Gold Community Okay -- Your Turn
    > Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
        > Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign?
New Topic    Add Reply

Page 1 2

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Author Comment
Ordos1
A song from the sixties
(5/19/03 5:39 pm)
Reply
Re: Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign
Try to remember, although one detects auras as evil with D.E., by the 3rd round one also has a pin-point location of where that aura is. So its not just some ambiguous sensing of evil, its focused.

All this to say, i think its more "conditioning" than anything else that will make the party feel like accepting an evil person.

D&D is a game of absolutes. If a good character commits one evil act, that does not make evil. The alignment is still "good". In order for a character to be considered evil, it implies a behavioural pattern that one has exhibited over a period of time. One can then say that AT THIS MOMENT the alignment one detects is the accumulated experiences of what they have done in the past -- either good or evil (or neutral).

In any case, i think the spell is too powerful for its level and yields WAY too much information without any chance of misinterpretation. I personnaly think it should be errated. But thats my spin.

madfox
A guitar
(5/19/03 10:58 pm)
Reply
Re: Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign
A 2nd level spell can cause the spell to fail completely and actually shift the evil aura to a totally innocnent person. I hardly ever use it in my adventures, but I needed to do it only once to teach the PCs not to rely too much on 'detect evil'.

In any event, if you run a highly black-and-white campaign where evil is always truly evil and despicable of the kind that sacrifice children then obviously detect evil is on the powerful side. If you run a more standard campaign where evil can also be a simple greedy selfish farmer who abuse his wife or where the PCs actually need to work together with evil people to reach a combined goal then it is a usefull tool, but hardly overpowering. Remember, if you are runing an intrigue heavy campaign in D&D you should always opt for a more grey campaign. There are nastier spells then detect evil that can destroy such campaigns. My players almost never use the spell which is a tell-tale sign it is not too powerful in my campaigns.

Edited by: madfox at: 5/19/03 10:58:23 pm
3ebb 
A song from the sixties
(5/22/03 7:21 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign
I personally think alignment is D&D is lame and I have thrown it out altogether. Detect evil spells only work to detect someones *current* intent in my game. (ie - joining someone's group isn't evil, but if that person plots to kill the party, the spell would reveal evil intent only if the person was actively thinking about it).

In my game, the spell can also yield false positives. If you cast the spell and look at the bartender who is thinking about killing his wife you would detect evil. It doesn't actually mean that the bartender is evil and will actually kill his wife. It just detects evil thoughts.

Jim
www.3rdedition.org
jim@3rdedition.org

I voted today for 3EBB at ENWorld.

Infiniti2000
A guitar
(5/22/03 8:41 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign
There at least four problems with that approach. First, whether or not someone detects as evil is pretty much up to DM whim. You can pretty much steer the paladin wherever you want by just not having certain people (like Chatrilon) think about certain things or have others do it. Second, how do you guage the evilness of the thought? Is there some matrix where you look up level of the target and what they are thinking about? Are some thoughts less evil than others? Third, how do objects fit into your scheme? They usually don't have thoughts, so does an evil object (e.g. unholy longsword) radiate an evil aura or not? If so, why wouldn't an evil person radiate evil even if they weren't thinking bad thoughts? Lastly, on the same line of thinking, you provide no concept of residual evil. If someone murders ten innocent children, don't you think a certain amount of residual evil will permeate the murderer? Just thinking about fluffy bunnies should not put you in the free and clear.

The alignment system is simple, easily defined, and most importantly consistent. It is certainly not lame. It provides a framework within which the players and the DM can act.

3ebb 
A song from the sixties
(5/22/03 9:11 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign
I should elaborate. In general, people aren't "evil", they just do evil things.

Demons, devils, fiends, and some dieties, etc. are "evil" and will always radiate evil. Same goes for swords and other artifacts that are evil. Evil is part of their nature.

I just don't think that PCs and NPCs are evil in the same way. Perhaps *some* are, like your super duper all mighty powerful arch cleric of Tharizdun, but otherwise most people don't go around just "being evil" all day long. Even some of the bad guys are just normal folks.

I just think that saying that someone is "Nuetral Evil" is like putting their actions into a box that doesn't always fit. I don't agree that everyone can be assigned an alignment like that. PCs especially. An evil act doesn't make you evil. A Paladin who commits a heinous act doesn't immediately have his alignment switched and his entire outlook on life changed necessarily. It's possible for good men to do bad things, so alignments just don't seem to fit. (at least for me). :)

Jim
www.3rdedition.org
jim@3rdedition.org

I voted today for 3EBB at ENWorld.

Caedrel
A song from the sixties
(5/22/03 9:44 pm)
Reply
Re: Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign
If this is going to become a debate about alignment, please take it outside (ie. over to the D&D Rules forum)... :)

I think madfox has summed it up well - Ordos1, it sounds like you're running a game more at the black & white end of the spectrum, where evil people aren't tolerated in most communities. In that case, Chatrilon would certainly be equipped to deal with the situation appropriately - I don't think he'd have scrolls (too limited an effect), but perhaps a wand, if not a ring of mind shielding.

