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Dagger of venom for a good-aligned character

I usually play good-aligned character, and usually thiefs (Halflings particularly). I wondered if from a RP point of view, a good-aligned character would use a weapon like Dagger of Venom. Poison is associated in my mind (and in the game btw) to assassins or Black Guards. A good-aligned thief would use such a weapon ?

What do you think?

Aerakar

Comments

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,238
    There are common ways of killing people in these games that are much more horrific than being poisoned, like being burned alive by a fireball, or being forced to watch as a swarm of insects from Insect Plague slowly eat you alive (which, at 1 HP per 2 seconds, is a slower death than the Dagger of Venom and many other poisons).

    ThacoBellChroniclerleeux
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,718
    OlvynChuru wrote: »
    There are common ways of killing people in these games that are much more horrific than being poisoned, like being burned alive by a fireball, or being forced to watch as a swarm of insects from Insect Plague slowly eat you alive (which, at 1 HP per 2 seconds, is a slower death than the Dagger of Venom and many other poisons).

    Not to mention being torn apart by packs of wolves summoned by my druid...

    ElysianEchoes
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 316
    edited July 21
    Poison is just chemicals, which is part of nature, it doesn’t have an alignment. Neither does ice, electricity or disease (despite Talona the disease goddess being evil in the Forgotten Realms).

    A paladin or blackguard could therefore equally use the dagger as their chosen weapon without fear or guilt. Similarly for Grave Binder, Krotan’s Skullcrusher or the Short Sword of Backstabbing. An item having a good or bad reputation doesn’t mean it necessarily has an alignment, unless it’s enchanted that way (such as Dorn’s sword Rancor).

    Also, consider Varscona which has an evil history and a connection with a follower of Shar - despite this anyone can use it and it’s a good choice for a paladin or a thief.

    Post edited by Dharius on
    ThacoBell
  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 416
    Taking a life is taking a life. What is the threshold between the method being good or evil? Sincere question.

    Chronicler
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 952
    There is a certain amount of inconsistency for a character to baulk at using the dagger of venom or poison the crusaders, while standing happily by while their fellows use similar weapons or indulge in the use of Cloudkill or Contagion spells. A more serious fantasy world might explore the implications of this sort of thing, and reward players for doing things like handing over bandits to the authorities after using wands of paralyzation to immobilise them etc. Unfortunately the default game behaviour of having opponents fight to the death and give out xp rather than surrender makes it slightly difficult to this kind of playthrough. It might be interesting to try a very chivalric party which doesn't like to kill, and when it does fight it doesn't employ 'dishonourable' tactics, but with greatly increased quest xp vs. almost no 'murder' xp. There are cultures which have differing attitudes to the use of poison etc. of course though, sometimes depending on who their opponents are as well...

  • AaezilAaezil Member Posts: 162
    Paladins and clerics live by the rules of their faith so if they say no poison then it’s no poison. Other than that yeah it is just another murder tool although it could be described as a cowardly/underhanded/rogueish/dishonorable murder tool

    Chronicler
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 18,583
    OlvynChuru wrote: »
    There are common ways of killing people in these games that are much more horrific than being poisoned, like being burned alive by a fireball, or being forced to watch as a swarm of insects from Insect Plague slowly eat you alive (which, at 1 HP per 2 seconds, is a slower death than the Dagger of Venom and many other poisons).

    Yes. A good discussion about the "evil" nature of spells happened here - https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/1071050/#Comment_1071050 (and below)

    So while the poison might seem evil at first glance, the actual decision depends on your character's ethos.

    Aerakar
  • JimstromJimstrom Member Posts: 92
    A neutral character maybe, but a good one? Not in my book, can't even imagine Alora wielding the dagger of venom and happly jumping around while an iron throne mercenary she attacked slowly suffocates an horrific death by poison, i can't really see a good aligned thief backstab at all to be honest.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 897
    Assassins, it's worth noting, aren't evil exclusive either.

