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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    Nah. When you read the bits on statting towns and such, you assume commoners have 10s or 11s in their stats. I guess if you generate npcs by rolling, then you could get a bunch of people with terrible con from birth, but that's not the default method of generation for large populations.
    I've always used that as a quick-hand rule, not a determined one, if a bunch of villagers needed to be generated at once I'd make their stats 10's and 11's to speed up play, but if they became significant enough to actually factor into the game, I'd roll their stats.

    Otherwise, you have the case of commoners actually being statistically more fit than your adventurers in certain things.

    Doesn't really hurt anyone, but I tend to prefer more variety in my characters if they have to interact with the world. Usually doesn't matter though as eventually they get incinerated by the dragon's breath. It does mean that if you are using a point-buy system, you are giving NPC's 15 points to spend.

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordaedil View Post
    I mean, killing things is kinda evil at the base of things. Most morality for adventuring is rooted as a last resort of violence perspective. We just very easily skip past most steps to get to the violence for convenience of it also being a game.

    Unless you think killing and murder is just, in which case, uh, welcome to neutral evil territory. Please pick up our gifts basket and tribute card. The hypocracy is free of charge.
    My issue with the alignment system is not strictly that poison is evil. Theoretically there could be a system where poison is evil, and I'd be totally cool with it (and not even that theoretically, cause I'd be far from surprised if such a system existed out there already). Instead, the problem is that poison being evil is not self-consistent within the system, given how various other things are labeled. If you want killing or murder to be always evil, that's just fine. If you want any source of ability damage to be evil, that's fine too. All I seek here is a self-consistent ethical structure serving as the foundation for the alignment system. Doesn't even necessarily have to be a structure I agree with, so long as it's there. The issue is that such a structure does not exist in this game. There could absolutely be a good argument for poison being evil. There is no good argument for poison being evil in this game, given the other things they've made evil/not-evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeimuHakurei View Post
    I can personally see that poison use specifically is comparable to allying with evil creatures - you can do this as a good character, but you must take utmost care not to permit any evil actions or to cause unnecessary harm to happen. And yeah, I think they could've implemented a paragraph better explaining why ravages/afllictions are more acceptable than poison.
    Why, precisely, is allying with evil creatures evil? How can whatever reasoning is used to answer that question apply to poison?

    Still, I wholeheartedly agree with the book's stance on "evil deeds for good ends"
    Regardless of ones opinion of this stance, it still requires that you justify that poison use is a necessarily evil deed if you want to prove that a given good end type poison use is evil.

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Now that I can agree with. But it is not as if they label animals with natural venoms as evil just because of what they are born with. It is mostly an evil when employed by people to assassinate other people.

    But I am a bit confused now, does using poison actually affect alignment or this a concern more with that classes that are evil only get access to the feat "Use Poison"? Cause Assassin's and the like are more of a faction than they are a strict choice of occupation, hence the entry requirement requiring you to kill someone for no other reason than to join the assassins.

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordaedil View Post
    Now that I can agree with. But it is not as if they label animals with natural venoms as evil just because of what they are born with. It is mostly an evil when employed by people to assassinate other people.
    Yeah, but there's not much of a reasonable basis for poison as assassination tool being evil either, except insofar as a given assassination itself might be evil.

    But I am a bit confused now, does using poison actually affect alignment or this a concern more with that classes that are evil only get access to the feat "Use Poison"? Cause Assassin's and the like are more of a faction than they are a strict choice of occupation, hence the entry requirement requiring you to kill someone for no other reason than to join the assassins.
    Poison itself is straight up evil according to BoED, and thus would affect alignment.

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    And the reasoning behind it was "it causes excessive, unnecessary suffering".

    So - you could scale it to other examples of causing unnecessary suffering, to get an idea of how serious an evil act it might be, depending on the poison.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Wouldn't it be interesting to see some poisons developed mechanically that actually do cause prolonged suffering and ultimate disability/death, but are not particularly useful in combat because their effects take time to build up? Something that would actually justify the "evil, because it causes needless suffering" argument, at least a little?

