
Literally an evil cunning.

It's LITERALLY impossible to be mindless and cunning. Mindless cunning is oxymoronic.

Cunning [noun]:
1: dexterous skill and subtlety (as in inventing, devising, or executing)
2: craft, slyness
3: knowledge, learning

mindless
1: marked by a lack of mind or consciousness a mindless sleep
b (1) : marked by or displaying no use of the powers of the intellect mindless violence


oh now that requires to be reworded to
While most are mindless automatons, some contain an evil cunning imparted to them during their creation, either by the necrotic energies used or by intent of the creator.

or something like that.

would make some bonehead undeadheads unaligned at best, but still a mindless automaton able to attack and kill trespasser...
and if they contain a bit more sentience , they would be evil due to the little bit of the soul used and being tortured by its unlife. mindless slaughter

again... needs reworded

which does leave to reason, what exactly undead have to do with alignment thread.

they dont.


Sharks only kill and eat til they're full, undead are never sated.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Sharks only kill and eat til they're full, undead are never sated.

150 polled Vampires agree with you


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graystone wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

Uncontrolled zombies

Quote:
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
I can say the same thing about sharks and THEY aren't evil...

Wait what? This is just nonsense.

People are know for swimming with sharks even without cages.

Animals dont kill anything that moves just cause... Again, this is just nonsense.


Nox Aeterna wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

Uncontrolled zombies

Quote:
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
I can say the same thing about sharks and THEY aren't evil...

Wait what? This is just nonsense.

People are know for swimming with sharks even without cages.

Animals dont kill anything that moves just cause... Again, this is just nonsense.

5 + million annual shark week viewers agree with you


Ryan Freire wrote:
Sharks only kill and eat til they're full, undead are never sated.

So stopping when your full makes you not evil? Ok... good to know. You DO know it doesn't say zombies continually 24/7 do that but just TEND to right?

Nox Aeterna wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

Uncontrolled zombies

Quote:
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
I can say the same thing about sharks and THEY aren't evil...

Wait what? This is just nonsense.

People are know for swimming with sharks even without cages.

Animals dont kill anything that moves just cause... Again, this is just nonsense.

Reread what was said once: "tend to mill about in search of living creatures to slaughter and devour"... Do sharks NOT search for living things to kill and eat? Tend to doesn't equal ALWAYS or it would say ALWAYS... Tend means tend.

Steelfiredragon wrote:

which does leave to reason, what exactly undead have to do with alignment thread.

they dont.

But they do. How does a mindless creature have an alignment? It's, imo, nonsensical and to quote the thread title "needs to go".

Secondly, as PC's can create undead, their alignment and the alignment to do so is relevant to PC: hence totally relevant in a thread called "Why alignment (for characters) needs to go".


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Well 1st and 2nd edition animate dead spells didn't have the evil tag - it was listed that good clerics need to be very careful using the spell - I'd assume for reasons of intent and consent more than 'the spell is EVIL' - 3rd went down the aligned spells path - Pathfinder went further with it.

I get why it's evil in Pathfinder - James Jacobs wants it so. Ok sure but the point here was because there is no real good reason behind that intent - (note here - there doesn't have to be - however...) people invent their own reason for it.

This last part is the kicker - it's why alignment becomes subjective - because without hard 'this is why' reasons for everything in game - people have to fill in the blanks... how do they do that? With what they consider right and wrong from the real world. Take that to the spell animate dead and you get some people who state it's evil purely because you defile a corpse by removing it from it's resting place.

It's a bit circular but it goes to prove:

  • Not everything needs (or will get) a solid explanation for why it's evil in game
  • Without a black and white - people will answer a 'is it evil' question with their own experiences - and that's subjective

    That's the point.


  • graystone wrote:
    Nox Aeterna wrote:
    graystone wrote:
    Ryan Freire wrote:

    Uncontrolled zombies

    Quote:
    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
    I can say the same thing about sharks and THEY aren't evil...

    Wait what? This is just nonsense.

