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Thread: Undead=Evil

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Upon re-reading true res' just now, I'm actually not seeing where it says you can't revive someone whose remains have been animated. It just says you can't reanimate a dead undead.

    Where is the rule that says true res' doesn't get around the corpse being animate?
    I thought it was to do with this bit:

    You can revive someone killed by a death effect or someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed.
    with the idea that until the undead creature is destroyed, it can't be revived.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    Killing for no reason is NOT evil - for it to be evil it would have to have a reason (pleasure, indulgence, sport, lust, etc). Its a mindless act by a mindless husk powered by the energy of decay and destruction - killing to cause more death, death energy simply wanting to reproduce itself in a sense. Intelligent undead can be evil, such as vampires, who enjoy torturing there food, drinking the blood and murdering them, but a zombie, even if left with no master, is not - it will perform its last order given, or wander about randomly killing any life - even bugs it comes across due to its negative energy directing it to kill and create more negative energy. Death = its fuel/food in a sense, it wants to cause death to make the negative energy within it stronger and the plane its tied to.

    It doesn't do it for pleasure or lols or any selfish goal, nor is it spiteful, hateful, or cruel about it. It kills as quickly as possible, and will never torture someone for 'fun', etc. Its just a form of energy instinctively trying to gain sustenance threw its "host".

    A good example; imagine if you could reanimate a corpse with the power of fire. The fire would not burn the corpse. Lets say you lost control of it. What does fire do? It consumes and destroys everything in its path. Is it evil for following its nature? I wouldn't think so - so if death is not evil, then a zombie cannot be evil by default - its just performing its elemental nature.
    Now I'd argue that a so called 'mindless' undead isn't actually mindless and is evil. It doesn't destroy because it won't go after trees or buildings but it hunts after living creatures to kill. They might have a total lack of intelligence in how they go about this but they clearly do have a goal which implies desire.

    Also a fire prolongs it's existence by burning things. An zombie doesn't get anything at all.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    I thought it was to do with this bit:



    with the idea that until the undead creature is destroyed, it can't be revived.
    The description of the undead type already contradicts the necessity of destroying the undead, and there's an argument to be made that a character and his corpse become seperate upon death unless he becomes an intelligent undead. Specifically, if it doesn't have his thoughts or memories, or indeed any thoughts or memories, its not really him. Just an animate husk that looks like him and used to belong to him.

    As far as I can see there are no rules that explicitly tie a soul to a mindless undead creature, only ambiguous implication.

    It doesn't much matter though. There's already a solid argument for mindless undead being evil without mucking about with souls. Intelligent undead are already only as evil as the want to be. Though in most cases their creation is evil even without being explicitly stated as such.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-08 at 03:17 PM.
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    The problem I have with this utopia-thing with undead doing all the hard or dangerous jobs is: why necromancy? Why corpses? Granted, animating a zombie will be easier than crafting a golem but a golem will generally not rot. And they tend to look and smell better, too. You could just as easily claim that summoning hordes of low-level demons and force them to perform the low jobs can lead to a utopian society....


    On a side-note: why is it that necromancers seem to have such troubles creating undead that don't look and smell horrid? Vampires for one are a perfect example of an undead that doesn't look/smell like a rotting corpse. Is it too much to ask to improve necromancy spells to a point where rot is either stopped or even reversed. Negative Energy is some kind of anti-life, right? If it was merely the energy of rot and decay how would you use it to animate a corpse? Infusing rot-energy into it would only make it rot faster, not stand up and obey.


    As for mindless undead being evil:

    What do living animals generally do? Eat and reproduce, right? Isn't one of the ways to become undead being killed by an undead creature? What do uncontrolled undead do? They attack everything in sight. With every living creature they kill, the "reproduce" in a manner of speaking. I don't know in how far they "eat" but if DRAINING spells and effects are also negative-energy spells then frankly if a vampire drains a level what does it do with the (positive) energy it has robbed from its victim? I'd say it feeds on that energy oŰ So, in effect, all zombies (and other mindless undead) do is the exact same thing that any other living animal also does: eat and reproduce. Odd how animals generally aren't called evil for that kind of behaviour. Granted, animals don't look quite as hidious.

    You can slap on all manner of arguments about undeath being unnatural and hence evil or souls being twisted and mutilated but reduce things to a basic level and mindless undead act exactly like mindless living. Intelligent undead have the same capacity for moral choices as intelligent living.



    About the Gods not much liking Necromancy (maybe even fearing that mortals might use that to ursurp them. wasn't there a post like that?). Well...wasn't there some God named Velsharoon or something? Or to be more specific: a Lich that attained Godhood somehow?

