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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Likewise, charming just makes the subject regard you as friendly. It wouldn't override, say, 15 years of loyalty to the captain of a ship, if you charm his crew for example.
    You may make charisma checks to convince a subject to do something he would not normally do.

    But if you charm a thief into stealing something for you, that's not as bad, since the person is a thief anyway. It's in their nature.
    Don't go there.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by GoC View Post
    btw: Suppose there are a race of people who expel pheromones that make others sexually attracted to them. One of them decides to magically increase his natural pheromone release rate. Has he done something wrong?
    No answer to this?
    Anyway here's two more questions:
    1. Why is it ok to charm someone with wit and a sexy body but not with a carefully crafted charm spell? Both have the same net effect (charm isn't a date-rape drug).
    2. Would it be wrong to give someone greater empathy? This would lead them to like you better. Interestingly, today we force people via mind-altering drugs to have greater empathy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    If the female is not aroused, it turns into a really messy affair. Trust me.
    Similar to the monkey show on discovery?

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by GoC View Post
    No answer to this?
    Anyway here's two more questions:
    1. Why is it ok to charm someone with wit and a sexy body but not with a carefully crafted charm spell? Both have the same net effect (charm isn't a date-rape drug).
    Charming and Charming are two different things. One is voluntary, the other is less.

    I take it you agree that relationships must be consensual, right?
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-30 at 11:04 AM.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    You know, even assuming diplomacheese is allowed, if you really charmed a girl, she woudn't necessarily hop into bed with you. Charming doesn't override chastity, fidelity, and etc.
    Yeah. They get friendly attitude either way. For some, they might be enough to sleep with you with others not. Technically you might still be able to bed someone when an opposed charisma roll (flat probability curve ftw) with charm, but that implies some degree of interaction anyways (just like diplomacy). Diplomacy is worse in its own way since it's only another +10-15 to get them to helpful (we won't touch epic usage).

    I'm only talking about charm X spells not dominate X. My point is that diplomacy and charm are very similar in terms of outcome and morally equivalent in terms of means (casting a not [evil] spell in D&D is morally neutral just like talking to someone).

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Blanks View Post
    People talk about diplomacy like its a spell. You can "cast" diplomacy on unwilling teammates or cheerleaders.

    But that way of talking about it is causing problems in the perception of the problem. Diplomacy cannot be turned off. It is an increased understanding of something, knowing the right way to appear, and guessing what argument would be most effective. Someone who has a high diplomacy skill automatically uses it in every discussion. Otherwise we are saying they do not choose the most efficient argument.

    Diplomacy is therefore a constant, nonmagical effect, which the user may or may not be aware of.
    It isn't constant by RAW (requires you to decide to roll) and the user is aware of it. He can decide not to use his charming ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    The use of ANY force in order to alter an individual's perception and mind is an evil act.

    The end, quite frankly. Dressing up does not alter an individual's perception, it alters your appearance. Applying perfume is the same. The line is drawn when you alter SOMEONE ELSE. Simple as that.
    Dressing up alters their perception indirectly. Putting chemicals in the air is also indirect.
    And being charming is a force that alters perceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Charming and Charming are two different things. One is voluntary, the other is less.
    In D&D they are both involuntary.
    Last edited by GoC; 2008-05-30 at 11:16 AM.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by HidaTsuzua View Post
    Yeah. They get friendly attitude either way. For some, they might be enough to sleep with you with others not. Technically you might still be able to bed someone when an opposed charisma roll (flat probability curve ftw) with charm, but that implies some degree of interaction anyways (just like diplomacy). Diplomacy is worse in its own way since it's only another +10-15 to get them to helpful (we won't touch epic usage).
    Friendly. Not that kind of friendly.

    Technically you might still be able to bed someone when an opposed charisma roll (flat probability curve ftw)
    Explicitly stated to work in the spell Charm Person. Undefined in use of Diplomacy.
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-30 at 11:17 AM.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HidaTsuzua
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HidaTsuzua View Post
    Yeah. They get friendly attitude either way. For some, they might be enough to sleep with you with others not. Technically you might still be able to bed someone when an opposed charisma roll (flat probability curve ftw) with charm, but that implies some degree of interaction anyways (just like diplomacy). Diplomacy is worse in its own way since it's only another +10-15 to get them to helpful (we won't touch epic usage).
    Friendly. Not that kind of friendly.

