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BRC
2008-01-04, 09:55 PM
Heres an alignment question I'd like to throw to the peanut gallery. So a man has fallen in a ditch and cannot get out, when somebody else comes along in a cart, the man in the ditch cries for help. Which of the following sets of actions do you believe is more respective of the three moral alignments
It is a Good Act to help the man out of the ditch and give him a ride to wherever he was going.
It is a Neutral Act to help the man out of the ditch.
It is an Evil Act to ignore the man and leave him in the ditch.

Or
It is a Good Act to help the man out of the ditch.
It is a Neutral Act to leave the man in the ditch.
It is an Evil Act to stop and throw a rock at the man in the ditch, then spit on him.

Kizara
2008-01-04, 10:03 PM
I would go with the second set, with the following additions:

While it is a good act to help him out, it would be another good act to offer him a ride.

While it is neutral-leaning evil to ignore him, you could also ask for some kind of compensation before or after helping the man and still aid him, if you wanted to.

While arbitarily attacking him in the described fashion would be keeping with a CE alignment, other evil options would include: Killing him if you felt he was weak, incompetent or disruptive to normal trafic and trade (LE), mugging (possibly killing) him in order to steal his possessions (NE). Simply shooting him a look of contempt as you go on about your business (NE or LE).

Kellus
2008-01-04, 10:04 PM
I would say,

It is a Lawful act to help the man out of the ditch, because you're obeying his wish.

It is a Chaotic act to leave the man in the ditch, because you're disobeying his request.

Helping him out and leaving him in the ditch are both justifiably neutral activities on the Good/Evil axis. By leaving him in the ditch you are not actively hurting him, so it can't be classed as an inherently evil act.

It is a Good act to give the man a ride.

It is an Evil act to throw a rock at the man and spit on him.

Giving the man a ride is generosity for the sake of generosity, while it is certainly wrong to harm a man asking for help.

Solo
2008-01-04, 10:04 PM
The second one.

BRC
2008-01-04, 10:17 PM
When I say "It's a good act to help the man out of the ditch" That means that is the minimum in the situation, it dosn't invalidate that giving him a ride would still be a good act, it would be an even better act in fact (it rhymes so it must be true), same with spitting on him versus leaving him in the ditch. My question was more one of neutrality, does neutrality equal inaction, or lack of personal sacrifice, in the first scenario it takes almost nothing to help the man out of the ditch, but there is some sacrifice on your part to give the man a ride. Meanwhile in the second one, you are undergoing a small sacrifice (taking time to throw a rock at and spit on him) in order to harm him.

Tequila Sunrise
2008-01-04, 10:22 PM
Neither. Barring any unmentioned conditions in this little scenario, I'd say:

Both a good character and a neutral character would help the man out and give him a ride, either because it's the right thing to do or because...well, there's no personal risk involved so why wouldn't the neutral guy help? Besides, the guy in the hole might do the neutral guy a favor when he gets out.

An evil character would likely help the guy out of his hole and give him a ride, at the very least for appearance's sake. Unless he's just plain insane why would the evil guy spit on the guy or refuse to help the guy in the hole? If the guy in the hole looks wealthy or has some kind of rank or maybe just a money pouch, the evil character might very well demand a reward for his services. Again, there's no personal risk involved so even if the guy in the hole is a peasant the evil guy might help him out just to get a hero's koodos point with the locals.

Lemur
2008-01-04, 10:28 PM
Helping him out would be a good act.
Ignoring him would be a neutral act. Helping him and asking for a reward afterwards is also more or less neutral.
Robbing him while he's stuck would be an evil act. Note that this includes helping him and demanding a reward for doing so, as this is extortion.
Throwing rocks and spitting on him is a stupid act. People who actually do this fit the bill for chaotic stupid.

MCerberus
2008-01-04, 10:30 PM
Well there is no real neutral action here. The guy's either out of the ditch at the end of the day or still in. I will mark my suggestions with + for good and - for bad, the more marks the more good/evil.

Help him out +
Leave him in -
Help him make up some time ++
Make the ditch safer +++
Only get him out to rob him ----
Throw a rock at him --
Ransom his situation --
Push him back in later ---

SadisticFishing
2008-01-04, 10:43 PM
A mix of the two.

Good people would help the man out of the ditch, and help if possible. A neutral person might too, as long as there's no threat to themselves.

An evil person can do whatever they want, even help the man out of the ditch.

Kellus
2008-01-04, 10:45 PM
Well there is no real neutral action here. The guy's either out of the ditch at the end of the day or still in. I will mark my suggestions with + for good and - for bad, the more marks the more good/evil.

Help him out +
Leave him in -
Help him make up some time ++
Make the ditch safer +++
Only get him out to rob him ----
Throw a rock at him --
Ransom his situation --
Push him back in later ---

I like your breakdown of the actions, but I don't agree with some of it. Specifically, I don't see how leaving the man in the ditch is an evil action. It's certainly not a good act, but it's also not evil. In fact, it's almost the definition of neutral: inaction. It's not your fault that the man is in the ditch to begin with, and therefore it's not your moral obligation to help him out.

BRC
2008-01-04, 10:45 PM
An evil person can do whatever they want, even help the man out of the ditch.
It's not a question of can or cannot, any alignment is capable of doing anything, its which action would be a good, evil, or neutral act.

SadisticFishing
2008-01-04, 10:52 PM
Personally, I look acts like this:

Good act: Doing something good, risking yourself. Ex: Fighting a red dragon attacking a city with no reward, or with the reward not being the primary reason.
Non-evil act: Doing something good. Ex: Helping a man out of a ditch.
Neutral act: Doing something self-serving at no cost to anyone else. Ex: Working a paying job.
Non-good act: Doing something bad, but not strictly evil. Ex: Ignoring the man in the ditch because you have no reason to help.
Evil act: Doing something evil. Should be fairly obvious, actually.

The same thing applies to Chaos and Law.

I honestly believe this system is far superior to what most people use.

Tequila Sunrise
2008-01-04, 10:54 PM
It's not a question of can or cannot, any alignment is capable of doing anything, its which action would be a good, evil, or neutral act.

As important as actions are to alignment, intentions are too. Not knowing more about intentions... Helping the guy out of his ditch is a good action, giving him a ride is more good. (Though neither of these actions are particularly good, as they are at most inconveniences rather than self sacrifices) Ignoring him would be evil, spitting on him would be evil and stupid. There are no actions in this scenario that are neutral in and of themselves.

EvilElitest
2008-01-04, 10:56 PM
Heres an alignment question I'd like to throw to the peanut gallery. So a man has fallen in a ditch and cannot get out, when somebody else comes along in a cart, the man in the ditch cries for help. Which of the following sets of actions do you believe is more respective of the three moral alignments
It is a Good Act to help the man out of the ditch and give him a ride to wherever he was going.
It is a Neutral Act to help the man out of the ditch.
It is an Evil Act to ignore the man and leave him in the ditch.

Or
It is a Good Act to help the man out of the ditch.
It is a Neutral Act to leave the man in the ditch.
It is an Evil Act to stop and throw a rock at the man in the ditch, then spit on him.
1. is a good act
2. Good or Neutral
3. Neutral or Evil
4. Good
5. Evil maybe CN
6. Evil

1. It is good to help those in need and even better to help them on their way
2. It is good go help a man in need, or Neutral, both can have the same motives
3. Leaving a helpless man is abanding him to suffering, evil
4. As i said good
5.Neutral only if their is some larger stakes invovled (AKA the person is running from something. other wise evil
6. Cruelty and harming others for no reason evil
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MCerberus
2008-01-04, 10:56 PM
I like your breakdown of the actions, but I don't agree with some of it. Specifically, I don't see how leaving the man in the ditch is an evil action. It's certainly not a good act, but it's also not evil. In fact, it's almost the definition of neutral: inaction. It's not your fault that the man is in the ditch to begin with, and therefore it's not your moral obligation to help him out.

Well it doesn't seem that evil, but we're forgetting that he's at the mercy of whatever comes along. Chances are unless someone else comes along (who may refuse to help him), the man will die. Condeming a man who did nothing to you to die seems evil, even if it's indirectly in this case.

Kellus
2008-01-04, 11:05 PM
Well it doesn't seem that evil, but we're forgetting that he's at the mercy of whatever comes along. Chances are unless someone else comes along (who may refuse to help him), the man will die. Condeming a man who did nothing to you to die seems evil, even if it's indirectly in this case.

It seems like what you're saying is that humans have a moral obligation to do good, and not fulfilling this obligation is evil. I see it as being in DnD that neutral beings have no strong moral obligation one way or the other: neither to harm or to help. In this scenario, leaving the man in the ditch is a neutral act because by walking away you have made no impact on the situation. The man is no better off than he was before, and no worse off either.

EvilElitest
2008-01-04, 11:13 PM
It seems like what you're saying is that humans have a moral obligation to do good, and not fulfilling this obligation is evil. I see it as being in DnD that neutral beings have no strong moral obligation one way or the other: neither to harm or to help. In this scenario, leaving the man in the ditch is a neutral act because by walking away you have made no impact on the situation. The man is no better off than he was before, and no worse off either.

No, because it is the good and decent obligation to help others, Neutral isn't delibertly cruel, and while he might not help him, only if their is some other pressing matter, otherwise that is just being cruel and heartless. Leaving him their is harming him and ignoring a pled for help
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Murongo
2008-01-04, 11:20 PM
Frankly I think campaigns are cooler when "evil" people are far more common and "good" people are few and far between, so I'd say that ignoring him is solidly evil. Inaction can be miserably evil. If lifting a pinky saved a thousand lives it's bluntly evil not to do it.

The good act is to help him out and give him a ride and fill the ditch for future travelers. Anything else is neutral because it is not the extent to which you can help. The exception to this is if someone needs rescuing like -right- now and filling the ditch would take too much time. Only a higher moral imperative could justify not acting selflessly.

The neutral act is helping him out only and it remains neutral if you ASK for a reward, though not if you demand one. A LN person would ask before they help them out of the hole, but would help them out anyway if they said no. I could even see trying to swindle the guy a little bit, especially for CN "I could help you out, but you better give me some coin" as long as the intent is to help him out no matter what.

Evil is to ignore or rob him.

I agree with an earlier poster that throwing rocks or spitting on him is just stupid and overly chaotic and your character should be struck by lightning.

SadisticFishing
2008-01-04, 11:23 PM
I dunno, in the D&D world I'd be scared that he was not what he appears to be.

He could even be exactly what he appears, except, also a bandit that will slit your throats while you sleep and take your stuff.

EvilElitest
2008-01-04, 11:30 PM
Frankly I think campaigns are cooler when "evil" people are far more common and "good" people are few and far between, so I'd say that ignoring him is solidly evil. Inaction can be miserably evil. If lifting a pinky saved a thousand lives it's bluntly evil not to do it.

The good act is to help him out and give him a ride and fill the ditch for future travelers. Anything else is neutral because it is not the extent to which you can help. The exception to this is if someone needs rescuing like -right- now and filling the ditch would take too much time. Only a higher moral imperative could justify not acting selflessly.

The neutral act is helping him out only and it remains neutral if you ASK for a reward, though not if you demand one. A LN person would ask before they help them out of the hole, but would help them out anyway if they said no. I could even see trying to swindle the guy a little bit, especially for CN "I could help you out, but you better give me some coin" as long as the intent is to help him out no matter what.

Evil is to ignore or rob him.

I agree with an earlier poster that throwing rocks or spitting on him is just stupid and overly chaotic and your character should be struck by lightning.

I pretty much agree with you on everything (in my games, mabye 30 percent of all humans are evil) but in my game for the last part, one brillent character did something like that

Me-Alright, you walk down the road and see a begger asking you for a coin
Him (tiefling thief, chaotic evil)- I past him a coin
Rest of the party (hasn't gotton their)
Begger- Oh thank you my lord
Thief- I back stab him
Me-??? Ok he dies in agony. Why the hell did you do that
Thief- Because i could? To see how he bleed. For the sheer joy of watching a broken and hopless man without any family or friends left in this world die alone and unloved with his final fate unknown to the world. For the the chance to laugh at his final expression of disbelief and betrayal and see the shock in his eyes as i simple laugh at his pain, almost as if he knew i didn't care about his suffering. Just out of the mild amusment of seeing how fragile life is and to feel empowered taking it. Because i didn't think he deserved to live. The irony in that i used his knife. The inhuman joy of feeling the blade sliding through his skin and into his back. The knowlage that out their somewhere somebody will wonder what ever happened to him, and taht hte next traveler on the road will have no knowlage about his existence. Because i wanted to see if the rest of the party would belive me if i told them he attacked me first. Take you pick?
Rest of the party- what happened
Him- I recongize him, he was cut throat from the thief guild we are fighting, he must be an assasin, he has a knife on him. I was giving him a coin when he drew a knife, i was lucky enough that i was able to stab him (he had hight bluff).
He was a really scary player but a good one
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EE

Riffington
2008-01-04, 11:34 PM
I like your breakdown of the actions, but I don't agree with some of it. Specifically, I don't see how leaving the man in the ditch is an evil action. It's certainly not a good act, but it's also not evil. In fact, it's almost the definition of neutral: inaction. It's not your fault that the man is in the ditch to begin with, and therefore it's not your moral obligation to help him out.

You are incorrect. If you can easily help someone at little cost to yourself, you are obligated to do so. Inaction can definitely be evil.

EvilElitest
2008-01-04, 11:40 PM
You are incorrect. If you can easily help someone at little cost to yourself, you are obligated to do so. Inaction can definitely be evil.

letting somebody be mugged when you could have done something is evil. Real life story related to that accually
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Riffington
2008-01-04, 11:41 PM
Well there is no real neutral action here. The guy's either out of the ditch at the end of the day or still in. I will mark my suggestions with + for good and - for bad, the more marks the more good/evil.

Help him out +
Leave him in -
Help him make up some time ++
Make the ditch safer +++
Only get him out to rob him ----
Throw a rock at him --
Ransom his situation --
Push him back in later ---

I like the way you think, but if you look at it again you'll see you've got the wrong number of pluses and minuses. For example:
Helping him out surely must have more pluses than fixing the ditch or helping him make up some time. To prove this, imagine you did only one or the other. If you help him out and then ride on, you've done most of what you could do. If you leave him in but offer to carry a message from him (hastening his mission without actually saving him), you're clearly a jerk.

Similarly, leaving him in must be worse than helping him out but demanding $ for it. And actually throwing rocks must be the worst of all the options.

BRC
2008-01-04, 11:41 PM
It seems like what you're saying is that humans have a moral obligation to do good, and not fulfilling this obligation is evil. I see it as being in DnD that neutral beings have no strong moral obligation one way or the other: neither to harm or to help. In this scenario, leaving the man in the ditch is a neutral act because by walking away you have made no impact on the situation. The man is no better off than he was before, and no worse off either.

I'm going to play devils-advocate here kellus, lets say that the ditch was slowly filling with water, and that if left in there the man would drown. Is leaving the man in the ditch still a neutral act?

MCerberus
2008-01-05, 12:28 AM
I like the way you think, but if you look at it again you'll see you've got the wrong number of pluses and minuses. For example:
Helping him out surely must have more pluses than fixing the ditch or helping him make up some time. To prove this, imagine you did only one or the other. If you help him out and then ride on, you've done most of what you could do. If you leave him in but offer to carry a message from him (hastening his mission without actually saving him), you're clearly a jerk.

Similarly, leaving him in must be worse than helping him out but demanding $ for it. And actually throwing rocks must be the worst of all the options.

Yes but they stack, add, and subtract from each other. Many of these aren't mutally exclusive.

Draco Ignifer
2008-01-05, 12:41 AM
Just to play devil's advocate, I don't know this guy from Adam. More importantly, I don't know this guy from Cain. Random person down in a ditch, yelling for help... he's probably genuinely in need. He might be trying to lure me into a trap so he can rob me or worse. It's good to assume that he's actually in need, or to decide that the chance is worth it, and go save him, but it's not bad to leave him down there paranoidly, or just because the chance isn't worth the effort.

It's also not chaotic, because I didn't cause the situation, so I'm not responsible, nor am I acting in a disorderly fashion or the like by just going on my way.

Kellus
2008-01-05, 12:56 AM
I'm going to play devils-advocate here kellus, lets say that the ditch was slowly filling with water, and that if left in there the man would drown. Is leaving the man in the ditch still a neutral act?

Yes, actually. It's not the neutral person's fault that the man is drowning. To help him out of the water would be a good act, because you are doing something to help someone with no reason aside from it being the right thing to do. To push him further under the water would be an evil act, because you're actively harming him. But to leave him as he is is a solidly neutral action. To a neutral person there is no moral obligation to help or to harm.

EvilElitest
2008-01-05, 01:06 AM
Yes, actually. It's not the neutral person's fault that the man is drowning. To help him out of the water would be a good act, because you are doing something to help someone with no reason aside from it being the right thing to do. To push him further under the water would be an evil act, because you're actively harming him. But to leave him as he is is a solidly neutral action. To a neutral person there is no moral obligation to help or to harm.

Leaving a man to die is cowardly, cruel and insensitive, evil. You are causing evil by leaving a man to die for no good reason
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Kellus
2008-01-05, 01:17 AM
Leaving a man to die is cowardly, cruel and insensitive, evil. You are causing evil by leaving a man to die for no good reason
from
EE

False. You're doing nothing to harm him. You're not performing a good act by rescuing him, but neither are you actively harming him. Cowardly, cruel, insensitive, evil, you said. Those are all relevant descriptions from a good-aligned point of view. From a neutral point of view, leaving the man alone is none of these.

EvilElitest
2008-01-05, 01:32 AM
False. You're doing nothing to harm him.

Leaving him to drown is in fact harming him

You're not performing a good act by rescuing him,
saving an innocent life is always good

but neither are you actively harming him.
Assesory to murder


Cowardly, cruel, insensitive, evil, you said. Those are all relevant descriptions from a good-aligned point of view. From a neutral point of view, leaving the man alone is none of these.
No, a neutral will not save him if their a reason not to (he is an evil man, their some more pressing concern) but the act of leaving a man to die is still murder
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Kellus
2008-01-05, 01:44 AM
You're taking my quote out of context there, splitting it into two parts. I was saying that rescuing him would be a good act. But what I'm saying is that it wouldn't be a neutral act.

And no, leaving him to drown is not murder. It may be amoral and (in our society) illegal, but it's not murder.

You're judging him by good-aligned standards here. An evil person looking at the same scenario would say that doing nothing in this situation is a good-aligned act, because you're leaving him to possibly escape the situation. Just like you're saying that leaving the man is an evil-aligned act because you're leaving him to possibly not escape the situation. And in reality you're just leaving the man, and it makes no difference to you if he escapes or not. That is neutrality.

Patashu
2008-01-05, 01:54 AM
Yes, actually. It's not the neutral person's fault that the man is drowning. To help him out of the water would be a good act, because you are doing something to help someone with no reason aside from it being the right thing to do. To push him further under the water would be an evil act, because you're actively harming him. But to leave him as he is is a solidly neutral action. To a neutral person there is no moral obligation to help or to harm.

Shouldn't poisoning someone be just as evil as refusing to give them the antidote, though? They both have the same amount of action and the same result (the guy dieing). Inaction is only neutral if it would put the actor at risk or if the actor does not have the neccesary skills.

NullAshton
2008-01-05, 02:04 AM
If a common neutral citizen walks by someone being mugged in the street, they would just walk on by. The mugger could have a knife, or some other weapon that the person doesn't know about, and the person doesn't want to risk it.

Same with a drowning person. Sure if there's a life preserver somewhere, the neutral guy would toss it to him, and help reel him in. But he wouldn't risk his life to swim out to that guy and take him back to shore, possibly drowning in the process.

For the original ditch problem, the person in the ditch could be bait. Robbers could be waiting for someone to help him. He might have been the victim of robbers, who are still there waiting in ambush. There are any sort of possible risks that could be there, especially in a world where there's who knows what creatures outside that think human flesh is delicious. So the neutral person would keep on going, unless that person is someone he knows and cares about.

Kellus
2008-01-05, 02:10 AM
Shouldn't poisoning someone be just as evil as refusing to give them the antidote, though? They both have the same amount of action and the same result (the guy dieing). Inaction is only neutral if it would put the actor at risk or if the actor does not have the neccesary skills.

Not at all. Poisoning somebody is an evil act that is intended to kill. Refusing to give an antidote can be a neutral act that is not intended to help. The distinction between these two actions is the distinction between being evil and not being good.

Draco Ignifer
2008-01-05, 02:14 AM
First off, leaving the man to die is NOT murder. Murder is the unlawful killing of another through act or omission with malice aforethought, and there is no malice aforethought - you didn't intend the person's death. It's also not homicide, which is just the unlawful killing of another through act or omission, because it's not unlawful - you have no legal duty to rescue another human being. Just to straighten the terms out.

Second, the difference between a poisoner and someone with an antidote is that the poisoner caused the problem in the first place. The person with the antidote can rectify it, and may choose to do so for a price, but they certainy didn't cause it. Saying the two are morally equivelant makes all inaction equivelant to action. This has horrific repercussions in any sort of society, and even worse for any sort of alignment system. Where's the dividing line between evil and good in that case? What if there's a 49% chance that you'll get killed trying to rescue him? Odds are 51% of two lives, 49% of zero, which is greater than the one surviving normally, and so the best result, on average, is attempting to rescue. If inaction is equivelant to action in evil, anyone in society who chooses not to act when the circumstances might be 51% is a murderer; anyone who chooses not to in D&D would go one step closer to Paladin bait. What if there's a 99% chance you'll die, and a 1% chance you'll save 100 people? 0.1 x 101 = 1.01, which is greater than the 1 that happens if you do nothing. Is that evil? Is it evil not to pull a revolver on Adolf Hitler, despite the fact that you'll almost certainly not kill him and will definately be killed either in the camps or just shot? Remember, if you did it early enough, you might have saved millions of people. What if there's a 50/50 shot that the person I'm pointing a gun at is innocent, but a 50/50 shot that he's a murderer who's going to kill two people?

Saying "only if it won't put you at risk" is a meaningless statement as well, because everything might put you at risk. There's a chance the person will thrash as you administer the antidote, nick you, and you'll get poisoned. How much of a chance does this have to be for it to no longer be an evil act to refuse?

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-05, 05:56 AM
In my opinion:
Good helping someone out when their is possible harm to you.
Neutral helping someone out when their is no possible harm to you.
Evil not helping someone out when their is no possible harm to you or purposely doing ill to someone.

This would make rescuing the man from the ditch a good act.

Riffington
2008-01-05, 09:37 AM
You're judging him by good-aligned standards here. An evil person looking at the same scenario would say that doing nothing in this situation is a good-aligned act, because you're leaving him to possibly escape the situation. Just like you're saying that leaving the man is an evil-aligned act because you're leaving him to possibly not escape the situation. And in reality you're just leaving the man, and it makes no difference to you if he escapes or not. That is neutrality.

Your understanding of evil is flawed. Evil is just a slightly-twisted good. Hitler (about as evil as you can get) was nice to his friends. He didn't steal. He set up programs (with his own money) to help his employees stop smoking. In short, for 99% of his good/evil decisions, he chose good rather than evil. It's the 1% that made him a horrible person.

Just leaving a man in a terrible situation with no interest in whether he makes it out or not is evil. The majority of evil people would agree, would call themselves basically good, and would help the person out of the ditch unselfishly. That would be one of their many good acts for the day.

Ralfarius
2008-01-05, 10:18 AM
I would lean towards the help/do nothing/harm as to being the baseline good/neutral/evil acts in this scenario.

Coming upon the fellow stuck in the ditch, you have essentially no information as to how he came to be in this. If you were not to ask for any background on his predicament, then you have to assume he would be better off out of the ditch and that it would be proper to assist. That's the good-aligned train of thought.

A neutral train of thought would be that you don't know why he is in the ditch, you have no personal stake in the matter, and you are also unknowing of why he came to be in the ditch. Therefore, there is no way to be certain of the ramifications of your action, and it is just as well to leave the situation unaltered.

The evil train of thought generally leans toward that you could gratify yourself somehow, using this man in the ditch as a resource. Whether that means fulfilling your sense of survival of the fittest by killing him, jumping into the ditch so that you might loot his belongings, or generally going all Joker on his unsuspecting self is up to the individual/the other half of their alignment.

There are a few hitches in these, in that the evil aligned could commit the 'good' act initially with the intent to harm the man afterward. However, I think that the only solidly neutral is to refrain from altering the situation one way or another.

I mean, what if there is a law in the area that all murderers be pushed into ditches and left for the first rainfall? Letting him out would be both disregarding the law, and assisting a murderer. Same goes for if the man was trying to make his escape after a daring highway robbery, or any number of scenarios where it would be better to leave the man in the ditch. The neutral aligned act is to simply not make a judgment call beyond remaining neutral.

I'm not certain how I feel about a scenario where the man's fate is certain if left alone. I would still say neutral, if with a slightly more selfish leaning, to do nothing. Though I suppose this is based mostly on the mugger/water scenario, being that you stand to risk personal harm/loss for someone whom you don't know, and may in fact have evil intentions toward you if you help. This man in the water-filling ditch might very well be the dreaded 'water-filled ditch bandit' who simply waits for would-be rescuers to become hopelessly stuck in the quagmire before robbing and/or (depending on his mood) killing them.

Kellus
2008-01-05, 10:25 AM
Your understanding of evil is flawed. Evil is just a slightly-twisted good. Hitler (about as evil as you can get) was nice to his friends. He didn't steal. He set up programs (with his own money) to help his employees stop smoking. In short, for 99% of his good/evil decisions, he chose good rather than evil. It's the 1% that made him a horrible person.

Just leaving a man in a terrible situation with no interest in whether he makes it out or not is evil. The majority of evil people would agree, would call themselves basically good, and would help the person out of the ditch unselfishly. That would be one of their many good acts for the day.

There's a distinction between the person and the act. I'm not saying necessarily that any given neutral person would leave him in the ditch, but the act on leaving the man in the ditch is neither good nor evil; it simply is.

And did you really have to bring Hitler into it? Yes, I'm looking at you, Draco Ignifer. Not that I don't appreciate the support. :smalltongue:

EvilElitest
2008-01-05, 10:27 AM
You're taking my quote out of context there, splitting it into two parts. I was saying that rescuing him would be a good act. But what I'm saying is that it wouldn't be a neutral act.

Saving somebody in need is good, not neutral. Saving somebody for your own benifit is neutral (though a neutral person can do it out of decency as well) and leaving somebody to die because their is something more pressing can be neutral



And no, leaving him to drown is not murder. It may be amoral and (in our society) illegal, but it's not murder.

D&D morality is not relative, it is absolute. Leaving a man to die is an murder, you had to a chance to save him and out of your own selfness, cruelty, or cowardness you simple let him die.



You're judging him by good-aligned standards here. An evil person looking at the same scenario would say that doing nothing in this situation is a good-aligned act, because you're leaving him to possibly escape the situation. Just like you're saying that leaving the man is an evil-aligned act because you're leaving him to possibly not escape the situation. And in reality you're just leaving the man, and it makes no difference to you if he escapes or not. That is neutrality.

That is also seflishness, and D&D's aligments are not relative i must point out. Letting a man die for no reason is the refusal to help an innocent and is simple evil

In the orginal situation, he asks you for help

A good person would be obliged to help somebody who asked for help or was wounded at the bottom of the ditch with two exceptions
1. The paladin had proof that the man at the bottom of the ditch intended to kill him or something equally dangerous. AKA, the good guy knows it is a trap
2. The man at the bottom of the ditch tell him that he wants to be their for whatever reason

A neutral person should help him as he has not reason not to, and leaving a man who is begging for help is simple insenseitive, selfish and cruel. However
1. If the neutral guy has a very good reason to think this is a trap (good reason, not paranoid idea)
2. The neutral guy has something far more important at hand, such a friend who is stuck in a similer ditch
3. Their is some high risk in rescuing the man (he is in a ditch???)
In the drowing situation, the good person is only except from saving him if
1. The good guy has absolute proof (or something close to that) that this is a trap. Even then, if the guy surrenders he should save him
2. He good guy is unable to do so (its a freaking ditch what???) and then he should try his best to come up with a different solution (use a stick instead, throw him a floaty, run for help ect)
A neutral person is commiting murder by leaving him to die. If you want to use legal standards, that could vary from manslaughter, third degree murder, neglect, and possible charges of endangerment to others.

Just because you didn't cause it doesn't mean you are not obliged to help him. the only excuses are

1. you have something extremly important to do at the time, a life or death situation. Even then you should come back
2. You can't do so yourself and their is no other way to help him, though running for help would be good
3. Your on fire, under attack, or totally unable to help anyone but your self
4. you strongly suspect this is a trap, with some sort of proof to back you up
from
EE

Ralfarius
2008-01-05, 10:55 AM
I'm not so sure that a neutral person would rescue someone simply 'because they can'. It seems to me that a neutral person helps those they know and care about, probably won't help people they actively dislike, and can go either way, leaning towards not helping or hurting people they don't know.

But, the person aside, leaving the situation unaltered doesn't really strike me as particularly evil. I mean, how many times to people see cars on the side of the highway, out of gas or what have you, and pass them by? How many times do people not even slow down for hitchhikers? Being that it's unusual, even ill advised to pick up strangers, I would say that leaving a person be, even if they are somewhat distressed, is not evil.

It's not that different in a fantasy medieval setting. Any person you meet on the road could easily be a bandit. Hell, they could be a monster in disguise. There is very little safety outside of a city's walls, and stopping for any random person carries significant potential for harm.

If it's someone you've met before, someone whom you know and are aware isn't out to get you, then it could be construed as somewhat evil to leave them be. However, if you've never met them, then there really isn't good or evil to leaving them alone. It's certainly altruistic to help them with no prior knowledge, but you're not some miserly evil curmudgeon for not being a good Samaritan at every opportunity.

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-05, 11:15 AM
EE, what DnD alignment would you say you are.

The fact that he's trying to get me off the road, is enough proof for a trap for me. What would you constitute as enough proof?

BRC
2008-01-05, 11:24 AM
EE, what DnD alignment would you say you are.

The fact that he's trying to get me off the road, is enough proof for a trap for me. What would you constitute as enough proof?
I see you are neutral paranoid.

So if you see sombodies car has broken down by the side of the road and they are waving for help (proably to borrow a cell phone or somthing) your automatic assumption is that as soon as you pull over they will pull a gun on you and steal your car?

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-05, 11:31 AM
Weapons are easier to get hold of, the law harder to keep and thier are more places where the law doesn't hold true in DnD settings than in England. So I don't think its relevant.

MCerberus
2008-01-05, 11:47 AM
Well at this point I think we can all agree that the neutral action depends on circumstance.

Good - help him out
Evil - make it worse
Neutral - ??? depending on a lot of variables.

NullAshton
2008-01-05, 12:56 PM
The neutral path would generally be to help him out, unless you put yourself at personal risk I believe.

Vikazc
2008-01-05, 01:28 PM
I actually made an account just to post in this instead of lurking like normal....

Edit: Just to clarify, I may indeed sound like a pompous ass, but I'm not trying to specifically call anyone out or imply anything negative about anyone personally, especially EE, I like reading your posts here, just disagree with you on this one.

The majority of the people in this thread simply do not know how to look at things from outside their own perspective. EE in particular, you just don't seem to grasp that neutral morality is not "your" morality. It's like trying to explain neutrality to the party paladin.

The assumption here from one camp is that neutral is not good, neutral is not evil. This is the "leave him there" camp. This is a good, but inaccurate assessment.

The second view seems to be neutral is good unless it doesn't benefit them, then they are evil. This is the "leaving him is murder" camp. This is completely wrong on many levels. On top of taking the view that anything not actively good is evil, it assumes that neutrals are generally good guys.

The more accurate statement about neutrality is that it is both good AND evil, but not to any extreme. EE does put forth one accurate statement, alignment is not relative in D&D. It does involve shades of grey though, and that is where neutral lies.

At one far extreme you have good, the paladin, saving lives, being a hero. At the other you have evil, murdering thousands for personal gain. In the middle is a broad spectrum of somewhat good, and selfish actions which can all be construed as neutral. Its not a razor sharp line that divides the two.

I consider myself fairly neutral in real life, like the actual world. In the ditch scenario, I would personally almost certainly not jump in to save the guy, check his condition, or really get worked up over it. I also would not feel compelled to shoot him in the head and violate his corpse, rob him or forget he ever existed. My actions would likely involve a couple clearly sarcastic questions about what it's like down there, for my own amusement. At which point if he was a good sport, I would likely toss him a rope, branch or other means of helping himself out of there reasonably. Or if he was a poor sport, I would likely tell him to enjoy decomposition, and mention him to the next passserby or town guard i meet and hope he sees it as a learning experience after the hour or two of waiting when he didn't realize help would come.

I've drawn this out too long to examine the "filling with water" scenario, so Im going to stop now.

VanBuren
2008-01-05, 02:44 PM
I see you are neutral paranoid.

So if you see sombodies car has broken down by the side of the road and they are waving for help (proably to borrow a cell phone or somthing) your automatic assumption is that as soon as you pull over they will pull a gun on you and steal your car?

Thing is, in DnD you can be neutral paranoid and often be completely right. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean the DM isn't out to get you.

Riffington
2008-01-05, 02:50 PM
The majority of the people in this thread simply do not know how to look at things from outside their own perspective. EE in particular, you just don't seem to grasp that neutral morality is not "your" morality. It's like trying to explain neutrality to the party paladin.


You are missing something: all forms of morality are Good. There is no Neutral morality or Evil morality. There are only neutral people who sometimes fail to act morally, and evil people who frequently fail to act morally.


It is true that there are multiple standards of morality (by some standards, you must help drug addicts overcome their addiction; by others, you must allow drug addicts to make their own decisions, and help them only if they want help). But all standards of morality share certain things in common. All say that it is better to smile at someone than stab him. All require you to help people who've fallen into pits if there is little danger to yourself.

If you think you can just invent some new standard, some "neutral standard" or "evil standard" that says one ought to stab others rather than smiling them, you are misunderstanding human nature. Your invented world will collapse under its lack of reality.

If you think that in real life you could just watch someone drown without doing something, you are lying to yourself. A very small number of sociopaths can do that. Garden-variety thieves and murderers can't.

