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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    played a vampire paladin of pelor once... that didnt last long... hahaha
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    Of course not, pelor being well...pelor has seen that film that must not be named and had had enough of angsty teen pseudo vamps. Sparkle at me will you? lets see how you cope with the anvil of the sun intensified by a magic lens thirty five miles wide!!

    I am thinking... what if the necrotheist where one of the first great human empires? They cleared the way, opened up huge tracts of uncharted wilderness, slew the tarseresques, dragons and a host of other assorted megabests that plagued the area. Their enlightened aproch to the mystic pioneered much of the arcane thought that had languished in superstition for ages past.

    Then they where brought down. Maybe a vast barbarian host overwhelmed the frontiers, maybe infighting tore them apart in civil war, maybe some profit has lead a religions revolution in the heartlands. Perhaps the religious scouring had forces the disparate tribal gods to coalesces into a new harsher, more powerful pantheon; one that called down blight after cataclysm to destroy the old empire. Perhaps it was all of these things, but it was the end of the beginning and the beginning of a new era.

    Now the lands are a patchwork resurgent wilderness and petty and rude kingdoms, the best of them little more than pretenders to lost imperial glory. The landscape first tamed by immortal hands and then assailed by the forces of "nature" are studded and crisscrossed with abandoned palaces, haunted ruins, esoteric monuments, tumble down aqueducts and walls, arrow strait and level road gone to seed; the knowings of their makings lost beyond all mortal ken.

    In the harshest, most forlorn or forgotten corners of what was once the old empire lie the embattled remnants of its once vast Majesty. These fortress citadels where once little more than provincial towns, their size swelled by the hordes of wild eyed refugees and their walls, streets and vaults enriched by what little could be saved from the great burning of civilization.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Ghosts are a special case IMO; I don't even know that they ought to be undead, the "deathless" of BOXD are just as valid and there's little in-universe reason to distinguish them. Really though I'm more inclined to treat all lingering souls as their own separate thing...it makes sense that they can be Turned, but I definitely don't think they're Evil any more often than Good, they can be clinging to the mortal coil for any of a thousand reasons, and at most being powered by negative energy would slightly incline them toward either deliberate spite or reckless endangerment (all their efforts to reuinte with their family going horribly wrong due to their own tainted nature, very tragic stuff). If it was narratively convenient at all, I probably wouldn't hesitate to ditch this altogether, and have a ghost acting like Ben Kenobi in the Empire Strikes Back, just kinda chilling out and chatting up the heroes with random advice since that's all he's capable of anymore.
    Ghosts are already a special case. They can't be deliberately created through magic and their alignment is whatever it was in life. They're undead because, as I understand it, there's a certain resonance between negative emotions and negative energy. The deathless version arises from a sense of duty and is a creature of positive energy.

    You might take a look at the ghostwalk ghost template. I use it in my campaigns to model ancestor spirits in the societies that do the ancestor worship thing.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwertystop View Post
    I know that. In fact, that was what the statement of mine that you quoted was intended to show the person you quoted immediately prior.
    Okay. Sorry if that bothered you at all, i was mostly finding relevant springboards for things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    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.
    There is a decent argument for even intelligent undeath being more of a snapshot of the personality, and the soul still leaving. Don't intelligent undead not show up under soulsight?


    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.)
    I agree. There is a difference between murder and killing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    Raising the dead is only an evil act to our society, that does not make it actually an evil act. Its like the bosmer in the elder scrolls series: they eat the flesh of there dead elders so they can live on with them and carry on. Does that make them evil? To the empire? Maybe. To the bosmer culture? No. To the cosmos? It does not give the tiniest amount of ****s, not even one. Its completely objective, so saying "undead is evil" has no solid grounds besides a spell descriptor that was placed by the makers of a game who set out to make necromancy just another "villian spell set" - the game is flawed in many cases, ESPECIALLY alignment, and its up to us as players and dm's to fix it and mend it, not just blindly follow greyhawks/cores "FLAVOR" that says hur dur undead are innately evil - as thats fluff and not 100% subject to whatever setting we play (Besides greyhawk).
    [...]
    So yeah, I hate when people just say 'X is evil, period", it makes no sense, and I would not want to be in any setting where alignment is so concrete and black/white, as it is rather bland and boring.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    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.
    I feel you are mistaken. Yes, you can play a game using morality instead of alignment, but morality is NOT alignment, and alignment is NOT morality. Saying that alignment fails as a morality, so you should get rid of it entirely, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    Evil is not a person's ideas on something. It is a discrete measurable phenomenon, like mass. this is an intentional design goal of the game, it is not an artefact, it is not a mistake, and it is not some ham-fisted effort to justify anything. It is as much an intentional part of Dungeons and Dragons as wizards and clerics are. It is as thought through as magic as a system.