    Quote Originally Posted by HidaTsuzua
    Quote:
    Technically you might still be able to bed someone when an opposed charisma roll (flat probability curve ftw)
    Explicitly stated to work in the spell Charm Person. Undefined in use of Diplomacy.
    Both diplomacy and Charm use friendly attitude. Also I said what that entails depends on the person. There are people that'll go with just friendly and others not. What it does mean is that they're friendly and thus wish me well and possibly chat, advise, offer limited help, advocate. My point is that charm and diplomacy are extremely similar in net effect and each is worse in its own way; charm in the opposed test and diplomacy in no-save nature and better than friendly results.

    Also,
    Quote Originally Posted by HidaTsuzua
    Technically you might still be able to bed someone when an opposed charisma roll (flat probability curve ftw) with charm

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    The use of ANY force in order to alter an individual's perception and mind is an evil act.

    The end, quite frankly. Dressing up does not alter an individual's perception, it alters your appearance. Applying perfume is the same. The line is drawn when you alter SOMEONE ELSE. Simple as that.
    Obi-wan: "You don't want to sell me deathsticks"
    Drug Pusher: "I don't want to sell you deathsticks"
    Obi-wan: "You want to go home and think about your life"
    Drug Pusher: "I want to go home and think about my life"

    damn, does his evil know no bounds?

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    Obi-wan: "You don't want to sell me deathsticks"
    Drug Pusher: "I don't want to sell you deathsticks"
    Obi-wan: "You want to go home and think about your life"
    Drug Pusher: "I want to go home and think about my life"

    damn, does his evil know no bounds?
    That's not evil. It's merely useless. The guy's gonna go home, think about his life, and then decide he likes it as is.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    The use of ANY force in order to alter an individual's perception and mind is an evil act.

    The end, quite frankly. Dressing up does not alter an individual's perception, it alters your appearance. Applying perfume is the same. The line is drawn when you alter SOMEONE ELSE. Simple as that.
    What about using illusions to alter someone's perception and make you impossible for them to see? Or to create the perception that you have a huge fierce bodyguard?

    I can easily imagine scenarios where the use of illusions could be a Neutral act, despite the fact that illusions definitely "alter an individual's perception," if not their mind.

    As for mind-altering, what about magic that hypnotizes a subject, used for purposes of temporary distraction? Is that intrinsically evil?
    ______________________________

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith_Lord View Post
    Kantian Deontological ethics would say that you cross the line when you use another moral agent (ie. person) as a means to an end rather than treating them as an end in themselves.

    Essentially you cross the line when you attempt to override another person's moral will...
    Very well. Now, where does that line lie? Presumably, verbal persuasion does not involve using a moral agent as a means to an end because you're trying to persuade them. What about dressing up to look more impressive? Cologne? Pheromones? Space-based mind control lasers?

    You've identified a reasonable place to draw the line, but where am I to find that place?
    _____________________________

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    That's not evil. It's merely useless. The guy's gonna go home, think about his life, and then decide he likes it as is.
    Well, that depends on whether or not he likes himself, doesn't it? I mean, it isn't a surefire way of convincing the guy to quit pushing drugs. But it might work, and it definitely gets him out of Obi-Wan's hair. So it's good enough for a rush job.
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    What about using illusions to alter someone's perception and make you impossible for them to see? Or to create the perception that you have a huge fierce bodyguard?

    I can easily imagine scenarios where the use of illusions could be a Neutral act, despite the fact that illusions definitely "alter an individual's perception," if not their mind.

    As for mind-altering, what about magic that hypnotizes a subject, used for purposes of temporary distraction? Is that intrinsically evil?
    ______________________________

    Very well. Now, where does that line lie? Presumably, verbal persuasion does not involve using a moral agent as a means to an end because you're trying to persuade them. What about dressing up to look more impressive? Cologne? Pheromones? Space-based mind control lasers?

    You've identified a reasonable place to draw the line, but where am I to find that place?
    _____________________________

    Well, that depends on whether or not he likes himself, doesn't it? I mean, it isn't a surefire way of convincing the guy to quit pushing drugs. But it might work, and it definitely gets him out of Obi-Wan's hair. So it's good enough for a rush job.
    Essentially, what wraith lord seems to think is that direct manipulation, for any kind of benefit other than self defense, is evil. Which makes sense, in fact. Forcing someone to be good doesn't make them good, it just hides things under the carpet.