VanBuren
2008-01-05, 03:15 PM
Who says you're watching? You could walk on by. Especially if you know that you're not a very strong swimmer yourself.

To be honest, I think when you get down to it, there's an attitude that goes along with each part of the alignment.

Good: Others before the self. Or at worst, others and self at the same time.

Neutral: Look out for self first, then help others.

Evil: Look out for self first. Don't give a damn about others. On second thought, yes I do because I can benefit 'X' way from it.

Granted, that's a major simplification, but I think that's approaching the concept.

EvilElitest
2008-01-05, 03:56 PM
EE, what DnD alignment would you say you are.

The fact that he's trying to get me off the road, is enough proof for a trap for me. What would you constitute as enough proof?

Me, LN, possible LG but maybe i'm being egotistic

Wait, getting you off the road is a trap? WTF? Really, WTF?, in every sense of the world

For proof i would thing


1. Prior knowlage of this man, or others with similer dress ect. pulling the same trick
2. Some sign that he is faking it
3. See him pull a knife, mutter something spell like or some other threating action
4. See somebody else in the area
5. A visible trap


I'm not so sure that a neutral person would rescue someone simply 'because they can'. It seems to me that a neutral person helps those they know and care about, probably won't help people they actively dislike, and can go either way, leaning towards not helping or hurting people they don't know.

Leaving him to die? For no reason? Just let him die and you call that not evil?

But, the person aside, leaving the situation unaltered doesn't really strike me as particularly evil. I mean, how many times to people see cars on the side of the highway, out of gas or what have you, and pass them by? How many times do people not even slow down for hitchhikers? Being that it's unusual, even ill advised to pick up strangers, I would say that leaving a person be, even if they are somewhat distressed, is not evil.

1. Assosory to muder is for crimes just like that
2. Out of gas cars and hitchhikers aren't in a life or death situation (normally)
3. If i see an out of gas car and the guy waves or askes for help i'll stop (presumeing i can drive that is). If he doesn't, i'm going to presume he has it under control. Hitchhikers are breaking the law, but i will stop to give them directions, or if they have kids with them.
4. If i see a man drowing in a ditch, then of course i'll help him

It's not that different in a fantasy medieval setting. Any person you meet on the road could easily be a bandit. Hell, they could be a monster in disguise. There is very little safety outside of a city's walls, and stopping for any random person carries significant potential for harm.

Paronida isn't an excuse for leaving what could be a perfectly innocent person to death


If it's someone you've met before, someone whom you know and are aware isn't out to get you, then it could be construed as somewhat evil to leave them be. However, if you've never met them, then there really isn't good or evil to leaving them alone. It's certainly altruistic to help them with no prior knowledge, but you're not some miserly evil curmudgeon for not being a good Samaritan at every opportunity.

Wait, so your life is only worth saving if you have a name know to your rescuer? WTF



I actually made an account just to post in this instead of lurking like normal....

Nice to see you

Edit: Just to clarify, I may indeed sound like a pompous ass, but I'm not trying to specifically call anyone out or imply anything negative about anyone personally, especially EE, I like reading your posts here, just disagree with you on this one.

wait, posts on this threads or posts all over the boards?


The majority of the people in this thread simply do not know how to look at things from outside their own perspective. EE in particular, you just don't seem to grasp that neutral morality is not "your" morality. It's like trying to explain neutrality to the party paladin.

In D&D, unlike real life, morals are not relative Evil and Good are universal forces


The assumption here from one camp is that neutral is not good, neutral is not evil. This is the "leave him there" camp. This is a good, but inaccurate assessment.

more details would be nice


The second view seems to be neutral is good unless it doesn't benefit them, then they are evil. This is the "leaving him is murder" camp. This is completely wrong on many levels. On top of taking the view that anything not actively good is evil, it assumes that neutrals are generally good guys.

If you leave him there, he will die. Thus you are abandioning somebody to their death, thus murder


The more accurate statement about neutrality is that it is both good AND evil, but not to any extreme. EE does put forth one accurate statement, alignment is not relative in D&D. It does involve shades of grey though, and that is where neutral lies.

Yes, i've already listed the reasion why a neutral person wouldn't save him


At one far extreme you have good, the paladin, saving lives, being a hero. At the other you have evil, murdering thousands for personal gain. In the middle is a broad spectrum of somewhat good, and selfish actions which can all be construed as neutral. Its not a razor sharp line that divides the two.

I consider myself fairly neutral in real life, like the actual world. In the ditch scenario, I would personally almost certainly not jump in to save the guy, check his condition, or really get worked up over it. I also would not feel compelled to shoot him in the head and violate his corpse, rob him or forget he ever existed. My actions would likely involve a couple clearly sarcastic questions about what it's like down there, for my own amusement. At which point if he was a good sport, I would likely toss him a rope, branch or other means of helping himself out of there reasonably. Or if he was a poor sport, I would likely tell him to enjoy decomposition, and mention him to the next passserby or town guard i meet and hope he sees it as a learning experience after the hour or two of waiting when he didn't realize help would come.

I've drawn this out too long to examine the "filling with water" scenario, so Im going to stop now.
So he dies if he is a grumpy or nasty persion normally and is saved if he happens to be in a good mood while drowing? Seems remarkable cold blooded

from
EE

Vikazc
2008-01-05, 06:11 PM
Morality may have been the wrong term for it. Point of view might be more accurate, but is still off a bit.

From a good point of view, neutral is evil because it does not consistently do good and occassionally does evil. Evil is evil because it consistently fails to do good, and consistently does evil.

From a neutral point of view, good is too good because it's always good. Ditto for evil.

And from an evil point of view, good is wrong because it doesn't take advantage of others for itself. Etc for neutral.

From a general point of view, things are still relative, because a person is a given alignment because they believe being that way is the right thing to be. Evil characters are evil because they believe they are right and just in doing the evil things they do to help themselves or make themselves happy.

Neutral characters believe they are doing right by taking care of their own whims for the most part, as long as they don't hurt anyone else too much, or go out on a limb.

By no means does a neutral character come up to said man in ditch, and contemplate whether he feels like being good or evil today. He just is what he is.

As for what I said about whether or not to save the guy or not, you seem to have misunderstood. If a person is friendly and fits into a neutrals charecters ideas of good fun people, hes much more likely to immediately help him, if not, its still likely he'll send help for the guy, but not in any hurry, and hes going to let someone else do the work.

Felius
2008-01-05, 08:00 PM
You are missing something: all forms of morality are Good. There is no Neutral morality or Evil morality. There are only neutral people who sometimes fail to act morally, and evil people who frequently fail to act morally.
Not necessarily true in D&D. A Spartan Moral code, for a overused civilization (damn the 300 movie) will be at it's best Lawful Neutral.

Ok, that said, let's get to the subject in had: I find that the main mistake people have been doing in this thread is to treat neutral as naturally goodish. I find that it would go like that, not getting the ethics axis in account. And this does not count for friends and loved ones, as you can have a extremely evil BBEG with a loved one that he would gladly sacrifice himself to save it.

Very Good: Help others above himself, not caring for his own personal safety. He would go for certain death even to have a small chance to save a single stranger.
Good: Help others above himself, caring a little for personal safety. He might not go for certain death for a complete stranger or for his worst enemy, but he is good and will what he can.
Little Good: Help others a little above himself, but cares for personal safety. He would not put himself at much risk for a complete stranger like that, although he might for someone he knows at least a little.

Neutral Goodish: Help others if there is no sacrifice or personal risk, to varying degrees.
Neutral: Don't actively help nor gratifies himself at the expense of other persons. He usually don't involve himself, if he isn't already, and he won't bother himself with fixing some situation if it's nothing to gain or to loose. It's very rare to have someone in the perfect balance, so he m
Neutral Evilish: Gratify himself at the expense of other persons if in very small degrees, and if it's not very personal. , pickpocket someone he thinks don't need that money that much.
Little Evil: Would gratify himself at the expense of other persons, as longs it's not extreme, or doesn't have great immediate responses. He might pickpocket the money a poor family have to feed themselves for the month.

Evil: Gratify himself at the expense of others caring very little for them, although may have some limits. He might mug a person and send him to the hospital, might be even an assassin, although probably don't take especial pleasure in the suffering of the victims.
Very Evil: Gratify himself at the expense of others without giving a thought for them. He might be the assassin who simply love to have his victims suffer, or the guy who steal from persons in the street by attacking them until they die or pass out them picking their stuff up. (It's not Evil Stupid please. Unless he actually is stupid, he probably won't do that in plain daylight in front of the watch headquarters)

hamishspence
2008-01-07, 03:47 PM
Might depend on situation. For example if guy is wearing uniform of an Evil or illegal organization one might be required not to help him without safeguards. Aiding or healing an Evil creature is not automatically a good act.

FR has a big list of different kinds of Evil outside of the LE CE NE group:

Driven to Evil
There Is no Evil
I am Not Evil
Better to Reign in Hell
Evil Choice
Raised Evil

Just some of them. Most obvious example is someone who is Evil because he uses Evil methods for ends generally regarded as good.

The trope of Selfish Evil is handy, but does not entirely represent the full spectrum of Evil Alignment.

In fact, not intervening when someone is in danger is not automatically illegal, there was a recent case in Britain last year of people deciding not to jump in to save drowning person and they were found to have acted correctly (person was actually already dead)

Some would call it at least mildly evil. But inaction is not usually culpable. Accessory only comes in when you have full knowledge of someones activity that will cause someone elses death, and do not act. I.E. you witness someone furtively drop pill in another's drink, you might be charged, especially if you have any nefarious reason for NOT acting.

The ditch situation is not as urgent: urgency is relevant. Had person been up to waist in quicksand it might be more evil to ignore them in that situation.

Sebastian
2008-01-07, 04:24 PM
not every situation have a neutral option, in the ditch case I'd say the nearest thing to a neutral choice would be offer him help in exchange of a reasonable reward, the problem that make a neutral choice difficult to formulate is that the man is in a dangerous situation, it is trapped into a ditch, if nobody help him he could starve or be attacked by some animal, helping him is a good action, not helping him is a evil action, the grey area is pretty limited here. and sometime, if not often a neutral person with all the other factors being equal goes wfor the good option because usually is less troublesome.

Now if rather than in a ditch the man would be blocked on the side of the road with a broken cart full of stuff, the good thing to do would be helping him fix the cart or bringing his ware to safety, the neutral thing could be offering him a ride, if it he already goes your way, or just leave it here, if he don't look in immediate trouble (after all he could just walk) the evil thing killing hi and take his stuff or help him in exchange of a good share of his stuff if you are not of the sanguinary disposition.

RukiTanuki
2008-01-07, 05:00 PM
I'll try to keep my contribution short and to the point. I've tried to explain my interpretations of alignment a few different ways. This is the Cliff's Notes version.

Good people try to provide benefit to others, even at great cost or risk to themselves.
Neutral people may not mind helping others if the personal cost/risk is not significant. Neutral people may occasionally choose actions that detriment others, if the personal gain is significant.
Evil people seek personal gains and benefits, even if the cost or risk to others is grossly disproportionate.

Few people are truly Good; Neutral represents the average person's morality. For a modern example: do you pull over to help every stranded motorist? Do you pick up every hitchhiker? Most people don't: they're busy, they don't think they could be of much help, or they don't feel safe leaving their car to walk up to a stranger (particularly in the middle of nowhere, or at night).

As such, unless the individual revels in the pit-trapped person's suffering, I wouldn't rule it as an Evil act.

VanBuren
2008-01-07, 10:24 PM
not every situation have a neutral option, in the ditch case I'd say the nearest thing to a neutral choice would be offer him help in exchange of a reasonable reward, the problem that make a neutral choice difficult to formulate is that the man is in a dangerous situation, it is trapped into a ditch, if nobody help him he could starve or be attacked by some animal, helping him is a good action, not helping him is a evil action, the grey area is pretty limited here. and sometime, if not often a neutral person with all the other factors being equal goes wfor the good option because usually is less troublesome.

Now if rather than in a ditch the man would be blocked on the side of the road with a broken cart full of stuff, the good thing to do would be helping him fix the cart or bringing his ware to safety, the neutral thing could be offering him a ride, if it he already goes your way, or just leave it here, if he don't look in immediate trouble (after all he could just walk) the evil thing killing hi and take his stuff or help him in exchange of a good share of his stuff if you are not of the sanguinary disposition.

The problem is that the man could be false. If he's stuck in a ditch, he may be bait for a bandit ambush. If the wagon is broken down, he could be akin to a real-world hitchhiker, which many people may not pick up for perfectly legitimate reasons.

And before you scream paranoia, remember that this is a quasi-medieval setting. It is not out of the question for a bandits to pull tricks like that to catch you off-guard. Hell, things like this occasionally happen in the real world!

It's perfectly neutral to leave him. It's not neutral to throw rocks at him however, because you're just being prick.

EvilElitest
2008-01-07, 10:26 PM
The problem is that the man could be false. If he's stuck in a ditch, he may be bait for a bandit ambush. If the wagon is broken down, he could be akin to a real-world hitchhiker, which many people may not pick up for perfectly legitimate reasons.

And before you scream paranoia, remember that this is a quasi-medieval setting. It is not out of the question for a bandits to pull tricks like that to catch you off-guard. Hell, things like this occasionally happen in the real world!

It's perfectly neutral to leave him. It's not neutral to throw rocks at him however, because you're just being prick.

Wait, no because mild worry of assult is useless without reasonable proof, simply leaving a man to die is abandoment, selfish and cruel.
from
EE

Ralfarius
2008-01-07, 10:45 PM
Wait, no because mild worry of assult is useless without reasonable proof, simply leaving a man to die is abandoment, selfish and cruel.
from
EE
So, what you're saying is that a good and decent person stops to pick up every hitch-hiker and broken-down vehicle that they pass? You keep spouting that it's not reasonable to be worried that a random stranger, outside of a city and without any sort of law enforcement nearby could be trying to do you harm. But it totally is. Why else would there be highway driving safety tips in most defensive driving courses that say "Don't pick up hitch-hikers! They may just be decent people, but it's not worth the risk?"

The only proof necessary is that this person isn't someone you know, you're not in a safe area, and - especially if you're on your own - you have no one to help you if they turn out to have ill intentions toward you.

I can understand the desire to be a good Samaritan, but being prudent does not make you evil. It's not paranoia, it is normal and reasonable caution. By forgoing your own sense of well being and stopping to assist a complete stranger, you are certainly committing a good (if somewhat naive) act. However, you can't be evil just because you're doing what your mother told you and not talking to/getting into ditches with strangers.

I'm not sure how much more clear this view can be made. Though, I"m guessing it will be rebutted with a whole lot of 'nuh uh!'. Ahhh well.

VanBuren
2008-01-07, 11:25 PM
Wait, no because mild worry of assult is useless without reasonable proof, simply leaving a man to die is abandoment, selfish and cruel.
from
EE

Why is it worth taking the chance? A neutral character has no obligation to take any chances that may possibly hurt him. He's not actively harming another person. Nor is he taking an action that causes another person harm. His inaction is irrelevant. Apathy is not evil.

Besides, give one good and solid reason why he should believe that it is a genuine cry for help?

Roog
2008-01-07, 11:41 PM
Besides, give one good and solid reason why he should believe that it is a genuine cry for help?

Because it is a cry for help....
Because it is a hypothetical, designed to reflect a whole class of situations.


If you don't believe that things are generally likely to be what they appear to be, you will find it difficult to function in any world.

Obviously, if you live in a world where a cry for help is significantly likely to be a trap, leaving the man alone would be a neutral (and prudent) act.

EvilElitest
2008-01-07, 11:42 PM
So, what you're saying is that a good and decent person stops to pick up every hitch-hiker and broken-down vehicle that they pass?

1. Hitchhikers and broken down vechiles are in immediate risk of dying
2. They need to ask for help
3. No risk in helping a guy out of ditch (unless faced with reasonable proof)

You keep spouting that it's not reasonable to be worried that a random stranger, outside of a city and without any sort of law enforcement nearby could be trying to do you harm. But it totally is. Why else would there be highway driving safety tips in most defensive driving courses that say "Don't pick up hitch-hikers! They may just be decent people, but it's not worth the risk?"
And watch a man drown in a ditch because you were to cowardly to face an imagenary threat? What is hte point of law if nobody even helps pervent another man's death when their is nothing stopping them. If you see reasonable proof, then sure, but without that you are leaving a man to die because you can be buggered to help him. Witch is callus, cold blooded and cruel



The only proof necessary is that this person isn't someone you know, you're not in a safe area, and - especially if you're on your own - you have no one to help you if they turn out to have ill intentions toward you.

Selfish much? Nether does he have anyone to help him other than you and yet you leave him to die. I mean he is drowing in a ditch, just let him die because he had the misfortion to not have any friends to help him out? Cowardly and insensitive.


I can understand the desire to be a good Samaritan, but being prudent does not make you evil. It's not paranoia, it is normal and reasonable caution.
Not when it is at the cost of innocent lives


By forgoing your own sense of well being and stopping to assist a complete stranger, you are certainly committing a good (if somewhat naive) act. However, you can't be evil just because you're doing what your mother told you and not talking to/getting into ditches with strangers.

Getting in a ditch with somebody who doesn't need help isn't evil, but leaving a man to die, who's only crime is bad luck and being clumsy certainly is


I'm not sure how much more clear this view can be made. Though, I"m guessing it will be rebutted with a whole lot of 'nuh uh!'. Ahhh well.
You view is based on "My life before others" which can certainly be CN but only when you don't resort to murder or harming of others. Neglect is harming of others, as is abanding man for a threat that you don't even know if it exists. If their is reasonable proof then sure, if you have more pressing matters sure, if you phyically can't without risk of drowing, sure, but if you are just being selfish then WTF? You just automatically that every stranger has an ill intention towards you and leave them to die and you call that not selfish and ill intentioned


Why is it worth taking the chance? A neutral character has no obligation to take any chances that may possibly hurt him. He's not actively harming another person. Nor is he taking an action that causes another person harm. His inaction is irrelevant. Apathy is not evil.

1. he is activlly hurting other by incaction, that is leaving him to die without and proof of a reason not to
2. Apathy is evil when it hurts others yes
3. Wait, Guilty until proven innocent? Yeah that isn't evil



Besides, give one good and solid reason why he should believe that it is a genuine cry for help?

1. Innocent until proven guilty
2. No proof, sign, action of any sort of ambush
3. He could very well a man who fell into a ditch
4. Why wouldn't it be (remember, you lack proof)
5. he is drowing, why wouldn't he cry out for help?
6. Decency
7. Humainity
8. Logic
9. Understanding of the situation and human beings



from
EE

Roog
2008-01-07, 11:45 PM
However, you can't be evil just because you're doing what your mother told you and not talking to/getting into ditches with strangers.

I'm not evil - I'm just doing what my mother told me, and mothers are always the purest of good.

EvilElitest
2008-01-07, 11:47 PM
If my mother told me to kill people who looked different, would it be good? Or not evil?
from
EE

BlackMage2549
2008-01-08, 12:01 AM
Honestly, what would be the point of bringing him out of the ditch? Something caused him to fall in to begin with, and the intentions of the original should be called into question. Suppose the gentleman in the ditch was thrown in there as part of a punishment for a crime he commited. This could be likely, since he can't get himself out. Suppose he was thrown in by a few less-than-savory characters for reasons unknown to you at the time. Do you stop, and question the man as the cries for help from the ditch? You could unwittingly be creating a bigger problem simply by helping him out. Do you trust his words? He's in the ditch for a reason, whether it's incompetance or bad luck - How can you rightfully judge his character in so short a time frame?

If the ditch is slowly filling with water, that really sucks for him. Because then he's either a victim of unfortunate circumstances, or he's being killed for something. If it's the latter, the problem you create by saving him greatly outweighs the problems inherent in leaving the gentleman in the ditch. If it's the former, the question of why he ended up in the ditch again becomes prevalent.

And what about the Wizard's Second Rule? The worst of effects come from the best of intentions, wasn't it?

VanBuren
2008-01-08, 12:02 AM
Why is it so far-fetched to assume that it could be a trap? I can easily envision that as a fairly common tactic from bandits on a road that isn't patrolled. Anyway, you keep mentioning that the person isn't, but our traveler has no way of knowing that. And he decides to err on the side of safety, because he values his safety more than that of a complete stranger.

And if he has a family, that's even more of a reason to err on the side of safety because he has a duty and a responsibility to them before this complete stranger (from a morally neutral standpoint).

Incidentally, do you pick up hitchikers on the side of the road?

Roog
2008-01-08, 12:09 AM
Why is it so far-fetched to assume that it could be a trap? I can easily envision that as a fairly common tactic from bandits on a road that isn't patrolled. Anyway, you keep mentioning that the person isn't, but our traveler has no way of knowing that. And he decides to err on the side of safety, because he values his safety more than that of a complete stranger.

The general safety level of the world is an important factor - I've played with GM's where it would obviously be a trap. But, because it is such an important factor, it needs to be specified in the question or the answer, otherwise we will end up (as we may be now) talking about different situations.



Incidentally, do you pick up hitchikers on the side of the road?

Not at the moment (since I don't currently have a car), but yes - I do pick up hitchhikers when I have enough room.

Yami
2008-01-08, 01:30 AM
Not to be mean, but I don't think your looking at this for both sides of the fence, so to speak.


And watch a man drown in a ditch because you were to cowardly to face an imagenary threat? What is hte point of law if nobody even helps pervent another man's death when their is nothing stopping them. If you see reasonable proof, then sure, but without that you are leaving a man to die because you can be buggered to help him. Witch is callus, cold blooded and cruel

Okay, first off the point of having Laws is too keep Neutral and Evil people from commiting evil acts. We look after ourselves, 'tis natural. So now, if we break the law, we get punished, ergo, it is in our best intrests not to break it. I will agree that leaving the man to die is cruel though. In such a scenraio, I would suggest an arrow through the chest as the better alternative.



Selfish much? Nether does he have anyone to help him other than you and yet you leave him to die. I mean he is drowing in a ditch, just let him die because he had the misfortion to not have any friends to help him out? Cowardly and insensitive.

How did the man get in the ditch? Wasn't me, not my problem. And no one around to help him? It's a ditch by the road for Erythnull's sake! He should have decent odds. And if it's not a well travelled road, that just means higher odds of banditry.

And we aren't letting him die. We are allowing him to attempt to survive on his own. Think about it, the ditch is filling with water. People float. Well, they do if they make thier swim check... Anyways the point is I think your going a bit over board with this.



You view is based on "My life before others" which can certainly be CN but only when you don't resort to murder or harming of others. Neglect is harming of others, as is abanding man for a threat that you don't even know if it exists. If their is reasonable proof then sure, if you have more pressing matters sure, if you phyically can't without risk of drowing, sure, but if you are just being selfish then WTF? You just automatically that every stranger has an ill intention towards you and leave them to die and you call that not selfish and ill intentioned

I call that the price of living a long life.

A bloody paladin of Bahamut, paragon of virtue and goodness puts thier own life before others. A dead champion can champion for no one. What padalins do is hold an ideal more important than thier own lives, they don't automatically become welcoming mats for the peasants of the world. That man, most likely, will not do nearly as much good as my character. My life is thusly most important than his.

CN is far more than just self preservation. CN is the pursuit of freedom, no matter the cost. Now, perhaps, if I like the way the man is asking for my help, I might help him. Heck, maybe he is a bandit. If I'm CN, chances are I'm playing a bandit too. I'd ask if he was and offer to help. Unless he wasn't. If a man's not willing to rise up from his shackles, then he don't need my help to rise up from the muck. He's already made his choice.

I keep trying to figure out how your alignment system works, but all I get is shades of LG with TN and CE, and all the rest lumped in at the other corner.



1. he is activlly hurting other by incaction, that is leaving him to die without and proof of a reason not to
2. Apathy is evil when it hurts others yes
3. Wait, Guilty until proven innocent? Yeah that isn't evil

1. you cannot actively hurt others through inaction. A problem with definitions. You see, by doing nothing, his is passivly hurting others. And you know what, it happens all the time by accident. By the abyss, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. What's wrong with not making a move for fear of screwing up?

2. A difference of opinion. Remeber, while the D&D alignment system is subjective, because despite Wizards attempts to make it otherwise, they haven't worded it in a manner that keeps individual DM's from using thier own moral compasses.

3. nope, not Evil at all, more lawful than anything really. Glad we can agree on something. It's a mindset, and more often than not it happens to be how the majority of legal systems in the world work.

-----

I just have to ask, but haven't you ever considered that in the D&D world, one's actions in live decide one's afterlife? Leaving someone to die, or better yet, killing them outright sends them to thier deserved eternal reward. I can be Good and Pray to the god of slaughter, because you know what? For most NPC's the D&D world is a harsh one full of toil, fear and pain, with maurading goblin war bands and angry owlbears dotting the lands, not to mention the hordes of undead, the demon summoners infiltrating the very kingdom they pay thier taxes too. Those who don't sweat thier lives out as peasants run the further risk of running afoul of some thieves guild or wandering monsters should they dare try to make a decent living travelling.

Chances are by the time this man stuck in the ditch finally does croak he'll have out lived the majority of his own children, not to mention the rest of his family. The poor sod's probably only been hanging on due to the promises of elysium and some hairbrained idea that suicide might deny him even that. Yet there he is, lying in that ditch with his hip out or somesuch, and still he clings to this life, crying out for help so that he may continue to eek out a meger existance. Stubbornly denying all those who would keep him down.

You know, I do feel for the guy. If he had class levels, I'd offer him half a share of exp and loot. But he doesn't, so the kindest act I could ever do would be to string my bow, and end his suffering right then and there.

Best part is? If he's actually been a rat bastard, the gods consign him to a life of torment. LG all the way.

This is why my Chaotic characters tend to be the kindest. They also hope to over throw the gods and fix the world order, so you know, their still probably mad, but it's better than meeting a 'kill 'em all and the the god's sort it out' paladin.


Edit: oh right, and to answer the OP's question.
1.> Reintroduce the sod to the horrors of a D&D world - Evil
2.> Leave the man to chance and continue on your way - Neutral
3.> Speed the poor soul to his well deserved rest - Good

Tequila Sunrise
2008-01-08, 02:08 AM
...

So have you given up trying to get a general consensus of what action constitutes which alignment yet? :smallwink:

Ralfarius
2008-01-08, 11:25 PM
See, the thing is a neutral person doesn't necessarily always leave people on the side of the road. A neutral person may decide to help someone, which makes that particular action good. A neutral person may also be starving, desperate for food, and decide that their life is worth taking the man's belongings while he's helpless - an evil act.

However, the act of leaving the man be is neutral in of itself, because it maintains a balance of the situation. It does not tip the scales of the outcome in a good or evil fashion, but rather leaves it to resolves itself naturally.

A good-aligned person is much more likely to commit the good act, and most of us would like to think we would pull someone out of a ditch if we saw they needed help. A neutral aligned person is under no personal moral obligation to do so, but might anyway because it's not against their moral code to help. An evil-aligned person is more likely to commit the evil act, which is helping themselves generally while harming the other person.

I'm not saying it's cold to leave someone to their fate, but it's not evil. It may make you feel bad, it may be amoral, but in a sense a lack of strong morality is what neutrality (on the good-evil scale) is about. A good person has morals that lead to good actions, an evil person has morals that lead to evil actions, and neutrality has no strong lead in either direction.

TimeWizard
2008-01-09, 02:03 AM
I don't agree to the scenario as a match up to DnD alignments. Helping someone out of a ditch is a polite thing to do. An evil, wicked man might do it because he is polite, where as a young, good-but-mean spirited child might leave him in as children are want to do. You could say that this is Law vs Chaos, but the same example applies. A gruff soldier might not give a damn, where as a idealistic art student might. How many real life people don't pull over to give a fellow commuter help with car trouble? How many students don't help struggling classmates? Does that make us evil, or chaotic?

EvilElitest
2008-01-10, 11:24 PM
Honestly, what would be the point of bringing him out of the ditch? Something caused him to fall in to begin with, and the intentions of the original should be called into question. Suppose the gentleman in the ditch was thrown in there as part of a punishment for a crime he commited. This could be likely, since he can't get himself out. Suppose he was thrown in by a few less-than-savory characters for reasons unknown to you at the time. Do you stop, and question the man as the cries for help from the ditch? You could unwittingly be creating a bigger problem simply by helping him out. Do you trust his words? He's in the ditch for a reason, whether it's incompetance or bad luck - How can you rightfully judge his character in so short a time frame?

He could have fell

Has that occurred to anyone, no?
fell, broke his leg, can't get out, and it is filling up with water for some reason
A neutral character has not reason not to take him out unless their is strong evidence for an ambush. Hell, considering how vague this situation, what if this guy was one mile from you house, but would drown if you ran for help? Why wouldn't you?


If the ditch is slowly filling with water, that really sucks for him. Because then he's either a victim of unfortunate circumstances, or he's being killed for something. If it's the latter, the problem you create by saving him greatly outweighs the problems inherent in leaving the gentleman in the ditch. If it's the former, the question of why he ended up in the ditch again becomes prevalent.
1. Ends justifies the means now? We still don't know why he is in the ditch
2. Or the ditch is in reality a small canal or flood work that is not being used and he was unlucky enough to fall in
3. Even if somebody is trying to kill him, if they aren't around, why wouldn't you help him? I'm presume he isn't doing anything nasty or looks dangerous (no weapons or anything)
4. This is all paranoia as you have no evidence in these claims



And what about the Wizard's Second Rule? The worst of effects come from the best of intentions, wasn't it?
That only works for ends justices the means, for most evils are committed by apathy

Why is it so far-fetched to assume that it could be a trap? I can easily envision that as a fairly common tactic from bandits on a road that isn't patrolled. Anyway, you keep mentioning that the person isn't, but our traveler has no way of knowing that. And he decides to err on the side of safety, because he values his safety more than that of a complete stranger.

1. We don't even know if this is happening in the wildness, it could just be a few miles away from a village and your out for a walk
2. When you don't help a man out of a ditch when he can get out with difficulty and it will only cause him inconvenience then your right. When it causes his death, than that is callus murder through neglect


And if he has a family, that's even more of a reason to err on the side of safety because he has a duty and a responsibility to them before this complete stranger (from a morally neutral standpoint).

But you have no proof that this is a trap, and this guy is harmless. He could have a family as well, and his life isn't worthless in the least, leaving him to die without any evidence is just paronida to the point of total apathy


Incidentally, do you pick up hitchikers on the side of the road?
Um, i don't have a car, but if i did no. Reason why? Because it is against the law (in my state). However, if i see a hitchhiker who looks like he has been hit by a truck then left their, i'll pull over, call a medic and if i can't reach them i'll try to patch him up



How did the man get in the ditch? Wasn't me, not my problem. And no one around to help him? It's a ditch by the road for Erythnull's sake! He should have decent odds. And if it's not a well travelled road, that just means higher odds of banditry.
We don't know the details of the road, and leaving him to die

And we aren't letting him die. We are allowing him to attempt to survive on his own. Think about it, the ditch is filling with water. People float. Well, they do if they make thier swim check... Anyways the point is I think your going a bit over board with this.
umm, bodies float, people do if they are able to have enough water and the ability to float. Considering he has a broken leg or something and is asking for help (so i presume he can't swim) then it makes help to save him



A bloody paladin of Bahamut, paragon of virtue and goodness puts thier own life before others. A dead champion can champion for no one. What padalins do is hold an ideal more important than thier own lives, they don't automatically become welcoming mats for the peasants of the world. That man, most likely, will not do nearly as much good as my character. My life is thusly most important than his.
[/QUOTE]
Nope, that is ends justify the means, a paladin who doesn't risk his life to save the innocent is committing evil, Book of exalted deeds. Saying that your life is worth more than others is the worst example of pride and hubris


1. you cannot actively hurt others through inaction. A problem with definitions. You see, by doing nothing, his is passivly hurting others. And you know what, it happens all the time by accident. By the abyss, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. What's wrong with not making a move for fear of screwing up?

1. A mother who doesn't protect her child who is being beaten by an alcholic father is passively hurting her son
As for the road for hell paved with good intentions apples to "ends justifies the means" not helping others. Also if you screw up, how could you possible make the situation worst (we don't know if their are bandits, if it really is a dude in a ditch)
worst that can happen is that you fall into the ditch, and have to climb out while getting wet while he drowned. Regrettable, but you'd live


2. A difference of opinion. Remeber, while the D&D alignment system is subjective, because despite Wizards attempts to make it otherwise, they haven't worded it in a manner that keeps individual DM's from using thier own moral compasses.
A man who allows slavers to deal in his building and doesn't ask question even when actions such as rape and murder are occurring in his cellers is being evil through apathy
A man who sells drugs to people knowing full well that they will ruin themselves with the drugs is being evil through greed and apathy (he warned them ahead of time)
A man who leaves a man to die for no reason other than his own parniodia is being evil through apathy


3. nope, not Evil at all, more lawful than anything really. Glad we can agree on something. It's a mindset, and more often than not it happens to be how the majority of legal systems in the world work.
Not really, dictatorships, fascist, and other nasty governments like that work with "guilty until proven innocent". The US,UN and other more humanitarian nations act under "Innocent until proven guilty". what evidence do you have that this guy is guilty of anything? (and by the by, that ought to be the crappiest bandit trap i've ever seen)


I just have to ask, but haven't you ever considered that in the D&D world, one's actions in live decide one's afterlife? Leaving someone to die, or better yet, killing them outright sends them to thier deserved eternal reward.
what gives you that right to choose for them? Hubris and arrogance thinking yourself above others to make that choice. If he ask for you to help him and it is to risky for the neutral guy to save him, and then he ask for you to kill him out of mercy fine. But only if they make that choice. Also what if this guy is evil but innocent of no crimes? That isn't making it better for him. Evil people can be innocent too


. I can be Good and Pray to the god of slaughter,
not if your a paladin you can't


because you know what? For most NPC's the D&D world is a harsh one full of toil, fear and pain, with maurading goblin war bands and angry owlbears dotting the lands, not to mention the hordes of undead, the demon summoners infiltrating the very kingdom they pay thier taxes too. Those who don't sweat thier lives out as peasants run the further risk of running afoul of some thieves guild or wandering monsters should they dare try to make a decent living travelling.

