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  1. - Top - End - #451
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    You are not disagreeing with me. As I said, slavery was "conducted with doctrinal justification and social approval" - that is to say, while some scriptures expressed Hinjo's precise sentiments, other scriptures expressed sentiments compatible with slavery, and the interpretation and weighing of these was a topic of much social, doctrinal, and legal contention over the millennia.

    So Hinjo's beliefs are not even necessarily a matter of general principle, never mind practice (nonhumans aren't respected enough to become citizens, for example). Another line from HtPGHS comes to mind:
    Yes, I am disagreeing with you because in the paralel you made with real life, slavery is not disallowed in the scriptures, and was allowed in the doctrine. While in the case of Hinjo, respect for the life of nonhumans is both present in the scriptures and the doctrine. (Also, slavery is abolished in azurite culture, which is more than you can say for hobgoblin culture).

    If you want to argue that implementation of those principles was faulty in Azurite society, okay. But my point is that the principle is there, rooted in the basics of azurite ethics. Azurite teachers aren't teaching that goblins can be killed on spot because they are usually evil, that's Gin-Jun deviated doctrine. This is why he, or Miko are portrayed as fanatics. If the idea that goblins can be slaughtered just for existing were mainstream, people like Gin-Jun or Miko would had not been considered as fanatics, but as normal people.

    And, by the way, most of the Sapphire Guard actively backed O-Chul when he made evident that Gin-Jun just wanted to destroy the goblin settlement for the shake of it. Starting by the second in command. And no one sided with Gin-Jun.

    The fact that many members of the Guard quitted after O-Chul joined it is unrelated to this debate, as those people quit the Guard because, as nobles, it was beneath them to serve in an unit that allows commoners. (Lord Shojo's first objection to O-Chul's plead to join the Guard was "They’re nobles, you know. Every last one. I don’t think they’d react well to me inducting a commoner."). "Pier Pressure" shows that, years later, recruiting commoners had become standard practice for the Sapphire Guard. The force was efectively changed after the incident shown in HTPGHS.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2020-09-18 at 08:04 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #452
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Yes, I am disagreeing with you because in the paralel you made with real life, slavery is not disallowed in the scriptures, and was allowed in the doctrine.
    I disagree, but this is the point of no return, so I'll leave it at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    If the idea that goblins can be slaughtered just for existing were mainstream, people like Gin-Jun or Miko would had not been considered as fanatics, but as normal people.

    And, by the way, most of the Sapphire Guard actively backed O-Chul when he made evident that Gin-Jun just wanted to destroy the goblin settlement for the shake of it. Starting by the second in command. And no one sided with Gin-Jun.
    These are fair points.

  3. - Top - End - #453
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Miko was considered a fanatical cause she saw evil in literally everyone. She constantly judged and doubted all those around her, to a degree where no one liked her and constantly created excuses to avoid her. That was why she was considered a radical, cause she was always not that many pushes away from snapping and fully becoming a liability to Azure City. in fact even before going off the deep end, she already almost got people she was supposed to escort killed.

  4. - Top - End - #454
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    So, reading How the Paladin Got His Scar has caused me to form a theory -- pure speculation , mind you -- on the origin of the dark one. This is speculation and is yet unproven in-comic, but I think it's plausible enough to at least spell it out.

    First, the origin of the Dark One, for those who don't know:

    Spoiler: SOD
    Show

    The Dark One is a powerful military general fighting on behalf of the goblins. He meets the human rulers at a peace conference where he offers them magnanimous terms, and is in turn assassinated by them. They never had any intention of dealing fairly with him, and used a ninja to literally stab him in the back during the talks.

    The goblins under his command subsequently went on a rampage , and this outflow of anger and hatred and vengeance gave birth to the Dark One as a god.


    Now, the events from HTPGHS:
    Spoiler: HTPGHS
    Show

    The supreme leader of the hobgoblins is, at first, a fat and arrogant military leader who is most definitely evil. He "agrees" to peace only so he can martial his strength and troops to launch a larger attack later.

    However, in the midst of the negotiation, he falls dead, poisoned by his own people. An unassuming cleric (who actually committed the murder ) becomes the new Supreme Leader and offers a genuine peace with the humans.

    However, in order to cement his position he says he "may" have to pin the murder on the humans and has them run out of town.

    A murder during negotiations committed by humans? Where HAVE we seen this before?



    Putting these two together, I produce the following theory, on the basis that history does not repeat but it does rhyme.

    Spoiler: theory
    Show

    Perhaps the Dark One was not assassinated by the humans at the peace conference. Perhaps he was murdered by his fellow goblins and the murder was pinned on the humans.

    Possibly the murder was even committed by a goblin assassin polymorphed into a human, or perhaps the assassin really WAS a human but paid by the goblins and didn't have any scruples about killing any target for the right price.


    Why would this happen? I can think of at least two reasons:
    1) The Dark One really was a champion of peace, but there was a faction of warmongers among the goblins who wanted war. They conspired to assassinate the Dark One both to eliminate an obstacle to their plans and to give fresh cause to motivate a new war.

    2) Another option is the Dark One's crayon picture is self-serving, and he was more like the warlike supreme leader at the start of HTPGHS. In this one, he is assassinated by a peace-loving goblin very like the one in HTPGS, but in this timeline he blows a skill roll and is unable to take control of the goblins in the Dark One's place. The assassination enrages the goblins and events take place as we have seen.



    There are two objections I can think of to the theory :
    Spoiler: Objections
    Show

    1) At present, we have no proof of the existence of such a conspiracy. While we can be sure that the Dark One had underlings, we have no indication that any of them were harboring treacherous thoughts or designs. Given the cleric's treachery to his lord, and Redcloak's intended treachery against Xykon, I don't think we can say that such a conspiracy is implausible. Doesn't mean it happened, either, and we can't say it did without supporting evidence which we do not yet have.

