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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    They can be stand-ins for natural disasters, nation states, diseases, virtues, vices, ideologies or places. Even if you stay firmly footed in human-centric worldview, not all people-seeming things in fiction are stand-ins for people.
    This is also true. Zombies for example have been used as stand ins for ideologies.

  2. - Top - End - #272
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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post

    An Ogre is a monster, described as a monster. It's emotions, thoughts and ideas are about as far from human as you can get without becoming totally alien.
    On this subject, The Giant said it best, as usual:


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Because all authors are human, it is exceedingly difficult for anyone to imagine a fully realized non-human intelligence. It has been done maybe a dozen times in the history of speculative fiction, and I would venture not at all in the annals of fantasy roleplaying games. (Certainly, goblins, dwarves, and elves don't qualify, being basically green short humans, bearded greedy humans, and pointy-eared magical humans.) Therefore, it's a moot distinction and one not worth making. Statistically speaking, ALL depictions of non-human intelligence—ever—are functionally human with cosmetic differences.
    In practice, ogres are "big dumb humans" not "almost totally alien".
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  3. - Top - End - #273
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Whenever I see these situations I always think that the game was never intended to cover these things. I don’t mean specifically that the designers didn’t envision them but that they never particularly thought deeply about them.

    The alignment system, the concept of evil monsters that could be killed without much introspection, and modern notions of morality regarding the treatment of prisoners were never meant to go together. I wonder if there is any reason to actually have monsters that can be captured in the game. I know that these situations happen, but I question the ability of games, particularly D&D to appropriately handle them. I know that the default response is that the resolution should be left to the DM and the players, but I the longer I play the more I question that decision.

    Things like baby orcs. I mean, why even have them unless you specifically want the characters to deal with those sorts of issues? A game about heroic adventure doesn’t really seem to me like a game that should have baby orcs. Ogre prisoners don’t seem too far off either. It’s arrived at the point where the disconnect between these elements was a bit too much for me.

    And on top of it, paladins. I’ve seen paladins cause more problems in games than all the greedy treasure-stealing thieves, chaotic evil necromancers, and every other problematic character concept put together.

  4. - Top - End - #274
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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorren View Post

    Things like baby orcs. I mean, why even have them unless you specifically want the characters to deal with those sorts of issues? A game about heroic adventure doesn’t really seem to me like a game that should have baby orcs.
    Verisimilitude. "Nearly all humanoids have a humanoid-type growth cycle" is the sort of thing that one would expect.

    Blame Gygax if you want to blame anyone - he was the one who described orc lairs as including infant orcs, back in 1e.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jorren View Post
    the concept of evil monsters that could be killed without much introspection, and modern notions of morality regarding the treatment of prisoners were never meant to go together.
    Yup. Which means in order to minimise trouble, one of these is usually discarded.

    I favour discarding the "without much introspection" bit (at least outside of straight self-defence, or straight defence of an obvious victim from an obvious attack). I get the impression that The Giant feels the same way - at least regarding "What should be the default in D&D".

    Others may not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jorren View Post
    And on top of it, paladins. I’ve seen paladins cause more problems in games than all the greedy treasure-stealing thieves, chaotic evil necromancers, and every other problematic character concept put together.

    That's pretty much what The Giant said in No Cure for the Paladin Blues commentary - that the class, as written, encourages party dysfunction.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2020-09-17 at 01:06 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #275
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    I think there's a subtle point here, which is that the same elements can end up being treated as stand-ins in some games but not in others even if all things about the elements themselves are identical. And often it's the OOC behavior at the table that pushes things one way or another.

    If you have a bunch of warriors who only ever encounter 'I will fight you to the death, no discussion and no quarter' hostile forces and everyone leaves the field free or dead then there's an ambiguity there which is far enough away from the kind of situation that people are generally called to make moral judgments about that the action of those warriors in killing their enemies aren't really seen as being about morality at all. When someone takes that and adds a layer that asks for such actions to be explicitly judged to be moral actions, then the potential for those faceless enemies to act as stand-ins is increased.

