Summon Undead and Consecrate Spell

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The summon undead spells all have the evil descriptor. Casting an evil spell is considered an evil act. Consecrate Spell metamagic can be applied to this spell, and would give it the good descriptor. Casting a good spell is a good act. So since casting a Consecrated Summon Undead 5 would be both a good and evil act simultaneously, does that cancel out and allow a PC to use the spell without risk of being removed from the campaign (unless of course the spell itself it put to evil uses)? It is costing a level adjustment to the spell afterall...
The summon undead spells all have the evil descriptor. Casting an evil spell is considered an evil act. Consecrate Spell metamagic can be applied to this spell, and would give it the good descriptor. Casting a good spell is a good act. So since casting a Consecrated Summon Undead 5 would be both a good and evil act simultaneously, does that cancel out and allow a PC to use the spell without risk of being removed from the campaign (unless of course the spell itself it put to evil uses)? It is costing a level adjustment to the spell afterall...

ok, assuming the deity your cleric worships has nothing against clerics creating undead, but you still may encounter lots of DMs who have.

a simple equation "evil + good = neutral" is definitely looking like an evil god's toy to corrupt simple souls ;) and like another one of those "we-hate-it-that-we-cannot-play-evil-characters" players tries to get their way in the campaign.

and how many co-player's would have characters that will at least dislike yours to the point of non-cooperation? at least five out of my six characters would simply attack yours! including my neutral/chaotic druid and my lawful/neutral monk.

ciao

martin m.
The summon undead spells all have the evil descriptor. Casting an evil spell is considered an evil act. Consecrate Spell metamagic can be applied to this spell, and would give it the good descriptor. Casting a good spell is a good act. So since casting a Consecrated Summon Undead 5 would be both a good and evil act simultaneously, does that cancel out and allow a PC to use the spell without risk of being removed from the campaign (unless of course the spell itself it put to evil uses)? It is costing a level adjustment to the spell afterall...

Well, no cleric could even apply the feat to an [Evil] spell, since they can't cast [Evil] spells in the first place. Are you a mage instead? If so, I'd ask why is a mage of good alignment casting such a spell in the first place? (You have to be good, since that is a requirement to possess the feat in the first place.)

Regardless, just because a spell has both the [Evil] and the [Good] descriptors, doesn't mean they balance out and become in effect [Neutral], it means that the spell is both. Which means it is still considered an [Evil] act by the rules of the campaign, and subject to notation on your AR.
Evil acts are permitted in the LGCS it's up to the DM to use discretion I don't see an issue with Summon Undead. If the Undead is set against an evil opponent or to set off traps it's fine. The problem would come when you try to set them against an Evil Cleric or a Lich and he takes control of something like A Zombie Wyrven. Now your facing his creatures plus the one you summoned Consecrated would make the Spell Good but the creature Summoned would still be Evil at least that's how I would see it. There are lot's of Chaotic, Lawful, or Neutral, Gods who understand sometimes to fight evil you need to have their play book. You also might want to consider party opinion before casting the spell tell them you have it first and if Paladin objects tell him they're not "Evil" evil they're just Republican Evil.
Well, no cleric could even apply the feat to an [Evil] spell, since they can't cast [Evil] spells in the first place. Are you a mage instead? If so, I'd ask why is a mage of good alignment casting such a spell in the first place? (You have to be good, since that is a requirement to possess the feat in the first place.)

Regardless, just because a spell has both the [Evil] and the [Good] descriptors, doesn't mean they balance out and become in effect [Neutral], it means that the spell is both. Which means it is still considered an [Evil] act by the rules of the campaign, and subject to notation on your AR.

I see this as pretty typical of how I would respond to this.
Evil acts are permitted in the LGCS it's up to the DM to use discretion I don't see an issue with Summon Undead. If the Undead is set against an evil opponent or to set off traps it's fine. ....

they're not "Evil" evil they're just Republican Evil.

As to Vamroc's post, that is mostly anecdotal, not actually taking into account the[evil] act ideals of the LGCS. Undead are considered some of the most evil of creations in DnD canon and as such that is how they are viewed by most gods and PCs. It is LG canon that the creation of Undead is evil, so fighting evil with evil does not make it a good or neutral act. Its still an evil act. I don't see killing an evil creature as inherently a good act, so don't follow that arguement. Does that make Gruumsh orcs all neutral instead of evil because they kill enough of each other to make it alright?

