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    Default Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    I'm a little dumbfounded sometimes by things people consider to be "not intrinsincally evil."

    This came up in game when it turned out I was the only person in the room who thought torture was obviously an evil act, in D&D terms. Allowing for someone to squeak by with neutrality in supremely exceptional circumstances.

    There's a lot of others, "Why is necromancy evil?" "Why is being an Assassin evil?" Recently asked on this board. Those subjects already have threads devoted to them, so try not to derail this too much, but question I'm asking is this:

    What actions, in the context of D&D, do you think are absolutely, undeniably, evil? I mean, seriously, if torture, raising up unholy abominations, and killing for money aren't enough, what will it take for you to admit beyond the shadow of a doubt that the line has been crossed?
    If RPG's have taught me anything, it's that all social and economic problems of the world can be solved through murder.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Necromancy is evil in DND, because you bring negative energy to the world, killing it a bit. In most other settings, necromancy is a tool, neither good nor evil, and even in DND you can use it for good greater than the evil of creating undead.

    Killing people for money without caring who they are is evil. Torture is evil.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    @^: Then why don't all the Inflict Wound spells, which use negative energy, get marked with [Evil]? (Side note: I can see a strong argument that causing negative energy to persist on the Material Plane for a long time is inherently evil, what with spells that do it like Animate Dead and Desecrate being evil, but just using negative energy as an attack does not appear to be evil).

    Let's see... giving comfort and aid to evil outsiders (with a possible exception for when it's for a greater good, like to avoid breaking your cover or to keep the Blood War going), harming good outsiders (with the same caveat as above), doing anything for no reason but to please an evil being, praying to an evil deity, killing unarmed infants of a species that is not inherently evil and not capable of killing you from birth, and selling bikinis to Illithids.

    EDIT: Also, anything that you can't really make jokes about. Rape, genocide, beating up and robbing disabled war veterans, etc.
    Last edited by SurlySeraph; 2010-08-17 at 04:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeavelli View Post
    What actions, in the context of D&D, do you think are absolutely, undeniably, evil? I mean, seriously, if torture, raising up unholy abominations, and killing for money aren't enough, what will it take for you to admit beyond the shadow of a doubt that the line has been crossed?
    When I'm playing a class with an evil alignment restriction. That's when I vehemently start arguing why saving orphaned puppies should not put my self image or class features at risk.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Using any spell with [Evil] indicator. If goddamn metaphysics of magic agree it's nasty, it's nasty. You might not drop from LG to CE with one use, but the celestial choir isn't exactly gonna sing praise to you.

    Mingling with creatures that are [Evil], such as the whole infernal lot. It's a bad idea, period.

    Murder, that is, killing someone just because of pettiness or desire for pleasure or profit. If you don't need to end its life to continue yours, you have no right to.

    Otherwise harming living beings for pettines, or desire for pleasure or profit. Yes, that includes beating your wife and stealing candies from children! Get back here!

    Of course, under my view of Alignment, a single evil act rarely burdens a character with lots of good deeds under his belt (unless you're a paladin, but that's different story entirely). So if you brutally slaughter that local jerk who really, really had it coming after working your ass off to save the whole town a couple of times, you'll ping Lawful Good just fine next time someone shoots you with a Detect spell. Just don't expect there to be no consequences.
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Also, anything that you can't really make jokes about. Rape, genocide, beating up and robbing disabled war veterans, etc.
    I'll be honest, all of those are joke-worthy material. There isn't a subject you can't make funny if your a skilled comedian.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)



    I agree with Project Mayhem, unfortunately.
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Oooooo...eVil. (That's right. eVil with a capital V.)

    Assassination is not in and of itself evil. I once ran a campaign with a LN government sponsored "Assassins' Guild" that worked specifically for the government, and only for the government. "Standard" assassins' guilds, however, are evil. They will take contracts from anybody to kill anybody. This is evil.

    Necromancy is also not inherently evil. There are some non-aligned Necromancy spells. Animating undead creatures, summoning undead creatures, and creating undead creatures (except for the original 1e/2e version of the archlich, and the baelnnorn) is evil.

    Torture is borderline evil. Torturing an enemy to get information about a planned attack, or something of that nature is borderline. Torturing for the sake of torturing, or getting pleasure from torturing is evil.

    Giving aid/succor to evil-aligned creatures is not evil. I am a paladin of a good deity, I give aid to evil creatures to show that not everyone is out to get them. Giving aid to evil outsiders could be evil, depending. If the evil outsider was already proven to be genuinely trying to change its ways, aiding it in doing so is not evil. Most of the time, aiding evil outsiders is evil, even in the service of the greater good. The enemy of my enemy is not always my friend.

