The "orc baby" paladin problem - Page 21
  1. #201
    Unless the babies are as big as dogs, and have already killed people, and detect as evil, in which case, its a-ok, and fine and dandy.

  2. #202
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    All of you people who are for sparing these babies lives please tell me how the party is supposed to accomplish this?

    I hear take them to the local church and let them do it. Okay what are the levels of the clerics in this church are they able to handle these trolls if they turn to their nature which is evil.

    If these trolls get lose and kill a bunch of good people is the paladin responsible does he need to make restitution to the families of the victims. Does he ned to bring the party back and deal with this problem or has he done his good deed and washed his hands of the problem?

    Now if the church has a way of dealing with monster babies safely and the paladin has a way of safely getting these babies there that's one thing.

    But realistically what are the odds that the paladin is going to find a way to get these tadpoles to a church safely and what are the odds that the church has the ability to care for the babies?

    Are you saying the paladin should let them go and walk away and hope for the best?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pawsplay
    But they are not guilty of anything.

    Guilt or innocent is not what DND is about, it is about good VS evil. Paladins don't get detect guilt they get detect evil. Why are some of you making it so much more complicated then that.

    I am all for compelling role playing I loved the story hour where the paladin redeemed the succubus.

    But at the end of the day it is a game not a moral exercise. This not real life with due process and rights, It is a game with monsters and treasure.

    I say in game play let the players have some fun and if you have a player who likes to play paladins who smite evil and make the world safe then stop making it so complicated and making the paladins play lawful stupid.

    Paladins are holy warriors they are often considered the martial arm of the church. They tend to have pretty good wisdoms let them use it.

  4. #204
    Well, I'm going to apply my own little litmus test and see where I come out on this one. (Honestly, I could go either way on this question, which is why I find this example helpful to go back to.) What would the cops of Law & Order do?

    Well, baby-killing is illegal, at least in New York where the series takes place. But we're being a little disingenuous to call them "babies". Babies wear diapers, suck their thumbs, and occasionally leak onto your nice black shirt, the one that's casual, but you can wear it in nice restaurants. Carnivorous tadpoles who live in barrels and devour human flesh aren't really "babies" in the conventional sense. There are some species that just don't go through a harmless phase (like baby vipers, who are unable to regulate how much poison they put into a bite and so are actually more poisonous than adult vipers).

    Ballparking it, these things come off sounding more like rabid dogs than babies, which means they should be put down in the interest of public safety. You could make the argument that they are intelligent, but that won't work for me since I'm a dog person and I already think dogs are smarter than people. Plus, if they are like rabid dogs, why is the fact they are intelligent make it better. Which would you rather have running around town, rabid dogs, or rabid dogs who can use doorknobs?

    As a GM, here's what I'd do. I wouldn't tell the paladin's player anything definitive, and no matter how many times he cast Augury or rolled Know: Religion, he'd get the vaguest of platitudes. And then, if the player really thought about it, weighed the options, and picked the course of action he felt was the most appropriate according to the paladin's code, then that would be the right thing to do. If the player was roleplaying, I'd leave it up to him. If he wasn't, the gods would frown upon his efforts. ("He chose... poorly.")

    I think how the players make their decisions are more important than what they ultimately decide. (Even if I disagree with it. Running the game doesn't make me the final arbiter of morality.)

  5. #205
    Quote Originally Posted by Torm
    Hey Whizbang -

    Can a player in your campaign world PLAY as an Orc? Savage Species, and all that?

    If not, then you are safe in ruling them as always being evil beings. But if so, then unless you also limit that player to Evil alignments, that means that Orcs in your world CAN be Good. Which should inform a Paladin's choice somewhat, I would think.
    I used "orc baby" in quotes, simply because it's the most familiar variant of this common scenario. In point of fact, the juvenile monsters in this situation were three-foot long scragpoles (scrag tadpoles) and were sentient and dangerous creatures.

    I would theoretically allow orcs as player characters if there were orcs in the region of Praemal the campaign were set in. I would not allow scrag player characters.

