Is there a way to detect if a level 2 creature is evil?


Advice

1 to 50 of 54 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

During my previous session, I implied in front of my party (in-game) that one of our members might be of evil alignment. I did this with the intention to eventually use Detect Alignment, in order to deduce that I was wrong and she was not evil after all or to confirm my suspicions and expose her. However, I realized that this spell won't work, since she is only level 2 at the moment.

I really do not wish to keep distrust alive between us. On the other hand, suddenly ignoring my suspicions and pretending that I was convinced of her innocence seem really inappropriate and meta-gaming to me.

Is there any other way to deduce if she is of evil alignment? Perhaps through a skill check or a spell that I overlooked which deals damage only to evil creatures? Any feat?

I am a level 2 human cleric of Sarenrae.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Unless they're undead, a fiend, or a Cleric or other servitor of an Evil God, no there is no way to detect low level evil creatures.

Like in real life, you must simply use logic and deduction based on this person's actions. Frankly, even at high levels this is a much better solution than relying on magic, as Undetectable Alignment is only a level 2 spell and thus easy enough for even medium level people to have access to.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If its really that important to you, use the spell to determine that the other character isn't in fact secretly a super evil outsider, cleric, etc in disguise. No result here is just fine.

That said - do what you must to avoid intra party conflict. Even metagaming. But, alternate take...

As a cleric of Sarenrae, Redemption is your thing. A morally conflicted party member is an opportunity for redemption, not a cause for violent action... which is true regardless of what is written under "Alignment" on the character sheet.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

If you don't mind severely escalating the situation, a Good Divine Lance won't damage neutral or good creatures.

Attacking someone unprovoked, regardless of their alignment, is pretty sketchy behavior for a Good cleric though and generally frowned upon as something to do to another player's character.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, I think you really should be judging the character based on their actions anyway. An evil character might have reasons to go along with a good aligned party, and a competent evil character might never give you reason to suspect they are evil. If you happen to know they are evil, you might keep more of an eye on them, but having an alignment isn't a crime. Especially when, as mentioned, Redemption is your thing.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I assume the other pc is not a cleric? If they are not evil and you go through all this, how do you prove to them that you are not evil?


Captain Morgan wrote:
Yeah, I think you really should be judging the character based on their actions anyway. An evil character might have reasons to go along with a good aligned party, and a competent evil character might never give you reason to suspect they are evil. If you happen to know they are evil, you might keep more of an eye on them, but having an alignment isn't a crime. Especially when, as mentioned, Redemption is your thing.

I mean, Cheliax is a largely "evil" land, with lots of good people in it. The existence of the Hell Knights shows that "evil" isn't as cut and dry as it would seem. Though Alignment Damage does throw a monkey wrench into that thought, since an evil person will take "good" damage even if they are currently doing good works.

I've never liked Alignment Damage to be honest for that reason. Neutral Evil could just represent someone who is selfish, but otherwise wouldn't naturally murder the innocent or do outwardly evil acts for evil's sake. They may just decide that Payday Loans are an OK way to make money.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So they turn out to be evil. So what? If they've committed no crimes, what can you really do? What would you gain for "outing" them?


Ravingdork wrote:
So they turn out to be evil. So what? If they've committed no crimes, what can you really do? What would you gain for "outing" them?

Many people play in campaign worlds where being evil is in itself a crime punishable by death, and where "citizen's arrest" is encouraged (meaning that heroes just offing them randomly in the street is actively cheered upon).

Not saying you do that, just that some do.


Zapp wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
So they turn out to be evil. So what? If they've committed no crimes, what can you really do? What would you gain for "outing" them?

Many people play in campaign worlds where being evil is in itself a crime punishable by death, and where "citizen's arrest" is encouraged (meaning that heroes just offing them randomly in the street is actively cheered upon).

Not saying you do that, just that some do.

Really? I've never thought so.

My group plays with rule of law (typically) trying to presume what sorts of laws that part of Golarion would have. Killing a person in the street, even if they are evil, is murder. Unless you're hired to arrest them or other such things that would put you in a legal position to use force against them if they attacked you. Starting a fight on a street against a random evil person, is a good way to get arrested in my groups games.


Divine Lance all the things.

That said....

There's a difference between "I only care about myself" evil and "kittens are part of a nutritious breakfast" evil.

Sure, you can Divine Lance everyone as a test but it's not like it's going to tell you what they ate that morning. If an evil aligned person doesn't break any laws, is it really ok to just randomly slaughter them?

