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White Blade
2007-02-04, 10:11 PM
Is it possible, in DnD, to be a good (pointedly, a paladin) character and be a masochist? In the BoVD, it lists it next to drug addiction and cannibalism, which is sorta implicit it is bad. But I was thinking of doing a Paladin of Illmatar (I might have mispelled that) who was a masochist, but hated to see others in pain and so went out of his way to take that pain from them (and it generally it ends up on himself.), because the only time he feels bad is when he sees others feeling bad. Basically an empathic person who enjoys pain.

oriong
2007-02-04, 10:16 PM
That's not masochism that's martyrdom (which is of course what illmatar is all about).

Masochism would be enjoying pain for it's own sake, suffering for the sake of others is not the same.

That said, masochism does have inherently negative aspects to it. After all goodness is about relieving pain and so on. Inflicting pain (even on yourself) is not something that is Good, (as opposed to accepting the pain of others which is considered a virtue) and therefore it might not be something that could be combined easily with Good values (not necessarily evil though).

Of course this is from a Good/Evil perspective. Psychologically nothing prevents a true masochist from being a perfectly nice and pleasant person and behaving in all other ways as a truly good person might.

EDIT: If the character's 'masochism' manifested itself only in enjoying relieving others of their suffering 'a little too much' then I see no reason why he couldn't be a paladin. He might come off as a bit creepy but then again his god is an old crippled man dressed in bloody rags.

Renegade Paladin
2007-02-04, 10:18 PM
I actually don't know how Ilmater would react to having a masochist paladin in his service. His deal is suffering so others don't have to, not inflicting needless suffering on yourself.

PinkysBrain
2007-02-04, 10:20 PM
Is it possible to be good ... sure, why not? Is inflicting pain on yourself for pleasure a good act, no. Pain and damage go together, by taking damage when there are alternatives you don't just put yourself in peril but all those close to you.

Why push things to the absolute by doing this with a paladin, can't you just do it with a cleric instead?

mikeejimbo
2007-02-04, 10:21 PM
Sounds rather like a certain monk character from a certain somewhat controversial and recent book/movie.

Inyssius Tor
2007-02-04, 10:21 PM
I would say that it's neutral, less dangerous to other people than drug addiction, and in the case of your paladin would not be martyrdom, but rather a very helpful companion to martyrdom, because your paladin enjoys pain for pain's sake in addition to enjoying pain because it relieves someone else's burden.

EDIT: While oriong is right about it not being Good, people do a lot of things that aren't perfectly efficient (therefore hindering their cause).

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-04, 10:26 PM
Man, people who write D&D have some crazy ideas about how masochism works.

Cocktail Umbrellas
2007-02-05, 12:20 AM
I don't think alignment should have anything to do with masochism any more than ones favourite flavour of ice cream. (Hee hee, does enjoying strawberry make you good? Is the consumption of rocky road evil?)

Masochism is like an ingrained preference, so a little more serious than ice cream flavours, but really, the alignment relevance behind both is the same. There is nothing good or evil about masochism, it is merely a preference. And so long as it is not upsetting to the individual, there is nothing wrong with it, and even were it upsetting to the individual I still donít think it would influence alignment (though it would probably make them shameful, finding pleasure in something that is embarrassing). And I suppose one could argue that enjoying the death of children is a preference, but masochism doesn't involve the harm of any other individual, and usually only a small calculated risk of the one individual. Besides, I really donít think the character is going to base any moral judgements off of the fact they find pleasure in pain. They might fight a little harder, but it isnít as though a masochist is any more or less afraid of death than your average person. Plus, it is not as though the person is going to go running through the streets crying "Hurt me, I LIKE IT!" so chances are it will be a minor roleplaying part of the character.

Any alignment could be a masochist.

I donít know if the books have anything to say about masochism and alignment, but books aside, thatís what I have to say.

Mewtarthio
2007-02-05, 01:08 AM
I haven't read the Book of Vile Darkness, but somehow I get the feeling that the masochism in their was less the paraphilia-type masochism and more willing self-mutilation so as to disfigure yourself in the name of your dark master.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-05, 01:11 AM
Masochism also generally applies to BDSM things--not to being stabbed in the gut.

