View Full Version : Ramifications of being a 'Positive' evil cleric?

2007-11-23, 07:59 AM
I always found it silly that by RAW, not evil cleric can spontacast cure spells, and all evil clear rebuke/command undead. If I 'created' an evil deity that loathed undead as much as he hated good (he allows his clerics to channel positive energy instead of negative energy - neither energy in of itself has an alignment leaning other than neutral), would there be any obscure problems I'd encounter later on? Or would it just be too weird to have an evil cleric heal and turn/destroy undead?

For example (off the top of my head):
Teron is the L/E deity of (unfair) punishment. He and his followers believe that the strong should punish the weak, and that there's no greater satisfaction than killing an enemy before his time to send him to an afterlife of eternal punishment all the sooner. They enjoy corrupting good creatures and societies if only to remove their chance of getting an afterlife of eternal peace. As for undead, they represent an easy way of avoiding the afterlife, and as such are hunted down with extreme prejudice. With this in mind, he allows his clerics to sponta-cast positive energy and turn/destroy the undead.

Is this too far-fetched? And if you encountered a positive energy chanelling evil cleric as a villain in a game you were participating in, would you cry foul?

2007-11-23, 08:07 AM
I don't know, many undead creatures are not truly spirits sucked back into their bodies. (I think all Deathless are spirits that remain in their dead bodies, however) Many undead are simply corpses animated by negative energy. Also, one could argue that being undead is a form of punishment, especially if you're driven insane by a certain craving.

By raw, also, channeling either energy affects one's alignment:

Even if a cleric is neutral, channeling positive energy is a good act and channeling negative energy is evil.

2007-11-23, 08:33 AM
Curses... where in the SRD does it say that? Not in the cleric section...

Tempest Fennac
2007-11-23, 08:37 AM
I'd say that what you suggested makes sense to a certain extent, apart from the fact that most undead are souless "shells" rather then being liches and vampires who chose to become undead.

2007-11-23, 08:42 AM
Is this too far-fetched? And if you encountered a positive energy chanelling evil cleric as a villain in a game you were participating in, would you cry foul?

In terms of game rules and philosophy, I think AslanCross summed up the situation pretty well. In terms of the question I quoted above, my view is that a DM should discuss all house rules prior to them being used in-game, and if it's a change which could have a significant impact on the PCs, the DM should offer the option to adjust the character sheets with the new rules in mind. In some cases, this might even cause a player to totally rework a character concept (eg, if you houserule that rogues can no longer sneak attack a flanked foe, and one of the characters uses flanking sneak attacks as the major means of dealing combat damage).

So talk about your idea with your players, and let them know about the ramifications of that change in your game world. For example, this might mean there aren't many undead, so players with Cleric builds which focus on Turn Undead might want to make a few changes to their character.

(PS: SpikeFightwicky, look at 3.5e PHB, p160, Neutral Clerics and Undead).

2007-11-23, 08:53 AM
Curses... where in the SRD does it say that? Not in the cleric section...

It's in the "Special Actions" section under Turning and Rebuking undead.

2007-11-23, 09:00 AM
Mindless undead aren't there to be punished- they are just fleshy robots that are somehow evil. As for intelligent undead, what is better than commanding them to either destroy everything they hold dear, or to resist their craving until they are floppy meat filled with indescribable lust and hunger?

Unless your god is only, "unjust punishment that occurs on outer planes, not any of the horrific tortures and despair that are inflicted on material creatures all the time", rebuking works just as well.

2007-11-23, 10:27 AM
Yeah, that concept didn't work well. Maybe an evil death deity, that thinks that undead are "cheating" death? The deity's intention is to bring the end to all sentient creatures, and undead are mockeries not only of life, but of death too.
In this case, either make that "evil and neutral clerics of this deity can turn and destroy undead instead of rebuking and controlling them" as some special rule (like Cuthbert whose majority of neutral clerics turn undead instead of choosing to rebuke them), or make a domain that grants this ability, with spells that grant special undead-hunting spells.

2007-11-23, 11:01 AM
The main problem is WotC's insistence that chanelling (+) energy is a good act. Causes too many alignment headaches. The 'Repose' domain is perfect for an evil death god, except that they specify that the repose domain is the area of 'good deities'... There isn't much of an easy fix without re-doing the mechanics of clerics and the chanelling of what are supposed to be neutral energies.

Here's a poser: If chanelling (+) energy is a 'good' act, and vice versa, how come the cure and inflict spells don't have an alignment descriptor?

Inyssius Tor
2007-11-23, 11:53 AM
Ah, we come again to this issue (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=632562).

If you prefer Playing With Fire, having an evil (+) god would not be totally impossible. If you prefer the Crawling Darkness, it would be impossible. D&D is inconsistent about this; if DM's want a coherent universe, it's basically up to them to edit the rules one way or the other.

Let's assume, for the sake of not arguing endlessly about this, that Spike has chosen the option that would not make this thread meaningless.

I think that positive energy's healing properties would be more of a problem than its undead-destroying properties. Plenty of gods hate undead: they are a perversion of the natural order, and the natural order isn't necessarily good. Where negative energy destroys and corrupts, positive energy creates, rebuilds, and enhances (in the natural order of things, that is); how many evil gods focus on that sort of thing? A (+) god would probably focus on mercy, light, health, and all that jazz--so you're going to need a pretty ingenious alternate philosophy to pull this off, I think.

If you can plan out a logical and properly twisted workaround, I for one would love to encounter Him/Her in a game.

2007-11-23, 08:32 PM
an evil deity that loathed undead as much as he hated good (he allows his clerics to channel positive energy instead of negative energy)

Pelor... :smalltongue:

2007-11-23, 09:25 PM
If I were DMing, one of my house rules would be that ALL energy is unaligned. Clerics with the healing domain would have to channel positive energy, and clerics with the death domain would have to channel negative energy, but otherwise clerics would be free to chose. Of course, this is coming from somebody who thinks most of RaW is nonsense.

2007-11-23, 10:23 PM
Well I can see some gods being incredibly angry at the undead. Hextor in the generic pantheon would be pretty mad at the existence of undead, but it would really be a DM call if they want to change the requirement. Clerics of Obad can be evil and they really don't like undead(Inyssius elaborated on this in his post). Keep in mind you would have to explain why the god hates all undead and not just intelligent undead. A zombie is just an animated hunk of flesh, and the soul is long departed so the whole "you take what is mine" thing doesn't really work there.

2007-11-24, 02:16 AM
i always liked the idea of an evil cleric of some deity of greed spontaneously casting healing spells for the masses...at a hefty price of course...

2007-11-24, 01:56 PM
In my ho9mebrew, we have a Neutral Goddess of Death.

Her clerics hate Undead, souless or not, since it's a perversion of the natural state of dead things to wander around groaning "Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnns," but they also cannot cast Raise Dead, Resurrection and so on. Souls of the departed are hers now. Taking them from Her is not something a Cleric of that faith would stoop to.

They can heal normally, though, since injuries, disease, etc. would keep the Faithful from doing Her biding.

I very much like customized Clerics, unlike default ones where the only difference between Hextor's and Pelor's Clerics is a Domain slot.