A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    I sorta get what the OP is saying, in that there is a clear disparity between "good" and "evil" races.

    Good races are depicted as being much more flexibly-evil (to the point that really, Humans should be a neutral race), even to the point of having "always-evil" subraces (Drow, Duergar, Derro, Svirfneblin, Fallen Aasimar, etc), whereas evil races have less of that. I get that some races have specific bars to being so flexible (Gruumsh whispering in Orcs heads and such stuff), and ultimately, in a game where the default idea is good characters killing evil monsters, there is an obvious impetus to create evil-aligned versions of good races, so they are available for a smiting, while their isn't much point in making good-aligned versions of evil races (how many people have actually ever used a Baelnorn in a game? I imagine the number is vanishingly small, such that it just constitutes wasted Monster Manual space the few times they have bothered to publish it).

    Perhaps all it needs is a few lines in the monster manual entries to indicate such things do exist in larger numbers than it would seem, and perhaps there is value in an "good" Orc subrace who no longer hears Gruumsh's voice, or a "metallic/gem Kobold" or "exhalted Tiefling" (not saying Tieflings are always-evil here, but if there are fallen Aasimar with dark-themed abilities, why not Tieflings with holy-themed ones?) to offset the Drow and Duergar.
    Last edited by Glorthindel; 2021-07-22 at 06:59 AM. Reason: Oops, near miss with an almost problematic subrace name there :S

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    I sorta get what the OP is saying, in that there is a clear disparity between "good" and "evil" races.

    Good races are depicted as being much more flexibly-evil (to the point that really, Humans should be a neutral race), even to the point of having "always-evil" subraces (Drow, Duergar, Derro, Svirfneblin, Fallen Aasimar, etc), whereas evil races have less of that.
    Oh, I think we all get the premise. For me, I just don't think there's a 'should' about there being symmetry.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I was simply demonstrating how human guards can be portrayed in a way that makes them villains without dehumanizing them to make a player be fine with killing them. If thats the case your making, this isn't a problem that can be solved, what your talking about is picking your poison:

    DnD Always Evil Races: themes of colonialism, tribal stereotypes, imperialism, and dehumanizing entire cultures

    Always grey Morality: someone you kill will inevitably be innocent, a good person or not deserve it just because they're on the other side.

    Star Wars morality: "but the Stormtroopers might have families at home!"

    Cyberpunk: "But all those people at the corporations are just office workers trying to feed their families"

    and so on and so forth. there is no objective "safe context" just preferences and disagreements. what is safe for one isn't for someone else, so your attempt at safety for all is doomed to failure. Me, I know what I want. I want to play monstrous races. I don't want to deal with your "struggling against inner nature" nonsense that is nonsense to me. and what I want is what I value over what you claim always evil races does. I'm not going to change my preferences for someone else's personal problems from some out of game reasons. Roleplaying is not by itself, therapy. There is no reason to change them. Furthermore every time a "safe space" is mentioned it involves more discussion about this stuff than not. More invitation for the questions to come in by trying to stop them, just like alignment.
    What in the world are you talking about? When did I tell you that evil races should be about 'struggling against their inner nature'? All I did was point out that there is no one way forward where everyone is going to be happy with the same game and same tropes, and there are all sorts of things people might be more or less comfortable with. Apparently you agree with that as well, from what you're saying?

    Go and play monstrous races! Hell, go and play in a world where there's nothing monstrous about them at all except for their appearance. That is perfectly valid. Why would you think I don't believe that?

    Also, when I say 'safe context' I mean a fantasy context where nobody actually is hurt by violence that is being fantasized about. It doesn't mean an internet 'safe space' that tries to be a closed community. Don't assume what I mean from the beliefs you've seen other people have.
    Of course I don't believe roleplaying is therapy. It's a game. And like many games, it lets you do something you would not want to do in real life because it is dangerous or immoral (or straight-up impossible), in an enviroment where there is no actual harm from it. Just like how GTA lets you go on a crazy rampage without hurting actual people. Or how Street Fighter lets you win a martial arts tournament without getting beat up. It's got nothing to do with therapy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    What in the world are you talking about? When did I tell you that evil races should be about 'struggling against their inner nature'? All I did was point out that there is no one way forward where everyone is going to be happy with the same game and same tropes, and there are all sorts of things people might be more or less comfortable with. Apparently you agree with that as well, from what you're saying?

