Thursday, November 6, 2008

What to do with evil?

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] What to do with evil?
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 15:03:19 -0500
From: Dracos
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

Scott Casper wrote:

> Dracos wrote:
> >1. Has the priest or paladin made a reasonable effort to give these >priests
> over to the proper authorities?
> >2. Have they tried to consult Mayaheine, whether by divination spells or
> >simple prayer for enlightenment?
> >3. Have they asked the party for their ideas on avoiding execution of the
> >prisoners, or finding another means, however inconvenient, to bring them >to
> justice?
> >4. Is their quest one of importance, or is it merely meant to enrich the
> >party? (Is success worth more than money on their quest?)
> [snippped]
> #1 is alright in a city adventure, but it is generally accepted that dungeons
> are unlawful places outside of any respectable authority, where PCs are free
> to make their own rules.

I'm not sure I agree with that last bit. A lawful character probably doesn't feel that it's ok to act illegally just because he's currently out of reach of the authorities. Under no circumstances would a paladin "make his own rules". That being said, I'd love to be a paladin in *your* campaign. ;-) I put a lot of pressure on them to be perfect.

> #2 seems too restrictive if the DM expects the PC todo this each and every
> time the situation comes up. Rather, a smart cleric or paladin will ask his
> superiors in the church when it is okay for him to kill before he even goes on
> his first adventure.

Players rarely exhibit that kind of foresight, and there's always a random element because individuality will make a broad generalization useless. The priest should offer a prayer even if the chance of any omen is 1% or less, giving the deity an opportunity to stop it before it happens is an absolute necessity. It's not easy guessing a god's plan, and the priest must have faith that the will of the deity will make itself known *somehow*

> An oath to the deity asking for an angel (Deva, Planetar, etc.) to judge the combat must be
> undertaken by both combatants.
> [snipped]
> Whoa! Magic-rich campaign alert! The 1st level PCs I DM for can ask for an
> angel until they turn blue in the face. It ain't gonna happen!

Maybe not, but that doesn't mean the characters shouldn't ask for god to oversee the combat. Just because it doesn't happen doesn't mean it's not the way it *should* work. Besides, how would the player know if the minion is there or not? It's not like they check in, or show up with a big court of law, and jury... They preside over the proceedings invisibly, as do most angels when dealing with mortals. But that's not important.

The point is that lawful combat is "Combat in the sight of God" and as such, I believe that in a fantasy campaign, cheating after swearing before the gods should carry *some* penalty.

Alex Nuta
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