So if creating mindless undead through necromancy is still evil in 2e...


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:


Pathfinder does come with more assumptions about free will baked in than that, though, sfaict. That one controls one's behaviour (ie, controls the manifestation of one's personality) enough to be held morally responsible for it and judged accordingly in the afterlife.

But I don't believe there is any moral responsibility, because Pharasma does not just care. And that is appropriate, because she is the ultimate in neutrality, the strongest in apathy. There is no "punishment" in the final judgement, because all planes are equal in suffering and bliss.


Envall wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:


Pathfinder does come with more assumptions about free will baked in than that, though, sfaict. That one controls one's behaviour (ie, controls the manifestation of one's personality) enough to be held morally responsible for it and judged accordingly in the afterlife.

But I don't believe there is any moral responsibility, because Pharasma does not just care. And that is appropriate, because she is the ultimate in neutrality, the strongest in apathy. There is no "punishment" in the final judgement, because all planes are equal in suffering and bliss.

This is pretty unsubstantiated.


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Envall wrote:
There is no "punishment" in the final judgement, because all planes are equal in suffering and bliss.

This is blatantly false, even if you're the associated alignment, going to one of the Fiendish Planes is a horrific experience with no redeeming features.


Ryan Freire wrote:


This is pretty unsubstantiated.
Necromancer Paladin wrote:


This is blatantly false, even if you're the associated alignment, going to one of the Fiendish Planes is a horrific experience with no redeeming features.

Is it really? If all my mortal life I have lived for destruction and proving my worth through conflict, what good are the good planes for this kind of person?

If I am truly Chaotic Evil to bone, the Abyss is the real heaven. Demons love the way it sucks. Downside, you are abyss worm and that kinda sucks. Upside, the outer plane supports every single desire you have and you are given free reign to do whatever you can in your power.

Liberty's Edge

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Necromancer Paladin wrote:
Envall wrote:
There is no "punishment" in the final judgement, because all planes are equal in suffering and bliss.
This is blatantly false, even if you're the associated alignment, going to one of the Fiendish Planes is a horrific experience with no redeeming features.

Yeah. This.

This isn't because Pharasma cares, mind you, she doesn't. It's because 'Hell is other people.' Going to a place full of CE people just inevitably isn't as pleasant as going to somewhere full of NG ones.

The Abyss may better abide by your personal philosophy of 'might makes right' but for more than 99% of Evil souls, that just makes you a victim for eternity since you wind up one of the weak.

Now, if you're lucky enough (or were devoted enough to the right Evil God in life) you can wind up a powerful demon and have a much better quality of afterlife...but that's the exception, not the rule.


Envall wrote:

Is it really? If all my mortal life I have lived for destruction and proving my worth through conflict, what good are the good planes for this kind of person?

If I am truly Chaotic Evil to bone, the Abyss is the real heaven. Demons love the way it sucks. Downside, you are abyss worm and that kinda sucks. Upside, the outer plane supports every single desire you have and you are given free reign to do whatever you can in your power.

Being Chaotic Evil does not equal enjoying: "being weak regardless of my previous skill, constantly hunted, eat filth, and probably be violently murdered at best".


Necromancer Paladin wrote:
Envall wrote:

Is it really? If all my mortal life I have lived for destruction and proving my worth through conflict, what good are the good planes for this kind of person?

If I am truly Chaotic Evil to bone, the Abyss is the real heaven. Demons love the way it sucks. Downside, you are abyss worm and that kinda sucks. Upside, the outer plane supports every single desire you have and you are given free reign to do whatever you can in your power.

Being Chaotic Evil does not equal enjoying: "being weak regardless of my previous skill, constantly hunted, eat filth, and probably be violently murdered at best".

LE isn't much better judging by the end of hells rebels.


Necromancer Paladin wrote:
Being Chaotic Evil does not equal enjoying: "being weak regardless of my previous skill, constantly hunted, eat filth, and probably be violently murdered at best".

That is the risk of ambition, but nobody enters a competition to be the loser, everyone wants to be the winner. Strong CEs before demons and eat on the weak, CE loves the might makes right attitude. Even the weakest larva can always hope there is someone even weaker around they can nibble on and maybe get a step up the hierarchy ladder.

Or true bliss being turned into archon lantern, a simple minded servant with zero ambition, that lives a life of servitude in the comfort of its masters? Sure, Heaven has no malice for the weak, but there is always condescension to go around. I can't deny that the kind of selflessness of the Good is easier to identify with, which inherently makes it look "better", but I think with some thought experiments you can detach yourself than that thinking.

Liberty's Edge

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Envall wrote:
Or true bliss being turned into archon lantern, a simple minded servant with zero ambition, that lives a life of servitude in the comfort of its masters? Sure, Heaven has no malice for the weak, but there is always condescension to go around. I can't deny that the kind of selflessness of the Good is easier to identify with, which inherently makes it look "better", but I think with some thought experiments you can detach yourself than that thinking.

There's no evidence people in Heaven become anything that they wouldn't have wanted to become while alive. Some people like serving others, after all, and Lantern Archons are explicitly mostly content as they are. And there's certainly no evidence of real condescension. Indeed, given how Heaven is portrayed both are actually super unlikely to be present in any meaningful amount.

Not everyone winds up powerful anywhere, but those who are weak are protected and happy in the Good afterlives and abused prey in the Evil ones. The first is a vastly better deal.