    Go and play monstrous races! Hell, go and play in a world where there's nothing monstrous about them at all except for their appearance. That is perfectly valid. Why would you think I don't believe that?

    Also, when I say 'safe context' I mean a fantasy context where nobody actually is hurt by violence that is being fantasized about. It doesn't mean an internet 'safe space' that tries to be a closed community. Don't assume what I mean from the beliefs you've seen other people have.
    Of course I don't believe roleplaying is therapy. It's a game. And like many games, it lets you do something you would not want to do in real life because it is dangerous or immoral (or straight-up impossible), in an enviroment where there is no actual harm from it. Just like how GTA lets you go on a crazy rampage without hurting actual people. Or how Street Fighter lets you win a martial arts tournament without getting beat up. It's got nothing to do with therapy.
    I agree for the sake of the conversation.

    I find it odd that you take it so personally that you think it all refers to you just because its mentioned. It doesn't. I just say what I think, as it is an open thread. my thoughts are on the topic, not the people within it.

    Your further assuming that I know what an internet safe space is. I didn't know that existed until you said it. I was just speaking out against the vague concept in general in relation to people using the "real life sucks in a vague general sense, I must have evil races in my elfgames in order to escape" justification that I find more baffling each time I hear it.

    Yes and I find strange that the immoral action is limited to a designated few races when fantasy has been extending that immoral action to all races for some time now. It is arbitrary and care not for any justifications for it. All those games you used as examples let you do that to nonexistent humans there is no arbitrary morality or guilt just because they're not an orc, that some DnD players insist on the distinction is weird.

    Edit: Well, that escalated quickly. I feel as if I miscommunicated somewhere and I apologize for doing so. I am not however going to post again in this thread, for I feel may screw things up more if I do.
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2021-07-23 at 08:18 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I agree for the sake of the conversation.

    I find it odd that you take it so personally that you think it all refers to you just because its mentioned. It doesn't. I just say what I think, as it is an open thread. my thoughts are on the topic, not the people within it.

    Your further assuming that I know what an internet safe space is. I didn't know that existed until you said it. I was just speaking out against the vague concept in general in relation to people using the "oh woe is me, real life sucks in a vague general sense, I must have evil races in my elfgames in order to escape" justification that I find more contemptable each time I hear it.

    Yes and I find strange that the immoral action is limited to a designated few races when fantasy has been extending that immoral action to all races for some time now. It is arbitrary and care not for any justifications for it. All those games you used as examples let you do that to nonexistent humans there is no arbitrary morality or guilt just because they're not an orc, that some DnD players insist on the distinction is weird.
    You know, if you really didn't mean me in particular, or didn't mean to call anyone out, you'd stop trying to constantly imply that something is wrong with the people you are talking about. Seriously, you were the one who just mentioned 'safe spaces' by name, and now you're trying to tell me you had no idea what those were? You reply directly to me and argue against what I said as a launching point for your own rant, and then act like it's somehow strange that I think you're trying to argue with me?

    Hell, you make snide insinuations about D&D players who use evil races automatically having them be tribal, or enjoy colonialist fantasies, and then call them contemptible, but then also say that you are talking just about the topic in general? And not any of the people who have argued for evil fantasy races in this thread whatsoever?

