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 Post subject: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:44 pm
  

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Hero

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Well, my PC group is going to embark on the Arms of Nargah-Tor adventure. There is holy sword that they could possilby acquire, but it only allows characters of good alignment to use it. I don't require my PC's to select an alignment, I just let them play the PC and make a determination. However, I have recently realized that So, I looked at the tenets for Principled and Unprincipled. Principled says, "
Scrupulous characters value life and freedom above all else, and despise those who would deprive others of them". How does that work in a land in which slavery is commonplace? Second, it says "Never attack or kill an unarmed foe." Would that preclude firing crossbow bolts at a foe stuck in a carpet of adhesion and that foe only has hand to hand weapons?

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:07 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
This was touched on before, the slaves are thought of less than animals, otherwise all scrupulous people would be vegans, but it is regional thinking. Scrupulous wolfen wouldn't put up with orc slaves, scrupulous humans wouldn't like orc slaves in the eastern territories.

If the foe had surrendered it would be bad to shoot him, however if he was still waving his knife around saying im gunna gut ya he will likely get shot. Likely after a warning but sometimes not as well, depending on what his previous actions were.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:21 pm
  

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Monk

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Good is good, not relative.
There will be people who see themselves as being good while they are at best aberrant because they do evil to some individual, some people(s), or everyone not their kin. This can be done even while following all the laws of the land they live in.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:38 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Good is good, not relative.

Then there is no such thing as good (except maybe for plants, but they are often pretty vicious in their gathering of energy too), everybody steals energy from something to survive, and that often involves the killing of an innocent, and im pretty sure mr cow didn't want to go into your burger.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:23 am
  

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drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Good is good, not relative.
There will be people who see themselves as being good while they are at best aberrant because they do evil to some individual, some people(s), or everyone not their kin. This can be done even while following all the laws of the land they live in.

Agreed. If you look at it rationally the most common human alignment in the PB system is almost certainly Unprincipled or maybe even Anarchist.

kiralon wrote:
drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Good is good, not relative.

Then there is no such thing as good (except maybe for plants, but they are often pretty vicious in their gathering of energy too), everybody steals energy from something to survive, and that often involves the killing of an innocent, and im pretty sure mr cow didn't want to go into your burger.

If we were having a purely philosophical discussion then maybe sure but the limits for each alignment are stated in reasonably clear language. I get some people don't like the alignment system, I allow characters to do some minor edits on the precepts of their chosen one myself, but it is more than clear enough for a simple game mechanic like "this weapon won't work for you if you do 'X'".

IRL I actually agree with you since I don't believe in free will but this needlessly overcomplicates the game.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:37 am
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
but if you think monsters are like animals, how is it more evil than what is done to animals is what i'm saying, what you think and what you apply it to do matter.
How is it different if you dont think the rules apply to animals or do. it says don't kill an innocent. Most animals are innocent, or is it just sentient beings or is it because animals are too dumb to understand. Animals do understand death and try to avoid it, so how is it not evil killing them, who chooses the line and why.
Some people who don't eat meat think killing and eating animals is bad, why are they wrong.

Note: There are enough good people in timiro that there is either something not right with the alignment system (Cough rurga cough) or thinking that good and evil must be relative has to be correct, otherwise there would be no orc slaves.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:10 pm
  

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kiralon wrote:
but if you think monsters are like animals, how is it more evil than what is done to animals is what i'm saying, what you think and what you apply it to do matter.
How is it different if you dont think the rules apply to animals or do. it says don't kill an innocent. Most animals are innocent, or is it just sentient beings or is it because animals are too dumb to understand. Animals do understand death and try to avoid it, so how is it not evil killing them, who chooses the line and why.
Some people who don't eat meat think killing and eating animals is bad, why are they wrong.

Note: There are enough good people in timiro that there is either something not right with the alignment system (Cough rurga cough) or thinking that good and evil must be relative has to be correct, otherwise there would be no orc slaves.

