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Saw it mentioned in a thread (How do you make a vampire cleric stay dead?) and now I'm curious... Does binding a creature's soul into a gem in itself constitute an evil act?

Trap the soul says conjuration and summoning, but there is no (evil) descriptor. Seems apt to me, what the RAW decrees. Other thoughts?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

By the rules, if it doesn't have the evil descriptor then it is not an always objectively evil act per se. Morality of a specific use of the spell is of course up to the judgement of the play group and GM. There are many evil creatures where killing them doesn't do much to thwart their plans (evil outsiders, etc.) in which case such a spell may be entirely appropriate.

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Agreed, hence I mention it. It took me a while to even view undead creation as not inherently an evil act, though - takes dissolving some preconceived notions. – LitheOhm Sep 10 '12 at 6:27
Plus, of course, since the body of the victim is also trapped and is released at the same time as the soul with few ill effects, the spell can even be used as an unnecessarily expensive and complicated way to transport willing characters from place to place. – GMJoe Sep 10 '12 at 7:31

It might depend on whose soul you're trapping and why, but, in general, capturing someone's existence into one of your playthings is probably a non-good act.

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Trap the soul always seemed like a spell that's more plot device than of actual use. – okeefe Sep 10 '12 at 3:42
I figure the same. My games always turn more toward the relative evil approach conveyed by Book of Vile Darkness in that not every gnoll is evil, etc. Also, I've found this spell to be of mostly plot use as well. The exception is evil parties who use it to fuel experience, another variant out of the same book. – LitheOhm Sep 10 '12 at 6:29

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