    Either you are deliberately trying to rile me up, or you are so tone deaf that you have no idea what you are saying. I am done with your cowardly and manipulative way of arguing. Whatever your motivation, you clearly do not actually engage with what others say, nor do you care in any way to understand them. I'm done.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2021-07-23 at 03:39 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    <SNIP> humanizing (or dehumanizing) through behavior <SNIP>
    And there we go. Humans = Good. Non-Humans = Bad. Which is a very broad brush (e.g. elves) and not intended as a criticism of your comment, Batcathat. I'm just observing that there seems to be a preference for simplicity in RPGs, where the villains are easily identified and not identifiable with. In a fantasy TTRPG that can mean orcs, trolls, zombies. In a modern TTRPG the villains are established by uniforms and voluntary association with a group with clearly evil designs. That makes decision making simple.

    As a DM I tend to prefer bad guys that have actual motivations because it allows me to easily improvise members of the group and I stay consistent. So I tend to assign them motivations. In my experience players dislike that. Bad guys are bad because they're bad is about as deep as players want to go. If they're faced with a situation where both sides are motivated by understandable and reasonable goals but are competing for a limited resource which will not stretch to serving both groups then decisions become complicated and have consequences that players sometimes find distasteful.

    So while I agree with OPs basic premise (while allowing for things like demons, zombies, and other things that are inherently expressions of a malign force) I think it's ignoring the more important question of what is fun for the players.

    On the other hand, there are a growing number of TTRPG games that eschew the solutions through violence model and embrace the shades of grey roleplay. None of these are anywhere near as popular as D&D, however, and there are at least as many mini-games out there that eschew the social and exploration aspects and lean whole-heartedly into the solutions through violence model. So, once again, it's going to come down to what the participants want and everyone having an adult conversation to make that determination and plot a path forward.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    And there we go. Humans = Good. Non-Humans = Bad. Which is a very broad brush (e.g. elves) and not intended as a criticism of your comment, Batcathat. I'm just observing that there seems to be a preference for simplicity in RPGs, where the villains are easily identified and not identifiable with. In a fantasy TTRPG that can mean orcs, trolls, zombies. In a modern TTRPG the villains are established by uniforms and voluntary association with a group with clearly evil designs. That makes decision making simple.
    I'm not really sure what you're commenting about what I said. That the term "humanizing" is human-centric?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    As a DM I tend to prefer bad guys that have actual motivations because it allows me to easily improvise members of the group and I stay consistent. So I tend to assign them motivations. In my experience players dislike that. Bad guys are bad because they're bad is about as deep as players want to go. If they're faced with a situation where both sides are motivated by understandable and reasonable goals but are competing for a limited resource which will not stretch to serving both groups then decisions become complicated and have consequences that players sometimes find distasteful.
    Speaking of painting with a broad brush. While I of course can't speak for your experience, in mine players tend to be rather divided on this. Some indeed don't want anything beyond a classic white/black hat division but very many absolutely do and some don't really seem to care either way.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    I'm not really sure what you're commenting about what I said. That the term "humanizing" is human-centric?
    Yeah, that seems to be a non-point. Our language is based around the assumption that there's only one sentient species. Not sure what that proves. Also:

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    And there we go. Humans = Good. Non-Humans = Bad.
    I kinda disagree that this is what was suggested. The rest of the quote was "is probably more efficient than doing it through species. Overhearing a pair of guards planning their weekend or bitching about their boss probably makes it at least a little harder to kill them, whether orc or human" That's not talking about assigning a status of good or bad, but of giving them depth (neutrally). It's harder to kill a thing that one recognizes as having thought-processes, was my takeaway from the statement.

    Anyways,
    As a DM I tend to prefer bad guys that have actual motivations because it allows me to easily improvise members of the group and I stay consistent. So I tend to assign them motivations. In my experience players dislike that. Bad guys are bad because they're bad is about as deep as players want to go. If they're faced with a situation where both sides are motivated by understandable and reasonable goals but are competing for a limited resource which will not stretch to serving both groups then decisions become complicated and have consequences that players sometimes find distasteful.

    So while I agree with OPs basic premise (while allowing for things like demons, zombies, and other things that are inherently expressions of a malign force) I think it's ignoring the more important question of what is fun for the players.

