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Thread: What is EVIL?

  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    What is Evil?

    Campaign dependent.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    And as normal, I’ll remind that alignment still has cosmological and mechanical implications that at the very least stretch those ‘RP guide for typical behavior’ boundaries
    Correction, second poster. (I saw your posts but didn't think they were a book reference.)

    I didn't really follow alignment discussion prior to 5e, but if this is what it was like in 1e thru 4e, with people just making up their own definitions and not even reading what the book had to say, that would explain why so many people can't stand it. (Or conversely, maybe those versions of alignment were just more fubar than I recall.)

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trickery View Post
    This is a good point. But I'd make the case that, in a civilized society, acting in your own self-interest and being a good citizen are compatible. If you're smart and driven, you can become a surgeon or similar and make a lot of money for yourself while also serving society. Ender's Game had a good example of this kind of character. Ender's brother is all kinds of evil but still ends up serving mankind because doing so was the best thing for him personally. Similarly, Doctor Doom of Marvel fame has, canonically, turned the country he rules into a paradise without crime, hunger, or disease. After all, the better his subjects' lives, the more they'll worship him.

    I point this out to show that there's a difference between serving your own interests, which I consider to be neutral, and actively wanting to hurt others, which I consider to be evil.

    If merely acting in your own interests with no regard for others is enough for us to call it evil, then we won't have a descriptor strong enough for the terrible things people sometimes do.
    Another fun book character who often worries about the line is Harry Dresden in The Dresden Files, especially in any of the plots involving psychomancy or fallen angels (or really any of the temptations of power FOR THE GREATER GOOD!)

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    This makes me think that Evil entities are willing to do the hard thing, when Good entities are both stubborn and in denial.

    Like Adults vs. Children, if both were equally competent.
    Or considering the trolley cart is just a failure to be good by being too cautious and callous.

    its thinking too much. in a real heroic situation, you just act to do the best you can possibly can, there is no time to consider how they will end. anyone who stands out wondering whether its a good idea to save someone than just saving them isn't acting fast enough.

    Edit: also a key flaw of the trolley problem, and of well-intentioned extremist villains, is the lack of sacrificing your own life. because often these extremist villains, they sacrifice other people for their utopia or good goal or whatever....but almost never themselves. heroes as constantly shown in media, are people who put their own lives on the line first. like it or not, its very martyr-like behavior, and a hero is a hero because they put their own life in danger over others.

    a hero in the trolley problem would be someone who instead stops the trolley from killing either of the people on the tracks with their own life. this is because sacrificing others lives when you wouldn't sacrifice your own is hypocritical. therefore the trolley problem isn't adequately designed for a heroic mindset, as they aren't thinking "this person vs. these five people" they're thinking "these six people vs. myself". perhaps in the trolley problem if the one person on the other track calls out "throw the switch! save them!" they would be the hero in that tale, taking the voluntary self-sacrifice so that five people don't have to die, but only if they do that.
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2019-07-12 at 10:13 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    What are you reading that makes you believe this?
    Apologies, my opinions on alignment come from the more in-depth definitions of earlier editions. Good implying "respect for life and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings" was a key part of 3rd edition's definition of that axis and it's the one that Planescape also ascribed to. Evil, by contrast, lacked that compassion.

    I appreciate that 5e is the edition on the table here, but a discussion of alignments isn't going to be limited to a single edition due to how far back the body of work is when it comes to understanding them.

    However, we're still in business! If we're limited only to the text of 5e and nothing else, 5e still has relevant things to say in the form of background ideals. With that in mind, Good ideals are identified with things such as charity and altruism, seeking happiness for others, and the belief that all beings deserve respect/happiness:

    • "Respect. People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. (Good)" (PHB p.132)
    • "Respect. Respect is due to me because of my position, but all people regardless of station deserve to be treated with respect. (Good)" (PHB p.136)
    • "Greater Good. It is each person's responsibility to make the most happiness for the whole tribe. (Good)" (PHB p.137)