    Very little in terms of Action in the realms is uniformly good or evil. You can steal for good or evil. You can kill for good or evil. So on and so forth. They might write little nonsense lore in their rulebook about the inherent alignment of certain actions but it's usually inherently inconsistent with the very nature of a game where the vast majority of the gameplay mechanics are based around, at a bare minimum, inflicting some level of harm.

    For that matter, poison doesn't necessarily have to be any more slow and painful a death than an ordinary stabbing, especially if the poison is applied via dagger anyway. Plenty of venoms are very fast acting, and the dagger of venom's venom seems to be among them.

    SkatanThacoBellAerakar
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 397
    Well, for assassins, it would depend on whether you're referring to "assassins" as in ordinary contract killers (who can accept/reject targets based on their own individual scruples and goals), or the actual Assassin kit/prestige class, which I think DOES require the character to be Evil (and have killed an innocent person for no other reason than to join their Assassin brethren and be considered worthy of the name).

    On the whole, however, you're right. While the D&D system does fundamentally use an objective morality system, players and DMs are encouraged to mold and adapt it to suit the needs of their own individual game. If that requires wholescale bending or retconning of the rules, go for it! What you say at your table goes. :)

    ConjurerDragonAerakar
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 187
    While the pen and paper version of the assassin may be alignment-restricted, the in-game version isn't restricted beyond the general thief restriction of not being lawful good.

    Personally, I'd restrict the assassin kit to non-good, and maybe slap some alignment restrictions on the other thief kits too.

    Aerakar
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 897
    Zaxares wrote: »
    Well, for assassins, it would depend on whether you're referring to "assassins" as in ordinary contract killers (who can accept/reject targets based on their own individual scruples and goals), or the actual Assassin kit/prestige class, which I think DOES require the character to be Evil (and have killed an innocent person for no other reason than to join their Assassin brethren and be considered worthy of the name).

    On the whole, however, you're right. While the D&D system does fundamentally use an objective morality system, players and DMs are encouraged to mold and adapt it to suit the needs of their own individual game. If that requires wholescale bending or retconning of the rules, go for it! What you say at your table goes. :)
    rlx5npfdqxpp.jpg

    I'm talking about the in game kit, associated with poison, that can be any alignment an ordinary thief can.

    When the guy at the start of the thread said poison was associated with blackguards and assassins I'm pretty sure they meant the two in game kits that share the poison weapon ability.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 397
    edited July 24
    Yeah, that makes sense. :) Still, I'm fairly certain that the Assassin kit was kind of backported into BG2 from 3rd Edition's Assassin prestige class, which does have the Evil alignment requirement. I agree with jmerry though; I personally don't see why one couldn't have a non-Good aligned Assassin. It'd largely be down to one's motivations for doing the work and how they select their targets.

  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 189
    Jimstrom wrote: »
    A neutral character maybe, but a good one? Not in my book, can't even imagine Alora wielding the dagger of venom and happly jumping around while an iron throne mercenary she attacked slowly suffocates an horrific death by poison, i can't really see a good aligned thief backstab at all to be honest.

    I'm sure we've all seen war films where the good guys are infiltrating evil nazi base or something like that and creep up behind an unsuspecting guard to silently kill him. Not much different from a D&D thief backstab. If it is justified for the good guys to be killing someone at all, then it becomes Stupid Good to insist that it has to be a fair fight without the use of stealth, poison etc..

    Admittedly you're on a slippery slope if you're supposedly good character is killing just because they can, or in ways that inflict lots of suffering when it would have been just as easy to do the job quickly.

    The other issue of course is that the alignment system is pretty much broken anyway, and trying to shoehorn 21st century morality into a psuedo-medieval setting is bound to fail. Crusaders for example which are pretty much the equivalent of paladins in D&D aren't exactly good by modern standards what with all the killings of people whom their religious leaders say are heretics.

