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Originally Posted by GM4Him
You know what? I will say, even if they just allowed you to knock the kids out, that would be better than making them invulnerable.

You can do this; that's how they avoid you killing them, if you engage in forced combat with the refugee children in their hideout. You hit them, and they go to 'unconscious' as though you'd used non-lethal, and no amount of extra thwaks will push them past unconscious.

Which, as a side note... shows that Larian are perfectly capable of fixing the bug that causes non-lethal strikes to do lethal damage with additional follow-up damage on the same strike (extra damage die from other sources, etc). They just haven't yet.

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Originally Posted by Ragitsu
Or Hatchlings, yeah. They are "kids", right?
Is it good time to mention Tadpoles ...
Or are we not quite ready yet to mix another sensitive matter from real life to this topic?

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 19/01/22 07:51 AM.

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People can be very sensitive about killing (what looks like) baby animals, so I wouldn't be so sure nobody except dragon enthusiasts would have a problem with killing a hatchling, chromatic or no, as long as it acts/talks like a kid. I'd wager quite a few would be displeased if killing it was the only way, with no option to leave it alone or let it go. Hell, many would probably want to "adopt" it like the owlbear cub instead grin

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This is what years of Disney movies gets you. I particularly liked the moment when, if you spare the owlbear cub, it tentatively goes to it's mother's body...and starts eating it.

As a dragon enthusiast myself I can tell you I avoided killing dragons in Dragon Age as much as possible because...dragons are cool...and endangered? Listen my rationalization isn't great but what can I say. So I'm maybe not qualified to speak on the morality of culling the nest.

Like with a lot D&D lore, I've never been too enthusiastic about the dragons they give us, so I never knew that if they went against their inherent alignment it is physically manifested. Very interesting. If that's true of Devils and Fiends too, why doesn't that manifest in Tieflings? I'm always confused when the metaphysical translate into the physical in situations like this. Or doesn't not happen with Devils? That's interesting too.

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Originally Posted by Sozz
Like with a lot D&D lore, I've never been too enthusiastic about the dragons they give us, so I never knew that if they went against their inherent alignment it is physically manifested. Very interesting. If that's true of Devils and Fiends too, why doesn't that manifest in Tieflings? I'm always confused when the metaphysical translate into the physical in situations like this. Or doesn't not happen with Devils? That's interesting too.

It used to be that tieflings couldn't be of Good alignment due to their heritage, but that was changed in later editions. Makes no sense to me, they are planetouched after all, they should be influenced by the evil planes, but I suppose too many people wanted to play a good unjustly persecuted underdog. It's a shame because tieflings don't have a culture of their own, so without the influence of their bloodline they don't have much to set them apart lore-wise. You have this cool evil heritage, but the only thing it does is give you horns, a tail, and a couple spells. Boring!

Last edited by MrToucan; 19/01/22 09:49 AM.
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Originally Posted by Sozz
If that's true of Devils and Fiends too, why doesn't that manifest in Tieflings?

(Note, this isn't directed specifically at you, Sozz, the quote is just the springboard because I keep seeing this and it bugs me...)

(Side Rant)


Okay. Let's be very clear about this, because apparently, despite it being mentioned *Many* MANY times, there are people out there who either refuse to listen, or wilfully ignore it.

Tieflings. Are. Not. Fiends.

Tieflings. Are. Not. Devilkin/Demonkin/Hellspawn.

Tieflings. Are. Not. Inherently. Evil.

For the love of the light, can people please get this through their skulls.

Aasimar are not Celestials; they aren't inherently good in their essence. Tieflings aren't fiendish; they aren't inherently evil in their essence. They are, quite literally, just the positive and negative equivalents of genasi -plane-touched, NOT plane-controlled or plane-dominated. Their plane-touched nature does not control or align their essence and core nature in any way whatsoever. It is a touching on their being, one which they may view in good or bad light, and one which other entities may try to take advantage of in various ways, but they are still mortal humanoids Native to the material plane. If you cast Banishment on an aasimar, it doesn't go to the outer planes - it goes into a pocket demiplane, because the material plane is its home. If you cast Banishment on a tiefling, it doesn't got to the hells or the abyss - it goes to a closed demiplane, because the material plane is its home.

