Animated Dead and Friendly Fire


Rules Questions


Curiosity, how do animated dead, under a character's control, deal with allies that hurt them? And I don't mean unintentionally hurt, like an alchemist's bomb splash, I mean active malicious (or... Good? Since undead are evil) intent.

Long story, our cleric has channel, and it is her prerogative to play how she will. She has selective channelling though, and refuses to exclude the wizard's controlled undead, actively attempting to destroy them. The wizard isn't evil, and hasn't used the undead for anything evil, so there's little reason to assume that would change.

A commanded undead, via Command Undead, like any other charm spell, ends when a perceived ally attacks them. An animated dead is under the control of their creator, but everything falls into vocal commands. My GM has been allowing me to play my undead like additional characters during combat, but much like an animal companion I imagine they have some level of will, and desire for self-preservation. If you beat up a dog, no matter how loyal it is it will eventually bite.

So effectively that's my question. The wizard doesn't have direct mental control over her undead, and the cleric persistently attempts to kill them. Would the undead eventually snap and fight back, if only to preserve their perversion of life? Or does their creator have full control, meaning they could in theory create a handful of undead and abuse them to the nine hells?

The Concordance

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The sole will that animate dead gives the undead is obeying the vocal commands of the creator. The creator can make them do anything, including suicidal orders and not attacking your less-happy cleric. Mental control doesn’t matter. The undead will not do anything unless given an order. If you order them to attack obvious enemies, they may attack the cleric. If you order them to attack the goblins, they will attack the goblins only.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
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. Zombies attack until destroyed, having no regard for their own safety.

So, they do what they are ordered to do, but when they don't have orders they will attack even without being attacked.

Command undead wrote:

A nonintelligent undead creature gets no saving throw against this spell. When you control a mindless being, you can communicate only basic commands, such as "come here," "go there," "fight," "stand still," and so on. Nonintelligent undead won't resist suicidal or obviously harmful orders.

Any act by you or your apparent allies that threatens the commanded undead (regardless of its Intelligence) breaks the spell.

As soon as they are attacked by the cleric, command undead is broken and the undead will attack the nearest target. Even unintentional attacks will do that.

As it say "threatens", the simple act of channeling positive energy to damage undead will probably break the spell.

Mixing a zealot cleric and and a undead controlling wizard isn't a good idea.

Control undead don't have that caveat, so it will continue even if the cleric where to attack the undead.


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there is one thing that is good for the wizard and bad for the cleric here, when they channel to heal they only heal alive people they don't harm undead they need to actively channel to harm undead to damage them but that means alive people wont get healing.


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Animated Dead appear to fall under the same limitations as the feat Command Undead. Said feat like Control Undead

Control Undead wrote:

This spell enables you to control undead creatures for a short period of time. You command them by voice and they understand you, no matter what language you speak. Even if vocal communication is impossible, the controlled undead do not attack you. At the end of the spell, the subjects revert to their normal behavior.

Intelligent undead creatures remember that you controlled them, and they may seek revenge after the spell’s effects end.

So, in the case of the Command Undead feat and by extension Animated Dead, Unintelligent undead are the character's personal "whipping boys". They will follow simple orders and will not attack the creator even if the creator attacks them. Additionally, since they are mindless they will have no memory of the creator attacking them so they won't "seek revenge".

That being said, I don't see anything that says they won't attack their creator's allies and being mindless they aren't going to have discretion about who or what they attack. So, if an ally "attacks" one whether on purpose or not. I would expect the undead to attack back unless the creator orders it not to attack.

Lady-J wrote:
there is one thing that is good for the wizard and bad for the cleric here, when they channel to heal they only heal alive people they don't harm undead they need to actively channel to harm undead to damage them but that means alive people wont get healing.

This is absolutely correct, when you channel you have to pick if you are healing or harming with the energy. If they refuse to exclude the undead when they heal the party it won't matter since the undead won't get healed or harmed as a result. On the other hand, if they are burning channels to harm the undead, they are doing so at the expense of the party since no one is getting healed by those channels.

It's an easy distinction to miss, but it's there so that a cleric can't heal a bunch of characters and harm a bunch of undead with a single action.

We had a player roll a new cleric with versatile channel. He decided to give the character the "quirk" that he would roll a die each time he channeled to determine if he did positive or negative energy not realizing that a negative energy Heal would not do anything good or bad to a bunch of living creatures.

the first time the group gathered in to heal, and he informed us that he had channeled negative energy and dealt X amount of damage....
Well, that character didn't survive past the 1st session on account of the party immediately attacking killing him when that happened.

It was later explained to the player how channeling worked, since we assumed that he understood that you had to pick Heal or Harm. When he tried to argue that we shouldn't of attacked him over such a "simple mistake". Never mind the fact that we were already hurt, when he channeled and hurt us further.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

also note that channeling is either heal living or harm undead, not both at same time.

so the only time cleric would have to exclude "undead allies" is when fighting undead ennemies.

when healing living friends, it has no impact on undead.


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Vrischika111 wrote:
also note that channeling is either heal living or harm undead, not both at same time.

Yes. A few people have said it, I've been meaning to reply.