A good person should make it better
A neutral person wants to live in it,
And evil person makes it worst
Now a neutral person won't change alignments from this, but he will be committing an evil act, leaving a man to die


Chances are by the time this man stuck in the ditch finally does croak he'll have out lived the majority of his own children, not to mention the rest of his family.
who is he? We don't know. He could be a really crappy adventure or a noble, a tax collector, a merchant, a priest or anything.



The poor sod's probably only been hanging on due to the promises of elysium and some hairbrained idea that suicide might deny him even that. Yet there he is, lying in that ditch with his hip out or somesuch, and still he clings to this life, crying out for help so that he may continue to eek out a meger existance. Stubbornly denying all those who would keep him down.

You don't know this. You have no knowledge of the man. It is arrogent to the extreme presuming that you have the right to decide this man's fate based on you generalizations


You know, I do feel for the guy. If he had class levels, I'd offer him half a share of exp and loot. But he doesn't, so the kindest act I could ever do would be to string my bow, and end his suffering right then and there.
1. You can shoot him but you can't help him out of a ditch? WTF?
2. Murder now? You can't make that choice for him. What right do you have to deiced if he lives or dies? Unless he acts for a mercy killing, then the best thing you can do if you can't help him is run were your going and tell the next person you see (though really, why can't you get a guy out of a freaking ditch?)


Best part is? If he's actually been a rat bastard, the gods consign him to a life of torment. LG all the way.
No, murder even of evil people is still murder and thus evil, Book of Exalted deeds.


This is why my Chaotic characters tend to be the kindest. They also hope to over throw the gods and fix the world order, so you know, their still probably mad, but it's better than meeting a 'kill 'em all and the the god's sort it out' paladin.
None of these beliefs are good in any sense of the word, is is arrogent, hypocritical, selfish, cruel and blatantly evil. Killing people simple because you think they will be better off is taking away their choice and enforcing your own

Right does not make might, and if your strong you live, if your weak you die ideals are not good but simple brutish




Edit: oh right, and to answer the OP's question.
1.> Reintroduce the sod to the horrors of a D&D world - Evil
2.> Leave the man to chance and continue on your way - Neutral
3.> Speed the poor soul to his well deserved rest - Good
WTF?
1. Helping him out of a ditch and letting him live his life the way he choices is evil? WFT?
2. Leaving him to die is ok? WFT?
3. Murdering a helpless man is good? WFT?
from
EE

Worira
2008-01-10, 11:43 PM
Uh, actually, it's apparently a really good bandit trap, seeing as you're falling for it.

psychoticbarber
2008-01-11, 12:22 AM
A bloody paladin of Bahamut, paragon of virtue and goodness puts thier own life before others. A dead champion can champion for no one. What padalins do is hold an ideal more important than thier own lives, they don't automatically become welcoming mats for the peasants of the world. That man, most likely, will not do nearly as much good as my character. My life is thusly most important than his.

This comment very much interested me. I don't think a Paladin with this mindset would remain a Paladin in one of my games for very long.

I require a little humility out of my Paladins, though, which is not in the RAW, so feel free to ignore the comment.

TheOOB
2008-01-11, 12:48 AM
Figuring out the alignment of any one action is fairly pointless unless you have a paladin in your party(and I hate the paladin code, but thats a debate for another thread), there are millions of variables to take into account for any situation to determine how good or evil it is. Take the ditch scenario, what does the man look like, is he armed, does he seem like he can fight, is he wounded, is he sick, could he get out by himself, how deep is the ditch, are bandits found in the area, are they known to trick travelers, how important is it for the heroes to travel quickly, ect. Alignment should be a measure of the general trends of a character, not any one act (unless that act is really major, sacrificing a virgin to summon an elder evil is a straight trip to evil, but then again wouldn't someone who would do that be evil in the first place.)

Fiery Diamond
2008-01-11, 01:59 AM
First, I'll admit I only read the first page.

Second - the people saying that leaving him to die is evil and so on are correct. From a D&D standpoint (which is what this conversation is about) amoral is evil. Not neutral. Let me say this again: Amoral = Evil. Amoral =/= Neutral. Frankly, I think that's true in real life as well.

Some of you seem to think that who caused the situation makes a difference. Allow me to give you two scenarios.
1) A fellow party member(or close friend, someone with whom you associate frequently) pushes the man into the ditch while you are there. The ditch is slowly filling with water. The man will die if left there, but you can easily help him out without risk to yourself. What kind of act is leaving him there? (in America, that would make you an accessory to the crime-not just illegal, but also wrong)
2) You come across this man in a ditch, which is slowly filling with water. The man will die if left there, but you can easily help him out without risk to yourself. What kind of act is leaving him there?

I state that the act remains the same (evil) in both situations. You are no less morally obligated to help in the second situation.

Oh, yeah, and one more thing. Amoral = Evil.

- Fiery Diamond

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-11, 02:42 AM
A BUNCH OF STUFF

Do you actually play D&D? Seriously, do you?

How many times do peasants get attacked by random encounters? At least once a day, if not more. This poor man in his ditch is better off dead than helpless against some of the more cruel monsters. What if an illithid happens to walk by? What's going to happen to this poor sod then?

And if this guy is your own random encounter, then 99% of the time bandits pop out and fire pointy arrow things into your in the kidneys. Why? Because this is D&D. A random encounter is, 99% of the time, a fight. This man just happens to be the bait of a very well laid trap. Possibly a trap intended for the Lawful Stupid or Paladins among us.

Personally?

Helping him is a neutral act. You gain or lose nothing by doing so and there is no risk involved what-so-ever.

Helping him and giving him a ride in your cart is a good act. You're going out of your way to help someone else.

Leaving him is a neutral act. You gain or lose nothing by doing so, and there is no risk involved what-so-ever.

Actively attempting to harm him or rescuing him only to rob(or extort) him later is an evil act. Because you are attempting to cause him bodily harm or are threatening to do so for no reason beyond your own mortal greed.

tyckspoon
2008-01-11, 03:02 AM
Some of you seem to think that who caused the situation makes a difference. Allow me to give you two scenarios.
1) A fellow party member(or close friend, someone with whom you associate frequently) pushes the man into the ditch while you are there. The ditch is slowly filling with water. The man will die if left there, but you can easily help him out without risk to yourself. What kind of act is leaving him there? (in America, that would make you an accessory to the crime-not just illegal, but also wrong)
2) You come across this man in a ditch, which is slowly filling with water. The man will die if left there, but you can easily help him out without risk to yourself. What kind of act is leaving him there?

I state that the act remains the same (evil) in both situations. You are no less morally obligated to help in the second situation.

Oh, yeah, and one more thing. Amoral = Evil.

- Fiery Diamond

I'm pretty sure the bigger difference here is the other factor you just introduced- the ditch is becoming actively harmful to the man. In the original scenario, one could walk by with a 'not my business' attitude and do no further harm to the man in the ditch by doing so. Another traveler could just as easily help him out later, or maybe he'll find some way to get himself out. He's not any worse off than if you had never showed up. In your scenario, leaving the man in the ditch, regardless of your motivation in doing so, is leaving him to die. Which is something I believe almost all of us can agree is an evil act, no matter how the man got there.

BlackMage2549
2008-01-11, 03:32 AM
He could have fell

A neutral character has not reason not to take him out unless their is strong evidence for an ambush. Hell, considering how vague this situation, what if this guy was one mile from you house, but would drown if you ran for help? Why wouldn't you?


Why would you help him? If you're neutral GOOD, sure. But, isn't the purpose of this conversation to determine the course of neutrality? If this is the case, the answer is quite simple. It's found in the PHB, on page 105. "A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil - after all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way."

You could very easily leave the man in the ditch, or pull him out. It would depend entirely on how you approach the situation. Should you think it's a trap, your wariness and caution about the situation is perfectly acceptable. If you feel the man broke his leg, and needs assistance, you're justified in helping him out. It's all up to you, and how you view the situation.



4. This is all paranoia as you have no evidence in these claims


But aren't you taking everything else on faith? You say he fell, that he's hurt, that it's not a trap, but that's nothing more than faith on your part.



That only works for ends justices the means, for most evils are committed by apathy

But in the situation given in the books, it's not the apathy of the good-hearted individual. It's the apathy of the 'victim'. The situation given was one of a friend breaking his leg. Because you felt sympathy for him, you bring him dinner one night. He enjoys the dinner so much that he continues to ask you to feed him, even going to the point of pretending his leg doesn't work when it should. Eventually, his muscles atrophy, and he can no longer actually walk anymore. I can't remember if the book details the possible ramifications on you for picking up another mouth to feed, but it'd be important, eh? I'm fairly positive I have this correct, and I apologize profusely if I'm wrong.

GoC
2008-01-11, 11:33 AM
letting somebody be mugged when you could have done something is evil.
I disagree.

To the OP I'd say option 2 but Tequila Sunrise said it best.

Amazing how different people's views of morality are isn't it?
EE would be called "moraly upright" while Kellus would be called "amoral" by today's society. Amoral does not mean evil though.

EDIT: By VanBuren's (and EE's) standards I am evil. I'd help the person because humans have a part of their brain that makes them feel happy when they help other people. I'm actualy helping him for my own pleasure.

EDIT2: I agree with "ends justify the means". Looks like my views closely match BlackMage2549's.
I don't think EE understands that other people have different views of what's "right" (he believes in an absolute moral scale instead of a relative one).

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-11, 11:47 AM
First, I'll admit I only read the first page.
Some of you seem to think that who caused the situation makes a difference. Allow me to give you two scenarios.
1) A fellow party member(or close friend, someone with whom you associate frequently) pushes the man into the ditch while you are there. The ditch is slowly filling with water. The man will die if left there, but you can easily help him out without risk to yourself. What kind of act is leaving him there? (in America, that would make you an accessory to the crime-not just illegal, but also wrong)
2) You come across this man in a ditch, which is slowly filling with water. The man will die if left there, but you can easily help him out without risk to yourself. What kind of act is leaving him there?

- Fiery Diamond

1) Your ltting your real life views effect your dnd views. My view in real life leaving him thier is the good act hat doesn't matter.

2) Part of the point is that their is a possible risk. If theirs no risk at all to yourself at all, I say help him.

RukiTanuki
2008-01-11, 03:10 PM
A quick question. This is based on my previously stated thoughts on good/evil. (Recap: Good people sacrifice to help others; Evil people hurt others to get what they want; Neutral people may help others at small risk or hurt others slightly for a far greater reward.)

Does anyone else base part of their opinion on the relative power of the character?

There's a very realistic chance that this scenario is a bandit trap. Despite a few protests in this thread, the character in question can't prove it is not a trap, and is therefore taking that chance.

For a level 1 commoner, that's a major risk. If it's a bandit trap, they very well could be dead, and all the connotations that brings (including for anyone they support). For a level 10 PC, the risk is greatly diminished: the average bandit ambush is unlikely to do more than inconvenience and/or scratch the player character.

Since my in-game moral compass is partly based on the benefit the character receives (or the risk they take) from their actions, it's a worse act for the level 10 PC to disregard the trapped man than the level 1 NPC. I'd have serious qualms about a level 10 paladin deciding not to help, but I wouldn't slap any Evil points on a level 1 NPC for the same action.

Finally, I would never slap a character who failed to act to another character's benefit with the same penalties as one who actually harmed another. I'd worry I was either being draconic, or that I'd just end up penalizing my players for "going off the rails." :smalltongue:

Armar
2008-01-11, 06:13 PM
Okay, after reading this thread for awhile, I have now my opinion to share on this topic. First of all to get this out of the way:


1. Innocent until proven guilty
2. No proof, sign, action of any sort of ambush
3. He could very well a man who fell into a ditch
4. Why wouldn't it be (remember, you lack proof)
5. he is drowing, why wouldn't he cry out for help?
6. Decency
7. Humainity
8. Logic
9. Understanding of the situation and human beings

The fact that there isn't any proof that it is an ambush does not remove the risk of an ambush. If you read the neutral aligment's description, it is perfectly within the limits of neutral alignment to leave the man in the ditch if you suspect that it's an ambush. You don't need any evidence for it to be neutral, you don't need any reasonable proof for it to be neutral, just the fact that you believe there is a danger is enough. This is not a court case.

And in the older editions of D&D the True Neutral alignment meant that you would strive to keep up complete balance between all things. This meant that you could do things that our society's moral views see as cold and heartless; but that was the way of True Neutral. In this case the old-school True Neutral would go through following reasoning:

"If I never had even met the man, he would still be in the ditch after this moment."

"Thus I shall choose the way of action that has the same result; so I shall not help him."

EvilElitest
2008-01-11, 06:53 PM
I disagree.

To the OP I'd say option 2 but Tequila Sunrise said it best.

Amazing how different people's views of morality are isn't it?
EE would be called "moraly upright" while Kellus would be called "amoral" by today's society. Amoral does not mean evil though.

Personally, i belive in law, but that isn't relevent, as we are basing this off the books. Amoral doesn't mean evil not, but leaving a man to die is evil. Saving him is good.


EDIT: By VanBuren's (and EE's) standards I am evil. I'd help the person because humans have a part of their brain that makes them feel happy when they help other people. I'm actualy helping him for my own pleasure.

No, that is neutral, you a commiting a good act, but you are doing it for selfish reason, perfectly neutral

EDIT2: I agree with "ends justify the means". Looks like my views closely match BlackMage2549's.
that always leads to major problems


I don't think EE understands that other people have different views of what's "right" (he believes in an absolute moral scale instead of a relative one).
I'm basing this off the books here, it is really anoying when you make this false statments
from
EE

EvilElitest
2008-01-11, 07:20 PM
Do you actually play D&D? Seriously, do you?

Yes, yes i do. My games make sense. Also, i've accully read book of exalted deeds on hubrus



How many times do peasants get attacked by random encounters? At least once a day, if not more. This poor man in his ditch is better off dead than helpless against some of the more cruel monsters. What if an illithid happens to walk by? What's going to happen to this poor sod then?

1. WTF sort of random encounter tables are you useing?
2. WTF sort of world you running if flayers walk by evil ditches all the times
3. Then if he is in danger of drowing or being killed by the next dude, wouldn't it be better to get teh bugger out of the ditch?
4. That isn't justification to getting him out of the ditch?
5.So what? Just because it is likely he will be mauled by a monster (if this world has the screwed up random encounter table yours seems to have) doesn't mean you have the right to kill him
6. What gives you that right? What makes you better than him? Why doesn't he get the choice here? what sort of hubris makes you think you have the right to choose what is best for him
7. I still don't see how letting him out of ditch is any worst
8. What do you lose by letting him out of the ditch?
9. Book evidence that this is not a blantently evil action




And if this guy is your own random encounter, then 99% of the time bandits pop out and fire pointy arrow things into your in the kidneys. Why? Because this is D&D. A random encounter is, 99% of the time, a fight. This man just happens to be the bait of a very well laid trap. Possibly a trap intended for the Lawful Stupid or Paladins among us.

Wow, do you play hack and slash games or what?
1. Meta gaming knowlage, can't be used
2. No evidence of an attack
3. really stupid trap, i mean think about it, if they wanted to trap you, why would they risk one of their men to make you bend over? Wouldn't a pit trap, or an arrow ambush, or a freaking net would work better
4. Who runs your games? It doesn't make any freaking sense if bandits attack you in over elaborate manners
5. Or this is a 1% non fight encounter (and that number isn't even accurate normally). Why should he die because you are to lazy to check
6. Just because he is an NPC doesn't make his life worthless
7. Tryant, forcing what you think is better for him upon him at hte cost of his life



Personally?
You personal views seem to involve killing people due to meta gaming knowlage


Helping him is a neutral act. You gain or lose nothing by doing so and there is no risk involved what-so-ever.

In D&D good involves helping other, protecting the weak, and being kind. Good


Helping him and giving him a ride in your cart is a good act. You're going out of your way to help someone else.

No, that is being more good


Leaving him is a neutral act. You gain or lose nothing by doing so, and there is no risk involved what-so-ever.

No, evil because you are killing him even with no risk involved




Why would you help him? If you're neutral GOOD, sure. But, isn't the purpose of this conversation to determine the course of neutrality? If this is the case, the answer is quite simple. It's found in the PHB, on page 105. "A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil - after all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way."

That would work if the person was just in a ditch (not at risk of dying) or a hitchhiker, or something that didn't invovle his death if you didn't help.

For example, if he asks for a lift to the nearest town, then you have no obligation to help him
Or if you see him getting mugged and the dudes look really dangerous, then you have a good reason not to kill him
risk of death (evidence of being killed) vs. helping random dude
However in this situation there is no risk of death, as no bandit would be so freaking dumb to make a plan like this, and you can't possible kill yourself going into the ditch, so you have death of random guy vs. no loss

Leaving him to die is murder which is an evil act



But aren't you taking everything else on faith? You say he fell, that he's hurt, that it's not a trap, but that's nothing more than faith on your part.
Provide me any evidence in this situation that he didn't just fall into a ditch/well/canal.



The fact that there isn't any proof that it is an ambush does not remove the risk of an ambush. If you read the neutral aligment's description, it is perfectly within the limits of neutral alignment to leave the man in the ditch if you suspect that it's an ambush. You don't need any evidence for it to be neutral, you don't need any reasonable proof for it to be neutral, just the fact that you believe there is a danger is enough. This is not a court case.
1. I see no evidence for a bandit attack, i see nothing to make me suspect a bandit attack, and killing a man because i am overly paraniode would be murder through apathy. Sure, i'll make a spot check first
2. But murder is evil, and this is murder through inaction
3. You don't even have reasonable proof, because why the hell would bandits use such as stupid trap



And in the older editions of D&D the True Neutral alignment meant that you would strive to keep up complete balance between all things. This meant that you could do things that our society's moral views see as cold and heartless; but that was the way of True Neutral. In this case the old-school True Neutral would go through following reasoning:
and in newer editions of D&D, murder is evil
from
EE

GoC
2008-01-11, 09:23 PM
I'm basing this off the books here, it is really anoying when you make this false statments
from
EE

Just my impression (the OP asked how you as a DM would rule not how you'd interpret the DMG/PHB).
And you know I live to annoy you!:smallbiggrin:

PaladinBoy
2008-01-11, 10:34 PM
...... I really wish I could find these alignment threads from the beginning.

With that said, my opinion: Helping him is Good, doing nothing is very slightly Evil, and checking his pockets after you jump down and kill him is Evil. The latter and the former seem to be pretty well in agreement; the middle idea is in contention.

So, why do I think it's slightly Evil? Keep in mind, we're hardly talking baby killing here. In fact, it's hardly a blip on the radar, so to speak. But it is still a problem. If you can help him, why shouldn't you? If he's stuck in a ditch with a broken leg or something on a poorly traveled road, not helping is tantamount to letting him die. Better yet - letting him sit in a ditch for three days while he slowly dehydrates. Minimum. And if it's filling with water, then that just means that he's more likely to die and it will happen much sooner.

Oh right. There's a chance that it's a trap, that he's just a bandit trying to trick you. I still have enough faith in humanity (or elvenkind or whatever) to believe that to be highly unlikely, but I will concede that there is a chance. And apparently some people don't want to take that chance. Unfortunately, that means that you're willing to abandon someone to a uncertain fate, possibly/probably death, because you don't want to risk yourself. And that does strike me as Evil. Not very Evil, but Evil.

If you're a powerful character, then you really have no excuse. Plan assuming it's an ambush and rescue the guy. Most common bandits are not going to pose a major threat to level 7+ adventurers, particularly if they're expecting trouble.

Of course, if you're the level 1 commoner, then you may be in danger. So what's stopping you from getting help? Run back to the village you're from or the caravan you're traveling with, fetch some guards, and do the same as the adventurers....... it'll be harder, but if you're expecting trouble, you should survive. Any village or caravan capable of surviving the wilderness is going to be able to handle themselves. The chance that these are going to be the experienced bandits who you'd hire adventurers to deal with is low enough that it's worth the risk.

In the final analysis? I'd say that abandoning him shows a definite lack of compassion or caring, so it's definitely not good. Since you're also possibly leaving him to die, I would rate leaving him a weak Evil. (Which I already said, but hey, the conclusion involves restating the thesis, right?)

Fiery Diamond
2008-01-11, 11:01 PM
What amazes me about this thread is the number of people who post on it that, if I were to give them an alignment, I would classify as Evil. See, my views on good and evil differ slightly for D&D and real life. Basically, you can get away with worse stuff in D&D. That's the biggest difference.

I view Good, Neutral, and Evil this way:
Good - going out of your way helping others, not for personal benefit
Evil - harming others, either directly or indirectly
Neutral - helping others if it doesn't terribly inconvenience or endanger you

Basically, I posit that, in the real world for sure, but also in D&D, helping others is a Neutral act. Helping others when it inconveniences you is a Good act.

Another scenario to describe some of what I think, and to rejuvenate this debate a little, the "sparing enemies" problem.

Assuming these people would have killed you,

Question A- What kind of act is sparing your enemies in the following situations?
Question B- What kind of act is killing your enemies in the following situations?

1) You have defeated them, and they are unconscious.
2) You have defeated them, and/or they surrender/ask for mercy.
3) You have defeated them, and they are cursing you, unrepentant.

My answers A: 1-Neutral, 2-Neutral, 3-Good
My answers B: 1-Neutral, 2-Evil, 3-Neutral

-Fiery Diamond

Eldritch_Ent
2008-01-11, 11:01 PM
The problem is this situation could swap alignments very quickly one way or another depending on way too many factors. As presented, (The man is just a guy in the ditch who has no means of rewarding you), Then indeed, Saving him is Good, attacking him is evil, and just walking on by is Neutral. Sure it might be good to rescue him, but doing so is risky. You're wasting valuable time you could be spending adventuring/headed towards your destination, he might be a bandit or demon or dragon in disguise, you might fall int he ditch yourself and break your neck, etc...

Certain factors can alter, and even reverse the alignment and implications of the act. What's your level? Class? Are you on an important errand where time is of the essence? Are you alone? Is the man, say, leader of the local Assassin's guild who's trying to assasinate the good-aligned king you're sworn to protect? Etc... There's too many considerations.

And Remember, the Yardstick used for "Neutral" Behavior is the druid, who is supposed to more or less be a complete practicalist... If that's even a word. True Neutral is, more or less, acting purely on risk VS Reward, like in Nature. Basically, paragons of "true Neutral" are nonmagical animals. If a Giraffe came across another giraffe drowning in that same ditch, it wouldn't even blink... It'd just move on, as saving the other giraffe doesn't really have an impact on doing whatever it is giraffes do... And Giraffes are true neutral, despite this "Horribly callous and evil behavior".

Keeping in mind that, with objective good and evil, certain animals and undead with intelligence scores of 2 or less can be inherently evil... But they're all magical, IIRC.I think. Exact examples escape me, but I'm sure I've seen them before.)


Also, EvilElitist, you need to calm down! :smallconfused:

Fiery Diamond
2008-01-11, 11:07 PM
No, EE doesn't need to calm down. He's the one with the most sense on this thread.

Thank you for being a Good-Aligned, intelligent individual in a debate filled with Evil-aligned, nonsensical people, EE. Your name is misleading. :smallsmile:

-Fiery Diamond

Edit: To above poster- the giraffe example doesn't work. They are TN because they are incapable of moral choice, not because of their behavior.

Eldritch_Ent
2008-01-11, 11:13 PM
But aren't there creatures with an intelligence score of 2 or less that are, in fact, written as Evil in their alignment entry?

Edit- Not trying to be accusatory, honest question. I'm away from my books at the moment and want someone to verify or deny me on this.

Ralfarius
2008-01-11, 11:21 PM
No, EE doesn't need to calm down. He's the one with the most sense on this thread.

Thank you for being a Good-Aligned, intelligent individual in a debate filled with Evil-aligned, nonsensical people, EE. Your name is misleading. :smallsmile:

-Fiery Diamond
Just because I interpret differently doesn't mean I'm a crazy baby eater. :smallfrown:

Also, I admire EE's passion for his viewpoint. I may not agree with what he says, I may even question his logic at times, but I'll be darned if he'll back down or compromise on something he believes.

EvilElitest
2008-01-12, 12:24 AM
Just my impression (the OP asked how you as a DM would rule not how you'd interpret the DMG/PHB).

I also use the book of exalted deeds




And you know I live to annoy you!:smallbiggrin:

yes, yes i do


the funny thing is i never feel hostile toward you, just really frustrated. Your to hard to stay angry at:smallmad: '

Also paldin boy good to see you, arguing on aligment threads brings back memories eh?


No, EE doesn't need to calm down. He's the one with the most sense on this thread.

No, EE doesn't need to calm down. He's the one with the most sense on this thread.

Thank you for being a Good-Aligned, intelligent individual in a debate filled with Evil-aligned, nonsensical people, EE. Your name is misleading.
wow, thanks, i really didn't expect getting such a nice complement, wow. Thanks a lot. Three points
1. So you generally agree with my assement?
2. I chose my name because i have a rather elitist (the misspelling is deliberate) nasty sort of demener, not a reflection of my aligment, but thanks
3. I've always considered my algiment LN, border line LG
4. While some of the people on this thread strike me as neutral, i will admit the whole "mercy" killing idea is certainly evill
5. you welcome, thank you for being a logical good person

Also, a creature with an int less than 2 is neutral, not evil. A lion that mauls a kid for food is just being a lion


Also, I admire EE's passion for his viewpoint. I may not agree with what he says, I may even question his logic at times, but I'll be darned if he'll back down or compromise on something he believes.
Wow, i feel pretty good today, thank you.
I'm southern/New Yorker. The southerners don't back down


....

Which led to Sherman's march, yeah......

Ah well, i'm stubborn and proud of it. Thank you for the complements


from
EE

VanBuren
2008-01-12, 01:24 AM
I disagree.

To the OP I'd say option 2 but Tequila Sunrise said it best.

Amazing how different people's views of morality are isn't it?
EE would be called "moraly upright" while Kellus would be called "amoral" by today's society. Amoral does not mean evil though.

EDIT: By VanBuren's (and EE's) standards I am evil. I'd help the person because humans have a part of their brain that makes them feel happy when they help other people. I'm actualy helping him for my own pleasure.

EDIT2: I agree with "ends justify the means". Looks like my views closely match BlackMage2549's.
I don't think EE understands that other people have different views of what's "right" (he believes in an absolute moral scale instead of a relative one).

How did I get lumped in with EE, when I've been disagreeing the whole time?

Zerkai
2008-01-12, 02:02 AM
I see Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes.

Thank you and good day :smallamused:

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-12, 05:24 AM
Question A- What kind of act is sparing your enemies in the following situations?
Question B- What kind of act is killing your enemies in the following situations?

1) You have defeated them, and they are unconscious.
2) You have defeated them, and/or they surrender/ask for mercy.
3) You have defeated them, and they are cursing you, unrepentant.

B: 1 good, 2 evil, 3 good.
A: Evil, 2 good, evil

I don't see how you think that letting someone kill more people is good.

EvilElitest
2008-01-12, 11:34 AM
Question A- What kind of act is sparing your enemies in the following situations?
Question B- What kind of act is killing your enemies in the following situations?

1) You have defeated them, and they are unconscious.
2) You have defeated them, and/or they surrender/ask for mercy.
3) You have defeated them, and they are cursing you, unrepentant.

B: 1 good, 2 evil, 3 good.
A: Evil, 2 good, evil

I don't see how you think that letting someone kill more people is good.

wait, i'm a little confused about the way you worded your question but here is my take
1. Defeated them and they are unconscious. Killing them right away would be evil but not super evil (I'm presuming they are evil people themselves and are extremly dangerous). One should at least offer them mercy, or if you can't do so, tie them up and leave them until you can take them to proper authorities. It is only slighlty evil if you are still in a dangerous situation (Aka, some guys are down, but could very well get up and you are still in a fight) then finish them off. However if the fight is over, then it is evil if you don't at least give them a chance (But not super evil)
2. If they surrender, then it is evil to kill them anyways (unless they pull a trick or something nasty.
3. That is really up to personal choice, but if you capture them, offer them a chance to surrender, and they go "screw you", then you aren't doing something evil in finishing them off (though torture is still bad, make it quick). however, personally i'd base it on how powerful they are, and extremly dangerous high priest is a lot more dangerous than an evil level 1 commoner, but that is just personal taste. Oh, and this applies if these guys are evil bastards, not deluded people or charmed victims or something.

Also, non of the mercy options exist for any "always evil" race
from
EE

Drakron
2008-01-12, 11:56 AM
You are missing something: all forms of morality are Good. There is no Neutral morality or Evil morality.

That is false.

The term “morality” can be used either

1. descriptively to refer to a code of conduct put forward by a society or,
1. some other group, such as a religion, or
2. accepted by an individual for her own behavior or
2. normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/

Thank you for playing.

Oh and I do take the Help Him=Good, Do not help him=Neutral, Rob him/Kill him=Evil.

EvilElitest
2008-01-12, 12:07 PM
Dude, D&D morality here
from
EE

Drakron
2008-01-12, 12:18 PM
No.

D&D have ALIGNMENT, not morality ... alignment is set in stone and its rigid as morality is not, like in real life it varies from society to society and is ever changing.

EvilElitest
2008-01-12, 12:56 PM
No.

D&D have ALIGNMENT, not morality ... alignment is set in stone and its rigid as morality is not, like in real life it varies from society to society and is ever changing.

No, Aligment is a a set (or nine) standard to morality. It is unchanging, but their is still morality is still there.
from
EE

Drakron
2008-01-12, 02:12 PM
Morality have no set of value of "good" and "evil", there is "right" and "wrong" and its very subjective.

The moment you try to equate the notion alignment equals morality then you are trying to set a right/wrong were good/lawful is "right" and evil/chaotic are "wrong" and that is completely off the intended use of the alignment system.

There is no such thing as D&D morality because the system does not push towards moral values, sure there is "good" but nothing prevents the player from playing in a "neutral" way and not be penalized for it (playing as "evil" is discouraged because in order to stay "in character" it can damage the party system) and sure you can "see" the moral values because D&D certainly have a strong Hebrew/Christian mythology flavor but then again that is simply flavor.

The point someone tried to made was in the game world people have different moral values, what the Orc Society views as "right/wrong" is different that the Dwarven Society and people ARE projecting their moral values in the alignment system.

skywalker
2008-01-12, 02:39 PM
wait, i'm a little confused about the way you worded your question but here is my take
1. Defeated them and they are unconscious. Killing them right away would be evil but not super evil (I'm presuming they are evil people themselves and are extremly dangerous). One should at least offer them mercy, or if you can't do so, tie them up and leave them until you can take them to proper authorities.

I do believe this trends toward lawful, EE. Not that that's a bad thing, but I think it definitely needs to be pointed out. This is the kind of thinking that gets chaotic good seen as a "lesser good" than lawful good. Of course, we live in an "order=good, chaos=bad" society, so that is to be expected anyway.

I concur that if they are powerful threats to yourself of a similar or greater power level, it is somewhat evil but quite forgivable that you kill them while they are unable to fight back. Some times the proper authorities cannot be trusted, sometimes jails cannot hold them, sometimes there are evils so great that only death can stop them, no matter how it comes. This is in D&D, of course.

I think in the original question, helping him is good, leaving him is neutral, and throwing a rock at him is mildly evil. In the OP, this is clearly the case. I have not read pages 2 or 3 and so I cannot comment on various scenarios as ditches filling with water and such. But indifference to the plight of someone else is not evil. It's just indifference(which some say is the opposite of love, but either way, it's still not hate).

Tren
2008-01-12, 07:47 PM
I view Good, Neutral, and Evil this way:
Good - going out of your way helping others, not for personal benefit
Evil - harming others, either directly or indirectly
Neutral - helping others if it doesn't terribly inconvenience or endanger you

Your idea of the Neutral--what might be best described as "good lite"-- runs contrary to the definition as listed in the PHB



"A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil - after all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way"

If a neutral person has any inclination to help out a person in a ditch, they will. Maybe Someone helped them out of a similar situation in the past and they figure one good turn deserves another. Maybe they're not far from home, in an otherwise safe area, and don't suspect any foul play(ie real no sacrifice or risk of sacrifice on their part in order to help). They'll do it if it suits them.

I also think the SRD has a really good take on the topic


People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent but lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. Neutral people are committed to others by personal relationships.

A neutral person won't put themselves at potential risk for the sake of helping someone they don't know. And despite EE's very vocal protestation, there's nothing given in the basic scenario that proves or assures us that the person in the ditch truly is a helpless innocent. And for a neutral person, who has no moral obligation to perform the good act of helping him, it might not be worth the risk.

A neutral character who chooses not to help and continues by leaves the situation exactly as it was before, neither helping nor harming the stranger in the ditch. Now one could argue that by virtue of coming across the situation in the first place, a person has the option of interceding and helping the stranger out-- and by refusing to do so is PASSIVELY harming the stranger through his inaction, and is therefore evil. But given the definition of the Neutral alignment as provided in the PHB and the SRD I think it's pretty clear that the Neutral person is under no obligation to perform a good act and therefore even "passive harm" is within the purview of the Neutral alignment.

Also, it's worth noting that in the initial scenario the stranger is not in imminent danger of death, EE, so leaving him there is not necessarily tantamount to leaving him to die, though that is one possible outcome. It should also be pointed out that not helping is NOT equivalent to

--Murder
--Accessory to murder
--Neglect

The neutral character is not forcing water into the lungs of the stranger, nor was he complicit in either performing or covering up the death of the stranger. He is not a murderer, nor an accessory. And he can't be negligent in any moral sense as he has no obligation to this stranger (and likely no legal obligation as I doubt quasi-feudal D&D has laws concerning something like this)

Neutral =/= Good Lite

Neutral = Neutral

Yami
2008-01-13, 06:57 PM
Ah finally. Good to see someone who claims to use book definitions and actually does ^_^

Thank you for that clarification, I don't think I could have put it better.

I'm not quite feeling like sitting down and countering all the arguements here, at least not right now. But I do feel the need to step in and give my opinions on..


Question A- What kind of act is sparing your enemies in the following situations?
Question B- What kind of act is killing your enemies in the following situations?

1) You have defeated them, and they are unconscious.
2) You have defeated them, and/or they surrender/ask for mercy.
3) You have defeated them, and they are cursing you, unrepentant.