In short, this description shows your own biases rather than saying anything true about the world.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


There's no evidence people in Heaven become anything that they wouldn't have wanted to become while alive. Some people like serving others, after all, and Lantern Archons are explicitly mostly content as they are. And there's certainly no evidence of real condescension. Indeed, given how Heaven is portrayed both are actually super unlikely to be present in any meaningful amount.

Not everyone winds up powerful anywhere, but those who are weak are protected and happy in the Good afterlives and abused prey in the Evil ones. The first is a vastly better deal.

In short, this description shows your own biases rather than saying anything true about the world.

All of my ideas are based on readings of the Golarion lore.

I believe happiness is too broad concept to be just attributed to Good all together.

I would run the thought like this. Sins are fun. Even if I were a lawful good person, I am comfortable in helping others and accepting dogma, I still probably have some sins that give me happiness. Maybe it is lust, or gluttony, who knows. Now, when I become an archon lantern, I have to give up on those. I am fairly sure from the lore, that Heaven does not accept deviant behavior from its servants, so those desire are just gone. Poof. I become archon lantern and my whole self is forged into something more simplistic, and I have to give up on my happiness for that dogma of Heaven.

Or do archons have "guilty pleasures"? Is this in some lore splatbook I have not read?

When Pharasma sees the souls and makes the call, it is based on that compability. "This soul is CE, off to Abyss with you." That is not because "oh go suffer there wrench", but "Go continue living the way you lived" kind of deal. CE will find the maximum happiness in abyss because there the soul can continue enjoying the things they enjoyed as a mortal.

Liberty's Edge

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Envall wrote:
All of my ideas are based on readings of the Golarion lore.

Citations?

Envall wrote:
It is that presumption of "Happiness" which is where the friction between my ideas and yours exists. I believe happiness is too broad concept to be just attributed to Good all together.

Certainly. Many Evil people are quite happy. Happiness is morally value neutral in and of itself.

However, destroying the happiness of others tends to be the province of the Evil (or at least Neutral people behaving in a somewhat Evil way). So it's not that Evil people can't be happy, it's that when surrounded by Good people nobody is gonna do much to stop your happiness, which increases the happiness of the vast majority of people quite a bit as compared to almost everyone trying to f+$! you over like happens when surrounded by the Evil.

Envall wrote:
I would run the thought like this. Sins are fun. Even if I were a lawful good person, I am comfortable in helping others and accepting dogma, I still probably have some sins that give me happiness. Maybe it is lust, or gluttony, who knows.

What is a sin? Sexual desire isn't a sin. Enjoying good food, or even lots of food, are not sins. Not the kind that keep you from being an Empyreal Lord anyway, given the existence of Arshea (Empyreal Lord of Sexuality) and Thisamet (Empyreal Lord of Feasts). And if you can be an Empyreal Lord with those desires fully intact, why not some lesser Celestial?

No, it becomes a sin when you hurt people in your pursuit of sex or food or any other indulgence. And no, Celestials will not permit that, but that just means they make you more resistant to temptation, not that such desires are removed.

Envall wrote:
Now, when I become an archon lantern, I have to give up on those. I am fairly sure from the lore, that Heaven does not accept deviant behavior from its servants, so those desire are just gone. Poof. I become archon lantern and my whole self is forged into something more simplistic, and I have to give up on my happiness for that dogma of Heaven.

What is your basis for any of this? Everyone who becomes any kind of outsider loses their memories, but there is absolutely no evidence of parts of any Good Outsider's personality being scrubbed like this.

Envall wrote:
Or do archons have "guilty pleasures"? Is this in some lore splatbook I have not read?

There's a LG Empyreal Lord of Prostitution. What in the world do you have in mind that doesn't hurt anyone you think an Archon in the service of Lymnieris would need to feel guilty about in the way of pleasures?

Envall wrote:
When Pharasma sees the souls and makes the call, it is based on that compability. "This soul is CE, off to Abyss with you." That is not because "oh go suffer there wrench", but "Go continue living the way you lived" kind of deal. CE will find the maximum happiness in abyss because there the soul can continue enjoying the things they enjoyed as a mortal.

That's totally Pharasma's motivation, but saying that the results are therefore equal is just odd and completely unsupported by any game literature.

Envall wrote:
This is how I read the stuff Paizo has written. I don't think I am biased, I think I am just interpreting what they have written.

Again, I ask for any citations regarding Celestials being forced into their state against their will or the like.

The Exchange

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putting this back in the thread I originally posted it in, but it appears to have been dropped from...

here is an interesting look at the difference between "Good" and "Evil" people...IMHO

Heaven and Hell: The Parable of the Long Spoons: :

One day a man said to God, “God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”

God showed the man two doors. Inside the first one, in the middle of the room, was a large round table with a large pot of stew. It smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water, but the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, “You have seen Hell.”

Behind the second door, the room appeared exactly the same. There was the large round table with the large pot of wonderful stew that made the man’s mouth water. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but they were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The man said, “I don’t understand.”

God smiled. It is simple, he said, Love only requires one skill. These people learned early on to share and feed one another. While the greedy only think of themselves…


But the each alignment corner is a mixture of values that is not universal to all. When I spoke of sins, I meant the pleasures of excess. Excess food, sexual deviancy, and so worth. Nocticula and Socothbenoth, the extreme end. What exactly makes Thisamet and Urgotha different in their love for food? I would theorize that the other does it as a means of sharing food with everyone and other is all about selfish consumption. But both being chaotic gods, both are incompatible with lawful cultures. Everyone has to give up some form of pleasure, be it kindness of others or ambition of power, freedom or order, and so forth.

