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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default There should be no evil alligned races

    I have read several arguments on this from other sources but they all take a different tack. They either talk about prejudice or nature vs nurture sort of thing, but my argument is from a different angle. Inherently evil races should not exist because inherently good races don't exist. None of the traditionally "good" races can be considered good in modern view of fantasy. Even the elves, the long time poster boys for everything goodly, have long since evolved out of it.

    So if "good" races are complex enough to produce people, and even whole groups, up to and including nations, of every alllignment, then why would the "evil" races have to be so one dimensional?

    The whole thing makes the world seem overly grimdark. Bad guys are really bad but the good guys are bad too. I would have no issue having evil races in a Tolkienesque black and white morallity world, if they are balanced out by the innately good races, but if you are going so far as to make the traditionally good races more complex by giving them shades of grey then it feels amiss to not do so with traditionally evil races.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Agreed, although really is limited in addressing "inherently xyz" species where xyz is mutable rather than fixed.

    Left handed individuals can choose to become right handed or ambidextrous. If left-handedness is not an inherent trait, then maybe right-handedness is not an inherent trait either.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Yeah but what if it's supposed to be an overly grimdark world? I think you have to start with the design intent for the world building before you decide that specific aspects are wrong for it.

    Do evil aligned races make sense for WH40K? Yes. For Eberron? Yes. For Forgotten Realms? Yes. For modern fantasy? No. For cyberpunk? No. For space opera? Yes.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    You have two big problems here.

    First, the fact that there is no satisfying slam dunk answer to moral philosophy. Dwarves can perfect paragons of morality according to a particular ethical school of thought, but that's likely to create situations that look alien and unsatisfying to your average reader. Evil, meanwhile, comes in many forms that the vast majority of people agree are evil. Slavers and serial killers are not the same, but there's pretty wide consensus that they're both really nasty.

    Second, while I agree with you insofar as humanoid races are concerned (although this is a very well trodden argument so don't expect a conclusion any time soon), nonhumans throw it all out the window. A mind flayer views your average humanoid very similarly to how we view cattle. Skeletons and zombies have a deep seated loathing of the living built into their animating force, to the point where it's unusual for them to not attack on sight. A demon is the concepts of chaos and evil distilled into physical form. You do have problems that angels and metallic dragons can't express pure goodness the same way some of these races can express badness (see my above point), but a fantasy game often does have acceptable moral targets. Even if certain classes of "acceptable targets", usually those that look and act rather similar to humans, are a contentious topic among many players.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    This is a silly argument. Some other author somewhere couldn't keep their angels good, therefore I shouldn't have evil demons?

    Look. Those not-so-good angels and not-so-bad demons exist because people decided to take known tropes out for a ride and put their own spins on them. They exist because those people disagreed on there being "shoulds" and "ough tos" on how to use narrative devices. It's compeletely illogical to derive the title statement from their actions.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    You have two big problems here.

    First, the fact that there is no satisfying slam dunk answer to moral philosophy. Dwarves can perfect paragons of morality according to a particular ethical school of thought, but that's likely to create situations that look alien and unsatisfying to your average reader. Evil, meanwhile, comes in many forms that the vast majority of people agree are evil. Slavers and serial killers are not the same, but there's pretty wide consensus that they're both really nasty.

    Second, while I agree with you insofar as humanoid races are concerned (although this is a very well trodden argument so don't expect a conclusion any time soon), nonhumans throw it all out the window. A mind flayer views your average humanoid very similarly to how we view cattle. Skeletons and zombies have a deep seated loathing of the living built into their animating force, to the point where it's unusual for them to not attack on sight. A demon is the concepts of chaos and evil distilled into physical form. You do have problems that angels and metallic dragons can't express pure goodness the same way some of these races can express badness (see my above point), but a fantasy game often does have acceptable moral targets. Even if certain classes of "acceptable targets", usually those that look and act rather similar to humans, are a contentious topic among many players.
    Because there are no vegans among us who think that killing cows is wrong? Even among people with completely alien moral code there will be dissenters, especially for races that have some kind of social group.

    I will give you skeletons and zombies since they are barely alive and are more like automatons made from organic parts, but that's it, even Demons should have the ability, however small, of redeeming themselves. Apart from being logical i think that such a setting is far more interesting from a narrative standpoint too.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    This is a silly argument. Some other author somewhere couldn't keep their angels good, therefore I shouldn't have evil demons?