    And of course, the mind trick is useful to get the guy out of the way. But I don't think that's what elliot was talking about. I could be wrong, though.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    This crosses over from raw evil and into the realm of justification and intent, which is just as easily responded to with "any manipulatons of free will for solely selfish purposes are evil".

    It's weird how ethics discussions are so similar to RAW/RAI discussions...
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by SolkaTruesilver View Post
    You all know that, IRL, they have invented female pheromones that girl can put on and guys (any guy) will act.. quite irrationnaly around them? Will want to help them, talk to them, etc...

    The product itself is quite costly, if I remember. Is it immoral to use such device?
    I remember getting something like that on me. It diddn't last nearly as long as I'd have preferred. It works, to be sure.
    Must get some of it. In high enough quantities, it might override the greatest flaw in most guys...

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Collin152 View Post
    I remember getting something like that on me. It diddn't last nearly as long as I'd have preferred. It works, to be sure.
    Must get some of it. In high enough quantities, it might override the greatest flaw in most guys...
    overwhelming BO?

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    The use of ANY force in order to alter an individual's perception and mind is an evil act.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    This crosses over from raw evil and into the realm of justification and intent, which is just as easily responded to with "any manipulatons of free will for solely selfish purposes are evil".
    These two aren't the same thing. I don't agree with the first, because as others have mentioned, there are circumstances where manipulating someone's mind can have good effects. The second is more specific and probably correct.

    Really, I view charm and dominate magic in much the same way I view violence: acceptable under certain circumstances. I don't see either as being inherently good or evil. Rather, I hold that it is impossible to morally define either without knowing the circumstances, the reasons, and the use it was put to.

    With that definition, it is possible to say that violence is not always evil, but murder (defined as killing for selfish reasons) is always evil. Charm magic is a little more complicated, given the absence of lasting harm (provided the spell is allowed to wear off) but it could be morally defined in a similar fashion. I don't think I'd go so far as to say that any selfish use of such magic is evil, but I can think of a few uses which would always be evil.
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    overwhelming BO?
    Heterosexuality.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by SolkaTruesilver View Post
    Wikipedia is your friend

    But do not really tried to find pheromones on sale.

    Solo: It simply create an irrational sexual arousal of male around that woman. Off course, I guess if a potential victim is.. err.. "cold", that person will simply warm up to the woman for no reason. I have read the article of a reporter who said she tried it and went shopping to the grocery. She met a guy in an alleyway, and the man seemed really confused by his own over-courtesy toward her.
    Looks like the linked article doesn't really back that up: "Despite these claims, no pheromonal substance has ever been demonstrated to directly influence human behavior in a peer reviewed study.[14][16][15]"
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    Looks like the linked article doesn't really back that up: "Despite these claims, no pheromonal substance has ever been demonstrated to directly influence human behavior in a peer reviewed study.[14][16][15]"
    Yeah, that's what I thought. Didn't read the linked article, although I've seen/read several articles/science shows on the topic, all of which concluded at the end that there was no proven effect.
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    This crosses over from raw evil and into the realm of justification and intent, which is just as easily responded to with "any manipulatons of free will for solely selfish purposes are evil".
    What is a "manipulation of free will"?
    I've also got three other unanswered questions in this thread.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by AKA_Bait View Post
    there was no proven effect.
    I have read at least 3 different studies (well, articles about them...) that says "pheromones should work theoretically, we just can't get them to in practice"

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Domination of the mind, re-writing memory, coercion, other applications of force against another person. Essentially, something that changes them as a person; the examples of "well what if I put on deoderant" is simply a change to make yourself less foul-smelling. Changing someone's perception of you by way of magically altering their mind is crossing the line.

    Does that answer your question?
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    Domination of the mind, re-writing memory, coercion, other applications of force against another person. Essentially, something that changes them as a person; the examples of "well what if I put on deoderant" is simply a change to make yourself less foul-smelling. Changing someone's perception of you by way of magically altering their mind is crossing the line.

    Does that answer your question?
    So...
    Illusion=Good
    Enchantment= Evil?