We have been fighting a number of undead enemies. So it's a hurt undead channel, including any various undead under wizard control. Isitoq familiars being the most at risk of death, and the necrocraft being the big "oh god, will it rip the cleric apart after too many holy hits".


take an aside with your gm ask him if you can craft some necklaces for your undead, have the effect be when they are hit with positive energy the damage is converted to negative energy and half that energy is redirected to the source. this should get the cleric to stop trying to kill your minions while also making it so the minions wont escape your control and murderize the cleric.


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Presumably the animated undead would attack a creature that attacks them unless you specifically commanded them not to do so; meaning not just if you commanded them to not retaliate when it happened, but also if you had commanded them to perform a task in exclusion to all others (like "Carry this message to the princess and stop for no other reason until you reach her").

For instance, if you have them guarding the camp, they probably won't attack a person in the camp already, but if that person stabbed them or did something else invasive (ie. drunkenly sticks a finger into the skeleton's eyesocket or carves off a piece of zombie flesh to bait a trap or fish hook), they will likely attack; again, unless you've specifically commanded them to stand there and take it or otherwise never attack that person in particular.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pizza Lord wrote:

Presumably the animated undead would attack a creature that attacks them unless you specifically commanded them not to do so; meaning not just if you commanded them to not retaliate when it happened, but also if you had commanded them to perform a task in exclusion to all others (like "Carry this message to the princess and stop for no other reason until you reach her").

For instance, if you have them guarding the camp, they probably won't attack a person in the camp already, but if that person stabbed them or did something else invasive (ie. drunkenly sticks a finger into the skeleton's eyesocket or carves off a piece of zombie flesh to bait a trap or fish hook), they will likely attack; again, unless you've specifically commanded them to stand there and take it or otherwise never attack that person in particular.

By the description, unintelligent animated undead can't understand that kind of command. They are limited to extremely simple and direct commands like: "come here," "go there," "fight," "stand still," and so on.

And as already stated several times, any attack from the caster or his apparent allies cancel Command undead.


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Lady-J wrote:
take an aside with your gm ask him if you can craft some necklaces for your undead, have the effect be when they are hit with positive energy the damage is converted to negative energy and half that energy is redirected to the source. this should get the cleric to stop trying to kill your minions while also making it so the minions wont escape your control and murderize the cleric.

That's an additional problem. The GM is promoting the cleric "do as you will" behaviour. He doesn't want evil characters in the campaign, which I understand. My character isn't primarily a necromancer, or evil through. She's a true neutral divination wizard, and the scrolls of animate dead were part of a boss' treasure in the module.

It's one of those thing, I was given a tool and chose to use it. Not I built for this or any such thing. She's blind and I discovered the isitoq, which solves her blindness problem, and the cleric wants is being encouraged to destroy it because Sarenrae says?


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Isaac Zephyr wrote:
and the cleric wants is being encouraged to destroy it because Sarenrae says?

ah, I think I missed that part before. Sarenrae and Pharasma are both huge anti-undead deities and are fairly incompatible with most necromancer builds.

Sarenrae wrote:
From the remorseless evil of the undead and fiends to the cruelties born in the hearts of mortals, Sarenrae's doctrines preach swift justice delivered by the scimitar's edge.

So, basically most clerics of Serenrae's interpretation is that of zealotry. If you are undead or a demon of some kind you should be murdered immediately. The same goes for anyone that "chooses" to be evil. Which from many player's perspective is any creature that is listed as evil in the bestiary regardless of they are presently doing.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ah, so they are undead that you animated, dot already existing undead that you control.
That make the cleric position more justifiable, not less.

1st: Animating undead is an evil act, so it is already hard to digest for a cleric of a good deity.

Quote:

Animate Dead

School necromancy [evil]

2nd: Then there is the problem that at least the zombies, if you lose control for any reason (die, create other undead or any other events) will start hunting any living thing.

3rd: But not least: in your party there is a cleric of Sarenrae and you go around creating new undead? You are infringing one of the basic tenet of his faith and you think it shouldn't matter?

It is not "do as you will", it is "do as you should do if you don't want to lose your clerical powers".

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Isaac Zephyr wrote:
She's blind and I discovered the isitoq, which solves her blindness problem, and the cleric wants is being encouraged to destroy it because Sarenrae says?

If I get it correctly, the cleric is blind and you gave her a NE undead as a way to see?

You explained the method?
She agreed to that?
How it work as only the master/creator can see through the isitoq eye?

If she agreed she could read the rules about ex-clerics or changing faith because Sarenrae will not grant spell at someone that clearly violate a basic tenet of her religion.

The whole story is very strange, because a cleric has Remove blindness and can cure blindness unless the eyes where destroyed physically.


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Diego Rossi wrote:

Ah, so they are undead that you animated, dot already existing undead that you control.

That make the cleric position more justifiable, not less.

1st: Animating undead is an evil act, so it is already hard to digest for a cleric of a good deity.

Quote:

Animate Dead

School necromancy [evil]

2nd: Then there is the problem that at least the zombies, if you lose control for any reason (die, create other undead or any other events) will start hunting any living thing.

3rd: But not least: in your party there is a cleric of Sarenrae and you go around creating new undead? You are infringing one of the basic tenet of his faith and you think it shouldn't matter?