And I am an Australian, so I don't ascribe to the whole Republican versus Democrat partisan views (not well informed enough I have discovered in my own excessive remarks in the past) so remember some gamers on this board may be republican.
[EDIT] Nvm, didn't see Arvagor point out that fact. However there is no denying that while casting an evil spell is an evil act, that casting a good spell is an equally good act. So purely from an alignment perspective, there could not possibly be any net change to alignment just by casting a spell with both alignment descriptors due to the equal and opposite acts cancelling out.
A lot of people seem to be assuming it would be a cleric trying to do this, when it would be impossible, given that you need to be good to take consecrate spell, and you need to be non-good in order to cast an evil spell as a cleric. A wizard can do it with no problems though.

No, I pointed all that out and asked that above... I don't care if you're not a cleric -- you're still Good, and you're still casting an [Evil] spell -- why? Are you that willing to forgo any attempt at roleplaying your alignment, just so you can get a "cool" creature on the field that you control?
I see this as pretty typical of how I would respond to this.



As to Vamroc's post, that is mostly anecdotal, not actually taking into account the[evil] act ideals of the LGCS. Undead are considered some of the most evil of creations in DnD canon and as such that is how they are viewed by most gods and PCs. It is LG canon that the creation of Undead is evil, so fighting evil with evil does not make it a good or neutral act. Its still an evil act. I don't see killing an evil creature as inherently a good act, so don't follow that argument. Does that make Gruumsh orcs all neutral instead of evil because they kill enough of each other to make it alright?

And I am an Australian, so I don't ascribe to the whole Republican versus Democrat partisan views (not well informed enough I have discovered in my own excessive remarks in the past) so remember some gamers on this board may be republican.

It's SUMMON Undead the charactor opens a portal and you choose an Undead creature from a list and that creature then arrives to fight for you. No undead are created it's the same as Summon Monster and how is it anecdotal when that's what it says in the LCGS. I never disputed the fact it was an Evil act I simply stated there are different levels of evil like stealing the neighbors newspaper which millions of people do and murder which is a horrible crime that destroys lives.
It's SUMMON Undead the charactor opens a portal and you choose an Undead creature from a list and that creature then arrives to fight for you. No undead are created it's the same as Summon Monster and how is it anecdotal when that's what it says in the LCGS.

You're still using an evil creature to achieve your ends. Perhaps it is a "small e" evil act, but those, too, can add up.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
Hey folks,
Please keep real world politics out of discussion of good v evil.

Please refrain from personal attacks and flaming, these are violations of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: http://forums.gleemax.com/community_coc.php. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively.
Evil acts and good acts cancel out on a 1 for 1 basis though, so while you are commiting an evil act by casting a consecrated undead, you are simultaneously committing an equally good act. So you would never be at risk of actually becoming evil and being removed from the campaign. Also, depending on party composition, you could just get an attonement from a good aligned cleric/druid (who I'm sure would be happy for an excuse to burn XP if they are at high level). If the wizard was a high enough level himself, he could Limited wish an attonement on himself, hehe. Between using the consecrate metamagic and attoning afterward, that should be more than enough pay off just to use a different temporary beasty to squash baddies with.
Evil acts and good acts cancel out on a 1 for 1 basis though, so while you are commiting an evil act by casting a consecrated undead, you are simultaneously committing an equally good act.

So a doctor who saves hundreds of lives every year, but then decides to randomly kill one healthy patient every year in cold blood for no reason other than to do it is someone you'd consider good then? Neutral?
That's taking things to extremes. Try Playing IUZ 7-05 to see how evil and good yor character really is.

Wes
The summon undead spells all have the evil descriptor. Casting an evil spell is considered an evil act. Consecrate Spell metamagic can be applied to this spell, and would give it the good descriptor. Casting a good spell is a good act. So since casting a Consecrated Summon Undead 5 would be both a good and evil act simultaneously, does that cancel out and allow a PC to use the spell without risk of being removed from the campaign (unless of course the spell itself it put to evil uses)?

