A Philosopher's Blog

Neutral Evil

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on September 23, 2013
English: Protester seen at Chicago Tax Day Tea...

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I wrote previously on the usefulness of Dungeons & Dragons alignments in discussing ethics in the real world. In that essay, I wrote about the lawful evil alignment. I now turn to the neutral evil alignment.

In the Pathfinder Role Playing Game version of the alignment, neutral evil is defined as follows:

A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusions that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has.

Some neutral evil villains hold up evil as an ideal, committing evil for its own sake. Most often, such villains are devoted to evil deities or secret societies.

Neutral evil represents pure evil without honor and without variation.

This alignment, unfortunately enough, matches up quite well to some people in the real world. As the description above indicates, neutral evil people are completely selfish. It is important to note that this is different from having a sense of self-interest. The distinction is that self-interest means that a person takes into account his or her own interests when making decisions. A completely selfish person takes self-interest to an extreme, perhaps to the point where only her interests are regarded as having any value. Being self-interested is perfectly compatible with being good. In fact, a good creature would need a degree of self-interest or it would be engaged in wronging itself, which could be an evil action.

Interestingly enough, neutral evil actually has its own real-world moral theory, namely ethical egoism. This is the moral view that a person should do only what is in her interest. This is contrasted with altruism, which is the view that a person should at least sometimes consider the interests of others. There are, of course, degrees of altruism (and egoism). As might be imagined, the extremist form of altruism (always sacrificing all one’s interests for those of others) is an absurd position that could be seen as a form of evil given how the altruistic fanatic treats herself. More moderate altruism just requires at least not being totally selfish—which seems both reasonable and good.

Stupid neutral evil people are open about their selfishness and simply do as they wish. However, unless they are powerful or protected by powerful people, they would tend to come to a bad end. Neutral evil people who are not stupid and also lack the power to do whatever they wish with impunity tend to take one of two approaches.

The first is for the neutral evil person to conceal the fact that she is neutral evil. The classic example of this is the Ring of Gyges story in Plato’s Republic. Such neutral evil people are careful to maintain the appearance that they are not neutral evil and, provided that they have the skills and resources to do this, they can remain unexposed. Even if they are exposed, they sometimes have the ability to regain their mask and return to their evil actions in secret.

The advantage of this approach is that the neutral evil person is able to act in a selfish way in relative safety. The disadvantage is that maintaining the illusion of being not-evil can be costly and can impede the person’s ability to act on his selfishness. This is, however, a viable option for those who are evil and capable, yet lack absolute power.

The second is for the neutral evil person to present their selfishness as being virtuous rather than a vice. That is, rather than concealing their evil behind a mask of false ethics, they endeavor to convince people that their selfish behavior is actually ethically correct.

Ayn Rand is perhaps the best known philosopher who took this approach. She argued that selfishness is a virtue and that altruism is wrong. Of course, the altruism she attacked was the absurd extreme altruism presented above, rather than the sort of moderate altruism that is embraced by actual human beings. Unfortunately, the sort of extreme ethical egoism she endorsed has been embraced, most famously by certain folks in the American Tea Party as well as those who have manipulated this movement.

In the United States, there has been a concerted and brilliant effort to present supporting altruism as supporting vile socialism or communism and of wanting to rob the “job creators” of the wealth they have earned. That is, being altruistic and wanting to assist others is cast as vile villainy. There has also been an equally brilliant effort to cast anyone who benefits from public altruism as being lazy, thieving and parasitic. Naturally, racism has been cleverly exploited here as well.

This has been a rather successful campaign in that many Americans now regard those who support public altruism as exceeded only in wickedness by those who might receive it—especially if those who receive it are minorities.

In contrast, those who have great wealth that has been acquired from the labor of others are cast as having made it on their own, despite the massive government subsidies and state support that helped make their success possible. Ironically, those who are the most selfish are cast as the most virtuous and even those they shameless exploit rush to their defense.

While this alignment can be quite beneficial to the neutral evil person, it is a rather corrosive alignment. After all, neutral evil types are essentially damaging to society. Unlike the lawful evil types who believe they have a stake in the success of society, the neutral evil types are selfish to the degree that they only consider what they regard as their own self-interest.

