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Thread: Undead=Evil

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    I consider mindless, but controlled undead to be either LN or N because they blindly follow orders of the one controlling them.
    Might I reference DDO, Pale Master is a "prestige class" (you don't take levels in prestige classes in that game) that focuses around necromancy. You can't even be evil and it allows even LG characters.

    Minded affects nothing, however, most necromancers are evil so they will be listed as such.
    Last edited by MichaelGoldclaw; 2012-10-12 at 05:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Nymph's kiss gave you the human skill racial essentially for a single feat - 1-20 skill points is a bit potent in my opinion on top of +2 to all cha-skills. But if you think otherwise, more power to you.

    Vow of Poverty is broken for 3 reasons. VoP Druid/Shaper, VoP Monk/Kensai, and VoP Monsters. Nobody said monsters could not take this feat. I think someone once found a loophole that allows a wizards familiar to gain VoP, though that was not to op, in fact I found that kinda funny. Behold, the exalted weasel!!!

    Touch of Golden Ice can be effected by feats like ability focus, etc. Which does not help it at late-game (DC 17), but that makes enemy's all the way up to level 10ish vulnerable to be effected, and any mooks you ever encounter usually even at pre-epic levels.

    But the biggest issue I had with the series was ravages/afflictions being "good poison" yet causing unjust suffering/pain/etc, which, for years, was the reason poisons were considered evil, the "holy assassin" that uses them essentially to slay evil beings, and the eternal hypocrisy of it all. Personally I find complete divine a far better book then even boed AND bovd was combined. But that's just me.



    Anyway, back on track for this thread - well, not fully - but what about unique cases of undeath being evil/neutral/good? D&D has several of them, undead plants, undead animals, even undead CHILDREN in one book. I forgot the name, but effectively they were stillborns or something who just want to play/companionship, but end up draining the life from there accidental victims, but they were listed as evil despite the fact they did not even have the intelligence to do it intentionally. There was also a form of frozen undead spirit from... i forgot the full name, the frost book, that would HIDE in fire places, etc, and drain the heat from nearby living creatures. They would just assume it was getting colder outside/etc until it was to late to fight back. But the creature needed the warmth of the living to survive itself and, again, had no real intelligence, it was mostly just acting instinctively like a undead fire elemental.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    D&D has several of them, undead plants, undead animals, even undead CHILDREN in one book. I forgot the name, but effectively they were stillborns or something who just want to play/companionship, but end up draining the life from there accidental victims, but they were listed as evil despite the fact they did not even have the intelligence to do it intentionally.
    I think that's a Slaymate, from Libris Mortis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    Nymph's kiss gave you the human skill racial essentially for a single feat - 1-20 skill points is a bit potent in my opinion on top of +2 to all cha-skills. But if you think otherwise, more power to you.

    Vow of Poverty is broken for 3 reasons. VoP Druid/Shaper, VoP Monk/Kensai, and VoP Monsters. Nobody said monsters could not take this feat. I think someone once found a loophole that allows a wizards familiar to gain VoP, though that was not to op, in fact I found that kinda funny. Behold, the exalted weasel!!!

    Touch of Golden Ice can be effected by feats like ability focus, etc. Which does not help it at late-game (DC 17), but that makes enemy's all the way up to level 10ish vulnerable to be effected, and any mooks you ever encounter usually even at pre-epic levels.

    But the biggest issue I had with the series was ravages/afflictions being "good poison" yet causing unjust suffering/pain/etc, which, for years, was the reason poisons were considered evil, the "holy assassin" that uses them essentially to slay evil beings, and the eternal hypocrisy of it all. Personally I find complete divine a far better book then even boed AND bovd was combined. But that's just me.



    Anyway, back on track for this thread - well, not fully - but what about unique cases of undeath being evil/neutral/good? D&D has several of them, undead plants, undead animals, even undead CHILDREN in one book. I forgot the name, but effectively they were stillborns or something who just want to play/companionship, but end up draining the life from there accidental victims, but they were listed as evil despite the fact they did not even have the intelligence to do it intentionally. There was also a form of frozen undead spirit from... i forgot the full name, the frost book, that would HIDE in fire places, etc, and drain the heat from nearby living creatures. They would just assume it was getting colder outside/etc until it was to late to fight back. But the creature needed the warmth of the living to survive itself and, again, had no real intelligence, it was mostly just acting instinctively like a undead fire elemental.
    I've done a whole thing on poisons and ravages, here. In the end, BoVD and BoED agree that preemptive, though not provocatory, strikes against evil are acceptable, and that's what ravages and afflictions are supposed to be used for; softening up a target for kill or capture with minimal harm to the good agents taking action. In the case of capture, it's assumed that the prisoner will be treated with dignity and care, and it's RAW that the ravage or affliction will cease to function if the prisoner has a change of alignment, becoming an ivalid target for the ravage or affliction.

