Author Topic: Virtue penalty for spell usage?  (Read 11941 times)

Offline Caedwyr

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2004, 11:57:02 PM »
I agree that within the BGII game mechanics, its just another summoning spell (of course you can always question the morality of summoning spells in the first place).  However, according to the description in the 2nd Edition Priests Spell Compendium, "...Casting this spell is not a good act, and only evil priests use it frequently." What isn't exactly said, is what is so evil about casting this spell, other than disturbing corpses, since it is a magical force animation and not the binding of soul/spirit to the animated remains.

Personally, I don't think the use of spells should have any Virtue effect unless they are obviously evil and take extra care in being unnecessarily painful or degrading.  When it comes down to it, spells are a tool.  Its how they are used which determines good vs. evil.
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Offline rreinier

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2004, 02:42:53 AM »
Wouldn't Imprisonment be evil, regardless of the target?

Offline jester

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2004, 08:56:09 AM »
Let's assume there was a spell 'Create Golem'. Is this spell evil? Where does the spirit/soul in the golem come from? Is it an extension of ourself like 'Animate Broom'? My question would be, if the original owners of the skeleton are summoned or just their remains while they dwell on some higher plane and have a game of Bingo or Aquarobic. Point is would they care? As said before my guidebooks 'have nothing to say to me' on that topic. One spell from IWD2 directly slays your enemies and creates undead for you to use in combat which is obviously against their will. This would be evil.
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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2004, 09:36:43 AM »
Wouldn't Imprisonment be evil, regardless of the target?

I would think so, however I'd happily change my mind if I possessed a few scrolls for use at my younger sibling's birthday parties. :D

Offline sotona

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2004, 09:56:37 AM »
What defines an evil spell?  Horrid Wilting kills your enemies, but then so does Holy Smite. It's not as simple as saying "well the name has 'horrid' in, so it must be evil".

I think commoners should fear the Undead walking among them. Why they pay no attention to my Skeleton Warrior? And my Finger of Death spell? The poor bastards should flee in terror! Huh?  :)

Offline SimDing0

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2004, 11:05:27 AM »
That's actually true. Considering I do an overhaul of the shout scripts anyway, I imagine I could include an optional component to modify commoner behaviour. What would everyone think about Ding0's Smarter Commoners? Or "Improved Commoners"... :)

Offline Caedwyr

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2004, 12:38:47 PM »
That's actually true. Considering I do an overhaul of the shout scripts anyway, I imagine I could include an optional component to modify commoner behaviour. What would everyone think about Ding0's Smarter Commoners? Or "Improved Commoners"... :)

Only if we get to see a couple of Demi-lich commoners.  Of course everyone knows that most commoners are actually 18/25 kensai/mages, so they should behave as such. ;)


Other names suggestions include Ding0's Cognizant Commoners, Dingo's Intelligent Commoners.

Smarter Commoners sounds good though. :)
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Offline Andyr

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2004, 01:15:04 PM »
Conversely, Knights of the Radiant Heart would probably attack any summoned monsters or undead.

So how about:

Ding0's Intelligent Knights & Commoners?
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2004, 01:29:22 PM »
Ding0's Intelligent REGEXP ~.*\.cre~

Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2004, 02:21:15 PM »
 
 how about "Ding0's Commoner Sense"?
 
 really low average morale; is it possible to narrow down the possibilities for morale failure to only panic or running?
 
 i like how the imnesvale drunk attacks the paladin-stronghold bully baron fella's henchmage from his chair.  more of that stuff, definitely.  :P
« Last Edit: November 02, 2004, 02:30:29 PM by Reverendratbastard »
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Offline sotona

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2004, 10:27:54 AM »
That's actually true. Considering I do an overhaul of the shout scripts anyway, I imagine I could include an optional component to modify commoner behaviour. What would everyone think about Ding0's Smarter Commoners? Or "Improved Commoners"... :)

I like it! :)

Offline Caedwyr

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2004, 11:45:08 AM »

 how about "Ding0's Commoner Sense"?
 
 

I feel somewhat embarrased that I didn't suggest that one, being a huge fan of bad puns and all.
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Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2004, 04:44:36 PM »

 how about "Ding0's Commoner Sense"?
 
 

I feel somewhat embarrased that I didn't suggest that one, being a huge fan of bad puns and all.

  such fandom can make it difficult to come up with a GOOD pun such as mine.  8)
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Offline CORVIS TERRIBLE MOUNTAIN GOD

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2004, 10:40:35 PM »
D&D waffles back and forth on whether or not animating the dead can be considered an Evil act. Back in 2E the Necromancer's Handbook labled it as "Gray Necromancy", with no real alignment. Come 3E, it's clearly designated as an evil spell-- and with good reason. It doesn't just violate the body-- it violates the soul. It has the Evil descriptor, with a big E. Which seems appropriate-- there's already an Animate Objects spell, which is of an entirely different spell school, several spell levels higher, and produces a weaker 'zombie'. But at least it isn't evil.

In BG2, though? That spell doesn't exist, the game is 2E based, and it really functions like a pretty generic Summon. So.

Offline Avenger_teambg

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2004, 04:00:07 AM »
A corpse isn't a living object. Much like graverobbing, it's pretty disrespectful, but if you pick up and throw somebody's body at someone, it's not doing a world of harm to the dead guy. Presumably the same applies to magically animating a corpse, no?
Uh Sim, i doubt it is a virtuous act to animate corpses. It isn't a virtuous act to open a coffin!
Creating undead is definitely evil and pure necromancy.

Offline Kish

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2004, 04:05:44 AM »
Pure necromancy?  Healing spells are pure necromancy.
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Offline Lord Kain

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2004, 08:54:32 PM »
The animate dead spell summons undead it does not create. That means the undead brought forth by the spell had been created by someone else. Your just borrowing it. Once the spell expires or the undead is destoryed it returns to where it came from.