    On the other hand, there are a growing number of TTRPG games that eschew the solutions through violence model and embrace the shades of grey roleplay. None of these are anywhere near as popular as D&D, however, and there are at least as many mini-games out there that eschew the social and exploration aspects and lean whole-heartedly into the solutions through violence model. So, once again, it's going to come down to what the participants want and everyone having an adult conversation to make that determination and plot a path forward.
    This seems to be conflating shades of grey in terms of characters being good and bad with a predominantly violence-as-solution compared to exploration-and-social game models, whereas I think those are really two distinct and separate factors. You can have a social and exploration aspect-centric game in a world with black/white-hatted creature roles or violence-as-solution games in a world with shades-of-grey creatures (wherein the primary decision points often circle around 'is this grey so dark we invoke our violence solution?').

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Before the thread gets closed, the OP is flawed in that there are good races in D&D, it's just that humans and demi-human are not among them.
    "Always good" races in 3E include Archons, Couatls, Metallic Dragons, Celestials, Eladrins, Genies, Guardinals, Lillends, Pseudodragons, Phoenixes, Pixies, Sprites, Sphinxes, Werebears, and Unicorns.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    There's something missing from this, at least in some fantasy games and settings. Malign deific influence.
    The devil made me do it. (Geraldine Jones, as played by Flip Wilson)
    Jumping to books, in Brandon Sanderson has an entire race of creatures that by nature open themselves to the power of what is effectively a malign god, and in doing so their personality and nature change.
    Which book series was this: Mistborn?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Or possibly a spontaneously arise from spores, with the biggest baddest and most brutal generating the most spores for the next generation.
    We are back to orcs and zerglings being the same thing ... Warcraft/Starcraft commentary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    Why? There is no metatextual reason for this to follow. I can do inherently evil beings without a whole setting being grimdark, in fact I can do inherently good beings in a grimdark setting. Some creatures being morally varied does not necessitate all creatures being morally varied. It does not create any kind of imperative for them to be more varied.
    That was eloquent.
    These are your failure of imagination more than anything. And in case of orcs, failure to read the rules.
    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    "hey that entire species is inherently evil and you should kill their babies on sight"
    Who actually does this? I see this strawman trotted out with mind numbing regularity.

    You seem to be dragging video game/crpg attrition based victory conditions into an RPG context. I mean, in Warcraft I, there were some sessions killing all of the enemy was required to complete the mission. (Kill all the orcs if you were the humans, kill all the humans if you were the orcs). Same was true in Warcraft II. Same true in various Starcraft missions.
    In other missions, building certain things or reaching a place on time, kill what's in your way, was the model.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Haven't played the old-school Warcraft games, but the condition in Starcraft and Warcraft 3 is usually "destroy all their buildings" which are explicitly military installations - not so much "kill all the orcs."

    As for the term "humanizing" - yeah it's human-centric, but "make more sympathetic" is a bit clunky so I'm okay with it.
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    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 Psyren View Post
    Haven't played the old-school Warcraft games, but the condition in Starcraft and Warcraft 3 is usually "destroy all their buildings" which are explicitly military installations - not so much "kill all the orcs."
    It's been a long time since I played Warcraft II, but I think the buildings to get more units (the equivalent of supply depots etc in Starcraft) were like farms or something like that, so I suppose those would've technically been civilian buildings. Still, I don't remember seeing adorable orc babies running around so I don't think it was meant to be seen as a war of extinction.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Before the thread gets closed, the OP is flawed in that there are good races in D&D, it's just that humans and demi-human are not among them.
    "Always good" races in 3E include Archons, Couatls, Metallic Dragons, Celestials, Eladrins, Genies, Guardinals, Lillends, Pseudodragons, Phoenixes, Pixies, Sprites, Sphinxes, Werebears, and Unicorns.
    There are no inherently good species in 3E. 3E explicitly calls out "always ___" does not mean always. There can be chaotic evil Archons just like Falls from Grace is no longer an evil demon.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    And there we go. Humans = Good. Non-Humans = Bad. Which is a very broad brush (e.g. elves) and not intended as a criticism of your comment, Batcathat. I'm just observing that there seems to be a preference for simplicity in RPGs, where the villains are easily identified and not identifiable with. In a fantasy TTRPG that can mean orcs, trolls, zombies. In a modern TTRPG the villains are established by uniforms and voluntary association with a group with clearly evil designs. That makes decision making simple.
    I believe that was linguistic short hand rather than precise usage of the term. For example it is shorter to say "dehumanizing/humanizing" despite not meaning it in a human centric manner than it is to say "Changing the presentation or facts about morally relevant details that impact the judgement about whether the entity qualifies for moral consideration or moral personhood."