    Assassination was never called out as evil. Only the assassin class, which was ultimately a combination of mistake in maintaining internal inconsistency and a legacy hold-over; the assassin class from an earlier edition being tied to a particular evil organization. The only thing evil about the assassin class is a few spells on his list, which aren't necessary for him to fill his designated niche, and the class' alignment restriction. Any Lawful or Any evil, or even Any non-good would've been a more appropriate alignment restriction without either more abilities or more fluff to tie the class to dark forces.

    As for those undead you mentioned; if they're the ones I think they are, none of them are actually mindless or of animal intelligence. In anycase, no undead ever -has- to feed. It's right there in libris mortis that an undead will never deanimate for lack of feeding, though they may be rendered completely immobile. Whether you agree with it as a moral point or not, causing harm to living creatures for your own benefit is evil unless it's necessary to sustain your own life. Since undead never need to feed to sustain their unlife it's evil for them to feed unless they have the "victim's" express permission and even with permission it becomes evil if they drain the victim/volunteer to death.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-12 at 07:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    It's arguable that being forced to be aware, experiencing the intense pain of starvation, and unable to act for the rest of eternity is a fate worse than death though.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    It's arguable that being forced to be aware, experiencing the intense pain of starvation, and unable to act for the rest of eternity is a fate worse than death though.
    Yeah, but that's on the guy that created the undead. Undead are perfectly capable of self-destruction if they're not mindless. It's the same thing as opening your own wrists when you realize you're lost in the mountains in the dead of winter. You know you're not going to find what you need to keep going so you bow out before things start to get ugly.

    The undead has a choice to either find a volunteer, specifically target creatures that are actively evil, commit an evil act to stave off its own suffering, or destroy itself and lay claim to whatever afterlife becoming an undead stole from it. There's also the option of seeking ressurection, seeing as ressurection and true-res can return the undead to life.

    Choosing to victimize someone for any reason other than your continued survival or to put an end to evil actions is evil. Undead never need to do anything at all to survive. Being turned into an undead with a feeding "requirement" is ultimately being victimized unless you do it to yourself. That doesn't make victimizing someone else okay.

    However, victimizing agents of evil can be neutral or even good . It goes back to preemptive striking. Let's say a bleak one (the undead that feeds on heat) chooses to feed exclusively on verified villians. He's now a force for good and his feeding is not a problem, because it serves a good purpose without being an inherently evil action (damage of all kinds are exempted from being inherently evil if they're part of a creature's natural arsenal.)
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-12 at 08:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    VoP Monk/Kensai.
    Please explain this one. The VOP Monk seems like an obvious idea, but there was a thread a while back where it was stated quite emphatically by a large number of optimizers that the already-weak Monk absolutely needs certain magic items to not be even more unable to function than it is. Amulet of Mighty Fists was one thing that was cited, along with the usual things that wizards can do and fighter-types can't, such as flying or seeing the invisible. I'm not familiar with Kensai, does it fix any of these issues?

    Behold, the exalted weasel!!!


    But the biggest issue I had with the series was ravages/afflictions being "good poison" yet causing unjust suffering/pain/etc,
    In theory, ravages and afflictions were supposed to cause just suffering/pain/etc. To quote Razia the Archangel from Magic: the Gathering, "Justice is toothless without punishment. Righteousness cannot exist without the suffering of the guilty." (Personally I would have said "Innocence" there since "Righteousness" already means pretty much the same thing that Razia is getting at and so the point is less meaningful than it could have been.)

