PDA

View Full Version : [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights



Pages : 1 [2]

Lord Raziere
2010-10-25, 08:24 PM
It gets better. Choosing whether or not to kill orc babies is a hard choice in the D&D universe. Hard choices like that one lead to the BoED being written by WotC.

ah yes, on one hand killing a baby is killing an innocent and that is a no-no.

on the other hand, not killing the baby would allow said baby to grow up seeking revenge, thus perpetuating the cycle of revenge and solving nothing.

the third option is take the orc baby to an orphanage and have them be raised there- where various human orphans can make fun of them because they are an orc and they grow up to be bitter and cynical.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 08:24 PM
Or if Miko had showed a lick of sense.

Her conclusion was not nearly as far out there as some of those the protagonists come up with from time to time. And yet I never see them getting harped on for being crushingly ignorant (let alone the FAR worse things I hear said about Miko).

This suggests some very serious bias to me.


Eh, I've never been one to say she deserved a fate worse than death. But she is far from the oh so sad and sympathetic character you made her out to be. Unless a character is really, really horrible, a fate like Miko's is pretty damned tragic and sympathetic.

She didn't just get screwed at the end. Her whole life sucked. I mean, seriously, characters in Shakespeare's tragedies often get better deals.


We can't fathom why the gods failed to speak to Miko, but their silence towards her wasn't exactly special treatment.

But she believed they spoke to her, because that's something that highly religious people frequently do.

Lord_Gareth
2010-10-25, 08:30 PM
She didn't just get screwed at the end. Her whole life sucked.

...She gets to go to Celestia. I think her afterlife is going to rock, once she gets over any self-guilt (earned or not) left over from falling from grace. Hell, she gets to see her one and only friend whenever he's not being summoned. I mean, yes, her life sucked. But Celestia, man! She'll have time to get over her problems over the course of forever.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 08:32 PM
...She gets to go to Celestia. I think her afterlife is going to rock, once she gets over any self-guilt (earned or not) left over from falling from grace. Hell, she gets to see her one and only friend whenever he's not being summoned. I mean, yes, her life sucked. But Celestia, man! She'll have time to get over her problems over the course of forever.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Celestia is where Roy went, right?

I don't actually remember Celestia seeming like the fantastic place you make it out to be, especially if you have no one but a horse to see again. Most of the good stuff for Roy was reuniting with his loved ones.

Miko never had anyone.

But sure, it could be worse. All I said was that her life sucked.


Miko was a widely traveled individual, yet somehow remained utterly ignorant of normal, everyday social conventions.

I think "utterly ignorant" is again an exaggeration, but people can get pretty badly damaged when they're ostracized and lonely.

Lord_Gareth
2010-10-25, 08:36 PM
But Miko wasn't interested in other people except insofar as attempting to serve as an example of what she thought was Lawful Good. There's more on that mountain for her than relatives - Roy saw relatives because that's what he really wanted to see. I mean, I can think of all kinds of things that might make her giddy with excitement - learning who her real parents were, joining the holy legions (like Celestia's going to turn away volunteers), the possible opportunity to speak to her gods, spiritual enlightenment. Hell, with permission (and possibly some coercion) from the local archons, chances are she might actually get laid.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 08:36 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Celestia is where Roy went, right?

I don't actually remember Celestia seeming like the fantastic place you make it out to be, especially if you have no one but a horse to see again. Most of the good stuff for Roy was reuniting with his loved ones.

Miko never had anyone.

There's always the Bar of Infinite One-Night Stands. :smalltongue:

Kyuu Himura
2010-10-25, 08:37 PM
I don't know if someone posted for the poor paladin king, but well.

He could evacuate the main fort in the fighting front, say, it should be as big as a city. After evacuation he could get in the fort himself and a group of volunteers as big as he could get and prepare a last stand, dropping the nuke in the city-fort where only he and a handfull of volunteers are fighting only enemy soldiers. Hell, if his wizards made a nuke I am quite sure he can manage to get himself and his troops out of there before nuking town.
After the battle, he or his previously chosen heir (in case he makes a dramatically awesome last stand where he... you know, dies) just have to send the next message to the enemy king/general/whatever: "We can do that again, or stop all this nonsense, you began anyway, and we're just asking you to leave us to heal our wounds, anyway, your choice"

So, different people may give you different aproximations to a problem, it is not fair to say he has no choice other than surrender/mass murder of innocents. Anyway I can't say something like "There's always a 3rd option" but I can say that 99,9% of time, there will be a 3rd option.

On Miko, she was human, therefore, she was flawed, it is true that people were generally jerks to her, but I remember few people being jerks to her before she was a jerk to them. Roy actually started nice to her.
This whole topic remembers me of one of the many team-ups/fights between Daredevil and Punisher from Marvel comics. When the fight went down, Daredevil just told Frank that even despite all he had suffered, that didn't give him the right to go shooting people.

Reverent-One
2010-10-25, 08:37 PM
Her conclusion was not nearly as far out there as some of those the protagonists come up with from time to time. And yet I never see them getting harped on for being crushingly ignorant.

This suggests some very serious bias to me.

Let's use an example. The Order says they killed this lich called Xykon. She then runs into this lich called Xykon. What does she do? Assumes the Order is in league of him, automatically. Despite the fact that magic that can do things like bring the dead to life exists, and is quite common, or the fact that he's obviously undead, which even if you know nothing about liches specifically, means that killing him may more difficult than you might expect. And as this assumption is one of the key points to her justifying killing her liege lord, you'd think she would want to make sure of it, and yet she never attempts to further confirm this assumption prior to killing Shoju.


