Page 2 of 8 FirstFirst 12345678 LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 220

Thread: Undead=Evil

  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Gray Mage's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Porto Alegre, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Qwertystop View Post
    Considering that the spell is Touch range anyway, the whole "working-without-a-body" function is pretty messed up as-is.
    Agreed. Still, in the description (in the cleric spell list), it says: "As resurrection, plus remains aren’t needed." So it seems like there's no need for any part of the body, although it could've been clearer.

    Shy Guy avatar made by the awesome Death by DM



    Join us today.

    The Legend of Zelda WW: The Wind Waker is underway.

    Previous Avatars
    Spoiler
    Show

    Ignotus Peverell avatar made by the great Bradakhan.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Darkest Dorset (UK)
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Hmm... you have some good reasons to avoid the matter
    I would never discourage anyone from using an interesting idea. I just think that it helps to recognize the internal contradictions and silliness and either resolve them or use them. Real life is full of daftness and unresolved complexities, conflicts, contradiction and compromises. Properly woven into your work they can give you a richer and more authentic feel, plus plot hooks.

    #1. I would never put the power of undead in the hands of some mortal shmuck, only using the hierarchy of Spawn-making undead, with me having total control, but even then, it's risky. (what with having them be free-willed if any of them are destroyed)
    That could work. Particularly if this society arose in the aftermath of (and in response to) an undead plague. "The dead have arisen; shares sore. Never underestimate the value of mortal shmucks however, particularly ones with a vested interest in the status quo.

    Of course, if I'm doing this in the name of some Death-based deity, that takes care of civilian unrest in #2. I once heard of a deity that focused on using Undead to get cheap labor and whatnot, so I guess that that could be it, but there would still be the threat of "crusading Paladins" trying to rid the world of my army.
    Which would make a great foundation for a theocracy. It would also resolve the respect/desecration dilemma if reanimation is a fundamental part of funerary practices. If ones status in the afterlife is dependent on the value of ones service in unlife then people would actually compete for the best positions for their "post mortem employment".

    And finally, #3 might be the most difficult problem to sort out. There could be people that simply live there, in a Utopian society, as mentioned above, who don't have to work, but then there wouldn't be that much of a reason for me to have them live there (besides being able to cultivate more bodies, however).
    a) People are little better than livestock
    b) They import the living and the dead from other countries through raiding, tribute, trade or immigration (because who wouldn't want to live in utopia?).
    c)Play on the whole Luddite conflict thing.

    Finally a bit of mental Judo for your perusal...

    4) Necromancy is forbidden because the gods say so...

    However if the gods are themselves evil (or thought of as evil in the necro-Lenninist cannon) then surely necromancy must be good... musant it?

    5) If undead violates the natural order of things then that makes them wrong? If the moral purpose purpose of the natural order of things is perceived as either nonexistent or inherently harmful (RE to cause suffering) then anything that violates this is either irreverent or very very good indeed.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-06 at 01:54 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kelb_Panthera's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Mage View Post
    One thing to keep in mind is that even True Resurrection isn't capable of bringing someone who has been turned into an undead if the undead isn't destroyed. That implies that undead animation somehow messes with the person's soul, so it's not only the person's "shell".
    Actually, RAW is self-contradictory on this one.

    The spell description says it can't affect undead unless they're destroyed, but the description of the undead type in the MM says that an undead targetted by true res' turns back into a living creature.

    Ask your DM.
    I am not seaweed. That's a B.

    Praise I've received
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    [...] bringing Kelb in on your side in a rules fight is like bringing Mike Tyson in on your side to fight a toddler. You can, but it's such massive overkill.
    A quick outline on building a homebrew campaign

    Avatar by Tiffanie Lirle

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Qwertystop's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by karkus View Post
    Hmm... you have some good reasons to avoid the matter, aside from #1. I would never put the power of undead in the hands of some mortal shmuck, only using the hierarchy of Spawn-making undead, with me having total control, but even then, it's risky. (what with having them be free-willed if any of them are destroyed)
    So you're saying that to avoid the problem of one person having all the power you'll keep all the power to yourself?