It is not "do as you will", it is "do as you should do if you don't want to lose your clerical powers".

I'm not saying I'm not infringing on the faith (though to my knowledge and research, there is only the one line in Sarenrae's block that specifies undead as remorseless and irredeemable. Even her paladins have nothing specifically about it, or saying they cannot work with an undead (beyond needing atonement on occasion because they are evil)). I'm not saying what I did wasn't at least a little evil.

However, alignment and cases are flexible. This is the first (and will likely be the only) case of animating dead at all. I've not made a habit of it, or done anything else obviously evil. On the contrary, I do quite a bit of good for a neutral character with 6 charisma.

The question posed though is less to do with that, and more dividing what is good and what is stupid. She would be aware the Necrocraft, constructed entirely from prior encountered undead rather than the bodies of allies, foes, etc. will not die to a single channel. And she would know I'm the controller. If I cannot stop it, it will try to rip a hole in her. If I die, yes it unleashes the 4 undead creatures I raised (responsibility. I carry holy water and used it to make sure I permanently destroy any leftover material), and I am within my power to destroy them should they become a problem.

I raised the Isitoqs because I'm blind, and wished to see again (eyes were stolen). This was the best way to do so. The Necrocraft, we lost a friend to insurmountable ods. By using the parts of our prior enemy, I made an automaton that prevents loss of further life. The same I made a bloody skeleton who's use is going to be literally, "carry this bomb deep into the robotic construct's lines and explode. I'll see you in an hour". Again, an attempt to not recklessly put people in danger and risk losing another companion or innocent. That's it, I'm not mass resing even after I get high enough level to put the second scroll in my spellbook.

I'm morally grey, don't get me wrong. But the cleric actively aggravating an undead risks it going berserk, not only on herself but against the other members of the party (as the only caviat of animated dead I can find us they cannot hurt their creator. They have no concept of friend or foe). A zealotous, selfish, and technically evil act, endangering everyone.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
Isaac Zephyr wrote:
She's blind and I discovered the isitoq, which solves her blindness problem, and the cleric wants is being encouraged to destroy it because Sarenrae says?

If I get it correctly, the cleric is blind and you gave her a NE undead as a way to see?

You explained the method?
She agreed to that?
How it work as only the master/creator can see through the isitoq eye?

If she agreed she could read the rules about ex-clerics or changing faith because Sarenrae will not grant spell at someone that clearly violate a basic tenet of her religion.

The whole story is very strange, because a cleric has Remove blindness and can cure blindness unless the eyes where destroyed physically.

No, the wizard is blind. Her eyes were physically removed when she conned the wrong person. So they are destroyed.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
Pizza Lord wrote:

Presumably the animated undead would attack a creature that attacks them unless you specifically commanded them not to do so; meaning not just if you commanded them to not retaliate when it happened, but also if you had commanded them to perform a task in exclusion to all others (like "Carry this message to the princess and stop for no other reason until you reach her").

For instance, if you have them guarding the camp, they probably won't attack a person in the camp already, but if that person stabbed them or did something else invasive (ie. drunkenly sticks a finger into the skeleton's eyesocket or carves off a piece of zombie flesh to bait a trap or fish hook), they will likely attack; again, unless you've specifically commanded them to stand there and take it or otherwise never attack that person in particular.

By the description, unintelligent animated undead can't understand that kind of command. They are limited to extremely simple and direct commands like: "come here," "go there," "fight," "stand still," and so on.

And as already stated several times, any attack from the caster or his apparent allies cancel Command undead.

I think you realized it, but you are referring to the command undead spell when the topic is about animated dead. The OP mentioned command undead as a way to indicate he is aware of the differences in how the two types of undead control work.

Animated undead (ie. created with animate dead) are under their creator's control indefinitely (unless released, whether purposefully or to control newer created undead). There is no indication with animated dead that being threatened or even attacked by allies or apparent allies of the creator breaks their control.

While I will agree that the example I gave would probably be a bit much for most mindless undead (I thought the purpose of the command, which was for the undead to ignore attacks was clear enough), maybe I should have just said "Hold that door no matter what." Also, while I am not saying animated dead are going to be able to follow super complex orders, the specific example of commands you are quoting are specifically noted for command undead. While I would certainly base the ability to follow complex command or make decisions on the individual intelligence (usually mindless), the more restrictive commands are clearly under a more restrictive spell and control scheme than animated dead have for their creator.

The two types of 'command' aren't necessarily linked (in fact, I think they're specifically not linked). The creator of an unintelligent undead could command them to stand in place regardless of what occurs and they will do so, whether 1,000 years pass, whether holy fire and positive energy rains down, or they get attacked (by an ally or not). An unintelligent undead under the effect of command undead could be commanded to do all those things (spell duration notwithstanding) except in the case of an ally of the caster attacking, which breaks the command, as has indeed been mentioned.

Isaac Zephyr wrote:
So effectively that's my question. The wizard doesn't have direct mental control over her undead, and the cleric persistently attempts to kill them. Would the undead eventually snap and fight back, if only to preserve their perversion of life? Or does their creator have full control, meaning they could in theory create a handful of undead and abuse them to the nine hells?