Renegade Paladin
2007-02-05, 01:16 AM
I don't think anyone's saying it applies to being stabbed in the gut. :smallconfused:

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2007-02-05, 01:17 AM
just a note. Viscious, which is a +1 ablilty enhancement ( think it's +1 at least) to melee weapons is a rather masochistic ability, and in the DMG no less. That's probably the closest thing you'll get to masochism in D&D. I don't see a reason why a paladin couldn't have that, so yes I think you could have a good masochist. A masochist is just someone who likes to punish themselves, and concievable you could have a good aligned character that enjoys putting himself through real hardship and pain. (usually has a sexual connotation to it, but not always, and I'm taking it in the non-sexual context now). Personally, I think mechanics of the game aren't the place for that. Seems to me it would be more of a flavor thing that you could roleplay.

Thomas
2007-02-05, 02:09 AM
Man, people who write D&D have some crazy ideas about how masochism works.

And they sure seem to like forcing silly notions of ethics on players.

Fetishes are definitely neutral, so long as no one is being actually harmed. BDSM is neutral in general, since consent is such a huge part of it.

Putting ritualistic self-mutilation under the title of "masochism" would be clumsy, heavy-handed, and pretty typical of D&D, so I guess that's plausible... and I can see how that might be considered "evil" in D&D. But I'm not sure I'd call flagellants evil, either, especially when Ilmater, a good FaerŻnian deity, obviously has them (Ilmater's faith uses hair shirts, after all, and that's inflicting pain/suffering on yourself intentionally, for religious purposes - essentially ritualistic self-mutilation).

Beleriphon
2007-02-05, 02:54 AM
Putting ritualistic self-mutilation under the title of "masochism" would be clumsy, heavy-handed, and pretty typical of D&D, so I guess that's plausible... and I can see how that might be considered "evil" in D&D. But I'm not sure I'd call flagellants evil, either, especially when Ilmater, a good FaerŻnian deity, obviously has them (Ilmater's faith uses hair shirts, after all, and that's inflicting pain/suffering on yourself intentionally, for religious purposes - essentially ritualistic self-mutilation).

I think there is a difference here. The whole point of the hair shirt is that its unpleasant to wear. A masochist wouldn't find the experience unpleasant, but rather take pleasure from the discomfort the garment causes. I also have this funny feeling that the Book of Vile Darkness has managed to confuse sadism and masochism, or managed to intrinsicly link the two of them together.

Thomas
2007-02-05, 03:02 AM
I think there is a difference here. The whole point of the hair shirt is that its unpleasant to wear. A masochist wouldn't find the experience unpleasant, but rather take pleasure from the discomfort the garment causes. I also have this funny feeling that the Book of Vile Darkness has managed to confuse sadism and masochism, or managed to intrinsicly link the two of them together.

I was referring to the hair-shirt as essentially being ritualistic self-mutilation, not masochism; the problem I was addressing was the conflation of masochism with self-mutilation in the BoVD. Flagellation (which a hair-shirt is part of, basically) is pretty much classed as evil in the BoVD - even though there are long-established good D&D deities whose faiths include flagellation (i.e. Ilmater).

Beleriphon
2007-02-05, 03:03 AM
I was referring to the hair-shirt as essentially being ritualistic self-mutilation, not masochism; the problem I was addressing was the conflation of masochism with self-mutilation in the BoVD. Flagellation (which a hair-shirt is part of, basically) is pretty much classed as evil in the BoVD - even though there are long-established good D&D deities whose faiths include flagellation (i.e. Ilmater).

Gotcha. :smallbiggrin: Like I said, the Book of Vile Darkness is slightly confused, and generally pretty silly.

oriong
2007-02-05, 03:35 AM
If you actually look at the players guide to faerun you end with a weird final impression of it all.

On one hand you've got the Maiden of Pain, who is required to be not simply sadistic (like all followers of lovatar) but also masochistic and requires them to have an addiction to pain (literally to the agony drug). So, clearly it's got evil implications since it's that addiction to pain that ultimately catapults them from simply evil to officially Vile.