    I mean, you may know that you won't abuse it, but other people won't.
    Quote Originally Posted by jamieth View Post
    ...though Talla does her best to sound objective and impartial, it doesn't cover stuff like "ask a 9-year-old to tank for the party."
    My Homebrew
    Avatar by Ceika.
    Spoiler: Pokemon
    Show
    Friend Code: 1805-2284-9978
    Friend Safari: Mightyena, Crawdaunt, Absol
    I have Aerodactyl, Chansey, Drilbur, Eevee, Elekid, Frillish, Heracross, Honedge, Horsea, Kabuto, Larvesta, Magnemite, Mareep, Phantump, Porygon, Roselia, Rotom, Shellder, Shuppet, Squirtle, Starly, Tynamo, Venipede, Whismur.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    in my house
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    DM doesn't like undead? play with deathless instead. problem solved

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Gray Mage's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Porto Alegre, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Actually, RAW is self-contradictory on this one.

    The spell description says it can't affect undead unless they're destroyed, but the description of the undead type in the MM says that an undead targetted by true res' turns back into a living creature.

    Ask your DM.
    You are right, I never noticed it before.

    It seems that you still can't use True Res the undead is (un)alive but not the target of the spell, though, so the point is somewhat the same.

    Shy Guy avatar made by the awesome Death by DM



    Join us today.

    The Legend of Zelda WW: The Wind Waker is underway.

    Previous Avatars
    Spoiler
    Show

    Ignotus Peverell avatar made by the great Bradakhan.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Darkest Part of your mind
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Eh, negative energy is just as evil as positive energy. Undead are basicly a type of elemental that uses a corpse. Besides, make a feat that pervents you from casting any spell that would create undead, and you'd have a lot of options. might have to do something...
    Power restored for christmass. I'm back!

    Spoiler
    Show
    dragonflycave.com/newpay.aspx][/url]


  8. - Top - End - #38
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Unless the setting explicitly says that making mindless undead does something nasty to the soul of the deceased, I treat them like tools.
    A sword is only as evil as its wielder.
    In fact, I have a setting where a basically uses them as both a power source (treadmills, lots of treadmills) and as drudge work.
    While more Lawful Neutral than Good, it's not a bad place either.
    You can only, however, become a citizen if you prove your worth to society as a whole.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2012-10-06 at 03:00 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Drakevarg's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vvardenfell
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    I've never liked the perception of undead-as-evil. They're disgusting, horrid, repulsive, all those other words that say that the use of zombies as manual labor will probably never be acceptable except maybe where the living wouldn't want to work anyway (piling up and burning plague victims, etc), but not evil.

    Negative energy isn't evil. It's not against the "natural order of things," a phrase that always annoys me. Decay is a natural part of the cycle. Break things down to make new things with them.

    In my settings, the perception of evil spirits is a side effect of the way Styx (the plane of death, negative energy, etc) interacts with Mundum, the Material Plane equivalent. Souls of the dead have a natural tendency to return to the 'echo' of either the place they died or some other familiar location. They perceive Mundum through a sort of veil, obscuring many things from them. So when some idiot wanders into what they still consider their home or worse, starts looting it, they tend to get pissed off. Enough of these encounters and spirits have a reputation for being crazed and vengeful.

    Zombies and skeletons are, as mentioned before here, essentially puppets. Disgusting, smelly, and often leaking various decaying fluids, but still just puppets.

    Liches and mummies are intelligent, but nonevil, undead. Mummies tend towards Lawful Neutral actually, usually created for the purpose of eternal guardianship. Liches are just people who figured out how to lock their soul in a box. Ghouls and Vampires are the worrisome ones. Both were originally created by evil gods, and need to constantly battle their base urges.