    2) As a god, surely the dark one would know the truth of the matter?
    I can think of some potential answers to that:
    2A) Do you remember YOUR moment of birth? If the last thing he remembered was being stabbed in the back, it may be that he's never actually looked closely to see whether it was the humans who actually committed the murder. The memory would be , literally, painful. It may be that he's always assumed it was humans, or anyway done with their connivance, and has never really looked into the matter to see the truth of things.

    2B) As a being born of hatred and the desire for revenge, it may be he CAN'T look back at that without calling into question his own existence.

    2C) Or another (less likely) possibility: He knows full well the truth of things but is deliberately concealing that from his followers, because he's a battlefield leader and he wants his followers thinking in black-and-white terms. Shades of gray are all very well in a parlor room discussion, but on the battlefield any shade of doubt or disbelief in one's cause can spell disaster.


    Anyway, this theory, if true (and it is not yet proven) , would allow things to be other than the crayon story, make the humans less the villains than they are in Redcloak's narrative, but leave intact the reality of goblin oppression, which would have preceded these events and would be the reason for the Dark One's war in the first place.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Last edited by pendell; 2020-09-20 at 01:51 PM.
    "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid."

    -Valery Legasov in Chernobyl

  5. - Top - End - #455
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    So, reading How the Paladin Got His Scar has caused me to form a theory -- pure speculation , mind you -- on the origin of the dark one. This is speculation and is yet unproven in-comic, but I think it's plausible enough to at least spell it out.

    First, the origin of the Dark One, for those who don't know:

    Spoiler: SOD
    Show

    The Dark One is a powerful military general fighting on behalf of the goblins. He meets the human rulers at a peace conference where he offers them magnanimous terms, and is in turn assassinated by them. They never had any intention of dealing fairly with him, and used a ninja to literally stab him in the back during the talks.

    The goblins under his command subsequently went on a rampage , and this outflow of anger and hatred and vengeance gave birth to the Dark One as a god.


    Now, the events from HTPGHS:
    Spoiler: HTPGHS
    Show

    The supreme leader of the hobgoblins is, at first, a fat and arrogant military leader who is most definitely evil. He "agrees" to peace only so he can martial his strength and troops to launch a larger attack later.

    However, in the midst of the negotiation, he falls dead, poisoned by his own people. An unassuming cleric (who actually committed the murder ) becomes the new Supreme Leader and offers a genuine peace with the humans.

    However, in order to cement his position he says he "may" have to pin the murder on the humans and has them run out of town.

    A murder during negotiations committed by humans? Where HAVE we seen this before?



    Putting these two together, I produce the following theory, on the basis that history does not repeat but it does rhyme.

    Spoiler: theory
    Show

    Perhaps the Dark One was not assassinated by the humans at the peace conference. Perhaps he was murdered by his fellow goblins and the murder was pinned on the humans.

    Possibly the murder was even committed by a goblin assassin polymorphed into a human, or perhaps the assassin really WAS a human but paid by the goblins and didn't have any scruples about killing any target for the right price.


    Why would this happen? I can think of at least two reasons:
    1) The Dark One really was a champion of peace, but there was a faction of warmongers among the goblins who wanted war. They conspired to assassinate the Dark One both to eliminate an obstacle to their plans and to give fresh cause to motivate a new war.

    2) Another option is the Dark One's crayon picture is self-serving, and he was more like the warlike supreme leader at the start of HTPGHS. In this one, he is assassinated by a peace-loving goblin very like the one in HTPGS, but in this timeline he blows a skill roll and is unable to take control of the goblins in the Dark One's place. The assassination enrages the goblins and events take place as we have seen.



    There are two objections I can think of to the theory :
    Spoiler: Objections
    Show

    1) At present, we have no proof of the existence of such a conspiracy. While we can be sure that the Dark One had underlings, we have no indication that any of them were harboring treacherous thoughts or designs. Given the cleric's treachery to his lord, and Redcloak's intended treachery against Xykon, I don't think we can say that such a conspiracy is implausible. Doesn't mean it happened, either, and we can't say it did without supporting evidence which we do not yet have.

    2) As a god, surely the dark one would know the truth of the matter?
    I can think of some potential answers to that:
    2A) Do you remember YOUR moment of birth? If the last thing he remembered was being stabbed in the back, it may be that he's never actually looked closely to see whether it was the humans who actually committed the murder. The memory would be , literally, painful. It may be that he's always assumed it was humans, or anyway done with their connivance, and has never really looked into the matter to see the truth of things.

    2B) As a being born of hatred and the desire for revenge, it may be he CAN'T look back at that without calling into question his own existence.

    2C) Or another (less likely) possibility: He knows full well the truth of things but is deliberately concealing that from his followers, because he's a battlefield leader and he wants his followers thinking in black-and-white terms. Shades of gray are all very well in a parlor room discussion, but on the battlefield any shade of doubt or disbelief in one's cause can spell disaster.


    Anyway, this theory, if true (and it is not yet proven) , would allow things to be other than the crayon story, make the humans less the villains than they are in Redcloak's narrative, but leave intact the reality of goblin oppression, which would have preceded these events and would be the reason for the Dark One's war in the first place.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    It's an interesting theory, but I'd object on more Doylist reasons.

    One, there's no good way to reveal this. Any characters who would know the truth are both unnamed and long dead.
    Secondly, the Dark One's assassination is an important but minor detail in a spin-off story. Main comic readers would have to learn about the assassination right before learning it was fake, which would dull the impact of the twist. The Giant probably would have started setting this up earlier in the story if this was his plan.

  6. - Top - End - #456
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    It's an interesting theory, but I'd object on more Doylist reasons.

    One, there's no good way to reveal this. Any characters who would know the truth are both unnamed and long dead.
    Secondly, the Dark One's assassination is an important but minor detail in a spin-off story. Main comic readers would have to learn about the assassination right before learning it was fake, which would dull the impact of the twist. The Giant probably would have started setting this up earlier in the story if this was his plan.
    I could possibly see it as part of a series of revelations that the oppression and discrimination aren't real (which I still highly doubt), but otherwise I'd have to agree that storywise it'd be a bit awkward.

