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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    That's why Insight is one of those checks better rolled by the DM in secret.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2017-12-07 at 02:59 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    Good and Evil are subjective

    There is - Do the most Good
    There is - Do the least Evil

    You claim that Torture makes you Evil, which means you believe in Do the least Evil

    If the Torture results* in saving of millions, then Do the most Good means that you're a Good person because you Tortured him.
    You would be Evil if you refused, since it would be condemning millions for your personal selfishness


    Disclaimer
    (* I know Torture doesn't work, but we have to assume it does for a philosophical debate)
    Actually what I was trying to say is that a good person wouldn't even think or attempt to torture someone, and would look for different, non-violent solutions to the problem, at least that's how I envision a good-aligned person.
    English isn't my first language, so I will likely express myself poorly.
    Please pretend that I'm arguing in good faith, and that I mean no offense to anybody.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    The problem with Insight is that it's a double edge sword

    If you fail the roll, then you believe the person
    Technically failing a roll in this edition only means that you get nothing out of it and the situation doesn't change: fail an athletics check to grapple? You don't grapple and you don't get grappled, failed an insight check to understand if someone is lying? You don't know if he's lying or not and you don't necessairly believe/not believe him.

    At least that's according to the book, it's a fine ruling to introduce penalties for failing checks.
    Last edited by Lombra; 2017-12-07 at 03:25 AM.
    English isn't my first language, so I will likely express myself poorly.
    Please pretend that I'm arguing in good faith, and that I mean no offense to anybody.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Lombra View Post
    Technically failing a roll in this edition only means that you get nothing out of it and the situation doesn't change: fail an athletics check to grapple? You don't grapple and you don't get grappled, failed an insight check to understand if someone is lying? You don't know if he's lying or not and you don't necessairly believe/not believe him.

    At least that's according to the book, it's a fine ruling to introduce penalties for failing checks.
    Different situation
    Grapple vs Freedom check

    vs

    Persuade vs Check Lie check

    Failing your grapple, means the Freedom check succeeded
    Failing your Check Lie, means the Persuasion succeeded

    Edit - Or I guess in this case... Deception?

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    It works better when you get your undead minions to do the torture for you. They can brutally torture and debase your evildoing victim 24 hours a day while you adventure and gain loot to help you in your quest for good.

    Its how my Devotion Paladin prefers to gain information from the evildoers.

    Summoned Demons also work, but they need to sleep. On a positive you can go even more good, by feeding the evildoers to the Demon after the information gathering is complete. I prefer to use undead though.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    Different situation
    Grapple vs Freedom check

    vs

    Persuade vs Check Lie check

    Failing your grapple, means the Freedom check succeeded
    Failing your Check Lie, means the Persuasion succeeded

    Edit - Or I guess in this case... Deception?
    Edit2 - Also, if you're going to use the book as a source, then show what you're referencing.
    I misremembered what I read from page 173 under "contests", what I was referring to is what happens in a tie situation, nevermind.
    English isn't my first language, so I will likely express myself poorly.
    Please pretend that I'm arguing in good faith, and that I mean no offense to anybody.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Insight is a contested roll to detect lies, but that's not its only function. I used it here specifically to gain insight into motivators. When you mentioned the subject families, you were watching to see if his eyes widened in fear or he jerked in surprise or basically any body language that told you you struck gold.

    And if you fail the roll, your character simply didn't notice anything. There is no need to make up falsehoods and force a player to act as he believed it all in this foolish quest against meta gaming. Unless you crit fail, which to be sure is a house rule anyways.

    It is literally impossible not to meta game. You character is an extension of you, and their motivations and actions and thoughts are yours. Your knowledge and experience informs your characters actions; your imagination and creativity enable your story. If you, for instance, were raised by wolves, you would not understand a lot of concepts like justice, war, barter, falsehoods, or propriety; you therefore literally could not play a character using these concepts.

    The metagame foxhunt is a trap. You can't divorce player knowledge from character knowledge and there's no point in trying, as long as they a character reason to explain it that isn't pure sophistry.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnirbear View Post
    The metagame foxhunt is a trap. You can't divorce player knowledge from character knowledge and there's no point in trying, as long as they a character reason to explain it that isn't pure sophistry.
    There's a very easy way, and DMs have been using it for decades. It's called secret rolls. Especially in the case of checks like Spot and Insight.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnirbear View Post
    Insight is a contested roll to detect lies, but that's not its only function. I used it here specifically to gain insight into motivators. When you mentioned the subject families, you were watching to see if his eyes widened in fear or he jerked in surprise or basically any body language that told you you struck gold.

    And if you fail the roll, your character simply didn't notice anything. There is no need to make up falsehoods and force a player to act as he believed it all in this foolish quest against meta gaming. Unless you crit fail, which to be sure is a house rule anyways.