    Ghouls were created by a God of Murder as essentially zombies with the soul shoved back into it. Most of the reputation of undead being EVIL and not just "unnatural" comes from them, ravenous, murderous beasts that want to bite your face off for no other reason than that it feels good. Obviously some can fight it, but few do.

    Vampires were created by a God of Avarice, which goes a long way to explain their common 'man of wealth and taste' persona. They aren't evil, per say, just always thirsty, and have a tendency to horde wealth much as dragons are prone to (unsurprisingly, the God of Avarice in question was a dragon god). Vampires have a better reputation than ghouls in that sense, and so long as they keep playing the role of the reclusive nobleman in his mountain estate, nobody's gonna grab the torches and pitchforks.
    MUNDUM MENTI
    Since I don't want to bring it up every thread I'm in, my games only allow material from books I have physical copies of. I do not use the SRD.

    Books Owned:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Player's Handbook
    Dungeon Master's Guide
    Monster Manual
    Monster Manual III
    Complete Adventurer
    Complete Arcane
    Complete Divine
    Complete Warrior
    Draconomicon
    Frostburn
    Libris Mortis
    Lords of Madness
    Planar Handbook
    Sandstorm
    Savage Species
    Unearthed Arcana
    Races of the Dragon
    Races of Stone

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Sentient undead that feed upon others I can see as being evil.
    Yes, including vampires, but also ghouls and ghasts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Qwertystop View Post
    So you're saying that to avoid the problem of one person having all the power you'll keep all the power to yourself?

    I mean, you may know that you won't abuse it, but other people won't.
    No; I believe that when I said that, I was referring to the fact that I didn't want nearly everyone who is capable of doing so to rule a different sect of my army.

    It's hard to "juggle," but it is possible to have your living followers do just that. However, it's difficulty would mainly come from the view of the Necromancers who control them, possibly thinking that they are entitled to more power and might run off and start their own thing.

    So I suppose that I could have the Necromancers swearing their allegiance be Nobles in this city, and have it work out. I might have to re-read The Prince to see what information I can find on the subject...

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Drakevarg View Post
    Decay is a natural part of the cycle. Break things down to make new things with them.
    Yes, but you may notice that that's the problem; that they aren't decaying. Of course, living creatures aren't inherently Evil, and they don't decay either. So it's not a reason that they're Evil, and it's not a reason that they're not Evil. So I guess that the decay/non-decay debate is out of the question.

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by blazingshadow View Post
    DM doesn't like undead? play with deathless instead. problem solved
    That's like saying if a DM doesn't like poisons, use ravages instead.
    Sure, it fulfils the letter of the complaint, but likely not really the spirit.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2012-10-06 at 03:22 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Drakevarg's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vvardenfell
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by karkus View Post
    Yes, but you may notice that that's the problem; that they aren't decaying. Of course, living creatures aren't inherently Evil, and they don't decay either. So it's not a reason that they're Evil, and it's not a reason that they're not Evil. So I guess that the decay/non-decay debate is out of the question.
    Zombies decay. And lots of undead CAUSE decay. But I was referring to negative energy as entropic. My point is that they're not made out of any "evil" element.
    MUNDUM MENTI
    Since I don't want to bring it up every thread I'm in, my games only allow material from books I have physical copies of. I do not use the SRD.

    Books Owned:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Player's Handbook
    Dungeon Master's Guide
    Monster Manual
    Monster Manual III
    Complete Adventurer
    Complete Arcane
    Complete Divine
    Complete Warrior
    Draconomicon
    Frostburn
    Libris Mortis
    Lords of Madness
    Planar Handbook
    Sandstorm
    Savage Species
    Unearthed Arcana
    Races of the Dragon
    Races of Stone

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepbluediver's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The US of A

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Drakevarg View Post
    My point is that they're not made out of any "evil" element.
    That's one view, certainly, but as I said before if some one wants to decide that in their games negative energy is inherently evil, then that is also an equally valid option. The link provided by Saidoro on the previous page summarizes the two extremes rather nicely, I think; we have negative energy as just another energy source VS. negative energy as a kind of tangible evil, and the subsequent effects of both.

