A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    To me the issue really is that it creates a less interesting world. There are no surprises when you encounter always evil race, they are kill on sight. This prevents you from developing individuals of that race into compelling characters, even compelling villains. They don't need elaborate reasons to do evil things, they just do it because the book says they do.
    I have 2 points of disagreement here
    - The existence of always evil races says practically nothing about the interest of the world. Middle earth with morally ambiguous orcs might be a shade more interesting, but I don't think it would make a meaningful difference to the books we have, nor the stories we can tell if we set a game there. You want moral ambiguity, use Easterlings or greedy dwarves or corrupted wizards or elves drunk on power.

    - Always evil=kill on sight. Not if you don't want that to be how you run it. You want shades of grey with moral ambiguity? Lets assume Illithids are always evil* They approach a city which has multiple existential threats with an offer. "We'll take your worst criminals, your people who've been sentenced to death, and in exchange we'll keep our hunting to the other nation that are one of your threats. Or "We actually need cash more than brains, pay us and we'll leave you alone" or "We'll give you cash to do this non-evil job for us" or "We'll work with you to get rif of the drow city that's making both our lives miserable. We want half the magic items but you can have all the real estate and we won't hunt you in the drow city for at least a year so you can get settled"

    * And set aside whether they are or not, and whether they can be moral agents if they are always evil. In fact, lets simply assume that the Illithid community in this example are all evil and not worry about the rest of the species
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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    That's a strawman version of the original. Granted, it's a strawman that sometimes pops up in real games, but it's still a strawman. The non-straw version is that for every tree you cut down, you should plant and nurture a new tree. It's about preserving a status quo, of avoiding extreme one-sided action. Applied to humans or animals, it means you will neither kill more nor let live more than what nature allows. So, you abandon a few kids in the woods, if feeding those extra mouths would require hacking too much forest into farmland, and you adopt a few orphaned kids, if those kids dying would threaten a species dying off and screwing up the foodchain.

    I know some people would consider even the non-straw version evil. They don't want to think of humans or other sapient species as being part of a zero-sum game where a person's worth is circumstantial and weighed against some state of nature. This goes double if they think that state of nature is miserable and evil by itself. The joke is, in context of AD&D alignment, these are valid ways for Good people to view True Neutral people, especially principled neutrals like druids. True Neutral may not be Evil, but it's also not Good and its goals are not Good goals.
    that may be how it is used in some book, I cant say I have read every advanced D&d book but, it is not how it is universally described.
    In my phb it describes making sure the forces of good or evil remain in balance, switching sides if need be to always fight for the underdog.

    pg 68 "although it looked like the forces of order would have the upper hand in this battle, he knew that their had been a general trend toward chaos and destruction in the region that must be combated."

    Pg 65 True neutral characters do their best to avoid siding with the forces of good or evil, law or chaos. It is their duty to see that all of these forces remain in balanced contention"

    Pg 65 "to a great extent, they are compelled to side with the underdog in any given situation, sometimes even changing sides as the previous loser becomes the winner."

    It also notes on the same pg that very few people are true neutral something not said about any other alignment. (in fact it says it twice "true neutral characters are extremely rare")

    Under the general alignment section no mention of nature conservation is every made the only balanced mentioned in that portion of the book is the balance of good and evil, of law and chaos. In some ways that's worse than evil most realistic evil people don't think they are evil and certainly don't set out with the stated goal of reducing the amount of "good" in the world.

    So I suppose in one way you are right based on these descriptions it would not be about the neutral character kicking a baby it would be about him alternatively defending the baby kickers or the orphanage directer until the amount of good and evil in the equation were balanced.
    So that sounds to me like if you have a bunch of Evil slavers and a bunch of people fighting to no be enslaved your objective is to make sure their are always some slave and some free. Because you cant let the balance of good and evil get out of wack.