    One of the Neutral ideals (PHB p.129) is "I'm loyal to my friends, not to any ideals, and everyone else can take a trip down the Styx for all I care." This supports the idea of Neutral as being focused on their 'in-crowd to the exclusion of those outside it without being branded as Evil, and it's not the only time this exact sentiment is expressed in an ideal (see p.133)

    But hey, maybe that's not enough to say that self-interest alone isn't Evil. That's fair. But then we have page 138 and 141, which give Neutral ideals that looks like this:

    • "Knowledge, the path to power and self improvement is through knowledge. (Neutral)."
    • "People. I help the people who help me--that's what keeps us alive. (Neutral)"


    This is directly contrasted with another ideal on page 138: "Power. Knowledge is the path to power and domination. (Evil)"

    What this indicates to me is that Evil is more than self-interest, it's self interest to the exclusion of the well-being of others (i.e, domination.)

    Greed appears multiple times in ideals tagged as evil, but so too are ideals of domination, and a clear attitude of people having to earn their place through power rather than as a given, and a lack of respect for life that's too weak to defend itself:
    • "Might. The strongest are meant to rule. (Evil)" (PHB p.137)
    • "Might. If I become strong, I can take what I want-- what I deserve. (Evil)" (PHB p.132)
    • "Retribution. The rich need to be shown what life and death are like in the gutters. (Evil)" (PHB p.141)


    It's not the alignment descriptions alone that I can draw my understanding from, but the rest of the book, too. The alignments give short responses based on the position within an axis, rather than really saying what those axes mean when they're dragged out kicking to answer for themselves.

    So look, I've already gotten way too pedantic, and people are still going to find exceptions all over the place. I'm not going to understate that greed and selfishness are a big part of Evil as-written, but I think it takes more than base selfishness alone to qualify, and the book supports that interpretation. People are welcome to come to their own conclusions from the text. It's why I preceded my original statement with a sort of hand-wave. I fully admit I may be completely off-base, but I've found my definitions helpful for myself and that's enough for me.

    But I've already spent way too much time answering the question of 'what I read that made me believe that', so I'm going to eat some pizza. Speaking of which, I wonder if those guys stopped fighting over it yet. I hope not, I still haven't booked the matches.
    Last edited by Shoreward; 2019-07-13 at 05:38 AM. Reason: Spelling Errors

    (Created by me. I should probably put that on there somewhere.)

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    A solid 5e-based explanation with citations may or may not pedantic, but at least it's relevant, as opposed to off topic for the forum. Very well done and a pleasure to read.

    Also good counter point that Backgrounds provide us with more info on Alignment. I've referenced that myself before and I shouldn't forget it in these threads.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    [*]Good: Average people are worth sacrifice. Helping a person makes your world better. You ignore them only because you can't afford to help them.
    [*]Neutral: People are people, just like you. Ignoring them, and them ignoring you, is the most efficient way to make your world better
    [*]Evil: People are a resource or an obstacle. Removing or using them is the best way to make your world better. You ignore them because removing/using them would be too expensive to be worthwhile.
    This is a less complicated version of my definition. Adding to Ancient Realms Thread.

    (I just stared reading, so will most likely edit I more comments later.)
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Evil is when a fiend looks at you with approval.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Evil is when a fiend looks at you with approval.
    Spoiler: Aquisitions Incorporated
    Show
    And THIS is why I was shocked that Omin's alignment is Lawful Neutral not Lawful Evil because a couple of live shows ago, exactly that happened to him when he out-lawyered a fiend for extremely self-interested reasons.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Evil is whatever I do.
    Good is whatever the other people do to kill as many people as possible.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Many people tend to fall into one or two major camps on what is evil.

    Either evil is selfishness (as opposed to the selflessness of good), or its malice/malevolence (as opposed to the benevolence of good). Both have their points.

    Untempered selfishness can lead to some seriously evil stuff, including complete disregard for the lives and welfare of others. On the flip side, real general malice (without personal gain) isn't selfish, it's just malicious. While rare, this sort of thing does exist in the real world, most notably in things like serial killers. Those in the "selfishness" camp might claim that serial killers are just CE, which can account for some, but not all of real life serial killers, but it doesn't account for real life LE malice such as evil dictators hellbent on this like extermination for extermination's sake. Additionally, it doesn't account for the LE devils who are likely malicious but still LE. To me that concludes that the Evil = Selfish is either wrong or at least incomplete.

