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Is killing a Goblin who begs for mercy evil?

jerryrice4949

Adventurer
I don’t get all the debate. Killing a creature that is surrendering is neither lawful nor good. Sure it can be rationalized, most terrible acts can.

Now whether such an act is evil, well that is debatable. Who is to say. Few evil people would see themselves as evil and often have, at least in their mind, justifiable reasons for what they are doing, even if most people think their acts are repugnant, immoral and evil.
 

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aco175

Legend
Back in 2e days, a player was playing a paladin and detected alignment on just about everyone he encountered. It became more a problem than a cool power. If he detected evil on a shopkeeper or such, he treated them as scheming or looking to swindle him. He would even bully them for being evil. It was middle-school and our ideas on good and evil were not fully formed yet.
 


d24454_modern

Explorer
I mean, if you can pull out "the ends justify the means" as a justification for an evil act (murdering an unarmed individual) for a Lawful Good character, then your alignment system lacks a fundamental consistency or basis in objectivity in pretty much every way.
Are you talking about the alignments system or the players because this sounds like a player problem.
 


DammitVictor

Druid of the Invisible Hand
I think the point is that someone brought up Gygax's own idea that an LG Paladin could do this, which would seem to make the alignment system itself worthless and easily gameable.

Call it what it was: according to Gygax, a Lawful Good Paladin was obligated to do this. A Paladin who refused was a coward and fallen from grace.

Whenever someone tells you that the alignment system is simple and straightforward, remember that this is what its author considered objective morality-- this was the obvious truth from which no honest observer could depart.

Alignment is an irredeemably rotten institution because it was built on a foundation of rot.
 

d24454_modern

Explorer
Call it what it was: according to Gygax, a Lawful Good Paladin was obligated to do this. A Paladin who refused was a coward and fallen from grace.

Whenever someone tells you that the alignment system is simple and straightforward, remember that this is what its author considered objective morality-- this was the obvious truth from which no honest observer could depart.

Alignment is an irredeemably rotten institution because it was built on a foundation of rot.
Pathfinder has literal books on how alignment works.

 

Shair-afiyun

Villager
1) Does the party have a high enough insight / sense motive check?
2) Is the creature's alignment an exception to the norm?
3) What are the player's codes/tenents, if they have any.
4) What is the creature?
5) What sort of situation is the party in?

Sounds like a lot of conditions, but its not. Also obviously its merely walking around in circles trying to fill out these questions on a hypothetical. As I could state one thing but many other combinations can also be true. The only safe way to answer this is when you are actually in the moment.
 


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