    Let's see - Rape? Definitely evil. Genocide? Probably evil, unless I'm wiping out evil outsiders.

    Keep in mind, that these are my opinions, and I have no intention to toss grenades in the punchbowl.
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post


    I agree with Project Mayhem, unfortunately.
    That's rarely a good thing

    Caveat: Of course I would advocate doing any of those things. Doesn't stop them being potentially funny. Black humour is popular for a reason

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeavelli View Post
    I'm a little dumbfounded sometimes by things people consider to be "not intrinsincally evil."

    This came up in game when it turned out I was the only person in the room who thought torture was obviously an evil act, in D&D terms. Allowing for someone to squeak by with neutrality in supremely exceptional circumstances.

    There's a lot of others, "Why is necromancy evil?" "Why is being an Assassin evil?" Recently asked on this board. Those subjects already have threads devoted to them, so try not to derail this too much, but question I'm asking is this:

    What actions, in the context of D&D, do you think are absolutely, undeniably, evil? I mean, seriously, if torture, raising up unholy abominations, and killing for money aren't enough, what will it take for you to admit beyond the shadow of a doubt that the line has been crossed?
    DnD takes place in a medieval-ish world. In those times the complicated methods we use to fight crime weren't available so torture was in many cases the only means by which one could make a witness who refuses to testify speak. Even though I agree that torture certainly isn't a good act, it's not thoroughly evil if you see it in the medieval context, so it should be in the neutral area IMHO. Torture just for the sake of seeing a man suffer however is pure evil.

    EDIT: Ninja'd (sort of)
    Last edited by Kaeso; 2010-08-17 at 04:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Let's see... giving comfort and aid to evil outsiders (with a possible exception for when it's for a greater good, like to avoid breaking your cover or to keep the Blood War going), harming good outsiders (with the same caveat as above), doing anything for no reason but to please an evil being, praying to an evil deity, killing unarmed infants of a species that is not inherently evil and not capable of killing you from birth, and selling bikinis to Illithids.
    Sorry, but I don't define what is Good and Evil based on the alignment of the person being affected. If giving comfort and aid to Good creatures isn't Evil, it won't become Evil just because you are comforting and aiding Evil creatures. Similarly, if harming a Good outsider is Evil, so is harming an Evil (or Neutral) one. Praying or trying to please someone aren't Evil in and of themselves, unless you are doing something specifically Evil as a part of meeting those goals. Killing unarmed infants of any intelligent race is Evil because they are generally completely at your mercy.

    Although I will make an exception for selling bikinis to Illithids. That IS truly a vile act!
    Last edited by KillianHawkeye; 2010-08-17 at 04:49 PM.
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Although I will make an exception for selling bikinis to Illithids. That IS truly a vile act!
    What's this? Rule 34 has failed? Google got nothing? How am I supposed to be funny without a picture of a mind flayer in a bikini???
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Torture is always evil period. Sometimes you can justify it and say that it shouldn't cause an alignment shift; say if the information you are getting will save lives, there are no magical methods to extract the information, and you are unable to get them to give you the info through intimidation or diplomacy, but it would still be evil. In fact in most cases I'd say that killing them and casting speak with dead is preferable to torture, assuming they are the same sort of enemy that you've killed dozens of moments before.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    I'd agree with the acts defined by the original post as evil. Using tortue in a world full of magic seems a poor choice as well as evil.

    I'd also make a suggestion that any non-representative form of goverment is intrisically evil. Absolute monarchies, dictatorships etc, because they rely on force to compel loyalty.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Subotei View Post
    I'd also make a suggestion that any non-representative form of goverment is intrisically evil. Absolute monarchies, dictatorships etc, because they rely on force to compel loyalty.
    Representative governments use force on people all the time. They impose a bunch of rules on you, and then forcefully arrest you and detain you and take your things if you refuse to follow them (such as by not paying taxes). Government by definition uses force, unless it's a completely voluntary system of free participation (an anarchic commune, and anarchy is the opposite of government).