    On the other hand Evil = Malice doesn't account for rational folks who do all sorts of terrible things, just to get what they want. This would exclude the "end's justify the means" villains from actually being evil, and that seems to be a stretch.

    To sum up, I'd say there are several ways to be evil, some perhaps more evil than others. The same could be said for good and neutral, or law and chaos, I suspect.
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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    Let me put it into Comics terms for you (Because I'm a massive nerd):

    The Joker is Evil, because he seeks destruction and chaos at the expense of others, even when it would otherwise hurt himself

    Lex Luthor (for the most part) is Neutral, because he has a goal that is neither good nor evil (to have humanity stop using Superman as a crutch). The methods he uses are often evil and occasionally good, but his alignment is Neutral, as he, like many of the heroes of this universe, seeks for order and the betterment of humanity.

    Superman is Good for obvious reasons.
    In fairness Luthor's goal isn't actually to help humanity to stop using Superman, its to show humanity that he's the best human that has ever human'd since humans have human'd. He gets tied up in knots knowing that he, the greatest human, is shown up by some flying idiots in tights.

    Luther is evil, he's just less evil, and vastly more pragmatic, than other DC villains. That is untill the current run of Justice League. Luthor is actively trying to end the multiverse because he thinks the multiverse is about Doom rather than Justice. He's trying to destroy everything because he thinks he's right, not for any other reason but to prove a point.

    To look at evil further using DC comics. I'm going to highlight the important part of the two-part alignment as I see it.

    Lex Luthor is Lawful Evil. The man is self serving in the extreme, nothing he does is about helping people. Helping people is just a side effect of being a megalomaniacal genius how looks out for number one. Luthor is about rules, and using rules to get his way. The rules are the reason Superman can't just fly up to Luthor and have him arrested. But Luthor uses to the rules to his advantage, and if some peons get squashed so be it, they weren't important. Luthor is usually depicted as seeing himself as the most important man in history.

    Darkseid is Lawful Evil. Darkseid is. The Lord of Apokolips is of course all about rules, his rules, and he doesn't care that his rules hurt you. In fact they're probably supposed to hurt you, because Darkseid Is.

    R'as al-Ghul is Neutral Evil. R'as is about doing whever needs to be done to fix the world the way he sees fit, with himself and his heirs as rulers. He isn't overly attached to rules and structure, but is willing to use it to achieve his goals. He's also willing to use completely non-structured means, change plans half-way through, and engage in any tactic he think will achieve his goals.

    Deathstroke is Neutral Evil. Deathstroke is an assassin, he kills people for money. He has a certain code he follows, but he's willing to break that when he thinks he has to. He's not outright malicious, but at the same time he's not above petty revenge, or killing innocent people to get to his target. He's manipulative to the extreme (see new Teen Titans where he's trying to goad Robin to kill him, so Slade can escape and kill the Teen Titans).

    Joke is Chaotic Evil. I think we can all agree on this one. Joker is out to do whatever makes him feel good, Batman feel bad, and cause general panic and mayhem. He's not concerned with who dies when he does so, and actively works to kill people. He even knows what he's doing, he just doesn't care at all.
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2019-07-15 at 05:28 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    I find that using the various comic book Villians as examples for D&D Alignments is, frustrating.

    Like 90% of Batman's baddies are some extreme case of mental (or social) disorder.
    It's still fun trying, though.
    Especially for long term Villains.
    Some of the interpretations can be .... Interesting.

    Like my favorite:
    2Face LN (E)
    This guy was supposed to represent the failure of the Justice system.

    2Face was the truely Dark reflection of Batman.
    Batman worked outside the Law, but always with the Goal of Greater Justice. (And the personal Oath of Never Killing)

    2Face was forced to work outside the Law, because that was the only way for him to achieve personal Justice.
    (Like the crime boss on Trial got off on a technicality, and was never even charged for Assault for throwing Acid into the Prosecuting Atterney's face.)