The created undead do not have to attack the cleric if damaged (but probably will) nor do they break free of the command. Unless otherwise told to do something else, they likely will defend themselves if attacked or damaged.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Intelligent evil undead can change alignment. Even evil outsiders can do that.
Undead with no intelligence can't change alignment. They are the epitomes of irredeemable evil.
In earlier versions they where more like automatons and so not a big alignment problem, but now they are automatically a scrounge of the normal people.

BTW: what is your level? Destroying the sight of a wizard is extreme punishment on a GM part. It seem a bit strange if there is no way of restoring it.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
BTW: what is your level? Destroying the sight of a wizard is extreme punishment on a GM part. It seem a bit strange if there is no way of restoring it.

We just hit level 6. However, being a sightless divination wizard was my own choice, perceiving the world through Deathwatch as an at-will racial ability, and Detect Magic. Her goal, as she was not at all faithful, was to restore her sight with magic. Keeping the lessons she learned when her conning eyes were stolen from her, whilst using her own abilities to get around it.

My GM has not been enforcing 50% concealment for my lack of eyes (he described it as using Daredevil-esque sight). Not that it would matter horribly often. I've been more of a buffs/support wizard to the party. Moving forward though, she's gotten a lot more scouting type spells like Clairvoyance. It is much more useful support to have an isitoq she has the tools to create, that can give her normal sight back, is permanent short of being destroyed, that she can make invisible to go scouting ect. Than to waste a once per day spell slot to peep on an area and potentially get no information. Or later take prying eyes which don't share the information until they get back.


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How do you prepare spells blind?


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Havzak wrote:
How do you prepare spells blind?

My spellbook is written in braille. For other things, the spell Read Magic. You'd be surprised how many visual effects don't actually specify that you need normal vision to use them. :P


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Long and the short of it is you have made a choice that you know other characters won't really be able to work with. That character has maturely decided not to engage in conflict with you actively, but has instead just refused to make any allowance for the safety of creatures he really wants to actively destroy, and you are looking for an excuse to escalate the PvP.

Stop being a jerk. Either come up with a way that your character can work as a team with the other PCs or make a new character.

(Also I think stopping trying to rules lawyer things like 'visual effects' not specifically mentioning the need for vision as a loophole would improve the experience for your entire group as well.)

This is the sort of thing where even if you 'win' you are likely to lose.


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Dave Justus wrote:

Long and the short of it is you have made a choice that you know other characters won't really be able to work with. That character has maturely decided not to engage in conflict with you actively, but has instead just refused to make any allowance for the safety of creatures he really wants to actively destroy, and you are looking for an excuse to escalate the PvP.

Stop being a jerk. Either come up with a way that your character can work as a team with the other PCs or make a new character.

On the contrary, the GM is pushing the PVP behaviour even to things as not healing the wizard for her choices. I want an excuse to de-escalate the PVP, because frankly it's dickish that the GM gave us something, I asked explicitly the concequences of using such a thing, and in addition to the normal concequences, the cleric is being pushed to actively engage in anti-player behaviours (which was not part of considerations for making the decision), which is no fun all around the table.

My character persistently and actively works as part of the team. If I wanted to escalate PVP not all of my spells would be various buffs for our party members, including the cleric. And the cleric is not a paladin. I've done nothing that would strip the cleric of her powers, though I did strip myself of one of my spells with the decision (I had Defending Bone, which is a spell provided by Pharasma whom I have no doubt pissed off with my antics).


Isaac Zephyr wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:

Long and the short of it is you have made a choice that you know other characters won't really be able to work with. That character has maturely decided not to engage in conflict with you actively, but has instead just refused to make any allowance for the safety of creatures he really wants to actively destroy, and you are looking for an excuse to escalate the PvP.

Stop being a jerk. Either come up with a way that your character can work as a team with the other PCs or make a new character.

On the contrary, the GM is pushing the PVP behaviour even to things as not healing the wizard for her choices. I want an excuse to de-escalate the PVP, because frankly it's dickish that the GM gave us something, I asked explicitly the concequences of using such a thing, and in addition to the normal concequences, the cleric is being pushed to actively engage in anti-player behaviours (which was not part of considerations for making the decision), which is no fun all around the table.

My character persistently and actively works as part of the team. If I wanted to escalate PVP not all of my spells would be various buffs for our party members, including the cleric. And the cleric is not a paladin. I've done nothing that would strip the cleric of her powers, though I did strip myself of one of my spells with the decision (I had Defending Bone, which is a spell provided by Pharasma whom I have no doubt pissed off with my antics).

simply stop buffing the cleric then until they stop killing your minnions


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You should cast Prestidigitation on the Cleric to soil her clothes for an hour. That'll teach her.


Honestly though, your Cleric is playing correctly as a worshiper of Sarenrae. Sarenrae detests undead and demands that they be destroyed. Although Animate Dead is a Necromancy [evil descriptor] spell, the act of animating dead in itself is not an Evil act (unless you then start pillaging the nearby villages with them). So it's "possible" to work out a deal with the Cleric that you would use the scroll to animate dead and do good works with them. It's also "possible" that she flips you the bird and promises a swift and extremely prejudicial smiting the second you activate that scroll too.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

@Ryze: In one of the recent books it has been stated that casting evil spell is a evil act. Probably because too much people was abusing the "what matter is how you use them" angle.