    I like to think that there is room for compromise.
    The way I would probably rule it is that negative energy is not in and of itself evil, but since it is the opposite of life (positive) energy, it tends to encourage destructive actions (life is growth, unlife is destruction). A living being can use or utilize negative energy without instantly becoming evil because the positive energy of their life force balances it out and the person's mental fortitude can resist the destructive impulses it engenders. By the same token, an evil individual can use positive energy for healing and the like without undergoing a life-altering epiphany of some sort.

    When you create an undead creature though, they have no will and no positive energy to balance out the negative/destructive influences, so you have essentially created "a mad dog on a chain" and that is an evil action. If you keep the undead under control and use them to accomplish only truly and completely good goals, then it probably averages out to neutral.

    If a person tries channeling too much negative energy though, they might either start to slip towards the evil end of the alignment spectrum (i.e. a roleplay penalty) or they might take ability drain to their Con/Int/Wis as the continual influx of negative energy assaults their body, mind, and spirit.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-10-06 at 07:42 PM.
    "A man is known by the company he organizes." -Ambrose Bierce

    Homebrew Extended Signature!

    Progress in my Core rebalance project: 9 of 11 classes complete
    Druid, Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Ranger, Wizard, Sorcerer, Monk & Paladin

    Magic Fix: spell rewrites paused; rules under revision


    Non-core stuff I want to take a crack at rewriting: Healer, Warlock, Ninja, Samurai, Artificer, Soulborn Incarnum, psionics, bloodlines, and the item-crafting system

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    You should really really really all read this:

    http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Tome_...ok%29/Morality

    And then make a conscious choice as to which of the two options is true in your campaign.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    I've got a complicated, but detailed position when DMing. First, a little background: in the setting I run, the "soul" comes in three parts: the animus, which contains your goals, the spiritus, which contains your values, and your mentus, which contains your memory and ability to reason.

    Naturally occurring undead arise when somebody dies in the process of doing something so important to them that their animus clings to their dying body, or in some cases, lives on as a ghost. (Examples: soldiers killed in a pivotal battle, knights who die before fulfilling an oath, parents killed while their children are in danger). A lingering animus brings with it a varying amount of the mentus, but never any of the spiritus. As such, this kind of undead zealously pursues a goal, but has no moral compass guiding it. (If it came back without a large part of its mentus, it may also be unreasoning--it may not even recognize the end result of its actions, and it wouldn't care anyways.) Anyways, these undead are more dangerous than evil, but they still need to be destroyed for the public safety.

    On the other hand, created undead, those raised by necromancers, normally don't have an animus. They may not have a mentus either, if the necromancer didn't install one. They have no moral compass either, and if their creator/controller is negligent or malevolent, they are just as dangerous as independent undead. (The example I give to my players is a necromancer who told his legion of zombies to guard a catacomb, which was then opened years later by a construction crew. The zombies slaughtered the crew, because those were their orders. The necromancer wouldn't have wanted it and couldn't have known it would happen, but because he didn't take precautions for that sort of scenario, he was indirectly responsible for a massacre.) It's possible for a necromancer to create undead thralls ethically (e.g. by using donated bodies), but he still needs to keep a close eye on them because they will obey orders literally and stupidly.

    There's a third, rarer kind of undead, the revenant: they are the product of botched or altered resurrection processes, a complete tripartite soul occupying a dead body (or bound to this plane as a ghost). In theory, there is nothing inherently evil about them; they're rare, but there are several confirmed cases of revenants adjusting to their new status and "living" fulfilling "lives" afterwards. However, when the resurrection is improperly handled and a newly-made revenant is left to fend for itself, it often goes psychotically insane from shock. (a la Frankenstein's Monster) Worse yet, evil necromancers sometimes cultivate this insanity in order to create capable undead lieutenants.

