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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    Due to an ongoing debate in another thread, the question arose how a Good aligned creature might come to change in alignment all the way to Evil without:

    a) taking any Evil action.
    b) being subject to any alignment-altering magic.

    Falling is generally much easier than redemption, so seems to me there should be routes towards this, but can't point to anything atm.
    It's just occurred to me that becoming a vampire should qualify. Becoming a vampire isn't an Evil action because it isn't an action - it's a thing that is done to someone, usually against their will. It's supernatural rather than magical, so it meets the criteria that you set.

    It does feel like it's effectively alignment-altering magic even though it's technically nonmagical, so it might not fit the spirit of the question that you were asking though.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Eh, I guess in extreme circumstances(which seem extremely implausible - trolley problem implausible). Avoid taking a costless action to prevent a great evil. Here, evil mostly means "bad" not "malevolent".

    Example: You encounter a situation in which a large group of <something you consider extremely innocent> are being tortured by a naturally occuring spell-like phenomenon (as in, no one has done this, you cross no-one by interfering with it). You know, and believe so as well, that by snapping your fingers you can end this phenomenon, and you believe that you can do this without any consequences.

    You walk away.

    Yeah, it needs to be something insanely extreme; even in the above example, if you actually did not believe there wouldn't be any consequences, it might not be considered evil. The more plausible alternative is in the same principle but repeated. Something like:

    Every day I pass by the town bridge. I notice that there's a deep crack in the paving; it is positioned in such a way that it is not easily noticeable. Every few weeks someone falls to their death by tripping on it. I have weekly dinners with the person who maintains the bridge. He is a generally good person - he just hasn't noticed the flaw. I could just point the crack out so he could fix it. I have made the connection clearly in my mind and I am confident and convinced that this is the problem. I never mention the crack. People Keep Dying.

    That one can be more gradual. Still, it is...not very likely.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Herbert_W View Post
    It's just occurred to me that becoming a vampire should qualify. Becoming a vampire isn't an Evil action because it isn't an action - it's a thing that is done to someone, usually against their will. It's supernatural rather than magical, so it meets the criteria that you set.

    It does feel like it's effectively alignment-altering magic even though it's technically nonmagical, so it might not fit the spirit of the question that you were asking though.
    Becoming a Werewolf and other similar 'evil' lycanthropes has similar effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzai View Post
    1. The party is in Thay. They walk by a man abusing his female slave. The paladin has a choice to make. By law, the man has every legal right to treat his slave that way. To interfere, would be to break the law. On the other hand, the man's treatment of the slave woman was cruel and morally wrong, if not out right evil. To do nothing, would be allowing this evil to continue and make him partialy responsible for the continued abuse.

    Player solution: The paladin put a stop to it, without causing any lasting harm to the man (subdued him then healed his injuries). He then submitted himself to the law for his actions, and was sentenced to slavery himself. While breaking the law by interfering, he did so to prevent an evil act, and then submitted himself to be held accountable for his actions. This maintained his moral code.
    The 'Lawful' in the paladin class is because they have a code of conduct which they live their life based on rather than following the laws of the land for this very reason. I don't think Lawful alignment and Laws should be equated as the same thing for this very reason. A monk and paladin are lawful because they live their life by a very specific code not by the laws of a land they just happen to visit. For example an elven paladin who enters an evil orc nation with a law stating all elves should be killed on sight is under no obligation to commit suicide upon entering said country because she is lawful and an elf, and to claim she should is just silly. The code of conduct for a paladin specifies 'respect legitimate authority', I guess the real issue is should a LG paladin ever consider an evil ruler legitimate, typically I think the answer should always be no.

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Furthermore, trying to define Lawful as "obeys the law of the land they're currently in" is an easy road to absolutely incoherent characterisation. You'd have characters whose allegiances, morals and standards could be changed by taking them to a sufficiently legally different place from the one they're in.

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    The 'Lawful' in the paladin class is because they have a code of conduct which they live their life based on rather than following the laws of the land for this very reason. I don't think Lawful alignment and Laws should be equated as the same thing for this very reason. A monk and paladin are lawful because they live their life by a very specific code not by the laws of a land they just happen to visit. For example an elven paladin who enters an evil orc nation with a law stating all elves should be killed on sight is under no obligation to commit suicide upon entering said country because she is lawful and an elf, and to claim she should is just silly. The code of conduct for a paladin specifies 'respect legitimate authority', I guess the real issue is should a LG paladin ever consider an evil ruler legitimate, typically I think the answer should always be no.
    Yeah, I had some pretty strong opinions about the levels of Lawful STUPID displayed by the Paladin in that situation but I chose not to vocalize them ... specifically. In short, I'd have let the authorities try to hunt me down for knocking that abuser on his ass. The Paladin Code of Conduct has room in it for acting in a non-Lawful manner, so much as it doesn't grossly violate his oath (which is often seen as overly repetitive actions for no truly justifiable reason). It even has room for non-Good actions. Submitting to the authorities and becoming a slave? Yeah, no.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Paladins have to follow a set of Lawful principles, they don't have to follow the law of every nation that exists - which wouldn't even be possible because those laws sometimes conflict.