    Although yes you are right that some media / RPGs take the tactic of "I don't understand or identify with the entity, therefore it is easier for me to judge them as not qualifying for moral consideration or moral personhood".

    Personally I prefer to focus on the actions of the entity rather than change the judgement of their moral consideration / personhood. This is where stormtrooper uniforms or bandit actions come in to identify the enemy.
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2021-07-22 at 11:21 AM.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    It's been a long time since I played Warcraft II, but I think the buildings to get more units (the equivalent of supply depots etc in Starcraft) were like farms or something like that, so I suppose those would've technically been civilian buildings. Still, I don't remember seeing adorable orc babies running around so I don't think it was meant to be seen as a war of extinction.
    You're not wrong, but I would see farms and pigpens inside of a military base being a bit of a grey area.
    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

    It's probably more appropriate to say that the dominant cultures of certain races are Evil in a given world. For example, in the classic Drow as imagined by RA Salvatore, the dominant Drow culture clearly checks pretty much all the boxes for Evil, so most of the people raised in that culture end up Evil. However, we also see several examples of Drow who choose to be otherwise. You can have the opposite with traditionally Good races: there are bad seeds even in the best society.

    {Scrubbed}

    Outsiders are a little trickier, depending on your conception of what they are. If your cosmology is that fiends are the essence of Evil in bodily form, the idea of redemption makes no sense (or, at a minimum, would mean that they stop being fiends and transform into something else). But if fiends are simply another free-willed race that is native to a plane generally aligned with Evil, then allowing deviance from that norm absolutely makes sense.
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-07-31 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Scrubbed

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Which book series was this: Mistborn?
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    But isn't this whole "Humans = Good. Non-Humans = Bad." stuff a defense mechanism though? It's nothing to do with story telling or world building. We like to believe that bad things are done by bad people. I would certainly never commit atrocities, that's something bad people do. Bad people are in a separate category from good people like me, who only do good things.

    It has nothing to do with philosophy or anything, just a pure defense mechanism against the ever creeping notion that I might do really bad things and might be really bad.
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    But isn't this whole "Humans = Good. Non-Humans = Bad." stuff a defense mechanism though? It's nothing to do with story telling or world building. We like to believe that bad things are done by bad people. I would certainly never commit atrocities, that's something bad people do. Bad people are in a separate category from good people like me, who only do good things.

    It has nothing to do with philosophy or anything, just a pure defense mechanism against the ever creeping notion that I might do really bad things and might be really bad.
    Which post was this a reply to? I need context to help me parse the second paragraph.

    There are several factors that contribute to the cognitive bias. The "fear the unknown" defense mechanism for example.

    However we can recognize and overcome that cognitive bias. That is why is pointed out humanizing/dehumanizing was being used as a sloppy linguistic shorthand for "Changing the presentation or facts about morally relevant details that impact the judgement about whether the entity qualifies for moral consideration or moral personhood". Providing that broader context moves it past the first iteration of the cognitive bias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    But isn't this whole "Humans = Good. Non-Humans = Bad." stuff a defense mechanism though? It's nothing to do with story telling or world building. We like to believe that bad things are done by bad people. I would certainly never commit atrocities, that's something bad people do. Bad people are in a separate category from good people like me, who only do good things.

