How do you deal with Good/Evil?

Pine Towers

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After unleashing the hound of hell on this topic, I think it would be nice to start a discussion about said subject here to avoid (more) off-topic there.


How do you deal with Good/Evil? Can the Lawful Good Paladin align himself with the Necromancer? Can Necromancy be used for good, or it is only a way to defile the resting corpses and mocking of the living?


Black and white morality, or shades of grey?
 
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AwesomeCool

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*looks at title and wishes there was a dislike title button"


On-topic:  Black and white if the game is not as serious games and grey if the game is serious.


This is due to grey moralities generally lead to more serious explanations and characters by default, while black and white has a much lower depth ceiling (can only do so much with a character that is pure evil and cannot develop as a result).


I personally prefer grey morality.   Cuz I like my games more serious and causes the game to have a higher chance of go off generic story paths (way to many perfect resolutions and not enough human like heroes).


off-topic:

Why do most westerners hate anything that does not end on a perfect and happy ending.  I find many other cultures way more accepting of sad and bittersweet (and anything that does not have a resolution that ends with the main character causing world peace) endings.
 

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Well, no light without shadow. The one can't exists without the other. On our Shadowrun pen&paper roleplaying groups we are dealing with this every time. And the frist experience was: You can make rules for yourself (for your character), but if the times come, you will break them. But that's one of the most exciting features of a rpg, I think. You can checkout the constraints and ask yourself what would you do on this moment.


btw about the title: My wife has seen the movie and read the book, but I haven't. So I can't say anything about it. ^^ Because the title was changed, this comment makes no sense anymore.


@AwesomeCool off-topic:

I have mastered a Legend of the Five Rings roleplaying group for some years. For my player, the major difficulty was they could not be heroes like they know it. They would be heroes, saving the day and it was hard to understand they could be this heroes even if they must die for the "mission".
 
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AwesomeCool

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@Purzelkater - That is exactly why I like grey over black and white.  I want human characters, not character with perfect godlike traits.


off-topic:

Do you think it was because they were not use to it or that they generally didn't like the concept of not getting rewarded for being a hero (which is a grey concept in of itself and should have a game expand on it :p)?
 

Shaz

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I have changed the title of the thread to clarify what it is about and avoid the confusion of the similarly-titled movie/book, which we have already locked threads about. I'm also moving this to general discussion, because it IS on the topic of game development.
 
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Warpmind

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After unleashing the hound of hell on this topic, I think it would be nice to start a discussion about said subject here to avoid (more) off-topic there.


How do you deal with Good/Evil? Can the Lawful Good Paladin align himself with the Necromancer? Can Necromancy be used for good, or it is only a way to defile the resting corpses and mocking of the living?


Black and white morality, or shades of grey?
Well, assuming D&D, the question of whether the Necromancer and the Paladin can work together can actually be easily and accurately be answered:
Unless the Necromancer is actually Evil, then Yes. Necromancy, while certainly being best known for decidedly malicious expressions of magic and the occasional dip into Cartoonishly Evil, also happens to sport the indisputably best spells to put the walking dead down, starting with one of the two Necromancy Cantrips: Disrupt Undead, which only deals damage to the undead.
Further down the spell list you have things like Halt Undead (stops the risen in their tracks) and Gentle Repose (prevents a corpse from decaying - certainly something one would want to preserve a loved or respected acquaintance until they could be properly buried or resurrected), and later on Undeath to Death, which can outright destroy numerous undead at once.

Add to that the fact that Necromancy includes nonlethal options to dissuade attackers (the Cause Fear series, Ray of Exhaustion), the Clone spell to prevent the caster or another being from being permanently killed (the soul inhabits the clone when the original body dies, unless it dies of old age), and the Astral Projection spell which lets the Necromancer bring some friends on a journey to the Astral Plane.

These are all Necromancy spells which by no means can be deemed inherently evil. Ergo, Necromancy just has one heck of a bad reputation, much like Slytherin.

So yeah, a Paladin and a Necromancer could get along swimmingly. Heck, they could even both be Lawful Good worshipers of the same deity while violating neither letter nor spirit of the rules.
 

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@Shaz, well, missed the joke, but for the best, since clarity in the title is more important. Thanks, Shaz.
 