    Personally I find complete divine a far better book then even boed AND bovd was combined. But that's just me.
    I haven't read all of CD, but I do consider it one of the better supplements based just on the Deities chapter.

    effectively they were stillborns or something who just want to play/companionship, but end up draining the life from there accidental victims, but they were listed as evil despite the fact they did not even have the intelligence to do it intentionally.
    They may not be intentionally evil, but they were clearly an aberration against life which is too dangerous to permit to exist. Good still has an obligation to destroy such things, although it also should be trying to prevent them from arising in the first place; the rules don't provide any mechanisms to do that. It's possible that there should be a third alignment axis with Nature things on one end and Aberrations and Undead on the other, where they're inimical to life and the natural world but not evil in a moral sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    The only thing evil about the assassin class is a few spells on his list, which aren't necessary for him to fill his designated niche, and the class' alignment restriction. Any Lawful or Any evil, or even Any non-good would've been a more appropriate alignment restriction without either more abilities or more fluff to tie the class to dark forces.
    Wizards actually web-published a non-evil Assassin called the Avenger. Though going Lawful rather than Evil is dubious given that Law is usually associated with Honor and assassination, while not necessarily Evil, is definitely dishonorable.
    Last edited by willpell; 2012-10-13 at 12:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Please explain this one. The VOP Monk seems like an obvious idea, but there was a thread a while back where it was stated quite emphatically by a large number of optimizers that the already-weak Monk absolutely needs certain magic items to not be even more unable to function than it is. Amulet of Mighty Fists was one thing that was cited, along with the usual things that wizards can do and fighter-types can't, such as flying or seeing the invisible. I'm not familiar with Kensai, does it fix any of these issues?







    In theory, ravages and afflictions were supposed to cause just suffering/pain/etc. To quote Razia the Archangel from Magic: the Gathering, "Justice is toothless without punishment. Righteousness cannot exist without the suffering of the guilty." (Personally I would have said "Innocence" there since "Righteousness" already means pretty much the same thing that Razia is getting at and so the point is less meaningful than it could have been.)



    I haven't read all of CD, but I do consider it one of the better supplements based just on the Deities chapter.



    They may not be intentionally evil, but they were clearly an aberration against life which is too dangerous to permit to exist. Good still has an obligation to destroy such things, although it also should be trying to prevent them from arising in the first place; the rules don't provide any mechanisms to do that. It's possible that there should be a third alignment axis with Nature things on one end and Aberrations and Undead on the other, where they're inimical to life and the natural world but not evil in a moral sense.



    Wizards actually web-published a non-evil Assassin called the Avenger. Though going Lawful rather than Evil is dubious given that Law is usually associated with Honor and assassination, while not necessarily Evil, is definitely dishonorable.
    Kensai's in complete warrior. It's key class feature, signature weapon, allows it to enhance its weapon as a magic weapon without a gp cost, and the unarmed strike can be the designated signature weapon. Unfortunately this can only get you up to +9 worth of abilities and just flying and blind-sight will take up +4 of that. Kensai doesn't even begin to close the gap on a VoP monk.

    As for assassins and honor, that goes to motivation and the subjective concept of honor. If serving your master is more honorable than a sneak-attack kill is dishonorable, then you're following a lawful dictate while breaking a less important one, the net value being an overall lawful action. In otherwords, without a clear definition of honor to go by, most anything can be specc'ed as honorable/dishonorable. It's kinda like good and evil in the moral sense that way.
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    Default Re: Undead=Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    As for assassins and honor, that goes to motivation and the subjective concept of honor. If serving your master is more honorable than a sneak-attack kill is dishonorable, then you're following a lawful dictate while breaking a less important one, the net value being an overall lawful action. In otherwords, without a clear definition of honor to go by, most anything can be specc'ed as honorable/dishonorable. It's kinda like good and evil in the moral sense that way.
    It seems clear to me that slaying someone while giving them no opportunity to defend themselves is an unacceptible action to anything resembling a code of honor. Obedience to an authority figure is rooted in Law but not in Honor, so obeying a dishonorable order is something I would consider to be within the bounds of Lawful Neutral but not Lawful Good, as Lawful Good is not just "Law + Good" but "Law as the definition of Good and vice versa".

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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    It seems clear to me that slaying someone while giving them no opportunity to defend themselves is an unacceptible action to anything resembling a code of honor. Obedience to an authority figure is rooted in Law but not in Honor, so obeying a dishonorable order is something I would consider to be within the bounds of Lawful Neutral but not Lawful Good, as Lawful Good is not just "Law + Good" but "Law as the definition of Good and vice versa".
    Honorable does not necessarily mean lawful good. Lawful good does encompass certain honor codes, notably the chivalric code of the knight. It does not however cover all codes of honor. If honor is predicated on the notion that its highest expression is in unquestioning obedience to one's master, then taking any action to achieve a goal set by said master is an honorable action.

    We have objective definitions for good and evil as an axis of alignment, but there is no definition for honor written anywhere in the rules, making it entirely subjective, just like IRL. What you call honorable I may call evil, insane, good, or even trivial. It's all dependent on the cultural moores that your honor code is based in.
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