  7. - Top - End - #457
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    I thought it was already clear that Redcloak's account of the Dark One's origins was a biased account. He's the Dark One's high priest, of course he's going to over-emphasize how TDO was a wise and benevolent friend to all creatures who only wanted what was just and right for everyone before those dirty treacherous humans stabbed him in the back.

  8. - Top - End - #458
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    And now for....

    Spoiler: Good Deeds Gone Unpunished Analysis
    Show

    Therkla and Kohaku:
    They are really being passive aggressive here. Kohaku comments that someone named Hitomi is having a bridal shower, Therkla asks that she is getting married and Kohaku comments back that she thought they were close and she can't blame Hitomi since her fiance is an officer. Therkla protests back "Orcs are NOT hobgoblins! and I'm still half human!" and Kohaku says back "of course WE all know that, dear but they have to consider how it looks"

    ....this exchange is strange and I don't think I quite get what is going on. I THINK Kohaku is implying that Therkla and Hitomi were both close because Therkla was half-orc and Hitomi a full orc, then implies that Hitomi can't be blamed for marrying an officer and Therkla protests back that Kohaku is mixing up races and assuming Kohaku is implying that orcs marry officers because of their higher military status and mentions that she is herself is still half human (it sounds like Therkla insists on this fact a lot which would make sense given the city she grew up in) but then Kohaku emphasizes that everyone knows that but they still have to consider "how it looks" which implies that it looks like the orc is only marrying the officer for the combat potential or something, and I can't figure out whether Kohaku is being straight with her or passive aggressive again in this last statement? I wish this conversation was a bit more straightforward and explanatory because there is a lot of assumptions to unpack here that we're not privy to.

    The Hag, Jailed
    Interestingly enough, the hag wasn't killed for all this but lawfully put away in jail for twenty years for transmogrification in the first degree. which does show that Azure City has a fair justice system.

    O-Chul and the Ettin:
    The situation is that an ettin attacks the party, one head a normal ettin smash type and the other an intellectual with arguments prepared to screw with people getting attacked. O-Chul has a conversation with him while its attacked Kapoor cuts the stupid head off then O-Chul kills the rest when the intellectual head turns out to be evil as well. O-Chul congratulates her on removing the stupid head saying that removing the malign influence revealed the other heads true nature, but she says she was aiming for both heads from the start.

    I honestly agree with Kapoor's attempt at killing both heads? O-Chul has wasting his time here. No good person would argue like that to allow that other head to continue killing. those were clearly recited arguments designed to keep people from attacking the ettin while it attacked them, a tactic designed to play on one's better nature, distract them so that the violent head has the opportunity to keep attacking and to shirk his collective responsibility off on the other head for the people he kills. he even says "you have no justification to attack as long as one ettin head is-" before Kapoor cuts the other head, which means he was just trying to make sure no one would attack him. a truly good person would be horrified by what his other head is doing and feel bad that he can't stop it.

    O-Chul and the Hobgoblins:
    the leader hobgoblin says "oh we'll come out alright, but we're not surrendering. we've all seen what you humans to do our kind" hm. a hobgoblin after Redcloak's own heart. there is an unspoken assumption that humans will do something horrible to hobgoblin prisoners, which I don't disbelieve given what happened with the elves pushing a hobgoblin prisoner off a building in Blood Runs in the Family. but the hobgoblins attack first despite O-Chul wanting to just speak and the leader yells "DEATH TO AZURE CITY!" and O-Chul kills him and takes the remaining two hobgoblins prisoner.

    the two hobgoblins...are just a rabbit hunter and a ditch digger and aren't big on politics. the only reason they are here is because they were sucking up to a stronger hobgoblin so they wouldn't get killed, and that while they hate humans , its more of a vague lazy hate where they just nod at their leaders blaming all their domestic problems on humans then go about their day they don't actually do anything about it. and then there is the exchange where one hobgoblin says they pointed disapprovingly at an effigy once and the other guy says he can never goes to those because he feels bad for the "cute little strawman". which I think nicely details the systemic oppression being depicted: most hobgoblins don't think for themselves, but rather try not to think about it and go about their day but are in a system where the land is harsh, their leaders blame-rightly or wrongly- all of those problems on humans probably for propaganda/control purposes.

    the he commands them to take them to their leaders....and just lets the two hobgoblins detail their own fears until they comply without him doing anything. Hm. they did do it to themselves- after all they followed the hobgoblin out of fear without him specifically threatening them as well. they then nearly drown to their own sabotage but O-Chul saves them both and Hinjo with logic points out that O-chul clearly values their lives over the information. Kapoor talks about the ropes, O-Chul assumes she is using them a metaphor for the hobgoblins but she isn't and responds "What? are they masterwork silk goblins? probably not" which implies she values her ropes over the lives of the goblins. hm.

    Hobgoblin Town:
    then we get a page detailing the goblin town filled with them, Hinjo says he didn't know that many hobgoblins were living in this mountain. you'd think one of the most important political figures of Azure City would be well-educated enough to know this already. meanwhile the two hobgoblins says that they make babies fast, and that his mother was pregnant with him for only three months. they then have a whispered conversation about volunteering information and say they don't think themselves and leave the thinking to the leaders so they don't have to and the the volunteer of information is doing it on the reasoning that his leaders will know what to do and that this is all way above his pay grade.

    there is some miscommunication in meanings here: since hobgoblins dwell underground, light is bad for them so there is some instances where there is cultural clash: Hinjo says "cowards who attack in the night" and a hobgoblin is confused because to them a coward would attack during the day when peoples eyes are weak

    The Negotiations:
    There is an interesting bit where Hinjo tries to explain the concept of sanctity of life, the goblins don't buy it though and O-Chul steps in with an explanation of "strategic self interest" that sells it to them better while still being true then tells Hinjo that "a man who does not care about those who are different are always suspicious of a man that does care". Hm. an interesting line. one wonders if this line can apply to Redcloak. though what the Fat goblin says about not going to war with Azure City YET implies that the hobgoblins would eventually attack Azure City anyways under this guy.