@Isaac Zephyr: I see a problem in your position. You want to role-play your character, but you ar bothered by the cleric role-playing it and see it as PVP. When you role-play in a way that affect how the party operate, you should accept that other people will do the same.

Maybe the GM is to blame as you say, maybe not. We are hearing only you, so what we hear is biased.


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Diego Rossi wrote:

@Isaac Zephyr: I see a problem in your position. You want to role-play your character, but you ar bothered by the cleric role-playing it and see it as PVP. When you role-play in a way that affect how the party operate, you should accept that other people will do the same.

Maybe the GM is to blame as you say, maybe not. We are hearing only you, so what we hear is biased.

That is true, you are only hearing my side, so there is chance of bias despite my attempt at neutrality.

The cleric role playing it is one thing. She is free to not like it and take action, however my main reason for asking my question was the concequences of such. The GM actively, the day I did my animation and returned to the party, turned to the cleric and told them "you do as you will, smite them, kill her... Whatever PvP I'll allow it." I'm in a "wait what?" Situation because I was blind-sided by it, and there was no roleplaying the scenario. No chance for the wizard to exchange words, nothing. Just suddenly we're fighting other undead.

Of the party, the opinion on my using undead at all is split. The alchemist finds it interesting, the gunslinger will move to act if something goes awry, the slayer doesn't really care, and the brawler doesn't like I used some robot parts. The GM doesn't want evil characters, so again I discussed all this with him beforehand and the concequences. He said he'd be monitoring things closely for alignment shift, not he'd sick the cleric on me.

Again though, the main question comes down to concequences. I had a similar question about turning skeletons into walking bombs earlier, and it was pointed out that they only obey verbal commands, so they were a potential danger to the party and myself. I'm actively playing the puppeteer on a handful of Neutral Evil creatures, two of which are intelligent and will remember such things if I release them. I as a player, and GM for the future, need to know such interactions if I'm going to roleplay then correctly, or attempt to curb behavior. If they mindlessly take abuse, then I need to have words with the cleric about it. If they have freedom to some extent, I need to have words with the cleric about it because she's putting herself and everyone else in the party in danger, since I don't share senses with the necrocraft I won't always be there to actively tell him to stop. Such a thing she would likely know better.


Diego Rossi wrote:

@Ryze: In one of the recent books it has been stated that casting evil spell is a evil act. Probably because too much people was abusing the "what matter is how you use them" angle.

Even though it was written in a book, I fundamentally disagree with this position. Necromancers and Witches could never be in groups with Paladins or certain Clerics. While on the face value, that's a completely true statement in the real/fantasy world; Paladins and vehemently Good Clerics would never group up with a Necromancer or a Witch. However on the playability value, this raises a subjective issue amongst players; such as, Player 1 has been waiting patiently throughout the last campaign to try out his brand-shiny new Chaotic Neutral Necromancer, and Player 2 has been waiting equally as patiently and equally as long to play his brand new Lawful Good Paladin. Both of these players are already emotionally involved with their detailed backstories and character concepts for how they'd like to roleplay, and have even thought of some neat quirks to do in session to bring these characters to life. So which person rerolls?

Depending on how long the campaign is, either player is going to have to wait for probably a year or more (or in my group's case, possibly two or three years).

Anywho, here's my point: As long as a CN Necromancer isn't casting Cloudkill in the center of villages, reanimating the peasant corpses, and then raiding the next village (and instead only raises the dead of the evil enemies - which are then used to kill more evil enemies), the Paladin can stomach this and refrain from Lawful Stupid play. But the second that Necromancer does anything that breaks the Paladin's code, PvP is on the table, because a Paladin is a sworn enemy of evil and is good for the sake of being good. And he already doesn't like the Necromancer.

Obviously, this is not RAW at all. This is my personal opinion about how [evil] spells should work in a good campaign.


However, it should be pointed out that this wizard is Animating Dead from a Scroll he found, and the Cleric worships Sarenrae. So honestly, in this case, I say the Cleric of Sarenrae is playing correctly. Animate Dead was never a class-concept of the OP, it was just something he found and thought it might be fun to use. Obviously, if I was GM of this situation, and the wizard wants to summon Undead in front of a Cleric of Sarenrae, I say let there be compromise, or let there be PvP.


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Whoa, whoa, whoa. Leaving aside necromancers who don't animate the dead, why you grouping witches into this? Paladins and witches can coexist just fine.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ryze Kuja wrote:
Player 1 has been waiting patiently throughout the last campaign to try out his brand-shiny new Chaotic Neutral Necromancer, and Player 2 has been waiting equally as patiently and equally as long to play his brand new Lawful Good Paladin. Both of these players are already emotionally involved with their detailed backstories and character concepts for how they'd like to roleplay, and have even thought of some neat quirks to do in session to bring these characters to life. So which person rerolls?