    I object.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Collin152 View Post
    So...
    Illusion=Good
    Enchantment= Evil?

    I object.
    So is a he saying the illusion of an enchantment is neutral or good?

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    All actions are neutral or good depending upon their intent and the resulting circumstances. But unprovoked force for no greater reason than personal benefit = evil.

    Simple? I'll just bow out if I'm not making it too clear, I suck at this compared to my more ethically-oriented buddies.
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    The ethics of mind-effecting magic are tricky. For starters, the notion that you're violating the target's free will is questionable. I don't know about you, but I have limited control over my own emotions. I don't necessarily consciously choose how I feel about somebody, only how I act on my feelings. If my feelings about a person are the result of a magic spell, well, that doesn't make them any less involuntary.

    Of course, similarly, we have limited control at best over when and how we die. So let's say that there's an old hermit living in a shack on top of a hill. What if you kill him in his sleep and take all his stuff? Well, his soul reforms as a petitioner on one of the outer planes without memory of his previous existence. Now, his death was forced on him without his consent, but that was probably going to happen anyway, whether it was done by the natural workings of the unfeeling multiverse or by a sentient being. At least this way it's benefiting somebody, i.e. you. And you made sure he didn't suffer in dying, which he might have otherwise. (Let's assume that you are a trained assassin, skilled in such things.) And he can't regret losing a life that he doesn't even know he had...

    So is killing someone OK so long as there's nobody else who's going to miss him? (That's not a rhetorical question, by the way. I'm sincerely asking what exactly makes killing Evil, in whichever cases you consider it to be Evil.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    People who don't have friends are sad.
    People who have friends are happy.
    Making people happy is a good thing to do.

    So, I would surmise that giving people more friends would make them happier, thus making a casting of Charm Person a good act!

    (Also, a tangent about solving Good/Evil D&D morality problems)
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    Use Detect Good
    Kill all the Good-aligned people so they go to the Upper Planes, a place of pure happiness and bliss.
    Then, torture all the evil and neutral people until they agree to do enough Good acts to become Good-aligned.
    Kill them too.
    Then, since this has turned you Evil, slap on a Helm of Opposite Alignment.
    Choose to fail your save automatically, thus turning you Good.
    Kill yourself.
    Now everyone is in eternal happiness with absolutely no negative consequences.
    I would suggest that torture might be considered a negative consequence of your plan.

    If your goal is eternal bliss for everyone, it's far better and just more straightforward to simply transport everyone to the Blessed Fields of Elysium and imprison them there. There, the plane of ultimate goodness will force them to be happy whether they want to or not. And if any of them would actually prefer not to be happy, the plane will eventually make them stop wanting not to be happy, the big sillies, and want to be happy instead. If turns them into outsiders, even, so they get all the benefits they would have if you had just killed them, like not needing to eat or sleep.

    So over the long term, you maximize happiness and preference satisfaction and minimize coercion. (Elysium's residents are generally respectful of each other's rights. At least moreso than people on the Prime Material Plane.) There may be some short term losses involved, but such is the case with a lot of good plans. Do not be dissuaded simply because a lot of the minimized number of unpleasant things going forward may have to be done by you, personally. There is no room in Goodness for such self-centered concerns.

    Of course, in either case, we're definitely looking at an "easier said than done" scenario, but I'm thinking that transporting everyone on one planet to another plane would probably be easier than sorting everyone out by alignment, and coercing people to do Good. (There's also the complicated issue of whether anything agreed to for one's own benefit can even be considered a Good deed.) A sufficiently epic spell could probably do it in one go, even. You might even be able to move the whole planet and not just its inhabitants; I mean, we're talking about sticking it somewhere in an infinite plane; there must be room there somewhere; I'm sure appropriate arrangements could be made. It ought to be easy to find a bunch of solars willing to help with such a noble endeavor.

    Then you can move on to the next planet.
    Last edited by Devils_Advocate; 2008-05-30 at 06:02 PM.

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by GoC View Post
    No answer to this?
    Anyway here's two more questions:
    1. Why is it ok to charm someone with wit and a sexy body but not with a carefully crafted charm spell? Both have the same net effect (charm isn't a date-rape drug).
    Being able to issue someone an order to have sex with you, regardless of whether they want to or not, is the same as being handsome and amusing? Really?
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Worira View Post
    Being able to issue someone an order to have sex with you, regardless of whether they want to or not, is the same as being handsome and amusing? Really?
    How handsome are we talking here?