    2Face had both sides of the Law in conflict in his head, Balanced to the point of needing his double headed coin to choose between them.

    Now, I'm not going to claim to have read every comic, or seen every Cartoon, TV show, and Movie. (Plus, as time went on, things in society changed - which then changed the focus of the Story, and on down to some of the Characters)

    Riddler always seemed LN.
    Like Lex, this guy just had to prove he was the smartest, most clever Human ever.
    But, always within the Rules of a Riddle.
    Batman constantly figuring his riddles out, really got his goat!!!
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-07-15 at 07:07 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Riddler always seemed LN.
    Like Lex, this guy just had to prove he was the smartest, most clever Human ever.
    But, always within the Rules of a Riddle.
    Batman constantly figuring his riddles out, really got his goat!!!
    Riddler might be lawful neutral, but I'd honestly lean towards Lawful Evil, if only because he typically resorts to casually murdering his goons and bystanders when it comes right down to it. Remember, a great many of his riddles are something linked to a giant bomb that Batman has to disarm. The fact that he has a psychosis related to his need to tell riddles and prove how smart he is doesn't in and of itself absolve him of being a murderer.

    Two-Face again probably lawful evil, although I can see neutral evil given that he does anything he thinks he can get away with. The coin flip is again a psychosis but its also Harvey's way of absolving his behaviour and justifying being Two-Face.

    At any rate most of Batman's villains are related to some kind of psychosis and elements of the human psychology. Whether that is ultimately intentional on the part of the writers, or just how it turned out I can't say. Unabashedly though I'd call all of them evil. Some of the to a greater or lesser extent, some willing to turn a new leaf, some able to be redeemed, but all evil as of the most recent issues in Batman #75 and Detective Comics #1012.

    As for what makes a character evil in D&D contexts: an inability to see the value of other life, or disregard of other creatures to the point that they are viewed as obstacles to be removed as soon as possible; and those that aren't obstacles are tools not people.

    Contrast this to a neutral person: sees the value of other life but doesn't go out of their way to make it better other than for a select group of friends/family/community. A Neutral person wants Good neighbours but doesn't necessarily want to go out of their way to be that neighbour.
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2019-07-15 at 07:33 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    This is great!!

    I tend to have long winded Ramblings.
    (More in my Ancient Realms thread, if interested.)

    I agree that Psychosis as an Excuse for being Evil, is just that. An "I can't help it" excuse.

    One thing that I've always thought, is that it's the Long Term behavior of a Character that really sets their Alignment.

    Nobody's perfect, so the occasional breaking away from normal behavior, isn't going to change a (D&D) Character's Alignment. Constantly doing such breaks, does. Regardless of Excuses.

    Like someone pointing out that 2Face (Champion Fighter/Arcane Trickster Rogue?) tended to abuse and even Kill minions, in a burst of Anger. Usually after having just escaped Batman. And, Riddler (Lore Bard) too, as you pointed out.
    Joker (Inquisitor Rogue?) was the most consistent about this. But most of his minions tended to be "insane" CN.

    This seems to be a repeating theme with Batman's Villains that had minions.
    While it was mostly verbal, even Penguin NE (Noble, Mastermind Rogue?) would abuse the "Doves" in his service.

    That's mostly how the old comic writers showed that these Characters were Evil.

    *****
    Now, I normally avoid discussing CN.
    My opinion of this, especially in an RPG, doesn't seem compatible with anyone else's.

    But, I'll go with Original concept of Catwoman (Thief Rogue/Shadow Monk?) usually falling here.
    Very independent; She's more interested in the Challenge of the Heist, then the actual value of the item itself (except for cat themed items in the old Batman TV show, which might have more value to her than anyone else) She wasn't Malicious towards anyone that hadn't directly offended her (which even Good Characters can do).

    Sure, it was possible to "redeem" her, but mostly because she had a crush on Batman.
    Something to do with him being the Mysterious Bad***, while still (mostly) a Good Guy.