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acanous View Post
    Much is left to the DM, including tweaking alignment, but as written, well, it’s a reflection on the outlook of social hermits from fourty years ago. With how much our society has shifted in morality since then, is it really any wonder we find the alignment system flawed and not representative of our current values?
    Does poisoning people being Evil not line up with your morals? I think an argument for self defense poisoning is possible, but kind of specious. Even people who carry weapons for defense don't generally coat them or their ammo in poison to get an advantage.

    Ravages are dumb, though.

    I agree in general. Good and Evil are loosely associated with the real world definitions of the terms, but a medieval-esque fantasy universe where gods are real and hell is a physical place is going to have somewhat different standards. I think it's fine, you have to have some leeway either way to have a game thats mostly about killing. On the whole though, I think almost everyone sane on this board would rather be around Good.

    The inconsistencies arise mostly from multiple authors with different outlooks over many years rather than idiocy or deliberate intent. Theming is a big part of alignment, and the original intent was probably to prevent LG characters waiting for their enemies to succumb to poison, which isn't a good look. Poison in media is almost always associated with Evil. Same with undead from the other thread. Then someone else came along later and contradicted it.
    Last edited by Zanos; 2018-05-30 at 11:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Why would I want the good alignment in real life? That comes with connotations, expectations, duties and so on. True neutral for life. Not seen as a target by anyone, and no duties.
    Most people see a half orc and and think barbarian warrior. Me on the other hand? I think secondary trap handler and magic item tester. Also I'm not allowed to trick the next level one wizard into starting a fist fight with a house cat no matter how annoying he is.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryu View Post
    Why would I want the good alignment in real life? That comes with connotations, expectations, duties and so on. True neutral for life. Not seen as a target by anyone, and no duties.
    "What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?"
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    The answer, as pretty clearly stated, is a mixture of laziness and a lack of desire for combat in a universe where combat on a daily schedule doesn't lead to being a god in a month or two. Even in D&D true neutral makes most conflict opt-in which gives me strategic level initiative.
    Most people see a half orc and and think barbarian warrior. Me on the other hand? I think secondary trap handler and magic item tester. Also I'm not allowed to trick the next level one wizard into starting a fist fight with a house cat no matter how annoying he is.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Because the only good way to kill someone is to gore and decaptitate them with weapons in full view of their family. None of this “quiet assassination” villainy

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Poison use really shouldn't be an issue of good and evil at all, BoED/BoVD stupidity aside, since it's been well-established in this thread that poison can be used for both good (like taking out people nonlethally) and evil (like causing undue suffering). It's much more an issue of law and chaos, really, since the issue is basically "Why is poisoning someone any different, morally, than stabbing or fireballing someone?" and that's a matter of ethics.

    If lawful behavior means upholding traditions, obeying laws, following personal moral codes, and other deontological sorts of things, and chaotic behavior means bucking social norms, choosing goodness over legality, doing whatever gets you the desired outcome, and other consequentialist sorts of things, then poison use leans pretty strongly chaotic. As Races of War puts it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Races of War, Fighting With Honor
    The concept of honorable combat is pretty fishy when you look at it carefully. Your goal is to painfully kill another sapient being with a deadly weapon, and the other guy is attempting to do the same to you. Why then, would any rational person take time to consider the "honor" of whatever horribly painful and potentially lethal act they were intent upon inflicting on another?

    The answer is: The Long Term. The concept of honor in War is incredibly ancient, and the ideas of what is and is not an honorable act have varied unrecognizably over that period. But one thing has remained the same throughout: the idea of what is honorable in warfare has always been inextricably linked to the needs of the powerful. In olden days, the powerful had superior nutrition, superior training, superior equipment and came in really small numbers. So naturally of course, the rule was that you didn't gang up on people or use poison. In modern days, bullets go through pretty much anything, but powerful people have more troops and helicopters, so the rule is that you don't assassinate people in honorable combat. The penalties for being dishonorable have remained pretty static over the generations – you get kicked out of the rosters of the powerful and other power blocs attempt to band together to crush you.
    Now, this doesn't mean that poison is dishonorable or that chaotic people can't be honorable, just that different alignments have different ideas of honor and D&D books (BoED and BoVD especially) tend to be written from a "law = good, chaos = evil" perspective, consciously or not. Paladins refuse to use poison, not because poison is evil but because paladins are lawful and the specific code they follow prohibit it, and they find that honorable; lawful tribal warriors might feel free to use poison against outsiders but strongly condemn use of poison against tribe-mates, and find that just as honorable because their belief system places family and tribe over anyone else.

