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Cordo Crowfoot
Pie
(10/25/02 3:35:45 am)
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Detect evil thread
Thought I would bring up this thread here as if it is true it has far reaching repercussions for parties with access to detect evil playing RttToEE.

pub58.ezboard.com/fokayyo...1068.topic

"In Monte's BOVD (in the evil campaign appendix) Monte states that Detect Evil doesn't detect people who simply have an evil alignment. He refers to the description of the spell."

Wow! There has been a lot of discussion about whether the spell-like ability itself has verbal and somatic components (no) and whether it has a visible effect (up to the DM) but I have never seen the suggestion that it can't detect people with an evil alignment.

Wish I would have known that when the paladin in my campaign cast it on Chatrilon. Oh well.

Edited by: Cordo Crowfoot at: 10/25/02 4:35:48 am
justind dm
Pie
(10/25/02 4:27:13 am)
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Re: Detect evil thread
Most DM's I know of have used Detect Evil to detect an evil alignment...I thought. That came as a surprise to me though.

Cordo Crowfoot
Pie
(10/25/02 4:36:35 am)
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Re: Detect evil thread
Yeah I can't wait to look this up. BoVD still hasn't reached Japan.

Siobharek 
Orc
(10/25/02 5:37:42 am)
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Re: Detect evil thread
From a RttToEE point of view, I'd be happy to change it so that only evil intent and evil clerics for evil gods lit up. It might keep Tal Chammish and Chatrilon alive a little longer ;) .

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Cordo Crowfoot
Pie
(10/25/02 5:55:23 am)
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Re: Detect evil thread
Agreed Siobharek, it would be an improvement to the Hommlet chapter. I would have preferred to do it that way if I knew it worked that way, but I didn't, there was a paladin in the party, and I thought that was a benefit of having a paladin.

Siobharek 
Orc
(10/25/02 5:59:09 am)
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Re: Detect evil thread
Well, it might anyway: Chatrilon did accompany the party with less than honourable intentions in mind.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Roland Delacroix
Pie
(10/25/02 9:00:13 am)
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Nah
I don't know if I would consider assassination 'Evil Intent'. Thats just business, ya know? ;)

00Ash
Pie
(10/25/02 10:23:19 am)
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that
is how i've always ran it... if anyone has the 2nd edition paladins handbook i highly recommend reading the big part on the detect evil.

Trithereon
Pie
(10/25/02 11:50:42 am)
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Detect Evil
Well, I guess that'd put a nice little damper on the Protection from Evil spell as well ... or is a evil human not evil for the Detect Evil spell but is evil in regards to the Protection from Evil spell?

Seriously, how does the Protection from Evil spell know if the attacking evil human is evil or not? Or can Protection from Evil spell detect evil? If so, why can't Detect Evil detect evil?

I am probably missing something really simple here.

smetzger
Pie
(10/25/02 12:32:54 pm)
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Re: Detect evil thread
Ah, I like the 3e way of actually Detecting Evil as opposed to Evil Intent. I think Monte is way off on this one.

The spell description is pretty clear it says "The character can sense the presence of evil."

Typically only the Paladin's Detect Evil ability causes problems. If you want to nerf the ability a little bit do as I do and make the Paladin use his Holy Symbol to activate the power, thus people are aware that he is using the power and can be offended if the Paladin didn't ask permission first (even if the guy isn't evil).

*:> Scott

rweston
Pie
(10/25/02 3:38:49 pm)
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Re: Detect evil thread
The following was lifted from the rules FAQ at WOTC:

Start quote>
The detect evil spell lets you detect the aura of evil
creatures but not characters. Are characters counted as
creatures with their level as their Hit Dice?

