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    Default Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    When you Shapechange into an evil outsider, you gain its type and subtype, which includes the evil subtype. If a good character takes on the evil subtype, is that an evil act? Would a good deity disapprove of their Clerics taking on evil forms?

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    If a good character takes on the evil subtype, is that an evil act?
    I wouldn't think so.

    Would a good deity disapprove of their Clerics taking on evil forms?
    Probably.
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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    I'd say yes, especially considering the fact that using Evil-aligned weapons is Evil, and any attack by an Evil subtype creature is treated as such.
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Honestly the fastest way to make a paladin fall is to cast the grease spell or to trip the paladin.

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    I'd say yes, especially considering the fact that using Evil-aligned weapons is Evil
    Is it? Where does it say that?

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    Is it? Where does it say that?
    It doesn't. That's someone's house rule.
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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    It doesn't. That's someone's house rule.
    Not on the books, but it's a fair RAI extension of the rule that applies to spells/SLAs. Plus Hellbreds are for this sort of thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Honestly the fastest way to make a paladin fall is to cast the grease spell or to trip the paladin.

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    I'd say yes, especially considering the fact that using Evil-aligned weapons is Evil, and any attack by an Evil subtype creature is treated as such.
    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    Not on the books, but it's a fair RAI extension of the rule that applies to spells/SLAs. Plus Hellbreds are for this sort of thing.
    It's a houserule that doesn't hold up to scrutiny the moment you compare it with any of WoTC's published (alignment-subtype) characters with atypical alignments, such as the (in)famous Succubus Paladin.

    Said Paladin would fall the moment she makes a attack, any attack, according to your rules. This cannot be RAI.

    As for Evil-aligned weapons, yay, with this rule it is yet another way to play "Gotcha Paladin" when the character gets overpowered by an Ego weapon or similar.
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-08-18 at 04:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    OP: do you think Celia shapeshifting here was an evil act? I certainly don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    As for Evil-aligned weapons, yay, with this rule it is yet another way to play "Gotcha Paladin" when the character gets overpowered by an Ego weapon or similar.
    If they can fall for doing something evil while dominated, they certainly can for being controlled by a weapon I'd say. It's even worse than being dominated in fact, since they likely made the choice to wield that weapon, gambling on their own strength of will to keep it in check. They wouldn't have to pay the "willing act" penalty for their Atonement though.

    I agree that simply having your weapons count as [Evil] for some reason shouldn't qualify as an evil act though.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2019-08-19 at 09:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    OP: do you think Celia shapeshifting here was an evil act? I certainly don't.
    No, I don't. However, D&D's ideas of what constitute good and evil acts are often wildly at variance with mine...

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    OP: do you think Celia shapeshifting here was an evil act? I certainly don't.
    Kinda of a bad specific example though since Alter Self doesn't change subtype*, unlike Shapechange posited by the OP. But I agree with your general point.

    (*Also type, but that's redundant considering the targeting restrictions).
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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    It's a houserule that doesn't hold up to scrutiny the moment you compare it with any of WoTC's published (alignment-subtype) characters with atypical alignments, such as the (in)famous Succubus Paladin.

    Said Paladin would fall the moment she makes a attack, any attack, according to your rules. This cannot be RAI.
    Right? A lot of people forgbet that she's still an Outsider with the (Extraplanar, Chaotic, Evil, Tanar'ri) subtypes. And since she's also a Paladin (and therefore Lawful Good), she takes damage from Holy Smite, Unholy Blight, Chaos Hammer, Dictum...all of it. And should she be killed, her essence returns to her plane of origin (the Abyss), and makes a new succubus, who is likely NOT Lawful Good.

    An interesting thing not explicitly covered by the RAW, but would sort of be implied, is that if she were to undergo the rituals in Savag Species to remove the (Chaotic, Evil, Tanar'ri) subtypes, and then gain the (Lawful, Good) subtypes, then, when she dies, her energies would liekly go to the Upper Planes and form a new celestial. Like I said, though, that's theory well-supported by circumstantial evidence in the RAW, not canon RAW itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    As for Evil-aligned weapons, yay, with this rule it is yet another way to play "Gotcha Paladin" when the character gets overpowered by an Ego weapon or similar.
    No, because the Paladin's "fall from grace" requires the Paladin to "intentionally commit an evil act". It is RAW that any act a Paladin commits while dominated does not predicate a loss of powers.