    It seems like there's always a paladin or something like that in these threads. Why? Perhaps because a paladin is constantly being judged by the cosmos, so if a paladin does something and gets away with it it's not just 'well, that person did this action, that's the kind of person they were or the kind of story this is' - it's 'the universe judges this action to be morally correct'. When 'the universe' is the setting, it starts to reflect on the moral attitudes of the author of that setting (potentially in complex ways - an author could present a world with very dystopian morality in order to highlight it, not because they want to argue for that as a moral stance). So that can still work though it starts to get potentially tangled with OOC stuff.

    When the morality of the universe is decided by moralistic debate at the table - e.g. if the DM and players discuss whether the paladin should fall - then it's hard for that to not reflect or suggest OOC moral attitudes, because the participants are adding something in beyond whatever the author of the setting had put there. Similarly, if a player is supposed to feel that having their (non-mechanically-dependent on alignment) character take a step from Good to Neutral or from Neutral to Evil is a punishment rather than just an update of some character parameters, then we've already moved past the line where IC and OOC stuff is completely separated.

    If a player can take their warrior fighting in defense of civilization, have them commit a heinous act they deem necessary for the good of their people, be tagged with some Corruption or Evil game mechanic, and say 'okay, that's fine' and move on, then that player has managed an IC/OOC separation and I'm not going to read into their depictions as representing any kind of real-world moral stance. If they argue OOC 'no, you all have to consider my character to be Good' then I'm going to question why that's so important to them if not for OOC considerations and norms.

  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    If a player can take their warrior fighting in defense of civilization, have them commit a heinous act they deem necessary for the good of their people, be tagged with some Corruption or Evil game mechanic, and say 'okay, that's fine' and move on, then that player has managed an IC/OOC separation and I'm not going to read into their depictions as representing any kind of real-world moral stance. If they argue OOC 'no, you all have to consider my character to be Good' then I'm going to question why that's so important to them if not for OOC considerations and norms.
    You make a good point.
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  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    IMO once the “Heroes” start engaging in torture* the whole idea of just playing a fun action game about consequence free battles between black and white forces has already gone out the window.

    *Or similar unmentionable activities.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2020-09-17 at 03:34 AM.
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  8. - Top - End - #278
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorren View Post
    The alignment system, the concept of evil monsters that could be killed without much introspection, and modern notions of morality regarding the treatment of prisoners were never meant to go together. I wonder if there is any reason to actually have monsters that can be captured in the game.
    That's answered right in 1e AD&D monster manual: you capture monsters to rear them as loyal servants (griffins, dragons), to sell them to slavery or to skin their young and sell the pelts (giant beavers, which are actually intelligent and have a language of their own).

    Or, to put it shortly:

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Blame Gygax if you want to blame anyone - he was the one who described orc lairs as including infant orcs, back in 1e.
    Except, don't blame Gygax. He is the cause for them being there, but he did nothing wrong by putting them there.

    The people who you should blame are those people after Gygax who watered the alignment system down for market appeal. They are the ones who actually created the idea that D&D has to adhere to Saturday morning cartoon morality.

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    The people who you should blame are those people after Gygax who watered the alignment system down for market appeal. They are the ones who actually created the idea that D&D has to adhere to Saturday morning cartoon morality.
    D&D doesn't need to. But Good, as a general rule, should at least come close to "Saturday morning cartoon" - avoiding many of the the sort of things that Gygax liked Good characters to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    That's answered right in 1e AD&D monster manual: you capture monsters to rear them as loyal servants (griffins, dragons), to sell them to slavery or to skin their young and sell the pelts (giant beavers, which are actually intelligent and have a language of their own).