    People are know for swimming with sharks even without cages.

    Animals dont kill anything that moves just cause... Again, this is just nonsense.

    Reread what was said once: "tend to mill about in search of living creatures to slaughter and devour"... Do sharks NOT search for living things to kill and eat? Tend to doesn't equal ALWAYS or it would say ALWAYS... Tend means tend.

    And again, they dont do so willy nilly. They do so because they literally need to eat to survive or even for other reasons which isnt just, those are living beings.

    A fed normal shark isnt to going to go around murdering things for no particular reason.

    Animals dont just "tend" to murder everything around them at any time.

    To compare a shark and a zombie, a monster that will murder everything it can simply because those are living beings, is silly. A zombie isnt territorial, it isnt hungry, it isnt sick, it isnt afraid, nope it simple murders everything it can because this is all it does for the simple reason those are living beings.


    Ckorik wrote:

    Well 1st and 2nd edition animate dead spells didn't have the evil tag - it was listed that good clerics need to be very careful using the spell - I'd assume for reasons of intent and consent more than 'the spell is EVIL' - 3rd went down the aligned spells path - Pathfinder went further with it.

    I get why it's evil in Pathfinder - James Jacobs wants it so. Ok sure but the point here was because there is no real good reason behind that intent - (note here - there doesn't have to be - however...) people invent their own reason for it.

    This last part is the kicker - it's why alignment becomes subjective - because without hard 'this is why' reasons for everything in game - people have to fill in the blanks... how do they do that? With what they consider right and wrong from the real world. Take that to the spell animate dead and you get some people who state it's evil purely because you defile a corpse by removing it from it's resting place.

    It's a bit circular but it goes to prove:

  • Not everything needs (or will get) a solid explanation for why it's evil in game
  • Without a black and white - people will answer a 'is it evil' question with their own experiences - and that's subjective

    That's the point.

  • If you why hard enough eventually you will always hit a wall.

    Why is the Kw of water 1.0E-14 ?


    Nox Aeterna wrote:
    And again, they dont do so willy nilly. They do so because they literally need to eat to survive or even for other reasons which isnt just, those are living beings.

    TOTALLY meaningless to the point. The phrase "search of living creatures to slaughter and devour" works for them: add as much subtext as you wish, it doesn't change that fact.

    Nox Aeterna wrote:
    A fed normal shark isnt to going to go around murdering things for no particular reason.

    And?

    Nox Aeterna wrote:
    Animals dont just "tend" to murder everything around them at any time.

    Carnivores TEND to kill and eat prey. it's as meaningful a statement as the zombie one.

    Nox Aeterna wrote:
    To compare a shark and a zombie, a monster that will murder everything it can simply because those are living beings, is silly.

    You didn't read the quote then: zombies DO NOT "murder everything it can": that's ALWAYS and NOT TEND. Hence, the same statement applies to both: they tend to kill and eat prey.

    Nox Aeterna wrote:
    A zombie isnt territorial, it isnt hungry, it isnt sick, it isnt afraid, nope it simple murders everything it can because this is all it does for the simple reason those are living beings.

    #1 it DOES NOT MURDER EVERYTHING: that would be always: look up what tend means.

    #2 you make a very good argument for why they should have no alignment: It "isnt territorial, it isnt hungry, it isnt sick, it isnt afraid"... it's mindless and mindless thing do not have moral thoughts [or thought AT ALL]...


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    Ryan Freire wrote:
    If you why hard enough eventually you will always hit a wall.

    But that's all alignment is...


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    graystone wrote:
    Ryan Freire wrote:
    If you why hard enough eventually you will always hit a wall.
    But that's all alignment is...

    Alignment is the method the gods decided to sort the energy of the universe based on values they hold and placed an impartial judge as the sorter.

    Golarion has a reason for it, you have to make up your own if you don't use golarion as a setting.


    Ryan Freire wrote:


    If you why hard enough eventually you will always hit a wall.

    Why is the Kw of water 1.0E-14 ?