A; Neutral, Neutral, Neutral
B; Neutral, Neutral, Neutral

These are my enemies. We engaged in combat and I emerged victorious, what happens now matters not. Now, based on my character, one action or another might look better than others, but all told the stupidity of letting someone live who still cries out for blood doesn't change the alignment of the action. The choice here is simply characterization.

You may dispatch and slay your foes at a whim, or you may allow them to live, there is no enherint good or evil in this, it is combat. Neutral. And honestly, the only foe I would even consider letting live would be the soul who lies unconcious despite my best efforts to render them dead. The other two are just weak fools who give up far too easily. But that has nothing to do with alignment.

Oh and EE, you should crack open some books besides the BoED sometime, I really find some like the PH to be good reads and quite useful for finding imformation.

Like the fact that a paladin may worship whomever they please, They don't even have to worship a diety, they just have to stay within the confines of thier class. Which just so happen to allow riding into an Orc village at night, stabbing the inhabitants in the face and riding off with thier loot. Paladin of slaugther riding the world of evil, one village at a time. And without even needing to resort to splat books! Trust me, it works.

And lasty,

This comment very much interested me. I don't think a Paladin with this mindset would remain a Paladin in one of my games for very long.

I require a little humility out of my Paladins, though, which is not in the RAW, so feel free to ignore the comment.
Actually, if I get anything out of the thread, it may be this. I'm not the biggest fan of RAW, though I will use it when needed.

Granted, when I take this mindset I end up with a dead paladin (like last session, and that was just with the party to think about.) so I may not adopt this in game, but I do DM more often than not, and this could be something to dwell on for my players.

EvilElitest
2008-01-13, 07:17 PM
Ah finally. Good to see someone who claims to use book definitions and actually does ^_^

Thing coming from a man who said that a mercy killing is good, while getting the dude out of the ditch is evil......

Thank you for that clarification, I don't think I could have put it better.

I'm not quite feeling like sitting down and countering all the arguements here, at least not right now. But I do feel the need to step in and give my opinions on..




A; Neutral, Neutral, Neutral
B; Neutral, Neutral, Neutral

Not according to book of exalted deeds (or BoVD) which are the final say on most matters


These are my enemies. We engaged in combat and I emerged victorious, what happens now matters not.
Murdering a helpless dude is evil. I doubt any non paladin would have any major problems, but if you do it regularly you will slip into evil.


Now, based on my character, one action or another might look better than others, but all told the stupidity of letting someone live who still cries out for blood doesn't change the alignment of the action. The choice here is simply characterization.
Not in D&D, morals are certianly not relevant in D&D, actions matter more than morals


You may dispatch and slay your foes at a whim, or you may allow them to live, there is no enherint good or evil in this, it is combat.
Combat ended, they are already down for the count. In combat killing people is totally cool unless they surrender, or you going out on innocent bystanders


Neutral. And honestly, the only foe I would even consider letting live would be the soul who lies unconcious despite my best efforts to render them dead. The other two are just weak fools who give up far too easily. But that has nothing to do with alignment.

Wow, because nothing says good like social Darwinism, eh Shishio? Might makes right eh?


Oh and EE, you should crack open some books besides the BoED sometime, I really find some like the PH to be good reads and quite useful for finding imformation.
Yeah, but their is nothing in their that backs up your mercy killing ideas, so i don't need



Like the fact that a paladin may worship whomever they please, They don't even have to worship a diety, they just have to stay within the confines of thier class.
you do realize that paladins don't get their powers from gods right? I never said that they worship gods, they just have to follow the terms of goodness

Which just so happen to allow riding into an Orc village at night, stabbing the inhabitants in the face and riding off with thier loot. Paladin of slaugther riding the world of evil, one village at a time. And without even needing to resort to splat books! Trust me, it works.
1. Nope, a paladin (though a neutral person has more lee way in that situation) cannot slaughter orcs without cause, any defenseless non demon/devil, or innocent. Nor can they kill for
2. You do realize paladins of slaughter are evil right? And pretty much any evil person can do that

And lasty,


Actually, if I get anything out of the thread, it may be this. I'm not the biggest fan of RAW, though I will use it when needed.

Go ahead, the mercy killing, take no prisoner paladin (not grey guard) would be interesting to see some evidence for
from
EE

VanBuren
2008-01-13, 07:35 PM
The problem with the BoED is that for the most part it doesn't tell you how to be Good. It tells you how to be exalted, which is beyond good. It's like Saintly. It makes Good look Neutral.

It also encourages Paladins to spare and attempt to convert Drow, but not Demons/Devils or Dragons. So it's only marginally suicidal.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-13, 08:32 PM
A BUNCH OF STUFF

1. The kind presented in the DMG? You know, the ones that tear a level 1 commoner to pieces?

2. I never said it happened "all the time". I posed a hypothetical situation. Would you rather be killed or have your brain eaten?

3. And subject him to any number of random encounters? Remember, you saved him, you are thereafter directly responsible for his safety.

4. What? Dude, make sense. Please.

5. Yes it does. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a nice, clean executioner's axe versus some of the things monsters in D&D do to you.

6. Because I said so? Because it's my choice? Because I'm not the moron in the ditch? Remember, this is a debate about Alignment. Not about Book of Exalted Stupidity or Book of Vile Idiocy. Being really really good or really really evil isn't being debated.

7. Open the Monster Manual. Would you rather die quickly and quietly or fight any of those things?

8. The potential that it's a bandit trap?

9. Book evidence that it's a good action. OH WAIT! You can't. Because guess what.. This scenario is not clearly defined in the PHB.


A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF

1. Uh. Then theres no point to this debate. Alignment in and of itself is metagaming knowledge.

2. Theres also no evidence that there aren't bandits.

3. Ya, it's a really stupid trap. But you're falling for it, aren't you?

4. Actually it does. You should look at the OotS comics addressing the bandit issue. Rich actually brings this problem to light in a very real sense. Simple economics tells you that a bandit group, to be successful, would need to kill its targets without a fight.

5. Look at ANY random encounter table in the DMG. Now point out an encounter that isn't "kill these things violently". OH! Look at that! There aren't any.

6. Yes it does. 'Cause, you know.. He's not real.

7. Tyrant? Thanks, but no. If anything, I'm giving him the ultimate freedom of choosing his own fate. He can either drown to death while I walk by, or he can dig himself out of his pit while I walk by. Either way, his life is in his own hands.


No, evil because you are killing him even with no risk involved

First of all..

The Nine Alignments (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/description.htm#alignment).

Point out where it says "Protect others"? It says "help people", but it doesn't say how I have to help anybody. I choose to help by letting them have the freedom to decide their own fate.


However in this situation there is no risk of death, as no bandit would be so freaking dumb to make a plan like this, and you can't possible kill yourself going into the ditch, so you have death of random guy vs. no loss

Ya, you think that. And guess what. You're falling for it.


Leaving him to die is murder which is an evil act

Look up the definition of murder, please. Murder would be actively assisting in his death. You aren't assisting him do anything. According to the law, it's manslaughter. But according to D&D alignment, it's neutrality.


Provide me any evidence in this situation that he didn't just fall into a ditch/well/canal.

Provide me with any evidence that he did just fall into a ditch/well/canal.


3. You don't even have reasonable proof, because why the hell would bandits use such as stupid trap

You're falling for it, aren't you?


and in newer editions of D&D, murder is evil

Oh? I don't see "Murder" anywhere in the alignment page. Especially since "Good" adventurers frequently "murder" animals, orcs, and sapient creatures for their stuff.

Malachite
2008-01-13, 08:33 PM
You know, threads like this truly terrify me. It always shocks me to read that if I was in trouble drowning in a river, then many people would say it's not bad just to pass on by. I've heard it said that if there was a lifebelt there, but the person was late for a meeting, then it wouldn't be an evil act to leave me to drown because the 5 minutes it takes to save me could affect their career.
Equally it's been argued that you could leave a baby you see abandoned by the side of the road because you didn't want the hassle of finding a police station or hospital and going through all of the procedures to leave it there.

I lose a little more faith in humanity each time I hear these things. Frankly, I think solidly neutral acts are less common than some people here seem to think. Usually it's either a little good or a little evil; there will be a moral tint to most actions.



These are my enemies. We engaged in combat and I emerged victorious, what happens now matters not...You may dispatch and slay your foes at a whim, or you may allow them to live, there is no enherint good or evil in this, it is combat...the only foe I would even consider letting live would be the soul who lies unconcious despite my best efforts to render them dead. The other two are just weak fools who give up far too easily.


You're robbing someplace and the security guard tries to stop you, as is his job. You take him down and put him fairly well out of action - let's say a deep slash to the leg and a broken main arm. He asks you not to kill him, that he has a family to look after. Your philosophy tells me you would have no compunction in slitting his throat when he's helpless to stop you in any way, and that that's OK.
Slightly different modern-day situation. My girlfriend and I are out walking and a gang try to mug us and look as though they're thinking of abusing her. Your philosophy dictates that if I make a move to defend her then they have every right to beat me to death.
I doubt a jury would agree on either counts - you'd get first degree murder. I sincerely hope I never end up at the mercy of someone like you. I don't know the rest of your life, but from that alone I'd say neutral is a best case scenario for your alignment.

With the broken down car on the side of the motorway analogy for the original situation, I probably would keep going. I'm not a mechanic, there's nothing I can do to help, and chances are they've already called for help. Stopping in this situation would be extra-good in my opinion. However, the analogy isn't quite right - it's really like a broken down car with the occupants trying to wave down traffic. The vital difference is that they're asking for help. In this case I would stop, even if the only assistance I could offer was to drive to the next service station and call for some help for them.

Despite apparently being animals and therefore neutral, I know for a fact that dolphins and elephants will attempt to help others in distress, which people on here are trying to peg as a firmly good act. "Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you" isn't especially good, it's just a mechanic that increases the chances of survival of the species as a whole. There's perhaps a slight good tint to it, but not much more than that.

This in mind, I would peg helping the man out of the ditch if possible as a neutral act with tints of good, leaving him as an act just on the evil side of the border between neutral and evil, and putting yourself at risk to help him as good.

ZeroNumerous
2008-01-13, 08:42 PM
You know, threads like this truly terrify me. It always shocks me to read that if I was in trouble drowning in a river, then many people would say it's not bad just to pass on by.

I'd leave you, but then again, I can't swim. Am I evil for not stopping?


Your philosophy tells me you would have no compunction in slitting his throat when he's helpless to stop you in any way, and that that's OK.

He isn't required to let him live. He isn't required to kill him either. It's a choice, and there is no moral implications one way for him.


Slightly different modern-day situation. My girlfriend and I are out walking and a gang try to mug us and look as though they're thinking of abusing her. Your philosophy dictates that if I make a move to defend her then they have every right to beat me to death.

They do. Just like you'd have every right to kill them if presented with a real physical danger to your health.


I doubt a jury would agree on either counts - you'd get first degree murder.

Uh, no. The first scenario is manslaughter. You did not plan to kill the guard, it happened. The second would be manslaughter in self-defense, which you wouldn't even get a slap on the wrist for.


This in mind, I would peg helping the man out of the ditch if possible as a neutral act with tints of good, leaving him as an act just on the evil side of the border between neutral and evil, and putting yourself at risk to help him as good.

So helping him is both neutral and good? Remember, the OP specifies that there is no risk in helping him. Then again, he's also not in danger in any way. He's just a moron in a hole.

Worira
2008-01-13, 08:55 PM
Yeah, I'm pretty sure slitting someone's throat isn't manslaughter. I'm even more sure that mugging someone and beating them to death if they try to defend themselves isn't manslaughter, or in self-defense.

Draco Ignifer
2008-01-13, 09:58 PM
Both of those situations you've described would be considered murder, not manslaughter. Killing someone during the course of a violent crime, regardless of whether or not you even intended to, is legally murder. Hence, by trying to rob the place, or by trying to mug you and assault your girlfriend, they've initiated a violent crime, and any deaths resulting therein are murder.

However, if the situation were reversed - if the cop had the thug begging, or the punks were somehow whupped by the guy being mugged, killing them would also be murder. Self-defense requires you to only use lethal force when doing so is necessary to prevent the harm, and if the individuals are incapacitated or surrendering, then there is no further necessity. Killing them at that point may not be murder, however - it may just be manslaughter, considering that they initiated violent conduct, which is considered quite provoking, and could cause someone to lose control and act based on their passions. For example, if the would-be robbers or muggers are spitting their defiance, promising they'll "be back," killing them would probably just be manslaughter.

All of the crimes which would be murder are evil actions - killing someone with no proper justification. Any crimes for which the punishment is just manslaughter is probably a neutral action, as it was done in a heat of passion, without any time to cool off and think about the consequences. Definately not a good action, definately one that you'd need to atone for if you were a Paladin - Paladins need to keep control over themselves even in situations like that. However, probably not enough to shift your alignment.

Malachite
2008-01-13, 10:22 PM
I'd leave you, but then again, I can't swim. Am I evil for not stopping?


If you can't swim, you could go get help from someone who can, reach out with a long enough branch if I'm close enough to the bank, throw a lifebelt etc. If there's truly nothing you can do to help then I wouldn't expect you to jump in and drown too, but I think just passing by and saying "not my problem" would be a pretty evil action. Real life is flexible, and not being able to act in one way doesn't mean you can't acheive effectively the same end result through different means.




He isn't required to let him live. He isn't required to kill him either. It's a choice, and there is no moral implications one way for him.

They do. Just like you'd have every right to kill them if presented with a real physical danger to your health.

Uh, no. The first scenario is manslaughter. You did not plan to kill the guard, it happened. The second would be manslaughter in self-defense, which you wouldn't even get a slap on the wrist for.

As Draco and Worira replied, this is just plain rubbish. Sorry for the bluntness, but both situations would see you convicted for first degree murder. Manslaughter is for things like knocking someone down and killing them while speeding: the death is a direct result of your actions but wasn't an intended outcome. Having someone at your mercy and killing them (without fair trial under the recognised legal system of the country) is murder and therefore an evil and unlawful act.

EvilElitest
2008-01-13, 11:17 PM
1. The kind presented in the DMG? You know, the ones that tear a level 1 commoner to pieces?

Do you have any freaking idea how annoying it is when you don't even quote the proper phrase? I can't even respond to you because i don't know what your responding to and i don't want to mistake what your saying. But anyways, even so
No. The DMG never makes a world like that, your thinking Midnight. The assumption in D&D is that



2. I never said it happened "all the time". I posed a hypothetical situation. Would you rather be killed or have your brain eaten?

Fun fact, having your brain eaten equals death but anyways
I would rather be killed mercifully, but i want the freaking choice. I want the ability to say "Hey dude, kill me so that in the off chance a brain eating freak of nature happens to walk by he won't be able to eat my brain. Oh and don't get me out of this ditch please." I don't want some bastard come up to me with a big sword and a god complex saying "Your life is better off dead" then lopping my head off. I have a freaking choice
Also, if i had a broken leg, i was in a ditch, i was slowly drowning because i couldn't move and some dude offer to kill me in the off chance a a squid monster came by to eat my brain, then i'd ask him to get me out of the freaking ditch. He losses what, five mins tops?



3. And subject him to any number of random encounters? Remember, you saved him, you are thereafter directly responsible for his safety.

1. Opposed to killing him, yes
2. A neutral person only needs to get him out of the ditch, after that is is really up to him. Not very good, but giving the dude a stick and letting him head home is a perfectly ok option i think
3. He is limping home. Presuming he had a reason to be around this water way, then it shouldn't be to fair back. Now if this guy is a commoner and lives in this area, then it would be local assume that he can manage in his own home area. This isn't the wildness after all, we have a road, a commoner and a water way


4. What? Dude, make sense. Please.
WFT are you responding too. Come back when you learn how to use the freaking quote thing, because i have no idea what your talking about


5. Yes it does. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a nice, clean executioner's axe versus some of the things monsters in D&D do to you.

1. Learn to quote, what?
2. But that gives you no right to decide for him
3. so promoting defeatism in your peasants?
4. Sure, if there was a freaking mind flayer on the way coming with the intion of killing me then your point makes sense, but currently i'm just in a freaking ditch, their is no need for an clean excution
5. And why can't you pull me out of the ditch?



6. Because I said so? Because it's my choice? Because I'm not the moron in the ditch? Remember, this is a debate about Alignment. Not about Book of Exalted Stupidity or Book of Vile Idiocy. Being really really good or really really evil isn't being debated.

1. Really, use a proper quote
2. Because you said so, wow
3. Might makes right? Wow, so bullying=good, thanks for letting me go
4. Wait, a guy slips and breaks his ankle and he is a moron. Wow, your the pargon of empathy
5. We are talking about alignment, which the books are about. It doesn't matter if you agree with them, they are cannon and thus useful for discussion
6. Both of those books are also useful for showing what are generally good or evil acts. Murder and apathy are both evil, while empathy and helping other are good. A neutral guy could leave him and commit an evil act, unless he does it often he won't turn evil, but it is still an evil act. He could help the guy out of a life threating situation then leave him.
7. Both of those books are quite good, better than your absurd might makes right, mercy is death, strong over weak ideal



7. Open the Monster Manual. Would you rather die quickly and quietly or fight any of those things?

1. Never at any time does a monster appear in this situation
2. I'd much rather get a choice. Hear that? I want the choice if i live or die against these beasts, not you the strangely unhelpful guy with the sword. I want the damn right to choose if i die at their hands or not. I want to chose weather to die at your hand or risk limping home risking the off chance of a mind flayer attacking thank you
3. Honestly, even if their was a 100% chance of a monster showing up and trying to maul me the moment i left the ditch, i'd rather take my chances with the monsters. I'm no coward and i have a chance to bluff or talk my way out of it. Who knows, it might be a weak monster

8. The potential that it's a bandit trap?

Well considering their is nothing that hints at a bandit trap in the description and a dude in a ditch is possible one of the worst bandit traps ever, i'd say that you have a low risk


9. Book evidence that it's a good action. OH WAIT! You can't. Because guess what.. This scenario is not clearly defined in the PHB.


But WOTC does cover the nature of good an evil however

For the love of god, can you freaking quote what i'm saying




1. Uh. Then theres no point to this debate. Alignment in and of itself is metagaming knowledge.

meta game knowlage, in that the person who is standing above the ditch is aware of the random encounter tables that you lack


2. Theres also no evidence that there aren't bandits.

Other than the fact their isn't any sign of them? For me to assume their are bandits i need freaking evidence to make me belive they are their. Also the ditch is an awful idea for a trap. Also fun fact, proving something is a lot easier than proving something isn't their. Their is no evidence that the entire area isn't in reality a mine field. Should you assume the area is a mind field based on that sentence? Also why aren't you quoting me properly



3. Ya, it's a really stupid trap. But you're falling for it, aren't you?

How so, to get a guy out of a ditch i'm leaning over to pick him up, at best going down into the ditch to lift him up.
Now assuming their is a band of bandits running around, why aren't didn't they just attack me out right? Also if i "fall for it" what happens to me? I reach over into a ditch. Presumable one of them runs up and pushes me into the ditch and they all try to shank me. But even then, their are too many chances of failure, i could hear one of them, i could jump over the ditch, i'm a faster shanker
Compare to a net in the trees, opening fire with arrows, or a pit trap. A flooding ditch (oh and exposing one of their own men to danger) is pretty freaking stupid


4. Actually it does. You should look at the OotS comics addressing the bandit issue. Rich actually brings this problem to light in a very real sense. Simple economics tells you that a bandit group, to be successful, would need to kill its targets without a fight.
It is called a pit trap, not that freaking hard.


5. Look at ANY random encounter table in the DMG. Now point out an encounter that isn't "kill these things violently". OH! Look at that! There aren't any.
Ok, but no random encounters even come into play in letting a guy out of a ditch. What will one show up the in the movement from the bottom of the ditch to the top?


6. Yes it does. 'Cause, you know.. He's not real.
What are you respdonding too? I don't know because you can't seem to get the quote function right



7. Tyrant? Thanks, but no. If anything, I'm giving him the ultimate freedom of choosing his own fate. He can either drown to death while I walk by, or he can dig himself out of his pit while I walk by. Either way, his life is in his own hands.
Wow, that sounds like empathy there. Wait


First of all..

The Nine Alignments (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/description.htm#alignment).

Point out where it says "Protect others"? It says "help people", but it doesn't say how I have to help anybody. I choose to help by letting them have the freedom to decide their own fate.
read teh part about good. What does good imply?



Ya, you think that. And guess what. You're falling for it.

What do they gain. Me standing by a freaking ditch. They could have taken the time to open fire on me as i walked by instead of this. Now this means that this is the real thing, or these bandits are freaking stupid and if it is the latter then i might be ok by throwing something shiny at them.


Look up the definition of murder, please. Murder would be actively assisting in his death. You aren't assisting him do anything. According to the law, it's manslaughter. But according to D&D alignment, it's neutrality.

killing of others is evil in D&D, even through callas inaction


Provide me with any evidence that he did just fall into a ditch/well/canal.

Have you ever fell down the stairs and hurt you self? Have you ever twisted you ankle? It is a perfectly normal thing to do. Also he has a busted leg, how else did he get down their, break his leg then roll into the pit?



You're falling for it, aren't you?
Oh dear, i'm standing next to a ditch, holding a dude who i could just drop into the ditch with a single motion. wow, that was an extremly cunning plan, look what a dangerous state state the put me in.



Oh? I don't see "Murder" anywhere in the alignment page. Especially since "Good" adventurers frequently "murder" animals, orcs, and sapient creatures for their stuff.

Read book of exalted deeds, murder is evil

Also good adventures kill creatures when they have good reason, not for their stuff, as that goes again good.
from
EE

skywalker
2008-01-13, 11:44 PM
If you can't swim, you could go get help from someone who can, reach out with a long enough branch if I'm close enough to the bank, throw a lifebelt etc.
Cuz I know I carry a lifebelt in my back pocket all the time.



As Draco and Worira replied, this is just plain rubbish. Sorry for the bluntness, but both situations would see you convicted for first degree murder. Manslaughter is for things like knocking someone down and killing them while speeding: the death is a direct result of your actions but wasn't an intended outcome. Having someone at your mercy and killing them (without fair trial under the recognised legal system of the country) is murder and therefore an evil and unlawful act.

Are you saying that I would be convicted of first degree murder for killing someone who posed a grave threat to myself and my companion? This, of course, has nothing to do with alignment anymore, but do you seriously think that?

VanBuren
2008-01-14, 02:48 AM
Despite apparently being animals and therefore neutral, I know for a fact that dolphins and elephants will attempt to help others in distress, which people on here are trying to peg as a firmly good act. "Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you" isn't especially good, it's just a mechanic that increases the chances of survival of the species as a whole. There's perhaps a slight good tint to it, but not much more than that.

Dolphins are actually surprisingly evil. It's been observed that Dolphins will kill animals that neither are prey nor serve as as threat to their evolutionary niche. Murder? Perhaps. It seems to serve no purpose, after all.

Also, there are several accounts of Dolphins attempting to rape things. Not just dolphins either. A quick search turned up several accounts of severely traumatized divers.

Following a Dolphin's example will lead you down to the Abyss faster than worshiping Lolth.

skywalker
2008-01-14, 03:52 AM
Dolphins are actually surprisingly evil. It's been observed that Dolphins will kill animals that neither are prey nor serve as as threat to their evolutionary niche. Murder? Perhaps. It seems to serve no purpose, after all.

Also, there are several accounts of Dolphins attempting to rape things. Not just dolphins either. A quick search turned up several accounts of severely traumatized divers.

Following a Dolphin's example will lead you down to the Abyss faster than worshiping Lolth.

I tend to view those stories more as evidence of how "human-like" dolphins are. Dolphins have also been observed to have sex solely for pleasure and within their own gender. I think all of these stories show that dolphins, just like humans, mainly tend towards good, with a small number of bad apples(the "murderers?") who do "evil" things.

Just my two cents.

Yami
2008-01-14, 04:45 AM
Ah VanBuren, such wisdom. I truely appreciate your input.

And ZeroNumerous, I thank you. I just did not have the patience to sit down and impart so much wisdom this day. (just finishing up the session) your help in this matter also brings me joy.


Do you have any freaking idea how annoying it is when you don't even quote the proper phrase? I can't even respond to you because i don't know what your responding to and i don't want to mistake what your saying.

I realize I might be wrong in this, but some people do not wish to clutter up the thread with lots of quotes if they aren't referencing something on another thread. Perhaps our good Zero is one such person. Some what? 16 points and then he broke into quotes for you. Just like some people consider it rude to break anothers post into series of quotes some people do not wish to post huge blocks of quotes. I could be wrong.

I would suggest a bit more tact in asking him to include quotes next time. I feel the last method might not have had the effect you desire.



You're robbing someplace and the security guard tries to stop you, as is his job. You take him down and put him fairly well out of action - let's say a deep slash to the leg and a broken main arm. He asks you not to kill him, that he has a family to look after. Your philosophy tells me you would have no compunction in slitting his throat when he's helpless to stop you in any way, and that that's OK.
Slightly different modern-day situation. My girlfriend and I are out walking and a gang try to mug us and look as though they're thinking of abusing her. Your philosophy dictates that if I make a move to defend her then they have every right to beat me to death.


Aha! I beleive you have hit upon the crux of the issue. Think about it. The inherent Evil or perhaps Goodness of the actions here aren't dependant soley on your actions after combat. The reason for the combat comes into play. Killing the guard after combat isn't evil becuase you killed a helpless man, but because you killed a helpless man who wasn't a threat until you made him one.

Oh wait, he's begging for mercy, not unconcious. I tend not to work well with begging, as most people are all about themselves. "Spare me," "My family," Whatever happened to the "I can pay you," "I can turn off the alarms," You want someone to spare you, you gotta think about what you can do for them. Eep, I'm getting sidetracked again.

It is not the action. Its the reason you were put into the situation.

Sparing a man who broke into your home and begged for mercy when he found out you keep a shotgun by the bedstand doesn't make you good. It makes you gullible. Perhaps the man meant it. I wouldn't take my chances, and the law is on my side. Juries might not be, but the law, as RAW is.

The problem with generalities such as "killing anyone who surrends is evil" is that the devil is in the details.



I doubt a jury would agree on either counts - you'd get first degree murder. I sincerely hope I never end up at the mercy of someone like you. I don't know the rest of your life, but from that alone I'd say neutral is a best case scenario for your alignment.


Honestly, we shouldn't be bring realworld juries into the mix. Those things are a mockery to my sense of justice.A man has been convicted of murder when the best evidence against him was a tape of him saying he didn't do it. A mockery.

Malachite
2008-01-14, 06:08 AM
Cuz I know I carry a lifebelt in my back pocket all the time.
...
Are you saying that I would be convicted of first degree murder for killing someone who posed a grave threat to myself and my companion? This, of course, has nothing to do with alignment anymore, but do you seriously think that?

1. Come on, you know I'm not suggesting that. I'm providing feasible alternatives to walking on by without even trying to help, not all of which will apply in any one given situation. You could just as well have argued "I don't habitually carry around a long stick" and it would have carried just as little weight.

2. No. I believe I was arguing completely the opposite point, that they do not have the right to murder you for defending yourself. If there are no alternatives left to you, I feel quite certain that lethal force is permissable. It would be better if you could incapacitate them without killing them, but obviously that's not always going to be feasible.


On the dolphin stuff, do you reckon that they understand morality? Honest question there, it's something that interests me. Cats and Orca whales both play with their food before killing it - in a human we'd call tormenting something like that evil, but do the animals see it that way or is it just having fun to them? Cats also kill things they don't need to eat. I'm open to new information, but to me it's just as likely that the dolphins are just doing what they enjoy without the ability to understand how it affects others. Does that make them evil or does an inability to understand absolve them of their actions?



Oh wait, he's begging for mercy, not unconcious. I tend not to work well with begging, as most people are all about themselves. "Spare me," "My family," Whatever happened to the "I can pay you," "I can turn off the alarms," You want someone to spare you, you gotta think about what you can do for them. Eep, I'm getting sidetracked again.

It is not the action. Its the reason you were put into the situation.

Sparing a man who broke into your home and begged for mercy when he found out you keep a shotgun by the bedstand doesn't make you good. It makes you gullible. Perhaps the man meant it. I wouldn't take my chances, and the law is on my side. Juries might not be, but the law, as RAW is.


Damn, that's pretty cold. You're saying that because you're stronger than him, his life is only worth as much as he can do for you.
I'll take an educated guess that you're an atheist then, as most religions assign an intrinsic worth to human life beyond their usefulness to others.

This is why I find it hard to take Richard Dawkins seriously when he says that religions poison the world. You might not believe in them, but when you take into account the main atheist governments that there have been of Communist Russia, China, Burma, North Korea etc. and their track record on human rights, I can't see his argument that we'd be better off without them holding much water. I'll conceed that there have been religious governments that are just as bad, but they've been going against the basic principles of their own religion anyway, so they may just as easily be counted as arreligious.


Shooting the guy in your home when you have him begging for mercy at shotgun point is evil in my view, even if it is lawful. He's no longer a credible threat, and you could just as easily keep the gun trained on him and call the police. If he tries anything then you're quite justified in blowing him away, but that would be an extraordinarily stupid thing to do with a shotgun on you. Note the fact that he's begging for mercy is an important factor in this - if he's standing there unrepentant and you think he's going to make a move on you, I'd peg it as far less bad. Still marginally evil, but much less so.



Honestly, we shouldn't be bring realworld juries into the mix.

By jury, I meant most people/the law. I agree that juries can be corrupt, but if you're attacking my argument, at least attack the important parts rather than the trivial bits on the side. :smallwink:

Khanderas
2008-01-14, 07:44 AM
You know, threads like this truly terrify me. It always shocks me to read that if I was in trouble drowning in a river, then many people would say it's not bad just to pass on by. I've heard it said that if there was a lifebelt there, but the person was late for a meeting, then it wouldn't be an evil act to leave me to drown because the 5 minutes it takes to save me could affect their career.
Equally it's been argued that you could leave a baby you see abandoned by the side of the road because you didn't want the hassle of finding a police station or hospital and going through all of the procedures to leave it there.

I lose a little more faith in humanity each time I hear these things. Frankly, I think solidly neutral acts are less common than some people here seem to think. Usually it's either a little good or a little evil; there will be a moral tint to most actions.
Having players run around killing both sentient and non-sentient life should worry you more. While not all DnD is killing things and taking their loot, it is a fairly large part of it, much bigger part then the time you pull old senile men out of ditches or rescueing cats in trees.

I would agree that leaving the man in the ditch is a neutral act. Quite jerkish yes, but I am more compelled with the arguments for calling it neutral (in DnD). But then I demand more from the Good descriptor then grabbing someones arm and pull him up. If you did the samaritan thing and paid for his medical expenses (noone is unable to get out of a ditch unless they got a broken leg or otherwise incapable) then yes, +1 goodpoints.

Good : Pull him out AND pay for his recuperation (or escort him to somewhere you were NOT going in the first place).
Neutral: Pull him up or not. If you do pull him up, hope for a reward. May or may not include letting him join you on the walk to where you are already going.
Evil: Pull him up... AND kill him. Then loot his money. Or demanding payment to pull him up, refusing if he can't / argues.


I enjoyed the argument that killing him was good and helping him was evil.

Worira
2008-01-14, 11:12 AM
Are you saying that I would be convicted of first degree murder for killing someone who posed a grave threat to myself and my companion? This, of course, has nothing to do with alignment anymore, but do you seriously think that?


You do realize we're talking about the muggers killing you, not vice versa?

And EE, putting "freaking" after every other word does not make you right.

Saph
2008-01-14, 11:55 AM
I think PaladinBoy's right on this one. Leaving him in the ditch is mildly Evil . . . and is the kind of thing a Neutral character would probably do. Neutral characters do mildly evil things all the time, as well as mildly good ones. The evil things may bother them a bit, occasionally . . . but probably not much.

That said, I sympathise with Malachite as well. Quite a few times in my life I've been in desperate trouble, usually on my own against a group of other people. In every case, when I asked for help I found that most people didn't want to give it, not because they particularly disliked me or because they thought I'd done anything wrong, but because it would have meant running a small risk of getting into the same trouble themselves, which they weren't willing to do. In this respect, I think D&D's alignment system is actually pretty realistic. Most people are Neutral, whether in D&D or in real life.

Oh, and personally, I'd help the guy. Like I said, I've been in the same place before, and now that I'm older and better able to take care of myself, I generally try and help anyone on their own who seems to need it. This being D&D, though, I would take a few precautions. If the guy's genuine, he'll be safe, and glad that it was me who came along and not someone else. If it's a bandit trap, he'll soon be wishing the opposite. :P

- Saph

GoC
2008-01-14, 12:03 PM
What amazes me about this thread is the number of people who post on it that, if I were to give them an alignment, I would classify as Evil.

Heh, I noticed that most posters would consider me evil.


No, EE doesn't need to calm down. He's the one with the most sense on this thread.
Just because we have a different idea about what's evil doesn't mean we don't make sense. Morality is a matter of belief and choice not logical debate.


Thank you for being a Good-Aligned, intelligent individual in a debate filled with Evil-aligned, nonsensical people, EE. Your name is misleading.
Do not ecourage EE! He's annoying enough as it is...
He always post in the same threads as me and has exactly opposite views!:smalltongue:


the funny thing is i never feel hostile toward you, just really frustrated. Your to hard to stay angry at '
Heh, I feel almost continuously frustrated at you. We need some friendly banter or a non-serious debate to ease the frustration.:smallbiggrin:

btw: I really really hate how stubborn you are. :smalltongue:


How did I get lumped in with EE, when I've been disagreeing the whole time?


Evil: Look out for self first. Don't give a damn about others. On second thought, yes I do because I can benefit 'X' way from it.


I'd help the person because humans have a part of their brain that makes them feel happy when they help other people. I'm actualy helping him for my own pleasure
That's basicaly what all humans have. Remove that part of the brain and everyone loses their principles and becomes a psycopath.

Yami: Do you have that little chemical nudge to help others too?

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-14, 12:04 PM
Malachite: Do you really think that sparing someone who can kill other people is good, just because he can't hurt you?

Drakron
2008-01-14, 12:18 PM
It is.

Read the description of Good alignment, it says "respect life".

Nothing stops you from making him/her/it stand trial if applicable but that is lawful.