    Yes, you can ply without alignment, and I encourage you to do so, as some gaes are more fun when you cant brainscan people to judge them. But that does not mean D&D is flawed because you don't like something, and telling people that thery should discard the rules is silly.

    This is also about Why udead are evil, and has nothing to do with should undead be evil. Saying they should not be is irrelevant, because it does not answer the question. The question is; Undead are evil, why is that so? Asserting the rules for why are dumb may be true, but it's unhelpful, and is segueing into an argumentative topic, needlessly.

    The system works, and makes perfect sense, regardless of whether any one person or group of people like the end results.
    Last edited by SiuiS; 2012-10-09 at 06:46 PM.


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    Wait...

    If Undead=Evil, and if Star Trek has taught me anything, Goatee=Evil, then...

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    Undead=Goatee.


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    @SiuiS:

    If you mean soulsight, the feat from MoI, then its actually capable of detecting all creatures if your brow chakra is open.

    That argument can kinda work for corporeal undead, but I know that incorporeal undead explicitly are souls. I'm pretty sure this is stated in the description of magic jar if not somewhere else.

    Unfortunately the soul is somewhat poorly defined in 3.5, and worse, that definition is scattered through several books.
    I actually compiled the lore into a single post once, I'll see if I can dig it up.

    Edit: Found it. Here's my short essay on what the soul is in 3.5.

    I'm no longer certain about the part where I mention the soul being bound to mindless undead though.

    I actually think it's relevant to the current discussion, but I can't copy/paste because of the machine I'm on. Could somebody quote me?
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-09 at 09:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    So possible reasons as to why undead are inherently evil in vanilla DnD.

    1) Negative energy is tainted with evil
    2) The spells used to create them are tied to or draw on evil (in which case look to the original authors of the spells for a clue as to why this is the case).
    3) They violate the natural order, assuming that is inherently evil.
    4) Negative energy makes them destructive, which in turn makes them evil.
    5) Because the daemons picked necromancy for team evil.
    6) Because they are not human, and anything not humane is evil.
    7) Because it does something unpleasant to the soul
    8) Because the creator of the universe has an predilection for the evil dead.

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    I'd pick 8. Seems about right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    So possible reasons as to why undead are inherently evil in vanilla DnD.

    1) Negative energy is tainted with evil
    2) The spells used to create them are tied to or draw on evil (in which case look to the original authors of the spells for a clue as to why this is the case).
    3) They violate the natural order, assuming that is inherently evil.
    4) Negative energy makes them destructive, which in turn makes them evil.
    5) Because the daemons picked necromancy for team evil.
    6) Because they are not human, and anything not humane is evil.
    7) Because it does something unpleasant to the soul
    8) Because the creator of the universe has an predilection for the evil dead.
    Undead aren't inherently evil for the most part. Their creation is, but the undead themselves are only inherently evil if they're mindless, a result of the instincts built into them combined with a lack of agency not to act on them. The intelligent undead have just as much agency in their alignment as any other intelligent creature without an alignment subtype. Remember that "Always X" on the creature's alignment line doesn't actually mean they're 100% always that alignment.
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    Evil does not seem to be limited to actors however. Objects, spells, energy fields and even entire planes of existence can be ascribed to as evil.

    The question becomes is evil something you do, something you are or something you are corrupted by? I think that even the mindless dead could be classed as evil on all counts... not that I have anything against evil persay mind, the fiction and aesthetic of evil is both cool and sexy.

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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."

    ******
    Citizens have at least part of their souls bound to the material culture of the city. For example an journeyman sculptor works on his masterpiece. Upon completion he has a peace of his spirit bound within it when he donates his work to the city in exchange for his official and civic recognition as a master sculptor

    They then reincarnate as new people upon death (the messy way, not the magic revive character way). Memories, personality and experiences would be more or less lost ...but it might be possible to get flashes of what you where through dreams or when in contact with an artifact that holds a proportion of your soul.