    Look. Those not-so-good angels and not-so-bad demons exist because people decided to take known tropes out for a ride and put their own spins on them. They exist because those people disagreed on there being "shoulds" and "ough tos" on how to use narrative devices. It's compeletely illogical to derive the title statement from their actions.
    As stated, if you are going to keep your setting purely black and white then i have no issues with you having inherently evil races. But if your setting has no inherently good races, which most fantasy settings today don't, then you should not have any inherently evil ones either.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    I do evil aligned races in my settings but they must still have shades of gray. If they can not be anything less than evil then (logically to me) they can no longer comprehend good. For demons this is fine as demons will grow and spawn without any nurturing. For orcs? They simply wouldn't be able to continue as a species. There is nothing wrong with inherently evil races and if you want good races i must turn your attention to Aasimar; an inherently good race.


    There are, also, numerous race creators available. I recommend Pathfinder's as, even though poorly implemented, is one of the best I've found.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    That "should" still does not follow from anything. There isn't any real problem in having inherent evil in absence of inherent good, nor in having inherent good in absence of inherent evil for that matter.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Alcore View Post
    if you want good races i must turn your attention to Aasimar; an inherently good race.
    They're more "biased toward good" than "inherently good". There are plenty of Evil and Neutral aasimar out there, and they do not "ping as good" with a Detect Good spell.
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    That "should" still does not follow from anything. There isn't any real problem in having inherent evil in absence of inherent good, nor in having inherent good in absence of inherent evil for that matter.
    Ok, let me amend that. There should not be any inherently evil races in any good setting, unless you are intentionally going for the grimdark vibe. In essence if humans, elves and dwarves can be of any allignment then the same should be true of Orcs, Goblinoids, minotaurs and all the rest. There is really no reason why some tribe of orcs somewhere could not figure out they are better off trading with a nearby human settlements rather then raiding them unless some outside force is keeping them evil trough magical means, but then why do evil gods get that ability and not good ones?

    No race could survive if they can't cooperate with each other, and once you have that concept extending it to others is not such a huge stretch. While sure, some races may thrend towards one end or the other it should never be all encompassing.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    That "should" still does not follow from anything. There isn't any real problem in having inherent evil in absence of inherent good, nor in having inherent good in absence of inherent evil for that matter.
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    Ok, let me amend that. There should not be any inherently evil races in any good setting
    Sahuagin. An inherently evil race. There is nothing wrong with their existence in any setting.
    No race could survive if they can't cooperate with each other
    Evil doesn't mean stupid.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-07-21 at 08:28 AM.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Yes.
    Sahuagin. An inherently evil race. There is nothing wrong with their existence in any setting.

    Evil doesn't mean stupid.
    No i disagree. If a group of beings actively takes a course of action that is detrimental to them in both short run and long run then that is indeed stupid. Raiding other nations, sometimes, and going to war, sometimes, does not make for an evil race, it just makes for normal race, humans have been doing that since forever. Doing so all the times, even when you have nothing to gain and everything to loose by doing so, that's what makes a race inherently evil, and stupid.
    Last edited by Samoja1; 2021-07-21 at 08:35 AM.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    No i disagree. If a group of beings actively takes a course of action that is detrimental to them in both short run and long run then that is indeed stupid. Raiding other nations, sometimes, and going to war, sometimes, does not make for an evil race, it just makes for normal race, humans have been doing that since forever. Doing so all the times, even when you have nothing to gain and everything to loose by doing so, that's what makes a race inherently evil, and stupid.
    point the first: humans are evil.

    point the second: SO, just ignore all the redeemed evil in D&D and other fantasy as well as it it doesn't exist then state your argument as " fallen good exists, but redeemed evil does not. therefore evil aligned races are doing it wrong" seem a very legit stance....