Oh, right....adventurers.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't see how there could be a sustainable society under such a paradigm. It's basically free reign to murder everyone.

Joe the butcher turned evil, so I killed him. It was to protect the children! (And not my prized petunias he so carelessly tread upon this morning.)

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Killing Evil beings without thinking seems pretty Evil to me ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yeah, one of the most basic ways that idea falls apart is that Cleric Dredd who walks around divine lancing people at random is (or shortly becomes) an evil character, and loses his divine power.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

What do you mean divine lance didn't harm him? He just robbed the bank and shot the guard!

Good people are capable of horrible things, particularly when suitably coerced.

Even a paladin will wage war on another good-aligned nation (and its paladins) if it was necessary.

Likewise are, not all evil beings are terribly motivated to commit heinous crimes.


beowulf99 wrote:
Neutral Evil could just represent someone who is selfish, but otherwise wouldn't naturally murder the innocent or do outwardly evil acts for evil's sake. They may just decide that Payday Loans are an OK way to make money.

I tend to disagree. If being selfish makes you evil, there's not much room left for neutral. Someone who has never murdered anyone, who doesn't prey on innocents and who dislikes torture and sexual abuses is not much evil to me. He may be on the nasty side of neutral, but far from evil.


I guess you could use Divine lance as a test for evil with a willing participent. IE we suspect you are the evil mastermind mascurading as a guard. Are you willing to be struck by this devine light to prove you are not the evil fiend we are searching for?

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
Neutral Evil could just represent someone who is selfish, but otherwise wouldn't naturally murder the innocent or do outwardly evil acts for evil's sake. They may just decide that Payday Loans are an OK way to make money.
I tend to disagree. If being selfish makes you evil, there's not much room left for neutral. Someone who has never murdered anyone, who doesn't prey on innocents and who dislikes torture and sexual abuses is not much evil to me. He may be on the nasty side of neutral, but far from evil.

Canonically, selfishness alone can't get you to Evil, but exploiting or hurting innocent people can even if that harm is a lot less than 'murder'. A slumlord or the aforementioned payday loan guy can easily be Evil, as can an amoral bounty hunter, a repo agent, or a host of other perfectly legal professions. And that's just profession, on the personal side a spousal abuser is probably Evil, as is someone who seduces people specifically to fall in love with them then breaks their hearts to see the look on their face, as is someone who sells out their friends for a few bucks.

None of them are murderers or sexual predators (at least in the normal or legal senses), but that doesn't mean they don't hurt people.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
HammerJack wrote:
Yeah, one of the most basic ways that idea falls apart is that Cleric Dredd who walks around divine lancing people at random is (or shortly becomes) an evil character, and loses his divine power.

Bonus points if an evil trickster god starts answering their prayers pretending to be the good one, so now their divine lance directs them to kill Good people.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
Neutral Evil could just represent someone who is selfish, but otherwise wouldn't naturally murder the innocent or do outwardly evil acts for evil's sake. They may just decide that Payday Loans are an OK way to make money.
I tend to disagree. If being selfish makes you evil, there's not much room left for neutral. Someone who has never murdered anyone, who doesn't prey on innocents and who dislikes torture and sexual abuses is not much evil to me. He may be on the nasty side of neutral, but far from evil.

Canonically, selfishness alone can't get you to Evil, but exploiting or hurting innocent people can even if that harm is a lot less than 'murder'. A slumlord or the aforementioned payday loan guy can easily be Evil, as can an amoral bounty hunter, a repo agent, or a host of other perfectly legal professions. And that's just profession, on the personal side a spousal abuser is probably Evil, as is someone who seduces people specifically to fall in love with them then breaks their hearts to see the look on their face, as is someone who sells out their friends for a few bucks.

None of them are murderers or sexual predators (at least in the normal or legal senses), but that doesn't mean they don't hurt people.

I don't know what payday loan is (on these kind of very specific notions being not a native english speaker doesn't help).

But a spousal abuser is not evil for me, nor an amoral bounty hunter. If the amoral bounty hunter is giving a part of his money to the church of Sarenrae who raised him as he was an orphan, he's neutral. Most people have dark and bright sides, judging someone on his worst actions will put nearly everyone in the evil side of morality.
Now, if the amoral bounty hunter is also a spousal abuser and many other evil actions, then he's certainly evil. Has he commited any crime? Maybe not. Will the world be better without him? Sure.

Alignment discussions tend to be endless as everyone has different visions of them. But for me, to be evil (or good) you need to do a lot more bad stuff than a normal person (and normal persons do a lot of bad stuff). This is more an alignment for monsters and antagonist NPCs than for the everyday man. Like good is an alignment for PCs and PCs allies, but not for the average farmer.

