Pieter Sleijpen wrote:

> GeeMan wrote:
> > In AD&D evil is not just a morality judgement, it is a palpable force. If it
> > wasn't then how could it be detected, protected against or dispelled? Granted,
> > relatively few people have the ability to detect evil, but for those who do it is
> > a pretty definable concept. Paladins and spellcasters who can use Detect Evil can
> > simply sense it about a person or an object. This ability isn't foolproof, of
> > course, but it still makes discovering who is naughty and who is nice quite a bit
> > easier than in our world (or the Star Wars univers, for that matter.)
> Detect evil is not very full proof, now is it? You can only detect those
> of purest evil (in my campaign only those who have sold their "souls" to
> some outer plannar being or those plannar beings) or those with a direct
> evil intent towards the creature casting the spell "detect evil". If an
> evil regent is using the PC's to reach some goal and does not plan to do
> kill or otherwise directly harm the PC's, then that would hardly
> register. Not to mention that there are quite a few low level spells
> that can fool those spells. My players have learned the hard way not to
> trust on such spells, but to mainly use their own eyes and brains. Even
> though they still concider it a usefull guide (I am not the type of DM
> that let it be wrong most of the time or unusable).
> The protection from evil spell is somewhat more difficult, but it's
> effects or not readilly apparent except in the case of magical
> creatures. Dispel evil works against clearly supernatural beings, and
> not specificly against the common evil thug or villain.
> Since I prefer normal humans as villains, who most of the time or not
> deeply evil, most of the time only selfish and powerhungry, these spells
> do not affect my campaign that much. They are useful against undead and
> the horrors from the Shadow World, but as of yet no major villain has
> used those forces against them.

True, Detect Evil is not foolproof. It is, however, a pretty low-level spell, which
might account not only for its limits, but its inaccuracy. Just a level higher and a
priest can not just Detect Evil, but Know Alignment, which is much more definitive.

Regarding Detect Evil, however.... The definition in the PHB is that a "[c]haracter's
alignment... is revealed only under unusual circumstances..." such as particularly
strong alignment, faithfulness, high level plus being intent on good/evil actions. It
goes on to list several powerful monsters, generally planar monsters, who radiate good
or evil. Strangely, however, the PHB goes on to say that the "degree of evil" can also
be determined; dim, faint, moderate, strong or overwelming. In addition, the "general
nature" of the evil might be detectable too, as in "expectant, malignant, gloating,
etc." Isn't that rather contradictory? I mean, it's difficult to detect evil at all,
but you can detect "moderately evil gloating"? Strange.

Another thing. I'd argue that it is a paladin's nature and connection to the forces of
Good that allows him to Detect Evil, therefore, he personally radiates enough goodness
for it to be detected by anyone able to detect such things. This is the same kind of
thing to his vulnerability to being turned by sufficiently high level and evil priests.

To continue that same logic... Shouldn't you be able to Detect Magic and determine that
a character is blooded? I mean, that's the power of the gods flowing in someone's
veins. In the BoM there are a couple of spells for determining bloodline derivation and
strength, but what's the point? Why not just use Detect Magic and have it be able to
determine a character's bloodline strength? The spell description for Detect Magic says
it can determin "dim, faint, moderate, strong [and] overwelming" intensity. Why not
just plug tainted through true in there and have bloodline detected by an already
existing spell? Similarly, the type of magic; alteration, conjuration, illusion, etc.
can be determined as well. Why not say the same thing for bloodline derivation?

Lastly, I'd like to toss out there that blooded individuals just might qualify as the
kinds of "powerful monsters" who radiate enough of their alignment to be detected by the
Detect Evil spell. Their bloodline is a connection to the outer planes, a connection to
the gods, for that matter. Not a much stronger kind of power than that.... Plus, the
kinds of creatures that they list in the PHB under Detect Evil tend to be planar ones
with a connection to an outer plane or those who are aligned undead and have a
connection to the Negative Energy plane. It does say in the Wizard version of the
Detect Magic spell that "otherplanar creatures are not necessarily magical" but I see
that as being backup for saying that blooded characters could be detected by Detect Evil
and Detect Magic. They are, after all, more strongly connected to the planes because
they actually draw powers and abilities from their blood as opposed to creatures who are
simply from the planes and do not have a big connection to the gods.

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