    They may have stated it differently in some other place or book but I can site pages so its not a straw man.
    Last edited by awa; 2021-07-27 at 07:33 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Actually, I do, and I find your assertion otherwise to be bizarre. It would appear, based on the vehemence of your assertions, that you believe that the whole of humanity has been evil until recently. Not buying that box of soap.
    If we were on a different site I could make a stronger argument, but the unfortunately forum rules frown upon talking about specifics of real world history (as the moderators seem to consider it part of "politics") and so I can't go into examples here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    To me the issue really is that it creates a less interesting world. There are no surprises when you encounter always evil race, they are kill on sight. This prevents you from developing individuals of that race into compelling characters, even compelling villains.
    I disagree. Frankly I think the most interesting characters in the entire game are actually the archfiends and evil gods.

    And speaking of fiends, I'm pretty sure it's still evil to kill evil creatures unprovoked, even if it ultimately serves the greater good. The Blood War doesn't really make any sense conceptually otherwise.

    EDIT:
    also
    "You hear that Stu? I think she wants a motive. Well I don't really believe in motives Sid, I mean did Norman Bates have a motive? Did we ever find out why Hannibal Lector liked to eat people? DON'T THINK SO. See it's a lot scarier when there's no motive." -Ghostface, Scream
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2021-07-27 at 08:47 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    And speaking of fiends, I'm pretty sure it's still evil to kill evil creatures unprovoked, even if it ultimately serves the greater good. The Blood War doesn't really make any sense conceptually otherwise.
    BOVD is the main source for that idea, stating that killing a being purely for profit (normally Murder, a very Evil act) is not evil (though not good either) when the victim is a creature "of consummate, irredeemable evil" such as a chromatic dragon or, by implication, a fiend.

    Later it says that killing a fiend is always a good act, and that allowing one to exist is "clearly evil".

    The later BOED, by contrast, does suggest that killing evil beings "in the name of good" is not acceptable when they "have been doing no wrong" - the implication being that you need more than just an evil alignment - you need evidence of specific wrongdoing.
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  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by awa View Post
    that may be how it is used in some book, I cant say I have read every advanced D&d book but, it is not how it is universally described.
    1st Edition AD&D Player's Handbook, page 33: "The "true" neutral looks upon all other alignments as facets of a system of things. Thus each aspect - evil and good, chaos and law - must be retained in balance to maintain the status quo; for things as they are cannot be improved upom except temporarily, and even then but superficially. Nature will prevail and keep things as they were meant to be, provided the "wheel" surrounding the hub of nature does not become unbalanced due to unnatural forces - such as humans and other intelligent creatures interfering what is meant to be."

    1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide, page 23: "Absolute, or true, neutral creatures view everything that exists as an integral, necessary part or function of the entire cosmos. Each thing exists as part of the whole, one as check or balance to the other, with life necessary for death, happiness for suffering, order for chaos, and vice versa. Nothing must ever become predominant or out of balance. Within this naturalistic ethos, humankind serves a role also, just as all other creatures do. They may be more or less important, but the neutral does not concern himself or herself with these considerations except where it is positively determined that the balance is threatened. Absolute neutrality is in the central or fulcrum position quite logically, as neutral sees all other alignments as necessary parts of a whole. This alignment is narrowest in scope."

    The exemplars of True Neutral are druids, the protectors of the natural world. In fact: "Druids are a sub-class of Cleric. They are the only absolute neutrals." 1st Edition AD&D Player's Handbook page 20.

    Underlines for emphasis. You are correct True Neutral is not universally described like this - most importantly, in addition to absolute "true" neutrality, animals are often (but not always, in AD&D) described as neutral due to inability to hold moral convictions, and animalistic humanoids and humans without strong moral convictions are sometimes lumped in the same category. Non-AD&D interpretations muck about with the definitions to make True Neutral less narrow, but those non-AD&D interpretations aren't what I'm talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by awa
    In my phb it describes making sure the forces of good or evil remain in balance, switching sides if need be to always fight for the underdog.

    pg 68 "although it looked like the forces of order would have the upper hand in this battle, he knew that their had been a general trend toward chaos and destruction in the region that must be combated."

    Pg 65 True neutral characters do their best to avoid siding with the forces of good or evil, law or chaos. It is their duty to see that all of these forces remain in balanced contention"

    Pg 65 "to a great extent, they are compelled to side with the underdog in any given situation, sometimes even changing sides as the previous loser becomes the winner."