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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    The ethics of mind-effecting magic are tricky. For starters, the notion that you're violating the target's free will is questionable. I don't know about you, but I have limited control over my own emotions. I don't necessarily consciously choose how I feel about somebody, only how I act on my feelings. If my feelings about a person are the result of a magic spell, well, that doesn't make them any less involuntary.
    That is... actually a very good point. We do have limited control over our emotions and reactions, though, which charm magic tends to limit even further and dominate magic tends to remove. It doesn't seem good to remove that free will.

    Of course, similarly, we have limited control at best over when and how we die. So let's say that there's an old hermit living in a shack on top of a hill. What if you kill him in his sleep and take all his stuff? Well, his soul reforms as a petitioner on one of the outer planes without memory of his previous existence. Now, his death was forced on him without his consent, but that was probably going to happen anyway, whether it was done by the natural workings of the unfeeling multiverse or by a sentient being. At least this way it's benefiting somebody, i.e. you. And you made sure he didn't suffer in dying, which he might have otherwise. (Let's assume that you are a trained assassin, skilled in such things.) And he can't regret losing a life that he doesn't even know he had...

    So is killing someone OK so long as there's nobody else who's going to miss him? (That's not a rhetorical question, by the way. I'm sincerely asking what exactly makes killing Evil, in whichever cases you consider it to be Evil.)

    "Look, I can't be the only one who appreciates the symmetry of the situation. He had a donkey, and we needed a donkey to pull the cart. Now, we have a donkey, and he doesn't need anything anymore. Everybody wins!"
    In most cases where it is evil, killing is evil because it is a matter of you not having the right to decide how they die. It is not good to decide that someone's life is over without their consent (with their consent is a whole other issue entirely). You are denying them any potential or chance for future development. The way I often say it is that everyone has a heart, dreams, and potential. Even if the first two aren't worth keeping, I hold that the third always is (although I do concede that some circumstances merit killing anyway).

    Similar analogies can be drawn with charm magic. You don't have the right to usurp what limited control people have over their emotions. Charm magic is generally less severe, though, since it is more reversible - there are fewer (or no) lasting consequences.

    If your goal is eternal bliss for everyone, it's far better and just more straightforward to simply transport everyone to the Blessed Fields of Elysium and imprison them there. There, the plane of ultimate goodness will force them to be happy whether they want to or not. And if any of them would actually prefer not to be happy, the plane will eventually make them stop wanting not to be happy, the big sillies, and want to be happy instead. If turns them into outsiders, even, so they get all the benefits they would have if you had just killed them, like not needing to eat or sleep.

    So over the long term, you maximize happiness and preference satisfaction and minimize coercion. (Elysium's residents are generally respectful of each other's rights. At least moreso than people on the Prime Material Plane.) There may be some short term losses involved, but such is the case with a lot of good plans. Do not be dissuaded simply because a lot of the minimized number of unpleasant things going forward may have to be done by you, personally. There is no room in Goodness for such self-centered concerns.
    I don't agree with this. In the end, that would be a hollow victory. Good is much more lasting and meaningful when it is not coerced. Evil methods, such as denying the free will of millions of people on a permananent basis, essentially mean that you're aiming lower that ultimate Good. That will inevitably taint whatever you manage to accomplish.

    Besides which, I would worry that the influx of large populations of neutral and evil people would corrupt the plane itself and make it nongood before the entrapment took hold. There are some precedents for a plane's inhabitants affecting its alignment...... I think.
    Elina d'Lyrandar, Bard 4/Dragonmark Heir 4/Windwright Captain 5/Storm Sentry 2

    "Arise, my children. Only the honor of a paladin is unbreakable...... even by death itself." -Soon, OOTS #449

  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    All actions are neutral or good depending upon their intent and the resulting circumstances. But unprovoked force for no greater reason than personal benefit = evil.