As a side note, amoral describes a neutral character. Immoral describes an evil one.


SuperBidi wrote:
don't know what payday loan is (on these kind of very specific notions being not a native english speaker doesn't help).
Quote:

A payday loan (also called a payday advance, salary loan, payroll loan, small dollar loan, short term, or cash advance loan) is a small, short-term unsecured loan with high interest rates.

The term "payday" in payday loan refers to when a borrower writes a postdated check to the lender for the payday salary, but receives part of that payday sum in immediate cash from the lender.[1] However, in common parlance, the concept also applies regardless of whether repayment of loans is linked to a borrower's payday.[2][3][4] The loans are also sometimes referred to as "cash advances," though that term can also refer to cash provided against a prearranged line of credit such as a credit card. Legislation regarding payday loans varies widely between different countries, and in federal systems, between different states or provinces.

To prevent usury (unreasonable and excessive rates of interest), some jurisdictions limit the annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, can charge. Some jurisdictions outlaw payday lending entirely, and some have very few restrictions on payday lenders.

Payday loans have been linked to higher default rates

Basically they're a short term loan with as high an interest rate on them as the law will allow typically. Often between 20% and 30%.

Edit: Looking up further shows the interest rates are much higher effectively due to fees. It can be over 100% APR depending on location.


Guess at low lvls you will have to deal with her through social skills like deception or intimitade, and eventually see her reaction with a perception check.

However, this lvl 1 spell is way more powerful than the champion lvl 8 feat. Yuk.


HumbleGamer wrote:

Guess at low lvls you will have to deal with her through social skills like deception or intimitade, and eventually see her reaction with a perception check.

However, this lvl 1 spell is way more powerful than the champion lvl 8 feat. Yuk.

The feat is permanent, while the spell costs a slot every time you want to use it and is uncommon. Seems alright to me.


Salamileg wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

Guess at low lvls you will have to deal with her through social skills like deception or intimitade, and eventually see her reaction with a perception check.

However, this lvl 1 spell is way more powerful than the champion lvl 8 feat. Yuk.

The feat is permanent, while the spell costs a slot every time you want to use it and is uncommon. Seems alright to me.

the fact it's uncommon is definitely a thing, but let us consider both for a while:

DETECT ALIGNMENT

Quote:


Your eyes glow as you sense aligned auras. Choose chaotic,
evil, good, or lawful. You detect auras of that alignment. You
receive no information beyond presence or absence. You can
choose not to detect creatures or effects you’re aware have
that alignment.

Only creatures of 6th level or higher—unless divine
spellcasters, undead, or beings from the Outer Sphere—have
alignment auras.

Heightened (2nd) You learn each aura’s location and strength.

SENSE OF EVIL

Quote:
You sense evil as a queasy or foreboding feeling. When in the presence of an aura of evil that is powerful or overwhelming (page 328), you eventually detect the aura, though you might not do so instantly, and you can’t pinpoint the location. This acts as a vague sense, similar to humans’ sense of smell. An evil creature using a disguise or otherwise trying to hide its presence attempts a Deception check against your Perception DC to hide its aura from you. If the creature succeeds at its Deception check, it is then temporarily immune to your Sense Evil for 1 day.

So as for sense of evil

- You have to invest on a LvL 8 Class Feat ( the spell is free, once unlocked )

- It only works on evil creatures ( the spell works on any kind of creatures )

- You can't pin point the location ( spider sense? while the spell tells you )

- Enemies in disguise can even trick you with a successful deception against your perception DC ( A champion gets his EXPERT perception by lvl 11, and don't become master unless at lvl 17 you have Cunny Acumen, while an evil character deception well, I suppose that many evil character will have deception ).

To call this balanced...


3 people marked this as a favorite.

You could borrow a tried and tested technique from European medieval history. It's quite simple. Tie her up and throw her in a lake. If she sinks and drown she's good aligned. If she floats you know she's an evil witch. In that case: burn her at the stake.

Ahh clerics declaring others evil with no way to really tell. Not like that has ever gone wrong. Now where's a good stake and some firewood...

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:
I don't know what payday loan is (on these kind of very specific notions being not a native english speaker doesn't help).

As Salamileg notes, payday loans are loans with ridiculously high and completely exploitive interest rates. It's like the semi-legal version of being a loan shark, exploiting poor people's need for immediate money to take advantage of them.

It's pretty awful, when examined, but legal in some places.