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    Doing so all the times, even when you have nothing to gain and everything to loose by doing so, that's what makes a race inherently evil, and stupid.
    I don't get where you arrive at "doing it all the time" for the sahuagin (as the example race). They are usually, when encountered outside of the lair, pack predators in humanoid form. If we look at the lore on them from their initiation into the game's fabric (Blackmoor, IIRC, I'll check) where they overlap with other species / folk / races (merfolk, humans, sea elves, etc) they attempt to assert dominance. What they don't do is negotiate, which is what most other folk often do.
    But as a group, they work together for their tribe/clans mutual benefit.
    Not stupid, also evil. (There does seem, though, to be an eternal state of war/conflict between sea elves and sahuagin, a war that never ends ... does that make the sea elves stupid?)
    FWIW, Sahuagin as introduced ... I get a pretty strong Lovecraftian vibe from their introduction to the game, not sure what the original sources were that informed this monster.
    Spoiler: Excerpted from blackmoor pages 20-23.
    Show
    THE SAHUAGIN (Devil-Men of (he Deep):
    A constant threat to man, beast and fish are the voracious SAHUAGIN whose only friends seem to be the equally voracious and predatory Giant Sharks. Although of an intelligence equal to the elves in many respects, the Sahuagin have taken and perverted virtually every aspect of civilization to support their sadistic cannibalistic culture.
    In the eons past there was a great flooding of the land (although history does not agree when this occurred and it may have happened twice) when the ice caps were melted during a great struggle of the gods to control the planet. When the water rose some of these gods took care that representative portions of all life were preserved and returned when the waters fell and the land became fruitful again. Others sought to change the nature of life so it could adapt to the new
    face of the world and at the same time preserve its intelligence. On the one hand it is said that the sea elves and the mermen were created by the Great Gods of Neutrality and Law while the Gods of Chaos bent their will to create the Sahuagin. In every aspect the Evil ones sought to make the Sahuagin into the most evil of the evil and many agree that they succeeded in making a race that fit that bill. Many individual horrors both on the land and sea may be in themselves worse than the Sahuagin but no where will there be found a comparable race that as a whole retains the worst possible qualities. {snip} The lair will be completely water filled since these creatures cannot breath air or fresh water at all.
    {snip lair and democraphic crunch}

    These creatures of evil are usually armed with the trident and the net the former having a deadly poison on its tip and the latter having hundreds of small hooks set into its fabric. The Sahuagin have become very adept at the use of both these weapons and these weapons also suit their temperament and regular habits. As an example the small hooks in the net hinder escape while inflicting great pain on the live victims and when torn from the flesh have the usual accompanying sharks driven into a frenzy from which they may attack the helplessly snared victims. The tridents provide the ability to pin and probe the victims while not inflicting any mortal wounds (when the tips are unpoisoned) and allowing the Sahuagin to remain at a safe distance. Victims are usually brought to the nearest habitation (although only the ones with over 1,000 in population would have confinement cells for air breathing types) where they are either promptly eaten or penned in with some other predator to provide entertainment. The most common entertainment is to set the sharks on the victim giving him only a small knife to defend himself. There are dozens of variations on the particular theme. Once captured there is very little possibility of escape and the sadistic nature of the captors has often allowed prisoners to think that they escaped only to be set upon by the sharks and guards when freedom (seemingly; is close at hand.
    The culture of these creatures allows that there is only one King and he has only nine Princes with lesser positions being held as the situation and population demands. These leaders are always subject to challenge by any other member of the race to their position of leadership. The leaders are usually quite strong and several are reported to be mutations with four arms (this occurs in 1% of the population as a whole) and the fact that the Sahuagin never cease to grow throughout their lives (much like reptiles) so that the leaders are also usually the older members of the species as well. Unsuccessful challengers are always killed and any cripples that occur in these fights are also disposed of. with especially unpopular types being tortured to death. The disposal of the victims takes place at an after the challenge party where they are eaten by the other members of the group or community. This is also done with sickly members and others thought to be unfit to be a part of the community. The females are expected to bear their share of the fighting and are. visually at least, no different than the other members of the species.
    A fantastical, evil race for a fantastical world.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-07-21 at 09:07 AM.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Okay, jumping in here.

    Fact is, I don't disagree with the premise. I disagree with specific points, but the underlying premise - you don't need to have all-Evil races - and some of the corollaries - if you have no all-Good races you don't need all-Evil races - make sense to me. As does the general principle of "If it's your world, build it the way you want."

    And as I have often said, the very idea of arbitrary alignment is broken in a lot of dumb ways.