While an enlightened neutral evil person might get that she has an interest in society, this sort of enlightenment is actually contrary to the alignment. After all, an evil person who sees value in society would be lawful evil rather than neutral evil. As such, while good people have a clear interest in combating neutral evil people, so too would the lawful evil people. In a sense, the neutral evil person is everyone’s enemy—even other neutral evils.

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Chemical Weapons & Ethics

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on September 2, 2013
English: British Vickers machine gun crew wear...

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While the Syrian government has been condemned for killing people with conventional weapons, the “red line’ drawn by President Obama was the use of weapons of mass destruction, specifically chemical weapons. Those more cynical than I might suggest that this amounted to saying “we do not like that you are slaughtering people, but as long as you use conventional weapons…well, we will not do much beyond condemning you.”

While the Syrian government seemed content with conventional weapons, it has been claimed that government forces used chemical weapons. Fortunately, Secretary of State John Kerry did not use the phrase “slam dunk” when describing the matter.  As this is being written, President Obama has stated that he wants to launch an attack on Syria, but he has decided to let congress make the decision. While this raises some interesting issues, I will focus on the question of whether chemical weapons change the ethics of the situation. In more general terms, the issue is whether or not chemical weapons are morally worse than conventional weapons.

In terms of general perception, chemical weapons are often regarded with more fear and disgust than conventional weapons. Part of this is historical in nature. World War I one saw the first large scale deployment of chemical weapons (primarily gas launched via artillery shells). While conventional artillery and machine guns did the bulk of the killing, gas attacks were regarded with a special horror. One reason was that the effects of gas tended to be rather awful, even compared to the wounds that could be inflicted by conventional weapons. This history of chemical weapons still seems to influence us today.

Another historically based reason, I suspect, is the ancient view that the use of poison is inherently evil or at least cowardly. In both history and literature, poisoners are rarely praised and are typically cast as villains. Even in games, such as Dungeons & Dragons, the use of poison is regarded as an inherently evil act. In contrast, killing someone with a sword or gun can be acceptable (and even heroic).

A third historically based reason is, of course, the use of poison gas by the Nazis in their attempt to implement their final solution. This would obviously provide the use of poison gas with a rather evil connection.

Of course, these historical explanations are just that—explanations. They provide reasons as to why people psychologically regard such weapons as worse than conventional weapons. What is needed is evidence for one side or the other.

Another part of this is that chemical weapons (as mentioned above) often have awful effects. That is, they do not merely kill—they inflict terrible suffering. This, then, does provide an actual reason as to why chemical weapons might be morally worse than conventional weapons. The gist of the reasoning is that while killing is generally bad, the method of killing does matter. As such, the greater suffering inflicted by chemical weapons makes them morally worse than conventional weapons.

There are three obvious replies to this. The first is that conventional weapons, such as bombs and artillery, can inflict horrific wounds that can rival the suffering inflicted by chemical weapons. The second is that chemical weapons can be designed so that they kill quickly and with minimal suffering. If the moral distinction is based on the suffering of the targets, then such chemical weapons would be morally superior to conventional weapons. However, it is worth noting that horrific chemical weapons would thus be worse than less horrific conventional (or chemical) weapons.

The third is that wrongfully killing and wounding people with conventional weapons would still be evil. Even if it is assumed that chemical weapons are somewhat worse in the suffering they inflict, it would seem that the moral red line should be the killing of people rather than killing them with chemical weapons. After all, the distinction between not killing people and killing them seems far greater than the distinction between killing people with conventional weapons and killing them with chemical weapons. For example, having soldiers machine gun everyone in a village seems to be morally as bad as having soldiers fire gas shells onto the village until everyone is dead. After all, the results are the same.

Another aspect of chemical weapons that supposedly makes them worse than conventional weapons is that they are claimed to be indiscriminate. For example, a chemical weapon is typically deployed as a gas and the gas can drift and spread into areas outside of the desired target. As another example, some chemical agents are persistent—they remain dangerous for some time after the initial attack and thus can harm and kill those who were not the intended targets. This factor certainly seems morally relevant.