    It is literally impossible not to meta game. You character is an extension of you, and their motivations and actions and thoughts are yours. Your knowledge and experience informs your characters actions; your imagination and creativity enable your story. If you, for instance, were raised by wolves, you would not understand a lot of concepts like justice, war, barter, falsehoods, or propriety; you therefore literally could not play a character using these concepts.

    The metagame foxhunt is a trap. You can't divorce player knowledge from character knowledge and there's no point in trying, as long as they a character reason to explain it that isn't pure sophistry.
    What?
    You're not your Character
    Your Character is ... literally a Character
    A false Persona in which you're the actor
    Actors are not the people they portray

    I wasn't raised by wolves, but I can imagine what someone who was raised by wolves would think of justice, war, barter, falsehoods, and/or propriety
    The entire point of DnD is to take characters and imagine what they would do in that situation. So you absolutely can, and should play those concepts

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Lombra View Post
    Actually what I was trying to say is that a good person wouldn't even think or attempt to torture someone, and would look for different, non-violent solutions to the problem, at least that's how I envision a good-aligned person.
    I think this is an oversimplification. there is a pretty large gap between evil action vs what defines an evil/neutral/good person. Where we do seem to agree is on the point that torture is an evil act.
    Under normal circumstances a good person wouldn't consider torture an option, and a good person certainly wouldn't make a habit or career of it.
    But under unique and desperate circumstances a normally objectively "good" person might cross lines they would normally consider abhorrent. That doesn't make them evil, or neutral. That just makes them desperate.

    torture and alignment discussions are always an unpredictable can of worms, but the thing is there are few actions and few people (if any at all) that can be judged as absolutes. good/evil/neutral are concepts that are often subjective-based on perspective, circumstances and personal bias or belief. Trying to tie the complexities of real world morality to the simplistic concepts of in-game alignment is an exercise in futility
    Rule 0: What the DM says goes.
    Rule 0.5: What the DM says goes. And if the DM says enough dumb **** the players go too.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    What?
    You're not your Character
    Your Character is ... literally a Character
    A false Persona in which you're the actor
    Actors are not the people they portray

    I wasn't raised by wolves, but I can imagine what someone who was raised by wolves would think of justice, war, barter, falsehoods, and/or propriety
    The entire point of DnD is to take characters and imagine what they would do in that situation. So you absolutely can, and should play those concepts
    Yes. A character played by you, a person. The way your character thinks is informed and influenced by how you think and what you know. Your character is limited by you too. If you can't imagine it, you can't act it. You embody your character and your character is an extension of you. The entire concept for your character rests in your brain, which is unlike any other person's brain.

    I could look at your character sheet and try to play your character. But I'm not playing Asha the Barbarian Savant. I'm playing Mjolnirbear's Version of Asha. The character changes because à different person is imagining it and enacting it. I might get close to your version, if I've observed you playing her and try to copy you, but it's still only an approximation of what you envisioned when you created her.

    The point though was about metagaming. And here I'll just link you to someone Far Angrier Than I:

    http://theangrygm.com/dear-gms-metag...is-your-fault/

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Suggestion and Dominate person are the easiest way to torture.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Gryndle View Post
    I think this is an oversimplification. there is a pretty large gap between evil action vs what defines an evil/neutral/good person. Where we do seem to agree is on the point that torture is an evil act.
    Under normal circumstances a good person wouldn't consider torture an option, and a good person certainly wouldn't make a habit or career of it.
    But under unique and desperate circumstances a normally objectively "good" person might cross lines they would normally consider abhorrent. That doesn't make them evil, or neutral. That just makes them desperate.

    torture and alignment discussions are always an unpredictable can of worms, but the thing is there are few actions and few people (if any at all) that can be judged as absolutes. good/evil/neutral are concepts that are often subjective-based on perspective, circumstances and personal bias or belief. Trying to tie the complexities of real world morality to the simplistic concepts of in-game alignment is an exercise in futility
    I agree it's not a debate that could go anywhere, let's just lable torture as an evil act, rather than labeling characters.

    Not all evil acts are performed by evil characters only, and not all good acts are performed by good characters only, which is the reason for which alignment issues can be so entertaining
    English isn't my first language, so I will likely express myself poorly.
    Please pretend that I'm arguing in good faith, and that I mean no offense to anybody.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    HalfOrcPirate

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    I want to take a different approach to this than the moral/ practical dimension, not because they're not valid or unimportant just because they've been brought up at the table and this hasn't.

    I'm not sure most people (with the possible exception of the Edgelord set. Which is, granted: Pretty common in circles like this.) would actually be comfortable enough with torture to make explorations of it at the table to be a worthwhile investment of peoples time.

    I absolutely get people enjoy being transgressive but it mostly seems to be a form of power fantasy. It's not "I am torturing somebody because I enjoy fake sadism." It's "We exist in a culture that enjoys a familiarity with violence in take charge people who are willing to make the hard choices that most people aren't willing to."