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    Not on the books, but it's a fair RAI extension of the rule that applies to spells/SLAs. Plus Hellbreds are for this sort of thing.
    Not even remotely a "fair RAI extension". Spells that are an evil act to cast have the [Evil] descriptor. Summoning spells, when used to summon a fiendish creature, explicitly say that they gain the [Evil] descriptor when they do so. Nothing in the spell Shapechange, or other ploymorph-like spells say that the spell gains the [Evil] descriptor. So no, there is no "RAI support".

    Furthermore, the reason those spells even HAVE the [Evil] descriptor is because they either A) Channel energies which are explicitly, objectively Evil (ex: Unholy Blight, Blasphemy, Unhallow, Protection From Good); B) Contact a plane in which objective Evil energy is omnipresent, and open a conduit (even a 1-way summoning) to that plane (ex: Summon Monster, Gate); C) the spell only accomplishes a deed which is explicitly, objectively Evil regardless of Intent or Context, such as creation of an undead creature, or somehow channeling the powers of unlife (ex: Animate Dead, Create [Greater] Undead, Deathwatch, Veil of Undeath); or D) Involve vile, reprehensible acts in their casting (ex: [Vile] spells).

    You are further confusing the fact that outsiders of the Evil subtype who have alignment-related DR themselves are considered to bypass "/evil" DR with their natural weapons. This does not mean that it is "an evil act" for them to attack with them. That rule generally applies to ALL forms of Damage Reduction. A creature with "x/epic" is considered to bypass "x/epic" DR with its natural weapons, for example.

    And nothing in the rules says anything about "using evil weapons" being an evil act. Not even implied by anything in the rules.

    I'm sorry, MisterKaws, but you are mistaken.
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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Right? A lot of people forgbet that she's still an Outsider with the (Extraplanar, Chaotic, Evil, Tanar'ri) subtypes. And since she's also a Paladin (and therefore Lawful Good), she takes damage from Holy Smite, Unholy Blight, Chaos Hammer, Dictum...all of it. And should she be killed, her essence returns to her plane of origin (the Abyss), and makes a new succubus, who is likely NOT Lawful Good.

    An interesting thing not explicitly covered by the RAW, but would sort of be implied, is that if she were to undergo the rituals in Savag Species to remove the (Chaotic, Evil, Tanar'ri) subtypes, and then gain the (Lawful, Good) subtypes, then, when she dies, her energies would liekly go to the Upper Planes and form a new celestial. Like I said, though, that's theory well-supported by circumstantial evidence in the RAW, not canon RAW itself.
    ...Yes? Seems like a digression (on both paragraphs) though, or more likely it's me failing to see what point you were trying to make. Sorry.

    (Also the Succubus Paladin wouldn't be affected by Dictum, because it's keyed to absence of alignment ["nonlawful", and the SucPal counts as Lawful], instead of the presence of one. And strictly speaking Holy Smite also runs into a RAW contradiction because it's worded differently ["Only evil and neutral creatures are harmed by the spell; good creatures are unaffected."] compared to Unholy Blight and Chaos Hammer. )

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    No, because the Paladin's "fall from grace" requires the Paladin to "intentionally commit an evil act". It is RAW that any act a Paladin commits while dominated does not predicate a loss of powers.
    I mentioned Ego weapons because I recalled the pseudo-dominate effect wasn't absolute, thus leaving some leeway for wilful acts, especially considering how ambiguous the meaning of the word "use" is. Though in retrospect after going through the exact rules for ego weapons, it seems it requires a particularly vindictive DM who abuses the "Force its possessor into combat" clause to force the Hobson's Choice/Morton's Fork, making it a bad example (and still can be rules-wrangled around anyway by a sufficiently astute player). So I concede this point.
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-08-19 at 10:19 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Random question, is all use of negative energy evil? Thinking about the succubus paladin, and she does not use her energy drain because she thinks it is evil. Enervation and energy drain are NOT evil spells and the wording of she believes her ability is evil so she doesn't use it.

    Also losing her subtypes and/or gaining the good subtype via ritual or whatever seems like an amazingly good act, because it denies the lower planes another succubus when she dies, grants a good soul to the upper planes to increase their power, and other such stuff. Plus no more negative levels for wielding your weapons.

    No gods willing to take her seems really obtuse, your goal is convert evil and when you get a chance you deliberately say no thanks. I am guessing it is more wotc not following their own lore and rules (big shock I know) but it seems like extra incentive to force a fall when she has no divine support network or anyone who seems to care.