The obvious reply is that conventional weapons can also be indiscriminate in this way. Bombs and shells can fall outside of the intended target area to kill and maim people. Unexploded ordinance can lie about until triggered by someone. As such, chemical weapons do not seem to necessarily worse than conventional weapons—rather it is the discrimination and persistence of the weapon that seem more important than the composition. For example, landmines certainly give chemical weapons strong competition in regards to being indiscriminate and persistent.

Thus, while a specific chemical weapon could be morally worse than a specific conventional weapon, chemical weapons are not inherently morally worse than conventional weapons.

 

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Lawful Evil

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on August 12, 2013
Book cover, Dungeon Masters Guide by Gary Gyga...

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While I am a professional philosopher, my view of ethics was significantly shaped by the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons alignment system. This role-playing game provided players with a choice between the alignments: neutral, lawful neutral, chaotic neutral, neutral good, neutral evil, lawful good, lawful evil, chaotic good or chaotic evil. The player’s choice of alignment determined how she would (or at least should) play her character. As might be imagined, morality tends to be a significant part of fantasy role-playing games. After all, the fantasy genre has traditionally been about the epic battle between good and evil (or law and chaos).

While my training in philosophy has provided me with a robust set of ethical theories ranging from moral absolutism to moral nihilism, I still find the AD&D alignment system rather useful for describing people and their actions. In my own case, I find the alignment system a handy organizer. In terms of speaking with other gamers, it is a handy way to get across my view of an actual person. For example, if I say “what he did was chaotic neutral at best” a fellow gamer knows just what that means. Or should.

One interesting aspect of the alignment system is that it applies to organizations and not just individuals.  This, interestingly enough, includes entire nations. While an entire nation will generally not be monolithic in its alignment (after all, evil nations have their plucky rebels and good nations have their malign plotters), a country can be described generally in terms of one of the alignments. In the fantasy settings of role-playing games, this alignment is usually set by the rulers. For example, a country ruled by a council of evil necromancers would be evil. As another example, a country ruled by a paladin queen would be good. Real life countries follow the same model. That is, the effective alignment of the country is set by the alignment of those in power. To use the obvious example, during WWII not all Germans were evil, but Germany acted as a rather evil nation. To be fair, most nations tend to be evil and, more specifically, lawful evil.

Pathfinder, which is a current variant of Dungeons & Dragons, defines the alignment of lawful evil in the following way:

 

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 represents methodical, intentional, and organized evil.

 

This definition nicely captures the behavior of most countries in terms of how they operate (or desire to operate). In regards to the lawful aspect of the alignment, it is obvious that a country would tend to be lawful. That is, they have a set of laws aimed at creating order and expect the citizens to be loyal to the rulers. Appeals to the value of tradition, be they religious or social, are commonly used to persuade the citizens to maintain the existing order. Hierarchy is, of course, essential to the state as is a willingness on the part of the citizens to follow the laws.

Anarchists and other thinkers have argued that the state is essentially evil—interestingly enough because the state is supposed to be opposed to freedom and dignity. While it could be argued that evil is not a necessary quality of a state, the rulers of states always seem quite ready to restrict freedom in order to maintain security and order. There is also the obvious fact that the rulers of states generally act to take or do what they wish, albeit within the limits of the rules (even if they must create new rules and laws to allow this behavior—note how the Obama administration carefully argues that drone strikes and Prism are both legal).

As the description notes, some lawful evil people (and nations) profess to have a better sort of morality and use this to claim that they are good people, especially when engaged in activities that are rather clearly not good at all. Interestingly enough, the lawful evil type tends to avail herself of utilitarianism. The idea is rather straightforward: a person can claim that the seemingly evil acts being committed (like drone assassinations, domestic spying, enhanced interrogation, denying women rights, allowing pollution, and so on) are not evil because they serve the greater good. Or, rather, the greater good as they see it. Perhaps they truly believe they are on the side of the angels even while they are using the devil’s tools.

 

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Free Pathfinder Adventures for December #4: Ril’s Lesser Sanctum

Posted in Pathfinder by Michael LaBossiere on December 22, 2012

A Pathfinder compatible adventure for 3rd-5th level characters.

Description

This adventure will be free on Amazon from 12/22/2012-12/26/2012! Merry Christmas!

This adventure is the second in the Rils’ series. It is preceded by the Tomb of Rils.