Purely in terms of game mechanics, the spell would have both the [Evil] and [Good] descriptors. A neutral cleric of a neutral god could cast such a spell.

If you're looking for an ironclad method of avoiding an "evil act" notation on your AR, you won't find one. The Circle deliberately gives judges a lot of leeway in what they record as evil acts. Since the spell retains the [Evil] descriptor, you might very well suffer such a notation; it is purely at the judge's discretion.
It's SUMMON Undead the charactor opens a portal and you choose an Undead creature from a list and that creature then arrives to fight for you. No undead are created it's the same as Summon Monster and how is it anecdotal when that's what it says in the LCGS. I never disputed the fact it was an Evil act I simply stated there are different levels of evil like stealing the neighbors newspaper which millions of people do and murder which is a horrible crime that destroys lives.

Mate be careful with your baiting. I bite back hard. (ask around).

Irrespective you are using undead for your evil ends. Its encouraging the use of undead, and wherever those undead come from. Whether its lower case evili or capital case evil its still [EVIL] and as such it goes against the {Good} alignment chosen for the feat. I would note it on the AR, because the PC's good alignment is something some of his character choices are based upon, just like a paladin or cleric.

It is something a neutral PC may or may not do, but a good one? seems oxymoronic when they could summon non undead instead. Seeing as one must be good to have the consecrate spell feat I would wager that it is an evil act and a good act. Especially seeing as the text says it *gains* the good descriptor, not that it *becomes* a good spell.

And seeing as in LG whether they balance out or not is irrelevant, than I would note it on your AR. Also I would chastise you for not roleplaying your alignment, perhaps in an extreme case where there was no justification, dock you your discretionary roleplaying xp.

There I said it, flame away, but if you make a good PC and then do evil acts, I am not allowed to make you neutral (cos you can change back at any time) so thats all I can do.

In this particular case I do not view the spell as neutral. I view it as an evil and good spell, and as such it is still a PC casting an evil spell.

Personally I think the summon Undead spell is daft and thank the changes to the idiotic planar cosmology that are being ushered in in 4th edition.

I agree with the statement that this is another way to try and fudge evil characters in a campaign that does not allow it.

Don't take things so personally Vamroc, I don't recall attacking you personally in my post, you would know if I did.
Mate be careful with your baiting. I bite back hard. (ask around).

Irrespective you are using undead for your evil ends. Its encouraging the use of undead, and wherever those undead come from. Whether its lower case evili or capital case evil its still [EVIL] and as such it goes against the {Good} alignment chosen for the feat. I would note it on the AR, because the PC's good alignment is something some of his character choices are based upon, just like a paladin or cleric.

It is something a neutral PC may or may not do, but a good one? seems oxymoronic when they could summon non undead instead. Seeing as one must be good to have the consecrate spell feat I would wager that it is an evil act and a good act. Especially seeing as the text says it *gains* the good descriptor, not that it *becomes* a good spell.

And seeing as in LG whether they balance out or not is irrelevant, than I would note it on your AR. Also I would chastise you for not roleplaying your alignment, perhaps in an extreme case where there was no justification, dock you your discretionary roleplaying xp.

There I said it, flame away, but if you make a good PC and then do evil acts, I am not allowed to make you neutral (cos you can change back at any time) so thats all I can do.

In this particular case I do not view the spell as neutral. I view it as an evil and good spell, and as such it is still a PC casting an evil spell.

Personally I think the summon Undead spell is daft and thank the changes to the idiotic planar cosmology that are being ushered in in 4th edition.

I agree with the statement that this is another way to try and fudge evil characters in a campaign that does not allow it.

Don't take things so personally Vamroc, I don't recall attacking you personally in my post, you would know if I did.

I was simply making the argument that there are shades of gray I agree that a Good aligned Cleric has no business casting evil spells. However Neutral, Chaotic, and Lawful clerics should be free to cast whatever spells they like because they're not bound to that higher ethical standard.
I didn't take it personally you made a blanket statement that any PC who casts an evil spell should be subject to a kind of reprimand. I was simply making the argument that there are shades of gray I agree that a Good aligned Cleric has no business casting evil spells. However Neutral, Chaotic, and Lawful clerics should be free to cast whatever spells they like because they're not bound to that higher ethical standard.