Unless a character is really, really horrible, a fate like Miko's is pretty damned tragic and sympathetic.


Except that she is the one responsible for her fate, because she ran right into it willingly since she was not looking where she was going. If someone walks off a cliff because they aren't looking where they were going, it sucks, but it's their own fault.

kyoryu
2010-10-25, 08:40 PM
This is why it pains me to see people harping on Miko. To me, she is one of the most sympathetic characters in the series, and certainly the most tragic.


Absolutely. And tragedies are typically when someone falls due to a fatal flaw. Miko's fatal flaw was her lack of humility. Tragedies are typically tragedies because they happen to people that *aren't* all-out villains, and are, overall, sympathetic.




I think "utterly ignorant" is again an exaggeration, but people can get pretty badly damaged when they're ostracized and lonely.

Which is certainly true, however it's worth noting that she was ostracized *because* she was difficult to deal with - implying that she was obnoxious before the ostracization. Hard to establish a causal relationship there.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 08:41 PM
Absolutely. And tragedies are typically when someone falls due to a fatal flaw. Miko's fatal flaw was her lack of humility. Tragedies are typically tragedies because they happen to people that *aren't* all-out villains, and are, overall, sympathetic.

But a fatal flaw doesn't make you a bad person. In fact, it's kinda endemic to being human. And if she's sympathetic, then why do I hear so much outright hatred of her on these boards?


learning who her real parents were This isn't necessarily a happy thing. But it could be. I wouldn't assume either way.


joining the holy legions (like Celestia's going to turn away volunteers) No doubt surrounded by all the soldiers of Azure City eternally pissed at her for killing Shojo who never liked her anyways.


the possible opportunity to speak to her gods, spiritual enlightenment. The ones that abandoned her and dishonored her memory?

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 08:42 PM
The ones that abandoned her and dishonored her memory?

The ones that she holds no grudge against?

The ones she thought were simply testing her when she fell?

Yes, those.

Lord_Gareth
2010-10-25, 08:42 PM
The ones that abandoned her and dishonored her memory?

Oh, I'm sure they can find some way to explain, man. Again, no one has gotten direct communication from anything more divine than an Archfiend to date. Miko and Durkon may choose to interpret certain unrelated actions, but they remain unrelated. Chances are there's some kind of divine law prohibiting interference that's not summoned via spell or something.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 08:43 PM
The ones that she holds no grudge against?

The ones she thought were simply testing her when she fell?

Yes, those.

Tireless devotion to people who will betray you is generally considered tragic, not the other way around.


Miko and Durkon may choose to interpret certain unrelated actions, but they remain unrelated.

Right. I'm not saying that the gods talk to people directly. I'm saying that a lot of Paladins and Clerics think they do, which is important.


Which is certainly true, however it's worth noting that she was ostracized *because* she was difficult to deal with - implying that she was obnoxious before the ostracization. Hard to establish a causal relationship there.

I point again to the example of my friend with aspergers. Being considered to have an abrasive personality does not make you a bad person nor does it excuse people treating that person badly. In fact, in some ways it makes it worse to treat that person badly.

Obviously this is an unpopular viewpoint because, well, unpopular people are unpopular.

Being popular, in my experience, has little correlation to actually having a good heart.

Reverent-One
2010-10-25, 08:49 PM
But a fatal flaw doesn't make you a bad person. In fact, it's kinda endemic to being human. And if she's sympathetic, then why do I hear so much outright hatred of her on these boards?

Simply because she is, for many people, not an enjoyable character to read about. For comparison, we have Belkar, who's fatal flaw is being psychotic, which is worse than Miko's flaw. But people like him, why? Because he's entertaining, not because they sympathise with him.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 08:50 PM
Tireless devotion to people who will betray you is generally considered tragic, not the other way around.

She wasn't betrayed. She failed to hold herself to the standards that were set to her, and the agreed-upon consequences of entering the deal occured. That's like saying you're "betrayed" by your boss when he fires you for an epic screwup.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 08:52 PM
Simply because she is, for many people, not an enjoyable character to read about.
Oh, believe me, I understand why it happens. I do have a grasp of psychology.

But I don't think it's okay to conflate "not fun for me, personally, to read about" and "bad person."


She wasn't betrayed. She failed to hold herself to the standards that were set to her, and the agreed-upon consequences of entering the deal occured. That's like saying you're "betrayed" by your boss when he fires you for an epic screwup.

Fair enough.

Reverent-One
2010-10-25, 08:56 PM
The problem is that I know from personal experience that this behavior does not extend only to fictional characters. It extends to real people that go ahead and kill themselves because it makes the world such an undesirable place to live in.

At which point we leave the context in which I am willing to be involved in this conversation. Discussing specific, ficitional character? yes. real life general attitudes? no.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 08:58 PM
At which point we leave the context in which I am willing to be involved in this conversation. Discussing specific, ficitional character? yes. real life general attitudes? no.

We should be headed in a different direction anyway. The topic is alignment, not that Miko is the posterchild for Jerkass Woobie (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JerkassWoobie).

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 09:00 PM
Well there is an important point about alignment to make:

Good != Social Skills.