    Gin-Jun:
    He comes in trying to attack the town, setting back negotiations, O-Chul stands in his way so Gin-jun sends in a younger Miko to attack. if she was trained by this guy, it explains a lot, but she seems much more stoic than her later appearances. Kapoor causes a flood to stop them, but the ditch digger gets killed as a result.

    Gin-Jun rants back at his own camp and......he is a piece of work, yeah this guy is definitely the person who trained Miko Miyazaki. Problem is, he doesn't explain HOW they know the Crimson Mantle is magic now. would be nice to know how he acquired that information, since it seems like something that would be real secret? Especially someone as careful as Redcloak using it? it could be they saw him being magical during the battle, but then how did they get away? it makes me suspect his "investigations" included beating up goblins after believing their mission was concluded until one spilled. and "sacred divinations" yeah, I doubt thats the only thing he did to the goblins, given his later speech. Gin-Jun is the kind of guy who'd take an entire town hostage, torture every person in it until they give him information or until they're dead then euphemistically call that a "sacred divination" given that paladins as I recall, aren't that good with divination magic. also he hypocritically says that the paladins not being vain enough might've saved the world right after claiming he wouldn't be think of slitting O-chuls throat for speaking to his betters. (which in itself is a hypocritical statement: he said it out loud therefore he had to have thought of it, therefore he isn't virtuous. Gin-Jun is just a big hypocrisy fractal: he is a hypocrite no matter how small or large you go)

    then there is the part where he tries to make a planetar kill an entire town of hobgoblins. she just straight up says no. she doesn't care what justification he has or if the Bearer of the Crimson might be there, its not okay and if a literal angel says that killing an entire town of goblinoids to get that crimson mantle is not morally right, you definitely should not be doing it. he however manages to find a loophole to technically make her do it anyways by basically provoking them to attack her if this goes through. I dunno, thats not very spirit of the rules there, paladin. some interpretations of your morality would make you fall for that right there.

    O-Chul's analysis of the situation is:
    "anything short of utter annihilation of the hobgoblin settlement will lead the survivors to retaliate against human civilians, as a practical matter, us and thirty-odd paladins could not hope to exterminate a large town and morally its abhorrent." which is pretty on the money if you don't know about the planetar.

    of course things happen and they eventually settle on the plan we get, which is an honor duel that wasn't, that convinced the other paladins not to go through with this by saying that one goblin or another can't be judged for another actions and that they should be painted a wide brush of innocence over guilty- ignoring the ettin of how that can be a little problematic if not applied in moderation. Gin-Jun goes crazy and soon tries to kill O-Chul only to be killed by Miko with her reasoning being "that woman wasn't apart of the duel" when he tried to go through the coward. just like Miko to miss the entire point of O-Chul's reasoning to focus on something else thats also technically true.

    After which, the goblin cleric murders the previous fat supreme leader with poisoned cheese and takes the position for himself so he can make sure there is no war and improve the lives of his goblins with some mathematical reforms. it says a lot that a man who poisoned his previous leader to stop a war is the most good hobgoblin leader we've see so far. like maybe Right Eye is better, but I'm not sure if HSL-2 is a strictly good alignment? he is good enough for their purposes but by the Giant's morality HSL-2 is not exactly the best person even if he is the leader that guarantees peace.

    Of course its these reforms that probably led to more goblin lives and a larger amount of goblins to fight down the line. now lets examine this further. because there is a lot of stuff to unpack here: in this story, the Giant is clearly going for a theme of "you can't judge people in broad strokes" and that you should assume innocent over guilty. However....he arguably undercuts his own point with the ettin by making the other head evil as well and was clearly arguing as a tactic to keep the evil going? I guess you could argue both ettin heads are on the side of people who want a war, just not being honest about it, but I have no idea why he inserted that ettin in, if the ettin is just going to demonstrate an opposite outcome to what happens with the goblins. because if you want to remain on theme, shouldn't the other head have been more honest and gotten off with a lesson about how he is in fact responsible for his other heads actions to some degree? I mean its nice to call out people who stand by and let others do evil I guess but....hm....

    meanwhile HSL-1, the fat hobgoblin: he is clearly just plain evil. he grows fat on the work others do, blames their troubles on the humans then seek war with humans simply because...he considers an aversion to conflict unnatural. hm. I think we found at least one of the oppressors here. HSL-2 on the other hand is in some ways actually pretty similar to Redcloak: he is reasonable but acts subservient to a greater less reasonable power, he takes an evil action for what he believes is the greater good of the hobgoblin people, and when he is put in charge he makes life better for the goblins through negotiation and reform. the difference is that Redcloak has an added streak of vengeance to him that caused a war, and HSL-2 didn't.

    also, looking back through the archives, Giant said that there was a minor character who will be important, but only showed up in one comic. given his appearance here, HSL-2 might be that one-comic character given that his role was a expanded a little here in this book. we technically never saw HSL-2 die, and he did lie to Redcloak about the supreme leader-ness of the other guy. the next time we see him, everyone is hailing Redcloak as supreme leader, but he doesn't have the get up, which makes it possible that HSL-2 just let Redcloak take over and fled without giving him the symbols of office that make it official. for lawful characters this is pretty significant, as it could mean HSL-2 returning in some way with his symbols of office to set the record straight and do the real work of improving things or help convince Redcloak that this isn't the only way to do things. or at least convince him to do the lesser evil route.

    now a text bubble in the more recent comics may be HSL-2 conversing with a goblin. but how they both flying and invisible? and why would HSL-2 be referring to the goblin as the boss?