    That's not what's being argued. The argument (in multiple threads) has been 'alignment in game is objective' - I've just offered proof that it isn't.

    Your response doesn't actually do anything except argue a different point entirely, however I'm open to your explanation of how it proves alignment is objective, if you wish to elaborate.


    James jacobs offered a hard "this is why". It's routinely discarded and ignored. I'm not sure why people think sidestepping the offered reason by the setting dude is offering proof.


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    Ryan Freire wrote:
    James jacobs offered a hard "this is why". It's routinely discarded and ignored. I'm not sure why people think sidestepping the offered reason by the setting dude is offering proof.

    James Jacobs has no quote on record over alignment being subjective or objective.

    Please argue with what I said, not what you wish I had said.


    Ckorik wrote:
    Ryan Freire wrote:


    If you why hard enough eventually you will always hit a wall.

    Why is the Kw of water 1.0E-14 ?

    That's not what's being argued. The argument (in multiple threads) has been 'alignment in game is objective' - I've just offered proof that it isn't.

    Your response doesn't actually do anything except argue a different point entirely, however I'm open to your explanation of how it proves alignment is objective, if you wish to elaborate.

    Alignment in Pathfinder is indeed objective.

    It is just a complicated form of objective. Meaning, for example, killing isn't a good or evil act. Murder is an evil act. Killing a helpless opponent isn't a good or evil act, but killing a helpless innocent is an evil act.

    For the most part though there are certain things in Pathfinder that *are* completely objective. Spells that have the evil descriptor are always evil, regardless of what the use of the spell is. Undead are, likewise, always evil unless they are specific intelligent undead (Ghosts and some Vampires) otherwise they are evil.

    That is really all we need to know.


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    Ryan Freire wrote:
    Alignment is the method the gods decided to sort the energy of the universe based on values they hold

    It is? Where is this said? What changes in the setting if you remove alignment? Nothing IMO, except the gods now actually reflect their actual interests and not some impartial alignment.

    PS: also did deities 'sort' alignments or where alignment in place before they came? Did the Outer Gods and the Great Old Ones 'get a vote' about the absolute alignment the gods seemingly all agreed on in your POV?

    Ryan Freire wrote:
    placed an impartial judge as the sorter.

    Pharasma? She can sort people to their planes after death without alignment. In greek mythology, Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus [the judges of the dead] managed to send the dead to their eternal resting place without alignment.


    The Great Beyond:A guide to the multiverse


    Ryan Freire wrote:
    The Great Beyond:A guide to the multiverse

    It does? a search for alignment gives the following results:

    "Different from the mortal world, each plane exemplifies some aspect of reality’s basic fabric: alignments, elements, energies, etc."

    "While many intelligent undead are evil, their alignment can often be seen as the result of the manner of their deaths, rather than the energies that animate their bodies or link them to the Material Plane."

    "The Inner Court does not resolve the most difficult of cases: those of souls already pledged by contract (often to one of the infernal powers) who regretted the pact and actively sought redemption toward another alignment." [at least a reason for INTELLIGENT evil undead]

    "Unlike Heaven’s archons, the angels believe preemptive crusades into the depths of the Maelstrom against the protean tide are pointless, ideological genocides; of greater importance is finding and rescuing those souls of any alignment stolen and denied their proper place in the Outer Sphere, whether a consequence of theft by infernal contract, the depredations of night hags or daemons, or the actions of evil mortals."

    None of these seems to say what you said in your post.


    Read about the life cycle of the soul.


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    Ryan Freire wrote:
    Read about the life cycle of the soul.

    Oh, I couldn't care less about that: that has nothing to do about the energy of the universe or alignment... nothing in that entire section wouldn't work with a code/anathema or the super tiny blurb from the alignment section removing the actual alignment initials.

    If there is a specific quote that you think represents your POV, please post it as I can't see what you're going for.


    Soul comes from positive energy plane
    Birthed on material plane which shapes and sorts it
    Is deposited in its appropriate outer plane by pharasma when there's doubt as to its alignment or something interferes
    Eventually becomes a being of pure alignment (outsider) or merges with the stuff of the outer plane.