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Vecna, greyhawk. A good example, but he was thoroughly evil due to how he became a god - he was a mass murderer, soul-destroying/devouring fiend who only wanted personal power and to enslave all before him. Necromancy was just a tool to achieve immortality (via lichdom) to last until he gained godhood, and it worked.

    Also Gensuru; golems are actually created 100% is by an evil process, the enslavement of an elemental BEING, an actual sentient spirit. Undead have no souls are do not feel any pain/etc (considering the nervous system no longer functions, or there brain, etc, but golems can even go berserk, they DO FEEL pain, suffering, and even insanity and are being mindraped to operate the golem "prison".

    However on the note about rotting undead/etc, there have been many examples of necromancers who repose/gentle repose there creations and even use mending to repair there flesh/prestidigitation to clean and give a better scent to there creations - they do not NEED To be bones and rotted flesh and smell like a sewer, they can look incredibly human look and just seem a bit dimwitted and smell like roses - its all up to the necromancers taste. One could assume that a necromancer could in fact be doing a good thing by animating and preserving the undead under there command and leaving them in pristine condition, mending broken bones, etc after a battle and treating the bodies with respect while still using them, for if someone wish's to revive a loved one under the necromancers command, then the corpse would be in perfect condition even after years of use.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Gensuru View Post
    What do living animals generally do? Eat and reproduce, right? Isn't one of the ways to become undead being killed by an undead creature? What do uncontrolled undead do? They attack everything in sight. With every living creature they kill, the "reproduce" in a manner of speaking. I don't know in how far they "eat" but if DRAINING spells and effects are also negative-energy spells then frankly if a vampire drains a level what does it do with the (positive) energy it has robbed from its victim? I'd say it feeds on that energy oŰ So, in effect, all zombies (and other mindless undead) do is the exact same thing that any other living animal also does: eat and reproduce. Odd how animals generally aren't called evil for that kind of behaviour.
    I'd personally support mindless undead being Neutral perforce, despite their creation being [evil] (because they have no particular choice involved). However, in general most undead are actually incapable of reproducing or spawning; unless they have a energy drain/ability drain/ability damage attack, they usually can't create copies. Zombies (and skeletons) specifically are utterly incapable of making new zombies. There is therefore no reasonable goal they can accomplish by killing except sheer aimless destruction. Which is Evil according to the usual D&D definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    Also Gensuru; golems are actually created 100% is by an evil process, the enslavement of an elemental BEING, an actual sentient spirit. Undead have no souls are do not feel any pain/etc (considering the nervous system no longer functions, or there brain, etc, but golems can even go berserk, they DO FEEL pain, suffering, and even insanity and are being mindraped to operate the golem "prison".
    This may or may not be the case. Flesh golems ([evil] spell in creation) and clay golems (also can go berserk) presumably fit this description. However, iron, stone, mithral, and adamantine golems do not go berserk and require no [evil] spells.
    Last edited by TuggyNE; 2012-10-08 at 08:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    That just means its a more secure mindrape to bind the spirit inside. That doesn't make it any less evil. I think the real lesson in alignments is - toss all alignment descriptors and good/evil mentions out of the core game and use proper judgement/common sense in game to whats really evil or good, its really the only way to handle it logically.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by karkus View Post
    having hordes of mindless skeletons coming out at night and cleaning up/ doing general janitorial duties around the city. And I'm talking about the jobs that no one wants to do, like sewer-diving. I also would use them as builders, as not having to worry about paying and over-working humanoids can vastly improve production.
    problem, standard skeletons are mindless, meaning no skills (ruling out them cleaning or doing anything complex) and featless...

    Ive always disagreed with the concept of evil skeletons, myself... i think summoned versions should be heavily rune carved and not evil, being magically created instead of effectively being an animated body of a living person. that way you can make a distinguishing feature that allows them to be more widely used, with "less" fear and aggression from the "holy" types.

    i encountered this with first making a ship that was paddled by undead skeletons... they cant make profession checks. the DM allowed them to take cross class skills and add str to the check. since all they were doing was sit and paddle at the command of the 3 skeletons on watch.
    Last edited by LordErebus12; 2012-10-09 at 12:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    They can still perform simple tasks that require no skill checks - like "patrol threw the sewers once after sundown, take trash to pits." Give them access to step ladders so they do not have to make climb checks. Or "patrol streets after sundown, take trash to pits, return at dusk", so forth. No skill involved - if a monster ambushes them they will just get destroyed, but if you keep your undead laborers properly numbered you can easily trace back where you sent it when it met its end and properly deal with the situation yourself.