Shaz

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if the joke was a reference to the book/movie, it wasn't funny.  One person already questioned it in this thread, one person reported it, and a while ago there was at least one thread about the movie that was locked immediately.  If there was any other reference, yeah, I missed it.  But the new title IS more descriptive 
 

trouble time

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Personally, I don't think "people bring the grey".  Pretty much anything based in any kind of reality, will have a vast majority of people behaving as "shades of grey", and the world operating as a "shades of grey" type world.  With that in mind, how far does a Paladin have to stray to "lose their powers", exactly?  Will any act that isn't purely lawful good result in a loss of powers?  If so, how does anyone ever become a Paladin or even a Cleric for that matter?  Alignment is this crazy thing that is just a suggestion and isn't really something that is a strict rule to enforce.  Chaotic Evil forces can do good deeds if its in their benefit to do so...  Like say, taking out another Chaotic Evil character because they are competition.

The world, even in D&D is full of shades of grey.  The way I've always seen Paladins done (and done well) is that they worship their Gods and do good acts as often as possible as well as follow their codes of conduct as often as possible to remain as close to actual "lawful good" as humanly possible.
 
I'm going to go ahead and reply to this here.


Simply put the reason that there aren't shades of grey built into D&D is that the reason shades of grey exist is that people interpret good an evil differently and there is no objective good or evil. In D&D though, there actually is a divine cosmic morality in the form of good an evil gods. How far does a paladin have to stray to lose their powers? As far as their deity will let them. Will any act that isn't purely lawful good result in loss of powers? Yes, because what is lawful or good is strictly decided by the deites, not by mortals interpreting it. How does anyone ever become a Paladin or a Cleric? Devotion to their deity, this doesn't mean they can't make mistakes, they can, but if they were in danger of losing their powers the deities can very easily just tell them "not cool bro" or they can actually choose to forgive you for doing something wrong. A chaotic evil character can't commit a good act, they can achive a good result. Is necromancy evil? Well the deity decides, not entirely sure as far as the actual game now that I think about it since it's generally specifically the undead that are singled out.


For a few examples....is teaming up with a bad guy to slay an evil god good? The deity decides. Which side in this war was right, the deity decides. Is necromancy evil? The deity decides. IIRC the core rulebooks deitys don't disagree on what is good or bad but genrally represent different paths to doing good (or evil) like Iomide is the crusading champion of justice.


Anyway
 

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I'm going to go ahead and reply to this here.


Simply put the reason that there aren't shades of grey built into D&D is that the reason shades of grey exist is that people interpret good an evil differently and there is no objective good or evil. In D&D though, there actually is a divine cosmic morality in the form of good an evil gods. How far does a paladin have to stray to lose their powers? As far as their deity will let them. Will any act that isn't purely lawful good result in loss of powers? Yes, because what is lawful or good is strictly decided by the deites, not by mortals interpreting it. How does anyone ever become a Paladin or a Cleric? Devotion to their deity, this doesn't mean they can't make mistakes, they can, but if they were in danger of losing their powers the deities can very easily just tell them "not cool bro" or they can actually choose to forgive you for doing something wrong. A chaotic evil character can't commit a good act, they can achive a good result. Is necromancy evil? Well the deity decides, not entirely sure as far as the actual game now that I think about it since it's generally specifically the undead that are singled out.


For a few examples....is teaming up with a bad guy to slay an evil god good? The deity decides. Which side in this war was right, the deity decides. Is necromancy evil? The deity decides. IIRC the core rulebooks deitys don't disagree on what is good or bad but genrally represent different paths to doing good (or evil) like Iomide is the crusading champion of justice.


Anyway


Well, according to most of the books I have of D&D (namely fourth and fifth edition), "evil" is basically someone who values death and destruction for the sake of death and destruction.  And "good" is "doing the right thing according to society's expectations".  Many of the Gods, even from the early first, second, and third editions of the game aren't exactly "good".  They're kind of jerks in general and look down on mortals in most cases.  Most of them are even kind of ruthless for no reason other than they believe they're right.  In fact, if many of them got their way and killed off the evil Gods, the world essentially turns into a fascist dictatorship that is actually inherently evil.


And what I mean by "the players don't bring shades of grey" to D&D is that... they don't.  What happens if a Paladin is tricked into an evil act?  Lose his powers if he unknowingly did something evil?  The DM would have to rule on that one.  Just based on the way reality works though...  I'd say "no".  I'd say the Gods examine "intent" more than they examine actions.  In all honesty, I think the Gods grant power to their Paladins and Clerics based solely upon spreading the word and beliefs of said Gods they derive the powers from... and making sure said Gods are thought of in the way they want to be thought of among the populace.