SuperBidi wrote:
But a spousal abuser is not evil for me, nor an amoral bounty hunter. If the amoral bounty hunter is giving a part of his money to the church of Sarenrae who raised him as he was an orphan, he's neutral. Most people have dark and bright sides, judging someone on his worst actions will put nearly everyone in the evil side of morality.

If he's donating money to the Church of Sarenrae, I probably wouldn't call him amoral.

My point was not that every single bounty hunter was Evil, it's that it was possible for a bounty hunter to be Evil just doing their job, if they do so without concern for right and wrong and no other ameliorating acts.

And I'd strongly disagree that anyone who regularly engages in domestic abuse is anything but Evil. I'm not even sure what moral system you're using to justify that not being a horrifically Evil thing to do to another person.

SuperBidi wrote:
Now, if the amoral bounty hunter is also a spousal abuser and many other evil actions, then he's certainly evil. Has he commited any crime? Maybe not. Will the world be better without him? Sure.

Uh...spousal abuse is, in fact, generally a crime.

And my point was that, canonically in Golarion, it's pretty clear that my examples would be Evil. As would a number of other thoroughly unpleasant people who have nonetheless done nothing that warrants death.

SuperBidi wrote:
Alignment discussions tend to be endless as everyone has different visions of them. But for me, to be evil (or good) you need to do a lot more bad stuff than a normal person (and normal persons do a lot of bad stuff). This is more an alignment for monsters and antagonist NPCs than for the everyday man. Like good is an alignment for PCs and PCs allies, but not for the average farmer.

You have to do more than average, sure, but not to this extreme. And I'm not really arguing my own opinion here, I'm stating how the game's rules and setting assume things work.

There are Good people out there other than PCs, they're not even uncommon, and there are Evil people out there who live in society peaceably and have never committed a crime. Both those are factually true in the setting. You can certainly change them, but you have to put in a lot of effort to make it make any sense at all.

SuperBidi wrote:
As a side note, amoral describes a neutral character. Immoral describes an evil one.

Not necessarily. Alignments are descriptive of actions, both being amoral and immoral can lead to Evil depending on circumstances and the actions taken.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HumbleGamer wrote:
Salamileg wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

Guess at low lvls you will have to deal with her through social skills like deception or intimitade, and eventually see her reaction with a perception check.

However, this lvl 1 spell is way more powerful than the champion lvl 8 feat. Yuk.

The feat is permanent, while the spell costs a slot every time you want to use it and is uncommon. Seems alright to me.

the fact it's uncommon is definitely a thing, but let us consider both for a while:

DETECT ALIGNMENT

Quote:


Your eyes glow as you sense aligned auras. Choose chaotic,
evil, good, or lawful. You detect auras of that alignment. You
receive no information beyond presence or absence. You can
choose not to detect creatures or effects you’re aware have
that alignment.

Only creatures of 6th level or higher—unless divine
spellcasters, undead, or beings from the Outer Sphere—have
alignment auras.

Heightened (2nd) You learn each aura’s location and strength.

SENSE OF EVIL

Quote:
You sense evil as a queasy or foreboding feeling. When in the presence of an aura of evil that is powerful or overwhelming (page 328), you eventually detect the aura, though you might not do so instantly, and you can’t pinpoint the location. This acts as a vague sense, similar to humans’ sense of smell. An evil creature using a disguise or otherwise trying to hide its presence attempts a Deception check against your Perception DC to hide its aura from you. If the creature succeeds at its Deception check, it is then temporarily immune to your Sense Evil for 1 day.

So as for sense of evil

- You have to invest on a LvL 8 Class Feat ( the spell is free, once unlocked )

- It only works on evil creatures ( the spell works on any kind of creatures )

- You can't pin point the location ( spider sense? while the spell tells you )

- Enemies in disguise can even trick you with a successful deception against your perception DC ( A champion gets his EXPERT perception by lvl 11, and...

The other benefit of Sense Evil is that you don't have to actively use it for it to work. Demon around the corner? Spidey Senses go off. The king's advisor is a vampire? You know something is wrong. In the latter example, if you were casting Detect Alignment, it would be obvious you were casting a spell which can be a bad idea in the king's court.


Salamileg wrote:
The other benefit of Sense Evil is that you don't have to actively use it for it to work. Demon around the corner? Spidey Senses go off. The king's advisor is a vampire? You know something is wrong. In the latter example, if you were casting Detect Alignment, it would be obvious you were casting a spell which can be a bad idea in the king's court.

Indeed, but it's more vague.