Again, IRL I agree with you but this is a game mechanic. In a way you prove my point as animals and non-intelligent monsters are given an effective alignments to account for this in the system. Also, as you said if an animal is willing to stampede if frightened, which could kill people is it really innocent? You can go round and round in circles on this and I guess IRL some people find that fun but for a game it borders on the rediculous.

Also in addition to my points on average alignments being selfish what you have to remember is the aspect of fear. There were plenty of historical incidents that occur because good people failed to act out of fear and selfish people just didn't care. A slave state is always one of fear and so good people who are afraid will simply avoid slavery and the selfish will benefit.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:13 pm
  

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Monk

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kiralon wrote:
drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Good is good, not relative.

Then there is no such thing as good (except maybe for plants, but they are often pretty vicious in their gathering of energy too), everybody steals energy from something to survive, and that often involves the killing of an innocent, and im pretty sure mr cow didn't want to go into your burger.

I'm a Christian and that is the very basic part of what is presented in The Book. The Good News presented in the The Book is how to be forgiven form not being good.

As to game-wise comments, a way of looking at Laws is that it is the agreed upon moral code that people are expected to live up to. This, in a well working government of the people, works pretty well. However, it breaks down when there is a 'Ruling Class' that 'Rules By Law'. Which means the the laws don't reflect the morality of the people.

Which means defining 'following the law' as 'being good' is misleading.
Example: How the Law in the USA says abortions are okay. Even when it is breaks the laws to be a baby killer/mudurer.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:54 pm
  

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I see alignment as being influenced by the culture you sprang from. If you come from a region where "sub-human" species are "the enemy", I doubt you will apply quite the same standards to interactions with them as you would with "civilized" peoples. I would expect a "good" individual with half a brain to realize that the slavery issue is a problem, but also to realize they probably won't be able to change a country that is virtually dependent on their slaves. I mean, how many assassination attempts financed by rich and powerful slave owners can one reasonably survive if you start talking about taking away their "property"?

I'm not trying to say that good/evil will be totally relative, but our notions of what is good and evil are definitely influenced by upbringing/culture.

But then, I treat alignment a bit differently, because I classify Unprincipled as good. Probably partly because I like the symmetry of 3 good alignments, 3 evil alignments, and the anarchists stirring things up in the middle.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:43 am
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
I agree that good should be good, and that does work well in general, but in our world, when you get to more specific things different people and cultures around the world think of different things as being good and bad (do not go to saudi arabia and shake someones hand with your left hand for example), but one of the things that interests me is that people are willing to believe that the killing of people is bad, but the killing of animals is OK, because they were raised that way. Both are living feeling creatures, and some creatures are pretty darn intelligent. So if you are raised to think of slaves the same as animals, is the person really being evil, or being culturally being forced into something because peer pressure is a real thing, most people want to be accepted in society.
Is it good or evil to be a user of things produced by a slave allowing culture (china for example).


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:33 pm
  

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Monk

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kiralon wrote:
drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Good is good, not relative.

Then there is no such thing as good (except maybe for plants, but they are often pretty vicious in their gathering of energy too), everybody steals energy from something to survive, and that often involves the killing of an innocent, and im pretty sure mr cow didn't want to go into your burger.


That is a lie. Cows want to be cooked.

While I was stationed at Altus AFB, OK we had convoy training and they were setting off explosive simulators and smoke grenades to simulate IEDs. They had put them in dry grass with a tire as a fire pit. Military smoke grenades burn hot so it ignited the grass. The base is surrounded on three sides by cotton/corn fields and on one by a ranch. When the fire started putting up the black smoke the ranch next door was devoid of animals. After about 20 minutes the rancher's whole herd was up against the fence trying to get to the fire. Most animals run from smoke and fire... not cows, they want to be cooked.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:23 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
Lol, i really wonder what attracted em because yeah, most things are afraid of smoke/fire


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:52 pm
  

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Monk

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kiralon wrote:
Lol, i really wonder what attracted em because yeah, most things are afraid of smoke/fire

I am SO freaking glad you got that, that was a joke. True story but a joke... or would that be a funny anecdote?