There are MANY ways that one can become plane-touched, and by ancestral birth is only one of them. You do not have to have a lineage connected to it to be born plane-touched, if other events are the source of it; you don't even need to be born plane-touched to become one. People can become plane-touched by events in their lives, by being granted boons from greater beings, or even just form being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mayhaps your ship is caught in planar incursion where the realms brush, out at sea, and you barely survive; wracked by the wild and chaotic energies that sunk your ship, when you drag yourself out onto shore, you realise you only did so because you were breathing under the water for many long minute... and you find that you are now a water genasi - plane-touched by the plane of water.

This is, in fact, what happened to many people in Elturgard, during the descent; people who were not tieflings, who were born as members of other races, lived lives, grew up, and then were caught in the descent and nearly lost their lives; some of these people, when the city was returned to Toril, found that the planar crossover had changed them, and that they were now tieflings... They didn't become evil, or even evil inclined, they were just peasants, before the descent, and after it as well... now with a different look, unexpected abilities, and a whole lot of sudden prejudice to deal with, through no fault or action of their own (at least in some cases; other cases are the inverse, and they did make deals... you don't know, nor more than you ever know for anyone else; books, covers, judgement, etc.).

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Tieflings suffer from an incredibly mixed origin, in terms of writing, not lore. The writing has changed wildly over the years, and been retconned (looking at you Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes).

In 3e, widely considered to be the golden age of planetouched, they were either locked to evil, or locked to chaotic, depending on your specific source. But, at the same time, Tieflings were also not that far removed from their fiendish ancestor, at this time it was possible to breed out the fiendish blood, so you could have people looking entirely human with this distant ancestry, and Tieflings suddenly born to normal human parents because they had a fiend way back in their family tree. And, just for clarification, the most fiendish blood a Tiefling could have was around a quarter, too much more and they would be born as a Cambion instead.

Contrast this with Tieflings today. Due to God shenanigans, it's no longer possible to breed out the fiendish blood, the offspring of a Tiefling is always a Tiefling, but at the same time no Tiefling we meet has a true fiendish ancestor within ten generations of them. This goes extra for the Tieflings in this game, because they are refugees of Elturgard, which fell into Avernus, and some of the people who were living in the city were transformed by the ambient energy of the place. They actually have NO fiendish ancestor, they are what we call spontaneous planetouched. Given the way things like this work, I imagine there was also a number of Tieflings born to non-planetouched parents in Elturgard, also spontaneous planetouched.

Now the special thing about planar energy is that it only really affects people when they are on that plane, or are near a planar incursion involving that plane, so some of the transformed people might have had an alignment change, but it's just as likely that that alignment change was reverted when they came back to the material, even if their appearance wasn't. There are many planes that work like this, they change you while you are on that plane, but leaving that plane will revert some of the changes, it's why traveling the planes is serious business, there's the possibility that you won't be the same person on your return trip.

But, what I'm getting at, is that despite the more dramatic and demonic appearances of Tieflings going from 4e onwards, most of them are not at all closely related to their fiendish ancestor, if they even have one at all. They have all the looks, but none of the actual fire and brimstone. They are like a selzter water version of a fiend, vaguely fiend flavoured, but not actually fiendish at all.

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Originally Posted by MrToucan
People can be very sensitive about killing (what looks like) baby animals, so I wouldn't be so sure nobody except dragon enthusiasts would have a problem with killing a hatchling, chromatic or no, as long as it acts/talks like a kid.

They are man-sized and almost or equally as intelligent as an average human...yet still a "kid".

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But tieflings look like devils. Therefore, they are. Right? Devils = Evil. Therefore, tieflings = evil.

JK! JK! NOT IN THE FACE! NOT IN THE FACE!

:P

As for dragons:

Red or Blue Dragon Wyrmling has Int 12 (+1).

Average Human Int? 10 (0)

Black Dragon Wyrmling is 10 (0).

Green Dragon Wyrmlings have 14 (+2). Whoa! Why Green Dragon Wyrmlings be so smart? Dang! Even as kids, they're super smart. Green Dragons are the kings of dragonkin. I thought it was the reds. Maybe they're just the scholars and teachers.