"I feel an evil presence somewhere... i can't tell where but it's close... not even sure what could be..."

or even

"Something in this room is off... i sense something evil my king..."

Finally

"I feel an ev..."

*GM roll success on deception*

*Nevermind*

...

Indeed you won't be allowed to cast a spell in front of the king.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Not necessarily. Alignments are descriptive of actions, both being amoral and immoral can lead to Evil depending on circumstances and the actions taken.

I don't think thats wholly true. We absolutely take into account whether something is capable of moral reasoning when asking if it can be evil or not. A wolf could kill half a dozen infants over its lifetime for food and still be neutral, an orc doing so just once is evil.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The bigger issue here is Evil beings can achieve Good results. They might even intend to do so, they'll just be doing selfish, cruel and such methods to achieve them.

I don't think having an evil party member in an all good party is bad, it's their intent and actions that might cause issues. But the alignment itself shouldn't cause people to freak out, be a bit suspicious sure.

If this person is speaking about killing children and other actions that don't serve the party interest and cause strife for no reason, that's awful and the player is misusing being an evil character for certain, but that's not an alignment problem, it's a person problem. Good or Evil players like that cause issues.

I often convince people to let me bring in an Evil character, because the selfish and pragmatic nature of Evil aligned characters is fun to role play. I'll save the village, i'll do it for free even. But my end game is growing my power and influence or striving to obtain good connections for a greater personal goal.

I may propose a questionable actions to the party, but my overall rule is I'll cooperate with the party until a large enough divide of interests hits. That's when X character may bow out, and I'll swap to an alternative or take the fun journey I had with the character.

Edit:

Although, in those games I don't have what amounts to the 'lawful stupid' paladin/cleric trying to lynch me strictly because my history of personal actions lead me to be a more evil person than good or neutral.

This is pre-judging my character and directly attacking me and using your own character as an excuse. It's just as bad as an evil person doing chaotic stupid things because 'lolz alignment.'


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
BlessedHeretic wrote:

The bigger issue here is Evil beings can achieve Good results. They might even intend to do so, they'll just be doing selfish, cruel and such methods to achieve them.

I don't think having an evil party member in an all good party is bad, it's their intent and actions that might cause issues. But the alignment itself shouldn't cause people to freak out, be a bit suspicious sure.

If this person is speaking about killing children and other actions that don't serve the party interest and cause strife for no reason, that's awful and the player is misusing being an evil character for certain, but that's not an alignment problem, it's a person problem. Good or Evil players like that cause issues.

I often convince people to let me bring in an Evil character, because the selfish and pragmatic nature of Evil aligned characters is fun to role play. I'll save the village, i'll do it for free even. But my end game is growing my power and influence or striving to obtain good connections for a greater personal goal.

I may propose a questionable actions to the party, but my overall rule is I'll cooperate with the party until a large enough divide of interests hits. That's when X character may bow out, and I'll swap to an alternative or take the fun journey I had with the character.

One of my favourite games ended up becoming an all evil party, but had some good characters before it got there. One of my favourite moments in roleplaying was when the Paladin optionally left the party. He couldn't stand by our actions, but recognized without us several hundred innocents would never have survived, or continue to survive.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Malk_Content wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Not necessarily. Alignments are descriptive of actions, both being amoral and immoral can lead to Evil depending on circumstances and the actions taken.
I don't think thats wholly true. We absolutely take into account whether something is capable of moral reasoning when asking if it can be evil or not. A wolf could kill half a dozen infants over its lifetime for food and still be neutral, an orc doing so just once is evil.

Sure, but I'm talking about amoral people, not creatures incapable of moral reasoning.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BlessedHeretic wrote:
The bigger issue here is Evil beings can achieve Good results. They might even intend to do so, they'll just be doing selfish, cruel and such methods to achieve them.

Indeed, there's something to be said for the evil character who allies with the good guys because there's a greater evil out there and that evil gets in the way of "our" evil guy's plans. For a great example, see Bester on Babylon 5, who joins forces with the Babylon 5 crew when he realizes that the Shadows and their allies have plans for Earth and that those plans conflict with his plans. Or, for that matter, a situation in which an evil character is forced to ally with a good-to-neutral party in order to survive, but will still act as a foil internally (e.g. Dominar Rygel XVI).

That said, I like the interpretation of alignment that Keith "Eberron" Baker uses (or at least how I understand it). Law vs Chaos is about whether you care about institutions or people, and Good vs Evil is about your methods.

