Pacifist Companions and attacks

Wakshani
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Re: Pacifist Companions and attacks

Postby Wakshani » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:37 am

Here Comes The Flood wrote:Feels like you're overthinking this.

'Pacifist' doesn't apply to other Pcs, so why would it apply to NPCs?


"My code doesn't allow me to engage in violence."
"Phew!"
"That's why I bring Tony."
*smacks baseball bat into his hand*
"... uh oh."

In essence, when you accept a limitation for an effect, such as not doing violence in order to gain a benefit, then you need to be bound by that choice or its no choice at all.

This does NOT apply to other PCs, since they're not getting a benefit, only you are, so the restriction doesn't apply (tho good roleplaying would see the pacifist encouraging the others to try non-violent solutions.) … but anything directly under your control, such as a companion, should either A) come with the same limitation or B) not give you the benefit that you get from the limitation.

Otherwise you get situations where you have to deal with, "By holding the bowling ball over the stairs, then releasing it, I'm not causing damage, gravity is. I'm in the clear!" It's the fair way to play.

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Count Thalim
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Re: Pacifist Companions and attacks

Postby Count Thalim » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:54 am

Personally I agree with Wakashani here.

By using companions to perform attacks it feels very much like rules lawyering around the intent behind Pacifist.
After all I don't think most generals are considered pacifists, but they don't actually commit the violence those under their command do.

However this is a long running discussion in TTRPGs. Is the intent or the wording more important?
There isn't a global right answer, it will depend on your group and their preferences.
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Atama
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Re: Pacifist Companions and attacks

Postby Atama » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:20 am

I agree that as long as a companion is under the player’s control, the PC is responsible for its actions. After all, the rules say that they follow “basic commands”. If a companion animal is attacking people it’s at your character’s direction.

If something happened where the PC was unconscious, could not give commands, and suddenly the animal was acting on its own initiative, then the PC isn’t responsible. But in that case the animal should be under the GM’s control as an independent NPC.

Followers are a bit different. They are loyal and do as you say but within reason. Unlike animal companions you don’t absolutely control them. You can say “guard the door but don’t hurt anyone” but the GM could rule that the follower became scared for their life against an enemy and used force do defend themselves. “They are loyal for the most part, but not suicidal.” In the case that the GM steps in and dictates a follower does not fully do as asked or expected, the PC can’t be held responsible.

I do think it’s way too much cheese-gaming if you have a character that you control and that follows your PC’s in-game commands, then decide “despite my character’s commands I think they attack anyway”. That’s not how the rules are written and I’d say that if your companion/follower is that out-of-control, the pacifist would no longer accept them as a subordinate. Other PCs in your group are partners and you have to accept that they have different philosophies than you, and that you work together for the greater good. The same isn’t true for those who report to you loyally and are meant to obey you to a degree.
“You are a bad person, and should feel bad.”
-TorgHacker (being tongue-in-cheek :D)

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Count Thalim
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Re: Pacifist Companions and attacks

Postby Count Thalim » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:59 am

Atama wrote:If something happened where the PC was unconscious, could not give commands, and suddenly the animal was acting on its own initiative, then the PC isn’t responsible. But in that case the animal should be under the GM’s control as an independent NPC.


And therein lies some wonderful angst for the character when they wake up. It is that sort of RP opportunity that some of my group would dearly love.

Though if you need to be unconscious before your animal companion attacks I'd let the player keep control as it gives them something to do and I can't really see that as them gaming the system.
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Atama
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Re: Pacifist Companions and attacks

Postby Atama » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:31 pm

Count Thalim wrote:
Atama wrote:If something happened where the PC was unconscious, could not give commands, and suddenly the animal was acting on its own initiative, then the PC isn’t responsible. But in that case the animal should be under the GM’s control as an independent NPC.


And therein lies some wonderful angst for the character when they wake up. It is that sort of RP opportunity that some of my group would dearly love.

Though if you need to be unconscious before your animal companion attacks I'd let the player keep control as it gives them something to do and I can't really see that as them gaming the system.

Yeah, that’s a good point. I don’t think that would be too cheesy either. Or if your PC goes down and a follower gets enraged and goes berserk on the enemy. It’s cool from a story perspective.
“You are a bad person, and should feel bad.”
-TorgHacker (being tongue-in-cheek :D)


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