    That said, I will take issue with a specific assumption you made. To wit: Evil races are stupid and self-destructive. Observe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    No i disagree. If a group of beings actively takes a course of action that is detrimental to them in both short run and long run then that is indeed stupid. Raiding other nations, sometimes, and going to war, sometimes, does not make for an evil race, it just makes for normal race, humans have been doing that since forever. Doing so all the times, even when you have nothing to gain and everything to loose by doing so, that's what makes a race inherently evil, and stupid.
    That's what makes a race inherently stupid, yes. But it is not a requirement for a race that is inherently Evil. Nowhere in any description of Evil I have read does it include the phrase "must go to war and raid other nations at all times even when there is nothing to gain and everything to lose in doing so."

    Evil means supreme selfishness. It means putting Number 1 at the expense of Number 2, and taking pleasure in it. But it does not mean stupid. It does not mean "incapable of seeing the results of our actions." It does not mean "incapable of playing nicely with others when it benefits us."

    Imagine a kingdom ruled by a tyrant. The despot creates perfect order and lawfulness in his kingdom. He does so though cruel and despotic laws that disproportionately punish even the most minor slights. He promotes the health, physical and mental, of his subjects, through a rigorous course of academic and physical education. He does so by creating schools where children are taught to revere him as a god-king, and through mandatory service in his Legion of Death Knights. He goes on conquests, yes. To avenge wrongdoing against his people, to seize valuable trade routes or resources. But never for funsies - that's a waste of resources. He does not mindlessly pursue global domination at any cost - he already has a sprawling kingdom with citizens who worship and fear him, ample wealth and power. What more does he need?

    That is Evil.

    Now, picture an organization. Rigidly hierarchical, each level serving that above it. Each member serving the organization's good. They do so through espionage, torture, theft and assassination. They are organized and Evil. They are not, however, stupid. They don't decide to plan an assassination because "I mean, it's been days since I bathed in the blood of the innocent, you know?" They don't fight among themselves, because that weakens the organization. They are structured. They are ruthless. And they are coldly logical.

    That is Evil.

    Now, yes. The concept of an entire race of creatures who are intrinsically Evil is a bit far-fetched. But if you put that in your setting, it does not follow that they must also be self-destructively stupid. It doesn't work that way unless you want it to.

    Or, to put it succinctly:

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Evil doesn't mean stupid.
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    point the first: humans are evil.

    point the second: SO, just ignore all the redeemed evil in D&D and other fantasy as well as it it doesn't exist then state your argument as " fallen good exists, but redeemed evil does not. therefore evil aligned races are doing it wrong" seem a very legit stance....
    There really is vanishingly few of the latter, even where there is it's usually the fallen human or elf, rather rarely if ever will you see an orc or a goblin switch sides, and a good illithid or chromatic dragon is practically unheard of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Okay, jumping in here.

    Fact is, I don't disagree with the premise. I disagree with specific points, but the underlying premise - you don't need to have all-Evil races - and some of the corollaries - if you have no all-Good races you don't need all-Evil races - make sense to me. As does the general principle of "If it's your world, build it the way you want."

    And as I have often said, the very idea of arbitrary alignment is broken in a lot of dumb ways.

    That said, I will take issue with a specific assumption you made. To wit: Evil races are stupid and self-destructive. Observe.



    That's what makes a race inherently stupid, yes. But it is not a requirement for a race that is inherently Evil. Nowhere in any description of Evil I have read does it include the phrase "must go to war and raid other nations at all times even when there is nothing to gain and everything to lose in doing so."

    Evil means supreme selfishness. It means putting Number 1 at the expense of Number 2, and taking pleasure in it. But it does not mean stupid. It does not mean "incapable of seeing the results of our actions." It does not mean "incapable of playing nicely with others when it benefits us."

    Imagine a kingdom ruled by a tyrant. The despot creates perfect order and lawfulness in his kingdom. He does so though cruel and despotic laws that disproportionately punish even the most minor slights. He promotes the health, physical and mental, of his subjects, through a rigorous course of academic and physical education. He does so by creating schools where children are taught to revere him as a god-king, and through mandatory service in his Legion of Death Knights. He goes on conquests, yes. To avenge wrongdoing against his people, to seize valuable trade routes or resources. But never for funsies - that's a waste of resources. He does not mindlessly pursue global domination at any cost - he already has a sprawling kingdom with citizens who worship and fear him, ample wealth and power. What more does he need?