James Bond, for example, is Lawful Evil. His loyalty is to Britain and to Her Majesty's Secret Service - he might be fond of his colleagues and partners, but his loyalty is to MI6. And he's perfectly willing to steal, murder, and perform all sorts of other evil acts in service to this organization. And in the process of doing so, he saves the world from assorted villains.

You can still be part of an institution while being Chaotic. The institution can be a useful tool, but you probably won't be loyal to it, at least not any more than you need to in order to prove yourself.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It throws me off when people relate legal and evil. Some places it is illegal to free slaves. Does doing so make you evil?


Zapp wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
So they turn out to be evil. So what? If they've committed no crimes, what can you really do? What would you gain for "outing" them?

Many people play in campaign worlds where being evil is in itself a crime punishable by death, and where "citizen's arrest" is encouraged (meaning that heroes just offing them randomly in the street is actively cheered upon).

Not saying you do that, just that some do.

It still seems super awkward. The obvious problem would be the classic example of the evil noble. Sure, they might like torture and bloody executions, but they might be doing it by the book and only targeting murderers, thieves, and bandits.

The laws of a feudal society are generally written with a heavy focus on encouraging military support as a core doctrine. As such, even if the noble is only know to be exceedingly cruel and viscous, they might still get full protection and due process (to the extent ANYONE gets that) as long as they uphold their duties of military support, financial support, or oversight of important areas.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

All of the above is absolutely true, though I'll note that very few countries in Golarion are actually feudal (the only sizable ones I'd describe that way are Brevoy and Taldor, and even Taldor isn't strictly feudal).

Which is not to say that many such places don't have Evil or corrupt nobility who are still supported by the law, just that it's for different reasons than it is in feudal areas.


Staffan Johansson wrote:


That said, I like the interpretation of alignment that Keith "Eberron" Baker uses (or at least how I understand it). Law vs Chaos is about whether you care about institutions or people, and Good vs Evil is about your methods.

It's not the case in Pathfinder. Good vs Evil is about intent. In the wake of a bunch of paladins there are numerous corpses. The thing is: These deads are evil so the paladins are good.

Killing to protect innocents is good. Killing to protect oneself is neutral. Killing for profit or pleasure is evil.
That's why animals are all neutral, because they don't have a sense of morality and as such can't commit crimes out of evilness or goodness. The Tarasque destroys worlds and is neutral.

And amoral means that you don't have a morality. Animals are amoral. So it means neutral in Pathfinder.

Also, following the law or the local moral tend to make you neutral. 100 years from now, many people were beating their children. They were not evil because of that, it's just that it was not immoral by the time. So you also have to consider, to some extent, the local morality. Owning a slave in Cheliax isn't evil while owning a slave in the River Kingdoms is. Following the law makes you less evil and less good, as your intent is not to cause harm or do good.

Alignment discussions have no end, so I don't expect this one to get anywhere. But I like to chat about it :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:

Good vs Evil is about intent. In the wake of a bunch of paladins there are numerous corpses. The thing is: These deads are evil so the paladins are good.

Killing to protect innocents is good. Killing to protect oneself is neutral. Killing for profit or pleasure is evil.

I think that's too reductionist. Intent matters, but so do the circumstances of the action.

You can absolutely have a character who's both altruistic and evil and while a selfish profiteer is probably never going to be good, depending on the circumstances I don't think it'd be all that impossible for one to be neutral.

Quote:
Owning a slave in Cheliax isn't evil

I think this is a really hard argument to make too and not all that in line with the relatively objective standards of morality Pathfinder tends to have.

In a society that's normalized evil behavior, you might see more people willing to tolerate it, but that doesn't make that behavior non-evil.

Dark Archive

Yeah, no, slavery is considered objectively evil in Pathfinder, at least the "You own a person" type :P I'm not sure about the "Forced labor to pay off debt" kind


Squiggit wrote:


Quote:
Owning a slave in Cheliax isn't evil

I think this is a really hard argument to make too and not all that in line with the relatively objective standards of morality Pathfinder tends to have.

In a society that's normalized evil behavior, you might see more people willing to tolerate it, but that doesn't make that behavior non-evil.

You're right. What I mean is it's less evil to own a slave in Cheliax than in the River Kingdoms. Many neutral people own slaves in Cheliax. In the River Kingdoms, owning a slave makes you evil in most cases.

Also, selfish profiteer is more neutral than evil for me.
For example, reducing the wages of your employees is not evil. Reducing the wages of your employees because there's abundant manpower is not good, but still not evil. Reducing wages of your employees under minimum wages by abusing the system (and your employees) is evil.
For me, the difference between evil and neutral is that you are ready to make immoral actions out of selfishness.