Being "Good" means you cannot take the easy road, if a enemy ask for mercy and you kill him then you are doing a evil or even chaotic act.

Of course in D&D how many enemies bother with surrender? how many DMs do not use the surrender as a means for the players to get access to information? how many times will the enemies that surrender will ever come into play again?

That is why surrender is a non-issue, it rarely happens and when it does its for a purpose.

Draco Ignifer
2008-01-14, 12:58 PM
Are you saying that I would be convicted of first degree murder for killing someone who posed a grave threat to myself and my companion? This, of course, has nothing to do with alignment anymore, but do you seriously think that?

I don't think. I know. If you have someone incapacitated and at your mercy, by killing them, you are either committing first degree murder, if you've had a chance to cool off, or manslaughter, if you haven't. Once the situation is settled through non-lethal means, lethal means are no longer an option; using lethal force requires a reasonable belief that the force be necessary to prevent imminent and grave harm to yourself or another, and once the person is down, the harm can no longer be imminent. It doesn't matter how big of a threat they posed - once they stop posing it, killing them is retaliatory, and is at minimum manslaughter. Similarly, killing them because they may in the future pose a threat is preemptive, and also at minimum manslaughter.

Talya
2008-01-14, 01:12 PM
It is a Good Act to help the man out of the ditch.
It is a Neutral Act to leave the man in the ditch.
It is an Evil Act to stop and throw a rock at the man in the ditch, then spit on him.

This. With the addition of--


While it is a good act to help him out, it would be another good act to offer him a ride.

Artanis
2008-01-14, 01:27 PM
For the question in the OP:

It's a Good act to help that person out above and beyond the "call of duty", so to speak. It's an Evil act to knowingly cause the person to die (directly or indirectly). I'd say a Neutral act, on the other hand, really depends on the circumstances.

If they're stuck in a ditch in a well-traveled area, I'd say it's a Neutral act just to ignore the person, on the grounds that you aren't helping them, but somebody will probably help them sooner or later, so you aren't really hurting them, either. However, if the person is stuck in a ditch in the middle of nowhere or a bad part of town or somewhere else that being stuck in a ditch is likely to be fatal, then I'd say ignoring the person would be Evil, as you'd be putting five minutes of inconvenience over a person's life. In the latter situation, I'd say helping the person out of the ditch would be Neutral, and helping them out of the ditch and giving them a ride to a safer area and making sure they get treatment for any injuries (etc. etc. etc.) would be Good.

Foeofthelance
2008-01-14, 03:31 PM
I admit to agreeing with EE on the course of action, though I disagree with his philosophy. Especially since both sides are basing their views on a series of escalating hypotheticals. If, on a clear and sunny day, with empty land to either side of the road and grass no more than two inches tall, I'd help the guy. No reason not to. If, however, there's a corn field ready to be harvested right next to us I just very well might pass him by. Because there is an equal chance of him being an innocent stranded or being bait for a trap. This goes up and down the more knowledge we add into it. Are we close to the capital city, where knights patrol regularly? More likely to help him. Out in the middle of nowhere, on a heavily traveled but poorly secured trade route? More likely to pass by.

Now to point out some flaw's in EE's argument:


That only works for ends justices the means, for most evils are committed by apathy

No, this is not true. Most evils are comitted by those who would benefit from them, and are allowed to succeed through inaction. Whether this is through apathy, fear, or lack of strength is another matter entirely. I will not hold fear or lack of strength against a person, but in the case of apathy I will hold them responsible based on the amount of knowledge they should have had of the situation. I won't hold it against a paladin for not stopping a BBEG who lives under a mountain the entire time, harvesting all of his resources through magic. I will hold it against a cop who allows a mugging on his patrol route because he wasn't doing his job.


I also use the book of exalted deeds

I don't, and have neither read it nor plan on doing so. As a result, none of the Gods in my campaigns, except for a few evil ones, require the proverbial stick for their champions. This allows them to use their own judgement when making a decision, rather than following a course of action based on assumed absolutes. Does this make me evil?


Also paladin boy good to see you, arguing on alignment threads brings back memories eh?

Speaking of which, you're still treating the phrase "The ends justify the means" as an absolute excuse for evil. Still unwilling to accept that a single gold coin isn't worth a million copper? All it really means is that the price paid was worth less compared to the value of what was exchanged.

Captain van der Decken
2008-01-14, 04:08 PM
If you see a man being mugged, and don't rush to his aid, is that evil as well?

This is on the same principle, but it's more of a grey area and really depends on the circumstances.

If it's a pretty lawless area this complete stranger could be dangerous, for example.


How is this guy stuck in a ditch, anyway? Is it a huge, steep sloped ditch? Are his legs broken?

EvilElitest
2008-01-14, 04:24 PM
And EE, putting "freaking" after every other word does not make you right.

Duh, but what proves me right are the points themselves


I realize I might be wrong in this, but some people do not wish to clutter up the thread with lots of quotes if they aren't referencing something on another thread.
so your solution is to quote something that is totally irelevant and then expect me to somehow know what your refering to? Wow, thanks there

I would suggest a bit more tact in asking him to include quotes next time. I feel the last method might not have had the effect you desire.

If you had simple responded direclty i'd be fine, but you name points that i am totally unable to respond to without knowing what you are refering too. how can i possible respond to something isn't even clarified?


Sparing a man who broke into your home and begged for mercy when he found out you keep a shotgun by the bedstand doesn't make you good.

WOTC says otherwise, the point of goodness isn't seflishness, its the abilty to empathize and come to understand others and to be better than the other person. You are no better than an evil person if you murder a helpless person


Perhaps the man meant it. I wouldn't take my chances, and the law is on my side. Juries might not be, but the law, as RAW is.

you claim RAW in this, but BOED says otherwise. I don't care if you like or not, it is cannon via law


Random notes
1. Even if you can't swim, the dude is in a slowly filling ditch, unless you are really stupid and stand their waiting for it to fill up (and i doubt the ditch is more than four feet) you should be able to life a dude out
2. Animals aren't held to aligment satus, they are the exception to the rule i think

Having players run around killing both sentient and non-sentient life should worry you more.
In theory, they should have a good reason to do it though


Do not ecourage EE! He's annoying enough as it is...
He always post in the same threads as me and has exactly opposite views!

your a bad person, i hope you realize that


Heh, I feel almost continuously frustrated at you. We need some friendly banter or a non-serious debate to ease the frustration.

Pirates vs. ninjas?


btw: I really really hate how stubborn you are.

that brings a smile to my face i assure you

Malachite: Do you really think that sparing someone who can kill other people is good, just because he can't hurt you?
That can be said for anyone, anyone in the world can hurt other people (except for comatose).


I don't think. I know. If you have someone incapacitated and at your mercy, by killing them, you are either committing first degree murder, if you've had a chance to cool off, or manslaughter, if you haven't
Nitpicker, Murder 2 as well


Because there is an equal chance of him being an innocent stranded or being bait for a trap.
No because
1. Is this an area known for banitry
2. Yet again, really stupid trap

No, this is not true. Most evils are comitted by those who would benefit from them, and are allowed to succeed through inaction. Whether this is through apathy, fear, or lack of strength is another matter entirely. I will not hold fear or lack of strength against a person, but in the case of apathy I will hold them responsible based on the amount of knowledge they should have had of the situation. I won't hold it against a paladin for not stopping a BBEG who lives under a mountain the entire time, harvesting all of his resources through magic. I will hold it against a cop who allows a mugging on his patrol route because he wasn't doing his job.
But the cop does it because he doesn't care (apathy) while the paladin can't do it, not out of apathy, just lack of skill



I don't, and have neither read it nor plan on doing so. As a result, none of the Gods in my campaigns, except for a few evil ones, require the proverbial stick for their champions. This allows them to use their own judgement when making a decision, rather than following a course of action based on assumed absolutes. Does this make me evil?
1. Wouldn't make you evil, that is kinda irrelevant
2. But hte important note is that your aren't following the rules, you making your own. In your games lighting him on fire could be good if you said it was, but that is homebrew rules that



Speaking of which, you're still treating the phrase "The ends justify the means" as an absolute excuse for evil.
1. Almost all evil people don't see themselves as so
2. And your still using the "greater good" ideal, didn't help you then though


Still unwilling to accept that a single gold coin isn't worth a million copper? All it really means is that the price paid was worth less compared to the value of what was exchanged
Difference between the two of us, i don't view peoples lives in terms of money thank you very much


If you see a man being mugged, and don't rush to his aid, is that evil as well?

Ah but their is visble risk of injury or death there.




from
EE

Flubadubdub
2008-01-14, 04:45 PM
I would say,

It is a Lawful act to help the man out of the ditch, because you're obeying his wish.

It is a Chaotic act to leave the man in the ditch, because you're disobeying his request.

Helping him out and leaving him in the ditch are both justifiably neutral activities on the Good/Evil axis. By leaving him in the ditch you are not actively hurting him, so it can't be classed as an inherently evil act.

It is a Good act to give the man a ride.

It is an Evil act to throw a rock at the man and spit on him.

Giving the man a ride is generosity for the sake of generosity, while it is certainly wrong to harm a man asking for help.

I strongly disagree with your breakdown between lawful and chaos. Law and Chaos have nothing to do with "will I help someone". A chaotic good person who ignores a person stuck in a ditch despite the man pleading for help is not a chaotic good person. In fact, I find it hard to come across any sort of balance issue in this question. Sure there is a good or evil, but Chaos and Lawful are just 2 different ways to reach an end, and this question is pretty dry. Either you help the person, good, or you ignore them.

Also in terms of good/evil, you seem to take it to an extreme. I would consider getting the man out of the ditch a good act. Sure, offering a ride is even better, but even just helping them out is in my mind doing some good. Refusing to offer to help them really is sort of evil. At the very least, you could see as to getting someone else to help them. And if you know there isn't anyone around for miles, then leaving them in the ditch might very well lead them to their death, and there is no justification for that.

Sure, throwing a rock at him is evil and sick, but leaving a man to suffer, although not as obvious, is still quite a horrible thing to do

Malachite
2008-01-14, 04:48 PM
If you see a man being mugged, and don't rush to his aid, is that evil as well?

This is on the same principle, but it's more of a grey area and really depends on the circumstances.

If it's a pretty lawless area this complete stranger could be dangerous, for example.

How is this guy stuck in a ditch, anyway? Is it a huge, steep sloped ditch? Are his legs broken?

The more information card can be played from both sides. :smallbiggrin:
Is this guy being mugged by one guy or a gang? Is the mugger armed?
Putting yourself at risk to jump in would be a good act there, while ignoring would be on the mid to lower end of neutral. How low depends on how much influence you could have. An unarmed guy marginally larger than the muggee but smaller than you would be right on the borderline for me, while an armed gang you'd be well within your rights to leave well alone.

It's not quite the same principle though - in your scenario there's a definite and present risk to helping him, whereas the OP has a small chance things could not be as they seem. The situation's closer to being out walking in town and it's getting late with noone around, when a car pulls up and the driver asks if you can show him where he is on the map. You can help him easily enough, but you have to weigh up whether he just wants you to get close enough for a snatch. Not particularly likely in the scheme of things, but there is a small chance. Personally I'd give him a hand - I can handle myself and I think someone alone would have a job trying to get me somewhere I don't want to be. I'd do some damage at very least, so all in all it probably isn't a good idea for him to try anything anyway. Then again, if I was a woman I'd definitely think twice.
It isn't as bad for him if you say no in this situation as in the OP though, so it's still not a wonderful model.

I think some of the problem with these artificial constructs is that we don't know all the information we would if we were actually there. As Artanis among others has said, the location matters, and so does who you are. If I was a stacked kung fu black belt in real life or a high level character in DnD, I'd be reasonably confident I could keep myself safe if necessary, while if I were short and weedy in real life or a lvl 1 commoner I'd think twice, though I might still end up doing it.

Lastly:

Malachite: Do you really think that sparing someone who can kill other people is good, just because he can't hurt you?

Yes. Most definately yes. Anyone can kill other people, but that doesn't give us the right to kill anyone pre-emptively in case they might do so in the future. Innocent until proven guilty last time I heard.

VanBuren
2008-01-14, 08:19 PM
That's basicaly what all humans have. Remove that part of the brain and everyone loses their principles and becomes a psycopath.

Oh, that's just an issue with my wording. Let me see if I can try it again and get it right.


"Evil: I don't give a damn about other people. Oh wait, I do, because I can benefit 'x' way from it at their expense."

Is that better?

@Malachite: I can't speak for Orcas, but it isn't in feline nature to play with prey. The only reasons that happens with domestic cats is because of the artificial way that they end up being raised, they don't learn how to properly hunt. Wild cats just go for the kill.

Foeofthelance
2008-01-14, 08:43 PM
1. Wouldn't make you evil, that is kinda irrelevant
2. But hte important note is that your aren't following the rules, you making your own. In your games lighting him on fire could be good if you said it was, but that is homebrew rules that

You have so far declaimed anything that does not follow the BoED to the letter to be evil. So no, asking whether or not I follow your guidelines is not irrelevant. And on the second point, I do not have these rules. I do not know these rules. They do not exist except for those who have willingly acquired them. And yet that is what you are basing your entire argument on. I am not making up rules as I go along. Instead I base mine on the ones presented in the DMG and PHB, the books required to play the game, and their definitions are somewhat vague. Murder for the sake of murder is evil. Letting a man die because you could care less is wrong. But if you have reason to be suspicious? (As I pointed out originally, the OP was vague on that manner. All we are given to work with a man and a ditch) If you honestly belief your life is danger? These are not evil to me. Because, quite to the contrary, the innocent-in-distress trap is quite a common one in fantasy.

But I do not simply equate sacrifice with murder because both involve someone dying. Nor do I believe a man who has stolen just enough bread to feed his family has done wrong. According to your rules a man who does just enough to survive is a horrible sinner, while the robber baron who has taxed him into starvation is, at worst, neutral for using his own legal tools. Just because the words are printed in black and white does not mean the world is the same.


1. Almost all evil people don't see themselves as so
2. And your still using the "greater good" ideal, didn't help you then though

Really? Most of the most successful villians I've come across have willingly admited to being depraved. They admit to enjoying the suffering and pain of others. Oh, sure, some of them try to dress it up in terms of doing good, but when you get right down to it, setting up fights for your own gain or amusement is a fairly decent admission to at least depravity. Palpatine knew he was evil, which is why he hid being a Sith lord. Most of the evil D&D gods admit to getting off on pain and suffering, as do their followers.

And yes, the "greater good" argument was doing rather well if I recall correctly. Partly because not everyone equates sacrifice with suicide. Some off us see it as the willingness to accept loss in pursuit of a greater ideal. As for seeing people in terms of money, either you managed to miss the point entirely, (that even if one thing has great value individually, many things of lesser value can be of greater value when taken as whole) or tried to argue against it with a cheap dig because you can't disprove its reality. Either way, alas.

GoC
2008-01-14, 09:41 PM
Pirates vs. ninjas?

I'm afraid I don't know enough about them...
How about Bruce Lee vs. Squirrel girl?:smalltongue:

VanBuren: Oh, then I'm neutral-good I guess...

EvilElitest
2008-01-14, 10:09 PM
You have so far declaimed anything that does not follow the BoED to the letter to be evil.

1. Yet again, the over simplification and untrue facts. I've only used the BoED to illustrate what is a an evil act.
2. Ironically enough in our prior thread i didn't even have that book and still did fine, it is just easier



So no, asking whether or not I follow your guidelines is not irrelevant. And on the second point, I do not have these rules.I do not know these rules. They do not exist except for those who have willingly acquired them. And yet that is what you are basing your entire argument on. I am not making up rules as I go along. Instead I base mine on the ones presented in the DMG and PHB, the books required to play the game, and their definitions are somewhat vague.
1. You game sounds like one with a very loose alignment system. Thats fine for you, but from what i recall of your arguments, it deviates from WOTC's alignment intention
2. If you recall my argument from similar posts prior to me buying BoED, even with those books my stance is backed up. BoED just sets it in stone, though it does cause me a lot of annoyance with poisons.


Murder for the sake of murder is evil.
Opposed to the many other muders out their
Murder for greed
Murder out of envy
Murder out of spite
Murder out of personal care
Murder through apathy
Muder through neglect
Murder because of hatred
Murder out of callusness
Murder out of selfishness
Just to name a few, you idea of evil murder is extremely limiting

Letting a man die because you could care less is wrong. But if you have reason to be suspicious? (As I pointed out originally, the OP was vague on that manner. All we are given to work with a man and a ditch) If you honestly belief your life is danger? These are not evil to me. Because, quite to the contrary, the innocent-in-distress trap is quite a common one in fantasy.

1. Alright, provide me with proof that your life is in danger by taking five min. to lift a dude out of a ditch. Do you see any signs of bandit activity?
2. Yet again, awful trap idea


But I do not simply equate sacrifice with murder because both involve someone dying.
Who makes the sacrifice? The victim or the big guy with the god complex?


Nor do I believe a man who has stolen just enough bread to feed his family has done wrong. According to your rules a man who does just enough to survive is a horrible sinner,
While he has a reason, he is still committing an evil act (theft). Doesn't make him a horrible sinner, but certainly doesn't make him a saint. I believe in making rules and then taking the time to abide by them. In the case of D&D, i read the rules, and then abide by the.
Oh the topic of the robber man, three questions
1. Who is he stealing from?
2. How did his master take power?
3. What is being done to enforce this rule

Now remember, if he is stealing somebody else's rightful property then it is still stealing
If he is being treated cruelly, he can resist, leave, or put up with it. If he resorts to stealing from other innocent people, quite frankly he is being an evil coward.



while the robber baron who has taxed him into starvation is, at worst, neutral for using his own legal tools. Just because the words are printed in black and white does not mean the world is the same.

Nope the robber baron is evil to, most likely NE, possible LE. Now don't lie, and don't slander me. I never made any claim that the oppressor would be except from the rules, that is just slander to make me look bad don't do it
A baron would be evil if he treated his people cruelly. A feudal system is apparently not evil in D&D, so we will just ignor that


Really? Most of the most successful villians I've come across have willingly admited to being depraved. They admit to enjoying the suffering and pain of others. Oh, sure, some of them try to dress it up in terms of doing good, but when you get right down to it, setting up fights for your own gain or amusement is a fairly decent admission to at least depravity. Palpatine knew he was evil, which is why he hid being a Sith lord. Most of the evil D&D gods admit to getting off on pain and suffering, as do their followers.

1. Over oversimplification to the max
2. Accully, not really. Redcloak, miko, Kore, Goblinslayer, Sauron, Arthas, Zuko, Frank Archer, Scar, Darth Vader, Count Rubin, and Judas are all villains who come to mind who have reasons for doing their evil. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
3. Palpatine did his evil deeds for his own personal benefit and perhaps because he thought that the empire was better off in his control. Ether way, he didn't go around going "Hey, i'm an evil bastard, i'm evil simple because i feel like it". He did it because he was power hungry and selfish
3. Most of the D&D gods have an evil philosophy, but aren't evil for its own sake (not all however). Mask, Hexer, Grumash, Neurall, Bane, Bhaal, and Vecna off the top of my head


And yes, the "greater good" argument was doing rather well if I recall correctly.
But failed in the end


Partly because not everyone equates sacrifice with suicide. Some off us see it as the willingness to accept loss in pursuit of a greater ideal.
Yes, because nothing says good like one guy with a god complex enforcing his will of right and wrong on everybody else


As for seeing people in terms of money, either you managed to miss the point entirely, (that even if one thing has great value individually, many things of lesser value can be of greater value when taken as whole) or tried to argue against it with a cheap dig because you can't disprove its reality. Either way, alas.
Nope, because you do see it as money. you don't hold human lives as an individual, but as a group. You take the group, and, regardless on weather or not they wish it or not, use them in terms of numbers, willingly destroying some for the the sake of the larger whole. You can't weight human lives as nickels or dimes, regardless on what you think, their is not such thing as a person with lesser value. All people's lives are valuable, no body has the right to sacrifice them for what he thinks is the greater good
Sacrifice is only truly that when the person chooses to be sacrifice, somebody else making that decision for them is murder and the works of a tyrant, eh big brother?
from
EE

Ozymandias
2008-01-14, 11:29 PM
I, for one, think the ends justify the means. This takes into account, of course, all the consequences of the means as part of the ends.

Also, in "real life" whether something is good/evil/neutral is wholly subjective. I admit to having constructed my own view of morality based on society/intuition, and I'll hold others to it if pressed (I'll try to stop murder, etc) but I try to accommodate. That's really all anyone does, in fact, though they might be more or less lenient and have varied beliefs. The codes are usual compatible to the extent of cohabitation, and when they're not bad things often happen. It's really a whole mess, a lot of the time, because people have to draw lines to what they do and do not accept. For example, I wouldn't kill someone for spitting on me, although I find that act repulsive. I'd have no qualms, though, about killing Hitler to prevent the Holocaust. It's really an intuitive thing, for me.

In D&D, the person without (not in) the ditch would need to sacrifice time and expend effort to help the ditched one. Neutral characters "lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others"(d20srd). QED.

an kobold
2008-01-14, 11:33 PM
Damn, that's pretty cold. You're saying that because you're stronger than him, his life is only worth as much as he can do for you.
I'll take an educated guess that you're an atheist then, as most religions assign an intrinsic worth to human life beyond their usefulness to others.

This is why I find it hard to take Richard Dawkins seriously when he says that religions poison the world. You might not believe in them, but when you take into account the main atheist governments that there have been of Communist Russia, China, Burma, North Korea etc. and their track record on human rights, I can't see his argument that we'd be better off without them holding much water. I'll conceed that there have been religious governments that are just as bad, but they've been going against the basic principles of their own religion anyway, so they may just as easily be counted as arreligious.


:smallfurious: RICHARD DAWKINS IS NOT THE POPE OF ATHEISM! WE DO NOT ALL THINK AS HE DOES! DO NOT BESMIRCH US BECAUSE OF THE STATEMENTS OF AN INDIVIDUAL, OR I WILL SO BRING FRED PHELPS OR JACK CHICK DOWN IN THIS HOUSE!:smallfurious:

...ahem...

Now that that's out of the way, the Burmese Way to Socialism actually encouraged religion to make people more "selfless" to the military junta. As for the "atheist" governments you mentioned, they all followed a different degree of communism/socialism, and all used/uses "cults of personality" to maintain power over the people. Atheism only factors in to keep power and faith from religious institutions and in the dictators and governments in charge to form a belief of the "State," if you will. Atheism was merely a tool to those governments, just like Islam and Christianity have been used in the past and present, so calling those countries "atheist" is just as unfair as calling the Spanish Inquisition "Christian."

As for atheists assigning value to human life, it's not established, so to each his own and don't go assuming nothing. I personally believe in a value to human life other than its usefulness to me, but sadly, I am not the Pope of Atheism.

And I'm not really that offended, Malachite, at least not with you. I also disagree with Richard Dawkins' opinions on religions. But hey, atheists finally have their own outspoken, uncompromising jerks to go along with religions'. w00t for equality:smallfrown: !



I'm southern/New Yorker.

Let me get out my Southernomicon, the Complete Guide to All Things Monstrous South of Mason-Dixon. Let's see, ah, here we go, "Carpetbagger: Always Lawful Evil." Just as I suspected! :smallbiggrin: (In all honesty, one side of my family is from Georgia while the other is from New York, though I was born and raised in the former).

As for the whole "ditch" scenario, there is never going to be a consensus on it (Captain Obvious for the win). It's just a matter of people applying a subjective viewpoint on a supposedly objective and most definitely flawed system. And then you bring in non-Core books, such as BoED (I'm looking at you, EE :smallwink: ).

Real life scenarios should definitely NOT be considered in this argument. In real life, there aren't levels, hp, convenient 6 second periods of time where everyone agrees to act in order, taking 10s and 20s, and skill points. On top of that, morality in real life is NOT confined to nine different alignments. And at the end of the day, people do not merely exist as a set of six stats and a series of numbers that countdown to zero/negative ten on a sheet of paper. So enough about being mugged with your girlfriend and implicit sexual abuse or a mother's inability to keep her drunken husband, who she may love or loathe or both, from beating their son. They are not relevant and never will be relevant in a DnD alignment debate because they are not subject to or describable by a system as simple as the Lawful/Chaos/Good/Evil grid.

As for my own opinion about helping out a DnD character out from a simple, dry, not flooding with water ditch in a campaign a DM is running:
Helping him out is good.
Leaving him there to sunburn is neutral.
Throwing rocks at him/killing him is evil.

If other factors are involved, such as a rising water line, things get trickier.
If I can help them out of the ditch without serious risk to myself, I'd go with EE and say that leaving him in there would be an evil act.

If, on the other hand, I'm being pursued, know for certain that a group of bandits/rogues/assassins are out to kill me, or otherwise threatened with immediate bodily harm if I stop to help, leaving him to possibly drown is a neutral action according to the DnD alignment system.

Also, to:

I'm afraid I don't know enough about them...
How about Bruce Lee vs. Squirrel girl?:smalltongue:
Deadpool wins. I don't care what happened!

VanBuren
2008-01-15, 12:35 AM
[email protected] You said that RAW says something, but BoED says your way, but thing is, RAW takes precedence before any and all splatbooks.

Secondly, you still don't seem to get that there's a reason that it's the Book of Exalted Good. It even tells you in the Book, Exalted is a level of Good beyond Good. Same with the BoVD in the other direction.

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 10:06 AM
[email protected] You said that RAW says something, but BoED says your way, but thing is, RAW takes precedence before any and all splatbooks.

Secondly, you still don't seem to get that there's a reason that it's the Book of Exalted Good. It even tells you in the Book, Exalted is a level of Good beyond Good. Same with the BoVD in the other direction.

Dear gods, i've already covered this, BoVD is used for three reasons
1. It confirms many of the vauge statements made in raw
2. It demostrates what is Exalted, what is good, and what is evil
3. it shows the ideal of good, we move down from their



Let me get out my Southernomicon, the Complete Guide to All Things Monstrous South of Mason-Dixon. Let's see, ah, here we go, "Carpetbagger: Always Lawful Evil." Just as I suspected! (In all honesty, one side of my family is from Georgia while the other is from New York, though I was born and raised in the former).

Did you just call me a Carpetbagger. Let me get out my "Guide for excuses to resort to violence, here it is, right next too having my cooking compared to England's and being told that Canada has a better currency than America. Your treading on dangerous ground.
True, Carpetbaggers are always LE, it is true, we can't deny it:smalltongue:
Really, i was born to a half Southern half Northern Family, with native American/Europeon mixed into the lot, so i'm not a carpetbagger, so i'll forgive you. However, Carpetbaggers are always LE


As for the whole "ditch" scenario, there is never going to be a consensus on it (Captain Obvious for the win). It's just a matter of people applying a subjective viewpoint on a supposedly objective and most definitely flawed system. And then you bring in non-Core books, such as BoED (I'm looking at you, EE ).
1. The consensus should be based on a code of morals and the rules of aligment
2. WOTC approves of BoED, rather people like it or not isn't the argument here


As for my own opinion about helping out a DnD character out from a simple, dry, not flooding with water ditch in a campaign a DM is running:
Helping him out is good.
Leaving him there to sunburn is neutral.
Throwing rocks at him/killing him is evil.

Ok, i can live with that, though i think

Also, Pope of Atheism? Isn't that an oxymoron?
from
EE

Malachite
2008-01-15, 10:17 AM
:smallfurious: RICHARD DAWKINS IS NOT THE POPE OF ATHEISM! WE DO NOT ALL THINK AS HE DOES! DO NOT BESMIRCH US BECAUSE OF THE STATEMENTS OF AN INDIVIDUAL, OR I WILL SO BRING FRED PHELPS OR JACK CHICK DOWN IN THIS HOUSE!:smallfurious:


Glad to hear it! :smallbiggrin: I didn't intend it to sound like I thought every atheist thinks like Richard Dawkins, I was just indulging in a mini-rant against him and those like him. Obviously I didn't convey it well enough over the internet.



Now that that's out of the way, the Burmese Way to Socialism actually encouraged religion to make people more "selfless" to the military junta.

Burma may have started out like that, but according to contacts my home church has out there it isn't any more, more's the pity. Anyway, I won't derail the thread by talking through the whole atheist/religious government thing, but suffice to say I sympathise with some of your points and disagree with others. :smallwink:


Thinking more about the original scenario, it seems to me that you've not got much to lose by helping him anyway. If it's a bandit trap you're there already and if they have an ambush prepared they're going to spring it anyway. If it's some kind of monster in disguise, it's probably faster than you or has a higher Con so can keep running longer, so it'll likely catch you up anyway.
The only other scenarios I can think of off-hand are:

1. Time pressure. If 5-10 minutes is vital enough that you can't spare them, then it's probably a neutral action to pass by.

2. He's for real, no other problems. No harm in stopping to help, so continuing on your way is very slightly evil. Not enough to change alignment significantly, but if a paladin continued to show disregard for the welfare of others like this he'd be getting warning signs. They are called to a higher standard of behaviour than others after all.

Anyone else agree with this assessment?

Edit:

excuses to resort to violence... having my cooking compared to England's

Hey! I'll have you know that there are many good English chefs and cooks! Having your cooking compared to my mother's would be a compliment, for example! :smalltongue:

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 10:30 AM
hey! I'll have you know that there are many good English chefs and cooks! Having your cooking compared to my mother's would be a compliment, for example!
I love your tea and biscuits, but frankly, when ever i go to England, i go to the immigrant districts to eat, i can't say for you mother's cooking, but you have to say, your restraunts need work (though they are getting better). Strangely enough, a lot of English are proud of it, commits i heard

"You don't like our food, then you take over India"
"It was food worst than this that go use through WWII"
"Well guess what, we took over half the world, you didn't"
"At least we don't attack people on christmas"
"Were not fat"
"What are you french?"
I was very sad in England:smalleek:
But they do have good tea, and started the opium war because of it


Oh and that is my reason for helping hte man out of the dich:smallredface:
from
EE

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-15, 01:14 PM
Lastly:


Yes. Most definately yes. Anyone can kill other people, but that doesn't give us the right to kill anyone pre-emptively in case they might do so in the future. Innocent until proven guilty last time I heard.

So you think people should let murderers go free as they can no longer hurt their victims?

Foeofthelance
2008-01-15, 01:28 PM
1. Alright, provide me with proof that your life is in danger by taking five min. to lift a dude out of a ditch. Do you see any signs of bandit activity?

Fine. A ditch, by definition, is located below ground level. We are in a farmer's field, just prior to harvest time. As a result, the crops are a good 6-8 feet off the ground, as it's corn field. In order to rescue the man from the ditch, since it is apparently deep enough to prevent him from simply dragging himself out of it. I do not have any rope with me, I'm just out on a Sunday stroll to visit my sick grandmother. I do have my walking stick with me, but it is only four feet long, so I'm going to have to bend over the ditch, actually more likely get down on my stomach to help. I have now:

1) Put myself in a prone position.
2) Offered my only means of self defense to another person.
3) Cut off all of my situational awareness.
4) Left my back completely open.

The man in the ditch yells, "Now!" and I'm suddenly facing five men demanding my money and my life. Ooops!

Naturally, EE, I'm sure you are going to come up with some equally detailed situation in which the following doesn't happen. So can I for that matter. And that's the point. We were given an extremely vague situation, just a man and a ditch. We were asked what our specific thoughts were. From there others, including the both of us, began to add more and more hypotheticals, and with more and more information a specific course can be determined. However, no one is willing to agree what those specific details are. This is the same manner in which the last thread was derailed. Which brings us to...


But (the theory the means justifies the ends) failed in the end (Parenthesis mine)

No, actually it didn't. We'd just managed to come to a consensus on accepting a binary problem set, when you posted a particulalry long winded rant, that managed to accuse me of being a Nazi, infer I was a demon, and possibly claimed I was a communist as well. It pretty much got dropped after that. That was after you'd fled the original thread for one started to give your side the first word. Even then people were agreeing with us that the world wasn't black and white, and that maybe doing a little evil so that others could do much more good was worth it. Even now we see people supporting the ideal, because it works. Granted, it works for both sides, but the key word there is both. Words are words and tools are tools. It is why, how, and what they are used for that gives them their worth and meaning.


Nope, because you do see it as money. you don't hold human lives as an individual, but as a group. You take the group, and, regardless on weather or not they wish it or not, use them in terms of numbers, willingly destroying some for the sake of the larger whole. You can't weight human lives as nickels or dimes, regardless on what you think, their is not such thing as a person with lesser value. All people's lives are valuable, no body has the right to sacrifice them for what he thinks is the greater good

Yes, I do see people as a group. I see them as families, communities, societies, and nations. And you're right, I refuse to put one person on a pedastal above the rest, for who is to say a single individual is greater than the group, which is formed of nothing but individuals gather together? And everyone has the right to do something in the name of the greater good. Granted, the burden of proof is on them, and they should be prepared to face the consequences of their actions. Because if they are wrong, then the group will take action against them. That's simple cause and effect really, and we each have different definitions of what is and isn't a worthy course of action. Personally, though, I hope whether the world is to live or die is never left in your hands, because you seem to value your definition of what is right over my right to live.


2. WOTC approves of BoED, rather people like it or not isn't the argument here Wizards also approves much of the OGL content, that does not make it iron clad rules by which all games are played. There are only three books necessary to playing D&D: The DMG, PHB, and MM I. (And even the last is semi-optional.) Everything else is optional content. If it was intended to be the end all and be all of the rules, they'd have included that information in new editions of the core books. Granted, that would mean we'd be facing version 4.0... oh wait, we are! Want to bet the BoED definition of good doesn't get included?

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 04:18 PM
Fine. A ditch, by definition, is located below ground level. We are in a farmer's field, just prior to harvest time. As a result, the crops are a good 6-8 feet off the ground, as it's corn field. In order to rescue the man from the ditch, since it is apparently deep enough to prevent him from simply dragging himself out of it. I do not have any rope with me, I'm just out on a Sunday stroll to visit my sick grandmother. I do have my walking stick with me, but it is only four feet long, so I'm going to have to bend over the ditch, actually more likely get down on my stomach to help. I have now:

Incorrect on quite a few areas
1. Were on a road, not nessarily a farmer's field.
2. Even if it was a farmer's field, if it is filling up with water i don't think it would be havest time
3. Who says its a corn field?
4. By walking to vist a sick grandmother, you have established a reason why time is an issue, thus negating the orginial question at hand with something irrelevant



1) Put myself in a prone position.
2) Offered my only means of self defense to another person.
3) Cut off all of my situational awareness.
4) Left my back completely open.