The brave adventurers travel to a desert land in search of the Lesser Sanctum of Rils. There, they will face the dangers of the desert before entering the sanctum. Within its dark chambers, they will face terrible monsters, cunning traps, and one of Rils’ failed students. Those strong enough to survive will leave the desert land laden with treasure and new knowledge. Those that fail shall leave their bones and flesh to the whims of the necromancer.

This adventure includes new monsters, new spells and new magic items.

Available now on Amazon.

Downloads

Rils’ Lesser Sanctum PDF

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See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Pathfinder Adventure A7-1: Pit & Tower

Posted in Miscellaneous, Pathfinder by Michael LaBossiere on October 25, 2012

A Pathfinder Role Playing Game compatible adventure for 1st-2nd level characters.

Description

Bekus’ Pit

“Well, I have never been to the Pit. I’m content to stay here where it is warm and safe…and ale is within easy reach. But people have told me tales of the place over the years.  They say it is an unwholesome hole in the earth from which emanates a faint moaning. The Pit is easy enough to get into—just bring some stout rope. You can get some at Bessie’s store down the road. The Pit is pretty much a small series of caves, although a dwarf told me he thought some areas showed signs of having been worked at one time. It’s dark, so be sure to bring some torches. You can get them at Bessie’s as well. As far as how the pit got its name, well Bekus was a curious sort of man and he was the first one to find the Pit. The second one to find it…well the second man anyway, was the guy who found Bekus’ remains.”

Brekart’s Tower

Brekart began his adventuring career as many had done before him by cleaning out Bekus’ Pit. After that he undertook a series of adventures that enabled him to increase in power. Unfortunately for Brekart his ambition for power exceeded his abilities. Fifteen years ago, using enslaved goblins and orcs for labor, Brekart constructed a tower ten miles from Thusul and declared himself the lord of the region. He sent armed “tax collectors” into Thusul and set up toll booths along the area roads. Not surprisingly, it was not long before word of his activities reached the ears of the legitimate rulers.

As per tradition, an emissary was sent to Brekart demanding that he submit himself for trial and execution. After Brekart refused the demand a small force was sent against him. The force, consisting of loyal adventurers and a support group of soldiers and siege engineers, made short work of Brekart’s “tax collectors” and surrounded his tower.

The attacking force was somewhat concerned since Brekart occupied what appeared to be a stout and well-guarded tower. Unfortunately for Brekart, some of his goblin troops slipped away in the night only to be captured by the besiegers. In return for their freedom, the goblins revealed a rather important secret: the goblins, angry at being enslaved, had built several serious, but hidden, defects into the tower.

The next morning the besiegers lined up for the attack while Brekart gave a loud speech to the effect that his attackers would be gutted and fed the crows. Just as Brekart got to the part about his “unbreakable tower” one of the engineers let fly with a stone from a small catapult. The small stone struck the fatal weak point of the tower, causing the top section to collapse. Brekart survived the collapse, but found himself all alone at the feet of his enemies. With his surviving “loyal” followers running as fast as they could away from the debris, Brekart had no choice but to surrender.

In accord with tradition, Brekart’s goods were auctioned to repay the cost of the siege and to provide reparations. After the last item was sold, Brekart was beheaded. His head decorated a pike by the city gate until it was stolen by a very large raven.

The ruins of Brekart’s tower remain to this day. Over the years various creatures have found the ruins attractive and have set up residence there. Occasionally adventurers visit the ruins to slay any worthy opponents they might find there and to search for the treasure of “tax” money that is allegedly still hidden somewhere in the ruins.

Available  on Amazon

Downloads

Pit & Tower PDF

See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Dragon Hunt

Posted in Pathfinder by Michael LaBossiere on July 12, 2012

A Pathfinder Role Playing Game compatible adventure for 8th-12th level characters.

Description

Long ago, in the small border village of Gremsel, lived two brothers who were masters of their respective crafts.  Kertrun was a skilled blacksmith and Bertrun was a master bowyer. A chance visit to the town during a border skirmish by a knight in need of arms and armor for his conscripts led to fame for the two brothers. But, though they had many offers, they had little desire to leave their pleasant life for what they saw as the corruption and distraction of a large city. While they readily agreed to work for all who sought them out, they preferred their simple and peaceful lives in the town.