Then right next door you have the Martyred Champion of Ilmater. An exalted class following the god. They get an ability that is, for almost all purposes, identical to the masochism spell except that it isn't evil (it's called Holy Suffering). He even gains the ability to go without food and water even though he still suffers from hunger pains. Fun times.

Well, I think it's pretty clear that the ideas in the Vile and Exalted books are pretty darn silly and messed up, so I don't know how much we should take from either example.

But here's how I see it. The thing that really seperates the maiden of pain from the Martyered Champion is that they see pain as something to be sought out, something desirable. The followers of ilmater see it as something to be endured and overcome (whether self-inflicted or not and for many possible reasons). This seems like a fairly good way to go on the stance: taking pleasure in pain for it's own sake (whether inflicted on yourself or on others) is Evil (labeling it Vile is probably going to far) while accepting pain for a 'higher' purpose or in order to relieve the pain of others is Good. Obviously both should have varying degrees and just like 'greed' is evil it doesn't necessarily mean wanting to get paid will make you fall from grace. But it's safe to say that when one of those two forces begins to have a significant foothold in your behavior and way of thinking you'll begin to lean towards one end of the alignment spectrum or the other.

NOTE: This is not meant in anyway as a real-life moral judgement. Good and Evil in D+D don't give a damn about whether or not something is 'really' good or evil, and they certainly don't care about the sovereignty of one's own body.

Thomas
2007-02-05, 04:50 AM
But flagellants would see pain and suffering as "something to be sought out, something desirable" - and as "something to be endured or overcome." That's why they wear hair-shirts and beat themselves - the whole point of flagellation was the idea that pain and suffering make a person nobler and purer, shrive away sin, and so on. The only real functional difference between Loviatar's and Ilmater's approaches to pain is that Loviatar teaches it's a great idea to inflict pain on others (and, I suppose, that pain is enjoyable; although, again, that attitude in itself would be Neutral).

Elliot Kane
2007-02-05, 04:58 AM
Is it possible, in DnD, to be a good (pointedly, a paladin) character and be a masochist? In the BoVD, it lists it next to drug addiction and cannibalism, which is sorta implicit it is bad. But I was thinking of doing a Paladin of Illmatar (I might have mispelled that) who was a masochist, but hated to see others in pain and so went out of his way to take that pain from them (and it generally it ends up on himself.), because the only time he feels bad is when he sees others feeling bad. Basically an empathic person who enjoys pain.

I don't see why not, honestly. He's doing no harm to anyone else, and as long as he isn't trying to actively promote masochism as an alternate lifestyle (Harm to others = evil) I'd say it was a perfectly valid and definitely interesting approach.

Masochism may not be healthy, but to describe it as inherently evil is not really fair, I think.

Tengu
2007-02-05, 11:22 AM
If I remember correctly, masochism is not evil according to the BOEF.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-05, 11:28 AM
Masochism may not be healthy.

But it generally is.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-02-05, 11:52 AM
If I remember correctly, masochism is not evil according to the BOEF.

Which is what, Book of Exalted Friends?

I think I remember reading a Faerun book which talks about Ilmater and Masochism. I remember it saying that there's a masochistic sect of heretics that Ilmater doesn't support them.

The main differance between flagellation and masochism is a masochist doing what a flagellant does is a form of hedonism, which is exactly what flagellation is supposed to be the opposite of.

Em
2007-02-05, 11:55 AM
Masochism also generally applies to BDSM things--not to being stabbed in the gut.

Quoted for trueness and hilarity. I have no purpose on this thread, but reckon I shall quote that a few times in the next few hours... :smallbiggrin:

Thomas
2007-02-05, 11:57 AM
If I remember correctly, masochism is not evil according to the BOEF.

That's not exactly a relevant source, since it's not a WotC book. (BoEF = Book of Erotic Fantasy)

Tengu
2007-02-05, 11:58 AM
Which is what, Book of Exalted Friends?