My point being, each of the alignment corners close off options for you. You have to actually subscribe to some form of dogma to get to become favored soul in any plane, you cannot pick and choose what alignment you wanna be based on the situation. If everyone in heaven is selfless, then it should be super easy to be selfish in heaven right? Everyone would just help you for free and give you free stuff, it is fabulous. But das ist verboten there I assume, same way being nice in hell gets you nowhere.

If being sent to abyss is meant to be punishment because you were a violent despoiler as a mortal, what kind of punishment is that? They are not afraid of pain or having to fight to live, they embraced that lifestyle a long time ago. If you really wanna punish them, take note from Sisyphus or something. Complete isolation in the purgatory, slowly whittle them down to nothing. Or the reward of being good person in life is to be pampered by others, which also seems counterproductive. This is why I do not think they are punishments and rewards, but both which means neither.

Also I apologize but I hate how paizo forums handles quoting long posts so I will just post it raw.


Pffft, Id just choke up on the damn spoon...

Liberty's Edge

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Envall wrote:
But the each alignment corner is a mixture of values that is not universal to all. When I spoke of sins, I meant the pleasures of excess. Excess food, sexual deviancy, and so worth. Nocticula and Socothbenoth, the extreme end.

Excess in and of itself isn't borne out as inherently Evil anywhere in the text. Nocticula and Socothbenoth are Evil not for indulgence, but for harming others in the pursuit of it, which both do regularly.

Envall wrote:
What exactly makes Thisamet and Urgotha different in their love for food? I would theorize that the other does it as a means of sharing food with everyone and other is all about selfish consumption. But both being chaotic gods, both are incompatible with lawful cultures.

Urgathoa is NE, actually. And what basis do you have for indulgence as an inherently non-Lawful trait? I'll re-cite Lymnieris and Arshea (neither of whom are Chaotic) and throw in Halcamora, NG Empyreal Lord of wine (among other things).

Envall wrote:
Everyone has to give up some form of pleasure, be it kindness of others or ambition of power, freedom or order, and so forth.

Again, do you have any actual citation for, say, CG Outsiders having to give up anything? We've certainly seen plenty of ambitious Celestials, Azata organizing to complete a task, and other similar things.

Envall wrote:
My point being, each of the alignment corners close off options for you. You have to actually subscribe to some form of dogma to get to become favored soul in any plane, you cannot pick and choose what alignment you wanna be based on the situation.

No, but why would you need to in order to be happy and enjoy yourself? I'm talking quality of life here, and those on Good Aligned Planes have a vastly higher quality of life than those on Evil Aligned ones.

Envall wrote:
If everyone in heaven is selfless, then it should be super easy to be selfish in heaven right? Everyone would just help you for free and give you free stuff, it is fabulous. But das ist verboten there I assume, same way being nice in hell gets you nowhere.

It's certainly not encouraged, but it's also not within the nature of the denizens. They've been pre-selected to be those least likely to be selfish, and thus mostly aren't. The few that become so on a regular basis probably fall sorta by definition.

Envall wrote:
If being sent to abyss is meant to be punishment because you were a violent despoiler as a mortal, what kind of punishment is that? They are not afraid of pain or having to fight to live, they embraced that lifestyle a long time ago. If you really wanna punish them, take note from Sisyphus or something. Complete isolation in the purgatory, slowly whittle them down to nothing. Or the reward of being good person in life is to be pampered by others, which also seems counterproductive. This is why I do not think they are punishments and rewards, but both which means neither.

Intentions and results are not synonymous. Pharasma in no way intends to punish or reward anyone. That is irrelevant to her.

But somewhat inevitably, in something like 99% of cases being thrown in a room/world with people who have the same outlook on life as you is effectively a reward for those who are kind and selfless (since being around kind and selfless people is generally pleasant) and effectively a punishment those who are cruel and selfish (as being surrounded by cruel and selfish people exclusively is generally pretty awful).

It's not that Pharasma intends to reward or punish anyone, it's just that some philosophies on life make the world more pleasant if everyone shares them and others make it less so. In a form of ultimate justice, you live in the world your life philosophy would result in. For most Evil people, this just happens to be profoundly hellish, while for most Good people it's quite nice.

Envall wrote:
Also I apologize but I hate how paizo forums handles quoting long posts so I will just post it raw.

That's fine.


Envall wrote:


But I don't believe there is any moral responsibility, because Pharasma does not just care. And that is appropriate, because she is the ultimate in neutrality, the strongest in apathy. There is no "punishment" in the final judgement, because all planes are equal in suffering and bliss.

Am I misremembering Abaddon as being so innately despairing as to sap the will of mortals who go there, and Nirvana as correspondingly so innately joyous as to bliss visitors out, both with mechanistic effects? Or has that not been carried over since earlier versions of the Great Wheel?


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Envall wrote:
Necromancer Paladin wrote:
Being Chaotic Evil does not equal enjoying: "being weak regardless of my previous skill, constantly hunted, eat filth, and probably be violently murdered at best".
That is the risk of ambition, but nobody enters a competition to be the loser, everyone wants to be the winner.

Not so. Some people just care about succeeding or failing to some personal standard, and not so much how anyone else does.

Quote:


Strong CEs before demons and eat on the weak, CE loves the might makes right attitude. Even the weakest larva can always hope there is someone even weaker around they can nibble on and maybe get a step up the hierarchy ladder.