You do realize, that even if the ditch is six foot, with the man sits up, and reaches his hand up and you bend over and put your walking stick down there, then you aren't really that exposed compared to maybe, a pit trap


The man in the ditch yells, "Now!" and I'm suddenly facing five men demanding my money and my life. Ooops!

Wait a second, if theire five of them, and one of you with a walking stick, why didn't they attack you in the first place. Its five to one and you have a freaking stick. Even if you ignore the dude in the ditch, they could just rush you. Why even try with the ditch in the first place?



Naturally, EE, I'm sure you are going to come up with some equally detailed situation in which the following doesn't happen.
I'd much rather point out the problems with yours



So can I for that matter. And that's the point. We were given an extremely vague situation, just a man and a ditch. We were asked what our specific thoughts were. From there others, including the both of us, began to add more and more hypotheticals, and with more and more information a specific course can be determined. However, no one is willing to agree what those specific details are. This is the same manner in which the last thread was derailed. Which brings us to...

We already have the infomation needed to drawn a conclusion, extra infomation changes the orginal situation, and thus the action needed. For example,
You turn towards the man in the ditch, when you notice something moderatly large moving around in the woods. It could be a wolf, or a man, but what ever it is it is watching you. Now you realize that if you stick around, you could have a very good chance of being hurt/killed. So now that you have a motive to leave, self peservation. not very good, but certainly not evil.
Another example, you are delivering a package to save your dying grandmother. you can't afford to take time to help him.



(Parenthesis mine)

No, actually it didn't. We'd just managed to come to a consensus on accepting a binary problem set, when you posted a particulalry long winded rant, that managed to accuse me of being a Nazi, infer I was a demon, and possibly claimed I was a communist as well.
Incorrected, i never went along with the binary, and i accused your idea reeking of zelotry, tranny, oppression and social dawnism. Facism is a different also dispicable ideal.





It pretty much got dropped after that. That was after you'd fled the original thread for one started to give your side the first word.
I can barely comphend what your saying, but from what i see i think your accusing me of running away from a thread? What thread, i recall losing sleep to keep up with them


Even then people were agreeing with us that the world wasn't black and white, and that maybe doing a little evil so that others could do much more good was worth it. Even now we see people supporting the ideal, because it works. Granted, it works for both sides, but the key word there is both. Words are words and tools are tools. It is why, how, and what they are used for that gives them their worth and meaning.

your point? People agreed to you, good for you. People agreed with me. Numbers don't matter, it is the points that count


Yes, I do see people as a group. I see them as families, communities, societies, and nations.
That can be destroyed should one guy with a go complex thinks is nessary.


And you're right, I refuse to put one person on a pedastal above the rest, for who is to say a single individual is greater than the group, which is formed of nothing but individuals gather together? And everyone has the right to do something in the name of the greater good.
Or we could judge them all as human beings, as a democratic perspective should


Granted, the burden of proof is on them, and they should be prepared to face the consequences of their actions. Because if they are wrong, then the group will take action against them. That's simple cause and effect really, and we each have different definitions of what is and isn't a worthy course of action. Personally, though, I hope whether the world is to live or die is never left in your hands, because you seem to value your definition of what is right over my right to live.
Survial of the fittests at its best eh? Oh yeah, mob justice,


Wait....


Wizards also approves much of the OGL content, that does not make it iron clad rules by which all games are played. There are only three books necessary to playing D&D: The DMG, PHB, and MM I. (And even the last is semi-optional.)
Even so, the morals stated in those books do not match up with many of the ideals throw out in this thread. BoED acts as a confirmation


Everything else is optional content. If it was intended to be the end all and be all of the rules, they'd have included that information in new editions of the core books.
BoED was made specificlly for define good and evil via WOTC, so very relvant


Granted, that would mean we'd be facing version 4.0... oh wait, we are! Want to bet the BoED definition of good doesn't get included?

4.0 is different from 3.5 and thus has no relevance to this topic. When 4.0 comes out things will be dramaticlly different, but as of now, your point is moot
from
EE

Edit- were getting off topic here, so i'm dropping all the former thread conversations

Yami
2008-01-15, 04:51 PM
Yami: Do you have that little chemical nudge to help others too?

Of course! The thing you have to realize is that helping others is not inherently a good or evil action. When you help someone, they may feel indebted to you, and you incur goodwill. The person or persons helped may be asked for aid, gaining you assistance at later date. It's kinda like banking. Now this is not a given, some people take your assistance for granted but we already know that there are no garuntees. Gold can be stolen, health can waiver, and people can forget your random acts of kindness.

But the principle stays the same. By helping others I am expending a small amount of reasources, often little more than time and energy on my part, in hopes for a greater return, such as assistance in finding a decent bounty hunting gig, or free room and board. Gain thier trust and then use it for your own ends. Everybody does it, you just need to realise it.

In truth I feel for those who do not have the urge to help others. Without that ugre they may overlook the benifits of crafting lasting relationships. That's why you often see psychopaths as loners, they do not understand the need for a friend to give you an alibi, or a safe house to hide in once the law gets asfter them.

And EE, as much as I don't care for arguing with you, what with the whole ignoring arguements thing, there are some things you sould realize.



Quote:
Naturally, EE, I'm sure you are going to come up with some equally detailed situation in which the following doesn't happen.

I'd much rather point out the problems with yours

You are nitpicking. I beleive Malachite said it best,

...but if you're attacking my argument, at least attack the important parts rather than the trivial bits on the side. :smallwink:
And Malachite was right. I got sidetrack with unimportant nitpicking. Of course, that was after what I felt was a sufficeint counter to his main arguement, but that's niether here nor there.

In your last post you sit about nitpicking Lance Foe's details while ignoring the whole premise. You've spent the last what, 5 pages, arguing that a man in a ditch is a horrible trap. He just showed you how awesome of a trap it is.

Combat is all about deception. Two people running at eachother, swords first is an amusing idea, but really stupid concept wise. In combat people feint, they bluff, and before combat they'll do everything they can to get an edge. For bandits, that could mean getting you prone so that you do not threaten squares, take a penalty of 4 to your AC and provoke AoO's when you stand up.

Pretty damn sweet trap if you ask me.

And your whole arguement that there should be no corn field? Why do you think there's a ditch in the road? So you can seperate the road from some farmers field. He probably just picked corn as its a common field, though I admits it's properties for hiding bandits make it ideal as well.

Edit: ah yes, there were a few other points I wanted to champion. such as one of yours Flubadub, I strongly disagree with your ideas about lawful and chaos.


Sure there is a good or evil, but Chaos and Lawful are just 2 different ways to reach an end

To me it seems the otherway around. Good and Evil is a mindset, you don't look out into the world and say "I will make this world a bastion of good/evil" do you? Most character just go through life guided by thier consience to take good or evil actions.

Law and Chaos on the other hand make really good endpoints to aim for. How often do Chaotic characters champion freedom? How often to lawful characters uphold the law and try to maintain the status quo? Lawful and Chaotic characters often just use thier good or evil actions to greater influence the larger ongoing war between chaos and law in this world.

And lastly...

I enjoyed the argument that killing him was good and helping him was evil.
^_^ Huzzah!

I'll be here all week giving sermons at the recently vacated temple of the sun. Remeber when you think about joining the Church of Erythnull, stay away from those silly murder cults that pop up, they're a lesser form of worship and often just lead to trouble.

Lastly remeber that if your not a cleric you don't need to change your actions or your alignment. Just free one poor soul a month and we can promise you that you'll have a happy afterlife, they may even meet you again to thank you. That or they'll be burning in the nine hells, and wont be bothering you any further. Either way it's win win.

Join Erythnull, kill for peace. Kill for justice.

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 05:27 PM
Of course! The thing you have to realize is that helping others is not inherently a good or evil action. When you help someone, they may feel indebted to you, and you incur goodwill. The person or persons helped may be asked for aid, gaining you assistance at later date. It's kinda like banking. Now this is not a given, some people take your assistance for granted but we already know that there are no garuntees. Gold can be stolen, health can waiver, and people can forget your random acts of kindness.

But the principle stays the same. By helping others I am expending a small amount of reasources, often little more than time and energy on my part, in hopes for a greater return, such as assistance in finding a decent bounty hunting gig, or free room and board. Gain thier trust and then use it for your own ends. Everybody does it, you just need to realise it.

In truth I feel for those who do not have the urge to help others. Without that ugre they may overlook the benifits of crafting lasting relationships. That's why you often see psychopaths as loners, they do not understand the need for a friend to give you an alibi, or a safe house to hide in once the law gets asfter them.


By D&D rules, this is evil. If you acknowledge that, have fun with it.


And EE, as much as I don't care for arguing with you, what with the whole ignoring arguements thing, there are some things you sould realize.


You are nitpicking. I beleive Malachite said it best,

And Malachite was right. I got sidetrack with unimportant nitpicking. Of course, that was after what I felt was a sufficeint counter to his main arguement, but that's niether here nor there.

Not really, i'm pointing out some flaws in his situation. If he has to help his old granny, then he has a very good reason to not help the dude with the ditch


In your last post you sit about nitpicking Lance Foe's details while ignoring the whole premise. You've spent the last what, 5 pages, arguing that a man in a ditch is a horrible trap. He just showed you how awesome of a trap it is.

No he didn't, because the bandits in question could just come out and get him from the start, they don't need a ditch trap that gets one of their guys wet for little advantage
Why didn't they open fire from the start?
Why not use a pit trap, it is more effective and about as elaborate.
Hell, they have numbers on their side against a dude with a walking stick. What is he going to do? Is he a monk? Then losing a walking stick wouldn't be a problem. Hell, it is worst for the bandits as one of their guys is stuck in a ditch and needs to climb out.


Combat is all about deception. Two people running at eachother, swords first is an amusing idea, but really stupid concept wise. In combat people feint, they bluff, and before combat they'll do everything they can to get an edge. For bandits, that could mean getting you prone so that you do not threaten squares, take a penalty of 4 to your AC and provoke AoO's when you stand up.
except leaning over into a ditch is hardly prone, and would leave the guy in the ditch exposed


Pretty damn sweet trap if you ask me.

You gain practically nothing, and you lose time, energy, and leave one of your men exposed when you could just open fire from the start and not give him time to get his guard up


And your whole arguement that there should be no corn field? Why do you think there's a ditch in the road? So you can seperate the road from some farmers field. He probably just picked corn as its a common field, though I admits it's properties for hiding bandits make it ideal as well.

Why should their be a corn field, why shouldn't their be a corn field, as long as OP doesn't mention it, i'm going to presume their isn't a corn field
And if seperated two farmer's fields then
1. It would be a pass, not a farm
2. The ditch is filling with water, so it must be irrigation, but considering how far water can travel, it might not be in a farmer's field
3. If it is in a farmer's field, all the more likely their won't be bandits, who would most likely prey in lawless regions



I'll be here all week giving sermons at the recently vacated temple of the sun. Remeber when you think about joining the Church of Erythnull, stay away from those silly murder cults that pop up, they're a lesser form of worship and often just lead to trouble.
I'll be sure to do that

from
EE

Yami
2008-01-15, 07:02 PM
By D&D rules, this is evil. If you acknowledge that, have fun with it.
Awesome! I've just got you to argue that helping people is evil according to RAW, which oddly enough agrees with part of my first post. Now, you might not be in total agreement yet, but now it's just a matter of time.

Hot damn I think I win. v^_^

GoC
2008-01-15, 07:19 PM
Canada has a better currency than America.

Why do people have the urge to call the US "america"?!
There ARE other countries on that continent you know!:smallfurious:

And the US dollar sucks.

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 07:20 PM
Awesome! I've just got you to argue that helping people is evil according to RAW, which oddly enough agrees with part of my first post. Now, you might not be in total agreement yet, but now it's just a matter of time.

No i agreed that your ideals are evil. However, as good does not = right, it is really up to you. Once you say that the ideal you spouting is evil, then it is just up to you to decide if it is right or wrong. Saving a person is good, but not necessarily right, as right is not universal in D&D



Hot damn I think I win. v^_^

Only EE can win against EE, its in teh rules, look it up:smalltongue:
Ok, maybe GoC can drive him to insanity instead but still
from
EE

Worira
2008-01-15, 07:36 PM
You realize the OP said nothing about the ditch filling with water?

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 08:26 PM
You realize the OP said nothing about the ditch filling with water?

Yes he did, read further in
from
EE

Foeofthelance
2008-01-15, 08:26 PM
No he didn't, because the bandits in question could just come out and get him from the start, they don't need a ditch trap that gets one of their guys wet for little advantage

Why didn't they open fire from the start?

Why not use a pit trap, it is more effective and about as elaborate?

Hell, they have numbers on their side against a dude with a walking stick. What is he going to do? Is he a monk? Then losing a walking stick wouldn't be a problem. Hell, it is worst for the bandits as one of their guys is stuck in a ditch and needs to climb out.

Except for the fact that their hidden behind full cover, as bandits simply sitting in the road makes for a poor ambush. Having a lookout who serves both as bait and signal works rather well, if you think about it. What if the traveler was with a heavily armed caravan instead? From their perspective, caution is a good thing as it prevents short trip to the gallows.

A pit trap is hardly more effective than a baited ditch. For one thing, it requires a good amount of effort to create, which increases chances of detection. It is semi-permanent, which means it will be detected by the first group to come along of any decent size. Third, it denys the bandits the ability to not engage. At best, once discovered someone is sent to dispatch them. Either they flee to a new area, or they are caught. A man in the ditch however, if he chooses not to give the signal, is just someone given a helpful hand, can go home to sleep, and is much easier to reset.

Just because you would be caught by the trap does not make it a poor choice of traps. Quite the opposite really... And again, throwing around hypotheticals to counter hypotheticals is a flawed way to argue. The only reason I continue is you seem convinced that if someone has stopped flogging a dead horse, then the horse is still alive to be flogged.




Yes, I do see people as a group. I see them as families, communities, societies, and nations.

That can be destroyed should one guy with a god complex thinks is necessary.

Actually, so far all I've advocated is putting the group ahead of the individual. One person with a god complex should not be allowed to decide the group's fate. Which is what I was arguing in the first place. To whit: when offered the choice of killing an infant to save the world, you advocated not killing it, as that went against the Paladin's creed (the individual) while I advocated killing the child and saving the world (the group).


Or we could judge them all as human beings, as a democratic perspective should

Which is what I was doing. All are equal on the same level, unless proven otherwise. Thus, sacrificing the one for the benefit of the many is the democratic perspective. This is simple logic. 1 is =/= to 1+1+1+1+1. No one wants to die, but when forced to it, losing the least number of individuals is the preferred route.


Survival of the fittest at its best eh? Oh yeah, mob justice,

What? I advocated everyone looking out for the best interest of the group, and that if the group decided they had done wrong then the individual would be punished for it. How is that either survival of the fittest or mob justice? Unless you consider trial by jury, trial by council, or any of the other various forms of non-combat justice various societies have created as simply being mob justice. Nor is that survival of the fittest, which pits individuals against one another for the purpose of breeding the best. Nor is it social darwinism, any more than a society that creates laws can be defined as such.

Dark Tira
2008-01-15, 08:36 PM
Awesome! I've just got you to argue that helping people is evil according to RAW, which oddly enough agrees with part of my first post. Now, you might not be in total agreement yet, but now it's just a matter of time.

Hot damn I think I win. v^_^

I concur with this statement, now let's adjourn for pizza and various alcoholic drinks.

an kobold
2008-01-15, 08:43 PM
Glad to hear it! :smallbiggrin: I didn't intend it to sound like I thought every atheist thinks like Richard Dawkins, I was just indulging in a mini-rant against him and those like him. Obviously I didn't convey it well enough over the internet.


It's no problem, it gave me a chance to indulge in ranting as well:smallbiggrin: . Problem with any belief system is that the extremists tend to get most of the publicity.Anyway, if you want to continue talking politics and religions, just PM me.



Did you just call me a Carpetbagger. Let me get out my "Guide for excuses to resort to violence, here it is, right next too having my cooking compared to England's and being told that Canada has a better currency than America. Your treading on dangerous ground.
True, Carpetbaggers are always LE, it is true, we can't deny it:smalltongue:
Really, i was born to a half Southern half Northern Family, with native American/Europeon mixed into the lot, so i'm not a carpetbagger, so i'll forgive you. However, Carpetbaggers are always LE


I guess we can both agree that if a carpetbagger is lying down in a ditch, the lawful good thing to do would be to help him out then proceed to chase him back to where he came from:smallwink: .

Rutee
2008-01-15, 08:56 PM
The thread as a whole is tl;dr. I got to the end of the first page, though. Anyway. I'm going to say leaving him is neutral, without intention. There's too many non-evil reasons to do so, especially in a world where face and soul-eating demons apparently wander wherever the hell they want.


Edit: To expound, it's like saying not stopping to help someone who's car is broken down is evil. And that makes a certain amount of logical sense, especially when one looks at the consequences, and the most likely case (There is indeed someone in need of help, and you're making a conscious decision that makes their life at least a little harder). If intentions are what matter more to you though (I don't want to be mugged or hurt), then you can easily say leaving the man is neutral. And since that's what matters to me, there you go. Both arguments make sense, so it's hard for me to just say someone else is wrong, though.

Further Edit: A great many evils have been perpetrated by this very thinking, however, so I am somewhat unsure of whether intention can be the only thing. I think of anecdotes, such as one woman who's a famous case study in the concept of "This is someone else's problem". Specifically, the woman was raped.. in the alley of a busy street, where tons of people could hear her scream for help, and could have called the police for help. Then again, the motive there was more "Meh, someone else can fix this", but still, inaction can be quite evil, even without an evil intention..


Only EE can win against EE, its in teh rules, look it up
Specifically, Setra said you were a monstrous little troll who would ignore arguments and nitpick details until everyone else stopped wasting their time speaking to you.

Mind, I only botherred mentioning it because you were consciously referring to your sig and treating it as if someone said you /were/ in fact, good at arguing..

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 09:10 PM
Except for the fact that their hidden behind full cover, as bandits simply sitting in the road makes for a poor ambush. Having a lookout who serves both as bait and signal works rather well, if you think about it. What if the traveler was with a heavily armed caravan instead? From their perspective, caution is a good thing as it prevents short trip to the gallows.


It is called a scout, not that hard, if he sees a caravan (they are pretty good at hiding apparently). Hell who needs the trap? Open fire with arrows at the lone traveler from the start



A pit trap is hardly more effective than a baited ditch. For one thing, it requires a good amount of effort to create, which increases chances of detection. It is semi-permanent, which means it will be detected by the first group to come along of any decent size. Third, it denys the bandits the ability to not engage. At best, once discovered someone is sent to dispatch them. Either they flee to a new area, or they are caught.
1. Scouts, if they see a large caravan coming or an armed band, just leave, nothing is keeping your there
2. But it eliminates the risk of having one of your men in a ditch who can be crushed
3. Fine, a net from above.



A man in the ditch however, if he chooses not to give the signal, is just someone given a helpful hand, can go home to sleep, and is much easier to reset.
And if he sets off the trap, then he is extremely exposed to the dude above him, who can just jump on him and his comrades can't help without hurting him




Just because you would be caught by the trap does not make it a poor choice of traps. Quite the opposite really...
Except i don't get caught, i'm still standing up, i'm still able to move, and i'm still able to fight, kinda ruins the need for a trap. I'm still facing five men, but one is in a ditch, and even without "trap" i'm facing the same general odds



And again, throwing around hypotheticals to counter hypotheticals is a flawed way to argue. The only reason I continue is you seem convinced that if someone has stopped flogging a dead horse, then the horse is still alive to be flogged.
1. But that doesn't eliminate the question, why would the bandits even bother when they could open fire on a single unarmed man
2. I could say the same for you, except i don't need to ignore WOTC material to prove mine



Actually, so far all I've advocated is putting the group ahead of the individual. One person with a god complex should not be allowed to decide the group's fate. Which is what I was arguing in the first place

And yet that is not only insensitive, it is ineffective. Define better for the group? Who decides this? Who gets to be the elite who are saved? Who are sacrificed for your own brutality? You are the one making the choices so that is tyranny. If a group does it, then it falls apart as everyone has a different idea of Greater good. It isn't justice, it isn't democratic, and it certainly isn't good. It is selfish tyranny hiding behind a "Greater Good" ideal that hides its bulling and innately inhuman nature. It promotes vigilantism, mod justice and dictatorships


. To whit: when offered the choice of killing an infant to save the world, you advocated not killing it, as that went against the Paladin's creed (the individual) while I advocated killing the child and saving the world (the group).

1. Their is no such thing as a situation where you have only two choices
2. You are murdering the baby (individual) because you can't think of something else to do (individual).


Which is what I was doing. All are equal on the same level, unless proven otherwise. Thus, sacrificing the one for the benefit of the many is the democratic perspective. This is simple logic. 1 is =/= to 1+1+1+1+1. No one wants to die, but when forced to it, losing the least number of individuals is the preferred route.

That isn't a democratic perspective, as you don't acknowledge all humans having rights and instead relies on computer logic, that human lives don't have any rights or value individually.
I can see it working in a situation where the people who are being sacrificed are willing, such as having one legion hold off the enemies as the rest flee, but the legion knows what they are getting into


What? I advocated everyone looking out for the best interest of the group, and that if the group decided they had done wrong then the individual would be punished for it. How is that either survival of the fittest or mob justice?
1. Survival of the fittest, the weak slow down the group and like a cancer should be cut out. Those who hinder the group should be destroyed. See a problem there?
2. Because a mob will destroy and individuals that it dislikes. The group will destroy the individuals


Unless you consider trial by jury, trial by council, or any of the other various forms of non-combat justice various societies have created as simply being mob justice.
Trial by combat is certainly might makes might most of the time
As for your ideal, why bother with trial by Jury, or trial by council? Wouldn't those interfere with your absolute justice? People will try to hinder your system with their concepts of individual rights and that can allow the guilty to escape your justice because of such things as rights and formalities. Why bother when we already know your right? I mean, you already advocated murder and torture as tools of justice, then isn't a trial and interference?


Nor is that survival of the fittest, which pits individuals against one another for the purpose of breeding the best. Nor is it social darwinism, any more than a society that creates laws can be defined as such.
Survival of the fittest also goes along with nations by the way


on teh subject of D&D

Weather or not your ideals are right or wrong isn't the question, right and wrong are left up the individuals to decided. The argument is if it is good or evil. Even if your labeled evil, what do you care? Good isn't right (though i believe it to be so) evil isn't wrong (though i personally disagree.

As you say, i'm not evil, my morals just don't go along with societies. Well D&D is the society, and your morals don't go along. Doesn't make them wrong, just evil, which isn't the same thing.
from
EE

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 09:19 PM
I guess we can both agree that if a carpetbagger is lying down in a ditch, the lawful good thing to do would be to help him out then proceed to chase him back to where he came from .
Oh of course, that's a no brainer


The thread as a whole is tl;dr. I got to the end of the first page, though. Anyway. I'm going to say leaving him is neutral, without intention. There's too many non-evil reasons to do so, especially in a world where face and soul-eating demons apparently wander wherever the hell they want.

But those haven't come up in the discussion. The person is question has very little to loose other than risk being attack by nigh invisible bandits who would most likely ether kill you anyways as well as being tactical failures


Edit: To expound, it's like saying not stopping to help someone who's car is broken down is evil. And that makes a certain amount of logical sense, especially when one looks at the consequences, and the most likely case (There is indeed someone in need of help, and you're making a conscious decision that makes their life at least a little harder). If intentions are what matter more to you though (I don't want to be mugged or hurt), then you can easily say leaving the man is neutral. And since that's what matters to me, there you go. Both arguments make sense, so it's hard for me to just say someone else is wrong, though.
Except a guy who's car is broken isn't in a life threating situation. A person drowning in a ditch (here is a question, why would bandits get one of their men in water where he is at severe discomfort and minor risk of drowning?). A man being mugged is different, because you are at risk and have a good reason not to help


Specifically, Setra said you were a monstrous little troll who would ignore arguments and nitpick details until everyone else stopped wasting their time speaking to you.
1. Their is a new magical thing called sarcasm, you might have heard about ti
2. Good for setra
3. Because nothing says "your a troll, i'm a responsible, intellegent, open minded person who is willing to look at both sides of the stories" then an ineffective personal attack.
4. If you can't counter a point, then don't resort to cheap little tricks. If not, then counter the damn point if i'm such a troll it shouldn't be so hard. Maturity some please?
5. I've found people who resort to this sort of attack aren't really good at making their argument themselves and tend to resort to personal attacks avoid points to make up for lack of ability.
6. What points haven't i countered? If i don't adress them, then why would people stop arguing. Logically, they would bring those points up more. My problem is that i try to counter every argument.
7. New idea, just because you think its true, doesn't make it so. So you call me a troll. Good for you. Does it make it no? well my points make sense, and i try to counter all points brought up, so no that doesn't really work. If you want to call me a troll to feel happy by all means go ahead but it doesn't change or prove anything and in facts makes your own point look bad

Really people, personal attacks are not only spirit killing, they are simple annoying when not backed up. I, or anyone else can easily resort to calling people a troll, but that just causes bad feeling and ruins the point of the thread. I mean, we should all be mature enough to not have to resort to that. Personally, i really don't hate anyone one on these forums personally. For example i disagree with Footofthelance, Yami, VanBuren (law and order reference?) and other but i don't hate them personally, because i don't know them. So please, be civil


Mind, I only botherred mentioning it because you were consciously referring to your sig and treating it as if someone said you /were/ in fact, good at arguing..
1. I find that sig in fact
2.Oh i'm sorry, i'll spend more time making personal attacks and vanishing when my points are countered then.
3. And yet again, i see no argument countered, just cheap and ineffective personal attacks
from
EE

Ozymandias
2008-01-15, 09:43 PM
1. Their is a new magical thing called sarcasm, you might have heard about ti
2. Good for setra
3. awwww, how cute, a failed personal attack
4. If you can't counter a point, then don't resort to cowardly little tricks. If not, then counter the damn point if i'm such a troll it shouldn't be so hard.

Do you know what a troll is? The best defense is generally ignoring him/her. Continuing to argue just invites taking out of context, misinterpretation, etc.


. I've found people who resort to this sort of attack aren't really good at making their argument themselves and tend to resort to personal attacks avoid points to make up for lack of ability.

Hey, look, a demographic unsupported ad hominem attack, exactly like the one you just deprecated except less justified. Way to go, champ.


6. What points haven't i countered? If i don't adress them, then why would people stop arguing. Logically, they would bring those points up more. My problem is that i try to counter every argument.

You ignored my post, earlier. If my posts are ignored, I don't reiterate them over and over again because then I'd come off as an insufferable pompous windbag.


7. New idea, just because you think its true, doesn't make it so. So you call me a troll. Good for you. Does it make it no? well my points make sense, and i try to counter all points brought up, so no that doesn't really work. If you want to call me a troll to feel happy by all means go ahead but it doesn't change or prove anything

He was just stating his opinion. I agree, for the record.


1. I find that sig in fact

What?


2.Oh i'm sorry, i'll spend more time making personal attacks and vanishing when my points are countered then.

That tactic is exactly as mature as the kind of abrasive sarcasm you just used.


3. And yet again, i see no argument countered, just cheap and ineffective personal attacks
from
EE

You didn't really counter the argument that you've taken Setra's quote out of context. All you did was an elaborate ad hominem attack against Rutee for, ironically, using ad hominem attacks.

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 10:08 PM
Do you know what a troll is? The best defense is generally ignoring him/her. Continuing to argue just invites taking out of context, misinterpretation, etc.

Cute, except trolls don't have valid points and just like to start arguments for the sake of chaos, which isn't the case


Hey, look, a demographic unsupported ad hominem attack, exactly like the one you just deprecated except less justified. Way to go, champ.

Except not. I am not a troll. I can provide a massive list for why i'm not a troll, but that would be going far off topic from an already derailing thread. The very fact that anyone should resort to that is time wasting and immature.




You ignored my post, earlier. If my posts are ignored, I don't reiterate them over and over again because then I'd come off as an insufferable pompous windbag.
1. Which one, bring it up
2. If you feel your point is important and somebody misses it, then bring the damn thing up again, because it must make a difference. I might have missed it in the mass, or you posted just before i did, but regardless.
3. If you don't press your point, expect it to not be missed. If it isn't countered, bring it up again, or if you care to much about your appearance, then drop it. If you want you point to make a difference, then press it so people have to counter it, if not, then leave it.



He was just stating his opinion. I agree, for the record.
1. Um, Rutee is a girl by the way
2. Not a justification for a personal attack
3. I don't care if you agree or not, the fact is i'm not a troll, and while i know this might be revolutionary, i honestly believe what i'm saying. I don't agree with you option. Amazing isn't it?



That tactic is exactly as mature as the kind of abrasive sarcasm you just used.

no because i only was sarcastic against the method, not against Rutee herself (who i have nothing against personally as it is, though this has happened before sadly)



You didn't really counter the argument that you've taken Setra's quote out of context. All you did was an elaborate ad hominem attack against Rutee for, ironically, using ad hominem attacks.
No i responded to an ad hominem expressing my indignation
For the record, i've never claimed Setra's quote was ever really in context, i just find it amusing.

For the recored, generally i honestly do believe what i argue, other wise i wouldn't spend so much time counter posting people. Resorting to personal attacks is time wasting and rude, and derails a thread even further. If you dislike me, fine, ether back it up, or talk about it in a PM, but don't resort to this BS. And a trolls doesn't even makes sense because my points, regardless on weather or not you agree with them, are relevant and aren't made for the sole purpose of causing a conflict. They might be wrong (debatable) but they aren't trollish


On the subject, can we have more details about this situation from the OP, because now were butting our heads against each other. its up to who has the thickest skull
from
EE


from
EE

Foeofthelance
2008-01-15, 10:32 PM
EE, since you seem so fond of twisting words into new meanings, I am going to spell this out as clearly as I possibly can. I never once advocated trial by combat, nor tyranny. Neither benefit the group, but individuals who derive power through them. I do favor a strong republic or democratic form of government, as they generally serve the best interest of the public at large. Quite to the contrary, taking a large group of people and having them come to some consensus of what is and is not the greater good does not automatically fall into anarchy. Rome did it, America has it, the British have it, the French have it, and so on. In fact most of the major world democracies are just that: people agreeing on what they see as the greater good. Sure, they might disagree on particulars, but they can do so without resorting to "vigilantism, mob justice, and dictatorships."

Now personally, I believe you and I share more common ideals than you seem to think. We both admitted that we would help the man in the ditch. We both hold a strong belief in the rights of the individual, and the need to protect and defend those rights. Personally, I believe those rights begin with the words "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and evolve from there.

Where we disagree is what happens when the interest of the individual conflicts with the interests of the group in general. Admittedly, a solution that benefits both sides is the optimal one. I have no more desire to cause the death of another being than you do. Where we disagree is when no such solution exists or can be found. In that case, I advocate the price be paid by the individual rather than the rest of the society. I believe this should be done as mercifully as possible, but that it should be done. Admittedly, there are, as with everything, exceptions to this rule. Racism, for example, is one such exception. While normally a silently agreed upon aspect of society (no one sets up a vote to see if we should all be racists, after all) it is one that truly benefits no one, and efforts to remove it should be undertaken.

Yet you seem to think that pursuing the individual's interests should always be the path taken, even when it recklessly endangers the rights and freedoms of others. This is, to me, both false and dangerous, and does not promote good. Good is what benefits others; demanding others sacrifice their own rights and interests because you do not wish to infringe upon those of a single individual is not Good at all.

And for the record, no I would not care if it was me who was chosen as a sacrifice. I do not hold myself as some sort of special class of being to protected. I would fight tooth and nail to prevent it from ever reaching that point, as I would for anyone, but I would no more ask others to suffer for me than I would inflict that suffering myself. My only request would be that whomever is required to pull the trigger not spend ten minutes angsting over the act. If I have to die for mankind, at least let it be with dignity and honor!

And for the record, my sig is quite accurate. My morals are different from society's, without being evil. I am, and always will be, a rampant and self professed polygamist in the Heinleinian manner. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the world, including my girlfriend, just don't agree with my thinking...

Vexxation
2008-01-15, 10:50 PM
I've read most of this thread, and first of all, the reductio ad absurdum is silly. Er... absurd.

This topic really interested me, because I was curious to see what people had to say about it.

Now, my opinions are as follows:

Leaving him is Neutral. He's no worse off than if you never walked by. Even if the ditch is filling, it's not your fault, you don't know him, he might want to hurt you, it might be a trap, etcetera. It's your choice, you happened to say, "screw him. Not my problem." Fine.

Helping him out is Good/Neutral, depending on your intent. If you ask for a reward, even expect one it's Neutral. You did it in self-interest. If you then demand a reward, I throw on a shift toward Chaos. He didn't offer, you just demanded. Further pressure, with or without a demand, is Evil. You helped him, but you're being a jerk about it.

If you don't help him but say you'll get help, it's somewhat Good. You could do better.

If you beat him, kill him, hasten his demise, torment him, anything like that, that's Evil. But what if you just mess with him, comically poking fun at his situation before helping? I say that's not really Evil, you did help him. I say Neutral.

Bonus points if your Chaotic Evil character tells him he'll go get help and then doesn't. Or creates a detour that would prevent people from finding him.


Another thing: morality does not equate to alignment. I know, it's been said and argued, but I need to stress it again. Your moral code influences and is influenced by your alignment, but they are not the same.

For example: You are a Paladin (normal). You come across the man. You see a defenseless old man, trapped in a ditch, with no hope of escape but your assistance. Finally, you can earn some favor with your patron and help someone at the same time. Yippee! Your alignment tells you that it's Good to help him. It's also the "right thing to do," based on your moral standards.

Again, but you are a Paladin of Slaughter. You come upon the ditch and see a weak, wretched old fool, deserving of fate. Pathetic. How you long to feel the warmth of his torso caressing your sword. But wait, you can have some fun first. You can toy with him, maybe even get some information to help your quest. Your alignment tells you that you need to kill him. Your moral justification is that the weak must die to allow the strong to perpetuate the race. It's the Spartan ideal, to use an overly-commercialized medium.