The terms "creature" and "character" are interchangeable.
Any subject with an evil alignment has an evil aura. If this
subject has a character class, you calculate the aura&'s strength
by dividing the subject's character level by two. If the subject
is the cleric of an evil deity, do not divide the subject's cleric
levels. For example, an 11th-level barbarian with an evil
alignment has an evil aura of moderate strength (11÷2=5.5,
which indicates a moderate aura). If the character was an 11th-
level cleric of an evil deity, the character would have an
overwhelming evil aura. If the character were a 5th-level
barbarian/6th-level cleric, the character would have only a
strong evil aura (5 ÷ 2 = 2.5, + 6 = 8.5 for a strong aura).
<end Quote

Now the problem I see with the above as a rules clairification is that it contradicts the SRD and the PHB, in that the description for the "evil aura" of a creature is calculated as "HD divided by 5" not (as the FAQ indicates) level (HD)divided by 2.
For the record the SRD states hd/2 accounts for undead, evil elementals and magic items/spell effects (substitute caster level for HD when determining the latter).

Also I would take into account that Monte was one of the designers who revamped all those spells in the first places - so perhaps when they wrote down "creatures" they meant "non-character class player types".

As to detecting Evil on Chatrilon and the other non-clerical villains in Hommlet - their evil ratings are going to be (according to the PHB) 1 to 1.5 at best - which translates to a faint evil.

Just some thought - I would be interesting to see a definitive answer from Monte, as the FAQ people obviously have a different opinion.
:evil
Rory

(Edited to clean up quote from FAQ and clarify the post. :) )

Edited by: rweston at: 10/25/02 3:43:14 pm
Trithereon
Pie
(10/26/02 1:21:55 am)
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Re: Detect evil thread
Well, to be fair ... the thread was started suggesting a difference in the way Detect Evil is handled in a BOVD campaign as opposed to a standard D&D campaign. Which is just fine by my accounts. If I recall correctly, Detect Evil was handled differently in Ravenloft campaign and as such it might be fitting for a BOVD campaign to have more limitations on Detect Evil.

Just a thought.

Cordo Crowfoot
Pie
(10/27/02 1:54:50 am)
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Re: Detect evil thread
Ah, it said it was "in the evil campaign appendix" but I didn't pick up on the fact that that meant it was a suggested change for how the spell works rather than a general rules clarification.

Is it clearly presented as a suggested change?

As I mentioned I don't have the book yet.

Cordo Crowfoot
Pie
(11/12/02 6:13:44 pm)
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Re: Detect evil thread
BoVD finally made it to Japan and I got a copy. Unlike was said above, this sidebar seems not to be a suggested change to how Detect Evil works in Evil Campaigns but rather a clarification to how it works in all campaigns (it is basically saying that if you want to introduce a single evil PC to your campaign, and are worrrying about the subterfuge being ruined by a Paladin's Detect Evil, that you should remember that not all character classes will show up as evil, even if they are evil-aligned.)

So I think this is still very much an open issue. Would Chatrilon show up as evil or not? This is a critical question...

00Ash
Pie
(11/12/02 6:48:16 pm)
Reply
well...
I don't have a player's handbook handy but i believe it specifically lists the type's of creatures it detects such as undead. It also has cleric under the listing, so why would it specifically have a character class when you would assume that any 'evil' character can be detected all the time?

A neutral evil thug having dinner with his family and friends isn't evil while a neutral evil thug plotting to bash your face in is.

An evil cleric will bury the needle on the ol' evil-o-meter because his god's energy is always with him.

That's the way i interpret it anyways.

Cordo Crowfoot
Pie
(11/12/02 7:24:16 pm)
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Re: Detect evil thread
SRD reads...
Quote:

Creature/Object        Evil Power
---------------        ----------
Evil creature         HD / 5
Undead creature HD / 2
Evil elemental         HD / 2
Evil magic item
or spell         Caster level / 2
Evil outsider         HD
Cleric of an
evil deity         Level


I think that many people assumed the evil thug having dinner with his family still counted as an "evil creature", cleric being listed separately because its "Evil Power" is calculated differently. Most all the campaign logs I have seen in which Chat has DE'ed, he detects as evil (unless he has used his scroll).

It's fine for me if he doesn't (and I made a mistake in my own campaign), but I would really like to know what is the "official" interpretation.