Ah, I see the confusion.

The situation the OP described REQUIRES a good aligned PC. Hence my earlier comment.
Evil acts and good acts cancel out on a 1 for 1 basis though,

Says who?
Ah, I see the confusion.

The situation the OP described REQUIRES a good aligned PC. Hence my earlier comment.

Which he neglected to mention naughty boy naughty naughty naughty boy HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Evil acts are permitted in the LGCS it's up to the DM to use discretion I don't see an issue with Summon Undead. If the Undead is set against an evil opponent or to set off traps it's fine.

Tearing a dead body from its eternal slumber to perform mundane tasks for you is evil.

At the very best (the character is very pragmatic and non-religious), you're desecrating a corpse to do your bidding, making it an exceptionally selfish act. Maybe not out and out evil, but most certainly skirting the boundary between neutral and evil. On the other end of perceiving the act (the character is very religious and good-aligned), you're using evil energies to bind an unwilling soul and body from the afterlife, effectively holding them in thrall until you grow tired of them or they are destroyed. The act is quite possibly the most evil possible, short of Magic Jarring someone with the intention of permanently severing their soul's connection to their body.

I'm not sure how I'd handle it if I were DMing an LG module, but if it happened in a home game, the town folk would run the offending character out of town and possibly try to lynch him. If any of the citizens wound up dead or seriously wounded because of it, there'd be bounty hunters abound.
I think the point is moot - Consecrate Spell requires a good alignment, and if you're good aligned, you can't get evil descriptor spells anyway...
I think the point is moot - Consecrate Spell requires a good alignment, and if you're good aligned, you can't get evil descriptor spells anyway...

You can as a wizard Jolyon, surely maesto would know that...
You can as a wizard Jolyon, surely maesto would know that...

That is a point. I just never remember that, because with necromancy barred, I don't actually _have_ any spells on my spell list with the evil descriptor (at least, that I can think of). And I have every open non-necro spell and alacritous cogitation, so I know my spell-list fairly well... Ok, I tell a lie. Flensing is the only exception that I can find though, just on a brief flick through (and it's such a crappy spell anyway for 8th level). Actually, I'm really lying. Protection from Good and MCvG are evil spells too. Regardless, there's no way that I'm going to cite casting protection from good as an evil act.
Massive derailment, but it's tangibly relevant...

"we-hate-it-that-we-cannot-play-evil-characters" players tries to get their way in the campaign.

Wanting to play evil characters doesn't mean that you're out to wreck the campaign, sow discord or disruption, or that you in any way mean harm to the table you're at or the campaign as a whole.

and how many co-player's would have characters that will at least dislike yours to the point of non-cooperation? at least five out of my six characters would simply attack yours! including my neutral/chaotic druid and my lawful/neutral monk.

And if I played a worshipper of Pholtus I'd have perfectly justified in character reasons to kill your chaotic druid. Suddenly it's not so fun is it...

I find that this is not the fault of any player or player type, but a fault of the 3.5 gaming system. I know in 4th edition the game makes a point of saying that, since you can be unaligned, if you have an alignment you have to deserve it. There is (significantly less) grounds for "shades of grey"; shades of grey exist in the unaligned alignment, but if you're Evil with a capital E, that's it- you earned it. You eat babies and drink the blood of the innocent and there's just no debate about that. In v3.5, however, there is.

For example, here's what the SRD has to say about "Lawful Evil":

Show
A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is loath to break laws or promises.

This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains.

Some lawful evil people and creatures commit themselves to evil with a zeal like that of a crusader committed to good. Beyond being willing to hurt others for their own ends, they take pleasure in spreading evil as an end unto itself. They may also see doing evil as part of a duty to an evil deity or master.

Lawful evil is sometimes called "diabolical," because devils are the epitome of lawful evil.

Lawful evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.


Let's take a look at this, shall we?

"A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts."

I've found plenty of adventurers who fit this bill. In fact, almost all of them. They take whatever they want (typically by force), but they have a code of conduct which basically says, "Only kill evil creatures unless they attack you first, have money or are in your way."

"He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life."