But, it's impossible to be evil all the time or even good all the time.  People, themselves, are shades of grey if they have any depth at all.  That's what I'm talking about when I mean the players don't bring shades of grey to D&D.  The real world does.  And if your world of D&D is to be believable at all...  it does too.
 

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Well, according to most of the books I have of D&D (namely fourth and fifth edition), "evil" is basically someone who values death and destruction for the sake of death and destruction.  And "good" is "doing the right thing according to society's expectations".  Many of the Gods, even from the early first, second, and third editions of the game aren't exactly "good".  They're kind of jerks in general and look down on mortals in most cases.  Most of them are even kind of ruthless for no reason other than they believe they're right.  In fact, if many of them got their way and killed off the evil Gods, the world essentially turns into a fascist dictatorship that is actually inherently evil.


And what I mean by "the players don't bring shades of grey" to D&D is that... they don't.  What happens if a Paladin is tricked into an evil act?  Lose his powers if he unknowingly did something evil?  The DM would have to rule on that one.  Just based on the way reality works though...  I'd say "no".  I'd say the Gods examine "intent" more than they examine actions.  In all honesty, I think the Gods grant power to their Paladins and Clerics based solely upon spreading the word and beliefs of said Gods they derive the powers from... and making sure said Gods are thought of in the way they want to be thought of among the populace.

But, it's impossible to be evil all the time or even good all the time.  People, themselves, are shades of grey if they have any depth at all.  That's what I'm talking about when I mean the players don't bring shades of grey to D&D.  The real world does.  And if your world of D&D is to be believable at all...  it does too.




ok a few things i have to state....


1. paladin's dont get their powers from gods..... its an inherant power and want to do good, a divine spirit so to speak, a need to bring evil down..... no gods involved.... for clerics it is the god who decides if the cleric is walking the the path the god set before them....


2. a paladin only loses his powers if he willingly chooses to commit an act of pure evil....


3. a necromancer in D&D is forced chaotic, but can be good it depends on what he does


4. with good and evil it depends.... .i personally use both black and white and shades of grey in the same story.... it allows alot of depth and character growth.....


5. a pure evil mage (in a black and white type moral) can actually have alot of good character development, its just most authors waste the potential.... character development isnt limited cuase the character wont have a lot of growth or change morally.... you can still grow the personality and back story and everything around it.
 

trouble time

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Well, according to most of the books I have of D&D (namely fourth and fifth edition), "evil" is basically someone who values death and destruction for the sake of death and destruction.  And "good" is "doing the right thing according to society's expectations".  Many of the Gods, even from the early first, second, and third editions of the game aren't exactly "good".  They're kind of jerks in general and look down on mortals in most cases.  Most of them are even kind of ruthless for no reason other than they believe they're right.  In fact, if many of them got their way and killed off the evil Gods, the world essentially turns into a fascist dictatorship that is actually inherently evil.


And what I mean by "the players don't bring shades of grey" to D&D is that... they don't.  What happens if a Paladin is tricked into an evil act?  Lose his powers if he unknowingly did something evil?  The DM would have to rule on that one.  Just based on the way reality works though...  I'd say "no".  I'd say the Gods examine "intent" more than they examine actions.  In all honesty, I think the Gods grant power to their Paladins and Clerics based solely upon spreading the word and beliefs of said Gods they derive the powers from... and making sure said Gods are thought of in the way they want to be thought of among the populace.

But, it's impossible to be evil all the time or even good all the time.  People, themselves, are shades of grey if they have any depth at all.  That's what I'm talking about when I mean the players don't bring shades of grey to D&D.  The real world does.  And if your world of D&D is to be believable at all...  it does too.
There's literally no possible way for shades of grey to exist when there are people who decide what is good and bad. You can't be tricked into committing an evil act, there are too many safe guards in place (the gods will warn you) and even if you did, you got an evil result out of a good act. It's hard to think of this in the real world, but in D&D your interpretation of right and wrong don't matter when it's the gods of the setting who decide what is right and wrong. You might interpret them as evil in the real world, but in the context of the game world you're wrong for interpreting them as evil. They aren't jerks because they aren't looking down on us, WE are the ones that are cosmologically insignificant in the D&D universe. Now in this case the DM can do whatever they want...BUT that is the DM adding to the setting, not the setting being built for shades of grey to be there.
 