    But these are not evil-by-birth creatures. They've been carefully nurtured to be so.

  6. #206
    Quote Originally Posted by pawsplay
    But they are not guilty of anything.
    I still don't buy that all LG deities would care about modern American legal sensibilities. Evil would be sufficient cause for a god like Pholtus (and arguably St. Cuthbert).

  7. #207
    Quote Originally Posted by Elf Witch
    I hear take them to the local church and let them do it. Okay what are the levels of the clerics in this church are they able to handle these trolls if they turn to their nature which is evil.
    The highest level cleric in the barony, the Bishop of Midwood, is level 9. The majority of the clergy are experts, not clerics. The paladin 1/cleric 1 in question is actually the highest-ranking cleric in Maidensbridge.

  8. #208
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypersmurf
    Isn't being born with a predisposition towards evil an argument for nature over nurture?

    I'd again point to MMp305, which implies that the elven 'Usually CG' alignment is 'genetic', not cultural.

    -Hyp.
    I suppose what I meant to say was that trolls are highly likely to eventually become evil based on the fact that...most of them are (according to the MM). Still, I don't believe they're necessarily born evil. I don't think that newborns and toddlers have the psychological development to make the choice between good and evil. While I'm sure that some races might be inherently evil, I don't think it's safe to assume that every sentient evil humanoid or giant in the monster manual carries the "evil gene."

    As for the elven example, that may very well be implied, but that doesn't mean one should assume all races are born with whatever alignment they're given in the MM. In my opinion that makes many ethical decisions far too simple, which is rarely the case.

    If you think trollpoles (*heh*) are born with their alignment and cannot change...by all means, slaughter the little buggers where they swim. I prefer to think that most very young children are Neutral. Other than outsiders and other specific instances, whose very bodies and souls are infused with good or evil as the case may be, I think intelligent beings must have some understanding of good and evil before they can be considered one or the other.

  9. #209
    Quote Originally Posted by Elf Witch
    All of you people who are for sparing these babies lives please tell me how the party is supposed to accomplish this?

    I hear take them to the local church and let them do it. Okay what are the levels of the clerics in this church are they able to handle these trolls if they turn to their nature which is evil.

    If these trolls get lose and kill a bunch of good people is the paladin responsible does he need to make restitution to the families of the victims. Does he ned to bring the party back and deal with this problem or has he done his good deed and washed his hands of the problem?

    Now if the church has a way of dealing with monster babies safely and the paladin has a way of safely getting these babies there that's one thing.

    But realistically what are the odds that the paladin is going to find a way to get these tadpoles to a church safely and what are the odds that the church has the ability to care for the babies?

    Are you saying the paladin should let them go and walk away and hope for the best?
    To be fair to the paladin in question, the world in which this campaign is set--Praemal, the world of Ptolus--features a holy order that's dedicated to the redemption of evil creatures, aptly named The Brotherhood of Redemption, which exists in ooc terms purely to resolve the question of what to do with evil prisoners in situations like these. Leaving it in the hands of experts who are dedicated to the cause and trained for the task is a little different than dropping a barrel of skagpoles on a chapel doorstep with a note pinned to it reading 'Good luck!'

  10. #210
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    But they are not guilty of anything.
    I'd argue that they are. Alignment is determined on action, right? These tadpoles (or the souls inhabiting them) are guilty of performing acts that make them evil, or they wouldn't be detecting as such. Maybe they like to eat human babies, or maybe they take a special delight in seeing their prey thrash about in suffering before dying.

    You have to *do* something in order to become evil. In the case of things that are born evil (outsiders, for instance), they did evil things in past lives, or the stuff they are made of did evil things.

    They're guilty, all right. They know full well what they did and how it affected their soul. They couldn't be evil, otherwise.

    Now, it's true that this really isn't *typical* human toddler status, but this is fantasy. It's entirely possible for them to be guilty of horrible evil before they're even a twinkle in daddy scrag's eye.
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