    *****
    Poison Ivy (Spore Druid?) seems to be on the edge between NE and CE.
    She liked her Independence, even to the point of only having plant minions.(Freeze was more "hired help" in that movie with Arnald)
    Supposedly an eco-defender, she tended to overlook her own harmful effects on the environment.

    *****
    Still lots more Characters to use….
    I'll stop, for now.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-07-17 at 10:13 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackjack50 View Post
    I know this is done to death. But evil does not make one “evil” in the sense that you want the end of the world. It means you are self serving. Does anyone see the self serving aspect as the most important part of being evil?
    Evil... Is an opinion. Sure, it's a fact within the cosmology of D&D (not just talking 5e here), but it is the opinion of the people who make the rules (the deities within the setting)

    There are, what should be, evil acts that aren't frowned upon. Killing because it's the easiest solution to your problem, should be an evil act. Killing an evil race or creature for the sake of it, should be an evil act. But in D&D... A (good) deity will smile upon you and give you a thumbs up. Corellon and Orcs are a good example of this.

    So, to really define evil within D&D, you have to realize that it's the opinion of the deities and you need to determine if you will play their game or not.

    Maaaan, I feel like a certain cleric of Loki now.

    We don't live in a world where the definition of good and evil are set in stone, we get to decide what is good and evil. This is why so many arguments pop up about alignment. The alignment system within D&D is fundamentally antagonistic to how the real world works. Good and evil in the real world are opinions made by mortals, yes, but they are made by mortals.
    Last edited by SpawnOfMorbo; 2019-07-16 at 09:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpawnOfMorbo View Post
    Evil... Is an opinion. Sure, it's a fact within the cosmology of D&D (not just talking 5e here), but it is the opinion of the people who make the rules (the deities within the setting).

    Maaaan, I feel like a certain cleric of Loki now.

    We don't live in a world where the definition of good and evil are set in stone, we get to decide what is good and evil. This is why so many arguments pop up about alignment. The alignment system within D&D is fundamentally antagonistic to how the real world works. Good and evil in the real world are opinions made by mortals, yes, but they are made by mortals.
    Yes, but... The majority of people playing an RPG (especially D&D) is to escape Reality, if only for a few hours a month.
    IMO, changing the Name of "Acceptable" Behavior (Paladium) doesn't hide the fact that it's still Alignment.

    See, the "Shades of Grey" of the Real World is exactly why Gygax (and to a degree, Arneson) created the "Set In Stone" Alignments. Most societies consider killing Bad, but all acknowledge the need to do so in a War, and so....

    Because, once D&D went past Napoleon-style Warfare, the Alignment "Line" was needed.

    The statement of "The Gods create Alignment" us just the Excuse In Game for why Alignment is enforced, by the DM. And, like you pointed out, on a World where Loki (etc) ruled, the definition of Alignments would be.... Different.
    Another reason why a lot of DMs have Alignment being something beyond the ability for any Deity to affect.
    Except their worshipers.

    The Moral Trap of killing without need (and usually knowing it), is the foundation of what I have Geyron (now a Demon, and not a Devil) set up on.

    But, I suppose that I use these Moral Tests in other RPGs - is something some people will find annoying.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-07-16 at 11:33 PM.
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    Yes, but... The majority of people playing an RPG (especially D&D) is to escape Reality, if only for a few hours a month.
    IMO, changing the Name of "Acceptable" Behavior (Paladium) doesn't hide the fact that it's still Alignment.

    See, the "Shades of Grey" of the Real World is exactly why Gygax (and to a degree, Arneson) created the "Set In Stone" Alignments. Most societies consider killing Bad, but all acknowledge the need to do so in a War, and so....

    Because, once D&D went past Napoleon-style Warfare, the Alignment "Line" was needed.

    The statement of "The Gods create Alignment" us just the Excuse In Game for why Alignment is enforced, by the DM. And, like you pointed out, on a World where Loki (etc) ruled, the definition of Alignments would be.... Different.
    Another reason why a lot of DMs have Alignment being something beyond the ability for any Deity to affect.
    Except their worshipers.

    The Moral Trap of killing without need (and usually knowing it), is the foundation of what I have Geyron (now a Demon, and not a Devil) set up on.