When an adventurer betrays the party, it's a huge deal. Huge. Most of the time, those adventurers won't adventure with her again. Obviously they care about loyalty. Further, the CR system ensues that PCs care about order, too- they want their fights to be fair and equal, because they don't spend their time in the woods hunting CR 1 orcs. Instead, they seek fame and glory out in the world.

As for freedom, dignity, life... well. When was the last time an adventurer spared the life of an animal out of pity? It happens occasionally, but almost always the attacking creature dies. Same when encountering bandits, thieves, muggers- when are their motives ever analyzed? When was the last time any adventurer went, "This guy's just stealing to feed his starving family." and gave him cash. No, instead, he and his band deserve death. Since when do adventurers respect the dignity of the dead? Almost all my characters have robbed a tomb or two, most of them have robbed heaps. Does the dignity of the dead have no bearing on the conscience of your characters? On the subject of conscience, do any of your characters ever have doubts or regrets about those they've killed? (And to get to high levels, you've had to have killed *hundreds*, if not directly then by aiding and supporting those who do). How can you claim to love life if all you do is kill?

When was the last time a demon's freedom to exist was ever questioned? When did you stop and say, "Hey, freedom of religion, baby. He's free to do what he wants as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else." Often, a particular type of creature (orc, goblin, evilly aligned human) is considered "unworthy" of life and is attacked on the spot, massacred to the last. Adventurers are very rarely respecting of the freedoms of others.

Therefore, I submit that most adventurers in the stereotypical sense are Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil (see what Neutral Evil has to say about it all; you'll find similar things to LE). I further submit that the casting of evil-typed spells is completely fine and should not be cause to have one's character removed from the game, especially when evil-aligned spells can be used for good.
And if I played a worshipper of Pholtus I'd have perfectly justified in character reasons to kill your chaotic druid. Suddenly it's not so fun is it...

no problem :P most characters of mine that have encountered pholtians are of the firm believe that pholtians are EVIL, so no surprise :D and that the church organization - especially the one in the pale - has long be abounded by the original divine being and has been taken over by some evil entity

ciao

martin m.

ps: instances pholtians (NPCs AND PCs) have been helpful to my characters: ZERO (ok, maybe ONE, but only because the player had no info about pholtus and the pholtian church) - instances where pholtians (NPCs) tried to kill my characters: FIVE (and only 2 of these happened in the pale)
Massive derailment, but it's tangibly relevant...

Wanting to play evil characters doesn't mean that you're out to wreck the campaign, sow discord or disruption, or that you in any way mean harm to the table you're at or the campaign as a whole.

Ah yes Puggle, thou dost trigger my treatise on why Evil parties don't work in a LIVING campaign. Just because that may not be the case does not mean that *won’t* be the case in a few situations – oft enough to ruin an entire campaign, from an enjoyment perspective as well as administratively and legally.

*places his soapbox on the ground and heartily climbs aboard*

Disclaimer: wall of text to follow...

1. In a living campaign there is a suspension of disbelief that PCs are willing to adventure with each other. Whilst there are often issues on the law versus chaos axis, there is one assumed binding characteristic: That the PCs have a mutual goal to work towards.

This goal is inherently assumed to be one of the following:

a) We all want to save our region/organisation/general patriotic leanings
b) Direct financial reward
c) Helping out a friend/trusted NPC
d) It’s the right thing to do.

With an evil party there is greater chance for this to break down. Whilst people can be from different creeds and ideals, it is generally assumed that good PCs have something in common with other good PCs. However that cannot be the same for evil. Two good gods may often work together but two evil gods have little to no compunction because their ideologies are based on one simple thing: being selfish.

As such Evil parties can only adventure successfully without undermining each other in a few circumstances:

a) They ALL share the SAME beliefs (E.g: all LE)
b) They all agree it is better to work together than to screw each other over (this rules out CE from being a true party member)
c) Mutual Financial gain (something that is rare and relies on NE or LE to pull it off)

As such the suspension of disbelief breaks down. An evil party may work in a home game, but two evil LG characters that have never met before are not bound by ideals of working together, and as such the dynamic would come apart. This is even if one role-plays the alignment correctly.

2. Evil Players on a whole are reasonably selfish. In LG the odd selfish PC exists, however they can at least be motivated by financial rewards or some other goal. In order for evil to be played accurately, the PC needs to either be:

a) A fanatic
b) Sociopathic
c) Psychopathic
d) Machiavellian.