    Necromancers themselves are also dangerous, because of a slippery slope that many fall prey to: they use dead people to practice their art. Some necromancers (not a majority) start out with the best of intentions, but after years of using dead people as raw materials, they start to see living people as materials as well. Governments and mages' guilds often keep an eye on necromancers, looking out for the early stages of this disassociation before it gets too severe.

    TL;DR: Undead and necromancers are not so much inherently evil as they are very dangerous. People don't like them, because even when they have the best of intentions, things tend to go badly wrong around them, and when they already have evil intentions, things become downright horrific.

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kelb_Panthera's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Here's how I've been looking at the matter.

    Firstly and most importantly, you have to remember that we're talking about good and evil as they exist in the game. This is not the same thing as morally right or wrong. Good and Evil in D&D are cosmic forces that predate the existence of sentient minds capable of pondering morals. Morality came later and was attached to these forces.

    One of the key tenets of Good is the respect for life. Good recognizes creatures that show respect for life and put effort toward preserving it. This creates an undeniable, but not quite direct, link between Good and positive energy. If the enemy of my enemy is my ally, then certainly the enemy of my ally is also my enemy.

    On the other hand, Evil recognizes creatures that kill without just cause, whether that lack is a result of the killing being motivated by something other than survival or the cessation of evil deeds or simply because the killing has no motivation.

    Mindless undead will, if not controlled, seek out and destroy life. This is the result, I suspect, of positive and negative energies' tendency to attract and anihilate one another as is explosively demonstrated by the invariable occurence upon a xeg-yi and a xag-ya, energons composed solely of those energies given sentience (described in MotP), encountering one another.

    Mindless undead are therefore evil, because their existence is defined by a drive to seek out and destroy life for no purpose whatsoever, barring the control of a sentient being. Useful tools though they may be, they are a mockery of life that will destroy life when given the chance. Creating such a being is evil because, in doing so, the creator has knowingly endangered the lives of everyone in the immediate proximity of the creature. He's also shown a callous disregard for the dignity of sentient beings, barring certain cultural setups.

    The creation of intelligent undead is, in most cases, worse still. Most intelligent undead have the need to feed on the living. This leaves that unfortunate soul with the choices of being tortured by his hunger, causing suffering to still living creatures, or killing; not to sustain his unnatural life, but simply to ease the hunger or maintain some ability. The person who visited this hell upon another creature is either committing torture every second that undead creature is animate or spreading evil in the world by creating a creature that will invariably do evil for the sake of easing its own pain.

    This is how I've made sense of it anyway. YMMV.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-07 at 01:41 AM.
    I am not seaweed. That's a B.

    Praise I've received
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    [...] bringing Kelb in on your side in a rules fight is like bringing Mike Tyson in on your side to fight a toddler. You can, but it's such massive overkill.
    A quick outline on building a homebrew campaign

    Avatar by Tiffanie Lirle

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Forum Explorer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Told my friend about this thread and we came up with what we thought was a pretty cool concept.


    Mindless undead always default to killing the living around them, but are otherwise just tools of a Necromancer.

    Intelligent undead are generally evil but exceptions may exist if they chose to be undead as guardian spirits or Liches or something like that.

    Using magic wears holes between the Material plane and all of the others. However as most magic is transient these holes are so quickly repaired and so small they have no effect (a fireball lasts about a second.) However Undead are the exception to this as they are both common and very long lasting. Lots of Undead in an area being created created leaks to the Negative energy plane which initially cause spontaneous Undead creation but eventually lead to full out portals to the Negative energy plane.