At best, I would say social skills are alignment neutral. Not Neutral, mind. I was talking more about how a high Cha score doesn't influence your alignment any more than a high Str score.
At worst, well, see the arguments of various philosophers about why rhetoric and appeals primarily to Pathos are immoral.

Good ol' Greeks.

Anyways, back to where we were, is anyone still against the idea that a Paladin is capable of making a meaningful decision in a position of power without falling and that it would maybe not be the best thing ever for him to abdicate and pass the buck whenever things get dicey? I seem to recall some people changing their minds.

Lord_Gareth
2010-10-25, 09:05 PM
Here's a question to mull over - if you wanted to re-define the four alignments in D&D, what would the definitions be?

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 09:06 PM
Here's a question to mull over - if you wanted to re-define the four alignments in D&D, what would the definitions be?

I pretty much use an expanded definition of the Eberron model.

That said... this is because I generally DM in Eberron. :smallwink:

In any case, for a more general answer... what your alignment system looks like should totally fit in with the kind of world you're making. Kinda like how Bioware rewrites the alignment axis in every setting they make.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 09:07 PM
Well there is an important point about alignment to make:

Good != Social Skills.

Of course not. Good Is Not Nice (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GoodIsNotNice), after all. But there's a difference between "having poor social skills" and "smite first, ask questions never."


Anyways, back to where we were, is anyone still against the idea that a Paladin is capable of making a meaningful decision in a position of power without falling and that it would maybe not be the best thing ever for him to abdicate and pass the buck whenever things get dicey? I seem to recall some people changing their minds.

I've always been in favor of a Paladin being able to choose between the lesser of two evils. On the other hand, I hold Paladins more to the standards of Clerics, which can still fall, but it's FAR less strict.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 09:09 PM
Of course not. Good Is Not Nice (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GoodIsNotNice), after all. But there's a difference between "having poor social skills" and "smite first, ask questions never."

To quote a soldier on that:

"That gut contrast is critical. You gotta stay general. If you stop too long to look, trying to spot the visual differences between a ski mask and a kefia, you’re done. You gotta just see, like you’re seeing with your stomach, so you’re not looking, you’re seeing, and once you’re seeing, you’re firing, which means they’re dead and you’re not. You can’t trust details."

In a do or die situation, you don't have the chance to think things through all the way.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 09:15 PM
To quote a soldier on that:

"That gut contrast is critical. You gotta stay general. If you stop too long to look, trying to spot the visual differences between a ski mask and a kefia, you’re done. You gotta just see, like you’re seeing with your stomach, so you’re not looking, you’re seeing, and once you’re seeing, you’re firing, which means they’re dead and you’re not. You can’t trust details."

In a do or die situation, you don't necessarily have the chance to think things through all the way. In fact, in a more realistic situation, that's a good way to end up dead.

I wouldn't hold it against a soldier doing so in the heat of battle. I would hold it against them if they were not in an immediately hostile situation and they simply decided to shoot because there happened to be someone with pointy teeth nearby.

Starbuck_II
2010-10-25, 09:26 PM
...She gets to go to Celestia. I think her afterlife is going to rock, once she gets over any self-guilt (earned or not) left over from falling from grace. Hell, she gets to see her one and only friend whenever he's not being summoned. I mean, yes, her life sucked. But Celestia, man! She'll have time to get over her problems over the course of forever.

No, not fully. Remember: he gets to visit her because she didn't make to Celstia. She gets visited at least.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 09:28 PM
I wouldn't hold it against a soldier doing so in the heat of battle. I would hold it against them if they were not in an immediately hostile situation and they simply decided to shoot because there happened to be someone with pointy teeth nearby.

Define "heat of battle."

What if the threats show up out of nowhere, include men women and children, young and old, and have concealed weapons? What if an old man with enough money can wear a belt that makes him able to point at you and reduce you to a pile of ashes with a thought?

It'd be nice if everyone lined up in uniforms like the Redcoats and set up and all that, but...

Edit:

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I think people have a rather unrealistic expectation regarding the viability of waiting to react to someone shooting at you. If Han shoots first, Greedo is dead. If Greedo shoots first, Greedo would freakin' kill Han because he can't miss from that distance unless there's some kind of stupid plot armor.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 09:29 PM
No, not fully. Remember: he gets to visit her because she didn't make to Celstia. She gets visited at least.

No, she made it to Celestia. She just wasn't reinstated as a Paladin.


Define "heat of battle."

What if the threats show up out of nowhere, are men women and children, young and old, and have concealed weapons? What if an old man with enough money can wear a belt that makes him able to point at you and reduce you to a pile of ashes?

It'd be nice if everyone lined up in uniforms like the Redcoats and set up and all that, but...

In the middle of a fight, or in openly hostile territory. For example, if you're in a zombie-infested city, it's not unreasonable to assume that any given movement is a dead person eager to eat your face off.

But having a heated arguement with someone, even if that person is an orc, is not a valid excuse to smite them on the spot as a preemptive strike.

Otherwise it'd be a justification to literally murder everyone you came across because they're a potential threat.



As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I think people have a rather unrealistic expectation regarding the viability of waiting to react to someone shooting at you. If Han shoots first, Greedo is dead. If Greedo shoots first, Greedo would freakin' kill Han because he can't miss from that distance unless there's some kind of stupid plot armor.

On the other hand, the conversation occurring with Greedo made it fairly obvious that someone was about to get their ass murdered in the next two seconds. Han decided he didn't want it to be him.