    A LG hero probably won't use poison because it's Just Not Done, but might make an exception for nonlethal and painless poisons if their personal code places a higher priority on taking enemies alive or the like; a CG hero might or might not use poison depending on whether they think the outcome is worth it, leaning towards not using it because that's a slippery slope or that might spark an arms race or whatever; a LE tyrant might or might not use poison depending on whether that goes against their personal morals, leaning towards using it when necessary, but perhaps not if they see themselves as a "gentleman criminal" or "dictator for their own good" or the like; a CE tyrant will use whatever means are necessary to keep himself in power, no matter the cost, and won't bat an eye at poisoning a town if that's what it takes.

    So when the BoED authors basically said "poisons are evil, ravages are good and totally not poisons, and stabbing someone is *mumble mumble*," what they should really have said is "Ravages are poisons, but paladins can use them because they're specifically engineered to avoid the concerns that paladins have with using poisons such as causing undue suffering and possibly harming innocents, and paladins of freedom and other CG characters can use poisons if doing so would be less painful and violent than killing evildoers the normal way."
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    Does poisoning people being Evil not line up with your morals? I think an argument for self defense poisoning is possible, but kind of specious. Even people who carry weapons for defense don't generally coat them or their ammo in poison to get an advantage.
    That's because poisons generally expire fairly quickly, aren't very fast to take effect (in relative terms), and are rather hard to actually get to take effect without specialized organs (i.e, fangs). In DnD, none of these are true.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    BoED is a silly book, designed (IMO) to push alternative playstyles. Disregard what it says about poison and there is no conundrum. Poison is not inherently evil in the core rules, Paladin CoC merely calls it out as specifically dishonorable.

    Now as far as real-world morality goes, yes, "don't poison people" is just as good a maxim as "don't stab people in the back". Both are at least hypotehtically justifiable via epicycles of circumstance, but...come on.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
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    I'm free this weekend; we can grab a coffee and discuss the application of Peter Singer's "Expanding Circle of Altriusm" theory of moral philosophy to the Outer Planes of D&D.

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    I'm free this weekend; we can grab a coffee and discuss the application of Peter Singer's "Expanding Circle of Altriusm" theory of moral philosophy to the Outer Planes of D&D.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    pair o dice:
    your point about poison use being chaotic rather than lawful doesn't hold up.
    because that would depend entirely on the norms of the society in question, rather than being true in general. the society could easily have a norm that poison use (at least for combat) is fine and maybe even proper, in which case using poison would be lawful.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    Poison is evil because it's extremely debilitating at best or lethal at worst. Murder isn't okay unless a handsome man in polished armor riding a muscular horse is doing it.


    (For a given definition of both 'handsome' and 'muscular' and 'polished armor')
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    The concept of "Poison = Evil" is a holdover from the game's 1st edition days.

    But this hold over if from when poison was very, in modern terms, unbalanced.

    In 1E a dagger of venom killed anyone hit with it that failed a save, and held six doses of posion, and could be refiled no problem. 3.5E that same weapon only does temporary Constitution damage, and has a super low DC, once a day.

    In 1E, and even in to 2E, most poisons did paralysis, damage or death. In 3.5E they do mostly ability damage.

    In 1 or 2 E, it was easy to take out a powerful foe with poison. Too easy. So the easy way to prevent this was to simply say ''using poison is evil'', so the good heroic characters can't do it.

    Poison goes outside the whole D&D combat...it does not matter if your character has 100 hit points(and it should), one touch of poison and your chatterer is dead.



