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Old 02-28-2021, 08:24 AM   #1
Anders
 
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Default Pacifism (Cannot Kill) except mercy-killing

A healer who cannot kill someone who has a chance to survive, but who can kill if he truly believes that someone can't be saved and will suffer needlessly. How much is this variant worth? -10 points? -5 points? A quirk?

Edit: And as always, this is not the place to discuss the politics of euthanasia.
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Last edited by Anders; 02-28-2021 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 02-28-2021, 08:39 AM   #2
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Pacifism (Cannot Kill) except mercy-killing

I would consider it a low-value Mitigator. Maybe -10%.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:28 AM   #3
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Pacifism (Cannot Kill) except mercy-killing

Everyone will die. ...eventually.

Jokes aside, I agree that it is little, if any, mitigation at all. He should probably get full value, or almost full value of the pacifism.

...Unless you start including sapient free-willed undead, cursed individuals (werewolves, etc.) and other as "people who cannot be saved". In such a case you should limit the Pacifism based on how many "people" it actually covers.

If it is truly just death-help then I'd almost let him take it as a quirk. It doesn't help him, and if anything might lead him into moral conflict with someone without that quirk. Remember, you get points/pay for the practical effect and how much it helps or inconveniences the characters. I can't see his "okay-with-death-help"-stance helping him without putting the character in an extremely uncommon (and likely convoluted) situation.
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pacifism (Cannot Kill) except mercy-killing

Pacifism (cannot kill) is more focused on direct violence leading to death, in that the PC with the disad can't make a killing blow and tries to prevent killing. Rendering first aid, stopping bleeding, whatever. Per the book "This includes abandoning a wounded foe to die “on his own”!"

Combat injuries that are so massive that one could judge the enemy to be "beyond saving" is pretty... rare. If they're not straight-up toast, they can probably be stabilized in some way. A Pacifism(CK) disad would compel the PC to save the enemy even if their existence would include missing limbs, crippling, etc. Whether or not they pass their HT rolls for being way down in the negative HP realm is secondary to the PC's efforts to stop them from dying, and not something the PC could or should consider in the moment. I'm really not sure how this extends to out-of-combat violence, like caring for a terminally ill person, because there's so much more going on in terms of context, personal choice, social mores, and so on that really isn't what Pacifism(CK) is about.

Ok, so that all said, what the healer PC here seems to be concerned about is something that might be better modeled with Vow (Hippocratic Oath) or similar. Probably -10 to -15, depending on how strict it is. It gives the restrictions more of a matter of life choice rather than intrinsic compulsion, and gives more flexibility for detailing out edge cases and odd scenarios. If they're going to write a legal brief full of loopholes, it's -5 points at most, if it's sincere and looking to cover the spirit of pacifism while fleshing out the tough life situations then sure give them the -10 to -15. Vow gives more flexibility in this realm.

Really the question to ask them is, who do you think you're going to be mercy-killing? Ailing elders who've made peace and ready to depart this mortal coil?
Tortured plague victims who beg for the sweet release of death?
A mangled bandit at -4.5x HP that MIGHT come back w/ a potion as Bob the limbless beggar?

Are you trying to flesh out the PC's internal conflicts over the hard choices in life, or are you trying to get out of having to dump a healing potion on an orc?
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:24 AM   #5
Anders
 
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Default Re: Pacifism (Cannot Kill) except mercy-killing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polkageist View Post
Are you trying to flesh out the PC's internal conflicts over the hard choices in life, or are you trying to get out of having to dump a healing potion on an orc?
The former. Healer character who has a deep respect for life but also realizes that at some point the battle is lost. As it's put in A wizard of Earthsea:

Quote:
the first lesson and the last of all that lore was this: Heal the wound and cure the illness, but let the dying spirit go.
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: Pacifism (Cannot Kill) except mercy-killing

Vow, 100%, it'll give them the flexibility to write out exactly what they want for the code of conduct and has similar/same point breakpoints as Pacifism.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pacifism (Cannot Kill) except mercy-killing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polkageist View Post
Vow, 100%, it'll give them the flexibility to write out exactly what they want for the code of conduct and has similar/same point breakpoints as Pacifism.
I'd go with this, or something similar. What you (the OP) are looking for is not pacifism.
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Old 02-28-2021, 01:41 PM   #8
kirbwarrior
 
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Default Re: Pacifism (Cannot Kill) except mercy-killing

I'll echo Vow and Code of Honor. Both allow for more complexities while getting effectively the same thing as (say) Pacifism: Cannot Kill. In fact, I could see it a step further; If someone is in a position where they can't be helped and they ask for death, you might be 'required' to kill them based on your Vow/CoH and that would cause more complications, especially in societies where that's illegal.
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