    ThacoBellChroniclerStummvonBordwehr
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 932
    edited July 24
    Jimstrom wrote: »
    A neutral character maybe, but a good one? Not in my book, can't even imagine Alora wielding the dagger of venom and happly jumping around while an iron throne mercenary she attacked slowly suffocates an horrific death by poison, i can't really see a good aligned thief backstab at all to be honest.
    A well placed backstab is going to kill an opponent in one blow, which is frankly less painful than an honorable thief slowly hacking at someone with a plain dagger. Chop chop, 2 hit points down, only 30 to go.

    ThacoBellChronicler
  • AaezilAaezil Member Posts: 162
    Some heavy rationalization of evil assassin acts in this thread

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 897
    Aaezil wrote: »
    Some heavy rationalization of evil assassin acts in this thread

    Fun argument you've got there.

    People can elaborate all day about the various reasons poison is or isn't inherently evil, but none of it matters because you can just brush it off as "rationalization".

    ThacoBell
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 932
    edited July 25
    Chronicler wrote: »
    Aaezil wrote: »
    Some heavy rationalization of evil assassin acts in this thread

    Fun argument you've got there.

    People can elaborate all day about the various reasons poison is or isn't inherently evil, but none of it matters because you can just brush it off as "rationalization".

    It's quite funny to me as a scientist, because in my experience one of the most painful things you can experience are acid burns, so if we are judging the "evilness" of weapons, then I'd like to nominate the Flail of Ages. And any character who uses this weapon. ;)

    ChroniclerilduderinoThacoBell
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 194
    edited July 25
    I never really saw use of the weapon as a problem, in BG you are almost always fighting for your life without time for such issues, in many cases against more powerful opposition, I don’t see this as particularly more or less honourable than lots of other actions like backstabbing, using traps, using a flaming weapon, using missile weapons, hacking limbs off with a two handed sword etc etc

    ThacoBell
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 568
    In AD&D poison is specifically called out as being chaotic rather than evil, but what this thread is pointing out is that *any* damage-dealing can be considered evil depending on the context.

    Chronicler
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 316
    edited July 26
    Yes, in our world, hurting people is generally bad, m'kay...

    In D&D it seems necessary, and its often rewarded.

    Post edited by Dharius on
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 929
    edited July 25
    jsaving wrote: »
    In AD&D poison is specifically called out as being chaotic rather than evil, but what this thread is pointing out is that *any* damage-dealing can be considered evil depending on the context.

    I don't think the relationship of poison to the two alignment dimensions (law/chaos and good/evil) was handled consistently across publication.

    It being chaotic is also not universally true in my opinion, as a honor-bound assassin who always fulfills his contracts to the letter would be a text-book example of lawful evil, even if he uses poison.

    Actually, when I think about it maybe the best that can be said that if you use poison you are probably chaotic or evil, but not necessarily both.

    ThacoBellChronicler
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 897
    Ammar wrote: »
    jsaving wrote: »
    In AD&D poison is specifically called out as being chaotic rather than evil, but what this thread is pointing out is that *any* damage-dealing can be considered evil depending on the context.

    I don't think the relationship of poison to the two alignment dimensions (law/chaos and good/evil) was handled consistently across publication.

    It being chaotic is also not universally true in my opinion, as a honor-bound assassin who always fulfills his contracts to the letter would be a text-book example of lawful evil, even if he uses poison.

    Actually, when I think about it maybe the best that can be said that if you use poison you are probably chaotic or evil, but not necessarily both.

    It makes the most sense to think of the alignments as a matter of motivation, rather than action. What you do isn't any particular alignment, but why you do it is.

    But overall the alignment stuff is all nonsense anyway. I hear they all but did away with it in the fifth edition.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 568
    edited July 25
    5th edition kept alignment but removed the mechanical consequences for having/changing it. So you don't suffer any XP or level loss when you change alignment, nor do you become eligible/ineligible for certain classes when you change alignment. There's some rich flavor text in 5e about how multiversal battles are often organized along alignment lines (like the Blood War) but that's mainly what alignment is in 5e, flavor.

    ChroniclerThacoBell
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