    I dunno, its speculative.

    as for whether its coldly logical for Azure City to destroy the goblins preemptively....well that doesn't disprove goblin oppression. in fact if anything it provides a reason why humans would do that kind of thing, because no matter the reason why oppression is done...its still oppression. oppression of goblins to protect Azurites is still oppression. its not justified no matter how successful it is. and if the nobles of Azure City are talking about potentially joining an evil empire ruled by a red dragon.....I doubt that would help matters on the goblinoid oppression front. Azure City might have an order of paladins going around slaughtering people on the suspicion of a specific artifact being in their possession....but thats peanuts compared to the kind of devastation from evil empire can unleash on the hobgoblins or any other monstrous race. and as Kapoor reacts to the paladins actions at first, such efforts to actively kill monsters might even be applauded.

    and lets say in some alternate reality where Redcloak never takes over the hobgoblins and such- what has actually changed for the better? sure there is a more reasonable hobgoblin leader and there is peace between the Azurites and the hobgoblins, sure the Sapphire Guard is being reformed....but ultimately most hobgoblins are like that ditch-digger and hunter, still trapped in a lawful evil society where they aren't encouraged to think or question and live among the mountains where food is scarcer and the primary method of getting food seems to be hunting and gathering despite their large population. doesn't seem to help much and change will be slow.

    Overall this book seems be good, but still demonstrates the weird relationship DnD has between sociology and alignment, because the ettin demonstrates how the sociology mindset fails in DnD land, while the hobgoblins demonstrate how dnd alignment fails. and ultimately the biggest problem is that its still Azure City thats shown to be attacking goblinoid settlements without detailing what the wider situation is with the world. though given the Planetar's reaction to "kill them all", I doubt any adventurers wandering around killing goblin towns for the exp have Celestial approval, this makes sense as incarnations of Good should never be down with that kind of thing- it just doesn't make logical sense. and if a planetar wouldn't be okay with that kind of thing, why would any Good deity be? not even the paladins had celestial approval for what happened here.

    Thus I'd say the source of goblin oppression is more likely the result of evil gods, devils, demons and other such outsiders- beings who are the very incarnations of such evil and work to actively spread those concepts on the material plane, and neutral deities who do not care about the plight of monsters. its possible good has a hand in it, but given what I've read and analyzed, the Sapphire Guard is a very extreme case for the good alignments while for something like the evil alignments? any actions they take that are similar to the Sapphire Guard are considered normal and perhaps even not noteworthy. for the Sapphire Guard killing a bunch of goblins to prevent the Crimson Mantle from destroying world is a tragic mistake but not because they murdered goblins- for the IFCC who accidentally arranged a quarter of all black dragons dead? treated as a minor setback or miscalculation, but nothing to worry about. which one is more likely to have caused the monster races to be treated as XP fodder? not the side with the planetar telling them its wrong, I'd wager.
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    And now for....

    Spoiler: Good Deeds Gone Unpunished Analysis
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    Therkla and Kohaku:
    They are really being passive aggressive here. Kohaku comments that someone named Hitomi is having a bridal shower, Therkla asks that she is getting married and Kohaku comments back that she thought they were close and she can't blame Hitomi since her fiance is an officer. Therkla protests back "Orcs are NOT hobgoblins! and I'm still half human!" and Kohaku says back "of course WE all know that, dear but they have to consider how it looks"

    ....this exchange is strange and I don't think I quite get what is going on. I THINK Kohaku is implying that Therkla and Hitomi were both close because Therkla was half-orc and Hitomi a full orc, then implies that Hitomi can't be blamed for marrying an officer and Therkla protests back that Kohaku is mixing up races and assuming Kohaku is implying that orcs marry officers because of their higher military status and mentions that she is herself is still half human (it sounds like Therkla insists on this fact a lot which would make sense given the city she grew up in) but then Kohaku emphasizes that everyone knows that but they still have to consider "how it looks" which implies that it looks like the orc is only marrying the officer for the combat potential or something, and I can't figure out whether Kohaku is being straight with her or passive aggressive again in this last statement? I wish this conversation was a bit more straightforward and explanatory because there is a lot of assumptions to unpack here that we're not privy to.

    I thought that

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    Hitomi was a human good friend of Therkla's, who nonetheless did not tell Therkla about the marriage, or invite her, because her officer fiancé was prejudiced against half-orcs.

    Pretty simple and straightforward.
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    I thought that

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    Hitomi was a human good friend of Therkla's, who nonetheless did not tell Therkla about the marriage, or invite her, because her officer fiancé was prejudiced against half-orcs.

    Pretty simple and straightforward.
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    ???

    How did you come to that conclusion?
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post

    How did you come to that conclusion?
    It's not that hard.

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    The combination of Therkla's surprise at the bridal shower announcement, plus "You really can't blame her - I hear her fiancé is an officer", leads to:

    "Her fiancé is an officer, and that's why she didn't tell you she was getting married - because an officer wouldn't want a half-orc at the wedding, or the shower - because orcs are kind of an enemy".


    Therkla's angry "Orcs are not hobgoblins" is a nod to the fact that it's hobgoblins, not orcs, that have been enemies of Azure City for the longest time.

    The name "Hitomi" doesn't sound orc-ish the way "Therkla" does - hence it being plausible that Hitomi is one of Therkla's few human friends, who is finally succumbing to peer pressure to distance herself from Therkla.