    Attacking and skinning baby giant beavers for their pelts (knowing that they're intelligent - and that they haven't actually done anything to deserve being attacked and skinned for) - isn't exactly the sort of thing that belongs in a "Good aligned" character's standard repertoire.


    "D&D Good" should be at least close to what the players think of as "real world Good" in order to avoid massive moral dissonance.

    The more you tell me about 1e, the worse it seems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    IMO once the “Heroes” start engaging in torture* the whole idea of just playing a fun action game about consequence free battles between black and white forces has already gone out the window.

    *Or similar unmentionable activities.
    Skinning an intelligent baby creature, and not an evil one at that, for its pelt, springs to mind.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2020-09-17 at 05:08 AM.
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  10. - Top - End - #280
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Attacking and skinning baby giant beavers for their pelts (knowing that they're intelligent - and that they haven't actually done anything to deserve being attacked and skinned for) - isn't exactly the sort of thing that belongs in a "Good aligned" character's standard repertoire.
    Heh, probably not - I'll need to check my books, but I think the beavers are Lawful Good. So a Good character shouldn't be killing them for their pelts. But that brings me back to a wider point I already touched on earlier: Gygaxian D&D doesn't disallow evil characters. So some information in the books is for the benefit of such characters - a paladin isn't going to skin a bunch of friendly beavers for their pelts, but a group of Evil assassins and thieves might.

    So it isn't just about what is in-game Good or Evil - it's about how Evil you can get and still get to participate in a game.

  11. - Top - End - #281
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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    Gygaxian D&D doesn't disallow evil characters.
    It does, however, disallow evil characters and paladins from being in the same party. At least knowingly (a paladin can be fooled, and thus be in a party with an Evil character and not Fall as long as they remain fooled).

    3rd ed took the approach that playing evil characters at all, should be treated as a special option, for "mature gaming" (BOVD providing all the guidelines for playing Evil characters)- given all the troubles they tend to cause when mixed in with Good characters.

    4e took the same approach, and has its own version of the BOVD.

    I think 5e may have taken a similar "Don't play Evil characters unless you and the DM and the rest of the group are prepared for it" approach, but I'm not sure.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2020-09-17 at 07:25 AM.
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  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    It does, however, disallow evil characters and paladins from being in the same party. At least knowingly (a paladin can be fooled, and thus be in a party with an Evil character and not Fall as long as they remain fooled).
    This is true, and I didn't mean to imply otherwise - I would not expect a paladin and an assassin to be in the same group. However, 1e goes as step further than that and says that general agreement exists within alignment groups only. Taking mixed-alignment groups as the norm borders on a deliberately bad take on the idea, despite the fact that it's how things came to be. If there's, say, a paladin and an assassin at the same table, the natural way to play is cops & robbers, with the characters being opponents to one another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamispence
    3rd ed took the approach that playing evil characters at all, should be treated as a special option, for "mature gaming" (BOVD providing all the guidelines for playing Evil characters)- given all the troubles they tend to cause when mixed in with Good characters.
    3e inherits this from 2e - and it was hypocritical corporate moralism then and now. As noted above, I agree with the idea that mixed alignment parties can't be expected to work well - but that isn't limited to Evil versus Good. The only reason to single out Evil characters as special and "mature" choice was because of a decision to market the game to kids and avoid making moms angry.

    It was a choice that not even all the workers at the time bought into, if you go and read after-the-fact interviews they've given on the subject. Indeed, some product lines, like Dark Sun, Ravenloft and Planescape, couldn't have existed if TSR had seriously stuck to their own guidelines.

    For dealing with mixed parties, the game didn't need watering down alignment - it would've benefited more from an actual PvP rules guide, a codified way of playing cops & robbers. Or, for a kids' game, their best actual solution (based on units sold) was in BECMI, which omitted the Good-Evil-axis and operated on Law-Chaos.