Book of Erotic Fantasy. It's a 3.0 supplement, and it's written in a surprisingly good taste. At least the parts I've found here and there at the net.


But it generally is.

I'm a bit afraid to ask why.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-05, 11:59 AM
Well, I try.

In an attempt to elaborate on the topic as a whole--speaking as someone who regularly hurts someone else in ways she very much enjoys despite being mentally healthy: "self-martyrdom" might be a better term. "Masochism" certainly isn't anything like the BoED descibes (the term "self-mutilation" was raised at one point).

Well, I try.

In an attempt to elaborate on the topic as a whole--speaking as someone who regularly hurts someone else in ways she very much enjoys despite being mentally healthy: "self-martyrdom" might be a better term. "Masochism" certainly isn't anything like the BoED descibes (the term "self-mutilation" was raised at one point).


Edit:


I'm a bit afraid to ask why.

Because if that's what someone enjoys, in a safe, sane, and consentual context, then there's nothing wrong with them enjoying it, and, furthermore, there's certainly nothing unhealthy about it. You can think of it as the equivalent of someone who likes really spicy foods (which I can't stand, myself, because they taste like burning)--generally unpleasant things can become pleasant in certain contexts.

Thomas
2007-02-05, 12:01 PM
I'm a bit afraid to ask why.

Because there's nothing unhealthy about most forms of BDSM. (There's some scary "fringe" stuff where you have to wonder about the sort of issues the people involved may have to think it's a good idea to begin with, but I guess so long as nobody ignores safe-words, it's all gravy.)

Swordguy
2007-02-05, 12:06 PM
If I remember correctly, masochism is not evil according to the BOEF.

That is correct.

Y'know...I kind of wish Valar would have put together equivalents to BoVD and BoED with the same prefessionalism that they put into the BoEF. I found their take on several topics to be massively preferrable to WotC's.

Black Hand
2007-02-05, 12:13 PM
Is it possible, in DnD, to be a good (pointedly, a paladin) character and be a masochist?

Yes you can. Think of the good 'ol Pious Roman Catlick priests that would whip their backs bare when they think they've sinned. Just have you paladin with that type of mindset. If you think you've been having "impure" thoughts, it could be within your belief that you have to "purge" yourself in such a way...Hmmm, that would make an interesting paladin character now that I think of it...A whipweilding Paladin that uses the Smite evil with the whip on obvious evildoers. Sounds like a pretty hard core dude. :smallamused:

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-05, 12:15 PM
That sounds like a paladin of Sune, who would be "hardcore" in an entirely different way...

Sam K
2007-02-05, 12:21 PM
I think it's a REALLY interesting character concept, clearly viable, but with some heavy RP implications.

Since the character in question gains satisfaction from enduring pain, even if it is obtained in a 'good' way (by taking the suffering of others upon yourself), that character would constantly run the risk of compromizing his status as a paladin. To a paladin, doing things for the right reasons is as important as doing the right thing. If this paladin starts enjoying the suffering he takes upon himself too much, he's losing touch with his god. The 'spirit of the rules' is important to a paladin, and it seems to go completely against the spirit of the church of Ilmather to enjoy the pain you relive others off.

That being said, I'd say go for it. It's really what RPing a paladin is all about, IMO. The constant struggle between your duties and your desires.

Olethros
2007-02-05, 12:30 PM
I don’t think it’s necessary to define masochism on even D&D’s conflicted morality scale to determine the appropriateness of a paladin sporting that particular label. Base it all off the paladin’s actions, if he carries himself as a paragon of good, than it doesn’t matter if he considers himself (or the player considers him) a masochist. The only problem would be if the enjoyment derived from the masochism turns into an addiction and the paladin looses control. If at that point he starts to take actions driven solely to feed the addiction, there may be alignment problems. (I think I just found a better motivation for my games villain, thanks people.)

Thomas
2007-02-05, 12:36 PM
That sounds like a paladin of Sune, who would be "hardcore" in an entirely different way...

Hardcore Sunites.