    Kohaku later calling her "Tusk-la" seems like a pretty big hint that she too, is prejudiced against half-orcs - and was gloating in the previous scene, about prejudices winning out over old friendships.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2020-09-21 at 12:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    ...Pretty sure that counts as speciesism either way, honestly.
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post

    Spoiler: Good Deeds Gone Unpunished Analysis
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    ....this exchange is strange and I don't think I quite get what is going on. I THINK Kohaku is implying that Therkla and Hitomi were both close because Therkla was half-orc and Hitomi a full orc
    To be fair, back when it first came out, people were coming to the same conclusion - but they were also being contradicted by people coming to the same conclusion as me:

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    Quote Originally Posted by t209 View Post
    "Orcs are not Hobgoblin."
    Wait, Hitomi is an Orc, marrying a human of uppercrust? I thought the Azurites have "problems" with non-PC races.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zyzzyva View Post
    No, Therkla's a (half-)Orc. The point is that Hitomi didn't invite Therkla because she's a (half-)Orc "and all the pointy-toothed races are basically the same, right?"
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    As I said; it's still speciesism no matter how you cut it.
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    It's not that hard.

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    The combination of Therkla's surprise at the bridal shower announcement, plus "You really can't blame her - I hear her fiancé is an officer", leads to:

    "Her fiancé is an officer, and that's why she didn't tell you she was getting married - because an officer wouldn't want a half-orc at the wedding, or the shower - because orcs are kind of an enemy".


    Therkla's angry "Orcs are not hobgoblins" is a nod to the fact that it's hobgoblins, not orcs, that have been enemies of Azure City for the longest time.

    The name "Hitomi" doesn't sound orc-ish the way "Therkla" does - hence it being plausible that Hitomi is one of Therkla's few human friends, who is finally succumbing to peer pressure to distance herself from Therkla.




    Kohaku later calling her "Tusk-la" seems like a pretty big hint that she too, is prejudiced against half-orcs - and was gloating in the previous scene, about prejudices winning out over old friendships.
    I dunno, it was pretty ambiguous and unclear to me what she meant until you explained it. even after reading it a second time which this analysis was, I did not catch the implication. while not having an "orcish" name doesn't mean anything to me, because I don't know Hitomi's circumstances and therefore cannot assume that she wasn't just some orc who just happened to be culturally raised azurite in some edge case, while Therkla herself probably only has that name because she has an orc mother who raised her with some knowledge of orc culture. if Therkla was raised entirely by humans, she wouldn't have an orcish name she'd just be called something azurite, because thats the culture she is in. that conversation is real passive aggressive and requires a lot of reading between the lines to actually get the meaning of the words right, which requires interpretation so it doesn't surprise me that I missed it because I'm not the best at the subtle social things.
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I dunno, it was pretty ambiguous and unclear to me what she meant until you explained it. even after reading it a second time which this analysis was, I did not catch the implication. while not having an "orcish" name doesn't mean anything to me, because I don't know Hitomi's circumstances and therefore cannot assume that she wasn't just some orc who just happened to be culturally raised azurite in some edge case, while Therkla herself probably only has that name because she has an orc mother who raised her with some knowledge of orc culture. if Therkla was raised entirely by humans, she wouldn't have an orcish name she'd just be called something azurite, because thats the culture she is in. that conversation is real passive aggressive and requires a lot of reading between the lines to actually get the meaning of the words right, which requires interpretation so it doesn't surprise me that I missed it because I'm not the best at the subtle social things.
    I haven't read this particular book, but if Therkla did say "and i'm still half-human!" that would imply that she was rejected because she isn't being treated the way a full human would.

    Anyways, thanks for all the analysis. It's really helpful to have all this laid out.

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    With regards to the Ettin in HTPGHS:

    Spoiler
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    I'm pretty sure that's some kind of commentary on the tendancy of people who are too good to be lulled or deceived by the words of an evil person. It's pretty clear that the 'smart' head was rationalizing the actions of the other head, and acting as a second layer of defense -- a fuzzy web of sophisms and rationalizations which would make a good character hesitate. A hesitation which may give an advantage.

    I suspect it will also be shown to be some sort of commentary that will show up in the main comic in some form, though how I'm not entirely certain.

    ETA: Perhaps the Ettin is a metaphor for Azure City. It has a good side, but it also has a side that commits genocide, and the good side does not restrain the evil side, so the total entity is evil.



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    Last edited by pendell; 2020-09-21 at 08:15 AM.
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    How Kohaku treats Therkla throughout the story shows Kohaku behaving like bigotry against half-orcs is commonplace and accepted in Azure City, but it might just be Kohaku deliberately messing with Therkla. They are on opposing sides after all, and Kohaku is obviously trying to get Therkla angry so that she can make her lose focus and win their fight.

    No one else in Azure City shows any sign of prejudice against Therkla during the course of the story, and she meets and negotiates with a lot of people in that one night.

    Edit: And as a side note, Kohaku obviously moves in the more aristocratic circles of Azure City. As already noted many of the aristocrats in AC were not good people. How they behaved isn't much of an indication of the attitudes of the common Azurite.
    Last edited by Jason; 2020-09-21 at 09:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    From Don't Split The Party commentary


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    Therkla's social development, as a half-orc raised among humans, is apparently somewhat stunted. A point is made of how Kubota is possibly the only person who's treated her well.
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    From Don't Split The Party commentary
    Well, again, the commentary and out-of-comic (Word of God) statements all make it clear that bigotry against non-PC races is intended to be real and widespread among the PC races.

    What's actually in the comic doesn't demonstrate that nearly as well.

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Edit: And as a side note, Kohaku obviously moves in the more aristocratic circles of Azure City. As already noted many of the aristocrats in AC were not good people. How they behaved isn't much of an indication of the attitudes of the common Azurite.
    In fairness, the ruling class is often responsible for many matters of policy, political and military action, and discrimination, regardless of nation or era. I'd argue that "how the aristocrats behave" towards half-orcs is actually a very good indication of how half-orcs would be treated in Azure City, with the common Azurites' attitudes only partially changing the "orders from the top."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Well, again, the commentary and out-of-comic (Word of God) statements all make it clear that bigotry against non-PC races is intended to be real and widespread among the PC races.

    What's actually in the comic doesn't demonstrate that nearly as well.
    Eh, you say it isn't actually in the comic. I read it from the get-go in Therkla's arc.