This peace came to an end when a dragon, taking advantage of the unrelenting border conflicts and hearing of the fame of the brothers, came to demand tribute from the village. Without anyone strong enough to face the dragon, the villagers had no choice but to give in to the dragon’s demand.  Unfortunately for the villagers, their meager wealth was not enough to appease the dragon, who had expected that the brothers would have made a fortune selling their weapons and armor. However, the brothers asked but little for their work, taking pride in doing their best for the sake of being the best. The dragon expressed his disappointment by scorching the village and killing many of the inhabitants.

Though badly wounded, the brothers survived. They took a vow in the ruins of their shop to take revenge against the dragon and its ilk. The made weapons and armor for themselves and then set out to gain the skills they would need to gain their vengeance. They fought several dragons over the years and were aided by other adventures who were motivated by greed or vengeance. Finally, they found the dragon that had laid waste to their town and met him in terrible battle. Though the brothers were badly wounded and some of their fellows perished, they defeated the dragon. They used the dragon’s horde to restore their fallen comrades to life and to rebuild Gremsel. Satisfied with their vengeance, they retired from adventuring and lived out the remainder of their days in peace doing what they loved. When they died, they were placed within a tomb intended to honor their memory. While the very best of their weapons were passed on to companions, a fine sword and bow were placed in the tomb to be on hand should a dragon dare return to Gremsel.

Gremsel’s fortunes waxed and waned over the centuries but it always managed to survive. However, the secret of the brothers’ tomb was lost. Most importantly, the passwords needed to get past the guardians were lost. Eventually, even the location of the tomb was forgotten, though mention of it remained in certain old histories.

History has now repeated itself—A dragon has come to the town of Gremsel and the magistrate of the area is hiring brave adventurers to save the day.

Available  on Amazon.

Downloads

Dragon Hunt Map & Monsters PDF

See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Tower of Zakelana

Posted in Pathfinder by Michael LaBossiere on July 4, 2012

A Pathfinder compatible adventure for 10th-12th level characters.

Description

Roughly three centuries ago the young Zakelana began her adventuring career as a wizard. She took to the profession naturally and met with great success throughout her career. In addition to her talent for magic, she also had two other gifts. The first was an amazing knack for getting into (and then out of) trouble. The second was a gift for one was for turning enemies into allies.

Zakelana took a rather aggressive approach to adventuring and had a rather broad definition of what counted as a legitimate target for adventuring operations. While most adventurers confined themselves to dank dungeons, Zakelana often adventured within the towers rival mages and the palaces of royalty. As might be imagined, this approach earned her the anger of many powerful people who had the ability to send powerful assassins and monsters to exact their vengeance. Whenever possible, Zakelana attempted to persuade any would be killer that survived her defenses to switch sides. Most of the time, the assassins showed commendable loyalty before being killed by Zakelana. However, she was able to win over many of the monsters. The best known example occurred when a rival mage send a creature to torment Zakelana in her dreams. According to the tale, Zakelana was able to win over the creature with the gift of a pony and the creature came to work for her.

In her later years, the incredibly powerful Zakelana retired from adventuring and worked on researching new magic. She is said to have excelled in mastering extra-dimensional spaces. It is said that she was able to move and entire tower into an extra-dimensional space. It is also said that one day she simply vanished. Some speculate that a final experiment failed and banished her to some other dimension eternally. Another tale relates how one of her many enemies finally caught up to her and defeated her. Other tales say that she grew tired of this world and moved on willingly to another. In any case, she vanished but left behind a tower-or at least a way to reach her tower. That is, Zakelana created a magical gateway to the space containing the tower. In addition to its most amazing ability, the gateway also possesses the power to shrink down to the size of a child’s toy. Wherever Zakelana went, she left the gateway behind anyone who possesses it can enter the dimension of the tower, provided that they are brave (or foolish enough).

Available on Amazon.

Downloads

Tower of Zakelana Monsters & Map PDF

See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Rils’ Lesser Sanctum

Posted in Pathfinder by Michael LaBossiere on June 10, 2012

A Pathfinder compatible adventure for 3rd-5th level characters.