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:46 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
Anecdote ;)
If you have ever seen a controlled sugar cane fire, watching the animals run from it is pretty amazing, but watching a bunch of cows run at a big ass bbq would be hilarious. Maybe they were expecting to see chickens in choppers.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:50 am
  

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It's a tricky question to handle in-game. Some possible interpretations:

Perhaps the moral code only counts towards those who a person sees as being "people." Thus an otherwise-good person might feel entirely justified doing awful things against members of a different species or even subgroup of the same species that, if done to a peer, would make that person immoral.

Perhaps the thing with good alignments in the game is that they *think* they are good? Thus it's not a question of moral relativism but rather a subjective self-assessment.

Perhaps one should think of alignments like motivation: good people want to help others even if it costs them, selfish people want to help themselves, and evil people want to hurt others.

Any way we cut it, I rather wish we had more "good" vs "good" scenarios and the moral/ethical dilemmas they bring. Those are my favorite kinds of adventures.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:27 pm
  

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Hero

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Well, Hotrod, I have had a few in this nascent adventure. Slavery was one of the first ones with some of the PC group signing on to capture escaped slaves. They were initially gung-ho, except for one person, and then changed their minds when confronted by actual slaves who just wanted to be free. Two of the PCs played in character (I hope) and were still down with the job. The slaves were hiding in a small village that the PCs had just helped. Then I had a group of hard core slavers show up and the villagers wouldn't let the slavers take the slaves. Do the PCs help the villagers, the slavers, or do nothing? It was a lof doing nothing as they watched the slavers kick in doors, hit the villagers, and drag the slaves out and place them in chains. There was at least one PC who was trying, in vain, to quell the burgeoning violence but the two sides were diametrically opposed. Eventually, the violence level reached the point where one PC got a little physical with the slavers and a fight was on.

I'm not surprised that no one addressed the "attacking an unarmed foe", since the slavery issue is such a fun social psychology issue. However, I think that one is also fun. I have a long background in law enforcement and counter-terrorism so it seems like a use of force issue to me. Even in the rough and tumble Palladium world there appear to restrictions on what is acceptale force to use for "good" characters in certain situations. And those restrictions look a lot like the use of force should be proportionate to the threat presented. So, even if someone is technically armed, you shouldn't be able to shoot them if they can't bring those arms to bear against you. So if your opponent is stuck to the ground, even if the person is wielding a sword and saying how he or she is going run you through you can't just pepper them with arrows and be a "good" person. The same would apply to someone who is armed, but doesn't pose much of a threat - like a small child with a knife or stick.

The reason I brought the whole idea up is that there are items and spells that depend on "good" or "evil", in the game. Personally, I think good and evil are constructs of man and that there is no universal "good" or "evil". Rather, there is behavior which is deemed acceptable or unacceptable within societies. For items, they could have some imprinting placed on them by a creator or have an entity within them. Those all happen to accept the "good, selfish, evil" views laid out in the alignment section of the book. It becomes murkier with protection circles. If there is no actual "good" or "evil" then the Protection from Evil/Good circles are moot. The same goes for triggers on Wards. If all good and evil is relative, then there is no good or evil. As such, I think the alignements as listed are as good a set of rules as any other and I will apply them to determine the alignments of the PCs.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:27 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
The game doesn't have the real life issue of accidental instant death and has magical healing, so being shot by an arrow or stabbed by a knife in real life is very different.
but to me, the enemies intent also matters, so if the players tell the opponent to drop his weapons and he doesn't, he is still showing violent intent and the characters can freely pepper him with arrows. They don't have to risk getting hurt for when the carpet wears out, and then after shooting him unconscious they can usually bind him and heal him back up anyway.
But it is all down to intent of the other guy, if he has empty hands but is acting very aggressively and gets told to stand down but takes a swing at someone, i don't think good people have to take hit to prove the other guy is unarmed (which nobody is ever, they have fists, can have psionics/claws/teeth or even the strength to pull your arms from their sockets). Give him a chance to stand down, and if he doesn't take it use whatever force is necessary to take him down, but killing him is a nono.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:43 pm
  