    According to BoED page 34, under Ravages and Afflictions:
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    Poison and disease are generally the tools of evil monsters and
    characters, implements of corruption and destruction. If snakes
    and vermin are associated with evil, as they are in many cultures,
    it is usually because of their venom that they are viewed in
    such a negative light despite their neutral alignment. Using
    poison that deals ability damage is an evil act because it causes
    undue suffering in the process of incapacitating or killing an
    opponent.

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post



    According to BoED page 34, under Ravages and Afflictions:
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    Poison and disease are generally the tools of evil monsters and
    characters, implements of corruption and destruction. If snakes
    and vermin are associated with evil, as they are in many cultures,
    it is usually because of their venom that they are viewed in
    such a negative light despite their neutral alignment. Using
    poison that deals ability damage is an evil act because it causes
    undue suffering in the process of incapacitating or killing an
    opponent.
    Once again, I think that is really dumb. I can see what they were going for, but we have so many examples within the larger D&D world (so to speak) that are basically exactly the same. Would anyone say that a character who enhances a weapon with the Wounding property is evil? That's 1 point of CON damage per attack. There's many, many examples, from weapon enhancements to spells to feats that all are just as 'evil' by the same arbitrary standards... yet they aren't deemed so. If I ever run a game a house rule of mine will be that poison use doesn't affect alignment at all and the only thing that matters is how and why you use the poisons.

    On a related note, I cannot wait to eventually get the Assassin's Dagger (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Assassin%27s_Dagger) with the Assassination, Toxic, Virulent, and Fleshgrinding enhancements. :D *stab stab*
    Last edited by skunk3; 2018-05-30 at 10:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Ok so there's a big long debate about why poison use is evil in D&D, but... I can't find the rule that says poison use is evil. Where is it? I did an SRD search for "poison" and "evil" and came up dry.

    I do remember reading a rule about it often being illegal to buy poisons, so it might be unlawful.

    Also the spell contagion is [Evil] but the spell poison is not.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Ok so there's a big long debate about why poison use is evil in D&D, but... I can't find the rule that says poison use is evil. Where is it? I did an SRD search for "poison" and "evil" and came up dry.

    I do remember reading a rule about it often being illegal to buy poisons, so it might be unlawful.

    Also the spell contagion is [Evil] but the spell poison is not.
    poison use is against the paladin code. people extrapolated from this that it was Evil.

    then boed came out and said using poison to deal ability damage is Evil because of reasons.

    beyond that, the rules don't explicitly mention it much, but often take it as a given.

    in eberron, certain poisons and drugs are treated as controlled substances and their sale is limited or restricted in certain areas depending on local laws, because eberron is a good setting. rules are discussed in dragonmarked, sharn city of towers, and city of stormreach
    Last edited by Venger; 2018-05-30 at 11:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    then boed came out and said using poison to deal ability damage is Evil because of reasons.
    Its also mentioned multiple times in the Book of Vile Darkness as Evil multiple times.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    It has a section in BoVD - not quite the same thing. After all, execution also has a section - and BoED specifically calls out execution as not always evil.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry
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    Quote Originally Posted by zlefin View Post
    pair o dice:
    your point about poison use being chaotic rather than lawful doesn't hold up.
    because that would depend entirely on the norms of the society in question, rather than being true in general. the society could easily have a norm that poison use (at least for combat) is fine and maybe even proper, in which case using poison would be lawful.
    All right, hold on to your hat, ethical philosophy lecture incoming!


    I noted the difference in standards of honor between lawful and chaotic societies in my previous post already, but to reinforce that: "Lawful" does not mean, and has never meant, "follows the laws of whatever society you're in." Otherwise a paladin walking into an Evil Empire would have to turn himself over to the duly appointed legal authorities, and then where would the party be?

    "Lawful," rather, means not that one blindly follows the rules, but that one believes that the act of following a certain set of rules is moral. This can mean following the law of society, but could also (or instead) mean following religious laws, tradition, a personal code, oaths to one's superiors, or the like. "Do what the gods say and you'll go to heaven" and "I'm right because I'm your parent!" and that sort of thing. A cleric who disobeys the law because it conflicts with his god's teachings is still plenty lawful, he's just giving his religion's laws precedence over society's laws. In real-world ethical philosophy terms, this maps to deontological or "rule-based" ethics.