Trithereon
Pie
(11/12/02 8:24:15 pm)
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Re: Detect evil thread
The official D&D FAQ from the WotC states that "creature" and "character" are interchangeable when it comes to interpreting the Detect Evil spell.

However, then seems to misquote the spell by stating that for non-clerics you calculate the aura's strength by dividing the subject's character level by TWO. My PHB indicates that you would divide a subject's character level by five to determine the aura's strength.

I prefer dividing by 5 then 2, as it diffuses the evil aura and makes "level guessing" a little harder.

Andorax
Orc
(11/13/02 6:57:16 am)
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Re: Detect evil thread
Hmm...lessee.

Detect Evil only detects the presence of Evil.

Some suggest that if someone's not "being Evil" or "thinking Evil thoughts", they're not technically Evil at that moment, and therefore would not detect as Evil.


The Assassin Prestige Class has "any Evil" as a requirement.

If you no longer meet the requirements for a given class, you lose access to the class' special benefits.

So...if Chat isn't "being evil" constantly, he quits being an Assassin? If he isn't able to "think evil thoughts" all day long and "dream evil dreams" all night long, he loses all of his spell ability?


The idea that you have to act, think, or be evil to detect as evil is, to me, absurd. It works as a variant rule in a harsh campaign setting, but certainly not in a day-to-day.

Evil is a stain upon the soul. The deeds one does in becomming evil are not something that can be shed like a garment, and to those so-blessed (Paladins), such a stain is clearly, easily seen.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Thrommel
The DM
(11/13/02 7:40:09 am)
Reply
Re: Detect evil thread
This has always been a question of absolute vs relative morality.

In 3E as it stands, evil is absolute. It is a binary, quantifiable condition. You either are or you aren't.

Skim through the BoVD and you'll find tons of examples where evil isn't merely a point of view, it's a palpable FORCE.

So a creature either has this 'energy' or it doesn't.

Now, if you don't LIKE this interpretation, then I suggest you wait for the Book of Hallowed Might to come out. From what I've heard, Monte has some interesting alternatives...

-Thrommel, who knows which side of that binary equation he's on. (Heh, just read the stat block, it's there plain as da-- err, NIGHT.)

Tristan DArque
Pie
(11/13/02 11:10:34 am)
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Re: Detect evil thread
One of the problems with this discussion is that it starts with a misquote of what Monte says in BoVD. The actual wording in the book is:

Quote:
Not all evil characters have an evil aura that registers with the detect evil spell (or similar spell-like abilities). See the spell description in Chapter 11 of the PH for more information.


So:

1. this is not presented by Monte as a suggested change to the PH rules: he's saying that they already say that not all evil characters have a detectable evil aura.

But:

2. that's not actually what the spell description says, unless 'creature' is not the same as 'character' (which we're told it is, and the two are used pretty much interchangeably elsewhere). If the spell only meant creatures and not characters, the only 'characters' that would detect as evil would be clerics of evil deities, which seems ridiculous. If 'creatures' in the spell description includes characters, then all evil characters (ie, all characters with an evil alignment) have at least a faint evil aura (evil power = 1 or less). If that's right, I can't follow what Monte means in the BoVD sidebar.

Personally, I agree with the many people who have said the following: (i) detect evil is a key paladin benefit, and emasculating it by having not apply to evil characters is unfair on paladins - as DM, you should work with the rule, not just change it; and (ii) this is a fairly necessary side-effect of an 'absolute' alignment approach: if you don't like it, you need to undertake a fundamental reassessment of how alignment works in your game. But YMMV.

Edited by: Tristan DArque at: 11/13/02 11:11:45 am
Siobharek 
Orc
(11/14/02 12:57:41 am)
Reply
Re: Detect evil thread
And there you have it: If there's a paladin in the group you'll be less able to sneak assassins into the group (so what? Have him follow them). On the downside, you can only use your bamboo shavings for picking your teeth rather than pushing them up under prisoners' nails.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

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