    I like the idea of ideas, memories, skills and experiences being directly recorded and preserved in archives (some of which may be open to the public, others available by special permission and still others sealed as most secret).

    If you were willing to undergo the ritual, if it where felt that you had earned it, if you had an "elder" willing to sponsor and if you managed to pass an interview and vetting procedure you would be made a into some kind of sentient undead as befits your role and status.
    ************************************
    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?"

    Remember when I said that the souls of the citizenry are tied to the artefacts, heirlooms, monuments and buildings of the land? Well tying the non-citizens to their own bones and using them would be the entry level of this. To have better would require that you are deemed to have contributed more, earned better in this life for your next. Note that this may lead to a caste system if you wanted to spin it that way.
    I Think that these control artifact would be rented out to people/businesses by registered necromancers. They would control no more that a score of undead and would have a serial number stamped into each talisman. This would be a major source of revenue for the state and the low taxes that this (amongst other things) would allow would be good for the economy.

    I can also well imagine a limited charge summon/control device being sold to adventurers or a rechargeable version issued to military NCO's and public works officers.

    I do imagine that many skeletons would be stock piled in cold storage as a kind of strategic/economic reserve. Either disarticulated skeletons stored in vaults or a whole terracotta army vibe) Most of the time bodies would be used as magical reagents or focuses.

    ****************************

    It would probably start out as a city state and grow from there. Whether as a fractious alliance of city states, a small nation, a patchwork of elector states or as a full blown unitary empire would be very much up to the DM.

    This set up is under siege, it goal is universal dominion. It must expend or die and thus could well begin to suffer what I call the "disease of bigness". As a result it could well fluctuate between two or more of these scenarios.

    If their was a "necropolitan empire" that was destroyed a few thousand years ago then it could well be that their are a number of embattled vestiges in isolated or defensible locations. It would also allow for haunted ruins, SEIAC ancient strategic reserves and a lot of lost artifacts that all sides would want to recover (one set to destroy the other to reclaim).
    I am thinking... what if the necrotheist where one of the first great human empires? They cleared the way, opened up huge tracts of uncharted wilderness, slew the tarseresques, dragons and a host of other assorted megabests that plagued the area. Their enlightened aproch to the mystic pioneered much of the arcane thought that had languished in superstition for ages past.

    Then they where brought down. Maybe a vast barbarian host overwhelmed the frontiers, maybe infighting tore them apart in civil war, maybe some profit has lead a religions revolution in the heartlands. Perhaps the religious scouring had forces the disparate tribal gods to coalesces into a new harsher, more powerful pantheon; one that called down blight after cataclysm to destroy the old empire. Perhaps it was all of these things, but it was the end of the beginning and the beginning of a new era.

    Now the lands are a patchwork resurgent wilderness and petty and rude kingdoms, the best of them little more than pretenders to lost imperial glory. The landscape first tamed by immortal hands and then assailed by the forces of "nature" are studded and crisscrossed with abandoned palaces, haunted ruins, esoteric monuments, tumble down aqueducts and walls, arrow strait and level road gone to seed; the knowings of their makings lost beyond all mortal ken.

    In the harshest, most forlorn or forgotten corners of what was once the old empire lay the embattled remnants of its once vast Majesty. These fortress citadels where once little more than provincial towns, their size swelled by the hordes of wild eyed refugees and their walls, streets and vaults enriched by what little could be saved from the great burning of civilization.

    FAQ

    Social inequity?

    Some people will always be at the bottom. This is the reason why I acknowledge the existence of surfs, of slaves and metics is a highly likely possibility in this kind of society. Plus people need more than bread and circuses. They need something that theirs, something to work for.

    As part of the social control system I think some kind of hideously twisted variant of the American dream could be the answer. "work hard In school kids and if you want it bad enough you to could become an abominable blasphemy in the sight of all that's holy!"

    Isnít this still Evil?

    Doesn't matter if itís 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 threats.

    Free your mind, free your soul!

    What is good and evil anyway?

    I like the idea of the forces of good and evil being opposed by cultural and political differences, but not opposite.