    It also notes on the same pg that very few people are true neutral something not said about any other alignment. (in fact it says it twice "true neutral characters are extremely rare")
    You're mostly like quoting 2nd edition AD&D. The thing with 2nd edition is that it was deliberately aimed at a younger audience than 1st edition and this entailed watering down alignment. True Neutral wasn't the worst victim of this, Chaotic Neutral and Evil alignments took the brunt of the change. Even then, if you actually compare those page quotes with the 1st edition quotes above, you'll realize the 2nd edition definitions directly follow from 1st edition's - the connection to status quo of the natural world is just explained worse. (In addition to 2nd edition, this phenomenom continues in 3rd and 5th editions. They copy the outward shape of 1st edition alignment and the "great wheel" cosmology, but they don't actually explain it any better.)

    None of these quotes support the idea of True Neutral alternating between kicking babies and saving orphans. That's the strawman and continues to be a strawman. Per the 1st edition DMG page 23 quote and 2nd edition page 65 quote, True Neutral neither kicks babies nor saves orphans unless it's been positively established failure to act disrupts the status quo.

    Quote Originally Posted by awa
    Under the general alignment section no mention of nature conservation is every made the only balanced mentioned in that portion of the book is the balance of good and evil, of law and chaos. In some ways that's worse than evil most realistic evil people don't think they are evil and certainly don't set out with the stated goal of reducing the amount of "good" in the world.
    How did the John Galt quote from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged go again? "In every conflict, there are two sides: the right and the wrong one. But the middle is always evil."

    As already noted, I perfectly understand why some people would consider AD&D True Neutral to be evil, and from viewpoint AD&D Good it is evil, but it isn't, by straightforward reading of the rules, actually Evil. And it isn't unrealistic - the straightforward application in form of ecological conservationism is perfectly realistic.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Just because second edition had a worse interpretation than first does not make me mentioning it a straw man, its literally whats written in the book. Make certain that the forces of evil never defeat the forces of good, make certain the forces of good never defeat the forces of evil. Its dumb but not a straw man.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    If we were on a different site I could make a stronger argument, but the unfortunately forum rules frown upon talking about specifics of real world history (as the moderators seem to consider it part of "politics") and so I can't go into examples here.



    I disagree. Frankly I think the most interesting characters in the entire game are actually the archfiends and evil gods.

    And speaking of fiends, I'm pretty sure it's still evil to kill evil creatures unprovoked, even if it ultimately serves the greater good. The Blood War doesn't really make any sense conceptually otherwise.

    EDIT:
    also
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    I don't know about Hannibal Lector, but Norman Bates had a very clear motive that was explained in a full exposition briefing in the movie. They literally sat the audience down to tell them why it all happened.
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    If we were on a different site I could make a stronger argument, but the unfortunately forum rules frown upon talking about specifics of real world history (as the moderators seem to consider it part of "politics") and so I can't go into examples here.
    I understand. I likewise had to censor my terms.
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by awa View Post
    Just because second edition had a worse interpretation than first does not make me mentioning it a straw man, its literally whats written in the book. Make certain that the forces of evil never defeat the forces of good, make certain the forces of good never defeat the forces of evil. Its dumb but not a straw man.
    The thing I was calling out as a strawman was this:

    Quote Originally Posted by awa
    The TSR era true neutral of making sure you kick a baby for every orphan you save would be considered evil by most post TSR alignment systems.
    That's a strawman even of the 2nd edition version. True Neutral doesn't kick a baby for every orphan they save because they'd only be saving those orphans in the first place because those orphans dying is a threat to balance. Kicking babies would hence restore the unbalance they were trying to fix and be against their philosophy. I agree 2nd edition alignment is dumber than 1st edition, but it isn't dumb in that particular way.

    I do still grant the silly strawman neutral does sometimes pop up in real games.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    BOVD is the main source for that idea, stating that killing a being purely for profit (normally Murder, a very Evil act) is not evil (though not good either) when the victim is a creature "of consummate, irredeemable evil" such as a chromatic dragon or, by implication, a fiend.

    Later it says that killing a fiend is always a good act, and that allowing one to exist is "clearly evil".