So, when you say that someone can be altruistic and evil, I disagree. You may make apparently altruistic actions while being evil. But you don't really make actions out of altruism while evil.


SuperBidi wrote:


So, when you say that someone can be altruistic and evil, I disagree. You may make apparently altruistic actions while being evil. But you don't really make actions out of altruism while evil.

I totally agree.

To achieve his goals, an evil person could consider doing altruistic tasks, but in the end he will remain evil.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:

It's not the case in Pathfinder. Good vs Evil is about intent. In the wake of a bunch of paladins there are numerous corpses. The thing is: These deads are evil so the paladins are good.

Killing to protect innocents is good. Killing to protect oneself is neutral. Killing for profit or pleasure is evil.

The Eberron version is not correct in Golarion, but neither is the one you propose. Intent alone is not sufficient to make an act Good in Golarion, and the way alignment and Paladin codes work demonstrates this quite clearly.

Many acts are explicitly Evil according to the setting and rules regardless of motivation, such as torture or casting Evil spells, after all.

SuperBidi wrote:
That's why animals are all neutral, because they don't have a sense of morality and as such can't commit crimes out of evilness or goodness. The Tarasque destroys worlds and is neutral.

The Tarrasque is the Herald of Rovagug and Chaotic Evil in Golarion, actually. Animals are indeed another matter due to lacking moral agency, but that's a rather different matter than how the morality of those who do have moral agency is determined.

SuperBidi wrote:
And amoral means that you don't have a morality. Animals are amoral. So it means neutral in Pathfinder.

Animals are both amoral and neutral due to being incapable of moral choice, it's true. A being capable of moral choice who chooses not to have a morality can easily be Evil in Pathfinder. Or Neutral. Maybe even Good depending on

SuperBidi wrote:
Also, following the law or the local moral tend to make you neutral. 100 years from now, many people were beating their children. They were not evil because of that, it's just that it was not immoral by the time. So you also have to consider, to some extent, the local morality. Owning a slave in Cheliax isn't evil while owning a slave in the River Kingdoms is. Following the law makes you less evil and less good, as your intent is not to cause harm or do good.

You're conflating reality and how Alignment works in Golarion. In Golarion, alignment is an objective fact of reality and is in no way culturally based.

For example, per the Creative Director and other people at Paizo, slave ownership is Evil. For everyone, everywhere. It's more culturally accepted in Cheliax...which is part of why Cheliax is Evil, and has more Evil people in it. They are not suddenly less Evil because it is culturally accepted.

SuperBidi wrote:
Alignment discussions have no end, so I don't expect this one to get anywhere. But I like to chat about it :)

Alignment discussions have no end when they become discussions about real-world morality, which is inherently not verifiably objective. They should have an end when you're discussing things as written in the rules and setting, as those are objective facts.


SuperBidi wrote:
So, when you say that someone can be altruistic and evil, I disagree. You may make apparently altruistic actions while being evil. But you don't really make actions out of altruism while evil.

That means the morality system you're proposing has absolutely no room for an "ends justify the means" character. "For the greater good" at all costs is a really common fictional archetype. Clearly willing to commit acts that are objectively evil (because that's something that exists in Golarion), as much as necessary. Horrible atrocities in the name of protecting people or bettering the world is bread and butter for this character, there's no real way to call them Good or Neutral. But they're also clearly altruistic, often characters who fall under this archetype aren't just not selfish, but are outright self sacrificing.

That paints a pretty clear picture of a character who is both very clearly evil and still altruistically minded.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

All of the above is absolutely true, though I'll note that very few countries in Golarion are actually feudal (the only sizable ones I'd describe that way are Brevoy and Taldor, and even Taldor isn't strictly feudal).

Which is not to say that many such places don't have Evil or corrupt nobility who are still supported by the law, just that it's for different reasons than it is in feudal areas.

While they are unlikely to be strictly feudal, it is hard to argue that there are widespread roots in feudalism for many countries. And when you have a deal as favorable as the rights of nobility... it is VERY hard to convince them to give up those rights. They will drag their heels for as long as possible to maintain power and privilege.

I would imagine a lot of places are closer to the era around the reign of Elizabeth I- the rulers are shifting away from feudalism, but they have to deal with countless noble families with tendencies towards friction that leads to blood feuds and cycles of revenge. They would struggle to centralize conflict resolution under the country's legal system.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
That's why animals are all neutral, because they don't have a sense of morality and as such can't commit crimes out of evilness or goodness. The Tarasque destroys worlds and is neutral.
The Tarrasque is the Herald of Rovagug and Chaotic Evil in Golarion, actually. Animals are indeed another matter due to lacking moral agency, but that's a rather different matter than how the morality of those who do have moral agency is determined.