Ideally, well before either player brought a character to the table the group would have discussed what the themes for the campaign are going to be, would have figured out a general alignment theme for the party and would discuss what sort of things their party would embrace and what they would choose not to have join their group. If a player wanted a character that they know is a questionable fit for some parties (Paladins and Necromancers both apply to this) they should absolutely make sure that the party would go for it and any conflicts with any other character would be within the threshold that the group felt was reasonable (different groups like different amounts of intra-party conflict.) If their character didn't fit in with that particular campaign, then they need to make changes until does, before they ever bring it to the table. If the player misunderstood something, then they need to make changes after that.

This is called being an adult.


Dave Justus wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
Player 1 has been waiting patiently throughout the last campaign to try out his brand-shiny new Chaotic Neutral Necromancer, and Player 2 has been waiting equally as patiently and equally as long to play his brand new Lawful Good Paladin. Both of these players are already emotionally involved with their detailed backstories and character concepts for how they'd like to roleplay, and have even thought of some neat quirks to do in session to bring these characters to life. So which person rerolls?

Ideally, well before either player brought a character to the table the group would have discussed what the themes for the campaign are going to be, would have figured out a general alignment theme for the party and would discuss what sort of things their party would embrace and what they would choose not to have join their group. If a player wanted a character that they know is a questionable fit for some parties (Paladins and Necromancers both apply to this) they should absolutely make sure that the party would go for it and any conflicts with any other character would be within the threshold that the group felt was reasonable (different groups like different amounts of intra-party conflict.) If their character didn't fit in with that particular campaign, then they need to make changes until does, before they ever bring it to the table. If the player misunderstood something, then they need to make changes after that.

This is called being an adult.

It was a rhetorical question. Our group dislikes Lawful Stupid play, so obviously we do consult with each other prior to campaigns and make adjustments as necessary. My point in all of this is that Paladins and good Clerics can group with Witches and Necromancers. Just because they're casting spells with an [evil] descriptor doesn't mean that they are actually being evil. The alignment system in D&D/Pathfinder is a crapshoot for pigeonholing players.


blahpers wrote:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Leaving aside necromancers who don't animate the dead, why you grouping witches into this? Paladins and witches can coexist just fine.

Witches have access to [evil] spells and abilities. Like Evil Eye, Cook People hex, Gravewalker Witch archetype, spells that affect corpses, Curses like Cup of Dust, etc.

Just because the hex says Evil Eye doesn't automatically make the ability Evil. It depends on what you do with it. If you cast Evil Eye on a shopkeeper, that's a little evil.

If I kill an evil guy in the middle of the forest, and leave his body without burying it, is that evil? Woodland creatures like wolves will eat it. What if I use Cook People to cook the dead evil guy and then feed the stew to woodland creatures, have I actually done anything evil? The dead evil guy will rot or be eaten anyway.

Cup of Dust - it's a transmutation spell with a [curse] descriptor, but depending on what you do with it, it can be good or evil; cast it on an enemy and watch him die of dehydration over the next 4-5 days, somehow this is a good action. But if you do it to Timmy, the Mayor's son, now it's evil. Personally, I think this spell is evil even when used on an enemy, this is a torturous, excruciating spell that causes unnecessary suffering and torment.

Anywho, these are all rhetorical questions. I already know the answers. I'm just pointing out that just because something says it's evil doesn't mean it's evil. Likewise, spells that don't have the [evil] descriptor can be evil. It depends on how you use it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ryze Kuja wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Leaving aside necromancers who don't animate the dead, why you grouping witches into this? Paladins and witches can coexist just fine.

Witches have access to [evil] spells and abilities. Like Evil Eye, Cook People hex, Gravewalker Witch archetype, spells that affect corpses, Curses like Cup of Dust, etc.

And that force them into learning and using the spells and abilities with the evil descriptor ?

(that has nothing to do with evil eye, that is simply a mind affecting effect)

it seem you are equating a lot of spells/abilities that aren't evil to evil actions, so maybe the problem is your perception of what will be classed as evil. Essentially you are arguing that all people play lawful stupid and paladin smite.
And you are arguing that all necromancers are undead raising guys.

So you are applying narrow stereotypes and then saying "if we use narrow stereotypes it generate problems". Lapalisse school of Role Playing?

The Cook People hex is used to cook and eat people to get powerful magical effects. That is considered an evil act and, to cite Heinlein, "It is a good thing that there is a strong taboo against eating people or, with the price of meat, I would fear having most people at my back."


Diego Rossi wrote:


And that force them into learning and using the spells and abilities with the evil descriptor ?

No one is forced into taking spells with evil descriptors.

Diego Rossi wrote:
(that has nothing to do with evil eye, that is simply a mind affecting effect)

Thus proving my point: Just because a spell is evil and you cast it, doesn't make the person evil. You would have to repeatedly perform evil acts while performing no good acts in order to be considered evil.