Besides, Han was Chaotic Neutral at the time. Chaotic Good by the end of the trilogy.

Starbuck_II
2010-10-25, 09:31 PM
No, she made it to Celestia. She just wasn't reinstated as a Paladin.

Than why would she need to be visited by Windstrider, she can visit him instead couldn't she?

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 09:33 PM
Than why would she need to be visited by Windstrider, she can visit him instead couldn't she?

Indeed she could. Soon just said that Windstrider was waiting for her. After all, while she was alive, she wouldn't be able to see him.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 09:39 PM
In the middle of a fight, or in openly hostile territory. For example, if you're in a zombie-infested city, it's not unreasonable to assume that any given movement is a dead person eager to eat your face off.

But having a heated arguement with someone, even if that person is an orc, is not a valid excuse to smite them on the spot as a preemptive strike.

Otherwise it'd be a justification to literally murder everyone you came across because they're a potential threat.

Okay, openly hostile territory.

You find yourself confronting what you perceive to be the BBEG. He has a vast amount of resources, because he is the leader of the city and very easily could be armed with deadly magic items, even if you assume metagame information that he's just an aristocrat. The BBEG is surrounded by very capable armed villains (like Belkar levels of badness here). He has just revealed his scheme about how he deceived the PCs and was behind the other bad guys all along.

Not conceivably hostile?

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 09:44 PM
Okay, openly hostile territory.

-You find yourself confronting what you perceive to be the BBEG. He has a vast amount of resources, because he is the leader of the city and very easily could be armed with deadly magic items, even if you assume metagame information that he's just an aristocrat. The BBEG is surrounded by capable armed warriors. He has just revealed his scheme about how he deceived the PCs and was behind the other bad guys all along.

Not conceivably hostile?

Well, in this scenario, smiting would be a bad idea because his guards would turn you into swiss cheese in two seconds.

But other than that, yes, it would be a smite-worthy scenario. Hell, he just told you he was the villain.

However, I'm smelling a blanketed metaphor for the whole "Miko falls" scenario. And the scenario wasn't quite as cut-and-dried as what you just described.

Also, you can always try detect evil.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 09:45 PM
Well, in this scenario, smiting would be a bad idea because his guards would turn you into swiss cheese in two seconds. Hence self-sacrificing to save the world.


Well, in this scenario, smiting would be a bad idea because his guards would turn you into swiss cheese in two seconds.

But other than that, yes, it would be a smite-worthy scenario. Hell, he just told you he was the villain.

However, I'm smelling a blanketed metaphor for the whole "Miko falls" scenario. And the scenario wasn't quite as cut-and-dried as what you just described.

I'm actually looking at it right now. It actually is that clear cut.

She is in a room with the leader of a country, who has revealed himself as a deceiver. She is surrounded by powerful armed warriors that she recognizes as villains, including Belkar.

Her conclusion that they were the villains may not have been entirely sound (and indeed, she was pretty highly stressed to the breaking point by all kinds of factors while under significant duress), but then again, I don't see people harping on the protagonists for making unsound conclusions either (even if they're wildly unsound conclusions). But she saw, and when she saw she was firing.

She was wrong, but it's not wrong because "she wasn't in any perceived danger."


Also, you can always try detect evil.

Please. That doesn't ever work on evil deceptive monarchs. There's a low level spell for it.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 09:47 PM
Hence self-sacrificing to save the world.

It only counts as a Heroic Sacrifice if you actually get anything done in the process. Charging the BBEG and being turned into a bloody smear on his carpet halfway down the hall doesn't qualify.


I'm actually looking at it right now. It actually is that clear cut.

She is in a room with an influential leader revealing his schemes. She is surrounded by powerful armed warriors that she recognizes as villains, including Belkar.

Belkar aside, the only reason she thought they were villains was due to several leaps of assumptions with large gaps in them that could very easily be proven wrong with a short conversation.

I won't argue against the fact that from Miko's own warped point of view, her actions in the throne room made perfect sense and in the context of her own assumptions, fully warranted what she did.

And thing is, had she realized she was wrong as evidenced by her falling on the spot, she could have repented and returned to Paladinhood in fairly short order.

But ultimately, she became so convinced that she couldn't be wrong that she refused to repent. She never did, period. She tried to make up for it by destroying the gate, yes, but it never occured to her that she could be wrong.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 09:55 PM
She tried to make up for it by destroying the gate, yes

And she gets hatred for that too. :smallsigh:

It's interesting how she seemed to be the only one who wasn't in on the whole ghost martyr thing. But then, there seemed to be an ongoing theme of keeping her out of the loop and misleading her.


And thing is, had she realized she was wrong as evidenced by her falling on the spot, she could have repented and returned to Paladinhood in fairly short order. Again with the expecting perfect decision making when she's in shock...

Short order? She died before there was time for short order, with the world she grew up in falling to pieces around her.

This is exactly what I'm talking about regarding unreasonable expectations.

Real people aren't that good, and yet people treat Miko like she's terrible because she's not perfect. Anyways, I've made my point about openly hostile environments and unarmed old men.

Moving on?

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 09:57 PM
Again with the expecting perfect decision making when she's in shock...

Just because you're not thinking clearly doesn't make you any less wrong.

Take the Fighter's Guild questline from Oblivion. While under the influence of a powerful drug, you massacre an entire village, thinking that they're goblins. Later, the drug wears off and you realize what you've done.