ISTR it being stated somewhere that maybe one CE soul in a million gets to become a demon; your argument needs an awful lot of self-deluding larvae (not that i have a problem with considering CE deluded.)

Quote:


Or true bliss being turned into archon lantern, a simple minded servant with zero ambition, that lives a life of servitude in the comfort of its masters? Sure, Heaven has no malice for the weak, but there is always condescension to go around.

LG totally works for me as not minding being a small piece in a big machine so long as it is a Good machine.


Envall wrote:

If everyone in heaven is selfless, then it should be super easy to be selfish in heaven right? Everyone would just help you for free and give you free stuff, it is fabulous. But das ist verboten there I assume, same way being nice in hell gets you nowhere.

I've always understood it, not as being forbidden, but that it's generally not possible for outsiders of the relevant alignment to have that sort of reaction; they embody their alignment. They no longer have free will the way mortals do, and it takes extreme circumstance to change them outside their alignment. (This notion originally coming from the strand of early Christian thought in which mortal life is kind of the larval form of whatever one ends up as after death.)

Quote:


If being sent to abyss is meant to be punishment because you were a violent despoiler as a mortal, what kind of punishment is that? They are not afraid of pain or having to fight to live, they embraced that lifestyle a long time ago.

Not everybody who is a violent bully (for example) thinks of violent bullying as an admirable thing when they are on the receiving end of the violent bullying, and pretty much every soul going to the Abyss will be on the receiving end much more.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Quote:


If being sent to abyss is meant to be punishment because you were a violent despoiler as a mortal, what kind of punishment is that? They are not afraid of pain or having to fight to live, they embraced that lifestyle a long time ago.
Not everybody who is a violent bully (for example) thinks of violent bullying as an admirable thing when they are on the receiving end of the violent bullying, and pretty much every soul going to the Abyss will be on the receiving end much more.

That and we keep seeing at least for some evil(?) people that know where they are going, try to weasel out of it or gain enough power to dodge said ending.

I mean people become Liches out of fear of death or what comes after. And if you know a Devil/Demon/Daemon is waiting for you..., well suddenly being undead sounds like a good way to cheat that.


The Dandy Lion wrote:

I'm of the mind that raising undead should be an inherently evil action, and just properly explained and justified in the core books this time.

An action that may have good intentions and possibly even overall-positive results/minimal drawbacks, yet also still an action the very cosmos and laws of nature object to has amazing story potential.

The idea of good-natured people in a rural area raising their ancestors and keeping a happy cult of doing this is great and realistic. The majority of the gods finding it abhorrent also makes perfect sense with the cosmology we have, and their alignment being tainted despite innocent intent makes sense to me. People can carry evil alignments and wish well, after all.

Undeath inherently being evil also keeps necromancy (the act of raising, not the school of magic) from being a common staple of wizardry, and I think that's a very important thing for many tables, especially PFS.

I do like the general concept of 'neutral' undeath, but it can carry very strong setting-warping implications if the setting is high-magic (which Golarion arguably is).

Paizo appears to be very much against this. They want Evil creatures and people to be clearly abhorrent to the players. And for Good creatures to be unquestionably moral and right.

Thats the source of this tension. Things would be much easier if Evil was just a different point of view.


Deadman, it seems lot of this seems to boil down towards the quality of afterlife so to speak. So, if you go to heaven, you are around selfless people who take care of you. Go to abyss, you are around selfish people who exploit you. The other is free stuff, sure. But the other is also free stuff and even more, just for fewer people.

So unless other side gets to cheat, both have some finite amount of power that can be distributed. Heaven employs some evened power distribution, everyone shares and everyone gets some. Unless this is straight up skewed where everyone in heaven are just swimming in divine benefits and abyss actually has none, it would mean that even if other side is a sandpit of tiny particles and the other is pebbles crushed under a huge rock, both are equal mass of earth.

Abyss and Heaven would be equals in quality of life if you don't think suffering as negative quality of life, it is only absence of quality of life. Thus one demon really enjoying himself at the expense of 1000 souls is equal to 1001 souls sharing enjoyment together.

Liberty's Edge

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Envall wrote:
Deadman, it seems lot of this seems to boil down towards the quality of afterlife so to speak. So, if you go to heaven, you are around selfless people who take care of you. Go to abyss, you are around selfish people who exploit you. The other is free stuff, sure. But the other is also free stuff and even more, just for fewer people.

What does free stuff have to do with it? I'm in no way saying everyone in Heaven gets more power than those in the Abyss, they just get the equivalent of basic human rights and the ability to live their life unmolested.

Envall wrote:
So unless other side gets to cheat, both have some finite amount of power that can be distributed. Heaven employs some evened power distribution, everyone shares and everyone gets some. Unless this is straight up skewed where everyone in heaven are just swimming in divine benefits and abyss actually has none, it would mean that even if other side is a sandpit of tiny particles and the other is pebbles crushed under a huge rock, both are equal mass of earth.

You're equating power and quality of afterlife. The two are not remotely synonymous, and indeed have nothing inherently to do with each other. A particular petitioned in Heaven with no power at all may be the happiest person in the whole plane.

Heaven does not actually have an evened power distribution. It's both hierarchical and doesn't get any 'bonus' powerful beings. The powerful just don't abuse the weak or betray each other, which makes everyone's quality of life vastly higher. Heck, even in a material sense working together with people you trust for your mutual good will make their situation a lot better.

The Abyss and Heaven may well be completely equal power wise. Heck, the Abyss probably even has more, but that's a completely unrelated to the amount of enjoyment present in both realms.