Now, this time, you are a True Neutral Bard/Rogue multiclass. You see a guy in a ditch. First thought: don't fall in there yourself. Second thought: is he hurt? Third thought: Has he got anything shiny on him? You want to help. Your moral code says it's the right thing... but... you never know. You've had bad experiences before. Maybe you'd get stuck too. And what if you get down there and he's not as weak as he looks. Is he armed? Augh! Too many possibilities. Screw it. Not my problem. Somebody else will help him if he really needs it.. I hope. Better them than me. This time the moral code conflicts with the alignment, as Neutral characters do prefer good over evil, but it's not something you'll risk yourself for. Let him help himself.

It's not Evil to leave him, because bad != Evil. Bad is something you, as a person or character, think is not acceptable to do. It's very perspective-based. Every Evil character who isn't insane thinks that what he's doing is the right thing to be doing, from his viewpoint. Every Neutral character thinks the same. They do what they can to be good people, (not Good-aligned people) but don't go to extremes. Then the Good aligned view good deeds differently from everyone else too. The same goes for Law and Chaos. Breaking a law might seem the good thing for a Chaotic character, even if it requires an Evil action. Likewise, a Paladin of Tyranny can do what he sees as right by upholding an unjust (in the eyes of a Good person) law that purveys Evil action.

Now, another situation. Bonus points (but who's counting) if someone actually takes the time to answer.

You are wrongly accused, tried, and jailed for a crime you, obviously, did not commit. The other prisoners, shortly after your jailing, decide to break out. You know that during the breakout, prisoners who also have been wrongly jailed (at least, that's what they say) will likely be slain by the guards. The guards are in no way connected to the people who convicted you; you have no grudge. The guards can be assumed Lawful Good, I feel. Now, for each alignment, do you:

A) Go through with the breakout as is
B) Refuse to participate in any violence but still slip away
C) Put down the breakout yourself, through both words and force
D) Warn the guards
E) Other (this is where creativity rocks)

Rutee
2008-01-15, 10:57 PM
But those haven't come up in the discussion. The person is question has very little to loose other than risk being attack by nigh invisible bandits who would most likely ether kill you anyways as well as being tactical failures
Given that the DnD world doesn't seem to have statistically probable encounters, only random ones, that nobody else rememberred "This could be a shapeshifted Rakshasa/Demon/Devil/Insert Monster who I can't possibly be botherred to remember here" doesn't make it a less valid argument, if realistically unlikely. The percentage of axe murderers to people in legitimate trouble ont he roadside is heavily tilted towards "Normal people not in trouble" as well, but people still fear being killed/raped if they stop to help someone. I know I do, if hte person looks big enough that I can't effectively hurt them.


1. Their is a new magical thing called sarcasm, you might have heard about ti
2. Good for setra
3. Because nothing says "your a troll, i'm a responsible, intellegent, open minded person who is willing to look at both sides of the stories" then an ineffective personal attack.
4. If you can't counter a point, then don't resort to cheap little tricks. If not, then counter the damn point if i'm such a troll it shouldn't be so hard. Maturity some please?
5. I've found people who resort to this sort of attack aren't really good at making their argument themselves and tend to resort to personal attacks avoid points to make up for lack of ability.
6. What points haven't i countered? If i don't adress them, then why would people stop arguing. Logically, they would bring those points up more. My problem is that i try to counter every argument.
7. New idea, just because you think its true, doesn't make it so. So you call me a troll. Good for you. Does it make it no? well my points make sense, and i try to counter all points brought up, so no that doesn't really work. If you want to call me a troll to feel happy by all means go ahead but it doesn't change or prove anything and in facts makes your own point look bad

Sigh. I will grant that I was hardly unequivocal, because I don't speak in legalese to normal people, but I stated that it was Setra's opinion, specifically because you appearred to be taking his quote rather vastly out of context. So yes, I would agree that these are failed personal attacks, et al, which is perfectly fine by me. I'm not going to paraphrase someone else when I'm out to insult someone. As to 6, as I rather specifically said that the thread as a whole was tl;dr. I don't know. Perhaps you can ask the people whom you've been arguing with, or just not bother. Either is hardly going to make a difference to me.


1. I find that sig in fact
2.Oh i'm sorry, i'll spend more time making personal attacks and vanishing when my points are countered then.
3. And yet again, i see no argument countered, just cheap and ineffective personal attacks
You're correct, no argument was counterred; merely an exceptionally bad attempt at sarcasm, to take you at your word. And as to why I vanish when 'counterred', we've been over this. Each thread where I attempt to speak to you inevitably has a breaking point, where my patience with your posts seeming, to my eye, at least, to completely neglect important points, or twisting non-legalese to a non-common-sense definition, reaches a breaking point, and I just don't want to bother any further.

Perhaps I /am/ in the wrong, and your posts make complete sense, but it genuinely never appears as such to me. Leaving is significantly less time consuming then wasting more of my time speaking non-legalese, or writing in legalese. Especially since I'm going to be doing the latter for a very, very long time in real life. I have no desire to do so on the vast intertubes.

Ozymandias
2008-01-15, 11:01 PM
Cute, except trolls don't have valid points and just like to start arguments for the sake of chaos, which isn't the case

Eh. That's not what I was saying.


Except not. I am not a troll. I can provide a massive list for why i'm not a troll, but that would be going far off topic from an already derailing thread. The very fact that anyone should resort to that is time wasting and immature.

Whether you are or are not a troll, that whole statement "I've found people who resort to this sort of attack aren't really good at making their argument themselves and tend to resort to personal attacks avoid points to make up for lack of ability." is in itself poor and immature.


1. Which one, bring it up
The one where I said that the ends justified the means.


2. If you feel your point is important and somebody misses it, then bring the damn thing up again, because it must make a difference. I might have missed it in the mass, or you posted just before i did, but regardless.
I'm not posting exclusively for your benefit. I'm posting to make my opinion heard. If no one responds to me, I'll assume they've nothing to discuss. To reiterate would basically mean I'd be insecure and require debate for no

3. If you don't press your point, expect it to not be missed. If it isn't countered, bring it up again, or if you care to much about your appearance, then drop it. If you want you point to make a difference, then press it so people have to counter it, if not, then leave it.
I seriously doubt my point will make a difference, regardless of whether or not it's argued over. If people want to talk about it, fine, if not, also fine. I'm not so arrogant as to suppose I'm entitled to a response.



1. Um, Rutee is a girl by the way

My apologies (to her). I meant to type "he or she" but neglected to do the latter.


2. Not a justification for a personal attack

Isn't it? It's the same thing as the sarcasm of which you're so fond; it has no place in a Socratic debate, but that, we're not having.


3. I don't care if you agree or not, the fact is i'm not a troll, and while i know this might be revolutionary, i honestly believe what i'm saying. I don't agree with you option. Amazing isn't it?
Okay. I believe you, actually. I possess various opinions, many of which I'll not voice by virtue of civility.

no because i only was sarcastic against the method, not against Rutee herself (who i have nothing against personally as it is, though this has happened before sadly)
Just because it's not ad hominem doesn't mean it's not immature.



No i responded to an ad hominem expressing my indignation

Which is exactly as (in)valid to a debate, from a purely logical perspective.


For the record, i've never claimed Setra's quote was ever really in context, i just find it amusing.

When a quote is excised from its original context and thus takes on a superficial and invalid meaning, it's known as "taking it out of context" and is generally frowned upon.


For the recored, generally i honestly do believe what i argue, other wise i wouldn't spend so much time counter posting people. Resorting to personal attacks is time wasting and rude, and derails a thread even further. If you dislike me, fine, ether back it up, or talk about it in a PM, but don't resort to this BS. And a trolls doesn't even makes sense because my points, regardless on weather or not you agree with them, are relevant and aren't made for the sole purpose of causing a conflict. They might be wrong (debatable) but they aren't trollish

Yes, I accept that your devotion to your standards are admirable, but the best way to deal with other people's immaturity is patience and refutation - responding with childish sarcasm generally just comes off as petulant, and just prolong pointless debates (like, in point of fact, this one).



On the subject, can we have more details about this situation from the OP, because now were butting our heads against each other. its up to who has the thickest skull
from
EE


In that context, it would be nigh-impossible to beat you. Haha, I'm just kidding. We're all friends, right?

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 11:06 PM
EE, since you seem so fond of twisting words into new meanings, I am going to spell this out as clearly as I possibly can. I never once advocated trial by combat, nor tyranny.

However, the only way i see it a society can work based on that is by resorting to those means, see absolutist France, or McCarthy (most of the cold war for that matter). I'd say more but i'd be getting into real world politics


Neither benefit the group, but individuals who derive power through them. I do favor a strong republic or democratic form of government, as they generally serve the best interest of the public at large. Quite to the contrary, taking a large group of people and having them come to some consensus of what is and is not the greater good does not automatically fall into anarchy. Rome did it, America has it, the British have it, the French have it, and so on. In fact most of the major world democracies are just that: people agreeing on what they see as the greater good. Sure, they might disagree on particulars, but they can do so without resorting to "vigilantism, mob justice, and dictatorships."
At the risk of running into real world politics, Britain, American, and France have a system that protects the individual more than anything else. Much like D&D, the individual certain rights that must be respected. Both of them go against breaking those rules for the greater good, which is fundamentally ruining the point of those rules in the first place. Yet again, i can't name real world examples sadly, but the rules are put their for a reason. In breaking them, one is destroying the fundamental law of good (in D&D).

The biggest issue is that in D&D, Good is a force that is effected by every evil act. Thus committing evil for good is a thin line

But then you have practicality vs. idealism, maybe it is better to be evil for the "greater good" and you have "ends justifies the means"?




Now personally, I believe you and I share more common ideals than you seem to think. We both admitted that we would help the man in the ditch. We both hold a strong belief in the rights of the individual, and the need to protect and defend those rights. Personally, I believe those rights begin with the words "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and evolve from there.

That is true, but that isn't the argument normally. In D&D terms i'm LN, i don't think i'm LG. However going by the rules of good. If i commit an evil act (by D&D terms) for what i think is justice, then by D&D terms i'm not good. I can live with that, i know that D&D good isn't always right


Where we disagree is what happens when the interest of the individual conflicts with the interests of the group in general. Admittedly, a solution that benefits both sides is the optimal one. I have no more desire to cause the death of another being than you do.
I don't think their is only one solution, their are many and you can always find a humain one if you try. It might be really hard however, not denying that, but good suffers the hardest. remember, the easiest government to run is an absolutist dictatorship, but not a just one


Where we disagree is when no such solution exists or can be found. In that case, I advocate the price be paid by the individual rather than the rest of the society. I believe this should be done as mercifully as possible, but that it should be done. Admittedly, there are, as with everything, exceptions to this rule. Racism, for example, is one such exception. While normally a silently agreed upon aspect of society (no one sets up a vote to see if we should all be racists, after all) it is one that truly benefits no one, and efforts to remove it should be undertaken.
I think that society exist to protect the individual's, where you seem to think that individuals protect society


Yet you seem to think that pursuing the individual's interests should always be the path taken, even when it recklessly endangers the rights and freedoms of others. This is, to me, both false and dangerous, and does not promote good.
And yet, for the life of my i cannot see a democratic way of your system working. I really can't. I find any system that requires that is only doomed to fall into corruption, tyranny, dictatorships, and oppression. Like Animal Farm or 1984.


Good is what benefits others; demanding others sacrifice their own rights and interests because you do not wish to infringe upon those of a single individual is not Good at all.

Not by D&D terms. However as i said, D&D good does not equal right, what you think is right is up to you.


And for the record, no I would not care if it was me who was chosen as a sacrifice. I do not hold myself as some sort of special class of being to protected.
Very admirable, but if i was chosen i would wonder "why have i lost my voice? Why have i lost the abilty to stand up my my rights." Dear gods what have i done to deserve this?"



I would fight tooth and nail to prevent it from ever reaching that point, as I would for anyone, but I would no more ask others to suffer for me than I would inflict that suffering myself.
Thats fine, but your a willing sacerfice, that is totally fine. An unwilling however, there we have problems.


My only request would be that whomever is required to pull the trigger not spend ten minutes angsting over the act. If I have to die for mankind, at least let it be with dignity and honor!
Yet again you are choosing to die, you have chosen to give up your rights, others have not.



And for the record, my sig is quite accurate. My morals are different from society's, without being evil. I am, and always will be, a rampant and self professed polygamist in the Heinleinian manner.

Evil in real life is relative, we're both evil by somebody's standards. Personally, i don't think your evil, but i still am opposed to your ideals as i like my rights, and i don't with them to be taken away. However, in the context of a world like D&D where morality is unchanging and static, you ideals are evil, mine are LN. Does that make them somehow lessened than others? No, it doesn't, it just makes them not good, which is a universal force.


Unfortunately, most of the rest of the world, including my girlfriend, just don't agree with my thinking...
Freedom of speech, gotta love it
from
EE

Ponce
2008-01-15, 11:07 PM
A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil—after all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she’s not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way.

Some neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run.

Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion.

Unless you saved the person in spite of reason to believe great risk was involved in doing so, either leaving them there or helping them is usually a Neutral Act. Heck, just the appreciation of the person you save is worth something, so by default you benefit in some small way (about as small as the minuscule effort expended to save them). Upon close examination, many obvious neutral intentions are clear.

"I can't be bothered." "Not my problem." "It might be a trap." "I'm in a hurry." - All acceptable neutral reasons for leaving him there.

But even reasoning such as "I enjoy watching watching him suffer and squirm." constitutes a Neutral Act. Why? Because you are gaining something (presumably you enjoy human suffering) by not helping him. You yourself are likely a(n) (Chaotic) Evil person, but sitting there and watching the person in the ditch because it amuses you is not Evil. You're not harming him.

Something like, "I can't believe this filthy swine thinks he is worth the effort." while likely uttered by someone with (Lawful) Evil tendencies, is not itself an Evil act, but rather a Neutral one.

EvilElitest
2008-01-15, 11:26 PM
Oh and footofthelance, any more talks on you idealogical beliefs would be better in a PM


Eh. That's not what I was saying.

Never mind, bah



Whether you are or are not a troll, that whole statement "I've found people who resort to this sort of attack aren't really good at making their argument themselves and tend to resort to personal attacks avoid points to make up for lack of ability." is in itself poor and immature.

No ironically enough, i wasn't actually being sarcastic their, i've found that to be true.



The one where I said that the ends justified the means.

didn't i go over that with Footofthelance about a dozen times?



I'm not posting exclusively for your benefit. I'm posting to make my opinion heard. If no one responds to me, I'll assume they've nothing to discuss. To reiterate would basically mean I'd be insecure and require debate for no

However if you option is ignored, not addressed, or simple tossed aside, then bring it up. I mean, if no body can counter you option, then it must be true, or at least hard to counter.

I seriously doubt my point will make a difference, regardless of whether or not it's argued over. If people want to talk about it, fine, if not, also fine. I'm not so arrogant as to suppose I'm entitled to a response.
If you won't press your point, then expect it to be ignored. Thinking your option makes a difference isn't arrogance, its thinking it is better simple because you say so that is arrogence




My apologies (to her). I meant to type "he or she" but neglected to do the latter.
Shrug



Isn't it? It's the same thing as the sarcasm of which you're so fond; it has no place in a Socratic debate, but that, we're not having.

as i said, i'm attacking her methods, not her personally. I don't really know Rutee personally, so i don't really have any justification to launch a personal attack. I do find such methods disgusting however
And rutee, the post you responded to was painfully sarcastic launching such an attack is time wasting and unnecessarily



Okay. I believe you, actually. I possess various opinions, many of which I'll not voice by virtue of civility.



Just because it's not ad hominem doesn't mean it's not immature.


except as i said, its an attack on the methods, not the person.


Which is exactly as (in)valid to a debate, from a purely logical perspective.

as is the personal attack


When a quote is excised from its original context and thus takes on a superficial and invalid meaning, it's known as "taking it out of context" and is generally frowned upon.
Except its sarcasm, pretty blatant sarcasm. I've never to date used it as a point in an argument. Rutee used an irrelevant, unnecessary, and insulting personal attack to counter a point that wasn't even being used. If she has a problem with my sig, PM me. It wasn't necessary, and it wasn't relevant, and didn't add anything but the wasting of time and bad feeling. Simple put, bad form



Yes, I accept that your devotion to your standards are admirable, but the best way to deal with other people's immaturity is patience and refutation - responding with childish sarcasm generally just comes off as petulant, and just prolong pointless debates (like, in point of fact, this one).


Regardless, it doesn't change the point itself, nor the hostile and unnecessary action used in the first place.



In that context, it would be nigh-impossible to beat you. Haha, I'm just kidding. We're all friends, right?
Right
from
EE

Ozymandias
2008-01-16, 12:00 AM
I'm aware that you weren't using personal attacks, and that personal attacks are generally bad. Good for you! That doesn't refute my point, which is that statements like "I've found people who resort to this sort of attack aren't really good at making their argument themselves and tend to resort to personal attacks avoid points to make up for lack of ability." are bad as well, because using implication and anecdotes like that comes off as hostile and mean-spirited. Also, sarcasm isn't kashér either; you can't eat your cake (criticize people attacking you) and have it (respond by being sarcastic and generally deprecative) too.



Except its sarcasm, pretty blatant sarcasm. I've never to date used it as a point in an argument. Rutee used an irrelevant, unnecessary, and insulting personal attack to counter a point that wasn't even being used. If she has a problem with my sig, PM me. It wasn't necessary, and it wasn't relevant, and didn't add anything but the wasting of time and bad feeling. Simple put, bad form

Regardless, it doesn't change the point itself, nor the hostile and unnecessary action used in the first place.

Right
from
EE

To be honest, I don't know the context of the original quote, so I'll take your word for it.

VanBuren
2008-01-16, 12:20 AM
Why do people have the urge to call the US "america"?!
There ARE other countries on that continent you know!:smallfurious:

And the US dollar sucks.

Your face sucks. Burrrrrn!

Incidentally, did I manage to clarify my statement better the second time?

Yami
2008-01-16, 03:47 AM
4. If you can't counter a point, then don't resort to cheap little tricks. If not, then counter the damn point if i'm such a troll it shouldn't be so hard. Maturity some please?
Ahhh Irony, how much we love thee ^_^

Seruisly EE, do you come up with this on purpose or does it just happen? I swear I cannot stop laughing.




Perhaps I /am/ in the wrong, and your posts make complete sense, but it genuinely never appears as such to me. Leaving is significantly less time consuming then wasting more of my time speaking non-legalese, or writing in legalese. Especially since I'm going to be doing the latter for a very, very long time in real life. I have no desire to do so on the vast intertubes.
No no, quite right, you are. And good luck with the rest of that as well.

The beauty of it is when someone refuses to actually argue, claiming victory because the otherside has realized they have already won and left with thier trophy. Now some just find this annoying, but if you actually watch such a spectacle you can derive great pleasure by observing how many times the stubborn side counters thier own old arguements.

And EE, just because I know you might take this the wrong way, but it seems we aren't playing the same game. You say you always win, but that's only because your off in your own world playing a game where your pointing at your preconceinved notions saying 'right!' until people get tired and leave. I lose threads often, and sometimes drop by for a spell and then never return. If I leave without responding it's because I have grown bored or already won, as I mentioned earlier in this post. I often post a last message and then never come back. If have lost, you will know so by such words as, 'I have lost,' or 'You are correct, my bad.' Perhaps I may even go as far as saying 'well done, good point.'

On a similar note I would like to thank the estimable Ponce LeRue for thier generous input into this arguement. I cannot agree with you more. Well done. Good point.

Edit, only not;
Now, where was it? bah, too much quoteing on this page, too much hassle. Allow me to paraphrase;

Someone, somewhere recently spoke of tyranny as a poor form of government. I would like to counter that arguement. Just as conceptually, communism is the best form of government, but is ruined in practise by the fact that it involves people, so too is tyranny awesome.

You see, by giving the power to just one person you may keep a tight rein on things like corruption, there is never any red tape to slog through when large scale changes need be made to a consitution or laws, and you never have to worry about the military trying to take civilan control. With one person in control you never have to worry about unnessisary concessions made just to get things done.

The probem with tyranny is that it's greatest strength can also be it's biggest weakness. If the one person in control isn't the right person, the whole thing can fall apart as incompetence and abuse of power take it's toll. Likewise assasination of the head of state often leaves an inivting power vacumm that spurs internal conflicts.

Anarchy is awesome because is never true choas. When a country, or any group really, falls into chaos it devolves into a variety of different forms of governments trying to eeking out an existance, competing with each other, growing, adapting, and incorperating new groups until at last a new form of government arises from the turmoil. Facsinating stuff.

So don't be dissing the tyranny. It has it's ups.

GoC
2008-01-16, 10:15 AM
That isn't a democratic perspective, as you don't acknowledge all humans having rights and instead relies on computer logic, that human lives don't have any rights or value individually.
Democracy isn't the only good form of government you know. Monarchy is pretty good and more efficient.


1. Survival of the fittest, the weak slow down the group and like a cancer should be cut out. Those who hinder the group should be destroyed.
I love that idea!
But only if the weak could cause the death of the majority.

VanBuren: Yep, thanks.

RukiTanuki
2008-01-16, 04:10 PM
Wait... if the ditch is filling up with water... won't he be able to swim out? Even if he can't swim... he'll float, he can bounce off the bottom if necessary, and the wall is right. friggin. there.

:redface:

Anyway...

I'm doing my best to sidestep all the little things in the last few pages that talk about whether this act or that act is justified, since that doesn't really answer the question of whether it is an act of Good alignment. Unless I'm mistaken, a lot is revolving around EE's claims that leaving the man is Evil (I may be misinterpreting it, this has gone on for quite a few days) and others' counters to that judgement call.

I know quite a few people that take BoED as a source for Exalted characters (those more good than Good), and even more that consider both BoED and BoVD a significant modification of the Core rules regarding alignment. However, that's not important to my post. If you disagree with that, completely disregard it (please!) and consider the thoughts below.

The opening of BoED lists several things under the banner of "Good characters MUST do these." Most relevant to the guy-in-the-ditch are Helping Others, Charity, and Personal Sacrifice. Those seem to cover most of the bases of "are there bandits," etc. Under BoED, it seems apparent that Good characters would help, unquestionably. As the Helping Others section repeatedly points out, the character may take their time, ask questions, etc., as appropriate to the time urgency of the situation, but they're invariably going to help. However, "Good characters must help" does not imply "Characters who do not help are Evil", anymore than "Oranges must be round" implies "Fruit that is not round must be a Banana."

In fact, BoED doesn't really have any "this act is evil" rules; Vile Darkness does. The start of BoVD has a section on "Evil Acts." These include:
Lying
Cheating
Theft
Betrayal
Murder
Vengeance
Worshiping Evil Gods and Demons
Animating or Creating Undead
Casting Evils Spells
Damning or Harming Souls
Consorting with Fiends
Using Others for Personal Gain
Greed
Bullying and Cowing Innocents
Bringing Despair
Tempting Others

Of these, Bringing Despair is the only one that comes even remotely close to "leaving a man in a ditch," as the man is certainly not having a good time. Two things prevent me from lumping this act into Bringing Despair, though:

1) The act, in this case, is inaction. The examples in Bringing Despair (crippling foes, telling a captured opponent the plans they'll be unable to prevent, torture, killing their family, etc.) all actively create harm or mental anguish. Leaving a person in a (potentially) dangerous situation just isn't holding a candle to the examples.

2) The first paragraph of Bringing Despair makes it clear that evil characters "...enjoy spreading pain and misery to others..." and do so "...for the sheer joy it provides them." When I picture someone walking past another person in need of help, I see them regretting their choice (but still considering it wisest). To me, this runs completely contrary to the idea of revel.

So, looking at the two books combined, leaving the man is clearly not a Good act (as BoED says Good Must Help), but BoVD hints that Evil's playing in a much more elite league.

Or, to put my opinion more eloquently, leaving the man has all the Evil of Tobey Maguire eating cookies, making fun of people he's talking to on the phone, mussing up his hair, and shooting "finger-guns" at women.

Anyhow, before my rambling gets in the way of my question:

EE: You've said that 'BoED makes it clear' frequently (I paraphrase)... Can you show me which page says that not helping people is not only Not Good, but Evil?

Edit: Forgot a period and it was bugging me. :smallbiggrin:

Rutee
2008-01-16, 05:12 PM
Now, where was it? bah, too much quoteing on this page, too much hassle. Allow me to paraphrase; I would like to counter that arguement. Just as conceptually, communism is the best form of government, but is ruined in practise by the fact that it involves people, so too is tyranny awesome.

You see, by giving the power to just one person you may keep a tight rein on things like corruption, there is never any red tape to slog through when large scale changes need be made to a consitution or laws, and you never have to worry about the military trying to take civilan control. With one person in control you never have to worry about unnessisary concessions made just to get things done.

The probem with tyranny is that it's greatest strength can also be it's biggest weakness. If the one person in control isn't the right person, the whole thing can fall apart as incompetence and abuse of power take it's toll. Likewise assasination of the head of state often leaves an inivting power vacumm that spurs internal conflicts.

Anarchy is awesome because is never true choas. When a country, or any group really, falls into chaos it devolves into a variety of different forms of governments trying to eeking out an existance, competing with each other, growing, adapting, and incorperating new groups until at last a new form of government arises from the turmoil. Facsinating stuff.

So don't be dissing the tyranny. It has it's ups.

So the argument is "You just need to find one awesome person" rather then "A tribe of unspoiled humans"? Sure, I guess that makes about as much sense.


In fact, BoED doesn't really have any "this act is evil" rules; Vile Darkness does. The start of BoVD has a section on "Evil Acts." These include:
<Snip>

Of these, Bringing Despair is the only one that comes even remotely close to "leaving a man in a ditch," as the man is certainly not having a good time. Two things prevent me from lumping this act into Bringing Despair, though:

I find it interesting that the list doesn't include severe negligence, honestly. Perhaps unsurprising, since that's essentially what the debate comes down to.. So are you arguing on the basis of "This isn't evil according to DnD", or is that also your own opinion? Kinda interested in hearing your specific opinion.

EvilElitest
2008-01-16, 10:31 PM
Ahhh Irony, how much we love thee ^_^

Seruisly EE, do you come up with this on purpose or does it just happen? I swear I cannot stop laughing.

your a very bad person



No no, quite right, you are. And good luck with the rest of that as well.

If you can't counter points, then you've already lost


The beauty of it is when someone refuses to actually argue, claiming victory because the otherside has realized they have already won and left with thier trophy. Now some just find this annoying, but if you actually watch such a spectacle you can derive great pleasure by observing how many times the stubborn side counters thier own old arguements.

Accept i am arguing, your the one who is reversing the D&D good evil definetions without any basis.



And EE, just because I know you might take this the wrong way, but it seems we aren't playing the same game.
Were in D&D does it says that your ideals are good?

You say you always win,
in jest damnit



but that's only because your off in your own world playing a game where your pointing at your preconceinved notions saying 'right!' until people get tired and leave.
Here is the deal, i argue based on evidence and logic. If someone provides logical reaons, or evidence to prove me wrong I back off (yes i have done it before, grow up). You haven't provided a logical reason for why leaving him in the ditch is in fact good and helping him is evil, in fact your doint the exact opposet. if people can't manage to produce evedience, counter points, or keep up, then they can't really call in a victory can they?


I lose threads often, and sometimes drop by for a spell and then never return. If I leave without responding it's because I have grown bored or already won, as I mentioned earlier in this post. I often post a last message and then never come back. If have lost, you will know so by such words as, 'I have lost,' or 'You are correct, my bad.' Perhaps I may even go as far as saying 'well done, good point.'

Thats called lozing with good sportsment ship. however not everybody has that

On a similar note I would like to thank the estimable Ponce LeRue for thier generous input into this arguement. I cannot agree with you more. Well done. Good point.

on that note, i'm getting my BoED to doubel check that, and maybe my BoVD, so well see


Edit, only not;
Now, where was it? bah, too much quoteing on this page, too much hassle. Allow me to paraphrase; I would like to counter that arguement. Just as conceptually, communism is the best form of government, but is ruined in practise by the fact that it involves people, so too is tyranny awesome.

So you saying that tryanny is awesome because it is natrual? Interesting


You see, by giving the power to just one person you may keep a tight rein on things like corruption, there is never any red tape to slog through when large scale changes need be made to a consitution or laws, and you never have to worry about the military trying to take civilan control. With one person in control you never have to worry about unnessisary concessions made just to get things done.
If were ignoring D&D algiments here, then you have a point, look at france
Weak monarchy that gave to much freedom to the people becomes
A constitutional monarchy that also gives the people to many freedoms
Then we have a total "democracy" that is in fact a useless council that argues all day
then we have the rein of terror and order is resorted (at the cost of tens of thousands of innocent lives)
then it falls due to revolution, and a weak democatic goverment is basicilly ruled through mob justice
Then Napoleon takes over, brutally enforces his will, and France takes over half of Europe
then he invades russia, everything falls apart
Monarchy restored
Monarchy fails
democracy that isn't useless
???
profit



The probem with tyranny is that it's greatest strength can also be it's biggest weakness. If the one person in control isn't the right person, the whole thing can fall apart as incompetence and abuse of power take it's toll. Likewise assasination of the head of state often leaves an inivting power vacumm that spurs internal conflicts.

Roman Empirors are a good example, on one had we have Julius and Octavion, on the other hand we have Nero


Anarchy is awesome because is never true choas. When a country, or any group really, falls into chaos it devolves into a variety of different forms of governments trying to eeking out an existance, competing with each other, growing, adapting, and incorperating new groups until at last a new form of government arises from the turmoil. Facsinating stuff.

Well if you compare the Dark Ages, the civil wars in Africa, the middle eastern conficts prior to the ottomen empire, the dark ages again, and some of the wars in Eastern Europe when the Societ empire collapted it is normally an extremly bloody and horrible period followed by a tryanny



So don't be dissing the tyranny. It has it's ups.
In D&D its evil. In real life it can be effective but has problems as well (see stalin)


I find it interesting that the list doesn't include severe negligence, honestly. Perhaps unsurprising, since that's essentially what the debate comes down to.. So are you arguing on the basis of "This isn't evil according to DnD", or is that also your own opinion? Kinda interested in hearing your specific opinion.
I'm under the impression that this is D&D rules
Question about neglect, if ignoring the dude in the ditch is netural, than would a father who neglects his kid be netural as well? or a lord who neglects his servents?


Wait... if the ditch is filling up with water... won't he be able to swim out? Even if he can't swim... he'll float, he can bounce off the bottom if necessary, and the wall is right. friggin. there.

I think his leg is broken, and that he won't be able to swim to the top before drowing. If the guy is just stuck in teh ditch (not injuiry or anything) and you leave him than that is neutral, it is just the life or death situation i'm worried about


Also, getting my BoED and BoVD from friends tommorow, will check on this
from
EE

from
EE

VanBuren
2008-01-16, 10:36 PM
Er... why would he have to swim to the top? Broken leg or not he'll float as long as his density remains the same and that's pretty hard to change.

I mean, "a wizard did it" might not only not be a cop-out in that situation, but it may be the only likely one!

EvilElitest
2008-01-16, 10:41 PM
Er... why would he have to swim to the top? Broken leg or not he'll float as long as his density remains the same and that's pretty hard to change.

I mean, "a wizard did it" might not only not be a cop-out in that situation, but it may be the only likely one!

Would he be able to keep his head above water with a busted water


hey by the by, how much water is this here? Will he just get soaked or is he at risk of drowning?
from
EE

BRC
2008-01-16, 10:46 PM
This thread has taught me to carry a copy of the BoED around so that if I ever fall into a ditch I can open it up. Hopefully EE will be attracted by the scent and help me out, because apparently everybody else would assume I'm the stuck-in-a-ditch bandit and ignore me.

EvilElitest
2008-01-16, 11:05 PM
This thread has taught me to carry a copy of the BoED around so that if I ever fall into a ditch I can open it up. Hopefully EE will be attracted by the scent and help me out, because apparently everybody else would assume I'm the stuck-in-a-ditch bandit and ignore me.

Heh, don't worry if i ever see you lying in a ditch i'll help you out....your not a carpet bagger are you?

from
EE

Tequila Sunrise
2008-01-17, 12:42 AM
This thread has taught me to carry a copy of the BoED around so that if I ever fall into a ditch I can open it up. Hopefully EE will be attracted by the scent and help me out, because apparently everybody else would assume I'm the stuck-in-a-ditch bandit and ignore me.

Actually, anyone who has posted from this thread would most likely help you despite what they say. We humans are pack animals deep down, and have a surprising capacity to help others especially when limited personal risk in involved. Ironically, if all the people on this thread found you stuck in a ditch at the same time, nobody would be likely to help you. Again, pack instinct: "if I'm in a group, someone else can do it."

Dark Tira
2008-01-17, 01:04 AM
Also, getting my BoED and BoVD from friends tommorow, will check on this
from
EE


I'm curious, can you support any of your arguments without BoED or BoVD? I mean you keep saying how alignment is according to D&D rules but you never using any of the core materials to support your arguments. BoED is all well and good but it is superceded ruleswise by the Player's Handbook.

BlackMage2549
2008-01-17, 01:15 AM
So, at the very least, does everyone agree that this is subject to their own intrepretation, and that we've proven each other incapable of rationalizing their views in a light acceptable to all?

In DnD? I'd leave the guy in the ditch, and carry on with my "INSERT ANY ALIGNMENT HERE" ways, easily able to sleep at night and carry on my happy relationship with whatever God/gods I worship.

In real life? I'd probably help the guy out of the ditch, after standing on the side and asking him several questions as to the cause of his predicament.



Am I right? Am I wrong? Does it matter? More importantly, do you think you can convince me otherwise? We've got seven pages, now, of people trying to tell other people how to read a twelve sentence blurb in the PHB. It just doesn't work, love. It's okay if you see me as evil, it's okay if you see me as holy. I'll still be lurking.

PS : Has anyone ever read the Hackmaster Player's Handbook? It has a class called the Knight Errant, which is simply amazing. The class has a code of conduct much akin to a Knight's, but with a 'teflon shield'.