Description

This adventure is the second in the Rils’ series. It is preceded by the Tomb of Rils.

The brave adventurers travel to a desert land in search of the Lesser Sanctum of Rils. There, they will face the dangers of the desert before entering the sanctum. Within its dark chambers, they will face terrible monsters, cunning traps, and one of Rils’ failed students. Those strong enough to survive will leave the desert land laden with treasure and new knowledge. Those that fail shall leave their bones and flesh to the whims of the necromancer.

This adventure includes new monsters, new spells and new magic items.

Available now on Amazon.

Downloads

Rils’ Lesser Sanctum PDF

See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Broken Mine

Posted in Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on May 26, 2012

I’ve written yet another Pathfinder compatible adventure for the Kindle.

A Pathfinder compatible adventure for 4th-6th level characters.

Description

“Old stories tell of the wizard Kelsun, better known as Kelsun the Mad Prophet. According to these stories, Kelsun received a vision of a world shaking disaster and, the truth be told, it drove him mad. Fortunately, his madness was a benevolent one-he set out, in his odd way, to help ensure that items of power would be available to help rebuild civilization after the disaster of his visions. Unfortunately, his benevolent madness was…madness. He decided to hide the items he had gathered and created in strange and obscure places. He also chose to protect them with various guardians and traps. Finally, he left cryptic and even bizarre clues regarding the locations of his caches.

One set of clues was given to our ancestors. Since that time we have tried to figure out what the clues meant and met with failure after failure. However, as was also foretold by prophecy, one of our youngsters managed to pierce a very useful clue that yielded what we hope is the location of one of the hidden caches. Because of your known skill and courage, it is hoped that you will go there and unlock its secrets. Be warned, though, the place will no doubt be rather dangerous.

While Kelsun is said to have placed a silver chest or box full of treasure within this place, the elders are only interested in one item said to be in the chest, an ever living vine. As such, all that we request in return for the location of the cache is the vine. The rest of the treasure is yours.”

Get  Broken Mine on Amazon.

Downloads

Broken Mine Monsters & Maps PDF

See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Kelok’s Tomb

Posted in Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on May 19, 2012

I have been revising some of my old AD&D and D&D adventures for the Pathfinder system. One of my favorite adventures is Kelok’s Tomb. The first time I ran it, the party was defeated and enslaved. After being betrayed by one of their own , they managed to overcome the monsters and win the day. The second time I ran it, the main villain escaped to plague the PCs until he was finally defeated and redeemed. Rumor has it that conservative pundits are not denying that they have said that these incidents are clear metaphors of the 2008 election and the redemption of Mitt “Weremitten” Romney from wereliberal to conservative. I am, not denying that there are not such rumors not being made. However, I can assure readers that this adventure was not written in Kenya.

Description

It is said that 150 years ago the wizard Kelok was interred in a tomb of his own design. As a wizard, Kelok did achieve some minor fame by developing original spells, some of which were said to have been extremely dangerous to the caster. While some members of his family have claimed that he developed some of the spells still used today, unbiased experts claim that his original spells have all been lost. His detractors claim that this is a good thing, at least for wizards who prefer not to be imploded by their own magic.

Because of his love of magical research and dangerous machines, it is perhaps fitting that the legends claim that he met his end whilst researching a new spell. Those friendly to his memory claim that he perished while nobly expanding the boundaries of magical knowledge. His detractors insist he perished while making his last and greatest mistake.  Whatever the truth of the matter, nothing has been heard from Kelok in 150 years and it has long been accepted that he perished and was placed within the tomb of his own design.

Little is known of his tomb. According to legend, the tomb was located in the wilderness to keep unwanted grave robber and pilfering adventures away from his treasures. However, there are  also stories that are not completely devoid of plausibility that tell how Kelok hired people to care for his tomb and that his friends regularly visited the tomb to utilize its well-stocked library. There are, of course, the usual myths and legends that accompany the tomb of any wizard of note, namely that it is packed with great wealth, fantastic items, as well as books full of unknown magic spells. Naturally, there are also the usual tales of the elaborate precautions, terrible traps, and vicious monsters that protect the tomb.

Available on Amazon.

Downloads

Kelok’s Tomb Monsters & Maps PDF

See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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