    It could be considered more Lawful to approach in an up-front way - confront the man, demand he release her from slavery, only proceed to force in the likely event he refuses.

    As opposed to, say, pretending to befriend the man, going to a tavern with him, then slipping some sleeping potion in his drink and leaving with the former slave while he's unconscious.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    how a Good aligned creature might come to change in alignment all the way to Evil without:

    a) taking any Evil action.
    b) being subject to any alignment-altering magic.
    Given a) and b), you can't.

    The question that desperately needs to be asked, however, is why would you WANT to have this happen? WTH would you want an alignment system that permits this? Even if you CAN figure out a way to twist alignment rules to let it take place the thing you then need to do is fix it so it CANNOT HAPPEN because there is no benefit to then letting that kind of flaw in the system be exploited just to blow up in your face.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    Daring to play a paladin under the wrong DM.
    And this is WHY you don't want it to be possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Herbert_W View Post
    It's just occurred to me that becoming a vampire should qualify. Becoming a vampire isn't an Evil action because it isn't an action - it's a thing that is done to someone, usually against their will. It's supernatural rather than magical, so it meets the criteria that you set.

    It does feel like it's effectively alignment-altering magic even though it's technically nonmagical, so it might not fit the spirit of the question that you were asking though.
    I don't see that it matters whether it's a "magically" achieved change or somehow to be considered a "NOT-magical" change - unless that specifically is the distinction you want to draw? That a change from good to evil can take place non-magically, because becoming a vampire is a non-magical effect? That wasn't my impression that that is what was being asked.

    I understood the OP question to be whether a good-aligned PC, without overt external influence, and also without overt choices on their part, can as a consequence of their lack of deliberate actions nonetheless become evil. And the answer is no, they can't. Actions determine alignment, not the other way around. Only if actively choosing to NOT ACT is to be considered evil can a character perform no physically evil acts and become evil, but that is the point - that the choice to take no action would be an EVIL choice. If the choosing itself is the evil action, even if the result of the evil action is to deliberately not physically act, then the evil choice of non-action is itself the evil action being taken.

    Alignment in D&D for purposes of Player Character alignment, must be determined by actions. The alternative is that it is instead your alignment that dictates your actions and then no PC - or player - has free will to have their character act in any way other than what their characters alignment dictates FOR them. When it is actions that determine alignment THEN players and their PC's are free to have the PC's choose actions that violate what their alignment would otherwise suggest they should do, and thus CHANGE alignments as a consequence of their choices.

    But you can't just spontaneously turn from good to evil without cause for it having taken place - either deliberate evil actions by the PC or external influences forcing the change against the characters will.
    Last edited by D+1; 2021-04-24 at 08:29 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Jowgen's Avatar

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by D+1 View Post
    I understood the OP question to be whether a good-aligned PC, without overt external influence, and also without overt choices on their part, can as a consequence of their lack of deliberate actions nonetheless become evil.
    Overt external influence would be permissable, so long as it was non-magical.

    For example, if the inverse of the BoED redemption rules existed for Evil, that would qualify. Have someone just talk at you till you're suddenly Evil.

    Overt choices could be permissable, if they somehow didn't invovle actually taking an Evil action.


    Unrelated, I don't want to get in the middle of the brilliant discussions that have been taking place, but I feel one factor that doesn't really seem to have been considered just yet is that nature (as opposed to nurture) holds notably more sway over the morality of not just outsiders but mortal creatures as well. Drow are literally born bad, there's a whole Dragon mag article about how they're already murdering each other the instant they can pick up something sharp, and don't get me started on Illithids and their Ilk.

    Not saying there is an answer to my OP question in this, but just truck me as odd that race hasn't been mentioned at all when "Always/Usually ALIGNMENT" is commonly featured in racial statblocks.
    Last edited by Jowgen; 2021-04-24 at 03:04 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    Unrelated, I don't want to get in the middle of the brilliant discussions that have been taking place, but I feel one factor that doesn't really seem to have been considered just yet is that nature (as opposed to nurture) holds notably more sway over the morality of not just outsiders but mortal creatures as well. Drow are literally born bad, there's a whole Dragon mag article about how they're already murdering each other the instant they can pick up something sharp, and don't get me started on Illithids and their Ilk.