    The later BOED, by contrast, does suggest that killing evil beings "in the name of good" is not acceptable when they "have been doing no wrong" - the implication being that you need more than just an evil alignment - you need evidence of specific wrongdoing.
    Even in the context of BoVD by itself it's at best inconsistent as it would make the Blood War a redemptive act and 1. none of the fiends would want to do it and/or 2. the lower planes would be hemorrhaging sould left and right

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    How did the John Galt quote from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged go again? "In every conflict, there are two sides: the right and the wrong one. But the middle is always evil."
    Is that the book about the anti-religious anti-union messianic figure who organizes a mass walkout?'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I don't know about Hannibal Lector, but Norman Bates had a very clear motive that was explained in a full exposition briefing in the movie. They literally sat the audience down to tell them why it all happened.
    IIRC he had a voice in his head telling him to do it, which, IIRC, is also the motive for 5e orcs, only instead of a murderous little old lady it's a murderous deity
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2021-07-28 at 01:24 PM.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    BoED doesn't say anything about killing fiends being a ticket up. The most it says is that "demons and devils are best slain, or at least banished, and only a naive fool would try to convert them" - but that doesn't mean that slaying them counts as a good act. (Redeeming one certainly would be, but the chances of success are effectively nil.)
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Is that the book about the anti-religious anti-union messianic figure who organizes a mass walkout?'
    Yes, I suppose, why do you ask? You could always check by reading it.

    ---

    Regarding killing fiends being a ticket to Heaven, there are a fair few computer games based on AD&D which give you alignment for killing opposed supernatural beings, but even they aren't this dim. You have to have ethical commitment to the alignment your killing them for, for it to count (Nethack and ADOM come to mind at least). So a Good character only becomes more Good for killing fiends if they've already pledged themselves to a Good cause and have something to show for it. Neutral and Evil do not move towards Good for killing fiends, though they don't move further toward Evil either.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    First, the fact that there is no satisfying slam dunk answer to moral philosophy. Dwarves can perfect paragons of morality according to a particular ethical school of thought, but that's likely to create situations that look alien and unsatisfying to your average reader. Evil, meanwhile, comes in many forms that the vast majority of people agree are evil. Slavers and serial killers are not the same, but there's pretty wide consensus that they're both really nasty.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    This is a silly argument. Some other author somewhere couldn't keep their angels good, therefore I shouldn't have evil demons?
    I forget the exact source, but someone said "There may not be a Heaven, but there absolutely is a Hell."

    I'm supportive of an author's right to stipulate that species X, Y and Z are innately inclined toward altruism or sadism or what-have-you, even to the point of being immutably so, especially in a fantasy universe, but I don't think the moral extremes are totally symmetric either. Thermodynamics at work- 'good' is a complex regulatory optimisation problem and 'evil' is more-or-less anything which intentionally knocks that regulatory process outta whack. It's always going to be trickier to convincingly depict the guardians of paradise than the agents of sin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    It is absolutely fair to criticize someone for something they didn't intend, if that thing is still harmful. You don't have to intend to cause harm in order to be harmful.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    So we have evidence that we can have evil cultures, and members of that culture being predominantly evil.
    Remove a creature from said culture and it is any alignments ball game.
    That is my current take away from this, including the Illithids.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vasilidor View Post
    So we have evidence that we can have evil cultures, and members of that culture being predominantly evil.
    Remove a creature from said culture and it is any alignments ball game.
    That is my current take away from this, including the Illithids.
    There may still be tendencies once culture is removed if the entity's natural state puts them in morally precarious predicaments.

    For example an Illithid that matured from a human taking a swim in a tadpole brine pool of a recently destroyed Illithid city might not have any of the Illithid city's culture. However it will quickly learn that it wants to eat brains. Shortly thereafter it will learn it needs to eat brains. As it grows hungry will it fast until it finds a lower lifeform, or will it rationalize the available brains as being a sufficiently lower life form to make the feeding acceptable? How will its choices and experiences shape its opinions and self image. How will those opinions and self image shape its future choices?