"Why did you attack the unarmed old man who was waving us down from the middle of the street, Johannes?"
"Because he was very obviously a spellcaster, attempting to send us to the Abyss."

Good Stuff.

EvilElitest
2008-01-17, 11:21 PM
I'm curious, can you support any of your arguments without BoED or BoVD? I mean you keep saying how alignment is according to D&D rules but you never using any of the core materials to support your arguments. BoED is all well and good but it is superceded ruleswise by the Player's Handbook.

I can yes, in fact i did in similer (but less neutral aimed) threads, it just takes a lot morework and certainly a lot more nit picking than i'd like to resort too.


Due to the server problems (in my area at least) and mid terms tommorow, i will not be able to use the books today. Most likely after my tests or the next day


Also black mage, i've heard of the hack master, it is quite funny. When it gets down to personal morals, i'd personally help him, but the innate good or evilness of the action isn't for me to decied

from
EE

Rutee
2008-01-17, 11:25 PM
Why all the semi-hostility to posters, from all involved? I don't think anyone has said "We won't get the guy out". I'm pretty sure anyone who said "Insert reason X is a good reason to not pull them out" is merely stating that it /is/ a reason. Not that they wouldn't do it. Most confusing.

Yami
2008-01-18, 06:17 AM
Some people have a hard time roleplaying a worldview outside thier own, others can but prefer not to. Some people want thier characters to act as they think they would. Add to that the fact that it isn't uncommon to assume that others think along the same lines as ourselves, and you get people who think that becuase that's what we post, that's how we work.

I myself enjoy a good strech of persona, donning hat after zany hat, but to each thier own.

VanBuren
2008-01-18, 10:26 AM
Yeah, I'd probably help the guy.

Well, apparently not. Because I'm arguing about a neutral action, and since I think leaving him is a neutral action, clearly that's what I would do in real life.

I mean, obviously.

hamishspence
2008-01-20, 01:54 PM
Why, oh why do people keep insisting that Players Handbook overrules Vile Darkness and Exalted Deeds? The Alignment guide in 3.5 Players Handbook is less than a page, and identical to 3rd ed Players Handbook.

the 3rd ed book Vile Darkness, and the 3.5 ed book Exalted Deeds, were written to expand the concepts of Good and Evil, providing you with lots of details, as well as offering options for the strongly Good and the strongly Evil.

WOTC Living Greyhawk site says Vile Darkness is "the authoritive guide to Evil alignment" So, even in setting which exclude the playing material, the "fluff" is considered authoritive.

In addition, both have been expanded on all through 3.5. Exalted Deeds got extra content in some Faerun books, Vile Darkness in multiple supplements. They are not stand alone books like Magic of Incarnum, they have continued to be used.

Exalted says that While a hero is entitled to be cautious, suspicious, etc, he has an obligation to help those that need help. "He may never say "Sorry, I'm out of my league, go finds another hero.""
It also says Even great generousity is neutral at best when it entails no real risk or cost to the giver.

So, helping someone would not automatically be a Good act. It might be described as a Neutral act, showing a character's Good tendencies. If the person was forced to spend valuable time and money in fixing the injury of the needy person, that would count as more strongly Good.

so, in this context, a Good (exalted) character would be required to help to keep his Exaltedness. A neutral character might be OK with demanding that the rescued character "owe him one" without becoming Evil.

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-20, 01:57 PM
Why, oh why do people keep insisting that Players Handbook overrules Vile Darkness and Exalted Deeds? The Alignment guide in 3.5 Players Handbook is less than a page, and identical to 3rd ed Players Handbook.
.

PHB trumps the others.

Exalted deeds is talking about exalted characters.

Dark Tira
2008-01-20, 02:13 PM
PHB trumps the others.

Exalted deeds is talking about exalted characters.

This. Also newer 3.5 non-core books override older books so the blurbs in the alignment section of Complete Scoundrel also trump BoED and BoVD. I think the Scoundrel alignment section also makes it quite clear that Neutral characters have a "me first" mentality and although will not purposely try to hurt others feel no compulsion to help others either.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 02:21 PM
PHB trumps the others.

Exalted deeds is talking about exalted characters.

Not quite, BoED is suppose to be expand upon the vauge standards set in in the PHB. All paladin are suppose to be exalted, and exalted is the ideal of goodness.

Now i found my BoED, but not my BoVD which is most likely more useful

Good acts include


"Helping Others" "Altuism, respect for life, and making sacrifices for the sake of others"
are all good deeds. The BoED states that helping people is good, while being selfish, hurting others, or cruelty are evil

Leaving a man to die is hurting another (he dies) selfish (their is no direct reason not to) and is cruel (you not even bothered to take 5 min out of your time for him). It is important to note that a neutral character might not really care, and can commit an evil deed if he feels paranoid without changing his alignment. However, the action is evil, if the person is not. However, should the neutral person see a threat, is in a hurry, or has a direct reason not to help the man, then it is simple a CN action
from
EE

hamishspence
2008-01-20, 02:35 PM
Exalted Deeds was written After Players Handbook. Vile Darkness feats have been used right up to present day (Elder Evils)

And once again, PH has very little detail. It says one of the characteristics of evil is mercilessness and has merciless paladin. odd.

complete Scoundrel again provides little on acts themselves. It gives alignments, but each is very short.

Fiendish Codex II provides insight into Evil and Law, post-dating Complete Scoundrel. Its list of Corrupt and Obesient acts should be looked at if you want an idea of what is considered Evil, or strongly Lawful.

As a general rule, extra information should be used. Do not assume that new books replace old ones- they complement them. Complete Scoundrel has one useful point: Lawful characters can use "scoundrelly" tactics. You can be sneaky or deceptive without being Chaotic.

Vile Darkness makes intent and context relevant, without requiring them to totally control what an act is defined as. Accidentally getting someone killed is not murder, for example. It also says in the case of a man poisoning a water supply "Standing by while mass murder is committed is far more evil than preventing the poisoning"
So "standing by" can be evil if you know exacltly what evil act is going to be committed.

Scoundrel includes LN character (James Bond) who works for his country. In that sense, he is not "Me first"

Players Handbook stresses that Neutral Evil is often "Me first" to a dangerous extreme. Most neutral characters are not totally self centred.

Exalted Does say that "What can you pay" is an option for neutral as well as evil characters. so you could be mercenary without being malevolent.

Dark Tira
2008-01-20, 02:44 PM
Not quite, BoED is suppose to be expand upon the vauge standards set in in the PHB. All paladin are suppose to be exalted, and exalted is the ideal of goodness.
Now i found my BoED, but not my BoVD which is most likely more useful
EE

Which even if we were to use the exalted standard as the standard for all good is still irrelevant to the discussion since we are foremost concerned with the neutral actions and alignment and the same goes for Vile Darkness. Evil is an active thing in D&D, Neutral is largely passive. A paladin may lose his good alignment for continually passing up people in need but he will never be forced into an evil alignment for doing so. Though it would be an interesting twist in the D&D cosmology to force people to do good deeds to maintain a neutral alignment, suddenly all the commoners would have to help each other or all of them would be slaughtered by wandering adventurers.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 02:54 PM
Which even if we were to use the exalted standard as the standard for all good is still irrelevant to the discussion since we are foremost concerned with the neutral actions and alignment and the same goes for Vile Darkness. Evil is an active thing in D&D, Neutral is largely passive. A paladin may lose his good alignment for continually passing up people in need but he will never be forced into an evil alignment for doing so. Though it would be an interesting twist in the D&D cosmology to force people to do good deeds to maintain a neutral alignment, suddenly all the commoners would have to help each other or all of them would be slaughtered by wandering adventurers.

I already said in my last post, the commoner wouldn't turn evil, he would still be committing an evil action. A LG fighter might pass by the guy and still commit an evil action. The action is evil, doesn't make the person from doing it once. However if a neutral dude did this on a regular basis, then we have a problem
oh, hamishspence, nicely said, good to have you around


from
EE

hamishspence
2008-01-20, 02:58 PM
Exalted is a high standard, but so is Vile

"sacrificing others to save yourself is an evil act. Sacrificing yourself to save others is a good act, its a hard standard, but thats the way it is"
:Vile Darkness.

Now neutrality is a wider zone. Fiendish codex II explicitly states "You must commit evil acts to go to Hell, thinking bad thoughts is not enough" Most people are not totally Neutral in everything. In 2nd Ed the example list of behaviours for each alignment said Neutral people always act for balance, helping Evil when they are weaker, helping Good when they are weaker.

This kind of sucked. 3rd ed made Neutrals the kind of people who help their friends, but maybe not strangers. People who like Goodness, but do not make the kind of commitment needed to count as Good.

4th ed previews brought in Unaligned, stressing that it needed major behaviour to count as one side or the other. This made Good and Evil rarer: most acts would be Neutral in this.


So, in 3rd/3.5 ed, helping someone when it costs you little or nothing, would be Neutral. Helping someone at your own risk or major expense, would be Good. Ignoring someone in a lethal situation is mildly evil. Hurting or robbing them would be more strongly Evil.

This makes reasonable sense. There is a strong tradition that neglect is culpable. Expecially if it guarantees the death of the person you are ignoring.

Dark Tira
2008-01-20, 03:04 PM
I already said in my last post, the commoner wouldn't turn evil, he would still be committing an evil action. A LG fighter might pass by the guy and still commit an evil action. The action is evil, doesn't make the person from doing it once. However if a neutral dude did this on a regular basis, then we have a problem
oh, hamishspence, nicely said, good to have you around


from
EE

Actually I was talking about all commoners repeatedly acting in the same way. In D&D commoners are lazy folk who always rely on random adventurers to solve problems. This seems to me very similar to the ditch scenario except on a larger and more chronic scale. The commoners passively do nothing until someone "good" comes along and fixes it. In most situations this would make the commoners neutral, however in my hypothetical situation using your views it would make the most of the commoners evil for ignoring other people and their problems. Thus when a group of adventurers arrive they find a town full of evil people who they are then free to kill and loot like adventurers are prone to do. The only surviving townspeople are people who actually have problems for the adventurers to fix since they weren't ignoring their own problems.

hamishspence
2008-01-20, 03:18 PM
While these aren't in D&D, they make great reasons for behaviour both Good and Evil.

Leaving someone to die would be Sloth. You are being too lazy to help.

Now Neutral people wouldn't endanger themselves for strangers, you can imagine them reaching out to try and haul person out of lethally wet pit, but not diving in themselves when person slips out of reach, unless they KNOW the can get themselves safely out.

Many acts are not on the list of evil acts that are also Corrupt acts (defined in FCII as acts that WILL drop Lawful characters in Hell if numerous enough.

Stealing is "Wrong" in Vile Darkness, "Stealing from the Needy" is Corrupt in FCII.

As a general rule, a person who does a mix of minor evil deeds, and good ones, should be Neutral. But a person who does multiple serious Corrupt deeds should be evil, or destined for evil afterlife, even if deeds had good reasons. Murder is evil, killing in self defense is generally not, in D&D. However using modern definition, self defense is still murder if you were caught committing a felony. A thief caught robbing a warehouse who cuts his way out through armed guards would, by this definition, be a murderer.

Demanding a favor to be owed for rescuing the guy would not strictly be evil. that sounds more like the Neutral thing to do "I'll help you out, but you owe me one" The heroine Kerowyn in Mercedes Lackeys books once demands a reward for rescing a captured Herald (paladin-like heroes of Valdemar without the excessively strict code) both were in hostile terrain, she found him, and insisted he get reward money from his government for her when he got to safety, before she rescued him.

Kelemvor in Avatar trilogy (Forgotten realms) is cursed to transform into a monster if he ever commits an act without a reward promised, or if reward is promised then he finds out it is impossible to get it. Mercenary heroes can be Neutral rather than evil.

If risk was obvious, neutral characters could fairly say "I might slip and drown too" but simply ignoring someone in danger of death sounds pretty nasty.

hamishspence
2008-01-20, 03:21 PM
the seven deadly sins, while these aren't in D&D, they make great reasons for behaviour both Good and Evil.

Leaving someone to die would be Sloth. You are being too lazy to help.

on the other hand, you can imagine someone doing heroic deeds while driven by most of them: envy- wants the gold heroes earn, pride- fears looking lesser than anyone else, wrath- hates some evil monsters, etc.

Now Neutral people wouldn't endanger themselves for strangers, you can imagine them reaching out to try and haul person out of lethally wet pit, but not diving in themselves when person slips out of reach, unless they KNOW the can get themselves safely out.

Many acts are not on the list of evil acts that are also Corrupt acts (defined in FCII as acts that WILL drop Lawful characters in Hell if numerous enough.

Stealing is "Wrong" in Vile Darkness, "Stealing from the Needy" is Corrupt in FCII.

As a general rule, a person who does a mix of minor evil deeds, and good ones, should be Neutral. But a person who does multiple serious Corrupt deeds should be evil, or destined for evil afterlife, even if deeds had good reasons. Murder is evil, killing in self defense is generally not, in D&D. However using modern definition, self defense is still murder if you were caught committing a felony. A thief caught robbing a warehouse who cuts his way out through armed guards would, by this definition, be a murderer.

Demanding a favor to be owed for rescuing the guy would not strictly be evil. that sounds more like the Neutral thing to do "I'll help you out, but you owe me one" The heroine Kerowyn in Mercedes Lackeys books once demands a reward for rescing a captured Herald (paladin-like heroes of Valdemar without the excessively strict code) both were in hostile terrain, she found him, and insisted he get reward money from his government for her when he got to safety, before she rescued him.

Kelemvor in Avatar trilogy (Forgotten realms) is cursed to transform into a monster if he ever commits an act without a reward promised, or if reward is promised then he finds out it is impossible to get it. Mercenary heroes can be Neutral rather than evil.

If risk was obvious, neutral characters could fairly say "I might slip and drown too" but simply ignoring someone in danger of death sounds pretty nasty.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 03:31 PM
nicely put, i feel supported. And you have the same picture as me, dude you awsome:smallcool:
from
EEE

Yami
2008-01-20, 05:27 PM
Stealing is "Wrong" in Vile Darkness, "Stealing from the Needy" is Corrupt in FCII.

As a general rule, a person who does a mix of minor evil deeds, and good ones, should be Neutral. But a person who does multiple serious Corrupt deeds should be evil, or destined for evil afterlife, even if deeds had good reasons. Murder is evil, killing in self defense is generally not, in D&D. However using modern definition, self defense is still murder if you were caught committing a felony. A thief caught robbing a warehouse who cuts his way out through armed guards would, by this definition, be a murderer.


No offense, but you are bringing law and chaos into an arguement about good and evil. We should seperate these two, as it seems the alignments are complicated enough on thier own.

Stealing for instance, is a purely chaotic act, and has nothing to do with this arguement. Useing the BoED as a referance only hurts your arguements, you do realize this right?

I would also suggest not using modern definitions in an arguement about the D&D world. Remeber, the setting is usually a post roman empire european wilderness. Civilization stay within the walls of towns and raiding another clan when they show weakness is considered the norm. Strangers are often hired to just kill anyone whose being a nuisance.

Foeofthelance
2008-01-20, 06:34 PM
Stealing for instance, is a purely chaotic act, and has nothing to do with this arguement.

Out of curiosity, is that really how it works? If not one thing, then is must be the other? I can understand how stealing is a non-lawful act. It is, quite simply, the taking of a good or goods which has not been earned through agreed upon labor or exchange. Does this make it chaotic though? I would think that stealing is the equivalent of the word killing. "Killing" is not inherently evil. Murder, as defined as the unjustified taking of a life, is evil. Protecting, defined as killing a hostile being in the defense of yourself or others, is good. So "Stealing" is the neutral definition. "Larceny", as defined as the taking of another's belongings for personal enrichment is evil. "Theft", the taking of another's belongings without just compensation, in the interest of survival, either or your own or others, could be considered good.

Perhaps a litmus test of sorts? I'm thinking something along the lines of "If a wild creature would do X, then X is neutral". Admittedly, I can think of a few flaws right off the top of my head (dominance fights, territorial fights, the acts of more intelligent creatures such as dolphins, whales, and chimpanzees) but it gives us an interesting place to start. Start with a few simple definitions, and expand from there. Anyone interested?

Malachite
2008-01-20, 06:51 PM
Argh, things are getting personal in here!

Got to say, EE, the way you argue is quite abrasive. You're arguing on the same side and some of the things you say irritate me! :smallbiggrin:

That said, I think you're making some valid points, in that it's probably a slightly evil act to pass him by unless you have reason to suspect a trap, but one minorly evil act does not an Evil person make. Generally you'd probably be performing acts of minor good too, and therefore you'd remain neutral.

Would anyone disagree that someone who went through their whole life refusing to help anyone else out if it didn't benefit them directly would be suitable for a minorly evil alignment? I'm not talking demon of the pit here, I'm talking the unpleasant guy who expresses predjudices, who no one in the village likes and around whom the paladin would feel marginally uneasy.

From the SRD:

Lawful Evil, “Dominator”: A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is loath to break laws or promises. This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains.

or perhaps

Neutral Evil, “Malefactor”: A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has.


Just pre-emptively, I don't think the passages about killing imply that you can't be evil unless you commit murder. At the other end of the spectrum, I think I'm solidly in the lawful good camp, but I don't always speak out against injustice however much I feel I should, and I certainly don't have the "discipline to fight relentlessly. I think the descriptions of the alignments tend to show the extremes of the alignments.

hamishspence
2008-01-21, 02:52 PM
In 3.5, yes, a life of mild evil acts, that wouldn't be "corrupt" might have a net result of Evil.

The reference to Law is because the Corrupt rules are used for characters on the Lawful side of the spectrum, its a Devil guide. It also provides acts for chaotic to slide to the side of Law. So, by FCII, a demon worshipper who is loyal, obedient, and supportive of superiors, even those he personally dislikes, would find himself with a danger of going to Hell instead of the Abyss,and having to redeem himself for all the Lawful acts he has done, in the same way as a Lawful character who has done multiple evil acts needs to redeem himself to avoid Hell.

Ignoring this, stealing is in the Vile Darkness book under evil acts, but only a specific kind of stealing (from the needy) is listed as Corrupt. Lying is even more borderline. Vile Darkness says it isn't ALWAYS evil, but is so risky that many good creeds forbid it. I might roll Cheating and Stealing into that list, making them permissible in a VERY good cause, NOT for selfish reasons. Like Qui-Gon Jinn in Episode 1: he used the Force to cheat, to ensure dice roll would oblige Watto to free Anakin if he won race.

Exalted stresses that just cos world may be grimmer, more corrupt, more prejudiced, doesn't affect the obligations. Evil deeds as defined by Vile Darkness are still evil.
3.5 ed is an expansion of 3rd ed: many books are still valid, and as a general rule, fluff is still valid unless contradicted by subsequent books. And 3.5 ed Players handbook alignment section was identical to 3rd ed.

Now 4th ed WILL change things. Good and Evil are now concentrated toward either end of the spectrum, they are commitments, so you have to be more like Exalted, not just nice, polite, and helpful to people you meet.

in 4th ed, you could have a paranoid, self centred, non-evil guy. as long as he never did anything strongly Evil, he'd be OK.

also, there is a theme of Evil Powers can be used by heroes,it talks of adventuring cleric of Bane, stressing he is a soldiers deity, not just an Evil Deity. Races and classes says you can have heroic characters who might be "Evil-curious" summoning a pit fiend to destroy an evil castle, for example, but to aid good people. this suggests that the slightly older rule, of enough Evil acts automatically condemning the soul, is being phased out, allowing unaligned heroes whose heroic deeds make up for their Dark powers.

Yami
2008-01-21, 06:32 PM
Now 4th ed WILL change things. Good and Evil are now concentrated toward either end of the spectrum, they are commitments, so you have to be more like Exalted, not just nice, polite, and helpful to people you meet.

in 4th ed, you could have a paranoid, self centred, non-evil guy. as long as he never did anything strongly Evil, he'd be OK.

Oddly enough I've seen such charcters in 3rd ed and 3.5. Even the older versions. It's already a valid concept, we don't need to change the rules to make it work.



Out of curiosity, is that really how it works? If not one thing, then is must be the other? I can understand how stealing is a non-lawful act. It is, quite simply, the taking of a good or goods which has not been earned through agreed upon labor or exchange. Does this make it chaotic though? I would think that stealing is the equivalent of the word killing. "Killing" is not inherently evil. Murder, as defined as the unjustified taking of a life, is evil. Protecting, defined as killing a hostile being in the defense of yourself or others, is good. So "Stealing" is the neutral definition. "Larceny", as defined as the taking of another's belongings for personal enrichment is evil. "Theft", the taking of another's belongings without just compensation, in the interest of survival, either or your own or others, could be considered good.

Again you bring reason and logic into this debate, I do not think I can counter such an arguement. Perhaps it is the reasoning behind the act, or the circumstances surrounding it that taints a rather neutral action, such as theft.



Perhaps a litmus test of sorts? I'm thinking something along the lines of "If a wild creature would do X, then X is neutral". Admittedly, I can think of a few flaws right off the top of my head (dominance fights, territorial fights, the acts of more intelligent creatures such as dolphins, whales, and chimpanzees) but it gives us an interesting place to start. Start with a few simple definitions, and expand from there. Anyone interested?
I would.

I think theft would be an easy one to work with, as animals have been known as theives for some time. Crowsa and magpies tend to gather shiny things, raccons are notorious for breaking into and taking food from someone's property, garage or trash and let us not forget the poor fox, often hounded for sneaking into a chicken coop at night. Bears stealing from campgrounds.... I could go on.

Neon Knight
2008-01-21, 10:10 PM
The Book of ED is being touted as evidence? Isn't this the book that says that killing an Evil outsider is always a good act? So what is the Blood War, Redemption Central for anyone who kills enough? Maybe that Succubus Paladin isn't so rare after all. :smallwink:

Are the Books of ED and VD Core? LAst time I checked, no. Therefore, is it not prudent to assume that not every game might have this source, and thus might not use its morals, standards, and rules, and thus using it as a measuring stick is not warranted unless it is specified that these sources are being used?

What good is a statement if only a small portion of the audience it is said to has the proper reference material to understand and use it?

hamishspence
2008-01-22, 03:15 PM
Core is an overused word. If a product is WOTC, has the D&D logo on it, has monsters or feats that are reused or expanded on frequently, in many supplements, and is cited on the Living Greyhawk section of WOTC (notorious for excluding even core things they think too powerful) as an authority, fluffwise, it does not really have to be one of the main 3. WOTC has stated that the 4th ed supplements will be just as much core as the Big Three books when 4th ed comes out. All this suggests that excluding anything not in the Big three as "not Core" is very arbitary.

Killing fiends is a good act: this is in both books, but in the context, it is aimed at heroes. In any case, it doesn't apply to non-evil Fiends. Common sense ruling, since otherwise the succubus paladin would be in trouble.

the 2 books are very useful in providing general rules, and they contain a lot more info on alignment than the Players Handbook. They detail good and evil acts, putting them in context.

some NPCs in various published adventures are evil primarily because they are unpleasant, rather than being truly Dark evil. 4th ed will, it looks like, make both sides behave more strongly to receive the definitions, more like Exalted and Vile, than as they are right now. A generous, kindly innkeeper, or a brutal tavern thug, will be unaligned rather than Good or Evil. Races and classes hints that some of the monsters may also be made Unaligned, when before they might have been "Usually Evil"

On the topic itself, my view was, using 3.5 ed rules, neutral characters have a resonable level of selfishness. The act might not slip a neutral chacter all the way to Evil. Exalted characters, and paladins, however, would Fall, since Exalted Deeds stresses Good characters do not simply reject calls for help. They might still be Good, but not strongly so any more, and would lose paladin powers or exalted feats until atonement is made.

Neon Knight
2008-01-22, 07:58 PM
Core is an overused word. If a product is WOTC, has the D&D logo on it, has monsters or feats that are reused or expanded on frequently, in many supplements, and is cited on the Living Greyhawk section of WOTC (notorious for excluding even core things they think too powerful) as an authority, fluffwise, it does not really have to be one of the main 3. WOTC has stated that the 4th ed supplements will be just as much core as the Big Three books when 4th ed comes out. All this suggests that excluding anything not in the Big three as "not Core" is very arbitary.


The Core books are perhaps the most referenced of all, throughout every single DnD 3.5 publication printed. I am willing to bet every single DnD book refers, in some way, to the Core. And Living Greyhawk can take a hike for all I, and your average Joe playing DnD in his basement with his friends and investing no further in the hobby, care.

And no, the Core distinction is anything but arbitrary. The Big Three are Core. All others are not Core. That seems quite logical and consistent to me. Besides, we are discussing 3.5, not 4th Ed. What is true for 4th Ed is not true for 3.5.



Killing fiends is a good act: this is in both books, but in the context, it is aimed at heroes. In any case, it doesn't apply to non-evil Fiends. Common sense ruling


Hold it! Stop right there!

Common sense ruling? As in, houserule? Typically, in online DnD discussions, you assume the RAW is true, because, like Core, RAW applies to everyone. Therefore, while acceptable as a houserule, per RAW, killing an evil outsider is a good act. Period. No ifs, ands, buts, ors, or any other kind of exception.

So thank you for suggesting a nice houserule. It does not alter the state of things per RAW.

EvilElitest
2008-01-22, 08:10 PM
The Book of ED is being touted as evidence? Isn't this the book that says that killing an Evil outsider is always a good act? So what is the Blood War, Redemption Central for anyone who kills enough? Maybe that Succubus Paladin isn't so rare after all. :smallwink:

Um, Evil outsiders are always evil by the by. As for the paladin, i think she was sanctified


Got to say, EE, the way you argue is quite abrasive. You're arguing on the same side and some of the things you say irritate me!
How so?
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EE

Worira
2008-01-22, 08:13 PM
Out of curiosity, is that really how it works? If not one thing, then is must be the other? I can understand how stealing is a non-lawful act. It is, quite simply, the taking of a good or goods which has not been earned through agreed upon labor or exchange. Does this make it chaotic though? I would think that stealing is the equivalent of the word killing. "Killing" is not inherently evil. Murder, as defined as the unjustified taking of a life, is evil. Protecting, defined as killing a hostile being in the defense of yourself or others, is good. So "Stealing" is the neutral definition. "Larceny", as defined as the taking of another's belongings for personal enrichment is evil. "Theft", the taking of another's belongings without just compensation, in the interest of survival, either or your own or others, could be considered good.

I find your definitions strange and arbitrary. Theft, stealing, and larceny are synonyms.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 08:14 PM
Um, Evil outsiders are always evil by the by. As for the paladin, i think she was sanctified.
It wouldn't matter. Exceptions exist to rules. Unless, speaking hypothetically, you were to make a Good Demon, and wanted be told as a player that no amount of help, save a Sanctify, will make killing you a non-Good act. "Always Evil" is literally defined as 99.9%, last I checked. Given that we're referring to a Plane of Existence, that .1% could translate to a very high number, compared to say, the number of say, peasants in existence on continent X, even if it's a small population compared to the overall number of demons :P

EvilElitest
2008-01-22, 08:18 PM
It wouldn't matter. Exceptions exist to rules. Unless, speaking hypothetically, you were to make a Good Demon, and wanted be told as a player that no amount of help, save a Sanctify, will make killing you a non-Good act. "Always Evil" is literally defined as 99.9%, last I checked. Given that we're referring to a Plane of Existence, that .1% could translate to a very high number, compared to say, the number of say, peasants in existence on continent X, even if it's a small population compared to the overall number of demons :P

That might work, but Friendish Codex 1, Demons are universally evil. Hell, they ARE evil, that is what makes up their very being. Their existence is tied to Chaos and Evil. If we go by BoED, all demons/devils are evil, not exceptions and they offer sanctify as well
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EE

Dark Tira
2008-01-22, 08:19 PM
Um, Evil outsiders are always evil by the by. As for the paladin, i think she was sanctified


She isn't sanctified, she still has the evil subtype, see. (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fc/20050824a) "Always" in the alignment section isn't actually always, it's "generally always for this species of monster but there are exceptions." However, until the Paladin Succubus was brought in I think it was generally assumed that subtypes defined alignment.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 08:21 PM
Like I said. Always is 99.9%.

I'm a bit surprised you're arguing this way; Absolutes kill Roleplay possibilities, and you seemed to be big on that.

EvilElitest
2008-01-22, 08:46 PM
She isn't sanctified, she still has the evil subtype, see. "Always" in the alignment section isn't actually always, it's "generally always for this species of monster but there are exceptions." However, until the Paladin Succubus was brought in I think it was generally assumed that subtypes defined alignment.

Correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't she come out before BoED or the Sanctified template? Are their any other "good demons"


Like I said. Always is 99.9%.

I'm a bit surprised you're arguing this way; Absolutes kill Roleplay possibilities, and you seemed to be big on that.

It is surprising, except my view on demons and devils is that they are the embodiment of certain human elements, being made up of human souls. They literally 'can't' be good, though that might just be my world
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EE

Dark Tira
2008-01-22, 08:49 PM
Correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't she come out before BoED or the Sanctified template? Are their any other "good demons"

EE

You're wrong. The date indicate she was made nearly 2 years after BoED was published.

EvilElitest
2008-01-22, 09:05 PM
You're wrong. The date indicate she was made nearly 2 years after BoED was published.

And how many years before Fiendish codex 1?
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EE

Neon Knight
2008-01-22, 09:35 PM
And how many years before Fiendish codex 1?
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EE

Roughly 10 months prior to the publication of Fiendish Codex I. Do note that this Succubus paladin was the winner of the DnD Creature Competition and was, I believe, featured in a DnD Module available from the WotC website. Hardly low key.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 09:39 PM
A subtype usually applied only to outsiders native to the evil-aligned Outer Planes. Evil outsiders are also called fiends. Most creatures that have this subtype also have evil alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the evil subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields were evil-aligned (see Damage Reduction, above).


Demons are a race of creatures native to chaotic evil-aligned planes. They are ferocity personified and will attack any creature just for the sheer fun of it—even other demons.
Demon Traits

Most demons possess the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

* Immunity to electricity and poison.
* Resistance to acid 10, cold 10, and fire 10.
* Summon (Sp): Many demons share the ability to summon others of their kind (the success chance and type of demon summoned are noted in each monster description). Demons are often reluctant to use this power until in obvious peril or extreme circumstances.
* Telepathy.

The SRD, to say the least, does not specifically say that a Demon Absolutely always is CE, and the Evil Subtype does nothing to enforce it. You are free to say that, by Core RAW, a non-Evil Demon is possible

EvilElitest
2008-01-22, 09:40 PM
Roughly 10 months prior to the publication of Fiendish Codex I. Do note that this Succubus paladin was the winner of the DnD Creature Competition and was, I believe, featured in a DnD Module available from the WotC website. Hardly low key.

And yet wasn't mentioned to, referred to, and directly denied in Fiendish codext 1? Strange
Oh and Rutee? Cool new avatar, i think i've seen that before

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EE

Dark Tira
2008-01-22, 09:44 PM
And yet wasn't mentioned to, referred to, and directly denied in Fiendish codext 1? Strange
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EE


Directly denied? Can you tell me the page where Succubus Paladins are specifically mentioned to not exist?

EvilElitest
2008-01-22, 09:46 PM
Directly denied? Can you tell me the page where Succubus Paladins are specifically mentioned to not exist?

No, but i think i can give you a page where it says that ALL demons are evil
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EE

Rutee
2008-01-22, 09:48 PM
No, but i think i can give you a page where it says that ALL demons are evil
from
EE

This page, if it exists, 'should' change the RAW, but bear in mind that the book is easy enough to ignore by any DnD player.

EvilElitest
2008-01-22, 09:49 PM
This page, if it exists, 'should' change the RAW, but bear in mind that the book is easy enough to ignore by any DnD player.

That is a matter of the players personal game.
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EE

Foeofthelance
2008-01-22, 10:42 PM
I find your definitions strange and arbitrary. Theft, stealing, and larceny are synonyms.

Again, also I problem I need to work on. Simply put, the English language doesn't often lend itself to neutrality. We, as individuals and as a society, like to add connotations and extra meanings to otherwise plain syllables. I notice it was the language you questioned, not the examples (and the point was better made in the seperation of types of killing anyway).

So then how do we do this? How do we seperate Neutrality as its own domain, without making it a necessary balance between good and evil acts. Surely self interest does not always have to mean selfish? I believe this would clear up a majority of the disagreements. Before we can determine that the world is not black and white, but is in fact shades of gray, we must first define gray. Excuse me a moment while I go and ponder.

hamishspence
2008-01-23, 03:40 PM
both Vile Darkness and Exalted Deeds have that paragraph. However, the existence of a succubus paladin might counter it. Sometimes two rules run head on into each other, like in 40K: a "You always strike first" ability meets a "Opponent always strikes last" ability: recommendation for those was rolling a dice, 50/50 each way. Not ideal for this situation.

By the way, Sanctify the Wicked doesn't actually work on fiends, the Sanctified creature template in Exalted deeds has a paragraph that says "Any evil creature, with the exception of outsiders with the evil subtype" But it ALSO states baatezu and tan'aari and yugoloths lose these subtypes when the template is applied to them.
I think that part of the book was not so well thought out.

There is a tradition of risen fiends, incredibly rare, but they do feature. In the Malcanthet article in Dragon magazine, it speaks of the neutral succubus "Fall From Grace" who lives in Sigil.
The succubus paladin rules are for a miniature, and they are not in any of the hardbacks, a possible reason to disallow her.
The Redemption by Diplomacy rules in Exalted deeds again state fiends are immune.

there IS a way to remove the Evil subtype, it is a ritual in the hardback book Savage Species, which has details on how to add and remove subtypes.
The Wee Jas article in Dragon also speaks of a Succubus with the Lawful type: she and the deity agreed to change her type so she could serve the deity.

Given that there are powerful planar cities where demons and devils are able to interact in a non-hostile manner with celestials (Sigil, Union) a good general rule is that laws against disturbance of the peace trump the rule that killing Fiends is a good act.

Some adventures also require that you interact with fiends rather than killing them all the time (Expedition to the Demonweb pits) It makes most sense to keep the text as written, but remove the phrase "allowing a fiend to exist is an evil act" in Vile Darkness, since there are many cases where trying to obey this rule would be unfeasible.