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Random question, is all use of negative energy evil? Thinking about the succubus paladin, and she does not use her energy drain because she thinks it is evil. Enervation and energy drain are NOT evil spells and the wording of she believes her ability is evil so she doesn't use it.
    No.

    Creating Undead is evil. And it uses negative energy. But Inflict spells are not evil, nor are Energy Drain and Ennervate (but if you kill a creature with one of those spells, it does rise as a wight, in which case the creation of the undead creature is an evil act). The Negative Energy Plane itself has no alignment trait.

    It's a common misconception among people who are trying to prove some kind of "dissonance" with the rules that animating undead is evil, even though negative energy is not. But the truth is that it's no different than pointing out that fire is not evil, blowing up an occupied orphanage with Fireball is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Also losing her subtypes and/or gaining the good subtype via ritual or whatever seems like an amazingly good act, because it denies the lower planes another succubus when she dies, grants a good soul to the upper planes to increase their power, and other such stuff. Plus no more negative levels for wielding your weapons.
    I suppose it would be, but that's not explicit in the rules.
    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    No gods willing to take her seems really obtuse, your goal is convert evil and when you get a chance you deliberately say no thanks. I am guessing it is more wotc not following their own lore and rules (big shock I know) but it seems like extra incentive to force a fall when she has no divine support network or anyone who seems to care.
    I don't know where you get "no gods willing to take her". Outsiders don't have souls separate from their bodies, that's something only mortals have. Her "soul" doesn't go to the Abyss, her energies do. And the new succubus that gets formed there has no identity or other connection to her. It would be a completely new being. Same thing happens to celestials and Good planes, by the way. There is no afterlife for outsiders, this existence is their only one*. So there isn't even a chance for a deity of Good to take her in, so your claim is kind of based on an incorrect premise.

    Furthermore, who said she served a Good deity anyway? Paladins are not priests of gods, and I really wish people would stop conflating them so. Re-read your 3.5e PHB again, under the paladin entry, "devotion to righteousness is enough". You can have a LG person who becomes a paladin by being devoted only to the ideals of righteousness, who otherwise doesn't give a damn about the gods. I mean, maybe she does follow a paladin order devoted to a god, but it's not necessarily a "given true" assumption, just because she's a paladin.

    *Order of the Stick covered this, actually, in a discussion between Celia and Roy after he was resurrected. The prospect of getting killed is much more frightening and risky for an outsider. They cannot be resurrected, they don't get an afterlife...their entire identity, all their experiences and memories...they are all gone when they die.
    Last edited by RedMage125; 2019-08-19 at 12:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    No. The act itself should not unless the spell/ability gain the Evil descriptor.

    But the caster is now in danger of changing alignment anyways for now they have literal Evil coursing through their brain and heart. If they are unprepared for it they may commit evil acts solely on impulse and may be incapable of proper remorse till the spell ends. Which doesn't mean they won't notice that what they are doing is wrong from a logical standpoint or even past precedence.


    A chilling thought; a spell that messes with how your personal moral's judge right and wrong. Right and wrong; not good and evil. Related but not the same.

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    @red mage.

    The article about her calls out that no god would take her. I know paladins in general do not need one, but being refused by good god for following a good path to redemption seems off.

    "although no deity was willing to be her special patron."

    That's the line from the article. Also if she loses her subtypes she is not abyss bound if she dies, so getting rid of them which denies evil planes power seems like a logical step. Then gaining the good and/or law subtypes in the same way sends her to celestia.

    All of this is moot if she never dies, but seems a pretty trivial insurance policy. Miracle or wish should be able to rid someone of their subtypes as well as the rituals in savage species, and especially looking at her 18th level stuff it should be well within her means.

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    NNescio, didn't notice your post earlier, responding now. Sorry.
    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    ...Yes? Seems like a digression (on both paragraphs) though, or more likely it's me failing to see what point you were trying to make. Sorry.
    I was mostly just agreeing with you, with additional exposition because I'm overly verbose.
    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    (Also the Succubus Paladin wouldn't be affected by Dictum, because it's keyed to absence of alignment ["nonlawful", and the SucPal counts as Lawful], instead of the presence of one. And strictly speaking Holy Smite also runs into a RAW contradiction because it's worded differently ["Only evil and neutral creatures are harmed by the spell; good creatures are unaffected."] compared to Unholy Blight and Chaos Hammer. )
    Right, Dictum is the Lawful version of Holy Word, not Holy Smite. My bad. I meant the lawful equivalent of those spells.