    While it is any alignment's ball game. I predict more of these very very rare Illithids will feed on drow/dwarf/human brains than will feed on on rothe brains. They have the moral agency to choose, but it does not mean the right path will be easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldTrees1 View Post
    There may still be tendencies once culture is removed if the entity's natural state puts them in morally precarious predicaments.

    For example an Illithid that matured from a human taking a swim in a tadpole brine pool of a recently destroyed Illithid city might not have any of the Illithid city's culture. However it will quickly learn that it wants to eat brains. Shortly thereafter it will learn it needs to eat brains. As it grows hungry will it fast until it finds a lower lifeform, or will it rationalize the available brains as being a sufficiently lower life form to make the feeding acceptable? How will its choices and experiences shape its opinions and self image. How will those opinions and self image shape its future choices?

    While it is any alignment's ball game. I predict more of these very very rare Illithids will feed on drow/dwarf/human brains than will feed on on rothe brains. They have the moral agency to choose, but it does not mean the right path will be easy.
    There's also the likely impact of beings placed in moral jeopardy by their very nature removing themselves from the calculus - primarily by suicide - which means the only beings of such kind that you encounter will be at least moderately morally compromised. This is a common thread in vampire narratives, ie. that you don't encounter saintly vampires because saintly people either refuse to become vampires in the first place or walk into the sun shortly after being turned rather than chose to willingly exist as monsters. Going against fundamentals of physiology and psychology is incredibly hard - human organizations that impose such requirements usually face staggering rates of deception and non-compliance.

    Well members of every species may be equally free to choose good or evil, variances in fundamental physiology and psychology mean those choices are not weighted equally across all species. Essentially, it's harder for an Illithid to be good than it is for a human.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post

    IIRC he had a voice in his head telling him to do it, which, IIRC, is also the motive for 5e orcs, only instead of a murderous little old lady it's a murderous deity
    More exactly, he killed his mother in a jealous rage and then because he couldn't admit to his own depravity he pretended she was alive and made a mirror version that was as jealous of him as he had been of her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    There's also the likely impact of beings placed in moral jeopardy by their very nature removing themselves from the calculus - primarily by suicide - which means the only beings of such kind that you encounter will be at least moderately morally compromised. This is a common thread in vampire narratives, ie. that you don't encounter saintly vampires because saintly people either refuse to become vampires in the first place or walk into the sun shortly after being turned rather than chose to willingly exist as monsters. Going against fundamentals of physiology and psychology is incredibly hard - human organizations that impose such requirements usually face staggering rates of deception and non-compliance.

    Well members of every species may be equally free to choose good or evil, variances in fundamental physiology and psychology mean those choices are not weighted equally across all species. Essentially, it's harder for an Illithid to be good than it is for a human.
    Yeah, there was actually some discussion of this topic in an older gobbotopia-related thread. It's hypothetically possible for an illithid to be good-aligned if they were, say, restricting themselves to victims who were themselves evil or otherwise killed in honourable combat and entirely refrained from reproducing. Something like the fantasy equivalent of Dexter Morgan. But the baseline physiology of the species heavily incentivises going after easy prey, without even getting into a discussion about innate biological differences in temperament (which could be just as consequential.)
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Given that a good-aligned illithid is statted out, with a backstory, in BoED, it's a bit more than hypothetical. There's a neutral-aligned one in Underdark as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Given that a good-aligned illithid is statted out, with a backstory, in BoED, it's a bit more than hypothetical.
    Can you remember the page no.? I browsed BoED a while back but it's not coming back to me.
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    I'd give that only slightly more weight than the Succubus Paladin. Even discounting simple errors in following basic rules (not meeting feat prerequisited etc.), some of the splatbook characters are outright paradoxical. They exist because an author wanted to make a point, but don't follow basic rules of the game. In BoED's case, I think they wanted to stress that everyone can be redeemed. My own copy is lost, so I can't check.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Page 17 - Redeemed Villains.

    Spoiler: The BOED picture of the character
    Show
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    I'd give that only slightly more weight than the Succubus Paladin. Even discounting simple errors in following basic rules (not meeting feat prerequisited etc.), some of the splatbook characters are outright paradoxical. They exist because an author wanted to make a point, but don't follow basic rules of the game. In BoED's case, I think they wanted to stress that everyone can be redeemed. My own copy is lost, so I can't check.
    Pg 17. Thaqualm LG Female illithid monk.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    "You know it's all fake right?"
    "...yeah, but it makes me feel better."