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There's literally no possible way for shades of grey to exist when there are people who decide what is good and bad. You can't be tricked into committing an evil act, there are too many safe guards in place (the gods will warn you) and even if you did, you got an evil result out of a good act. It's hard to think of this in the real world, but in D&D your interpretation of right and wrong don't matter when it's the gods of the setting who decide what is right and wrong. You might interpret them as evil in the real world, but in the context of the game world you're wrong for interpreting them as evil. They aren't jerks because they aren't looking down on us, WE are the ones that are cosmologically insignificant in the D&D universe. Now in this case the DM can do whatever they want...BUT that is the DM adding to the setting, not the setting being built for shades of grey to be there.




actually i should of touched on this as well.... the gods dont decide what is right or wrong... the people of the world each determine if your actions are right or wrong no matter the intent


but mostly the DM decides the overall effect of an action if the action can go one way or the other he might role a die to determine the result
 

Tai_MT

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There's literally no possible way for shades of grey to exist when there are people who decide what is good and bad. You can't be tricked into committing an evil act, there are too many safe guards in place (the gods will warn you) and even if you did, you got an evil result out of a good act. It's hard to think of this in the real world, but in D&D your interpretation of right and wrong don't matter when it's the gods of the setting who decide what is right and wrong. You might interpret them as evil in the real world, but in the context of the game world you're wrong for interpreting them as evil. They aren't jerks because they aren't looking down on us, WE are the ones that are cosmologically insignificant in the D&D universe. Now in this case the DM can do whatever they want...BUT that is the DM adding to the setting, not the setting being built for shades of grey to be there.


That's honestly dependent on which version of D&D you're playing.  The definitions of alignment do tend to vary wildly between editions as they clarify them or change them so that can attempt to get players to use the alignments as base personalities and motivations instead of hard-coded rules.

I don't know who said it first, and I'd love to know, but one of the best things I've heard as advice to writers is "Everyone is the hero of their own story, the only people or creatures who are evil are actually just legitimately insane because only the legitimately insane set out to 'do evil'."

Also, the interpretation of "good and evil" does actually apply when you bring the nature of Lawful characters into it.  Lawful characters are characters who follow the law, regardless of what it is, or even if they agree with it.  A Lawful Good Paladin would actually be very much in trouble in a town where it's the law to eat only of human flesh.  The "Good And Evil" stuff in D&D tends to get muddied by the extra "Lawful, Chaotic, Neutral" stuff the game adds on top of the base alignments.

Which is, again, one of the reasons I typically throw alignment out the window in D&D, because you can argue about it for days and months and years, and never convince people of your way of thinking.  The fact that there can be so many different viewpoints on alignment, how it works, and what it even means, is proof positive that D&D itself is shades of grey and not black and white.  Oh, black and white can exist.  But, the vast majority of the worlds that are even in the books or settings play with shades of grey more than black and white.  Except, of course, if we're talking about the Gods themselves.  They tend to be the only real black and white in all the game worlds... and even that is somewhat debatable depending on version.

Also, why would the Gods warn if you're going to commit an evil act by accident?  I guess if your DM is nice, they would have your God do so...  But, in most any setting of D&D, the Gods are fairly "hands off" and don't usually talk to you at all unless they want something specific from you.  Which means... you kind of have to be a special snowflake of some kind to even get their attention enough to warrant their speaking to you in the first place.  Otherwise, the most you might get is the realization that your powers don't actually work because you've offended the God in some way...  Or maybe some demons or angels show up to murder you if you've especially strayed.
 

trouble time

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actually i should of touched on this as well.... the gods dont decide what is right or wrong... the people of the world each determine if your actions are right or wrong no matter the intent


but mostly the DM decides the overall effect of an action if the action can go one way or the other he might role a die to determine the result
That's how our world works, I agree, but I don't feel that's how the DnD world works. I feel that's something the DM brings to the world because a world where you can't interpret right and wrong is so alien to most people that it becomes difficult to play. I should also clarify that rather than the gods deciding what is right or wrong, they represent what is right or wrong and guide their followers and there is a greater cosmic right and wrong which is what they represent (I just mojo jojo'd that sentance). I should say that I beleive there should be shades of grey in a story and even in D&D but I think when you remove yourself from the world and just look at whats presented that there isn't grey pre-built into the world.


As a side note, prehaps it's jsut cause my first D&D was the old Advanced Dungeons and dragons from 1977 that I dug out of my freind's dad's old college stuff that leads to our difference in view.
 