    The latter of which is actually really easily worked into core combat behaviour and less socially taboo situations. (Like putting a hostage at risk in order to take out the bad guy. Still ethically sticky: Less icky.)

    So with that in mind: What utility does torture actually have for the people at the table?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Playing a LG Paladin, obviously I only employ brutal degrading torture on evildoers like Orc children and the like.

    Or on human children if its needed for the 'greater good', like stopping Hitler drive a rail carriage into 5 innocents tied to the tracks or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    It works better when you get your undead minions to do the torture for you. They can brutally torture and debase your evildoing victim 24 hours a day while you adventure and gain loot to help you in your quest for good.

    Its how my Devotion Paladin prefers to gain information from the evildoers.

    Summoned Demons also work, but they need to sleep. On a positive you can go even more good, by feeding the evildoers to the Demon after the information gathering is complete. I prefer to use undead though.
    Just want to point out that these are both genuinely funny ****posts and pretty clever skewerings of the means/ ends false dichotomy and... Six-ish common ethical problems?

    I am impressed.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Speak with dead.

    Problem solved.
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

    - L. Long

    I think, therefore I get really, really annoyed at people who won't.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    "I think, therefore I get really, really annoyed at people who won't."


    I am totally stealing this and getting it put on a mug for my wife to take to work.
    Rule 0: What the DM says goes.
    Rule 0.5: What the DM says goes. And if the DM says enough dumb **** the players go too.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Zombie

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by S_A_M I AM View Post
    I want to take a different approach to this than the moral/ practical dimension, not because they're not valid or unimportant just because they've been brought up at the table and this hasn't.

    I'm not sure most people (with the possible exception of the Edgelord set. Which is, granted: Pretty common in circles like this.) would actually be comfortable enough with torture to make explorations of it at the table to be a worthwhile investment of peoples time.

    I absolutely get people enjoy being transgressive but it mostly seems to be a form of power fantasy. It's not "I am torturing somebody because I enjoy fake sadism." It's "We exist in a culture that enjoys a familiarity with violence in take charge people who are willing to make the hard choices that most people aren't willing to."

    The latter of which is actually really easily worked into core combat behaviour and less socially taboo situations. (Like putting a hostage at risk in order to take out the bad guy. Still ethically sticky: Less icky.)

    So with that in mind: What utility does torture actually have for the people at the table?





    Just want to point out that these are both genuinely funny ****posts and pretty clever skewerings of the means/ ends false dichotomy and... Six-ish common ethical problems?

    I am impressed.
    I think people are just trying to not turn this into another 100 page alignment argument.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by S_A_M I AM View Post
    Just want to point out that these are both genuinely funny ****posts and pretty clever skewerings of the means/ ends false dichotomy and... Six-ish common ethical problems?

    I am impressed.
    Damm. And there I was, hoping that people will leave the troll to starve.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    At my table, I have ruled that a failed Intimidation check means that the opponent's resolve is bolstered and that unless drastic methods are taken (i.e. torture), all future rolls have disadvantage. This drives the players to do more nasty things. They'll start by simply asking their foe, than offering bribes, then offering threats, then smacking him around. From there it is a simple step up to the red-hot pokers and thumbscrews.
    GENERATION 18: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.

    DEGENERATION 90: Copy this into your sig and subtract 1 from the degeneration when you first see it. This is an antisocial experiment.

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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Zombie

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by the_brazenburn View Post
    At my table, I have ruled that a failed Intimidation check means that the opponent's resolve is bolstered and that unless drastic methods are taken (i.e. torture), all future rolls have disadvantage. This drives the players to do more nasty things. They'll start by simply asking their foe, than offering bribes, then offering threats, then smacking him around. From there it is a simple step up to the red-hot pokers and thumbscrews.
    There's their problem. Don't torture the guy. Find his wife and daughter and torture them in front of him. Has to be people they love though.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    LeonBH's Avatar

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    There's their problem. Don't torture the guy. Find his wife and daughter and torture them in front of him. Has to be people they love though.
    You are in touch with your dark side.

    ... Excellent.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Zombie

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    You are in touch with your dark side.

    ... Excellent.
    I heard about the cookies.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    There was (what I thought was) a very interesting thread/post a while back about a character concept of a Spanish inquisition-style cleric, specializing in interrogation and confessions _without_ torture. I believe it involved various uses of speak with dead, revivify, gentle repose, and maybe a couple other spells.

    I’ll see if I can dig it up. I know it’s not exactly what this thread is about, but it was interesting and seems somewhat relevant.

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by S_A_M I AM View Post
    Just want to point out that these are both genuinely funny ****posts and pretty clever skewerings of the means/ ends false dichotomy and... Six-ish common ethical problems?

    I am impressed.
    Think I'll take credit for these. :)

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Speak with dead.