Envall wrote:
Abyss and Heaven would be equals in quality of life if you don't think suffering as negative quality of life, it is only absence of quality of life. Thus one demon really enjoying himself at the expense of 1000 souls is equal to 1001 souls sharing enjoyment together.

Enjoyment is not a resource that can be distributed like this. I imagine a demon enjoying the suffering of others is having fun, but he's not having 1000 times the fun of a random petitioner in Heaven because happiness and quality of life aren't zero sum games.


But happiness is a zero sum game.

This is a bit abstract. If I were the ultimate Good, with infinite power at my disposal, I provide infinite happiness to infinite people. Now as a whole collective, they all get infinite divided by infinite good stuff, which is 1, but individually each and all get 1 divided by infinite, which means everyone gets zero. Which means everyone gets nothing. And the evil god who keeps all the infinite happiness to himself keeps his infinity, both are equal in total happiness. Zero sum.

Now that is abstract, I think alignment is meant to be an abstract concept in many ways. If we were to compare "everyone gets to eat cake and see their loved ones in heaven" to "demon lord gets off making lots of evil souls suffer", these are almost too specific. I have my bias as a real world human person, I cannot fathom the ultimate depravity at the expense of others that would lead to such great pleasure that it is as powerful as ending world hunger or having all the world find true love or something like that. But that is my bias which I can identify, and accept that there is something so Evil Pleasure that it is worth having 99% of all souls in abyss suffer for it.

The Exchange

nosig wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
Creating undead is evil, full stop.

Oh, we all know that. The problem is that it has never been explained beyond "because the designers decided so".

Adding a concrete reason behind it in 2E would go a long way to settling these arguments.

so, perhaps a better question might be...

So WILL creating mindless undead through necromancy still be evil in 2e...

and if so, will mindless undead still be "Alignment: Always Evil"?

pushing this back toward the original post (or at least my take on the OP).

So WILL creating mindless undead through necromancy still be evil in 2e... and if so, Why?

edit: some possible answers...

"Because I said so!"
"Because working with dead bodies is unclean and icky, and anyone who does that is EVIL."
"Because it works with Negative Energy in a way that is Evil, not like the other ways that are just Neutral."
"For game balance, to keep PCs (who can't be Evil) from being able to create Mindless Undead (because that would be to powerful)"
"Because ... of something else...?"

Other suggestions?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Envall wrote:
But happiness is a zero sum game.

No, it really isn't. Happiness in others does not make you unhappy, unless your happiness relies on others unhappiness.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Envall wrote:
But happiness is a zero sum game.
No, it really isn't. Happiness in others does not make you unhappy, unless your happiness relies on others unhappiness.

Ever been to the internet?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Since I was a child.


Happiness may not be zero sum but good and evil and law and chaos are, as evidenced by Pharasma's job sorting the energy of the universe. The entire point of her is to portion up a presumably finite resource.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Envall wrote:
But happiness is a zero sum game.
No, it really isn't. Happiness in others does not make you unhappy, unless your happiness relies on others unhappiness.

Everything requires energy, even just being around other people.

Nothing is free, especially being happy with others. People gladly take the time and effort to have fun with others, but it is not something that happens automatically or without costs.


Envall wrote:

But happiness is a zero sum game.

This is a bit abstract. If I were the ultimate Good, with infinite power at my disposal, I provide infinite happiness to infinite people. Now as a whole collective, they all get infinite divided by infinite good stuff, which is 1, but individually each and all get 1 divided by infinite, which means everyone gets zero. Which means everyone gets nothing. And the evil god who keeps all the infinite happiness to himself keeps his infinity, both are equal in total happiness. Zero sum.

Now that is abstract, I think alignment is meant to be an abstract concept in many ways. If we were to compare "everyone gets to eat cake and see their loved ones in heaven" to "demon lord gets off making lots of evil souls suffer", these are almost too specific. I have my bias as a real world human person, I cannot fathom the ultimate depravity at the expense of others that would lead to such great pleasure that it is as powerful as ending world hunger or having all the world find true love or something like that. But that is my bias which I can identify, and accept that there is something so Evil Pleasure that it is worth having 99% of all souls in abyss suffer for it.

but infinite divided by infinite is undefended, it makes no mathematical and not philosophical sense because infinite is not a number

The Exchange

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Since I was a child.

There you go, reminding me of how old I am.

Internet... Used to think that was something for Indoor Tennis.

Don't mind me, the nurse will be along any time now to wheel me back to my room....

The Exchange

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Envall wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Envall wrote:
But happiness is a zero sum game.
No, it really isn't. Happiness in others does not make you unhappy, unless your happiness relies on others unhappiness.

Everything requires energy, even just being around other people.

Nothing is free, especially being happy with others. People gladly take the time and effort to have fun with others, but it is not something that happens automatically or without costs.

This...is not true. And it's kind makes me sad that people would think that.

Being happy with others is free. Smiles and contentment. Fun with friends.

The sparkle in a babies eyes....

Playing with a kitten... or just watching a puppy enjoying it's first snow.

Sovereign Court

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Not my quote but something that I think works here...
"https://theunboundedspirit.com/hell-heaven/

According to Christianity, heaven and hell exist outside of ourselves, as if in some kind of a geographical place. To me, however, heaven and hell are nothing but manifestations of our own mind, and we carry them within us, wherever we happen to be.