    So good uses positive energy and evil uses negative. These are opposed and cancel each other out. There is nothing inherently evil or good about them, they are merely tools.

    The forces of good favour actions certain actions, they also approve of actions that favour themselves. In this they are no different than the forces of evil. Alignment is connected to morality by opposition and cultural convention only. Necromancy is evil because the forces of evil have a proprietary interest over it

    Both sides wish to control the mortal world for their own ends, they both desire souls. All sides in their interminable war shamelessly commit and expect their followers to commit horrific acts against the other; they take pride in this and umbrage to those who object.

    Strange thought

    The necropolis is a sort of genius locci, its chock full of spirits and awakened or sub sentient artifacts. If these formed a subsentient gasalt could the necropolis be used as a source for semi divine/ urban primal spell casting? would it be a viable partner for some sort of urban pact warlock?

    The next big question is can the entire city "awaken" as a sentient gasalt entity and what would that mean for the society? It has been suggested that this would become some sort of artificial civic god.

    Crime and punishment?

    As the point of the culture is to create an artificial cycle of rebirth the strongest penalty would be excommunication from this. The phrase "Gods take you!" springs to mind.

    An atypical crime would be trafficking with outsiders (being a cleric/paladin/favored soul/diabolist or warlock).

    Religious unrest?

    I think that this society would be subject to a level of paranoia and public witch hunts for priests and laymen. It might be somewhere between the anti-Catholic sentiment of Tudor England, the McArthiest red scare and the persecution of early Christians.

    Undead immigration?

    Had not thought about immigration of the undead. It would have to be sentient free roaming dead with no ties to the gods or independent necromancers. Wouldn't imagine that their are enough of them to cause a problem by I do like the concept of a "corpus ghoul auxilia".

    Utopia?

    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.

    Dystopia?
    What about constantly subverting your ideas and presumptions of both. A society which on the surface looks pretty evil but when you get to know it better it "seems" to be actually not too bad in principle. On closer examination however there is trouble in "paradise" only the locals are too obsessed with towing the party line to see it. Not a bad metaphor for the practical application of communism/democracy.

    Aknolagements

    I would like to particualy thank Jane_Smith and Kelb_Panthera for their impute, advice and support.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-10 at 04:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Like I said before, Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos are cosmic forces. These forces recognize and tag certain behaviours and thoughts and can be deliberately infused into creatures and objects. Certain creatures even spring spontaneously from these forces on planes that are made-up primarily of them.

    Evil recognizes the instincts of mindless undead; the drive to destroy life for no purpose; and the creation of all undead.

    Just about the only undead whose creation doesn't reconcile with the alignment rules are liches and necropolitans. Both say that the rituals to create them are evil without ever giving any solid reason as to why, and neither has anything driving them toward evil behavior that they didn't have as living creatures. They're the only examples of undead I can think of that have literally nothing tying them to evil except the designers said so.

    Your necrotheist society has developed to the point that you might consider posting it in the homebrew world-building subforum. I think it's interesting enough that a fair number of people would use it.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-10 at 03:49 AM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    The question becomes is evil something you do, something you are or something you are corrupted by?
    Morality is based on action, not on existence. A goblin is neutral evil because of the way it acts, not because it is a goblin and a vampire is always evil because it preys on humans as cattle to feed its need for blood. Mindless undead don't take voluntary actions, they are animated remains obeying the orders of their creator. They are considered evil because we have a respect for the memories of our loved ones who have passed and do not wish to see their remains used as tools or soldiers of conquest. There is nothing inherently evil about a skeleton or a zombie though. From the SRD
    A skeleton does only what it is ordered to do. It can draw no conclusions of its own and takes no initiative.
    There is no intent behind its actions, indeed it has no actions of its own, only those of its creator or controller.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoverfrog View Post
    Morality is based on action, not on existence. A goblin is neutral evil because of the way it acts, not because it is a goblin and a vampire is always evil because it preys on humans as cattle to feed its need for blood. Mindless undead don't take voluntary actions, they are animated remains obeying the orders of their creator. They are considered evil because we have a respect for the memories of our loved ones who have passed and do not wish to see their remains used as tools or soldiers of conquest. There is nothing inherently evil about a skeleton or a zombie though. From the SRD There is no intent behind its actions, indeed it has no actions of its own, only those of its creator or controller.
    Morality is based on culture. Whether that culture recognizes good or evil (or whatever other words they use, honorable and dishonorable spring quickly to mind) based on actions, existence, or something else entirely is outside the scope of the alignment system. A goblin is neutral evil if it has more thoughts and performs more actions that are good than it has or does evil, and has about the same ratio of chaotic to lawful. The same is true of vampires.