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That's how our world works, I agree, but I don't feel that's how the DnD world works. I feel that's something the DM brings to the world because a world where you can't interpret right and wrong is so alien to most people that it becomes difficult to play. I should also clarify that rather than the gods deciding what is right or wrong, they represent what is right or wrong and guide their followers and there is a greater cosmic right and wrong which is what they represent (I just mojo jojo'd that sentance). I should say that I beleive there should be shades of grey in a story and even in D&D but I think when you remove yourself from the world and just look at whats presented that there isn't grey pre-built into the world.
unfortuantely D&D does have set rules regarding what is right or wrong by race and by religion, but also shows how some actions though interpreted as evil are actually good and some interpreted as good are actually evil, the DM is just the world's avatar in our world.... its his/her job to determine wether an action is considered good or evil in the eyes of the world


for instance


a barbarian from a tribe of honorable warriors who hold certain rules of honor, 1 being if you lose in combat or a test of strength thou must serve the victor in all things, and another being one must keep their word at all times.....


now lets say this barbarian gave his word to a paladin that he would serve as his blade til death itself takes him, and then lets say 3-4 weeks later he loses a test of strength to an evil amazon, now by his honor he must serve the evil amazon til death itself takes him. he is now in a dilima, his society demands he serve the paladin and keep his word, while also demanding he serve the evil amazon due to the loss in the contest


a conflict of interest..... the paladin fight for good while the evil amazon fights only to make the world burn...... as the player of the barbarian you would most likely decide which to serve based on the character's personal morals and code (not the player's the character's unless the character is the avatar of the player) generally determined by the character's alignment.... now the DM mus decide how to punish the barbarian in the eyes of the world, for which side he takes.... if he chooses to serve the paladin and strikes down the amazon he would be seen as a servent of good but would take a hit in the Lawful catagory, if he slays the paladin he would be seen as an evil minion and still take a hit in the lawful catagory reasoning being he failed to comply to one of his societie's laws......
 

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That's how our world works, I agree, but I don't feel that's how the DnD world works. I feel that's something the DM brings to the world because a world where you can't interpret right and wrong is so alien to most people that it becomes difficult to play. I should also clarify that rather than the gods deciding what is right or wrong, they represent what is right or wrong and guide their followers and there is a greater cosmic right and wrong which is what they represent (I just mojo jojo'd that sentance). I should say that I beleive there should be shades of grey in a story and even in D&D but I think when you remove yourself from the world and just look at whats presented that there isn't grey pre-built into the world.


Well, in all honesty, that's just a symptom of living and thinking beings existing in any world.  If you remove the "shades of grey" humans bring to actual reality.  Remove humans from the world and you remove not only shades of grey, but also good and evil.  The fact that intelligent and thinking races exist in all the D&D worlds, then their worlds inherently have shades of grey as well.  This is basic inference.  Most of the books, in fact, don't actually portray any of the D&D worlds as "there is good and evil", they portray the worlds as "this stuff just exists, and Gods exist because belief in them exists and knowledge of them exists... and any creature, sentient or otherwise, could become a God by simply becoming powerful enough".  This is of course, the way the books present Gods and "good and evil" in most of the versions...  It gets... trickier if you get into things like Planescape where all you will fear in Sigil is The Lady of Pain or anyone who might not like you.  Sigil can't even be influenced by the Gods and they can't even set foot there... they have no influence and the power that reigns over them actively destroys anyone who tries to worship her.  It gets muddier when you get into Ravenloft... which exists purely as a kind of personal hell for Strahd... or anyone else who ends up there.  The forces that exist there manipulate that reality just to watch you topple from your high ideals and enjoy the entertainment from the sense of irony watching you fall from your pedestal brings.  Your Gods don't even exist in Ravenloft and it's only the forces which might be considered "evil", despite not really being evil, that even grant you the Cleric and Paladin powers to begin with...  Or even basic Magical Powers.

In D&D, there really isn't anything that exists that is "Good or Evil", it's kind of all just constructs of the beings who live on the worlds who are sentient, and their beliefs in the Gods that make things "good" or "evil".  The universe of D&D itself doesn't have some grand power that dictates what is good or evil... the highest power you get is basically a large being of "Meh" with its own mysterious agenda, motivations, and actions, that can warp all of reality and possibly all of the Planes of Existence on a whim.  She holds no moral code or compass and her rules are mostly "don't worship me" and "leave me and everything I create alone" with the threat of being mazed for eternity for very mild annoyances or turned into crispy strips of bacon scattered about Sigil for anything above mild annoyances as punishment for breaking said rules.