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Hero

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Well, I agree that if you give the person a chance to stand down and it isn't taken that person is fair game. I've had three PCs gladly fire arrows and bolts at NPCs stuck in a CoA and not once have they offered quarter. I think my PCs just don't see NPCs as people and as a result don't take into account their actions. But, I don't play that way. Whatever you do to an NPC reflects on your character and the character of that character.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:57 pm
  

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D-Bee

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Every villain thinks they are the good guy. There are very few people who would think of themselves as evil, because everybody has an excuse. Slavery is an easy one for them to excuse, just imagine the arguments a slaver might make, while truly believing himself a stand-up, big hearted, mega-nice guy.

"Slavery isn't wrong, our god said we humans are on dominion over the elves, and the Avatar of Glowman the Godly never spoke about slaves! I'm just a good, Glowmanian guy selling elf babies to feed my family."

"Slavery of humans is wrong, but goblins are lesser species and we are helping them. It's our duty to care for them and we deserve the fruit of their labors as compensation."

"Maybe enslaving dwarves is wrong, but the sudden end to the slave economy would have had a profound and killing economic impact in the Southern reaches of Madeupulon where reliance on slave labor is the foundation of our economy. We're good people who enslave by necessity."

"if all the slaves were freed, there would be widespread unemployment and chaos. This would lead to uprisings, bloodshed, and anarchy. We have to keep the peace!"

"Trollish slavery has existed throughout history and is the natural state of trollkind. The elves had slaves, Dwarves had slaves, so what's wrong with us having them?"

"The courts already ruled, with the Tinkerbell decision, that all fae — not just sprites — have no legal standing as persons in our courts — they are property, and the law protects slave-holders' rights to their property. I am a good, law abiding slaver. Would you like to buy a pixie?"

That fantasy slaver thinks he's a good guy.
He's not. A good magical item will immediately react to the truth, he's a dirty scumbag who sells living, sentient people into bondage. He's at best aberrant, and most likely miscreant or diabolic. Sure, he's a good dad, and he helps his neighbors, but then he goes to work and commits unspeakable acts of horror. He's evil. Any magic sword worth it's salt knows it.


True story, each of these arguments were cited by US slavery defenders in the 1800s, and every one of those southern gentlemen thought they were good men, despite the inhumanity to man and disgusting practices they fought for. Slavery is evil. Slavers are evil. Evil is absolute.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:44 am
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
ITWastrel wrote:
Every villain thinks they are the good guy. There are very few people who would think of themselves as evil, because everybody has an excuse. Slavery is an easy one for them to excuse, just imagine the arguments a slaver might make, while truly believing himself a stand-up, big hearted, mega-nice guy.

"Slavery isn't wrong, our god said we humans are on dominion over the elves, and the Avatar of Glowman the Godly never spoke about slaves! I'm just a good, Glowmanian guy selling elf babies to feed my family."

"Slavery of humans is wrong, but goblins are lesser species and we are helping them. It's our duty to care for them and we deserve the fruit of their labors as compensation."

"Maybe enslaving dwarves is wrong, but the sudden end to the slave economy would have had a profound and killing economic impact in the Southern reaches of Madeupulon where reliance on slave labor is the foundation of our economy. We're good people who enslave by necessity."

"if all the slaves were freed, there would be widespread unemployment and chaos. This would lead to uprisings, bloodshed, and anarchy. We have to keep the peace!"

"Trollish slavery has existed throughout history and is the natural state of trollkind. The elves had slaves, Dwarves had slaves, so what's wrong with us having them?"

"The courts already ruled, with the Tinkerbell decision, that all fae — not just sprites — have no legal standing as persons in our courts — they are property, and the law protects slave-holders' rights to their property. I am a good, law abiding slaver. Would you like to buy a pixie?"

That fantasy slaver thinks he's a good guy.
He's not. A good magical item will immediately react to the truth, he's a dirty scumbag who sells living, sentient people into bondage. He's at best aberrant, and most likely miscreant or diabolic. Sure, he's a good dad, and he helps his neighbors, but then he goes to work and commits unspeakable acts of horror. He's evil. Any magic sword worth it's salt knows it.