    But there's something in the RAW (I'm AFB right now, but I think it's in the Monster Manual), that says a creature with the Evil subtype is going to be treated as Evil, regardless of their actual alignment. Whereas unholy Blight will still hurt her because she's still Good. Basically, it's a good thing she has a phenominal Charisma and adds it to all her saving throws, because she's rerally getting the short end of the stick on everything alignment related. She also detects as Good, Evil, and Chaotic as an outsider of her total Hit Dice. Probably Lawful, too, but she doesn't have either the subtype nor an "Aura of Law" class feature. I'm actually not sure on that one. But as a lawful creature, she still registers on one.

    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    I mentioned Ego weapons because I recalled the pseudo-dominate effect wasn't absolute, thus leaving some leeway for wilful acts, especially considering how ambiguous the meaning of the word "use" is. Though in retrospect after going through the exact rules for ego weapons, it seems it requires a particularly vindictive DM who abuses the "Force its possessor into combat" clause to force the Hobson's Choice/Morton's Fork, making it a bad example (and still can be rules-wrangled around anyway by a sufficiently astute player). So I concede this point.
    Right. There's some leeway, but the item can still force the issue.

    But you weren't the only one referencing mind control, and I was already responding to you...

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    @red mage.

    The article about her calls out that no god would take her. I know paladins in general do not need one, but being refused by good god for following a good path to redemption seems off.

    "although no deity was willing to be her special patron."

    That's the line from the article.
    Okay, but she's still a demon. She's remains a being literally composed of Chaos and Evil. What Good would be served by being her patron? We can hypothesize that if she performed the rituals and lost the subtypes, that this would change, but we can't really know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Also if she loses her subtypes she is not abyss bound if she dies, so getting rid of them which denies evil planes power seems like a logical step. Then gaining the good and/or law subtypes in the same way sends her to celestia.

    All of this is moot if she never dies, but seems a pretty trivial insurance policy. Miracle or wish should be able to rid someone of their subtypes as well as the rituals in savage species, and especially looking at her 18th level stuff it should be well within her means.
    Like I said before, that is a theory that is well-supported by circumstantial evidence in the RAW, but not canon. We can't know for sure that removing the subtypes would change the destination of her energies. Seems likely, though, given that erinyes devils used to be angels.
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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    blub
    Right, you're correct in that. Still, your first point up there is pretty relevant to this, even though you were talking about something different. If the shapeshifted person dies, does the soul get taken before or after the body is shifted back to its base state? Could even turn into a plot hook, with a demon lord taking claim to the body of a good-aligned cleric because they changed into a demon before death.

    I'll also agree with Necromancy being neutral. WotC got way too politically correct in 3.X by moving healing and resurrection to Conjuration. It's something I'd houserule away as a DM.

    Also, again, too verbose, mate.
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Honestly the fastest way to make a paladin fall is to cast the grease spell or to trip the paladin.

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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    Right, you're correct in that. Still, your first point up there is pretty relevant to this, even though you were talking about something different. If the shapeshifted person dies, does the soul get taken before or after the body is shifted back to its base state? Could even turn into a plot hook, with a demon lord taking claim to the body of a good-aligned cleric because they changed into a demon before death.

    I'll also agree with Necromancy being neutral. WotC got way too politically correct in 3.X by moving healing and resurrection to Conjuration. It's something I'd houserule away as a DM.

    Also, again, too verbose, mate.
    Absolutely not. When you die, the spell ends. The idea that a temporary, discrete magical effect would affect the destination of your soul is silly.

    That said, that's the RAW answer. Do what you like in your campiagn. That could be a good plot hook. Story trumps Rules, IMO.
    Last edited by RedMage125; 2019-08-26 at 09:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Is Shapechanging into a creature with the evil subtype an evil act?

    Wile nothing in RAW specifically says your subtype must match your alignment (and there are even sources were you can have a diferent alignment subtype to your alignment-see savage species rituals) i'd see it as bringing evil energies into the word and thus be at least a mildly evil act... The same way necromancy is generally considered evil as you toy with evil energies even on non-evil spells.

    Your second question... since you're willingly corupting your soul by getting the Evil subtype the least of your worries should be being granted the spell. Some servant of your deity would probably try to punish you for considering the idea or you'd loose access to your Divine spells until you atone.

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