    While I have the position that sharks are not bad by animal standards, I will point this out. Zombies are driven to consume living organisms because that is a major part of being a zombie. (we assume this because it should be self-evident that they shouldn't be Evil if they don't) However, animals are also driven to consume living organisms because that is a major part of being an animal. Declaring one more evil than the other because of this is hypocritical.

    As for breaking the rules, wouldn't that be Chaotic, not Evil? Only way that matters is if Pharasma can't be an impartial mediator on the issue, and should then cede the authority over judging undead to another deity.


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    The Sideromancer wrote:
    While I have the position that sharks are not bad by animal standards, I will point this out. Zombies are driven to consume living organisms because that is a major part of being a zombie. (we assume this because it should be self-evident that they shouldn't be Evil if they don't) However, animals are also driven to consume living organisms because that is a major part of being an animal. Declaring one more evil than the other because of this is hypocritical.

    I read once that dolphins are the bandits of the sea, and sharks the criminals.


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    Ryan Freire wrote:

    Soul comes from positive energy plane

    Birthed on material plane which shapes and sorts it
    Is deposited in its appropriate outer plane by pharasma
    when there's doubt as to its alignment or something interferes
    Eventually becomes a being of pure alignment (outsider) or merges with the stuff of the outer plane.

    I've already pointed out that this produces much more varied results, then is at first apparent here.

    The best way to skirt at least some of the consequences of your Alignment is apparently to worship a God/Goddess...


    Ryan Freire wrote:

    Soul comes from positive energy plane

    Birthed on material plane which shapes and sorts it
    Is deposited in its appropriate outer plane by pharasma when there's doubt as to its alignment or something interferes
    Eventually becomes a being of pure alignment (outsider) or merges with the stuff of the outer plane.

    NONE of that is dependent on alignment: cross out alignment and replace "its alignment or something interferes" with 'actions or something interferes' and everything keeps going as it was: the initials L, E, G, C, and N are NOT required for it to work. Much the same doesn't require outsiders to have an alignment type, just requires those outsiders have the same behaviour.

    You also ignored the part where you did worship your god well: you can head to a place that DOESN'T match your alignment.


    HWalsh wrote:
    graystone wrote:
    Rysky wrote:

    Famadihana and reanimating something into an undead are two completely separate things, do not equate the two. Famadihana is a show of respect for the dead (and they stay dead), reanimating involves twisting and perverting a natural force of the universe (Negative Energy) into doing something it was not meant to do (creating life. False life, unlife, but still, creating), as well as corrupting/fracturing the soul of the deceased in almost all cases.

    To claim that the practitioners of a real life tradition would use a different and Evil method to do so if they existed in-game is beyond disrespectful.

    Negative Energy isn't evil though. A Kineticist using a void blast isn't committing an evil action. A paladin doesn't fall for using Inflict Light Wounds. The negative energy plane is Unaligned.

    For some reason undead are made evil by default in the game but it's not because of Negative Energy.

    The issue isn't that negative energy is evil in the poster you quoted's post.

    They are arguing that Negative Energy's natural purpose is to take or harm life. That, by using it to create life, reanimating a corpse, they are disrupting its cosmic purpose.

    I'm not sure I agree, but it's an interesting theory.

    There are beings on the negative energy beings who aren't evil though.


    johnlocke90 wrote:
    There are beings on the negative energy beings who aren't evil though.

    And the plane itself isn't evil. It's just the combo of negative energy + dead body = evil cuz... magic? To really blow your mind, disrupting the 'natural order' somehow isn't chaotic, as one would think being anti-order, but evil cuz... magic?

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    graystone wrote:
    johnlocke90 wrote:
    There are beings on the negative energy beings who aren't evil though.
    And the plane itself isn't evil. It's just the combo of negative energy + dead body = evil cuz... magic? To really blow your mind, disrupting the 'natural order' somehow isn't chaotic, as one would think being anti-order, but evil cuz... magic?