True story, each of these arguments were cited by US slavery defenders in the 1800s, and every one of those southern gentlemen thought they were good men, despite the inhumanity to man and disgusting practices they fought for. Slavery is evil. Slavers are evil. Evil is absolute.

How about what happens to actual animals being treated the same way, why isn't that evil too. (Don't get me wrong, i agree slavery is bad, but i also know that points of view are different, and if someone truly thinks a troll is an animal, and treats it that way and a magic sword detects it as evil, why aren't you evil for treating an animal/insect the same way).
Doesn't intent matter, but peoples morals are affected by how they are raised, which means good and evil can change depending on how you are raised, unless someone says, I am the undisputed master of good and evil and definitely know the sometimes very slight differences between them, so what everyone else thinks is good and evil is wrong, either slightly or greatly. The world is massively complex, i believe that there can be differences depending on the people because what might be right for one person, might not be right for another.
I have a player who never plays a good alignment, but always reserves the right to torture somebody to death to get information if necessary. Most of the characters don't get to do it, but it will be done if needed, but otherwise play a good character.
Are the ones that don't do it evil, even if they haven't done it, but would if they had to. So if it's only actions that count, these guys are good
Are the ones that did do it, for example, to somebody who had caused misery, pain and death to multitudes through the centuries, and if wasn't tortured for the information, would have a lot more people die, and worse, the pc knew they would come back and continue killing, unless the knowledge of how his return to life was found out. Are these guys evil?
I know it will take a wiser man than i to answer things like this.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:47 am
  

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Champion

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Veknironth wrote:
Well, Hotrod, I have had a few in this nascent adventure. Slavery was one of the first ones with some of the PC group signing on to capture escaped slaves. They were initially gung-ho, except for one person, and then changed their minds when confronted by actual slaves who just wanted to be free. Two of the PCs played in character (I hope) and were still down with the job. The slaves were hiding in a small village that the PCs had just helped. Then I had a group of hard core slavers show up and the villagers wouldn't let the slavers take the slaves. Do the PCs help the villagers, the slavers, or do nothing? It was a lof doing nothing as they watched the slavers kick in doors, hit the villagers, and drag the slaves out and place them in chains. There was at least one PC who was trying, in vain, to quell the burgeoning violence but the two sides were diametrically opposed. Eventually, the violence level reached the point where one PC got a little physical with the slavers and a fight was on.

Slavery is a weird issue for modern people to address in the context of a fantasy game, since chattel slavery is outlawed all over the world today (and forced labor only remains today in most countries as a temporary punitive measure), but slavery is a common practice in many fantasy worlds. If you were raised in a culture in which slavery was considered a normal part of life, and you accepted and participated in that part of your culture, would that participation still be an evil act? If so, can an an otherwise good person commit some evil acts and still be generally good otherwise?

In real life, these are complicated topics. In an RPG where multiple people need to share a common frame of reference, it's important to have a shared standard, so I don't see how the answer to both questions can be yes.

Alas, I have no good answer for you, just the ideas I spitballed in my previous post.

Veknironth wrote:
I'm not surprised that no one addressed the "attacking an unarmed foe", since the slavery issue is such a fun social psychology issue. However, I think that one is also fun. I have a long background in law enforcement and counter-terrorism so it seems like a use of force issue to me. Even in the rough and tumble Palladium world there appear to restrictions on what is acceptale force to use for "good" characters in certain situations. And those restrictions look a lot like the use of force should be proportionate to the threat presented. So, even if someone is technically armed, you shouldn't be able to shoot them if they can't bring those arms to bear against you. So if your opponent is stuck to the ground, even if the person is wielding a sword and saying how he or she is going run you through you can't just pepper them with arrows and be a "good" person. The same would apply to someone who is armed, but doesn't pose much of a threat - like a small child with a knife or stick.