    You get almost exclusively evil vampires because of the behavior that arises from the blood-thirst. Left unsated long enough it turns them into ravening beasts that destroy life for their own benefit. A vampire that only feeds on volunteers (shoudln't be too hard to find given their charisma) and uses his supernatural powers for good will have one or another good alignment. Again, always doesn't mean always in the alignment line of a creature's stat block.

    BTW, alignment very much can be the result of existence; see the 4 alignment subtypes.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Kelb_Panthera, I'm not sure I follow. Let's use an example.

    If orc culture encourages slavery of prisoners and active aggression against anyone not part of the tribe then we would consider the orcs evil but within their culture the ones with the most slaves would be the epitome of orc kind, a moral paragon in fact.

    This then becomes a really subjective view of alignment. A vampire who sees humanity as cattle is no more evil that a human who sees cows as cattle unless you happen to be a human or a cow. Objectively if we measure good and evil as the weal or woe of an action then slavery results in greater harm that good for the majority, as does the killing of humans to keep the vampire alive. They are objectively evil acts.

    Individuals may justify their actions as subjectively good by citing cultural moors, as in modern day "honour killings" but objectively as long as we use weal and woe as a measure they are not good acts.

    Mindless undead though make no such moral considerations. They simply obey. Their existence might be considered an insult to the memories of the dead and so subjectively cruel and wrong. However animated skeletons tasked with carrying out the dangerous and unpleasant jobs unfit for people or to replace a human soldier on the front line have a net positive result for humanity. It becomes objectively good to animate the dead and have them serve.

    At least that's what my necromancer would say.
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  15. - Top - End - #165
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Set aside morality for a second.

    You have two sides, one wears black hats the other white. They hate each other and do awful things to each other simply because they are in conflict.

    Each side has its own set of mostly conflicting values.

    Morality is what people think is right or wrong, acceptable or taboo. It is subjective and influenced by but not dependent on alignment.

    Imagine that your moral compos is an actual compos. It will hove in on its "magnetic north" -on the alignments- but it will be affected to one degree or another by local influences.

    Off topic: Necrotheism has jumped ship to this thread.
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  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    The problem you're running into, and the most common one that catches most people, is that you're not seperating alignment and morality. They're related but they aren't the same thing.

    Alignment is what I've described above, a series of fundamental cosmic forces that predate any mind that could contemplate morality. The gods themselves were created by these forces rather than the other way 'round. (Except in FR, then there was Ao, but he's beyond the system altogether and one could say he made the gods out of the alignment forces without contradicting anything in the rules or the lore.)

    Morality is a social construct devised by sapient creatures to encourage certain behaviours and discourage others within their society. Which behaviors are seen as good (encouraged) or bad (discouraged) are dependent on the culture itself.

    It so happens, that the alignment forces recognize certain behaviors that many cultures see as morally charged.

    An overwhelming majority of cultures see slitting your neighbor's throat to get his coin-pouch and his horse as things to be discouraged (morally evil in the cultural sense) but there are some that see it as an acceptable act (morally neutral in the cultural sense) and some that see it as the best way to weed out the weak and unworthy (morally good in the cultural sense).

    The above is also a piece of behavior that the cosmic force known as evil would recognize (morally evil in the alignment sense).

    The language of the system is what's at fault for this confusion. By using the terms good and evil and calling it the moral axis of alignment, the designers seriously muddied the water of what the system actually is versus how it's percieved.