    For contrast, 1e It was largely written by an adult for adults. It was Tolkien and Poulson, but also Howard, Moore, Lovecraft etc.. It didn't cordon off a piece of the alignment grid for "mature gaming" , because by default assumption the players were already "mature".

  13. - Top - End - #283
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    That's pretty much what The Giant said in No Cure for the Paladin Blues commentary - that the class, as written, encourages party dysfunction.
    In the games in which the paladin was designed (Gary's game, OD&D/1e), it worked - because the presumption was that whoever showed up showed up, and they would play whatever character was appropriate to the adventure.

    So the paladin wouldn't go and adventure with evil characters - that's why the alignment association rules exist!

    In the assumption that "this is the party, and they stick together", the paladin as written is pretty much a landmine.

    So much stuff in 1e and OD&D work in the assumption of that kind of open table structure, but totally fail outside of it. It's a shame.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    In the games in which the paladin was designed (Gary's game, OD&D/1e), it worked - because the presumption was that whoever showed up showed up, and they would play whatever character was appropriate to the adventure.

    So the paladin wouldn't go and adventure with evil characters - that's why the alignment association rules exist!

    In the assumption that "this is the party, and they stick together", the paladin as written is pretty much a landmine.

    So much stuff in 1e and OD&D work in the assumption of that kind of open table structure, but totally fail outside of it. It's a shame.
    Its amazing how many alleged problems with the system are almost entirely a result of the players trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  15. - Top - End - #285
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Its amazing how many alleged problems with the system are almost entirely a result of the players trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
    In fairness, a lot of that falls on TSR and WotC.

    They decided to ride the Dragonlance train, and focus on the One True Party without really looking at the rules and why they were what they were. 2e was a good streamlining for how people were playing the game, but really needed more of a rewrite I think to really fit the Dragonlance model. And 3e diverged so heavily, but kept a lot of those old rules when it would have been better off ditching them. IOW, they realized people really wanted something to go into the round hole, but only just rounded off the edges of the square peg a little rather than really committing to making a truly round peg.

    I actually liked 4e for that reason - I felt it was a good design for the game that people were actually playing for the most part. Unfortunately it had a lot of presentation issues, and also really ticked off the 3e optimization crowd. I mean, look at the success of 5e which I really see almost more as a revamped 4e than anything, just with way better presentation and avoiding the uncanny valley issues of 4e.

    But, meh.
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    Zanos's Avatar

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    So a couple things seem to be up in the air here.

    First, is the Paladin in the right to execute the ogre? Remember that D&D morality is much more Medieval in this respect than modern sensibilities, LG authorities do practice executions, and an ogre is probably going to be a challenge to detain or reform long term. I don't believe that Paladin's should fall for executing prisoners who are guilty of capital crimes in general, since they're typically associated with or endorsed by a Lawful religious order and would have the just authority to carry out lawful execution of a capital criminal. However, the alignment of the act is largely immaterial to the situation. We can replace the Paladin with a LN fighter if one frays at the idea of a LG execution, and nothing really changes about the situation as far as the dwarf is concerned. The torture is kind of shady, but being hung upside down from a tree isn't really torture and the dwarf didn't seem to have a problem with that anyway.

    So the dwarf, very strangely, defines the prisoner as 'his'. Honestly, it seems like the dwarf would have had a problem with anyone doing anything to the prisoner that he didn't personally approve of, even if outvoted by the rest of the party. He gets mad that the Paladin executed 'his' prisoner, and then he kills the paladins horse and threatens to kill the paladin if he interferes with 'his' prisoners again.