  25. - Top - End - #205
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    They exist because an author wanted to make a point, but don't follow basic rules of the game.
    And the rules of the game, in the MM, allow for non-evil members of "Always X Evil" races, including fiends. Mind Flayers aren't even "always Lawful Evil" - they're "usually Lawful evil".
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  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Page 17 - Redeemed Villains.

    Spoiler: The BOED picture of the character
    Show
    Odd. I have a .pdf copy and searching for 'illithid' and 'mind flayer' turned up no matches. Strange description- "She joined a monastic order, and has now retired to a life of contemplation. She has sworn a vow of nonviolence and works hard to redeem any evil humanoids she may encounter, hoping to set them on the same course that..."

    ...given the vow of non-violence, how does she eat, exactly?

    Anyway, curiosity aside, none of this rebuts the point I was making that good-aligned illithids are likely to be very rare for reasons largely independent of culture, per se.
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  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    There isn't any such thing as "should". Run your games however you wish.

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    And the rules of the game, in the MM, allow for non-evil members of "Always X Evil" races, including fiends. Mind Flayers aren't even "always Lawful Evil" - they're "usually Lawful evil".
    My point is that even if the prior rules had stated Illithids honest-to-God can't be Good, they probably still would've had a Good Illithid, because that fit the theme they were going for. The BoED Illithid is hence not a good example of how a non-Evil Illithid could or would look like - it's an extreme corner case in a book dedicated to extreme corner cases.

    In Forgotten Realms, IIRC, there's an entire subspecies of non-Evil Illithids based on gnomes. They are a more numerous and down-to-earth example... and they are also lame compared to the iconic Evil version and I would basically never recommed using them for non-FR games where moral issues surrounding Illithids are supposed to feature heavily. The speculative Illithid feasting only on criminals on the death row is more interesting than the canonical version.

    EDIT: somewhat similarly, the idea of the "Adversary" is most interesting as an Illithid myth, as a story Illithids tell to other Illithids, as it tells what they fear. Making that myth a reality, or worse, a common occurrence, makes it less interesting, because it gives an out to people who had a larva implanted in their skull. Part of the horror of that happening to you is that even in context of D&D, it's a very permanent death sentence and violation of your basic nature. Mind you, I have similar thoughts about vampirism. And lycantrophy. The easier it is to get a cure or basically come out of the other side as yourself but with nifty extra powers, the less weight the whole ordeal has.
    Last edited by Vahnavoi; 2021-07-29 at 09:11 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    Odd. I have a .pdf copy and searching for 'illithid' and 'mind flayer' turned up no matches. Strange description- "She joined a monastic order, and has now retired to a life of contemplation. She has sworn a vow of nonviolence and works hard to redeem any evil humanoids she may encounter, hoping to set them on the same course that..."

    ...given the vow of non-violence, how does she eat, exactly?
    She eats evil nonhumanoids, presumably. The vow of nonviolence doesn't actually prevent the vower from killing other living things - that's the Vow of Peace.
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  30. - Top - End - #210
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    She eats evil nonhumanoids, presumably. The vow of nonviolence doesn't actually prevent the vower from killing other living things - that's the Vow of Peace.
    The canonical description heavily implies that an illithid needs to consume the brains of intelligent creatures- at a bare minimum the brains of animals would be a lot less nourishing. It would be something like a vampire trying to subsist on rats or insects.

    I wouldn't object in principle to a good-aligned illithid sample character, but the backstory-as-written doesn't really contend with the difficulties of making the concept work, and even if it did it could still be the case that 99% of illithids are varying flavours of evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    My point is that even if the prior rules had stated Illithids honest-to-God can't be Good, they probably still would've had a Good Illithid, because that fit the theme they were going for. The BoED Illithid is hence not a good example of how a non-Evil Illithid could or would look like - it's an extreme corner case in a book dedicated to extreme corner cases.
    This.
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