Given that you were unknowingly under the influence, no one holds it against you. However, I was absolutely disgusted with what I had done. Especially since I knew a couple of those villagers.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 09:58 PM
Just because you're not thinking clearly doesn't make you any less wrong.

I never argued that she wasn't wrong. I said the expectations are not reasonable.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 10:05 PM
I never argued that she wasn't wrong. I said the expectations are not reasonable.

Stating that an option exists is not the same as stating that an option is expected.

Miko was behaving irrationally. But given the circumstances, she was not behaving unexpectedly.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 10:10 PM
Well then why continue harping on poor Miko?

Why do you feel the burning need to draw out every little flaw and never, ever think about anything positive she did, while not holding anyone else to such a standard of scrutiny?

Frosty
2010-10-25, 10:12 PM
Can we move on from Miko? I'm not sure she's relevant in a Conflict of Rights discussion...

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 10:13 PM
Well then why continue harping on poor Miko?

Because predictable acts of stupidity are still acts of stupidity. :smallsigh:

Also because that's what's under discussion at this exact moment.


Can we move on from Miko? I'm not sure she's relevant in a Conflict of Rights discussion...

Do you have an alternative instigating query? If so, I'm all ears.

Starbuck_II
2010-10-25, 10:17 PM
Just because you're not thinking clearly doesn't make you any less wrong.

Take the Fighter's Guild questline from Oblivion. While under the influence of a powerful drug, you massacre an entire village, thinking that they're goblins. Later, the drug wears off and you realize what you've done.

Given that you were unknowingly under the influence, no one holds it against you. However, I was absolutely disgusted with what I had done. Especially since I knew a couple of those villagers.

Exactly, granted, the quest is an evil quest which is why you go on to punish the drug givers.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 10:19 PM
Except that he wasn't actually making a point. I already said that she was wrong. Way back at the beginning. That wasn't an issue of contention ever.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 10:20 PM
Exactly, granted, the quest is an evil quest which is why you go on to punish the drug givers.

On the other had, the plot point that disgusted me most was being unable to ever take revenge on those Speaker bastards that murdered my beloved master...

/tangent


Except that he wasn't actually making a point. I already said that she was wrong. Way back at the beginning. That wasn't an issue of contention ever.

He just likes to harp on her being wrong over and over again.

:smallsigh: Dude, stop sounding so bloody victimized. I only continued to discuss the matter because it was the subject at hand. As far as I can tell, you (and maybe Gareth) are the only one here with strong feelings towards Miko.

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 10:24 PM
:smallsigh: Dude, stop sounding so bloody victimized.

I don't feel victimized. :smallconfused:


I only continued to discuss the matter because it was the subject at hand Whether or not she was wrong was never an issue of contention in this thread.


Can we move on from Miko? I'm not sure she's relevant in a Conflict of Rights discussion... Agreed.


Well then why continue harping on poor Miko?

Moving on?

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 10:32 PM
I don't feel victimized. :smallconfused:

{{Self-Scrubbed}}

Okay, that was bashing. Moving on.


Whether or not she was wrong was never an issue of contention in this thread.

Of the thread? No. Miko (not "was Miko wrong?" but Miko in general) was the focus of the last page or so, however. Hell, you're the one who brought it up again with the metaphor.


Agreed.

Next point then? Toss me a line and I'll roll with it.

Lord_Gareth
2010-10-25, 10:34 PM
I believe I did have a nigh-ignored statement regarding revising the alignments for use as mechanics...

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 10:36 PM
I believe I did have a nigh-ignored statement regarding revising the alignments for use as mechanics...

I answered that, actually.

I believe that you should tailor the alignment system to suit your specific campaign world, and gave the example of Bioware rearranging what alignments represent each time they change the setting. I also noted the alignment system I'm currently using as a DM.

For example, the Honor system from L5R is all well and fitting... while you're in Rokugan. The Light/Dark side of the force is all good... as long as you're in Star Wars. And so forth.

Lord_Gareth
2010-10-25, 10:41 PM
The Light/Dark side of the force is all good... as long as you're in Star Wars. And so forth.

...No, no, it's good never. Never ever ever.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 10:43 PM
I think the only real change I make to my own setting's alignment system is making a distinction between [Evil] and evil. Evil is a moral judgement. [Evil] is a type of energy with an arbitrary name. The differance is:

Not everything that is evil is [Evil].
Not everything that is [Evil] is evil.
However, Smite Evil and detect evil work on both of them.


...No, no, it's good never. Never ever ever.

Not even then?

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 10:43 PM
...No, no, it's good never. Never ever ever.

Okay, fine. But the general point stands.


I think the only real change I make to my own setting's alignment system is making a distinction between [Evil] and evil. Evil is a moral judgement. [Evil] is a type of energy with an arbitrary name. I think you need to go a bit farther than that to make something generally sensible, but I've already typed out a description of my system a while back. So yeah.

Lord_Gareth
2010-10-25, 10:47 PM
Alright. Eberron's take on alignment is one I like, but Eberron is kinda, y'know, grimdark'd up in the house. How would you re-write alignment for your average fantasy world?

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-25, 10:50 PM
Alright. Eberron's take on alignment is one I like, but Eberron is kinda, y'know, grimdark'd up in the house. How would you re-write alignment for your average fantasy world?

Argh. "Average fantasy world." What does that even mean?