Non of these psychological tendencies lend well to the random adventuring parties of a living campaign, and what’s to stop Bob, my PC screwing over Shawn, someone else’s PC at a random con slot? One could argue an overarching power could be called in but then you are restricting everyone to play a certain kind of evil – which offers fewer options than just “non evil” This brings me onto the third point.

3. Evil PCs do not survive selfish/immature players or contact with unknown PCs. Whilst in a home campaign with seasoned gamers, evil PCs can provide that Jungian escapism that one so dearly craves – however you are in that situation gaming with a group of people who are reasonably experienced/you are comfortable with. Some people are only ok with ‘diet coke’ evil; others favour the slightly more bizarre. As such it would be an administrative nightmare and adventures would take twice as long just to ensure the party doesn’t off each other. Let’s not take into account that one random smartass player that wants to steal all the loot or knife everyone whilst they sleep. Would you like to see that happen to your 14th level PC? This brings me to my final point (for tonight)

4. Evil in a campaign creates a world of hurt with lobby groups, people with certain views, and also with some people who are just not ok with people role-playing trying to gut their little kid who is trying the game for the first time. It creates legal, moral and other issues not least with any conservative movements and as such should be best left NOT in the realm of the Living campaign world, but rather in the safe demesne of the home gaming group.

Just my 1.5 cents, plenty more where that came from but I am tired :P
Evil acts and good acts cancel out on a 1 for 1 basis though, so while you are commiting an evil act by casting a consecrated undead, you are simultaneously committing an equally good act.

I'd like to see where the rules support this. It looks to simply be one opinion without any grounding in the rules (as most good/evil debate opinions tend to be).
So you would never be at risk of actually becoming evil and being removed from the campaign.

As I understand it, this would be up to your circle member in the end.
...
When was the last time a demon's freedom to exist was ever questioned?
...

Heh... I could answer that ("quite recently"), but to give details would be a massive spoiler...

(For the record, my PC -- a Trithereonite -- voted for freedom. The party was a mix of LG, NG, and CG, and freedom was the end result).
I agree with Metz 99.95% of groups with evil charactors in them degenerate into utter chaos because the evil charactors want to want to **** and pillage. This forces the Lawful Good Paladin to openly attack that PC killing one and removal play for the other and with two members gone it's either TPK or go home.
*places his soapbox on the ground and heartily climbs aboard*

I disintegrate the soapbox. Just because my character plays with a pholtian fire and brimstone-style cleric a decent amount of the time, and he's tired of the stupid thing. :D
So a doctor who saves hundreds of lives every year, but then decides to randomly kill one healthy patient every year in cold blood for no reason other than to do it is someone you'd consider good then? Neutral?

See, there, he would be a sociopath. It doesn't matter what good he cloaks himself in, he is a sadistic murderer. I think of the character "Skinner" from Neil Gaiman's Sandman. He is a noted and highly praised medical doctor who has attended everyone from the President of the United States to the Pope. His benevolence is world renown. His is also known for wearing handmade leather ties to special events, like the Presidential Inauguration. He wears a brand new tie to every event. 30+ ties in all. I'll give you three guesses where the leather comes from. The first two don't count.

But let's look instead at Batman. He uses intimidation, vigilantism, and assault to catch criminals ranging from petty purse snatchers to mass murderers. The only place his "war" stops and the only thing he doesn't allow his "soldiers" to do is kill. He will cripple a man, not permanently, but still. The line from The Dark Knight Returns is classic "He's young. He'll heal." went through Batman's mind as he broke a bank robber's spine.

He does commit evil acts, crimes in a society which isn't perfect but where the laws are at least meant to protect the innocent and stop the criminal. But his campaign of intimidation and fear is meant to lessen the crime in Gotham to the point the police are not overwhelmed and can deal with things themselves. Though as Gordan so aptly puts it in Batman Begins escalation gets more and more violent and sadistic criminals in response to the Batman's theatricallity.