"Evil Spells:

This section includes a large number of evil spells. Casting an
evil spell is an evil act, but for most characters simply casting
such a spell once isn’t enough to change her alignment; this
only occurs if the spell is used for a truly abhorrent act, or
if the caster established a pattern of casting evil spells over
a long period. A wizard who uses animate dead to create
guardians for defenseless people won’t turn evil, but he will
if he does it over and over again. The GM decides whether
the character’s alignment changes, but typically casting two
evil spells is enough to turn a good creature nongood, and
three or more evils spells move the caster from nongood
to evil. The greater the amount of time between castings,
the less likely alignment will change. Some spells require
sacrificing a sentient creature, a major evil act that makes
the caster evil in almost every circumstance.
Those who are forbidden from casting spells with an
opposed alignment might lose their divine abilities if
they circumvent that restriction (via Use Magic Device, for
example), depending on how strict their deities are.
Though this advice talks about evil spells, it also applies
to spells with other alignment descriptors"

Diego Rossi wrote:

it seem you are equating a lot of spells/abilities that aren't evil to evil actions, so maybe the problem is your perception of what will be classed as evil. Essentially you are arguing that all people play lawful stupid and paladin smite.

And you are arguing that all necromancers are undead raising guys.

Please don't put words in my mouth, I have never argued that all people play lawful stupid. In fact, in the OP example, I think the Cleric of Sarenrae is roleplaying properly by destroying the undead the wizard is summoning.

Diego Rossi wrote:


So you are applying narrow stereotypes and then saying "if we use narrow stereotypes it generate problems". Lapalisse school of Role Playing?

I respectfully disagree that I am applying narrow stereotypes, but rather I'm trying to provide a lens for viewing things that are technically "evil" in a different light. Those were rhetorical examples and I was poking holes in the argument that a Paladin cannot group with a Necromancer who animates dead.

Diego Rossi wrote:
The Cook People hex is used to cook and eat people to get powerful magical effects. That is considered an evil act and, to cite Heinlein, "It is a good thing that there is a strong taboo against eating people or, with the price of meat, I would fear having most people at my back."

Quite right, the Cook People hex is evil to its core. Especially when used on good people. What if it's used to cook Drow, and then feed the stew to pigs? Is it enough to make you evil? I think it would if you did it repeatedly and consistently. Obviously if you cooked Drow and ate it yourself, that's quite evil.

Here's my point in all of this: it depends on what your motives are, and the GM has carte blanche on determining whether what you're doing is truly evil or not. Paladin and Good Cleric PCs can decide for themselves and respond accordingly. But do so with genuine cause, not lawful stupid cause.

.

The group I'm DMing now just interrogated a Death Cultist, and it wasn't pretty. They needed information on how to get into a Necromancer's Lair who had a password to enter his lair. When they were finished interrogating him, they mutilated the body and placed on display in town, as to frighten the other Death Cultists who might see it.

They don't run around doing this, obviously. It's only happened once this entire campaign (painful interrogation and mutilation of a dead body). While these were quite evil acts, it doesn't necessitate that the group has become evil. If this behavior was repeated consistently, then I would say the group is behaving like Murder Hobos and you've all taken an alignment change of one step towards evil.

It's the exact same thing as casting a spell with an evil descriptor. Casting it once doesn't make you evil. Casting it repeatedly and consistently for a long period of time would though.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ryze Kuja wrote:


Diego Rossi wrote:
(that has nothing to do with evil eye, that is simply a mind affecting effect)

Thus proving my point: Just because a spell is evil and you cast it, doesn't make the person evil. You would have to repeatedly perform evil acts while performing no good acts in order to be considered evil.

Evil Eye is not a spell of ability with the evil descriptor, so it not a evil spell.

Don't use the name of something as a definition of what it is.

A man bane sword don't instantly kill men even if the dictionary say "
BANE
noun
1. a person or thing that ruins or spoils:
2. a deadly poison (often used in combination, as in the names of poisonous plants):
wolfsbane; henbane.
3. death; destruction; ruin.
4.Obsolete. that which causes death or destroys life:
entrapped and drowned beneath the watery bane."

Evil Eye description say. " This is a mind-affecting effect." not " This is a evil mind-affecting effect."

Ryze Kuja wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

it seem you are equating a lot of spells/abilities that aren't evil to evil actions, so maybe the problem is your perception of what will be classed as evil. Essentially you are arguing that all people play lawful stupid and paladin smite.

And you are arguing that all necromancers are undead raising guys.
Please don't put words in my mouth, I have never argued that all people play lawful stupid. In fact, in the OP example, I think the Cleric of Sarenrae is roleplaying properly by destroying the undead the wizard is summoning.

But it is exactly what you do when you argue that people is incapable to recognize the difference between an ability that has the Evil descriptor (Animate dead) and one that hasn't it (Evil Eye).

Ryze Kuja wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
So you are applying narrow stereotypes and then saying "if we use narrow stereotypes it generate problems". Lapalisse school of Role Playing?
I respectfully disagree that I am applying narrow stereotypes, but rather I'm trying to provide a lens for viewing things that are technically "evil" in a different light. Those were rhetorical examples and I was poking holes in the argument that a Paladin cannot group with a Necromancer who animates dead.

And then you cite a mix of thing that are technicality evil and things that aren't technically evil.

So, from my point of view you are using a narrow stereotype, that of the guy that go and say "there is evil in the name of that ability, that is the proof that that guy is evil".


Diego Rossi wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:


Diego Rossi wrote:
(that has nothing to do with evil eye, that is simply a mind affecting effect)

Thus proving my point: Just because a spell is evil and you cast it, doesn't make the person evil. You would have to repeatedly perform evil acts while performing no good acts in order to be considered evil.

Evil Eye is not a spell of ability with the evil descriptor, so it not a evil spell.