White Dragon Wyrmling has 5 (-3). Lol. So White Dragon Wyrmlings are okay to kill. They're stupid. They're not much smarter than animals.

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Originally Posted by Ragitsu
They are man-sized and almost or equally as intelligent as an average human...yet still a "kid".

Right, that's why I specified "as long as it acts/talks like a kid". Or a teenager. If a hatchling acts like we would expect an adult, then yeah, less people will have a problem with killing it, but that's to be expected. If someone can't recognize a kid as a kid, they won't treat it like they would a kid.

Originally Posted by Piff
Now the special thing about planar energy is that it only really affects people when they are on that plane, or are near a planar incursion involving that plane, so some of the transformed people might have had an alignment change, but it's just as likely that that alignment change was reverted when they came back to the material, even if their appearance wasn't. There are many planes that work like this, they change you while you are on that plane, but leaving that plane will revert some of the changes, it's why traveling the planes is serious business, there's the possibility that you won't be the same person on your return trip.

Ah, I didn't know that, it definitely changes things. I stll think taking away alignment restrictions makes tieflings blander ('vaguely fiend flavoured' is an apt description), but it makes more sense.

Last edited by MrToucan; 19/01/22 03:06 PM.
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In 3e, when I was most on top of the lore, Tieflings were tainted by a infernal bloodline, it didn't make them inherently evil, it only meant they had to deal, more than their base race, with the inclinations of that bloodline, I remember in Dragon mag and maybe elsewhere these things were expanded on a little for all the different flavors of plane-touched templates. In 5e, they've all been 'claimed' by one or two bloodlines or something like that, sure, but my question was really about how alignment affects the physical aspects of certain races. Similar to this, I learned (or maybe relearned) in the EA that Lolthsworn Drows' eyes turn red, is that from birth? Do they change when you renounce Lolth?

I remember in 3e that in the MM tieflings and aasimar weren't alignment restricted, looking up 3.5 they're "usually evil/good (any)". Of course what I remember most about them is the artwork, I've wanted to make that mustachioed aasimar in a game for ages. WotR came close.

Having physical attributes completely at odds with your personality or out of your direct control is an interesting wrinkle to a race/character.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Quote
They are Evil (Lawful or Chaotic) in AD&D/AD&D 2e and "Always lawful evil"/"Always chaotic evil" in 3e/3.5e. Starting with 4e, D&D started to go soft on monster Alignment in general.

One of the reasons 4e didn't do so well perhaps?

The game is Dungeons and Dragons. The epitome of final bosses, the highlight of every quest, is to fight an evil dragon. As Volo said, "Every story benefits from having a dragon."

NOW I'm fully off topic. 😁

Come to think of it, in a low-level campaign designed to end at a low-level, I can see a group of adventures fighting a Wyrmling/Hatchling as their capstone encounter.

"Though I learned many things - including the extent of my mettle - I decided that an adventuring life was not for me."

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Sunless Citadel, a very famed 1-4 adventure module brought forward into 5e in Tales from the Yawning Portal, has an ice dragon wrymling in it, towards the end. It's not actually the final encounter, and the adventurers are gently pushed towards subduing it rather than killing it, for in-story reasons.

For the record, yes, Whites are brutish and dumb, as far as dragons go. Comparatively, Greens are the schemers and enjoy plans and plots more than any other chromatic type.

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Originally Posted by MrToucan
Originally Posted by Ragitsu
They are man-sized and almost or equally as intelligent as an average human...yet still a "kid".

Right, that's why I specified "as long as it acts/talks like a kid". Or a teenager. If a hatchling acts like we would expect an adult, then yeah, less people will have a problem with killing it, but that's to be expected. If someone can't recognize a kid as a kid, they won't treat it like they would a kid.

You may be conflating maturity with intelligence; just as it is possible to find a manifestly stupid adult who possesses enough survival skills to scrape on by, you can find a brilliant kid that nevertheless has many lessons on practicality ahead of them. I dislike anthropomorphizing monsters any more than is absolutely necessary, but I imagine a Hatchling Chromatic Dragon (sans the White variety) would behave like a genuinely smart human child with a firmly exaggerated sadistic/brutish streak.