    As for crafting, skeletons can be told to aid in a craft check and aid another - with a single intelligent crafter at the lead it can be a rather potent bonus on a large project.
    Last edited by Jane_Smith; 2012-10-09 at 12:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    That just means its a more secure mindrape to bind the spirit inside. That doesn't make it any less evil. I think the real lesson in alignments is - toss all alignment descriptors and good/evil mentions out of the core game and use proper judgement/common sense in game to whats really evil or good, its really the only way to handle it logically.
    That's certainly an option. 95% or more of the game will be completely unnaffected by ditching the alignment system altogether. When good and evil are just words used to describe a social construct (morality) then they really only matter to the people that use them. You could just as easily use sweet and balls in their place.

    Of course, if alignment has no mechanical impact; or more properly, doesn't exist; then discussing it becomes something of a moot point.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-09 at 12:51 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    They can still perform simple tasks that require no skill checks - like "patrol threw the sewers once after sundown, take trash to pits." Give them access to step ladders so they do not have to make climb checks.
    suddenly, a wild ramp appears :P
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    They get +4 dexterity, I think a skeleton can handle a ladder fairly well. >_>

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    They can still perform simple tasks that require no skill checks - like "patrol threw the sewers once after sundown, take trash to pits." Give them access to step ladders so they do not have to make climb checks. Or "patrol streets after sundown, take trash to pits, return at dusk", so forth. No skill involved - if a monster ambushes them they will just get destroyed, but if you keep your undead laborers properly numbered you can easily trace back where you sent it when it met its end and properly deal with the situation yourself.
    Small hiccup here. A proper patrol requires observation and decision making, things these creatures are incapable of. Unless all you want them to do is appear to be patrolling as they simply walk a lap, they would need to be able to differentiate between people/things that belong and ones that don't. Their orders would also have to have to be worded in such a way as to have them either subdue or destroy whatever they encounter, they can't decide for themselves so it's just one or the other. There's simply no way mindless undead can be used to patrol on their own. They'll have to have handlers. You now need either necromancers or clerics willing to act as simple guard captains; a profession normally relegated to warriors and occasionally fighters.

    There's also the issue of mindless undead being incapable of deciding what exactly constitutes "trash." Meaning you now have spellcasters acting as heads of trash pickup teams. Magical devices could be used as a substitute for the casters themselves, but then you run into the problems of cost and possible theft. Half the point of using undead like this is it's theoretically supposed to be cheap.

    All of this is, of course, provided you can actually get past the inescapable social upheaval of putting a metric crap-ton of power into the hands of those relatively few people that are capable of actually producing the necessary items/effects. This society is automatically a defacto theocratic or magocratic oligarchy and there's really not much way around that.

    As for crafting, skeletons can be told to aid in a craft check and aid another - with a single intelligent crafter at the lead it can be a rather potent bonus on a large project.
    This works just fine. Definitely one of the more utilitarian uses of undead.

    Edit: ooh, I just thought of another glaring problem with this. Enchantment. It won't work on the undead themselves but it'll work on their handlers. Congratulations, you have a society where dominating an individual gives you control of an entire squad of creatures.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-09 at 01:15 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

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    *Firstpost*

    Unlikely related to anything, but now i'd like to play one of those god-games where you play as a god shaping and controlling the land and it's citizens and basically being able to do whatever you want, only instead your the leading family of a small hamlet that gradually grows over the years, with a DM giving out random happenings such as earthquakes, NPC raids, and natural disasters and the like...

    ...Someone should invent/host that game :|
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Small hiccup here. A proper patrol requires observation and decision making, things these creatures are incapable of. Unless all you want them to do is appear to be patrolling as they simply walk a lap, they would need to be able to differentiate between people/things that belong and ones that don't. Their orders would also have to have to be worded in such a way as to have them either subdue or destroy whatever they encounter, they can't decide for themselves so it's just one or the other. There's simply no way mindless undead can be used to patrol on their own. They'll have to have handlers. You now need either necromancers or clerics willing to act as simple guard captains; a profession normally relegated to warriors and occasionally fighters.

    There's also the issue of mindless undead being incapable of deciding what exactly constitutes "trash." Meaning you now have spellcasters acting as heads of trash pickup teams. Magical devices could be used as a substitute for the casters themselves, but then you run into the problems of cost and possible theft. Half the point of using undead like this is it's theoretically supposed to be cheap.