    That is Evil.

    Now, picture an organization. Rigidly hierarchical, each level serving that above it. Each member serving the organization's good. They do so through espionage, torture, theft and assassination. They are organized and Evil. They are not, however, stupid. They don't decide to plan an assassination because "I mean, it's been days since I bathed in the blood of the innocent, you know?" They don't fight among themselves, because that weakens the organization. They are structured. They are ruthless. And they are coldly logical.

    That is Evil.

    Now, yes. The concept of an entire race of creatures who are intrinsically Evil is a bit far-fetched. But if you put that in your setting, it does not follow that they must also be self-destructively stupid. It doesn't work that way unless you want it to.

    Or, to put it succinctly:
    {scrubbed}

    You can't create a prosperous society trough fear, it just does not work, people will be scared to take any initiative without consulting you first and no man, no matter how brilliant, can keep tabs on everyone and everything.

    So no, i would disagree. Any evil regime, no matter what form it takes, is inherently self destructive. If you do everything logically to get the best out of your kingdom it becomes almost indistinguishable from what we call good. Any undue meddling can only cause damage.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2021-08-28 at 09:08 PM.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    There really is vanishingly few of the latter, even where there is it's usually the fallen human or elf, rather rarely if ever will you see an orc or a goblin switch sides, and a good illithid or chromatic dragon is practically unheard of.
    By definition of it being the exception itís not going to be approaching the norm, no? What sources are you sampling to get these perceptions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    By definition of it being the exception itís not going to be approaching the norm, no? What sources are you sampling to get these perceptions?
    I am saying it's disproportionately rare when compared to how often the good races go evil. Imho having factions of every race with different allignments is most interesting and balanced portrayal. Some races may lean towards one or the other which would be reflected by the size of the factions but they should still exist.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Personally, I find the notion of alignment and objective morality in general rather absurd. However, if a setting does have people who are objectively evil (or objectively good) I suppose there's nothing stopping it from applying to entire races. It seems unlikely that any species of similar intelligence and sentience as humans would be confined to a specific type of personality, but that's admittedly not based on much in the way of facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    even Demons should have the ability, however small, of redeeming themselves. Apart from being logical i think that such a setting is far more interesting from a narrative standpoint too.
    I don't think it's logical for demons to be able to stop being evil, at least in a typical D&D setting. In such settings, demons are literally made out of evil, and it doesn't make any more sense for such a demon to stop being evil than it does for a fire elemental to stop being fire.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Since this is based on alignment, which is D&D-centric, I'll respond in a D&D-centric way.

    First off, pretty sure the OP isn't talking about extraplanar races; otherwise, the obvious response is "Angels are always good." I think we're in agreement that angels and devils and such can be always [appropriate alignment], since they're importantly different from the mortal races.

    So then the OP is saying there should be no "always evil" mortal races who hang out primarily on the material plane. The thing is, for the most part, that's already true (at least where I checked, 3.5). Most of the evil-type races, at least in 3.5, are "usually" evil, which leaves plenty of room for good goblins and orcs and such. Even creatures of horror such as Mind Flayers are only "usually" evil. There are exceptions for creatures who scream "I am evil" such as Ghouls, but that seems fine.

    The one big exception in 3.5 is dragons. They shouldn't be "always" any alignment; that is just an excuse to let adventurers color-code whether they can indiscriminately murder an intelligent creature and take its stuff - or even skin it to make armor, ew. I agree we should rid ourselves of that nonsense.

    Perhaps the issue is with alignment tendencies, rather than absolutes. I can see it being problematic, but it is part of the inspiration for the genre (thinking of Tolkien here). There are protagonist races and antagonist races. Protagonist races tend to have some good and some bad actors, hence being alignment-agnostic. Antagonist races tend to be evil - perhaps with some exceptions. You don't have to run it that way, but it is coherent.