I assume it doesn't actually mean average so much as it means either "Tolkienesque" or "Greyhawk." I at least can name a lot more fantasy settings that are dissimilar from those than I can name ones that are terribly similar.

horngeek
2010-10-25, 10:55 PM
I, personally, would scrap alignment and use something similar to the Virtue system from most White Wolf games.

Unless you mean specifically D&D rules, then it gets more complicated. However, the [Evil] and evil distinction is a good one.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 11:06 PM
I think you need to go a bit farther than that to make something generally sensible, but I've already typed out a description of my system a while back. So yeah.

Couldn't find it.

Anyway, another important point is that I don't use objectivist alignments. "Good" and "Evil" are concepts introduced by the Gods, and thus whether something is good or evil is based on those standards. Hence why Fiends are always [Evil] and Celestials are always [Good].

Honestly though, alignment is something pretty much impossible to strictly codify. The exact conditions that mark the line between, say, Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Evil are so potentially variable that ultimately it boils down to informed fiat.

Lord Raziere
2010-10-25, 11:13 PM
you know what, I'm washing my hands of this discussion, and just gonna go create a DnD world based entirely upon having no alignment system and generally creating a morally ambiguous or at least morally relative DnD, make all the gods less embodiments of evil or good and more like unbiased unknowable cosmic forces playing chess against each other.

The demons, angels and other things would simply be lower level spirits with their own goals and plans with similar ambiguous morality.

as for mortal races conflict.....I'm gonna go with the World of Warcraft route, have all the monstrous races create a similar alliance with each other and a form of their own civilization that stands opposed to the usual one.

in short? dragon age spirits meets world of warcraft mortal races meets amoral Cthulhu-only-not-Cthulhu deities.

Drakevarg
2010-10-25, 11:26 PM
...make all the gods less embodiments of evil or good and more like unbiased unknowable cosmic forces playing chess against each other.

I do both simultaneously. :smallamused:

Gralamin
2010-10-25, 11:57 PM
Alright. Eberron's take on alignment is one I like, but Eberron is kinda, y'know, grimdark'd up in the house. How would you re-write alignment for your average fantasy world?

...How is Eberron Grimdark? I don't think the word means what you think it means.

Lord_Gareth
2010-10-26, 12:15 AM
...How is Eberron Grimdark? I don't think the word means what you think it means.

I said "grimdark'd" an invented verb which is a lot shorter than saying, "darker and edgier".

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-26, 12:29 AM
...How is Eberron Grimdark? I don't think the word means what you think it means.

Eberron actually lends itself very well to being grimdark. We're talking a setting where the druids are so hardcore that when some extraplanar artists invaded to make a pretty picture out of the rest of the world in the form of Beholders and such, they militarized nature and they don't just have dire bears, they have dire bears with scales that bleed acid and so forth. I mean, we're not actually talking some pansy crap like the call of the wild making the animals rise up against the humans in James Cameron's Avatar. We're talking mother nature has soldiers and things like veteran hurricanes made of blood.

I mean, that's tip of the iceberg. The main setting is basically the ruin left over after 100 years of full scale war across the whole damn continent with mages nuking spacetime everywhere and completely debasing the environment and famine and plague and bloodshed and having undead march all over the place because the people are all freaking dead already, and the best bet for holding together a really fragile peace to avoid human civilization collapsing in on itself is a vampire who locked up his own kid in the deepest dungeon around, never to be seen again, locked up with epic horrors.



In the aftermath of the Last War, Khorvaire is changing. Where once there was one nation, now there are many. Not just five, but a host of others, where refugees, monsters, rebels, barbarian invaders, or awakened heirs to lost empires are subject to self-determination in accordance with the Treaty of Thronehold.

Forces long kept in check by the Galifaran kings have had a great burden lifted from them. The dragonmarked houses have found new power bases during the Last War, and without a continentwide enforcer are beginning to shake off the old habit of abiding by the Korth accords.

Breland has a corporatist machine up and running, churning out an all new philosophy where the people would depose their kings and govern themselves in their own interest. Meanwhile, the soldiers returning from the war have no jobs, little money, and even less loyalty to the crown. Warforged, an entirely new kind of man, have entered the workforce as free citizens in an environment where unemployment is very high, the government is unstable, and broken men hardened by decades of bloodshed wander the countryside, knowing only the ways of war.

Monsters pour out of the dead grey mists even as arguably more dangerous ones organize to the west. It has been a mere four years since an entire nation simply vanished from the map, and perhaps the luckier of its citizens vanished along with it. Others are refugees, suffering not only terrible disfigurations from the effects of the Mourning, but also from a nationalist fervor and hatred in a land that is no longer their own. Others wander the Mournland itself, in a state more horrifying than the clutches of the Keeper’s realms. As the only nation to accept their entry, Cyran refugees flood into Breland’s borders, setting up their own tracts of land in unwanted places or forming into slums and ghettos like High Walls.

Cyre is not the only land to suffer terrible after-effects from the war. New and terrible weapons of war have been discovered, and the destruction of the Last War has far exceeded that of anything which has come before. Battlefields across the continent are poisoned with arcane fallout, infested with ghosts, living spells, reality storms, and worse.

In the midst of mass unrest, post-war trauma, nationalist fervor, social revolution, horrific fallout, and every rich merchant baron in Khorvaire vying to secure their place in the emerging new world order, there are perhaps forces best left undisturbed, and best left undiscovered.

Welcome to Breland.