    All of this is, of course, provided you can actually get the the inescapable social upheaval of putting a metric crap-ton of power into the hands of those relatively few people that are capable of actually producing the necessary items/effects. This society is automatically a defacto theocratic or magocratic oligarchy and there's really not much way around that.
    I agree, they cannot think, making them worthless without a necromancer as the brain of the operations.

    has anyone thought of asking the vampires to lead them (the skeleton cleaning crews) through the sewers at night? think of it... vampires can get payed in blood, wages and better accommodations (donated from the townsfolk and livestock, naturally) in exchange for relative safety and a partial acceptance into society.

    even as night guards, vampires make excellent watchmen. if anyone attempts a break-in they can drain them almost dry and send them to jail, leaving them with the day shift as the sun approaches.
    Last edited by LordErebus12; 2012-10-09 at 01:16 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by LordErebus12 View Post
    I agree, they cannot think, making them worthless without a necromancer as the brain of the operations.

    has anyone thought of asking the vampires to lead them (the skeleton cleaning crews) through the sewers at night? think of it... vampires can get payed in blood, wages and better accommodations (donated from the townsfolk and livestock, naturally) in exchange for relative safety and a partial acceptance into society.
    Yeah.... Now we're definitely creeping away from utopia and toward necropolis. BTW, you don't really think that vampires are going to be content being second class citizens to the inferior (in their eyes) living people of the society do you? This can only end poorly. Some uppity blood-sucker is going to get it in his head that the undead should be calling the shots and either people will become livestock or society will come to reject any intelligent undead in no time.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-09 at 01:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Yeah.... Now we're definitely creeping away from utopia and toward necropolis.
    you define a place without filth and undead as a utopia?

    id define peaceful undead and their masters as a boon, if they work within the laws provided... a simple set of state requirements. registration and proper id to be a necromancer in possession of registered undead. if they use these undead to maximize the community, out of sight from the general public (but in full knowledge of the public).
    Last edited by LordErebus12; 2012-10-09 at 01:20 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Yeah.... Now we're definitely creeping away from utopia and toward necropolis. BTW, you don't really think that vampires are going to be content being second class citizens to the inferior (in their eyes) living people of the society do you? This can only end poorly. Some uppity blood-sucker is going to get it in his head that the undead should be calling the shots and either people will become livestock or society will come to reject any intelligent undead in no time.
    this goes into the standard view that because they are vampires, they must be evil creatures. i think the standard vampire is evil, when being feral and a pack beast. but when in a more accepting society, they do not have to live in caves, feeding on humans like a pack of wolves.

    mining would be greatly inpowered by vampires...
    i can imagine a painting of a massive cathedral or window cleaning would be easier if you could innately spider climb. the capture of criminals would be a sinfully easy task with gaseous form and spider climb...

    honestly, if the right methods and restrictions are employed, a caste of vampires could grow within a city.

    1) no unotherized feedings, blood can be obtained from several sources and made available in clubs, bars, hospitals, etc.
    2) no creating spawn without proper processes are met and filed with the magistrate/courts
    3) the standard police/guards are equipped with magical silver weapons, to deal with the more aggressive, antisocial types
    Last edited by LordErebus12; 2012-10-09 at 01:30 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by LordErebus12 View Post
    you define a place without filth and undead as a utopia?

    id define peaceful undead and their masters as a boon, if they work within the laws provided... a simple set of state requirements. registration and proper id to be a necromancer in possession of registered undead. if they use these undead to maximize the community, out of sight from the general public (but in full knowledge of the public).
    I don't quite follow that first sentence, but let me go ahead and tell you how I define utopia.

    Utopia is fiction.

    The longer I live the more convinced I am that people, as a whole, are incapable of existing in perfect harmony with one another. Technology or magic may allow intelligent creatures to live in perfect harmony with nature, but never with each other. Cliques and power-groups form as a result of instinct and ambition. Even in a post-scarcity society people will always jockey for higher social standing and to have more <something> than their fellows.

    Maybe a utopia could exist if the creatures that occupy that utopia had vastly different instincts than anything that exists in nature and were created with that society already in place. You'd have to homebrew them though, since there's nothing in print that fits that description except maybe certain celestial creatures.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by LordErebus12 View Post
    this goes into the standard view that because they are vampires, they must be evil creatures. i think the standard vampire is evil, when being feral and a pack beast. but when in a more accepting society, they do not have to live in caves, feeding on humans like a pack of wolves.

    mining would be greatly inpowered by vampires...
    i can imagine a painting of a massive cathedral or window cleaning would be easier if you could innately spider climb. the capture of criminals would be a sinfully easy task with gaseous form and spider climb...
    It has nothing to do with vampires being evil. As intelligent creatures their alignment is up to them.

    The problem is that if they're not considered equal to the living in every way by the ruling body of the society, then they will rise up just like every other repressed people in the history of both the real and virtually all ficticious worlds.

