Many of gaming’s most debated questions revolve around alignment. Some people love alignment and others hate it. But, whether you like it or hate it, alignment can be a source of endless debate.
For example (answers at the end of the post):
- Do assassins have to be evil?
- Why do paladins have to be lawful good?
- Is Vilimzair Aralivar the greatest bard in the history of the world?
(Well, okay perhaps not the last one…)
Another alignment question occurred to me the other day:
- Is poison use evil?
I’ve debated this question on and off with my chums for years. Some think poison use is evil, some don’t.
I’m personally of the opinion poison use isn’t necessarily evil. It might not be an honourable weapon—I’d baulk at a paladin using it—but I don’t see why killing someone with poison is any more or less evil than blowing them up with a fireball, stabbing them in the face with dagger or (insert other fatal attack here).
Even if you disagree and believe killing someone with poison is an evil act, I have a followup question for you:
- Is using a paralysing or sleeping-inducing poison evil?
You could—and indeed I do—argue that subduing someone with a sleep or paralysing poison causes less pain and trauma than whacking them repeatedly with an axe. (Of course, though, what you do to your helpless foes after poisoning them could certainly qualify as an evil act…)
What Do You Think?
Is poison use clearly evil? Alternatively, is poison like any other weapon and therefore not intrinsically good or evil? Let me know, in the comments below.
- Ask your GM.
- Because Gary Gygax said so.
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