Don't use the name of something as a definition of what it is.

A man bane sword don't instantly kill men even if the dictionary say "
BANE
noun
1. a person or thing that ruins or spoils:
2. a deadly poison (often used in combination, as in the names of poisonous plants):
wolfsbane; henbane.
3. death; destruction; ruin.
4.Obsolete. that which causes death or destroys life:
entrapped and drowned beneath the watery bane."

Evil Eye description say. " This is a mind-affecting effect." not " This is a evil mind-affecting effect."

Ryze Kuja wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

it seem you are equating a lot of spells/abilities that aren't evil to evil actions, so maybe the problem is your perception of what will be classed as evil. Essentially you are arguing that all people play lawful stupid and paladin smite.

And you are arguing that all necromancers are undead raising guys.
Please don't put words in my mouth, I have never argued that all people play lawful stupid. In fact, in the OP example, I think the Cleric of Sarenrae is roleplaying properly by destroying the undead the wizard is summoning.

But it is exactly what you do when you argue that people is incapable to recognize the difference between an ability that has the Evil descriptor (Animate dead) and one that hasn't it (Evil Eye).

Ryze Kuja wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
So you are applying narrow stereotypes and then saying "if we use narrow stereotypes it generate problems". Lapalisse school of Role Playing?
I respectfully
...

Okay, I never should have even mentioned Evil Eye as a rhetorical example. It was never meant to be a legitimate point.


You are in a role play situation that is campaign specific. Some RAW has been played with and the GM is letting this play out.
If you are seeking justification as to having the undead attack the cleric, you don't really need any. Pass a note to the GM after the next time the cleric causes damage saying the undead don't like the damage and are attacking the cleric. Otherwise the GM is fine with this and just treat it as an attrition loss (price of playing in this campaign with this situation). At worse if they are animated undead charge the spell components to the cleric or take it off the top of party treasure before you get your splits.

Lastly there are spells and magic items that alter damage from positive/negative energy. It may be worth it to craft a few of those so your undead will heal when she channels to harm.


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Azothath wrote:

You are in a role play situation that is campaign specific. Some RAW has been played with and the GM is letting this play out.

If you are seeking justification as to having the undead attack the cleric, you don't really need any. Pass a note to the GM after the next time the cleric causes damage saying the undead don't like the damage and are attacking the cleric. Otherwise the GM is fine with this and just treat it as an attrition loss (price of playing in this campaign with this situation). At worse if they are animated undead charge the spell components to the cleric or take it off the top of party treasure before you get your splits.

Lastly there are spells and magic items that alter damage from positive/negative energy. It may be worth it to craft a few of those so your undead will heal when she channels to harm.

Again, not looking to escalate. However, after last night's session it should be important to know, we worked it out through compromise and being adults.

The wizard has saves the cleric's life, more than once directly and indirectly, and goes do "good" more otfen than not despite being neutral. The undead make the cleric uneasy for certain, but after all they've been through togetger it's reasonable to trust the wizard knows what she's doing and is acting responsibly.

We did lose a friend, and putting a rotting corpse in place of another friend's loss is more acceptable to prevent more loss of life. However, the actions of her creations are the wizard's responsibility, so if things get out of hand, it is the wizard's fault and duty to fix it, or the cleric's duty to stop her.

Playing with corpses still isn't this wizard's primary method of play, so all in all, things shouldn't escalate much past where they are, and with last night's combat, she managed to prove the undead's worth in preventing more loss (by saving the alchemist from a particularly dangerous troll with a gun). Plus everyone had a good time, and past all the roleplaying that's what matters most.


Isaac Zephyr wrote:
Azothath wrote:

You are in a role play situation that is campaign specific. Some RAW has been played with and the GM is letting this play out.

If you are seeking justification as to having the undead attack the cleric, you don't really need any. Pass a note to the GM after the next time the cleric causes damage saying the undead don't like the damage and are attacking the cleric. Otherwise the GM is fine with this and just treat it as an attrition loss (price of playing in this campaign with this situation). At worse if they are animated undead charge the spell components to the cleric or take it off the top of party treasure before you get your splits.

Lastly there are spells and magic items that alter damage from positive/negative energy. It may be worth it to craft a few of those so your undead will heal when she channels to harm.

Again, not looking to escalate. However, after last night's session it should be important to know, we worked it out through compromise and being adults.

The wizard has saves the cleric's life, more than once directly and indirectly, and goes do "good" more otfen than not despite being neutral. The undead make the cleric uneasy for certain, but after all they've been through togetger it's reasonable to trust the wizard knows what she's doing and is acting responsibly.

We did lose a friend, and putting a rotting corpse in place of another friend's loss is more acceptable to prevent more loss of life. However, the actions of her creations are the wizard's responsibility, so if things get out of hand, it is the wizard's fault and duty to fix it, or the cleric's duty to stop her.

Playing with corpses still isn't this wizard's primary method of play, so all in all, things shouldn't escalate much past where they are, and with last night's combat, she managed to prove the undead's worth in preventing more loss (by saving the alchemist from a particularly dangerous troll with a gun). Plus everyone had a good time, and past all the roleplaying that's what...

Outstanding :)

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