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Morality & Magic

RaraynRarayn Member Posts: 12
I have recently been considering rolling an Inquisitor, and while I realize that an Inquisitor is not necessarily opposed to *all* magic, I am still somewhat worried about having one as a party leader from a roleplaying perspective.

I do intend to have mages in my party, most likely Xan and dual-classed Imoen in BG1, but a lot of the effective magic in the game(s) seems to be...Kind of evil, dishonourable and/or cruel. To use a few relatively low level spells as examples:

The mage's version of throwing sand in the opponent's eyes, but far more effective. Robbing someone of one of their most important senses for hours and then killing them while they're having trouble fighting back doesn't exactly seem like the domain of someone dedicated to truth, justice and the Tyrian way. (Or am I drifting into Tempus territory with rules of warfare here?)

Charm/Dire Charm:
Invades the mind of the target and manipulates it to do your bidding. Dishonourable as hell, and of grey morality at best even if used against evil enemies.

Melf's Acid Arrow:
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the use of poison kind of banned or heavily restricted for Good-aligned characters in P&P Dungeon's & Dragons? Using poison to win seems dishonourable, and the incredible agony Melf's Acid Arrow causes doesn't exactly seem benign, to say the least.

Stinking Cloud and Cloudkill:
There's a reason why we have the Geneva Protocol in our world. Using poison gas to win while you look at a webbed enemy dying in agony from a distance is not exactly the most righteous of paths.

Any thoughts on using such spells in a good-aligned party led by an Inquisitor (again, from an RP perspective), and if it would be viable to do a trilogy run without magic that my Inquisitor would see as distasteful at best?

How is magic treated in the P&P version of the game? I know that there's alignment restrictions on some weapons like the Dagger of Venom, but I've never heard anything about any magic being put under similar restrictions.



  • ArdulArdul Member Posts: 211
    Well you do have an extremely strong dispel at your disposal. A team focussed on warriors and buffing spells will do just fine throughout the trilogy.

    I like the thought you put into your character.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,279
    edited August 2014
    The wisdom behind magic is to know when NOT to use it. I doubt that Dynaheir would throw fireballs over every enemy that you come across.

    @Rarayn , you'll find countless stuff about how to use magic morally or in an immoral way , because it is a tool, and most spell descriptions warn about undesired effects , and all that "do the means justify the goal" dillema.

    In fact, I congratulate you for actually roleplaying an inquisitor - they're supposed to be that way, making sure that magic is only used for good . Perhaps you learned it from Gorion, or even from Tethtoril, who's a priest of Mystra .

    Also, in a more phylosofical view, magic is a way of altering reality , so how far can you go without upseting the balance?

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Given that the Realms are their own unique setting I wouldn't worry too much about trying to rationalize the morality of such things unless the rules TELL you there is a moral dimension to them.

    The first example that always comes to my mind is that the various summoning spells were all considered somewhat evil under 2E rules; so a very good aligned party should probably avoid them in their various forms.
    Also the reverse of clerical healing spells is generally considered evil.

    Beyond that, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    Remember that your NPC characters are personalities unto themselves. They don't necessarily have to mirror the mind set of Charname. Like any relationship, if you find similarities and synergies (or common need), you become friends. But not every single friend of yours holds with your exact belief systems, right?

    If it were me role playing the character, he might not necessarily gravitate towards a party full of magic users, but as an inquisitor, he (she?) probably knows the value of magic, none better. As such, using magic as a tool "Under the right leadership" is absolutely a valid perspective even for the most zealot of mind sets. So having Xan around probably isn't a bad thing. Nor is using spells.

    And there is nothing that says you have to use any of the spells you list, although I don't find any of them inherently 'Evil' per say. Now if you picked Xar and Monty and walked around with a skeleton in your group, that is a whole different ball of wax. But so long as you steer clear of necromancy and negative energy type spells, I think you are fine. If you have an issue with cloud kill? Don't use it.

    Blindness though is not the same as "throwing sand in your face". It is more akin to a flash-bang. It effectively neutralizes an opponent while you deal with someone else. Even attacking them isn't completely evil. Just pretend you are attempting to subdue them. If they die, it's regrettable, but then again they were trying to kill you.

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