    Even then, extremist groups will arise that see either the intelligent undead or the living as superior to the other. These groups will create conflict and sooner or later one will win and the other will be eliminated.

    This has everything to do with the nature of intelligent creatures and nothing at all to do with good/evil.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    I don't quite follow that first sentence, but let me go ahead and tell you how I define utopia.
    it was an incomplete thought... i meant to say that a city that utilizes both undead and necromancers to guide and control them as not being a utopia? meaning a necropolis, as you referred to it as being incapable as also being a utopia?
    Last edited by LordErebus12; 2012-10-09 at 01:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by LordErebus12 View Post
    it was an incomplete thought... i meant to say that a city that utilizes both undead and necromancers to guide and control them as not being a utopia? meaning a necropolis, as you referred to it as being incapable as also being a utopia?
    I don't see it as any more capable of becoming a utopia than any other society. I and several others have already poked some pretty big holes in the idea.

    The notion of utopia is fundamentally flawed in that it doesn't acknowledge certain inescapable facts about the nature of life itself. Life is competition. Every living creature has instincts that drive it to compete with its fellows, whether that creature is intelligent or not (though as science explores the nature of animal behavior it's becoming increasingly unlikely that there's any such thing as a creature with no intelligence, even spiders and flies show signs of learning and adaptation.)
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-09 at 01:42 AM.
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    I think that a local utopia can exist at least partially but only in opposition to another force. The blitz spirit is a shared fear of the other, of loosing what one has; a sense that if you don't pull together and get along you are going to get hammered.

    That is why my necrothieists need the enmity of beings like the gods. Without the threat of an all pervading and eternal opponent it would eventually fall apart. If they did not have gods they would probably be forced to create them.

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    If one where to reject and renounce the gods, alignment, divinely revealed morality and all other outsiders then necromancy would be a vital tool in the arsenal.

    It grants a society control of its moralities control over their own afterlife. Broken free from the tyranny of the alignment system men are free to decide for themselves what is right or wrong, free to decide their own destinies. The long term goal could be first the liberation of the mundane from outside influence and then the storming of the golden gates and the cleansing of the deepest pits; casting all outsiders to the shadows of the beyond.

    I envisage a society where a part of the soul is bound to an artefacts (be it a building, monument, weapon, jewel or warforged golem armour). This binds the rest of the spirit to this world, forcing the person into a cycle of reincarnation centred on their artefact/phalactry. During each life the soul is rebound to the artefacts (or to another) making the object more powerful. Perhaps in the long run the object awakens and the (or an) individual is completely bound within. I imagine that for large objects like ships, fortresses or cities many people can be bound in and of them.

    "This place ...this place is sacred. Everyone who loved it, everyone who lived it, who died for it, who shed blood sweat and tears for it has left a part of themselves here. It is our ancestorsí legacy to us, our legacy to the future. Tread carefully stranger, for you are treading on our souls."


    Doesn't mater if its good or evil in this case. On the alignment system such a societal would fall off of the axis, sit in the middle or oscillate widely from one side to the other. Trying to be a Neizchien ubermenchen society does that. Why should they define or limit themselves to the cosmic accursed alignment system? This would make them a very tempting target for both the red and blue teams (as well as the purple, orange and maroon teams)

    I rather think that the cosmic forces of good, evil and/or blancmange would go to great length to eradicate such a society whatever its alignment is or is not. Its just good business to stamp out threat.




    On the question of vampires I can well imagine a vampiric aristocracy forming an officer class together with a "priesthood"/civil service formed of necromancers and liches.

    Then comes the question if you want to extend economic and social franchise over the bulk of the population or do you want a good sized citizen class of landowners and craftsmen and a large non citizen class of registered aliens, tenet farmers and/or slaves. Non citizens would have to hand over their bodies after their done using them (relic tax) in lei of wealth or income based taxes.

    I also would like to state that I think that necromancy does touch on the soul, though exactly how I wouldn't like to say. (Note that in the old text necromancy was a form of divination, similar to mediums). However I would like to ask "Is this necessarily a bad thing?"
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-09 at 02:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    I think that a local utopia can exist at least partially but only in opposition to another force. The blitz spirit is a shared fear of the other, of loosing what one has; a sense that if you don't pull together and get along you are going to get hammered.

    That is why my necrothieists need the enmity of beings like the gods. Without the threat of an all pervading and eternal opponent it would eventually fall apart. If they did not have gods they would probably be forced to create them.

    [Necrothieist recap]
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    If one where to reject and renounce the gods, alignment, divinely revealed morality and all other outsiders then necromancy would be a vital tool in the arsenal.