    Should the Paladin have discussed the execution with the group? Yeah, absolutely. Although it's not like an execution is a particularly speedy act, I would think the other party members would have time to say something as the paladin was drawing his weapon and lining up an execution style swing. But it doesn't really seem like the dwarf would have been happy about it if everyone else in the party but him agreed to the execution, based on the way he defines the parties prisoner as his. Executing the prisoner does no real harm to the dwarf, and based on the tone conveyed, it doesn't seem like the dwarf is the kind of person that is against execution in general. His complaint seems to be that the paladin messed with something the dwarf unfairly considered to belong to him, not that the Paladin commited an arguably Evil action. So I'm going to say that the dwarf was significantly more out of line by retaliating to a slight of his authority with material harm to the paladin, mocking him, and then threatening to murder him. Killing someone's defenseless pet/animal and then giving them a death threat because they slighted your authority is the behavior of an Evil character, for the record.

    Effectively, the Dwarf's retaliation is based on the premise that the Paladin broke one of his toys, except it wasn't his toy. Also, he is a complete lunatic. Executing a 10ft tall 650 lb musclebound meat mountain that has assaulted your countrymen and tried to kill you and your friends is something any reasonable warrior could justify, killing your own companions mount and threatening them with death is the behavior of a psychotically violent madman.
    Last edited by Zanos; 2020-09-17 at 12:48 PM.
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Your post pretty much says "my assumptions line up with the paladin, therefore the paladin is right."

    And the paladin is right, according to your assumptions and in a game/world that runs on them.

    The issue, of course, is that your assumptions are not universal.

    Personally I read the "my prisoner" less as "I own him" and more as "I took him prisoner, I gave him my word, I am responsible". So I don't think there's too much to read into that.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Your post pretty much says "my assumptions line up with the paladin, therefore the paladin is right."

    And the paladin is right, according to your assumptions and in a game/world that runs on them.

    The issue, of course, is that your assumptions are not universal.

    Personally I read the "my prisoner" less as "I own him" and more as "I took him prisoner, I gave him my word, I am responsible". So I don't think there's too much to read into that.
    The nature of their reaction and the specific threat they give indicates that their problem is not the specific thing that the paladin did to the prisoner, but that the paladin did anything at all without the dwarf's approval. There are very much "i own him" vibes coming off here.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Your post pretty much says "my assumptions line up with the paladin, therefore the paladin is right."

    And the paladin is right, according to your assumptions and in a game/world that runs on them.

    The issue, of course, is that your assumptions are not universal.

    Personally I read the "my prisoner" less as "I own him" and more as "I took him prisoner, I gave him my word, I am responsible". So I don't think there's too much to read into that.
    You're correct in that I am making some assumptions here based on the Dwarves tone, mostly because I would not expect a character with a moral objection to executing a prisoner phrase their objection as 'interfering with my prisoner', and then back it up by slitting the throat of a defenseless animal and threatening to murder someone.

    I am also assuming that the entire party took the ogre prisoner, since I find it unlikely that the dwarf achieved the main objective of the adventure himself.

    Is there a set of assumptions I could take where the Dwarf acted in a reasonable manner, and the Paladin did not? Sure. I just don't believe there's a high likelihood that set of assumptions is true.
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    The people who you should blame are those people after Gygax who watered the alignment system down for market appeal. They are the ones who actually created the idea that D&D has to adhere to Saturday morning cartoon morality.
    I mean, you can call this "watered down", but TBH I don't really want to play or run a game with "Discount Hannibal Lecter, Baby Skinner" in the party, any more than I'd want The Whizzard in there. Actually, much less so. If it was one or the other, bring on the magical realm.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2020-09-17 at 03:04 PM.

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Again, it's not an in character moral question, its an OOC dispute. One player was in the middle of a scene, another player was bored and interrupted the scene by force to move things along, and the player who was interrupted retaliated so that the bored player wouldn't be able to participate in their own preferred scene. Standard escalating jerk behavior - if no one stops the first transgression, then the player whose scene was interrupted gets the message that they're on their own and that they can either let themselves be bullied or be a jerk back.

    So you end up with two jerks, which is not a desirable table state regardless of who threw the first punch or who is the more eloquent at 'its what my character would do' Gygaxian moral scholarship.