    But, I suppose that I use these Moral Tests in other RPGs - is something some people will find annoying.
    Escaping reality doesn't really matter in this situation. Evil is an opinions of fictional characters within the game and don't necessarily follow real world morality because of that.

    Which makes it better, honestly. Makes the system's world feel more organic.

    Most real world societies do not see killing as "bad". They see killing "innocent" people as bad. They see killing as necessary, even if they don't like to talk about it or do anything about it (war, for example). The difference here is that in the game, killing the evil creature is a known good act, in the real world... It's not a known fact as we like to think vengeance/justice being served is the correct thing... Even if it's an evil act that is responding to something.

    In the game it doesn't matter what you think is good or evil, it matters what the deities (coughrulescough) says is good and evil. In the real world it isn't like that.

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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    I break it down into more or less 3 stripes (The most basic evils you'll see in game).

    Blood - The derivation of pleasure from the simple act of causing pain, killing, asserting dominance, etc. (NE)
    Greed - "Mine! All mine!" (LE)
    Chaos - "So, we all all enter the bar..." DM: "You see -" CE: "I set the bar on fire!" DM:"...you know the bar is full of people, right?" CE: "Duh, what would the point be otherwise?"
    Sometimes, I have strong opinions on seemingly inconsequential matters.
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  20. - Top - End - #80
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by SpawnOfMorbo View Post
    Escaping reality doesn't really matter in this situation. Evil is an opinions of fictional characters within the game and don't necessarily follow real world morality because of that.

    Which makes it better, honestly. Makes the system's world feel more organic.

    <Snip>

    In the game it doesn't matter what you think is good or evil, it matters what the deities (coughrulescough) says is good and evil. In the real world it isn't like that.
    Interesting. See, the thing is, we still use Real World stories (including Myths and Modern Fiction) as Examples/Guidelines for Alignment.
    Those escapism people are only avoiding the specific "Drama" associated with RL.

    *****
    The RPG Rules are really only there to help us Bridge the Gap between the Differences of Opinion to create a solid(ish) foundation for Greater Shared Gaming. Because without it, we end up being like the Kids in the street that end up fighting over how to Play.
    (But, whatever works at your Table, is also good)

    *****
    I don't like where the Ruling Deity (Zeus, as portrayed by a DM) dictates the Rules/Laws for Alignment, and then ignore them when applying these to themselves.

    Which is why I prefer to have Alignment a Cosmic Law, where even the Deities can't change - or ignore - them as desired.

    Hera isn't Evil because she's upset with Zeus for constantly cheating on her.
    She's Evil because she deliberately seeks to make every (Mortal) Man's (starting with Husbands) life miserable. Heck, most of the old Live Action Movies had it where Zeus and Hera "made up".

    Hades is a little more difficult.
    Now, Disney (First the man, and now the Corp) had him being Evil because he wants to Rule Olympus, and doesn't care if Mortals get hurt.
    With Hercules doing the Heroes in Hell bit from my comments in my Ancient Realms Thread. (Where he can "Fight his way out" because he is Good)

    But, I go more Old School.
    Hades is Evil because he seeks every way possible to claim your Mortal Soul.
    Taking over as King of the (Greek/Roman) Deities (using the Laws against them as much as possible) is just mostly a Hobby.
    Hades can make a great BBEG.

    But, then I see almost all the Norse Deities (including Odin) being Chaotic.
    With maybe Heimdall and Hella being Lawful, and (my) Loki being NE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conradine View Post
    I think the Book of Vile Darkness and the Fiendish Codex 2 did a good work in defining Evil.
    Evil is serious, is intentional and is a free choice, at least for not-innately evil races.

    I feel that is often underestimated how seriously wicked must be a person to gain the Evil alignment.
    I can agree, for both CE and LE.
    NE can totally be the "Greater Good" delusion, that still causes Grief.
    I don't buy that "NE is the purist Evil" because Evil for the Sake of Evil still gets tainted with either "Selfish" (CE) or "Tyrant" (LE).