    That's the issue I'm taking with all of these arguments against Word of God. People are acting like the comic's evidence is spotty, when it isn't. It's been remarkably consistent in showing that "monstrous humanoids" are routinely shunned, distrusted, or even killed outright.

    In the face of these examples, some readers point out the times when these humanoids aren't treated poorly, as if one person's "good deed" cancels out another person's "bad deed." It doesn't. Treating people with equality is the default, neutral state, not a "good deed". Any fantasy racism, discrimination, or unprovoked hostility that goes unanswered is an imbalance, and it can only be counteracted by people taking steps to undo that imbalance, rather than just continuing to be neutral and not cause harm themselves.

    Maybe Rich didn't make it blatantly obvious and overpowering in every interaction because he thought it was self-evident already. It certainly was for many of us. I'm curious why you don't feel the same, but I can accept that we simply won't see eye-to-eye if you see it differently, because that aspect informs literally everything else on the subject of Goblinoids.
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2020-09-21 at 10:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Related to the issue of bigotry in htpghs

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    The SG commander out-and-out says that the settlement they are assaulting is the only hobgoblin settlement that is shielded from scrying magic, therefore it must be where the Scarlet Mantle is located.

    Ergo, he could have magically scryed all the other villages as well, but he attacked and destroyed them anyway.

    My conclusion is that, in Gin-Jun's case, the search for the Crimson Mantle is a pretext. Sure, he's obsessed with it and determined to find it, but he's also determined to use that excuse to kill as many 'evildoers' as possible. He seems to be a master at rationalizing the letter of the law to get an evil outcome while retaining his alignment and paladin abilities , as seen when he orders the Planetar summoned.

    Which is pretty what I'd expect from a bigot who had managed to get into some kind of position of authority and use it as a shield for his true motivations.


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    Last edited by pendell; 2020-09-21 at 10:55 AM.
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    People are acting like the comic's evidence is spotty, when it isn't. It's been remarkably consistent in showing that "monstrous humanoids" are routinely shunned, distrusted, or even killed outright.
    Can you show an example of this within the online comic for Goblins?
    -There are examples that I think count I just regard them as not shown to be the norm, and most of them within a war/resistance scenario.

    Treating people with equality is the default, neutral state, not a "good deed".
    I disagree - you can have people who are do not look at others as equals and who are also good people.

    For instance lets say that a wealthy hobgoblin in Gobbotopia sees that humans are sadistically murdered in pits for the amusment of some of some other wealthy citizens and feels that this is wrong, so the hobgoblin seeks to purchase the human slaves scheduled for death for his business and pulls the political strings to acquire them - then sends them on errands far away from Gobbotopia knowing that they will not return and knowing that the price of the slaves will never be recouped - and that if he is found to be releasing humans into the wild that he might be shunned or worse.
    This hobgoblin is a likely a good person - the fact that he considered humans to be sub-goblin creatures doesn't change that.

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    I sometimes feel like I should just put in my signature: "Also, seconding whatever Ionathus says."
    I'm flattered!

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    I disagree - you can have people who are do not look at others as equals and who are also good people.

    For instance lets say that a wealthy hobgoblin in Gobbotopia sees that humans are sadistically murdered in pits for the amusment of some of some other wealthy citizens and feels that this is wrong, so the hobgoblin seeks to purchase the human slaves scheduled for death for his business and pulls the political strings to acquire them - then sends them on errands far away from Gobbotopia knowing that they will not return and knowing that the price of the slaves will never be recouped - and that if he is found to be releasing humans into the wild that he might be shunned or worse.
    This hobgoblin is a likely a good person - the fact that he considered humans to be sub-goblin creatures doesn't change that.
    You're describing a scenario where somebody takes steps to right an injustice, which is what I specifically called out in my post as what's needed. Examples like this would be a step in the right direction of "oppression is being addressed."

    What isn't a good example is:
    Spoiler: SoD
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    Right-Eye's village, where goblinoids and humans intermingle at the circus without killing each other immediately. Just because some human villagers don't murder goblins as soon as they see them does not counteract any bad things that humans have done to goblins -- hence it's just a neutral state.
    It's not enough to not be racist. If you want to do good, you have to actively undo racist institutions.
    Spoiler: GDGU & OtOoPCs
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    To that effect, I'd argue O-Chul and Roy are the only Good characters who have advanced the rights of monstrous humanoids, but I could be forgetting some.


    To quote RENT: "The opposite of war isn't peace...it's creation."

    (I'm also confused why you made your hypothetical wealthy hobgoblin still racist against humans, if that attitude didn't shine through in his actions. I guess I agree, that someone can still do the right thing even if they don't have any great love for the oppressed people...but I don't see how that speaks to either of our positions.)
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2020-09-21 at 11:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Maybe Rich didn't make it blatantly obvious and overpowering in every interaction because he thought it was self-evident already. It certainly was for many of us. I'm curious why you don't feel the same, but I can accept that we simply won't see eye-to-eye if you see it differently, because that aspect informs literally everything else on the subject of Goblinoids.
    I'm going to change my mind. A bit, at least.

    I'm going to accept the idea that PC vs. non-PC racial discrimination in Stickworld has been sufficiently demonstrated in the comic to show that it is fairly pervasive in the PC race cultures, at least the ones we've been shown so far.
    So, argument won as far as that point goes.

    However, I still think the current situation in Stickworld may have nothing to do with how or why the gods created the non-PC races in the beginning, that the gods could if coerced be helpful in eliminating such bigotry but are literally incapable of resolving it without willing mortals, that the Dark One is not the wise and benevolent god that Redcloak thinks he is, and that despite the existence of anti-goblin prejudice and oppression that Redcloak is not justified in his actions in any way.

    Also, Redcloak is still himself a racist. I don't think that oppression of your species by others means that you can't yourself be racist.