Now is it possible to use the "enemy's" "tricks and tools" against him and still be on the side of angels. Depends on whether you think one evil act = one good act or one evil act wipes out 1,000,000,000,000 good acts. Also depends on what you consider good intentions. An Iuz mod had a great way of tracking this where you could exit the mod somewhere between a saint and being removed from the campaign with naughty and evil act as stops along the way.
I'd like to see where the rules support this. It looks to simply be one opinion without any grounding in the rules (as most good/evil debate opinions tend to be).

As I understand it, this would be up to your circle member in the end.

The rules don't support it, in any function. Least ways what LG uses as core doesn't. I'd have to go back and see if BoVD and BoED have a Good/Evil point scale that lets you know which direction you're slidding on the scale.

Most folks from the good ole US of A and Western European would also weigh in that 1 [EVIL] act wipes out 1,000,000,000 [GOOD] acts. Course, rules wise 1 [GOOD] act (aka Attonement) does negate however many acts which are just shy of being removed from the campaign at Triad's descretion. I say it that way because some Triads might have removed a character for having one noted [EVIL] act while others *cough* BK *cough* might over look four or five depending on the circumstances.

Hell, there are any number of philosophies which view any use of violence to solve problems as evil. If Triads applied those standards, they would remove the vast majority of LG PCs from play. Which is why I lament the Circle not allowing Veluna's access to the Sacred Vow chain of feats on the mod Ascension. At least for one mod my NG cleric of Pelor had Sacred Vow, Vow of Poverty, Vow of Non-violence and Vow of Peace. Course, we also faced no real combats taking that line through the mod. (Oh and I'm 90% sure the above was a year 6 regional and thus retired, but if not, someone feel free to call me on it.)
Course for me it is "To Hades with Good and Evil! Chaos and Law are where it is at!" Good and evil can coexist. It is Law, the building up of ordered societies where everyone has a place and everyone must be in their place, versus Chaos, "Its Freedom, Baby! Yeah!". Order versus Anarchy calls for far more conflict with little hope of reconciliation than Good versus Evil.

If nothing else, Good's mission statment has to include redemption and usually bars killing on sight just because. Evil has to acknowledge that utter destruction is not a worthy goal or then there is no more "fun" to be had. But Chaos can and does call for pulling down Creation around your ears, just because it might be interesting to see what happens next. Law has to include stamping out individual freedom because the greatest good (read Order) is paramount.
Good -vs- Evil
Law -vs- Chaos

Bah!

The only debates that matter are:
Crunchy Wheat -vs- Nicely sweet
and
Ale -vs- Elven Wine.
The rules don't support it, in any function. Least ways what LG uses as core doesn't. I'd have to go back and see if BoVD and BoED have a Good/Evil point scale that lets you know which direction you're slidding on the scale.

Personally I have little use for the BoVD and BoED.
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At least for one mod my NG cleric of Pelor had Sacred Vow, Vow of Poverty, Vow of Non-violence and Vow of Peace. Course, we also faced no real combats taking that line through the mod. (Oh and I'm 90% sure the above was a year 6 regional and thus retired, but if not, someone feel free to call me on it.)

If it is the mod I think it is (and I'm pretty dam sure it is), it is a still active metaregional.
Personally I have little use for the BoVD and BoED.
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If it is the mod I think it is (and I'm pretty dam sure it is), it is a still active metaregional.

Agreed. They are a stinted view of Evil and Good based on cultural context of the authors and a perceived audience. I like to view it in a bit more of a philosophical way when I interpret it.

In any case, I feel agreater discussion of what is good and evil wil serve no purpose.

What matters is whether or not they should be allowed in a Living campaign. - and whilst some evil acts are necessary, in the case of evil parties, I refer to my soapbox rant.
Agreed. They are a stinted view of Evil and Good based on cultural context of the authors and a perceived audience. I like to view it in a bit more of a philosophical way when I interpret it.

In any case, I feel agreater discussion of what is good and evil wil serve no purpose.

What matters is whether or not they should be allowed in a Living campaign. - and whilst some evil acts are necessary, in the case of evil parties, I refer to my soapbox rant.

Sure, BoVD and BoED are very culturally biased. Can't really be helped. It was written by a westerner for a game that mostly models something that is vaguely Mideval Western Europe. There are other views on the subject.