    Simple? I'll just bow out if I'm not making it too clear, I suck at this compared to my more ethically-oriented buddies.
    Well, now it's clear enough. However, the real question is where the boundary between 'force' and nonforce lies. Magic to enhance your appearance is apparently kosher, but magic to remove your intended's perception that your appearance is bad not. Why? There ought to be an underlying reason.
    ____________________________

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    Domination of the mind, re-writing memory, coercion, other applications of force against another person. Essentially, something that changes them as a person; the examples of "well what if I put on deoderant" is simply a change to make yourself less foul-smelling. Changing someone's perception of you by way of magically altering their mind is crossing the line.
    What if you magically render them unable to smell your personal foul odor, but do nothing otherwise? You are in no way endangering or harming them. I'm not saying it isn't wrong then, but why is it wrong if it's wrong?
    _____________________________________

    Quote Originally Posted by Collin152 View Post
    I remember getting something like that on me. It diddn't last nearly as long as I'd have preferred. It works, to be sure.
    Must get some of it. In high enough quantities, it might override the greatest flaw in most guys...
    I don't think that would work. You might horribly confuse them, and leave them with memories that would haunt them for the rest of their lives, but I suspect you could not completely override visual and tactile information via olfactory channels.
    ____________________________

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillatus View Post
    This crosses over from raw evil and into the realm of justification and intent, which is just as easily responded to with "any manipulatons of free will for solely selfish purposes are evil".

    It's weird how ethics discussions are so similar to RAW/RAI discussions...
    I'm not sure you know what my line of reasoning is. I'm not saying you'd agree with it if you did, but here goes:

    Note that I am not arguing RAW. The people at Wizards of the Coast are not good moral philosophers and I cannot trust their judgement. This is therefore an argument of ethics and moral philosophy. I use the concepts of alignment because they make sense in the game universe, but I do not feel it is either wise or possible to restrict myself to rules as-written in coming up with a coherent philosophy of Good and Evil in D&D.
    _______________________________

    I believe that an action is only aligned for Good/Evil if the following conditions are met:

    -The action is likely to have significant good/bad results. Actions such as choosing to wear a different color shirt normally don't count, for instance. They have no significant results of any kind.

    -The result is a foreseeable consequence of the action. A good person who feeds a starving orphan has not committed an Evil act, even if the orphan grows up to cause all kinds of horrible things to happen. Conversely, warlord Frazznargth the Impious has not committed a Good act if, in the process of rampaging through the countryside, his troops spontaneously decide to detain the messenger an evil cult was relying on for its foul aims. He had no idea the cult was going to be stopped. His decision to rampage through the countryside led to the cult being stopped, yes, but even if he did no evil whatsoever it would still be merely a Neutral act.

    -Intent roughly matches consequences. To return to the previous example, Frazznargth the Impious did not intend to stop an evil cult. Even if he could reasonably have known it was going to happen, it doesn't matter if he didn't want it to happen. Similarly, if an evil villain inadvertently provides food to a starving orphan getting fed without that villain's knowledge or consent, the act of feeding an orphan is not Good for that villain; it is Neutral.

    You may not agree, but I hope you'll at least agree this makes some sense and is a reasonable viewpoint.
    _______________________________

    Some actions could be right in some cases, wrong in others, and neutral in still others, depending on intent and circumstances. For example, lighting a fire is neutral if you're doing it to cook your supper. Lighting a fire is Good if, at great personal risk, you lit the signal fire to summon the Armies of Light to forestall the Great Evil from destroying the world. Lighting a fire is Evil if you are trying to burn down the orphanage for giggles.

    I would argue that "using mind-affecting magic" is, in broad, Neutral, just as "lighting a fire" is Neutral. Saying that a person used mind-affecting magic does not give us sufficient information to tell us whether they have done something wrong.

    For example, I might use mind-affecting magic as a tranquilizer to remove someone's ability to feel pain from a terrible injury while a powerful magical cure takes effect.

    Conversely, I might use it as a ghoulish execution method- if by removing their ability to perceive pain I guarantee that they will unknowingly suffer a lethal injury because they didn't avoid the pain before it became lethal.
    _________________________

    Simply the fact that I used magic that affected my subject's mind does not mean I have done Good or Evil, because it contains no information on intent or circumstances. Both of which are highly relevant. We cannot in good conscience construct an absolute Kantian Rule that mind-affecting magic is always Evil, because quite often it simply isn't a wrong thing to do.
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  30. - Top - End - #210
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: "But I just wanted to be liked!" Charm Person and ethics

    Confusing them will work juuuuuuust fine.

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