A lot depends on context when it comes to unequal contests. Regarding the "attacking an unarmed/helpless foe" aspect, I think it's situational. If you've ambushed a foe and have them temporarily helpless, a good character should generally give them a chance to give up, and if there's a way to defeat a helpless foe without killing them, then a good character should generally try to do that. However, it is not reasonable to expect a good character to sacrifice his/her advantage for the sake of morality in a life-and-death contest.

That said, there is value in sacrificing an obvious advantage in certain circumstances that can lead to less-immediately-obvious benefits. A great fighter might do so as a way of demonstrating his/her martial superiority in a duel, tournament, or other form of ritual combat. A leader might do this to gain influence among those watching and/or persuade those watching to show similar restraint. A fighter might also do this knowing that someday, the tables may turn, and his or her life might depend on such mercies. Wars must end sometime, and it's a lot easier to make peace between foes who respect one another than it is between foes who think each other evil. A leader who shows this kind of chivalry has a better chance of inspiring foes to become friends, allies, and subordinates.

You can see just about all of these factors at play in the single greatest swordfight I've ever seen put to screen, from a Polish movie called "The Deluge."

Veknironth wrote:
The reason I brought the whole idea up is that there are items and spells that depend on "good" or "evil", in the game. Personally, I think good and evil are constructs of man and that there is no universal "good" or "evil". Rather, there is behavior which is deemed acceptable or unacceptable within societies. For items, they could have some imprinting placed on them by a creator or have an entity within them. Those all happen to accept the "good, selfish, evil" views laid out in the alignment section of the book. It becomes murkier with protection circles. If there is no actual "good" or "evil" then the Protection from Evil/Good circles are moot. The same goes for triggers on Wards. If all good and evil is relative, then there is no good or evil. As such, I think the alignments as listed are as good a set of rules as any other and I will apply them to determine the alignments of the PCs.


In the context of the game, the ideals of good are just that: ideals. These are ideals that encourage prosperity and peace, while minimizing injustice and violence. The way I see it, good people try to follow them, and they fail less at it than selfish people do. Evil people either eschew (miscreant) these ideals for their benefit or revel in violating them(diabolic). While some evil people hold to a code of rules, (aberrant), their ultimate goals aren't compatible with the ideals of good.

I tend to see alignments like guidelines, but Palladium tends to portray them as both descriptive and restrictive codes of behavior. This can get awkward in some ways:
-Not all characters fit neatly into the alignments described; you might have a slave-owner who is just, fair, honorable, and merciful, but thinks of his slaves like he thinks of his horses. I would generally portray this character as good, not because I think slavery is ok, but because it makes interactions with that kind of character more complicated and interesting.
-The word "never" is an absolute, and when you have multiple "nevers" in the same alignment, you open the door to ethical dilemmas with no solution.
-Some GMs view a character violating their alignments as something to be punished. I've seen one go so far as to take a player's character sheet, scratch out what was there, and write in an alignment when that player made a decision that violated one aspect of his alignment in a morally ambiguous situation with no "good" solution. That's an extreme example, but there are passages in canon that advocate changing player character alignments for making a single decision that the author thinks of as being morally wrong, but a player (and more importantly, the player's character) might have moral reasons for making. Lines in the books like "No good character would ever do/use XXX" or "Only the blackest of evil YYY's would ever do ZZZ" always strike me as shorthand for "we don't want this to be an option for players, so there!"
-All the restrictive codes seem to apply only to good alignments. Thus, while a good character might take a single action and be dubbed selfish or evil, an evil character who chooses to make a selfless act of redemption does not undergo a similar transition.

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Last edited by Hotrod on Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:16 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
You can see just about all of these factors at play in the single greatest swordfight I've ever seen put to screen, from a Polish movie called "The Deluge."

That was brilliant. Thanks for the link.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:28 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
In the context of the game, the ideals of good are just that: ideals. These are ideals that encourage prosperity and peace, while minimizing injustice and violence. The way I see it, good people try to follow them, and they fail less at it than selfish people do. Evil people either eschew (miscreant) these ideals for their benefit or revel in violating them(diabolic). While some evil people hold to a code of rules, (aberrant), their ultimate goals aren't compatible with the ideals of good.