    It has nothing to do with philosophy or anything, just a pure defense mechanism against the ever creeping notion that I might do really bad things and might be really bad.
    That assumes it's always a conscious choice by the author/designer. Very often, problematic or unfortunate implications from a setting arise entirely by accident.

    The designer for example might simply make all the pretty and sophisticated elves good and all the ugly tribal orcs evil because that's how Tolkien did it, and they're trying to pay homage to Tolkien. Their thought process might never go deeper than that. But those kinds of tropes should be examined because "oops, I was just trying to be like Tolkien" is not a free pass to abandon one's responsibility of thinking about these things.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    But Lolth and the like don't influence every single member of the species 24/7. They do a lot of their influencing indirectly, though the culture and leaders of the Orcs/Drow/etc...
    Lolth's a bad example because she's not a creator deity.

    Gruumsh, on the other hand, influences every every member of the orc species 24/7 by virtue of having designed them. His control of orc behavior is as absolute as the iRobot corporation's control of Roomba behavior. Or at least it was in the beginning, presumably evolutionary divergence may have occurred since then, although how much depends on the timescale of the setting

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I was simply demonstrating how human guards can be portrayed in a way that makes them villains without dehumanizing them to make a player be fine with killing them.
    Herein we see one of the fundamental mistakes. An important difference between human guards, and orcs and goblins or what have you, is that the human guards are human, whereas the orcs and goblins were never human in the first place and aren't supposed to be. We have no more reason to assume that they should think or act like humans than we do to assume that a wolf should think or act like a jaguar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    That assumes it's always a conscious choice by the author/designer. Very often, problematic or unfortunate implications from a setting arise entirely by accident.

    The designer for example might simply make all the pretty and sophisticated elves good and all the ugly tribal orcs evil because that's how Tolkien did it, and they're trying to pay homage to Tolkien. Their thought process might never go deeper than that. But those kinds of tropes should be examined because "oops, I was just trying to be like Tolkien" is not a free pass to abandon one's responsibility of thinking about these things.
    How can the author mean something that they don't mean? If it was done purely to copy Tolkien and for no other reason than reading it as a racial allegory or anything else of that nature is ipso facto incorrect.

    It's not fair to criticize an author for some random readers' headcanons.
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2021-07-22 at 02:36 PM.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Lolth's a bad example because she's not a creator deity.

    Gruumsh, on the other hand, influences every every member of the orc species 24/7 by virtue of having designed them. His control of orc behavior is as absolute as the iRobot corporation's control of Roomba behavior. Or at least it was in the beginning, presumably evolutionary divergence may have occurred since then, although how much depends on the timescale of the setting
    Okay, but we can apply this to Moradin or Corellion too. They, like Grummush, designed their species to be good at certain things and to enjoy certain things. But my point was more that, after the design and implementation phase, all the gods pretty much slacked off on oversight. Outside of the culture and religion and societies that developed around these initial desires and enjoyments, there wasn't any enforcement of these desires. So we got dwarves that didn't like caves so much and elves that didn't like trees so much and orcs that were less violent....except someone kept marking "CE" on all those orc stat-blocks for some reason.

    And that reason was, going back to my original argument, basically laziness. The game needed baddies and it was easier to say "players can be anything" and "these are the baddies".

    Frankly, I'd be half tempted to make the "in universe" reason for all those Orcs still be CE or XE or whatever, is simply godly bureaucracy. The pencil pushers upstairs at some point got overwhelmed with the sheer number of humans, dwarves, and elves in the world and weren't able to keep rubber-stamping them with the appropriate alignment. However, since all these races pretty much kept slaughtering orcs, thus keeping their numbers down, so the paperwork was much simpler.