    Indeed it was clarified by Mark Seifter that twisting the energy of destruction into giving false life to something dead was indeed Evil

    Note also that undead weaken the cycle of souls that sustains all existence. Trying to destroy this cycle means annihilating all of existence, including countless innocent beings. Evil it is

    BTW, Pharasma hates all undead because she is the caretaker of this cycle. In fact even the natives of the negative energy plane hate undead


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    Like I said in the actual undead thread, I don't really care if they define creating undead or similar activities as evil... But only so long as they provide explanations of why in the book rather than on forums, and only so long as they are consistent and don't trip over or contradict themselves.

    Is the spell actually compelling the being, even if mindless, to always be hostile and seek to cause harm regardless of need? Is that why it's evil? Then any enchantment spell that similarly compels hostility or rage needs to be classed as evil as well.

    Is the spell evil because it is binding a soul (something it actually explicitly isn't doing in the specific case of a mindless undead because the person's soul in the afterlife remains unaffected)? Then creating a golem by forcibly binding an elemental spirit to it needs to also be classed as evil.

    If a spell is defined as evil because it "causes pain" then EVERY spell with pain in its name or description should be evil, AND they should explain in a sidebar why this is evil but burning someone alive with a fireball is not.

    Why is protecting yourself from an evil force (Protection from Evil / Magic Circle against Evil) specifically a good act and not merely a prudent one? Especially when this is explicitly required for an evil caster to summon an evil fiend.

    For every single instance where they are tempted to put an alignment descriptor on a thingamajig, they need to be willing to be 100% consistent and explain their decision. If they are, if they do, great, they're building consistent lore in an internally consistent setting that people can refer to when making decisions about similar acts, and when formulating new thingamajigs for home brew and 3PP. But, if they can't or won't do that, the descriptor needs to be left out.


    They simply need to drop the "positive and negative planes are neutral" aspect of the cosmology and it all becomes logical. Positive plane = good, negative plane = evil, everything else falls into line.


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    The Raven Black wrote:
    graystone wrote:
    johnlocke90 wrote:
    There are beings on the negative energy beings who aren't evil though.
    And the plane itself isn't evil. It's just the combo of negative energy + dead body = evil cuz... magic? To really blow your mind, disrupting the 'natural order' somehow isn't chaotic, as one would think being anti-order, but evil cuz... magic?

    Indeed it was clarified by Mark Seifter that twisting the energy of destruction into giving false life to something dead was indeed Evil

    Note also that undead weaken the cycle of souls that sustains all existence. Trying to destroy this cycle means annihilating all of existence, including countless innocent beings. Evil it is

    BTW, Pharasma hates all undead because she is the caretaker of this cycle. In fact even the natives of the negative energy plane hate undead

    Uh, many of the natives of the negative energy plane are undead.

    And devs have also stated that their forums statements are just personal opinion, and they often aren't even consistent with published material.


    The Raven Black wrote:
    Indeed it was clarified by Mark Seifter that twisting the energy of destruction into giving false life to something dead was indeed Evil

    Lets assume that's true... That JUST means creating them is evil, not that THEY are evil.

    The Raven Black wrote:
    Note also that undead weaken the cycle of souls that sustains all existence.

    How? It's not a circle: some souls change into outsiders so does that mean THEY are all evil? Immortality does the same thing. Evil?

    To drive the point home, look at the trap the soul spell, something tht does JUST what you suggest: it tampers with the cycle of souls. Evil? Nope.

    The Raven Black wrote:
    BTW, Pharasma hates all undead because she is the caretaker of this cycle.

    Doesn't make them evil or her good for destroying them.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    graystone wrote:
    The Raven Black wrote:
    Indeed it was clarified by Mark Seifter that twisting the energy of destruction into giving false life to something dead was indeed Evil

    Lets assume that's true... That JUST means creating them is evil, not that THEY are evil.

    The Raven Black wrote:
    Note also that undead weaken the cycle of souls that sustains all existence.