Priceless. :smallamused:

elliott20
2007-02-05, 12:37 PM
Sounds rather like a certain monk character from a certain somewhat controversial and recent book/movie.
:thog: : "Thog no get reference"

Dark
2007-02-05, 12:40 PM
I think he must mean Anakin Skywalker.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-02-05, 03:14 PM
Book of Erotic Fantasy. It's a 3.0 supplement, and it's written in a surprisingly good taste. At least the parts I've found here and there at the net.

Oh, I think my brother has a PDF of that somewhere. It's okay I just wish they hadn't bothered with artwork...

Sune is supposed to be about beauty, not hitting things...

I guess Lovitar is too obvious to be interesting though.

oriong
2007-02-05, 03:27 PM
Sharess might be a bit more appropraite. Whips are too likely to leave scars.

SpiderBrigade
2007-02-05, 03:39 PM
Oh, I think my brother has a PDF of that somewhere. It's okay I just wish they hadn't bothered with artwork...Yah, the art is in pretty good taste, it's just not very good. Kind of embarassin', really.


Sune is supposed to be about beauty, not hitting things...Unless you mean in that "Yeah, I'd hit it" kind of way...

belboz
2007-02-05, 03:40 PM
OK, for the purposes of this argument, let's leave out the kind of "safe and sane" masochism practiced in a number of communities today, and just limit the discussion to actually enjoying causing what is pretty uncontroversially *harm* to oneself. For one thing, I think it's the only way we can keep this from getting derailed into a discussion of actual groups of people, which we don't want to do.

Even given that, I still think there's a matter for debate here. Personally, I don't think anything you do to yourself that has no effect on anyone else can qualify as "evil" (or "good", for that matter). But people (particularly, say, traditional utilitarians) disagree with this regularly.

I think the "wounding yourself before battle" is a bad example. In that case, it's not that taking pleasure in wounding oneself is necessarily wrong, it's that it's wrong to pursue your own pleasures at the potential cost of lives.

Melrob
2007-02-05, 03:43 PM
Who's to say the pleasure derived from it (ihn your paladin example) isn't anything other than a path to enlightenment? Just a thought.

SpiderBrigade
2007-02-05, 03:49 PM
The thing that really gets me about the "rules-masochism" is that somehow "deriving pleasure from painful sensations" translates into a to-hit bonus.

Huh?

Person_Man
2007-02-05, 03:57 PM
I've found that its almost impossible to roleplay psychologically complex characters in D&D. It's mostly a game about rolling dice and making choices. I've seen some great character development in my days, but D&D just doesn't lend itself to long explanations about why you do things. And personal asides are interesting, but if taken too far tend to detract from everyone else's playing experience.

Ilikato McHurtmyself: I slowly drag the point of the dagger across my flesh.

DM: Um, ok. You take 2 points of damage. The Duke stares at you in shock.

Ilikato McHurtmyself: Wait! When the dagger draws blood, a strange grimace creeps up on my face, and I choke back tears of joy. Beneath my breath I mutter, "Sweet mistress pain, it's been too long since we danced."

Cause Ibashstuff: No one cares Ilikato, stop being a freak. I tell the Duke that we accept the quest to save his daughter. Let's get this rolling before the pizza delivery gets here.

SpiderBrigade
2007-02-05, 04:16 PM
I've found that its almost impossible to roleplay psychologically complex characters in D&D. It's mostly a game about rolling dice and making choices.While I agree with you about the focus of the game, I don't think that stops you from roleplaying psychologically-complex characters at all. It just means your complexity won't have any impact on the mechanical side of the game. Which is really fine, IMO.
I've seen some great character development in my days, but D&D just doesn't lend itself to long explanations about why you do things. And personal asides are interesting, but if taken too far tend to detract from everyone else's playing experience.

Ilikato McHurtmyself: I slowly drag the point of the dagger across my flesh.

DM: Um, ok. You take 2 points of damage. The Duke stares at you in shock.

Ilikato McHurtmyself: Wait! When the dagger draws blood, a strange grimace creeps up on my face, and I choke back tears of joy. Beneath my breath I mutter, "Sweet mistress pain, it's been too long since we danced."

