Can an evil character cover there alignment?

Is there anyway for an evil NPC to cover up there alignment if a player attempts detect evil?

I am working on a Silver Dragon antagonist. This NPC will appear to the players as a number of human NPC’s setting tasks, missions, appearing as a friend. The dragons goal is to attempt to prevent an ancient doomsday prophecy coming to fruition. Each spell it learns will become branded to its scales in a series of runes which in human form will take the form of tattoos so over time the players may be able to work out these different humans are connected in some way.

The Dragon will determine the only way to stop this prophecy is to enact an ancient ritual involving it sacrificing itself to destroy all intelligent creatures with evil or chaotic alignment in all the planes of my world therefore becoming the very prophecy it was seeking to prevent. At first I thought the dragon would remain good as it believes its aims are good, but, I now see it will have to have its alignment shift as the campaign progresses and it becomes more convinced that mass genocide is the only way to save the world from lawful good at the start, to chaotic good and then chaotic evil.

Is there a current way for this dragon to hide its true alignment from any magical check or am I going to have to create a way for it to do this? Possibly one of the spells the party hunt out for it.

Shifting Sacred Flame to Toll the Dead for Evil NPCs

The PHB makes it clear that radiant damage comes from the Positive Plane and is often associated with the Celestials of the Upper Planes, while necrotic damage comes from the Negative Plane and is often associated with Fiends and the Lower Planes

Damage Types (PHB196)

Necrotic. Necrotic damage, dealt by certain undead and a spell such as chill touch, withers matter and even the soul. Radiant. Radiant damage, dealt by a cleric’s flame strike spell or an angel’s smiting weapon, sears the flesh like fire and overloads the spirit with power.

Positive and Negative Planes (PHB300)

Like a dome above the other planes, the Positive Plane is the source of radiant energy and the raw life force that suffuses all living beings, from the puny to the sublime. Its dark reflection is the Negative Plane, the source of necrotic energy that destroys the living and animates the undead.

Several cleric spells allow you to choose your damage type between radiant or necrotic, and if spirit guardians is the exemplar, you would make this choice based on alignment.

Spirit Guardians (3rd level conjuration)

You call forth spirits to protect you…If you are good or neutral, their spectral form appears angelic or fey (your choice). If you are evil, they appear fiendish. On a failed save, the creature takes 3d8 radiant damage (if you are good or neutral) or 3d8 necrotic damage (if you are evil).

Destructive Wave (5th level Evocation)

You strike the ground, creating a burst of divine energy that ripples outward from you. Each creature you choose within 30 feet of you…take[s]…5d6 radiant or necrotic damage (your choice)

Forbiddance (6th level Evocation)

You create a ward against magical travel…the creature takes 5d10 radiant or necrotic damage (your choice when you cast this spell).

Other cleric spells do just one or the other type of damage, but there are enough of these that DMs and players making alignment-based choices can find appropriate damage types at most levels:

1st: Guiding Bolt (radiant), Inflict Wounds (necromancy)

4th: Guardian of Faith (radiant)

5th: Flame Strike (radiant), Holy Weapon (radiant)

6th: Sunbeam (radiant), Harm (Necrotic)

7th: Finger of Death (Necrotic), Symbol (Death) (Necrotic)

8th: Sunburst (radiant)

However, at the time of the printing of the PHB and MM, there were no official cleric cantrips that did necrotic damage. This led to NPC’s such as the Acolyte (any alignment), Cult Fanatic (any non-good alignment), and Priest (any alignment) being assigned for their principle offensive cantrip sacred flame, which does radiant damage.

Now that Xanathar’s Guide to Everything has made official a cantrip that deals necrotic damage (toll the dead), would it make sense to replace sacred flame in the stat blocks of evil NPC’s with toll the dead?

Are there any balance or other issues that arise with such a general change?

Or, would it make more sense to keep sacred flame, but to modify it so that the caster can choose the damage type, as in spirit guardians et al.?

Related: Are positive and negative energy from their respective planes inherently good and evil?

Why were Orcs changed from lawful evil in AD&D 2e to chaotic evil by D&D 5e? [closed]

When I played AD&D 1e and 2e Orcs were listed as lawful evil in the Monster Manual. Lawful Evil as their alignment was consistent with other similar races like Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Bugbears. To my surprise the D&D 5e Monster Manual lists Orcs alignment as chaotic evil, with a description of how Orc tribes work. Why was the Orc alignment changed?

Plenty of AD&D 1e and 2e adventures had Orcs as mercenaries which fit the LE willingness to follow orders. Orcs as CE seem unsuited to organization beyond a tribe as they follow only the strong. The AD&D 2e Monster Manual even suggested that trade was possible with Orcs if you had a well defended enough settlement that trade would be easier than conquest.

What is the in-universe explanation for why succubi, who were demons, became “neutral evil fiends” in 5e?

The Forgotten Realms wiki page on succubi tell us (specifically in footnote 1) that in 1e, 2e and 3.Xe1, succubi were chaotic evil demons, but then were retconned to be lawful evil2 devils in 4e and have now just been made into generic neutral evil "fiends" in 5e, presumably in an attempt to avoid contradicting any previous editions’ lore.

Does 5e give any sort of in-universe lore explanation as to why they are now neither devil nor demon? The 5e Monster Manual entry doesn’t really explain that besides briefly mentioning that they "can be found in service to devils, demons, night hags, rakshasas and yugoloths", again presumably to avoid contradicting any previous editions’ lore, but without explaining why this is now the case.