I tend to look at alignments based on the idea that everyone would like to do whatever they wish in life. Those on the "good" side of the spectrum care (to varying extents) how much the pursuit of their goals affects those around them and are predisposed to follow courses of action that will provide a positive impact. Selfish isn't out to negatively or positively impact the lives of those around them, but won't necessarily be all that bothered one way or the other. Those on the "evil" side generally enjoy (to varying extents) causing negative impacts on those around them. Of course all of that can be colored by personal relationships, likes/dislikes, and experience.

I also agree that the wording for some of the alignment "will do/won't do" statements aren't the best, but I tell my players to treat them as guidelines to give an idea how someone of that alignment thinks, not as the absolute "set in stone" guide to all that each alignment represents. Generally people change how they think as they learn and have various experiences in life. I hope for characters in my games to do the same.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:01 am
  

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Well, let's add something to the "hurt an unarmed or helpless opponent". What about the following situation. A orc/ogre patrol comes across the PC group. A fight ensues and the group wins easily. They have an orc who was put to sleep by a Cloud of Slumber. Before the orc wakes, the group ties it up. They question the orc, who doesn't speak any of the languages the PC group speaks. They try to use telepathy but all they get is the orc being terrified what with the group putting a rapier against his neck. They realize they can't communicate with the orc and they decide to push it off of the elevated road and into the swamp, while it's still tied up.

-Vek
"That's Anarchist at best."

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:49 pm
  

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
at the very best, i'd be more inclined to say miscreant or diabolical. (ask em how evil they think the orc was if it was doing it to them).


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:32 pm
  

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To be honest, I only see one problem with that scenario with the information presented. Drowning the orc is the only thing I would see as evil by default. That is a very nasty end to inflict on someone, and I would expect good characters to feel bad about it. If anyone else finds out about it, I would expect the group to be looked at differently by people based on being willing to do that sort of thing (both by people that would be horrified, and people that are looking for hirelings willing to do nastier jobs).

If this is happening in the setting you mentioned in the OP, the group has encountered members of a species that are a constant threat to the borders of their country (not to mention the danger within from the number of slaves). Without more context on the circumstances surrounding this encounter, I would have no problem with good characters totally wiping out the orcs. If there is a knight or paladin wishing to honor the code of chivalry, then untie him, give him a weapon, and give him death in combat. I have zero problems with good characters destroying enemies of their nation as long as they are somewhat mindful of how they go about it.

Also, if we take a good look at our life and pick out the worst decision/action we ever made, does that define who we are, or was it an outlier in our overall behavior? I look at alignment the same way. This isn't D&D where you have a celestial grid of alignments that everyone MUST fit into at all times, and a single action will shift you into a different slot. If your character's overall behavior fits a certain alignment, that is what the character probably is regardless of outliers. If the outliers become the norm, then obviously the alignment (outlook on life, the universe, and everything) has changed. One incident doesn't necessarily matter much as far as determining if what is written on the sheet for alignment is accurate or not.


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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:16 pm
  

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Well, it's a recurring thing for them. They also are fond of using carpet of adhesion and then shooting the stuck creatures with arrows. Another awful death - being stuck to the ground while your opponent mercilessly takes target practice at you. I remember the scene of King Joffrey shooting his crossbow at Ros. They just don't see NPCs as living creatures. It's just getting rid of a token on the Roll20 board.

-Vek
"But they are currently stuck in a carpet of adhesion, so let's see how they enjoy it."

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:37 pm
  

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If you render a foe helpless, you should give them a chance to surrender, unless the foe is a monstrous and unthinking beast, or unless your dominant position is too short lived to guarantee your victory. Otherwise, it’s evil, or at least, not good.

Killing a helpless captive is bad, too. Better to get them high on drugs and let them go.

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 Post subject: Re: alignemnt question
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:35 pm
  

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Well, Hotrod, your words have swayed me. I will offer the group a chance to surrender. I give it 3 to 1 odds that they ignore their impossible situation and try to fight their way out of it.

-Vek
"And THEN I'll pin cushion them with arrows."

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