Those who have a peaceful state of mind, and embody compassion in their everyday life, experience heaven and help create a heavenly environment wherever they go. Those, on the other hand, who have an easily agitated mind, experience nothing but hell, and can’t help but negatively affect those around them.

Below is an inspiring short story of a man who is said to have turned hell into heaven, just by his kind and loving presence:

Once upon a time, there was a man who had been the soul of kindness all his life.

When he died, everyone assumed that he would go straight to Heaven, for the only possible place for a good man like him was Paradise.

The man wasn’t particularly bothered about going to Heaven, but that was where he went.

Now in those days, service in heaven was not all that it might be. The reception desk was extremely inefficient, and the girl who received him gave only a cursory glance through the index cards before her and when she couldn’t find the man’s name, she sent him straight to Hell. And in Hell no one asks to check your badge or your invitation, for anyone who turns up is invited in.

The man entered and stayed.

Some days later, Lucifer stormed up to the gates of Heaven to demand an explanation from St Peter.

“What you’re doing is pure terrorism!” he said. “You sent that man down into Hell, and he’s completely undermining me! Right from the start, there he was listening to people, looking them in the eye, talking to them. And now everyone’s sharing their feelings and hugging and kissing. That’s not the sort of thing I want in Hell! Please, let him into Heaven!”

Find heaven within you and you’ll create heaven all around you, even if you’re sent to the worst of hells.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Ectar wrote:

Mark, your reveals are still always my favorites. And how responsive you are in the comments doesn't hurt either.

The change to specifying what alignments a deity will allow instead of always within one step of the deity's alignment is maybe my favorite change in here.
Also, divorcing channeling a type of energy with alignment. Evil parties need healing too!

They do need healing too. Plus, while the creation of undead perverting negative energy into creating a twisted mockery of life with fell instincts is evil, that doesn't mean negative energy is evil, nor that positive energy is good.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Sir Ol'Guy wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Since I was a child.

There you go, reminding me of how old I am.

Internet... Used to think that was something for Indoor Tennis.

Don't mind me, the nurse will be along any time now to wheel me back to my room....

What can I say, I was a 90's kid. I didn't see broadband until I was a man.


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kurviak wrote:
Envall wrote:

But happiness is a zero sum game.

This is a bit abstract. If I were the ultimate Good, with infinite power at my disposal, I provide infinite happiness to infinite people. Now as a whole collective, they all get infinite divided by infinite good stuff, which is 1, but individually each and all get 1 divided by infinite, which means everyone gets zero. Which means everyone gets nothing. And the evil god who keeps all the infinite happiness to himself keeps his infinity, both are equal in total happiness. Zero sum.

Now that is abstract, I think alignment is meant to be an abstract concept in many ways. If we were to compare "everyone gets to eat cake and see their loved ones in heaven" to "demon lord gets off making lots of evil souls suffer", these are almost too specific. I have my bias as a real world human person, I cannot fathom the ultimate depravity at the expense of others that would lead to such great pleasure that it is as powerful as ending world hunger or having all the world find true love or something like that. But that is my bias which I can identify, and accept that there is something so Evil Pleasure that it is worth having 99% of all souls in abyss suffer for it.

but infinite divided by infinite is undefended, it makes no mathematical and not philosophical sense because infinite is not a number

Technically speaking, ∞/∞ is indeterminate (has multiple values depending on context) and not undefined (has no value) the way 1/0 is. x/x when x becomes infinity is ∞/∞, but is equal to 1, but the ∞/∞ produced by x/x^2 is 0.

The Exchange

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sir Ol'Guy wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Since I was a child.

There you go, reminding me of how old I am.

Internet... Used to think that was something for Indoor Tennis.

Don't mind me, the nurse will be along any time now to wheel me back to my room....

What can I say, I was a 90's kid. I didn't see broadband until I was a man.

Wait... "Broadband? Broad Band? Is that anything like Big Band? You mean Big Band? Cause that goes back to my youngster days! "Big Band"! Like the Dorsey brothers, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington? Yeah! That's even a little before MY time!

Liberty's Edge

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Envall wrote:
But happiness is a zero sum game.

If you believe that to make myself more happy I must definitionally take away the happiness of someone else...I have no words.

That's not how reality works. It can empirically be proved to not be the way reality works.

Envall wrote:
This is a bit abstract. If I were the ultimate Good, with infinite power at my disposal, I provide infinite happiness to infinite people. Now as a whole collective, they all get infinite divided by infinite good stuff, which is 1, but individually each and all get 1 divided by infinite, which means everyone gets zero. Which means everyone gets nothing. And the evil god who keeps all the infinite happiness to himself keeps his infinity, both are equal in total happiness. Zero sum.

Uh...Gods are in no way infinite in Pathfinder, so I'm not sure how this is relevant. Also, the math in this example makes absolutely no sense. I literally do not understand what you are trying to say.

Envall wrote:
Now that is abstract, I think alignment is meant to be an abstract concept in many ways. If we were to compare "everyone gets to eat cake and see their loved ones in heaven" to "demon lord gets off making lots of evil souls suffer", these are almost too specific. I have my bias as a real world human person, I cannot fathom the ultimate depravity at the expense of others that would lead to such great pleasure that it is as powerful as ending world hunger or having all the world find true love or something like that. But that is my bias which I can identify, and accept that there is something so Evil Pleasure that it is worth having 99% of all souls in abyss suffer for it.

That's not how pleasure works, man. It's just really and profoundly not.

Envall wrote:
Everything requires energy, even just being around other people.

This actually varies from person to person. Many people actually draw energy from contact with others.