    Sorry, folks, Neutral just doesn't care enough.

    Another sensitive subject: Star Wars.
    The Emperor was Lawful because he preferred to use the laws to get his way, he was Evil because all his Rules were meant to screw everyone - but especially the Jedi. The fact that he was a lousy Ruler, is beside the point; since he had enough Power and leverage to enforce his Rules, when truly needed.

    Sadly, Vader makes a sad LE, being nothing more then just a willing puppet.

    Tyranus/Duku was technically LE, but very much the (cowardly) manipulator, fighting only Jedi - or when forced to.

    I didn't read everything on Maul, so I still tend to see him as CE.
    Obeying only because he lacked the Power to take control.

    See, Luke was NG - he wanted to help, but didn't have any real Plans on how to do so.
    and as a "Jedi Master" he lacked any real Goals for the New Jedi Order, to actually make a difference.

    Leah did have both Plans and Goals, and was fully committed to the Cause of a Better Galaxy.

    The way Lucus wrote the Jedi Council, these were either hide-bound LN, or NG at best.
    Yes, including our favorite: Yoda. The Clone Wars actually kicked Yoda and Windu out of their "emotionless non-involvement" and back into the LG that Jedi were meant to be. The sad part was, by the time they realized what needed to be done, Palatine had all the Cards.

    As a side note, for those reading the Vader comics/novels - all the "Prisoners" that Vader found were there because the Jedi were willing to cause them misery to keep them away from Society, but unwilling to commit to killing them to protect future Innocents. Yoda was shown to be rather unhappy with this solution, but because he was in the Minority, he accepted it.

    *****
    Also, I do like the fact that 5e moved away from the "Inherited Evil" Races.
    Where Alignment really is defined by Actions+Beliefs.
    And you can believably play a LG Orc Redemption Paladin that isn't the Bossy "Awful Stupid" cliche.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-07-17 at 06:16 PM.

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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    I think the Book of Vile Darkness and the Fiendish Codex 2 did a good work in defining Evil.
    Evil is serious, is intentional and is a free choice, at least for not-innately evil races.

    I feel that is often underestimated how seriously wicked must be a person to gain the Evil alignment.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Three people are sitting in a room, and someone brings in two cupcakes for them to share.

    - The GOOD person says, "You two enjoy those cupcakes. I love cupcakes, but I can go without".

    - The NEUTRAL person says, "We'll find a way to split up the cupcakes evenly. Or we'll draw straws for them. Or maybe we'll decide based on who hasn't eaten in the longest time. In any case, we will decide on a fair way to split the cupcakes".

    - The EVIL person says, "I am definitely getting a cupcake, because I deserve one. You two can fight over the remaining one. (And if I can figure out a way to trick you out of it, I'll eat both of them myself. You two don't really NEED a cupcake, anyway)".

    The GOOD person will sacrifice his own good to benefit others. The NEUTRAL person wants fairness for all, and includes himself in that equation. The EVIL person will get what he wants, even if it is detrimental to others.

    The really important part is that THEY ALL SEE THEMSELVES as GOOD. Each person here believes that the result they want is fair, in their own minds. Everyone is the hero of their own story, and no one ever sees themselves as the bad guy.

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by WSING1974 View Post
    The really important part is that THEY ALL SEE THEMSELVES as GOOD. Each person here believes that the result they want is fair, in their own minds. Everyone is the hero of their own story, and no one ever sees themselves as the bad guy.
    I don't know if they all see themselves as good. I think a lot of those that are evil and neutral would say that "Good" doesn't matter, or doesn't exist it's just a social construct. So why should they bother trying to be good? Why wouldn't they just do what makes sense?

    Even besides those I think there are those that know they are evil, but see it as necessary. like the Operative from the movie Serenity who said "I'm a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done."

    Or those like the aforementioned Joker. I think the Joker knows he is evil and revels in it.

    There are many shades of evil, and many reasons for choosing to do evil.

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    There are many shades of evil, and many reasons for choosing to do evil.
    I'm not a good enough Debate-ist (especially through text) to go too deep into the Shades of Grey (perspective) "Where's the Line, and how close can I get?" (On any Side: Law vs Chaos, Good vs Evil, and combinations) argument.

