D&D 5E Evil characters material not going to be in the PHB

Should evil character material be in the PHB or out?

  • All of it or as much as possible should be in the PHB

    Votes: 51 33.8%
  • A mix: some of it in the PHB, some of it in the DMG

    Votes: 35 23.2%
  • All of it or as much as possible should be in the DMG

    Votes: 65 43.0%

Nellisir

Hero
Depends on the paladin. I tend to view the archetypal paladin as Paksenarrion or Michael Carpenter (or Eadric from Sepulchrave's Story Hour, but that's more self-referential for D&D), and less of a Judge Dredd type. But that's all very dependent on how you view "good", of course.
The Lone Ranger.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
My view of "good" in real life is pacifistic. D&D's Lawful Good ain't that.

So in this thread we're talking about the hypocrisy of WotC being willing to publish a game that heavily supports violent behavior, but being squeamish about including a spell for evil people to protect themselves from maurading paladins.

Or to give another example, I read a great anecdote once about a medical student who ended up with a white supremacist patient and talked about having to provide the same level of care to anyone else despite finding the patient's beliefs repugnant. Which is exactly what paladins won't do; they don't associate with or provide aid to evil people according to the code (which goes beyond, but is consistent with the alignment). Medicine is full of those kinds of examples.
That's fair. Although, to be fair, our own morality doesn't have to contend with tangible manifestations of pure evil like a D&D world does. Although I guess one could make an argument that even devils and demons, as intelligent entities, have a chance at redemption.

And yes, a Lawful Good healer who ministers aid even to fallen monsters would probably be more "Good" than a paladin. I guess the big question is how far a paladin's lawfulness pushes him in the direction of justice over mercy. I can see two different moral codes, both "Lawful Good", but in contention because one views justice as the greatest virtue, and the other views a more radical altruism as being the highest virtue.
 

My view of "good" in real life is pacifistic. D&D's Lawful Good ain't that.

So in this thread we're talking about the hypocrisy of WotC being willing to publish a game that heavily supports violent behavior, but being squeamish about including a spell for evil people to protect themselves from maurading paladins.

Or to give another example, I read a great anecdote once about a medical student who ended up with a white supremacist patient and talked about having to provide the same level of care to anyone else despite finding the patient's beliefs repugnant. Which is exactly what paladins won't do; they don't associate with or provide aid to evil people according to the code (which goes beyond, but is consistent with the alignment). Medicine is full of those kinds of examples.
D&D characters live in a world where anything can kill you, from floors, doors, walls and ceilings to books. Asking for pacifism before you will consider a character "good" in such a world is highly inflexible, IMO.
 
Last edited:

Ahnehnois

First Post
And yes, a Lawful Good healer who ministers aid even to fallen monsters would probably be more "Good" than a paladin. I guess the big question is how far a paladin's lawfulness pushes him in the direction of justice over mercy. I can see two different moral codes, both "Lawful Good", but in contention because one views justice as the greatest virtue, and the other views a more radical altruism as being the highest virtue.
In a case where the rule of law prohibits providing such aid (and may have justifications that could be considered Good), I think a LG character is in a bind. Real-life battlefield medicine is a very difficult business.

And I've actually been asked questions in interviews about things like providing care to people you know are involved in destructive behavior (either to themselves or to others), providing care to people who don't want it (commonly the case with psychiatric patients, as well as injured soldiers who don't want to return to duty), as well as providing care when the care itself is illegal (medical marijuana, for example). I can see a lot of potential conflicts between Lawful Good resolutions to these scenarios and doing the right thing. These are complex issues.

D&D characters live in a world where anything can kill you, from floors, doors, walls and ceilings to books. Asking for pacifism to be considered "good" in such a world is highly inflexible.
True. That's just my own personal philosophy (albeit one that has historical roots in some very dangerous times). I'm simply trying to explain that D&D Good is not real-life good. You and every other poster may have a different definition.

In agreement with [MENTION=72450]HumanTarget[/MENTION] above, I'd rather WotC didn't involve themselves in this arena as much as they do.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
And I've actually been asked questions in interviews about things like providing care to people you know are involved in destructive behavior (either to themselves or to others), providing care to people who don't want it (commonly the case with psychiatric patients, as well as injured soldiers who don't want to return to duty), as well as providing care when the care itself is illegal (medical marijuana, for example). I can see a lot of potential conflicts between Lawful Good resolutions to these scenarios and doing the right thing. These are complex issues.
Oh, absolutely, and trying to frame any of the possible choices as "Lawful Good" or "Chaotic Good" is inherently trivializing. I'm totally in agreement that mixing alignment with existing moral and ethical frameworks is hugely problematic.

Now, that doesn't stop me from liking the idea of alignment as representing a generalized fidelity to some overarching cosmological constants. In my own homegrown 4e-esque cosmology, Law maps to the will of the Gods, and Chaos is tapping into the power of the Primordials and their servitors.
 

True. That's just my own personal philosophy (albeit one that has historical roots in some very dangerous times). I'm simply trying to explain that D&D Good is not real-life good. You and every other poster may have a different definition.
IMO, "good" is a moving target. A person who is as good as the average for their society is one who *may be more accurately termed "Neutral".

* Simplification.

Edit: I would map D&D alignment to intent, motivation, and intended results. Providing medical marijuana to get someone hooked on it is a different alignment than doing so to provide a painkiller that actually works.
 
Last edited:


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
It's not modern morality, it's more similar to ancient morality (though not an exact replica of that morality). It's more similar to Beowulf morality, Gilgamesh morality, and Odysseus morality. It's got something in common with the morality of Arabian Nights, Siegfried in the Nibelung, and King Arthur.

Given that context, it's just not as complicated as some are making it. You kill the monsters. You trick the wicked. You respect the dead. There isn't a whole lot of struggle in the shades of gray, and it's a lot more black and white than modern concepts of morality.

That of course does not mean you have to play with something similar to these ancient concepts of black and white morality, but it's the default assumption of the game, has been since the game's inception, and is one of the defining elements that differentiates D&D from other fantasy role playing games.
 



Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top