They changed it... Well, it wasn't originally.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
For example, per the Creative Director and other people at Paizo, slave ownership is Evil. For everyone, everywhere.

So, let's take a rich chelaxian who's sensitive to the halfling condition there and buy lots of them, giving them very decent living conditions. Maybe this chelaxian owns a factory, and has his halflings working there. He gives them money, and the maximum freedom he can in this country considering their condition as slaves.

Maybe he can do more, really freeing them. But maybe he can't, I'm not sure Cheliax government would see very positively someone who fights a bit too obviously for the halfling condition.
Is this guy absolutely evil for owning that many slaves? Is he neutral? Is he good?
This is what Schindler did, roughly. And I don't think anyone would consider him evil.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
They should have an end when you're discussing things as written in the rules and setting, as those are objective facts.

Allow me to strongly disagree on that. Writing about morality takes way more pages than Pathfinder books will ever contain. And that's not much of a necessity, people have a sense of morality, I don't think Pathfinder has to explain us what a moral and an immoral actions are.


Squiggit wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
So, when you say that someone can be altruistic and evil, I disagree. You may make apparently altruistic actions while being evil. But you don't really make actions out of altruism while evil.

That means the morality system you're proposing has absolutely no room for an "ends justify the means" character. "For the greater good" at all costs is a really common fictional archetype. Clearly willing to commit acts that are objectively evil (because that's something that exists in Golarion), as much as necessary. Horrible atrocities in the name of protecting people or bettering the world is bread and butter for this character, there's no real way to call them Good or Neutral. But they're also clearly altruistic, often characters who fall under this archetype aren't just not selfish, but are outright self sacrificing.

That paints a pretty clear picture of a character who is both very clearly evil and still altruistically minded.

The character you're painting is neutral to me. Evil acts but altruistic goals, both evening out for a neutral character. But he may very well shift one side or the other depending on the balance between his evil acts and his good ones.

But these types of personnality generate lots of discussion. If you build a time machine and kill an awful dictator while he's still a child, is it an evil or a good act?
I don't think you'll find a definite answer.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SuperBidi wrote:

So, let's take a rich chelaxian who's sensitive to the halfling condition there and buy lots of them, giving them very decent living conditions. Maybe this chelaxian owns a factory, and has his halflings working there. He gives them money, and the maximum freedom he can in this country considering their condition as slaves.

Maybe he can do more, really freeing them. But maybe he can't, I'm not sure Cheliax government would see very positively someone who fights a bit too obviously for the halfling condition.
Is this guy absolutely evil for owning that many slaves? Is he neutral? Is he good?
This is what Schindler did, roughly. And I don't think anyone would consider him evil.

It's not illegal to free your own slaves in Cheliax, and there's also the Bellflower Network.

Hoarding as many slaves as you can just so you can say you're treating them better is just you patting yourself on the back, you're not Good, probably not even Neutral, you just want a high horse.

As for Oskar Schindler the alternative was the jews being murdered, not being used as slaves elsewhere, so bringing that as a defense here for slavery is rather distasteful.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nice Godwin there, Bubba.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SuperBidi wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
So, when you say that someone can be altruistic and evil, I disagree. You may make apparently altruistic actions while being evil. But you don't really make actions out of altruism while evil.

That means the morality system you're proposing has absolutely no room for an "ends justify the means" character. "For the greater good" at all costs is a really common fictional archetype. Clearly willing to commit acts that are objectively evil (because that's something that exists in Golarion), as much as necessary. Horrible atrocities in the name of protecting people or bettering the world is bread and butter for this character, there's no real way to call them Good or Neutral. But they're also clearly altruistic, often characters who fall under this archetype aren't just not selfish, but are outright self sacrificing.

That paints a pretty clear picture of a character who is both very clearly evil and still altruistically minded.

The character you're painting is neutral to me. Evil acts but altruistic goals, both evening out for a neutral character. But he may very well shift one side or the other depending on the balance between his evil acts and his good ones.

But these types of personnality generate lots of discussion. If you build a time machine and kill an awful dictator while he's still a child, is it an evil or a good act?
I don't think you'll find a definite answer.

Evil act that prevents 1,000s of major Evil acts


First you're going to need a trolly, six people, and some rope...

1 to 50 of 54 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Advice / Is there a way to detect if a level 2 creature is evil? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.