And that only begins to describe it. You've got conspiracies in every direction and eldritch horrors of apocalyptic proportions buried under every hill. And then there's the good guys, oh boy. You don't want the dragons to get involved. Just look at what that did for Eberron's equivalent to Atlantis (described in Dragons of Eberron). They might generally be on the side of saving the world from demons, but they don't really get the idea of doing things by half measures and when they wanted to stop the giants from tearing the multiverse apart they, you know, destroyed their entire civilization, stacked so many powerful curses on them that they can never against understand the workings of their own stuff, shot their whole race to pieces, razed / froze / corroded most of it to the ground, twisted the very fabric of spacetime in Xen'drik so that no one could ever colonize the place again and you can randomly teleport to crazy places in it, mutated the wildlife six hundred different ways to sunday so we have fun things like two headed tyrannosauruses with vaginal maws in their chests with tentacles everywhere that breathe lightning (and various other examples)...

And then there's what happened to House Vol. "We want peace! Everyone stop fighting!" But no, peace between elves and dragons would be an abomination, so the entire bloodline is genocided. In fact the elves in general are hardcore. The Valaes Tairn are howling gods of war who got hired on by Cyre during the Last War by calling in an old debt of honor to a king from generations ago, and the elves had fun racking up the kill count for a while until they decided it would just be more fun to kill everyone and carve out a nation where conquered Cyrans do the labor for them and they can spend all their time being gloryhounds and fighting just to be cool like their ancestors. Or what about the freaking Mourning turning Cyre into an open graveyard where creepy reverse blood rain into the sky is considered fairer weather and a cult of living constructs heavily and abusively trained for war plot to kill all humans... let alone the plight of the Cyran refugees themselves, who were just plain turned away by every nation but Breland which packs them into slums or a little patch of land right on the edge of the dead grey mists that got abandoned because it's right on the edge of the dead grey mists. And then there's the fact that it's got some pretty notable noir and horror themes in mind, or the fact that you're not really sure that good ol' Tyr is really watching over you and will make sure Justice comes through in the end, or the fact that when you die the world doesn't care that you were a good person and you just waste away in Dolurrh, or the fact that every plane has its own angels and demons and that the prime material plane was hell and all the Couatl (the material plane's celestials) got together with the dragons and killed themselves off to just barely contain the most powerful of the demons within the silver flame, and yeah, they speak through it to the Lawful Good paladins from time to time, and then there's the whole Happiness Is Mandatory thing going in Zilargo (and you thought gnomes were comic relief), and then there's...

You know, I'm not even going to bother going on. Read the danged setting.

It's not hard to make the setting grimdark. There is just so much there.

kyoryu
2010-10-26, 12:57 AM
Eberron actually lends itself very well to being grimdark.

Yeah, but to be fair, to call something grimdark you kinda have to compare it to Warhammer 40K...

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-26, 01:00 AM
Yeah, but to be fair, to call something grimdark you kinda have to compare it to Warhammer 40K...

Whatever. You don't have 1,000,001 worlds to lose to the Tyranids before you start to worry about human extinction. :smalltongue:

kyoryu
2010-10-26, 01:35 AM
Whatever. You don't have 1,000,001 worlds to lose to the Tyranids before you start to worry about human extinction. :smalltongue:

Well they *invented* the term. So it's a fair point of comparison.

Agrippa
2010-10-26, 02:03 AM
If killing in self-defense is Not Evil, then this situation Evi?

You are the king of your kingdom, and you are embroiled in a long and costly (in terms of lives as well as materials) war against an enemy that has thus far refused your calls for diplomacy, and the enemy initiated the war.

Your advisers have informed you that continuing to fight the war using conventional means would inevitably end in defeat and that the enemy would either enslave your entire people or kill them all.

Is it Evil to use a super-weapon that your magicians have just researched (let's say you've got access a Locate City Bomb type spell) to blast the enemy cities to smithereens so that the enemy surrenders? Many civilians on the enemy side would die, but it'd all but ensure that your civilians live since the enemy army can't fight on without support, and you can blast more of their cities if they refuse to surrender.

Sure there are civilians on their side who might ping Evil on the Evil-dar, supporting the enslavement of your people and such, but there are surely many Neutral or Good civilians who may not have supported the war.

Would you not be deciding who lives and who dies in this situation? If you choose not to use your super-spell, your soldiers and your civilians will die and/or be enslaved. If you choose to use the spell to save the lives of your soldiers and civilians, you're in effect choosing for the people on the other side to die, even if some of them may be innocent/non-evil.

What would you do?

I'd be thinking, if we can teleport an SMD (spell of mass destruction) to the enemy capitol, why not send an elite strike force to assassinate their king instead. Just use scry and die tactics on the evil king's worthless backside. Besides, you can save your own people without the Moral Event Horizon crossing. The elite troops will consist of these.