    Now there is a nation whose entire unskilled workforce is basically Undead. Their entire economy depends on these Undead and very rich companies lead by liches make their fortune off raising Undead. Naturally this eventually starts creating large holes to the Negative energy plane and masses of uncontrolled Undead. Eco-terrorists have begun attacking mines and killing all the zombie workers claiming it's the fault of Undead. The Liches naturally claim that this is pure bogus and point out that the country needs it's Undead. The PCs have to decide what to do in this situation.
    In order to understand recursion you must first understand recursion.


    Thanks to Elder Tsofu for my new Lancer Avatar

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Darkest Dorset (UK)
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Mindless undead will, if not controlled, seek out and destroy life. This is the result, I suspect, of positive and negative energies' tendency to attract and annihilate one another as is explosively demonstrated by the invariable occurrence upon a xeg-yi and a xag-ya, energons composed solely of those energies given sentience (described in MotP), encountering one another.
    Now that is nice, I will have to remember that one.

    Remember however that killing is only evil if death is seen as undesirable. As astonishing as it may be throughout much of western history people lived their lives in perpetration for the hereafter. If undeath was viewed as an essential part of that perpetration or as the afterlife itself then undeath and the killing it causes would not be perceived as inherently evil.

    The creation of intelligent undead is, in most cases, worse still. Most intelligent undead have the need to feed on the living. This leaves that unfortunate soul with the choices of being tortured by his hunger, causing suffering to still living creatures, or killing; not to sustain his unnatural life, but simply to ease the hunger or maintain some ability. The person who visited this hell upon another creature is either committing torture every second that undead creature is animate or spreading evil in the world by creating a creature that will invariably do evil for the sake of easing its own pain.
    For some people this would not present much of a problem. For people with all important long term goals it could be viewed as a necessary sacrifice. For people who either don't care or positively enjoy the suffering the inflict on others this would be no problem at all.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    I would think people still considered death to be pretty unpleasant; otherwise events like the black plague would be been greeted with at least equanimity, if not enthusiasm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Titan in the Playground
     
    SiuiS's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Somewhere south of Hell
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    In a world where nature is a divine force, and gods are proven fact, thee is weight to taboos. Animation of the dead works by vague mechanisms, so I'll leve out negative energy and imprisoned spirits - those are case by case issues, and more world flavor than anything.

    Animating a corpse defiles the body. It perverts its place in the natural order o things, purely because you (the necromancer) have the hubris to think you know better than reality. You have tainted another person's rest by objectifying them into a useful tool, ignored the implicit desire to stay dead, wholesome and in their respective religion's good graces, and invoked things best left uninvoked.

    In a world where evil and good are not subjective statements but tangible, identifiable energy states complete with their own subsets of matter, animating a corpse is rape, mind control, cursing another an hubristic all at once.

    If the DM says these are not true, but that animation is still evil, he has much less of a case. But these are the genre assumptions. Bringing back the dead is Wrong (with a capital W), and is overlooked in the case of resurrection ecause that's actually a ritual where you politely ask the divine powers to reinstate someone's life. The divine is suppose to handle such things, mortals are not.

    Remember however that killing is only evil if death is seen as undesirable.
    This is not necessarily true. One of the core concepts of alignment, which trickles down to everything it touches, is that it's objective. Ending something else's life is bad. The more sentient it is, the worse it is. You can also accomplish good thereby, but that good does not eliminate the bad. Alignment properties are physical properties; acting in accordance with an alignment propagates its specific radiation, tainting matter. That's the universe, not a subjective, mortal accounting.

    Dismissing alignment as such is fine, but it changes the question from "why is undeath evil" to "why is undeath evil when removed from te base assumptions of what undeath, evil, and rhetoric are".


    Quote Originally Posted by Winterfate View Post
    Devils! Stop binding SiuiS' pony!

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Darkest Dorset (UK)
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    The world may be objective but society and social moored are subjective.

    The Gods may say that X,Y and Z (representing necromancy, murder and cheese making) are evil but how do we know this? Because the scripture says so? because the priests say so? or because the gods have told us directly. And even if that is the case who is to say that they are reliable expositors? Do they have access to the universal objective moral truths and if so do they have anything to gain by relating an unvarnished version of it.

