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D&D 5E Charm, the evil spells

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Hypnosis... by trained therapists who (in many countries and states) are regulated by the government and is used typically with other types of therapy as well, not alone, on consenting patients ...and which may just be a placebo affect thing anyway, or a type of meditation. It's not movie-style mind control, since nobody can actually agree what hypnosis is or does anyway.

I can't find anything on using it to change the thoughts of the "criminally insane" anywhere, and I doubt it would work on anyone who wasn't willing to try--if it even works at all. Wikipedia lists hypnotherapy as an alternative medicine, along with crystals and phrenology.
I'll bet it has been tried. I mean, The Men Who Stare at Goats was based on some amount of truth. :p
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
People are arrested and charged with assault(and battery) for pushing all the time.

A decade of working in high school education tells me that yes, pushing someone out your way can be considered both. Don't believe me? Try to break up a fight between two students opposite your gender and see what accusations you open yourself up to.

The thrust of my argument remains though; most magic spells cannot be used as intended as a "good" act, unless you consider violence of some type or another a good act. I don't believe charm spells are alone in this, I in fact would say most spells are equally alarming, if for different ethical or moral reasons.
We have reached the nitpicky BS tipping point. I won’t be responding to either of you on any subject for a while.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
What it sounds like to me is that you value personal mental autonomy over the physical condition of your body, such that a person threatening the one in any capacity is always evil whilst a person threatening the other may not be. Is that accurate?
No.

Groping someone who has not consented is worse than punching someone, if we must have a physical example.

The thread is about mind control spells.
 

No.

Groping someone who has not consented is worse than punching someone, if we must have a physical example.

The thread is about mind control spells.
I dont see anything in that response that refutes what I said. If I'm off base about what I think you believe, where am.i wrong? Serious question.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
As I told someone else, this BS edgecase dilemma argument is not useful and I won’t engage with it.

Also, violence isn’t inherently evil, and is not a “violation”. Violation, here, refers to rape.

Tackling someone is not inherently violating them. Controlling their mind is.
Rights can be violated. Bodies can be violated(and not just by rape). Any physical violence is a violation of the person having it perpetrated upon them. It's not an edgecase at all. Tackling someone against their will is a violation of that person's body and personal space.

Which brings us to the "inherent" portion of your argument. Controlling someone's mind is no more inherently a violation than tackling is. You can consent to both and there is no violation at that point. If something is inherently a violation, consent cannot remove it.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Now Order of the stick played with this a bit MANY years ago. They had someone cast it (maybe twice) first suggested “Kill your friends and bring me there magic items” and the character refused that was not in his character… so they reevaluated “Kill your friends and keep there magic items” and then the character said “OKAY”

Now that is played for laughs, but I started to think back to times I had seen suggestion used in games… to get discounts shopping (aka stealing) to get past guards (mostly good I mean better then killing them) an a few jokes here and there, but over all in the 30 (oh god is it really 30?!?) years I have been gaming we haven’t used it a lot.

However 1 time sticks out (at least one time that didn’t involve the above bad player) where my friend Becky used suggestion from her sorcerer (3.5) a few people at a party that the king was a tyrant. The reason for this had a goodish reason, the king was refusing to help with the main plot but the princess believed us, so we started to over throw the entire country to insert our puppet dictator…for the good of the world (yeah, that sounds bad I know..,)

SO I started to think about those party guests, and those guards, and even those shop keepers… and that yes it is just a game and they are not real, BUT what we are doing is oh so wrong to them. The R word that is not grandma friendly and could often be used to describe the above problem player’s actions is not something I would through around casually… but add the word mind in front of it and it gets pretty on the nose.
this is from my OP, I was already thinking about alot of what you guys are talking about now back at the begining.

notice none of my examples where combat. I understood then and understand now when we are in initative we do things we most likely shouldn't out of it... but these all stick out.
 