    Edit: that's the third time today I've been ninja'd.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-10 at 05:13 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    I've always found Mummies to be one of the more less evil undead. Theay are usually made of rulers or powerful gaurdian/warriors who took their jobs extremely seriously. I've used Mummy Palidans as LG before but I've always surmised they were kinda like liches in the sense that a ritual was needed to create them, Like Liches I suppose this means they can be any alignment really (since I did find a book that spoke about good aligned liches before)
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  18. - Top - End - #168
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsumeken View Post
    I've always found Mummies to be one of the more less evil undead. Theay are usually made of rulers or powerful gaurdian/warriors who took their jobs extremely seriously. I've used Mummy Palidans as LG before but I've always surmised they were kinda like liches in the sense that a ritual was needed to create them, Like Liches I suppose this means they can be any alignment really (since I did find a book that spoke about good aligned liches before)
    There've been several sources regarding good and non-evil liches. Libris mortis springs to mind.

    Mummys are just usually evil. It's probably the mummy rot. Deliberately inflicting a curse or disease on an enemy is nearly always an evil act and the mummy's primary weapon is simultaneously both of these things. This is actually a third case in which the act of creating an undead isn't a necessarily evil act, unless mummy rot is contagious. Mummy's are created by an evil spell.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Um, the original neverwinter nights games for pc, I think the base one, not the expansions, had a quest where you had to go into a fake dimension where 2 souls were being forced into an eternal trial waiting for judgement for a horrid crime of murder/etc by the higher planes.

    They were brothers, one was a elven lich who was blamed for the murder of the children to become what he was. The second was a elven cleric of pelor who went insane from the murders and many blamed it was his guilt gnawing at him.

    Moral of story; the lich was good and wanted to become one purely to protect his people.

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    Ends up the lich was tricked into killing the children, the cleric was mindraped by a demon, and it ends up that the demon was secretly a part of the trial you unlock if you know burning hands and cast it as part of the ritual to summon him. You bring him back to the trial and find out he dominated the elven wizard and mind-raped him into thinking he did not kill the children, etc, and was the one who corrupted the cleric to murder more people/etc. HOWEVER, the best choice for this is to actually pick no one, even knowing the demons involvement/trickery, because if you judge the demon, he will just spend a few thousand years imprisoned and he does not care. Ends up however, if you do not pick anyone, the trial will remain going for ETERNITY trapping the demon and the two souls. You can seal the portal and keep anyone from ever intruding on the trial again. Gg balor, gg. What makes it even more touching is that the brothers are fine with this eternity of solitude.
    Last edited by Jane_Smith; 2012-10-10 at 05:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Well, I always thought that the undead in the monster manuel where created by Evil Clerics to do Evil Things, by Evil Gods. That is the reason they are always evil. I don't think that its cause they are inhereitnly evil. I suppose if you use spells by Wee Jas, or another neutral Deity or just got off the worship an Ideal, then they could probably be of a different alignment.

    About the whol Negative energy thing. I thing most of the times, the reason why the creatures and energy is associated with being evil. Is because the want and desire to harm and destroy all Life is seen as an evil outlook. It doesn't if it's a natural out look or what not. I don't think ALL creatures and things from that plane are evil, just the ones that are to be used by the DM to create adventures. Also, another reason the undead are evil, even when created by neutral Deities. The husk might be mindless, but they are driven by the Negative energy to consume life, and energy.

    You have to realise. That the monsters in the DMG are there so that the DM can make adventures, and fill them with monsters the players don't have any compunction about killing, and looting.

  21. - Top - End - #171
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Too lazy to read the whole thread, but has it already been mentioned that non-intelligent undead used to be neutral until 3e

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Hell, before 3.0 necromancy had healing, death, and undeath magic in it. I dunno why they changed it so drastically.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    My Dm had a book for mages in his AD&D things and one spoke of things called White Necromancer who worked with good aligned churches healing diseases and such. I think their main purpose was to bring closure to families by bringing back their loved ones for short times in order for them to say goodbyes.
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  24. - Top - End - #174
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    The problem with having Undead not being Evil is, well, why are you killing them?

    If the Skeletons and Mummies in the Dungeon are Lawful beings guarding the tomb of their ancient ruler, you're kind of a **** for just smashing them apart to satisfy your own greed.

    If any random Vampire or Wight can potentially turn their (un)life around and turn into a brooding antihero, staking them by the hundreds is closer to being a serial killer than a champion of Good.

    Obviously, a good DM or skilled roleplayers can get around this. Negotiating with Mummies to borrow the world-saving amulet or running "Vampires Anonymous" meetings can make fun campaign ideas, but I'm not sure it should be the default. Just think of the Paladins.