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aroka View Post
    Representative governments use force on people all the time. They impose a bunch of rules on you, and then forcefully arrest you and detain you and take your things if you refuse to follow them (such as by not paying taxes). Government by definition uses force, unless it's a completely voluntary system of free participation (an anarchic commune, and anarchy is the opposite of government).
    I disagree - the rules are agreed with your participation, and you have a chance to change the government, thus changing the rules, if you disagree with them. Its government for the collective good verses someones whim - very different from a King who found a fancy sword and now thinks he can lord it over everyone.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Subotei View Post
    Very different from a King who found a fancy sword and now thinks he can lord it over everyone.
    I hate how much Monty Python has villainized this. The king of which you speak was dedicated to bring unity, justice and peace to the people, not indulging his own whims.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Sorry, but I don't define what is Good and Evil based on the alignment of the person being affected. If giving comfort and aid to Good creatures isn't Evil, it won't become Evil just because you are comforting and aiding Evil creatures. Similarly, if harming a Good outsider is Evil, so is harming an Evil (or Neutral) one.
    Not good and evil creatures. Good and evil outsiders. A good man and an evil man are still flesh-and-blood people, with changeable minds. Outsiders are literally magical blobs of concepts. A succubus isn't a person, it's an attractively-shaped blob of evil and chaos. Which can be converted to good by Sanctify the Wicked or true love (like that succubus paladin on the WotC website) or a similarly strong plot device, but is still a living blob of evil.

    As for bikinillithids, there was one posted in the Belkar's Romantic Interest thread from way back. And reposted in the somewhat more recent OOTS House of Horrors thread.
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    That's a bit basic but true. Violence is part of any goverments. It goes with the territory.

    Now with the real question : is violence good or bad ?

    I believe most playgrounders are lucky enough to be part of one of these representative government, and most will feel that self defense is a-okay.

    Then I'll go ahead and ask to define self defense. Where does it begin, where does it end ? There's no definitive list last time I checked, criteria may differ here and then (religion, anyone ?)

    And it's only one species, think about D&D !

    There's no universal truth, that's all. Deal with it, and make your own, common sense help, but we've already made up our own criteria a long time ago based on our education/life. Go with you flow

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Not good and evil creatures. Good and evil outsiders. A good man and an evil man are still flesh-and-blood people, with changeable minds. Outsiders are literally magical blobs of concepts. A succubus isn't a person, it's an attractively-shaped blob of evil and chaos. Which can be converted to good by Sanctify the Wicked or true love (like that succubus paladin on the WotC website) or a similarly strong plot device, but is still a living blob of evil.
    Outsiders are itelligent creatures. That pretty much makes them people to me.
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeavelli View Post
    What actions, in the context of D&D, do you think are absolutely, undeniably, evil? I mean, seriously, if torture, raising up unholy abominations, and killing for money aren't enough, what will it take for you to admit beyond the shadow of a doubt that the line has been crossed?
    Raising up unholy abominations is Evil by definition - in 3.5 anyhow. In TSR D&D some forms of Animate Dead were acceptable, but most of the real nasty stuff was unquestionably Evil because it either showed a disrespect for life (perverting the natural order) or for fairly obvious reasons.

    But what does it take to be Evil? Let's consult the SRD:
    Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.

    * * *

    "Evil" implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.
    At its core, killing Innocents is an Evil act - it's literally what Evil creatures do. Most of the other "evil" acts people talk about are, at worst, Not-Good; Good people don't torture, for example, because it shows a disrespect for life and the dignity of sentient creatures. However, Neutrals could very well torture non-innocents for cause (as opposed to for fun or profit), and even innocents if the cause was very great.

    Remember: Acts do not have Alignment; characters do. Acts are, at best, an indication of the true Alignment of a given character by revealing what actions are compatible with their underlying belief system.
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Subotei View Post
    I'd also make a suggestion that any non-representative form of goverment is intrisically evil. Absolute monarchies, dictatorships etc, because they rely on force to compel loyalty.
    I also have to disagree with this. I would suggest that any government that prevents people from leaving is evil. After all a monarchy can be good for its people and as long as it's just operating under a, my house my rules system, you can leave during the bad kings.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Screw respect for life and dignity. Good people don't torture because it's inflicting excruciating pain on someone for little or no reason, and inflicting pain unnecessarily is bad. If someone had a red-hot poker up my nose I'd be a lot more upset by my inability to breath and the hideous burning, oh god the burning, than by the affront to my dignity.

    Also, I find it hard to understand why acts can't have alignment when casting certain spells is specifically designated as evil.

    @V: I'd add genocide to that list, though in DnD it's more plausible as sometimes good, what with the profusion of races that actually *are* inherently evil.
    Last edited by SurlySeraph; 2010-08-17 at 06:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeavelli View Post
    I'm a little dumbfounded sometimes by things people consider to be "not intrinsincally evil."

