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D&D 5E Charm, the evil spells

Fanaelialae

Legend
I wonder how much 'balance' was built on the orginal players and DMs mindsets.
Back in 1e there were fairly severe experience penalties for changing alignment (and if you didn't play your alignment consistently, it would change). I daresay that playing an evil character just for the sake of using poison probably wouldn't work that well. You'd be expected to play your alignment, which could get you in trouble with the party, or suffer the experience penalty. Additionally, some of the best classes (paladin and ranger) could only be good.
 

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Mirtek

Hero
Shockingly, we're not talking about weapons and combat spells. We're talking about enchantment spells.
And the argument was that they're evil because their only purpose is to be used upon others. Just as this is the only purpose of weapons (that are not tools too) and combat spells
 

Voadam

Legend
Back in 1e there were fairly severe experience penalties for changing alignment (and if you didn't play your alignment consistently, it would change). I daresay that playing an evil character just for the sake of using poison probably wouldn't work that well. You'd be expected to play your alignment, which could get you in trouble with the party, or suffer the experience penalty. Additionally, some of the best classes (paladin and ranger) could only be good.
It could get you in trouble if you were playing with other characters playing a class that had problems with evil (particularly paladins) but an evil party did not have to have inter party problems and there were plenty of classes that did not have built in problems with evil PCs.

Required to be evil assassins were a 1e PC character class. Lord Robilar from the original games was evil. I ran a multi-year 1e campaign with evil characters.
 

HammerMan

Legend
And the argument was that they're evil because their only purpose is to be used upon others. Just as this is the only purpose of weapons (that are not tools too) and combat spells
that actually isn't my argument.

it'snot that they can only be used by bad guys, or that they always deliver bad results.... it is the act itself is a step above the nomral D&D level of violation
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
And the argument was that they're evil because their only purpose is to be used upon others. Just as this is the only purpose of weapons (that are not tools too) and combat spells
Yes, but that's a bad argument, in part because it's a whataboutism. But also because weapons and attack spells aren't used in the same way as charm spells are.

You can fireball a person all you want, but they're never going to view you as "trusted acquaintance" because of it. You can stab someone with a sword all you like, but they'll never think it's a good idea to give their money to a beggar just because you suggested it to them.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I wonder how much 'balance' was built on the orginal players and DMs mindsets.
I'd guess none, especially when they brought things like kits into play. Because wow were some of those kits horribly OP or UP.

Or, when they cared about balance, they did so in ways that hindered/altered roleplay rather than mechanics. Like, when they said that paladins be in a party with morally iffy people or barbarians couldn't be in a party with magic-users, thus limiting the types of groups they could be in or, in the case of paladins, making them have to police the rest of the party or lose their own abilities.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It could get you in trouble if you were playing with other characters playing a class that had problems with evil (particularly paladins) but an evil party did not have to have inter party problems and there were plenty of classes that did not have built in problems with evil PCs.

Required to be evil assassins were a 1e PC character class. Lord Robilar from the original games was evil. I ran a multi-year 1e campaign with evil characters.
Pretty much every party I've run for any length of time had at least one evil PC show up somewhere along the line.

In my first long campaign an evil PC ended up becoming the mainstay of the party.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yes, but that's a bad argument, in part because it's a whataboutism. But also because weapons and attack spells aren't used in the same way as charm spells are.

You can fireball a person all you want, but they're never going to view you as "trusted acquaintance" because of it.
Good example.
You can stab someone with a sword all you like, but they'll never think it's a good idea to give their money to a beggar just because you suggested it to them.
Not so good example. What's the difference between giving money to a beggar because someone Suggested it and giving money to a beggar because someone's holding a sword to your throat and telling you to? In the end, not much, I think.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Not so good example. What's the difference between giving money to a beggar because someone Suggested it and giving money to a beggar because someone's holding a sword to your throat? In the end, not much, I think.
I still have choices (all bad) with the knife to my neck. Charm doesn't just externally force, it effects your very core self (your mind)
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Good example.

Not so good example. What's the difference between giving money to a beggar because someone Suggested it and giving money to a beggar because someone's holding a sword to your throat and telling you to? In the end, not much, I think.
That's exactly the point (that I was trying to make to Maxperson): you're using evil means to get a good result.
 

Scribe

Hero
I still have choices (all bad) with the knife to my neck. Charm doesn't just externally force, it effects your very core self (your mind)
Indeed.

So I'm playing a Fey touched Sorcerer. My son's watching me play, and I intentionally have focused this character on the usual enchantment spells. Charms, Holds, Hideous Laughter....

So I'm up against that tier's big bad, he's got high resist and will saves, but I'm laser focused on breaking through those things.

End result: He's helpless on the ground laughing, while getting hacked to pieces.

My son (hes 17, dont worry) "That is absolutely horrific."

Anecdotal, but a Fireball just didnt seem to have the same impact on my son's perception of prior encounters. ;)
 

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