Unless you mean physical energy in which case we get that from eating, not others being unhappy.

Envall wrote:
Nothing is free, especially being happy with others. People gladly take the time and effort to have fun with others, but it is not something that happens automatically or without costs.

That depends on the situation and the people in question.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sir Ol'Guy wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Since I was a child.

There you go, reminding me of how old I am.

Internet... Used to think that was something for Indoor Tennis.

Don't mind me, the nurse will be along any time now to wheel me back to my room....

What can I say, I was a 90's kid. I didn't see broadband until I was a man.

2400 baud modems, baby.


Let's leave it at this then if what I says is not understood. Especially it even results in pity or something.
This is a bit of an dead end.

Liberty's Edge

Envall wrote:

Let's leave it at this then if what I says is not understood. Especially it even results in pity or something.

This is a bit of an dead end.

Okay, if that's how you feel.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Happiness may not be zero sum but good and evil and law and chaos are, as evidenced by Pharasma's job sorting the energy of the universe. The entire point of her is to portion up a presumably finite resource.

Sure. And I don't think anyone's argued that Pharasma cares about rewarding or punishing people, just sorting things properly. That just sort of inevitably results in some reward and punishment-like situations.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

It's always entertaining to see people arguing about the nature of good and evil on an RPG forum.

But we should keep in mind that there is a major difference between the way we (in Western cultures) conceive of the notions of good and evil, and the myriad ways they might be conceived in a fantasy RPG world with strange and varied religions. We, in Western cultures, have largely learnt to understand the notions of good and evil that come from Jewish, Catholic, Protestant or even Islamic moralists. Notions of "sin" and "virtue" are heavily codified in our culture. But they are hardly universal truths. A fantasy world could well stand many of our received notions on their heads. Adultery could be accepted in some places, just as in certain historical periods, in certain places and for folks of certain social classes, murder was a minor peccadillo, to be erased at the cost of a few coins or cattle.

To understand the depth of cultural relativism, you need only listen to Black Adder extoll the virtues of hell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lyrBtcZCes

Liberty's Edge

Wheldrake wrote:

It's always entertaining to see people arguing about the nature of good and evil on an RPG forum.

But we should keep in mind that there is a major difference between the way we (in Western cultures) conceive of the notions of good and evil, and the myriad ways they might be conceived in a fantasy RPG world with strange and varied religions. We, in Western cultures, have largely learnt to understand the notions of good and evil that come from Jewish, Catholic, Protestant or even Islamic moralists. Notions of "sin" and "virtue" are heavily codified in our culture. But they are hardly universal truths.

This is true to some degree, but only to some degree. I'm a fairly devout pagan, for example, and while my personal morality is certainly influenced by Judaeo-Christian morality (as is that of everyone who grew up in the prevailing Western culture) it is not the same in several notable ways (which I could go into if people cared).

Wheldrake wrote:
A fantasy world could well stand many of our received notions on their heads. Adultery could be accepted in some places, just as in certain historical periods, in certain places and for folks of certain social classes, murder was a minor peccadillo, to be erased at the cost of a few coins or cattle.

This is something you could absolutely do with a fantasy world. However, Golarion as presented in Pathfinder is not that world (at leas in regards to murder...some versions of adultery are fine). Alignment is, in universe, a measurable and objectively correct moral system and it is, rather explicitly, based on specific moral principles that are consistent with modern Western morality for the most part (though not entirely consistent with Judaeo-Christian morality).


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Hell in Pathfinder would suck.

You're a big bad CE bad guy. You're used to being powerful, feared, respected. You wake up in Hell and you're the weakest of the weak, bullied by everyone else, you're not strong enough to be a predator and you never will be.

Everyone here is a wolf, there are no sheep.

It's the lifecycle of an MMORPG open pvp server.

At first everyone rushes it, then the wolves take over, they hit high levels first. The sheep leave and then, with no sheep, the wolves turn on each other, the weaker wolves quit, then the big wolves quit.

The server is abandoned.

Hell is like after the sheep leave... Only the wolves can't leave. They're forced to be prey. They hate that.


The Sideromancer wrote:
kurviak wrote:
Envall wrote:

But happiness is a zero sum game.

This is a bit abstract. If I were the ultimate Good, with infinite power at my disposal, I provide infinite happiness to infinite people. Now as a whole collective, they all get infinite divided by infinite good stuff, which is 1, but individually each and all get 1 divided by infinite, which means everyone gets zero. Which means everyone gets nothing. And the evil god who keeps all the infinite happiness to himself keeps his infinity, both are equal in total happiness. Zero sum.

Now that is abstract, I think alignment is meant to be an abstract concept in many ways. If we were to compare "everyone gets to eat cake and see their loved ones in heaven" to "demon lord gets off making lots of evil souls suffer", these are almost too specific. I have my bias as a real world human person, I cannot fathom the ultimate depravity at the expense of others that would lead to such great pleasure that it is as powerful as ending world hunger or having all the world find true love or something like that. But that is my bias which I can identify, and accept that there is something so Evil Pleasure that it is worth having 99% of all souls in abyss suffer for it.

but infinite divided by infinite is undefended, it makes no mathematical and not philosophical sense because infinite is not a number
Technically speaking, ∞/∞ is indeterminate (has multiple values depending on context) and not undefined (has no value) the way 1/0 is. x/x when x becomes infinity is ∞/∞, but is equal to 1, but the ∞/∞ produced by x/x^2 is 0.