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    On this subject, The Giant said it best, as usual:
    {Scrubbed}




    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    In practice, ogres are "big dumb humans" not "almost totally alien".
    That's how they are played, more often than not, but that is not actually the truth of what they are. A lot of DMs fall into this "trap" and play their monsters as re-skinned humans. It's an understandable mistake, as most monsters a so totally alien (by default, as they come from a world that is not our own (even if that world is made up)) and a lot of people have trouble getting into the proper mindset to play them as they truly are. Githyanky, Illithids, Dragons...all seem to be played as if they are just humans in some form of fursuit (or scale suit as the case may be).

    So it's easy to understand when someone claims that the defeated Ogre would turn over a new leaf, but the truth of the matter is, it wouldn't. It's still a murderous killing machine that will probably get even more hostile if it were to be let go. It was most likely not the chief of the Ogre tribe and had to kowtow to an ogre stronger that it was. Now, this ogre is in charge (of jack squat at this point but it's still the boss) and it's going to be sore, hungry, and pissed off. It's not turning over a new leaf and getting a day job.
    Last edited by truemane; 2020-09-18 at 07:31 AM. Reason: Scrubbed
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    It's not turning over a new leaf and getting a day job.
    Not without a great deal of help, no.


    The usual approach to redeeming a villain, would involve bringing them along on the adventure - probably with some magic to ensure that they don't harm the party, and giving them plenty of opportunities to do the right thing. Talking to them, a lot, during "downtime". And so forth.

    Bringing them along, ensures the mission doesn't get delayed. Magical restrictions, minimises the threat posed to the innocent.


    Kind of like what the Order of the Stick do with their captured kobold in Blood Runs in the Family - use them as a porter. Only without all the mistreatment that Belkar hands out, and with lots of "conversations directed at redeeming them".

    Even if you don't succeed, all those conversations will, with luck, reveal all the ogre's past history, which may make the party much less guilty about killing them, when the ogre's past reveals numerous crimes that deserve the death penalty.

    That's what "having an informal trial" is based on - doing the work of a jury, (hearing the defendant's account of events) and not just a judge and executioner.


    Far too many "judge, jury, and executioner" players have no interest whatsoever in doing the jury work. I'd expect a player to put the effort in, if they want to convince me that a player party can really do the same job as a real judge, jury, and executioner, equally justly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    That's how they are played, more often than not, but that is not actually the truth of what they are. A lot of DMs fall into this "trap" and play their monsters as re-skinned humans. It's an understandable mistake, as most monsters a so totally alien (by default, as they come from a world that is not our own (even if that world is made up)) and a lot of people have trouble getting into the proper mindset to play them as they truly are.
    I think you're overstating how alien "monsters" are. The average DM is not going to play them as that alien. So why should we assume that they are that alien?

    The limitations of DMs in general, are going to shape the game world.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2020-09-18 at 12:07 AM.
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    That's how they are played, more often than not, but that is not actually the truth of what they are. A lot of DMs fall into this "trap" and play their monsters as re-skinned humans. It's an understandable mistake, as most monsters a so totally alien (by default, as they come from a world that is not our own (even if that world is made up)) and a lot of people have trouble getting into the proper mindset to play them as they truly are. Githyanky, Illithids, Dragons...all seem to be played as if they are just humans in some form of fursuit (or scale suit as the case may be).
    What a strange hill to die on. Sapient monsters are re-skinned humans. Maybe with some unfortunate biological needs and the strange culture that would naturaly emerge from their very different situation, but humans nonetheless in the sense that they are people. Imaginary people, but as much people as Elrond of Rivendell is.

    Unless you can describe one trait shared by all ogres (or dragons, or illithids) that is so completely and profoundly inhuman that it would prove me wrong?
    Last edited by Cazero; 2020-09-18 at 02:16 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cazero View Post
    Unless you can name one trait shared by all ogres (or dragons, or illithids) that is so completely and profoundly inhuman that it would prove me wrong?
    Even when the psychology is portrayed as different, it's always starting from a human baseline.