Kish makes a good point that healing spells are under necromancy
Now, at last, the masks had fallen away. The strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed. Most ironic of all was the last gift that Raziel had given me, more powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision his sacrifice had accorded me - the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion: Hope.

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2004, 10:26:46 PM »
Back in 2E the Necromancer's Handbook labled it [Animate Dead] as "Gray Necromancy", with no real alignment. Come 3E, it's clearly designated as an evil spell-- and with good reason. It doesn't just violate the body-- it violates the soul. It has the Evil descriptor, with a big E.
Not to derail the thread, but I'd like some more information on this. One of the NPCs I've designed is a LN Fighter->Necromancer, who worships Kelemvor and utterly despises liars and law-breakers of all kinds, especially Illusionists like Jan. I was told that he would refuse to cast Animate Dead because it violates everything that Kelemvor stands for: Having a proud Warrior's remains forcibly yanked out of their peaceful repose to serve as a lackey/enforcer for some random Wizard is quite an insult, even if that Wizard happens to have utmost respect for the Lord of the Dead.
The character is a perfectly nice guy, his main flaw is that he's quick to criticize others for practices that he finds dishonest. He wants to join the Cowled Wizards, but at the same time condemns their corruption.
Is there any way that this character could be logically roleplayed?

Offline Kish

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2004, 10:45:56 PM »
You don't need to cast Animate Dead to function as a necromancer, so that would be simple enough.
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Offline Lord Kain

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2005, 01:41:13 AM »
My necromancer character has some thing to say.

"blasted fools they know nothing. Necromancy is not the study of undead. No, it is the study of death, the creation of undead is only a byproduct of the art. Others force the life out of a foe by sword or by fire. We necromancers simply force the life to leave directly. Some frown on how we steal the life out of others to heal our selves. So what if we do. They would have been hurt just the same by magic missile or fireball. Does it matter I instead used vampiric touch to heal myself at the same time I hurt my enemies? I supposed I've done nothing to open your eyes ignorant fools often stay ignorant fools"
Now, at last, the masks had fallen away. The strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed. Most ironic of all was the last gift that Raziel had given me, more powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision his sacrifice had accorded me - the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion: Hope.

Offline Murdane

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2005, 01:46:17 AM »
He needs to relax. ;)

But yeah, I basically agree.  I've heard different interpretations of the Animate Dead spell.  Perhaps you are just summoning the creatures, perhaps you are just re-animating bones, or perhaps you are indeed calling a person's soul out of reverie simply to fight for you.  I tend to think of the spell as evil and I never have good characters use it, but at the same time I think people should be free to use their discretion.  I don't think a Virtue penalty is needed here.

Offline Andyr

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2005, 08:43:02 AM »
In pnp it is defnitely an evil spell, in 3E+ it even has the [Evil] subtype. ;)

In BGII it is not so clear, because in pnp you actually need a corpse to animate, while in BGII it behaves more like a summoning spell.

Six: Your character probably would refuse to cast Animate Dead, since Kelemvor despises the undead.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2005, 11:27:41 PM »
In pnp it is defnitely an evil spell, in 3E+ it even has the [Evil] subtype. ;)


So I've seen. :) I *think* the spell really does make use of the souls of the dead, which to me is evil...so to be on the safe side I've never had anyone except Viconia cast the spell. However, I'm reluctant to really debate anyone on the subject because I don't know for sure how the spell works. :)

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2005, 12:44:44 AM »
You don't need to cast Animate Dead to function as a necromancer, so that would be simple enough.
Yeah, except that Animate Dead is pretty much the quintessential Necromancy spell, the single most potent visual symbol of that branch of magic. Besides, Gordon is Levels 8 (Fighter) -> 2 (Mage) when you can first meet him (he lives just off Waukeen's Promenade), and it makes a lot of sense for Gordon to have self-motivated his studies by refusing to wear armor or use his sword until he has learned how to raise the dead. Of course, I could easily change that to Death Spell, another milestone in the necromantic reportoire, but that would put him at Levels 11->2, which is far more EXP than the party could have by that point.

As for the precise ethics of casting Animate Dead, it's worth saying that BG and D&D are two separate games (whether or not they should be is a thorny topic indeed), and that none of the spellcasters in the game, not even Aerie, show any compunction about the spell at all. I believe Valygar does in one of his banters, but then again I may have my signals crossed: I know I wrote an anti-Necromancy banter between Valygar and Gordon, but I'm not sure there's already one with an existing NPC.

BG2 is 2nd edition with touches of 3rd, and some mod content is even bringing in 3.5. In the interests of leaving NPCs like Gordon more possible, I'd like to keep Animate Dead as 'Gray' Necromancy, perfectly acceptable for Neutral characters to use.

Side note: What exactly does Turn Undead do to those Undead who are destroyed by its effects? Suppose Anomen calls up a few Skeleton Warriors to help him out, and when the battle is over he Turns them, so that they don't have to serve him any longer than necessary. Does this cause their souls any harm? Would dispatching them by hand be more humane?

Offline jester

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Re: Virtue penalty for spell usage?
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2005, 04:54:02 AM »
What happens to the animated undead, if the caster dies? I always read it as the corpses being animated and not the souls rejoined with their bodies. Which just now tells me that I don't know how FR handles the soul after burial. The berserker warrior you can summon with the Horn of Valhala should be considered an undead too. Correct?

I don't think anyone who chooses the path of a specialist mage school (Kish examples of necromancy for healing are more the cleric's domain) would refrain from exploring every aspect of it. After all I always believed there is a part of scientific background and schooling not unlike alchemy behind the mage specialisations.
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