Amrûnril

Explorer
The knowledge of how to fight isn’t evil. Weapons aren’t evil. Physical violence does not, outside of nitpicky edge cases, rob anyone of their fundamental self. “What about stabbing people with magical lasers” doesn’t change the argument at all.
Killing a person robs them of their fundamental self in a uniquely profound and lasting way. That's not a nitpicky edge case. It's what most weapons and many combat techniques are designed to do as efficiently as possible.

And even physical violence that stops short of killing can inflict lasting trauma (physical or psychological). The same would presumably be true of mind control effects in a setting where they existed. Either form of assault would be evil in most circumstances, but either could plausibly be used (in rare cases) to avert some greater evil.

I personally don't think that hold person or blindness/deafness are capital-e Evil spells. For starters, they are almost invariably used as combat spells, when it's kill-or-be-killed and the PCs are in battle against (hopefully) proven bad guys. Charm, suggestion, and other enchantment spells, however, have a bad habit of being used out-of-combat, though, and either as a time-saver (instead of RPing conversation while trying to persuade someone to do something they don't want to do) or for... disturbing reasons.
I don't think anyone here is disputing that such uses of mind control are evil. But I think the evil is resorting to any form of assault in such circumstances, not the form of assault that's chosen.

Also, violence isn’t inherently evil, and is not a “violation”. Violation, here, refers to rape.
Rape describes a specific form of violation that occurs disturbingly often in the real world. It's probably best not to appropriate that language to describe a distinct, fictional form of assault (both out of respect to survivors and in the interest of allowing a constructive dialogue).
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
this is an itresting take. I am not fully diasgreeing but I think an arguement could be made either way for what one is worse
Responding to you here, I don't agree. Punching is primarily physical, while groping is almost certainly guaranteed to bring a lot of mental and emotional harm along with it.

My father was an abusive alcoholic/drug user. He used to beat me all the time, including kicking me with pointed cowboy boots and steel-toed work boots, and whipping me with willow switches, belts and ramrods. When I think of those times I'm not really affected at all. However, he was also verbally abusive to me and the emotional damage that caused can still bring me very close to tears if I think too long or hard about what he said to me. I think I might have seen him 7 or 8 times from 1983(when I moved away at 13) until he passed away in 2015. Emotional scars are a lot worse.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Leaving aside for a moment the case of whether certain charms are evil I'd like to talk about the Enchanter Wizard.

Is pursuing Enchantment as a school specialty evil?

This isn't the Wizard knowing a charm just in case they need to use it. This is the Wizard pursuing mind control as a specialty.

Should Enchanters be seen like Necromancers? Not all Necromancy spells are evil but I'm not going to believe a Necromancer when they say they're not in it for animating corpses.

At least other schools have benign purposes. Transmutation isn't inherently evil or harmful. If you're an enchanter though your whole thing is to go around enchanting people.

Most enchantment and necromancy spells are harmful. I haven't met a Necromancer who only casts Gentle Repose.

I think I'm fine with saying Charms can be a grey area and can be themed and presented in such a way that protagonists are not evil for doing them.

Enchanters though? That seems like an evil profession to pursue.
 



GMforPowergamers

Adventurer
I'm going to regret this...but...

How?
Okay, I am all about the Jedi Slander.

Jedi take children brain wash them into believing in there religion (okay there god/the force may be real but still), then teach them to think half of the normal emotional responses are evil...
someone put a clip of Troy telling data there is no such thing as a negative emotion
They swear to not be soldiers...until they become generals of a slave army.
they teach there 'students' (mind washed children raised in cult) to remove all attachments... you know other then there connection to the order.

They have no oversight, but work in police/;aw enforcement and para military ways along with having influence over the senate.