Originally Posted by Niara
Sunless Citadel, a very famed 1-4 adventure module brought forward into 5e in Tales from the Yawning Portal, has an ice dragon wrymling in it, towards the end. It's not actually the final encounter, and the adventurers are gently pushed towards subduing it rather than killing it, for in-story reasons.

For the record, yes, Whites are brutish and dumb, as far as dragons go. Comparatively, Greens are the schemers and enjoy plans and plots more than any other chromatic type.

That reminds me...

[Linked Image from aetherealengineer.files.wordpress.com]

^ At first blush, the depicted scene is slightly amusing; once you learn the deadly nature of even the youngest dragons, you recognize the difficulty of such an achievement.

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Now that's a kill😁

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Regarding dragons of any age, the fact that dragons are metaphysically evil does shift things in my opinion. Chromatic dragons are magical beings that are evil at their very core, and for them to be good would require, in my very limited understanding, some degree of magical intervention. And as for a wyrmling, I've never had to fight one in a campaign, but while I'd feel kinda weird about it, I don't think I'd mind that much unless the GM really leaned into it acting like a child. And even then, a chromatic dragon would probably act like a child the same way a serial killer is a child. Naive, maybe not fully understanding what they're doing, but still eager to hurt things, enjoying hurting things, and with no regard for the pain they're causing.

Regarding tieflings, I personally think alignment locking player races is the less interesting way of doing things. It takes away options rather than adding them. If you want to have it be that tieflings still feel an internal urge to do bad things because of their fiendish heritage, sure. That makes for interesting story. And to flip the script, aasimar feeling the internal urge to good automatically is an interesting direction. You can play an aasimar that wants to be evil, who does selfish, cruel acts, but is always dogged by an inherent, unwavering sense of conscience. The potential of that for a player is incredibly interesting, a villain who can never FULLY justify what they're doing to themselves, who no matter what will always know the difference between right and wrong, and be pulled towards right just like a tiefling will be pulled towards wrong. Both can ignore those urges, but they're still there and they still have to deal with them somehow. But those stories are cut out if you lock alignment.

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This is definitely a "my opinion" type of thing, but I dislike the concept of metaphysically evil (or metaphysically good) in the first place. I recognize that this IS a concept in D&D, I'm just saying that I don't like it.

I prefer to say that dragons have tendencies that put them at odds with other creatures (and with each other) and end up acting in a way that we would agree is basically evil*. You could probably still justify killing a wyrmling with by saying that as an adult it will be too late to kill it, and it will be a menace then. I don't think I buy that argument in all cases, but you could certainly make it, and most people in a society ravaged by chromatic dragon attacks would kill the wyrmling as a matter of habit.

*the primary reason I prefer this is that it gives dragons "free will" that is clearly lacking if you assume that they are metaphysically evil.

Last edited by dwig; 20/01/22 04:48 PM.
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*eye roll*

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I tend to see alignment through the eyes of society and or the PC. A dragon, Orc, Goblin amongst themselves may be considered an honorable warrior, etc; however, they may look at other or “lesser” races as rivals for resources or even as a resource. For an extreme example, amongst us humans we may consider someone as “good” but a cow being raised for food would see us a bad. A Goblin that eats other sentient beings, may be a good provider for it’s clan and a hero.

A white dragon may not be innately evil per say, but will see other beings like a cat sees a rat. To the rat the cat is evil, to cat the rat is food.

An aasimar may tend towards good but one that feels betrayed by their patron god could very well be a darker shade of evil than basically an evil born Tiefling. And the reverse is true of a Tiefling. Humm may have to create an oath of the ancient Tiefling now…

I personally don’t mind beings that are innate in alignment, but I love redemption and execration story lines.

To quote the great sage Paarthurnax smile

“What is better? To be born good or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?”

Last edited by avahZ Darkwood; 20/01/22 09:52 PM.
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As to the subject of the thread - sentient children killing does leave a bad taste in my mouth overall. How to approach it in a game I would rather knock them out or they “escape” somehow…. If it’s my PC or them, they die.

Last edited by avahZ Darkwood; 20/01/22 09:43 PM.
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