Cause Ibashstuff: No one cares Ilikato, stop being a freak. I tell the Duke that we accept the quest to save his daughter. Let's get this rolling before the pizza delivery gets here.See, the second quote there is just overdoing it. That kind of behaviour would be weird and out-of-place in pretty much any game system, in a similar situation: why are you taking time in the middle of an audience with the Duke to show off your fetishes?

White Blade
2007-02-05, 04:21 PM
Allow me to explain a bit more about the character, and myself in the process (sadly):
I came up with this character rather passively last night when I was at my church watching the Superbowl with my youth group. Because there was a pew in front of me (and I'm classically lazy) I stuck my feat up, they weren't near anyone else, though there were people sitting on the pew in front of me. So one of them got annoyed (naturally) and started driving a pencil into my leg. It started hurting but, rather then yell or remove my foot (giving him his satisfaction) I just laughed. This is how I deal with pain when I don't want to react negatively to it.

This got me to thinking, "Wait, any adventurer is gonna have a defence mechanism at least to that extent, and probably more so." which brought me to question number two, "Wait isn't that masochism? The enjoyment of pain?"

Which brought me to question "Wait, if thats how adventurers work, and DnD implicits masochism to be bad, is masochism okay? Can a Paladin be a masochist?" which brought me to Ilmatar, which brought me to my character idea, which brought me to the question.

In my mind, the Paladin sees enjoying pain as a way of being able to "overcome" the hardships of self-sacrifice and martyrdom. To enjoy it, in fact, which is what its all about right? In the Ilmatar faith? So he doesn't cut on himself or anything like that, but he enjoys pain when it comes. Its why he is an adventurer. He is no more reckless then any other paladin or knight or adventurer. But he is, as one of those here pointed out, always mindful of enjoying pain simply because it is pain (which he does, but he feels guilty, as he has been... talked to, on the issue, by several Ilmatarite priests.). But it makes him more reckless and such.

Person Man: DnD is only about that if thats how you chose it. I almost never roll dice. I'll lie to someone, the DM (or other players, but I generally don't cheat fellow players) then roleplays the person being lied to and decides, without rolling sense motive, if the guy catches on. If I can't come up with a good lie I roll a bluff check. Generally, the only thing I use the DnD system for (besides Character outlining with classes) is combat, for fairness sake, and for diplomacy checks on occasion.

As far as Masochism being "healthy", given that it IS a medieval fantasy setting (sometimes), Masochism is rather dangerous in DnD. However, provided you have a cleric (or paladin) then it should be cool.

elliott20
2007-02-05, 04:32 PM
I think it's silly to assume that a masochist has a hard time being good.

If a masochist can feed his masochistic side without harming anyone, what business is it of anyone else's? It's like saying, can a lawful good character masturbate in the privacy of his own home? Of course he can.

the only reason people are having issues with this is because a lot of people see this fetish as wrong and awkward. Granted, it's not exactly something that I would find appropriate but it is simply a matter of lifestyle choice and should have no bearing upon alignment itself. (Unless the society in this setting sees deviant sexual practices as inherently evil)

However, in the context of paladinhood or clergyman? That's a different story. The denial of pleasure and discipline is part of being a paladin or a clergy and to indulge in that is probably very inappropriate to say the least. Just as some clergy are not allowed to go to a bar and have a drink, it's probably frowned upon if a masochist paladin goes out of his way to get hurt just to get himself off.

Sam K
2007-02-05, 07:00 PM
In my mind, the Paladin sees enjoying pain as a way of being able to "overcome" the hardships of self-sacrifice and martyrdom. To enjoy it, in fact, which is what its all about right? In the Ilmatar faith?