    This came up in game when it turned out I was the only person in the room who thought torture was obviously an evil act, in D&D terms. Allowing for someone to squeak by with neutrality in supremely exceptional circumstances.

    There's a lot of others, "Why is necromancy evil?" "Why is being an Assassin evil?" Recently asked on this board. Those subjects already have threads devoted to them, so try not to derail this too much, but question I'm asking is this:

    What actions, in the context of D&D, do you think are absolutely, undeniably, evil? I mean, seriously, if torture, raising up unholy abominations, and killing for money aren't enough, what will it take for you to admit beyond the shadow of a doubt that the line has been crossed?
    Much like in real life, I don't believe any act can sensibly be referred to as evil without a greater context. So far as I know, rape is the only thing I can think of that will never have utility without bizarre and impossible contrivances and possibly some kind of alien invasion. So I guess I'll say rape is always and unequivocably evil.
    Me: I'd get the paladin to help, but we might end up with a kid that believes in fairy tales.
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    Me: Yeah, a knight in shining armour might just bring her over the edge.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    What's this? Rule 34 has failed? Google got nothing? How am I supposed to be funny without a picture of a mind flayer in a bikini???
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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    slightly off topic i had one demon argue he wasn't evil because he had no free will. Because he did not have the capacity to change his nature like a mortal he wasn't really evil he just was.

    in regard to interacting with evil outsiders not all evill outsiders are defined by their evil take effrite for example.

    I would have to disagree with the comment made near the begining that necromancy outside of dnd is normally portrayed as a tool but not inherently evil the vast majority of the media i have seen shows that raising the dead to do your biding is evil.

    I personal tend to feel mind control is pretty bad for example forcing a man to kill his allies is worse then killing them your self because your are in affect tourtering both the person you kill who had to decide if he was willing to cut down his friend in order to save himself and the mind controled person if he ever becomes aware enough to realize what he has done.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Project_Mayhem View Post
    I'll be honest, all of those are joke-worthy material. There isn't a subject you can't make funny if your a skilled comedian.
    Depends on what you mean by joke-worthy. Also depends on what you mean by funny. If you mean "jokes are capable of being made about them" and "some human beings will find humor in it", respectively, then I suppose that I cannot argue. If, however, you mean, "A sane, non-evil human being can enjoy and find humor in them if a joke is adequately made," then I disagree. Vehemently. As in, I think individuals who find any rape joke amusing should be locked up, at a minimum. Such subjects are not amusing to any sane, non-evil human being.

    And now, before I degenerate into flaming people who disagree with this self-evident statement, I think I will leave this thread and never return. It sickens me to see how many evil people there are, even in a forum like this.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Questions of what is good and evil will always be an infinite loop of uh huh vs nuh uh. What is right and what is wrong is based solely upon point of view. Society, religion, or even pure personal value creates each individuals moral compass. And that personals moral compass will be the sole dictator of what is good and evil. Most people here, including myself, will agree certain things...rape genocide etc are evil. But everyone here comes from the same world. With the same basic set of laws and values that is passed down through friends, family, media etc. In terms of D&D I would say what is good and evil would depend purely on the DM and what he/she believes. I have seen some people say assassins are purely evil. But what if they assassinate the Hitler's of the world. Are they any more evil than a random soldier on the battlefield sent out to secure the head of some movement the world has decided to quench. I would argue that is not evil, others would say it is. As a wise jedi once said "Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view." If there was ever a good person to listen to, one with the most wisdom in all the galaxy is it
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    You know what you get for being a hero? Nothing. You get shot at. A little pat on the back, blah blah blah, attaboy. You get divorced. Your wife can't remember your last name. Kids don't wanna talk to you. Get to eat a lot of meals by yourself. Trust me kid, nobody wants to be that guy.

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Good people don't torture because it's inflicting excruciating pain on someone for little or no reason, and inflicting pain unnecessarily is bad.
    a Evil guy has information you need, the information will save hundreds of lives if you can get it out of him within the day, the party casters didn't prepare/used up their magic for the day. Oh well guess those hundreads of people will have to die but be humble for the fact that a good person didn't think their lives were worth more than one evil dudes discomfort.

    In this scenario its not "little or no reason." the good character wouldn't be doing it for fun or pleasure, but to save multitudes of people. So yes, torture can fall either on the side of evil (for pleasure and fun) or just "not good" (for a purpose)

    I dont know who said it but "Evil Prevails when Good Men Fail To Act"

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    Default Re: Obviously Evil (Yet another alignment thread)

    the problem with the assassin is that the dnd assassin is an individual who murdered a man for the sole purpose of joining the assassin club

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