The Lady of Pain is actually the closest D&D ever gets to having an explanation for why the Planes even exist at all, or even how they work.  She's essentially the ultimate force in the D&D universe, and she has no morals or grand plans.
 

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Well, in all honesty, that's just a symptom of living and thinking beings existing in any world.  If you remove the "shades of grey" humans bring to actual reality.  Remove humans from the world and you remove not only shades of grey, but also good and evil.  The fact that intelligent and thinking races exist in all the D&D worlds, then their worlds inherently have shades of grey as well.  This is basic inference.  Most of the books, in fact, don't actually portray any of the D&D worlds as "there is good and evil", they portray the worlds as "this stuff just exists, and Gods exist because belief in them exists and knowledge of them exists... and any creature, sentient or otherwise, could become a God by simply becoming powerful enough".  This is of course, the way the books present Gods and "good and evil" in most of the versions...  It gets... trickier if you get into things like Planescape where all you will fear in Sigil is The Lady of Pain or anyone who might not like you.  Sigil can't even be influenced by the Gods and they can't even set foot there... they have no influence and the power that reigns over them actively destroys anyone who tries to worship her.  It gets muddier when you get into Ravenloft... which exists purely as a kind of personal hell for Strahd... or anyone else who ends up there.  The forces that exist there manipulate that reality just to watch you topple from your high ideals and enjoy the entertainment from the sense of irony watching you fall from your pedestal brings.  Your Gods don't even exist in Ravenloft and it's only the forces which might be considered "evil", despite not really being evil, that even grant you the Cleric and Paladin powers to begin with...  Or even basic Magical Powers.

In D&D, there really isn't anything that exists that is "Good or Evil", it's kind of all just constructs of the beings who live on the worlds who are sentient, and their beliefs in the Gods that make things "good" or "evil".  The universe of D&D itself doesn't have some grand power that dictates what is good or evil... the highest power you get is basically a large being of "Meh" with its own mysterious agenda, motivations, and actions, that can warp all of reality and possibly all of the Planes of Existence on a whim.  She holds no moral code or compass and her rules are mostly "don't worship me" and "leave me and everything I create alone" with the threat of being mazed for eternity for very mild annoyances or turned into crispy strips of bacon scattered about Sigil for anything above mild annoyances as punishment for breaking said rules.


The Lady of Pain is actually the closest D&D ever gets to having an explanation for why the Planes even exist at all, or even how they work.  She's essentially the ultimate force in the D&D universe, and she has no morals or grand plans.




i'm going to assume that the sigil and ravenloft are 5.0 new stuff.... cuase looking at all the books i have (complete set from 1.0 to 3.5 and only missing the equipment and arms rewrite for 4.0 but only have the DM guide, player handbook, and monster manual for 5.0)  i see nothing of this stuff about sigil and the lady of pain.... also by ranks of power the ultimate force in D&D is bahamut the dragon god being the highest ranking deity and only deity of his rank (of course this is excluding player characters who became deities and homebrewed deities)
 

Tai_MT

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i'm going to assume that the sigil and ravenloft are 5.0 new stuff.... cuase looking at all the books i have (complete set from 1.0 to 3.5 and only missing the equipment and arms rewrite for 4.0 but only have the DM guide, player handbook, and monster manual for 5.0)  i see nothing of this stuff about sigil and the lady of pain.... also by ranks of power the ultimate force in D&D is bahamut the dragon god being the highest ranking deity and only deity of his rank (of course this is excluding player characters who became deities and homebrewed deities)


Nah, I've never played Planescape or Ravenloft.  I think they're 3.5 or something similar to that.  Just google "Ravenloft" or google "Planescape" or even "The Lady of Pain".  There are hints at both of those places in 5E, and a few books that provide the updated settings for the 5E version of the game...  But, they originated before 4th Edition.
 

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i'm going to assume that the sigil and ravenloft are 5.0 new stuff.... cuase looking at all the books i have (complete set from 1.0 to 3.5 and only missing the equipment and arms rewrite for 4.0 but only have the DM guide, player handbook, and monster manual for 5.0)  i see nothing of this stuff about sigil and the lady of pain.... also by ranks of power the ultimate force in D&D is bahamut the dragon god being the highest ranking deity and only deity of his rank (of course this is excluding player characters who became deities and homebrewed deities)
Actually the Lady of Pain is a pretty old character, she was from the 90's  I think. 
 

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