A young and powerful, if boyishly handsome, warrior. He stands at about 5'8" tall and has spikey blond hair. He can leap up 500 foot cliffs and fortresses, fight upwards of 500 men at a time and possesses superhuman strength. His signature weapon is a barbed spear that he can only throw properly with his foot. This bold warrior can also will him self to become a a well nigh-indestrucatble killing machine. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%BA_Chulainn) The second champion is a merchant-scholar gifted in the arts of metalurgy and magic. He has made for himself a suit of armor that grants flight, energy blasts and numerous other sundry weapon options.
A pretty young woman of supernatual and seemingly daemonic heritage bearing sorcerous powers. She can unleash fire from her fingertips, rain down lightning from the heavens, freeze her enemies solid and cause snow storms and blizards. Gusts of of wind conjured by her can either bowl over armies or move whole fleets of ships. She can heal the sick and afflicted and in some cases even raise the dead. In spite of her frightful nature, or perhaps because of it, she is amung the most pure creatures that ever existed. She will not harm the innocent and will only kill in defense of others or as punishment for a truely grave crime. At the same time this young woman is a decent enough sword fighter.
Fourth, a princepled young detective from a dark seedy supernatual underworld. A place where gods and monsters make deals and seek pleasures they couldn't find anywhere else. Being a product of a union of mortal and hellspawn, this inquisitive has the power of his own "private eye", a gift that allows him to see to the core of any one thing he sees and focuses on. And then bend and manipulate that core to his own liking. This is only in addition to his dirty fighting skills, good enough to drag out a fight till he can use his gift and his investigative apptitude.

This is by no means and exhaustive list yet and would in the end include the paladin king himself. How's this for a third option?

hamishspence
2010-10-26, 04:32 AM
I'm saying that anyone who isn't intellectually dishonest or shortsighted will recognize that innocents can be and even are likely to suffer as a result of actions like killing a member of a community, even if it is an Evil person.

There is a difference between "innocents are likely to suffer as a result of this action" and

"the action qualifies as "Harming Innocents" which a paladin is supposed to punish people for doing."

If a paladin has to punish themselves every time they choose to defend their own life from an aggressor who has family (if they lack the resources to help that family) then it doesn't really make much sense.

In a situation whether the community is on the edge of starvation in a harsh winter, and a person (with family) chooses to go after a paladin (who has just enough food to keep themselves alive) and tries to rob them (and kill if they resist) what is a paladin to do?

Since they have no resources to feed others- if they defend themselves, an innocent family will die, and if they do not defend themselves from an aggressor, another innocent (themselves) will die.

Are they obliged to sacrifice their own life and yield to the aggressor?

Or, are they not responsible in this case for the children of the aggressor- and defending themselves (and not sacrificing their own food to feed those children) does not count as "harming the innocent" for the purpose of determining whether the paladin has committed a punishable offense or not?

Lord Raziere
2010-10-26, 08:22 AM
I said "grimdark'd" an invented verb which is a lot shorter than saying, "darker and edgier".

Gareth....."grimdark" isn't darker and edgier, its freaking midnight and razor-sharp.

as in "No matter what you do, you are Doomed. Period."

for Eberron to be grimdark, the Draconic Prophecy itself would be a malevolent entity trying to dominate the world, using all the dragonmarked fools as pawns, the Mourning would slowly be spreading like a plague, The Five Nations would still be at war and Sarlona would be invading Khorvaire, and everything from Khyber would start to slowly creep up to the surface and also take things over. and then suddenly: Xoriat's back!

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-26, 09:55 AM
for Eberron to be grimdark, the Draconic Prophecy itself would be a malevolent entity trying to dominate the world, using all the dragonmarked fools as pawns, the Mourning would slowly be spreading like a plague, The Five Nations would still be at war and Sarlona would be invading Khorvaire, and everything from Khyber would start to slowly creep up to the surface and also take things over. and then suddenly: Xoriat's back!

You mean this isn't what happens in your games? :smallconfused:

Jayabalard
2010-10-26, 12:33 PM
I mean, seriously, not only was Miko, at heart, a good person... nothing in the comic gives me that impression.


There is a difference between "innocents are likely to suffer as a result of this action" and "the action qualifies as "Harming Innocents" which a paladin is supposed to punish people for doing."Very much so.

Burner28
2010-10-26, 03:57 PM
No it wasn't. The father would have saved the children by harming the innocent people and taking their supplies. You have it exactly backwards.

Wait so let me get this straight. You think the paladin defending an innocent person from an evil raider (who is willing to kill said innocent person) has done something wrong just because the raider had children that he wanted to feed by stealing from other people, showing no problem with killing said victim if it was convenient? I am afraid to say that no, it was not the paladin's fault at all. He was only doing what a paladin is suppose to do-protect innocent people from murderers. He most likely had no knowledge of said children in the first place. The goblin raider on the other hand, decided to do something that was pretty risky in the first place (attempting to kill that woman). Did he seriously not expect the paladin to kill him in the defense of an innocent person?

In what way is what the paladin did morally neutral?

Godless_Paladin
2010-10-26, 05:03 PM
Wait so let me get this straight. You do not have it straight.


You think the paladin defending an innocent person from an evil raider (who is willing to kill said innocent person) has done something wrong just because the raider had children that he wanted to feed by stealing from other people, showing no problem with killing said victim if it was convenient? No. I do not think that. In fact I think the opposite and said so.


He most likely had no knowledge of said children in the first place. I already addressed this point.


Did he seriously not expect the paladin to kill him in the defense of an innocent person? No. I have no idea where you imagine you got "the goblin didn't expect the Paladin to fight him."

Or this:

In what way is what the paladin did morally neutral?
Where did I say that it was morally neutral? Oh right. I didn't.

So yeah, you do not have it straight. You have it really crooked and, on a few points, the exact opposite of what I said. :smallsigh:

Kindly do not put words in my mouth that are far, far away from anything I actually said or support.

Roland St. Jude
2010-10-26, 05:17 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Keeping it locked.