    It grants a society control of its moralities control over their own afterlife. Broken free from the tyranny of the alignment system men are free to decide for themselves what is right or wrong, free to decide their own destinies. The long term goal could be first the liberation of the mundane from outside influence and then the storming of the golden gates and the cleansing of the deepest pits; casting all outsiders to the shadows of the beyond.

    I envisage a society where a part of the soul is bound to an artefacts (be it a building, monument, weapon, jewel or warforged golem armour). This binds the rest of the spirit to this world, forcing the person into a cycle of reincarnation centred on their artefact/phalactry. During each life the soul is rebound to the artefacts (or to another) making the object more powerful. Perhaps in the long run the object awakens and the (or an) individual is completely bound within. I imagine that for large objects like ships, fortresses or cities many people can be bound in and of them.

    "This place ...this place is sacred. Everyone who loved it, everyone who lived it, who died for it, who shed blood sweat and tears for it has left a part of themselves here. It is our ancestors’ legacy to us, our legacy to the future. Tread carefully stranger, for you are treading on our souls."


    Doesn't mater if its good or evil in this case. On the alignment system such a societal would fall off of the axis, sit in the middle or oscillate widely from one side to the other. Trying to be a Neizchien ubermenchen society does that. Why should they define or limit themselves to the cosmic accursed alignment system? This would make them a very tempting target for both the red and blue teams (as well as the purple, orange and maroon teams)

    I rather think that the cosmic forces of good, evil and/or blancmange would go to great length to eradicate such a society whatever its alignment is or is not. Its just good business to stamp out threat.




    On the question of vampires I can well imagine a vampiric aristocracy forming an officer class together with a "priesthood"/civil service formed of necromancers and liches.

    Then comes the question if you want to extend economic and social franchise over the bulk of the population or do you want a good sized citizen class of landowners and craftsmen and a large non citizen class of registered aliens, tenet farmers and/or slaves. Non citizens would have to hand over their bodies after their done using them (relic tax) in lei of wealth or income based taxes.

    I also would like to state that I think that necromancy does touch on the soul, though exactly how I wouldn't like to say. (Note that in the old text necromancy was a form of divination, similar to mediums). However I would like to ask "Is this necessarily a bad thing?"
    Interesting though it is, that's not a utopia for anyone but the citizens. The serfs are completely screwed in that setup by being little more than parasites on the society since nearly all the work that serfs would do in other societies is done by mindless undead. They're basically just subsistence farmers that wouldn't be any better off if the ruling class were a normal feudal aristocracy headed by a monarch. They're not even really safer than the serfs of a normal society since virtually every other society out there wants the one they exist along side destroyed.

    This setup makes the non-citizens little better than rats that the aristocracy don't mind keeping around, or intelligent livestock.

    Edit: Necromancy unambiguously can touch the soul. Whether that's a problem or not depends on how it touches the soul. Most necromancy spells that affect the soul generally do so in a negative way, either by turning it into an intelligent (usually incorporeal) undead, trapping it, or consuming it.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-09 at 02:18 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    the problem of "utopias" are they always small, usually only accessed by the wealthy, and often end up polluting everything outside the range of the utopia, abusing the underclass, etc. so life may be a utopia for some, but never for all.

    i think the point i was trying to get across was that a society that allowed undead to peacefully coexist could provide far better alternatives, without falling into stereotypes. The Vampire Aristocracy (AKA Dracula, Ventrue, etc) is an overplayed concept. i meant a more equal, democratic and accepting society (one that could never exist within our world) than what commonly exists.

    Imagine a nation that was built for the living during the day while equally being a world set up at night for those intelligent undead that live within, with laws governing both as equals. as long as the laws established are within reason and can be followed with relative ease and with only minor regulations.

    In the case of the city where both undead and the living survive together, certain jobs must facilitate and can even expand the job and financial markets, such as the access to food, without the need to kill permanently or create spawn.
    Last edited by LordErebus12; 2012-10-09 at 02:40 AM.
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    Interesting though it is, that's not a utopia for anyone but the citizens
    Isn't that they way of every nation that is, was or will ever be?

    The serfs are completely screwed in that setup by being little more than parasites on the society since nearly all the work that serfs would do in other societies is done by mindless undead.
    Note the mindless part. Their is still plenty of employment for quick hands and a clever mind. If you allow the use of artifacts that can command the dead then one possibility is as NCO's and work gang bosses (overseers)

    They're basically just subsistence farmers that wouldn't be any better off if the ruling class were a normal feudal aristocracy headed by a monarch.
    Well they will pay rent and such, however I rather suspect that this will be considerably less that the going rate of their feudal cousins.