    Dragons are like humans - but with the hunting instincts dialled up to eleven, making them a bit more like superintelligent wolves, than regular humans.

    Illithids are like humans - but with the positive emotions dialled down - illithids feel anger, but they don't feel joy, normally.

    And so on.


    A point is made in Heroes of Horror, that a great deal of the horror in an encounter with giants (and ogres are giants) is the possibility of being eaten, possibly with a knife and fork, by what is essentially just a very large person.
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Not without a great deal of help, no.


    The usual approach to redeeming a villain, would involve bringing them along on the adventure - probably with some magic to ensure that they don't harm the party, and giving them plenty of opportunities to do the right thing. Talking to them, a lot, during "downtime". And so forth.

    Bringing them along, ensures the mission doesn't get delayed. Magical restrictions, minimises the threat posed to the innocent.
    ...And what magic is that, that you just expect the party to be able to whip out on a whim? And do you expect the party to spend their entire time trying to redeem something that is likely irredeemable?

    And that also raises other implications: like is redemption by duress really redemption anyway? And is slavery acceptable just because it's the good guys doing it? The idea seems completely incompatible with what you've been saying up to now.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2020-09-18 at 02:04 AM.

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Even when the psychology is portrayed as different, it's always starting from a human baseline.
    Not very surprising. We have yet to meet an other life form that qualifies as people, and even if we did, we would probably describes them in very human terms.
    That's why I'm changing my question from name to describe. Because if we have a name for it it's probably not inhuman enough to be a valid answer, so it was kind of a dishonest wording.
    Last edited by Cazero; 2020-09-18 at 02:22 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    ...And what magic is that, that you just expect the party to be able to whip out on a whim? And do you expect the party to spend their entire time trying to redeem something that is likely irredeemable?
    Charm Monster and Lesser Geas are both only 4th level. For orcs, as opposed to ogres, all you need is Charm Person, which is much lower level.

    Whether something is irredeemable or not, can be found out by trying it. BoED makes it clear that only fiends and sometimes "Always Evil creatures" are truly irredeemable this way, with "only the barest glimmer of hope".

    It's always worth trying - and even if the process fails, you may find out who else the evildoer has wronged, and so, who may need help. If you must execute a captured evildoer, do so after you've found out all their worst deeds, and how much they deserve it. The time put in, has two possible purposes, not just one.

    If the party weren't prepared to put the time in on the being (either to redeem, or to prove deserving of death), they shouldn't have captured them in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    And that also raises other implications: like is redemption by duress really redemption anyway? And is slavery acceptable just because it's the good guys doing it? The idea seems completely incompatible with what you've been saying up to now.
    If you're not treating them as property, and they go free as soon as they're redeemed - it's not slavery, it's a rehabilitative prison term.

    The "duress" bit is to prevent them from attacking the innocent. But it's up to them whether they listen to you, and put some effort into redemption, or if they instead refuse to try.

    BoED goes into more detail on the process of redeeming an evildoer through counselling.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2020-09-18 at 03:03 AM.
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Charm Monster and Lesser Geas are both only 4th level. For orcs, as opposed to ogres, all you need is Charm Person, which is much lower level.
    We may have some severe differences in morality if you think such severe abrogations of free will, especially long term, are morally superior to a summary execution.

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    We may. BOED's approach is that use of Charm is not inherently evil, but carries a tremendous ethical responsibility.


    Summary execution without trial, is always vastly morally inferior to execution with trial (even if that trial is done by a bunch of inexpert adventurers rather than a court, and worked out on the fly) for me.

    Not least, because it may qualify as Cold Blooded Murder, and grant everyone involved, 6 Corruption Points.


    If you're going to execute, you need to make absolutely certain that your execution is not in fact a Murder. And that, requires time and effort.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2020-09-18 at 03:13 AM.
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