Im fairly certain it is not. Im no expert on the realms setting, but from what I gather, Ilmather is sadened by the suffering in the world, and tries to take on the pains of others so that they can suffer less. Some of his more... eh... devout followers will inflict extra suffering on themselves as a way to get closer to their god (Ilmather constantly suffers for the world, so they try to suffer constantly to understand the depth of his sacrifice), but they dont enjoy it. In fact, to many followers of Ilmather, enjoying pain would make a mockery out of your gods sacrifice.
I dont think Ilmather would care too much (he'd be busy suffering for your shame and stuff) unless it got out of hand. A paladin of Ilmather would be exposed to alot of suffering, and your char would always run a risk of getting addicted to it (which would make for some interesting RP).

Iron_Mouse
2007-02-05, 07:16 PM
I don't really get what's supposed to be "evil" about masochism, actually. If you mutilate yourself in the public to shock people, maybe, but I guess that's not really what masochism is about.

BCOVertigo
2007-02-05, 07:20 PM
Im fairly certain it is not. Im no expert on the realms setting, but from what I gather, Ilmather is sadened by the suffering in the world, and tries to take on the pains of others so that they can suffer less. Some of his more... eh... devout followers will inflict extra suffering on themselves as a way to get closer to their god (Ilmather constantly suffers for the world, so they try to suffer constantly to understand the depth of his sacrifice), but they dont enjoy it. In fact, to many followers of Ilmather, enjoying pain would make a mockery out of your gods sacrifice.
I dont think Ilmather would care too much (he'd be busy suffering for your shame and stuff) unless it got out of hand. A paladin of Ilmather would be exposed to alot of suffering, and your char would always run a risk of getting addicted to it (which would make for some interesting RP).

Very true. The goal is what's important in this situation. You are aiming to prevent suffering with martyrdom, not create an enjoyable sensation.

As for the paladin in question, I had a similar concept at one point. You might look into the Stigmata feat in BoED. I almost took it for my paladin but then I metagame-thought about it and theres no way I'm taking Con damage for those guys. Ain't happening. :yuk:

White Blade
2007-02-05, 09:23 PM
I already have looked at Stigma, and yeah, its pretty messed up, "If you pay 2 constitution for 1 hour, you can heal (at first level) two guys... for 4 points each!" while its not a terrible "Oh god the horror why would I ever do that!" deal, its not something I'd do on a day to day basis.

Thomas
2007-02-06, 12:02 AM
Sharess might be a bit more appropraite. Whips are too likely to leave scars.

Crops (and countless other implements) aren't very likely, though. Flagellants would use whips; I doubt very many masochists actually get whipped until they bleed.


OK, for the purposes of this argument, let's leave out the kind of "safe and sane" masochism practiced in a number of communities today, and just limit the discussion to actually enjoying causing what is pretty uncontroversially *harm* to oneself. For one thing, I think it's the only way we can keep this from getting derailed into a discussion of actual groups of people, which we don't want to do.

So you mean the BoVD-style self-harm and self-mutilation for ritualistic purposes?

Well, it's not necessarily inherently Evil - it's Neutral - but I can't see any Good D&D deities demanding it of their worshippers.

Except, you know, Ilmater and flagellation still seem to great together.

It's a difference of purpose. If you're doing it just to cause harm and violence to yourself, it's very creepy, at least. If you're doing it to shrive sin etc., it's creepy but still flagellation.


However, in the context of paladinhood or clergyman? That's a different story. The denial of pleasure and discipline is part of being a paladin or a clergy and to indulge in that is probably very inappropriate to say the least. Just as some clergy are not allowed to go to a bar and have a drink, it's probably frowned upon if a masochist paladin goes out of his way to get hurt just to get himself off.

Er, no it isn't? A paladin of almost any dwarven deity would probably get drunk as hell regularly, and paladins of Sune (they even have their own substitution levels) definitely won't be denying them sexual pleasure - in fact, I should think it's integral to their beliefs that they have and enjoy sex.

Person_Man
2007-02-06, 12:18 AM
Allow me to explain a bit more about the character, and myself in the process (sadly):
I came up with this character rather passively last night when I was at my church watching the Superbowl with my youth group.

You watch the Superbowl in church? Dude, I have got to convert to your religion.