    Not saying there is an answer to my OP question in this, but just truck me as odd that race hasn't been mentioned at all when "Always/Usually ALIGNMENT" is commonly featured in racial statblocks.
    Lolth takes a pretty heavy hand in the goings-on of the Drow race. It would be unlikely that any good aligned spawn would survive into adulthood, without meeting the fate of being turned into a Drider (a process that certainly has an effect on them). The few non-evil Drow that we have seen rise up from the Depths should be more than enough to account for the Always (nearly always) Evil alignment they have.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    Unrelated, I don't want to get in the middle of the brilliant discussions that have been taking place, but I feel one factor that doesn't really seem to have been considered just yet is that nature (as opposed to nurture) holds notably more sway over the morality of not just outsiders but mortal creatures as well. Drow are literally born bad, there's a whole Dragon mag article about how they're already murdering each other the instant they can pick up something sharp, and don't get me started on Illithids and their Ilk.
    I am not sure if it is official or just some third party high jacking of Drow but I remember reading somewhere that Drow always have twins its just that the two twins fight to the death inside the womb and one always kills the other. If that is official then murdering your sibling in the womb pretty well cements the evil alignment in place before a Drow is ever born.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    Not saying there is an answer to my OP question in this, but just truck me as odd that race hasn't been mentioned at all when "Always/Usually ALIGNMENT" is commonly featured in racial statblocks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldonauran View Post
    Lolth takes a pretty heavy hand in the goings-on of the Drow race. It would be unlikely that any good aligned spawn would survive into adulthood, without meeting the fate of being turned into a Drider (a process that certainly has an effect on them). The few non-evil Drow that we have seen rise up from the Depths should be more than enough to account for the Always (nearly always) Evil alignment they have.
    The good Drow offshoots, Succubus paladin, and other such non evil examples of otherwise 'always evil' monsters have always rubbed me the wrong way and I find that handling by WotC quite distasteful. Granted there is the redemption rules in BoED and that seems fine if you are getting non evil 'always evil' monsters through magic which forces alignment changes then fine but beyond that just happening to have some dumb drixxt make it out of the drow and going on a holy crusade to thwart evil just annoys me.

    If you can have non evil examples of a race then it should be a 'usually evil' race in which case I am fine with 'this one was raised by good people and so isn't evil' but I have always taken 'always evil' to mean their nature is evil and it isn't something that can be nurtured out without getting magic involved.

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    "Often", "Usually", and "Always" in regards to alignment have specific meanings, namely "at least 40% have this alignment", "at least 70%" and "at least 95%". Always isn't without exceptions. And if there are fallen angels (a staple of the genre), why not risen demons? And certainly no one would say that drow are less likely to be redeemed than demons, especially as they have a deity dedicated to "evil is totally lame; let's be good again".
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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzardok View Post
    "Often", "Usually", and "Always" in regards to alignment have specific meanings, namely "at least 40% have this alignment", "at least 70%" and "at least 95%". Always isn't without exceptions. And if there are fallen angels (a staple of the genre), why not risen demons? And certainly no one would say that drow are less likely to be redeemed than demons, especially as they have a deity dedicated to "evil is totally lame; let's be good again".
    Because the framing of the Evil/Good dichotomy is one of corruption. For Good to fall to Evil is to slip, for Evil to become Good is to scale a mountain. And even fallen angels in 3.5 are fundamentally changed. Erinyes are Devils, not celestials. A risen demon, if such a thing were possible, would cease to be a demon.

    That said I have no problem with Good Drow. Drow are Evil because of significant and persistent interference from a malevolent deity. Even the most well engineered Evil cultures will have exceptions. I'm less cool with Succubus Paladins, and I notice people are only interested in playing non-Evil fiends when the fiends in question are very attractive looking. Nobody wants to play a risen Barbed Devil or Glabrezu. I can't imagine why that is.
    Last edited by Zanos; 2021-04-26 at 02:05 PM.
    If any idiot ever tells you that life would be meaningless without death, Hyperion recommends killing them!

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    Because the framing of the Evil/Good dichotomy is one of corruption. For Good to fall to Evil is to slip, for Evil to become Good is to scale a mountain. And even fallen angels in 3.5 are fundamentally changed. Erinyes are Devils, not celestials. A risen demon, if such a thing were possible, would cease to be a demon.

