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Thread: The Ancient Dead
Wednesday, 17th October, 2012, 07:48 AM #11
I don't understand why people want non-evil mummies. I thought all undead were evil. I thought that was the whole point of undead in the world of D&D.
Undead beings are creatures of negative energy, and are inherently poisonous and destructive to all life. The very existence of any undead creature is a great and terrible evil. That doesn't mean they all have to be bad guys all the time, but it does mean that even the good-guy ones can't get through protection from evil.
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Wednesday, 17th October, 2012, 01:23 PM #12
Guide (Lvl 11)
I think all alignments should be mere suggestions.
F I G H T E R
Wednesday, 17th October, 2012, 02:50 PM #13
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
How do naturally occurring mummies happen? What's more unnatural than the undead? Someone had to raise it at some point...
I think the idea of neutral mummies stems from the fact that mummies don't go out of their way to be selfish and hurtful to others. They're automation given a set task (protect the tomb)! When the tomb is safe they stop animating. I'm find with labeling all undead as evil though, I think its a bit of non-issue, as you run into the problem with a lot of undead. Are zombies evil or just hungry? either way they're getting a broad sword to the face. Giving a lot of undead an alignment is a bit of a misnomer, imo, but CE is as good as place for them as you could come up with.
Sentient undead are a lot different sure... but if a mummy king is raising the undead... its probably closer to a lich in rags anyway.
Saturday, 20th October, 2012, 09:54 PM #14
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
It's worth noting that the FIRST mummy in mythology was Osiris, the most benevolent of Egyptian deities.
And as I mentioned upthread, mummies aren't automatons, they're vessels for the soul. In a fantasy setting, it is quite possible for a mortal to volunteer to guard his king for eternity, and submit to the ritual of mummification.
Monday, 22nd October, 2012, 03:17 PM #15
World of Darkness quite helpful in that regard. Both helped me to tell better stories featuring undead.
I think the only edition of D&D that described all undead as universally evil was 3e. And that's a pretty limited and myopic view. Both before and after 3e D&D featured non-evil undead.
What about ghosts trying to protect their kin? What about immortal lich-scholars seeking only to observe and record history? What about the righteous death-knight on a quest to slay its maker?
'Necromancy' originally means nothing more but _communicating_ with the dead. There's nothing inherently evil about it! It's just one of many ways to divine the future or get access to hidden knowledge.
To cut this short: Alignments are nothing but straightjackets issued by narrow-minded game designers to rein in the imagination of players and DMs. I recommend to ignore them, even and especially for undead beings.
In a sense, the D&D game has no rules, only rule suggestions. - Tom Moldvay