BTW There was that observation in Best of the Boards (I think) that the false Jaroo is could be CE than a doppelganer's "always N"... the risk of his CE alignment being detected would be a good reason not to implement this change...

madfox
A guitar
(5/22/03 11:55 pm)
Reply
Re: Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign
Quote:
I personally think alignment is D&D is lame and I have thrown it out altogether. Detect evil spells only work to detect someones *current* intent in my game. (ie - joining someone's group isn't evil, but if that person plots to kill the party, the spell would reveal evil intent only if the person was actively thinking about it).


Personally I find such a version more powerful. After all, it then becomes a detect enemies spell. When the PCs detect somebody they simply know the detected pressence will do them harm. Since Chat plans to assassinate the PCs from the start if they ever enter the Moathouse, he would register with that spell as well and in this case it actually means something.

mirrorsh
A trophy
(5/25/03 8:00 pm)
Reply
Re: Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign
Quote:
The alignment system is simple, easily defined, and most importantly consistent. It is certainly not lame. It provides a framework within which the players and the DM can act.


Though if you notice Monte is ditching it for AU, probably for at least reasons already elucidated. It simply does not lend itself well to situations of moral uncertainty.

Ordos1
A song from the sixties
(5/28/03 6:31 pm)
Reply
Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign?
I personally think that idf they removed the "pin point" accuracy of Detect Evil it would make the spell more representative of a 1st level spell. This would also prevent witch hunters from running in a town and burning everyone that is evil. All they would do is get a "sense"... and thats all...

But since no one has REALLY complained about this one, (unlike Harm or Haste) well... i don't think anything will get done...

:)

Roland the red
A cup of coffee
(5/29/03 11:32 am)
Reply
Detect X
I think its right that DMs portray commoners with evil alignments to sort of "wash-out" the spells effectiveness...

I'd like to point out that while someone may be truly evil, there is usually no laws against it. So rampaging through a town killing "evil" is usually an unlawful act, and punishable by the authorities who may very well be good themselves.

I have "shifted" the power of the aura's described by the spell somewhat...Basically Dim Aura's do not register at all...A 1st level commoner, Chaotic Evil, and the local Axe Murder, would register as Neutral on all Detect X spells...Why? He is not powerful enough. Sure, he is a psychotic Axe Murderer, but in class-based game, he is wimpy one that should be caught by a handful of 1st-level warriors (town watch) relatively quickly. Its not the most beleivable, but it works. Now the 1st level CE cleric registers as light (or is low?) because of his association with Divine Evil Energies...detect him in the inn and even pinpointing him is appropriate, but killing him? There is no laws against what you beleive, only what you do, so until that cleric does something, the players hands are tied.

Chatrilon would likewise register as low, and the party should be wary. But I typically play Evil as essentially self-serving...which many PCs are in fact, despite the alignment written on their character sheets. If you make it clear that EVIL can exist peacefully alongside good, it really goes a long way towards putting these spells in their place. The Paladn may not accept Chatrilons attempt to join the party...but he may still decide to go to the Old Temple rather than the Moathouse, especially if Chat is wise to the Paladins distrust and really, really, really wants them to go to the moathouse...reverse psychology does wonders against the narrow minded...

Roland the Red, High Inquisitor of Pelor, Contemplative of the Light of Elysium

Maltheos
A cup of coffee
(5/30/03 11:59 am)
Reply
Re: Detect Evil
I have limited thrird edition experience, but I agree the spell seems to be over powered for first level. How I would adjudicate it.

1) The "evaluative process" is at least semi-obvious. ( Spot check for the target to relaize that he is being checked out.) i.e. "Umm... the dude with the holy symbol is staring intently at you, you get the feeling he is overly curious in your affairs."

2) I would (possibly -- depending upon the campaign) also use some form of perception check to spot faintly evil auras, and (probably -- also depending upon campaign tone) to allow the pinpointing via detect evil sonar of hidden evil people.

3) Some false positives especialy when casting upon neutraly aligned folks should also be possible.( failed perception check?)

These rules modifications would be made known to all PC's that are evil and/or all users of the spell at campaign start. This would definitely allow you to detect the major evils and not reduce its effectiveness vs them, but it would prevent its substantial abuses.

Offgall Fizziwigg
A cup of coffee
(5/30/03 12:09 pm)
Reply
Re: Did Detect Evil ruin your campaign
I think any group should know that you just don't kill every evil person. I mean, what is "evil" anyway? Neutral people don't kill good people because they are good. There are plenty of different people in the world.

Furthermore, detecting alignment shouldn't be used all the time. There should be signs at the bad saying, "NO DETECTS!" A bar is a place where you can enjoy a drink in peace, without being scrutinized. When my paladin detected alignment on Chat, Chat said, "What are you staring for goody, goody?" Then the paladin says, "You're evil!" Then Chat says, "Well I say you're evil!" Then there is a good argument, and the group decides Chat can go with them. The worst that should happen is that Chat can't go along. There's nothing game breaking about that. He can sneak around following the group.

Page 1 2 << Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Add Reply

Email This To a Friend Email This To a Friend
Topic Control Image Topic Commands
Click to receive email notification of replies Click to receive email notification of replies
Click to stop receiving email notification of replies Click to stop receiving email notification of replies
jump to:

- Okay -- Your Turn - Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - Home -



Powered By ezboard® Ver. 7.246j
Copyright ©1999-2003 ezboard, Inc.