    There is a difference between what we know IC and what we know OOC. A wizard can't exactly read the evil tag on a spell descriptor now can he?

    And then their is how you define evil itself. Is it about intent, action or outcome?

    Action:

    I raze a skeleton
    Necromancy is an evil act
    Therefore I have committed an evil act

    Intent:

    I raze a skeleton to save another life
    Lifesaving is a good intent
    I have committed a good act.

    Outcome:

    I raze a skeleton to save another life
    It goes on a rampage and slaughters people
    Slaughter is evil an evil outcome
    I have committed an evil act.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-07 at 03:58 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Salbazier's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indonesia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post

    And then their is how you define evil itself. Is it about intent, action or outcome?

    Action:

    I raze a skeleton
    Necromancy is an evil act
    Therefore I have committed an evil act

    Intent:

    I raze a skeleton to save another life
    Lifesaving is a good intent
    I have committed a good act.

    Outcome:

    I raze a skeleton to save another life
    It goes on a rampage and slaughters people
    Slaughter is evil an evil outcome
    I have committed an evil act.
    All is valid. You commited two evil act and one good act.

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kelb_Panthera's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Salbazier View Post
    All is valid. You commited two evil act and one good act.
    Raw, he commited one evil act and was responsible for one good act. He may also have been responsible for a second evil act if he still had control of the skeleton he raised when it commited the sensless slaughter. Had he lost control before that point, he wouldn't have been responsible unless he deliberately dropped its control. If his control was broken by an intervening force, it's not his fault the skeleton rampaged, that blame falls on the intervening force and/or the skeleton itself.
    I am not seaweed. That's a B.

    Praise I've received
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    [...] bringing Kelb in on your side in a rules fight is like bringing Mike Tyson in on your side to fight a toddler. You can, but it's such massive overkill.
    A quick outline on building a homebrew campaign

    Avatar by Tiffanie Lirle

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kelb_Panthera's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Shoul've multi-quoted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    Now that is nice, I will have to remember that one.

    Remember however that killing is only evil if death is seen as undesirable. As astonishing as it may be throughout much of western history people lived their lives in perpetration for the hereafter. If undeath was viewed as an essential part of that perpetration or as the afterlife itself then undeath and the killing it causes would not be perceived as inherently evil.
    RAW, which is what I'm trying to jive with, says that killing, in and of itself, is morally neutral. The motivation for the kill is what determines good or evil. Good is not only okay with, but condones killing if doing so will prevent future acts of evil with a reasonable degree of certainty. It's also okay with killing in self-defence or the harvesting of non-sapient livestock.

    It's very definitely not okay with killing for fun, profit, or convenience. This has nothing to do with morality. Morality is a subjective social construct that is related to, but not the same as, the cosmic forces of alignment.

    For some people this would not present much of a problem. For people with all important long term goals it could be viewed as a necessary sacrifice. For people who either don't care or positively enjoy the suffering the inflict on others this would be no problem at all.
    In the former case you're talking about willing conversion into undeath, the necropolitan template stands out, which would be, depending on the form, morally neutral if all of the various methods weren't explicitly called out as evil. In the latter you're talking about evil characters anyway. Converting to undeath allows them to further their evil in the world. It's the exact opposite of the good done by killing them.

    It's very important to remember that morality is always subjective even when alignment isn't, while alignment is objective unless your DM says otherwise.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-07 at 03:45 AM.
    I am not seaweed. That's a B.