    Problem solved.
    In 5th edition, Speak with Dead doesn't force the dead creature to speak, nor to tell the truth.

    "the corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy."

    The spell is almost useless in "torture" / "enemy interrogation" scenarios now.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by SiCK_Boy View Post
    In 5th edition, Speak with Dead doesn't force the dead creature to speak, nor to tell the truth.

    "the corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy."

    The spell is almost useless in "torture" / "enemy interrogation" scenarios now.
    I have always liked the threat of "If you don't cooperate, I can always talk to your corpse."

    Personally, I may do the old "Hostile spirits speak in riddles." It gives a better chance of getting information if properly done.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    I have always liked the threat of "If you don't cooperate, I can always talk to your corpse."

    Personally, I may do the old "Hostile spirits speak in riddles." It gives a better chance of getting information if properly done.
    I like both these ideas a lot.

    PC 1: "Dead men don't talk."

    PC 2: "Wtf are you going on about, they talk in entertaining riddles. Hurry up and slit this guy's throat so we can get at the fun brainteasers already."

    Captive: ILL TALK ILL TALK, PLEASE DONT KILL ME
    Argue in good faith.

    And try to remember that these are people.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    What exactly counts as torture? Here's a scenario that I felt didn't involve torture, but I keep getting called out as torturing the guy:

    Ran into a room where three orcs (one from a previous encounter) were standing. One orc was patching up the injured one, the last was standing guard. I cast sleep, with enough of a spread to catch all three. Roll high enough that all three fall asleep. Myself and another person kill the two uninjured, and I wake up the third, after tying him up, gently. Upon waking, he finds himself face to face with the party that burned him with alchemist's fire, and both his friends dead, pretty well splattered against the walls, some on him. I told him that I killed them and was getting ready to kill him. If he told me what I'd find as I traveled further into the caves that we were investigating, I would let him live. He told me everything that we'd be facing. So, I rolled him over, and put some bandages on his wounds, and a (bloody) jacket from one of his friends under his head to stay comfortable. I told him that we were going to continue into the cave, and come back to find him once we were done. If he had lied to me, I was gonna kill him. If not, I would give him a healing potion and let him go.

    Apparently, he was 'rescued' by some orcs later, and we found him getting patched up again. We killed him that time. But, I had every intention of releasing him at that point, since he'd told us the truth. If he'd just stayed put, he wouldn't have ended up all over a completely different wall. I hold to the fact that no torture was committed. It was simply using the situation to gain a bonus to intimidation. I did, in fact, treat him very gently, when you consider that he and his friends started shooting me and my party with arrows the moment they saw us...

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture

    "Torture (from the Latin tortus, "twisted") is the act of deliberately inflicting physical or psychological pain in order to fulfill some desire of the torturer or compel some action from the victim. Torture, by definition, is a knowing and intentional act; deeds which unknowingly or negligently inflict pain without a specific intent to do so are not typically considered torture."

    Quite clearly torture. However, torture is not a good or evil act, it is merely a degree of acceptability depending on the perception. The one being tortured inevitably finds it unacceptable. A torturer does not enjoy being tortured. Torturing a terrorist to find particular information to prevent harm to others would be considered acceptable to others. A god might e courage torture of certain creatures in certain ways, but not another. It is acceptable to them.

    Pelor often tortures sentient undead using the power of radiant damage and sunlight etc, but it is acceptable, if not encouraged under his tenets to do so.

    People torture themselves in modern society in order to look a certain way (eating disorders), and often encouraged to do so, by companies in order to profit from it: the same magazines which for 5 months if the year tell you to lose yourself for who you are and eat what you want, followed by 1 month of self engorgement, followed by 6 months of dietary 'advice' and perfect airbrushed people, followed by get fit quick diets that are designed for quick results which go as soon as you let yourself go from torturous exercise, all in the name of psychological 'obey' commands to conform to society.

    Your society in dnd is what you make of it, in the same way as a Masai woman with her tatas out is less scandalous than a woman wearing a mesh shirt without a bra in 'western society'. Good and evil is merely terms for what the zeitgeist deems acceptable, and like in Dragon Age Origins approval. Squashing pigeons might earn Shales approval, but Alistair might not like it.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Interrogation, Torture, and You

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Pelor often tortures sentient undead using the power of radiant damage and sunlight etc, but it is acceptable, if not encouraged under his tenets to do so.
    That's not torture - it's just his method of attempting to destroy them (or make it easier for his followers to destroy them).

    Torture would be a cleric using radiant damage on a tied-down vampire, a little at a time, either to get information from them, or as "punishment" or to gratify the cleric's own sadism.


    It has a very specific meaning, and simply "using radiant damage to repel or destroy undead" doesn't always qualify as fulfilling that meaning.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2017-12-07 at 05:31 PM.
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