    Orcs are "XE" because godly government. The freedom to be whatever you want, as an Orc, is not limited by your choices or by some grand machination, but by the most unstoppable, oppressive, unrelenting force in the universe: good bookeeping.
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  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Wait. Are elves no longer marked as CG in fifth edition?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    It's been a long time since I played Warcraft II, but I think the buildings to get more units (the equivalent of supply depots etc in Starcraft) were like farms or something like that, so I suppose those would've technically been civilian buildings. Still, I don't remember seeing adorable orc babies running around so I don't think it was meant to be seen as a war of extinction.
    Technically it is military infrastructure used to supply and feed troops. Warcraft 3 did have villages and towns of civilian use that you often couldnít touch.


    In Warcraft 2, if you found it, it was military with but a rare few missions.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Wait. Are elves no longer marked as CG in fifth edition?
    1. They are not in the Monster Manual, but there is an extended exposition on elves in Mord's that hardly answers that particular question.
    2. I need to dig up the PHB descriptive text, but the basic rules do have this.
    Chaotic good (CG) creatures act as their conscience directs, with little regard for what others expect. Copper dragons, many elves, and unicorns are chaotic good.
    In my brother's world, the high elf wizard in our party is about 80% murder hobo; if he's chaotic good I'll be surprised.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2021-07-22 at 03:50 PM.
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Wait. Are elves no longer marked as CG in fifth edition?
    D&D Elves were never inherently good. They might have had good tendencies, but D&D Elves were moral agents and had the capacity to choose to do good, or evil.

    The OP is saying, if you have no inherently good species, then it makes sense to have no inherently evil species.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by OldTrees1 View Post
    D&D Elves were never inherently good. They might have had good tendencies, but D&D Elves were moral agents and had the capacity to choose to do good, or evil.

    The OP is saying, if you have no inherently good species, then it makes sense to have no inherently evil species.
    And D&D does have inherently good species, where every member is born with a good alignment. Where the OP goes wrong is in thinking humans or demihumans are "good" races. That's okay though, because the orcs, goblins etc. aren't inherently evil either.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    I think a lot of people are forgetting that just because not all individuals of a certain group are evil does not mean you can't have them as acceptable targets. In fact i would say it makes those who still do evil things more of an acceptable targets. If there are groups of orcs or kobolds that chose to forgo evil and just live in peace then that means other individuals of that group had an alternative. If they still chose to do evil then that's their choice, and the consequences are justified.

    I would also like to draw your attention to one of the best examples i know of this idea, Parthurnaax from Skyrim. One could argue whether Dragons in TES are evil alligned, but in any case by his very existence Parthurnaax proves it's possible for a dragon not to give in to their oppressive tendencies, and in so doing elevates the story.

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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post

    When we start talking about biological design to malign influence, or even simply "built to do evil things" it begs the question of free will, and thus, if they can actually be evil at all. A stick isn't evil, even if you beat someone to death with it. In this comparison, the "evil race" isn't the one beating someone to death, they're the stick. A tool being used by an evil god to do evil things.
    And personally I think someone could make an awesome campaign centered on that question. I think itís more open than you give it credit for; I remember a documentary on prisons where one of the interviewed people was a prisoner who did not want to be released because he knew heíd kill more people if he was. Was this person evil? I donít know, but seeing it always stuck with me.
    I imagine Elminster's standard day begins like "Wake up, exit my completely impenetrable, spell-proofed bedroom to go to the bathroom, kill the inevitable 3 balors waiting there, brush my teeth, have a wizard fight with the archlich hiding in the shower, use the toilet..."
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    Default Re: There should be no evil alligned races

    Quote Originally Posted by NovenFromTheSun View Post
    And personally I think someone could make an awesome campaign centered on that question. I think itís more open than you give it credit for; I remember a documentary on prisons where one of the interviewed people was a prisoner who did not want to be released because he knew heíd kill more people if he was. Was this person evil? I donít know, but seeing it always stuck with me.
    Sure, it's just finding people who are interested in a game that revolves around asking sticky questions, rather than sticking swords in stuff.
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