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Can Necromancers be good (or at least neutral) ?

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  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 357
    Maurvir wrote: »
    There seems to be a bit of an inconsistency here. When my lawful good cleric summons a small army of skeleton warriors, that's good, but if my neutral good mage does the same thing, it's "burn the witch!"?

    I get the distinction between arcane and divine magic, where ostensibly it would be the caster's god that does the work in the case of a divine caster, but the end result is the same. How does the divine caster, or their god, raising skeletons get a pass?

    In my opinion neither one of them do. Animation would be evil regardless of class or divine/arcane.

    monicoBelgarathMTH
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    Skitia wrote: »
    Maurvir wrote: »
    There seems to be a bit of an inconsistency here. When my lawful good cleric summons a small army of skeleton warriors, that's good, but if my neutral good mage does the same thing, it's "burn the witch!"?

    I get the distinction between arcane and divine magic, where ostensibly it would be the caster's god that does the work in the case of a divine caster, but the end result is the same. How does the divine caster, or their god, raising skeletons get a pass?

    In my opinion neither one of them do. Animation would be evil regardless of class or divine/arcane.

    You could make an argument that it's even more evil when a priest does it.

    Priests are capable of true resurrection when they want to do it. They can bring back a man as he was in life, not as a wicked and servile perversion of the man he once was.

    Like Necromancers, you can kind of envision them as if they're just working towards something better, but this is the current limits of their knowledge. Priests it's a very specific choice though to merely animate the dead, rather than truly revive them.

  • RigelRigel Member Posts: 136
    In my first run with a Necromancer (True Neutral but with an Evil party except Imoen) I use a lot Animate Dead. Both Elmor (my PC) and Viconia (his future love-interest) use a lot the spell. This is the firs time I use it intensively because usually in Good-aligned party, I do not use it at all.
    So yes, it has a taint of evil in it as would say good-ol' Ajantis ...

    btw, in an other parallel playthrough with a Halfling shadowdancer (amazing character, I will write about it later) I met Kryll the Necromancer who was pretty frightening. I loved the animation when she raisesup the corpse. I wish you could do it (for example with fallen enemies like the White walkers in GOT).

  • ConjurerDragonConjurerDragon Member Posts: 102
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    I mean, healing spells are classed as necromancy. I doubt many people would make the argument that healing is bad.

    Arguments of olden times do not need to be logical...

    Magical healing IS bad - it is against the natural order of things that allows the strong to live and sorts out the weak to die.
    Healing is so bad - you are channeling healing energy to an injured body. Gods know from where and whom you took that energy.
    Healing is bad as life is designed as limited by the gods and prolonging that life beyond natural healing perverts nature and tries to mess with the gods plan of creation.

    Perhaps I have read too much in the Book of the Righteous and that god for whom "Death is sacred".

    monico
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    I mean, healing spells are classed as necromancy. I doubt many people would make the argument that healing is bad.

    Arguments of olden times do not need to be logical...

    Magical healing IS bad - it is against the natural order of things that allows the strong to live and sorts out the weak to die.
    Healing is so bad - you are channeling healing energy to an injured body. Gods know from where and whom you took that energy.
    Healing is bad as life is designed as limited by the gods and prolonging that life beyond natural healing perverts nature and tries to mess with the gods plan of creation.

    Perhaps I have read too much in the Book of the Righteous and that god for whom "Death is sacred".

    Literally this healing is granted by the gods. It's entirely within "God's design". What are you talking about?

    ThacoBell
  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 246
    You could probably rationalise it as being ok for a good cleric to animate dead as what they are really doing is calling for aid from the gods which manifests itself as the gods sending the spirits of some of their faithful followers to fight for the caster.

    monico
  • ArchaosArchaos Member Posts: 1,421
    edited March 9
    Funny thing, Druids, the guardians of nature, use healing spells.
    And healing spells use energy from the Positive Energy Plane.
    A plane where if you shove the undead inside, they would explode.

    Also I'm almost sure that post wasn't serious.
    Either that, or having no idea about how DnD works.

    Animate Dead creates undead.
    Undead are powered by negative energy, not spirits of the faithful.
    That would be a headcanon and a houserule, not accurate lore of the setting and the game.

    From ADnD 2E PHB Detect Evil's description:
    "Aligned undead radiate evil, for it is this power and negative force that enable them to continue existing."

    Post edited by Archaos on
    ThacoBellmonico
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,299
    In a world where a lawful evil adventurer can save lives and a lawful good paladin can indiscriminately slaughter beings that ping as evil, all while technically staying true to their alignment; finding the line where evil becomes actual real world evil can be kinda tough.

    Animate Dead may be evil, but if innocent people die because you didn't cast it, did you really adhere to "good"?

    Blackbɨrdmonico
  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 246
    Archaos wrote: »
    Funny thing, Druids, the guardians of nature, use healing spells.
    Undead are powered by negative energy, not spirits of the faithful.
    That would be a headcanon and a houserule, not accurate lore of the setting and the game.

    From ADnD 2E PHB Detect Evil's description:
    "Aligned undead radiate evil, for it is this power and negative force that enable them to continue existing."

    It's talking about specifically about *aligned* undead. Would that necessarily apply to a skeleton summoned by a cleric or mage?
    I can't remember what AD&D lore was re skeletons and similar undead - are they merely mindless automatons that do their creator's bidding? If so, what makes animating a skeleton an evil act, apart from the fact that it would scare ordinary people and they might get a bit annoyed about someone borrowing their ancestors' remains?

    ThacoBell
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    edited March 11
    Edit: Came across as too snide. Deleted my comment.

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