    Personally, I prefer to remove mechanical alignment altogether for the mortal races and only keep it for the extraplanar stuff and certain explicitly magical things like Paladins, Clerics, Incarnates, and so on. But I've also played plenty of games with alignments-as-is where it worked, more or less, as long as we didn't navel gaze too much.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    I am saying it's disproportionately rare when compared to how often the good races go evil. Imho having factions of every race with different allignments is most interesting and balanced portrayal. Some races may lean towards one or the other which would be reflected by the size of the factions but they should still exist.
    In this same light is it peculiar to note that demons and devils vastly outnumber the various good aligned outsiders? Are you taking into consideration how being good is the hard option while being evil is the easier option? Your assumption that the evil/good flip flop should be observable in equal helpings is unfounded.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    I don't think it's logical for demons to be able to stop being evil, at least in a typical D&D setting. In such settings, demons are literally made out of evil, and it doesn't make any more sense for such a demon to stop being evil than it does for a fire elemental to stop being fire.
    That's something of an oversimplification, at least in 3.5. It's less that they're made completely of evil, and more that they're made partially of the stuff of the Evil-aligned Lower Planes that they hail from. The MM glossary, for each subtype, including [Evil], states that it's possible for a "subtype" creature to change alignment to one not matching the subtype - and that if they do, they will still be treated as "subtype" alignment for certain rules mechanics purposes.

    So a nonevil demon will still detect as evil, and will still be vulnerable to Smite Evil, regardless of their actual alignment.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Samoja1 View Post
    I have read several arguments on this from other sources but they all take a different tack. They either talk about prejudice or nature vs nurture sort of thing, but my argument is from a different angle. Inherently evil races should not exist because inherently good races don't exist. None of the traditionally "good" races can be considered good in modern view of fantasy. Even the elves, the long time poster boys for everything goodly, have long since evolved out of it.

    So if "good" races are complex enough to produce people, and even whole groups, up to and including nations, of every alllignment, then why would the "evil" races have to be so one dimensional?

    The whole thing makes the world seem overly grimdark. Bad guys are really bad but the good guys are bad too. I would have no issue having evil races in a Tolkienesque black and white morallity world, if they are balanced out by the innately good races, but if you are going so far as to make the traditionally good races more complex by giving them shades of grey then it feels amiss to not do so with traditionally evil races.
    Depends. I see your point and I tend to agree with it from a philosophical point of view. From the point of view of a game players tend to prefer obvious stereotypes. See an orc, kill the orc. No muss, no fuss, no guilt.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    Depends. I see your point and I tend to agree with it from a philosophical point of view. From the point of view of a game players tend to prefer obvious stereotypes. See an orc, kill the orc. No muss, no fuss, no guilt.
    Weird. Thats a lot of extra hoops to feel no guilt over things that don't exist.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    If you don't want evil-aligned peoples in your imaginary elfgames, don't have them. Simple as that. Other people might want them in their games, so they will.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    This could start brushing up against philosophy and the nature of evil if we're not careful, but I for one do see a value in the "force of nature" style of evil where it's not only reasonable but prudent to judge a book by its cover. Yes, it's theoretically possible for good mindflayers or good vampires to exist, but for the vast majority of people in a D&D setting who will encounter one, assuming the opposite until proven otherwise is just sensible. And then you get into races that are literally composed of evil energy like demons and devils, where being good will actually change their physical makeup over time, giving you more reason to pre-emptively distrust the ones that haven't.

    Where I can align with the OP is for humanoid and monstrous humanoid races that are commonly listed as "usually evil"; Orcs, goblinoids, lizardfolk etc. These are the ones that authors tend to code (wittingly or unwittingly) using elements from various indigenous historical and even contemporary cultures outside their own. For these, I would be more inclined to delist them from a monster manual in favor of treating them the way humans are - focusing on their actions as the means of judging them rather than their race. So instead of entries for just Orc or Drow or Hobgoblin, we have Hobgoblin Slaver or Drow Assassin or Orc Bandit, and then any alignment tag tied to those is a function of their chosen profession rather than their species.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Now, picture an organization. Rigidly hierarchical, each level serving that above it. Each member serving the organization's good. They do so through espionage, torture, theft and assassination. They are organized and Evil. They are not, however, stupid. They don't decide to plan an assassination because "I mean, it's been days since I bathed in the blood of the innocent, you know?" They don't fight among themselves, because that weakens the organization. They are structured. They are ruthless. And they are coldly logical.

    That is Evil.
    I think you provided a 90% fit to the Scarlet Brotherhood in Greyhawk with that description.
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    IIRC, the original organization was headed by a high level lawful evil monk
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    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!

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