    (I see this as different from the "Usually Evil" Goblin/Orc thing because Goblins and Orcs embody really gross stereotypes of actual human cultures, which are used to justify really vile acts against them. On the other hand Zombies and other undead are essentially just the disposable robot mooks on children's TV shows; devoid of personality and morality, filling the need for unambiguous bad-guys for the heroes to mow down.)

  25. - Top - End - #175
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Adventurer's tend to be mercenaries, sellswords, assassins, tomb raiders, thieves and murderers. Look, a quest to kill a dragon whos terrorizing the town is the exact same method an assassin would get his mark, oh look a king has a bounty on his head, better speak with person X, kill thing Y, and get reward Z. And adventurer's are notorious for picking up things that do not belong to them, even in a crypt. Even if that crypt is of a god/king/legendary hero/saint/etc and looting a epic object from the crypt could unseal a powerful and ancient evil, 9 times out of 10, the pc's will take it. Technically in any normal society that would make THEM the evil party, and taking artifacts from even lawful good mummys would still be common place for pc's.

    Also, nobody kills vampires anymore, that is old news. We only kill the sparkly ones, and normal vampires approve and support this decision.

  26. - Top - End - #176
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyberwulf View Post
    Well, I always thought that the undead in the monster manuel where created by Evil Clerics to do Evil Things, by Evil Gods. That is the reason they are always evil. I don't think that its cause they are inhereitnly evil. I suppose if you use spells by Wee Jas, or another neutral Deity or just got off the worship an Ideal, then they could probably be of a different alignment.

    About the whol Negative energy thing. I thing most of the times, the reason why the creatures and energy is associated with being evil. Is because the want and desire to harm and destroy all Life is seen as an evil outlook. It doesn't if it's a natural out look or what not. I don't think ALL creatures and things from that plane are evil, just the ones that are to be used by the DM to create adventures. Also, another reason the undead are evil, even when created by neutral Deities. The husk might be mindless, but they are driven by the Negative energy to consume life, and energy.

    You have to realise. That the monsters in the DMG are there so that the DM can make adventures, and fill them with monsters the players don't have any compunction about killing, and looting.
    Actually, several of the undead in the monster manual and, I think, most of the undead elsewhere can't be created by spells. They're either created by spawning or undisclosed ritual. In the former case the creation of the progenitor creature's creation isn't usually discussed.

    There are no creatures native to the negative energy plane if I'm not mistaken. If not for undead immigrants it'd just be an endless hungry void with a few voidstones here and there. Entropic creature template, Planar handbook pg 122.

    On your last point, if you have strong enough compunctions regarding killing to apply them to a game, D&D is probably the wrong rpg for you, what with the basic paradigm of the game being "kill the bad guys and take their stuff so you can kill stronger bad guys to take their stuff."
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-10 at 05:21 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #177
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    I think the way around that would be that non intelligent undead are more like something to be saved rather then destroyed. If you go by the thoughts that skeletons and zombies move by binding the souls of their former selves to their bodies then it is destroying their physical forms that is their only means of release. Since they are essentially as Water Bear said "robot mooks" it is the objectives of the person who raised them that ultimately decides their objectives/actions.

    Inteligant undead may have a choice in the matter though if they can resist the corruption of negative energy or just the trauma/hate incorporated with becoming a undead horror.

    EDIT: I think the only creatures native to the Negative energy plane are Shadows and Night Walker/Wing/Crawler
    Last edited by Tsumeken; 2012-10-10 at 05:21 PM.
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  28. - Top - End - #178
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Huh?

    I never said I don't want anything killed in my games? Much like life, I don't care one way or the other if things die. I never said anything about that.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    I believe that necromancy USUALLY = EVIL, however, I played a CG necromancer wizard that believed in fighting fire with fire, or in this case, fighting undead with undead

    Undead=Evil, not always - my party killed an innocent ghost trying to destroy a cult of necromancers that raised his spirit
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyberwulf View Post
    Huh?

    I never said I don't want anything killed in my games? Much like life, I don't care one way or the other if things die. I never said anything about that.
    Sorry, I meant you in the global sense, rather than you kyberwulf there.

    Precise as it can be, english isn't perfect by any stretch.
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