    They're not even really safer than the serfs of a normal society since virtually every other society out there wants the one they exist along side destroyed.
    Except not having to worry about the constant threat of wars of succession (being as the ruling body is a theocracy of the dead). Plus it means that they at least know who their enemies are.


    This setup makes the non-citizens little better than rats that the aristocracy don't mind keeping around, or intelligent livestock.
    Pretty much as standard for the period then. Of course unlike most they will have the ability to earn citizenship or even be accepted into the "nocturnal nobility".


    Edit: Necromancy unambiguously can touch the soul. Whether that's a problem or not depends on how it touches the soul. Most necromancy spells that affect the soul generally do so in a negative way, either by turning it into an intelligent (usually incorporeal) undead, trapping it, or consuming it.
    Trapping it is acceptable (wouldn't want daemons getting hold of it and heaven forbid the gods). Ghosts would be fine to given the nature of the society.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-09 at 02:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    As you said before, utopia's cannot exist because of the many - but why would anyone be a surf in a utopia? If skeletons served everyone, then you could have skeletons and zombies guided by a single individual to oversee mass food production via mass farms. (The rotting flesh just makes the veggies taste better and fertilizes the fields! Its what the Tabasco company did some odd hundred years ago - when they say no trespassers, they meant it!), so even the poor and jobless would not starve. The common, free food would be bland, but it would be free for any citizen or surf of the community.

    The same for housing - skeletons only need a warehouse style structure to house or sheds, and the skeletons can be used to help a single architect build apartment style complexes and keep them up-kept for centuries with minimum fees, especially if you have skeletons logging and bringing tender and ores to bring in more supplies. This society would operate for almost nothing - a level 20 wizard could easily throw a single magic item away for the initial tools to get such a society started (like the mining and building equipment and the basic seeds/etc for the crops and farming equipment) to easily equip a few thousand skeletons - and last time I checked wizards can't even control that many at that level without serious optimization and 3.5 stuff like undead leadership.

    With a society this efficient and gaining new income by trading raw goods like stone that there is a infinite supply of with the right overseer, you make more then enough to pay the few overseers you need to fine-tune your undead workforce to sustain a sizable population of free loaders - and to be a citizen, you just have to give your body away upon death. So now you have renewable undead workers, and a self-sufficient society.
    Last edited by Jane_Smith; 2012-10-09 at 02:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    As you said before, utopia's cannot exist because of the many - but why would anyone be a surf in a utopia? If skeletons served everyone, then you could have skeletons and zombies guided by a single individual to oversee mass food production via mass farms. (The rotting flesh just makes the veggies taste better and fertilizes the fields! Its what the Tabasco company did some odd hundred years ago - when they say no trespassers, they meant it!), so even the poor and jobless would not starve. The common, free food would be bland, but it would be free for any citizen or surf of the community.

    The same for housing - skeletons only need a warehouse style structure to house or sheds, and the skeletons can be used to help a single architect build apartment style complexes and keep them up-kept for centuries with minimum fees, especially if you have skeletons logging and bringing tender and ores to bring in more supplies. This society would operate for almost nothing - a level 20 wizard could easily throw a single magic item away for the initial tools to get such a society started (like the mining and building equipment and the basic seeds/etc for the crops and farming equipment) to easily equip a few thousand skeletons - and last time I checked wizards can't even control that many at that level without serious optimization and 3.5 stuff like undead leadership.

    With a society this efficient and gaining new income by trading raw goods like stone that there is a infinite supply of with the right overseer, you make more then enough to pay the few overseers you need to fine-tune your undead workforce to sustain a sizable population of free loaders - and to be a citizen, you just have to give your body away upon death. So now you have renewable undead workers, and a self-sufficient society.
    since you could animate only 80 hd of undead at 20th level, i dont think one overseer would cover thousands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    Isn't that they way of every nation that is, was or will ever be?
    Yep, and that's exactly the problem. There will be inequality, there will be prejudice, and eventually the society will collapse either from outside pressure or internal decay.



    Note the mindless part. Their is still plenty of employment for quick hands and a clever mind. If you allow the use of artifacts that can command the dead then one possibility is as NCO's and work gang bosses (overseers)
    Those are necessarily small job markets though, unless each artifact is only tied to a handful of "workers." If that's the case then the cost will rapidly become a problem, and "workers" being stolen will be that much more likely. And what happens when one of these devices breaks? Accidents happen and in this case accidents result in a group, possibly a large group, of dangerous creatures being set free to run amuck, until they can be contained and either destroyed or recaptured. At least with machinery accidents don't result in the machine actively seeking to kill people.