    Citations:

    Quote Originally Posted by 1e PHB, p.33
    Lawful Evil: Creatures of this alignment are great respecters of laws and strict order, but life, beauty, truth, freedom and the like are held as valueless, or at least scorned. By adhering to stringent discipline, those of lawful evil alignment hope to impose their yoke upon the world.

    Lawful Good: While as strict in their prosecution of law and order, characters of lawful good alignment follow these precepts to improve the common weal. Certain freedoms must, of course, be sacrificed in order to bring order; but truth is of highest value, and life and beauty.

    Lawful Neutral: Those of this alignment view regulation as all-important, taking a middle road betwixt evil and good. This is because the ultimate harmony of the world--and the whole of the universe--is considered by lawful neutral creatures to have its sole hope rest upon law and order. Evil or good are immaterial beside the determined purpose of bringing all to predictability and regulation.
    Quote Originally Posted by 3e PHB, p.104
    “Law” implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.
    So: order, shared precepts, predictability, and the like are good, and adherence to societal laws is not mentioned at all. The bit about societies where every person can expect other people to act in the same way resembles Kant's categorical imperative, one of the most famous bits of deontology, and says (drastically simplified) that everyone should act in a way that they want others to act as well, similar to the Golden Rule.

    Chaos, meanwhile, is not insanity, randomness, or the like, but rather the ethical opposite: consequentialism or "outcome-based" ethics, which is concerned not with "Does [rule] say that [action] is good or evil?" but with "Is the outcome of [action] good or bad?" On the Good side, this leads to "For the Greater Good!" (stealing to help an innocent person, lying to let a slave go free, and other things that break the rules but have a better outcome than not breaking the rules); on the Evil side, this leads to "The ends justify the means!" (murdering people to secure power, hoarding valuables for oneself, and other things that disregard moral considerations as long as the person gets what they want in the end).

    Citation:

    Quote Originally Posted by 3e PHB, p.104
    “Chaos” implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.
    "Unfettered personal freedom" meaning, in this case, not having to follow rules, either normal rules and laws and such or deontological imperatives.

    (Ethical neutrality maps to virtue ethics, but that's another topic.)


    So, why is the use of poison chaotic rather than lawful? Well, actually, you'll note I didn't say it is chaotic, but rather that it leans strongly towards chaos. Let's look at what different deontological systems might have to say about poison use:
    • Kant's categorical imperative: "If it is right for me to use poison against someone, it is right for everyone to use poison against everyone else. As that would be immoral (and I don't want to be poisoned), it must not be right."
    • Divine command theory: "My patron god has decreed that poison use is wrong, therefore it is wrong." (This is the case for most, but not all, D&D gods.)
    • Rule utilitarianism: "As a general heuristic, the use of poison has a greater chance of causing harm to innocents than other means of inflicting violence, and on the whole inflicts more suffering, so it is to be avoided."

    And so on (again, these are drastically simplified). Most lawful systems hold poison use as being against their moral codes, the exception being divine commands from gods that find it perfectly fine to use, but those are in the minority as not all evil or chaotic gods would find it acceptable.

    Looking at the slightly fuzzier insular clan example from before, you can view their treatment of outsiders in two different ways. The lawful way is that there are strong traditions, teachings from elders, oral laws, and the like that formalize "You cannot do A, B, or C to anyone; you cannot do D, E, or F to non-clanmates, but it's fine to do it to outsiders," and D/E/F includes "poison them." The chaotic way is that there's no formal framework of what things are acceptable to do to clanmates or outsiders, there's just the general principle "the clan comes before outsiders" and whatever rules of honor, tradition, hospitality, etc. that the clan holds sacred among themselves can be broken regarding outsiders if the end result is better for the clan.