One of my favorites comes from the Orient and goes "Evil happens when good men see Evil and do nothing." The thought is never mind if you yourself do evil or not. If you stand aside and allow others to do evil unopposed, you are committing an evil act.

Modern Russian thought is the most interesting. Their take on Monica Lewinsky was to ask why was she allowed to live to tell her story. The Russian governments response to a kidnapped consul in the Middle East was to hunt down the number two of ever organization that could possibly had anything to do with the kidnapping, cut off his head and mail it to the head of the organization with a note stating "This is you in 24 hours if we don't get our man back!" Needless to say there were a large number of horrified people and one guy scared enough to release the kidnapped consul.

My whole point wasn't whether BoED or BoVD were good books or not. It was only that they might (stress might) have a system that express X Evil Acts = Y Good Acts. Otherwise, it is anyone's guess. How easy is it to get an attonement? Can you "make up" for Evil acts? Is there some kind of "bank" that lets you store up good acts to offset evil ones? Could one be a saint in everything but template (yes there is a template) and have that wipped out by one necessary evil?

Most folks I've run into in LG tend to go with something that amounts to X Evil Acts = 1000 Y Good Acts. Add to that most judges won't really note a good act and it comes out that you should really, really never comit even by accident one evil act. My one noted evil act came as much from my trying to blend in in a mod as it did from being lumped in with the acts of the other PCs. So be careful what company you keep as well.
Good -vs- Evil
Law -vs- Chaos

Bah!

The only debates that matter are:
Crunchy Wheat -vs- Nicely sweet
and
Ale -vs- Elven Wine.

See, Dwarven Ale beats Elven Wine hands down every time. I'm still divided on Crunchy Wheat vs Nicely Sweet.
...
My whole point wasn't whether BoED or BoVD were good books or not. It was only that they might (stress might) have a system that express X Evil Acts = Y Good Acts. Otherwise, it is anyone's guess. How easy is it to get an attonement? Can you "make up" for Evil acts? Is there some kind of "bank" that lets you store up good acts to offset evil ones? Could one be a saint in everything but template (yes there is a template) and have that wipped out by one necessary evil?
...

I can't recall whether BoVD or BoED have anything like that, but Fiendish Codex II has an excellent discussion of the topic, and does have a mechanic for measuring corruption (similar to the method for measuring taint and corruption described in Heroes of Horror). I like the comments in the first paragraph of the topic (page 30):

[INDENT]"Adhering to a lawful alignment is no picnic. According to the terms of the Pact Primeval, as negotiated between Asmodeus and the lawful deities, the good that mortals do in life is outweighed by the taint of sin. For game purposes, each act of evil that a PC commits adds to his corruption rating. Any lawful character who dies with a corruption rating of 9 or higher goes to Baator, no matter how many orphans he rescued or minions of evil he vanquished in life." [emphasis mine][/INDENT]

Now, I will grant that the act of casting an [Evil] spell is not high on the list (only 1 point of corruption, compared to 7 for commtting "Murder for pleasure"), but if you're willing to cast the spell once, I've no doubt that you'll cast it more than once.

I would be greatly amused to see what the average Living Greyhawk PC's score was... Closer to than to , of that I'm sure...
I would be greatly amused to see what the average Living Greyhawk PC's score was... Closer to than to , of that I'm sure...

Hence why such scales are foolish and should not be used. Quantifiying evil is a pretty ludicrous concept to me.

How evil does one truly have to be to be evil? what about mitigating circumstances?

In all honesty, I think that the alignments in 4th edition are more realistic. Detect evil, I maintain, is one of the dumbest class features I have ever seen.

Hence I like to avoid situations where I would put the GM in a dilemma and also don't ascribe to the view that we should be allowed to play evil/get a free evil act/try to find ways to play evil. I just see it as needless.
"Adhering to a lawful alignment is no picnic. According to the terms of the Pact Primeval, as negotiated between Asmodeus and the lawful deities, the good that mortals do in life is outweighed by the taint of sin. For game purposes, each act of evil that a PC commits adds to his corruption rating. Any lawful character who dies with a corruption rating of 9 or higher goes to Baator, no matter how many orphans he rescued or minions of evil he vanquished in life."

Hee, hee, hee. Seems like a good reason to be Chaotic ;) (of my five PCs, not one is Lawful...)