    Well they will pay rent and such, however I rather suspect that this will be considerably less that the going rate of their feudal cousins.
    Maybe, maybe not. You've possited undead as the ruling body. Undead tend to have a problem with becoming increasingly dissassociative with what it's like to be alive. Combine this with the tendency of politicians to get greedy and lose track of what they're supposed to be in office for and you end up with people taxed and oppressed, eventually to the point of revolt if corrective action isn't taken quickly and often enough.



    Except not having to worry about the constant threat of wars of succession (being as the ruling body is a theocracy of the dead). Plus it means that they at least know who their enemies are.
    I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but this is laughably untrue, unless you hand-waive it for the campaign. The fact that the ruling body is composed of people that can't just be waited out means that political maneuvering and backstabbing will be that much more rife than they would be amongst the living. Worse, virtually all of the upper echelons of society have a myriad of supernatural and/or spell-like abilities to complicate security and counter security further. This causes headaches for the law-enforcement too. If the appointments of officials are supposed to be permanent, you even get wonderful little power vaccums if someone dies unexpectedly without naming a successor, something that they're less likely to do because the official A) doesn't plan on dying ever, and B) understands that naming a successor gives that successor a very solid motivation for his removal. (this statement should be read more as politicians are evil than undead are evil, FYI.)




    Pretty much as standard for the period then. Of course unlike most they will have the ability to earn citizenship or even be accepted into the "nocturnal nobility".
    So we're in agreement then, that the use of undead doesn't make the society any better or worse than most any other model? After all, the possibility of gaining higher station in other societies doesn't usually involve any change in the prospective's basic nature. How much upward mobility an individual has is dependent on the society's laws and rulers. Having the undead rulers writing those laws doesn't change that one iota.




    Trapping it is acceptable (wouldn't want daemons getting hold of it and heaven forbid the gods). Ghosts would be fine to given the nature of the society.
    Being a ghost isn't what I'd call "fine." No tactile, gustatory, or olfactory sensations ever again? No thank you. Becoming one of most breeds of undead also involves a complete change to the self. Vampires, ghosts, and liches are the exceptions, not the rule.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    As you said before, utopia's cannot exist because of the many - but why would anyone be a surf in a utopia? If skeletons served everyone, then you could have skeletons and zombies guided by a single individual to oversee mass food production via mass farms. (The rotting flesh just makes the veggies taste better and fertilizes the fields! Its what the Tabasco company did some odd hundred years ago - when they say no trespassers, they meant it!), so even the poor and jobless would not starve. The common, free food would be bland, but it would be free for any citizen or surf of the community.

    The same for housing - skeletons only need a warehouse style structure to house or sheds, and the skeletons can be used to help a single architect build apartment style complexes and keep them up-kept for centuries with minimum fees, especially if you have skeletons logging and bringing tender and ores to bring in more supplies. This society would operate for almost nothing - a level 20 wizard could easily throw a single magic item away for the initial tools to get such a society started (like the mining and building equipment and the basic seeds/etc for the crops and farming equipment) to easily equip a few thousand skeletons - and last time I checked wizards can't even control that many at that level without serious optimization and 3.5 stuff like undead leadership.

    With a society this efficient and gaining new income by trading raw goods like stone that there is a infinite supply of with the right overseer, you make more then enough to pay the few overseers you need to fine-tune your undead workforce to sustain a sizable population of free loaders - and to be a citizen, you just have to give your body away upon death. So now you have renewable undead workers, and a self-sufficient society.
    Even in a civilization where noone ever has to lift a finger except to grasp the doohicky that controls their own personal skeleton, society will stratify. People will invariably try to put themselves ahead of those that are ostensibly, and legally, their equals. At least a portion of the populace will try to do this by achieving greater political clout. If the laws don't recognize this clout then they'll move it behind closed doors until they can arrange to have the law changed. This is inescapable, because after you dig all the way down through the layers of the psyche to find this phenomenon's ultimate motivation you're going to hit instinct. It's ultimately cause by the drive to reproduce in the living and the lingering psychology that was based on that same desire to reproduce in the intelligent undead.

    In any society somebody's at the bottom, and being at the bottom stirs up feelings that result in chaos. Then of course there are the people that refuse to conform to society just to be different or to entertain themselves. These instabilities will always create conflict, and will invariably bring your society crumbling down around you if they're not carefully monitored and controlled. Ultimately though, something will slip through the cracks and the chaos will reach a boiling point where it can no longer be controlled. All civilizations fall.

    A perfectly stable, efficient, and equal society just isn't possible as long as you're working with creatures that are, or once were, living.

    And that's without even touching religion, something that has proven itself to be impossible to stamp out in a world where there's no tangible proof of any religion's veracity.

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