Person Man: DnD is only about that if thats how you chose it. I almost never roll dice. I'll lie to someone, the DM (or other players, but I generally don't cheat fellow players) then roleplays the person being lied to and decides, without rolling sense motive, if the guy catches on. If I can't come up with a good lie I roll a bluff check. Generally, the only thing I use the DnD system for (besides Character outlining with classes) is combat, for fairness sake, and for diplomacy checks on occasion.


OK, you obviously have a good game going on. But you're not playing D&D. You're playing a free form roleplaying game losely based on D&D. And that's cool. It obviously lends itself to better roleplaying for your group.

But I still stand by my original position that D&D doesn't lend itself to roleplaying psychologically complex characters. Creative D&D players might alter the game and add that level of complexity. They might go above and beyond the game mechanics. But unlike, say, Amber, or Mage: The Ascension, D&D doesn't encourage and isn't particularly suited to complex roleplaying. It's a mechanics heavy game focused on combat, Skills, and specific text driven magic.

White Blade
2007-02-06, 12:36 AM
You watch the Superbowl in church? Dude, I have got to convert to your religion. Wait? Other churches don't do that? Thats rather odd. I mean seriously, its just - *stops self*. Yeah, we do. It was a youth group event of course, and I don't think many people actually watched the game. But yeah, we had a whole event where we all showed up and watched the superbowl. Theoretically of course. Our youth minister is really cool. Plus we have some REALLY MASSIVE screens at our church.

Thomas
2007-02-06, 01:09 AM
But I still stand by my original position that D&D doesn't lend itself to roleplaying psychologically complex characters. Creative D&D players might alter the game and add that level of complexity. They might go above and beyond the game mechanics.

I'll agree D&D doesn't support it - unlike many RPGs that actually do support RP by the rules and mechanics themselves - but it's still quite possible.

PnP Fan
2007-02-06, 01:49 AM
oriong:
NOTE: This is not meant in anyway as a real-life moral judgement. Good and Evil in D+D don't give a damn about whether or not something is 'really' good or evil, and they certainly don't care about the sovereignty of one's own body.

So True!!!

Closet Skeleton:
The main differance between flagellation and masochism is a masochist doing what a flagellant does is a form of hedonism, which is exactly what flagellation is supposed to be the opposite of.

I suspect that this may be why this sort of behavior was included in the BoVD, as a form of hedonism (again, not my judgement on what Real People do, I don't care). And this is quite different, in intent, from what a flagellant does. The flagellant's intent is not to enjoy the pain he inflicts upon himself, but to use the pain as a reminder of his sins, a form of punishment. Flagellation could also have been used as a way of discouraging thoughts of the flesh (kinda hard to be interested in fleshly delights when your skin is flayed open half the time). Additionally, such infliction of pain could also be used to attempt to remind the flagellant of the pain that their god suffers. In any case, last I checked, the Roman Catholic faith pretty much abolished this practice a long time ago.
So, to answer the original question. . . to have a masochistic priest/paladin of Ilmater would be sort of like a child saying, " I'll eat all of the cookies for you, so no one else has to suffer the evil of cookies." Its not much of a sacrifice if you enjoy it.
Hope this helps. :-)

Thomas
2007-02-06, 02:23 AM
I don't think the BoVD masochism is hedonism at all. Hedonism is decidedly Neutral (possibly Chaotic, but not very). BoVD "masochism" means self-mutilation; it can be seen as Evil when you DEMAND it of others (i.e. when a deity demands it of followers).

elliott20
2007-02-06, 09:57 AM
Er, no it isn't? A paladin of almost any dwarven deity would probably get drunk as hell regularly, and paladins of Sune (they even have their own substitution levels) definitely won't be denying them sexual pleasure - in fact, I should think it's integral to their beliefs that they have and enjoy sex.
Well, I guess it depends on the diety and how the clergy views various sorts of practice. My point is that if the religious sect in question demands that their follower deny themselves pleasure, then I can see why a paladin would not go out of his way to inflict pain upon himself for enjoyment. (Though to my understanding, BDSM pain is kind of different from injury pain...)

the_tick_rules
2007-02-06, 10:36 AM
perhaps it's not impossible. But I can't think of how it could be done.