    How? It's not a circle: some souls change into outsiders so does that mean THEY are all evil? Immortality does the same thing. Evil?

    To drive the point home, look at the trap the soul spell, something tht does JUST what you suggest: it tampers with the cycle of souls. Evil? Nope.

    The Raven Black wrote:
    BTW, Pharasma hates all undead because she is the caretaker of this cycle.
    Doesn't make them evil or her good for destroying them.

    What then would be an acceptable explanation for you ?

    I too have qualms with some parts of the alignment system. Mostly that Animals and Vermins always have TN alignment and also innocent babies, which bodes ill for those Good spells that hurt non-Good creatures

    I hope PF2 will diverge from PF1 on all those

    Also I do not see mindless as incapable of having an alignment because Alignment is an absolute in the PF universe. It is the interference of Intelligence that makes it a moral choice for sentient beings.

    And even that does not apply to Aligned ousiders who are literally made of Alignment

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    johnlocke90 wrote:
    The Raven Black wrote:
    graystone wrote:
    johnlocke90 wrote:
    There are beings on the negative energy beings who aren't evil though.
    And the plane itself isn't evil. It's just the combo of negative energy + dead body = evil cuz... magic? To really blow your mind, disrupting the 'natural order' somehow isn't chaotic, as one would think being anti-order, but evil cuz... magic?

    Indeed it was clarified by Mark Seifter that twisting the energy of destruction into giving false life to something dead was indeed Evil

    Note also that undead weaken the cycle of souls that sustains all existence. Trying to destroy this cycle means annihilating all of existence, including countless innocent beings. Evil it is

    BTW, Pharasma hates all undead because she is the caretaker of this cycle. In fact even the natives of the negative energy plane hate undead

    Uh, many of the natives of the negative energy plane are undead.

    I was thinking of the sceaduinar


    Ckorik wrote:

    Well 1st and 2nd edition animate dead spells didn't have the evil tag - it was listed that good clerics need to be very careful using the spell - I'd assume for reasons of intent and consent more than 'the spell is EVIL' - 3rd went down the aligned spells path - Pathfinder went further with it.

    I get why it's evil in Pathfinder - James Jacobs wants it so. Ok sure but the point here was because there is no real good reason behind that intent - (note here - there doesn't have to be - however...) people invent their own reason for it.

    This last part is the kicker - it's why alignment becomes subjective - because without hard 'this is why' reasons for everything in game - people have to fill in the blanks... how do they do that? With what they consider right and wrong from the real world. Take that to the spell animate dead and you get some people who state it's evil purely because you defile a corpse by removing it from it's resting place.

    It's a bit circular but it goes to prove:

  • Not everything needs (or will get) a solid explanation for why it's evil in game
  • Without a black and white - people will answer a 'is it evil' question with their own experiences - and that's subjective

    That's the point.

  • For what is worth it. In 1st and 2nd edition those spells were also used to make 'inmortal guardians' whose duty and devotion was bound beyond the grave. The elven Baelnorn lich is a good example. And if I recall correctly there was even the class kit White Necromancer.

    In 3rd edition the negative energy that sustains any undead form is considered 'evil' because one way or another it lead to unavoidable damnation even for the most pious ones, the book Libris Mortis tries to explain the meaning behind. This new concept for negative is evil and positive is good brought new oddities to the game, and so the Book of Exalted Deeds tried to implement the 'undead life made from positive energy', the Inmortal template.

    I don't have any knowledge how they deal in 4th or 5th Ed to compare.

    My intention of this post is not to argue, just sharing some history.

    Grand Lodge

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    This may have been addressed already, but 740 posts is too many right now: If creating undead is evil, then a good god would not even give their clerics the ability to do it in the first place.

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Graystone wrote:
    Some unknown factor makes undead evil.

    Except it’s not unknown, there’s been plenty of factors given.

    A main one being that they’re powered by a corruption of a natural energy of the multiverse. Not that the energy itself is corrupting, but that is has been corrupted.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Rysky wrote:
    Graystone wrote:
    Some unknown factor makes undead evil.