    The second scenario is much more likely; to use the romanticized Medieval code of chivalry as an example, you won't ever see something written down like e.g. "A knight shall not stab a fellow knight when his back is turned, but it's totally okay to stab peasants in the back if you get the chance," but you will see something like "It is dishonorable for a knight to stab an honorable enemy in the back!" and the "(...but only other knights are honorable)" bit is left implicit.

    So while there are theoretically possible arguments for lawful systems that permit poison use, lawful systems that prohibit poison use, chaotic systems that permit poison use, and chaotic systems that prohibit poison use (because deontological, virtue, and consequentalist ethics are not mutually exclusive and are all trying to make similar moral judgments), taken in aggregate poison use is much more acceptable from a consequentialist standpoint than a deontological one and therefore more from a chaotic standpoint than a lawful one.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Kant's categorical imperative: "If it is right for me to use poison against someone, it is right for everyone to use poison against everyone else. As that would be immoral (and I don't want to be poisoned), it must not be right."
    Is it wrong for everyone to use poison against everyone else? I'ma be more specific. Is it any more wrong for everyone to use poison against everyone else than it is for everyone to stab everyone else? It may arguably be the case that all combat is intrinsically chaotic, but that strikes me as a weird position to take.
    Rule utilitarianism: "As a general heuristic, the use of poison has a greater chance of causing harm to innocents than other means of inflicting violence, and on the whole inflicts more suffering, so it is to be avoided."
    If you poison a well or a plate of food, sure, there might be some sort of innocent harm, but this framework does not seem to apply to the most obvious use of poison, just frigging stabbing your opponent with something that has poison. So, some subsets of poison use may indeed be intrinsically chaotic, but a lot of poison use is going to be not remotely chaotic. I'm not going to call fireballs intrinsically chaotic just because you can indiscriminately toss one at a group of people.

    So while there are theoretically possible arguments for lawful systems that permit poison use, lawful systems that prohibit poison use, chaotic systems that permit poison use, and chaotic systems that prohibit poison use (because deontological, virtue, and consequentalist ethics are not mutually exclusive and are all trying to make similar moral judgments), taken in aggregate poison use is much more acceptable from a consequentialist standpoint than a deontological one and therefore more from a chaotic standpoint than a lawful one.
    In the real world, this is the case. There are enough distinctions we can draw between poisoning and straightforwardly lawful acts that we can fairly call poisoning chaotic. We can probably call it evil as well. However, in D&D, poison is so crazy similar to not-poison that it strikes me as really hard to argue that the substance has any kind of alignment weight.

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Is it wrong for everyone to use poison against everyone else? I'ma be more specific. Is it any more wrong for everyone to use poison against everyone else than it is for everyone to stab everyone else? It may arguably be the case that all combat is intrinsically chaotic, but that strikes me as a weird position to take.
    For Kant, an action is more of a binary. It's either right, or it's wrong, X or not-X, with no gradations in between. You can have a degree of evil in your will (he gave three - frailty, impurity, and perversity), but one evil act is neither more nor less evil than another. (There is a reason I'm not a Kantian).

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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    i was already aware of that stuff pair o dice; and it simply doesn't hold up as an actual basis to push it toward chaotic;
    and there's a number of flaws in your analysis, mostly based off of unfounded assumptions you're making. at any rate you're getting too far into real world ethics imho so I don't want to take any risks discussing in more detail with you.
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    Default Re: Why is poison use "evil"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    For Kant, an action is more of a binary. It's either right, or it's wrong, X or not-X, with no gradations in between. You can have a degree of evil in your will (he gave three - frailty, impurity, and perversity), but one evil act is neither more nor less evil than another. (There is a reason I'm not a Kantian).
    Sure, but my issue with this is that such an extreme position necessarily paints a lot of the game as evil/chaotic. Poisoning could be evil within this framework, but if stabbing is equally evil then we suddenly have every character evil, almost regardless of what specific thing they're doing. Even relatively non-violent classes like the healer are acting in support of an evil system, and would thus be evil themselves. The categorical imperative is obviously a self-consistent ethical framework, but it's equally obviously not one that we can reasonably apply to D&D.

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