Another example would be that the quantity of infinity is itself variable, and that variance can affect your infinity in an infinite number of ways, as some infinities are bigger than other infinities.

For instance, compare the number of values you get when talking about multiples of 2, you end up with less multiples than multiples of 1, even though you have an infinite number of both.


Coming back to the main point...

I think the biggest issue with undead is stuff like "The dead belong to the dead", respecting the dead, not messing up with a creature's corpse, etc.
In real life, what one can do with the dead relative's body is a big discussion, with a lot of philosophy and theology to go with, but "undead are evil" seems to be an easy way to shortcut the issue for what is essentially a game. This would be much more problematic if necromancy was limited to just creating undead, but it's not.

HWalsh wrote:

Hell in Pathfinder would suck.

You're a big bad CE bad guy. You're used to being powerful, feared, respected. You wake up in Hell and you're the weakest of the weak, bullied by everyone else, you're not strong enough to be a predator and you never will be.

Everyone here is a wolf, there are no sheep.

It's the lifecycle of an MMORPG open pvp server.

At first everyone rushes it, then the wolves take over, they hit high levels first. The sheep leave and then, with no sheep, the wolves turn on each other, the weaker wolves quit, then the big wolves quit.

The server is abandoned.

Hell is like after the sheep leave... Only the wolves can't leave. They're forced to be prey. They hate that.

100% Agree. In another, similar example, I'm reading a lot of TSR-era D&D, which uses more or less the same afterlife system as Pathfinder: you die, you go to somewhere with your alignment (or deity).

Man, these lower planes aren't a vacation trip at all... And even if you someday get to be more than a mane or lemure or larvae or something, it will only be after so much suffering you won't be your real self at this point. With what I remember from Pathfinder 1, this seems to be true there as well.


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I would, in addition to my earlier post, like to make an appeal to lore. D&D has always been a loving embrace of mythology and fantasy and this continues well into Pathfinder. When you look at lore and mythology, what do you see concerning the undead?

Maybe the dead come back from life through magic and rituals or through a terrible agony they suffered in life. More often than not, the dead returning to life is something negative. They are ghosts and monsters.

Of course, there is room for resurrection, but that is already a separate case in this game. The walking dead are rarely anything but evil. I'd love to hear non-contemporary examples of the contrary, though.


Albatoonoe wrote:

I would, in addition to my earlier post, like to make an appeal to lore. D&D has always been a loving embrace of mythology and fantasy and this continues well into Pathfinder. When you look at lore and mythology, what do you see concerning the undead?

Maybe the dead come back from life through magic and rituals or through a terrible agony they suffered in life. More often than not, the dead returning to life is something negative. They are ghosts and monsters.

Of course, there is room for resurrection, but that is already a separate case in this game. The walking dead are rarely anything but evil. I'd love to hear non-contemporary examples of the contrary, though.

Asar/Osiris, Ghosts who haven't realized they're dead, ghosts who just want to rest but are trapped, Taotao Mo'na, Fext, Zashiki-warashi. To be honest most mythical creatures Are monsters, but this isn't anything to do with undead-ness it's just that most non-monstrous creatures of myth were deities or "effectively" equivalent to deities.


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Anyone who thinks Hell is an okay place to be should really read Paizos Book of the Damned series.

They make it very clear just how horrible life is for virtually everyone on the planes. Even the "strong" beings are constantly miserable.


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HWalsh wrote:

Hell in Pathfinder would suck.

You're a big bad CE bad guy. You're used to being powerful, feared, respected. You wake up in Hell and you're the weakest of the weak, bullied by everyone else, you're not strong enough to be a predator and you never will be.

Everyone here is a wolf, there are no sheep.

It's the lifecycle of an MMORPG open pvp server.

At first everyone rushes it, then the wolves take over, they hit high levels first. The sheep leave and then, with no sheep, the wolves turn on each other, the weaker wolves quit, then the big wolves quit.

The server is abandoned.

Hell is like after the sheep leave... Only the wolves can't leave. They're forced to be prey. They hate that.

For a given value of predator, Hell is the perfect environment for them. For them, Hell is at least honest. There's something genuine about a world where everyone's a predator and everyone knows it. To them, it's just like the living world, except everyone in Hell knows why they're there, so there's no reason to pretend to be a good person. In the living world, you can't kill your way to the top outside of a few specific places. But the only true path to kingship is regicide, and Hell understands that. The hierarchy of Hell goes from rats to wolves, but a rat can kill a wolf provided a sufficiently-clever and lucky rat and a sufficiently-drunk or lazy wolf.

But this is hardly the thread for that discussion. Personally, I'm not fond of creating undead being exclusively evil. That doesn't mean there can't be evil necromancers. A villain who doesn't want to have to pay their underlings or treat them well at all can get by with undead. Skeletons don't complain. They don't eat, they don't need money and they keep fighting even when their limbs fall off. But I like me some good necromancers and heroic undead. I love noble revenants who refused to die before completing their final missions and ghost knights whose oaths of loyalty extend beyond even death. I love the thought of the bones that had returned to the earth unearthing themselves in defense of the living. I will always thank The 13th Age for including the Redeemer talent in their Necromancer class. The lingering wills and souls dredges that stick to the restless and the regretful deserve their chance to be redeemed. Negative energy is both the animating force of death and the force of destruction, but there's no reason that force can't be turned towards evil. If the body returns to the land when the soul goes beyond, isn't it just as easy to imagine undead as the land rising to protect the people upon as it is to imagine a horde of the dead bedeviling the living?

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