    I also have issues with the idea that it is morally wrong to label a fantastic fictional species "usually evil." Basically, I don't accept the idea that it would be some slippery slope to encouraging real-world racism.
    But at the same time I don't think it's healthy to spend all your hobby time pretending to torture, rape, or otherwise behave badly against non-existent fictional people or monsters, regardless of whether they were established as evil or not before hand. I think the mainstream D&D culture (such as it is) has generally agreed with me on this point from the earliest days of the hobby.

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Maybe Rich didn't make it blatantly obvious and overpowering in every interaction because he thought it was self-evident already. It certainly was for many of us. I'm curious why you don't feel the same, but I can accept that we simply won't see eye-to-eye if you see it differently, because that aspect informs literally everything else on the subject of Goblinoids.
    I would say that a more accurate statement is that Rich made an assumption regarding demi-human treatment in D&D circles as a whole (perhaps given his own experiences at tables), and expected it to be blatantly obvious because of his own assumptions.

    In the online-only comic, we see goblins being treated relatively fairly by the perspective-characters. The OotS doesn't kill non-combatant goblins, even before there was really a plot in the story. They kill soldiers in droves but not the teenagers.

    We see the Paladins supposedly targeting only the Crimson Mantle without actually seeing the context surrounding it (which is elucidated upon in the print-only comics), and with the context online-only readers have, targeting the Crimson Mantle is just. Elves clearly have a haughty outlook regarding goblins, but the humans we see in the comic don't do that. Redcloak's argument that "we're treated as experience fodder" makes sense ONLY if we take cultural standards and the print-only comics in regard.

    There's not really enough time or focus on the setting itself to really show the worldly context; and if the only person that outright says "and what about adventurers raiding our towns elsewhere" is probably the most biased and unreliable narrator in the story? That's Rich making an assumption that goblins are going to be treated a certain way by the reader without doing the due diligence to make it blatantly obvious that it is objective fact in their world.

    Part of your argument is based on print-only comics which one has to pay for to see legally, and as someone living on a shoestring budget, I'm kinda just left to read other people's interpretations of the events in print. Alternatively, I have the online-comics and the result I'm left with is this. The premise that the goblins are made solely to be experience-nuggets for adventurers only works if the default assumption of the reader is that goblins are made to be fodder for low-level adventurers. If you've spent your whole life playing in relatively egalitarian settings or campaigns, then this assumption comes harder with such scant evidence actually presented to us.

    P.S. Also, as a younger person, I never played the editions where goblins and kobolds could just be killed in droves past a certain level without attack rolls needing to be made, since that feature didn't last into 3E (or even 2E as far as I know).
    Last edited by Wildstag; 2020-09-21 at 12:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildstag View Post
    I would say that a more accurate statement is that Rich made an assumption regarding demi-human treatment in D&D circles as a whole (perhaps given his own experiences at tables), and expected it to be blatantly obvious because of his own assumptions.
    I agree with you here. Rich made a largely unfounded assumption on how D&D is played "9 times out of 10."

    Part of your argument is based on print-only comics which one has to pay for to see legally, and as someone living on a shoestring budget, I'm kinda just left to read other people's interpretations of the events in print.
    It is the print-only comics that convinced me.

    P.S. Also, as a younger person, I never played the editions where goblins and kobolds could just be killed in droves past a certain level without attack rolls needing to be made, since that feature didn't last into 3E (or even 2E as far as I know).
    The rule in 1st edition AD&D was that a fighter facing creatures with less than one hit-die received a number of attacks equal to their (the fighter's) level. So high-level fighters began to resemble a blender against hoards of low-level monsters. Kobolds and Goblins were some of the most common monsters with less than one hit die.
    Last edited by Jason; 2020-09-21 at 12:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    P.S. Also, as a younger person, I never played the editions where goblins and kobolds could just be killed in droves past a certain level without attack rolls needing to be made, since that feature didn't last into 3E (or even 2E as far as I know).
    I don't recall that existing in the original base D&D or AD&D. If I had to guess, that sounds somewhat like the rules for Henchmen in 4E, which I have gamed in but am not really familiar.

    In the old games, a party of about 6th or 7th level was pretty standard and level 13 was once-in-a-lifetime. You spent a lot more time carefully picking and choosing your battles, since even a ROFLstomp could leave you down critical healing or items that you might need for the final battle. I don't recall there ever being a pre-2nd ed where you could just mow down swarms of low-levels without consequence; attempting to do so would get your character killed in short order, as the games were a lot more lethal. Dead at 0HP, instant kill poisons, levels lost to vampires being permanently gone , no "negative energy levels" which you had a chance to get back, or any of the other features made to make the game more fantastic and more playable. The original D&D had its roots in wargaming simulation and was correspondingly brutal.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Last edited by pendell; 2020-09-21 at 12:58 PM.
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  30. - Top - End - #480
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    Default Re: Goblin Oppression; fact or fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I agree with you here. Rich made a largely unfounded assumption on how D&D is played "9 times out of 10."

    It is the print-only comics that convinced me.


    The rule in 1st edition AD&D was that a fighter facing creatures with less than one hit-die received a number of attacks equal to their (the fighter's) level. So high-level fighters began to resemble a blender against hoards of low-level monsters. Kobolds and Goblins were some of the most common monsters with less than one hit die.
    Huh, I'm used to blue being the color used for sarcasm or facetious comments; your first statement lacks them but also seems like the kind of thing that would be said sarcastically. My apologies if you're being serious.

    As for the second statement, I was referring to (and quoting) Ionathus, not your own personal views on the comic, but thanks for the enlightenment.

    And yes, the AD&D ability was what I was referring to. However, I don't believe it made the transition to 2E, and that's the one I started with (and that only because my friend was using his dad's old sourcebooks because we could not afford the 3E books in our early-teen years).

    P.S. Pendell, see Jason's comment for the explanation on low-hd monsters. The minion from 4e is reminiscent of the low-hd monster rule from AD&D.
    Last edited by Wildstag; 2020-09-21 at 01:09 PM.

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