    Except it’s not unknown, there’s been plenty of factors given.

    A main one being that they’re powered by a corruption of a natural energy of the multiverse. Not that the energy itself is corrupting, but that is has been corrupted.

    I don't think it matters Rysky. I think, to many people, this issue has become another anti-alignment thread.

    If Paizo were to come out and say that Positive Energy were good and Negative Energy was evil then we'd see an argument over how Negative Energy can't be evil because it's an entropic force of the universe and thus has to be neutral.

    There's no answer that will please some people on this issue other than, "Undead are now neutral, feel free to make as many reanimated corpse servants as you want."


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Rysky wrote:
    Graystone wrote:
    Some unknown factor makes undead evil.

    Except it’s not unknown, there’s been plenty of factors given.

    A main one being that they’re powered by a corruption of a natural energy of the multiverse. Not that the energy itself is corrupting, but that is has been corrupted.

    So it's evil to use fire to warm my house, when it's natural purpose is to burn things?


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    HWalsh wrote:
    Rysky wrote:
    Graystone wrote:
    Some unknown factor makes undead evil.

    Except it’s not unknown, there’s been plenty of factors given.

    A main one being that they’re powered by a corruption of a natural energy of the multiverse. Not that the energy itself is corrupting, but that is has been corrupted.

    I don't think it matters Rysky. I think, to many people, this issue has become another anti-alignment thread.

    If Paizo were to come out and say that Positive Energy were good and Negative Energy was evil then we'd see an argument over how Negative Energy can't be evil because it's an entropic force of the universe and thus has to be neutral.

    There's no answer that will please some people on this issue other than, "Undead are now neutral, feel free to make as many reanimated corpse servants as you want."

    Well of course that would be a change to the setting and ret-cons are wrong.


    Rysky wrote:
    Graystone wrote:
    Some unknown factor makes undead evil.

    Except it’s not unknown, there’s been plenty of factors given.

    A main one being that they’re powered by a corruption of a natural energy of the multiverse. Not that the energy itself is corrupting, but that is has been corrupted.

    Honestly, "cause the devs said so". Is the one and only answer that was ever needed.

    People here are just going back and foward over a thing that wont change ever, unless again, the devs say so. And no further explanation is ever needed.

    They created the setting, whatever they say, even without a explained reason, goes.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    Well they have different Creative Directors, but it changed in Starfinder so there is hope.


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    Malk_Content wrote:
    Well they have different Creative Directors, but it changed in Starfinder so there is hope.

    And back to a matter of opinion.

    Personally i hope it stays the same.

    Cause the result of diturbing the dead who gives unlife to monsters that literally only moves so they can keep killing, taking lives and spreading pain unless controled at all times is a pretty good fit for evil in my books.

    But again, to each their own.

    Liberty's Edge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Malk_Content wrote:
    Well they have different Creative Directors, but it changed in Starfinder so there is hope.

    This is a somewhat misleading statement. Mindless undead remain Evil in Starfinder, while intelligent undead are capable of any Alignment in both PF1 and Starfinder (though the majority are Evil in both).

    All that really changed is that spells lack Alignment descriptors in Starfinder so the Animate Dead spell lost that, too.

    I suspect that mindless undead will continue to be Evil, that intelligent undead will still tend toward Evil but be capable of any alignment, and that Animate Dead will remain an Evil spell in PF2, and Starfinder only offers an argument on the third point, and even then only if they remove Alignment descriptors from spells (which seems unlikely).

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Revan wrote:
    Rysky wrote:
    Graystone wrote:
    Some unknown factor makes undead evil.

    Except it’s not unknown, there’s been plenty of factors given.

    A main one being that they’re powered by a corruption of a natural energy of the multiverse. Not that the energy itself is corrupting, but that is has been corrupted.

    So it's evil to use fire to warm my house, when it's natural purpose is to burn things?

    ... I’m pretty sure you still burn stuff to keep your house warm.

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