This is the second part, which was split out from another question; see: What is the in-universe explanation for why succubi, who were demons, became devils?


1 Actually, the footnote on the Forgotten Realms wiki page only says 3e, but I know it was still true in 3.5e because of Neverwinter Nights 2, which was a video game based on 3.5e. In this game they were considered demons, which is incidentally my introduction to D&D and why I consider succubi being demons to be what they "should" be.

2 I say "lawful evil", because that’s what a devil’s alignment is, but I’m aware that 4e changed the alignment system, so it might not be so accurate to claim they were "lawful evil" in 4e, but at the very least, in the context of D&D overall, they would have been considered lawful evil all the time they were considered to be devils.

What is the in-universe explanation for why succubi, who were demons, became devils, then became “neutral evil fiends”?

The Forgotten Realms wiki page on succubi tell us (specifically in footnote 1) that in 1e, 2e and 3.Xe1, succubi were chaotic evil demons, but then were retconned to be lawful evil2 devils in 4e and have now just been made into generic neutral evil "fiends" in 5e, presumably in an attempt to avoid contradicting any previous editions’ lore.

Unlike with the Shadar-kai, I believe there was supposed to be some kind of canonical in-universe lore reason as to why these demons became devils. What was that reason? I assume it appears in some 4e material somewhere? I’m only really familiar with 5e material…

Furthermore, does 5e give any sort of in-universe lore explanation as to why they are now neither devil nor demon? The 5e Monster Manual entry doesn’t really explain that besides briefly mentioning that they "can be found in service to devils, demons, night hags, rakshasas and yugoloths", again presumably to avoid contradicting any previous editions’ lore, but without explaining why this is now the case.


1 Actually, the footnote on the Forgotten Realms wiki page only says 3e, but I know it was still true in 3.5e because of Neverwinter Nights 2, which was a video game based on 3.5e. In this game they were considered demons, which is incidentally my introduction to D&D and why I consider succubi being demons to be what they "should" be.

2 I say "lawful evil", because that’s what a devil’s alignment is, but I’m aware that 4e changed the alignment system, so it might not be so accurate to claim they were "lawful evil" in 4e, but at the very least, in the context of D&D overall, they would have been considered lawful evil all the time they were considered to be devils.

When blinded, could I use Detect Evil and Good to target an enemy?

I’m planning on running a Monk/Cleric (14 in Monk and 6 in Cleric, if my character survives that long, I haven’t yet multi-classed into Cleric), and we’ve come across a few enemies that are able to blind members of our group, and as a halfling, I don’t have the benefit of dark vision (which is fine, we have members of the party who are able to light up the room).

But with some of the context out of the way, Detect Evil and Good states:

For the duration, you know if there is an aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead within 30 feet of you, as well as where the creature is located.

As I wouldn’t be concentrating on another spell, I should be able to make unarmed strikes while using this spell, but that leads to the question:

Would I still have disadvantage on my attack rolls (while blind) as a monk, if I know their location via this spell?

Interaction of Intellect Devourer’s actions with the Protection from Evil and Good

How do Intellect Devourer’s actions interact with the “Protection from Evil and Good”? Am I right that:

  1. if “Body Thief” was not successfully used and the target creature is already under spell, than:
    1. “Claws” attack has disadvantage on attack rolls,
    2. if ID uses “Devour Intellect” does the target have an advantage on Intelligence saving throw (looks like it’s not stated directly in the spell’s description, there is just said about this only if the target is already “charmed, frightened, or possessed”) when ID uses this attack for the first time? For the next time, if previous failed?
    3. ID cannot use “Body Thief” at all.
  2. if “Body Thief” has already been used successfully and the target creature was not under the spell (which is a consequence of the previous statement, otherwise it cannot be), than:
    1. ID’s attacks (on the first target) have no meaning because the target’s brain is magically consumed and ID is in the target’s skull,
    2. casting “Protection from Evil and Good” on the target with ID inside with 100% chance drives the ID out.

Am I right? Please, pay attention to the 1.2 statement.

Actually, this question is not a duplicate of this: Protection from Evil and Good and Intellect Devourer because there was asked only if the Protection from Evil and Good can drive the intellect devourer out of the body as is stated in the monster description while in the spell description it is stated that it can affect only the creature (not body).

Does the Detect good and evil spell see through a Night Hag’s etheralness? [5e]

The system is 5e.

I’m in a weird spot with my campaign, where my party is taking on a night hag. They are lvl 5 adventurers. They have no access to see invisibility currently since the only spellcaster is a cleric and a healing focused warlock. We left off last week with the hag disappearing and they cast detect good and evil. I elected to end the session there because the session was already 3 hours in (which is about how long our sessions go) and also because I wasn’t sure how to rule this. I would think that detect good and evil works for this, at least that’s the way I’m leaning but some clarification on the same would be much appreciated.

Why are skeletons lawful evil while zombies are neutral evil?

I’ve been creating homebrew undead monsters for my campaign and in order to do so well I’ve been dissecting existing monsters that fall within similar veins, including the low-level skeletons and zombies. It’s interesting to see the stat differences between them, considering that they can both be created from the same spell, and I can also find narrative reasons for those differences. However, one thing I can’t really figure out is the difference in alignment between the two. What makes a skeleton “lawful” while zombies are just “evil”?