Oh and one of there main 'tricks' is to speak a command anyone except a strong willed person must do what they say (I mean this is kinda the point of the thread so if you don't think that mind control is evil skip this)
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Rape describes a specific form of violation that occurs disturbingly often in the real world. It's probably best not to appropriate that language to describe a distinct, fictional form of assault (both out of respect to survivors and in the interest of allowing a constructive dialogue).
It’s the only thing IRL that is remotely comparable. I avoided the term for many pages, but eventually it has to be addressed in order to honestly discuss the topic.
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
no, I am suggesting ALL action from magic to swords is evil and thus these are discussions in pointlessness.
That's not unreasonable from a real world perspective.

That said, D&D is a fantasy game. Fantasy tends to rely on a more straightforward morality (good vs evil being a classic theme/trope).

I don't know about you, but when I play D&D I typically want to play a heroic character, without having to worry about the moral implications of killing some bandits who ambushed the party. I think the simpler morality, wherein killing bad guys is something that good guys do, is part of the draw.
 

And even physical violence that stops short of killing can inflict lasting trauma (physical or psychological). The same would presumably be true of mind control effects in a setting where they existed. Either form of assault would be evil in most circumstances, but either could plausibly be used (in rare cases) to avert some greater evil.
RPGs in general tend to overlook the lasting consequences of violence and exposure to mental duress unless they are built around them mechanically. I just kind of assume that D&D characters aren't as susceptible to things that would cause lasting physical or psychological damage in the real world unless it's narratively convenient. Adventurers in D&D go out and get stabbed, poisoned, burned, electrocuted, soul-drained, etc in life-or-death battles on a regular basis, which would wreak havoc on real people, who are much more fragile and prone to wear and tear.

You could, if you wanted, take a page out of something like the video game RPG Darkest Dungeon and have adventurers regularly succumbing to physical maladies and mental illness (necessitating a rotating group of adventurers that can fill in while their allies are taking a break to recuperate or to replace ones that are too ill to continue the adventuring lifestyle).

The following are examples of maladies that characters in Darkest Dungeon can develop as a consequence of adventuring:
  • Fear of Beasts
  • Fear of Mankind
  • Fear of Light
  • Stress Eater
  • Claustrophobia
  • Alcoholism
If one wanted, they could homebrew 5E for a greater chance of characters developing such maladies as part of their careers, expanding on the madness and lingering injuries options already in the DMG. If you want to paint enchantment spells as negative you could have their use impose a chance of inflicting some kind of mental disorder.

I also recall that in Critical Role the character Caleb Widogast had something like this as a trait. He had a traumatic event in his life related to fire, and even though he learned the fireball spell and used it in battle at times he had to roll whenever he used it to see if it triggered traumatic memories that would cause him to be stunned for a turn.
 
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GMforPowergamers

Adventurer
okay, so since we have to lay this out... lets go heroes...

Paul from dune was brought up along with the bene jesuits... I wouldn't count them.
no heroes in DUNE (I think you said earlier maybe Duncan...but no)
Xaiver has been raked over the coals as an antagonist for at least the last 15 years so useing him is hard, especially in current Krarkoa form
he forced his girlfriend to come back to him, he removed family members from peoples memories...not a hero
Obiwan Konobie has the jedi mind trick twice that I recall "you don't want to sell me death stix you want to go home and think about your life" and the more famous "these are not the droids you are looking for" however he is also a lier and manipulator who when called out on being both he justfies it "from a citron point of view"
I already did my Jedi slander...but not a hero.
Luke could have been. He could have started a new academy and made it better.
I did post above in an X men line about all three telepaths and that a) they are reluctant to use mind control/charm (when written as heroes) and b) when they do use it it is somthing they feel bad about.
um...again mass brain washing peeps
Bran in game of thrones (all of the starks if you count worging) are dominating and they go out of there way to show what that is like for poor hodur (and i would be hard pressed to find someone who thinks that Bran wasn't doing it for the greater good)
No heroes in SoIaF like DUNE just lots of bad people some you root for.

so please... give me a hero to use.
Martian Manhunter (most likely not)

I can't think of a single telepathic heroes who hasn't gotten some dark arcs. Maybe something that hasn't lasted long enough or was written for children. Mind control doesn't count as very heroic.
 

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