    I find that doing so at the Table, just burns the entire gaming session, and everyone (except maybe the one making Alignment exception arguments) walks away unhappy.

    Me, I'd much rather just Play, even as the DM.
    Serious about forging those details out with me? Fine: meet me on a non game day, and we can discuss the details.
    (This forum counts as non gaming day related)

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    As an interesting thought workout (for those that like such)

    Is the Drow (secret) Spy that is working with the Heroes (while doing his "Job" away from the party in Downtime) still Evil?

    Yeah, the easy answer/s is TN/CN but how would you justify being something else?
    Examples for combinations:
    LG, CG, NG, NE, CE, and LE.

    I actually do have a dmPC (Kobold pretending to be a Halfling*) doing this, so kinda know my answer/s.....

    *Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location plus a Hat of Disguise, and Expertise in Deception. Does speak Halfling.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-07-19 at 03:59 AM.
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    I'm not a good enough Debate-ist (especially through text) to go too deep into the Shades of Grey (perspective) "Where's the Line, and how close can I get?" (On any Side: Law vs Chaos, Good vs Evil, and combinations) argument.

    I find that doing so at the Table, just burns the entire gaming session, and everyone (except maybe the one making Alignment exception arguments) walks away unhappy.
    Of course, that's why I previously said this:

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    I actually love 5E's alignment changes.

    Now it's two sentences to help guide roleplaying. Becoming descriptive rather than prescriptive. So that personal definition above is just foe me. I don't think it needs to apply to anyone else.

    However the OP asked "What is EVIL?" not "How do I so evil in 5e?" to answer the latter question I think Tanarii nailed it.
    A player reads the 2 sentences for your alignment, and decides how they influence the roleplay of their character.

    It's simple, streamlined, and useful.

    The greater conversation may influence the type of character you want to play and is interesting enough to discuss on an internet forum on a slow day at work, but it's not worth an iota of time at the table IMHO.

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post

    A player reads the 2 sentences for your alignment, and decides how they influence the roleplay of their character.

    It's simple, streamlined, and useful.

    The greater conversation may influence the type of character you want to play and is interesting enough to discuss on an internet forum on a slow day at work, but it's not worth an iota of time at the table IMHO.
    Thanks for the reminder.
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    my Excuse is that I'm stuck on my phone the majority of the time.
    Which means that I might not have the time (while riding the bus/etc) to go through and check older posts for comments similar to my own. I'm using my Tablet as much as possible now.


    I really do like the fact that 5e did do the above, making it where the player can read the Ideals (and Traits, Bonds, and Flaws) for various Backgrounds, and choose what they think applies to their PC, one for L/C and one for G/E, making some interesting definitions.
    Might have at least reduced some of the Flame Wars (and verbal Hazing) of Yesteryears. Ruined the Game for a lot of people.
    3e/x was a little better, but 5e hit the nail. (LoL)

    For those interested: here is where I put my response to Unneeded Homework post #36.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-07-20 at 08:48 AM.
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    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Do remember that there are still mechanical effects tied to alignment, if relatively rare ones and (if desired) easily removable if you don’t like them through houserules

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...s-Mechanically

    https://www.reddit.com/r/dndnext/com...cal_effect_of/

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    Default Re: What is EVIL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    Do remember that there are still mechanical effects tied to alignment, if relatively rare ones and (if desired) easily removable if you don’t like them through houserules
    I'll most likely be trying to remember where to find the link for that information. (Here!)

    I think that it's neat that there are still ways to use Alignment mechanically in the Game, without punishing PCs for being that Alignment, like 3x did. Where you could have a Weapon that only hurt Lawful (sometimes combined with Good/Evil) people/beings, and Maybe did subdual for everything else.
    Where the DM (or mean Players) could specifically build an Assassin that did up to an extra 4d6 damage (plus Sneak Attack) against your LG (required) Paladin.

    Now, Radiant/Necrotic does damage to everyone equally. Not very many Creatures Resistant/Immune to either type.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed
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