    Praise I've received
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    [...] bringing Kelb in on your side in a rules fight is like bringing Mike Tyson in on your side to fight a toddler. You can, but it's such massive overkill.
    A quick outline on building a homebrew campaign

    Avatar by Tiffanie Lirle

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    vegetalss4's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Land of Magic and Ponies

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    The explanation I always have used whenever I have felt the desire to explain why DnD Undead always are evil (from an in-universe perspective) is this:

    In DnD, Evil is an objective measurable fact, like gravity or heat, a force and a type of energy in addition to a point of morality. So the reason why Undead are evil, is that they are created and animated using, in part, Evil.
    So they are Evil in the same way that a flame is hot, and they will remain so no matter how tight a leash you keep on them and how many good deeds you force them to do - just like the flame will keep being hot no matter what you do with or to it (as long as it isn't destroyed by the process).

    This is also why casting the Animate Undead spell is an evil act, but casting Inflict Major Wounds, or Dominate Person isn't- because you are channeling the literal force of Evil to do the first but not the other two. (Which even can explain why you can become evil by doing so repeatable, the act change you to be more like itself.)

    This explanation work equally well for all the other spells with questionable alignment types.
    Remember: Hope springs eternal. The dark days will pass and the sun will shine again.

    The best way to learn something is to ask, so ask without shame.

    Many thanks to smuchmuch for the awesome Ponytar.

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Qwertystop's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by vegetalss4 View Post
    The explanation I always have used whenever I have felt the desire to explain why DnD Undead always are evil (from an in-universe perspective) is this:

    In DnD, Evil is an objective measurable fact, like gravity or heat, a force and a type of energy in addition to a point of morality. So the reason why Undead are evil, is that they are created and animated using, in part, Evil.
    So they are Evil in the same way that a flame is hot, and they will remain so no matter how tight a leash you keep on them and how many good deeds you force them to do - just like the flame will keep being hot no matter what you do with or to it (as long as it isn't destroyed by the process).

    This is also why casting the Animate Undead spell is an evil act, but casting Inflict Major Wounds, or Dominate Person isn't- because you are channeling the literal force of Evil to do the first but not the other two. (Which even can explain why you can become evil by doing so repeatable, the act change you to be more like itself.)

    This explanation work equally well for all the other spells with questionable alignment types.
    Problem with your explanation: All of the Inflict X Wounds spells channel the same negative energy used in Animate Undead.

    Second problem: If I remember correctly, the Plane of Negative Energy doesn't have an alignment trait, unlike the aligned afterlife planes (aka the Outer Planes).
    Quote Originally Posted by jamieth View Post
    ...though Talla does her best to sound objective and impartial, it doesn't cover stuff like "ask a 9-year-old to tank for the party."
    My Homebrew
    Avatar by Ceika.
    Spoiler: Pokemon
    Show
    Friend Code: 1805-2284-9978
    Friend Safari: Mightyena, Crawdaunt, Absol
    I have Aerodactyl, Chansey, Drilbur, Eevee, Elekid, Frillish, Heracross, Honedge, Horsea, Kabuto, Larvesta, Magnemite, Mareep, Phantump, Porygon, Roselia, Rotom, Shellder, Shuppet, Squirtle, Starly, Tynamo, Venipede, Whismur.

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Qwertystop View Post
    Problem with your explanation: All of the Inflict X Wounds spells channel the same negative energy used in Animate Undead.

    Second problem: If I remember correctly, the Plane of Negative Energy doesn't have an alignment trait, unlike the aligned afterlife planes (aka the Outer Planes).
    I can second this, not to mention spells like Harm or Enervation and Greater Enervation.
    Third problem: Several undead, even in Core, are only Mostly Evil (like Mummies and Mummy Lords) or don't have a specific alignment at all, like Ghosts.
    My preferred explanation is that Negative Energy is merely an alternate élan vital, life essence, an equal and opposite to positive energy, like matter and antimatter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    I tend to attribute it to the particular use of the energy being wrong. That is, there's nothing inherently wrong about channeling negative energy, but the fact that you're brute-forcing it to animate instead of decay, and forcing it to poorly mimic the function of positive energy. Why, if the body had any capacity to recognize pain, I imagine the experience would be excruciatingly painful.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •