D&D General I really LOVE Stomping Goblins

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Vaalingrade

Legend
It really doesn't. All that is required in the current rules is that the player says that they do wish to do nonlethal damage.

Which frankly is bizarre and I don't like it. Because if that's how it would work, then every time you kill somebody with a melee attack, it is pretty damn immoral, as you could have just as easily not killed them. Of course in reality that's not how it would work. If you have some proper weapon, it is very difficult to knock someone out safely, so using lethal force could still be justified.
I'm a big advocate of the Bad Guy Off Button because it is demoralizing and unfair to turn a player's character into a killer against their will.
 

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King Babar

God Learner
Yeah but then what do you do with the captive you have now?!? Tie him up and guard him? Let him go warn his pals? Hope he doesnt go tell the Dragon you are there?!

Seems like quite a risk to take for the sake of someone who has already aligned themselves with EVIL!
I hate this situation when DMing.

The party kills three bugbears during a forest ambush, captures the final one, interrogates it. Okay, what do we do with them? Leave them? Bring them with us? Kill Murder them?

Or, oh we'll knock out these six bandits. And then... ?

At the risk of getting into a moral debate, knocking out an enemy can lead to eviler actions than killing them in combat.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
3 of my younger cousins love eating ice cream with ketchup and mustard on it. Chocolate ice cream, which makes it even worse.

At first I thought that they were doing it just to gross me out, but nope. They sincerely like it. It made me want to vomit.
To be fair, ketchup is mostly sugar, so even if I don’t like the sound of it, I can see why it would work. Mustard on chocolate ice cream though sounds truly vile.
 

Scribe

Hero
I hate this situation when DMing.

The party kills three bugbears during a forest ambush, captures the final one, interrogates it. Okay, what do we do with them? Leave them? Bring them with us? Kill Murder them?

Or, oh we'll knock out these six bandits. And then... ?

At the risk of getting into a moral debate, knocking out an enemy can lead to eviler actions than killing them in combat.
And this is all fine and viable paths of issue resolution.

Assuming your table wants to deal with the ramifications, and the DM is on board.

Otherwise? Its a game, they are obstacles, and you are deep in enemy territory, on the enemies turf, or in their lair.

What happens in an MMO if you allow the enemy to run away? Well congrats you just pulled the whole dungeon potentially, and thats a wipe AKA TPK.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
To be fair, ketchup is mostly sugar, so even if I don’t like the sound of it, I can see why it would work. Mustard on chocolate ice cream though sounds truly vile.
They make batches of mustard ice cream every year for the Middleton (WI) Mustard Museum's annual Mustard Day celebration. I've had it and it's not that bad. I wouldn't want a whole dish or sundae of it, just a little ice cream cup is fine.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I hate this situation when DMing.

The party kills three bugbears during a forest ambush, captures the final one, interrogates it. Okay, what do we do with them? Leave them? Bring them with us? Kill Murder them?
I usually let them drag the bugbears back to the constable in town to face justice. Conveniently, those three bugbears were infamous highway robbers, and they have been terrorizing the roads outside of town for months. So much so, that the merchant guild had posted a considerable reward for their capture...bonus XP and gold awarded for creative thinking, move on to the next scene...

Or whatever. It doesn't bother me if the party wants to take a nonlethal route. I'm happy to accommodate.
 

Yeah but then what do you do with the captive you have now?!? Tie him up and guard him? Let him go warn his pals? Hope he doesnt go tell the Dragon you are there?!

Seems like quite a risk to take for the sake of someone who has already aligned themselves with EVIL!
Whilst I don't care if the characters are flawless paragons of virtue, most people seem to like their characters to be at least remotely non-terrible (as do I). Now swinging swords at people is dangerous business, and it is undegradable that someone might get killed. And if you didn't initiate the conflict, killing someone that way doesn't necessarily make you a bad guy... Except if you could have just subdued them nonlethally just as easily, but chose not to because it would be inconvenient! So I'd prefer if the rules wouldn't force the players to make this choice in the first place.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I'm a big advocate of the Bad Guy Off Button because it is demoralizing and unfair to turn a player's character into a killer against their will.
I agree that it would be uncool to make a player’s character a killer against their will. But, I also feel that if you’re willing to engage in violent conflict, you should be willing to accept the possibility that it could result in your or your opponent’s death. That’s why my house rule around nonlethal attacks is something I discuss in session zero, so if players object to it, we can hash it out before it comes up in play.
 


Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Whilst I don't care if the characters are flawless paragons of virtue, most people seem to like their characters to be at least remotely non-terrible (as do I). Now swinging swords at people is dangerous business, and it is undegradable that someone might get killed. And if you didn't initiate the conflict, killing someone that way doesn't necessarily make you a bad guy... Except if you could have just subdued them nonlethally just as easily, but chose not to because it would be inconvenient! So I'd prefer if the rules wouldn't force the players to make this choice in the first place.

They need the killing blow to be declared non-lethal. Casters are immune to the moral dilemma, since their firebolts can't do non-lethal damage. Therefore, Casters > Martials.

Sorry, I felt this thread was lacking in contentious topics to discuss!
 

King Babar

God Learner
I'm a big advocate of the Bad Guy Off Button because it is demoralizing and unfair to turn a player's character into a killer against their will.
But doesn't the player (and their character) know that killing is typically a part of the game? Unless the campaign was established as a non-lethal one before hand, death is probably going to be on the table.

Typically you want to make a character appropriate to the adventure.
 

payn

Legend
But doesn't the player (and their character) know that killing is typically a part of the game? Unless the campaign was established as a non-lethal one before hand, death is probably going to be on the table.

Typically you want to make a character appropriate to the adventure.
Situations change. Sometimes you are facing people, sometimes you are facing demons. It makes the game interesting for some folks if they are not all the same.
 

King Babar

God Learner
And this is all fine and viable paths of issue resolution.

Assuming your table wants to deal with the ramifications, and the DM is on board.

Otherwise? Its a game, they are obstacles, and you are deep in enemy territory, on the enemies turf, or in their lair.

What happens in an MMO if you allow the enemy to run away? Well congrats you just pulled the whole dungeon potentially, and thats a wipe AKA TPK.
Maybe "hate" was a strong word. Mildly annoyed. Primarily because one time when the party decided to capture an enemy it eventually led to me having a "please don't torture the prisoner" talk.

I don't have many red cards, but torture's definitely on the list of things I don't want to narrate. Make an Intimidation check, please don't try to roleplay it out.

I love my players, but sometimes they're dummies.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I hate this situation when DMing.

The party kills three bugbears during a forest ambush, captures the final one, interrogates it. Okay, what do we do with them? Leave them? Bring them with us? Kill Murder them?

Or, oh we'll knock out these six bandits. And then... ?

At the risk of getting into a moral debate, knocking out an enemy can lead to eviler actions than killing them in combat.
yup this isn't a superhero story.... blackgate prison isn't an option
 

Scribe

Hero
Now swinging swords at people is dangerous business.
I mean, this kind of encapsulates what needs to be understood here.

Can one play a non-lethal character?

Grappling, Enchanting, Sleeping, Charming, Polymorph....

Sure thing!

But unless clarified real early, I'd argue the default state here is pretty much crystal clear.

We got swords, we got fireballs, we got Devils and Demons, and Evil Gods.

This isn't Debates & Deferral.

This is Dungeons & Dragons. ;)
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I hate this situation when DMing.

The party kills three bugbears during a forest ambush, captures the final one, interrogates it. Okay, what do we do with them? Leave them? Bring them with us? Kill Murder them?

Or, oh we'll knock out these six bandits. And then... ?

At the risk of getting into a moral debate, knocking out an enemy can lead to eviler actions than killing them in combat.
I usually tell my players that the bugbear is "defeated" and they can tell it's going to run off and not cause trouble any more.

As long as the players know the DM won't try to screw them over, situations like this can be resolved without killing.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
It's easy to play the role of a pacifist character in D&D. The trick? Do not tell anyone that you are a pacifist...seriously, don't write it on your character sheet, don't even speak the word aloud. Because as soon as someone (usually the DM) finds out you are playing a pacifist character, they will crack their knuckles and sneer and growl "Oh really. Well. We will just see about that."

Just roll up your cleric, cast your buffs and healing every round, and save your attack rolls and blast magic for constructs, plants, and undead. Five bucks says it will be months before anyone notices.

Me: My character is a pacifist.

Everyone else, apparently:
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(Disclaimer: I'm not suggesting folks SHOULD play pacifist characters--only that it's possible to do so. Play the way you want.)
 
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King Babar

God Learner
I usually tell my players that the bugbear is "defeated" and they can tell it's going to run off and not cause trouble any more.

As long as the players know the DM won't try to screw them over, situations like this can be resolved without killing.
I try to take that approach nowadays. Intelligent enemies will flee or surrender when things go south, even make oaths never to bother the party ever again.
 

payn

Legend
The conversation has gone to a strange place. It seems that not wanting to kill a person, means your character wont kill any person. I find at my table the context of the situation drives the decisions to kill or not.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I usually tell my players that the bugbear is "defeated" and they can tell it's going to run off and not cause trouble any more.

As long as the players know the DM won't try to screw them over, situations like this can be resolved without killing.
My group would hate that. We like things to make more sense and 99% of the time that orc or bugbear would run to warn its fellows. Whether they kill the orc, leave the orc tied up, or let it go depends on what kind of PC group they are playing.
 

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