    That said I have no problem with Good Drow. Drow are Evil because of significant and persistent interference from a malevolent deity. Even the most well engineered Evil cultures will have exceptions. I'm less cool with Succubus Paladins, and I notice people are only interested in playing non-Evil fiends when the fiends in question are very attractive looking. Nobody wants to play a risen Barbed Devil or Glabrezu. I can't imagine why that is.
    Sexy triggers hormones, hormones induce feelings, feelings generally stop less disciplined people from using their reasoning skills, human tendency to justify actions/behavior after emotions have been processed, add them all together and you get!? Oh, the Devil isn't Evil! He's just a misunderstood rebel!

    Evil isn't really that hard to understand.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    I notice people are only interested in playing non-Evil fiends when the fiends in question are very attractive looking. Nobody wants to play a risen Barbed Devil or Glabrezu. I can't imagine why that is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldonauran View Post
    Sexy triggers hormones, hormones induce feelings, feelings generally stop less disciplined people from using their reasoning skills, human tendency to justify actions/behavior after emotions have been processed, add them all together and you get!? Oh, the Devil isn't Evil! He's just a misunderstood rebel!

    Evil isn't really that hard to understand.
    There's also the tendency in general to want to play attractive characters. No, not everybody does, and I'm sure you could find somebody who would be delighted to play a Risen Bearded Devil. But even people playing orcs and dragonborn tend to play aesthetically pleasing ones, as a general rule. Wanting to play an ugly character for any reason is pretty uncommon. I won't go so far as to say "rare," but definitely not common.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    Because the framing of the Evil/Good dichotomy is one of corruption. For Good to fall to Evil is to slip, for Evil to become Good is to scale a mountain. And even fallen angels in 3.5 are fundamentally changed. Erinyes are Devils, not celestials. A risen demon, if such a thing were possible, would cease to be a demon.

    That said I have no problem with Good Drow. Drow are Evil because of significant and persistent interference from a malevolent deity. Even the most well engineered Evil cultures will have exceptions. I'm less cool with Succubus Paladins, and I notice people are only interested in playing non-Evil fiends when the fiends in question are very attractive looking. Nobody wants to play a risen Barbed Devil or Glabrezu. I can't imagine why that is.
    To be fair I think not wanting to play a Glabrezu or Barbed Devil has more to do with the number of RHD and the fact that they don't have a listed LA than people not wanting to play them. I have played as an imp and chain devil before and found them to be quite fun. The main issue is that most monster races have LAs that are out of step with what they give you.

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    Because the framing of the Evil/Good dichotomy is one of corruption. For Good to fall to Evil is to slip, for Evil to become Good is to scale a mountain.
    Oh, I won't say that falling isn't much, much easier. I just hold that rising is not impossible. If it were possible for the most pure of souls to fall, but not for the most heinous souls to rise, that would mean that over a very, very long timeframe Evil would win. If you give it infinitely long time, all good souls would fall or be destroyed, with no one going the other direction.

    And even fallen angels in 3.5 are fundamentally changed. Erinyes are Devils, not celestials. A risen demon, if such a thing were possible, would cease to be a demon.
    Not all fallen angels are erinyes. Wouldn't make sense for one who fell to Chaotic Evil.

    I personally hold that this is a process that takes a bit of time. A risen demon would cease to be a demon, but not necessarily instantly. It could take a few years, or decades, or centuries..., or seconds. Who knows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    There's also the tendency in general to want to play attractive characters. No, not everybody does, and I'm sure you could find somebody who would be delighted to play a Risen Bearded Devil. But even people playing orcs and dragonborn tend to play aesthetically pleasing ones, as a general rule. Wanting to play an ugly character for any reason is pretty uncommon. I won't go so far as to say "rare," but definitely not common.
    I once played an especially ugly kobold (dusty grey with blood shot eyes and loose scales everywhere), does that count?
    Ich erträum' mir ein Gefieder.
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  17. - Top - End - #77
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzardok View Post
    I once played an especially ugly kobold (dusty grey with blood shot eyes and loose scales everywhere), does that count?
    I am currently playing a venerable Aasimar Barbarian in our Pathfinder game for the Tyrant's Grasp campaign. He might have 16 Charisma, but that is all personality. Don't know if that guy has more wrinkles or scars. Hmm, maybe he is so old his scars have wrinkles?

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: "But I didn't do anything!" - Falling to Evil without taking actions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    I'm less cool with Succubus Paladins, and I notice people are only interested in playing non-Evil fiends when the fiends in question are very attractive looking. Nobody wants to play a risen Barbed Devil or Glabrezu. I can't imagine why that is.
    i mean i dont play anything that i dont think is attractive in some way regardless. theres plenty of standard races i wont play cuz of aesthetic, so of course this extends to when i wanna play weird stuff like dragons and demons and devils.

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